The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom
Drugs, Fish, and Termites: Miske FBI Backgrounder Unsealed by Federal Judge
Hilo Man Receives 42 Months in Prison for Defrauding Covid-19 Relief Programs
Mayor Blangiardi to establish Oʻahu Historic Preservation Commission
GET Petition effort finds support
HTH: … A petition urging the state Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET, has collected more than 1,100 signatures, according to Joe Kent, vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii….
The Grassroot Institute petition can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/45ny9jtp
The nonprofit policy research organization plans to give the petition to state lawmakers and the incoming governor’s administration, Kent said.
“Lawmakers could exempt the GET on medical services, which would save doctors and their patients $200 million, and the state would still have a $2 billion surplus,” he said. “There’s plenty of wiggle room for a tax cut.”
For the 2023 fiscal year, the state expects a surplus of $2 billion, with $831 million in additional reserves, according to Gov. David Ige’s administration.
“That surplus is projected to grow to $10 billion by (Fiscal Year) 2027,” Kent said. “Keep in mind that these are abnormally high surpluses.”
Scott Grosskreutz, who leads the Hawaii Provider Shortage Crisis Task Force, said the elimination of the GET — which currently is 4.7120% in Hawaii County — on medical services could improve employment shortages and benefit patients and health care providers.
“The whole country is short of health care providers, and the last thing you want to do is try and discourage people from coming here by using these unique taxation models that really aren’t sustainable,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense for Hawaii to be the only state in America that basically has punitive taxation on people taking care of Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE patients.”
The GET disproportionately impacts private practice providers, because hospitals are already exempt. If fewer private providers come to Hawaii, Grosskreutz estimates revenue from the GET would drop over time.
“As the number of people in private practice get pushed out, it’s already below 50% for the state, but as they have to quit, or retire, and no one comes to take them over, you’ll have fewer and fewer people in private practice being taxed,” he said. “In the long run, maybe in as little as three to five years, there will be little revenue from taxing health care, because you won’t have any people in private practice left to tax.”
Grosskreutz said the benefits of a GET exemption also extend to patients.
“A lot of times, you’ve got private insurance where it’s the patient that pays the tax because the health care provider or hospital passes it on,” he said. “And if you’re already staggering under large medical bills, because you have cancer or need heart surgery, the last thing you can afford to do is pay the state tens of thousands of extra dollars in GET taxation.” ….
The Grassroot Institute petition can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/45ny9jtp
read … GET Petition effort finds support
Unvaccinated Putin Dupe Loses out on Kauai Council Position
TGI: … Leadership positions were chosen without conflict or significant discussion — with the exception of the relatively minor Hawai‘i State Association of Counties alternate representative role, for which both council members DeCosta and Cowden campaigned. HSAC holds conferences of county officials throughout Hawai‘i and lobbies the state government to take up legislation.
Cowden touted her experience in state and local government, and the fact that she had enough time to commit fully to the role, while DeCosta referenced his leadership abilities.
“I traveled to HSAC on the Big Island with all of you. I remember distinctively lightening up the room,” said DeCosta. “I am a natural-born leader and people gravitate to me.”
DeCosta referenced an incident at that conference, when, as he was sitting at a table of county representatives, he saw Cowden sitting alone and invited her to join them. Cowden said she hadn’t been at the table because all the men had gone to smoke cigars, and she hadn’t been invited because of her gender.
“I don’t have to be part of the boys club,” said Cowden.
“Just because I don’t demand a lot of attention doesn’t mean I’m not able to get an idea across or that I can’t communicate,” she continued.
“The cigar thing — it was no disrespect to any council women across the state,” said DeCosta. “No other council woman was invited to the cigar session because we were down by the beach in complete darkness and there were about eight men and it didn’t seem fit to have a woman in that area. So we were actually acting out of gentlemanship.”
DeCosta also mentioned that Cowden had not attended a trip to the National Association of Counties meeting in Washington, D.C., to which Cowden responded that she couldn’t attend because she was unvaccinated, which led to her experiencing what she described as “two years of very unfair separation.”
Finally, DeCosta added he had contacted several of his cowboy council member friends to meet with her during another the HSAC meeting….
“I am really disappointed,” said Cowden. “I know it’s not that important of a position, but it tells me a direction. It tells me the direction that I’m going to be facing another two years of what I will honestly say is male discriminatory behavior.”…
(IQ Test: Did you vote to reelect her?)
read … Kaua‘i county council votes in new leadership
State starts processing citations under controversial red light camera pilot
HNN: … The state said the red light camera at Vineyard and Liliha was installed in September and warning letters to red light runners were issued starting Oct. 1.
The first citations are now being processed based on traffic dating back to Nov. 20.
The state Department of Transportation said that since the red light camera at Vineyard and Palama was installed, there have been two crashed caused by red light running.
A second camera under the pilot was installed at Vineyard and Liliha.
That camera has been used to issue warnings as of Nov. 9….
read … State starts processing citations under controversial red light camera pilot
Honolulu Agency Steps Up Effort To Improve Permitting Process
CB: … The Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting launched a new website on Wednesday, intended to improve its permitting process that has received complaints from homeowners and construction industry professionals for being too slow.
The revamp comes as the department is under scrutiny following a bribery scandal, high turnover, understaffing and constant backlogs.
The new website contains a “permitting process improvements” tab that informs people about recent changes in permitting, checklists, references and forms. The website also explains how to meet the prescreening phase and includes 11 checklist items.
The department also created a so-called automated computer bot tasked with reviewing a backlog of some 3,500 cases, although it won’t be fully working until January. The bot will be responsible for reviewing four of the 11 checklist items as part of the prescreening phase of the permit application process.
Starting Monday, permit applicants will be notified via email if their building plans failed to meet the required checklist items….
read … Honolulu Agency Steps Up Effort To Improve Permitting Process
Lawmaker: Rescue plan for Hawaii’s last commercial dairy underway
HNN: … The bankruptcy reorganization of Hawaii’s last commercial dairy marks another sad chapter in the long demise of the state’s dairy industry.
But lawmakers said a rescue plan for Hawaii’s Cloverleaf Dairy is already underway.
“This is the only dairy in the state,” said state Sen. Lorraine Inouye, (D) Hilo. “I’m giving them my support, making sure that Cloverleaf survives.”
Recent bankruptcy court filing show that 85.7% of the stock in Cloverleaf’s parent company — Boteihlo Enterprises Inc. — is now owned by local businessman Bahman Sadeghi who also owns Meadow Gold Dairy Hawaii.
Inouye said a takeover by Sadeghi will keep the dairy alive.
“The majority of the residents here and throughout the state supports Meadow Gold,” she said.
Under new ownership, the Big Island dairy can emerge from bankruptcy, invest in more modern equipment and expand its operations.
Sadeghi also owns land nearby which has available water sources for Cloverleaf’s drought-stricken herd, Inouye said….
read … Lawmaker: Rescue plan for Hawaii’s last commercial dairy underway
Soft on Crime--20-Time Loser Busted Buying Pound-Quantities of Meth
SA: … A 23-year-old man under federal investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for his alleged role in a drug trafficking organization made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday
Ivan Makinney is charged with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine. He has 20 prior criminal and traffic violations at the state level, (IN 5 YEARS!) according to court records. Most recently he was charged by criminal complaint May 19 with criminal property damage in the fourth degree and abuse of family or household members….
read … Man, 23, facing federal charges in meth sales
Soft on Crime--Alleged Molokai Murderer was Drug-dealing Felon With Illegal Guns
SA: … Court records show Kaholoaa filed a petition for a temporary restraining order against Garces on Feb. 1, alleging Garces choked her, punched her in the face and hit her with a stick on Jan. 31. “I have bruises on my body from this incident,” she said in the petition. “I’m afraid of him and feel like he will kill me one day.”
The February petition indicated Garces and Kaholoaa were in an intimate relationship for six months. She alleged Garces abused her for the past three months and that the abuse “has not stopped.”
She added Garces might own, possess or have access to hunting guns and feared he might use the firearm to threaten, injure or abuse her.
In the petition, Kaholoaa alleged Garces “has a long history of drugs and has anger issues” and requested Garces seek help through anger management classes and drug court.
Nearly two weeks after the filing, the court terminated the petition after Kaholoaa did not appear at a scheduled hearing to address the petition.
In a separate case, Garces was charged in June with several counts of unlawful ownership or possession of a firearm and ammunition and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon or device.
The charging document alleged he unlawfully owned or possessed a Remington .30-06-caliber rifle and .30-06 ammunition, Remington Arms .270-caliber rifle and a Browning 12-gauge shotgun and 12-gauge shotgun shells. It also alleged he was in unlawful possession of a shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches.
Garces has a criminal record that shows multiple convictions for firearm and drug-related offenses.
In 2007 he was convicted in a case that included five felonies for place to keep unloaded firearms other than pistols and revolvers, unlawful ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition, promoting a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia….
(Hawaii has gun control but criminals with guns are ‘catch-and-release.’)
read … Molokai woman found dead sought TRO against her alleged attacker
BIG Q: Overall, how thankful are you feeling this year?
SA Editorial: A day for thanks and reflection
November 23, 2022, issue of The Environmental Notice
Miske Gives $2600 to Donna Mercado for Congress, 2013
10 new COVID-related deaths, 1,169 new infections recorded in Hawaii, DOH reports
HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION RELEASES 2023 MEETING SCHEDULE
Hawaii County and Maui police see more public interest in active shooter training
CEO of HART shares updates on the rail's cracks, ongoing construction
HECO Offering Community Solar for Low- and Moderate-Income Residential Customers
Finland Is Solving Homelessness, And Hawaii Can Too
New Iolani Palace Exhibit Will Describe The Hawaiian Kingdom's Overthrow
Forget About The Elections. This Endangered Butterfly Is A Much Better Story
Health officials continue push for bivalent boosters
Pandemic inspired donors but critical needs persist for nonprofits
Inflation, borrowing costs push home sales down
SA Editorial: New options for nearshore homes
Hawaiian Airlines’ Passengers Experiencing Long Wait Times For Baggage At Honolulu Airport