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Friday, June 01, 2018
June 1, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:56 PM :: 1381 Views

Auditor: HART Management Listening in on My Interviews with Employees

Visitor Arrivals, Spending Up for April

Hawaii County Seeks Applicants for Charter Commission

Mayor Kim Suspends Several Hawaii County Building, Land Use Laws

State Income Tax Collections--Hawaii Takes $1389 Per Capita

Mayor Kim: Volcano Recovery Plan Based on 1960 Tsunami Recovery

SA: … Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim plans to help refugees from the May 3 Kilauea eruption by launching a rapid re-housing initiative comparable to the resettlement effort that rolled out after a tsunami devastated portions of Hilo in 1960.

Kim told listeners in a briefing at the Hawaii County Civil Defense headquarters this morning that the authorities in 1960 developed a strategy called the Kaikoo Plan, which was completed within six months, said Kim’s spokeswoman Janet Snyder.

That plan resulted in new housing in Waiakea outside the tsunami inundation area for people who had been displaced, the development of the Kaikoo Mall in urban Hilo, and the creation of what is now known as the Kanoelehua Industrial area in Waiakea.

“Harry says he’s going to make a whole new community for the people of Puna, to give them hope that there’s a better tomorrow,” Snyder said. “He says, ‘If they could create a plan in six months, so can we.’”…

Precisely as Explained: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3

read … Big Isle mayor promises new village, housing for Kilauea eruption refugees

Big Island's largest homeless shelter struggles to meet needs of lava evacuees

HNN: …."There are households and families outside the shelters camping, in encampments, tents and in their cars," said Brandee Menino, head of Hope Services Hawaii, the island's largest homeless service provider.

She said over the past month, the shelter has expanded its kuleana to meet the needs of hundreds of evacuees who are now homeless.

So far, 685 lava victims have contacted Neighborhood Place of Puna for help.

Many have been referred to Hope Services for housing assistance, and Menino said more than 200 were in search of permanent housing.

With rental units few and far between, the shelter along with other non-profits have teamed up with local realtors to create a website that links prospective renters with homes. It can be found here….

Under normal circumstances, Hope Services would only be able to use its rapid rehousing rental assistance funds to help the island's homeless population.

But the state recently gave the shelter the go ahead to use that money to aid evacuees as well.

The money can be used to pay security deposits, utilities and rent.

"Besides housing people are asking to be relocated elsewhere, off island," said Menino.

Menino said there have been 69 requests for airfare vouchers so evacuees can stay with family on a neighbor island or the mainland. She says the organization Child and Family Service has been handling those inquires….

Menino added that her staff has continued to do its traditional outreach in an effort to help the island's chronic homeless population. However, the disaster has resources stretched extremely thin…. 

WHT: County plans to erect temporary shelters at churches and other properties

read … Big Island's largest homeless shelter struggles to meet needs of lava evacuees

Members Of Military Might Get A Property Tax Break

CB: …Members of the armed services will get property tax breaks if the Honolulu City Council passes a measure introduced by Chair Ernie Martin.

Under Bill 91, homeowners actively serving in the armed forces won’t be taxed on the first $120,000 of the total value of their home as long as they provide the city proof of service status.

“There are other real property exemptions, such as the historic homes and credit union exemptions, that are far more generous than the $120,000 exemption that is proposed in Bill 91,” Martin said in an email….

read … Members Of Military Might Get A Property Tax Break

Free Speech? Police Step into Action to Tear Down Domestic violence signs targeting Clayton Hee

HNN: A domestic violence group says its behind dozens of signs along Kalaniana'ole Highway that caution voters to 'Stop Clayton Hee, Stop Domestic Violence.' The former state senator is running for governor in the upcoming election.

According to its website, Women Against Domestic Violence Hawaii claim legal records reflect Hee subjected his ex-wife to physical and verbal abuse.

Hee's campaign claims he was alerted by Honolulu Police Thursday morning that signage and banners were discovered.

At least 35 signs were seized by police.

The democratic candidate will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. to address negative and illegal (really????) campaigning….

CB: Honolulu police officers removed about two dozen signs and banners in the morning from overpasses and city poles that were in violation of county signage laws.  Hee said he suspects the super PAC is working to help Hanabusa. He said he’s been told his campaign would hurt hers more than Ige’s.

Related: Domestic Violence: Shame on Clayton Hee

read … Domestic violence signs target Hee's run for Hawaii governor

Suicide: Lobbying or Free Speech?

CB: …The Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii, which opposed the bill, spent more than $20,000 on lobbyists — twice the amount spent by Compassion and Choices, a national advocacy group in support of medical aid in dying. The latter spent $10,000….

…Strategic Communication Solutions, a public relations firm, earned far more than any other lobbyist or group advocating for or against medical aid in dying. The company received $20,000 from the church.

Nathan Hokama, head of the company, wasn’t registered as a lobbyist. He told Civil Beat that his role was instead to provide communications services and the church mistakenly classified his services as lobbying.

“I’m not a lobbyist, I don’t do lobbying,” Hokama said….

The only other lobbyist listed on the church’s form was Walter Yoshimitsu, who received $500.

Yoshimitsu wrote in an email that Strategic Communication Solutions was hired for communications and the church plans to resubmit its report.

Dan Gluck, head of the state Ethics Commission, pointed to the state law that defines lobbying as “communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.”

Public relations services “for the purpose of lobbying” should be marked separately on the form, Gluck said. He noted that new rules are being drafted to clarify, amongst other items, what constitutes lobbying. The public is encouraged to comment on those and other draft rules that can be found here.

The church also spent about $1,300 on preparing and distributing lobbying materials during the March and April reporting period, when it began to seem more likely that the medical aid in dying bill would pass.

Hawaii Family Forum, which also opposed medical aid in dying, spent $2,400 on lobbying from January to April.

The second-biggest check went to BT Consulting, headed by well-known lobbyist Bob Toyofuku. Toyofuku’s consulting firm received $4,800 from Compassion and Choices.

Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, the state’s largest lobbying firm, was one of the few other lobbyists that received more than $1,000 from Compassion and Choices.

Click here to search for expenditure reports of lobbying groups and other organizations. Expenditure reports submitted by individual lobbyists can be found here.

read …Lobbying On Both Sides Of Suicide Bill Cost More Than $34K

Gov Ige to Sign Three "Sustainability" Bills

IM: …Currently, all Hawai`i Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements must include an analysis of all impacts. Sea Level rise is an impact. HB 2106 requires these documents to include sea level rise based upon the best available scientific data. The question is, does this change anything?

Sierra Club, 350 Hawai`i, and other environmental groups applaud the passage of HB 2016.

Some large projects such as the 60-megawatt Hamakua power plant in Honoka`a escaped environmental review because they were built on agriculturally-zoned land using private funds. 

HB 2106 does not trigger an environmental review for similar future large-scale facilities which will cause sea level rise but which escape the requirement for a review. This on-going loophole concerns Life of the Land.

HB 2182 requires that the State of Hawaii sequester more greenhouse gases than it emits, but less than it consumes, by 2045….

HB 1986 Requires the Office of Planning in partnership with the Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force to establish a framework for a carbon offset program and report to the Legislature.

Life of the Land notes that Hawai`i has not completed a carbon inventory for over a decade. A baseline is needed to understand whether sequestration is working.

Capturing carbon and sequestering it for hundreds of years is not simple. The risks of inaccurate assumptions, bad accounting, and accidental release are great….

read … Gov Ige to Sign Three "Sustainability" Bills 

Three Electric Car Subsidies that Didn’t Pass

CB: … during the 2018 legislative session, several measures that would have helped facilitate the expansion of EVs in our state ultimately failed to move forward:

Senate Bill 2122 would have required 25 percent of parking for certain residential multi-unit buildings and commercial buildings built after July 1, 2018, to be EV charger-ready

House Bill 2274 would have redefined the required number of EV-designated parking spots in large lots and garages, creating a ratio that would increase in upcoming years as EV numbers are expected to grow

House Bill 2728 would have established a state Clean Transportation Initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all public ground transportation by 2035, and eventually in all ground transportation throughout Hawaii….

MN: Maui Mayor takes new electric bus for a test drive

read … Lawmakers Missed Opportunities To Encourage Electric Vehicles

Giant Diesel Plant Completed—HECO Pretending it is ‘Green’

SA: The Army and Hawaiian Electric Co. held a dedication Thursday to mark the completion of a new Schofield generating station that will strengthen Oahu’s electrical grid and pave the way for more renewables.

The 50-megawatt facility is on 8 acres at Schofield Barracks that the Army is leasing to HECO. It will be the only power plant on Oahu that is located inland, which makes it immune from the potential impacts of storms, tsunami and rising sea level. Since the facility is on a secure Army base, the generating station can be a key component of recovery in the event of an emergency that affects the power grid.

HECO said its partnership with the Army saved customers $4.3 million compared with what the cost would have been to build the facility off base. The station is projected to reduce oil use by about 26,000 barrels annually….

The Schofield facility, which is owned and operated by HECO, will run on a combination of biofuels and conventional fuels (Weasel words) and will feed into the island’s electrical grid and serve all customers on Oahu….

(Real goal) The station is the first on the island to use flexible and efficient generators that will complement increasing levels of solar and wind power on the Oahu grid. The generators will be capable of quickly starting up, shutting down or changing their output in response to sudden changes in solar and wind energy resources, which provide varying levels of energy depending on weather, time of day, cloud cover and other factors….

Reality: Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future

read … HECO, Army complete Schofield generating station

In Push for New Stadium, Aloha Stadium Authority Stops Maintenance

SA: …Without emergency funds, aging Aloha Stadium could be forced to consider closing areas of the facility in the event of additional deterioration in the future, the Stadium Authority was told Thursday. (IQ Test: Do you believe them?)

The warning, contained in a frank (Translation: Expedient) engineer’s report to the nine-member appointed board, comes in the wake of a lack of funding by the Legislature for what were described as basic health and safety repairs in the budgets for fiscal years 2018, ’19 and ’20.

As a result, there is no further construction scheduled at the 44-year-old facility for at least a year beginning July 29, 2019, and several priority health and safety items, including corrosion mitigation of steel bracing, replacements of concourse decks and some mauka seat plate repairs will not be completed, the authority was told…. 

Big Q: Should Aloha Stadium get emergency funding to keep up with maintenance?

How This Scam Works: Washington Monument Gambit

read … Lack of funding puts Aloha Stadium way behind on maintenance

RNs Pay $96K in Hawaii

BHR: Registered nurses in California and Hawaii earn the highest average annual wage for RNs in the U.S. at $102,700 and $96,990, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After California and Hawaii are the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and Oregon.

Here is the average hourly and annual wage for registered nurses in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, based on the most recent BLS data gathered  in May 2017, listed in alphabetical order.

read … Beckers Hospital Review

Unity House Scammers Continue to Harass New Waikiki Beach Boys

SA: …After almost 46 years at Kuhio Beach, the previous owners of the stands, Star Beachboys (Rutledge) and Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki, recently lost their spots on the popular Waikiki beach after the City and County of Honolulu awarded a five-year contract to Dive Oahu.

“The truth is, you have a bunch of new people here, with no experience, taking over a culture (of corruption) going on for over a hundred years,” said a man who identified himself as Maui and said he has been a Waikiki beachboy for 13 years….

Maui was loudly voicing his opinion to Dive Oahu staff on Wednesday afternoon, while recording himself on his phone.

Shelly Rofrits, manager of Dive Oahu, said in the two days since opening the new stands, angry outbursts have been common occurrences.

“We had a couple of people that didn’t like the fact that we’re out here, so we’ve had some complications with that,” she said.

Other incidents include people threatening customers and yelling at workers in the stands, but no vandalism, she said.

A police officer was seen at one of the beach stands Wednesday, waiting to speak with Rofrits, following the incident with Maui. The Honolulu Police Department’s Waikiki substation is located a few hundred feet from one of Dive Oahu’s stands.

HPD spokesperson Michelle Yu said Wednesday that the Honolulu Police Department is not aware of any police reports relating to incidents involving Dive Oahu’s beach stands….  (Must be too busy ripping down political campaign signs)

read … Rutledge

Ige: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Should be up to Feds

KGI: …Gov. David Ige said he’s old school when it comes to the idea of legalizing marijuana.

“As long as it’s illegal from the federal government perspective, I really don’t believe we should be making it legal for recreational purposes,” he said Thursday when asked about his stance on cannabis during the Kauai Chamber of Commerce 20th annual Governor’s Luncheon….

read … Legalize?

Suit challenges EIS approval for Lahaina wastewater plant

MN: …The Sierra Club Maui Group and Maui Tomorrow have filed a lawsuit challenging the approval of an environmental impact statement for Anaergia Services’ project with Maui County for a renewable energy conversion and sludge processing project at the Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

The project led by Anaergia’s Maui All Natural Alternative aims to install an anaerobic digester to produce methane gas from energy crops grown on 500 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. lands. The gas would be refined at the Kahului wastewater facility site and fuel a combined heat-and-power engine to generate electricity for the treatment plant located on 18.8 acres next to the ocean on Amala Place.

Waste heat from the engine would dry wastewater solid matter, known as “sludge.”

Undried sludge has been used for years as raw material for Maui EKO Systems to create compost at the Central Maui Landfill. Without the sludge, EKO is expected to go out of business….

County officials have said Anaergia would develop the facility at no construction cost to the county. In return, the county would pay 29 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity produced at the plant. The cost of disposing the sludge would be reduced from $103 to $80 per ton by switching from EKO Compost to Anaergia, officials said.

Built in 1973, the wastewater treatment plant can treat up to 7.9 million gallons of Central Maui wastewater daily. The plant is forecast to reach its treatment capacity by 2030….

Background:

read … Sludge Suit

Will Mass Tourism Finally be Limited?

Cataluna: …It is the first time the State Parks Division is attempting to actually reduce the number of people using the park, initially setting a limit of 900 people a day. While 900 people winding their way through Hanalei, Wainiha and finally Haena every day still seems like way too many people, consider that the estimate, before the April flooding on Kauai, was 2,000 people a day descending on Haena. It’s madness, with cars blocking the turnaround, cars parked in crazy angles along the narrow road, people walking on the road between moving cars.

DLNR State Parks Division Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter was quoted in the press release as saying, “The most significant proposal in the draft master plan is to initially limit the number of park visitors. This is a major paradigm shift in Hawai‘i State Parks management.”

That 900 limit would include day hikers on the Kalalau Trail but not permitted campers or hunters, cemetery caretakers, kupuna and cultural practitioners who have ancestral ties to the area.

The concept of limiting visitors to a state park shouldn’t be so novel and progressive, yet it is. Over the decades, Hawaii’s tourism industry has consistently won in battles of ecology, conservation, even practicality. But here, with this plan for Haena, other things besides tourists’ expectations are considered.

SA: Control access to state parks

read … Pilgrims of the Eco-Religion

Volcano News:

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