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Thursday, July 28, 2016
July 28, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:55 PM :: 4840 Views

Rep Kaniela Ing Arrested by Maui PD

Secrets: 24 Candidates Fail to File Financial Disclosure

OHA Elections are Decided by Oahu Voters

Hawaii Capital Gains Taxes 29.2%

U.S. establishes new Jones Act enforcement arm

Cover Up: Jones Act Whistleblower Case Costs Matson $1M

Hot Schools: DoE Prepares for Illness and Exhaustion

Bernie Sanders Resigns from Democratic Party

DLNR: Keehi Lagoon is Caldwell’s Mess

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party Now Showing in Hawaii

A Dozen Dead and Caldwell Does Nothing

CB: How Many More Spitting Caves Deaths Before Signs Are Posted?  Despite requests from Rep. Ward and others to place warning signs at the popular jumping spot, he says Honolulu officials refuse to act….

Gregory Spillman, 19, U.S. Navy. Shannon Nunez, 22, U.S. Navy. Daniel Lowe, 27, California resident. Glenn Cooke, 45, Honolulu resident. Zachary Ryan Johnson, 21, U.S. Navy. Stephen LeBlanc, 29, Louisiana resident. Daren Kataoka, 20, Honolulu resident.

These are just some of the people whose lives came to a tragic end at Spitting Caves, a popular scenic spot in the district I serve as a state representative. It’s been estimated that in the past seven years, more than a dozen people have died there — and many more have nearly drowned.

The latest tragedies were just a few weeks ago when there were two incidents on a single day. A 14-year old girl who mistimed a jump from a cliff above the caves hit her head on the way down and was airlifted to a trauma center. Hours later, a 20-year old male swimmer in distress was pulled from the ocean by rescue personnel.

read … And Yet Caldwell Does Nothing

Gay Sex Scandal Rocks Caldwells’ Recreation Department

SA: The state Judiciary, which oversees the Community Service & Restitution Branch, is reviewing its community service contracts following the arrest of a city worker who was allegedly depicted on live video Friday propositioning a transgender probationer for sexual favors.

Police arrested Harold Villanueva Jr., 47, on a charge of fourth-degree sex assault at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at his home in Waianae. Villanueva appeared in court Wednesday morning. His bail was set at $500 for the charge, which is a misdemeanor, with a possible sentence of up to a year in jail.

Police began investigating Villanueva after Makana Milho, 21, secretly recorded and posted live to Facebook on Friday approximately 30 minutes of conversations that she alleges were between her him and the city worker. Milho, who is on probation, had been ordered to complete six days of community service to get a theft charge expunged from her his record.

She said she stole a luxury purse to pay for (insert excuse here) ….

Broder Van Dyke said Villanueva, a groundskeeper in the Department of Parks and Recreation, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an investigation. Villanueva has worked for the city since 2002, he said….

A tearful (nice touch) Milho told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday that she live-streamed footage of Villanueva because (there is serious money in this lawsuit) ….

read … Community service reviewed after arrest

Caldwell’s Darby Emergency Plan—Phone Hilo

HNN: At 8:20 p.m. Sunday, Tropical Storm Darby's lightning show threw the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in Diamond Head into the dark.

"The power went down and stayed down," Telecommunications Branch Chief George Burnett said.

Generators came on but could not transmit power because of transfer problems with a switch. Communication between the agency's computer server and the one at the city's Department of Emergency Management center was cut off.

"The server seemed to be in a limbo state and it was determined that we got to re-boot the server, it's not functioning normally," Burnett said.

And so for five to 10 minutes the agency did not have control of Oahu's 161 emergency sirens. During that window the county also did not have siren access.

First responders were put on stand-by in case of an islandwide emergency.

"In the event that we needed to deploy them we'd immediately send out the request to have our responders go out as well as communicate to the media," Emergency Management Director Melvin Kaku said.

Back at Diamond Head, a backup plan was activated.

"The agency's mobile control laptop had been sent to Hilo to wait for Darby's strike on the Big Island. The operator there took over long-distance control of Oahu's sirens, just in case." Burnett said.

"He had a push-to-talk radio. He was talking to us here at Birkhimer and he was also talking to the Department of Emergency Management."…

CB: KITV Mayoral Debate Tonight

read … Darby zapped power to Oahu emergency operations center

Here’s The Deal Caldwell Made to Oust Ethics Director

CB: …The settlement agreement says the commission won’t speak out about his departure unless it is to respond to Totto’s own statements.

The commission also agreed that Totto’s resignation would be held in “good standing,” and that the agency would keep a list of his accomplishments on its website for six months, although the list would include a caveat that it “does not necessarily reflect the position of the Ethics Commission.”

The settlement agreement requires Totto to work with the commission on cases he was involved in that haven’t yet been resolved. The agreement specifically references Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, who is a city prosecutor. The ethics commission had been investigating the Kealohas for numerous alleged violations of city rules. But that investigation appears to have fizzled.

The Kealohas sued the commission at least three times in an attempt to halt its investigation. According to the latest lawsuit, Totto and his chief investigator, Letha DeCaires, “conducted a series of unfounded, vindictive, unsubstantiated and illegal investigations” into the Kealohas.

The Kealohas had also lodged their own ethical complaints against Totto.

PDF: Separation Agreement

read … Totto Ousted

HART to discuss council resolutions to suspend property acquisition, change of funding

PBN: The agenda for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's monthly board of directors meeting scheduled for Thursday includes discussing a City Council resolution to suspend property acquisition for the rail project and the transfer of funds for the fiscal year that began July 1.

City Council Resolution 169, which was introduced on July 7, asks to establish a council policy to suspend all council approvals for acquiring real property for the project, which is over budget and behind schedule, until the Federal Transit Administration approves a recovery plan….

read … Suspend

Most Doctors Don’t Want to Sell Weed

SA: …Health care providers have been slow to embrace the medical marijuana industry even though July 15 was the legal opening date for the state’s first dispensaries.

The number of doctors certifying medical cannabis patients only climbed slightly over the past six months. There were 88 physicians who certified 14,492 patients as of June 30, up from 79 doctors and 13,150 patients on Dec. 31, according to the state Health Department….

Persuading more physicians to buy into the medical marijuana program also is difficult because of a lack of research to prove the efficacy of cannabis treatment, said HMA President Dr. Scott McCaffrey.

“The majority of doctors are viewing this cautiously. We don’t have enough good clinical research and more needs to be done,” he said. “There’s hesitation because there’s just not enough clinical research and we don’t know what we’re recommending in terms of potency and purity of cannabis when it’s bought illegally on the streets. For those reasons doctors are holding back.” ….

read … Dope Dealers

Housing For Homeless Three Units in Waianae cost $752K

SA: …City officials are moving forward with a modular housing project in Waianae geared toward working homeless and homeless families with children. Crews started surveying the 7,500-square-foot, city-owned lot Monday and could start construction as soon as Friday.

The city has contracted with Hawaii Modular to build three modular housing or compact units on a Halona Road property that the city has owned since 1990 and was once used for recovering substance abusers.

The units, to be equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities, will cost about $109,000 each. Officials expect work to be completed in September and for tenants to move in during October.

Plans call for a one-bedroom unit compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and two two-bedroom units measuring about 500 square feet each, along with some open space. The city had initially said the units would cost about $35,000 to $50,000 each, but officials found after looking at different options that the chosen contract “provided a very quality and complete unit and is reflected in the price,” said Sandra Pfund, chief of the city Office of Strategic Development. Site work, contracted with Ideal Construction Inc. will cost about $425,000, according to the city.  $425K + (3x109K) = $752K

That work will include clearing overgrowth, removing asbestos from the existing dilapidated seven-bedroom structure, and eventually demolishing it….

Several community members have also raised concerns about another modular housing project on a 1.1-acre lot on Farrington Highway near Waianae High School that could accommodate 75 to 90 homeless people and cost about $2.3 million. Community members cited safety, traffic and flooding concerns, and maintained that they did not want Waianae to become a draw for the rest of Oahu’s homeless population.

Pfund said the city acquired the Farrington Highway property for $300,000 in April and is developing a conceptual plan. Officials have been working with an advisory committee made up of community members and stakeholders to discuss issues such as social services, programming and the layout of the units, she said….

read … Permanent Housing

Hawaiian Electric Industries Profits $60M from Failed Merger

PBN: …The $22.2 million figure was what HEI spent from the time the proposed sale was announced in the fourth quarter of 2014 until the end of March of this year, and also includes costs related to the proposed spin-off of HEI’s bank subsidiary American Savings Bank. Because the NextEra Energy deal soured, the planned spin-off was shelved.

Cliff Chen, manager of investor relations for HEI, told PBN that the costs related to the acquisition and spin-off were mostly for attorney fees.

HEI is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 4. The report will include the costs it incurred related to the proposed deal, so the $22.2 million figure will increase.

Chen noted that HEI shareholders have footed the bill, and that the holding company never passed the costs on to ratepayers.

“Not a cent was charged to ratepayers,” he said. “Shareholders are essentially out $22.2 million.”

NextEra Energy is responsible for paying HEI a $90 million breakup fee and up to $5 million for reimbursement of expenses associated with the deal.

After taxes, that amount roughly comes out to $60 million.

read … $22.2M Down, $90M Up

Hawaiians Plan to Violate Ige’s Kona Fishing Ban

WHT: Gov. David Ige signed a rule last week establishing a marine reserve at Kaupulehu. The rule carries with it a 10-year, near shore rest period, which essentially amounts to a fishing ban with limited exceptions, out to a depth of 120 feet across a 3.6 mile stretch of the West Hawaii coastline.

The rule, which takes effect Friday and extends through the summer of 2026, was enacted to allow time for reef fish stocks to replenish before a fishery management plan is implemented for the Kaupulehu Marine Reserve, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Dedman, incensed by the governor’s action Wednesday, announced his intention to fly directly in the face of the rule, thereby creating a situation he said will demand litigation and bring a voice to his organization’s concerns the only way he believes a voice can be attained — through action.

“I am planning on going out there and bringing a whole bunch of Hawaiians to go fishing,” Dedman said. “Being on the up-and-up about it, they don’t want to hear you. So now, you got to be forced to go through this kind of process.”

Dedman petitioned for a general practice exemption to the rule for native Hawaiians, which would have allowed them to continue fishing the area for religious and subsistence purposes.

He agrees with banning commercial fishing in the reserve, but added administrators failed to seriously consider traditional Hawaiian practices. He also asserted the rule violates Hawaiian gathering rights.

SA: Turtle-Worshipper Whines About Overfishing

read … Violation

EPA Drawn into Dairy Farm Fight

KE: …A reader yesterday sent me a link to an article about how the EPA wants the Department of Health to post a sign at the south side's Waiopili ditch stating the water does not meet recreational standards. The email included the message: The dairy takes a hit.

Of course, the pollution at Waiopilli ditch — it is not a stream —has nothing to do with the proposed Mahaulepu dairy, since it has yet to introduce a single cow. But dairy opponents will use the highenterococcus bacteria count to rally against introducing any other potential source of contamination to the area.

In addition to posting a warning sign, the EPA “strongly advised” the state to take other protective measures, such as “limiting access.”

The state should advise people about polluted water, though it should not limit access to beaches. What bothers me is when these issues are pursued selectively due to anti-ag or anti-development sentiments.

We all know that many Kauai streams — Hanamaulu, Nawiliwili and Wainiha among them — have suffered similar problems for decades now.

But Surfrider, though pushing for sign posting for years, has gone to the mat only on Waiopili. Why? Because it opposes the dairy.

Ironically, billionaire Pierre Omidyar is funding both the Ulupono Initiative, which is creating the dairy as part of its effort to increase the local food supply, and Surfrider, which is trying its damndest to destroy the dairy.

I wonder how that's gonna shake out….

CB: epa-directs-hawaii-to-warn-public-about-polluted-beaches

read … Omidyar Conspiracy

Why It Took A Republican Governor To Get Blue Hawaii On The Path To Clean Energy

CB: When Gov. Linda Lingle pushed for sweeping renewable energy legislation, Hawaiian Electric pushed back. But Lingle eventually won….

read … On The Path

Soft on Crime:  Man on probation arrested in shooting

SA: A 30-year-old Maui man who was on probation for felony crimes was arrested and charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man in Kahului on Monday.

Maui police arrested Bronsen Rodrigues on Tuesday and he was held without bail after being charged.

Police responded to a 2:50 a.m. call Monday at Kea Street in Kahului where a group of armed men reportedly threatened people at a home.

Officers found a man dead from an apparent gunshot wound in a storage room at the back of the carport, police said….

read … Soft on Crime

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