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Thursday, December 9, 2021
December 9, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:42 PM :: 1692 Views

Ige Appoints Holly T.M. Shikada Attorney General

City waives fees and allows storm damage work to begin immediately

Navy Discovers Contamination at a Second Shaft

Greenhouse Gas Loopholes Will Save Humanity

IM: … Hawai`i should encourage millions of Asians to vacation in Hawaii since greenhouse gas emissions of international flights do not affect Hawaii domestic emissions as regulated by the COP21 Paris Agreement and the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact.

Multinational polluters rightfully point out that the world can continue business as usual, and can continue to increase greenhouse gas emissions, because all emitters will pledge to buy carbon offsets in 2040.

Politicians can enable every city, state, and nation to achieve 100% renewable energy by recognizing that the law of conservation of energy states that energy can`t be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms, and thus renewable energy doesn`t exist in science, it is merely a political figment that changes in time and place.

For example, in the past 20 years, Hawaii has included and excluded conservation, efficiency, fossil fuel-based bioenergy and rooftop solar from the definition of renewable energy. Thus, to achieve 100% renewable energy, politicians must merely must define renewable energy to mean whatever is currently being used. Most political definitions of renewable energy, like Hawaii law, have no link to carbon emissions….

read … Greenhouse Gas Loopholes Will Save Humanity

Usual Anti-Military Suspects Sense Opportunity

CB: … The military has enjoyed unwavering support from state and federal political leaders in Hawaii. But the threat to Oahu’s water supply may be bringing that to an end….

“Sometimes it takes a crisis to break a pattern,” said Neal Milner, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. “It should not be surprising that our politicians were willing to go along with business as usual until this crisis got out of hand. That’s a fairly typical political response.”….

“At this point I think everybody is coalescing around the same message,” said John Waihee, who was Hawaii’s governor from 1986 to 1994. “At this point it’s clear that the status quo cannot continue to exist.”

Politicians in Hawaii have long walked a fine line between demanding the removal of the tanks and ensuring the facility operates safely. Red Hill, which was built in the 1940s, has become an important strategic asset in the Indo-Pacific region, but its significance extends beyond national security.

The military is the second largest driver of Hawaii’s economy behind tourism, and organizations such as the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce have lobbied hard against any proposals that might result in the military moving elsewhere.

“They’ve been trying to thread an impossible needle here for way too long and it’s been really frustrating,” said Marti Townsend, a former director of the Sierra Club Hawaii. “This is an impossible situation because you can’t have both the Red Hill fuel tanks where they are, as they are, and have clean water for half a million people.”

Townsend has been a longtime advocate of removing the aging fuel tanks at Red Hill to protect the aquifer, but over the years she and her allies have had little success getting buy-in from the state’s top elected officials, particularly those within the federal delegation.

Too often, she said, politicians have focused on the billions of dollars the U.S. military brings into the islands each year.

In fiscal year 2020, the Department of Defense reported spending $7.7 billion in the islands on personnel and contracts. Among the branches, the Navy brought in the most money.

“Our leaders want to keep the Navy in Hawaii and, from their perspective, anything that could risk the Navy leaving, such as the removal of the Red Hill fuel tanks, means the potential for economic disaster,” Townsend said. “But what do we care more about? The military’s contribution to our economy or the complete decimation of our economy because there’s not enough water to drink.”…

In an interview with Civil Beat, Kahele, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Red Hill fuel storage facility is too important to the military to consider removing it from the islands. But he acknowledged something needs to be done to ensure that Oahu’s drinking water is safe.

read … Red Hill Has Changed The Politics Around The Military In Hawaii

Honolulu rail new plan to repair gap between rail wheels and track

SA: … The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has granted a temporary exemption to allow welders without Hawaii licenses to make temporary repairs to fix the rail project’s too-narrow wheels and too-wide track junctions — and to train local welders for long-term maintenance of the planned 20.2-mile rail line.

No Hawaii welders or companies are licensed to retrofit the manganese track crossing junctures called frogs and no local welders — or hui of welders — bid on the work earlier this year.

So the new plan is to bring in specialized welders from the mainland who don’t have a Hawaii license, …

Just under a year after taking over as HART’s interim leader, Kahikina told Spotlight Hawaii that she is “humbled” to have accepted a contract to become the permanent CEO and executive director, starting Jan. 1.

Her annual salary will be $275,000 with options for bonuses. Kahikina will earn more than the mayor but, unlike her predecessors, she will not be the city’s highest paid employee, she said.

Similar positions on the mainland pay $325,000 to $430,000, Kahikina said….

She will have a two-year contract with an option for a third year, Kahikina said….

read … Honolulu rail CEO offers new hope to repair gap between rail wheels and track

Hawaii Co Council passes 3% TAT: New hotel tax makes up for state cuts

HTH: … Visitors to Hawaii Island hotels and vacation rentals will be digging a little deeper come Jan. 1, with the County Council on Thursday unanimously passing a 3% local option lodging tax….

read … Council passes 3% TAT: New hotel tax makes up for state cuts

How To Get The Honolulu Police Commission Moving On New Chief

CB: …  Here is what the HPC’s executive director had to say about the search for a consultant:

“We are close … in the process of being finalized,” which is essentially the same update he gave during the last three meetings.

Unless you were born in Hawaii yesterday, you understand that “close” and “in the process of being finalized” raises flags as crimson as Santa’s winter delivery outfit and Rudolph’s nose.

Does the commission take this evasiveness for a satisfactory answer? Well, basically yes.

When asked what “close” meant, the city employee responsible for making the contract happen said, “I really can’t divulge the minutiae of what’s going on.”

“That’s all I can tell you,” she said, and added, “there are some things that are a little out of our control right now, but we are working very diligently to get this done very quickly.”

(By the way this person used to negotiate contracts for HART. Just saying.)

There you have it, a paralytic mix of non-transparency and severely lame “it’s complicated” excuses that is a microcosm of Hawaii government dysfunction.

Did the commissioners get upset by this? Did it probe to find out what’s “out of our control” or why the HPC should accept these claims of diligence and speed?

Nah. Not really….

read … How To Get The Honolulu Police Commission Moving On New Chief

Tour companies lose permits for Saturday tours on Wailua River

TGI: … Starting this month, kayak-tour operators and rental companies are no longer allowed to operate tours on the Wailua River on Saturdays.

With Sundays already restricted, this limits guided tours to weekdays moving forward.

The change came as a shock to companies which were notified of the restriction at a meeting on Nov. 22, less than two weeks before the permitting change would go effect on Dec. 4. Immediately, companies with advanced holiday bookings began contacting clients with Saturday reservations to reschedule or cancel tours.

Will Leonard of Rainbow Kayaks and Ancient River Kayaks estimates the reduction of an operating day will cost his companies between 17% and 20% of revenue….

“I don’t even know, honestly, if the business will be viable,” Leonard said. “We’re going to have to get through winter, hope there’s not too much rain and see where we’re at.”…

“It seems like most of our business on Saturdays are those folks that come from the neighbor islands,” said Fisher. “They come over Friday night, maybe early Saturday morning, and then they leave Sunday night.”

Kayak companies are on edge with the permitting situation.

Several tour-company owners requested to speak anonymously, not wanting to escalate tensions with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks or face retaliation from the sole permitting agency.

“They have the power to pull our permits at any time,” said one operator. “(If) we get together and start complaining, then they can say ‘OK, fine. We’ll just we’ll pull everybody’s permits.’”…

read … Tour companies lose permits for Saturday tours on Wailua River 

CSO one step closer to decommissioning

HTH: … The planned dismantling and removal of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory from Maunakea has cleared another hurdle with the publication Wednesday of the final environmental assessment….

read … CSO one step closer to decommissioning

Possible cyberattack takes down TheBus, Handi-Van servers

SA: ...  The shutdown has affected all OTS networks, the city said today.

While TheBus will continue to operate on schedule, with little to no delays in service expected, TheHandi-Van is unable to access, view, or print today’s customer reservations, according to the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services.

Customers of TheHandi-Van who are scheduled for pickup today are urged to call 808-456-5555 to schedule same-day pickups, but should be aware there may be a high volume of calls.

Meanwhile, the city will be staging vehicles throughout Oahu so they may be dispatched to waiting customers….

KHON: DTS to discuss cyberattack that caused TheBus, TheHandi-Van servers to go down

read … Possible cyberattack takes down TheBus, Handi-Van servers

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