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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
October 4, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:07 PM :: 2342 Views

Hawaii AG Sues to Keep Feeding 'Gender Change' Drugs to Minors

Hawaii AG Appeals Butterfly Knife Ruling

EPA Approves Red Hill Pre-Defueling Preparedness Report

Governor: People threatening him are calling his personal cell, targeting his kids (again)

HNN: … As the reopening date for West Maui tourism approaches, Gov. Josh Green says he and his family are receiving threats — some even directed at his young children.

The governor and First Lady Jaime Green say racist threats and harassment aimed at them increased after the wildfires and are even being sent directly to the governor’s personal cell phone.

“We have had threats against our children, and to just look at him as the governor and to say, he’s an ‘effing haole,’ that’s not helpful for anything,” the first lady said on HNN’s “Spotlight Now.”

The governor said the threats aren’t going to change what he does.

“But it occupies a fair amount of our psyche at at different times,” he said….

(QUESTION: Why talk about this without acting? Extortion of a public official is a crime.  Where are the prosecutions?)

RELATED: Lahaina Tourism return may bring ‘explosion of anger’

read … Governor: People threatening him are calling his personal cell, targeting his kids

Governor's absence fuels anger at West Maui anti-tourism rally

KHON: … “Majority of the people, if they want to go back to work, it’s because they have that fear and uncertainty about moving forward,” Paltin said. “If there was financial relief, they could be out serving their own community instead of serving tourists.”

Over 14,000 signed the petition to delay the Oct. 8 reopening date, almost 5,000 of those were signatures from Maui residents.

Lahaina Strong community organizer Paele Kiakona brought the box right to Gov. Green’s door.

“We are here to accept him into our community so he can see firsthand how it is,” Kiakona said. “This is how many people don’t feel comfortable and don’t support this.”

Gov. Green did not come out to speak — his Constituent Services director took the box of petitions….

SA: Green sticks with Maui reopening plan as many urge delay

HNN: Green sticks by Sunday reboot of West Maui tourism, but says recovery will be slow (hawaiinewsnow.com)

AP: Lahaina residents deliver petition asking Hawaii governor to delay tourism reopening | AP News

MN: Thousands petition to delay West Maui’s return to tourism | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News

read … Governor's absence fuels anger at West Maui tourism rally

The story of a young man who fell through the cracks of FEMA’s benefits system

CB: … Before lunch, a sunburned young man walked through our door. He was short and thin, wearing a pair of ridiculous red plaid pants a few sizes too small, which looked like mod wardrobe for Austin Powers. My face hurt in sympathy for his bright scarlet nose.

He asked if he could have a snack. Of course! How about a bottle of cold water too?

He kept his distance, like a feral cat who knows that he needs help but has gotten shooed away all his life. Circling the room, he muttered angry things about how he was being treated.

I walked closer to ask how we could help him.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “I’m not usually like this, but I’m just tired and angry.”…

He said his name was “A,” from Iowa, attracted by the sun and surf. He was barefoot, and on his right calf was a hole where a chunk of his leg was missing, like it had been removed with a melon scoop.

He had only been here a while, living in a hostel on Front Street. However, the hole in his leg wasn’t from the fire. Weeks before he had gotten a spider bite, which not only didn’t heal, but got nastier until he had to be taken to an emergency room.

“Brown recluse,” said the doctor, referring to the type of spider.

The hospital debrided the necrotic tissue until they got out all the infection, gave him antibiotics, spare dressings, and sent him home a few ounces lighter. That was all before the inferno.

“A” was at home on Front Street when he looked out his window, saw the infamous traffic jam and smelled the blast furnace quickly gobbling up Lahaina. By the time he hobbled downstairs, the fire was closing in, and there was only one escape. He jumped into the waters of Lahaina Bay and kept himself afloat and alive for about nine hours.

The Coast Guard plucked him out and rushed him to a Red Cross recovery center, where he got medical attention, a place to sleep and an appointment with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

However, FEMA software had a massive glitch: It was only programmed to accept one household name per address.

Of course, like so many, he had escaped without any proof of identity or anything….

The worst thing was that someone else who lived in one of the many apartments at that particular street address had already filed a claim with FEMA. Consequently, “A” was denied benefits by them.

By the time I arrived, three weeks after the fire, he had made it to Wailea Beach, a golden crescent south of Kihei bordered by six luxurious hotels. All the properties are connected by a coastal walkway, and their security teams watch like hawks for “his kind.”…

Meanwhile: MacArthur ‘genius grant’ recipients include kumu hula

read … The story of a young man who fell through the cracks of FEMA’s benefits system

Turning Lahaina into Wailea: Office of Recovery outlines key focus areas in wake of fire

MN: … The office is focusing on six “key areas,” which reflect what they heard from the communities, Nishita said. They are:

• Community planning, which will include identifying, assessing and providing resources and support in post-disaster community planning.

(Translation: Eminent domain.)

• Housing, which will include facilitating access to housing assistance in both interim and permanent housing solutions, drawing upon resources from state and federal partners as well as the private sector and nonprofits.

(Translation: You go on welfare while Lahaina is rebuilt on the Wailea model.)

• Infrastructure, which will include overseeing the restoration of all infrastructure and utility systems.

(Translation: Wailea v2 must have buried power lines.)

• Natural and cultural resources, which will include ensuring the protection and rejuvenation of the ecosystems, landmarks and cultural sites.

(Translation: The new Lahaina will be centered on the ‘Venice of the Pacific’ water feature.  You can come vacation here from Las Vegas.)

• Health and social services, which will include overseeing the assessment of medical and other public health needs, food and nutrition, and behavioral health and social services networks.

(Translation: We will continue to feed you scare talk about non-existent ‘toxins.’  This will make you embrace and celebrate eminent domain.) 

• Economic recovery, which will include helping to develop strategies for restoration of economic activity and workforce development….

(Translation: Wailea v2 will have a very healthy economy.)

MN: Council to hold special meeting on debris removal bill

read … Office of Recovery outlines key focus areas in wake of fire

Castle, Waianae homecoming football game canceled out of safety concerns

KHON: …Leading up to the decision to cancel the game was two lockdowns. One on Thursday at Castle High School where the Department of Education said a group of unauthorized students threatened students on campus. It cancelled all outdoor activities while police investigated. Then on Friday, Waianae High School sent out this letter, informing parents about a potential threat to campus.

“That threat was taken seriously like all threats should and with this game there’s still threat of violence present,” said Rep. Cedric Gates (D) Waianae, Makaha….

HNN: “Most of the problems involved the one problem student who bounced around between Waianae and Castle and is now in Nanakuli.”

read … Castle, Waianae homecoming football game canceled out of safety concerns | KHON2

Former Kauai County council candidate in legal trouble

TGI: … A former Kaua‘i County Council candidate, who allegedly abused a teenage family member earlier this year, appeared in Fifth Circuit Court on Tuesday, at which a date was set for him to either accept a guilty plea or head to trial.

Wally Nishimura, who ran for county council in 2018 and 2020, has been charged by the state of Hawai‘i with two counts of physical abuse, according to court records filed on June 13.

According to court records, on May 1, 2023, the 32-year-old physically abused a teenage family or household member “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.”

The unnamed victim was approximately 15 years old at the time of the incident. The physical abuse was also stated to have occurred in the presence of another minor family member who was approximately 13 years old at the time…

read … Former county council candidate in legal trouble

Bums Cleared from Big island Beach Park After threatening beachgoers

BIN: … Earlier today, the Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks and Recreation, in coordination with the Hawaiʻi Police Department, the Office of Housing and Community Development, and various other State agencies and nongovernment service providers, conducted a park rules enforcement effort at Honl’s Beach in Kailua-Kona.

This operation, led by the directive of Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth, aimed to address safety concerns and guarantee compliance with Parks’ rules within the beach grounds.

The Park has been the center of a number of safety complaints over the past month, with many beachgoers citing that they were harassed or attacked by illegal campers in the area. An increased police presence has been necessary as a result….

read … Hawai‘i County conducts park rules enforcement at Honl’s Beach : Big Island Now

Hawai'i Prison Medical Record System Issues Could Cause A Deceased Inmate's Lawsuit to be Dropped

KITV: … Richard Turbin is a Lawyer who specializes in prison medical malpractice cases. For his case, he has been waiting on medical records for an inmate who died from dehydration.

“We have not yet made the claim with Hawai’i state medical inquiry conciliation panel, which you have to do that in two years or the case dies, but to do that we need to have the medical records, so we can explain to the judge and doctor who’s on the medical inquiry panel what happened. So we are in fact getting checkmated from preserving the rights of our client,” said Turbin.

The inmate had died about a year and half ago. Turbin said if they can’t get medical records within two years of the inmate’s death, the inmate loses his right to have a lawsuit heard….

Since August of last year the electronic medical record (EMR) system was reported to be down for two months. About two weeks later the Department of Public Safety said it was back up and running. However in December, it was reported that the system had been up for only two weeks until it broke down again. Since December, the latest update the Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission reported was in March of this year. However, in the latest report the commissioner said there were still bug issues and corrupted tables within the system.

Turbin says he’s been waiting for medical records for his case since March….

read … Hawai'i Prison Medical Record System Issues Could Cause A Deceased Inmate's Lawsuit to be Dropped | Crime & Courts | kitv.com

How Bureaucrats Strangled Lahaina Bike Route That Could have been Evacuation Road

CB: … the West Maui Greenway has fallen victim to what Chamberlain calls  “perpetual planning,” in which public officials agree to develop plans for a project and then it gradually loses momentum among supporters.

“It’s a diversion tactic is what it is, in my opinion,” Chamberlain said. Money gets diverted to the planning process, and then the project gets shelved, he said.

In 2016, then-Mayor Alan Arakawa had hoped to include $1.5 million in the 2017 fiscal year’s budget to launch the first several miles of the West Maui Greenway, county records show. 

Advocates came out to testify in support of the plan before Maui County Council members, and county officials said they intended to start by developing the first phase of the greenway from south of Lahaina to as far north as Lahainaluna Road in town.

Ultimately, the council opted to include just $300,000 for the West Maui Greenway in the final budget for fiscal year 2017. Chamberlain and other project advocates still considered it a good step forward. 

But once that funding was secured, the county Public Works Department appeared to drag its feet, according to Chamberlain.

“They kicked this can down the road for literally a year and a half,” he said, while he and others pressed public works officials to take action.

Then the department decided to change the pilot project’s scope, documents provided by Chamberlain show. Instead of developing the first 5.6 miles of paved trail into town, the department focused on a difficult stretch of less than a mile running through town, from Keawe to Fleming Road.

Chamberlain said county officials refused to provide him with their plans. He had to compel them to release it with help from the state Office of Information Practices

A March 2020 request to OIP shows that Chamberlain asked for that agency’s help in getting a response to his questions regarding the West Maui Greenway. Once Chamberlain obtained those documents, they included a $24,150 estimate for aerial photography of the new, smaller project route.

Chamberlain, a helicopter pilot, said he believed that price was far too expensive. He told Arakawa: “This looks like fraud, waste and abuse.” 

Keawe Street heads into and out of Lahaina on the town’s north side. It intersects with the old cane haul road. (Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2023)

However, that so-called “photogrammetric” aerial imagery work was complex and time-consuming, said Reed Ariyoshi, the managing engineer at Warren S. Unemori Engineering, which gave that cost estimate to the county. The price included surveying and topographic mapping, not just taking pictures from overhead, Ariyoshi said Tuesday.

The county determined it was unable to proceed under the altered scope that it had decided to pursue. The push for a multi-use trail, which could also be used as another evacuation route through Lahaina, was set back several years in the process.

“It got to a certain point and then it dropped off the radar,” Ariyoshi said. “I don’t think the county ever went beyond that to go to the next phase.”…

read … Could West Maui's Old Cane Haul Road Have Helped More People Escape The Fire? - Honolulu Civil Beat

Confidential Information Hinders Public Inquiry on Maui Fires

IM: … The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission in 2022 for a 5-year, $190 million effort to harden grids to withstand fires and hurricanes.

HECO responded to Public Utilities Commission Information Requests in the hardening proceeding on October 2, 2023. “In Hawaii, the western (or leeward) sides of most of the main Hawaiian Islands appear to historically have experienced more wildfires.”

HECO identified wildfire priority areas including several environmental justice communities: Waianae Coast, Waialua, West Maui, Olowalu, Naalehu, and Molokai.

HECO`s responses in the hardening proceeding identified “Ignition Density Maps” that were acquired from the Pacific Fire Exchange. These maps were classified by HECO and are not available for public review even though HECO did not identify these maps in its justification table for restricting the information from the public.

HECO publicly released transmission and sub-transmission maps and substation locations in past regulatory proceedings but no longer does so. …

read … Confidential Information Hinders Public Inquiry on Maui Fires | Ililani Media

Lahaina Fire News:

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