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Sunday, September 4, 2022
September 4, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:41 PM :: 1641 Views

No. 1 In the World – In Tourist Taxes

Grassroot Institute’s ‘shocking’ new housing report

Green’s Homeless Kauhale Scheme Produces Paltry 36 Units in Three Years

SA: …Lt. Gov. Josh Green, has promoted a 10-point “emergency plan” to address affordable-housing needs, which includes lofty goals of having county governments reduce the time and cost for building such homes.

Green’s plan also lists strategies that have been done before, including more funding, use of vacant state land and producing villages of so-called tiny homes.

That last item, sometimes referred to as kauhale villages, was something Green announced in 2019. However, state lawmakers in 2020 shot down a $20 million funding bill to produce six to eight tiny-home villages that Green said could rapidly house 1,000 of Hawaii’s most chronically homeless at a relatively small cost of around $25,000 per home.

State Rep. Joy San Buena­ventura, chair of the House Committee on Human Services and Homelessness, was cool to the bill, which she said would basically make Green the “homeless czar” for the villages.

Ultimately one kauhale was built in Kalaeloa. The project, Kamaoku Kauhale, opened last year after three years of work supported by Green along with the nonprofit HomeAid Hawaii and the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. It includes 36 tiny homes operated by the nonprofit organization U.S. Vets on city land….

read … Affordable housing in Hawaii: A top campaign issue where results are hard to assess

City plans to overhaul Oahu’s land use ordinances

SA: … For the first time in nearly 30 years, the city is overhauling its land use ordinances, proposing large- scale changes that would affect agricultural land, wind farms, housing and short-term rentals.

The updates are outlined in the Department of Planning and Permitting’s roughly 240-page Bill 10, which will go before the full Council at its meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“It’s a comprehensive overhaul and update of our land use ordinance,” said DPP Director Dean Uchida. “So it’s taking the entire ordinance, Chapter 21, and then kind of redoing it, bringing it up to date, removing some of the antiquated stuff. It’s been over 30 years since they took a comprehensive look at the land use ordinances.”…

One of the main changes affecting owners of ag land would set a percentage of land that must be dedicated to active farming. The original bill stipulated that farmers had to use 75% of their land for active farming of crops or livestock keeping. During a Zoning and Planning Committee meeting Aug. 25, the figure was adjusted to 50%….

Another controversial issue in Bill 10 involves wind energy facilities, which would not be permitted within a mile of properties in residential, apartment, apartment mixed use and resort-zoned districts.

The bill originally proposed a 1.25-mile setback, which is still being considered, Elefante said….

One of the main changes Uchida pointed out in Bill 10 would allow construction of multifamily homes on certain commercial properties.

“That’s kind of targeting redevelopment in the King Street-Beretania corridor, Waialae Avenue and sections of Kapahulu, lower Nuuanu … There’s areas where you have commercial activities occurring on the ground floor but not much residential around there,” he said….However, during the Aug. 25 committee meeting, the Council amended the bill to allow this type of development only in “transit- oriented development” areas along the rail line to avoid overdevelopment of certain neighborhoods….

Another proposal in Bill 10 attempts to address affordable teacher housing….

Bill 10 also would adjust land use maps to allow short-term rentals in Ko Olina Hillside Villas and Ko Olina Fairways….

read … City plans to overhaul Oahu’s land use ordinances

Kaua‘i mayor, council member, top official raises to go before council

TGI: … A resolution set to go before County Council Wednesday would increase the maximum salaries of the mayor, department leadership, and council members by 15%.

This creates a situation in which some councilmembers may be making a call on their own paychecks.

Though Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, and Council Vice Chair Mason Chock are terming out this year, most sitting councilmembers appear poised to retain their seats. Councilmembers Luke Evslin, Bernard Carvalho and KipuKai Kuali‘i placed in the top four of primary voting, while council members Felicia Cowden and Billy DeCosta finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Kaua‘i council members currently make $67,956 and would make $78,672 in 2024 if the resolution passed. (The council chair makes $76,452 and would make $88,502.)

These salaries are the lowest in the state for council members — Maui’s council makes $76,475, with $82,225 for the chair, the Hawai‘i Island council makes $70,008 ($77,016 for the chair), and the Honolulu councils make $68,904 ($76,928 for the chair).

If the raises are approved, and if other counties do not implement similar increases, Kaua‘i would become the highest paid council statewide. Most councilmembers currently supplement their salaries with secondary income.

At the Wednesday meeting, the council will have the option to either accept the resolution, reject it completely, or reject it in part and offer a modification….

read … Kaua‘i mayor, council member, top official raises to go before council

Healing our national divide must start with group therapy

Shapiro:  … My uncle and aunt, Hank and Es, as they called each other, exemplified the emerging middle class after World War II….

They would say they lived the American Dream, a term we seldom hear anymore. The middle class they represented is endangered.

To say their generation benefited from simpler times is too pat….

What was different from today was their sense of group and the notion, however imperfect, of a fair chance for all.

Our country always had a strong vein of individualism, but their generation also believed in the betterment of the group and accepted shared responsibilities for the health of the union.

They believed in working hard both to enrich their own lives and save something for the future to allow their children even better lives.

Now we’ve become a cult of the individual with sharply narrowed acceptance of group. The idea of a rising tide lifting all boats is lost. It’s all zero-sum; if you gain, I lose.

Wealth is concentrated, and the most fortunate claim a right to an even greater share while the fragmented group fights over scraps.

Those left behind are easy targets of political and religious charlatans who say they share our pain, but won’t share the sacrifice needed to heal….

read … Healing our national divide must start with group therapy

‘Booster hesitancy remains an issue’

HTH: … Vaccine hesitancy remains a common setback in Hawaii, with the state Department of Health reporting only 44.8% of residents in the state received their first booster, and just 11.6% received their second.

A new paper from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center published last week analyzed results from 1,600 Hawaii adults about how trust and consumption of information affected their decisions to get vaccinated.

“This study shows that social factors, including education and individual-level degree of trust in sources of COVID-19 information, played a large part in whether someone decided to get a booster shot,” UH-Manoa economics professor Ruben Juarez said in a statement. “COVID-19 booster hesitancy remains an issue in our community, and understanding what contributes to this has significant implications to ongoing public health responses as we enter a new phase in the pandemic.”

According to the study, those vaccinated within two months of eligibility tended to have more years of schooling, with an overall greater trust in and consumption of official sources of COVID-19 information. Most of that group also received the booster shot, with 70% getting it within two months of eligibility and 30.5% waiting three to six months.

Individuals with advanced degrees were 52% more likely to get vaccinated, compared to those who lacked education beyond grades 6-12.

Individuals who reported they always consumed information from local governments were 39% more likely to get vaccinated than those who never consumed from those sources….

read … ‘Booster hesitancy remains an issue’

TheBus Reports 20,000 More Rides During Honolulu’s Free-Fare Promotion

CB: … The system saw a weekday average of about 132,700 rides during the promotion. The week prior, that average was 113,000 rides, according to the city report.

“The key is, can we sustain the bump that we had during the promotion?” Morton said.

He and his deputies at DTS have already dismissed cutting fare prices as a means to accomplish that….

read … TheBus Reports 20,000 More Rides During Honolulu’s Free-Fare Promotion

Shortened rail line means nearly quadruple jump in Kakaako boardings, exits

SA: … Rail passengers going to destinations such as Ala Moana Center, the University of Hawaii and Waikiki would increase rail boardings and exits in Kakaako from the original forecast of 3,250 to 12,870 per day. The additional riders represent a difference of 296% from the previous rail plan and the current one to end construction in Kakaako….

(Not Really: HART ridership estimates are waaaay overblown.)

“An estimated 80 percent of passengers arriving by rail would continue onwards via bus in the eastward direction during the morning peak period,” according to the latest ridership estimates from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. “Conversely, an estimated 84 percent of the westbound rail passengers would arrive at the station via bus during the morning peak.”

read … Shortened rail line means nearly quadruple jump in Kakaako boardings, exits

Nonprofit Positions Itself to Profit from Cesspool Report

CB: … Over the last six years, a coalition of environmental groups, government officials and concerned citizens helped pass three new laws to help protect water quality:

Act 120 banned the construction of new cesspools

Act 125 mandated the conversion of all cesspools by 2050

Act 132 created the Cesspool Conversion Working Group

While serving on the Cesspool Conversion Working Group, I co-founded an environmental nonprofit called WAI: Wastewater Alternatives and Innovations to help tackle this issue.

At WAI, we are dedicated to protecting water quality and reducing sewage pollution. We do this by working to pass new laws and policies and finding new funding sources to help homeowners, as well as providing innovative sanitation technologies that are more efficient, eco-friendly and affordable.

After three years of meetings, the Cesspool Conversion Working Group is in the process of writing its final report with recommendations to the state on how best to convert all cesspools….

read … A Dirty Cesspool Secret And A Cautionary Tale For Hawaii

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