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Monday, June 18, 2018
June 18, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:04 PM :: 3438 Views

Maui BnB Bill Beyond Draconian

MN: …A bill aimed at more enforcement of bed-and-breakfast operations got some of its teeth removed Friday when Maui County Council members amended it to give operators a 30-day grace period to renew their county permits.

Citing previous committee testimony from legal operators who may, for good reason, not be able to renew their permits on time, Council Member Don Guzman proposed the amendment. It also would restrict operators, pending permit approval, from advertising and accepting new reservations during the grace period.

Guzman said he knows that many bed-and-breakfast owners are residents who live on site. He noted that, under the initial proposed bill, if operators failed to renew their permits, they would need to wait two years to apply for a new permit.

A late fee for untimely filers would be determined at a later date, Guzman said. The amendment granting a 30-day grace period was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Council Member Elle Cochran dissenting. Council Members Alika Atay and Kelly King were excused.

Guzman proposed another amendment that failed to garner enough votes. Under the proposed bill, an “owner-proprietor shall allow compliance inspections to be conducted within one-hour notice.” Refusal could result in a permit revocation.

Guzman proposed giving a 24-hour notice for inspections. At the council’s Land Use Committee last month, some bed-and-breakfast owners were concerned about not being able to meet that one-hour notice inspection times….

read … Bed-and-breakfast enforcement bill loses some bite

Rule 48: Lawyers Play Delaying Game with Deadly Effect

SA: …She was referring to a driving-under-the-influence charge against Sierra Burns that a state judge dismissed in October 2016 after prosecutors requested a continuance, citing court congestion, according to online records.

The prosecution made the request just 2-1/2 weeks before a deadline to begin the trial was to lapse….

The judge denied the request and dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning prosecutors were free to refile the misdemeanor charge. They never did.

Just over a year later, Daniel Mole, 23, and his friend Jonah Ragsdale, 21, were fatally struck by a vehicle in Makaha

Take the one against Veronica Garcia, who was charged with DUI and speeding in October 2016. She pleaded not guilty.

Over the next 14 months, her case was continued eight times, with the first seven coming at the request of the defense, according to online court minutes. One of those requests was due to the defense’s anticipation of court congestion. Seven cases were ready for trial that day.

After the seven defense-requested continuances, the prosecution sought its first one in December 2017 because a key witness, a police officer, was not present and could not be located, the minutes say. The request came about a month and a half before the so-called Rule 48 deadline, which requires trials to start within six months.

On Dec. 28 the judge denied the request and dismissed the case without prejudice, giving prosecutors an opportunity to refile the charges. They did not….

When the Honolulu Star-Advertiser sat in on a morning DUI calendar on the 10th floor of the Alakea Street courthouse in late April, a congested docket prompted Judge William Domingo to postpone three cases in which the prosecution and defense said they were ready for trial. The judge pored over a calendar on his computer screen to find where he could squeeze in the three cases. One was pushed to the following week, but two were moved to late June, a two-month delay.

As scenarios like this play out again and again, police officers and other witnesses wait idly in the courthouse hallway for their cases to be called….

Over the past decade the number of misdemeanor DUI cases has increased 20 percent in the 1st Circuit, which covers Oahu. Since 2003 the Oahu DUI cases have more than doubled, hitting nearly 4,900 last year.

Yet the number of Oahu District Court judges, who hear misdemeanor cases, has not increased since the early 1980s, according to the Judiciary.

At the same time, more DUI trials are being held, exacerbating the congestion problem….

read … Deadly Game

Many Open Seats on Kauai

KGI: …Adding to the intensity is that 2018 will be a year of potentially momentous change in county government.

Consider: On the County Council, three of seven spots open up this year. Two current members — Mel Rapozo and JoAnn Yukimura — have termed out and are running for mayor; Derek Kawakami is stepping down from the council to run for mayor.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho is terming out after 10 years in office — more than any mayor in county history. Unlike his predecessors, Carvalho has not publicly anointed a successor, meaning that the mayor’s race with seven candidates is theoretically wide open. At this point, Kawakami and Mel Rapozo seem clear leaders.

And, on top of all that, the police and fire chiefs have announced plans to retire. So those two critical public safety agencies will be in the throes of new leadership during this election year….

read … Narrowing the field of candidates

Every moment a wind turbine Stops spinning, Hawaii’s people and wildlife benefit

HWFI: Every moment a wind turbine STOPS spinning, Hawaii’s people and wildlife benefit.  Let’s do real conservation instead of pouring half a billion dollars into the pockets of foreign investors.

After our June 4th Sunset Elementary evening meeting with the leadership of the Hawaii House, where we learned Hawaii planned to meet clean energy targets using carbon offsets, I did some math.  The calculations we compiled these past two weeks are going to surprise you:

For the $0.15 to $0.22/kwh we would pay Champlin (Na Pua Makani) and Kawailoa Wind Farm to feed power into the grid, the World would be better off if we burned coal (at $0.05/kwh) and used the remaining $0.10 to $0.17/kwh (which amounts to $33 million/year; $660 million over a 20-year period) to pay  The Nature Conservancy or Hawaii Forest Industry Association to plant forests to sequester the CO2 emissions from that coal (Link to my Carbon Calculations Spreadsheet).  That $33 million per year, in tree planting would offset the CO2 from that small amount of coal burning 20- to 36-times over.  It looks like that same $33 million/year we’d be giving away to these two wind farms would also be enough money to double the Hawaii DLNR’s total annual statewide budget (for DOFAW plus all the other Divisions).

(CLUE: Natural gas is cleaner and cheaper than coal.  That’s why the green energy scammers don’t want LNG in Hawaii.)

Instead of paying these two proposed wind farms a combined $44 million/year to feed power into the grid (Kawailoa’s gross receipts is approximately $34 million/year and Na Pua Makani would gross around $10 million/year), we could instead produce that same amount of power by burning coal, at an annual total cost of $11 million and use the remaining $33 million per year to pay a non-profit to plant trees to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.  Over a 20-year wind farm operation period, $33 million in carbon offset funding per year amounts to $660 million (more than half a billion dollars) that could have paid to plant koa trees that live for 80 years – their dense wood could then have been made into furniture that’s so resistant to damage that it lasts another 80 – plus years….

read … Hawaii Wind Farm Info

PUC: Big Island to get More Expensive Windfarms and Solar Farms

WHT: …The state Public Utilities Commission says it authorized Hawaii Electric Light Co. to expedite selection of new renewable energy projects due to the loss of Puna Geothermal Venture.

PGV, a 38-megawatt geothermal power plant, is isolated because of the Kilauea eruption in lower Puna.

HELCO currently is reviewing responses to a request for proposals it issued earlier this year for another 20 megawatts of renewable energy. A spokesman for the PUC said the response plan allows HELCO to select more than one proposal and will expedite an additional RFP for renewable energy projects on Hawaii Island that is expected later.

A PUC press release said selections for the current RFP will be done in the third quarter of 2018. The PUC also is asking other Hawaiian Electric companies in the state to expedite processing of renewable energy proposals….

The PUC said in a press release that 2.5 megawatts of distributed renewable projects are ready for final processing, some of which involve battery storage.

Demand response, done with assistance from Hawaii Energy, would start with large commercial and industrial customers…. 

read … HELCO gets OK to expedite selection of new energy projects

New tax credit to health professionals who train

KITV: Starting January, volunteer health professors can get tax credit for training future doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

More than 12-hundred physicians in Hawaii also volunteer as medical professors - also known as "preceptors."

They donate their time to train students at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, allowing future doctors to learn first-hand from experienced doctors while “on the job.”

A new law signed last week allows preceptors to get an annual tax credit of up to $5,000 per year, for their service.

read … New tax credit to health professionals who train

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