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Friday, January 7, 2022
January 7, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:17 PM :: 3810 Views

House subcommittee to take up Navy fuel cleanup in Hawaii

TANF: Hawaii Hoards $364M Federal Welfare Money

Hawaii offers $25 to inmates who get COVID booster

COVID: Hawaii Shutdowns Among Harshest in USA

National Community Survey for O'ahu Residents

UH: Solar Installations are Killing Birds

UH: Ocean plastic is creating new communities of life on the high seas

Hawaii Republicans: January 6 Investigation 'Targeting Good Americans'

Peter Savio: ‘I Like Trump’ -- Considers Run on Republican Ticket

HNN:  … Successful developer 75-year-old Peter Savio says Hawaii has been saddled with the same problems for years and believes he’s got out of the box solutions.

“I’m not a politician. I never have been,” said Savio.

“I like Trump. I think he’s a jerk, but he’s different. He shakes things up,” he added.

He says GOP leaders have asked him to run, so he’s mulling it over.

“I’m hoping they can find someone else and I can give them ideas and solutions that I believe would help to make Hawaii a better place,” said Savio.

On this year anniversary of the Jan. 6, US Capitol riot, he says what the insurrectionists did was wrong.

“No question they should be punished for it, but I’m still not convinced what happened and who is to blame,” said Savio….

CB: Honolulu’s Republican Party Told To Move Fundraiser Off Army Base

read … Well-known Hawaii businessman considers run for governor on Republican ticket

Miske associate ‘Harry Boy’ Kauhi details Hawaii murder-for-hire in plea deal

… From 2015 until about June 2020 Kauhi and others were members of crew headed by Miske. Miske allegedly used his “reputation for violence in the community, and the various corporate entities under his control to enrich the members and associates of the Miske Enterprise and to protect their criminal activities,” according to the change of plea agreement.

At various times in 2016 and 2017 Kauhi and others were “offered contracts to commit and/or facilitate murder by Michael J. Miske and engaged in attempts to commit those murders,” according to federal court documents.

In 2016, Kauhi, Stancil, Moon, Jacob “Jake” Smith, Wayne Miller and Bermudez participated in a murder for hire conspiracy targeting a Waimanalo man. Miske believed the man was cooperating with law enforcement, according to DOJ.

Miller was tasked with finding the hitman and recruited Kauhi to do the killing, according to court documents. Kauhi agreed to do a “home run”, i.e. murder the Waimanalo man, identified by the government as “Victim-1” and took several thousand dollars in payment from Miske via Miller in advance — but did not kill anyone.

In 2017, Akau and Miller accepted an offer from Miske to kill a man identified as “Victim-12” for $50,000, according to court documents. Akau placed a GPS tracking device on “Victim-12“‘s vehicle. Kauhi drove Akau on several occasions as they followed the target while he drove to and from work. Kauhi was behind the wheel when Akau and Miller followed the man to a plate lunch restaurant on Sand Island. Akau had a pistol and was going to shoot the man when he walked out of the restaurant before Miller stopped him, according to DOJ, because the GPS device was still attached to the target’s vehicle.

Also in 2017, Miske wanted “Victim-2” killed because the individual “disrespected him on social media,” according to court documents.

Miske, Stancil and Smith all traveled to Kualoa Ranch where “Victim-2” was working and confronted the individual before Smith fired a single shot, missing the target. After the shooting, Kauhi and Smith got rid of the guns by giving them to another person to dispose of, according to court documents.….

Miske’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 9….

ILind: Prosecutors bag another guilty plea by Miske Enterprise insider

CB: Kauhi’s Guilty Plea Strengthens The Conspiracy Case Against Mike Miske

read … Miske associate ‘Harry Boy’ Kauhi details Hawaii murder-for-hire in plea deal

Missing HSTA Members Include 1,969 Anti-Vaxxers--Schools Shifting Back to Fake ‘Online’ Classes

HNN: … Jenny Orebaugh, a substitute teacher, said she thinks at least part of the other half of teachers who were out are unvaccinated — like herself — and are unable to get tested in time. She said unvaccinated teachers cannot test at school campuses anymore to comply with the testing mandate.

“Since we’ve returned from the break, those tests are no longer available,” Orebaugh explained. “And we’re being told not to show up at the testing site — they will not provide letters for work. There’s just not enough tests to go around to test healthy people just to show up at work.”

Free testing events held during the first week of January at multiple HDOE locations on Oahu’s west side were not producing a letter with negative COVID results — something unvaccinated workers need.

According to the DOE, the “policy has always stated testing for the purposes of the testing mandate would be at the employee’s expense,” and that “employees may use any free testing site.”

As of December 2021, 91% of HDOE salaried employees were vaccinated against COVID-19, which means 1,969 out of a total of 21,914 employees were unvaccinated….

”(COVID’s) everywhere,” said Alex Teece, founder of DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach Public Charter School. “So that was really the tipping point, seeing these numbers skyrocket and realizing that we had a choice to make, and a difficult decision to make to not be a part of those numbers.”

Teece said they chose to shift the school to distance learning for two weeks….

read … COVID testing becomes problem for unvaccinated teachers; some schools shift back to online classes

Decision on military population means 100,000 Oahuans Disenfranchised so Big island can Seize Control of Undeserved House Seat

HNN:  … After months of meetings and statewide public hearings, the people rewriting Hawaii’s election district maps are going back to the drawing board.

And some of them are also blasting the process.

The effort was supposed to wrap up Wednesday. But new military population data led to a decision to exclude nearly 100,000 military members as “non-permanent” residents from the population count.

That means Oahu will lose a state House seat and the Big Island will gain one….

read … Decision on military population means effort to redraw election maps will start over

Hawaii Tax Collections Are Projected To Top $8 Billion For The First Time Ever

CB: … Latest projections are that the economic rebound will provide lawmakers with an extra $890 million to spend (waste) beyond what Ige budgeted…. 

read … Hawaii Tax Collections Are Projected To Top $8 Billion For The First Time Ever

First cruise ship in nearly two years slated to arrive in Hawaii next week

HTH: … Carnival Corp.’s Grand Princess is scheduled to be the first passenger cruise ship to arrive in Hawaii since March 2020.

The 951-foot passenger vessel, which can carry up to 3,100 passengers and a crew of 1,100, is slated to arrive in Honolulu on Sunday, according to Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Jai Cunningham.

Remaining port calls in Hawaii include: Nawiliwili, Kauai, on Monday; Hilo on Tuesday; and Kahului, Maui, on Wednesday….

The Carnival Miracle is also expected to make in-state port calls this month. The 963-foot vessel, which can carry 2,214 passengers with a crew of 930, is scheduled to depart Long Beach on Sunday.

Its Hawaii port calls include: Honolulu on Jan. 14, Kahului on Jan. 15, Kailua-Kona on Jan. 16, and Hilo on Jan. 17.

The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel Pride of America, which specializes in seven-day Hawaii-only interisland cruises, won’t be making any port calls in Hawaii until at least March 5, Cunningham said.….

UKDM: All 92 cruise ships sailing in the US have COVID cases onboard - but Americans are STILL booking trips: CDC probes liners for outbreaks among vaccinated passengers and crew

read … First cruise ship in nearly two years slated to arrive in Hawaii next week

Best feature of Maui comprehensive affordable housing plan is at risk

MN: … The proposed “Maui County Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan” contains sweeping reforms to the county’s housing policy.

Prepared by Hawaiian Community Assets, the Hawai’i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, PBR Hawaii and other organizations, it is a mixed bag of proposals, increasing red tape in some areas while decreasing it in others.

Its goal is to facilitate the construction of 5,000 new, much-needed affordable housing units over the next five years.

“The current affordable housing system is not meeting the needs of Maui County residents,” it accurately states.

Especially admirable is the plan’s attempt to streamline the county’s development approval process. But the flaws are significant: In addition to adding some unnecessary, cumbersome regulations and its massive $1.17 billion cost, it fails to promote “by-right” development.

By-right development refers to pre-established rules. If a development meets those guidelines, it can proceed. There are no final approvals subject to the whims of a political or administrative body….

As it stands, the proposed housing plan scraps the old approvals process, whereby residents can use litigation to appeal a development to their neighborhood board or the County Council. This discretionary process “raises project costs and reduces projected project revenues,” the report stated.

In undoing this costly system, however, the plan creates a new burden to housing: It would allow opponents of a housing development to appeal the approval to the County Council, which could then overturn the project, thereby undermining the by-right process….

“The whole point of by-right development is to replace the traditional discretionary approval process with a rule-based approach,” Bonham and La Croix stated.

They recommended striking the final-appeal element from the plan, as it “could actually lead to fewer affordable housing projects being developed.” The UHERO report also suggested expanding by-right rules to multifamily projects, which the plan currently leaves under the old discretionary process….

read … Best feature of Maui comprehensive affordable housing plan is at risk

Commission rejects ‘flawed’ effort to preserve Oahu farmland

SA: … The state Land Use Commission ruled Thursday that city officials missed one step in implementing a 2005 state law intending to protect important agricultural land on Oahu from future conversion to other uses.

Commissioners, who called the law flawed, credited the city Department of Planning and Permitting with trying to carry out the unfunded mandate but said DPP failed to notify the 1,781 private landowners whose property was recommended for protection about the recommendation after DPP finalized its plan in 2018 for City Council consideration.

In a Dec. 29 written brief, DPP informed the commission that the city agency wouldn’t have the resources to redo its work, which began 12 years ago, if the commission remanded the city’s important agricultural land, or IAL, recommendation back to DPP….

Landowners were given incentives including tax credits to voluntarily seek the IAL designation for qualified land, and several large companies did so. County governments were given the task of recommending land for involuntary protection.

The law makes the LUC the final arbiter of what should be protected statewide after each county submits recommendations. So far, only the City and County of Honolulu has done the work it was instructed to do….

read … Commission rejects ‘flawed’ effort to preserve Oahu farmland

Monsanto pleads guilty to pesticide-related crimes in Hawaii

AP: … The Monsanto company pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally using and storing agricultural chemicals in Hawaii, and will pay $12 million in fines.

Monsanto was charged with 30 environmental crimes after allowing workers to go into corn fields on Oahu in 2020 after a product named Forfeit 280 was sprayed ….

SA: Monsanto enters plea agreement, accepts $12M fine in Hawaii pesticide case

read … Monsanto pleads guilty to pesticide-related crimes in Hawaii

6 in 10 Oahu homes on the market sold over asking price in 2021: Report

HNN: … Data showed that about 60% of single-family homes sold over the asking price, compared to 31% in 2020.

In December, the median price for a single-family home was over $1 million, which was up by 20% in 2020 when the median price was $870,500. Condo sales, on the other hand, were up more than 15% compared to 2020 with the average median price at $485,000.

Realtors said one of the contributing factors to these selling prices was low inventory levels.

Overall, the year came to a close with total Oahu home sales up by 37%. Single-family homes saw a nearly 18% increase while condo sales rose by 53% compared to 2020….

CB: The Big Island Is Set To Gain A House Seat As Reapportionment Restarts

read … 6 in 10 Oahu homes on the market sold over asking price in 2021: Report

Hawaii Should Prepare Now For The Next Drug Scourge

CB: … Hawaii is no stranger to crystal meth. In the 1980s, our state was among the first to encounter the drug imported from Asia, where chemists synthesized a smokable methamphetamine, eliminating the need for hypodermic needles.

As PBS reported in September 2021, meth is still the dominant illicit drug in the islands. But new designer drugs, including fentanyl, are making gains as the pandemic approaches the end of its second year.

Last year, police on Maui busted dealers of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.

Meanwhile, Hawaii county nearly doubled the number of officers assigned to their Kona narcotics unit to combat a growing fentanyl problem.

On Kauai, the police department cleared out a homeless encampment following two fentanyl-related deaths linked to the location and at least two overdoses in the area. Police said that over several months, they “removed more than 500 used syringes, as well as numerous used Narcan applications and empty crystal methamphetamine bags.”…

BACKGROUND: Mehau in Majuro – How the US Meth Epidemic Began

read … Hawaii Should Prepare Now For The Next Drug Scourge

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