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Tuesday, November 1, 2022
November 1, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 1912 Views

 Short-term rental ban deserves short life

Bill 56: New Legislation to Address Permitting Problems at DPP

Hawaii is about to launch the nation’s phoniest tech waste recycling program-Will Samsung Leave?

HNN: … Hawaii is implementing one of the most ambitious electronic waste recycling plans in the country, but some Hawaii retailers are afraid it will mean higher prices and less selection.

Ironically, Hawaii has no ability to recycle electronic devices.

Instead, the material has to be collected and shipped to processing centers elsewhere.

The goal of the new law is to have manufacturers collect and ship out more and more of the used-up products.

But industry lobbyist Walter Alcorn, with the Consumer Technology Association, said the law sets goals that cannot be met. “On the industry side, it’s been a scramble.” Alcorn said. “Particularly for the computer and printer manufacturers that previously did not have to have this type of a program.”

State Rep. Nicole Lowen, chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee, was among the lead advocates for the law….

In 2023, they must harvest half of the weight they shipped into Hawaii in 2021….

For Samsung Electronics America alone, that would be 959,376 pounds.

That goal raises to 60% in 2024 and 70% in 2025, which the industry said likely cannot be done. “So we think we’ll be OK next year,” said Alcon. “But it’s beyond that, where we’re looking at some serious compliance issues.”

The industry said measuring recycling by the pound doesn’t work because TVs and other devices are getting lighter.

That means the goals get increasingly out of reach as the law demands more pounds be recycled….

manufacturers might hesitate to ship to Hawaii if they begin facing penalties for not meeting goals….

Where will your ewaste go?
Background:

read … Hawaii is about to launch one of the nation’s most ambitious tech waste recycling programs

Victims of affordable housing scheme start lining up

HTH: … Hawaii County has declared itself a victim of an employee who pleaded guilty to stealing affordable housing credits, and its attorneys are asking the court to return property currently under forfeiture by the federal government.

In a petition filed Oct. 20 in federal court, county attorneys ask for a hearing to adjudicate its interest in four of the seven properties seized after former community development specialist Alan Scott Rudo, who worked 12 years in the county Department of Housing and Community Development, pleaded guilty to accepting almost $2 million in bribes….

The county was the first to petition for the court’s consideration of its losses following the federal notice of forfeiture and asset seizure. A Texas affordable housing developer has also petitioned for consideration of its interest, and it’s possible others might follow.

In particular, the county is seeking 45 affordable housing credits, $938,428.16 from the sale of a lot on Kiwi Street in Kailua-Kona known as Lot 16-A, as well as Lot 16-B and 16-C of the Kealakehe Homesteads….

Developers who agree to construct new affordable housing units in excess of any requirements imposed under county law may earn affordable housing credits. The credits can be transferred to other developers, who can use them to satisfy existing or future affordable housing requirements….

Background:

read … Victims of affordable housing scheme start lining up

Oahu rent up 8% in the last year

KHON: … In the past five years, rent on Oahu have increased almost 19% and residents say it's getting harder to live paycheck to paycheck.

Rent is up 8% since 2021, the highest jump in the past five years. That's according to a new study by real estate consultant Ricky Cassiday…

read … Oahu rent up 8% in the last year

Land use ordinance updates would destroy many livelihoods

SA: …  The Honolulu City Council needs to scrap Bill 10, which proposals to update the city’s Land Use Ordinance ….

This is an ill-conceived, overreaching bill setting forth unrealistic and arbitrary requirements that will result in thousands of Oahu residents losing their livelihoods, livestock and even their homes. Indeed, this bill will force off their property thousands of people who live on agriculture or country-zoned lands. This includes kupuna and others who may have occupied their homes for decades, even generations.

And it won’t only impact people on ag lands. If this bill is passed, pet owners islandwide will find it extremely difficult — or even impossible — to find pet-boarding services to care for their dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals when they travel. This bill seeks to permanently close all Oahu pet-boarding facilities located on properties zoned ag or country….

read … Land use ordinance updates would destroy many livelihoods

State Grants Promised To Hawaii Nonprofits Likely To Be In Limbo For Weeks

CB: … a disagreement between lawmakers and the AG appears to be the source of all the grant problems.

The Legislature did not include the names of grant recipients, the purpose of each individual grant, or the dollar amount of each grant in the annual budget bill this year. Only a lump sum of just more than $48 million was included for OCS, which is under the state Department of Labor.

All the funds were put under OCS this year to help streamline the process and give nonprofits a common point of contact rather than dealing with different state workers every year, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz said.

But the grant details were instead included in the Legislature’s budget worksheets that outline state appropriations. Those worksheets, according to the AG’s office, are not part of Act 248, the budget bill.

“Without the required details, the 42F grants are invalid and the funds for the grants cannot be released,” supervising deputy attorney general Bryan Yee, wrote in an email.

The only option, according to the AG’s office, is to have the Legislature convene a special session this year or to fix the bill language when lawmakers convene for the 2023 session in January.….

read … State Grants Promised To Hawaii Nonprofits Likely To Be In Limbo For Weeks

Hawaii Supreme Court to Rule on Hu Honua in 2023

IM: … The Public Utilities Commission rejected the HELCO-Hu Honua Power Purchase Agreement in June 2022.

Hu Honua filed an appeal to the Hawaii Supreme Court. The appeal is designated HELCO IV as it is the fourth appeal to the court for this proposal.

The Public Utilities Commission record was uploaded on the court`s web site.

Hu Honua and HELCO filed their Opening Briefs on October 5.

The Public Utilities Commission, Life of the Land, Tawhiri Power LLC, and the Consumer Advocate will file their Answering Briefs on December 14.

Hu Honua will file its Reply Brief on December 28.

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hold an Evidentiary Hearing in early 2023 and then the court will issue its Decision….

read … Hawai`i Supreme Court to Rule on Hu Honua in 2023

Dopey Politicians Go for Gold (again): Sure Hawaii will generate $400M of recreational cannabis sales or $200M or $273M or something

SA: … Hawaii’s medical cannabis industry generated (a piddling) $2.5 million in state taxes in the fiscal year that just ended — and tax projections on potential adult, recreational cannabis sales would struggle to meet the financial needs to oversee, address and administer legal use, state Rep. Ryan Yamane told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program Monday.

Projections of $50 million in state tax revenue on a recreational cannabis industry would make it hard to create a new oversight department or increase adequate staffing to test and otherwise regulate the industry, let alone fund education and health programs, Yamane, chair of the House Health, Human Serv­ices Committee, told “Spotlight Hawaii.”

“There’s not much that $50 million can pay for,” Yamane said. “So there is not … this huge windfall that will be able to subsidize education or health services.”…

Monday, state Tax Director Isaac Choy reported tax revenue of $2.557 million on Hawaii’s medical cannabis sales, corporate income tax and employee withholdings from July 1, 2021, to June 30 at a sometimes contentious meeting of the Dual Use of Cannabis Task Force.

The Legislature created the task force in anticipation of a new round of bills to allow recreational cannabis by users at least 21 years old.

More meetings of the task force are scheduled for Nov. 14 and 28.

Cheng disputed the projections of gross annual recreational cannabis sales of $200 million to $273 million, especially without knowing how much Hawaii tourists are likely to spend on recreational cannabis.

He, instead, estimated annual recreational sales of $400 million — similar to Hawaii liquor sales — that would instead generate $80 million in annual tax revenue…. 

read … Management costs of recreational cannabis outweigh tax revenue, says Hawaii legislator

Lawsuit: Working Cameras Needed To Monitor Sexual Assaults At Women’s Prison

CB: … This is the second federal trial in the civil case dealing with claims by women inmates who say they were assaulted in the control booths of the facility….

read … Lawsuit: Working Cameras Needed To Monitor Sexual Assaults At Women’s Prison

Kaua‘i federal worker admits to government theft

TGI: … These purchases range in cost from $26.03 at Island Ace Hardware in Princeville, to back-to-back payments of more than $1,000 at a Lihu‘e auto repair shop. They all occurred within a six-month period in 2017.

But prosecutors say the illegal activity was going on much longer — all the way back to 2013.

“We could only charge him for the thefts that fell inside the statute of limitations. But the defendant can agree to pay restitution in a greater amount,” said Nolan.

In a deal with prosecutors, Poland pleaded to only two of the 43 counts on Monday, involving the rental of a self-storage unit and repairs on his car. He agreed that the total value of the charges was $35,000.

His sentencing is set for February 2023. Theft of government property is a felony offense that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.

(Key Word; ‘Federal’)

Earlier this year, another Kaua‘i government employee was indicted on felony theft charges.

State prosecutors allege that from March 2017 to October 2019, Mikalynn Hiranaka illegally collected more than $20,000 while employed as a clerk at the Kaua‘i Police Department Records Division.

(Key Word: ‘State’)

According to the indictment, Hiranaka used the police department’s computer system with the intent to commit theft of more than $20,000 “by creating and submitting counter service reports.”

She is next set to appear in court for a pretrial conference Jan. 5, 2023…

(Prediction: She will get probation.)

read … Kaua‘i federal worker admits to government theft

In ongoing dispute, state seeks more proof lead at Hawaii preschool has been dealt with

HNN: … Gary Zamber, the school’s attorney, asked Judge Peter Kubota for another week so it could provide the state Department of Human Services with information it needs to approve Kalamapii Play School’s childcare license.

“We have provided a lot of information. But there’s additional information that we need to present to the state,” Zamber said. “We are making progress.” …

…The extension comes nearly two weeks after Kubota ordered the preschool to shut down based on arguments from the state that Kalamapii’s teachers aren’t qualified and children are being exposed to lead.

read … In ongoing dispute, state seeks more proof lead at Hawaii preschool has been dealt with

More Homeless Mayhem: DLNR to spend $1M to Just to ‘Plan’ demolition of Uncle Billy’s

HTH: … The building has been unused since 2017….

In April, the DLNR estimated that the demolition of the building would cost about $13.5 million.

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye said in a statement Monday that the building represents a significant health risk to the Hilo community and is a liability for the state.

“Many homeless and drug users and dealers loiter on the property while DLNR has had to pay more than $9,000 a month for security services,” Inouye said. “On March 4th, 2022, a fire broke out on the building’s premises that law enforcement believes was started by squatters.”

Inouye said the planning process for the eventual demolition will begin next year….

(Question: Since when does anybody ‘plan’ a demolition as a contract separate from actually demolishing the building?)  

HPR: DLNR pays more than $9,000 a month for building security.

read … DLNR to spend $1M to plan demolition of Uncle Billy’s

More Homeless Mayhem: Woman to serve 10 years for using bottle to hit man who later died

MN: … Glennon was sitting in front of McDonald’s in Lahaina and sharing a bottle of vodka with 51-year-old Christopher Flanagan and two others the night of Feb. 2, 2020, when she and Flanagan got into an argument. Witnesses said Glennon hit Flanagan on the head with the vodka bottle and continued hitting him after he collapsed.

The homeless man was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he died two days later….

Glennon’s criminal history includes alcohol-related convictions for disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and open lewdness in both Hawaii and other states, Hamman said….

When she was arrested, Glennon was drinking a gallon of vodka a day and living on the streets, according to the report….

(CLUE: Two years time already served.  50% off good time.  She’ll be back out on the streets drinking in a little over three years.)

read … Woman to serve 10 years for using bottle to hit man who later died

Locals Outnumber Tourists at Most Top Sites

SA: … Tourist visitation outpaced resident visitation in only 10 of the top 30 points of interest statewide for both visitors and residents in September, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s inter­active data tool, the Symphony Dashboards.

While tourism has undoubtedly caused pockets of strain in locations across the state at particular times, identifying the hot spots as well as what is contributing to their traffic can be complicated.

Some of the top 30 results for September listed at www.hawaii tourismauthority.org/research/symphony-dashboards were surprising. For example, the site indicated that Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki was the single most visited point of interest in the state, and that 56% of those who went to Kalakaua Avenue were Hawaii residents versus 44% who were visitors from out of state. The second most visited point of interest was Kailua town and beach, with 87% residents and 13% visitors…

read … Geolocation data provides new perspectives on destination management of popular Hawaii sites

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