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Saturday, November 9, 2019
November 9, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:30 PM :: 4067 Views

OHA Committee Acknowledges It Has No Authority to Discipline Trustee Akina for Speaking Out

An EIS We’d Like to See

Are Auditor's Recommendations Implemented?

Tupola: Community Members step up to combat sex-trafficking

Veterans Day Events Hawaii

Retaliation: Rail Contractor on Tape Trying to Get Whistleblower Fired

SA: … Last month, a former in-house counsel for Nan Inc. sued the company alleging he was fired after warning Nan executives not to conduct illegal activity relating to the $9.2 billion Honolulu rail project.

Now, Bosko Petricevic, who filed the lawsuit under the state’s whistleblower protection act, says that Nan Inc. President (and convicted felon) Patrick Shin tried to get him fired from his new job working as an attorney for Clay Chapman Iwamura Pulice & Nervell in Honolulu after media reports were published about the lawsuit.

He says Shin called Gerald Clay, his boss at his new firm, with the purpose of harassing, intimidating or trying to get him fired. He’s amended his original legal complaint accordingly.

In a voicemail message left for Clay, which was played for the Star-Advertiser, Shin doesn’t specify the purpose of his call.

“I’m pretty sure, in my opinion, what (Shin) was probably going to do, he was probably going to promise him business in exchange for firing me,” said Petricevic. “It doesn’t take a genius — because actually my firm does a lot of construction litigation.”…

Nan is a major player in the rail project. The company has a HART contract for up to $400 million to relocate utilities in the Honolulu city center to make way for construction of the elevated rail line, as well as contracts worth $218 million to build six rail stations.

The FBI is currently conducting a federal criminal investigation of the rail project, though the scope and details of that investigation have remained murky. Petricevic’s lawsuit claims that FBI investigators have approached Nan employees…

Background: Rail: Broken Station Canopies Part of Blackmail Scheme

Is Convicted Felon Rail Contractor Patrick Shin a Recidivist?

read … Whistleblower in rail lawsuit alleges retaliation by Nan exec

Only 50 protesters Left at Mauna Kea Camp

HNN: … From the bird's eye view up Puuhuluhulu, one can see how the encampment has changed.

In July, there were hundreds of cars that lined Daniel K. Inouye Highway or Saddle Road plus many pop up tents.

Now there are fewer cars, tents and no masses of people, but the tents are sturdier event tents with poles and extra tarps.

It’s the middle of the week and renown Hawaiian cultural practitioners lead the roughly 50 people gathered for noon protocol at Puuhonua o Puuhuluhulu.

(Idea: Send a squad of police cadets to round them all up.  Good training exercise.)

On Tuesday, there were high profile visitors, (more celebrutards) Hilo natives Kolten Wong of the St. Louis Cardinals and his brother Kean who had that day been traded to the San Francisco Giants….

"I feel blessed to be able to have a team to go to and come here and see what it's like," said Kean Wong.

The activists have supply tents where everything is donated. There are fleece jackets, heating lamps, batteries, sleeping bags, tents and tarps.

Tuesday’s weather was pleasant and in the 80′s, but things can dramatically change with sudden winds and activists say temperatures can get down to the 30′s in the middle of the night.

Kaneohe resident and veteran Cheyenne Turalde has lived in a framed tent since July when his brother Keoni was arrested in his wheelchair along with 37 others.

He keeps warm with lots of layers and a heat lamp and says enduring the weather is worth it.

SA: Sunday anti-TMT convoy from Kapolei to Kualoa could disrupt traffic

read … As temps drop at Mauna Kea, protesters hunker down for a long winter

Second Bid To Impeach Honolulu’s Top Prosecutor Is Filed

CB: … A Honolulu businessman late Friday renewed efforts to impeach embattled Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro by filing a petition in Hawaii state court with more than 557 hand-written and electronic signatures from residents calling for Kaneshiro’s removal.

It remains to be seen whether the new effort will have an outcome different from a previous initiative petition. The outcome might come down to whether electronic signatures on the petition are deemed good enough to merit launching an impeachment proceeding….

read … Second Bid To Impeach Honolulu’s Top Prosecutor Is Filed

Sen Laura Thielen Not Running for Congress

SA: …She said she has no plans to run for another elected office and has ruled out running for governor, Congress or the Honolulu City Council. She was only slightly more open to the idea of mayor….

She also said term limits could help cultivate more political leadership within the state, which she said is lacking.

“There were days in Hawaii after the Democratic revolution where there was a lot of leadership in the Legislature,” she said. “But it was because they were reacting to a society where they had some very clear wrongs they wanted to correct. And today you are not going to get that out of the Legislature, partly because it has become a one party- system, so it’s not reacting to anything.”…

read … Sen. Laura Thielen won’t seek reelection 

Maui Council Pushing Property Tax Hikes for Resident Homeowners

MN: … Bills to establish tiered property tax rates and a new set of property tax classifications were passed on first reading by the Maui County Council on Friday.

The bills, aimed at tax reform, would establish tiers in several tax classifications based on value ranges.

For example, different tax rates could be set based how much a person’s property is worth — lower-valued properties would have one rate, medium-value properties another rate and higher-valued properties, another rate. Or all three could still have the same rate, depending on what the council decides.

Another bill revises the organization and description of property classifications. For example, the residential and homeowner categories would instead be placed under the proposed “owner-occupied category.”

Both measures, which still need to undergo a second and final reading, do not involve setting any tax rates. Property tax rates are set by the council during its budget review in the spring….

(IQ Test: This is part of a plan to hike taxes?  T/F)

read … Council has property tax changes in the works

HSTA: 43% Incompetent but Getting Paid Anyway

KITV: … According to the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the dearth of teachers who speak Hawaiian is a "crisis."

Currently, roughly 43% of Hawaiian language immersion teaching positions are filled with teachers who do not speak Hawaiian fluently.

"So much students and so much families are interested in enrolling students in Hawaiian immersion, at the same time we don’t have enough classrooms and we don’t have enough teachers," said Kaui Spitalsky, language immersion teacher at Lahainaluna High on Maui.

Corey Rosenlee, HSTA President, says the Hawaiian language immersion teacher role is the most difficult position to fill because a proper license requires post-graduate education.….

read … Hawaiian-speaking teacher shortage

Homeowner Arrested After Shooting Alleged Burglar

KHON: … A witness said it all started with an alleged burglary at the suspect’s home earlier that day. And police were at the location investigating the burglary until after 10P.M.

Not long after police left she said she saw four boys hop the fence separating the shooters house from public housing.

“I seen four boys running toward the dumpster after I heard a loud pop “

Then she said she saw the shooter outside standing outside his home.

“He was like, ‘yeah, the boys came back hopped the fence to grab their jacket and that’s when I got him…I got him good,” the witness said.

She the sensor light at the shooter’s home went on and lit him up along with the area around him.

“I could see a handheld gun in his right hand and he was using bullet proof vest with no shirt on.”

That’s when she said the other boys returned.

“The boy was yelling, ‘you shot my little brother!’ And as soon as he said that, that’s when the BB gun started going off,” she explained.

She’s isn’t sure if they had threatened or fired the pellet gun at the shooter prior to him shooting at them….

KHON: This incident was the second shooting reported at this location in less than a month.

read … 16-year-old dead and a 50-year-old man in custody after a shooting in Kalihi

Another Hate Crime: Hana men indicted in assault on campers

MN: … Two Hana men have been indicted on charges alleging they assaulted a visitor who was camping in Hana with his girlfriend and two children in July….

James Pu, 31, and Elijah Koi Gold, 30, were arraigned Wednesday in 2nd Circuit Court.

They pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault, first-degree criminal property damage, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening, third-degree assault, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and harassment.

Police were flagged down at 11:19 p.m. July 21 by the victim, who reported he was approached by three men who told him he wasn’t allowed to camp there and began to assault him, according to police. A man who saw the assault flashed his lights and honked his horn before the three men approached and punched him and damaged his vehicle, police said….

If convicted of the first-degree assault charge, Pu and Gold could face extended sentencing under a hate crime provision….

(Meanwhile the Hawaiian victimology bandwagon keeps on rolling.)

Related: Maui Police, Prosecutor Conspire to Cover Up Hate Crime: Attack with Shovel Recorded with Audio, Video

read … Hana men indicted in assault on campers

Billion dollar military radar for Oahu draws the usual critics

KHON: … “Missile defense does not work (and I’ve been an actress so I know). It is fundamentally flawed, so putting this giant project on a sacred mountain will not protect Hawaii,” said Lynda Williams, a (actress) ‘physics professor’ and peace activist. Lynda Williams will be a giving a talk on the subject Sunday night at Nanaikapono Elementary School from 6:00-9:00.

read … Seen this play before

WW1 Memorial: Natatorium pool could be restored, reopened in $32 mil project

KHON: … The pool at the Waikiki War Memorial Complex Natatorium could be restored under a final E.I.S. filed today.

The City and County of Honolulu’s preferred plan is to rebuild the perimeter deck of the pool and make it operational again, as a saltwater swimming facility that allows ocean water to come in and out for circulation below the surface.

According to the environmental study, the capital cost is about $31.8 million, excluding possible structural adjustments for anticipated sea level rise. That is estimated to cost about 10 million less than a closed-system pool and a few million less that tearing down the pool to create a beach.

Annual operations and maintenance are expected to be nearly $1 million a year. That would cover maintenance and 15 staff, including 4 lifeguards….

The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Waikiki War Memorial Complex is divided into three separate files, available at the following three URLs:

read … Natatorium pool could be restored, reopened in $32 mil project

Warning to Waianae: Accept Tweeker Camp or we will Scatter them Throughout your Neighborhoods

SA Editorial: … Other obstacles: The acreage is zoned agriculture, so questions remain on how residences will be enabled. Also, NIMBYISM (“not in my backyard” pushback) is already surfacing among worried future neighbors.

Leader Twinkle Borge, who has lived at Pu‘uhonua o Waianae since 2003, called the upcoming move “real scary.” That it is — for her, the 200-plus villagers and the advocates rooting for this project to succeed. The hope is to clear the illegal encampment from the harbor area, while stabilizing this community of people — including 21 children — rather than scattering them onto the streets of Waianae, and beyond….

read … Homeless Blackmail

Weeks after opening, new Big Island homeless shelter nearly at capacity

HNN: … Up until last month, homeless men had just two options ― both of which run on a waitlist because they are always full.

Now the third option for homeless men is almost full, too.

The newest homeless shelter on the Big Island is housed in Hilo’s old Memorial Hospital.

The first phase of renovations wrapped up less than a month ago, and already 22 out of the 25 beds at the shelter are spoken for….

Next month, capacity will double from 25 to 50 beds. And soon construction will being on the second floor to create 20 new apartments….

HTH: Keolahou shelter officially opens in Hilo

read … Weeks after opening, new Big Island homeless shelter nearly at capacity

DHHL Construction of first phase of Honomu homestead project could begin in 2020

HTH: … The Honomu Subsistence Agricultural Homestead Community, a project by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, would take 766 acres of Honomu land and lease 375 acres of them to Native Hawaiians — those with a 50% or higher Native Hawaiian blood quantum — for subsistence farming homesteads….

The remainder of the land would be set aside for other uses such as a community orchard, a supplemental agriculture field, several conservation zones that buffer the community from surrounding land and a small commercial area.

Currently, most of the land is comprised of former sugar plantation land and cattle grazing pasture.

According to the environmental assessment, which was published Friday in the state Department of Health’s Environmental Notice, the project is intended to alleviate the extremely long wait times on the DHHL’s agricultural waitlist — the top 500 applicants on that list applied for leases between 1952 and 1985. On Hawaii Island, 42% of DHHL beneficiaries waiting for a lease were on the agricultural waitlist in 2014….

Related: The Environmental Notice

read … Construction of first phase of Honomu homestead project could begin in 2020

Board won’t consider constitutionality of vacation rental law

HTH: … Whether the county’s short-term vacation rental law is constitutional is beyond the scope of the county Board of Appeals, members said Friday in unanimously voting to deny a Captain Cook homeowner’s request to take up the issue.

The case is the first of about 20 appeals filed so far stemming from the Planning Department’s denial of a vacation rental permit. More are expected, as the department denied some 80 or 90 applications after working through 900 of the 4,000 applications that came in.

McCoy Plantation homeowner David Hefer claims the county’s denial of his vacation rental application is “arbitrary and capricious” and the “vague and incomprehensible wording” of the law violates his constitutional right of due process.

Hefer’s main case, his appeal of the vacation rental permit denial itself, is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Kona.….

read … Board won’t consider constitutionality of vacation rental law

Trump Spends Day in Hawaii, Meets with Ige

AP: … Trump arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam late Thursday after a daylong flight from Washington. He departs Friday for Japan, the first stop on the five-nation, 11-day Asia journey.

(Question: Did you see ANY media coverage of this?)

In Hawaii, Trump is scheduled to meet with leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the region. A key discussion topic likely will be North Korea‘s nuclear threat, a crisis that will shadow Trump‘s trip. He‘ll also meet with the governors of Alaska, Hawaii and Pacific U.S. territories.

Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, also tours the USS Arizona Memorial, part of the Pearl Harbor site dedicated to the attack that drew the U.S. into World War II….

read … Trump arrives in Hawaii on eve of first official Asia trip

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