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Monday, March 19, 2018
March 19, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:05 PM :: 2401 Views

Feds Certify Hawaii Public Transit as 'Safe'

Charles Djou: Why I’m Leaving The GOP

CB: …I have long believed that America’s strength lies in our nation’s diversity — not its exclusion or isolation. We are a nation of immigrants and benefit from a national fabric woven with the threads of many people, of many backgrounds and cultures, all united in the common belief and love of American liberty. That’s why I championed immigration reform as a congressman.

It disturbs me that the Republican Party under President Donald Trump is now defined as a party hostile to immigration. We are the leader of the free world, not because we are great (or need to be great again), but because we are good…..

Most of all, I have long believed that our government leaders must lead by example. Character counts.

This is why I made the lack of ethics at City Hall and abuse of power by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell a key issue in the last mayor’s race. This is why I fought so hard to clean up the corrupt City Liquor Commission. This is also why I roundly condemn the immoral behavior toward women by Democrats like Al Franken and Bill Clinton, as well as Republicans such as Roy Moore and, yes, Donald Trump. It should not matter if you are conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, a breach of public trust is a breach of public trust…..

read … Charles Djou: Why I’m Leaving The GOP 

HAWAII GOP RESPONSE, DJOU LEAVES PARTY

News Release from Hawaii Republican Party, March 19, 2018

Honolulu -- The Republican Party of Hawaii has released the following response to Charles Djou's announcement that he will leave the GOP, published today in a Civil Beat article:

"We at the Republican Party of Hawaii would like to express our sincere disappointment in former Congressman Charles Djou’s decision to leave our party, particularly at a time when our new leadership team is moving steadily forward with a bold and ambitious agenda and are poised to make historic gains in the 2018 elections.  However, we respect his right to make such a decision and thank him for his many years of service to our party, for standing against a one-party system of government and fighting for the conservative values we so desperately need here in Hawaii.

"The Republican Party of Hawaii remains steadfastly supportive of President Trump’s agenda, and are optimistic that the many victories our president has accomplished—tax reform, conservative judicial appointments, supporting small businesses and individual liberty, to name a few—will translate to 2018 electoral victories here at home.  With the support of Hawaii’s people, the Republican Party of Hawaii can truly make our state great again."

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Republicans Used to Losing

CST: …(Hawaii) Republican Party has a hard time figuring out exactly how to position itself. There is always a fight between those who think they need to moderate themselves and be an alternative to the Democratic machine and then there are those who think they need to offer the typical conservative social values. They are always fighting against themselves because they’re so used to losing…..

Fukumoto, “I don’t think he should attempt to join the Democratic Party.”

NM: Former Hawaii Rep. Charles Djou Leaving GOP

read … Think Wyoming is dominated by one party? Hawaii has us beat

NYT: Tupola One of only Three Indigenous Women Running for Governor in 2018

NYT: …In all, there are at least four indigenous women running for Congress, three more are bidding for governors’ offices and another 31 are campaigning for seats in state legislatures — from both sides of the aisle….

Many of these candidates are running on a liberal platform fueled by opposition to the Trump administration, as Ms. Haaland is. But others are Republicans who don’t fit that mold at all.

One is Andria Tupola, a Native Hawaiian lawmaker running for governor of Hawaii on a promise of tax cuts and small government…..

read … There’s Never Been a Native American Congresswoman. That Could Change in 2018

Bumbling Caldwell Can’t Figure out How to Run Rail Line Through Condo Development

SA: …SamKoo, an affiliate of a Korean company, explored building the planned tower as a luxury condo tied into the Ala Moana station several years ago.

Yi said his firm spent $3 million and two years on that plan but abandoned it over issues that included city requirements, city planning delays and a weakening luxury condo market.

In conjunction with the change, HART moved its station site away from SamKoo’s property last year, and SamKoo revised its tower plan. The now 513-unit condo, The Central Ala Moana, is designed with 310 units for local residents earning between the median income and 140 percent of the median income, which the city regards as the high end of affordable housing.

But then in December, Caldwell reached out to SamKoo officials to discuss the company perhaps developing a denser condo along with a transit complex on its site and adjacent property.

“That came out of the blue,” said Lowell Chun, president of local consulting firm Pacific Catalyst, working with SamKoo.

Caldwell has included $60 million in his draft 2019 budget to condemn private property for an Ala Moana “intermodal transit plaza” that could include affordable housing developed through a public-private partnership, though no specific property is targeted for condemnation.

Chun said SamKoo opposes the concept for its property because it would likely take years to acquire adjacent real estate and hammer out a development agreement while SamKoo incurs property ownership costs amid a trend of rising interest rates that makes development and housing more expensive.

SamKoo is already building one condo tower, Kapiolani Residence, at 1631 Kapiolani Blvd., which has mostly affordable units.

Separate from the mayor’s idea for the area, HART drafted several conceptual drawings for accommodating a rail line extension to UH. One option runs through SamKoo’s Central Ala Moana property….

read … P3 Palooza

SB3099: $0.10 per Bottle Fee would Boost Homelessness

SA: …The state Senate is proposing to double the 5-cent deposit on bottles and cans as part of an effort to (keep the homeless homeless and funnel even more money to crooked recycling vendors while ) increasing the redemption and recycling rates for the tens of millions of containers used (costs paid) by Hawaii consumers each year….

The bottled water association argued in written testimony that “a 5-cent increase in the current Hawaii bottle deposit fee would essentially be an increased tax that would further negatively impact consumers, particularly the elderly and others who live on fixed incomes.”

The measure was later unanimously approved by the 25-member Senate, and is now being considered in the House…. 

read … Another Tax Hike

Did Charter School fake Enrollment Numbers to Score Extra Money form DoE?

WHT: The state commission for public charter schools has yet to make a decision on allegations that a Kona charter school violated its contract by failing to maintain accurate enrollment data, reportedly netting them more than $300,000 in overpaid funding….

Kona Pacific Public Charter School, located in Kealakekua, is a kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school that received a charter from the State Public Charter School Commission in November 2007, according to documents filed with the commission. Its current charter school contract runs from 2017-2020.

In October 2016, during a previous contract term that started in 2014, the school’s principal at the time reported to the commission about “troubling” alleged practices in regards to the enrollment, withdrawal and transfer of students, according to documents filed with the commission.

Those practices, documents state, are alleged to have inflated the school’s actual enrollment numbers, and improperly increased its per-pupil funding. Commission documents put the potential overpayment amount at more than $300,000.

After its review, the commission said the school wasn’t complying with parts of its contract, issued a “notice of concern” to the school and scheduled a meeting at the beginning of March to discuss taking action on its concerns.

The commission’s communications director said the commission didn’t make any decision at the meeting, held March 8, and said the earliest the commission will take up the issue again will be its April general meeting….

read … Board weighing allegations that Kona Pacific Charter violated contract

Safety measures for fuel tanks could take billions — and decades, Navy says

SA: The least expensive method of double-walling the Red Hill fuel tanks could cost between $500 million and $2 billion, the Navy said in a newly released estimate.

The most expensive tank-within-a-tank option, with carbon steel and full interior and exterior coating, is estimated at between $2 billion and $5 billion.

Replacing the World War II-built tank farm with similarly fortified underground or concrete-encased fuel tanks would run as much as $10 billion….

The Navy said the Red Hill tanks are not leaking and that is has spent more than $250 million improving the facility since 2005.

The Board of Water Supply said in February that all three single-wall upgrade options are “not sufficiently reliable given the history of leaks at the site.” Other than tank relocation, only the tank-within-a-tank option “could reliably protect the aquifer.” That option would cost between $2 billion and $5 billion….

read … Billions

Airlines Pushing To Take Over Honolulu Airport Operations

CB:…Supporters say improvements could happen more quickly if the state Department of Transportation was out of the way….

In 2016, representatives of the Tokyo-based All Nippon Airways ‚ Japan’s largest airline — met with the head of Hawaii’s airports division, Ross Higashi, to propose passenger service via its double-decker Airbus A380 planes to the islands.

The move could mean hundreds more visitors — and their dollars — landing daily from Japan. But it would also require about $15 million in upgrades to two loading bridges plus other fixes at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

“I’m not going to tell them ‘no,'” Higashi said of that exchange two years ago with ANA officials. The problem, as he explained it Friday, was that their meeting took place in March after the state Department of Transportation’s budget had already been set. The earliest he could try to get the funds would be July 2017, he said.

That’s the sort of airport logistical problem that some people want to fix….

SB658: Text, Status

read … Airlines

Survey shows more people in Hawaii felt relatively calm, rather than panicked during false missile alert

KITV:  It's been more than two months since Hawaii's false missile alarm, and now preliminary findings from an online survey show that more people across the state reacted relatively calmly, rather than panicked during the emergency alert….

A team from the Department of Psychology and Communication at Hawaii Pacific University conducted the online survey, and found that a majority of the participants felt like the missile was actually inbound to Hawaii. More than 240 people across the state have participated in the study since January. According to the results, approximately 67% participants remained relatively calm, while 33% say they experienced panic….

Researchers also looked at more than 300 print and broadcast media reports locally, nationally and globally and found that there was far less panic than what had been reported….

HNN: Of those who participated, 64 percent of people believed a missile was inbound to the islands. Some 90 percent of people believed the missile was coming from North Korea, and 77 percent feared the attack was a nuclear event.

To participate in the survey, click here.

read … Calm

Tulsi Gabbard not Good Enough for Hollywood Gun Control Nuts

CB: …On Wednesday, exactly one month after Nikolas Cruz fatally shot 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard voted along with 406 members of Congress on a bill to increase security at schools and curb the violence.

It was a national day of protest for students across the country, many of whom left the classroom to march in support of better gun control.

And while the measure Gabbard voted for Wednesday didn’t address guns specifically, that didn’t stop the congresswoman from seizing on the moment.

She urged her colleagues to take on reform measures, such as universal background checks and closing the gun show and online loopholes that allow purchases to go unchecked.

“These are provisions that have overwhelming bipartisan support both here in Congress and across the country,” Gabbard said. “The time for action is long overdue. Let’s bring these bills to the floor for a vote.”

The image Gabbard projected was one of a strong gun control advocate, a person who wasn’t afraid to stand up to one of the most well-organized political lobbies in the U.S. — the National Rifle Association.

So it was surprising when Amber Tamblyn, a Hollywood actress who has become a leading voice in the Time’s Up movement, called out the congresswoman on Twitter….

read … Fake Out

Rapozo Proposes Massive Festering Homeless Tent City for Kauai

KGI: …Regarding homelessness, Rapozo said about 30 percent of “legitimate homeless. They ran out of paycheck. They couldn’t pay the bills. Those are good people. They need help.”

Rapozo said his proposal has always been to create safe zones for homeless.

“We need to get them out of the bushes and in areas where they can sleep, they can rest, they can eat, they can use the restroom facilities safely and cleanly.”

He said the Vidinha Stadium parking lot might be such a place. It’s not used from late night to early mornings.

“Give them a place they can be safe and clean and warm. Remember, we have grandpas, grandmas and kids,” he said….

read … Homelessness

Chart: Hawaii medical cannabis patient count climbs 33% in 2017

MJB: …Hawaii’s medical marijuana patient count continued to climb through 2017, as the program expanded its list of qualifying conditions and allowed dispensaries to finally open their doors. The MMJ patient count jumped 33% in 2017, but that growth was relatively even throughout the year. Month-over-month growth averaged 2%, consistent with data from previous years….

Read … MJ Business 

Supreme Court to weigh free speech for anti-abortion centers

WE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear whether California is violating free speech rights by forcing anti-abortion pregnancy centers to post information about the availability of state-funded abortions.

A decision is expected by the end of June and could trigger legal changes in other states, such as similar laws in Hawaii and Illinois. Depending on the outcome, reproductive rights advocates may seek to overturn anti-abortion laws that require doctors to tell women that abortions lead to mental health problems or breast cancer, disclosures that abortion advocates say are false.

The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, also involves a second part of the California law requiring centers to disclose when they don't have medical staff present, and instead provide free products such as diapers and maternity clothes. If the facilities don't comply with the law, commonly known as the FACT Act, they can be fined $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for subsequent violations. The ads have specifications, including font and language requirements (as seen in the following blockquotes from the legislation), ….

read … Free Speech?

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