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Thursday, August 29, 2019
August 29, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:21 PM :: 1673 Views

DoH: New school immunization requirements

Ige Announces Six Judicial Appointments

TMT: We Won’t Be Waiting Around Two Years for You to Decide

HTH: … Although the deadline to begin construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope was pushed back until 2021, project authorities believe a decision about the project’s future will have to be made soon.

“I don’t know what ‘soon’ exactly means in this situation, but definitely sooner than two years,” said Gordon Squires, TMT’s vice president of external affairs.

Squires said Wednesday that the continued inaction on the project — which was scheduled to begin construction on Maunakea in July, but has since been impeded by demonstrators blocking the Maunakea Access Road — may cause some of the project’s partners to reconsider their involvement.

“All of our partners are concerned right now,” Squires said, explaining that the project’s six partners — including government agencies of Canada, Japan and India, the National Astronomy Observatory of China, and the University of California and Caltech — remain committed to building TMT, but have to justify the substantial amount of money they supply the project each year.

The government agencies, in particular, need to solicit funds from their respective countries’ national budgets, Squires said, which may become harder to justify as the standoff continues….

Aug 26, 2019: TMT Warns Hawaii: You aren’t so Special, We Might Leave

read … TMT vice president says project partners concerned over inaction

Ige explains why he couldn’t grant Mayor Kim’s wish of delaying TMT construction

HNN: … Just days before the planned start of construction for the Thirty Meter Telescope last month, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim sent a letter to Governor David Ige asking for a 30-day delay.

Kim hoped to convene a meeting of groups and individuals from the Native Hawaiian community. He also wanted to provide more time for businesses and officials to prepare for any fallout.

Bu this request was denied.

“What I was hoping for in 30 days is to try to see if there’s any way we could get together and try to talk before that happens, so the 30-day extension would have led to more,” explained Mayor Kim.

After receiving the letter, Ige said he told Kim that it was too late for a timeout.

“At the time he gave me the letter, we had a good conversation and I told him why I believed we would not be able to call that timeout at that point, and I think he understood,” Gov. Ige said. “It was too close to the start of the project to really be able to say we’re going to stop the project at that point.”

Telescope opponents blocked the roadway, and after some initial arrests, law enforcement officers backed off….

More than a month ago, the governor handed over responsibilities for the operation to the mayor to try to peacefully reach common ground with TMT opponents and the broader community.

Ige said he has frequent conversations with Kim to discuss different options.

"We certainly have made significant progress. Mayor has had a couple of meetings. I've had meetings with many in our community who care about our community and care about the project," said Ige….

“The ones who will decide whether it’s continue to try or leave is not the state, but the authorities of the Thirty Meter Telescope,” said Kim….

read … Ige explains why he couldn’t grant Mayor Kim’s wish of delaying TMT construction

Protesters Hassle Prosecutor over Son’s NASA Job

AP: … The man responsible for prosecuting the mostly Native Hawaiian elders those arrested for protesting construction of a giant telescope said there is no conflict of interest, even though his son works for one of the embattled project’s partners.

Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth’s 22-year-old son Aaron works at NASA’s federally funded Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by the California Institute of Technology, one of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s partners. Everyone who works at the research facility is a Caltech employee, said Caltech spokeswoman Deborah Williams-Hedges. ….

Really Obvious Question:  What About the Protesters Conflict of Interest—Most are funded by OHA and OHA Wants to Shake down the telescopes for money.

Reality: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money

read … ‘Concerns’ ‘arise’ over Hawaii prosecutor son’s job

Lawyers Line up Everyone who ever had cancer to sue Monsanto

CB: … Dozens of lawsuits potentially worth tens of millions of dollars in damages are in the works in Hawaii targeting Monsanto Co. and its weed-killer Roundup, lawyers who have filed two of the lawsuits said.

Michael Green, who filed a federal products liability suit earlier this month against Monsanto, said he expects to file at least six or seven more suits in the next several weeks alleging Roundup caused his clients to develop a form of cancer called non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Meanwhile, Brian Mackintosh, a former associate of Green’s who has filed a similar suit in state court, said he has an additional 35 clients lined up….

Related: Activist Attacks Destroy Another 17% of Hawaii Seed Industry Acreage

read … Phoney Baloney

Dairy says it has met all Shut Down requirements from DOH

HTH: … Big Island Dairy has reported completing all actions required by the state Department of Health for its closure, DOH spokeswoman Anna Koethe said this week, sharing an update from the Clean Water Branch.

That includes removing all cows from confinement, eliminating the dairy’s wastewater system and lagoons, cleaning the stalls and feed areas, stabilizing the fields and having an engineer determine there were no unintended impacts to the drainage from the facility as a result of the closure activities, she said.

(Harassed by TVR owners and the DoH) Dairy owners announced in November they would discontinue dairy and milk processing operations at the Ookala facility, which has been owned by Steve and Derek Whitesides since 2011….

read … Dairy says it has met all requirements from DOH

Kauai Property tax bill goes to mayor

KGI: … Families that have lived on their properties for generations but whose names are not on title are one step closer to applying for the same tax exemptions other owner-occupants enjoy.

Bill No. 2756, which aims to grant real property tax exemptions to family members, now heads to the mayor for final approval after passing through the County Council’s second reading on Wednesday….

read … Property tax bill goes to mayor

Ousted IBEW Officials Plead Not Guilty on 70 Counts

KHON: … Brian Ahakuelo, the former head of the IBEW Local 1260, was charged after irregularities were reported to federal and state authorities.

Brian’s wife, Marilyn Ahakuelo and his sister-in-law Jennifer Estencion are his co-defendants. They face a combined 70 counts including conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud and embezzlement.

The Ahakuelos as well as Jennifer Estencion pleaded not guilty at their arraignment and Brian had to surrender his passport.

Their trial has been set for October 29.

However, the complex nature of the case, including tens of thousands of pages and more than 10 seized computers may affect jury selection timing.

Penalties in the Ahakuelo indictment carry a range of maximum terms of imprisonment: 20 years for each wire fraud charge, 10 years for each money laundering charge, 5 years for each embezzlement charge, and 5 years for the conspiracy charge….

SA: Ex-Hawaii IBEW union boss and family plead not guilty to wire fraud, embezzlement scheme

read … All three indicted in IBEW case plead not guilty

Feds are taking over prosecution of Maui police officer

MN: … At a Maui Police Commission meeting Wednesday at the Wailuku Police Station, acting Assistant Chief Clyde Holokai said the department learned Tuesday that the U.S. Attorney’s office will adopt the criminal case “so it’s going to go federal.”

Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu said the federal government can decide independently to get involved in a case as long as there’s a violation that meets their statutes.

“In this case, they reviewed the case based on what was put out in the media and what they had working with our detectives,” Faaumu said. “They decided this case meets their threshold.” ….

“How deep does it go?” Feinberg said. “Is it only him? Or has he corrupted people in his immediate vicinity in the department?

“He’s been an officer for four years already. His actions have been going on for a while. It’s not like all of a sudden . . . it’s not something brand new for you to bring such charges against him finally.”

“Is he a lone wolf or are there other people that have been covering for him?”Feinberg asked….

another woman reported receiving inappropriate text messages from Saffeels in July 2018 after the officer responded to an assault call at her home. The woman said she made a report to the police Internal Affairs Division but didn’t know if anything was done.

“It was investigated, and we took appropriate discipline,” Faaumu said Wednesday.

He said he couldn’t disclose what the discipline was.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said Saffeels was suspended for five days. The source said another woman who was involved in the same case also reported receiving text messages from Saffeels but she ended up not pursuing a complaint with police.

Before he was placed on leave, Saffeels was assigned to the Wailuku Patrol Division.

Habitual DUI and other charges were dismissed without prejudice against the 29-year-old woman he arrested after the suspected DUI crash July 25, according to court records….

read … Feds are taking over prosecution of police officer

Mother Listed By Hawaii As Abuser Had No Chance To Clear Her Name

CB: … Hawaii’s system for listing people on a registry of child abusers “makes no sense” and may have resulted in a “great injustice,” according to an opinion by a U.S. appellate court judge.

The case involved Courtney Bird, who was put on the registry without her knowledge after the death of her daughter in Honolulu in 2007. Her husband later confessed to abusing the child, and Bird was exonerated. But five years later, remarried and living in Tennessee, she and her new husband tried to adopt a child from Africa, and found it would be impossible because of her listing in Hawaii as a child abuser.

Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a federal district court that Bird’s claims against the Hawaii Department of Human Services, which maintains the registry, should be dismissed because she did not file her lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations.

But Judge Jay Bybee, while concurring with his colleagues about the statute of limitations, found major flaws with Hawaii’s child abuse and neglect registry.

“The state has twice wronged her: first by listing her at all; second, by denying her an opportunity to prove that she didn’t deserve to be blacklisted,” he wrote….

read … Mother Listed By Hawaii As Abuser Had No Chance To Clear Her Name

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