VIDEO: Sam Slom, Hawaii's Opposition Voice
Ige: Trump Can’t Stop Me From Jacking up your Electric Bill to Line Pockets of Green Energy Scammers
Containership capacity in Transpacific trade increasing
2017’s Best State Economies–Hawaii 39th
16 State Coalition Backs Travel Ban Before Supreme Court
Wikileaks: Omidyar Website Gave up Leaker to NSA
Poll: Ige Loses to ‘Someone Else’ 20% to 57%
CB: For the first time since Ige took office in December 2014, more poll respondents have a negative opinion of him (38 percent) than positive (35 percent). His approval rating was only slightly higher than that of President Donald Trump and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who were each viewed favorably by just 32 percent of respondents….
In a Civil Beat survey of 956 registered voters statewide, 57 percent said they wanted someone else to be governor. Only 20 percent said they wanted Ige to continue in that role.
If those numbers hold, the governor would be vulnerable next year, even in a primary. Several names have been circulating as possible Democratic challengers, such as Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, state Sen. Jill Tokuda and Hawaii News Now General Manager Rick Blangiardi….
Ige, 60, was unable to muster even a majority of Democrats to support him, according to the poll.
Forty-four percent of Democrats viewed the governor favorably, while 26 percent had a negative opinion and 30 percent were unsure. He fared far worse with independents and Republicans.
When broken down by race, Ige, who is of Okinawan descent, is getting the most support from Filipino voters. The poll found 51 percent had a positive view of Ige, which is significant since Filipinos represent the fastest-growing population of immigrants.
White and Japanese voters both had 37 percent approval ratings for Ige, followed by Hawaiians at 31 percent and Chinese at 19 percent. The state’s small but growing Hispanic population gave him a 38 percent favorability rating….
As of January, he only had $280,928 in his campaign account, which isn’t much to fend off what appears to be a crowded field of candidates….
PDF: Poll Results
read … Poll: Gov. David Ige Could Be In Trouble In 2018
OHA staffer faces conflict of interest allegations over poi mill venture
HNN: …the company that now operates the mill -- Aloha Aina Poi Company LLC -- was co-founded by an OHA employee. Davis Price, 37, was a manager and partner with Aloha Aina while he worked as an aide to an OHA trustee.
Some beneficiaries say that’s a conflict of interest.
“I'm just completely shocked and disappointed. I'm disappointed in the trustees. I'm disappointed in the agency. I'm disappointed most of all in the administration,” said Nanakuli homesteader Germaine Meyers.
Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa has filed an ethics complaint against Price, whom she says used his position at OHA to block an audit of the poi investment. She believes the audit would have uncovered the alleged conflict and other misuses of OHA funds.
“Davis knew or should have known that his self-dealing and failure to disclose his personal financial interest … raises significant ethical and legal concerns,” Kawananakoa wrote.
Hawaii News Now has learned that a copy of Kawananakoa’s ethics complaint was forwarded to the state Attorney General's office, which is conducting a separate criminal investigation into OHA awards of contracts….
In a slide presentation to OHA board, Hiilei said it and OHA stated that it continued to issue grants to the poi mill while Price served as an officer of Aloha Aina. Three grants totaling $78,500 were issued to mill during the 2015-2016 period….
Related: Conflict of Interest: OHA Audit Committee Member Secretly owns OHA’s Former Poi Mill
read … Stolen Poi Mill
74% Say NO -- Only Star-Adv Editors and Politicians Want 10-cent Bag Tax
Iolani Palace Becoming Homeless Tent City
CB: You have to wonder how much destruction it will take before the state says, ”Wait a minute. We have to do a better job of protecting Iolani Palace.”
There have been 14 security breaches inside the historic building or on the palace grounds in the last decade.
Now about 30 homeless people hang out on the palace lawn. Many of them are harmless, but one tortures birds, another couple had sex in front of schoolchildren picnicking on the grounds, and another splattered blood all over the walls as she injected drugs in the palace visitors’ bathroom. …
When the state says there is nothing it can do to discourage homeless people from setting up housekeeping at the palace, you wonder why they are prevented from hanging out all day on the lawns of the Capitol or on the municipal building grounds….
Aquino also allegedly bashed in the glass on the entrance door to the state House chamber at the Capitol. Aquino, who listed no home address when arrested, has a rap sheet of felony and misdemeanor convictions spread over 33 years, including assault, promoting dangerous drugs and burglary….
Besides repeated incidents of damage to the palace, there are the violent and unpredictable outbursts from some of the homeless people nearby.
Chu said they are at the palace every day at 6 a.m. when the gates open, and they remain there until 11 p.m. when the gates close.
Then they sleep, unhindered, on the grass or sidewalks right outside the gates….
Chu says he allows homeless people to use the palace’s visitor bathroom, but some of them continue to defecate and urinate in the banyan tree roots and bushes and toss their used hypodermic needles on the ground.
He said a visitor came running out of the women’s bathroom recently, calling for help. There was blood splattered all over the walls from a homeless woman still inside, stabbing at her arm to find a vein to inject with drugs.
Workers had to close the bathroom all day to clean it, Chu said.
On another day, schoolchildren were picnicking on the lawn after a palace tour when their teacher had to hastily evacuate them when a homeless couple started having sex in front of them….
A palace security guard was stunned recently to come across five headless pigeons…
read … Hawaii Fails To Protect Its Royal Residence
Hawaii County Council Approves 100% Property Tax Hike on 50,000 properties
WHT: The legislative body seemed headed toward adopting a property tax hike scenario that holds rates steady for homeowners, agriculture and affordable rentals, while raising other rates more than recommended by Mayor Harry Kim….
The council also agreed on an 8-1 vote to raise the minimum property tax from $100 annually to $200 before exemptions are taken for homeowners and disabled veterans. Raising the tax on the 50,000 parcels would net an additional $3 million. Ruggles was the sole no vote.
VIDEO: Hawaii County Council Proposes Budget Amendments
VIDEO: Council Tinkers With Tax Rates Late Into The Night
read … Tackling taxes and spending: Philosophies collide in marathon budget session
Inside Dope: Top State Bureaucrats to Open Marijuana Store on Kapahulu
SA: …Cure Oahu, led by Richard Lim, a former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and Tan Yan Chen, another former DBEDT worker, has already put signage up and is preparing to open one of Oahu’s three dispensaries….
Honolulu investment firm, Tradewind Capital Group, led by Colbert Matsumoto, sold its interest in Cure Oahu in December….
read … Inside Dope
Katherine Kealoha Sues Prosecutor To Keep Her Employment Records Secret
CB: Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katherine Kealoha, who is under federal investigation for corruption and abuse of power, is asking a state judge to block city officials from releasing documents about her employment history to Civil Beat.
In April, Civil Beat filed a public records request with the prosecutor’s office that would shed light on her performance as a high-ranking law enforcement official.
But in a complaint filed last month, Kealoha went to court to prevent the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from giving Civil Beat — or anyone else for that matter — any records from her personnel file….
PDF: Kealoha Motion
read … Katherine Kealoha Sues City To Keep Her Employment Records Secret
Honolulu Prosecutor wants to Spend Last $75k
HNN: …Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro wants a Ford Transit, medium roof, cargo van specially made for his office.
Purchasing and outfitting what he calls the Mobile Command Vehicle will cost $75k.
The request requires council approval because Kaneshiro wants the money to come from his operational budget rather than the equipment budget. Critics of the plan suspect that the office is making a purchase to avoid losing unspent money when the fiscal year ends this month. …
read … Honolulu Prosecutor wants $75k for a mobile command vehicle that probably won't be used much
Trump promises ‘cheaper, faster and safer travel’ with private air traffic control
KHON: …“The current system can not keep up and hasn’t been able to keep up for many years,” Trump said. “At a time when every passenger has GPS technology in their pockets, our air traffic control system still runs on radar and ground-based radio systems that they don’t even make anymore. Many controllers must use slips of paper to track our thousands and thousands of flights.”
The FAA has been moving towards a GPS system for a number of years, but it’s not scheduled to be fully implemented until at least 2020.
Privatization has long had strong support among the nation’s airlines, and Republicans have advocated for it for years. And it’s not just the far right that backs the move. In fact, Canada, which typically has a more liberal government, privatized its own air traffic control system in 1996. Other countries including Australia, Germany, New Zealand, and Switzerland have followed suit.
But at a congressional hearing earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers pointed to customer service horror stories at the nation’s privately-held airlines, such as the passenger that was dragged off a United Airlines flight and massive computer problems that grounded thousands of flights. They argue these problems are proof that private business should not be trusted to do what’s right for passengers…..
read … Trump promises ‘cheaper, faster and safer travel’ with private air traffic control
Tourism Keeps Hitting Records, But Trumphaters Convince Themselves it is Dropping
PS: …James Mak, a University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization research fellow and professor emeritus of economics, University of Hawaii-Manoa, has studied the economy of tourism for decades and predicts that we could be seeing more profound effects very soon. "It is certainly possible that the election of Donald Trump as president and the ensuing travel ban and negative public image of the US it has fostered could have deterred foreign travel to the US, especially (though not exclusively) from the Middle East," he told POPSUGAR. "Everything that I've read in the press (Travel Weekly, in particular) supports that conclusion."…
read … Pop Sugar