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Friday, September 9, 2016
September 9, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:35 PM :: 4317 Views

Martin, Ozawa Endorse Djou for Mayor

Harsh Realities

Papahanaumokuakea: The race for vast remote ‘marine protected areas’ may be a diversion

Bag Ban: A Wealth Transfer from Customers to Big Grocers

Feds to Take Away City’s Affordable Housing Money Because Caldwell isn’t Spending it

KHON: Use it on time, or lose it. That’s what a federal agency has been telling the city about unspent grant money meant to help the needy. 

(Wow.  Another one!  Hawaii’s tax n spend politicians seem to have forgotten about the “spend” part.  Too bad they never forget about the “tax” part.)

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city has failed a timeliness test four out of the last eight program years which put millions of dollars of grant money at risk.

As much as $26 million was sitting idle in city coffers. The money is part of the community development block grant program intended to go toward things like affordable housing….

read … Caldwell is Unaffordable

Caldwell’s Latest TV Commercial Debunked Easily

SA: …The Caldwell ad zooms in on a piece of paper showing the votes and Djou’s name followed by a prominent “no.”

Djou told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Thursday that the ad is “brutal … false and misleading.” He said he voted against House Resolution 1786, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, because it called for the program to be financed through deficit spending rather than by way of the existing federal budget through spending cuts….

(As a banker, Caldwell always wants the government to borrow more money.)

He joined bill co-sponsor Rep. Christopher Lee (R-N.Y.) in voting to have the bill recommitted to the committee so the funding could be altered, he said. The vote to recommit was rejected 244-185, with nearly all of the “yes” votes coming from Republicans, including Djou.

“There was nobody in Congress who didn’t support the first responders,” Djou said. “The question wasn’t whether or not to support the first responders, the question was how to finance it. That was the difference.” ….

The Djou campaign has begun running its own ads that address this vote on the Zadroga bill. It features Don Aweau, an Air Force veteran, scolding Caldwell for running materials that mislead the public, and points out that Djou joined the Army shortly after 9/11 and served in Afghanistan.

“As a veteran, I’m disgusted by these types of ads against a fellow vet,” says Aweau, who works on Council Chairman Ernie Martin’s administrative staff. Aweau also alludes to, although not by name, a series of negative ads that Pacific Resource Partnership, as a super PAC, ran against former Gov. Ben Cayetano during his unsuccessful mayoral bid four years ago.

“Shame on you, Kirk. It might have worked for you four years ago to get you elected, but not again,” Aweau says at the end of the ad. …

Related: Message to Caldwell: Taking votes out of context is easy, serving your country is NOT

read … Debunk

Issues haven’t gone away but Few Candidates are Addressing Them

Borreca: …Yes, we bottomed out our all-time lousy record for voter turnout in the primary election with just 34.8 percent of registered voters.

But who cares this year? As one veteran Democrat said, “We just seem to have secondary issues to discuss.”

This week’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser revealed lots of primary issues: Queen’s Medical Center handled homeless patients 10,126 times in 2015, resulting in gross charges of $89.3 million, at the same time the top spot for food for the poor, Feeding Hawaii Together, which delivers 3 million pounds of free food to more than 53,000 households, is on the verge of closing in December.

If someone has a better way of doing it, they aren’t hollering to the voters, “Put me in, coach!”

There are 51 members of the state House, but there are just 30 contested general election House races, because the other 21 either have no opponent, or the candidate won in the primary.

There are nine state Senate races, but in four of them, the Democrat is battling a Libertarian, not a Republican….

read … Collapse of Republican Party

City to Burn $300K Defending Chief Kealoha Lawsuits

KHON: A lawsuit filed by Honolulu’s chief of police and his wife against the city ethics commission could cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees alone.

The Honolulu City Council approved Wednesday resolutions to spend up to $100,000 on each of three different law firms to defend the commission, its former executive director, and a former investigator.

As Always Investigating previously reported, Louis and Katherine Kealoha filed a nearly 1,000-page lawsuit in June, alleging “vindictive and illegal” ethics commission investigations of their actions as city employees. Katherine Kealoha is a deputy prosecutor….

read … Kealoha $300K?

Shameless: UH Top Brass Line Up for More Pay Hikes

SA: Most of the University of Hawaii’s more than 200 executives are eligible for merit-based (LOL!) raises totaling approximately $800,000 under criteria approved Thursday by a Board of Regents committee. 

University of Hawaii President David Lassner on Sept. 1 proposed using annual performance evaluation ratings to expend $1.1 million available this year for salary adjustments for the university’s 252 executive and managerial employees.  (Your tuition hike money at work.)

(Better idea: Fire 227 of the 252.  Tell the remaining 25 to get to work.)

read … Pay hikes due most top brass inside UH

Clean Energy? HC&S Biomass Plant to be Replaced by Three Diesel Generators

MN: Maui Electric Co. is seeking approval to install three used diesel power generators temporarily for times of peak power use and to make up for reserve capacity that will be lost when Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. closes its sugar plantation and unplugs its Puunene Mill as a source of backup electricity for Maui's power grid.

According to a MECO application filed Tuesday with the state Public Utilities Commission, HC&S' pending closure late this year and the ending of its purchase power agreement with the utility will reduce the island's reserve power capacity. Now, the burning of bagasse, coal and oil at the Puunene Mill provides up to 4 megawatts of "firm" power and an additional 12 megawatts of emergency power, according to the utility.

"With this reduction to the system, the company is in need of additional firm generation sooner than anticipated to maintain reliability as customer demand increases," MECO's filing says….

Video: Anti-GMO disrupts Kauai Farmers Meeting

read … With HC&S closing, MECO needs more on-demand power

How Hawaii Land Use Laws Create Exclusive Zones for Mainland Haoles

CB: …a neighbor down the street converted their garage into a rental unit. Not only did this violate the character of our low density neighborhood, but it was also against our residential zoning ordinance.

Like all good communities, there was a neighborhood meeting to notify the offending family. And everyone showed up.

“But, it’s the only way that we can afford to live here,” pleaded the guilty woman.

“Then you shouldn’t live here,” responded her accuser.

In the rare and brutal presence of honesty, the room went silent….

the same regulations that gave my street its unique character also ensured that low-income families could never live there. That they couldn’t benefit from the same life-long opportunities provided by a childhood of safe streets and well-connected neighbors (the research on this is overwhelmingly clear).

And this exclusivity isn’t just an effect of residential ordinances— it is, and always has been, the entire point….

In 1908 Los Angeles became the first city to adopt a comprehensive residential zoning ordinance which was meant to protect the property values of high-income areas. Baltimore followed quickly in 1910 with a race-based zoning code targeted specifically at containing black residents in isolated neighborhoods. Then southern cities developed increasingly explicit racial ordinances like prohibitions against selling a home to a black person in a majority white neighborhood. While race-based zoning was ruled unconstitutional in 1917, the exclusionary ideas simply morphed into residential zoning ordinances like the low-density lots which helped create the character of my neighborhood.

Today, nearly every suburban neighborhood around the country is built behind an invisible barrier to entry. Most commonly (80 percent of jurisdictions) that means minimum lot sizes, but nearly as common are prohibitions against more than three unrelated individuals in one home, regulations against multifamily housing units and onerous permitting processes that (including the cost of time) add an average of 25 percent to the cost of building in America….

As a Brookings Institute Paper highlighted: “There is strong support from case law, popular accounts, and the academic literature that local governments often adopt exclusive large-lot zoning, minimum house size requirements, and bans on secondary units precisely to make their housing more expensive and thereby indirectly exclude lower-income racial and ethnic minorities.”

Which is why studies continue to show a “strong and significant … relationship between low-density zoning and racial segregation.” ….

What ethnic group lives predominately in Hanamaulu? Princeville? Kalihi? Kahala? Do they live there because they have the freedom to choose, or is it because of economic exclusion from other areas? We know the answers, but we avoid the question….

That same Brookings Institute Paper that I mentioned earlier explored the policies which have been shown to “break the chain of exclusion” such as: increasing densities, mandating a mix of housing types, delineating clear growth boundaries (which leads to more multi-family housing inside the town cores), increasing access to public transportation, reducing regulatory delays in the permitting process, and by creating walkable neighborhoods and access to transit (which reduce the high cost burden of transportation)….

read … Managing Growth Isn’t As Simple As It Seems

IUCN supported re-locating native people out of areas that become protected areas

IM: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has a reputation of collaborating with governments, and more recently, with large multinational corporations. Of placing nature above people. 

Thus IUCN supported re-locating native people out of areas that become protected areas.

Sierra Club has been a member since 1956. Representing the Club at the IUCN was Richard Leonard in the l950s and David Brower in the l960s. NRDC has been a member since 1975. Two University of Hawai`i units are members: Lyon Arboretum and the Richardson School of Law`s Environmental Law Program (ELP). Hawai`i Pacific University and the Conservation Council for Hawai'i are members.

Over the past decades, IUCN resolutions have been approved regarding high-level military issues such as armed conflicts, chemical weapons, anti-personnel weapons, and cluster weapons, but generally not specifying opposition to specific conflicts.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a Viewpoint on September 8, 2016, written by Koohan Paik, a Hawaii island resident and project director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization; Nelson Ho, a Hawaii island environmental activist; and Tom Luebben, a Native American rights and environmental attorney.

"At the World Conservation Congress (WCC) being held here in Honolulu, the

International Union for the Conservation on Nature (IUCN) is entrenching itself in a greenwashing tradition forged eight years ago at the 2008 WCC in Barcelona.

Then, the scientific community was shocked by IUCN`s announcement that it was taking money from Shell Oil. Many members quit IUCN for selling out.

Five years later, IUCN and Shell co-authored a report congratulating Shell for its progress in cleaning up the Niger Delta, an area Nigerians say Shell devastated irreversibly. More scientists and members, disgusted, quit after the 2012 WCC….

read … Disgusted.  Quit.

All-Out Warfare Against Agriculture

Cataluna: …a graying westside Kauai taro farmer held just-harvested plants and smiled with pride in their beauty. Uyehara explained that the farmer used to grow the Kauai Lehua variety of taro, “which tastes good, but the corms are about as big as my fist.”

The type of taro the farmer was holding in the picture was Hybrid No. 7 from the University of Hawaii. The corm was about as big as his forearm. “It tastes just as good, if not better, than Kauai Lehua, but the yield is much better.”

What gave that picture impact was this: Uyehara grew up on the westside of Kauai where he worked in his family’s loi, selling taro to pay for field trips and school supplies. He graduated from Waimea High School and went to Harvard. The taro farmer in the photo is his dad.

In some of the overheated attacks on ag, it sounds as though taro farmers and Syngenta managers are natural enemies. The photo spoke to a different truth.

The tour was to talk about Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan in general and the challenging status of farming in Hawaii specifically. “Hawaii’s in a real identity crisis for ag,” Kelly said. The islands, perfect for growing tropical crops, used to export pineapple and sugar to the world. Now farms both big and small struggle against myriad obstacles, including all-out warfare from some so sure that agriculture is unnatural and nefarious….

read … War

I Would be Dead if HGEA and UPW Got Their Way

SA: …I spent two weeks on oxygen at Maui Memorial Medical Center. I thought I would die. The doctors saved my life and the hospital staff nursed me back to health.

I was in no shape to travel anywhere.

It would be a travesty if Maui Memorial had to close or reduce services to the community. Hawaii policymakers should do everything they can to ensure that Maui Memorial can continue to provide health care to the Maui community.

In my case, it was a matter of life or death….

read … HGEA UPW Kill

Startups Can’t Wait To Leave Hawaii After Scarfing Down Tax Credits

CB: It seems to happen with increasing frequency. An ambitious local entrepreneur announces that she’s moving to the West Coast, or a feisty Hawaii-born startup announces that it’s setting up an office in San Francisco. The Facebook post gets dozens of likes and congratulatory comments, but more than a few “sad” emoticons as well.

If greater opportunities on the mainland are drawing some of our most innovative people and companies away, even in the era of apps and SaaS, is this just Brain Drain 2.0?

“I hear that all the time,” said Chenoa Farnsworth, managing partner at the Blue Startups venture accelerator and manager of the Hawaii Angels investment group.

“Are you kidding me? My ears are falling off,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO at the High Technology Development Corporation.

But both agree, as do many of the startup founders who have made the leap, that seeing more movement between the islands and Silicon Valley is ultimately a good thing for Hawaii….

read … Rip-Off

Tax Credit Scammers: Just Ignore the Haters, We Want More of your Money

SA: Q: What is going on with GEMS (Green Energy Market Securitization)? I know you’re trying to move that program in a different direction.

A: The motivation and the intention is to deploy the capital in such ways that we can continue the advance of our clean energy goals but also drive efficiencies and allow for the entire rate-base, the entire community, to partake in all of these clean energy technologies moving forward. … How do we deploy capital into the market in such a way that can help everybody? Using the commercial market. When businesses can lower the cost of doing business, it results in lower prices for consumers. There’s a long-term, downstream effect of deploying more and more of these low-cost energy technologies to the overall market. … If we continue to deploy this technology, if we can reduce the cost of electricity by 10, 20 percent, that is an immediate increase in discretionary, disposable income to every resident, which in turn goes in and fuels the economy.  (Translation: He said nothing.)

Q: Let’s go back to the innovation economy. Why is it so important?

A: The reason why the innovation economy is so important for the state of Hawaii … is what we do here and create here stays here. If we can grow the workforce that is developing solutions for the world around energy, around sustainability, all of those things, that’s going to happen here because we have the competitive advantage. …  (Reality: They’re all leaving after scarfing down our tax money.)

I’m not saying we’re going to become the next Silicon Valley. One of the things Hawaii has to its advantage, is the fact that it is ground zero for a lot of the clean energy revolution that’s happening.  (Translation: We give away tax credits to mainland solar schemers and wind farm promoters who are big national Democrat contributors.)

Q: What’s going on with the Innovation Block planned for Kakaako?

A: The Entrepreneur Sandbox … now it’s coming to fruition. We got the money for it (from you stupid taxpayers, lol). … HCDA is finalizing the contract with the developer in order to start construction on the Phase One, which is the Entrepreneur Sandbox, the DataHouse and ‘ike centers as well as the office building … for health sciences and health services (which we think is a good sales pitch for more corporate welfare from the Lege.).

It is very exciting and, yes, the Entrepreneur Sandbox is a small piece of it. … It is a state-sponsored co-working space that’s bringing in all the of the different resources from a governmental perspective (IE Tax Credits) into one area where people can essentially build their ideas (cash in), build their technology (cash in), work with the necessary and the right tools and the right people and collaborate with others in order to become successful entrepreneurs (cash out). It’s (Tax Credits are) almost the physical manifestation of what it is that we talk about when we say innovation.

Q: What would you say to critics who say that Hawaii is slow to get things rolling — say with GEMS, for instance?

A: … We always say that it’s kind of hard, it’s hard to do business in Hawaii, all of these different things. (But) if that was the case, we wouldn’t have a startup community (of tax credit scammers). We wouldn’t have some of the most vibrant and financially strong banks in the country (and DBEDT claims credit for this because of what?). We wouldn’t have a robust tourism economy (and DBEDT claims credit for this because of what?). , all of these different things (what different things?). … There will always be critics. The haters gonna hate

Haters? Auditor: DoTax allows $2B in Tax Credits Without Checking

read … We Want to Steal More of Your Money

Ige Ag Fantasy Focused on More Government Ownership of Land

SA: Buy about 800 acres of prime agricultural land, adding to previous acquisitions by the department and the state Agribusiness Development Corp., which plans to have 600-900 additional acres of the Galbraith lands in Central Oahu in cultivation in the next two years. (Oh yes.  Nothing says success like Hawaii State-owned.)

Begin an agricultural business incubator in Kekaha, Kauai, for about 5,000 acres of agricultural lands.  (Translation: HI-Tech tax credits for anti-GMO morons.)

read … Fake Plan

Hawaii Obamaphone Fraud Sparks nationwide Investigation

IS: …In a Wednesday letter to USAC CEO Chris Henderson, Pai highlighted the potential for carriers to fraudulently claim the enhanced subsidy.

“The enhanced subsidy offers a tremendous incentive for unscrupulous carriers to try to exploit our rules, and we know that some have,” Pai wrote. “Icon Telecom, for example, claimed tens of thousands of phantom customers in Oklahoma to profit from the enhanced subsidies on tribal lands before its scheme was ultimately uncovered and Icon’s owner plead guilty to money laundering. More recently, the FCC settled an investigation into Blue Jay Wireless’s practices in Hawaii.”

Icon’s fraudulent activity, jointly investigated by the FCC, FBI and IRS, ended with Icon’s suspension in 2015 and criminal charges for its CEO in 2014. Texas-based Blue Jay Wireless was forced to pay a $2 million settlement fee levied by the FCC Enforcement Bureau in July for “improperly claiming” extra subsidies for several thousand Hawaiian customers supposedly living on Hawaiian Home Lands.

“Even though Blue Jay collected every subscriber’s address, it did not verify whether those addresses were on tribal lands,” Pai said. “In fact, it sought enhanced subsidies even when a subscriber’s address made him/her clearly ineligible. By 2014, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission staff had discovered that Blue Jay was claiming more subscribers than the total number of households in the Hawaiian Home Lands!”

Though a slap on the wrist by comparison, Pai earlier this summer revealed Blue Jay to be one of the 16 carriers his office is investigating for various forms of Lifeline fraud, and added he “flagged further suspicious conduct for the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation earlier this year.”

read … fcc-commissioner-investigates-obama-phone-fraud-on-tribal-lands

Underemployed Lawyers Force City to Help them find more Homeless to be Plaintiffs in Future Lawsuits

SA: The city is working to notify homeless people — and formerly homeless people — that their constitutional rights may have been violated as part of the city’s homeless crackdown.

The city is asking homeless shelters and social service agencies to post legal notices for 30 days in seven different languages notifying people that the city may have violated two of their constitutional rights — the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure of property and the 14th Amendment right against deprivation of property without due process under law — officials said recently.

By order of a federal court judge, the legal notices are also supposed to appear in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The notices are the result of a successful class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the Honolulu law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd &Ing….

read … Homelessness is Profitable

Activists Upset Because Contraband Will be Harder to Deliver to Prisoners

CB: …the visits will last only for 30 minutes, instead of 45 minutes under the current system.

And no contact will be allowed during the visits, which will have to be conducted inside one of the five glass-separated rooms now reserved only for those who are in segregated housing.

Kat Brady, coordinator of the Community Alliance on Prisons, says that, all in all, the department is moving backwards.

“I’m really concerned that they have this veneer of, ‘Oh, look at us, we’re going to have visitations seven days a week,’ but in reality they are hurting the families by separating them further,” Brady said. “To me, an agency that purports to support re-entry should be doing things that promote re-entry. Instead, they are doing things that make people more and more angry. How good is that for public safety?”

But Toni Schwartz, public safety spokeswoman, says switching to the noncontact visits is a win for everybody. It “creates a safer environment for staff, inmates and visitors by blocking a primary contraband pathway,” she said.

read … B-b-b-but how will they get their meth?

Alleged Pimp Gets New Trial Because Prosecutor Said His Victim was ‘A Person’

HNN: The disturbing video is just one minute and 50 seconds long, but it feels like an eternity.

It it, Justin McKinley can be seen beating a woman in a hotel room in 2014. The video was shown to jurors, and McKinley was convicted of promoting prostitution and sentenced to 20 years.

But last week, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals overturned the conviction because of statements about the victim a city deputy prosecutor made during closing arguments.

The deputy prosecutor told jurors, "She’s not a piece of property. I mean, she’s somebody’s daughter. She’s somebody’s friend. She’s a mother. She’s a woman. She is a person and she deserves to be treated properly."

McKinley's attorney, Benjamin Ignacio, argued in an appeal that those statements played too heavily on the jury's emotions and may have unfairly influenced the verdict.

And the appeals court agreed….

Legal experts also seemed puzzled by the higher court's decision….

read … Soft on Crime

Hugh Jones Arrested on DUI Charge

KHON: …A deputy attorney general has been arrested for driving under the influence.

Hugh Jones was arrested just after 8 a.m. Thursday on the H-3 Freeway near the Harano Tunnel.

According to the department’s website, Jones is the supervising deputy attorney general for the tax and charities division.

read … 8AM

Hawaii Anti-Telescope and Anti-GMO Protesters Leave Nevada for North Dakota (Will They Stay?)

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