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Saturday, October 01, 2016
October 1, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:33 PM :: 2106 Views

Voter Registration Deadline October 10 (sort of)

As Rail Collapses, Caldwell Laughs All The Way to the Bank

Hawaii's 2017 ranking for Business Tax Climate includes a lesson for the legislature

Hawaii Roads are the Worst -- AND the Most Expensive

More Regulation Won’t Make Housing Affordable

US Census Report on Housing Affordability

UHERO: Hawaii Growth Downshifting, Building Cycle Approaches Peak

Tourism Hits New Record: 19 Consecutive Months of Growth in Arrivals

DoH: Hawaii has highest rate of tooth decay among kids

9AM Virtual town hall forum between Caldwell, Djou

SA: AARP Hawaii is inviting the public to ask questions of Honolulu’s two mayoral candidates at a live electronic “tele-town hall forum” that will run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

Both Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou are scheduled to appear at the virtual town hall meeting. The public can listen by telephone or via live stream on a dedicated web site….

People who want to listen to the forum online may do so by going to vekeo.com/aarp-hawaii/#event-16743 from about 8:40 a.m., or about 20 minutes before the forum starts. 

VIDEO: AARP Tele-Town Hall with Kirk Caldwell and Charles Djou

SA: TV stations pass on holding more mayoral debates

read … Town Hall

PUC Refuses to Recertify Criminal Al Hee’s Scam Company

KITV: Sandwich Isles Communications failed to get the re-certification from the Public Utilities Commission that it needs in order to continue to get federal funding.

The company supplies broadband and internet service to 3,500 Hawaiian Homesteaders across the state because of federal subsidies.  Sandwich Isles sent letters to customers urging them to contact the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Public Utilities Commission to support its re-certification effort.  Now, customers are wondering how this development might impact their service….

Hee is serving a four-year sentence for siphoning  millions from a subsidiary company for personal expenses that included buying a home for his kids and paying them salaries while they attended college.

A federal audit is underway to determine if the taxpayers funds were being appropriately spent.  Meanwhile the PUC decision issued Friday indicated it could not conclude that certification of Sandwich Isles would be in the public interest.  The company said it did not expect the decision to have any impact to it's subscribers.

read … Sandwich Isles Communication fails to get certification

Homeless vets connect with help over a cup of coffee

HNN: Scores of homeless veterans and their families came out for 2016 Veterans Homeless Stand Down event, getting refreshments, essentials and on-site medical services while also being connected with permanent housing programs….

"This is like phase one for me," Williams said. "Hopefully, within the next couple months to a year or so I'll be able to find permanent housing."

Since January 2015, 809 homeless veterans on Oahu have been housed, the city says.

There are about 100 living in shelters and another 55 still on the streets. The number of unsheltered homeless veterans has barely changed in nearly a year.

"When we hear people say they don't want shelter that's not really true," said homeless veteran Willy Holly Jr. "They're just maybe not willing to go through what it's going to take."

Holly was homeless for three decades before he finally accepted help….

SA: Agencies reach out to veterans

read … Homeless vets connect with help over a cup of coffee

Dopers Tell us Who They Are

KGI: Prior to using medical marijuana, Branch Harmony said doctors had him taking drugs for an illness and to counter-effect the effect of other drugs.

“I’ve had medical challenges over the last decade that put me on a 40-week treatment, where I do chemotherapy-like drugs every day and I’d spend 16-22 hours a day in a recliner,” the Lawai man said.

Nowadays, Harmony said he takes a couple of tokes of marijuana in the morning and is able to start his day.

“I’ll start writing and get active,” he said….

Eutsler, a registered medical marijuana patient for eight years, suffers from hepatitis C, anxiety and depression.

“I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for medical marijuana,” he said. “If I wake up at four in the morning, I might sit and read for a while, so I can gather my thoughts because they go crazy. I smoke a little bit and then I can do my work.”

read … Why They Are

Lawsuit: Kauai County Secret Cat Meetings

KGI: The Kauai Community Cat Project has filed a Sunshine Law complaint against the County of Kauai for holding closed-door meetings of the feral cat task force and feral cat ordinance committee.

“Meaningful engagement of the citizenry through public forums is central to our form of government, and yet the county has repeatedly stated that it intentionally kept discussions on this issue a secret,” KCCP stated in a Friday press release.

The organization filed suit Sept. 20. It is represented by Michael Carroll, a Honolulu lawyer with Bays, Lung, Rose & Holma.

The contention goes back to 2013 when the feral cat task force began meeting in August, said Basil Scott of KCCP. The meeting times weren’t broadcast and the media wasn’t allowed in.

Councilwoman Joann Yukimura is referenced in the complaint, and is hailed in the KCCP release as the person “who helped define this process and has personally led it for the last year and a half.”

read … Obsessives seek Harassment Opportunity

Soft on Crime: Out on Bail Does it Again

KHON: …Gary Simpkins of Hawaiian Beaches was being sought on a robbery charge when he turned himself in to police on Monday, Sept. 26. He was charged with the felony the following day with bail set at $5,000. After posting bond later that day, he was released from police custody.

At 8:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Simpkins was arrested for terroristic threatening, criminal property damage and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle after he allegedly used a bat to smash four windows on a vehicle occupied by a 21-year-old woman and her 3-year-old son in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision of Puna. He was later charged, and bail was set at $12,000.

read … Soft on Crime

Sailor’s Death Began with DOBOR Bureaucracy

WHT: …The report placed responsibility on the sailor, DOBOR and the Coast Guard for the sailor’s death.

The Coast Guard investigation’s goal was to make sure situations like it never happen again, said Lt. Donnie Brzuska of the Coast Guard. It’s also “to gather and preserve all available evidence for use in any litigation, claims, disciplinary actions, administrative proceedings, and for other purposes,” the report states.

How it started

The disaster took time to develop, starting in July 2015 when the registered owner — whose name was withheld in the report — found out that the boat needed to be removed from the dry storage area “due to the vessel’s immobility, size, condition, and use of the vessel,” the report states.

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Kolina was ashore at the South Harbor, violating DOBOR rules. The owner was given time to move the boat, but the first attempt showed it was leaking heavily.

One solution, filling the gaps with softwood and relying on the wood swelling, was unsuccessful.

“Throughout his dealings with DOBOR and DOCARE, the mishap victim continued to express his intent to transit to Molokai. Despite the efforts of friends, acquaintances, and local mariners to offer alternatives, the mishap victim never relented,” the report said.

The sailor’s experience included multiple trips across the channel, the Coast Guard wrote.

“The mishap victim’s resolve to sail to Molokai was magnified by the interactions with DOBOR, DOCARE, and the Kawaihae commercial harbor security officer. All of these officials recognized that Kolina was not seaworthy but did not have alternative solutions to provide long-term berths to enable the mishap victim to fully prepare for the voyage,” the report reads….

read … USCG report says more could have been done to prevent sailor’s death

Drone Testing: What’s Not Happening in Hawaii

NYT: Amazon, the giant e-commerce company, began secretly testing unmanned aircraft this summer at an undisclosed location in Britain (its largest outdoor test site, according to an Amazon executive)….

In New Zealand, Domino’s Pizza is testing drones to ferry fast food across the country. Google is offering burrito orders delivered by drone in Virginia. JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant, alreadyhas a fleet of drones flying autonomously for a maximum of 15 miles round-trip, to reach rural communities at a fifth of the cost of traditional trucks (though a person still takes the package on the last leg of its journey to the recipient).

In Britain, Amazon is working with local authorities to test several aspects of drone technology like piloting the machines beyond the line of sight of operators, a practice still outlawed in the United States.

Regulators here first authorized the commercial use of drones in 2010 — years before the Federal Aviation Authority eased its restrictions on remotely piloted aircraft in June. Amazon settled on Britain after the United States initially denied it approval for such tests….

At the site in the Cambridge countryside, and a similar facility in Canada, Amazon is likely to be working on the drone’s sensors and other improvements needed for its daily use….

read … A Peek at the Secret English Farm Where Amazon Tests Its Drones

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