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Saturday, February 11, 2012
February 11, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:09 PM :: 19270 Views

HB2788 Waikiki Casino to be Heard Monday

Hirono Attacks the US Chamber of Commerce

Guam should join Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico for Jones Act reform

Thielen, Rivere: The Real Green Legislators

Rep Marumoto's ATV Safety Proposals to be Heard Monday

Diabetes Bill Moves Forward Through Health Committee

‘Unrepentant Liberal’ Abercrombie Promises to Raise Taxes, Give Money to other Liberals

MN: The governor spoke at three intimate meetings in about as many hours across Wailuku and Kahului. He met with the Maui Non-Profit Directors Association, reWailuku organizers and Maui Women in Energy Renewal.

Abercrombie told Maui's nonprofit directors at MEO offices that "I'm always trying to increase their funds," but that would best be accomplished by "increasing paychecks and job creation" - and replenishing tax revenue.

"He obviously was there to generate support for the initiatives he believes are important while in office," said Rhiannon Chandler, Maui Non-Profit Directors vice president, who added there's nothing wrong with that….

Abercrombie said he will form a task force to study obesity and will consider a tax on sugary drinks, since they're linked to medical problems and health care cost hikes.

Maui AIDS Foundation Executive Director Keith Wolter said that Abercrombie "is a feisty and unrepentant liberal."

The governor said he wants to form working groups on the Neighbor Islands. A now-defunct but similar idea was instituted by his predecessor, Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. But Abercrombie said he wants these "talk story" sessions to help form next year's budget. (Liberals getting together dreaming up ways to take your money and spend it.)

read … Hold on to your wallet!

Key Abercrombie Insider Behind Effort to Legalize Bribery

ILind: HB2457 is on the committee’s 2 p.m. agenda for decision making.

The bill would would open the door to legal bribery by allowing gifts of unlimited value to be solicited or accepted by state employees and elected officials even if it is obvious “the gift is intended to influence the legislator or employee in the performance of the legislator’s or employee’s official duties or is intended as a reward for any official action on the legislator’s or employee’s part.”

It’s important to keep in mind that the freebies aren’t limited to legislators or to elected officials. All employees would get to vie for those rewards for official action they take. Trying to block an investigation of your business? Give the department head a couple of tickets to a benefit concert, and throw in a couple more for friends. Simple.

That, to put it bluntly, is an effective repeal of this important part of government ethics.

The issue was first raised by attorney-lobbyist Bill Kaneko last year after lawmakers were advised not to accept tickets to a fundraiser sponsored by the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs. Kaneko is the CEO of the group, chair of Governor Abercrombie’s campaign committee, and a key insider in the administration.

This year, Kaneko’s interest put the matter on Governor Abercrombie’s agenda, with the result that HB2457, and a Senate companion bill (SB2719) are part of the governor’s legislative package.

Both bills have single referrals, meaning that there are fewer points where public input can effectively block their passage.

Who is Kaneko: Gaming Industry Lobbyist, Progressive activist screen Abercrombie cabinet picks

ILind: House JUD rejects lifting gift restrictions, commission flags other ethics bills

read … Don’t gut ethics law under the guise of charity

UH economists paint bleak picture of Hawaii’s recovery

PBN: Hawaii’s inconsistent economic recovery in 2011 has tempered optimism for 2012, particularly after the pullback in overall job growth, minimal construction, and dips and then a late-year surge in the visitor industry, according to the latest report from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

In their latest update to their state economic forecast released today, UHERO economists Carl Bonham and Byron Gangnes painted a relatively solemn portrait of the pace of Hawaii’s economic recovery last year, which they described as all-out disappointing. But there are some positive gains, albeit modest, expected on the visitor and jobs front in 2012 and 2013.

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii are expected to increase by 4.1 percent in 2012, then slow to 2.4 percent growth in 2013, the report said. Hawaii ended 2011 with a total of 7.3 million visitors spending a collective $12.58 billion.

Visitor arrivals from the U.S. Mainland — Hawaii’s largest source of tourists — will climb a modest 1.1 percent this year with previously announced cancellation of nonstop flights to Oahu from Chicago and Minneapolis expected to drag down domestic arrivals.

MN: Economists: Construction employment on isle weak

read … Abercrombie Malaise

Saint Francis Healthcare System asking lawmakers for $80 million in special purpose revenue bonds

KHON: All that the Sisters of Saint Francis know right now, is that they won't leave the two hospitals empty. So they're asking lawmakers for $80,000,000 in special purpose revenue bonds to help get the facilities re-opened as soon as possible.

"It's not that we're asking money from the legislature, it's so that we can borrow using the state's credit rating," says Yadao.

Several house lawmakers have backed a bill to give the sisters the special bonds they need, saying the closure of HMC East and West has had a statewide impact.

"This is not unusual, we've done this for schools, we've done it for other state health projects and a number of projects asking for special purpose revenue bonds," says Rep. Ryan Yamane, (D) Health Committee Chair.

The Sisters of Saint Francis say the $80-million in special bonds will help them borrow the funds they need to renovate the two campuses.

"For things like roofing, air conditioning, we need to resurface the whole property, the parking garage needs to be re-surfaced and repaired, and all kids of things like that." says Yadao. "Until we can actually see the inside of the campuses we don't know what kind of equipment and other types of repairs that need to be done."

House lawmakers have also pushed through a bill to turn the HMC East location into a long term care facility.

KITV: Lawmakers Advance $80M Bond Bill For St. Francis

SA: St. Francis seeks $80M to reopen HMCs

read … $60M less that Dante Carpenter Got

State to Take Over HMC East?

KITV: The state is also in negotiations right now to possibly take over Hawaii Medical Center East.

The state is losing about 145 million dollars a year on long-term care.

Representative Pine says taking over that facility for that purpose would be a big help.

SA: Two Hospitals Close, but Star-Adv columnist wants to blame patients for using Emergency room

Read … St Francis

Price Controls Create Shortage of drug Which threatens isle cancer patients

SA: Ben Venue Laboratories was one of the nation's largest suppliers of injectable preservative-free methotrexate, but the company voluntarily suspended operations at its plant in Bedford, Ohio, in November because of "significant manufacturing and quality concerns," the company announced. (In other words, they aren’t getting enough money from Medicare/Medicaid)

Since then, supplies of methotrexate have dwindled to the point where oncologists now say they fear that shortfalls might occur at many hospitals within two weeks. (Thanks to government price controls.)

"This is a crisis that I hope the FDA's hard work can help to avert," said Dr. Michael Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "We have worked very hard to take what was an incurable disease and make it curable for 90 percent of the cases. But if we can't get this drug anymore, that sets us back decades."

There are four other methotrexate manufacturers in the United States, and they are trying to increase production, Jensen said. The FDA is also seeking a foreign supplier to provide emergency imports until the approved domestic suppliers can meet demand, she said.

So far this year, at least 180 drugs that are crucial for treating childhood leukemia, breast and colon cancer, infections and other diseases have been declared in short supply — a record number. Prices for some have risen as much as eightyfold. (On the black markets, thus proving that the supply is available if the Gov’t will get out of the way.) President Barack Obama issued an executive order in October to help ease the problems. (Which obviously hasn’t helped.)

"People are panicking" about the methotrexate shortage, said Erin Fox, manager of the drug information service at the University of Utah. (And this article is doing its level best to make sure patients don’t figure out why they have a problem.)

read … Solution: Pay More

Sovereignty Activists Claim Big Score in $90M Estate Settlement

Last year, before his death, Dorcy adopted Hans M. Kanuha, 42, and in a new will named Kanuha heir to his estate.

"From Hans' standpoint (the settlement) is vindication that he was making sure that his adopted father's wishes were going to take place," Kanuha's lawyer, James Krue­ger, said Friday.

Peterson and representatives of charities and nonprofit groups that were to receive shares of Dorcy's estate in his original will accused Kanuha, owner of a gas station and store in Kula, of duping and manipulating a frail and confused Dorcy into changing his will.

Accused along with Kanuha was Petro Hoy, who last May was indicted by a federal grand jury along with his wife, Lea­trice Lehua Hoy, and three others on fraud and tax-related charges for allegedly selling fake Treasury bonds and bogus property titles to Maui homeowners behind on their mortgages.

Trial was scheduled for March 12 on Maui.

Krueger said the two sides reached a settlement Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day Maui's Chief State Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto made a finding "that the elements of undue influence have been established and therefore, the burden has shifted to prove there was no undue influence."

…Krueger said Kanuha does not need to have the details made public to regain his reputation, which had been tarnished by rumors and accusations circulated in the community (this story coming out)….

Rudy said Dorcy controlled a charitable trust established by his great-grandfather, railroad baron James Jerome Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railway, worth an estimated $70 million to $80 million.

Maui News: Parties in multimillion-dollar Dorcy case reach agreement

read … So when are they going to be criminally charged?

Backpedaling! Hawaiian Electric says no rate increase for solar lost revenue

PBN: Hawaiian Electric Co. said Friday that it won’t seek a rate increase to make up for lost revenue from homeowners or businesses who have installed solar power systems in what it calls a “lost contribution to fixed costs.”

“It is true that there is currently a small cost to all electric customers to cover the fixed costs of generation, transmission and distribution facilities that must still be available to serve those who have solar photovoltaics when their systems are not generating energy,” HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg told PBN in an email. “Currently, the value of adding more customer-sited renewable energy and using less oil is considered to outweigh this lost contribution to fixed cost.”

According to HECO media reports earlier this week, a rate increase would raise monthly bills, for a typical customer using 600 kilowatt-hours a month, on Oahu by 30 cents a month, $1.02 per month on the Big Island and 96 cents a month on Maui County.

(They decided that it was more important to avoid creating a reason for opposition to HEI’s favorite green energy scammers, so they are eating the additional costs.)

read … Solar Rate Hike

Abercrombie pushes for bill establishing undersea cable framework

SA: Hermina Morita, chairwoman of the PUC, told lawmakers that the commission wants to "encourage the use of renewable energy with no preconceived notions. All potential renewable sources should be considered on the neighbor islands and Oahu."

Voting against the bill were state Reps. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe) and Gil Riviere (R, Schofield-Kahuku).

Thielen said if a cable were to eventually be built, it would drive already-high electrical rates even higher. She questioned the testimony in support of the bill by state Consumer Advocate Jeffrey Ono.

"Aren't you the consumer advocate? Aren't you trying to keep utility rates down?" Thielen asked.

Related: Thielen, Rivere: The Real Green Legislators

read … Big Cost for Big Cable

Hoku loses $10.6 million as it seeks more loans for plant

SA: Hoku Corp.'s loss more than tripled in its fiscal third quarter as it continued to push ahead with construction of its long-delayed polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho.

The Honolulu-based alternative energy company said Thursday it anticipates beginning production at the plant this summer.

Hoku had a loss of $10.6 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a loss of $3 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue, derived primarily from its photovoltaic system installation business in Hawaii, rose more than fivefold to $7.1 million from $1.2 million.

Hoku's solar installation business continues to make strides after coming off its best revenue quarter ever. In December it installed a 1.18-megawatt solar energy facility for the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park that was the largest utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) facility on Oahu. The facility was developed by Forest City Sustainable Resources.

"Hoku Solar has invested heavily in our utility-scale PV capabilities over the last several years, and we are expanding our efforts to engineer and construct multimegawatt PV generating facilities in Hawaii and elsewhere," Paul said.

He said related projects include the planned construction this year of a second 1.2-megawatt solar facility on Oahu for project developer Forest City. Final engineering is in progress for this facility, which will be on former industrial land adjacent to the Pearl City Peninsula military housing community.

Related: Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

read … Tax Credits and still going BK

Problems cast shadows of doubt on solar project

LA Times: The $1-billion Genesis Solar Energy Project has been expedited by state and federal regulatory agencies that are eager to demonstrate that the nation can build solar plants quickly to ease dependence on fossil fuels and curb global warming.

Instead, the project is providing a cautionary example of how the rush to harness solar power in the desert can go wrong — possibly costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and dealing an embarrassing blow to the Obama administration's solar initiative.

Genesis had hoped to be among the first of 12 approved solar farms to start operating in Southern California deserts. To do so, it had to meet certain deadlines to receive federal assistance. The 250-megwatt plant, being built on federal Bureau of Land Management land 25 miles west of Blythe, is backed by an $825-million Department of Energy loan guarantee.

read … Hawaii’s Future

Isle child abuse report rate twice statewide rate

WHT: Hawaii County adults are twice as likely to report having been abused as children than adults statewide.

That's according to a recent survey, released this week by the Joyful Heart Foundation. The foundation surveyed 702 residents in all four counties.

Statewide, 9 percent of respondents said they had been abused as children. In Hawaii County, 20 percent of adults reported being abused.

The Joyful Heart Foundation is partnered with the Hawaii Children's Trust Fund. Together, the organizations have put together the One Strong Ohana campaign to educate people about child abuse prevention. Their report focused upon reasons state residents hesitate to report a potential abusive situation. Big Island residents were about as likely to have misperceptions about what would happen if they reported abuse as all state residents, the report said.

read … Isle child abuse report rate twice statewide rate

DoE Did Not Report Statutory Rape to Police, Keeps the Accused Supervising Alleged Victim

SA: Parents put huge trust in public school systems, not only to provide adequate education to their children but also to protect them from abuse. The handling of allegations at Waipahu High School raises questions about whether that role has been honored. A thorough investigation from within is warranted.

The father of a Waipahu senior says his 17-year-old daughter told him she had been subjected to repeated sexual assaults since 2010 by Erik Y. Tamura, 37, a teacher and track and field coach at the school, who denies the allegations. The father said his daughter, a runner on the Marauders' track and field team, told him in October about the alleged recent and past incidents, and he asked Corinne Fujieda, Waipahu High's vice principal, for a "full investigation."

Hawaii law requires that a school official "shall immediately report the known or suspected child abuse or neglect directly to the (state) department (of Human Services) or to the police department." The initial oral report is to be followed by a written report, according to the law.

In December, the father said, a police officer at HPD's Kapolei substation agreed to search the police database and told him she could find no record of a sexual abuse complaint against Tamura. Since then, Tamura has been charged with three counts of sexually assaulting the daughter; he turned himselfin at the main police station on Feb. 3 and was released on bail the next day. He appeared in District Court Wednesday, and was put on paid leave from the school on Thursday.

The criminal court process should provide some indication of whether the Department of Education fulfilled its obligation in handling the accusation that had been passed on from student to father to Fujieda.

read … Schools must protect students with vigilance

Former Private School Principal Increases Charter School Performance, then Suddenly Vanishes Without Explanation

SA: Teachers, staff and parents of students at a Hawaii island charter school are trying to get its principal reinstated after its Hono­lulu-based school board announced he would be leaving his job without explaining why. (And the Star-Adv doesn’t help find an explanation.)

The school board, Ho‘o­ka­ko‘o Corp., rated Wai­mea Middle Public Conversion Charter School principal John Colson 4.8 out of 5 at his annual evaluation, a group of school faculty, staff and friends said in a written plea Wednesday to urge his reinstatement.

"Seems like an ‘A' to us, i.e., his performance was more than satisfactory — now this?'" the plea read.

Colson, principal at Wai­mea Middle for nearly four years and Hawaii Preparatory Academy headmaster for nearly 25 years, is a "highly respected educator who is totally committed to what's best for children," "a dedicated father and husband — a man of the highest integrity," the group's statement said….

Spencer said her granddaughter, a sixth-grader, struggled in school before Colson's arrival. "The way he runs the school has really impacted the children because she has become an A student. I don't know what he does, but he really gets them motivated to study and work towards perfection in school.

"He brought the standards of the school up a lot, and I don't know why they just pulled the rug out from under him," she said.

read … Disappeared?

UH Can’t Stand Competition from Porn Site

Shapiro: As the University of Hawaii demanded the shutdown of a pornographic website operating as universityofhawaii.xxx, its student newspaper Ka Leo published an explicitly illustrated Valentine's guide to sexual positions. It makes you wonder whether the threats against the .xxx site are about preserving decency or eliminating competition.

read … Competition

Council Chair Floats Plastic Bag Ban for Honolulu

CB: Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin has, as promised, introduced a bill that would have Honolulu join the three neighbor islands in banning plastic checkout bags. (Does this include the little baggies used to package cocaine? Just asking….)

Bill 10, introduced Thursday, would prohibit Oahu businesses from providing “nonbiodegradable plastic bags” to their customers at the point of sale. Businesses can instead provide compostable, reusable or recyclable bags.

Violators would be subject to fines of $100 to $1,000 per day….

Does this bill have a “reasonable chance”? It’s up for first reading next week in Kapolei. We’ll start to find out then.

read … A Bonus to Manufacturers of Biodegradable Bags

Lack of Riots Means City, state came in under budget on APEC spending

SA: Hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in November cost the city and state less than half of what was budgeted for the high-profile international event; but both governments still are waiting on approval of millions of dollars in federal reimbursements.

The city spent roughly $21 million of the $43 million that it had set aside to pay for APEC….

Likewise, the state only spent about $2.7 million of a projected $7.5 million, said state Adjutant General Darryll Wong.

"We were prepared to spend more to protect people and property during APEC but were able to avoid doing that because we had few problems," Wong said.

read … APEC

Hawaii's Pro and Anti Legalized Gambling Forces Step Up Lobbying Efforts

HR: John Radcliffe, lobbyist for a Detroit casino group, said a casino would create 10,000 jobs and bring $100 million into the economy….

HB 2788, set to be heard on Monday at 9 a.m. in Room 312, will likely pass the House Tourism Committee, because House Tourism Chair Tom Brower favors the concept. But the bill needs enough momentum to gain the support of the majority of 76 lawmakers and key committee heads – and all this in an election year.

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Coalition Against Legalized Gambling recruited John W. Kindt, PhD, Professor of Business and Legal Policy in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Illinois, to travel to Hawaii this week to tell a different side of the story.

Kindt met with lawmakers and business groups this week emphasizing the danger of legalizing any form of gambling. He said if Hawaii lets in one casino or any kind of gambling, other casinos will follow.

The most formidable type of gambling is through slot machines, Kindt said. They don’t create jobs, he maintains, because they are electronic. Each machine takes in about $300,000 a year out of the economy, and away from small businesses such as restaurants, shops and activities. If there are 1,000 slot machines in Hawaii, that is about $300 million a year that goes to mainland gaming organizations and not kept here in the Hawaii economy, Kindt said.

read … Gambling

Lawmakers to probe salary overpayments revealed by Hawaii News Now

HNN: The State Senate will convene special hearings next month to look into millions of dollars of salary overpayments to state employees that were revealed in a Hawaii News Now investigation.

On Monday, Hawaii News Now reported that state records show taxpayers have overpaid hundreds of workers by more than $2 million and hundreds of thousands of dollars more in salary overpayments have been written off as not collectable in recent years.

Many people who continue to work for the state owe the taxpayers thousands of dollars but haven't paid it back, according to state documents. The problem has persisted for so long that other people have retired from the state and even died while still owing state taxpayers money from the overpayments.

The State Senate has appointed a special committee on accountability to conduct hearings that will be chaired by State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim.

read … Lawmakers to probe salary overpayments revealed by Hawaii News Now

Alexander hired at IHS

HNN: Connie Mitchell, Executive Director for IHS, commented "We're very excited to have Marc on board with us in this new role. He brings a wealth of knowledge about the non-profit sector and will be a real asset to IHS."

Marc Alexander will serve as the lead of the development team at IHS, and will work to strengthen existing ties and form new ones with corporations, public and private entities, and individuals to support IHS' in its efforts to end homelessness in Hawaii.

"IHS is a top-notch agency who follows best practices in helping both the homeless and those who are at-risk," said Alexander.

SA: IHS hires former state homeless coordinator Alexander

read … Alexander

Development around rail stations gets stuck in park

PBN: “Of course the big challenge is the project is in a very fragile situation,” Ware said. “There are concerns.”

read … Development around rail stations gets stuck in park

Jerry Chang Pushes to Weaken Hurricane Shelter

SA: The plans for the gym would enable it to sustain winds up to 115 miles per hour, which would allow it to be an emergency shelter but not a hurricane shelter.

However, Hawaii County has not issued a building permit because of a new regulation that calls for the structure to sustain 155 mile per hour winds.

According to Hilo Rep. Jerry Chang, state Civil Defense supports the current plans for the gymnasium, which is intended for school and public use.

read … Hurricane Force

Larry Mehau Associate Draws Council District then Announces Campaign

WHT: Dru Mamo Kanuha announced Thursday he will run for the newly created County Council District 7, representing downtown Kailua Village and the Kona area from roughly Kainaliu north to Kona's Old Airport. The seat for the district formerly known as South Kona is wide open, as redrawing the map has moved incumbent Councilwoman Brenda Ford to an expanded Ka'u/South Kona District 6.

Kanuha told West Hawaii Today that he sees nothing wrong with running for the district he helped create. He said he hadn't planned on running for County Council while he was on the commission, but his experience meeting with the public and hearing from the communities excited him about the council.

"It sparked an interest," Kanuha said. "There's a whole new council coming up on this island and it's exciting to be part of it."

Another member of the Redistricting Commission, District 1 Commissioner (and Larry Mehau associate) Valerie Poindexter, last week pulled nomination papers for the Hamakua District she helped draw. Like Kanuha, Poindexter doesn't see any conflict in running.

Members of the county Redistricting Commission are not barred from running for election in the district they just created. Commissioners on the state Reapportionment Commission, which draws maps for the state Legislature and Congress, are not allowed to run for election to those seats for four years.

But Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, who is term-limited, thinks there's at least a perception of a conflict of interest when redistricting commissioners run for the seats they create. He said he's proposing a charter amendment to make commissioners sit out two years before running for County Council. The bill will likely be heard next month, he said.

Poindexter helped organize this event: Big Island Rancher Larry Mehau Hosts Community Rally for Sen. Akaka

read … More then Perception

4,700 Marines to Guam confirmed

MV: DELEGATE Madeleine Z. Bordallo yesterday met with Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel regarding recent discussions between the Obama administration and the government of Japan on the Marine Corps realignment in the Asia-Pacific region.

This after the Department of State issued a formal statement on the renegotiations with the Japanese government concerning the Department of Defense’s force posture and the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and other installations in the region.

During the meeting, Work confirmed 4,700 Marines will be relocated to Guam. But Bordallo said the exact force laydown and mixture of those forces have yet to be formalized.

read … 4,700 Marines to Guam confirmed

Maui Marine ‘happy to be home’

MN: Marine Lance Cpl. Garrett Kekoa Dow was patrolling a village in Afghanistan with other Marines and Afghan police when enemy forces opened fire on the group several weeks ago.

"I got hit," said Dow, who is an infantryman and dog handler.

The next thing Dow knew was that his explosives-sniffing dog, Gauge, was on him, licking his wound. Dow was taken into a helicopter to get treatment. Dow was the only Marine to get hurt, but he said Afghan police also were injured.

read … Marine ‘happy to be home’

 

Hawaii Has Lowest Home Ownership Rate in Nation

 

KGI: A comprehensive statewide housing study presented to Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday reveals burdensome real estate market for island residents, with a third of them at risk of becoming homeless.

“Hawai‘i — and Kaua‘i — has one of the highest-priced housing markets in the United States,” said James Dannemiller, executive vice-president of SMS Research and Marketing Services, which created the report.

SMS recently released the Hawai‘i Housing Planning Study 2011, the fifth such all-encompassing housing study the company has prepared since 1992.

Dannemiller said several factors contribute to Hawai‘i’s high real estate prices. The state has the second or third highest construction costs in the nation, the land is expensive and the average wages and household incomes are high.

Also, despite Hawai‘i having the most regulated housing market in the nation, there are many market advantages here, and the state spends more than anyplace else in the country telling people about those advantages.

The cumulative result: Hawai‘i has the lowest ownership rate in the country, one of the highest crowding rates nationwide and the fourth highest homeless rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

LINK: 2011 Hawaii Housing Planning Study (see specific reports under Resources and Links)

PBN: Who will buy all the new homes on Oahu?

read … Hawai‘i real estate prices a burden

DHHL to develop Mauna Kea

HTH: The plan calls for between 100 and 200 homesteads located on the Hamakua side of Saddle Road, just makai of the intersection with Mauna Kea Access Road. Access will be over gravel or cinder roads, according to the final EA.

"The bulk of the homestead opportunities are anticipated to be phased in once the land has been restored to productive use," the document adds.

"In addition, a commercial area is included in the Legacy Program that will serve the homesteaders in the vicinity, as well as travelers coming through this area."

Revenue-generating activities will include campgrounds, eco-tourism endeavors, and up to 20 cabins and other redevelopment of the former Humuula Sheep Station.

Land on either side of Mauna Kea Access Road and surrounding the old station will be used for a 500-acre commercial development complete with up to a 20-unit lodge, restaurant, visitor center, office space and various stores, according to the final EA….

Eradication efforts will include pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, dogs and cats, according to the final EA.

read … DHHL to develop Mauna Kea

Prisoner Gets Pig to Bite, Scores $25K from State

KITV: A former inmate at the Wahiawa prison is in line to get more than $25 ,000 dollars as part of a tentative settlement. He sued the state after being injured by a feral pig. The Wahiawa Correctional Center sits on 194 acres in central Oahu…

The most recent lawsuit involved an inmate who was in line for lunch and who was injured when a pig went after a sandwich in the inmate’s hand.

Harrington believes the inmate tried to feed the pig, a practice officials have tried to discourage.

Prison officials said prior to that lawsuit, another inmate tried to rescue a pig that was caught in a fence. The inmate sued after he was attacked. Harrington believes in that case the inmate broke his leg.

read … Prison Pigs Payoff

Fate of many tip lawsuits still in limbo

 

PBN: Hotels await a key ruling from Hawaii Supreme Court that will decide if workers have broader legal standing …

read … Fate of many tip lawsuits still in limbo


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