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Monday, March 18, 2024
March 18, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:23 PM :: 1425 Views

Hawaii Republican leaders secretly met with Miske Hitman Lindsey Kinney

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review

Public Interest Law Firm Urges Honolulu to Change Sign Regulations to Save Businesses, Protect Free Speech Rights

Hawaii Worst State for Doctors

Let's Face It: There Is No Need To Rebuild Aloha Stadium

CB: … The old Aloha Stadium was built primarily for UH football, which at one time filled the stadium with enthusiastic fans.

But attendance has been declining for years, and college football has been restructured to favor big football programs. UH and the other smaller football programs face a future of lower attendance and lower income.

After the old Aloha Stadium closed, UH built its own stadium on the Manoa campus. Although relatively small, the UH stadium has proven to be large enough to accommodate the fans who attend football games, as there are always empty seats at games….

read … Let's Face It: There Is No Need To Rebuild Aloha Stadium

More tourist tax bad for Hawaii economy

SA: … it’s impossible to have a tourism tax that completely excludes residents. As the discussion over last year’s failed visitor-fee proposal demonstrated, taxes aimed at only nonresidents carry significant constitutional consequences….

This year, the state Legislature has attempted to correct that problem by instead proposing ways to increase the state’s transient accommodations tax (TAT).

But it’s important to remember that a TAT increase would also fall on locals who travel interisland for medical, family or business reasons, or simply enjoying a “staycation.”

A TAT increase also would affect doctors or nurses traveling here on a temporary basis to provide medical care, or professionals such as contractors and trade workers who might be traveling here to help with reconstruction after natural disasters.

That’s not all. A 2017 study from the European Union — not generally known for being against taxes — warned against tourism tax hikes for coastal and leisure destinations because it found that higher tourism taxes get passed on through higher prices, which affects the overall competitiveness of that destination….

Higher tourism taxes do result in fewer tourists.

But maybe you think that higher taxes would only filter out lower- spending tourists.

Again, not so fast. Visitors work within budgets and make adjustments accordingly. According to a 2019 study in the Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, tourists to the United Kingdom compensated for higher airfare taxes by spending less on their food and accommodations.

In other words, tourism taxes reduce overall visitor spending. Hike the TAT and Hawaii’s tourists will compensate by spending less at restaurants, purchasing fewer souvenirs, or cutting back on tours, boat trips or other outdoor activities….

GRIH: Hill points out uneasy truth about tourism in Hawaii | Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

read … More tourist tax bad for Hawaii economy

Bill advances towards Secretive Conference Committee:  Gives counties power to phase out short-term rental units

SA: … The Senate version of Senate Bill 2919, authored by state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D, Kailua-­Kaneohe), was amended Friday during a joint hearing of the House Committee on Housing and House Committee on Tourism. The measure, which is inching closer to a joint House and Senate conference committee, next heads to its final referral before the House Committee on Finance for consideration.

State Rep. Luke Evslin (D, Lihue-Wailua), who chairs the House Committee on Housing, said, “We are not phasing out vacation rental units with this bill. We are simply removing the barrier within state law so that the counties, if they choose, can do this…”

read … Bill advances that gives counties power to phase out short-term rental units

DoE News: Psycho Parent Racks up 13 years of TROs -- No Prosecution

CB: … Over the last 13 years, 10 teachers and public school employees in Hawaii have sought restraining orders against a single parent they say has repeatedly harassed and threatened them.

According to court documents, the parent has called school employees a “pregnant dog in heat” and a “Fucken Micronesian Idiot,” told a principal he had hired a private investigator to investigate them, made shooting and throat-slitting motions at another teacher while driving past them, joined his son’s online class without warning and insulted the principal, and threatened to find a DOE employee on a hiking trail to confront her and her family.

Yet very few of the restraining orders filed against the parent have been approved. While police have struggled to serve him papers for a court hearing, judges and state officials have also been wary of infringing on the right of a parent to participate in their children’s education.

The parent is “an individual with a belligerent personality who communicates with verbal intimidation and swearing in order to control and overpower any attempt to having a civil conversation with him,” James Halvorson, a supervising deputy attorney general, wrote in a letter to a former Department of Education worker in 2021. But, the letter added, the Hawaii Department of Education has “an obligation to communicate with him regarding the education of his children.” 

CB: Teacher Harassment Bill Dies In Senate Committee

read … How Far Is Too Far? Parents Push The Limits Of Harassment In Hawaii Schools

Maui County Wants To Take Private Land For Fire Debris Dump Site, But Owner Wants To Build The Landfill 

CB: … Andy Naden, executive vice president and general counsel of Komar Investments, the umbrella company of the property owner Komar Maui Properties, said the county under former Mayor Alan Arakawa gave its blessing to the company in September 2015 to purchase the property and develop its own disposal site….

However, soon after Komar Maui Properties purchased the land later that year for $700,000 from Alexander & Baldwin, Naden said the county wanted to do a land swap that never materialized and ultimately began to stonewall its development efforts that have continued to this day….

Komar’s Aloha Waste Systems had operated on Maui for 25 years before selling its assets last year to Waste Pro Hawaii….

The council will discuss the administration’s proposed resolution that would provide authorization to start eminent domain proceedings for the second time on Tuesday during its Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency Committee meeting, chaired by Nohelani U‘u-Hodgins….

Naden said Komar Maui Properties has partnered with Pulehu C&D, which registered as a business on Aug. 17, and is managed by Ken Ota, who also is a representative of Waste Pro Hawaii.

During testimony before the council, Keone Gomes, who also is with Pulehu C&D, said the company discussed developing the parcel as a commercial and demolition debris landfill with the county beginning in May and had secured financing, got a development planner and a legal team to assist with entitlements all before the Aug. 8 fires.

“We also got a landfill consultant and a potential design engineer,” he said. “We were ready to move swiftly.”..

read … Maui County Wants To Take Private Land For Fire Debris Dump Site, But Owner Wants To Build The Landfill

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