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Sunday, November 14, 2021
November 14, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 2147 Views

NOT the End of Gut-n-Replace

Most Charitable States -- Hawaii 41st

Secret Boondoggle Revealed to Public After 7 Years of Planning: ‘$100s of Millions’ for Mililani Tech Center with Hotel, Retail

SA: … It is an operations and training base geared for law enforcement, fire, defense and other emergency response agencies. The envisioned complex would include office space roughly equivalent to a 37-story tower, classrooms and a 450-seat auditorium, warehouses with 293,000 square feet of storage space, and a parking garage topped by a helipad.

An indoor shooting range also is planned along with outdoor training facilities possibly featuring structures to practice tactical raids and rescues, an obstacle course, a rappelling tower, running track and vehicle driving course.

Amenities in the plan include a fitness center, a competition swimming pool and locker rooms, as well as retail space, a community center and a cafeteria with a kitchen staff that includes a nutritionist.

Then there’s a three-piece lodging component comprising a 150-bed hotel for visitors, a 100-bed dorm with shared bathrooms for recruits, and 400 to 500 workforce housing apartments for employees, trainees and residents from the surrounding community.

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

All of this is bundled as a state-driven project called the First Responder Technology Campus, which germinated from an idea state lawmakers advanced several years ago (but kept quiet until now) and now stands to cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

Given the cost and involvement of so many agencies at different government levels, it could be difficult to realize the ambitious total vision. Project planners figure construction could begin next year and be done in six phases over 15 years.….  (ie never)

Hawaii lawmakers produced their general notion for the project at least seven years ago, dubbing it the First Responders Technology Campus and Cyber Security Command Center.

According to Higashi, part of the impetus was to reduce state facility maintenance requests to the Legislature by having multiple federal, state and county agencies share new facilities and the costs to build and maintain them.

Moving some existing agency facilities out of flood zones, tsunami evacuation zones and areas expected to be impacted by future sea-level rise also was a motivation. Creating jobs in Central Oahu and eliminating the need for training on the mainland were touted as other benefits.

In 2014, the Legislature appropriated $11.5 million to buy the project site — largely forested land just beyond the developed edge of Mililani Mauka — from development firm Castle & Cooke Inc.

Castle & Cooke, which developed Mililani on land it once farmed in pineapple, failed to realize plans for a second phase of a high-tech business park on the site. A first phase called Mililani Tech Park was envisioned exclusively for high-tech tenants but became a general commercial area that includes business offices, self-storage, a church, a preschool and a Target warehouse.

The state bought the failed tech park expansion site for $9.8 million in 2017.

HTDC, the agency led by Higashi, was directed to head up planning and permitting efforts, and to date has spent the better part of $7 million on it, including a market study, conceptual plans and an environmental review. 

Link: 12 HTDC project sites statewide

As part of the regulatory process, HTDC needs to produce an environmental impact statement, which is being prepared by a consultant, and obtain a state land-use change, an amendment to Oahu’s urban growth boundary and a county zoning change.

Beyond the permitting stage, however, it’s uncertain who would develop what and when…. 

SA Editorial: Rethink massive Mililani project for 19 government agencies

read … Boondoggle

This Deputy Sheriff Was Twice Accused Of Sex Assault And Fired. Then He Got His Job Back

CB: … Internal investigations found he violated department policy in two strip searches in 2014. In both cases, women accused him of sexually assaulting them. The department fired Carabbacan in 2015.

He appealed his termination through a union grievance process, and a third-party arbitrator gave him back his job at the cellblock in 2016. At issue were differing interpretations of what exactly constitutes a strip search.

No one disputes that he searched and touched the women. The arbitrator only found that the department failed to prove he violated policy and the Sheriff Division’s standards of conduct.

A deputy sheriff assigned to the First Circuit Court cellblock was accused of sexually assaulting two women in 2014. A federal jury on Friday awarded one of the women $7 million in a civil case. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Carabbacan’s behavior has gotten the state in legal trouble in the past. In 2012, he was accused along with another sheriff and State Capitol security of roughing up a(n atheist) protester.  The state settled that case for $100,000 in 2012.

In 2019, one of his accusers from 2014 sued him and DPS. But a circuit court judge dismissed most of the claims against the state because the statute of limitations had expired.

A jury awarded another of his accusers more than $7 million in damages Friday in a 2017 case against Carabbacan and the department…. 

read … This Deputy Sheriff Was Twice Accused Of Sex Assault And Fired. Then He Got His Job Back

Politicians So Unqualified they don’t even measure up to the Lt Gov ‘job’

Cataluna: … So far, the Democrats’ primary race is crowded, with Rep. Sylvia Luke, Chamber of Commerce CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara, and a bunch of people with “former” in their titles (former state Sen. Jill Tokuda, former City Council members Ikaika Anderson and Ron Menor, former Hawaii High School Athletics Association Executive Director Keith Amemiya) having stated their intentions….

There's a lot of well-known names in the race for lieutenant governor so far. But that doesn't make them qualified for the job….

read … If I Had A Dollar For Every Time Someone Suggested I Run For Office

Union Election: UPW Tries to Find Leaders Crafty Enough to Avoid Being Indicted for a while

CB: …About 11,000 members of the United Public Workers union in Hawaii begin voting this weekend to select new leadership at a pivotal time when the influential union is under federal investigation for alleged financial irregularities.

Longtime UPW State Director Dayton Nakanelua was removed last year after a scathing financial audit and a trial held by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and AFSCME appointed Liz Ho as a temporary administrator of the union.

Ho declined to discuss the election, but in a July 22 letter to the unions’ national leadership she reported that the voting in the weeks ahead is a critical step on a path that will allow the union to emerge from administratorship.

Ho said in the letter she has been focused on establishing new financial management procedures to correct irregularities that were revealed in the 2019 audit, and reported she may recommend an end to the union administratorship by early next year….

The union election is also notable because it will mark the first time the UPW Local 646 general membership has been allowed to vote directly to select a new state director, which is required under the federal Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959.

UPW selected both Nakanelua and former state director Gary Rodrigues in elections that were limited to delegates at state conventions, but AFSCME President Lee Saunders last summer advised Ho that federal law requires the full membership be allowed to vote on who will lead the union….

read … Troubled United Public Workers Union Holds A Pivotal Election 

Radio telescopes could be built on Big Island

HTH: … The Next Generation Very Large Array — shortened to ngVLA — is a proposed array of 244 18-meter-wide radio telescope antennas spread across the U.S. that would operate in tandem to generate fine-resolution images of celestial objects….

The project would replace the Karl Jansky Very Large Array, which comprises 27 antennas in New Mexico, and the Very Long Baseline Array, which is made up of 10 antennas throughout the country from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Maunakea.

Both arrays are operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which also would manage the ngVLA….

In Hawaii’s case, Beasley said the project would seek to erect six ngVLA antennas throughout the state. Three of those would be located on the Big Island, with the remaining three elsewhere in the state.

Design documents from 2019 specify that the three antennas on the Big Island would be located “NOT on Mauna Kea. New site.”…

read … Radio telescopes could be built on Big Island

Civil Beat: It’s Washboard Journalism, Not Plagiarism

CB: … earlier this month, Civil Beat Editor Patti Epler forwarded an email to Brittany Lyte, a reporter based on Kauai, with a story by Environment Hawaii about a review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the status of the Hawaiian hoary bat. The review found that downlisting Hawaii’s official land mammal from endangered to threatened would be warranted….

On Wednesday, Patricia Tummons got in touch with Epler. Tummons is the president of Environment Hawaii, a Hilo nonprofit that publishes a monthly newsletter on environmental issues.  She wrote that she had concerns about Civil Beat’s article.

… some passages in Lyte’s story were similar to what Environment Hawaii’s reporter, Teresa Dawson, had written in her November article about the hoary bat. The passages “seem to be almost directly lifted,” Tummons wrote….

Just as journalists routinely paraphrase or slightly reword passages from press releases, Lyte in several paragraphs had echoed Environment Hawaii’s language….  (Translation: We do washboard journalism.)

read … Not Plagiarism NotNotNotNot

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