Leadership on the Mauna
6 candidates ‘seriously interested’ in Honolulu mayor’s race
SA: … Several big-name candidates have emerged as serious contenders for Honolulu mayor with now less than a year to go until Hawaii’s 2020 primary election day.
Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, Honolulu businessman Keith Amemiya, City Councilman Ron Menor and former Congressman Charles Djou have all said in recent days they are “seriously considering” a run at the third-floor corner office at Honolulu Hale.
They join Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, who announced her intentions in December 2017 and has been holding fundraisers, as well as perennial candidate and former state Sen. John Carroll….
Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s second, consecutive term ends on Jan. 2, 2021, and he is barred from running for a third straight term….
Hanabusa filed a report Aug. 11 with the state Campaign Spending Commission, listing her intent to run for the mayor’s office. The report lists Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi as her chairwoman….
Hanabusa, who herself was appointed by Caldwell to the HART board in June 2015. She served as the board’s chairwoman from April-October 2016, when she resigned to run for Congress and then left Congress to run for Governor…oh well….
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he won’t be running in the mayor’s race. His wife, businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, said she’s not ruled out the possibility of running although she declined to put herself in the “seriously considering” category.
Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who’s also rumored to considering a run, could not be reached for comment.
Others rumored to be interested include former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and former Attorney General and Lt. Gov. Doug Chin. Neither could be reached for comment….
read … 6 candidates ‘seriously interested’ in Honolulu mayor’s race
Nix HART’s $300K plea for mainland criminal lawyers
Shapiro: … Now they want more public funds for mainland lawyers to represent “a handful” of unnamed HART officers and employees subpoenaed for interviews by a federal grand jury looking into what went wrong with Hawaii’s biggest public works project.
The Caldwell administration is asking the City Council for $300,000 to hire the San Francisco law firm Rosen Bien Galvan &Grunfeld, saying city attorneys lack experience in federal criminal proceedings.
This is in addition to an earlier $50,000 request for outside counsel to help the HART board evade a federal subpoena for full minutes of closed-door meetings where many of the wayward rail decisions were made.
The Council’s Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee should send HART away with a firm “no” when it hears the request Tuesday.
The clear public interest is that HART directors and employees fully comply with federal law enforcers so we can get accountability on how the rail budget soared from $5.2 billion to the latest projection of $9.2 billion..
HART directors should promptly give the grand jury all documents requested and employees should be forthcoming in answering questions.
It doesn’t take high-priced legal expertise to advise HART officials to tell the truth, and the Council would only facilitate evasiveness by opening the lawyer spigot….
read … Nix HART’s $300K plea for mainland criminal lawyers
UH Mauna Kea Steward: “Everybody has to get something out of it”
Cataluna: …Last month, he accepted the appointment as executive director of Mauna Kea stewardship for the University of Hawaii, stepping into the middle of perhaps the most complicated and difficult situation UH has ever faced and one that will define the university for decades.
“I would like to be part of trying to make something good come out of this,” Chun said….
Chun’s job is to improve UH’s stewardship of the mountain, to update the master plan, environmental impact statement, administrative rules, and to look at the longer term management structure. His focus is the university’s presence on Mauna Kea — an organization and a mountain — but he’s a man who likes working with people.
“If you listen to people long enough, you realize not just that the emotion is valid, but often, there’s a valid point,” he said. “The way I view it is everybody is right. Nobody is an enemy … I don’t go around trying to correct people’s views. That won’t get you anywhere.”
It sounded like Chun advocates a compromise, but he didn’t put it that way. He talked of thinking about alternative solutions.
“The end goal has to be a collective one,” he said. “Wherever we wind up, everybody has to get something out of it.”….
read … Mauna Kea steward seeks broad consensus
OHA and KSBE Pony Up to Support Mauna Kea Protesters
SA: … The opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope who are demonstrating on Mauna Kea are getting logistical support from some major Hawaii institutions, including Kamehameha Schools and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The University of Hawaii has also authorized federally funded trips by staff to the demonstrations against the TMT, and has authorized class options that will allow student protesters to remain on the mountain after classes begin on Aug. 26….
Kamehameha Schools last week acknowledged it has provided help for the demonstrators camped at the base of the access road, and that assistance is being coordinated through Kanaeokana, a network of Hawaiian schools that includes Kamehameha.
“This includes providing a large tent as well as support of Kanaeokana’s efforts to provide accurate documentation of events through live streams, photos and videos,” according to a written statement from KS spokeswoman Elizabeth Ahana.
“KS has provided kokua in ways that foster education on this important issue across the globe while also addressing the health and well-being of the people on Mauankea who are making their voices heard,” Ahana said in her statement. Ahana did not provide any additional information about the cost of the KS assistance….
As for OHA, last month the OHA board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution authorizing OHA staff to advocate for the protesters and to do “assessment and provision of health, safety and legal needs” for the activists.
A source familiar with those activities said OHA has been supporting the work of lawyers who will represent the protesters who were arrested last month…
UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl also said about 30 UH officials and students have gone to the protests — including the visit by UH President David Lassner on July 28 — but the university did not pay for 26 of those visits. Information was not available on the source of funding for the remaining four.
Among those from the UH system who traveled to the protest site was Kapiolani Community College Chancellor Louise Pagotto — who paid her own way — and eight members of the KCC Native Hawaiian Council on Monday. Their travel was paid for with Title III federal funds that are earmarked for Native Hawaiian student success, Meisenzahl said a written statement.
Another three employees from UH-West Oahu including two from the Native Hawaiian Council and a social worker also attended using Title III grant funding. Another person from Windward Community College also made the trip on Title III funds, but “as this was a federal grant, no one was engaged in political activity or protest,” Meisenzahl said in his statement.
“Campus leaders and staff went to Mauna Kea for the purpose of understanding what is going on so we will be able to support our students and faculty during what we expect will be a very difficult semester ahead,” Meisenzahl wrote….
Also attending from UH were members of the Hawaii Papa o Ke Ao task force, which is made up of representatives from each of the university campuses. That task force is intended to develop and implement ways to make UH a leader in indigenous education, and the group will make recommendations to Lassner, Meisenzahl said….
read … Money
Stopping TMT won’t help Hawaiians much
SA: … I support the construction and operation of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. TMT is now legally entitled to begin construction. However, as a Native Hawaiian I also understand why many kanaka maoli believe the law has failed them. Again….
The protests have already achieved much: They have galvanized kanaka maoli who look to achieve some form of sovereignty to a degree not seen before and have garnered the support from many, both locally and worldwide.
The momentum this protest has sparked can be applied to achieve longer-term goals. Getting TMT to abort the project will do little to fundamentally change the cultural or political landscape.
Just because one is on the summit does not mean one is at the summit. The movement toward self-recognition has been a slow climb, and for good reason: Change on this level of magnitude does not happen overnight. To the protesters I say this: Keep the end in mind. There are more challenges ahead. Ask if winning this battle will actually help win the war.
read … Stopping TMT won’t help Hawaiians much
Telescope: Compromise or Disaster
Borreca: … For instance, Waimanalo residents have protested the city’s plans for a renovated baseball field, claiming among other things the spot was sacred ground because it was a Hawaiian burial site…..
protesters from Mauna Kea to the Pohakuloa Training Area and Makua Valley. They have all at various times been described as “sacred.”
The earnest sympathy for things thought of as sacred is fast running a collision course with the important political, military and economic aspects of Hawaii.
For the protesters and Hawaii’s leaders, making the result a compromise and not a disaster, is an ability that today neither side appears to possess….
read … Strength of Native Hawaiian standoff at Mauna Kea enables muscle-flex on other issues…
read … Disaster
Debunking oft-cited claims abut TMT
WHT: … as opposing voices gain traction online, so do several misconceptions or untruths about the TMT project itself, making it hard for those unfamiliar with the issue to sort fact from fiction. Here is a collection of some of the myths versus the facts about the telescope….
Myth: The jobs that TMT will bring to the island will largely be for haoles (Caucasians) with advanced science degrees.
Official TMT estimates indicate that the observatory will require about 140 full-time positions, 20% of which will be science positions.
Most of the positions — 40%— will be technical and engineering jobs, with software and IT jobs making up another 10%. Dawson said Maunakea observatories prefer to hire and train kamaaina for these positions, as approximately 50% of mainland hires tend to seek new jobs off-island after two years.
Meanwhile, the construction process will employ 300 local and specialized construction jobs. Dawson said TMT signed a memorandum to hire union labor and pay union wages for the construction….
Myth: There remain culturally significant architectural sites or protected species at the TMT location.
Extensive environmental impact studies have identified no such areas on the five-acre site, Dawson said. The nearest site of cultural significance is located 200 yards away from the TMT location; Dawson said one of the first actions of the construction team will be to visibly cordon off that site so that there is no chance that it could be destroyed accidentally.
Similarly, the wekiu bug — an insect endemic to the region that is often considered threatened by the present development of the summit — nests in cinder cones that are not close to the TMT site and will not be disturbed during construction….
read … Debunking oft-cited claims abut TMT
Strict state energy standards likely to raise price of home ownership
WHT: … Building a house on Hawaii Island just got a lot more complicated — and more expensive — because the county missed a deadline to enact local exemptions to a strict new statewide energy code.
Hawaii counties had two years to implement changes to the International Energy Conservation Code, but neither the Department of Public Works nor the County Council initiated a new law to do so. Both Maui and Kauai passed bills to lessen the impact by taking their own particular climate zones into consideration….
For now, Hawaii County is stuck with the state code that’s also being used in Honolulu, at least for the several months it’s expected to take to draft a bill and get it through the council. The new state rules went into effect last week.
Architects and builders, some of whom attended an Aug. 8 information session with the State Energy Office, were vocal about their displeasure, but they don’t want their names used because they fear repercussions from the department, which has authority to approve or deny their applications.
Pahoa architect Charles Traylor was critical of the code, saying the state is forcing builders into a one-size-fits-all building design that was created for mainland structures in harsher climates….
“The best thing to do with the International Energy Code and the International Building Code is tear it up and throw it away and use a code that’s meant for tropical climates,” Traylor said. “It’s just totally, totally ridiculous.”…
Traylor said he built a house in Puna four years ago that’s “sturdy and stout and comfortable,” using single-wall construction and taking advantage of mauka-makai cross-ventilation. Houses like this don’t need heating and air conditioning, he said, which saves money and energy.
The new code requires double-paned windows, fully insulated walls, floors and roofs and a completely sealed house. Opponents say closing up houses and installing drywall is unsustainable because it raises energy costs and encourages mold, fungus and insects.
There’s a “Tropical Zone” option for houses at the 2,400-foot elevation or below, provided half or less of the residence is air-conditioned. A third, “performance compliance,” option uses software to allow designers to plug in features that add to or subtract from energy consumption to arrive at the required level.
To use the Tropical Zone rules, there must be ceiling fans in every bedroom plus the main living area and openable windows to be at least 14% of each room’s floor area. That usually means a switch to jalousie windows over the more common slider style, at three times the cost. The ventilation requirements alone could add almost $10,000 to the window cost of a two-bedroom package home, one architect said.
It’s also creating a challenge for designers of two-story houses, who are finding all the required window space makes it difficult to get the wall strength needed to support a second story….
“It seems like a no-brainer to borrow what Maui and Kauai already have,” she said….
read … Strict state energy standards likely to raise price of home ownership; county scrambles to fix
Maui County residents had to make $31.13 an hour to afford two-bedroom rental last year
MN: … Maui County Data Book 2018 shows local statistics on population, education, labor, government and more ….
The data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2018 report, along with an array of other significant statistics and figures, was included in the recently published Maui County Data Book for 2018.
Maui County’s housing wage for a two-bedroom at fair market rent was the second highest in the state, with Honolulu County at $39.06; Kauai County, $29.06; and Hawaii County, $25.42….
read … Maui County residents had to make $31.13 an hour to afford two-bedroom rental last year
Sell out Football Crowd a Reminder that Tearing Down Aloha Stadium is a Really Dumb Idea
SA: … Can nearly 45,000 spectators be wrong?
That was the approximate turnstile figure (only the ticket distribution of 49,936 was announced by the Los Angeles Rams) for Saturday’s preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys at Aloha Stadium and it poses an important question as the state looks ahead to erecting a successor for the soon-to-be 45-year old facility.
Namely, are projections of a 30,000-40,000 seating capacity for the new stadium aiming too low?…
(Translation: They will now push for a bigger stadium to be built.)
HNN: Highest turnout for a single event at Aloha Stadium in the past several years
read … Sellout crowd gives Aloha Stadium planners food for thought
New Cold War: China’s surge in Pacific Islands must be addressed by U.S., Hawaii
SA: … After decades of ambivalence, the United States is taking a keen interest in the Pacific Islands region.
In May President Donald Trump met with leaders of the Micronesian states tied to the U.S. through compacts of free association: the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). In another first, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with them again in early August in Pohnpei, FSM.
The U.S. is working with Australia to redevelop a naval base in Papua New Guinea, and fund a $1.6 billion rural electrification project there. Washington has sent high-level officials to other island countries, including Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
This new activity aims to counter China’s rise to regional prominence. China is now the region’s third-largest aid donor and second-largest trade partner. The eight island countries having diplomatic relations with China can access funding to upgrade ports, roads and other infrastructure through Beijing’s massive Belt and Road Initiative.
The six island states that recognize Taiwan are under pressure to switch to Beijing…
SA: New Cold War: All eyes on how China deals with Hong Kong protests
read … New Cold War: China’s surge in Pacific Islands must be addressed by U.S., Hawaii