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Monday, September 30, 2019
September 30, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:30 PM :: 3099 Views

Ethics: CEO Serves on State Board that Shovels Taxpayer Money to his Company

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted September 29, 2019

Hawaii Population to Fall for Next 20 years?

HPR: … At least two Oahu hospitals have curtailed hiring of maternity ward nurses. Non-full time staff have reported receiving fewer shifts than in previous years. The Hawaii Nurses Association, the local labor union, told HPR that several of the facilities it represents have reported a lower birth census in recent months.

It’s difficult to say whether those reports are due to the falling statewide birthrate or regular market forces in local healthcare. But after more than a decade of annual decline, Hawaii’s birthrate is now 10 percent lower than it was in 2008. That follows a broad national trend.

Eugene Tian, Chief Economist for the State of Hawaii, says there are two factors behind the decline: there are fewer women of child-bearing age and those women who can give birth are each having fewer children, known as the fertility rate, than in previous generations. Tian says one likely reason for the decline in the fertility rate is the high cost of raising children.

Even more significant is the overall population trend. Although fewer babies are being born in Hawaii, until recently the state’s total population was still increasing, albeit slowly. Enough people were moving to Hawaii from the U.S. and other countries to make up for the falling number of births.

That changed in 2017. The last two years have seen an overall population decline, likely due to a weakening economy and sky-high cost of living in Hawaii. According to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, stronger economic conditions on the U.S. Mainland, combined with cheaper living options are causing people to leave Hawaii.

The number of people leaving now outpaces new arrivals. When combined with a falling birthrate and normal aging, the result is a net decrease in population.

Eugene Tian, the state economist, says his analysis shows that trend may continue for the next 20 years…. 

HPR: Hawaii's Population is Declining. Here's Why You Should Care.  

TGI: Hawaii’s and Kauai’s, birthrates declining

read … Hawaii Is Already Seeing the Consequences of Falling Birthrates

New Oahu Jail Project P3 or $525M Which will Legislators Choose?

CB: … In 2016, the state sought to fund the project through a proposal to sell general obligation bonds, but the Legislature rejected that measure. The next year, some legislators tried to stop the process by introducing bills that would suspend consultants’ work on the project or provide alternatives.

There were also talks of exploring public-private partnerships earlier this year.  CoreCivic, the private prison contractor formerly known as Corrections Corporations of America that operates the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona that houses Hawai prisoners, was seen as a prime candidate to build a prison that would be leased back to the state, but nothing has come of that idea so far.

Although no money has been allocated for moving OCCC, a lot of work has already been done, some of which involves outside contractors, including Architects Hawaii, and Louis Berger Group….

…prison reform advocates say simply moving the Oahu Community Correctional Center closer to the prison at Halawa is a bad idea (because if a new jail is built it will be more difficult to sell politicians on the idea of letting lots and lots of criminals back out on to the streets.).

Meanwhile: Cruel to pack 4 inmates in single cell at MCCC

read … New Oahu Jail Project Is Stalling Out Over Lack Of Cash, Community Support

Council members question Caldwell’s Blaisdell plan

SA: … A majority of Honolulu City Council members now are expressing serious reservations about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan to redevelop the Neal S. Blaisdell Center complex.

Two Council committees grilled administration officials about the estimated $772 million plan last week. One of them — the Council Parks, Community Services and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee — on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a resolution calling on the administration to “reevaluate the viability and feasibility” of the plan. The resolution noted that the state recently began ramping up its efforts to redevelop Aloha Stadium, a development that could pose competing interests with the city project.

City Enterprise Services Director Guy Kaulukukui told committee members that the plan is to try to secure a third-party partner for the Blaisdell redevelopment by late next year….. 

SA Editorial: Blaisdell plans need second look

read … Council members question Caldwell’s Blaisdell plan

Kailua woman openly defying new law against illegal vacation rentals

HNN: … She was not surprised at all when she received a notice of violation Saturday. It basically gives her until this Friday to take down her ad on the Airbnb web site, or face fines.

For now, Melchior hasn’t decided yet on whether she will do that.

“I will decide at that point if I compromise, because I can’t afford a thousand dollars a day penalty, that will go to ten-thousand after two weeks, I guess,” she sasid.

At last check, the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting had issued 37 notices of violation, with seven removing their ads, or changing them to comply with the law. One operator was under threat of being fined, but as of Sept. 11, no fines had been issued.

Melchior said she’s retired and needs the revenue to help pay her mortgage. If she can’t keep the vacation rental operating, she said she may have to leave…

Melchior is mindful that the fines may be too much for her to afford. However, she said she’ll decide what to do by the end of the week, and hopes that her decision will get her a day in court to fight the law….

read … Kailua woman openly defying new law against illegal vacation rentals

12 Spots Left--Free Tuition Hawaii Teacher Program

CB: … Grow Our Own, a joint initiative between the state Department of Education and University of Hawaii, received $600,000 in state funding this year. That’s enough cash to fully subsidize post-baccalaureate training for 35 people who commit to teaching grades 6 through 12 at a DOE or charter school in a content shortage area for at least three years.

But as of late last week, with an Oct. 1 deadline looming, the number of applications UH received for the Grow Our Own program numbered just 23, with roughly another 50 people expressing interest in the 35 available slots….

read … Even Free Tuition Isn’t Enough To Attract People To This Hawaii Teacher Program

Hu Honua Forest Incineration Controversy Enters 12th Year

IM: … One of the principal financial backers of Hu Honua is Charles Bartlett Johnson, an American businessman, with an estimated current net worth exceeding $5 billion, the principal co-owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, one of Yale University`s largest benefactors and one of the largest donors to Republican and Tea-Party-backed political campaigns. 

Johnson has at least $100M invested in the outcome….

read … Hu Honua Forest Incineration Controversy Enters 12th Year

Bumfight on Alii Drive

WHT: … Robert Hoffman was enjoying a stroll down Alii Drive with his girlfriend around 3 p.m. Sept. 5 on the last day of their Hawaii vacation, when they came upon a disturbing sight.

Just south of the former Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a homeless man pushed over a homeless person’s shopping cart and then walked up to another man sitting on the rock wall and cold-cocked him in the face.

“He just kept on swinging, every punch connecting,” Hoffman said. “The guy getting hit falls backwards on the rocks and the other guy jumps over the wall and just keeps on whaling on his face. I was screaming for him to stop.”

Once the victim was rendered unconscious, Hoffman said the perpetrator, whom he described as homeless, skipped and jogged away.

Hoffman wanted to stay with the victim until police and EMS arrived. But, he said, they didn’t come.

“He was out for at least 20 minutes,” said Hoffman. “He was bleeding all over. I thought he was dead.”

Hoffman stayed with the victim for about 45 minutes. Still, there was no sign of emergency personnel and the Lakewood, Washington, resident had a plane to catch. He said eventually the victim and another man, who identified himself as the victim’s brother, also left the scene.

Hoffman was so disturbed by the violence and lack of response, he called the police several times after he returned to Washington to find out what happened. He said he was told by the department that they had no record of the call.

Caleb Evans was working across the street at Hand Made Clay Orchids in the Kona Alii complex and also witnessed the assault that took place across the street. His account corroborated Hoffman’s.

“I saw the cops down the street a couple of hours later talking to the guy,” he said, noting the assailant was “high out of his mind.”

“We need to do something about the homeless,” he added….

“After it was all over and everyone left, 911 called me back and wanted me to explain what I (originally) called for,” said the merchant.

The witness went on to say that they regularly watch drug deals happening, assaults occurring and they have to clean up where vagrants defecate on the walkways….

Nearly 20 downtown businesses spoke to WHT and expressed frustration about its apparent lack of duty fulfillment. They said they rarely see patrols, if at all — and when they do they’re usually cleaning debris, not helping police. Their anger comes just months after downtown stakeholders came together for community meetings that focused on doing more as a team to cleanup illegal, vagrant behavior in the downtown tourist hub….

HTH: Keeping Homeless Nice n Comfy on the Streets:  Nonprofits announce “Hui with HOPE” program

read … Force them to accept shelter

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