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Monday, July 03, 2017
July 3, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:06 PM :: 1018 Views

Craving Statehood: The view from Guam

Is This the End to the Hawaii Aquarium Fishery?     

Super High—Rents in Honolulu Nearly Double National Average

 SA: The median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Honolulu in June rose to $2,120 a month, nearly $1,000 more than the national average, a new report shows.

Year-over-year rents climbed slightly by 0.9 percent compared to the 2.9 percent average growth nationwide over the past year to $1,150, according to ApartmentList.com, a San Francisco-based rental listing company that analyzes housing market trends.

However, Honolulu has the fifth-highest rental market among the 100 largest U.S. cities, the company said.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Honolulu is $1,600.

“Honolulu is one of the most expensive markets in the country,” said Chris Salviati, a data analyst at ApartmentList.com. “Honolulu has a super high cost of living….”

Mike Hamasu, director of consulting and research at Colliers International, said: “The apartment rental market remains short in supply (as there are not many new units being built), which should typically result in (un-)healthy monthly rental rate gains.”….

read … Honolulu rent rises and ranks fifth among U.S. cities

HandiVan: Caldwell Admin Pushing 100% Fare Hike

SA: …Handi-Van riders have long complained they wait way too long on the reservation phone line and then for their vans to show up. A city audit released last year supported their accounts, finding that on-time rides dropped about 5 percentage points between 2013 and 2015 and that riders faced a “significant” number of excessively long trips.

Handi-Van’s fleet of 180 vehicles handles about 3,500 daily rides. The fleet will need even more vans, but the paratransit service’s Middle Street maintenance facility has almost reached capacity, officials say.

The new study, done by city consultants Innovative Paradigms and Nelson Nygaard, found that if the service were to improve its on-time performance but not increase its fares, Handi- Van would see the annual demand for rides increase by nearly 800,000 between fiscal years 2016 and 2022.

Meanwhile, Handi-Van’s $2 fare hasn’t been increased since 2001, officials say.

The study recommends increasing the fare by 50 cents until it reaches $4 as a way to slow growth in demand. The average cost for a trip in a Handi-Van, excluding the taxicabs that often carry such fares, was more than $45 last year, Frysztacki said.

SA: Handi-Van needs funds, alternatives

read … Handi-Van faces crisis without fare hike, officials say

SB410: Bill Would Make UH Admin Bow Before UHPA

CB: …Senate Bill 410 has a distinct purpose. It was designed to raise the bar of accountability on employers and improve relationships in the workplace. Framing SB 410 as an uprising of unions is a way to divert (direct) attention away from (to) these facts.

For University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, we know there are many in the community who empathize with the dilemma we face. Although we have joined our brothers and sisters in the other public-sector unions, most legislators and others are familiar with the challenges we face on the 10 UH campuses statewide.

…it’s easy to promote fear-mongering that SB 410 will somehow “tip the balance” in favor of unions and give them unprecedented power that will “interfere” with relationships between management and employees….

CNS: Monopolistic Unionism Is Big Government’s Engine

read … SB410: Bill Would Make UH Admin Bow Before UHPA

Idaho dairymen learn while expanding to Hawaii

AP: …Instead of sand, they use compost to keep the cows dry — using sand was too expensive, even for an island dairy. They faced an additional challenge when working out a feeding ration for the cows as they can grow corn year round on the island, but end up shipping in hay and grain from the mainland.

There was another challenge. In Idaho, dairy feed consultants, lactation consultants and veterinarians abound, but in Hawaii not so much. They also had to install high-volume, low-speed fans to combat the amount of humidity in the air, choosing the most efficient ones on the market due to electricity costing 32 cents per kilowatt rather than the 6 cents they have in Idaho….

He said that there used to be a lot more dairies on the islands — over 30. There also used to be more processing plants, but currently there are only two Meadow Gold plants and another one that the Whitesides are building near their dairy where they will process and bottle their own fresh milk and eventually will expand to make butter and cheese….

“We’ve had a lot of support from the state of Hawaii Department of Agriculture,” Derek Whitesides said. “Not everyone in Hawaii is supportive, but people in Hawaii realize the importance of local agriculture and there isn’t a ton of that.”

“The biggest thing we can do is be honest. People want to know if we are GMO-free and whether we are pasture-based.”

read … Dairy

DBEDT staff should handle Public-Private partnerships

SA: The Aloha Stadium Authority is eager to start fresh rather than tackle a daunting list of needed upgrades at the 41-year-old, underused facility. It wants to construct a scaled-down replacement surrounded by new development, which could include restaurants, shops, offices, housing and easy access to a proposed city rail-transit station.

State lawmakers have embraced that vision and this year sensibly pitched in $10 million for master planning and environmental assessment at the 100-acre Halawa site. But the Legislature fumbled its handling of another stadium-related matter — House Bill 627, which would establish an Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) to handle the state’s so-called “PPP or P3” opportunities.

That bill is now in a lineup with 14 others that Gov. David Ige intends to veto. The governor correctly reasons: “Having one office manage all public-private partnership contracts, proposals and negotiations for the state may create a bottleneck that will slow the progress for agencies already involved in these partnerships.”….

read … DBEDT staff should handle partnerships

Hawaii Senior Population Jumps 14%

SA: The state’s seniors, those 65 and older, made up 17.1 percent of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents in 2016 — a jump from 14.3 percent in 2010, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau….

State Chief Economist Eugene Tian said the portion of the population made up by those 65 and older will continue to increase over “many years” as the state’s 333,546 baby boomers age. The first baby boomers will hit 80 in the next 10 years.

Tian said one of the implications for the state is a need for more nursing homes and medical serv­ices.

“We need more nursing homes. … In the future — we’re talking 10 years to 20 years — the industry in the state will be developed,” Tian said. “We’ll need a lot of those facilities.”

But seniors tend to prefer caregivers to nursing homes.

“Generally, people want to age at home,” said Craig Gima, spokesman for AARP Hawaii. “They don’t want to go into nursing homes. And it’s a more cost-effective way to age, as well.”

The annual cost of a semiprivate room in a Hawaii nursing home is approximately $129,575, according to AARP. The cost of about 44 hours a week of home health care is about $54,912 for homemaker services and $57,772 for a home health aide.

Gima said some initiatives AARP is focusing on are supporting the caregivers as well as building communities that allow seniors to be independent longer.

“We have to make sure people are cared for, caregivers are cared for and communities are age-friendly,” he said….

 …Gima said eight states, including California, Oregon, Illinois and Washington, have passed what are called work-and-save laws. These laws are set up to make it easy for states to offer private savings plans at low cost to businesses and workers.

“If low-income workers start saving $1,000 a year, Hawaii would save $32.7 million on public-assistance programs like Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance over the first 15 years, and the savings would grow exponentially as more people saved,” he said. “The combined state and federal savings would be more than $160 million.” ….

read … Increase of seniors brings need for strong caregiver community

Gary Hooser is the Donald Trump of Kauai

KGI: …We’re challenged locally and globally. We have an ex-state senator talking about our wacko president. The same ex-state senator who suggested to the world that Kauai had 10 times the birth defect rate and tried to stop farming on Kauai.

I’m not arguing we don’t have a wacko president; we do. I’m suggesting that Gary’s socialism is equally threatening….

Now, Gary suggests government must do more? Bolder, better and more effective government makes responsible citizens run for the hills. More government assumes that we need it for better community behavior and outcomes. What occurs is more subjective bias.

We don’t need more government to regulate our lives. I recycle cans, cardboard and glass. Gary’s government hasn’t been able to replace our landfill or contract Olokele Sugar to convert our trash to energy. We are capable. Evidence: KIUC advances in renewable energy.

When our layers of government poach on employee and citizen retirement trusts to pay their operating expenses, that is not sustainable. Our governments are doing that. More government would do it “better, bolder and more effective.” Borrowing from the Employee Retirement and Social Security systems to fund political promises is theft by vote….

SA: Travel ban is least of Hawaii’s worries

read … Theft by Vote

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