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Monday, April 18, 2022
April 18, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:37 PM :: 2066 Views

Hawaii's Best & Worst Small Cities to Start a Business

High Tax Hawaii 43rd in Economic Growth

Joke of the Congress Kai Kahele helps Republicans Abolish Pelosi’s Proxy Voting Rule

WE: … A Democratic House member, Rep. Kai Kahele of Hawaii, is helping Republicans make their case against proxy voting.

As the long-distance voting practice approaches its second anniversary, Republicans have fresh ammunition in their long-standing arguments against it. That came in the form of a recent report Kahele has not voted in person since January — and that he has spent little, if any, time in Washington since as he weighs a bid for governor of the Aloha State.

Kahele wasn't even the worst offender of proxy voting privileges. Three Democratic House members have cast all 125 votes this year remotely: Reps. Al Lawson of Florida, Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, and Albio Sires of New Jersey. Roybal-Allard and Sires are retiring at the end of this congressional term.

Originally intended as a COVID-19 pandemic mitigation effort in May 2020, the House of Representatives adopted proxy voting for the first time in its history in an effort to protect its members from large gatherings in a confined space. The protocol established a temporary method for a member to cast a vote for another member. The Senate adopted no such measure, and it continues to require senators to cast their votes in person….

Some lawmakers used the provision to attend fundraisers rather than attend votes….

some members have been “lying” when citing the public health emergency in their requests to vote by proxy. A form to vote by proxy reads: “I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”

“They're doing it and lying about it, so that that hurts the institution,” Roy said….

read … Kai Kahele is a joke

Referendum needed for Captain Cook name proposal

WHT: … House Concurrent Resolution 27, which would request the U.S. Census Bureau and the County of Hawaii to re-designate the name of Captain Cook to Ka‘awaloa. The debate on the name change stems from many other social conversations, such as: the name change of McKinley High school on Oahu and the name changes and statue removal across the United States. ….

read … Referendum needed for Captain Cook name proposal

DLNR: If you save your home we will use fines to take it away from you

HNN: … he state Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to fine a Rocky Point resident for pushing up mounds of sand to protect his and his neighbors’ homes.

But Todd Dunphy said he had little choice but to take matters into his own hands. Back in February, Dunphy pleaded with DLNR Chair Suzanne Case for permits to protect his home -- to no avail.

“It makes them look ridiculous. They’re fining a property owner who is trying to save his home? It’s ridiculous. They all should be fired,” said Dunphy.

A house two doors down collapsed due to high waves back in February. Dunphy said waves also washed into his home about six weeks ago.

He said he recently bought an excavator and started pushing up the sand from the beach about ten days ago.

The DLNR declined comment on the proposed fines prior to this Friday’s hearing on the matter. The amount of the proposed fines was not disclosed but Dunphy faces penalties of up to $15,000 a day for the offenses.

The DLNR hasn’t issued permits for building sand or rock barriers. Instead, it said homeowners will likely have to move their homes away from the eroding coastlines (and abandon their property to the sea) ….

CLUE: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” -- 8th Amendment

read … North Shore homeowner faces fines for his efforts to save home from erosion

Hawaii County Building Permits Wait for Months

HTH: … Monthly average building permits issued have climbed from 269 at the beginning of the new system to 529. In February, the system took in 753 permit applications and spit out 583 permits, with an average turnaround time of 123 days for residential permits and 138 for nonresidential.

Some permit applicants remain skeptical.

Dalene McCormick and her husband sold their residence last year, rented a home in Kailua-Kona and bought a lot to build a new residence. They submitted their building permit application in October. Some 190 days later, they’re still waiting.

“It took 109 days for anyone to look at the plans and on that day they rejected them for something minor that was corrected within an hour of the reject,” she said in testimony. “I confirmed with my contractor that the correction was made and I watched my EPIC dashboard for weeks on end waiting for the % complete to move forward and nothing happened. On 3/3, I finally called someone at the EPIC office to find out what was happening. The person I spoke to looked at my account and said, ‘oh yes I see you submitted the correction and I will move it forward.’ I was beyond confused, the correction had been submitted 42 days prior. I asked the woman why the permit did not move forward the day we submitted the correction and she said because we did not call them.”…

read … Bugs still being worked out of EPIC: Some building permits still stuck in the system

NIMBY Vs YIMBY: Should Hawaii Make It Easier To Build Affordable Housing?

CB: … A bill dubbed the “Yes In My Backyard Act” would create a working group to develop a plan to reduce regulatory barriers and improve community outreach….

State lawmakers are considering a bill calling for the establishment of a working group to come up with a plan to reduce zoning and regulatory barriers for building more homes and to increase community outreach about the efforts.

House Bill 1837, which also would require the group to submit annual reports to the Legislature, has advanced and is expected to go sometime this week to conference committee, where lawmakers will try to resolve their differences so it can be put to a final vote.

read … NIMBY Vs YIMBY: Should Hawaii Make It Easier To Build Affordable Housing?

Corps of Engineers Exploits Public Meetings to Sell Ala Wai Canal Boondoggle

SA: … It was the latest in a series of public meetings the federal agency and the City and County of Honolulu have hosted since November to develop a new flood-risk management plan. Previous plans were abandoned following protests over lack of public input and the withdrawal of funding by the federal government.

After collecting a little over 200 suggestions in a management measure-­tracking spreadsheet on the project website, “We’re beginning to develop alternative plans,” said Cindy Acpal, a project manager with the corps.

The corps has screened out about a quarter of the suggestions, with the remainder still under consideration and grouped into three tiers, Merriam said….

SA Editorial: Craft a holistic Ala Wai solution (model for sales pitch)

How This Works: The Delphi Technique: Let’s Stop Being Manipulated!

What this is about: Ala Wai? Corps of Engineers has Long History of Corruption and Cost Overruns

read … Public weighs in on Ala Wai flood-control proposals

SB2021: Legislators to Give OHA $31M?

SA: … A bill that the House of Representatives approved unanimously Tuesday would raise an annual sum the state pays OHA to $21.5 million, up from $15.1 million….

Senate Bill 2021 also would give the agency 10 years’ worth of ceded land revenue — about $31 million — in excess of past $15.1M cap on annual ceded lands payments….

REALITY: Ceded lands payment is a political question not a legal obligation.

MN: Office of Hawaiian Affairs holds grant orientation sessions

read … Office of Hawaiian Affairs might get more of what it’s owed from the state of Hawaii

Wholesale Inflation Bites Hawaii Businesses

CB: … The price of groceries rose almost 12% in March compared with the same month a year ago, while gasoline prices increased almost 40%….

Altogether the bureau’s consumer price index, covering a wide range of goods and services, rose 7.5%, 5.3% excluding food and energy prices, which tend to be unusually volatile….

“Tin containers sourced from the mainland went from $0.53 in 2017 to $0.65 in 2021 and then drastically to $0.78 in 2022,” Gibson said in an email. “Our popular mini 2 oz. Glass Bottles went from $0.22 in 2017 to $0.25 in 2021 and now we pay $0.28 each.”…Shipping three pallets of containers from Seattle to Honolulu a few years ago cost $1,554, she said. Now, the same shipment costs almost $2,500 ….

read … Why Businesses Are Passing Their Rising Costs On To Consumers

HB2405: Your Insurance will go up to pay for Sex Change Surgery and Hormones

SA: … If it becomes law, the Gender Affirming Treatment (Castration) Act, House Bill 2405, would prohibit insurance providers from discriminating against transgender patients seeking gender-affirming (sex change) treatments or surgeries….

read … You Must Pay for Sex Change

Three Years:  HPA Releases Lifelong Criminal who Shot Woman in Face, Ran from Cops

HTH: … A Kona man sentenced to up to a half-decade behind bars for a 2019 shooting that injured one and triggered an 11-day manhunt was granted parole by the Hawaii Paroling Authority on Wednesday.

Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim sentenced Walter Gomes III in 2020 to serve concurrent five-year terms for second-degree assault and two counts first-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle in connection with the series of events that began March 20, 2019, when a woman showed up at Kona Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to her face….

Hawaii Police Department officers first ran into Gomes the following day by Costco in Kailua-Kona. After refusing commands, police said officers opened fire when Gomes reportedly drove at them.

After fleeing, officers encountered Gomes two more times in North Kohala where officers discharging weapons in both incidents, including near Old Camp 17 Road when he crashed into a subsidized police vehicle. After that, Gomes disappeared into the North Kohala brush.

While there were reported sightings of Gomes, he wasn’t officially seen until days later on March 31, 2019, in Captain Cook, where he was taken into custody without incident and later charged with 15 counts to which he pleaded not guilty.

In her argument against probation, Wolfe said Gomes’ conduct caused “serious and significant harm” to the victim, as well as the public “as he fled from police on numerous occasions.” She added the crimes occurred despite him nearing the end of probation for a 2014 case….

(CLUE: Remove HPA from the sentencing process.)

read … Parole granted for two Kona men

More Homeless Mayhem: Probation ordered for man who threw pole at officer during arrest 

MN: …  Shortly before 2 a.m. that day, police were called to investigate a report of disorderly conduct near the 1500 block of South Kihei Road.

An officer found Fonseca in a campsite in the area when he raised a 5-foot metal pole with a pointed tip at the officer, according to police. After being told not to, Fonseca threw the pole at the officer, hitting his left forearm and causing a laceration, police said. The officer told Fonseca he was under arrest and instructed him to lie on the ground. As the officer was handcuffing Fonseca, he tried to pull the officer to the ground and tried to bite him, according to police.

Fonseca grabbed the officer’s baton and was reaching for the gun of another officer who had arrived, police said….

“He was in the middle of a mental health episode,” she said. “It simply was a man who reacted poorly while dealing with his own mental health issues.”

read … Sent right back out to be homeless again 

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