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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
September 26, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:02 PM :: 1153 Views

UH Law Prof Antolini: Mrs Brian Schatz’ North Shore Shopping Plaza is Not News – Stop reporting it

Supreme Court Justices Cancel Travel Ban Hearing

Problems ahead for Pasha Hawaii and TOTE despite Gov Ige’s terminal announcement

Does the Jones Act Endanger American Seamen?

Missed deadlines leads the city to lose millions in federal housing funds

HNN: Caldwell says dealing with Honolulu's housing crisis is one of his top priorities. But at the same time, the city just lost millions of dollars for housing programs and need-based rental assistance.

the city missed deadlines to spend almost $10 million, and the federal government has already taken some of it back.

Federal officials say over $2 million has already been lost in federal funds, and another $7.5 million is at risk. All the federal money is intended to serve Oahu's low to moderate income population….

The money could've gone to for affordable housing or rental assistance, like Section 8.

Okahara says the city only spent four percent of the money it was given….

HUD officials also say the city missed another critical deadline for HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that could lead to another $7.5 million being lapsed…..

This isn't the first time the federal government has been critical of the city's handling of federal grant money.

The city was warned about mishandling federal block grants a year ago.

Last August, an audit by the U.S. Office of Inspector General found that "the city did not have an effective grant administration structure in place," and that, "The dysfunction and inefficiency caused the city to be repeatedly at risk of failing the HUD timeliness test."….

HUD will soon decide how much of the $7.5 million to take back, Okahara says….

Sept 2016: Will HUD order Dysfunctional Caldwell to Pay Back Wasted Affordable Housing Money?

read … Missed deadlines leads the city to lose millions in federal housing funds….

Resignation May Allow Corrupt Chief Pick to be Blocked

SA:  Just weeks before the Hono­lulu Police Commission is scheduled to pick a new police chief, one of its members resigned abruptly Monday, citing her opposition to the selection process.

The resignation of Luella Costales, a commissioner since 2012, leaves the seven- member panel two members short of a full complement.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has not appointed anyone to replace Marc Tilker, who resigned for personal reasons in May. Costales herself was a holdover from 2016 who was asked by Caldwell to continue until a replacement could be selected.

Four votes are needed to make a decision, so the two vacancies mean it will take only two of the commissioners to derail any decision- making, including the selection of a new chief….

(Will Caldwell suddenly make an appointment to save the hope for a continuation of corruption?)

CB: Outspoken Honolulu Police Commissioners Just Got More Power

read … Will Caldwell Make an Appointment?

The Big Island’s First Legal Homeless Camp: Safe Zone Or Shanty Town?

CB: Mayor Harry Kim wants several encampments around the island, but critics say the focus should be on finding permanent housing….

n 1990, Honolulu city officials erected a huge, 16-family tent for homeless people in Aala Park. They also allowed camping in the downtown park.

Seven months after the tent went up, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that of the 54 families that had lived in the big tent, most moved on to transitional shelters or permanent housing.   

Other articles painted a darker picture at Aala Park: used needles littered the ground, one man stabbed another in a dispute over a sleeping spot, and a group of teenagers whose families lived in the camp led a crime spree in the area.

Within three years, city officials dismantled the tent city and evicted campers.

Still, some state lawmakers seem keen to retry Oahu’s safe zone experiment. This year, the Legislature passed a bill giving the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness $25,000 to study safe zones.

Critics of safe zones, including the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, argue public money is better spent on permanent housing.

“My biggest concern is that it becomes accepted that we have these shanty towns existing around our towns and cities,” said Eric Tars, a senior attorney at the law center. “And we shouldn’t accept that in America, we have the resources.” ….

County officials are already alarmed at the cost of running Camp Kikaha, the prototype for Village 9.

Camp Kikhaha cost just $2,000 to set up, but runs up a monthly tab of more than $23,000 to operate, Niimi said. That’s $905 per person each month for the 26 people living in the camp last Thursday.

Security, which runs about $15,000 per month, is the camp’s largest expense. 

Police are called daily to Camp Kikaha, mostly to break up fights. There have been five or six arrests since the camp opened two months ago, Kanehailua of the police department said.  …

read … Shanty Town

More ‘safe zone’ follies in Kakaako

HHC:  Officially, “safe zones” for homeless people to legally camp in tents and shacks don’t exist on Oahu. But we have them, of course, even if authorities don’t like to admit it. Besides the huge squatter camp next to the Waianae Boat Harbor mentioned previously, Kakaako Waterfront Park in downtown Honolulu is obviously a government-sanctioned safe zone …

read … More ‘safe zone’ follies in Kakaako

HEI denies creating new subsidiary to get around state regulators

PBN: …HEI last week announced that its new subsidiary, Pacific Current, reached an agreement with Boston-based ArcLight Capital Partners to buy the 60-megawatt Hamakua Energy Partners' power plant.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission earlier this year rejected an application by Big Island utility Hawaii Electric Light Co., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co., to buy the oil-fueled power plant, saying the benefits to customers were insufficient.

Asked if Pacific Current, which is not a utility company and therefore out of the reach of state regulators, was created in response to the PUC rejection, Cliff Chen, treasurer, manager, investors relations and strategic planning at HEI, told Pacific Business News: "No, it was not."….

(Translation: “Yes.”)

BREG: Pacific Current Registered Sept 8, 2017

IM: Hawaiian Electric Industries Plans to Buy Naphtha

NR: ArcLight agrees to sell Hamakua Energy Partners plant to Pacific Current, new HEI subsidiary

read … HEI denies creating new subsidiary to get around state regulators

Lower taxes better than ‘basic income’

TH: …The Aloha State has a long tradition of adopting (or attempting to adopt) “cutting edge” legislation, regardless of how good a fit it might be for a small island state in the middle of the Pacific. The latest idea is the so-called universal basic income. But what about simply lowering taxes?….

read … The Hill

Police Commissioner Resigns Before Chief Picked

AP: …Honolulu Police Commission member Luella Costales is resigning after raising concerns about a lack of diversity in the process of selecting the department's next chief. Costales, appointed to the commission in 2012, submitted her resignation Monday, Sept. 25, 2017….

read … Quit

Draft ethics rules to be discussed next week

ILind: The State Ethics Commission has released its draft of the first batch of administrative rules, which will be discussed during the commission’s meeting scheduled for next Monday, October 2, at 10 a.m.

The meeting has been posted on the official state calendar (use the link above), but the draft rules had not yet been posted on the commission’s website as of early this morning.

However, the initial set of rules, designated Chapters 1-3, can be found here…..

The commission was forced to reduce its guidance into administrative rules as the result of a 2016 court decision (see, “Judge says ethics guidelines must be adopted as rules to be valid“)…..

read … Draft ethics rules to be discussed next week

HART: Rail, Tech are Part of Scheme to Force You Out of Your Car

CB: …Rail is critical to, but only part of, the mobility and transportation future for Hawaii. That future will also include electric and driverless cars on our streets and highways. With the advent of app-based ride-sharing services and even autonomous shuttles, this future is also trending to a significant reduction in car ownership.

Some people have suggested that such technological innovations, however, will make our rail system irrelevant or obsolete. In such a transportation future, however, our city’s driverless, electric trains will be even more important and more relevant than ever.

Under the emerging shared mobility ecosystem, people will be able to choose from a variety of transportation systems that best meet their needs. For many trips, the combination of walking or biking and public transit will often be the most economical, reliable and comfortable transportation option….

SA: Could construction slowdown be good for rail?

read … Driverless

Tourism Drops to 17% of Economy

HPR: …“About 10 years ago, tourism represented about 33 percent of the Hawai’i economy.  Now it represents about 17 percent so there’s a lot more.  There’s private businesses, there’s hospitals, there’s the military, so really, it’s very diversified.  When people talk about tourism as being the sole economic driver, it’s not.”

Machida says 80 percent of the state’s revenue is derived from the general excise tax and income tax paid by Hawai’i residents.  Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism -- DEBEDT director -- Luis Salaveria -- says there are a number of promising ventures….

DBEDT: Daily Passenger Count

B: North Korean Tensions Are To Blame For Hawaiian Holdings Stock Downgrade

read …  Tourism




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