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Thursday, February 24, 2022
February 24, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:09 PM :: 1781 Views

HB2164 Self-Defense: House Judiciary Committee Hearing

DoH Declares Navy Water Safe on Pearl City Peninsula

SB3254: Hawaii Election Apportionment Should not Exclude Military, Students

CB: … The commission was sued in 2012 for not extracting enough (so-called) non-permanent resident military personnel in the islands. The commission was forced to redraw its maps after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in that case.

Last year, (greedy Big Island Democrats) residents raised concerns again, saying that the extraction of military personnel was too low. Commission staff circled back with the U.S. military and restarted the redistricting process in January after new data indicated more military members and their dependents ‘should’ have been extracted for population counts.

Commissioners have previously complained about the entire process being cumbersome. A measure moving through the Legislature would resolve that dilemma.

Senate Bill 3254 proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would require the commission to use population figures provided by the census instead of performing an extraction.

Hawaii voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 1992 that required the commission to only count (so-called) “permanent residents.” SB 3254 would essentially roll back that amendment.

Hawaii is the only state that still requires military and college students to be extracted from population counts, said Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, who has been critical of the commission’s work this year….

If passed by the Legislature, the constitutional amendment would still need to be approved by voters.

Dela Cruz believes the commission over-extracted military personnel. Initially, the commission proposed extracting about 60,000 members and their dependents. By January, that number grew to more than 100,000. Staff was forced to remove Hawaii residents from off base to meet those new numbers….

(Translation: They picked a number designed to cost Oahu a House seat and then made up an excuse.)

read … Constitutional Changes And Legal Challenges Loom As Redistricting Commission Wraps Up Work

$1B Surplus?  Lets Give it all to OHA and DHHL

SA: … Hawaii lawmakers this week zeroed out the proposed $1 billion emergency savings account appropriation in a Senate bill introduced on behalf of Ige, and deferred an identical House companion bill.

Prospects for the two measures, Senate Bill 3074 and House Bill 2106, don’t look good but could still result in some money being deposited into the Emergency and Budget Reserve Fund commonly known as the state’s “rainy day” fund.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means zeroed out the appropriation amount in SB 3074 Tuesday after holding a public hearing on the measure Feb. 2….

The Ways and Means Committee amended SB 3074 to include a blank appropriation sum, and advanced the measure in an 11-0 vote Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Rep. Sylvia Luke (D, Punchbowl-­Pauoa-Nuuanu) cut short a public hearing on the companion bill in the House Finance Committee, which she chairs, because the Senate bill advanced.

“We will not be taking action on this bill,” Luke said of HB 2106.

If a majority of Senate members pass SB 3074, it could be considered in the House.

One big-ticket spending proposal initiated and advanced by lawmakers this year would give $600 million to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands….

HPR: Measure that purports to ‘settle’ OHA's share of public land trust revenue heads to final Senate vote

Feb 22, 2022: Idea: Lets Give OHA and DHHL $1.2B (again) and Bulldoze all the Telescopes

read … Lawmakers rain on Gov. David Ige’s plan for $1 billion ‘rainy day’ fund

Honolulu City Council Approves New Pretend Regulations On Red Hill Fuel Facility

CB: … A bill unanimously passed by the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday (pretends to) takes aim at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel tanks and (pretends to) creates another mechanism to shut the troubled facility down.

Bill 48, which now heads to Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s desk, requires fuel storage operators to obtain a Hawaii Department of Health permit to store regulated substances of 100,000 gallons or more.

(Except for the fact that the military is federal and therefore not under the County’s jurisdiction.)

It would (not really) apply to the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which regularly holds 180 million gallons of fuel, and would (not really) add to the existing regulations the Navy is subject to under the federal Clean Water Act….

(Key Word: ‘Federal.’)

read … Honolulu City Council Approves New Regulations On Red Hill Fuel Facility

Development details of Aloha Stadium district remain murky

SA: … The Aloha Stadium Authority is responsible for developing the Aloha Stadium district. It is the largest urban redevelopment on state-owned land in the history of Hawaii. Since the Stadium Authority has no experience in land development, it has engaged the state Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) to provide assistance.

However, DAGS’ experience is largely limited to relatively small projects, such as renovating buildings, upgrading electrical systems and repaving parking lots. DAGS has, in turn, engaged consultants because it has no experience with mega projects like this one.

The inexperience of DAGS and the Stadium Authority is evident in a report to the state Legislature, “Stadium Development District — 2021 Annual Report.” The report shows the lack of a clear vision for the project. The most definitive statement describing the project is that “The Real Estate Project is expected to include retail, residential, commercial, hotels, hospitality, cultural and community facilities. The project also will include horizontal infrastructure, such as roads, parking, public spaces, and various amenities.”

One might think that the Aloha Stadium Authority and DAGS would at least have a good idea about the capacity of the new stadium. But they don’t. The report says, “How many seats will be included in the new multi-use stadium? The state is working through the minimum required capacity with stakeholders prior to release of the RFP (request for proposal). Further details will be provided at a later date.”

The PPP process involves two steps. In the first step, which is in progress, the Stadium Authority and DAGS select a developer. Two developers are in contention, and each is a consortium of local and national firms with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the intricacies of land development. In the second step, the Stadium Authority and DAGS negotiate a contract with the selected developer. As proposed, it will be a closed negotiation, and the contract will not be made public until after it is signed….

During the negotiations it is possible that the Aloha Stadium Authority and DAGS will commit the state to a future they don’t foresee, that would require the expenditure of hundreds of millions of state dollars that have not yet been appropriated….

Link: History RePPPeated - How public private partnerships are failing

read … Development details of Aloha Stadium district remain murky

SB2054: Mopeds, Buses, Taxis, Uber to be Taxed--Amount Kept Secret

SA: … Senate Bill 2054 would create a new but unspecified “climate change mitigation impact fee” starting July 1, along with a new fund to handle the fees.

The fees would apply to rental mopeds and “any vehicle, including vans, minibuses, and buses used for the purpose of transporting persons or luggage for pleasure or sightseeing trips, or transporting persons to pleasure or sightseeing cruises or destinations.”…

The fees are specifically aimed at tourists and would not apply to “any vehicle that is used solely (key word: ‘solely’) for the purpose of transporting individuals to and from a place of work or a public or private school or of transporting persons with disabilities.”…

(IQ Test: Does this have anything to do with global warming?)

read … Climate change impact fee on rental cars proposed

Many Maui businesses now thriving after mayor eliminates vaccine-or-test rule

HNN: … With proof of COVID vaccines or negative tests no longer required to dine, drink or workout indoors in Maui County, many businesses are now seeing an influx in patrons.

Mayor Michael Victorino eliminated the county’s vaccine-or-test mandate on Monday.

Some businesses saw immediate improvement, like Bamboo Grille in Wailuku, which has been busy all week.

“It’s been good, super busy,” said long-time waitress Desiray Mara. “We’re glad to be back like regular, seeing different faces. It’s nice to get all the families that we’ve missed. Definitely took a big toll on us.”

The Kawa’a family from Paukukalo said the mayor’s announcement was music to their ears.

“It makes it more difficult with the mandates for us to be able to enjoy a meal together,” said Luana Kawa’a. “Here in Hawaii, that’s how we socialize. Right? We pu paa kai. We have a meal together. So, this has been a real blessing for us.” ….

Gov. David Ige has not indicated yet when he plans to lift the statewide indoor mask mandate. However, the emergency proclamation expires on March 25….

read … Many Maui businesses now thriving after mayor eliminates vaccine-or-test rule

Maui Council: Vacation rental caps, other anti-tourism measures on the table

MN: .. The group is headed by budget committee Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, along with Vice Chairwoman Alice Lee, who is also chairwoman of the council, and Council Members Tamara Paltin and Shane Sinenci.

They came up with eight proposals that ranged from capping the number of transient accommodations, creating a chief of tourism management and regulating the peer-to-peer car sharing industry.

The investigative group is working toward legislation that establishes a transient accommodation limit by type and by community plan area. Currently there is a temporary moratorium on new transient accommodations on Maui after the council passed a bill in December and overrode a veto by Mayor Michael Victorino in January.

Under the bill the temporary moratorium will stay in place for two years or — depending on whichever is sooner — until legislation is enacted by the council to establish the caps.

There was no legislative action scheduled Wednesday and the committee deferred the item. Rawlins-Fernandez said the proposals would be sent to the appropriate council committees for review.

Overtourism has been a concern for years, but during the pandemic, residents were able to see what the island was like without tourists, as beaches and roads were less crowded but many visitor industry workers were left without work….

read … Vacation rental caps, other tourism reforms on the table

Council considers giving police commission more power to hold chief accountable

HNN: … “I want to give them a little bit more power to say, hey, you can censure the chief, you can suspend the chief with or without pay if they don’t listen to the commission,” said City Council Chair Tommy Waters, who introduced the resolution Wednesday.

Waters said that the chief will need to please the commission, and the result could be more training and overall accountability.

The chair said he is also dismayed that two years after the Kakaako crash, another unauthorized police chase in Makaha nearly killed several young people….

Because Waters’ proposals would change the city charter, voters will likely have the chance to approve the reforms in the 2022 general election.

The police union said they hope the council will consult with officers before they put it on the ballot….

SA VIDEO: Honolulu Police Commission chairwoman Shannon Alivado and member Doug Chin join the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’

CB:  Kenneth Silva Appointed To Honolulu Police Commission

read … Council considers giving police commission more power to hold chief accountable

Honolulu Settles Four Law Enforcement Lawsuits

CB: … The largest award was $5.25 million to settle a case involving a driver who was being chased by an HPD officer when he crashed into pedestrians near the Ala Moana shopping center in 2019. …

In another case, Chelsea Horikawa sued the city last year after she alleged that HPD officers, without provocation, tackled her from behind and pushed her face into the ground during a May 2020 incident. Her case was settled for $80,000.

The case of Sarah Vargas, a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by an on-duty HPD officer in 2017, has also come to a close. Vargas was extremely intoxicated at the time and could not consent to have sex, according to her 2019 lawsuit, which was settled for $75,000.

Lastly, Julie Ake sued police and former prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro in 2019 after she said she was wrongfully arrested and prosecuted for attempted murder despite surveillance video that she said exonerated her. Council members approved a $50,000 settlement with Ake….

read … Honolulu Settles Four Law Enforcement Lawsuits

Lawmakers want the state to take over Lake Wilson, but it would come at a steep price

HNN: … Some state lawmakers want the state to take over Wahiawa’s Lake Wilson and the surrounding irrigation system.

But the deal comes at a steep price ― $20 million ― and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources doesn’t want it.

“We oppose this bill because of the significant sort of upfront and ongoing management and regulatory burdens this would place on the department,” said Ian Hirokawa, special projects coordinator for the DLNR’s Land Division.

Some area residents also think state ownership is a bad idea.

“I can’t think of any projects the state has done successfully. I’m worried that this spillway requires regular maintenance, cutting the grass, trimming trees, cutting the logs that float down the river,” said Wahiawa resident Patrick Hannigan….

A bill now moving in the Senate would have the state own the property and finance improvements to irrigate more farms in Central Oahu which already employ about 500 people….

Dole said private investors have expressed interest in acquiring Lake Wilson and converting the dam for alternative uses.

For example, it could become a hydroelectric power source and purify the water for drinking….

read … Lawmakers want the state to take over Lake Wilson, but it would come at a steep price

HECO Wants Firm Renewable Energy Projects on O’ahu

IM: … Firm renewable energy includes biomass, biofuel, renewable natural gas, waste-to-energy, reservoir-based hydroelectric, geothermal, and perhaps marine power (offshore wind combined with long-term storage).

The individual winning projects may not be publicly known for several years as HECO negotiates final terms with each developer….

IM: HECO Proposes KPMG Conduct an Affiliate Transaction Requirements Audit

read … HECO Wants Firm Renewable Energy Projects on O`ahu

Former Bishop Estate Trustee Oz Stender Dies

CB: … Stender was chief executive officer of Campbell Estate in 1990 when he was tapped to be a trustee of Bishop Estate, an educational trust for Native Hawaiians endowed by the will of the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Within three months, he raised concerns to his fellow trustees about the lack of organizational accountability.

By 1997, five prominent Hawaii community members authored the “Broken Trust” articles lambasting the mismanagement of Bishop Estate. Correcting the financial problems was critical in order to preserve the future of the trust.

At the time, the Honolulu Star Bulletin editorialized, “We are certain that the current trustees, with the honorable exception of Oswald Stender, have betrayed the trust vested in them by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and should resign.”

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin later described Stender as someone whom “many saw as a white knight in the struggle” against mismanagement of the trust….

Randall Roth is an attorney who co-authored the Broken Trust essays and later wrote a book of the same name.

“I admired his willingness to do what it took to bring pono to the Kamehameha Schools trust,” he said. “I think the only reason that things changed is that there was a small number of people who were willing to take personal risks and share the information they had and Oz was at the front of that line.” …

read … Former Bishop Estate Trustee Oz Stender Dies

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