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Thursday, November 29, 2018
November 29, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:30 PM :: 3213 Views

To ‘Change Society’ -- Hawaii Climate Commission Pushes For State Carbon Tax

Details of the Horrible Carbon Tax Bill

Pine: Gill Family Windfarm Proceeding Against Community Opposition

DBEDT: International Students Contribute $498M to Economy

Caldwell Allows 60-Day Permitting Bill to Become Law Without Signature

$3.56M Tourism Industry Payoffs to Community Groups Statewide

Visitor Arrivals Jump 4.4% for October--Spending Drops

State sued over services for autistic students

SA: … Lawyers for the Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Wednesday against the state Department of Education and Department of Human Services.

Children and young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder require some level of applied behavior analysis services and DHS is required by federal law to provide the services to Medicaid-eligible individuals.

In the lawsuit, HDRC says DHS believes its policy is that the DOE is responsible for providing applied behavior analysis services to Medicaid-eligibile students during school hours. The lawsuit goes on to say the DOE does not provide such services and prohibits private providers from accessing schools during school hours even when the serv­ices are paid for by Medicaid or private health insurers.

The DOE says it provides its students all services deemed appropriate and necessary, including applied behavior analysis…. 

CB: Lawsuit Claims State Denies Critical Therapy For Kids With Autism

ZIP: Complaint, Memorandum, Motion 

As Explained: Report Ties Hawaii Youth Suicide Rate to HSTA Grab for HGEA Positions

read … State sued over services for autistic students

DoE distancing itself from Rape Case smells bad

WHT: …They call it legal jargon, but I call it BS.

I am referring to the latest legal dodge of the Department of Education, or DOE. In a local rape case, WHT reported on Sunday that the girl who was sexually assaulted is suing the DOE because they failed to recognize the violent behavior in the alleged rapists, two students at Kealakehe High School.

The girl’s parents are pointing out the obvious — that the department’s only job in the world is to protect and take care of (and educate) students. The education department is mandated to have a parental, protective relationship with its students.

When the abused girl’s parents tried to point this out and remind the DOE of its job to protect, it had the ridiculous response that it has no relationship to students or a responsibility to protect them. Their statement was basically, The DOE doesen’t have “a special relationship between (us) the state, and (the girl) the plaintiff,” nor with the defendants “sufficient to impose a duty upon the state to protect the plaintiff from the alleged conduct in this complaint.”

What!? The DOE has no relationship to its students!? This is their only job and they are shirking it.

God help us if everyone cannot see the BS here….

read … School distancing itself from crime smells bad

Legislature’s Hires Hanabusa to Defend Gut-n-Replace Frankenbills in Lawsuit

CB: …The Hawaii Legislature has hired Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa as its attorney in a case against the state filed by two open-government groups over lawmakers’ gut-and-replace tactics in passing bills.

Hanabusa, a longtime labor lawyer, in a motion filed Tuesday is seeking approval for the Legislature to enter the case as a “friend of the court” in opposition to the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, which want to end the practice of gut and replace in Hawaii….

The Legislature is already represented by the Attorney General’s office, led by Russell Suzuki, since the lawsuit was filed against the state as a whole. But the Legislature doesn’t have its own voice in court….

Judge Gary Chang has set a hearing for 3 p.m. Dec. 19 in 1st Circuit Court….

read … Colleen Hanabusa Is Now The Legislature’s Attorney In Case Against The State

Performance-based regulation (PBR) of utilities has emerged as an important Excuse for Raising Rates

IM: …“Performance-based regulation (or performance-based ratemaking) has been used synonymously with incentive regulation (or incentive-based ratemaking, IBR).”….

HECO testimony re SB 2939 (February 15, 2018). “The Companies support carefully designed incentive based regulation, a.k.a., performance based ratemaking (“PBR”).”

Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. First Quarter 2018 Financial Results and Outlook(May 10, 2018) “Performance-based ratemaking PUC docket opened [] Performance-based regulation (PBR) proceeding Hawaii PUC Docket No. 2018-0088 (opened 4/18/18).”

Consumer Advocate web posting (Sep 3, 2018) “Early this year, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) opened a proceeding to investigate the economic and policy issues associated with performance-based ratemaking for the Hawaiian Electric Companies.”

PUC Staff Report #1 re PBR. “Goals provide the highest-level orientation for what utility regulations and ratemaking seek to achieve.”…

read … “Performance-based regulation (PBR) of utilities has emerged as an important ratemaking option

‘Wife’ to Get $40M from Kawananakoa Trust

AP: … A 92-year-old Native Hawaiian princess has changed her trust to ensure her ‘wife’ receives $40 million and all her personal property, including her Chihuahua “Girlie Girl,” according to court records.

Abigail Kawananakoa inherited her wealth by being the great-granddaughter of James Campbell, an Irish businessman who made his fortune as a sugar plantation owner and one of Hawaii’s largest landowners.

Native Hawaiians, who consider her a princess because she’s a descendent of the family that ruled the islands before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, have been watching the ongoing legal wrangling closely because they are concerned about the fate of the foundation she set up to benefit Hawaiian causes.

Kawananakoa’s lawyers said in court papers filed this week she amended her trust. They want a judge’s approval for the changes amid a court battle after she suffered a stroke….

Reality: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality

read … Hawaiian Princess Amends Trust To Ensure Wife Gets $40 Million

Star-Adv: Copy San Francisco TVR Regs

SA:  … The Appleseed report,“Priced out of Paradise,” sizes up VRU laws in several tourist-magnet cities and offers the nonprofit’s take on ordinances that prioritize serving residents over non-resident investors. The 27-page report should be required reading for Hawaii’s county and state leaders who are continuing to grapple with weak regulation and enforcement quandaries.

Among the cities spotlighted: San Francisco. Two years ago, the city had slightly more than 1,600 registered VRUs yet there were more than 7,000 hosts advertising on Airbnb. The city then took aim at illegals by putting in place “platform liability,” through which enforcement teams hold online platforms (like Airbnb) accountable for facilitating illegal transactions, rather than placing full responsibility for compliance on hosts. That fix and others have prompted a 70 percent drop in VRU listings.

It’s encouraging that a few recommendations in the Appleseed report align with elements in a bill that’s now being weighed by Honolulu’s City Council. Both call for limiting VRU operators to one unit, prohibiting VRUs in certain neighborhoods based on zoning, and imposing steep fines for scofflaws.

Other report recommendations include following San Francisco’s platform liability move, and focusing enforcement actions on those who rent out multiple properties. Nearly 75 percent of Hawaii’s hosts have multiple listings, and the bulk of those are entire homes or apartments, according to the report’s findings….

read … Vacation rentals need strict control

Ride Sharee works with City Council to draft rules for dockless bike parking

HNN: … "We're really trying to focus on behavior. Previously a lot of bike and scooter companies, they just drop them on the street without a lot of public outreach programs," said Wong, who adds that the company is educating the public about where to park the bikes, either at private locations shown on its app, or at any public bike rack for a fee.

He's coming up with incentives- for example: "For every five good parking, you get one free ride. Something like that. Just to incentivize good behavior," Wong said.

Wong is also working with the City's transportation department. "We're working also with the Department of Transportation Services to look at fines and penalties for indiscriminate parking," Wong said.

Riders like Bud Dragoo says some riders need that deterrent. "If they don't have a penalty for doing that I can see where it doesn't make any difference to them," Dragoo said….

Background: Caldwell: No Limebike Treatment for Ride Sharee

read … Ride Sharee works with City Council to draft rules for dockless bike parking

Castle High School parents sue over dangerous football drill

HNN: …A video taken last July shows Castle High School football players slamming into each at full speed from 20 yards away triggered national outrage.

In a Circuit Court lawsuit filed Wednesday, Kyle and Ashleigh Giron alleged that one of their sons injured his shoulder taking part in those drills and that all three of their boys were retaliated against when they complained.

“These students were placed in a situation of the risk of concussion and the unknown damage of minor concussions," said Kevin Yolken, a lawyer for the Giron family. Yolken is working with attorney Eric Seitz.

“One of the students was a starting quarterback and that (next) game he was benched and did not play at all and the two (other) sons got limited playing time.”

The suit also alleges that the coach, John Hao, sent the injured boy to a doctor, paid the doctor’s bill and that the doctor clear him before he was ready to play.

“He still is suffering from pain and going through therapy as of today," Yolken said.

At the time the video surfaced in August, it was widely-condemned in football circles….

read … Another Day in the DoE

WOTUS: Waipio Valley residents concerned for safety after permits revoked by Feds

KITV: …Maintaining the valley's streams to avoid backups has always been a part of life in the valley. But in recent years, federal regulated permits have become a requirement.  

Maintenance permits were revoked earlier this year after an anonymous complaint. And now an ongoing investigation has forced residents to put work off.

State Senator Lorraine Inouye supports re-establishing permits but the approval lies in the hands of the army corps of engineers. 

"Those that own the Kalo farms have to wait weeks for someone or the state or DOA from the you weigh or the state to hurry on down there to assist them," Inouye said.

Life in treasured Waipio continues to thrive but residents fear the next big rain could cripple their precious valley. …

read … Waipio Valley residents concerned for safety after permits revoked

Privately Funded, ‘Destination’ Playground Proposed For Ala Moana Park

CB: …A nonprofit called Paani Kakou, the Hawaiian phrase for “to play together,” is being formed to oversee the playground’s construction. The nonprofit would have the right to make repairs if the city can’t do so in a timely manner, Pakkala said.

Pakkala is also the CEO of The Kobayashi Group, a local development firm that partnered with The MacNaughton Group to develop the luxury condominium project Park Lane across the street from Ala Moana Regional Park. Ian MacNaughton of the MacNaughton Group is also working on the playground. Pakkala said she, MacNaughton and others involved on the project are volunteering their time. 

Nathan Serota, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said the playground is an example of a public-private partnership the city wants to replicate at other parks….

read …Privately Funded, ‘Destination’ Playground Proposed For Ala Moana Park

Hawaii County Planning Commission Votes to Kill Affordable Housing Project

WHT: …While the vote by the commission was nearly unanimous — only commissioner Lee Ohigashi voted against the motion — many members voiced conflicted feelings on reverting the land back to agricultural classification, citing the immense need for affordable housing and traffic improvements, which were among the conditions the developer was expected to meet through the project.

“I am extremely conflicted. It’s very emotional,” said commission First Vice Chair Nancy Cabral, who holds the Hawaii Island seat on the commission and is also the owner of Day-Lum Rentals and Management, Inc. “This is my island. I have properties in the lava zone — I have friends; I have tenants. I have lots of people I know dearly that have lost their home.”…

Introducing his closing remarks Wednesday, Lim echoed a commissioner’s likening the hearing to a “death penalty case.”

In response, commission Chair Jonathan Likeke Scheuer acknowledged that reverting land is both the “harshest and really the only tool that the Legislature has given us,” adding that they have sought alternatives from lawmakers to no avail. And not only is it all they have to use, he said, they’re legally obligated to do so….

(Translation: All the talk about building more affordable housing is 100% fake.)

read … Commission rules against Waikoloa Highlands developer

Commission gives positive recommendation to Hawaii Co sewer fee hike bill

WHT: … The Environmental Management Commission on Wednesday sent the Hawaii County Council a positive recommendation on a measure that would nearly double sewer fees over the next three years.

Bill 210 will now head back to the council with two more votes to clear before becoming law….

read … Commission gives positive recommendation to sewer fee hike bill

Audit critical of Maui liquor department and commission

MN: … A recently released Maui County Council audit of the county Liquor Control Department and the commission that sets policy says they are operating in an “inconsistent and arbitrary” manner and “not fulfilling . . . mandated responsibilities.”

The audit, which was authorized by the County Council in February and released publicly on the council website, recommends that the mayor and council consult with county attorneys to amend county liquor rules to permit them more oversight of the liquor department and commission.

The department and commission have come under fire in the past two years for making major rule changes, such as allowing 24-hour sales of alcohol without proper notice, and for burdensome requirements for one-time nonprofit fundraising events. …  

MT: Scathing third-party audit of Maui County Liquor Control sheds light on dysfunctional, mismanaged, and inefficient department

Maui Council: Audit of the Department of Liquor Control  

read … Audit critical of liquor department and commission

Hotel Strike News:




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