Queen Sues: Feds Took Our Crown Lands
Counties stuck with bailing out pension debt
November is National Adoption Month
Caldwell--HART Board is Illegal, But Planning to build Rail to UH Manoa Anyway
SA: The board overseeing Hawaii’s largest-ever, multibillion-dollar public works project grew this week by four members — but city and state leaders continue to debate whether that increase was even legal.
Wesley Machida, Kalbert Young, Kamani Kuala‘au and Tobias “Toby” Martin all joined the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board during its meeting Monday. Their addition comes as part of Act 1 — the state’s latest, $2.5 billion rail-funding bailout…..
The expansion boosts the HART board to 14 from 10 seats. However, Honolulu’s City Charter states the board can have only 10 seats.
That puts the city’s mayor, Kirk Caldwell, in a delicate position trying to solve what he sees as a legal conflict while not appearing to reject further rail scrutiny.
“It is my concern that the legislative appointments provided for in Act 1 conflict with the Revised Charter … in violation of the state Constitution,” Caldwell told City Council members in an Oct. 16 letter. He suggested they try to fix the problem by putting a charter amendment before voters next year that adjusts the board’s membership….
Corporation Counsel Donna Leong echoed Caldwell’s concerns at a Nov. 1 Council hearing. The board expansion could leave rail vulnerable to lawsuits by its opponents, she said….
In its first week the board expansion also had unintended effects. With 14 members the increased quorum requirements delayed several key votes on rail.
Two voting members, Terri Fujii and John Henry Felix, had to leave Monday’s meeting early. Thus, the board could not vote on a nearly $18 million change order for design and engineering work, according to HART spokesman Bill Brennan.
Furthermore, the board did not discuss as planned efforts to eventually extend rail to the University of Hawaii at Manoa under the city’s “locally preferred alternative.”
The board scheduled a new meeting Friday to revisit those issues….
read … Increase in HART board raises concerns
Bleaching Does Not Kill Coral
SA: …So-called bleaching occurs when overly warm ocean water causes corals to ditch their algae. The corals’ clear bodies then expose the white calcium carbonate cups that support them.
Researchers theorize that this occurs because overheating causes the plants to make more oxygen, and too much of the gas creates free radicals, a single O instead of the usual O2. Lone oxygen atoms are toxic to animal cells.
The good news is that bleached coral isn’t necessarily dead coral. A coral can live for a while without its plants because its tentacles sting and eat passing animal plankton. When the water later cools, such as after El Nino years, live bleached corals catch algae drifting past in the water. When the plants multiply, they put the color back in corals’ cheeks….
Related: Fake Data Behind Coral Bleaching Report
read … Bleaching isn’t always death knell for corals
At a unique development, homeless vets get apartments — and help to stay in them
HNN: …Souza said moving there changed his life.
The 63-year-old has struggled with drugs since grade school.
He was in his early 50s when his addiction to crack cost him his job -- and he wound up on the streets.
"The amount of drugs and the years I was using them, I really wasn't getting high anymore," he said. "But the addictive process kept me buying them. I wanted to get into the program because I was motivated to get off the drugs."
Besides having a permanent place to live, Souza also got the help he needed to kick his habit and get back into the workforce.
Cloudbreak Communities development coordinator Kyna-Hayley Vea said the grand opening for phase two of the project is Dec. 8.
The new phase adds additional 50 studio apartments. Each unit ranges between 300 and 375 square feet, and all utilities are included….
SA: Seeking help is not easy; more welcome mats are needed
read … Homeless
So-Called ‘Affordable’ Apartments Sit Vacant
SA: Development firm Gerding Edlen plans a “grand opening” from 5:30 to 9 p.m. to show off model units and amenities at Keauhou Lane, its 209-unit midrise at 502 Keawe St.
The company began accepting rental applications Aug. 18. Yet despite what industry analysts and government officials describe as great demand for affordable rentals, only 33 apartments have been filled to date. Meanwhile, the adjacent 423-unit Keauhou Place condominium tower, which opened last month, is nearly sold out.
…Of the 209 apartments, 167 are reserved for residents who earn no more than the median annual income for Honolulu households. That equates to $73,300 for a single person, $83,700 for a couple and $104,600 for a family of four.
Monthly rental rates for these units start at about $1,400 for studios with 298 to 350 square feet of living space. Rents for one-bedroom units with 451 square feet are between $1,639 and $1,764. Two-bedroom units of 632 to 745 square feet rent for $1,933 to $2,108.
Another 42 units are reserved for households earning up to 80 percent of the median income, which equates to $58,640 for a single person, $66,960 for a couple and $83,680 for a family of four. Monthly rents for these units are $1,288 for studios, $1,372 for one-bedroom units and $1,637 for two-bedroom units.
Rent does not include charges for electricity, water and sewer fees. Parking is an extra $145 a month….
read … Affordable?
Hawaii: Case study in the Silver Switcharoo
ACAS: …subsidized Hawaii residents should do fine, and unsubsidized Silver enrollees should strongly consider looking off-exchange this go around...but only if they're sure they won't qualify for tax credits….
read … Hawaii: Case study in the Silver Switcharoo
Attorney and community advocate Maile Lu'uwai officially enters Lieutenant Governor race
HNN: Attorney and Community Advocate Maile Lu'uwai officially entered the race for Lieutenant Governor Friday as a democrat.
Lu'uwai made her announcement at the Administration building of her alma-mater, Sacred Hearts Academy….
read … Lu’uwai