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Friday, April 13, 2018
April 13, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:42 PM :: 3933 Views

After Syria Chemical Attack Tulsi Gabbard Still Flacking for Russia and Assad

TMT Board Postpones Decision on Telescope Site

Hawaii schools need flexibility, not centralization

Maui Dems: Eight Apply for Souki Seat

UH System--Legislative Session Update

Honolulu World's Best City Sanitation?

City Hires Private Security Guards to Protect Parks Overnight

Hawaii County seeks applicants for Boards and Commissions

GAO: Hawaii-Pacific Vets Wait 75 Days to Receive VA Care

JSC Seeks Nominees for Appeals Court, First Circuit

Former prosecutor to lead rail investigation

HNN:  The state legislative auditor has hired former prosecutor and state judge Randal Lee to head the $200,000 rail audit.

Sources say that former Honolulu police Major Dan Hanagami is also expected to work on the audit.

The audit was required by the state legislature as a condition of the rail bailout bill. Lawmakers wanted to know how the projects, costs, and timetable got out of control.

Lee, 63, is well-known for prosecuting white-collar cases in Hawaii.

"Judge Lee is honest, credible and experienced in financial investigations," said Bruce Voss, an attorney and former journalist. I expect he'll dig deep in the documents, find out what happened and report it honestly and thoroughly."

During his 25 years as a prosecutor and 10 years as a state judge, Lee oversaw some of the largest fraud cases in Hawaii. He helped convict former city housing official Michael Kahapea for stealing more than $5 million.

He also investigated former Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' campaign. Harris was not indicted but about 30 contractors pleaded no contest to criminal violations of the state campaign laws….

read … Former prosecutor, judge selected to lead rail investigation

Survey says Gov. Ige is among least popular governors

KHON: A recent survey ranked America's most popular and least popular governors.  Hawaii's governor ranked in the bottom 10.

According to research company Morning Consult, Gov. David Ige posted a net decline of 20-percentage points in the first quarter of this year compared to the end of last year. That's the biggest drop among all governors.

Some of it has to do with how he handled the false missile alert.

The company surveyed registered voters in Hawaii….

(Ige Results: Negative 49% – Positive 37% - Don’t Know 14%)

read … Survey says Gov. Ige is amongst the least popular governors

HB1585: Mauna Kea construction ban ‘Dead on Arrival’ in House

SA: In the closest Senate vote this year, lawmakers voted 15-8 in favor of a ban on new construction atop Mauna Kea, but the effort is likely to collapse as their counterparts in the House say they don’t want to interfere with the Thirty Meter Telescope planned near the mountain’s summit.

The proposed construction freeze surfaced last week when Sen. Kaiali‘i Kahele (D, Hilo) helped rework House Bill 1585 to require a series of audits and other tasks of the University of Hawaii, which manages the 11,288-acre Maunakea Science Reserve, before a ban would be lifted.

The bill was never vetted at a public hearing because its contents were slipped into an​ unrelated​ House bill that initially would have provided funding for support staff in UH’s capital improvements office….

“I would say the bill is dead on arrival in the House,” Saiki told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “The House’s position is that while the litigation is pending, the Legislature should not enact laws concerning Mauna Kea. The House supports the astronomy program in Hawaii and does not want to send negative messages or create an unstable environment for the astronomy program.”…

The Senate also voted 21-2 Thursday to advance HB 1985, which proposes to revamp the governance of public lands on the mountain by creating a state management authority to replace the Office of Mauna Kea Management....

VIDEO: Senate Passes Mauna Kea Bills After Floor Debate

Big Q: What are the chances of the Thirty Meter Telescope being built in Hawaii?

read … Mauna Kea construction ban clears Senate, but House not interested

$25M SpinLaunch funding bill moves forward despite Company Being Scam

HTH: …A controversial bill that would provide funding to a company to build a revolutionary satellite launch facility somewhere in the state is nearing passage despite vocal misgivings from Ka‘u residents.

House Bill 2559 passed a third reading in the state Senate earlier this week, one of the last steps in the process of a bill becoming a law. The bill would issue bonds to (one-man) California spaceflight development company SpinLaunch Inc. to (pretend to) build a facility (ant then go bankrupt, laughing)….

An amendment to the bill removed language that specified the facility would be built on Hawaii Island after public outcry; the bill now says the facility will be constructed in an unspecified location in Hawaii. Despite the change, many Ka‘u residents are unconvinced the project will not continue according to its original plan, with a proposed site at Pohue Bay.

“We’ve just had assurances that they’re still looking for a site,” said Ocean View resident Shawn Lohay. “I don’t know if I can trust what anyone says anymore.”

Best Comment: “A for real project, the TMT gets stalled, and the Hawaii legislature falls for the SpinLaunch scam. Unbelievable.”

read … SpinLaunch funding bill moves forward despite public outcry

Council Committee Rejects Caldwell’s $44M Rail Money Grab

CB: …City Councilman Trevor Ozawa took a scalpel Thursday to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposed $2.61 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2019, which starts July 1.

The new Budget Committee chair and longtime Caldwell critic proposed cutting millions of dollars from various city departments to avoid the need for a trash collection fee that the mayor has proposed.

While some of his proposed cuts were rejected by the Budget Committee, Ozawa successfully pushed the committee to cut $44 million from the mayor’s $875 million proposed capital budget, which pays for construction and infrastructure projects. The $44 million in bonding was proposed to be set aside for administrative costs of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency overseeing the city’s rail project….

read … New City Council Leadership Challenges Caldwell’s Proposed Budget

Caldwell Blows out ANOTHER Big Name Surf Contest

HNN: …The city's Parks and Recreation Department has denied a permit for a popular North Shore surf contest that highlighted local surfers on epic waves.

Da Hui and its supporters are furious after the Backdoor Shootout was bumped from next year's roster at Pipeline. The department gave the nod to a small bodysurfing contest that scored higher on its application.

Da Hui went to Instagram to complain that the permit was going to a single individual for a half-day contest. The man, Alan Lennard, plans to run the Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic, last held in 2011.

"I had no choice but to apply for multiple time slots to see if I could regain a time slot on the Ehukai calendar," said Lennard.

The reaction on social media has been swift, with the majority supporting Da Hui. But both sides aren't happy with the permitting process. Right now, Da Hui's spokeswoman said the decisions are made by a panel of three non-surfers in the Parks Department. She wants the panelists to have more knowledge than what's on paper….

Feb 16, 2018: Will Caldwell Bumbling Wipe out North Shore Surf Contests?

read … City denies permit to run Backdoor Shootout surf contest

City's housing community Kauhale Kamaile at capacity

KITV: …Twenty-one adults and 37 children now call the Farrington Highway community home.

The 16 modular structures are geared toward those who earn less than 50% of the area median income.

Rent ranges between $980 for a one-bedroom and just under $1,200 for a two-bedroom.….

read … City's housing community Kauhale Kamaile at capacity

Will ‘state of the art’ Iwilei homeless center ever open?

HHC: …a quick internet search turned up a few clues that suggest at least part of the building may open any day now.

At least one presentation included an estimate for an April 2018 opening for the “hygiene” portion of the building, with the rest several months later….

The full presentation is available here.

Coincidentally, the project is apparently scheduled to become fully operational just before a big health care conference comes to town early next year.

Additional information about the project is available here….

read … Will ‘state of the art’ Iwilei homeless center ever open?

18 Months Waiting for Building Permit—Construction Almost Done

SA: …A building permit application for “a new, two-story, two family detached dwelling was submitted Nov. 15, 2016, by ProWork Pacific Inc. on behalf of owner the Gary Chan Trust. That application is “still being reviewed and processed” due to outstanding items asked of the applicant, DPP Acting Director Kathy Sokugawa said.

“We need to see some progress,” she said. “Hopefully, they’ll get a building permit soon.” If not, the matter will be forwarded to city attorneys, she said….

read … Date Street structure goes up without a building permit

State Supreme Court Justices Sign Up with Cult of Gore

IM: …Associate Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilson wrote “Climate Change and the Judge as Water Trustee” for the March 2018 issue of  The Environmental Law Reporter (ELR) News and Analysis. The article gives legal underpinnings to climate lawsuits.

Associate Hawai`i Supreme Court Justices Sabrina McKenna and Michael Wilson attended the “Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flood Risk, and Social Vulnerability Workshop” held at the William S. Richardson School of Law on April 7, 2018, sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).…

read … Climate Lawsuits are Constitutionally Grounded

UH Hires Two More ‘Scientists’ Primed to Attack Fishing Fleet

TC: …I’m an American expat in Australia, where I moved in 1999 as a Fulbright scholar to study how human activities were harming the Great Barrier Reef. Except for four years doing my Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I’ve lived here ever since. During that time, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council and the World Wildlife Fund have funded the majority of my research and salary. (See how this works?)

But now, after many years abroad, my husband (also a marine biologist) and I are moving back to the United States with our three children….

There’s a practical motive for our shift to the University of Hawaii. Finding two faculty jobs in the same place is rare enough that the universal conundrum of dual-career academic couples like us has its own name: “the two-body problem.”

Practical factors can, however, make it seem professionally unwise for scientists to move to the United States now. Federal research funding, upon which many academic researchers depend, will likely suffer major blows under the Trump administration.  (Maybe they should shift towards global cooling hysteria.  Its gonna be a money spinner.)

The notion of “change from within” inspires me into action. At the University of Hawaii, I want to do more than publish peer-reviewed papers that will be read by other scientists but not likely by the public nor policymakers. Engaging with mainstream and social media, giving public talks to nonscience audiences, and getting involved in public policy dialogue are just a few ways to help “put science on the table” and solve problems….  (Translation: This is all politics masquerading as science.)

Hawaii is hardly the focus of my concerns – it’s among the most environmentally progressive states. But even there, fishing, pollution and climate change threaten coral reef ecosystems, particularly near the human-populated main Hawaiian Islands. Many scientists both within and beyond Hawaii are helping to guide wise decision-making on these issues.

It is challenging but also exciting to be a scientist in this unique time and place. I’m eager to engage with whoever will listen in Washington, Hawaii and elsewhere to do what I believe is every modern-day scientist’s responsibility: informing actions that will help make the world a better place.

(‘Better’ is a subjective term not a scientific term.)

read … No Intellectual Diversity Here

Big Island Lunatic Continues to Create Pretexts

CB: …Hawaii’s gun laws are some of the toughest in America, yet they fail to fully protect people who have obtained a court-issued restraining order against someone.

That’s according to a Hilo gynecologist who fears physical retaliation from an anti-abortion protester who has flaunted high-powered weapons and threatened visits by an “angel of death.”

“Do we feel totally safe? Never. We’re not going to feel safe against that guy,” said Dr. Frederick Nitta, who performs abortions in what he says is a small part of his practice.

On Feb. 21, Nitta and four members of his staff convinced a Big Island District Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against James Borden, a self-described reverend who stages frequent protests across the street from Nitta’s office and as part of the Yahweh Ministry that Borden operates from Lincoln Park a mile away in downtown Hilo.

Nitta said the protests have prompted one of his colleagues to stop performing abortions, something Borden also mentioned.

Borden, whose virtually nonstop protests for more than seven years have targeted former President Barack Obama, Muslims, abortion and other topics, has a Facebook profile photo showing him holding a Russian-made AK-47 assault weapon in one hand and a Bible in the other. A .357 Magnum pistol can be seen holstered on his hip….

Nitta said he contacted the Hawaii County Police Department and was told that Borden gave them one rifle and two pistols.

“From what the police said, he did turn them in, but there’s no way of knowing if he had any unregistered guns,” Nitta said….

Borden said he’d challenge the surrender law, but lacks money to pay for an attorney….

(Meanwhile he keeps on assisting the left by serving as a living caricature.)

read … Gun-Surrender Laws Don’t Reassure This Doctor After Death Threats

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