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Sunday, December 08, 2019
December 8, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:55 PM :: 1119 Views

Naming Names: Meet the Political Insiders Behind Eviction of Barbers Point Air Museum

Let’s Not Tax Transportation

Legislators are Above the Law Because the Judiciary is So Politicized 

Borreca: … With attorney Eric Seitz representing him, Portnoy is in federal court claiming the state Legislature has “irrationally, arbitrarily — or worse, spitefully” meddled with the composition of the UH Board of Regents by lowering the number of members.

Portnoy also charges that the Legislature changed the law in a legislative sleight of hand, called “gut and replace,” in which at the last minute the contents of a bill moving through the legislative process are removed and replaced with portions of another bill.

Portnoy contends bills must have three public hearings in both the state House and Senate. He also complains that the Legislature’s action violate the university’s constitutional protections of independence and autonomy.

Indeed, the Hawaii state Constitution says the UH regents “shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management, and operation of the university.”

Both issues raised by the civil attorney have merit and both spotlight the Legislature’s love for meddling in higher ed and operating behind closed doors.

Valid and worthy, however, are adjectives that do not always lead to success. First, the Legislature’s committees on higher education are charged with reviewing Hawaii public colleges and university system. When a review becomes obstruction is open to debate and as lawmakers love to explain, “it is situational.”

When state Sen. Donna Kim held hearings on UH bungling a fundraising concert, it started out with a valid point and soon became a way to attack then-UH President MRC Greenwood. It is questionable whether keeping Greenwood or installing David Lassner as president was the way to turn UH into the Cambridge of the Pacific (LOL).

Still, if the university cannot get the state’s political might, such as the governor, to champion UH and enforce the constitutional dictates against meddling, why expect the courts to get involved?

(Translation: Hawaii Judiciary is 100% political.)

The Legislature does not do gut and replace because one lawmaker wants it. It is accomplished by a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate. It may not be stated in the rules, but gut and replace is legislative policy and even if the Legislature formally rejects it, last-minute closed-door deals are how politics works if that is what the majority wants.

So Portnoy and others need not change the rules; they need to change the majority.

(Translation: Legislators are above the law.)

read … Borreca

More ways to support teachers besides just increasing salaries

SA: … We believe there are solutions to complement the DOE, BOE and HSTA efforts that require low investment and yield strong results, including:

>> Empower schools to allow teachers the ability to control their teaching environment.

>> Provide incentives to hire more local teachers as they graduate from college.

>> Free administrators from state or complex-directed tasks to allow them to dedicate their time to supporting teachers.

>> Give teachers the freedom to teach and not spend their valuable time on administrative tasks better done by others.

>> Direct all DOE resources to the schools.

>> Provide access to affordable housing through subsidies or the creation of teacher housing.

>> Conduct publicly available exit interviews with teachers to better understand their challenges and thereby develop solutions.

>> Support teachers by providing deep discount programs from local businesses….

read … Column: More ways to support teachers besides just increasing salaries

Hawaii ice cream maker fears meltdown in wake of Meadow Gold restructuring

SA: … Dave’s Ice Cream Inc. typically sells around 15,000 gallons of ice cream made in Pearl City to numerous restaurants including Zippy’s under a wholesale arrangement with Dean Foods subsidiary Meadow Gold Dairies-Hawaii.

Meadow Gold, however, plans to bring in ice cream from a plant it owns in St. George, Utah, to supply its Hawaii restaurant customers starting next month in a move that would cut off a third of Dave’s business, amounting to more than $1 million a year, according to Dave’s owner Dave Leong….

Leong, 66, started Dave’s in 1982 as a shop in Waianae serving scoops of Meadow Gold ice cream. Soon, though, Leong started making his own ice cream in the back of the shop, and now his factory in Pearl City Industrial Park can produce up to 50,000 gallons a month for six retail outlets operated under the Dave’s name, a handful of restaurants supplied directly by Dave’s such as Teddy’s Bigger Burgers and Big City Diner, supermarkets that sell pints of Dave’s ice cream and Meadow Gold….

Meadow Gold had made its own ice cream in Hawaii until 2003 when Dean Foods shut down what it said had become a money-losing operation.

Leong said Meadow Gold reached out to him shortly after that for a local supply because of logistics difficulties Meadow Gold encountered with importing ice cream for its Hawaii restaurant accounts….

read … Hawaii ice cream maker fears meltdown in wake of Meadow Gold restructuring

Enough lollygagging on upgrading old Red Hill fuel tanks

Shapiro: … One of the few things the current generation of government leadership excels at is passing vexing problems to future generations ….

read … Shapiro: Enough lollygagging on upgrading old Red Hill fuel tanks

Recycling is a Pipe Dream: Big Island Recycling Drops 17% in Decade

HTH: … Hawaii County’s rate of recycling or otherwise diverting garbage from the landfill dropped 48% in the past decade, according to a comprehensive report released Friday by a commission that meets once a decade to evaluate solid waste practices.

Recycling tonnage reported to the county by local businesses and the amount of recyclables managed by the county decreased from a 36.1% diversion rate in fiscal year 2009-10 to 20.8% in fiscal year 2017-18, and landfill disposal increased from 155,682 tons to 224,196 tons during the same period, the county’s draft Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan states….

(DO THE MATH: 155,682 x .361 = 56,201 tons diverted.  224,196 x .208 = 46,632 tons diverted.  Decrease of 17% --9,569 tons-- even as total garbage volume increases by 45%)

The county scheduled information sessions (conclaves of the Believers) on the 392-page plan for 5-7 p.m. Monday at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Gateway Visitor Center in Kailua-Kona and 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Aupuni Center conference room in Hilo. The information sessions are to answer the public’s questions about the plan prior to public hearings scheduled for Jan. 21 and 23, 2020….

Question: What will the Believers Do Without the Third Word to Cover their Hypocrisy? 

Answer: They will exploit their own failure to attack your use of plastic products.

UKG: 'Plastic recycling is a myth': what really happens to your rubbish?

HuffPo: Hawaii’s Most Populated Island Passes Sweeping Single-Use Plastic Ban

read … Recycling is Fake

Attorney indicted for alleged forged deed, real estate theft

HTH: … Hilo attorney Paul J. Sulla Jr. was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury on first-degree theft and second-degree forgery charges in connection with a narrow piece of land containing an easement road in lower Puna.

The two-count indictment states on or about Sept. 6, 2016, Sulla “with intent to defraud, falsely made, completed, endorsed or altered … a deed … .” It also states Sulla and Halai Heights LLC “as part of one scheme and/or a continuing course of conduct, intentionally obtained or exerted control over … a parcel of real estate … belonging to Leonard G. Horowitz and/or the Royal Bloodline of David, by deception,” with intent to deprive them of the property….

Sulla, 73, denied the allegations in the indictment and said, “It’s ridiculous.”

“This is part of the civil matter Horowitz has cooked up, now,” Sulla added. “We’re not stealing anything. … There’s no criminality in this.”

Damerville declined comment on the civil cases.

“(Sulla is) charged with forgery in the second degree, which involves a deed to a remnant of land, and he’s charged with theft in the first degree regarding that remnant of land, and he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” he said….

May, 2019: Hilo man indicted for allegedly possessing child porn

read … Attorney indicted for alleged forged deed, real estate theft

Five Welfare Fraud Cases in Kailua-Kona

WHT: … A real estate agent from Ka‘u, who appeared on HGTV’s “Hawaii Life,” and her husband, who were accused of illegally obtaining welfare benefits, were sentenced to probation and ordered to pay thousands in restitution to the state….

Meanwhile four separate, unrelated welfare fraud cases are making their way through Kona Circuit Court following indictments handed down by a Kona grand jury in early November.

Nani P. Widmer on Nov. 22 pleaded not guilty to first-degree theft and false swearing in an official matter. The state alleges Wildmer unlawfully collected public assistance, or SNAP, benefits totaling more than $20,000. Trial is set for February 2020.

Maricar A. Granadosin pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree theft and false swearing in an official matter. Granadosin is accused by the state of intentionally obtaining more than $20,000 in SNAP benefits. Trial is set for January 2020.

Sandra L. Cordero, charged with one count of first-degree theft for allegedly unlawfully obtaining more than $20,000 in public assistance, or SNAP, benefits, was slated to enter a plea Thursday.

Natasha R. Rein pleaded not guilty Nov. 22 to second-degree theft. The state alleges she unlawfully obtained more than $750 in SNAP benefits. Trial is set for January 2020….

read … Welfare Fraud

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