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Tuesday, June 5, 2018
June 5, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:33 PM :: 4466 Views

‘Big Brother is listening’

Elections: 390 Candidates Pull Papers -- 282 File -- Today is Last Day to File

Hee Quits Gubernatorial Race--Will Run for Senate 23 or LG

Hawaii: New Greenhouse Gas Rules Just as Fake as Renewable Energy Rules

Land Swap: A plan to help those displaced by lava

HTH: …The following proposal to lessen this loss to the extent collectively possible is simple; unoriginal; has successful, local, historical precedent; and can be set in motion now.

The county and state (that is “we”) need to effect land transfers with our displaced neighbors on county and state lands not in lava zone 1. The closer the land to Hilo the better.

The acquisition of a place and space will give hope to those most in need of that now. Most likely, the land would be state land in return for which the state, on the face of it, receives “nothing” — that is, title to recently overflown lava land.

The county would be responsible for the basic infrastructure, roads and water. Perhaps federal funds might assist in this effort.

Rather than the patchwork of substandard subdivisions created in the 1960s and ’70s, with attendant headaches and costs persisting in to the 2000s, the infrastructure in these newly created subdivision(s) would be up to current code specifications….

Related: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3

read … A plan to help those displaced by lava

Ed Case Pulls Papers To Enter Hawaii Race For Congress

CB: Former Congressman Ed Case is poised to enter the crowded race to represent urban Oahu in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 65-year-old Democrat pulled nomination papers Monday to run for the 1st Congressional District seat, according to the state Elections Office. He has until the end of business Tuesday to officially file for the Aug. 11 primary ballot.

At least five other Democrats are vying for the party’s nomination, including Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, state Reps. Beth Fukumoto and Kaniela Ing, state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin.

read .. Ed Case Prepares To Enter Hawaii Race For Congress

Kaniela Ing Faces More Campaign Finance Questions — This Time From Feds

CB: …The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Ing’s campaign treasurer, Matthew Kaulana Ing, on May 29 to inform him that the campaign needs to update its latest financial filings or face potential audits and enforcement action.

(We at Hawai’i Free Press would like to take this moment to point out that “We Told You So.”  Thanks for listening.  Now please do keep reading and feel free to stop and chuckle to yourself every few sentences or so.)

And while the omissions are seemingly minor, they hint at a larger pattern that has gotten candidate Ing into trouble with the state of Hawaii’s own campaign finance watchdog.

According to the FEC’s letter, Ing’s campaign left out key information about how he’s spending his money …

The letter states Ing’s campaign failed to note the purpose of certain itemized expenses.

The FEC additionally found that Ing did not provide complete information about reimbursements the campaign made to staffers for travel expenses, event tickets and T-shirts….

The FEC has also notified Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, who’s running for the same seat in Congress, of problems in his campaign filings, including for taking contributions above federal limits and getting money from groups that are not registered as political committees with the FEC….

Ing’s campaign has until July 3 to respond to the FEC’s concerns. Martin has until July 5.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, Ing, the Maui-based lawmaker, must contend with serious allegations of financial mismanagement of his state campaign.

Last month, the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission filed a 32-count complaint against Ing and his campaign after finding that over a five-year period he failed to disclose nearly $29,000 in contributions and $88,000 in expenditures.

The commission — which subpoenaed bank records as part of its investigation — found that Ing used his campaign account to pay for personal expenses, including his rent and a credit card payment for his partner, (Corporate Lobbyist) Khara Jabola-Carolus, who is the executive director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.

The Campaign Spending Commission also noted a July 2016 incident in which Ing was arrested for failing to appear in court regarding a motor vehicle insurance violation.

According to the complaint, Ing called the commission in August 2016 to see if he could use campaign funds to pay for his legal fees in the case. He was told he could not.

Bank records obtained by the commission show that Ing cut a $1,000 check from his personal bank account to a law firm on Sept. 8, 2016. Several days later, on Sept. 14, Ing deposited a check for $1,921.96 that was made out to his campaign into his personal account.

In all, the commission found that Ing’s campaign filed 23 financial reports that covered the election periods from July 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2016. Not a single one, the commission said, was “true, complete and accurate.” 

(Yup.  That’s Ing.)

The commission has recommended Ing reimburse his campaign $2,344 as well as pay a fine of $15,422 — money that can come out of his campaign account.

His campaign could also be forced to pay $2,000 into the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund, which provides public financing for campaigns.

The commission also has the option to forward the case for criminal prosecution….

PDF: Feds Letter to Ing Campaign

read … This Time From Feds

Budget: More Tax Hikes -- ‘Easy Money’ on Kauai

KGI: …The mayor submitted a $214 million budget in March.

A key action taken by the council was an increase in real property taxes for vacation rentals and homes classified as residential investor properties. The increase is expected to generate $4.4 million in revenue for the county. About $2.7 million will be allocated to the Housing Development Fund for affordable housing projects.

The tax increase proposed by Councilmember Mason Chock is something Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura said she supported….

In the budget, the Department of Parks and Recreation received $725,000 for the construction of an ADA compliant comfort station at the Vidinha Stadium Soccer Fields…

The reserve fund will be replenished with nearly $1 million, while $22,085 was allocated to the Open Space, Public Access and Natural Preservation Fund. It’s county policy to set aside 30 percent of the previous year’s General Fund revenues for reserves and with the historic flooding that occurred in April, Yukimura said the disaster made it clear how wise this practice is.

Because the reserve is healthy, the county is able to easily appropriate monies for flood relief, without impairing normal County operations, she said.

The newly established General Excise Tax is projected to add $12.5 million to the budget for repairs and construction to the infrastructure, including islandwide road resurfacing and bridge maintenance and repairs….

read … Tax Hikes

Bill 35: “Uber service on Oahu is at risk”

SA: …Uber sent emails to hundreds of thousands of its customers and drivers Monday urging them to submit testimony to the Honolulu City Council opposing a bill that would place more restrictions on the transportation network company and other operations like it.

The email featured the subject line “Uber service on Oahu is at risk.”

Bill 35, the latest in the emotional tug of war between the upstart ride-­hailing companies and drivers and the more traditional taxi companies and their cabbies, is up for a final vote 10 a.m. Wednesday at Honolulu Hale….

read … “Uber service on Oahu is at risk.”

Hawaiian Airlines says volcanic eruption led to modest drop in bookings

CNBC: The biggest impact has been on flights from Honolulu to Hilo and Kona, airports located on the Big Island where the volcano is erupting, CEO Peter Ingram said on the sidelines of an airline industry conference.

Tourism authorities last month said summer bookings for hotels on Hawaii's Big Island have fallen almost 50 percent since the volcano began spewing lava and toxic gases on May 3.

Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said at a conference in New York on Monday that the news coverage of Hawaii's volcanic activity has lead to a decline in advanced bookings to Hawaii….

read … Drop

Rents for single-family homes in Hawaii on the decline

HNN: …Analysis from Real Property Management Alliance along with RentRange show that rents for single-family homes in the state have declined by 4 percent.

The numbers were collected by comparing rent of three-bedroom single-family homes in Hawaii over the last two years. Data collected in the first quarter of 2018 revealed the average to be $2,529, with 2017's average to be $2,642.

“The amount that landlords can charge for long-term rentals in Hawaii has declined,” said Michael Arashiro, General Manager of Real Property Management Alliance. “Landlords need to ensure that the rent they are charging is competitive.”

The report also revealed that 33.67 percent of single-family homes in Hawaii are being rented….

read … Decline

After Accepting Shelter, 11 Homeless Get Jobs

SA: …The latest testimonial comes from people such as Stephanie Burge, unemployed for six years and living in an encampment formed by homeless individuals and families near Kakaako Waterfront Park. She related her experience to Honolulu Star-Advertiser writer Dan Nakaso in a story published Saturday.

The 32-year-old Honolulu woman completed a training program offered at the Next Step Shelter and now works as a server at Big City Diner in Kaimuki. She was among 14 shelter residents who completed the five-week program of job preparation sessions with professional consultant Pam Chambers. All but three of the trainees already have secured jobs….

entering a cooperative venture with Next Step or any of the other shelter programs would be a smart move.

There are various ways of attaining similar outcomes. Kahauiki Village, the transitional housing community for the formerly homeless established off Nimitz Highway with pre-fab units, also involved a partnership with a nearby employer, United Laundry Services. Residents became eligible for jobs at the laundry company.

All of these programs show the benefit of efforts to deter people from life on the streets, where statistics show their rapid deterioration, physically, mentally and socially. It’s essential to keep encouraging the homeless to take shelter — whether in an emergency facility such as Next Step or the Institute for Human Services, or in a transitional setting….

read … Jobs

Court Ruling Gives Usual Anti-Military Activists an Angle of Attack Against Pohakuloa

CB: …In April, a Honolulu Circuit Court judge ruled that the state had failed to fulfill the obligations of the PTA lease, specifically to malama aina or care for the land.

One of the suit’s co-plaintiffs, Clarence Ku Ching, said that while he sympathizes with individual soldiers, he is a “pro-peace, anti-military guy” opposed to sacred land being used for “getting ready to make war and go kill people.” He called the ruling a “big win for the aina.”

In a statement following the ruling, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said, “We appreciate that this proceeding brought further focus to regular inspections and ongoing work with the Army to properly steward the leased lands. This work has already been under way for several years.”…

CB: Sierra Club Complains About Red Hill

read … The Usual Suspects

Anti-Sunscreen Hysteria Part of Scheme to Force Approval of New Ingredients?

TG: The oily stuff Americans slather on before heading to the beach this summer probably won't give them as much protection as the products sold in other countries. Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada: All have sunscreens that better shield against cancer-causing skin damage, and feel better on the skin, too.

Stricter approval standards in the U.S. have brought innovation to a standstill and limited options to defend against the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. That means Americans don't have access to more effective filters developed by chemicals makers such as BASF and cosmetics companies such as L'Oreal, which have been widely used for years in sunscreens outside the U.S.

"I don't know why this is being held up," said Wang, who has researched and published his findings on the inferiority of U.S. versions. "If you had a better sunscreen, perhaps more people would want to use it." That would "theoretically prevent more skin cancers."

The $1.2 billion sunscreen industry has turned to Congress for help in clearing the way for better sunscreens. Pending legislation to speed approvals took on even more urgency recently when Hawaiian lawmakers voted to ban two ingredients most relied on in the U.S. because the chemicals may harm coral reefs.

"With Hawaii, we are going in the wrong direction," said Michael Kaplan, president of the Melanoma Research Alliance. "It's a real concern from my perspective, because over 9,000 people die every year from melanoma." …

One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, including 2.3 percent of Americans who will be diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of the disease. The incidence of melanoma has doubled since 1985, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Oxybenzone and zinc oxide - the white stuff - are the only two UVA filters broadly permitted in the U.S. DSM sees the Hawaii ban, which would apply to oxybenzone, as boosting its plans to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration this year for its sunscreen alternatives. Its Parsol Max and Parsol Shield have been available in Europe for years and provide protection against UVA and UVB.

No new sunscreen filters have been approved in the U.S. since the late 1990s, mainly because they're regulated as over-the-counter medicines, which have stricter standards than cosmetics. The European Union and most other countries treat sunscreens as cosmetics.

The industry first turned to Congress in 2014 for help in forcing the FDA to decide on long-pending applications. The agency responded by rejecting all eight new ingredients and asking for more testing data to prove the chemicals are safe when absorbed by the skin.

Two still under FDA review, BASF's Tinosorb and L'Oreal's Mexoryl, offer the most promise for improved UVA protection and low toxicity, said David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, which publishes an annual Guide to Sunscreens.

read … Your outdated U.S. sunscreen exposes you to needless cancer risk

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