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Wednesday, July 19, 2023
July 19, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:16 PM :: 2351 Views

Green Emergency Order: Sweep Homeless Drug Addicts out of Uncle Billy's and Demolish Hotel

Bill 49: Maui GET surcharge could eliminate jobs, reduce growth

American Samoans fear tuna fishing limits in Pacific Ocean sanctuary could threaten their livelihood

Feds Propose New Critical Habitat for Green Sea Turtles

Feds Impose 10 Year Sentence on Waipio Carjackers

Kuilei Place First to benefit from Governor’s Housing Proclamation

CB: … More than a dozen elected officials contacted for comment said that although they applaud the governor’s ambitious effort to boost the island’s housing stock, the scope of the proclamation and its possible negative consequences was making them uneasy.

Rich Turbin, chair of the Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board for almost 40 years, who has watched hundreds of development projects unfold over the decades, said he found the action by government fiat “definitely troubling.”

“I’m a fan of Josh Green, I know his heart is in the right place,” Turbin said. “He had the grounds to make an emergency proclamation, but there are reasons to say it’s gone too far toward eliminating public scrutiny.”

Kathleen Pahinui, chair of the North Shore Neighborhood Board, echoed Turbin’s concerns.

“I know why he did it,” Pahinui said. “His intentions absolutely are in the right place, but the devil is in the details. How will this be implemented? I can see the potential for misuse.”

Through proclamation rather than legislation, Gov. Green has given a 22-member working group, mostly comprised of state officials, the power to approve projects that would create or replace existing housing and would require county governments to exempt these developments from fees and permit scrutiny. He has also restricted historic preservation reviews, excluding cases involving human remains….

Green’s proclamation also removes administrative review of projects by state or county commissions or boards and drops the 45-day city permit review process for approval of what is known as 201H housing projects, with state officials saying 45 days is too long. Instead, 201H projects approved by the state will be approved by the county planning department.

The proclamation comes at a time that state-backed 201H projects, including the controversial 43-story Kuilei Place project on Kapiolani Boulevard, have attracted vocal criticism. The proclamation would make it happen even faster….

Some members of the neighborhood boards, which are frequently at loggerheads with developers, said the proclamation had put them on high alert….Winston Welch, president of the Outdoor Circle and chair of the Diamond Head-Kapuhulu-St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board, said he found it alarming that the governor would reduce regulation of development, when in his view, regulation of development is already too weak in Honolulu.  Welch called the proclamation an “evisceration of guidelines in place for decades.”…

Flashback: Kuilei Place ‘Affordable’ Units Cost $800K

SA: Kokua Line: Why isn’t emergency proclamation only for affordable housing?

read … Governor’s Housing Proclamation Draws Skeptical Response From Oahu Officials

Act222: New Road Mileage tax Imposed

HTH: … Gov. Josh Green on July 5 signed into law Act 222, which will establish a road usage charge that applies to all passenger vehicles by 2033. The rate of the charge would be set at 0.8 cents per mile traveled, with the yearly total fee capped at $50.

“The rate is comparable with the fuel tax rates,” Kimura said. “Some drivers will pay less than they do now, and some drivers will pay more, depending on their habits and vehicle.”

Mileage would be tallied by recording a vehicle’s odometer during the annual required safety check. Kimura said DOT has considered implementing a web application to report mileage, but found that drivers overwhelmingly preferred the safety check option.

Under Act 222, EV owners will be given an option to pay the road usage charge or a yearly flat fee of $50 beginning July 2025. But by 2028, that $50 fee option will be removed, and by 2033, the road usage charge will apply to all passenger vehicles, not just EVs.

read … Under a new law, state’s fuel tax will be phased out

Maui Council Raises General Excise Tax To Subsidize Developers

CB: … The council voted 8-0 on Tuesday to adopt a 0.5% surcharge on top of the state’s 4% GET, starting Jan. 1. Council member Gabe Johnson of Lanai, who didn’t attend the meeting, was excused from the vote.

Under the new law, the tax must pay for “housing infrastructure,” defined as (developer subsidies including) water projects, drainage, sewers, waste disposal and waste treatment facilities that connect to the county’s existing systems. It also includes walking paths and sidewalks “on a county road near or around a public school.”

Under the new law, 20% of the new revenue must be funneled toward projects that help the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (Ev Dowling) develop homesteads. …

read … Maui Raises General Excise Tax To Pay For Housing Infrastructure

Ev Dowling Doesn’t get His Pick: Jonathan Likeke Scheuer Is On The East Maui Water Board

CB: … The Maui County Council has confirmed Jonathan Likeke Scheuer to represent the Hawaiian Homes Commission on the board steering the new East Maui Community Water Authority, marking the council’s final action in a heated monthslong process to get it up and running.

In an 8-0 vote, council members in attendance during Tuesday’s meeting unanimously voted to confirm Scheuer, a leading Hawaii water law expert and longtime consultant for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, to fill one of 11 seats on the new water board. Council member Gabe Johnson of Lanai was excused from the meeting. …

At one point, prominent Maui developer Everett Dowling tried to influence the process by emailing DHHL Director Kali Watson to tell him not to choose Scheuer for the spot. Dowling instead recommended candidates working in the construction industry. In the days that followed, Watson rescinded Scheuer’s nomination but shifted gears again after widespread pushback from beneficiaries

The DHHL director then paved the way for the Hawaiian Homes commissioners to decide. They unanimously tapped Scheuer for the role because of his “level of expertise that few others have.”…

read … Final Answer: Jonathan Likeke Scheuer Is On The East Maui Water Board

‘Forever Chemicals’ Disappear After Two Months

SA: … You can understand why Kunia Village residents might react to getting the all-clear to drink their tap water with a healthy skepticism. The so-called “forever chemicals” — per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS — reportedly have been cleared from two wells that supply their potable water. First, there’s grasping the concept that something called “forever” is now gone, even after two months of water flushing. Then there’s the overall damage to trust in general….

CLUE: Chemophobia is a joke.

read … Off The News: Suspicions over Kunia Village water

Meth, Steroids, Syringes found at OCCC: AGs office to lead Coverup of Inmate Murder

SA: … During a scheduled contraband search Friday, investigators confiscated mobile phones, wireless headsets, wired headsets, chargers, methamphetamine stuffed into small jars, a plastic bag filled with unidentified drug capsules, vials of anabolic steroids, syringes, Lost Mary disposable vapes and other banned material from inmates.

The search was managed by the Attorney General’s Office, state Department of Public Safety’s Sheriff Division, the Narcotics Enforcement Division and Internal Affairs. Internal and criminal investigations were opened, but no arrests have been made….

State investigators were also looking for a mobile phone that might contain recorded footage of the beating death of (91-time loser) Christopher Ikaika Vaefaga Jr., who was found unresponsive in module 13 long after being murdered on July 6….

The Attorney General’s Office does employ retired police officers who have experience working homicide cases as investigators….

(Translation: They have a lifetime record of proven loyalty to the system and the ability to execute a successful coverup.)

(To organize the coverup) HPD leadership met with representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and Department of Public safety after Vaefaga’s body was found, according to multiple sources….

All agencies agreed that the attorney general’s investigators would take over the investigation and ensure proper collection of evidence and crime scene security.

HPD’s Criminal Investi­gation Division-Homicide Detail and its Scientific ­Investigative Section assisted with the initial investigation, police have said.

In 2020 a murder at OCCC and another at the Halawa Correctional Facility that occurred over a two-week span were investigated by HPD detectives and prosecuted by the state Department of the Attorney General.

HPD leadership and representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and DPS met after those cases in 2020 and decided that future prison and jail killings would be investigated and prosecuted by the state….

read … State investigators leading probe of OCCC killing

HPD officer pleads no contest to tampering with government document

HNN: … A Honolulu police officer has surrendered to sheriff’s deputies three months after he was charged for tampering with a government document.

HPD Officer Victor Ando was booked and then released.

According to records, there was a discrepancy in part of a police report.

He pleaded “no contest” and was given a three-month, deferred sentence….

Case: 1DCW-23-0001188

read … HPD officer pleads no contest to tampering with government document

Civil settlement in sex assault case against former high school football stars on hold

HNN: … The civil deal stemming from a sex assault claim between a woman and two former Saint Louis School players is now held up in court.

Jayden de Laura, who plays quarterback for the University of Arizona, and Kamoi Latu, the University of Wisconsin defenseman, and their families have agreed to pay the victim an undisclosed amount to settle the case.

If the court approved the agreement, it would have left Saint Louis School as the sole defendant, likely to pay out a bigger amount.

The school is objecting, saying the others should pay more because the players are making money as part of the Name, Image, Likeness program….

The school and players were sued for an alleged rape that happened in October 2018, in the parking garage of the campus after the Saint Louis Crusaders won the ILH championship….

It was revealed in court that de Laura makes approximately $8,000 a month and got a free car through the Name, Image, Likeness program and Latu made $17,500 last month alone….

May 2023: Above the Law: No Punishment for Alleged Rapist Football Players

read … Civil settlement in sex assault case against former high school football stars on hold

No Safety Check, No Problem: Honolulu Clerks Helped Used Car Dealers Cheat System

CB: … Three Honolulu motor vehicle employees were caught last year fraudulently modifying safety check records – a scheme that allowed used car dealers to save money on repairs and potentially put drivers at risk. 

Workers at the Kapolei Satellite City Hall manually overrode expired safety checks and put new dates on them to give certain customers the appearance of being cleared even though they weren’t, according to records Civil Beat obtained via a public records request.

“Falsely extending a safety check month allows dealers to resell vehicles without having to pay for potentially costly repairs uncovered through a safety check inspection, such as tire replacements, worn suspensions…etc.,” a Honolulu Department of Customer Services supervisor wrote in a memo about the arrangement. 

“Unknowingly new buyers are also at risk in driving unsafe vehicles.”…

A review of a limited sample of safety checks revealed 41 transactions that lacked the necessary corroborating paperwork, the report said. …

 In one case, a car whose safety sticker expired in June 2019 was given a clearance that would be valid until May 2023….

Once identified, the employees were immediately put on administrative leave….

(The word ‘bribery’ is not found in this article.)

The documents hid the names of the employees. All three resigned from city employment before facing any discipline, allowing them to maintain their anonymity under the state’s open records law. 

However, the metadata of one of the documents – in other words, information about the file itself – indicates one of them was a former customer service representative named Ronda Omalza. Reached by phone, Omalza denied wrongdoing and said she resigned for family reasons. 

The customers involved were Bayview Auto Sales LLC, CARPRO LLC and VIP Towing, according to Customer Services spokesman Harold Nedd. Messages left with these businesses were not returned….

read … No Safety Check, No Problem: Honolulu Clerks Helped Car Dealers Cheat System

Progressive Teacher Deported to California to Face Trial on 23 Counts of Child Molestation

HTH: … A former teacher and official at a pair of private progressive schools in Ojai, Calif., will be returned there to face charges that he sexually assaulted at least one minor in Ventura County during the last decade.

Police arrested 65-year-old Paul Hill Herder on July 12 at a Kalapana Seaview Estates residence….

According to the felony complaint filed July 3 by the Ventura County district attorney’s office, Herder faces 23 felony sex-assault related counts for incidents occurring between June 5, 2014, and June 1, 2017, all against a victim or victims younger than 18 at the time.

The one victim identified by initials was 14 when the first offense allegedly took place.

The alleged acts include lewd act upon a child, luring a minor for sexual purposes, and unlawful sexual intercourse.

The complaint alleges Herder “took advantage of a position of trust and confidence to commit” the offenses.

The complaint was accompanied by an arrest warrant with bail set at $1 million….

between 2009 and 2016, Herder was a secondary English teacher at Oak Grove School, a preschool- through 12th-grade progressive day and boarding school in Ojai founded by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Between 2017 and 2019, Herder was teen program director at Rock Tree Sky, a small Ojai school that, according to its website, offers “experiential education for youth ages pre-K through 18 by providing structures, programs and environments that offer the key values of community collaboration learner agency, and meaningful challenge.”

Herder also is author of the 2012 book, “Revolutionary Minds: The Educational Vision of J. Krishnamurti and Its Practice,” and is a jazz composer and pianist who released at least three albums of music….

read … Puna man arrested for alleged sex crimes in California

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