The Feds Gave You a Break? Now We, the State, Can Turn the Screws!
OHA Hit With Subpoenas After Trustees Fail to Act on LLC Reform?
Ray L’Heureux Launches Republican Campaign for Governor
VIDEO: How to Save $5B on Rail
Opioids and Assisted Suicide
Maui Dems Send Ige Three Nominees for Souki Seat
Not Born That Way: How Underage Gay Prostitution and Child Abuse turned Hawaii’s Top Tranny
Luke: Ige is Pathetic Irrelevant Crybaby or Caged Animal
SA: Gov. David Ige is calling out his leading political rival, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and top leaders in the Legislature for collaborating on a fundraiser in the final weeks of this year’s session, saying the event sends a clear message to anyone who hopes for anything from the Legislature that they must donate to Hanabusa.
The Hanabusa camp circulated a fundraising letter last month announcing a $250 to $1,000 per person political fundraiser on April 4 at Artizen by MW at the Hawaii State Art Museum.
That letter on Hanabusa campaign stationery sharply criticized the governor’s office for “inattention, indecision and inaction” in dealing with the state’s problems, and was signed by House Speaker Scott Saiki, House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz and Senate President Ron Kouchi.
Those are the four most powerful lawmakers in the state, and Ige said, “clearly nothing can get passed in the Legislature without them agreeing that it will go forward for a final vote, so if you have any issue that you want to get passed by the Legislature, these four people control your destiny.”
“It truly means that if you don’t play ball with us, if you don’t make a contribution to Hanabusa, then nothing will happen in this session,” said Ige….
Luke described Ige’s comments as “kind of pathetic.” …
Luke described Ige as “almost like this desperate caged animal. He still has a responsibility to help the state, and we’re doing our best to work for the state of Hawaii for the people, and we are going to continue to work with the administration to come up with the best thing for our citizens, and this is not helpful at all.”
(Yes. The bills Hanabusa’s agents are passing in the Legislature are ‘not helpful for our citizens’ – but they will help Hanabusa win a Dem Primary by forcing Ige to veto them thus alienating a Dem constituency. In a normal year, legislators would pretend to pass these bills along until a Committee Chair or a Conference Committee quietly kills them off because they are unrealistic nonsense. That protects the Gov from having to show his hand and helps keep all kinds of nuts within the ‘Big Tent’ one party system.)
“In spite of him being a crybaby, and in spite of him grasping at straws, we are going to continue to work with the administration and we are going to continue to come up with bills that will help the state, but if he wants to be going on this warpath, then he will just no longer be relevant,” she said. “We will just deem him irrelevant, and we will work with his people to get the best effort.”…
(Translation: This is all about trying to flip a public employees union from Ige to Hanabusa.)
read … Ige attacks Hanabusa, lawmakers for fundraiser
OIP Backlog? ‘Our Priority is Rulemaking’
SA: …This year, OIP’s priorities are to update its 1998 rules regarding record request procedures and fees, add new rules for personal record requests, revise its 2013 appeals rules, and create rules training materials. Under consideration are rule changes to allow OIP to more expeditiously resolve appeals and requests for opinions….rulemaking is extremely time-consuming….
OIP in 2011 had a backlog of the most difficult formal cases dating back to 1999 that had not been resolved by four prior OIP administrations. Meanwhile, OIP’s workload continued to increase with a doubling of new formal case filings and an average 49 percent increase in informal inquiries from 2011 to 2017.
Additionally, OIP had to overcome a critical challenge to its authority following lengthy litigation by a county, which was finally resolved with legislative action in 2012: the adoption of new administrative rules in 2013, and changes to how OIP writes its opinions to meet the new standard of review for agency appeals to the courts.
Despite these substantial increases in workload, reductions in workforce, and challenges to overcome, OIP has reduced the age of its oldest cases requiring opinions from 12 to 3 years and resolves 93 percent of all formal and informal requests for assistance in the same year, with 77 percent typically resolved the same day. (Clue: Not all requests for assistance are created equal.)
… a few people who want written opinions must wait their turn…. (See?)
read … OIP needs money, not mandates
Cayetano: Bill undermines stated TMT support
SA: …A Star-Advertiser poll found that the overwhelming majority of Hawaii’s people, including Native Hawaiians, support the Thirty Meter Telescope (“Support is building for TMT — even among Hawaiians,” Star-Advertiser, March 25).
Politicians should not confuse the loud, angry voices of a tiny minority as representative of the wishes of the majority of Hawaii’s people. While the state struggles to create non-tourism jobs for our young people, thousands of them continue to leave Hawaii every year to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
House Bill 1585, introduced by Hawaii island state Sen. Kai Kahele, which “would prohibit new construction on Mauna Kea until UH complies with tasks outlined in the bill and the state auditor completes a series of audits,” is a disingenuous attempt to kill the project.
Kahele, who claims he supports the TMT, nevertheless introduced the bill because of a “personal promise” he made to individuals. Like most young politicians today, the good senator is articulate and well-educated — and experienced enough to know that one should not say he supports the project while simultaneously introducing legislation guaranteed to kill it….
SA: TMT: Up in the air
read … Bill undermines stated TMT support
Legislation: This is where the rubber meets the road.
SA: By the calendar, it looks as if the Legislature is nearly done with its work, but state Capitol-watchers know: This is where the rubber meets the road.
Each chamber has shipped off for potential conference discussion most of the bills that still have a chance at passage. There is always some reason for disappointment at this stage….
voters should pay attention to what makes the final cut, and hold their elected leaders accountable.
read … Mixed results as bills move ahead
Tensions rise on Molokai as state sheriffs evict group who operated mule rides
HNN: …At one point, sheriffs threatened to arrest a woman from the business.
KRA has operated out of land owned by R.W. Meyer for over 40 years.
They operated what's believed to be Molokai's best tourist attraction: mule rides over rugged terrain to the area of Kalaupapa.
Saturday morning, state sheriffs arrived to evict the business from the property. The incident was recorded on a Facebook live stream. (Note: Some language may be strong for some viewers.)
In a statement Saturday, Paul Meyer, president of R.W. Meyer, Ltd said:
“Since November 2016, we have reached out to Kalaupapa Rare Adventures multiple times to negotiate a new lease in good faith, even offering mediation as a way to resolve our differences. The only responses we have received from KRA were frivolous claims demanding millions in damages and a defiant refusal to pay their monthly rent for more than a year, show us proof of liability insurance and to honor the Court ordered Writ of Possession. Not only has KRA put our family trust at risk, their behavior has affected us financially and emotionally. We remain hopeful R.W Meyer will be able to continue the tradition of escorted tours on Kalaupapa Trail with another company, one that will negotiate a lease with us in good faith, honor our lease agreement and keep our visitors safe.”
The disagreement began in January 2017 at the end of KRA's lease with R.W. Meyer.
Hawaii News Now previously reported that R.W. Meyer board members voted to increase KRA's rent from $1,800 to $3,000, and demanded 20 percent of the business profits….
The Sproat family however claims they have Allodial Rights to the land. They have previously said the issue will be brought to court.
read … Tensions rise on Molokai as state sheriffs evict group who operated mule rides
No Transparency as Eco Activist Group Takes Control of West Hawaii Surf Schools
WHT: More than two weeks after a deadline to submit bids for a surf school pilot program at Kahaluu Bay, local surf schools said they haven’t heard anything from either the county or the nonprofit picked to manage the program.
“It just leaves us in limbo,” said Wesley Moore, who owns Kona Town Surf Adventures.
The six-month pilot program is intended to regulate surf lessons taught at Kahaluu Bay by restricting the number of businesses allowed to operate to four. Concessionaires are to be selected through a bidding process with a minimum bid of $3,000 a month, and the deadline for bids was March 27.
State administrative rules explicitly identify a portion of Kahaluu Bay as a surfing zone and forbids any commercial water sports instruction from being conducted in the bay’s waters without a state permit.
Those rules also say the department may issue no more than four permits for that zone for surf instruction and limit each surf school to a maximum of eight students per school in the water at a given time, with a maximum one-to-four ratio of instructor to students.
But many local surf school operators pushed back against the proposal, often citing the minimum bid as a deal breaker for business.
Moore said he didn’t submit a bid for the pilot program, saying the bid minimum would run him out of business in just the first six months.
“Financially, it was not even an option,” he said, “Not at $3,000 a month.”….
The program will be managed by The Kohala Center, selected by the county through a separate bid process. The monthly fees from the four surf schools would generate at least $144,000 a year for the program, the minimum budget that the Kahaluu Bay Education Center’s director Cindi Punihaole previously said she could develop for the program. The Kahaluu Bay Education Center is a project of The Kohala Center.
The Kohala Center is required under its agreement with the county to reinvest all the money it collects back into the surf school program. The fees would pay for a full-time and part-time education ranger and a supervisor….
read … Officials mum on surf school pilot progress at Kahaluu