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Thursday, June 16, 2022
June 16, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:15 PM :: 2715 Views

Honolulu Among Least Affordable Housing on Earth

'Water Management Area' -- New Way to Selectively Control Development

Honolulu Most Diverse Large Metro in USA

State Economies with the Most Racial Equality -- Hawaii Ranks 4th

Counties with the highest unemployment rate in Hawaii

Four Big Island Residents Sentenced to Federal Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking

Hawaii Best Health Care During COVID

Hawaii Travel Industry A Shambles and Why

BH: … Our 531 flight on Alaska Air from LAX to HNL was on time but we sat on the tarmac at HNL for at least 1.5 hours waiting for the gate/jetway to become available so we could disembark. They told us it was a lack of staffing.” Not a great welcome to Hawaii….

There have been several issues at the Hawaii bellwether carrier. This week the airline had an unusually high number of flight delays, as we reported. Previously, Hawaiian canceled dozens of flights related to pilot shortages and an interisland flight training simulator. The company is trying to add cockpit crew and has offered a $10k sign-up bonus and $81/hour starting pay to first officers….

… We reported that on Sunday and Monday, there were 272 Hawaii flights delayed. And it isn’t over. At Honolulu on Wednesday, there were another 53 domestic flights delayed (25 Hawaiian, 17 Southwest, 9 United, and 2 Delta. Plus, 3 United flights were canceled entirely….

Hawaii hotels first had to reduce their staffing during the pandemic. Then, when Hawaii travel resumed faster than expected, they were caught off-guard. Many of the staff didn’t return while new staff had to be added and trained. So the guest experience can be less than expected, including in hotel restaurants and housekeeping.

One commenter said, “How can you afford to stay in a hotel in Hawaii? The usual $350-375 partial ocean view at the Big Island’s Waikoloa Beach Marriott is over $1,000 per night!”

Another added, “If you can overlook the issues and just enjoy the sand, sun and sea, it’s still our favorite spot. Our favorite condo increased over last year about 30%, next year it increases another 65%!! We may be looking elsewhere if this continues.”…

We reported earlier this month on Hawaii’s marketing quagmire as the state’s Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) abruptly canceled its 20-year marketing contract with the century-old Hawaii Visitor And Convention Bureau (HVCB). The contract was awarded instead to a member-based non-profit with no apparent travel marketing experience, whose mission is “to enhance the cultural, economic, political, and community development of Native Hawaiians.”

Since that change was announced, there have been odd and uncomfortable back and forth statements and emails from both HTA and HVCB. Suffice to say, no one is happy here, and we’ll be surprised if this can end amicably. We’re watching for HVCB to challenge the new contract in the next few days ….

KHON: Hawaii’s jobs increased 21,800 over the year

read … Hawaii Travel Industry A Shambles and Why

‘We lack a moral compass’: Duke Aiona finally explains his decision to join the race for governor

HNN: … “This spirit that we have a lack of a moral compass has just compounded all of this and made it that much worse,” Aiona said….

It turns out, Penn’s family once supported Aiona’s campaign. Penn’s supporters say Aiona is a respected family friend.

Hawaii News Now asked Aiona if that made it awkward or difficult to run against Penn and others in the minority GOP.

“You hit it right on the head,” said Aiona. “So that made it difficult, yes. So this is why it was a very tough decision,” he added….

HNN asked the candidates if they voted for President Trump.

“You know that’s really an irrelevant question at this point in time because he’s not president. You should ask if I voted for President Biden because he’s the president in charge right now,” said Aiona.

When asked if he voted for President Biden, Aiona refused to answer.

“I think that’s for me in the voting both,” he said.

Tsuneyoshi says she didn’t cast a vote for either presidential contender in the last presidential election.

“I think Trump as a president did some very good policies. As we know there were some concerns about his personality. Now we see interesting scenarios playing out,” said Tsuneyoshi.

Both Tsuneyoshi and Aiona say they’re against vaccine mandates.

Aiona says he’s not anti-vaccine, but Tsuneyoshi questions its efficacy.

Penn has refused nearly all of HNN’s interview requests and thanked Aiona for his past service….

SA: Duke Aiona announces gubernatorial run

KHON: Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona shares why he is running for Hawaii governor

read … ‘We lack a moral compass’: Duke Aiona finally explains his decision to join the race for governor

Hawaii panel discusses proposals for legislative term limits

AP: … panel created by the state House of Representatives to recommend reforms after two former lawmakers admitted taking bribes discussed proposals to establish term limits for legislators at a meeting Wednesday.

The Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct is meeting every two weeks through Dec. 1 when it is expected to submit a report to the House. It didn’t reach any final decisions.

Commission member Barbara Marumoto represented Kaimuki and Kahala as a Republican in the state House for more than three decades until 2012. She said capping time in the state Legislature to eight, 10 or 12 years would be better than six years ….

read … Hawaii panel discusses proposals for legislative term limits

Retaliation Games: After Two Academic Years, Haiku teacher cleared in DOE investigation

MN: … A beloved longtime kindergarten teacher at Haiku Elementary School has been cleared under an internal investigation by the state Department of Education and is able to return to teaching, her family and the DOE confirmed this week.

In September 2020, Monica Nakahashi was put on department-directed leave and escorted off of the Haiku campus with no time to pack up her things, her family said at the time….

Principal Karen Walker had told parents in a letter that an active investigation was underway but that the school could not discuss the details because it was a “confidential personnel matter.”

The family said that the investigation occurred after Nakahashi filed a complaint about the administration.  (BINGO!)

The incident sparked an outpouring of support for Nakahashi, who has been a teacher for more than 40 years, as former students, parents and co-workers staged a rally outside the school shortly after her dismissal from campus….

read … Haiku teacher cleared in DOE investigation

Faking It: Final death knell for tax relief this year--Council kills property tax cuts

HTH: … The public said it wanted it, the administration said the county could afford it, but there will be no property tax relief this year, after the County Council on Wednesday couldn’t agree on either of two competing proposals.

With Monday marking the deadline outlined in the county charter to set property tax rates, the meeting was the last opportunity for council members to agree on a plan. Their inability to do so means last year’s tax rates will stand at least another year….

read … Final death knell for tax relief this year: Council kills property tax cuts

Hawaii County Bill to ban most sunscreens passes

HTH: … All but two kinds of sunscreen will be banned on the Big Island under a bill passed Wednesday by the County Council.

After weeks of discussion, the council voted to pass on final reading a measure that will prohibit the sale of all “non-mineral” sunscreens on the island….

By the definitions set out in the bill, only sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their active ingredient will be permitted to be sold in the county….

While most council members were generally supportive of the bill, it did not pass unanimously. Two council members – Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz and Kohala Councilman Tim Richards — voted against the bill on the grounds that further information about the effects of sunscreens on marine life is still forthcoming….

UPDATE: 'Reef Friendly' Sunscreens Caught Lying About SPF Protection

Reality: Chemical Company Behind Anti-Sunscreen Campaign

read … Bill to ban most sunscreens passes

Kauai Council 2% ‘Affordable Housing’ Slush Fund?

TGI: … Resolution No. 2022-22 introduced at council Wednesday proposes an amendment to the county charter that would allocate at least 2% of property-tax revenues each year to a housing-development fund or something … 

(IQ Test: Do you believe that ‘allocating’ money is the same as building homes?)

Hooser: Affordable-housing initiative back on the table

read … Lawmakers mull charter amendment on affordable housing

Maui water oversight board proposal advances

MN: … Sinenci also proposed an expanded version of the amendment to establish a countywide water authority, building upon the original bill, which will be open for discussion during an Agriculture and Public Trust Committee meeting on June 28.

If a countywide Community Water Authority and Community Board is approved, both the countywide and East Maui charter amendments will be discussed by the full council on July 1, but only one amendment can move forward and be placed on the November ballot.

For the purpose of Wednesday’s meeting, the committee approved the East Maui Water Authority charter amendment with modifications “as a necessary first step,” Sinenci said.

“I wanted to stress that this legislation is just setting up the framework, giving us, the council, another tool in the toolkit, a tool that we never had before,” he added.

As it stands, EMI — owned by Alexander & Baldwin and Mahi Pono — is applying for a 30-year water lease for the East Maui streams.

Approval of a 30-year water lease to EMI would place a significant amount of Maui County’s water resources under the control of “a foreign, for-profit investor entity,” according to the resolution proposing the charter amendment. Mahi Pono was created as a joint venture between California-based Pomona Farming and Canada’s largest pension fund managers, Public Sector Pension Investment.

“There’s nobody that should be more concerned about a foreign country managing and operating our water,” Paltin said (quacked). “I like the idea of the transparency, I like the idea of us being able to get federal funds, I like the idea of us having access to people who have done this in municipalities across the continent of America.”…  (blablabla)

read … East Maui water oversight board proposal advances

Convicted felon back behind bars after allegedly assaulting police officer in Kalaeloa

HNN: … Police responded to reports of a stolen car in Pearl City on June 6.

Investigators said an officer spotted Lopez driving the vehicle in Kalaeloa and was unable to pull him over.

But two days later, police said they spotted him again.

Officials said a struggle ensued when Lopez reached for a gun in his waistband.

An officer attempted to wrestle the firearm away from Lopez, which resulted in the officer getting punched in the face by the suspect.

Officials said Lopez was previously convicted of ramming his car into two police officers in 2009.

He was released in February 2020 after serving his full sentence, (obviously not long enough) said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz.

Lopez is currently being held on $300,000 bail….

read … Convicted felon back behind bars after allegedly assaulting police officer in Kalaeloa

Courts quickly reject attempts to delay eviction of sovereignty squatters on Kunia ag land

ILind: … Last week, Circuit Court Judge James C. McWhinnie signed a court ordered “Writ of Possession” directing law enforcement authorities to remove the group and their personal possessions from the 30 acres they have occupied since late last September.

On Monday morning, Travis Mokiao and Kaiulani Mokiao filed a motion asking McWhinnie to “stay,” or delay, the evictions he approved just last week. On Tuesday, just a day later, he tossed the motion out of court.

On Monday afternoon, Travis Mokiao tried a different approach and filed paperwork which sought to transfer the eviction case from state to federal court. It was also quickly dismissed by Federal District Court Judge Helen Gillmor just 24 hours later.

In the legal world, where even the simplest decisions seem to move at a snail’s pace, this was remarkably quick action.

Both the Mokiao motions were, in a word, frivolous, filled with pseudo-legal gobbledygook, including claims to be citizens of a foreign country protected from the imposition of US law by the international laws of war and military occupation….

There has been no indication when authorities intend to carry out the eviction and clear the area….

Background: Judge Orders Sheriff to remove Sovereignty Activist ’Army’ of Trumpster Copycats from Pot farm--Monday deadline

read … Courts quickly reject attempts to delay eviction of squatters on Kunia ag land

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