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Saturday, May 27, 2023
May 27, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:07 PM :: 3520 Views

Simpsons in Hawaii

The Number of Troops Hawaii Sent to Fight in WWII

Honolulu Among Least Affordable Cities for Home Buyers

Line Item Veto of Slush Fund ‘the responsible thing to do'

HDoT Reopens HNL Runway--sort of

Green Opens First Homeless 'Kauhale'

Riots are Profitable: Civil Beat Publisher gives nearly $2M to ‘defund police’ — while funding private security startup

LF: … Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, is one of the most generous patrons of activist groups seeking to defund, or in some cases, even abolish police.

Foundations connected to Omidyar have lavished financial support on anti-police activists in recent years. In June 2020, in response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, funds tied to Omidyar’s philanthropic network announced donations of $500,000 to organizations supporting the protest movement.

The Movement for Black Lives, an “abolitionist” coalition of activists seeking to eradicate public policing, was one of the recipients of Omidyar money that year. Disclosures show that the Omidyar Network provided $300,000 to the group.

“When we say ‘defund and abolish the police,’ we mean exactly that,” the Movement for Black Lives stated in a press release. …

Meanwhile, in his personal capacity, Omidyar has invested in start-ups that specialize in monetizing the growing demand for private security.
One of those investments is Bond, an app that provides licensed bodyguards at the click of a button. Doron Kempel, the founder of Bond, is a former member of Israeli special forces who has pitched his company in the past as a way for customers to “order a bodyguard as easily as they might order dinner online.”

The Uber-for-private security platform has explicitly pitched itself as a service that stands to gain from concerns around deteriorating public safety….

UPDATE: Civil Beat Publisher Bankrolled Social Media Censorship Effort

NYP: eBay founder gives nearly $2M to defund police — while funding private security startup 

2020: Feds: Civil Beat Publisher's Security Detail Sends Pig's Head to Media Critic

read … Billionaire Funding ‘Abolish the Police’ Activists Invests in Private Security Start-Up

Neighborhood plagued with homeless drug addicts’ crimes -- bums threaten to torch Mama Woo’s

KITV: … "People are literally roving around in gangs and causing mayhem," said Bishop Reyn Tsuru of Shingon Mission of Hawaii.

Tsuru is tired of dealing with trespassing, vandalism and theft every week at the Shingon Mission.

Just on Monday, a man damaged a statue and altar outside the temple and when police were called, "we were just told that maybe we should consider hiring private security."

"It's something that the temple -- and I would be very surprised if any temple -- could handle that kind of expenditure of resources," he said. "That's not really a solution."

For Bertram Sing, the problem has gotten out of control.

He's had run ins with the same homeless man trespassing at his apartment and then harassing people at a fast-food drive through.

"I just saw this guy jumping around like a wild man, harassing the families with kids," he said. "So I said, 'Oh no, not this guy again, because I just saw him."

When Sing told him to knock it off, "he said, 'Then uncle if I can't get money I'm going to have to go outside there and rob the old people and the young people -- the weaker people."…

Kristina Kim, owner of Mama Woo's BBQ, worries that homeless encounters could be affecting her business.

"It's kind of scary for the employees because they come with the sticks, they come in with sticks," she said. "It's like, 'this place will burn down tonight.'" …

read ... Neighborhood plagued with crime as businesses and residents feel 'helpless'

Hawaii Tourism Authority is asked to explain U.S., Canada awards

SA: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority has received requests for debriefings — the first step in a possible procurement protest — on the awards that it made this week to manage the brands and market Hawaii to the United States and Canada.

HTA did not receive a request for a debriefing on a $27.1 million multiyear award made to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement on Monday. That contract could start June 20 and is expected to run for an initial 2-1/2-year term with an option for two one-year extensions. HTA’s first stewardship services award will include post-arrival visitor education; administrative support for HTA community programs; technical assistance and capacity building for community organizations and businesses; and technology-enabled solutions to manage tourism hot spots.

However, HTA is fielding a debriefing request for a U.S. branding and marketing award made Monday to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau for $38.4 million for an initial 2-1/2-year term with an option for one two-year extension….

HTA also has received a request for a debriefing on the award it made Monday to VoX International, which already had been working as Hawai‘i Tourism Canada….

The state procurement process allows for a period of protest for these three awards that expires June 14. HTA Chief Brand Officer Kalani Ka‘ana‘ana said now that a debriefing has been requested, HTA has seven business days to comply, and an offeror would have five business days after that to file a protest. Ka‘ana‘ana said debriefings are commonly requested as part of the procurement process, as they allow offerors insight into why their proposals were not selected. Debriefings do not necessarily lead to protests, he said….

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority is asked to explain U.S., Canada awards

The New ‘Sustainable’ Tourism: HNL Busier Than Ever

ASN: …  What we can see from the data is that the airport is still performing better than last year, but also compared to 2019 as well…..All eyes will no doubt be on the airport to see how much further they can increase these statistics and what more benefits will be reaped from it as a result….

read … Honolulu in Hawaii Has Never Been Busier At The Airport

Amid pay raise debate, City Council considering a ban on second jobs for its members

HNN: … Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters and Vice Chair Esther Kiaaina are introducing a resolution that would prohibit council members from having a second job while in office.

Waters says the proposed legislation is intended to increase public trust by eliminating outside employment and interests and to ensure the undivided attention and commitment of councilmembers to their roles.

This comes after public outrage over a proposed 64% pay raise for the council, which would essentially make them full-time….

CB: Honolulu Council Members Seek To Make The Chamber A Full-Time Job Amid Pay Criticism

KHON: Tension grows at City Council over proposed pay raise

read … Amid pay raise debate, City Council considering a ban on second jobs for its members

Overseer of zoo, Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell secretly resigned May 19

SA: … Jerry Pupillo, the city Department of Enterprise Serv­ices director who oversaw venues like the Honolulu Zoo, Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Waikiki Shell, has resigned, the city confirmed.

Appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi in 2021, Pupillo came to the city with 30 years of private-sector experience managing indoor and outdoor entertainment venues. Prior to joining the city, Pupillo worked as general manager of Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii water park in Kapolei.

“Jerry Pupillo resigned from his position as director of Enterprise Services and his last day in the office was last week Friday (May 19),” Scott Humber, the mayor’s communications director, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser via email….

read … Overseer of zoo, Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell resigns

Honolulu & State Climate Lawsuits Present Contrasting Positions

IM: … Honolulu asserts that Big Oil knew about the climate change impacts of their products, but hid the information for decades, and engaged in deceptive advertising.

The State of Hawai`i is seeking to stop 14 youth from having their day in court. The youth, in Navahine F. v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, assert that DOT is moving in the wrong direction, towards increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The state filed a Motion to Dismiss which was rejected by Judge Crabtree in April. The state is now trying to delay the trial by 12-18 months.

The Order rejecting the motion to dismiss is well worth reading….

… Destruction of the environment is a concrete interest. Since Defendants essentially argue Hawai‘i law does not require them to take action now, it appears a declaratory judgment action will help resolve the parties’ different views of what the Legislature and the Constitution require. 

(TRANSLATION: State and County attorneys are working to ensure victory of the climate lawsuits by making arguments that play into plaintiffs’ hands.)

read … Honolulu & State Climate Lawsuits Present Contrasting Positions

Hawaii Homeownership rate among lowest in USA

TH: … Slightly more than 80 million out of 126.8 million occupied housing units across the country were inhabited by homeowners in 2020, putting the nation’s homeownership rate at 63.1 percent.

This is the lowest homeownership rate since 1970.

West Virginia and Maine had the highest 2020 homeownership rates at 72.6 percent and 71 percent, respectively. But each of these states experienced a decline from the 2010 Census figures.

New York, California, Nevada, Hawaii and Rhode Island had the lowest homeownership rates among the 50 states, while Washington, D.C., had the lowest rate overall at 38.3 percent. The rate in the nation’s capital fell by 3.7 percent from 2010.

Five states saw an increase in their homeownership rates in the decade between 2010 and 2020. Hawaii led the way, notching a 1.2 percentage point increase, raising its homeownership rate to around 59 percent. The Aloha State was followed by Alaska, which experienced a 0.8 percentage point increase over the decade.

Idaho, South Carolina and Wyoming were the only other states to see their rates rise — each by a half percentage point or less.

Broken down by race, 2020 homeownership rates were highest among white households at 70 percent, followed by Asian households coming in at 58.5 percent. The homeownership rate was lowest among Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander householders.

On the rental side, housing units taken up by renters increased by close to 15 percent over the decade, reaching 46.8 million renter-occupied units….

read … Homeownership rate hit lowest level in decades in 2020: Census

Bill has commercial boat operators worried for their businesses

KHON: … bill sitting on the governor’s desk could impact dozens of businesses across the state. HB1090 is meant to help the Department of Land and Natural Resources control the number of commercial permits issued for boat ramps in protected ocean areas.

DLNR admitted there are more permits than there should be. Business owners who worry their permits will not be reissued, putting them out of business.

KITV: Commercial boating bill awaits governor's signature, with some ocean companies in opposition 

CS: This Is the Most Unique Job in Hawaii

read … Bill has commercial boat operators worried for their businesses

Legislative Agenda: 

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