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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
July 27, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:09 PM :: 4003 Views

Russian Spies at Barber's Point for 28 years?

Tulsi Gabbard Placed on List of Russian Propagandists by Ukraine

DoH Disapproves Red Hill Defueling Plan

Poll: To Know the Jones Act is to Oppose It

VIDEO: Why Hawaii should consider the ‘Tokyo model’ for housing

HART: Cracking Could Require Building More Piers Under West Oahu Stations

CB: … The city might eventually have to build additional steel-and-concrete columns to help support several elevated rail stations in West Oahu, according to the rail project’s top executive, if the cracking in existing columns there is deemed bad enough.

Building such added columns, known as “hammerhead piers,” could take awhile, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Director Lori Kahikina told Honolulu City Council members on Tuesday….

Kahikina told the City Council’s Transportation, Sustainability and Health Committee that “she hopes it’s the last” problem to impact construction along the western half of the rail line, which is almost completed.

“It might not be,” she added….

(Translation: HART insiders know of many many more problems to come, but they aren’t telling.)

The future rail stations at University of Hawaii West Oahu, Ho’opili, Waipahu, West Loch and Pearl Ridge are affected by the potentially significant problem, Kahikina told committee members.

HART and its contractors still haven’t determined who’s at fault for the growing cracks. The contractors for that work were Kiewit Infrastructure West and HNTB.

The structural engineering firm Consor first discovered earlier this summer during inspections for the Department of Transportation Services that the pier cracks were growing, according to Kahikina. The firm recommended that no one stay on the affected station platforms until further analysis could be done to ensure they were safe, she added.

(Translation: Rail will not open for service anytime soon.)

Kahikina told the committee that it remains safe to run the system’s driverless trains along the guideway because they run down the center of the elevated guideway and there’s no cracking directly underneath there. The cracking that has officials concerned, meanwhile, is forming under the platforms that jut out on either side of that guideway…. 

HNN: As cracks along rail line grow, HART seeks to determine next steps

read … HART: Cracking Could Require Building More Piers Under West Oahu Stations

Poll: 81% Know Hawaii Legislature is Corrupt

SA: … Only 8% of respondents in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s latest Hawaii Poll said the Legislature has done enough to monitor and police its members.

More people surveyed, 11% of the total, weren’t sure. And 81% said enough hasn’t been done….

77% of poll respondents … support instituting term limits for lawmakers similar to the eight-year limit for governor….

Bill Coke, a taxi driver in Honolulu who also took the survey, offered a sardonic rationale for supporting term limits for Hawaii lawmakers.

“If they can’t enrich themselves beyond their wildest dreams within eight years, then they are too stupid to be there,” he said….

Divided by political party, 25% of Democrats who answered the survey oppose term limits for Hawaii lawmakers where nearly all members are Democrats. That compared with 1% of Republicans and 21% of independent voters….

In 2021 two bills proposing term limits for lawmakers were introduced in the state Legislature and remained pending in this year’s legislative session that ended in May.

The measures, House Bill 123 and Senate Bill 1301, proposed amending the state Constitution to limit terms for lawmakers to 16 years beginning on or after the 2024 general election. The bills failed to receive even a hearing….

SA: Public weighs in on government reform in Hawaii

CB: Josh Green and Vicky Cayetano both want to limit members of the state House to four terms, and members of the Senate to two terms.

read … Hawaii Legislature gets low marks for handling of corruption

Star-Adv: HD26 -- Get Rid of Belatti Aug 13

SA Editorial: … District 26 (Makiki-Punchbowl): Della Au Belatti is challenged by fellow Democrats Valerie C. Wang and Kanzo Nara. Belatti did herself and the public no favors in doggedly pursuing a misguided “investigation” into state auditor Les Kondo. The episode wasted months of legislators’ time and energy that should’ve been devoted to real issues; instead, it came off as a political vendetta against a stubborn state auditor. Belatti’s misstep gives an advantage to Wang, director of sales and account management at Kaiser Permanente. With a business development and “serial entrepreneur” background, Wang moved from California in 2018, and has garnered a resume of community and social-equity involvement; she brings a fresh sensibility to this race.

The victor faces Republican Charlotte Rosecrans in the general.

read … Editorial: Best choices in Hawaii legislative races

Ritte: If I am Elected, Rich Mainlanders will buy Molokai Ranch and Give it to me so I can Eliminate Paniolos

SA: … For the future of Molokai, Ritte told the Star-Advertiser that he, Poepoe and Rawlins-Fernandez want to see:

>> The sale of Molokai Ranch to potential mainland investors who would then turn it over to local control. Molokai Ranch encompasses one-third of Molokai, and Ritte hopes to create jobs (eliminate paniolos) by restoring forests and controlling over-grazing…

Walter Ritte Background:

read … Why nobody on Molokai Votes for Walter Ritte

Does US Sen. Brian Schatz Have ‘A Job For Life?’

CB: … Hawaii’s senior senator is on the ballot this year but faces little competition. Some say it’s because he made (greased) all the right moves (palms)….

He recently bought a series of full page advertisements in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that detailed a long list of legislative accomplishments and billions of dollars he says he secured for Hawaii, including tens of millions of dollars for Native Hawaiian health care and education….

Where he’s excelled, however, was in securing federal money for the Aloha State.

“We like to think of ourselves as the mayor of everywhere,” he said. “We just try to figure out what needs to get fixed and help provide the resources to fix it.”

He says he was instrumental in sending more than $16 billion in federal funds to the islands, which includes more than $240 million in earmarks he set aside for various nonprofits and government agencies to address everything from military construction to preventing invasive deer from eating Maui County’s croplands.

“I’ve been successful in delivering and meeting the needs of the people and communities across the state,” Schatz said. “We’re 5,000 miles away. I view my job as relatively straightforward, which is to represent Hawaii’s values and to understand Hawaii’s needs and find the resources to meet them.”

In addition to Appropriations, Schatz is the chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, where he has worked to bring Native Hawaiian issues to the fore in Washington.

He used that position, he said, to funnel billions of dollars to Indigenous communities, from the mainland to Alaska and Hawaii.

Such investments, he said, are essential to “reverse generations of injustice (“make me Senator-for-Life”).” ….

In many regards, Schatz is following in the footsteps of a man who never would have picked him for the job — the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye….

NR: Schatz Applauds House Passage of Negotiated Bipartisan Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act

read … Does US Sen. Brian Schatz Have ‘A Job For Life?’

Hawaii police get 21% pay hike with new contract

KHON: … Hawaii police to receive the highest pay increase for first responders after their contract was finalized in arbitration Tuesday, that’s according to State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President, Robert Cavaco….

The new contract gives police a more than 21% increase through 2025.

Cavaco couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.

“For the bargaining period with all the bargaining units, this is the highest awarded contract out of all of them,” Cavaco explained. “It’s the union’s case on making a strong argument on why officers should see an increase in pay, I think everybody’s happy.”

The contract runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2025 with a yearly 5% increase in pay starting this year.
Each officer also gets a 2% bonus in July of 2024 and every three years officers receive a 4% step up in pay.

Cavaco added that officers will get retroactive pay.

That means that an officer with seven to nine years of service making $ 73,824 in 2021 would be making $85,460 by the end of the contract, not including their bonus and step up pay.

read … Hawaii police get big bump in pay with new contract

Josh Green: Throw More Money at Teachers

CB: … Both Vicky Cayetano and Josh Green see increasing teacher pay as a critically important step to improve public education in Hawaii, and despite some significant moves by the Legislature this year to boost teachers’ salaries, neither of the leading Democratic candidates are certain the state has done enough.

Cayetano is also suggesting the state offer housing stipends to help recruit badly needed, qualified teachers, while Green is proposing the state try out a program for at-risk students called Primary Promise that has been deployed in urban Los Angeles schools….

read … Education: Governor Candidates Say More Money Is Needed To Fix Hawaii’s Schools

Doctor Shortages Lead To Health Care Delays In Hawaii

CB: … Many people in Hawaii suffer from food insecurity and delays in health care access largely due to pandemic-induced financial woes, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Nearly six in 10 respondents, or 58%, said they had experienced health care delays in the past year, with 21% characterizing the wait time as “significant.”

The survey showed that 52% said they had cut their food and grocery budgets, while 36% reporting cutting back on medical care or medicine because of financial reasons, with 40% blaming the coronavirus pandemic for increasing their economic problems.

The findings were based on a mostly online survey of 3,287 residents and 324 health care providers, which was conducted from April 1 to May 9 by Community First Hawaii, a nonprofit health advocacy group…. 

TGI: More than half of Kaua‘i went without medical care, survey shows

MN: Survey: Costs, lack of doctors hurting health care access in Maui County

SA: Health care access in Hawaii bleak, report finds

read … Doctor Shortages Lead To Health Care Delays In Hawaii

Hawaii reports 4,075 new COVID-19 cases statewide

SN: … Hawaii has reported 4,075 new cases of COVID-19 within the last week, bringing the statewide total to 325,944, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

Twenty-three new deaths were reported, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,571.

The bulk of the cases were reported on Oahu, with 2,719. Hawaii Island is next with 542, followed by Maui with 527, Kauai with 176, Molokai with 11 and Lanai with 5.

There were 95 cases from out-of-state visitors.

The statewide vaccination rate stands at 77%, with 1,094,774 residents having completed the "primary series"; 1,214,590 residents having had at least one dose; 627,880 residents having had the first booster; and 151,381 residents having had the second booster….

read … Hawaii reports 4,075 new COVID-19 cases statewide

Public support for Aloha Stadium replacement plan is shaky

SA: … Of 800 registered voters statewide surveyed July 12-17 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll, 42% preferred the Manoa option to 41% for the Halawa plan. Another 17% of respondents said either that they preferred neither option or were not sure….

read … Public support for Aloha Stadium replacement plan is shaky

Honolulu City Council considering suspending bus fares for 5 Days

SA: …To increase TheBus ridership, the Honolulu City Council is considering suspending public transportation fares for HOLO card users from Aug. 22 to 26.

(Homeless will ride 24/7)

The five-day suspension of fares is meant to capitalize on the severe traffic that accompanies the beginning of the University of Hawaii academic school year, which begins Aug. 22.

“We need to build back our public transportation ridership,” said city Transportation Director Roger Morton at the Council Committee on Transportation, Sustainability and Health meeting Tuesday…. 

July 13, 2022: Rail Warning: Bus Ridership Off 41% from Pre-COVID Days

July 20, 2022: DTS recommends HOLO card users to register their cards

July 22, 2022: Ala Moana Satellite City Hall temporarily halts HOLO card service Because they Have too Many Customers

read … Honolulu City Council considering suspending bus fares to increase ridership

Hawaiian Airlines loses $36.8M but sees uptick in global travel

SA: …Hawaiian Airlines posted a $36.8 million loss in the second quarter but boosted revenue 68.4% as it continued to benefit from strong demand throughout its domestic business and saw a solid recovery in its international network.

Still, the company said overall capacity for the current third quarter will be down approximately 5% to 8% compared with the third quarter of 2019, mostly driven by the delay of the full restoration of its Japan network…. 

NR: Hawaiian Holdings Reports 2022 Second Quarter Financial Results

read … Hawaiian Airlines loses $36.8M but sees uptick in global travel

Hu Honua Injection Wells -- Hawai’i Department of Health Seeks Public Comments

IM: … The Hawai’i Department of Health (DOH) Safe Drinking Water Branch (SDWB) published the Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC Underground Injection Control (UIC) Application No. UH-3051 Final Report and Modeling Report (Thermal Analysis of Future Cooling Water Discharge).

These reports are the final required documents needed to complete the UIC permit application process.  

Before a permit to operate the injection wells is processed, we seek comments on the proposed injection well operation to guide permitting requirements and actions.  

The Safe Drinking Water Branch requests all comments to be submitted to SDWB@doh.hawaii.gov by August 31, 2022….

read … Hu Honua Injection Wells -- Hawai’i Department of Health Seeks Public Comments

A Navy Captain Was Faulted For His Red Hill Response. But He’s Still Working There

CB: … Capt. Albert “Bert” Hornyak, center, assumed command of NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor last August. He was relieved in April after another leak at Red Hill. …

read … A Navy Captain Was Faulted For His Red Hill Response. But He’s Still Working There

Neo-Nazi Marine Plotted Mass Murder, Rape Campaigns with Group, Feds Say

RS: … In a criminal complaint against Belanger filed June 8, prosecutors allege he violated federal firearms policy twice by purchasing guns via a strawman. In one case, prosecutors claim an unnamed New York police officer purchased a PTR91 assault rifle for Belanger while he was stationed in Hawaii. Belanger allegedly had the same officer purchase a Luger, a handgun “which was used by the Nazi armed forces during World War II,” for almost $1,000, FBI agents noted in an affidavit.

Belanger was part of the Marine Corps from 2019 until May 2021, when the Marine Corps discharged him with an Other Than Honorable Discharge. That so-called “bad paper” discharge is issued for misconduct, and means the recipient is ineligible for certain veterans’ benefits and cannot reenlist.

In October 2020, Marine Corps officials and the FBI searched Belanger’s Marine Corps barracks housing and his electronic devices. They found “1,950 images, videos and documents related to white power groups, Nazi literature, brutality towards the Jewish community, brutality towards women, rape, mass murderers,” along with “violent uncensored executions and/or rape” and “previous mass murderers such as Dylan Roof.”

Belanger is currently detained at a federal detention center in Honolulu. He has not been charged with crimes related to his alleged membership in Rapekrieg, but a federal judge sided with prosecutors who argued that Belanger should be held in pretrial detention, citing his extremist beliefs and calling his alleged plots “both a danger to the community and a risk of non-appearance.”

The Justice Department, the Marine Corps, and Belanger’s attorneys did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.

Belanger’s attorney, Leighton Lee, had argued that his client should be allowed home detention with an ankle monitor ....

SA: Former Kaneohe Marine associated with neo-Nazi group plotted attacks, feds say

read … Exclusive: Neo-Nazi Marine Plotted Mass Murder, Rape Campaigns with Group, Feds Say

Librarian: Homeless encampments at Oahu public libraries bring ‘compassion fatigue’

HNN: … State library officials said Tuesday they’re working with the Sheriffs Department to keep homeless camps off their properties.

This past weekend, many of them were found blocking the front entrance of the State Library in downtown Honolulu.

State librarian Stacey Aldrich said homeless people not only use the free internet and enjoy the air conditioning, but some leave behind human waste and bathe in the bathrooms….

read … Librarian: Homeless encampments at Oahu public libraries bring ‘compassion fatigue’

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