Randy Roth: OHA Misusing LLCs to Hide from Law
Election Results—Honolulu Neighborhood Board
45 Republicans Elected to Honolulu Neighborhood Board
Caldwell Veto: Bill 20 Puts ‘Sit-Lie’ at Risk
Napali Homeless Camp: DLNR Arrests 11, Finds Crossbow, Queen Size Bed, Pizza Oven
Hawaii Family Forum Week in Review
Human Casualties at the Legislature
Tulsi Gabbard Blows a Kiss to Anti-Semitic 9-11 Conspiracy Website
Borreca: “The national cry to put a Hindu in the White House may be close to immeasurable, but there is some talk about Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard moving in.”
Looking in the morning mirror and seeing the next President of the United States is something that happens to nearly all in political office, but actually accepting that as a goal is something else.
While she has said nothing except that she plans to run for her fourth term in the U.S. House, Gabbard has embarked on some interesting tangents.
The newest is a report from a blog dubbed “Veterans Today,” in which Gabbard announces that she is raising funds for a national tour.
“Will you contribute $5 to my campaign so that we can put together a national tour that will call out the hypocrisy of the Trump administration and help build support for a sane foreign policy?” Gabbard asks.
(Hilarious. Gabbard hits Trump ‘hypocrisy’ by doing a column for the anti-Semitic 9-11 trooother site ‘Veterans Today.’ She signs her “exclusive” commentary, “As always, mahalo for your support and allowing me the privilege of serving you.”)
A Gabbard campaign spokeswoman said “the details are still in the works” but called it a “national tour on peace and foreign policy.”
Gabbard further burnished her foreign policy credentials with an op-ed piece in the Washington-based newspaper “The Hill” last week stressing her interest in peacefully resolving both the North Korean and Syrian crisis.
“If the U.S. is serious about getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, we must end the regime change war in Syria and begin to restore our credibility,” Gabbard wrote.
(Yup. Gabbard writes two, count-em, two, opinion pieces and suddenly this is a run-up for a Presidential race? Borreca's willingness to gloss over Tulsi’s interaction with a 9-11 trooother site is proof of his obsequiousness.)
read … Gabbard raises foreign-policy profile ahead of national tour against Trump ‘hypocrisy’
Shapiro: Gabbard Hypocrisy on Trump
Shapiro: …After treating Donald Trump with kid gloves during the election and being the first Democrat to court him as president-elect, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has lately bashed him on issues from Syria to health care to his tax returns. Somebody didn’t get the Cabinet job she wanted….
read … Bad things come to those taking a stand in Legislature
Maui Senators: ‘Naive’ Rep Kaniela Ing Behind Legislature’s refusal to extend Lifeguard protections
MN: …English has written bills to extend the measure every five years, while trying to make the immunity permanent.
This year, Senate Bill 562 sought permanent immunity, but senators later agreed to a four-year extension. However, the House Judiciary Committee gutted the bill, taking away immunity for lifeguards and leaving them with a legal defense by the attorney general. The House passed the revised bill unanimously. (Oahu Rep. Linda Ichiyama was excused.)
The Senate disagreed with the changes, and both chambers appointed conferees to iron out the differences. The House refused to budge, though, leading the Senate to agree to the revised bill.
“They put us in a take-it-or-leave-it situation,” English said.
South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing said that the bill “seemed to be a downtown, Oahu-driven policy.”
He called it “rash” for the Senate to agree with the House version, for a bill “as controversial as this.”
“The bill in final form undermines the current protections offered to lifeguards,” he said. “If it really was a take-it-or-leave-it situation for the Senate, why not leave it?”
West and South Maui Sen. Roz Baker called Ing’s comments “malarkey.” She said “the House could’ve sent over a different bill.” She said that the House position forced lawmakers to take “five steps backwards.”
“I really felt like we were behind the eight ball and wanted to provide some protections,” Baker said.
English called Ing “very naive” and said he was “disappointed” by his comments. He said Ing should have been lobbying his House members to “do the right thing.”
“I’m perplexed that he would say that,” English said. “We had to make a hard choice. I’ll reintroduce the bill next session, and we’ll see, but they have to change the dynamics.”…
(Translation: Kihei voters must dump Ing.)
read … Ing is Naive, Lifeguards Suffer
Permitting: Hawaii Small Business Horror Stories
HTH: …The primary barrier I hear about over and over again, in excruciating detail, is the permitting process in Hawaii County. Maybe you read about a recent study reported in Hawaii Business Magazine on the permitting process in Honolulu. That study placed Honolulu dead last in the nation in the length of time it took to get a construction project permitted, and by a large magnitude. Although this study focused only on metropolitan areas, I can’t help but believe that we have a similar situation here on Hawaii Island.
I listen to the shop owner who wanted to replace a water heater in his new location. This morphed into a project that required seven months of waiting, double the price of the water heater in engineering drawings, and nine separate signatures from various planning entities. The result of all this was seven months of rent and no income until a state representative intervened on the owner’s behalf. Then, miracle of miracles, the owner got action within a few days of that political pressure.
I listen to another shop owner who paid rent and insurance for 11 months without being able to open because of continually changing and escalating requirements on a variety of items from inspectors. This shifting and piece meal delivery of information forced him deeply into debt and literally doubled the expected price of startup.
I hear about the business that got three different interpretations on one issue from three different people on the same visit to the planning department. How do you proceed in the face of that kind of confusion and with that kind of direction?
Over and over I hear about what seems to be a Goliath-sized problem about grease traps, with extremely large and expensive installations being required for operations with minimal discharge, no room for perhaps more efficient alternatives, and with finger pointing all over the place, from planning to wastewater to health departments and back again.
And I hear about inertia, about how having a “friend” who can put a word in the right ear helps, about misinformation, about trying your best to stay on the good side of the powers that be to prevent sabotage. And finally, I hear about lots of unpermitted operations because owners are afraid of or can’t afford to enter the planning morass. So, in addition to masses of confusion, we have a totally contradictory process: A process that is supposed to ensure public safety that is in fact persuading businesses to cut corners and endanger public safety.
All of this gives Hawaii it’s perhaps well-deserved bad name and position on the bottom of all those “ease of doing business” lists. We’re working against ourselves in our efforts to promote economic development in our communities and increased opportunities for businesses and their employees….
So, what to do?
How about we look at the process of getting a business started in a new location holistically, as one whole scenario. So instead of running an owner from department to department and from inspector to inspector we centralize the permitting function so all required information is provided at one time and in one place.
How about we take a look at the slurry of building regulations that currently exists to eliminate redundancies and weed out what we don’t need while still achieving the needed result: public safety.
How about we apply some common sense to the economic development process and realize that erecting barriers to business shouldn’t be the business of government, but that overcoming barriers should be…..
Related: Hawaii has the longest permit approval process in the country
read … What’s wrong with this permit picture?
HB1179: GE Tax, Prevailing Wage Requirements Lifted from Some Affordable Housing Developments
KGI: …Another highlight includes a private/public partnership with labor unions to construct affordable housing options for people who make 8o to 140 percent of the median income.
“These are people who have jobs, but they make too much money to qualify for subsidies. But they don’t make enough money to cover the costs of purchasing a home,” she said.
Under this agreement, construction companies agreed to work below the prevailing wage rate, which makes the cost of projects more affordable….
read … Public-Private Partnership
DLNR Manini Rent Hikes for Ultra-Cheap Land Leases
SA: …The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has increased rents on nearly 300 month-to-month land permits by as much as 27 percent to account for its failure to adjust prices for years despite a 2005 board policy calling for regular reviews.
Before the across-the-board increases took effect in January, the department had not changed rents since at least 2007 for more than three-fourths of the 294 rental agreements, called revocable permits, that it had with private entities, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser analysis of DLNR data.
For about 130 of those land permits, the period of unchanged rents lasted even longer. Those tenants, including such longtime companies as Parker Ranch, Alexander & Baldwin and Gay & Robinson, paid the same respective amounts since at least 1999, a span of nearly 20 years, the newspaper found.
Revocable-permit holders with the most acreage of state Department of Land and Natural Resources property use the land largely for pasturing. Here are the top five by land area*:
Permit holder | Island | Acreage | Annual rent
Kapapala Ranch | Big Island | 8,215 | $21,696
Parker Ranch | Big Island | 4,482 | $15,204
Gay & Robinson | Kauai | 3,774** | $37,584
WB Kukio Resorts | Big Island | 2,572 | $2,916
Jerry Egami | Big Island | 2,310 | $6,240
read … Free Land from DLNR
Anti-Aquarium Nuts Behind SB1240
SA: …The report identified a prohibition on the take of herbivorous reef fish as one effective action to help in reef recovery. We are urging Gov. David Ige to sign Senate Bill 1240, legislation which would go a long way toward implementing this recommendation…..
SB1240: Text, Status
read … Obsessives