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Sunday, July 26, 2015
July 26, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:02 PM :: 2879 Views

Who’s the Boss, Anyway? (Part 2)

Food Babe vs Hawaii Papaya Farmers

DoE Fined $1.1M for Illegal Dumping

Cronies Push Taxpayer-Funded Government Takeover of Hawaiian Electric

SA: (by Rep Chris Lee, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the solar lobby) -- Whether the PUC approves the NextEra takeover or not, one thing is certain: Hawaii is finally having a serious conversation about transforming our utilities. I’ve heard from thousands who want four basic things: local accountability, lower prices, renewable energy, and the choice to generate their own power. If NextEra and HECO can’t deliver, there is another option: a publicly owned utility (which is NOT a co-op!) ....

...Instead of being run by leaders elected by shareholders elsewhere, these publicly owned utilities are run by leaders elected by the people they serve (ie the same crooked politicians who run everything else in Hawaii)....

...(After spending billions to buy out HE stockholders) Any profits they make can be returned directly to the people or invested in new technology (wind & solar farms) to provide better services (to the contractors & lobbyists who contribute to my campaign)....

Most of all, publicly owned utilities tend to more easily embrace new technology (wind farms, big cable) and adapt to the evolving energy landscape (by responding to the lobbyists who contribute to my campaign.)

(NOTE:  There is a huge difference between a co-op and a municipally-owned utility.  Coops such as KIUC are owned by ratepayers, munis are controlled by politicians.)

SA: NextEra Tries to Make nice After Ige told them to go away

read ... So They Can Keep Milking it

Telescope Protesters Target Astronomy Convention in Waikiki

SA: Forget the lei and mai tai greeting. When more than 2,500 astronomers from around the world converge on Honolulu for their triennial convention Aug. 3-14, they are likely to be welcomed by demonstrators....

Piero Benvenuti, deputy general secretary of the IAU, said the TMT and its troubles will not be discussed formally at the conference.

“We are aware of the current situation regarding the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and understand that it is a deeply complex and sensitive issue,” Benvenuti said in an email....

“Given the timeliness of this situation, we do anticipate informal conversations about the topic to naturally occur. It is our sincere hope that moving forward, there will be an open, productive dialogue among all parties involved, creating a shared, long-term vision for Maunakea,” Benvenuti said.

The convention originally offered optional excursions to Mauna Kea. Planned were three different three-day excursions to Hawaii island, offered before, after and during the conference, with tours of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and “the world’s foremost astronomical observatories” on Mauna Kea.

Those have since been canceled, however.

Meanwhile, construction remains on hold for the TMT, billed as what will be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth.

Mangauil said he would not be surprised if the project remains on hold through the duration of the convention to avoid any negative publicity while the world’s astronomers convene in Hawaii....

Chang said he and Hanalei Fergerstrom, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner from Hawaii island, with help from others, are hoping to organize an event that will bring together the “protectors” of Mauna Kea and astronomers attending the IAU convention.

The event, he said, is tentatively planned for the second week of the conference and will feature a panel of six to eight people representing both sides of the TMT controversy....

HNN: Astronomers' convention in Waikiki may be focus of TMT protests

read ... Target

Honolulu residents give up, leave for greener pastures

Borreca: A new survey by Bloomberg News reports that Honolulu ranks fourth among the 30 top cities that are losing local residents....

“Soaring home prices are pushing local residents out and scaring away potential new ones from other parts of the country,” said the report....

“Hawaii may be viewed as a bridge too far by people like me living in New York to consider moving to. It’s more expensive just to visit to check it out. And the challenging economy might make it less likely people are feeling bold enough to move to Hawaii,” said Aaron Renn, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, when asked about the shift in Honolulu’s local population.

About 3,500 people moved from Oahu to the mainland each year during the latest survey period of 2011 to 2013, according to the census.

That compares to just 1,287 leaving town the year before, in 2010.

All those discouraging numbers come on top of a new MoneyRates.com survey showing Hawaii is the worst state to make a living....

(But this is OK because people who don't have to 'make a living' are moving in...see next article.)

Much like that other “happiest place on Earth” — Disneyland — Honolulu is not cheap and not everyone can afford to remain inside the gates.

Related: Cities Americans are Leaving: Honolulu Ranks 4th

read ... Honolulu residents give up, leave for greener pastures

Media Campaign Highlights Homeless Camps at Diamond Head, Lake Wilson

SA: ...Dean Harvest, vice chairman of the Wahiawa Neighborhood Board, took his wife out to enjoy a nice dinner three weeks ago only to see a homeless man drop his pants on Wahiawa’s main drag, California Avenue, and defecate on the sidewalk.

Wahiawa is no stranger to homeless people. But Harvest senses the population has increased as city and state officials continue to search for long-term solutions.

Harvest estimates that Wahiawa town and Lake Wilson host “between a couple hundred (homeless people) to maybe a few hundred on the high end.”

Hidden around Lake Wilson, Harvest said, “There are families with kids living in shanty shacks in tarps and tents.”

On the other end of the island, neighbors are watching two homeless encampments on Diamond Head — one tucked among the ridges above Diamond Head Lighthouse and another on the Waikiki side of Kapiolani Community College. They also believe some homeless people could be living in caves along the shoreline below Diamond Head Road....

Steven Maier sympathizes with the homeless people living above his house on the KCC side of Diamond Head. But he doesn’t appreciate the abuse he receives when he asks them to not use his garden hose as a drinking fountain.

“I have a lot of compassion for the homeless,” Maier said. “They’ve got to be somewhere. But I’ve had a couple of run-ins where they’ll say, ‘We know where you live. You’re going to hell.’” ...

In the first six months of this year, Honolulu police responded to 29 “simple assault” reports for the beat that encompasses the Kakaako homeless encampment — compared with 13 in the first half of 2014. At the same time, the category of “aggravated assault” jumped from one report in the first half of 2014 to seven in the first six months of this year.

State sheriff’s deputies, who have joint jurisdiction for the area that includes Kakaako Waterfront Park, saw the number of its “assault” responses increase from six in May to 11 in June to five for just the first 11 days of July. The rate of July’s assault cases would outpace May and June.

Brower has been visiting homeless people in the nine years that he’s been in office and contends that, in general, they’ve become “hardened and aggressive” as they continue to be chased around the island.

Brower has seen them return to well-known sites such as Thomas Square and Old Stadium Park in Moiliili, where a 22-year-old man was left in serious condition after being stabbed multiple times just before 6 p.m. July 18. A week before, on July 11, another man suffered multiple and critical stab wounds to the back shortly after 2 a.m. near the Kapalama Canal homeless encampment....

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s spokesman, said Kapalama Canal represents the largest encampment currently on city property....

“I’m not calling them homeless,” Ballentyne said. “They’re bums. They’ll scream and shout at the moon. They leave trash and (defecate) all over the place. Cars have been broken into and they’ve broken into houses, including mine.”

Ballentyne also worries about camping — or cooking — fires that he sees at night on the slopes of Diamond Head and gets frustrated when he tries to get any landowner, government or law enforcement agency to respond....

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now are joining forces to report on the ever-worsening homelessness crisis.... 

(NOTE: The purpose of this SA/HNN media hype will be to justify whatever solution Caldwell presents and overcome NIMBY opposition to building a 'safe haven' near you.  You have been warned.)

SA: Walmart posts security outside Keeaumoku store

read ... Predators not Victims

A look at power uncovers a lot of weak-mindedness

Shapiro: >> Ige signed off on Hawaii medical marijuana dispensaries, and the Health Department aimed to have rules and procedures by January. If they mess it up as badly as the Obamacare exchange, at least we can all get high.

>> Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s official portrait is behind schedule as he decides what attributes to emphasize and picks an artist. He’s thinking it may take two painters to capture his whole intellect.

>> Despite big glitches in Hawaii’s last two elections, the Elections Commission gave election chief Scott Nago a $10,000 raise. In our state government, nothing succeeds like failure.

>> State Rep. Tom Brower, who last made headlines for taking a sledgehammer to shopping carts of the homeless, was beaten while photographing the Kakaako homeless camp. If you keep popping up like a Whac-A-Mole, sooner or later you get whacked.

>> Rep. Sylvia Luke said the Kakaako problem is unfortunate because lawmakers knew what was going on, but “put our heads in the sand and hoped that somebody else would take care of it.” Was she referring to the homeless problem or the Brower problem?

>> As homelessness explodes, 175 state public housing units are vacant and the number will multiply because legislators didn’t provide funding for repairs. The funds were needed for a new luxury office tower to house state employees....

read ... Shapiro

Waianae Coast Homeless Success Story

SA: ...Several dozen homeless people remain in an encampment on state land at the entrance to the Waianae Boat Harbor. But the population is dramatically smaller compared with when former Gov. Linda Lingle and community members, nonprofit groups, social service providers and churches started finding alternative housing for people who once lined a 16-mile stretch along the Leeward Coast that peaked in size in the mid-2000s.

“We already have the largest number of homeless on the island, but we take care of them differently,” said Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, who represents the area. “Church members are involved, everyone’s involved to lift them up and get them the help that they need. The people in my district don’t treat them so horribly as elsewhere because so many residents have been there themselves.”

Pine called the city’s new sit-lie law “the stupidest idea ever.” She added: “Sit-lie has created mass chaos in other districts. Each time the homeless get moved they get more violent. Their stress is high because they’re constantly worried about where they’re going to get food for the day.”....

read ... Success

‘Employment first’ for the Disabled

SA: For people with disabilities, architecture has improved. Yet attitudes and opportunities have not. Most of Hawaii’s working-age people with disabilities are not employed. This creates poverty, powerlessness, and can even increase the likelihood of developing mental health conditions. People with disabilities want jobs and independence, just like anyone else....

While a safety net is a must for people with serious health situations, it’s time for Hawaii to have an “employment first” strategy for people with disabilities. People with disabilities deserve the opportunity to have the dignity, friendships, income, and purpose that jobs and careers provide....

read ... ‘Employment first’ should be standard

Hawaii County No. 1 in suicides

HTH: ...Last year, suicide surpassed traffic fatalities as the No. 1 cause of death by injury in Hawaii. And the most recent data available through the Department of Health show that Hawaii Island has the highest death by suicide rate in the state.

During the five-year period from 2010-2014, Hawaii County had 952 nonfatal suicide attempts and 180 deaths due to suicide. That means that 96.1 people per 100,000 on the island attempt and die from suicide, well above the next highest rate of 76.6 people per 100,000 on Kauai. Maui’s rate was 76, and Honolulu’s was 53.1. The state average is 62.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 people....

read ... Suicide

Hawaii Planned Parenthood Wants to Normalize Conversation About Gay Sex

EH: Andrea Anderson brings to (the mis-named group) Equality Hawaii over 25 years of community building experience and over five years as CEO of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii. She just completed a successful merger of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, and looks forward to helping our LGBTQ groups together to better serve to needs of our Hawaii ohana.

Video: Andrea Anderson (Interim Executive Director, Equality Hawaii) about normalizing our conversations about sex.

read ... Birds of a Feather

Star-Adv: Lets Keep Using Garbage Policy to Brainwash the Public

SA: The Honolulu City Council is weighing a bill that would reinstate a significant discount in the disposal fees recyclers pay to the city. The measure, Bill 50, has found some favor with members who passed it out of the Budget Committee last week....

...City Council member Ann Kobayashi, who chairs the Budget Committee, observed that the city waste- management department depends on the funding that tipping fees provide.

"So do we subsidize the department or the businesses?" she asked rhetorically.

The answer is that the city should support the interests of taxpayers, which would be better served by a broader effort to reduce the waste stream -- namely, one that addresses the proliferation of single-item, single-use packaging.

The Council has already moved in that direction, with the ban on single-use plastic bags in most general retail outlets on the island. Shoppers are adapting to the change in supermarkets and sundry stores without much distress, and clearly can handle a stronger law that would close the unnecessary exceptions and end-runs in the current law.

But for now, the best strategy is to start changing the culture of waste through public education; other cities, such as Seattle and San Francisco, have made consumer waste reduction a prominent part of their public policy.

Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of personal responsibility: Once the public more fully understands the environmental impact of overloading the city's waste-management system, Oahu residents can begin to change their habits, carrying their own water in reusable containers rather than disposable water bottles, for example, a practice growing in popularity....

Best Comment "Economics 101: Raise the cost (disguised as no longer available discount, which will be passed onto individual recyclers in the way of reduced payments for their efforts), and demand will fall. End result: More trash on the streets and illegal dumping."

read ... Brainwash for a Fee Hike

Maui County Lobbyist registration law being ignored

MN: ...the laudable principles laid out in the County Code and the Board of Ethics' rules are apparently being disregarded, as recently brought to my attention by a member of the public.

This constituent sought to review the current list of lobbyists and was rebuffed by the county administration, until filing a formal request for public records under the Uniform Information Practices Act, the state's public records law. Once documentation was provided, the list was so short it seemed obvious the registration requirement isn't being enforced.

In contrast, both the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu post completed lobbyist registration forms online for easy public review and analysis. See ethics.hawaii.gov and honolulu.gov/ethics, respectively....

read ... Ignored

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