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Wednesday, November 01, 2017
November 1, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:46 PM :: 2004 Views

Obamacare: Ins Div Approves Yet Another Round of Massive Rate Hikes

Hirono Kidney Cancer Spreads to Thyroid

Former Charter School Principal Charged with Theft

VIDEO: Education as the Pathway for Hawaiian Advancement

What Can Hawaii Learn From Google

NY Muslim Attacks and Hawaii Moral Narcissism

PJM: …Two of the more repugnant Americans today are the moral narcissist judges from Maryland (Theodore Chuang) and Hawaii (Derrick Watson) who tried to upend Donald Trump's travel ban.  They have metaphorical blood on their robes, whether they know it or not.

The fact is the travel ban is insufficient, not illegal.  It's only a meager beginning in dealing with a situation that has not changed in any real sense since 9/11, as the events in New York Tuesday testify. If we do not move even more seriously to prevent them, they will indeed become the "new normal."  Globally, they already have.

The ISIS-loving psycho killer who murdered eight and crippled more, Sayfullo Saipov, is from Uzbekistan, which is not on the banned list.  Not only that, he was admitted to the U.S. via something called the Diversity (yes, that word again) Visa Program, a blind lottery system that seems more like Russian roulette…

New York is far from alone.  According to TheReligionofPeace website, there were 34 jihadist attacks in 13 countries over just six days this past week (Oct. 21-27), resulting in 444 killed and 114 injured.  That doesn't include the horrific suicide bombing in Somalia on October 28 that took over two dozen lives -- "including three children and a beheaded woman."….

read … Reform Islam or Live the 'New Normal' Forever

Monster Homes are Affordable Housing Solution

SA: …Oahu is 600 square miles in size. Of that, 19,000 acres of urban lands have been deemed developable and 6,000 acres of that is vacant.

Expensive housing, lack of rentals, increasing homeless — it is no wonder residents are seeking housing solutions such as monster homes on single-family lots (“The monster next door,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 30).

Just look down the street. More and more, multi-generation homes are becoming prevalent in the community. Young families who can’t afford to buy homes are opting to build large homes or renovating on their parents’ lots, eliminating the need for land purchase.

The “monster houses” are just the next step, in many cases due to zoning restrictions that allow only one kitchen for all inhabitants….

read … Supply and Demand

Ige $30M AirBnB Deal—Taxation Without Legalization

SA: Gov. David Ige’s administration is pursuing a private tax agreement with Airbnb Inc. that would allow the vacation rental company to collect taxes from its hosts and send the money to the state.

Airbnb says collecting taxes from its hosts would generate more than $30 million per year in additional state taxes.

“Ige is working with Airbnb and other online retailers of short-term rentals to negotiate voluntary collection agreements,” said Ige’s spokeswoman Cindy McMillan in an email. “Ultimately, the state wants to collect the taxes it is owed without encouraging illegal activity.”…

The move, which has been quietly in play since the last legislative session ended, is garnering mixed reactions.

Some lawmakers and community members say they support efforts to bring additional money to state coffers by advancing an issue that stalemated twice legislatively.

Others see it as an end run that attempts to settle a controversial issue outside the public purview….

So far the document’s contents are unknown to all but Airbnb, the state Department of Taxation and Ige’s administration. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser filed a formal request for the document Monday…..

(Ige Strategy: Get a grip on BnBs without legalizing -- then raise taxes so high that BnBs are not so attractive any more.  Bonus: Politicians avoid NIMBY wrath.)

ILind: Privacy claim shouldn’t block disclosure of Airbnb contract

Related: TVRs: No Taxation Without Legalization!

read … Private

Ballard: Make HPD Great Again

SA: …A new era for the Honolulu Police Department began this morning with the swearing in ceremony for its 11th chief, Susan Ballard, who replaced recently indicted former Chief Louis Kealoha.

Following a swearing-in ceremony administered by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Rectenwald in the command room at police headquarters, Ballard said in brief comments that, “I’m looking forward to working with everyone and moving forward and making sure that HPD is great again.”

After being sworn in, Ballard pumped her fist, then signed her oath of office. It took longer for Ballard to get her new stars pinned on her epaulettes than to take the oath of office…. 

HNN: She openly criticized favoritism in promotions and discipline under Kealoha's administration and paid a price — stuck at the rank of major while less qualified officers were promoted into the chief's office.

Meanwhile: HPD officers plead 'not guilty' in federal public corruption case

read … Ballard

Activists Bummed: Tweekers Vanish into Thin Air After Nimitz Sweep

CB: …“Most of them actually were what we would call diverted,” Alexander said, presenting the information as an indicator of the success of Honolulu’s “compassionate disruption” campaign against homelessness. “They went with families and with friends, which again is very high, an unusually high number.”

Alexander got his numbers from state homeless coordinator Scott Morishige. But when Morishige was asked about them, he said that by the Friday before the Monday sweep, the 60 people Alexander was referring to had left the area. Of those, 12 went to homeless shelters and one checked into a residential drug treatment center, he said.

As for the rest of the viaduct campers, “we’re not sure where they went but we know they’re not there anymore,” Morishige said. “At least from what we observed some … did reconnect with family.” ….

Unless they return to the same place after a sweep — and they often do — it’s almost impossible to account for where they go…..

(And more to the point: If the public can’t see the homeless, then voters cannot be pressured to agree to tax hikes and/or more spending.  That’s why this sweep is such a problem.  It worked.)

In two large sweeps this year, state and city officials did venture to say that less than 30 percent of the homeless in the encampments moved into homeless shelters.

When state officials closed Kakaako Waterfront Park Park this month, about 40 of the estimated 180 homeless people living along the shoreline moved into shelters, Morishige said.

After two months of outreach ahead of the city’s Pearl Harbor Bike Path sweep in August, 33 of 120 people living along the bike path moved into the Waianae Civic Center run by U.S. Vets and one moved into an emergency shelter, according to a city press release.

Ongoing sweeps by the state Department of Transportation along the H-1 Freeway have had more success moving people into homeless shelters. Since the cleanups began in July, 62 of the 80 people displaced moved into shelter or housing, Morishige said. A social worker always accompanies DOT officials during the sweeps….

(Solution: Get the ACLU in here to stop the sweeps so we can exploit the homeless for more money for bigger shinier desks and the PC ideologues who sit behind them.)

read … It’s Hard To Say Where Homeless People Go After Sweeps

Lawsuit is Latest Trick to Shut Down Hawaii Fishing Fleet

SA: The Hawaii Longline Association may join the court battle over foreign fishermen and whether they should be licensed to fish in Hawaii waters despite being barred from stepping on U.S. soil.

Such foreign workers often make less than $1 an hour and lack the most basic labor protections, a 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press investigation found. But they are also needed to keep the local association’s 142 or so active fishing vessels operational, said HLA President Sean Martin.

“There really isn’t the ability to hire (local) crew. They just don’t exist,” Martin said Tuesday. “It would be a devastating thing to the industry if we couldn’t get crew. A lot of boats wouldn’t be able to go fishing.”….

Meanwhile: Enviros Use Tsunami to Step up War on Plastics

read … Latest Trick

Database of Hawaii Police Misconduct

CB: The federal indictments of the former police chief and his wife aren’t the only troubles at the HPD….

Read the full series here and check out our database of police misconduct.

For more coverage, check out our full archive of stories involving police accountability…..

read … Database

Kakaako Highrises Built Over Collapsing Storm Drains

KHON: …A routine state bridge inspection caught signs of a compromised culvert beneath Ala Moana Boulevard in February. The state Department of Transportation lightened allowed loads on that stretch until jacks could shore it up, followed by this fall’s permanent fix.

“The Ala Moana Boulevard drainage culvert project is replacing the top slab of the existing concrete segment that has deteriorated since it was constructed more than 45 years ago,” explained state DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara.

A city storm drain inspection near Pensacola Street found deteriorated culvert concrete top slabs and six feet of salt water and sediment in the 8-by-8-foot boxes.

“They were a little bit shocked at how significant it was,” said Robert Kroning, director of the Honolulu Department of Design and Construction. “It was a lot more than we had anticipated. The top slab had shown significant spalling, which basically means the concrete was flaking away from the reinforcing bar that is within the concrete.”

The city gave us video showing scuba divers deep in the muck. After months of work, they’ve got that area up on more than 1,000 jacks and it can be driven on, a $5 million temporary fix. A permanent solution is being designed for the area to replace the double culverts with stainless steel boxes from Kapiolani Boulevard all the way down to the Ala Moana canal outflow, even going under one of the high-rises.

(Clue: In the real world, developers are mandated to upgrade the infrastructure serving their project as a condition of approval.  But in Hawaii developers are mandated to run around in circles with useless paperwork rather than doing anything helpful.)

They’re slating $50 million in the CIP (capital improvements program) budget for work that could start in 2020 or the year after….

“Because this has come to our attention now, we do plan on checking all the other drainage systems in the area that are similar to Pensacola,” Kroning said. “What they’ll do is they’ll add some additional checks now to take care of the Kakaako area and the north-south roads that cross Kapiolani Boulevard.”

That’s instead of the about once-every-five-year cycle the Department of Facility Maintenance would reach each culvert in their ongoing inspection cycle.

As for the state, it doesn’t plan any changes to inspection routines in the area….

read … Collapse

STDs: Hawaii Drops to 28th Place

PJM: Hawaii experienced the greatest drop in the rankings, falling eight spots from #20 to #28 due to a decrease in the chlamydia rate per 100k residents.

read … STDs Down

Native Hawaiian Health Task Force Legislative Agenda

CB: …Of the five bills that the task force came up with, SB1294 received the most support — it got all the way to the conference committee —  and is slated to be reintroduced in the 2018 session.

“I think most everyone supported the concept, but unfortunately there were insufficient funds to allocate toward it,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, who helped write four of the five bills.

The bill called for the establishment of a health sciences academy at UH that would focus on Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and requested that funds be provided from a percentage of the transient accommodations tax….

SB1315, which proposed that the cost of cultural activities like hula and paddling be covered by medical insurance, was deferred because task force members needed to do additional research on how it could be implemented.

The bill was based on a study by the UH medical school that found that hula can decrease hypertension….

SB1314: Creating an office of Native Hawaiian Health within the Department of Health. Establishes the Native Hawaiian Health Fund, allocating a percentage of the Transient Accommodations Tax into the fund.

SB1063: Reallocates $1 million from the TAT for the operation of a Hawaiian center and the museum of Hawaiian music and dance at the Hawaii convention center  to improve the infrastructure of Native Hawaiian communities.

SB1304: Establishes the native Hawaiian Health Advisory Council.

read … Native Hawaiian Health Task Force Isn’t Giving Up The Fight

Gabbard: Take Hawaii Green Energy Scams Nationwide

KITV: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is pushing for a clean energy revolution--- nationwide---and using Hawaii as an example of a state that is leading the way.

But as Island News Reporter Kellie Meyer reports - opponents say her efforts will harm the economy….

It builds on progress made in Hawaii and other states she says have committed to address climate change head on.  Congresswoman Gabbard adds, "For those who say that these kinds of aggressive goals are too difficult don't have a close touch on reality and what we can do with todays technology and where we need to go."

Opposers include, Research Fellow Nick Loris, who says "It's going to hurt every single American family and business."  There is a chance that moving 'off' fossil fuels can drive up the cost of energy and cripple the coal, natural gas and oil industries.

As far as the connection between climate change and the recent devastating storms and wildfires, Loris says- there isn't one….

Best Comment: Enough of this feel good stuff. Let's do something to keep from being the most expensive electricity in the US. On Kauai hydro power could probably power the whole island, but green energy and oil won't let that happen here. Even natural gas would be cheaper

read … Scam

Hawaii state office building reopens after 14-years of Ignorance, Stupidity

PBN: The state of Hawaii’s Princess Victoria Kamamalu Building in Downtown Honolulu has re-opened after being vacant for more than a dozen years, following an extensive $27 million renovation that included asbestos abatement.

State workers returned to the office building at 1010 Richards St., at the corner of S. King Street, which had been closed since 2003 because of the safety issues regarding asbestos, over the last several weeks, and Gov. David Ige, state officials and several royal societies are set to rededicate the building on Wednesday.

Construction started in March 2015 and was completed two years later at a total cost of $27.2 million. Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd. was the general contractor on the job….

The building has a total of 50,626 square feet.

The state, which at one point was considering buying the Alii Place office building on Alakea Street, leases several hundred thousand square feet of private office space in Downtown Honolulu…. 

read … Hawaii state office building reopens after 14-year closure

MeToo Hypocrisy: Dan Inouye, 1992

SA: …This is not Hawaii’s first #metoo moment. In 1992, a number of women in Hawaii brought forward allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Inouye called the accusations “unmitigated lies” and said he would “welcome” an inquiry. But I contend the women were eventually silenced by a potent brew of political power, old-boy solidarity and the powerful influence of the senator himself. As The New York Times reported in late 1992, all of this allowed him to simply say, “No, I didn’t” and that was enough.

Even those who don’t know the story, know the story very well. Our abuser gets his name in lights. We fade away….

read … Hawaii Hypocrisy

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