Ige Requests Disaster Declaration for Kauai, Oahu
Public Private Partnership for Ala Wai Golf?
Hawaii--Least Expensive Homeowners Insurance in USA
US Citizen or US National: American Samoans in the Military
Iwasa: Rail Costs behind Caldwell Budget Cuts
Smug Millennial Caucus--Worst Attendance Of Legislators This Session
CB: …Part of a Hawaii legislator’s job is to attend the 60 days of floor sessions from January to mid-May….
Almost a third of lawmakers had perfect attendance during the session that adjourns Thursday, while five lawmakers missed at least 10 session days….
Technically, former House Speaker Joe Souki had the worst attendance by far with 22 absences before he was forced out of his job early last month after admitting to sexually harassing women over the years at the Capitol. Rep. Troy Hashimoto, who replaced Souki, hasn’t missed a day since he started two weeks ago.
Other than Souki, leading the pack of no-shows was Rep. Chris Lee of Kailua, who missed 12 floor session days. Last year he missed five full days and was late once.
(SMC#1) Lee, who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, said he was sick once and took several trips off-island to
discuss energy and climate change matters (receive orders from his Silicon Valley overlords.)…
(SMC#2) Rep. Kaniela Ing, a Maui lawmaker running to represent urban Oahu in Congress, missed 10 floor sessions and was late six times this year. Last year he missed five floor sessions and was late twice…. (will be gone soon)
On March 21, one of the days that Ing missed, he participated in an online Reddit AMA “Ask Me Anything” discussion on a progressive politics forum and solicited donations….
(SMC#3) Rep. Beth Fukumoto, a Mililani representative who’s also running to represent urban Oahu in Congress, missed 10 floor sessions and was late once…. (will be gone soon)
Senate Majority Leader (and convicted cocaine dealer) J. Kalani ‘Powdernose’ English of Maui had eight absences this year. He racked up 12 absences last year…
English’s absences for Senate sessions were surpassed only by Sen. Breene Harimoto, who was gone for 20 days. Harimoto said those absences were related to chemotherapy treatments he receives for lung cancer….
read … The Best And Worst Attendance Of Legislators This Session
Rep Creagan: We’re Not Supposed to Talk About Sexual Misconduct
CB: …Capitol insiders say former House Speaker Joe Souki’s departure was surprising but his behavior was not. Souki served in the House for more than three decades, and his inappropriate remarks were often purposely overlooked as a relic of a bygone era.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Rep. Richard Creagan said of the ethics complaint against Souki, before quickly adding: “We’re not supposed to talk about this stuff.”…
“Because Hawaii is a small place and because everyone has to interact with each other on an ongoing continued basis, I think there’s a strong incentive for people to maintain good relationships with even people who may have sexually harassed them,” says state Sen. Stanley Chang….
“I’ve had legislators ask me out to dinner,” says lobbyist Ashley Lukens. “I had an aide for a senator one day look directly at my boobs and told me he liked my dress.”
When she protested, Lukens says he replied, “Oh, you don’t think I know how you get your job done.”
Lukens is one of the few people who will go on the record talking about sexual harassment at the Legislature. She’s suffering from brain cancer and is on medical leave for treatment, so she’s not lobbying this year. If she were, Lukens says she definitely would not be talking publicly about this issue….
read … Why No One Wants To Blow The Whistle On Sexual Misconduct
OHA trustee says she'll fight ethics charges 'to the death'
HNN: "I'm going to fight them to the death."
That's what Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana said Wednesday when asked how she'll respond to a state Ethics Commission investigation over alleged gifts and spending….
During Wednesday's OHA board meeting, a courier showed up to serve Akana with confidential documents from the state Ethics Commission, but Akana skipped the meeting and avoided him.
In addition to the legal fees, other spending of her allowance is coming into question, including her use of an OHA allowance for:
Political contributions, including $500 for a band at an event hosted by Kanaka Maoli, a political action committee;
Home cable TV and internet services;
A $249 Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club membership;
And food for parties for OHA personnel.
She also blames OHA's CEO, Kamanaopono Crabbe, and her detractors for trying to take her down.
"This is a smear campaign. It definitely came from OHA," said Akana, referring to the leaked document.
"The Administration at OHA is doing everything they can to discredit me because I have been trying to clean house at OHA for two years," she added.
The Ethics Commission investigation comes as the FBI and Attorney General are investigating the agency.
Akana said that she knows of two other trustees who've reported to the Ethics Commission because of their expenditures….
read … Death
HECO Proposes Two Grid-Scale Batteries -- $147M Exempted from Competitive Bidding
IM: …the Navy approached Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) about building a 20 MW photovoltaic facility in the Navy`s West Loch Annex. HECO filed an application for their West Loch PV Facility with the Public Utilities Commission in October 2016.
HECO would lease 102 acres for 37 years, to produce electricity at 9.54 cents per kilowatt-hour. HECO would structure the deal to make in-kind payments to upgrade Navy facilities….
HECO filed an application on May 2, 2018, for their West Loch Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), to be located on the land HECO leases from the Navy.
The 110-page application is available at the Commission website. The size of the file is 46.4 megabytes.
The battery is proposed to smooth out the wind-based electricity produced at the neighboring solar facility, to provide regulating reserve and faster ramping to enable more solar to interconnect to the grid and to provide load-shifting of photovoltaic electricity for use in the evening and at night.
While segmented in planning and approval, the $43 million battery would be joined to the West Loch PV project so that “it is eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit.”…
HECO also filed an application yesterday for a $104 million Contingency & Regulating Reserve Battery Energy Storage System at their Cambell Industrial Park Combustion Turbine (CT-1) site.
The application can be downloaded from the commission website. Its size is 188 megabytes…
HECO`s CT-1 generation was originally powered by biofuels. As part of the commission approval for the new Schofield Barracks biofuel-powered generator, the fuel used for the CT-1 generator was switched from biofuel to petroleum. Thus, support for a new Schofield biofuel facility might overshadow the reality of no actual increase in the use of biofuels. (Please take a moment to laugh at their fraud. Mahalo.)
Like the West Loch PV project, HECO proposes that the CT-1 battery project will be exempt from competitive bidding.
The “100 megawatt/100 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system” will enable the battery to smooth out variable generation produced by solar and wind facilities. The system is expected to be online in October 2020.
HECO: Hawaiian Electric plans major energy storage projects
PBN: Hawaiian Electric to invest close to $150M in two new energy storage projects
read … HECO Proposes Two Grid-Scale Batteries Exempted from Competitive Bidding
Hawaii GOP Contributes to One Party State
HB: …Yes, we have a one-party state in Hawaii, but the local GOP has contributed to that by castigating any center-right candidate who favors pro-business policies without whole-heartedly embracing the ideology of the Koch brothers, Donald Trump, et al. Ronald Reagan’s big tent has been replaced by a narrower tarp that mostly covers only white people. Beth Fukumoto, Charles Djou and others have abandoned their party and the Linda Lingle of 2002 would be branded a socialist by many in her own party today.
So instead of a two-party Legislature, we have this political soup of five Republicans and 71 Democrats, few of whom fit easily in a constant spot on the left-right ideological spectrum. And here’s the key: Ethnicity does not create the political divides in Hawaii it once did. Yes, Democratic legislators are disproportionately Japanese-American and the small sample of Republicans are disproportionately white, but there are plenty of white Democratic legislators and some Japanese-Americans belong to the Republican Party even after Fukumoto’s defection….
read … Part of the Problem
'Sickening': Uber and Lyft accused of gouging military visitors to Hawaii
HNN: When several U.S. Navy ships docked in Pearl Harbor over the last weekend in April, some departing sailors were charged more than $170 by Uber or Lyft drivers whose rates skyrocketed due to the sudden demand caused by thousands of military members trying to get off the ships.
Taxi driver Robert Deluz, who researched the fares, said cabs were charging about $45 for similar rides.
"To me this is not price surging — it's price gouging," DeLuz said, during a City Council discussion Wednesday on so-called surge pricing in the ride-sharing apps….
read … 'Sickening': Uber and Lyft accused of gouging military visitors to Hawaii
Soft on Crime: Lucky Molester Avoids Jail
MN: A man accused of trying to lure Kihei schoolgirls into a car he was driving last year avoided additional jail time Wednesday, with a judge calling him “lucky” after sentencing his co-defendant to a year behind bars last week….
read … Lucky
Soft on Crime: Two Accused Child Killers Go Free
MN: …A murder charge has been dismissed against a man who had been awaiting trial in the death of his 4-year-old son more than five years ago.
Kyle McKeown, 38, was released from the Maui Community Correctional Center on April 17 after the dismissal was filed by the prosecution….
First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera said the second-degree murder charge was dismissed without prejudice “pending further investigation.”
That generally means the case will be reindicted or a new complaint will be filed.
McKeown and his then-live-in girlfriend, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, 33, were arrested after they took an unresponsive Zion McKeown to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room at 10:55 p.m. May 29, 2012. The boy was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m. the next day, with an autopsy showing he died of blunt force trauma to his lower abdomen, according to police.
Lee-Nakamoto, who was indicted on a second-degree murder charge along with McKeown, also had her case dismissed April 17. She had been released from jail on supervision in April 2013, court records show….
read … Soft on Crime
Fourteen accept housing in wake of Homeless sweeps
SA: …While dozens of homeless people swept out of Kakaako parks set up new campsites in mauka parts of Kakaako, social service outreach workers also moved two homeless Kakaako families into public housing.
The families — a family of two and a family of five — had been on a two-year waiting list to get into public housing, said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator. (That’s 7)
“When the Section 8 public housing wait list opened two years ago, we went out and tried to sign up as many people as we could for public housing and Section 8 (vouchers), and now they’re being called up on the list,” Morishige said. “We really have been working closely with outreach providers to connect people with these resources.”….
The families who moved into public housing were in addition to a family of four that was placed into the state’s Family Assessment Center near Kakaako Waterfront Park in the aftermath of Monday’s night’s first-ever sweep by Honolulu police in the Kakaako state parks.
Two homeless adults also agreed to move into Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter, on the ewa edge of Kakaako Waterfront Park. (7+2=9)
And on Wednesday, Morishige said social service workers, the state Department of Transportation and state Department of Land and Natural Resources also teamed up to move five homeless people from various homeless encampments into different shelters. (9+5=14)
Two people living along Nimitz Highway in the Iwilei area agreed to go into the Waianae Civic Center shelter and another from the area relocated to the Institute for Human Service’s women’s shelter in Iwilei; One person living nearby on Sand Island went into the city’s Hale Mauliola navigation center on Sand Island run by IHS; And one person living in Kaimuki near Kapahulu and Harding avenues also went to Next Step, Morishige said.
While large-scale sweeps get most of the public’s attention, Morishige said this week’s successful efforts to move some chronically homeless people off the street represents “a typical day for my office.”…
read … Homeless families, individuals find housing in wake of Kakaako sweeps