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Friday, December 23, 2022
December 23, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:23 PM :: 2012 Views

Hawaii 'Proud Boy' Leader Shows up in January 6 Report

Free Money from the Sky: Schatz Touts $500M Earmarks in Latest Pork Bill

Red Hill: Navy Requests 'Closure in Place'

Oahu homeowners balk after property tax assessments soar 20% to 30%--Demand Tax Rate be Cut

HNN: … When Connie Irwin received her real property tax assessments for her Haleiwa home last week, she was shocked.

The retiree ― who lives on a fixed income ― said the property tax assessment for her home went from $2,585,000 last year to $3,337,000. Similar increases next year could force her to sell, she said.

“You know, I was mad. I was angry that this is just an arbitrary number,” said Irwin. “It went up almost $800,000 in one year. We’ll probably squeeze by this year ... but if it goes up next year, and the next year, we’re out.”

Irwin is one of thousands of Oahu residents who received their real property tax assessments from the city last week. Many said they are seeing 20 to 30% increases in their assessments.

“I understand everybody’s prices go up ― maybe even 10%. But 26%?” said Philip Brouillet, a Mililani Mauka resident who is experiencing a similar value increase in his home.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he also was shocked by how much real estate values appreciated last year. He said the city will “aggressively” look at ways to reduce the burden.

“This was an aberration. It’s the first year that home sales exceeded $10 billion,” he said.

“We’re going to try to deal with this as responsibly and as thoroughly as we possibly can.”

Andrew Kawano, director of the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, said the city will look into a one-time tax credit or increased exemptions for homeowners.

“Any amount helps taxpayers that are living paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

But some homeowners believe higher tax credits and exemptions aren’t enough. They’re hoping the city will slash the current tax rate of $3.50 for every $1,000 of property value.

read … Oahu homeowners balk after property tax assessments soar 20% to 30%

3rd Attempt to Steer Contract to CNHA:  HTA splits multi-million dollar tourism contract in two

KHON: … The future of how Hawaii will be advertised to the world and who will control it, remains in limbo after the Hawaii Tourism Authority voted to make changes to the state’s biggest tourism marketing contract and put it back up for bid.

After months of disputes, HTA will be starting from scratch, splitting the state’s multi-million dollar brand marketing management contract for the U.S.

“The board met in an executive session to get some legal counsel from our Deputy Attorney General, had some discussion in public session and decided to pursue two RFPs,” explained Ilihia Gionson, spokesperson for HTA….

The decision scraps two previous requests for proposals, that had already been awarded.

(Translation: This is our third attempt to steer this contract to CNHA.)

According to Gionson, HTA is also seeking approval to extend the island chapter services contract, set to expire Dec. 31. He said if that lapses destination management and visitor education functions on the neighboring islands will no longer be provided….

Details regarding how things will be split and what the new contracts will include are to be decided.

(Translation: We will fold ‘Island Services’ into the CNHA side of the bifurcated bidding packet in order to sweeten the pot.)

“When that request for proposals comes out, we are expecting that to happen in January, then everyone will see what’s in the scope for those,” Gionson explained.

HVCB is handling marketing duties through March 2023, which will likely be extended according to Gionson.

“What the board voted on today was to seek approval from the State Procurement Office for a further extension to the end of June to provide some transition period.”…

Deputy Attorney General, Gregg Kinkley, answered a number of questions by the board regarding the lawfulness of the way things had been handled before they came to their conclusion.

“Were there any violations of chapter 103D?” asked Kinkley. “No,” he said answering his own question (without giggling or smirking)….

SA: Hawaii Tourism Authority seeks separate bids for U.S. tourism pact

read … HTA splits multi-million dollar tourism contract in two, looking for new bids

HART: Portion of rail on track to open in March or April 2023

HNN: … Honolulu’s long-delayed rail project is expected to welcome the first riders on the first leg of the route in early 2023.

That portion will run from the East Kapolei station to the Halawa/Aloha Stadium station.

HART CEO and Executive Director Lori Kahikina says the plan is still to launch it in March of April of next year.

”We’re still on track for that timeline, there have been some communications software issues that arose during the trial running testing phase but Hitachi has brought in specialists to hopefully resolve that problem and keep us on track,”  Kahikina said.

The rail authority says work is well underway on the next leg as Nan Incorporated started this fall on the nearly $500 million project for the relocation of utilities along Dillingham Boulevard.

Kahikina says the contractor started ahead of schedule and (for now) is expected to finish in early 2026….

read … HART: Portion of rail on track to open in 2023, but construction ongoing in Kalihi

‘A high priority’: Green pledges major relief for one of Hawaii’s most overcrowded hospitals

HNN: … Gov. Josh Green has set aside $50 million to fund a much-needed bed expansion project at Hilo Medical Center. It’s one of several priorities outlined in Green’s first executive budget, specifically aimed at improving healthcare.

In addition to securing money for Hilo Medical Center, Green also wants to bolster funding for Hawaii nursing schools so they can hire the faculty they so desperately need.

But to make it happen, he’s going to need support from the state Legislature.

On Wednesday morning, Hilo Medical Center wasn’t just full. It was over capacity by 15%.

“So a simple way to look at it is we don’t have beds for 18 patients,” said Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii Region CEO for the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation….

read … ‘A high priority’: Green pledges major relief for one of Hawaii’s most overcrowded hospitals

Hawaii 100% Renewable Energy Goal is Seriously Flawed

IM: … In response to a Life of the Land Information Request, Hawaiian Electric provided an example on June 15, 20215 of how the grid could be 35% renewable and 65% fossil fuel, and yet the RPS would be 115%. (Document at pdf 41-43) ….

read … Hawaii 100% Renewable Energy Goal is Seriously Flawed

Homeless Camp Fires a danger to Hawaii’s electrical grid

NN: … A new federal law enforcement memo from last week, obtained exclusively by NewsNation, warns of three suspected arsons at energy facilities in Hawaii.

“There have been three recent arson events reported in Hawaii. One of the events caused damage to perimeter fencing of an electrical substation,” the memo read.

In its 2021 annual report Hawaiian Electric, the provider for 95% of the Hawaiian islands, recognized a threat to security with an emphasis on cybersecurity, noting: “The Company may be subject to information technology and operational system failures, network disruptions, cyber-attacks and breaches in data security that could adversely affect its businesses and reputation.”

Hawaiian Electric told NewsNation it believes at least two of the suspected arsons were in fact associated with homeless encampments close to several of their facilities. In a statement, a spokesman said. “Local and federal agencies are not aware of any specific or credible threats to electrical grid infrastructure in Hawaii. The physical security of our grid is a top priority of Hawaiian Electric and we work closely with law enforcement and report all suspicious incidents.”…

read … Federal law enforcement warns of danger to electrical grid

More Homeless Mayhem: City Returns 4,823 stolen shopping carts this year--Value $3.8M

HNN: … “The really good carts that you see at the shopping centers or the grocery stores ... they can run up to $700 to $800 a cart,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants Of Hawaii.

Taking one off property is technically a crime ― but incidents are rising….

Enforcement is unrealistic so retailers are taking steps to prevent theft, like working with the city.

In fact, city crews have collected 4,823 stolen shopping carts so far this year, most in urban Honolulu and many from Walmart and Sam’s.

(That’s 13 carts stolen every day by homeless drug addicts who ‘need’ them to carry around all the other crap they stole from us to trade for meth.)

Carts in good condition are returned.

“It’s a lot of money, and some of them may pass it on to the customer, because you gotta replace the cart,” Yamaki said….

MN: Litter, abandoned cars ignored along highway

read … Shopping cart theft is a costly headache for retailers, but the city is helping to fight back

Narcan revives 42 addicts this year

HNN: … data is giving new insight into just how often officers are turning to Narcan on the job.

Honolulu police are using the overdose antidote the most.

Since July, there have been 28 instances where officers administered the nasal spray. That’s more than triple the number of times it was used in all of 2021.

On Hawaii Island, officers used Narcan seven times so far this year ― up one from last year.

On Kauai, officers administered the nasal spray five times in 2022, which is the same as in 2021.

And on Maui, officials say Narcan has been administered twice since May. The department didn’t provide any other numbers for comparison….

read … Over past 6 months, HPD administered more Narcan than all other Hawaii police departments combined

Soft on Crime: Rapist gets bail, allegedly comes back to kill his Victim

HTH: … A 29-year-old Hilo man was indicted Wednesday by a Hilo grand jury for allegedly strangling his 24-year-old girlfriend to death almost 2 1/2 years ago.

The indictment charges Ekolu Keolanui with second-degree murder for the death of Sable-Marie Keffer-Young.

According to county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, the murder charge stems from a domestic incident that occurred July 19, 2019, at Malama Park in Pana‘ ewa.

Keolanui currently is serving a 10-year prison term for a 2017 domestic incident in which he kidnapped and sexually assaulted Keffer-Young. He was convicted in 2020.

Keffer-Young was the daughter of kumu hula Sammye Ku‘ualoha Young….

(If he had been locked up for the 2017 rape and kidnapping, she would be alive today.)

read … Forensics expert helps secure murder indictment in cold case

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