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Friday, August 26, 2022
August 26, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:23 PM :: 2306 Views

Hawaii Ranks #1 for Student Loan Deadbeats

Aiona, McDermott urge water treatment system for Red Hill

Liliʻuokalani Trust Selling Off Legacy Lands

HPR: … The Liliʻuokalani Trust is considering selling more than 100 acres of legacy lands in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island with the proceeds from the sale going to fund an expansion of youth services on the island.

But news of the potential sale came as a surprise to some in the community who are demanding greater transparency and beneficiary input in the sale of trust lands….

The LT Ranch is part of a significant expansion in services for Native Hawaiian youth on Hawaiʻi Island, to be funded in large part by the potential sale of approximately 100 acres of trust land in and around Kona Industrial Park….

It’s a shift in strategy that some are meeting with skepticism. Gwen Kim is a retired social worker who spent three decades with the trust.

“We’re very alarmed of this corporate direction that has been led by the trustees over the last 15 years or so,” says Kim. “Of course, on paper, it looks wonderful with all the revenues, and they have lots of monies coming in from the sale of these lands. But like with all the historic legacy lands of the aliʻi, we know what happens, once the lands are lost, they are lost into perpetuity.”…

Queen Liliʻuokalani left nearly her entire estate of more than 6,000 acres to care for orphaned and disadvantaged Native Hawaiian children.

In recent years, the trust began to sell its revenue-generating lands in Waikīkī, Kalihi, and now Kona to create “mission spaces” to provide direct services to Native Hawaiian youth.

Kim says she’s frustrated with the lack of beneficiary input in trustee decisions.

“No, no. You have to be really in your heart wanting to hear them,” says Kim. “They don’t want to hear.”

In a statement to HPR, LT leadership says it values beneficiary input and has engaged beneficiary communities in the past. But when it comes to real estate transactions, LT maintains that trustees are fully empowered by Lili’uokalaniʻs 1909 Deed of Trust to sell trust lands when it is in the best interest of the trust — with or without beneficiary input…..

read … Liliʻuokalani Trust plans to sell 100 acres of legacy lands in Kona to expand youth services

Hospitalized And Gravely Ill, Abigail Kawanakoa’s Stuff is Being Auctioned Off

CB: … When I saw Oahu Auctions and Liquidation advertising an auction of “the contents of Princess Abigail Kawananakoa’s Historic Punaluu Summer Home,” I wondered if she was still alive.

After making some calls, I found out that Kawananakoa is gravely ill at The Queen’s Medical Center, according to close friends of hers.

They say the 96-year-old Campbell Estate heiress fell at her home, which caused her already fragile condition to deteriorate. She had been unwell since she suffered a stroke in 2017….

When she had her stroke in 2017, her attorney Jim Wright petitioned in court to have her declared incapable of handling her trust affairs to carry out the succession plan she placed in her trust documents, including her charitable giving.

Veronica Gail Worth — Kawananakoa’s companion of 20 years and now her wife — then launched a bitter dispute with Wright, hiring her own attorneys to claim the then-91-year-old heiress was capable of taking care of her finances.

In 2020, after almost three years of legal hearings, Judge James Ashford ruled that Kawananakoa was too impaired “to manage her property and business affairs.”

Now her revocable living trust is managed by successor trustee Wright pending its transfer to First Hawaiian Bank as trustee.

Everything else outside of the trust has been placed under the court-appointed conservatorship of retired Hawaiian Electric executive Robbie Alm….

Background: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality

read … Hospitalized And Gravely Ill, This Hawaiian Princess Is Intent On Sharing Her Wealth

Another Miske co-defendant decides to plead guilty

ILind: A notice from Honolulu’s Federal District Court this morning announced a “change of plea” hearing for Lance Bermudez early on the morning of September 7.

This means that Bermudez will be pleading guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors. Plea deals with other defendants have involved their agreement to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against Miske and others in exchange for prosecutors agreement to drop certain charges they were facing….

Bermudez will be the sixth of Miske’s 10 original co-defendants to plead guilty.

Bermudez had a reputation as a “shooter,” and allegedly participated in a number of crimes along with others affiliated with what prosecutors refer to as the Miske Enterprise.

Some of Bermudez’ past is recounted in an earlier story published at Civil Beat, “Miske Case Weaves Together Disparate Strands Of Past Crimes.”

Additional information was provided by prosecutors in a July 2020 legal filing requesting that Bermudez be held without bail pending trial in the case.

ILind: Miske has been in federal detention for 25 months since his arrest in July 2020

read … Another Miske co-defendant decides to plead guilty

Damning Report Unlikely To Affect Honolulu Ethics Director’s Job

CB: … Ethics Commission member Vicky Marks said the commission is thrilled with Yamane’s performance and doesn’t much care about allegations from years ago. She hasn’t read the report and doesn’t plan to.

“I don’t think it has any bearing on the job she is currently doing,” said Marks, a retired judge. “And I’m not going to sit down and read a 500+ page report. I’ve got better things to do.”

Fellow commissioner Peter Adler said he would read the report, but he is “loath to pass a lot of judgment.”

He commended Yamane on her work with the commission on a strategic plan, ethics investigations and new policies on city employees receiving gifts.

“She’s done a fantastic job with the ethics commission,” he said. “I for one would not judge her on the basis on what’s done in the past. She’s been great.” …

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s office said he hasn’t been able to read the report because he was traveling.

“Nevertheless, based on the Mayor and Managing Director’s work with Jan Yamane and the Ethics Commissions since January 2021, they have no concerns with her performance and/or ability to head the Ethics Commission,” his office said in a statement.

“They have received no complaints regarding her performance to date and stand behind her service.”…

PDF: Read the full report here, on the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest’s website.

read … Damning Report Unlikely To Affect Honolulu Ethics Director’s Job

Hawaii, Maui counties revise permit process for license to carry firearms

SA: … Hawaii and Maui counties are the first two municipalities in the state to put in place revisions to their permit process for a license to carry firearms in the wake of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that toppled a New York state law limiting who can have a permit to carry a pistol outside their home.

An apparent upshot of that ruling is that in Hawaii, which has a similar statute restricting who can carry a handgun in public, police chiefs will no longer have the discretion to deny a permit to carry a handgun from law-abiding citizens who satisfy certain basic requirements. County police chiefs had granted just four permits to carry a gun in public in the past 22 years….

Related: Hawaii AG Instructs Chiefs of Police to Broadly Grant Concealed Carry Licenses, but not Unconcealed Carry

Related: Hawaii County Police Update Permitting Process for License to Carry Firearms

read … Hawaii, Maui counties revise permit process for license to carry firearms

Teacher Housing to Cost Over $1M Per Unit--And State Already Owns Land

SA Editorial: … It sounds like a promising project to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone: $15 million to build teacher housing on Maui, that tackles both the need for affordable rentals and offers important incentive to recruit and retain teachers.

If done right, it could indeed serve as a model for future projects statewide, as many hope.

But $15 million for just 10 to 16 homes, on land already owned by the state? It seems underwhelming. We hope for a bigger splash, in order to inspire the out-of-the-box thinking that’s needed to meet the huge demands for workforce housing statewide….

read … Aim higher for teacher housing

DPP Delays Snag Affordable Housing Project

HNN: … The Parkway Villages project, planned as one of Oahu’s largest affordable apartment projects with over 400 units, was supposed to start construction by November.

But developer Kobayashi Group is asking the City Council for a two-year extension.

“This is a project I would have thought was pushed along quicker based on the premise that it is workforce housing and affordable housing,” said City Councilmember Calvin Say….

The developer said it’s still trying to finalize the building permits with the city Department of Planning and Permitting. The funding was only recently approved by the state of Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp….

read … Financial snags delay construction of large affordable rental project on Oahu

In Hawaii’s SPED classrooms, teachers and students alike are still playing catch-up

HNN: … “This year, a big focus that we’re having is working in small groups,” said Collier, a special education teacher. “Because now we have the option to do some small group work, but we just didn’t have those skills.”

The pandemic kept her students home for what seemed like a long two and a half months until the DOE said it was OK for special education students to come back to classrooms first.

“It was great that we were back, but it’s not like we could just teach regularly,” Collier said.

Collier had to keep her Kaneohe Elementary students separated when they returned, making it difficult for kids to practice social skills….

read … In Hawaii’s SPED classrooms, teachers and students alike are still playing catch-up

Star-Adv Front Page News: Eric Ryan Attacks Republicans

SA: … Asked what she believes HIRA is trying to accomplish, Finnegan said: “I don’t know what they’re for other than they attack Republicans. … It seems vindictive.”

Asked why Tupai would be mocked for living with his mother and reporting a low income, Finnegan said: “I definitely don’t see what’s wrong with that when we have multi-­generational, local families living in Hawaii. Junior is a missions-oriented person and that he would take a low salary shows what is most important to him. This goes to show that the rich Republican is not our demographic right now. Junior shows all of us that we’re the everyday, average resident of |Hawaii going through the same struggles.”

Finnegan said the people behind HIRA “sit behind a computer and use the power of the internet and social media to try to ruin people’s personal lives and our efforts. They claim that every Republican that ever runs is a ‘RINO,’ a Republican In Name Only. I don’t really know what the end game is for them. But we’re not going to spend our time fighting HIRA. We are completely focused on supporting our candidates.”…

read … This is News

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