Attention Friends and Family: Puna Volcano and Kauai Floods Spur OHA Cash Giveaway
Tax Collections Soar for FY2018
HB2748: Ige Signs Housing Bill
GEMS-Funded Crony Capitalist Developer Converting ‘Affordable’ Hawaii Kai Rentals Into Condos
CB: …7000 Hawaii Kai opened to fanfare just two years ago. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Councilman Trevor Ozawa attended the grand opening in June 2016. (GEMS-funded by your utility bill dollars) Christine Camp, the chief executive officer of Avalon Group, was named Developer of the Year in 2016 by the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Hawaii Chapter.
The 269-unit complex currently includes 54 units of affordable rental housing with rents ranging from $1,443 to $2,478, Camp says. The rest are market-rate, with rents of $2,500 to $3,800. When it opened, KHON reported the development was the first privately owned rental complex to be built in Oahu in more than a decade.
But Camp told Civil Beat on Friday that the market-rate rentals are not fully subsidizing the low-income rentals….
“There’s refinancing coming up and interest rates have gone up significantly,” she said, adding only the market-rate units will be converted and 100 are already empty. (Clue: If you have 100 vacant units, you are charging more than the market will bear.) Tenants will be allowed to stay for the remainder of their leases, (IQ Test: Does this impress you?) she said, and will also have the option to buy their units….
(Translation: Affordable housing rules are just as fake as green energy rules.)
read … Developer Plans To Convert 200 Hawaii Kai Rentals Into Condos
Volunteers, Church Quick-Build Homes for Volcano Victims
HNN: …The need to help the displaced started as a conversation between community members.
Now, one week later, they’re already breaking ground on transitional shelters that displaced families could move into by next week.
"We needed something really quick. We saw how encampments were cropping up at the Pahoa shelter. 300 people in that shelter space. We were hearing stories, they were coming in to our resource assistance center. We’re listening to the stories, we needed to offer an alternative," Brandee Menino, Hope Services Hawaii, said.
The 14.5 acres below Sacred Heart Catholic Church used to be grass and trees.
"It looked like brush, like that. [It's hard work] Good work, satisfying work," Bronson Haunga, Haunga General Contracting, said.
Now, the space in Pahoa has been cleared out. It all came from a vision, to turn this area into 20 transitional shelters.
The community acted quickly. Everything you see here, the land, the workers, the building materials, the heavy machinery, and the tools were all donated.
All volunteering to help the families whose homes are destroyed by lava.
"It takes a community, it takes a village to get this done. I mean one-week time? Who would imagine all this work will come together?" Menino said.
On Saturday, 200 volunteers will work all day to bring the vision of a community to life.
The plan is to have families and kupuna move in by next Friday. …
SA: An initial survey found 63 willing occupants
read … Volunteers
As Volcano Burns Neighborhood Punatics Continue to Obsess Over Clean Geothermal Plant
HNN: …"So you have a very poisonous steam, an unstable area, located dangerously close to residents and we saw that very dramatically in 91 with the blow out."
In 1991, Civil Defense evacuated Lanipuna Gardens after PGV drillers hit a hotspot, blowing hydrogen sulfide and steam into the sky.
After the blowout, Ruderman and 14 others were arrested after trying to block PGV from reopening.
"We got on the well pad where they couldn't proceed while we were there, had to wait and have us arrested," he said.
Gov. David Ige says with 30 feet of lava currently surrounding the facility, and it's too early to tell if it could reopen.
But supporters of PGV say there were no blowouts from the lava and think the company could restart if the eruption stops.
The company provides about 30 percent of the Big Island's electricity.
"If it (lava) stays like this and eventually it stops, I think it can be rehabilitated and mainly it's because I believe we are too dependent on fossil fuel," said Richard Ha, who's done agriculture on the Big Island for decades.
Supporters add that precautions worked even though there was damage from lava.
And PGV managers said that the way the wells were sealed and covered, they could be reopened someday….
read … Trying to Jack up Electric Bills
Bag Tax: Eco Religion Makes Whipping People Down Easy -- We Should Do It More Often
SA: …The campaign against plastic shopping bags heats up on July 1, when a minimum 15-cent fee will be charged for bags at supermarkets and other retailers. It’s an incremental step toward banning plastic bags altogether, although the charge will apply to paper bags as well. The idea — a good one — is to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to the store.
Cutting back on retail plastic bags has been a struggle, but experience shows it’s really no big deal. Howls of protest accompanied the ban on those ultra-thin, blowing-in-the-wind “T-shirt” bags, but people adapted on Oahu, as they had earlier on the neighbor islands.
The next evolution will be to ban disposable shopping bags altogether. That shouldn’t be too hard, either; Target stores in Hawaii don’t offer those bags at all. Customers don’t seem to mind….
Reality: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
read … Whip Down
Honolulu Council Voters to Force Tax payers to foot the bill of private attorneys for Kaneshiro, Kealoha
HNN: The city council has voted to pay for private attorneys to defend prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and his former deputy, Katherine Kealoha in a civil lawsuit.
The two are being sued by a group of arcade owners and workers who they tried to prosecute twice on gambling charges.
The first case was thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct and a second attempt also failed and resulted in scoldings from the judge.
read … Foot Bill
Democrat Lt Gov Candidates: Push Moratorium on Development and More Weed for the People
KGI: …Carvalho kicked off the forum in support of removing the Transient Accommodation Tax cap for counties, saying it’s the only way to maintain infrastructure.
“We want our visitors to come (and) we need to take care of our land,” Carvalho said. “Remove the cap so we can continue to maintain and manage our island.”
He also responded to questions about traffic on Kuhio Highway, saying the solution to congestion is creating and maintaining complete streets and walkable, bike-able areas….
“Right now it’s impossible to be a middle class family and live in Hawaii,” Green said. “We haven’t … stood up to the developers and it’s not just about building capacity, it’s about raising wages.”
He also spoke about connecting with neighbor islands and the importance of an active and involved lieutenant governor in Oahu.
“The most important thing is to hear people in person,” Green said. “I fancy myself someone who goes into the trenches.” (After secretly living on Oahi for years and years.)….
Our next golden crop is hemp and cannabis,” Espero said….
“There should be a moratorium on permits for all luxury (building) until we have adequate affordable housing,” Iwamoto said….
HTH: LWV hosting candidate forum in Hilo
read … Keep the People Doped Up
HSTA Refuses to Endorse Hughey in HD8 Race
MN: The union representing more than 13,700 public school teachers statewide picked Kihei Democrat Terez Amato over West and South Maui Sen. Roz Baker in the 6th Senate District, and it chose Pukalani Democrat Tiare Lawrence over Upcountry Rep. Kyle Yamashita for the 12th House District, which includes Spreckelsville and parts of Kahului.
In other Maui County Senate and House races, the union backed:
• Democratic Sen. J. Kalani English for the 7th Senate District (East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lanai).
• Democratic Rep. Justin Woodson for the 9th House District (Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills and Maui Lani).
• Democrat Tina Wildberger for the 11th House District (South Maui).
• Democratic Rep. Lynn DeCoite for the 13th House District (East Maui, Molokai and Lanai).
The union took no position on the 8th House District contest to win the seat formerly held longtime Rep. Joe Souki, who resigned March 30 amid sexual harassment allegations. Among the four Democrats vying for the seat is Wailuku resident Justin Hughey, vice president of the HSTA and a special education teacher at King Kamehameha III in Lahaina.
When asked why he didn’t win his union’s endorsement, Hughey said he had been interviewed and endorsed by the union’s Maui Executive Committee and its Government Relations Committee, as well as Maui teachers. But he said when his endorsement reached the union’s board, “it was a handful of board members who didn’t ask me any questions about my campaign that changed the endorsement to open.”
Those board members were the same people who challenged the union’s election results in 2015, he said, “but enough sour grapes.”…
read … Rejected by His Own