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Sunday, July 1, 2018
July 1, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:43 PM :: 4117 Views

It’s Not Easy Bein’ — an Employer

State Payroll Modernization Readies for ‘Group 2’ Rollout

60,000 – 80,000 Lots to be Wiped Out? Ban on new construction in lava zones proposed

SA: ….Given the destruction by the current eruption, “I think that the county itself needs to be made clear that we will not allow any more buildings in zones 1 and 2,” Inouye said in a candidate forum in Hilo last week.

Inouye said lawmakers and others are considering creating a new subdivision in a less risky area where residents can be relocated, and other political leaders are thinking along somewhat similar lines.

At another candidate forum earlier this month in Kona, Gov. David Ige also said he does not believe construction of new homes or businesses should be allowed in the highest risk lava zone, which is known as lava zone 1….

Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland, which were also wiped out by the ongoing Kilauea flow, were in lava zones 1 and 2, and had a combined total of nearly 500 lots. Much of the sprawling subdivision of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates in Kau — which has more than 11,000 lots — is also in zone 1, he noted.

Lava zone 2 is far more expansive. In Puna, zone 2 includes Pahoa itself, a growing area where new county facilities have been built and a new shopping center is under construction. And that is just for starters.

“I do think people are going to be a little taken aback when they realize South Kona — and I do mean most of South Kona all the way down to the ocean — and almost the entire southwest part of the island which is all of Kau is zone 1 or 2,” Kim said. “What are you saying? No building at that area? I think you’re going to have South Kona yell and scream at you.”

Nanawale Estates, which is about a mile from the ongoing eruption, has more than 3,400 lots and sits in lava zone 2. Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Shores, which have more than 3,000 lots, are also in zone 2.

Other zone 2 subdivisions in the area include Puna Beach Palisades with about 150 lots; Waawaa with nearly 180 lots; and Kalapana Seaview Estates with nearly 1,000 lots.

Longtime Puna Resident Jon Olson, whose home in Leilani Estates was destroyed by the May 3 flow, estimates there are 60,000 to 80,000 separate parcels in lava zones 1 and 2. The state allowed and the county permitted the subdivisions that created all of those parcels, and the owners and residents now have vested property rights, he said.

“The gods giveth, the gods taketh away, but are the gods willing to pay for it?” Olson asked. “They sold all these people these lots, and they paid taxes on them for 60 years, and you’re just going to do what? Explain to me the process by which these people recoup their investment.”

Olson, 73, said the government can either gradually change the land uses in the high-risk lava zones through a voluntary relocation program, or can try to condemn land to force people out — and trigger a deluge of litigation….

State Sen. Russell Ruderman, (D-Puna), said a ban on new construction in high-risk lava zones would require that property owners be compensated for the development rights they would lose. “That might be appropriate, and it might be a mechanism to get people money to go elsewhere. It’s useful for discussion,” Ruderman said.

“I think that would be very, very unpopular to do,” he said. “I also think it’s premature to decide that, because we have to see what’s going to happen with the eruption before we can really know what’s the best way to move forward. It would also be tremendously unpopular. I mean, can you imagine the outcry?”

Ruderman has proposed that a new subdivision be developed on state land in the less risky lava zone 3 in Puna between the existing subdivisions of Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Paradise Park. He hopes that offering lots there to evacuees will help convince them to not go back to Leilani or other higher-risk areas….

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

read … Ban on new construction in lava zones proposed

Hawaii Union Bosses Have No Idea How to Extract Money from Workers Without Compulsion

SA: …Hawaii’s Legislature, anticipating major GOP-supported policy changes coming out of Washington, passed House Bill 1932, which would allow the state to pass emergency, temporary rules “to meet the requirements of federal law” while “preserving the values and goals of Hawaii law.”

However, it seems unlikely these efforts will amount to much if public employee unions can’t get its members to buy in.

Hawaii’s high cost of living will make it tempting for employees to keep their money. And as Star-Advertiser columnist Richard Borreca notes in today’s column, political engagement is down and millennials aren’t thinking about settling into the life of a bureaucrat with an iffy pension plan.

Furthermore, the unions should be more concerned about the financial health of their employer — that’s us, the taxpayers. That outlook is uncertain at best. The state’s unfunded liability for its public pension and health-care benefits now top $25 billion, raising doubts that those millennials will even see a pension. Benefits for new employees have been reduced, and it’s getting more difficult to fill vacancies with long-term, loyal union workers.

It seems self-evident that for public-sector unions in Hawaii to continue to thrive on voluntary contributions, they will have to adapt. That could mean offering different services its younger members want. But it also could mean negotiating contracts that allow for more flexible working conditions, rewarding innovation and allowing employees and management to move more nimbly to meet rapidly changing technological and societal norms. It should mean unions that are full partners in helping government operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, advocating good public policy as well as good wages and benefits….

read … Ruling will force unions to adapt

Tulsi Gabbard: Hypocrisy is as Hypocrisy Does

Shapiro: …>> U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard signed with a literary agency to write a book, fueling speculation about her presidential ambitions. The working title is, “Enough About You, Let’s Talk About Me.”

>> Gabbard, who bashed Hillary Clinton for not debating Bernie Sanders enough, is refusing to debate her primary opponent Sherry Alu Campagna. Hypocrisy is as hypocrisy does….

read … Hypocrisy

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, once a thorn in scandal-plagued DNC’s side, gets taste of her own medicine

BPR: …Three years ago she spoke out publicly about the scandal-plagued Democrat National Committee’s refusal to schedule enough primary debates for the 2016 presidential election.

Her criticism wound up drawing the ire of then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who took issue with her complaining about the DNC’s policies to the media….

The problem is that, just like with every other leftist in the known universe, Gabbard doesn’t practice what she preaches. Not by a long shot.

In an interview this week with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, her primary challenger for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, Sherry Campagna, revealed that Gabbard has been blocking primary debates.

“Blocking debates from happening through non-participation is the opposite of democracy,” Campagna said in a statement. “I’ve asked for a debate. I have received silence for merely presenting a choice.”

That’s right, the same woman who complained about the DNC effectively blocking debates between then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her challengers — including Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Gabbard endorsed in 2016 — is now blocking her own primary opponents from debating her.

Gotta love the irony …

read … Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, once a thorn in scandal-plagued DNC’s side, gets taste of her own medicine

Fewer women applying for judge positions in Hawaii

SA: …In the early 2000s, women held just over a third of the judge positions in state courts, a level that raised concerns about too few females serving on the bench.

Women make up half the state’s adult population, and a judicial bench that reflects the community it serves is considered vital for an effective court system.

Over the past nearly 15 years, however, the proportion of women serving as full-time state judges has improved only slightly, disappointing those who believe more parity is essential.

Today, women make up 39 percent of the 80 bench seats, compared with 36 percent in 2004.

And the rate that women apply for openings has slowed in recent years, prompting questions about why more are not seeking the jobs.

From 2012 through 2016, men applied at a rate 2-1/2 times that of women, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser analysis of online Judiciary data. Since then, the rate has increased to nearly 3-1/2 times.

The disparity has persisted even as the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law has churned out more women than men graduates over the years.

In 2005, for instance, 61 women obtained their law degrees, compared with 40 men. This year 48 women and 44 men graduated….

read … Fewer women applying for judge positions in Hawaii

Does it matter that Kaniela claims to be progressive?

ILind: I’m having lots of trouble swallowing Rep. Kaniela Ing’s claim that he deserves to be supported in the 1st District congressional race because he’s a self-proclaimed “progressive.”

The problem is that Ing has now spent months apologizing for his own past behavior.

He’s had to apologize for claiming a university degree he actually didn’t have.

And he’s had to apologize repeatedly for ignoring campaign spending laws over several elections, during which he failed to disclose the majority (60%) of his campaign’s expenses for past legislative races as required by law. He’s asking voters to just walk past the $15,000 fine imposed by the Campaign Spending Commission for dozens of prior violations of state campaign laws.

This isn’t your everyday commission action. It’s serious stuff, and Ing seems to think that a casual “I’m sorry” is sufficient. Although I’ve watched Ing on the news apologizing and mouthing the words “I take full responsibility,” in fact he hasn’t taken responsibility at all. He might have talked about transparency, but at the same time just ignored the mandatory disclosures required by campaign laws. And this went on for years….

Back in July 2010, before he was first elected to the legislative, Ing wrote a letter to the editor of the Maui News, and then reprinted it in his own blog under the headline, “Why Hawaii Needs a Republican Governor.”….

Progressive or not, Ing hasn’t earned our trust. It’s just as simple as that….

MN: Kihei HS?  Just a Weathered Sign

read … Does it matter that Kaniela claims to be progressive?

Councilmember Elle Cochran apologizes for FY 2019 rate increases

MT: Last week, on June 21, Councilmember Elle Cochran requested the Arakawa Administration consider proposing an amendment to the FY2019 budget, following concerns from the community regarding fee increases for use of county facilities. In the new budget, fees were increased by $20. Many community members use these county spaces and rely on the low cost of access to share their programs with the public.

In a response to Councilmember Cochran, Mayor Arakawa replied on June 28, saying: “If I understand your letter correctly, you are essentially asking our administration to clean up a mess you created… Once you accept responsibility for your actions and you make clear in a letter to my office and notification to community members you’ve been in contact with, I will gladly consider submitting a budget amendment to strike out those increases and return the fees to where they were prior to the increases you proposed.”

Councilmember Cochran responded today, Jun. 29 in a letter to Mayor Arakawa, stating, “I will gladly make a formal apology and accept responsibility for the part that I played in this fee increase. I would never let my ego get in the way of serving this community. As I stated in the original letter to your administration, I believe myself and the other councilmembers made this decision in haste….

See the interaction and correspondence at the link below….

read … Councilmember Elle Cochran apologizes for FY 2019 rate increases and requests Arakawa propose budget amendments

Atay’s Anti-GMO Thug assistant is barred from Maui Council Services floor, ag offices

MN:  …Bardellini deemed to have violated policy on workplace violence…

Since October, an executive assistant to Maui County Council Member Alika Atay has been barred from the seventh floor of the county building, where the Office of Council Services is located, after violating a workplace violence policy, according to multiple county workers.

Brian Bardellini also has been banned from interacting with state Agriculture Department workers or visiting department offices statewide due to abusive language, inappropriate behavior and attempts to provoke physical confrontations with staff members over a three-year period, department officials said.

Four county workers confirmed last month that Bardellini is prohibited from the floor where the Office of Council Services is located. Council staffers have been told to call police if Bardellini violates the directive….

“As I’ve said previously, Mr. Bardellini is indispensable to my duties on both a daily and long-term basis,” Atay said…..

read … Atay’s assistant is barred from Council Services floor, ag offices

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