Sacred? Protest Leaders Demand $50M Yearly Rent for Telescope Site
Land and Power atop Mauna Kea
7% Solution Makes Hawaii Pension Debt Seem Smaller
UH: $14M Plan to Save Cancer Center Accreditation
Common Cause: Audit the Clinton Foundation
Neighborhood Board elections now open for voting
Anti-Telescope Leader Calls for killing telescope supporters -- HS Girl Targeted
ILind: The threatening and obscene rant reportedly appeared on Facebook yesterday.
“Fuck all these supporters of TMT!” the post said. “Their throats should be slashed and their blood should be spilled on our Sacred Mauna A Wakea!”
“TMT supporters should get the life beat out of them if they step foot on our Sacred Mauna!” the post continued.
The obscene and threatening post was published under the Facbook name, “Kealoha Kahunaaina Iona.” The account actually belongs to Brannon Kamahana Kealoha, who says he started the account using three family names several years ago when he was trying to bring together several parts of his extended family.
According to his Facebook page, Kealoha is a University of Hawaii student scheduled to graduate next month with degrees in Anthropology and Hawaiian Language.
He is also listed as the creator of the Sacred Mauna Kea Fund, associated with the Sacred Mauna Kea protest group. The fund has already raised more than $11,000 through an online site, gofundme.com, for inter island travel in support of the TMT protests....
Kealoha’s post used the disparaging and obscene “C-word”, slang for a woman that refers to the female anatomy, to refer to all project supporters, male and female alike. He usually added an obscenity as an adjective....
Kealoha’s post heaped special venom on Mailani Neal, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy and former Kamehameha student, who recently launched her own online petition supporting the telescope project. Her petition was reported last week by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and KITV.
Kealoha referred to Neal with a profanity, and said she should be “f—en dealt with blows.”
“…(T)he return of our Kingdom is at hand and anyone who stands in our way will learn,” he wrote.
The post was later deleted, but not before it was liked by at least three people, and copied and reposted by at least one other Facebook user, who called it “threatening and pure evil.” ...
Project supporters say there have been numerous reports of intimidation and bullying by protestors against Hawaii Island supporters, as well as union workers on the TMT job. Some have been serious enough that they were reported to police.
read ... Obscenity-laced Facebook post calls for killing telescope supporters
Hospital measure still waiting for action from Ige
MN: House Speaker Joe Souki said Friday afternoon that he was "very confident" a version of the much-debated, public-private partnership bill for Maui Memorial Medical Center and the Kula and Lanai Community hospitals would be passed by the state Legislature.
But it remained unclear exactly what provisions Gov. David Ige wants in the bill and when he'd provide his recommendations to lawmakers.
On Tuesday, the governor intervened as the Senate's version of the bill was headed to the House floor, instead of a conference committee. If the House had approved the Senate's draft of House Bill 1079, then it would have headed to Ige for his signature or veto.
Ige's intervention brought a stop to the bill's progress in the House, but Souki (Wailuku, Waikapu, Waihee, Waiehu, Kahakuloa and Puuohala) pointed out that he could, at any time, agree with the Senate version and send it to the House for a vote.
In the meantime, Souki said he was waiting for the governor to send down a bill that would be acceptable to the House and the Senate. If the governor's work on the bill "strengthens our position, as the governor stated, then I will accept it," he said.
It was still possible that, after Ige submits a bill, it would need to go before a conference committee. Maui Sens. Roz Baker (West and South Maui) and Gil Keith-Agaran (Kahului, Waihee and Wailuku) have already been named as Senate conferees for the bill. The House has not yet named conferees....
Baker said she told a representative of the governor Friday: "The clock is ticking. We should have been given something today."
She would have appreciated it if the governor had inserted himself in the process for the bill earlier.
"We appreciate his support," she said. "But we have our deadlines and timetables, too." ....
Souki said the bill would allow an entity, such as Kaiser, to be considered as Maui's private partner. "It was never intended to preclude anybody," he said....
MN: Attend the HHSC meeting
read ... Still Waiting
State Budget Negotiators ‘Still Have a Lot of Issues’
CB: House and Senate budget negotiators still have hundreds of funding requests they disagree on after a half-hour conference committee meeting Friday, the second time they’ve met to work out a final spending plan for the state.
Gov. David Ige joined the packed room to watch as Senate Ways and Means Chair Jill Tokuda and House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke rattled off a dozen or more items — mostly minor — that they’ve reached common ground on.
“We still have a lot of issues that we are a little bit far apart on,” Luke said.
She said lawmakers will take the weekend to discuss differences and the committee will reconvene at 2 p.m., Tuesday.
May 1 is the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass conference committee. The legislative session ends May 7....
Check out the budget comparison worksheet here for the complete list — all 323 pages worth — of items the House and Senate don’t agree on.
To see that same information, plus a lot more, in a much more digestible manner, complete with graphic visualizations, check out the Hawaii Open Budget website here.
read ... Issues
$38B in capital spending (Rate Hikes) needed to reach Hawaii's original renewable energy goals
PBN: It will take upwards of $38 billion in capital spending on renewable-energy and energy efficiency technologies to meet Hawaii’s original clean-energy goals, the head of the state’s Energy Office told PBN.
Mark Glick, administrator of the state Energy Office, credited a third-party analysis prepared for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative for that big figure....
Read more about his take on what’s in store for the state’s energy scene in the rest of 2015 by clicking here.
read ... $38B for 40%
Age 21 for E-Cigs? With Tobacco Taxes Declining, Legislators Clamp Down on their Competition
AP: A bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 cleared the Legislature on Friday and is headed to the governor.
It’s unclear whether Gov. David Ige will sign the measure.
Jodi Leong, a spokeswoman in his office, said the proposed law, outlined in Senate Bill 1030, “is still being reviewed by the departments and has not yet reached the governor’s desk.”
The bill would prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or both possessing traditional and electronic cigarettes, beginning on Jan. 1, 2016.
What this is about:
read ... First State to go to 21
IHS: Homeless panhandlers 'Very Comfortable Living this Lifestyle'
HNN: Institute for Human Services outreach workers are encountering more homeless people aggressively panhandling in Waikiki.
"There's anything from the simple ask for money from the tourists to the aggressive put a lei on a tourist individual and yell at them and ask them for money in such an aggressive manner that they feel forced to give," IHS Community Outreach director Kimo Carvalho said.
Waikiki resident Spencer Williams said some days he's approached five times during a single stroll down Kalakaua Avenue.
"The majority looks like they've lived on the streets for quite a while....
IHS Outreach Specialist Justin Phillips estimates 60 homeless people are panhandling in Waikiki in a network, complete with morning and afternoon shifts.
"We've seen a lot of people panhandling for marijuana, cash, or alcohol," he said. "The signs say things like 'I will work for weed' or 'Will work for six-pack of beer."
Carvalho said homeless who panhandle don't seek shelter because they're making money, and that's working against the city's sit-lie law and homeless agency's outreach efforts.
"It's basically free income with no responsibility. They're very comfortable living this lifestyle," he said.
Carvalho wants the city to pass a law making it illegal to panhandle in Waikiki.
"We need a policy that will distract that behavior, so that we can actually offer services and work with them to change their habits of behaviors," he said.
read ... Predators, not victims
Hawaii Tourism Taxes 'Shambolic and Annoying'
SNZ: The first thing you notice in Hawaii or the United States in general is that you see an advertised price and it's nothing close to what you will actually pay. Prices are usually advertised without tax.
As a guest you can add the state sales tax of 4 per cent or 4.5 per cent in Oahu (the half a per cent is for Honolulu's new rail system).
Your accommodation will attract a 9 per cent bed tax to help cover your contribution as a tourist towards infrastructure.
There is also the epic swindle of a resort fee ($US25 usually) which basically gets you free Wi-Fi and free local calls and a load of other rubbish services you don't even use.
The rental car has a state highway fee of $US3 per day added along with a raft of other charges.
Add a gratuity or tipping to that mess for what I often found to be pretty average service in Honolulu and you can be looking at prices 20-35 per cent over what is advertised - with visitors being charged a premium to fund infrastructure.
Yet the tourists still come, the hotels are still full.
As shambolic and annoying as it appears this is a long-established taxation system which has come to be well-accepted....
read ... Shambolic
State to waste $2.9 million on water feature at Maui airport
KHON: The state wants to build a water feature at Kahului Airport.
It’s the first and last thing travelers will see, but is it worth the $2.9 million to build it?
One of our viewers contacted KHON2 via Report It asking why it costs so much and why the state is willing to spend the money....
“It’ll be used as a water reservoir, so it’ll take non-potable water and then filter it, and we’ll use that water to water the landscape and everything around the facility,” Sakahara said.
“It’s not a little water feature. It’s a very grand feature, it’s a very big reservoir. It’s not even a pond, it’s not just a waterfall,” he added.
Sakahara said the state had the option of putting it underground, but it would cost just as much, if not more, if maintenance costs are added on.
So how will the state pay for this? Taxpayer money will not be used. Instead it’s coming from user fees, namely from the rental car surcharge.
The surcharge is an added fee people see on their receipt when they rent a car in Hawaii. It’s a $4.50-a-day surcharge. Last year, the surcharge brought in $54 million.
read ... Your Tax Dollars at Work
Judge rules Deedy must stand trial a third time
SA: Defense attorney says Deedy plans to appeal the decision....
read ... Lynch Mob