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Saturday, October 14, 2017
October 14, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:49 PM :: 1797 Views

Fuchigami Taking over from Ige's Chief of Staff? – That’s What the State Constitution Says 

Hawaii politicians missing the boat on Jones Act reform

Rep Andria Tupola to Host Hawaii Tax Conference

Can Hawaii AG Help Muslims Obtain US Classified Info?

BB:  President Donald Trump says those challenging the latest version of his travel ban in court can’t see a report explaining why he targeted immigrants from seven nations because it’s secret.

The government on Friday told a Hawaii federal judge who demanded disclosure of the report that it’s classified and should remain off-limits as evidence in the court battle. That judge blocked a previous version of the president’s immigration restrictions amid a fierce debate over national security and discrimination.

Justice Department lawyers said they’d reluctantly provide a copy of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s Sept. 15 report to be viewed privately by the judge “in a secure location.” But they said the judge shouldn’t review the document because the government won’t be relying on it to defend the travel ban.

read … Trump Balks at Showing Classified Report Backing Travel Ban

Nobody Buying Attempt to Equate Japanese Internment with Arrest of Muslims

SA: Representative Comment: “This article is more political correctness gone astray. As a Japanese American, I see the issue a lot differently. The Japanese people in America weren't the problem. They were hard working members of the community that were rounded up and shipped off to internment camps because the Japanese from Japan attacked America. Muslims OTOH are the problem regardless of where they were from. You've got American citizens that are Muslim that are committing heinous acts against other Americans. In WWII, Japanese Americans volunteered to fight FOR America. Many fought and were injured or even killed defending our great nation. What have the Muslims done for this country other than cry racism?  Cannot compare how the Japanese were treated to how the Muslims are being treated today.”

read … Nobody Fooled

Secret Public-Private Hawaii Energy Group is Plotting Our Future

IM: …The Hawai`i Energy Policy Forum will hold its annual summit on October 23, 2017 at the YWCA Fuller Hall. This is a meeting for members only.

The organization has lobbied for 15 years but has never complied with mandatory state lobbying laws, neither the organization nor its officers have ever registered as lobbyists. The organization is not registered as a Hawai`i non-profit. Its leadership is difficult to determine, as the organization`s web site is years out-of-date. Its financial structure is unknown, even to many of its leaders. 

Historically, HEPF has been a place where legislators, regulators, regulated industries,  university educators, and lobbyists have meet in secret to discuss open regulatory proceedings in violation of ex parte rules, and planned future legislation.

The organization was founded by Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), although HECO has denied its role. The organization limits membership through obscure, non-public, policies.

The HEPF Membership page states that the members include Warren Bollmeier, President, Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance; Ford Fuchigami, Director, Hawaii Department of Transportation; Mark Glick, Energy Administrator, State Energy Office, DBEDT; Jeffrey Ono, Executive Director, Division of Consumer Advocacy; and Kal Kobayashi, Energy Coordinator, Maui County Energy Office.

Warren Bollmeier retired. The Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance terminated its existence. Ford Fuchigami accepted a position with the Office of the Governor. Mark Glick is at HNEI. Jeffrey Ono is in private practice. Kal Kobayashi retired.

The HEPF Membership page states that the members also include Chris Lee, Chair, House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, Lorraine Inouye, Chair, Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, Randy Iwase, Chair, Public Utilities Commission, Joseph Boivin, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, Hawaii Gas, Darren Pai, Senior Communication Consultant, Hawaiian Electric Company; and Scott Seu, Vice President of System Operations, Hawaiian Electric Company

The press has been denied the right to attend meetings. The Office of Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard has raised questions of why some people have been excluded from the process…..

read … Secret Plotting

Anti-Pesticide Activists Spread Rat Lungworm

HFD: …What if Hawaii politicians kept listening to the anti-GMO crowd demanding to farm only one way? Would we be able to sustain ourselves? For papaya farmers, the answer is no.  We need all the tools available and the input of the experts who have been there.  Their education and experience is a building block for building the right path for the future. 

If we truly want to preserve agriculture here in Hawaii, we need to look at who is talking at the table and has the expertise to be there.  If we put the political PhD folks like Ashley Lukens and other non-farmers, will we be set in the right path? Seeing how the anti-pesticide campaigns have contributed to a resurgence of rat lungworm disease here, it’s clear that there is a cost to misinformation. The supposed food safety group is still silent on rat lungworm disease. 

Farmers deserve to be heard and have access to technology that can make their jobs better.  Listening to politicians who have no experience in agriculture or rely on campaigns based in false information can do irreparable harm for years to come…..

read … The Faucet

State to clean up, fence off area under Nimitz Hwy. viaduct

HNN: …A multimillion-dollar cleanup aims to address health and safety concerns under the Nimitz Highway viaduct.

Officials say there have been incidents in the area, including thefts of copper and electric wires that affect lighting on the H-1 Freeway, break-ins of nearby businesses, and fires.

From Oct. 23 through Nov. 17, the state is planning to clear the area from the vicinity of the Moanalua Bridge to the viaduct off-ramp to Kamehameha/Nimitz Highway.

Officials estimate about 180 people are living (tweeking) there in campsites and cars…..

The Board of Land and Natural Resources is allowing the Department of Transportation to close part of Moanalua Stream so people can’t float their (your stolen) belongings to another site.

Funding for the cleanup is provided by a pilot program made possible through a $2 million appropriation from the State Legislature and $2 million in matching funds from the DOT.

Once areas are cleaned up, they will be fenced off, monitored through 24-hour security, and used for construction storage….

read … State to clean up, fence off area under Nimitz Hwy. viaduct

Plan for homeless camp in Kona moves forward

WHT: …The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved a management right of entry for Hawaii County onto a parcel of land known as Village 9, which Mayor Harry Kim plans to use first as a temporary homeless camp before developing it into a long-term housing site replete with social services for Kona’s homeless population.

The BLNR’s decision paves the way for both county initiatives to become realities, allowing for immediate entry to 5 acres of the 35-acre parcel located near the West Hawaii Civic Center and Kealakehe High School.

The decision also included approval of an executive order that will transfer ownership of the full parcel from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, a branch of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism — a necessary transition for the county’s long-term site plan.

“The executive order itself will take time,” said Roy Takemoto, an executive assistant to Kim who takes the lead on most county development projects. “But in the meantime, they have an immediate authority for HHFDC to issue a right of entry to the county.”

He added the 15- to 20-acre permanent development, likely still years away, will be good to go as long as the HHFDC meets the requirements for the transfer, which Takemoto expects to happen.

A few dozen homeless people were evicted from Old Kona Airport Park in August and now reside at Camp Kikaha, a homeless encampment situated in the middle of the Old Kona Industrial Area in Kailua-Kona. The camp, however, added some stresses on the business community in what is otherwise a commercial area, prompting the county’s search for a new solution.

The county’s answer came in the form of the Village 9 plan, which will essentially transfer the open-air encampment mauka, out of the industrial area while also expanding it. Officials say the temporary 5-acre site could accommodate up to 100 homeless individuals.

A parking area will be included for homeless people who reside in their vehicles. Running water and restroom facilities will be brought online at the site before any homeless people arrive.

Eventually, igloo-type structures costing about $11,000-$12,000 each will crop up throughout the area, which will be segmented and provide housing for men, women and families. The permanent site is expected to accommodate up to 300 homeless individuals…..

WHT: BLNR Approves Land Deal for Homeless Tent City Near Kailua-Kona

read … Plan for homeless camp in Kona moves forward

BLNR Fines Family $75K for Saving House

HNN: …High waves and heavy beach erosion caused the seawall in front of James and Denise O'Shea's North Shore home to collapse on September 3. 

In the weeks that followed, the couple hired a construction crew and brought in boulders to repair it, but the Department of Land and Natural Resources now wants to fine them $75,000 for beginning repairs without first obtaining a a permit.

On Friday, the couple appeared before the state land board to defend their decision to start work.

"It collapsed suddenly and dramatically, jeopardizing the house, jeopardizing people on the beach," said Gregory Kugle, the O'Shea's lawyer. "It was an emergency situation. People’s lives and homes and houses are at stake."

A representative from DLNR says the O’Sheas defied an order to stop work that was issued back in September…..

WHT: BLNR Decides not to Fine Swimmer $10K

read … Fined

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