Bill 57: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry
Hawaii Statewide Transportation Plan Virtual Public Meetings
Hawaii County PD Sergeants Start Wearing Body Cameras
Accounting for Inflation, Tourist Spending is Down from 2019
VIDEO: Mauna Loa Erupts, Flow 6 Miles to Saddle Road
DOJ Seeks 4-Year Prison Sentence For Hawaii Proud Boys Founder
CB: … Federal prosecutors have asked a judge in Washington, D.C., to sentence Nicholas Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys, to 51 months in prison for his part in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Ochs, 36, pleaded guilty in September to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding for his part in trying to delay the certification of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden….
SA: For LGBTQ community, a rising of hate in the Aloha State
PDF: Sentencing Memo
read … DOJ Seeks 4-Year Prison Sentence For Hawaii Proud Boys Founder
DBEDT to re-Bid CNHA Tourism Contract (again)
SA: … Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in his role as head of the purchasing agency for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday that HTA’s U.S. tourism contract is likely headed for a third round of procurement.
McCartney addressed WAM during an informational briefing at the state Capitol that went for more than three hours on the status of a disputed contract for U.S. Brand Management and Global Support Services. He told the senators that he had already informed the two nonprofits vying for the contract — the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau — that he planned to rescind CNHA’s June 2 award for a multiyear U.S. tourism contract worth more than $34 million during the first two years.
Monday’s briefing was like deja vu. In December 2021, HTA awarded HVCB a multiyear U.S. tourism contract worth $22.5 million the first year but later rescinded it following an unresolved protest from CNHA. When HTA embarked on a second round in the request-for-proposals process, HVCB lost to CNHA.
McCartney said he now expects to issue a third request for proposals for the lucrative contract — this time for two separate contracts, with one focused on destination management and the other on brand management or marketing….
Response: CNHA: Josh Green will Give us Tourism Contract
read … State’s top U.S. tourism contract stalls again
Senators: Abolish HTA
KITV: … When grilled about what went wrong, HTA officials said the decisions regarding the RFPs were ultimately up to Mike McCartney, as the director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) and as the head of the purchasing agency.
"How did we get to this point where you're the lone attached agency to DBEDT that has absolutely no procurement authority?" Sen. Glenn Wakai, (D) WAM committee member, asked HTA officials.
"It's my belief that we were responsible for arriving at the award of the contract in both RFPs, and at that point in time when the protest window became in effect that, at the time of protest came, he would in fact have the final say on it, and we would respond with any information that he requested. But it is my belief that that sole authority rested with him," said HTA president and CEO John De Fries.
Afterwards, McCartney appeared before WAM. He told the senators he wants to rescind the contract that was awarded to CNHA that is under protest, and wants to issue two separate RFPs instead -- one for marketing and one for destination management for the U.S. market, which would essentially split the original contract into two.
"What I'm recommending is the most sustainable option to avoid further challenging on who wins because this process is going to keep if we stay with the existing one, it could not be resolved for over a year or more even after this because it could go to DCCA and then to court, so that's what we're trying to resolve," McCartney said.
Sen. Donna Kim, (D) WAM committee member, replied: "But Mike, we're doing it because they were a mess up in the beginning. People screwed up and made this process look bad because they didn't follow the law."
McCartney then added: "And I could've done a better job of coaching them and helping them through it."
Kim said: "But instead you made it worse."
"If it's going to be like that, which I don't necessarily have a problem with, if the DBEDT director is going to make all the decisions, then we don't necessarily need HTA then, and then DBEDT can do all the contracting, which is how it used to be," said Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, (D) WAM committee chair….
To view the entire WAM informational briefing, click here.
read … Hawaii Tourism Authority grilled by senators about its multi-million dollar U.S. market contract
“The Hawaiians bite the dust again, Mike,” Favella shouted
HNN: … Republican state Sen. Kurt Favella said he opposed cancelling the award to CNHA, despite the challenge from HVCB, suggesting that the opposition to CNHA was rooted in resistance to giving Native Hawaiians equal opportunity.
“The Hawaiians bite the dust again, Mike,” Favella shouted.
“We talk about this over and over. When are we going to be on the same playing field as everybody else? Nobody wants the Hawaiians ... to have all that money and that’s the truth.” …
read … Resolving tourism marketing dispute will fall to incoming governor
BWS ‘Emergency’ Plan Calls for Building Moratorium
SA: … The BWS also has the ability to restrict new development. It can limit the size of new water meters or not approve them. The BWS also can require customers to use alternative water sources, such as gray water — recycled water from nonsewage sources such as showers, washing machines and sinks.
In the event of building restrictions, the BWS’ plan prioritizes certain development, including affordable and homeless housing and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands projects.
A building moratorium would require approval from the Water Board.
Meanwhile, the Navy and BWS are looking at drilling more monitoring wells to gauge whether an underground fuel plume from Red Hill may be moving to other areas of the aquifer. The Navy has said it’s looking at drilling about two dozen more wells. BWS might drill seven wells, according to Ernie Lau, manager and chief engineer of BWS.
Lau told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program Monday that each monitoring well could cost $1 million. BWS is also looking at developing new drinking water sources given the indefinite shutdown of three of its wells in the fallout from the Red Hill contamination. Lau estimated that it could cost $200 million to replace the lost capacity from its Aiea and Halawa wells and Halawa shaft.
Lau has sought federal funding for those projects to protect local ratepayers from having to absorb the costs, but said as of yet there is no federal commitment….
BWS: Water Shortage Response and Recovery Plan Draft
REALITY: The agenda is to reduce the supply of buildable land in order to jack up housing prices to the benefit of legacy landowners such as KSBE and A&B.
read … Board adopts emergency plan for Oahu water shortages
Building Moratorium 2: New Mauna Loa Eruption Reopens A Costly Old Issue: Why Is Building Allowed In Risky Lava Zones?
CB: … Hawaii County is still in the process of buying up properties affected by the last devastating eruption of Kilauea volcano, which destroyed more than 700 homes in the Leilani Estates and Kapoho areas in 2018.
Before that disaster, the Kilauea flows destroyed Kalapana in 1990, and before that was the loss of Kapoho village in 1960. This is not a new problem.
Sunday marked the first time Mauna Loa volcano has erupted since 1984, but county officials are once again facing a situation where lava could threaten housing that has sprung up over the years in what is known as Lava Zone 1. Those are the riskiest areas that are smack on the volcanic rift zones….
(Reality: There is no housing in Mauna Loa NE Rift Zone 1 areas. The agenda is to reduce the supply of buildable land in order to jack up housing prices to the benefit of legacy landowners such as KSBE and A&B.)
FLASHBACK: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3
read … New Mauna Loa Eruption Reopens A Costly Old Issue: Why Is Building Allowed In Risky Lava Zones?