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Thursday, November 09, 2017
November 9, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:40 PM :: 2523 Views

Hawaii doesn’t need ‘certificate of need’ laws

Animal Quarantine Station is Preferred Site for New Jail

Arakawa Quits Lt Gov Race

The Curse of Abundance  

Legacy Pension Costs--Hawaii Scores D-             

Abandonment Plan Set as Hawaii Windfarms Begin to Rust Out

PBN: Hawaii’s most recent wind energy project went online in 2012, adding to the number of such facilities nationwide, and a new study shows that operations and maintenance costs for these aging facilities will grow into a lucrative business in North America over the coming years. 

(Translation: Maintenance costs will soar, leading to abandonment—just like last time.)

According to a study by IHS Markit, North America's wind industry spends between $3 billion to $4 billion annually on operations and maintenance costs. And the London-based organization estimates that spending in this area will exceed a total of $40 billion from 2015-2025.

“The average age of the North American wind fleet will rise from 5.5 years in 2015 to seven years in 2020, and to 14 years in 2030,” Maxwell Cohen, senior research analyst at IHS Markit, said in a statement. “Along with that, equipment maintenance and operating costs are increasing significantly, leading operators to focus on performance optimization and cost management. 

(Translation: Shutting down turbines and abandoning money-losers.)

We designed this study to help wind-asset owners compare the performance of their projects against the market as a whole, as well as to help them determine the optimal O&M strategy for their business."

(Translation: Wind farm operators can use this info to figure out when to cut their losses.)

Precisely as Predicted:

read … Aging U.S. wind energy fleet to create new job opportunities in operations and maintenance sector

HR4239: Offshore Wind Schemes for Hawaii?

ME: …Investigates New Areas for Offshore Wind Lease Sales: Requires BOEM to conduct feasibility and compatibility studies for potential lease sales off the coasts of California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands….

read … SECURE American Energy Act Passed by House Committee

Klein: Include OHA in Mauna Kea Management Structure

HTH: …OHA Trustee Dan Ahuna said during a press conference Wednesday in Honolulu that the lawsuit is about how to properly malama Mauna Kea, and not about any telescope project.

“This is not about a single telescope,” he said. “This is not about Hawaiian culture versus science. This is 100 percent about the state and UH … It’s time to abandon any hope UH is capable or willing to be proper stewards.”

Following the press conference, attorney Robert Klein, who is representing OHA, said in an email that the agency is willing to work with DLNR on a new management structure that “includes Native Hawaiian interests in the decision-making process.”

An OHA spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a follow-up question regarding whether the agency wants to assume management responsibilities. Trustee Robert Lindsey, who represents Hawaii Island, didn’t respond to a phone call requesting comment by deadline….

In addition to rescission of the general lease, the lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring defendants to meet their trust duties, an accounting of ceded lands on the mountain and costs of managing them, restitution to make the trust whole and damages. OHA says it filed the lawsuit after efforts at mediation with the state were unsuccessful….

SA: The suit ends a two-year, behind-the-scenes effort by OHA to wrest some control away from the university

As Explained: Pisciotta Demands $50M ‘Rent’

read … Money

Why Gov. Ige’s Secret Talks With Airbnb Have Hotels and Unions Upset

CB: …rumors had been floating around that Ige was considering a private deal that would let the company collect state taxes from the rentals….

…a coalition concerned about the proliferation of short-term rentals and the governor’s secret talks with Airbnb is pushing back. They’re questioning not only the substance of any deal – which they know little about – but also the legality of adopting an important governmental policy without any avenue for the other interest groups and the public to share their views….

On Wednesday, some three dozen hoteliers, housing advocates, labor leaders, attorneys and others gathered at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to plot strategy. Kekoa McClellan, a spokesman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association who organized the meeting, said one concern is that a tax agreement will legitimize illegal short-term rentals, which critics say make up much, if not most, of Airbnb’s inventory in Hawaii.

“Brothels have sought taxation because taxation confers legitimacy, and that’s exactly what Airbnb is trying to do now,” McClellan said….

At Tuesday’s meeting were well-known politicos like Sen. Laura Thielen and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who is now senior vice president and chief legal officer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, and labor leaders like Cade Watanabe, an organizer for UNITE HERE, Local 5, a union of hotel workers.

Affordable housing advocates like Victor Geminiani, a longtime public interest lawyer and co-executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice, were on hand, along with members of community groups.

K.C. Connors, who works with the Hauula Community Association, said the proliferation of short-term rentals has hit her area hard. The HTA statistics back her up: almost 11 percent of the available units in Hauula were taken up by short-term rentals. The situation was even more dramatic in nearby Kahuku, where 20 percent of the available housing units had been converted into short-term rentals….

read … Why Gov. Ige’s Secret Talks With Airbnb Have So Many People Upset

Saiki: Caldwell Should Drop $700M Blaisdell Plan, Focus on Rail

SA: As the plan to make over the Neal S. Blaisdell Center moves ahead, one prominent state lawmaker continues to question whether the city should tackle that nearly $700 million endeavor before it finishes funding rail.

“Oahu taxpayers cannot take the brunt of paying for rail construction, rail operations and this project,” House Speaker Scott Saiki (D, Downtown-Kakaako-­McCully) told Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a letter Wednesday.

The letter arrived hours before the city hosted its third and final meeting for the public to weigh in on the draft master plan for Blaisdell Center renovations….

The project is estimated to cost $534 million, plus nearly $107 million in contingency funds and $51 million in increased material costs, according to ImagineBlaisdell.com, the master plan’s website. City-backed bonds — and possibly some partnerships with the private sector — will cover those costs, according to Caldwell’s office.

Meanwhile, the city is still waiting for the Federal Transit Administration to approve its latest, $9 billion financial plan to complete the full rail line to Ala Moana Center. The 20-mile, 21-­station elevated transit project looks to be built with a mix of state general excise tax revenues, state hotel room taxes and federal dollars.

Rail’s costs have increased by more than $3 billion in the past three years, however, and it remains to be seen whether the project’s most recent funding boost will be enough.

“The current estimated $500-million-plus cost of the Blaisdell complex redevelopment could be better spent on mitigation of unanticipated future rail construction cost increases,” Saiki’s letter stated….

PDF: Letter from Saiki 

HI: House to Mayor: One project at a time is all Honolulu can handle

Big Q: Do you support the city’s plan to make over the Blaisdell Center complex, estimated at $700 million?

read … Rail costs cast shadow over Blaisdell plan

OCCC Cost Estimated at $525M (for now)

HPR: …“The draft EIS estimates the cost for the Animal Quarantine Station site at $525 million, which is less than what we had initially projected, I guess two years ago, when we first talked about replacing the OCCC facility.  And the estimate includes a new Animal Quarantine Station facility.”

The governor says the current OCCC facility on Dillingham Boulevard is on the future rail transit line and will be integrated into the state’s Envision Kalihi Plan.   A new 4-story facility and parking lot are planned and House Public Safety Committee chair, Greg Takayama, says the Quarantine Station site is ideal for a local detention center.

“The site makes a great deal of sense, primarily because its large enough to accommodate a drug rehabilitation facility which, I think, should be an integral part of a new OCCC.”

The final EIS, which includes a Women’s Correctional Facility, is scheduled to be completed by mid-2018….

read … It’ll cost more, guaranteed

Children’s Discovery Center—Five Years Under Siege by Homeless Drug Addicts

SA: …What our families have had to witness and endure over the past five years has been unacceptable and even, in some cases, traumatic.

I want to express my heartfelt apologies for the many inconveniences they’ve encountered. I also want to express sincerest thanks to those families who have supported us through these troubled times and those who have continued to bring their children to the center in spite of this. Dealing with road closures, lack of parking, tickets issued when unloading children, cars towed, and now with no access to our front entrance, our loyal members have persisted in bringing their children.

As an aside: When the homeless encampments completely surrounded the center, Honolulu police officers then assigned to the area were extremely helpful, especially those in the District 1 Community Policing Team. They showed us how much they cared about the Children’s Discovery Center, even at a time when Kakaako Makai was subject to conflicting jurisdictional oversight between the city and state….

SA: Leader of Kakaako development agency resigning

read … Struggling Children’s Discovery Center grateful for support

Cost of living a factor in ‘monster homes’

SA: “Monster homes” expose some major concerns.

First, someone’s trying to take advantage of our affordable- housing dilemma. Spare rooms within city neighborhoods can easily rent from $400 to $700 a month, which is convenient for a working individual needing a place to sleep, a bathroom and use of a microwave. This has been a hidden source of income for many property owners.

Second, it brings to light the underlying problem of how difficult it is to live in Hawaii because of our high cost of living. That’s why people resort to illegal activities in order to survive. The illegal bed-and-breakfast industry is a prime example.

Meanwhile, many homeowners illegally modify their homes (disregarding city ordinances) in order to accommodate growing families. Are they criminals? Many are just trying to survive. 

KHON: Is a ‘big house’ coming to your neighborhood? Plans in the works as officials weigh fixes

read … Cost of living a factor in ‘monster homes’

Panel proposes to retrofit 150 older buildings with automatic fire sprinklers

HNN: The Residential Fire Safety Advisory Committee, which was re-formed after the Marco Polo fire, is recommending that about 150 older buildings be retrofitted with automatic fire sprinkler systems.

The findings will be discussed when the City Council deliberates on Bill 69, which is looking to change residential high rise safety regulations that are efficient and cost-effective.

The council is scheduled to take up Bill 69 on Nov. 14 during a Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs meeting….

Click here for the committee's report and recommendations.

read … Panel proposes to retrofit 150 older buildings with automatic fire sprinklers

Judge To Kealohas: Show Me Your Finances

CB: …Seabright also made clear he wasn’t happy about inaccurate assertions Breiner, Sumida and Modafferi made that the U.S. government had frozen the Kealohas’ assets and prevented them from getting loans to pay for their own legal defense.

He said the bond agreements don’t prevent the Kealohas for applying for loans so long as there’s approval from the court.

He also questioned Sumida about a $700,000 lien his law firm has on a home the Kealohas own in Hawaii Kai that has an assessed value of about $1.24 million. The government has identified that same property for asset forfeiture.

“We need to be honest and have some integrity here,” Seabright said.

The judge additionally noted that Louis Kealoha, who retired from the Honolulu Police Department in February with a $250,000 cash payout, has a pension, which is estimated to give him up to $150,000 a year plus benefits.

read … Judge To Kealohas: Show Me Your Finances

Tulsi Gabbard named chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018

OI: Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has been named as the chairperson of the World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago next year, organisers of the mega event announced today.

Held once every four years, World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another and impact the common good.

Organised by the World Hindu Foundation, the first Congress was held in New Delhi in 2014. The second WHC will take place in Illinois in Chicago from September 7 to 9 next year….

read … Outlook India

Honolulu Would be 4th Hardest-Hit by End of Home Mortgage Deduction

NMN: #4 Urban Honolulu -- 3,711 loans over $500K – total closed loans 20,686 – 17.9% share of loans over $500K….

read … Mortgage Deduction

Photos: Lost Sailor Was Underemployed Dominatrix—Wrecked Previous Boat on Magic Island

DM: Now DailyMailTV can reveal that Appel was a self styled 'kinky sailor' who set off from Hawaii in an 'unseaworthy' yacht after paying for the trip by working as a dominatrix and an exotic dancer 

Appel was also an erotic novelist, a landscape architect and organic farmer. The petite blonde had a history of maritime catastrophes as she crashed her first boat, the FSOW, in an accident in January 2012

She had a motorbike accident in her early twenties that broke nearly every bone in her body and 'affected the judgment part of her brain', according to her younger boyfriend Roman Kalinowski, 27....

A friend of Appel, who asked not to be named, said of her: 'She's not very bright – very ditzy and not very grounded. 'When I saw what happened to her, I wasn't surprised – she's never been very organized'….

He said: 'She was on government food assistance for as long as I knew her, and never seemed motivated to work much.

'She got a few odd jobs such as data entry and exotic dancing, as well as the occasional dominatrix gig but that's about it.'

A profile on a fetish website reveals that for a while, Appel was plying her trade as a 'pro domme' and was a member of local fetish groups that included Kinky Sailing and Leather and Leis.

According to the profile, which also includes a selection of X-rated photos and videos, Appel was offering coaching to couples – describing it as her 'preference' – and claimed to have built a private dungeon for her own personal use….

Read … Dominatrix

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