Lyon Bribe: DHHL Releases Suspect Contract Docs
Creativity Abounds at our Legislature, Pt. 2
Wanna Buy a House? No Problem Just Save $946 a month for 12 years
Another Saint for Hawaii?
Counties get taste of GET and want bigger portion of tax
Borreca: …When the state bailed out Honolulu’s overbudget rail line by extending the general excise tax surcharge, it tacked on a neighbor island option of raising the GET collected on their islands for transportation-related expenses. Want to fix your roads, buy buses or traffic lights? You have the option of raising the GET by up to half or 1 percent.
The Big Island took only half of the possible increase but now is moving to get the whole half or 1 percent increase. Mayor Harry Kim, however, is already saying that isn’t going to be enough. Newly elected Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami is also looking at the budget and said he will need more money because of the dropping tax base.
The thing about taxes, however, is that even if they are tough to get, they are almost impossible to give up. So now that Kauai and Hawaii island have a taste of a new tax, the GET, they like it and they want more of it.
The GET is strong stuff — basically, if money in Hawaii changes hands, the state gets a piece of the action; it doesn’t matter if you are sick, hungry or just a kid, the state wants in on the deal. Whether you are selling shoes, fixing teeth or building bookshelves, the state says “gimme.”
Before the state gave the counties a whiff of the GET, the only thing the counties could tax was real property, like houses, hotels and land.
But, the Legislature does not appear ready to share the power. I talked to both state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, the Ways and Means chairman, and state Rep. Sylvia Luke, the Finance chairwoman….
Dela Cruz advises Kim and Kawakami to “reprioritize”: Take the budget money you had for roads and put it in salaries and make up the road money with the GET.
Luke also doesn’t like the philosophy of a county GET tax raid.
“GET authority results in a shell game where the Legislature says, we authorized it without taking on the responsibility of higher taxation,” Luke told me. “If the counties become over-dependent on the GET, it will be difficult for the future Legislature to sunset the authority, thereby essentially making it a permanent tax increase.”…
read … Counties get taste of GET and want bigger portion of tax
HART’s public-private partnership effort faces more delays
SA: … The so-called P3 contract is expected to be the largest in city history, and last month the city announced it had delayed the next major deadline in the solicitation until April 12. The original deadline for that step, which involves having potential bidders submit their qualifications to HART and the city, was Dec. 21.
The city also has delayed the projected date for awarding the huge P3 contract from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30….
The city and HART also delayed release of the second phase of the request for proposals. The plan now is to issue the Phase 2 RFP to the top three P3 competitors on May 3; the original deadline was Jan. 25….
consultants who are overseeing development of the Honolulu rail line on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration have repeatedly expressed concern about delays in awarding the contract for that last segment of rail through the city center, warning that continued slippage in the schedule will force delays in opening the 20-mile line.
Hill International Inc., which oversees the rail project for the FTA, has warned that the city has only about a year of “float” time, or schedule cushion, to accommodate delays if HART is to meet its goal of opening the 20-mile line by its target date of December 2025.
According to Hill, the city used up about 50 days of that cushion last year as it sought approval from the HART board of directors for the new P3 procurement strategy….
HART has earmarked $1 million that will be paid to the unsuccessful P3 bidders to compensate them for some of their costs of preparing proposals, a step Robbins has said is also designed to encourage competition. “It’s meant to partially compensate them,” he said. “These kinds of bids can be in the millions of dollars” to prepare.
However, Robbins said some of the potential bidders have asked the city to increase that amount, and the city is considering that request….
read … HART’s public-private partnership effort faces more delays
Rules of Logic No Longer Apply in State Legislature
Cataluna: … At the same time the state Legislature is discussing bills to ban the sale of cigarettes, ban the sale of liquor to anyone with a DUI conviction and ban tobacco products that come in candy flavors, the same lawmaking body is looking at legalizing recreational marijuana.
Does this seem a little odd? Confused? Working at cross-purposes? …
Meanwhile, there are campaigns to keep Hawaii’s population sober, inhalant-free and able to safely operate a propelled motor vehicle without damage to life and public property.
What are we to make of this? That smoking is bad, but smoking marijuana is different? That drinking and driving is bad but driving while on marijuana is a problem to worry about farther down the road — after the traffic crash statistics come in and it’s too late to un-legalize pakalolo?
The hardcore homeless people who have all but ruined the Kakaako Waterfront Park hold a press conference to say they’re willing to negotiate with the city to stay where they want, how they want, lawless and unbothered. What kind of upside-down world is this? It takes “squatters’ rights” to an extreme level. The people who have ripped open electrical fixtures, broken water pipes, pooped in doorways and scared away the public now are organized and saying they’re a positive force in the community?
Don’t you bend, Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Hold your ground.
Examples of sudden lack of logic abound.
A City Council committee voted to recommend that city taxpayers cover the cost of private attorneys to represent city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro in his defense against impeachment. So Kaneshiro, an attorney, who is being investigated by the FBI, gets to use city-funded lawyers (but not city lawyers) to try to keep his elected job from the voters who want him out….
The biggest danger when things stop making sense in such grand fashion is that the public gets weary and tunes out, which means the insanity goes unchecked and unchallenged….
read … The rules of logic no longer apply in the state Legislature
SB568: Transsexual Drivers Licenses for Hawaii
SA: … The gender of Hawaii residents would no longer be included on limited-purpose driver’s licenses under a bill Hawaii lawmakers advanced Wednesday that aims to protect transgender people from discrimination.
(Actually it would become a de-facto state registry of trannies.)
The move would help transgender people avoid invasive questioning or discriminatory treatment when using their licenses as a form of identification, such as when seeking employment, renting an apartment, being stopped by the police or just going to a bar. (Trannies spend a lot of time hanging out at bars.)
(The real purpose is to promote national trans-formation.)
Senate Bill 568, introduced by Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads, easily passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee with no one testifying in opposition. It must now be heard by the Senate committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary. A House version of the bill was introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki.
The bill follows a 2018 report by the state Department of Health that found a high number of transgender youths in Hawaii had attempted suicide one or more times in the previous year, were four times more likely to skip school because they felt unsafe, and struggled at much higher rates with substance abuse and maintaining a healthful lifestyle. (Every single underage tranny is a victim of homosexual child molesters. Underage trannies need to report child molesters to the police.)
About 3.3 percent, or 1,260 Hawaii public school students, identify as transgender. (A number the study authors want to triple.)
SB568: Text, Status
read … Anything for the Trannies
SB1524: Employers May not Fire Stoned Drivers
SA: … The committee also shot down a bill that would require workers’ compensation insurers to reimburse marijuana patients for out-of-pocket costs of cannabis, opting instead to study the laws in other states that mandate reimbursement.
Lawmakers did approve Senate Bill 1524 to prohibit employers from firing or reprimanding workers who are medically certified or are certified and test positive for the drug, with the exception of law enforcement officers and state correctional employees.
“So many of our workers are in drug-free workplaces under federal rules so we’ve got to tread a little bit lightly, but we want to make sure that just because you have that card you’re not going to be fired or disciplined because medical marijuana stays in the system for such a long time,” Baker said.
Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 686 to legalize the possession of small amounts of pakalolo for those over age 21 and subject the drug to a 15 percent surcharge on top of the general excise tax, with sales starting in February 2021….
read … Cement Mixer Operators, For Instance
SB527: Senate committee rejects sale of marijuana edibles (for now)
SA: …The state Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee rejected a proposal that would have allowed cannabis retailers to sell edibles to marijuana patients. Instead, lawmakers amended Senate Bill 527 to compel the state Department of Health to come up with standards and regulations for manufacturing edibles to be sold in the dispensaries, develop a universal symbol to distinguish edibles from regular food, and create a recall system — all before the 2020 legislative session.
“There’s just a lot of questions, particularly the concern with it being attractive to kids,” said Sen. Roz Baker (D, South and West Maui). “If they’re not labeled properly people don’t know how to use them. If they’re not cared for properly then we could have individuals that overdose and get sicker than they were. For the edibles, it’s just important to proceed with caution. You don’t want regular gummy bears alongside gummy bears that have THC in them.”
Danette Wong Tomiyasu, DOH deputy director of the Health Resources Administration, testified at a hearing on the bill Wednesday that the department had “substantial reservations” over the risk of accidental poisonings in adults and particularly children….
read … Senate committee rejects sale of marijuana edibles
Bills to Rebuild Banyan Drive—Because Nobody Believes in Sea Level Rise
HTH: …at least three bills have been introduced (Note: Banyan Drive is one foot above sea level.)
— SB 914: Allocates 10 percent of lease revenue from state lands on Banyan Drive to Hawaii County’s Banyan Drive redevelopment agency. Funds would support environmental impact statements needed to complete the agency’s redevelopment plan. Hawaii County would provide $250,000 in matching funds. Sponsored by Sen. Kai Kahele, Sen. Dru Kanuha and five others.
— HB 1219: Creates the Waiakea Peninsula (Elevation: One foot.)redevelopment district with an appointed board of directors and district administrator. Half of the state’s revenues from the public lands in the area would support the redevelopment district. Sponsored by Reps. Richard Onishi, Mark Nakashima, Richard Creagan, Joy San Buenaventura, Chris Todd, Nicole Lowen and three others.
— HB 910: Requires the state Office of Planning to conduct a study on the infrastructure needs of Banyan Drive. The study would look at infrastructure that needs improved as well as barriers to redevelopment of the area. The study would be funded with a $250,000 appropriation. Sponsored by Onishi, Nakashima, Lowen, Rep. David Tarnas and five others….
read … Banyan Drive is at Sea Level No Problem Because Nobody Believes in Sea Level Rise
Who Will Lose if Kawananakoa Rewrites Will?
SA: … As directors of the Abigail K. K. Kawananakoa Foundation, we are deeply troubled by the latest attempt to re-write the charitable intent of the Abigail K. K. Kawananakoa Trust. The contentious legal battle being waged over Ms. Kawananakoa’s inheritance finds us reflecting upon the tragic history of our Hawaiian benefactors who have had their philanthropic intent for their people thwarted by outsiders for centuries.
Currently, the specter of greed and animus threatens to destroy the legacy Kawananakoa intended for the Hawaiian community. Attorneys are reaping the benefits of litigation that is likely to cost the trust millions of dollars that would be better spent improving the condition of our Hawaiian people and fulfilling the intent of Kawananakoa’s legacy….
Oswald Stender is a former trustee of both the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate; Lilikala K. Kame‘eleihiwa is a professor at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH-Manoa; Jan E. Dill is president at Partners in Development Foundation….
Background: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality
read … Legacy for Hawaiian community at risk
Maui Anti-GMO Activist Cashes in With Cush Job at Strategies 360 Farm
MT: … Tiare Lawrence plans to keep fighting for her community – only now she’ll do so as Mahi Pono’s new Community Relations Director…
“I need to make a living wage. Working for a nonprofit doesn’t really – I’m not going to be able to do the things that I want to do with my kids off of that type of income. That’s my reality. I love working for a nonprofit, but I saw this as an opportunity.” – Tiare Lawrence
(In China cut a 'Red Prince' in on your IPO so you succeed. In Hawaii cut a Green Princess in.)
Jan 6, 2019: Agriculture is all Politics: Central Maui Farm Project to be Controlled by Strategies 360, Tsutsui
read … Paid for Protesting
‘Ultraright Pure Evil KKK’ Local Democratic politicians quiet on Tulsi Gabbard presidential run
Shapiro: … As U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard struggles to right her faltering campaign for president, deafening in their silence are fellow Hawaii Democratic politicians who have been slow to back the hometown candidate.
Other than her father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, the only incumbent elected official reported to attend her official announcement last weekend at the Hilton Hawaiian Village was Honolulu Councilwoman Kymberly Pine….
To the contrary, the most excitement has come from Democratic state Sen. Kai Kahele’s announcement that he’ll challenge Gabbard for her 2nd Congressional District seat, arguing that her national aspirations have distracted her from serving the district’s needs.
Kahele was immediately endorsed by a leading progressive website, Daily Kos, which declared Gabbard “at odds with her party’s core beliefs.”
Gabbard is popular enough in local public opinion polls that most fellow Democratic politicians don’t see any gain in speaking out against her, but she lacks sufficient clout to make them feel a need to stand behind her….
After her attack on Hirono, Gabbard was applauded by the religious right, and her name and words were featured prominently in a conservative ad promoting the stacking of federal courts with ultraright judges.
Try as she might, Gabbard can’t shake the political affections of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
She called Duke’s racism “pure evil” after he praised her several times in the past, but undeterred, he’s recently been cheering her foreign policy views on Twitter — especially her support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad….
WFB: Gabbard Attacks the Media in Fundraising Email: ‘Media Giants Ruled by Corporate Interests,’ In the Pocket of the ‘War Machine’
read … Local Democratic politicians quiet on Tulsi Gabbard presidential run