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Wednesday, February 14, 2024
February 14, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:46 PM :: 1125 Views

HPD: First Amber Alert in 19 Years Results in Safe Recovery of Two Boys

Big Island: Low Winds Lead to Rolling Blackouts

Three Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard

Liberation of crypto is win for Hawaii

Hawaiian Electric 2023 Annual report: Still profitable except for Lahaina Litigation

Advocates call for change of legal guardianship policies

KHON: … Court documents state, Bradley lived with Brandy and Thomas Blas since she was two years old. Documents go on to state that the Blas’ gained legal guardianship of Bradley when she was four after a judge signed guardianship paperwork in October 2018.

Legal experts said, foster parents fall under the Department of Human Services and can file a petition to become legal guardians, but when it comes to legal guardians oversight is limited.

“The idea of foster parents coming under the Department of Human Services, there’s a structure and a set of rules and guidelines that they have to follow,” said Seth Harris, Porter Kiakona and Kopper Senior Associate Attorney. “As for guardians, that doesn’t exist as much. That is someone who is coming in to take over a role that the court sees appropriate.”

Once someone becomes a legal guardian, the court signs a guardianship order or a set of rules to follow. KHON2 asked if the state was required to check on Bradley, but DHS said family court can require legal guardians to file reports if it believes it’s necessary….

SA: Editorial: At-risk keiki need urgent protection

read … Advocates call for change of legal guardianship policies (khon2.com)

Lahaina Fire Death Toll Rises To 101 After Police Identify Remains Of Missing Person

CB: …The death toll of the Aug. 8 fires on Maui rose to 101 on Friday when the Maui Police Department’s newly created cold case unit located the remains of 76-year-old Paul Kasprzycki, officials announced in a news release Tuesday.

He was one of three people remaining on the department’s “credible missing persons list,” which in late August included 388 people. Now there are only two people left: Robert H. Owens and Elmer Lee Stevens.

Kasprzycki was an artist who lived in the Lahaina industrial area where he had a studio and workshop, according to a Facebook post by a friend.

His remains were located within the industrial area off of Limahana Street, according to MPD.….

During a Feb. 5 press conference to release its preliminary after-action report, MPD Officer Brad Taylor said the creation of the cold case unit shows the families of those still missing that “we have not forgotten you and we are actively working for you.”…

read … Lahaina Fire Death Toll Rises To 101 After Police Identify Remains Of Missing Person 

Survivors’ Monthly Hotel Bill: $15,000 paid by FEMA

KHON: … The bill from the Royal Lahaina is from January 1 to May 31 and shows the daily charge was $354. With taxes and fees, it’s roughly $500 per day — totaling more than $15,000 per month. 

(TRANSLATION: $146 per day in state and county taxes.)

“The bill is for five months from January 1 to June 1. That alone is $75,000,” said Hill ….

read … $15,000 hotel bill for Maui evacuee sparks call for new housing solutions 

SB2762 Rent Control: After Rent Subsidies Create Crisis, Legislators prepare to Make it Worse

KHON: … Now that the houses FEMA will lease out are under contract, lawmakers predict the housing market could eventually recover as federal funds run out. But lawmakers are preparing just in case the market does not return to normal, introducing Senate Bill 2762, which proposes rent ceilings rolled out at the county level.

"We just can’t sit back and expect the market to fix itself and this is one attempt to do it...and the bill has a long way to go it’s early in the legislative session but I think it shows the community we’re aware that it’s an issue a lot of people are facing," Hashimoto said. …

read … Rent Control

Bills For UBER/LYFT Ride-Share Fee And A Climate-Impact Fee Advance

CB: …State lawmakers gave tentative approval Tuesday to a new fee that would be charged to users of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft and another proposed new climate-impact fee mostly aimed at tourists….

The ride-share proposal originally set the proposed fee at 25 cents per ride, but the latest draft does not say exactly how much the fee would be….

The House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee approved House Bill 2406, which was proposed by Gov. Josh Green earlier this year as a $25 fee that would be charged to visitors who stay in hotels or other transient vacation rentals.

The committee amended the bill to remove all specific dollar amounts including the $25 figure, meaning the actual amount of the fee will have to be determined later in this year’s legislative session if the bill continues to advance….

read … Bills For A New Ride-Share Fee And A Climate-Impact Fee Advance

Some Reform Bills Are Simply Ignored Until They Die — And They Start Dying Friday

CB: … While certain measures are torpedoed with intention, others never even get a public hearing. …

Some proposed bills will die quiet deaths in the Hawaii Legislature on Friday, most of them without receiving a single committee hearing.

It’s called “First Lateral” and it’s the deadline for bills with multiple referrals to reach their final committee….

Two key campaign spending bills that are on their death beds in the House this week have companion measures in the Senate. So far the Senate bills don’t have hearings scheduled either, but since they were referred to a single committee they’re still alive….

read … Some Reform Bills Are Simply Ignored Until They Die — And They Start Dying Friday

65 Shell Bills on the Move

CB: … dozens of short-form bills are introduced every session before the introduction deadline, including 36 in the House and 29 in the Senate this year. The bills themselves are almost completely blank (see example at top right), and the only clue as to what they might be used for is in the measure’s title.

The titles are usually just a single word — environment, education, housing — or maybe two words, such as disaster management. The titles are so vague that a lawmaker could drive a Toyota Tacoma through it, transforming it into just about anything….

read … Chad Blair: You’ve Heard Of Gut And Replace At The Legislature. But What About 'Copy And Paste' Bills?

Pension Scam behind Star-Advertiser bankruptcy?

ILind: …Tyler Olsen, publisher of the Fraser Valley Current in British Columbia, has again provided an update on the bankruptcy court proceedings of Black Press, owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and more than 100 other newspapers in Western Canada, and Washington. (“Why the US government may block sale of BC newspaper chain / US feds want to stop BC-based Black press from walking away from US pension debts”).

The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a federal agency that steps in to protect pensions when employers go belly up, has filed a motion signalling that it may intervene to block any offer presented in a Canadian court that doesn’t include at least some portion of the $45 in pension benefits it took over when Black Press sold the Akron Beacon-Journal at a huge loss but retained the pension obligations.

According to the filing, Black Press was in negotiations with the PBGC for nearly two years without reaching agreement. During that time, Black Press failed to notify the agency that it was seeking buyers for its properties, and considering seeking protection from creditors….

read … Auction of the Star-Advertiser and other Black Press papers could face legal challenge

Lahaina Fire News:

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