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Thursday, December 17, 2020
December 17, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:49 PM :: 3194 Views

State's $1.4B deficit is equal to its overspending since 2012

City sends 2021 real property notice of assessments

COVID Vax Heading to Micronesia, Territories

Good News--Where's it coming from?

Kouchi: Gambling must wait for the fake Hawaiian Indian Tribe 

CB: … Like any proposed change in the law, the casino bill would need to win approval in the Legislature, which right now seems unlikely.

(The DHHL proposal is designed to fail.  Why?  Keep reading….)

Senate President Ron Kouchi said Monday that he would not be supportive of allowing gambling in any form.

He had concerns that if gambling is legalized in Hawaii it could open the door for Native American tribes to establish casinos in Hawaii, which would leave the state and Hawaiians without revenues from those types of operations.

(Reality: Tribes can only incorporate land to their jurisdiction with Federal BIA approval.)

“They would see great revenues from gaming operations,” Kouchi said. “And the Native Hawaiians would be left out.”

(Translation: Kouchi holds casinos hostage--awaiting the fake Hawaiian Tribe to be delivered by the new Chief Kahele anointed by the Four Governors of the Apocalypse.)

Tribal gaming, however, is heavily regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which requires states to enter into compacts with tribes and various federal approvals….

DHHL: Submit Testimony on Casino Proposal

SA: “The moment you put gaming on your books at any point, whether bingo or lottery, you cannot stop Native American Indians from putting gaming operations of any type” on any property they own, Kouchi said.

WaPo: Biden has tapped Deb Haaland, a Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, to serve as the first Native American interior secretary -- as the elected chair of the second-largest tribal gaming corporation in New Mexico, she helped oversee an enterprise with more than 1,100 employees and $200 million in revenue.


Big Q: Do you like the idea of a casino on Hawaiian Home Lands in Kapolei?

Part of the Plan -- Nov 5, 2020: Kahele Finally Admits he will back Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians

2009: Akaka Bill rewrite: Tribal jurisdiction for Hawaii?

2011: SAVE Act: Should Akaka Tribe be able to Arrest, Prosecute, and Imprison Non-Tribal Members?

read … A Casino In Kapolei? New Proposal Would Allow Limited Gambling

Recycling Dead Ideas: Similar DHHL Casino Bill 10 Years Ago

SA: … In 2010, a similar bill was proposed to allow an exception for DHHL to have gambling on multiple Hawaiian Home Lands parcels and, similarly, create a Hawaiian Gaming Commission.

That same year saw another bill die that would have created a statewide gaming commission and permit each county to allow gambling. Another bill would have allowed slot machines and video poker in “resort areas” and at the Honolulu airport. Another bill in 2010 would have allowed a single “stand-alone” casino in Waikiki, but not in a hotel….

(NOTE: 2010 was the last time the Akaka Bill was on the move in the US Congress.  See how this works?)

SA Editorial: Casino a bad bet for DHHL lands

CB: A Casino In Kapolei? Don't Hold Your Breath

read … Proposed Home Lands casino would allow golf course, theme parks, sporting events

What Did HPD Do To Prevent Another Kealoha Scandal? ‘Appoint Me’, Chief Says

CB: … In response to questions from City Councilman Tommy Waters on Wednesday, Ballard told a council committee that it would be “difficult” to prevent a similar scandal from happening again. She noted that the power of the police chief goes largely unchecked.

As chief, “I can put aside any policy or procedure that is in place,” she said. “As far as to stop it again, you’ve just got to make sure that the person you hired is ethical and is doing the right thing because the police chief makes all the decisions for the department.”…

In response to Waters’ question about whether the department had taken any preventative measures, she said: “Just to be blunt, no.”

Ballard said she surrounds herself with people who “are not going to be ‘yes’ people” and that she keeps an open mind to their suggestions.

Waters noted that the Kealohas were aided by police officers who followed their chief’s directives to help frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle. He asked the chief what measures are in place to protect an officer who refuses to engage in criminality at the direction of a supervisor.

Ballard said the department’s standards of conduct allow officers to resist unlawful orders and to carry out “unjust” orders but report them after the fact. In either case, Ballard said the officer is supposed to inform a supervisor….

If the person giving the improper order is the chief, Ballard said, complaints can be made to the Honolulu Ethics Commission and the Police Commission.

Waters countered that complaints to the Ethics Commission “went unanswered.”

Former Ethics Director Chuck Totto has publicly stated that when he tried to investigate the Kealohas, they retaliated with ethics complaints against him and with lawsuits that have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Totto’s efforts were further undermined by Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration and Caldwell appointees on the commission itself….

(CLUE: We already have ‘systems’ in place for supervision.  But those systems are worthless when they are full of cronies and yes-men.)

SA: Honolulu City Council reviews audits on HPD and prosecuting attorney’s office  Menor said, “It’s not surprising to me that neither he (Nadamoto) nor a representative from the prosecuting attorney’s office has even bothered to show up to respond to our auditor’s report.”

read … What Did HPD Do To Prevent Another Kealoha Scandal? Not Much, Chief Says

Hawaii Supreme Court Releases Cachola Arbitration Decision

CB: … An arbitration decision released late Wednesday concludes that a grainy surveillance video showing Honolulu police Sgt. Darren Cachola beating his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant in 2014 was really a “playful sparring match.”

Cachola was fired by then Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha in 2015 after footage of the fight was leaked to the press, sparking a firestorm of controversy in which lawmakers demanded action to address domestic violence and other misconduct within the ranks.

After a series of appeals, arbitrator James Kawashima overruled HPD’s decision and reinstated Cachola in February 2018 with full back pay, including lost overtime benefits….

For the most part, Kawashima viewed Cachola in a glowing light despite a long trail of domestic abuse allegations, including one from 2017 that occurred in advance of his arbitration hearing and this month resulted in a $320,000 legal settlement for his ex-wife. 

Kawashima wrote that Cachola had a 20-year record of “unblemished service” and took into account the many letters and comments that were submitted to him on Cachola’s behalf by his HPD colleagues who described him as a “future leader of HPD” and someone who “never got in trouble.”…

read .. Hawaii Supreme Court Releases Cachola Arbitration Decision

State issues new COVID-19 rules, shortening quarantine and extending eviction protections

HNN: … Governor David Ige issued a new COVID-19 emergency proclamation early Wednesday evening, reducing the length of the state’s mandatory self-quarantine for travelers and extending a moratorium on evictions into next year.

Travelers who do not participate in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program had previously been required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Hawaii….

In the emergency proclamation issued Wednesday, that moratorium was extended again, this time until February 21, 2021.

And the state’s temporary suspension of mandatory vehicle safety checks was lifted in Wednesday’s order as well, with state officials suggesting vehicle owners get safety checks as quickly as possible….


read … State issues new COVID-19 rules, shortening quarantine and extending eviction protections

Survey: More than 40% of Hawaii restaurants may not be in business in 6 months

PBN: … Hawaii restaurants continue to see large declines in sales, and most don’t expect the situation to improve for at least the next few months, according to a recent survey.

Conducted during the last two weeks of November by the National Restaurant Association and its local chapter, the Hawaii Restaurant Association, the survey found that sales were down by an average of 45% year-over-year in October among Hawaii respondents. That figure was significantly higher than the national average; sales were down nationally in October by an average of 29% compared to the same period last year.

Hawaii Restaurant Association Executive Director Sheryl Matsuoka said that current restrictions limiting dining rooms to 50% capacity continue to impact profitability….

read … Survey: More than 40% of Hawaii restaurants may not be in business in 6 months

Aloha Stadium Plan just like rail—Shut down to Save Money (but first pretend to be unsafe to juice new stadium boondoggle)

SA: … The Aloha Stadium Authority announced today that it has placed a “temporary moratorium” on new events, as well as reduced operations at the venue due to ongoing COVID-19 safety restrictions and budgetary problems.

The pandemic restrictions have severely limited revenue-generation opportunities, authority officials said in a news release. The release made no mention of maintenance issues despite earlier media reports, citing unidentified sources, that the stadium is shutting because of concerns about safety of the structure….

(Translation: There are no safety issues.  This is just a scam to scare you into accepting the new stadium boondoggle.)

SA: Budget problems and maintenance issues force Aloha Stadium to put a temporary halt on new events

CB: The University of Hawaii is already considering alternate sites such as high school stadiums for the 2021 football season. 

HNN: As financial issues mount, crumbling Aloha Stadium announces indefinite shutdown

HNN: Hawaii football team searching for new home following Aloha Stadium shut down

KITV: Mayor Victorino releases statement on possible use of War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku for UH football games

read … Aloha Stadium places ‘temporary moratorium’ on new events as pandemic and budget woes mount

Insiders Only Plan—Magic Money from the Federal Sky

SA Editorial: … The prospects for ruin in households across the country is frightening, which means it’s imperative that Congress act quickly to stave off disaster.

Confidence is rising that the U.S. House and Senate are positioned to act on limited relief, skirting the issues that have bogged down negotiations since the first CARES Act package was enacted March 27.

Given the “desperate needs” of so many people, this is the near-term approach that should be moved to a speedy conclusion, said Hawaii Rep. Ed Case, speaking Wednesday to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board.

Case argues, persuasively, that discretionary funds for state and local governments would be useful, because there are going to be significant unanticipated burdens on government budgets that have taken a severe hit from the loss of tax revenue. Hawaii’s is crippling: a projected deficit of $1.4 billion a year for four years.

But such help is simply not coming from the current Congress ….

read … Hawaii’s economy needs federal aid

7.6% of CARES Act funds left on Kaua‘i

TGI … Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds are set to expire at the end of this month, and the county’s $28 million slice has a remaining balance of $2,190,512, or about 7.6%, to be spent in December.

In the month of November, the county spent $3,412,702.32, much of it payments relating to payroll and overtime, funding of grant projects and personal protective equipment, according to the county’s monthly report.

The county received $28,715,55 in CARES Act funds, a sub-recipient of the state’s $1.25 billion in federal aid. These funds are set to expire at the end of the year, and the county’s expected to expend all the funds….

read … 7.6% of CARES Act funds left on Kaua‘i

Maui EMS Pretends to Suffer Budget Cuts

MN: … Emergency Medical Service officials are still on standby as they await a decision on budget cuts that they worry could lead to the loss of multiple stations on Maui.

“We are very concerned about pending budget cuts to emergency services statewide,” Kapena Hill, union officer with the Maui County Paramedics Association, said last week. “This will result in the loss of more than one station on Maui. All units are fair game. Once funding is cut, it is unlikely to be restored for years.”

In July and August, the state Department of Health was in talks with all four county EMS providers in preparation for a potential statewide budget cut of up to 20 percent for the coming budget due to financial deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

No decisions have been made and no timeline was provided.

“Those percentages were used as an exercise for discussion,” the Health Department said Friday. “The Department of Health recognizes EMS as an essential public health service and is committed to doing everything in its power to maintain Hawaii’s EMS services.”

Last week Gov. David Ige announced furloughs and pay cuts starting Jan. 1 for state workers. He said the furloughs would not apply to positions that support 24/7 functions or jobs funded from sources outside of the general fund. This includes first responders, medical and public safety personnel and employees at the departments of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as well as Transportation, which covers airports, harbors and highways statewide.

The paramedics association said “it’s promising news” but is still worried that things could change.

A few membership meetings were held to discuss different scenarios about how EMS could hypothetically meet those cuts, and their deadline was the end of November, Hill said. A final meeting was scheduled for Thursday last week, but it did not happen….

read … All Pretend

Denied: Hawaii bar owners ask court to let them open

SA: … A federal judge may rule Friday on whether bars on Oahu can reopen after they have been closed all but a few weeks since COVID-19 hit Hawaii in March.

Judge Leslie Kobayashi is scheduled to rule after arguments at a hearing Wednesday requesting an injunction against emergency executive orders that shut down bars. According to claims by the plaintiffs, the closings violated their civil rights.

Among the complaints are discrimination, because some establishments are still allowed to serve alcohol; and lack of due process, because those not allowed have not been clearly told why, or given a chance to comply to COVID-19 rules….

SA: Federal judge denies request to reopen Oahu bars and nightclubs

read … Hawaii bar owners ask court to let them open

Teleworking from paradise may sting come tax time

SA: … Question: Are people who come to Hawaii and telework for mainland companies subject to Hawaii income taxes?

Answer: Yes. “Nonresidents who telework would be subject to Hawaii income tax on the income received for serv­ices performed in Hawaii. The law does not provide any thresholds as to the duration spent in Hawaii or amount of income earned,” according to the state Department of Taxation, which cited Hawaii Revised Statutes Sec. 235-4(b); see 808ne.ws/hrs2354b….

read … Teleworking from paradise may sting come tax time

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