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Tuesday, February 1, 2022
February 1, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:33 PM :: 2872 Views

HB1585: Emergency powers reform bill could be stronger

OHA Trustee Keola Lindsey Resigns

“11th Hour” changes could jeopardize property rights of Kahoma Village residents

Public Meetings set for Statewide Historic Preservation Plan

DoD on Red Hill: We Will Appeal DoH 'Final Order'  

Honolulu Council Copies OHA Playbook--Threatens Military Leases in Hawaii

Aloha Stadium: Two Gangs of Cronies Scramble for Simoleons

SA: … The state Department of Accounting and General Services today announced the advancement of two developer-led teams as finalists for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District project in Halawa following a request for applicants in October.

One finalist, Aloha Halawa District Partners, is led by New York-based Development Ventures Group Inc. and Honolulu-based Stanford Carr Development LLC.

Other members of this team are Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., WATG, SB Architects, Rebound Associates (who?), Colliers, Wilson Okamoto Corp (part of both teams???)., NBBJ LP, DTL (Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz) and Bennet Group.

The other finalist, Waiola Mixed-use Partners, is led by Honolulu-based Kobayashi Group and an affiliate of Honolulu-based BlackSand Capital.

Other members of Waiola are Machete Group Inc., Design Partners Inc., Manica Architecture, Stantec, Nan Inc., A.C. Kobayashi, JMA Ventures LLC(who?), BAMP Project, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, SSFM International, Wilson Okamoto Corp (part of both teams???)., Nainoa Thompson and S.H.A.D.E (who?) ….

Construction of a new stadium in Halawa is now expected to begin in 2023 after DAGS seeks proposals from the three teams eligible for the stadium replacement and makes an award by the end of this year.

One of the three teams eligible for the stadium replacement includes several partners in one of the two teams selected to compete for the real estate portion of NASED.

Kobayashi Group, the BlackSand Capital affiliate BSC Acquisitions II LLC, Design Partners, Manica Architecture and Nan are part of a team called Waiola Development Partners eligible for the stadium replacement work. Other members of this team are EllisDon Capital Inc., Turner Construction Co. and Spectra.

The two other teams eligible for the stadium replacement work are Aloha Sta- dium District Partners and Aloha Stadium Hui Hilina‘i.

Aloha Stadium District Partners was formed by John Laing Investments Ltd., Civil &Building North America Inc., Hawaiian Dredging, NBBJ Hawaii Inc., RMA Architects, Aramark Management Services LP and Honeywell International Inc.

Aloha Stadium Hui Hilina‘i was formed by Plenary Americas US Holdings Inc., PCL Investments Canada Inc., M. Arthur Gensler Jr. &Associates Inc., KYA Inc., Nordic PCL Construction and Johnson Controls Inc….

PBN: Two developer-led teams move to second phase of New Aloha Stadium real estate project

read …  2 groups will compete to redevelop land around Aloha Stadium

Hawaii Green Energy Dirtier than Coal

SA: … Despite the importance of forests, two projects are seriously being considered that would use trees cut from forests to generate electricity in Hawaii. These projects are incentivized by a law that should be amended to discourage them….

The law is well-intentioned because it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Hawaii’s electric sector. It treats all biomass as renewable energy having no emissions. However, this accounting fails to recognize the difference in life-cycle emissions among sources of biomass, so the law treats the burning of trees identically to the burning of short rotation crops.

Even Hu Honua estimates that its proposed biomass project — one that would burn trees to generate electricity — will emit CO2 at twice the rate of existing fossil fuel plants it proposes to replace.

Commercial biomass for electricity generation is typically made by cutting down a forest to produce wood pellets….

If the law remains, the burning of wood pellets to generate electricity may be approved for the Hu Honua project on the Big Island and the AES project on Oahu. Environmentally, these projects would be setbacks….

read … Column: Burn some biomass to generate electricity — but not trees

Josh Green Has An Early Money Lead In 2022 Hawaii Governor’s Race

CB: … Green outraised his likely opponents in the last six months of 2021, bringing in more than $770,000 between June 1 and Dec. 31.

During the same time period, former First Lady Vicky Cayetano’s campaign reported raising $825,000. But Cayetano loaned her campaign $350,000.

Meanwhile, former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s campaign reported raising $347,000 during the last six months of 2021….

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele is rumored to be considering a run for governor. However, his state-level campaign committee did not report raising any money in 2021. The campaign reported having $45,886 on hand at the start of the year….

In terms of campaign finance, House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke appears to lead a crowded field of Democrats vying for the lieutenant governor’s seat in the upcoming election.

Luke reported raising $475,255 in the last half of 2021 and began the year with $814,000 on hand….

Meanwhile, Anderson raised $103,000 and had $504,000 on hand. The former Honolulu city councilman’s donors include affordable housing developer Kali Watson ($3,500), Nan Inc. owner Nan Chul Shin ($2,000) and employees of the Kobayashi Group including Bert Kobayashi Sr., Alana Pakkala and Patrick Kobayashi, who all donated $2,000 each.

Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, raised $304,000 during the reporting period. Her campaign has about $283,000 on hand.

Jill Tokuda, a former state lawmaker who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018, raised $206,000. She began the year with more than $164,000…. 

CB: Schatz Enjoys $3.9M Campaign War Chest For Senate Reelection

SA: Lt. Gov. Josh Green extends fundraising lead in race for governor

read … Josh Green Has An Early Money Lead In 2022 Hawaii Governor’s Race

Desperate Attorneys Want Charges Against Amemiya to go Bye Bye

SA: … Attorneys representing the former city managing director filed a motion this afternoon to dismiss federal charges that he conspired with two others to defraud the county and federal government in 2017 by arranging a $250,000 retirement settlement for former Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha….

CB: Amemiya Attorney Argues There Was ‘Nothing Criminal’ About Kealoha Payoff

read … Ain’t gonna happen

Rep. Gene Ward: Legislature Should Back Off Les Kondo

CB: … A House committee opted for "getting mud” on the state auditor rather than taking a deep dive into the inefficiencies in state government….

read … Back Off

New Police Misconduct Report Shows Record Number Of Officers Disciplined

CB: … The Honolulu Police Department suspended or fired 59 officers in 61 different cases last year….Criminal investigations were initiated in nearly 40% of the cases, according to HPD’s latest report, although the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office was notified in just over a quarter of the 61 total misconduct cases….The Honolulu Police Department gave 17 officers discharge notices in 2021, but just three of those officers lost their jobs while 14 of them are still going through the grievance and arbitration process….

The report identifies Albert Lee as the third officer to be discharged following the conclusion of the grievance and arbitration process. Lee, who had been an HPD sergeant, was fired for a 2016 car crash that damaged a Hawaiian Electric Co. substation and knocked out power to approximately 1,700 residents in Hawaii Kai.

Lee was initially charged with drunken driving, but the case was transferred to Kauai prosecutors after his attorney, Megan Kau, claimed a conflict of interest and said her client was being targeted for speaking out against his former boss Louis Kealoha, and his wife, deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. Lee’s charges were later reduced to reckless driving, to which he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to pay a $500 fine and perform 60 hours of community service.

Lee’s was not the only name associated with the Kealoha scandal on HPD’s latest disciplinary report. Daniel Sellers, a police sergeant who pleaded guilty in 2019 to helping the Kealohas frame a family member for the theft of their mailbox, was also identified in the report for having been suspended for 20 days….  

SA: Honolulu Police Department discipline report lists 5 years of officer misbehavior

read … New Police Misconduct Report Shows Record Number Of Officers Disciplined

Honolulu police officers justified in using deadly force against suspect with knife, prosecuting attorney says

SA: … Two Honolulu police officers who opened fire on a homeless man suspect Jan. 24 near Ala Moana Center were justified in using deadly force and will not be charged criminally, according to the outcome of an investigation by the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Office.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm told reporters at a news conference this morning that the responding officers executed a “textbook” interaction with Ricky L. Kaleopaa, who remains hospitalized after suffering at least four gunshot wounds from a volley of nine shots fired by two HPD officers.

Officers responding to at least two 911 calls reporting a man with a knife and a suspected stabbing asked Kaleopaa more than 25 times to drop the knife in a consistent, calm tone while asking him to “talk stories” and other tactics designed to deescalate the situation ….

KHON: Honolulu prosecutor releases officer-involved shooting body-cam footage near Ala Moana

read … Honolulu police officers justified in using deadly force against suspect with knife, prosecuting attorney says

State Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Liable For Pandemic Harm Including Inmate Deaths

CB: … The state Attorney General’s Office wants to block pandemic lawsuits, including claims filed in cases where prisoners died from Covid-19. …

Senate Bill 3074 originated in the state Attorney General’s Office, and would change state law to prevent the state from being held liable for “any claim arising out of an act or omission that caused or contributed to” a person becoming ill from Covid-19 or its variants.

That shield from liability would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020….

read … State Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Liable For Pandemic Harm Including Inmate Deaths

Hawaii public school COVID-19 cases drop, but teacher absences high

SA: … Last week’s teacher absences — for coronavirus quarantine and isolation as well as other reasons, such as family leave and vacation — resulted in an average of 1,621 calls for substitute teachers per day across the state, the DOE reported.

That was a 1% increase over the previous week, which was a four-day week that included the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday….

Before the surge of the omicron variant of COVID- 19, a typical day in early December saw about 1,300 calls for substitute teachers.

However, a larger percentage of calls for substitute teachers were filled last week. There were 259 substitute jobs unfilled on average per day last week, which was down 5% from the week of Jan. 17, when there were 274 sub jobs unfilled on average per day, the DOE said….

The department has approximately 13,000 teachers statewide and a pool of 3,922 substitute teachers available….

read … Hawaii public school COVID-19 cases drop, but teacher absences high

Big gain reduces state pension fund’s shortfall

SA: … last year’s 26.9% investment return in the fund, which provides benefits to more than 148,000 members and beneficiaries, has accelerated the time frame the portfolio will be 100% funded to 24 years, or June 30, 2045, a decrease from the prior year’s funding period of 26 years. The funding ratio, or the percentage of the fund needed to reach 100%, also improved as it rose to 58.3% from 55.3% in fiscal 2020. Assets rose to a record $21.9 billion from $17.4 billion in 2020….

read … Big gain reduces state pension fund’s shortfall

40,000 open building permits set to expire as Hawaii County streamlines permit process

HTH: … More than 40,000 open building permits, some dating back 40 years, will be declared null and void if permit holders don’t act soon, as the county continues its transition to an online permit system.

The county Department of Public Works granted an automatic 180-day extension to all permits that had expired by Sept. 7, meaning permit holders have until March 7 to complete the work and get it inspected or try for another extension….

read … 40,000 open building permits set to expire as county streamlines permit process

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