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Monday, October 14, 2019
October 14, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:24 PM :: 1847 Views

SCOTUS: Who is in charge at the County Of Maui?

Fascist UH Admin Cuts Free WiFi to Telescope Protesters

Fastest-Growing Cities? Honolulu Ranks 407th

Attorney General Investigating “Kickbacks and Corruption” in HART Relocation Program

CB: …For years, the agency didn’t follow the proper federal rules moving businesses on the path of the rail line. Those still in charge will spend the next year cleaning up the mess….

W.D. Schock first uncovered “irregularities” with rail’s relocation files in February 2017, according to the agency.

HART board members discussed the matter for the first time publicly earlier this month.

“It occurs to me that if there were overpayments, and if the files lack support to justify those overpayments, you know, I would imagine that’s something that the state investigators are looking at as part of their criminal investigation,” board Vice Chairman Terrence Lee said at the Oct. 3 meeting.

“Because, how come? Why are the files missing all that information?”

One of the three federal Grand Jury subpoenas that HART received in February specifically requested records for the “18 relocation files” that the agency first examined, including their title work, appraisals, offers to owners, and negotiation records.

The HART board has been briefed on the subpoenas several times behind closed doors.

Lee’s public comments acknowledged that state authorities are investigating Honolulu’s rail project alongside the feds. Asked about his comments after the meeting, Lee said that the state investigators are focusing on potential kickbacks and corruption….

read … HART’s Shoddy Relocation Program Took A Toll On Those Displaced By Rail

TMT protest dwindles to 150 people

SA: … Summer is over, and colder weather could soon have an impact on the months-long blockade of Mauna Kea Access Road. It is getting chillier at the tents along the highway that are the sleeping quarters for opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the months ahead will further test their determination.

The larger the crowds gathered to block the road, the more challenging it is for police to clear it. But if the number of people camping at the protest site dwindles in the weeks ahead, that could signal an opening for law enforcement to make arrests and open the way for heavy equipment to pass so that TMT site work can begin near the summit….

Last week there were about 150 protesters on Mauna Kea during a regular noon ceremony….

Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, a leader of the anti-TMT protests who has camped for months on the access road, said the activists “relaxed a little bit” in recent weeks as state and county law enforcement agencies stood down to make time for what some hoped would be a negotiated settlement.

No settlement agreement has been reached, and both sides are planning their next moves, she said….

read … With summer ended, weather could affect the TMT protests

Protestors try new delaying tactic

SA: … A hearing has been scheduled before the state Land Use Commission later this month to consider a petition that challenges the legality of “the industrial uses” atop Mauna Kea, including the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope.

Hawaiian cultural practitioners Ku‘ulei Higashi Kanahele and Ahiena Kanahele of Hilo filed the petition, which argues that the growing number of observatories has transformed the conservation district at the summit into a de facto urban district requiring a land use district boundary amendment.

Because obtaining a district boundary amendment from the Land Use Commission is a lengthy process and could take years, the request can be seen as the latest attempt to further delay construction of the $1.4 billion telescope….

read … Mauna Kea “industrial uses” challenged by protestors

Oahu residents hold peaceful protest against wind turbine project

KITV: … Many O'ahu residents participated in a peaceful protest on Sunday night. They gathered at Kahuku District Park, the site where industrial turbine company AES plans to build eight 568-foot turbines. The group is upset because the project, called Na Pua Nakani, is a third of a mile from Kahuku Elementary School and neighboring residents.

The protest is a result of ten years of community opposition "during which time the government failed to act to protect Kahuku residents from the harm these turbines will cause to residents and wildlife," according to organizers. "This small town of 2,300 people will be surrounded by 20 industrial turbines and unfairly bear the burden of having 40% of all the existing turbines on O'ahu in its backyard."

Kanani Ponciano explains, "What other community on O'ahu is surrounded by this many monster turbines? Other areas may have the money to fight these large companies. Kahuku doesn't. This is environmental injustice."

The group calls itself Ku Kia'i Kahuku, or the protectors of Kahuku, and says community members want access to safer forms of renewable energy, such as expanded access to rooftop solar, because PVs do not cause harm to people, the environment, and wildlife. They say they worry about children suffering irreversible health effects as they are especially vulnerable to noise pollution and infrasound ….

HNN: Protesters gather in attempt to block Kahuku wind farm construction

read … Oahu residents hold peaceful protest against wind turbine project

Kauai Commenters Wise up to Green Energy Hype

TGI: Comments: “FACT: Hawaii’s energy cost are the actual highest in the country, twice the average and over three times that
of Washington and some of those southern states mentioned in the article. Why does this article not mention the high cost residents pay? Is there a plan to lower costs?”

“Will this 100% goal include the factor of importing so much of what we eat and use?”

read … Making strides in renewable energy

Boaters Upset About Steep Fee Increase At State-Run Harbors

CB: … Boaters across the state face fee hikes come Nov. 1, with some renters looking at paying nearly double.

That’s drawn the ire of boat owners who moor in some of the state’s 16 small boat harbors, managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.

Meanwhile, DLNR has been unable to keep up with maintenance projects at its harbors. The department has identified about $310 million of capital improvement and maintenance costs around the islands, many of which have not been funded….

Related: Ala Wai Development Plan Serves OHA, not Boaters

read …Hawaii Boaters Upset About Steep Fee Increase At State-Run Harbors

Navy officials to brief public on Red Hill plans

SA: … Navy officials will brief lawmakers and the public about their proposed plans for improving tank safety at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility during meetings on Tuesday and Thursday. Those plans must ultimately be approved by the state Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which don’t have a deadline for issuing a decision.

The Navy and Defense Logistics Agency last month submitted their long-awaited proposal for upgrading the aging facility and improving leak detection to regulators. The proposal includes sticking with the facility’s single-walled steel tank liners while permanently adopting its program for cleaning, inspecting and repairing the underground tanks. Top officials with the Honolulu Board of Water Supply have urged the Navy to double­-wall its tanks, but the Navy concluded in its report that this would be costly and provide limited benefits….

read … Navy officials to brief public on Red Hill plans

Why Are We Killing Pedestrians In Hawaii Crosswalks?

CB: … After the first six months of 2018, our state made headlines after the pedestrian fatality rate went up 1,800%. This year, we have seen 28 pedestrian fatalities — the first of which occurred in Hawaii Kai.

These statistics are very troubling and embarrassing. According to U.S. News and World Report, Hawaii ranks seventh worst in the nation for pedestrian fatalities. Smart Growth America’s “Dangerous by Design” report tells us that Honolulu is the third most dangerous city for those 50 years old and over. Such irony to be third in the nation while we hold the record for longevity of life — except maybe for our kupuna who use our crosswalks….

read … Why Are We Killing Pedestrians In Hawaii Crosswalks?

HPD effort vital for mentally ill

SA Editorial: … In Hawaii and on the mainland, law enforcement officers increasingly are serving as first responders in cases of mental health crisis. That role is visible every day on Honolulu streets, where many among thousands of homeless individuals are grappling with mental illness, addiction and disability-related challenges.

For officers lacking proper training, even minor confrontation can quickly escalate, putting all involved in danger — as individuals with mental illness don’t always respond to de-escalation tactics that work effectively on others.

For the sake of better community policing, it’s encouraging to see this year’s launch of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training — a Honolulu Police Department partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Hawaii (NAMI Hawaii), Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center and other community partners….

read … HPD effort vital for mentally ill

No Surprise: After Blasting ‘Rigged’ Primary, Tulsi Gabbard Decides Against Debate Boycott

DW: … “I will be attending the debate,” Gabbard told her supporters on Twitter. She refrained from providing any further information regarding her decision. ….

WE: 'Playing the media': Empty threats of 2020 Democrats show an air of desperation

NR: Hawaii congresswoman provides glimmer of hope in abortion discussion

read … No Surprise

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