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Monday, June 12, 2017
June 12, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 AM :: 1177 Views

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted June 12, 2017

GEMS: Ige Redirects Tax on Electric Ratepayers to Cover Cool Schools Failure

SA: House Bill 957 — which was passed unanimously by both chambers of the Legislature in May and is awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature — would give the state Department of Education a $46.4 million, interest-free loan to improve energy efficiency at schools.

In February the state regulators who oversee the loan program approved the DOE’s use of the money to replace fluorescent bulbs with LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, and install other energy conservation measures to help create cooler environments in classrooms at 242 of the state’s 256 public schools…..  (Did you notice the words ‘air conditioning’ are not part of that sentence?)

GEMS has used $2.9 million of electrical utility ratepayer money to pay for administrative costs (We are paying these clowns to figure out how to steal the money from us.) since inception, and interest payments during the 15-year life of the bonds will total $33 million (Yep.  The bankers are getting paid, too.).

When drafting HB 957, legislators directed that the funds be “issued free of interest charges,” which observers say could be problematic because of the interest the loan program is obligated to repay.  (Translation: This is probably illegal.)

Ratepayers would shoulder the $8.9 million in interest payments because the DOE wouldn’t be paying any interest (ratepayers are not an organized voting bloc like HSTA).

GEMS is paid for by ratepayers via a line item on their electrical bills. GEMS has to pay 2.99 percent interest on the $150 million in bonds.

“It puts (GEMS) in a bit of a pickle,” said Kyle Datta, general partner at Ulupono Initiative, a renewable-energy investment firm. “The concern for GEMS … is that they have to pay back the interest.”  (Translation: This is probably illegal.)

Gwen Yamamoto Lau, executive director of the GEMS program, said the proposed retrofits should save the DOE — one of the state’s largest consumers of energy — approximately $114.9 million over 20 years, a savings that would also (then) be shared by taxpayers (stolen by HSTA)….

“Basically, we get to spread that $46 million over a 20-year horizon, at least,” Amy Kunz, DOE chief financial officer, said at last month’s Board of Education Finance and Infrastructure Committee meeting.

Under that scenario, she said, the department would need to budget roughly $2.8 million in savings from energy efficiency annually for the loan principal payoff…..

The governor has until July 11 to sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without his signature. If it becomes law, the DOE will get the funds in July…..

V: Hawaii is banking on Tesla to cut its addiction to oil

read … Some untapped green power funds might go to improve schools’ energy efficiency

HSAC: Property Taxes Going Up Because We Are Afraid to Legalize TVRs and Tax Them

KGI: …HSAC’s foremost priority this year was to acquire a larger and more equitable share of the transient accommodations tax (TAT) or hotel tax. The result, however, was a $10 million cut from $113 million to $93 million this coming fiscal year.

That’s an additional $10 million burden the counties must look for elsewhere. It won’t be surprising if real property taxes would increase because of this inaction. But even with real property taxes being the largest revenue source for the counties, the state Legislature this year considered even taking that revenue to fund its programs….

Related: TVRs: No Taxation Without Legalization!

read … TAT

Parks: Caldwell Spends Money on Kakaako, Abandons Westside

CB: …It’s difficult to say exactly how much taxpayers spend on each of Oahu’s 300 parks. The money is divided into two budgets.

An operating budget covers salaries and other ongoing expenses such as maintenance and groundskeeping, but it isn’t broken down by parks.

Part of the capital budget goes to individual parks for specific improvement projects. Civil Beat’s analysis focuses on this funding, and breaks it down by dollars spent per resident in each neighborhood board district over the last 10 years.

In Nanakuli-Maili, for instance, the spending per resident was $17 annually. In Waianae, it was $41. And in Ala Moana-Kakaako, it was $110…. 

read … The Sorry State Of Many Honolulu Parks

Caldwell Admin slammed over delays on landfill

SA: Members of the state Land Use Commission last month threw the question of keeping open Oahu’s only public landfill back to the Honolulu Planning Commission to clear up technical errors, but not before criticizing city officials for foot-dragging.

It was only the latest display of frustration over the fate of the West Oahu Sanitary Landfill, an issue that’s been festering for decades.

The city is asking the LUC for a special use permit to extend the use of the landfill….

SA: Timeline: Waimanalo Gulch landfill in the spotlight for decades

read … City slammed over delays on landfill

Study: Homosexual Child Molesters Abuse up to 40% of Homeless Youth

CB: In 2012, UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy published a study that estimated 40 percent of American homeless youths identify as LGBTQ, even though only 10 percent (4.1% per Gallup) of the U.S. population is LGBTQ.

Preliminary findings from the Honolulu survey are expected to be released at the annual meeting of Hawaii Youth Services Network in July, said Sarah Yuan of the Center on the Family.  (But first, the spin.)

The center worked with Waikiki Health Youth Outreach program manager, Carla Houser, and Hale Kipa’s program coordinator, Alika Campbell, to conduct the survey of kids in Waikiki, Chinatown and in the homeless encampment in Waianae.

Spin: LGBTQ youths may be more likely to wind up homeless because they are kicked out or have run away from home when their families do not accept their sexual orientation, said (convicted thief) Michael (Bitchbear) Golojuch Jr., chairman of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii….

Reality: Underage homeless youths may be more likely to wind up LGBTQ because homosexual child molesters offer them money for sex and the kids need money for meth.  Every one of their adult ‘customers’ is a child molester and should be treated as such.

HNN:  Homelessness, housing among topics Mayor Caldwell will discuss in DC

read … Study

Hawaii Paris Accord Signature – Fake, Fake, Fake

SA: …That Hawaii is the first to sign on to the Paris accord implies it actually cares. Here are some facts.

Hawaii is likely the largest climate-change polluter. Not just because of its active volcanoes, but because it imports 80 percent of its energy. And almost 9 million people per year visit by airplane, the most egregious emitter.

Thousands of cars are rented each week. Most commercial buildings are air-conditioned as a convenience, not a necessity.

Worse than this, Hawaii reduced subsidies for solar energy because it cost too much, and has discouraged windmills because they are unsightly.

Its imported energy is mostly oil, but attempts to switch to biofuels led to deforestation of Southeast Asia to plant palm oil trees. Biodiesel is well-documented to increase climate emissions.

Government can keep making believe you are doing good, but in fact you are enabling our demise….

read … Despite Paris accord, state still pollutes

UH Profs: We’re All Gonna Die Because of Trump

SA: …climate change will clearly affect the United States’ and world’s ability to produce both adequate food and adequate essential nutrients to maintain health….population hunger and starvation….seriously harm normal growth and brain development in children and impair multiple physical and mental functions in adults….

read … Silly Doom and Gloom

Star-Adv: Legislators Should Make Polystyrene Ban Statewide

SA: …Earlier this year, Hawaii’s state lawmakers considered Senate Bill 1109, which aimed to ban most food vendors in the islands from handing out expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam containers. The measure stalled, but ban supporters will rightly continue to push for change — and some smaller-scale bans are already in effect. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, for example, a student-initiated ban on use of EPS foam at all campus food establishments, has been in place as a policy for four years. Also the Hawaii Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, launched last year, now includes more than 130 eateries certified as foam-free. Participants use only recyclable or compostable containers.

Under the bill that Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa signed into law, businesses could face a $1,000 fine each day for a violation. The ban fairly balances that tough stand by allowing various exemptions including one for businesses that can prove cases of insurmountable hardship tied to the switch.

Included in the ban: various types polystyrene foam and non-foam products, and some similar plastics, such as cups (typically red or blue) that often turn up at parties and potlucks….

read … Polystyrene Ban Statewide

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