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Saturday, December 17, 2016
December 17, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:18 PM :: 1929 Views

Anti-Hawaiian? Akina Debunks Critics

HECO Demands 7% Rate Hike–Blames Green Energy Schemers

Ride-Sharing bill becomes Law Without Caldwell Signature

Adult Financial Literacy: Hawaii Ranks 4th

Impact of the Affordable Care Act in Hawaii--What the Feds Claim

Homeless shelter shuts Down under New State Rules—48 Homeless Children are first of many with Nowhere to go

HNN: New regulations (allegedly) aimed at bolstering privacy at homeless shelters and moving clients into permanent housing more quickly are forcing a Waipahu shelter to close its doors (which is the real intent), officials said Friday.

Waipahu Lighthouse Outreach Center officials said the new rules would make it nearly impossible to operate with their existing budget.

Some 74 people spent the night Thursday at the shelter. Of those, 48 were children.

"There are so many things going through my mind on so many levels," said shelter Director William Hummel. "Right now, my focus is trying to get the people in Lighthouse some place to go."

Hummel has headed up the facility since it opened more than a decade ago.

This week, he made the decision to close.

The closure was prompted, he said, by new rules passed by the state Legislature this year that changed the way the state issues contracts to homeless providers and required homeless shelters to offer more space to clients.  (Rules designed to keep the homeless on the streets by eliminating shelter spaces)

On Monday, homeless shelters were required to submit an operations plan that detailed how they would provide guests with more private space and amenities without added money for construction.  (Unfunded mandate--Designed to fail.)

"Some of the things the law requires is a ratio of toilets to guests, a ratio of sinks to guests and a ratio of showers to guests. In a vacuum, (it) makes a whole lot of sense, but given the history of what the state of Hawaii has done for homelessness is ridiculous," he said….

On top of the improvements, shelters are now required to be at 80 percent capacity. If the quota isn't met, funding will be cut. Money can also be withheld if guests aren't quickly placed in permanent housing.  (Translation: This is a recipe for many shelters to be closed.)

Last month, homeless shelter providers raised the alarms about the new requirements, saying they were unrealistic and unfunded. They also said hundreds of homeless beds could be lost if the state didn't reconsider them….

"There is no permanent housing. The outcome measures, the construction requirements, they're all irrational. I don't want to speak for other shelters but I don't know how other shelters can do this," he said….

(Reality: Closing shelters and pushing more homeless onto the streets is the intended purpose of the bill.  More homeless on street is profitable as the excuse for a tax hike.)

read … Keeping the Homeless, Homeless

TMT hearing: Opponents seek stay after court ruling

HTH: …Riki May Amano, hearings officer for the Thirty Meter Telescope’s contested case, denied a request Friday to put the process on hold following a recent ruling on the project’s sublease.

On Thursday, Hilo Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura ruled verbally that project opponents also had a right to a contested case for the lease contract.

That’s separate from the ongoing hearing for the telescope’s land use permit. A written ruling is pending.

“I haven’t seen a written briefing,” Amano, a retired judge, said in a response to a request to stay the hearing from Lanny Sinkin, who represents the Temple of Lono. She said the request was premature.

“I don’t have a basis to stay. I can’t do that and I’m not going to do that.”

Yuklin Aluli, an attorney for KAHEA, another contested case participant, said the recent ruling raises other procedural questions.

“So where we’re going is: Where is the cart and where is the horse?” she said.

“… Does the sublease come before the permit? That is a dilemma that I think the hearings officer is going to have to confront.”

Amano said people might be mixing “apples and oranges,” and that the review process for the conservation district land use permit and sublease likely would be handled separately. It’s possible there could be another contested case for the sublease, she said.

The sublease is between the University of Hawaii at Hilo, which holds a master lease for much of the mountain, and TMT International Observatory. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources must consent to the agreement since the mountain is state land.

Some asserted Friday that TIO no longer has a sublease and should be dismissed from the hearing since it wouldn’t have a property interest.

Those who were at the courtroom Thursday or familiar with the ruling said Nakamura vacated the Land Board’s consent to the agreement. E. Kalani Flores filed an appeal of the board’s decision after he was denied a contested case in 2014.

At the time, the state said it was a matter of internal management not subject to the quasi-judicial hearings….

Meanwhile: Announcement: When Thirty Meter Telescope Gives up on Hawaii, it will go to Canary Islands

read … Amano: TMT hearing goes on; opponents seek stay after court ruling

$39M Residential A Tax Hike – Caldwell Sends Top Lawyer in Desperate Grab for Money

SA: City Corporation Counsel Donna Leong will try next week to persuade a judge to change his earlier ruling that strikes down the city’s Residential A tax classification, a decision that could cost the city $39 million per year — and possibly more.

Leong, the city’s top civil attorney, is scheduled to appear before Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary W.B. Chang on Thursday after he granted a request allowing her to again argue the city’s case against striking down Residential A.

About 20 property owners with parcels designated Residential A brought the lawsuit earlier this year, arguing it was unfair and unconstitutional for the city to tax the designated property owners at $6 per $1,000 of assessed value instead of the $3.50 per $1,000 that standard residential class owners pay….

read … Key city attorney takes on tax case

City says corrosion caused large sewage spill near Ko Olina

KHON: …The city submitted to the state Friday its report on a sewage spill that occurred on Nov. 29.

The report is normally required five days after a spill, but the city had asked for an extension.

According to the report, corrosion caused a break in the 20-inch force main leading from West Beach No. 2 Wastewater Pump Station and spilled an estimated 201,600 gallons of untreated sewage in an unimproved area outside the Ko Olina Golf Course owned by Oceanwide Resort Community HILLC.

Crews were able to recover about 28,000 gallons of the spill and the remainder dissipated into the ground, it said.

A review of data shows that the break started at approximately 10 a.m. (on Nov 29).  The spill was first reported to the city by an eye witness at 8 a.m. Nov. 30 and crews fully contained the spill at 4:45 p.m. that same day.

A third-party contractor started work late that afternoon to replace a 16-foot portion of the pipe, and the pipe was back in full operation by 3 p.m. the following day, Dec. 1.

The spilled covered a little over one acre, which was disinfected and deodorized on three occasions: Nov. 30, Dec. 2, and Dec. 6….

PDF: Click here to view the report in its entirety.

read … Corroded

HECO pushes electrical bills higher

SA: The bill for an Oahu household using 500 kilowatt-hours in December went up $1.28. The bill is $132.32, or 24.4 cents higher per kilowatt-hour. In November the bill was $131.04, or 24.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.

HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said bills were up because of higher fuel prices and costs from independent power….

On Oahu half of the energy HECO uses is bought from eight independent power producers. The independent power producers include AES Hawaii, a coal-fired facility in Kapolei, and the Kahuku Wind facility on the North Shore….

Hawaii residents paid an average of 27.84 cents a kilowatt-hour in September. The national average was 12.87 cents in the same month, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Hawaii has the highest electricity rates in the nation, largely due to the state’s use of imported oil for most of its power. According to the EIA, Hawaii has spent $5.4 billion on petroleum so far this year.

Other states use a mix of energy resources such as natural gas, hydroelectric power, coal or nuclear power.

In 2015 HECO’s energy mix was roughly 71.1 percent oil on Oahu….

The residential rate for Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers on Hawaii island was $4.69 higher this month. The average bill for a household using 500 kilowatt-hours on the Big Island is $164.41, or 30.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from $159.72.

Maui Electric Co. customers saw a nearly $4 increase.

The average bill for a Maui household using 500 kilowatt-hours is $139.41, or 26 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from $135.84 last month.

MECO customers on Molokai using 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity are paying an average of $135.75 with a rate of 31.5 cents a kilowatt-hour, up from $132.85 in November.

Lanai saw the greatest increase from last month, up $5.74.

Lanai residents using 400 kilowatt-hours of electricity on the island are paying 33.2 cents a kilowatt-hour, or $142.33, in December compared with $136.59 in November….

As Explained: Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future

read … Bill Hikes

Hawaii Tax Credits for Solar Battery Systems Designed to Give Millions to South African Billionaire

HNN: In the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers are poised to consider a tax credit for solar energy storage systems as part of an effort to help homeowners lower their power bills.

State Rep. Chris Lee (owned and operated by solar scammers) thinks a tax credit would jump-start the sale of the systems, which use batteries to store unused power that's been generated.

The average cost for a battery storage system is $8,000 to $10,000….

Robert Harris, public policy director at solar company Sunrun (ca-ching!), said a tax credit could enable hundreds of (rich) homeowners to afford a battery system….

(100 X 10,000 = $1M)

(This is a great way to shunt Hawaii taxpayer dollars to Silicon Valley billionaires.)

LA Times: Elon Musk's growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies

read … End Game for a Dying Scam

Star-Adv: Neighborhoods need good board members

SA: On the Honolulu Police Department’s website, you can find detailed maps showing where recent crimes were reported in your Oahu neighborhood.

For any community-minded citizen, the value of such information is self-evident. But it wasn’t always available. It took persistent advocacy by members of Oahu’s neighborhood boards to persuade HPD to begin providing street-by-street mapping of crimes on Oahu, with violent crimes added only last month.

It is but one recent example of how neighborhood boards and their members have been focal points for community involvement in critical decisions affecting their locales. They have brought a ground-view perspective to everything from highway improvements in Waianae, to high-rises in Waikiki, vacation rentals in Kailua, senior housing in Mililani, and homelessness and traffic problems just about everywhere….

read … neighborhoods-need-good-board-members

Trump's Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke needs your help to avoid unjustified tribal recognition

TW: President-elect Trump's nominee to be Secretary of the Interior is Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.  There are many factors in his background and values which make him an outstanding choice for this position.  But there is one factor in Mr. Zinke's background which causes grave concern for Hawaii citizens who have fought hard for 17 years against the creation of a phony Hawaiian tribe which has never existed….

read … Help

Maui Council: Polystyrene Ban Should be Enacted because Conscious Enlightened Progressives Worked for 6 Years to Pass it

MN: …Council Member Bob Carroll said he was concerned that if the bill triggered legal issues, federal funding could be affected.

Corporation Counsel Patrick Wong said it’s difficult to speculate how legal challenges could affect federal funding. He told the council that for the county to defend itself against legal challenges, there should be scientific evidence and information to show how the bill serves the public interest.

In response to a question from Council Member Riki Hokama, Wong said he was not comfortable being able to defend the county with the scientific information the council cited for its vote on Friday.

Some council members, including outgoing Council Member Mike Victorino, who introduced the measure, expressed a need to pass it because it’s been worked on for six years. He and other council members said legal issues could be worked out in the 18 months before the bill goes into effect on July 1, 2018….

read … Stop Harassing the People

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