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June 21, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:45 PM :: 1148 Views

More Taxes and Fewer Lanes: Green, DoT, Eco-Lawyers 'Sue and Settle' Scheme

Senate Special Session to Rubber Stamp Four Oahu Circuit Court Nominees

Thielen: Homelessness is a Money-Spinner, Creates Thousands of ‘Positions’ in Hawaii

KHON: … Most of the narratives that are espoused by folks deriding houseless individuals and families say things like, “cleaning up the homeless” or “clearing out the homeless”. All lingual indicators that trash or rubbish need to be removed.

(NOTE: This is not satire.  Keep reading.)

But every physician, nurse, social worker, health worker, therapist, rubbish collector — this list can go on for pages — that works with houseless or unsheltered individuals and families have their jobs, their paychecks, because those people are in fact without a permanent residence.

(CLUE: First rule of bureaucracy—‘Maintain the problem.’)

There are multiple federal agencies that employ people to work with houseless or unsheltered individuals and families, and each of these agencies wield hundreds of millions of dollars to do so. Money that goes into our economy.

Likewise, Hawaiʻi has several state and county agencies that do the same. The agencies receive funding from the federal government as well as our Hawaiʻi State government to spend millions on services and paychecks that are directly related to helping Hawaiʻi’s houseless or unsheltered individuals and families.

Then, there are the non-profits. Partners in Care; Hope Services Hawaiʻi; Project Hawaiʻi, Inc; Hawaiʻi Island Community Health Center; Lōkahi Treatment Centers — again, this list can go on and on — all employ people who are paid money to contribute to our economy. Their jobs? Working with Hawaiʻi’s houseless or unsheltered individuals and families.

(This is called the homelessness industry.  It’s the problem, not the solution.)

Thielen said that there are many positions that need to be filled with the various agencies around the state but that restrictions on the contracts prevent agencies from paying an adequate salary.

(REALITY: Jobs giving away meth pipes and needles to addicts.)

This means that with funding that allows for people to earn a living wage, not only will we mitigate more houselessness but we will provide more economic opportunities for people.

(CLUE: They want us to pay them even more because they have been so very successful.)

When you do a preliminary search, there are four massive federal agencies that employ hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. The same is seen in Hawaiʻi with four state agencies that employ thousands of people. Then, the county agencies that employ hundreds.

A preliminary search for non-profit organizations in Hawaiʻi shows approximately 30 agencies across the state that also employ hundreds possibly thousands whose job it is to work with Hawaiʻi’s houseless or unsheltered individuals and families.

So, the next time you see houseless or unsheltered individuals and families, be sure to remember that they are a vital part of our economy…..

(NOTE: This is not satire.)

KITV: Neighbors want to lock up Kahala Park restrooms after dark | News | kitv.com

read … Hawaiʻi’s little-known job creators

SD23: Four (Three) Governors of the Apocalypse Endorse Clayton Hee—but Unions back Ben Shafer

HNN: … Hee has the backing of long-time legislative friends of 40 years — former Govs. (of the Apocalypse) Neil Abercrombie, Ben Cayetano, and John Waihee (where’s Ariyoshi???) ….

(QUESTION: Which Governor is ‘pestilence’?)

In the primary, Hee will face community advocate and veteran Ben Shafer…

As for candidate Ben Shafer, he fought against Turtle Bay Resorts expansion and says while he lacks name recognition; his support is sizable and growing.  Shafer says he’s got the endorsement by HSTA and other unions….

“You’re going to have three governors, a former senator, trying to take me out, but what it comes down to is the people of our district,” said Awa.

Awa says for this election, he’s not campaigning so no fundraising or sign waving.

“We’re bringing bring morals into the legislature. There’s going be a lot of people not good with that,” he said….

REALITY: Clayton Hee Trying to Sneak Back into the State Senate

As a public service, we are providing a handy anti-Hee election mailer for use by any candidate: LINK.

read … 3 Hawaii governors support former state lawmaker as race for state Senate seat heats up

Future Of HART Line Extending Into City Center Hinges On Critical Contract Bid

CB: … This is the second time the rail authority solicited proposals for that segment. Last time the bids were $1 billion too high, forcing years of delays and some major cost cutting….

HART estimated last year that the 3-mile guideway and six train stations in the city center would cost somewhere between $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion. But the new bid proposals are scheduled to open on July 23 at a time when Honolulu is well into a construction boom that is putting upward pressure on bid prices.

“Everybody’s busy right now,” said Joseph Uno, a construction cost estimator and former member of the HART board of directors. “All of the contractors and subcontractors are busy, so people are paying premiums to get your work done. So, I think that’s a big risk, that there may not be enough money.”…

It was the sky-high price that prevented HART from awarding a contract to develop the city center segment of the rail line four years ago, and the HART board did not renew the contract of former CEO Andrew Robbins after that effort failed.

The two responses to HART’s solicitation for the city center job in 2020 each came in at more than $2.7 billion, forcing the city to cancel that procurement and do some dramatic, painful cost cutting.

The city then shortened the rail line by more than a mile to end the city segment near South Street, instead of at Ala Moana Center. The city also deferred construction of two rail stations as well as a $330 million, 1,600-stall parking garage at Pearl Highlands….

read … Future Of HART Line Extending Into City Center Hinges On Critical Contract Bid

House speaker revokes procurement authority of state auditor

CB: … In April, Saiki sent a memo to every House member, the governor and the Senate president saying the state procurement officer was concerned Kondo’s staff hadn’t completed procurement training, developed procurement policies and procedures and used proper procurement forms.

But this just in: Kondo shot back his own memo on Wednesday saying the procurement office determined in May there were no violations. Yet Saiki never bothered to tell anyone, he said.

“Since you broadcasted SPO’s rushed and erroneous determination to all members of the House as well as to officials throughout the Executive Branch, Chief Justice Recktenwald, and University of Hawaii President Lassner, we feel compelled to correct any mischaracterizations and untruths about our procurement activities,” Kondo wrote. “You appear not to have done so on your own.”

Kondo said that Saiki’s revocation is also “very likely to cause actual financial harm” to the state, “including jeopardizing future federal funding that supports numerous state programs.”…

read … The Sunshine Blog: Les Kondo Wants To Set The Record Straight

Insurance Crisis Worsens in Hawai‘i’s “Condoland”

HB: … It’s been a bad year for Hawai‘i Condominium Associations, with many seeing the price of their master insurance policies increasing 300% or more in one year. A few buildings saw those premiums increase by an extraordinary 900% to 1,300%.

It’s unlikely to get better any time soon.

And a growing number of condos are now carrying master insurance policies that provide less than 100% replacement coverage, which means if there’s a hurricane or other disaster, there may not be enough funds to rebuild. It’s driving some buildings to seek coverage on the pricey secondary market.

It’s creating a domino effect for everyone in “Condoland,” says Sue Savio, president of Insurance Associates in Honolulu, with condo owners, buyers, sellers and lenders all feeling the impact.

“It’s financially a serious concern,” says Savio, who estimates about 400 buildings are carrying less than 100% coverage. “I think it’s probably worse than ever.” ….

read … Insurance Crisis Worsens in Hawai‘i’s “Condoland”

Bank of Hawaii hit by unrealized bond losses

AB: … Bank of Hawaii's investments in bonds soured as interest rates rose starting in 2022, leaving the bank with large "unrealized" losses. Its profitability has suffered, and a couple of key regulatory ratios are below those of its peers….

News Release: Bank of Hawai‘i Corporation Announces Pricing of $165 Million Depositary Shares Offering

read … Bank of Hawaii, hit by unrealized bond losses, eyes capital raise

HECO Files $250M Grid Resilience Application with the Public Utilities Commission

IM: … The Hawai`i State Energy Office (HSEO) submitted a $250 million grant application to receive federal funding via the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) -- a.k.a. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) -- Grid Resilience and Innovative Partnerships (GRIP).

The grant beneficiaries are the HECO Companies (HECO, MECO, and HELCO), Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) and the Hawai`i Office of Homeland Security (OHS). The beneficiaries would match the federal funds. 

The HECO Companies filed an application for the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program with the Public Utilities Commission today....

read … HECO Files $250M Grid Resilience Application with the Public Utilities Commission

Chinatown businesses face uncertain claims process after lengthy outage

HNN: … “With each passing day, the more and more exhausted and the more frustrated you get because you know we are being told to file claims and then you know a lot of us don’t even know if HECO has the funds to pay the claims because they’ve been disappointing so many communities,” he said.

Click here for details on how to file a claim.

The utility said it won’t know right away whether claims can be paid.

HECO officials say it needs to investigate the cause of the outage before it can process them.

Meanwhile, small businesses in Chinatown and downtown are hoping for the community support. A “community walk” is now set for Saturday to generate interest in the businesses….

Power back on for 2,400 customers, 600 in Chinatown still waiting | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

HECO shares plans to improve service for Downtown Honolulu area following two recent outages - Pacific Business News (bizjournals.com)

HECO completes difficult underground repairs in Chinatown, restoring power to hundreds (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Power restoration set back due to ‘arc flash’ in Chinatown, 600 still waiting (khon2.com)

read … Chinatown businesses face uncertain claims process after lengthy outage

City Ordered To Temporarily Halt Dismantling Of Haiku Stairs

CB: … The halt will last until at least June 26, when the Friends of Haiku Stairs and the city will argue their respective cases in front of a judge….

CN: Read the ruling here.

HNN: Appeals court orders pause to demolition of Haiku Stairs

read … City Ordered To Temporarily Halt Dismantling Of Haiku Stairs

LOL!  Maui Golf Course Odor Prompts Council To Consider Repealing County Pesticide Ban

CB: … Over three days in May, Rego said he was bombarded by grievances over an odor so foul that some players walked off the course. 

The source of the stench? Organic fertilizer. 

The odor emanated from the putting green, where the county Department of Parks and Recreation has been testing organic fertilizer and herbicide alternatives to the chemical-based products that have historically been used in public lands management. …

“They’re not happy,” said Rego, who’s worked at the county-owned Waiehu Municipal Golf Course for more than 30 years. “Some guys said they had a headache. Some have mentioned even that they might go to another course.”

On Friday, the Maui County Council will consider a bill to repeal the county’s three-year-old organic pesticide and fertilizer ordinance in its entirety.

Driven by community concern (mindless hysteria) over perceived negative health impacts of synthetic pesticide use on fields where children play and where runoff makes its way to nearshore waters teeming with marine wildlife, the council passed the 2021 legislation unanimously….

read … Maui Golf Course Odor Prompts Council To Consider Repealing County Pesticide Ban

Committee denies extension for Kona Vistas

HTH: … “They’re not builders; they’re developers,” said John Powell. “They just want the time extension so they can sell (the land) to somebody else. They sell dirt.” ….

After public outcry, a controversial West Hawaii housing development on Tuesday was denied a time extension to complete its project.

When development of the Kona Vistas subdivision began in 1984 on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway in Holualoa, the developers at the time planned for a second phase that would add a 450-unit multifamily housing project on a 69-acre parcel immediately south of the subdivision.

Although that phase never materialized, new developers KV3 LLC and Kona Three LLC purchased the land in 2015 with the intention of completing it.

Since then, however, the project has stalled, leading the developers in 2022 to request a 10-year extension from Hawaii County.

The Leeward Planning Commission was to consider the application in March, but that meeting was cancelled due to a lack of quorum. Having failed to make a decision on the matter within an sufficient amount of time, the commission forwarded the application to the County Council with an unfavorable recommendation by default.

After more than an hour of searing opposition from area residents, the County Council voted Tuesday to uphold that decision….

read … Committee denies extension for Kona Vistas

Millions of sterile male mosquitoes released in Hawaii to save rare bird from extinction

G: … Conservationists hope insects carrying ‘birth control’ bacteria can save honeycreeper being wiped out by malaria….

NPR: Mosquitoes could save endangered bird species in Hawaii : Short Wave : NPR

read … Millions of mosquitoes released in Hawaii to save rare bird from extinction

Meth Addicted Jail Guard went to Game Room Before Killing Mother

SA: … Guzman said they met at about 10 a.m. June 8, 2016, at the house of Guzman’s friend, who was a classmate of Pereira.

The group jumped into Pereira’s truck, stopped at a 7-Eleven and went to a Waianae game room. Guzman told him she was going to walk home since she didn’t have money to gamble.

“He said, ‘We go my house and come right back.’ I figured he was fine. We were talking. He said he was going to pick up something. Everything seemed all right.”

She said after parking his truck, he locked the gate with a combination lock, then later a padlock, which she thought was strange.

Guzman said that first day, Wednesday, he was “still good” and shared about the stress of his marriage. But after hours passed, she kept telling him she needed to go home, and he would say, “Sister, just wait. I take you home.”...

SA: Ex-OCCC officer admits shooting mom

read … Woman describes captivity in alleged kidnapping

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