Help Trump Dump Fed Wreck
Ancient Astronomy in Hawaii
Is the Hawaii Wharfage increase justified?
Kahuku: How Many Birds Will Windfarm be Allowed to Kill?
Feds: Hawaii Homeless Count up 4%
Abortion by mail comes to Hawaii
UPW Works To Overthrow State House Leaders
CB: If its campaign contributions and endorsements are any indication, Hawaii’s second-biggest public employee union seems intent on pushing for new leadership in the state House.
United Public Workers gave twice as much money to candidates this election compared to the prior one, but that money did not go to the coalition led by Speaker Joe Souki, Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Majority Leader Scott Saiki that has controlled the chamber since 2012.
Instead, UPW, which represents roughly 11,000 blue-collar employees and institutional, health and correctional workers, has intensified its allegiance to the old guard that was led by Rep. Calvin Say, speaker emeritus, and Rep. Marcus Oshiro, who headed the money committee.
The union also contributed to candidates who were challenging incumbents loyal to Souki and to newer members less entrenched in a particular group, according to the Campaign Spending Commission records….
The disagreement goes back at least two years to when UPW endorsed and contributed money to Republican Kelly Valenzuela’s unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Nicole Lowen, who’s part of Souki’s group. Valenzuela was one of six Republican candidates seeking House seats in 2014 that UPW endorsed.
Souki recalled meeting with UPW officials and seeing “Republican paraphernalia” in the offices of the union, which like other public worker unions traditionally supports Democrats.
“I chided them on it,” Souki said. “It was a personal battle with them.” …
With few exceptions, the $31,200 that the union donated to 26 House candidates this election went to help Say loyalists keep their seats and to candidates who were challenging Souki supporters….
…in 2014 the union supported virtually all the Democrats in office, regardless of faction….
in 2015, lawmakers passed a bill authorizing the privatization of public hospitals, which employ hundreds of UPW workers as well as members of the state’s largest union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association.
UPW sued the state earlier this year after Kaiser took over three hospitals in Maui County. The union settled the lawsuit in August when the Legislature provided a severance package for affected workers, — which required overturning Gov. David Ige’s veto of the bill. But the matter is back in court over its uncertain effect on pension benefits and legal questions….
Nearly all of the incumbents it endorsed won another term while attempts to unseat someone in office largely failed….
Related: Hawaii House and Senate Democrats Announce Leadership for 2017
read … UPW Overthrow
Fake Tribe: DOI Rules ‘Trumped’?
CB: …For now at least, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s rule-making process on federal recognition — the one finalized in late September — remains intact.
Hawaiian nationalists like Mililani Trask interpret Trumps’s election as having “trumped” the DOI rules, as she puts it. She said the DOI is “DOA” — dead on arrival.
Trask, who made her remarks along with others at a public forum last week on the future of a Hawaiian nation, said she doubted whether most Hawaiians had bothered to read the 172-page DOI ruling.
If they did they’d learn, Trask said, that the purpose of the federal rule is not to give Hawaiians self-determination but rather to facilitate the ability of some Hawaiians to gain control of congressional programs that benefit Hawaiians.
What federal recognition will not accomplish is a return to Hawaiians of land and resources, she said, with the exception of the uninhabitable island of Kahoolawe….
Robin Danner, the founder of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, feels otherwise about federal recognition. The election of Trump, she said, “has no impact, no bearing” on the DOI process. “It’s pau.” (WRONG. An incoming Trump DOI can reverse the Obama Admin rules.)
Kelii Akina, who upset an incumbent trustee in the Nov. 8 election to serve on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, ran on a platform that called for shutting off OHA’s spending on nation-building.
While echoing Waihee’s advice that it’s too early to predict how Trump’s presidency will affect Hawaiians, Akina said, “OHA’s own internal research reveals that what the Hawaiian people want most is not a wasteful and divisive nationhood project, but jobs, education, health care and housing.”
He concluded: “These are exactly the things that President-elect Trump said are his highest priority. Focusing on these needs rather than pouring more resources into nation-building could greatly benefit Native Hawaiians.”
You can view the entire three-hour forum via H. Doug Matsuoka’s YouTube link
Related: Help Trump Dump Fed Wreck
read … Native Hawaiians Don’t Know What To Expect From Trump
Police commission can't use new charter amendment to fire chief, Caldwell’s city attorney claims
HNN: A charter amendment aimed at giving the Honolulu Police Commission more power can't be used to fire or suspend embattled Police Chief Louis Kealoha, a Honolulu city attorney (doing his part for Caldwell’s cronies) told police commissioners Wednesday.
The legal advice excuse was that the amendment doesn't apply to Kealoha because he was appointed before its overwhelming passage in the general election. Some 78 percent of voters approved the amendment to make it easier for the police commission to remove the chief.
He's in the second year of a five-year term and was appointed under the old charter, which said he could only be suspended or fired for cause. That included "gross or continuous maladministration."
The new amendment allows commissioners to take action without cause.
Several private legal experts disagree with the city attorney's reading of the law. They say it shouldn't matter that the chief is mid-term.
"Frankly, if there's somebody who wants to terminate the chief based on changes in the law, I don't think that he has the right to say, no I have a contract or some other obligation that protects me," attorney Eric Seitz said.
Meanwhile, Simons said whether the new amendment applies might be a moot point.
"I don't think it matters anyway because already there's enough in the city charter and in the job description about maladministration," he said, adding that the ongoing federal grand jury proceedings and the controversies involving Kealoha justify "cause."
Commission Chairman Ron Taketa, meanwhile, told Hawaii News Now that removing the chief could prompt another lawsuit by Kealoha (who would no doubt use the phony ‘opinion’ to support it).
read … Bailed Out Again
More Retaliation Games in the Hawaii County Corporation Counsel’s Office
WHT: Despite warnings from local attorneys that the measure probably violates the County Charter, the County Council voted 6-2 Wednesday to send the mayor a bill giving the council more say over the firing of county civil attorneys.
Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung had introduced Bill 254 after learning Corporation Counsel appointee Joe Kamelamela had notified deputies of pending job losses even before he himself has been confirmed by the County Council to fill the post.
Chung was concerned about the loss of good, capable attorneys representing the county.
“From what I heard, he was very rude,” Chung said.
Current Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins said Kamelamela told almost half the attorneys in her office they won’t be retained….
read … You’re Fired!
Opposition grows over proposed floating wind farm off Kaena Point
HNN: The Danish developer said the project will create up to 100 jobs for 10 years and contribute to a significant part of Hawaii’s 100-percent renewable energy target by 2045. But some North Shore residents said that doesn't outweigh the potential environmental impacts.
Jens Peterson is proposing to build 51 floating turbines secured by anchors and electrical cables 12 miles northwest off Kaena Point. It would be the first time something of this nature, in this magnitude, has ever been done before. (Translation: Nobody wants this so we came to Hawaii.)
"It's phenomenally complicated. It is very, very difficult to do. It's by a fact of a minimum ten times more complex than any other project ever tried anywhere on earth," Petersen said by phone.
some North Shore residents said they want the developer to take the project somewhere else.
"I mean everybody that I spoke with is up in arms about it," said North Shore neighborhood board member Robert Justice.
Justice believes the massive turbines will destroy wildlife and impact the swells.
“The windmills will actually be bird blenders, just destroy them all," Justice said.
“It will directly affect Pipeline, Jocko's, all the good west swell breaks…we just had a World Champ, John come out of the North Shore. It's a breeding ground for good surfers. And everyone in the world comes to visit us, and to even chance destroying that, it's just beyond words to me," he said.
Others in the energy industry in Hawaii don't believe the North Shore of Oahu is the best location.
"We had five sites around the island of Oahu that we had looked at. One of them was off of the North Shore, and we made the decision not to apply for a lease off the North Shore due to a number of factors, one of which was community feedback,” said Ted Peck….
SA: Permission to kill Hawaiian birds?
read … Opposition
Hawaii Has Nation’s Toughest Recall Petition Requirements in USA
WWL: “In most states the requirement is not based on eligible voters, it’s based on the number of voters who participated in that particular election,” Hollis said. “And I hope that’s what the Legislature comes to as something that’s reasonable.”
Current Louisiana law requires a third of all registered voters to sign the petition, or 40 percent in districts with fewer than 1,000 registered voters. Parish-wide in Jefferson, there are 274,260 registered voters – and 91,720 is one-third of that.
By contrast, only 87,724 total votes were cast for all candidates when Yenni ran for parish president in 2015.
Carvin said only Hawaii has a tougher recall standard than Louisiana’s. She said more reasonable states use the number of votes received by the public official as the threshold for recall petitions….
The recall petition was highly sought by voters in the first month after WWL-TV exposed an FBI probe into his 2015 text messages seeking sex with a 17-year-old boy….
read … Recall
UH engineer: Speedier traffic lights could alleviate congestion
HNN: Traffic planner Panos Prevedouros is proposing those cycles be sped up -- and he argues fixing Oahu's "sluggish" signals could make a significant positive impact on traffic.
"We just need to make our signals more snappier," he said.
Prevedouros, chairman of the University of Hawaii's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, said shortening a signal's cycle by just five seconds would speed up traffic. He's tested his theory in a computer simulation, and he believes it would work in the real world.
"It's a little thing, five to 10 seconds, but it makes a big difference on the aggregate," he said. "It's much quicker and you pump more cars through this intersection. Everybody gets home quicker."
Prevedouros said traffic signals waste time when they're green and no cars are there. In the meantime, cars on intersecting streets are stuck at red lights.
Plus, he argued, his "five-second rule" could be implemented quickly on busy streets and highways by reprogramming sensors embedded in the blacktop. "It's very easy to change the settings and make the signal more responsive," he said….
read … Congestion
New play court sits idle at Mililani Middle School
KHON: A school construction project that ended up hundreds of thousands of dollars over-budget and took an extra two years to build is finally finished.
But a new $1.9 million play court at Mililani Middle School has sat empty for six months now. The students aren’t allowed to use it, and no one can say when it’s going to open.
“The actual court is complete. We are just waiting for a certificate of occupancy from the fire department at this point,” said Dann Carlson, Department of Education superintendent of facilities.
The Honolulu Fire Department will not issue the certificate for the play court because it wants Mililani Middle to fix the fire alarm system for the rest of its campus first….
read … Another Day in the DoE
Politicians Glom On to Marijuana Union Confab
KE: …The day-long event in Waikiki seemed primarily intended to introduce the Cannabis Workers Rising program and ensure that Hawaii medical dispensaries and grow operations employ unionized workers, as represented by UFCW 480.
I was struck by two things: the tremendous amount of money involved in this industry, and the number of Hawaii politicians who showed up for the relatively small event. Of course, this was right before the election, so that may have had some influence. But still, those who attended and/or spoke included Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Rep. Marcus Oshiro, Rep. Della Au Belatti and former Sen. Clayton Hee.
As for the money, well, one consultant, who got her start in commercial real estate, noted that one of her Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries grossed $250,000 per day — in cash. What did she do with all that dough? one participant asked. “Invest in commercial real estate,” the consultant replied.
Hmm. Perhaps that helps explain why the high-end Hawaii Life Real Estate company pursued, and won, the sole dispensary license on Kauai….
read … Dopey
Honolulu Police Generously Supply 6,880 Homeless Crime Suspects with Food, Shelter
HNN: Last year, officers made more than 16,000 arrests. Some 43 percent of those arrests -- 6,880 in all -- involved homeless people, the Honolulu Police Department confirms. (19 per day)
That compares to 10,824 arrests in 2013. Three years ago, 4,330 arrests (or 40 percent) involved people on the streets. (Only a 3% increase.)
Related: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?
read … Lawmakers: Spike in arrests linked to lack of safety net programs
Sex on Hawaii's streets: Growing issue among homeless?
KITV: Sex on the streets, it's a sight bystanders say they're seeing way too much of among Hawaii's homeless.
Residents in Iwilei tell KITV nudity, intercourse and violent arguments happen regularly in their neighborhood.
"From our building looking down it's nasty! I don't know what's happening with life now days," said resident Henrietta Rodrigues.
Tenants at the Iwilei Senior Residence complex have a front row view to all of it inside an expanding tent city across the street.
Residents also complain about confrontations while walking in the area. One woman was recently physically assaulted.
But among the trash and smell of human feces, residents said the most shocking circumstance by far are lewd acts they've seen in broad daylight.
"We have sexual things happen like in the front of Salvation Army, the doorway, they had sex there and then just a couple days ago they had sex right there by their tents," Rodrigues explained.
read … Sex on Hawaii's streets: Growing issue among homeless?
Kauai: Second Transient Involved in Murder, Rape of 4 yr old Girl?
KHON: Transient Aaron Schonlau told police he penetrated Lacey with his fingers when he found himself impotent from intoxication. He said he had another hand on her mouth to keep her quiet. He said she stopped breathing, and he assumed he had accidentally suffocated her. He said he then twisted her neck and placed her body, and a rock atop it, about 50 feet from shore in waist-to-chest-deep water because he didn’t know how to swim.
He did not state other details the coroner found – a brutal rape, black eye, cut lip, multiple other bruises, bites on Lacey’s face and buttocks, and that she was alive when she was placed in the water. An autopsy concluded her cause of death was drowning.
Did he act alone? Did he have an accomplice, whether at the rape at the bridge, or when taking the body to the water or later moving it deeper?
KGI: Lawyers Look for Lunatic Defense for Accused Molester
read … Two Child Molesters?