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Friday, December 20, 2019
December 20, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:38 PM :: 3806 Views

Timeline: Hawaii County Council Abandons TMT--Ige Abandons Mauna Kea—Confusion Reigns

VIDEO: Ige pulls state law enforcement from Mauna Kea

TMT: State and County have not Demonstrated they are able to Provide Safe Access to Mauna Kea

Hawaii Grade F for Business Subsidy Transparency

Hawaii Unemployment Insurance System Ranks 28th in USA

Kalapama Container Terminal Enters Phase 2

DoH raids Two Unlicensed Care Homes

Ed Case Introduces Three Jones Act Reform Bills

U.S. Attorney believes group behind violent crimes on Oahu

SA: … “We think that some of these incidents are related. … Some of the violent incidents (are) organized in some fashion,” he said.

Price did not say exactly which incidents were related, but referenced the arrest made today of a suspect who in November stole a gun safe containing 30 guns from the Waialua residence of an “avid hunter.”

Court records show that law enforcement officers are investigating a possible relationship between the burglary and recent violent crimes on Oahu.

The suspect is also thought to be involved in stealing several military utility terrain vehicles and a cargo trailer from Schofield Barracks and looking to distribute meth.

Price mentioned several other crimes, but did not say that they were connected, such as an October carjacking in Aiea involving at least four suspects who stole a victim’s truck after pointing a handgun at him….

read … U.S. Attorney believes group behind violent crimes on Oahu

Breiner and Nadamoto summoned again to the federal grand jury in widening public corruption probe

HNN: … Dwight Nadamoto, Honolulu’s acting prosecutor, returned to testify before the federal grand jury Thursday afternoon.

The grand jury is hearing evidence against Keith Kaneshiro, Nadamoto’s boss….

The same special prosecutor, Michael Wheat, who led the charge against the Kealohas is again working the case against Kaneshiro and was at Thursdays proceedings.

This wasn’t Nadamoto’s first time tesitfying. In November he spent hours at the federal courthouse and told Hawaii News Now while leaving that the feds asked, “A lot of questions,” and that he would be called back for further testimony….

Also seen at the grand jury on Thursday, Myles Breiner.

Breiner was the attorney representing both Kealohas ahead of their indictments in 2017.

Breiner was accompanied by Doron Weinberg, a prominent San Francisco attorney.

Weinberg represented Gary Rodrigues, the former leader of the United Public Workers union, was convicted of conspiracy, embezzling union money, money laundering and health care fraud in 2002.…

ILind: Attorney takes top defense lawyer along for federal grand jury appearance

read … Acting Honolulu Prosecutor summoned again to the federal grand jury in widening public corruption probe

Locks and lawsuit: fight continues for Naval Air Museum Barbers Point

KHON: … The state chained and padlocked the museum on Thursday, the same day it received a lawsuit the museum filed against it….

on Thursday, the State Department of Transportation Airports Division put padlocks and chains on the Naval Air Museum Barbers Point's door and airplane exhibits. It also posted eviction letters on all the property. It says it's part of the eviction process. Now, museum staff have to call the state to let them in every time they want to clear out their belongings.

The state also on Thursday was served a lawsuit that the museum filed on Tuesday, saying the eviction is unlawful. The museum says it's been trying to resolve the issue with the state and now feels a judge is the only answer. It wants to keep operating….

Related: Barbers Point Air Museum Sues Airports Division to Block Eviction, Destruction of US Navy-owned Planes

read … Locks and lawsuit: fight continues for Naval Air Museum Barbers Point

Ala Wai: Why Some Are Fighting a Massive Flood-Control Project

CL: … Opponents’ concerns include the ecological impact of the proposed detention basins and the visual impact of flood walls along the canal, which currently is lined with running and biking paths and used daily by canoe clubs. They say that the Army Corps’ plan is outdated, based on 20th-century ideas about flood protection and lacking the type of adaptive capacity that more natural solutions offer.

“This is a failure of leadership from the highest levels,” said Simon Bussiere, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Although the proposed measures might work for a time, he said, such monumental flood-control infrastructure is “plagued with inherent instability and failure.”

Bussiere said the project’s $345 million budget would be better spent on a more systematic and ecologically informed watershed-restoration effort that could protect Waikīkī and the surrounding communities from future floods but that also would provide other benefits, ranging from increased open space to enhanced water quality (a major issue in the Ala Wai, due to the amount of runoff it receives)….

Related: Ala Wai? Corps of Engineers has Long History of Corruption and Cost Overruns

read … Fighting a Massive Flood-Control Project

Opponents of controversial Waimanalo development claim project has been scrapped

HNN: … Opponents of a controversial development project in Waimanalo say an agreement has been reached to scrap the plan.

“I can say today that the mayor has agreed and has authored draft proposals, a resolution to nullify its master plan in its entirety. So, there will be no sports field at Sherwood Forest,” said Kū'ike Kamakea-Ohelo, president of Save Our Sherwoods….

The update was announced at a public meeting in Waimanalo Thursday night and a round of applause erupted….

Kamakea-Ohelo did not have copies of the draft proposal, but said he saw it in writing….

“Following the arrests, we were blessed enough that we won the heart of Chief Ballard, the chief of police,” Kamakea-Ohelo said. “It is simply because of Chief Ballard and the HPD who were on the ground who believed in us and our cause.”

But not all Waimanalo residents are on board with the so-called victory.

“When you guys say community, you guys are forgetting about us,” Sione Tuifua said.

Tuifua is a football coach in Waimanalo who was looking forward to a new place for kids sports.

“Where was everybody five years ago? 10 years ago? You drive in there, there’s a whole community that lives in there. They’re urinating, they’re doing drugs. I don’t understand what you guys are fighting for,” Tuifua said….

read … Opponents of controversial Waimanalo development claim project has been scrapped

Citing taxpayer confusion, Maui Mayor vetoes property tax bill

MN: … Pointing to taxpayers’ confusion and possible “negative” impacts, Mayor Michael Victorino on Thursday afternoon vetoed a real property tax reform bill that would set new classifications.

Slated to take effect next fiscal year, Bill 59 changes homeowner class to “owner-occupied” and puts parcels with dwellings that do not have a home exemption in a “non-owner-occupied” class….

Related: Phase Two: Maui Council Preparations for Property tax Hike

read … Citing taxpayer confusion, mayor vetoes tax bill

Complaint: ‘Enhanced’ Maunakea traffic enforcement is unconstitutional

HTH: … The Hawaii County Police Commission is slated to hear a complaint today by a retired police sergeant who alleges the Hawaii Police Department’s operations around the blockade of Maunakea Access Road by protesters of the Thirty Meter Telescope project is “institutionalized police misconduct.”

The written complaint filed last month by Juergen Canda alleges the department’s “enhanced traffic enforcement” on Daniel K. Inouye Highway near the protesters’ encampment is, in actuality, “a tactical military style operation, under the pretext of traffic enforcement (for safety reasons) … .”

(Empty rhetoric.  But this gives yet another Big Island government body and opportunity to pander to the anti-telescope protesters.)

A video of Canda filing his complaint was posted to Facebook by HULI, the Hawai‘i Unity and Liberation Institute, one of the groups engaged in opposing the construction of the $1.4 billion TMT project on Maunakea….

MN: Pro-TMT stickers, T-shirts available at Imua TMT

read … Complaint: ‘Enhanced’ Maunakea traffic enforcement is unconstitutional

Justice: Anti-Cane Smoke Activists Suffer from Dust

MT: … Oh, there were high hopes for this corporate stranger, the result of a partnership between the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) and a California agricultural investment firm, Trinitas. No GMO crops, soil remediation,1,000 jobs, local faces in high-ranking positions. The unicorns and rainbows seemed endless back in December, 2018.

Twelve months later, many people who have had direct contact with Mahi Pono are singing a different song. Although the lyrics vary slightly from person to person, it goes something like this: “I’m not sure whether the people running this company are complete agricultural idiots, or just evil.”

Why idiots? Well, where to start? Instead of planting an initial round of forage and cover crops, as was envisioned by former general manager Larry Nixon (who lasted all of 16 weeks last winter), nothing was put in the ground while the crop plan was revised and re-revised and re-re-revised and still isn’t finalized. Had those early protective crops been planted, it’s likely that the July 11 fire that burned 9,000 Central Maui acres (5,000 of them on Mahi Pono land) might not have been as destructive. Now, with weedy fields replaced with charred soil, Kihei suffers from a dirt haze when the wind blows.

(There used to be a ‘protective crop’ of sugarcane.  Then the protesters shut that down.  Now they blame others.)

And speaking of dirt, residents in the Maui Lani and Pukalani areas have been complaining to the state health department about night clouds of dust, which has now become a “thing,” since Maui Pono runs its tractors day and night, tilling and retilling the land into – well – more dust. In an email, Mahi Pono told one complainant that the day/night tilling was necessary because of a “large footprint of citrus acreage we will be planting in 2020.”

… Mahi Pono has been importing contract laborers from California on a rotating basis since last spring. In June, when I first heard about these out-of-towners – who were being housed alongside tourists at the Maui Beach Hotel ….

read … Happy News 

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