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Wednesday, October 9, 2019
October 9, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:39 PM :: 2396 Views

Ala Wai Development Plan Serves OHA, not Boaters

First Hawaiian Homelands Leases Near 99-Year Mark

Rep Cynthia Thielen will not run for Reelection

UH Regents to Discuss Maunakea Rules at UH Hilo

Bill 37: City to Negotiate Building Trades Union Contracts

PBN: … The Honolulu City Council is set to take a final vote on Wednesday on a bill that would require general contractors bidding on city construction projects of $1 million or more to hire unionized workers, whether or not the firm is a union shop.

The General Contractors Association of Hawaii, the Associated Builders and Contractors Hawaii Chapter and more than a dozen contractors, have testified against Bill 37, which is on the Council’s agenda for third reading Wednesday, arguing that the proposed legislation would prevent two-thirds of licensed contractors in Hawaii, which are not unionized, from using their own employees on city construction projects.

It would mean that unionized contractors would have to deal with two separate labor agreements — the master agreement the unions have with all unionized contractors and a project-specific agreement with the city, Layne Machida, president of the General Contractors Association of Hawaii, told Pacific Business News.

“The way the bill is written is the city will negotiate with the various labor trades – and whatever they negotiate will be put into the bid document,” Machida said.

Machida said his member contractors were puzzled by the intent of the bill.

“The GCA has a quarterly meeting with the people from the City and County of Honolulu,” he said. “The intent is to air out any problems; we’ve never in all of our meetings heard of any issues that would support any type of agreement of this nature.”

The bill was introduced by Councilman Joey Manahan and has the backing of the Hawaii Construction Alliance — an alliance of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Union, Local 630; the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Local 1; the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local 368; and the Operating Engineers, Local Union No. 3 — and the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council and both labor organizations are mentioned by name in the bill’s text.

The bill aims to ensure that 80% of the jobs on city projects are filled by local workers by creating a community workforce agreement, or project labor agreement, that would create a collective bargaining agreement between the city and the general contractor on public infrastructure projects.

read … Hawaii GCA says Honolulu bill to require union construction workers would hurt small business

Trying to Leave State: Ken Lawson’s Smirking Not-a-Pimp Busted at Airport

HNN: Former death row inmate Isaiah McCoy has been arrested in Honolulu ― again ― and prosecutors now plan to ask a judge to revoke his bail.

State deputy sheriffs took McCoy into custody Tuesday morning for violating the terms of his release after trying to leave the state without getting permission to do so.

He was transferred to OCCC.

McCoy is charged in a Waikiki robbery that happened last month.

He posted bail in that case on Sept. 18….

When McCoy was being transferred to OCCC on Tuesday morning, he smiled and waved to HNN’s cameras and claimed he was a “political prisoner.”

“I can’t fly out,” he said before comparing himself to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. “Power to the people" was the last thing he said before getting into a waiting patrol car.

The city Prosecutor’s Office is now asking a state judge to revoke McCoy’s bail or increase it….

SA: Former death row inmate arrested during attempt to leave Hawaii

Reality: UH: Ken Lawson Admits his “Innocence Project” Brought Alleged Pimp to Hawaii

read … Smirking

New Police Ethics Training Hopes To Stop ‘Misguided Loyalty’

CB: … The new program from New Orleans teaches police officers to intervene and prevent mistakes before they happen….

read … New Police Ethics Training Hopes To Stop ‘Misguided Loyalty’

Deputy prosecutor ordered to keep distance from defense lawyer

SA: … A state judge handed down an order Tuesday prohibiting a deputy prosecutor, who admits that he shoved defense lawyer Myles Breiner in a state courthouse hallway, from approaching or interacting with Breiner.

The injunction against harassment prohibits Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa from contacting, threatening or harassing Breiner for three years.

“You could agree with me that it’s totally unacceptable, particularly for a prosecutor, to be physically assaulting opposing counsel in the hallway at court, that is just not acceptable,” Honolulu District Judge Hilary Benson Gangnes told Higa before issuing the injunction.

The order also prohibits Higa from visiting Breiner’s home or workplace. It does not, however, prevent Higa from handling criminal cases involving Breiner clients.

Breiner had asked for an injunction prohibiting Higa from being in the same courtroom as him….

read … Deputy prosecutor ordered to keep distance from defense lawyer

Businesses get a break on state fees after funds go unspent

SA: … State officials have reduced or halted collection of a number of business and licensing fees amid concerns that the money being collected wasn’t serving a useful purpose.

The fees were attached to four special funds that were set up to regulate financial institutions, the cable industry and condominiums. The revenue generated from the fees was supposed to go back into regulating the respective industries. However, a review of the funds found ballooning balances and limited spending, said Rep. Takashi Ohno (D, Nuuanu-Liliha-Alewa Heights), chair of the House Committee on Intrastate Commerce, who worked with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to reduce the fees.

In one case, a special fund set up in 201o to regulate mortgage companies had accrued a balance of $1.8 million as of the 2018 fiscal year. But none of the money was ever spent, said Ohno. The fund was supposed to help consumers hurt by fraudulent or deceitful lending practices recover damages. The state has halted the collection of fees for this fund. Mortgage companies were being charged $200 for each principal office location, $100 for each branch office location and $100 for each loan officer, according to DCCA.

State officials also won’t be collecting a $5 biennium fee from condominium unit owners. Revenue from the fee is deposited into the Condominium Education Trust Fund to support education and research into condominium management and condominium-related disputes. The balance of that fund had grown to $2.5 million as of the 2018 fiscal year, up from $785,062 in fiscal year 2015. On average, the state had been spending about half a million from the fund during those years, allowing the balance to increase at a high rate.

The state also has reduced annual assessment fees charged to financial institutions and reduced franchise fees charged to cable television operators. DCCA did not provide a breakdown of those fees.

Ohno said that his aim in pushing for a reduction in the fees is to create a more business-friendly environment….

Ohno said there are other special funds he’s concerned about, including funds that collect fees from contractors and real estate license fees….

read … Businesses get a break on state fees after funds go unspent

After Fuel Tax Hike, Hawaii County Can’t Spend Money Fast Enough (literally)

HTH: … As more money pumps into county road projects, thanks in part to a 161% increase in the fuel tax rate since 2017, the county is having trouble spending it fast enough.

The County Council will be asked next week to reappropriate $8.4 million in fuel tax money that’s due to lapse because it wasn’t spent on time. The money accumulated in the accounts during the past 11 years, with $2 million of it not spent in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018.

read …  County looks to reappropriate $8.4M in unspent fuel tax funds

No, this lawmaker doesn’t have an ‘incredible investment opportunity’ for you

HNN: … State Rep. Gregg Takayama says this is actually the second time scammers hacked into his Facebook account and tried to exploit his followers via Facebook messenger.

HNN found out about this hustle first hand, after a Hawaii News Now photographer received a Facebook message from a person who appears to be Takayama.

After exchanging pleasantries the messaging quickly turns to money ― an “incredible investment opportunity.”

Using Takayama’s persona, the scammer then tries to convince HNN’s photographer to call his friend and put up $1,000 ― promising he’ll get $50,000 in return.…

read … No, this lawmaker doesn’t have an ‘incredible investment opportunity’ for you

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