Green's plan to eliminate food and medicine tax may not have a clear path
The effects of the pandemic on the economy of Hawaii
Gov Green and First Lady Host Traditional Christmas Open House at Washington Place
Blangiardi names Jiro Sumada DPP Deputy Director
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Include Medical Services In GET Exemption
CB: … In a very welcome turn of events, Hawaii’s leaders have become increasingly vocal about the need for new exemptions to the state’s regressive general excise tax.
Gov. Josh Green reiterated his support for a GET exemption for food and medicine during his inaugural ceremony last week, saying it would help make our state more affordable.
This is a hopeful sign. However, for groups that champion reducing the tax burden on working families, there is a big difference between political rhetoric and real-world change….
read … Include Medical Services In GET Exemption
“It’s not like there’s more corruption”
HNN: … New state Sen. Brenton Awa ran on an anti-corruption platform. (Then he hired Rothman.)
“We want to take down corruption ... and I am glad we are talking about it,” he said.
But his senior Republican colleague, Minority Leader Kurt Favella, said he is skeptical of more ethics rules.
“It’s not like there’s more corruption. It’s not like more illegal activities being done by elected officials or non-elected officials,” Favella said. “It’s just being more broadcast, being more aware.”
Even though former Sen. Kalani English took bribes to kill legislation, Favella particularly disagrees that every decision to kill a bill should be explained.
Favella said explaining thousands of individual decisions to kill or defer legislation would be a burden that would lead to fewer bills being introduced.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders are promising to hear the ethics proposals but not promising to pass them….
read … Ethics reform proposals up for debate in wake of high-profile bribery scandals
Jail for Kaniela Ing?
CB: … On Friday, the commission will decide what to do with a case involving former state lawmaker Kaniela Ing. A complaint filed against Ing by the commission’s executive director alleges that the former Maui representative failed to file a routine campaign finance disclosure earlier this year.
The commission could decide to refer the case for criminal prosecution, decline it or keep investigating. Ing was previously fined more than $15,000 in 2018 for numerous campaign finance violations. He’s been paying those fines in increments and recently finished, he said.
Regarding the recent complaint, Ing said, “It’s hard to keep track of the deadlines when it’s not part of your life anymore.”
(CLUE: Everybody else manages to do it.)
Ing hasn’t run for office since 2018 and says he has no intention to run again. More recently, he’s been working on a super PAC supporting progressive candidates called Our Hawaii….
If the commission goes the route of referring the complaint against Ing to the Attorney General’s Office, it would be just the second it’s sent this year. Another pending case has to do with JL Capital CEO Timothy Lee, who is accused of directing employees to make contributions to Oahu candidates in 2020 and then reimbursing those employees….
Big changes are coming for how the commission handles those cases going forward. In the past, the commission had to choose between referring a case to prosecutors and assessing fines. A new law passed earlier this year allows the commission to assess fines and refer a case to prosecutors concurrently….
LINK: Docket No. 23-13 – In Re the Matter of Mark Ing and Friends of Kaniela Ing
Kaniela Ing: The Gift That Just Keeps on Giving
read … Most Hawaii Campaign Spending Violators Never See Jail Time
Trial for alleged leader of Hawaii crime syndicate set
SA: … The alleged head of a Hawaii crime syndicate operating since the late 1990s and six purported co- conspirators pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a third superseding indictment ahead of their trial in April.
Michael J. Miske Jr., John B. Stancil, Dae Han Moon, Preston M. Kimoto, Delia- Anne Fabro-Miske, Jarrin Young and Jason K. Yokoyama entered pleas of not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield. The group was named in the indictment filed Dec. 8.
Their trial is set for April 17 before U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson….
Fabro-Miske is charged with bank fraud, and Yokoyama, co-owner of a nightclub and other businesses with Miske, of murder, kidnapping, arson, wire fraud, illegal structuring of cash transactions and bank fraud. Wilson and Akau III entered guilty pleas and are cooperating with the government.
Miske, 47, is detained at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center on 17 charges that include racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, murder for hire conspiracy, firearms, chemical weapons, drugs and bank fraud….
Best Comment: “SA finally gets around to covering this continually unfolding story.”
HNN: Alleged crime boss Mike Miske accused of faking letters to get out of jail
read … Trial for alleged leader of Hawaii crime syndicate set
Arizona Private Prison Vastly Superior to Miserable UPW-USO Controlled Hawaii Prisons
HNN: … SCC is privately operated, run by CoreCivic, and only prisoners with longer sentences are sent there.
While 1,000 Hawaii inmates are there now, that number can vary.
In previous years, it was up to 1,500.
And unlike most of the facilities in the islands, SCC is not overcrowded.
While there, HNN found an empty housing pod that can hold up to 120 prisoners. The living areas are clean, even the ones full of people. Murals also decorate the walls of the pods.
SCC is designed well, according to those with knowledge of correctional centers.
The layout makes it easier to move prisoners from the housing units to recreation yards and program centers, which are set up in the middle of the complex.
There are also a number of job training programs at SCC that are not offered in Hawaii.
“I think this is the best place compared to the others I’ve been in,” said Marwan Jackson, an inmate from Hilo who is serving time for manslaughter….
read … These inmates have access to better facilities. The bonus? They’re 3,000 miles from home
Ethics complaints filed against two county planners
HTH: … Two island residents have filed ethics complaints against Planning Department staffers, saying they were laughed at and disrespected when they opposed developments in Pepeekeo and Keaukaha….
read … Ethics complaints filed against two county planners
Ala Wai: Corps of Engineers Still Trying to Fool Public
HNN: … The flood walls were a hot topic at a virtual public meeting Tuesday night to help engineers come up with a new proposal.
Previous proposals had the walls at 14 feet and then 8 feet.
Now they’re at 6 feet, but people still don’t want them….
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a wall 6-feet high to run the length of the Ala Wai Canal to mitigate a 20-to-50-year flood.
But opponents worry about environmental problems.
Some said it would block the view.
And Gerald Andrade, board member of the Waikiki Surf Club said it would make his job difficult.
“So, when there’s constructions to the sidelines of the canal, be it from the Ala Wai bridge that the city is proposing,” said Andrade. “Or walls or raised berms along the edge of the canal that impacts the usability of the canal from a coaching perspective.”…
read … Plans to prevent Waikiki from flooding still in discussion
HFD: Lithium batteries blamed in 58 Oahu fires
HNN: … More than a third of Oahu’s accidental fires between 2020 and 2022 involved lithium ion batteries, the Honolulu Fire Department said Wednesday.
Of the 167 accidental fires on Oahu during that period, the HFD said 58 involved these types of batteries….
“If they become damaged, overcharged or overheated, then chemical reactions can occur within the cells resulting in a self heating state known as thermal run away,” said HFD Battalion Chief Blake Takahashi….
Added HFD Capt. Jonathan Darr: “For large items like power tools ... I charge them on my my lanai outside but not in the direct sunligh.”
“I do it when I’m home. I don’t leave things charging overnight.”
Fire officials added that old and damaged batteries should not be thrown away in the garbage.…
read … HFD: Lithium batteries, like those in electric cars and cell phones, blamed in dozens of Oahu fires
Hawaii hospitals still full ahead of the holidays
SA: … The hospital census on Wednesday was at 2,447 patients, according to Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, a continuation of a trend indicating a “new normal” this year.
The average number of patients for December so far is at 2,458 a day, he said, which is higher than the averages from the past three years — just under 2,000 a day for the years 2019 and 2020, and under 2,200 a day in 2021. On some days this year, the number has surpassed 2,500….
read … Hawaii hospitals still full ahead of the holidays
Big Q: Will the rise in Oahu property values — up 10% to 20% — be a hardship for you when paying property taxes?
Honolulu Ethics Agenda Dec 21, 2022
Hawaii reports 1,191 COVID cases, 4 deaths
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