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Saturday, February 22, 2020
February 22, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:04 PM :: 1053 Views

Poor economy is medical threat, too

Applicants Wanted for State Ethics Commission

$13 Minimum Wage Passes Another Committee

100% Fail: Legislators Propose 63 Special Funds, None Meet Criteria

149 Candidates File for Election

Illegal Aquarium Fishers Busted Near Billionaires Row

Next Boondoggle: Luxury Boxes top UH Aloha Stadium Wish List

SA: … Luxury boxes, ample parking, enhanced tailgating opportunities and an improved fan experience are among the items on the University of Hawaii’s wish list for its future football home in the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, officials said….

“We want an improved business deal,” Lassner told the Star-Advertiser’s editorial board….

UH does not receive revenue from concessions and must pay for cleanup, security, staffing and utilities averaging approximately $80,000 per game in 2019. But UH may purchase and resell some parking. In addition, it may sell field-level advertising and can receive rebates toward expenses if attendance hits agreed-upon thresholds.

UH and San Diego State are the only schools in the 12-member Mountain West Conference that did not own or operate their football stadiums in 2019. SDSU hopes to have an on-campus stadium by 2025….

Matlin has characterized the new facility as a potential “game-changer” for UH, which has had limited revenue potential beyond ticket sales in the current facility….

The current projection is for the $350 million facility to open in time for the Rainbow Warriors’ 2023 Sept. 2 home opener against Albany….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

read … University of Hawaii officials lay out wish list for new Aloha Stadium

SB2543: Senators Want Medicated Potheads as Lawyers, Accountants

SA: … Lawmakers are taking another crack at a bill to prohibit employers from discriminating against workers who test positive for marijuana if they hold a prescription for cannabis.

Senate Bill 2543 would protect employees from termination or hiring discrimination when the workers test positive for pot if the workers have a state-issued card authorizing them to use medical marijuana.

However, the bill would allow employers to use a “fit for duty test” for medical cannabis users working in potentially dangerous occupations.

The Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill with some amendments Friday. Senators heard similar bills last year, but the attempts to move those measures forward failed.

Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and the state Department of Public Safety opposed the measure. That department, which operates the state prison system, noted that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has declared that anyone who uses marijuana is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Other employers such as the shipping company Matson are worried about liability if their employees use marijuana and work at “any potentially dangerous job.”

“Matson’s operations involve the use of heavy machinery, which if used incorrectly or under the influence of an intoxicant can cause death or serious bodily injury,” according to the testimony.

Matson said it maintains a strict zero-tolerance cannabis policy that applies to on- and off-duty use ….

Also excluded from the bill under the amendments made Friday are employees who work with children, seniors or other “vulnerable” populations; civil defense emergency management staff; employees who operate heavy equipment, including many trucks; drivers who operate vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers; drivers for utility companies; and drivers who are subject to union contracts that include drug use prohibitions….

read … Hawaii bill resurfaces to protect medical cannabis cardholders

West Oahu flight museum heads to court to fight eviction

HNN: … Operators of the Naval Air Museum Barbers Point went to court Friday to ask a judge to stave off eviction proceedings by the state….

“What would I do with this huge aircraft that showed up here on my airport? If I could, I would chop them up," said Roy Sakata, Oahu Airports district manager for the state Department of Transportation….

“We lose approximately $7 million a year at Kalaeloa.”…

The case is being closely watched by the general aviation community, which believes that the state is trying to squeeze them out.

“They don’t treat us very well. We’re ignored, we’re abused, taken for granted and then thrown off the airport," said Frank Hinshaw, president of Skydive Hawaii.

Hinshaw’s company has operated at the state-run Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia for the past three decades. Two weeks ago, the state said it was pulling out at the airport.

Like the museum, Hinshaw said he expects he’ll wind up in in court soon….

read … West Oahu flight museum heads to court to fight eviction

Sunetric Bankrupt, Shuts Down

SA: … The parent company of Sunetric, a Kailua-based solar installation company, has filed for bankruptcy and closed down its operations.

As a result, Sunetric appears to be a casualty as a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent company. Sunetric’s office at 905 Kalanianaole Highway was locked up, its phone line is no longer active and online reviews have mentioned the company has closed down. Its website, sunetric.com, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. The company’s board of directors decided to cease all business activities and terminate all of its employees ….

read … Bust

Study: Monument Expansion Cut Into Profits For Some Fishermen

CB: … The few dozen commercial longliners who targeted tuna near Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument before its expansion in 2016 lost about 9% of their revenue in the subsequent 16 months, according to a new study.

About 38 of the 150-vessel fleet based in Honolulu fished close to the monument’s boundaries around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with any regularity. But for those operators, the expansion brought their revenue down to $71,164 per trip compared to $76,385 on average before President Barack Obama quadrupled the monument’s size, the study says.

For the majority of longliners who didn’t fish around the monument to begin with, their revenues increased during the same time period….

The study by Hing Ling Chan, “Economic impacts of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument expansion on the Hawaii longline fishery,” was published Feb. 14 in ScienceDirect.

“One likely reason for the negative impacts is that longline fishers who previously fished inside the (monument expansion area) are still in the process of becoming more efficient in finding areas with comparable productivity relative to those found in their traditional fishing grounds,” the study says.

Catch effort increased about 7%, contributing to the $3.5 million loss in revenue that this group of fishermen experienced in the 16 months following the expansion….

read … Study: Monument Expansion Cut Into Profits For Some Fishermen

REIT Contributions Fund Land Buy for Waianae Tweeker Camp

HNN: … on Friday, leaders of Hawaii’s largest homeless camp announced they have the money to buy 20 acres of land on Oahu’s Leeward Coast.

Pu’uhonua o Waianae is expected to close on the property next Friday. A hefty donation means they’ll be able to own the land outright.

Among the 200 or so people planning to move to the property: Connie Hokoana, who has called a makeshift shelter tucked behind Waianae Boat Harbor home for more than a decade.

The group will be moving into a communal village, made up of tiny homes, that’s being built on a plot off Waianae Valley Road….

But not everyone’s warmed to the idea.

The camp’s relocation has raised concern from some of its new neighbors.

“I know there’s some controversy around the property,” said state Rep. Cedric Gates.

“But at the same time I challenge the community to come up with some better solutions. Because right now this is the best, greatest thing I can think of.”…

Camp leaders say a main priority is getting the land set up for farming. In the meantime, the group needs to continue to raise money so they can afford to start building tiny homes.

“It was never the plan to bring everybody at once. It’s going to be a slow transition,” said Pakele. “Right now we’re just focusing on getting the bathrooms and showers and kitchens in.”

He says the hope is people can begin moving later this year….

KITV: Pu'uhonua 'o Wai'anae receives $150,000 grant from real estate investment trust Nareit Hawaii to help reach its fundraising goal.

read … Donations in hand, Waianae homeless camp leaders to purchase 20 acres outright

Hawaii Democrats can vote by mail for presidential nominee

AP: … The party estimates about 55,000 people will vote.

That would top the record of more than 37,000 who turned out in 2008, the year Honolulu-born Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for his first term as president.

The ease of voting by mail may boost participation, but turnout is difficult to predict, Stanley said. The state party currently has 65,000 members.

Only candidates receiving at least 15% of the votes cast in a given congressional district will be allocated delegates.

Votes for candidates who don’t receive at least 15% will be redistributed to voters’ second-ranked choices, starting with the candidate who received the lowest number of votes.

The outcome of the vote will determine the allocation of 24 delegates and two alternates to the Democratic National Convention.

Hawaii will have another nine automatic delegates, including Hawaii’s U.S. senators and representatives and other party leaders.

The nine automatic delegates won’t vote on the first ballot at the national convention.….

read … Hawaii Democrats can vote by mail for presidential nominee

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