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Wednesday, June 6, 2018
June 6, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:17 PM :: 3581 Views

Ige Volcano Proclamation: 'Make State Lands Available for Housing'

Safest States--Hawaii Ranks 8th

Elections: 394 Candidates Pull Papers -- 327 File -- 4 Withdraw

VIDEO: 500 More Homes Destroyed--Kapoho Bay Fills with Lava

A Sneaky Way to Approve City Funds for Rail

Hawaii Missile Defense Radar--Public Meetings Set for EIS

Very Few Republicans Running—Aug 11 Primaries Will Decide Many Races

SA: …Political observers say the collapse of the Hawaii Republican Party and changes in the structure of elections in Hawaii have made the Aug. 11 primary election increasingly important even as voter participation in primaries has continued to decline.

Tuesday was the deadline for almost all candidates to file to run for office, and the Democrats have such an overwhelming advantage here that the Republicans could not even manage to field candidates in 33 of 51 state House seats.

The GOP was also unable to put up candidates for eight of 12 state Senate seats by the Tuesday filing deadline. The deadline for a 13th Senate seat has been extended until June 22.

Fifteen Democrats in the House and one in the Senate have no opposition this year, including House Speaker Scott Saiki (D, Downtown-Kakaako-McCully), House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke (D, Punchbowl-­Pauoa-Nuuanu) and House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti (D, Moiliili-Makiki-­Tantalus)….

“Our primaries are our elections because it’s the Democrat who’s going to win,” said Boylan. Certainly there are exceptions to that rule, but today there are no Republicans left in the 25-member state Senate and only five left in the 51-member House….

The number of people participating in Hawaii primary elections has been generally declining over the past 20 years, and dropped to less than 35 percent in 2016….

The primary schedule is further compressed by absentee voting. Nearly 62 percent of the people who voted in the 2016 primary election used absentee mail-in ballots or were absentee walk-in voters, and Toguchi is expecting a similar number of absentee voters this year.

Absentee ballots are distributed 20 days before Election Day, which means the effort to turn out supporters to vote has to “peak” twice in the run-up to Election Day — once for the absentee balloting that begins in July, and once for the regular voting on Aug. 11, Toguchi said….

read … Isle GOP’s collapse makes primary critical

Hee, Lee, Cabanilla, Wooley: Legislative Retreads Want to Get Back in the Game

CB: …Thirteen state Senate seats and all 51 House seats are up for election this fall. More than two dozen candidates seeking those positions are unopposed in the primary, so all they had to do was sign up for the race to advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

But there are a dozen or more seats that are competitive, and there will be several new faces in the Legislature because of incumbents seeking higher office or retiring.

Three empty Senate seats have enticed members of the House and others to run….

Former state Sen. Clayton Hee bowed out of the governor’s race Monday, putting the focus on Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and Gov. David Ige. Hee is instead running for his old Senate seat representing windward Oahu; he’ll battle incumbent Sen. Gil Riviere in the primary….

Sen. Jill Tokuda, who’s running for lieutenant governor, will be leaving her Kaneohe seat (District 24) up for grabs. State Reps. Ken Ito and Jarrett Keohokalole will be squaring off in the Democratic primary in this winner-take-all contest since no Republicans or candidates from other parties filed to run.

Another LG candidate, Sen. Will Espero, has left open his District 19 seat, representing the Ewa area. Rep. Matt LoPresti has filed to run for it, along with fellow Democrats Alicia Maluafiti, a well-known lobbyist, and Veronica Duzon.

It was unclear Tuesday evening whether LoPresti had decided to actually seek the Senate seat or seek re-election to his House District 41 seat. Elections Office records also did not show if Maluafiti had finalized her candidacy.

And in Senate District 3, a Big Island seat that Sen. Josh Green is vacating to run for LG, Democrats Brenda Ford and Hawaii County Councilman Dru Kanuha will be battling it out.

On the House side, former Speaker Joe Souki’s District 8 seat on Maui is vacant for the first time in a generation. …

Troy Hashimoto, whom Ige appointed to fill Souki’s seat till the next election, Justin Hughey, Dain Kane and Mary Wagner will be competing to take his place. No Republicans or other party candidates have filed to run, so the winner in August will become the next District 8 representative.

In another Maui race that’s expected to be competitive, District 12 Rep. Kyle Yamashita will be working to fend off Tiare Lawrence, who came within 350 votes of unseating him in 2016. Winner takes all in that contest too.

On Oahu, Rep. Isaac Choy has chosen to not seek another two-year term representing District 23, which includes Manoa and Punahou.

He won in 2016 by just 70 votes over fellow Democrat Dale Kobayashi, who is giving it another go this election. Kobayashi will face Dylan Armstrong, Elton Fukumoto, Benton Rodden and Andrew Garrett in this winner-takes-all primary.

In another race to fill an empty seat, Democrats Zuri Aki, Dean Hazama, Mae Patricia La Chica and Marilyn Lee will be running to replace Fukumoto. The District 36 seat represents Mililani.

Lee and Aki ran against each other in the 2016 primary too, when Fukumoto ran solo in the GOP primary. Lee won by a more than a 2-to-1 margin, but lost in the general.

Former Rep. Rida Cabanilla will be seeking her old seat District 41 seat back, which LoPresti was expected to leave vacant to run for the Senate. Also running is fellow Democrat Lynn Robinson-Onderko to represent Ewa and Ocean Pointe.

Cabanilla lost her seat to LoPresti in 2014 by 25 percentage points. She had come under fire earlier that year for taking a trip to Azerbaijan, funded by the republic, and then co-sponsoring legislation that critics said rewrote the history of the 1992 conflict there with Russia.

She also drew criticism for applying for a $100,000 grant in aid from the Legislature, which lawmakers initially approved, without disclosing that she controlled the nonprofit that was to receive the money.

On the west side of Oahu, Democrats Stacelynn Eli and Michael Juarez are running to fill the District 43 seat left vacant by Rep. Andria Tupola…

Eli beat former Rep. Karen Awana to become the Democratic nominee in 2016 but lost to Tupola in the general election by a 2-to-1 margin. Nonpartisan candidate Angela Kaaihue and Republican Sailau Timoteo will meet the Democratic winner in the general.

On the windward side of Oahu, former Rep. Jessica Wooley is working to return to the District 48 seat that Keohokalole is leaving so he can run for Senate.

Wooley will face fellow Democrats Keith Bukoski, Randy Gonce and Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi in this winner-take-all primary.

Four Democrats are running in the primary to fill the District 49 seat representing Kaneohe that Ito is leaving to run for Senate. The winner among Shannon Dalire, Natalia Hussey-Burdick, Scot Matayoshi and Maurice Radke will face nonpartisan candidate Adriel Lam in November.

In other House races to watch, Rep. Cedric Gates will be trying to keep his District 44 seat from former Rep. Jo Jordan. She lost to him in 2016 by just 240 votes….

read … Half of the state legislative seats have just one candidate in the primary

Ed Case joins crowded race for Congress, but some see him as a front-runner

HNN: …The Democrat joins a crowded race that includes Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, state Sen. Donna Kim, Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin and state House members Beth Fukumoto and Kaniela Ing.

Case said his years on Capitol Hill give him the advantage.

"I think voters remember my record, mostly they remember it favorably and I think they know what my leadership has been in Congress and in the state for many years,” Case said.

Some analysts agree.

"I think he's the favorite. I think if you're going to bet on this race then Ed Case is probably the person to bet on at this point,” said Colin Moore, a University of Hawaii political science professor….

Analysts said his moderate philosophy and demographics will play key roles in this race.

“There is a large haole constituency out there in the state, it's 20 percent or so of the electorate,” said Boylan.

"If you look at the five or six people who are in the race now, there's not a haole, there's not a Caucasian in race.”

Moore added: "A lot of the candidates have shifted to the left but he's (a moderate) and … he's generally respected and his favorability rating is still high."

The primary election is Aug. 11….

read … Ed Case joins crowded race for Congress, but some see him as a front-runner

Ige, Kim: Fast-Track Temporary Housing

HTH: …Ige is coming to Hilo Thursday to meet with Kim, Snyder said, and the main focus will be on fast-tracking temporary housing.  According to Snyder, Kim said, “Things that took weeks and months to get done in the past has now taken days.”….

read … Vacationland completely wiped out by lava

Proclamation: Make state lands available for housing

SA: …Gov. David Ige signed a second supplemental emergency proclamation Tuesday for housing and law enforcement provisions to ensure the health and safety of residents affected by the eruption activity.

“The lava flow has expanded and overrun more communities as it’s advanced, and earthquakes continue to rock the area. Hundreds of structures have been destroyed, including residential homes,” Ige said in a news release.

Ige, Kim and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working closely to develop a housing plan and supplemental proclamation that would give Hawaii County more options for suitable shelters and rapid rehousing efforts.

At an informational community meeting held Tuesday at Pahoa High & Intermediate School’s cafeteria, Kim told a packed crowd of over 200, “Hang in there, people. We’ll get it done.”

The proclamation permits the governor and/or mayor to initiate housing and shelter assistance to include establishing guidelines for providing accommodations and shelters; identify county, state and private locations and facilities that could be used as shelters, relocation and rehabilitation support for displaced residents; and make state lands available for housing.

At the meeting, Talmadge Magno, administrator for Hawaii County Civil Defense, said it’s going to take the whole island to help recover from this incident.

Approximately 400 people are staying at shelters set up at the Pahoa Community Center and the Keaau Armory; the latter has reached capacity.

Planning Director Michael Yee told attendees of their coordination efforts with faith-based organizations to help find temporary housing for evacuees.

The county is also in the preliminary stages of seeking permanent housing and aims to expedite efforts to find them homes. “The goal is to help people rebuild their lives,” Yee said….

read … Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim loses home to lava

Book Being Ghost-Written for Gabbard

CB: The Hawaii congresswoman has signed with a high-profile literary agency that says it represents “presidential contenders.”….

The Washington-based literary agency Javelin revealed in a Washingtonian article Tuesday that it has Gabbard, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, on its roster of upcoming authors.

Javelin has long been known for helping political conservatives secure book deals, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. In recent years, Javelin has expanded its client list to include some prominent Democrats, such as former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile….

So does this mean Gabbard has her eyes on the Oval Office?  (No.  It means Chris Butler does.)

These days, writing a book is a common prelude to running for president, such as Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father” and Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices.”

“It’s pretty obvious she’s preparing herself for higher office of some sort, and that she’s doing it smartly and intelligently,” said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School….

Among those who have publicly praised her are David Duke, Richard Spencer and Steve Bannon, who was once Trump’s top advisor. She openly disavowed the support of Duke and Spencer, both of whom supported her anti-interventionist views on Syria.  (2 outta 3)

read … Fame Machine

Ige signs bill requiring study of sea-level rise before building

MN: The Maui News – Gov. David Ige has signed into law a bill that requires an analysis of sea-level rise in environmental impact statements, winning praise from environmental groups….

“Sea-level rise is already having an impact on beaches, roadways and homes near the shoreline,” Ige said in an announcement. “As a result, we face difficult land-use decisions, and requiring an analysis of sea-level rise before beginning construction is just plain common sense.”

House Bill 2106 took effect upon Ige’s approval Monday and became Act 17….

read … Ige signs bill requiring study of sea-level rise before building

Anti-TVR Charter Amendment on Maui Ballot

MN: A charter amendment to establish a $20,000 penalty for illegal transient accommodations and a proposal to streamline the processing of legal claims against the county were recommended for approval by a Maui County Council committee Tuesday.

Because of time constraints, the Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee was not able to discuss a third amendment that would pave the way for a hired managing director to handle county operations instead of the mayor. The committee recessed the meeting and scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m. today in Council Chambers on the eighth floor of the Kalana O Maui building to discuss the managing director amendment. Testimony both for and against the amendment was given on Tuesday.

read … Anti-TVR

TVR Regs Working Way Through Hawaii County Council

HTH: …Bill 108, now on its third draft, applies only to unhosted, short-term or vacation rentals where the owner does not live on-site. Hosted rentals, such as bed and breakfasts and home-sharing units, are not addressed in the bill.

The measure is an attempt to prohibit unhosted short-term rentals in residential and agricultural zones, while allowing them in hotel and resort zones as well as commercial districts. Existing rentals in disallowed areas would be able to apply for a nonconforming use certificate that must be renewed annually at a cost of $500.….

read … Vacation rentals bill amendments backed

Gary Hooser Eliminates Himself from Consideration

KGI: First I eliminate the jerks, the bigots, the misogynists, the bullies, and the ignorant, pompous know-it-all’s.

Next, I eliminate those candidates who IMHO have clear conflicts of interest via their employer or other business affiliations. My preference is that the candidate if elected will serve only one master, and that would be the people.

Then, assuming there are still options left on the prospective candidate list, I eliminate the ungrounded, unstable, and those without roots in the community….

read … Gary Hooser

Hawaii Legislators are a bunch of Misogynists

CB: …Men hold most of the leadership positions, setting the agenda and passing legislation.

More than a quarter of Hawaii’s Democratic legislators are female, but men are more likely to hold powerful positions.

Women occupy three of 19 majority caucus leadership roles in the House and Senate. They do a little better when it comes to committee chairmanships, at least in the Senate.

A review of Democratic caucus leadership positions in both chambers found that the proportion of women in those jobs has fluctuated over the last decade, but has dipped slightly in recent years. In 2016, just one of 14 majority caucus leadership roles was held by a woman….

read … Why Women Lack Power In Hawaii’s Legislature

Snorkeler Almost Killed Thanks Rescuers

SA: A drowning survivor Tuesday publicly thanked the first responders who saved his life.

Lawrence “Larry” Gambone and his wife, Marilyn, visitors from Texas, went to Hanauma Bay on May 24 to enjoy one of the island’s most famous snorkeling spots. Gambone, an experienced snorkeler and former Oahu resident, believed he went into cardiac arrest as a result of a previous heart condition.

With tears in his eyes, Gambone hugged and thanked the individuals who played a role in his recovery. “Pulling through, I’ve been told, is miraculous, but a lot of people helped,” he said.

read … Snorkel Rentals Kill

‘Complete Streets’ key issues ignored

SA: …The city administration has ignored community participation, a key requirement that protects the interests of the public in improving our urban environment. Instead, unilateral decisions have been, and continue to be, made that violate the letter and spirit of the Complete Streets legislation. These decisions also continue a pattern and practice of removing public facilities from public access….

read …‘Complete Streets’ key issues ignored

Anti-Uber Bill 35 to be Voted Today

SA: The full-court press by Uber to get its drivers and customers to oppose City Council Bill 35 is set to come down to today’s final vote. Depending on the side of the heated debate, the bill would either impose crippling, outdated taxi-style rules on ride-hailing; or it is needed to fairly align ride-hailing operators to rules that taxis here have long abided by.

Key in today’s debate is “surge pricing,” in which Uber and its ilk spike prices during high-demand peaks — but which the bill is trying to cap. Surge-pricing caps make sense during public-safety emergencies, but overall, cost clamps on ride-hailing would be a disconnect when other sectors such as hotels and airlines routinely do peak-time pricing. Supply-and-demand surges, though, must continue to remain fully transparent, so customers know whether to hail or to pass.

read … Anti-Uber

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