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Tuesday, November 5, 2019
November 5, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:13 PM :: 4473 Views

UH Manoa offers 'Land Acknowledgment' to Native Hawaiians

Mauna Kea-Defining Sacred

Want Americans to Buy U.S. Products? Dump the Jones Act

Rep Mizuno calls on AG Barr to Investigate NY Homeless ‘Exports’

Hawaii Highest Mortgage Fees in USA

Hawaii Counties Among Least Affordable Places for Renters

Katherine Kealoha's Boyfriend's Attorney charged with forging check

HNN: … Suspended attorney Christopher Woo is scheduled to face a judge as a criminal defendant Thursday.

Woo was arrested at the Aloha Pacific Credit Union on Fort Street Mall last week and charged with felony forgery, identity theft and attempted theft after he allegedly tried to cash a check payable to him for $4,010.

The account was held by a woman, and the case is being handled by the Elder Abuse section of the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office.

Woo is scheduled to enter a not guilty plea Thursday. Court records indicate he has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post $5,000 bail.

Woo was representing Big Island firefighter Jesse Ebersole when Ebersole lied to the grand jury about having an affair with Katherine Kealoha.

Ebersole has since changed attorneys and pleaded guilty. Because of Kealoha’s guilty plea, he was not required to testify….

Flashback: Katherine Kealoha's Boyfriend's Attorney's Law License Suspended

read … Troubled attorney previously tied to case against Kealoha charged with forging check

‘Alison Lee Wong’ resurfaces in bizarre federal filing

HNN: … A Bank of Hawaii employee has had the legal names “Alison Lee” — and then “Alison Wong” when she married.

But she was never “Alison Lee Wong,” the infamous imaginary person ex-deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha used to conceal illegal activity.

Hawaii News Now tracked down the bank employee after her business card was included in a federal court motion for a Kauai woman who seems to have ties to Kealoha.

Leihinahina Sullivan is accused of wire fraud and identity theft.

She is being held at the Federal Detention Center, the same facility that Kealoha is in as she awaits sentencing for bank fraud, identity theft, conspiracy and obstruction.

Sullivan, an attorney, is representing herself and filed a hand-written motion last month to have Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright recused from her case….

Through a spokesman, the bank employee tells Hawaii News Now that she was contacted by the FBI but there was no follow-up. She also says she has never been a notary and has never met Kealoha.

The spokesman also said the business card is old. In fact, that branch has since closed down.

So how did Leihinahina Sullivan get the card while in jail?

Ken Lawson, of the University of Hawaii Law School, says if Kealoha gave it to her the judge could see it as Kealoha influencing another inmate and could have a negative impact at Kealoha’s sentencing in March….

Earle Partington, one of Kealoha’s attorneys, has seen the same business card but denies that his client would share it….

read … ‘Alison Lee Wong’ resurfaces in bizarre federal filing

Maui Injection Wells: Protect the Little Guy from ‘Green’ Elite

RCP: … Small businesses are counting on the Supreme Court this month. In two cases, the justices can either subject millions of job creators to reams of red tape and costly lawsuits, or they can reach the right decisions, keeping the engine of the American economy running at full steam. 

The first case is County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which the justices will hear on Wednesday. It centers on a dangerous and invalid expansion of federal power, foisted on small businesses by the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The Ninth Circuit tried to unilaterally rewrite the Clean Water Act, ignoring the clear will of Congress. When Congress passed the law in the 1970s, lawmakers created a permitting process to regulate companies building in wetlands and limiting the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters. The system was straightforward and focused on the companies most responsible for pollution. 

Yet the Ninth Circuit interpreted the Clean Water Act in radically different way. It declared that the law’s permitting requirements also cover activities that might affect the environment indirectly through underground aquifers. But Congress expressly refused to regulate this area, and even the Obama administration disavowed regulatory authority over groundwater. Importantly, aquifers are already regulated at the state level. 

If the Ninth Circuit’s decision stands, ranchers, farmers, energy prospectors, and other companies operating in completely dry areas will suffer the consequences of over-regulation. 

The costs alone could discourage businesses from building new facilities or making common-sense improvements to their lands. The fee system can run into the tens of thousands of dollars for the application, with similar or even larger sums due every year after that. The permitting system would also restrict how owners can use their land. Even something as simple as installing a septic tank could trigger cost-prohibitive federal permitting requirements for the smallest of companies. 

Given Congress’ intent and the clear text of the Clean Water Act, the Supreme Court should roll back this overreach instead of extending it across the nation.

read … Supreme Court Has Two Chances to Protect Small Business

Injection Wells Case Goes Before SCOTUS Tomorrow

CB: … On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that started out as a local fight years ago about whether sewage seeping into the ocean near Kahekili Beach on Maui’s west side violates the federal Clean Water Act.

(About whether the Feds will regulate every cesspool and septic tank in Hawaii.)

The stakes have since grown far higher.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino has pushed the case all the way to the high court, ignoring the recent approval of a (PRETEND) settlement by the Maui County Council. 

(The county is ultra-liberal but just can’t afford to pay $800M for the enviros power grab and) is backed by the Trump administration and other major players in the oil, coal and gas industries that want to loosen regulations (all of whom would win the next case if this one were withdrawn).

Environmental groups and several council members are worried that a ruling by the conservative-leaning court in favor of the county could lead to a significant reinterpretation and weakening of the Clean Water Act.

(Translation: Their 9th Circuit overreached and is about to get slapped down hard again.  They really should be used to it by now.)

Stephen Wermiel, a Supreme Court expert and professor of constitutional law at American University in Washington, D.C., said the fact that so many special interests are jumping into the case with friend-of-the-court legal briefs highlights just how significant the argument is before the justices.

(And Maui County is going to win, thus saving $800M.) 

MN: Oral arguments will start at 10 a.m. EST (5 a.m. HST)

NLR: Potential Settlement Creates Uncertainty for US Supreme Court Case Regarding Clean Water Act Liability for Indirect Groundwater Discharges

LINK: Maui County Injection Wells Webpage

read … Lahaina Injection Wells Case Goes Before SCOTUS Tomorrow

Solar Lobby Pushing to Outlaw Natural Gas—Drive Up Cost of Housing

CB: … Oahu lawmakers are considering an ordinance that would eliminate gas hot water heaters from new homes, or require Hawaii Gas to produce at least 90% of its gas from renewable sources, like waste.

The bill might seem like a modest step. But Hawaii Gas is taking a hard line against the measure, saying it could be the first step toward broader restrictions that could threaten its business model.

“Many people see this as a slippery slope to the ban on many other things,” said Jeannine Souki, Hawaii Gas’ director of government affairs and corporate communications.….

read … Hawaii Gas Faces Uncertain Future In State’s Renewable Energy Push

Stadium Hucksters Deploy More Corrosion Stories in Effort to Push Thru Re-Development Plan

KHON: … Structural engineer considers Aloha Stadium unsafe, fan captures cracks below seats …

read … Sales Pitch

Recycling changes leave us all asking serious questions

WHT: … Business Services Hawaii, which handles the county’s recycling, also handles ours. The company cited the loss of markets for the recycled materials, particularly in China and Southeast Asia, as a reason they could no longer ship the material to recycling plants abroad.

The problem isn’t just here.

Last month, America’s largest trash hauler, Waste Management Inc., announced it is no longer shipping plastics to countries outside North America due to lack of market, various outlets reported.

After the county program change was announced, this newspaper was flooded with questions if we could help recycle our subscribers’ papers. We cannot….

(Reality: You couldn’t recycle before either.  All you could do is ship your ‘recyclables’ to a dump in the 3rd world.  Now you can’t PRETEND to recycle either.  So sad.)

Readers of this daily paper have told us — both privately and publicly — that an option is to cancel their subscription. Some already have….

read … Recycling changes leave us all asking serious questions

Lawmakers Consider Fixes To Hawaiian Homelands Shortcomings

CB: … Danner, who is president of the Sovereign Council of the Hawaiian Homestead Associations, presented a 16-point amendment to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act which asks the Legislature to make changes to address government transparency, treatment of beneficiaries and how trust assets are used….

Elmer Ka’ai, a former DHHL employee, told lawmakers that the commission should elect the chairman from its membership and also choose the head of DHHL, rather than giving that power to the governor.

One of Danner’s proposals would create a committee to select the DHHL director in a process similar to the Judicial Selection Committee, also taking the governor out of the selection process.

Patty Kahanamoku-Teruya, a commissioner who testified before the Senate committee, agreed….

Bo Kahui, from Villages of Lai Opua on Hawaii island, said the homestead association created a technology center at a nearby high school as well as a medical and dental building to serve the homesteaders. The community wrote its own grants, he said.

Community members also tried to build a renewable energy project but were stopped by the department because they were told they needed to go through the state’s procurement process….

Puni Kekauoa, from Papakolea, said the biggest problem in her community has been vacant and abandoned lots. On a recent drive through the neighborhood, she counted 30 vacant homes.

Kekauoa said DHHL located the leasees to inform them that they’re violating the Hawaiian homes act by abandoning the properties and failing to notify DHHL….

read …  Lawmakers Consider Fixes To Hawaiian Homelands Shortcomings

Most Mauna Kea arrestees reject plea deal

HNN: … Attorneys say the attorney general offered to reduce the charge to essentially a traffic ticket with a $100 fine.

But most are rejecting the plea deal.

"It's my understanding the overwhelming majority have rejected the plea," said Moani Crowell, an attorney who is representing four of the defendants.

“I’ve heard that there may be a couple people who accepted the plea. I don’t know who they are though,” added Noe Noe Wong-Wilson….

The attorney general won't comment about the cases, but filed a motion to consolidate so the 38 are set for trial in eight separate groups with four to six defendants per trial.

Attorneys say there are many issues including a right to a trial within 180 days and how long the trials could last as they file motions to dismiss the cases.

There's one elected official in the group, Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Carmen Hulu Lindsey. She told Hawaii News Now, she rejected the plea deal. …..

SA: Another Miscellaneous Anti-Telescope Rant

read … Most Mauna Kea arrestees reject plea deal

Airbnb agrees to provide host records to Hawaii

AP: … Airbnb Inc. has agreed to provide Hawaii with records of many of its island hosts as the state tries to track down vacation rental operators who haven’t been paying their taxes.

Airbnb and the state Department of Taxation reached the agreement last week after negotiating the scope of a subpoena sought by the state. First Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe approved the agreement.

Ayabe is also due to evaluate the state’s claim that there are a significant number of hosts who haven’t been paying their taxes. A hearing before the judge has been scheduled for Wednesday….

SA Editorial: Airbnb subpoena shows progress

read … Airbnb agrees to provide host records to Hawaii

LEAD—still trying to beg the homeless to accept shelter

SA Editorial: … a large proportion of them who may not be ready for permanent housing. (CLUE: Stop caring whether they are ‘ready”—force them.)

These are the chronically homeless: people who, due to mental illness, substance abuse or multiple causes, may cycle through emergency rooms and the criminal justice system, at a cost disproportionately large for their relatively small numbers. (Translation: This is another version of trying to ‘convince’ meth addled lunatics to accept shelter.)

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, growing in popularity nationwide, is seeing some success in its first Honolulu application in Chinatown, steering more of this population to agencies where they can be helped and guided to greater self-sufficiency.

This is encouraging news: LEAD should over time help to address one of the most persistent aspects of Hawaii’s homelessness crisis, and deserves further support to expand across Oahu and as officials move to replicate it across other counties.

The Oahu rendition pairs the Honolulu Police Department with outreach workers from the Hawai‘i Health &Harm Reduction Center to connect the homeless with services rather than to issue citations or arrests.

The University of Hawaii Department of Psychology has issued a report evaluating the program one year after its launch. Participants who otherwise might have been cited or arrested as a result of their encampment were invited to enroll in LEAD; 37 did sign up (for LEAD, not for housing).

read … A new approach to the homeless

Plan to Move Waianae Tweeker Camp will Cost $4.5M

CB: … Puuhonua o Waianae, a community of more than 200 homeless people living at a West Oahu boat harbor, has hit a major milestone in their effort to move their encampment to a permanent home, the group announced on Monday.

The community raised more than $800,000 in private donations allowing them to place an offer on a 20-acre piece of agricultural land. Closing the deal will require $650,000 more in fundraising to meet the $1.5 million price tag, but the offer was accepted by the private owner, they said.

The tentative agreement allows the group to pursue its goal of building a kauhale village, with shared kitchens and bathrooms, that will serve its community of about 250 people….

Puuhonua o Waianae’s leadership declined to disclose the exact location of its new home and the name of the current owner, but a map of the parcel matches 85-908 Waianae Valley Road. The owners are Perfecto and Jesusa Acosta, according to county property records.

The group chose the property in part because of its proximity to bus lines and to schools, Pakele said. It hopes to raise the needed $650,000 by the end of February 2020 in order to operate debt-free.

In addition to fundraising for the land acquisition, the community also needs $3 million for construction. The Hawaii legislature already allocated $300,000 in grant aid funding to help build the structures, but the money has not yet been released….

($4.5M / 200 = $22,500 per tweeker)

SA: Waianae homeless camp to move inland 

CB: Let’s Help Waianae ‘Houseless’ Help Themselves

read … Waianae Harbor Homeless Say They’ve Lined Up Land For Future Village

SURPRISE! Potential new site for Waianae homeless village worries Piliuka Place residents

KITV: … The sale of the property's not final yet -- but current Piliuka Place residents claim the newcomers are already disrupting the neighborhood -- and some fear retaliation for speaking up.

"I don't want to live next to that. I don't want to live next to 400 some people with mental and drug addictions. I have 6 kids. I'm going to be forced to move," one resident said.

"This place is not set up for anything like that, infrastructure wise, everything. This is a no flood zone, this is agricultural land. We got people leaving here that work all their lives for their homes. It's going to depreciate the value of their homes," another resident said….

read … Potential new site for Wai'anae homeless village worries Piliuka Place residents

Trump Activist Cleans up Liberals Homeless Trash

WHT: … The relatively unknown activist burst onto the national scene after the Baltimore cleanup, inspired by President Trump’s tweet that parts of the city were “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

That tweet prompted harsh criticism for the president that said Trump’s words were further examples of him dividing an already fractured nation. Presler, though, enlisted volunteers from around the country and cleaned up 29 tons of trash from the streets. He then hit Los Angeles where 50 tons of waste were hauled away from homeless encampments.

And now he’s on his way to the Big Island to spread his message.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Republican Committee, Presler will give talks in Hilo on Thursday, and in Waimea and Kona on Saturday. The event kicks off the Trump 2020 “Help Restore Paradise” campaign…..

read … On Big Island

Kiss of Death: Former Maui representative Kaniela Ing endorses Kai Kahele for vacant congressional seat

KHON: … Ing posted the message to his social media accounts yesterday.

“Since Tulsi Gabbard announced that she won’t be seeking re-election, a lot of people have been asking me what my plans are,” Ing says in the video while holding his infant child. “This time with my family has allowed me to be reminded about why I entered public service in the first place.

“It’s hard out there. We’ve paid over $30,000 for child care, homeownership seems to be a pipe dream now, and I can’t honestly look my kids in the eye….”

(Maybe Ing should move to Vegas.  They need BMW mechanics there.)

read … A Joke



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