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Maui’s sky-high home prices a ‘self-inflicted wound’
Bishop Museum Board: "Frustration, stress, and fear"
Seven Rail Stations Closed After Discovery of Cracks in Concrete Columns
CB: … Slim cracks are growing in the concrete columns that support most of the elevated stations along the western half of Oahu’s future rail line, posing a new and “potentially significant” problem that could delay the system’s interim opening even further, according to project leaders.
Contractors hired by the city’s Transportation Services Department discovered in recent weeks that those cracks have grown, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation leaders told the agency’s board Thursday.
They’ve advised that passengers not be allowed into the seven affected stations until further inspections are done, HART Executive Director Lori Kahikina said.
“I don’t have all of the answers at this time,” Kahikina told the board during its latest general meeting. “The root cause, I don’t know. More research and analysis needs to be done.”…
The cracking problem, Kahikina and her deputies say, appears limited to the special hammerhead-design piers that hold up the western stations along rail’s elevated guideway. Those concrete-and-steel piers were built in 2014 by former rail contractors Kiewit Infrastructure West and HNTB.
The problem appears limited to piers that aren’t reinforced with what’s called post-tensioning, a construction technique in which tightened cables help to support those concrete structures’ piers, HART Project Director Nathaniel Meddings said….
The cracks causing the problem are known as shear cracks, which typically form in a diagonal slant across the surface, Kahikina said….
when the cracks start to form at a 45-degree angle it’s a concern, Meddings said later, and “that’s what we’re seeing out there.”…
The widest cracks found are about a tenth of an inch wide, according to Kahikina….
Earlier this summer, the HART director said at a press conference that her agency was aiming to start the rail system’s required 90-day trial running sometime this month. That needs to happen successfully before passenger service can start. The trial running was later to pushed to Aug. 1, said Jade Butay, who sits on the HART board as the state transportation director.
Now, that August start date looks “way too aggressive,” Butay said Thursday…..
read … Cracks in concrete columns pose more issues for Honolulu’s embattled rail project
Hawaii health officials will reject the Navy’s Red Hill defueling plan
SA: … Hawaii Department of Health officials say they will reject the Navy’s plan for draining its Red Hill fuel facility because it lacks details.
The Navy released the 20-page plan on June 30, in accordance with a department deadline, but noted in the document that it didn’t expect DOH would accept it and that it planned to submit supplemental information by September to help satisfy regulatory requirements….
read … Hawaii health officials will reject the Navy’s Red Hill defueling plan
Hawaii Has $200 Million To Spend on Pre-K. Who Gets The Money?
CB: … Final language in the new law leaves an open question about whether private as well as public facilities are eligible for the funding…
(CLUE: ‘Kamehameha Schools’.)
In testimony, Hawaii Children’s Action Network Speaks and Early Childhood Action Strategy requested that the Legislature change eligible facilities from “preschool facilities” to “early care and learning programs.”
That small change in the language would include nontraditional early learning providers, including family child interaction learning programs, said Keʻopu Reelitz, the director of early learning and health policy at HCAN Speaks.
The bill’s final language simply states that the School Facilities Authority must use the money to “expand access to pre-kindergarten.” While this wording does not provide the clarity HCAN sought, it also does not block opportunities for inclusive funding, Reelitz said.
The responsibility of determining eligibility falls on Chad Keone Farias, executive director of SFA.
read … Hawaii Has $200 Million To Spend on Pre-K. Who Gets The Money?
Here’s Who’s Pulling In The Most Cash In The Maui Mayor’s Race
CB: … So far, most of that money is still pouring into the campaign of former Judge Richard Bissen, who is among six others trying to oust Mayor Michael Victorino, according to the latest campaign spending reports filed Thursday. Bissen raised almost $272,000 in the period spanning from April 26 to June 30, topping the other contenders by tens of thousands of dollars. Victorino raised $91,000 in his bid to serve a second four-year term.
Campaign contributions are also starting to flow to Council member Kelly King, who announced she was joining the crowded field on June 7 — the last day possible to enter the race. Between June 8 and June 30, her campaign raised $48,000.
Council member Mike Molina, who announced his bid for mayor in early January along with Bissen and Victorino, raised $2,100 in the nine-week reporting period….
read … Here’s Who’s Pulling In The Most Cash In The Maui Mayor’s Race
City Rental and Utility Relief to be extended by $31 million
SA: … The city is extending the Rental and Utility Relief Program by using $31 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds in hopes of providing more assistance to Oahu renters.
The city’s Rental and Utility Relief Program began in April 2021 and aimed to distribute more than $225 million in pandemic-related federal funding specifically for the program.
The $31 million in additional money comes from the federal government awarding states and municipalities millions of dollars of relief funds through the American Rescue Plan Act, meant to offset the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Honolulu was awarded $386 million to be received in two installments. The city received the first $193 million in June, and the rest of the funds are expected this summer….
read … City Rental and Utility Relief to be extended by $31 million
Police Brutality Caused by Soft on Crime System
HNN: … Souriya Xoumanivong had broken bones in his face and needed stitches above his eye after the incident. He can be seen in the video handcuffed as officers walk him out of a room.
One officer said, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”
Xoumanivong is heard, “Yes, sir. Yes, coming out.”
But as he emerges from the room, Morgan shoves him into a shelf.
“Ah. You don’t have to do that,” Xoumanivong said.
Morgan responded, “Shut up! Don’t f****** say anything to me.”
Later in the video, Morgan is seen sucker punching Xoumanivong as he stood next to Morgan, still handcuffed and not in any way resisting. Xoumanivong falls, with his face brushing against a cardboard box in the home.
Another officer’s body camera shows a fresh smear of blood on that box.
As Xoumanivong is facedown on the floor, still cuffed, Morgan then yells, “Stop resisting!” Xoumanivong is crying out in pain when Morgan then yells, “Shut up! You want to f****** burg a house take it like a man.”
John McCarthy, a 45-year HPD veteran who retired as a deputy chief, called the behavior “uncalled for.”
He said HPD officers are constantly reminded about when force is needed and when it’s excessive. Some officers have told McCarthy they overreacted because the system often doesn’t hold accountable those they arrest.
“There is a frustration when you see the same people over and over again. But then again, using force unjustifiably like this is not the answer.” …
read … HPD officer faces termination as newly released bodycam footage shows alleged brutality
Physician Spends 18 months House Hunting on Oahu, Decides to Move to North Carolina
FT: …Like many who move to Hawaii, Daniel Hutchens, an ER doctor at a hospital in Honolulu — the state capital, located on Oahu — came for the outdoor life. He longed for the beach and the mountains after a job in a Chicago hospital left him burnt out.
But by last autumn, after nearly five years in Hawaii — and 18 months into a frenetic property search — he still couldn’t find a home he could afford. With a budget of $1.3mn, he and his wife had made 14 offers and been outbid every time.
“My days off were essentially spent taking my two kids to house viewings,” he says. “Homes had between 10 and 40 other offers on. Many were going for $100,000 or $200,000 over the asking price, with cash offers.”
A year into their search, he says, houses in the Enchanted Lake and Kailua — two of their preferred suburbs — were no longer being listed at a price they could afford. What is more, with their lease coming to an end, and local rents rising fast, Hutchens feared an increase their budget couldn’t cover, forcing a move to a cheaper area and the uprooting of their children to a new school.
Demoralised, frustrated and anxious, they discussed leaving Hawaii, and started scouring the internet for homes to buy in North Carolina….
read … Dreams adrift: pandemic relocations deepen Hawaii’s housing crisis