Anti-GMO Activists Claim Kauai Mayor’s Office has been Legally Vacant since 2010
Regressive Taxes: State Hypocrisy on Minimum Wage
Feb 4-5: Pono Choices or Poor Choices?
Faleomavaega on Hillary’s Hit List?
I Need a Gun, Mommy, but I won't use it (now)
ACU Chair Al Cardenas to Speak at Maui TEA Party Event
Caldwell announces new economic development team
Living History Day: USS Missouri Celebrates Double Anniversary
Kim vs Chang in CD1 Money Race
CB: Kim hauled in nearly three times as much as anyone else in the CD1 race during the last quarter of 2013, banking $330,133.
“I feel really good about our fundraising efforts so far,” Kim said in an email Saturday. “We exceeded our goal of raising $300,000 in the first seven weeks and I am so thankful so many people are willing to donate to my campaign because they want to send me to Washington, D.C.”
Her closest competitor, money-wise, is Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang, who raised $124,238 during the last period. Chang, who entered the race well before Kim, has a slight edge in cash on hand, with $325,457 to her $322,451, but Kim has clearly seized the financial momentum....
Chang's second place finish didn't put him far ahead of state Rep. Mark Takai and Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who each brought in nearly as much as Chang did.
Takai garnered $102,304 in the last months of 2013 and has $177,879 cash on hand. Anderson picked up $107,178 this period and has $148,607 in the bank.
State Sen. Will Espero and first-time candidate Kathryn Xian are both struggling on the financial front.
Espero raised $38,382 this past period and has $6,829 remaining. Xian brought in $2,645 this period and has $1,406 on hand, meaning that she spent just $1,239....
Check out the campaign fundraising reports here.
read ... CD1
Only the law blocks OHA from makai development
Borreca: In Hawaii, it always is all about the land. The dilemma is that the land is so valuable it must be used; not to do so would be a waste. And the land has such grace and encapsulates so much potential that it must be preserved.
...state senators are pushing legislation giving HCDA power to approve any residential development on Kakaako Makai land after an OHA public hearing.
But, the law preventing that from happening was not just some random effort at overzealous preservation on the part of the Legislature.
The law banning residential development there came because of one of the most remarkably effective citizen lobbying campaigns. Despite developers’ long and mostly successful history of paving over paradise, the little folk won one back in 2006.
Surfers marched, retirees marched, land owners and fishermen all marched on the state Capitol.
In 2006, the Legislature voted against an Alexander & Baldwin proposal to put three condo towers near where Fisherman’s Wharf now stands.
Those buildings would have been only 20 stories. A&B later dropped one of the towers from the plans.
Ron Iwami, one of the grassroots organizers, said at the time: “If we didn’t stand up, they’d be building it right now. We won this with the power of the people.”
And yet the same Legislature that afforded the people the victory of 2006 came back at the behest of Abercrombie in 2012 and gave OHA its victory and a path to financial independence with the same land.
Two answers to two pressure points, but one Legislature. Because this is an election year, voters will now have to answer: Which legislator do you trust?
SA: Commercial use is on the table as plans to improve a Kakaako park take shape
Related: How A&B Wins Big From Environmental Litigation
read ... Only the law blocks OHA from makai development
Star-Adv: Don't throw out HCDA
SA: ...there is a need for the Hawaii Community Development Authority to exist, and even to have some measure of autonomy. But there still is room for improvements in accommodating community input, over- seeing development standards and defining how the authority itself is governed.
The subject is central to a package of eight bills introduced by state Rep. Scott Saiki, as well as numerous other pieces of legislation....
All but one of Saiki's bills will be heard at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in conference room 325 at the state Capitol. The exception is House Bill 1862, which would require conformance to the city's reserve and affordable-housing requirements and would amend the definition of some key terms.
It's unclear why this bill was singled out -- Saiki said it's because its assignment to an additional committee meant it would not clear a deadline to progress any further. But he said other measures could be vehicles for a discussion on affordability standards.
read ... Don't throw out HCDA baby with bathwater
Bills Would Create State Groups to Advise Honolulu’s Transit-Oriented Development
CB: Three Senate committees plan to meet to consider Dela Cruz’s proposals on Monday.
Senate Bill 2436 creates an advisory committee made up of planners, architects, state and city officials, cultural specialists, community members and others to make recommendations about “sustainable development” near rail stations.
Senate Bill 2437 creates working groups in state agencies to figure out how state land around rail stations could be used to help the economy and provide more housing for Hawaii’s workforce.
SA: Complete Streets Means Even Fewer Lanes
read ... Bills Would Create State Groups to Advise Honolulu’s Transit-Oriented Development
Ige, Abercrombie Maneuver over GMOs
SA: ... the governor would not say how he would respond to either a Right to Farm bill, which would preempt county authority over agriculture, or GMO labeling legislation. (Translation: He'll sign it.)
"I've long since learned that you walk a very shaky path to give opinions on any piece of legislation while it's in the mix of the legislative session," he said.
Ige said that the state should have been more proactive about getting factual information about ag inspectors and pesticide use out to the public sooner, which may have defused some of the emotion from the GMO debate.
"Lacking facts, then people create their own perceptions," he said. "And perceptions become reality."
Ige said he does not think the state should preempt the county GMO and pesticide use regulations, even though he disagrees, for example, with Hawaii County's ban on new GMO crops.
Ige also said he does not support a state requirement for GMO labeling on food.
read ... Candidates split
Farmers are the 1 percent we need
SA: The ongoing debate about GMO (genetically modified organism) and pesticide use is important because it represents an opportunity to showcase farmers and ranchers and how they produce our agricultural bounty. Agricultural policy is best when rooted in science, verifiable facts and tempered with experience, not when blown by political winds.
Our food system is among the safest in the world. It's federally regulated by the EPA, FDA and USDA, locally by Hawaii's departments of Agriculture and Health, and globally by the marketplace. This system has evolved over millennia to its current, highly functioning state. Piling more regulations on farmers and ranchers stokes uncertainty, increases risk and suffocates investment in agriculture. Would-be farmers and ranchers will choose other careers. This is bad news for everyone.
Because of modern advances in crop production, our food is relatively inexpensive; on average only 10 percent of our paychecks. Rejecting tools and technologies that help farmers will increase food costs. Low food costs allow you to allocate more of your budget toward everything else in your life.
For some, it has become fashionable to be anti-business, anti-modern agriculture....
read ... Farmers Push Back Against Fashionable Stupidity
Maui Fund Race, Carroll, Ing, Woodson, Cochran Short on Campaign Funds
MN: Council Member Elle Cochran, who has the West Maui residency seat. Her campaign has the deepest hole, with a deficit of $54,248.10, mostly from debts owed to immediate family members and herself.
Aside from the debts, Cochran reported cash on hand of $601.37 at the end of July and giving herself a $3,000 loan. Her campaign spent $1,187.47 in the second half of last year....
Kahului Rep. Justin Woodson showed a year-end surplus of $11,719.05....
South Maui Rep. Kaniela Ing reported a surplus of $14,280.55....
Rep. Mele Carroll, who represents East Maui, Molokai and Lanai, had a year-end surplus of $4,568.87. She raised and spent no money during the second half of the year, according to her campaign spending report.....
MN: Maui County GOP caucus meetings scheduled
read ... Target List
This Week's Attractions at the Legislature
SB2344: Trans-Agency Climate Change Council to Rule Your Life
AP: Calling climate change "the paramount challenge of this century," a Senate bill (SB2344--part of the Joint Majority package) would create a wide-reaching interagency climate council to study climate change and come up with a plan to adapt to its effects.
Text, Status: SB2344
SA: 2014 is Hawaii’s ‘climate moment’ as well
read ... Council to Rule Your Life
HB1684: Popular manta ray dives may see strict regulations
WHT: “I’ve heard from many people about their experience going out to swim with the manta rays and how it was very scary because of the number of people snorkeling at the top, the number of boats, and there didn’t seem to be any control over the quantity,” Rep. Cindy Evans, D-Kohala, North Kona, said.
Evans has introduced a bill that would require the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to create a permitting system for manta ray viewing. The bill does not say what restrictions would be put into effect, only that limits would be established.
David Muensterman, Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii operations manager, said he wasn’t sure the legislation is needed.... (funny, that's not what dive tour operators said when aquarium collectors were on the chopping block)....
The House Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Committee gave the legislation, HB 1684, a positive recommendation Jan. 24. The Finance Committee will consider it next. ... (One regulation begets another.)
MN: Tour operators labeled as Dolphin SMART
read ... Pay back shows lack of solidarity
Housing comes first: A Proven Way to Help the Homeless
SA: The method hailed as the best way to end chronic homelessness was born of desperation more than two decades ago on the streets of New York City: Psychologist Sam Tsemberis despaired seeing his severely mentally ill, drug addicted or alcoholic patients cycle from the streets to jail, psychiatric wards, homeless shelters and back to the streets.
He knew that what they needed most was a permanent home -- a simple, decent rental in the neighborhood. But the standard protocol at the time would never get them there, because the client had to stop drinking, for example, to be deemed "housing ready." Tsemberis flipped that model: He moved homeless people straight into their own apartments and simultaneously offered intensive treatment to help them achieve mental stability, lead healthier lives and join the broader community. Rather than "if you do this, you can come inside," the message was "come inside, and let's do this."
Pioneered by Pathways to Housing, Inc., the nonprofit Tsemberis founded in 1992, the model became known as Housing First. Its success -- 85 percent of Pathways' clients maintained residency -- has been replicated worldwide, including in 40 U.S. cities. It is cited by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness as a proven method for ending all types of homelessness and the most effective way to end chronic homelessness, characterized by long-term or repeated periods of homelessness, often in tandem with mental illness and disabling substance abuse.
read ... Housing First
A new probation program in Hawaii beats the statistics
PBS: NewsHour Weekend profiles an innovative probation program in Hawaii that has been so successful in reforming offenders and keeping them out of prison, it's now being copied in courtrooms across the nation.
Background: Judge Steven Alm: Justice Reinvestment and the future of HOPE Probation
read ... A new probation program in Hawaii beats the statistics
Slim, casual memoir offers enriching look at late judge
Shapiro: "Judge Sam King: A Memoir" is a welcome final visit with one of modern Hawaii's greatest minds and finest sons.
A proud part-Hawaiian, King's life was long in years -- 94 -- and distinction.
He was a standout student at Punahou and Yale, a Navy interpreter in post-bomb Hiroshima, a power in territorial politics as the son of a governor, a candidate for governor himself, co-author of the "Broken Trust" essay that exposed Bishop Estate corruption, and a state and federal judge for five decades who co-founded Hawaii's Family Court and presided over landmark cases on organized crime, native rights, land reform, the H-3, Kahoolawe, Vietnam protests and the Palmyra murders.
Unlike many autobiographical works that seek to justify the author's life in punishing detail, this slim volume of 137 pages reads like a talk-story session with the judge in his book-lined chambers....
read ... Judge Sam King
Solar panel installations push electric utilities to the brink
WHT: “If there’s more generation than energy being used, the energy needs to go some place. … This is a difficult technical issue, and we’re not aware of another utility in the world that has addressed it. There’s no model for us to follow, no resource for us to tap into. We’re really creating new frontiers on this,” he said.
Ignacio admitted that delays caused by “transient over-voltage” can be very frustrating to customers, but said that as of right now, it’s the only way to ensure the electric grid remains safe for all customers.
HELCO engineers are entertaining several different ideas to handle the problem, but have yet to settle on anything concrete.
One way might be to set up a system where HELCO can use appliances connected to the circuit to create more of a load when it encounters an over-voltage. By transferring the excess energy into something such as a water heater, the system can balance itself out. But, he said, many of those appliances were never designed for such a purpose, and setting them up to be used in such a way could be problematic.
Another concept being explored is a large battery bank that can store excess energy. That too, has its drawbacks.
“The economics of such a system just may not play out,” he said.
read ... Solar panel installations push electric utilities to the brink
DoH, Cane not Corn top User of Atrazine
KGI: Over the last seven decades, the use of atrazine in Hawaii has declined significantly, from about 400,000 pounds in 1964 to 77,403 pounds in 2012, according to a recent study by the state Department of Health....
The legislative report — as well as the DOH’s current sampling effort — is the fruit of House Concurrent Resolution 129. Adopted in April, it called for the DOH to head up a task force to address the potential data gaps on air, surface water and near-shore effects of the chemical herbicide.
“Last spring they asked for an atrazine study, because atrazine was kind of the flavor of the month,” said Grange, who prepared the report along with DOH toxicologist Barbara Brooks.
The report, completed in November and recently posted online, found that the sugar industry “was and is the largest user of atrazine in Hawaii.”
“The drop in atrazine usage over time reflects the decline of sugarcane cultivation....
From 2010 to 2012, an average 80,912 pounds of atrazine were sold annually in Hawaii. About 94 percent of the herbicide sold here is used for weed control on sugarcane, while seed corn production accounts for 6 percent (an average of 4,771 pounds per year), according to the report.
On Kauai, an average 3,457 pounds were sold annually between 2010 and 2012, representing about 4 percent of the total sales statewide and 72 percent of the atrazine used on seed corn statewide....
Grange said all of the atrazine purchased on Kauai is done by the seed corn industry. She also pointed out that the maximum rate of application per year on seed corn is 2.5 pounds per acre — one-quarter the maximum rate for sugarcane, at 10 pounds per acre.....
PDF: DoH Report to Legislature
read ... More evidence that anti-GMO activists are idiots
Scammers impersonating deputy sheriffs, state warns
SA: According to the warning, the imposters claim to be serving warrants to people who did not show up for jury duty and offer to clear the warrant is the victims pay for a product or service.
read ... Believable?
2nd Tranny Convicted of Manslaughter in buttocks-injection trial
AP: Mr Natasha Stewart, of suburban Memphis, Tenn., was found guilty Friday in Jackson, Miss., in the death of 37-year-old Mr Karima Gordon of Atlanta.
Authorities say Mr Stewart, an adult entertainer also known as Pebbelz Da Model, took $200 for a referral to the alleged injector and falsely represented that the injector was a nurse.
Stewart testified Friday that Gordon was insecure about her (sic) body and wanted help fixing previously botched buttocks enhancements. Stewart said she (sic) connected Gordon with the woman (sic) performing the injections to help her (sic) out, not for money, but she (sic) said Gordon insisted on paying her (sic).
CB: Schatz, Gillibrand: Help Service Members Discharged Due to Sexual Orientation
read ... About the DoE's Role Models for 6th Grade
Families Make Up 69 Percent of Hawaii Households
CB: Families made up 69 percent of the households. (The figure includes both married-couple families — 51 percent —and “other families” —18 percent);
• Of “other families,” 5 percent are female householder families with no husband present and their own children under 18 years;
• Non-family households made up 31 percent of all households in Hawaii. (Most of the nonfamily households were people living alone, but some were composed of people living in households in which no one was related to the householder.);
• 34 percent of all households have one or more people under the age of 18; and
• 30 percent of all households have one or more people 65 years and over.
Related: Gays Attack Hawaiian Culture, ‘Multi-Generational Families’
read ... Families Make Up 69 Percent of Hawaii Households