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Tuesday, July 10, 2018
July 10, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:01 PM :: 3868 Views

Ige Signs Firearms Bills Including Bump Stock Ban

Honolulu's Sidewalk Obstruction Prohibition Goes Island-Wide

Tech Debacle: Hawaii v Ciber Stays in State Courts, Guaranteeing Big Money Payoff

Ala Moana Park EIS Released for Public Comment

Popular science news website promotes pesticide conspiracy theory

Kau Charter School Shuttered Amid Criminal Investigation

Best Cities to Drive in—Honolulu Scores 86th

Hawaii--The most expensive place to live in America

KIUC Paying $3.2 Million to Co-op Members

Ige Vetoes Eight -- Allows Law Enforcement Standards Board to Become Law

GEMS for Insiders: Polynesian Cultural Center First to Take Advantage of On-Bill Financing

Katherine Kealoha had affair with Hawaii Co Fire Battalion Chief using money she stole from grandmother, feds say

KHON: …More legal drama surrounds the case involving former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine.

Federal prosecutors have charged a Hawaii County firefighter with conspiracy for allegedly lying to a grand jury about an affair with Katherine.

Battalion Chief Jesse Ebersole from the Hawaii Fire Department was charged with conspiracy. Prosecutors say he made several trips to Honolulu, which were paid by Katherine Kealoha with money that didn't belong to her.

Court records say Ebersole and Kealoha were part of a fellowship program called Pacific Century Fellows (run by Mufi Hannemann) in 2009, and on several occasions between August 2012 and March 2013, Kealoha paid for Ebersole's airfare and hotel stays in Honolulu, as well as giving him a cashier's check for nearly $1,400.

Records say the total expenses amounted to more than $20,000.

Documents say that when Ebersole was called in to testify before the grand jury last year, Kealoha told him to lie and deny that they had an intimate relationship….

Ebersole has been with the Hawaii County Fire Department for more than 26 years and was recently promoted to battalion chief…

UPDATE Thurs 7-12-18: Katherine Kealoha’s Boyfriend Pleads Guilty To Federal Conspiracy

read … Hawaii County firefighter indicted for allegedly lying about Kealoha affair

OHA Inspires Disillusionment For Hawaiians

CB: …the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has been bogged down by scandal….

over the years much of the idealism surrounding the birth of OHA has turned to disillusionment for many people, as the agency has become bogged down by political infighting and ensnared in ethics scandals….

The state Attorney General launched an investigation into OHA this spring after a damning audit questioned whether the agency’s leaders were spending money properly and meeting their fiduciary duties.

The FBI is also reportedly investigating the agency. Meanwhile, longtime trustee Rowena Akana is the target of a state ethics investigation, a case that she’s suing to stop. An ethics investigation into board member Peter Apo last year resulted in a $25,000 fine, on top of a separate sexual harassment case against him that OHA settled for $50,000.

The public scrutiny of OHA comes in the midst of a crucial election season. There are five seats up for a vote, a majority of the nine-member board that could shift its dynamics (in favor of the biggest crook of them all – Crabbe)…

The organization wasn’t without critics. A letter to the Star Bulletin in 1978 from Linda Cadiz called the idea “a chimera — a fantasy — a monster” that embodied the very racism it purported to fight against….

OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado was among a few who supported the idea of making Hawaiians a federally recognized tribe at a June 2014 hearing held by the Department of Interior.

The proposal was resoundingly rejected by numerous kanaka maoli…

On the other side are beneficiaries like Kalawe, who says she’s heard enough false hopes about sovereignty over the years that she no longer thinks it’s possible.

“It’s not going to happen for the Hawaiian people,” she says. “It’s just not.”

Instead, she wants OHA to spend money on things that matter to her: funding for Hawaiian entrepreneurs, rental subsidies, scholarships for medical school.

Kalawe is among many deeply concerned by the questions raised in a recent state audit, which pointed out that OHA and trustees were spending trust money loosely without enough guidance or controls.

The finding rang true to Kalawe who has long suspected that the organization benefited the politically connected.

The agency argued that the money still went to Hawaiian causes and organizations even if it was discretionary. Several trustees who got in trouble for using their money to help individual Hawaiians also said that the expenses were consistent with OHA’s mission.

Wendt says that’s not good enough.

“It’s not an acceptable defense that the money benefited organizations consistent with the agency’s mission,” Wendt says. “The question is what makes that one Hawaiian more deserving of the expenditure than the next.”

Further shattering the illusion of OHA’s promise is the frequent bickering among trustees who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawsuits against one another….

There’s also a lot of dissatisfaction with OHA’s chief executive officer Kamana Ľopono Crabbe, and trustee Apo says the group needs just one more vote to replace him….  (Unfortunately it is only the anti-Crabbe Trustees who are up for reelection this year. – See how that works?)

Waihee, whose son is an OHA trustee running for re-election, questions the media focus on OHA’s problems, saying, “it’s as good as any of the other institutions in state government.”  (LOL!) 

At the same time, ethics problems make OHA easy fodder for the media, he says.  “Sometimes OHA is its worst enemy,” Waihee says. “They are an easy target.”…

read … OHA Inspires Disillusionment  For Hawaiians

The annual money hunt begins for UH, stadium

SA: …Imagine two people relentlessly rummaging under, around and through the cushions on a large sofa hunting for spare change.

Do that and you have a picture that approximates the now-annual exercise that the University of Hawaii and Aloha Stadium engage in this time of the year.

Officially, it is the contract negotiation between UH and its football landlord of going on 44 years. But it is more of a treasure hunt involving two state entities than a tug-of-war….

read … The annual money hunt begins for UH, stadium

Arakawa Ads Take on Anti-GMO Mob

MN: …Mayor Alan Arakawa’s new campaign ad claims (points out) there are cultlike groups with a mob mentality using “fake news to bolster their claim to elicit anger and aggressive behavior.”

The ad claims (explains) this is being done via social media and by people “who have decided that they do not wish to embrace the culture and local ways . . . but want to change and mold our society into what they consider to be their ideal.”….

read … Arakawa Ads Take on Anti-GMO Mob

Hawaii Co Councilmember was Paid Anti-GMO Lobbyist

WHT: …Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles reported gifts of $219.37 and $248.69 on separate occasions from the Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group lobbying for organic food production and against industrial farming models. Ruggles used the money for lobbying activities promoting SB 3095, creating a pesticide buffer zone and banning pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, according to her report….

read … Paid

City boots contractor from delayed $54 million project

SA: …The city has given up trying to work with a general contractor to correct defects on a $54 million traffic management building that is more than a year behind schedule.

City officials Monday sent a letter to Watts Constructors LLC notifying the company that it is barred from doing any more work on the troubled Honolulu project.

The notice cites insufficient efforts by Watts to correct items that include water leaks and improper installation of lobby glass walls and fire escape stairways….

The letter acknowledged that Watts has been doing some corrective work that includes redoing welds for support structures connected to glass walls and replacing improper fire escape stairs. Yet not all of this work is done, the city said, noting that demolition of one fire escape stairway is no more than 50 percent complete.

The city’s letter said Watts submitted its latest construction schedule Thursday and forecast an Oct. 8 completion date for all necessary work, which would be 480 days after the contract’s June 14, 2017, completion deadline….

read … City boots contractor from delayed $54 million project

Will State, Hawaii County Blow $2.7M on ‘Open Space’ Now Covered by Lava?

WHT: …The ongoing lava flow has swallowed most of a $2.7 million parcel the county is buying for open space.

About two-thirds of the 284-acre parcel in Vacationland, currently in escrow, has been inundated, said county Property Manager Hamana Ventura….

The parcel, known as the Vacationlands Land Trust/Hara Property, includes what were previously the Waiopae tide pools before lava consumed them last month. The property borders the south side of Kapoho Kai Road and is makai of Highway 137. It also borders the marine life conservation district with about 4,000 feet of shoreline south of the Vacationland subdivision.

Ventura said the county Corporation Counsel is in discussions with the state Department of the Attorney General, because the state Legacy Land conservation program had committed to chipping in $1.3 million.

Commissioners at a meeting Monday of the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission asked if the county can simply back out of the purchase….

Commissioner Koohan Paik-Mandel said the county could just ask the Legacy Land Conservation Commission to withhold the money….

UPDATE 7-13-2018: Kim wants out of lost land deal: County awaits state decision on $2.7M open space purchase

read … County in contract to buy lost lava land

Public safety officials submit plan for relocating, replacing OCCC

HNN: …The statement names the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa as the best choice for relocating OCCC….

…The proposed move to the Animal Quarantine Station would require that the existing tenants move, and that a new smaller quarantine station be created elsewhere….


read … Public safety officials submit plan for relocating, replacing OCCC

Homeless: More Murder and Mayhem

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