Why OHA Wants You to Believe Three Myths
Hawaii Constitutional Convention--The Basics
Hawaii Timeshares Average 89.5% Occupancy for 2017
Ige Requests Federal Disaster Declaration for Kilauea Eruption
Hawaii Judiciary Celebrates National Drug Court Month
Senate Panel Approves Mark Bennett for Ninth Circuit
Hawaii County Council Rejects general excise tax increase—Until After They are Reelected
HTH: There will be no county surcharge on the state general excise tax this year, after action Wednesday by the County Council.
The council, on a 5-4 vote after acrimonious debate, agreed to postpone the tax hike until January, at the beginning of the new council session. That means any new tax wouldn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020, if the bill passes then….
Voting no to the postponement were Councilwomen Valerie Poindexter, Karen Eoff, Maile David and Jen Ruggles, who oppose the proposed tax hike. (Translation: The other five want to hike GE taxes.)
“I know the council is very divided on this issue,” said Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara, who sought a postponement when it became clear there weren’t enough votes to pass the measure.
Just how divided council members are was made clearer when O’Hara had to withdraw two previous postponements because her colleagues couldn’t agree to the language. One of the withdrawn measures would have postponed the bill until Aug. 22, after the primary election. The other would have given the council chairwoman, who opposes the measure, authority to call it up at any time.
Kohala Councilman Tim Richards wanted the council to work on the bill a little longer….
(Translation: Voters should throw out the five who are willing to hike the GE Tax.)
Background: Legislators Give Counties More Time to Enact GE Tax Hike
read … Council postpones general excise tax increase
Hawaii Supreme Court sets date for Thirty Meter Telescope oral arguments
PBN: …The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on June 21 regarding the appeal of the conservation district use permit for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of the Big Island’s Mauna Kea….
Oral arguments for a separate case involving a consent to sublease were held before the Hawaii Supreme Court last month and it’s not clear how long the justices will take to decide the case….
read … Date
Kealohas to stand trial in November
SA: …Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha will stand trial on bank fraud charges in November, then stand trial again in March with four former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit on charges accusing them of staging the theft of their mailbox and lying about it.
Lawyers for the government, the Kealohas, officers Derek Wayne Hahn, Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, Daniel Sellers and retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi told U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright on Wednesday that they agreed to have the bank fraud trial first.
Seabright scheduled the first trial for Nov. 14 and the second trial for March 19. He told the lawyers that if a scheduling conflict arises, he is willing to push the first trial to Nov. 19 but said the date for the second trial is firm….
read … Kealohas to stand trial in November
Will Kauai Flood Criminalize Hanalei TVRs?
CB: …Last week Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho enacted an emergency rule to prohibit transient vacation rental homes from operating in Wainiha and Haena until May 31. Ravaged by a dozen landslides, the only access road into these isolated communities remains closed to nonresidents.
The temporary legislation will very likely be extended well into the summer, Carvalho said. But county planners say the future of some of the affected vacation rentals could remain at risk even after the moratorium is lifted.
a grandfather clause allows 203 transient vacation rentals in these communities to operate legally.
Here’s the catch: The nonconforming use certificates that legalize these vacation rentals are subject to annual renewal. As part of this process, owners or operators must demonstrate that their property has been rented at least once in the year prior.
Some vacation rentals battered by the flood will likely lose their certificate to operate because they won’t be able to rebuild in time, said Kaaina Hull, deputy planning director for Kauai County….
read … More Victims Of The Kauai Flood — Tourist Vacation Rentals
DoE 6 Months to Have Meeting to Talk About Demolishing Burned Building on Campus
SA: Question: A caretaker’s cottage at Kalani High School burned down in November. The eyesore burned shell is still there. When will it be torn down and/or removed?
Answer: No removal date has been set, nearly six months after the vacant structure on the southeast corner of campus was engulfed in flames. Officials plan to meet this week on the matter, according to a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.
No one was injured in the Nov. 15 fire, which was limited to the old custodian’s cottage. Classes had been dismissed before 2 p.m. that day and the fire broke out just before 3 p.m., after most students had left campus….
The burned-out shell is visible to passers-by on Kalanianaole, as well as to people on campus. You are not the first reader to ask why final demolition is taking so long.
Sherie Char, a HIDOE spokeswoman, provided this status update from the Office of School Facilities and Support Services:
“The Hawaii State Department of Education, contractor and other involved parties will be meeting this week to work through the proposed environmental cleanup provisions. Once this matter is resolved and the scope of work has been agreed upon, HIDOE can move forward on safely and properly demolishing the building.”…
read … DoE Bureaucracy
New Chinatown Clinic Aims to Keep Bums Out of Expensive Emergency Rooms
HNN: …The Joint Outreach Center won't be fully operational until June. But word about the clinic is already getting out.
Over the past month, a pair of volunteer doctors have treated more than 100 patients, several of whom are now in shelter or detox.
"This is a walk-in clinic. They just need to show up and we'll take care of them regardless of insurance or not," said Andy Mounthongdy, executive director of the Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui.
While the clinic is open to the public, its mission is to help the homeless by providing an option other than the ER. An average trip to the emergency room at the Queen's Medical Center costs taxpayers $4,000.
"Here, as far as coming to this clinic, it's probably only going to cost $100 to $200," said Mounthongdy.
Most of the of the patients who've been coming in are in need of wound care.
After seeing the doctor, additional staff from multiple homeless service providers are on hand to offer housing and help with issues associated with mental illness and addiction….
read … In Chinatown, a new clinic offers homeless first step to housing
Homeless Dude Beats Rap on Bumfight Stabbing
MN: …Testifying Monday in his trial, Henriksen said he had argued with his then-girlfriend that night and took his backpack when he left her Harbor Lights apartment, planning to stay out overnight. He said he went up the stairs to the dark lanai of the former real estate office after seeing a shopping cart outside that he thought belonged to his friend Patrick.
A man swore and told Henriksen to leave and punched him in the mouth, he said. Henriksen said he was punched again, then stepped back and was being choked from behind and punched in the back of his head by a second man.
“He was choking so hard I could not breathe anymore, period,” Henriksen said. “Every time he punched me, it was such velocity.
“It’s like someone firing a firework in your brain, and then you kind of see black for a second. I thought they were going to kill me. I just grabbed my knife. I tried to get him to stop choking me.”
Henriksen said the all-purpose knife with a 3- to 3.5-inch blade was in a sheath and attached to his backpack. He said he stabbed the man in the arm to try to get him to release the arm wrapped around Henriksen’s throat.
The choking and punching continued, Henriksen said.
“Then I started flailing to the left side,” Henriksen said. “He’s behind me. I was trying to reach anything.”
His account contradicted testimony by Kalani Wright, 31, who said he was stabbed while facing Henriksen.
Wright said he and others had been watching fireworks at Kahului Harbor before Henriksen showed up. Wright said he was told that Henriksen had been coming around all week looking for money.
After a scuffle between Henriksen and another man, Wright said he saw his friend on the ground and stepped in to intervene. Wright said he punched Henriksen in the face before the defendant pulled out the knife, stabbing Wright and slashing him across the face through the cartilage in his nose.
Wright, who acknowledged he was high on crystal methamphetamine, walked to the canoe hale at nearby Hoaloha Park, where his grandmother called 911.
He was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center with four stab wounds, including one in his lower chest and another in his left chest near his armpit.
While none of the injuries were life-threatening, the wounds in Wright’s chest had the potential to be, according to testimony by Dr. Mitchell Tasaki, who treated Wright in the emergency room….
read … Bumfight
Veto bill to ban some sunscreens
SA: Protecting Hawaii’s coral reefs is a good idea, but banning the sale of all FDA-approved sunscreen products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate is a bad idea. If the Legislature is serious about protecting our coral reefs, alternative actions should be considered….
read … Veto