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Sunday, October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:57 PM :: 2008 Views

Let the Donor Beware

2A Victory: Hawaii County Concealed Carry Rules Rejected by Court

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted September 30, 2023

Before the Disaster: Hawaii Unemployment 3.1%

Make sure to claim additional property tax relief in Honolulu

LahainaFires: HHFDC Pretends Insurance does Not Exist--Wants you to believe Act of Congress needed to replace Low-Income Housing

SA: … A state agency is exploring ways to expedite replacement of Maui low-­income rental housing to offset losses from the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire.

(TRANSLATION: It’ll be 30 years.)

About 550 homes serving predominantly low-income households were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the fire, representing 16% of the estimated 3,500 homes lost or damaged in Lahaina, according to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp.

The agency, which helps private developers produce low-income housing using state and federal financing, is considering several strategies to replenish inventory serving those who can least afford to live on Maui, where housing costs are among the highest in the state….

Other possible strategies being considered by HHFDC involve obtaining more federal financing for low-income housing development on Maui, which would require congressional approval…

(REALITY: Property owners have something called ‘insurance’  They use it to pay for rebuilding burned properties.)

The 547 predominately low-income rentals affected were at 12 properties in Lahaina, according to HHFDC.

The largest property on the list was Front Street Apartments with 142 units. According to the agency, the private owner of the project on state land intends to rebuild pending an insurance claim.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority had two properties affected by the fire: Piilani Homes with 42 units and David Malo Circle with 18 apartments.

A Maui nonprofit, Hale Mahaolu, managed five low-income housing projects listed by HHFDC as being destroyed or left uninhabitable by the fire. The properties were the 112-unit Lahaina Surf, a pair of 20-unit projects owned by the county called Komohana Hale and Crossroads, the 35-unit Hale Mahaolu Eono for older residents who can live independently, and a separate Hale Mahaolu Eono property with five homes….

(CLUE: We are making you leave Lahaina so we can rebuild on the Wailea model.)

read … Maui fire housing losses high for low-income rentals | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

HART’s endless games--Still Trying to Scam Feds After All These Years

Shapiro: … The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation seems incapable of learning from its mistakes when it comes to raising false expectations about Honolulu rail, misleading the public on problems and stifling criticism.

Board members blathered anew about expanding the line to Ala Moana Center based on an estimate full of unknowables that showed a possible $580 million surplus by time the budget-busting $10 billion train reaches its end at the Civic Center in 2031.

They were ready to change the plan again before the Federal Transit Administration has even given final approval or funding to HART’s latest proposed recovery plan ….

While overblowing a highly speculative surplus, the agency downplayed potentially serious issues with construction bids for the downtown segment.

The deadline for bids is being delayed from October to December or January, and rail CEO Lori Kahikina claimed a rush of contractors seeking licenses for Lahaina reconstruction has backlogged potential rail bidders needing licenses.

State licensing officials said this is flat-out untrue, stating “at present, there does not exist a backlog or processing delays for licensing applications before the Contractors Licensing Board.”

Kahikina’s claim is troubling for its falsity, but also because it could indicate bigger problems with bids for the critical final segment.

Extensions of bid deadlines are often caused by lack of interest among bidders or signals that bids will come in higher than HART’s tight budget, which could endanger its agreement with the FTA….

HART Chair Colleen Hanabusa created more unnecessary drama by ramping up her efforts to muzzle nonvoting board member Natalie Iwasa, appointed by House Speaker Scott Saiki as one of several state monitors assigned to the project as part of the most recent legislative bailout out giving HART more funds from the excise and hotel taxes….

If HART keeps refusing to accord legislative watchdogs the same information and access as city- appointed board members, the state should declare the city in violation of the bailout law and suspend payments to HART from the rail taxes until the agency complies.

read … HART’s endless games deter ever doing rail right

Hirono Political Rhetoric Isn't Helping Maui Fire Survivors

CB: … Just the facts, ma’am: U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono knows as well as anyone that a shutdown of the federal government wasn’t going to have any real impact on the recovery efforts currently underway on Maui to get help for victims of the Aug. 8 fire. Federal disaster money for Maui, including from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration, has been approved, set aside and being spent by the millions.

But that didn’t stop her from exploiting the Maui fire situation to score political points against House Republicans in a Senate floor speech last week where she ranted about how they are putting Maui’s disaster relief at risk.

“By forcing a government shutdown, Speaker (Kevin) McCarthy will be abandoning the people of Maui – the very same people he vowed to help just weeks ago when he visited Maui,” she proclaimed.

A press person for Hirono tells The Sunshine Blog that his boss was really talking about long-term disaster aid, and the issue of whether Republicans would agree to plump up FEMA’s dwindling bank account which was in danger of running out of money at some point. But that’s a different issue than keeping the government operating and federal workers on the job in Maui.

So it seems kind of disingenuous for her to imply that a government shutdown would bring current relief efforts to a halt when what she is really talking about is future funding. People on Maui are very scared and distressed as it is, and suggesting they may lose what little help they are getting if the federal government is shut down is just stressing them even more.

The Blog has been regularly aghast at the people who have taken advantage of the Maui fires, with their terrible toll on the community and the state, to try to leverage political gain or reap some sort of financial advantage for themselves.

In her eagerness to bash political opponents, Hirono is coming across that way as well….

VIDEO: Hirono Highlights Potential Impacts of a Government Shutdown on Disaster Relief for Maui 

read … The Sunshine Blog: Political Rhetoric Isn't Helping Maui Fire Survivors

The Need For Legislative Reform Can Be A Matter Of Life And Death

CB: … We’ve collectively rolled our eyes over the decades as state lawmakers played out their power struggles in private, often rewarding entrenched leaders with pork spending while delaying obviously needed legislation for many years and flat-out crushing efforts at serious reform.

The State Capitol’s power brokers pretty much maintained the status quo last session even after public scandals inspired all the noise about the need for reform….

Just as leadership promised corruption reform after two of its own lawmakers were convicted of taking bribes, the legislative powers that be are all over the Maui wildfires and efforts aimed at making sure nothing like this ever happens again. Already, the House of Representatives has announced the formation of six working groups to address the fact that many other urban areas are endangered by the parched brush they border.

But does it take an unspeakable tragedy to force the Legislature to do its job?

Hawaii has long underfunded its firefighting and fire prevention efforts on open lands throughout the islands — despite numerous studies pointing out the danger….

read … The Need For Legislative Reform Can Be A Matter Of Life And Death

Hawaii Wildfire-Fighting Force Eyes Eightfold Increase In Funding

CB: … The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife is preparing to ask lawmakers for more than $24 million to help battle wildfires in the islands after years of being chronically under-resourced, according to draft budget documents obtained by Civil Beat.

The agency will use that money to purchase everything from fire tankers and dozers to hiring staff and conducting community fire prevention, DOFAW documents show.

The division, which falls under the Department of Land and Natural Resources, has received little funding to see out its mandate while the risk of wildfire increased exponentially across Hawaii. Now in the wake of the blazes that gripped Hawaii on Aug. 8, including the conflagration that razed most of Lahaina and killed at least 97 people, the division has lawmakers’ attention….

read … Hawaii Wildfire-Fighting Force Eyes Eightfold Increase In Funding

Lahaina Fire News:



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