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Thursday, October 18, 2018
October 18, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:21 PM :: 1768 Views

Hawaii Family Forum Releases Voter Guide

Hawaii AG Tells Supreme Court: Vote No on HSTA Property Tax

Report: Honolulu Roads 5th Worst in USA

Complaint Demands Expulsion of LoPresti from Democratic Party

ConCon: CNHA Rejects Abercrombie Alaska Pitch

Lawsuit Challenges 'Illegal' Maui Council Frankenbill

ConCon: CNHA Rejects Abercrombie Alaska Pitch

Politically Engaged States--Hawaii 50th

Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission Annual Survey

Ranking Sales Taxes on the 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index

Poll: Ige 52% – Tupola 31%

CB: …She had 63 percent of conservatives’ support, compared to Ige’s 21 percent. The rest — 16 percent — didn’t want either candidate or weren’t sure.

By contrast, Ige had 69 percent of liberal/progressive support compared to Tupola’s 19 percent.

The split was similar along party lines among likely voters who identified as Republican or Democrat. Independents slightly favored Tupola, 39 percent to 37 percent….

23 percent of female voters support Tupola, compared to 59 percent who back Ige….

The split among males was narrower, with 46 percent supporting Ige to 37 percent for Tupola….

PDF: Poll Results

read … Voters Want Ige To Stick Around As Hawaii’s Governor

Star-Adv Refuses to Back Cachola, Cabanilla 

SA: District 30 (Sand Island-Kalihi-Airport): Vying for this seat are incumbent Romy Cachola, a longtime legislator and former City Councilman, and Republican Mar Velasco, who has not held elected office. Cachola ranks addressing flood-related concerns as a priority for the district. Velasco was unresponsive to requests for platform issues.

Voters in the district face a tough choice between a barely visible candidate, and one whose campaigning tactics have raised red flags twice in six years. In both instances, Cachola has been accused of effectively trying to rig elections. In the most recent one, after the Aug. 11 primary election, a group of unidentified voters filed a lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to overturn Cachola’s narrow victory, alleging election fraud and vote tampering. The court dismissed the suit, saying it wasn’t the right venue for adjudication. However, justices made clear that the matter warrants further investigation by appropriate state and federal authorities….

District 41 (Ewa Villages- Ocean Pointe-Ewa Beach): Neither candidate — former Rep. Rida Cabanilla, a Democrat, or Chris Fidelibus, a Republican who has not held elected office — is a strong contender. Still, our nod goes to Fidelibus, a real estate broker and the owner of scuba-diving and sportfishing centers, who wants to see an increase in certificate and apprenticeship programs, which would allow more people to become small business owners.

Cabanilla, an Army reservist and nurse, will be trying to win back her old seat, which she lost four years ago. First elected to the state House in 2004, Cabanilla raised eyebrows in 2014 for securing a $100,000 grant-in-aid from the Legislature on behalf of a nonprofit without publicly disclosing her status as a member of its board of directors.

Background:

Romy Cachola – HD30 Kalihi

Rida Cabanilla – HD41 Ewa

read … Voters faced with tough decisions in some contests

One-party state drives away voters

SA: … Once again this newspaper backs nobody but Democrats in the upcoming election (“Ige, Green best choice for isles,” Our View, Oct. 14; “Hirono, Gabbard, Case for Congress,” Our View, Oct. 15; “In Senate races, experience counts,” Our View, Oct. 16).

People will be wringing their hands after the election wondering why we have the lowest voter turnout in the U.S. Could it be that we are the most liberal state in the country with one party controlling everything?

Many Democrats don’t vote because they know who is going to win, and Republicans don’t vote because they know it is a waste of time, since their candidates don’t stand a chance.

I have to laugh when the media ponders why so few people vote. The reason is simple. We are a one-party state and therefore elections are boring….

read … One-party state drives away voters

OHA trustee files temporary restraining order against State Ethics Commission

KITV: …OHA Trustee Rowena Akana is in the middle of a legal battle with the state -- claiming the Ethics Commission's investigation into how she spent OHA funds is unconstitutional. Akana's attorney says the state is overstepping its authority. 

If the TRO is not approved Akana will have to appear before the commission on Monday. 

Akana is one of five candidates vying for three OHA trustee at large seats in the upcoming election….

Related: Ethics Commission Outlines Charges Against OHA Trustee Rowena Akana  

read … OHA trustee files temporary restraining order against State Ethics Commission

Council advances bill to raise $44M for rail from city bonds

SA: …A bill allowing $44 million in city money to be used to help pay for the $8 billion-plus rail project won preliminary approval from the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday.

The vote was 7-2, with members Ann Kobayashi and Trevor Ozawa voting no.

If Bill 42 (2017) is given final Council approval at a special meeting on Oct. 30, it would mark the first time that money for construction of the rail would come from bonds that eventually would need to be paid off — with interest — from the city’s general operating budget, which is sourced primarily through property taxes….

Resolutions 18-127 and 18-132, which would authorize the city to issue bonds to borrow the money, will be up for final votes along with Bill 42 on Oct. 30, Martin said.

None of those measures address an additional $134 million that FTA officials believe should be included in HART’s official estimate….

KHON: City council takes one step closer to dipping into property taxes for rail

read … Council advances bill to raise $44M for rail from city bonds

Contractors: City permitting delays forcing workforce lay-offs

HNN: …The city’s Department of Planning and Permitting issues about 20,000 building permits a year, but contractors say the department takes so long to issue some permits they’re losing jobs and laying off workers.

"All of our work is locked up at the DPP," said Marshall Hickox, president of Homeworks Construction, Inc.

He says contractors can wait up to a year to get a permit for jobs as simple as home remodels.

"It's inexcusable to create this backlog of work that's there that we can't get to," he said…..

Contractors formed the Oahu Homebuilders Coaltion to lobby city officials to put pressure on the DPP to improve. Hickox believes permit approvals will only get faster when the department stops flagging drawings over things that could be corrected after a project starts.

He said one of his projects was delayed three months over the location of one smoke detector in the drawings he submitted to DPP. He said it would be better to make those kinds of corrections during construction….

In hopes of speeding up the permit process, contractors helped some City Council members with Bill 64. It sets a 60-day time limit for the DPP to issue building permits for one- and two-family homes. The council’s Zoning and Housing Committee will meet to discuss the measure Thursday….

read … Contractors complain city’s permitting delays are forcing workforce lay-offs

Hawaii Co Council rejects tax relief for Pahoa, Volcano

HTH: …Puna Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara was unable to muster support Wednesday for a resolution seeking to provide tax relief for commercial properties in Pahoa and Volcano.

The County Council voted against the property tax amnesty measure a second time 7-1, with O’Hara voting yes and Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles absent. It would have requested the county administration impose the minimum tax rate on properties in Pahoa and Volcano that host businesses impacted by the Kilauea eruption….

Pahoa merchants told council members that they are still struggling to recover.

“Tenants are now reporting revenue decreases up to 40 percent,” said Suzanne Kruppa, owner of Pahoa Marketplace. “Some are on the verge of collapse.”

O’Hara said Pahoa is at risk of becoming a ghost town….

read … Council rejects tax relief for Pahoa, Volcano

Aila Raids Anahola: Danner arrested in Fight over Squatter

KGI: …Danner, 55, and her son, Garrett, 34, were booked at KPD headquarters on trespassing and government obstruction charges for allegedly interfering with a DHHL raid on an encampment linked to an ongoing dispute between the agency and the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association….

The occupant of the alleged illegal encampment, Keikilani Pa, was present during the confrontation on Wednesday but was not arrested. However, a large volume of what appeared to be Pa’s property was removed from his campsite and loaded onto a truck by DHHL-contracted earthmoving equipment or piled at the roadside for later disposal….

In cellphone video recorded at the incident, DHHL personnel can be heard to say that property confiscated at the scene would be held for 30 days…

KPD released a statement late Wednesday that said: “DHHL officials conducted an operation today to evict an unauthorized occupant on state property, and Kauai police were asked to stand by and assist if necessary. As the DHHL contractors were removing the individual’s personal items, two Anahola residents came onto the property and refused to leave despite multiple warnings. They were both subsequently arrested by police.”…

DHHL released a statement attributed to its deputy director, (and OHA candidate) William J. Aila Jr., saying: “On Wednesday, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands removed an illegal structure occupying an area adjacent to Anahola Beach Park on Kauai. Mr. Pa had been given written notice to vacate the premises by the DHHL and was also issued a trespassing notice by the Kauai Police Department (KPD) in the weeks leading up to today’s removal.

“Mr. Pa simply did not have permission to occupy that space. It’s important to remember that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has a trust responsibility to preserve open spaces like this for all beneficiaries.”…

FH: AND AWAY WE GO!

read … Danner arrested

Leeward Oahu homeless shelter that can house 80 families set to close at end of month

HNN: …For the past decade the property has been been leased from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to be used as a transitional housing program for homeless families.

The lease is set to expire next month….

The shelter’s executive director says it’s a part of the deal they’ve known about since the beginning….

Over the past six months staff has moved all 80 families out of the complex and into places of their own….

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands says isn’t sure yet what it’s going to do with the land or the apartments.

(Translation: They will sit empty for the next 10 years.)

read … Vacant

City Closes Two More Parks Overrun with Homeless Drug Addicts

HNN : … Ala Wai Community Park and Ala Wai Neighborhood Park are closed to the public and won't be re-opening until the day after Christmas.

Officials insist they’re shutting the area down to address much needed improvements, but critics argue it’s the latest park targeted for a growing homeless population which the city is trying to clear out by restricting access.

Community members have expressed their concern about the influx of homeless campers that have descended upon the area after other nearby parks, including Old Stadium Park and Moiliili Field, which were recently closed for maintenance last month.

City officials say homeless outreach crews have spent the last several days in the area letting those who’ve been staying overnight know about the closures and offering to take them to shelters to connect them with the services they may need….

read … City closes 2 busy Ala Wai parks for the next few months

Program for formerly homeless kids helps them break habits

HNN: …“For homeless children, before coming into shelter, they’re never sleeping in the same place. They’re not going to school. They’re not eating on normal schedules," says Kimo Carvalho. "They don’t really have consistency in their lives, so when they get here to IHS, we almost have to push the pause and reset button to get them back into a system of normalcy.”

The IHS spokesman says over the past year the the Children’s Enrichment Program has worked with 211 kids. Case managers, alongside volunteers, help with everything from health screenings to homework….

“They can range from any age, infant to 17,” said Carvalho. “It’s really a holistic family enrichment program. Even just getting into a normal homework schedule, we bring mom and dad downstairs and we teach them how to interact with their kids. How to connect with them. How to listen to them.”

Another focus is helping each child adjust socially. That includes making sure they can participate in extra-curricular activities.

“When you get these kids into settings like surfing in Waikiki or Bishop Museum to learn about astronomy, these kids get inspired,” said Carvalho….

With the opening of the igloo village in Kahaluu expected later this year, and the completion of phase two at Kahauiki Village in 2019, Carvalho says they’ll need to hire more staff to help an estimated 100 additional children — but he says the money isn’t there to do it.

“Right now the private sector is really the one picking up the tab. Really carrying all the weight. There’s really not an investment from government at all,” said Carvalho.

In the meantime Carvalho says IHS is always looking for tutors and other volunteers to help with their children’s programs as well as businesses who might want to sponsor an activity….

read … Program for formerly homeless kids helps them break habits learned on the streets

DOH employee questions medical marijuana quality, policies for checking it

HNN: …Is the weed you need in Hawaii clean and safe? An employee of Hawaii's Department of Health, who wishes to remain anonymous, says no.

Mold, yeast, and other contaminates are found on medical marijuana grown here in Hawaii, but even when it's detected, our source says they could  still end up in the product you take home.

"It's very disturbing to hear the department state over and over again about patient quality, product safety, when actually through my experience, its kind of, like, not the case."…

But our source says more than a third of the samples were failing for mold and yeast at one point and claims even those failed samples can still wind up getting turned into product.

"What I have heard is that industry was told specifically by the Department of Health that they're allowed to process product that failed mold and yeast standards."

KITV4 Island News requested the quality assurance test results for the samples taken from Hawaii dispensaries in 2018. What we found were many that did fail mold and yeast tests. …

"You cannot use an unwholesome product especially to be used as a quote unquote medicine for people with debilitating medical conditions."….

read … DOH employee questions medical marijuana quality, policies for checking it

Owned by HSTA: Ige supports state tax on properties to fund education

SA: Gov. David Ige lent his political weight Monday night to a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state to tax investment properties to support public education, while also promising to veto any resulting bill that might raise property taxes for owner- occupied homes or increase rents on affordable housing. The governor also pledged to oppose using property taxes to replace general funds for education.

Ige’s statements during a KHON gubernatorial debate with his Republican opponent, state Rep. Andria Tupola, might help boost public support for the ballot measure, but it still faces stiff resistance from all four counties, a well-funded coalition of business interests and four former Hawaii governors. Tupola also opposes the measure.

The issue will ultimately be decided by voters in the Nov. 6 election….

read … HSTA Owned

Commission Doubles Fines For First-Time Campaign Spending Violators

CB: …Candidates who violate campaign finance laws will face stiffer penalties after a state commission voted to double some fines for first-time offenders Wednesday.

Campaign Spending Commission members voted unanimously to raise the first-time fines from $500 to $1,000….

Most of the candidates fined at Wednesday’s meeting either failed to file statements or missed filing deadlines.

Mike Victorino, a Maui mayoral candidate, was fined $2,800 for failing to file electioneering statements. The fine was reduced from the original figure of $8,000.

Dolphin Quest, a company that runs dolphin swimming activities, was slapped with the next-highest fine Wednesday of $733 for late filing….

The commission fined Defend Hawaii Now $583. The PAC supported Hanabusa’s bid for governor with television advertisements. It is not affiliated with the clothing company Defend Hawaii, the company wrote on its website…..

read … Commission Doubles Fines For First-Time Campaign Spending Violators

Convicted Killer Now Hides Behind “Sovereignty’

KITV: … A Kaneohe man who initially agreed to a plea deal for killing his former football teammate - now wants out of it. Standing behind sovereignty, Makuola Collins wants his 20-year prison sentence withdrawn.

The family of the victim, Joel Botelho, tells KITV4 they we're notified last week. Botelho's mother, Nonohe says she is in shock and truly saddened by this recent turn of events. 

"Mr. Collins claim has set us back. We are saddened by this turn of events as once again, we are thrust into the judicial system, unwillingly," she said. "Clearly. Mr. Collins was disingenuous at the time of the sentencing and now, as a family, we can no longer keep silent."

28-year-old Botelho was shot and killed in January 2011 outside his parent's Kaneohe home. Collins conviction for murdering his friend was overturned and then in 2017 he plead guilty to manslaughter.

Botelho says she thought the legal battles were over. But now her sons admitted killer Collins has filed what's called a "Rule 40: Petition for Post-Conviction Relief". In short: Collins wants to undo the plea deal he struck back in 2011. Collins is now claiming "ineffective counsel" and "Hawaiian sovereignty."….

“Basically they're just saying the law doesn't apply to us, so let us go.”…

"I don't believe that our ancestors, our kupuna nor those who still fight for native rights ever intended or foresaw their efforts as a means for violent criminals to reduce their sentence and/or to get out of jail. This is travesty to native Hawaiians and a travesty of justice," Botelho said….

read … Another One

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