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Thursday, July 30, 2015
July 30, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:02 PM :: 4465 Views

Truth in Accounting: Hawaii Hiding 71 Percent of Retirement Debt

Did They Sneak Your Name onto the Native Hawaiian Roll?

HART: Caldwell Appoints 'Expert' tied to Rail Projects Even More Messed up than Ours

Molasses Spill Produces $15M Windfall for State

Will Hawaii Planned Parenthood Sex Ed Programs Boost Baby Parts Business?

Washington Legislators Ask Attorney General to Investigate Planned Parenthood Unit Overseeing Hawaii

VIDEO: Planned Parenthood VP Discusses Contract Details, Aborted Body Parts Pricing, and How to Not “Get Caught”

Pine: Homeless Solutions for Leeward Oahu

Democrats for Education Reform: 'Power to the Local School'

Protesters Enforced Mauna Kea Checkpoint, Most Police Complied -- Now, Possible Discipline for Those who Did Not 

WHT: ...Before police arrived at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station on June 24 where Thirty Meter Telescope opponents were blocking the road, they had to answer a few questions from the protesters themselves.

The caravan with about 50 Hawaii County police and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officers were stopped by a few protesters who were seeking to get their names and badge numbers.

Most complied with their request, though protester Puaena Ahn said a dozen officers declined to provide that information. In response, he filed complaints Monday against both agencies.

Ahn said the purpose of getting that information was to be able to hold officers responsible in case they violated protesters’ rights. It also worked to delay their arrival close to an hour, he said.

“It’s a matter of accountability,” said Ahn, 29, of Honokaa. “That’s the primary issue. If they are going to be arresting people, we would like to know who they are.”

He said police Capt. Richard Sherlock and DLNR Deputy Director Kekoa Kaluhiwa were present and allowed them to speak to each of the officers.

Ahn said protesters weren’t threatened with arrest or told to move.

The complaints filed with the county Police Commission and DLNR alleges misconduct by the officers who declined to provide their names and badge numbers....

read ... Government of the Protesters, by the Protesters

Peter Apo: Our Ancestors Would Have Built TMT atop a Temple (and collected ground rent)

Peter Apo: ...As Hawaiians’ knowledge of the natural world grew, they began to experiment with altering and reshaping large areas of natural landscapes into a quilted system of interlocking land uses that flowed from mountain to sea. They turned mountainsides into terraced food production systems for managing taro and other crops....

Digging into mountainsides to create rock quarries to produce an array of stone tools and weapons also required Hawaiians to alter natural landscapes. These quarries were commonly found on all of the major Hawaiian Islands, but by far the largest and most complex in all of Polynesia was on Mauna Kea.

On Mauna Kea, they built a quarry complex where they made the adze, a hand pick, as well as other tools. The complex covered 7.5 square miles extending from the 8,600-feet altitude level to an elevation of 13,000 feet. Most of the quarry complex is located on a broad summit plateau encircling the entire mountain at 11,000 feet to 12,000 feet....

It is worth remembering that Mauna Kea is part of the 1.8 million acre public land trust that was ceded to the state of Hawaii in the Hawaii State Admissions Act as a condition of statehood.

That act includes a complex sentence that is worth reading — and perhaps re-reading — for people engaged in this topic. It says these properties should be held in trust for five purposes so that “such lands and the income therefrom, shall be held by said State as a public trust for the support of the public schools and other public educational institutions, for the betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians, as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, for the development of farm and home ownership on as widespread a basis as possible for the making of public improvements, and for the provision of lands for public use.”

Pending judicial intervention relating to Maui’s Haleakala telescope, which might affect Mauna Kea, the state has a trust responsibility to all the citizens of the state of Hawaii regarding the management of Mauna Kea.

This means decisions about the TMT on Mauna Kea should be for all of the people of Hawaii to accept or reject. Translated into daily governance, this means that in the end, the question will be whether the rule of law will prevail on behalf of all of the people of Hawaii....

For Polynesians, the centuries spent studying the stars and building sky maps that provided the navigational knowledge to explore and discover many specks of land over one-third of the earth’s surface is a singular distinguishing characteristic that may be unmatched by any other society on earth. All of this was accomplished long before Magellan ventured into the Pacific.

This is all part of why there is little reason to think our ancestors would have brushed aside the TMT. Their quest for knowledge about the stars was too important to them. The truth is that no one knows for sure what they would or wouldn’t feel about the TMT if they were here now. For all we know, they might have been in favor of building a temple — as they often did for important purposes — so they could place the TMT on it....

(So all the TMT has to do is pay rent for the Temple and we're good.)

Reality: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money

read ... The TMT Honors Mauna Kea Through Universal Exploration

NextEra CEO Deluded About Hawaii Regulatory Environment

PBN: More details surrounding one of the biggest and most important business deals in Hawaii’s history are being divulged through the release of public documents with the Hawaii regulators, including a June 2014 letter from NextEra Energy Inc. CEO Jim Robo to Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. President and CEO Connie Lau....

One detail, however, does now stand out — Robo's confidence that all approvals required to close the transaction could be obtained within 12 months following the execution of definitive transaction documentation.  (He should be institutionalized until cured of this dangerous delusion.)

The sale, which was announced in December, could be finalized by June 2016, well after the timeframe Robo described.  (But it won't.)

IM: NextEra is scrambling for support for their takeover of HECO

read ... Deluded

$30M Cash Giveaway to Businesses Hurt by Rail?

HNN: ..."This was the hub, the middle of the island. People flocked to Pearl City. Now people avoid it at all costs," he said.

Dilcher's complaint is multiplied several times over.

"We're only 20 percent into the project, and already a number of businesses are suffering" Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said.

Martin and council member Carol Fukunaga want to establish a mitigation fund -- $25 million to $30 million that could be doled out in low or no interest loans or grants to businesses to compensate for lost revenue related to rail. Martin said the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation should help find the money.

"It's hard for me to believe that they didn't anticipate the economic impact of the construction of this rail project," he said....

read ... Council chair wants mitigation money for businesses hurt by rail

Sheriff, First Deputy, other Deputies and Internal Affairs all Implicated in DUI Coverup

HNN: An internal investigation that has already put the man in charge of the state’s sheriff division and his second-in-command on unpaid leave has also lead the suspension of between three and seven deputy sheriffs, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Sources said the deputy sheriff whose arrest for drunken driving nearly two years ago led to the investigation is one of those suspended.

State Sheriff Robin Nagamine and his first deputy Patrick Lee have been suspended without pay by the Department of Public Safety....

The other sheriffs deputies have been suspended for anywhere from one to 20 days, a source said.

Among them: Sheriff Deputy Patrick Lewis, the canine officer who got into an accident with his state vehicle just after 2 a.m. on October 2, 2013 and was arrested for drunk driving.

Sources said the suspensions and the investigation stem from the apparent mishandling of Lewis' DUI case....

"It would appear that it's a significant investigation involving high-level personnel," said Hawaii News Now law enforcement expert Tommy Aiu, who spent 30 years in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and taught criminal justice at Chaminade University.

"It seems like the case is lingering longer than it should, I'm talking about the internal affairs case," Aiu added.

Public Safety officials said their internal affairs office waited until the DUI case against Lewis concluded, but Aiu said an internal investigation doesn't have to wait for the outcome of a criminal case against an employee.

"If it lingers too long, officers lose faith in the system," Aiu said.

Even state Public Safety managers privately describe some of the six-person internal affairs investigators who work out the department headquarters as “inept” and guilty of conducting shoddy investigations. (This is why they were appointed to Internal Affairs.)

“There are so many holes in their investigations, it’s incredible,” said one veteran supervisor in the department. 

Sources said arbitration cases have discredited several internal affairs investigations because investigators left out facts and based their findings on innuendo....

read ... Sheriff Department

Hawaii Co Council committee to Pretend to mull pCard audit Tuesday

WHT: Hawaii County residents will get their first chance to weigh in on an audit of the county’s purchasing card program next week, when the County Council Finance Committee (stacked with Kenoi cronies) takes up the issue.

The public can testify at the beginning of the meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers in Hilo. Testifiers can also participate by videoconference from the West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea council office, the county facility in Kohala, Naalehu state office building and the Pahoa neighborhood facility.

read ... Mull

Leading Anti-GMO Activist Refuses to File Financial Disclosure

KE: ...Speaking of disclosure, or more specifically, the lack thereof, Rhonda Stoltzfus has a good blog post on how Dr. Lorrin Pang has failed to turn in the financial disclosures required of some state employees. Lorrin's day job is state health officer for Maui County, though he spends extensive time campaigning against GMOs. Indeed, he's on Kauai this week, delivering anti-Roundup lectures.

Rhonda writes:

Now why should we even care about this little lapse in ethics? Perhaps because Lorrin Pang has made “disclosure” his battle cry this past year. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in Maui council chambers during testimony about the GMO moratorium and heard Lorrin Pang testify about disclosure and transparency from the seed companies on our islands.

Funny, how the seed companies disclosed, but Lorrin did not....

read ... Musings: Smatterings

Hawaii sugar industry blames Unequal Trade for Collapse

SA: ...Hawaii’s sugar yields per acre are the highest in the world — double that of most major cane-producing countries — and at its peak the Hawaii sugar industry produced 1.2 million tons of sugar on 240,000 acres spanning four islands.

By the ’90s, the state’s 55 sugar farms and five companies were Hawaii’s third biggest employer, behind only the defense and tourism industries.

And electricity generated from cane byproducts powered one-tenth of the state’s homes and businesses.

Unfortunately, this economic powerhouse has all but evaporated. Today, only the Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar (HC&S) mill in Maui remains in production.

As one of the world’s most efficient operations, HC&S still produces 200,000 tons of sugar and supports about 1,400 direct and indirect jobs, but that is a far cry from the thriving industry that once existed.

Dozens of mills now sit vacant, expansive fields lay fallow, and erosion, unemployment and poverty have taken root in sugar’s absence.

So why did it all disappear — especially given the islands’ superior climate, soil conditions, state-of-the-art equipment, and skilled workforce?

Stagnant low domestic prices had a lot to do with it, as did widespread foreign subsidization and other trade-distorting practices that kept world prices far below production costs.

The price of sugar in the United States has remained virtually unchanged in 30 years, failing to keep pace with inflation or the rising costs of transportation, labor and regulatory compliance.

Prices have remained depressed for two reasons. First, a series of trade deals gave preferential U.S. market access to 41 foreign suppliers and frequently created oversupplies in our market.

As the world’s second biggest sugar importer, the United States now purchases about 30 percent of its sugar from abroad.

In short, guaranteed market access granted in trade negotiations enabled less efficient foreign producers to take domestic market share from more efficient U.S. growers, leading to job loss here and on the mainland.

Second, a steady climb in foreign subsidies in recent years has created a glut of sugar on the world market and has sent prices spiraling downward....

read ... Sugar Subsidies

UPW Lets City Keep New Ambulance Schedule, for now

KHON: ...Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Medical Services will continue a pilot program that has personnel working 12-hour shifts.

After ongoing discussions, the United Public Workers union told KHON2 it reached an agreement with the city to continue the extended shifts.

The pilot program, which had EMTs and paramedics working 12-hour shifts instead of eight, was launched in an effort to resolve staffing issues that led to ambulances being pulled off the road last year.

The program was set to end August 1....

“In the original pilot, we had some units that were continuing on 8-hour work schedules, but with this new agreement which continues the pilot, all… field units, will be on a 12-hour work schedule,” said UPW director Dayton Nakanelua.

The program is scheduled to end in 2016. (So the UPW will have another opportunity to hold it over the City's head.)

Nakanelua says meetings will be held on a quarterly basis so members can continue to analyze and evaluate how the schedules are working.  (And how UPW can use this program as leverage.)

read ... EMS to continue 12-hour-shift pilot program for all field units

Kauai County handles investigation into death of teen, turns Police DUI case over to state

KGI: With two cases involving Kauai police officers being investigated, a conflict of interest in one prompted Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar to turn it over to the state Attorney General.

“It’s not just about the severity of the charge or the people involved. It has to do with all the facts of the case,” Kollar said. “Because those cases are still pending, I can’t really get into the details of those cases.”

Kollar is referring to cases involving KPD Sgt. Colin Nesbitt, who was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and inattention to driving on May 23, and the death of 19-year-old Michael Kocher, Jr., who was killed Jan. 5 when he was struck first by a vehicle driven by a resident, and then again by a responding officer.

Nesbitt’s case was handed to the state’s Attorney General, Kollar said.

The Kocher case is being handled by the county prosecutor’s office. There have been no charges.

read ... A question of conflicts

Mainland Homosexuals open Honolulu Nightclub With 'Dirty Blowup Dolls' Theme

SA: ...Here in Chinatown, Scarlet is loosely based on a dollhouse theme, with a spacious dance floor flanked by a handful of VIP areas. The decor features a series of dirty dolls in action; Tabura said his partners set up a photo shoot in Chicago to create the images, which were photographed in an actual dollhouse and blown up to create larger-than-life wall treatments in the club. It’s a bit racy to show in print, so you’ll have to take a look in person....

TI: Homosexual Assault by San Francisco Airport Security

read ... Totally Normal

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