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Friday, July 19, 2019
July 19, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:51 PM :: 2232 Views

Poll: Hirono Approval 46% - Schatz 52%

Will Philly Shipyard close?

AG Settles Case: Hawaii Discriminates Against Legal Immigrants on Gun Permits

Setting Off Hysteria

Pennies Add Up

Lt Gov Green Goes Wobbly on Mauna Kea      

Kahele: Protesters Can Kill Telescope if they Stall Construction beyond Sept 26—and I can Help

HTH: … State Sen. Kai Kahele said this afternoon he will ask Gov. David Ige today “for a moratorium on the construction of (Thirty Meter Telescope) for the next 60 days.”

“It’s time for a cooling off period,” Kahele, who’s in Montana for the Council of State Governments-West Legislative Conference, told the Tribune-Herald. “I think it’s time to de-escalate this situation. I think it’s time for ho‘oponopono (mediation and conciliation). I think it’s time to have meaningful conversations for the future of Maunakea. And I think it’s time for people cool off, both sides, before things get out of control. …

“Right now, we’re seeing an escalation of the situation, and that is not good for anyone. And it’s not just on Maunakea. It’s throughout the state of Hawaii. It’s not in the best interest of our people. It’s not in the best interest of law enforcement. And the state of Hawaii is clearly not prepared for what’s happening on Maunakea right now.”

Kahele, who represents Hilo and is running for the Hawaii congressional seat currently held by Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, said he “would not have declared a state of emergency” as Ige did Wednesday in response to protesters blocking Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road….

“Declaring a state of emergency only escalates the situation. If you bring in the National Guard, I’m in the National Guard. These are my brothers and sisters who I stand side by side in uniform with. They’re not prepared for this. They haven’t gone through the training that local law enforcement has gone through. They’re your friends and your neighbors, just like our police officers are, many of whom were emotionally affected (Wednesday) because they were just doing their job.”

Kahele opposes the $1.4 billion telescope project “as it is currently proposed.”…

After a decade in the courts and previous demonstrations on Maunakea in 2015 that saw the arrests of dozens of protesters — who call themselves kia‘i or, “protectors,” of the mountain — the state Supreme Court last October by a 4-1 vote affirmed the Conservation Use District Permit for the project issued by the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Sept. 27, 2017.

Kahele made a series of posts on Facebook Thursday, including pointing out the permit is good for two years from issuance, so construction has to start by Sept. 26….

The University of Hawaii manages the 11,000-acre Maunakea Science Preserve, where the observatories are located. UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl confirmed Kahele’s timeline, but said whether the permit would be valid beyond that date could be “left for interpretation.”…

In addition, Kahele posted, “I can guarantee (former Hawaii County Mayor) Billy Kenoi would NEVER have arrested Aunty Pua Kanahele & Uncle Jimmy Naniole,” an apparent jab at Ige, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim or both….

read … State Sen. Kahele says he’ll seek TMT moratorium

Ige Sued Over Mauna Kea Emergency Proclamation

CB: … The nonprofit Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation sued Gov. David Ige on Thursday over an emergency proclamation he enacted to control the protests on Mauna Kea.

The civil suit alleges that the proclamation — which grants law enforcement broad powers to control access to the mountain — could restrict the rights of free speech, assembly and religion for hundreds of people gathered to oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Ige said Wednesday that the mass of protesters, who call themselves “protectors” of Mauna Kea, created a hazardous situation near the intersection of Saddle Road and Mauna Kea Access Road ….

HTH: Ige sued over TMT emergency declaration

PDF: Lawsuit

read … Ige Sued Over Mauna Kea Emergency Proclamation

Anti-Telescope Protesters heap Abuse on University

HNN … “I have received emails with words like war criminal, disgusting, despicable, shameless, hypocritical, simple, corrupt, spineless, greedy, and these are not just coming from Hawaiians.”

But Lassner said he also has heard from many “Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians to stay the course.”

“They say things like TMT is important to education, to high quality jobs (and) to inspire our children,” he said.

read … UH president addresses ‘heartbreaking’ TMT arrests, calls for his resignation

Protesters Let Water Truck go up Mountain

HTH: … The access road briefly cleared once during the afternoon to allow a tanker truck carrying potable water to ascend to Halepohaku.

Stewart Hunter, general manager of Maunakea Support Services, said that about 20 employees of Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii continue to work at Halepohaku, although access has been spotty since the protests began Monday on the access road.

“The last couple of days, we’ve been allowed to drive our vehicles through along a cinder road,” Hunter said. “It starts just west of the access road, and part of it goes on the Old Saddle Road back in.”

University of Hawaii spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said some law enforcement personnel are also staying at Halepohaku.

He added that it is important to keep Halepohaku operational so it can be utilized by observatory personnel — who were all withdrawn from the mountain Tuesday — and TMT construction workers….

read … Emergency proclamation closes Maunakea to the public; TMT opponents continue protest

Telescope Day 4

Federal investigators probe Katherine Kealoha’s role in costly rail project delay  

HNN: … Katherine Kealoha ― who’s now behind bars awaiting sentencing in one of the biggest public corruption cases in Hawaii history ― played a role in one of the first, major and costly delays of the Honolulu rail project, sources tell Hawaii News Now.

The question: How her actions ― or in this case inaction ― affected the state’s largest public works project ever and why a key environmental review was stalled.

In investigating the former deputy city prosecutor, federal authorities have gone deep into Kealoha’s background, including back to 2008 ― when she was the director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Specifically of interest: When the final Environmental Impact Statement for the rail project was supposed to be delivered to then-Gov. Linda Lingle.

It was a critical, five-month period when Kealoha was in the driver’s seat, in charge of reviewing the final environmental impact statement of the rail project.

Hawaii News Now has learned that absolutely no work was done on the EIS during that time….

Federal investigators have looked into this crucial timeline:

  • April 2008: Lingle appoints Kealoha director of OEQC.
  • November 2008: The draft EIS for rail is released. In an article in Ka Wai Ola, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs magazine, Kealoha pledged diligence in working on it, saying she would cross every "t" and dot every "i" in case of any future litigation.
  • November 2008: Voters approved the project days after the EIS is released.
  • May 2009: Kealoha is selected to be a Pacific Century Fellow, a leadership program led by Hannemann. It was a time of interest to the FBI because it’s where Kealoha met former firefighter Jesse Ebersole, who is now part of the public corruption scandal.
  • October 2009: Hannemann issued the first contract for design and construction to Kiewit Pacific, even though the EIS still had not been approved.
  • November 2009: Kealoha’s husband, then-Capt. Louis Kealoha, is selected as chief of police by the Honolulu Police Commission, a pro-union selection endorsed by Hannemann.
  • June 2010: The final EIS for rail is complete, and sent to Katherine Kealoha’s desk at OEQC. Hannemann held a celebratory news conference. All that remained: Lingle’s approval.

But Lingle apparently never got the chance….

Kealoha left OEQC in October 2010, returning to the city prosecuting attorney’s office. The EIS was still sitting in her office.

Lingle’s term ended a month later.

One of Neil Abercrombie’s first acts as her successor was calling for the EIS from OEQC. It was processed and approved in just 10 days.

But a legal challenge came quickly.

Attorney David Frankel sued and won a federal court injunction because a complete, archaeological survey of historic, Native Hawaiian burial sites along the route was not done….

read … Federal investigators probe Katherine Kealoha’s role in costly rail project delay

New Attorney is Latest Trick to Delay Kealoha Trials

CB: … Katherine Kealoha’s attorney wants to delay a bank fraud until next year. That could also set back her drug trafficking trial, too. …

SA: Kealoha’s new court-appointed lawyer seeks delays of her upcoming trials

read … Kealoha Trials May Get Pushed Back As New Attorney Gets Up To Speed

4 Kealoha era lawsuits could cost city up to $40 million

HNN: … The attorney for the man framed by the Kealohas in the so-called mailbox theft case said four civil rights violation lawsuits against the couple and HPD could cost the city up to $40 million.

“The citizens of the City and County will have to decide how they will handle the drain on resources in million and millions that’s going to occur if we end up having to pursue this matter through litigation," said attorney Eric Seitz.

Seitz represents Gerard Puana, who spent six months in jail on charges trumped up by his niece -- former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

The lawyer also represents two alleged domestic violence victims, who said the HPD covered up for their spouses, and Hyun Ju Park, who was accidentally shot by an off-duty police officer at a King Street Bar in 2017.

Katherine Kealoha and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, were convicted last month on conspiracy and obstruction charges.

In a letter to the city’s acting Corporation Counsel Paul Aoki this week, Seitz proposed to place the lawsuits on hold if the city could set up a special panel to investigate how the Kealoha’s were able to corrupt the legal system.

He said the panel would also ensure that his clients will be adequately compensated and would establish safeguards to prevent future abuses of power….

But Seitz said the city’s acting Corporation Counsel Paul Aoki ignored his letter, which will increase its potential legal exposure.

“I anticipate the flunkies at the Corporation Counsel will say they (the Kealohas) did this on their own. They’re criminal acts that we’re not responsible,” Seitz said.

“But given the massive resources that were corrupted makes the city responsible.”…

read … 4 Kealoha era lawsuits could cost city up to $40 million

Legislature Funds Abortion so Trump Rule Will  Have No Effect

HPR: … Hawaii officials say they are prepared to maintain women’s health services in the state as the Trump administration orders taxpayer-funded family planning clinics to stop both referring patients for abortion services and discussing the topic with them.

If the clinics refuse to comply with the administration rule, they risk losing federal funding.

Earlier this year, the Hawaii Legislature appropriated $750,000 in state funds to protect family planning services that could lose federal funding. Clinics that need the funding would work with the state Department of Health to get the money released. The extra funding became available July 1….

read … Hawaii Funds Women's Health Services To Address Trump Rule On Abortion Services

EPA: Anti-Pesticide Hysterics Didn’t Prove their Case

TGI: … “EPA has determined that their objections must be denied because the data available are not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable to meet petitioners’ burden to present evidence demonstrating that the tolerances are not safe,” the agency said in a statement about the decision on Thursday.

The stance is opposite to that taken by Hawaii lawmakers in 2018, when Act 45 was passed and signed by Gov. David Ige, banning the use of chlorpyrifos.

read … Chlorpyrifos challenges

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