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Thursday, September 15, 2016
September 15, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:31 PM :: 4277 Views

Are these OHA Check Expenditures for Real?

Is Gun Confiscation Coming To Hawaii?

Hawaii County Lawsuit: Can Lawyer Engineer Her Way into Office?

E-cigarette use linked to successful attempts to quit smoking

For the Love of Family

Star-Adv: DHHL Should Say no to Danner, Dump Criminal Hee

SA: …The case involved shocking examples of the way Hee spent federal subsidies funneled to the company, ostensibly to support the delivery of services to homesteaders. Instead, he was found to have spent $2.9 million in company funds on personal expenses, real estate and luxuries such as vacations.

The Federal Communications Commission, as a result, has suspended paying millions in subsidies to the carrier while it audits how Sandwich Isles spent all its money.

And until the facts on the spending emerge, the state Consumer Advocate has recommended that the Public Utilities Commission hold off recertifying the company, an approval required if it is to resume business as usual.

That’s the whole point: This is the time for DHHL to see if its communications needs could be handled some other way.

Anyone with the homesteaders’ interests at heart should support casting a wide net for alternatives, too. Instead, (Robin Danner) groups such as the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homeland Assembly have asked the Hawaiian Homes Commission to recertify Sandwich Isles so the tainted company can continue receiving the federal funds, estimated at about $1.4 million a month.

It’s all complicated, of course, by the fact that Sandwich Isles has been operating under an exclusive license DHHL awarded in 1995 for service to Hawaiian homesteaders….

The PUC has until Oct. 1 to give its answer on certification to the FCC. At this point, it seems plain the answer should be a resounding “no.” ….

read … It’s time DHHL seeks alternative to tainted provider

Lawyers: Kenoi ‘had bigger things to do’

HTH: Attorneys defending Mayor Billy Kenoi on theft and other charges said in a legal document “the big picture, big thinking mayor had bigger things to do than think about monthly reimbursements” of personal charges made with his county-issued credit card.

Kenoi is scheduled for trial Oct. 10 on two counts of second-degree theft, two counts of misdemeanor theft, three counts of tampering with government records and one count of making a false statement under oath. The second-degree theft charges are felonies each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The alleged crimes stem from Kenoi’s misuse of his pCard.

A document filed by Deputy Attorney General Kevin Takata said Kenoi used the card to buy “exorbitant amounts of alcohol.” Attached was a Dec. 15, 2008, memo from then-Finance Director Nancy Crawford to Kenoi and department leaders about spending guidelines that said meals for which reimbursement is sought “should be made on an itemized receipt. NO LIQUOR!” (emphasis Crawford’s) The memo said the guidelines were adopted after discussions with Kenoi, who had just taken office, and then-Managing Director Bill Takaba, who approved and signed the memo.

The state also is asking the judge to prohibit “all testimony and evidence relating in any way to the accomplishments, achievements, activities, policies, positions, or goals” of Kenoi while mayor, while the defense wants such testimony allowed, saying the accomplishments, policies and goals of Kenoi’s administration “intersected when he engaged in the conduct upon which the state has premised its criminal allegations.”

“Sharing an alcoholic drink has always been a common part of doing business and conducting the affairs of government in this country — and around the world,” Kenoi attorneys Todd Eddins and Richard Sing wrote. “Alcohol consumption among business and government officials indisputably serves the goal of developing closer and more meaningful relationships.”….

Related: Kenoi PCard used to purchase large amount of alcohol for Star-Adv Reporter

read … Lawyers: Kenoi ‘had bigger things to do’

Caldwell Fumbles Again, More Flooding in Mapunapuna

KHON: In Mapunapuna, businesses are struggling with floodwaters causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Any time there’s heavy rain on Oahu, businesses in Mapunapuna brace themselves because the street fronting their places ends up looking more like a lake, with cars struggling to get through inches of flood waters near Kilihau and Ahua streets.

Over at Davis Design Center, the company says it suffers thousands of dollars in damage anytime it floods, which is often. Sandbags and plywood line the business, but the efforts aren’t enough.

Showroom manager Luella Sufrin said the company is still dealing with mold and damage after Darby brought 18 inches of water that flooded the place a few weeks back.

“I don’t sleep really well when it rains anymore,” Sufrin said, “because I know when I come to work, I’m going to be faced with something. … It keeps happening. The worst part about it is not being able to be comfortable here, knowing that every time we close the doors and go home, it could happen overnight.”

She said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and City Council member Joey Manahan recently stopped by to survey the damage, and we’re told both are looking into the problem to see what can be done to help businesses in Mapunapuna….

read … Caldwell

Civil Beat: Rail is Possible only because of Hordes of Uninformed Democrat Voters

CB: …To understand Djou’s plight, let’s look at how elections work.

Think of any election as the mingling of two sets of forces. One set is quite stable, transcending any particular election. Those are the fundamentals.

The other set involves things particular to a specific election. Call these situational.

At least three fundamentals influence Hawaii’s elections whether they are partisan or not (the mayoral race is nominally non-partisan).

First, an incumbent has a big advantage. Normally elections with an incumbent are a referendum on that incumbent— is the person in office good enough for government work.

The second fundamental is that the number of Democratic voters in Hawaii is far greater than Republican voters. Enough said. Well ok, add that this numerical advantage is important even in the nominally non-partisan mayor’s race.

Third, the electorate in a primary is different from the electorate in a general election.   The general election brings in more voters who are less engaged and less issue-oriented.

Rail was supposed to be the exceptional wedge issue that would work to Djou’s advantage. No more.

And a combination of the second fundamental and simple arithmetic shows that most of those new voters typically vote Democrat.

Every one of these fundamentals favors Caldwell….

read … less engaged and less issue-oriented

Star-Adv: We Like UH Being Just Average

SA: Sometimes being in the middle is pretty darn good….

Big Q: What do you think about the University of Hawaii-Manoa, which ranked 169th out of 310 four-year colleges nationwide?

read … Just Average

Fishing industry pushes back following questions about labor practices

KHON: …the industry is defending itself, one day after a grocery store chain stopped buying tuna from Hawaii's fish auction.

There are 140 longline boats and 700 fishermen in Hawaii's fishing fleet. The undocumented workers' employment is legal.

"It's a very in-demand job for them," Hawaii Longline Association president Sean Martin said….

"It's a long ways from slave labor and human trafficking," he said.

He insists the fishermen are treated fairly and humanely.

"The idea that there's these abuses going on and nobody knows about it and they haven't been reported -- I can't buy it," he said….

The fishermen sign contracts to work for $500 a month.

Martin said with incentives a fisherman can earn three times his base pay. It's more money than they can make back home.

"They wait years to get an opportunity to come to Hawaii to work on a Hawaii boat," he said….

Martin said U.S. Custom and Border officers are on the docks daily so fishermen can get help.

"They have every opportunity to address those issues and to do something about it, If they're real," he said.

Some fishermen have worked in Hawaii's longline fleet a decade or longer.

Martin said if they are being abused by their employers, why do they keep coming back?

CB: Fishermen are bad people

read … Fishing industry pushes back following questions about labor practices

Activists Find New Ways to Cash in on Environmentalism

SA: ….here in Honolulu, before the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) started, E Alu Pu, a network of grassroots malama aina groups that KUA facilitates, engaged with over 70 global indigenous peers. Further, the IUCN Members’ Assembly took a landmark step of creating a new membership category for indigenous people’s organizations. Their leadership matters because 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity is safe-guarded in areas managed by indigenous peoples, and we need to draw from their knowledge and practices.

Equally significant was community members’ influence over the language of Motion 53, which asked countries to establish a greater percentage of their national waters as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030.

Contributions by KUA along with E Alu Pu and several Pacific island nations led to a revised motion emphasizing that such efforts be preceded by dialogue with indigenous peoples and local communities up front.

A majority vote for Motion 71 in support of increased community-based natural resource management in Hawaii and the world further strongly prioritizes input from indigenous people and local communities. These are proactive steps toward building better relationships with nature and each other that our state should consider….

JACL: Time for more-inclusive vision for next century of America’s public lands

read … Money

Eco-Hypesters try new Angle to Attack Agriculture

CB:  …Two Hawaii community groups have filed a civil-rights complaint against the state Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness Development Corporation for not doing enough to protect Native Hawaiians from pesticides sprayed on fields near schools, hospitals and homes.

Earthjustice, representing Moms On a Mission and Poai Wai Ola/West Kauai Watershed Alliance, sent the complaint Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency.

“If anyone began spraying toxic chemicals so that they drifted into homes and schools in one of Hawaii’s affluent neighborhoods, there would be outrage and it would be shut down,” Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff said in a release. “But not on Kauai’s west side or on Molokai, because the Native Hawaiians there don’t have the political clout. It’s shameful and it’s against the law.” ….

Earthjustice says the two state agencies receive federal funding, so they have an obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure their programs and activities do not discriminate against communities of color, including Native Hawaiians….

read … Hype to fool the foolish

Hawaii Supreme Court, UH Richardson Practice for ‘Climate Change’ Lawsuits

IM: …The “Antonio A. Oposa, Jr. Intergenerational Moot Court”, also known as the “Intergenerational Climate Justice for the International Court of Justice” (ICJ4ICJ) was a moot court (religious tribunal) workshop held in conjunction with the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawai`i.

As part of the World Conservation Congress, the World Environmental Law Congress, and the Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai`i, Mānoa, a question was posed to six international teams of law students.

The question presented for an Advisory Opinion by a mock panel of the International Court of Justice concerns the responsibility of States under international law to address the global climate crisis for the benefit of present and future generations.

The five judges were Acting President, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald (Hawaiʻi, USA), Professor Christina Voigt, University of Oslo (Norway), Irina Krasnova, Russian State University of Justice (Russia), Emilie Gaillard, University of Caen (France) and Liza Osorio, The University of Cebu (Philippines).

The six entities filing memorials (petitions) to the court were each represented by a team of law students: The Alliance of Small Island States (William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i), the Organization of American States (Milton Campos Law School, Brazil), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (University of Cebu, Philippines), the Arab League (Elizabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University, New York), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Seoul National University, South Korea), and the European Parliament (Sciences Po Rennes, France).

Each legal team looked to previous international laws, treaties, conventions, and court cases to justify their approach. Their arguments are posted on the IUCN website. (The web site is often slow to load)….

read …. About their plans for your future

Hawaii Biofuel Venture in Legal Trouble

PBN: Hoku Kai Biofuels LLC is entangled in a lawsuit with a California energy company’s Hawaii subsidiary over an unpaid $2.3 million loan for property on the Big Island of Hawaii for use as a biofuel storage and distribution facility, Pacific Business News has learned.

In 2014, Hoku Kai, a subsidiary of California-based NextFuels, purchased a 1.2 million-gallon storage and fuel terminal in Hilo with plans to import and distribute biofuel across the Big Island.

A year before, Hoku Kai received a $2.3 million loan from Makawao Sugar Plantation LP, a subsidiary of California-based Signal Hill Petroleum, to pay for the property at 794 Kalanianaole Ave.

Despite Makawao Sugar’s demands, it said Hoku Kai has failed to pay the company back….

read … Energy company sues Hawaii biofuels firm for unpaid $2.3M loan

Kauai Council Still Discussing Tax Hikes

KGI: From taxing car rental companies and charging port fees on cruise ships….

…increase the General Excise Tax by half a percent. Supporters of the measure said it would raise $10 million per year….

Measures like increasing GET, vehicle weight tax and fuel tax were viable options, she said….

read … Tax Hikes

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