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Sunday, December 09, 2018
December 9, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:49 PM :: 1169 Views

Will US Supreme Court Hear Lesbian Home Invasion Case?

Auwahi Wind Farm Requests Approval to Kill 140 Hoary Bats

The County Strikes Back (part 3)

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted December 9, 2018

Planning for climate change to the sound of ‘ka-ching’

Shapiro: … One constant in our city is that money always seems to excuse absurdity.

We saw it when Mayor Kirk Caldwell ripped the Trump administration for denying the dire warnings of its National Climate Assessment, only to practice his own climate denial when it came to Honolulu rail and the development around it.

It would be unthinkable, he said, to take advantage of new climate knowledge and stop rail at Middle Street or reroute it along Beretania Street to the University of Hawaii instead of continuing to aim it at a future swamp in Kakaako and Ala Moana.

“The investment, the infrastructure, the real property values are just too tremendous to do that,” he said. Even if all the money ends up underwater, apparently.

He spoke of elevating stations, hardening shoreline, raising harbors. As for buildings sprouting in the inundation zone, Caldwell said, “The first floor of the building may be surrendered to tides, and then the streets will get raised.”

Does he listen to what he says? It reminds me of lyrics to a Pete Seeger song popular during the Vietnam War: “We were neck deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool said to push on.”

Then there was the City Council merrily approving the latest of several luxury “transit-oriented” developments along Kapiolani Boulevard near Ala Moana Center….

read … Planning for climate change to the sound of ‘ka-ching’

Ige 2.0: Small goals, petty politics

Borreca: …Ige, just started his second term with an inaugural speech that raised no bars, challenged no conventions and instead, expressed the commonplace Hawaii goals of good schools and a diversified economy.

As far as hopes, dreams and leadership go, Ige is painting himself as something of the 5G Governor, with an administration relying on technology as the answer to the state’s problems.

“I believe the next great economic transition for Hawaii will be driven by innovations enabled by technology,” Ige said.

“Creating a self-sufficient Hawaii is one of our most challenging tasks — one that will overlap many administrations.

“That’s why this goal needs to be driven by a clear and unwavering vision of our desired future — one that can be enabled by technology,” Ige said.

An akamai listener or reader, however, could figure out the real goal Ige wanted to accomplish with his speech: legislative peace.

When Ige walks into the state Capitol next month to address the House and Senate, he knows that every major legislative leader in Hawaii wanted to hear a State of the State speech given by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Ige’s primary election opponent, not him.

It appears that Ige’s plan today is to talk about teamwork and working together as a way to counter the wave of rejection his administration received by last year’s Legislature.

“I am not asking for anyone’s blind support, but a willingness to keep an open mind, to leave personal agendas outside the door, and to commit to an unyielding determination to work together,” Ige said in his inaugural address.

He should have just come out and said, “You didn’t want me in the primary but I won, just like I beat an incumbent governor four years before, so let’s figure a way for us to deal with it.”…

Cataluna: It wasn’t a bomb; it was just Gov. Ige

read … Dreaming big for Hawaii mired by small goals, petty politics

Latest Scheme: ‘Free’ Lawyers will Work to Eliminate Rental Units from Marketplace by Helping Deadbeats, Squatters

SA: …New York City last year became the first municipality in the country to enact a law giving low-income tenants facing eviction the right to free legal counsel.

So far, the results have been promising.  (Yeah.  Just ass ‘promising’ as rent control.)

In the first year the law has been in place, nearly 85 percent of tenants represented by attorneys were able to stave off evictions and remain in their homes, according to city data.  (Squatters rejoice!)

Tenant advocates point to such outcomes to urge that right-to-counsel laws be adopted in other places.

The Hawaii eviction report set to be released Monday by the nonprofit Lawyers for Equal Justice stops short of recommending such legislation, but it suggests other ways to provide more representation for residents facing evictions here.  (Don’t worry.  It will be coming soon.)

The study found that about nine of every 10 Hawaii eviction lawsuits over the past decade ended in tenants losing their homes, and most tenants did not have lawyers to help them navigate a system widely considered to be confusing for lay people….  (And they didn’t pay their rent.  That might be a contributing factor.)

read … Providing legal help to tenants shows promising results

TMT foes don’t speak for all UH faculty

SA: …Considering the article, “Faculty, staff urge UH to reject plans for TMT” (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 6), a reader might conclude that most University of Hawaii faculty oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

This is far from true. Faculty present at the demonstration were from the Ethnic Studies, Political Science, and Hawaiian Studies departments. Most of the students were probably from these departments also. There were probably no (or few) science, math, business, English, computer science, engineering, medical school or nursing faculty or students present.

The faculty in these departments are too busy preparing their students for meaningful, well-paying jobs. What is the pay for standing on a street corner holding a protest sign?…

SA: Hawaiians always reached for stars

read … TMT foes don’t speak for all UH faculty

Star-Adv: Stamp out Parasite TVRs

SA: … The Honolulu City Council is now weighing seven bills that aim to corral and then stamp out the parasite — namely, the illegal home-sharing operation. This problem dates back to the late 1980s, when Oahu banned new bed &breakfast operations, and limited additional unhosted transient vacation units (TVUs) to hotel-resort zones.

In subsequent decades, the parasite problem festered as weak city laws and enforcement were outmatched by strong demand for short-term vacation rentals. In recent years — spurred by online platforms that are not currently required to vet the legality of a Hawaii home-sharing operation seeking to advertise — the inventory of outlaw operations has exploded….

read … Parasites

Leilani: After Volcano, Something Really Horrible—Tourists!

WHT: … the eruption, which destroyed most of the lower half of the subdivision, has also left many with anxiety and stress that hasn’t gone away, said Dane DuPont, a Leilani resident who documented the eruption for the Facebook group Hawaii Tracker.

“There’s a lot of pent-up frustration right now,” he said.

“I think it’s going to calm down eventually.”

The addition of visitors wanting a look of fissures and flow field may not help for some.

Jenny Bishop said she sees some vehicles stop at her street, which now dead ends at the flow field, to catch a look. She said she asks that they be respectful of the residents.

“Take a picture and leave nothing else,” Jenny Bishop said.

Heath Dalton, who lost his home, was keeping an eye out for people trespassing near his property at Kupono Street.

He said Friday and Saturday wasn’t so bad, though he had several confrontations the day before when the checkpoint came down. Just sitting along the side of the road is enough for some cars to turn around.

“You guys can take all the pictures you want,” Dalton said he tells those who stop, “just don’t trespass on private property.”

Fissure 9 opened up along his property, turning a lush green lot into smoldering rocks.

Dalton said he plans to keep his family on Hawaii Island but won’t rebuild in Leilani.

“I gambled and I lost,” he said. “I won’t take that chance again.”

Being overrun by visitors trying to see the volcanic features has been a concern of the Leilani Estates Community Association, which is one of the reasons it is suing the county for control of Leilani Avenue. The road is the only public street in the subdivision and now dead ends near fissure 8.

Early in the afternoon Saturday, five cars were seen parked alongside the road near the fissure, with some people ignoring warning signs and walking onto the flow field. As cars left, others would arrive….

There’s also worry about empty homes being broken into or people squatting inside them.

He estimates at least six to 12 homes have squatters living in them, and burglaries continue to be a problem.

Turkovsky said the association lost a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the county from removing its checkpoint at Leilani Avenue and Highway 130, but who should control the street is still a matter to be resolved by the suit in federal court.

The association’s goal is to install a gate to control access….

read … Dealing with disruption

Hanalei Continues to Exploit Fake ‘Emergency’ to Keep Tourists Out

KGI: …It had been hoped the highway might initially reopen in October following the April floods that washed out sections and forced its shutdown to the general public. But that’s now not expected until sometime in, at best, early 2019, and likely later. Much later….

Haena resident Gregg Fraser, owner of Opakapaka Grill and Bar, is most concerned with what happens after the road reopens.

Fraser said what needs to be done is, “initiate, organize, come together and facilitate the master plan for Haena State Park. All of this time they could have been working on it, and putting it in place, and controlling the amount of vehicles that come in here, and make sure that everyone has got the right mindset for Haena State Park and Ke’e Beach.”

Vehicle and people traffic can be effectively controlled at Haena State Park in the future, Fraser said, if well managed. He points to other parks in Hawaii, including Hanauma Bay and Pearl Harbor on Oahu, as models for regulating the flow of vehicle and visitor traffic.

“It’s a ‘one way in, one way out’ single-lane road to get there. In Haena it is the same way. So why can’t you do the same thing in Haena?” Fraser said. “Once the parking lot’s full, we can shuttle a handful of people down and then shuttle them back out to wherever they are parked.”

When it comes to the single-lane bridges on the highway leading up to Waikoko from the north end of Hanalei, Fraser would like to see them left alone….

Meanwhile: Kauai counting on HTA’s new president

read … Clear sailing not ahead

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