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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
July 5, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:28 AM :: 2560 Views

Former state Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English sentenced to 40 months in federal prison

SA: …A federal judge sentenced former state Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English to three years and four months in prison for taking $18,305 in cash and hotel rooms from a wastewater treatment and industrial machinery executive to support and killing bills and provide intelligence between 2014 and 2021.

Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway also fined English $100,000, haft of which is is due within 60 days after sentencing, and levied a $100 special assessment.

He must also forfeit $13,305 in bribes he accepted from businessmen Milton J. Choy who English admitted to accepting and asking for cash, hotel rooms, and dinners for killing legislation and relaying non-public information to Honolulu executive and prominent political donor Milton Choy, president of H20 Process Systems….

read … Former state Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English sentenced to 40 months in federal prison

Recent court activity in the case of Mike Miske and his co-defendants

ILind: … Here are a few recent developments related to the racketeering case against former Kamaaina Termite & Pest Control owner, Michael J. Miske, Jr., and seven remaining co-defendants.

—Kaulana Freitas, who pleaded guilty to being part of Miske’s racketeering conspiracy and to taking part in a chemical attack on a Honolulu nightclub using a chemical used in termite treatment, has been free on bond but restricted to living in his father’s 3 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath 1,568 square foot Kailua home. But on June 30, 2022, Judge Derrick Watson approved an agreement between Freitas’ attorney and federal prosecutors amending the terms of his release to require only that he “not change residence without the advance approval of Pretrial Services.”

—Lindsey Kinney, allegedly took part in the racketeering activities of Mike Miske and other defendants, but later had a falling out and became the victim of an attempted murder when Miske, John Stancil, and others ambushed and tried to shoot him at Kualoa Ranch during the filming of the last Jurassic Park movie.

Kinney, who was once the Enforcer for the Nakipi Motorcycle Club in Kaneohe, was reportedly arrested in November 2020 by Honolulu police on unrelated weapon and drug charges.

Earlier this year, Kinney was arrested and faces a federal charge of making death threats against several public officials on social media, in which he threatened to behead them.

Now his attorney, Ben Ignacio, has filed a motion to allow Kinney to be released pending trial into the custody of his mother in Kaneohe….

read … Recent court activity in the case of Mike Miske and his co-defendants

Court’s EPA decision and AES plant

SA:  …. And on the issue of climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a West Virginia case is concerning to Hawaii as well. The decision last week, constraining the federal Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon emissions in coal plants, came only months ahead of the September deadline to close the coal-fired plant operated by AES in Kapolei.

Green energy will not yet be enough to replace the plant’s output, so continuing emissions reduction at the plant remains an imperative…. 

UD: Hawaii poised to close the door on coal despite delays to clean energy projects

read … Court’s EPA decision and AES plant

WATCH: Fuel Spewed ‘Full Blast’ Into Red Hill Tunnel In November

CB: … As fuel rained down, creating a virtual river on the concrete floor of a Red Hill facility tunnel in November, the worker who accidentally triggered the leak found himself powerless to stop it.

So he took photos and video.

The images, obtained by Civil Beat from a military source, have not been shared publicly before. They illustrate the horrific fuel leak at the Navy’s fuel storage complex on Nov. 20 that would ultimately contaminate the drinking water of military families living around Pearl Harbor, sickening hundreds…. 

SA: Navy investigating leaked footage of Red Hill fuel spill

SA: Navy says footage of Red Hill fuel spill unlikely to result in disciplinary action

Link: VIDEO

read … WATCH: Fuel Spewed ‘Full Blast’ Into Red Hill Tunnel In November

Officer who led Army’s Red Hill response is promoted to general

SA: … The Navy initially downplayed residents’ concerns, insisting the water was safe to drink. It now acknowledges the fuel contaminated its water system, which serves 93,000 people on Oahu.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet’s investigation into the incident released last week found “the lack of critical thinking, intellectual rigor, and self-assessment by key leaders at decisive moments exemplified a culture of complacency and demonstrated a lack of professionalism that is demanded by the high consequence nature of fuel operations.”

The Navy’s water system serves several bases and military housing areas, including the Red Hill housing area and the Aliamanu Military Reservation. Though Red Hill housing and AMR use Navy water, they are administered by U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii and have residents from all military branches.

Both communities were hit especially hard due to their proximity to the contaminated well. As the severity of the contamination became clear, U.S. Army Pacific Gen. Charles Flynn ordered the immediate creation of a task force. Baker was tapped to lead it and by Dec. 3 was hastily assembling Task Force Ohana.

“Once mobilized the response that we owe to the families down there was our No. 1 thing that we focused on,” Baker told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

He mobilized 250 soldiers from 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, to go door-to-door delivering drinking water and coordinated the distribution of an additional 32,000 gallons of water from the Wahiawa well on Scho­field Barracks for AMR and Red Hill residents.

The task force quickly grew, bringing in medical and support personnel from commands across the island. Soldiers and civilian specialists began conducting medical screenings, helping families find temporary lodging and providing hot meals….

read … Officer who led Army’s Red Hill response is promoted to general

Overcoming regulatory barriers for Maui housing solutions

SA Column: … UHERO’s Regulatory Housing Report expanded on a national study on regulatory burden and confirmed that our overreaching regulatory system is a barrier to affordable housing. The report reaffirmed that 56.1% of Maui’s residents are cost-burdened as a result of a broken housing system — meaning that most families are spending more than 30% of their income on housing, leaving little for other survival needs. And, while this impacts families who are in the most need of financial help, it is also hollowing out middle-class families. Overall, we are losing our most valued resource — our people.

UHERO’s study reveals that Hawaii won’t solve the housing crisis by tinkering on the edges. We need a complete overhaul. The study highlights that Hawaii leads the nation in “regulatory burdens” that include wait times for permits and the ability for housing opponents to stall development in court and through state and local political involvement. All of this adds risk and burden to homebuilders, which in turn increases the cost to build homes, and ultimately the cost for families to buy them….

read … Overcoming regulatory barriers for Maui housing solutions

Property tax incentives for historic Oahu homes reexamined

SA: … The Honolulu City Council might take a look at modifying the historic homes property tax exemption to increase the minimum tax payment or possibly remove the exemption altogether.

Most owners of historic homes get a break on their property taxes, paying the minimum $300…. 

SA Editorial: Taxes on historic homes

Big Q: Should Oahu’s property tax exemption for historic homes, now at $300, be increased?

read … Property tax incentives for historic Oahu homes reexamined

University of Hawaii telescope a step closer to being removed from Mauna Kea

SA: … The University of Hawaii Hoku Kea telescope is one step closer to being decommissioned following the publishing of final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact documents.

UH Hilo’s teaching telescope is one of five Mauna Kea telescopes originally planned to be removed from the mountain in exchange for development of the landmark Thirty Meter Telescope.

The latest Mauna Kea Master Plan calls for a maximum of nine observatories atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain by the time the Mauna Kea Science Reserve lease expires in 2033. There are currently 13 telescopes, with four to be decommissioned, and if the TMT is built, a fifth would be taken out of operation….

read … University of Hawaii telescope a step closer to being removed from Mauna Kea

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