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Sunday, July 31, 2016
July 31, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:27 PM :: 2840 Views

SB2077: Randy Perreira Face-Saving Bill

Hawaii Budget: Taxes on the Horizon

Maui County set to strangle Airbnb

Time for the Subcontract Deduction to Be Upended? Hafa Adai!

Caldwell Already Lobbying for Multi-Billion Dollar GE Tax Hike

SA: …Extending Oahu’s 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge for a second time would likely yield the most cash to complete the rail system. (The first tax extension in 2015 is expected to generate more than $1.5 billion for the project.)

So far, it appears to be the toughest piece of that puzzle to get.

The state Legislature’s two money chairs, Sen. Jill Tokuda (D, Kailua-Kaneohe) and Rep. Sylvia Luke (D, Punchbowl-Pauoa-Nuuanu) have already frowned on rail officials asking for more state dollars in the coming session.

“They say it’s going to be hard,” Caldwell said of his recent conversations with state lawmakers.

Senate President Ron Kouchi (D, Kauai-Niihau) said it’s too early to tell what might happen. Legislators don’t submit their priorities for next year’s session until November, he said.

“It also matters who ends up winning the mayor’s election, because they have different ideas as well,” Kouchi said. Caldwell’s chief opponent in this year’s mayoral race, former Congressman and City Councilman Charles Djou, opposes using any more state tax dollars to help build rail, but he does say he’s open to more federal tax dollars and private funding.

“Until we know who we’re going to be working with, and what their plan is, it’s difficult to say,” Kouchi said.

Star-Adv: Our Utopian Dream Depends on Grossly Overpriced Pearl Highlands Station

read … Tax Hike

Papahanaumokuakea: Question the Motives 

Sen Akaka & Gov Ariyoshi: We oppose the proposed expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM).

It is unconscionable that such a significant policy might be enacted with a profound lack of transparency and public process.

This is disturbing and has caused many people in Hawaii to question the motives behind the proposal.

We understand that, at the urging of special interests, President Barack Obama’s administration is considering using the U.S. Antiquities Act of 1906 to extend the PMNM from its current 50 mile offshore perimeter to 200 miles offshore around the North- western Hawaiian Islands.

The U.S. Antiquities Act excludes any consideration and validation by the U.S. Congress and the state of Hawaii and its Native Hawaiian residents.

This would be a presidential proclamation for an extended federal monument. If it increases to 200 miles offshore, then that amounts to a 350 percent expansion from 140,000 square miles to 583,000 square miles. The size of the proposed PMNM expansion at 200 miles is equivalent to the combined land area of the states of California, Oregon, Washington and Texas.

We are no longer in office. We simply care about the people of Hawaii and are concerned about the future of our state.

The proposed PMNM expansion could affect the rights of Native Hawaiians, the residents and businesses of Hawaii, and our state’s right to govern its own natural resources.

The ripple effect of the expansion on Hawaii’s economy could cost jobs and increase costs to consumers. For these reasons, a basic economic impact study should be conducted….

Related: Papahanaumokuakea: OHA’s Power Grab will harm State's ability to continue trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians

read … Bid to expand Papahanaumokuakea must be public, transparent process

105 Hot Classrooms at Campbell HS--DoE, Contractors Figure Out How Much They Can get away with Charging

KHON: The state says it’s working to change that. Department of Education officials met with all 36 qualified contractors on its list this week. The goal of the meeting was to find out how to get the bids within the state’s budget, while still cooling the largest amount of classrooms. One school that is high on the DOE’s list is Campbell High School. KHON2 went to find out how they’re preparing for the heat.

Right now 44 of Campbell High School’s 149 classrooms have air conditioning. Campbell Principal John Lee says more help is coming, but it likely won’t arrive this school year.

Classrooms at Campell High School have been some of the hottest in the state. It also has the highest enrollment coming in at around 3,100 students, seating 30 students per classroom in some cases. Principal Lee says keeping cool in the classrooms can be a challenge, “Just truly unbearable conditions in the classroom mid to high 90s and students and staff members sweating the entire day.”

Already for this year temperature monitoring devices have even been installed on portable classrooms to monitor just how hot it gets. But principal Lee says progress is being made, “We are starting a building at a time and looking at that first. And then we’re going to take a detour to see what is going to be effective both in terms of cooling our classrooms and cost-effectiveness is well.” …

The bid process will begin again on Monday with four of 11 bids already being filled. Once the builders get the materials together, the units will go in during this school year….

read … The cost of cooling schools; State meets with contractors to get bids on budget

HART to Make a Mess of UH Football Opener

SA: …stadium manager Scott Chan, who on Thursday asked Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials what he can expect at the game’s kick-off time.

Chan is concerned because being stuck in traffic miles away from the stadium while the game is already underway, or arriving on time and finding that the parking lot is already full, is what happened to fans trying to attend the NFL Pro Bowl in January, thanks to rail construction in the area that reduced highway access and parking as well.

Not so encouraging: A HART official told Chan they would get back to him.

read … Play it again HART

Rail: Murder on the Disoriented Express

Shapiro: >> Federal overseers gave the city until after the election to explain the mystery of how Oahu rail got $3 billion over budget and five years behind schedule. Borrowing from Agatha Christie, the report’s working title is “Murder on the Disoriented Express.”

>> Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he’ll cover part of the rail deficit by getting developers who benefit from the train to pay. Their initial response: “Um, didn’t we take care of that with our campaign contributions?”

read … Novella

Gay Prostitute Gets Dishonorable Discharge

SA: An Army medic charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of his wife was sentenced Saturday in military court to 27 months in federal prison and a dishonorable discharge for possession of child pornography and soliciting others to engage in sex for money.

Sgt. Michael Walker, who was assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center, pleaded guilty Saturday to three counts of solicitation and not guilty to one count of possession of child pornography before a military judge at Wheeler Army Airfield’s courtroom.

Col. Mark Bridges, of 4th Judicial Circuit at Schofield Barracks, sentenced Walker in the court-martial and ordered his rank reduced to private. He found Walker guilty of possession of 89 images and 14 videos of child pornography on his laptop….

In his court-martial, Walker admitted to placing two ads in September 2014, seeking people to have sex with in exchange for money. He said in the ads that he was looking for “generous men to spend time with” or “looking to have some fun.”

read … Gays in the Military shift from status offense to criminal offense

Anti-GMO Activists Aim for Aug 13 Dem Primary

Borreca: …The difference this year is the rise of the Democratic progressive wing. There are three different shoots growing: opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope construction on Mauna Kea, and support for issues raised by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during his campaign for president.

Gary Hooser, the Kauai County councilman, is one of the progressive leaders who has campaigned against agricultural chemical use, against GMO plantings and for organic food.

“This is the year when we have a good mix of credible progressive candidates running good campaigns,” Hooser said.

Asked what he thought was fueling the rise of progressive candidates this primary season, Hooser said he doesn’t think “the Legislature is doing its job.”

“There is just a lot of frustration with mostly the state House,” Hooser said. “People come to testify and they are given three minutes and that’s it. No one even listens to them.”

The obvious political solution if the other guys won’t listen is to replace those folks. Hooser said that this year, that’s the plan….

Shapiro: Who’ll save us from entitled millennials?

read … Aug 13 Showdown

Half of Medicated Marijuana Users Will Soon Become Unemployed

SA: …Garrett Halydier is an attorney and vice president of the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance, a trade association and advocacy nonprofit for the fledgling industry. He acknowledged the perceived risk among job seekers and current employees where drug testing is an established practice, but said the sector of affected workers is only a subset.

Halydier said that roughly 1 percent of the population has a medical marijuana card, and that fully half of those may have left or soon will leave the workforce due to retirement or illness.

He added that most employment sectors don’t test — it’s often industries such as transpor- tation that have licensure requirements — and that if the company doesn’t test, workers are advised not to bring up the issue….

read … Hire them as Truck Drivers

Hot housing market leaves elderly tenants out in cold

SA: …Hawaii seniors who own property have benefited from the robust market, but seniors squeezed out of their rentals are taxing social service agencies — some of which have seen caseloads nearly quadruple.

Caroline Hayashi, executive director of the Waikiki Community Center, said senior case management clients have increased more than 270 percent over the past several years — rising to more than 700 last year from 187 in 2013. She estimates 50 percent of the center’s case management calls involve housing, and others concerning finances or food insecurities involve circumstances that put housing at risk….

SA: Homeless take a Dump on Hawaii Kai

read … Senior Housing

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