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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Rain or shine?

September 3rd, 2015 · 3 Comments

It started raining in Kahala a little after 7 a.m.

But an hour or so earlier, this was what it looked like from the Waialae Beach Park, a beautiful balance of threat and promise.

Sept 3

→ 3 CommentsTags: Photographs

Hypotheticals and the NextEra deal

September 3rd, 2015 · 5 Comments

Civil Beat’s Nathan Eagle reports today on the variety of questions being posed to NextEra regarding its proposed takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries (“What Would a Nuclear Disaster in Florida Mean for Hawaiian Electric?“).

Several of the questions posed by staff of the Public Utilities Commission question the effects a hypothetical meltdown of a nuclear power plant owned by NextEra could have on the power company in Hawaii.

“Would it hurt the companies’ credit rating? Would it limit their ability to provide financial support for Hawaii’s clean energy transformation? Would NextEra have to take money from Hawaiian Electric’s dividend payments to cover any claims that could result from such a catastrophe?”

That prompted a friend of mine, also a regular reader of this blog, to launch his own questions.

Dear NextEra,

We have some more important questions for you to answer. Very important.

What would you do if mars crashes into Hawaii?

What would you do if the stock market falls? (Heaven forfend.)

What would you do if Hawaii is hit by 10 hurricanes?

What would you do if Hawaii might get hit by 10 mega hurricanes but doesn’t?

What would you do if a Hawaii nonprofit claims armageddon, again? (If you complain enough, someday one of them will come true.)

What would do if rail bankrupts every single person on Oahu?

What would you do if every single bloody person over 60 in Hawaii cries wolf over coffee?

What would you do if

What would you do if

NextEra responds:

You’re getting desperate. Grow up. Is change really that hard for you folks?

→ 5 CommentsTags: Business · Consumer issues · Energy · environment · Politics

Throwback Thursday: Another snapshot from the day of our wedding

September 3rd, 2015 · 2 Comments

From a land far away, and a time long ago.

This snapshot caught my mother and I in the backyard of my sister’s house in Palo Alto, California, back in mid-August of 1969. It was the day Meda and I got married. I have no recollection of whether this was before or after our visit to the municipal court, where Judge Sidney Feinberg did the honors.

If we both look a tad uncomfortable, we likely were.

August 1969

→ 2 CommentsTags: History · Photographs

From a “green flash” to comments on a couple of S-A stories

September 2nd, 2015 · 16 Comments

Kahala, Sept 2015

We learned something this morning. It was very clear, with almost no visible clouds. Seconds before this photo was taken, as the sun just began to clear the edge of Koko Crater, there was a clearly visible sliver of a green flash. For a fraction of a second, it clung to the visual edge of the crater before being overtaken by the emerging sunrise.

So we can see the green flash at dawn from Kahala Beach, even though the sun isn’t rising out of the ocean. It’s different from the situation in Kaaawa, where the flash came as the sun rose over the ocean.

A small thing, but it did provide us a moment of excitement.

And then a media comment. Here’s a story headline from the Star-Advertiser that got caught up in my “bad headline” filter.

The article describes a proposal by U.S. Rep. Mark Takai’s to utilize unspent federal highway funds to rebuilt Farrington and Kamehameha highways in Pearl City after construction of the city’s rail project is completed in the area.

It just struck me that the headline’s attribution of the idea to a “politician” was unnecessarily disrespectful to Takai, who represents Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

Romeo

Yes, Takai is an elected official and, by definition, a politician. But he’s not any run of the mill politician. He’s our area’s elected representative in Congress.

Why not a headline that refers to his position, “Congressman,” or used his name, “Mark Takai,” or just last name, “Takai.”

Another story that caught my eye was Sophie Cocke’s investigative piece on overtime pay to several DOH accounting staff (“Several Department of Health workers have raked in overtime pay amid dubious circumstances“). It was a good piece of enterprise reporting, indicating that recruiting Cocke from Civil Beat will give the S-A a reporting boost.

It’s a solid story. Substantial overtime pay without adequate documentation of work done, hours spent, etc., etc.

But after reading the story, I did wonder whether this was one of those offices where budget and staffing was cut to the bone during the Lingle years and the rest of the 2008-2009 recession, leaving those remaining staff to somehow cover an increasing, and increasingly complex, workload, with millions of dollars at risk if the work didn’t somehow get done.

That would be a different story than the implied wrongdoing by DOH staff conveyed by Sunday’s piece.

Perhaps a follow-up is in order to fill in that piece of the puzzle.

→ 16 CommentsTags: Health · Media

Longtime residents of Kahala Avenue are a rare breed

September 1st, 2015 · 7 Comments

In response to my “Kahala Trivia” post yesterday, Denby Fawcett raised a question.

Check out Kahala Avenue residents to see how many have lived there for a long time.
As a former Kahala Avenue resident. I consider Kahala and Waialae-Kahala two separate areas.

Fair question. So I took a look at property records.

According to the data I have access to, there are 390 properties with Kahala Avenue addresses.

By my count, 95 of those claim the home exemption on their property tax, meaning that they are owner occupied.

Just 21 owner occupied properties have not been sold in the past 15 years.

So that’s just 5.4% of Kahala Avenue residents who have lived there for 15 years or more.

For Kahala as a whole, the figure was about 33%.

So Denby’s right. Kahala Avenue is a world of its own.

And pushing back another decade, real estate records show that only 11 oowner occupants living along Kahala Avenue have owned their homes for at least 25 years, or just 2.8% of the total.

Next round, I’ll check how many have their tax bills delivered out of state, indicating they aren’t Hawaii residents. And perhaps I’ll try to check how many are owned by corporations or other businesses rather than by individuals.

Any other questions you would like me to be asking the data?

[I just finished this post while sitting in the McDonald’s at Kahala Mall, nursing a cup of iced tea while utilizing their public wifi. But relief is in sight. We were able to reschedule the installation by Hawaiian Tel for Friday morning, so hopefully I’ll be back in the land of the internet within a few days!]

→ 7 CommentsTags: Business · Economics · Politics