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Wednesday, January 10, 2024
January 10, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:03 PM :: 1120 Views

Mizuno News: Dems send Green Nepotistic Nominee for HD29 Vacancy

Rolling Blackout Hits Within Days After Kapolei Battery Farm Goes Online

Americans Moved to Low-Tax States in 2023

Hawaii Isle property tax bill could penalize owners of ohana units

Let’s try a bottom-up approach to more homebuilding

$4.5M: The Real Cost of Smoking in Hawaii

Lahaina: More kama'aina leaving the islands for better opportunities

KITV: … After the Lahaina fires took their family home, the Cabanilla 'ohana had no choice but to move to Las Vegas.

"It just hurts, hurts too bad," said former Maui resident Janessa Cabanilla. "Like I miss my family and everything."

It's getting harder and harder for many kama'aina to stay in the islands.

"We actually have seen our population declining five years in a row," said chief state economist Eugene Tian. "From 2020 to 2023 -- those three years -- we actually lost about 20,000 people and it's due to migration."

"It is expensive out there back in Hawaii, but we kind of took the opportunity to move out here just so I can let my kids, you know, start a new life out here," said Ansen Cabanilla

According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the state's population growth will be coming from people moving here from the mainland and Asia.

"So that will change the race composition, may change the age composition as well. And it will change our labor force," Tian said….

BIN: With no actual Hawaiians left, Resolution seeks to add more Native Hawaiian culture, language to Hawai‘i County Council invocations : Big Island Now

read … More kama'aina leaving the islands for better opportunities | Devastation in Lahaina | kitv.com

Burn zones in Lahaina have reopened, but scores of residents still can’t sift their properties

HNN: … Maui’s burn zones fully reopened last month, allowing thousands an opportunity for closure. But some residents still haven’t been allowed to sift through their homes.

That’s because the EPA says some properties were listed as “deferred” after workers could not enter them due to dangers like unstable structures, overhead hazards, fallen trees or asbestos.

Heather Sheridan, who lived at the Lahaina Surf low-income rental complex, is among those who hasn’t been given the green light to sift. During the Lahaina wildfire, Sheridan’s second floor rental unit collapsed on to her neighbors unit below her and a wall remains standing….

The EPA said on the Maui Recovers website said properties that weren’t clear could still be accessible. “Residents will need to coordinate with the Army Corps regarding debris removal and sifting through the ash for belongings,” said the federal agency.

The EPA told Hawaii News Now that of the 1,621 parcels that were burned, 173 properties were deferred — which is 10.7%. What happens next for each property could be case by case.

“I’m just hoping the county and the Army Corps honor their word to give us the opportunity like everybody else has to safely sift,” said Sheridan, who is still waiting for word on what happens next.

read … Burn zones in Lahaina have reopened, but scores of residents still can’t sift their properties (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Burn More Billions: Council panel votes to support Rail to Ala Moana Mall

SA: … On a split vote, the City Council’s budget committee Tuesday approved a federal agreement to fund Skyline’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako.

The action follows the late-November approval of the full funding grant agreement by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors.

However, the latest version adds an amendment to recognize the rail route’s original destination to Ala Moana Center. The budget committee’s recommendation — under Resolution 304 — also means the FFGA is expected to advance to the full Council’s Jan. 24 meeting for a final vote….

Natalie Iwasa, a HART board member who testified as a private person at the meeting, opposed the agreement.

“The FFGA is very complicated; it makes references to a lot of outside documents that are incorporated by that reference, such as the financial plan and some other documents,” she said. “I ask that you take a look at that and get those documents before you make a final decision as a full Council.”

Moreover, Iwasa claimed the project would likely have additional cost overruns as “we still don’t know what the cost will be for the City Center guideway and stations.”

Council member Augie Tulba also had cost concerns.

“I understand how we got here and that this is the best solution for us to be able to move the rail project forward,” Tulba said. “However, by saying yes to this, we are committing $8.2 billion of taxpayer money to this project over the next eight years.”…

He added that “this year alone we are earmarking $800 million for this project.”

“What about other projects and needs in our community that would help our constituents in transformative ways?” asked Tulba. “We can’t even have those discussions because we are tying our hands to supporting this.”…

Ultimately, the committee voted 4-1, with Tulba dissenting, for the FFGA….

read … Council panel OKs federal plan to fund rail

Amid worrisome surge, Queen’s West sees more ER visits than state’s largest hospital

HNN: … While Oahu’s hospitals are always busy, over the last couple of months the number of people showing up to the island’s emergency rooms has spiked, officials say.

The situation is particularly acute in West Oahu, where Queen’s West is now busier than Punchbowl.

It’s something “that has never happened before,” Healthcare Association of Hawaii CEO Hilton Raethel told HNN Investigates, adding that the shift occurred around the end of last year.

Dr. Jim Ireland, the head of Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department, added that Oahu is seeing “more 911 calls. We’re doing more transports. And there’s only so many ERs on Oahu.”

HNN confirmed there are 245 emergency room beds spread out across Oahu at the island’s 10 hospitals. Honolulu EMS transports between 150 and 200 patients to those facilities every day.

The surge in patients is leading to pile-ups at hospitals. Ireland said historically, it would take an EMS crew under 20 minutes to transfer a patient from the ambulance to emergency room staff.

But over the last few weeks he says there’s been instances where it’s taken up to three hours….

read … Amid worrisome surge, Queen’s West sees more ER visits than state’s largest hospital

Proposed new gun permitting process draws passionate testimony on both sides

HNN: … The Honolulu Police Department held a public hearing Tuesday on proposed policy changes for gun permits and licenses.

Officers heard nearly two hours of testimony on new rules hat would require applicants to go submit to private instruction, and background check, including a mental health assessment.

It’s all meant to comply with a new state law, which was triggered by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to broaden gun rights.

Current and prospective gun owners argue the permitting process is far too restrictive and a violation of constitutional rights.

SA: Honolulu police hear concerns on Hawaii’s new gun laws

read … Proposed new gun permitting process draws passionate testimony on both sides (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Trio of Repeat Offenders charged in Oahu Country Club burglary

SA: … All three face extended sentencing if convicted as they all are “persistent offenders” because they have “previously been convicted of two or more felonies committed at different times” when they were 18 years or older, wrote Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott M. Spallina.

Mendonca has 13 prior state convictions, 12 of them felonies, including for burglary, identity theft, theft and car theft. (And yet he was out on the streets.)

Rapozo has 41 prior state convictions, including 14 for felony burglary, and one for possessing an automatic firearm.  (And yet he was out on the streets.)

Werner has 23 prior state convictions, including 10 burglary (And yet he was out on the streets.)…

read … Trio charged in Oahu Country Club burglary

Navy glitch sends 2 million gallons of sewage into Hawaii waters

SAS: … The Navy’s wastewater treatment plant near Pearl Harbor dumped almost 2 million gallons of partially treated sewage into the ocean Monday due to an electrical failure, according to the service.

Heavy rain knocked out a transformer that provides power to an ultraviolet system used to treat wastewater in the plant on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Navy said in a news release Tuesday.

About 1.89 million gallons of partially treated wastewater flowed into the sea during the five hours the transformer was down, the Navy said.

The discharge point is about 1.5 miles offshore of the joint base.

read … Navy glitch sends 2 million gallons of sewage into Hawaii waters | Stars and Stripes

Next Tech Debacle will Cost $60M-- Josh Green

CB: … Gov. Josh Green’s administration plans to ask lawmakers for more money to replace an outdated financial management system, saying the project will cost $60 million after it stalled last year when the state terminated its troubled contract with a vendor.

State Comptroller Keith Regan said the failure of that old contract with Labyrinth Solutions Inc. cost about $8 million, and the state will basically have to start over with a new, larger contract for the modernization project.

Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee launched into a public scolding of Regan and state Chief Information Officer Douglas Murdock on Tuesday for allowing the loss….

read …Hawaii Governor Will Seek More Funds To Update Financial Management System

Honolulu Nears Settlement In Case Of Man Who Says He Was Wrongfully Jailed For Months

CB: … A committee recommended Tuesday that the City Council approve the settlement of a lawsuit filed by a man who was jailed on theft charges, only to be released six months later in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Duane Kaaialii Jr. was taken into custody in January 2020 after he was accused of stealing two watches from a store in Waikiki, court records show. But the suspect, who was caught on surveillance video, had leg tattoos, which Kaaialii does not, according to a complaint filed in August 2022. 

The City Council’s committee on executive matters and legal affairs approved a request to authorize a settlement after discussing it in executive session on Tuesday. Details will not available until it is approved by the City Council at its monthly meeting on Jan. 24. …

Kaaialii was charged with second-degree theft in December 2019 after he was accused of stealing two watches valuing $750 from Shinola, a store in Waikiki, on July 14, 2019, according to the complaint.

The suspect who stole the watches was caught on surveillance video in the store and the mall with “prominent tattoos clearly visible on both legs,” the complaint says. 

Two weeks later, a Honolulu police officer investigating the theft watched the videos and identified the suspect as Kaaialii. The officer had had previous interactions with Kaaialii between 2012 and 2015 while investigating illegal gambling establishments, the complaint says. .. (Translation: Many past criminal cases in ECourtKokua.)

(Now he will get millions from the Council)

read … Honolulu Nears Settlement In Case Of Man Who Says He Was Wrongfully Jailed For Months - Honolulu Civil Beat

Lahaina Fire News: 

Legislative Agenda: 

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