Kauai Republican Presidential Straw Poll Results
Enviro Wars Episode IV: A New Court
Rep Tupola Hosts Mauna Kea Info Session at Kealakehe HS
Study: Hawaii is the Best State for Women’s Equality
Second Senate Democrat Comes Out Against Iran Nuclear Deal
CNHA Takes Reins of DBEDT 'Community Development Accelerator'
VIDEO: Planned Parenthood Customizes Late Term Abortions for Superior Product
PBN: Who do you support for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination?
Where are we with rail? Way over budget, as predicted
Cliff Slater: We have said many times that the city deliberately started building rail out in the country where it would experience the fewest problems and be able to lay enough track mileage that it would be impossible to stop the project. Starting in the city, it would have experienced grave difficulties and serious cost overruns.
We were wrong; rail is barely out of the country and already is significantly over budget. Businesses along the route are closing and the driving public is increasingly encountering greater traffic congestion.
We were right, though, that the costly difficulties still lie ahead. Dillingham Boulevard construction work stands to severely harm commuters and businesses there, and the necessary mitigation will be costly in both construction costs and delays.
In addition, the city underrates the difficulties it faces in navigating through the area from Dillingham into town. Once it gets close to Nimitz, it will be building the elevated rail line on landfill, since the original waterfront was as far back as King Street. Once on Halekauwila Street, expect protracted delays because this is the old Hawaiian traditional burial grounds.
Attending these construction problems will be the traffic delays. Portions of Dillingham and Nimitz will be closed for long periods as will much of Halekauwila.
None of this should be surprising. Further, no modern elevated rail line has been built in the U.S. that did not go substantially over budget. The average has been 40 percent over....
SA: Just let PRP run city’s rail board
read ... As Predicted
Caldwell: Ige's Leadership Keeping Homeless in Kakaaako
HNN: The same day Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city was ready to start moving homeless people out of Kaka'ako, Governor David Ige said officials should hit the brakes on relocation until they had a clearer plan.
Now, Honolulu City Managing Director Roy Amemiya is clarifying that officials were hoping to start moving the homeless out of Kaka'ako earlier this month, but the city is holding off because of worries from the newly formed Homeless Task Force Committee created by the Governor.
"I don't want to speak for the committee, but I think we're looking for consensus that this is the time that we need to start enforcement," Amemiya explained to the Honolulu City Council Tuesday morning. "The public safety concerns are being weighed against the community's desire to have a place for these people to go." ...
Hawaii News Now reached out to the Governor's office for clarification on the state's desire to hold-off on enforcement in the Kaka'ako area and a spokesperson said Ige has consistently maintained there needs to be shelter for the homeless to move to before any enforcement can be effective and right now, the administration's top priority is to find temporary shelter space. (Even though there are empty shelter beds every night in Honolulu.)
read ... Caldwell vs Ige
Star-Adv: How Did Hee Get Away With if for all Those Years?
SA: >> How was Hee’s company able to acquire more than $242 million in “High Cost Support” federal subsidies since 2003 with relatively scant oversight?
>> How was Hee able to siphon, according to court records, $2.75 million for personal expenses, including $718,559 for his kids’ college tuition and $722,550 in false wages paid to his children, who did no work for his company? Not to mention the $92,000 worth of massages for Hee and $590,201 in false wages paid to his wife, who also did not work for his company.
>> Why did it take take an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service — and not the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the Universal Service Fund (USF) that provided subsidies to Hee’s company — to uncover Hee’s misdeeds?
Best Comment: "The editorial slyly tries to shift the blame to the feds, who are only partially at fault. The sad truth is that the way the Hees did this is the way it is always done in Hawaii by the insiders. The missing element is the presence of a certain senator whose name must never be dragged through the mud and his accomplices, aka staff. Some of them are still carrying on with the same template locally, one kind of scheme or another. The corruption is institutionalized, not rare and unique. This is the way Hawaii works and how it was put together and this newspaper is also an accomplice as it predecessors were. This editorial is a laugh that doesn't even scratch the surface while appearing to be so concerned and self righteous. A joke, in other words, about a joker."
read ... Perhaps the Star-Advertiser's Lack of Investigative Journalism, Might Have Something to do with this?
Hawaii County P-Card Bill Postponed
HTH: ...hearing that Nims also would prefer stronger language, Ilagan agreed to the postponement.
“This is definitely the first step, but it’s not the last,” Ilagan said.
Several testifiers stressed the need to help the public regain confidence in their elected officials.
“The current situation has angered a lot of people,” said Carol Buck, testifying from Waimea. “There just simply was not anyone watching over the system.”
“The issue at hand is the lack of trust in government,” said Richard Abbett.
Abbett, an unsuccessful candidate for County Council last year, said even running for office left a stain on him in some people’s eyes.
“This underlying soot we accept for having a sense of duty,” is how he described it.
Wille said the council should take a stance showing it didn’t approve of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s misuse of his pCard, which now has him embroiled in an investigation by the state attorney general. She said the lack of response by the County Council and so far by the county Board of Ethics, coupled with the recusal from the case by the county prosecutor, has led to public skepticism.
read ... P-Card
Hypocrites: Hawaii County Council Keeps Roundup
HTH: A bill aimed at finding alternatives to Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and other nonorganic weed killers was facing certain death Tuesday at the County Council Environmental Management Committee when it swiftly was uprooted by sponsor Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille.
With only three other council members — North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff, South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David and Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter — willing to let her postpone Bill 71 for more work, Wille withdrew the measure, saving it to return another day.
“I support the idea that we restrict chemical spraying at our county facilities,” David said. “I think that should be our goal.”
Wille advocated an organic alternative herbicide known as Avenger, which is based on citrus oil. She said the state Department of Transportation is testing the formula on roads on Maui.
Avenger costs $68 a gallon, compared to glyphosate-based Roundup’s $17.60 per gallon, and it requires 21.3 ounces per gallon of water to spray, compared to 2.6 ounces for Roundup, said Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma. He said the county is conducting a pilot program at Queen Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo.
“Cost-wise, it’s really expensive to run the Avenger,” Honma said.
Public Works Director Warren Lee estimated banning Roundup would add $2 million to $5 million to his annual budget for keeping roadways and flood channels clear of weeds. Some 60 to 65 percent of maintenance on more than 1,000 miles of roadside is done with mowers, another 10 percent manually and 25 to 30 percent with herbicides, he said.
“It’s a significant impact on us,” Lee said....
read ... Roundup for me but not for thee
Maui telescope convoy, protesters face off again
MN: County officials said police will be on standby tonight.
"We just want to make sure everybody is safe, protesters, police and the people delivering the equipment as well as any motorists that may be in the area," county spokesman Rod Antone said Tuesday.
Police told The Maui News on Friday that it "will take the necessary actions to address any and all issues associated with the transport to ensure the safety of everyone involved." ...
The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope convoy will include three semi tractor-trailers and various support vehicles, will travel at 2 to 5 mph and transport equipment that is more than 23 feet wide....
read ... Again
Making Mauna Kea Sacred
CB: ...I recently read a viewpoint article in “West Hawaii Today” titled “Sacred Mauna Kea Must be Saved,” and it seemed to make the motivation of TMT protestors and Hawaiian separatists very clear: They want to bring back ancient Hawaiian religious practices and camouflage them under the vague term of “culture.” Claiming a sacred status for Mauna Kea is their method of demanding control for Native Hawaiians based on ancient religious history.
Hawaiian culture is used to cover many things. Today’s Hawaiian culture bears very little resemblance to the ancient culture that existed prior to European contact in the 18th century. We all love most of the modern Hawaiian culture that has come down through recent history, including music, dance, food and language. That is why many of us live here and what brings tourists to Hawaii, along with the climate and the beauty.
But why should we encourage or even respect the protesters’ claim of a cultural right to bring back ancient religious practices based on primitive idolatry and mythical gods? These pagan religious practices were rejected by the ancestors of today’s Hawaiian protestors when they became Christians almost 200 years ago. The ancient religion is very interesting historically but has no significant meaning to most people today....
read ... Making Mauna Kea Sacred
DOE investigations into alleged employee misconduct
HNN: ...43 of the DOE's 22,000 workers are currently on department-directed leave or leave pending investigation, according to the DOE. 28 of them are teachers. 12 of the cases started more than a year ago. Some BOE members and other stakeholders believe there should be deadlines on the length of the department's investigations.
"There should be a guideline. There should be a policy. There can always be exemptions requested from a policy or from guidelines," said Darrel Galera, executive director of the Education Institute of Hawaii....
DOE officials said they have closed 15 cases since late June. Half of the current investigations involve allegations of inappropriate conduct toward students....
CB: Hawaii Looks to Shorten School Employee Misconduct Investigations
read ... Misconduct
$40M spent thus far on major Central Oahu agriculture initiative and .... ?
PBN: James Nakatani, executive director of the Agribusiness Development Corp. recently gave an update on the project to the agriculture committee of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.
He said, that so far, $39.2 million has been invested in this project, according to the June meeting’s minutes. (Producing what?)
Nakatani noted that the focus behind the Whitmore Project is to keep land fees reasonable, and that farmers chosen to use this land were based on their track record of successful farming.... (The article is accompanied by a photo of a fishpond in a blue plastic swimming pool.)
The plan has already completed several steps, including the $4.3 million acquisition of a warehouse from Tamura’s Market in Central Oahu, the purchase of the 1,700 acres of Galbraith Estate land and a 24-acre parcel formerly owned by Castle & Cooke. (None of these steps involve planting anything.)
It also includes securing public-public partnerships with the High Technology Development Corp., the Hawaii Housing Finance Development Corp., Agribusiness Incubator Program, Hawaii Department of Education and the Wahiawa Community Based Development Organization. (None of whom actually grow anything.)
read ... No Produce Yet
A Growing Consensus that the Hawaii State Hospital Must Expand
CB: The state’s newly appointed director of health wants to spend $150 million to build a 144-bed facility on the Kaneohe campus, and some top legislators are listening....
read ... Expand
Homeless Bills: Caldwell to Sign one, Veto Other
HNN: A spokesman for Caldwell said he plans to sign Bill 46, which would make it illegal to camp along city-owned streams. The bill said camping may pose health and safety hazards. Many homeless individuals are known to set up camps along the Kapalama Canal, specifically.
Caldwell will also veto Bill 44, expanding the existing sit-lie ban to public malls in the downtown and Chinatown areas of Honolulu. He said he believes this bill is unconstitutional and threatens to prompt costly lawsuits and may potentially invalidate the existing sit-lie bills.
read ... Sign, Veto
City Pays $15K/week to Provide Trash Hauling Service to Homeless Camps
HNN: ..."At Kapalama Canal we enforce the stored property ordinance and that ordinance requires us to provide 24 hours notice prior to any enforcement action," said Sasamura.
When we arrived it was a ghost town. There was only garbage piled several feet high.
The work crew has to be cautious. Although police officers are on stand by to ward off any physical threat. That's not all there is to worry about.
"Human waste, not only that there are times when there are bed bugs, lice," said Sasamura....
The city spends $15,000 every week on these enforcement patrols.
read ... Enforcement
Drugs: How 'Educated Woman' Ends up Homeless
HTH: The daughter of a 49-year-old woman stabbed to death late last week in downtown Hilo (allegedly by a criminal who just arrived from the mainland) said her mother was “an educated woman,” and media descriptions of her as a homeless person do her life and memory a disservice.
Chloe Caron said her mother, Danielle Caron, was originally from Pacific Palisades, an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood, but spent almost two decades in Santa Cruz., Calif., before moving to the Big Island a couple of years ago.
“She graduated from college with a master’s (degree) in teaching,” Chloe Caron said. “She’s talented. She’s artistic; she can draw. She has a genius IQ. She’s a loving woman with an addiction problem. She moved to the Big Island. I lived on Kauai for five years. I moved her out there myself to give her a new opportunity to change for the better. When I moved her out to Hawaii, I was with her for about a month, so I know that she was sober. For awhile, she was working on an organic farm and she was trying to pretty much survive.”
Chloe Caron said she last talked to her mother about a month ago.
MN: Suicide seeds are planted in mental illness
read ... Drugs
Soft on Crime: Child Rapist Gets 1 Year
MN: Originally charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree assault, Heauser-Caires had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree assault. The other charges were dismissed in exchange for his plea.
A police investigation showed Heauser-Caires took the 15-year-old girl to a residential area in Makawao and sexually assaulted her, pushing her face into the dirt and biting her in July 2013.
After being arrested in November 2014, Heauser-Caires was held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center. He was released on supervision in June 2015 when he changed his plea.
In court Tuesday, the girl and her mother asked that Heauser-Caires be taken back into custody to complete more than five months left on a one-year jail term, the maximum the prosecution could seek under the plea agreement recommending probation....
As part of his probation, Heauser-Caires was sentenced to the one-year jail term. But he was allowed to remain out of jail to continue in and successfully complete his sex offender treatment. Once he completes the treatment, he must return to jail to complete the sentence, Cahill said. But he said Heauser-Caires' attorney could ask that the rest of the jail term be suspended, depending on how he does in the program.
read ... Soft on Crime
Another Bogus Study Claims Low Injury Rate Shows Gun-Control Laws Work
CB: (Skip to the best comment) "What absolute BS. Vermont has literally no gun control laws at all, only what the Feds require, yet they are right there with Hawaii in the low numbers. This data has nothing to do with gun laws and any researcher that draws conclusions like that from it is hopelessly inept...."
read ... Study Claims