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Monday, December 10, 2018
December 10, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:48 PM :: 2929 Views

Honolulu Neighborhood Boards -- 34 Vacancies

Dead Bats Are Changing People’s Minds About This Energy Project

CB: … North Shore residents used to be mostly OK with the Waimea Bay wind farm. Now they’re not so sure….

People were aware when the project was first proposed that some birds and bats would be injured or killed by the spinning blades, and limits were imposed on how many animal fatalities would be permitted.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, eager to promote sources of clean energy, gave the wind farm permission to kill up to 60 of the bats over a 20-year period. Six years later, it is believed that 83 bats have already been killed, based on a count of carcasses and statistical analysis, according to state officials.

The wind farm has petitioned the state for permission to “take” 265 bats instead, and has offered a complex 155-page mitigation package to state officials to induce them to amend the original Habitat Conservation Plan. The decision on accepting the amendment rests with the same state department that gave the wind farm its original approval. The process also requires the state to seek public comment….

Officials at HECO and Kawailoa Wind Farm have described the situation as balancing two competing needs — protecting both wildlife (reputation) and the environment (profits)….

Meanwhile: Auwahi Wind Farm Requests Approval to Kill 140 Hoary Bats 

MN: Draft report calls for higher wind farm hoary bat allowance

read … Dead Bats Are Changing People’s Minds About This Energy Project

City pays for security at parks to keep homeless out, vandalism down

HNN: …Caldwell believes a long-standing park problem riddled with homelessness and structure vandalism may have met its match. He's instituting a 24-hour a day park patrol. "It is absolutely worth it. No homeless tents or things being stored, no vandalism- and with vandalism there is more cost," Caldwell says. "This is an example of trying something new and different. We want to continue to do this."

The plan: to place two uniformed guards at nine select sites, including Ala Wai Neighborhood Park, place Honolulu resident Hector Wong visits weekly for canoe practice. "I've been lucky. I've never been broken in, but I know people who have," Wong says.

Wong says the park security brings a noticeable change. "It looks cleaner. I think it prevented the homeless from coming in the park. I haven't seen any homeless underneath trees or anything." ….

This project supplements a separate security initiative to secure park comfort stations and parking lots. So far, vandalism has gone down at 41 sites…. 

read … City pays for security at parks to keep homeless out, vandalism down

Star-Adv: Lets Put Homeless Tent Cities Back in Our Parks Now 

SA: …when Honolulu Police Department members broach an innovative project like “lift zones,” it should be welcomed for its possibilities, not dismissed without trying (recognized as pandering to the County Council obstructionists)….

The intriguing (boring and repetitive) concept envisions pop-up shelters: 18×23-foot inflatable tents (each holding 10 tweekers?) in a section of park that, for 60-90 days, would serve as a hub for immediate shelter but also offer direct access to social service workers, to transition the homeless toward more lasting help.

(No.  What we need to do is force the homeless into shelters.) 

read … Homeless ‘lift zones’ deserve closer look

How To Get What You Want From The Legislature

CB: … Don’t wait till Opening Day to get involved. … As we speak, the newly minted Hawaii Legislature is preparing for the 2019 session. Right now, committee staff are being hired, caucuses are preparing bill packages, research agencies are writing policy memos in response to legislator requests for information, and first-time legislators are looking for ways to make a name for themselves….

read … How To Get What You Want From The Legislature

Electric Car Tax Credit to be Abolished?

AP: … President Donald Trump and other Republicans who consider the credit a waste of taxpayer money and want it eliminated. Trump, who has pledged a manufacturing rebirth in the Midwest, reacted angrily to GM’s “transformation ” announcement late last month, declaring that his administration was “looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars.”

The company already is on the verge of being phased out of the tax credit program unless Congress changes a law that caps the break at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. Without the incentive, GM may be forced to cut the price of its electric cars to keep prospective customers from taking their business elsewhere, according to automotive industry experts.

As evidence of the credit’s importance to GM’s future, the automaker has expanded its lobbying footprint in Washington and even joined forces with two rivals, Tesla and Nissan, to call for 200,000-vehicle limit to be scrapped.

Standing in the way of that goal is Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Barrasso introduced legislation in October to abolish the tax credit, a move he said would save about $20 billion over the next 10 years. He has argued the market for electric vehicles is already established and “no longer needs the crutch of government assistance.”

“The idea of the subsidies had to do with trying to make sure that electric vehicles would be a viable technology,” Barrasso said. “Well, that’s clearly there.”….

read … GM fights government to retain tax credit for electric cars

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