Waihee Foreclosure Hour? Dubin Escapes 'Interim Suspension’ -- Still Facing Disbarment
Two Days After Chin Loses CD1 Race -- Hawaii Drops Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban
Hawaii Chosen as Captive Insurance Domicile of the Year
Hawaii Special Forces Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Zone One Lot Owners Front and Center in $670M Hawaii County Recovery package
SA: …>> $196 million to buy property or compensate landowners in Lava Zone 1
>> $152 million in housing assistance, including developing a new subdivision on vacant state land
>> $144 million in public infrastructure projects
>> $17.5 million to help farmers relocate and to replace “visitor products”
>> $6 million to increase the number of stations for monitoring volcanic emissions and to provide “mental health support” for the victims of the eruption
HTH: County asks lawmakers to mull $680 million disaster recovery plan
Related: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3
read … Hawaii County request for $670 million detailed
Republican candidate for lieutenant governor says her running mate should apologize
HNN: …Andria Tupola's running mate says the Republican candidate for governor should apologize for her record in the state Legislature.
The winner of the primary to run as her lieutenant governor —Marissa Kerns — is urging Tupola to say she's sorry about voting with the Democratic majority on some issues. As House Minority leader, Tupola was frequently criticized by conservative Republicans for her voting record.
"I told her ... during those days, yeah, you voted with them," Kerns said. "I recommend to her go talk to ... our voters, let them know, 'I voted that way. Unfortunately, I have to apologize.'"
She added, "I know we can fix Hawaii, between me and her."
Kerns got about 9,700 votes in Saturday's primary election, beating candidate Steve Lipscolm by less than 200 votes.
On Hawaii News Now on Monday, Tupola said she'd work with her Republican running mate.
"This really has to be a merging of ideas and unifying our thoughts so that people can see the same message everywhere we go," she said….
SA: Governor Ige goes on vacation
read … Republican candidate for lieutenant governor says her running mate should apologize
Has Carpenters Union Lost Some Of Its Political Muscle?
CB: …Its super PACs have spent big money in recent elections, but its anointed candidates often lose. The latest example: Colleen Hanabusa….
read … Has Carpenters Union Lost Some Of Its Political Muscle?
First group of Honolulu police get body-worn cameras
HNN: …Honolulu police issued the first set of body cameras to 35 officers Monday.
Eventually, all 1,200 officers will be equipped. But for now, only officers assigned to downtown Honolulu and working the day shift will have them.
HPD says that's because they're close to headquarters — and the IT unit — in case there are any issues with the devices.
Every month, dozens more will be rolled out. And by the end of the year, hundreds of body cams should be out on the streets….
KITV: Honolulu police roll out new body cameras
read … First group of Honolulu police get body-worn cameras
Randall Saito's attorney believes Saito escaped with help
HNN: …The state court granted his request for a list of names of people who visited Saito while he was at the Ko'olau Clubhouse, a treatment program for people with mental illness.
"What's clear is that someone helped him; one or more people. The government believes that and I believe that. Who got him the money, who got his photograph taken so he could be in various driver's licenses and pieces of identification? And we say it happened in the clubhouse, people who came to meet with him," Attorney Michael Green said….
read … Randall Saito's attorney believes Saito escaped with help
Wind Farms Want Permission To Kill More Bats — A Lot More
CB: …Wind turbines are proving to be more of a menace than expected to opeapea — endangered Hawaiian hoary bats, the islands’ only native land mammal.
As a result, three wind energy farms are requesting increases in the amount of bats they are allowed to “take.”
“Take,” according to the Endangered Species Act, includes harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing or collecting the animals.
In 2012, the farms received federal and state permits that allowed them to take a designated number of the bats. Two of permits were supposed to be in effect for 20 years, the third for 25. Combined, they were allowed to take 92 during those periods, but they have already exceeded that number.
Now the three wind farms —Kawailoa Wind Power on Oahu, and Auwahi Wind and Kaheawa Wind Power II on Maui — are looking to amend their existing incidental take permits to increase the amount of bats they are allowed to take. Pakini Nui Wind Farm, which has been operating since 2007 on the Big Island, is applying for a first-time permit.
Each wind energy project submitted its own take request, but if all are approved, the original limit of 92 would increase to 483.
All four projects have submitted drafts of their amended incidental take permits accompanied with revised habitat conservation plans to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. …
read … Wind Farms Want Permission To Kill More Bats — A Lot More
PUC: $12.5M Maui Electric Rate Hike to Pay for ‘Green’ Energy Costs
MN: …the Public Utilities Commission on Thursday in an interim decision and order granted Maui Electric Co. a 3.8 percent revenue increase, or $12.5 million annually, effective next week that will lead to higher power prices countywide.
The rates hikes will be applied uniformly percentage-wise across all rate categories, the decision and order said. The rate hikes take effect Aug. 23.
A typical monthly bill for a Maui customer using 500 kilowatt hours a month will rise $7.75. A typical monthly residential bill for 400 kWh on Molokai will increase by $7.17 and on Lanai, $7.69, said MECO spokeswoman Shayna Decker on Monday.
“This request helps pay to keep service safe and reliable to our growing communities, while at the same time making real progress in replacing fossil fuels with renewables,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of MECO, on Monday….
In its October filing, MECO said the rate increase was filed on the three-year interval per the PUC’s decoupling decision, which severed the connection between rates and power sold in an effort to encourage sustainable energy….
The utility pointed to increases in use of wind energy and decreases in fuel oil use, which required MECO to make capital improvements to utilize renewable energy sources….
MECO also requested the end of required filings of monthly reports showing how much wind power was used….
In June, MECO has used 26.8 gigawatt hours of wind power and dumped or “curtailed” 2.4 gWh, per the PUC-required report….
read … PUC agrees to interim rate hike for Maui Electric
Ala Wai Harbor: Boat Burns After Bum Fight on Board
SA: …Nine units with 35 personnel responded, including a rescue unit.
The first crew was on scene at 8:35 p.m., and used a quick stream of water, but firefighters continued to douse the flames with water from the hand lines. The boat then sank at 9:50 p.m.
The fire department had difficulty getting enough pressure to extinguish the fire due to the location, and had to run several hundred feet of hand line along the pier, Carvalho said.
As for the cause, Carvalho said, “It doesn’t seem to be intentionally set.” But police spoke with witnesses and that the boat owner was away at the time the fire started. Other boat owners notified him of the fire.
Carvalho said a couple of witnesses were unreliable and gave police two different names.
Di Amore said a woman and man came aboard the boat. The woman got angry because she was rebuffed by him, so he asked them to leave. When they didn’t, he left.
The 36-year-old homeless woman, who was possibly the last person aboard, later went to apologize to him saying, “I didn’t do anything intentional.”
The woman said the boat had no electricity and there was a candle on the floor, but she went to a neighboring boat asking for a lighter.
That neighbor, Mark Hudman, 62, said the woman was angry with Di Amore, came onto his boat and began throwing a knife and wrenches past him.
He said the woman told him: “Sal’s never going to burn me again,” and she asked for a lighter….
read … Homeless
Vandalism of water supply by Homeless was factor in tree’s demise
SA: …Question: Auwe! Did they try to save the majestic tree they cut down in Moiliili Triangle Park, which might have survived if it had gotten enough water and been taken care of better? We cannot let nature be abused like this! Wake up, Honolulu!
Answer: You are one of several readers who insist that a nearby homeless encampment contributed to the demise of the century-old Chinese banyan tree, which stood on the traffic island near University Avenue, where South King and Beretania streets diverge.
The city began removing the tree last week, taking care to preserve the plaque that dedicated it to the first Japanese immigrants said to settle in the area.
You say that homeless people who lived under or near the tree damaged irrigation lines to avoid getting sprayed by sprinklers or to divert water for their own use.
The city acknowledged that the irrigation system was repeatedly vandalized but said it did not know who was responsible. City officials did cite stress from insufficient water as a factor in the tree’s failure…
read … Vandalism of water supply was factor in tree’s demise
Mail-in voting cheapens process
SA: …On Saturday, I cast my 63rd consecutive vote in a governmental election. My first was just after I turned 21 during the first term of President Dwight Eisenhower.
I’ve looked forward to meeting my neighbors at the polling place for an important community activity, participating in a valuable function of our representative form of government.
Today it was different. There were a dozen poll workers there, but only one other voter. There was less sense of community, of sharing something exciting and the mutual responsibility of participating in this critical activity.
Many had voted by mail, and perhaps with the implicit cheapening of the voting process, many just skipped it. Yes, intellectually they knew voting was important, but with no precise time to do it, and no expectation of reinforcement from the neighborhood gathering, intuitively it was less critical. Perhaps it just got put aside.
I remember the day when absentee voting was just for real absentees, not just an opportunity to vote without much effort; when voting was an opportunity to share with neighbors our mutual responsibility to our democracy….
SA: Results proved value of voting
read … Mail-in voting cheapens process
Will West Maui Hospital Find Partner?
MN: The West Maui Hospital Foundation is seeking financial support and looking for a partner to build and operate the long-awaited facility following two unsuccessful municipal bond offerings, the foundation’s board president announced Monday. …
The plans for the West Maui Hospital and Medical Center call for a 25-bed, full-service hospital, including a 24-hour emergency room, three operating rooms, a 40-bed skilled nursing facility and a 40-unit assisted-living facility. Other features include two medical office buildings and a 40-bed drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation facility. …
… He said that the state cannot fund the entire hospital, but could help, either thorough special purpose revenue bonds or grants-in-aid.
McKelvey said a grant-in-aid for the project had not come to fruition in the past, but that was years ago. He also noted that the state had offered help with bonds, but Hoyle decided on another funding mechanism.
McKelvey liked that Hoyle was reaching out for a partner. Without being specific, McKelvey said that perhaps an “established system” with a long-time health care facility in Lahaina that is aging, could get involved with the West Maui hospital.
Hoyle did note that Hawaii does have “several good hospital systems,” which he has spoken to in the past. He declined to give names.
read … West Maui Hospital group seeks partner