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Informing Hawaii's voters

The Hard Truth about Owning a Condo in Hawaii

Honolulu Civil Beat

They’re often the only homes people can afford, but maintenance fees can suddenly explode. Should the state do more for owners?

by Anita Hofschneider

May 16, 2016

When Melinda Salcedo bought her two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo unit at Pearl Ridge Gardens and Tower near Pearl Harbor on the south shore of Oahu a year and a half ago, it was a dream come true.

Finding a place to purchase hadn’t been easy. The cheapest houses for sale cost half a million dollars, far beyond her budget as a single mom and nursing assistant at Queens Hospital.

Even when she found an affordable condo, she had to use some of her retirement savings to cover the $24,000 down payment. But it was worth it. With a monthly mortgage of about $1,250 and maintenance fees set at $539 per month, she could finally raise her two kids in a place of her own.

Read more . . .

Waikiki: Man Punches Woman in Head, Takes Her Phone

KHON2

June 8, 2016

On Saturday, May 28, 2016, at approximately 5:19 p.m., a 55-year-old female victim was talking on her phone in the parking structure of 2215 Aloha Drive when she was approached by an unknown male. The male struck the victim, knocking her to [the] ground. He returned to a waiting vehicle, then approached the victim again. He grabbed her phone from her hand, dragging her approximately 10 feet. He fled in a 2004 Honda Accord bearing Hawaii State license plates SSZ 680.


Read more . . .

Hoping to Squelch the Voices of the Neighborhoods

Honolulu Civil Beat

by Ian Lind

A Honolulu Charter Commission subcommittee met behind closed doors, then emerged with proposals to limit or abolish boards and commissions.

The Honolulu Charter Commission commission [sic] is poised to vote on two proposed amendments to the city charter described as enhancing public participation.

But that bit of political doublespeak conceals the reality that the proposals would dismantle important structures providing opportunities for active participation in city government.

After turning down several proposals for strengthening access to public records (concluding there’s no need to “facilitate greater access to public records”) and others calling for improving Honolulu’s system of neighborhood boards, a commission subcommittee made just two recommendations, which are both scheduled to be decided by the commission at its meeting Thursday.

Read more . . .

Hawaii Political Info note: The permitted interaction group members, not named in Lind's article, are Honolulu Charter Commission members Pamela Witty-Oakland, Chair; Judge Michael F. Broderick (Ret.); Reginald V. Castanares, Jr.; and Nathan T. Okubo. Witty-Oakland was appointed to her position on the Honolulu Charter Commission by Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Snowden: U.S. Government Carrying Out Mass Surveillance in Japan

The Japan Times

by Shusuke Murai

June 4, 2016

Edward Snowden, a fugitive and former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who leaked information from the agency in 2013, warned Saturday that all people in Japan are subjected to mass surveillance initiated by the U.S. government.

Snowden lived in Japan from 2009 to 2011. At the time, he was an employee with computer giant Dell Inc. contracted out to the NSA, where he worked on a surveillance program at the U.S.’s Yokota airbase in Fussa, Tokyo.

“They know your … religious faith. They know whom you love. They know whom you care about … This was our job to establish the pattern of life of any individuals,” he said.

Read more . . .

Glenn Greenwald: Edward Snowden and Silicon Valley's Conscience

CNET

June 3, 2016

Laura Hautala interviews Glenn Greenwald on the impact Edward Snowden and his revelations have had on the public's privacy. Have companies and governments developed a conscience because of their public exposure or is something else at play here?


Transcript

Report from Holland on African Migrant Invasion

Published on YouTube Jun 5, 2016

YouTube introduction: This is an excerpt from the first episode of “Weekend Warrior,” a live show exclusively for Red Ice members. Geertje from Holland gives a brief update on the ongoing “migrant” invasion of Holland.

Turning Money into Mandates

Churches have been under the thumb of the federal government for decades

By Chuck Baldwin

“Turn[ing] money into mandates” seems to be the crux of the issue [of federal control]. In the same way that the federal government threatens to withhold funding from schools that refuse to implement this act of corrupting the morals of our nation's schoolchildren, it threatens (through the IRS-created 501c3 tax-exempt status for churches) to withhold tax exemption from churches that dare to speak out on this or any other “political” issue.

Truly, for the sake of waking our pastors and churches out of their coma and getting them involved again in the fight to preserve the liberties and way of life of our nation, it would be better if churches were NOT tax-exempt at all. Let them start paying taxes and see how quickly and aggressively they would again engage the salient issues of our day. Again, in the same way that the federal government threatens to withhold funding for schools that will not comply, it threatens to withhold tax exemption from churches that speak out against compliance. Which is worse? School leaders and church leaders alike are groveling before the federal government for the scraps from the king’s table.

Our country is going down the drain and our churches are leading the way. I dare say that true, honest-to-God preaching and teaching is taking place in about 5% of our so-called "evangelical" churches today.

If pastors and churches are not resisting the avant-garde political and societal corruption taking place before our very eyes, they are NOT preaching and teaching TRUTH.

And if they are unwilling to NOT pander to their own congregations and donors (and denominational hierarchy), they are NOT preaching and teaching TRUTH.

For the most part, our churches today are glorified social clubs. People attend for the sake of "friends" or for the music and light show or for the children's programs...anything and everything except the bold proclamation of TRUTH from the pulpit.

And as long as churches hide under the 501c3 tax exemption, NOTHING is going to change. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Take away their tax exemption and let them come down from their government-sponsored ivory towers and get in the fight with the rest of us.

On the whole, I am disgusted with the lot of them.

Christian Faith at Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College, in Hillsdale, Michigan, is widely known for its free Internet classes on America's foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. What is not as widely known is the college's commitment to the Christian faith, beginning with its inception in 1844.

How Medicare Pays Doctors to Keep You Sick

Ty Bollinger with The Truth about Cancer interviews Dr. Irvin Sahni.


Transcript

Meeting to Eliminate Neighborhood Boards Reset for Thursday

On May 16, 2016 a Permitted Interaction Group (consisting of Hawaii Charter Commission members Pamela Witty-Oakland, Chair; Judge Michael F. Broderick (Ret.); Reginald V. Castanares, Jr.; and Nathan T. Okubo) of the Honolulu Charter Commission recommended that the Charter Commission place on the general election ballot the following question: “Should the City increase citizen participation in the decision of government though the use of electronic communication, such as television, Internet, and email, and eliminate the Neighborhood Board System?’

The Charter Commission will be considering this recommendation at their meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in the Committee Meeting Room at Honolulu Hale (aka Honolulu City Hall), 530 S. King St., Honolulu 96813. View the agenda here: AGENDA

If you had previously submitted testimony ahead of the May 26 Charter Commission meeting that was cancelled, your testimony was kept and will be provided to the Charter Commissioners for their consideration. You do not need to resubmit it.

If you have not submitted any testimony, I ask you consider doing so at this time. Please be sure to indicate you are testifying on agenda item four (IV).

Testimony may be submitted online here: Submit testimony

Testimony may also be emailed.

Sources: Email from Shawn Hamamoto, Executive Secretary, Neighborhood Board System & Report of the Permitted Interaction Group On Proposals Relating to Open Government, May 16, 2016.

Links:

Shawn Hamamoto Explains Oahu's Neighborhood Boards [Hawaii Political Info] May 31, 2016

Neighborhood Boards Are Real Democracy [Hawaii Political Info] Jun 2, 2016

City & County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office

Neighborhood Board Meeting Schedule

Find your neighborhood board

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