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Monday, October 24, 2022
October 24, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 3738 Views

Fake it to Make it: The whole DoE gets shut down and test scores don’t drop

Green announces plan to address homelessness

An Aiona/Tupa'i administration would not support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children.

Danner: DHHL Should Stop Building Houses and Buy Molokai Ranch for Walter Ritte

SA: … The Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations and the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands are producing a competing spending plan the two groups will try to have implemented by possibly new DHHL administrators after Hawaii’s next governor takes office in December following the Nov. 8 election….

SCHHA and AHHL contend that DHHL should put the $600 million mostly toward expanding its land holdings and helping beneficiaries pay for homes leveraged by private capital, while relying on the Legislature to provide more bond financing to pay for lot development on land the agency already owns….

DHHL Director William Aila Jr. said in a statement that the agency is working with what it has and that several parts of the plan from the two advocacy groups are unrealistic.

“The preliminary approach that has been crafted by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and approved by the Hawaiian Homes Commission is a plan that is based on information that we know,” he said. “We know that we have new homestead projects on every island that are either shovel ready or have completed environmental compliance and will develop homesteads for native Hawaiians on Hawaiian Home Lands. These new lots with infrastructure will result in much needed housing units within the state of Hawaii.”…

Most of the money in the plan — $350 million — is directed to buy land ….

Such acquisitions, the plan states, could include existing rental housing complexes, home foreclosures, lots and the 55,000-acre Molokai Ranch, (BINGO!) which was listed for sale several years at $260 million. ….

“It was dynamic and productive,” Kammy Purdy, a SCHHA leader (and Walter Ritte operative) from Molokai with the Hoolehua Homestead Association, said in a statement in August describing the effort. “My family is fifth-generation on Molokai homesteads (and) since founding the SCHHA, we have endured the last five governors and all their DHHL directors that rarely have had any background in the (Hawaiian Homes Commission Act) or in the meaning of a fiduciary land trust to an Indigenous people.”…

read … Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary advocates blast $600 million spending plan

Blangiardi will Make Honolulu into Another Detroit

SA: … Starting today, Blangiardi said, the city plans to aggressively enforce against illegal vacation rentals, with violators facing fines of up to $10,000 a day.

“We’re going to fine aggressively at unprecedented levels,” he said. “If, in fact, those fines are not paid, we’re going to put liens on properties.”

Economist Paul Brewbaker said short-term rentals were a growing part of Oahu’s only “factory.” If tourism production slumps, Brewbaker said Oahu’s future looks a lot like Detroit in the 1970s after the closure of the auto plants….

He estimates if not for the pandemic, vacation rentals on Oahu could have been worth as much as $500 million in Hawaii’s recent economy. Without those tourism receipts, Brewbaker said, job losses and loss of income for many on Oahu are inevitable, especially when tourism spending adjusted for inflation is still running behind 1989 levels.

He said further decline could lead to more people leaving Oahu.

“If tourism is a fifth of the economy and we want to shrink it in absolute numbers, how is anybody better off? I don’t know how it isn’t obvious that some people will be way worse off,” he said….

“The lesson we should be thinking about in Honolulu right now is, Are we turning ourselves into the next Detroit?” he said….

read … Short-term rental law could hurt Oahu’s economy, some say; supporters say it’s worth it

Climate Activists Promote Third Hawaii Carbon Tax

IM: … Hawaii has two existing carbon taxes. A few climate activists want another state carbon tax….

Hawaii has a liquid fuel tax normally paid at the pump (HRS §243).  The funds are earmarked for the State Highway Fund.  The Department of Transportation can spend the money to improve roads to encourage more driving.

Hawaii has a barrel tax (HRS §243-3.5) officially called the “environmental response, energy, and food security tax.” …

The barrel tax was increased from five cents to $1.05. The tax is imposed on petroleum products sold by distributors “to any retail dealer or end user of petroleum product.”

Like most carbon taxes, there were major exemptions: non-petroleum fossil fuel (coal), aviation fuel, and fuel sold to refineries.

Like property taxes, income taxes, marriage license fees, and hunting licenses, the carbon tax was not designed to decrease the use of fossil fuel, but to legitimize the use of fossil fuel in exchange for a cash payment to support legislative desires.

Most of the added tax (60 cents) was siphoned off to support the general fund.

Much of the rest of the added tax was used for payroll (to offset less funding from the federal government) and to finance studies including promoting Big Wind.

The tax was expanded with the passage of Act 185 in 2015 (SB359 SD1 HD1 CD1) to include non-petroleum fossil fuels except for existing coal-to-electricity generators (HC&S on Maui and AES on O`ahu)….

The law specified that independent power producers selling electricity to utilities could pass the added cost to the utilities who could then pass the added cost onto ratepayers. 

The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. Taxes are imposed on a few importers and distributors while the Legislature has more money to play with. The disadvantages are that consumers would find it near impossible to determine their individual carbon tax, making behavioral changes unrealistic….

Currently the barrel tax is $1.05 with 20 cents going towards four special funds and the other 85 cents going to the general fund.

The carbon tax movement in Hawaii is being led by the Citizens` Climate Lobby and Hawaii Environmental Change Agents. They suggest that a third new carbon tax should be passed. The money would be collected on everyone but used only for residents….

read … Climate Activists Promote Third Hawaii Carbon Tax

Retired Honolulu police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault of minor

SA: … A 62-year-old retired Honolulu police officer was arraigned this morning in Circuit Court on three charges of sexual assault of a minor.

Frederick Patrick Apo pleaded not guilty.

The court set trial for Dec. 26 before Judge Kevin Souza.

Apo was indicted by an Oahu grand jury on Oct. 17 on one count of continual sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14, a Class A felony, and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.

The crimes allegedly occurred Aug. 3, 2021, to Sept. 1 in Apo’s Kapolei house and involved a child living in his home, the indictment says.

Circuit Judge Christine Kuriyama confirmed his bail at $250,000. He was released on a bail bond posted Sept. 17.

She reminded the retired police officer that the firearms provision is invoked.

Police arrested Apo on Sept. 16 at his Kaupea Street home.

Apo retired Dec. 30, 2019, from the Honolulu Police Department after 25 years on the force.

Police booking records show the victim was a 13-year-old girl….

read … Retired Honolulu police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault of minor

Neighborhood security watch helping deter crime in communities

KHON: … The Honolulu Police Department said there are hundreds of community watches, helping keep crime out of their neighborhoods.

Arakaki is the Aiea Neighborhood Security Watch Coordinator, he has been participating in security watch groups for several years now.

Arakaki said, “Because of the amount of crime in the neighborhood, and people driving up and down the streets checking things out quite obvious, walking scooters, on bikes, and the amount of theft that’s been going on.”…

read … Neighborhood security watch helping deter crime in communities

Hawaii island might have little warning before a Mauna Loa eruption, scientists say

HNN: … There are still no signs of an imminent eruption on Mauna Loa, but residents are being warned they could get just a few hours notice before an eruption.

After weeks of elevated earthquake rates, officials are now holding public meetings warning families to prepare for a natural disaster that could affect half of the island.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge Ken Hon says even after it begins, they may not know where the lava is going.

“We cannot tell you if it’s going down the rift zone until the volcano tells us it’s going down the rift zone,” said Hon….

read … Hawaii island might have little warning before a Mauna Loa eruption, scientists say

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