Supreme Court Seizes Control of Telescope Case, Will Decide Who Gets Payoffs
Not Really Closing: Another $70M to be Wasted on New Hawaii Health Exchange Plan
Almost 80% of Hawaii Obamacare Enrollees Have Failed to Pay Premiums in 2015
Hawaii Cigarette Taxes 5th Highest in USA
Maui County Meets with Municipal Utility Operators
PUC: HECO Sabotages Seven Big Solar Projects on Behalf of NextEra
IM: The Public Utilities Commission deferred decision-making on seven waiver projects involving photovoltaic (PV) Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
The seven waiver projects are Ka La Nui Solar, LLC (docket 2014-0308), EE Waianae Solar Project LLC (docket 2014-0354), Ho'ohana Solar 1, LLC (docket 2014-0355), Kawailoa Solar, LLC (docket 2014-0356), Lanikuhana Solar, LLC (docket 2014-0357), Sune Waiawa Solar, LLC (docket 2014-0358) and Waiawa PV, LLC (docket 2014-0359).
The Public Utilities Commission asserted that it is aware of the looming expiration of the federal thirty percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on December 31, 2016.
“Nonetheless, following painstaking and time-consuming review, the commission finds it necessary to defer decision-making in the seven Waived Projects dockets based on HECO's failure to meet its requisite burden of proving that the subject PPA is just and reasonable.” ...
The Public Utilities Commission also noted that the projects have risks. “HECO's analysis projected that only a few projects would yield savings in the short term and no projects provided long-term savings.”
(Question: Are the PPAs overpriced or is HECO sabotaging these projects to make way for NextEra owned projects to take their place after the merger?)
PUC's Answer: "If HECO had proposed to invest in new utility-owned generation resources of this magnitude, the commission seriously questions whether such a project would have received such superficial and deficient treatment."
Meanwhile: Hawaii governor expected to sign bill setting state's 100% renewable energy goal
read ... Public Utilities Commission troubled by Hawaiian Electric Company proposals
IDEA: 9th Circuit Slaps Down DoE Harassment of Autistic Student, Parents
TR: The court of appeals affirmed a judgment of the district court. The court held that a disabled student timely requested reimbursement for his appropriate placement in a private school, where placemen was bilateral under state law.
Sam K. was a disabled student whose parents placed him in Loveland Academy, a private school in Hawaii, where Sam was enrolled for several years. Prior litigation between Sam's parents and the state department of education (DOE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was settled with an agreement that provided among other things that the DOE would pay for Sam's Loveland tuition for three previous school years. The agreement also provided that Sam's parents and the DOE would reevaluate Sam's individualized education plan (IEP). In the course of those meetings, Sam's next school year at Loveland began and Sam remained there, while his parents and the DOE never agreed on a different placement.
Midway through that school year, the DOE produced a signed IEP that provided that Sam would be placed in a public school program at the Windward Intensive Learning Center (ILC). Shortly after, the DOE formally notified Sam's parents of the ILC placement. Sam's parents disputed the effectiveness of the IEP and the finality of the ILC placement. The DOE stood fast....
Read ... The Recorder
Repeat Homosexual Child Molester Gets 10 Years
SA: A former campus supervisor convicted of sexually assaulting a boy while working at a Hawaii island elementary school in 2007 was back in court Wednesday for fondling two boys at Walmart and attempting to lure a third boy into a bathroom stall at Costco in Waipio in 2013.
Cary Cantere, 45, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison by Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario for two counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of attempted third-degree sexual assault. He pleaded no contest in September.
Cantere stood with his head down before Rosario and said he didn't understand his own "sickness."
"I'm very, very, extremely sorry for the incident I caused to each of my victims," he said. "I'm sorry that I inflicted pain and suffering in their daily lives."
Cantere received credit for 485 days spent in jail. Rosario said he sentenced Cantere to 10 years for the public's safety.
Deputy Prosecutor Rochelle Vidinha said Cantere molested the two boys in the Walmart in Mililani 18 days after he finished probation for the Hawaii island assault....
Cantere has two convictions for third-degree sexual assault involving an 8-year-old boy at Keaau Elementary School on Hawaii island. Cantere pleaded guilty in 2008 to fondling the boy in two incidents in 2007. He was sentenced to 270 days in prison and five years' probation.
Vidinha said that in a sentencing report for that case, Cantere admitted to fondling two more boys, ages 8 and 9, at the school. It was unknown what happened in those incidents.
Los Angeles attorney David Kadin, who is representing the Hawaii island victim's family in a lawsuit against the state Department of Education, said in an interview Thursday that Cantere was working at the school when he sexually molested the boy.
He said Cantere took the boy to a side room for reading lessons and fondled him.
In another incident, Cantere pulled the boy over to the side of the gym and fondled him, Kadin said.
Kadin alleges the DOE hired Cantere without conducting a background check. He said Cantere told him he was hired after moving to Hilo from Honolulu to get away from drugs.
Kadin said lax hiring practices at the DOE "permitted this person to come into contact with vulnerable individuals."
SA: After Imposing Gay Marriage on Hawaii, Activist Leaves for California
read ... Homosexual Child Molester
Suspected Killer Walks, But then Can't Get out of Jail after being Busted for Loitering in Park
SA: ...Gary L. Landis was released from custody earlier this week as police continued to investigate the stabbing death of a 70-year-old newspaper vendor in November, but Landis was back in jail again Friday.
Just 32 hours after being released without being charged in the death of Thaddeus "Ted" Pirga Jr. of Hawaii Kai on Nov. 9 on Waialae Avenue, Landis was cited and arrested at 2:15 a.m. Friday for allegedly being in Kapiolani Park after it closed at midnight.
Landis, 30, is charged with violation of the city's parks hours ordinance — a petty misdemeanor that carries a maximum 30-day prison term and a maximum fine of $500. The city park ordinance prohibits anyone from entering or remaining in Kapiolani Park and the Waikiki Shell after it closes at midnight until 5 a.m.
Landis remained in police custody Friday night, unable to post bail of $1,000....
Landis's arrest record dates from at least 2012.
He was convicted of second-degree possession of more than 2 ounces of marijuana in 2013 and sentenced to two days in jail.
In November 2012, Landis was cited for being in Ala Moana Beach Park after it closed. After failing to appear in District Court several times, Landis in March 2013 entered a plea of no contest and was sentenced to two days in jail. No fine was imposed because Landis said he couldn't afford it....
Background: Soft on Crime: One Day for Robbery, One Day for Murder
read ... One Day, Two Days
Latest Tax Hike Idea: Garbage Fee
KHON: “Nobody likes to have trash piled up in front of their house and the bulky items are particularly bad because they block the sidewalk.”
Bulky trash pickup issues are an ongoing problem, but currently Hawaii Kai is dealing with delays in normal trash pickups.
“When you go through the route selection if I don’t have the right number of staff these routes aren’t getting filled,” said Kahikina.
So what can be done to fix the problems?
“It’s definitely a concern like you said,” said Kahikina. “It’s a necessity like the sewers are a necessity. Actually I think best way to address it is that fee. We need that fee in order to bring in the staffing that we need.”
In the past, there was talk in the city council to add a $10 monthly user fee for trash pick up....
read ... Another Day, Another Tax
Developer: Send Spy to Disrupt Homeowners Association
HNN: Legal disputes between developers and homeowners associations often get heated. But it's not every day that a developer gets accused of spying on its residents.
That's what owners at the Hoakalei project say happened and they say they have the emails to prove it.
"Even when I saw the emails I couldn't believe it: 'Get a spy,' 'replace the board.' You're not supposed to do any of this," said state Rep. Matt LoPresti.
"It's stealing from us and misrepresenting, it's lying, it's theft, it's dirty tactics."
LoPresti is one of a number of Hoakalei residents who are suing developer Haseko, alleging the company reneged on plans to build a multi-million dollar marina.
He said emails obtained as part of the lawsuit show that Haseko officials urged the homeowners association's management company to "get a spy" to attend the condo board's meetings and report back to them.
He said another email shows that Haseko tried to get rid of critics on the association's board.
"It went beyond spying, they tried to remove the board and replace them with people friendly to the developer. I mean, you can't make this stuff up," he said.
read ... Spy
Gov. Ige’s Telescope decision sets Hawaii back 30 years
MN: How else can you describe Gov. David Ige's unilateral Ten Commandments to destroy science and technology in Hawaii? Ige's announcement of 10 conditions to proceed with the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea is essentially the command to set Hawaii back 30 years. A small vocal group has influenced our governor to strangle former Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye's effort to give our state a future in something other than tourism.
Who would spend 15 years and invest $1.4 billion on a project for it to be stifled without any push-back from any of our mayors, state or federal representatives? Would you invest in Hawaii knowing what we know now?
The ignorant have prevailed unchecked. The University of Hawaii's position in the world of astronomy, science and technology is tarnished by a hasty and thoughtless governor. Characterizing Gov. Ige's request as support for TMT demonstrates subservience to an unworthy dictator. Ige caved without resistance or concern for the state's best interest.
read ... Set Back
Environmental Cost: Activists Scheme to Collect Money from Seabed Mining
WHT: The International Seabed Authority, which has controlled mining in international waters since 1982, is moving ahead aggressively to create the rules that would govern extraction from such regions as the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, a mineral-rich area that starts 500 miles southeast of Hawaii and stretches in a gigantic swath toward the mainland.
There are 15 exploratory permits allowing corporations from around the world to prospect for baseball-sized chunks of nickel, copper, manganese, cobalt and rare elements lying on the seafloor in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone — and more permits are pending. Countries with an interest in developing the mineral sources include China, Japan, Great Britain, Russia, France, Kiribati and Belgium.
At stake is a potential sunken treasure of mineral wealth — if it can be recovered without too high of an economic and environmental cost....
That’s worrying to Shelley Mahi, a Big Island member of the Native Tenant Protection Council.
“The mining is to take place at the base of pelagic seamounts, which are nursery grounds for ahi,” said Mahi. “I feel it’s important for all the fishermen to know about it.”
Mahi worried that the plan to exploit the seafloor seems to be moving ahead inexorably. She believes that giant silt plumes from the mining could drift northwest and impact Hawaii’s fish and other sea life.
“I feel if no one stops it, they will go ahead and do it,” Mahi said. “It violates the heritage of the sea.”
Concerns about ocean mining and its possible impacts on Hawaii date back decades. In the early 1980s, environmental groups and lawmakers worked hard to head off a plan by the U.S. Department of the Interior to lease federal waters around Hawaii for manganese crust mining. Ocean pollution and impacts to species topped the list of concerns, along with the specter of on-land pollution from mineral processing in Hawaii.
read ... Seeking Payoffs