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Monday, January 26, 2009
January 26, 2009
By Andrew Walden @ 11:27 PM :: 6665 Views

Plan would buy airfare to send Hawaii homeless to Mainland

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla, chairwoman of the Housing Committee, said she plans to ask for $100,000 this legislative session for a pilot program that would fly people who have recently arrived from the Mainland and are now homeless back to where they came from.

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Pflueger shifts Kaloko blame to state

In a Jan. 26, 2006, internal memo, the DLNR's chief engineer, Eric Hirano, said he was temporarily suspending all dam inspections and emergency responses to floods due to budget constraints and lack of personnel.

A month later, DLNR Chairman Peter Young instructed Hirano to refrain from stating that the inspections have been halted, saying "we need to look at another way of handling this.... We should not state we are doing nothing, but rather state we will respond to issues and questions related to these items," Young said in his Feb. 14, 2006, e-mail to Hirano.

On Feb. 27, 2006, DLNR's Hirano said in an e-mail that he received a report from Kaua'i County Public Works officials that a 4-foot high wall of water flowed from the Kaloko Reservoir area downstream to nearby Moloa'a, where it destroyed a small bridge. Rather than sending out its own inspectors to the site, Hirano took no action, even though his e-mail says he was unsure whether the flood "may or may not be attributable to the Kaloko Dam."

"At this point, (Kaua'i County Public Works) will not be following up further and we'll take a wait and see approach until any news is reported and confirmed that the dam was involved," Hirano said in his e-mail. "If the dam were to be involved, the most we would do at this point is to conduct an investigation of the situation."

The following month, the Kaloko Dam collapsed during heavy rains, sending an estimated 400 million gallons of water through Kaua'i's North Shore, killing seven people and destroying parts of a state highway and large sections of an ocean reef.

Under Hawai'i's Dam Safety Act of 1987, the repair and maintenance of a dam remains the responsibility of the owner.

(Intra-departmental bureaucratic power plays hand issues to Pflueger.) 

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Damon Estate 'master' faulted

The Hawai'i Supreme Court has found that local attorney James Kawachika — a past president of the Hawai'i Bar Association — was in a conflict of interest when he acted as court-appointed "master" reviewing liquidation of the Damon Estate's $1 billion in assets.

The high court, in a ruling late last month, also faulted state Probate Court Judge Colleen Hirai for allowing Kawachika to continue serving as master in 2004 despite objections from Damon heir Christopher Damon Haig....  Haig and his lawyers hired outside experts who said the estate lost tens of millions of dollars selling Hawai'i and Mainland real estate. They also questioned the trustees' decision to keep much of the investment portfolio in First Hawaiian Bank stock....

(What the Advertiser doesn't mention is who benefited from buying the discounted real estate...First Hawaiian Execs?)

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Hawaii's top Republican backs national leadership

Willes Lee, Hawaii GOP chairman, says he wants current Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan to retain his post. Republicans are meeting Friday to vote....  Duncan, long a force in Kentucky politics, leads his rivals with 25 endorsements, followed by Dawson (16), Anuzis (15) and Steele (15), according to the Web site

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Lingle backs Ka Iwi preservation

About 400 acres of state land on the Ka Iwi coast would be reclassified from urban to conservation under an initiative announced yesterday by Gov. Linda Lingle.  The area extends from Makapuu Lighthouse to Queen's Beach.  Related: Rep Gene Ward statement

2001: State buys Ka Iwi from Kam Schools

2006: Community protests cabins above Ka Iwi

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