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Thursday, September 26, 2019
September 26, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:44 PM :: 2577 Views

Lawsuit Strips TMT of Canary Islands Permit

TMT Responds to Poll Showing Supporters Outnumber Opponents by 14%

Telescope Protesters Chose Not to Appeal to US Supreme Court

Court Upholds Ethics Comm Ruling Against Rowena Akana

Hawaii’s One-Stop Solution for Professional Licensees Wins State Government Project Experience Award

Tulsi Gabbard: Transcript doesn't show 'compelling' case for impeachment

Tourist Arrivals up 9.8%

Poll: Legislature Less Popular than Ige

SA: …Some legislators, especially those who openly campaigned against Gov. David Ige’s 2018 re-election, might well have been nodding I-told-you-so to Wednesday’s headline, “Ige’s job approval rating tanks amid TMT debacle.”

But wait — voters think even less of legislators: Ige got a 35% approval rating and 56% disapproval, while the Legislature rated a dismal 27% approval and 51% disapproval. Seems as if folks should take matters into their own hands next year: Run for office, or at the very least, vote for change….

read … Ige polls higher than Legislature

Neil deGrasse Tyson on TMT: What would ancient Polynesian navigators think?

FB: … Knowledge of the skies and navigating Earth’s surface are two pursuits that are fundamentally conjoined. Stars have guided navigators since the dawn of civilization. And the greatest navigators in the history of the world were restless Polynesians. Via double-hulled canoes, they discovered, mapped, and settled most of islands of the south and central Pacific, including Hawaii and New Zealand. We are all explorers at heart. It’s somehow write large in our DNA. But not every culture gets to do it. Not every culture figures out how to do it.

Have you ever contemplated the size of the Pacific Ocean? At the equator, it spans one third of all Earth’s longitude. Have you seen how scattered the island nations are that dot it? Mere dozens of miles separate some of them, but for others, hundreds and even thousands of miles of open ocean separate one island from the next. Now go back in time. More than three millennia ago: Before GPS; before marine chronometers; before the industrial revolution; before sextants, before compasses, before and during the time of Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha. Now try to do what the Polynesians did. From their encyclopedic knowledge of nature, they invoked the appearance (or absence) of coastal and marine animals, birds, shorelines, ocean currents, and most importantly, the Sun, Moon and Stars, to find their way. They were explorers. They were discoverers. They were Wayfinders.

The magnitude of this accomplishment was affirmed for me when I interviewed Nainoa Thompson for StarTalk on National Geographic TV. Nainoa is a modern Polynesian Wayfinder who sailed a 60-foot double-hulled canoe, made from original specifications, 2,400 miles between Hawaii and Tahiti.

All this leaves me to wonder what the ancient Polynesians would say about having the world’s largest instrument of navigation on an island they discovered.

Today, with Earth’s landmasses fully mapped, we look up from our planet’s surface — a kind of shoreline of its own to the cosmic ocean. With telescopes trained on the heavens, while scientists “navigate” from the back end, we nightly explore humanity’s place in the cosmos. Which leaves me to ask:

Whatever is your concept of the divine forces that created and shaped our universe, might the discoveries of modern astrophysics bring you closer to them?….

HNN: Neil deGrasse Tyson on TMT: What would ancient Polynesian navigators think?

read … Hawaii’s Conduit to the Cosmos

Police arrest 30 protesters Blocking Sherwood Forest construction site in Waimanalo

SA: … After over an hour of peaceful protests, around 30 protesters who had been sitting in the road blocking construction vehicles and police from entering Waimanalo Bay Beach Park have been arrested.

The construction vehicle was escorted into the park immediately afterward.

The remaining protesters are singing and chanting while police officers continue to block the road using their bicycles.

HNN: A massive police presence ― at least 100 officers strong ― had responded

read … Police arrest 30 protesters at Sherwood Forest construction site in Waimanalo

Red Light Cameras: Big Tech Surveillance is Answered with More Big Tech Surveillance

SA: … Hawaii, which saw 44 pedestrians die in 2018, including 27 on Oahu, has the highest fatality rate in the nation when it comes to pedestrians and vehicles. Pedestrians over 50 are especially vulnerable, according to a recent national report that ranked Hawaii the third most dangerous state in the nation for older pedestrians.

More than half of the voters surveyed for the Hawaii Poll said drivers not paying attention is the primary cause for these accidents….

(Drivers are using social media by which Big Tech spies on them.  And what is the solution?  Red light cameras—which allow yet another layer of spying by recording license plate numbers.  See how this works?)

Poll participant Stephanie Brown said the inattention largely comes back to drivers fiddling with their cellular phones.

“People have got to take responsibility to leave their phone alone,” she said.

Brown, a Kailua resident, said she also supports the installation of red-light cameras and certainly if they can identify the culprit in cases where someone gets hurt in an accident caused by a red-light runner.

Gov. David Ige in June signed into law a bill that establishes a committee to develop policy for a pilot red light-camera program across the state.

Such programs have whipped up controversy elsewhere, with some states and communities choosing to discontinue red light-camera projects.

Cameras are being used for traffic-light enforcement in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but they’ve been banned in eight states, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Traffic photo enforcement programs have been proposed in Hawaii for years, and the Legislature even passed a law in 1998 authorizing photo enforcement systems to ticket speeding motorists.

But the “van cams” deployed by a private contractor on Oahu in 2002 caused a big fuss amid public perception that it was operated primarily to maximize revenue for the vendor. Lawmakers quickly repealed the law….

read … Spy on Me Some More

Co-defendant: Officer accused of forcing homeless man to lick urinal has done it before

HNN: … A Honolulu police officer who’s accused of forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal to avoid arrest had done it before, according to a former Honolulu officer who pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to trying to cover up the alleged 2018 incident.

In a plea agreement, former Officer Reginald Ramones said his co-defendant in the civil rights case ― Officer John Rabago ― had also forced a homeless man to stick his head in a toilet at Cartwright Field….

“A bunch of officers ... found it amusing to place his face in a urinal,” Breiner said. “I suspect ... the government allowed him to plead to a lesser offense for the very reason they needed to get this going to send the police department a message that they need to clean their act up.”…

PDF: Ramones Plea Agreement

read … Co-defendant: Officer accused of forcing homeless man to lick urinal has done it before

Public safety trainer a ‘no show’ at hearing to question her qualifications

HNN: … The controversial head of training for more than a thousand state deputy sheriffs and adult correctional officers did not show up Wednesday for a hearing to defend her qualifications.

Marte Martinez told a representative for the Department of Public Safety that she had a 'family emergency’.

Martinez was ordered to appear before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to answer questions about her resume and education achievements after a series of Hawaii News Now reports in April that raised doubts….

Martinez had been promoted a handful of times with PSD and on each promotion application, she seemed to have additional degrees or certificates.

For her promotion in 2015, she lists a Bachelor’s of Arts from Southern Oregon State College, now called Southern Oregon University, but an email from that school’s enrollment office shows, they could not find any record indicating Martinez had obtained a degree from the institution.

Another document lists a degree from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine ― but in another email, school officials said they “could not find a J. Marte Martinez in the database.”

Martinez qualifications are important because ACOs and deputies have been criticized for their lack of training, after recent, high profile incidents….

read … Public safety trainer a ‘no show’ at hearing to question her qualifications

Hedge Fund Wants to Murder 160 Bats, 24 Petrels on Oahu

SA: … So the wind farm’s owner, New York-based hedge fund D.E. Shaw, is now seeking to increase the number that Kawailoa’s turbines are allowed to kill, called the take.

Shaw, which purchased Kawailoa Wind in 2015 from SunEdison, is asking regulators to approve a new take of 160 Hawaiian hoary bats, a 260 percent increase. The company also requested 24 Hawaiian petrels be added to its take permit, which is valid until 2032, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources….

read … Oahu Windfarm Seeking Increase In Authorized Bat Deaths

Feeling Guilty About Your Private Jet?  Give Money to a Penny Stock Tout Listed in the Panama Papers

PBN: … Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative has partnered with East Coast-based start-up Jet-Set Offset in an effort to offset carbon emissions of air travel. Through the partnership, which was announced last week, individuals and businesses can opt to donate 1 cent to the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative for every mile flown.

With forests on Oahu and Hawaii Island, Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative — the nonprofit offshoot of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods — works to reforest native trees and re-establish native habitats. The organization has planted more than 450,000 trees since it was founded in 2014.

Jeffrey Dunster, executive director of Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, told Pacific Business News that the new partnership gives travelers a chance to be “good citizens of the world.” According to the United Nations’ aviation division, carbon emissions from air travel are on track to triple by 2050 if no action is taken.

“[Jet-Set Offset] has created a model where it was very easy for somebody to come in and say, ‘I am going to be traveling and I want to be able to offset my carbon footprint for my trip,’” Dunster said. “The problem has always been, how do you make it easy for the consumer to be able to access such a thing. And the Jet-Set Offset folks have done that.”

Co-founded by Anna Ford and Ian Campbell — who both used to fly frequently for work — Jet-Set Offset partners with environmental nonprofits throughout the country as a way to help travelers reach carbon neutrality….

Reality: Lawsuits Close in on Hawaii’s Largest Carbon Credit Scheme

read … Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative works to offset air travel impacts

HECO wants to modify greenhouse gas caps

SA: … Hawaiian Electric Co. wants to combine the annual greenhouse emissions caps for 13 power plants in Hawaii, a move some believe would allow Hawaii’s lone coal-fired power plant to increase greenhouse gas emissions.

HECO has submitted an application for a permit to combine the facilities’ GHG emissions caps to the state Department of Health, which would allow facilities a higher cap if others fall below their individual limits.

The AES Hawaii coal-fired plant in Kapolei could use whatever is left of the GHG emissions caps of the other plants. AES Hawaii is the single largest power generator in the state, but also one of the dirtiest.

According to 2017 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, AES Hawaii reported emitting 1,470,000 metric tons of CO2e, or “carbon dioxide equivalent,” trailing only HECO’s Kahe Generating Station, which released over two million metric tons in 2017.

The permit would allow the 13 plants altogether to release up to about 6.4 million metric tons of CO2e per year. Currently, AES Hawaii is capped at about 1.5 million metric tons.

The Sierra Club’s Hawaii chapter is calling for the public (believers) to testify against the application during a DOH meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at the Momilani Elementary School cafeteria….

read … HECO wants to modify greenhouse gas caps

The future of Aloha Stadium: State extends public comment period

SA: … About 150 people attended a public meeting Wednesday night to weigh in on the future of Aloha Stadium….

The state extended the 30-day comment period until November 7.

The final draft of the impact statement is expected to be completed next summer….

read … The future of Aloha Stadium: State extends public comment period

DHHL successes few, far between

SA: … too often, the proper mission of implementing the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act is overshadowed by the agency’s mismanagement draining away too much of its limited resources.

It’s an issue unmasked repeatedly in state audits, the subject of a lengthy lawsuit against the state, and is constantly bemoaned by beneficiaries who have languished on waiting lists to be placed on the land.

Once again, a case of deliquent lease payments has come to light, this time a cumulative debt that grew to six figures — one involving an unauthorized sublease, as well. Compounding the offense: An unwitting sublessee will be left high and dry….

The big picture here, which the Balberde matter serves to illuminate, is the dire need at DHHL for more professional property management. For years, audits have identified myriad managerial problems with loan delinquency, inconsistency with revocable leases and other shortcomings.

The bottom line is that these failings compromise DHHL’s trust duties to beneficiaries, which is why a class-action suit is before the Hawaii Supreme Court….

read … Editorial: DHHL successes few, far between

Majority of voters say homelessness has gotten worse

SA: … Kaopuiki — along with 45% of Hawaii Poll respondents — said he believes that homeless sweeps by state and city officials are “worthwhile.”

Sweeps can lead to some homeless people “getting the help they need,” Kaopuiki said. “I’d say they’re worthwhile because some people are actually getting something out of it.”

The Hawaii Poll asked four homeless-related questions:

>> Only 5% of respondents statewide said they believe that “the homelessness problem” has gotten “better” in the previous 12 months, compared to 53% statewide who said the situation has gotten “worse.” Another 36% percent said the situation is the same.

The responses differed by island.

Only 2% of Kauai’s registered voters responded that homelessness has gotten “better,” compared to 64% who said it has gotten worse.

Maui’s annual homeless count dropped from 1,145 people in 2016 to 862 in January’s annual nationwide homeless census called the Point in Time Count. But on Maui, only 7% of respondents said the situation has gotten better, compared to 56% who believe it has gotten worse.

The responses on Oahu were similar to the state overall, with 4% believing homelessness has gotten better on Oahu compared to 51% who said it has gotten worse.

>> Statewide, 56% of registered voters said that homelessness is affecting their “quality of life,” compared to 42% who say it is not.

>> Only 10% of Hawaii Poll respondents said the public is more tolerant of the homeless across Hawaii, compared to 26% who say the public is less tolerant.

>> Asked if city and state sweeps are worthwhile, 45% agreed statewide and 42% disagreed. On Oahu, 44% agreed and 45% disagreed….

read … Majority of voters say homelessness has gotten worse

Crews left with 5 tons of garbage (and counting) after Diamond Head sweep

HNN: … Crews worked through the rain Wednesday morning to start clearing a massive homeless camp that had taken over a large part of the beach below Diamond Head.

It’s been nearly eight months since the city has done any kind of homeless enforcement at Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park.

In the first few hours of the sweep, workers collected close to five tons of rubbish along with a cubic yard of metal.

Honolulu police also made two arrests. City officials confirm the pair were wanted on a total of eight warrants….

Officials estimate dozens of people were living in illegal campsites makai of Diamond Head Road.

Outreach workers have been on-site to offer people shelter. It’s unknown if anyone accepted help….

Over the past few months, residents say there’s also been a rash of home break-ins. They say other illegal activity is also spilling into their community….

read … Garbage

Criminal Lunatic Indicted for Welfare Fraud

HTH: … According to the document, between April 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2016, Gauthier fraudulently received public assistance benefits and/or SNAP benefits. The indictment states the value of the allegedly stolen property exceeds $750 but is below the $20,000 threshold for first-degree theft.

Second-degree theft is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment upon conviction.

A bench warrant issued with the indictment set Gauthier’s bail at $2,000.

A check of court records for Gauthier turned up a 2014 conviction for unauthorized control of a stolen vehicle, a Class C felony. He was allowed a deferred acceptance of a no contest plea in that case, but a later arrest caused the court to reinstate a conviction and sentence of four-years probation in that case.

He also was convicted of second-degree theft in a 2015 case and sentenced to probation, but that conviction was later vacated and Gauthier was acquitted by reason of penal irresponsibility, which means the court found that Gauthier didn’t have the mental capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the alleged offense.

read … Grand jury indicts 2 for welfare fraud

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