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Thursday, October 28, 2021
October 28, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:09 PM :: 1725 Views

Poll: Most Support More Land for Housing

Foster Care Insurance Policy Written to Keep CWS Secrets

City eases COVID-19 restrictions for managed events

Red Hill: State Fines Navy $325K

Abercrombie, Cayetano and Waihee push to Kill Stadium Project

SA: … Three former Hawaii governors believe it’s time to say aloha — as in goodbye forever — to Aloha Stadium.

Neil Abercrombie, Ben Cayetano and John Waihee sent a letter expressing this view Tuesday to state leaders involved in a long-­running effort to redevelop the stadium’s 98-acre Halawa site with a new, roughly 35,000-seat stadium along with housing, hotels, retail and other uses envisioned as the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District.

(Translation: Developers believe they can make more money with more housing.)

The three expect the effort to find private developers to carry out the NASED plan, which would largely be paid for by public funds offset by income from private use of leased land around a new stadium, will result in a “sinkhole” for taxpayers and a “walk-away disaster” for a private partner.

Instead, the trio suggest that the University of Hawaii build a stadium with 22,000 to 27,000 seats on its Manoa campus to free up the Hala­­wa site for more concentrated residential development focused on workforce housing….

Cayetano said a new stadium, which DAGS expects to cost around $400 million, isn’t essential to a new community on the Halawa site.

“They can build a new community without a stadium,” he said. “It’s a waste of money — $400 million.”

Waihee noted that the original premise for building the 50,000-seat Aloha Stadium in 1975 was in part to attract a professional sports team.

“I drank the lemonade back then too,” he said. “It didn’t work out.”

(Kool-aid.  Its’ Kool-aid.)

Now, Waihee said replacing Aloha Stadium isn’t necessary to have developers create housing opportunities on the state-owned site next to a city rail station.

“In my opinion, it’s an artificial add-on because we have a bigger problem to solve,” he said. “The big problem is getting housing for people.”…

Gov. David Ige, however, offered a more uncertain response after saying earlier this year that the old stadium’s life could be extended for many years to come.

“We are committed to building a permanent home for the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football team,” Ige said in a statement. “We are exploring all options, and I appreciate the valuable input from our former governors.”…  

SA Editorial: Review Aloha Stadium plan

read … Ex-governors Abercrombie, Cayetano and Waihee push housing, no stadium in Halawa

SHOPO’s claim of media bias

ILind: … And for well over 40 years, SHOPO has carried out a scorched-earth strategy in pursuit of a special form of enhanced “privacy” for police officers that for decades successfully denied the public basic information about misconduct by police officers. SHOPO’s strategy included extensive public relations campaigns and costly and repetitive court battles, underscored by more than $275,000 in campaign contributions to candidates for state and county offices.

The result, until a recent, far-reaching decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court, was that the public was denied access to information necessary to know how widespread problems are within the various police departments, or to distinguish between officers who commit serious violations of law or policy, and those who faithfully carry out their duties.

And over those decades, SHOPO’s focused its energies on a full court press to block disclosure of disciplinary findings, and its “right” to leave the public in the dark.

It was SHOPO that so sharply defined what it considered the overriding interest in avoiding public scrutiny of the actions of any and all police officers accused of misconduct.

SHOPO itself put relatively few resources into showcasing the positive examples of policing, perhaps due in part to the awkwardness of promoting some officers for their positive contributions to the community, while expending most of its resources on actively protecting those accused of misconduct.

read … SHOPO’s claim of media bias

Missing girl’s loved ones say their requests to authorities for updates have been ignored

HNN: …  Isabella has been part of the foster system since she was a baby.

Hawaii News Now reported in September that she had two serious injuries that were investigated.

Even after the incidents, the girl remained in her adoptive family’s home….

Hawaii News Now has repeatedly asked HPD for interviews and updates in recent weeks. A request was declined again Wednesday.

A department spokesperson instead sent another statement that said they continue to investigate and pointed out the increased reward that made headlines last week.

HPD also encouraged anyone with tips to call CrimeStoppers.

Meanwhile, an online petition related to the case had about 1,800 signatures Wednesday afternoon….

read … Missing girl’s loved ones say their requests to authorities for updates have been ignored

Tax necessary mayor says

HTH: … At that meeting, Hamakua Councilwoman Heather Kimball, who introduced the bill, said the tax would add $9 to the average $280 nightly room rate on the island…

“But I think we have to pass the bill, and we have to collect the funds, even at a time when that may put a dent in tourism,” Roth said. “For some people, it may price them out of a trip to Hawaii.”…

“We’re in a situation where we need to pass an ordinance about this,” Roth said Wednesday. “We have about a $19 million hole right now that we need to fill, and the amount of money the county has and the needs of the county has are miles apart.”

That $19 million hole is the gap in the county’s budget caused when the state Legislature passed a bill earlier this year that redirected the counties’ share of the state TAT — which imposes a 10.25% on gross rental charges — to the state while allowing the counties the option to pass a local tax of up to 3%.

Maui and Kauai already have introduced bills proposing a local TAT. Both counties’ bills would establish the tax at 3%, the maximum possible amount…..

read … Tax a ‘necessary evil,’ mayor says, to make ends meet for county

Oahu Renewable Energy Developers Face New Catastrophic Threat

ILind: … The City and County of Honolulu Tax Department`s Real Property Assessment Division (RPAD) opined that a solar facility located on agriculturally zoned land should be taxed at the industrial level, even if the land is also being used for agricultural purposes.

The existing tax rate for these solar projects skyrocketed, with a 100 to 500 increase per year. Existing fixed price solar contracts cannot absorb the increase.

Developers of projects that are undergoing regulatory approval would either need the PUC to approve amending the PPA to increase rates that would shift funds from ratepayers to the city, or to walk away from the project….

City Councilmember Tommy Waters introduced Bill 39 on September 28, 2021, to partially address this issue. The first county council hearing was held on October 20. The next hearing is set for November 10….

Longroad Energy testified that one of their projects underway would see a tax increase from $53,000 per year to $1,200,000. “This is enough to kill most solar projects that have already been approved by the PUC some of which are already in construction.”…

read … O`ahu Renewable Energy Developers Face New Catastrophic Threat

Next Boondoggle: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City & County of Honolulu introduce Ala Wai Flood Risk Management study

HNN: … The virtual workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, November 10, from 5:30 PM to 8 PM, and on Saturday, November 13 from 1 PM to 3:30 PM….

Reality: Next Boondoggle: USACE, City of Honolulu Sign Agreement for Ala Wai Flood Study

Reality: Ala Wai? Corps of Engineers has Long History of Corruption and Cost Overruns

Link: USACE Ala Wai page

read … U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City & County of Honolulu introduce Ala Wai Flood Risk Management study

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