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Wednesday, March 27, 2024
March 27, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:33 PM :: 1839 Views

Exodus to Mainland: State Loses $185M Tax Revenue

SB2845: Ammo Purchase Age Restrictions heading to House Vote

Jones Act reform doesn’t divide neatly along political party lines

Green Appoints Dozens to Powerful State Boards

TRO Denied: Author of Child Sex Change Kidnapping Legalization Bill Plays Victim

CB: … (Socialist Rep Kapela) serves as the prevention education coordinator for Imua Alliance, a nonprofit service provider for victims of sex-trafficking….  (and she wants to make it easier for them to get sex-change operations) … 

(She is an introducer of HB2079.  Meanwhile, here is the game….)

It began with these sentences from Kapela: “I want a lesbian for president. I want a person with AIDS for president, and I want a gay man for vice president.”

(QUESTION: Why is she trying to infect Joe Biden with AIDS?)

Picked up by social media, Rep. Jeanne Kapela’s public invocation delivered in the chamber of the state House of Representatives Feb. 1 soon unleashed a slew of attacks on Instagram, including on an account run by Rep. Elijah Pierick.

By early March the outrage and vitriol generated by the invocation led to a heated debate over the Hawaii Legislature’s position on hate speech. On March 15, Kapela announced that she had introduced twin House resolutions that she said in a press release were in response to “violent threats against her office.”

Kapela’s press release said that the online threats and hate speech “were facilitated and endorsed” by Pierick through his official state social media accounts and other digital platforms.

“No one should be subjected to such threats, whether they are a legislator of a member of the public,” she said….

(IQ Test: Are you fooled?)

Kapela’s resos on hate speech — House Resolution 23 and House Concurrent Resolution 34 — easily passed the House Higher Education and Technology Committee March 15, which is chaired by Rep. Amy Perruso with Kapela as vice chair.

(CLUE: Perruso and Kapela are both members of the Democratic Socialists of America.)

The measures call on state departments and agencies to “address disinformation and digital hate speech in a variety of ways, including by developing safety plans to protect public institutions, increasing access to media literacy and training programs, and establishing trauma-informed protocols to assist individuals who have been targeted by online hate speech and violent threats.”

When HR 23 and HCR 34 came to the House floor for a vote on March 19, however, they encountered fierce resistance.

Rep. Diamond Garcia, the House minority floor leader, rose to say that he was stunned to see that the resos only referred to right-wing acts of violence.

“This is a purely partisan resolution, and the fact is that there have been multiple mass shootings conducted by left wing individuals as well,” he said. “So this premise is just completely unfounded.”

And Ward said, “I mean, this is a political resolution which doesn’t belong in this body.”….

But Rep. Kanani Souza, a Republican who does not participate with the minority caucus, said, “I think that this resolution doesn’t go far enough. We need to police ourselves. We need to show aloha out there and then our community members will follow.”…

As for Kapela and Pierick, she unsuccessfully tried to take out a temporary restraining order against him….

(TRANSLATION: TRO denied by judge because allegations insufficient to warrant a TRO.)

HNN: Morning Beat: Social media fight at Hawaii Legislature - YouTube

REALITY: HB2079 Would Legalize Child Kidnapping for Sex Change

Same Gay Game in 2023: VIDEO -- See For Yourself: Rep Pierick at Ewa Int School

2024: On February 1st, Rep. Kapela gave this invocation. What are your thoughts?

March 26, 2024: Gay Socialist Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Molestation

read … Chad Blair: A Speech On Leadership Sparks A Social Media Backlash

Honolulu City Council delays gift ban bill for workers

SA: … A proposal to prohibit city and county employees from accepting gifts related to their official duties was returned to a lower committee of the Honolulu City Council.

On Monday the Council could not agree on amendments for Bill 26, first introduced in 2022 by Council Chair Tommy Waters, to curb potential conflicts of interest or even prevent public corruption.

The draft measure, ma­terializing after corruption scandals at city agencies including inside the Honolulu Police Department and the city Department of Planning and Permitting, would prohibit gifts to the mayor, prosecuting attorney, Council members, city administration officers or any person employed by the city….

after changes to Bill 26 were offered, Vice Chair Esther Kia‘aina balked. “I have deep concerns about the manner of how we are considering this measure,” she said.

Among them, Kia‘aina said since she had little time to review the two latest, competing versions of the measure, she requested Bill 26 be referred to the EMLA committee for more deliberation.

She’d note, for example, some amendments — including one involving gifts given by the parents of a city staffer’s “live-in girlfriend” — went well beyond the scope of what she anticipated for Bill 26….

read …  Honolulu City Council delays gift ban bill for workers

The Senate Just Killed Green’s Plan For A Climate Fee For Visitors

CB: … For a third consecutive year, state lawmakers have chosen to not pass a fee that would be charged mainly to tourists …

The two House measures that stalled in the Senate proposed to create the climate impact fee either by increasing the state tax charged on hotel rooms and short stays by 1 percentage point, raising it to 10.25%, or by adding a flat $25 fee.

That would be in addition to the 3% transient accommodations tax that each of Hawaii’s counties can now charge as well.

Local visitor industry leaders and operators, such as Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association CEO Mufi Hannemann, have opposed the most recent TAT increase proposal, saying the added expense would cause too many visitors to fly elsewhere. …

Now, the bill most similar to a green fee proposal that’s still alive this session is one that Quinlan introduced — House Bill 2563.

It would require the Hawaii Tourism Authority to create a mobile app that could be used to charge tourists fees at popular beaches and trails, mainly at those places’ parking sites. It aims to boost revenues for underfunded state and county park agencies while also freeing up space for locals to better enjoy popular outdoor destinations, he said….

Care for Aina Now spokesperson Nahelani Parsons said Tuesday that the group is now focused this session on boosting the state’s natural resource spending through other means, namely the state budget process.

The coalition of some 48 organizations was previously called the Green Fee Coalition but it recently rebranded to advocate for various ways to close the multimillion-dollar gap in Hawaii’s climate and environment spending.

Parsons said the group is now pushing for Senate Bill 3068’s passage…

BH: Here's What's Next After Hawaii Just Dropped $25 Visitor Fee - Beat of Hawaii

read … The Senate Just Killed Green’s Plan For A Climate Fee For Visitors

City Council adopts resolution opposing ‘tiny lots’ bill

KHON: … “It’s ironic that you say you’re in favor of building more housing yet when more housing is trying to be built, you create a resolution that opposes that,” said Ted Kefalas, from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “Even going so far as to say that these would create slums with people more prone to fights, fires and diseases in the original version.”

Choon James, a supporter of the county’s resolution, said, “What is stopping investors from coming in and buying properties in single-family residential communities and stack homes up like sardines to rent and the local people have to put up with the impact.” ….

read … City Council adopts resolution opposing ‘tiny lots’ bill

‘Fragile’ health care system on Oahu adds staffing in wake of key ER closure

HNN: … Hospitals across Oahu are bringing in additional staff to accommodate an influx of patients they wouldn’t typically see. This comes after Wahiawa General Hospital shuttered both its emergency room and inpatient unit last week.

According to Honolulu EMS, the emergency room at Wahiawa General saw an average of 50 patients every day. Since the closure, those people have been forced to go to other ERs in communities that are farther away, many of which are already bursting at the seams.

Indeed, no matter where you are on Oahu, the ERs are very busy.

“In the middle of the day and in the afternoon is when they’re swelling up: 200% capacity, 300% capacity, 400% capacity,” said Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director Jim Ireland….

A review of the Hospital Capacity System last Tuesday showed the emergency room at Queen’s West hit 350% of capacity. That means there were only enough beds for 1 out of 3 patients.

Meanwhile, Pali Momi reached 200% capacity….

read … ‘Fragile’ health care system on Oahu adds staffing in wake of key ER closure

HECO Mililani blackouts almost daily

KITV: … Many residents in Mililani said their power shuts off around dinner time -- up to four times in a single week. The power outages have been happening consistently, residents told Island News.

“I would not call these disruptions. A disruption would be unplanned, yet there seems to be a pattern with the outages,” said Hawaii Rep. Trish La Chica….

HECO said this is due to their new policy called an “auto shutoff.” ….

"This is a part of a recent change they implemented in response to the Lahaina fires which results in an automatic shutoff to the system if there’s a disturbance that was detected," said La Chica.

HECO said these outages were caused by problems with the underground electrical cables. Although the cables are underground, they are connected to circuits that include overhead power lines that are vulnerable to new wildfire safety precautions.

Mililani has been identified as an at-risk area for wildfires….

This is an underground project. There is no estimated date of when this will be resolved.

Pai said Mililani has old infrastructure that needs to be replaced while they work on making sure their electrical system is both safe and reliable….

read … 'We deserve better than this.'  Mililani residents say they suffer from power outages almost daily

Hamakua Energy Plant Fails under Hawaiian Electric Ownership

IM: … Hamakua Energy is owned by Pacific Current which in turn is owned by Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI). HELCO is owned by Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) which in turn is also owned by Hawaiian Electric Industries.

“… prior to HEI taking ownership of HEP in 2017 (in other words, when HEP was a truly independently owned power plant), objective data shows that HEP was the most reliable power plant on the Big Island - more reliable in fact that any of the power plants owned by Hawaiian Electric. 

“Power plants are complex machines that sometimes break or need to be taken out of service for overhauls, regardless of who owns them.  Whether or not HEI has been a good steward in maintaining HEP since assuming its ownership in 2017 is a different question….

Hamakua Energy ran out of ammonia at the end of August 2022 and was forced to shut down.

Ammonia (NH3) is one of two nitrogen-rich chemicals used to control nitrogen oxides (NOx). The other one is urea (CH₄N₂O).  Practically all Hawai`i power plants rely on urea since urea is much less toxic and corrosive than ammonia. It is also a relatively cheap bulk chemical and is easy to handle and transport.

The AES coal plant on O`ahu shut down on August 31 and shipped its excess ammonia to Hamakua Energy, enabling the Hawai`i Island generation facility to return to service on September 2, 2022.

Hamakua Energy runs on a mixture of imported diesel that is refined by PAR Hawai`i and biodiesel supplied by Pacific Biodiesel Technologies (and grown on bulldozed Borneo rainforest land…)

read … Hamakua Energy Failure Threatens Big Island Reliability

Hawaii Board Of Education To Get New ‘Leader’ For The Third Time In 2 Years

CB: … If confirmed, Takumi will become the fourth chair to serve on the BOE in the last two years. His predecessors, Haruki and Bruce Voss, served as chairs for approximately nine months and one year, respectively. 

Haruki’s appointment as board chair last June came as a surprise to many. At the time, Voss had served on the board for eight years and was only a third of the way into his term as board chair. 

As the former CEO of Grove Farm and other local companies, Haruki’s background was primarily in business, rather than education. But he expressed confidence in his ability to lead the board following his appointment last summer.

“We need a legal expert. We need a financial expert,” Haruki said in an August interview. “We’re solving big, big problems, so that diversity is very helpful to come up with.” 

Haruki, along with BOE member Kahele Dukelow, never received a Senate confirmation on their appointments, meaning that they only served in an interim capacity. While the Senate received official notice of the appointments when it convened in January, legislators had not scheduled a confirmation hearing for either post. 

Takumi said he plans to hold the Department of Education accountable to its strategic plan, which sets ambitious goals for Hawaii schools and students over the next five years. 

“There is a roadmap now for the department,” Takumi said. 

Drawing on his experience as a representative, Takumi said he’s hopeful he can help navigate the “healthy tension” that often exists between the Legislature and DOE. While state policymakers often introduce well-intentioned legislation, he added, it’s the board’s job to ensure that proposed changes to school curriculum or graduation requirements are aligned with DOE’s strategic plan. 

“The good news is, we all have the same goals,” Takumi said….

SA: Haruki departing BOE; ex-lawmaker to assume post

read … Hawaii Board Of Education To Get New Leader For The Third Time In 2 Years

Rules that help set real estate agent commissions could soon change in Hawaii

KITV: … If the federal court signs off on the settlement, the National Association of Realtors would implement the rule changes in mid-July….

read … Rules that help set real estate agent commissions could soon change in Hawaii

Will Maui Council Allow Water Well Drilling Upcountry?

MN: … The Maui County Council is reviewing a resolution to authorize Mayor Richard T. Bissen’s administration to enter into an agreement with Free Market Ventures, LLC. The agreement would reportedly involve Free Market Ventures, LLC drilling wells in Kula and the County purchasing water from the private source.

Sugimura will host a community meeting today, March 27th at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani from 6 to 8 p.m….

(NOTE: ‘Free Market Ventures’ is not registered with DCCA BREG.)

read … Sugimura requests financial analysis of water source development agreement

Hilo gun rights advocate George Young dies at 74

HTH: … George K. Young Jr., a retired U.S. Army Ranger master sergeant and Vietnam War veteran whose decade-long legal battle resulted in the feds ruling Hawaii’s counties must issue concealed-carry gun permits to law-abiding citizens, died March 19 at home in Hilo. He was 74.

The Hilo-born Young first sued Hawaii County in 2012 after he was refused a concealed-carry permit. He sued and lost in federal court three times.

But in 2022, Young, represented by San Diego attorney Alan Beck, prevailed in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which compelled Hawaii’s counties to start issuing concealed-carry permits in accordance with the high court’s decision in New York State Rifle &Pistol Association vs. Bruen. That ruling held that New York state’s similarly restrictive concealed-carry laws violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Beck told the website Of Arms &the Law that Young “was a dear friend, and he will be deeply missed.”

“Everything that we’ve accomplished in Hawaii is thanks to George. He inspired the whole movement we are a part of,” Beck said….

read … Hilo gun rights advocate George Young dies at 74

Lahaina Fire News:

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