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Saturday, March 07, 2020
March 7, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:32 PM :: 1986 Views

21 Infected on Corona Virus Cruise Ship Which Made Four Stops in Hawaii

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review

UHERO: Making a High-Quality State Revenue/Tax System

186 Candidates File for Election

200-year anniversary of the arrival of the American Protestant Missionaries in Hawaiʻi

DNC Changes Debate Rules to Exclude Tulsi Gabbard

Criminal Al Hee’s Scam Company Sold at Auction to Stop Insiders from Stealing Assets

SA: … A U.S. marshal on Friday auctioned vital assets of Sandwich Isles Communications Inc., including 109 miles of fiber-optic cable, a state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands license agreement, computer operating systems, offices on several islands and about 150 acres of real estate (TMK#950020030000 at 77-808 KAMEHAMEHA HWY Mililani 162.8 ac along the H2 opposite Mililani Tech Park assessed at $9.9M)….

(Not mentioned in story: The trustee rushed to get this auction scheduled because Hee family insiders were trying to shift ownership of the 150 ac of land in Mililani, thus taking it out of the assets creditors can seize for repayment of the debts that the criminal Hee and his cronies ran up while running SIC.  The insiders failed.)

The high (only) bidder for the assets was a court-appointed trustee representing (the creditors of) another company established by Hee and owned by Hee’s three children, Paniolo Cable Co., which was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy by creditors two years ago….

Michael Katzenstein, a corporate restructuring expert with Washington, D.C-based firm FTI Consulting Inc. who serves as Paniolo Cable’s trustee, won a $257 million judgment against Sandwich Isles in January on behalf of Paniolo’s creditors after filing the equivalent of a lawsuit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu last year….

Katzenstein and Paniolo Cable don’t have to pay anyone $2.5 million because that sum essentially will be deducted from the $257 million Sandwich Isles owes Paniolo Cable…..

Friday’s sale could allow for the assets of Sandwich Isles to be resold to a new owner in conjunction with the assets of Paniolo Cable.

Paniolo Cable owns about 358 miles of undersea and overland fiber-optic lines linking Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii island.

A bankruptcy sale of Paniolo Cable assets is set for a bid and auction procedure later this month and early next month.

A bid deadline is March 27, and an auction to entertain higher competing bids could be held April 6, according to court documents….

According to FCC documents, Paniolo Cable’s fiber-optic network is a valuable asset with enough capacity to provide broadband service to the entire state, though only a small fraction of that capacity has been used….

read … Hawaii telecom companies started by Albert Hee being liquidated

Hee Family: Garbage and Fraud Timeline

2005: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off

2005-08 Recycling Fraud pollutes the Sacred Aina: Crushed glass was trucked to the farm from 2005 to 2008 by Honolulu Recovery System, which received $1.03 million from the city

2012: Illegal Construction Dumping on SIC Property

2014: Deutsch Bank v Ho’opa’a Ins CV1400033 (Ho’opa’a is another Hee company a Hawaii captive insurer)

2014: Corruption: Al Hee Indicted on 13 Counts--Could Get 39 Years in Federal Prison

2018: Criminal Al Hee's Scam Company Sandwich Isles Communications Closing--All Workers Laid Off

2019: SIC mortgages Mililani parcel to Ho’opa’a Insurance Corp  Land Court #T10634225

Feb 3, 2020 Court Ruling Civ. No. 18-00145 JMS-RT: “The United States has explained that, while this action has been pending, Sandwich Isles has ‘purported to convey to its affiliates an interest in its significant real property in Mililani, Hawaii.’"

Failed Strategy: Telescope Truce Yields only Defeat

SA: … For about five months through last December, protesters camped at Mauna Kea Access Road successfully blocked the start of TMT construction. The state and county spent millions of dollars to have law enforcement on-site but failed to dislodge the protests, which only grew in size, resolve and support. A truce, which promised no construction in exchange for unblocking of the road, ended last Saturday — with little word on what comes next.

Instead came discouraging news of the Japanese backer’s funding suspension, plus reports that TMT’s India and China partners were increasingly looking at the less optimal, but more palatable, backup site of Spain’s Canary Islands. Gov. David Ige and Big Island Mayor Harry Kim can’t simply stand aside and watch that happen. The Mauna Kea road for TMT is getting steeper, and that’s a shame….

read … TMT on the ropes

Senate unanimously votes to approve $37M teacher compensation bill

PBN: … The Hawaii Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill authorizing more than $37 million for teacher compensation throughout the state, clearing a significant hurdle in the Legislature this week.

The measure, Senate Bill 2488, would significantly bolster the pay of many Island educators with more than $26 million allocated for teacher pay differentials and/or salary adjustments. Additionally, the bill allocates $1.9 million for public charter school teachers as well as additional costs including $9 million for retirement benefits that would accrue if passed.

The bill has since moved over to the House….

read … Senate unanimously votes to approve $37M teacher compensation bill

SB2077 Copies 1980s Failure: DLNR to Manage Megabux Giveaway to Profitable Nonprofits—1 M Trees per Year

SA: …In the 1980s former Hawaii first lady Jean Ariyoshi was one of the leaders of an effort similar to Mora’s — the “A Million Trees of Aloha” campaign, which led to the planting of over a million trees across the state, including on Diamond Head.

“At Diamond Head in particular, they planted, I believe, around 1,000 or so trees. … Of that planting, one tree survived,” said Yara Lamadrid-Rose, Diamond Head Park coordinator. “A lot of it is weather-dependent: You plant the trees, you irrigate them and once you cut the irrigation … they tend to die, especially in Diamond Head.”

Lamadrid-Rose said the lone tree, a monkeypod, may have survived because it “tapped into a waterline.”

But “trying to get there without doing the homework is just a recipe for disaster,” Mora said, adding that possible failure might be used as an excuse not to try again in the future.

Mora has reservations about SB 2077 because he said he does not believe enough planning has been done to keep most of the trees alive.

SB2077: Text, Status “Disburse funds to an appropriate county agency or qualified nonprofit organization.”

Reality: Lawsuits Close in on Hawaii’s Largest Carbon Credit Scheme

read … Hawaii lawmakers considering legislative proposal to plant 1M native trees annually

Maui to Ban all Single Family Dwelling Vacation Rentals?

MN: … Rental owners, managers and real estate agents decried an idea to phase out short-term rentals in single-family dwellings, saying it would penalize legal small businesses that work hard to follow rules….

The department is mulling the phaseout of short-term rentals for single-family residential homes, which are permitted to rent for fewer than 180 days.

As of Dec. 31, there are 229 permits issued (118 property owners have Hawaii addresses; 111 property owners have Mainland or international addresses).

Vacation rentals in condos or hotels and those with conditional permits would not be impacted. Also, bed and breakfasts are not included.

Speaking before more than 100 passionate and at times unruly attendees Friday afternoon, Planning Department Director Michele McLean repeated that the phaseout is in discussion stages only, and no bill has been drafted….

Friday’s meeting comes on the heels of the council’s recent decision to establish a cap of zero STRH permits for the island of Molokai, which will phase out 17 existing permits.

In discussing a phaseout for Maui and Lanai, the Planning Department pointed to community concerns that people no longer know their neighbors in residential areas with STRHs. Also, officials said that the original STRH bill was partially intended to rid the county of illegal rentals, which it did not.

“The original intent was to get properties into compliance; this 229 is in compliance,” McLean said. “This did not stop the illegals….

RC: Add Local Airbnb Conditions to Your Home-Buying Checklist

read … Short-term rental talk draws crowd

Its Lahaina, again: Bum Threatens Officers with Rebar after Robbing other bums

MN: … During a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Wailuku District Court, Pellazar and two other Lahaina patrol officers identified Dexter Lara as the suspect wielding the rebar.

Judge Kirstin Hamman ruled there was sufficient evidence to support charges of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening against Lara, 56, of Lahaina.

He is also charged with third-degree assault and fourth-degree theft.

A 17-year-old boy testified he had been sleeping after work in the driver’s seat of his car, parked near the church on Wainee Street, when he heard banging and woke up. The back window behind his seat had been rolled down and a man was going through the car, the teenager said.

He said the man started throwing clothes out the car window before wrapping a pair of gray joggers around his hand and punching the boy twice in his face. “He was threatening me if I didn’t get out of my car, he would kill me,” the teenager said.

He said he called 911 and gave his location before he dropped his phone, which fell on the seat next to him.

Police officers were dispatched to the church at about 2:10 a.m. Responding to the call, Pellazar said she saw Lara standing outside a silver four-door Honda sedan and clothing all over the ground. In the car, she saw a younger male “crunched down, hiding in the passenger floorboard.”

When she asked Lara what he was doing, “he just started yelling,” Pellazar said.

“He seemed agitated,” she said. “He was bouncing around.”

When Pellazar tried to talk to Lara, he turned and walked across the street to Waiola Church, she said. She said Lara continued yelling and swearing as he walked into the graveyard, where he pulled the rebar out of the ground….

He said he was familiar with Lara from an earlier case that night involving trespassing at a shelter.

Lara was being held in lieu of $22,000 bail.  (Thank God for cash bail!)

read… Bumfight at the Lahaina Corral

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