State Economy: Hawaii Ranks 48th
Feds Bust Gambling, Drug Ring Operating on Maui, Oahu
Biden Admin Claims Hawaii is Economic Success Story
Hawaii Socialist Super PAC to be Led by Politician with Long History of Campaign Spending Violations
CB: … Together Evan Weber and Kaniela Ing (LOL!) launched Our Hawaii Action to mount a six-figure ad campaign that targeted Case for his stance on the Build Back Better bill.
Now they’re planning to re-double those efforts by creating a series of political organizations, including a super PAC and 501(c)4 social welfare group that will allow Our Hawaii Action to raise money and influence politics without disclosing its donors….
…The organization has yet to file any paperwork with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission or Federal Election Commission, but Weber said the organization plans to spend about $425,000 during the Democratic primary on grassroots organizing, advertising and mailers….
(Kaniela Ing with $425K what could go wrong?)
The group will back candidates in local, state and federal elections who agree to endorse their platform and sign a pledge that says among other things that they will not accept donations from corporate PACs, lobbyists, out-of-state developers, luxury hotel conglomerates or military contractors. (Unless contributions are offered, in which case they will have an excuse.)
According to Weber, Our Hawaii Action plans to partner with the Working Families Party to help raise money from national political donors….
The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, for instance, has helped train dozens of prospective candidates, some who have gone on to hold public office….
“This group is claiming to be a counter to the special interests, but then it uses the same exact weapons of the special interests they’re trying to compete against,” Phan said. “It’s still pay to play. It’s the same flavor, but maybe just a little more local flavor. It’s still using money as a means by which you influence the political system.”….
KHON: Our Hawaii Action co-founder and former Hawaii State Representative Kaniela Ing was fined more than $15,000 for campaign spending violations
Kaniela Ing: The Gift That Just Keeps on Giving
read … Can Ing go to Prison this time?
No imminent construction for Thirty Meter Telescope planned after key permit is ended
HNN: … “There’s no construction that can occur legally at this point in time with the TMT project until they have all their permits in place,” said E. Kalani Flores, one of six petitioners in the initial contested case hearing.
He believes TMT’s storm water permit was “faulty” and “invalid” to begin with.
“The reason for TIO (Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory) pulling the permit, putting a notice for cessation is that further scrutiny and legal challenges wouldn’t occur on this particular permit,” said Flores….
read … No imminent construction for Thirty Meter Telescope planned after key permit is ended
Standoff In Waipahu: Hawaiian Rights ‘Army’ Has Illegally Occupied A Private Pot Farm
CB: … A pair of lawsuits by the current legal owner, Guyland LLC, wholly owned by California real estate investor Guy Fong, are seeking to eject the group, referring to them as “squatters” who, the company says, “remain in unlawful hostile possession … without having any right, title, interest, or permission to remain there.”
Guyland’s attorney, Fred Arensmeyer, (formerly of Dubin law firm) did not respond to a request for comment on the case….
The 5-acre parcel taken over by squatters is identified as Lot 19 in the subdivision, and borders the 136-acre site of the Hawaii Country Club golf course, which was purchased in 2014 by the Wa Li Legacy Trust, with Guy Fong also signing that deed as trustee of the Wa Li trust, real estate records show.
Lot 19 was leased in July 2020 to Aloha Pacific Green, identified in court documents as “the designated grower for thirty-nine medical marijuana card holders,” although no company by that name appears to be registered to do business in Hawaii, according to the state’s business registration database.
Guyland’s lawsuits allege the takeover began when unidentified temporary employees of APG “remained on the property without permission, occupied the property, excluded APG and (Guyland), invited other squatters onto the property, and refused to leave.”
“Upwards of twenty squatters have … forcibly occupied Lot 19 on a regular basis, and have erected unpermitted structures and equipment, stolen irrigation water, stolen APG’s medical marijuana registry, caused unlawful pollution to the premises, and engaged in other illegal conduct and activities upon the premises,” according to Guyland’s lawsuit filed in First Circuit Court in Honolulu in December.
Several members of a fringe sovereignty group known as Occupied Forces Hawaii Army have been involved in this land takeover almost from the beginning, but the OFH Army officially entered the Lot 19 land occupation in January when two members, identified as Corporals Moleka Hicks and A. Kekela, were directed to provide security for the squatters….
Typewritten “orders,” dated Jan. 3 and signed by OFHA’s Commander Sam Lilikoi, were shared on social media and later filed in court.
read … Standoff In Waipahu: Hawaiian Rights ‘Army’ Has Illegally Occupied A Private Pot Farm
Water Use Up Despite Red Hill Reduction
SA: … Oahu’s water agency in March called for its customers to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10% following the loss of a key source of city water in the aftermath of the Navy Red Hill water contamination crisis.
Officials warned that if the problem were to worsen this summer, the board might have to impose mandatory restrictions on water use and perhaps place a moratorium on new construction projects.
BWS administrators, however, are now saying they are making some adjustments and repairs to the water system in hopes of bringing more wells online to avoid the imposition of mandatory reductions….
The Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department, for example, is working to reduce its water use by more than 10%, she said….
read … Oahu water use up amid drought and brush fire worries
Hawaii County Council--One More Time on property tax cuts
HTH: … Inaba’s latest effort, to be heard at the June 15 council meeting, gives a small break to homeowners and affordable rentals, while giving the biggest break to those in the commercial and industrial class.
“I’m trying to help small business and I think that’s what the council also wants,” Inaba said Monday. “The council should follow through with what they’re talking about.”
Inaba’s latest plan, Resolution 441, lowers real property tax rates for homeowners and affordable rentals by 10 cents, agriculture and native forests by 20 cents and commercial and industrial by 25 cents. Residential tier 1 is lowered by 10 cents, while residential tier 1, apartments and hotel/resort and golf courses would stay at their current rates.
Inaba said his colleagues on the council can offer amendments to his resolution if they want to push certain categories over others.
Lee Loy wonders if it’s too late.
“Four days ago we had 8 million dollars that could have provided relief across all tax categories, however, that train has left the station and I’ll need to hear from Finance Director Sako,” Lee Loy said.
The council has until June 20 to set property tax rates. The new budget will go into effect July 1.
The council approved the budget, Bill 126, by a 6-3 vote, with Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz, Lee Loy and Richards voting no….
read … Inaba tries again on property tax cuts
Single-family home sales dip slightly, but that’s not stopping prices from hitting new highs
HNN: … The median price for a single-family home on Oahu is now at $1,153,500, according to the latest figures released by the Honolulu Board of Realtors Monday.
Median condo prices hit $516,500. Both figures are new record highs for Oahu’s real estate market.
Despite the ongoing climbing of median prices, the group says the single-family home market showed small signs of cooling as there was a drop in closed sales compared to a year ago.
Homes below $1 million saw the most notable drop in sales activity, down 41.2% compared to May 2021. Most places around Oahu were down in sales with the exception of Mililani and Wahiawa….
HTH: Hawaii Island real estate market expected to cool
MN: Housing market may be cooling amid record-high prices
read … Single-family home sales dip slightly, but that’s not stopping prices from hitting new highs