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Sunday, October 8, 2023
October 8, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:28 PM :: 2424 Views

Aloha Stadium Boondoggle Becoming Instagram Joke

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted October 7, 2023

Let Maui tourism recover at its own pace

Who Really Pays?

Guam activists urge Ninth Circuit to revive environmental claims against Air Force

Lahaina Protests are a dispute over tourism marketing strategies

SA: … The Maui Council anti-tourism resolution states that tensions can arise between residents under emotional strain and tourists. It also states that such tension has begun to surface and could inadvertently jeopardize the welcoming reputation upon which Hawaii’s tourism industry heavily relies.

“Imagine working in a restaurant serving tables and being asked by your first customer whether your house burned down and whether you lost family,” Rawlins-­Fernandez said. “Say you lost your grandma and your family home with all the memories contained within it. The next table of customers, thinking they’re being compassionate, ask you the same question. And then another table. And then another table. And then another table. And each time you relive the trauma, but you’re expected to smile and be pleasant.” …

CLUE: Rawlins-­Fernandez introduced Maui Council reso backing Kaleo Manuel, the official who delayed water for firefighting  it was approved 7-2. 

ANOTHER CLUE: The same faction protests everything that is not tourism: telescopes, GMOs, seed industry, Superferry, cane smoke, dairy farms, water diversion, geothermal, rocket launches, etc.  Their complaints about tourism are just a tourism marketing scheme to make the tourist experience seem more elite, therefore more costly. 

Rawlins-Fernandez characterized Green as having “cracked the whip” sending everyone back to work. She also said reopening West Maui tourism two months after the fire is not “trauma-­informed,” and that doing so would force some traumatized fire survivors to return to work where they may encounter insensitive tourists who reopen wounds.

“The spectrum of tourists who come (range) from amazing human beings, (ie rich Democrats from Silicon Valley and Hollywood) to the uneducated, to the downright deplorable humans,” she said (Blue collar Republican ‘deplorables’, borrowing phrase from Hillary Clinton.) “More of the amazing humans are going to be choosing not to come because they have compassion for our community. More of the deplorable ones would choose to come right now.”

TRANSLATION: Green’s reopening runs counter to our radical-chic-based marketing plan.  Yes.  She just admitted this is a dispute over tourism marketing strategies.

CLUE: Wailea v2 has no room for local property owners to rebuild. 

WSJ: A Divided West Maui Reopens to Tourists: ‘You’re Visiting a Really, Really Fragile Place’ - WSJ

read … Reactions to tourism reopening are mixed in West Maui

Will ‘Fragile’ MMA Fighters Disrupt Lahaina Tourism Reopening?

Shapiro: … Hopefully, he learned lessons from the stumbling start of his audacious plan to use emergency decrees to build 50,000 homes in five years to address Hawaii’s housing crisis.

His problem there was he focused too much on bold statements and too little on building consensus to support them.

His broad suspension of laws and regulations by emergency order drew lawsuits from environmental groups that depend on the rules to achieve their goals, along with ugly threats — some personal and violent — from those who have lost trust in government and gravitated to the political extreme.

Green said he wouldn’t stand for vile threats against his appointees, but in fact, the most strident critics got what they wanted.

His housing director resigned rather than put up with the vicious vilification and was replaced by a committee. We know how effective those are at bold actions.

Green backed down on suspending many of the regulations that drag out housing development, without any guarantee those who sued him would be placated. His initial ambitious goals, always a long shot, now seem out of reach….

In an age of widespread suspicion, disinformation and distrust, we’ve moved far away from the old democratic ideal of working through our differences and hammering out agreements the majority can live with.

We’re about having it all our own way, demon­izing the opposition and taking pride in not being governable.

The Lahaina recovery threatens to become a long and nasty battle unless leaders and citizens alike can change the dynamic and realize that over-hyped promises and angry rhetoric are poor substitutes for thoughtful groundwork….

read … Hype and angry discord don’t aid Lahaina recovery

Show of Old Boy Power: ‘Green Should Move State Capitol to Lahaina’

Borreca: … Hawaii’s governor commands one of the most powerful political positions in the country….

perhaps most importantly, Green is in charge of the state budget. Others can propose, complain or buck about who gets the millions in the state treasury, but eventually it is the governor in his state Capitol fifth-floor office saying yes or no….

It is up to Green to say first “when” and then “how much” of the fire-ravaged town of Lahaina will reopen and then to guide the process of building a new town….

So for Gov. Green, it is time to use as much of his political capital and gubernatorial clout as needed to start pushing the new Lahaina to organically grow….

As the Associated Press said in a report last week, Green worries that a lack of tourism would make it harder for the state to rebuild a burned elementary school or provide residents with health-care coverage.

Perhaps it is more, not less, government that is needed for Lahaina: making Lahaina the capital of Hawaii for six months might be what is needed to focus and bear down on the rebirth of Lahaina….

read … Old boys lose minds

Five Hotels and Eight Timeshares Reopening in Lahaina Area

AP: … Five hotels in West Maui were accepting reservations again, according to their websites and the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association. In addition, eight timeshare properties — in which visitors have an ownership stake in their room — were opening across the region early this month, including some a few miles from the devastation….

read … Tourism resuming in West Maui near Lahaina as hotels and timeshare properties welcome visitors | AP News

HECO and PUC: Hand in Glove

SA: … Under the previous chair, the PUC focused on improving Hawaiian Electric’s business model and requiring greater accountability.

Under the current chair, there appears to be a different relationship between the commission and HECO with the return to a more business-as-usual approach to regulating Hawaiian Electric.

In light of the monumental energy, environmental and economic challenges facing the state, even before the fire, to what extent this serves the best interests of its 470,000 ratepayers and the state writ large is an open question.

Critically important dockets are languishing. Slow-walking and seemingly endless delays are the coins of the realm. Reactiveness and pushback, versus proactiveness, dominate. It’s far easier to oppose initiatives and projects than to complete them. Exemplary public servants are vilified and torpedoed. All while very few dare to call out these key institutions for fear of retribution in this decidedly insular and parochial business and regulatory community….

Hawaiian Electric as a largely institutional-based investor-owned utility with shareholders focused on profits and dividends at the expense of ratepayers no longer best serves the 95% of the state’s residents and five islands where it operates….

read … HECO, PUC keep unworkable status quo

Alm: Legalizing marijuana will end Japanese Tourism

SA: … Seeing that Hawaii’s Legislature is considering legalizing the commercial (nonmedical) sale of marijuana, we started researching how legalizing marijuana has affected states such as Colorado, California, Washington and Oregon, where it has been legal for as many as 10 years, and how legalization might affect Hawaii. What I found surprised and alarmed me.

To that end we invited lawmakers, visitor industry professionals, educators, health-care providers and others to an informational briefing in Waikiki on Aug. 29 about the impacts of legalizing marijuana. We learned a number of things….

First, marijuana legalization would immediately affect Hawaii’s economic well-being. Tourism, Hawaii’s No. 1 industry, would be seriously impacted. Leaders in the Japanese visitor industry warned if we legalize marijuana, Japanese tourists will stop coming to Hawaii. Full stop.

In Japan, marijuana is considered akin to methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. Its use is frowned upon by society. There is no commercial or medical marijuana in Japan.

This is a precarious time for our economy. We are still emerging from the ravages of the pandemic, and are now challenged by the tragic wildfire on Maui. The last thing we should do is scare away tourists from Japan and other Asian countries, and families from everywhere….

(TRANSLATION: Drug legalization is an argument about tourism marketing.)

Second, legalizing marijuana hasn’t been the revenue cash cow that advocates tout. A study in Colorado found every $1 in tax revenue resulted in approximately $4.50 in costs, ranging from additional health-care costs to more students dropping out of high school.

Third, the marijuana of today is not the marijuana of the past. Back then, marijuana had a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content of about 3%. Now, mainland commercial stores sell marijuana with 20%-40% THC with extract concentrates over 90%. It is a different drug entirely.

Fourth, wherever marijuana is legalized, usage rates increase. From 900,000 daily users in the U.S. in 1992, to more than 15 million today. The prevalence of marijuana use disorder in children ages 12-17 increased 25% after legalization….

read … Legalizing marijuana will cause harm

Hawaii Has A Long History Of High School Football Violence

CB: … The recent decision to cancel a Waianae-Castle match over safety concerns is just the latest chapter in a saga that goes back at least 60 years….

read … Hawaii Has A Long History Of High School Football Violence

Lahaina Fire News:

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