Tulsi Gabbard campaign in disarray
Honolulu Council Dist IV: Ige Signs Proclamation Calling for Special Election
Hawaii receives mixed grades on tobacco prevention and cessation
House Republicans Call on DHS to Reverse Philippine H-2 Visa Ban
Lyon Bribery: $240K to Buy DHHL Contract?
HNN: … Jim Lyon, owner of the Honolulu-based company Lyon Associates, pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy charges in the alleged bribery scheme. Multiple sources say the bribe helped land a $2.5 million DHHL engineering contract on Kauai.
“It’s a system-wide problem, and it’s government graft and corruption," said Mililani Trask, a native Hawaiian attorney and cultural activist. “It’s $240,000 for this incident, but how much was paid for other incidents?”
Sources say that Lyon’s firm was hired in 2010 to assess the safety of four dams that the DHHL owned in the Anahola area of Kauai. After the 2006 collapses of the Ka Loko Dam, reservoir owners were required to assess the safety of their dams….
Link: Lyon DHHL Contract Info
read … DHHL Bribery
Explain why Hawaii didn’t get DOT funds
SA: … 49 states and Washington, D.C., received a share of $1.5 billion, offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for infrastructure repair (“Delegation should explain DOT snub,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 18, 2018). Hawaii was the only state not to receive a share in this offer.
In the State of the State address, Gov. David Ige said he wanted to increase the gas tax for road improvement. Before this is done, I would like an explanation from Ige or my senator or representative as to why Hawaii was the only state not to receive a share in the federal offer….
SA: Hawaii only state shut out of federal DOT grants
KITV: Hawaii is the only state not awarded federal BUILD transportation grants in 2018
read … DoT Wants Tax Hike
Shakedown: Opponents of Thirty Meter Telescope travel to California to appeal to key funder
AP: … Leaders of a fight against building a giant telescope on Mauna Kea are in California trying to convince a financial backer of the project to withdraw support.
(Translation: Give OHA some money.)
Kealoha Pisciotta says she and other opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope are scheduled to meet Wednesday with the president of a Palo Alto-based foundation established by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife.
The Gordon and Betty More Foundation pledged $250 million for the $1.4 billion project….
read … Opponents of Thirty Meter Telescope travel to California to appeal to key funder
Dozens Of Proposed Bills Could Change The Way We Vote
CB: … Senate Bill 216 would require automatic recounts for general elections if the difference between the top two vote-getters is less than 100 votes or less than 0.5 percent of the total turnout in that race. Hawaii used to have a recount law, but the Legislature repealed it in 1973 after it determined that courts should decide on election challenges….
Rep. Chris Todd introduced a similar bill in the House. HB 428 is scheduled for a hearing Thursday at 2 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee….
A pair of bills, HB1248 and its companion, SB560, would require all elections in the state to be conducted by mail.
The bills also propose creating “voter service centers” on each island where people could drop off their ballots or register to vote. The bills would also allow people with disabilities to transmit their ballots electronically….
HB 1485, which was introduced by Rep. Chris Lee, would allow automatic pre-registration of 16-year-olds in public schools. Another bill in the Senate would lower the voting age to 16 for state and local elections….
HB 1544, also introduced by Lee, would automatically register anyone who files a state tax return….
Another House bill, HB 1217, would make voter registration automatic when applying for a driver’s license….
There are more than 80 bills dealing with election laws before the Legislature this session, but some don’t deal directly with the voting process.
SB 217 would require the elections office to randomize the order of names on a ballot. The bill cites two studies that found candidates whose names were listed first on ballots had an advantage over those farther down.
HB 286 would require presidential candidates to post their income tax returns online, and HB 712 would require the same for vice-presidential candidates, gubernatorial candidates and candidates for each county’s mayor….
read … Dozens Of Proposed Bills Could Change The Way We Vote
Quit Stalling On The New Police Standards Board
CB: … One of the most important police reform measures to pass the Hawaii Legislature is now in danger of being significantly weakened less than a year after it became law.
Senate Bill 1179 and its identical companion House Bill 925 would alter the membership, powers and duties of the newly formed Law Enforcement Standards Board, make new deadlines for completion of its responsibilities, and allocate more money to increase its staffing and operations.
While the staffing and funding make sense and should be considered by lawmakers, the bills are troubling for two major reasons: They add more cops to a board overseeing cops, and they push back key components of the finalization of the standards and certification process until 2023.
We have written many times about why Hawaii needs a Law Enforcement Standards Board.
As we have often pointed out, we are the only state that lacks such a statewide board — even though some lawmakers have been advocating for it for years ….
read … Quit Stalling On The New Police Standards Board
DUI Driver: Another Recidivist Criminal on the Streets – 3 Dead, 5 Injured
KHON: … Sumang is no stranger to crime. His record goes back at least four years.
He was found guilty of terroristic threatening just three years ago and was put on probation. He was also found guilty of criminal property damage in 2015, a petty misdemeanor.
He has a handful of traffic infractions including driving with out a license and jaywalking.
Police will also be looking into how and why the officer who was initially following Sumang lost him. There is body cam footage of police approaching Sumang immediately after the accident before he was taken to the hospital. Police said they may release that footage if it shows anything pertinent….
Palau, 2009: Alins Sumang Breaks into Bar, Steals Liquor and Drinks it
read … Soft on Crime
Soft on Crime: 12 Priors out on the Streets-Now He’s Dead Because he wasn’t in Prison
KHON: … A former Farrington High School football and basketball player was shot dead by a Honolulu police officer Tuesday.
KITV4 has confirmed the man who died was 51-year-old Siatu'u Tauai of Ewa Beach and HPD confirms he has 12 prior convictions including a felony.
According to the Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, the incident started when three officers saw a truck weaving in and out of traffic near King and Kalihi streets around 1:30 a.m. They were all in separate patrol cars when they attempted to pull over Tauai across the street from his high school alma mater.
"As the officers got out of the cars, the truck drove over the embankment to get away from the officers," Ballard said….
Usual Suspects: Honolulu Police Are Using Lethal Force Far Too Often
read … Soft on Crime Kills Criminals
Still no plan for helping homeless who don’t want help
Cataluna: … Just about every waterside promenade on public land is a mecca for homeless camps now. A walk through downtown requires holding one’s breath past reeking alleys and stepping over sleeping bodies in doorways. There are parks and trails and bridges that have been ceded to the homeless, no longer available for public use….
“But, over time, we have learned to make the subtle but clear distinction between those who truly want help and those who scoff at it — between those who desperately want a helping hand, and those who readily slap it away.”…
The hard-core, belligerent, sometimes violent homeless are taking over. They are a danger to the public, a danger to themselves and, in too many cases, gravely disabled, and nobody has any idea how to deal with the problem other than to timidly ask them to please move somewhere else….
Remember This from June, 2018? Caldwell: Outlaw Homeless Blocking Public Facilities While Refusing Shelter Space
read … Still no plan for helping homeless who don’t want help
Blackouts and Rate Hikes Coming: HECO Warns Against Banning Coal Too Quickly
IM : … The Power Purchase Agreement with the giant 180-megawatt AES facility in Campbell Industrial Park on O`ahu expires in 2022.
Thus, a bill to ban coal after 2022 is superfluous. Or is it?
The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Policy heard the bill yesterday.
There were several firsts. (Useless true believer) Nicole Lowen chaired her first committee. Newly elected Rep. (useless true believer) Tina Wildberger served for her first time as Vice Chair. Jay Griffin testified for the first time as the newly appointed Chair of the Public Utilities Commission. Mike McCartney testified for the first time as the newly appointed head of DBEDT.
Micah Chee submitted written testimony. “I am a 7th grader who cares about the environment. Please pass this bill.”
HECO opposed the bill.
“While the utilities intend to not renew the AES contract when it expires at the end of 2022, should the aforementioned renewable projects not come to fruition by then due to any of these exogenous factors, the utilities need to have flexible operating options that can serve as stop gaps/contingency plans to ensure continuous and reliable electric service until such issues can be resolved. The consequences of not having this option could be grave.”
The coal plant owner, AES, opposed the bill.
“In Hawaii, AES has demonstrated its commitment to actively work to achieve the state’s100% Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) targets by providing solutions that enable the state to achieve its goals by 2045.
“However, like HECO, we are also concerned about the successful transition to 100% renewables without the opportunity and flexibility for an adequate transition period to successfully address reliability risks to HECO’s customers. There are numerous factors that could delay progress toward meeting Hawaii’s environmental goals and it is important to keep a full range of generation options open to adequately address a potential shortfall…..
The bill was strongly supported by the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, Life of the Land, 350 Hawai`i, Organizing for Action, Blue Planet Foundation, Elemental Excelerator, Ulupono Initiative, The Alliance for Solar Choice, the O`ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities (OCCLP) of the Democratic Party of Hawai`i (DPH), Our Revolution Hawaii, Americans for Democratic Action, and We Are One, Inc.
The bill was strongly supported by several individuals: David Chee, Mio Chee, Dyson Chee, Eliel Starbright, Koohan Paik, Emily Garland, Barbara Hershey, Noel Morin, Dr. L.M. Holmes, Janet Pappas, Harriet Burkholder, Malachy Grange, Laura Ramirez, J Riverstone, Nanea Lo, Caroline Kunitake, Rene Umberger, Christopher Dean, and Jim Nicolow, FAIA, LEED Fellow.
The bill passed (6-0) with amendments. Reps. Sharon Har and Brian Yamane voted yes with reservations. Rep. Cynthia Thielen was absent.
The bill heads next to the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce chaired by Rep. Roy Takumi….
(Translation: Energy is too cheap in Hawaii. Green energy scams don’t work unless the rate goes up. And blackouts create a sense of crisis which will cause more people to pray to the Goddess Gaia.)
read … HECO Warns Against Banning Coal Too Quickly
Global Warmer Owns Private Jet, Oceanfront Mansion in Hawaii
FB: … Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz issued a dire warning about climate change, saying "we are literally as a world on a collision course with time" and Americans must take "personal responsibility" to address global warming.
Schultz, who recently announced he is considering running for president in 2020 as an independent, appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop podcast last week….
Schultz shared his $65 million private jet when he was CEO of Starbucks, and a $25 million eight-bedroom, nine-bath vacation home in Hawaii.
Schultz's concerns about global warming echo those of other liberals, like Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recently claimed the world is "going to end in 12 years." ….
Paltrow called Schultz a "purpose-driven CEO." Schultz returned the favor, calling the actress and her "modern lifestyle brand" Goop "inspiring" and "inspiring for women."
While decrying President Donald Trump for "divisiveness," Schultz praised his former company for wading into political issues, like instructing baristas to lecture customers about race.
"I worry about how long America can absorb this kind of rhetoric, and lies, divisiveness, and bigotry," Schultz said, without (looking in the mirror)…..
read … ‘We Are Literally on a Collision Course With Time’
In Effort to Shut Down Cattle Ranching, Animal Liberation Nuts Harass Big Island’s Only Slaughterhouse
HTH: … According to the USDA report, the employees were attempting to unload an uncooperative pig from a truck. After the pig refused to stand, the employees reportedly attempted to drag the animal from the truck using ropes tied to its ankles.
The inspector informed the employees they were not allowed to drag a conscious pig, whereupon the employees lifted the pig and carried it from the truck. After removing the pig from the truck, the animal willingly stood and was led away without further incident.
Kulana’s suspension was issued Dec. 27, but it was held in abeyance the following day after Kulana Foods proposed corrective actions to prevent further incidents.
However, despite being permitted to continue slaughter operations, Kulana Foods informed island ranchers it would cease small animal slaughter operations indefinitely.
“I guess they decided it’s too risky to keep the small animal slaughter up,” said Brittany Anderson, owner of Sugar Hill Farmstead in Honomu.
Anderson speculated that Kulana Foods feared repeated suspensions for its small animal operations — which include pigs, lambs and sheep — would threaten its much larger cattle slaughter market.
“They called us and explained the incident and told us they would temporarily be stopping services,” said Leslie Carroll, owner of the Carroll Guava Ranch in Keaau, which raises lambs that ordinarily would be slaughtered at Kulana Foods.
Carroll said she suspects the citations against Kulana Foods are the result of politically motivated individuals who are opposed to the consumption of animals. In fact, Kulana’s first citation led to animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals calling for a criminal investigation against the company.
With Kulana Foods halting small animal slaughters, Carroll said she has no option to have her lambs slaughtered on the island.
Because Carroll sells lamb meat at local markets, the slaughter process has to be USDA approved, she said. While Carroll said she is more than capable of humanely slaughtering lambs herself, without USDA approval, the meat cannot legally be sold….
More of the Same: Auction: Omidyar Dairy Liquidating?
read … War on Agriculture