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Entries for March 2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Auditor: Many Deficiencies in State Federal Funding Compliance
By Hawaii State Auditor @ 9:04 PM :: 2414 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...four material weaknesses and ten significant deficiencies in internal control over compliance with major federal programs....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted March 31, 2019
By News Release @ 9:00 PM :: 1946 Views :: Congressional Delegation

... weekly update from GovTrack.us ....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 4:46 PM :: 3363 Views :: Family, Health Care, Life

...Suicide Prevention and Palliative Care bills still moving....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Trump Tax Cut Lowers Electric Bills--HECO Gave Back the Least
By Selected News Articles @ 4:18 PM :: 3131 Views :: Energy, Hawaii Statistics, Cost of Living

...Utility bills have dropped ranging from less than a dollar a month for the average residential customer in Hawaii to about $14 for the same group in Florida....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Got Milk? DoH Consent Decree Requires Shut Down of Big Island Dairy
By News Release @ 4:03 PM :: 4022 Views :: Hawaii County , Environment, Agriculture, Small Business

...The AOC requires Big Island Dairy owners to terminate their dairy operations, remove all their cows from confinement on the site, clean and remove the existing wastewater system, and pay $79,000 by June of 2019....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
JSC Seeks Applicants for Judicial Vacancy – District Family Judge, First Circuit
By News Release @ 3:41 PM :: 2048 Views :: Judiciary

...The application must be postmarked or delivered on or before the application deadline of Thursday, June 27, 2019....

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Sunday, March 31, 2019
Judgments Aren’t Necessarily the End of Litigation
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 3382 Views :: Judiciary, Taxes, Tourism

...Before the ink was dry on those judgments, the Department of Taxation produced additional assessments against the taxpayers, this time on car rental commissions....

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Saturday, March 30, 2019
‘Backward budgeting’ wrong way to move forward
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 5:18 PM :: 2741 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...Hawaii lawmakers are considering a myriad of new tax increases in order to pay for their spending plans, but instead they should clamp down on their spending so tax hikes aren’t needed....

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Saturday, March 30, 2019
PEW: Hawaii Pension Fund Positioned to Withstand Next Recession
By Selected News Articles @ 5:11 PM :: 2901 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor

...Stress tests help validate increases in state, worker contributions....

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Saturday, March 30, 2019
Complaint Filed in NRA-supported Challenge to Hawaii Concealed Carry Law
By News Release @ 4:43 AM :: 3227 Views :: Second Amendment

...The Hawaii Rifle Association today filed a lawsuit challenging Hawaii’s extreme requirement that a concealed carry license can only be issued in “urgent” or “exceptional” instances.... 

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Friday, March 29, 2019
Court: OHA LLCs Subject to UIPA
By Andrew Walden @ 11:29 PM :: 3295 Views :: Ethics, OHA

“…the court finds as a matter of law that OHA owns, and has authority and control over the operation and management of the LLC’s operations….”

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Friday, March 29, 2019
Akina: OHA spending rate unsustainable
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 9:41 PM :: 2093 Views :: OHA

...Trustees now have an opportunity to address the Spending Policy, and other financial policies that are under review....

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Friday, March 29, 2019
Tourist Numbers Up, Spending Down (again)
By News Release @ 1:24 AM :: 2576 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Tourism

...Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for February 2019....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Auditor Rips Rail Oversight: DAGS 'Busy Work Gives False Sense of Assurance'
By Hawaii State Auditor @ 6:35 PM :: 3944 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...We found that DAGS fundamentally misunderstands its responsibilities under Act 1, performing unnecessary busy work that not only wastes time and money but also increases the risk of improper payment....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Environmental Review for Aloha Stadium Tear-Down Begins
By News Release @ 6:07 PM :: 4814 Views :: Development, Hawaii State Government, Higher Education, Rail, Tourism

...We already have a good stadium.  And this consultant now admits Aloha Stadium is located in the best possible place.  So why tear it down for yet another unnecessary boondoggle?....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Reforming Rental Car Excise Taxes
By News Release @ 1:48 PM :: 2544 Views :: Taxes, Tourism

...a byzantine structure of taxes and fees, with effective tax rates on consumers often exceeding 30 percent....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
First phase of grid modernization plan approved--Ratepayers Soaked to Funnel More Money to Silicon Valley Billionaires
By News Release @ 3:41 AM :: 2740 Views :: Energy, Cost of Living

“Would you accept a rate increase to modernize the grid? How much of an increase? What about a 5%, 10%, 15% increase to your current bill?”

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Six Solar Schemes Approved by PUC
By News Release @ 3:30 AM :: 2876 Views :: Energy, Agriculture

...Among the projects approved is Hoohana Solar 1 in Kunia, which is planned for a parcel zoned as prime agricultural land, where renewable energy projects are currently not permitted....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Nominations Open for Commission on Water Resource Management
By News Release @ 3:22 AM :: 2798 Views :: Environment, Agriculture

...The new term for the Commissioner will begin July 1, 2019 and run for four (4) years, expiring on June 30, 2023....

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Thursday, March 28, 2019
Legislature Sends Budget Bill to Governor--Tax Hikes Next on Agenda
By News Release @ 12:19 AM :: 2154 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Taxes

...with a month to go, legislators will have plenty of time to raise your taxes....

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Ala Wai? Corps of Engineers has Long History of Corruption and Cost Overruns
By Selected News Articles @ 9:08 PM :: 5733 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Ethics, Development, Military

...Reminiscent of rail, projected Ala Wai costs have already leapt from $200M to $470M.... 

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Federal Investigation Forces Hawaii AG to Back off Mandatory Abortion Stance
By Selected News Articles @ 8:59 PM :: 3327 Views :: First Amendment, Life

...An investigation of complaints made against the state of Hawaii came to a close this month after Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors issued a memorandum stating that her department will not enforce a controversial law....

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Auditor: Transportation Division Books a Mess
By Hawaii State Auditor @ 8:44 PM :: 2307 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics

...Auditors reviewed 25 HDOT projects in progress where little or no activity had occurred in the prior two fiscal years and found that all but five were categorized inappropriately. Twenty of the selected projects “were deemed to either have been placed in service or were canceled....”

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Anti-Vaxxer Charter School May Lose Charter over Financial Irregularities
By News Release @ 3:23 PM :: 3339 Views :: Hawaii County , Education K-12, Ethics

...Kona Pacific Public Charter School, 222 students, 37.4 percent not vaccinated....

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard This Week
By News Release @ 11:52 PM :: 1933 Views :: Second Amendment

...March 27th, the Hawaii state House Committee on Judiciary will be holding a decision making hearing on anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 600 and Senate Bill 1466.  On Thursday, March 28th, the Senate Committee on Judiciary will be holding a decision making hearing on House Bill 720....

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Hawaii Democrats Propose Ranked-Choice Voting in Presidential Preference Poll
By News Release @ 5:27 PM :: 2492 Views :: Democratic Party

...Before we submit our plan to the DNC, we need your input. On April 24, our State Central Committee will vote on a final plan. Please give us all your comments before then....

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Hawaii More drug deaths than traffic fatalities
By News Release @ 3:39 PM :: 2479 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Drugs

...through 2018, the incidence of drug related deaths in the state has surpassed traffic fatalities in Hawaii. Fortunately, death rates have declined since the Initiative was launched, with more than 120 overdose reversal from administration of Naloxone in the last year....

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Maui Mayor Proposes $869.5M Budget
By News Release @ 3:16 PM :: 3863 Views :: Maui County, Small Business, Taxes, Tourism

...tax increases would affect commercial, up by 14 cents per $1,000 of valuation; industrial, up by 3 cents per thousand; hotel and resort, up by 23 cents per thousand; and short-term rental, up by 27 cents per thousand....

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Hawaii: Worst Taxpayer Return on Investment in USA
By Selected News Articles @ 3:09 PM :: 3314 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

...contrasting state and local tax collections with the quality of the services residents receive in each of the 50 states....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard says Mueller clearing Trump is 'a good thing for America'
By Selected News Articles @ 11:59 PM :: 3712 Views :: Democratic Party, Congressional Delegation, Politicians

...She said the alternative — an indictment — “could even have led to civil war.”....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Hilo Has the Highest Food Prices in America
By Selected News Articles @ 10:40 PM :: 4990 Views :: Energy, Jones Act, Small Business, Cost of Living

...As much as a third of the food waste in Hawaii is due to food that has gone bad before it reaches the consumer....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
​The hypocrisy of minimum-wage laws
By Grassroot Institute @ 8:45 PM :: 3157 Views :: Labor, Small Business, Cost of Living

...it is never enough....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
UH Class Constitutes "material support of a Foreign Terrorist Organization"?
By Selected News Articles @ 6:07 PM :: 4036 Views :: Higher Education, Law Enforcement, Military

...The 'Humanize Palestine' website was deactivated later in 2017, about two weeks after the University of Hawaii Chancellor became aware of a nexus that consisted of University of Hawaii content, Palestinian terrorism and the website....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Pearl Harbor Profligacy
By Selected News Articles @ 5:31 PM :: 2917 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...government officials are blaming others and dodging responsibility....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Best States for Doctors? Hawaii Ranks 46th
By Selected News Articles @ 12:34 PM :: 2637 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Health Care

...Hawaii ranks 51st for 'medical environment'....

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Iowa Poll: Gabbard Surges to 1%
By News Release @ 12:04 PM :: 2863 Views :: Congressional Delegation, Politicians

...Gabbard trails 10 points behind Pete Buttigieg....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
By Hawaii Family Forum @ 8:33 PM :: 4935 Views :: Education K-12, Family, First Amendment, Life, Drugs

... We believe these bills are unconstitutional ....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Post Those Tax Returns, Darn It!
By Tom Yamachika @ 5:00 AM :: 1923 Views :: Ethics

...if we think it’s such a great idea, why don’t we apply it to state executives, judges, or legislators?....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Hawaii Ranks 40th for Neighborhood Watch Programs
By Selected News Articles @ 4:44 AM :: 3141 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Law Enforcement, Police

...Which States have the most Neighborhood Watch Programs per capita?....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
DHHL Releases Draft 2019 Native Hawaiian Housing Plan
By News Release @ 4:30 AM :: 2106 Views :: DHHL

...The proposed draft will come to the Commission in April 2019 for final acceptance before being submitted to HUD for approval....

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Sunday, March 24, 2019
Ethics: Board Member May Not Negotiate Spouse's Union Contract
By News Release @ 4:04 AM :: 2674 Views :: Ethics, Labor

...The board member has a strong background in collective bargaining and believes that one of the reasons he was appointed to the board was to assist it in collective bargaining matters....

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Saturday, March 23, 2019
Hawaii GOP Speaker Cleared of Hatch Act Violation
By Selected News Articles @ 4:08 PM :: 2583 Views :: Ethics, Republican Party

"...Because you provided the Party with advance notice that the restrictions on the use of your official title and during the speech you asserted that you were speaking in your personal capacity, we believe that the Party acted without your permission...."

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Friday, March 22, 2019
High medical costs another threat to Hawaii taxpayers
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 10:08 PM :: 2823 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Health Care

...higher medical costs increase our state’s debt — and Hawaii taxpayers might be the ones who end up paying for it....

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Friday, March 22, 2019
WSJ: How a Train Through Paradise Turned Into a $9 Billion Debacle
By Selected News Articles @ 9:53 PM :: 3837 Views :: Ethics, Rail

...The project has tallied one of America’s biggest transit cost overruns; a grand jury is investigating....

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Friday, March 22, 2019
HB942: Legislators Approve $60K Settlement After Failing to Force Churches to Promote Abortion
By Video @ 4:47 AM :: 3246 Views :: First Amendment, Life

...Hawaii district court strikes down law targeting pro-life pregnancy centers....

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Friday, March 22, 2019
Hawaii Sues Trump (again) Over Abortion (again)
By News Release @ 4:14 AM :: 4580 Views :: Family, First Amendment, Health Care, Life

...Since its creation in 2009, the TPP Program has provided nearly $1 billion....

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Friday, March 22, 2019
How high is too high? What’s known and unknown about minimum wage increases
By UHERO @ 4:02 AM :: 2667 Views :: Labor, Small Business

...the subsequent increase to $13 led to large reductions in hours for low wage workers of 6-7% that completely offset a 3% rise in the average hourly wages....

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Friday, March 22, 2019
​Hawaii PUC approves special rates for Al Gore's electric buses
By News Release @ 3:32 AM :: 3309 Views :: Honolulu County, Energy, Cost of Living

... it is expected at least 130 electric buses will be added to fleets during the course of the pilot, including tour buses, school buses and public transit systems like TheBus on Oahu....

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Thursday, March 21, 2019
Trump Ties Federal Funds for Colleges to Free-Speech Pledge
By Selected News Articles @ 6:19 PM :: 2795 Views :: First Amendment, Higher Education

"...There are 12 federal agencies that award education research grants, and the executive order will leave it to them to decide what schools must do to be in compliance...."  

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Thursday, March 21, 2019
Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Rail Surcharge Lawsuit
By Tom Yamachika @ 6:11 PM :: 3306 Views :: Ethics, Rail, Taxes

"...Despite the rejection of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, our efforts were key in the legislature’s decision to drop the skim from 10% to 1% during the 2017 Special Session—this was a win for all taxpayers in this State...."

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