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Sunday, October 16, 2022
October 16, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:33 PM :: 2504 Views

Kamehameha Schools Seeking Trustee

Honolulu City Lights to ring in its 38th year of holiday joy

Hawaii foreclosures slowest in USA

Hawaii highest earning hotels in USA

State Financial Condition Still Dismal

Shocking Local Corruption barely mentioned by candidates

Shapiro: … Amid shocking local corruption that’s seen top law enforcers, elected officials and regulators indicted and jailed for fraud, bribes and other offenses, Hawaii’s 2022 election could have been a watershed in correcting local democracy.

We’re electing a governor and lieutenant governor, a U.S. senator, two members of the U.S. House, all 76 members of the Legislature and the majority of the Honolulu City Council.

But it’s widely been described as a snoozer with little meaningful talk of change.

Most candidates with a reasonable chance are establishment figures who get their endorsements and financial support from the same powerful business interests and labor unions wanting taxpayer dollars directed their way.

The corruption that underlies our state’s troubles is barely mentioned as top candidates join the national shouting over abortion and guns.

Democrats who presided over most of the wrongdoing in this one-party state have scant interest in bringing it up.

Republicans offer little solution other than to elect more Republicans to achieve “balance,” a tough sell given GOP tactics nationally that hardly reflect ethics.

Voters, who mostly skipped the primary election, get blamed for enabling the corruption with their apathy, but the fact is there were few credible choices for change on the primary ballot, and it’ll be only slightly better in the general election.

People are feeling more beaten down and powerless than apathetic. The danger is that corrupt government will become accepted as just another price of paradise, along with the high cost of living, ratty roads and poor schools….

read … Election lacks oomph despite many threats to democracy

Ige’s Aloha Stadium Debacle--Personal Vendetta Between Wakai and McCartney

SA: … Lawmakers who helped spearhead the funding and the bill that reattached the Stadium Authority say McCartney and Ige are (purposefully) misconstruing both measures.

“That might be wishful thinking, but that’s not the law,” Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said about DBEDT heading up the stadium project.

Dela Cruz, (D, Wahiawa-­Whitmore-Mililani Mauka), said reattaching the Stadium Authority was done to group state agencies involved in public-private partnership work under DBEDT as sister agencies so they can more easily work together and receive purely administrative services from DBEDT, such as accounting and human resources….

Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, (D, Waihee-Wailuku-Kahului), was the lead introducer of S.B. 3334 and said discussions pertaining to the bill’s inception centered around attaching the Stadium Authority to DBEDT as a way to better support the authority’s independence — not to give DBEDT power over redeveloping the Aloha Stadium site.

Sen. Glenn Wakai, a longtime proponent of the stadium redevelopment project and a co-sponsor of S.B. 3334, suggested that Ige and McCartney are making an illegitimate power grab.

“The move was purely administrative support,” said Wakai, (D, Kalihi-Salt Lake-­Aliamanu). “I don’t know why Mr. McCartney thinks he drives all the dealings of the Stadium Authority.”…

Some observers of the tussle wonder privately if personal differences are at play.

Before heading DBEDT, McCartney had been Ige’s chief of staff since 2014. Before that, McCartney’s had been CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, director of the state Department of Human Resources Management and a state senator from 1988 to 1998.

In 2019, Dela Cruz, Wakai and Keith-Agaran were among 11 senators who voted against confirming McCartney as DBEDT director in a 14-11 decision that approved Ige’s choice.

Wakai said at an initial confirmation hearing that McCartney lacked a vision for DBEDT, didn’t follow through on commitments, was late to meetings, communicated poorly with the Senate and was short on policy matter details.

“He really has no clear game plan as to what the business opportunities are for the state of Hawaii,” Wakai said at the hearing.

A year later, McCartney filed a complaint in the Senate against Wakai and Dela Cruz and refused to participate in a briefing for the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 to discuss a draft economic recovery plan produced by DBEDT….

read … Power struggle festers over Aloha Stadium redevelopment

GET medical exemption sought: Group says move would make state ‘a more attractive place for doctors’

HTH: … In an effort to make health care more affordable and alleviate the state’s physician shortage, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii launched a petition urging the Hawaii Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET.

Grassroot is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that does not endorse political candidates or receive funding from local, state or federal governments. The group plans to submit the petition to members of the 2023 Legislature for consideration. The full petition can be viewed here https://tinyurl.com/ye2asvyv ….

RELATED: Petition aims to exempt medical costs from Hawaii's general excise tax

read … GET medical exemption sought: Group says move would make state ‘a more attractive place for doctors’

Hawaii’s climbing rental prices: ‘Oh, shoot’

KHON: … According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing costs in Honolulu rose 6% since 2021 and renters are feeling the budget crunch….

Rent has not just become a headache on Oahu. Pali Kai Rentals said studios and 1-bedroom units on Maui averaged around $1,878 per month in January 2022. That same category of housing averaged around $1,935 in September 2022 and 2-bedrooms climbed from $2,277 to $2,355 in the same timeframe.

Maui County’s emergency assistance program is still accepting applications, and Oahu’s portal reopened for new applications on Monday, Oct. 3.

“Applications have started to slow down. So maybe we are receiving 150 a day as opposed to the first couple days where we received 1,000,” said Amy Asselbaye, Office of Economic Revitalization director.

There are around 2,000 spots left in Oahu’s Rental and Utility Relief Program — meant for those who have suffered hardship since the pandemic. These spots are for first-time users of the program and officials said it is important to only submit one application….

Officials said there are thousands of applications in Oahu’s queue, so the help will not be instant. Click here to visit the Catholic Charities of Hawaii website, which is helping residents across the state with rental assistance….

read … Hawaii’s climbing rental prices: ‘Oh, shoot’

Amazon, UPS pushing Oahu's industrial market to unprecedented levels

KITV: … Commercial real estate firm Colliers Hawaii said in its most recent industrial market report that there are just 61 available spaces on the market, which is a record low. In addition, the current 1.2 percent vacancy rate is one of the lowest rates ever….

The report says the industrial market vacancy rate is expected to drop below 1 percent by the end of the year, especially since there are no new developments anticipated to be completed in 2023….

PBN: Report: Oahu's industrial vacancies expected to drop below 1% by year-end

read … Amazon, UPS pushing Oahu's industrial market to unprecedented levels

Grappling with boil water advisory, residents on Navy system say they’re ‘not surprised’

HNN: … “I think it should become a very big priority to get an understanding of what it’s going to take to, quote on quote, repair, the water breaks that have happened,” said Amanda Zawieruszynski who lives in Halsey Terrace. “It’s very interesting that they’ve had three water breaks within a matter of one day.”

Zawieruszynski picked up water from the Navy Exchange water distribution site on Saturday.

She said they haven’t used their dishwasher since November 2021.

“This is what we use to wash the dishes,” said Zawieruszynski while holding up a bucket. “That’s why I said to you, we’re not surprised that we’re in another situation, unfortunately.”

For any questions or concerns, Sohaney said to call the Emergency Operations Center which is open 24/7 at (808) 448-2570….

read … Grappling with boil water advisory, residents on Navy system say they’re ‘not surprised’

Councilman, others tout new Hilo business improvement district

HTH: … A business improvement district might be created for downtown Hilo.

In 2020, Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung presented a bill that would establish a business improvement district to allow member businesses to finance infrastructure and other upgrades within its boundaries, but that bill was postponed to allow discussion with affected business owners….

At a meeting for downtown Hilo property owners, Chung said the bill will be reintroduced at a future County Council meeting, and he and members of the Hilo Business Improvement District Steering Committee pitched attendees on the benefits of forming such BID.

“There are no downsides,” said Ross Wilson, executive director of the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, who explained that the West Hawaii area has been substantially improved since the formation of the district in 2007. “It was the best thing we ever did.”

Before the district’s formation, he said, people were advised to avoid the area entirely, but it is now a well-ranked tourist destination….

read … Councilman, others tout new Hilo business improvement district

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