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Thursday, February 16, 2023
February 16, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:40 PM :: 2638 Views

Ethics: Clerk at AGs Office Fed Info to Lawyer Suing Crooked Sheriff for Sex Assault

Shining a Light on the Legislature--Do Anti-Corruption Bills Have a Chance?

Green Appoints Evslin, LaChica to House

DHHL Nomination Withdrawn: 'Evasive' Anderson 'Misrepresents Commission'

DoH: Hawaii among highest hepatitis B death rates nationwide

Hawaii Families Spend 62.3% of Income on Mortgage--Highest in USA

DLNR--Build Parking Garage at Ala Wai

Hawaii Ranks 39th for Innovation

Hawaii ACT Scores 10th-Worst in USA

Abercrombie: OHA Should Stop Lying About Kakaako Makai Deal

SA: … I do not know the chief operating officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Casey Brown, but I do know he needs to get his facts straight if he expects support for efforts to address residential restrictions currently existent in Kakaako Makai (“Battle over Kakaako housing continues,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 6). Recent testimony of Mr. Brown and others claims that OHA was somehow “swindled” when it got these lands. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Leading up to 2012, prime lands in Kakaako, some of the most valuable in Honolulu, were designated for OHA ownership to settle litigation over ceded lands revenue claims — an effort that was led by Attorney General David Louie and Native Hawaiian senior Deputy Attorney General Charleen Aina, in coordination with OHA Chair Colette Machado and Native Hawaiian attorney William Meheula, a well-respected trial attorney.

The land values were reviewed by two of the best commercial and residential real estate appraisers in Hawaii, one for the state and one for OHA, and an agreed-upon estimate of approximately $200 million in value based on current zoning was reached.

Extensive public meetings in Native Hawaiian communities were then held over several months under OHA auspices with resultant broad-based community support.

Nothing was “rushed under pressure,” as Mr. Brown claims now. The times, places, agendas, etc., of the gatherings were completely under the control and management of OHA. We stood completely aside, pending the emergence of approval or not by the OHA trustees. OHA did not want to let the opportunity slip away, as prior attempts at settlement of the claims had failed.

Only then did we approach the state Legislature in 2012. At no time did OHA put a value on the settlement of less than $200 million, and certainly not the $92 million now being claimed by some unknown appraiser.

The City and County of Honolulu currently appraises the property at $300 million.

Is Mr. Brown seriously contending that OHA Chair Machado and OHA trustees blindly approved a settlement with more than a $100 million negative gap? That experienced attorneys and top real estate appraisers misled the OHA trustees? Or that my administration deliberately and knowingly somehow short-changed the trustees? ….

Mr. Brown claims he wants “justice” for Hawaiians, “and we need to be made whole.” Citing false flag history and maligning allies does not win support or votes or friends….

Stop playing the victim and start taking responsibility for building on the strong foundation the Kakaako Makai settlement provides…..

2012: Abercrombie Signs Kakaako Over to OHA, HCDA Maintains Development Control

HPR: Former Gov. Abercrombie says Kakaʻako Makai needs to be developed

read … OHA helped drive 2012 deal for Kakaako; build on that foundation

One Down 19 to Go: Which Green Nominee will Senators Kill Next?

SA: … Some state senators on Wednesday privately told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the current hostility over some of Green’s nominees is surprising veteran senators.

Nineteen more of Green’s Cabinet nominees — plus their deputies — also face their own upcoming Senate confirmation hearings.

“A lot of the nominees are fairly safe picks,” said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center.

But the most contentious are expected to be Chang to lead DLNR; Chris Sadayasu, Green’s choice to run the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; and Attorney General nominee Anne Lopez.

The incoming directors of DLNR, DBEDT, DHHL and attorney general are right to undergo intense confirmation hearings because their departments touch so much of island life, Moore said.

“DHHL and DLNR are often the most controversial because those nominees are placed in agencies that are highly political and deal with emotionally charged matters,” Moore said. Senators “are going to ask some tough questions.”

A public opposition campaign against Chang already is underway — particularly among Native Hawaiians.

She had worked as a consultant advising Kawaiaha‘o Church leaders on how to avoid a high-level archaeological review by DLNR’s State Historic Preservation Division for a project that disturbed ancient Hawaiian burials to make way for a new building. The project led to protests and legal challenges and was never built.

Sada­yasu irked members of the Senate Ways and Means and Energy, Economic Development and Tourism committees in January when he told them that he was planning to take over procurement for part of the contract from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, a member of both committees, compared the idea to what DBEDT’s previous director, Mike McCartney, did in canceling two contract awards in the wake of objections from losing bidders and then personally tried to broker a settlement with a split contract that ran afoul of state procurement law.

“I think you’re inserting yourself just like Mike McCartney did without really having good reasoning for that,” Kim (D, Kalihi-Fort Shafter-Red Hill) told Sadayasu….

Big Q: What do you think of the process involving Ikaika Anderson’s now-defunct bid to head the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands?

read … One Down 19 to Go

Legislators Latest ‘Affordable Housing Bill’--a Tax Hike on Houses

CB: ... Bills are moving in both the state House and Senate to wipe out the state tax deduction for mortgages on second homes, a change some lawmakers hope could help ease the upward pressure on Hawaii’s housing market.

The House Economic Development Committee approved House Bill 886 on Wednesday, with Chairman Daniel Holt explaining that “housing has been one of the biggest issues for us. If this can free up some homes, then it’s a worthy cause.”

That bill is a companion measure to Senate Bill 924, which was approved by the Senate Housing Committee on Tuesday….

(CLUE: Rich people do not have mortgages.  The only people who would have a mortgage on a 2nd house would be landlords.  So this is just a tax increase on renters.)

read … Hawaii’s Tax Deduction For Mortgages On Second Homes Could Disappear This Year

Red Hill families forced to stay in hotels amid tainted water crisis hit with huge tax bills

HNN: … Some Red Hill families who were forced to live in hotels for months because of the Navy’s tainted tap water are now getting hit with huge tax bills, Hawaii News Now has confirmed.

The families are finding out the reimbursements from the military are considered income.

And many are panicking.

Navy retiree and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam resident Carolina Alama and her family lived at the Sheraton Hotel and Resort in Waikiki for four months in early 2022 when they couldn’t drink the fuel-tainted tap water.

Her family’s hotel expenses were reimbursed by the Navy, but then she got a 1099 tax form from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service showing $22,000 in extra income.

Her professional tax advisor says she’ll have to pay $6,500 in federal and state taxes….

read … Red Hill families forced to stay in hotels amid tainted water crisis hit with huge tax bills

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