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Wednesday, August 24, 2022
August 24, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:58 PM :: 4822 Views

New report removes divisive distraction

Delusional Kai Kahele Thought Andy Winer Would Make Him Governor

CB: … “The sky was the limit and he had our support,” Abercrombie said.

That’s why he felt blindsided when he learned in January that Kahele was considering a run for governor. From Abercrombie’s perspective, it just didn’t make sense….

“At first I was disappointed,” Abercrombie said, “and then I felt betrayed.”…

Robin Puanani Danner, the Washington, D.C.-based chair of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, was inundated with emails and phone calls when Kahele announced he was considering a run for governor.

“The three words I would use to describe their reaction were gasp, panic and disappointment,” she said….

in 2017, Danner’s group was successful in persuading the state Legislature to amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act to allow people with as little as 1/32 Hawaiian blood to inherit their family leaseholds. All they needed was Congress to agree.

Last year, Kahele introduced legislation that would become that vehicle, but now Danner says there are some who are nervous about its future.

Now she said the onus will be on others, including U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, to help champion the cause in Kahele’s stead….

For his part, Kahele has avoided talking to the media, including on election night when he came in third behind Green and Cayetano in the Democratic primary.

Kahele has mostly gone dark on social media. He switched his Instagram account to private and the last tweet he sent from his personal Twitter feed was on Aug. 14, the day after the primary when most Democrats gathered for their biannual “unity breakfast” to mend hurt feelings and coalesce around their shared desire to defeat Republicans in the general election. Kahele was a prominent no-show at the event….

“He rose very high, very quickly, but not having to run any tough campaigns means you can start to believe your own myth,” Moore said. “When you start to believe the stories your supporters tell you about yourself then that can lead you astray.”….

Kahele struggled to respond to negative stories in the press about him, Moore said, particularly those related to his proxy voting record. As the campaign dragged on, he began lashing out at members of the media by name.

The chippiness carried over into debates with Green — whom he called a “liar” while pressing the frontrunner to release his personal financial records — and was even directed at political consultants who mostly work in the background on campaigns.

For instance, when the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reached out to Kahele to comment on the results of a poll that showed Kahele trailing Green by nearly 40 percentage points, he sent a curt reply via email.

“Why don’t you ask Andy Winer?” he wrote.

Winer, who works for Strategies 360, was a political adviser on Green’s gubernatorial campaign. He is considered one of the state’s top political operatives and was the chief of staff for Schatz. He also worked on Kahele’s 2020 bid for CD2….

(Translation: Andy Winer made me a Congressman therefore he will make me a Governor--even though he is already working for Josh Green.)

read … What Comes Next For US Rep. Kai Kahele?

How Insiders Got Rid of the Last Auditor

CB: … Former Acting State Auditor Jan Yamane ran an office that had deteriorated into an “offensive work environment” characterized by low morale and favoritism, and the office produced “sensationalized” audit reports for the Legislature and the public, according to a lengthy 2016 investigation by the state Attorney General.

The scathing 556-page report on the investigation into Yamane’s office was finally made public last week after more than six years of court battles. Honolulu Civil Beat first demanded the document in the spring of 2016, but the Attorney General’s office launched a drawn-out fight to keep the document secret….

The Legislature replaced Yamane with current state Auditor Les Kondo in 2016 — legislative leaders had seen the AG’s report by that time — and Yamane left state government. She was named executive director and legal counsel of the Honolulu Ethics Commission later that year, a position she still holds….

(IQ Test: Sound familiar???)

The investigation was triggered by complaints starting in late 2014 by staff and former staff in the auditor’s office alleging a hostile work environment, harassment and discrimination. Yamane was acting auditor at the time, and staff told the investigator she was trying to convince lawmakers to appoint her to a full eight-year term as auditor.

The staff complaints were filed with then-Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, who asked then-Attorney General Doug Chin in spring of 2015 to launch an administrative investigation.

The final report by the Attorney General’s Special Agent Boyd Sakai focused on the management and actions of the three top managers at the auditor’s office at the time, who were Yamane, Hibbard and Racuya-Markrich….

(IQ Test: Sound familiar???)

read … ‘Explosive’ Report On The Former State Auditor Describes An Office In Turmoil

Historic?  Honolulu Council Finds New Way to Make Housing More Expensive

CB: … More recent memories triggered by the article were less pleasant and revolved around my efforts as a volunteer activist to resolve the building permit backlog with the State Historic Preservation Division. I first became aware of the problem in 2013 and along with many others began meeting with SHPD and eventually the Legislature to try to solve the problem causing this logjam.

As Kirstin Downey pointed out in the current article SHPD is “expected to process some 2,400 to 2,700 permit reviews each year.” To put that into perspective that is 24,000 to 27,000 permits in the last decade. Why so many? Does anyone really believe there are 27,000 historic properties in Hawaii that all needed building permits in the last 10 years?

Ironically the answer to that question starts with another question. What is a historic property? A simple Google search will provide a handful of mostly consistent answers that focuses on the age of the property as well as it having historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance.

Unfortunately, what the state of Hawaii defines as “historical property” is significantly looser. The statute governing historic preservation is HRS Chapter 6E and the section governing definitions is 6E-2. The Hawaii State definition reads as follows: “Historic property” means any building, structure, object, district, area, or site, including heiau and underwater site, which is over 50 years old.

So, there is no requirement or threshold beyond age to become “historic.” Do you live in a 1960s tract home? It’s historic. Is the grocery store you shop at built before 1972? It’s historic.

There’s a fast-food restaurant that has been in my neighborhood since before I was alive. It has been remodeled so many times it is unrecognizable from what it was 50 years ago, but it’s never been torn down. Therefore, yes, you guessed it, it’s historic. Essentially the definition itself casts such a wide net, that it covers far too much ground.

I’d rather have SHPD doing “proactive preservation stuff” than looking over 2,400 to 2,700 permit applications a year.

That to me is the deciding factor when faced with the possibility of an overhauled and active Oahu Historic Preservation Commission. What in fact will this commission be tasked to do and how will they deal with the issue of defining “historic property?” If the goal is to simply take over or, worse yet, duplicate the current SHPD review process, that is doubling down on a losing bet. Also, will the OHPC simply accept the state definition of “historic properties” as its mandate for preservation? Preserving every building, structure or object over 50 years of age would be a fool’s errand….

read … Preserving every building, structure or object over 50 years of age would be a fool’s errand.

Stadium officials dither, so UH acts

SA Editorial: … The University of Hawaii has chosen to control its destiny by expanding its athletic complex at a cost of $30 million, allowing the Rainbow Warriors football team to continue its quest for Division 1 glory on the UH-Manoa campus.

But uncertainty is unspooling as to whether UH football will eventually return to Halawa and a rebuilt Aloha Stadium — will Aloha Stadium actually be rebuilt? — and how, or if, Hawaii’s next governor and incoming Legislature will provide support.

read … Stadium officials dither, so UH acts

After end of Roe v. Wade, broad coalition seeks to expand abortion access in Hawaii

HNN: … Khara Jabola-Carolus (aka Mrs Kaniela Ing) is part of a new coalition called the Hawaii Abortion Collective that’s trying to shed light on the lack of abortion care access in Hawaii .…

(Translation: This is just a media circus.)

read … After end of Roe v. Wade, broad coalition seeks to expand abortion access in Hawaii

Honolulu City Council authorizes lawsuit against owner of 'FCKBLM' license plates

KITV: … It has been an ongoing battle between the City and County of Honolulu and the owner of offensive vanity plates that say 'FCKBLM.'

After the offensive plates were brought to the department's attention last year, the city and county admitted they were never supposed to have been approved in the first place, since profane combinations are automatically rejected.

That's when a hold was put on the car's registration, and the owner was ordered to surrender the plates.

A year later, despite the registration being expired, and multiple warnings from the city, the owner has still not surrendered them.

Now, the Honolulu City Council approved moving ahead with allowing city attorneys to file suit against the driver.  The goal would be to get a a judge to create a court order to enforce liens against the car, or demand that the plates being returned….

read … Honolulu City Council authorizes lawsuit against owner of 'FCKBLM' license plates

Documentary features Caldwell Cronies’ Hawaii airport COVID-19 testing site

SA: … Produced and directed by Dennis Mahaffay and David Rosen of Kailua-based Shooters Film Production, “Caught Inside” is about the people, led by the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, who created the testing site at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. According to the documentary, the airport testing program became a model for programs elsewhere….

HNN: Special on COVID testing in Hawaii to premiere on KGMB

read … Documentary features Hawaii airport COVID-19 testing site

Oahu Tax Advisory Commission Recommends Massive Property Tax Increase on Historic Properties

HH: … Annual property taxes on both historic homes and historic commercial properties on the island of O‘ahu would face substantial increases if Honolulu City Council follows the recommendation of the O‘ahu Real Property Tax Advisory Commission.

The recommendations of the Commission will be reviewed by City Council’s Committee on Budget on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in the City Council Chamber. The meeting will also be livestreamed and televised.

The Informational Briefing (Agenda Item 17) provides the Commission’s 2021-2022 final report and recommendations on credits and exemptions currently provided by the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu….

read … O‘ahu Tax Advisory Commission Recommends Massive Property Tax Increase on Historic Properties

City considering increasing Oahu parking costs

SA: … The city loses about $4.27 million each year on parking because the amount of revenue parking fees generate is unable to cover the cost of maintenance, Honolulu Police Department enforcement and upgrades for the meters, according to the city Department of Transportation Services.

Annually, revenue from city on-street and off-street parking comes out to just $6.7 million, paling in comparison to the $11.4 million it costs the city to operate it….

(Solution: Make all parking free.)  

SA Editorial: Set Parking Rates for Sustainability

HNN: The price of just about everything is going up. The city wants to add parking rates to the list

read … City considering increasing Oahu parking costs

Coco Palms Plans Explode In Bizarre, Emotional Hearing

BH: … The new owner was announced during today’s meeting as Coco Palms 2021.  The new Utah-based company was first revealed at the meeting, according to the developer’s representative in attendance. We find no website associated with that name. The developer said his company is Reef Capital Partners. The representative’s testimony was somewhat bizarre. He indicated this was his first-time visit to Kauai, and that the developer has to date held no community meetings to address the myriad of valid concerns about any hotel development. Further he said plans call for all buildings to be taken down to the ground. He said that would happen in the next six months, but that the building foundations below would be preserved as is….Enlow also mentioned that “vagrants have been living on the property” and that the developers have just obtained eviction notices. In conclusion, he added that “we are within weeks of getting building permits” ….

TGI: New owners, continued opposition to Kaua‘i Coco Palms development

read … Breaking: Coco Palms Plans Explode In Bizarre, Emotional Hearing

State pension fund overcomes hurdles to secure fiscal-year gain

SA: … The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System pension fund posted an investment return of 3.7% for the year that ended June 30 to boost its total assets to a near-record $22 billion, according to a report presented Monday to ERS trustees by investment adviser Meketa Investment Group….

read … State pension fund overcomes hurdles to secure fiscal-year gain

Hawaii Antivaxxer Sues to Overturn Primary Election Results

SA: … The third-place finisher among Republicans who competed in Hawaii’s Aug. 13 primary election to be governor is seeking to have all results from the election invalidated.

Gary Cordery filed a (pro-se) complaint Monday with the Hawaii Supreme Court that raises questions about fairness and asks that all candidates be advanced to the Nov. 8 general election….

In his complaint, which included 34 named voters as co-plaintiffs, Cordery alleges that the arrangement of political parties and a nonpartisan category of candidates on ballots is “suspect” and not in compliance with Hawaii’s Constitution or state law.

Cordery noted in the complaint that the Republican Party candidate group was on the front of the double­-sided ballot along with the nonpartisan candidate category and several other political party candidate groups except for the Democratic Party, which was on the ballot’s backside along with nonpartisan office races.

“Plaintiffs aver the intent of the design and order is suspect, and was NOT in compliance,” the complaint said….

In the primary election, Cordery received 10% of the votes for governor among Republican candidates. By comparison, former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona won with 46% while retired mixed-martial arts champion fighter BJ Penn received 24%. Honolulu City Council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi finished fourth with 9%. Six other Republican candidates received 1% or less.

read … Trumpster Election Strategy

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