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Thursday, August 11, 2022
August 11, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:10 PM :: 2043 Views

Can Sam King Win for OHA At-Large Trustee?

State Having Hard Time Giving Away Internet Discounts

Act 183: C-PACE in Hawaii

Navy, UH, DoH Agree to Use EPA-Certified Water Testing Protocols

BJ Penn for Dictator: ‘I will End TMT’

HTH: … the meeting went on for four hours, with dozens of attendees taking the stand to decry the process, the NSF, the University of Hawaii and TMT specifically.

“Listen to what we are saying,” said Mililani Trask, Big Island trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in a fiery 10-minute criticism. “We have tolerated (commercial science) to the point where our kupuna will be arrested and thousands will come. You will not persevere. You will not build on Maunakea … and if showing you 20,000 (people) and 36 kupuna going to prison didn’t show you that, then come back, and we’ll have 50,000 and hundreds of kupuna.” ….

“This is just the very beginning of a process that helps us figure out what we are going to study,” Blanco said. “Our role is to consider whether there will be a decision to fund or not fund (TMT). NSF has not made any decision at all, and NSF could actually decide not to do the environmental review and could back out at any time.”

Dave Boboltz, program director for NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences, said NSF is considering four options for the TMT: to build on Maunakea, to build on the Canary Islands in Spain, to build on Maunakea with a “plan to define and practice responsible astronomy in Hawaii” — a phrase which elicited snickers from the audience — or to not build it at all….

shortly before the end of the meeting, gubernatorial candidate and retired mixed martial arts fighter B. J. Penn walked up and seized the microphone.

“On Dec. 1, 2022, I will be the governor (dictator) of Hawaii,” Penn said. “When I’m the governor (dictator) of Hawaii, I will go into the Department of Land and Natural Resources and end the corruption. I will go into the Department of Hawaiian Home (Lands) and end the corruption. I will go into the Hawaii State Supreme Court system and end the corruption. And then I will end TMT.” ….

(IQ Test: How will Penn 'end the corruption'?)

(IQ Test: What 'corruption' will Penn end?)

(IQ Test: How will you know Penn has 'ended the corruption'?)

After Tuesday’s meeting and a second one on Wednesday in Naalehu, there will be two more public scoping meetings: at 6 p.m. today at the Outrigger Kona Resort in Kailua-Kona and at 6 p.m. Friday at Kahilu Town Hall.

People can submit comments to the NSF regarding the scoping meetings, and regarding the NSF’s Draft Community Engagement Plan, at beta.nsf.gov/tmt …. 

SA: TMT pilloried at National Science Foundation meetings on the Big Island

HTH: Subaru Stars brings STEM education rural keiki

REALITY:

read … Testifiers blast TMT project: Opponents dominate meeting to determine whether federal funding will be used

Campaign Spending Commission investigates ‘ghost PAC’ supporting Cayetano

HNN: … The political action committee ― Victory Calls 2022 ― ran television ads in May featuring the comedy duo Da Braddahs, saying Cayetano’s opponent Lt. Gov. Josh Green was not a board-certified physician.

“The complaints allege that there was coordination in expenditures between Vicky Cayetano’s committee and a Super PAC called Victory Calls 2022,” said Gary Kam, the commission’s general counsel.

According to Campaign Spending Commission records, Victory Calls’ eight donors gave the PAC at total of $232,000 with each person giving between $12,500 and $50,000.

Those same eight people, which include some of Cayetano’s closest friends, each personally gave the $6,000 maximum to her campaign….

read … Campaign Spending Commission investigates ‘ghost PAC’ supporting Cayetano

Outside Spending Reaches Historic Levels In Race For Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District

CB: … In the past week, two new political action committees have entered the fray on behalf of former state Sen. Jill Tokuda, who polls have shown to be the frontrunner in the race to succeed Kahele albeit with a large number of undecided voters.

The political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus reported to the Federal Election Commission that it’s spending $179,000 on direct mail and digital advertising to support Tokuda.

Medicare for All PAC, which was founded by U.S. Rep. Primila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington who’s the chair of the Progressive Caucus, also reported that it will spend $20,000 on digital advertising in an effort to help Tokuda win.

But the outside money spent on Tokuda’s behalf is far less that what other political groups have poured into the race for Tokuda’s opponent, state Rep. Patrick Branco. Outside groups have not spent any money on other candidates for CD2 ahead of Saturday’s primary.

Branco is a relative newcomer to Hawaii politics who has yet to complete his first two-year term in the Legislature, yet he has a significant financial advantage in the race.

So far, he’s only raised about $150,000 for his campaign, according to his latest filings with the FEC, which is about one-fourth of what Tokuda reported. Branco, however, has the backing of several PACs that have funneled more than $1.2 million into the race to boost his name recognition with voters and bombard Tokuda with negative advertising.

Just this week, VoteVets reported spending another $175,000 on a new series of attack ads against Tokuda for a 2012 endorsement she received from the National Rifle Association as well as hammering her for squashing legislation in 2015 that would have created pesticide buffer zones around schools.

read … Outside Spending Reaches Historic Levels In Race For Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District

Maui Measure to cap hotel units spurs debate

MN: … Visitor industry officials and workers along with labor unions showed up Tuesday at a rally and at a Maui Planning Commission meeting to oppose a bill that would cap the number of transient accommodation units, including hotel units, at current levels in apartment and hotel districts.

The bill is a result of actions tied to the current temporary moratorium on new transient accommodations on Maui, one of the Maui County Council’s attempts to better manage tourism on the Valley Isle. The temporary moratorium will be in place for two years from its effective date, Jan. 7, 2024, or until the council adopts tourism management ordinances, such as the one proposed, whichever is sooner.

Along with the cap, the bill would also remove transient accommodations as permitted uses in various zoning districts, prohibit transient accommodations of more than 20 bedrooms in the B-2 Community Business District, limit timeshare plans to Hotel and B-2 Districts only and prohibit temporary parking of camper vans and recreational vehicles used for transient accommodations unless authorized by zoning and permit.

According to the Maui County Planning Department, there were 24,425 total visitor lodging units in 2021 on Maui, including 13,029 residential condos used for transient lodging, 8,336 rooms across 41 hotels, 2,475 timeshare condo units, 420 permitted or grandfathered single-family transient lodging, 165 single-family bed and breakfast operations and 134 hotel-zoned condos not used for transient lodging….

KITV: Maui County considering measure to prevent 'over-tourism'

read … Maui Measure to cap hotel units spurs debate

Hawaii Department of Health reports 3,189 new infections, 14 coronavirus-related deaths

SA: … The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 3,189 new COVID-19 infections over the past week, lower than reported the previous week, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 332,822.

The state’s seven-day average of new cases also fell to 452, down from 528 reported on Aug. 3, representing a decline for three weeks in a row. DOH’s daily average reflects new cases per day from July 30 to Aug. 5, which is an earlier set of days than the new infections count.

Actual numbers are estimated to be at least five to six times higher since these figures do not include home test kit results….

read … Hawaii Department of Health reports 3,189 new infections, 14 coronavirus-related deaths

Hawaii hospitals still at full capacity despite declining COVID-19 case counts

SA: … Hospitals statewide are at full or overflowing capacity, as has been the case for the past few months — even without an influx of COVID-19 patients, according to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

“The hospitals continue to be very, very busy,” said Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of HAH, noting an average of 2,410 patients a day over the past week. “What’s critical for us is not the number of COVID patients, but the total number of patients. It’s that total census number that is continuing to stay high.”

This means patients are on hold in emergency rooms, waiting for inpatient beds, while still others are waiting to be seen in the emergency department.

Staffing shortages also continue, with approximately 900 to 1,000 front-line health care workers out on any given day, according to Raethel.

In late July, HAH asked Gov. David Ige to issue an emergency proclamation waiving state licensing requirements for out-of-state health care workers to alleviate the situation. Although hospitals are bringing in mainland workers to help, the state agency issuing their licenses is itself short-staffed, resulting in delays.

Raethel said the state was working on emergency rules instead of a proclamation that would allow out-of-state workers with current, unencumbered licenses to work in Hawaii during a 120-day period….

read … Hawaii hospitals still at full capacity despite declining COVID-19 case counts

The long-awaited opening of Kīhei High School is planned for January, but will it happen?

MN: … is South Maui’s long-awaited, much-needed high school that broke ground in 2016 really going to open in January? Well, maybe.

First, there is a big problem to solve.

For 10 years, a “grade-separated crossing” of an overpass or underpass for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the busy four-lane highway has been a requirement for opening the school safely. The state Land Use Commission put the condition in place in 2013 during the process of rezoning 77 acres of agricultural land to urban at the request of the Hawai’i State Department of Education (HIDOE).

The $16 million roundabout at the intersection of Piʻilani Highway and residential Kūlanihākoi Street will have only a road-level crosswalk with rapid flashing beacons, which many in the community think is dangerous.

After years of taking a position that an overpass or underpass was not necessary, HIDOE now is scrambling to comply with the condition. It recently commissioned a “Pedestrian Crossing Alternatives Study.”

During one of four community “listening sessions” last week, a presentation of five alternatives showed that even with the best-case scenario, completion of an underpass or overpass would take at least three years and possibly up to six.

Without an underpass or overpass, there are two ways the school can open in January:

--HIDOE obtains a temporary modification to the condition from the Land Use Commission in the next few months.

--Maui County does not enforce the condition.

Neither option appears likely, although HIDOE is working on a Hail Mary by trying to garner community support for temporary solutions through the study.

read … The long-awaited opening of Kīhei High School is planned for January, but will it happen?

More Homeless Mayhem:

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