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Friday, June 8, 2018
June 8, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:20 PM :: 2829 Views

UPW Endorses Ige, UHPA Endorses Hanabusa

Ige Releases $12M for Volcano Response

'Surge pricing' ban will hurt Honolulu consumers

As least we’re not as bad as California

Hawaii #3 in Sin Taxes

S2980: Missile Defense for Hawaii, Alaska

VA Reform: Mission Act streamlines community care options for veterans

Filing Open Until June 22 for Ewa Beach Senate Dist 19 Race

Nago Closes Puna Polling Places—Absentee-Only for Lava Zone

No Serious Challengers for November--Dems Control Hawaii Congress races

HNN: …Hirono has no opponent at all in the Aug. 11 primary.  While eight Republicans did file for that party’s primary by the filing deadline, none has held elective office or has the resources or name recognition to mount a serious campaign to challenge Hirono….

Waikoloa resident Joy J. Allison is running as a member of the Constitution Party. The race also attracted three non-partisan candidates, Charles David Haverty of Honolulu, Matthew Kameeiamoku Maertens of Ewa Beach and Arturo P. Reyes of Waipahu.

The late entry of former Democratic Congressman Ed Case into the crowded field to fill the urban Oahu seat vacated by gubernatorial candidate Colleen Hanabusa has dramatically changed the dynamics of the race.

Experts say Case is likely the new frontrunner because of high name recognition due to four years in congress and two high profile efforts at statewide office.

Retired political science professor Dan Boylan also said Case also will be helped by being the only Caucasian in the field of six well known officeholders.

He faces state Sen. Donna Kim, Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, Honolulu Council Chairman Ernie Martin state Reps. Beth Fukumoto and Kaniela Ing and Palasi S. Puletasi, of Ewa Beach, in the Democratic Primary.

In the Republican Primary for the 1st District, former state Rep. Campbell “Cam” Cavasso is the only candidate with experience in elective office…

With incumbent Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard running for re-election, the Second Congressional District, made up of suburban Oahu and the neighbor islands, has a much less crowded field.

In the Democratic primary, Gabbard is being challenged by environmental scientist and foster care advocate Sheryl Campagna. Campagna was endorsed by the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

Also running as a Democrat is Anthony Tony Austin, whose website identifies him as a small business owner and advocate for civil rights, veterans and the environment.

The only other candidate in the 2nd Congressional race is Republican Brian Evans whose campaign website says he is a singer and author whose issues include a nationwide campaign for sleep apnea awareness….

read … Hirono gets free ride as Dems dominate Hawaii Congress races

Hawaii County GE Tax Faces June 19 Council Vote

HTH: …Finance Director Deanna Sako said the administration will await the council’s June 19 vote on a general excise tax increase before determining how best to balance the budget. Sako had presented lists of possible cuts, (excuses) including a $5 million and a $7 million spending cut scenario.

“It’s all going to depend on what happens with the general excise tax,” Sako said Thursday.

Even the smaller list of cuts would (is designed to) entail noticeable reductions in county services, such as doing away with recycling programs, cutting county swimming pool hours to three days a week, suspending festivals such as the Cherry Blossom Festival and July 4 celebrations, and doing away with programs such as Summer Fun, fishing derbies and track and field….  (IQ Test: Are you fooled by this list?) 

VIDEO: Mayor Tells Council “Needs Are Greater Than We’ve Ever Seen”

Reality: Washington Monument Gambit

read … Tax Hike

New housing now critical on Hawaii island

SA: Prospects for Hawaii island to rebound from the loss of what is now about 600 homes destroyed by lava rose significantly Thursday with a group hug and a $12 million down payment.

Mayor Harry Kim said his outlook on disaster recovery was at its highest point Thursday morning after concluding that county, state and federal officials are all on the same page for creating a new community for those who have been displaced by the eruption that began May 3 and continues….

Going forward, FEMA can help reimburse the county and state for disaster recovery expenses and will be part of a task force that explores and designs a new community for displaced residents. The federal agency can provide technical assistance including a community planner.

However, FEMA’s Nunn cautioned that the process will not be quick.

A lot of discussion and decisions will need to happen — including whether the community should be in the highest-risk zones for future lava outbreaks.

“This is a marathon,” Nunn said. “It’s not a sprint.”…

Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said some agency operations are able to scale back somewhat given the established channel leading from fissure 8 in Leilani Estates to the ocean.

Fissure 8 was the only source of flowing lava Thursday.

In another change, Civil Defense abolished a curfew midday Thursday that applied to remaining Leilani Estates residents who had been barred from returning to their homes after 6 p.m. and before 7 a.m.

The curfew had been a sore point among many of the estimated 70 or so residents still living in the subdivision, which previously had around 750 homes….

Big Q: Should the government create/help subsidize a new community for Puna lava evacuees?

KITV: …Senator Russell Ruderman, who represents Puna, has been pushing for a proposal that gives residents who lost their homes to lava an opportunity to rebuild on state land….

read … Hawaii island mayor ‘positive’ as state covers county lava relief expenses  

Kauai Councilman: Since TVRs are Shut Down, They Should be Given to Flood Victims

HNN: …"What we're finding is the recoveries are taking a lot longer. So while we'd love to get people into their home in two to three months, the fact is that we probably have to look at a period of two years," Chock said.

Because of this, county leaders and community groups are trying to come up with creative ways to get rooves over people's heads sooner.

Chock says vacation rentals in Wainiha and Haena may be a solution. (Or a social engineering opportunity.)

Right now, these rentals aren't allowed to operate or take in visitors under Mayor Carvalho's emergency proclamation.

"I think what we're looking at is trying to appeal to the vacation rental owners to kind of meet the community halfway and say there's a need, will you be able to fill it," said Chock. "This opportunity could really take us the length of the emergency proclamation, which I can anticipate going into November."

Chock says another idea -- that could also be a long-term solution -- is the building of Komatsu homes.

These emergency homes are the same ones used for tsunami victims in Japan and at Kahauiki Village on Oahu. …

read … Steal the TVRs

Jones Act drives up everyone’s costs

KGI: …In the Aloha State, we’re used to sky-high prices for groceries and fuel because of an old protectionist shipping law known as the Jones Act. But the Jones Act is not just a Hawaii problem — it’s a national problem….

The law effectively imposes higher shipping costs from one American port to another American port. For example, shipping oil from Texas to New England costs about $6 a barrel, while shipping to Europe costs just $2 a barrel. This kind of protectionism costs the petroleum industry alone more than $158 million every year, according to a report released by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii titled, “The Jones Act in Perspective.”

The report shows that industries across the nation could save millions of dollars if the Jones Act problem were fixed, including the water sector ($1.5 billion), chemicals ($103 million), air transportation ($91 million), steel ($50 million) and lumber ($32 million).

PDF: The Jones Act in Perspective

read … Jones Act drives up everyone’s costs

Status Update: Four Hawaii Climate Change Legal Actions

IM: …The first proceeding involved coal use on Maui….The second proceeding involves coal use on O`ahu….The third proceeding involves fracked Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)….The fourth proceeding involves biomass on the Hamakua Coast….

Reality: Clean Energy Fail: While Most States Clean Up, Hawaii CO2 Emissions Rise Since '08

read …  Status Update: Four Hawaii Climate Change Legal Actions

Health Beat: Bring Back The Mental Hospitals

CB: …The days of locking such people up ended when President Ronald Reagan signed the Ominbus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1987 that ended the federal government’s role in the institutionalized care of the mentally ill.

Block grants were given to the states, and the days of the “asylum” were over. Thousands of people were released into society as mental hospitals closed, with the focus on community-based care, rather than institutionalization.

It may have seemed like a more humane way to treat the mentally ill, but was it?

Funding for mental health has not kept up with the demand, and as a result, fewer beds are available for  long-term care. We have not provided the best care for those who need it most.

In Hawaii it is estimated that a third or more of the homeless suffer from mental illness. These people are around for all to see, at the bus stops, downtown walking against the lights pushing shopping carts of all of their worldly belongings, shouting to themselves or others late at night in public places. Still others may suffer in silence, living in the shadows.

Many have been jailed, putting additional burdens on correctional facilities unequipped to handle them.

These are the people that previously would have been housed in mental health facilities. They may not be capable of seeking the help they need, or not know they have an illness that could be treated.

It’s time to bring back the idea of long-term federally funded mental health hospitals where those with serious mental disorders can live out their lives in a safe environment.….

Related: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read … Health Beat: Bring Back The Mental Hospitals

Suicide up 18% in Hawaii

HNN: …Staggering new numbers show suicide is rising in nearly every state across the United States.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016.

In Hawaii, rates went up about 18-percent from 1999 to 2016.

"Suicide does tend to rise during the holidays or at least that's what some early reports said. So, we would have to watch, especially with people on the Big Island who have lost their homes. Now they have no place to have Christmas or Thanksgiving," said Hawaii Family Forum President Eva Andrade.

The report also states suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of the states since 1999.

Local suicide prevention experts say suicide rates also tend to be higher on neighbor islands….

LINK: CDC Report

read … Suicide

Hawaii: Abortion to Lose $830K Federal Subsidy

CB: …Hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant funding for Hawaii Planned Parenthood clinics are in jeopardy because of a Trump administration proposal to cut funds for family planning facilities that offer abortions.

Using federal dollars to pay for abortion has been prohibited since the 1970s. But the proposed rule change would block government money from going to any family planning facility that offers abortions. It would also prohibit abortion referrals and rescind the requirement that women with unplanned pregnancies receive counseling on all of their reproductive options.

There are two Planned Parenthood clinics in Hawaii, one on Oahu and the other on Maui. Their services include abortions, birth control, pregnancy testing, the morning-after pill and women’s health examinations….

read … Trump Plan Would Cost Planned Parenthood In Hawaii $830,000

Eruption Threatens Future Of Some Big Island Charter Schools

CB: …While a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on May 4 and the continuous lava flow hasn’t actually damaged any school facilities, the flow has so far cut off physical access to one charter in Pahoa — Kua O Ka La Public Charter School — which serves 232 preK-12 students….

read … Eruption Threatens Future Of Some Big Island Charter Schools

Federal funding may finally flow for Ala Wai Canal flood control

The U.S. House has approved a measure that includes $199 million for a flood control project in the Ala Wai watershed, including the Ala Wai Canal that borders Waikiki…. The corps has been looking at a project that would include retention basins to hold back floodwaters upstream in Manoa and Palolo. But the preliminary plan also includes a four-foot high wall on the banks of the Ala Wai to contain some of the flooding….

read … Federal funding may finally flow for Ala Wai Canal flood control

Honolulu agency tasked with determining Uber, Lyft price cap opposes measure

PBN: …During the hearing, Honolulu Department of Customer Services Deputy Director Randy Leong told council members that his department is opposed to determining what price a transportation network company should operate at.

“The reason for our opposition to determining the fares is that with [transportation network companies], the consumer has the ability to see what the price is before getting into the vehicle, unlike taxis,” Leong said. “By disclosing the fare in the app, the rider is provided a notice and can decide whether to accept the ride or not.”

After Councilmember Trevor Ozawa asked Leong how his department would determine or implement the cap, Leong said the task would be difficult.

“We’d have to sit down and discuss with [industry experts] to make a determination,” he said. “Setting a price, setting a cap, dictating to a business what they are going to be charging the public and how they are going to be charging it, it’s difficult for a department to do.” …

The bill, which would be the first of its kind in the United States, now heads to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s desk, where he will have 10 days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature…. 

Lexology: How big is the gig economy?

read … Honolulu agency tasked with determining Uber, Lyft price cap opposes measure

Loss of Uber Means More Drunk Drivers, Highway Deaths

HNN: …Losing any kind of ride sharing or transportation option is upsetting for some people.

Carol McNamee, the president of MADD said if any ride share service leave Hawaii it would be a great loss.

"We think it's important for safety of the public for all these different kinds of opportunities to be available," McNamee said….

SA: Taxis should adapt to new competition

read … Socialism Kills

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