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Monday, January 14, 2019
January 14, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:49 PM :: 2600 Views

Birth Control: Judge Blocks Religious Freedom in Hawaii

Carbon Tax on Legislative Agenda

CB: …(skip 54 paragraphs of global warming hype to get to the real point waaaay down at the bottom of the article) ….

…The next major focus is creating a clean transportation sector, starting with (your) ground vehicles and then moving on to the many airplanes that residents and tourists rely on.  (Translation: Lets destroy the economy to create eco-utopia according to our religion.)

State and county offices and commissions have been created to coordinate the focus on climate change.  (Translation: Push for tax hikes.  See next paragraph.)

The Hawaii Climate Commission in November unanimously agreed to push the Legislature to pass a carbon tax (or is it Car-Ban?) next session, which starts later this month. 

And Honolulu’s voter-created Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency has been developing Oahu’s first Climate Action Plan. The final public scoping meetings are this week.  (Delphi Technique in action.)

An increasing number of events have increased awareness of climate change. The inaugural Hawaii Climate Conference is Monday, an all-day public affair featuring panels of experts at the East-West Center…. (A mob of tax recipients.)

“The greatest uncertainty now is us (you)— whether we’re going to change (y)our behavior, whether we’re going to cut (your) emissions,” he said….

Background:

read … Fear Mongers

They Never Learn: Replicating Abject Failure, Hawaii County to Open New Homeless Tent City

WHT: … Based on PBR Hawaii’s schedule, the site may be ready for occupancy as early as May. Takemoto said the infrastructure for the emergency component, which wouldn’t be permanent, would either be 10 x 12 sheds or fire retardant tents. (You already know which they will pick.)

It’s too early in the design process to determine the capacity of the emergency area, but HOPE Services CEO Brandee Menino said there are currently 113 homeless singles on Hawaii Island in the Homeless Management Information System who have expressed interest in housing. More than 500 singles in the system have not gotten that far.

There are also 24 families in the county’s database interested in housing, though only two live in Kona. She said at any one time there are roughly 130 homeless in the county ready for housing, though housing availability is consistently and significantly short to accommodate those needs….

read … Tent City

Man with ax should not have been freed

SA: …As a retired mental health professional, I was stunned to learn that authorities released a man who attacked a fellow bus rider with a hatchet (“Man seriously injured in hatchet attack on bus,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 9).

The bogus explanation for the alleged perpetrator’s release was because the victim refused to press charges. Every state in the union (including Hawaii) has mental-health laws that allow detainment of an individual who exhibits imminent behavior dangerous to self or others.

If attacking a person with an ax in a bus full of witnesses doesn’t meet probable cause for detainment, what does?…

read … Man with ax should not have been freed

Raising Hawaii’s Minimum Wage Is No Quick Fix

CB: … Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, hopes what Gov. David Ige proposes as part of the administration’s soon-to-be-released legislative package will be “balanced in such a way that we can still provide incentives and relief to local small businesses and still achieve what he talked about in paid family leave and minimum wage.”

Dela Cruz wants a macroeconomic approach to the cost of living, factoring in not just pay, but growth that produces upward mobility.

“We have to do a lot better job in creating jobs and diversifying the economy,” says Dela Cruz. “There’s a lot that has to be done. We need to be creating a lot of better quality jobs with higher salaries.” …

Keli`i Akina, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii president, is concerned about the employment impact of raising wages.

“Research overwhelmingly shows that forcing businesses to increase their starting wages causes them to employ fewer people and offer them fewer hours,” Akina says. “Lowering taxes, snipping red tape, and opening up more land so people could build homes would decrease Hawaii’s cost of living, which would effectively give everyone a pay increase.”

Kylie Bean, a senior at Castle High School, says that raising the minimum wage would give her a great entry level boost, but she worries about a scenario where experienced workers end up being paid the same as those getting their first job.

“If an office assistant is getting paid $15.22 an hour now to do to complex tasks, is it really fair if someone in fast food with no prior experience suddenly starts out at $15?” asks Bean. “That means a white-collar worker will make just 22 cents more to do a job that took years to get into.”….

read … Raising Hawaii’s Minimum Wage Is No Quick Fix

Bill to Propose Automatic Recount for close elections

SA: … At least three state senators are drafting bills that would require automatic recounts in close election races. The bills seek to avoid or more quickly resolve disputes such as the one between Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters….

The measure would be similar to a previous bill he authored, Senate Bill 247 (2017), which was passed by the Senate two sessions ago but failed to get a committee hearing in the House….

Meanwhile, nearly two weeks have passed with representation in limbo for County Council District 4 (Hawaii Kai to Waikiki).

Diamond Head- Kapahulu-St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board member George West said he hasn’t noticed much of an impact….

The eight certified Council members are scheduled to meet today to select a temporary chairman, vice chairman and floor leader to tie them down until a ninth member can be certified and take a seat in the Council gallery.

Acting Council Chairwoman Kymberly Pine said she will recommend that veteran Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi replace her as acting chairwoman. Kobayashi has reluctantly agreed, and several other Council members said they’re OK with her leading them….

Waikiki community advocate David Moskowitz said he has no problem with the eight Council members selecting temporary leaders but believes the Council shouldn’t meet otherwise until a representative for District 4 is finalized.

Moskowitz cited “taxation without representation” and said he and others are ready to file for an injunction barring the Council from taking any other action….

read … 3 state senators address close elections

DoE Hindered by Decades-old Tech

SA: … Our budget information is readily available, and our annual audits are clean. So what’s the problem? The problem is the data we provide is based on an accounting system that is more than two decades out of use, with program categories that can’t be easily updated or cycled out of the system because of downstream impacts to schools’ cash flow and budgeting that can last years.

No amount of transparency about our numbers can fix the flaws in the underlying system. A $2 billion enterprise such as HIDOE, with loads of complexities, requires an industry-standard Financial Management System (FMS).

Fortunately, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has taken an aggressive stance with modernizing HIDOE’s systems. This transformation has included launching the ServiceNow IT management system for easier access to tech support, and partnering with the state to update the payroll system (http://bit.ly/HawaiiPay), which went live for HIDOE last month.

She has initiated the movement off Lotus Notes to Google for Education, starting with email and calendaring functions this summer. And she announced improved business practices and systems modernization for facilities management under Future Schools Now (http://bit.ly/HIDOE-FSN); it includes a CIP Project Tracker site, being beta-tested now, which will better track school maintenance projects (estimated cost and quantity) and establish a “systems of record.”

A public version will be released next school year; imagine being able to search for and pull up-to-date information on design and construction contract amounts, the status of projects, and awarded vendors for public schools in your community….

read … ‘Fixing the system’ at DOE means setting up a modern one

Here’s Another Busy Highway Where The Crosswalks Have Been Removed

CB: … In the aftermath of Soneda’s death, the state Department of Transportation decided to remove two crosswalks that lacked traffic lights on the highway, including the one at Kaai. Without traffic lights, motorists are less likely to see pedestrians.

In collaboration with the city, the DOT took out the closest bus stops, too, because of fears that people would cross at dangerous locations to get to them. Three nearby bus stops were eliminated and two located at Kaai Street were relocated farther east, to improvised stops near Wailupe Circle, about one-fifth of a mile away. …

In 2016 and 2017, as pedestrian fatalities increased in the islands, the DOT began to focus on crosswalks without traffic signals throughout Oahu as a particular risk. Transit officials evaluated 35 crosswalks for relocation, closure or traffic signal installation, according to the state’s Highway Safety Annual Report.

It’s a tricky business. In Oahu’s first pedestrian fatality of this year Jan. 7, Maqbul ur-Rahman, 86, was hit while crossing Hawaii Kai Drive about 100 feet from where the city had mistakenly removed a crosswalk months earlier, the Associated Press reported.

In the aftermath of Soneda’s 2015 death, three crosswalks in Aina Haina were affected, including Kaai, another mid-block crosswalk and nearby Waa Street. Kaai and the mid-block crossing were eliminated. Waa Street will get a traffic light, which will allow its crosswalk to remain in place….

read … Here’s Another Busy Highway Where The Crosswalks Have Been Removed

Puna Claims: Lloyds of London insists "Only a small number have been declined"

IB: … While it wasn’t directly offering a response to the 60-page document filed with the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, Lloyd’s outlined how it has approached the insurance claims.

“It would be inappropriate for Lloyd’s to comment on specific legal proceedings,” said a Lloyd’s spokesperson in an emailed statement to Insurance Business. “However, policyholders can be sure that the Lloyd’s market is always committed to meeting its obligations and that Lloyd’s underwriters review all claims as swiftly as possible.

“So far, the Lloyd’s market has paid US$84 million in respect of homeowners’ claims in Hawaii and hard work is going into resolving all other outstanding claims.”

The statement, as it was a general assertion, did not touch the particular issue of the alleged lava exclusion in the Lloyd’s policies.

“The Lloyd’s market has approached all these claims in good faith,” it continued. “This approach has included paying claims where there is no or limited cover, as well as providing indemnity for damaged contents and additional living expenses.

“Only a small number have been declined and only for legitimate reasons.” …

Background: Lawsuit: Lloyd's of London Kickback Scheme Steered Lava Victims to Worthless Coverage

read … Lloyd’s of London insists "Only a small number have been declined"

Big Island: First Marijuana Store slated to open

HTH: … Hawaii Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary may open as early as this week.

Big Island Grown, one of only two businesses licensed to sell medical marijuana products on the Big Island, aims to open three market locations on the island within the next month, with the first one possibly opening this week. ….

The first location to open will be Big Island Grown’s Hilo location at 750 Kanoelehua Avenue. Shropshire said the other two locations, in Waimea and Kailua-Kona, will hopefully open by the end of the month, although the latter location may open in early February.

The road to opening has been a long one for Big Island Grown. The business, under the name Lau Ola LLC, was one of the eight companies statewide selected to open the state’s first dispensaries in 2016. Since then, the company’s opening date was repeatedly pushed back, from 2017 to 2018 and then to 2019, with initial plans to convert a banana packing plant into a growing facility scrapped in favor of a new location in Pepeekeo.

Richard Ha, former CEO of Lau Ola, retired in late 2018, and the business rebranded shortly thereafter. Current CEO Dylan Shropshire, who replaced Ha earlier this month, said the new brand is easier to market and will reflect well upon the island as a whole….

read … First dispensary slated to open

Dimwits from Kauai, Gabbard, Begin Protesting Against Nonexistent Oil Drilling Off Hawaii

KGI: … The deepest channel in the main Hawaiian Islands lies between Oahu and Kauai, and though the chain’s oldest main island isn’t at the top of the list for offshore-drilling-related activities, activists are still supporting legislative opposition to new oil and gas programs.

Tuesday, state Sen. Mike Gabbard joined more than 225 other legislators from coastal states who are trying to limit new offshore drilling capabilities off their coastlines — and that’s in the face of the Trump administration’s proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. …

“I realize that we won’t be the first on banning offshore drilling for fossil fuels, as five states have already beat us to the punch,” said Gabbard in a Tuesday news release. “At this point we don’t have proven petroleum or natural gas reserves or production, but it’s still important that we join with other states and lead on this important issue.”

While Gabbard acknowledged there aren’t currently proven reserves in Hawaii, Gordon LaBedz and Carl Berg with Surfrider Kauai Chapter said it’s still important to band together in search of alternative energy solutions aside from petroleum.

“Please don’t think because they haven’t found oil in Hawaiian waters yet that Hawaii will be immune. There are all sorts of stuff that these big companies want to mine off the ocean seabed,” LaBedz said….

“Kauai is fortunate that we are sitting in the middle of a very deep ocean that does not render itself to offshore drilling,” said Berg. “We do, however, receive oil on our shores from spills occurring on Oahu, as in the past.”

He pointed out that he hasn’t heard of any proposed drilling in Hawaii, either…

Gabbard says he’s going to be introducing bills in the coming weeks that will target offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in state marine waters.

“I’m hopeful that our combined legislation efforts will send a message to our current president that it’s time to transition away from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy,” he said….

read … Legislators against offshore drilling

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