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Wednesday, July 8, 2015
July 8, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:59 PM :: 4758 Views

Cops, Killers, and Corruption in the Aloha State

Puerto Rico’s Financial Troubles Revive Discussion of Jones Act Reform

Heroes Housing Heroes to help end veteran homelessness

DHHL Consultation Meetings on Proposed NextEra Maui Windfarm

Battery Hype Debunked

Tax Spirits? In Hawaii its $5.98 / gallon

Hawaii: $100 Worth only $86.06

Na'i Aupuni-Mauna Kea Connection

UH might formally ban student-faculty Sexual Activities

HNN: Following a national trend, the University of Hawaii might formally prohibit romantic relationships between faculty and students.

UH is one of more than 50 universities across the country that is under investigation by the U.S. Education Department for how it handles sexual assault allegations.

For years, UH had a policy that discourages sexual relationships between faculty and students but did not prohibit them.

Philip Kitamura, a UH Manoa sophomore, said student-faculty relationships are no big deal.

"We have a biology teacher and we know that he goes out with a student of his from an upper class but it doesn't seem to be a problem at all.  It doesn't seem to be a problem at all.  We don't hear about her getting away with stuff, or getting away without passing tests," Kitamura said.

A committee of UH faculty and staff from campuses across the state is working to come up with a “draft policy on consensual relationships that is consistent with policies at educational institutions across the country,” the UH said in a written statement.

UH Manoa Women's Studies Chair Meda Chesney-Lind sits on the panel and said, "We're in the process, I think, of crafting a policy that's going to be a lot clearer and will avoid the kind of terrible problems that we've had over the years with students who felt coerced."....

Related: Sexual Paranoia: Why Professors Are Becoming Scared of Their Students

read ... Party Time is Over.  Dozens of Perfessers will Quit due to boredom.

No Pule: Civil Beat Doubles Down in attack on Native Hawaiian Charter Schools

CB: Jessica Terrell’s recent Civil Beat report on whether school prayer is crossing a line at some Hawaii charter schools begs serious questions that the Hawaii Charter Schools Commission now should answer — if not to effectively meet its oversight responsibilities, then to prepare for issues that soon may be coming to it from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission....

These questions are coming to the fore due to a Civil Rights Commission complaint filed by Kawaikini Charter School Business Manager Stuart Rosenthal, who has been complaining for some time about frequent, compulsory Christian prayers that he said often start the day at Kawaikini....

NOTE: CB Opinion Editor is gay activist Todd Simmons.  Do the math.

read ... Gays vs Hawaiians (again)

Protesters' Portable bathrooms on Mauna Kea removed

HNN: A handicap access and two other portable bathrooms were removed from the Visitor Center area around 2 p.m. Tuesday, after Kona Lua officials received a letter from the Department of Land and Natural Resources saying they did not have the authorization to install the porta-potties on the mountain and would face fines of up to $10,000 a day if they were not taken down within 48 hours.

The porta-potties were donated to TMT protesters by residents and a few local businesses who wanted to show their support for the group that calls themselves protectors of Mauna Kea. The bathrooms were open to everyone -- including the hundreds of visitors who still make their way to the mountain -- even though the summit is closed.

The portable restrooms were installed ten days ago, after the Office of Mauna Kea Management closed the Visitor's Center and their bathrooms. State officials also locked several porta-potties they were maintaining and shut off the water.

read ... Removed

Don Horner Stepping Down as Chair of Board of Education

CB: Gov. David Ige will be selecting a new chair for the state Board of Education after Don Horner announced plans on Tuesday to step down from the position later this month.

Horner, a former First Hawaiian Bank CEO, has served as chair of the BOE since 2011, and was the first to hold the post after the board switched from elected to appointed. He said he’ll remain on the board for now.

read ... Horner

HB553: Allow UH Grad Students Union

SA: Graduate students at UH-Manoa provide critical services to the university and the state of Hawaii, yet the UH administration has consistently displayed a not-so-benign neglect of our welfare. Unfortunately, it appears that the governor may now be joining it. The graduate student body at UH is incredibly diverse and comes from within the state, around the country, and all over the globe. We are expected to teach courses, mentor undergraduates, volunteer in the community, and conduct research that vastly contributes to making UH a great academic institution.

In return, we are paid wages near the poverty level and treated as expendable workers. Because of this historic mistreatment, graduate students at UH-Manoa lobbied for House Bill 553, which would change Hawaii Revised Statute 89-6, the law that currently denies us our constitutionally guaranteed rights to collective bargaining. In a historic move, the state Legislature passed the bill almost unanimously. Surprisingly, despite this overwhelming show of support for graduate assistants from the Legislature, Gov. Ige is threatening to veto the bill.

read ... Union

How Hawaii Lawmakers Spend Up to $13,000 a Year — Each

CB: State ethics director Les Kondo may be under fire, but he seems to have gotten their attention. A review of this year’s spending shows legislators are much less inclined to spend public money on questionable expenses....

read ... Worth $13K?

Ige, Martin Conspire to Identify Site for New Homeless Tent City

KHON: City Council chairman Ernie Martin and Gov. David Ige met Tuesday to discuss the homeless situation in Kakaako. They’re trying to come up with a plan to move the homeless out of the area.

After their meeting, Martin said they’ve identified a couple of potential locations, but this will be only an interim measure.

“I think on his part, from the state’s perspective,” he said, “they’re looking at various alternatives including potential sites that we can use to accommodate some of the people at Kakaako.”

read ... Tent City

Accused Scammer Tries 'Sovereignty Defense'

ILind: The FBI is looking for a local woman who disappeared just two weeks before her scheduled trial on multiple charges of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and is now considered a fugitive....

In court filings, Mctigue, who is representing herself, argued that the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over her because of the “illegal” overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom. Her long, rambling motion to dismiss the case on this basis was rejected by the court in no uncertain terms.

Memo to file: If you’re really in trouble, don’t try to rely on the sovereignty defense. It doesn’t work. Trust me.

...several people convicted in a Maui debt elimination scheme grounded in Hawaiian sovereignty claims used similar kinds of paperwork in their scam (see “On scams and the sovereignty narrative“).

This also put the group on the radar of the Anti-Defamation League, which mentioned the Hawaii case in an overview of the Sovereign Citizen Movement (“The Lawless Ones: The Resurgence of the Sovereign Citizen Movement“).

read  ... Another example of the cross-over between Hawaiian sovereignty and right-wing antigovernment groups

Canceled Solar Park: HECO Wants to Rely on NextEra-owned Production

CB: New accusations are now whipping back and forth between HECO and the lone surviving Energy Park developer. SunEdison has accused HECO of engaging in repeated delays and suggested that the utility hoped the project might fail so it could expand its rate base (what it charges us) by continuing to rely on utility-owned resources.

read ... Why Hawaii Missed Out on a Much-Needed Solar Project

Takes lot of green to live green

SA: Let's face it: Most of us will never have the resources it takes to buy a solar-power storage battery at today's prices and go "off the grid," as entrepreneur Henk Rogers does....

Meanwhile: Battery Hype Debunked

read ... Environmentalism is an Inequality machine

Ige Signs Bill Wasting Another $4M on Phony Hi-Tech Companies

KHON: State agencies responsible for promoting and improving innovation and technology in Hawaii received a $4 million boost at a bill-signing ceremony held in Governor Ige’s office Tuesday.

The legislation of HB 1069, developed and supported by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and the state’s High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), will provide grants to startups, manufacturers and small businesses leveraging technology to develop new products and processes and increase energy efficiency.

More: Audit: State Gave Away $1B Act 221 Tax Credits Without Verification of Eligibility

read ... Corporate Welfare

Supreme Court Rules Chief's Wife is Competent to Pursue Gambling Case

HNN: The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Honolulu city prosecutors to restart a major gambling case.

The justices ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge Randal Lee was wrong to disqualify Deputy Prosecutors Katherine Kealoha and Jacob Delaplane from pursuing the case. The two made mistakes in their indictment against nine game room owners and employees, and Lee said they were too inexperienced for the case.

However, the High Court said the prosecutors were competent and the case should have proceeded.

Judge Lee has since been fired.

read ... Competent

FBI Airport payoff investigation

HNN: For nearly two years, the FBI has been conducting an undercover sting at Honolulu Airport, looking into allegations of payoffs demanded by private security guards.

"I made payments, I took recordings, took videos and I made a lot of payments," said "Lou," a cab driver and an FBI informant.

"It started with small money like $20, $40, then became a hundred, then two hundred, then it came into thousands."

Lou and another FBI informant told Hawaii News Now that they wore hidden cameras and tape recorders to document nearly 20 payments to the security workers....

FBI has turned its undercover investigation over to the state Attorney General's office.

read ... Payoffs

Ige Signs SB982: Free Pass for Tweekers

SA: Gov. David Ige on Tuesday approved a bill designed to help reduce the number of drug- and alcohol-related deaths in Hawaii by encouraging bystanders to call for help when they witness an overdose.

Senate Bill 982, or the "Good Samaritan" bill, offers limited legal immunity for people who seek medical assistance for someone suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose.

Under the new law, people who call for help during an overdose will not be prosecuted for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia or for violation of probation or parole in connection with the incident....

read ... Defense Bar's Latest Excuse

Molokai Ferry Strangles on PUC Red Tape

MN: On Tuesday, Sea Link President and Senior Capt. Dave Jung said the ferry's passenger numbers have been declining because of an ongoing "price war" for low fares among 'Ohana by Hawaiian, Mokulele and Makani Kai airlines. The ferry is regulated by the PUC while the airlines are unregulated, he said.

(Really Obvious Solution: End PUC regulation of Ferry Systems in Hawaii.)

read ... Ferry sails ahead with plan to run ‘as needed’

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