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Saturday, October 29, 2022
October 29, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:11 PM :: 1785 Views

Former JROTC Instructor Receives 168 Months in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Student

JSC Announces Opening for Second Supreme Court Justice

Arbitration Award Sets Stage for HGEA to Get Bonus Equal to 50% of Annual Salary

KHON: … The state’s largest union says it won a dispute with Maui County over temporary hazard pay, and it could have major implications statewide, as Always Investigating first reported.

HGEA says the arbitration decision announced Friday means more than 1,300 county workers will be entitled to up to a 25 per cent pay bump for working during two-years under COVID emergency orders, March 4, 2020 to March 25, 2022.

“This award validates our belief that what our government workforce did during the COVID-19 global pandemic was truly extraordinary,” said HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira (without laughing)…

“We look forward to resolving similar grievances with other jurisdictions so that our members can move forward and focus on serving our community,” said Perreira.

The award could set the tone for state and county workers on other islands, most of whom have yet to receive any COVID hazard pay....

Oct 27, 2022: Hazard Pay: Public Employees Set to Take $100s of Millions from State treasury  

HPR: Maui County employees entitled to temporary hazard pay for working during pandemic

read … Maui county workers receive 2-year hazard pay award

Experts: Chick-fil-A citation for unpermitted work highlights ongoing trend

KITV: … As the newly-opened Chick-fil-A Ala Moana Center location faces a fine for unpermitted construction work, some say it's been a trend for years.

Industry experts report many businesses have started work without a building permit because it's faster and cheaper. …

"Especially for fairly minor things, businesses have to wait before doing a renovation," Dos Santos-Tam added. "If they have to wait before opening, you know time is money and I see why they're frustrated."

Chick-fil-A opened its doors at Ala Moana Center last week to much fanfare. Dos Santos-Tam suspects the company decided to proceed with the unpermitted work to avoid having to wait for a permit, which could have been more costly than facing a fine.

"I mean you look at the long line of people waiting to buy a Chick-fil-A sandwich, opening a few days (months or years) early pays for itself," Dos Santos-Tam said.

read …  Experts: Chick-fil-A citation for unpermitted work highlights ongoing trend

Maui labor market crisis directly tied to housing

HPR: … Maui businesses are paying close attention to the upcoming election. They're facing two crises that have a connection: a shortage of housing, and a shortage of labor.

Maui Health, with hospitals on Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi, has 200 vacant positions it needs to fill, said Jim Diegel, chief strategy officer.

The cost, and scarcity, of housing in Maui County is part of the reason. That’s just one example of the interconnected labor and housing shortages explored by five Maui business leaders at PBN’s recent panel event held in Lahaina.

Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, said that as of 2017, Maui was 14,000 housing units behind meeting the island’s rental housing needs.

At the time, she projected that by 2021, median home prices would hit $1 million. And they have.

As of September, Maui’s median home price was $1,025,000, up 15% since the start of the year.

Tumpap’s next prediction? Median home prices of $2 million by 2042….

read … Maui labor market crisis directly tied to housing

Legislative Agenda: Dentists seek plan for restored funding for needy patients

SA: … A hui of more than a dozen isle- and mainland- based dentists wants to create a system to ensure that $26 million in state funds to restore dental coverage to as many as 280,000 indigent patients gets deployed efficiently in January….

During a visit about three months ago to residents at the Pu‘uhonua o Wai‘anae tiny-house community of formerly homeless people who had been living illegally next to the Waianae Small Boat Harbor, Dr. Russell Kim said a community leader asked about 40 residents how many of them were afraid of dentists. Nearly every hand went up, said Kim, who runs a private dental practice in Kaneohe, serves on the board that oversees Adventist Health Castle Medical Center and volunteers at Pu‘uhonua o Wai‘anae.

(IDEA: Army of Dentists to chase homeless away.)

Perhaps more shocking was that the residents were then asked how many had extracted their own teeth, and again nearly every hand was raised, Kim told Lt. Gov. Josh Green in a meeting with the hui this week….

(CLUE: Meth Mouth.)

read … Dentists seek plan for restored funding for needy patients

Legislative Agenda: University of Hawaii Athletics Department says loss of Aloha Stadium costing it nearly $4M

KITV: … The University of Hawaii Athletics Department says the closing of Aloha Stadium has cost it $3.9 million….

TC Ching Athletic Complex currently seats 9,300 people, but NCAA rules require UH to have capacity for 15,000 fans at home football games.

"We plan to submit a waiver to the NCAA in order to mitigate this, but in that waiver we need to include a plan forward. That needs to describe how and when we'll get to at least 15,000 seats," said Manin, who added her team's working on that plan.

read … University of Hawaii Athletics Department says loss of Aloha Stadium costing it nearly $4M

Chinese Investment Wave Over for Hawaii

SA: … Similarly, for Hawaii, based on data collected by Rhodium Group and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, over the past three decades, Chinese FDI in all industries totaled $1.02 billion, of which $933 million was absorbed by the real estate and hospitality sector.

Virtually all of the investment in this sector poured in over a short span of three years from 2014 to 2016, registering an annual capital inflow of $343 million, $197 million and $383 million, respectively. After dropping to $10 million in 2017, Chinese investment in Hawaii dried up….

read … Lawyer Up: U.S.-Chinese decoupling hits foreign direct investment

Blangiardi asks BWS to Allow Landfill Above Aquifer

SA: … With a deadline looming and few, if any, viable sites available to develop a new landfill, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has reached out to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to see whether it might bend on a policy that restricts the building of waste disposal facilities over Oahu’s aquifer areas.

(IDEA: Put a landfill in at the Red Hill fuel tank site.  It’s available.)

Blangiardi told the agency’s board of directors that the technology exists to prevent a modern landfill’s chemical-laced rainwater, or leachate, from percolating into the groundwater.

In response, the board pledged to hold a special meeting in the next week or two to consider the question, as well as the agency’s authority over the matter. The directors also said they might form a special subcommittee, known as a permitted interaction group, to examine the question, knowing it has to move at an accelerated pace.

(REALITY: Blangiardi knows BWS will say ‘no’.  He is just going thru the motions in order to justify remaining at Waimanalo Gulch.)

… Time is short because the city faces an end-of-year deadline to name a landfill site by order of the state Land Use Commission….

“This is a very big decision, and the clock is ticking,” Blangiardi told the board Monday.

However, giving its blessing to a landfill over the island’s aquifer zone could prove problematic for the board, which has criticized the Navy for placing fuel storage tanks over the aquifer at Red Hill 80 years ago….

The city’s Landfill Advisory Committee this summer decided not to recommend any of the six candidate sites to replace the island’s only municipal landfill at Waimanalo Gulch on the West side of Oahu.

They declined to did so following a presentation by BWS Manager Ernie Lau and Deputy Manager Erwin Kawata, who urged them not to place any landfill in the No Pass Zone, an area that generally covers the interior of the island where the aquifer is located. All of the proposed sites — in pockets of Central Oahu and the North Shore region — are in the No Pass Zone….

2021: City narrows down new landfill to Makakilo or Wheeler (plus two fake sites on N Shore)

read … Mayor Rick Blangiardi asks for revisit of Oahu landfill sites

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