The Atlantic: Aloha Tower Deal Makes HPU Poster Child for College Debt
Jones Act industry anxiety increases with Hurricane waivers
Ominous UH email: 'In the event of a nuclear attack'
HNN: …"In the event of a nuclear attack," it said.
The email is part of a broad state campaign to better prepare residents and visitors for the unlikely but not impossible threat of a nuclear missile attack that North Korea poses to the islands.
"In light of concerns about North Korea missile tests, state and federal agencies are providing information about nuclear threats and what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear attack and radiation emergency," the UH email said.
The email also told students and faculty to be aware of emergency sirens and to follow instructions on "sheltering in place."….
"In the last two years, there was 56 missile launches," State Representative Gene Ward said. "That is a wake-up call."
Ward says it would take less than 20 minutes for a nuclear missile to reach Honolulu…
Big Q: What do you think of the state’s efforts to prepare Hawaii residents for the possibility of a nuclear attack?
read … Nuclear
Mayor calls for police panel chairman’s recusal from chief selection
SA: Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Monday that Police Commission Chairman Max Sword should recuse himself from deciding who will be Honolulu’s next police chief….
Whether Sword takes part in the vote for chief could have a major impact on the outcome. There are seven seats on the commission, but resignations have left the panel with only five current members. Because four members are required for the commission to take any action, removing Sword from the process would mean all four remaining members would need to agree on a single candidate….
Loretta Sheehan, one of the other four Police Commission members, said she believes Sword should recuse himself from all matters dealing with the chief selection process.
Sheehan said it would be unfair to Aiu, HPD and the public for Sword to continue being involved. “It creates a process that is tainted, that is questionable,” regardless of who is selected, she said.
Sheehan said Sword should have informed his colleagues about his family ties to Aiu before proceeding with the discussion that day and the Wednesday meeting when the public testified on the finalists….
(Really Obvious Question: What happens if the Police Comm Cannot agree on a candidate for Chief?)
KHON: Chairman recuses himself from police chief search after ethics commission weighs in
Related: Sword Hid Relationship to Aiu from Police Commission
read … Mayor calls for police panel chairman’s recusal from chief selection
BoE: Stop Faking Student Success Indicator
CB: …In an effort to staff classrooms with more qualified teachers, the Hawaii Department of Education will include only certified instructors when it reports the number of teacher positions filled to the state Board of Education at the start of each school year.
The change was unanimously approved by the BOE at its meeting last week. It aims to push the DOE to rely less on so-called emergency hires of instructors with no formal state-approved teacher education — particularly in underserved areas like special education — in meeting recruitment goals.
The percentage of teacher positions filled before the start of the school year is one of 14 indicators of student success outlined in the DOE’s 2017-20 Strategic Plan, along with other yardsticks like chronic absenteeism, third-grade literacy and special education inclusion rate. The state has set an ambitious goal when it comes to teacher recruitment: to fill 96 percent of positions with certified teachers by 2020….
read … Stop Faking It
Homeless Tweekers Rip up $500K worth of Electric Lines to Plug in Their Air Conditioners
KHON: …At Kakaako Waterfront Park alone, officials discovered more than half-a-million dollars in damage that they say was caused by illegal campers.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), which is in charge of the park, counted more than 30 broken light poles.
Officials say campers expose the wiring, attach extension cords, and run electricity through tents that have been illegally set up in the parks.
Photos of the aftermath show air conditioning and Christmas lights set up in one tent, and piles of abandoned bicycles being carried away in a dump truck.
There are also broken sprinklers, damaged water fountains, and broken sinks and toilets….
Outreach workers say about 180 people had been living at the park….32 people were placed into shelter or housing, including all of the families in the park that had minor children. Four of the 32 were placed into permanent housing.
The state is also aiming to clear out a major homeless encampment under the Nimitz Highway viaduct near Sand Island, where officials believe up to 150 people are living….
read … Kakaako park closure reveals elaborate setups in homeless camps
City prosecutor: Judge was wrong to release ex-con accused of attempted murder
HNN: …Nearly a month after a re-indictment, police are still looking for Brandon Reis, who currently has a million dollar warrant out for his arrest.
Reis was arrested for allegedly shooting at 36-year-old Kyen Knowles on Waterhouse Street in Kalihi last June.
Prosecutors say Knowles jumped out of his moving vehicle to escape the bullet and then was crushed to death under his own car.
Judge Karen Nakasone dismissed the charge, ruling a detective improperly narrated the video for the grand jury and added in details about the suspect and the gun.
Reis bailed out on August 15th without the attempted murder charge to hold him. He hasn't been seen since….
read … Judge was wrong
Convictions of 2 accused pimps reinstated after case is thrown out
HNN: …The trial of Justin McKinley and Lawrence Bruce featured disturbing video of McKinley abusing a young woman who accused him of sexually trafficking her.
In the video from 2014, McKinley is seen beating the woman in a Pagoda Hotel room. He's seen choking the woman and demanding money.
In Sept. 2016, a state appeals court threw out the entire case because of a closing statement.
The deputy prosecutor told jurors, "She’s not a piece of property. I mean, she’s somebody’s daughter. She’s somebody’s friend. She’s a mother. She’s a woman. She is a person and she deserves to be treated properly."
McKinley's attorney said that statement unfairly influenced jurors by playing too heavily on their emotions.
Monday, the state supreme court disagreed and reinstated the men's convictions. They remain in prison….
Meanwhile: Espero Wants Probe of Man’s Pepper-Spraying In Patrol Car
read … Soft on Crime Reversed
Bill 80: Make a Payoff to Surfrider, Get a Tax Credit
KHON: …A new proposal before the Honolulu City Council would offer a tax break to those restaurants.
The idea behind Bill 80 is to promote ocean-friendly practices at restaurants. In return, businesses could save money on their property taxes each year.
In order to get the tax break, restaurants must be certified as ocean-friendly by the Surfrider Foundation.
That means restaurants can only use take-out containers that are compostable or recyclable, proper recycling practices must be followed, and they must have reusable tableware for on-site dining. No plastic bags are offered either.
Restaurants would be able to file for the tax exemption once they’re certified….
CB: Tax Breaks Proposed For Organic Farms And ‘Ocean Friendly’ Restaurants
read … New proposal would offer tax breaks to ‘ocean-friendly’ restaurants
How HDOT Insiders Steer Contracts to Roberts Hawaii
CB: Robert’s of Hawaii submitted a winning proposal calling for a fleet of new buses and islandwide service. It takes over the state contract Sunday.
…Arguing for the Department of Transportation, Julia Verbrugge, a deputy attorney general, questioned whether Speedishuttle had a right of action. Although state law generally requires competitive bidding, ground transportation concessions at airports are specifically exempted from the requirement, which meant Speedishuttle couldn’t sue, Verbrugge said.
Instead of a competitive bidding process, the Department of Transportation relied on a no-bid request for proposals, which ranks proposals from contractors and allows agencies somewhat more discretion to choose the winning contractor….
read … Corrupt Process
Hawaii Renewable Energy Standards A Shell Game
IM: …If practically all O`ahu customers were to install rooftop solar, buy very little electricity from the electric company, and instead buy most of their power from the gas company, then the use of oil to generate electricity on O`ahu would drop dramatically.
HECO could continue to buy electricity from H-Power, the garbage-to-energy facility in Waipahu, where one-third of the energy generated is made from fossil fuel products, but where all of the electricity generated counts as renewable energy.
As long as customers did not cut their connection to the electric utility grid, then HECO could still count rooftop solar towards their renewable energy requirements. Thus HECO could achieve an RPS above 100 percent while the island residents bought large quantities of fossil fuel from the gas company.
The 2016 Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report was released on December 1, 2016.
“The light bulb illuminating the front cover is based on a prototype under development at MIT that recycles its own heat, an efficiency jump of 80 percent that would put incandescent bulbs on par with LEDs for power usage. It symbolizes Hawaii’s emerging clean energy future - a holistic approach to reach 100 percent renewable energy in electricity by 2045.”
The description is wrong and makes state-to-state analysis difficult. Hawai`i actually has a 100 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal for 2045. Hawai`i can reach 200% RPS while generating half of its electricity from renewable energy and the other half from petroleum and coal.
Hawai`i can reach 200% RPS while generating half of its electricity from renewable energy and the other half from petroleum and coal…..
read … Hawai`i Participating in State Bragging Rights War
Green Energy Schemers Pushing New ‘Profit-Sharing’ Scam
HTH: …Kyle Datta, a general partner of the Ulupono Initiative (representing green energy schemers) and a Hawaii Island resident, said the most important factor missing from HELCO’s IOU structure is the alignment of priorities between the utility and its customers. He added that as long as HELCO’s endgame and its customers’ desires are at odds, there are going to be problems.
In Datta’s view, there are two solutions. The first is a co-op, which naturally aligns priorities as customers are also owners. The second is the current IOU model with the tweak of incentives to align the utility with those it serves. Such incentives would come in the form of regulations implemented by the Public Utilities Commission.
One such implementation Datta mentioned is a savings-sharing incentive, in which the utility gets a percentage of each customer’s savings. In other words, the more the ratepayer saves, the more the utility pockets. As it stands now, HELCO has little reason to incorporate renewables beyond governmental mandates because doing so reduces profits.
“What if the savings from going faster than the mandate would benefit the rate payers of Hawaii County and the utility?” he posed. “(HELCO) doesn’t make profits off renewables. But if they did, they’d be for them.”
Before filing a final report in early 2019, consultants will attempt to answer all these questions….
read … Consultants examine Hawaii County’s utility model