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Friday, September 29, 2017
September 29, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:36 PM :: 1556 Views

US Senate Investigating Hawaii's Soaring Medicaid Costs

Housing ASAP: 714 Homeless Families Placed in Permanent Housing

Financial Literacy--Hawaii Ranks 42nd

Feds Sue Guam Over 'Chamorro Land Trust'

Puerto Rico needs more than temporary Jones Act waiver

Hawaii Visitor Spending Grows 6.1 Percent in August 2017

Why is Hawaii so Healthy? Gallup vs Bloomberg

UHERO: Economy Slowing, Despite Arrivals Boom

Telescope Shakedown: Next Stop Court

SA: The fight is not over for Kealoha Pisciotta, who from her Big Island home for years has led the Mauna Kea Hui petitioners against the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Of course, there is the setback handed to them by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Thursday. The BLNR voted 5-2 to end a contested-case hearing with approval of the application for a permit to build the $1.4 billion telescope at the summit.

There are more legal twists and turns ahead. Both sides have long been expected to pursue the case until the state’s high court makes the final call. 

read … Greenmail

Ige: North Korean Nuclear Attack ‘Not Likely’

MN: Gov. David Ige said he’s none too worried about the threat of nuclear attack, but said that as a state, “it’s better to be prepared than not.”

“We believe that the possibility of a nuclear attack is extremely low,” Ige said Thursday before the Maui Chamber of Commerce’s annual governor’s luncheon at the King Kamehameha Golf Club. “We don’t believe that North Korea has the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon to Hawaii. But, we always believe that it’s better to be prepared to talk about what the citizens should do should there be a nuclear attack in the future.”

Ige said that air raid warning siren tests will move forward throughout the islands as planned, though a specific date hasn’t been set. The originally scheduled start date of Nov. 1 was postponed after the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency decided it needed to consult more with the Neighbor Islands before starting the tests.

Hawaii lawmakers have been urging officials to update Cold War-era plans for coping with a nuclear attack, as North Korea leader Kim Jong Un continues to develop ballistic missiles that some fear could reach the islands. However, officials have been treading carefully on the subject, walking a fine line between wanting the public to be prepared and avoiding overhyped fears of a nuclear attack (which could damage tourism)….

read … While nuclear attack threat considered low, Gov. Ige says ‘better to be prepared’

Thanks to President Donald J Trump, Hirono Suddenly Calls for Jones Act Waiver

SA: …The relatively obscure, 97-year-old maritime shipping law has seen a surge of national coverage in recent days as Puerto Rico continues to cope with devastation from Hurricane Maria. President Donald Trump hesitated at first and then on Thursday temporarily waived the Jones Act’s restrictions on shipping to the U.S. territory, allowing foreign vessels to transport goods there.

Some longtime local critics of the Jones Act, which requires ships that move cargo between U.S. ports be U.S.-built, flagged and crewed, have compared what’s unfolded under the law in Puerto Rico to what could happen in Hawaii.

“Our first concern for Puerto Rico is over the terrible catastrophe that its citizens and residents have experienced,” said Keli‘i Akina, president and CEO of the public-­policy think tank Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. But if there’s a silver lining, it’s “that national attention is being placed in updating the Jones Act,” Akina said.

The Honolulu-based Grassroot Institute has called for Jones Act changes for the past 15 years, and Akina said the group would like to lift the law’s requirement that ships be U.S.-built, because it’s the most costly of the Jones Act’s provisions….

…some Hawaii lawmakers, say the act unfairly punishes residents in the islands with higher costs of living….

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a statement Thursday that if Hawaii faced a major natural disaster and shortage of essential goods, she would invoke an established, “expedited process” that could lead to a Jones Act waiver.

“Waiving the Jones Act has focused attention on the challenges of delivering critical, lifesaving supplies already in Puerto Rico to people in desperate need of them,” she added…..

read … Calamity shows how Jones Act could harm Hawaii, critics say

Blue Planet Pushes for More Rate Hikes to Support  Billionaire Elon Musk

IM: The Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission opened a regulatory proceeding in 2013 to reexamine the existing Decoupling Mechanisms.

The Commission noted that automatic rate adjustment and tracking mechanisms passed through to customers outside of rate cases benefitted the utility and their shareholders at the expense of ratepayers.

“These mechanisms have the effect of reducing utility risk by virtually ensuring recovery of all entitled revenues regardless of economic, demographic, customer choice, weather and other uncertain circumstances that would otherwise affect utility revenues. The adjustment mechanisms shift these risks to ratepayers, who are subject to any resulting automatic rate adjustments.” …

Blue Planet Foundation submitted testimony by one expert witness, Ronald J. Binz. The filing was signed by the three attorneys handling the proceeding: Blue Planet Foundation`s Melissa Miyashiro and EarthJustice attorneys Isaac Moriwake and Kylie Wager Cruz…. 

(Ratepayer News: These are your enemies.)

Binz testified that the ECAC fails to promote renewable energy.

“The ECAC does not promote renewables use. Instead, it enables the expeditious recovery of fossil fuel costs, masking the danger to the climate of burning fossil fuels. Moreover, the incentive provided by the heat rate adjustment may be conflict with flexible system operations that are required to accommodate a deep penetration of variable generation like wind and solar power.”

(Translation: HECO is being paid to keep their diesel power plants running --producing more waste heat--because of our useless and erratic wind and solar garbage electricity.  Next Step: We need to force them to change to biodiesel….)

I believe it is important that HECO’s ECAC should be modified so as to encourage HECO to maintain its LSFO [Low Sulfur Fuel Oil] heat rate at a level that is consistent with the recent years, and to provide an incentive for achieving its forecasted reduction in LSFO heat rates to reduce fuel cost and lower rates to customers. I believe that it is necessary the setting of the LSFO target heat rate, determining the size of the LSFO deadband and incorporating an annual adjustment must work in conjunction with one another to achieve those objectives.”

A decade ago, HECO proposed using tropical rainforest palm oil biodiesel grown in Indonesian, Malaysian, and/or Borneo to power the Kahe Generation Station. Herz stated at the time that he “does not represent himself as an expert on biofuels”, nor had he ever “testified on matters focused on biofuels”, but he knew that biofuels had no impact on climate change. “Dedicated biomass-to-electricity crops, biofuels produced from agricultural crops, it’s by-products, or waste products, would have an environmental benefit of being net zero in the overall carbon balance.” People wondered whether he ws simply providing outside cover to justify agency positions.

(Translation: If HECO pays more to buy fake-green biofuels and lots and lots of overpriced Tesla Brand batteries, green energy scammers will all be happy. And the ratepayer will pay a lot more.)

Reality: What is Heat Rate?

Biofuel: CBS News nails Abercrombie for multi-million dollar Earmarks to campaign contributors

read … Blue Planet = Rate Hike

2 years after Accessory Dwelling Units law passes – Only 67 Units Built

KITV: … to date the city program has produced only 67 units.

"I am kind of shocked, I certainly thought there would be more approved," Roscoe said.

Figures provided by the city's department of planning and permitting show that close to 2,000 families took the first step toward building an ADU.

To date, 248 permits have been approved and the city is reviewing another 113.

But it has also rejected 400, close to a fourth of the total amount.

The main reason? The city says is inadequate sewers and roads….

read … 2 years after Accessory Dwelling Units law passes - little to show

Another Homeless Camp Fire Under H-1 Freeway

KHON: …The Honolulu Fire Department was notified shortly after 6 a.m. of a fire near the intersection of Waiaka Road and Kuilei Street, near Moiliili Japanese Cemetery.

The westbound freeway off-ramp to Kapiolani Boulevard was closed temporarily as crews extinguished the blaze.

Officials say the fire involved trash from a homeless encampment. It was brought under control by 6:20 a.m.

No one was hurt, but the fire damaged a nearby parked car that belonged to an area resident….

“The Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, HDOT, State Department of Public Safety and the Hawaiian Humane Society conducted a coordinated cleanup under the H-1 Freeway at the Kapiolani Boulevard intersection in May 2017. Since then, crews have continued outreach, provided shelter options and offered services to the illegal campers in the area on multiple occasions….

SA: Homeless sweep to shut part of Pearl Harbor bike path

read … Fire under H-1 Freeway triggers temporary off-ramp closure in Moiliili

HGEA Mental Hospital Pretends to make Changes after Latest Two Escapes

KHON: …On Tuesday, Rhegan Kinoshita, 25, walked out of the facility for a couple of hours.

Last Wednesday, Leia McNeely, 41, ran from escort staff as she was being taken to an appointment….

Unchanging Reality: Hospital Crisis: How to Use Union Work Rules for Fun and Profit

read … HGEA Running the Asylum

DoE HSTA Brainwash Students to become Professional Activists

CB:  Teachers supplement history lessons with real-world projects that encourage students to take action in their communities….

read … How Hawaii Schools Are Rethinking Social Studies

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