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Saturday, May 20, 2017
May 20, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:08 PM :: 955 Views

Board of Education selects next Superintendent—No word on Golden Parachute

Matayoshi’s DoE Receives national innovation award

UHERO County Forecast: Economies Still Growing, But Slowing

UH Announces Plan to Use Upcoming King Tides for Global Warming Propaganda

Where Might Kim Jong Un Strike If He Gets His Treasured ICBM?

OCCC guard attempted to smuggle drugs, cellphone to murder suspects

HNN: An Oahu Community Correctional Center guard is suspected of trying to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a housing unit where two suspects in a high profile murder case are being held, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Sources say the contraband shakedown happened in Module 13, where murder suspect Dae Han Moon and alleged accomplice Lance Bermudez are kept.

Moon is charged with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Stevie Feliciano on Christmas Day in a parking structure at Ala Moana Center. Following an island-wide manhunt, Bermudez was arrested and charged for threatening a witness to the shooting.

When asked about the allegations, the state's Department of Public Safety would only confirm that contraband items were seized Thursday night. They declined to comment on exactly what items were recovered, from where they were recovered, or from whom they recovered….

Defense attorney Victor Bakke, who has represented many detainees at the facility, says drug smuggling by guards and staff members is all too common.

"I had one client who was actually bribing the guards at Halawa to bring in the drugs to him, and he tested dirty on all of his drug tests and nothing was done," Bakke said. …

Officials say they have the authority to conduct hands-on searches of staff and their belongings, but only when there is reasonable suspicion.

"It's just lazy. It's a very small environment, and how hard is it to control when it's your own employees?" said Bakke.

"If we are serious about cracking down on contraband that staff bring in, the most effective way of doing it is to conduct random, unannounced searches using deputy sheriff teams and drug sniffing dogs," added State Rep. Gregg Takayama, chair of the House Committee on Public Safety….

read … UPW, Inc Prisons

Maui Council Approves Budget Larded with Fee Hikes

MN: …During its daylong meeting, the council approved higher trash collection fees and some increased sewer fees.

Council Member Elle Cochran brought nine amendments to the floor. Those included one to return commercial ocean recreational activity fees to current levels.

The fees are paid by businesses such as surf schools, kayak rental operators and windsurfing instructors to conduct business at county beach parks. The permit fee was set to go from $1,000 annually per permit to $200 a month, or $2,400 annually. But Cochran’s amendment was approved, keeping rates unchanged. Permit fees go into a separate account, not the county’s general fund. 

…Some activity owners said they hold multiple permits because they need to access several county beach parks for various reasons, including unsafe weather conditions. …the permit fees go into a special fund, in which $500,000 was unused.

Also in the budget, monthly trash fees for Maui and Molokai would rise from $24 to $27 and from $12 to $14 on Lanai. There would be a $3-per-vehicle fee for residential trash dumping at the Central Maui Landfill. Commercial tipping fees would rise from $81 to $90 per ton.

While water fees remained unchanged, sewer fees increase from $29.20 to $30.08 per month for single-family and duplex dwellings.

read … Fee Hikes

Decoupling Hikes Electric Bills Again

SA: Hawaiian Electric Co. said it is awaiting approval by the state Public Utilities Commission for its annual “decoupling” rate adjustment that would raise a typical customer’s bill by 60 cents….

“Decoupling breaks the historic link between electricity usage and utility revenues, which removes the incentive for utilities to increase the use of electricity (means we can charge you more for using less),” HECO says on its website.

2015: UHERO: Decoupling Socks Electric Ratepayers with Soaring Fixed Costs

read … Rate adjustment would raise HECO bill by 60 cents

PUC: After Gorak Rejected, Ige Appoints Morita Minion

IM: …In the late 1990s, Griffin served as an aide to Representative Morita. In 2001 James Griffin became Representative Morita’s energy policy staff person….

In 2001 James Griffin testified on behalf of Life of the Land in the Wa`ahila Ridge Fight….

Returning to Hawaii James Griffin became an Assistant Specialist at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) in 2009, working on research projects analyzing the integration of renewable energy sources into electricity grids, energy policy, and energy-economic modeling.

The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) was established by the State Legislature in 1974. It is an independent research facility housed at the University of Hawai`i, Mānoa. For several years HNEI has worked closely with HECO to assist them in integrating higher levels of intermittent (variable) power into the grid.

Griffin made a presentation at the Microgrid Symposium (2009) held in San Diego, California; and participated in HNEI Studies such as “Oahu Wind Integration Study” (2011) and the “HCEI Road Map” (2011).  Griffin served as the Project Director for the Maui Smart Grid Project….

read … If you can't beat'em, join 'em

BLNR Helps Anti-Telescope Protesters Reestablish Excuse for Further Delays

HTH: The state Land Board rejected a petition from a Thirty Meter Telescope opponent seeking an online transcript of the project’s contested case hearing.

Copies of the 6,935-page transcript, prepared by court reporters through a contract, were delivered to public libraries at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and in Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Waimea and Honolulu.

The Land Board in a response filed Wednesday said state law doesn’t require them to be made available online.

Kealoha Pisciotta, a TMT opponent who participated in the hearing, said not providing electronic copies handicapped parties while preparing their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, which are due May 30.

To get their own copies, participants need to purchase transcripts from the court reporter at $1 per page.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources purchased five copies at $3,500 to distribute to the libraries for participants to use. The Land Board said that’s more than the agency is required to do.

read … Found an Excuse

The Simple Answer to Judge Paez’s Question about Korematsu

LFB: …Korematsu is far too often invoked as a judicial bogeyman that privileges passion over persuasion…..

read … The Simple Answer to Judge Paez’s Question about Korematsu

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