Its Not Too Late to Register for 2016 General Election
How much money are we "tipping" the government?
Charter Amendment #4 on Rail – What’s Not in the Booklet
DLNR: Fishing Fleet Labor Law not our Kuleana
Better Off? Caldwell Mocked at Mayoral Forum
CB: On Friday morning in Salt Lake, the mayor of Honolulu chose to employ one of his opponent’s most-often-used arguments.
Speaking to the Honolulu Board of Realtors at the Honolulu Country Club, Kirk Caldwell asked the audience to reflect on whether Honolulu was better off than it was four years ago.
“No,” a woman in the audience responded, eliciting some chuckles….
read … No!
Djou: Cut Property Taxes, Eliminate ‘Residential A’
SA: Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou said Friday that if elected as Honolulu’s mayor, he would work to scrap the city’s Residential A tax category, which requires anyone with properties worth $1 million or more and no homeowner exemptions to pay higher taxes….
“The Residential A tax bill was a mistake, period,” Djou told the audience, adding that he would have voted against the measure if he were on the City Council when it was approved in September 2013. Caldwell signed the measure two weeks later.
Starting in 2014, under a budget package introduced by Caldwell and approved by the Council, those owning properties classified as Residential A have been taxed at a rate of $6 per $1,000 of assessed value while those in the standard Residential category have seen their rate stay the same at $3.50 per $1,000….
The threshold amount should be raised to $3 million “at the minimum,” he said. Longer-term, he would like to “get rid of” the Residential A category and reduce the number of property tax categories. He said that as a Council member, he worked with former Mayor Jeremy Harris to shrink the number of categories so that property owners paid only two rates.
Since his time on the Council, he said, city officials have “unnecessarily complicated the … real property tax code again.”
Caldwell described himself as a strong proponent of Residential A….
UPDATE Oct 19: Court: Caldwell’s Property Tax Scheme Illegal
read … 2 views on property tax
Here's a look at the 20 proposed charter amendments before Oahu voters
HNN: In addition to weighing in on the mayoral election, they’ll be wading through 20 charter amendment proposals that could have big impacts on city operations….
read … 20 Questions
Legislative Races Will be Decided by Handful of Votes
SA: …An individual may feel powerless standing alone. But it doesn’t take more than a handful of votes in each precinct to add up into a margin that has spelled victory, or defeat, in many races through the years. The Bush/Gore race of 2000 was only the most noteworthy among them.
In the statewide races in Hawaii, this has not seemed very evident — congressional and gubernatorial races in general elections have been lopsided victories, historically. But in state House races, for example, numerous state representatives have squeaked past their opponent by a handful of votes. These are votes, critical to local interests, that should not be thrown away.
There is really no legitimate excuse to do so….
read … Vote
State Approves Enron-Connected Windfarm for Kahuku
SA: The state approved Friday a 40-year lease for up to nine wind turbines near Kahuku, despite community opposition due to how close the wind farm is to homes and schools.
In a 5-1 vote the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Na Pua Makani Power Partners LLC’s lease to build the 25-megawatt wind farm in Kahuku on the North Shore of Oahu, the second wind farm near the community….
Mike Cutbirth, manager of Na Pua Makani Power Partners, said… “Residents will earn $10,000 for every turbine, every year, as long as the turbines are operating, with a minimum of 20 years. The state will receive a minimum of $120,000 a year plus a royalty of 2.5 percent of the gross revenues of the electricity sold to Hawaiian Electric Co. that is generated on the state land.”
Translation: You will pay higher electric rates which disguise a tax hike….
Na Pua Makani’s parent company, Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings LLC, a Southern California wind energy development company, plans to supply 24 megawatts of energy to Hawaiian Electric Co. at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour over the next 20 years.
The public will have one more time to testify about the wind project. The BLNR will hold a public hearing for Na Pua Makani’s Incidental Take License — a license that allows the project to kill, harm or harass a certain number of endangered species.
BIO: “Mr. Cutbirth was head of Global Project Finance for Zond / Enron Wind Corp., where he arranged, negotiated and closed in excess of $1 billion of debt….”
read … State panel OKs lease to build a new wind farm in Kahuku
Board rejects a petition to change fishing licensing rules
SA: The petition was filed by Kathryn Xian, executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery; Larry Geller, who runs a local blog called Disappeared News; Michael Gagne; Karen Chun; and Cory Harden.
read … A Swing and a Miss
Prosecutor: Another Prison Guard Nailed Selling Drugs
HNN: …Drug charges have been filed against a training sergeant at Waiawa Correctional Facility.
According to court documents, Logotaeao Faatea was in possession of at least 25 pounds of marijuana and was also found have other substances that contained marijuana.
Faatea has been a Department of Public Safety employee for the past 13 years.
The indictment also names John Ewaliko-Faatea as a defendant.
read … Another One
Soft on Crime: No Additional Prison Time for Furlough Violator
HTH: A 27-year-old prison furlough violator who was apprehended last December after an armed confrontation with police in Hilo was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.
Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ruled the sentence for Joshua Lopes-Keli would run consecutively to the 10-year term he’s serving on a 2010 robbery conviction, which expires Dec. 20, 2020. He also ordered Lopes-Keli to serve a mandatory minimum term of 40 months before becoming eligible for parole.
Lopes-Keli pleaded guilty last month to first-degree terroristic threatening and being a felon in possession of a firearm. In return for his guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped charges of violating terms of furlough, resisting arrest, promoting a dangerous drug, marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia and four other firearms offenses.
Lopes-Keli was wanted by police when officers found him at about 1:06 a.m. Dec. 5 in a parking lot on Rainbow Drive in Hilo, sitting in a car with 23-year-old Michaela Pacyao of Waikoloa. According to court documents, when three officers approached the car, Lopes-Keli produced a Glock .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun while telling officers to shoot him.
Officer Christopher Jelsma struggled with Lopes-Keli for possession of the firearm. Two other officers, identified in court documents as Thomas Chun-Ming and Gibson Kahele, were also present. A Taser was deployed to subdue Lopes-Keli.
Lopes-Keli’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Ebesugawa, argued for concurrent terms of imprisonment and no mandatory minimum sentence, telling the judge, “We hope that Mr. Lopes-Keli will be released while still a young man, at a time while he still possesses the will, the time and the strength to reconstruct his life.” …
read … No Additional Time
Hawaii ranks low in accidental shootings involving children
AP: …A 12-year-old on Maui accidentally shot his own leg with a .22 caliber rifle in January 2014.
This incident accounts for the only unintentional shooting involving a minor in Hawaii during a two-and-a-half year period tracked by The Associated Press and the USA Today Network.
The boy was treated at a local hospital and released shortly after.
Hawaii had a rate of less than one shooting per 1 million people for these two-and-a-half years — well below the national average of 3.39 incidents per million, and one of the lowest accidental shooting rates for children in the country.
Alaska led the nation with a rate of 19 incidents per million people.
Rhode Island, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia had no accidental shootings involving minors, according to the data. Massachusetts and Connecticut had several cases, but came in at a lower rate than Hawaii. All other states had a higher rate….
read … Ranks Low
Makua Beach closed to campers as major clean-up kicks off
HNN: …Meanwhile, it's unclear how long the temporary camping ban will be in place. For now, the area closes at 7 p.m. and reopens at 6 a.m.
Curt Cottrell, state parks administrator, says the temporary closure is to allow for a "deep clean" of the area.
"During the day it's still going to be available for use and everything else," he said. "It's just we're trying to curb the night time overuse that causing all the abuse."
Cottrell blames social media for promoting unregulated events at the beach. He says it's led to irresponsible beachgoers leaving behind piles of trash and even human waste (since there are no bathroom facilities at Makua)
Micah Doane, of Protectors of Paradise, said "raves and fur parties" happen every weekend in the area.
"Just drastic events, in which the place just got destroyed after," he said.
Doane and other volunteers along the Waianae Coast usually go to Makua every week to clear away tons of trash.
On Monday morning, Doane said, "It looks like a landfill and a dump." ….
read … Human Waste
Sec 8: Who Applied?
KITV: …There are now 2,242 people covered under Section 8 housing in the islands, but many more would like to be a part of the program.
"There is tremendous interest. Section 8 is like the jackpot. It is attractive, you find any neighborhood you would like to live in and you get your own place," said Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi.
In August, the state opened up its Section 8 housing wait list, for the first time in a decade. More than 10,000 people applied for the 50 vouchers available.
Who applied? Of the 10,665 applicants, 4,570 are homeless; 1,123 say they are domestic abuse victims;
1,274 currently live in shelters; 5,796 are disabled;
and nearly half -- 5,175 were employed.
Now there is good news for those who applied but didn't make the cut for federal financial rental assistance.
"We have decided to increase that number to 200 instead of 50, because of the tremendous amount of applications we received," ….
read … 200 Units
Legislative Candidate Charged with Child Molestation
MN: …Bail was maintained Friday at $650,000 for West Maui-north Kihei Republican state House candidate Chayne Marten, who allegedly sexually assaulted a preteen female family member over the course of three years.
Marten, 64, of Napili is charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Second Circuit Court Judge Peter Cahill maintained bail for Marten and ordered him to have not contact with the victim.
The alleged sexual assaults occurred between Dec. 6, 2007, and Dec. 6, 2010, Deputy Prosecutor Annalisa Bernard said. She said that Marten “engaged in sexual contact and sexual penetration both digital and penile” on the girl, who was between the ages of 7 and 10 at the time of the alleged assaults.
(Marten began running for office in 2012….)
The girl has been placed in Child Protective Services, Bernard said….
Some of Marten’s family members attended Friday’s proceedings. His mother shouted, “lies,” as Bernard read aloud the accusations against him. His wife said, “I love you,” as he walked out of the courtroom….
Rohlfing said that the party is unable to replace Marten with another candidate. He said state law allows candidates to be replaced only if they are facing serious health issues.
“As it stands now, the arrest of a candidate for political office is not given as a basis for the withdrawal of a candidate from a ballot,” Rohlfing said. “It’s unfortunate, but we would just encourage all the voters in that district to get the best information they can and vote their conscience.”
Rohlfing hopes the law might be changed in the future given the list of restrictions and time deadlines that are already “onerous.” He said it could even be done in a court hearing and may draw support from the Democratic Party.
“When it becomes clear that the party does not support a candidate, it seems unfair that the state law would not allow the party to withdraw its candidate,” he said….
read … Another One