Whither the Resort Fee?
Waianae Coast schools a national model for counseling
UHERO Electric Vehicle Forecast for Hawaii
UHERO: Neighbor Island Tourism Still Has Room to Grow
Abortion Down 30% in Hawaii: Planned Parenthood, McDermott Agree it is due to Improved Contraception
AP: A dramatic drop in the number of abortions performed in Hawaii over a recent five-year period has health and education experts wondering what caused the change.
The number of terminated pregnancies fell nearly 30 percent in Hawaii from 2010 to 2014, representing the greatest abortion decline in the nation. That decline to 2,147 abortions in 2014 happened as the state's historically high teen pregnancy rate — Hawaii was 10th in the nation for teen pregnancies in 2013 — has been falling.
Changes to Hawaii's sex education policies have played a role in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and the abortions that sometimes follow, agencies like Planned Parenthood say (taking the opportunity to push their gay sex ed agenda, and hoping you won't see Hawaii PP contradicting this in national AP coverage. Keep reading....)
"There was, starting in 2010, a lot of new teen pregnancy education going on in both school and non-school settings using evidence-based curricula," said Judith Clark, executive director of Hawaii Youth Services Network (that's the group "like" Planed Parenthood). "I would certainly hope those efforts reduced the incidents of abortions by reducing the rate of pregnancies." (That's not what Laurie Temple-Field says. Keep reading....)
But others attribute the decline in abortion to the easier access to emergency contraception, which became available to teenagers as young as 14 without parental permission in 2013.
"It's the availability of the morning-after pill," said Rep. Bob McDermott, a Republican who believes most sex education programs in Hawaii (are designed to) encourage teens to have sex. "The need for surgical abortions is diminished."
Health experts say there could be a variety of explanations for the abortion decline, including Hawaii residents' high rate of use of long-acting contraception methods such as intrauterine devices or hormonal implants. Less than 20 percent of abortions in Hawaii are performed on teens, and the majority of procedures are carried out on 20 to 29-year-olds, said Dr. Donald Hayes, epidemiologist with the Hawaii Department of Health....
Star-Adv Headline for same story: Hawaii's abortion drop coincides with sex education changes (But check out the national AP story....)
AP Exclusive: Abortions declining in almost all states -- "The biggest decrease in abortion, percentage-wise, was in Hawaii, where abortions fell from 3,064 in 2010 to 2,147 in 2014. Laurie Temple Field, government relations director for Planned Parenthood in Hawaii, said more women there were getting access to health insurance and affordable contraception." (Ooops!)
read ... Better Contraception
SB519: Vacation Rental Tax Will Give State Interest in Tourism Everywhere
SA: ...It's ready for the governor's pen, but it's probably more accurate to think of Senate Bill 519 as a work in progress, rather than a done deal.
Assuming Gov. David Ige signs it into law, the measure will represent the state's first effort to exert any control over the vacation rentals that have proliferated across the islands. The question: How well will it work?
The issue is especially stormy on Oahu. The Honolulu City Council declared a moratorium on issuing nonconforming use certificates for vacation rentals in 1989. Subsequent efforts to legalize more of them have been controversial (see Page E4 for a list of the latest regulatory proposals).
The state legislation has nothing to do with the location of the rentals — the core of the opposition against them — and everything to do with the state's determination to get the tax revenue that's due.
Among other things, SB 519, which would take effect at the start of 2016, would require rental owners to post a tax identification number in any advertising they do, as well as on their premises. This is the number that the state Department of Taxation assigns for collecting both the required general excise tax and the transient accommodations tax (TAT). The assumption is that requiring advertising to include the numbers will help the state track them....
read ... Tourists, tourists everywhere
Council plays into hand of Homelessness Industry rather than trying to aid homeless
Shapiro: The City Council's reckless expansion of sit-lie laws targeting the homeless is becoming an impediment to solving Oahu's festering homelessness crisis.
The Council voted 6-3 to override Mayor Kirk Caldwell's veto of the latest sit-lie expansion aimed at driving the homeless from the Kapalama Canal, McCully, Aala and Punchbowl, ignoring the city corporation counsel's warning that it's too broad and legally indefensible.
The Council irresponsibly refused to even hear an amended bill offered by city attorneys as a compromise to limit legal liability.
If the law is struck down — or even placed under temporary injunction — taxpayers could face hefty court costs and lose the progress made in removing aggressive panhandlers, drunks and other derelicts from Waikiki sidewalks....
This simply isn't the issue for political games; Oahu homelessness has become a humanitarian tragedy that is destroying Hawaii's reputation as a humane place and our brand as a quality tourism destination.
If current Council leadership can't become part of the solution, then Council members with a conscience — if there are any — need to find five votes to change leadership.
read ... Council plays politics rather than trying to aid homeless
Gunshot Damage at Mauna Kea observatory
HTH: Officers responded to a report late Saturday night of what appeared to be a “bullet hole” in a door at the Subaru Telescope at the Mauna Kea summit.
The damage reportedly occurred sometime between Friday evening and Saturday evening.
read ... Protesters
Stalemate continues atop Mauna Kea
HTH: ...Outside the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center, a small group of protesters, mostly Native Hawaiians who call themselves protectors of the mountain they consider sacred, maintain a 24-hour presence, prepared for the day TMT comes back to build.
Meanwhile, 3,950 feet above, near the summit, security guards watch over the project site.
Protest organizer Kaho‘okahi Kanuha, who was one of the 31 people arrested April 2 for blocking the roadway, described the situation as a waiting game.
“It’s going to be a battle of the wills in a sense,” he said. “How long can we last and stay here and sacrifice, like we’ve been sacrificing for the past 70 days, when it comes to jobs and family and things like that? How long can we take a stand?”
So far, TMT has not announced plans to resume grading and grubbing work. And for opponents, when that happens doesn’t really matter.
“All we know is they’re planning to do construction and we’re going to stop it,” Kanuha said....
On Thursday, Day 71 of the standoff, about 10 people, including a few children, could be found in and around the camp. A pot of hot chowder, delivered by one of the team’s supporters, was on the menu for lunch.
At the end of each day, the protesters retire to their cars to sleep....
read ... Stalemate continues atop Mauna Kea
No love for Kahoolawe After Commission Burnt all its money?
PBN: I was disappointed to hear the news, reported by PBN at the end of May, that the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission had to lay off nearly half its staff and resort to online crowdfunding to try to maintain its operations restoring Kahoolawe’s environment. KIRC is a state entity, created in 1993 to manage the island after it was returned to the state by the U.S. Navy.
Does no one in the Legislature or Washington Place remember the significance of that handover, or how difficult it was to achieve?
(No. They and the activists are working towards the next 'hand-over.' What happens afterwards is not important.)
Something the state should keep in mind, however: The Navy hardly bears sole responsibility for the denuded condition of Kahoolawe. The fact is, by 1941, the island was already thoroughly ruined by decades of failed ranching operations, all of them local businesses, going back to the Kingdom era. Turns out goats can do a lot of damage on an island where it rarely rains. If there’s a debt to be paid for the condition of Kahoolawe, Hawaii rang up a pretty hefty charge on its own. (B-b-but how can you shake yourself down?)
read ... Money
Crony Capitalist Billionaires Pour Money into Schatz, Gabbard Campaigns
Borreca: Reports from the last quarter show that Gabbard has $1.5 million in the bank and picked up $140,000 in the previous quarter.
Schatz is a tad ahead with $1.55 million in the bank. He is also ahead in the quarterly fundraising, having picked up $781,000.
At one time, Gabbard and Schatz could have been headed for a 2016 election showdown, if she had decided to challenge Schatz's Senate seat. The pair quashed those rumors earlier in the year in the best Washington, D.C., fashion by holding a joint fundraiser.
Hawaii's other two members of Congress, Sen. Mazie Hirono and freshman Rep. K. Mark Takai, are further back in the race for money.
Hirono, who isn't up for re-election until 2018, reports a campaign kitty of just $290,000, but she has recently been actively fundraising, picking up $140,000 in the last quarter. Takai says he raised $115,000....
Gabbard's go-to donors, according to Open Secrets, were those in the security and investment industry. They gave Gabbard and her PAC $82,000.
For Schatz, lawyers and law firms dumped $650,000 into his campaign.
And, he is ending the current quarter with a Plaza Club fundraiser on June 29 in Honolulu, marking the beginning of the "give early and give often" political season....
Flashback: WaPo: Schatz Represents Hawaii's new White Ruling Class
read ... Schatz, Gabbard lead pack in raising campaign money
Trial set for Developer who Welched on Marina Deal
SA: ...Many of the Ewa Beach neighbors who attended a heated public hearing last week were up in arms about plans for the final, 62.3-acre phase in the Ocean Pointe-Hoakalei project. The developers, Haseko (Ewa) Inc., have put out assurances that counter the fears that have been raised, but it's important that the residents are raising them anyway.
For one thing, they already have seen major changes made to the original plans for the project, a switch that was the trigger for an ongoing legal challenge that is set for trial July 13. Haseko has opted to orient its proposal for homes and a hotel around a landlocked lagoon, instead of the Ewa Marina that had been envisioned at the outset years ago.
It's reasonable to ask pointed questions when the landscape already has been known to shift like that....
read ... Revised Plan
Gay Activist Joins Assault against Sunshine Law, OIP--Calls for Appointed Neighborhood Boards
SA: At its May 27 meeting, the Makakilo/Kapolei/ Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board leadership rolled out a new rule regarding the public's ability to speak at the meetings.
This new rule was endorsed and supported by the Office of Information Practice (OIP), thanks to its interpretation of the Sunshine Law.
The rule requires that people who want to speak on any agenda item must do so at the beginning of the meeting, or as each item is called, then remain silent (refrain from shouting out at random) for the rest of the meeting....
Given that the neighborhood boards are only advisory — they have no power to make laws, levy taxes or fines, or even change or amend rules — perhaps their membership should be determined like every other advisory state board or commissions: by being appointed.
The mayor could appoint four members, the City Councilmember in the neighborhood board boundaries could appoint four, and those members could come together to elect the last one from their community to create an odd number.
read ... Convicted thief, Michael 'Bitchbear' Golojuch
Another Alleged Homosexual Child Molester Busted
KHON: Officials say on Sunday, May 31, Kenneth Kozeniewski inappropriately touched a four-year-old boy at his home in Waianae.
Kozeniewski is a convicted sex offender and has been charged with sexual assault in the third degree.
read ... Sure are a lot of these, eh?