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Friday, June 3, 2022
June 3, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:38 PM :: 1751 Views

Biden Mandates Project Labor Agreements, 73% of Contractors will Stop Bidding

Republicans Reject Biden Nominee for Hawaii US Marshall

Eleven Years Later: Bridge Aina Lea Affordable Housing Developer Loses Lawsuit

Hawaii's $800M Crypto Marketplace Last Minute Reprieve

CNHA Swipes Juicy Mainland Tourism Marketing Contract from HVCB

How to increase housing and ease homelessness in Hawaii

Feds Charge HPD officer with child sex trafficking

KHON: … According to court documents, victim one was approached by Jordan Mason three different times from July 2, 2016, to July 17, 2017 “to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography that would be mailed, shipped and transported to foreign commerce, which includes by computer.”

Court documents said victim two was contacted online and by cell on or about Jan. 14, 2020, by Jordan to engage in prostitution.

The third victim, according to court documents, was contacted by Jordan to engage in prostitution.

Jordan is also accused of watching both victims two and three engage in a commercial sex act on two different occasions….

PDF: Indictment  

Star-Adv, June 3, 2022:   … Jordan was hired on Nov. 4, 2013, and resigned on March 26, 2021. He held the rank of officer and worked in patrol district 3.  Jordan is listed in HPD’s 2021 annual discipline report that is shared with state lawmakers. The department accused Jordan of criminal conduct, “promoting intoxicating liquor to a minor.” He resigned “prior to discharge,” according to the report….

HNN: Multiple child sex trafficking and exploitation charges for alleged incidents between 2016 and 2020 ― while he was still at HPD.

Meanwhile: HPD Rejects 95% of Applicants

read … Court documents state victims consisted of three minors as well as one adult female who Jordan harassed online.

No property tax relief: Hawaii County Council approves $785.3M spending plan--Creates 88 new ‘positions’

HTH: … There will be no tax breaks for Hawaii County property owners this year, after the County Council on Thursday shot down attempts by three council members to divvy up for property owners a budget windfall stemming from a booming economy that sent property values skyrocketing.

Instead, the council, by default, opted to keep the current tax rates the same, despite an attempt by Mayor Mitch Roth to provide relief in his $779.7 million budget proposal that was already increased by 27.8% over the current year.

North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba, Kohala Councilman Tim Richards and Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy tried to bring taxes down, but a council majority couldn’t agree…

Beefed up security for county parks and buildings, increased community policing, fences to keep out pigs, increased funding for parks and money for council contingency accounts were among some 20 amendments adding $5.6 million to Roth’s proposed spending plan for operations.

The new budget adds 88 more positions….

read … No property tax relief: Council approves $785.3M spending plan

Kauai Council approves $260.3M budget--Up $40M thanks to tax and assessment hikes

TGI: … It was a total increase of more than $40 million over the current budget (a $243.3 million operating budget and $24.8 million CIP tab), with the majority of the additional funds going towards CIP projects.

This increase was possible because of a 25% bump in revenues over last year — a result of the reclassification of the residential investor tax class, increasing property values and a new, island-based transient accommodations tax….

read … Council approves $260.3M budget

Oahu homeowners to pay significantly more in property taxes as home values rise

KHON: … The Honolulu City Council, with a budget of more than $3 billion, is scheduled to vote tomorrow on setting the property rates for residential, hotel, commercial and other classifications.

Since lowering the rate is out of the question, Waters said he's introduced two bills to increase the homeowners' exemption from $100,000 to $120,000, and also the exemption for kupuna from $140,000 to $160,000.

The council is also considering giving homeowners renting out properties long term similar exemptions as if they lived there.

They are also debating capping what homeowners pay in property taxes at 3% of income, but only if you make 80% of the area medium income or below -- that's $73,000 for a single person or $104,000 for a family of four….

CB: Would You Want The Government To Be Your Landlord? 

HB: ADUs Seemed Like a Simple Solution to Hawai‘i’s Housing Crisis

SA: Hawaii tax collections soared to a record high in April while the local economy recovered

read … Oahu homeowners to pay significantly more in property taxes as home values rise

50 Years of Hypocrisy: Hawaii DoE Finally gets Around to Building Female Locker Rooms

HNN: … In an effort to bring fairness to girls sports, the state Department of Education will receive more than $60 million over the next two years to build new locker facilities for female athletes.

The move comes nearly 50 years after the passage of the landmark Title IX law, which bars sex discrimination in public schools….

This year, lawmaker appropriated $34.7 million dollars for girl’s locker rooms and related facilities. Next year’s budget includes $26.9 million….

“We actually have to work on similar types of improvements at the middle schools and also even at the elementary schools.”

Back in 2016, a DOE report found that 14 public schools only had athletic locker rooms for boys -- and not for girls….

read … Big win for girls’: State to spend $60M to construct locker rooms for female athletes

Amid ongoing surge, more than 800 frontline caregivers in Hawaii out sick with COVID

HNN: … Amid Hawaii’s ongoing COVID surge, some 800 frontline caregivers in Hawaii called out sick Thursday due to the virus, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii said.

The number of call outs is close to what was reported during the peak of the Omicron surge.

While the current COVID surge isn’t filling up hospital beds statewide, it’s still having a significant impact on available medical staff.

According to the association, there are currently over 180 people hospitalized with the virus, which is a manageable number, but the number of sick calls is making it difficult to fill shifts and taxing an already fatigued workforce….

“They may be working three 12-hour shifts a week, they may be asked to work four 12-hour shifts a week for example,” said HAH president Hilton Raethel. “It has an impact on the entire workforce when you have this many people as out as we do.”

Raethel said sick calls have required more out-of-state staff — nearly 250 traveling nurses are currently on island.

Meanwhile, HAH says another 150 workers across the country are on the way to alleviate the shortage….

Raethel adds that fortunately there are signs that the rate of infection is decreasing, which indicates the surge could peak sometime this month…

SA: COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 nearing final OK

read … Amid ongoing surge, more than 800 frontline caregivers in Hawaii out sick with COVID

OSHA: ‘Disabled’ Red Hill Firefighting System Put Employees In Danger

CB: … For at least a year, workers at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel complex were managing millions of gallons of petroleum – and welding with sparks flying – while the main fire suppression system was not fully functioning, according to records Civil Beat obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Navy have different stories about what happened. But both parties agree that during a yearlong period, the system would automatically deploy only water on a fuel fire, which OSHA said would exacerbate and spread a blaze. Meanwhile, the mechanism for automatically deploying firefighting foam was disengaged.

The Navy said its systems were “never insufficient” and that fires could be extinguished manually, but OSHA said the main system was totally “disabled” and that workers were left vulnerable.

“Alternative firefighting measures were not put in place, exposing employees to fire hazards,” the agency wrote in inspection records. …

read … OSHA: ‘Disabled’ Red Hill Firefighting System Put Employees In Danger

Hu Honua seeks Public Utilities Commission review

SA: … Honua Ola Bioenergy filed a motion Thursday for reconsideration, clarification and a further hearing with the state Public Utilities Commission in an attempt to reverse the agency’s 2-1 decision May 23 that rejected the company’s renewable energy project on Hawaii island ….  

HTH: Honua Ola asks PUC to reconsider

CB: Utility And Biomass Company Ask Hawaii Commission To Reconsider Decision

read … Big Island energy firm seeks Public Utilities Commission review

Maui County Bird Bill calls for changes to outdoor lighting

MN: … Nighttime sporting event venues, airports, hotels and other businesses would be given three years to replace artificial light fixtures under a bill that aims to address light pollution and mitigate threats to native Hawaiian seabirds….

The revised bill reduced the amount of visible blue light content permitted in outdoor lighting fixtures, except for neon, from 5 percent to 2 percent to limit the short wavelengths that are distracting for wildlife.

The bill still calls for the removal of mercury vapor from new outdoor lighting fixtures or for the replacement of existing outdoor lighting fixtures with mercury vapor.

It also clarifies that all outdoor lighting fixtures, except for neon, must be fully shielded and faced down with no light shining above the horizontal, while wall-mounted fixtures must have opaque shields to direct all light down, and, if the light hits a wall surface, the surface must be nonreflective. Outdoor lighting fixtures must also be mounted as low as possible while still complying with existing lighting and safety standards — height standards will be clarified by the county Department of Public Works….

read … Bill to protect birds calls for changes to outdoor lighting

Saipan suit challenges Trump’s cockfighting ban

AP: … Saipan resident Andrew Sablan Salas, who served in the House of Representatives in the commonwealth’s Legislature and previously was Secretary of Commerce in the territory, said in a lawsuit filed last week in federal court that he’s been involved in cockfighting since childhood.

In 2018, former President Donald Trump signed a law banning all animal fighting in U.S. territories. The law took effect in 2019. Prior to the law, cockfighting had been illegal in the 50 states but not U.S. territories….

Last year, a panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled against a Guam businessman whose 2019 lawsuit argued the ban was unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to the federal law brought by individuals and organizations that argued Congress exceeded its power in applying the ban to Puerto Rico….

read … Saipan man wages latest challenge to US cockfighting ban

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