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Wednesday, April 12, 2023
April 12, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:33 PM :: 1571 Views

Second Crossover: House Approves 77 More Senate Bills

Fixing Hawaii’s Transportation System; A Dose of the Private Sector Would Help

Three scenarios for Kauai property tax relief

250 Bills Headed To Closed-Door Committees where the Real Legislating Occurs

CB: … lawmakers positioned more than 250 bills for further discussion and negotiations in closed-door conference committee meetings in the weeks ahead. The Legislature is approaching the home stretch of this year’s session, which is due to adjourn on May 4 …. 

HNN: Bribery scandal that rocked state Capitol could inspire powerful new laws aimed at fighting fraud

read … Gun Rules, Fate Of HTA Among Bills Headed To Closed-Door Committees

Law Enforcement Agencies Claim They Have Little Idea How Illegal Fireworks Get Here

CB: … The Honolulu Police Department in the past few years has twice come upon stashes of illegal fireworks adding up to hundreds of pounds, including a U-Haul van filled with them. These cases went far beyond the normal bust resulting from an officer seeing someone firing off a bottle rocket on the street. 

But none of them went anywhere or revealed anything about who shipped them here or how they got distributed once on the island.

Likewise, a contractor for shipping companies such as Matson found nearly 13,500 pounds of fireworks in a container in September. The container’s weight did not match what would be expected from the listed contents, leading to an investigation.

But the contraband was simply repackaged, labeled as hazardous and sent back to the mainland for destruction. Neither the mainland shipper nor the intended recipient on Oahu was charged. 

Federal agencies that might get involved, meanwhile, have been mostly dormant. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted nine fireworks seizures between 2006 and 2012. 

But neither federal entity has staged a single operation in the past five years….

read … Law Enforcement Agencies Have Little Idea How Illegal Fireworks Get Here

’Uncontrollable cost increases’ bump up Mayor Roth’s proposed budget

HTH: …Mayor Mitch Roth unveiled a $794.3 million budget Tuesday to carry Hawaii County through the next fiscal year starting in July.

The proposed operating budget is about 1.1% larger than the current budget, due in part to “uncontrollable cost increases” relating to goods and services nationwide, and new contracts for all of the county’s collective bargaining units.

On the other hand, county revenues are also projected to increase thanks to the county’s transient accommodations and general excise taxes….

The County Council will continue to discuss the proposed budget and capital improvement plan today and Thursday during a special meeting of the Finance Committee….

BIN: Mayor Roth proposes $794.3 million operating budget for Hawai’i County

read … ’Uncontrollable cost increases’ bump up Mayor Roth’s proposed budget

Owners at Honolulu condo reeling after steep increase in maintenance fees

HNN: … Steve Dixon is a disabled Vietnam veteran and a condo owner at the building who says his monthly fees have skyrocketed since December to almost $3,000. He told HNN he was notified fees would rise in September in a letter by Hawaiiana Management Company, but he didn’t know what the monthly increase would be.

“I did not find out the amount until January when I got my back statement and saw they took out almost $3,000 dollars,” said Dixon, who added the maintenance fees in December were only around $600.

A letter sent by out by the building’s management company in September says two-bedroom unit owners like Dixon will have to pay about $20,000 in total to cover the work for a nearly $7 million capitol improvement project….

read … Owners at Honolulu condo reeling after steep increase in maintenance fees

Fentanyl OD Killed 60 Last Year

HNN: … Synthetic opioids killed a record number of people in Hawaii last year, according to newly-released state Health Department figures. Statewide, fentanyl is likely linked to at least 60 deaths.

Officials say that’s a preliminary number is expected to climb as more of last year’s autopsy reports are finalized.

So far, death certificates show men made up just over 75% of last year’s deadly overdoses.

HNN learned the vast majority were between 20 and 65 years old….

As for where these deadly overdoses are occurring, officials say about half happened on the Neighbor Islands….

Meanwhile: Hawaii Senate Approves Bill To Create Psychedelics Advisory Council To Prepare For Federal Approval

read … Alarming figures show Hawaii set new record last year for fentanyl drug overdoses

Catch and Release: After 37 Arrests, Criminal Brings Gun to Court

SA: … A man with 37 prior arrests and citations was arrested trying to bring a ghost gun and drug paraphernalia into circuit court this morning.

Jordan Mineshima Jr., 33, was arrested by Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly walked into the Kaahumanu Hale courthouse on Punchbowl Street and told the Allied Universal Security Officer that he had a firearm in his bag, according to a news release from the state Department of Public Safety….

Deputies also discovered what appeared to be drugs and drug paraphernalia on Mineshima, according to the release….

37 arrests in 15 years = 2.5 arrests per year

News Release: PSD NEWS RELEASE – SHERIFFS ARREST MAN WITH FIREARM AT ENTRANCE TO OAHU CIRCUIT COURT BUILDING.

read … Catch and Release

Thug Subsidies: MMA is huge in Hawaii. SB1027 could make it even bigger

HNN: … Many Hawaii thugs have moved to Las Vegas due to the high cost of thug life in Hawaii.  With State subsidies, MMA can help inspire a new generation of thugs to fill the vacant positions ….

“Right now, the market is booming, and there’s a lot of great fighters here in the state of Hawaii and in the South Pacific. So, bringing the UFC here would be awesome. Would be one of the biggest shows that they have, I think,” Grove said.

On top of a commission, Senate Bill 1027 would provide more regulation over combat sports and appropriate funds.

It would fall under the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

But the agency is against it.

The DCCA says funding a commission would be much more costly than administering the already-existing MMA Program.

“Each licensee would have to assume these costs. Currently, there are 150 total licensees with active licenses. They would be responsible for paying on average $2,819 to fund a commission,” DCCA Communications Officer William Nhieu said, in a statement.

In addition, DCCA said it is not sure a commission would actually bring more MMA events to the state.

“The issue at hand remains lack of venues where promoters feel would be able to accommodate the audiences they wish to have,” Nhieu stated….

2019: Anti-Telescope Rap Video: Swinging Baseball Bat "In the blessed era of Max Holloway"

read … MMA is huge in Hawaii. Lawmakers are looking for a way to make it even bigger

Makaha Homeless Camp: Drug Deals, Fires and Assaults

KHON: … Residents of the Makaha Surfside apartment complex said they're frustrated over people littering, making loud noises at night, and burning their trash in a homeless encampment at Mauna Lahilahi Beach Park.

"It makes me feel pissed off," Mary Olson asserted.

Olson and other residents voiced concerns about debris from the camp going into the water during high tide. They also claimed the area is dangerous and home to drug deals.

"It's not safe. I've personally been assaulted in this park," Jeff Lintz recalled. …

read … 'Pissed off' | Residents angered over litter from homeless encampment at Makaha beach

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