Ige: School system is simply not relevant to today’s students
FBI Raids Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office
KHON: …Prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro said in a statement, “FBI agents served a search warrant at the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney this morning. This office fully cooperated with the agents and provided information requested in the warrant.”
Myles Breiner, attorney for deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband, police chief Louis Kealoha, told KHON2 News that federal investigators served Katherine Kealoha with a subpoena Thursday for two of her laptops, which were in the prosecutor’s office. Those were handed over.
Federal agents then returned to the office Friday, Breiner said, with a search warrant to secure servers….
Neither Katherine Kealoha nor Kaneshiro has received a target letter in the investigation….
longtime defense attorney Michael Green says this probably means that federal investigators are getting close to an indictment.
“I hate to say this, but my sense is that’s the last straw, I would guess probably before Feb. 1,” he said….
Details of Chief Kealoha’s retirement are expected to be finalized when the Honolulu Police Commission meets on Jan. 18….
read … Raided by FBI
Hawaii Wind Farms Kill 146 Bats, 50 Nene, 26 Petrels—and Counting
SA: Hawaii’s five major wind farms are killing endangered Hawaiian hoary bats at a much faster pace than expected.
The wind farms have killed 146 Hawaiian hoary bats out of the 187 they are allowed. They’ve killed that many in 6.4 years while they were expected not to reach the total for 20 years or more.
The wind farms have also killed at least 50 nene — the endangered Hawaiian goose and state bird — and 26 petrels, an endangered seabird.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife listed the numbers of bats and birds harmed in a report to the 2017 state Legislature, which begins session Wednesday….
The number of killed endangered animals is likely to grow as more wind farms are built to help the state reach its renewable-energy goals.
Hawaiian Electric Co. plans to add roughly 157 megawatts of wind power across the state over the next five years. Earlier this month HECO put out a call seeking developers who are capable of building wind projects on Oahu before a federal tax credit (National Democrat campaign contributors payoff) for wind power expires in 2019. …
The Kaheawa wind Power farm on Maui, owned by SunEdison Inc., has 20 wind turbines totaling 30 megawatts. As of June some 34 Hawaiian hoary bats had been killed or injured, according to estimates. The 10-year-old facility is allowed to kill 50 Hawaiian hoary bats over 20 years….
Kawailoa Wind, owned by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, on Oahu’s North Shore is estimated to have killed 54 Hawaiian hoary bats. The wind facility is about five years into the 20-year life of the project. The facility is allowed to kill 60 bats over its life….
read … Mass Murder
Insiders Claim GEMS is About to Write $109M in Loans
SA: Mikulina, a member of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority board, said that the program has $109 million worth of projects in the pipeline and expects to lend out $60 million by mid-2017.
read … Predictions for the Future
HTA must open financial books
SA: …this week, members of one state Senate panel rightfully sounded the alarm over what they described as an opaque agency whose financial reporting has been woefully short of details. The situation is all the more woeful for the fact that the authority is publicly funded.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee delivered a smackdown of the HTA for its failure to submit a budget with meaningful information: It lacked breakdowns for individual programs.
Further, legislators noted at the Tuesday pre-session briefing, the agency gave no rationale for why it budgeted $93.2 million for the past year and $89.9 million in 2017. That’s far more than what’s allotted annually: $82 million from the tourism special funds.
This, lawmakers charged, seemed inexplicable given that it’s happening during a red-hot visitor market. According to the HTA annual report, tourism experienced in 2016 the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth.
Finally, they wondered why HTA is remitting to the state only $20 million of the $26.4 million yearly internal debt service on the Hawai‘i Convention Center.
State Sen. Jill Tokuda, who chairs Ways and Means, has ordered HTA officials to deliver four years’ worth of actual spending and actual revenue — data that she said the Legislature has not received previously….
And it’s not that the lawmakers haven’t tried. Ways and Means member and Tourism Committee Chairman Sen. Glenn Wakai requested budget worksheets Dec. 6, and when they weren’t immediately delivered, he made a formal open-records request. That was denied, citing the need to protect “proprietary information” and “competitive advantage.”
It’s appalling that HTA takes this stance.
Best Comment: “Politicians grandstanding at the beginning of session. Give it a couple weeks and then it’s business as usual and “YES…with reservations” for EVERYONE!!!”
read … HTA must open financial books
Marijuana Dealers Look forward to Selling to Tourists
HTH: Hawaiian Ethos, one of the first companies selected to operate medical marijuana dispensaries on Hawaii Island, wants to open stores in Hilo and Kona — locations it says are close to the majority of island patients and will provide easy access to cruise ship ports once law allows dispensaries to service out-of-state cardholders.
That’s what leaders from the six-person team headed by venture capitalist Bill Richardson told the Tribune-Herald this week, adding they hope to hire about 30 people to staff stores and its grow center.
“We’re really excited for Hawaii to become an eco-medical tourism destination,” said Hawaiian Ethos’ Chief Operating Officer Zachary Taffany. “It’s already got that appeal of being a beautiful vacation relaxation destination and a reputation for health and wellness. And when you add in the alternative medicine, this could be a prime health and wellness destination.”….
read … Dopey Tourism
Homeless Drug Addicts Take over House, Burn it Down
HTH: …Medeiros said he first raised concerns about the squatters and drug use on Ohai Street during a May 2014 community meeting with East Hawaii police officers. He produced his handwritten notes from that meeting, as well as notes from speaking with aides for Hawaii County Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter in July of that year.
“Nothing happens, just back and forth,” Medeiros said….
The fire broke out the morning of Jan. 7 at 375 Ohai St. in Hilo. The Hawaii Fire Department continues to investigate.
The house had no electricity or running water, neighbors said, and it was occupied by squatters — sometimes as many as 20 people at a time — for at least two years. Fire Department officials said Jan. 7 that the home had long been vacant and was known as a “nuisance” house and a drug den.
Neighbor Don Medeiros has lived next door for 77 years.
“Born and raised,” Medeiros said. “But this place was never like this, never.”
The house was built in 1938 and at one point belonged to Medeiros’ math teacher. It was last sold in 2006, according to county property tax records.
Allen Filoteo, manager of neighboring Riverside Apartments, said his concern was not with the fact that homeless people lived in the house.
“It’s at night, the traffic and the drugs and the waste they were storing inside,” he said.
Filoteo said he called the Department of Health the Thursday before the fire because people were throwing waste, including human waste, outside near the apartments.
Tenants on the mauka side of Riverside complained to Filoteo in the past, saying they could see people inside using drugs….
Hawaii Police Department Capt. Richard Sherlock of South Hilo Patrol said the department received a call Wednesday reporting that the people who were living in the house before the fire were now living in a car on the property, having moved the orange fencing put up by the Fire Department….
AP: The good, bad and unknown about marijuana’s health effects
read … Homeless Drug Addicts
Citizens now called 'Hawaii residents' vs. 'Hawaiians' in federal paperwork
HNN: When referring to citizens of Hawaii in federal paperwork, writers will now have to use the words “Hawaii resident” instead of “Hawaiians.” ….
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz urged the style board to changing the name to make it clear that not all citizens of the state are of Native Hawaiian ancestry.
The change will be reflected in all federal government publications….
SA: High-Tech Schemers Want Hawaii Taxpayer Dollars for California Electric Car Companies
read … Not Hawaiians Any More
DCCA is in No Hurry to Process Paperwork for Volvo Dealership
SA: …Volvo Cars of Honolulu is still in limbo and not selling new cars while it waits for a paperwork mix-up with the state to sort itself out.
The local franchise dealer has been sitting on $6 million in new-car inventory for more than a week because its distributor, New Jersey-based Volvo Car USA LLC, filed incomplete paperwork with the Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board of Hawaii.
…William Nhieu, a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said late Friday afternoon that “documents requested by the DCCA for this application were received.” Nhieu said he didn’t know when they would be reviewed….
SA: Obama’s Dream Store Offers No Consumer Choice at All
read … Bureaucrats Fiddle while Small Business Burns