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Monday, September 5, 2016
September 5, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:08 PM :: 3801 Views

Caldwell’s New Slogan: ‘It’s not my fault’

Walter Ritte Teams up with Rich European Activists to save Hawaii’s Endangered Mosquitoes

Ige’s 2020 Ag Plan: Hi Tech Tax Credit Scammers to ‘Drive out Seed Companies’

KE: …energy-tech entrepreneur Warren Doi, program manager for Energy Excelerator, a nonprofit venture capital entity that funds “cleantech startups,” is hatching a plan for Kauai ag land. In an email to a Kauai farmer, Doi wrote: “We've been working on a number of agriculture initiatives on Kauai with export potential. We have 5,000 acres on the westside (The Mana Plains), and we are driving out the seed companies to make room for local farmers.”

Driving out the seed companies? That's an interesting position for a guy who is the Kauai rep for the Hawaii Technology Development Corp., a state agency that is charged, among other things, with doling out $2 million in grants to “manufacturing businesses in Hawaii for certain purchases and employee training purposes.”

And especially interesting, considering that one of the proposals to help Gov. Ige achieve his new-stated goal of doubling local food production by 2020 states: “HDOA and ADC are also looking to begin an Agricultural Business Incubator in Kekaha, Kauai for over 5,000 acres of agricultural lands to increase the State’s food production.”

So Doi, with his biases, is apparently in charge of that.

But then, Doi, who lives on Oahu, cherishes “hanging out on the north shore of Kauai,” which may explain where he got the idea that the seed companies need to be “driven out” in order for other ag to go in.

Uh, no. There's plenty of land. What's lacking are farmers.

Yet Ige's food production plan makes just one reference to growing farmers:  “The State will increase capital available to farmers by increasing the Agricultural Loan Program portfolio that will give increased capacity for HDOA to provide start-up capital to new farmers. HDOA will submit a request of five (5) million dollars per year for the new biennium budget.”

…Which leads us to another plank in Ige's food platform:

The State will continue its advocacy in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office for a farm to school program for a second fiscal year (Session 2016) with an emphasis on increasing the procurement of locally grown commodities by government agencies. Pilot projects starting in early 2017 with the Kohala Complex followed by Upcountry Maui.

It's interesting to note that two of the groups heavily involved in the farm to school program — Kokua Foundation Hawaii and Kohala Center — are funded by philanthropists with an anti-GMO agenda, and in the case of the Kohala Center, run by anti-GMO activist Nancy Redfeather.

Some of the smaller players listed on the site —Grow Some Good, Sustainable Molokai, Oahu Farm to School Network, Food Corps Hawaii, Pacific Resources for Education & Learning — either link back to the Kohala Center or Malama Kauai, which is anti-GMO.

While it's great to give school kids access to healthy food and an awareness of gardening, it's troubling to see state money used to advance an initiative grounded in a false ideology. Kids should be taught critical thinking, not anti-GMO dogma.

And is it really appropriate to use state money to procure commodities grown by anti-GMO groups operating on grants, including some state money, which gives them an edge over local farmers who aren't similarly subsidized?

read … Tax Credit Scammers 

OHA, Enviros Talk About How to Cash in on Papahanaumokuakea

CB: The oceans panel was sandwiched between remarks from two Hawaiian leaders and moderated by a third, Island Water founder Aulani Wilhelm.

Kamana‘o Crabbe, CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, delivered a powerful mele or chant in Hawaiian, one extolling the power of Kanaloa, the deity with domain over the oceans.

“The giver or life to the sea, the source, the genesis,” said Crabbe, wearing shorts and slippers.

Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson closed the panel by sharing the lessons of Mau Piailug, the late Micronesian navigator from the Carolinian island of Satawal. His indigenous knowledge was key to revival of traditional navigation methods, the ones learned by the crew of the historic Hawaiian canoe Hokulea.

If Piailug were at the panel Saturday, said Thompson, he was sure that Piailug would be pleased to see the room was full of new navigators, ones ready to sail again with new maps of exploration.

Enviros: Humans Make Me Sick

read … Follow the Dollars

Caldwell Spent $87K For Polls—Didn’t Leak Any of Them

CB: …The mayor…dropped $87,000 on polling in just two weeks. The money went to SMS Research & Marketing Services of Honolulu and Campaign Communication Solutions of Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Though Djou had led Caldwell in opinion polls with a 9 percentage point lead, he lost to the mayor by less than 1 percentage point. The two are now competing for the Nov. 8 general election.

From July 30 through Aug. 13, Djou raised $167,828, spent $216,204 and had $146,688 in cash on hand remaining. He has raised a total of $653,612.

Recent contributors maxing out at the $4,000 limit include heiress Abigail Kawananakoa, Eric Tema of the MacNaughton Group and Chan Mitsunaga of Mitsunaga & Associates.

Caldwell raised $57,616, spent $331,683 and had $499,944 in cash left over. He has raised a total of $2,908,714.

His contributors maxing out include people who work for him: George Atta, director of Planning and Permitting; Michele Nekota, director of Parks and Recreation; and Keith Ho, deputy director of Information Technology.

The latest campaign filings do not reflect what may have been raised since the primary.

Caldwell has already held three fundraisers during that time while Djou has held none….

HNN: Djou campaign raises three times as much as Caldwell campaign

read … Bad Poll Numbers

Policing for profit: Challenging property seizures in court can be costly

SA: When an SUV was broken into at Makapuu Lighthouse, Darrell Teixeira had a rock solid alibi — he was in prison.

But that didn’t stop the police from coming to his house in Waimanalo on the day of the crime and seizing his 2000 Honda Accord, which the state later auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

The police suspected that an ex-boyfriend of Teixeira’s daughter may have taken the Honda to Makapuu and broken into the SUV, stealing a handbag, silver cross, swimming goggles and clothes, according to police records. Then he drove the Honda back to Waimanalo, police said.

It didn’t matter that neither Teixeira nor his daughter was implicated in the robbery. Nor did it matter that the police hadn’t charged the ex-boyfriend with the crime.

Under Hawaii’s civil asset forfeiture program, law enforcement agencies can seize property suspected of being connected with criminal activity, even if they don’t obtain a conviction or file a criminal charge.

Property owners have two options. Within 30 days of receiving a notice of forfeiture, they can file a petition with the attorney general’s office making their case for why they should get back their property….

If this fails, owners can challenge the seizure in court….

read … Forfeiture

Officers back on duty: Probes of Hawaii County shootings wind down

HTH: All officers involved in the four fatal police-involved shootings on the Big Island this year are back on active duty, according to police.

Assistant Police Chief Henry Tavares said in an email that investigations by the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section into the two most recent shootings, those of Kalyp Rapoza in Hilo and BJ Medeiros in Puna, are still ongoing, but he declined to comment further on the status of those investigations.

Tavares said CIS has wrapped its investigations of the two earlier shootings of Ronald Barawis Jr. and Scottie Yanagawa and has sent those investigations to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for review.

All police-involved shootings also are subject to an administrative review by the Office of Professional Standards, Hawaii Police Department’s internal affairs unit.

Capt. Kenneth Bugado of OPS said, also in an email, his unit’s investigations into the shootings of Barawis and Yanagawa have been completed, while the administrative investigations into the shootings of Rapoza and Medeiros are continuing.

County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said a review of the Criminal Investigation Section’s probe by his office is standard operating procedure. He said the administrative investigations are an internal police personnel matter and, as such, are private.

The names of officers will remain confidential unless any are charged with a crime connected with a shooting.

Starting July 1, 2017, an independent review board administered by the state attorney general’s office will review the criminal investigations of officer-involved deaths, including police-involved shootings. Act 161, co-sponsored by state Sen. Vice President Will Espero, and state Sens. Roslyn Baker, Maile Shimabukuro and Cynthia Thielen, was signed into law June 30 by Gov. David Ige.

“The intent of this bill is to make certain people have trust in the investigatory process and they feel that nothing’s being covered up or swept under the rug,” Espero said.

“I’m told we’re the first state to have this statewide….

read … Probes of shootings wind down

“This is Just the Union Guys Screwing Around”

SA: Last week, the Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP), a construction union advocacy group, alleged labor violations and building irregularities at the $25 million Maile Sky Court renovation project — highlighting the critical need to adhere to labor laws and building regulations.

The city Department of Planning and Permitting acted swiftly by citing the owner for not maintaining safe and sanitary conditions.

“Black mold is evident” at Maile Sky Court, the violation said, noting corrections must be made by Oct. 1.

As troubling as the presence of mold was the allegation that untrained, undocumented workers handled the black mold without protective gear. Kyle Chock, executive director of PRP, said some construction crew members allegedly reported experiencing difficulty breathing, coughing, throat irritation and migraines while working at the operational condominium hotel.

A swift and thorough investigation is urged, so that any improper work conditions can be remedied and the safety of workers is ensured.

Further, investigators from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Regulated Industry Complaints Office were on site at the Maile Sky Court project last week, looking into whether firms misclassified construction employees as independent contractors and conducted work off the books.

“This is just the union guys screwing around,” said Lee Grossbard, chief operating officer of California-based Clearview Hotel Capital LLC, which bought the property for $76 million in 2015….

Big Q: What do you think of labor unions?

read … Black Mold

Stop TMT: Our Children Can Just Go Away

SA: …The Thirty Meter Telescope developers have the whole world from which to pick a mountain for their telescope. We have one Mauna Kea. In a few more years, they’ll want to build a bigger telescope. Our children can still get a good education in astronomy, even if it means going away, like a lot of our kids do….

read … Go Away

QUICK HITS:

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How much attention are you paying to the World Conservation Congress being held in Honolulu?

FURLOUGH ESCAPEE CHARGED

UH partners with FDA on food, drug, cosmetic and medical device safety

Big News: Some Enviro Doesn’t Like Trump

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Doomed: Pacific Island nations follow Hawaii’s lead to renewable energy future

Empowering youth subject of conservation congress in Honolulu

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County of Kauai, KIUC Collaborate on Home Efficiency Program

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Obama contributes $30m for Pacific Is to counter climate change

Summit Organizes are Making Lots of ‘Green’ Cash

Hepatitis A outbreak bucks trend

We’re going to miss complaining about Obama visits


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