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Wednesday, August 3, 2022
August 3, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:48 PM :: 1907 Views

UH dashboard provides public, officials with Red Hill water crisis data

Hawaii Skin Cancer Rates up 14%

Rolling Blackouts Coming in September: Insiders Still Claim Power expected to be reliable (but pricey) after coal-plant shutdown

KHON: … The cost of electricity after coal is still up in the air.

Hawaiian Electric said it will inform ratepayers sometime this month how much more electric bills could spike this fall. That’s because replacement solar and battery projects aren’t yet online and pricey oil generators need to be used more meanwhile….

“At least on Oahu there are these five projects coming online in 2023, one of them is going to be probably the largest solar and battery project for Oahu at least,” explained Public Utilities Commission Chairman Leo Asuncion.

While waiting for those to come online, HECO and the PUC said the utility can still generate enough power after the end of coal.

(Clue: ‘Murphy’s Law’)

“I haven’t seen anything that would cause me to lose my sleep over having any type of dipping below the minimum reserves,” Asuncion said.

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

But it’s the cost that’s likely to bite because oil has to replace much of what coal once made until more renewables are online next year.

When Always Investigating first reported on the price spike coming this fall, HECO said oil-generated power was expected to cost as much as five times more for the 10% to 20% of the island’s power that once came from coal.

KHON2 asked for a price update, and a HECO spokesperson said they are “still figuring that out based on recent downward oil price direction” and that they “will be putting something out to customers in early August so they are aware.”

(Translation: We can’t count that high.)

After Oahu’s coal plant closure, Maui is also slated to cut back its fossil-fuel generation at the oil-powered Kahului plant, and debate what to do at the Maalaea plant which also runs on oil…..

read … Power expected to be reliable but pricey, after coal-plant shutdown

Exempt food and medicine from GET

SA: … According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hawaii households spend a much higher percentage — 16.5% — of their budget on food than the U.S. average of 12.5%. Given that food prices in Honolulu alone have gone up 8.7% over the past year, a tax exemption for groceries would go a long way toward alleviating food costs, especially since with the county surcharges, Hawaii’s general excise tax can be as high as 4.712%.

To put it another way: Would it help your family to take $1 off your grocery bill every time you spent about $21? Anyone who has ever clipped a coupon or used a store discount card knows the answer to that question….

read … Exempt food and medicine from GET

Saga of Hawaii ‘Spy’ Couple Pictured in KGB Garb Gets Even Weirder in Court

DB: …Asked by U.S. Magistrate Judge Rom Trader to state her name, Gwynn Darle Morrison replied, “They are calling me Gwynn Darle Morrison.”…

Megan Kau, Morrison’s lawyer, told Trader, “My client maintains that her name is Julie Lyn Montague, and [says] that’s the only thing that she’s ever gone by.”…

Later in the hearing, Trader asked Primrose to also state his name— but got a very different response.

“Walter Glenn Primrose,” he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Muehleck told Trader he was flummoxed by Morrison’s behavior.

“Your honor, it’s a little strange here that the defendant maintains… she is Julie Lyn Montague,” Muehleck said. “You know, her sister was interviewed by the FBI and was shown a picture of the Julie Lyn Montague Hawaii driver’s license with the defendant’s photograph on there, and said, ‘That appears to be Gwynn, but the date of birth is wrong.’”….

read … Saga of Hawaii ‘Spy’ Couple Pictured in KGB Garb Gets Even Weirder in Court

Staffing shortages, reinfections: The year of living with COVID isn’t going as planned

HNN: … From staffing shortages to supply disruptions, residents say the pandemic is still very much having an impact on their daily lives.

And epidemiologists warn that isn’t expected to change anytime soon.

The COVID positivity rate in Hawaii is now hovering around 16% and public health officials are worried the islands could be grappling with another wave as the latest variant circulates and reinfections soar.

“Our teams are still getting COVID,” said Yasuaki Ito, president and executive producer of Made in Hawaii TV, a media company catering to Japanese tourists. “They can’t come do the work, but we try to cover.”…

The DOH reported 23 COVID deaths in Hawaii last week….

read … Staffing shortages, reinfections: The year of living with COVID isn’t going as planned

Hawaii reports 3,689 new COVID-19 cases statewide

SN: … Hawaii has reported 3,689 new cases of COVID-19 within the last week, bringing the statewide total to 329,633, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Twenty-one new deaths were reported, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,592.

The bulk of the cases were reported on Oahu, with 2,503. Hawaii Island is next with 468, followed by Maui with 462, Kauai with 146, Molokai with 12, and Lanai with two.

There were 96 cases from out-of-state visitors.

The statewide vaccination rate stands at 77.1%, with 1,096,037 residents having completed the "primary series"; 1,216,269 residents having had at least one dose; 630,644 residents having had the first booster; and 155,610 residents having had the second booster.

Honolulu County reported the highest vaccination rate among its residents at 89%. Maui County follows with 79% fully vaccinated, Kauai County stands at 78% and Hawaii County at 76%….

read … Hawaii reports 3,689 new COVID-19 cases statewide

City outlines ambitious plan to build 1,000 affordable units

HNN: … In addition to Aiea, plans are in the works for complexes in Waialua, McCully, Halawa, Kailua, and Chinatown….

The projects are partly funded through grants from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund.

Typically, this kind of development can take close to nine years, but the city is planning to cut that time in half….

“For the island of Oahu, we’re integrating six projects today that are gonna start and be done within five years,” said city director of community services Anton Krucky.

“Some will be done within one and two years, so we’re really hitting the road running.” 

SA Editorial: City gets going on affordable homes

SA: Housing projects planned from North Shore to town will create 972 affordable units in the next five years

read … City outlines ambitious plan to build 1,000 affordable units

Lawyer claims road rage attack on elderly driver was … uh … ‘self-defense’

HNN: … Daniel Aikau, 28, was arrested last week but was released pending further investigation. Surveillance camera video appears to show him attacking Laie resident Alofaaga Togiai….

Togiai’s family worries that Aikau is getting special treatment because a member of prominent surfing family. Clyde Aikau is his father and deceased big-wave surfer Eddie Aikau is his uncle.

Aikau’s lawyer said his client has received death threats since the video was first broadcast….

the victim’s family said that if prosecutors don’t file charges, they plan to file a civil lawsuit against Aikau….

read … Lawyer claims road rage attack on elderly driver was self-defense

7 Oahu schools identified for poorest air quality

SA: … The campuses with the 73 classrooms with the highest levels of carbon dioxide are Kauluwela, Keone‘ula, Pu‘u­hale and Royal elementary schools; Mililani Middle School; and McKinley and Mililani high schools. The numbers of classrooms at each school ranged from 24 at Kauluwela and 19 at Keone‘ula, down to one classroom at Mililani High….

read … 7 Oahu schools identified for poorest air quality

Hawaii Is The Only State Not Seeking Federal Buyouts To Move Residents Away From Floods

CB: … The FEMA program could help as the climate crisis worsens. But the public would have to know it exists and overcome outdated building codes and high property values….

CB: Communities stuck on the front lines of the climate crisis need help relocating. The U.S. government isn’t prepared.

read … Hawaii Is The Only State Not Seeking Federal Buyouts To Move Residents Away From Floods

Hawaii County Council Squelches Affordable Housing Audit

HTH: … The County Council agrees the county needs to take a closer look at how it dispenses credits for building affordable housing, but members of the Finance Committee who were present Tuesday were unsure the timing was right to undertake a wide-ranging audit.

Instead, the committee asked to narrow the scope of a resolution proposed by North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba and possibly delay its implementation until federal criminal investigations are complete (pigs fly)…

read … Affordable housing credits in the spotlight: Council committee questions audit timing during federal investigation

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