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Monday, December 25, 2017
December 25, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:42 PM :: 3152 Views

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

Anderson, Pine eye 2020 mayor’s race to replace Caldwell

SA: …The jockeying has begun at Honolulu Hale over who will take over the third-floor corner office at City Hall after incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell leaves when his term runs out in 2020 — if not sooner.

City Council members Ikaika Anderson and Kymberly Pine both acknowledged to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week that they have established exploratory committees to look into full-fledged campaigns for mayor….

Both Anderson and Pine insisted to the Star-Advertiser that they will be able to continue to work well together despite their mutual interest in the mayor’s race.

Those assurances, however, didn’t stop the two from issuing separate press statements last week announcing that their individual efforts persuaded developers of the ProsPac Tower on Keeaumoku Street to do away with a controversial plan for separate entrances for residents in the market-priced and affordable units….

The latest electioneering reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission show that Anderson’s campaign war chest had $373,049 as of June 30. Friends of J. Ikaika Anderson has held three fundraisers in 2017, the latest in October in Los Angeles.

As of June 30, Friends of Kymberly Pine had a war chest of $156,147. The committee has had five fundraisers in 2017, including events in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles in June and November, respectively….

Honolulu Hale watchers contend (Ron) Menor and former Mayor Mufi Hannemann should be in the conversation of possible 2020 mayoral candidates….

read … Anderson, Pine eye 2020 mayor’s race to replace Caldwell

City should get out of running golf courses

SA: It is a bad idea for the city to try to increase the waning use of the Ala Wai Golf Course.

First, the city wants to enter into a partnership with a private firm. That might be a problem because the city doesn’t own the land; the state does. The state granted the city temporary use of the property as a golf course by executive order. Those 267 acres are probably among the most valuable pieces of undeveloped land in the U.S. The state is going to want it back someday to pay for things like its public employees’ pensions.

Second and more important, why is the city in the business of running six golf courses? The government should be providing essential things like sewers, water, schools, roads and transportation, not competing with dozens of private golf courses….

read … Privitize

Homeless Camp ‘A Deliberate Rebuke’

SA:  …we see a version of that harsher reality every day in the homeless encampments that are popping up everywhere. Mostly we see the stuff: tents, blue tarps, piles of junk. Occasionally we make note of an anonymous human being or two. But mostly we maintain our distance, leaving it to the police, social workers, do-gooders and journalists to deal with this growing population of Hawaii residents. We don’t want to associate with them.

For some of the homeless, the feeling appears to be mutual. At Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako, about 50 people described by city officials as the hard-core homeless — those who refuse to get off the streets, even if they could — have taken up residence amid the shiny new residential towers and trendy restaurants.

Their presence isn’t just a symptom of poverty; it’s an act of defiance, a rejection of the societal norms that help us live together as a community with mutual respect and aloha. Their refusal to join the larger community can be seen as a deliberate rebuke to our shared values….

(Translation: If we call is a political protest they can fester behind the protection of the First Amendment.)

read … Find goodwill to find solutions

Attorney General: Landowners must pay for use of their own land once sea rises

HTH: …Oceanfront property owners who once were well shy of the protected state shoreline could find themselves having to purchase easements for their existing homes and structures such as seawalls as the sea creeps inland.

That’s according to Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, who earlier this month issued a formal opinion at the request of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

“Global warming and sea level rise are scientific fact,” Chin said in a statement. “This opinion emphasizes that Hawaii law plainly states that beaches and shoreline features remain our common heritage as part of the public trust when the shoreline moves.”

The opinion states that the Land Board should charge former owners fair market value in return for an easement interest in the land that once was private property but automatically reverts to the state when the sea level rises.

Land Board Chairwoman Suzanne Case said she asked for the opinion because the agency didn’t want to charge property owners fair market value — often tens of thousands of dollars — for the use of land they once owned.

“There have been a number of situations recently where the Board of Land and Natural Resources feels it is unfair to charge the landowner a fee for using property that they once owned, but is required to do so under the statute,” Case said in a statement. “We wanted to be sure that there is no alternative we’ve missed, so again we appreciate the Attorney General’s thoughtful analysis to confirm this.”

The administration has proposed HB 1120, which would give the Land Board the discretion to grant the easement at below fair market value under certain circumstances. It was deferred by a House committee and carried over to the new legislative session that begins Jan. 17…..

PDF: ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINES THE PUBLIC INTEREST REMAINS PROTECTED AS THE SHORELINE RETREATS

read … Attorney General: Landowners must pay for use of their own land once sea rises

With pineapple and sugar production gone, Hawaii weighs its agricultural future

WaPo: Tens of thousands of abandoned acres of farmland lie fallow on this island, cemeteries of Hawaii’s defunct plantation era, which met its end last year when the state’s last remaining sugar grower shut down an operation that had run for 146 years.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.’s sprawling sugar cane fields used to provide visitors to Maui a rolling green blanket as they arrived at the airport, but they are newly stagnant, joining other growers in a long decline. Facing competition from cheap foreign labor, a shortage of farmworkers and some of the nation’s highest land costs, the sugar and pineapple plantations that used to be the state’s lifeblood are not redeploying into active agriculture, raising questions about the industry’s future here.

“Pineapple is lost, sugar is lost, and we now have one sole industry, which is a very dangerous position to be in,” said Maui County Councilman Alika Atay. “We have put all our eggs into one basket, and that is tourism. But not everybody who lives on this island wants to work in the hotel industry, and it’s almost impossible to feed a family here working as a farmer. We are now seeing drastic displacement of young people leaving Maui because of a lack of economic opportunity.”

(And so I, Alika Atay, am doing everything I can to destroy the seed industry with my worthless anti-GMO protests.)

The state’s Agriculture Department is working on the issue with a depleted staff — 122 of its 360 positions are vacant, including the entire branch responsible for market analysis and tracking the state’s trends in food imports and production. The agency is narrowing its focus to court outside capital for investments in Hawaii food production and is studying the possibility of allowing farmers to inhabit small family homes alongside their crop beds. Tenant farming is now restricted on state agriculture land.

“There are tens of thousands of acres of good ag land, at least, currently sitting fallow in Hawaii, where we have some of the most expensive land in the world,” said Department of Agriculture Director Scott Enright. “At the same time, we’ve got a group of farmers who are aging out of the business. The next generation is coming in and finding if you’re going to try and start up a farm when you’re a 20-something with no track record, the banks aren’t going to lend to you. That’s a problem for us.”…

Hawaii spends as much as $3 billion a year to import 90 percent of its food, and residents routinely pay some of the highest prices in the nation for staples such as eggs and milk. Even the grain that feeds the cows on the islands’ two dairy farms is shipped in…..

Related: Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

read … With pineapple and sugar production gone, Hawaii weighs its agricultural future

Coco Palms Greenmail Camp will Stay After Judge Rules Against Them—Will Police Act?

KGI:  A civil case on the matter has begun and will continue on Friday.

The Hawaiians say despite what the judge rules, they have no plans of leaving the 17-acre resort property that has been in ruins since it was damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

“We are going to stay here and put up a big fight,” Kamu Hepa said last week. “There’s no way we can lose.” ….

(Obviously they believe the police will not act to remove them.)

read … Despite what judge rules, occupiers say land is theirs

Suspected driver in fatal Hauula crash has lengthy rap sheet

HNN: …Vika Unga, 36, was booked for investigation of two counts of failure to render aid and one count of negligent homicide.

Police say she was the alleged driver of an SUV traveling northbound on the highway when she veered left, crossed the center line and slammed into a bus stop on the opposite side of the road.

She fled the scene, while her passenger 34-year-old David Kinikini, stayed and told officers he was the driver.

Kinikini was charged with hindering prosecution and released after posting $2,000 bail.

Around 6:30 p.m., Unga turned herself into authorities at the Kahuku Police station and identified herself as the driver….

Court records show a lengthy list of Unga's past traffic violations including driving without a license and insurance, speeding, disregarding stop signs and not wearing a seat belt. In 2007, she was convicted of DUI….

read … Suspected driver in fatal Hauula crash has lengthy rap sheet

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