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Friday, June 09, 2017
June 9, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:35 AM :: 686 Views

Hawaii: To Afford 2BR Must Earn $73K

GE Tax Hike Cornerstone of McDermott Plan to Rescue Rail

Beer Taxes: Hawaii 5th-Highest in USA

Ships Under Construction for New Cargo Liner Service for the Hawaii Trade?

Governor to explore possibility of special session for rail

KHON: On Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council gave the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation access to enough bond money to (allegedly) pay rail bills (only) through next summer.

…The governor says he’ll be taking the role of coordinator to see if there’s enough alignment now, or if the issue will have to wait for later.

His office told Always Investigating: “The governor intends to get the parties together to discuss the matter.”

However, lawmakers still need to be in a mood to negotiate: “Until they are closer to an agreement it’s not feasible to have a special session.”…

The governor intends to include Caldwell in the meeting with capitol leadership, a date which has not yet been set.

Whether hotel taxes would be brought up again, more city-sourced funds, or just extending the existing excise surcharge remains to be discussed….

SA: Moving around Honolulu gets more expensive

read … Governor to explore possibility of special session for rail

Did Council Really Put Skin in the Game?

SA: The City Council achieved two results by authorizing bonds for rail construction this week: The most compelling was to (create an excuse for why HART will now be able to) keep the work on track beyond January (after claiming they were going to run out of money in July, uhhh…September, uhh…2017.)

But the other was to turn up the pressure several notches on the Legislature, which up to this point has seemed unfazed by any countdown clock.  (So why should they feel fazed by a June, 2018 countdown.  Certainly this can be dealt with in the normal 2018 session.) Now it’s the state lawmakers’ turn to make a critical decision on the project’s longer-term future, and there isn’t much time left….  (Make up your minds!.  HART said they have enough to keep building until June, 2018.  Now they are running out of time?)  

…there are at least some indications (Caldwell said) that the FTA may not wait beyond summer for the city and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to correct the project’s deep funding shortfall. (Who trusts Caldwell?)...

legislators demonstrate little sense of urgency about scheduling a special session, sooner rather than later, to resolve the problem.  (Good!)

Rail is projected to decrease the state’s carbon footprint by taking cars off the road  (Really?  Rail will suck up lots of electricity generated by oil and coal.)

read … Skinned

People Who Have The Most to Gain From Rail Are Still Skeptical

CB: …“I think it’s insane to continue the project,” says Magana, who lives in Wahiawa in Central Oahu and works at Disney’s Aulani resort hotel near Kapolei. “You think that benefits me?”

Magana says that increasing taxes on people already struggling to make a living isn’t a fair way to build rail. He works night shifts at the Aulani and drives to work, which he says many Oahu residents will still choose to do even if rail is an option for them.

It’s not just the construction cost of rail, currently pegged at $10 billion, that bothers Magana. Factors like ticket prices, maintenance, parking space, car burglaries and many other issues that city officials have yet to hash out all make rail an undesirable option for him, and one he fears may have lasting repercussions.

“The next generation is going to suffer eventually,” he says….

read … People Who Have The Most to Gain From Rail Are Still Skeptical

Why Teachers Leave—One Word ‘Housing’

CB: …Brandon Komatsu was a 9th grade English Language Arts teacher. He has a Masters of Arts in Education and had been teaching at Campbell for six years. He was also a figurehead on campus as a football coach, academy lead and class advisor for the now graduated class of 2017.

Next year, he will be teaching in Las Vegas. Why?

His answer was one word: “housing.” With a growing family, it just is not possible to afford a house.

“Prices doubled since I was in high school,” Komatsu said.

His wife is also a teacher, and he is tired not being able to make ends meet.

“I did it all,” he said. “I taught summer school, worked restaurants, I even cut hair to make extra cash. We have to go to Vegas just to be comfortable.”

Big Q: What’s the outlook for Hawaii’s public schools under new Superintendent Christina Kishimoto?

read … Housing

Precisely as Predicted: Schatz, Civil Beat use King Tides for Global Warming Propaganda

CB: Sen. Brian Schatz posted a photo of an almost overflowing Ala Wai canal on Facebook recently, he included a caption that read, “Only a foot or so from flooding. Barely any rain, just the tide. Climate change is real.”

read … Ignorant Propaganda

Bill signals beginning of the end for aquarium fishing

WHT: A bill that would place a moratorium on all aquarium fishing in Hawaii — except for those operators already in possession of permits — is awaiting the signature of Gov. David Ige.

…Rhoads said there are between 40 and 50 active aquarium fishing permits in the state, but several more remain valid. As soon as the bill is signed, if it’s signed, the state will immediately stop issuing new permits. As it stands now, anyone can apply to obtain one.

The transfer of a permit from a holder to a separate operator will be allowed until July 1, 2022, assuming that permit hasn’t lapsed. Rhoads said in this context that a lapsed permit is one that hasn’t been renewed for at least five years.

Those who have active permits would be allowed to continue renewing them beyond 2022, the trade fizzling out as those operators eventually retire or move on to different work….

SB1240: Text, Status

read … Bill signals beginning of the end for aquarium fishing

Plastic Bag Ban: Feel Good Fakery

SA: …This ban-the-plastic-bag movement is nothing but a feel-good, “see, we’re doing a virtuous task” measure (“City Council sends back bill on checkout-bag fee,” Star-Advertiser, June 8).

It doesn’t add up to anything substantial when you consider the sheer volume of disposable plastic waste. Just look around where you are right now and notice all the plastic.

If we really want to do something, how about developing biodegradable/compostable packaging? Or insisting that the plastics we normally use are recyclable? Currently only plastics marked with a 1 or 2 are….

read … Plastic-bag ban will accomplish little

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