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Monday, June 20, 2022
June 20, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 3311 Views

ExxonMobil calls for a Jones Act waiver ahead of Big Oil Meeting with Administration

UHERO Study Looks at Current COVID Surge in Hawaii

$119M: Another Extension for Rail Management Contract

The Supreme Court may take territories off the map of the US

SK: … May the United States rule foreign territories without granting their inhabitants constitutional rights? Yes, according to landmark Supreme Court decisions in the “Insular Cases” more than a century ago. Without those decisions, our overseas territorial empire could not have existed.

Suddenly that decision is under fierce attack from within the Court itself. The fate of America’s five populated colonies — Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands — may hang in the balance.

In April the Supreme Court decided what seemed to be an abstruse case about federal benefits owed to Puerto Ricans. But (Trump nominee) Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion began with a startling passage. He asserted that the United States has no business deciding anything for Puerto Rico because our ownership of that island — and by extension other US colonies — is unconstitutional…..

2018: American Samoa Citizenship Question Not So Simple

read … The Supreme Court may take territories off the map of the US

Hu Honua Lobbyist Hosted Fundraiser For Senators Who Were Key To Energy Bill

CB: … The event benefited Hawaii Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz, Glenn Wakai, Michelle Kidani and Bennette Misalucha, who all voted in favor of the controversial bill…..

The venue: Hokua, the tony high rise of multimillion-dollar condos with expansive views of Ala Moana Beach and Magic Island. The entertainment: Amy Hanaialii, a six-time Grammy nominee and one of Hawaii’s premier singers. The suggested donation for admission: $500, $1,000 or $2,000.

Officially – and as far as the public could tell from official disclosures  – the sunset soiree was paid for by the candidate committees of four Hawaii state senators: Donovan Dela Cruz, Glenn Wakai, Michelle Kidani and Bennette Misalucha.

But undisclosed in public filings required for such political fundraisers was a behind-the-scenes host: Joanne Hamm, an energy industry lobbyist and Hokua resident also known as Nonie Toledo. (It’s a combination of a nickname and her maiden name, and she generally goes by that name although she’s registered with the state as Joanne Hamm.)

Hamm’s client Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC had just scored big wins the month before, thanks in part to Wakai and Misalucha, who are the chair and vice chair of the Senate Energy, Economic Development and Tourism Committee; and Kidani and Dela Cruz, who sit on the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, which Dela Cruz chairs.… 

IM: 

read … Hu Honua Lobbyist Hosted Fundraiser For Senators Who Were Key To Energy Bill

Kahele Claims $100K Fundraising

SA: … Kahele’s announcement this week that he has raised the state’s minimum of $100,000 to become eligible for state campaign funds means that the pace represents “the fastest any gubernatorial candidate has reached the $100,000 threshold since public financing’s inception in the 1980s,” according to a statement from his campaign.

It also indicates grassroots support because he will have generated a minimum of 1,000 relatively small donations, said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center.

“I think that’s a good sign for his campaign,” Moore said.

If Kahele’s donations are verified, he would qualify for as much as $207,000 in public campaign funding from the state’s general fund for the Aug. 13 Democratic primary election, said Kristin E. Izumi-Nitao, executive director of the state Campaign Spending Commission….

CB: Some accuse him of pandering to win over voters.

read … Kai Kahele’s run for Hawaii governor highlights financing from state

‘New normal’ drives up car-rental costs

TGI: … “Initially the high prices were a result of the shortage,” said Adele Robbertze. “But here’s the thing. Because all the costs have gone up for staff, that’s kept the prices higher. Prices have stabilized to the new normal.”

Nearly a year ago, The Garden Island reported that rental-car companies were offering vehicles at $150 to $300 per day. A review of the travel website Expedia now shows most rentals in the $100-to-$150 range.

Rent-a-Wreck did not ship any inventory off-island during the pandemic, but has found it tough to replace inventory lost due to general wear and tear as a result of the vehicle shortage.

“You do lose cars, but you couldn’t buy more,” said Adele Robbertze….

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, estimated that prices have dropped about 50% from last summer’s peak, but still are about 30% more than pre-pandemic rates.

“We are still running a tight inventory from the traditional rent-a-car agencies,” Kanoho said.

Recently, this lack of inventory has been partially filled by peer-to-peer car-rental apps like TURO…

The owners of Rent-a-Wreck don’t see rental-car prices returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“Dynamics have changed,” Clayton Robbertze said. “And I don’t believe that the prices of the vehicles are necessarily going to go down.”

read … ‘New normal’ drives up car-rental costs

Sovereignty Army Chases out Grow-op, Fights with Tom Berg

SA: … Group members address each other by military ranking, some using made-up names, Arensmeyer said. The man who appears to be their leader goes by Col. Sam Lilikoi. Hu‘eu, a particularly vocal group member, goes by Capt. Hu‘eu, while another group member, Moleka Hicks, goes by Cpl. Hicks.

Arensmeyer said that Aloha Pacific Green, the company who Guyland had been leasing the land to, canceled its lease in October 2021, five years early, because OFHA had moved onto the property and was no longer allowing Aloha Pacific Green access to the land. But according to Arensmeyer’s recent research, Aloha Pacific Green was not registered to do business under the state of Hawaii, he said.

“I don’t know whether what they were doing out there was legal or not, but they were paying tenants and basically, these squatters chased them off and they were unable to go back in,” Arensmeyer said.

Law enforcement was notified that the group remained on Guyland’s property past their eviction date, but it’s unclear when law enforcement will forcibly remove them, Arensmeyer said.

Videos posted to Hicks’ Instagram show heated arguments between the land manager, Tom Berg, and OFHA group members, one of which appears to become physical. Some OFHA group members have attempted to file restraining orders against Berg, Arensmeyer said, but none went through….

Jonathan Osorio, dean of the University of Hawaii’s Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, wrote in a text to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that while he doesn’t know much about the group called OFHA, he empathizes with their frustration regarding land rights.

(Idea: Army occupies Osorio's property.)

“Apparently OFHA claims to be heirs of Namau‘u, an O‘ahu Konohiki (ali‘i who served higher ranking chiefs) who was granted a Royal Patent title to the land,” Osorio wrote. “Many of the Kanaka (Hawaii natives) … never made a claim for the lands they occupied and subsisted on. Nothing in the Mahele (legislation that began the process of dividing land to individuals) itself suggested that their right to make that claim would end or even diminish over time.”

(FALSE: Actually Kingdom law held that the land of kuleana plot owners who died intestate would escheat back to the konohiki.)

When the U.S. took over the Hawaiian government, the abrupt transition of land tenure from the traditional system to private land ownership was messy and not accepted by Hawaiian Kingdom groups, Osorio said….

(FLASE: The Mahele happened 48 years before annexation.) 

SA July 9, 2022: Militia group awaits court response after arrests of members in Kunia

read … Group claiming ancestral heritage stands its ground

Another Maui Hate Crime: Tourist Beaten by Four, Knocks out Two

MN: … When he went outside, “I heard somebody say where you from, brah?” Funicello said. “I said, ‘I’m from Arizona.’ They said, ‘You can’t be here.’ “

Funicello said he was surrounded by four men and identified Pu as the tallest and most muscular. “They said, ‘We are the law around here. You can’t be here because you’re a haole,’ “ Funicello recalled.

At first, he said he thought he could talk his way out of the situation.

“I finally said, ‘I’ll leave,’ “ he said. “That’s when (co-defendant Elijah Koi) Gold and Pu said it’s too late. They said, ‘You’re going to have to pay.’ “

Pu grabbed Funicello by his throat and grabbed his ear, shaking him, he said. Funicello said he threw a jab and knocked Pu down.

Then Funicello said he ran and was chased by the other three men. Funicello said he knocked out Gold and the other two men went to tend to him. Thinking the fight was over, Funicello said he went back to the tent to tell Kempton and the children they needed to leave.

Pu was back up and grabbed Funicello by the neck and collar and started kneeing him, he said. Funicello said he punched and grabbed Pu before someone else tackled Funicello from behind and he went down.

He said he was hit and punched in his head, neck, face and forehead, ending up “at the bottom of a dog pile” with other men on top of him….

Pu, who is free after posting a $31,000 bond, is set to be sentenced Aug. 31.  (Probation?  Community service?) The assault conviction carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. 

(Key Words: ‘Up to’)

Judge Kirstin Hamman presided over the trial, which began with jury selection May 23.

Charges are pending against Gold, 32. A third suspect named in the indictment hasn’t been arrested …

(Soft on Crime: No hate crime charges here.)

read … Hana man found guilty of assaulting tourist

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