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Thursday, May 11, 2023
May 11, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:14 PM :: 1932 Views

ALICE Hawaii: $104,052 is 'Household Survival Budget'

Projected state surplus vanishes in face of planned higher spending 

Honolulu Citizen-Centric Report Released 

Office of Information Practices 2023 Legislative Wrap-up 

Senators Introduce FIGHT Act to Enhance Enforcement and Crack Down on Dogfighting, Cockfighting

June 30 opening date for first phase of long-delayed rail project

HNN: … The grand opening of the first 11 miles of the Honolulu rail system is set for the July Fourth weekend ― and the public is invited to ride for free.

City officials announced the opening on Wednesday morning, thrilled that after 16 years of planning and construction the first riders will soon be aboard.

To get to the free ride Independence Day weekend, taxpayers kicked in billions of dollars over 17 years.

But now Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he expects that with a taste of what it feels like to use the system, Oahu residents will be won over.

“What we’re delivering here is a 21st century rail system,” Blangiardi said.

“One of a kind, being driverless, all electric security gates, electric. We’ve talked a lot about since coming into office about modernizing our city and this is a statement to that effect.” …. 

read … City announces opening date for first phase of long-delayed rail project

Lawyers threaten suit over state of special education services in Hawaii public schools

HNN: … Attorneys for special education students are threatening to sue the state, saying access to special education and mental health services has gotten worse since the pandemic.

In a letter to Gov. Josh Green on Wednesday, attorney Eric Seitz said Hawaii is behind the national average when it comes to the percentage of students receiving special education services.

“We find that there’s an arrogance, condescension, and absolute hostility, to providing those services on the part of the leaders of the (Department of Education) and the Department of Health,” he said.

Seitz said that nationwide nearly 10% of all public school students take part in some form of special education program. In Hawaii, only 6.8% receive those services from ages 6 through 21, according to federal data.

Years ago, about 10% of Hawaii students were receiving some form of SPED services, he added.

Seitz and attorneys Paul Alston, Shelby Floyd and Stanley Levin filed the Felix lawsuit in 1993, which made similar claims that the state was denying special education services.

That lawsuit forced the state to spend $1.2 billion over 10 years to upgrade its programs….

read … Lawyers threaten suit over state of special education services in Hawaii public schools

Above The Law: Investigation underway for the ‘mistaken’ release of Jonathan Hewett--nephew of ‘Revered Kumu Hula’, hint, hint

KITV: … It took awhile for state sheriffs to get Jonathan Hewett out of the Kaneohe home he barricaded himself in after getting released by mistake.

And family members were shaken up.

"Everybody now is a part of this trauma," said his uncle Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, a revered kumu hula.   (And therefore all his relatives are untouchable.)   "All of that trauma could've been avoided if they had done the right thing from the beginning."… (skip several more paragraphs of this type of condescension….)

He was in court for a charge of driving a stolen vehicle and has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2007 for convictions including kidnapping, abuse and robbery.  (And he keeps getting out to do it again.  Now you know why.)

Sources close to the investigation said Hewett may have tricked sheriffs by switching clothes with a cellmate. (Yeah.  Sure.)

"It's kind of like an airport or a train station where you have a bunch of people all showing up for their court appearance," said Honolulu attorney Doug Chin. "Then afterwards, they're all going to different destinations."  (Yeah.  Sure.)

This is not the first time somebody's been let go by mistake. In 2016, Klene Nahalea was released because of an employee error. The year before, authorities freed Be Huynh because of the wrong paperwork…. 

read … Investigation underway for the mistaken release of Jonathan Hewett

Released Pending Investigation--Month Later, No charges yet for 37-time loser who brought gun to Honolulu court (Who does he know?)

SA: … A month after a convicted felon with 37 prior arrests and citations was arrested after bringing a so-called ghost gun and drug paraphernalia to Circuit Court in Honolulu, the state Department of the Attorney General has not filed charges.

The Attorney General’s office previously declined to comment about why Jordan Mineshima Jr., 33, was released pending investigation after he was arrested April 11 on suspicion of weapons and ammunition violations, including having no permit to a carry weapon, being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon, and third-degree promoting a dangerous drug….

Mineshima’s 37 prior arrests and citations include felony arrests for robbery, car theft, criminal property damage, drugs and domestic violence….

(Still trying to figure out who he knows….  Info anyone?)

read … No charges yet for felon who brought gun to Honolulu court

Bizarre News: HPD raids game rooms, massage parlors

HNN: … “Operation Firestorm” kicked off early Wednesday and included the seizure of gambling devices and drugs.

Authorities say the crackdown included four raids from Ewa Beach to Nanakuli resulting in at least seven arrests.

The first raid happened at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday in Kapolei when a 33-year-old man was arrested for child enticement.

HPD says that person also had drugs on him.

Two more people were arrested at 6 a.m. for charges involving methamphetamine.

At 10 a.m., officers visited four massage parlors for investigation of sex trafficking and labor violations, but no arrests were made.

And then at 2 pm, three illegal game rooms were raided….

KHON: Map of Raid Locations

SA: HPD, federal agents raid drug, gambling, sex houses

NR: REP. KILA'S STATEMENT REGARDING HPD’S CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL GAME ROOMS AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY

VIDEO: HPD News Conference

read … Drugs, gambling machines seized as part of multi-agency crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Firestorm’

Ed Case Pushes back against WESPAC

CB: … U.S. Reps. Ed Case, Raul Grijalva, Jared Huffman and Gregorio Sablan expressed their “continued, deep concern” over the council’s “pattern of mismanagement” in a letter Wednesday to NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad.

They gave him one week to answer several questions and provide documentation to explain what course of action the agency was taking to hold Wespac accountable for not paying back $837,355 that the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General identified in its November 2021 audit of the main grant the council administers….

(TRANSLATION: Enviros want onto the WESPAC Board.)

read … Wespac Still Hasn’t Paid Back $837,000 It Misspent. Congressmen Want To Know Why

Kauai County Eminent Domain to Seize Coco Palms?

KHON: … During the hearing Council Chair Mel Rapozo said he now wants the county to take over the property.

“We’re gonna ask staff to set up an executive session with our county attorney to see how we can start the process of eminent domain and take that land,” Rapoza said to a room of applause.

Rapozo added though that taking over the property comes at a cost to taxpayers.

“With condemnation comes the real market value that we gotta pay. I’m committed to finding that money. We can put some CIP projects on the side for a little while we can tap our reserves. I believe if this is what this community wants we can get it done,” he said.

We’ve reached out to the company and are still waiting for a response…

TGI: Kaua‘i County Council discusses buying Coco Palms

read … Coco Palms rebuild now in jeopardy

Why Conduct Greenhouse Gas Analyses for Solar Projects?

IM: … A life cycle analysis seeks to identify the emissions from upstream (extraction, manufacturing, transportation, construction), operations, and downstream (decommissioning).

Some opponents of life cycle analysis have pointed out that the analysis could include items that have minimal impact. But avoiding upstream and downstream emissions is a mistake. Projects like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric have small operational emissions but larger upstream and downstream emissions.

In general, one could divide projects into five categories, from the highest GHG emissions to the lowest. The ordering would be (1) tree-burning, (2) coal, (3) petroleum/diesel, (4) solar and wind, and (5) geothermal and hydroelectric.

All electric and gas contracts involving fuel, gas, electricity, batteries, and transportation must have a GHG analysis….

As many as 100 or more GHG analyses have been filed with the PUC over the past 4 years. The analyses are scrutinized by the Consumer Advocate and the PUC, both of which employ staff members and consultants who are GHG experts. Intervenors are also able to question the GHG analyses.

All of these GHG analyses are available on the PUC Document Management System website. They can all be downloaded. These analyses were conducted by a half-dozen different GHG consultants using a few different methodologies. All critiques of these analysis are also available….

read … Why Conduct Greenhouse Gas Analyses for Solar Projects?

Noise detecting microphones officially coming to Oahu roads

HNN: … Sound-detecting microphones meant to crack down on illegal noise on the roads are coming to Oahu.

State lawmakers approved $2.5 million for the program that the Department of Transportation will roll out.

The DOT says the devices will go on existing infrastructure. They will have microphones that can detect illegal loud noise and cameras to take license plate pictures.

Under Honolulu County’s noise ordinance, any sound coming from a car loud enough to reach a distance of 30 feet on the road is probated with a fine of 100 dollars for a first offense….

The first microphones could be installed in Manoa or Kakaako-Waikiki, areas with high levels of noise complaints….

read … Noise detecting microphones officially coming to Oahu roads

Legislative Agenda:

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