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Monday, April 17, 2023
April 17, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:32 PM :: 1646 Views

Tentative HTSA Contract Inked--14.5% raise

Next Boondoggle: Public Comment on Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management Study

Rep Kanani Souza Says Republican Caucus Is ‘A Cult’

CB: … Disillusioned freshman state Rep. Kanani Souza has declined to participate in caucus meetings with her fellow House Republicans since January, and is now describing the GOP caucus in the House as “a cult.”

Officially, Souza is still the minority whip for the six House Republicans, but said in an interview she limits her interactions with the other five almost entirely to mail or text. She said she is now “under investigation” because of a complaint filed against her, but says she has never actually seen the complaint.

“What bothers me is they don’t argue in law and fact. They are arguing based on personal beliefs, based on religious beliefs,” said Souza, who described herself as a moderate conservative.

“It’s just a lot of things where you can’t really say what you want to say because they’re not willing to have an educated discussion,” she said. “It’s non-stop trying to use religion to try to get everybody to be quiet — or me, in particular.”…

She said she also became concerned about having Republican minority research office staff in caucus meetings, which she felt was inappropriate because opinionated staff members seemed to have an outsized influence on the decision making.

She asked that staff be excused at one meeting when she wanted to discuss the firing of a staff member, and Matsumoto told her she wanted the staff to stay.

Later in the same meeting Souza suggested a different staff member should be fired, and Souza believes that prompted one or more caucus members to file the pending complaint against Souza. She believes Matsumoto encouraged staff to file the complaint….

Souza also took issue with a radio show the caucus has been producing that is underwritten by developer Peter Savio. She said she considers that “a clear ethical violation, that’s accepting a gift to push your agenda.”….

Souza said she raised some of her concerns with House Speaker Scott Saiki — the top House Democrat — who offered to discuss Souza’s frustration with Matsumoto. “Things have just been downhill since then,” Souza said….

Souza said she will not consider quitting the party even if her troubles with the other Republicans continue. …

Totally Related: Miske Lawyer Behind Campaign to Unseat OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina

read … One Hawaii GOP House Leader Says Her Caucus Is ‘A Cult’

Even in Hawai`i, Greed Threatens Climate Change Policies

IM: … There are significant problems with climate change legislation.

The first is that countries and states underestimate their emissions, establish goals without enforceability, and then fail to meet the goals.

Hawaii lures visitors to Hawaii but asserts that most of the lured visitor`s greenhouse gas emissions flying to and from Hawai`i should be credited to other states and nations. This removed perhaps half of our true greenhouse gas emissions from what we claim are our emissions.

The second is based on greed. Countries and states make exceptions or loopholes to protect or promote special interests even if they lead to increasing greenhouse gas emissions….

The initial problem was that, under Hawaii law, the energy content of the fossil fuels used to make biofuel had to be subtracted from the energy content of the ethanol produced, to determine how much of the ethanol represented green energy.

The Legislature passed SB 2474 HD2 in 2004: “Where biofuels, hydrogen, or fuel cell fuels are produced by a combination of renewable and nonrenewable means, the proportion attributable to the renewable means shall be credited as renewable energy.”

Ethanol proponents were upset with this definition. So the Hawai`i Legislature passed SB 3185 CD1 in 2006, defining all bioenergy as 100% renewable energy.

"`Biofuels` means liquid or gaseous fuels produced from organic sources such as biomass crops, agricultural residues and oil crops, such as palm oil, canola oil, soybean oil, waste cooking oil, grease, and food wastes, animal residues and wastes, and sewage and landfill wastes."

The grand schemes to make Hawai`i an ethanol capitol of the world never materialized. 

The fight has now shifted to clear cutting forests, the lungs of the planet.

Vincent Paul Ponthieux, Direct/ CTO Blue Planet Research, LLC, wrote and Island Voices  column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser today:  “Perfect can’t be enemy of the good for our energy future.” The article does not mention that there is a documented financial arrangement between Ponthieux and Hu Honua.

Paul Ponthieux asserted in his column that the trees to be cut down are located in Hamakua and that the bottom two-thirds of the trees would be sold to the lumber industry. Where these “facts” come from is anyone`s guess. These “facts” are not in the regulatory and legal records ….

read … Even in Hawai`i, Greed Threatens Climate Change Policies

Legislature sends 19 more bills to governor’s desk

SA: … Among the bills awaiting action by the governor, one would declare a Hawaiian Independence Day, another would generate awareness of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and another establishes standards for the firearm industry.

Green already has signed 10 bills into law from this session, which began Jan. 18 and in which hundreds of measures have been under consideration….

>> HB 426 Opens in a new tab establishes firearm industry standards of conduct. It authorizes anyone who has suffered harm, the state attorney general or any county attorney or public prosecutor to bring civil action against a firearm industry member for violations. The bill defines a member of the firearm industry as “a person, firm, corporation, company, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other entity or association engaged in the manufacture, distribution, importation, marketing, wholesale, or retail sale of firearm-related products.” …

>> SB 1513 Opens in a new tab requires a public agency board to report any discussion or final action taken during an executive meeting, provided that such disclosure is not inconsistent with the purpose of convening the executive meeting, but giving the board discretion to maintain confidentiality….

HPR: State Legislature begins conference committee process to address differing viewpoints

read … Legislature sends 19 more bills to governor’s desk

You could help decide how future elections are held in Hawaii. Here’s how

HNN: … The state Elections Commission is hosting a meeting Monday morning at their Lehua Avenue offices in Pearl City.

Among the items on the agenda, the status of the office’s operations and a consideration of adjustment in pay for the state’s Chief Election Officer Scott Nago. Also being discussed is the anticipated vacancy for Elections Commission Chair.

The state said the public will be provided with an opportunity to present public testimony.

The meeting starts at 10:30am. You can attend in person or remotely via zoom.

For more information on the meeting agenda or to access the Zoom meeting, click here….

read … You could help decide how future elections are held in Hawaii. Here’s how

SB865: State-backed leasehold condo pilot hung up in Conference Committee?

SA: … Senate Bill 865 would establish a pilot program to develop one condo project for sale on state land under a 99-year land lease in an effort to demonstrate whether the concept is a viable solution to increase the long-term supply of affordable housing….

The bill overwhelmingly cleared full votes in the House of Representatives and Senate, but with tweaks from each side that mean an agreement on a final version must be reached by a House-­Senate conference committee if the legislation is to be sent to Gov. Josh Green for signing into law….

(CLUE: Easy to vote for something if you know it will be killed in conference.)

If the bill fails to become law this year, a leasehold condo could still come about through the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, which is seeking a master developer to lead redevelopment of nine public-housing projects with at least 9,000 additional rental apartments and 1,000 leasehold condos, including what’s envisioned as an initial 300-unit condo with a 99-year land lease at Mayor Wright Homes in Kalihi….

read … State-backed leasehold condo pilot pending

Really Bad Idea: Honolulu Council Considers ‘Affordable’ Housing with no windows

CB: …Real estate developers and construction unions are pushing Honolulu city officials to be allowed to build housing units without some windows, which they say will spur construction of affordable housing.

Bill 21, which would allow builders to substitute artificial lighting and ventilation for fresh air and sunshine, has unanimously passed its first reading before the Honolulu City Council and is awaiting further action by the city’s zoning committee.

(CLUE: The purpose is to make more people move to Las Vegas.)

The legislation was proposed by council member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, a former construction industry lobbyist, and has been endorsed by top officials of the city Department of Planning and Permitting….

Only a handful of windowless projects have been proposed on the mainland, primarily as dormitory space for college students at the University of Michigan, where the building now houses more than 600 graduate students. Another is still under consideration at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Critics have decried the Michigan building as a nightmarish monstrosity that left residents depressed and alienated from each other.

Housing experts on the mainland who reviewed the proposed legislation called the concept “a terrible idea,” “almost inhumane,” and “a disaster and a recipe for creating buildings that are unfit for human habitation.”

“Basically what they are saying is that you can build a windowless box,” said real estate strategist Bill Browning, a partner in Terrapin Bright Green, a green-building research and consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City….

NY: Nightmare of the Windowless Dorm Room

AO:  This abandoned, windowless concrete block is one of the strangest buildings in Tulsa.

read … No Window In Your Bedroom? It Could Be The Future Of Low-Cost Housing In Honolulu

Fatal Maili shooting caused by illegal cockfight was inevitable, experts said

KITV: … According to a study, not only is Hawaii the hub for this crime but it is the center for trafficking on and off the island for both the continental United States and Asia.

“We know it’s cruel. We know it’s tangled up with money laundering, narcotics trafficking and illegal drugs and now we know it leads to mass shootings," said Wayne Pacelle, president at Animal Wellness Action.

Pacelle said breeders can win up to $100,000 in one night at a cock fighting derby.

Animal cruelty to dogs and cats is a class C felony in the islands, but for cockfighting it is a misdemeanor.

"There’s an inconsistency with Hawaii law. There is wide spread illegal cockfighting and politicians have been timid to pass a statute with the same set of penalties for other forms of malicious animal cruelty," said Pacelle.

Activists are pushing for stricter laws at the federal level to not only make cockfighting a felony in Hawaii but to restrict shipping certain birds here.

Right now, a simple fine from the state when they are caught is what experts call "their price of doing business."

One winning bird can be sold for $2,500.

Aside from the fatal shooting, the most case of illegal cockfighting happened last month on the Big Island.

four men were arrested and charged for drugs and possession of illegal firearms. Officers also recovered live and dead chickens, cockfighting drugs, and almost $8,000.

More than 800 people were estimated to be at that cockfight.

Animal Wellness Action is introducing the anti-cock fighting legislation in congress to target the states where this crime is thriving.

Hawaii being number one- the state reported to have more than 30 exporters….

SA: Cockfight shootings in Maili highlight danger, residents say

read … Fatal Maili shooting caused by illegal cockfight was inevitable, experts said

Axis Deer Crisis Caused by Meat inspection Rules?

CB: … deer are not considered an “amenable” species under USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, meaning the cost of inspection – required during hunting and processing – falls on businesses, compared to domestic livestock like beef that inspected on the federal dime.

Hawaii’s meat inspection workforce wasted away along with the slaughterhouse industry, with the virtual disappearance of a local pork industry and increased number of cattle being shipped to the mainland for finishing and slaughter.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has estimated it would cost $1 million to restore the program and another $1 million to run on an annual basis....

CB: A Meat Inspection Program Could Pay Dividends For Hawaii

read … Reviving Hawaii’s Meat Inspection Program Could Also Take Aim At Axis Deer

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