Thank you to all who have been a part of the West Maui Disaster Preparedness Expo held on September 10, 2016. Lots of time and preparation went into making bring this event to the community and a lot of great and wonderful information has been shared by all the speakers and exhibitors.
We have highlighted each speaker in a YouTube video clip for you to watch which can be found in this playlist (click here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqjprPppUENZib0-wJ5Hg1DM_UCaLeWOQ )
Thank you to everyone who was a part of the
WEST MAUI DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EXPO!
Without your support, we would not be able to do this.
West Maui Taxpayers Association
Maui County Civil Defense Agency
CBRE I Asset Services and Lahaina Cannery Mall, Koleka Alcomindras, Real Estate Services Coordinator
University of Hawaii-Maui College, Lahaina Education Center, Marti Wukelic, Coordinator
Rick Nava – WMTA Board President & Event Co- Coordinator
Joseph Pluta – WMTA Vice President & Event Co- Coordinator
Donna Lorenz – WMTA Board Member & Event Co-Coordinator
Bobby Motooka, Director of Safety - Maui Electric Company
Anna Foust, Director - Maui Civil Defense Agency
Capt. Peter K. Davis - Lahaina Fire Department
Kamuela Mawae - Maui Police Department
Sharon Meilbrecht - Pacific Disaster Center
B. Gen. (R) Bruce Oliveira, Community Programs Director - Hawaii State Department of Defense
Donna Lorenz – Hawaiian Hazards Awareness & Resilience Program (HHARP), Facility Group Coordinator
Tim Waite, Co-Sponsor/Speaker - U.H. Sea Grant College Program
Mahealani Strong, Owner/Executive Agent - Insurance Associates West Maui
Ace Hardware Lahaina
American Red Cross
Community Emergency Response Team (Cert)
Civil Air Patrol
Insurance Association West Maui
Maui Civil Defense
Maui County Dept. of Health Volunteers
Maui Fire & Flood
Maui Police Department/Neighborhood Watch
Pacific Disaster Center
Salvation Army Lahaina
Simpson Strong-Tie Company
West Maui Taxpayers Association
Ace Hardware - Lahaina
Dairy Queen/Orange Julius - Lahaina Cannery Mall
Grand Wailea Resort
Honolulu Cookie Company West
Insurance Association West Maui
Maui Civil Defense
Maui Electric Co.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Safeway – Lahaina
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
West Maui Taxpayers’ Association
West Maui Improvement Foundation –
Gretchen Baldon & Aldrina Meier
For the Week of September 25, 2016
Don't Cry for Me, Cupertino
By Tom Yamachika, President
Heads turned a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that Apple, maker of iMacs and iPhones, owed Ireland 13 billion euros (about $14.5 billion), covering ten years of back taxes, plus interest. This case was much more unusual than the run-of-the mill tax dispute between a taxpayer and the taxing authorities for several reasons.
Surprisingly, Apple wasn’t the only one unhappy with the decision; the Ireland tax authorities were too, with Ireland’s Minister for Finance saying that he disagrees “profoundly” with it. Who made the decision, then? It was the European Commission, basically an antitrust regulator for the EU. The Commission concluded that the arrangement which Apple concluded with the Irish authorities was “state aid,” which violated the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Article 107(1) of the treaty provides that “any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market.” In other words, “sweetheart” tax deals between a government and private companies, perhaps as an inducement for those companies to create jobs or locate facilities in that government’s jurisdiction, are a no-no in the EU. Both Apple and Ireland said they will seek to appeal.
This case is not unique; it is one of several. The European Commission’s antitrust enforcer already has handed down similar decisions alleging that Starbucks received state aid from the Netherlands, and that Fiat did the same with Luxembourg. Preliminary decisions were also handed down regarding McDonald’s and Amazon, and for pretty much every multinational who received an excess profits tax ruling in Belgium.
The U.S. Treasury issued a report saying that the EU’s investigations have considerable implications in the United States and for U.S. companies, and not good ones. Why? Clearly, these decisions have the potential to take the law in a new and dangerous direction. If you’re a company that is seeking to build a factory or a headquarters, and different states or countries compete for the privilege by offering tax incentives, do you now have to worry about the antitrust regulator coming in ten years later and saying that your deal with the government was bad, and that you now have to unwind the deal and pay back taxes for all the years in which you kept your end of the bargain?
Tax agencies throughout the country and the world have programs that encourage companies to come in to get rulings and thereby avoid the time, expense, and angst of fighting later. The rulings are, in effect, a contract between the government and the taxpayer. So these contracts now are worthless because they can be torn up by a non-tax agency?
And finally, let’s not forget that the most skin in the game here may be from not Apple, but the American taxpayer. Why? We tax our residents, nationals, and companies on worldwide income and give them credit for foreign tax paid. If Apple ultimately pays $14.5 billion in foreign taxes, potentially $14.5 billion in foreign tax credits will be generated. Those credits could be offset dollar for dollar against taxes that otherwise would be paid to the U.S. Treasury. So Apple may have to pay a large amount of money at first, but will then be able to recoup all or most of it from Uncle Sam.
Perhaps the British were on to something when they said they wanted out of this system! We’ll see in the coming years how this story unfolds.
To view the archives of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii's commentary click here.
WMTA Shares these commentaries weekly, without taking a position unless otherwise noted, to bring information to our readers
Five charter amendments on ballot
By MIKE WHITE, for The Maui News
A proposal to require the mayor of Maui County to get the County Council’s confirmation of department heads is one of five charter amendments on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
Under the current county charter, council approval is only required for three nominees: the director of Water Supply, the corporation counsel and the prosecuting attorney. The director of Personnel Services, fire chief and police chief are chosen by commissions.
The charter amendment would give the County Council confirmation authority over the appointments of directors of the departments of Environmental Management, Finance, Housing and Human Concerns, Management, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Public Works and Transportation, starting after the next mayor’s inauguration in 2019. In addition, the charter amendment says the council may add minimum qualifications for department heads by ordinance.
The goal is to improve the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches and enhance professionalism in management of the county. These values were illuminated over the last year as the county manager form of government was debated in meetings held by two council committees, the Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and the Special Committee on County Governance.
The ballot question is as follows:
“Shall the Charter be amended to require Council approval of the Mayor’s appointment of the Managing Director, Director of Finance, Director of Public Works, Director of Parks and Recreation, Planning Director, Director of Housing and Human Concerns, Director of Transportation, and Director of Environmental Management and to allow additional qualifications for department directors to be established by ordinance?”
The council employs legislative attorneys to provide legal research and writing and other services to council members and council committees. The current charter says attorneys within the Department of the Corporation Counsel, housed in the executive branch, are the exclusive legal advisers to county officials, including council members. A charter amendment would allow the council to designate legislative attorneys to provide advice and representation.
Here’s the ballot question:
“Shall Sections 3-6, 3-7 and 8-2.3 of the Charter be amended to allow attorneys within the Office of Council Services, in addition to the attorneys within the Department of the Corporation Counsel, to serve as legal advisors to the Council and its members and to allow the Council to designate by two-thirds vote of its entire membership attorneys within the Office of Council Services as special counsel to serve as legal representatives for any special matter presenting a real necessity for such employment?”
Two of the other charter amendments are intended to improve the efficiency of the process for accepting “supplemental petitions.”
The charter allows voters to initiate ordinances, charter amendments and the recall of the mayor and council members by petition. For a petition to be accepted, the county clerk must certify that the specific requirement for valid signatures has been satisfied. If an initially submitted petition fails to meet the applicable signature threshold, the petition proponents may submit a supplemental petition.
The council has placed the following questions on the ballot:
“Shall Sections 11-4 and 11-5 of the Charter be amended to correct clerical errors and to provide consistency within the Charter by allowing an individual to withdraw their signature from a supplemental petition?”
“Shall Section 11-5 of the Charter be amended to allow the County Clerk twenty (20) days to review a supplemental petition instead of ten (10) days?”
Another charter amendment would rename the Civil Defense Agency as the Maui County Emergency Management Agency. The council has noted this name change would follow the models of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, providing clarity and consistency.
The question posed to voters is:
“Shall the Charter be amended to change the name of the Civil Defense Agency to the Maui County Emergency Management Agency?”
Proposed charter amendments are available at mauicounty.gov/elections. To register to vote for the general election, please call the county clerk at 270-7749 or register online atelections.hawaii.gov.
* Mike White is chair of the Maui County Council. He holds the council seat for the Paia-Haiku-Makawao residency area. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.
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Charter amendments on the November ballot: ENGLISH ILOCANO
Learn how to prepare for emergencies at the West Maui Disaster Preparedness Expo
September 8, 2016
WAILUKU - The Maui County Civil Defense Agency will co-sponsor a West Maui Disaster Preparedness Expo in partnership with the West Maui Taxpayers Association on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lahaina Cannery Mall.
The public is invited to learn how to prepare for the unique safety issues associated with West Maui, and how to prepare for emergencies that can affect residents' homes and families.
West Maui Taxpayers Association is co-sponsoring this event. WMTA members have been advocates of the West Maui community for 37 years and have the health and welfare of this community as part of their mission statement.
They have been lobbying for disaster preparedness and public safety with such accomplishments as: Facilitator Group of the Pacific Disaster Center to develop a self-reliant Civil Defense plan; lobbied for an emergency trailer to house supplies next to the Lahaina Fire Station; lobbied for the approval of the Certificate of Need for the West Maui Hospital; lobbied for the approval of the Maalaea Emergency Assistance Vehicle as an added resource for West Maui; and lobbied for the return of the Maui County Air Ambulance system.
Event prize drawings will be held at 12:30 p.m., and exhibits and displays at the expo will provide information to help prepare for emergencies and disasters.
There will be free tickets to the prizes that will be raffled off between speakers and grand prizes from 12:45 to 1 p.m. Prizes include gift certificates, emergency equipment and West Maui restaurant certificates.
The American Red Cross will have a shelter display depicting the limited space designated per person in a hurricane shelter. Talk to volunteers about what you need to bring to a shelter if you have to evacuate from your home.
Maui County Health Volunteers, sponsored by the state Department of Health, will offer free blood pressure screenings.
Sign up to receive Maui County Emergency Notifications from the Maui County Civil Defense Agency. CERT: Community Emergency Response Team, Civil Air Patrol, National Guard, and Ace Hardware will also offer information.
Educational presentations will be offered throughout the event at center stage, including "West Maui Community Safety" by Joe Pluta of the West Maui Taxpayers Association; "Hawaiian Hazards Awareness & Resilience Program" by Sharon Mielbrecht, a hazard mitigation specialist with the Pacific Disaster Center; "Understanding Electrical Hazards and Your Safety" by Maui Electric's Safety Team; "Flood and Hurricane Insurance: Do You Have Enough Coverage?" by Mahealani Strong of Insurance Associates West Maui; "Makaala: Maui County's Emergency Alert System" presented by Anna Foust of the Maui County Civil Defense Agency; Maui Police Department on "Neighborhood Watch and Police Mitigation in an Emergency Event;" Maui Fire Department on fire prevention preparedness of your home and environment; and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College/Simpson Strong-Tie on "Homeowner's Guide to Disaster Preparedness."
"When it comes to emergencies and disasters, West Maui has some unique challenges to face," said Foust, Maui County's emergency management officer.
"The West Maui Disaster Preparedness Expo will focus on many of these issues and emphasize the need for West Maui citizens to be better informed and better prepared for any potential hazard."
For more information, contact the Maui County Civil Defense Agency at 270-7285.
This is a very timely event, presented for the first time especially for the West Maui community. This is just the start of the West Maui Taxpayers Association's 2016 efforts for the improvement of the West Maui community's health and welfare.
THE RECENT NEWS IS AN ALARMING WAKE UP CALL FOR ALL OF US ON MAUI.
THE UTTER DISREGARD FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF MAUI RESIDENTS AND VISITORS CANNOT BE IGNORED. THE STATE GOVERNMENT RECENTLY ANNOUNCE THE "DISCOVERY OF $1 BILLION Dollars!
We respectfully suggest that a portion of this money be immediately made available to HHSC to
use to restore Full Bed Access and Services to Maui Memorial Medical Center!
THE WMTA WILL BE SEEKING THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF HAWAII TO BE REMINDED OF HIS NUMBER ONE RESPONSIBILITY, AND THAT IS THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII. THAT MEANS MAUI TOO! CUTTING SERVICES FOR MAUI IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE OPTION.
The Maui Now article below was re-transmitted from Mental Health America-Maui Branch.
Joseph D Pluta, V.P.
WEST MAUI TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION INC.
A Sad Week For Maui
After facing what they called a “dismal outlook” of the hospitals’ operations without a public-private partnership, the Hawai‘i Health Systems – Maui Region’s Board of Directors decided in an afternoon meeting Wednesday, to enact phased closures of beds and potential hospital services.
The State and the UPW hit another impasse in negotiations over the weekend. Kaiser Permanente has stated that it will not be able to transition to take over operations of the Maui Region until July 1, 2017.
Hawai‘i Health Systems – Maui Region’s Board of Directors release the following statement:
“In light of the letter sent to Governor Ige on August 28, 2016 by Kaiser Permanente, and the UPW initiated injunction, further deferring the transition date to July 1, 2017, the Maui Region Board of Directors has been forced to evaluate the hospitals’ ability to continue to provide safe patient care for this community.
It has been decided that if the State cannot reach agreements with both UPW and HGEA to the satisfaction of HHSC and Kaiser we will begin public hearings and notification to the Legislature, effective immediately, of Maui Region’s Phase I of its contingency plans to include:
· Reduction in capacity through bed closures – closing 8 Intensive Care Beds and 12 Medical/Surgical Beds.
· Review closures of an additional 30 more beds in other units.
· Begin Phase II planning which may include multiple service closures throughout the Region.
The impact of the bed closures will mean a decreased capacity with critical services such as Stroke, Heart, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Trauma and other critical care needs requiring transport to Oahu.
The delay in transitioning Maui Region to Kaiser Permanente has led to a high volume of staff vacancies, increased use of travelers and temporary workers, and an inability to attract staff and physicians, this first phase of closures will be the first step in addressing a dire situation to protect and preserve our patients and staff.”
Information on public hearings regarding possible service closures will be released when available.
Above Is A Maui Now Article - 09/01/16
West Maui Taxpayers Association Officers and Directors - 2016 Candidates Night at the Lahaina Civic Center.
FRONT ROW: Joe Pluta, Kelly Harnick, Richard Jarman, Donna Lorenz, Mariah Gill, Rick Nava.
BACK ROW: Zeke Kalua, John Seebart and Mike Burr
MISSING: Gregg Nelson, Paul Brown, Lee Chamberlain.
Thank you for a very good informative evening. Good Luck to all of the candidates for the Maui County Council and State Representative.
Save the Date
2nd Annual West Maui Hot Topics Community Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2016
West Maui Senior Center
788 Pauoa Street, Lahaina