Reinventing Tourism: Maui Makes Fodor's 'NO' List
Builder Cancels DHHL Barbers Point Solar Project
Mafia News: Newly elected state senator hires Makua Rothman
HNN: … Newly elected state Sen. Brenton Awa has named four people to join his staff, including big-wave surfer Makua Rothman.
Awa, a former news anchor, announced on Thursday his team members who will serve District 23 residents from the North Shore to East Oahu.
(Question: Does this tell you about politicians or media? Answer: Both.)
Makua Rothman lost his bid for City Council, but he’ll now be working with Awa in the state Capitol.
Musician Jesse Rivera will be Awa’s office manager.
Awa also named Darlene Ramirez and Jesse Makainai as his other legislative aides.
Awa, a Republican, defeated his eight-year incumbent Gil Riviere, by just over 400 votes…
read … Newly elected state senator hires big-wave surfer Makua Rothman, others to team
Green: Top Priority will be Housing
HNN: … During his four years as lieutenant governor, Green also focused much of his attention on issues surrounding homelessness.
In 2019, he pitched the idea of building kauhale: master-planned communities for people who would otherwise be on the street.
Green said, “It’s a way to shelter people and do harm reduction.”
The first one went up in Waimanalo.
That village is made up of 17 tiny homes. Many of the residents who live there used to camp at the beach park across the street.
In Kalaeloa, what was once a homeless camp off Yorktown Street became the state’s second kauhale.
Called Kamaoku, the village is made up 37 tiny homes, pavilions, and other common spaces with shared amenities.
It’s an example of what’s possible when you combine government land, generosity and a group of determined developers. Unlike most housing projects, well over half of this entire community was paid for through donations.
“You do this 10 times over you start solving the problem of homelessness in our state,” Green said.
Green told HNN his top priority as governor will be housing saying he plans to take immediate action on the issue as soon as he takes office….
SA Editorial: Taking action on housing
SA: Optimism high for progress with Hawaii affordable housing
TT: Talk Story with John Waihe'e, with host John Waihe'e and guest Josh Green, in Governor Elect Josh Green; Hawaii's Hope for the Future
read … Preparing to move into governor’s mansion, Green doesn’t regret any decision he’s made as LG
HMSA not paying fair share, California hospital says
SA: … A California hospital says the Hawaii Medical Service Association, Hawaii’s largest health insurer, stiffed it on nearly $2 million in health care it provided to eight patients between 2016 and 2020 and is suing the insurer in Hawaii District Court in an attempt to recoup the costs.
Stanford Health Care, which has a main campus in Palo Alto, says it provided $2.3 million in care to patients covered by HMSA health plans, but the insurer reimbursed it only $335,674, or 14% of the costs.
The highest bill was incurred by a patient identified as K.L. who racked up $1.1 million in charges during a one-month hospital stay in 2016. HMSA covered $21,118 of those costs, according to the lawsuit.
Stanford Health Care says the cost of caring for another patient, identified as C.G., totaled $221,567 during a one-day stay in 2017, but HMSA covered only $5,513….
read … HMSA not paying fair share, California hospital says
The Military Pledged to Remove Unexploded Bombs From This Island. Native Hawaiians Are Still Waiting.
PP: … Shirley Gambill-De Rego, a Big Island mortgage manager, recalled the case of a man who, after learning of the UXO delay, paid a private company $25,000 to sweep his mother’s land in Puukapu so he could get a loan to replace her aging home. Given that his mother was elderly, the man concluded that he couldn’t afford to wait for years for the Army Corps to do its job, said Gambill-De Rego, who ultimately helped the family get financing for construction. The new home was completed about seven years ago….
Others have also had to dip into their own pockets.
Rocky and Kamala Cashman moved to Puukapu with designs for a new home in 2014. The retirees, who were in their 70s at the time, set up shop in a temporary trailer, expecting to live there for a year at most while workers constructed their new prefabricated home. But just before building began, their bank canceled the loan because it was no longer insurable due to the UXO problem. Other lenders subsequently turned them down as well. As a result, the trailer became their home for the next five years….
The rented camper, which measured 240 square feet, had just enough room for a king-sized bed, a bathroom and a small refrigerator. The couple made meals with a toaster oven, microwave, electric frying pan and rice cooker. While the living situation was cramped, Kamala Cashman said, it was offset, in part, by the natural beauty of their five-acre lot, which featured expansive mountain views. “We made it work,” she said.
The financial cost, though, was significant. On top of renting the trailer, the Cashmans paid to lease two shipping containers to hold their household belongings and a third to store the wood and other materials for their new home. Their total five-year rental tab came to about $60,000.
Then, in 2019, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, an advocacy organization for Hawaii’s indigenous people, stepped in. The group agreed to lend the Cashmans $300,000 through a program designed to assist Hawaiians unable to get more conventional financing. The council approved the loan even though the UXO assessment in Puukapu was still ongoing….
(Notice how every solution is offered EXCEPT the $25K UXO clearance? First rule of Bureaucracy: Maintain the problem.)
read … The Military Pledged to Remove Unexploded Bombs From This Island. Native Hawaiians Are Still Waiting.
Hawaii gun permit ruling sides with ‘homesick’ Navy officer
AP: … A U.S. Navy officer stationed in Hawaii cannot be denied a firearms permit solely because he sought counseling for feeling depressed and homesick, a federal judge ruled.
Michael Santucci, a cryptologic warfare officer from Fort Myers, Florida, saw a medical provider at a military hospital for feelings of depression and homesickness a few months after arriving in Hawaii last year, according to his lawsuit, filed in April.
He wasn’t diagnosed with any disqualifying behavioral, emotional or mental disorder, the lawsuit said.
He later filled out forms to register his firearms with the Honolulu Police Department and indicated that he had been treated for depression, but noted is was “not serious.”…
Because Santucci answered “yes” on a form indicating he had sought counseling, the permit process was halted and his firearms were seized, his lawyers said.
Honolulu must return Santucci’s firearms and complete the registration of the weapons, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson’s order issued Wednesday said….
read … Hawaii gun permit ruling sides with ‘homesick’ Navy officer
Judge weighs arguments in short-term rental lawsuit
SA: … A federal court judge heard arguments Friday regarding a motion through which five community groups are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance asking for an order to stop the city from enforcing a new law that increases the minimum allowable stay to 90 days from 30 days.
The groups support the enforcement of the new short-term rentals law, Ordinance 22-7 (Bill 41), and maintain that HILSTRA is trying to irreparably harm Oahu’s residential communities. The organizations filing for a place at the table include Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, Save Oahu’s Neighborhoods, HI Good Neighbor, Keep It Kailua and Save North Shore Neighborhoods.
U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson told all parties, following the hearing, that he will consider their briefs and oral arguments before issuing an order on the motion. If the request is granted, the groups could join the ongoing litigation as a possible means to protect their own rights and interests….
read … Judge weighs arguments in short-term rental lawsuit
Hawaii Supreme Court -- Rejects With Prejudice -- Four Pro Hu Honua Amicus Briefs
IM: … Four entities filed amicus briefs with the court: Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC), Hawaii Farm Bureau (HFB), Blue Planet Research (BP), and Hermina Morita….
All four amicus briefs were rejected with prejudice, meaning they cannot be amended and refiled….
All four were signed by non-attorneys which is not allowed. “If an organization... wants to file legal documents in Hawai‘i’s courts, it must be represented by an attorney licensed to practice law in Hawai‘i.”…
"HICC makes factual representations that lack citations to the record on appeal.”
"HICC’s proposed amicus brief, though, mostly makes sweeping statements about how the Public Utility Commission’s orders will be bad for Hawai‘i’s economy, employment opportunities, and renewable energy goals. And except for references to prior appeals involving the same parties, HICC does not cite or discuss any law. HICC’s amicus brief appears to be just a political endorsement of Hu Honua’s brief."
"The timing of the motion is peculiar.
"Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce asks this court to “grant the relief requested in Hu Honua’s Opening Brief.” Amicus briefs are meant to provide supplementary assistance to the court, so it makes no sense to endorse a party’s positions and requests for relief before the party details its positions and requests for relief.
"Here, HICC submitted its proposed amicus brief five days before Hu Honua filed its opening brief." ….
read … Hawaii Supreme Court -- Rejects With Prejudice -- Four Pro Hu Honua Amicus Briefs
Warning signs up at Big Island’s Puhi Bay after 2M gallons of wastewater discharged
HNN: … Officials at the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant said a broken air feed line caused a discharge that began Wednesday afternoon and wasn’t stopped until about 9 a.m. Thursday.
Officials said the wastewater was disinfected, but the state Department of Health is taking samples and expects results Friday.
Warning signs have also been posted.
Earlier this year, during an exclusive tour with Hawaii News Now, the plant’s supervisor said that 95% of the facility either needed replacement or had significant defects. That would cost about $100 million….
read … Warning signs up at Big Island’s Puhi Bay after 2M gallons of wastewater discharged