1959: Martin Luther King Jr Salutes Hawaii Statehood
Akina: Make King’s dream a reality for Hawaii
Legislature Opening Day Wednesday January 18
Advice to UH Manoa Chancellor Candidates--Run!
Oahu Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates 22 Successful Graduates
Full Text: New report concludes Airbnb has ‘no material impact’ on Hawaii housing inventory
Caldwell’s New Money-Making Scheme--Raise rents on ‘affordable’ housing
SA: …the city on Feb. 1 will begin raising rates on 10 “affordable” residential properties across Oahu, including those for low-income senior citizens.
Rental prices will increase 3, 5 or 10 percent depending on income levels and properties.
Combined, Chinatown Gateway Plaza, Chinatown Manor, Harbor Village, Kanoa Apartments, Kulana Nani, Manoa Gardens Elderly, Marin Towers, Westloch Elderly, Weslake Apartments and Winston Hale account for 1,170 rental units.
The price hike that goes into effect March 1 at the city’s Winston Hale apartments on River Street on the edge of Chinatown means that Esperanza Dumacder, 85, will have to come up with another $50 every month for her studio apartment when her rent jumps to $465 per month from $415.
In addition, Dumacder will have to find another $50 for a one-time payment to increase the size of her rental deposit to cover the new monthly rate.
Dumacder has no pension or retirement account, and relies on her monthly Social Security payment of $1,077 to cover all of her expenses….
Some low-income, senior citizen tenants at Winston Hale who live in smaller studio apartments than Dumacder’s pay $315 per month, which Chandler called “pretty low.”
Under HUD guidelines the city could have imposed new rental prices “as high as $1,333 per month” for those $315 apartments, Chandler said. “The city has the right to increase rents. They’re a landlord just like any landlord.”
But that does not help Winston Hale tenants such as Jimmy Suyet, 81, find the extra $50 rental deposit he needs, along with the additional $50 every month to cover his higher rent that kicks in.
Suyet pays $362 per month for the studio apartment he’s lived in since 1975. He survives on a monthly Social Security payment of $695 and an additional $601.27 per month from the years he spent as a purchasing agent at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard….
read … City raising rents on affordable housing
Leaders of tourism bureau often opt for closed meetings—Claim They’re Talking About Cookies
SA: The Hawaii Tourism Authority, empowered by the Legislature to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to market the islands, is operating behind closed doors at least half the time, according to a three-month review of records by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The newspaper’s analysis of HTA board meeting minutes dating back to 2011 shows the public portion of the meetings has decreased while the closed-door executive sessions have lengthened substantially since HTA President and CEO George Szigeti assumed leadership of the agency in May 2015….
Szigeti attributes the extra closed-door time to his requirement that Hawai‘i Convention Center marketing contractor AEG provide board updates. He also pins it on an increasingly technological world….
Fried said unnecessary small talk also may have raised their average.
“One meeting annoyed me,” he said. “Someone was supposedly giving us proprietary information and went on and on about the type of cookies that she made the night before.”….
read … Leaders of tourism bureau often opt for closed meetings
Green Energy Schemers Claim They Can go on Without Federal Subsidies
SA: …Akiba added that Hawaii’s entire energy community is committed to 100 percent renewable-energy dependence no matter who sits in the Oval Office. President-elect Donald Trump will take office Friday.
“If Trump should change that direction, it doesn’t change what Hawaii has to do,” Akiba said. “I am hopeful and confident that our state will continue to lead and be a shining example of what the state can achieve. It will be up to the states now to make that happen.”
Akiba said that Hawaii’s role as a leader in renewable-energy adoption is even more important, considering the changing political landscape.
“Especially now … it is even more critical for states like Hawaii to lead,” she said. “We have to demonstrate. We have to implement. Honolulu can be a model for being a smart city using renewable-energy technology sustainably.”
Akiba said local politics will have the greatest effect on Hawaii’s renewable-energy adoption.
“Trump can say whatever he wants to say about energy policy, but there is no mandated federal national energy policy. It is the states that are driving the change,” Akiba said. “The action will happen now at the states and local municipal level.”
Akiba said local groups involved in Hawaii’s movement to cut the state’s dependence on fossil fuels don’t always agree on how to reach the goal, but everyone is unified in the vision.
After Trump became president-elect, energy stakeholders in Hawaii from Hawaiian Electric CEO Alan Oshima to Gov. David Ige said the electrical utility and state remain committed to the 100 percent goal.
read … Gimme State Tax Credits
Conference looks away from test scores for DoE
KHON: The 3rd Annual Hawaii School (Union) Empowerment Conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center….
Among those in attendance was Gov. David Ige, who emphasized his administration’s goals to focus schools on innovation instead of having students focus on preparing for tests (rewarding those who put him in office).
The governor went on to say that “we don’t know what the next technological wave will bring. But we do know that Hawaii’s public education system must be set up so teachers are able to exercise their professional judgment and (evade accountability)….”
It’s a sentiment shared by the teacher’s union…..
read … HSTA Dreamland no Accountability
Can Feds Save Hawaii From New Stadium Boondoggle?
SA: …before any deal is sealed for public-private development plans, a deed restriction put in place five decades ago must be lifted.
Much of the stadium’s 100-acre Halawa site is limited to recreational use due to an agreement with the U.S. Interior Department that turned over 56 acres of land to the city to build the stadium. Unfortunately, the provision has essentially blocked development near the stadium, which occupies 11.5 acres, and a vast parking area — dashing opportunities to build mixed-use neighboring areas, thereby contributing to the site’s overall deterioration. (Can the Feds shut down the new-Stadium schemers right now?)
On Thursday, the stadium authority voted in favor of a resolution calling for (magical) construction of the scaled-down stadium in advance of any ancillary development that would undoubtedly help underwrite the area’s makeover. Such a call helps avoid a cart-before-the horse predicament should the state’s ongoing efforts to lift federal and city deed restrictions on the property hit a snag. (In other words they will do it anyway.)
The stadium authority’s recommendations, which come about 3-1/2 years after public debate heated up on whether to repair or level Aloha Stadium, were relayed to Gov. David Ige and state lawmakers, who are now expected to decide whether to launch development planning by way of the request-for-proposal process. (White-collar make work.)
The stadium authority presents a strong argument for starting fresh rather than going the repair route. It points to a recent state study concluding that $300 million in (pumped-up for effect) health and safety repairs are needed. If unaddressed, repair costs are expected to grow at a scary clip of about 7 percent a year. If the Legislature were to allocate repair money at a piecemeal pace over a few decades, the pricetag for extending the stadium’s life would skyrocket. (Uh-huh. Sure.) By comparison, recent estimates on the cost a new stadium have varied from $200 million to $300 million (Estimates made by the same people who estimated Rail costs, no doubt.), depending on selected deck structures, materials used, amenities and when the stadium is built….
Big Q: What should be done about Aloha Stadium?
read … New stadium needs private investment
Public has 1 more chance to air concerns on ag lands
SA: …the community forum you missed last week was the first of two scheduled to present a proposed map of Important Agricultural Lands (IAL) on Oahu. So you have another chance to participate, at the meeting scheduled for Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Haleiwa Elementary School, 66-505 Haleiwa Road. The meeting will be held in the cafeteria.
You can view the proposed map at mapoahuagland.com, which pinpoints nearly 53,000 acres of privately owned land on Oahu that the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting has recommended be designated IAL….
read … One More Chance
Soft on Crime: Man who shot at police in Kahaluu is a repeat felon—Escaped in 2012, out on Street in 2017
HNN: …Police said Young fired his shotgun, barely missing the officers. Nine pellets riddled the rear of their police vehicle.
"It was loud, extremely loud," said Casey. "It kind of felt like my clothes moved a little bit."
Investigators said Young tried to fire the gun a second time, but it jammed. That's when officers moved in and tackled the suspect to the ground, placing him in handcuffs. Nobody was hurt.
"The officers did such a great job they handled everything exactly the way they should have," said Casey.
Criminal records show Young was sentenced for robbery in 1995.
In 2002 while on parole, he was convicted again for firearm charges, terroristic threatening and breaking into a vehicle.
In 2012, Young managed to escape from OCCC while on a work line.
Police are calling Saturday's attack an unprovoked ambush….
KHON: Kahaluu shooting witness, police union leader applaud officers’ restraint in situation
read … Man who shot at police in Kahaluu is a repeat felon
Two men suffer injuries in Koko Head shooting range mishap
KHON: …At 12:50 p.m., paramedics treated two 25-year-old men who were injured when a gun apparently exploded near where they were standing. One man suffered injuries to both of his hands and the other suffered an injury to the face.
Both men were transported to a nearby trauma center in serious condition….
read … Injuries
Obamacare Rally—300 Democrats Show up in Honolulu
KITV: "This is our first opportunity to come together and to stand up for our rights, and especially in particular health care as a human right. Not something that can be repealed and replaced with nothing." said Tim Vandeveer, State Party Chair of Democratic Party of Hawaii….
read … Nobody Wants Obamacare