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Friday, May 24, 2019
May 24, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:55 PM :: 1228 Views

'Wildly irresponsible betrayal' Kishimoto Freaks Out Over UIPA Request

Let’s get smart about government spending

Judiciary Seeks Applicants to Discipline Wayward Lawyers

How the Jones Act has cost Puerto Rico dearly, and Hawaii, too

Census: Oahu Population Declines Again

Homicide detective who helped investigate Kealoha mailbox theft asked ‘Why us?’

HNN: … A homicide detective who investigated the theft of the Kealohas’ mailbox was among six witnesses who took the stand Thursday in the second day of a public corruption trial against Honolulu’s ex-police chief, his wife and three officers.

Dru Akagi was in the Honolulu Police Department’s Homicide Division in 2013, and was assigned to investigate the Kealohas’ reported mailbox theft ― a crime prosecutors allege the defendants engineered in order to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle with a felony….

On the stand, Akagi told the jury that he believed it was a conflict for homicide detectives to investigate the theft because it involved the police chief and his wife, a city deputy prosecutor.

He recalled asking the other homicide detective who was assigned to the case: “Why us?”

Akagi also said detectives moved forward despite not being able to identify the suspect from the Kealohas’ surveillance video ― but only because Katherine Kealoha identified her uncle as the thief.

In cross examination, defense attorneys for the three officers in the case worked again to distance themselves from the Kealohas, getting the witness to admit that in any criminal case officers would be passing on relevant information. That line of questioning made it seem like orders came from above….

In the so-called “mailbox trial,” Louis and Katherine Kealoha are accused of commanding specialized police units to enforce their personal agenda and seek retribution against those who challenged them….

read … Homicide detective who helped investigate Kealoha mailbox theft asked ‘Why us?’

Someone earning $67,500 a year on Oahu is now considered ‘low-income’

HNN: .. look at the federal government’s latest income requirementsfor people seeking to qualify for affordable or subsidized housing programs.

In 2019, according to newly-released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a single person living on Oahu is considered “low income” if they earn $67,500 or less.

A year ago, it was $65,350. And in 2017, “low-income” was considered $58,600.

Meanwhile, someone is “very low income” in Honolulu if they bring in $42,200 a year or less….

Under the HUD limits, a family of four on Oahu is considered “very low income” if they bring in $60,250 a year or less….

On the Big Island, the “low-income” limit for a single person is $44,000 or less per year. On Kauai, it’s $50,400, while its $54,700 in Maui County....

SA: ‘Low-income’ threshold rises to $67,500 in Honolulu

read … Someone earning $67,500 a year on Oahu is now considered ‘low-income’

88,000 Cesspool Lawsuits: Injection well case settlement deferred after council panel deadlocks on vote

MN: … county officials argue that if the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling stands, it could leave the county open to other lawsuits against its other injection wells, possibly millions of dollars in fines and the need for millions of dollars for infrastructure work to remove the treated wastewater. County administrators told committee members that a Supreme Court ruling will bring clarity to the situation….

County officials said the 9th Circuit’s decision put injection wells under the Clean Water Act, and they questioned what it would do to all of the other categories under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which include cesspools/septic tanks and R-1 (treated recycled water) irrigation.

Council members, including Rawlins-Fernandez, challenged county officials on their claims that the state DOH would go after individual cesspool owners if the 9th Circuit ruling stands, noting the limited number of staff.

There are approximately 88,000 cesspools in use in the state, with nearly 50,000 on the Big Island, almost 14,000 on Kauai, over 12,000 on Maui, over 11,000 on Oahu and over 1,400 on Molokai, according to the state Department of Health, Wastewater Branch website….

Molina, the committee chairman, said he “regrettably cannot support the settlement at this time.” He felt more questions needed to be answered and wanted to get input from the DOH and the EPA.

“This is a tough one, folks, no matter which way you vote,” Molina said. “For me, there’s still questions that need to be answered. I need those assurances, especially as it relates to the cesspools.”

Molina wondered why the DOH or the EPA hadn’t submitted anything in writing to the council….

As Explained: Maui Injection Wells Settlement Could Lead to 1000s of Lawsuits

read … Injection well case settlement deferred after council panel deadlocks on vote

Despite shortage of beds for Big Island’s homeless men, shelter’s expansion hits red tape

HNN: … There are only two shelters that’ll accept men. Both run on a waitlist because they’re always full.

One of those programs is headed up by Carlos Palma.

“This is really an issue for all of us,” he said.

Right now, expanding the capacity of the Hawaii Island Home for Recovery is his no. 1 priority.

The plan is to add 12 studio apartments on the back side of the property. It’s permanent housing that the island desperately needs.

But the addition of those extra units means they’ll have to install sprinklers in all of their buildings.

Palma said that could cost $200,000 ― extra money the shelter just doesn’t have.

“We are in the designing phase right now. We are fronting the cost to get to this point,” said Palma….

read … Despite shortage of beds for Big Island’s homeless men, shelter’s expansion hits red tape

Big Island Residents Express Concerns Over Road Usage Charge

BIN: … Smith said a very common concern expressed at all the meetings, especially in Hilo, was over the burden of paying an “additional chunk of money.”

One Puna resident asked how the mileage would be tracked, given that many residents drive on private roads as well as public.

HDOT said there are GPS devices and apps that can be used to track whether miles are logged on private or public roads….

One resident pointed out that for those living on Hawai‘i Island, there are no reliable transportation options available—except owning your own vehicle. Residents said between registration, safety inspection and the cost of living, they simply cannot afford additional fees….

Although the Hilo meeting was the last public meeting to be held in this series, Hawai‘i residents who wish to be involved and share their thoughts on a road usage charge are encouraged to complete the HDOT survey.

For more information on the Hawaiæi Road Usage Charge 36-Month Demonstration Project go online….

read … Big Island Residents Express Concerns Over Road Usage Charge

Cost Concerns Raised Regarding Proposed Palehua Wind Farm

IM: …  Hawaiian Electric Company informed the Public Utilities Commission earlier this month that the price for electricity purchased from the proposed Palehua wind generation facility near Makakilo would be great….

read … Cost Concerns Raised Regarding Proposed Palehua Wind Farm

Arson Suspected As Bulldozer, Excavator Burn At Sherwood Forest

CB: … About $250,000 in damage was done to the machines at site of the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park redevelopment project, which has generated strong community opposition….. 

read … Arson Suspected As Bulldozer, Excavator Burn At Sherwood Forest

Jails to Expand on Big Island, Maui, Kauai

HTH:  New HCCC unit moves ahead   -- The state Department of Public Safety has issued a draft environmental assessment for a new medium-security unit at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. The 144-bed unit, estimated to cost $15 million, is intended to alleviate overcrowding at the Hilo jail at the corner of Waianuenue Avenue and Komohana Street. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2020 and be complete in 2021.

MN: New 80-bed housing unit coming to MCCC -- Listing MCCC among its highest priority infrastructure projects in the state, the department released a draft environmental assessment for the $7.5 million project in Thursday’s edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s “The Environmental Notice.”

TEN: New Housing at Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center--Draft EA   

KITV: Environmental reviews are in for medium security housing to alleviate overcrowding in Hawaii's prisons    

SA:  State moving forward with plans to expand severely overcrowded neighbor island jails

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