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Hawaii Daily News Read

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Friday, July 14, 2017
July 14, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:59 PM :: 934 Views

Hawaii Obama-Appointed Judge Orders More Muslims into Country

Constitutional Limits on States’ Efforts to “Uphold” the Paris Agreement

Hawaii: 22% of Medicare Patients got Opioids in 2016

Honolulu Auditor Announces Plans for 2017-18

US Soldier, ISIS Supporter Believed Hitler Was Right And Moon Landings Were Fake

2009 Law Allows BioFuel Scammers to Soak Electric Ratepayers

IM: …The Legislature passed a very short bill that adds 110 words of confusion to the kuleana of the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission. The key sentence is, “The public utilities commission shall have the authority to establish preferential rates for the purchase of renewable energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities.” (HRS §269-27.3)

The commission noted that “Hu Honua has the right to support its request in whatever way it deems fit”….

Related: Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future

read … Biofooled

Failed GEMS Program Now Takes Slightly Less from your Electric Bill

SA: …The PBF surcharges go to an energy efficiency program called Hawaii Energy. The Green Infrastructure fees are distributed to a renewable-energy loan program called Green Energy Market Securitization, or GEMS. On July 1 the Green Infrastructure fee went down to $1.18 from $1.27. The fee is adjusted every six months.

On Oahu half of the energy HECO uses is bought from eight independent power producers, which include AES Hawaii, a coal-fired facility in Kapolei and the Kahuku Wind facility on the North Shore.

The cost of electricity in the state is more than double the national average, as Hawaii residents paid an average of 30.33 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity in April. The national average was 12.70 cents in the same month, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The higher cost of electricity in Hawaii is widely attributed to the state’s use of fossil fuels.  (A belief which makes us easy prey for mainland green energy scammers.)

read … GEMS

Bag Tax: Enviros Show the way to Rip-Off Consumers

SA: …A bill that unites greenies and greenbacks in a rare “kumbaya” moment calls for a flat-out ban on checkout counter plastic bags, effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Approved by the City Council on Wednesday, Bill 59, which has undergone five drafts, will close a loophole in Honolulu’s plastic bag ban that allows businesses to offer “reusable” plastic bags that are slightly thicker than the banned filmy sacks. The thicker sort will be allowed through Dec. 31, 2019, with the stipulation that retailers charge at least 15 cents for each bag starting next July. Mayor Kirk Caldwell is expected to sign off on the environmentally sound move.

Next move? Let’s do away with polystyrene foam containers, too….

read … Rip Off

Fallen concrete from airport viaduct has engineer calling for emergency inspections

HNN: A fallen chunk of concrete is raising safety concerns under the H-1 viaduct.

State Department of Transportation officials say it checked out the site and believe the structure is safe.

Witnesses say a large block of concrete fell from the overpass onto Nimitz Highway across from Thrifty car rental around noon on Saturday.

The concrete damage was caused by corrosion and highway engineers say it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

"We got to be very careful of spalling overhead because if there is pedestrian activity underneath or property, we have to cordon it off until we fix it because again, falling concrete can be very dangerous," said Panos Prevedouros….

read … Future of Rail

Biki:  Top Stations are in Waikiki

SA: …Lori McCarney pedaled in, checked in her bike in an empty stall and sat down for an interview at Auahi and Keawe streets, fronting the ninth most popular out of 89 Biki stations in Honolulu.

The rental kiosks, with their racks of cycles for hire, comprise the core elements in the new system launched by Bikeshare Hawaii, the nonprofit where McCarney serves as chief executive officer.

Waikiki has the highest-ranked stations…

read … Tourist Trap

DoE: Many Teachers Quit to Leave State

CB: …The number of teacher vacancies for the upcoming 2017-18 school year isn’t yet available. But there were approximately 531 teacher vacancies as the start of the 2016-2017 school year. From 2011-12 onward, the number of teacher vacancies per new school year has steadily crept upward, DOE data shows.

Relocation to other states, according to DOE employment reports from the last two years, is among the top three reasons teachers leave the system….

Houston: The state of Hawaii needs teachers, but think twice before applying

read … The Scramble To Recruit New Teachers — And Keep Them In Hawaii

Hawaii Co Auditor Investigates Cash Handling, Hiring Favoritism

HTH: …Audits of county hiring and cash-handling practices should be completed in the next few months, legislative Auditor Bonnie Nims said Thursday.

Nims is set to present her plans Monday to the County Council for future audits for the fiscal year that started July 1.

Meanwhile, she said, an audit of county hiring practices is taking a little longer than planned because of the complexity of the practice. At the same time, her office is also wrapping up an audit of cash-handling procedures at the county Department of Water Supply….

County jobs are considered plum positions on the island, and as would be expected, account for many complaints levied against county officials. Nims said her office chose this area of scrutiny based on risk analysis and public complaints….

“We will assess controls in place intended to ensure the fair, uniform and transparent selection of the best employee for the position and identify opportunities for business process improvements based on industry best practices,” Nims said in her summary….

read … Audit

‘Plantation’ village offers families hope

SA: …Kahauiki Village’s concept was devised by Hawaii businessman Duane Kurisu, who grew up in a plantation village and believes recreating that environment could help reclaim lives.

Kurisu is repurposing prefabricated units that had been purchased originally to help those who lost their homes six years ago in the devastating Japan tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster. These are modular dwellings built and dispatched as part of the “Aloha for Japan” charity fundraiser. Kurisu, a board member for Oahu Publications Inc., the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s parent company, helped to organize that event.

Even with the land provided and the dwellings essentially purchased, the undisclosed costs of the project continue to mount. And another asset in Kahauiki Village’s immense potential — nearby job opportunities for those willing and able to work — might not materialize readily for another project. That piece, contributed by former first lady Vicky Cayetano, is the willingness to hire workers from the village at her United Laundry business, which is within walking distance.

In what is becoming the best kind of public-private partnership, the development of the village also involves the work of nonprofits. It is an enterprise of Kurisu’s own aio Foundation, which will lease the land from the city at $1 a year.

Success also will depend on the work of groups such as Salvation Army and Catholic Charities Hawaii, which will provide programs readying the families before they move in.

It will be managed by the Institute for Human Services, which will do the essential task of screening potential residents, to find those willing to invest their own labor and the money they earn. These are not free homes but will be rented to the occupants at affordable rates: $900 monthly for two-bedroom homes, $725 for the one-bedroom units, all of them including electricity, gas and water service.

This is meant not as transitional housing but a place to call home….

read … ‘Plantation’ village offers families hope

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