HGEA Endorses Hanabusa
Community Discussion on Electric Utility Regulatory Models
Wind Farms Request Permission to Kill More Bats, Petrels, and Nene
As eruptions continue, land swap eyed for hundreds of evacuees
HNN: …State Sen. Russell Ruderman, of Puna, says with 500 to 1,000 people suddenly homeless on the Big Island, out-of-the-box solutions are needed.
Here's how he says the land swap would work: "If you had an acre in Leilani that was overrun by lava, state takes possession of that," he said. "You, in exchange, get access to another lot in a safer place, ideally pre-lava value of that lot is what the state credits you and it could go toward purchasing this new lot in part or in total."
He says a state law enacted after the 1960 tsunami devastated Hilo enabled the state to relocate people from oceanfront to higher ground.
"It was used again in the late 80s in Kalapana and a couple times on Oahu so it's not unique and it has happened before," said Ruderman….
Ruderman said he's identified two parcels of state agricultural land that could be ideal for relocations: 3,800 acres makai of Highway 130 between Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Beaches and more than 5,000 acres mauka of the highway adjacent to Ainaloa.
Jon Olson, who lost his Leilani Estates home, says the relocation idea has been talked about for years.
"We had discussion groups about future planning for this event. It wasn't a question of whether. It was a question of when," said Olson, former chair of the Puna Community Development Plan.
Gov. David Ige says the state is looking at residential development in East Hawaii.
"The broader conversation is about what do we do long term for all of these people have been displaced, where would we want to direct growth, how do we envision those who are displaced with a new place to call home," he said. …
Background: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3
read … As eruptions continue, land swap eyed for hundreds of evacuees
Homeless Drug Addicts Prey on Volcano Victims
SA: …The Wheatleys were among the first to set up camp outdoors, but in the last six weeks they have been joined by 240 other people who are living outside the shelter in their cars, in tents and under tarps in parking lots and playing fields.
The couple and several other shelter residents living outside the gym told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that a growing number of people who were homeless or living in unstable situations before the volcano disaster have joined the makeshift community and are responsible for an increase in thefts, domestic disturbances and other trouble that has required police intervention.
“It was real peaceful here but it’s gotten worse,” said Clyde Wheatley, 55, a disabled veteran. “In the past two weeks there’s been an influx of new people.”
The couple said they have not had anything stolen, but know others who have. To prevent being victimized, the Wheatleys never leave their belongings unattended and rely on their dogs to provide extra security.
Wheatley said he thinks the Red Cross should be screening shelter seekers and asking to see identification, mail or other proof of residency in areas affected by lava or volcanic fumes. He gets angry when talking about anyone who may be taking advantage of the situation to get free food, supplies and shelter.
“It ain’t my problem that you’re homeless. It wasn’t a choice for us,” he said….
“We’re up all night long protecting our stuff,” Buxton said. “Thefts, drugs and all the other problems have been getting worse over the last few weeks.”…
Kokubun said he has noticed that some homeless people and others “who don’t belong there” have taken up residence around the Red Cross shelter.
“There are some that are in the bushes — you know how they come, the hippies and whatnot who are not displaced, but are now getting free food,” he said.
Parks staff and county-contracted security services have been providing around-the-clock security for the Pahoa park, Kokubun said, and two to three parks workers are cleaning the area “all the time.” In addition, he said, eight to nine recreation staff are “maintaining the peace and order” and assisting wherever needed.
He said there haven’t been any instances of vandalism or damage to county park facilities, although officials have had to kick out some campers due to fighting, domestic conflicts and drinking.
The situation isn’t different from any other large campground in the parks system, according to Kokubun. “There are people who get out of hand. It’s just the common stuff that happens in any park that’s been going on for a long time,” he said….
the Kuamoos have been living outside the Pahoa shelter for about three weeks. Although not crime victims themselves, they did witness a fight and have heard from other campers about car break-ins.
They remarked that since the Red Cross shelter opened, the homeless people who normally sleep on the sidewalks in Pahoa town seemed to have disappeared….
read … Influx of new people has brought more crime, shelter residents say
Family of 9-year-old Big Island girl who starved to death is suing the state for wrongful death
HNN: The family of a 9-year-old Big Island girl who starved to death is suing the state of Hawaii as well as her parents and grandmother for wrongful death.
Their attorney says the state, including the (HGEA-controlled) Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, Child Welfare Services and the Department of Education dropped the ball by returning the girl to her parents and grandmother.
On June 28, 2016, emergency responders found Shaelynn Lehano-Stone unconscious in her home.
The girl, who was diagnosed autistic, was taken to the hospital. She died hours later.
The death certificate noted:
"She was denied food by her caregivers."
Parents Kevin Lehano, Tiffany Stone, and grandmother Henrietta Stone were charged with murder, and the two other siblings were put in foster care….
read … Family of 9-year-old Big Island girl who starved to death is suing the state for wrongful death
Coco Palms: Latest Crackpot Lawsuit Laughed out of Court
KGI: …A federal lawsuit filed in Virginia against Chad Waters, and Tyler Greene, owners of Coco Palms Hui, LLC, and architect Ron Agor, has been dismissed.
According to court documents, the lawsuit was dismissed because the court lacks personal jurisdiction over all defendants, as the plaintiff’s complain lacks allegations that the defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in Virginia….
“As we stated from the beginning, the federal lawsuit filed by Virginia resident Ruthie Caudill was factually inaccurate and completely frivolous. As expected, the federal court in Virginia has granted our motion to dismiss,” Waters said.
Waters continued that Caudill has a well-known history of filing similar actions in court, that have all led to the same conclusion — dismissal….
“As far as we know, she has never been to Kauai or anywhere in the state of Hawaii for that matter,” Waters said. “Why she continues to harass us and the myriad of other people and entities on Kauai is a mystery to everyone.”
To this day, Waters said, Caudill continues to offer advice to anyone who listens to her.
“Her absurd legal notions are endless, her nonstop FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests have wasted thousands of hours of time for government agencies from the County of Kauai, USFWS, Army Corps and others. You name the government agency and good bet that she has harassed them for something,” Waters said.
The suit was filed in late march by Caudill, president of the Jacob Broom Society…
read … Crackpot
FAIL: Anti-GMO Nuts Try Using Term Limits Against Opponents
MN: …Haiku resident Sean Lester is challenging the candidacies of Council Member Riki Hokama and former Council Members Mike Molina and Alice Lee, arguing that term limits adopted by voters in 1998 disqualify them from seeking council offices.
(Scroll to the bottom. This scam is busted.)
All three have served five consecutive two-year council terms: Lee from 1989 to 1998; Hokama from 1999 to 2008; and Molina from 2001 to 2010.
In written objections filed Tuesday with County Clerk Danny Mateo, Lester quotes the Maui County Charter’s provision that “no member of the County Council shall serve more than five consecutive full terms of office.”
Lester said Mateo has five business days to make a decision. Mateo did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday from The Maui News. Lester said that if Mateo rules against his challenges, he could appeal to 2nd Circuit Court….
…Lester’s goal was to support (anti-GMO hysterics)
candidates backed by the ‘Ohana Coalition, the citizen activist group that backed current Council Members Alika Atay, Kelly King, Elle Cochran, Don Guzman and others in 2016....
read … Anti-GMO Trick
Hawaii County Ethics: Non-Bid Sole Source Professional Services Contract OK
HTH: The Board of Ethics on Tuesday cleared a retired county employee to hold a county contract overseeing a project replacing the county’s problematic online building permit application system.
Sheila Cadaos retired from her position in the county Department of Information Technology shortly before being granted a one-year employment contract for $6,073 monthly, working 30 hours a week, while keeping her county benefits. The contract names Cadaos project manager for the Energov system, a $2.3 million countywide planning and permitting system….
The current system has had several hiccups, including being down for more than a week in April, delaying all county building permit applications until it could be fixed.
The complaint was filed by Layne Novak, a network administrator in the IT Department. Novak questioned how Cadaos could get a sole-source contract after working on the project as an employee. She also questioned why Cadaos continued to get full benefits as a county employee.
“I still don’t understand why this … couldn’t go out for competitive recruitment,” Novak told the Ethics Board.
She said several employees in the IT Department are qualified for the position.
The Energov contract, with Plano, Texas-based Tyler Technologies Inc., began Sept. 29, 2016. Novak claims the project is 700 hours and $130,000 over budget. The software isn’t expected to launch until 2020….
read … No ethics violations found in IT contract
Hawaii’s New Fossil Fuel Generator
IM: …Some readers have wondered how Hawaii got a new fossil fuel generator without getting a new fossil fuel generator.
It is all in the definitions.
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) had a biodiesel-powered generator in Campbell Industrial Park. The Army proposed new biodiesel-powered generator at Schofield Barracks
In a sleight-of-hand, the existing biodiesel-powered generator in Campbell Industrial Park is being converted from biodiesel to fossil fuel while the new generator at Schofield Barracks is powered by biodiesel.
Last year HECO purchased over 6,000,000 gallons of biodiesel for the Campbell Industrial Park generator. This year HECO anticipates using only 1,800,000 gallons of biodiesel for Schofield….
2015: Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future
read … Hawaii’s New Fossil Fuel Generator
Hawaii is one of few states where ticket scalping is legal
HNN: …There was a push to crack down on scalping back in 2014, the last time Bruno Mars came to town, but the bill died.
"We need something to try and make it a fair playing field. I was pretty miffed when the (bill) didn't pass at the last minute," said state Rep. Angus McKelvey, who introduced the bill.
McKelvey says his bill would have made it illegal to resell a ticket for more than face value….
Some promoters expressed concern that restrictions would discourage some major artists from coming to Hawaii. …
"(Bots) can open multiple browser tabs and basically automatically fill out the information. What normally takes a person 10 minutes, it can get it done in less than a second," said Ed Kim, lead instructor at DevLeague, a "cyber bootcamp."
Bots became illegal in the United States in 2016, but they are still widely used.
Kim says these computer programs that have the ability to buy up all 36,000 seats at the Bruno Mars concert in just a couple minutes. …
read … Hawaii is one of few states where ticket scalping is legal
Criminals Happy With July 1 plastic bag ban
PBN: …“The thicker bags are more expensive,” said Yamaki, who added that while stores are charging 15 cents, costs could still get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices on certain goods.
Yamaki said that while many stores have started selling their own reusable tote bags, they should also be aware of how the bags can aid shoplifters.
“The thing with the reusable bags is, criminals like them,” she said. “They can bring them in and walk out of the stores with items in it….”
read … What Oahu businesses should know ahead of July 1 plastic bag ban
After 45 Convictions and 4 Probation Violations, Criminal Gets 10 Years
MN: …According to court records, Haole was sentenced to five years’ probation in October 2012, then was resentenced to probation after violations in September 2013, September 2014 and October 2015.
In three cases, Haole was convicted of first-degree burglary, kidnapping and two counts of second-degree assault.
There were three victims harmed by Haole in those cases, Gasmen said.
In one case, a man was struck in the face with a beer bottle and hit again while driving, suffering a facial laceration, she said.
In another case, a woman who had broken up with Haole was strangled until she almost lost consciousness and hit in her left ear, suffering a perforated eardrum, Gasmen said. Haole had entered the woman’s home after being told he wasn’t welcome, she said.
The third victim was another woman, who had picked up Haole to give him a ride, when he had her pull off the road in Kula, reclined his seat, grabbed her by the hair and slammed her against the rear windows of the vehicle as she screamed, she said.
Haole was convicted of harassment for “chest bumping and threatening” a bail bond company employee, Gasmen said. The employee was told that if he didn’t pay Haole money, “he would have someone take care of him,” she said.
The fourth-degree criminal property damage conviction was for kicking the front door of the Wailuku Police Station, causing the glass to shatter, on April 8, 2016, while Haole was out of custody, Gasmen said. The act was captured on video. Haole also threw a clipboard at the glass of the police Receiving Desk window so the clipboard broke, she said.
“The defendant’s criminal history is astonishing,” Gasmen said.
Noting that Haole has 45 criminal convictions, Gasmen said a prison sentence “would protect the public from future crimes of the defendant.” …
Haole asked for another chance on probation.
“While on probation, I never missed an appointment,” he said in court Friday.
His attorney, Keith Shigetomi, said others had warned him that Haole was a target — “someone that was considered prey to be hunted.”
“He was described to me as a Teflon defendant,” Shigetomi said….
read … Soft on Crime
Honolulu sees negative rent growth for apartments
PBN: …Rents for two-bedroom apartments in Honolulu fell by 3.9 percent from a year ago, ranking Hawaii’s largest city at No. 99 among the 100 largest cities in the U.S. for year-over-year rent growth, according to a report from Apartment List.
The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Honolulu this year is $2,033, compared to $2,115 in 2017, when Apartment List ranked Honolulu No. 76 for rent growth. The city was ranked third for rent growth in 2016, when rents grew by 9.3 percent year-over-year, and 98th in 2015.
The report noted that nationally, year-over-year rent growth this year was 1.5 percent, compared to 3.6 percent in 2015….
MN: Front Street Apartments purchase could keep rents affordable
read … Honolulu sees negative rent growth for apartments
Front Street: How Fake are Affordable Housing Laws?
MN: …the 142-unit Front Street Apartments…were built as an affordable housing project in 2001. The owners, Front Street Affordable Housing Partners, have said that they plan to raise rents to market rates by August 2019. A loophole in federal tax code allows the owners to do so after they were unable to find a buyer for the development.
Lawmakers considered trying to extend rents through 2027, as well as providing subsidies for tenants, before finally settling on seeking to appraise and acquire the ground lease from Front Street Affordable Housing Partners, which leases the land from 3900 Corp.
… “We cannot begin any kind of meaningful discussions without getting an appraisal,” said West and South Maui Sen. Roz Baker, one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill. “We also know that there’s a rationale for engaging the county in this effort because some of the actions that the Front Street Apartment folks took actually is contrary to the intent that this council made when they provided them with some tax credits and other benefits.”…
Arakawa instructed his office to look into the tax benefits given to the Front Street Affordable Housing Partners….
However, owners representative W. Adam Dornbush has denied the county entry to the property to do an appraisal. He said in a May 11 letter that Front Street Affordable Housing Partners “is not interested in selling its interest in the subject property,” and said that the council’s resolution “contains numerous factual inaccuracies and a fundamental misunderstanding of the applicable law involved in this matter.”
Dornbush added that the owners have been “engaged in good faith negotiations with HHFDC to retain affordable rental rates in the project beyond the rent hold period” and that it appeared the Legislature and the county were “not on the same page, and do not understand the law.”…
Hirai said it’s “further complicated” because the HHFDC, Front Street Affordable Housing Partners and 3900 Corp. are all co-defendants in a lawsuit filed by tenants in May challenging the rent increase….
read … Count the ‘Loopholes’
The Crusade To Keep Hawaii Kids Fed by Someone Besides their Parents This Summer
CB: …While the Department of Education provides meals on summer school campuses, other efforts are afoot to deliver food to nonschool venues…..
read … Free Food