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Thursday, September 24, 2015
September 24, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:34 PM :: 3323 Views

Everyone’s talking about how Hillary Clinton ignited the birther movement

Sen Keith Agaran's Law Partner Seeking Marijuana Dispensary License

Kaiser Selected to Operate Maui Memorial Hospital

Tsutsui: Ige Should Consider Halting Maui Hospital Negotiations

Kiplinger: Hawaii 4th Least Tax Friendly State

Kakaako: 126 Needles Found in Homeless Clean-Up

Legislative Incompetence: Banks, Lawyers, and Marijuana

Mauna Kea: More Empty Talk from OHA?

Matson pledging not to scrap ships in South Asia

Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Public Comments Invited on Project to Erect Wall Around Ala Wai Canal

KIUC Offers Daytime Electric Discount--25% Off

DBEDT: State Was Opposed to First NextEra Application, Undecided on Second

PBN: Ige, one of the featured speakers at Wednesday’s well-attended Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, said that it is still very early on in the process and noted that the state and others are in a second round of questions and answers.

“We’ll again look forward to the responses submitted, but there are lots of public hearings coming up and we will see how that unfolds,” he said. “We are looking at ensuring that the proposed merger is in the best interest of the people and really allows us to pursue with vigor the goal of 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2045.”

DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria, who also was a speaker at the event, said that the state was opposed to the original acquisition application prepared by NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric.

“What we saw when we reviewed all of the voluminous material and there is still more voluminous material to go through, there were not enough commitments or information for us to make a determination that it was in the best interest of the state,” he said. “There has been a second round of information, there has been more commitments that still need to be reviewed, but there is still a lot of processing involved in this whole merger issue.”

But a few of weeks ago, NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric updated their application, adding more than 50 new commitments to the state, including an outline of $1 billion in economic benefits and customer savings.

Since then, Ige and his two departments taking part in the regulatory review, have not revealed their new stance on the deal.

PBN: ‘We don’t have all the answers,’ NextEra Energy Hawaii exec says

read ... Undecided

17 Years Too Late: Soon-to-be-ousted KSBE Trustee Claims Sandwich Isles will Finally Get Around to Keeping Promise to DHHL

SA: Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. is planning a corporate restructuring that will remove owner Al Hee from “any management responsibilities or involvement” with the company in the wake of Hee’s convictions this summer on federal tax charges, the Hawaiian Homes Commission was told Tuesday. (Not news.  Hee is a convicted felon, they have no choice.)

Sandwich Isles President and Chief Executive Officer Janeen-Ann Olds also told the commission the company is “working on” finally contributing money to launch a job training and scholarship program for Native Hawaiians envisioned in the 1998 licensing agreement that gave Sandwich Isles the exclusive right to provide telecommunications services on Hawaiian Home Lands.  (17 years too late)

That license calls for Sandwich Isles to contribute 0.5 percent of its profits to the job training and education program for Hawaiians, but Hee told the commission last month the program was never funded because the company never made a profit.

Sandwich Isles has received more than $242 million in federal subsidies since 2003, which has prompted Commissioner William K. Richardson to question how the company could have failed to ever make a profit. The SIC telecommunications network provides telephone and data services to about 3,600 customers on Hawaiian Home Lands.

After her presentation to the commission, Olds clarified that SIC would now like to move forward with the job training and education program, and maintained the company has the resources....

Olds is a Kamehameha Schools trustee, and a group of Kamehameha alumni have written to the Probate Court to ask that she not be reappointed as a trustee. The alumni, including former Kamehameha Schools trustee Douglas Ing, cited Olds’ involvement in Sandwich Isles, where she served as chief legal counsel before she became president of the company. However, four other trustees have offered their support for Olds.  (Aloha also means goodbye.)

Olds declined to discuss her application for reappointment as trustee of the $11 billion Kamehameha Schools trust, saying she was attending the Hawaiian Homes Commission meeting in Hilo on Tuesday in her capacity as president of Sandwich Isles.

read ... Desperation Personified

Feds, Danner Sisters Staging Phony 'Listening Session' to make Indian Tribe Look Good 

SA: President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders arrived in Hawaii on Tuesday for the first time on a mission to better understand issues facing the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.

The commission visited the 14th annual Native Hawaiian Convention on Tuesday and local organizations Wednesday, and will hold a listening session this afternoon....

Former Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer is currently the only one from Hawaii on the 19-member panel....

The annual Native Hawaiian Convention, (CNHA, Danner, etc) which continues through today , is one of the largest gatherings of Native Hawaiian nonprofit leaders, business owners, cultural practitioners, educators and community organizers....

A three-hour listening session is planned for this afternoon at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

“The session is a public engagement for the commission to listen to the community leaders and individuals on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander issues,” said Rebecca Lee, the initiative’s communications director.

In its call for testifiers, the commission said it was particularly interested in hearing about economic development and housing; education, including the impact of bullying on youth; civil rights; effects of climate change; immigration; health, including mental health; veteran affairs; and women’s and workers’ issues.

read ... Listen only to Robin Danner and her Cronies

Akina: Hawaiians Are an ‘Inclusive People’

CB: Citizenship in the Hawaiian Kingdom was never confined to one race. So a race-based election to create a race-based nation would be blatantly non-Hawaiian.

CB: Peter Apo: Defining the Hawaiian Community

read ... Election

Ige Admin Working on Inventory of all State Land

PBN: ...state officials acknowledge that transferring agricultural lands into urban use to build these housing projects, such as Castle & Cooke's 3,500-home Koa Ridge development and D.R. Horton's 11,750-home Hoopili master-planned community, is is not an easy issue to resolve.

"It's a complicated issue, but it's a very important one because once a piece of land is taken out of agricultural production or open space and into urban use, that's pretty much it," State Department of Land & Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case said. "So we want to be very, very careful of that and be mindful of that creep out from urban areas."

To that end, Ige said the state Board of Agriculture is crafting a plan that seeks to double the amount of acreage statewide that is set aside for food production, provide an inventory of state lands, and determine how much land is needed for the state to be self-sustaining.

"I think once we get those numbers, and they're on schedule to complete the study by the end of the year, then we will really know how much land is required for active agricultural production to allow us to be sustainable," Ige said. "That might give us more direction when we're trying to balance the use of state lands against the various, competing needs, not to mention private lands as well." ....

read ... Inventory

Omidyar Rag: Lawyers Must be Freed to do Weed, Gil Keith-Agaran Agrees

CB: Deadlines for key milestones in the licensing process loom. By early October, potential applicants must be able to show a bank balance of at least $1.2 million. That will require a business structure attached to that bank account that only a fool would attempt to create without the guidance of an attorney, particularly in such a dynamic period of legal transition for medical marijuana and those who would grow and sell it.

Potential licensees who now find themselves without proper legal help or reliant on out-of-state attorneys may now have legitimate claims of being unfairly disadvantaged in the selection process, if they are not chosen, further complicating the likelihood of new medical marijuana businesses opening on time.

Area law firms and attorneys are mobilizing to have this issue addressed immediately. A petition letter is circulating now asking the state Supreme Court to intervene. The court could amend the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct or add an “appropriate comment,” absolving attorneys of any potential ethical violation should they provide the legal assistance in question....

While the Rules of the Hawaii Supreme Court permit the court to amend the professional conduct rules, such changes are typically subject to a 90-day comment period. The court can order a shorter comment period, if it wishes, but any delay in doing so begins to cause real problems. As of Wednesday morning, no request to address the matter had been received. Once one is filed, the spokeswoman said the court will determine “the appropriate action to take.”

In comments posted on Civil Beat, Senate Judiciary and Labor Chair Gil Keith-Agaran pointed to Minnesota, where legislators included a section in their marijuana bill — which their Supreme Court affirmed — specifically exempting that state’s attorneys from any disciplinary action relating to legal assistance provided to licensed marijuana growers. Authorities in New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada and Arizona have taken similar steps, either through rule changes by their supreme courts or state bar associations.

Rep. Della Au Belatti, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said legislators didn’t act on this issue over concerns that an exemption would run counter to the separation of powers. It’s a legitimate concern. But since it was a known concern during session, it should have been raised prominently months ago so that it could be addressed in a reasonable time frame, not with deadlines looming in the immediate future....

(Billionaires and politicians conspire to keep the people doped up so they can be more easily manipulated.)

Related: Sen Keith Agaran's Law Partner Seeking Marijuana Dispensary License

read ... Need Weed

Two Groups Quit Dispensary Process After Lawyers Barred

HNN: The Hawaii Dispensary Alliance, a not-for-profit organization advocating for the collective interests of Hawai‘i's legitimate cannabis industry, said since the board's opinion was released, two groups that were interested in applying for a dispensary license have stopped pursuing the process.

"All of a sudden, with the lack of legal advice, we're seeing a lot of people kind of slow down, cool their jets just a little bit," executive director Chris Garth said.

"If clients cannot feel comfortable, there's not going to be any dispensaries," Pingree said. "There's not going to be anybody applying for a license."

Related: Sen Keith Agaran's Law Partner Seeking Marijuana Dispensary License

read ... Quitters

Joe Souki wants Hawaii lawmakers to scrutinize fantasy sports betting

KITV: When asked if ‘one day’ fantasy leagues are a form of gambling, Speaker of the House Joe Souki didn't hold back.

"You put in money and there's a risk that you're going to lose the money," Souki told KITV4. "That is gambling."

Souki has been a member of the pro-gaming lobby for most of his career in the state Legislature, but admits the issue of betting on one day fantasy leagues needs to be clarified, perhaps as soon as January when lawmakers reconvene....

Les Bernal, executive director of StopPredatoryGambling.org, says unlike seasonal fantasy leagues that are mostly played amongst friends and co-workers, one day fantasy leagues are vulturine in nature....

Meanwhile, Souki said he would not support a ban of TV ads that promote one day fantasy leagues, much like the tobacco industry is prevented from advertising cigarettes....

(Question: Whose interest is benefitted by the sudden attack on fantasy betting?)

read ... Betting

HPD Ignores ‘Toothless’ Police Commission in Use of Force Case

CB: Johnny Helm says he suffered broken bones in his face after he and a friend were mistaken for burglary suspects by Honolulu police officers while hiking on the Koolau mountains in 2012.

The two men said two of the cops slammed them face-first into the ground while arresting them for a crime they didn’t commit. They filed complaints with the Honolulu Police Commission over excessive use of force.

The commission agreed that the police overreacted, but court records in a lawsuit filed by Helm and his friend, Jonah Wellins, indicate that neither officer was punished by the department. Other officers who were found to have acted unprofessionally during the arrest also avoided punishment.

...Helm’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said his client is afraid to speak out for fear of possible retribution. He said Helm and Wellins’ lawsuit highlights how “toothless” the commission is when it comes to holding officers accountable.

“We sued to punish the police and hopefully get HPD to clean up its act,” Breiner said. “But the position that HPD has taken is essentially that they bought their way out of the case without taking any responsibility.”

He added that the department — through city attorneys — also tried to undermine the commission’s investigation by hiring an expert witness to write a report that essentially found that the commission’s findings were bogus and based on flawed information.

“They didn’t simply ignore the Police Commission,” Breiner said. “They attacked it.”

read ... Toothless

Maui: Homeless Steal Drugs, are Mentally Ill and Infected with Diseases

MN: One evening I brought a young lady to my happy abode as she was sleeping from couch to couch. The next morning after I dropped her off, I was bummed to find out that she had stolen my pain medication prescription, leaving an empty vial.

Other homeless people I have spoken to are challenged with disabling mental health issues. Some are infected with staph.

Many I have met came here on vacation and decided to stay but Maui's overpriced rentals and lack of unit availability has rendered them homeless. Some homeless say they want to be called houseless, usually indicating they do not want to pay rent and love living on the beach and in the bushes between Paia Bay and Baldwin, in the cove.

My greatest concern is that homelessness has more than doubled since 2013. I have met and seen over 70 people in the north Kihei area alone who are homeless or houseless. More specifically, I am concerned that they have unstable behaviors related to being mentally ill.

read ... Homelessness a growing problem on Valley Isle

Are Hawaii Nursing Home Clients Coerced Into Arbitration Agreements?

CB: The federal government wants to tighten rules regulating pre-dispute agreements that remove the right to sue, but Hawaii’s long-term care ombudsman says they should just be banned....

read ... Lawyers

Hawaii Supreme Court Rules Against Kyo-Ya Shoreline Exemption

CB: Honolulu officials shouldn’t have exempted Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts from a shoreline setback requirement, justices decide.

No Surprise: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

read ... Supreme Court

Cool Our Keiki Rallies Planned

CB: For the last two months, frustrated teachers, parents and students have been joining a private Facebook group called Cool Our Keiki to swap stories and brainstorm ways to mitigate the blistering heat in many of the state’s classrooms.

The group, which has more than 3,300 members, now hopes to focus additional attention on the issue by rallying in front of schools and the Department of Education headquarters Friday.

read ... Rally

New Chinese Sub Could Nuke US Mainland from Hawaii

B: Sending the submarines on patrol is a significant step because JL-2 missiles have a range of about 4,600 miles (7,403 kilometers). The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has said the missiles could reach Alaska if launched from waters near Japan, and all 50 U.S. states if launched from waters east of Hawaii.

read ... Nuke Hawaii

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