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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
August 8, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:49 PM :: 2821 Views

Carvalho: With Power of Aloha Voters Can Overcome PRP Super Pac Money

Hawaii Ranks 25th -- States with the Most Underprivileged Children

Hawaii -- 4th-Highest Gas Taxes in USA

Kelii Akina: Sam King Will Bring True Reform To OHA

CB: If you have never voted in the election of Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees, Sam King is the reason to do so now.

Whether you are Hawaiian by blood or Hawaiian at heart, your vote for Sam will help determine whether tens of thousands of Hawaii’s residents can obtain housing, jobs, education and health care.

For years, institutions designed to serve the Hawaiians have been plagued by fraud, waste or abuse. This has been the real bottleneck in getting resources to the people who need them. Sam W. King II is a bold reformer willing to push for the measures necessary to fix OHA….

SA: Vote for change in OHA election

read … Sam King Will Bring True Reform To OHA

Sam King is the only Pro-Telescope Candidate running for OHA

SA: …The mission of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians, and the agency does not control the fate of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, now stalled in court.

But OHA is working on a memorandum of agreement with the University of Hawaii regarding Mauna Kea management. And Honolulu Star-Advertiser readers have been asking whether OHA board of trustees candidates support TMT. Here are responses to an emailed survey, edited for brevity….

(What follows are statements from every OHA candidate except Sam King who was somehow left out of the survey by the Star-Adv.  Sam King is the one clearly pro-telescope candidate running.  Since the telescope is very popular, hiding this info costs Sam King votes.  Thus we can conclude that the Star-Adv is doing its usual job preserving the status quo at OHA.)

SA: OHA races include 1 open seat

read … OHA candidates wary of TMT

Kim to ask state for $550M for disaster recovery

HTH: Mayor Harry Kim plans to ask the state Legislature for $550 million for disaster recovery following three months of destructive lava flows and earthquakes in the wake of the lower Puna eruption of Kilauea volcano that began May 3.

Kim said Tuesday that he discussed a conceptual plan with Gov. David Ige on Saturday, and county staff is putting together a legislative package in advance of a yet-to-be-scheduled special session of the Legislature. Kim’s top administrators declined to release the plan until after it is sent to legislative leaders later this week….

Recovery includes temporary housing, relocation of farms and visitor industry enhancement, said county Planning Director Michael Yee in a printed presentation to the County Council Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development. That discussion will continue today after the council ran out of time with crowded committee agendas.

The administration asked the council to provide feedback on its legislative package by Aug. 14 and consider a joint resolution on the legislative package. The council in June unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution asking a special session be scheduled. At the time, county officials said that could happen in mid-August, but the county needed to have a plan ready first….

State Sen. Russell Ruderman, a Democrat representing Puna and Ka‘u, is among those frustrated that the county hasn’t pushed the Legislature for action. Ruderman met with Senate leadership in June, trying to work out logistics for a special session.

Ruderman said county officials need to ask for what they need and not downplay the county’s plight or ask for a little now and then ask for more later. The county needs to build roads and parks lost to lava, create housing, rebuild the agriculture industry and stimulate economic development through tourism, he said.

“It’s my strong recommendation that we ask for plenty of money and not be shy about it,” Ruderman said. “It’s not the time to be small, it’s not the time to be cautious about it. … Like a batter stepping up to the plate, we have one shot at this. … Please be bold about your request for money.”…

read … Kim to ask state for $550M for disaster recovery

How One of the Most Vulnerable Governors Staged a Comeback

G: …"The first and most important thing is that Colleen Hanabusa ran a terrible campaign," says Colin Moore, who directs the University of Hawaii's public policy center. "She wasn't in the state for the most important period" -- because she was serving in Congress -- "and never really articulated a clear campaign message that gave voters a reason to vote for her."

Ironically for a governor whose fortunes were almost sunk by a false nuclear warning, Ige's chances were revived largely thanks to natural disasters. Huge rainstorms over Kauai in April led to historic flooding there, damaging or destroying more than 500 homes. Meanwhile, volcanic lava has ruined so many homes on the Big Island of Hawaii that, as Hurricane Hector approaches this week, there has been mordant joking that there's nothing left to destroy.

Recovery is ongoing, but the disasters gave Ige the chance to demonstrate leadership qualities that were conspicuously not on display during the false missile alert.

"Gov. Ige has run a vigorous campaign driven by effective messaging, combined with the advantage of being the incumbent during two major disasters," says Donalyn Dela Cruz, a Democratic consultant.

Incumbency provided Ige with other advantages. He was able to make the local news when he held bill signing ceremonies, while Hanabusa was trapped 5,000 miles away in Washington. Neal Abercrombie, Ige's predecessor, resigned his seat in Congress to make his run for governor, recognizing the difficulties of seeking the office long distance.

Hanabusa did not make that move.

Four years ago, she did give up her seat in the U.S. House to run unsuccessfully for the Senate. In 2016, she won back her House seat. Running for her third different office in as many election cycles has led to some grumbling that she's seeking the governorship mostly to satisfy career ambitions.

Although she derides Ige's leadership abilities, Hanabusa has not articulated major policy differences with him. She was a longtime labor lawyer and has received some union support. But Ige has the endorsement of the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the Sierra Club, and has managed to present himself as the more progressive choice….

Cataluna: Is being ‘nice guy’ relevant anymore?

read … How One of the Most Vulnerable Governors Staged a Comeback

Kauai: Sunscreen Hype Now Magically Extends to Fish

CB: If the sunscreen-slicked bodies swarming Hawaii’s most popular beaches vanished, would near-shore fish stocks swell?

On Kauai, where a disastrous springtime flood quashed the average daily visitor count at Haena’s celebrated end-of-the-road lagoon from a couple thousand to virtually none, residents report a summer season characterized by something not seen here since the 1950s: tourist-free waters teeming with fish.

Not only do species like kala, or bluespine unicornfish, seem more plentiful than normal, but they are swimming in waters so shallow that their tails breach the surface….

(IQ Test: Are you impressed by this ‘evidence’?)

Over five days in June, a pair of marine scientists (college students) wearing masks and snorkels tried to find out.

“The hypothesis is that the fish are coming in because there’s less people, and maybe also because there’s less sunscreen in the water,” said Kosta Stamoulis, an Oahu-based marine ecologist (college student) who volunteered his time to count fish in the area. (But can he count the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin?  Oh sorry, wrong religion.) “I totally trust the community’s observations (LOLROTF!), but it’s another thing if we can capture that in the data and show it scientifically.”…

read … Mindless Hysteria and Ignorance

Eco Plan for Your Life: Accept Blackouts if you want Lower Rates

MN: Hotels, local businesses and Maui County have agreed to let Maui Electric Co. reduce its power on short notice to help keep the grid stable during periods of high demand.

Special equipment will be installed at 24 participating sites on Maui to allow MECO to remove certain facilities from the grid when necessary. It’s part of MECO’s fast demand response program, which started as a pilot and received the go-ahead from the Public Utilities Commission to expand last July….

read … Blackout in your future

Settlement talks set to begin in civil rights suit over huge gambling case that failed twice

HNN: …The 2014 case was once deemed the state's largest indictment ever.

City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, with ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha by his side, called a news conference touting the 414 counts against nine defendants: Charges of racketeering, gambling promotion and money laundering were all listed, but prosecutors could never make any of those charges stick.

And recently, eight of the nine former defendants filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming their rights were violated.

"They had lawyer fees, they had bail fees, they had all kinds of problems, they lost their businesses," said attorney Victor Bakke, who was involved in the case. He said taxpayers could end paying a landmark settlement as a result.

Settlement talks are set to begin on Monday.

What especially hurts the city: Two judges criticized the conduct of the deputy prosecutors on the case, Katherine Kealoha and Jake Delaplane.

One judge said the case made him sick to his stomach and he even brought up possible prosecutorial misconduct. He dismissed the case without prejudice but warned the office about questionable practices during the grand jury process.

The case was thrown out by a second judge when it was revealed that those questionable practices were repeated in the re-filing of the case.

This time, it was dismissed with prejudice, ending the case permanently.

Kealoha, Delaplane, and Kaneshiro are all now tied to a massive, separate, federal, public corruption investigation. Delaplane received an FBI target letter. Keith Kaneshiro is the subject of an ongoing grand jury investigation. And Katherine Kealoha is out on bond, facing two trials on a number of federal charges. She remains a deputy prosecutor on leave.

"None of us involved in that case could understand how it was that she wasn't at least disbarred," said Bakke. "Instead she was just allowed to disappear."…

read … Settlement talks set to begin in civil rights suit over huge gambling case that failed twice

Recent wildfires burn through state's fire response budget

HNN: …Wildfires have burned roughly 30,000 acres statewide in the past week, gobbling up the state's limited resources for fire response efforts….

read … Recent wildfires burn through state's fire response budget

Hawaii Governor Signs Slate of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Laws

CSC: …This summer has seen a lot of action around youth-centric legislation in Hawaii. In July, Gov. David Ige (D) signed a number of new laws governing the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The slate of legislation comes after a recent federal review that determined Hawaii was failing to meet the federal standards for children in foster care.

Here are some highlights….

read … Hawaii Governor Signs Slate of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Laws

Old Stadium Park: City Clears out 1000 lbs Trash Per Homeless Person

HNN:  …The playground at Old Stadium Park is practically new but it's rare to find children anywhere near it. Surrounded by dozens of squatters, the things that happen there have driven most park goers out.

"People don't feel safe," said Mamu.

The Moiliili resident has lived in the neighborhood 25 years. He asked us to conceal his identity saying people who live near the park are constant targets of crime.

"Their cars are broken into, their laundry stolen," he said. "They are reluctant to talk because of this victimization."

Neighbors say drugs fuel those problems.

"There's illegal bike chop shops going on here," said Tim Streitz, Chair of the McCully Moiliili Neighborhood Board.

"These people fighting, they having commotion," said Mamu. "Some of the people, I myself encountered, tried to sell me oxycontin and hydrocodone."

Homeless outreach workers confirm widespread opiate and meth use among the estimated 40 people living in the park. We're told the majority are local and have been living on the street for years.

During the month of July the city says it conducted eight sweeps at Old Stadium Park. Neighbors say it's obvious that tactic doesn't work.

"The city does not provide adequate supervision of the park," said Mamu….

Officers have arrested seven people for being in the park after hours. They also made 77 arrests for contempt warrants.

Approximately 300 citations were issued to individuals in the park, including 153 tickets for being in the park after hours, 31 for prohibited tents, 26 for public drinking, 24 for shopping carts, and 23 for obstructing the sidewalk.

There were two HELP Honolulu operations conducted, resulting in 18 people being transported to shelters, including five each to Next Step, Hale Mauliola and Waianae Civic Center.

There were 30 SPO operations conducted during this period.  97 bicycles recovered and eight cubic yards of scrap metal, 93 shopping carts, 29 bins of stored property and 33,400 pounds of trash removed….

(Round up to 40,000 lbs if all the metal is included / 40 tweekers = 1,000 lbs of trash per tweeker.)

read … Residents near a Moiliili park say homeless turned the area into a haven for drug use

3-D gun-plans suit a waste of time

SA: Here we go again. Kilauea continues to erupt, but politicians in Hawaii have decided that a 3-D printed firearm is an “explosive” enough issue to justify our joining other states in their lawsuit to ban the online distribution of instructions for printing the guns (“Hawaii among 19 states opposing online plans for 3D-printed guns,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 4).

Haven’t we already spent enough of our time and money on former Attorney General Douglas Chin’s dud of a lawsuit seeking to overturn President Donald Trump’s travel ban? Certainly there are other ways for politicians to prove their worth, like fixing our roads or fixing the problem of homelessness.

If they could figure out a way to do that, they wouldn’t need to file any more of these frivolous lawsuits….

read … 3-D gun-plans suit a waste of time

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