Vote-by-Mail: Old-Boy Trick to Disenfranchise Independent Voters?
Star-Adv: Supreme Court ‘Surely will delay the 'aha, if it is to be held at all’
SA: Today is when voting for delegates is scheduled to end, but Kennedy's stay means votes can't be counted or certified. It's unclear how this ultimately will end, but it surely will delay the 'aha, if it is to be held at all….
read … Delay
Civil Beat—Supreme Court Stay on Nai Aupuni ‘Just a Routine Matter’
CB: Kennedy’s one-sentence order doesn’t speak to the merits of Grassroots’ case, but to the fact that significant constitutional issues are being raised and that reasonable time is needed to review them before final action….
So even to imply that the order is anything other than a routine matter of the judicial branch performing a duty of review that ought to be expected of it in our system of governmental checks and balances — much less proclaiming it a victory for all Americans — borders on the comical….
(Yeah. Just keep on laughing Todd….)
read … Nonsense from the Billionaire’s Perfect Servant
U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Hawaii campaign finance law
SA: The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from a Hawaii electrical construction company that spent about $9,000 on political newspaper advertisements during the 2010 election cycle. The ads from A-1 A-Lectrician, Inc. were critical of Blake Oshiro, a Democratic incumbent candidate for Hawaii's state legislature.
Hawaii law requires any entity that spends more than $1,000 to influence elections to register as a PAC, triggering reporting and disclosure requirements. The company argues that the law is too burdensome and should apply only to entities whose primary purpose is political activity….
Related: A-1 A-Lectrician Case: Secret Email Group Connects Hawaii AG to Soros-Funded Lawyers
read … Illegal to Challenge Blake Oshiro
Hawaii Politicos baffled by Opposition to Syrian Muslim Refugees
SA: Kona Realtor Bob Myers never worried about immigration before, but lately he has been watching television coverage of the refugee crisis in Europe and the terrorist attacks in Paris. His gut reaction is, “I don’t want it coming here,” he said.
Myers is retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and said he is licensed to carry a concealed firearm. He hasn’t packed a gun in the 25 years he has lived in Hawaii, but now he wonders whether someday he might need to be armed.
“I don’t want to do it again, but if we have some type of terrorist situation occur in Hawaii, I will start carrying a weapon again, and I don’t want to do that,” said Myers. “I’m 70 years old. These are my golden years. This isn’t what I planned for my future.”
“I’m saying, ‘Stop,’” he said. “Let’s just pause, let’s take a breath, let’s look at the system that brings immigrants into this country and make sure that we’re not bringing in the type of problems that we’re seeing around the world.”
Myers’ concerns contrast sharply with a long-standing political narrative that portrays Hawaii as a “melting pot” that welcomes all sorts of immigrants and newcomers. That inclusiveness has been a Hawaii Democratic Party talking point for decades, but now some observers contend it is being questioned or even rejected by a significant portion of the voting public….
read … Baffled
Fare Hikes Coming as Legislators Consider GE Tax Hike on Airlines
SA: Lawmakers provided tax relief to the airlines in the form of an excise tax exemption in 1997 for payments for the servicing and maintenance of aircraft, or for the construction of aircraft service and maintenance facilities in Hawaii. They also established another excise tax exemption in 2001, known as Act 210, for payments on leased aircraft and leased aircraft engines….
The Act 210 exemption for lease payments alone saves Hawaiian an estimated $4 million to $5 million per year, according to Hawaiian spokesman Alex Da Silva….
Da Silva said that because of the short Thanksgiving week holiday work schedule, airline officials were unable to immediately calculate Hawaiian’s annual savings from the 1997 tax exemption that applies to spending on aircraft maintenance. It would take time to determine that savings because much of the airline’s maintenance is done at facilities on the mainland and in New Zealand, he said….
Da Silva said in an emailed statement that the airline leases 25 of its 52 aircraft and six engines, which means the airline saves $4 million to $5 million a year because of the state excise tax exemption.
read … Higher Ticket Prices
Outreach workers try to help Blaisdell Park homeless drug addicts
KHON: Elefante said outreach workers regularly visit the area. One such worker is Waialua resident Cynthia Leialoha Quintal, who said she, too, was once homeless.
“It was my fault. I had a job and I had everything,” and said drugs ruined her life. But she sought help and has been off the streets since November of 1989.
Her daughter, Charmaine Puahi, shares a similar story. She also struggled with drug addiction and reached out for help to kick the habit and find housing.
Puahi and her family have been off the streets for 13 years and hopes the homeless at Blaisdell Park will find the same outcome.
read … Outreach workers try to help those in Blaisdell Park homeless encampment
$15.2M to Fix Legislature Reflecting Pools?
CB: Have you ever visited our State Capitol and noticed a funky, bad smell coming from the murky, algae-filled unsightly water in the Reflecting Pools surrounding the building?
Well, that’s just part of the problem. Over the years the pool has leaked many times, causing damage to the electrical system and air conditioning in the building.
Furthermore, it costs $100,000 annually for state workers to continually clean the pool waters, which are fed by brackish water from wells. The latest estimate is that it would take approximately $15.2 million to fix the Reflecting Pools.
Unfortunately, even if we spent that much money, we’d still have to come back in several years and do it all over again, because there will always be leaks….
read … A poor Reflection on
Are Honolulu Planning Officials Too Cozy With Developer Haseko?
CB: Emails show city officials held private meetings with Haseko Development to strategize a controversial zone change and even helping prepare testimony to the Planning Commission….
PDF: Haseko Homeowners Request for Investigation of DPP
read … Cozy?
Charter Schools Push Back Against Oversight
CB: The Board of Education is holding a “charter school listening tour” and exploring the possibility of creating additional charter school authorizers, after complaints from school leaders about a state commission created three years ago to improve charter accountability.
The BOE is tasked with overseeing the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission, but has not done any formal evaluation of the commission since its creation in 2012, BOE Executive Director Alison Kunishige said.
The public listening events, led by Board Member Jim Williams, are for information gathering and starting that evaluation process, Kunishige said….
The Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network and some school leaders feel that charter schools in the state are increasingly overburdened with reporting requirements and red tape.
“We are being regulated to the max,” said Connections Public Charter School Principal John Thatcher — who met with lawmakers in Hilo last week to voice complaints about the commission.
The commission’s executive director meanwhile says such complaints are indicative of growing pains in a system that was revamped by lawmakers in the wake of several charter school scandals.
“This is a new world that we are in,” Tom Hutton, the commission’s executive director, said. “Schools are still adjusting to the reality of having oversight and expectations.”
Lawmakers created the Hawaii Public Charter School Commission in 2012 with Act 130, which put in place some significant changes for the charter school system in Hawaii — including a provision for schools to enter into performance contracts with the commission….
read … Charter
UH Football Coach Contract Not Executed Yet
SA: Rolovich, who is scheduled to be formally introduced at a campus press conference this morning after serving as offensive coordinator at the University of Nevada for four seasons, agreed to terms last week with athletic director David Matlin in Reno.
Once executed, (Translation: Its not signed yet.) sources say the four-year contract would pay him approximately $400,000 per season, near the bottom of the school's salary scale for the position, with an escalation schedule.
The annual salary scale, as set by the school's Board of Regents last year, is $392,142-$935,544. Under school policy, terms in excess of three years and salaries above $500,000 require approval from the Regents….
Reardon: If only UH could afford to get Rolovich his own consigliore
read … Executed
Star-Adv: Find Some Compromise on Beach Commercial Activity
SA: The inevitable tension between community and commerce rose up at a committee hearing of the City Council on Nov. 19. The Council's Zoning and Planning Committee, headed by Windward-area Councilmember Ikaika Anderson, heard testimony on Bill 8, which would have severely limited commercial activities at the city's Waimanalo-area beach parks.
The committee wisely deferred action on the bill after getting an earful from all sides. Wedding planners, photographers and film industry representatives, restricted from Kailua beach a few years ago, feared losing access to the rest of the Windward coast. Local residents complained about tour buses and commercial vehicles hogging parking spaces, blocking the public's access to the beach.
Both sides have a point, and there is room for compromise on Bill 8.
The committee is expected revisit Bill 8 in January. A reasonable compromise is preferred — except, of course, when it comes to public access….
read … Isle beaches can accommodate all