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Wednesday, July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:32 PM :: 3478 Views

Supreme Court Rejects Parts of Hawaii Judgment, 24,000 Muslims Blocked from Country

Oahu Military to Get 20% for Cost of Living

OHA seeks community input for its Wahiawā lands master plan

Input Sought for DHHL 2018 Legislative Agenda

Homeless Youth: Hawaii Ranks 5th

Auditor: Anti-Superferry Activists Wasted $71M of Taxpayer Money

Poll: Ige Approval 48%

MC: Ige approval rating is below 50%, his disapproval rating is 42% according to a new poll from Morning Consult….

read … Under 50%

Star-Adv: HART Needs Forensic Audit

SA: …Voters are not getting what they signed up for back in November 2008 when they narrowly approved the controversial project. However, a bit of foreshadowing did occur just days before that election when the city disclosed that the cost of the East Kapolei to Ala Moana system had increased to at least $4.28 billion, compared with the $3.7 billion price tag pitched two years earlier. How is it that the cost has spiraled, exactly?

Inexact explanations centered on a recent surge in the construction market. Rail leaders also cite contracts being issued too early, changes to the system’s technology and design, and an 18-month delay caused by state and federal lawsuits.

More candor likely will be appreciated by state lawmakers prepping for an Aug. 28 special session aimed at finding more rail revenue. Due to lack of faith in the project’s in-flux figures, the Legislature denied approval of any sort of general excise tax extension during the regular session.

Krishniah Murthy, who now serves as HART’s interim executive director, maintains that once passengers are riding the 20-mile line they’ll likely be on board for expanding the transit system on both east and west sides. If that’s the case, it’s a sure bet that more tax dollars will be tapped, which underscores the need to follow through with Felix’s call to “clear up the past, see what went wrong with great specificity.”….

read … Learn from rail’s difficult history

Secret Hearing for Officers who want Honolulu taxpayers to foot their legal bills in a corruption lawsuit

CB: …The Honolulu Police Commission is scheduled to hold closed-door hearings Wednesday to decide whether taxpayers should pay the legal fees of two officers who were sued in relation to an ongoing U.S. Justice Department corruption investigation tied to former Chief Louis Kealoha.

But legal experts, including the only two lawyers who sit on the commission, say the public and the media should not be barred from the proceedings.

They say doing so could be a violation of both the U.S. and Hawaii constitutions….

read … Secrecy and Corruption

DOE misconduct investigations result in 6 leaving

SA: The state Department of Education closed out 11 employee misconduct investigations during the past three months, resulting in five terminations and one resignation in lieu of termination, according to data shared Tuesday with the state school board.

Among the 11 completed cases, investigators determined four reports were unsubstantiated, and those employees were returned to work, while another received a written reprimand….

As of June 30 there were 37 DOE employees on paid leave pending the results of investigations. Most of the cases involve teachers accused of inappropriate physical or verbal conduct toward students.

That’s down from 63 investigations that were pending at the end of 2014, when the Board of Education began scrutinizing the department’s handling of cases. The board, citing concerns over the cost of paid leave and the stigma for employees who might eventually be exonerated, called for quarterly progress updates.

The 37 open investigations include 21 cases against teachers. The teacher investigations involve allegations of inappropriate physical or verbal conduct toward students (15 cases), employee-on-employee workplace violence (three cases) and one case each of sexual harassment and creating a hostile learning environment. One teacher is also under a “suitability analysis” investigation to determine whether he or she is still fit for public employment and to work in close proximity with children…..

read … More Misconduct

How Anti-Superferry Protesters Killed Affordable Housing

SA: …Aina Le‘a hopes it can raise money while in bankruptcy to restructure its debts and finance significant planning and infrastructure work that is necessary before the company can generate any revenue by selling initial homes.

Wessels said in a declaration in the bankruptcy case that the company needs $12.5 million for infrastructure plus $28 million to finish building 192 affordable townhouses. Those homes, priced under $450,000 on average, would generate more than $80 million in sales.

“I believe this inventory would be absorbed relatively quickly given the demand for affordable housing on the Big Island,” Wessels said in the filing.

A big hitch in producing any homes to date has been state and county regulatory requirements.

One of these was the need to produce an environmental impact statement as a result of a legal precedent tied to a Hawaii Superferry case in 2007….

read … Thank a Superferry protester

Biomass: ‘Clean’ Energy That is Dirtier than Coal

IM: …The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Dogwood Alliance released a report, “The Sustainable Biomass Program: Smokescreen for Forest Destruction and Corporate Non-Accountability” in June 2017.

“Whole trees and other large-diameter wood is a carbon-intensive fuel for two key reasons.

“First, just like coal, when trees are burned in power plants, the carbon they have accumulated over long periods of time is released into the atmosphere. However, freshly cut wood is nearly half water by weight, and that water must first be boiled off, which requires significant energy. This makes biomass facilities far less efficient than fossil fuel plants per ton of carbon emitted. Lower efficiency means more wood must be burned to generate the same amount of electricity, increasing carbon pollution at the power plant. As a result, stack emissions of forest biomass are typically comparable to or greater than coal, even according to industry analyses.

“Second, unlike coal, trees will continue to absorb carbon, if left alone. Harvesting and burning trees as biomass, thus, also disrupts vital carbon sinks and impedes ongoing forest carbon sequestration. Even if replanted immediately, trees take decades to reach maturity. Young trees may grow at a faster rate than older trees, but older trees have been found to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere. The emissions from biomass-fueled power plants and the lost sequestration create a large “carbon debt” that can take new trees anywhere from 35 to 100 years or more to repay—far beyond the timeframe of existing E.U. and international climate policy commitments…..

Hu Honua submitted a statement of position to the Public Utilities Commission on July 17, 2017 addressing comments by Life of the Land (LOL).

Hu Honua did a bait and switch, starting with statements about climate change, and swapping them for renewable energy.

“Hu Honua agrees with LOL`s statements ...regarding the threat of climate change…LOL`s comments are a distraction, since the question of whether or not Hu Honua is renewable... was already settled.”

“LOL is correct that a complex life cycle study might be able to estimate to a higher degree of certainty the precise carbon balance of a biomass plants such as Hu Honua…The relevant point is that biomass plants, like wind and solar plants, are renewable."

read … Biomess

Hawaii Medicaid: 33% are Drug Addicts, 25% are Mental Cases

CB: About 25 percent of Medicaid patients here have mental health problems, 25 percent have diabetes and about one-third are struggling with substance abuse. In nursing homes, about 50 percent to 70 percent of all patients are on Medicaid….

read … State Officials Breathe Easier After GOP Health Plan Collapses

What Will it Take to Force Drug Addicted Homeless to Accept Shelter?

HNN: …While our Allyson Blair was there, a police corporal told the restaurant manager that there was nothing police could do about the encampment. His expression of exasperation said it all.

Actually, there are things the police can do.

In fact, after our story aired, they started citing the people for sleeping in their vehicles. They can also force them to move at least every 24 hours.

But these measures are so weak and do not work at forcing people into shelter or housing. In a way, that officer was right.

Meanwhile, he and others are unfortunately hearing from citizens who accuse them of doing nothing.

It's symptomatic of a social services and criminal justice system that still doesn't  work together years after homelessness was declared a crisis. …

read … Local Connection: Homeless Police

Homeless Dude Causes Mayhem at Kahului Businesses

MN: …Todd O’Neill, 37, is charged with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree theft in the incident reported at 2:19 a.m. July 6 at Aloha Island Mart at 50 Pakaula St. in Kahului.

Cashier Josephine Quenga said a man with a backpack entered the store and began dancing around.

“It was weird,” she said during a preliminary hearing Friday for O’Neill in Wailuku District Court.

She identified O’Neill as the man she warned about knocking over items in the store before he left without paying for bottles of Pepsi and coconut water valued at $5.

“She chased after him,” Deputy Prosecutor Joanne Sheng said. “He said to her three times, ‘If you touch me, I’ll hit you.’ “Because O’Neill threatened the imminent use of force against Quenga, he was charged with robbery, Sheng said….

O’Neill also faces a third-degree assault charge for his arrest the morning of July 11.

A Lowe’s employee reported O’Neill punched him in the face in the store’s garden section after the employee intervened when he heard O’Neill yelling at two other employees, according to court records. After O’Neill punched the employee, another employee shoved O’Neill out of the store and closed the doors to the garden section, court records show….

read … Finally Forced to Accept Shelter--in Jail

Jaylin Kema receives warning for violating terms of probation

KHON: …Jaylin Kema is not following the terms of her probation, according to the court.

In June, Kema was sentenced to 10 years of probation for the death of her son, “Peter Boy” Kema.

According to a document signed by her probation officer and filed in circuit court, Jaylin Kema was nearly an hour late for one appointment, and missed another entirely.

Her officer also said that Kema changed her phone number and failed to report it.

Lastly, Kema tested positive for marijuana. “She stated that she was in pain, and that she met with a friend at the cemetery to purchase the drug,” the document stated….

read … Jaylin Kema receives warning for violating terms of probation

Chinatown: Caldwell’s Latest Lane-Elimination Scheme Draws Ire

SA: …Call it the fight over the Chinatown tradition of the quick pickup where motorists park curbside, even if it’s illegal, and then run out to grab a lei or box of manapua.

Several petitions are circulating urging the Caldwell administration to remove 11 traffic bulb-outs or curb extensions that were installed along key intersections of Chinatown several weeks ago. Area City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga and former Gov. Neil Abercrombie have also joined the chorus of those who want the extensions out now. 

Big Q: What do you think about the installation of curb extensions in Chinatown to calm traffic and protect pedestrians?

read … Caldwell’s Dim Bulb Out

Marco Polo Fire



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