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Sunday, November 22, 2020
November 22, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:26 PM :: 3568 Views

UHERO: Ratepayers Pay $1.15 for Every $1.00 Saved by Solar Users

​Standardless Spending, Part 2?

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted November 21, 2020

Time for the GOP to accept that Trump lost and move on

Shapiro: … For Trump to overturn Biden’s Electoral College lead of 306 to 232, he’d have to flip three states among Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which Biden won by margins of 10,000 to 156,000 votes.

With final tabulations supporting the accuracy of results and his legal challenges failing, Trump could succeed only by corrupt means, such as pressuring GOP legislators to discard election results and give him electors he didn’t win.

It’s almost certain to fail because of the vast number of legal hurdles that would require a total breakdown of our constitutional integrity to clear.

Is it worth it to Republican leaders to blow up our free elections to salve Trump’s ego?

Republicans are hardly powerless if they lose the presidency. They still control the Senate barring an unexpected double loss in January’s Georgia runoffs, gained seats in the House and have a 6-3 Supreme Court majority. Another shot at the White House is only four years away.

Trump’s cries of American ruin if he goes are just more of the tiresome melodrama that contributed to his defeat at the polls….

read … Time for the GOP to accept that Trump lost and move on

Budget woes will trim government

SA Editorial: … At the state and county budget offices, anticipated revenues are being projected at well below average levels. At Honolulu Hale, the current figures show an expected shortfall topping $400 million, a jaw-dropping figure.

It’s reached the point at which elected officials openly acknowledge that the budgetary axe is coming down, and that smaller government will certainly be the result….

In October, Gov. David Ige telegraphed the sobering forecast that tax receipts supporting state programs are 25% below where they need to be to support current government services.

“We have an annual budget deficit that we’re looking at between $1.3 and $1.5 billion every year,” Ige said at the time, “and clearly that’s not sustainable. So we are going to have to reduce the size of state government.”

That’s the undeniable imperative, and taxpayers are going to have to expect some curbs on services, for the foreseeable future.

And individual state agencies have relayed expectations of furloughs to their employees. The state Department of Human Services director on Sept. 21 sent a message to staff announcing a likely 10% furlough to take effect Dec. 1. Director Cathy Betts also said the furloughs could last for the next four fiscal years.

Speaking before the Council’s Budget Committee on Wednesday, Manny Valbuena, acting Budget and Fiscal Services director, said a big part of the mammoth budget deficit, was a new item: setting aside at least $140 million for the operations and maintenance of the city’s controversial and long-overdue rail system….

The city’s Internal Control Division, part of Valbuena’s budget agency, conducted the review in response to allegations of OT claims and other misuses of city funds. This kind of oversight must intensify if the city is to rein in spending that’s nonessential, or even flatly wasteful….

read … Budget woes will trim government

Hawaii Governor makes case for using CARES Act money to pay back unemployment insurance loan

KITV: … Earlier this week, Governor David Ige talked to KITV-4's Annalisa Burgos about criticism that the plan is a misuse of the money and that funds should go directly to people suffering during the pandemic.

According to Hawaii Representative Ed Case's office, the U.S. Treasury Department allows states to use CARES Act money to replenish its unemployment insurance fund if it's depleted due to the public health emergency ….

SA: Give CARES Money to Homelessness Industry Instead

read … Hawaii Governor makes case for using CARES Act money to pay back unemployment insurance loan

Big Island Food Basket Serves 85,000 People

WHT: … The Food Basket-Hawaii Island’s Food Bank reported record numbers of people in line for Ohana Food Drops after experiencing a spike in demand at its locations in Volcano, Kailua-Kona and Pahoa the week before Thanksgiving….

The Food Basket had its largest turnout yet during its food drop Thursday in Kailua-Kona, when the nonprofit served 3,951 individuals and 895 families.

According to Frost Albrecht, The Food Basket has given out more than 6 million pounds of food to about 85,000 individuals as of the end of September…. 

CB: COVID-19 Is Changing ‘The Face Of Hunger’ In Hawaii

SA: Hawaii island group distributes $7.5M in housing aid, with more on the way

read … Food Basket serving record number of people through Ohana Food Drops

Kauai Foodbank Distributes 107,000 lbs Since September

TGI: … More than 107,200 pounds of food have been dished out through the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana food distributions, said Tish Ruiz Friday during the briefing for the final distribution for the series that started in September.

“This is the largest one, with 700 families registered for pick up,” said Chyenne Beach, community-development specialist for the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch. “Not only is this the largest, we were booked up early Monday.”…

read … Last Kokua No Ka ‘Ohana goes out

What’s that smell wafting over from Maui’s south shore?

Cataluna: … What’s that smell wafting over from Maui’s south shore? It’s a mix of odors all bended together: the fake-coconut fragrance of suntan lotion and umbrella drinks; the sweaty, inky scent of money; the pungent feedlot stench of hypocrisy. Phew, what a stink.

Oh, right. It’s that four-day travel junket for West Coast politicians at Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani hotel. It’s the Pandemic Party. It’s the COVID confab. It’s the exceptional travel exception for politicians from states that have told their residents not to travel.

While their constituents lucky enough to still have jobs are going dead-eyed to endless zoom meetings, these dedicated public servants are putting on their flip-flops and having drinks by the pool on behalf of good government. What a sacrifice they’re making for the good of their communities.

The outrage from the hometowns of some of the attendees has been heated:

One headline out of Los Angeles blasted: “Governor: Don’t travel! Lawmakers: Hawaii’s OK, right?”

The San Francisco Chronicle said: “California Lawmakers, Lobbyists Mingle on Maui, Pandemic or No Pandemic.”

In Washington state, the story was headlined: “Washington lawmakers reportedly at Hawaii conference while residents are urged not to travel.”

MN: Organizer says no attendees have tested positive for virus

read … The Maui Conference Optics Look Bad But The Explanation Is Worse

Here’s Why Hawaiian Homesteaders May Never Fully Profit From Their Own Land

CB: … While Native Hawaiians can buy homestead properties for prices below market value, the deal is a double-edged sword. When it’s time to pay college tuition or repair a crumbling roof, they find themselves with less wealth to borrow against. 

That’s because federal guidelines confine them to “replacement cost appraisals” that give no value to the ground below the house.

These appraisals also ignore home prices in the area, so that while fee simple houses around them appreciate with a soaring statewide real estate market, Native Hawaiians on homesteads watch their home equity stagnate….

Jan, 2020: DHHL Leaseholds--many vacant or abandoned

Jan, 2020: DHHL Defends Mortgage Lending Practices

read … Here’s Why Hawaiian Homesteaders May Never Fully Profit From Their Own Land

Roth announces more cabinet appointees

HTH: … Mayor-elect Mitch Roth announced Saturday three more appointments to his Cabinet.

Leading the Planning Department will be former Puna Councilman Zendo Kern of Kurtistown. Civil Engineer S. Ikaika Rodenhurst of Hawaiian Acres will lead the Department of Public Works and Ramzi I. Mansour of Honolulu, also a professional engineer, will be the new director of the Department of Environmental Management.

“I am humbled by the experience that these three people bring to our team,” said Roth in a prepared statement. “We are fortunate that they are willing to serve their community.”

Saturday’s announcement follows Roth on Wednesday stating that Lee Lord of Volcano will be managing director and Bobby Command of Captain Cook the deputy managing director. Elizabeth “Betsy” Strance of Kailua-Kona will be the county’s next corporation counsel, Deanna Sako of Keaau the finance director, Maurice “Moe” Messina of Mountain View the leader of Parks and Recreation, Scott Uehara of Hilo the director of Information Technology and Susan Kunz of Hilo the housing administrator.

The name of the director of the Department of Research and Development will be released at a later date….

read … Roth announces more cabinet appointees

SHOPO Sues All Four Counties over disclosure law

HTH: … The statewide police union is now suing all four counties in an effort to keep the names of officers fired or suspended for disciplinary reasons secret until all grievance avenues for the officers are exhausted.

Two civil suits were filed Friday against Hawaii and Maui counties by Honolulu attorneys Vladimir Devins and Kalani Alapa, representing the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, known as SHOPO. Similar complaints were filed earlier this month against the County of Kauai and City and County of Honolulu.

At issue is a new law enacted Sept. 15 by Gov. David Ige that makes the disciplinary files of officers who are fired or suspended public record.

The police union opposed the changes, saying the law violates the privacy rights of officers and the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the counties and seeks to have the law declared unconstitutional….

Jeff Portnoy, a Honolulu attorney who represents the Tribune-Herald and other media outlets and is an expert on public records laws, said, “All they’re trying to do is protect their police officers from public disclosure.”….

AP: Hawaii police union sues counties over name disclosures of fired or suspended officers

read … SHOPO sues Hawaii County over disclosure law

Miske Case: An Insider Pleads Guilty And Is Cooperating With The Feds

CB:… Jacob Smith’s plea agreement details violence and criminal operations he says were carried out under orders from longtime Honolulu businessman Michael Miske….

ILind: Miske insider flips, pleads guilty and agrees to testify

PDF: Jacob Smith Plea Deal

read … Miske Case: An Insider Pleads Guilty And Is Cooperating With The Feds

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