Duke Aiona to Speak at Rally for Religious Freedom
Pro-Rail Leaders, Hirono Also Implicated in Pay to Play Scandal
Borreca: "My feeling is if PRP wants to engage in this, it is highly suspect, it is unfortunate. They are picking and choosing what candidates to focus on; they are failing to tell the real story; they are failing to say Gov. Cayetano was never ever criminally impacted," Belatti said.
Belatti noted that besides contributions going to Cayetano, donors also improperly gave to then-Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono and former Mayor Jeremy Harris.
Here is part of the 2006 settlement reached with Russell Figueiroa, R.M. Towill Corp. president:
"The proposed draft agreement is offered to settle claims of false name and excess contributions made to the campaigns of Arnold Morgado, Ben Cayetano, Jeremy Harris and Mazie Hirono. Staff recommends and Respondent has agreed to a fine of $50,800."
What White doesn't say in his PRP commercials is that Hirono's campaign took in about $98,000 in contributions that White called "illegal" with Cayetano.
White also didn't mention that he is Hirono's former chief of staff.
Lind and Borreca are basically saying keep Pandora's Box Closed: "Shut up about Pay to Play because all the politicians and contractors are guilty."
Attorney Challenges State's $200 Million Land Transfer to Native Hawaiian Agency
HR: Burgess and his supporters said in a letter to the governor that the lands should not be used by just one agency for one particular race (in this case Native Hawaiians), but should instead benefit all Hawaii residents. (Letter to Governor re-Kakaako transfer)
Burgess maintains the ceded lands, which were given to the state, belong to all citizens of Hawaii and cannot be given away to one group in violation of the 14th amendment.
Burgess and his clients, who have filed other legal challenges to Hawaiians-only programs and benefits, are threatening to take the state to court unless the Hawaii Supreme Court addresses the Federal Question of "whether the Act violates The Equal Protection clause or other provisions of the Constitution or civil rights laws of the Unites States or the fiduciary duties of the trustees of the State of Hawaii."
“Since the trust funds continue to be held for all the people of Hawaii so long as the funds are in the hands of OHA, the OHA Trustees have a fiduciary duty to all the people that conflicts with their interest in bettering the conditions of native Hawaiian and Hawaiian beneficiaries at the expense of the other beneficiaries,” Burgess said.
Kamehameha Schools leases Hawaiian Home Lands parcel for Maili learning center
PBN: The Learning Center at Maili, part of Kamehameha Schools’ Ka Pua Initiative, will be located within the DHHL’s 80-acre former Voice of America site and will be integrated with new Hawaiian homesteads, the DHHL said in a statement.
Under a joint development agreement with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Kamehameha Schools will build a 60-foot-wide roadway that both organizations will use.
Under the terms of the 65-year lease, Kamehameha Schools will have two years go complete due diligence for the learning center and will pay $73,720 per year in rent. During that time, Kamehameha Schools and DHHL will “work toward a fee simple land exchange of the 40 acres at Maili with another property,” DHHL said.
50% of Lanai’s Value in the 2% Ellison Not Buying
CB: The sale price has been estimated between $500 million and $600 million. But the total assessed value of Lanai is $635 million, according to Maui County. And only about half of that — $312 million — is attributed to the property that Ellison is buying from billionaire David Murdock’s Castle & Cooke, which owns 98 percent of the island.
The remainder of Lanai’s assessed value comes from the island's other 1,005 taxable parcels.
Media Lawyers Renew Request to Unseal Deedy Video
SA: In their request submitted to the court Thursday, lawyers for the newspaper and Hawaii News Now said two recent developments "undercut" the rationale for the judge's order.
They argued court papers open to the public filed by both the prosecution and defense this month have created the confusion and speculation that the court was trying to avoid.
The prosecution contended Deedy was the "first aggressor," kicking Elderts in the chest or abdomen and throwing his slipper, hitting Elderts in the head, the media lawyers said.
The defense responded that Elderts was the first aggressor, moving "angrily" and "menacingly" toward Deedy, who responded by kicking Elderts in the shin, the lawyers said.
Media lawyers Jeffrey Portnoy and Elijah Yip said "this battle of interpretations is being waged in public view, and yet, the public is barred from viewing the information the attorneys are characterizing in his case."
Hawaii Zinged by Two National Reports on State's Growing Liabilities
HR: The Institute for Truth in Accounting released its second annual report on June 13 on all 50 states' assets and liabilities, including pension and retirement healthcare obligations, which said “states have more than $900 billion in off-balance sheet liabilities, and the taxpayer burdens in most states continue to grow due to poor budgeting rules and outdated accounting principles.” (See the report at http://truthinaccounting.org)
Hawaii came in third worst in terms of its financial obligation and for the second year in a row was named one of five 'sinkhole states.'
Hawaii taxpayers owe $32,700 each to the state treasury to pay off all liabilities, which include a state retirement pension liability of $5.1 billion and a retiree healthcare liability of $11.9 billion. Institute founder and CEO Sheila Weinberg called these kinds of numbers “craziness.”
Apple: $439K Salary Not Lucrative
SA: Even before he landed, Apple, 57, knows the questions have been asked, mostly about what’s in his own pay packet — about $439,000 annually. His counter: The figure is roughly in the middle of the pack for top officers of state flagship campuses, he said, and the job is paying less than what he would have been getting to stay put as University of Delaware provost. When the cost of living is factored in, Apple said, the UH leap was not a lucrative one for him.
Judge orders updates on Makua Valley studies; No live-fire training until surveys complete
SA: A federal judge is ordering the Army to complete studies of impact to marine resources and cultural sites before any live-fire training can take place at Makua Valley.
No branch of the military has trained in Makua with live ammunition since 2004. The Army and its opponents have been embroiled in a decade-long legal dispute over how the military may use the valley.
Bob Jones Opposes Card Check
MW: I’m totally opposed to the system, which Hawaii lawmakers support, that allows unionization through card check.
That’s where a union organizer goes around to workers with a kind of petition and, if enough sign, the place is unionized. No election.
Two reasons that’s bad. One is face-to-face intimidation. “Hey, Joe, you want to sign up for the union, don’t you?” The other is scrapping the American tradition of the secret ballot. Why would you bypass that?
Unionists claim the ballot system allows employers too much time to persuade employees not to join, or to intimidate them. OK, then I guess our other election systems allow candidates and parties too much time to woo voters through campaign ads or intimidate them by saying some candidate will cost Americans jobs.
On the government level, unions tend to have only their members’ interests in mind rather than the interests of the general population. In Hawaii, that’s meant that, with arbitration, the main issue is whether government has money to pay wage or benefit demands, not whether there are people services that deserve that money more than the government worker. That’s why I support the strike rather than arbitration as a finality.
Star-Adv: Ellison Better Learn he is Buying Public Trust
SA: Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison's reputation for innovation and the deal's description in the purchase's application to the state provide some assurance that the new ownership will be enthusiastic. Should this deal go through, however, Ellison must be made aware, if he isn't already, that he is buying the public trust of all 3,193 residents of Lanai island, as well as a key component in Hawaii's future potential.
"I don't think his primary concern is fitting in with what Hawaiians want," Ellison biographer Mike Wilson told The Associated Press.
However, state Sen. J. Kalani English, who represents Lanai, says Oracle Corp. representatives have told him that Ellison will be sensitive to the "culture and conservation stewardship of the island," and that he sees Lanai as "much more than an asset."
That's indeed encouraging to get on the record at this early stage, as Lanai sits poised to enter a new era of activity.
First Wind to start transporting Kawailoa Wind turbine parts
PBN: First Wind said Thursday it will start transporting the wind turbine components for its 69-megawatt Kawailoa Wind project next week via trucks with oversized trailers from Barbers Point harbor to the wind farm site near Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore.
The deliveries, which will start on Monday, will be made during the late evening and early morning hours to minimize traffic disruption, Boston-based First Wind said in a statement. The deliveries will continue through August, and will take different routes for the turbine blade, tower and other parts, depending on the dimensions of each component, First Wind said.
Molokai Hansen's patients hope to see Cope canonization
HNN: It was just three years ago, when Hansen's patients made the long journey from Kalaupapa, Molokai to Rome, Italy for Father Damien's canonization.
Now, they're hoping to do it again, for blessed Mother Marianne Cope.
"I'd like to think that God arranged it that way so the patients from Kalaupapa could enjoy the canonization of these two people that meant so much to them," says Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva.
Sister Marianne answered a call from the King and Queen to minister Hansen's patients in Kalaupapa in 1888, earning a reputation as 'mother of outcasts."
"They're not just there to die. They're people, souls of Christ, that really needed to be cared for," said Sister Damien Lau of the Order of Saint Francis.
There are now about 20 surviving patients. "The youngest is 68 the oldest is in her 80's."
Groups dig in against mega-malls in S. Maui
MN: "I think the mayor and (South Maui County Council Member) Don Couch probably assume that the majority of people in Kihei support this project," Foley said, eliciting boos and catcalls from the crowd. "If that's not the case, then you should let them know. . . . I think a groundswell of concern from people in Kihei to Don Couch and the mayor should have some impact, and if it doesn't, I'm afraid our next step is to go to court."
Kihei Community Association President Jon Miller said Couch had a family emergency and was unable to attend the meeting. He also said executives with Eclipse declined to participate in the meeting.
South Maui state legislators Rep. George Fontaine and Sen. Roz Baker attended the meeting, and both have pledged to write letters to the governor and Land Use Commission.
No Decision on Closing School to Reopen Kulani Prison
HTH: Gov. Neil Abercrombie has not made a decision on reopening Kulani prison, a spokesman said Thursday, a day after the governor signed a package of bills aimed at reducing the number of prisoners sent to the mainland.
“It’s possible but no decision has been made one way or the other,” said Jim Boersema, communications director for the Governor’s Office….
Last session, Tsuji and eight other Big Island representatives introduced a resolution requesting the state to consider building a new prison on Hawaiian Home Lands adjacent to Hilo International Airport.
Justice Reinvestment: No Longer Needing Insanity Defense, Kauai Killer Suddenly No Longer Schizophrenic
KGI: The decision to grant supervised release to a killer acquitted by reason of insanity will be decided July 5 in 5th Circuit Court.
The decision follows a Thursday hearing via video conference from Hawai‘i State Hospital, where the defendant Raymond Earl Ard was present with his treatment team. Ard was acquitted of the grisly 2005 murder of a retired physician and the attempted murder of his own step-son.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe, who presided over Ard’s trial, denied two previous requests for unescorted off-grounds privileges. The new motion is whether to grant conditional release from Kaneohe. He may be allowed supervised release to live on O‘ahu or with a sister in Oregon.
Ard, 47, stabbed Dr. Jon Kerns at his Waimea property on Feb. 27, 2005. He also attempted to kill his 14-year-old step-son, Richard Iwate. Ard was reportedly caring for Iwate after the boy’s mother left him.
Listening in by phone at the hearing was Kerns’ sister Helen Egy from California.
“Ard murdered my brother, and he also stabbed his then-step-son, and he threatened to kill my sister-in-law,” Egy said. “He is a murderer forever; I am a victim forever, and there is no curing that.”
Dr. Klebert Jones, who is Ard’s attending psychiatrist, said Ard is a model prisoner. He said Ard has not shown signs of the bipolar or schizoaffective disorders with which he had been diagnosed. (It comes and goes.) Jones said it is his opinion that any psychosis was triggered by drug and alcohol addiction and not an underlying mental issue. (In other words, a doped up alkie conned the Hawaii judicial system.)
Jones said Ard was taken off medications by order of a previous physician, and that he concurred. Clinic staff say Ard does not present a danger to himself or others as long as he remains free of drugs and alcohol. (Maybe they should write a paper about their miracle cure for schizophrenia and manic depression!)
Justice Reinvestment: Rapist Blames Meth, Walks Free after 1 yr
Originally charged with second-degree sexual assault, Kenji Limes, 24, had pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of first-degree unlawful imprisonment in the June 18, 2011, incident.
Early that morning, a 53-year-old woman living in the same residence as Limes reported waking up to find him in her bedroom, where a 10-year-old girl was also sleeping.
The woman at first thought it was her husband in the bedroom with her, said Deputy Prosecutor Simone Polak. "She was very, very mad," Polak said. "She felt violated."
At the time, Limes was "coming down from a two-day methamphetamine binge and night of heavy drinking that led to and played a significant role in his actions," said defense attorney Andrew Martin.
He said Limes, who lost his job, family and inheritance from his grandmother because of his drug use, wants to get drug treatment.
Work slows at Aloha Stadium Thanks to Abercrombie’s Big Mouth
PBN: After spending $23.5 million on improvements since early 2011, the state has slowed work on Aloha Stadium this summer and it is unclear how much it will continue to invest in the aging complex.
But replacing it with a new facility is definitely off the table, said Donalyn Dela Cruz, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s deputy director of communications.
“What the governor is interested in is discussions on the stadium’s future….
Document Problems, People Turned Away Seeking Driver’s License Renewals
KHON: It's been more than three months since new driver's license regulations went into effect, and our action line department has received some complaints from people who were born before statehood. The birth certificate seems to be the one document giving most people problems.
Everyday people come to the Dillgingham Boulevard DMV, lined up waiting to renew their license with documents in hand, and everyday some are turned away.
Rickky Akase with the Department of Motor Vehicles said that the biggest issues for customers are usually, "Not being prepared, and not having the proper documents as required by law for issuance of a driver's license."
KHON2 first told you about a problem many women have been running into when renewing, name change due to marriage. But, clerks are finding it can be a problem for immigrants who may have spent years going by an "Americanized name" as well.
"Instances such as that, more than likely they may have to go through a legal name change with the Lieutenant Governor's office," said Akase. He also said that it may be easier than trying to redo all the paperwork on a house, car, will, and other legal documents. Akase is also quick to point out that there are exemptions for some problems you may run into at the D.M.V.
Troubled Lihue Airport gets New Manager
PBN: Dennis Neves, a Vietnam War veteran and San Francisco International Airport terminal systems manager, took over the airport’s top post on June 1….
The Department of Transportation had placed the airport’s previous manager, George “Manu” Crabbe III, on leave last July following numerous reports of security breaches and poor cash controls. Crabbe never returned.
During the 11 months that followed, Lihue Airport had no full-time, on-site manager. The absence of leadership appeared to be taking a toll on the airport when it made national headlines twice earlier this year.
In February, Kehei Elementary School Vice Principal Amy Strand was departing from Lihue Airport with her infant when she said she was humiliated by a Lihue Transportation Security Administration screener who refused to let her pass through a TSA checkpoint with her breast pump because her milk bottles were empty. And, in March, a Securitas security guard forced 20 passengers out into a severe storm at midnight because the airport was closing and the visitors had nowhere to go because their flight had been canceled.
NYT Profiles HPR’s Gene Schiller
NYT: Bill McGlaughlin, one of the few syndicated celebrity hosts in the field, describes the broadcasting booth as the occupant’s personal universe. “It’s a bit godlike,” he said on a recent visit to the islands, where Hawaii Public Radio presents his series “Exploring Music” on weekday afternoons. “You give the time and the temperature, and no one can tell you you’re wrong.” ….
Some of Mr. Schiller’s examples of world-class classical music in Hawaii make him sound like Methuselah….
The visiting royalty Mr. Schiller singles out are old-timers too.
Glorious Tax Credit Success Story: Hoku’s Nasdaq delisting deadline is July 10
PBN: With Act 221 wunderkind Hoku Corp. already working to restructure its liabilities and exploring the sale of its profitable solar division, the crumbling Honolulu-based company also faces another looming challenge — being delisted from Nasdaq.
As a result, local stock analysts are among those who say the fate of the diversified clean-energy corporation, which also has an unfinished and now-stalled Idaho polysilicon plant, remains too risky to predict.
Hoku, one of only 12 publicly traded companies in Hawaii, has seen its stock trade below the $1-a-share minimum requirement since Dec. 1, and it reached a 52-week low of 7 cents last month. As of midweek it was trading at an average of 15 cents a share.
Strategy change after First Wind failed IPO
RC: “They were valuing the operating company pretty well but really placed nil value on the growth part of the business,” he says. At the time, investors were concerned the targeted price range was too high. The IPO disappointment prompted a decision to split First Wind into operating and development companies, says Gaynor, who has led First Wind since 2004. “So we said, ok, ‘let’s see what the market thinks about raising capital around one side of that transaction.’”
The strategy paid off as First Wind sold a 49% equity interest in its 385MW portfolio of Northeast wind projects for $211m to Emera, a Nova Scotia-based utility holding company. It retained 51% in the new joint venture called Northeast Wind Partners (NWP), which will own and operate those eight projects. Emera will also provide a $150m loan to a subsidiary company of NWP, which will be repaid in five years. Affiliate Emera Energy Services will provide energy management services.
“What is even better is that we have an ongoing relationship with Emera where we are taking all the development risk and making all the development decisions,” says Gaynor.
(In other words, First Wind is dead when the tax credits and subsidies die.)
Navy Provides Annual Water Reports to Consumers in Hawaii
WW: Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii is distributing its 2012 Water Quality Reports to Navy, Air Force, Department of Defense (DOD) and some non-DOD customers starting June 21….NAVFAC Hawaii owns and operates six water systems: Barbers Point (Kalaeloa), Camp Stover, Naval Magazine (NAVMAG) Lualualei, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific (NCTMAS PAC) Wahiawa, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), and Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) Kauai. Annual reports are developed for each system, with the exception of NAVMAG Lualualei which did not require a report since the system does not service any housing residents.
Hard copies of all Water Quality Report brochures may also be obtained from NAVFAC Hawaii's Public Affairs Office by calling 471-7300 or the command's Environmental Compliance Office at 471-1171 Ext. 203.
Electronic copies of all five brochures are also posted on NAVFAC Hawaii's public website. Go to www.navfac.navy.mil.
Suckered by Gore Cult, Willapa Bay oyster grower sounds alarm, starts hatchery in Hawaii
ST: when, in 2009, Nisbet heard oceanographers identify the likely culprit — increasingly corrosive ocean water, a byproduct of the same greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming — the oysterman did the unthinkable.
Nisbet took out a loan and spent three years testing and building a new hatchery that opened recently. In Hawaii.
Most of Washington's $100 million-a-year oyster industry has been whipsawed in recent years by ecological problems. But Nisbet's oyster company appears to be one of the first businesses in the Northwest — perhaps anywhere — to shift part of its business to a new region in response to ocean acidification.
"I just got nervous," Nisbet said. "I was afraid if I didn't do something, then our business would just slowly die."
Now, rather than relying on oysters that have spawned in Willapa Bay or on juvenile oysters purchased from a nearby hatchery — as he has for years — Nisbet raises larvae in tanks in a million-dollar, 20,000-square-foot plant in Hilo, Hawaii. The tiny larvae are then sent by mail to Washington, where Nisbet and his team oversee the rest of the multiyear growing cycle in Willapa Bay.