Senate Votes 72-27: Former AG Mark Bennett Confirmed to 9th Circuit Court
Vote Sam King: Support Forensic Audit of OHA
Are You Guilty of These?
Department of Health begins implementation of new medicated cannabis amendments
Ige Vetoes Massive TAT Hike
AP: …Ige said Tuesday he would reject the bill, which would have applied the Transient Accommodations Tax on resort fees charged by hotels. The tax currently covers lodging at hotels and other short-term stays.
Ige says vague language in the bill could lead to the tax being applied to restaurants, spas and other businesses inside hotels. The governor last month announced he may veto the legislation….
read … Hawaii governor to veto expansion of state's hotel tax
Carbon Taxes: $855M Tax Hike Coming
CB: …Consider the U.S. General Accounting Office’s $45 per ton (in 2018 dollars) estimate of the ongoing “social” cost of carbon. That’s the government’s best estimate (calculated before the Trump era, please know) of the ongoing unpaid cost of carbon damage to the planet.
(IQ Test: Do you believe carbon emissions cost $45 per ton?)
Applying $45 to Hawaii’s 19 million tons of carbon emissions amounts to $855 million. What could that be used for?
A $45 per ton carbon levy on a maximum 2,500 miles of any flight to or from Hawaii (i.e. the nearest continental coast) would add roughly $12 to the average economy class ticket….
Ocean shipping also has skillfully evaded the climate spotlight….
In the last legislative session, House Bill 1991 called for a $10 carbon tax (wow!) in 2019, rising to $40 (woohoo!) by 2025. Even though both are well below the ‘real’ cost of carbon, they do represent a start….
read … More Tax Hikes Coming
Tax Credit Junkies Grab for More Hawaii's Film Industry
SA: …On New Year's Day, the state will impose a new $35 million cap on the credits — more than $20 million less than what the state shelled out in 2017. Supporters of the cap argued it was necessary because there were questions around how much the state was really benefiting from film productions in Hawaii, many of which are made by mainland companies. ….
read … As Hawaii's film industry thrives, some fear tax credit cap could put it in jeopardy
Hirono leaves door slightly open to voting for Kavanaugh
ABC: …“The burden of the proof is on him, which means that I am leaning no but maybe he can convince me to vote for him. This is a big burden on him to show me he can be fair and objective.” ….
Big Q: What do you think of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh? ‘Very Positive’ 51%
read … Hirono leaves door slightly open to voting for Kavanaugh
More Hawaii Issues ‘Nationalized’
CB: …People know that what their mayor or governor does has more impact on their lives, but they are still fixated on Washington….
read … Nationalism Trumps Local Values, And That Hurts Hawaii
Kim: Don’t bar building in lava zones
WHT: …Because so much of Hawaii Island geography is designated as lava zones 1 and 2, it doesn’t make sense to bar construction there, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday.
Kim, reacting to public statements by state officials, said construction can’t be restricted in those two zones with the highest risk of inundation without compensating property owners for the loss of use of their lands. Lava zone 2, for example, includes a large swath of Puna and most of southwest Hawaii Island, including Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, considered the largest private subdivision in the nation, with 11,500 1-acre lots over 18 square miles.
“These are our bedroom communities. A lot of people purchase there because they want to live there, but a lot of people live there because that’s the only place they can afford,” Kim said after a County Council briefing of short- and long-term plans for housing in the midst of an eruption in lower Puna.
Instead, Kim said, his administration can, and will, deny rezoning to higher density developments in those two lava zones. Recommendations on rezoning applications are made to the planning commissions by the planning director, which then forward their recommendation to the County Council….
SA: If the state is going to assist those displaced by lava, is it going to assist those displaced by rising seas? At what cost?
read … Kim: Don’t bar building in lava zones
Affordable housing index drops for homes, condos
MN: …The median price of a single-family home on Maui in June was $727,500, down 1.7 percent from the $740,000 posted in the same month last year. However, at the same time last year, home prices had topped $700,000 four times in the year ending in June. This June, housing prices have gone over $700,000 five times.
The 12-month average for median home sales last month was $689,000, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year.
For the first six months of this year, median home prices were down 2.1 percent to $690,000. Overall, sales volume was up 5.1 percent to 575 homes.
Median condominium prices were at $515,000 in June, up 19.8 percent compared with the same month last year. The 12-month average median condo price was $465,000, up 6.9 percent….
To see the full statistical report for June, go to www.ramaui.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/RAM-Stats-June-2018.pdf
read … Affordable housing index drops for homes, condos
Hawaii Supreme Court Confirms Lesbians are Mandatory Houseguests
GA: …A victory for equality was won in Hawaii when the state supreme court refused to review an appeal on a ruling against a bed and breakfast owner who violated the state's anti-discrimination law.
In 2007, Diane Cervelli and Taeko Bufford were refused service at an Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu after the owner, Phyllis Young, asked if the women were lesbians.
Young cited her religious beliefs as the basis for her argument for discriminating against the couple, telling Cervelli that gay people made her “very uncomfortable.”
After the incident, the couple filed a complaint with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC), whose investigation found that Young called homosexuality “detestable” and believed that Cervelli and Bufford sharing a bed would have “defiled the land.” Young believed she was in the right because she ran the business from her home.
“When you run a business in your house, it’s a business and you can’t discriminate,” Robin Wurtzel of the HCRC said told LGBTQ Nation.….
In 2013, a Hawaii First Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the couple, stating that the bed and breakfast owner’s decision was in violation of the state’s public accommodation law…. (Which did not previously apply to homes renting four or fewer rooms but had to be changed to make way for mandatory gays.)
Violation of 3rd Amendment rights: Forcible Billeting of Soldiers in the Culture War in Homes
read … Mandatory Lesbians
Tobacco Smoking, vaping banned at University of Hawaii campuses (OK if marijuana)
SA: Smoking and tobacco (but not medicated marijuana) use, including vaping, is officially banned on all 10 of the University of Hawaii’s campuses under a new law.
The prohibition applies in all indoor and outdoor areas on UH property and took effect Tuesday when Senate Bill 134 became law. It covers the use of cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco.
The law does not prohibit possession, just use. (Wait til next year.)
Meanwhile: Department of Health begins implementation of new medicated cannabis amendments
read … Smoking, vaping banned at University of Hawaii campuses
US Court of Appeals: HPD officers used excessive force during deadly tasing near Iolani Palace
HNN: …The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Honolulu police officers used excessive force during a deadly tasing near Iolani Palace in 2015.
Sheldon Haleck, 38, was wandering in the middle of the street unarmed when officers pepper sprayed him at least eight times and then shot him with a taser three times.
The Ninth Circuit determined it unconstitutional, clearing the way for a lawsuit against HPD.
The medical examiner said meth in Haleck's system combined with the effects of the taser caused his death, but ruled his death a homicide….
"On March 16, 2015, every reasonable officer would have believed it was constitutionally permissible to utilize intermediate level force on a non-compliant suspect in a middle of a busy six lane roadway,” Deputy Corporation Counsel Traci Morita said….
Law enforcement expert Tommy Aiu said this may be a game changer for future HPD policy.
"The police department will probably have to revisit on how it uses or deploys less-than-lethal force based on the criteria of this ruling," Aiu said….
read … Excessive force
Ala Moana Park Homeless Debacle
HHC: …He’s allowed Ala Moana Park, which he correctly describes as Honolulu’s “Crown Jewel,” to become a dirty, dangerous place haunted by drug-addled bums and ranting lunatics who trash the place and frighten longtime recreational users who are not receiving what their taxes are supposed to be paying for.
He’s pretty much ignored all that, and has instead pushed hard for an extensive remodeling of the park to complement ridiculously priced luxury condominiums constructed across the street for wealthy transplants and absentee landlords who will illegally rent them to vacationers.
Meanwhile, most people who have enjoyed the park on a regular basis for many years just want him to keep the restrooms clean, pick up the trash, and establish an actual security presence rather than simply respond after a tragedy has already occurred.
But he said absolutely nothing after the latest tragedy, in which a young woman was abruptly pounced on by a babbling crazy and literally beaten senseless in broad daylight.
Police were nowhere to be seen and have yet to locate a suspect more than a week later….
KHON: Safety concerns raised as search continues for homeless suspect behind brutal Ala Moana park attack
read … Mayor’s Ala Moana Park debacle
Tourist attack in Waikiki by homeless ‘man’
ETN: …According to the president and CEO of the Visitor Aloha Society, Jessica Lani Rich, the tourist witnessed a younger homeless man throwing an older homeless man’s belongings in to the street and told the younger man, “Don’t do that, you aren’t being nice.” His response was to swear at her and then punch in the face more than once.
The woman went unconscious and was taken to The Queens Medical Center for treatment of a concussion and bruising.
The homeless man was arrested.
There have been a number of attacks lately in the Waikiki area on tourists and local residents as well. It appears that the assaults are by homeless people.
In May, a Japanese couple went to use a bathroom at Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park in Kakaako that had a recent increase in homeless people after the city conducted a sweep in Kakaako to clear them out of the area.
The Japanese were both punched in the face, resulting in around $50,000 in medical costs. The homeless man suspected of the attack was charged with assault.
In March, a 25-year-old woman was attacked by a stranger with a box cutter in Waikiki. A stranger who was randomly yelling as he walked along famous Kalakaua Avenue, grabbed the woman and put her in a chokehold as he tried to cut her neck with the box cutter. The woman was able to protect her neck but suffered severe lacerations and abrasions to her hand, neck, and chin.
The man, a suspected homeless individual, Andrew Peppers, was arrested.
Just last week, a 27-year-old woman was sitting at Ala Moana Beach Park near lifeguard tower 1C heard a man yelling, and as he neared her, when she looked at him, he walked right up to her and hit her in the face so hard, she went unconscious. She sustained multiple fractures to her face. That suspect is still at large.
read … Tourist attack in Waikiki by homeless ‘man’
Even Liberal California Judges Know That Anti-GMO Pesticide Claims are Garbage
AP: …U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said evidence that the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — can cause the disease seemed "rather weak." Still, the opinions of three experts linking glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were not "junk science" that should be excluded from a trial, the judge ruled on Tuesday.
The lawsuits say agrochemical giant Monsanto, which makes Roundup, long knew about the cancer risk but failed to warn people. The ruling allows the claims to move forward, though the judge warned it could be a "daunting challenge" to convince him to allow a jury to hear testimony that glyphosate was responsible for individual cancer diagnoses.….
"When you look at the body of epidemiological literature on this topic, there's no evidence of a positive association between glyphosate and NHL risk," she said of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma….
The Environmental Protection Agency says glyphosate is safe for people when used in accordance with label directions.
A federal judge in Sacramento has blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer, saying the warning is misleading because almost all regulators have concluded that there is no evidence glyphosate is carcinogenic.
read … Judge allows lawsuits claiming Monsanto weed killer Roundup causes cancer to go forward