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Friday, November 14, 2014
November 14, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:40 PM :: 4522 Views

Maui Farm Bureau, Seed Growers File Suit to Overturn Maui GMO Ban

Federal Recognition for Hawaiians? A Peek at BIA’s Suffocating Bureaucracy

Courageous Hawaii Won Local Control of Public Lands With Statehood

Hawaii Ranks Third in Nationwide Access to Justice Study

China-U.S. “Climate” Accord

State: OHA Broke Sunshine Law to Rescind Kerry Letter (Full Text)

WHT: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs violated the state Sunshine Law when trustees corresponded by telephone and email before sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rescinding an earlier letter by Chief Executive Officer Kamanaopono Crabbe.

Then the board violated the law again when it refused to allow public comment before conducting a closed-door session discussing Crabbe’s conduct.

That’s the finding of the state Office of Information Practices in a Nov. 7 opinion responding to a complaint by six Hawaii residents.

“OHA’s argument that the trustees did not actually need to meet to decide on a response to the Crabbe letter because it was void is beside the point,”the opinion states. “OHA did, in fact, poll the trustees to obtain their agreement to send the recession letter, which they all signed.”

OHA has until Nov. 24 to ask OIP for a reconsideration or to appeal directly to court, OIP staff attorney Jennifer Brooks, who wrote the opinion, said Thursday. The complainants, Kaleo Oiwi, Donovan Preza, Robert Freitas Jr., Jim Smith, Tammie Perreira and Nanci Munroe, also have the right to take the matter to court.

“OIP does not have the power to give injunctive relief to void any (actions),” Brooks said. “That lies with the court.”

FULL TEXT: OIP OPINION

read ...  Broke Sunshine Law

Council OKs expanding sit-lie ban outside of Waikiki

SA: If signed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, people would be barred from sitting or lying on city sidewalks in certain business and commercial areas included in the bill.

While Caldwell initially raised concerns that the sit-lie ordinance could withstand constitutional muster, he has said in more recent months that he would consider signing it if city attorneys are comfortable with it.

Council members Brandon Elefante and Kymberly Pine voted against the plan....

But a majority of Council members said the bill is necessary to ensure city sidewalks are clear for all Oahu residents and assure that businesses are not affected by those blocking access to their shops....

read ... Victory

Homeless Dude Rotates between LA, SF and Hawaii

SFE: ...Sandler yells at tourists who take his photo without tipping him, that he falsely claims to work at stores at Fisherman's Wharf, and that he intimidates merchants, employees and tourists with offensive rants.

Trujillo and Catalona confirmed that Sandler has been living in a van near Stern Grove in the Sunset for the past eight months and that he lives a transient lifestyle, often traveling between Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Francisco.

Sandler's father, who resides in Ashland, Ore., has offered to pay the expenses to place Sandler in a treatment facility in that state, Trujillo said.

read ... Flying Homeless

Brother of Peter Boy Kema reacts to new leads in the murder case

HNN: It's the question that has haunted Hawaii Island for years: Where is Peter Boy Kema Jr.?

"I wish I knew. I wish I knew, I don't,” says Allan Acol, Peter Boy's older brother.

The 6-year old Hilo boy was murdered in 1997.

The parents, Peter Kema, Senior and Jaylin Kema, have always been the only suspects.

Thousands of pages of CPS files show a pattern of abuse that Peter Boy and his siblings suffered at the hands of their parents. The state took away the kids at one point, but returned them to the Kemas. And Acol says the abuse resumed.

“I know Peter has something to do with it,” says Acol of his step-father, “My mom, probably knows something, in fact, I guarantee she knows something."

HNN: In first television interview, Peter Boy's sister recalls the day he died

read ... Peter Boy Case

Upheaval at Hawaii drug-busting agency could prove costly

KHON: Burnett’s attorney David Simons sees things differently. “The only reason Burnett has been given, when they came out to his house where he was sick that day on Dec. 17 and literally fired him in the parking lot of the condo where he lived, was that there’d been a lapse in his security clearance,” he said.

It’s a clearance that Burnett — and others fired for the same reason — had just renewed a couple weeks earlier.

Simons said he suspects it was just a pretext for something else by some on the board, which is made up of the heads of the law enforcement agencies. Simons said before Burnett got the axe, he complained he was owed lots of back pay from contracted salary hikes, and thinks Burnett and several other HIDTA staffers were ousted after Burnett blew the whistle on some federal compliance issues.

But some say there was a money mess at HIDTA under Burnett, with thousands of dollars in equipment and expenses untraceable.

Always Investigating took a look at the records — obtained from an open-records request to one of their fiduciary agencies — and found spending under Burnett’s tenure, with board approval, for things like $138,000 for recarpeting rented offices at Waterfront Plaza, or $14,000 for an out-of-state anti-drug group to come to Hawaii to coach marketing.

A University of Hawaii agency called RCUH, meant to support research and training, took on HIDTA as a client to process money for payroll and some expenses. The RCUH system happens to feather a retirement nest with a higher-than-average savings pace, too....

read ... Upheval

B&Bs could be paying more in property taxes

HNN: Price pays about $4,000 a year in property taxes, plus a General Excise Tax and a Hotel Room Tax. Now the Real Property Tax Advisory Commission is suggesting parameters to the City Council for a new tax classification for B&Bs and Transient Vacation Units that's not based on zoning.

"This different class would be based on your use of the property as a B&B or a TVU," commission chairman Ray Kamikawa said.

He said the new rate would fall between the residential property tax rate of $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value and what hotels and resorts pay -- $12.90 per $1,000.

"I don't see them being taxed at the highest rates, perhaps something either at residential or a little bit higher than that," Kamikawa said.

But Price insists any additional tax would hurt.

"I don't think I can stay in business this way," she said.

Kamikawa said the new tax could give the city and state leverage to force compliance from thousands of vacation rental owners and B&B operators who operate outside the tax collector's net.

read ... B&Bs could be paying more in property taxes

GMOs: Face of a Demagogue

KE: I've been both fascinated and repelled by the glorified demagoguery of the anti-GMO movement in Hawaii.

It is not to be confused with demigod — the status to which anti-GMO activist Dustin Barca elevated himself with a crude cartoon depicting him as the “Hawaiian Superman,” a reference to the demigod Maui.

No, demagoguery is something different — more deliberate, more dangerous, more destructive to democracy, more insidious.

As a friend characterized it:

I'm good because you're bad. We are virtuous because you are evil. Oh, and a truck will come by in the morning to escort you to your re-education camp.

The rhetoric espoused by Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser has offered countless classic examples of demagoguery. But nothing seemed to portray the dynamic quite so vividly as this Facebook post by Ashley Lukens, the director of the mainland-based Center for Food Safety ....

News from Kauai: Alleged Pothead Dentist Allegedly Shoots Dog

read ... Face of a Demagogue

Farmers Will Seek Dismissal of Suit by GMO Activists

MN: ...Regarding the SHAKA lawsuit filed Wednesday, Carol Reimann, Monsanto Hawaii community and government affairs manager, said that the company was reviewing it.

"It appears this suit is inappropriate for the courts to decide as it seeks remedies that courts cannot provide," she said. "It is very likely we will promptly move to dismiss it. The legal validity of the ordinance under existing state and federal laws is the real issue, and that issue will be decided by a federal court."....

read ... Morons to be Dismissed

HCDA Tries to Slip New Wedding Complex in to Kakaako

SA: Renderings for a four-building, two-story futuristic complex were printed in the April-May edition of a Japanese magazine, which called the project "a new Honolulu landmark."

Fortunately, that pronouncement was premature: The project is now being dramatically revamped, partly due to feedback....

Where a tree-lined 70-stall parking lot now sits, the Japanese developer had conceptualized a barrier-like complex blocking Kewalo sightlines from Ala Moana Beach Park as well from Ala Moana Boulevard. Its proposal had included small restaurants, a wedding chapel, a shopping arcade and a 250-stall parking garage.

Its over-scale recalls the "sore thumb" aspect of the two-story, restaurant-wedding chapel that currently sits across Kewalo Basin at the former John Dominis restaurant site. The sudden emergence of that Mediterranean-style complex two years ago remains an alarming reminder of what can quickly sprout absent needed public attention.

read ... Kakaako

New Legislature Brings Hope for Police Reform

CB: Hawaii lawmakers should approve a measure to create a statewide police training and standards board.

SA: HPD officer pleads not guilty to fondling allegation

read ... Reform

Lawsuit alleges overly aggressive security officers at airport

KHON: The Transportation Security Administration, sheriffs and private security guards hired by the state are all supposed to keep Hawaii’s airports safe.

But one viewer contacted KHON2 via Report It asking why the private security officers are armed and why some wear uniforms similar to those worn by police.

Some say those officers are being overly aggressive because they’ve been given police powers.

There was even an incident where a cab driver says he was roughed up by several security officers.

HNN: Security guard impersonating cop, pulls over cop near Airport

read ... Lawsuit

Electrical failure at Hawaii prison still not fixed after a month

KHON: Prison officials say they are working to get the electrical system back up and running.

Earlier this week, they fixed the problem affecting the cells housing the prison’s most dangerous inmates.

The next focus will be the 124 cells in module four where doors still have to be opened manually.

The project to fix the current problem will cost more than $260,000.

“We do have some old facilities and technology will certainly help us when we do build these facilities with better security and safely all around,” said Senator Will Espero.

The work to fix the other areas should take two to four weeks, but the big fix will come later next year and will cost $8 million. That work will fix the whole system.

read ... Electrical

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