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Friday, August 19, 2022
August 19, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:43 PM :: 1840 Views

Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American

Polls Showed Solid Support in Run-up to Hawaii Statehood

Kaiser mental health worker strike expands to Hawaii

Hawaii Unemployment Rate 4.1% for July, 2022

Chinese Navy intel ship spied on RIMPAC

Coal Plant Saved Oahu Consumers $2 Billion Dollars --It will be replaced by Rolling Blackouts

SA: …Per kilowatt-hour, electricity from the AES plant costs 6 cents, compared with about 30 cents for power from oil. The AES plant had supplied around 16% of Oahu’s electricity in recent decades, though more recently it had been 10%.

Though a growing amount of power on Oahu is from solar farms where costs range from 9 to 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, Hawaiian Electric initially will have to burn more oil to offset the loss of production from the coal plant, and therefore recently estimated that a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will see their bill rise by $15, or 7%….

When AES was building the $383 million plant in 1991 to address growing electricity needs on Oahu, it announced an effort to offset plant greenhouse gas emissions by contributing up to $2 million to help The Nature Conservancy buy 143,000 acres of forest in Paraguay…

Of the facility’s 41 employees, about six will do decommissioning work, and a dozen are to dismantle the plant over three years. Another dozen are retiring or have found new jobs outside AES, while about eight have secured jobs at other AES facilities in Hawaii or on the mainland….

Several state lawmakers led by Sen. Maile Shimabu­kuro (D, Kalaeloa-Waianae- Makaha) presented AES representatives with a certificate recognizing the plant for its operations and saving ratepayers $2 billion to $4 billion over three decades compared with the cost of power produced from oil….

ROLLING BLACKOUS COMING:

read … Retirement ceremony foreshadows end of coal power era on Oahu

Hawaii Condo Fees Are Among Nation’s Highest. And They’re Squeezing The Middle Class

CB: …Hawaii homeowners’ association fees are among the nation’s highest – second only to New York.

The average HOA fee in Hawaii statewide in 2021 was $762 a month, according to a study by Cinch Home Services, a national home warranty provider. That’s compared to the overall U.S. average of $286 and about $37 per month in West Virginia, the least expensive state….

Background: Hawaii 2nd Highest HOA Fees in USA

read … Hawaii Condo Fees Are Among Nation’s Highest. And They’re Squeezing The Middle Class

Costs, Prices, Customers: Everything’s Up at Hawai‘i’s Restaurants

HB: …Hawai‘i’s restaurant industry enjoyed a robust 21% overall increase in daily customers during the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same period last year. However, that was followed by a second quarter in which the increase was a modest 3%….

The growth in customers so far this year combined with higher costs for restaurants and higher prices for customers made for a turbulent six months, according to the Food Gurus Hawaii Restaurant Index.

The index tracks over 4 million transactions monthly at more than a hundred restaurant locations statewide.

To meet increasing costs, restaurants tracked by the index raised menu prices as much as 24% during this year’s first quarter. However, menu prices were essentially flat in the second quarter, with an average 1% increase on top of the first-quarter increases….

One consequence was that more customers than before chose fast-food restaurants. “This category took away from higher-priced restaurants,”….

read … Costs, Prices, Customers: Everything’s Up at Hawai‘i’s Restaurants

Hawaii County: A little tax relief for kupuna

HTH:… Property taxes should take a slightly smaller bite from older property owners and those with lower-valued homes starting this time next year, thanks to a bill unanimously passed Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council.

Bill 182 doesn’t change tax rates but would increase the value of property that would be taxed. The bill also adds two new categories for kupuna exemptions — 65 years and 75 years — while increasing the amounts exempted. The exemptions would be applied beginning July 1, 2023.

read … A little tax relief for kupuna

Kauai Council Sets Stage for More Property Tax Hikes

TGI: … The Kaua‘i County Council passed a bill Wednesday that introducers view as a step toward equity and balance within the Kaua‘i property tax system.

Bill No. 2872 divides vacation rentals and residential investment properties into three tiers: those valued at up to $1 million; those valued between $1 million and $3 million dollars; and those valued at more than $3 million.

The bill does not set tax rates for the new tiers — that will be addressed in the fiscal year budgeting process next year — but, it sets the stage for the council to tax higher value properties more significantly than less expensive properties….

read … Councilors hope bill incentives mainland investors to rent long-term

State water commission considers ability to act during emergency situations

HPR: … Katie Roth, a planner with the commission, told the body that there are ongoing conversations with the attorney general’s office about what triggers are needed for an emergency rule.

"Unfortunately, I think we need to continue with the process of rulemaking because if we don't do it by rule, we could potentially open ourselves up to contested cases," Roth said.

"That being said, we do recognize the need to respond to these types of situations which are emergencies. In the case of Pearl Harbor, we've hit that trigger for drought conditions. But we also recognize that the Red Hill fuel leak is also exacerbating and compounding that threat of future water shortage," she added.

"So we are actively looking into clarifying within HRS (Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes) and our admin rules to add the ability to make decisions during emergency situations involving water contamination," Roth said.

The state is currently meeting with water users like the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to collect usage data….

read … State water commission considers ability to act during emergency situations

Usual Suspects Whine About Geothermal Plant

HTH: … Other attendees warned that the state Public Utilities Commission will use PGV’s eventual environmental impact statement as a blueprint to build other geothermal plants throughout the state on Hawaiian home lands.

Still others accused PGV of “induced seismicity,” wherein human activity causes seismic events such as earthquakes. Resident Sara Steiner-Jackson claimed PGV ignored scientific guidance on where to place geothermal wells and alleged PGV caused the 2018 eruption.

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

Seaula Tupai, the Republican lieutenant governor nominee, made a brief appearance at the meeting, congratulating the attendees for making their voices heard and reminding them that “(political) power exists within people.”…

read … Foes blast PGV plan

Waikiki Crime: Lets do everything except enforce the law

SA Editorial: …  Along beachside Kalakaua Avenue, the primary promenade for tourists in Waikiki, Honolulu city government is grappling with crime and vandalism. And at Ala Wai Boat Harbor, at the gateway to Waikiki, state agencies have been tussling for decades with rising disrepair, along with crime, vandalism and other assorted misbehaviors that plague the site.

That’s a reflection of urban life in Hawaii, which has become more crowded, expensive and complicated in this century. Parks and public areas that were laid-back gathering places a generation ago have been pressured by growing use, deterioration and lack of maintenance, and increasing homelessness has led to people occupying spaces never meant to be used in that way.

That’s where “activation” — providing an attraction that draws widespread, continuous public use, thereby discouraging illegal or antisocial behavior — comes in….

(No.  That’s where “jail” comes in.)

Big Q: What is the most effective option for making Waikiki safer?

read … Activate Waikiki’s problem locations

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