Anti-GMO Activism Caused by Illegal TVRs?
Prosecutorial Misconduct -- Police Misconduct: Chief's Wife is Common Denominator in Two Separate Cases
SA: ...The counts related to gambling numbered 414. Nine defendants. Nearly 80 sweepstakes machines seized.
The investigation spanned roughly two years, but pursuit of the charges unraveled in a matter of days.
A state judge last month tossed out the indictment, finding that the two deputy prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury committed prosecutorial misconduct.
And even though Judge Randal Lee dismissed the charges without prejudice, leaving the door open for a new indictment, he took the unusual step of disqualifying Deputy Prosecutors Katherine Kealoha and Jacob Delaplane from pursuing the case again.
The bungling of the grand jury presentation was the first of two recent high-profile missteps in cases involving Kealoha and her husband, Louis Kealoha, chief of the Honolulu Police Department....
read ... Misconduct by two government attorneys scuttles a trial about gambling machines
Star-Adv: Legalize TVRs and Tax Them
SA: ...Laws governing vacation rentals vary from island to island — and it makes sense that each county government works to reform and enforce its own ordinances based on unique island needs. On Oahu, for example, many of these short-term vacation rentals are illegal. Since passing an ordinance in 1989, the city has not issued permits for new transient vacation units — but that's only caused much of the home-based vacation rental industry to go underground. In residentially zoned areas known for B&Bs — or worse, transient vacation units run by absentee homeowners — conflicts arise over noise, parking and traffic, and other nuisances caused by a constant revolving door of visitor tenants.
On a statewide level, taxation to even the playing field must occur. Traditional hotels and other legal establishments that provide visitor lodging pay a 9.25 percent transient accommodations tax (TAT) on gross rental proceeds; for time-share vacation units, the TAT is 7.25 percent of fair market rental value. Clearly, it's only fair that anyone doing business as a lodging entity also pay some form of accommodations tax.
Supporters of home-based vacation rentals say entrepreneurs are merely filling a demand for tourist lodging that traditional hotels alone wouldn't be able to meet.
Fine — so pay the full freight of doing business, which means proper permitting and taxation.
HTA's new study has outlined the scope of this booming cottage industry; now, county and state officials must catch up with fair but firm regulations for it....
read ... Apply TAT to all vacation rentals
Billionaire's Website Touts Idea of You Living in a Truck
CB: ...The last decade has seen an upsurge in creativity around homes that are on wheels or that can be towed on them and parked in different places. Even mobile home and trailer parks are being re-jigged in some cases, partly by post-Great Recession culture that involves living smaller but well and with great creativity, and partly because it is more affordable.
Forget the flimsy plastic mobile home and camper interiors that got style tips from old airline economy-class sections. That sort of mobile living is gradually becoming a thing of the past....
Meanwhile, check out the Billionaire's House: Pierre Omidyar: The Secret Empire of a Resort Developer
read ... Billionaire has plans for you
Tranny Sees WSF Expansion as Way to Reduce Athletics, Attack Religion
CB: ...The concept of moving money to schools and letting them decide which programs best fit their priorities goes hand in hand with allowing students and families to decide which public school offers the best programs for their child. The money will follow the student. Schools have the choice to invest their WSF dollars to support priority programs, for example: a multi-media lab, science/engineering lab, performing arts center and/or athletic programs.
Some schools may want five equally funded programs. Other schools may want to allocate the bulk of their discretionary funding to just one or two programs. Some schools collaborate and welcome students from neighboring schools to participate in their programs — this happens more often with performing arts programs than with athletics.
The Castle High School Performing Arts Learning Center will be producing the dance musical “Footloose” this spring and students from seven DOE schools are involved.... (Footlose plotline: Kevin Bacon is in shock when he discovers the small Midwestern town he now calls home has made dancing and rock music illegal...he might loosen up this conservative town. But Reverend Shaw Moore, stands in the way--get it?)
Schools located less than two miles apart could collaborate further. Can two small neighboring high schools with mediocre football and soccer teams consolidate efforts by sharing one football team and one soccer team? Each school could double the focus and resources for the one team it hosts on its campus. Would it be better for students, the schools, the sport?
As Explained: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
read ... Transsexual Agenda
NextEra Sets up Website to Tout Merger
CB: Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, one of HEI’s subsidiaries, recently sent letters to Oahu customers about the deal.
He explained how NextEra and HEI had “agreed to combine” and talked about what this “combination” will mean for the business. He described the opportunity that joining with NextEra presented and how “we’re gaining a great partner.”
The letter ends by encouraging customers to check out the website, www.forhawaiisfuture.com, where more of the same language is present....
When asked for clarification on what the transaction between NextEra and HEI really is, HEI corporate and community advancement manager A.J. Halagao sent this statement:
“NextEra Energy is acquiring Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI). Following completion of the merger, Hawaiian Electric Company (Hawaiian Electric) will become one of three principal subsidiaries of NextEra Energy, along with Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy Resources. Hawaiian Electric will continue to be headquartered in Hawaii and operate as Hawaiian Electric. Hawaiian Electric will also continue to be locally managed, and will have a local advisory board. Our two companies are indeed combining resources and expertise, and we see ourselves as partners in achieving a more affordable clean energy future for Hawaii.”
read ... Merger
Maintenance rebate for solar water heaters brought back
SA: Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, will relaunch a $150 rebate for homeowners to help offset the cost of solar water heater maintenance.
The Solar Water Heating Tune-Up rebate provides residents with $150 to hire a Hawaii Energy-participating contractor to inspect their systems for wear and tear, which may include leaks, corrosion or pump failure.
The rebate is valid from Jan. 5 through May 31, 2015, or until the funding runs out.
read ... Rebate
Few Show up to See Ige on Kauai
KGI: ...Mochi making, a traditional New Year’s practice, got in the way of the first visit by Gov. David Ige and his family to Kauai since being elected governor in early November.
“There should be more people here,” said Mary Thronas, longtime political official and a Kauai Living Treasure.
“Unfortunately, I think everyone is making mochi today.”
About 200 people greeted the governor and First Lady Dawn Ige....
read ... Ige Kauai
Hilo Medical Center improves some patient satisfaction scores despite working with limited resources
HTH: ...During the past five years, HMC has shown consistent improvement in most of the areas covered by the survey, but this year the hospital showed signs that it is approaching the upper limits of the changes it can make in some areas without significant investment of capital.
“We’re finding that we were able to get our scores up, but it’s getting difficult to push any further on some,” said Dan Brinkman, interim CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii Region. “… We have limited resources, we’ve been having some financial woes … but I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished despite our resources.”
Of the patients surveyed, 76 percent said in 2013 (the most recent year for which data is available) that nurses always communicated well, the highest score the hospital has tallied since 2009 when only 62 percent said the same. Meanwhile, 83 percent said they had been given information about what to do during recovery at home, up from 74 percent five years earlier.
Fifty-seven percent of patients said last year that they would definitely recommend the hospital, up from 45 percent in 2009, and 57 percent rated the hospital a nine or 10 on a scale of zero to 10, up from 46 percent in 2009.
Brinkman credited much of those gains to a “change in the culture” of the hospital staff and administrators....
read ... Change in Culture
Soldiers Invite Obama to Wedding, He Tells them to Get out of Way
B: Natalie Heimel and her fiancé, Edward Mallue Jr., a pair of captains in the Army, were walking from their wedding rehearsal on Saturday at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course in Hawaii when they were informed they'd have to move their wedding, scheduled for the next day.
President Barack Obama wanted to play through.
It was the second time that day that the couple heard from the nation's commander in chief, whose affinity for golf has, at times, caused political headaches for the White House. Stationed in Hawaii and knowing the president spends his Christmas holiday on the islands, they invited him to their ceremony on a lark. They had received a letter earlier on Saturday saying Obama regretted he couldn't come and wishing them happiness on their wedding day.
read ... Fore!