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Friday, October 29, 2021
October 29, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:04 PM :: 2951 Views

September Tourist Arrivals Down 31%, Spending Down 15%

Next Boondoggle: Push is on to Sell You Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project

Saiki Shut Down Rail Audit on Behalf of Team Hanabusa, now Targets Auditor

HNN: … Kondo said Lee’s findings about change orders and rushed contracts were incorporated in his reports. Kondo added that House Speaker Scott Saiki was responsible for canceling Lee’s contract.

“Speaker Saiki … demanded that we obtain his approval to spend additional moneys on our HART work. We formally requested his approval, and Speaker Saiki denied the request,” Kondo said, in an email….

(The rest of this article is the usual Saiki-Belatti frame up job against Kondo.  Now we are supposed to believe that Kondo is covering up for Rail wrongdoing and Team Hanabusa, driving this Witch hunt, are the heroes.  LOL!) 

A former state judge judge told legislators Thursday that he was removed from an audit of the Honolulu rail system after he questioned wasteful spending.

Randal Lee, a retired Circuit Court Judge and white-collar crime expert, said when he began looking into the rail authority’s books back in 2018, he quickly spotted 76 questionable change orders.

Those orders were worth more than $100 million.

“The 76 ... were the ones that were in my opinion were clear. Anything close I gave it to them,” said Lee.

Contractors for the financially-troubled Honolulu rail project have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars for change orders ― times when they claimed they were forced to do things that weren’t in their contracts.

But Lee said the city approved dozens of change orders even though the contracts stated that contractors are responsible for the costs.

Lee said that included $13 million in change orders to building and leasing a concrete casting yard in Kapolei. Lee said city taxpayers paid for the change orders even when the contractor was supposed to pay for it.

Lee said after he raised these questions, State Auditor Les Kondo told him to stop interviewing witnesses. He said Kondo then terminated his contract ― telling him the Legislature wouldn’t release the money for his work….

(Clue: The attack on Kondo starts with a report authored by Hanabusa.  Hanabusa is now Chair of HART Board.  Do the math.)

read … Former judge tells lawmakers he was removed from audit after questioning rail spending

Governor didn’t approve city’s planned reboot of large indoor events but has no plans to stop it

HNN: … Gov. David Ige says he’s not comfortable with the city’s plan to allow large indoor events on Oahu, but won’t stop Honolulu’s mayor from moving forward.

Ige says indoor “interactive” events ― like weddings ― pose the highest risk for COVID transmission.

In a statement, he also said the state will continue to work with the city to “discuss the risks and the city’s responsibilities in responding to a surge in COVID-19 cases if one occurs.”

The city’s decision to move forward with plans to dramatically ease restrictions on large events without the state’s approval is a departure from how the county and governor operated earlier in the pandemic.

In April 2020, during the first COVID lockdown, Ige said changes regarding any COVID emergency rules by the counties needed his OK. But after more than a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, some county mayors appear to have had enough waiting on the governor.

“This is about going forward and living with it,” said Blangiardi. “We have shifted from a pandemic to an endemic,” he added.

Colin Moore, director of UH’s Center for Public Policy, said it appears the mayors are “no longer willing to toe the line” when it comes the governor’s approach to COVID.

On Wednesday, in announcing his plan for large events, Blangiardi acknowledged the state Health Department and governor were opposed to restoring indoor entertainment venues to full capacity.

The mayor did, however, have the blessing of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.….

KHON: Maui mayor wants to loosen COVID restrictions on large gatherings, restaurant capacity

read … Governor didn’t approve city’s planned reboot of large indoor events but has no plans to stop it

Incumbents Cry a River as Plan To Redraw Hawaii’s Political Lines Goes Out For Public Comment

CB: … A panel tasked with redrawing political boundaries in the state plans to move forward with a controversial redistricting plan that could pit incumbent lawmakers against each other and it’s already gotten widespread pushback from affected residents.

Members of the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to put forward its redistricting plan for public comment. The commission is planning to host meetings in November and December that would give the public the opportunity to weigh in on the proposals.

The commissioners would edit the plans as they go through the hearings process, and a final plan is due by February….

Many testifiers, including the chairs of several neighborhood boards, backed an alternate redistricting plan proposed by Kailua resident Bill Hicks.

The “Hicks Plan,” as the proposal has been referred to, would avoid some of the House district changes that have drew scrutiny at the last commission meeting…. 

RELATED: ​Naming Names: New Hawaii Election Districts Endanger Eight Incumbents

HNN: Major political, social battle brewing over new boundaries for legislative districts  

CB: Nightmare On Beretania Street

read … The Plan To Redraw Hawaii’s Political Lines Goes Out For Public Comment

Federal prison workers to protest staff shortages, vaccine mandate

SA: … The union representing federal prison workers will join a nationwide protest Friday to bring attention to staffing shortages, safety concerns and alternatives to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in Hawaii and at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities around the country.

Workers with the American Federation of Government Employees are planning a staff safety picket at the corner of Nimitz Highway and Elliot Street between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday.

Severe staff shortages are forcing nonofficer employees, including cooks, teachers and nurses, to serve as correctional officers under a process called augmentation, according to the AFGE, Local 1218, Council of Prison Locals. Less than 14,000 of the 20,446 correctional officer positions budgeted for 2021 were filled and the conditions are “endangering the lives of employees and makes it harder to safely manage inmates,” according to the union. …

The union is also advocating for weekly testing options for workers who do not want to accept a COVID-19 vaccine. On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22….

SA: Federal detention center adequately staffed, government says

read … Federal prison workers to protest staff shortages, vaccine mandate

Waiehu affordable housing project gets pushback from Sovereignty Activist Grifters

MN: … MEO, along with California-based affordable housing developer Highridge Costa Companies, is seeking county fast-track approval for Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua Affordable Housing Community, a $33.5 million project that would be managed by Hale Mahaolu and rented to adults of all ages who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income, which is $57,540 or less by 2021 county guidelines.

Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua would hold 120 multifamily residential units in 13 two-story buildings (28 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedroom units and 32 three-bedroom units), along with a roughly 3,500-square-foot nonprofit building and an approximately 3,000-square-foot clubhouse. A total of 264 parking stalls and two loading stalls would be included….

Ten people testified Tuesday, with six opponents who allege the plan’s draft environmental assessment doesn’t address an ongoing legal battle over who actually owns it.

“I’m not against affordable housing projects per se, but I am for protection of kanaka maoli indigenous claims that are over thousands of years old,” testified Kahala Johnson.

Johanna Kamaunu, who represents Wailuku on the Maui/Lanai Burial Council, also testified that she has “real concerns” over the project proposed for the area.

“I can understand the need for affordable housing for our families on Maui,” she said. “But at what cost if we displace the families that already belong to that property and are a part of that property?”

MEO board member Peter Horovitz, a longtime Maui attorney who deals with land issues, addressed title concerns Tuesday, saying that he has “utmost respect for native claims” but that the MEO title is “about the cleanest title that I’ve seen for these types of properties.”

The original owner of the MEO parcel was King Lunalilo, who deeded it as one large grant to Claus Spreckels. Because it originally was a royal claim, there were no subclaims within it, which is typically seen with kuleana land, he said Tuesday.

In the draft environmental assessment, Horovitz’s letter discussing the title issues said that the Pehuino heirs claiming title to the land are actually occupying the wrong property.

“The LCAs (Land Commission Awards) that the heirs are claiming aren’t on this property, they are a mile away,” Horovitz said during Tuesday’s meeting. “They are makai of Waiehu Beach Road on the backside of the harbor.”

Pehuino family members have asked Maui County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee and Housing and Human Concerns Director Lori Tsuhako to deny funding for the project….

read … Waiehu affordable housing project gets pushback from Sovereignty Activist Grifters

Believer Admits Global Warming Hysteria Causing Mental Illness

KITV: … With the COP26 climate summit coming up in Glasgow, it is time for more world leaders to heed the existential concerns young people feel and the distrust of governments they harbor by taking bold action. If they don't, they must be ready to face the steadily worsening mental health of their own youth.

It's no secret that young people everywhere are worried sick about the climate crisis. Their heavily reported eco- or climate anxiety (now becoming familiar terms to many), have awoken adults to the mental health burden that a warming world puts on our children and youth. Recent research my colleagues and I conducted showed for the first time that this psychological distress is linked to feelings of government betrayal and being lied to by leaders who are failing to take adequate climate action -- many while pretending to do otherwise.

Climate anxiety is not a mental health disorder, nor is it a clinical diagnosis. Rather, it is a normal and natural response to a very real civilizational crisis that is unfolding….

(NOTE: This is what all mentally ill people say about their mental illness.)

UHNews: UH students, faculty spew CO2 as they jet off to UN climate change convention

read … Global Warming Hysteria Causing Mental Illness

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