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May 26, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:01 PM :: 2500 Views

‘Deadly Cocktail’: Hawaii Still Reeling From Job Losses Four Years After The Pandemic

Targeting scapegoats affects us all

SB2475 on Governor’s Desk: Creates Database of School Child Molesters

Secret Administrative Directives, Part 2

Saiki: Broken Trust is Still the Model for business and politics in Hawaii

Borreca: …Saiki traces public suspicion back to the decades old scandals around Bishop Estate. It has often been that legislators could dream about political success not in bills passed and public protection increased, but in terms of money collected. A vow of poverty need not accompany a campaign kick-off, but as Saiki noted, “Democrats in the Legislature did not step in to clean up the Bishop Estate problem and prevent it from recurring.”…

The obvious example is because of the arrest and jailing of former state Sen. Kalani English and state Rep. Ty Cullen after their conviction for accepting money and favors in exchange for legislative action. It made voters suspicious of everyone holding office in the Legislature….

Former state House Republican leader Cynthia Thielen is one of the members of the state ethics commission and she sees the need for change in the state Legislature.

“The Legislature needs to pass the bill to prohibit campaign contributions from owners and officers of companies doing business with the state. If they are serious about reform, this will be at the top of their list,” Thielen said in an interview.

Thielen had 30 years experience in the Legislature so, although she was a Republican in a lopsided Democratic state, she knows what needs to change. Simply put, it is the money in politics.

“Stop the donations; stop the participation and thus stop the pay to play,” Thielen said….

REALITY: Broken Trust Book

read … On Politics: Talk is cheap. State Legislature must follow through on comprehensive government reform

How much of your paycheck goes to your mortgage in Honolulu? A lot.

HNN: … Home ownership is a dream for many people. But experts and the federal government say you shouldn’t be spending more than 30% or your income to buy a home.

In urban Honolulu, it costs way more than that, according to the Cost of Housing Index from the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo.

Based on Honolulu’s median home price of $1,085,800 and median family income of $120,100, the index said a mortgage requires 73% of the median paycheck.

The same home would cost 147% of a low-income paycheck, based on half the median income…. 

KHON: Report: Honolulu mortgages take up 73% of monthly income

read … How much of your paycheck goes to your mortgage in Honolulu? A lot.

Senate Bill 1035: A win for access to health care

WHT: … The passage of Senate Bill 1035 is a vital step forward in fostering a sustainable economic environment for Hawaii’s private practice doctors and dentists, and while this achievement has garnered widespread support across the state, it was the advocacy and leadership from Hawaii Island that were crucial to its success….

read … Senate Bill 1035: A win for access to health care

SB1170: Black Sand, Kobayashi scoop up more ‘affordable’ housing credits

SA: … Under SB 1170, 201H projects that receive federal or state tax credits that require units be reserved for households with low incomes would not be eligible for affordable housing credits.

Another limitation under the bill is that credits will only be available through July 1, 2031.

HHFDC said in its statement that enacting SB 1170 may result in more 201H project applications, but that it is difficult to forecast how many more.

Enacting the bill also could benefit 201H projects already planned, including Kuilei Place and Pahoa Ridge.

Kuilei Place is a planned 43-story tower complex in Moiliili with 1,005 condominiums being developed by Kobayashi Group and BlackSand Capital.


In return for making 603 Kuilei Place units, 60% of the total, affordable to households with moderate and high-moderate incomes, the developer received benefits that included about $12 million in city fee exemptions plus building height and density beyond what zoning permits in the area.

Kobayashi Group testified in favor of SB 1170.

Pahoa Ridge is a 211-unit tower planned near Old Waialae Road. Benefits approved under 201H for Pahoa Ridge in January include density, height and lot coverage bonuses. The tower is to be about five times more dense, can exceed the area’s 150-foot height limit by rising 210 feet and can cover 85% of the lot instead of a maximum 40% under zoning.

One of the developers of Pahoa Ridge, Form Partners, testified in favor of SB 1170, saying that the cost to produce affordable homes is well above what they can be sold for.…

SA Editorial: SB1170 erodes county efforts, needs veto

RELATED: Black Sand, Kobayashi First to benefit from DEP 'Affordable Housing' Scheme

RELATED: Sweet Deal for Maui Developer--DHHL Affordable Housing Credits

read … Hawaii legislature aims to alter affordable-housing program, possibly at expense of counties

HECO Lines Will be De-energized during Red Flag Warnings

HNN: … intentional power outages are now part of the plan to prevent wildfires in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Electric and Honolulu first responders met Friday to discuss implementation of a plan to de-energize lines when threatening conditions exist.

Oahu’s west side and multiple other areas are particularly prone to drought conditions.

During red flag warnings, the power would be cut….

KHON: Hawaii Kai outage: Lawmakers ask HECO for 'better job'

read … First responders, HECO outline plan to de-energize power lines to prevent wildfires

Wahiawa Hospital Reopens with New Name

HNN: … A blessing was held Friday for the Emergency Department, which will reopen next week at the newly named Queen’s Medical Center—Wahiawa.

Hawaii’s largest hospital group bought the facility last month and closed the E.R. for ventilation and A.C. repairs and to sync the computer system with the Queen’s network.

“We moved the emergency room to an enhanced upgraded electronic medical record that will provide great continuity of care,” Regf. V.P. for Operations, Central & West Oahu Associate Chief Nursing Officer Robin Kalohelani said.

“So, because this is a stand-alone emergency room, if patients need to be admitted, you will have seamless coordination via the electronic medical record.”

The facility will still do lab and imaging work but no longer offers inpatient services, so E.R. patients who need more care will be sent to Queen’s other hospitals….

read … Blessing held for Wahiawa General as it’s set to reopen with new name (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Hawaii DoH  Spreads Surfrider’s Fake Bacteria Counts to Oahu Beaches

CB: … Advocates have been pushing the state for years to increase how often it tests popular swimming and surfing beaches for harmful bacteria….

REALITY: Feds Debunk Surfrider's Fake Bacteria Counts – “study was funded by the Hawaii DOH.”

read … Hawaii Moves To Improve Water Testing At Popular Beaches

BOE updates policy on press freedom for student journalists

SA: … The BOE in January drafted its updated school-­sponsored media policy that includes five circumstances for which censorship would be allowed — including when content is libelous, constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy, is obscene, violates federal or state law, or incites a clear and present danger of unlawful acts or substantial disruption of school operations. An appeals process was also drafted for student journalists in the event of censorship.

On Thursday, the BOE formally adopted the policy.

The policy was created in 1995 and last amended in 2016, and the local student journalism community was concerned it hadn’t been updated prior to Thursday’s BOE decision….

read … BOE policy aligns with press freedoms for student journalists

Lahaina Fire News:

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