I Shill for No One!
Brian Schatz Fear of An Anglo America
Honolulu Rail Creates One Tenth of Jobs Promised
Matson Previews full year 2017 results
Bills: Skip ICA, Direct Appeals to Supreme Court
DHHL Funding: A morass in which the courts should not get entangled
Hawaii bail system victimizes taxpayers, too
Hawaii AG: Census Citizenship Question Might Depress Count of Non-Citizens Needed to Apportion Legislative Seats
ERS Fires Investment Officer After Losses on VIX Puts
Star-Adv: Crabbe Should Resign From OHA
SA: …This is a time of tremendous need for Native Hawaiians, who are disproportionately beset by poverty, homelessness, imprisonment and social problems. Now would be the time for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its trustees to focus their considerable funding resources to help the beneficiaries of that trust.
But as all can see from the stunning report released Tuesday by the Office of the State Auditor, quite the opposite has happened. OHA, according to the latest audit, has misspent millions in discretionary funding that should have been properly vetted and directed to the people who need it most….
OHA protested when a draft of the audit was leaked a few weeks prematurely, and now it’s painfully clear why.
The final report indicated a lack of fiscal controls over the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund, a laxity that goes back decades but persists to a startling degree now. During the 2015 and 2016 budget years, the agency spent $14 million in discretionary funds, nearly twice the $7.7 million that went through its regular budget process.
This had not been budgeted, so OHA drew from its reserves to cover most of it. These are the reserves that are supposed to generate the funds for the continuation of its mission, and blowing through those funds represents an appalling lapse.
OHA Chairperson Colette Machado issued a statement on behalf of the board. It essentially was an acknowledgement of guilt.
“We appreciate that this audit is intended to help OHA improve so that we can better fulfill our mandate of bettering the conditions of Native Hawaiians,” Machado said.
No kidding. This at least is not a denial, but that is cold comfort.
Kamana‘opono Crabbe, OHA’s chief executive officer, is unworthy of the crucial, gatekeeping position; he should resign for his own egregious dereliction of duty. According to the audit, he ignored “do not fund” recommendations from staff for indefensible spending requests, thereby disregarding his fiduciary responsibilities.
As for the trustees themselves, there has never been a stronger case made for term limits. This scandal breathes life into measures such as Senate Bill 1303, calling for amendments to the OHA election process….
read … Shut down OHA’s reckless spending
Senator yanks bill requiring background checks for parents who home-school their children
HNN: …After receiving nearly one thousand pieces of testimony, Senator Kai Kahele requested that his bill requiring background checks for parents who home-school their children, be withdrawn.
Senate Bill 2323 was deferred by the Education Committee late Wednesday afternoon.
The bill would require Child Welfare Services to conduct a child abuse and neglect inquiry into a child whose parents or legal guardian want to home-school. That information would then go to the Department of Education so the state could do a background check before approving or denying the applicant.
Parents who home-school their children believe the bill discriminates against them.
“Innocent families were sort of being punished simply because they home schooled and there was a presumption of guilt simply because we wanted to home school,” said Anna Black….
SM: STATEMENT FROM SEN. KAHELE ON SENATE BILL 2323
read … VICTORY!
Unaffordable: Maui’s Failed Housing Policy
MW: …Following a decision by the owner of a Lahaina “affordable housing” complex to sell its 142 units at market prices starting in 2019 — three decades earlier than expected — there is movement at the Maui County Council to require that all of Maui’s so-called affordable housing to remain so in perpetuity….
read … Unaffordable
Tweekers go to Legislature, Demand Free Land for Tent City
KITV: …The state wants the site cleared eventually but Morishige hopes its through relocating residents.
"We're committed to making every effort to continue outreach services to the individuals in the encampment and we will continue to try to connect them to shelter and other available housing resources," he said.
Borge is also troubled over the shelving of a House bill that village residents viewed as a protection against a sweep….
"People in the encampment are also responsible for taking the steps necessary to improve their lives. Moving into more permanent housing is a first step," DLNR communications specialist Deborah Ward said.
DLNR plans to create a Marine Educational Science Center on the property now occupied by the homeless village….
PDF: IN FULL: Read DLNR's full statement on the Waianae homeless camp
ILind: Liberal Activists Give Tweeker Camp its own FB Page and Some Videos
read … Waianae homeless village fights for safe haven at state capitol
Will Caldwell Bumbling Destroy Oahu Surf Events?
PBN: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has called on the World Surf League to reconsider its threat of removing its events from Hawaii after the city denied its permit request.
"My request to the World Surf League, which I recognize is an incredibly important organization, is please don’t yank your contests," Caldwell said during a press conference on Wednesday. "We’ve heard your concerns, and we’d like to see what we can do to make it better in the future, but let’s not hurt folks in the short term.”
The permitting issue, which has garnered national and international attention, could ultimately result in the cancelation of all WSL events in Hawaii. The WSL, which governs professional surfing, is embarking on a major schedule overhaul and requested to swap one event for another on Oahu's North Shore under existing permits. However, the city denied the request….
KHON: Permit issue likely to keep 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters out of Hawaii
SA: Caldwell hopes to revamp surf contest application process
read … Caldwell Bumbling
Maui mayor slapped with fine over donations to charities
HNN: The Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday voted to fine Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa $1,000 for exceeding donation limits to multiple charities.
He was also ordered to repay more than $8,300 to his campaign….
Kenneth Goodenow, the commission's vice chairman, said the body must uphold rules on donations limits.
But he added, it wasn't a crime because Arakawa did not intend to misrepresent his campaign funds.
"I certainly do not think we should refer this to the state Attorney General's office for prosecution," he said.
"I don't believe the mayor had any bad intent. He was very straightforward: I only want to do advertising."
Commissioners also erased Arakawa's wife from the complaint after commission staff alleged she had tried to influence the nonprofits' financial reporting.
Arakawa says his battle has cost him $20,000 in attorney's fees and he's planning to continue to fight the complaint by filing for a contested case hearing….
MN: Mayor fined $1,000, ordered to reimburse campaign $8,332.16
read … Maui mayor slapped with fine over donations to charities
Hawaii Co Ethics Board to hear Eoff conflict of interest case
WHT: A bill regulating vacation rentals has been pulled from consideration until the Board of Ethics can determine whether North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff has a conflict of interest in co-sponsoring it.
The county Ethics Board, which next meets March 19, will likely consider Eoff’s request for an opinion as well as a complaint from vacation rental owner Rob Guzman….
read … Ethics?
Duterte Backing Pastor Apollo Quiboloy detained in Honolulu after cash, military gun parts found on private plane
HNN: …A Cessna Citation Sovereign bound for the Philippines was boarded Tuesday morning by Customs and Border Enforcement agents.
Court documents say about $350,000 in cash was found, all in $100 bills which were neatly folded and stuffed inside socks in a suitcase.
Also found on the plane, parts to assemble military style rifles, according to sources.
Altogether six people were on the plane, including Apollo Quiboloy.
Quiboloy is the pastor of a mega Filipino church, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, or KJC, and claims to have 6 million followers worldwide. There is a small storefront location here in Waipahu
Also on board, Felina Salinas of Makakilo. Salinas, 47, was the only U.S. citizen on the plane, and she was the only one arrested after claiming the suitcase with the cash, was hers. …
Another member of the Waipahu church, who did not want his name used, tells Hawaii News Now that Quiboloy was in Hawaii for a concert.
Quiboloy has ties to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, their friendship apparently goes back years. Quiboloy supported him during his campaign and according to media reports, even allowed Duterte the use of his private planes….
read … Mega church pastor detained in Honolulu after cash, military gun parts found on private plane
FBI: UH Manoa Confucius Institute a Front for Chinese Communist Party
SA: …Amid heightened concern about Russian election meddling, the FBI on Tuesday warned U.S. universities about Chinese intelligence operatives active on their campuses, adding that many academics display “a level of naivete” about the level of infiltration….
The FBI is also “watching warily” activities at dozens of Confucius Institutes, Chinese government-sponsored academies that are often embedded within universities and public schools to offer U.S. students Mandarin language classes….
The Confucius Institutes now number more than 100 at public and private universities, colleges and even high schools. Several hundred more Confucius Classrooms teach Mandarin at elementary, middle and high schools across the country.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wrote last week to five Florida institutions — Miami Dade College and the universities of North Florida, South Florida and West Florida as well as to Cypress Bay High School in Broward County — asking that they shut down their Confucius programs.
A smattering of universities have eliminated their Confucius Institute programs, but the programs continue at universities in North and South Carolina, California, Kentucky, Idaho, Texas, Missouri and Kansas, among other states….
Link: Confucius Institute Hawaii
NAS: Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education
read … FBI says Chinese operatives active at scores of U.S. universities