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Wednesday, January 31, 2018
January 31, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:45 PM :: 5088 Views

Will Rod Becker be Hawaii's Next Lt Governor?

OHA Audit: LLCs Refuse to Show Check Registers

Video and Text: President Trump State of the Union Address

Trigger Modification Ban and Other Anti-Gun Bills To Be Heard in Committee

Report: Hawaii is an Expensive Place to Get Married

ACLU: Financially Successful Criminals Can Make Bail

Button Pusher Was HGEA Member—10 Years ‘’Troubled’ Employee’

CB: …The state’s investigation found that the employee had confused emergency drills with real threats at least two times prior, once during a fire incident test and again during a tsunami warning test, according to Brig. General Bruce Oliveira, who led the internal investigation.  Alerts didn’t go out to the public in those two instances, emergency officials said.

The employee has a history of performance problems and has been a “source of concern” for more than 10 years, according to the report.

Several of his colleagues stated during the investigation that they were not comfortable with having him as a supervisor, part of a two-person team, or even as a member of the state warning apparatus in general.

“There probably should have been actions taken” to address the situation, said Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, a state emergency management spokesman.

The employee’s status as part of the Hawaii Government Employees Association would not have prevented HEMA from directly addressing the issues with him, Anthony said.

There “may” be documents in the employee’s personnel records chronicling the issues, Anthony said, adding that he couldn’t specify further.

“Employee 1,” as the staffer is called in the report, “does not take initiative and has to be directed before he takes action,” the report states. “He is unable to comprehend the situation at hand and has confused real life events and drills on at least two separate occasions.”

He is described as the only employee to not hear the words “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE” when the drill was initiated. Instead, he said heard the words “This is not a drill” — which officials say was also part of the script that day — and that caused him send out the alert.

The report also said the employee did not respond well in the minutes after the mistake.

At 8:12 a.m., five minutes after the missile alert was sent, another official told the man to send out a cancellation of the alert, but instead he “just sat there and didn’t respond.”

It took someone taking control of Employee 1’s mouse to send out the cancellation message to stop the false alarm from being rebroadcast. “At no point did Employee 1 assist in the process,” the report states….

Toby Clairmont resigned Friday as executive officer for the emergency management department….

He said that while he worked for the state it was difficult for him to make purchases and hire competent staff, a process that he said can take up to six months. ….

read … HGEA on the Job

Bills Would Make Hawaii a ‘Sanctuary State’ for Illegals

CB: …To counter Trump’s executive order, the hookipa (“welcoming”) bill has been introduced in the Hawaii Legislature. It is Senate Bill 2290 and its companion is House Bill 1994.

The bill seeks to minimize the fear among undocumented immigrants and maintain community safety that is threatened by Trump’s executive order. The bill cannot control the federal government, but it can limit the state and counties from being complicit, and it can limit their efforts to assist in the deportation of undocumented immigrants……. 

AG Chin: HAWAII JOINS NEW BRIEF TO PROTECT STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM FUNDING CUTS AS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SEEKS TO PUNISH “SANCTUARY” JURISDICTIONS

SA: Anti-Trump Hysterics Push for Sanctuary State

read … Sanctuary State

Legislators: Doctors Can Kill off Expensive Patients

CB: …“It’s time,” said Sen. Karl Rhoads, who introduced a measure last year that sailed through the Senate but stalled in the House. “We’re behind the electorate on this issue.”…

The bill Rhoads introduced last session, which is still alive, was modeled after Oregon’s law. It fizzled in the House health committee, chaired at the time by Rep. Della Au Belatti, who had concerns about sufficient safeguards.

The decision to defer the measure spared the full House from having to vote on it. Most members remained silent last year when Civil Beat called to find out where they stood on the issue.

But Belatti, now majority leader, has put forward a new measure this year, modeled after California’s law. It’s basically the same as the amended version of Rhoads’ bill….

Rep. John Mizuno, the new health committee chair and de facto gatekeeper of the medical-aid-in dying measures this session, introduced a similar bill but with more restrictions….

Rep. Richard Creagan, a physician who co-introduced a separate “voluntary assisted dying” measure with Rep. Cindy Evans and 14 other House members, said he does not have a preference on which bill passes so long as the Legislature finally acts this year….

(All of the ‘safeguards’ are fake.  This is a great way to take grandma’s $1M house for yourself.)

read … Some People Just aren’t worth that much

Recent deaths not limited to 1 type of snorkeling gear

SA: …Of nine ocean-related deaths off Maui in the past two weeks, five involved snorkelers, according to news reports. Two victims were using one-piece, full-face snorkel gear, and three were using traditional two-piece sets, with separate mask and snorkel. The other four men who died Jan. 14-28 weren’t snorkeling….

Busted: Snorkel Bob Goes all-out to limit focus to full-face masks

read … Snorkel Lies Busted

Eco Politicians, Judges Pound Fishermen

SA:Over the last year, Hawaii’s ornamental fishers have been caught in a legal pinball machine. First under attack by mainland activists for catching and selling yellow tang and other fish, fishers were saved from going out of business by Gov. David Ige’s scientifically-based veto of Senate Bill 1240. Months later, rulings by the Hawaii Supreme Court and a lower court put the entire future of aquarium fishing at risk until Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) procedures are applied to aquarium fishing.

Just last week, the state Senate Land and Water Committee heard Senate Bill 2003. This is a straight-up ban of a practice that independent and Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) studies have found is environmentally sustainable. Regretfully, lawmakers appear ready to move forward with this scientifically unsound bill, with a probable vote scheduled for this Friday. Fishers whose livelihoods and safety are at risk under SB 2003 are rightly concerned about its passage.

read … Agreement will help fisheries thrive

Bills on the Move: Green Energy Grifters Grab for Millions

IM: The Hawai`i State Legislature began the second year of its two-year legislative cycle in mid-January. In addition to a thousand bills still alive from last year, over two thousand new bills were introduced. The House added bills HB 1602-2754 and the Senate added bills SB 2001—3107.

Some 100-200 bills will pass the Legislature by the end of the session in May 2018….

Several energy related bills are scheduled for hearings this week.

SB 2674 codifies sustainable development goals based on the United Nations' Global Goal thirteen, climate action…

SB 2458 requires state agencies to require climate vulnerability assessments for permit applications for projects involving building, transportation, or land use change that may generate significant greenhouse gas emissions….

SB 3096 prohibits the State from discriminating against persons who reduce their greenhouse gas emissions….

SB2100 would establish a tax credit for energy storage. The bill was introduced by Senator Lorraine Inouye….

There are several bills that are being heard that would make Hawai`i a center of aerospace research, rocket launching, and/or promoting Hawai`i as a global center for launching millionaires into space.

HB 2706 creates an international moon base alliance.

HB 2559 would authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist SpinLaunch, a small out-of-state company, perhaps with one owner, that is not licensed to do business in Hawai`i….  (IQ Test: Do you already know this is a scam?)

HB 2233 authorizes the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation to issue special purpose revenue bonds in its name to finance the costs of a geothermal industrial park in rural Puna on the Big Island….

HB 1805 would require the University of Hawai`i community colleges to establish energy systems and technology training courses for county officers and employees…

SB2101 would grant $1.5 million in taxpayer subsidies for researching Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)….

read … Hawai`i Legislature Tackles Energy and Climate Change

SB2628: Puuhonua bill can end homeless crisis

SA: The Puuhonua Homeless Villages Act — proposed via Senate Bill 2628 introduced by Sen. Will Espero, House Bill 2014 introduced by Rep. Tom Brower and developed by Rep. Gene Ward — would literally end the homeless crisis in Hawaii.

How? By using 21st-century building materials incorporated into modular dwellings, enough housing can be built for every homeless person, for less than 1 percent of what conventional “wood, brick and mortar housing” would cost. That’s less than we’re already spending to manage the homeless crisis.

What’s more, it could be completed in less than two years, instead of the eight to 10 years it takes to build conventional housing….

read … Puuhonua

Shouting Erupts as Caldwell Uses Delphi Technique to Control Ala Moana Park Discussion

KHON: …residents weren’t happy with the latest version of the Ala Moana Regional Park Master Plan, nor did they like how the meeting was conducted.

McCoy Pavilion Auditorium was packed with residents eager to share their thoughts.

At times, officials had to stop the meeting to ask vocal crowd members to let featured speakers finish.

Residents say they want improvements, but feel like their input isn’t being considered.

Many were upset by the format, which involved smaller group discussions versus one large public forum.  (This is called the Delphi Technique.)

“This whole process tonight is wrong,” a resident told Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “You’ve divided us all into these tiny little interest groups, and we’re not hearing anyone else’s concerns. We know what we care about, but what do other people care about?” (This is how the Delphi Technique is designed to work.)

“They didn’t allow the concerns of the majority of the people who were here in reference to be heard and given response over the microphone,” said Eric Keawe. “How can people respond? How can we hear what’s going on? That’s wrong. It’s a wrong process.” (And it is called the Delphi Technique.)

read … Meeting to discuss future of Ala Moana beach park turns into shouting match

Hilo-Waiakea DoE superintendent under investigation

HTH: Brad Bennett, superintendent of the Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area, is under investigation by the state Department of Education and is on leave until further notice.

DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said in an email Tuesday that the DOE is investigating a complaint made against Bennett but did not provide specifics. She also did not say whether he is on paid or unpaid leave.

She said Bennett has been on leave since Dec. 22, 2017.

Chad “Keone” Farias, superintendent of the Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa Complex Area, is performing Bennett’s duties — in addition to his own — until further notice…

read … Hilo-Waiakea superintendent under investigation

Hawaii County attorney at odds with Council over Reelect-Me Contingency funds

HTH: …Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles said she remains at a standstill with Kamelamela over one of her contingency funds requests, which the council approved last May. The $2,500 grant was meant to assist a nonprofit group, Orchidland Neighbors, with planning and design for a community center in the private subdivision.

But Kamelamela denied the funds because he said the county code doesn’t allow them to be used on private capital projects.

That prompted complaints from Ruggles, who disagrees with the interpretation, and other council members who think the county’s chief attorney is interfering too much with their contingency accounts.

Ruggles said she intends to introduce a bill to amend the code. In the meantime, she said Kamelamela agreed to address legal concerns over the funds at a council meeting before they get approved….

read … Council, county attorney at odds over contingency funds

SB2867:  Hawaiian Translators for Court

HNN: …Emotional testimony in support of a bill requiring Hawaiian language interpreters to be available in court struck a chord with state lawmakers Tuesday.

Senate Bill 2687 passed its first hearing and will advance.

Dozens, including the state judiciary support the measure. Many opted to testify in the Hawaiian language.

University of Hawaii Hilo Hawaiian Language professor Kaliko Beamer-Trapp was on hand to translate.

The newly introduced measure would require the state judiciary provide an interpreter to anyone wanting to express themselves in Hawaiian. But the judiciary says it needs funding so it can hire a permanent Hawaiian language translator….. 

FH: Lawsuit Demands Hawaiian-Language instruction in DoE Schools

read … Testimonies for Hawaiian language bill delivered in native tongue

SB2293 Front Street Affordability Advances 

MW: Residents of Front Street apartments on Maui can finally see a glimmer of hope, as the Senate Housing Committee today advanced  Senate Bill 2293 that would mandate the State to start negotiations to either keeping the units affordable, or to acquire the property.

read … Front Street

DOH detects potential breach of disease reporting data system

HNN: …In a statement, the DOH said:  "The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is working with the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) to investigate suspicious network activity on its Disease Outbreak Control Division surveillance computer server. The DOH was notified last week of the compromise of its data, which includes clinical laboratory test results for individuals diagnosed with diseases that are reported to the division for investigation.  Upon notification, DOH removed the affected server from its network, and at this time, there is no evidence that data has been taken from the department."

read … Breach

Al Gore’s Tax Credit Scam – Electric Buses for Oahu?

HNN: "A bus like this is 40-feet long, can carry over 70 passengers, and yet gets the equivalent of about 26 miles per gallon which compares to about 4 miles per gallon for a traditional diesel bus," said Matt Horton, chief commercial officer for Proterra….  (IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

The battery electric bus on loan from Proterra, Inc. will be tested on 23 existing routes across Oahu. … 

(Proterra hopes to hype these busses into a billion dollar IPO to pay off Proterra investor Al ‘Massage Me’ Gore.)

The purchase price for an electric battery bus is $745,000. Honolulu's diesel buses cost nearly $600,000 each. While the upfront cost is higher, supporters said reduced operating and maintenance costs would lead to long-term savings.

Oahu Transit Services buys 6.5 million gallons of diesel fuel each year. The agency expects that its fuel costs would be cut in half with a switch to an all electric fleet.

(4mpg/26mpg = 15% So why not an 85% reduction in fuel usage?  Sounds like somebody doesn’t really believe the hype.)

On Oahu's roads, there are currently 440 diesel buses and 100 hybrid vehicles, according to Oahu Transit Services.

The city wants to transition its fleet to completely renewable energy sources by 2035.

Horton said that Proterra has more than 150 electric battery buses in cities across America. According to him, agencies generally save up to $400,000 in operating and maintenance costs over the (10 year?) lifetime of the vehicle…..

What Proterra Employees say:

  • “The executives' primary goal is to solicit money from investors to keep the place going, since they lose money on every unit. They only have customers because they get them federal grant money for every unit, so they basically get the product for free.  Also the management is content giving the customers a garbage product. Half the customers I am aware of would love to find some way to get out of the contract since the bus is such a lemon.”
  • “Product needs to be better tested prior to delivery to avoid significant and costly failures in the field.”
  • Glassdoor: “Sales are made whether a product exists or not and engineers are left to slap together something.”
  • "Very unstable company that has yet to generate profit, was bankrupt in 2010, & is surviving on Govt & Investor funding."
  • GreenTech: “1100 miles  -- A publicity stunt.”
  • Seattle: Bus Breaks down on first run.  Needs recharge at end of each route. 
  • Chicago: Proterra dually pickup truck follows bus around with diesel generator to charge batteries.

read … Pay Off?

Bills Would Allow Hawaii Bitcoin Dealing

CD: …SB2853 and SB3082 would require those seeking to transmit virtual currencies in the state to have a license to do so. They would also mandate that these persons or businesses issue a warning to consumers prior to enabling such transactions.

However, the legislation notably exempts exchanges from section 489D-8 of the Act, which mandates money transmitters maintain cash reserves equal to the virtual currency funds held for clients. Hawaii's Division of Financial Institutions previously indicated it planned to leave the requirement intact, prompting U.S. exchange Coinbase to terminate its services in the state.

Still, while including a carve-out, HI SB3082 further features a warning that cautions against the volatility of cryptocurrencies, and emphasizes that they are not backed or insured by any government or commodities…..

read … Coin Desk

Usual Soft-on-Crime Suspects Complain About Prison Suicides

KITV: …Kat Brady can still vividly describe Gray's injuries.

"She had a black eye, a cut under her eyebrow, a knot on her forehead, a busted lip," said Brady.

Hawaii has seen 10 inmate deaths ruled as suicide since 2015, but some community advocates are questioning what actually happened.

"My experience in the prison system, I've been in the prison system for 27-years, a lot of times, what they say was a suicide-- not necessarily so," said DeMont Conner, of Ho'omana Pono Political Action Committee. 

Nolan Espinda is the Department of Public Safety Director.

"We are constantly watching visitations, we are constantly watching their interactions with their fellow inmates," said Espinda.  

Espinda said inmates on suicide watch are checked on every five minutes, but none of the 10 people who died in custody were on suicide watch. He said during testimony, only one person was on safety watch.

"I've seen people commit suicide after a bad visit, I see people commit suicide after a bad phone call," said Espinda.

read … But they want assisted suicide

Enviro Group Takes Control of Kona Surfing Schools, Makes Big Money

WHT: a meeting is planned for 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday at the West Hawaii Civic Center county chambers. State and county officials will be there to field questions.

The surf school program will be managed by The Kohala Center, which won an earlier bid to run it. The program would authorize up to four surf schools to offer surf lessons at Kahaluu, with the winning schools to be selected from the highest qualified bidders.

The minimum monthly fee is set at $3,000. Proposals must be received by 2 p.m. on Feb. 20.

The county’s agreement with the nonprofit requires fees be reinvested into the surf school program, and The Kohala Center has outlined a plan to use that money to hire educators to monitor the park on behalf of the county….

The monthly fee collection isn’t, said Punihaole and Reid Sewake, business manager for the county Department of Parks and Recreation, meant to be a moneymaker for the group.

“We give our word to where that money goes,” Punihaole said, trying not to smirk…..

read … Ennviro Control

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