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Sunday, July 3, 2022
July 3, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:48 PM :: 2627 Views

Hawaii housing starts jump 28.2%

A Quick Guide to the OHA Elections

It’s the Economy, Mooooo

50 Years of Pandering: Hawaii’s housing emergency has been going on for decades now

Borreca: … “The median price for a typical home in Hawaii is $848,926, more than twice the national average. Hawaii also has one of the country’s lowest homeownership rates, with 59% of its residents owning their homes.” That comes from the national real estate internet source, Zillow….

Housing is a hardy political perennial when Hawaii voters are going to pick a new governor. As far back as 1970, the handwringing because of the high price of Hawaii housing dominated the pivotal Democratic primary race between Lt. Gov. Tom Gill and incumbent Gov. John Burns.

Fifty-two years ago, Burns, worried about his trailing poll numbers heading into a dicey primary race, announced a housing task force to be “an all-out attack on the housing crisis,” as Tom Coffman wrote in his book on the 1970 race, “Catch a Wave.”

That plan called for tax breaks for renters, restrictions on resale of state-sponsored housing projects, money for mortgage help, the experimental waiver of building and zoning codes, plus a variety of financial aid to housing developers.

If any of that worked it wasn’t for long, because now, a half-century later, Hawaii goes into another gubernatorial season with the leading Democrats running for governor still offering plans to tinker with zoning codes, fast-track state housing plans and declaring emergencies.

In the first major debate of the election year, those candidates for governor — Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Vicky Cayetano and U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele — immediately jumped on the housing issue….

Some sort of a reality check is needed for the hopes and dreams of housing plans, which for decades have not yet materialized….

read … As politicos’ promises reveal, Hawaii’s housing emergency has been going on for decades now

Nobody Cares About BJ Penn’s Criminal Record

SA: … Penn, 43, has a criminal record that includes assaults, drunken driving and a no-contest plea in 2005 to assaulting a police officer, for which he served a year of probation. Penn’s criminal history is hardly a liability, according to Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center.

“People who are going to vote for BJ Penn don’t care about that stuff,” Moore said….

Moore maintained he would not be surprised to see Aiona and Tsuneyoshi split the more traditional Republican vote, leaving Penn as his party’s de facto leader heading into the general election.

“People who are underestimating him are making a mistake,” Moore said. “He has a lot of support from Republican voters, and there are two mainstream Republicans — Heidi Tsuneyoshi and Aiona — who will split the vote. BJ Penn offers that angry, populist alternative.”

More traditional Republicans “say there’s no way they’re going to vote for him,” Moore said.

But Penn is channeling some “people’s anger at the state from COVID to mask mandates in schools,” Moore said. “His appeal includes calling out (Schools Superintendent) Keith Hayashi at a Board of Education meeting.”

In a video posted on the “BJ Penn For Governor” YouTube page, Penn attended a BOE meeting in May where he told Hayashi and the board that if he is elected governor, “all you guys are gone.”…

read … Hawaii’s GOP primary candidates test the party’s values

Kauai Council Meth News: Brun distributor gets 2 years in prison

TGI: … After a 20-year prison sentence was imposed on former Kaua‘i County Councilmember turned meth dealer Arthur Brun this May, the court has begun mopping up the cases of his 11 co-conspirators.

Federal Judge Derrick K. Watson handed down a two-year sentence to Brun associate Efren Yanos Thursday, who admitted to possessing with intent to sell five grams or more of meth for the former councilmember. Yanos was also given an additional three years of supervised release and assessed a fine of $5,000.

Watson recommended that Yanos be sent to a facility on the West Coast, that he be placed in a drug-treatment program and that he receive vocational and educational training….

read … Brun distributor gets 2 years in prison

SHOPO: We Wish All Police Departments Were Like Big Island

CB: … We have Maui with the police chief. We did a survey recently, 70% of the membership participated. The results were kind of negative. There’s a lot to improve on with that department. And Chief (John Pelletier) came in to a rocky start for whatever reasons. And the members over there, they really want more communication from him in his administration. Some of the things that he’s doing, some of the things that he’s not doing. So that’s a challenge for us. The reason we did that survey was to try to mend that relationship, to see what the union can do to help the chief. It wasn’t done in a manner to where we want to try and get rid of him — more of hand-lending. So we got that going on with Maui.

Big Island is in this kind of just status quo, as you kind of put it, Chief (Paul) Ferreira is retiring after 40 years. He’s, I think, done wonders for that department and keeping it moving in the right direction. So we wish him well.

And with Kauai, that’s another challenge, just like Maui. There’s been several things that have gone on with that department that I know you guys are aware of, the lawsuit from (Captain Paul) Applegate and the promotion process over there. Some of those discriminatory comments about Asians (from) the police chief (Todd Raybuck). There’s other complaints that are filed from other civilian employees in the department….

Totally Unrelated: Police Corruption Scandals Revenge for Gambling Prosecutions?

read … SHOPO's Robert Cavaco And Stephen Keogh

Telescope: Mutual stewardship is the right approach

HTH: … it is time to undertake a new approach to the management of Maunakea: an approach of mutual stewardship. This approach, with Maunakea as the central focus, was set forth in House Bill 2024 and will soon become law.

The legislation, which establishes a new management Authority for Maunakea, codifies the importance of astronomy to the state of Hawaii while ensuring direct agency for Native Hawaiians in the governance of Maunakea. It recognizes the need for multiple voices — cultural, economic, environmental, educational, scientific — to jointly manage and steward this place of immense importance.

I am not alone in my acknowledgment of the need for a new approach. Each decade, the astronomical community, facilitated by the National Academy of Sciences, comes together to produce the Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. This influential document has historically been read by astronomers for its guidance on research endeavors and funding resources.

But this Decadal Survey not only endorsed powerful facilities, but also charged the astronomical community to “build partnerships with indigenous and local communities that are more functional and sustained through a Community Astronomy approach … .” The principle of mutual stewardship that grounds the legislation and the Authority’s mandate is in synergy with Decadal Survey’s vision of Community Astronomy globally….

read … Mutual stewardship is the right approach

Ige’s Rationale To Veto The Public Records Bill Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test

CB: … Gov. David Ige is using tortured logic and ignoring solid data in determining that he may veto a bill that would go a long way in increasing transparency in government.

Instead of respecting the facts, the compromises and the hard work that went into the unanimous passage by the Hawaii Legislature in May of Senate Bill 3252 — as well as the broad support from public interest, good government and media groups — Ige appears to have been swayed instead by the irrational fear from his own department heads that the legislation would somehow place an enormous burden on them to respond to public records requests.

SB 3252 would cap the costs charged for reproduction of certain government records and waive all charges when an electronic format is available and when the record’s disclosure is in the public interest.

In his June 27 statement on the potential veto of bills, Ige said of SB 3252 that it would unduly burden boards and added, “There may be more UIPA lawsuits, which will increase costs to government agencies through awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to plaintiffs filing those lawsuits. As a result, agencies may be forced to choose between responding to records requests and performing their regular jobs.”

This is simply not accurate, and it is mortifying that Hawaii’s governor believes otherwise.….

read … Ige’s Rationale To Veto The Public Records Bill Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test

State attorney general, Hawaii counties reviewing firearm laws in wake of SCOTUS decision

SA: … On Thursday, representatives from the AG’s office met with representatives from the county prosecutors’ offices, police departments and corporation counsels to begin the discussion on how to balance the high court’s decision with public safety.

“The Department of the Attorney General had a productive initial meeting with the counties … and looks forward to further discussing with them how to best ensure the safety of the community, while responding to the recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion,” Gary H. Yama­shiroya, special assistant to state Attorney General Holly Shikada, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a statement. “Determining the best way to respond to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling while ensuring the protection of public safety is a complex undertaking. The department is committed to working with all stakeholders in the coming months to address these issues.” ….

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers told the Star-Advertiser that any change to Hawaii’s “concealed carry” laws must strike the right balance between a law-abiding gun owner’s rights with the need to keep the public and police officers safe.

“The Legislature should enact strong restrictions to keep firearms out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, violent criminals, drug addicts and the mentally ill. These restrictions must include a process to revoke the license of any permit holder who qualifies for being on the prohibited list, as well as the financial resources for our police departments to investigate and enforce any license revocation,” said Robert Cavaco, SHOPO president.

Police are also worried about how the high court ruling will affect interactions between law enforcement and the public. Officers are already responding to rapidly evolving emergency situations that could turn deadly in an instant. The added pressure of not knowing who is carrying a gun could add tension to already stressful situations.

“It is impossible for our officers in the field to distinguish between an individual with a gun that is a permit holder versus one that is not a permit holder, so part of any required training for those seeking a concealed carry permit should include how to safely interact with law enforcement officers while armed,” said Cavaco.

Honolulu Police Chief Arthur Logan said the department is currently reviewing the ruling and is in discussion with city attorneys and other county police departments and law enforcement agencies.

“The HPD’s firearms permitting procedures are unchanged at this time but are being evaluated in light of the ruling,” said Logan.

County prosecutors are carefully considering the path forward and reviewing the decision and Hawaii firearm laws before offering any legislative proposals….

CB: You May Soon See People Openly Carrying Guns In Hawaii

read … State attorney general, Hawaii counties reviewing firearm laws in wake of SCOTUS decision

Jones Act News: China’s third carrier launch reflects a disturbing trend

SA: …  Many analysts have noted that China has now launched three carriers and brought two into full operational status during a decade, where the U.S. Navy has struggled to bring one new unit to full operational status. Most analysts expect two or more Fujian-class carriers to enter service by 2030….

The Fujian constitutes a major milestone in China’s growing naval power. Catapult-launched planes can carry a heavier fuel and ordnance load than those launched vertically or via ski jump. Also, CATOBAR carrier air wings can include Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), logistics and tanker aircraft, greatly expanding its battlespace management capabilities, at-sea serviceability, and air wing strike range, respectively.

Those and other capabilities show how much China’s shipbuilding industry and navy have advanced technologically over the last 20 years….

Looking beyond carriers, China is commissioning almost two high-technology guided missile destroyers or frigates annually, at a time the U.S. Navy is struggling to maintain its shrinking fleet of aging surface combatants with no operational viable replacements under construction….

the U.S. is losing its overall technological advantage….

read … China’s third carrier launch reflects a disturbing trend

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