Senate Committee Refuses to Recognize Hundreds of Emailed Testimonies
Janus: UH Employee Sues HGEA
Legislative Preview: This Week's Bills on the Move
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted February 11, 2019
Three Bills Would Create Statewide Sanctuary for Illegals
SA: …It is time to enhance community safety and protect taxpayers. House Bill 1247 (dead) and Senate Bill 557 (ALIVE--Passed Second Reading and referred to WAM), which have been introduced in the state Legislature, limit the assistance state and local law enforcement agencies provide to the federal government.
These are solid pieces of legislation modeled on the California sanctuary law, which was ruled to be constitutional. A related bill, HB 1491 (dead), allows local police to assist federal immigration enforcement agencies only after property crime, methamphetamine-related crime, and DUI have been reduced to safe levels....
read … Illegals
Known But Overlooked Side Effects of Carbon Taxes
IM: …Proposed Carbon Taxes are generally incomplete carbon taxes.
First, they don`t tax emissions embedded in fuels produced elsewhere. Thus, there is no distinction between imported biomass waste product released from a wastewater treatment plant and imported biofuel generated by a messy, fracked, shale oil operation with large amounts of fugitive GHG emissions.
Second, the bills often leave out large sectors like clear-cutting carbon sinks (forests) to burn wood to produce electricity.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, they are developed in economic think tanks and then suggested as solutions without alternatives.
The Civil Beat article stated, “A carbon tax is the essential policy to financially incentivize a carbon dioxide reduction that’s big enough and quick enough to matter, according to a growing number of state, federal and international agencies.”
What if, similar to the idea floated ten years ago that putting ethanol in gasoline would solve all of our problems, what if, there are other ideas being side-lined so that we can all be in one canoe paddling madly towards the climate cliff of no return?
Cui bono literally "to whom is it a benefit?"
Should Hawai`i impose a low ineffective tax for political points? Impose a high tax to crush and outsource economic activity? Generate taxes to fund the general fund? Tax economically-challenged people at higher rates since a larger portion of their income is spent on fuel and electricity? Forget about labor impacts? Maintain fossil fuel subsidies while taxing carbon? Overlook known side-effects and known cumulative impacts? Trust the government? Work out the details behind closed doors where everyone is invited, assuming they agree with the organizers and don`t make waves?
CB: Should Hawaii Tax Carbon Emissions To Combat Climate Change?
read … Known But Overlooked Side Effects of Carbon Taxes
Another Victory for Pro-Tourism Activists: Loss Of Slaughterhouse Cripples Specialty Meat Industry
CB: … Those affected say the sudden inability to process smaller animals into salable food quickly created impacts statewide and negated recent growth in the Big Island’s specialty meat industry. Some are even calling the recent development a “crisis” that’s threatening the island’s food security.
“It’s going to really hurt everybody,” said Carol Fuertes, a North Kohala farmer who raises two, 10-pig litters annually.
For decades, farmers paid Kulana Foods Ltd. to slaughter their small animals at a Hilo facility that also offered USDA-certified processing, known as cut and wrap, that’s needed to produce packaged meats approved for sale to stores and restaurants….
Thank an Animal Liberation Nut …
In December, Kulana announced that it had suspended the slaughtering and processing of small animals indefinitely, choosing instead to focus on the more-profitable cattle side of its operation. Kulana President Brady Yagi did not respond to requests for comment on the decision.
The action follows the USDA having twice cited Kulana in as many months for inhumane violations. A federal regulator temporarily suspended small-animal slaughtering operations in November after a company employee failed on multiple attempts to stun a pig and again in December in response to two customers dragging a conscious pig….
read … Loss Of Slaughterhouse Cripples Specialty Meat Industry
City audit shows ban on foam containers won’t achieve much
SA: …After years of debate, the Auditor’s report cuts right to the heart of this issue: Who would be affected by a ban, and what would be the actual benefits to the environment?
The report examines the economic impacts of a ban and finds that a wide range of Honolulu residents will pay higher prices for to-go meals and that some local businesses will be negatively affected. While an opinion poll found that some residents are willing to pay more to switch away from foam food containers, the group to be most impacted are the smaller mom-and-pop places who can’t afford to pass these costs on to lower-income customers.
Another group affected would be local manufacturers of plastic food containers. Some of the foam containers used are made locally while all compostable containers must be imported, so the ban will cost some local jobs while giving a boost to distributors that import the alternative materials.
The other big question analyzed is whether these costs of a ban are justified by the potential environmental benefits of replacing polystyrene foam with compostable food containers.
The report defines the main reason that packaging of any type can be a problem: anything disposed of improperly ends up as litter, which can escape into the ocean to become marine debris. This is really the main point: how can we best prevent trash from harming the marine environment?
The report finds that less than 1 percent of our total trash stream is currently made up of foam food containers. Since the ban will only substitute, but not reduce, the number of food containers, there would be a “negligible” difference in overall litter. This basic fact is repeated several times in the report – a ban will only result in one material being substituted for another, but won’t reduce the overall amount of litter….
Background: Auditor: Styrofoam Ban Doesn't Reduce Litter
read … City audit shows ban on foam containers won’t achieve much
Potential flaws in new city laws aimed at homeless prevent enforcement
SA: … The city’s two newest tools aimed at curbing homeless activity have unspecified legal problems that are preventing their enforcement, nearly four months after they became law….
On Oct. 11 Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bills 51 and 52, which became city ordinances 18-34 and 18-35, known informally as the sidewalk obstruction and no-lodging ordinances.
Notably, the spaces on both ordinances are blank where a representative from the Corporation Counsel’s office — which represents the city in legal matters — was supposed to sign.
Ordinance 18-34 states, “No person shall create, cause, or maintain an obstruction on a public sidewalk that interferes, impedes, and/or prevents the full, free, and unobstructed passage of pedestrians upon public sidewalks or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian traffic upon a public sidewalk during the hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.”
Caldwell’s office previously said City Ordinance 18-34 also would apply to anyone who blocks a city sidewalk, including vendors and kiosks.
Ordinance 18-35 says, “No person shall lodge on a public sidewalk or other public place.” Law enforcement cannot issue a citation, make an arrest or otherwise enforce the ordinance unless “shelter space is readily available; an offer has been made to transport the person to the available shelter; and the officer requests or orders the person to refrain from the alleged violation of this section.”…
Caldwell said, “I’m not backing away from the two bills, and I’m not backing away from enforcement.”
Regarding the problems with the bills, Caldwell said, “It has to do with the enforcement part of it and how do we write it more clearly. And I don’t know how to write it more clearly. I think it’s clear in my mind.”
Caldwell also suggested that the city might need to find a way to define “a kiosk.”
“There’ve been issues raised about how the bills are drafted and that perhaps there needs to be some tweaks,” Caldwell said. “I don’t want to go and then get sued, so we’re taking a step back. We’re going to look to see are there things we need to amend, and, if necessary, we’ll amend those bills.”
read … Potential flaws in new city laws aimed at homeless prevent enforcement
Hawaii County Buses Stay on Hilo Side Because it Costs Too Much for Tow Back from Kona
HTH: …Years of neglect led to Hawaii County spending $618,000 to rent last-minute daily substitute buses in December alone, but the Mass Transit Agency is working hard to stop the bleeding, Administrator Brenda Carreira told the County Council this week.
The cost of renting buses by the day to cover shortages and bus breakdowns dropped to $431,000 in January, she said….
Carreira, the third administrator in less than a year, took over Oct. 1. She inherited an agency plagued by inconsistent bus schedules, broken buses, a drop in ridership, an audit that blasted sloppy cash-handling practices and low employee morale.
Despite the availability of federal grants that would have provided buses while costing the county nothing, there were no grant applications or purchases since 2014, she said.
“We are behind by 16 buses that we could have gotten,” Carreira said.
There were only 14 working county buses for 33 routes when she took over, Carreira said. Now there are between 17 and 21 on any given day.
The county has put out a request for proposals for two vans and four mini-buses, which are smaller buses of 25 seats or more. Those should be in the fleet by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2020, she said.
In the meantime, the new driver contract, which is renewed periodically, includes buses for West Hawaii as well. The private buses will serve Kona, North Kohala and Ka‘u, while the county buses will continue running the South Kohala resort routes and cover East Hawaii, where the mechanics are.
That should save time and money, because broken county buses must be towed to Hilo at more than $1,000, or a mechanic has to go to West Hawaii to fix the bus, leaving riders stranded for hours, Carreira said….
read … Mass Transit administrator touts progress to County Council
Snow Falls at Lowest Elevation Ever Recorded in Hawaii as Hemi-Global Cooling Grips Planet
SF: Snow falls in Hawaii a few times a year in winter on the state's highest peak, Mauna Kea rising 13,803 elevation in feet, but the white stuff is rarely seen at elevations below 9,000 feet to 10,000 feet.
On Sunday, Maui's 10,000-foot Haleakala received a thick dusting and snow also accumulated at 6,200 feet in Polipoli State Recreation Area.
read … Proof of Hemi-Global Cooling