Town Hall Meeting: Soaring Electric Bills in Kapilina
Nine Weeks on the Mauna: 48 Arrests, 5,033 Tickets
OHA Backs out of Tree-Planting Scheme
Kealohas close to reaching a plea deal in Exchange for Ratting Out Caldwell Admin Officials
HNN: … Attorneys for Louis and Katherine Kealoha spent the day negotiating with the government on a proposed deal.
Katherine Kealoha is reportedly “sleeping on it” and a decision could come down before the end of the week.
The ex-deputy prosecutor and her husband, Honolulu’s former police chief, would have to plead guilty to financial crimes under the deal.
Their trial for those crimes is scheduled for January.
Katherine Kealoha would also have to plead guilty to alleged drug crimes to avoid her third trial in May.
The benefit for the Kealohas of a plea deal: The government would recommend lighter sentences to the judge.
The government, meanwhile, might get cooperation, “They believe she can provide information in ongoing investigation,” said Earle Partington, attorney for Katherine Kealoha, declined to say what that would entail but indicated it was city administrators….
SA: Federal prosecutors offer Katherine Kealoha plea deal
Background: Kealoha Retaliation: A List of Caldwell Admin Officials Involved
read … Kealohas close to reaching a plea deal for remaining federal charges
Kiewit Part of Criminal Investigation? Payments On Hold Pending Findings Of Rail Investigation
CB: … The contractor’s payment denials are among $77 million in freshly rejected rail invoices that didn’t meet state standards for legitimate construction costs….
State finance officials rejected more than $30 million in payments to Kiewit Infrastructure West this past quarter because they believe the former rail contractor may be part of the federal criminal probe into the multibillion-dollar transit project.
Kiewit’s payments will be withheld pending the findings of the feds’ rail-related investigation, according to state comptroller Curt Otaguro.
“We’re not comfortable pursing that reimbursement until other information is provided,” Otaguro said Wednesday. “If everything’s cleared and Kiewit’s off the hook then that’s all the certification we need.”
If there’s no closure and the federal authorities don’t actually release any findings, Otaguro said the state would accept something in writing from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation “at face value” instead….
HART spokesman Bill Brennan said that the rail agency could cover those payments with its federal funds until the issue is resolved….
read … Kiewit’s Payments On Hold Pending Findings Of Rail Investigation
Wind turbine protesters gear up for a drawn-out battle in Kahuku
SA: … Opponents of the construction of eight wind turbines in Kahuku are preparing for a drawn-out fight against the project, which they say will have detrimental health effects for residents and farmers of the rural town.
Protesters, who include those from the Ku Kia‘i Kahuku group, have set up two tented areas along Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku, on either side of the road leading to the project site of the Na Pua Makani wind farm, a project by Virginia-based AES Corp.
The tents on the Kahuku side of the road have stacks of water bottles, several tables with food, a keiki tent and even a massage area. On the side toward Sunset Beach is a line of tents for kupuna in front of a parking lot area where construction workers have some of their vehicles. …
Protest organizers say there are people who sleep there at night. AES announced that transportation of equipment from Kalaeloa Harbor would happen between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The company had intended to begin delivering parts Sunday during a seven-week schedule but has been unable to begin because of the protests. Gov. David Ige’s office said Tuesday that AES “should be allowed to proceed” in building the wind farm….
KITV: Kahuku farmer believes wind turbines are the root of her health problems
read … Wind turbine protesters gear up for a drawn-out battle in Kahuku
The Clock is Your Friend: 3 Years to Stop Hawaii’s Fake Green Energy Projects
CB: … In the next few years alone to replace a coal-fired plant
scheduled (forced) to go offline in 2022, Hawaiian Electric Co. expects Oahu will ‘need’ new wind and solar projects with a collective footprint 29 times the size of Aloha Stadium.
One question is whether the projects can be developed fast enough to meet the 2022 deadline, while also meeting the regulatory and legal hurdles that inevitably slow down projects. Proactively addressing community concerns adds another challenge.
The consensus among environmental lawyers and renewable energy advocates is that Hawaii can still reach its goals, even the ambitious short-term ones for Oahu. But they warn that developers need to be mindful of the laws, places where it makes the most sense to site projects and best practices for engaging with communities….
The Kahuku wind farm is hardly the only renewable project running into opposition. And it’s not just wind farms facing opposition.
A proposal by Innergex Renewables to build a solar farm on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property faces pushback from some Native Hawaiians saying the lands shouldn’t be leased for such a use.
A project proposing to burn eucalyptus trees for fuel on the Big Island faces challenges. And another Innergex project, a large solar farm on ranch land in South Maui, faces a fight from a group called the Pono Power Coalition.
Jay Griffin, the chairman of the Hawaii PUC, said he’s hopeful that the current round of bids for projects, which are due next month, will not be bogged down in litigation. The regulators have woven community engagement components into the requests for proposal in hopes that developers can head off potential problems proactively, he said….
HTH: Hawaii County Council Declares ‘Climate Crisis’ or something
read … Hawaii’s Green Energy Projects Search For Ways To Navigate Community Opposition
Hawaii Democrats To Hold Presidential Primary April 4
CB: … The Democratic Party of Hawaii announced this week how it will hold its Party-run Presidential Primary April 4.
It will include vote-by-mail and ranked choice voting.
“We’re excited to offer our membership the ability to engage in the Party-run Presidential Primary through mail-in voting, and with so many great Democratic candidates, it is a positive development that our members will be able to rank their top three presidential candidates,” said Interim Party Chair Kate Stanley via press release.
The Democratic National Committee, which holds its convention next July in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, approved the local party’s delegate selection process.
A DNC-vetted vendor will design and monitor the voting process “from ballot design to certification of the final count.” …
Registered Hawaii voters will also be allowed to join the party and vote during the polling hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. A list of polling sites will be announced in late January….
The Hawaii Republican Party is identified as holding a caucus on March 10, but only if Trump manages to attract serious challengers….
DPH: 2020 Presidential Preference Poll
TGI: DNC approves delegate plan
read … Hawaii Democrats To Hold Presidential Primary April 4
Mayor Kim reassures protesters that TMT equipment won’t be snuck up the mountain
HNN: … Law enforcement reported numbers at their highest at 2,000. Now multiple sources say the numbers have dwindled from 100 to 150 because harsh winter conditions are setting in with rain, wind and temperatures ranging from the 80′s to the high 30′s.
Many are wondering if that leaves an opportunity for law enforcement to move in to clear the road for TMT’s equipment.
Mayor Kim says the public would be told of road closures when TMT plans to move its equipment once again and people would have to move from Mauna Kea Access Road at the base of Mauna Kea. He says assurances were made last month after rumors of an overnight raid by law enforcement sent activists scrambling.
“The Governor assured me that we would not do that and would not try to sneak equipment and manpower up to the summit and I gave them my word that I trust the Governor. He gave me his word so I give my word to you that we will not do that and if equipment and manpower is going to be transported, you will be informed,” said Kim.
“We’ve been given a commitment by governmental leaders that they would not be, for lack of a better term, sneak attacking us on Mauna Kea….
read … Mayor Kim reassures protesters that TMT equipment won’t be snuck up the mountain
Convicted Sovereignty Scammer Keanu Sai behind Illegal Bond Sales
ILind: … we have a whole lot of federal and state laws regulating the sale of securities, including bonds. You’ve got to wonder whether an offer like this complies with existing securities laws and regulations?
And then there’s the little issue of how an investor can get their money and interest back. According to the fine print in the offer, it’s going to be difficult to get anything back.
The bonds, according to the website, are: “Redeemable at par within 1 year after the 5th year from the date when the United States of America’s military occupation of the Hawaiian Islands has come to an end and that the Hawaiian government is in effective control in the exercising of its sovereignty.”
So say aloha to your cash unless and until five years after that pie in the sky day that an independent Hawaiian government is restored to power. So when will you get your money back? Effectively, never.
What a deal!…
Meanwhile: Trial Begins for Jennifer Ruggles Doper Daddy
read … Can this offer of “government bonds” be legal?
Affordable Housing Programs behind Loss of Affordable Housing
MN: … as we develop affordable housing the way we are doing it, we make it worse.”
Savio pointed to an October study where 58 percent of Hawaii residents pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent; he said you cannot have a local real estate market where that occurs.
Strategies he offered included the following:
• The county and state should not build affordable rental units; they should build “affordable rent to build equity,” allowing properties to create value for people. He said rental housing is “evil” and a “stealer of wealth,” since renters give away family wealth to a landlord, helping the landlord get wealthier. “Wealth creation is about ownership and retaining the value for the local community.” ….
read … Expert: Hawaii could lose ‘localness’ if housing not fixed
Decoupling: More Electric Rate Hikes Coming
IM: … Utilities traditionally receive compensation via cost-of-service (COS) regulation which rewards capital investments even if they are not optimal or least cost.
Decoupling disconnects profits from how much electricity is sold.
Performance-based regulation (PBR) provides a carrot-and-stick incentive approach that rewards the utility for increasing its own efficiency and for meeting societal goals such as lower customer bills and decreasing the time it takes to interconnect third-party renewable energy systems.
The Public Utilities Commission has opened a super-intense proceeding to examine how to move the Hawaiian Electric Companies from a decoupled COS regulation to decoupled PBR regulation.
There are eight parties in the proceeding in addition to the HECO Companies and the Consumer Advocate: two counties, three solar trade groups, two renewable energy investment groups and one environmental group.
Ulupono Initiative is developing an open-source Regulatory Innovation Simulation Tool (RIST) so that all parties in the proceeding can determine how different future scenarios impact the utility financially.
RIST is designed to substitute for proprietary models used in previous proceedings by HECO and the Consumer Advocate.
read … Hawai`i Utility Planning Relies on Open-Source and Proprietary Models
Establishing Renewable Energy Policy Thru False Assumptions
IM: … The obvious solution is for O`ahu to power itself with renewable energy.
The issue of O`ahu land scarcity that prevents O`ahu from becoming fossil fuel-free rests on several assumptions:
Proven offshore technologies will not work because O`ahu has a unique geography.
It is impossible to tap into existing water dams including Lake Wilson.
It is impossible to capture rain power during intense downpours by placing hydroelectric systems on the floor of canals.
It is impossible to generate electricity from water passing through stormwater drains.
It is infeasible to use one site for two or more types of renewable energy such as a biomass greenhouse with rooftop solar.
It is impossible to move to 30% renewable without first coming up with a plan to reach 100% in the future.
It is better for multinational entities from elsewhere to attack communities with NIMBY arguments than develop local, grassroots, bottom-up solutions.
And finally, if all else fails, importing biofuel from North America made from waste grease (which HECO has already done) is not feasible.
The idea that O`ahu lacks space to become truly renewable is one of the many myths associated with Hawai`i energy policy. It joins with Hawai`i has a 100% renewable electricity requirement by 2045, Hawai`i will have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and the definition of clean renewable energy excludes dirty fossil fuels, all of which are false statements.
read … Establishing Renewable Energy Policy Thru False Assumptions
Injection Wells: Crackpot Maui Council Still pretending it has Control of Case, May Hire Eco Shyster
MN: … With the clock counting down on Maui County’s date with the U.S. Supreme Court, the County Council will decide on Friday whether to hire an outside attorney and get clarity to the question over who has the authority to pull the county out of the case.
A resolution on the agenda would allow the hiring of an outside attorney to represent the council, which is looking to interpret a disputed portion of the County Charter. The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. in council chambers….
In 2012, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation, West Maui Preservation Association and Sierra Club sued the county over its use of injection wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility….
read … Council to consider hiring special counsel over charter debate
Hawaii State Teachers Association calls for ban on all flavored tobacco products, citing increase use by students
KITV: … The Hawaii Department of Education banned electronic smoking devices in 2015. Anyone caught with one faces a class C offense, which could warrant dismissal.
HSTA said its teachers are confiscating more e-cigarettes and other vaping products in the classroom. Educators said the big concern is with flavored tobacco products because it's what they see students using the most. They believe a ban is necessary….
Data in 2017 from the Hawaii Department of Health shows 26 percent of high school students reported smoking e-cigarettes. That makes Hawaii the second highest in the nation after Colorado. But middle school students were highest rate in the nation.
HSTA said it will be supporting lawmakers and groups who are making an effort to ban the devices.
On Thursday, The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii will be hosting an event promoting solutions to end vaping at 10 a.m. at the state capitol….
read … Hawaii State Teachers Association calls for ban on all flavored tobacco products, citing increase use by students
Honolulu Police Acquire More Military-Style Equipment
CB: … The department already has one sporadically deployed Lenco BearCat, an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck. That vehicle was acquired in 2009. But the new one, which has a price tag of $580,000, is supposed to have enhanced capability, according to a city memo.
McCarthy said that amount includes maintenance and extra equipment that comes with the armored truck, which is funded through a Homeland Security Grant Program. The program is a combination of grant monies from federal agencies….
Honolulu’s share was about $3.8 million, $863,100 of which went to HPD, according to the city memo. Aside from the BearCat, Honolulu police also purchased vehicle barriers to control large crowds for $190,000 and upgrades for bomb clearance robots for $93,100….
read … Honolulu Police Acquire More Military-Style Equipment
Accused of Child Molestation: Ex-officer’s statements can be used against him, judge rules
SA: … The government says retired Honolulu police officer James Dean Kalani Goeas told an FBI polygrapher that he had sex multiple times with a 15-year-old boy whom he met on the internet while still employed by the Honolulu Police Department.
Goeas, 63, was arrested in March in an internet sting operation. The government says Goeas made the statement to the polygrapher following his arrest.
He is scheduled to stand trial in U.S. District Court in February on a charge of using the internet to entice or coerce into having sex a person he thought was a 13-year-old boy. He was actually corresponding with an undercover law enforcement officer. Goeas is not charged with having unlawful sex with anyone….
if given the chance, he would tell both 15-year-olds, “Sorry for getting them into this.”… (How gays are created.)
read … Ex-officer’s statements can be used against him, judge rules
More Homeless Mayhem: ‘I was arrested because I murked a demon’
MN: … The day after he was arrested for killing a man in a shopping center bathroom, Kumulipo Sylva told police detectives he had “murked a demon” with a machete.
“I was arrested because I murked a demon,” Sylva said when he was questioned by detectives the day after the killing.
When Detective Oran Satterfield asked Sylva how he did it, he replied, “I cut his throat all the way down to the bone to make sure he wouldn’t live.
“It’s not life anyway,” Sylva said. “It’s force of evil which emanates in bodies, they do not have the light of God in them.”…
read … ‘I was arrested because I murked a demon’