Hirono: I Was Sexually Harassed by Teachers, Colleagues--"Usually it's the males"
Video: Hysteria Subsides, Lehua Island Rat Eradication Successful
DoTax Leaves Fewer Callers in the Dust
Tsutsui Will not Run for Maui Mayor, Will not Resign as LG
MN: Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui said Friday that he will not be running for Maui County mayor in 2018 due to family reasons in an announcement that throws open the race to succeed Mayor Alan Arakawa, who is term limited….
Council Members Don Guzman and Elle Cochran and former Council Member Michael Victorino have made public statements announcing their intention to seek the county’s top office, and others are expected to join the race as well….
He won’t be running for governor or re-election as lieutenant governor, either. Nor will he seek a seat in the state Legislature, including that of former House Speaker Joseph Souki, who is said to be considering retiring, should it become open. Tsutsui represented the state Senate district that encompasses Souki’s House district before becoming lieutenant governor in late 2012 in the wake of the death of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. He was elected to the Senate in 2014.
“Long story short, I want to try to focus on my two babies I have at home,”he said….
The lieutenant governor plans to serve out his current term. There was some thought he might resign to begin his run for mayor, which would have set in motion a similar political chain of events that led him to becoming lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Senate President Ron Kouchi would have been first in line to succeed Tsutsui.
He plans to continue his work in the farm-to-school and REACH middle school after-school programs and the redevelopment of Aloha Stadium….
read … Tsutsui to pass on mayoral run in Maui County
Unimpressive Ige: Many lawmakers regard him with open contempt
Shapiro: …Ige portrays himself in the “quiet but effective” mold of former Gov. George Ariyoshi, but Ariyoshi — his key supporter in 2014 — is disappointed in him and may back Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho if he runs, according to a Star-Advertiser report by Kevin Dayton.
Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, another 2014 Ige supporter, is backing Hanabusa, calling her “decisive … very intelligent — probably the smartest person in local politics today.”
In the Bizarro world of local Democratic politics, the only former governor backing Ige is John Waihee, who supported Abercrombie in 2014.
Waihee suggests all the modest Ige needs to change is to “talk more about what they’re doing,” but talk is unlikely to dissuade skeptical voters from what they see with their own eyes.
The governor has given homelessness diligent attention, but his cautious and piecemeal approach has produced unimpressive results as homeless seem more visible than ever, Kakaako makai is being swept for the umpteenth time and the once-beautiful shoreline park is closed indefinitely because of the trashing.
There’s no big plan or commitment of resources; promises to build 20,000 new affordable homes are little more than talk.
On Honolulu rail, instead of leading crucial negotiations on a controversial $3 billion bailout, Ige disappeared as legislators fought with the city about costs and among themselves over how to pay.
His failure to offer clear guidance, indicating he’d sign whatever the Legislature passed, left many lawmakers regarding him with open contempt.
Ige briefly tried to mediate the dispute between scientists and Native Hawaiians over the Thirty Meter Telescope, but ducked away saying he respected both sides after seeing the difficulty of the problem.
As perhaps the final showdown nears, we remain in a standoff on the festering community rift with little sense of how the governor will resolve it.
The closest Ige gets to excited is when talking about improving the flow of state paperwork — hardly a priority of most voters…..
read … Sound bites aren’t the ticket to Ige’s re-election
Carvalho to Run for Lt Gov
Borreca: …Both Abercrombie and Tsutsui say at this time neither have plans to endorse either Ige or U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary. The third possible candidate, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, has reportedly decided to run for lieutenant governor and not governor….
read … Tsutsui to sit out 2018 election to ‘recharge’
Kealoha told HPD if he could do it, they could too … and then he taught them how
Cataluna: …It was a Friday night in December 2009 when brand new police chief Louis Kealoha walked into the union hall filled with about 100 SHOPO members and was greeted with a standing ovation.
“Eh, how you guys doing?” Kealoha asked the crowd. “You guys know my personality. I’m low-key. I just wanted to come and say aloha and thank you for all your support.”
SHOPO President Tenari Ma’afala said it was the first time a chief had addressed the union’s general membership. My friend and former colleague Curtis Lum covered that 2009 meeting and remembers that everyone in that room was so happy…..
In March 2010, I wrote a profile of the new chief. My central question was why so many on the force loved the guy. It had to be more than just his personality and a ready smile….
he started helping others on the force. He started test-prep courses for police officers wanting to move up in their careers. That was a big reason so many on the force loved him. He told them that if he could do it, they could too … and then he taught them how.
His was supposed to be a story of a self-made man who climbed the career ladder through his own grit and diligence and then reached back to help other cops better themselves….
Parallel: 2014 Kenoi HPU Commencement Speech
read … Flashback
Rush Job: Council will Have Caldwell’s Hand-Picked Police Commissioners in Place by Nov 1
SA: …Only four members are available to make a pick, and they will have to reach consensus. That’s because any seven-person city panel needs four votes to take action.
Two commissioners resigned in recent months, and commission Chairman Max Sword recused himself due to a conflict of interest because his wife, Mona Wood-Sword, is first cousin of one of the finalists, retired federal agent Thomas Aiu.
The four commissioners are scheduled to make a decision on a new chief Wednesday or Thursday but could extend that to the end of the month.
Several commissioners have been talking about what can be done if they don’t reach consensus. And Okimoto announced last week he agreed to a request by Mayor Kirk Caldwell to delay his retirement by a month and stay on through November in case there are delays in the selection process.
In case the four can’t decide this week, the Council is speeding up the confirmation proceedings for Caldwell’s nominations of two new commissioners, so they would be able to help break any potential impasse on selecting a new chief.
On Friday, Menor waived an initial hearing on the nominated commissioners, which would have been held Nov. 1. Instead, the nominations will be sent directly to the Public Health, Safety and Welfare Committee for a special hearing Friday. If they are approved in committee, the Council will hold a final vote Nov. 1.
Caldwell forwarded the names of Karen Chang and Gerard “Jerry” Gibson to the Council last Tuesday.
The new police chief will have to move quickly to restore the department’s damaged reputation.
(Translation: Gambling dens and massage parlors just aren’t sure if they are getting their money’s worth any more.)
read … Stacked
Same Police Comm is About to Pick the Next Kealoha
SA: …it’s all blowing up at the precise moment when HPD, and its supervising Honolulu Police Commission, are preparing for a major reboot. Two positions on the commission are about to be filled, and the new police chief will be named soon.
The litany of charges stands as a reminder of how crucial it will be for the department to find its footing again. This saga has damaged the department’s credibility. Acting Chief Cary Okimoto acknowledged the blow to officers’ morale, as well. “(Morale) can’t be good. I know my morale is not too good,” he said on Friday, after the Kealohas had been released on bond.
And, in an equally difficult challenge, the commission now must convince doubting Oahu residents that it’s looking out for the interests of its public constituency, rather than cheerleading for the police department brass. There is some progress there, with new members asking probing questions.
But remember: This commission, albeit with some different members, had issued a glowing evaluation for the former chief as the controversy first unfurled…
read … More of the Same
Next Telescope Appeal Due Nov 3
SA: …TMT opponents say they are preparing to file an appeal to the state Board of Land and Natural Resource’s Sept. 28 decision to issue the project’s conservation district use permit.
“We are definitely going to appeal,” said Kealoha Pisciotta, leader of the Mauna Kea Hui and one of the petitioners in the case.
TMT foes have until Nov. 3 to file — a date that represents 30 days after receipt of a certified copy of the Land Board’s decision, officials said.
The appeal will go directly to the Hawaii Supreme Court under the terms of Act 48, a fast-track provision approved by the 2016 state Legislature with the TMT in mind.
The law requires the high court to give priority to select contested case appeals of significant statewide importance….
Joshua Wisch, special assistant to state Attorney General Douglas Chin, said that before TMT International Observatory LLC can begin construction, it first needs a “notice to proceed” from the state.
The lessee, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, is now working on a plan to implement the 43 conditions imposed by the Land Board on the construction permit, spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said.
A potential stumbling block is the project’s 6-acre sublease, which was invalidated by Hawaii island Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura in January. Nakamura ruled that the board violated the constitutional rights of E. Kalani Flores of Hilo by denying his request to a contested case hearing in 2014 prior to allowing the university to issue the 6-acre sublease to TMT….
Looming over these events is TMT’s self-imposed deadline. The board of the California nonprofit, with partners in India, Canada, Japan and China, continues to insist on starting construction in April, whether it’s on Hawaii’s tallest mountain or an alternative peak on La Palma in the Canary Islands.
read … Big Isle telescope construction still up in the air
Lawmakers press home lands agency to create housing
SA: As the state grapples with a severe shortage of affordable housing and the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the country, some lawmakers want the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to pitch in resources to help solve the pressing problems.
State Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, contends the department is “sitting on” $100 million that he envisions could end homelessness for thousands of Native Hawaiians. He and other lawmakers also say the department needs to develop affordable rental projects in addition to fulfilling its mission of awarding homesteads to eligible Native Hawaiians.
The remarks were made during a wide-ranging legislative briefing Thursday before the House and Senate committees on housing and Hawaiian affairs, during which lawmakers questioned DHHL’s director on the department’s efforts to produce more affordable housing. The hearing came on the heels of a Honolulu Star-Advertiser story that reported DHHL built no new housing units last fiscal year and ended the year with $29 million in unspent federal housing funds.
Related: Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii
read … DHHL
Rep Nakamura: Only Mental Health Intervention Can Stop Mass Shootings Before They Happen
KGI: “I believe Hawaii is a model for the rest of the country,” said state Rep. Nadine Nakamura. “We have one of the lowest gun-related deaths (rates) among all 50 states due to many factors.” …
“The current gun laws in Hawaii are very stringent,” said Jason Bryant, owner of JGB Arms in Lihue. “We have some of the most rigid gun laws in the nation. Current gun owners have to jump through quite a bit of hoops to legally own a firearm in Hawaii.”
Permits are valid in the issuing county only, and Hawaii does not recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states.
“Currently, all firearm buyers must undergo a criminal background check, a mental health background check and subject themselves to active monitoring on an FBI-sponsored crime database,” Bryant said.
After attending a recent conference in Nashville, state Rep. Dee Morikawa realized that a lot of people, legislators included, have permits to carry guns. Knowing that, she hesitated going out around town. (LOL!) ….
“We are very fortunate that past legislators took gun control seriously, police departments duly carry out their responsibilities of permitting guns, and we have dedicated volunteers who provide gun safety and hunter education on Kauai,” Nakamura said.
“I believe all of these factors help to reduce the incidence of gun violence, but cannot guarantee a mass shooting will not occur in Hawaii,” Nakamura added. “For that, we need family and friends to be aware of the potential threat of violence, and to seek professional mental health assistance if they suspect a person is a threat to themselves and others in our community.”
read … Mental
Developer Fled Hawaii in 1998—Never Looked Back
SA: …Real estate developer Bruce Stark — who left his stamp on Hawaii with the building of residential condominiums, offices and retail space beginning in 1966 — died Thursday at age 82.
Stark’s developments include the Royal Iolani, the Admiral Thomas, the Wailana at Waikiki, Yacht Harbor Towers, Waikiki Trade Center, Waterfront Plaza and One Waterfront Towers. He left Hawaii for Las Vegas in 1998, complaining of the high cost of doing business in the islands….
When he left Hawaii for Las Vegas in 1998, Stark said he would never again consider developing in Hawaii. “Who wants to own anything in Hawaii today? You’d have to be insane to own anything because it’s just going down, down, down.”
Stark said business could be done for less than half the cost in Las Vegas. He worked in real estate acquisition in Las Vegas until his death….
read … 1998
Law Creates State-Sponsored Marijuana Oligopoly
SA: …the final legislation left Hawaii with a restrictive dispensary program, awarding only eight vertically integrated licenses for the entire state. Each licensee is required to grow, produce, manufacture and retail its own medicine, and permitted to open no more than three retail dispensaries.
The current medical cannabis regulations — a tool that lawmakers crafted to assuage their own fears and apprehensions toward cannabis — severely limit marketplace competition and create a state-sponsored oligopoly, rather than the patient- centric program intended by the original law.
After more than two years, just three of the eight licensees have opened a single retail store each in their respective counties, and none of those have reached the maximum number of grow facilities or plants to service their current retail outlets. Vertical integration and the associated costs of maintaining every aspect of the supply chain are chief causes of these shortcomings.
As a result, retail prices in the first two dispensaries to open were two- to three-times higher than the black market, and the diversity of medicine is extremely low….
Regarding the law’s effect on consumers, the U.S. International Trade Commission has estimated that reform or repeal of the Jones Act could yield an annual economic gain of up to $15 billion. And some say such action is needed for relief from the high cost of living in shipping-dependent Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.
But Brewbaker said in Hawaii’s case, anyone who wants to reduce Hawaii’s cost of living would fare better by advocating for “production of way, way more housing units than the state and counties currently will allow.” He continued, “When you aggregate living costs, the goods component in Hawaii overall is not that much different from the mainland; housing is the culprit. Repealing the Jones Act will do nothing to reduce the cost of housing in Hawaii, which is rooted in supply restrictions (and geography).”…
read … Is Hawaii’s medical cannabis program doomed?
Jones Act: Keep afloat or let it sink?
SA: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria prompted the Trump administration to last month issue waivers to a restrictive maritime shipping law in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The temporary lifting of the Jones Act aimed to help speed delivery of relief supplies to areas reeling from storm damages.
In Hawaii, the move has renewed a longstanding debate over whether to update or repeal the law, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which requires vessels transporting cargo between two United States ports to be U.S.-flagged and built. Also, American citizens or permanent residents must account for three-quarters of crew and ownership….
read … Sink