American Dream? Hawaii Business Environment Worst in USA
Paroled Pimp Defrauds Hawaii Unemployment
EPA Proposes Red Hill Consent Decree
Sea Level Rise: Cesspool Overflows will Mix with Chemical Spills and Inundate Honolulu--Solution? More mental health services
CB: … Rising seas and increased flooding could eventually release, spread and mix together a host of chemicals contaminating more than 800 sites across Hawaii, exposing the public to more potential health risks linked to climate change, local health experts warned lawmakers on Wednesday….
Those sites are separate from the thousands of cesspools that pollute Hawaii’s watersheds, and which Felton said are also vulnerable to similar climate-related inundation….
(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)
… Kiefer and Felton recommended creating public cooling centers similar to programs already in place in Arizona, and helping to make energy costs more affordable so that people can use air conditioning as temperatures rise.
They also recommended that lawmakers spur more mental health services in Hawaii and that they support more research into the local climate-related health risks….
read … Health Experts: Flooding, Sea Level Rise Could Release Chemicals At Hundreds Of Hawaii Sites
Maui Council Protects Monster Home Builder--Kills Investigation
CB: … In response to public outcry, the County Council passed a resolution on Aug. 5 to investigate why officials allowed the super-sized building to go forward and why they granted the developer an exemption from Special Management Area permitting, a process that would have subjected the project to public comment and scrutiny.
Outgoing County Council member and committee vice chair Kelly King authored the resolution to seek answers. After the council adopted the measure, it landed in Paltin’s committee, which King co-chairs.
But rather than having her committee conduct the investigation, Paltin chose to outsource it, something King says she discovered after the fact. The county issued a request for proposals on Aug. 31 but received no bids by the Sept. 29 deadline.
County Council Chair Alice Lee then approved an alternative method of procurement, allowing the county to directly solicit bids from three possible vendors.
Ultimately one vendor, Jim Pederson, a Maui-based planning consultant, offered to undertake the investigation at a cost of $92,200. Paltin felt the price tag was too steep.
“We declined that offer. It was pretty substantial,” Paltin said at last Thursday’s meeting.
Council member Mike Molina asked if there was a ceiling on the amount the committee was willing to spend on the investigation. Paltin said no, without further explanation and it’s unclear why she would have rejected the bid if there was no set budget.
Several residents expressed frustration over how Paltin has handled the matter and questioned whether she had the authority to singlehandedly turn down the bid.
“This freaking sucks,” said Leonard Junya Nakoa. “I’m pissed off.”…
“Given the Pandora’s Box this investigation could open, it’s not surprising that very manipulative steps were taken to kill it,” Small said….
With regards to the investigation, Paltin has said she would launch an investigation only after she received written documentation of wrongdoing by county employees.
The community association members have held off turning anything over until the committee launches an investigation and issues subpoenas.
In concluding last week’s meeting, Paltin reiterated that she hasn’t gotten the documentation she sought.
“I have never received any proof of intentional wrongdoing,” she said. “That’s about all I’ve got to say.”…
(Translation: Anti-GMO bs-ers call bs on activists.)
read … Investigation Into Maui Monster House Dies In Committee
Big Kalihi home under construction draws flurry of complaints ― and new city scrutiny
HNN: … The home is owned by a company ― Myderhauton LLC ― that’s linked to contracting firm Fu Long Construction Inc., which has built several monster homes in town.
But the builders say everything is being built to code and that the house has a smaller footprint than the structure they demolished to make way for the project….
read … Massive Kalihi home under construction draws flurry of complaints ― and new city scrutiny
Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke sees both sides of how to build the state budget
HPR: … Luke will submit her own budget requests in the coming weeks. She’d like to see preschool expansions with partners like the state Department of Education, Department of Human Services and the private sector. Practically, she’d like for a kindergarten assessment to be applied as children enter school to get a better understanding of where their skills are….
Luke will also lobby to increase state subsidies for low-income families who want to send their kids to preschool or early learning facilities. The state’s preschool open doors program only covers children who are 4 years old….
TGI: HOOSER: What do I want for Christmas?
read … Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke sees both sides of how to build the state budget
Kahele Introduces Bill Lowering Blood Quantum For Home Lands
CB: … In the waning days of the current lame-duck congressional session, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele introduced a bill to lower the blood quantum for successors of Hawaiian Home Lands lessees, making it easier for those on homesteads to pass their land leases and homes on to their children or spouses….
Kahele’s measure, H.R. 9614, would lower the blood quantum requirement for successors of leases to 1/32nd. However, the original lessee and applicants for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist would still need to prove they meet the 50% blood requirement.
The Legislature passed a bill in 2017 kickstarting the process for Congress to amend the act and lower the blood quantum. But progress on the measure has been stalled for years, leaving thousands of families in limbo….
Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda, who voters elected to Kahele’s seat in November, has promised to reintroduce the measure….
HTH: Kahele bill seeks to lower blood quantum requirement for DHHL lease successors
read … Kahele Introduces Bill Lowering Blood Quantum For Home Lands
SHOPO Campaign to Oust Maui’s ‘Outsider’ Chief Strikes Out
MN: … After meeting in closed executive session, Chairman Frank De Rego said the commission voted unanimously to deny Nishiyama’s appeal to overturn the commission’s decision Nov. 16 to not initiate disciplinary proceedings against Pelletier….
(Translation: Swing and a miss. Strike three. Next batter up for team SHOPO.)
read … MPD juvenile counselor reports retaliation
Honolulu Police Department looks to expand 3-day workweek
SA: … the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, in an email to members Wednesday that was acquired by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, wrote that at a labor-management meeting, HPD administration and SHOPO “agreed to extend the current 3/12 pilot program in Districts 4 and 5 until July of 2023.”
“No negotiation was held about a department-wide 3/12 work schedule,” wrote SHOPO Honolulu Chapter Chair Nick Schlapak. “Also, in that meeting, HPD was reminded that any desire to implement a new work schedule for the patrol elements was a negotiable item requiring SHOPO’s approval. We will continue to keep you informed on the status of the issue.”
The note follows a Dec. 13 email where Schlapak told members that on Dec. 9, SHOPO informally “heard back from HPD that the Department was interested in a dialogue regarding extending the pilot program into 2023.”
“Later that same day, however, HPD also communicated to our membership their intent to change the work schedule of all patrol elements to a 3/12 program, beginning sometime in the middle of next year,” wrote Schlapak….
SA Editorial: Honolulu police recruitment, crime actions welcome
read … Honolulu Police Department looks to expand 3-day workweek
Council delays forming Hilo Improvement District
HTH: … The improvement district is a long-discussed proposal that would allow businesses in downtown Hilo to finance infrastructure and other upgrades within the district’s boundaries. Originally presented as a bill by then-Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung, it was postponed for years to allow additional discussion until it was resurrected at a November council meeting.
As presented at that meeting, Bill 230 proposes a $91,500 first-year budget for the BID, which would largely encompass the area between Ponahawai Street, Wailuku Drive, Kapiolani Street and the Hilo Bayfront, as well as some other sections along Kilauea Avenue.
On Wednesday, the first meeting of the new council following the November elections, council members discussed a proposed amendment to the bill that would, among other things, significantly increase the district’s budget to $367,000 for the first year.
The vast majority of that budget would be for “safety and cleaning ambassadors,” which would account for $264,000 in the first year.
The amended bill suggests that those ambassadors would be uniformed “Clean Sweep Crews” who would simultaneously act as security for the district, clean and maintain the publicly owned areas of the district, provide assistance and information for people in the district, and serve as “ambassadors of aloha.”
Other expenses for the first-year budget would include $30,000 for homeless outreach and $50,000 for professional services management….
RELATED: Hawaii Needs Municipal Government
read … Council delays forming Hilo business group
Homeless Die 30 Years Earlier Because We Do Not FORCE them into shelter
KITV: … At a memorial service today in Iwilei, the Institute for Human Services celebrated the lives of 34 shelter residents who died this year….
According to the Institute for Human Services, the average homeless person has a 30-year shorter lifespan than people living in homes….
Before the pandemic in 2019, Chaplain Flournoy says Hawaii lost at least 120 homeless people -- a 46% increase from just two years earlier….
On Oahu alone, there's an estimated 4,000 people living without homes….
read … Honolulu shelter holds memorial service for dozens of homeless lives lost this year