HB2748: $500,000,000 Hole in Budget
Poll: Tupola 41 - Carroll 28
Poll: Ige Beats Hanabusa 44-40
SA: …The commanding 20-percentage-point lead that U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa enjoyed over Gov. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor just four months ago has evaporated, with Ige pulling ahead one month before election day, according to a new Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll.
The Hawaii Poll showing Hanabusa’s suddenly weakened political position comes as Ige generally receives high marks for his handling of severe flooding on Kauai and a devastating eruption of Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii island, events that may have bolstered his image as a competent leader….
If the Democratic primary for governor were held today, 44 percent of likely voters surveyed said they would vote for Ige, while only 40 percent said they would pick Hanabusa, according to The Hawaii Poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy. Another 16 percent said they are undecided….
The latest poll results show Ige is strongest with neighbor island voters — perhaps a reflection of his performance during the natural disasters on Kauai and Hawaii island — and among white voters and men. The voters are evenly split on Oahu, and Hanabusa is the favorite among women and among voters of Japanese ancestry….
Ige said the only poll that truly matters will be the votes cast on election day, but said he has “definitely” seen a change in the public response to his campaign events….
The Hawaii Poll, conducted July 6-11 on cellphones and landlines, included 494 likely statewide Democratic primary voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points….
read … Colleen Hanabusa’s lead fades as David Ige bounces back in governor’s race
Hanabusa coasts on leadership claims while vague on policy
Shapiro: … she relies on bromides about taking an active role, supporting teachers, building an economy for all, protecting transportation lifelines and providing health care for vulnerable populations, while avoiding specific policy proposals to address the problems.
She says she’ll “swiftly implement” the Legislature’s recent funding for affordable housing, but gives little idea of how she’ll implement it. This is of key importance because the legislation gives the governor considerable leeway and there is much contention over how it should be done.
In recent weeks, Hanabusa has declined to be interviewed for news stories exploring issue differences among gubernatorial candidates, such as a July 3 Honolulu Star-Advertiser story on ohana zones for the homeless and a July 9 story in Honolulu Civil Beat on growing Hawaii’s economy.
I signed up for her campaign mailing list in hope of learning more about her platform, but get mostly breathless pleas to send her money.….
But playing it too safe can be risky; as today’s public survey numbers show, polls are only momentary snapshots in time, and long lists of endorsements also can be seen by voters as long lists of political debts taxpayers will end up paying for….
read … Hanabusa coasts on leadership claims while vague on policy
Puna Land-Swap Could Provide Answer
SA: Just about everyone would agree that some hard lines must be drawn constraining future growth in the areas most at risk of future eruptions at Kilauea.
The trick lies in finding ways to draw people away from resettling the freshly laid lava fields of Puna. Some form of land swap could provide an answer, and has precedent. The Kanoelehua Industrial Lots in Hilo and the Waiakea residential subdivision both were developed on state-owned land to relocate homes and businesses destroyed by the 1960 tsunami.
Residents can’t all be forced to relocate, short of the government compensating them for their lots that county and state officials enabled through land-use policies. While the county should restrain development, realistically some provision must be made for those determined to stay put in their established homesteads….
On the restriction side, a few weeks ago state Sen. Lorraine Inouye proposed that the county ban new construction in the volcanic rift areas deemed most at risk: Zones 1 and 2.
That got some pushback from the mayor and other officials. They observed, correctly, that while Zone 1 hugs the rift lines fairly closely, Zone 2 is far more expansive an area, in which a total ban would be excessive.
More recently Inouye has walked back the idea a bit…
On the incentive side, Inouye, one of the Big Island’s state senators, pointed to a new proposal from the administration of Mayor Harry Kim as having some potential. In this plan, under discussion with land owner W. H. Shipman, the county would provide infrastructure for a Shipman development in exchange for land reserved for evacuees.
This has the advantage of offering fee simple lots that the county could swap for those in the inundation area. Alternatively — or perhaps additionally — the county could opt to exchange leased lots, owned by the state, for the parcels lost to lava. That is an idea favored by state Sen. Russell Ruderman, Inouye’s colleague in the Legislature.
Ruderman, who has an eye on large state land holdings between Hawaiian Paradise Park and Kahakai Boulevard, said some 500-1,000 acres could be leased for residential use. More state land is available for potential lease to farmers who also lost acreage to the lava….
Related: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3
read … New rules apply in new lava-scape
Hawaii’s regressive “progressives”
JC: …what value is a movement when it’s all brand and no substance? A brand that Bart Dame openly acknowledges has been co-opted by those who do not necessarily share the underlying values? A brand that in Hawaii is used by folks who engage in the most regressive types of behavior, including lying, fear-mongering, deception, cronyism, stifling dissent, personal attacks, bullying, mob rule and money-grubbing — in short, the same old dirty politics as usual?….
Whatever nascent progressive movement was stirring a decade or two ago in Hawaii has been snuffed out by power-hungry politicians and activists who smelled votes — and money — in the progressive label….
A perfect example is Gary Hooser, who with Dame formed the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action. The Star-Advertiser article describes him (and Dame) as “local progressive leaders,” but the voters of Kauai feel differently. Though Hooser spent more on his 2016 campaign than any politician in Kauai history, voters chose not to re-elect him to the Kauai County Council because they saw that his self-serving grandstanding around the anti-GMO issue cost the county serious bucks and polarized the community. Despite his resounding defeat, Hooser still embraces the despicable tactics of lying, fear-mongering and deception to push his political agenda. That’s not progressive by any definition I can find.
HAPA, too, is progressive in name only. The group refuses to disclose its funding sources or expenditures — even as it demands full transparency from others — and engages in political activities that most certainly can be defined as lobbying, without the required legal disclosures.
And just look at the politicians HAPA has endorsed! People like Maui Councilman Alika Atay, who is being investigated for awarding a $100,000 country grant to his executive assistant Brian Bardellini (a guy so nasty he’s been barred from visiting Council Services offices and interacting with state Department of Ag officials) and using his own campaign-style photo to promote the taxpayer-funded event….
Then there’s state Rep. Kaniela Ing, the Congressional candidate whose website claims: “Kaniela is the candidate who has consistently fought for progressive values, secured record funding for his district, and does not accept donations from corporations.” What he does do is drive without auto insurance and miss court appearances, lie about his academic record, misuse campaign contributions to pay rent and credit card bills, and file false campaign reports, netting a $15,000 fine….
And Big Island Councilwoman Jen Ruggles, who pretended to be a concerned citizen while on the payroll of Pesticide Action Network as a political operative.
Oh, and let’s not forget convicted felon and Maui Councilwoman Elle Cochran, the mayoral hopeful whose executive assistant, Autumn Rae Ness, actively lobbies the state Legislature on behalf of anti-GMO groups, without registering as a lobbyist.
But Hawaii’s “progressives” have not criticized these politicians for their sleazy deeds. Nope, their support remains unwavering….
These groups and their leaders aren’t progressives. They’re demagogues who are trying to wrest political power from those who currently hold it, using a “brand” that they think will appeal to the young, disenfranchised new arrivals from the mainland who are desperately seeking to belong in Hawaii’s cliquish circles….
read … Hawaii’s regressive “progressives”
Abigail Kawananakoa records secret despite Supreme Court directive
SA: …First Circuit Court Judge R. Mark Browning said in court last week that he’s all about due process and fairness as he oversees the now-yearlong legal brawl over control of the $215 million trust of Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa.
But there’s one area in which the judge is falling short: upholding public records law.
In allowing dozens of pleadings in the high-profile trust fight to remain sealed and obscured from public view, Browning appears to be ignoring the guidance and legal precedent established by the Hawaii Supreme Court….
Despite these procedures, the extensive court docket in the Kawananakoa case indicates Browning has issued only one minute order regarding sealing, and it came with no required hearing despite at least one public request in the form of a motion.
Although at least 14 documents have been filed with redactions, no orders or public hearings were held for those items, according to the record.
Additionally, more than 50 other pleadings and exhibits are sealed and hidden from the public’s view, contrary to Supreme Court instructions.
“Based on the docket, the judge is absolutely violating the dictates of the Supreme Court. There’s no doubt about it,” Honolulu media attorney Jeffrey Portnoy said.
Among the redacted documents is the special master’s report detailing an investigation into the mental capacity of the 92-year-old heiress, who suffered a stroke in June 2017 and was declared mentally incompetent…..
read … Abigail Kawananakoa records secret despite Supreme Court directive
HGEA Still Whining about Maui’s hospital changeover, a year later
MN: The top official at Maui County’s three community hospitals believes one year under new management has given the formerly state-run facilities “the best of both worlds.”
“We are affiliated with Kaiser, but we are a private community hospital,”said Michael Rembis, chief executive officer of Maui Health System, the Kaiser Permanente affiliate that now runs Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital. “We try and do the best of both worlds. We’re utilizing some of the assets Kaiser’s providing — for purchasing power, some of the clinical expertise — to elevate the quality of care and do things better.”
But (HGEA and UPW) employees who’ve waited a year for a new contract say it’s created a situation where they feel like “unwanted stepchildren” — a problem of neither the state nor Kaiser. And, with contract negotiations still ongoing, they said morale is low and frustrations are high.
“There’s all kinds of great programs and all kinds of great things going on for the community, but I don’t think they realize the employees they hired from the start still are waiting for them to decide how they’re going to compensate us and take care of us,” said one hospital employee….
Reality: Hospital Reform? Randy Perreira Says "F*** You"
read … Looking at Maui’s hospital changeover, a year later
Woman’s death from heroin overdose leads to dismantling of homeless camp
HTH: …what the family really can’t grasp is the camp itself — how the collection of makeshift huts and bunker-like, furnished tunnels with 14-18 inhabitants had been allowed to exist for years in the heart of Kailua-Kona, under its busiest highway, relatively untouched despite the frequent drug and alcohol abuse that took place there.
After their daughter’s death, the family questioned how such a place could thrive, hidden in plain sight. Three months later, the state cleared Tunnels in a massive sweep that netted 23 tons of trash and sent its residents in search of new shelter….
Nowhere on Anderson’s body was the jewelry she always had on, her family said. She died, was stripped of anything valuable by addicts, and then was left outside….
they’d been told by the state Department of Transportation not to evict anyone. So for months, they didn’t — even as police investigated the death of Alanaokala Solomon Covington, a 36-year-old who was shot in the chest steps away from the drainage ditch where Anderson died. He was shot by Gafatasi Napoleon on Oct. 14, 2016….
On recent visits by a reporter in March and April, some inhabitants admitted to being hard drug users. Trash collected in piles up hill from Kailua Bay. “A toxic waste dump,” Jeffrey Closs, a family friend of the Andersons, described it. And theft from one another turned out to be commonplace.
“Stuff gets stolen,” Jensen said, “over and over and over.”
Asked if police would classify the camp as dangerous, Valera said: “Yes, based on the environment. It’s definitely somewhere you don’t want your kids.”…
read … Woman’s death from heroin overdose leads to dismantling of homeless camp
Kauai Mayor Considers Lifting Ban on Vacation Rentals
AP: …Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is considering lifting a ban on legal transient vacation rentals on Kauai's flood-ravaged north shore if the owners agree to house some of the families displaced by severe flooding and landslides….
read … Kauai Mayor Considers Lifting Ban on Vacation Rentals
Kauai to kick off vote-by-mail
TGI: Gov. David Ige has signed into law a historic bill making Hawaii the fourth state in the country to switch to a universal vote-by-mail elections system — a process that will start with the 2020 election.
In a compromise to ensure the bill would pass both houses of the Legislature, the switch to all-mail voting will begin here on Kauai, where it will be introduced two years from now. If Kauai’s testbed experience is positive, the entire state will switch to universal vote-by-mail beginning in 2022….
Voting in person at local precinct locations will no longer occur. Elections officials emphasized that the changes do not affect this year’s primary and general elections, which will continue to utilize multiple polling places islandwide.
For 10 days before the 2020 election, Kauai County will open a voter service center, offering early voting and same-day registration. The center will continue to operate until the official hour the polls close on election day. It will, among other things, accept in-person delivery of ballots….
Borreca: Election by mail, painfully slow in coming, makes dollars-saving sense in island state
read … Kauai to kick off vote-by-mail
Hawaii veterans work to rebuild, find a home for Barbers Point memorial
HNN: …The Naval Air Station at Barbers Point closed in 1999. That's when the memorial was first erected on a concrete platform near the old base headquarters.
Over the years, the land changed hands from the U.S. Navy to a land developer and, just a few months ago, that memorial was taken down and destroyed.
Neighbors and veterans have since tracked down all the pieces and are ready to rebuild. However, they are being very particular about where it goes next.
"It's a remembrance of the fact that the Navy was here, the coast guard was here and this was Barber's Point Naval Air Station," said Kioni Dudley, chair of the Kapolei Neighborhood Board.
The man spearheading the move to revive the memorial is Retired Air Force Col. Rob Moore.
"The memorial was destroyed and this is basically the remnants of it now. No lettering, no numbers, no plaques," said Moore, as he pointed to a photograph.
Moore tracked down the lettering and P3 Orion replica that once represented the Navy's installation at Barbers Point.
"I went up there and visited and all the letters are up there at Kaneohe," Moore said.
As part of a deal Moore and other neighborhood partners reached with the state Department of Transportaion, the new monument will go in one of four spots at the Kalaeloa Airport.
Ideally, Moore says he'd like the memorial right out front. Two other possible spots include large patches of grass across the parking lot from the airport itself.
On Saturday morning, he gathered a small group of neighbors and veterans to ask for public input…..
read … Hawaii veterans work to rebuild, find a home for Barbers Point memorial
New study finds rat eradication improves fisheries around islands
RI: If the rat eradication of Lehua Island ends up being successful, it could result in a more productive nearshore fishery.
Which is ironic, in that many of those fighting the eradication program were fishermen.
A new study in the journalNature says that when rats kill off seabirds on islands, it means those birds are no longer pooping in the nearshore waters, fertilizing reefs. And that means fewer fish on those reefs….
read … New study finds rat eradication improves fisheries around islands