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Wednesday, November 6, 2019
November 6, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:13 PM :: 2303 Views

Full Text: Maui Injection Wells Case Oral Arguments Before Supreme Court

Sue Big Oil for Climate Change? Caldwell Falls for Debunked Litigation Scheme

DLNR: Coral Bleaching wasn't all that bad

Bill 40 Plastic Ban: No Bill This Extreme has passed Anywhere

KHON: … More than 200 members of Hawaii’s Food Industry demonstrated against a stricter plastics ban Tuesday. The proposal was heading to final reading but has since been referred back to committee.

The intent of the proposal is to ban plastic utensils and containers normally used for takeouts. Opponents say how it’s written now would ban all plastic food packaging, which would cripple only local food manufacturers.

No bread, snacks, and poi. That’s what hundreds of business owners and employees of the food industry are saying could happen under a stricter plastics ban. They say it’s a ban on all plastic food packaging that would only apply to local food manufacturers, not imported food products from the mainland.

“They get an unfair advantage. Mainland meat, all imported goods, will continue to bring plastics into our islands while local companies will have to raise prices, cut jobs, and even close their doors,” said Jason Higa, CEO of FCH Enterprises which is the parent company of Zippy’s Restaurants.

It’s something Mike Irish, owner of Halm’s Enterprise, Keoki’s Laulau, and Diamond Head Seafood, says could affect them because they use mostly plastic packaging….

Last week, City Councilman Tommy Waters says he requested the proposal be referred back to the public safety committee that he chairs.

“One of the things we are thinking of doing is taking prepackaged foods off the table,” said Waters. “I have to agree with the businesses the language is confusing and it has to be clarified and I’m willing to do that.”

“I don’t want to commit to any specific language but we are looking at the language that Hawaii County currently has in its ordinance with regards to prepackaged foods,” said City Councilman Joey Manahan….

Waters says a draft will need to be finished by the end of this week to make it into the Public Safety Committee in November. If that does not happen, it could be pushed off beyond December….

read … Hundreds gather to protest against a stricter ban on plastics

DoE Failure is Hindering Hawaii’s Economy

SA: … a strong academic foundation remains essential for students who graduate from high school ready for choice in career, college and citizenship in an increasingly complex world. Unfortunately, the reality is that far too many students in Hawaii are not building this foundation, which ultimately could lead to dire consequences for our state as more jobs require technical skills and post-secondary degrees and credentials in the face of disruption from automation and innovation.

There are multiple sources of evidence to pull from. On mandatory state tests, only 54% of kids in Hawaii public schools were proficient in language arts, 43% in math and 44% in science, while the achievement/opportunity gap between high-need and non-high-need students — including English learner, special education and economically disadvantaged — remains at 34% in language arts and 29% in math.

It seems increasingly likely the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) won’t reach the goals it set: to raise student learning by 2020 to 61% in language arts, 54% in math and 64% in science, while closing the achievement/opportunity gap to 25% in language arts and 22% in math….

(Don’t worry.  The DoE graduates can all move to Vegas and be replaced by educated people from the mainland.  It'll be great.)

read … Build education on stronger foundation

Mauna Kea: Cost of Not Enforcing the Law—$11M

SA: … That’s up from about $9 million as of Oct. 9. The current figures are certain to rise as agencies provide more up to date figures.

State costs include:

  • $2.2 million for the Hawaii National Guard through Oct. 14
  • $1.2 million for the Public Safety Department, which oversees state sheriffs, through Aug. 31
  • $1.6 million for the Attorney General’s office through Nov. 1
  • $601,000 for the Department of Land and Natural Resources through Sept. 3
  • $275,000 for the Department of Transportation up to August.

Meanwhile, Hawaii County has spent nearly $4.9 million on police overtime, fringe benefits and other costs so far, members of the Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee were told today.

The new report to the council suggests the county has taken significant steps to limit the costs associated with the protests, with the county racking up less than $500,000 in new expenses during the past month of the continuing protests.

In addition, Honolulu and Maui County police spent about $260,000 combined in overtime, travel and vehicle shipping in the early days of the protest, as previously reported….

HTH: County’s mauna costs hit $4.9M

read … TMT law enforcement costs jump to $11M, almost half spent by Hawaii County

Police cracking down on vehicles with large banners, flags

KHON: … The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) posted on Tuesday that stricter enforcement is on the way for vehicles that have large flags and banners. HPD said this week, they will be issuing warnings and educating drivers who break the law.

According to traffic laws, items on cars cannot cover a driver’s license plate, cover a car’s reflectors or vehicle lights, obstruct the view of a driver or interfere with the car or hang out wider than the vehicle. Police say the fines for breaking the laws can range from $70 to $97….

HPD said enforcement is scheduled to start this weekend, which is when one of the Kiai convoys is planned. It’ll take place on Sunday from Kapolei to Kualoa….

read … Police cracking down on vehicles with large banners, flags

City deals another blow to Ala Wai flood project

SA: … Opponents of an Ala Wai flood mitigation project are pleased that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell won’t accept the project’s environmental impact statement, a move that kicks it back to the state for more review and potentially could cause the project to lose millions of dollars in federal funding.

Caldwell, in an Oct. 31 letter to Gov. David Ige, outlined several inadequacies that the city had found in the project’s EIS, which the city must sign to move the controversial project forward. Adequate environmental review of the flood control project is critical since it aims to build walls and berms around the Ala Wai Canal and put huge flood-control structures in the upper reaches of the watershed.

Caldwell’s letter said the city was concerned that the federal environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) did not meet state law and administrative rule requirements. He was chiefly concerned that responses to public comments fell short and that changes, including the scope of the project’s real estate requirements, were not clearly identified.….

read … City deals another blow to Ala Wai flood project

Citing ‘egregious’ fraud,' judge OKs request for new civil trial against Katherine Kealoha

HNN: … A state judge ruled Tuesday that a new civil lawsuit against Kealoha ― filed by her grandmother Florence Puana and uncle Gerard Puana ― can move forward.

The civil case, which centers around an allegation that Kealoha stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Puanas, was first tried 2015.

Katherine Kealoha won that case, and Florence and Gerard Puana were ordered to pay $658,000.

But a state judge ruled in September was tainted by fraud.

And Circuit Judge James McWhinnie subsequently ordered that a motion for a new trial be granted.

“Here, the plaintiffs have presented evidence that has been clear and convincing that there have been misrepresentations and fraud,” McWhinnie wrote….

Federal prosecutors said Kealoha lied on the stand and used forged documents notarized by a fictitious person named Alison Lee Wong to win the case. And lawyers for the Puana family used evidence from the federal case their motion requesting a new trial….

SA: Judge grants new civil trial to Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother and uncle

CB: Letters For Leniency: Katherine Kealoha’s Family And Friends Seek ‘Justice’

HNN: Katherine Kealoha’s outspoken attorney withdrawing from the mailbox case

read … Citing ‘egregious’ fraud,' judge OKs request for new civil trial against Katherine Kealoha

An unofficial DLNR Instagram page surfaces with ‘public shaming’ tactics

HNN: … The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating an Instagram page showing people arrested or cited by its conservation officers.

The DLNR said it’s not their official site and they have no ties to the page. Some say the page is public shaming and downright inappropriate….

The site has been shut down recently.

It’s unclear how many posts there have been and who is behind it. The page apparently uses photographs taken by DLNR’s conservation officers….

Environmental activist Carroll Cox said he was first alerted about the Instagram site by DLNR conservation officers not affiliated with it.

“They were quite offended because they felt it was wrong every way you look at it,” he said. “It boggles the mind, what were they thinking and why would they do it.”

HNN: It features photos of people holding citations that were taken by DOCARE officers.

read … An unofficial DLNR Instagram page surfaces with ‘public shaming’ tactics

4,000 TVR Applications on Big Island

HTH: … West Hawaii accounts for 82% of the county’s short-term vacation rental applications in permitted areas and just 25% of those in non-permitted areas, according to a report discussed Tuesday by the County Council Planning Committee….

In all, an estimated 4,000 applications have come in, with about 1,150 of those in nonconforming zones.

Only 900 applications have been processed, and close to 80 or 90 permits were denied, Planning Director Michael Yee told council members….

The massive workload in Planning did, as reported, slow down building permits for everyone, Yee said. But the time to get a building permit has now dropped from three months during the busiest times to one month, he said….

Eight denied cases are headed to the Board of Appeals, Yee said, and “it’s just the beginning.”

He expects several of the cases to go on to Circuit Court and beyond.

“Once those big cases clear, it will set precedents that will make it clearer,” he said.

Most of the denials relate to a state land use law that restricted structures to only farm dwellings in lots created after June 4, 1976, in agriculture districts. Others were denied because of shoreline violations in special management areas or for illegal or unpermitted structures.

Neighbors of applicants in nonconforming areas have been vocal in their opposition to vacation rentals in their communities, with only a few sending in positive letters. About a third of the properties seeking nonconforming use permits have drawn more than 1,000 written comments.

“It’s overwhelmingly negative,” Yee said. “Regular working people don’t want vacation rentals in their neighborhoods.”…

Big Q: What do you think of Airbnb providing records of its vacation rental operators to Hawaii’s Tax Department?

read … While there are positives, some say tweaks are needed to county’s vacation rental law

With Recycling Fraud Exposed, Hawaii County Council Acts Quickly to Divert Attention Away from H Power

WHT: … A system that (claims it) can transform nearly any organic waste into fuel or other products without incineration was the subject of a Tuesday meeting of the County Council’s Committee on Agriculture, Water, Energy and Environmental Management.

At the request of Councilwomen Valerie Poindexter and Rebecca Villegas, the committee heard a presentation by Michael Lurvey, a scientist (What degree?  Answer: MBA from UH Manoa) who invented a waste-processing system that can reduce organic waste into activated carbon or liquid fuel with minimal space or emissions.

The system — Thermal Conversion of Organic Material, or TCOM — has been implemented in a test facility on Oahu and is specifically designed be a sustainable energy solution for small island communities, Lurvey said.

Lurvey, the founder and CEO of Honolulu startup Carbon Geo-Tek Consultants Inc., said TCOM is a simple combination of already existing technologies.

Organic waste is compressed at about 75 pounds per square inch within a sealed container and heated at 400 degrees Celsius — more than 750 degrees Fahrenheit. After about 45 minutes, the waste is converted into fuel or activated carbon, which has a number of industrial uses including improving soil health and filtering toxins.

Lurvey said the system can process 3 tons of waste an hour, and produces 700 pounds of activated carbon or 40 gallons of fuel during that time.

(And how much fuel does it consume? No mention of this of course.  More magic bs from the people who sold you fake recycling for decades.)

PHOTO: Magic Recycling System

PDF: $40M of Special Purpose Revenue Bonds at Work, LOL!

read … Don’t Look at H Power Because it Works

In 2018, lawmakers put up $30M to create Ohana Zones for the homeless. So where are they?

HNN:  … In 2018, lawmakers put up $30 million for Ohana Zones, leaving it up to the Ige administration to create places for homeless people to come in off the street.

A year and a half later, so-called Ohana Zones are almost non-existent.

So far, there’s been no permanent housing created through the state’s Ohana Zone project.

And only 41 new temporary beds have been added. The majority of those are at a new homeless shelter in Hilo….

A total of 10 new beds were added to a youth shelter in Kailua.

The state announced an Ohana Zone in Maili earlier this year. However, a closer look at the numbers revealed those 80 units are nothing new. The buildings were just re-purposed from a transitional shelter to an emergency shelter. Renovations cost $7.5 million.

Over on Maui, there are just six new beds.

Hawaii Island has made the most progress, launching a brand new men’s shelter in October. Currently there are 25 beds. That number’s expected to grow to 50 by the end of the year….

LINK: Ohana Zone Funding Chart

read … In 2018, lawmakers put up $30M to create Ohana Zones for the homeless. So where are they?

Costs for Hawaii's homeless continue even after they die

KITV: … On average, a homeless resident dies on Oahu every 5 days. Many of them end up being cremated, with their ashes left waiting to be picked up while the cost of that cremation is picked up by the state….

"They are a sicker population, the Medical Examiner found life expectancy to be 55. We saw that 3 years ago when we found the age of homeless deaths was 50," said Dr. Daniel Cheng, Medical Director of the Queen's Care Coalition….

"By far, the most common usage of the ER is psychiatric and substance abuse, with the most common substance being meth," added Dr. Cheng….

The state has a death payment program which covers the $800 cost for cremation, for those that have no family or friends to cover their final expenses.  Last year alone, 204 people were covered by the program.  It benefits anybody unable to pay, although homeless residents make up a large number of those who receive the benefit.

"Most of them are eligible because they meet the requirements: they don't have any assets," added Mayeshiro….

The state spends just under $200,000 a year on its death payment program for cremation of unclaimed bodies. But also provides several hundred dollars in funeral expenses for those not eligible for social security's one-time death benefit….

read … Costs for Hawaii's homeless continue even after they die




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