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Friday, June 30, 2023
June 30, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:42 PM :: 3149 Views

Sister Park Arrangement Signed for Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Hiroshima Peace Memorial

Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe

CB: … Federal authorities executed a search warrant earlier this week at the Honolulu offices of Dawson, a conglomerate of Native Hawaiian-owned companies that receive tens of millions of dollars in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.

Details of the investigation, however, remain murky.

According to witnesses, federal agents including from the IRS appeared at Dawson’s Honolulu headquarters Tuesday morning and confiscated company computers and cell phones.

Employees and others associated with the company who did not want to be identified described the visit as a “raid.” They said they were told to leave the premises as the agents conducted their work.

As of Wednesday, Dawson’s Honolulu offices were still closed…

Christopher Dawson is the founder of the Dawson companies.

(Son of Beadie Dawson.)

The Hawaiian Native Corp. is classified as a Native Hawaiian organization under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program, which allows its companies to receive sole source contracts from the Department of Defense and avoid the competitive bidding process….

The Hawaiian Native Corp. includes 11 for-profit companies, and the organization says that it employs nearly 1,200 people who work in 42 states and 14 countries. It has offices located across the country, including in Honolulu, Colorado and Virginia.

Officials at the company’s Virginia office also declined to speak to a reporter about the federal investigation….

Dawson himself is a regular contributor to federal campaigns, and has donated tens of thousands of dollars to various candidates over the years, including Hawaii U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele.

Federal Election Commission records show Dawson also donated more than $50,000 to President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.

In recent years, Dawson’s companies have been pushing Congress to expand Native Hawaiian contracting opportunities through the 8(a) program.

Since 2021, federal lobbying disclosure reports show HNC has spent $180,000 on lobbying efforts through the firm Strategies 360…. 

SA: Federal agents did not search the company’s Denver office.

(Fun Fact: Dawson is a major sponsor of CNHA events including the recent Las Vegas NH Confab.)

read … Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe

Investigation finds DOE wasted millions on solar-powered AC systems

HNN: … During the past six years, the DOE has installed solar-powered AC systems in 880 classrooms at a cost of $122 million — or more than $138,000 per classroom.

The problem: Many had to be disconnected from the PV systems and those that weren’t disconnected only work half the day, teachers said.

“Shortly after they were installed, some of them started to break down — they just stopped working. And at first, no one really knew what the problem was,” said Jodi Kunimitsu, a Maui High School teacher.

“It was fixed by just disconnecting it from the solar and just using the regular (grid).”

But the DOE said that only 10% of the solar-powered ACs have been disconnected.

“My guys tell me about 90% of the systems are operable. They’re working,” said Randall Tanaka, assistant superintendent for the DOE’s Office of Facilities and Operations.

But a source within the DOE said that the ACs that are still connected to the PV systems are designed to work for less than five hours day, leaving many students in hot classrooms.

The DOE concedes that the solar powered ACs only work half the day.

“We got schooled on that, right, because classrooms operate more than four and a half hours,” said Tanaka.

“But that’s how the system was designed.”

Back in 2017, the DOE chose to install AC systems powered by solar because many of the schools didn’t have enough electrical capacity to run the units and keep the lights on at the same time.

But since then, the DOE has installed thousands of LED lights and energy-efficient fixtures — which freed up enough electricity to run the schools’ air conditioning systems.

Critics said the money wasted on the solar-powered ACS could have gone to better use in building new facilities or toward teachers’ salaries.

Campbell High School teacher and former Hawaii State Teachers Association president Corey Rosenlee said (claims) he warned the DOE back in 2017 not to invest in costly solar-powered AC systems.

Compared to a solar-powered AC system’s $138,000 per classroom price tag, Rosenlee said a grid-connected AC system can cost as little at $2,000 per classroom.….

FLASHBACK:

read … Investigation finds DOE wasted millions on solar-powered AC systems

Court hears arguments in Ward Village rail dispute

CB:…The Hawaii State Supreme Court heard 90 minutes of oral arguments Thursday over an eminent domain dispute involving the construction of a planned rail station within real estate developer Howard Hughes Corp.’s 60-acre master-planned property in Kakaako.

The years-long case, previously heard in Circuit Court, concerns the Texas­-based developer, doing business here as Victoria Ward Ltd., and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s 2018 condemnation of about 2 acres containing roughly 25 parcels owned by the developer — from Cooke to Kamakee streets. The property was originally slated for a master-planned, permitted, mixed-use development within Ward Village

Projected cost to taxpayers to acquire the property for the rail line’s Kakaako station near Ward Avenue has been reported to be as much as $200 million, with HART by 2021 having spent nearly $23.3 million in legal fees….

read … Court hears arguments in Ward Village rail dispute

Giving Birth Is An Expensive And Lonely Trip For Some Rural Hawaii Women

CB: … Lanai and Molokai residents often must fly to Honolulu weeks before their baby's due date to be close to an urban medical center when they go into labor….

read … Giving Birth Is An Expensive And Lonely Trip For Some Rural Hawaii Women

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