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Thursday, June 04, 2015
June 4, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:42 PM :: 3143 Views

Court Orders Release of Native Hawaiian Roll

How Corn Ethanol Is Worse For Climate Change Than The Keystone Pipeline

Live the Words You Speak

Representation based on 'Eligible Voters' would Underrepresent Families

So you want to run the university like a business? Try making nice to the faculty.

Residents, Military, FAA Pose Sharp Questions about Waikiki, Kaena Windfarm Scheme

SA: The NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they wanted to know more about the effect the turbines and the cables that connect them to Oahu would have on marine life.

The Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration were concerned how the turbines would impact aircraft and vessel communication.

The Coast Guard is concerned that electromagnetic fields might disrupt vessels’ navigation systems, said Ulysses Mullins, prevention department head at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

The FAA said it would be interested in how the wind farms would affect the airways as the turbines may give false radar readings.

Nicole Griffin of the Marine Corps said it would be important to know the likelihood of the project’s success when reviewed by the state Public Utilities Commission and Hawaiian Electric Co. considering the number of stakeholders involved.

“Over the past five years we have gone through a couple fire drills with offshore wind developments. Is the project executable? We are all going to put in a boatload of work to do this,” Griffin said.

Community members requested that the public be considered by the agencies as a stakeholder.

Makani Ortogero-Clarke, a Haleiwa resident, said she wanted the agencies to reach out to the community.

“The real nexus point is the community that is affected by it,” Ortogero-Clarke said. “Perhaps the agencies should be engaging the community already. Just remember, it actually comes down to the people first.”

Ron Tam, secretary of the Hawai‘i Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, said he was worried about the wind farms’ influence on deep-water and nearshore fishing.

Tam said he was concerned about the impact the turbines would have on bird patterns, as seabirds are key to finding fish.

Background: Rusting Windfarm Junk off Waikiki: Europe's Disaster Coming to Hawaiian Waters

read ... Agencies and residents raise concerns over wind farms

Ige Has Until June 29 to Sign Ethanol Mandate Repeal

KHON: Lawmakers have agreed to remove a mandate requiring ethanol in gasoline, the only thing left to do is for the governor to sign it into law.

Since 2006, Hawaii has required that gasoline sold in the state include ethanol,but now lawmakers are expecting that to change.

“After many years we decided that it doesn’t really make sense anymore and we might as well take it off the book,” said Rosalyn Baker.

“Tried it for nine years now and it doesn’t work and it’s time to go,” said Frank Young, president of K & Y Auto Service

Young says when ethanol was put into the mix, more people started to come to his business to get work done.

“Our fuel pump sales when ethanol became law went up 300 to 400%,” said Young.

While some states have easier access to ethanol, here in Hawaii it has to be shipped over. We also have no ethanol plants in Hawaii.

“That costs us money because it is imported,” said Sen. Baker.”I think this will actually be a win win for motorists. They’ll get better fuel efficiency out of their automobiles and hopefully we will be saving money.”

The repeal of ethanol still has to be signed by Gov. Ige.

He has until June 29th to sign or veto

read ... Sign It

Sit-lie ban: Lawyers Circle, Eager to Keep the Homeless on the Streets

HNN: Caldwell is concerned a lawyer will get a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against the expanded ban, which could shut down any enforcement of the entire sit-lie ban for months or years while the case is fought over in the courts....

Kalihi councilman Joey Manahan said he understands there are concerns the new law might get thrown out of court, but during a floor speech at Honolulu Hale, he said the public is clamoring for action.

"I don't think my community, our communities care at this point if we legislate 'Sit-lie,' if we override 'sit-lie' or if a court makes a decision on 'sit-lie.' They want to see some kind of definitive action and an end to the sit-lie debate," Manahan said....

read ... No More Shadow Boxing with ACLU

Trial for Patrick Oki of PKF Pacific Hawaii pushed to January

PBN: The trial date for former PKF Pacific Hawaii Managing Partner Patrick Oki, who is charged with 13 counts of theft, forgery and money laundering, has been continued to Jan. 25, 2016, the Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney told PBN.

A trial date had originally been set for June 15.

Oki pleaded not guilty in April to charges of stealing $500,000 from the company using fraudulent reimbursement schemes and using a computer in commission of a separate crime.

Background: Prosecutor: HART & OHA Auditing Firm Victim of 3-year, $500K Embezzlement Scheme

read ... Keeping Whose Secrets?

Abercrombie Spins Conspiracy Theories About Latest UH Manoa Faculty Infighting

SA: In the course of the last 15 years, Dasenbrock has been a dean of arts and sciences, provost, Cabinet secretary for higher education to Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico — and now he has served longer as UHM vice chancellor than any vice chancellor, Manoa chancellor or UH president since the role of president and chancellor were separated. More than six years.

In all that time, with all of the tough decisions he has rendered, with all the issues concerning personnel, programs and policy he has confronted, in all the individual and collective faculty, staff and student interaction with which he has engaged, not a single complaint was ever registered against him.

Within a university context, the vice chancellor is perhaps the most “public” figure because of the implications of her/his decisions for faculty, staff and students. How it possible that these offenses attributed to Dasenbrock have only now been discovered?  These offenses are cited as “longstanding” by one commentary — but are only now being cited.

How is it possible to have a bullying, sexist, racist agenda as vice chancellor and successfully mask it for six years? 

(How is it possible for a bully to hide in Congress for 20 years and then be exposed after being elected Governor?)

I suggest there is an agenda, and it is not one of the vice chancellor’s making.

I suggest those making these accusations look at the institutional and political forces which have battered the University of Hawaii in recent years, particularly in the push-and-pull of drastically reduced state funding. I suggest that silence in the university and broader community in the face of attempted intimidation by invective only encourages more of it.

And, most especially, I suggest critics look in the mirror and see whether any element of what they accuse the vice chancellor is, perhaps, lurking in their own pronouncements and commentary.

read ... Conspiracy Theories

Is Hanabusa Through With Politics?

CB: Colleen Hanabusa has another new gig, her second in just a week’s time.

On Thursday the former U.S. representative and state Senate president was named to the board of directors for Hawaii Gas.

Just three days earlier, on Monday, Hanabusa was appointed to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Both positions are prominent, given the importance of transportation and energy in the islands.

Hanabusa has also been in the news recently for her work as a labor attorney representing the Hawaii State Teachers Union, which has been challenged regarding the labor group’s internal election process.

And, in late May — the month she turned 64 — Hanabusa formed a new law practice in Honolulu that bears her name.

With all the activity, folks in certain circles around town are wondering whether Hanabusa will challenge U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, whose seat is up in 2016....

read ... Through

Singapore’s Brilliant Housing Plan a Model for Hawaii

MW: The late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew said, “I wanted a homeowning society. I had seen the contrast between the blocks of low-cost rental apartments, badly misused and poorly maintained, and those of house-proud owners, and was convinced that if every family owned its home, the country would be more stable.”

The HDB sells public housing units at below market price to those with incomes less than $10,000 a year or qualifying for special assistance. You cannot resell your unit for at least five years. The elderly can sell back to the HDB part of their lease period, in return for a lifetime annuity so they can keep up payments.

Singapore tried involving private developers for a time, but that quickly inflated unit prices beyond affordability. So government puts the construction money up front from reserves and gets the land-and build costs back over time from the rent-to-own tenants.

The government is empowered to condemn and buy any land it needs for public housing at market price.

The projects are colorful and environmentally green.

Most of Singapore’s lower wage earners now rent to own.

The trade-offs are: You can’t quickly move “uptown” and can’t sell into a rising-price market like people in private housing.

But I’d take that over people in tents on our sidewalks.

It could have worked here and much better than with our bad Kuhio Park Terrace and Mayor Wright projects, had our long line of Democrat lawmakers and governors lived up to their claims of being “for the people.”

read ... Bob Jones

Peter Apo to Hoopili -- I can help for a Price

CB: In West Oahu, the Hoopili project that will replace hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land with hundreds of acres of homes got a green light from the Honolulu City Council....

Although Hoopili, as I understand it, has one last hurdle — securing state Land Use Commission approval.... (And maybe I can help, hint, hint....)

This column is not intended as an anti-development statement or an indictment of the developers involved. That’s what developers do. They propose development to the government. Then the government goes into due-diligence mode and makes decisions as to whether or not to approve what is being proposed....

The intention of this column is to challenge both state and county policy makers, planners and elected officials to revisit the state land use designations for the County of Honolulu, as well as the Oahu Development Plan....

Places lose their identity when urban sprawl lines roadways with strip malls, everywhere you look there are rows of national franchise logos, and the town you arrive in looks like the one you just left. That is when you are approaching placelessness. West Oahu is at high-risk of becoming placeless.

Am I joined by others in my state of apprehension about the quality of growth for Oahu? I hope so.

In spite of my aspersions, my words are not about finding fault with any person or government institution. They are part of an attempt to raise levels of consciousness in the hope that, in the end, a light is turned on in the head of people who can make a difference. 

(And they will come to me looking for my a$$i$tance in creating a "Hawaiian Sense of Place" for Hoopili.  After all, that is what I do for the tourism industry.  Now it is time to expand my business reach.  It sure does help that I can leverage OHA's support or opposition to your project.)

read ... Sales Pitch

B&B Sheep and Wolves

KE: As the Kauai County Council today resumes hashing out a new homestay/B&B law, Mark Beeksma of Koloa is attempting to garner sympathy for the unpermitted operators.

He penned a letter published in today's The Garden Island that portrays homestay operators as helpless, hapless sheep slaughtered by aggressive planning enforcers while the true wolves — legal and illegal TVR owners — roam free:

The sheep are just trying to make ends meet as they show some hospitality and make some new friends from around the world. The wolves are just enriching themselves while they destroy the fabric of local neighborhoods.

Oh, those poor little lambikins. They've been forced to suffer so.

Still, I keep coming back to this: Should we be sympathetic to those who must rent out rooms in order to finance a life in “paradise,” or those who bought land and houses they apparently can't afford, while locals struggle and double/triple up with family? If you can't pay your mortgage without a homestay or B&B, maybe you should sell it and buy something smaller, or take your chances with the hordes in the longterm rental market.

Instead, we're repeatedly confronted with their underlying — and irritating — sense of entitlement, that they should be allowed to continue just because they had the chutzpah to start....

KGI: Action on B&B Bill

read ... Musings: Sheep and Wolves

How Island Appeal Adds to the Nation’s Highest Rents

CB: When it comes to rents and real estate, the state's middle class can't compete with the endless pool of people who (are conditioned to) want to move here.

NOTE: Hawaii's appeal to outsiders is not an objective fact, it is the product of tourism marketing.  Tropical islands without Hawaii's tourism marketing machine are losing population, not gaining.  See US Island Areas: Population Decline 2000-2010

read ... How Island Appeal Adds to the Nation’s Highest Rents

Adulthood Interrupted--Hawaii Leads the Way

AS: In Progressive World, there are at least four stages of legally becoming an adult.

On Tuesday, the California Senate voted to raise the age when young people can buy cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The Hawaii Legislature has passed similar legislation. A companion California bill would mandate that e-cigarettes fall under the same restrictions as tobacco smokes.

If the bills become law, 18 will make a Californian old enough to vote, to enlist in the military, to sign a contract, to buy a gun, to get a tattoo and to get married — but not old enough to buy a cigarette. Not for three years.

It’s also not old enough to drink....

Read ... Hawaii Leads the Way

HI Congressional Delegation interested in Talia's Law

HNN: Talia's Law was crafted by Tarshia, her attorney, and Susan Chandler -- former head of the Hawaii Department of Human Services.

Right now, military personnel who suspect child abuse are only required to report it to their supervisor and its supposed to continue up the chain of command.

Talia's Law would require reporting not only to the supervisor, but also to the state's Child Protective Services division.

"The mandatory report law in our state requires everyone to do that now, they just don't in the military. In the military they report to the next higher up," says Chandler.

KHON: Mother of murdered 5-year-old pushes for notification law

read ... HI Congressional Delegation interested in Talia's Law

Soft on Crime: One Day for Robbery, One Day for Murder

SA: Honolulu police arrested Gary Lee Landis Tuesday on suspicion of murder in the death of Thaddeus “Ted” Pirga Jr., of Hawaii Kai, in November.

Police released Landis Wednesday, He was not charged.

Officers arrested Landis at the main police station, a week after he was released from Oahu Community Correctional Center.

In February, Landis entered a guilty plea to a second-degree robbery charge for stealing items from a Waikiki convenience store.

Police arrested him for the robbery of a mini-mart on Kuhio Ave. on Nov. 12, three days after Pirga's stabbing death.

Landis was sentenced to four months probation on May 26 and released from prison a day later. He had been confined at Oahu Community Correctional Center for the past seven months.

Meanwhile: Bail confirmed at $500,000 in stolen credit card case

read ... About someone who has spent two days in jail

Lewd acts reported in Maui parking lots linked to police employee

SA: Police said the suspect was a department employee who is on personal leave.

Police received numerous calls beginning at about 12:51 p.m. regarding a male exposing his genitals and performing a sex act in a vehicle....

Investigators are pursuing a possible lead provided by at least one of the callers, and have inited five sex assault IV cases.

read ... Lewd

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