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Wednesday, October 05, 2016
October 5, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:38 PM :: 1424 Views

Caldwell Campaign "Volunteer" Paid With Your Tax Money

DoE Touts Improvement in ‘Smarter Balanced’ Test Results

Draft rules for Maunakea lands moving towards formal public hearing process

International Sex-Trafficking Bust Reaches into Hawaii

10,000 Acres on Mauna Kea?  Ige mum on land transfer

HTH: If Gov. David Ige wants the Office of Mauna Kea Management to give up more than 10,000 acres, he’s going to have to talk to the agency first.

That was the sentiment of the office’s board of directors during its meeting Tuesday in Hilo, which showed no interest in advancing the issue without hearing from Ige or one of his representatives.

Board members said they invited someone from the Governor’s Office to attend the meeting and explain the reasoning behind the proposal. But that was declined as a result of the ongoing contested case proceedings for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The issue was still placed on the agenda, providing an opportunity for board members to express some frustration regarding the plan, which would see the University of Hawaii at Hilo forfeit management of all lands on the mountain not used for astronomy….

Keahi Warfield, an outspoken supporter of astronomy on Mauna Kea, used the agenda item to deliver his own 10-point plan for the mountain while speaking to the board. He asked that it be taken to Ige.

His vision focused on using the telescopes as much as possible for education of local students, incorporating indigenous knowledge in scientific research and finding other ways to bridge the gap between the observatories and Native Hawaiians, some of whom consider the mountain too sacred to allow construction.

While he knows of two Hawaiian astronomers, he said he wants to see “four or five or maybe a dozen” on the mountain.

He also favored placing a new teaching telescope that was recently delivered to UH-Hilo atop Mauna Kea. UH plans to remove its small observing site to meet Ige’s decommissioning plan….

read … Ige mum on land transfer; Mauna Kea board expresses frustration over proposal to shift acreage to DLNR

Open Season for Corruption: City Ethics Commission struggles to meet mandate after Caldwell Leaves them without an investigator

HNN: A week ago, Lehua Rosa filed a complaint with the Honolulu Ethics Commission after she says she was wrongfully terminated from her job at the city's real property assessment division.

When she didn't get a response, she called and the phone rang and rang. So she sent off an email.

The response she finally got surprised her. It said, "We are unable to handle your complaint at this time as we do not have an investigator. We hope to have an investigator within the next month or two." …

Figures reported to the commission last month put the number of outstanding complaints at 69. In addition to the executive director, the commission employs an attorney and two law clerks.

The ethics commission says its first priority is answering requests for advice, which are often time sensitive.

read … City Ethics Commission struggles to meet mandate without an investigator

Mayoral Election: Keep the Crook  who got us into this Mess?

Cataluna: …They both agree that rail is the largest, most controversial issue for the city. They both say that now the dang thing has to be built — we’re stuck with it. But they both are pretty light on HOW they’re going to fix rail. Or anything, really.

There was a brief moment of promise, a spark of incendiary honesty, when Djou called rail “a complete and total mess” and Caldwell looked like he was ready to throw blows, but then neither had any grand plan other than “stay the course” and “change the coach,” so no fire was lit, no grand plan laid out with dazzling precision and heartfelt words….

read … Rail

Maui Windfarm Shut After Turbine Self-Destructs

RB: A Siemens 3MW-101 direct drive turbine has suffered a major failure at the 21MW Auwahi wind project in Hawaii owned by Sempra US Gas & Power.

The blades, hub and nacelle separated from the tower and fell to the ground Sunday, Sempra communications and marketing manager Jill Howard told reNEWS….

“Initial indications are that wind speeds were not higher than usual at the time of the incident,” said Howard.

The other seven turbines were not damaged however they have been shut down “until we know the outcome of the detailed investigation", said Howard.

The eight-turbine wind farm on the island of Maui started commercial operation in 2012.

SA: Wind farm mishap reduces power sent to MECO’s grid

read … nacelle, hub, blades fall from 3MW unit

Clear TOD housing rules must be set

SA: The City and County of Honolulu is in urgent need of a clear affordable housing policy — one that states plainly the expectations of developers whose projects fall within transit-oriented development (TOD) zones.

The policy void became woefully apparent as Mana‘olana Partners, developer of a condominium- hotel project across from the Hawai‘i Convention Center, was nearing final City Council approval.

With Mana‘olana the first project to submit a proposal under new, interim TOD guidelines, it is incumbent on the city to set a strong precedent and firm up regulations….

Ignore This: Savio: Rail Can be Built Without Any Taxpayer Dollars

read … Clear TOD housing rules must be set

LWV: We do not support Electronic Voting

CB: …With elections systems in more than 20 states now reported to have come under attack from hackers, Hawaii officials are working with federal authorities to make sure it doesn’t happen here.

“Hawaii is not one of those states whose voter registration system has been breached,” said Nedielyn Bueno, head of the state Office of Elections voter services section. “We do have security in place to protect the system and our office is in contact with Homeland Security and the FBI in which they have provided us with recommendations.”

For security reasons, Bueno said she could not disclose what those recommendations were, nor identify what protections are already in place….

Janet Mason of the League of Women Voters Hawaii said she has previously shared security concerns with state elections office, which she said takes security concerns seriously.

“We have no particular concerns, but we do not support electronic voting or web voting,” she said. “Our voting system is a good arrangement, because we know that there is a guaranteed audit trail it there are complaints or problems.

read … Hawaii Is Getting Help From The Feds To Fend Off Election Hackers

Oahu Registered Vehicles Down 60K—Nobody Notices

HNN: …Based on state and county statistics through last December the total number of registered motor vehicles on Oahu decreased dramatically. There were 35,829 fewer in 2015 compared to 2014….

2015 was the second straight year registered vehicles in Honolulu fell by more than 30,000….

One contributor to congestion could be found in a statistic called vehicle miles driven. State data shows in 2015 Oahu drivers drove an average of 1,140 more miles per vehicle than they did in 2014.

"Even though there are less drivers, the number of miles each driver tends to go on average every day is longer because gas is relatively cheap," Clark said.

The city believes a portion of the reduction in registered vehicles can be attributed to military members who leave the state and take their cars and trucks with them.

The decline in registered vehicles in Honolulu is continuing this year. Through August the total was down about one percent compared to the same period last year.

read … 60,000 nobody notices

Kaiser's Medicare plan changes prompt seniors to look for other options

HNN: Elderly patients on Maui and the Big Island are trying to make sense of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii's Medicare plan changes. The overhaul will impact close to 8,000 Medicare members. A Kaiser spokesperson said the federal reimbursement rates for the two islands are significantly lower than anywhere else in the country, making it challenging to cover the rising cost of medical care and prescription drugs.

Pahoa residents Jim and Tricia Morlock each pay $63 a month for their Medicare coverage through Kaiser Permanente. Starting January 1, they'll have to pay a lot more under the organization's new plan.

"That's an extra $260 a month above what we're paying now. We just don't have that kind of income. We have other bills to pay and we need to eat," said Tricia….

"We may have problems on Maui, even if we find a provider that has a price structure that's good, because Maui has limited health care providers and specialty medical facilities," said Kahului resident Mary Spencer.

Financial assistance programs are available. For more information, call Kaiser's Member Services at 1-800-805-2739 (available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or go to www.kp.org/medicare/maui and www.kp.org/medicare/hawaiiisland

Kaiser will be holding town hall meetings this month to answer questions. Members must RSVP by calling 1-855-226-1023.

read … Kaiser's Medicare plan changes prompt seniors to look for other options

Soft On Crime: 10-Time Convicted Felon Gets 40 months

HTH: A 52-year-old Pahoa man who was in possession of almost 12 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” when he was arrested in June was convicted of four drug-related offenses.

In a deal with prosecutors, Dorbert K. Correa pleaded guilty Monday to second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving without a license.

Correa faces a 10-year prison sentence with a mandatory minimum of 40 months behind bars before he becomes eligible for parole. He was ordered by Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura to appear for sentencing at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 28….

Correa was one of two people ordered in January 2013 by Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara to permanently vacate a Kaumana Drive home described as a “drug house” in a civil nuisance abatement action brought by County Prosecutor Mitch Roth.

According to a court document, a girlfriend of Correa’s told police in May 2012 that Correa distributed “large quantities of crystal methamphetamine” and had “four long guns and one pistol.” The document stated that Correa at that time had 10 prior felony convictions and was legally ineligible to own or possess firearms….

read … Will be back out real soon

Guam: Alleged Homosexual Child Molester Used Political Power to Block Lawsuits

AP: …Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 70, has vigorously denied allegations he molested at least five altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s. The allegations got little attention when they first came to light in 2014 but resurfaced this summer after a deacon accused Apuron of keeping the archdiocese’s sexual abuse policy weak to protect himself.

One of the alleged victims, Roy Taitague Quintanilla, 52, of Hawaii, said he was 12 when Apuron, then a parish priest, touched him inappropriately after persuading him to spend the night at his house.

“I cried then, and I’ve never stopped crying,” he said at a news conference in May. The Associated Press does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, but Quintanilla has spoken publicly.

Apuron has not been charged. His lawyer did not return repeated messages seeking comment.

In June, Pope Francis named a new leader to run the archdiocese until a new archbishop is named. That interim leader, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, told the Guam faithful that a church trial for Apuron will be held, a conciliatory effort that was seen by some as a way to kill the statute-of-limitations bill….

Some speculate Apuron’s alleged acts have long been known but went unreported because of loyalty to the church. Apuron lobbied heavily against a 2011 bill that became law that suspended the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits for two years. The archbishop succeeded in getting lawmakers to rewrite the bill so that it did not apply to legal actions against the church.

“They were getting calls on the floor by the archbishop himself. I could hear the archbishop’s voice talking to them,” said the Legislature’s vice speaker, Benjamin J. Cruz, who says he was sexually abused as a child by a priest in Los Angeles….

“We cannot think about bankruptcy,” said Andrew Camacho, vice president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, one of the groups that have organized the protests. “It’s unlikely that every single asset will be gone or depleted, but if it is, if the church ends up with nothing, the people will rebuild it. We will see a purified church.”

read … About Homosexual Child Molesters

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