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Monday, May 08, 2017
May 8, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:47 PM :: 1131 Views

Legislature acted responsibly in denying rail funding

Hawaii Republican Party Leadership Candidates--Convention Set for May 12-13

The Jones Act and other regulations have buried the shipping industry

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted May 8, 2017

TAT: Sister Isle Taxes Pay for Oahu Rail?

MN: …In the latest proposal, the Senate passed a bill funding rail with a general excise tax surcharge for Oahu residents and a reduction in the counties’ share of the transient accommodations tax from $103 to $93 million. In the House, a bill was passed to maintain the counties’ TAT share at $103 million, but the tax on visitor accommodations across the state would increase by 1 percent, with the additional revenues being used for rail.

Although it is an additional tax on visitors, I still ask: How is this proposal fair? Neighbor Island counties will get no additional revenues or benefit for a tax generated on our islands.

Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties generate 51.8 percent ($251 million) of the TAT revenue. Oahu generates 48.2 percent ($234 million), and any increases to the tax rate charged on visitor accommodations should apply only to those on Oahu if it will be used for rail. Neighbor Islands should not have to bail Oahu out of a problem its city leaders created.

read … Unfair

Hirono, Tupola Want Legislators to Come Together with Liar Caldwell

KHON: “I’ve already asked the federal government, the federal DOT, to consider providing more money for rail and that is not in the cards,” Hirono said.

She said both sides need to come together and Republican State Representative Andria Tupola agrees.

Tupola said more talks need to happen before a special session is even considered.

“In the event that people want this to end, the goal is to get this project funded then the city council and the legislature has to come to the table and say this is absolutely what I will not give up, you know, put all your non-negotiables on the table and then go from there,” Tupola said. “I think we should have a broader conversation about whether this is a city or a state project anymore.”

Many viewers wanted to know so KHON2 asked if state lawmakers could establish a lottery system to fund the rail.

Tupola said it’s not that simple.

“A bunch of administrative rules would have to be proposed, money would have to be allocated for positions to run it, and then there’d have to be some type of standards and outcome to see if the money that is collected from the lottery is even sufficient to fund this,” Tupola said.

Hirono told KHON2 she just voted for a bill a couple of days ago that does provide the rest of the federal funding for rail….

read … Tax Hike Coming

After his Lies Destroy Hope for Rail, Caldwell Blames Legislators

CB: …he’s pointing fingers — and not at himself….

“If (local rail planners) don’t do their part, I’m just assuming that’s their decision,” the then 87-year-old said. “It’s the end unless they revive it….” – San Dan Inouye

read … Finger Pointing

Message to Rep Kaniela Ing: “What Goes Around, Comes Around”

MN: Well, the long knives were out on Oahu last week. Longtime Wailuku Rep. Joe Souki saw that he had lost support of the majority of House members and resigned as speaker to avoid bloodshed in the House of Representatives.

The loss of influence for Maui County on state government is incalculable. Luckily, he will continue to be the representative from the 8th House District.

Most troubling about his ouster is that a couple of Maui County representatives (Ing and Woodson) supported Souki’s challenger, Scott Saiki of Oahu. In the past, the Maui delegation realized that the only way to project strength is to stick together.

We’d remind those politicians that what goes around comes around, and we’re certain opponents are going to mention Souki’s name in future elections….

read … Ing is Doomed

Vacation rental homes are vital, study says

SA: If the thousands of vacation rental houses in Hawaii were suddenly taken off the market, the state could lose 319,000 visitors annually, and their $431 million in spending and $37 million in taxes.

That was the opinion put forth in a new study set for release today, commissioned by vacation rental giant Expedia and conducted by Hospitality Advisors President and CEO Joseph Toy. He said current hotel inventory can’t accom­modate all 680,737 visitors who stay about 5.7 million nights annually in Hawaii’s vacation rental houses, generating about $1 billion in spending and nearly $80 million in tax revenue.

“The occupancy rate in Hawaiian hotels is at or close to capacity. Vacation rentals are crucial to the vitality of Hawaii’s tourism economy,” Expedia, which owns popular vacation rental sites VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) and HomeAway, said in a statement. “Family travelers increasingly rely on whole-home rentals. They want to stay in a home with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen and a yard or swimming pool. They want to have their family together.”

Toy’s latest study, based on 2016 data, counts 12,189 vacation rental houses, which equal 15 percent of the state’s accommodation industry. His definition doesn’t include condominiums, “condotels,” timeshares, bed-and-breakfasts or shared spaces in private homes….

HNN: Expedia report: Vacation rentals are central to Hawaii's booming tourism industry

read … Vacation rental homes are vital, study says

VIDEO: Tent in Iwilei homeless encampment catches fire

HNN: Witness video captured flames engulfing an Iwilei homeless encampment Saturday evening.

read … Still Refusing to Accept Shelter

Misinformed Imbecile Spray Paints Inaccurate Anti-Military Slogans in Mauna Kea Ice Age Preserve

HNN: A criminal investigation has been opened after graffiti was found on portions of the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve.

Officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources say the graffiti was found mid-morning on Friday.

Photos provided by DLNR from the scene show the words "Stop bombing" spray painted on some rocks.  (Question: Is it not oppressive that intelligent people must co-exist which such types?  Also: Does it feel good to ask this question?)

The DLNR says additional tagging was found throughout other areas of the Mauna Kea property.

(FACT: There is no 'bombing' of Pohakuloa.  Only dummy bombs are used in air training.)

Because the area is considered sacred and historically important, the geological features, including rocks, are protected under the Hawaii Administrative Rules.

"We want people to know we take matters such as these very serious. We will investigate these types of incidences, and we'll prosecute violators to the full extent," Jason Redulla, DLNR Deputy Enforcement Chief said.

Whoever is responsible could face misdemeanor violations, meaning they could spend one year in jail (breaking rocks), and face a $1,000 fine, Redulla said.

Anyone with information regarding the graffiti is asked to call Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Hawaii Branch Office at (808) 933-3460. DOCARE's statewide hotline can all be contacted at 643-3567 (DLNR).  (And remember: Turnabout is fair play.)

read … Very stupid people who are susceptible to fake news

9th Circuit Criticizes Hawaii Gun Ban Rules

SA: A federal appeals court has upheld the Honolulu Police Department’s refusal to grant a firearm permit to a man who was convicted of petty misdemeanor harassment.

One of the three judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel that ruled Friday in the case against Kirk Fisher, however, criticized Hawaii law for imposing a lifetime ban on a person’s constitutional right to bear arms for committing a misdemeanor.

Fisher’s lawyer, Donald Wilkerson, said he is encouraged by the criticism and that he and Fisher will continue to pursue the case. “We’re not going to give up on this,” he said…..

MN: Firearms registrations take big jump over previous year

read … Appeals court backs HPD in denying man a gun permit

0.05% DUI Laws Unfairly Target Women

KGI: …Three states — Utah, Hawaii and Washington — all attempted to lower the blood- alcohol arrest level for driving from .08 to .05 in their most recent legislative sessions. Utah was the only state to sign the proposal into law, but others will likely follow in the coming years. These laws make many women vulnerable to arrest after little more than one drink….

read … Don’t ignore the .05 assault on women

Hawaii DoH: Gays Abuse Each Other 7 Times More Than Straights

HNN: A new report by the state Department of Health says a high percentage of Hawaii’s LGBT youth community may experience early risk factors that contribute to poorer health in adulthood.

According to the report, many lesbian, gay or bisexual youth are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors that increase their risk for chronic disease. About a quarter report they smoke cigarettes, and nearly half drink alcohol. One in ten say they have injected illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime….

Half of LGB youth report feeling sad or hopeless, while 43.5 reported that they purposely hurt themselves through behaviors such as cutting or burning.

When it comes to adults, LGB adults live with poorer health outcomes than heterosexual adults, the report found. Forty percent of LGB adults reported having multiple chronic conditions and are twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to heterosexual adults.

About a quarter of lesbian or bisexual women have asthma and are three times more likely to have a stroke. Meanwhile, men identifying as gay or bisexual are seven times more likely to experience abuse by a partner, and three times more likely to be a victim of rape or attempted rape….

read … Unhealthy

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