Al Hee's Scam Company Loses its Monopoly on DHHL
Kaiser Takes Control of Maui County HHSC Hospitals
Office Of Maunakea Management honored with culture and heritage award
A Passion for Papaya is Not Propaganda
Beyond Middle Street: Public Forums Discuss Options for Rail
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 5, 2017
Best States to Start a Business? Hawaii Ranks 46th
Special Session? Legislators All Agree Caldwell Can’t be Trusted
SA: ““We’ve got to get to the point where we agree on more than half or a substantial amount of facts. Once legislators arrive at a “tipping point,” they’ll likely schedule a special session, Dela Cruz added.
“We’re not anywhere close.” -- Sylvia Luke
Both money committee leaders do agree on at least one thing so far: They’ve opted to disregard many of the financial projections provided by the city and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on rail, and they’ve switched to using state budget numbers instead to try to find a way out of the morass.
Luke said she doesn’t trust the city’s budget figures because they’re constantly changing…..
Critics of the elevated transit project, such as retired University of Hawaii law professor Randy Roth, often argue against using more GET dollars for rail because it’s considered a highly regressive tax that hits the island’s low-income residents the hardest.
Luke (D, Punchbowl- Pauoa-Nuuanu) and Dela Cruz (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore-Mililani Mauka) met last week with the Legislature’s transportation chairmen, plus the House speaker and Senate president. It was the group’s first formal meeting on what to do about rail since this year’s regular legislative session ended with sharp disagreement and “high emotions,” as Luke described it Monday….
“I’m still not convinced that the city and the HART board have done enough to cut costs,” Luke said Monday. An estimated $4.5 billion of rail’s total price tag goes toward construction while the rest covers the project’s engineering, consulting, marketing and other expenses, according to Luke.
“They have to convince the public that they have done everything they can. … They hired a bunch of expertise to run this project,” she said Monday. “I don’t think they have trimmed that much at all.”
Not all legislators think the solution rests with the hotel tax versus the general excise tax. Some, such as Sen. Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua), have called for a pause to revise rail as its costs approach $500 million per mile. Thielen has proposed spending about $100 million to at least study alternatives and potentially save nearly $1 billion to use on the state’s other pressing needs….
If state leaders wait too long, officials say, the FTA could declare the city in breach of its contract and revoke some or all of its $1.55 billion in rail funding….
Big Q: Should the $2 fare for the Handi-Van be increased to $4?
read … Legislators make little headway on settling rail funding
Three Plans to Give HSTA More Control over DoE
CB: …There’s the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 approved in December by the Hawaii Board of Education; Hawaii’s Blueprint for Education released in March by a task force selected by Gov. David Ige; and the state’s plan to qualify for federal funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act that the board voted to approve last week.
The plans are supposed to complement and build off one another and chart a path for the future of public education in the state….
read … Here’s Some Help Understanding Hawaii’s Plans For Improving Public Schools
91% of Hawaii Senior Women are Rich
SA: AARP says the average caregiver in this bracket is a 62-year-old woman. And she may well be struggling to make financial ends meet. A recent University of Hawaii study finds that more than 9 percent of women here included in the so-called silver tsunami headcount are living below the poverty line.
read … 9% Poverty
Embattled City Prosecutor Kealoha Has Been On Unpaid Leave Since April
CB: She says the leave is due to a workplace injury and unrelated to the fact that she’s under federal investigation….
read … Embattled City Prosecutor Kealoha Has Been On Unpaid Leave Since April
SB 1240 on aquarium fishing should be vetoed
SA: …The West Hawaii Fishery Replenishment Areas (FRAs) were established two decades ago to reverse the declines in Kona aquarium fish — about 80 percent of Hawaii’s catch — by prohibiting collection in a third of the Kona coast, with a substantial monitoring plan put in place.
The results have been textbook: the FRAs have improved aquarium fish populations both within and outside the protected areas due to the “spillover” effect: protected fish are able to grow to full mature reproductive potential, repopulating the fish stocks in and outside the FRAs.
The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) has collected data for over 17 years from over 6,700 surveys and found that aquarium fish populations are generally stable or increasing in West Hawaii. The populations of yellow tang and kole, the two most heavily collected species, are not declining, and in recent years have increased in both protected and open areas, notwithstanding fishing in open areas….
SA: Anti-Telescope Leader Supports Anti-Aquarium Bill
read … SB 1240 on aquarium fishing should be vetoed
Medicated: 17,591 sign up for Marijuana
HNN: …The number of medical marijuana patients continues to rise, with 17,591 registered as of June 30, 2017….. (That’s 1.3% of the state’s population)
read … Medicated