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Sunday, January 6, 2019
January 6, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:04 PM :: 4908 Views

Auditor: Conveyance Tax Money Misspent by DLNR

Anti-GMO? Regressive Left Just as Russian as Trump

Tulsi Gabbard is a Rising Progressive Star, Despite Her Support for Hindu Nationalists

So Did You Meet Your Goals This Year? -- Um, We Dunno

Agriculture is all Politics: Central Maui Farm Project to be Controlled by Strategies 360, Tsutsui

MN: … More than 1,000 jobs could be generated as Mahi Pono moves forward with its farming operations on 41,000 acres of recently purchased old sugar cane lands, said the company’s new senior vice president of operations, former Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.

Tsutsui, a Waiehu resident, was named today to lead Mahi Pono’s farming venture on Maui. Besides working with local farmers, he said Mahi Pono will assist them with processing and packaging of their products for export and for island use — all based on Maui. …

Mahi Pono said it plans to produce high-quality, nongenetically modified (pander to the morons) food for local consumption with export potential; provide local partners with resources, such as farming expertise, equipment and farming capital; offer water in an agricultural park for use by small, local farmers and create jobs for local residents with job training and educational programs for employees. The new owners said they have no plans to convert any of the land to nonagricultural uses.

Pomona Farming will provide the farming expertise and resources with financial backing from the pension investment board, but decisions for Mahi Pono will be made on Maui, Tsutsui said….

Tsutsui will continue serving as a managing partner with Strategies 360, a strategic positioning firm. He left his lieutenant governor position at the end of January 2018 to join Strategies 360…

As far as what Mahi Pono will do with the 41,000 acres, Tsutsui said the company has been meeting with community leaders and stakeholders and especially with the Native Hawaiian community. (Translation: We are buying off our would-be critics)

“We want to listen and learn about a lot of the traditional Hawaiian farming practices,” he said. (Translation: We need to make sure we buy off all of the right ones.)

“The first step is to really listen and embrace and understand,” Tsutsui said. “We have so many experienced, so many knowledgeable people in our local community. The resources here have been untapped.  (Translation: We can create a make-work job for you.)

“We have a partner that is willing to invest in our community, to take its time, to learn then come up with a plan.”  (Translation: They understand they will have to grease many palms.)

A 2,500-acre brush fire in July burned fallow fields below Haliimaile, causing road closures.  Tsutsui said he will be meeting with fire officials in the next couple of weeks. (Translation: Grassfires are less important then buying off protesters.)

Tsutsui said said that Mahi Pono’s goal with water “is to use only what we need.” The company will seek out water use strategies from Native Hawaiian and longtime local farmers. Mahi Pono will look at current technologies to improve water use.

“Because . . . it is very valuable, we will view water as something that belongs to everybody,” Tsutsui said.  (Translation: If we buy off the protesters, we can have al the water we need and more.)

read … Tsutsui: Mahi Pono could generate 1,000-plus jobs

Maui Strategies 360: New Farm Operator Hires Activists (so nobody is protesting)

MT: To hear the hosannas from members of Maui’s progressive community, Christmas came early this year with Alexander & Baldwin’s sale of some 41,000 acres of former sugarcane lands to a mainland company for $262 million, or about $6,400 an acre.

So long Big Bad A&B, the water-guzzling, crop-burning, pesticide-spraying, plantation-era relic. In its place, a company calling itself Mahi Pono (translation: to grow or cultivate morally or properly), the corporate love child of a union between Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and a California-based agricultural company called Pomona Farming.

Within days, the coconut wireless thrummed with good news about the new owners. No GMO crops, existing A&B leases with Monsanto would not be renewed, community activists were being recruited for jobs. (Cha-chiiiing!)

What wasn’t discussed was the question: Who are these guys?

When I asked happy-dancing sale celebrants, their simple answer was “Not Alexander & Baldwin!” When I pressed, I was advised to stop being so negative (huh?), stow the “skepticism,” or “try wait” for the answer to reveal itself.

(IQ Test: It’s not news to you that these activists are all about money, right?) 

The go-to guy on this sale is Hawai‘i’s former Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, now vice-president at Strategies 360, a public affairs, communications, and research firm. Tsutsui said Friday that he began working with Pomona Farming six months ago to help them with the purchase….

read … Who Are These Guys? Enthusiasm over the new owners of A&B’s agricultural lands runs high, though almost nothing is known about them

Secret Group Pushes to Make KSBE Trustees More Corrupt

SA: … Over the past three years, I have been a member of a group of Kamehameha Schools alumni who have been working to develop appropriate criteria for the selection of new trustees for our beloved institution and ultimately to create a process for the selection of trustees that is more internally driven, relying heavily on our stakeholders’ deep understanding of our Princess Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop, her legacy and the Kamehameha Schools mission. We believe that the stakeholders include the alumni, faculty and staff members, the parents of current beneficiaries of Kamehameha’s educational services and the greater Native Hawaiian community.

Privately, we have written letters to the Probate Court as well as to the Hawaii Supreme Court seeking to change the selection process. In the short term, our goal has been to ensure that the selection panel is comprised of the aforementioned stakeholders. Our letters have been ignored (Good!) by two Probate Court judges. In the case of the Supreme Court, we received a letter from the court’s legal counsel indicating that it would be inappropriate for it to intervene in the matter.

It bears mention that the Probate Court has also seemingly been ignoring the recommendations of former Kamehameha Schools Court Master Benjamin Matsubara relating to the composition of the selection panel (This is probably also good news.) ….

As the deadline for the submission of applications passed on Dec. 14, 2018, I was alarmed to learn that the clear and dominating voice of Kamehameha stakeholders is once more absent from the panel that will select a replacement for trustee Corbett Kalama.  (Translation: Larry Mehau and Dan Inouye are dead.)

Reality: "Over the past three years" -- This group's "concern" dates from late 2015 -- the moment that Al Hee crony Janeen Olds was denied reappointment to her KSBE Trusteeship because of her involvement in the Sandwich Isles scheme.

read … Corruption Push

Kauai: $25M Tax Hike

KGI: … The new year brought a new hike for Kauai consumers.

The county opted to tack on a half-percent surcharge — the maximum amount authorized by the Legislature — making retail transactions subject to a 4.5-percent general excise tax starting Jan. 1. The county estimates the surcharge will generate (destroy) about $25 million a year through 2030, with the extra tax revenue slated for (pretend) transportation infrastructure (guaranteed to maintain Kauai’s artificial traffic jams)….

read … New year, new tax

$6.8M Gas tax hike Survives with ‘Timely’ List

HTH: … Some $6.8 million in new fuel tax money barely survived a close County Council vote last month, but its future seems more assured now that the Department of Public Works has released a working list of resurfacing projects to be completed with the money.

The council is set to cast its final vote Wednesday on Bill 211, which puts the money into the budget so the administration can spend it. The bill passed its first reading Dec. 19 by a 6-3 vote, the minimum number of yes votes required as spending bills require a two-thirds majority….

Voting no along with Kohala Councilman Tim Richards were newly elected Puna council members Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder and Ashley Kierkiewicz.

Richards has been asking for months for a list of projects as required by the 2017 resolution that raised the tax. He was assured at a committee hearing Nov. 19 the list was forthcoming. But he didn’t get the list until the day after his Dec. 19 negative vote.

“We had this in committee, we were promised a list of the roads that were going to be worked on in our districts. And they said we’d have it in a couple, three or four weeks, and it’s a couple, three or four weeks and I’m wondering where our list is,” Richards said during the council meeting. “I’m waiting for my list.”

No one from Public Works was at the council meeting, but Finance Director Deanna Sako said a list does exist.

“I know they are working on it and they do have a list that they’re working off of,” Sako said.

“I know they have a list and I’ll remind them to get that to you guys right away.”

Richards said through a council aide Thursday he received the list “timely,” the day after the meeting….

The County Council in 2017 raised the county fuel tax from 8.8 cents per gallon to 15 cents, with an additional 4-cent increase last year and another 4-cent hike coming July 1, bringing the total to 23 cents per gallon this year.

The 2017 council measure establishing the fuel tax made the increase contingent on “the timely submission of a comprehensive plan by the Department of Public Works in collaboration with the Office of the Mayor providing the following minimum information: amount to be generated by increases; information on how money will be distributed to all districts; transportation projects to be funded in each district; and time-lines for projects utilizing fuel tax revenues.”…

read … Gas tax money to be pumped into budget

Senators ask why Hawaii passed on opioid suit while Suing Trump Again and Again

SA: … State senators on Friday questioned why Gov. David Ige’s administration chose to file lawsuits over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies but declined to join in class- action litigation against drug manufacturers and distributors that are being blamed for the opioid epidemic across the country.

When asked Friday whether the state was pursuing claims against companies that are in the opioid business, state Attorney General Russell Suzuki said the state did not join more than 40 other states who are suing the companies because Hawaii would have to contribute legal expenses to participate.

He added that “at this point in time, the opioid epidemic, although in Hawaii is rising, it was not at the level where we had a significant situation like Indiana did, and other states.”

That answer prompted state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim to interrupt Suzuki at a Senate Ways and Means Committee briefing to ask, “How do you justify us jumping into the immigration (issue)?” …

read … Senators ask why Hawaii passed on opioid suit

Soft on Crime: Alleged Domestic Violence Stranglers walk out of Jail After Posting Mini-Bonds

HTH: … Both were arrested Dec. 16 and charged with domestic abuse by strangulation, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, plus misdemeanor domestic abuse, a misdemeanor. Kahihikolo also was charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, a misdemeanor.

Both men appeared in Hilo Family Court the following day.

According to court records, both were granted supervised release from custody without bail by Judge Dakota Frenz over the objection of prosecutors until their preliminary hearing dates, Jan. 9 for Doyle and Jan. 16 for Kahihikolo.

The reason cited by the judge for elimination of bail, $4,000 in Kahihikolo’s case and $3,000 in Doyle’s, was a lack of criminal history by the defendants.

Both men were ordered by the court to stay away from the alleged victims in the cases, both of whom are women ….

read … Soft on Crime

Residents and police pair up to crack down on squatters

HNN: … "I believe it's a first of it's kind.  It's about partnering up and coordinating together instead of operating separately.  I do believe that this will be a model that other communities will follow going forward that will improve the quality of life for everyone concerned.  Even for the person squatting," explained Garbarino.

The strategy seems to be working.  Garbarino says so far, ten arrests have been made.

"We're approaching a new paradigm, that is of working together. Police, community, and neighborhood association to clamp down. Hopefully, it will spill over into other communities.  It has been referred to as a pilot program," said Leilani Estates resident Paddy Daly….

Best Comment: “Where is the crackdown on Oahu squatters ? They start house fires here.” 

M: Romantic Hawaii Tourism News: Spice Girl Hooks up with Homeless Dude Caught Pooping on Beach

read … Residents and police pair up to crack down on squatters

Wholesale Electric Rates about the Same as Mainland Retail Electric Rates

MN: …The proposed 60-megawatt solar farm in Central Maui would charge 8 cents per kilowatt hour — the lowest in the state for renewable energy — and the 15-MW solar facility on Ulupalakua Ranch land, 12 cents per kWh, according to contracts submitted by Hawaiian Electric Co. to the state Public Utilities Commission for review.

The utility announced Thursday the rates to be charged consumers (without a markup from Maui Electric Co., a subsidiary of HECO) for seven grid-scale with battery storage projects on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii island.

These prices are lower than current fossil-fuel generation, which is running about 15 cents per kWh. The two 2.87-MW industrial-scale solar projects in South and West Maui that went online last year are charging 11 cents per kWh while the two wind farms in Maalaea and in Kanaio are billing 12 cents per kWh….

read … Proposed rates for Central Maui solar power lowest in state

Hawaii Congressional Delegation: Words to the Unwise

Shapiro: …>> For U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz: “I worry that no matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” — Lily Tomlin

>> For U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono: “The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.” — Hubert H. Humphrey

>> For U.S. Rep. Ed Case: “There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” — Will Rogers

>> For U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.” — T.S. Eliot….

read … Ringing in the new year with words to the unwise

Surprised by Wind and Waves in Pacific: Giant Plastic Eco-Boom Breaks up, Will soon wash up on Hawaii Beaches

AP: …A trash collection device deployed to corral plastic litter floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii has broken apart and will be hauled back to dry land for repairs (is now part of the plastic litter).

Boyan Slat, who launched the Pacific Ocean cleanup project, told NBC News last week that the 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom will be towed 800 miles (1,300 km) to Hawaii.

(Prediction: It will continue to break up and will eventually become part of the flotsam arriving on Hawaii’s beaches.  This will be a prize for beachcombers!)

If it can’t be repaired there, it will be loaded on a barge and returned to its home port of Alameda, California.

The boom broke apart. (Apparently the designer was surprised to find) under constant wind and waves in the Pacific….

read … Attention Rich Enviros—Please Give More Money to this Project.  Pleeeeaase!




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