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Monday, October 7, 2019
October 7, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:28 PM :: 4300 Views

Ige Heralded for 'Worst Policy Proposals' of 2019

Anti-Telescope Leader: “We have never advocated for the removal of telescopes”

HPR: … The state’s commitment to remove five existing telescopes on Mauna Kea to build the Thirty-Meter Telescope remains part of the effort to resolve the protest on the mountain. But most of these telescopes are still operating and even TMT opponents see the value of keeping them online until their lease expires.

A handful of telescopes are set to be decommissioned by the time TMT begins operations. One is the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. It’s already on its way out. Astronomer Doug Simons says removal of the telescopes makes sense if they aren’t fully operational but what if they continue to work?

"t does kind of beg the question,"  said Doug Simons is the director of the Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope, one of 13 on the summit. "You know, if they're doing great work why pull the plug on a facility that is state-of-the-art and doing world-class research? You know, obviously I'm biased but I think that's a fair question to ask."

Simnons said with the exception of Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, which lost its operating funds, and the University of Hawaiʻi’s educational telescope that never became operational, all other Mauna Kea telescopes are producing science.

"So it does set in place certain tensions as you can imagine. As facilities and their staffs in particular are aware that you know, they could potentially be on the decom list downstream," he said.

Thirty Meter Telescope opponent Kealoha Pisciotta (OHA’s Mauna Kea point person for nearly 2 decades) says decommissioning is not the answer.

"This idea of swapping, you know, telescopes that are the size of a large kitchen into something that that's bigger than a football field, right? Eighteen stories high is unreasonable," she said.

Speeding up the removal of existing telescopes makes little sense when many have more years of good science left, Pisciotta said

"We have never advocated for the removal of telescopes because the removal of telescopes creates a whole other level of problems. However, we knew at some point at the end of their lease, we wanted everything off," she said.

The current master lease held by the university that allows the telescopes to operate on Mauna Kea expires in 2033. All telescopes on the mountain will need to be removed by then -- if no new lease is negotiated. 

(Short Version: OHA wants to take control of the master lease from UH.)

"So you back that up that actually means we need to start planning that process, you know, well in advance," said Simons. "It could be a fairly large disruption on the mountain if you were to try and simultaneously remove a billion dollars worth of equipment up there….

(Translation: The lease is being negotiated now.)

read … Why Dismantling of Mauna Kea Telescopes Raises Questions

Where Hawaii Legislators Stand On The Thirty Meter Telescope

CB: … Hawaii Senate

Support TMT: Sens. Roz Baker, Mike Gabbard, Breene Harimoto, Lorraine Inouye, Donna Kim, Sharon Moriwaki, Clarence Nishihara, Karl Rhoads and Glenn Wakai.

Support with reservations: Sen. Stanley Chang.

Oppose TMT: none on record.

Neither “yes” or “no”: Sens. J. Kalani English, Kai Kahele, Gil Riviere and Laura Thielen.

Declined comment: Sens. Les Ihara, Jarrett Keohokalole and Russell Ruderman.

Did not respond: Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz, Kurt Fevella, Dru Kanuha, Gil Keith-Agaran, Michelle Kidani, Ron Kouchi and Maile Shimabukuro.

Could not be reached: The office of Sen. Brian Taniguchi said he was traveling abroad and his could not be reached for comment.

Hawaii House of Representatives

Support TMT: Reps. Della Au Belatti, Tom Brower, Rida Cabanilla, Romy Cachola, Bert Kobayashi, Bob McDermott, Val Okimoto, Richard Onishi, Scott Saiki, Calvin Say, Gregg Takayama, Cynthia Thielen and Jimmy Tokioka.

Support with reservations: Rep. John Mizuno.

Oppose TMT: Reps. Dale Kobayashi and Amy Perusso.

Neither “yes” or “no”: Reps. David Tarnas, Gene Ward and Tina Wildberger.

Declined comment: Reps. Sharon Har, Nicole Lowen and Chris Lee.

Did not respond: Reps. Henry Aquino, Richard Creagan, Ty Cullen, Lynn DeCoite, Stacelynn Eli, Cedric Gates, Mark Hashem, Troy Hashimoto, Daniel Holt, Linda Ichiyama, Aaron Ling Johanson, Sam Kong, Sylvia Luke, Scot Matayoshi, Lauren Matsumoto, Angus McKelvey, Dee Morikawa, Mark Nakashima, Scott Nishimoto, Takashi Ohno, Sean Quinlan, Joy San Buenaventura, Roy Takumi, Chris Todd, Justin Woodson, Ryan Yamane and Kyle Yamashita.

Could not be reached: Rep. Lisa Kitagawa was traveling and her office said she could not be reached for comment. Rep. Nadine Nakamura could not be reached because of a family emergency….

read … Where Hawaii Legislators Stand On The Thirty Meter Telescope

Settle Maui Injection Wells Case?  County will suffer for Nothing

TH: …  County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

The Clean Water Act makes it clear that the states, not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have the authority to regulate groundwater. But what if the groundwater eventually flows into a navigable waterway — which the federal government can regulate? In the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the EPA could regulate Maui’s injection of treated sewage into the ground because, after a few years, the water reaches the Pacific Ocean. 

The importance of this case extends far beyond Hawaii, because it could give the EPA a back-door to regulate all things affecting groundwater. There are moves afoot to settle the case before the court hears arguments, but that will only postpone the inevitable reckoning since similar cases are working their way up….

read … What to watch for in the new Supreme Court session

When The Honolulu City Council Is Less Than Transparent

CB: … The Kealoha case. TMT. Gift of a lighted tree. Appointees to the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Zoo sponsorships. Bike rentals. Antennas on city streetlight poles.

What do these seemingly unrelated issues have in common?

They were all “sunshined” on to Honolulu City Council meeting agendas, so that council members could discuss them without giving proper notice to the public….

read … When The Honolulu City Council Is Less Than Transparent

Hawaii’s congressional delegation lacks consistency in holding town halls

SA: … U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono held two town halls in 2017, while U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard held seven that year.

However, neither Hirono nor Gabbard has held a town hall since 2017.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has held four so far this year. He held none in 2018 and six in 2017.

Case, who took office in January, has held 10 so far this year.

The Star-Advertiser included only in-person town halls in Hawaii that are open to the general public and not focused on specific constituencies, such as veterans or seniors….

read … Hawaii’s congressional delegation lacks consistency in holding town halls

State officials aim to change water quality testing

KHON: … Under the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the state has been testing beaches for a bacteria called enterococci to indicate the presence of fecal waste….

Beaches under Tier 1 like at Magic Island and Hanauma Bay are monitored on a weekly basis. If there are high levels of it, then warning signs are posted on the beach and email notifications are sent out. But Honda says that bacteria is not a good indicator in Hawaii because it’s shown to grow in our tropical environment.

“It grows in soil, in streams, and things like that so moist soil with decaying organic matter. So it is present in the environment,” said Honda. “By us detecting enterococci in the water it’s not an indication that there is sewage in the water.”

Honda says they’ve teamed up with the University of Hawaii to do a study of another source they could test for and get the EPA’s approval.

“I’m hoping that we would be able to use would be the clostridium perfringens since we have a lot of data on that,” said Honda. “So what we want to do is correlate the presence of pathogens and the density with the presence of clostridium.”

Background: Feds Debunk Surfrider's Fake Bacteria Counts

read … State officials aim to change water quality testing

Hawaii Co Police ready to roll out body cameras

HTH: … Police Chief Paul Ferreira hopes to have Hawaii Police Department officers outfitted with body-worn cameras early next year.

With nearly $400,000 allocated in the 2019-20 Hawaii County budget for a body-worn camera program, Ferreira said the department is preparing to move forward with the procurement process to secure the 300 cameras that will be needed for uniformed patrol officers, traffic enforcement units, and specialized unit officers….

read … Police ready to roll out body cameras

Opening of new Kihei High School could be delayed 3 to 4 years

SA: … Andrew Beerer’s two children were just starting elementary school when he joined the campaign to build a public high school for their fast-growing Kihei community.

Now teenagers, they leave home at 6:15 a.m. to catch the school bus to Maui High School in Kahului, along with other students on the South Maui coast.

They can spot giant construction trucks moving rocks and grading land for the long-promised Kihei High School, but there is little hope the campus will open before they graduate.

State Sen. Rosalyn Baker (D, West Maui-South Maui) predicts it won’t be until 2023 that students first set foot in the new school mauka of Piilani Highway.

“I think the best-case scenario is the 2023-24 school year, and I hope that finally the stars would align on this project and that would be the opening,” she said….

“We thought we’d won the battle,” recalled Beerer, chairman of the Kihei High School Action Team. “I still have my red T-shirt that says ‘Kihei High School by 2016.’ That was our mantra.”…

Meanwhile: Kihei Charter school growing while DoE Enrollment Shrinks

read … Opening of new Kihei High School could be delayed 3 to 4 years

Authorities target adults trolling online to sexually exploit minors

SA: … Cowley was one of eight men that state and federal authorities caught in a joint undercover operation in March — the first one in Hawaii to target adults seeking children online for sexual encounters….

Price’s office so far this year has charged 14 defendants in child exploitation cases, one more than the combined total for the three prior years. Four resulted from the sting.

The state Attorney General’s Office likewise charged four people from that crackdown.

The AG’s office subsequently participated in another undercover operation with the military and is planning more stings to continue targeting adult demand for juvenile sex, according to Kevin Takata, a deputy attorney general and administrator of the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“This is not a one-and-done operation,” Takata said. “As long as there is a demand to have sex with juveniles over the internet, these operations will continue.”….

As of mid-August, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Hawaii had initiated 10 investigations involving active-duty Navy members suspected of exploiting juveniles. The alleged wrongdoing ranges from possessing or sharing child pornography to using indecent language with minors to try to engage in sex, according to an NCIS statement.

No one has a good handle on how extensive child sex exploitation is in Hawaii, and there is no reliable data showing the scope of the problem….

Among those charged in recent juvenile enticement cases were a retired Honolulu police officer, a manager of a Windward Oahu store that catered to teens, and a professional photographer who did studio shoots with young models. The store manager was a registered sex offender, according to court documents….

the Legislature last year approved an annual grant of $500,000 for the internet crimes task force, enabling the group to fund the March sting and to plan others, according to Takata….

Flashback: Internet molester sting operation nets retired Honolulu police officer

Federal Prosecutor: Former HPD Officer Admits being Homosexual Child Molester

read … Authorities target adults trolling online to sexually exploit minors

Honolulu’s Property Crime Problem: ‘Tourists Make Great Victims’

CB: … Honolulu has less violent crime than the national rate, but much more property crime, according to new FBI data released last week.

The estimated national rate of violent crime was 368.9 offenses per 100,000 people, while the Honolulu rate was 249.6. The national rate for property crime was 2,199.5, while Honolulu’s rate was 2,941.5….. 

HNN: FBI: Violent crimes in Hawaii fall in recent years despite rise in rapes

read … Honolulu’s Property Crime Problem: ‘Tourists Make Great Victims’

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