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Tuesday, October 25, 2022
October 25, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:36 PM :: 2545 Views

Hawaii’s biggest barrier to more housing is politics

Hill Fuel to Stay at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham

CEO and President of Hawaii Shipbuilding Company Charged with Securities Fraud

Miske News: Alleged Sovereignty Hitman pleads not guilty after alleged beheading threats

SA: … A 43-year-old man entered a not-guilty plea Monday to federal allegations that he threatened to behead the Waianae Small Boat Harbor master, his wife and their friend following a dispute over nonpayment of $30,000 in mooring fees by the leader of a militant Hawaiian sovereignty group.

Lindsey Kinney, also known as “Cowboy,” who characterizes himself as a member of the Occupied Forces Hawaii Army, was charged Thursday by superseding indictment with two counts of interstate threat to injure, after he posted the threats on his Instagram and Facebook accounts in January.

The harbor master, a 17-year Army veteran, told Honolulu police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he believed Kinney “is a contract killer based on media reports about Kinney’s prior involvement with Michael Miske,” who is charged with racketeering and related crimes, including murder, according to federal court records.

Kinney’s trial is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 12 before U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson. … If convicted, Kinney faces up to five years in federal prison on each count.

Based on social media postings and an FBI investigation, Occupied Forces Hawaii is a “a group of persons who identify themselves by military titles and ranks who describe their efforts as operations, don military uniforms, carry illegitimate military documents, and maintain their membership in a military organization.”…

on Jan. 17 at about noon, Kinney allegedly posted on his Instagram accounts that he would cut off the heads of the harbor master, his wife and their friend and take them to the “gates,” according to court records.

Three days after that, the harbor master told the FBI that Kinney posted a video stating that DLNR is part of a human trafficking ring and that Kinney will overthrow state government “and then be king,” according to federal court records.

Among Kinney’s threats was a series of long posts, including video messages, threatening the harbor master and DLNR. He also posted threats on the victims’ social media pages….

During an April 19 de­tention hearing, Kinney, through an attorney, tried to assert that he is not subject to U.S. laws due to the illegal occupation and overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom. In a June 24 motion to have Kinney released, his attorney stated that Kinney was “not receiving his prescribed mental health medication while in custody, and this is adversely affecting his ability to assist in his defense,” and that he should be released into the custody of his mother, who agreed to sponsor him.

That motion was denied….

read … Kaneohe man pleads not guilty after alleged beheading threats

'Locals-only hours' to begin at some Maui beaches--What Could Go Wrong?

SFG: … Visitors to Ulua Beach and the Kamaole Beach Parks in South Maui will soon have to pay a parking fee if they don’t possess a valid Hawaii driver’s license, Hawaii News Now reported. Additionally, only Hawaii residents who are registered with the Maui Resident Program will be allowed to park at these beaches between the hours of 7 and 10 a.m….

Further details of the plan still need to be decided in the Park Maui program, which is overseen by the Maui Department of Transportation. 

“One of the survey questions that we had during the community meetings was whether or not state zip codes should be eligible, or whether or not only County of Maui zip codes should be eligible,” Park Maui consultant Julie Dixon told Hawaii News Now. …

read … 'Locals-only hours' to begin at some Maui beaches

State high court to determine burden of proof in Maunakea rules case

HTH: …In hearings at the Circuit Court level, UH argued that the general rule for people challenging legal statutes — where the challenger has to provide sufficient proof to demonstrate why a law is unjust — should apply to administrative rules as well. So UH essentially argued that the Flores family needs to prove how the UH rules impinge on Native Hawaiian rights.

Obrey said the Flores family argued otherwise: that the article of the state Constitution that protects Native Hawaiian rights instead places the burden of proof on UH, and that it is the university’s duty to prove that its administrative rules do not negatively impact Native Hawaiian rights.

At an impasse, the Circuit Court passed the question of who bears the burden of proof to the high court.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Nov. 1, with a decision to follow after an indefinite period of consideration….

“It really will just change who has to do all the work,” Obrey said (without laughing)….

(REALITY: It would shift the burden to the target of any allegation.  All activists would have to do is assert something and the respondent would then be obligated to spend $$$ and years proving the assertion wrong.  Then activists would simply launch a new assertion.  It would create an activist veto over anything they want to veto.) 

read … State high court to determine burden of proof in Maunakea rules case

Sovereignty Squatters Dispatched to Block Maui affordable housing project

HNN: … Dozens lined Kahekili Highway near Waiehu Beach Road on Monday holding signs and Hawaiian flags.

The area they say they are protecting is where non-profit organization Maui Economic Opportunity plans to build 120 affordable rental units for low-income families.

The Native Hawaiian family says the land belongs to them.

“The ohana malama the aina, they’re growing kalo in there, they protect iwi kupuna. They do the cultural practices and they come together as an ohana. This is the place where their iwi kupuna, their ancestral remains are buried or kanu,” said family liaison Noelani Ahia….

The family claims the parcel in Waiehu is “kuleana land,” which was land that was granted to Native Hawaiian farmers back in the 1800s….

MEO says the property in question is actually a royal patent grant, which is an outright purchase of government land….

“We respect the people, this land and the process to ensure that all legal rights are maintained. It is for this reason that we embraced the exhaustive judicial process, which found, without question, that Maui Economic Opportunity is the legal owner of record with a clear title dating back to King Lunalilo. Claims of ancestral interest in the property have been deemed without merit by the courts. No significant archeological sites have been identified to date, however monitoring will continue throughout the project.”

MEO, along with Maui police, served a notices to vacate last week. MEO said the individuals were trespassing and squatting on their property.

“Unauthorized squatting and trespassing inhibit the creation of urgently needed affordable housing units for local individuals and families. Additionally, we reached out to an area shelter provider to serve those in need of relocation assistance after the Notice to Vacate was issued,” Cabebe said in the statement.

The project aims to build one-, two-, and three- bedroom apartments for residents earning 30% to 60% of the Area Median Income with monthly rents starting at around $569 for a one bedroom…. 

MN: When MEO acquired the property in 2005, the land was overgrown with vegetation and was littered with abandoned vehicles, appliances and drug paraphernalia

ILind: Another mistaken claim of Hawaiian land rights

2019: Maui developer ordered to temporarily stop work

read … Maui affordable housing project triggers land dispute

‘Affordable Housing’ -- $665K for 2BR Condo

SA Column: … Most jurisdictions define affordable housing as that meant for those earning less than 80% of area median income (AMI). Moderate or middle-income housing targets those between 80% and 120% of AMI. Hawaii has stretched the affordability band to 140% of AMI.

Of the 603 affordable units proposed for Kuilei Place, only 13 single-bedroom units (measuring 538 square feet, versus 645 square feet for units offered at unrestricted rates) will be available to buyers making 80% of AMI. Another 28 units will be for buyers making 90%. Affordable two-bedroom units start at 100% of AMI, but only 49 of the 382 units are so priced. The 73 affordable three-bedroom units start at 120% of AMI. The developers have also submitted an alternative plan where 165 of the 603 affordable units are offered as rentals.

The problem is broader than the choices developers are offering. As its name suggests, area median income varies by area.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent estimates of median household income reveal neighborhood disparities. Its 2020 data show Honolulu County at $87,722. The level for East Honolulu is far higher: $139,487. Aiea ($114,961) and Pearl City ($101,517) are better off as well. Urban Honolulu, where demand for “affordable” housing is greatest, has a median household income of $72,454.

Current affordability discussions overlook two other important points. The first is interest rates. A buyer of an affordable two-bedroom unit at Kuilei Place would be asked to pay $664,666, according to documents submitted to HHFDC. A 20% down payment on that unit would come to $132,933. The monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage on the remaining $531,733 would have been $2,242 at a 3% interest rate. At 6.5% interest, it jumps to $3,362 monthly, resulting in a buyer paying back over $1.2 million in total.

The second point is that AMI calculations ignore management fees. They rise with inflation and with time, because as a building ages, more upkeep is required.

read ... What developers call ‘affordable’ may not truly be affordable

Only 10 Oahu short-term rental owners register upon launch--1 Gets Approved

SA: … The mad rush for short-term rental owners in resort districts to register under the city’s new short-term rental law, Ordinance 22-7 (Bill 41), didn’t happen Monday, the first day that the city made the online process available.

Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, acting director, Department of Planning and Permitting, told the Honolulu Star-­Advertiser that as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, only 10 owners had submitted applications. Apuna said the city had conditionally approved one, and all others are pending….

read … Few Oahu short-term rental owners register upon launch

Hawaii Loopholes Allow Hu Honua to Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions

IM: … Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 343, requires an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for a wide range of projects. Causing a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions is not a trigger.

Using governmental funds or lands is a trigger. Clearcutting forests on privately-owned land is not a trigger.

Planting a tree is considered a climate solution. Cutting down that tree is a private matter if its on private property.

Hawaii has a history of allowing major projects to slip through environmental regulation. The Hamakua Energy is the second largest power generation facility on Hawaii Island. The 60MW facility was exempted from the EIS process because it was built with private money on private land. 

Hamakua Energy made the new recently when it shut down due to a lack of ammonia. Nitrogen rich ammonia and urea are two chemicals injected into waste heat emissions to minimize NOx emissions. Most generators in Hawaii rely on urea. Luckily, the AES Coal Plant shut down and sold its ammonia to Hamakua Energy.

Hu Honua`s forest clearing operations are also exempt from Chapter 343 because the land is privately owned by Kamehameha Schools and Parker Ranch, and the location of the lands is classified. The public is kept in the dark by powerful interests….

The state constitutional phrase giving the public a cause of action to save the planet also has a loophole. The Legislature must define when the clause can be used….

read … Hawaii Loopholes Allow Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Retaliation Games: Ige Refuses Sign off to DelaCruz’ Pet Project

CB: … Construction of the long-anticipated Wahiawa Civic Center, a $48 million courthouse and public service complex designed as a centralized mid-island gathering place, has hit a snag.

Gov. David Ige has declined to sign off on the revised environmental impact statement, finalized in January, that would allow the demolition of existing buildings on the site and construction of the new structures.

In a statement, Ige’s office said that the environmental impact statement “is undergoing review,” but declined to provide further details, including explaining why it has taken so long.

The civic center, first proposed by local leaders in 1957, (LOL!) will feature a new District Court building and state and city facilities, including a satellite city hall, a driver’s license customer center and a raft of health and welfare agencies. Located on a nearly 4-acre parcel on California Avenue, a main thoroughfare through Wahiawa, adjacent to a bus transit hub on one side and the Wahiawa library on the other, the new complex will act as a consolidated government service center for central Oahu and the North Shore.

read … Politics Afoot? A Long-Sought Civic Center In Wahiawa Has Been Stalled For Nearly A Year

Kamehameha Schools, Former Coach Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuit

CB: … Kamehameha Schools and a former coach who later became a Honolulu county official have settled a lawsuit filed by a former student who says the coach groomed her into a sexual relationship in the 1980s, according to court records filed on Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in 2020 by the former student, alleges that Guy Kaulukukui used to remove the girl from racquetball-gym class for private “one on one lessons” during which he would sexually assault her. He was 24. She was 15.

Later, when she was a junior at Molokai High School, Kaulukukui allegedly sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions and gave her gifts. The lawsuit also accuses him of giving the girl alcohol and taking explicit photos of her. …

All parties to the case declined to comment on the matter on Monday, other than a brief joint statement through their attorneys: Doug Chin for Kaulukukui, LaPorte for Kamehameha Schools and Jon Jacobs for the anonymous plaintiff.

“We confirm that the matter has been settled,” they said via email. …

read … Kamehameha Schools, Former Coach Settle Sex Abuse Lawsuit

OCCC is obsolete and overcrowded. And the Soft-on-Crime Crowd Wants to keep it that way

HNN: …  On Monday, the state Department of Public Safety brought the media on a tour of OCCC to show the public once again that the facility is unsafe, obsolete and wasting taxpayer money.

The 1970s-style jail features central guard stations surrounded by cells in three-story modules. Cells can have as many as four detainees….

The Corrections captain escorting the media was OCCC Chief of Security Jose Rodriguez-Rosa, who doesn’t sugarcoat things, especially in the crowded mental health module.

There, detainees looked on from behind heavy glass as reporters and photographers took in the sight of heavy netting stretching out under the second-floor landings.

It seems like the kind of net trapeze artists would have at the circus. And it is.

Rodriguez-Rosa explains: “The net is so the inmates decide if they wanted to take a dive off the second floor and we don’t want to cause any harm to them that’s our protection.”

He pointed out that at Halawa High Security, which is a newer facility, the mental health units are all on a single level. “I wouldn’t have everything on the second floor,” he said….

“It’s just the structure. the design is not conducive to the jail type of population,” Kawamoto said. “It does hinder operations. It makes it much harder to provide all the service necessary so we do the best so long as we can ensure safety and security first.”

The maintenance challenges are obvious.

Media on the tour under countless deteriorating ceiling tiles, some exposing wires and conduits in the crawlspaces above. OCCC officials also pointed to an concrete recreation area, now deemed unsafe. Scores of detainees were get exercise in a much smaller yard….

He also said inmate-on-inmate violence is common, often over food or television channels…..

KITV: A new facility, providing bed space for up to 1,032 people, will better meet the needs of the offender population

KHON: In the mental health and medical building there were 69 inmates to 24 cells as of Friday. It’s meant to hold 48.

read … OCCC is obsolete and overcrowded. What’s next for this jail is up for debate

Judge modifies sentence for cop who murdered wife in ‘02

HTH: … A new minimum term will be set for a former Hawaii Police Department officer behind bars since his January 2002 arrest for fatally shooting his 42-year-old wife in Waikoloa Village.

Albert Pacheco, now age 66 and housed at Suguaro Correctional Center in Arizona, is awaiting a Nov. 16 appearance before the five-member Hawaii Paroling Authority tasked with again determining the number of years the former Kona detective must serve before becoming eligible for parole….

The hearing was set after a Third Circuit Court judge earlier this year approved a petition for post-conviction relief filed in May 2021 by Honolulu Attorney Myles S. Breiner on behalf of Pacheco and financed in part by his eldest daughter….

2002: Officer Charged in Death of Wife 01-06-02

2022: Breiner Busted: Reprimand for Kealoha Conflict of Interest

read … Judge modifies sentence for ex-cop who murdered wife in ‘02

The 5 Cheapest Cities in Hawaii

MF: ... Pahoa, Keaau, Hilo, Kailua-Kona, Kapaa ….

read … The 5 Cheapest Cities in Hawaii

Ranked choice elections coming to Hawaii

HNN: … “In special elections. You often get a long list of people who are running and what it results in if it’s just the plurality winner, you can get a winner with 10% of the vote, and that doesn’t really truly reflect the will of the people that district,” State Senator Karl Rhoads (D) said.

Sen. Rhoads authored Hawaii’s bill. He thinks this is a starting point and a test to see how the system works.

“The people who vote don’t know who their existing incumbent is in congress or their existing incumbent in the state legislature. Nobody knows our name.,” Hawaii State Representative Gene Ward (R) said. “So to expect you’re going to be able to vote 1,2, 3, and 4, and know who those people are it is impossible. Data is not there. It’s just a fad, it’s gimmicky, it’s cute, but it’s not effective,”

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2023. This year’s general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8….

read … Ranked choice elections coming to Hawaii

US Territory Reps Hope Congress Will Remedy Longstanding Data Gaps

CB: … Data collection could become easier under a bill introduced in Congress this summer by Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, and the non-voting delegates representing the U.S. island territories.

The measure known as the Territories Statistics Collection Equity Act, would ask the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy to spend a year coming up with a plan to ensure federal data collection for U.S. territories is on par with states and fully implement its plan within four years.

“We lag far behind the states in terms of priority, availability, timeliness and type of data collected,” said Rep. Gregorio Kilili Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands, one of the measure’s co-sponsors….

read … US Territory Reps Hope Congress Will Remedy Longstanding Data Gaps

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