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Friday, July 20, 2018
July 20, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:08 PM :: 3042 Views

VIDEO: Car Chase, Running Gunbattle in South Kona as Police Hunt Alleged Cop Killer

Homeless Outreach Court expands to Wahiawa, Waianae

2003: Ed Case Tries to Shut Down Parents of Disabled Students

Unions reaffirm support for Rep Gabbard and Jones Act

Deadline Extended to Fill HART Board Vacancy

Ask tough questions about Jones Act

Caldwell: Global Warming is a Red Herring if it Interferes with Rail

CB: …Rep. Sylvia Luke, the influential chairwoman of the House’s Finance Committee and an architect of last year’s rail bailout package, made a surprise appearance at Thursday’s rail board meeting and urged project leaders to consider moving the route inland.

By running rail underground along King Street instead of on an elevated pathway above Nimitz Highway, the city could avoid the spate of severe, high-tide flooding that its own Climate Change Commission recently projected will hit Oahu’s southern shoreline by mid-century.

If sea-level rise eventually climbs to six feet, the rail project would find seven of its eight final stations along the planned route to Ala Moana Center in the flood zone, Luke testified before the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board….

Luke told the HART board that the House plans to hold hearings on sea-level rise and rail in mid-August, and that her colleagues expect the agency to provide information.

Speaking with reporters after her testimony, Luke added that the House would use subpoena power to compel HART to provide documents if necessary. Lawmakers have had difficulty getting pertinent information from rail leaders in the past, she said.

Her proposal comes as the HART board weighs whether to pursue a public-private partnership to help complete rail….

Moments after Luke testified, her longtime political adversary, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, also testified before HART.

Caldwell vented his own recent frustrations with the agency on Thursday. His administration has repeatedly asked HART to specify the risks of using private partners to help complete rail. But the agency has disregarded those questions, and its recent white paper on switching to a public-private partnership to complete the rail project did not address his concerns either, Caldwell said.

The mayor further chided HART leaders for putting a positive spin on the recent federal oversight report that concluded rail’s budget was still short by some $134 million. Earlier this month, HART Executive Director Andy Robbins said the report showed his agency’s risk-management efforts were working because their respective cost estimates were so close.

“Some folks have said that’s good news,” Caldwell said. “I get concerned when I hear that because it’s that kind of thinking that got us from $5.2 (billion) to $8.16 billion.”…

Caldwell also took at aim at Luke’s proposal. “If that was to be followed, rail would die,” Caldwell said. “It’s a red herring to kill the project altogether.”…

(Translation: We only believe in global warming when we want to.)

read … Rep. Sylvia Luke: Move Rail Inland To Avoid Sea-Level Rise

Council Votes to Tear Down Affordable Housing ‘Monsters’

KITV: Demolishing monster homes after they're built, and fining contractors who keep building when they're told not to. Those are at the heart of two bills circulating at the Honolulu City Council. The council's zoning and housing committee met Thursday.

Massive multi-unit homes like this one are the target of Honolulu City Council's bills 50 and 53. Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin states, "We need to take a very hard position."

Bill 50 would allow the city to retroactively demolish monster homes that violate the building code. 

SA: Monster homes are not the problem; it is the lack of enforcement by DPP building inspectors who allow violations to persist

read … City Council committee advances "monster homes" bill

After Kalapana, State Waited 12 years to Build Replacement Subdivision-

CB … The state’s 67-lot Kikala-Keokea subdivision was built after slow-moving lava devastated Kalapana from 1983 to 1991. The first leases were issued in 1995  (ie 12 years after the first lava hit), but it was another 11 years before anyone moved in….

This time around, the county wants to partner with the state and W. H. Shipman, Puna’s largest private landowner, to develop replacement urban, rural and agricultural areas, Takemoto said.

The focus is on extinguishing land-use rights in unsafe areas and transferring them to suitable locations in an effort modeled after the way Hilo’s coastline was redeveloped following the 1960 tsunami, he said.

Sen. Russell Ruderman, who represents Puna and Kau, wants the state to buy recently inundated properties at pre-eruption values to help displaced victims purchase replacement land in a safe area….

Kikala-Keokea was established in 1991 to help 67 Native Hawaiian families that had lived, some for generations, along the once-bountiful Kalapana coastline.

“The legislature agrees that the only remedy is an after-the-fact humanitarian act to help replace what has been lost by these residents,” stated Act 314, which established the project.

The result was 1-acre lots, each offered for $132 annually under 65-year leases.

“That was not a successful relocation,” said Ruderman.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued the first 48 leases to eligible Kalapana families in 1995. Another 11 years passed before Kikala-Keokea welcomed its first inhabitant….

All lots have been awarded, and 15 are currently occupied, Deborah Ward, DLNR spokeswoman, said in an email.

Most people moved in during the last five years, residents said….

Related: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3  (NOTE: HRS171-93 does not require legislative action.)

read … Last Time Hawaii Had Lava Refugees, It Built A Ghost Town

Number of evacuees staying in shelters down

HTH:  …On Wednesday night, there were 67 people inside the Pahoa shelter and 80 others camping outside, according to Maria Lutz, regional disaster officer for the Red Cross of Hawaii. And in Keaau, there were 19 people inside and 12 camping outside.

At its highest tally, Lutz said the shelter in Pahoa had about 140 people inside and an estimated 200 outside, while the shelter in Keaau peaked at around 35 people inside and 25 outside….

Since the Leilani Estates eruption began May 3, 649 volunteers have helped in the shelters, she said.

read … Number of evacuees staying in shelters down

Caldwell considers mental health facility as chronic homeless return to park

SA: …About a dozen chronically homeless people moved back into Kakaako’s Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park on Thursday, prompting Mayor Kirk Caldwell to consider a possible new approach that would divert them into some sort of facility where they would get assessed for substance abuse and mental health issues until they can get housed — rather than face the already congested criminal justice system….

The people who showed up at Mother Waldron on Thursday said they had been forced out of nearby Keawe Street by a sweep Wednesday. The city just reopened Mother Waldron on July 6 following a six-week closure for “maintenance.”

It was the second time since December that the park was closed for six weeks of maintenance, which had the effect of also denying park users access to grassy areas, a restroom and basketball courts.

Just before the city shut down Mother Waldron for the second time, police tracked down a 20-year-old Windward resident at his home and arrested him on suspicion of second- and third-degree assault after he allegedly beat a visiting Japanese couple in the park’s bathroom May 28….

Mantanona said he appreciated the efforts to get others into shelters. But he’s not interested.

“I don’t trust nobody for nothing,” Mantanona said. “I value my freedom.”

Following years of homeless sweeps, Mantanona said police, social workers and others tell him, “‘Aren’t you getting tired yet?’ I say, ‘Aren’t you guys tired yet?’”

Moments later Mantanona’s family — including his sister-in-law and mother and father — stopped by Mother Waldron to check on him.

Mantanona’s parents live in Pensacola, Fla., “and I’ve been asking him to come live with me,” said Mantanona’s namesake, retired Vietnam veteran John Mantanona Sr., 79….

read … Caldwell considers mental health facility as chronic homeless return to park

Sand Mining Moratorium Ends on Maui

HPR: A six-month moratorium on sand mining on Maui expires today….

After televised news reports (after 30 years) of mining of Central Maui inland sand (brought the mining to the attention of the usual activist-types, it was instantaneously shut down

Flashback: Anti- Sand Mining Lies Exposed

read … Sand Mining Moratorium Ends on Maui

Hee Family Scam Company to Benefit as Inter-Island Cables Retired?

PBN: …Hawaiian Telcom said that upgrading the inter-island cable network will be a challenge going into the future. There are currently four cable systems connecting the four major Islands: HICS (1994), HIFN (1997) Southern Cross (2000) and Paniolo (2009).

With the exception of the Paniolo Cable Network, the inter-island systems “are very old,” Masutomi said.

(NOTE: Paniolo is owned by criminal Al Hee of Sandwich Isles who is currently incarcerated in a federal penitentiary.)

According to Hawaiian Telcom, undersea cables have an average lifespan of about 25 years before increased maintenance costs render them economically impractical.

While HIFN and Southern Cross hover around the 20-year mark, HICS, the original Hawaii Inter-Island Cable System, is celebrating a quarter century next year.

“It’s more than enough capacity now, but as we have to retire the older systems we are going to lose their resiliency,” Masutomi said. “We could probably feed everything off one cable, like Paniolo, but without the resiliency, if something happens to that one cable then all inter-island traffic is screwed.”

read … Paniolo

Hawaii: 20 ‘Threatened’ Species to be De-Listed?

CN: …one of the Trump administration’s proposals would make it easier to remove “threatened” species from a listing of plants and animals under the law’s protection.

The law defines a threatened species as one that is likely to become extinct within the “foreseeable future.”

The agencies said in a statement Thursday their interpretation of “foreseeable future” would now extend “only as far as they can reasonably determine that both the future threats and the species’ responses to those threats are probable.”

About 70 species in California, 20 in Hawaii, and scores more fish, birds, mammals and plants around the country face the risk of losing special regulatory protections….

read … Conservationists Alarmed by Proposed Changes to Endangered Species Act

Brian Schatz Shaping Dem 2020 Campaigns?

NYM: As young, Twitter-friendly Democrats in the Senate go, Brian Schatz is slightly unusual: he really, seriously, definitely has no interest in running for president in 2020. But, slowly and beneath the radar, the low-profile 45-year-old progressive has already started leaving his mark on that race. And if all goes to plan, the Hawaiian’s attempts to yank his headline-grabbing colleagues – including potential 2020 contenders like Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders – to the left on a series of his priorities will help shape his party’s policy backbone for the foreseeable future….

Schatz is already pushing fellow senators to commit, on the record, to backing his proposals on issues from healthcare to climate, and college affordability to Social Security…He set about searching for colleagues in the Senate who would support a pitch that would give individual states the power to build individualized Medicaid buy-in options for their residents, of all incomes. By the time he introduced a bill in October, 18 colleagues had agreed to put their name to it, including potential 2020 heavyweights and contenders like New Jersey’s Booker, California’s Harris, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, and Sanders himself….

Within months, Schatz had turned his attention to the idea of debt-free college…a plan that would use a federal matching program for states’ expenditures to cover not just students’ tuitions, but also housing, books, and other expenses…. (maybe their medicated marijuana will be covered?)

“I’m in a unique position, because you have — is it 26 or 27 now? — 26 members on the Democratic side who are up [for re-election in 2018]. A lot of people are running for president, and a lot of people are up for re-election, and that doesn’t leave a lot of folks left to work these issues deeply,” Schatz conceded to me. 

(Translation: The Democrats are almost wiped out so they can’t find anybody serious to do the job.)

read … The Progressive Hawaii Senator Reshaping the 2020 Race, Without Even Running

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