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Thursday, August 3, 2017
August 3, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:35 PM :: 3606 Views

Anti-Telescope Protesters Fight with Police in effort to Create Incident

Hawaii, 2017: 15 Cases of Rat Lungworm and Counting

Hawaii Among States with Least Student Debt

Break the Government Monopoly on Flood Insurance

Rail Budget Pays to Repave Prison Parking Lot--HDOT Milks Rail Budget to Pay for Kam Hwy Repaving Beyond Middle Street

HNN: …Repaving the Oahu Community Correctional Center’s parking lot, widening nearby Kamehameha Highway and other related work will cost about $650,000.

But what’s unusual is that the state Department of Public Safety isn’t footing the bill. The rail authority is.

"It's clearly unnecessary in two ways. Why are we doing this in 2017? There is no rail project anywhere near that site,” said rail critic and University of Hawaii Civil Engineering Prof. Panos Prevedouros.

“Second, what has HART to do with OCCC?”

Prison officials and a spokesman with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said that the paving work is necessary because the rail authority is widening Kamehameha Highway. That requires them to move OCCC’s fences and reconfigure and resurface the prison's parking lot.

But facing a shortfall of about $2 billion, HART only has enough money to build to Middle Street. Prevedouros noted that OCCC is several hundred yards beyond Middle Street….

the paving work makes even less sense because the prison will eventually be knocked down and relocated….

Prevedouros said the repaving project underscores a need for a forensic audit of HART's construction work….

FO: HART Pays to Pave Prison Parking

Precisely as Explained: $1.6B Available to Pay for Rail -- Without Raising Taxes

read … HART to pay for repaving of OCCC's parking lot

Star-Adv: Robbins Hire a Hail Mary for HART

SA: Andrew Robbins has been a project manager for Honolulu transit before, but that was nearly 30 years ago; the political landscape is wholly changed. And there’s precious little time for any new boss to learn the lay of the land….

…state lawmakers, who clearly have lost faith in the ability of HART and city administrators to keep budget planning rational and costs controlled…..

…someone has to make the case more persuasively than city officials, including the mayor, have done thus far….

…a new “rescue” plan must be hammered out to close the latest financial gap. The continued approval of the Federal Transit Administration is needed to secure the full $1.55 billion federal subsidy allocated for the project and ensure that Honolulu will not have to repay funds already spent.

Undoubtedly, it was important to have a permanent CEO in place before this can happen. The FTA needs some assurance that commitments made by HART administrators can be carried out long-term, a promise that temporary hire Murthy couldn’t make….  (Translation: This is a Hail Mary pass.)

… it’s not clear that Grabauskas or his team properly anticipated the project’s technical problems, or that they could navigate the stormy seas of contract change orders and rising costs….

…Skeptical lawmakers and frustrated HART and city officials have been talking past each other for months….

read … Hail Mary

Tokuda announces plans to run for lieutenant governor

SA: …State Sen. Jill Tokuda (D-Kailua-Kaneohe) announced today she is running in what will likely be a crowded field of contenders next year seeking to be Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor.

Tokuda, 41, was the chairwoman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee until she was ousted in May in a power struggle triggered by the high-stakes debate over the Honolulu rail project. The leader of the Ways and Means Committee has control over the budgets that dictate how all state money is spent….S

State Rep. Kaniela Ing, 29, (a charter member of the Smug Millennial Caucus) has also been considering running, but said Wednesday it appears he is too young (and childish) to qualify….

read … Tokuda vs Green

HSTA Gains Total Control over DOE

CB: …Hawaii’s public education landscape is changing, and a new openness (HSTA control) is far superior (for the union) to the one-size-fits-all approach (accountability, transparency and school choice)….

HPR: Audio Version of Same Thing

read … Some HSTA Propaganda

Hawaii Smart Grid: Want vs. Need

IM: …HECO published its August 2, 2017 press release on the HECO website. “Hawaii Island, for example, has the state's highest level of renewables at 54 percent. With new developer agreements recently approved by regulators, it is expected more than 80 percent of the electricity used by Hawaii Electric Light customers will come from renewable sources by 2020.” 

This penetration level far exceeds 2040 legal requirements. The Hawai`i Renewable Portfolio Standards law (HRS §269-92) requires that electric utilities generate 70% of their net electricity sales from renewable energy by 2040. 

The HECO Companies argue that a smart grid is needed to achieve high renewable energy penetration levels. The HECO Companies draft Grid Modernizing Report stated,“The Companies realize that meeting our customers’ needs and achieving our clean energy goals is not possible with our current grid. In other words, the grid we have is not the grid we need.”

Some people are questioning why the utilities need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayer money modernizing the grid, why 80% renewable energy is possible with the grid we currently have. Wouldn`t it be better to hold off committing funds during this period of rapid technological advance?

read … Hawaii Smart Grid: Want vs. Need

Statewide natural gas rate hike awaits PUC approval, costs could increase 15%

HNN: …Hawaii Gas filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission Tuesday requesting permission to increase statewide rates by an average of 15 percent.

That means the typical residential bill on Oahu would go up by about $9.50 a month.

The company says residents on Oahu, Maui and Molokai would see a rate increase while Kauai and Hawaii Island residents, on average, would not see any changed to their bill.

The company also says Lanai residents may even see a slight decrease in rates.

Additional revenue from the increases will go towards investments in clean and renewable fuels as well as company growth, Hawaii Gas said. …

read … Rate Hike

Caldwell’s Complete Streets—A Scam to Keep Locals Out

SA: …Today, as we see the residential towers rise with more to come, we realize that the negative cumulative effect of the 30 towers and 30,000 more people at full build-out will definitely increase traffic congestion, which in turn will negatively impact the public’s access to the shoreline. One would think that Ward Avenue, a major mauka/makai thoroughfare, would be widened with more lanes. However, construction continues with very minimal street improvements.

Instead we hear talk of closing streets such as Auahi to convert it into a pedestrian promenade. We hear talk of adding more bike lanes, which will displace lanes for cars. While many of us are not against bike lanes, it would be nice to hear talk about adding additional lanes of traffic too. We constantly hear and read comments made by development and government-hired “traffic experts” at public hearings and the local newspaper saying that traffic will be OK. But will it?

read … Keep Locals Out

Soft on Crime: Judge gives career criminal another sentencing reprieve

HNN: …In court, Bagio told Judge Faauuga Tootoo that drug addiction was to blame for his years of criminal activity and almost six months in rehab is helping him turn his life around. 

The 25-year-old is a known car thief who took police on multiple high-speed chases. One on the windward side injured an elderly woman.

Bagio faces sentencing on four charges related to the car chases, including an islandwide chase that ended in a multiple-vehicle crash on the H-1 Freeway.

The chase lasted two hours and zigzagged across Oahu, ending in Aiea when he hit multiple cars stuck in rush hour traffic on the H-1 Freeway.

Bagio then got out and started to run, scaling a wall; he seriously injured himself jumping onto a side street. 

Bagio has been in rehab at Habilitat, an inpatient facility, since February.

His attorney, Richard Gronna, said Bagio is now a changed man….

read … Soft on Crime

Harry Kim Declares Emergency so he can Build Homeless Tent City at Copper-Laden Construction Site

WHT: …Mayor Harry Kim declared a state of emergency Tuesday to pave the way for the relocation of several homeless individuals residing at the Old Airport Park who had been told they must vacate the premises by that date.

But the declaration — which allows the county to subvert its own zoning, building, and fire codes — had nothing to do with clearing a path for 20 homeless who now reside on cots under temporary canopies at the Hale Kikaha shelter adjacent to the Friendly Place in the Old Kona Industrial Area.

Kim said Wednesday if he’d needed a declaration to shelter almost two dozen former residents of Old A on the same lot the county used for 23 micro housing units now occupied by formerly chronic homeless, he would have made the declaration weeks ago.

Instead, the mayor made the move to clear the way for a potential permanent relocation site on state-owned land associated with the $52 million Kamakana Villages affordable housing developments.  (Homeless tent city at a construction site.  What could go wrong?)

Kim made his choice because he saw an opportunity to expedite the process of possibly securing a permanent location for the homeless.

That’s because the mayor learned late last week that the state doesn’t plan to pursue further development on its 270-acre plot off Ane Keohokalole Highway beyond the 170 affordable housing units it’s already constructed, into which selected tenants will begin settling this fall….  (Unless they are stripped of pipes and wiring)

Roy Takemoto, executive assistant to Kim, said the Hale Kikaha relocation is part one of a three-step plan. He referred to it as “very temporary” and said the administration’s goal is to move forward on a new location (after the first one is stripped of copper), likely Kamakana, within two months.

Homeless would live on a small parcel of the acreage as it evolves.

“The total area we’re looking at is a portion that would consist of 5 acres — something we can go in very quickly, clear the land, maybe set up tents again but in a more spacious and planned layout (so they will have room to store copper until they trade it for meth),” Takemoto said.

Over the last two weeks, HOPE Services and the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development identified 68 homeless living at the Old Airport Park. They were able to house 17 of them. Another 20 were sent to Hale Kikaha…. 

HNN: "This will be a template for what we do for the rest of the island," said Kim.

Reality: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

read … Homeless Tent City



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