Organically Growing Tax Credits
EXPOSED: Another Hawaii State Senate President Owned and Operated by Jeff Stone
SA: Senate President Ron Kouchi has had long-standing and substantial business ties with one of the owners of thousands of acres of South Kona conservation and agricultural land that lawmakers now want the state to purchase and preserve, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.
Hawaii developers Kevin M. Showe and Jeffrey R. Stone each have an ownership interest in the isolated South Kona lands in an area called Kapua, and Kouchi has both invested with Showe and worked for years for one of Showe’s companies as a community relations representative....
…Stone’s attorney is former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, (also a Senate President owned and operated by Jeff Stone) and Kouchi said he was instructed that “any contact as far as discussions for potential acquisition should be directed through Colleen Hanabusa.”…
According to state records, Showe Family Hawaii LLC owns a half-interest in more than 4,233 acres at Kapua that lawmakers identified in Senate Bill 3071 as property the state should acquire. Showe Family Hawaii is managed by National Housing Corporation of Hawaii Inc., and Kevin Showe is listed on state records as vice president and treasurer of National Housing.
Another company called South Kona LLC owns more than 3,546 acres that are also included in the proposed state purchase. South Kona LLC has as its member and manager Pacific Northwest Ltd., and Stone is president, treasurer and director of Pacific Northwest, according to state records.
…Showe partnered with Jeff Stone years ago to develop Ko Olina….
Kouchi’s annual disclosure form filed with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission shows he was a shareholder in a real estate company called Leahi LLC from 2011 to 2015, and Kouchi’s 2016 ethics filing values that investment at between $100,000 and $150,000.
Leahi LLC lists Showe Land & Marine LLC and Kauai Development Manager LLC as its members, and Kevin Showe is listed as member and manager for both of those companies….
Showe, who was a partner in the Kauai Lagoons development on Kauai, has also employed Kouchi as a community relations representative, according to state and county records.
Kouchi was described as a representative of Kauai Lagoons in news accounts in 2009, and he noted in his state ethics filings that he served as director of community relations for Showe Land & Marine LLC from 2009 to 2014.
His state filing indicates he was not paid anything for that work in 2014, but his previous years’ filings show he was paid between $25,000 and $50,000 a year from 2011 to 2013 for his community relations work for the company.
He was paid between $50,000 and $100,000 for his community relations work for Showe in 2009 and 2010, according to state records, and in 2009 represented Showe in matters before the state Department of Health and Department of Transportation, according to his state filing.
Kouchi’s Kauai county ethics filings show he was paid $90,000 a year for his work for Showe or his companies from 2006 to 2008….
it is unlikely Kouchi’s involvement would run afoul of the State Code of Ethics because (drumroll please) state lawmakers are not subject to the conflict-of-interest provisions that govern other state employees (clash cymbals).
read … Giveaway to Jeff Stone
Kenoi Lied About Pledge to Give Salary Increase to United Way
HTH: Is Mayor Billy Kenoi still donating his $22,848 raise to Hawaii Island United Way?
Kenoi made the generous gesture in 2014 as the county Salary Commission approved the 20.9 percent increase that started July 1 of that year, bringing his annual salary to $132,000.
“I’m not taking a dollar of that raise,” he told a reporter then. “I made that promise, and it’s a promise that I intend to keep.”
After the Tribune-Herald filed a records request, the Hawaii County Finance Department provided Kenoi’s 2014 United Way pledge form authorizing the county to donate $1,000 a month from his paychecks to the nonprofit starting that July.
That’s certainly not a small act of charity from the county’s chief executive.
But it also was the only such record the county could find since the raise, which Kenoi still receives, went into effect.
A hand-written note on the form says “end at 6/30/15,” suggesting the payroll deductions were only good for that fiscal year….
Kenoi didn’t refer to the pledge as having a sunset date when speaking with a reporter before the pay increase started.
If the mayor still is donating the raise, he wasn’t quick to take credit.
Kenoi didn’t respond to a detailed text message Wednesday. Voice messages left on his cell phone Thursday and with his secretary Friday also weren’t returned.
read … A limited-time offer? Kenoi’s United Way payroll deductions stopped 1 year after pledge
At City Hall, lots of dancing around, less actual running
Borreca: …Now comes Ernie Martin, the City Council chairman, who has been saying for years that eventually he would like to be Honolulu’s mayor.
Now he owns a nice big color poster saying he is running for mayor, but offers an equally big refusal to make the jump.
Much like Hannemann did, Martin is increasing his number of public appearances and fleshing out a splashy new web page announcing, “Together We Can” and “Support Ernie Martin.”
Star-Advertiser City Hall reporter Gordon Pang, in a recent report, queried Martin about a possible run and he answered with, “I’m keeping all of my options open.”
Martin figures, according to Pang’s article, that if he were to run for mayor, the state’s resign-to-run law would require him to resign from his Council post only when he files nomination papers, not after any public proclamation.
The filing deadline is June 7 — so either Martin is off the Council and running for mayor on June 7 or he remains Council chairman and his dream of being the boss at Honolulu Hale goes unanswered for at least the next two or four years.
Also still saying “I’ll get back to you” is former two-term lieutenant governor, James “Duke” Aiona. After running twice unsuccessfully for governor, Aiona has encouraged speculation that he might want to be mayor. That feeling was amplified by the Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll taken at the beginning of this year, showing Aiona beating incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Aiona had 43 percent, Caldwell had 38 and Martin, 8 percent.
Also hanging around the starting gate, but not ready to put on his running shoes is former Mayor Peter Carlisle. While expressing an interest in trying again, Carlisle has not shown any serious interest in raising either his profile or the campaign cash needed to put on a realistic campaign….
read … City Hall
Lease agreement approved for Maui hospitals
HNN: Governor David Ige approved a new lease Friday which gives Kaiser's Maui Health Systems more power over Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital….
The transition process is set to be completed July 1st. Meanwhile, legal challenges linger.
The United Public Workers Union filed a lawsuit attempting to block the takeover. That case is awaiting a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition, three bills aim to assist public hospital workers who face threatened retirement security and possible job disruptions if the hospitals become privatized….
The bills are scheduled to be heard in conference committee sessions next week.
A spokesperson with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii says all of the nearly 1,500 hospital workers were offered jobs, and more than 95% have already accepted positions.
News Release: LEASE AGREEMENT FOR MAUI HOSPITALS APPROVED
KHON: Maui, Lanai hospitals will continue to serve community under new Kaiser management
read … Lease agreement approved for Maui hospitals
Bernie Sanders is Democrats Donald Trump
Shapiro: …I said I liked Sen. Bernie Sanders, but it bothered me that his campaign speeches and debating points too often consisted of angrily shouting his Facebook memes, which I pronounced “mehms,” as in “O”-less “memos.”
For those not as social-media-savvy as I am, a meme is kind of a digital postcard; in Sanders’ case, he’s usually pictured with wild eyes, hair flying to and fro and index finger jabbing as one of his sayings is quoted.
These are bromides such as, “Education should be a right, not a privilege.” Or, “I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful of billionaires.”
You know, deep thoughts that make you want to scream, “No s—-!”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also posts lots of memes, but she isn’t as popular as Sanders among some on the Democratic left because her hair is as well-groomed and her jabbing finger as well-manicured as a Wall Street banker.
Anyway, I explained to my granddaughter that while I see a place in political campaigns for platitudes that inspire true believers, I feel Sanders sometimes falls short of fleshing them out with workable policy plans….
read … Angrily Shouting
Jim Dooley Working on Second Book
HTH: There’s an entire chapter in Jim Dooley’s book about the late Waimea rancher and businessman Larry Mehau.
But so many mysteries surround the Big Island’s role in government corruption and organized crime that Dooley, already working on his second book, says there’s likely to be at least one more Big Island chapter in that one, too.
Dooley — an investigative reporter in Honolulu for more than 30 years whose work led to the indictment of former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi on bribery charges and who exposed corrupt huis, government contracting fraud and organized crime and yakuza — spoke to the Big Island Press Club in Hilo on Friday….
read … Investigative reporter Jim Dooley talks story with Big Island Press Club
ACLU: Hawaii Police body-camera bill the best in the U.S.
SA: Hawaii’s Legislature is on the verge of passing what would unquestionably be the best police body-camera law in the country — Senate Bill 2411 — that carefully balances the rights of civilians and law enforcement….
What makes Hawaii’s police body camera bill so great? In a word: balance. We need statewide regulation to ensure that body cameras are used to increase transparency in our law enforcement, while enabling police to better fulfill their responsibilities and protect their rights, too. Lawmakers have listened carefully to the public’s (and law enforcement’s) concerns, and have weighed and balanced the many important public policy interests.
For example, how can body cameras be used to increase police transparency and accountability without violating the public’s right to privacy? How can body cameras be used to advance the interests of law enforcement as well as those of the public? How can we ensure the public has access to important body camera footage while also ensuring trivial, embarrassing videos do not end up on YouTube? SB 2411 would be the best body camera law in the nation because it does a vastly better job balancing these competing interests than any existing state law.
We know that well-balanced police body camera policies are achievable. The body camera policy adopted by the police department in Parker, Colo., a city of 50,000 residents, has been widely praised by law enforcement and civil libertarians alike, and that policy is extremely similar to SB 2411….
read … The Best
HPD: Officer didn’t get preferential treatment
SA: A recent editorial stated that a Honolulu Police Department officer was given preferential treatment following his drunken driving arrest two weeks ago (“HPD should expand dialogue with public,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, April 19).
HPD has since reviewed the arrest, and there are no indications that a member of the public would have been treated differently….
WHT: US Supreme Court to Hear Breathalyzer Case
read … Preferential?