Lava disaster could worsen Hawaii pension crisis
Fisheries Management: UH Identifies Next Targets
OIP: Sunshine Law Changes for 2018
Kaniela Ing: “I don’t think establishment Democrats know where the hell they’re going”
OHA Trustee Candidate Sam King vs OHA Audit Excuses
Case, Djou: Will Hawaii Delegation Support 'Honest Ads Act'?
$100M –Flood of Money Inundates Kauai
Poll: Voters Favor Constitutional Convention 54-20
CB: “It’s been a long time and there a lot of things that have changed,” he said. “There are issues that need to be brought up.”
According to the Civil Beat Poll, Padgett is among a solid majority (54 percent) who want a constitutional convention, or “con con,” as it is known.
Only 20 percent of registered voters statewide who were surveyed say they oppose a con con. Another 17 percent said they needed more information about it….
The 1978 con con is perhaps best known for establishing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
It also set term limits for governor and lieutenant governor, required an annual balanced budget, recognized Hawaiian as an official state language and incorporated a right to privacy in the state bill of rights, among other things.
There’s no guarantee that Hawaii will soon have another one. Just six months ago, the Civil Beat Poll showed that 67 percent supported a con con compared with 14 percent opposed.
But the support remains fairly consistent across the board in the latest poll — gender, age, education, income, race and island.
“Even among liberals, moderates and progressives, there is little difference — very minor,” said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted the poll for Civil Beat. “Same for independents and Republicans, basically identical numbers.”….
read … Poll: Hawaii Voters Seem Ready For A Constitutional Convention
Police union blocks release of details about Domestic Violence officer reinstatement—Due Years of Back Pay
HNN: …The police union is fighting the police chief's plan to release information regarding the reinstatement of police officer Darren Cachola, who was fired after a violent video of him with his ex-girlfriend surfaced in 2014.
Cachola is also getting years of back pay, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hawaii News Now reported in February on the decision of an arbitrator who oversaw the disputed case. The decision was then sealed and parties involved were put under a 45-day gag order.
That time limit has passed and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard was reportedly going to make details of the case public Friday.
But SHOPO, the police union, filed an injunction.
And on Thursday, the state Labor Relations Board approved a temporary order preventing the release of information. Another hearing on the matter is set for June 4….
Cachola was (pretend) fired by previous Police Chief Louis Kealoha after the officer was caught on video fighting with his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant.
He was never arrested, instead getting a ride home from responding officers.
Weeks later, a grand jury did not indict him but Kealoha still moved forward with his termination, firing Cachola for failing to leave a liquor establishment.
That ended up being an improper reason for HPD to fire him. (Kealoha knew this all along. That’s why he chose this reason for the fake firing.)
Last year, Cachola had another run-in with the law after his wife called 911, saying he was choking her.
When officers arrived at the home, sources say, she recanted and said she was not hurt. Again, he was not arrested.
CB: Honolulu Cop Fired For Domestic Violence Gets His Job Back
read … Police union blocks release of details about officer's contentious reinstatement
New indictment: Ex-police chief's wife blamed discrepancies on health issue
HNN: …The 24-page filing, for example, alleges that Katherine Kealoha used funds from trust accounts for two children she was the guardian for to pay off mortgages, loans and other expenses.
The filings also allege that Kealoha forged official documents but blamed the mismatched signatures on a serious health issue that "affected (her) vision and handwriting." ….
And it doesn't appear to be over yet, even with this latest superseding indictment.
Hawaii News Now cameras caught former Honolulu Police homicide Lt. Wally Calistro going in to testify before the ongoing grand jury proceedings….
read … New indictment: Ex-police chief's wife blamed discrepancies on health issue
State tax revenue jumps by $125M—Money Already Spent
SA: …The panel of experts tasked with projecting state tax collections now calculates that tax revenue for this year will grow by a robust 7.3 percent, which means the state has an extra $125 million on hand to help cope with floods, lava flows and any other surprises.
The state Council on Revenues previously had predicted tax collections would grow by 5.3 percent this year from last year, but the statewide tourism boom has helped to fuel actual collections well beyond that level.
State lawmakers and the governor are required to use the council’s projections as the basis for their budget proposals, and each adjustment of 1 percentage point amounts to a change of more than $60 million. That means the state will receive about $125 million in unbudgeted tax collections for the year that ends July 1.
Gov. David Ige’s administration already was predicting the state would end this fiscal year with a cash surplus of more than $1 billion, and this new projection by the Council on Revenues simply adds to that rosy bottom line for the state.
Assuming the administration projections are correct, this will be the second time the state has had a surplus of more than $1 billion in the last three fiscal years.
House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said lawmakers expected state tax collections for this year would be higher than the Council on Revenues previously projected, and therefore decided late in the legislative session this year to boost spending…..
read … State tax revenue jumps by $125M
Maui Budget Larded with Fee Increases
MN: …The council’s version of the budget is around $758 million, down $62 million from Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposed $820 million budget. (Pretty cool trick. Ask for the sun, moon and stars and settle for the stars—then pretend to be reasonable.)
By law, the council has until June 10 to take action on the budget; otherwise, the mayor’s budget becomes law. The budget goes into effect July 1.
Property tax rates have already been set via resolution approved by the council. (See budget highlights listing for more details on Page A4.)
Some of the council-backed increases also were included in Arakawa’s budget. These include increasing residential refuse collection rates from $27 to $32 per month on Maui and Molokai, and from $14 to $16 on Lanai. And, landfill commercial tipping fees would climb from $90 to $97 per ton under the current budget draft.
There also would be a 3 percent sewer fee increase. Now, the maximum sewer fee for residents is $66.26 per month. With the increase, it would be $68.48.
The council is seeking to appropriate around $44 million for the Wailuku civic complex. Arakawa had proposed budgeting $81 million, but the Budget and Finance Committee noted in a committee report that “it would be fiscally prudent to fund the project in phases because the project cannot be completed in a single fiscal year.”
read … Lard
Post-storm rebuilding gives Kauai's North Shore residents a chance to reshape community
HNN: …Kauai firefighter and Wainiha resident Eli Frank says before the flood, the island's North Shore was a hot spot for tourists as it was inundated with thousands of visitors (and their rental cars) every day.
The world-renowned Kalalau trail head and popular Kee Beach are both located in Haena State Park.
"After the flood, it went down to zero visitors here, and it really gave everyone a chance to see what it used to be like and it kinda was an eyeopener that maybe we can do something in between those two numbers," said Frank.
Frank says the purpose of the community-driven meeting is to come up with solutions to address the overcrowding, protect the environment and cultural sites, and allow residents to have better access in their own neighborhoods.
"Some of the things we're looking at that's doable is a mandatory shuttle system to go to Kee Beach, as well as enforcement to enforce our existing laws and no parking areas so that our neighborhoods and smaller streets don't have a continuous line of cars lining both sides of the road," Frank said.
Gregg Fraser who owns Opakapaka Grill and Bar in Wainiha agrees things need to change on the North Shore, but as a business owner, he's hesitant about suggested changes.
"How is the shuttle going to impact my customer base? How is that going to help to increase or decrease those customers? It's been a little bit tough having one of the only businesses actually open," said Fraser.
KGI: Opportunity to improve Kauai North Shore is upon us
KGI: Haena State Park plan approved
KGI: Mayor right to continue TVR ban
read … Post-storm rebuilding gives Kauai's North Shore residents a chance to reshape community
Kauai: Artificial Crisis Sets Stage for Mandatory Abortion Pills
TO: …Chelius is a family medicine doctor at a hospital on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, where there are no surgical abortion providers. (Because Planned Parenthood chooses not to provide abortion on Kauai—thus setting the stage….) His best option is to instead write patients a prescription for what is called a medication abortion: using two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol – over the course of two or three days, the patient would end their pregnancy themselves. Save for a routine follow-up two weeks later, they wouldn’t need to see Chelius again.
But if he wrote that prescription, his patients wouldn’t be able to fill it. Mifeprex, the American brand name for mifepristone, is one of a handful of drugs that the FDA says is too dangerous for retail pharmacies. It can only be dispensed at pre-approved clinics, hospitals, and private practices, and the hospital where Chelius works doesn’t stock it. (Note: This is only relevant because Kauai is an island.) The process for approval is so onerous that nowhere on Kaua’i does. And time is an essential factor. Past the ten-week mark of a pregnancy, a patient’s only option is a much more invasive and expensive surgical abortion on another island. “My patients are suffering as a result,” Chelius wrote in an ACLU blog post last year, “so I’m taking the FDA to court.”
(Now you know why PP doesn’t provide surgical abortion on Kauai. After Chelius wins his suit in Dist Court and the 9th—PP will reappear.)
His suit, brought by the ACLU, is part of a growing movement within reproductive health to counter ongoing attacks on abortion access, by forcing the FDA to allow pharmacists to dispense Mifeprex…. (See how this works?)
read … Artificially Created Crisis
Snorkel Rentals Kill: Snorkeler rescued from Hanauma Bay, hospitalized in critical condition
HNN: …The snorkeler is believed to be in his 50s. Officials say the man was snorkeling in the bay around noon when he experienced difficulty in the water.
Lifeguards then paddled out to the man as he went unresponsive.
He was brought the shore where CPR was performed. Lifeguards also utilized an automated external defibrillator (AED) to shock him once.
Ocean Safety says the man's pulse returned and he began breathing on his own.
EMS crews arrived shortly after and transported him to a hospital in critical condition.
Officials added the man appeared to be using traditional snorkeling gear at the time….
read … Snorkel Rentals Kill