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Wednesday, November 30, 2016
November 30, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:21 PM :: 3145 Views

Hawaii Civil Rights Commission: Report Trump Voters to Us

Need $15K? Office of Economic Development Giving Away Money

Video: UH Manoa chancellor finalists

Senate Democrats Announce Committee Chairs for 2017

Anti-GMO ‘National Standing’? The Bungled Star Advertiser Opinion

Will Ige Impose 55% Harbor Fee Hike?

SA: If the new wharfage fees win approval from Gov. David Ige, an initial 17 percent increase would take effect in early 2017. That first bump in harbor fees would be followed by a 15 percent increase on July 1 and another 15 percent increase on July 1, 2018, for a compounded increase of 55 percent in three steps.

The increases are expected to boost wharfage fee collections from $93.6 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, to $137.3 million in the year that will end June 30, 2019.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said the department gave preliminary approval Friday to new state rules that would implement the higher wharfage fees, and those rules have been submitted to Ige for his review.

The department’s Harbors Division said the first step in the series of increases would boost the state wharfage fee on a 40-foot container shipped to Kahului from the mainland to $208.69 from $179.13, according to material provided by state transportation officials.

The fee on a similar container shipped from the mainland through Honolulu and on to Kahului would increase to $440.55 from $378.15.

The new rules also include a new $15 security fee for each container….

read … Harbor fees could jump 55%

Thousands Suffer as Caldwell Quietly Hikes Property Taxes 570%

HNN:  For more than 16 years, Karen Okazaki owned a one-bedroom unit in the Executive Centre apartments downtown, renting it out to a long-term tenant.

But the Punchbowl resident said she's now being forced to sell the condo after her property taxes skyrocketed this year.

"We got very surprised -- shocked actually -- when our tax bill went up to $4,000 a year versus about $700 a year. That was a big pill to swallow," said Okazaki….

Last year, the city asked owners of units in mixed-use buildings like Executive Centre to answer a questionnaire about how their apartments were being used.

Okazaki told the city that her condo was for residential use since it's been rented to the same tenant for the past 11 years. She said the city rejected her claim, but didn't tell her until it was too late to appeal the decision….

"There's probably 2,000 or more taxpayers that either didn't respond or missed the deadline for some reason or another….”

LIAR: Caldwell insists he’s not in favor of property tax increase

read … Condo owner says she's forced to sell after property taxes soar

City Agrees to Audit of Hanauma Bay Funds

CB: Paul Aoki, first deputy in the city’s Department of Corporation Counsel, responded last month at the mayor’s direction, saying the city has addressed “all or almost all” of the issues raised by the nonprofit when it comes to management of the bay and the fund.

The city even agreed to one of the group’s biggest demands — an independent financial audit of the fund.

That will happen after the city decides on the “parameters for an audit,” said Nelson Koyanagi, director of the Department of Budget and Finance.

But the Friends of Hanauma Bay, headed by Lisa Bishop, is not satisfied.

In its latest letter to the city, the group acknowledges actions the city has taken but states, “these steps have not resulted in a collaboration that fully meets the needs of Hanauma Bay.”

read … City Still Misuses Hanauma Bay Funds, Advocacy Group Says

President Donald J Trump Will Soon Nominate New Federal Judge for Hawaii

SA: …On Sept. 8, 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Clare Connors to the federal bench for the U.S. District Court in Hawaii….

The district has one vacancy in four active judgeships, so it lacks 25 percent of the active judicial complement, which complicates the delivery of justice….

The Senate Judiciary Committee granted her a Jan. 27 hearing, which progressed well, and on April 4 approved her nomination without dissent.

However, she has languished on the Senate floor ever since, mainly due to GOP leaders’ refusal to allow a debate and vote on her confirmation….

read … Awaiting the Nominee of President Donald J Trump

HD2: Seven Scramble for Democrats Plum Appointment to Legislature

HTH: …Democratic Party officials from state House District 2 will see at least a few familiar faces when they meet Saturday to select three nominees to replace the late Rep. Clift Tsuji.

Dennis Onishi, whose term as District 3 county councilman ends Dec. 5, and two former County Council members — J Yoshimoto and Stacy Higa — are among the seven party members who met the nomination deadline Monday.

Others are Jonathan Wong, Laura Acasio, Moana Kelii and Christopher Todd.

Wong unsuccessfully ran against Tsuji in the August primary, and Kelii lost the race to replace Onishi on the council in the Nov. 8 general election.

Phil Barnes, Hawaii County Democratic Party chairman, said the format will be similar to the interview process to find a replacement for the late Sen. Gil Kahele, who died last January, but candidates might be given a few extra minutes to speak to precinct and district officials.

“I think we want to kick it up to six or seven” minutes, he said.

Interviews will take place starting at 9 a.m. in the Keaukaha Elementary School cafeteria. The meeting is open to the public.

Three names will be submitted to Gov. David Ige for consideration…..

read … Pinata

Former HSTA Boss to be Harry Kim’s Chief of Staff

HTH: Kim is scheduled to be inaugurated at noon Monday….

Wil Okabe, named managing director, most recently served as Ige’s East Hawaii liaison, and before that was president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. He previously served the county as a volunteer chairman of the Police and Fire commissions.

Kim said Okabe will be particularly helpful in county-state relationships. Okabe agreed.

“Hopefully, I can bring that experience to this administration so the people of Hawaii County can benefit,” Okabe said. “I understand the process of how the state works.” ….

read … Recycled

Drug Treatment or Jail:  Which Will Homeless Choose?

HNN: …"They arrest them but instead of taking them downtown to book them they say, 'Well because I found this on you I need to do something. I can either follow through with the arrest or take you to this case manager,'" Lusk said.

Depending on their needs, participants could be offered a variety of services, including drug treatment, housing, and mental health services.

In Seattle, eight out of 10 people in a similar diversion program were homeless prior to participation. Some 40 percent ended up getting housing, and just over half received drug treatment.

On Oahu, the program would start small. Program leaders hope to launch it in one community.

"We've talked about Waikiki, Chinatown or Kalihi," said Lusk.

Initially, the program would be limited to people arrested for low level drug crimes and prostitution. Later, the list might be expanded to include other charges, including those related to homelessness and trespassing.

Advocates believe the program could save government agencies millions of dollars.

"The money it costs for jail and incarceration. The time that police take in arresting people and all the money that's associated with hospitalization and treatment for people who are chronically homeless," said Marya Grambs, of Partners in Care….

read … Pilot project would divert low-level offenders from jail to treatment

Homeless Steal Electricity, Damage Water System at Kakaako Park

SA: Kakaako Waterfront Park had to be closed four hours early every day starting in October after vandals destroyed light poles to tap into electricity, and now the park’s water system may have been broken into — shutting off water to bathrooms, showers, fountains and the 12 families at the state’s new homeless shelter.

A backflow preventer directly makai of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center was found to be broken Monday, cutting off water service to the state’s new Family Assessment Center homeless shelter between Kakaako Waterfront Park and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

A replacement part for the broken backflow preventer will have to be flown in from the mainland and is not expected to arrive until Friday, said Garrett Kamemoto, spokesman for the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which operates the park….

The park is home to an entrenched homeless encampment that in 2015 accounted for more than 300 homeless people.

In October, 13 light poles were vandalized as a way to tap into the electrical system, forcing the park to close at night for nearly a month for repairs….

read … Drug Addicts

National Democrats hold anti-Fishing Dog n Pony Show—Fortunately they don’t control the US House

DN: … The session of the (minority Democratic Caucus of the) House Committee on Natural Resources will be live-streamed from https://www.facebook.com/NRDems/ on December 6, 2016 from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Hawaii time (1-2 p.m. EST).

In addition to Xian, the panelists are scheduled to include:

Mark Lagon, formerly ED of the anti-human trafficking non-profit Polaris Project and Director of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP)

John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute

Clare Ogden, Administrator, Centennial Fellows Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (SFS)

The panel moderator will be Paul Greenberg, author of books including "Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food” ….

read … Fortunately they’re out of power

Global Cooling Deniers Look for Help form a Friend

CB: President-elect Trump has denied the science of climate change and gone as far as to claim point out it is a Chinese hoax ….

GOP congressional actions, which seemed almost laughable when they were attempted in 2013, now have a direct path to being signed into law. These include gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, cutting funding for renewable research in half, eliminating federal oversight on fracking, and— most damaging— permanently blocking the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide.  (Yippeee!)

Which is why Vox climate journalist David Roberts summed it all up in an article Nov. 9 by saying, “Trump’s election marks the end of any serious hope of limiting climate change to 2 degrees.”  (LOLROTF!)

Looking for hope but finding mostly disappointment. Such as the appointment of a climate change denier to head the EPA transition, and then the ominous, mysterious, and unprecedented collapse of global sea ice last week.  (It’s a link to something ‘discovered’ by a college kid and his roommate.  Sad pathetic little fools.)

The United States is unique both in that we have the world’s only major political party that denies the science religion of climate change, and the world’s highest level of climate denialism among the general population.  (No fools we!)

The only way to combat global cooling denialism is for us all to reach out to our friends and neighbors and have a frank conversation about the consequences of a warming cooling planet and the need for bold action. Don’t argue, judge or condemn. Just speak openly while listening to their concerns.  (Then take them for a ride in your Humvee to show them how much fun it can be to help warm the cooling planet.).

Reality for those who can handle it: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read … Get Help

The longest cat fence in the U.S. was just built on Mauna Loa

WaPo: Should you be lucky enough to find yourself on Hawaii’s Big Island, you are welcome to visit Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world.

Cats, however, are not — a point now being enforced by a new 5-mile-long fence constructed for the sole purpose of keeping felines away.

Mauna Loa’s lava-covered slopes make for some seriously forbidding landscape, but that hasn’t deterred cats, which have adapted to the Hawaiian islands just fine since arriving on explorers’ ships. So fine, in fact, that the little invasive predators are now a mortal threat to the endangered Hawaiian petrel, a seabird that breeds on Mauna Loa. Several thousand of the birds live in Hawaii, but only about 75 breeding pairs are on the Big Island….

read … Build a Wall

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