At UH Confab, Politicians and Lawyers Get Reality Check on Climate Suits
Ige: We have Followed a 10-Year Process to get to this Point
HNN: … “We have followed a 10-year process to get to this point, and the day for construction to begin has arrived,” Governor David Ige said ….
read … 10 Year Process
Police Beg Protesters for Permission to Go up Mountain
CB: … The news was greeted with cheers and everyone got up to stretch and use the port-a-potties. By then the cattle guard protestors had been lying there for 11 hours. Hundreds of activists retreated across the street to eat and rest. Some members of the media left.
But within two hours, protestors noticed Department of Transportation officials erecting a gate across the access road right by the cattle guard.
It felt like a betrayal to Jamaica Osorio, a Native Hawaiian poet and scholar, who was among the eight protestors who had attached themselves to the cattle guard. From her understanding, the state had promised not to engage in any construction Monday except for the pedestrian safety barriers.
“We feel like the state demonstrated that we can’t trust them,” she said around 6 p.m. “It’s a spit in the face.”
While sheriff’s deputies and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers negotiated with activists blocking their way for several hours, other officials cut down the gate. Demonstrators agreed to let the cars go by around 7 p.m., Kanuha said.
He told Civil Beat that part of the agreement is that for Monday night, the only people allowed up the mountain would be sheriff’s deputies, members of the National Guard, rangers and employees of Hale Pohaku. Kanuha said authorities agreed that no astronomers would be allowed up the mountain. Many activists are frustrated that astronomers get access to the mountain that they are being denied…..
read … Police Beg
Local support for TMT has been strong for years
SA: … While media coverage of the Thirty Meter Telescope has been dominated by images of hundreds of protesters trying to block construction of the project, support for the telescope has been strong throughout the state in recent years.
About three-fourths of local residents have said they support the telescope in Honolulu Star- Advertiser polls conducted in 2016 and 2018. The polling also suggested growing support among Native Hawaiians, with 72% of those polled saying they supported the project in 2018, a significant increase from earlier polls.….
While several hundred opponents Monday massed on Mauna Kea, a smaller number of TMT advocates rallied in Hilo to show support….
TMT also launched The Hawaii Island New Knowledge Fund, known as THINK, in 2014 to assist Hawaii island students with science, technology, engineering and math skills. TMT contributes $1 million annually to the fund.
Chad Kalepa Baybayan, who described himself as a science literacy advocate and served as a captain and navigator aboard the Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokule‘a, said he supported the project, in part, just for the sheer wonder of learning about the universe. He said the telescope could also help advance other technologies, particularly in the field of imaging.
Baybayan said TMT has set a good example when it comes to working with the community.
“TMT has done more for advancing the agenda of being good stewards of the mountain than any other telescope,” he said. “It offered community benefit packages that have raised the bar in terms of what they are committed to doing. And that’s not an attempt to buy people off….
KITV: TMT supporters believe they are a 'silent majority'
read … Local support for TMT has been strong for years
Ethics Commission Set To Examine Its Role In Kealoha Corruption Case
CB: … The oversight board stopped its former executive director and investigator from pursuing ethics investigations into the city police chief and his prosecutor wife….
According to the agenda, the commission wants to lay out the chronology of events related to its investigation into the Kealohas.
There will also be discussion about hiring outside counsel to help prosecute and investigate ethics cases due to conflicts of interest….
Commission staff began making phone calls last week to members of the press and others involved in the Kealoha corruption scandal to alert them to the meeting.
Alexander Silvert said he was the recipient of such a call, something he characterized as “very odd.”…
“I was told they wanted to factually set the record straight,” Silvert said of his call from the Ethics Commission. He was also asked if he would attend the meeting.
What made the phone call all the more strange, he said, is that the commission had never reached out to him before, even after allegations surfaced in 2014 that the Kealohas had framed Puana.
At a recent Honolulu Police Commission meeting, Chief Susan Ballard said a number of Honolulu Police Department employees had reached out to the ethics agency about Kealoha, but that the investigations were “shut down.”
The commission’s former executive director, Chuck Totto, testified during their criminal trial that he and his investigator, Letha DeCaires, began receiving complaints about the Kealohas in June 2014.
He said at the time that he wasn’t necessarily worried about the mailbox theft. His concern, he said, was with the use of city resources at the Kealohas’ home.
Police department cameras were installed at the residence and dozens of officers — including those assigned to secretive intelligence unit — were being used to conduct surveillance on a family member.
Totto and DeCaires launched a series of investigations into the Kealohas.
Those efforts were stymied, however, once the couple retaliated with ethics complaints of their own, as well as a lawsuit that accused Totto and DeCaires of conducting “unfounded, vindictive, unsubstantiated and illegal investigations.”
The commission eventually blocked Totto from carrying out his investigations into the Kealohas. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration also refused to renew DeCaires’ contract.
Totto was later pressured into quitting his job as executive director after a number of public squabbles with commissioners, and in particular three retired judges — Victoria Marks, Allene Suemore and Riki May Amano — all of whom were appointed by Caldwell….
Link: Honolulu Ethics Comm Meeting Info
read … Ethics Commission Set To Examine Its Role In Kealoha Corruption Case
Kealoha Trial: An Interview With The Jury Foreman
CB: … There was no smoking gun just a “mountain of evidence” that led to the conspiracy conviction of the former Honolulu police chief, his prosecutor wife and two police officers….
read … Kealoha Trial: An Interview With The Jury Foreman
62% Reduction in Homeless Abuse of emergency room
PBN: … An industry-led pilot program created by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the University of Hawaii has achieved a 62% reduction in emergency room visits in its first year….
The Systems Integration Committee of about 12 industry members brought together health care partners to form its first cohort in 2018, targeting the population that frequents emergency rooms, and drive unnecessary and expensive health care costs.
The first group, Cohort A, included 17 people with a total of 145 visits in the baseline period. For this group, emergency room visits dropped from 145 to 55 — a 62% reduction in visits.
Cohort B was established one month later and included 18 people with a total of 88 emergency room visits in the baseline period. Cohort B's visits dropped from 88 to 25 — an almost 72% reduction in visits.
Both cohorts took part in interventions that included identification, engagement, motivational interviewing, education, collaboration and care coordination — with the goal being to get the patient to seek and access care in an efficient manner….
Kintu gave the example of a homeless patient who required three shots of insulin a day and often visited the emergency room for care….
read … Hawaii health care pilot program reduces non-critical emergency room visits
Adults who vape are more likely to quit cigarettes, study finds
KITV: … The findings suggest that e-cigarette use may affect current and former smokers differently: helping people addicted to cigarettes kick the habit, perhaps, but also drawing some who had already quit back to smoking. ….
read … Adults who vape are more likely to quit cigarettes, study finds
Hawaii governor vetoes location-data privacy bill
SS: … Hawaii Gov. David Ige last week vetoed a bill that would have required telecommunications companies to obtain explicit consent from customers before selling their location data.
The bill, which was similar to legislation now being considered in more than a dozen other states, targeted a common practice of selling consumer location data to companies called location aggregators, which was revealed last year by the New York Times.
The four largest mobile carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — told the Federal Communications Commission in May that they had stopped selling customer location data following a phase-out period that started in June 2018. But civil rights advocates and lawmakers, such as Hawaii state Rep. Chris Lee, who sponsored the bill Ige vetoed, are calling for stronger consumer protections nonetheless.
Lee called the sale of consumer location data an “incredibly scary” practice that could potentially jeopardize anyone’s personal privacy.
“If you’re able to identify all the devices and phones that are going into a Planned Parenthood facility and track those phones back to their home addresses, you could be setting people up for all kinds of harassment and danger,” Lee told StateScoop.
The information disseminated by location aggregators was shown largely to have been sold to commercial interests seeking more detailed information about consumer habits, but Lee pointed out several other potential political uses, such as tracking people going into certain religious buildings or collection by immigration authorities or law enforcement….
read … Hawaii governor vetoes location-data privacy bill
Rules needed for cameras in parks
SA: …The lack of public discussion drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii about the city’s plans to install 192 cameras at 13 public parks around the island by the start of 2020. And it’s well-founded. Fortunately, the city still has time to open the issue to residents who certainly weren’t expecting this in their neighborhoods.
This will be an expansion of the surveillance cameras program the city rolled out in Waikiki in February. That launch was not preceded by public meetings, either, although it did develop out of ideas raised during a crime summit held in 2017….
Big Q: Do you support the city adding 192 surveillance cameras at 13 parks/beach parks?
read … Rules needed for cameras in parks
Gabbard Has Missed Nearly A Quarter Of House Votes This Year
CB: … Those include votes on Friday to fund national defense, curb Trump on Iran and compensate 9/11 victims. …
CB: Gabbard Lags Behind Presidential Race Frontrunners In Fundraising
read … Gabbard Has Missed Nearly A Quarter Of House Votes This Year