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Wednesday, December 15, 2021
December 15, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:47 PM :: 1838 Views

Hawaii Ethics and Audit Function at Lowest Level in Years

Blangiardi signs bill to recover lost Transient Accommodations Tax revenue and give it to Rail

City Sends 2022 Real Property Assessments -- Average Increase 11.6%

Sierra Club Moves to Intervene in DoH Red Hill Hearing

FBI Investigating Cyber Attack Against TheBus and TheHandi-Van

Hawaii Proud Boys Founder Sued over January 6 Attack on Congress

Cato: Hawaii second least-free state in USA

How the Murder Rate in Hawaii Compares to the Rest of the Country

How Consumer Debt in Hawaii Changed During the Pandemic

COVID Funds Buy Buildings for Non-Profits

Rail Budget Could Buy a Tesla for Every Household on Oahu

IM: … The latest price tag for Honolulu rail is $12.4 billion. The entire 20-mile project is not expected to be finished until 2031. Large numbers are often difficult to comprehend.

According to the latest census data, Honolulu has a population of 1,016,508. With an average of 3.03 people per household,  O`ahu has a total of 312,795 households. 

The entry-level Nissan LEAF has a 40 kWh battery and 110 kW electric motor is offered at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $27,400, and is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Without the federal tax credit, the cost for the government to buy one Nissan LEAF at full price for every household on Oahu is $8.57B.

Again, without the federal tax credit, the cost to buy the most affordable Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is $41,190 per car or $12.89  billion to supply one car for every Oahu household….

Adding 300,000 mobile battery systems to the Oahu electric grid would vastly increase the ability of the grid to survive long periods of consecutive cloudy rainy days….

read … If Not Honolulu Rail, Then What

Stadium proposals postponed: NASED too busy lobbying Legislature

SA: … The request for proposals delivery to the three finalists for development of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District state project, which was set for today. has been postponed, according to a news release from NASED.

“The change until early 2022 was necessary as the administration prepared for the demands of the legislative session that begins next month,” said Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator for the Department of Accounting and General Services….

Capacity for the new stadium has yet to be determined, according to NASED.

Aloha Stadium District Partners, Aloha Stadium Hui Hilina’i and Waiola Development Partners are the three developer-led teams that were selected by the state as the three finalists in December 2020.... 

SA Editorial: Delays for new stadium

read … New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District proposals postponed, construction scheduled for 2023

Kalani Hao To Be Honolulu’s New Fire Department Chief

CB: … A yearlong search for a fire chief that was deadlocked between two finalists for months has now concluded.

Sheldon Kalani Hao, the acting deputy chief, will lead the Honolulu Fire Department effective Dec. 31.

Acting Chief Lionel Camara Jr., who had vied with Hao for the top job, told the Honolulu Fire Commission in writing earlier this week that he will retire on Dec. 30.

Charlotte Nekota, chair of the fire commission, confirmed the development, which transpired at a commission meeting Tuesday. The vote was 6 to 1, with new commissioner Dave Matlin abstaining because he just joined the commission last month….

Last month the commission again deadlocked 3-3 on whether to support Hao or Camara. That prompted the commission to begin a new search.

But that search is now moot. Nekota declined to say who applied for the job the second time around….  

SA: WATCH LIVE: Meet Honolulu Fire Department’s new chief

read … Kalani Hao To Be Honolulu’s New Fire Department Chief

Antonov to Fly Giant Water Filters from Detroit to Hawaii

CB: … The Navy plans to fly in 21 filter systems known as “granular activated carbon filtration systems” from the mainland, which will be used to flush out the outside distribution systems like fire hydrants. Daly said the filters will be flown via commercial or military aircraft.

The filter systems will be used to scrub contaminants in the water. Discussions on where the contaminants will go are still underway. Navy officials said they’re considering redistributing the filtered water to land applications like sprinklers or storm drains but also stressed that they’re working on a plan with the DOH.

Navy officials said that these systems might be here by the end of the week.

Earlier this month, the Navy commenced flushing, but according to the DOH, the Navy didn’t adhere to its guidelines provided during that time. The DOH sent the Navy a directive order to stop flushing, and it did so on Friday.

“We have since heard their concerns and are working toward a solution with them right now,” Daly said.

DOH spokeswoman Kaitlin Arita-Chang said the department has not approved a plan on flushing water lines.

“We are collaborating with the EPA and other stakeholders to review proposals to ensure any activity is protective of public health and the environment,” she said in an emailed statement. …

read … The Navy Is Working On A Plan To Dispose Of Contaminated Water In Hawaii

DOH to decide if BWS, Sierra Club can participate in Red Hill (pretend) contested case hearing

KITV: … A Hawaii Department of Health hearings officer gave the Navy until Dec. 17 to provide reasons why neither the Sierra Club nor the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) should intervene in the contested case hearing about the Red Hill Fuel Facility.

On Dec. 6, the state (which has no authority over the military) issued the Navy an (so-called) order to suspend its operations at Red Hill, take measures to treat contaminated drinking water and remove the fuel from the underground storage tanks there.

According to CNN reporting, Navy officials argued that putting the storage facility out of use could affect operations at a critical time, especially as tensions rise in the Pacific with China’s rhetoric about Taiwan ramping up over the past year, said Lyle Goldstein, a Pacific Ocean maritime security and director of Asia Engagement at Defense Priorities think tank.….

(This explains the Maoists at the protests)

The contested case hearing is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 20, at 8 a.m., according to Attorney David Henkin from Earthjustice.

(But, without any real authority, it will just be a show trial aimed at public opinion.)

Henkin says the contested case not held in a courtroom. It is presided over by a DOH hearings officer, who will then make recommendations to DOH Deputy Director Marian Tsuji. Tsuji will render a final decision….

(IQ Test: DoH already knows what its decision will be?)

read … DOH to decide if BWS, Sierra Club can participate in Red Hill contested case hearing

‘Green Fee’: Star-Adv Pushing Unconstitutional Entry Tax for Hawaii

SA: … A “green fee” — in formal language, “regenerative tourism fee” — has been floated, most recently in the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s new Destination Management Action Plan for Oahu, although everything from how much to collect, how to collect it and how to distribute it remains to be discussed.

The easiest answer, some suggest, is what amounts to a state entry fee, imposed as part of a hotel or airline levy. Palau, for example, charges a $100 Pristine Paradise Fee to all visitors. (CLUE: Palau is an independent country, Hawaii is a US state.  It is unconstitutional to impose an entry fee to a US state.  See:Crandall v Nevada) This would be a dicey proposition for Hawaii, where visitors already face sticker shock, and where all the counties just voted to impose their own transient accommodations taxes. A state Senate bill setting a $20 surcharge on hotel stays died in the 2021 session….

Big Q: Do you favor a new “green fee” to support/maintain Hawaii’s natural resources?

REALITY: Crandall v Nevada

read … Editorial: ‘Green’ fees can preserve nature

Legislative Maneuver Coming?  Proposed Sites For Oahu’s New Landfill Would Threaten Drinking Water, Officials Say

CB: … The four sites under consideration are all above groundwater aquifers.  But finding a new location could require repealing a law meant to protect communities and delaying the city’s already tight deadline….

(CLUE: Everything is above an aquifer.)

Senate Bill 2386, signed into law in 2020 as Act 73, said that landfills can’t be in conservation zones or within a half-mile of a residential, school or hospital property line. Environmental Services said Act 73 removed every site that wasn’t above a drinking water aquifer, many of which were on the Westside, from consideration. The legislation was proposed by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in 2019 and championed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Unite Here Local 5, Sierra Club of Hawaii and many Westside residents who are tired of hosting the island’s major public works facilities.

“In terms of trying to prevent contamination of a vital resource, it works against it,” said Ernie Lau, chief engineer at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.

But Lau said that the recent fuel leak at Red Hill, which contaminated a drinking water aquifer, has opened the door for amending the 2020 law….

As Explained: City narrows down new landfill to Makakilo or Wheeler (plus two fake sites on N Shore)

read … Proposed Sites For Oahu’s New Landfill Would Threaten Drinking Water, Officials Say

Military Families Who Sued Over Kaneohe Soil Contamination Get Another Day In Court

CB: … Even as water contamination in military housing at Pearl Harbor draws widespread condemnation, another case — this one involving contaminated soil on the windward side of the island — is coming back into the public eye….

read … Military Families Who Sued Over Kaneohe Soil Contamination Get Another Day In Court

Honolulu tech officials on ‘extreme alert’ but say city’s computer networks are safe

SA: … Honolulu’s chief information officer told city leadership this morning Oahu Transit Services was “likely” compromised when someone opened an e-mail, link or attachment and introduced ransomware that is keeping TheBus, TheHandi-Van, Holo ride-card digital services, websites and applications offline, according to an e-mail shared with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“Hackers can compromise an account and use it to send infected messages. This is likely how the OTS system was compromised,” wrote Mark D. Wong, chief information officer and director of the city Department of Information Technology in an email sent this morning to city directors, deputy directors, City Council members and staff, and DIT security liaisons.

“At this time, no networks or systems operated by the City and County of Honolulu are known to have been attacked or shut down by hackers,” he wrote….

In another cyberattack, the third-party Kronos employee timekeeping system used by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, the city’s Emergency Services Department and thousands of businesses and organizations nationwide suffered a ransomware attack that is expected to affect the company’s operations for weeks.

Kronos is a cloud-based system operated by a company in the United Kingdom.

Wong said said city employees using the Kronos system log into that company’s website and no Kronos software is running on city servers. The city cannot cannot shut down Kronos, but city users cannot log in to the system until Kronos restores services, he explained.

“It is likely that other Hawaii organizations like hospitals, retail outlets, and educational organizations are also using Kronos,” Wong told city leaders….

SA: Apparent ransomware attack could affect paychecks for thousands in Honolulu

read … Honolulu tech officials on ‘extreme alert’ but say city’s computer networks are safe

Special election ballot processing begins on Kaua‘i

TGI: … Processing began Monday at the Kaua‘i Community College for the election scheduled for this upcoming Saturday under Election Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka and observer’s guidance and watch, respectively.

The election, caused by the early resignation of Justin Kollar, is between former county prosecuting attorney Shaylene Iseri and Acting Prosecutor Rebecca Like….

Votes will not be counted until election day, Yoshioka said, they will simply be scanned.

About 42,243 ballots were mailed out to 47,513 registered voters overall.

The county’s Voter Service Center remains open in the basement of the Historic County Annex Building in Lihu‘e on Rice Street and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, the center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The VSC offers accessible in-person voting and serves as a mail ballot collection site, no appointment is necessary.

Ballots may be dropped off at various locations, including neighborhood centers, the Kaua‘i Fire Department Station 2 Kapa‘a and the Office of the County Clerk Elections Division office in the Historic County Building Annex in Lihu‘e, until 7 p.m. on Saturday.

For a list of drop boxes, visit the Office of the County Clerk Elections Division webpage, kauai.gov/Elections.

read … Special election ballot processing begins on Kaua‘i

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