Rail Funds Frozen? Feds Explain ‘Officially’ and ‘Unofficially’ What they Told Caldwell
Why the Paris Massacre Will Have Limited Impact
Offshore? Let Wind and Solar Energy Subsides Expire
‘Most Significant Risk’ to Rail Project--HART Did not Budget for Putting HECO Lines Underground
SA: The “most significant risk” today to Honolulu’s rail project is a complex knot of technical challenges involving power lines along the transit route that could dramatically increase costs and delay the project, according to an outside consultant that monitors the project for the federal government.
The consultant, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., is warning the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation that it should not begin work on the City Center guideway and stations next year until some critical issues involving Hawaiian Electric Co. lines are resolved.
The report said, “This is currently HART’s most significant risk to the project.”
Issues surrounding the required clearance for HECO poles and lines already have contributed to construction delays on the 4-mile Kamehameha Highway Guideway phase of the project, which is now eight months behind schedule, according to the Jacobs report.
Similar utility issues also affect the 5-mile-long Airport Guideway portion of the project, according to HART.
In December HART announced it needed an additional $50 million for utility work, money that was mostly earmarked for HECO utility line relocations in the 4-mile-long City Center portion of the project, and to address conflicts between HECO’s high-voltage lines and the rail project.
HART has acknowledged it must place utility lines underground along some sections of the guideway, and last month the rail authority announced it was budgeting yet another $70 million for replacement and relocation of power and other utility lines along the rail route. Much of that money will be used to place electrical lines underground in a 2-mile corridor along Dillingham Boulevard, according to rail officials.
SA: HECO wages, workers also at issue
read … Most Significant Risk
TMT construction crews to return to Mauna Kea on Wednesday
HNN: Law enforcement sources confirm with Hawaii News Now that construction crews for the Thirty Meter Telescope project will return to Mauna Kea Wednesday morning….
Aloha Aina advocates, several of whom spent months living on Mauna Kea in prayer and vigil, say they are prepared to take the necessary steps to protect what they believe is a sacred Native Hawaiian site.
HTH: Big Island group reaches for the moon
read … Wednesday
Future of Maui Sugar Plantation Unclear
HPR: Sugar cane was once Hawaii’s most important crop - but today only one sugar plantation remains in the state. That’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar on Maui, but they are now considering changing their crop. Eileen Chao has more from The Maui News. …
read … Condos Coming
Political Bosses Still Negotiating with NextEra
SA: Government officials, including members of the state Public Utilities Commission in particular, have helped to fuel that uncertainty by communicating their ongoing dissatisfaction with the shape of the deal as it’s been revealed so far. Voices — from the consumer advocate, the state energy office, the PUC and the governor himself — have been raised in concern that the acquisition may not sufficiently advance state goals or provide relief to ratepayers.
In the interest of Hawaii’s consumers (cronies), this stance must be maintained to negotiate the best energy environment possible. So far, as evidenced by continuing PUC doubts aired last week, HEI and its prospective buyer still seem to be holding back on commitments to making the kind of radical changes necessary to transition to a largely renewable-energy future….
read … NextEra should show more cards
Audit of Hawaii Civil Forfeiture Demanded
CB: in a report last week by the Institute for Justice, Hawaii allows police to seize and in some cases keep personal property belonging to those only suspected of criminal activity. The institute gave Hawaii an integrity grade of D- for its civil forfeiture laws….
This information caught the eye of at least two lawmakers when Civil Beat reported it last week — state Sen. Will Espero, vice president of the Senate, and Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, a House freshman and an experienced attorney from Hawaii Island.
Espero immediately promised to make civil forfeiture reform one of about a dozen law enforcement bills he plans to file for the 2016 session. The following day, San Buenaventura, a member of both the Judiciary and Public Safety committees, went one step further, saying she had already drafted a reform bill, spoken with the state auditor and planned to file a resolution requesting a full audit of the civil forfeiture program….
read … Forfeit
Lawmakers prepare for legislative outlook
HTH: A new hospital or free-standing emergency facility in North Kona, more programs for the homeless and a hard look at alternative ways to structure the state’s utilities — those are just some of the plans West Hawaii lawmakers will discuss at a legislative outlook to be held in Kailua-Kona Thursday.
Kona Rep. Nicole Lowen said the public has shown a lot of interest in local control and public ownership of utilities — a discussion sparked by the ongoing merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries with Florida-based NextEra Energy and the formation of the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative….
read … Lawmakers prepare for legislative outlook
Kauai—50 Hawaiians Denounce Nai Aupuni
KGI: There is a big fanfare about the self-determination of Hawaiians. The preliminaries are that an American-managed election is being held this month and an aha (constitutional convention) will be organized in the first two months of 2016. And this is where our concerns mount.
While all the legalities concerning the laws and requirements of United States and of the de facto State of Hawaii pretending to represent us might have been met by the organizers, their obligations for transparency to us, Hawaiians have not been. Here are the reasons:
1. The organizer Na‘i Aupuni, a Hawaii corporation, in its election notice dated July 31, 2015, claims to have been formed in December 2014, and their bylaws was created with a date of Feb. 23, 2015, allegedly with non-profit character. Still as of today the corporation is still not registered as a 501(c) non-profit corporation.
2. Na‘i Aupuni advertises 209 total delegate candidates registered, but still lists only 202 of them on its website. We wonder who the missing mysterious seven are….
5. The elections are conducted by online voting instead of in-person voting, thus international observers are excluded, which is international protocol in national elections. Many of us do not use computers, but we still should count and we are eager to be part of any fair solution. It appears that here the organizers’ and their selected vendors’ convenience has been chosen over transparency….
7. As per Na‘i Aupuni some delegate candidates are still listed as valid candidates even if they did not satisfy the registration requirements of their selected vendor (http://naiaupuni.org/faq.html#faq1). How can we trust the integrity of the election if the selected vendor organization, Election- America Inc., messes up even the initial registration phase? In a current full-page ad Na‘i Aupuni has published the statement of some delegate candidates and one of the candidates endorsed herself 10 times instead of finding 10 people to endorse her. First, it is an insult to us to presume that we do not notice such a blatant irregularity. Second, the organizer with the lofty goal of organizing the self-determination of a nation is unable to screen out candidates who can at least follow instructions and comply with them? How can we trust them?
8. The lists Na‘i Aupuni uses contain names of people signed up for Kana‘iolowalu and Kau Inoa collected for more than 10 years for a different purpose. These old lists are being used and contain some people who have never registered and others who have already died….
Last Week: Na’i Aupuni "You're all f---ing liars"
HNN: Interviews Bill Meheula
read … The Hawaiians are awake
49 confirmed cases of locally-acquired dengue on Hawaii Island
HNN: The Department of Health says there are now 49 confirmed cases of dengue fever originating on Hawaii Island.
These cases include 39 residents and 10 visitors.
Because dengue fever is only transmitted by mosquitoes, the Department of Health is spraying and treating areas with high mosquito presence and confirmed cases. The Department of Health will be conducting spraying at various locations in the South Kona area today. …
Public information meetings on dengue fever will be held at the following locations:
Monday at the Hilo High Cafeteria
Tuesday at the Keaau High Cafeteria
The meetings begin at 6 p.m. and the community is encouraged to attend.
For additional information on dengue fever and preventing the spread of dengue fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.
read … 49 confirmed
Billionaire Dispatches Reporter to Help Keep the Homeless on the Streets
Forced Mental Health Care Allows Tweeker to Turn Life Around
SA: …The state did not appeal Kuhia’s 1994 acquittal. (This is a story about soft-on-crime judges letting an alleged murderer off the hook. But there’s another lesson as well….)
However, based on a later Hawaii Supreme Court decision in another case, no other defendant has been or is likely to be acquitted by reason of insanity because of drug or alcohol abuse.
After his acquittal, Kuhia was committed to the Hawaii State Hospital. (Good idea. Lets force more drug addicts into the insane asylum.) He was discharged in 2002 and ordered to live in a clean-and-sober facility and to abide by probation-like conditions under court supervision.
Just two months earlier the court had granted Kuhia’s request to attend spring semester classes in the University of Hawaii’s College of Engineering. He had already been taking classes at Windward Community College.
By 2008 Kuhia completed a residential drug treatment program, was no longer required to live in a monitoring facility and received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. By 2011 he was living with his wife and child and employed as an engineer….
read … Success Story of Forcible Incarceration in Lunatic Asylum