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Wednesday, October 04, 2017
October 4, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:50 PM :: 968 Views

Video: Running for Governor, Rep Andria Tupola Rallies Supporters in Waianae

Survey: Over 80% of Hawaii Residents want Jones Act Repeal or Reform

State Climate Change Adaptation Commission to Meet in Doomed Oceanfront Hotel

More Shifting Numbers: Now City Claims Rail plan is $214M Short

HNN: …But city officials said that under the $2.4 billion bailout bill passed by the state Legislature, the city still has to come up with more than $200 million of its own money to finance the project's construction.

"Act 1 does not provide sufficient funding to pay for all of the rail construction and financing costs of the project,” said city Budget Director Nelson Koyanagi.

The shift includes $160 million in marketing, administrative and operating costs that state lawmakers say the city should pay for over the next eight years. And there's another $54 million in miscellaneous costs.

(Idea: Eliminate all rail marketing expenses.)

“So how is this plan $54 million short in one area and $160 million short in another area?” said City Councilmember Kymberly Pine, a rail supporter. "It's very disappointing because the taxpayers (have) said they do not want property taxes to be used for any part of the construction."

Mayor Kirk Caldwell previously raised concerns that the bailout plan could force the city to raise property taxes or cut essential services.

But city officials offered a new plan, saying they can issue bonds to cover the $200 million…..

CB: City Must Find $160 Million To Pay For Rail Agency’s Employees

read … Council committees give rail recovery plan OK, but questions remain

Candidates for HPD chief to detail their visions and qualifications

SA: The final phase of the search for a new Honolulu police chief begins at 2 p.m. today when the Honolulu Police Commission takes public testimony on its seven finalists. The meeting is at HPD Headquarters, 801 S. Beretania St., first-floor Conference Room A.

read … Candidates for HPD chief detail their visions and qualifications

Fail: Ige touts homeless successes — in park to be closed because of homeless crisis

HNN: …Gov. David Ige on Tuesday touted the state's success housing homeless families — in a Kakaako park overrun with squatters.

And a half hour before the news conference, workers plastered Kakaako Waterfront Park with signs saying that come Sunday night the area (including parking for Point Panic) will be off limits to the public — indefinitely.

The man who heads up the agency that manages the park says he didn't have a choice.

"It's not safe. The biggest hazard are the exposed wires and the proximity to the leaking water," said Jesse Souki, head of the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

"What's happening is some of the illegal campers are cracking the light poles and disassembling the live wires and attacking an extension cord to it. There's also broken pipes. They've broken fixtures in the restrooms. There are dog attacks,"

In July, HCDA stopped doing homeless sweeps after money ran out. Because the agency doesn't have the authority to remove people from the park, the number of campers has ballooned to nearly 150.

Parkgoers say things have gotten so bad they're careful where they walk.

"We're cut down to one fourth of the park now," said Miles Hatae, who was sitting at a table on the Diamond Head side of the park. "I don't venture past the restroom."

The scheduled closure comes almost a year to the day of a prior shutdown. The park closed for a month in 2016 while crews fixed broken light poles. The work cost $6,500. This time, officials say the damage is far worse, with repairs expected surpass $500,000.

Asked about the situation, the governor said even after repairs there is no guarantee it won't happen again…..

read … Fail

Illegal Hiring Practices: Kenoi Cronies fear Tidal Wave of Lawsuits

HTH: Legislative auditors on Tuesday defended their report sharply criticizing county hiring practices before a County Council committee that said the audit doesn’t go far enough.

“The council isn’t criticizing your report,” said Kohala Councilman Tim Richards. “We are critiquing it. We all want the same thing.”

Finance Committee members said the auditors’ concentration on just four positions within four county departments for one year doesn’t show the whole picture, and they quizzed audit analysts repeatedly on how they selected such a small sample.

“I don’t know what to make of this,” said Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung. “Is there cause for concern? Was there wrongdoing? Tell us.”….

In the wake of the sudden resignation last week of Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano, council members also are concerned about legal liability. Council members agreed to have an executive session during a future meeting to confer with their attorneys on potential lawsuits from candidates who were skipped over in favor of preferred candidates.

Council members said they also want to know more about the possible abuse of 89-day employment contracts that might have been used to allow preferred candidates to accrue the required experience to qualify for a permanent county job.

Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy called the report a “tiny little snapshot of time … (that) seems to target specific divisions.” 

VIDEO: Council Critiques Controversial Hiring Audit

read … Kenoi Cronies

Sister-Isle Councils: Sunshine Law Must Apply to Legislature

WHT: …The Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development voted 9-0 Tuesday to forward Resolution 295 to the council for a final vote. The Maui and Kauai councils voted unanimously in early September for similar resolutions.

Council Chairwoman Valerie Poindexter sponsored the nonbinding resolution, citing her recent experience addressing legislative committees during a special session about her concerns having the state take on responsibility for Honolulu’s troubled $9 billion rail project.

Poindexter, along with Maui Council Chairman Mike White and Kauai Council Chairman Mel Rapoza, faced tough questioning during a House committee hearing. They left the hearing frustrated that, while the public testimony part of the hearing was open to the public, the committee then went behind closed doors to debate and vote on the bill. Members then returned to the public meeting and put their votes on the record, without debate.

“The public, I’ve always believed, has a right to hear how decisions are made,” Poindexter said…..

SA: Counties urge Legislature to open meetings

read … Rail Reaction

Maui Survey: Repeal Obamacare 66.6%

Completely repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)  -- 1,686 Votes (66.56%)

Fix what is wrong with the Affordable Care Act -- 324 Votes (12.79%)

Replace the current health care system with a single-payer (Medicare for All) program -- 464 Votes (18.32%)

Leave the system just as it is - 61 Votes (2.41%)

read … Maui News

Here's another chapter of "Getting Around":

HT: Three months ago I released the Introduction and the first chapter of Getting Around: a history of how we move around in American cites. Chapter I is,"The Growth of Public Transportation, 1827-1923,"  Chapter II is, "The Automotive Revolution to 1923," and it is now ready. Further chapters will be released from time to time when finished. Chapter III will be "The Roller Coaster Years, 1923-1946.

I would appreciate it if you would share this with others who have an interest in the subject, particularly with anyone who has any knowledge of the period covered in the first two chapters covering the period 1827 to 1923, not necessarily just about public transportation.

read … Honolulu Traffic

Jones Act unfairly hurts Hawaii while jeopardizing security of U.S.

GRIH: This article by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii scholar Ken Schoolland and former First Hawaiian Bank economist Leroy Laney was great when the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published it in December 2015, and it’s still great. In a nutshell: The Jones Act makes shipping between Hawaii and the mainland very expensive, harms the economy of Hawaii while giving advantages to foreign competitors, and damages our national security. The quote included from 19th century economist Henry George is a classic.

read … Jones Act unfairly hurts Hawaii while jeopardizing security of U.S.

Guam: Chamorro Tribal status resolution raises concerns

PG: …Delegate Madeleine Bordallo has submitted some concern with a resolution asking her to introduce legislation in Congress that would grant the indigenous people of Guam federal recognition as an Indian tribe and recognize lands administered by the Chamorro Land Trust as tribal lands. 

In a letter to Sen. Michael San Nicolas, the author of the resolution, Bordallo stated that granting tribal recognition would come with advantages and disadvantages.

"For example, the designation of tribal land would involve the federal government taking into trust lands currently owned by the Chamorro Land Trust," Bordallo stated.

"Thus, while the Chamorro Land Trust — or newly established tribal entity — would continue to manage all aspects of this tribal land, the land would effectively be held in trust by the federal government for the Chamorro people."

San Nicolas' resolution, referred to as 255-34, was introduced after the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against GovGuam and the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and its administrative director for the alleged violation of the federal Fair Housing Act due to racial bias.  

Chamorro Land Trust properties are reserved for the native inhabitants of Guam.

Congress has plenary power over Indian affairs but has taken no action "recognizing the Chamorro as a tribe or nation," according to the lawsuit.

If this recognition were granted, San Nicolas states that CHamoru people would be eligible for special programs and allow them to incorporate Chamorro Land Trust lands as tribal lands, which are afforded certain protections. 

Bordallo stated that the federal government has traditionally taken lands into trust for recognized tribes in order to remove them from state jurisdiction and that this is not necessary for the island, given that Guam is a U.S. territory and not a state.

She further stated that she believed Guam — not the federal government — should continue to own, manage and administer the Chamorro Land Trust lands.

Robert Underwood, president of the University of Guam, also had concerns with proceeding through with tribal recognition. According to Underwood, tribal recognition doesn't necessitate changes that would hold the lawsuit against the CLTC moot, as different tribes have specific agreements with the federal government.

"What problem are you trying to solve? That's the question," Underwood said. "It doesn't automatically create an Indian reservation. All those things are part and parcel of a long process that goes back 100 years depending on whether your native group signed a treaty with the federal government."

There are also certain qualifications that must be met before gaining tribal recognition and the CHamorus of Guam also would need to ask themselves if they wanted to be recognized as an Indian tribe. 

"The claim for sovereignty and the right to make a choice for political status seems to me stronger than the claim for tribal status," Underwood said. "It's a good faith effort to gain recognition, but do people see the federal government saying, 'OK, the 50 percent of Guam is now a tribal reservation.' ... And what do you think the other Indian groups are going to say about this?" ….

PG: There are sensible options to preserve Chamorro Land Trust program

read … Tribe?

Guam: 16 Homosexual Child Molesters

CB: The magnitude of the claims is staggering. According to a recent USA Today analysis, Guam, with a population of only about 160,000, has a per-capita rate of abuse claims more than five times higher than in Boston. So far, 16 priests have been accused of sexual abuse. About a third of them are deceased and some have left the priesthood. One was defrocked.

CB: Guam’s Day Of Reckoning After Decades Of Sex Abuse

read … Homosexual Child Molesters

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