OHA Announces 'Consortium' to Create Fake Indian Tribe
Trade: European Parliament Calls for Jones Act Reform
Income Tax Per Capita: Hawaii Ranks 15th
Big Law vs. Honolulu's Not-So-Big Law
Eminent Domain Docfilm "Battle For Brooklyn" Now Streaming
Precisely as Predicted: OHA Trustees Pleased with Ige's Mauna Kea Plan
KHON: OHA trustees say the Governor's plan reflects the basic position of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- which is that the focus moving forward needs to not just be TMT, but the management of all of Mauna Kea.
OHA trustee Rowena Akana says Governor Ige's proposal affords an opportunity for a complete revision of the way Mauna Kea is safe-guarded.
"While the mountain holds many different things and feelings for different people, but for me the bottom line -- is if you cannot take care of the land then you should not be in charge of it. You should not be able to manage it," said Akana.
Governor David Ige says that's exactly why he has asked the University of Hawaii to voluntarily return over 10,000 acres of Mauna Kea land that is not needed for astronomy and start a new review of the consequences of development.
"We're asking the university to re-file the application for the lease extension and as part of that -- it does require a full environmental impact statement, which has to include a cultural impact statement as well. So we do hope there is an opportunity for many to weigh in and provide additional comments on management of Mauna Kea," said Ige....
read ... OHA responds to Governor's Mauna Kea plan
Ige's plan for Mauna Kea raises many questions
Borreca: ...Although Ige's communications officers said he was in a rush when he made the announcement and didn't clarify the announcement, it appears that the new super cultural committee would be in addition to the existing Office of Mauna Kea Management (http://www.malamamaunakea.org).
There is already an approved "comprehensive management plan" dripping with subcommittee plans for taking down telescopes, public access and management of natural and cultural resources.
And there is already a cultural resource committee, called Kahu Ku Mauna, to help with Hawaiian cultural matters.
The new Ige culture committee would also have the dicey job of enforcing Ige's wish that "anyone going on the mountain must receive training in the cultural aspects of the mountain and how to be respectful to the cultural areas."
Folks from the Big Island might be thinking of a Hilo tradition of marching all the kids up the mountain during snowfalls to play in the chilly white stuff.
"I've been taking my family up for 25 years. We have a blast," said Preston Mendoza, a Hilo truck driver.
"From when I was young," he added, "I was taught the mountain was sacred and to stay away from the places where people pray, and I have taught my kids that, but anyone who wants and can be respectful of the mountain should be able to go."
Asked about the powers of the new culture council, Ige was vague, saying, "We are working on those details; specifically, I am working with the department (DLNR) so as we identify people to serve."
And asked if the new council would somehow get the power to halt construction or change the plans, Ige said, "We will be working through the specific details and when we have them, we will make that announcement."
Like much of the Ige administration so far, this new plan has been done in the dark, so the public has no idea if the governor is reaching for the stars or a star chamber....
read ... Questions
OHA Burns Another $2.6M on Fake Indian Tribe
SA: ...Na'i Aupuni, a group of five volunteer and unpaid directors with ties (pretensions) to Hawaiian royalty, has been given nearly $2.6 million originally earmarked for the effort aimed at moving Native Hawaiians a step closer to self-determination as authorized by the state under Act 195.
"This is an encouraging sign for our efforts to empower Native Hawaiians to determine their own future through a process that is open to all of them," OHA Chairman Robert K. Lindsey Jr. said in a news release.
The group, which formed in December, is already working with a fiscal sponsor, the nonprofit Akamai Foundation; has hired an attorney, William Meheula; and retained a public relations firm, Pacific Communications.
There is also a new website -- naiaupuni.org.
read ... Who is getting the $2.6M
Ethics: Rail Votes Illegal
SA: Chuck Totto, the executive director of the Ethics Commission, said Wednesday that his staff believes Garcia's votes on rail and Kapolei development projects should be invalidated because he had failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest related to those projects....
The ruling is raising eyebrows at Honolulu Hale about the validity of votes related to both projects because Garcia's case stems from allegations made by former Councilman Romy Cachola last fall that he was being unfairly signaled out when the Ethics Commission fined Cachola for accepting improper gifts.
Cachola said that besides himself and Garcia, four other current and former Council members also accepted free meals and golf rounds from Aina Nui Corp., master developer of Kapolei, and its predecessor, the former Campbell Estate, as well as Pacific Resource Partnership, the pro-rail political action group that spent millions to support pro-rail candidates.
Neither Cachola, Garcia or the other four Council members declared a potential conflict when voting on matters pertaining to the development of rail or Kapolei and as a result, Cachola said, those votes should be nullified.
Totto, in response to questions by the Star-Advertiser, agreed with Cachola that Garcia's votes should be invalidated.
"Because (Garcia) did not disclose the conflict before voting on the lobbyists' measures, his vote would be nullified," Totto said. "Then the Council would have to determine whether the subtraction of his vote would change whether the measure passed." ...
Michael Green, the attorney who represented Cachola in his Ethics Commission case, said it's clear to him and his client that the votes made by the Council members should be invalidated.
"You have to announce the potential conflict (before a vote)," Green said. "If you don't, your vote is void, not voidable, void."
Longtime rail opponent Cliff Slater maintains the commission's advisory opinion involving Garcia will ultimately lead to the Council's votes being invalidated.
But if the invalidated votes are the only issue, he said, the current Council today will likely vote again and advance the project "given political realities," he said....
read ... About something they will worm out of
Judge Continues Hearing on HSTA Election Lawsuit
SA: An ongoing dispute over the results of a recent Hawaii State Teachers Association election for president and other officers to lead the teachers union has made its way to the courts.
Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee, who said he was elected president of the 13,500-member union, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Circuit Court to get the HSTA to accept the results of the election and block a new vote scheduled for next week.
A status conference Thursday afternoon with Circuit Judge Gary Chang on the request for a temporary restraining order to halt the election slated for Tuesday is scheduled to be continued Friday morning.
SA: "Obvious the present leadership is unhappy with the winners and is trying to invalidate a perfectly honest outcome"
read ... Teacher sues over union election
Corrupt Halau Lokahi charter school closes
KITV: The Halau Lokahi charter school in Kalihi officially closes on Friday after failing to meet standards of fiscal management.
read ... B-Bye
Private Colleges now Competitive with UH Manoa on Tuition
CB: ...some major private colleges such as Hawaii Pacific University ($20,930) and Chaminade University ($20,810) have tuition rates that are fairly competitive with UH-Manoa....Resident tuition at UH Manoa is at least $10,610 per year and non-resident, $29,402.....
read ... Going to College in Hawaii Is No Longer a Bargain
Regents: UH Should Maintain Costly Administrative Structure
KL: The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Board of Regents (BOR) determined the roles of president and chancellor should remain separate following an analysis of the system’s leadership structure.
The BOR sought counsel from the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE) to create an analysis report of the current structure and governance of the UH system.
read ... Regents
East-West Center President to Vacate Post Next Summer
CB: The Honolulu research and education institution has been run by Charles Morrison since 1998 and now faces significant funding questions.
read ... About Another UH Administrator
Suit alleges community college fraudulently collected student fees
HTH: A new class-action lawsuit claims Hawaii Community College fraudulently collected “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in student fees throughout the past decade.
The complaint was lodged May 21 in Hilo Circuit Court by lawyers representing three students who formerly served as student government officials.
Just more than a year ago, complaints made by the plaintiffs — former student government treasurer David Canning, former Student Activities Board treasurer Marieta Carino, and former student government president Eric Aranug — spurred then-state Sen. President Donna Mercado Kim to call upon the University of Hawaii Board of Regents to investigate the collection and use of student funds at the college.
read ... Fraud
Psychological Factors Behind Hawaii's High Health Scores
HP: Here are three other things Hawaii is doing right:
1. Hawaiians don't smoke -- According to a 2015 study published in the journal PLOS, heavy smokers were more likely to be obese than their non-smoking counterparts....
2. Hawaii is food secure -- A 2012 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that food insecure adults were 32 percent more likely than food secure adults to be obese. In the new Gallup survey, 17 percent of Americans reported that they didn't have enough money to buy food at least one time in 2014. In comparison, only 12 percent of Hawaii residents said they felt food insecure during that period.
3. Hawaiians benefits from low levels of depression -- Mental health is another important, but often overlooked, obesity factor....
read ... How Hawaii Became One Of The Healthiest States In The Nation
HGEA, UPW Members Continue to Abuse Dogs, Cats in Quarantine
CB: ...Charles Boggus says it was a lack of attentive care that caused his 3-year-old bulldog, Lola, to become overheated at the facility last year. When Boggus went to visit his dog Aug. 2, Lola was panting and unresponsive in her kennel.
Prior to Lola’s arrival in July 2014, Boggus said he asked the animal handlers to rinse her with water to prevent her from overheating. But a month later, Lola was having difficulty breathing. Her temperature was 107.1 degrees, so Boggus decided to take her to Waipahu Waikele Animal Hospital.
“She was leaning up against the kennel gate, her paws were bleeding … she was gasping for her breath,” said Shelly Boggus, Charles’ wife. “It’s quite apparent that (staff members) were neglectful of her needs that day.”...
“My dogs are being underfed and when addressed, the staff said that they would stop feeding them if we didn’t like how they ran things,” Crystal Whisenant commented on one petition.
“It is one of those state facilities that are run at the convenience of the staff instead of the people and animals that they’re supposed to serve,” said Goeggel.
She said her cat died while in quarantine at the Halawa facility before the state allowed direct airport release. She blames a a lack of attentive care.
Another pet owner, Mimi Forsyth, said her cat, Marco Polo, had to spend the majority of his quarantine period in an animal hospital after getting sick in quarantine. Her other two cats lost half their body weight in quarantine, she said.
read ... Union Job Trust
Interview with DPS Director
SA: "Success on parole ... is the goal of the correctional system. ... There's a bunch of people who get left behind, because they can't even behave in prison. These (who succeed) are the people who have done everything we've asked them to do."
read ... Interview
Soft on Crime: Latest Work Furlough Escapee is Multiple Rapist
KHON: Daniel Seyler left Wednesday at 5:15 a.m. from Laumaka to go to work and failed to return at 10:30 p.m.
Honolulu police confirmed he was arrested just after 5 p.m. Thursday in Pearl City.
KHON2 looked into his criminal records and discovered a long list — 17 pages with a total of 61 charges that go back to 1984, which includes multiple sex assaults.
He’s also been convicted of theft, violating parole and abuse of a family member.
He was serving time for second-degree assault and failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. Public safety officials said he updated the registry and was in compliance before being allowed to participate in the furlough program.
So once again, we’re asking prison officials why this keeps happening and whether some of these inmates really belong on the streets.
This latest escape comes just nine days after lawmakers grilled the Department of Public Safety about the rash of inmates who keep escaping while on the work furlough program....
Seyler next parole hearing is scheduled for September of this year and he faces an additional escape charge.
He is a community custody inmate in the work furlough program with pass privileges. Community custody is the lowest classification status.
Always Investigating looked into Seyler’s background and found his whereabouts were wrong on the state’s inmate status and victim notification website VINELink.com (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).
The site listed him as “in custody” at OCCC when he really was out of custody on work furlough. The listings of dozens of other inmates were also wrong.
The Department of Public Safety said its private vendor was backed up on inputting the latest information.
But after Always Investigating called the state about Seyler’s wrong information, it was immediately corrected....
read ... Soft on Crime
TRO: Lose all guns, Face Criminal Charges
CB: Let’s be clear: we all strive to be law-abiding citizens, we value our police officers who work to keep us safe — and none of us actually want to go to jail.
But let’s suppose you have inherited one or more hunting rifles or shotguns, passed down through one or more generations. They’ve simply always been in your family’s house; some of them don’t even work anymore. And let’s suppose a neighbor has it in for you and decides to call the police and ask for a TRO (temporary restraining order), after alleging ex parte (one-sided communication) that he or she is afraid of you. If a TRO is in effect, the police are allowed to ask if you have any weapons, and if you say yes, they can take them, immediately, until a judge sorts it all out a week — or a month — later.
Then let’s suppose you go to Court and the Judge finds no merit to the TRO, vacates it, and tells you that you can go to the police station and get your rifles back.
Notwithstanding that you have no prior record, or outstanding charges, warrants or fines, here’s what might happen: the police can tell you that since your weapons — which have been in your possession for decades — are not legally registered to you, you can’t have them back.
And it gets worse: not only can’t you get your rifles back, you then find the police have filed multiple criminal charges against you, one for each shotgun, all alleged violations of HRS, Section 134-3(b), because you did not register your family heirlooms within five days of possessing them. Each violation is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
This is exactly what happened back in August 2014, to a Native Hawaiian subsistence hunter here on Lanai....
read ... Dear Gun Guys: That Hunting Rifle in Your Closet May Be a Problem
Handi-Van Leaderless, Drifting Until At Least August
KHON: Problems linger for the city’s Handi-Van system, a service that’s endured ongoing complaints from customers.
Even after improvements, passengers told us sometimes they have to wait hours just for the van to arrive.
We’ve been following The Handi-Van issues and fixes since last year and on Thursday, we got an update from officials.
“The wait times that he is saying residents are having is not the wait times that we’re hearing of. We’re hearing an hour to an hour-and-a-half wait times,” said Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine....
The Handi-Van is also launching a new app so customers can track where their Handi-Van is and when it’s expected to arrive.
But some say tardiness and staffing issues aren’t the only problems.
Customer Debra Burrows complained about a lack of communication, saying she canceled a service well before her pickup time, but the vehicle still arrived.
“You’re wasting resources like that. I talked to a human being who answered the phone. You waste time, a driver, a van, fuel,” said Burrows.
Officials are still searching for someone to lead The Handi-Van. The former vice president was reassigned earlier this month.
A list of candidates should be in place by August.
read ... Candidate for Privatization