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Thursday, June 8, 2017
June 8, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:28 AM :: 2762 Views

Who Just Got Caught at OHA?

From colonial navigation acts to the Jones Act

BoE Puts ‘ESSA Team’ Principal in Charge, Temporarily

Potholes Cost Hawaii Drivers $708 per Year

Mindless Bureaucracy Detains Machine at Honolulu Airport for Lack on Non-Existent Form

KOS: Poll Shows Tulsi Gabbard Vulnerable to Primary Challenge

Bonds: HART Story Changes Again--Now Says it Has Money Thru End of Next Legislative Session

CB: The Honolulu City Council approved a measure Wednesday to ensure construction of the rail project can continue through June 2018 (End of next Legislative session) by issuing up to $350 million in bonds….

Wednesday’s action was the first in a two-step process: The council authorized the city to issue up to $350 million in taxpayer-backed bonds to cover rail operations and construction. The next step, to actually issue the bonds, would require additional council approval.

And because the measure covers rail expenses only through June 2018, the council may have to come back again next year and authorize more bonds, Yu said…..

read … $350M Bonds

New ‘Interim’ Sup’t: A school’s success can’t be measured through rankings

SA: “…Ranking schools across these communities reveals nothing, except to spotlight the growing inequities of society….” – Interim Sup’t Keith Hayashi

(And the BoE doesn't want anybody to know about the inequities created by HSTA and HGEA--for which the unions blame everybody except themselves--so they are abolishing rankings.)

The Department of Education (DOE) and Board of Education (BOE) took a bold step in breaking the paradigm of rating, ranking and classifying schools with labels that suggest the quality of our schools. The new Strive HI performance system takes an approach that supports student learning and school improvement (covers up HGEA and HSTA failure) in line with the new Strategic Plan … (which I helped write to exploit) flexibilities in federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)….

read … Already Campaigning to be Kishimoto’s Replacement

City budget ratchets up fees, Bus Fares

SA: Motor vehicle weight taxes, bus fares and parking rates will go up under a 2018 budget package approved by the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday….

The owner of a 3,520- pound Toyota Camry sedan will see an increase of $35.20 in 2018 and $35.20 in 2019, meaning the bill would go from the current $176 (at 5 cents a pound) to $211.20 on Jan. 1 and $246.40 starting 2019….

Owners of trucks and commercial vehicles will see their weight taxes go to 6.5 cents (from 5.5 cents) per pound beginning Jan. 1, and to 7.5 cents in 2019.

Mililani resident Dan Petty testified against the measure, and predicted it would have a “snowballing effect” that would lead to increases in other areas from milk to cable TV rates.

Also generating a lot of buzz was Bill 28, which increases TheBus rates across the board. The adult, single-ride fare would rise to $2.75, up 25 cents from the current $2.50. The monthly adult pass would rise to $70, up from the current $60….

Bill 12, which doubles parking rates for metered street stalls in Chinatown, downtown and Waikiki to $3 an hour, received a surge of opposition in recent weeks but was approved, 5-4. Fukunaga, Kobayashi, Martin and Ozawa voted against the increases….

A $10-a-month curbside trash pickup fee proposal was shot down, as was a measure to increase the city’s share of the fuel tax to 20 cents a gallon from 16.5 cents a gallon….

The administration also proposed property tax rates for the Hotel-Resort and Residential A categories. But Manahan’s Budget Committee shot down the hike for resorts and hotels after visitor industry advocates argued they were being unfairly targeted.

Midway through the budget season, the Council approved a bill that splits the Residential A category into two tiers so that the first $1 million of value is taxed at $4.50 per $1,000, and any additional value is taxed at $9 per $1,000. Residential A property owners currently pay $6 per $1,000 for the entire property.

The new system resulted in those with properties valued at $1 million to $1.5 million paying less than they do now and owners of properties valued above $1.5 million paying more…..

read … City budget ratchets up fees 

Falling Out Amongst Thieves: City Council puts off action on retail bag fee 

SA: The Honolulu City Council has again deferred action on a bill that would require retailers to charge a fee for checkout bags and ban so-called compostable plastic bags.

Bill 59 (2016) also would mandate that police enforce the state’s litter-control laws and require the city auditor to evaluate the effectiveness of the bag fee.

The Council considered two drafts of the bill at Wednesday’s meeting but decided to move the bill back to committee for further discussions with businesses and environmentalists (trying to split the profits). The current version of the bill, backed by retailers but opposed by environmentalists, (who want a cut of the action) would require businesses to charge at least 10 cents for reusable bags or recyclable paper bags but allows the continued use of so-called reusable plastic bags that are at least 2.25 mils thick….

CB: Council Rejects Proposal To Ban All Plastic Bags At Checkout Counters

read … Hands in Your Pocket

Hawaii County Council Approves Massive Fuel Tax Hike

WHT: A gas tax hike is probably coming to a pump near you, but there will be less of an immediate sticker shock, following the County Council’s 8-1 vote Wednesday to spread Mayor Harry Kim’s requested increase more evenly over the next three years.

The change means the fuel tax hike must go out again to a public hearing. That’s tentatively scheduled for June 22 at the West Hawaii Civic Center, with a final council vote June 23.

Under the administration’s plan, the gas tax would have risen first from 8.8 cents a gallon to 19 cents, with increases of 2 cents in each of the next two years until it reaches 23 cents. The council’s formula changes that to a 6.2 cent increase the first year, and 4 cents in each of the next two years until it reaches 23 cents.

“Nobody in my district is happy about this….

read … Council takes first-year sting off gas tax hike

Honolulu Median 1BR Rent $1590

HNN: Honolulu’s median rent for a one-bedroom unit was $1,590. The median rent for a two-bedroom was $2,110, Apartment List said.

The firm also said that Honolulu’s rental prices have increased by 1.3 percent compared to this time last year….

PDF: Apartment List Rental data covers all 50 states and thousands of cities and counties

read … Rentals

HELCO: We will achieve 200% Renewable Energy in 2045

IM: …Hawai`i Revised Statutes states that “Each electric utility company that sells electricity for consumption in the State shall establish a renewable portfolio standard of... One hundred per cent of its net electricity sales by December 31, 2045.”

Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) filed a document with the Public Utilities Commission on May 24, 2017 which stated in part, that HELCO will achieve an RPS of 209.4% or 210.3% in 2045….

The NREL web site provides a definition of renewable portfolio standards.--“A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a regulatory mandate to increase production of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and other alternatives to fossil and nuclear electric generation. It's also known as a renewable electricity standard.”

Life of the Land has often asserted that Hawaii is making great strides towards increasing the use of renewable energy, but that the definitions must be cleaned up. Accurate and reliable baselines and metrics must be used.

HECO acknowledges that the current definition of RPS is faulty, but has used their influence at the Legislature to block reforming the definitions.

Most energy stakeholders have stayed away from the issue, asserting that progress is more important than fixing problems.

The definition of renewable energy is Hawaii has no relationship to greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy systems that produce massive amounts of greenhouse gases are preferable to fossil fuel energy systems that produce small amounts of greenhouse gases….

KGI: KIUC’s renewable target now at 70 percent; new hydro project could boost production


read … HELCO: We will achieve 200% Renewable Energy in 2045

Global Warmers: Only Donald Trump’s Oceanfront Properties will be Inundated

HNN: …The president's Mar-a-Lago estate, the soaring apartment towers bearing his name on Miami-area beaches and his Doral golf course are all threatened by rising seas, according to projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact….

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, is vulnerable too, as is his golf course in Ireland. The president also has business interests in properties near the ocean in Vancouver, Canada; Panama City, Panama; Uruguay and Mumbai, India, according to the Trump Organization website.

But the problem is especially fraught in Florida. Using the worst-case prediction of a 6-foot sea rise (which is believed by nobody)….

(Meanwhile your beloved editor continues to offer global warmers 10% of assessed value for their oceanfront Hawaii real estate...cash money!)

read … Selective Sea Level Rise

Discrimination Against Punatics?

HTH: …The resolution, introduced by Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles (daughter of convicted drug dealer Mike Ruggles), is based on a civil rights complaint filed nearly two decades ago against the state Department of Transportation in response to a draft long-range transportation plan, which complainants said was underrepresenting populations in Puna and Ka‘u.

In response, the Federal Highways Administration’s Office of Civil Rights concluded the plan was not in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act or an executive order. FHA recommended the state agency develop a Title VI implementation plan and better track populations based on race, national origin and income levels. Hawaii County also was included in the report….

Lee Loy said the resolution was using Hawaiians as a “springboard.”….

“It almost amounts to demagoguery when you talk about equating women’s equality to this issue,” Chung said. “Women’s equality, race equality, those are all self-evident truths.”….

read … Punatics

Hawaii's medical marijuana program among the nation's most regulated

PBN: …Michael Covington, senior chemist at Steep Hill Hawaii, one of the three testing labs that are currently undergoing the state’s certification process, said the state’s process is “more strict” than what he’s seen elsewhere.

“We’re having to do validations onsite,” said Covington, whose lab is located on South King Street, just a few blocks from Aloha Green’s dispensary. “I think a lot of states will accept validations for the technique if another Steep Hill lab had done it on the Mainland.”

Steep Hill has marijuana testing labs in Alaska, California, Maryland and New Mexico.

“Hawaii is making everyone’s validation be redone in the lab in Hawaii,” he said. “That’s another hurdle that a lot of states don’t have to jump through.”

As dispensaries wait on the state to approve a testing lab, it’s the second hurdle that has led to the program’s delays. The first was the delay in the Department of Health’s implementation of the BioTrack software, which is meant to track marijuana products from seed to sale….

read … Hawaii's medical marijuana program among the nation's most regulated



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