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Monday, October 19, 2015
October 19, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:58 PM :: 3067 Views

Marijuana Dispensaries backed by Police Raids on Competition

Lahaina: 5,000 March to Defend Tourism Industry from Assaults by Farmers and Astronomers

MN: "Hawaii's natural and cultural resources and values are why our visitor industry exists. Assaults on those resources are assaults on Hawaii's number one industry, tourism," event organizer Tiare Lawrence said in a news release. (If you think this is some random nonsense from a confused activist, check out Lawrence online.)

Lawrence said during a rally at Kamehameha Iki Park after the march that "this was probably the biggest march in Maui's history," estimating attendance was close to 6,000 people.

Among the issues raised Sunday were the development of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakala and the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea; the continued testing of genetically engineered crops in Maui County; and the restoration of mauka-to-makai stream flow around the island (thus reducing water supply to HC&S)....

A similar march held on Oahu in August attracted thousands of participants. Lawrence said that organizers intend to hold a similar demonstration on Kauai, with other islands to follow.

August 10, 2015: “This is about political pressure,” said organizer Tiare Lawrence....

LINK: Anti-GMO March in Lahaina

read ... Tourism Yes

DHHL Money Dispute Before State Court

SA: The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, despite its noble stated mission and goals, has become the embodiment of a money pit — and the agency must start digging out and fixing grave dysfunctions before they totally subsume its very mission.

The clarion call comes amid court wrangling over how much state taxpayers are obligated to fund DHHL annually for administration and operations: The state attorney general says $5 million, but DHHL, along with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., says it needs $28 million from the general fund. Further, DHHL wants another $40 million to $50 million in general obligation bonds to cover infrastructure repairs.

Those are huge sums, made even more discomfiting by DHHL’s poor track record in managing land assets that should be benefiting more of its Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

The money dispute is back in Circuit Court after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the state “has failed by any reasonable measure, under the undisputed facts, to provide sufficient funding to DHHL.”

DHHL currently receives $9.6 million in state general funds. Further, this past June saw the final $30 million payment to DHHL, a hefty sum it has received annually over the past 20 years under a 1995, $600 million settlement for state misappropriation of trust lands....

The federal government remains a co-trustee of the land assets.  (Which, interestingly, is the closest Star-Adv editors get to mentioning the DoI effort to turn DHHL into an Indian Tribe.)

Background: Draft DoI Rules Create Path for Fake Indian Tribe to Take Over DHHL

read ... Time to reassess DHHL operations

Bums say Hawaii Welfare Attracts Them Here: 500 Mainland Homeless Flew to Maui last year

HNN: ...The 55-year-old spent most of his life in Oregon. After being homeless for several years he made the decision to leave the Pacific Northwest for Oahu, but not before doing a little research.

"They have better medical and better programs here to help people," he said. "I just wanted to be a part of that."  (LOL!)

He went to Portland International Airport and bought a ticket with his Social Security money.

With no place to stay once he got here, it wasn't long before he found himself at the Institute for Human Services' men's shelter in Kalihi....

"Maui last year had ... a 16% increase in recent arrivals, we're talking about 500 people," Carvalho said.  (10 new bums per week)

With limited space in the shelters and a lack of affordable housing, service providers are feeling the pressure. "It definitely does drain our resources to be accommodating people from out-of-state when we're really trying to serve our local population," he said.

Carvalho added that IHS also fields phone calls and emails from people asking about homeless resources in Hawaii.

He said the staff works to educate people about the realities of being homeless in Hawaii -- and discourages people from moving here without a plan.

Background:

read ... 500 Homeless from Mainland

State to again let people seek Section 8 housing vouchers

SA: The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is expected to accept new applications for a couple of weeks in November, though the agency hasn’t released an exact date yet.

Housing officials will likely be flooded with 15,000 to 20,000 applications. However, it’s probable that only 200 to 300 families will be given vouchers this year, depending on market conditions

read ... More Benefits

Hawaii fourth in the nation for millionaires per capita

SA: More than a few “1 percenters” live in Hawaii, according to global wealth monitor Phoenix Marketing International, which ranked the state fourth in the nation for millionaires per capita in 2014. About 7percent of the state’s population, or 32,828 households, held at least $1 million in investable assets,according to the company, lower only than Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey, which ranked first,second and third, respectively, among the 50 states.

Investable assets include liquid resources, such as bank balances, mutual funds and stocks and bonds.

read ... Bums and Millionaires

Usual Suspects Pour Money into Gabbard, Takai Coffers

CB: Hawaii’s freshman in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mark Takai, raised $234,335 in the most recent fundraising cycle — more than Hawaii’s other House delegate, Tusi Gabbard.

But not by much.

Gabbard raised just $129 dollars less than Takai — or $234,206for the July-September reporting period.

Gabbard, a sophomore who represents Hawaii’s 2nd congressional District, also has three times the cash on hand as Takai, the 1st District congressman — $1.4 million as compared with $462,000.

Gabbard and Takai drew from similar money pools in the third quarter fundraising cycle, notably from political action committees for labor unions, which is not unusual for Democrats in a blue state like Hawaii.

Defense contractors also gave generously, which is also not unusual given Hawaii’s dependence on the military and the fact that Gabbard and Takai are both veterans and minority members on the House Armed Services Committee.

Both also received money for the 2016 election from VoteVets.org, which backed them in 2014. Other notable contributors include NextEra Energy for Takai ($1,000) and Walter Dods Jr., the chair of Matson’s board who contributed $5,400 to Gabbard.

Gabbard also received $2,700 from the Hindu American Political Action Committee (Gabbard is the only Hindu in Congress) and $28,000 from the Schatz Gabbard Re-Election Fund. The senator hosted a fundraiser for the congresswoman in April in Kailua, squelching any talk that she might run against him.

read ... Usual Suspects

Consultant Latest to Attempt to Write Business Plan for Cancer Center

SA: Under a $250,800 contract with UH, consultant Charles Cosovich is working to develop a business plan; the report was targeted for completion by the end of this month. A UH task force earlier this year found the center running $9.5 million over budget annually, with reserve funds likely to run out in a few years.

Let’s hope that the consultant’s report will actually be used to chart a firm course of action — and that it won’t be just more money down the tubes.

read ... White Collar Make Work

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