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Wednesday, May 11, 2022
May 11, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:32 PM :: 1457 Views

Who has the most Student Debt? -- 16 Hawaii Towns Ranked

Patient Safety--How Does Your Hospital Rank?

COVID-19 infection rates soaring in Hawaii

DPP ‘Audit’ of Third Party Reviewers a Sham

Hawaii highest personal debt compared to income

Strong 2022 Legislative Session for Judiciary

US Rep. Ed Case says White House is open to Jones Act exemption amid fuel import monopoly

HPR: … Hawaiʻi was getting around 25% of its fuel directly from Russia on international ships, Case says.

"However, we rightly cut off any imports from Russia. And that leaves a much smaller layer of options out there internationally. We have to go to places like Argentina and Libya for our oil at that point," he said. "And the obvious choice to make up for that 25% is the U.S. mainland where we're producing energy."

But importing from the continent means Hawaiʻi importers have to use U.S.-built, U.S.-made oil tankers.

"I've done the research on that. We have virtually no tankers available to transit oil from the U.S. continent to Hawaiʻi," Case said. "So I've asked the president, 'Hey, under this specific circumstance where we are at the mercy — actually, we just have no practical alternative — open up the Jones Act so that at least international tankers can bring oil from Long Beach (California) to Hawaiʻi if we need it.' The White House has not said no to that," Case said.

Case says the Biden Administration has indicated it would be open to that discussion about the Jones Act and Hawaiʻi if international oil supplies to the state are threatened….

read … US Rep. Ed Case says White House is open to Jones Act exemption amid fuel import monopoly

Get out of Jail Free: ‘open lewdness; possession of a childlike sex doll, possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances in, on, or near schools’

HTH: … Those submitting testimony in opposition include Attorney General Holly Shikada, Honolulu City Prosecutor Steven Alm, Maui County Prosecutor Andrew Martin, Retail Merchants of Hawaii and the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

Robert “Bobby” Cavaco, president of SHOPO, the statewide police union, said officers “are on the front lines battling crime 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year” and see “habitual criminals and repeat offenders … set free without any consequences.”

Cavaco suggested building “a new prison with greater capacity” to solve overcrowding issues.

“Millions of dollars have been spent on studies and planning for the construction of a new prison, but funding is suddenly in jeopardy,” he testified. “Rather than build a new prison, the solution being offered is to let repeat offenders go free in our community without bail where they will be allowed to continue terrorizing our citizens.”

Hawaii County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen didn’t submit testimony on the bill, but has written to Ige, asking that he “exercise his veto authority.”

“We disagree that the imposition of a presumption of release mandate that jeopardizes the safety of our community is an appropriate means to address our outdated correctional facilities and overcrowding issues,” Waltjen wrote. “We believe that a defendant’s pretrial release status should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in order to appropriately assess a defendant and determine any public safety concerns.

“Of particular concern is that HB 1567 is overbroad and provides for a presumption of release for a wide range of offenses, including individuals charged with the following: theft of services or property of a value under $20,000; criminal property damage up to $20,000; unauthorized control of propelled vehicle; unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle; theft of credit card; identity theft; criminal trespass; open lewdness; possession of a childlike sex doll; violation of an injunction against harassment; impersonating a law enforcement officer; resisting arrest; interference with reporting an emergency or crime; possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances in, on, or near schools, school buses, and public parks; and other offenses.”

Oahu Sen. Kurt Fevella, the lone Republican in the chamber, said in Monday letter to Ige he’s “received an overwhelming number of calls and texts from my constituents and from residents of neighboring islands expressing strong opposition” to the bill and is urging the governor to veto the measure.

Fevella said he voted against the bill in its final reading because he shares “the concerns of my constituents regarding the potential for the automatic release of a defendant for ‘nonviolent,’ but dangerous Class C felony offenses.” …

SA Editorial: Bail-reform bill too broad, unsafe

read … A ‘poor tool’ for justice? Bail reform measure heads to Gov. Ige for consideration

Crime On Oahu Is Bouncing Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels

CB: … The number of homicides and car thefts have spiked on Hawaii’s most populous island, according to HPD data….

SA: High-priced electric bicycles, dirt bikes coveted by Hawaii thieves

read … Crime On Oahu Is Bouncing Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Finalists for Honolulu police chief to emerge this week

SA: … The city’s 12th police chief will be selected May 23 by Honolulu Police Commission members, who will learn the identities of the remaining candidates Wednesday.

The public, meanwhile, will get a closer look at the finalists during a live, televised forum May 19 on PBS Hawaii’s “Insight” program….The candidates are participating in a three-day “assessment center” at an undisclosed location in Waikiki that started Monday and will wrap up Wednesday….

Commissioners will again accept written and oral testimony from the public before they deliberate and select the next chief, pending medical clearance, at their May 23 meeting….

KHON: New HPD chief to be selected this month as department find ways to recruit officers

read … Finalists for Honolulu police chief to emerge this week

Hawaii Health Department reports 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 5,768 new infections

SA: … The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 5,768 new COVID-19 infections over the previous week, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 258,422 cases.

DOH also reported six more deaths, bringing the state’s COVID death toll to 1,434.

The state’s 7-day average of new cases today was reported at 722 compared to 485 on May 4, representing the seventh consecutive, weekly increase….

AP: Pandemic gets tougher to track as COVID testing plunges

read … Hawaii Health Department reports 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 5,768 new infections

Supreme Court explains reapportionment decision

HTH: … Hawaii Supreme Court justices have released their opinions on why they voted as they did in a divided ruling that dismissed a challenge to how the state Reapportionment Commission determined boundary lines for state legislative districts.

The concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as the court majority’s opinion, come almost two months after the court struck down the appeal that was holding up candidate qualifying. Candidates have until June 7 to finish the filing process for all local, state and federal offices.

read … Supreme Court explains reapportionment decision

Ranked-choice voting set to be used in some special elections

SA: … Hawaii is set to use ranked-choice voting for the first time after state law‑ makers passed a bill that would test the voting method in certain winner-take-all special elections.

Senate Bill 2162 moved out of the state Legislature last week and would be used only during federal contests outside of regularly scheduled primary and general elections along with County Council elections for vacant seats. These special elections are triggered when elected officials leave office before the end of their terms.

The proposed law would skip this year’s elections and become effective Jan. 1.

The defining feature of ranked-choice voting is that voters rank candidates in a particular race by preference as opposed to picking a single candidate….

read … Ranked-choice voting set to be used in some special elections

Public hearing to be held on Maui County fuel, vehicle, property tax rates

MN: … The Maui County Council will hold three separate public hearings on Friday on fuel, motor vehicle and property tax rates for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1.

Only the property tax rates will be decided upon Friday. The fuel tax and motor vehicle weight tax will be taken up by the council at its first reading of the fiscal 2023 budget on May 26.

The first public hearing is at 9 a.m. on fuel tax rates….

read … Public hearing to be held on fuel, vehicle, property tax rates

Parents, students frustrated over lack of space for SAT testing

HNN: … The upcoming SAT test is on June 4. On Oahu, there are only six testing sites — and they’re all booked solid….

Mother Summer Johnston says she couldn’t find a SAT slot for her son, Chris, on Oahu so she booked a slot on Kauai and was prepared to shell out an extra $1,000 for the trip.

“I’ve logged in 20 times today to see if we can reregister to take it any where on this island. I’ve done that for the past four days and nothing,” said Johnston.

Late in the day, she finally found a slot on Oahu after repeatedly refreshing her computer….

read … Parents, students frustrated over lack of space for SAT testing

Bizarre News: People who don’t pay rent getting evicted--in Hawaii!

KITV: … Even with rent relief and state-mandated mediation, Rivo said she still has to leave her Palolo Valley home by the end of the month. She owes more than $25,000 in fees and back rent…Rivo was given notice to vacate months ago and refused to move or pay the rent…

"They know I don't have the money so it is a purely greed-driven, threat-based tactic that is being applied to all tenants who are in my same situation," Rivo added. "I do not believe that the pain and the struggle is spread equally. It is not."

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

Before the pandemic, the state processed about 200 evictions a month. That dropped to as low as 26 when an eviction moratorium took effect.

Since the moratorium ended last year, evictions have climbed to about 150 per month, according to data compiled by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization ….

read … Evictions on the rise as Hawaii families forced to move due to unpaid rent

City Spending over $100 per bird on Feral Chicken Control

KHON: … Over the last two months, traps in 5 locations have caught 67 chickens….

It was revealed the Customer Service Department’s spent $7,000 catching 67 chickens.

That comes out to $104 per bird, which is less than half of the $220 the city was expecting.

The city said the cost is high due to traps being vandalized, damaged or stolen….

However, Kimberly Hashiro, director of the city’s Department of Customer Service said they want to get that down to $75.

“I think there needs to be more time really spent to find appropriate locations and to see how effective funds being spent are,” Hashiro said. “We’re actually obtaining quotes now from other vendors to see what they might be able to do.”…

The proposed $50,000 for the initiative was approved for further consideration at the full council meeting scheduled for June 1….

(IDEAS:  1. Legalize chickens.  2. Eggs for breakfast.)

read … Spending over $100 per bird, city discusses more effective ways to combat feral chickens

Here’s Which Ethnic Groups Make the Most Money in Hawai‘i

HB: … People who are Japanese or part Japanese have the highest median family income in Hawai‘i at $114,825 a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data, which is from 2019.

People who are Filipino or part Filipino rank second with a median family income of $102,324. Among the state’s major ethnic groups, people who are part or full Filipino also have the largest average family size, a major factor in their high family income ranking, says Carlie Liddell, head statistician of the Hawai‘i State Data Center.

Locals who are at least part Japanese tend to be older and less likely to be unemployed than the overall population. They’re also more likely to be managers, with higher rates of them working in business, science and arts occupations.

And they have the highest homeownership rate of Hawai‘i’s largest ethnic groups. Almost 76% of local Japanese live in owner-occupied units, compared with 69% of local Chinese and 64.1% of local Filipinos. About 60% of Hawai‘i’s total population lives in owner-occupied units, which Tian says is one indicator of homeownership….

One reason Native Hawaiians and Hispanics have lower family incomes is that they tend to be younger, Tian says. In 2019, Native Hawaiians had a median age of 30.3 years and Hispanics 25.9. The overall population’s median age was 39.6….

read … Here’s Which Ethnic Groups Make the Most Money in Hawai‘i

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