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Saturday, June 8, 2024
June 8, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:00 PM :: 643 Views

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Oahu Flood Risk Survey results

Charter Amendment another obstacle to Maui mayor's TVR phase-out plan

Hawaii County Council follows through on proposal to cut homeowner taxes

Rail CEO’s future still in limbo after Hanabusa lines up secret ‘critics’ to whine behind closed doors

HNN: …  Despite pressure from the mayor, members of the HART board are still refusing to extend rail CEO Lori Kahikina’s contract.

At the Human Resources Committee meeting Friday, board members delayed a vote after considering testimony in secret from Kahikina’s anonymous critics….

(CLUE: Typical Hanabusa M.O.)

But the public support seemed to be trumped Friday by testimony from unidentified critics, reviewed secretly by the Human Resources Committee during a two-hour executive session.

Michelle Chun Brunngraber, chair of the committee, explained what happened during the closed session. “We received testimony from 10 prior and current employees that involved their privacy rights and so that testimony was held in executive session,” she said.

After the session, instead of making a recommendation on the CEO contract, the committee voted that all the testimony — with criticism still kept secrete — will go to the full HART full board for its meeting in two weeks. Kahikina said she was hoping for an answer at the meeting….

SA: HART postpones discussion of CEO’s future  -- In a separate issue before the committee, HART Board Chairperson Colleen Hanabusa said she was the subject of an item on the agenda referred to as “Board Member Conduct.”  Hanabusa said that on May 22 she referred concerns of Kahkina’s treatment by the board to the city’s human resources department for investigation in a move that Hanabusa called “self reporting myself.”  She chastised the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for reporting that the item could have been related to board member Natalie Iwasa, who later told the committee today that, “I thought it was about myself.”


read … Rail CEO’s future still in limbo after critics testify about her leadership behind closed doors

Army asks for comments on proposed Oahu land leases

SA: … The Army is seeking public comments on a draft environmental impact statement it released Friday for its proposed retention of up to 6,322 acres of state-owned lands it uses for training on Oahu.

Leases begin expiring in 2029 at Kahuku Training Area, Kawailoa-Poamoho Training Area and Makua Military Reservation.

According to the draft, Oahu training areas provide approximately 30% of the Army training land in Hawaii “and represent a substantial portion of the maneuver training land, located away from populated areas to ensure soldier and public safety, within the austere jungle training environments required … to maintain Army readiness.”….

LINK: OahuEIS_Posters-210720.pdf (

read … Army asks for comments on proposed Oahu land leases | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

Navy and NASA looking to renew Kauai land use deals

TGI: … The current real estate agreements between the U.S. Navy and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are set to expire between 2027 and 2030.

Both the Navy and NASA propose to maintain long-term use of the land they occupy, and to satisfy the requirements for negotiations, both parties are working on creating an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed real estate agreements.

The EIS is scheduled to take several years to complete, which coincides with the expiration of the real estate agreements….

RELATED: Navy, NASA Begin Process to Renew Barking Sands Lease

read … Navy and NASA looking to renew land use deals

In a rush to waste money, Honolulu City Council votes to add additional $8M to pandemic hazard pay

HPR: … That money was originally supposed to go toward other projects. All funds must be tied to contracts by the end of the year….

the council agreed with the city’s administration that the money would not be processed for the project by the deadline — and that it would be better used for hazard pay.

This comes after the city already moved $107 million to pay for similar reasons.

The city is still negotiating with public worker unions on the pandemic hazard pay.

(IDEA for HGEA members: Keep sabotaging those contracts.  All the money is coming to you.)

read … Honolulu City Council votes to add additional $8M to pandemic hazard pay

Honolulu Council adopts gift ban bill for city officials

SA: … A measure to prohibit City and County of Honolulu employees from soliciting, accepting or receiving gifts from lobbyists or other third-party sources in relation to their official duties has been approved.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt Bill 23, meant to tighten existing rules that bar city employees from accepting gifts valued in excess of $50, also clarifying which gifts may be solicited or accepted.

The measure was introduced in April by Council Chair Tommy Waters and Vice Chair Esther Kia‘aina and adopted Wednesday. It replaces Bill 26, a similar 2022 measure that expired earlier this year after surpassing its two-year deadline without Council passage….

read … Honolulu Council adopts gift ban bill for city officials

Hawaii Energy Conference Keynote Speaker Addresses Wildfires

IM: … California`s Inverse condemnation law means that “if a power line starts a fire, its owner is responsible for the damage, regardless of how the line was maintained.”…

PG&E’s equipment started some 1,500 fires between 2014-17. More than a dozen of them had been catastrophic. Twenty-four people died. “After the 2017 fires, the CPUC had stepped up requirements for power line clearances, requiring the utilities to keep trees at least four feet away from live wires in areas at high risk of fire. Prior to that, a foot and a half had often been acceptable.”

“State lawmakers, nearing the end of their legislative session, rushed to hammer out the details in a suite of bills dedicating state resources to address the crisis. One of the most significant measures lessened the sting of inverse condemnation by allowing PG&E to issue low-interest bonds to pay some of the liability costs arising from the 2017 fires.”

“The company would repay the debt through a surcharge on customer bills. PG&E estimated that an average residential customer would pay an extra five dollars a year for every $1 billion in bond debt. It was a bid to keep the company out of bankruptcy.”

“The legislation also addressed future risk. Utilities liable for fires igniting in 2019 and beyond would be allowed to recoup some of those costs through customers, so long as regulators determined that the company hadn’t been negligent.”

“But the bill said nothing at all about fires starting in 2018.”

read … Keynote Speaker Addressed Wildfires at the Hawaii Energy Conference

First responders report spike in 911 calls linked to hallucinogenic mushrooms

HNN: …  Honolulu emergency workers are warning the public about the dangers of consuming wild and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The public messaging comes after a spate of 911 calls relating to mushroom ingestion — nearly a dozen in less than two months.

In April, for example, a hiker who was hallucinating needed assistance in the Makapuu area.

Then last month, a hiker had to be airlifted out in Hauula. Other hikers with the patient were able to walk out on their own ….

read … First responders report spike in 911 calls linked to hallucinogenic mushrooms

Retail stores in Hawaii could soon outfit employees with body worn cameras

KHON: … “Everyone is trying to find the best solution to what is going on.”

Capital One Shopping research show retail stores lost $121.6 billion to theft last year and it’s expected to reach $150 billion by 2026.

“It’s very serious,” Sugar Sugar Hawaii owner James Geischen said. “It happens way more than people believe.”

Geischen said his stores gets hit every single day and he has heard of mainland retailers using body worn cameras….

read … Retail stores in Hawaii could soon outfit employees with body worn cameras



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