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Thursday, July 06, 2017
July 6, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:12 PM :: 2392 Views

Tiki bar owner bows to ‘cultural appropriation’ outcry: ‘I am so very sorry’

Secy Perry calls the Jones Act an impediment to energy independence

Some reasons why the HART Board does not want to do a forensic audit

DLNR: Napali Coast a Better Place with Squatters Out

Progressive Activists are the Main Cause of Inequality

CB: …This top 20 percent may not be posh, but they are certainly privileged. They may be liberals but they nevertheless profoundly contribute to inequality.

This creates a special dilemma for upper middle class progressives. They advocate greater equality, but like others with wealth, they use their resources to escape to suburbs, private schools and low-density neighborhoods with zoning that makes it impossible for poorer folks to live.

The upper middle class, including these liberals, hoards the American Dream by creating barriers keeping others from moving on up.

So who are these 20 percenters? Nationally, their annual household income is about $112, 000. In Hawaii the top quintile averages $124,000, which, roughly adjusting for the high cost of living here, comes out close to the national average.

Hawaii’s upper-middle-class household income is just as close to those in the top 5 percent as it is to the state’s $68,000 median household income.

They tend to be professionals, tech workers, managers, bureaucrats, journalists and academics….

The divergence between the upper middle class and everyone else begins at birth. In addition to income, class barriers have increased regarding morbidity, mortality, education level, opioid addiction, family stability, child rearing and even brain development. 

More than anything else, it’s the family — economic and psychological resources upper middle class parents have at their disposal — that drives the differences. 

These families develop social skills, self-regulation and a wide cultural vocabulary that prepares them for the labor market. They have connections and rich social networks that help their kids get the information and skills they need….

This gateway to success has become locked from the inside. People are not moving up into the top 20 percent, and people in the top quintile are not moving down.

The U.S. now has less relative social mobility than Canada and several European countries, including the United Kingdom.

It’s not about the wealthy self-consciously preventing mobility, but it’s not exactly merit either. Upper middle class children succeed primarily because they won the lottery of being born into the right family.

Many economic policies clearly favor the wealthy. Ninety-five percent of the federal tax benefits go to this top 20. The home mortgage deduction benefits owners, not renters.

The same is true for college savings funds, which liberals like Nancy Pelosi successfully fought to keep President Obama from eliminating. Where is the average person going to get a little extra to save this way?

College legacy admissions and the way internships are allocated give the upper middle class even more of an upper hand to perpetuate itself. They know the right people and get the best advice.

Reeves, an upper middle class liberal himself, calls these liberals the most dangerous constituency to anger because they are wealthy enough to have influence and big enough to be a significant voting bloc.

As he puts it, when upper middle class policymakers claim that college is not for everyone, “you can be pretty certain that they are not including their own children in that category.”

So it’s easy and common for the upper middle class liberal to admit complicity but then, as so often in the past, escape and focus on her own family’s success.

That response is understandable, tempting and consequently hard to avoid. But having these progressives take a good long look at themselves is a place to start….

read … You And I Are The Main Causes Of Inequality In America

Corrupt Former Liquor Commissioner is also Child Molester—Only Gets 18 months

HNN: …James Rodenhurst, 68, pleaded guilty on Monday to second-degree sexual assault and third-degree attempted sexual assault.

The victim was under 14 at the time.

As part of the plea agreement, the charges were reduced from first-degree sexual assault, which could’ve brought a 20-year sentence. Prosecutors agreed Rodenhurst would serve a year and a half in custody, serve a term of probation and do 300 hours of community service.

His sentencing is set for Sept. 19.

In 2007, Rodenhurst was sentenced to 17 months in federal prison for accepting bribes as a liquor control inspector to allow two bars to operate without liquor licenses and warning the bar owners of pending inspections….

read … Soft on Crime

Rail Construction Destroying Businesses—County Pretends to Help

CB: …Tucked in a small plaza just off Farrington Highway in Waipahu, Maria Nichols’ barbershop used to draw about 140 customers a day. Her hairdressers, working at her shop and others around the city, often brought home more than $100,000 a year, she said. 

But construction on the Honolulu rail project through Waipahu in 2014 cut the number of customers at Harvey’s Barbershop down to 50 per day. When her barbers started making less money, many of them bailed.

“When the rail made the business go low, that hurt. It really hurts,” Nichols said….

To help struggling businesses, the Honolulu City Council put $2 million into this year’s city budget for property tax relief. The Department of Budget and Fiscal Services still needs to determine how businesses can apply for the funds.

Two years ago, the council passed a bill to create a fund for businesses adversely affected by rail but didn’t appropriate any money for it.  Both the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit and the Federal Transit Administration said that any funds tied to the rail project couldn’t be used to help businesses.

None of the businesses Civil Beat spoke to have received any kind of assistance from the state or city…..

read … About the Future

Police Commission Panics After Consultant Who Picked Kealoha Refuses to do it Again

KHON: The selection of Honolulu’s next police chief is once again in jeopardy of being delayed.

The Honolulu Police Commission has been trying to hire a company to help create tests that the police chief applicants will take.

The first consultant it chose backed out and now, the commission is crossing its fingers that the second choice agrees to the job….

KHON2 asked Sword what would happen if the second company doesn’t come through.

“Don’t say that, bachi! We don’t know,” Sword replied. “We’ll just have to go to the third one. Hopefully not, because there’s only three that submitted their intentions.”

The consultant’s role is to help create tests for the 34 police chief candidates, score them, and recommend the top candidates for the police commission, who will ultimately choose from the top-ranked choices.

The city will pay the company around $50,000 for the job….

The commission says the same consultant that backed out was used when hiring the department’s previous chief, Louis Kealoha.

read … Commission to negotiate with second pick for police chief search consultant

Taxpayers Might Have To Pay For Ex-Honolulu Police Chief’s Attorney

CB: A law passed nearly two decades before Hawaii became a state is at the center of an increasingly bitter fight between the Honolulu Police Commission and former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha over who should foot his upcoming legal bills — the taxpayers or Kealoha himself.

The statute, which is still on the books, guarantees county police officers taxpayer-funded legal defense in both criminal and civil cases arising from their work as police officers.

But deciding which officers get the public’s help not always simple as it sounds….

Meanwhile: Dispatchers relocated as Honolulu police deal with bed bugs

read … Your Tax Dollars at Work

Hu Honua Ripoff: Another Green Energy Rate hike Coming

IM: …Pacific Business News repackaged a Hu Honua press release and posted a story on July 5, 2017: Hu Honua set to generate $2B in economic activity across Hawaii.

Hu Honua wants to lock in their high price for 30 years. Hu Honua wants to receive over 20 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2018, rising to over 32 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2048. HELCO will then tack on additional costs to cover transmission, distribution, and administration…. 

read … Your Green in Their Pocket

Oahu single-family home prices hits record $795k

KITV: …Hawaii real-estate firm, Locations reports the median price for single-family homes on Oahu is now $795,000, according to June's Residential Real Estate Report. That's up five percent from the previous peak of $760,000 last year.

Meanwhile, the median price for condominiums was listed at $400,000 in June.

According the report, condo "bid-ups" also reached a record high with 27.1 percent being sold over the asking price. 

Locations predicts Oahu's home and condo prices will only continue to rise in 2017, because of the "current competitive market environment." 

In addition, days on the market reached a record low of 14 days in June…..

read … Record

Fight over Trump travel ban's scope begins in federal courts

WE: …The Trump administration responded late Monday, countering that Hawaii's challenge had no merit. The Trump team argued that its decision about how to implement the ban was rooted in the Immigration and Nationality Act and "hews closely to the categorical determinations articulated by Congress."

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas predicted a "flood of litigation" would result from the high court's decision to hear the travel ban litigation and allow specific portions of the ban to proceed. The bickering between attorneys for Hawaii and the Trump administration represents some of the first skirmishes….

AG: TRAVEL BAN PARTIES REBUT TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S INTERPRETATION OF U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING

read … Litigation

Civil Beat Editors Endorse Anti-Aquarium Hysteria

CB:…“There is concern that the science does not support the claims made by the bill,” the administration stated….. (Best sentence in the entire editorial)

read … Hysteria

Keeping Traffic Jammed: Caldwell Eliminates More Lanes

KHON: …“The idea is to make it a more pedestrian-focused area. It’s the largest area with walkability. We looked at that and the elderly population who need more time to cross the street,” said Michael Packard, the city’s Complete Streets program coordinator.

But businesses say the new safety feature is causing problems for delivery and pickup trucks.

“A lot of people are complaining, especially delivery trucks like FedEx, UPS, they cannot deliver to people around here. They have to park far away (with) very heavy packages,” said Sam Say, who owns MP Lei Shop.

He says trash pickup is also affected. “I heard they said they couldn’t turn. Big trucks cannot park in the area, and the trash is heavy, so they leave it,” Say said.

“There is a lack of loading zones, a lack of where delivery trucks park,” said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, a member of the Downtown-Chinatown Neighborhood Board. “A lot of illegal activity goes on in the shoulders. The city never planned properly to provide for sufficient loading.” ….

read … Anti-Business, Anti-Driver

Ige Bill Signing

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