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Tuesday, March 27, 2018
March 27, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:37 PM :: 1005 Views

Web of Caldwell Admin Lies Unraveled by Latest DMV Computer Crash

Hawaii Among Worst States for Doctors

USNWR: Kauai Healthiest County in Hawaii

U.S. and Marshall Islands Hold Mid-Year Meetings on Compact Funding

Hawaii Senate Committee to Hear Anti-Reciprocity Resolutions

Obama Marine Monuments Legal? Court to Decide

Demographic, Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics of Racial Groups in Hawaii

Poll: Ige beats Trump 39% to 31%

SA: …For the first time ever, a greater number of those polled statewide said they disapprove of Ige’s job performance than said they approve, and by a clear margin. Nearly half, or 49 percent, said they disapprove while 39 percent said they approve. That’s a reversal of the January 2016 poll numbers, when 48 percent said they approved of his job performance while 41 percent said they disapproved.

Caldwell, meanwhile, has seen his once very favorable approval dip significantly. In the latest poll his 45 percent approval rating among Oahu voters is well within the margin of error for his disapproval rating of 43 percent. In January 2016 he had an almost 2-to-1 job approval rating with 59 percent OK with his job performance and 32 percent not OK. In January 2015 he had a more than 3-to-1 approval rating, with 64 percent approving and 21 percent disapproving….

Asked whether the recent missile false-alarm incident factored into their decision on Ige’s job performance, 75 percent of those who gave him a disapproval rating said that it did — 39 percent said the incident was a “major factor” in their decision to give him a disapproval grade, 36 percent said it was a “minor factor” and only 24 percent said it was “not a factor.”

Other than the false missile warning, it’s hard to get a grip on what it is that voters don’t like about Ige, Moore said….

(Trump’s approval rating is 31% to 56% disapprove) 73 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans said they approve of Trump’s job performance, and 12 percent of Republicans said they disapprove. Among those identifying themselves as Democrats, 7 percent said they approve and 84 percent said they disapprove. Among independents, 36 percent said they approve and 48 percent said they disapprove.

The president fared best with Caucasian voters (41 percent approval, 46 percent disapproval) and worst with Hawaiians (19 percent approval, 71 percent disapproval). He fared slightly better on Oahu (34 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval) than on the neighbor islands (27 percent approval, 61 percent disapproval).

PDF: The Hawaii Poll – March 2018: Job Performance

read … Ige and Caldwell slipping in job approval

8 groups vow to end homeless family situations

SA: …Eight nonprofit organizations that have been working together to move homeless families out of shelters and into permanent homes faster have recruited six more agencies from across the state and are vowing to “end” homelessness for island families by the end of the year.

“The goal is to end family homelessness, and we made the commitment that the job wasn’t done,” said Darryl Vincent, chief operating officer for U.S. Vets, one of the original eight organizations brought together by the Hawaii Community Foundation three years ago under a program called HousingASAP.

This year the group expanded to 14 organizations, which collectively call themselves Housing­ASAP 2.0.

They won’t literally eliminate family homelessness across Hawaii this year, but they hope their organizations collectively reach a point of “functional zero,” which they define as finding permanent homes for island families within 30 days after they become homeless — while housing more families….

The original eight organizations were Catholic Charities (statewide), Family Life Center (Maui and Kauai), Family Promise of Hawaii (Oahu), Institute for Human Services (Oahu), Kahumana Community/ASI (Oahu), U.S. Vets (Oahu), Waikiki Health (Oahu) and Hope Services Hawaii (Hawaii island).

This year they recruited six new groups: Ka Hale a ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers (Maui), Kalihi-­Palama Health Center (Oahu), Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (Oahu), Parents and Children Together (Oahu), Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Oahu) and Hawai’i Affordable Properties — Ulu Wini (Hawaii island).

The Hawaii Community Foundation and a dozen funding organizations brought the original members together after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began pushing all states toward the so-called Housing First model, which says it’s more effective for agencies to get homeless people off the street and out of shelters quickly and into permanent housing, then deal with their issues…

read … 8 groups vow to end homeless family situations

55% Fooled by Monster Home Rhetoric

SA: …There’s been a small backlash to that movement, however, from real estate interests and others who argue that any kind of restriction on large houses will exacerbate the island’s housing crunch and make it more difficult for families who want to pool expenses to live together under one roof.

Of the 535 Oahu voters polled, 55 percent said they favor a ban on monster houses. However, a combined 32 percent said they don’t favor a ban because they think the houses will provide affordable housing or because they believe property owners should be allowed to build what they wish so long as they conform to city building and zoning codes….

read … Fooled

Almost Everybody Fooled by Suicide Squad

SA: …Overall, 71 percent of poll participants said medical aid in dying should be approved while 19 percent said it should not be allowed. Ten percent were unsure….

Eva Andrade, president of the Hawaii Family Forum, contends there’s a lot of misinformation on the subject.

“The survey results are not surprising. Physician- assisted suicide has been presented to the public as a matter of choice, but when people take a closer look at the bill itself, they have real concerns about what the bill will allow,” Andrade said in a statement. “When we tell people their 18-year-olds with a terminal illness can terminate their lives without letting anyone know, they are alarmed.”

She added, “It’s not just the faith-based community that has issued warnings. Physicians, even those who are in favor physician- assisted suicide, have strong reservations about the bill itself.”

read … Fooled

SB1011: Fee Hike Would Punish Owners of Fuel Efficient Cars

KHON: The proposal wants to add another $70 per year for electric vehicle owners, $35 for hybrid vehicle owner. The money collected will go to the state highway fund….

The bill, SB1011 SD2 HD1, is scheduled for another hearing at the House Finance Committee on Wednesday….

HNN: Hawaii dodges big price hikes for gas, but drivers are hardly celebrating

read … Extra fees possible for electric and hybrid vehicle owners

SB2939: Should Hawaiian Electric Company Receive Automatic Rate Hikes for Giving Money to Green Energy Scammers

IM: The House Committee on Finance chaired by Sylvia Luke will hear SB2939 SD2 tomorrow.

The bill would require the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission .to establish performance incentive and penalty mechanisms (PIMs)….

There are 100s of different PIMs and dozens of ways of implementing them. The Public Utilities Commission has already established a few PIMs and is looking to adopt more.

Ten groups and a number of individuals submitted testimony at the last hearing: Public Utilities Commission, Consumer Advocate, Organizing for Action, Sierra Club, Blue Planet, Healthy Climate Communities, Hawaiian Electric Company, Life of the Land, Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and the OCC Legislative Priorities Committee, Democratic Party of Hawai'i.

Life of the Land and Janet Pappas suggested a climate change PIM. The Oahu County Committee supported affordability, reliability, and policies that promote wave energy, geothermal, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).  

Ililani media covered the issue in previous articles: Cutting the link between Hawaiian Electric Company's sales and profits, Incentivizing HECO Companies to do the Right Thing….

How big should financial incentives be?” asked Synapse Energy. “In the United States, the total maximum of all financial rewards/penalties has often been set at approximately 1% ‐ 3% of base revenues. In the UK, the RIIO model could have an impact greater than 5% of base revenues (equivalent to +/ ‐ 500 basis points on ROE).

Suppose that a utility is given 25 goals dealing with reliability, resiliency, rates, time to answer phone calls, time to sign interconnection agreements, line loss rates, etc.

For each goal, the utility is given a range of accepted responses.

For each target, the utility is rewarded for overachievement above the target range and penalized for underachievement below the target range.

The rewards/penalties may be linear, non-linear, symmetrical, non-symmetrical, etc….

read … Should Hawaiian Electric Company Receive Ratepayer Rewards for Stellar Performance?

Hawaii lawmakers call for tougher laws, penalties for child care providers

HNN: After several children died or were severely injured at licensed day care operations, Hawaii lawmakers are now pushing for tougher laws and harsher penalties for childcare providers who break the law.

Under the bill, House Bill 2528, any adult relatives who help daycare operators care for children will be required to get a criminal background check.

The proposal also significantly increases the fines for violations.

Daycare operators could face a minimum penalty of $1,000 up to $3,000 per day for violations such as having more children than the license permits or not fixing safety hazards in the home.

But some childcare providers are worried the new rules may backfire.

Pualani Ramos has run a preschool from her home in Kailua for the past 17 years. She said she's concerned that the bill's hefty fines may discourage responsible childcare providers from doing business.

"Revoke someone's license and you take away their livelihood. That should be fine. But these big heavy fines, who makes that kind of money?" Ramos said.

Ramos said when it comes to child safety, it's also important to be able to hire well-trained, professional assistants.

She said on Oahu, at-home daycare providers can only get help from relatives.

Ramos points to the case involving Peyton Valiente, who almost died from injuries he suffered at an Ewa Beach day care in 2015 when he was just 17 months old.

The Valientes' attorney says charges were never filed because all the family members who were home at the time refused to testify.  

(And because they are family of HPD officer.)

Last year, Gov. David Ige signed into law a bill that requires liability insurance for all childcare providers. The bill was named after four-month-old Wiley Muir who died at a Honolulu day care in 2014. …

read … Hawaii lawmakers call for tougher laws, penalties for child care providers

$25M Grift: Big Island Not Fooled by SpinLaunch Spin

CB: …A company called SpinLaunch hopes to build its centrifuge to hurl satellites into space from the Big Island — preferably in its southernmost district, Kau. The company wants the state of Hawaii to help it by issuing $25 million in special purpose revenue bonds — bonds sold to private investors — for which the state incurs no liability but charges no taxes on their interest.

A bill authorizing those bonds, Senate Bill 2703, passed its Senate committee hearings with only one dissenting vote, and appears to be flying through the House as well.

But the spaceport’s backers didn’t consult Kau’s people, or even its legislators. And Kau has often played the role of David, itself: in recent decades, the defiantly bucolic district’s residents have successfully defeated corporate plans for a mega-resort, a private prison and three other proposed spaceports. The district’s three state legislators all oppose this new spaceport, too….

Wakai told the Hawaii Tribune Herald that the centrifuge would accelerate its payload up to “5,000 miles per hour,” and the only chemical fuels needed would be for positional maneuvering after reaching orbit. But according to multiple websites, a satellite would have to be moving at over 17,000 mph to achieve even low earth orbit….

Wakai admitted he hadn’t consulted with Kau’s legislators about the bill: “That was my mistake. I figured that Cindy Evans would be talking to her counterparts.”

One Kau legislator, Russell Ruderman, was the lone dissenting vote during the Senate committee hearings. The other two, Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Richard Creagan, aren’t on the committees that heard the bill.

“I’m very tired of people who don’t live on the Big Island talking about putting things here and not talking about it with the community,” Ruderman said.

“Did they put up any notices in the community? Did they try at all to connect with the community? They (Kau residents) have rejected rocket launch facilities three times in the past. We don’t want it and we are resentful that things keep getting proposed for our community without talking to us.”…

read … SpinLaunch

Activists erect makeshift checkpoint on Mauna Kea Access Road

HTH: About two dozen people calling themselves “kanaka rangers” held an unauthorized checkpoint Monday along the Maunakea Access Road.

They staged themselves about 700 yards from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and erected a small shack next to the access road on property belonging to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The makeshift structure was named “Hale o Kuhio” after Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, who spearheaded passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. A few inverted Hawaii flags were flown.

Organizers, including members of a group called the Beneficiaries Trust Council, said they are frustrated by delays in putting beneficiaries on DHHL land around Maunakea and were staging the checkpoint to mark Prince Kuhio Day.

By keeping track of who was on the road, also used to access land held in trust for Hawaiians in the area, Kalaniakea Wilson said they were practicing resource management. No one was being told to leave or denied access, he said.

“It’s a Hawaiian management program. It’s a ranger program,” Wilson said. “It’s not a protest.”…

When a reporter was present, participants, wearing reflective safety vests, were waving to motorists to encourage them to stop. The motorists were then asked where they were going. A stop sign stood in a traffic cone on the side of the road.

The interaction lasted a few moments, and drivers were wished a happy Prince Kuhio Day.

Lakea Trask, who participated in the TMT protests on the mountain, characterized the action as direct land management by those who are supposed to benefit from the land trust.

“We’re here to assert and exercise our rights,” he said. “… We’re the kanaka on the land. This is direct accountability.”

Asked if the checkpoint would continue beyond the holiday, Wilson said that’s up to the “community.”

KITV: Group gathers on Kuhio Day to demonstrate alleged DHHL mismanagement

read … Waylaid

Hawaii lawmakers make significant changes to several energy bills during committee hearings

PBN: …House Bill 2249 originally called for the creation of a $30 million revolving line of credit from the Green Energy Market Securitization loan program to finance energy efficiency measures in the state. It would also set up a rebate program as well as a task force to prepare the state’s grid for natural disasters and other emergencies….

In last week's committee hearings, lawmakers responded to testimony questioning the use of GEMS funds for the proposed measure….

As a result of the testimony, lawmakers completely removed any reference to GEMS in their latest draft of the bill….

HB2249's Senate companion, SB2910, has undergone the almost exact opposite change. While the bill initially called for a homeland security and resiliency council, it has been amended in the House and would now establish a $50 million revolving line of credit under the umbrella of the GEMS loan program.

Another bill that has been significantly altered is HB1801. The bill originally sought to amend the definition of “renewable portfolio standard” to more accurately reflect the percentage of renewable energy penetration in the state. It also called for the establishment of RPS benchmarks for gas utility companies.

However, the section to adjust the calculation of RPS in the state has been deleted from the bill, which now solely focuses on a technical feasibility study to establish RPS targets for gas utility companies in Hawaii….

read … Hawaii lawmakers make significant changes to several energy bills during committee hearings

Biofool Farm for Molokai—Hasn’t Paid Ritte Off Yet

CB: …Lamplighter Energy, which develops and operates energy projects around the globe, is gauging public support for its 40-year plan to purchase the 55,000 acre Molokai Ranch for $260 million. With the land, the company would farm an organic biofuel and sell it to South Korea….

The biofuel is kenaf, a fast-growing hibiscus cannabinus prized for its ability to absorb toxins from the soil. The crop sprouts in slender stalks that can grow up to 16 feet tall. (Kenaf and Jute are grown in South Asia.  If S Korea wanted to buy some, India and Bangladesh have plenty to sell.  Why would they waste their time with Hawaii?) Lamplighter would (ALLEGEDLY) ship the product on a barge from the west end of Molokai directly to South Korea….

(IQ Test: Do you believe this is a real business plan?)

The (ALLEGED) buyer is (ALLEGEDLY) Korea Electric Power Corp., which (ALLEGEDLY) wants to immediately phase out coal. KEPCO, South Korea’s version of HECO, would (ALLEGEDLY) burn the biofuel at seven power plants over the next two to three decades (ALLEGEDLY) until it’s ready to transition to wind and solar power, according to De Rosa (who is the sole source of all these allegations).

(That’s funny. Last year De Rosa said the product was “pellets” and the buyer was Hanbo Energy.  Can’t he make up his mind?)

“The sale of the ranch is going to decide Molokai’s future,” said Ritte, who attended a small, improvised presentation that De Rosa gave about Lamplighter’s proposal earlier this month.

“So when this guy comes over here and told us that he was ready to pull the trigger, as he puts it, we were like, ‘Wait a minute.’ This community needs to have a say (check or cash). We want to make sure we can control our future (grift some cashflow.)”

Ritte said De Rosa’s approach to consensus-building so far — impromptu, one-on-one and small group conversations — has left some residents feeling in the dark (unpaid).

“If it will make for a better future (payment) for Molokai (me), then everybody’s on the same page,” Ritte said. “But he needs to come talk to everybody (me.  And bring money). That was his big mistake and I don’t know if we’re going to be able to overcome it.”

Ritte said he asked De Rosa to hold off on making the purchase for six months so the community can draft a list of the conditions (payments) under which it (Ritte) will agree to support a new buyer.

Ritte said he’s still waiting for an answer….

De Rosa Timeline:

read … Greenmail

American Samoans Sue for Birthright Citizenship (again)

AP: A complaint filed in federal court on behalf of American Samoans living in Utah seeks to grant citizenship status to those born in the U.S. territory….

2015: Court Dismisses American Samoa Suit for US Citizenship

read … American Samoans Sue for Birthright Citizenship

Census Ranks Richest, Poorest Neighborhoods in Hawaii

HNN: …Of the 312 Census tracts in Hawaii, according to the rankings, 156 had median household incomes higher than the median for the state ($71,977).

The Census tract with the highest median household income: Waiawa (yes, that's no typo).

The median household income in the Central Oahu community is $161,250.

Waialae Iki comes in at no. 2 ($157,708), and Portlock ($146,042) rounds out the top three.

The Census tract with the lowest median household income, the newly-released averages show, was Mayor Wright Housing at $22,813. The median household income in the Hilo: University-Houselots was just slightly higher at $22,903.

In all, there were 15 Census tracts where the median household income was less than half of the state's. Of those, seven were on the Big Island.

PDF: Report

read … Census

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