Mucking Around in the Past?
GE Tax Equivalent to 13% Sales Tax
Economic freedom needed to increase affordable housing
Big Q: Do know someone who’s had to leave Hawaii directly due to high home prices? (Yes = 68%)
Telescope Protesters Want to Discuss Terms for Cultural Park atop Mauna Kea
KITV: …"The endangered environment continually degrades and the system for the conservation district says that they merely have to maintain the current situation and never improve. That's the standing, that's the bar. The bar is very low for conservation district," Kamahana Kealoha, a TMT protestor said.
"I think we should sit at the table and we should have civil discussions, and every body's opinion counts. But I also think that the word of the law should be maintained. The State of Hawaii constitution protecting Hawaiian practices and Hawaiian spiritual beliefs," Kealoha added. …
read … Plans for a cultural park atop Mauna Kea still facing resistance
Who Needs a Tax Hike? $350M Bond Funds Rail for year
SA: …This Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council is scheduled to vote to authorize the issuance of up to $350 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the Honolulu rail transit project’s expenses through January 2018.
We will also consider the memorandum of understanding that sets the terms and conditions to ensure that taxpayers get their money back….
…We respect the right of the anti-rail lobby to voice their opinions, and we welcome their input. But so far they offer no viable solutions.
They cite gross mismanagement as the core problem, then suggest changing the technology…. (EDITOR's NOTE: Rail could proceed on the ground beyond Middle St with the existing rail cars. Platforms would have to be built at the ground-level stops so the passengers could board.)
Meanwhile: Navatek Boat Suggested as Alternative to Rail
read … Manahan
Ige Admin Uses Anti-Trump Lawsuits as Political Tool
Borreca: …The court notation says it all: “Trump v. Hawaii.”
Since February, the state of Hawaii has been a national player in the movement against President Donald Trump’s.
We may not be the People’s Republic of Hawaii, but the renewed feistiness coming from local officials shows that Republican Trump has stirred Democratic Hawaii…. (Translation: Ige getting a boost in popularity in the run-up to 2018)
when Trump came back with a modified travel ban, we were first in line to say, “Not good enough.”
In March, Chin was telling the country that Hawaii is special….
…Trump’s own muddled administration is likely to be the target of more lawsuits, with Hawaii joining in the national protests….
Reality: Ige's Second Suit Against Trump: 9th Circuit Says Chin is Faking it
read … Political Tool
SB410: Legislators’ brown-nosing puts unions in control
Shapiro: A common complaint about Hawaii’s local government is that public worker unions are too powerful.
The problem isn’t the power of unions, but the weakness of most state and county elected officials in balancing politically tinged labor interests with the broader public interests they are sworn to serve.
Exhibit A is a bill passed by the 2017 Legislature that potentially forces state and county administrators to negotiate with unions on routine daily direction of workers, making effective management impossible.
Matters that always fell under the employer’s basic right to manage — hiring, job standards, work assignments, promotions, transfers, discipline, productivity, organizational goals — would become subject to negotiation under Senate Bill 410 if “it affects the terms and conditions of employment.”….
Instead of doling out incremental favors to unions, legislators handed over the keys to the candy store all at once.
The pandering was unanimous in both houses, with support crossing all party and factional lines despite warnings from administrators that it would cripple their ability to manage effectively.
Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe, who has a unique perspective as former head of the teachers union, said SB 410 “muddies the current bright line of understanding between employer rights and employee rights.”…
By any reasonable measure, our state and county governments perform poorly; politics and bureaucratic morass impede progress on virtually any priority problem you can think of.
If the governor and Legislature allow this cynical brown-nosing to become law, any hope for better governance is likely out the window….
read … Legislators’ brown-nosing puts unions in control
Starting a business is challenging
KGI: “We had some permitting issues, with construction of a new facility, and it was very time-consuming,’” Cristobal Andersland said. “You have to be very proactive to keep your permit moving along….
“Finding a cheap place to rent was difficult. Rent was always a difficulty….”
Related: Best States to Start a Business? Hawaii Ranks 46th
read … Starting a business is challenging
Hu Honua Biomess—Soak Ratepayers Every Month for Years to Come
SA: …There are projected costs to the ratepayer, especially in the early years, when startup costs are being recouped more aggressively. Monthly customer bills would be higher in the first 11 years, according to company officials, with $5.29 more on monthly bills the first year. (Reality: It’ll be more than this.)
The increase would fall off fairly rapidly, and by the end of the contract, customers would be paying $10.95 less per month. (IQ Test: Do you believe this?) Over the entire 30-year span, the average decrease in the bill would be around 83 cents per month….. (IQ Test: Do you believe this?)
read … Make the People Pay
Growth Industry: Public Urination up 1000-Fold
SA:Waikiki resident Jen Tema holds her breath as she jogs past the Diamond Head lookouts because most days the stench from the homeless encampments is overwhelming.
“We’re at the beginning of the toilet,” Tema said on a recent Friday as she passed by a garbage pile that spilled over the oceanside cliffs like a waterfall. “When it’s dead wind, you can barely walk by it. It’s a shame because this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
She quit jogging at night because she didn’t feel safe due to the security risks and health hazards that have surfaced since the neighborhood’s homeless residents began monopolizing public spaces. Her son doesn’t surf at the lookouts because homeless campers dump buckets of feces into the water there. Her kids wear shoes instead of slippers to the parks to avoid stepping on discarded drug needles and used condoms….
From 2015 to 2016, Honolulu police statistics show warnings for all offenses committed in city parks islandwide grew 28 percent, while citations rose 17 percent and arrests rose 56 percent. From 2015 to 2016, warnings for sit-lie dropped 41 percent, but citations rose 33 percent and arrests doubled. From 2015 to 2016, public urination warnings increased more than a thousandfold and citations increased by more than half, but arrests dropped by 90 percent….
read … Growing homeless encampments prompt proposal for armed park rangers
Aquarium fishery best managed, in the state of Hawaii
KHON: …“Aquarium fish collection fishery is one of the best managed, if not the best managed, in the state of Hawaii,” Phil Hernandez, President of Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation & Tradition, said….
After a 17-year study, DLNR reported yellow tang and kole fish populations in Kona actually increased in both protected and unprotected areas.
According to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, 93% of yellow tang in the aquarium industry come from Hawaii….
DLNR has proposed “limited entry aquarium fishing” in the past which could put a cap on the number of permits and establish significant permit fees.
The program has been successful at keeping fish populations at sustainable levels in Florida….
Video: Anti-Telescope Protester Supports Anti-Aquarium Nuts
read … Should new commercial aquarium fishing permits be banned?
Ritte Thug Gets Six Months for Attack on Fishermen
MN: …A Molokai man, described as the “muscle” in a confrontation with Oahu fishermen on a boat in waters off Molokai, was sentenced Thursday to a six-month jail term.
Floyd Kumukoa Kapuni, 34, also was ordered to pay $8,250 in restitution as part of four years’ probation.
He was among four Molokai residents indicted after fishing equipment was damaged and one person was pushed overboard during the boarding of Dr. Daryl Wong’s boat May 25, 2014.
“The defendant robbed and terrorized five innocent people who were just trying to enjoy a day on the water and spear a few fish,” said Deputy Prosecutor Johann Smith. “All he cared about was punishing these people for invading his turf and catching his fish.
“They felt justified in committing these acts of violence.”
Two doctors in their 40s and 50s, two soldiers and a woman were aboard the boat from Oahu, Smith said.
He said that Kapuni threatened the boat occupants and pushed one fisherman wearing a weighted belt into the ocean. “Luckily, he was a strong enough swimmer to get back to the surface and pull himself up on the boat,” Smith said…..
Defense attorney Philip Lowenthal said Kapuni “was someone used by older people.” …. (Go ahead say it – ‘Ritte’.)
Robin Dudoit, 57, who was sentenced to a six-month jail term last month, was described as staying on the Molokai residents’ boat and giving instructions to the other defendants, telling them to take the Oahu residents’ fish and spear gun….
Two other co-defendants, Albert Dudoit Jr., 29, and Kaiula Kalawe English, 28, were described as having lesser roles in the incident. English pleaded no contest to harassment and was given a chance to keep the conviction off his record if he complies with court requirements for six months.
Albert Dudoit Jr. had a second-degree terroristic threatening charge kept off his record when he complied with court requirements for one year….
Kapuni said. “I learned from this.”
He said he is among Molokai residents now working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to set fishing limits for Molokai…. (Wow. Just wow.)
read … Molokai man gets jail term for confrontation on boat
Greenmail Activists Celebrate Their Control of Hawaii County Democratic Party
BIVN: …this year, with (anti-GMO activist and defeated Councilmember Margaret) Wille at the helm, the gathering became a smorgasbord of resistance and a chance for the organizations to network….
read … Democrats Rally For Multiple Causes On The 4th
Rep Andria Tupola empowers people with hard work and a smile
Cataluna: …A few months ago, I was at the Waianae library to talk about writing with members of the book club. What ended up dominating the conversation was the west-side traffic and state Rep. Andria Tupola.
“She’s our Traffic Queen,” I was told. “She’s literally been out on the road in a skirt and heels directing traffic when the road is shut down.” Write about her, they said. “You should meet her. She’s different.”
I contacted Tupola’s office and asked to meet with her, but rather than talk across a desk, I asked if I might tag along on a typical day or while she was out in the community….
read … Legislator empowers people with hard work and a smile