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Wednesday, April 3, 2019
April 3, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:43 PM :: 2274 Views

Lawsuit: Hawaii Discriminates Against Legal Immigrants on Gun Permits

ACLU: Kealoha Lawyers Threaten Free Speech

Rail: P3 Contractors see “Untenable Interface Risk”

CB: … HART will take an unprecedented step among all major U.S. transit projects.

It will embrace a public-private partnership, or “P3,” midway through construction. Rail officials hope the change will drastically reduce the risk of additional, painful cost increases to finish the line to Ala Moana. The construction contract isn’t slated to be awarded until next year.

But switching to a P3 has proven tricky so far.

Firms interested in partnering have already asked dozens of anonymous follow-up questions — some of them pointed — about how the collaboration would work.

One candidate called the proposed relationship with Ansaldo Honolulu JV, which is designing rail’s driverless cars and signaling system, an “untenable interface risk … that will be extremely challenging to price and manage over the term of the contract.”

The numerous questions have forced HART to issue nine addenda so far to its original contract proposal and delayed the award by at least four months.

“There has been a delay,” Robbins told the board at its Feb. 28 meeting.

But Robbins maintains that enough padding remains in rail’s latest schedule to open by December 2025. (The FTA puts the odds of that happening at less than 50%.)

Tsuneyoshi remains concerned about how the P3 would work, especially since it entails the private partner overseeing rail’s operations and maintenance for 30 years. It’s why she still wants to consider stopping at Middle Street.

“I think we may run into … issues and unknowns as we head down that way that could significantly raise the price,” she said Tuesday….

read … Critics Renew Calls To Stop Honolulu Rail At Middle Street

Oil Companies, Enviros Support Carbon Taxes

IM: … House Bill 1584 proposes a carbon tax study. The final committee vote is April 4.

Blue Planet Foundation testified, “Pricing carbon emissions via a tax on fossil fuels has emerged as a broadly supported, economically efficient, and effective policy tool to reduce climate-changing carbon emissions.”

Organizing for Action testified, “Numerous prominent economists from across the political spectrum agree that a carbon tax is the single most effective method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and thus climate change.”

Major fossil fuel companies enthusiastically lobby for a carbon tax.

Carbon taxes sound simple, are easy to explain, but many studies have shown that they seldom had any meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Corporations have successfully gamed the system to minimize their exposure and to pass any costs on to the backs of consumers.

A carbon tax enables Big Fossil Fuel to say that they are working to solve the climate change crisis, they are part of the solution (greenwashing), they are financing solutions by making tax payments to government coffers while selling every drop of their proven fossil fuel reserves.

Major corporate supporters of the carbon tax include Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips….

read … Strange Bedfellows Support Carbon Taxes

Micronesian government official pleads guilty to federal bribery charge

HNN: … The son-in-law of the president of Micronesia has pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge.

Master Halbert admitted Tuesday he took bribes from local engineer Jim Lyons in exchange for a $7.8 million contract.

…Halbert, who was an assistant secretary for civil aviation for Micronesia’s Department of Transportation, now faces up to 20 years in prison, but will likely get less under a plea deal….

read … Micronesian government official pleads guilty to federal bribery charge

Stuck with Obamacare Micronesians In Hawaii Struggle To Get Health Care

CB: … About 23% of Micronesian people in Hawaii are estimated to be uninsured, more than five times the statewide average of 4%, according to 2017 census data….

Unlike U.S. citizens or many green card holders, they aren’t eligible for Medicaid….

On a recent Friday, Lola Santy of Waipahu only had three pills remaining of her anti-diabetes medication. She wasn’t sure what she’d do when they ran out.

Technically, she has (Obamacare) through the federal health insurance marketplace. But the cost of her co-payments makes her afraid of going to the doctor….

read … Micronesians In Hawaii Still Struggle To Get Health Care

Despite court order, Katherine Kealoha fights to keep personnel files secret

HNN: … Katherine Kealoha’s personnel records have already been turned over to Circuit Court Judge Edward Kubo.

But in a bizarre filing Tuesday, her attorney wants that to be kept secret, citing privacy issues.

The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office had refused to give up the ex-deputy prosecutor’s files until last week, when Judge Kubo scolded them for defying the court’s order to turn them over.

According to a spokesman for the office, the information was sent to the court shortly after the lashing from the judge….

PDF: Amicus Brief Al Lee

read … Despite court order, Katherine Kealoha fights to keep personnel files secret

How Many People Make Minimum Wage?

CB: …In Honolulu there are about 16,000 individuals earning $10.10 per hour, 23,000 persons earning between $10.10 an hour and $15 an hour….. Additionally, there are 62,000 persons who earn between $15 an hour and $20 an hour.…

read … The Link Between Low Wages And High Housing Costs

$1000 Fine Threat Shuts Down Homeless Enablers

SA: …Under the threat of state Health Department fines of up to $1,000 per violation, a Kaimuki couple who used to provide meals and hot showers to homeless people around Kakaako Waterfront Park is backing down and looking for a different spot….

read … $1000 fine

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