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Thursday, April 14, 2022
April 14, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:14 PM :: 1803 Views

VIDEO: Measuring the Burden of Housing Regulation in Hawaii

BWS Water Shortage Could Kill Aloha Stadium Boondoggle

HNN: … The projects that may be impacted include:

The Queen’s Medical Center’s Punchbowl campus redevelopment;

Kamehameha Schools’ Kaiaulu O Kakaako Master Plan;

a North Nimitz hotel;

and a slew of commercial properties and affordable housing projects.

Other state projects that could be impacted include the Aloha Stadium redevelopment project and the relocation of Oahu Community Correctional Center….

SA Editorial: Use less water now to avoid shortages

Jan 2022: Hawai’i Free Press asked BWS how the well shutdowns could affect the Aloha Stadium redevelopment project and the new jail proposed for Halawa.

read … BWS begins alerting ‘shocked’ developers their projects could be delayed by water woes

Will Rep Sharon Har Face Any Discipline After DUI arrest?

SA: … A special House committee reviewing state Rep. Sharon Har’s conduct the night she was arrested on — and later acquitted of — drunken driving charges in 2021 on Wednesday asked for a written explanation of why she went out at night during the height of COVID-19 while on medication for a respiratory ailment and drank alcohol.

State Rep. Scot Matayo­shi, (D, Kaneohe-Maunawili- Kailua), also asked Har’s attorney, Howard Luke, to provide a written response to whether the lawmaker’s prescription medication included a warning about consuming alcohol.

Har, (D, Kapolei-Makakilo), did not attend Wednesday’s House Special Committee meeting chaired by House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti, (D, Moiliili-Makiki- Tantalus)….

Belatti asked Luke to provide complete Honolulu Police Department body- camera footage of Har’s arrest on Feb. 22, 2021, along with her responses to Matayoshi’s questions by the end of the day Monday. Belatti also asked for the conditions of Har’s suspension of driving privileges.

Luke represented Har in her criminal case but did not represent her in separate license revocation proceedings, which could have required the installation of an interlock ignition system, a program Har helped create.

The committee is scheduled to reconvene either April 21 or April 22 to decide whether Har violated the House’s code of conduct.…

SA: More questions for Sharon Har over DUI

REALITY: How Many Legislators Were Partying With Sharon Har During COVID Shutdown?

VIDEO: Rep Har DUI Arrest: Smelled of Alcohol, Yelled 'Black Lives Matter'

PDF: Har DUI Case File

read … Committee seeks details on lawmaker’s DUI arrest

Lawmakers Blast System That Released Kapolei Homicide Suspect

CB: … Ward said Johnson’s brother would have picked up his sister in “a heartbeat.”

He and other lawmakers wanted answers as to how the justice system created an opportunity for Armstrong to walk out of the police station.

Two lawmakers are calling for additional investigation into the beating death of a woman outside of the Kapolei Police Station. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Both he and Rep. Greggor Ilagan introduced a resolution last month that urged Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, Honolulu Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic, Attorney General Holly Shikada and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Johnson’s murder.

However, House Resolution 113 – which would have also called on the group of law enforcement leaders to research the impact of releasing prisoners with criminal pasts – never made it to a hearing and ultimately died this session. Ward was frustrated by that result.

In the meantime, Ward said more individuals besides Armstrong need to be held accountable for Johnson’s death.

“Give me a break, that’s embarrassing,” Ward said of the events that led to Armstrong’s release.

Armstrong is no stranger to law enforcement. In 2007, he was charged with felony burglary and was acquitted by reason of insanity. For years, the 35-year-old – who suffers from bipolar and schizophrenia disorders – had been under the care of the state and was hopping between community group homes and the Hawaii State Hospital.

In February, Armstrong allegedly assaulted a group home worker in Mililani where he was living.

When an officer arrived at the group home to speak to the victim, Honolulu police said Armstrong blindsided the officer. After a brief physical altercation, Armstrong was taken into custody and jailed on two felony assault charges.

Michael Armstrong is accused in the beating death of Linda Johnson. Hawaii News Now

Later, Armstrong was released….

(Has anything changed?  Read the next story....)

read … Lawmakers Blast System That Released Kapolei Homicide Suspect

After Multiple Arrests, Homeless Drug Addict Finally Gets Jail After Allegedly Lighting Man’s Shirt on Fire

HNN: … Honolulu police have arrested a suspect accused of setting an elderly man’s shirt on fire in Chinatown Tuesday morning.

By mid-day Wednesday, Honolulu police said 29-year-old Charles Burns was arrested and faces charges of first-degree arson and promoting dangerous drugs.

Although surveillance video of the attack was blurry, John Fielding says he immediately recognized the suspect when he saw him on the news.

When asked how he knew it was Burns, Fielding responded, “We all know it’s him. Everybody in downtown knows it’s him.”…

Sources say following the attack Burns was initially detained after being recognized by a security guard when he returned to the scene of the crime.

Nearby business owners who wanted to remain anonymous say they saw Burns too, walking down the sidewalk, in the neighborhood after the attack

“Yea, Yea. Looked like picture,” said one woman.

Fielding says he often finds Burns on church property. “He has this paranoia about him where he’s looking around.”

He says he’s had several interactions with the 29-year-old.

“He was engaging in drug use,” Fielding said. “He’s very belligerent and he’s actually been aggressive towards me in the past.”

Court records show Burns has more than a dozen arrests on his record for things like theft, a park violation and DUI but has never been convicted of any of those crimes.

An assault charge from last year is still pending….

Big Q: Is violent crime getting worse in Hawaii?

read … About more homeless mayhem

SB 775 is example of bad ‘gut and replace’ move

SA: … How long before legislators found “creative” solutions around the “new” restrictions that in fact date back to the Republic of Hawaii Constitution of 1894?

Senate Bill 775, a bill unanimously passed in the Senate, is the answer. Introduced to adjust transient accommodations tax revenues based on yearly visitor arrivals, the House version diverts $30 million to a commission to award grants to nonprofits addressing impacts on natural resources….

read … SB 775 is example of bad ‘gut and replace’ move

After hours of debate, Council approves ban on short-term vacation rentals outside of resort areas

HNN: … After hours of testimony and debate, the City Council on Wednesday approved a measure aimed at banning short-term vacation rentals outside of resort areas.

Bill 41 passed with a vote of 8-to-1. Councilmember Andria Tupola was the lone “no” vote.

More than 100 people signed up to testify on the hotly-debated proposal, which now heads to the mayor’s desk.

The bill would ban any rentals in residential areas for fewer than 90 days. Right now, it’s at 30 days….

Short-term rentals would be OK in resort districts and nearby locations in Waikiki, near Ko Olina, and Turtle Bay. The measure also seeks to increase enforcement on illegal operators.

The hotel industry is in strong support of the proposal….

SA Editorial: Vacation rentals halt

CB: Opponents argued it unfairly favors the hotel industry.

April 6, 2022: Ethics: DPP Director Writes Vacation Rental Rules to Benefit Wife

read … After hours of debate, Council approves ban on short-term vacation rentals outside of resort areas

HR104/HCR108: Don’t add burdens to state’s affordable housing tax credits

SA: … While our colleagues at Palolo Valley Homes remain justifiably frustrated by the experience with “aggregator” investors (“Hawaii lawmakers look at preventing investor schemes on affordable housing projects,” Star-Advertiser, April 4), the legislative efforts of House Resolution 104 and House Concurrent Resolution 108 to fend off such investors address a point-in-time issue, not an issue related to current affordable housing tax credit transactions.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program as defined by the Internal Revenue Code requires a 15-year compliance period and an additional 15-year extended-use period during which rents are regulated as affordable to households at 60% of area median income. The crux of the issue is the fact the Internal Revenue Code also provides owners with the right to terminate the extended-use period under certain circum- stances — which Oceanside attempted to utilize.

Omitted from the Star-Advertiser’s April 4 story is the fact that the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. (HHFDC) policy document for the LIHTC Program, known as the Qualified Application Plan, was amended in 2015 and addresses this issue.

Therefore, the termination of the extended-use period is a nonissue today…..

read … Don’t add burdens to state’s affordable housing tax credits

Election Screwups Begin: Kauai Election notification remailing planned

TGI: … The Office of the County Clerk Elections Division has been notified that some Kaua‘i voters incorrectly received the wrong election notification postcard.

This error was made by Edward Enterprises, the county’s mailing vendor, and will be corrected.

To resolve this issue, Edward Enterprises will absorb all costs to re-mail the 2022 election notification postcard to every registered voter. No taxpayer funds will be used to re-mail the postcards….

The U.S. Postal Service will return the misaddressed postcard to the Elections Division. The returned postcard will be used to update the corresponding voter’s registration record.

Office of Elections: Election notification cards are coming out this month!

Kauai Elections Div: 2022 Election Notification postcards for voters who were registered on or before 3/28/2022 were mailed today April 6, 2022

Kauai Elections Div: Due to an error by the County's mailing vendor the Elections Division has confirmed that some Kaua‘i voters were mailed the wrong notification postcard.  (April 11, 2022)

read … Election notification remailing planned

Restaurants can’t find good alternate to polystyrene

KHON: … Tomita said when they put in rice, mac salad, hamburger gravy, which Hawaii food is all about, the paper containers are difficult to work with.

“When you get to the bottom of the container, it breaks down,” Tomita explained. “The rice sticks to the bottom of that container, and then the cabbage, and you don’t want to be, you know, scraping something that it almost feels like you’re pulling part of the plate out.” …

Starting on Sept. 5, the ban will take effect in Honolulu. Many restaurants on Oahu have already made the switch.

For places like Zippy’s, using paper bowls for saimin and soups isn’t ideal according to Kevin Yim, Zippy’s Vice President of Marketing.

“With liquid and hot temperatures, it’s really difficult,” he said. “We’re always looking for better alternatives, whether that will be to hold the liquid better, keep it warmer, perform better.”

That problem led Tomita to remove ramen and saimin from his menu all together….

Tomita said Styrofoam used to cost .09 cents to .12 cents per container. The paper containers cost seven times that.

“Back in 2019, pre-COVID, we moved over to the (paper) containers and they were anywhere, because they had just come out, from .89 cents to a $1.29,” Tomita explained. “Now the cost has come down. But it’s still about .78 cents to .82 cents.”…

read … Restaurants can’t find good alternate to polystyrene

Nonprofit seeks to address shortage of preschool spots with free home-based pilot

HNN: … Participants get a computer, internet access, professional coaching and other tools ― all for free.

“It’s focused on getting a child to kind of learn to start reading. So it’s based on phonics, phonemic awareness, recognizing letters, recognizing the sounds of letters. And so the child will do that 15 minutes a day, five days a week,” said Waterford spokesperson Kim Fischer.

Fischer says research shows spending a little more than an hour a week with young children is enough to create a foundation for literacy.

“Preschools will continue to be vitally important for the families that need that right, their families that work,” Fischer said….

Applications are being accepted for Upstart. Preference will be given to the neediest families. You can apply now at waterfordupstart.org or call 888-982-9898.

read … Nonprofit seeks to address shortage of preschool spots with free home-based pilot

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