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Thursday, September 12, 2019
September 12, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:50 PM :: 3740 Views

DLNR: Protesters Rip Out Last Examples of Endangered Plants

Mauna Kea: 2,237 Tickets, 24 Arrests

Mauna Kea: Ige Hits Back on Flag Tactics

High profile attorney threatens to sue over ‘vicious’ TMT rumors

HNN: … Attorney Michael Green is threatening to sue people who are spreading rumors that Governor Ige has financial ties to the TMT. The Governor strongly denies the online allegations. Social media posts claim documents show that Governor David Ige has financial ties to TMT and that amounts to bribery and a conflict of interest. It's unclear who started the allegations….

Green says the rumors could lead to a defamation lawsuit and he believes anger over Mauna Kea has become vicious.

"Protest, everyone has a right to do that, but don't be so vile so vicious to do something to this husband and his wife and their family," said Green who's representing the couple.

He says the damage has already been done.

"The Ige's do not have any financial relationship with TMT. They contracted Pacific International Realty, Inc. to manage the home they have rented out," said Ige's office.

“Any suggestion of a connection between this property management contract and TMT is utterly without merit,” the statement added….

read … High profile attorney threatens to sue over ‘vicious’ TMT rumors

Star-Adv: Settlement Must Allow TMT to Proceed

SA: … the failure of TMT to proceed with construction could mean sacrificing billions of dollars in research funding over a few decades.

That’s because the National Science Foundation, the principal source of these research grants, is now making its funding plans for the next decade. The long-sought approval of the TMT project put Hawaii in line to receive those billions for related astronomy research and instrumentation development; if TMT goes, so do the funds.

For Gov. David Ige and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, both responsible for resolving this impasse, this assessment underscores why the conflict can only rationally end with a settlement allowing TMT to proceed.

In plain fact, the state of Hawaii cannot afford to give up on the project, which offers a rare chance for the state to excel in a technological niche for which it is uniquely suited — and has worked hard over decades to achieve.

There is this week at least some glimmer of hope for an opening in what’s been a standoff for two months. Kim said he is discussing with various groups a proposal to transition the governance of the mountain to a new umbrella authority, including Native Hawaiians and other constituencies, not only the University of Hawaii….

Ige: I am committed to finding a way to move the TMT project forward, for this is the future we need to build for our next generation.

read … Editorial: Losing TMT would cause major harm

Protesters plan to gather outside telescope backer’s home

AP: … Native Hawaiian opponents of a giant telescope planned for Maunakea plan to protest outside the California home of one of the observatory’s major backers.

The opponents plan to gather outside the Redwood City home of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife today. The couple’s foundation has pledged $250 million toward the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation spokeswoman Holly Potter says the foundation recognizes strong feelings in support and opposition to the telescope. She says the foundation respects the right of all to express their points of view. She asks that the Moores be respected as private citizens.….

read … Protesters plan to gather outside telescope backer’s home

Kahuku: New bid to stop development of a third wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore

SA: … A Hawaii environmental group hailed by Kahuku residents made a new bid to stop development of a third wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore on Wednesday.

Life of the Land filed a claim with the state that seeks to invalidate a 2013 power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Electric Co. and the planned Na Pua Makani project with eight or nine turbines not far from homes, farms and a school.

The claim, a motion for relief delivered to the state Public Utilities Commission by attorney Lance Collins, was cheered by about 50 Kahuku community members who gathered inside the Territorial Office Building housing the PUC and communicated their opposition message with signs and chanting. ….

Collins said the motion generally challenges the power purchase agreement on two points.

One alleges that the PUC failed to consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions tied to the project.

“They didn’t do that in this case at all,” Collins said, explaining that delivering and building the renewable energy project will produce greenhouse gas.

The other contention is that the project developer failed to acquire control of the state-owned site for the wind farm within a PUC deadline.

Collins said the developer missed a 120-day deadline because it didn’t receive a permit for incidental Hawaiian hoary bat deaths until six months after the PUC approval….

State Sen. Gil Riviere (D, Heeia-Laie- Waialua) attended the rally and said many in the community feel that their voice hasn’t been heard.

“I’m here in support of the community,” said Riviere, who is also a director with the community group Keep the North Shore Country that brought the contested-case hearing over Na Pua Makani. “It’s a real big issue. Why does Kahuku have to bear the burden of all the wind energy?”

If built, Na Pua Makani would be the second wind farm in Kahuku and the third on the North Shore. A 30-megawatt farm by First Wind in Kahuku was completed in 2011, and the 69-megawatt Kawailoa Wind project northeast of Haleiwa was completed in 2012…. 

Big Q: What do you think of the proposed Kahuku wind farm, Na Pua Makani?

SA Editorial: Wind power headwinds

CB: ‘This Is Our Mauna Kea’: Oahu Wind Farm Opponents Say They’re Inspired By Big Island Protests

read … Kahuku wind farm plan challenged again

City: Anti-TVR Efforts Wipe out 1/3 of Vacation Rentals

SA: … The number of violation notices issued by the city to operators for allegedly advertising unpermitted short-term rentals has risen to 37 with more anticipated in the coming weeks.

The notices are part of a city ramp-up in enforcement of suspected violators of short-term rental laws since Ordinance 19-18 (Bill 89) took effect Aug. 1. The new law makes it illegal to advertise properties for short-term rentals of less than 30 days unless the property owner previously had obtained a nonconforming-use certificate. It also requires owners with certificates to display their registration numbers in their advertisements.

The city Department of Planning and Permitting said in a news release that seven of the notices have been corrected, “meaning the operator has either removed the ad, or changed it to comply with the ordinance.”

DPP said it is preparing to send at least one operator a notice of order, which carries fines. Thus far, no fines have been levied on property owners.

According to the new law, short-term rental operators have seven days to resolve a suspected violation. Owners who don’t make timely corrections could face an initial fine of $1,000 and daily fines of $1,000 to $10,000.

The city said the new ordinance and enforcement efforts “appear to be having an impact on the number of advertisements on hosting platforms.” Since Aug. 1, the city said short-term rental advertisements across several platforms dropped last week to 3,400 from about 5,000….

read … Officials step up citations for illegal rentals

New conviction-eviction law for public housing?

KHON:   …   Today, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority released a statement saying:

“When a tenant commits a felony related to the HPHA’s property or its employees, or commits a felony related to the Authority’s funds, that person abuses their privilege as a tenant of the HPHA”

We asked about innocent spouses and children of felons facing eviction — whether they could ask to remain in the units.

The authority’s statement says family members will be heard:

“All HPHA eviction hearings deal with unique circumstances, and that HPHA public housing evictions are handled by an eviction board of three members of the public, where one member must be a public housing resident.”…

The housing authority says there have been no evictions under the new law — yet.

And again — if the person whose name is on the lease is evicted — the rest of the family can ask to stay….

read … New conviction-eviction law for public housing

Just Like Rail: New Aloha Stadium may be ready in 2023, firm says, trying not to laugh

SA: … In his first public comments on the planning for the facility, Stacey Jones, owner and a senior principal of Kansas City-based Crawford Architects, said, “What we’re allowing is a design and construction period of somewhere a little less than three years which, in our experience, is ample time to deliver the stadium plus whatever constitutes the first phase of development …”

Jones said, “I mean, there is an imperative, right, to get out of this old stadium as quickly as possible without being hasty about it. It doesn’t exactly fulfill the customer satisfaction requirements it did when it was built back in (1975). It has ongoing deferred maintenance problems and issues that are expensive to address and is getting more expensive. The longer it takes to build the new stadium the more expensive it becomes because of inflation and other demands.” …

(Translation: We are informing you that this project will be both delayed and over budget.  You have been informed.)

read … New Aloha Stadium may be ready in 2023, firm says

Top Hawaii Sheriff Officials Lacked Basic Training For Decades

CB: … Some top Hawaii sheriff’s officials, including the State Sheriff, did not get basic law enforcement training until 2016, even though they were hired more than two decades ago.

State Sheriff Al Cummings, First Deputy Sheriff Reid Ogata and Darryl Oku, a retired deputy sheriff who used to be in charge of the governor’s security detail, were among more than a dozen sheriff’s deputies who had to go back to basic training in 2016 because they never received it when they were hired.

Hawaii News Now originally reported that top personnel never received proper training in April 2016, but Department of Public Safety officials refused to release the names of the employees despite repeated requests by Civil Beat and others. Civil Beat filed an appeal with the state Office of Information Practices and DPS finally agreed to release the information….

The Hawaii News Now story from 2016 also said that the lack of basic training had led to some cases getting “fouled up,” because of the sheriffs’ ignorance about state laws, procedures and rules of evidence.

Shawn Tsuha, formerly a deputy director for law enforcement, told then-Hawaii News Now reporter Keoki Kerr that some state employees, including Capitol security guards, were grandfathered in as deputy sheriffs….

Espero also pointed out that the Law Enforcement Standards Board, which was created by the Legislature in 2018, could help address this very issue. However, that board is currently on hold. Last month, the board approved a resolution to ask legislators for more money and time after blowing its July deadline to come up with uniform standards for law enforcement in Hawaii….

CB: Want To Reform America’s Police? Look To Firefighters

read … Top Hawaii Sheriff Officials Lacked Basic Training For Decades

Physician left Hawaii to find welcoming workplace in Fresno

SA: … I will not be anonymous because I am one of the physicians who left and I am no longer afraid. Prior to my leaving in 2016, I spent 13 years at Queen’s Medical Center, first as a hospitalist and later as a member of its Liver Center.

… problems arose at the Queen’s Liver Center due to the change in management. At first it only affected the support staff, leading to tearful conversations in my office and resignations. It progressed to the mid-level providers and shortly after, to the physicians. By the end of summer 2016, the level of stress was intolerable and led me to resign.

After an extensive search for job opportunities in hepatology, I was offered a position as the Liver Program Director at UCSF Fresno. I sold my home where my children were born, uprooted them from their beloved Sacred Hearts Academy, their grandparents (biological and hanai) and left Hawaii in anger. I promised myself to never again give in to the inner thoughts of discovering my purpose in life. I was just going to have a job.

I was welcomed by UCSF Fresno with opened arms.  ….

read … Physician left Hawaii to find welcoming workplace in Fresno

UH Enrollment Drops 3 Percent

CB: … The University of Hawaii experienced an enrollment decline of 3%, or about 1,300 students, compared to this time last year, according to new data.

Enrollment has declined from a high of around 59,000 just after the Great Recession of 2008. Universities nationwide tend to see spikes in enrollment during and just after recessions followed by troughs during economic highs.

The declining enrollment means UH could bring in less revenue from tuition and student fees.

UH’s revenues are expected to drop $5.3 million in 2020, a 1.6% decline, compared to fiscal year 2019, according to the proposed operating budget.

Total tuition revenues are still expected to be more than $333 million, or about a third of the university’s $1 billion operating budget….

Meanwhile: UH Law School Prof’s Favorite Death row exoneree set to enter plea in Waikiki robbery case

read … UH Enrollment Drops 3 Percent

Multiple Warrants Criminal Arrested: Family May Cash in

HNN: … An HPD spokesperson said the incident happened July 30th in Nanakuli just before midnight. An officer observed a 40-year-old man with multiple warrants in an illegal game room.

The officer approached the man, allegedly asked him to leave, but he took off so the officer chased him. According to HPD, during the struggle after the officer caught the man, the officer discharged pepper spray.

Two other officers arrived and the man was processed for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.

Also according to HPD, the man was treated on-scene for pepper spray exposure by Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. Allegedly, he later became unresponsive and was transported to the hospital in critical condition.  …

"One cop went handcuffed him and the other two cops was kicking him," she said. "When I got to him he was on the train tracks. I'm asking - I'm trying to question, like, how did he get there? No story is adding up."

She said one witness heard Mike yell out, "I can't breathe."

"When I got to my husband he was already - he couldn't talk. I kept telling the officers that you got to help him. He's not responding to you. But they refused."

Chelsey alleges HPD failed to render aid and now Mike is on life support.

"The doctor said that he went without oxygen for 25 minutes," she said.

KITV4 asked HPD if body cameras were used and if the footage is available. We have not heard back yet.

Mike Butay's older sister said her brother has had past run-ins with the law.

"He's not one harmful man. He's not one murderer. They was looking for him and they took him down like that," said Chelsey Butay. "It was unnecessary and now we're suffering. Now I suffering. Our boys' suffering."

Mike and Chelsey Butay have two children and expecting a third.

"I want justice. I'm not going to let them get away with this. I'm not. And I will fight and fight even if I lose him," she said.

read … "I want justice... I will fight and fight even if I lose him." Family of Nanakuli man fighting for his life wants answers from HPD

100 Homeless People Get Free Stuff---Only 13 Accept Shelter

KITV: Over 100 homeless people were given aid and connected with services today…

Fifteen outreach services gathered in Kaka'ako today offering aid and their services to the homeless community.

The groups offered services such as wound care, veterinary care, legal services, housing services, haircuts, showers and dental care….

According to the City & County of Honolulu, 13 people and a puppy were transferred to housing today.

read … Historic effort aids homeless community

Homeless Bumfight: He Tried to Throw Me off Cliff

SA: … Police found Peter dead Saturday night on a hillside near Decorte Playground at 1570 Perry St. with a one-inch stab wound to the left side of his neck, according to court documents.

Police said a witness told a responding officer she heard Limehouse tell people at a homeless encampment near Kalihi and Laumalie streets that she stabbed Peter in self-defense, according to court documents.

Police located Limehouse at a homeless encampment on a trail off of Palanehe Place in the valley when she allegedly said: “He stomped my head and tried to throw me off the cliff! That’s why I stabbed him!”

Police recovered a knife in the bushes near the playground and arrested Limehouse on suspicion of murder….

read … Homeless are Expensive

Homeless Bumfight #2: Maui Bum Shoots other Maui Bum, then Gets beaten by Gang of Bums

MN: … Maui police are investigating a shooting involving two homeless men in Kahului early Thursday.

Officials said the shooting happened just before 4:30 a.m. on Hoohana Street.

According to the Maui Police Department, a homeless man shot another homeless man during an altercation.

The suspect was also injured while being subdued by other homeless people in the area, police said.

Both men were taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center. It’s not know what their conditions are….

read … MPD: 2 homeless ‘men’ involved in early-morning shooting in Kahului

Comedian Augie T. Eyes Honolulu City Council Run

CB:  … Augie Tulba has scheduled a fundraiser next month at the FilCom Center in Waipahu. Tickets start at $60 and run as high as $1,000 for VIP seats….

Jack James, who is handling campaign duties for Tulba, confirms that Tulba is exploring a candidacy for the District 9 seat, where Ron Menor is term-limited in 2020….

In addition to his entertainment work, his public service work — according to a press release — includes time in the administrations of former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and former Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, “where he led youth outreach initiatives around Hawaii Island and statewide.”…

Other island funny guys Frank De Lima and Andy Bumatai are scheduled to appear at the Oct. 18 fundraiser.

Next year is a big year for Honolulu politics: In addition to the mayor’s office, five of the nine council seats are open, as is the city prosecutor’s office….

read … Comedian Augie T. Eyes Honolulu City Council Run

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