Emergency powers reform tops ‘veto list’ discussion
Can the State Tax Itself?
UH Regents Evaluate Lassner, identify priorities for coming year
Poll: Approval Ratings Improve for Ige, Slip For Green
CB: … The governor’s positive approval numbers have climbed to 30% while the negative figure has dropped 5 percentage points to 51%….
Green gets a positive rating of 54% while 26% have a negative opinion….
Green’s positive numbers dropped by double digits from October 2020, when he was at 66%, while the negative numbers crept up from 14% to 26%….
Kahele — who is leaving Congress to run for governor — was viewed positively by only 28% of voters while 40% had a negative opinion….
On Oahu, Blangiardi was viewed positively by 40% of the voters surveyed, while 26% had a negative opinion. Another 34% just weren’t sure….
The least favorable marks were for the Hawaii State Legislature, which earned just 21% of voters praise but 51% displeasure….
PDF: Poll Readout
read … Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Approval Ratings Improve for Ige, Slip For Green
Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him
SA: … A Justice Department special prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat, served search warrants on the prosecutor’s office when Katherine Kealoha was employed there and asked for Kaneshiro’s cooperation in the probe, Silvert said.
He refused to cooperate, did not comply with federal subpoenas and filed motions in federal court to have Wheat removed as a prosecutor. In public statements to the news media, Kaneshiro called the federal investigation a “circus” and claimed the probe was not being conducted fairly or impartially, according to Silvert.
“Kaneshiro brought this on himself. I was fully convinced that Mr. Wheat had no interest in prosecuting Mr. Kaneshiro when he began his investigation,” Silvert said. “He attacks Mr. Wheat; he attacks the federal grand jury process. In my opinion, it was that conduct and that behavior … that basically drew their attention to him.
“You have to remember what he is doing is obstructing providing information about Katherine Kealoha to a federal investigation. You have to ask yourself why? What is going on there? Why is the top county prosecutor trying to interfere with a federal investigation of an employee?” ….
read … Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him
Star-Adv: Save foster care, open-records bills
SA Editorial: … Tuesday’s veto threat hovers over a longer-than-usual list of bills this year, as Ige’s two terms of office near an end. He may be especially sensitive about Senate Bill 3089, which clarifies his own executive authority during a state of emergency as well as that of the county mayors.
Lawmakers watching the pandemic management rightly worry that there were too few boundaries and too much potential for abuse in the future.
The governor should accept that concern and enact SB 3089. The bill would require more clearly defined suspensions of laws and justifications of how the suspensions would protect public health, safety and welfare.
Among their wide-ranging effects, the emergency orders Ige issued curtailed open-records and open-government provisions of the law; at a minimum, these restrictions of public access went on for far too long.
Under SB 3089, the Legislature would have the power to terminate all or part of a declared state of emergency by a two-thirds vote. This sets the hurdle appropriately high for lawmakers, too ….
SA Column: Fortify Hawaii’s strained child welfare system, now
read … Save foster care, open-records bills
Despite funding approval, new stadium’s timeline remains a question
Dave Reardon: … The three questions I get asked most about Aloha Stadium haven’t changed. They’re the same, even after Gov. David Ige signed off on $400 million of state money for the new 35,000-seat multi-use facility and surrounding entertainment district:
1. When will the old stadium be destroyed?
2. When will the new one be ready for football?
3. Are they ever going to close the swap meet?
And the answer is still the same for all of them:
No one really knows.
Of course, there are projections. There always are. And they always change — they get pushed even further into the future because of some technicality and/or some very vague excuse.
Here are the latest guesstimates from sources close to all of it who don’t want to be named (can’t say I blame ’em).
1. Sometime next year.
2. In time for the 2026 football season.
3. Maybe someday. But it’s safe for now….
PBN: New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District project to move forward
read … Despite funding approval, new stadium’s timeline remains a question
Abercrombie, Waihee, Ariyoshi Endorse CNHA’s Crooked Steal of HTA Contract
SA: … HTA’s choice makes timely sense. Their request for proposals was a pivot from the usual marketing and public relations, emphasizing something they call “integrated marketing and destination management services” in keeping with their new strategic plan. Destination management services means, among other things, the ways and means by which tourism is in a dignified and healthy relationship with natural resources, with the Hawaiian culture and its institutions, and with our many communities. Integrated marketing means that these efforts are blended functionally with how we portray ourselves….
(Translation: We love corruption.)
read … Three out of Four Governors of the Apocalypse
Kai Kahele: just flamboyant, or a flameout?
Borreca: … The real disappointment is not to an individual politician’s career — but to see one of Hawaii’s two congressional seats treated by first Gabbard and now Kahele as just a stepping stone to be disrespected at their convenience. ….
read … Flameout
Shapiro: … “kleptoparasitism.”
I studied the word with appreciation. Where have you been all my writing life?
I’d been mulling a legislative measure on Gov. David Ige’s veto list, Senate Bill 2510, which would set an arbitrary mandate that 33% of the state’s renewable energy be “firm renewables” such as potentially polluting wood and biodiesel instead of solar and wind.
State Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz reportedly went to extraordinary lengths to bully other legislators into passing the bill despite expert warnings it would undercut Hawaii’s clean-energy goals.
A primary beneficiary appeared to be Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC, a controversial wood-burning project on the Big Island that has twice been rejected by the Public Utilities Commission and is appealing to the state Supreme Court.
According to Honolulu Civil Beat, a Hu Honua lobbyist in June helped put together a political fundraiser for Dela Cruz and three SB 2510 co-sponsors — Sens. Glenn Wakai, Michelle Kidani and Bennette Misalucha — with donations of up to $2,000.
I struggled for a word to describe this until I read in the Times about those greedy gulls scrounging in the skies above San Francisco for pilfered fish scraps.
Then there was former Sen. J. Kalani English explaining himself to Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway for accepting $18,305 cash from businessman Milton J. Choy to corrupt legislation.
“I ask myself continually, ‘Why did I do it?’” English said. “I can’t answer it.”
He should spend his 40 months in federal lockup learning to spell “kleptoparasitism” and use it in a sentence his former colleagues can understand. …
read … kleptoparasitism
3 top officials at Bishop Museum placed on leave amid internal probe
SA: … Bishop Museum President and CEO Melanie Ide today said she will be resigning from her post after she and two other officials were placed on paid administrative leave and banned from the museum property over alleged workplace concerns raised by employees.
Ide said that after returning to Hawaii from Europe she received a letter from the museum’s board of directors saying she was being placed on leave along with Wesley “Kawai” Yoon, vice president of operations, planning, and project management, and general counsel Barron Oda….
“I just wanted to say that based on the latest communications I’ve received from the board I will be resigning because I cannot support this reckless, irresponsible overreach by the board to micromanage an employee problem that I was already working on addressing in a thoughtful way,” she told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today….
Ide, who was hired by Bishop Museum in 2018 from Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the world’s largest museum exhibition design firm, declined to provide information on the nature of the alleged complaints. On Friday she told the newspaper there were “specific concerns about the behavior of a few employees that is being looked into because they feel it is a troubling work environment.”
She also said she fully supports “investigating workplace concerns but not by removing staff, especially when there is no cause for removal as far as I can tell. These workplace concerns should be investigated but there is no reason to remove staff and interrupt operations….
read … 3 top officials at Bishop Museum placed on leave amid internal probe
Hawaii health officials question Navy’s Red Hill fuel spill findings
SA: … “We are going back with our subject-matter experts to look at heat maps and to do a backwards calculation to see how much would have needed to spill to get that level that was reported in the groundwater monitoring wells,” said DOH spokesperson Katie Arita-Chang….
read … Hawaii health officials question Navy’s Red Hill fuel spill findings