Telescope: Judge Recommends Permit Be Issued, Land Board Hearing Set for Sept 20
Nine Homeless Accept Shelter After Latest Sweeps
Demanding best practices in rail accounting
North Korea Fires Off Another ICBM--Could Hit Chicago
Caldwell Incompetence Blows Chance at Miss Universe pageant – Becomes Excuse to Push $500M Makeover of Arena
SA: …“It was determined by the pageant that the arena’s structural capacity for suspending overhead equipment above the stage area was insufficient for the show’s needs,” Kaulukukui said. “However, arena weight capacity has not been a limiting factor for shows staged in that venue over recent years, for example Bruno Mars, WWE, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey and more.”
Lee said Thursday that there were enough financial commitments to bring the event to Hawaii; however, the most recent global structural engineering analysis that the city could provide was from 1994. (Translation: Caldwell blew this opportunity because he hasn’t done his homework for the last 23 years.) Paula Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization, sent an email to the Hawaii Tourism Authority on Wednesday saying that she was disappointed that the event could not be held in Hawaii and expressing concern about Blaisdell Arena.
“Our key rigger was sent to Hawaii this past Monday and his report yesterday was not favorable. He had serious cause for concern in the facility being able to structurally accommodate a show of our size. He could not in his professional capacity, sign off on the facility and in fact, indicated that there do not appear to be any up-to-date structural plans in existence,” Shugart said in the email, which has been widely circulated in political circles. (Translation: The problem here is a 23 year old report.)
The Stan Sheriff Center, the only other site big enough for the event, was already unavailable for the pageant’s November dates, so the Blaisdell issue “brought everything to a halt,” said Rick Fried, HTA board chairman.
Fried told the Star-Advertiser that HTA had met multiple times with pageant organizers this year. The agency was awaiting additional information when it was informed that the pageant was ending negotiations, he said.
“I think this is an unusual requirement that’s peculiar to Miss Universe and their rigging needs,” Fried said.
According to news accounts, the pageant’s 1998 prime-time show was a circuslike extravaganza that relied on major set construction, specialized rigging and advanced technology. It transformed half of the floor of Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus into a miniature island with blue sea and rotating coral sand mountains. Scenic images of Hawaii were projected on 16-foot screens as “sailing warriors” swayed back and forth at angles made possible by special harnessing.
Fried said he hopes the pageant will consider Hawaii for next year, but also hoped organizers would start the process earlier.
Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, said venues across Hawaii must realize the importance of conducting regular safety and standards checks.
The Blaisdell Arena issue (was created to) come
s just six months after the city released a new master plan for Blaisdell Center calling for the arena and concert hall to be renovated and a new exhibition hall to replace the existing one.
read … Caldwell Claims
Donation helps send homeless to Mainland families
KGI: …Kauai Economic Opportunity Inc. has successfully repatriated four homeless individuals to their families on the Mainland and is making quick progress toward returning two more, an agency spokesperson said….
HLTA presented a $25,000 grant to KEO at HLTA’s 189th general membership meeting at the Sheraton Kauai Resort in Poipu….
Since the grant was awarded, KEO has been vetting several individuals to provide them with transportation costs back to their home states, where they will live and pursue employment to gain self-sufficiency. To qualify for a ticket home, candidates must have a support system in place back home and be able to provide half the cost of the flight.
KEO has assisted four homeless individuals to return to homes on the Mainland. The first individual to return was a 40-year-old man from Alaska. While his situation in Hawaii could barely afford him food and clothes, he did have a family member across the ocean who was willing to give him a place to live. KEO and HLTA’s funding helped him get there. After he arrived in Alaska, the KEO staff contacted the individual’s mother, who assured them that he was in her care.
KEO next helped three more individuals return to their home states of Nevada, New Mexico, and Montana, respectively. KEO is working on more cases….
Similar donations have either occurred or are in the process of happening on both the Big Island and Maui, according to an HLTA spokesman….
read … Donation helps send homeless to Mainland families
Contractor Quits Million-Dollar Jobs, Still Gets New Contracts
HNN: …Back in November 2015, the state awarded a $14 million contract to an Idaho-based contractor to fix the dilapidated Maipalaoa Bridge in Maili.
It’s considered one of the most dangerous bridges in the state. After nearly two years, contractor Performance Systems Inc. abandoned the project, completing just 5 percent of the job.
The project is one of at least eight city, state and federal contracts that PSI has walked away from in Hawaii in the past several years.
"I hope there's more investigation into those contracts, because this has been happening, people get contracts to do a job … then they walk away. Is that fair,” said City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.
One of those contracts was a $3.4 million city road repair job on Kuahea Street in Palolo. The company paved some of the road before quitting the work.
Hawaii News Now has learned that another city agency, the Department of Environmental Services, awarded PSI a $9.3 million contract to build a solar farm at its HPower plant in Kapolei and a $2 million job at the Keehi Refuse Transfer Station.
"Don't they talk to one another? If you fail and default on a contract, you should be out of the game. You should not be receiving another contract,” said environmental activist Carroll Cox.
read … Quitter
Hawaii Co Council members shoot for gun range
WHT: A long-awaited public gun range for Hawaii Island may finally get a shot at success, depending on how the County Council handles a resolution up for vote next week.
Resolution 246, scheduled for consideration at 1 p.m. Tuesday by the Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation, asks for council endorsement of the need for a shooting range on the island. It also calls for the creation of a working group of recreational shooters, hunters and government agencies.
The meeting will be held in Hilo council chambers, but people may also testify via videoconference from the West Hawaii Civic Center, Pahoa council office, Naalehu state office building or the old Kohala courthouse….
read … Council members shoot for gun range
DOBOR Continues Harassment in Kailua-Kona
WHT: More than four months after a judge dismissed a case against Sean “Peaman” Pagett after he was cited for running an unpermitted race, Pagett’s attorney said the issue might not be settled just yet.
Pagett’s attorney, Jason Braswell, said they are still waiting to see whether the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation will bring an administrative action against his client even after the case was dismissed in court.
Pagett, who’s been organizing biathlons for about 30 years, received a citation last December from the enforcement branch of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which DOBOR is under. Pagett got a ticket for hosting the Doc Ferren Hall of Fame Biathlon. The event is a half-mile swim from the pier on the waterfront in Kailua-Kona followed by a 3.9-mile run on Alii Drive on Christmas Day. About 150 people participated in the run and swim.
The department argued that Pagett’s events fall under administrative rules for regattas, marine parades, boat races or exhibitions. State law also requires the purchase of risk-management insurance to cover those events once a permit is issued.
In March though, prosecutors moved to dismiss the citation against Pagett, saying the man was in compliance with the insurance and that the allegation levied against him didn’t apply.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
DOBOR, Braswell said Friday, then contacted Pagett and told him they were bringing an administrative enforcement action against him.
Unlike citations, which go before a judge, administrative actions play out before the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Pagett sued in court, saying that DOBOR didn’t have the authority to pass or implement the rule they were trying to cite Pagett over.
A circuit court judge dismissed the suit on Thursday, saying he didn’t have jurisdiction to hear the issue. He didn’t, however, rule on the question of whether DOBOR had the authority to adopt the rule in question.
The judge’s ruling frees DOBOR to move forward.
read … Petty harassment
Maui PD Reports Discipline
MN: …One Maui Police Department officer was fired and suspensions ranging from one to 10 days were ordered for 13 officers, as part of internal investigations and actions concluded in the first half of the year, police reported….
read … Discipline