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Tuesday, February 27, 2018
February 27, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:48 PM :: 5291 Views

Hawaii Trigger Modification Ban & Firearm Surrender Bill to be Considered on Tuesday 

Honolulu Citizen Survey: Homelessness Top Priority

2018 Property Taxes Ranked by State

Money Talks:  LG Race is Tokuda vs Green

CB: …About $500,000 was funneled into the campaigns of state Sens. Jill Tokuda and Josh Green between July 1 and Dec. 31, the most recent filing period with the Campaign Spending Commission.

The other three candidates in the race — Sen. Will Espero, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and former Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto — lag behind in fundraising….

The Democratic establishment has lined up behind Tokuda, who raised $334,305 over the last six months of 2017….

Tokuda’s campaign money has come from lobbyists such as George “Red” Morris, Blake Oshiro and Jennifer Sabas, who together have donated almost $15,000; Hawaiian Electric executives such as Constance Lau and Alan Oshima; developers such as Stanford Carr and Mitch D’Olier; and party insiders like national committeewoman Kathleen Stanley…. Tokuda raised a big chunk of her campaign cash from her colleagues in the Legislature. She has received almost $30,000 so far from 14 members of the state House and Senate, including $6,000 apiece from Rep. Sylvia Luke and Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who chair the money committees….

Sen. Karl Rhoads donated $4,000 to Tokuda’s campaign in December and had given $350 to Green. But it created some divisiveness so he said the money is being returned to him from both candidates….

Green, a 48-year-old emergency room physician from New York, raised 39 percent of the $206,591 he hauled in during the last six months of 2017 from out-of-state contributors. Those include several family members on the mainland, such as his aunt and uncle, Eric and Carmin Green, who are mediators in Massachusetts.

Many physicians and health professionals in Hawaii donated heavily to his campaign, such as Dr. Colleen Inouye from Makawao and Arthur Ushijima of Queen’s Hospital. Educators, lawyers and farmers also gave thousands of dollars.

Looking at the entire four-year election period, Green has received nearly $99,000, or 34 percent, of his campaign contributions from out of state, according to the Campaign Spending Commission.

Green will have to raise more money locally between now and election day to get his overall out-of-state contributions below the 30 percent threshold required under state law.

He’s held four more fundraisers since the last reporting period ended. Two were in Hawaii and two were in Washington state….

LOL: Kim Coco Iwamoto: Too Many Hawaii Democrats are Republicans in Drag

read … Fund Race

No Joke! Former Sen. Clayton Hee Is Running For Governor

CB: …aggressive, intimidating, egotistical, quick to anger and bipolar…..

SA: Having two opponents effectively splits Ige’s opposition.

Jan 17, 2018: Ige campaign insiders solicited former State Senator Clayton Hee to enter the governor’s race in order to “siphon off Hawaiian Votes from Colleen Hanabusa.”  

read … No Joke!

Laziness, Corruption:  HGEA Upset by Truthfulness of DOCARE Chief

HNN: The state Department of Land and Natural Resources chief law enforcement officer Robert Farrell has been trying to beef up conservation enforcement….

some say a recent email rant he sent to 100 officers went overboard. (was too accurate)

"There are officers that are carrying the load for all of DOCARE. There are officers that are sitting on the fence,” he wrote in the Feb. 12 email.

"And there are officers that are hoping to bring DOCARE down in flames for their own personal agendas."

"I have heard we are 'corrupt, second chancers and retired in place ... It is absolutely true for some of you,” he wrote.

(Second chancers?  You mean like the rapist cop Ethan Ferguson, the son of HGEA’s President Jackie Ferguson-Miyamoto?)

The statements were so insulting to (truthful) some officers who complained to their union, which criticized Farrell as unprofessional.

“He makes assumptions and accuses his own staff of not having a moral compass … and tells his staff to take a ‘long hard look at the mirror and tell yourself you are living Pono,’” wrote Joy Kuwabara, a field services officer for the Hawaii Government Employees Association….

(Pono?  You mean like the rapist cop Ethan Ferguson, the son of HGEA’s President Jackie Ferguson-Miyamoto?)

Since taking over as head of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement a year ago, Farrell also has pushed for changes like increased night and weekend patrols, and new training programs for field officers and supervisors and more stringent background checks for new hires.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case issued this statement:

“DOCARE Chief Farrell has my complete support in his continuing efforts to transform our state’s conservation law enforcement agency into a highly professional division,” Case said.  (Good statement.)

March 10, 2017: DLNR Finally Gets Around to Firing Rapist Cop Son of HGEA President

read … An email rant sent by DOCARE's chief law enforcement draws criticism

In frank talk, police chief recalls encountering 'I hate women' club at HPD

HNN: …when students asked whether her whether she'd been treated differently as a female police officer, she openly talked about being harassed.

She said she faced a "I hate women club" at the Honolulu Police Department, and she mentioned being angered after a lieutenant told her to get coffee.

"They asked me how high do you want to be. I said I think I want to be a captain," she said. "There were three men on the interview board and they all laughed at me."….

KITV: Honolulu police chief takes a stand against arming teachers in schools

read … Frank Talk

Suspect in deadly Makaha hit-and-run had previous DUI case dropped because of Court Backlog

HNN: The 21-year-old Nanakuli woman who stands charged in a fatal Makaha crash that killed two men along Farrington Highway last week had a previous drunk driving case dropped because of court backlog, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Sierra Burns was Sunday night with two counts of negligent homicide, two counts of failing to render aid and one count of causing an accident involving serious bodily injury. Police believe alcohol was a factor in the February 19 crash that killed 21-year old Jonah Ragsdale and 23-year old Daniel Mole while the pair were changing a tire on the side of the road.

Police say Burns was allegedly found 30 minutes later in Nanakuli, passed out in the backseat of her damaged Volkswagen Passat. She had previously been arrested for DUI in 2016, when she was not yet old enough to legally consume alcohol.

A judgment order shows that case was dismissed due to court congestion.

And: Honolulu's serial waddling bank robber to serve time in jail ... (again)

read … Soft on Drunks Kills Two

Ex-HPD Major Wants Separate Trial In Corruption Case

AP: …An attorney for Gordon Shiraishi says he shouldn’t be lumped in with the other defendants in the Kealoha case….

read … Ex-HPD Major Wants Separate Trial In Corruption Case

Maui teacher placed on leave after showing sex video in class

HNN: …A Maui teacher has been placed on leave after he allegedly showed an animated sex video in class.

Now, some parents are calling for the chemistry teacher at King Kekaulike High School to be fired.

"I just think this teacher was way out of line. I'm just hoping he doesn't come back," said one father, who asked not to be identified….

Parents said the video was shown to a junior class on Feb. 14 with no apparent explanation.

"That is not something you show students. It's almost like cartoon porn, the way the drawings were and stuff. I got really upset," the father said….

read … Maui teacher placed on leave after showing sex video in class

Bills Would Water Down Financial Disclosures For Unpaid State Officials

CB: …When completing financial disclosure documents, public servants must either write the exact amount or select a dollar range to give the public an idea of their pay, debt, property value and investments. Civil Beat publishes a database detailing those financial disclosures.

Now, a new set of bills may walk back some of those requirements, but opponents say that would mean less transparency in state government.

Unpaid members serving on 14 state boards, commissions and agencies would still be required to disclose these dollar amounts to the Ethics Commission, but the public wouldn’t see them under House Bill 2192 and Senate Bill 2609. A board member’s employer would still be listed, for example, but their salary would be redacted.

The same goes for financial information about a board member’s spouse and dependent children.

Agencies such as the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Public Utilities Commission, Land Use Commission and Ethics Commission would be among those affected…..

read … Bills Would Water Down Financial Disclosures For Unpaid State Officials

Most vacation rental owners not paying taxes

WHT: …Owners of more than 6,000 vacation homes on Hawaii Island are collecting money from short-term renters without registering with the state or paying the required taxes.

That’s according to data compiled by Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau for a presentation last week to the Hawaii County Council….

There were 8,647 Big Island units advertised on platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO in 2017, a 16.7 percent increase over 2016, according to Birch. In contrast, only 2,037 are registered with the state….

The county’s Bill 108 would require existing transient vacation rentals outside of the Vacation District, the General Commercial District or Resort Nodes to apply for a nonconforming use certificate in order to be grandfathered in. Those in the allowed districts would be required to register with the county, but they don’t have to apply to the Planning Department for a nonconforming use permit.

The county bill is on hold until after the Board of Ethics rules on whether North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff, one of the co-sponsors, has a conflict of interest because she owns a vacation condo in the Vacation District along Alii Drive. The board next meets March 19….

In the state Legislature, Senate Bill 2963 would provide a mechanism for transient accommodations brokers such as Airbnb and VRBO to collect taxes on behalf of the state. It’s passed the Senate and is now being considered in the House.

Gov. David Ige in 2016 vetoed a similar, but weaker, bill. The latest bill contains enforcement measures that require the internet booking platforms to verify the legality of a vacation rental before doing business with it.

The bill is supported by hotel and lodging associations and tourism agencies….

It’s opposed by real estate agents, Airbnb and HomeAway/VBRO, which said in testimony that requiring it to disclose the names and license numbers of rental units without a subpoena is contrary to federal law. Over-regulation could result in a loss of tax revenue to the state, they said….

CB: Airbnb Says No To Collecting Taxes On Rentals

read … No Taxation without Legalization

Hawaii Tops Growth: 2017 Residential Starts Ahead of 2016 Levels

FCP: …Between December 2016 to December 2017, 45 states and the District of Columbia saw growth in single-family permits issued. Twenty states recorded a growth above 9.6% but five states had a decline in growth. Hawaii had the highest growth rate during this time at 23.6%…

HPR: The Conversation: Honolulu Moves to Regulate Monster Homes

read … Hawaii #1

Mindless Government Ignorance: Will Legislature Give HHSC Permission to Treat Heart Attacks in Hilo?

HTH: Proponents are waging a last-minute crusade to flood the Legislature with testimony in support of funding for a cardiac care unit at Hilo Medical Center.

Senate Bill 1235 calls for a $2 million appropriation to recruit two more cardiologists to the hospital, hire support staff, buy equipment and train staff.

Sen. Kai Kahele, who introduced the bill, shared his own personal experience regarding cardiac care during a telephone interview.

He said he took his father, the late Sen. Gil Kahele, to the Hilo Medical Center ER when he had a heart attack.

An emergency air ambulance was used to fly him to Oahu for treatment. But damage to his dad’s heart muscle was so extensive that, by then, placing a stent to open his artery would not help.

Gil Kahele remained hospitalized on Oahu, experienced additional heart trouble and did not survive….

(Translation: Government control of hospitals kills.)

read … Supporters lobby for bill that would help Hilo hospital treat heart attacks

HB1801: Shut Down Gas Company in Hawaii

IM: …Representative Lowen introduced HB 1801 to fix the RPS definition for electric utilities, and to apply the RPS standard to regulated gas utilities. The bill is headed for the House Floor for a vote next week.

Life of the Land has supported this key fix to the RPS for more than a decade.

The bill has a growing list of supporters, including  DBEDT, Sierra Club, Blue Planet,Young Progressives Demanding Action – Hawaii, The Progressive Movement Hawaii, Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light (HIPL), 350 Hawai`i, Distributed Energy Resources Council of Hawaii, League of Women Voters, Elemental Excelerator, B.A. McClintock, Kim Osborn Mullen, John Nix, Lynn Onderko, L.M. Holmes, Patricia Blair,Randy Ching, Randy Gonce, Brodie Lockard, and dozens of other individuals.

The bill is opposed by the Gas Company, Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers, Local 996which feels that the bill limits the right of customers to choose fossil fuel, the Hawaii BioEconomy Trade Organization headed by Carl Campagna, which feels there has not been enough planning for the renewable energy transition, and the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association headed by Mufi Hannemann, which feels a diversity of fuels is needed when disasters strike.

Hawaiian Electric Company opposes the bill because of a loophole in the current version. Many supporters agree with HECO on the needed amendment.

HECO testified, “The gas RPS as written in the bill applies only to the regulated gas utilities while the unregulated gas market could remain on fossil fuels and not transition to renewable energy. This would leave a major gap in the State’s clean energy policy allowing customers the option to disconnect from the electric grid or the regulated gas pipeline network and self-generate using fossil fuels without any oversight or accountability….

read … Drive Costs Higher

Aquponics: HGEA Members Harass Hawaii’s Few Remaining Farmers Using Outdated Law

KITV: …Some farmers feel their businesses are being threatened, but it all comes down to a decades old law that the Department of Health admits could be outdated.

Liesel Santimer was emotional the day the Department of Health came to her small farm in Waiea with some bad news.

"Friday the health department comes to my gate and he says i just want to tell you we're going to tell all restaurants not to buy aquaponic lettuce," says Santimer, an aquaponic producer retailer.

A customer had found a bug in his food ordered at a restaurant recently that traced back to Santimer's farm.  The restaurant was issued a stern warning from the Health Department amid a recent rat lung worm scare. However, Santimer says she believes the bug was actually larvae, not a slug associated with the disease.

Santimer said in response, "A syrphid larvae is a predatory bug and it eats aphids. Its a good bug to have. Because i don't spray my lettuce but the nature takes care of the aphids with this syrphid fly."

The bug was not confirmed to be dangerous, but it did set off a chain of events that now has the department of health possibly enforcing a 30-something year-old law that was written well before the emergence of aquaponics.

"There are no specific laws on aquaponics. What we have is a rule that's in our sanitation rules that basically states that when you grow vegetables that are normally eaten raw you cannot sell them or market them if they're subjected to contamination from animal waste or  actual animal waters," said Peter Oshiro, Environmental Health Program Manager, DOH…. 

read … Aquaponics: Farmers and the DOH debate on safety

Got ‘Real ID’ without Gold Star?—You’re Going to Have to go Back and Do it Again

KITV: On January 16th, 2018, those renewing their Hawaii driver's license noticed a change in the look.  A star in a gold circle printed in the corner represents that the license is in full compliance with new Federal guidelines.

(Translation: If you got a ‘Real ID’ compliant Hawaii DL before Jan 16, 2018, you will have to go back and do it all over again because to DMV screwed up.)

By October 1st, 2020, all licenses must show the gold star in order to get through TSA.  Passports can be used as an alternate form of identification….

Best Comment: “Got my drivers lic renewed few months back - you mean I have to go back AGAIN and stand in the long line for a star on my drivers lic? Howz about for the ones who recently got their drivers lic done be mailed the correct lic with the star without being charged.”

read … Golden star to be required on Hawaii driver's licenses to fly

How Many Caldwells Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

CB: Waialua Residents Want The Lights Back On At Their District Park … Swim team members are among the North Shore residents inconvenienced since the old lights were removed  in 2016….

read … Caldwell Gives Waialua Two Years of Darkness

50 years of Lies: Hawaii Leftwing Activist Covered for Sexual Predator who spent 4 years in Hawaii

SA: …Shimano went to Hawaii in 1960 under the sponsorship of Robert Aitken, who had established a Zen center there. In late 1964, Shimano relocated to New York.

According to “The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side,” an investigative e-book by Mark Oppenheimer published by the Atlantic in 2014, Shimano was pressured to leave Hawaii as a result of questionable behavior with two female Zen students.

Shimano told of arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport with virtually nothing and proceeding over the ensuing months to attract followers. “All I did was simply walk Manhattan from top to the bottom in my Buddhist robe,” he told Oppenheimer. “Every single day I picked up two or three people who were curious. And that was the beginning of the ‘sangha’” — his community of followers….

Rumors that Shimano, who was married, was having sex with some of those who had come to him for enlightenment circulated for years…

“Over the past three decades, we have interviewed many former students of Shimano Roshi. Their stories are consistent: trust placed in an apparently wise and compassionate teacher, only to have that trust manipulated in the form of his sexual misconduct and abuse.”…

2013: Diamond Sangha's Secret: From Zen Buddhism to Preying on Vulnerable Women  “Aitken never went public with what he knew about Shimano, not in 1964, and not for the next half century until his death.”

read … Scandalized

84% of Honolulu Homeless are Totally Unemployed

SA: …Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter in Kakaako hopes to move 60 homeless clients out of the shelter and into market-rate apartments much faster this year after receiving a one-time grant to pay homeless people’s first month’s rent or security deposits….

Even though the money from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii did not arrive until Feb. 13, Next Step was able to leverage the chamber’s promise of funding to get a woman housed on Jan. 20, as well as a couple on Feb. 5….

Once the so-called Homeless to Housed funding runs out, Waikiki Health officials hope that a year’s worth of data will inspire future donors to continue the program for 2019.

The money is aimed at Next Step Shelter clients who have jobs and/or receive government assistance who could afford the monthly rent on a studio apartment, but don’t have enough money saved to also pay first month’s rent or a security deposit….

Next Step can house as many as 135 adults at a time and 16 percent of the homeless clients typically have jobs, Espero said. About 25 percent of Next Step’s clients either have jobs or receive enough government assistance to afford an apartment or room that rents for $700 per month, he said….

Next Step Shelter clients pay $60 a month to live in a small cubicle, $90 for a larger one and $120 per month for couples.

Fifty percent of Next Step’s clients have to be out of the shelter within 60 days, but other clients sometimes stay for much longer, depending on their circumstances….

More Homeless News:

read … Grant helps homeless clients find housing faster

Legislative News:

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