Green Signs 13 Health Bills
'Multi-Ton' Chinese Fentanyl Exporters Arrested in Honolulu
Climate Litigation Wave Crashes Into Hawaii’s Supreme Court
Walter Ritte Admits Covering for People who are Killing Hawaii’s Endangered Monk Seals
CB: … People have killed at least 16 seals since 2009. Only one case been prosecuted….
Ritte said NOAA officers approached him about a year ago, saying they intended to do a “serious investigation” into the Molokai seal deaths, but he hasn’t heard from them since.
He suspects the federal government is hamstrung to a degree by its rules on what it can and cannot do and how it interacts with the public.
(Translation: Unlike the state, the feds actually prosecute criminals.)
“They do not know how to work in the Hawaiian community,” Ritte said.
(Translation: Pay me.)
Ritte, 78, knows some of those responsible for killing monk seals on Molokai, and said they now feel remorseful for what they did and would be willing to advocate for the animals. He said he approached NOAA to see if they would offer those culprits leniency, but NOAA refused….
(Translation: I know who they are and I am trying to get them off by negotiating a plea deal.)
The federal government’s lone prosecution dates back to 2009, when Kauai resident Charles Vidinha was convicted for shooting to death a pregnant seal at Pilaa Beach. He received a three-month jail sentence and $25 fine, and the case helped prompt state lawmakers to make such seal killings a felony in Hawaii…
On Molokai, much of the anti-seal sentiment stems from several prominent Hawaiian families who have helped spread misinformation about the animals, Ritte said.
Those family elders have claimed that the seals aren’t actually Hawaiian, he said, and spread conspiracy theories that they were introduced to the islands by the federal government.
(Ritte is spreading a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory.)
“That’s the beginning of the bad attitude that people have toward the seals,” Ritte said. He declined to name the families, but said they’re influential across the island.
Compounding the problem is the false belief that the seals are “fierce competitors” for the same fish as humans, he said….
read … Who Is Killing Hawaii’s Endangered Monk Seals?
Hirono Slams Anti-Vaxxers
YN: … Congressional Democrats unloaded on 2024 Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Thursday, calling his views on vaccines dangerous and urging him to drop his long shot campaign against President Joe Biden.
“He’s a huge anti-vaxxer. I don’t think that’s the kind of leadership we need,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told HuffPost.
“I think he’s diverged dramatically from a fact-based approach to public policy,” added Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “At some point, he might want to consider that what he’s doing is hurting President Biden.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said he had “a hard time understanding why someone with an IQ like that is so gullible to a second- or third-grade level to accept some of the stuff he’s peddling.”
Kennedy, the son of slain U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in April. The 69-year-old environmental lawyer is one of the most influential spreaders of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine misinformation, something that has prompted harsh criticism even from his own family. …
read … Democrats Unload On 'Huge Anti-Vaxxer' Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Hawaii report details health effects of Red Hill leak
SA: … A new report released by the state Department of Health provides an assessment of the health effects people may have faced after being exposed to jet fuel, the cleaning product Simple Green, high levels of chlorine and an anti-icing agent in their drinking water after a pipeline burst at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility on Nov. 20 2021….
Red Hill families who are suing the Navy over the water contamination have been eagerly awaiting the report. Many of them have claimed ongoing health problems as a result of being exposed to the contamination….
read … Hawaii report details health effects of Red Hill leak
Ex-EMS director is arrested again
SA: … An ex-director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department and former first-team volleyball All-American was arrested for a second time this month for allegedly violating a temporary restraining order secured by a former romantic partner who accused him of cocaine-fueled abuse.
Mark Knapp Rigg, 66, who is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 191 pounds, was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 3221 Waialae Ave. He was released after posting $2,000 bail….
read … Ex-EMS director is arrested again
Act 94: Fly Homeless to Mainland
SA: … On Wednesday, Gov. Josh Green signed House Bill 1366, now Act 94, authorizing a three-year pilot program to do just that.
The completely voluntary program provides help with arrangements and payment for travel; participants or families pay half the cost of transport, unless indigent, and Act 94 specifies that the private entity contracted to run the effort will match the state’s funding, dollar-for-dollar. The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association ran a similar program 2014-2019, helping 744 people.
read … Helping homeless return home
‘Safe and Sound’ sees lower crime stats in Waikīkī
HNN: … The following is a look at the crime statistics that HPD has released to provide insight into the decrease in crimes in the area.
Crime info is as follows according HPD:
Burglaries have decreased by 15% with the “Safe and Sound” program in Waikīkī.
Robberies are down 32% with the “Safe and Sound” program in Waikīkī.
Assaults have dropped 3% with the “Safe and Sound” program in Waikīkī.
While assaults have a way to go before they lower like other crimes, HPD said additional help may be needed.
HPD said this is due to dealing with many individuals who need medical and mental health care who are located in the Waikīkī area.
“We really would like to see more ambulances more staffing for them if they could be in Waikīkī every day,” said Maj. Randall Platt of the Honolulu Police Department. “We would be able to refer because we run into these people who we feel are in need of services daily on the daily basis.”…
read ... ‘Safe and Sound’ sees lower crime stats in Waikīkī
SB1057: Pay Transparency in Vogue This Legislative Session
NLR: … Hawaii has been similarly successful with its salary range disclosure legislation, with SB 1057 passing both chambers of the legislature and awaiting Governor Josh Green’s signature. If signed, SB 1057 would amend the state’s Equal Pay law as of January 1, 2024 to require employers with 50 or more employees to disclose an hourly rate or salary range in job listings for positions other than internal transfers/promotions. The bill does not identify whether all 50 employees must be in Hawaii. Relatedly, the bill also prohibits employers from discriminating in pay based on any lawfully protected characteristic, not just sex….
read … Pay Transparency Remains in Vogue This Legislative Session – Part 1: Salary Range Disclosures
Developer China Oceanwide To Sell Hawaii Property
CS: … A China-based developer that is low on cash is selling a Hawaii development site while it looks to part ways with an unfinished project in downtown Los Angeles.
China Oceanwide said it would sell roughly 17 acres on the island of Oahu in Hawaii for $134 million, according to filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The buyer is managed by Honolulu-based real estate developer Tower Development.
Ed Bushor, CEO, chairman and founder of Tower Development, said the developer wants to build a 400-key luxury resort on the property along with 450 luxury branded residences. A brand name is expected to be identified after the deal is completed, he said. The property is called Lot 2 at Ko Olina….
read … Developer China Oceanwide To Sell Hawaii Property Ahead of Los Angeles Tower Disposal