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Sunday, December 12, 2021
December 12, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:18 PM :: 1744 Views

Foreign Trade Zone Kerfuffle

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted December 11, 2021

COVID Brings More Students to Hawaii

Red Hill: BWS Bargaining Position

CB: … Since 1943, the facility has recorded at least 73 fuel leaks totaling at least 180,000 gallons, according to (anti-military activists in) the Sierra Club, although the Navy disputes this….

Around 2008, the Hawaii Department of Health recommended that the Navy install a leak detection system and groundwater monitoring wells to protect the drinking water. Even at that time, petroleum contamination was evident underneath the tanks, according to DOH….

the facility escaped major scrutiny until 2014, when an estimated 27,000 gallons of fuel escaped from one of the tanks. After that release, groundwater and soil monitoring systems registered spikes in diesel and petroleum, according to DOH….

The Navy blamed the catastrophe on errors by a contractor, but a systems analyst told KITV in 2015 that alarms indicating a leak were ringing for about a month but were ignored by officials. …

Meanwhile, other Navy hubs across the country have shuttered their own underground fuel facilities built in the same era as Red Hill. 

Officials in Washington called the Navy’s shutdown of their region’s World War II-era fuel tanks a win for taxpayers, the environment and the military, the Kitsap Daily News reported. 

Navy officials suspect the water contamination crisis was caused by leaks that occurred this year: On May 6, over 1,600 gallons of fuel spilled from a burst pipeline in the facility’s lower access tunnel. And on Nov. 20, 14,000 gallons of water and fuel leaked from a fire suppression line in a tunnel at the halfway point between the tanks and the Red Hill drinking water shaft. …

Diesel contamination is also present near a second water source, the Navy’s Aiea Halawa shaft, the Navy announced this week….

The BWS Halawa shaft is particularly vulnerable to contamination because it sucks water right from the top of the aquifer, according to the BWS, and oil floats on water. 

BWS officials said they don’t believe it’s feasible to drill a deeper well there. It would make more sense to drill another one further away from the contamination, they said. 

Once an aquifer is significantly contaminated, there isn’t much that can be done, BWS said. Water can be decontaminated once it’s pumped from the aquifer, but that option becomes less feasible the greater the contamination, Kawata said. At a certain point, it becomes cost-prohibitive. Plus, there is no water treatment facility capable of doing that kind of filtration right now. The only processing BWS water undergoes is chlorination. …

(Translation: BWS is bargaining for federal funding.)

read … How The Red Hill Fuel System Has Threatened Oahu’s Drinking Water For Decades

TMT Top Project in Decadal Survey

HTH: … Two U.S. Congressional committees were pleased with a recent survey naming the Thirty Meter Telescope as a priority project for federal funding.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittees on Space and Aeronautics and Research and Technology held a hearing to discuss the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, a list of current and upcoming astronomy projects that are recommended targets for funding from the National Science Foundation….

Topping the survey’s list of ground-based astronomy projects was the Extremely Large Telescope Project, a joint project whereby the NSF would allocate $800 million to both the TMT and the Chile-based Giant Magellan Telescope….

read … Committees react positively to Decadal Survey results

Spying and Taxes: Proposal to charge environmental fee to come to Hawaii

SA: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s new Destination Management Action Plans for each island outline how the agency will redefine tourism’s direction in the next three years. The Oahu plan proposes establishing a “regenerative tourism fee” to directly support programs protecting Hawaii’s natural resources in its list of actions, including how to legally collect and distribute the revenue — bolstering a concept long espoused in the environmental community….

Burnett thinks the most effective way of levying a green fee is not an umbrella charge, as was attempted with a bill during the Hawaii Legislature’s 2021 session. Senate Bill 666 proposed establishing a $20 surcharge on transient accommodations to fund environmental workforce programs. The bill never made it to the floor.

Instead, Burnett thinks user fees should be attached to a specific “environmental amenity,” whether it be the Lanikai Pillbox, the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail or a drive along Hana Highway on Maui….

Technology for smart tourism is already available and used elsewhere, she said. There are apps, for example, that visitors use to pay fees, which can also show how crowded a particular site is….

Curt Cottrell, administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks, said more revenue is certainly welcome, but there needs to be a balance between basic funding appropriations and generating income directly from visitor user fees.

Last year he lobbied the Legislature to fund staff salaries using tax-generated general funds….

(Translation: Don’t let this pie-in-sky stuff interfere with my empire building.)

REALITY: Crandall v. Nevada - Wikipedia

read … Proposal to charge environmental fee to come to Hawaii gaining support

DHHL Will Build 300-400 Homes Per Year

That waitlist number will stay consistent in part because of just natural population growth?

I would say it’ll stay consistent because, at the rate of funding that we’re getting, we can only do 300 to 400 lots a year.

However, I would say that in addition to getting people off the waitlist, there has been pressure from Congress and from the Legislature to those folks who will never be able to afford even a turnkey or a Habitat home — getting some rentals for some Hawaiians out there so that they don’t become homeless. So now we’ve had this added to our plate, which we’re doing with the Bowl-O-Drome and some other projects….

My wife is actually a lessee and we hired a contractor friend and, because my family knew how to do certain things, we joined with the contractor and we built a 3-bedroom, 2-bath — this is 20-something years now — for $80,000. Very affordable to me, who was a harbor master at the time living off of a small state salary. So it was perfect for me and my family….

read … Interview: Hawaiian Homes Chair William Aila Jr.

Anxiety And Depression: Youth Mental Health Got Worse During The Pandemic

CB: … In Hawaii, mental health providers say they’re only beginning to see the repercussions of forced social isolation and distance learning on young people….

Honolulu psychiatrist Sonia Patel tells the story of a teen who was confined to a college dorm room most hours of each day while classes were being taught remotely. He started vaping marijuana to manage his escalating anxiety — even though he was taking a medication that doesn’t mix well with marijuana.

On one occasion, the teen spiraled into a dangerous state of cannabis-induced psychosis….

Almost two years into the pandemic, classroom doors have reopened to students who spent roughly an entire academic year attending virtual school. Although many kids have enthusiastically embraced a return to the normalcy of lunch rooms, sports and classrooms, others are struggling to reclaim their pre-pandemic lives amid intensifying psychological symptoms and a stark regression in their ability to cope.

For some teens, the very thought of going to school in the morning can elicit physical symptoms of anxiety, depression and gut stress, Patel said.

“I’ve had to write a lot of doctor’s notes,” the psychiatrist said. “It’s this fear of their little teenage world — seeing people, having to bump into people, having to talk to teachers. A lot of these kids can’t ask their teacher for help on assignments. They can’t even talk to their teacher.”…

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, mental health providers statewide have reported heightened levels of anxiety, loneliness, depression and stress in their patients, both youth and adults.

As a result, some psychiatrists say they’ve increased their patients’ medication dosages or now see them more often. People with no history of psychiatric symptoms are also struggling….

read … Anxiety And Depression: Youth Mental Health Got Worse During The Pandemic

Republican Party current leading faction increasingly embracing its Nazi fringe

Shapiro: … Dole’s Republican Party is no more, with the current leading faction increasingly embracing its Nazi fringe, re-imposing Jim Crow voting rules in states it controls, denying the science behind vaccines and moon landings, slashing aid to the needy and dismantling women’s rights….

read … Honor Bob Dole by embracing his call to heal America

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