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Tuesday, July 18, 2017
July 18, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:50 PM :: 3143 Views

HART Boardmember: Our Credibility has Disappeared, Nobody Knows Who is Responsible

U.S. Senator McCain strikes again at the Jones Act

2017’s Best & Worst Places for First-Time Home Buyers--Honolulu Ranks 268th

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 17, 2017

Hawaii Death Tax: State Gets You in the End

Hirono: I get most of my Intel from Watching TV

Hawaiian Electric rates could rise 44% under Green Energy plan OKed by state regulators

PBN: The state’s utility commission has approved Hawaiian Electric Cos.’ latest power-supply improvement plan, which forecasts rate increases of more than 44 percent over the next nine years….

According to the approved PSIP, customers could face average rate increases of between 18 and 25 percent over the next four years across the utility’s service territories, which include Hawaiian Electric Co. on Oahu; Maui Electric Co. on Maui, Molokai and Lanai; and Hawaiian Electric Light Co. on the Big Island.

“Given the substantial increase in rates forecasted in the report, the commission is concerned that the companies have not fully considered the affordability of their plans,” the commission said in its decision…..

“We share our customers’ concern with prices, and we don’t believe in renewables at any cost,” Peter Rosegg, senior spokesman at Hawaiian Electric Company, told PBN in an email. “We will evaluate every future project, which must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission with input from the Consumer Advocate, to achieve a balance between progress on our ambitious renewable energy goals and minimizing costs to customers.”  (IQ Test: Did you believe any of that?)

Hawaiian Electric said in the PSIP that it plans to procure almost 400 megawatts of new renewable resources across its service territories by 2021, which collectively represents the largest new generation procurement ever undertaken in the state….

Mina Morita pointed to liquefied natural gas as a potential solution to help mitigate the cost impact.

“This is a where I have a real problem with Gov. David Ige's administration, and the reluctance to have LNG,” she said. “To think that we are going to get off fossil fuel in the near term is crazy.”….

PDF: Full Text of Approval -- (Rate Hike info on pg 33-34)

read … 44% Rate Hike Coming

Key to Green Energy Plan—Get Rid of Cheapest Power Source

SA: …To help the utilities get to the 100 percent level, they are going to need to add utility-scale solar, customer-­sited batteries, rooftop solar, wind and biofuels. HECO expects private solar systems to more than double by 2030 to 165,000 from the 79,000 now in use across HECO’s territories.

“After 2022, coal won’t be burned to generate electricity on Oahu anymore,” Hawaiian Electric spokes­­woman Shannon Tangonan said. “It’s the cheapest power source by a significant margin, and it’s the largest generator of firm, 24/7 power on the island….

IM: PUC Approves HECO, MECO & HELCO Power Supply Improvement Plans (PSIP)

read … Rate Hike Coming

Hawaii County to Form Secret Organization to Find Ways to Hike Your Taxes

HTH: …Fresh from raising taxes on most property types, county officials say they are convening an internal working group to recommend changes to the tax code….

According to Tomei, the group will mostly be internal and made up of county Finance staff with input also coming from the real estate sector or other organizations. For agriculture land issues, Kamehameha Schools or Parker Ranch might be invited to participate, he said.

While issues are likely to be wide-ranging, Tomei said one area that will be looked at is short-term vacation rentals, which currently don’t have their own tax classification.

Tomei said the goals, as set out by Mayor Harry Kim, are to make the tax code “efficient and fair.”

It’s not clear how long the process might take. Tomei said the idea of having it staff-led is that it can be a continuous process that won’t be limited by council terms.

The meetings won’t be required to be public, except for reports to the council.

In addition to recent gas tax hikes, the council last month approved tax increases for all property classes except affordable rentals and owner-occupied properties. Kim proposed across-the-board increases.

This isn’t the first time in recent years that the county has taken a look at the issue.

The previous council formed a Real Property Tax Stakeholders Task Force that recommended five bills to reduce loopholes to make collections more fair in 2014. That task force’s role was to find ways to implement 40 recommendations included in a 99-page property tax report from 2012….

read … More Tax Hikes Coming

Tourism Scores Trump Bump

AP: …Last winter, the U.S. tourism industry fretted that Trump administration policies might lead to a “Trump slump” in travel.

But those fears may have been premature. International arrivals and travel-related spending are up in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.

There might even be a “Trump bump,” says Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, a nonprofit representing the travel industry….

read … No Trump slump in tourism but there could be a Trump bump

Why no worries about mainland ownership of Oceanic, Hawaiian Telcom?

ILind: …It wasn’t too long ago that critics of the proposed takeover of Hawaii Electric by Florida-based NextEra went on at length about the bad things that might result from its takeover by a much larger mainland corporation.

There was lots of talk about those Florida people not understanding our special culture, society, etc….

But between the former Oceanic (now owned by Charter and rebranded as Spectrum), and Hawaiian Telcom (now to be part of Cincinnati Bell), these regulated companies control a broad swatch of local broadband, cable, and related services.

No concerns, though, by opponents of out-of-state ownership? Interesting.

read … Why no worries about mainland ownership of Oceanic, Hawaiian Telcom?

Why did you choose to begin Food Evolution with the example of the Hawaiian papaya?

R:  … I have to give props to another wonderful science writer, Amy Harmon, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the New York Times, who introduced me to the papaya story. I didn't know it even existed. And it was the irony of the fact that GMO technology which most people—sadly a large percentage of the population see as being dangerous—saved the papaya industry in Hawaii. And furthering that irony was that some politicians in Hawaii were trying to be the first state to ban the cultivation of all GMOs, but then they grandfathered in that same papaya. And, as Amy Harmon pointed out—and made my eyebrows go up—what are they actually trying to say? If they're saying they want to ban all GMOs, but this one's [papayas] okay, you're not really saying anything. So I wanted to look further into that ….

read … Interview with 'Food Evolution' Filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy 

CPS had been in contact with Hawaii girl starved to death since she was a toddler

HNN: …The girl's parents and her grandmother were arrested last week for allegedly starving the 9-year-old to death.

Sources say the girl was not able to leave the family's Hilo home.

She was found unconscious and emaciated at their apartment in Hilo. She died a few hours later at the hospital.

In court Monday, the child's parents said little. A judge upheld their $100,000 bail.

Hawaii News Now has learned that the girl's grandmother had custody of her, but that the girl's parents lived in the apartment complex too.

According to an indictment, the three are accused of denying the girl food, water and medical treatment for about a year before her death.

Family members say they last saw the child alive on Thanksgiving 2015.

That same month, the girl was pulled out of Hilo Union Elementary to attend home school, even though her parents have no background in the field of education, and sources say, no ability to provide that. The DOE sent a statement to Hawaii News Now saying once the child is approved to be homeschooled, "The DOE has no authority to conduct home visits to oversee how the child is being educated."….

read … Another One

Homeless Drug Addicts Repeatedly Assault Kailua Business

HNN: …"It's absolutely not a homeless issue. Yes, some of the guys are homeless. What it is is a drug enforcement issue. It's an accountability issue. There's no accountability for these people and they know that," said Dymond.

On Thursday, a man who appeared intoxicated set off an aerial firework at Kalapawai Cafe. The explosion happened just a few yards from where a family with an infant was eating. Dymond said initially police were reluctant to even make a report.

And a week ago Sunday, a busser was attacked when he asked a man cursing at diners to quiet down.

"He actually came into the restaurant and threw a punch at me," said Kai Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick said after multiple calls to police it took 30 minutes for officers to arrive. The suspect wasn't arrested until much later that night when he showed up again looking for another fight.

"He came in and actually tried to hit the owner of the restaurant with a vodka bottle and kicked one of them employees. That's when police finally took it seriously and had me come down here and identify him," said Kirkpatrick….

read … Make way for your rulers, they’re drunk, and they have superior rights

Assisted Suicide is a Great Way to Kill off Old White Males

CB: Early data indicates aid-in-dying patients are more likely to be older whites males with college degrees…..

read … Social Engineering

Hawaii v Trump V2—Expect a Ruling Soon

LI: …Expect a Supreme Court ruling soon…..

PDF: Hawaii v Trump – Opposition to Govt Motion to SCOTUS for Clarification and Stay of Hawaii Order

read … Soon

Marco Polo Fire

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