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Wednesday, May 02, 2018
May 2, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:12 PM :: 1433 Views

Final Passage: House, Senate Move Bills

UH Manoa Researcher Admits Global Warming 'On Hiatus' Since 1998

Screws are Tightening at OHA

Kauhane out at CNHA

Hawaii is the Worst State for Nurses

Hawaii #2 for Distracted Drivers

GEM$ Launches On-Bill Financing for Solar

Woo-Woo Crowd Grabs Hold of Legislature

CB: From approving medical aid in dying to banning certain sunscreens and pesticide chemicals, legislators passed bills they only thought about in years past.

Strumming a guitar and blowing a harmonica, (Hare Krishna cultist) Mike Gabbard opened the Senate floor session by singing about bills banning pesticides and setting up protective buffer zones around schools, restricting coral-damaging chemicals in sunscreens, expanding medical marijuana use for qualified patients, building legal homeless camps and asking voters to give the Legislature the authority to raise taxes in order to pay teachers more money….

UD: Woo-Woo

In addition to the aforementioned legislation, other bills passed this year prohibit sexual-orientation “conversion” therapy, ban the sale of trigger modifications on firearms, preserve parts of Obamacare under Hawaii law, start a pilot project on Kauai for all-mail voting and require the state to investigate unlicensed care homes.

Arguably the most progressive measure of all that passed in the 2018 session (already signed into law by Gov. David Ige) was the medical aid in dying bill, allowing qualified patients the right to obtain life-ending medication. The bill had failed to advance only a year ago.

“We responded to the calls of many,” Sen. Brickwood ‘Buzzy G’ Galuteria said at the close of the Senate’s floor session Tuesday….

read … An Article titled: ‘The Most Progressive Legislative Session In A Long Time’

Legislature Fail: Mauna Kea, Airport Authority, Vacation Rentals

SA: FAILED: THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • >> Mauna Kea: Would have banned new construction on the mountain pending an audit.
  • >> Styrofoam ban: Would have banned sale and use of foam food containers.  (Glad they failed!)
  • >> Airport corporation: Would have created a corporation to run Hawaii airports.
  • >> Retirement savings: Would have offered savings plan for private employees.  (Would you trust the State with your retirement plan?)
  • >> Vacation rentals: Would have collected taxes from vacation rentals marketed online.

PASSED: THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • >> Pesticide ban: Would ban use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in Hawaii.  (Wish they failed!)
  • >> Sunscreen ban: Would restrict sale of certain sunscreen products. (Wish they failed!)
  • >> Ohana zones: Would create officially sanctioned living areas for homeless.  (Massive festering tent cities.)
  • >> Failure to aid: Would allow longer prison terms for certain hit-and-run motorists.
  • >> Kauai relief: Would provide $125 million for Kauai and Oahu flood recovery.

PBN: Coalition backing airport bill 'stunned and saddened'

SA: Polystyrene ban bad for business

read … FAIL

Legislature Finds Way to Expand Homelessness 

SA: When this year’s 60-day session opened, state House and Senate lawmakers cited housing, homelessness and education as priorities. The outcome of Thursday’s sine die wrap-up will be a mix of seized and missed opportunities….

lawmakers are poised to spend more than $50 million on programs serving as a continuum of sorts to help thousands of homeless people find their way to permanent housing. Much of the legislation tied to this funding, including $30 million to set up camp-like “ohana zones,” is short on specifics. The result could be either effective agility, or ill-advised foot-dragging. The latter could quickly leave the state with a larger homeless population and overwhelmed resources….

The biggest education-related win, from the perspective of Hawaii’s teachers union and others, is the Legislature’s support for putting before voters a proposal to establish a surcharge on investment real property, which would serve as a funding stream for public education. Slated for November’s general election ballot, approval would amend the state Constitution and enable the 2019 Legislature to debate the surcharge’s still-fuzzy parameters.

Topping the missed opportunities list is failure — for a third year in a row — to tackle troubles linked to the exploding inventory of illegal short-term vacation rentals. A deferred measure, which would have established a process for online platforms, like Airbnb, to collect and remit tens of millions of dollars in now uncollected state taxes…

read …  missed opportunities

Council Suddenly Passionate About Destroying Affordable Housing ‘Monster’

HNN: …City Councilmember Ikaika Anderson is spearheading a measure to crack down on illegal monster homes.

Bill 33 would allow the city to demolish homes built without the proper city permits. Anderson said it's a problem that plaguing neighborhoods from Kalihi to Kaimuki.

Anderson's Planning Committee held an informational briefing on Bill 33 on Tuesday. The Zoning Committee so far has opted not to hear the bill but Anderson hopes the committee will take up the issue again.

"That is a willful, intentional, and flagrant violation of the law where these violators flip the finger at their entire community and say, 'I don't care about the laws of the City and County of Honolulu," said Anderson.

"If I were mayor, under an Ikaika Anderson Administration, I would have torn that structure down yesterday." ….

read … A 'flagrant violation' of the law: Councilmember spearheads measure to crack down on monster homes

Legislature Votes to Install a Tranny and a Lawyer in Every Bathroom in Hawaii Schools

CB: …Hawaii moved a step closer to expanding protections for students discriminated against on the basis of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation when the Legislature passed a bill Tuesday establishing a law to prohibit such treatment.

House Bill 1489 received near-unanimous support from both chambers and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature. It creates a statute prohibiting gender-based discrimination in any school or education program in Hawaii that receives state funding, opening the door for aggrieved students to file a civil cause of action under that law.

The law has a delayed effective date of Jan. 1, 2020….

“HB 1489 is a historic victory for women and LGBT students in Hawaii,” said (corporate lobbyist) Khara Jabola-Carolus, (aka Mrs Kaniela Ing) executive director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of ‘Women’….

read … Legislature Approves Bill To Protect Against Sex-Based Discrimination

What about all the other bad stuff affecting reefs?

Cataluna: …A paragraph from testimony submitted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on the sunscreen ban legislation puts the issue of damage to Hawaii’s coral reefs into perspective:

“It should be noted that the primary stressors of coral reefs in Hawaii are related to land-based source pollution, over-fishing, invasive species, and climate change. Continued legislative support of efforts to reduce these stressors will have the largest impact on coral reef resilience and recovery.”

Indeed. But dealing with the other stuff is hard.

It also should be noted that if there were fewer tourists slathering themselves with sunscreen, yanking on rubber reef-walkers and stomping all over nearshore coral, that would probably help out the reef, too.

There are around 3,000 people visiting Hanauma Bay almost every day of the year. If those 3,000 people were buck naked, chemical-free and leaking only organic-­grass-fed sweat and pee into that bay, that would still be too much humanity impacting on the reef.

Additionally, it should definitely be noted that besides the ever-growing number of tourists, Hawaii’s ever-growing number of residents also affect the reef, as does the runoff from manicured golf courses and fertilized yards, cesspool leaching and sewage spills, not to mention all the coastal development and overfishing and random foreign limu that floats in from ballast water or weird tides.

It should be noted that global warming is real, and that affects the reefs, too.

But all those other things are hard to fix, and they don’t make for easy, braggy campaign literature. So much of what is coming out of this year’s Legislature is just that: great lines for the glossy door hangers.

It should be noted that the Legislature has been very excited about telling other people what to do and then taking the credit for doing something. Who is going to be the sunscreen police? Stores won’t be able to sell this stuff, but does that mean state inspectors are going to be doing random spot checks at Longs and Walgreens, reading labels and testing formulas on litmus strips? Nope. It’s a conceptual ban. Tourists can pack whatever they like from home, and nobody is going to stop them on the sand and take swabs of their sweaty backs to see whether they’re legal.

But by all means, ban the sale of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Put that in the political win column, like banning plastic bags so that folks can carry their natural hemp-fiber totes into the market to buy GMO-free kale chips that are packaged in Mylar bags that don’t break down and can’t be recycled.

At least it feels like a fix. At least the politicians can take credit….

Big Q: Do you support a ban on the sale of suncreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate?

read … What about all the other bad stuff affecting reefs?

Eco Fraud Pays Off: Profiteers Cash in on Sunscreen Ban

HNN: …At a science class at Kaimuki Middle School, students learn to make homemade sunscreen. It includes bees wax, shea butter, a mix of oils and non nano zinc oxide for sun protection.

"I think it's really cool because I know it doesn't have oxybenzone so when I use it. I won't think it hurt the coral reefs," said Lochlan Ajimine, a 6th grade student in Nicole Ross' science class.

The husband and wife founders of organic sunscreen maker, Little Hands Hawaii, have been teaching their techniques and advocating for a ban on the sale of sunscreen with oxybenzone and octinoxate, two common chemicals which some studies show harm coral reefs.

"I think it's both very important for our bodies and for the environment and also for the keiki. They are so little and they need good stuff going on to them," said Rosalyn Ardoin, co-founder of Little Hands Hawaii.

During Tuesday's demonstration, Ardoin and her husband and co-founder, Michael Koenigs learned the legislature approved the ban.

"Yeah, give me five, awesome,' cheered the couple as they gave each other high-fives.

But cancer experts say the ban could damage human health. They question the science and worry people will be discouraged from using sunscreen since many alternatives cost significantly more.

"Right now the cost of these so-called reef friendly products ranges any where from two times to six to eight times more than what's on most of the shelves now," said Karen Glanz, a professor at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. …

read … Hysteria is Profitable

UH Exploits Deferred Maintenance to Score Fresh Juicy Capital Improvements –ON FOUR YEAR OLD BUILDING

KHON: A recreation center at the University of Hawaii needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, only four years after opening.

Water seeped through the doors of the Warrior Recreation Center, which caused the flooring to rot in those areas.

The center itself is still being used by students and faculty, but Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, points out that the floors have been left to rot by the doorways. She wonders why the problem wasn't fixed when it started back in 2014.

"Did the University of Hawaii actually work on getting it repaired or fixed, or did they just wait until this year to get it worked on?" Kim asked.

The state legislature approved $1 million last year to fix the problem and make additional improvements. Kim tells us that it might not have been as expensive if things were dealt with sooner.

She wonders if other projects within the university are not being addressed soon enough.

"I'm concerned that these small problems are mounting to be big problems because somebody's not paying attention to it, and it makes you wonder about the leadership and what's going on at the University of Hawaii," Kim said.

University spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says the problem occurred at a time when the university was under a different leadership.  (See how that works?)

DoT Version: Fix roads with concrete, technology

read … University recreation center requires costly repairs after just four years

Caldwell’s Dim Bulb-outs to be Blocked in Chinatown?

CB: …business owners said they confuse drivers, make it difficult for people to stop at curbside for quick deliveries or pickups and are eyesores in the historic district.

The committee approved a measure that would prohibit the city from creating any more of the extensions in Chinatown. Planning Committee Chair Ikaika Anderson and Councilman Brandon Elefante opposed the bill, but were outnumbered by Fukunaga, Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and Council Chair Ernie Martin.

The full City Council will hold a final vote on the measure May 9.

read … Dim Bulbs

Hawaii PUC approves Cincinnati Bell's takeover of Hawaiian Telcom

SA: The second of two Hawaii regulatory agencies has blessed the pending sale of local phone, TV and internet service provider Hawaiian Telcom to Ohio-based Cincinnati Bell.

Members of the state Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Monday to approve the $650 million deal with several conditions.

The PUC decision followed an approval by the Cable Television Division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in December with some similar conditions.

Conditions include spending $20 million over the next four years to expand and improve the company’s network, mainly by adding or upgrading serv­ice connections to 15,000 homes, including 9,000 on the neighbor islands…..

read … Hawaii PUC approves Cincinnati Bell's takeover of Hawaiian Telcom

DOD Budget: ‘Test the Feasibility of’ Missile Defense for Hawaii

BD: …Pentagon planners aren't only worried about North Korean ICBMs, but Chinese hypersonics and medium-rage missiles. That means, according to analysts, that an array of distributed systems are needed to meet a wide range of potential threats….

The House Armed Sevices Committee markup of the 2019 defense budget asks the Pentagon to test the feasibility of stationing a THAAD battery in Hawaii, along with stationing an Aegis destroyer permanently offshore to protect against attack. The legislation was introduced by Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard….

read … Rep. Gabbard Pushes For Heftier Hawaiian Missile Defenses

Honolulu Rail Project Loses Its Top Right-Of-Way Official (again)

CB: …As HART’s right-of-way director, Abbey Mayer led the agency’s efforts to acquire properties along the rail line. He’s the latest in a string of more than 16 managers, directors or top personnel to leave HART, which has struggled since 2015 to retain institutional knowledge as it works to build the 20-mile rail line.

Mayer’s predecessor, Jesse Souki, had the job for just over a year before leaving in November 2016 to become executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Association….

read … Honolulu Rail Project Loses Its Top Right-Of-Way Official

Public-Private Partnership to Sink $50M into Alawai Golf

SA: …The city intends to enter into a public-private partnership with Topgolf Hawai‘i, which would invest $50 million replacing the Ala Wai Golf Course’s traditional driving range with a high-tech version and other golf-related activities.

The city has offered Topgolf Hawai‘i, a partnership between Topgolf USA Inc. and The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, a 20-year lease deal with options to extend up to 40 years. Topgolf Hawai‘i was offered a conditional award Thursday following a competitive request-for-proposals process that began in December.

The lease will require approval from the Honolulu City Council and the state Board of Land and Natural Resources since the golf course sits on state land that was transferred to the city’s control by executive order. If everything works out, the opening would be a few years out….

read … PPP

Tupola seeks restraining order against Ryan for third time

SA: A state judge has scheduled a hearing on state Rep. Andria Tupola’s petition for a temporary restraining order against fellow Hawaii Republican Party member Eric Ryan.

Ryan is calling the May 25 hearing in Honolulu District Court “Hawaii’s Trial of the Century.”… 

1SS181000441 -- Court Minutes May 1, 2018:

MTANIGAWA:TTOKUYAMA: HN:10B CD #18 (8:37) ATTY MICHAEL GREEN PRESENT WITH PETITIONER ANDRIA TUPULA. ATTY GERALD KURASHIMA PRESENT FOR RESPONDENT ERIC RYAN. ATTY KURASHIMA REPRESENTED THAT RESPONDENT HAS NOT YET BEEN SERVED BUT WILL ACCEPT SERVICE ON BEHALF OF RESPONDENT; PETITION SERVED BY ATTY GREEN TO ATTY KURASHIMA IN OPEN COURT. BY ORDER OF THE COURT, CASE SPECIAL SET FOR HEARING ON TRO TO 5/25/18 10A 8:30 AM HALF DAY. ORDER EXTENDING TRO/FIRST AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING FILED IN OPEN COURT TO ATTY ANN CORREA ON BEHALF ON ATTY GREEN AND TO ATTY KURASHIMA.

read … Tupola seeks restraining order against Ryan for third time

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