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Thursday, January 22, 2015
January 22, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:49 PM :: 3231 Views

Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

VIDEO: Unsettling Moment During Senator Slom’s Minority Speech

Hawaii Shippers Council Discusses Port Slowdown, Jones Act Reform on Guam Radio

Opening Day: Speaker Souki Calls on House to Tackle Unfinished Business

2015 Senate Majority Legislative Program

Survey: Hawaii Millionaire Lead Slipping

Honolulu Bed Bugs Crawl Up to 42nd Place

Hawaiians Don't Trust OHA to Re-Start Native Hawaiian Convention

Creating Fake Crisis to Push Real Tax Hike, Caldwell Drops Fake Bus Funds Raid, Moves on to Fake Road Building Funds Raid

KITV: After KITV4 exposed the fact (repeated the claim) that the projected shortfall for the city’s $5.3 billion rail project is actually as much as $910 million, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said rail planners may have missed an opportunity to better explain the issue to (done a great job suckering) the public.

“I think maybe it could've been made more clearly by HART when they talked about it, but at the end of the day, nothing was hidden,” the mayor said (lied) in a satellite interview from Washington, D.C.

“I called it out clearly, but it would've been (was) disingenuous of me to call that a deficit by making a presumption of what the City Council or the mayor or the Federal Transit Administration was going to say,” he said from San Francisco, where he’s meeting with FTA officials. “I thought my responsibility was fulfilled by calling out the project deficit as I understood it and also calling out a question about this additional funding source.”

Now that it's clear the projected cost overrun for the rail project is approaching $1 billion, (Now the lies are 'clear'???  $500M magically becomes $700M + $200M not to be taken from TheBus and $100M they are pretending to grab from DoT = $1B.) the mayor is trying to secure federal highway funds from policymakers in the nation’s capital. Caldwell said he met with U.S. Department of Transportation Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff Wednesday, as well as acting Federal Transit Administration Administrator Therese McMillan.

"No one has shut the door on the request,” he said. “They're all saying they're open and willing to look at it."  (The laughed him out of the office, but there's no video.)

The mayor told KITV4 if the Hawaii Department of Transportation goes along with the plan to use federal highway funds for construction of rail, the agreement could be worth as much as $100 million.  (And if they don't it will be worth squat.  Which is OK because all this talk will evaporate into nothingness if the Lege gives Caldwell his 0.5%.)

“I've had preliminary discussions with people at the Hawaii Department of Transportation, (and) also with local federal highway folks in Honolulu,” said Caldwell. “I wouldn't say it's a done deal that they're open to doing this, but they're open to discussing it.”  (They also laughed him out of the room.)

However, what Caldwell really wants is an extension of the half-percent rail surcharge to the state’s general excise tax, or to make the surcharge permanent. The tax is scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31, 2022.  (This is the first honest sentence in the entire article.) 

read ... Liars

Hawaii Senate 'Will Consider' Calls for 12.5% Hike in GE Tax -- Statewide

CB: The Land Use Commission is Hawaii’s state-level permitting process, the only one of its kind in the nation. Developers and landowners have for years complained about the high cost of getting projects approved through the commission, and Kim said that the process should be “streamlined.”

She said the Senate would consider allowing counties to enact a half-percent tax to pay for affordable housing, enforcement of vacation rentals, and transportation —  namely, Honolulu’s multi-billion-dollar rail project.

read ... Big Fat Tax Hike

Kim to Counties: You Crack Down on TVRs, We Will Abolish LUC, Give You More TAT

KITV: Restoring the sand at Waikiki Beach by using the hotel room tax money is just one idea floated by Senate President Donna Kim.

Streamlining the land use process to generate more housing and less homelessness is another.

"We believe it’s time to consider giving counties more local control over land use classifications by eliminating the Land Use commission and overlapping operations to make the permitting process more efficient," said Kim.

But the counties would have to step up enforcement of transient accommodation laws.

The land use proposal prompted some chuckles from the House since doing away with the Land Use Commission was an idea it supported years ago, and back then it was the Senate that killed it.

"That's always a possibility because it always adds another layer to real estate in the cost of land. I understand the quest but the result may be a little difficult," House Speaker Joe Souki.

But Hawaii's new governor was all ears.

"It makes sense to really to look at about roles and responsibilities and resources that best service our communities,” said Gov. David Ige. Do you support that idea? KITV asked.  “I am open to it," Ige said.

read ... Deal

Six-year plan shows spending is greater than revenues

SA: State Budget Director Wesley Machida warned lawmakers Wednesday the state budget could drop into a deficit if any new expenses crop up or revenues decline.

The "status quo" general fund budget submitted by former Gov. Neil Abercrombie late last year shows a $6.5 billion budget for the next fiscal year and $6.8 billion in fiscal 2017.

The problem, however, is that the state is required to draw up a six-year financial plan that currently shows each year's expenses being greater than collections, requiring the government to draw from an ever-dwindling "carryover" balance, Machida said. In fiscal 2018, the end-of-year balance shows only $35.8 million.

"A slight reduction to revenue estimates or increase in projected expenditures during the financial plan period could result in a financial plan that fails to comply with the balanced-budget requirement," Machida said. "Furthermore, failure to maintain sufficient ending fund balances and reserves could jeopardize the state's good bond rating, resulting in increased costs impacting bond issues, debt service payments and operating funds."

As a result, new Gov. David Ige's administration is taking "a cautious approach to budgeting and spending," Machida said at a joint hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee.

read ... Going Broke

Departments Request 1,000 New Positions Since Dec 1

AP: State finance director Wes Machida said Wednesday that requests for more than 1,000 new state government positions were made since Ige took office on Dec. 1.

He says the departments were asked to revise their requests....

Machida says the state still has to be cautious because it's spending more than it's bringing in....

the state may have to pay a refund to taxpayers because in 2013 and 2014, general fund revenues exceeded expenses, Machida told lawmakers. “It could be any amount. But as you well can see from the financial plan, anything that is given any year impacts that financial plan,” he said.

read ... 1,000 New Positions

The Army in Hawaii: Fight to Save It, Prepare to Lose It

CB: According to Gov. David Ige, whose first job out of college, coincidentally, was as a military consultant on Ford Island, the military generates more than $14.7 billion in economic activity here. The Army estimates that it alone had a $3 billion economic impact in the state last year and without it, the state’s unemployment rate would double.

It is not hyperbolic to say that losing that activity so swiftly would, for the next 10 to 20 years at least, be devastating to the local economy. Without the jobs provided by Schofield Barracks, the communities of Wahiawa, Mililani, Haleiwa and Waialua would be in a freefall.

CB: Economists paint a daunting financial picture for state lawmakers to consider

read ... Prepare to Lose

Souki, Ige: Lets Keep the Public Drugged so they don't Notice

HNN: Souki DID get specific when addressing medical marijuana.

"Yes, it's legal in Hawaii, but there's no legal access to it. The time has come to fix this contradiction".

Afterwards, Governor David Ige echoed support for a bill.

"If we have a law that allows for medicinal marijuana, there should be a way for our citizens to acquire it legally" he said.

read ... Doped up

Chief's Wife Made Early Payment on Mercedes Because She Was Trading it in for Maserati

AP: Their attorney, Gerald Kurashima, questioned Kealoha about expenditures made from the joint account. According to court documents, more than $2,000 was spent on Elton John tickets, $4,000 for a Mercedes-Benz lease payment and nearly $24,000 for her husband's police chief induction breakfast at the Sheraton Waikiki.

She testified Wednesday that even though she said in a previous deposition that the tickets were for her, she has since remembered the tickets were for her uncle.

"It happened so long ago my recollection was different from actually what happened," she said.

She said she also made payments for her Mercedes, paid her own cellphone bill and paid for her husband's induction breakfast. She said she made an early payment on the Mercedes because she was trading it in for a Maserati. Her husband didn't know how much the breakfast cost because he doesn't even have a checkbook and she handles all their finances, she said.

read ... Mercedes Maserati

Guam Governor Backs Jones Act Reform

GPDN: In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Eddie Calvo said his administration will continue to work with the Obama administration "to relax certain requirements that are economically stifling for Guam."

"I'd hope the Obama administration would see the value of freeing up regulations related to sea and air transportation, such as visa requirements between Guam and China," Calvo said in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address....

Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, in a statement yesterday, said McCain's amendment on the Senate floor "has drawn strong objections from a number of opponents," including Sen. Marie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and the commandant of the Coast Guard....

"Sen. McCain's amendment could complicate the efforts of the Senate Republican leadership to pass the Keystone pipeline bill, and for that reason, and the mounting opposition, it may be withdrawn," Bordallo wrote in an email response to the Pacific Daily News yesterday....

SA: U.S. shipbuilders stand ready to defend Jones Act

read ... Jones Act

Hawaii short 890 doctors

MN: Based on population of about 160,000, Maui County residents need the equivalent of 385.7 full-time doctors, but they have only 305.98, leaving a shortfall of 79.72, or 26 percent, of what it would take to meet the demand.

No area in Hawaii has enough doctors, the study shows. The Big Island has a shortage of 36.1 percent. Kauai's demand for doctors is 38 percent off from its supply, and Oahu is short by 17.6 percent, the study reports.

Statewide, there's a shortage of 890 full-time doctors, with that number expected to grow to 1,500 within five years....

The study shows that Maui County has no neonatal-perinatal physicians, although its population needs 2.4. There's a shortage of 11.02 doctors in general internal medicine. The county has 11.17 psychiatrists, but it has a demand for 19. There are 5.25 general surgeons working in the county, but 13 are needed. The county has 8.13 orthopedic surgeons, but there's demand for 12....

read ... Short 890

Usual Suspects Hype Pesticides, GMOs

HNN: Hundreds of people sang, chanted, gave speeches and held signs at the State Capitol rotunda as the legislature convened, from Native Hawaiian groups to anti-GMO activists wearing chemical suits

Among the leaders at the rally was Kauai County Council member Gary Hooser.

"It's not just the environmental fringe, it's not just the activists, these are regular people on the street are concerned about this issue and it's the legislature's responsibility to act on that," Hooser said.

Moloka'i Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte was another leader of the rally.

"We need to come together as environmentalists, and as Hawaiians to try and influence this building. The corporations are having way too much influence," said Ritte....

read ... Usual Suspects, Usual Hype

Monsanto wants to build sustainable agriculture in Hawaii

SA: A hundred years ago, 40 percent of the country's workforce was in farming. Today, less than 2 percent is responsible for producing food and other agricultural products that support the entire population.

The fact that advancements in modern agriculture have enabled just 2 percent of the population to safely and consistently provide for the other 98 percent, is an amazing accomplishment that should be embraced rather than shunned. These types of advancements are behind not only our company's success, but that of many farms both big and small, with a long and proven track record of ensuring safe practices and quality products.

Monsanto's roots in Hawaii go back more than 45 years to the 1960s when seed corn nurseries were first established on Molokai, and significant crops like pineapple and sugar accounted for over 250,000 acres in ag production. Today, our company owns or leases approximately 8,700 acres statewide, and have helped put fallow ag lands back into productive use. Not only are we able to provide nearly 1,000 good jobs for residents on Molokai, Maui and Oahu, we support local farmers at the HAF (Hawaii Agricultural Foundation) Ag Park at Kunia and collaborate with the greater community on important ag issues such as crime prevention, conservation and encouraging future farmers. Collectively, this has allowed the seed companies to help sustain Hawaii's agricultural industry, and contribute over $550 million in direct and indirect economic benefit to the state every year.

Monsanto is a proud member of our community and Hawaii's agricultural industry and we're committed to helping fellow farmers continue to succeed through innovative practices and tools that empower them to produce more sustainably and efficiently. The challenges facing agriculture today are immense and the need for food has never been greater. That is why thoughtful, meaningful conversations and sharing of viewpoints about food production and agriculture in Hawaii are so critical at this point in time.

read ... Reality

Kenoi's Retaliation: Incinerator foe loses county contract

HTH: Recycle Hawaii had the $100,000 annual contract for more than 10 years, Executive Director Paul Buklarewicz said when contacted Tuesday. He said the current contract expired in June, and a new contract was negotiated with the Department of Environmental Management.

Kenoi said canceling the contract wasn’t politically motivated, but comes as the county changes how it promotes recycling.

Recycle Hawaii had continued various recycling education programs using other funds until it was informed in a terse letter Jan. 13 the contract would not be renewed, Buklarewicz said. He said the letter came from Environmental Management after he tried to make an appointment with Kenoi because he’d heard the contract was “on the mayor’s desk” waiting to be signed.

The nonprofit has been actively pushing zero-waste initiatives that would lessen the need for a mass-burn facility and, if successful, make an incinerator a less viable solution because it would reduce the amount of waste available to make one profitable. Three incinerator finalists are currently in the second stage of responding to a request for proposals the county put out last year.

Buklarewicz and other Recycle Hawaii officers have testified against the proposed incinerator to the County Council.

read ... Retaliation

Rep. Gabbard Cites Obama's Failure to Say 'Islamic Extremism'

NM: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat and Iraq War veteran, joined Republicans in criticizing President Barack Obama for his refusal to use the term "Islamic extremism" when identifying America's enemies.

Gabbard, appearing Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," said the war on terror should be a "bipartisan concern," and that failure to properly label the enemy makes it difficult to identify them and develop a strategy to defeat them.

Using the "political Islamism" they advocate, they want to enforce laws based on their understanding of the Quran not only in Islamic countries, but throughout the world," Gabbard said.

"That's where we see this violence coming from," she said. "And that's what's so dangerous."

RCP: Dem Congresswoman Doubles Down

read ... Gabbard Slams Obama Again

Shop owners say bike lane is cutting into sales

HNN: Sales at Gussie Schubert's Needlepoint Etc. store have been sliced in half. She blames it on the city's King Street Cycle Track. She said the bicycle lane makes it harder for people to find the driveway to her parking lot. Frustrated customers tell her so.

"I'll get calls from people who said, 'I can't find your parking . I don't know where you park. We've been around the block three times. I'm sorry we don't have anymore time to come in and try,'" she said.

On the next block over, the owner of Brian's Fishing Supply has had a drop-off in drop-in customers. He blames the bike lane moving metered stalls farther from the sidewalk.

"It almost appears as if your vehicle is sitting in first lane of outside traffic," Brian Kimata said. "A lot of people are hesitant to park there because they feel like their car is going to get rear-ended."

read ... Bike Line

Maui: Homeless Shelters Used as Affordable Housing

MN: Homeless shelters have effectively become affordable housing on Maui, according to governmental and nonprofit agencies speaking at a panel discussion Wednesday night at the Maui Economic Opportunity Conference Room.

"We need housing," Erin Fleming, chief executive officer of Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, said to a packed room. "There's too many people utilizing our resources as affordable housing and that's not how it should work. We need to figure out how we can meet that need."

There were 959 homeless people on Maui in 2014, up 9.5 percent from 2013's 876, according to the state Department of Human Services, Homeless Programs Office. Of that total, 445 were sheltered and 514 unsheltered....

Many on the panel pointed to a lack of funding and beds available in their facilities to explain the increase of homeless on the island. Ka Hale A Ke Ola provides housing in its emergency shelter for up to six weeks and transitional housing up to two years, but Fleming admitted that it is overcrowded and that people have stayed longer because "there's no options for them."

"We served 1,600 people last year and even with that big number there's still a number of people who are homeless," she said. "We have 309 people on the wait list and of that number, 160 are children under the age of 18."

Ka Hale A Ke Ola, which has resource centers in Lahaina and Wailuku, also has an affordable housing complex, Hale Makana O Waiale, that has about 200 units. However, that facility also has some 300 people waiting for spots, and housing them all could take two to three years, Fleming said....

MN: Two who were homeless remain homeless

read ... Homeless Maui

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