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Sunday, January 30, 2022
January 30, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:15 PM :: 2449 Views

The Future of Blankety Blank

Bill Would End Foster Care Abuse Coverups

Hawaii Second Highest Homelessness Rate in USA

Hawaii Second Amendment Legislative Webinar

Astronomy Adds $221M to Hawaii Economy

Kahele to Follow Hanabusa Path to Oblivion

Cataluna: … Colleen Hanabusa’s track record of campaigning hard for the House of Representatives and then losing interest once there is the most perplexing of all.  Elected to Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 2010, she left in 2014 to run for the late Dan Inouye’s seat in the U.S. Senate. She lost that bitter battle to Brian Schatz and ended up out of office.

When Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai died in office in his first term, Hanabusa ran in the 2016 special election to replace him. She won that, won reelection to the next term, but got itchy again. In 2018, Hanabusa again resigned from Congress to run for governor, but managed to lose to the unpopular incumbent David Ige in the primary. In 2020, she placed third on the primary ballot for Honolulu mayor. The offices keep getting smaller for Hanabusa and the losses keep getting bigger.

And now, there is speculation that Rep. Kai Kahele may be Hanabusing himself.

He’s been publicly criticizing Ige as if he’s campaigning to be his successor, meeting with state legislators and making public statements about being asked by his constituents to run for governor, like it’s not his idea, more like a popular request he is obligated to consider….

He most certainly is frustrated by Gov. David Ige’s lack of hard-charging leadership back home in Hawaii, both in terms of the pandemic and the recent Navy fuel spill near Oahu’s major aquifer, but as a member of Congress, Kahele has much more sway over the Navy than the governor. The Navy agreed to empty the fuel tanks only after congressional pressure, not because of anything the state did. The military is all about chain of command, and the state is not even in the chain, but Congress is….

ILind: History shows a seat in Congress isn’t necessarily a stepping stone to higher office

read … The Risky Business Of Political Ambition

Investigative committee finds no criminal wrongdoing by state auditor

SA: …A special House Investigative Committee created last year to look into audits of land management practices by two state agencies began in mid-July, mushroomed to include an investigation of State Auditor Les Kondo himself, and generated at least 30,000 pages of subpoenaed documents — with hundreds, perhaps thousands more, that have yet to be counted.

Kondo said his office of 21 people continued to do their jobs but several watched every minute of the 18 committee hearings and did research on their own to refute what Kondo called “crazy statements based upon biased witnesses, innuendo and half truths.”

With committee hearings sometimes lasting hours, Kondo said some of his staff continued to work at night, on weekends and while on vacation “because I can see when they’re logged onto our system.”

They were prepared to refute inaccurate testimony, but Kondo was never recalled to explain why testimony presented under oath was wrong or misleading.

“It’s despicable,” Kondo told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Saturday. “It makes me so angry, what they’ve done to my guys with no evidence to support the mud they’ve slung at us. It had a huge impact on staff morale. Their professional reputations were being questioned. … A couple broke down … because their ethics and integrity were attacked.”

After hearings began in September, the investigative committee held its final meeting Friday when it approved a 292-page final report on its work, which was released Saturday on the committee’s website.

It found no criminal wrongdoing by the state Office of the Auditor, although committee Chairwoman Della Au Belatti, (D, Moiliili-­Makiki-Tantalus), said (still claims) there were “serious omissions” in the two audits.

The committee’s report made 11 recommendations regarding the Auditor’s Office, including creating permanent oversight.

But Belatti — the House Majority leader — told the Star-Advertiser on Saturday that’s not going to happen this legislative session….

On Friday, two of the eight committee members — Reps. Dale Kobayashi, (D, Manoa-Punahou-Moiliili) and Val Okimoto, (R, Mililani-Mililani Mauka-­Waipio Acres) — voted against approving the final report.

During the final hearing Friday, Kobayashi again criticized the committee’s investigation of Kondo and said he had joined the committee to improve shortcomings found by Kondo’s audits.

On Saturday, Okimoto told the Star-Advertiser in an email: “Overall, I didn’t think the committee’s conclusions regarding the auditor’s office served the best interest of the public. I have always been an advocate for public transparency, but it’s difficult to justify when the process is questionable. Especially regarding the auditor’s office, whose independence is a fixture of Hawai‘i State Government….

Flashback: Hanabusa Attack on Auditor is all about hiding corruption in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

read … Investigative committee finds no criminal wrongdoing by state auditor

Attorneys for former Honolulu officials seek documents in Kealoha corruption case

SA: … Koyanagi is expected to testify that he never agreed to disburse funds from the vacant positions account to pay for new hires. He will also testify that his only discussions concerning the vacant positions account in relation to the Kealoha severance payment were about how the funds could lawfully be transferred from the account to HPD.

HPD never tried to recover the money from the account, according to the motion, despite having $6 million in unspent funds for fiscal year 2017, the year the payment was made to Kealoha, according to the motion….

On Jan. 20, Wheat questioned as witnesses former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and former City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi about $300,000 in campaign donations made between 2008 and 2020 by Honolulu engineering executive Dennis Mitsunaga, his employees, family members and business associates….

read … Attorneys for former Honolulu officials seek documents in Kealoha corruption case

Legislature kicks off by chop-blocking University of Hawaii

Shapiro: … Melodrama reigned as UH football coach Todd Graham quit under pressure from griping players and grandstanding legislators, June Jones’ public lobbying for his old job fell incomplete and former QB Timmy Chang picked up the ball. A referee would have thrown flags for encroachment, unnecessary roughness, illegal procedure and unsportsmanlike conduct.

>> Chang promised talented assistants and exciting football. He could hire Sen. Donna Mercado Kim to coach body blows.

>> Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz demanded still more investigation to assign blame for the university’s woes. Let’s start with Dela Cruz helping leave UH without a stadium, slashing its academic budget and diverting $42 million of its building funds to a community center in his district.

>> Mayor Rick Blangiardi scorched UH leaders for “a major failure of leadership on multiple levels.” Says the leader who won’t comment on his city’s Red Hill water crisis and held a news conference on the omicron surge to say he wouldn’t act.

>> Blangiardi insisted he wasn’t commenting on UH football as mayor. He was commenting as a guy who coveted the UH athletic director job but got passed over….

read … Legislature kicks off by chop-blocking University of Hawaii

Navy releases results for Earhart Village water samples from Stage 2 flushing process

KHON: … The U.S. Navy released water testing results for samples from Earhart Village (Zone D3) to have met safe drinking water standards during stage two of their Drinking Water Distribution System Recovery Plan.

The samples that were taken met the criteria for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons and safe drinking water standards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).

The Navy will now move on from stage three where they will need water samples taken from selected homes in Zone D3 and have results evaluated.

As testing continues, the public health advisory given by the DOH on Nov. 29, 2021 remains in effect stating that Navy water system consumers should not drink or consume tap water.

A summary and a complete report of the lab results have been provided by the Navy….

read …  Navy releases results for Earhart Village water samples from Stage 2 flushing process

Hawaii To Tourists: Malama Our Land And Culture. Tourists: What’s ‘Malama’?

CB: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority wants $60 million for operations during the next fiscal year, with more than half of the money meant for branding. The goal: to attract more thoughtful, respectful tourists — well-heeled types who’ll volunteer their time giving back to the islands while connecting to the land, people and culture.

But go down to Waikiki, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any tourists who’ve heard of the HTA’s “Malama Hawaii” campaign, which is at the center of the tourism authority’s efforts. In fact, you’ll probably have trouble finding anyone who knows what “malama” means at all.….

(CLUE: The HTA programs are just an excuse to get $60M out of the Legislature and distribute it to cronies running programs tourists don’t notice.)

read … Hawaii To Tourists: Malama Our Land And Culture. Tourists: What’s ‘Malama’?

The Hawaii Ag Department Clipped Poultry’s Wings. But Why?

CB: … The Department of Agriculture’s leases restrict farmers from producing chickens despite the state’s goals of increasing food sustainability and the local taste for fowl….

read … The Hawaii Ag Department Clipped Poultry’s Wings. But Why?

Shortage of Hawaii school bus drivers forces families to scramble

SA: … Hundreds of Hawaii families are scrambling to get their children to school as a chronic school bus driver shortage worsened by the latest COVID-19 surge has led to the temporary suspension of dozens of routes, mostly on Hawaii island….

CB: How Hawaii’s School Bus Woes Contribute To Student Absences

read … Shortage of Hawaii school bus drivers forces families to scramble

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