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Friday, October 20, 2023
October 20, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:32 PM :: 1750 Views

HIEMA: Dozens of Sirens Inoperable

Honolulu Hale to be illuminated in blue and white in solidarity with Israel

“Sneaky Bulls***” Billions at Stake as Public Utilities Commission Opens Fire Inquiry

IM: … The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued an extraordinary order yesterday that could substantially change what we all know about how the Maui fires are affecting the Hawaiian Electric Companies….

A non-docket is a round-about way of getting information without establishing a regulatory procedural order. It is a way of avoiding pesky issues like entities with interests filing motions to intervene. 

Some consider this bullshit, a sneaky way of minimizing public participation in an issue of enormous significance to the public, especially if taxpayers wind up paying billions of dollars ….

SA Editorial: Don’t delay HECO fire safety review

read … Public Utilities Commission Opens Non-Docket Fire Inquiry

Water meter charges to Double under BWS Plan

SA: …The monthly meter charge, noted as the Customer Charge on a BWS bill, is based on the size of the meter. Single-family residences typically have a 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meter, which are the smallest and cost the least. The monthly charge for those sized meters would rise to $20.18 from $12.09 under the BWS proposal. The monthly charge for larger meters now ranges from $15.28 to $598.53, depending on the size of the meter, and would range from $25.50 to $999.02 in the final year of the proposed rate hike. The meter charge is in addition to a customer’s water charge, which is based on water usage.

read … Kokua Line: Why would water meter charge rise too?

One Real, Three Fake: 4 possible Oahu landfill sites under scrutiny, city official says

SA: … Four alternate sites to replace the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei could include federally owned properties in West Oahu and on the Windward side, a top city official says.

Potential sites for Hono­lulu’s next solid waste dump, according to city Department of Environmental Services Director Roger Babcock, include:

  • Lualualei in Waianae (real)
  • Iroquois Point (fake, high water table)
  • Waipio Peninsula near Pearl Harbor (fake, high water table)
  • a property near Bellows Beach in Waimanalo (Bellows?  Are you laughing?)

Other future landfill locations on military or federal land have yet to be identified, he said….

(Reality: Continue at Waimanalo gulch)

Big Q: With four possibilities, will the city be able to site a new landfill by the end of 2024?  

SA: Editorial: Keep pushing for new landfill site 

read … 4 possible Oahu landfill sites under scrutiny, city official says

PUC Approves Big Maui Solar Farm with Panels Made by Muslim Slaves

IM: … Maui Electric (MECO) submitted their power purchase agreement (PPA) with AES Kuihelani Solar for a 60-MW solar facility paired with a 240-MWh battery energy storage system to the Public Utilities Commission on December 31, 2018.

The PUC conditionally approved the power purchase agreement on March 25, 2019, and approved the PPA amendment relating to interconnection on October 1, 2021.

The project was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Withhold Release Order, affecting import of silica-based products from Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. Ltd., located in the Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous Region in China….

(Translation: Muslim slave labor in Xinjian forced to make solar panels.  Solution. Load slave-made goods on truck, ship to Thailand and re-label ‘made in Thailand’.  LINK)

2021: Biden signs bill banning goods from China's Xinjiang over forced labor

2023: Department of Commerce Issues Final Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules from China | U.S. Department of Commerce

read … PUC Approves AES Kuihelani Solar Project

Miske Co-Defendants who pleaded guilty this week will not have to testify

ILind: … This appears to mean prosecutors do not believe their testimony is needed to make their cases at trial.

In Moon’s plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 15 years, and took no position on whether that should be served concurrently with any other sentences Moon is serving on the state crimes he was previously convicted of, or consecutively, meaning that the federal sentence would not begin until he completes the state prison terms. Prosecutors said they would leave that decision to the discretion of the court at sentencing.

Young’s guilty plea to a drug trafficking offense entails a maximum 20-year sentence, according to the plea agreement, although it apparently avoided a provision that had a 10-year maximum…. 

ILind: Correcting the record

CB: Two More Miske Defendants Plead But Without Agreement To Cooperate

read … Defendants who pleaded guilty this week will not have to testify

Expert: State’s delay in activating emergency hub for wildfire likely hindered response

HNN: … The 911 calls from Lahaina started pouring in about 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 8.

One man asked a dispatcher, “It’s really scary. What are we supposed to do?”

In the hours that followed, Maui County dispatch received thousands of emergency calls, many from people trapped inside the wind whipped fire storm that was rapidly sweeping through the town….

Despite all those calls, officials in charge of heading up both the county and state’s emergency response seemed oblivious to the severity of the situation unfolding on the ground.

At the same time that people were jumping into the ocean to escape flames, Mayor Richard Bissen said this on HNN’s 6 p.m. news: ”I’m happy to report that the road is open to and from Lahaina.”

Then about 10:00 p.m., seven hours after the wildfire sparked, acting Gov.Sylvia Luke and the head of the state’s Emergency Management Agency — Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara — did an interview with HNN Investigates in which they were seemingly unaware the town had already been leveled….

That string of apparently uniformed statements prompted HNN Investigates to submit public records requests asking for sign-in sheets listing who was in the county and state emergency operations centers on the day of the fire and when those critical hubs were officially activated.

A spokesperson from the state told HNN that “no record is available” to answer our questions because the state EOC “was not fully activated” the day the Lahaina fire started and “no sign in sheet was maintained.” In a follow-up email, a spokesperson said “numerous state emergency support functions were activated on Aug. 9,” the day after the disaster.

The spokesperson added that “full activation” started at 6 a.m. on Aug. 10.

When HNN asked Hara, the head of EOC, why it took so long, the story changed.

The state now claims a top Hawaii Emergency Management official, Administrator James Barros, ordered a full activation “late” on Aug. 8 and that personnel reported for duty “starting the following morning.” But the state wouldn’t give us specific times and when HNN asked for an interview with Hara, we were told he is currently on leave and that no one else was available to speak to us….

The state confirms Barros along with his executive officer and an operations branch chief were in the state Warning Point the evening of Aug. 8.

The resilience branch chief and communications director worked remotely….

read … Expert: State’s delay in activating emergency hub for wildfire likely hindered response

More Than A Quarter Of Lahaina Students Are Attending New Schools

CB: … Although Lahaina schools reopened this week, many students have not returned.

Roughly 3,000 students were enrolled at the four schools at the start of the academic year. That number has since dropped closer to 2,100 students, Deputy Superintendent Tammi Oyadomari-Chun said at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. A significant number of the students who are enrolled also did not show up for the first day of classes.

The Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahienaena campuses reopened this week after being closed since the Aug. 8 fires. King Kamehameha III Elementary, which was destroyed in the wildfires, will share facilities with Princess Nahienaena until a temporary campus reopens in 2024.

Many of the remaining students who are no longer enrolled in the Lahaina schools are now attending other DOE schools on Maui. Approximately 240 students are attending other Hawaii schools, and 60 have moved off-island, according to the DOE’s presentation….

Even among families enrolled in the Lahaina schools, not all students came to campus for the first day of school. While Lahainaluna High saw 88% of its enrolled students arrive on campus Monday, only 55% of students enrolled at King Kamehameha III Elementary attended classes on the first day of school….

SA: 3 Lahaina public schools to reopen are 500 students short

read … More Than A Quarter Of Lahaina Students Are Attending New Schools

Long-stalled TMT project gets new NSF funding

HNN: … There’s first-time funding for the embattled Thirty Meter Telescope from the National Science Foundation, but officials say the new infusion of cash doesn’t mean construction is imminent.

The foundation is an independent federal agency that supports science and engineering.

TMT told Hawaii News Now the first $6.5 million award is for design and development and does not represent a commitment for construction….

NSF says it’ll consider construction funding in 2025….

read .. Long-stalled TMT project gets new NSF funding

Blocked by NIMBYs, North Shore Landowner Angles for Eminent Domain Buyout

KITV: … Currently, there are food trucks, where the development will take place. According to the developer, Hanapohaku LLC, it says they are working hard to make sure these businesses will continue operating during the development.

Hanapohaku released a statement to Island News saying “The plan for the Rural Community Commercial Center has been a labor of love and a passion project for a long time North Shore family. They have followed all permitting processes fully as well as followed the 2011 North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan precisely.”

In a fact sheet, Hanapohaku said they followed all protocols to make McCully’s Corner happen and that they’ve had permission to start the development for years with all nine votes of approval from the city council. As for traffic, the company also states that traffic concerns have been mitigated with better turning and merging for Kamehameha Highway as well as providing goods and services so residents do not need to drive through turtle traffic to Haleiwa.

However, residents are also saying the area should be used to help locals and not be another place for tourists to go to.

“There’s an alternative idea out there to use that property to turn it into an emergency response hub and the community supports that. So you would have EMS, lifeguard folks, and maybe DLNR. It would be a much better use for that piece of property than a commercial center,” said John Thielst, North Shore Resident….

(TRANSLATION: If they can’t build, eminent domain can be used to buy their property.)

read … North Shore Residents Concerned about the Development of McCully's Corner

Suspect in firearms arrest that caused school lockdown was free pending trial for auto theft

HTH: … Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii went briefly into a “soft lockdown” Thursday morning as police officers arrested a 52-year-old man walking along Highway 11 in Keaau with a handgun.

At 9:06 a.m., Puna patrol officers received a report of a man walking along the highway near the school holding what appeared to be a handgun….

At the time of his arrest Thursday, Tagalicud was free on supervised release — a form of cashless bail — stemming from a 2021 charge of unauthorized control of a stolen vehicle.

The charge is a Class C felony, and standard terms for conditional pretrial release on felony charges include to not own or possess any firearms or ammunition.

Tagalicud on Thursday was charged on a bench warrant issued by Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota to revoke the supervised release, and the judge set a bail amount of $2,000. Tagalicud is undergoing a court-ordered mental exam in the stolen vehicle case.

(How school shootings happen: Mental case has gun, but law-abiding gun owners are denied.)

Tagalicud also previously was involved in an arson incident.

In that 2017 case, he was granted a deferred acceptance of his guilty plea to a charge of second-degree arson — which means the conviction for the Class B felony was expunged from his criminal record after he successfully completed four years probation.

Tagalicud remains in the Hilo Police Station cellblock while East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section detectives continue to investigate potential firearms charges.

read … Suspect in firearms arrest that caused school lockdown was free pending trial for auto theft - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

A gun buyback is coming to Honolulu for the first time in decades

CB: … Saturday’s gun buyback event, hosted by the state Department of Law Enforcement, will be held at two locations — the Department of Health parking lot at 1250 Punchbowl St. and in the Department of Transportation’s Waianae Corporate Base Yard at 85-630 Farrington Highway — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Gun owners can bring their unloaded firearms in the trunks of their cars for law enforcement to retrieve and later destroy. 

The voluntary program operates on an anonymous, “no questions asked” basis, said Jordan Lowe, director of the Department of Law Enforcement. 

Participants will receive $100 gift cards to Foodland for handguns, rifles, shotguns, bump stocks and Glock switches. They’ll get $200 gift cards for any automatic firearm, semi-automatic rifle or ghost gun. Law enforcement will also be handing out free gun locks. 

Saturday’s event will cost around $90,000 and is funded partially through a federal Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The state was awarded a $99,761 grant this year.

If the buyback on Oahu is successful, Lowe said more will be planned on neighbor islands….

read … Cops Want Guns Off The Streets. But Are Buyback Programs The Way?

Homeless Drug Addicts Robbing Grave in Moiliili

KHON: … Community members said broken glass, dumped clothes and vandalized graves are common sights at the Moiliili Japanese Cemetery….

“Those are people that are probably high on something and are just throwing things against whatever they can find,” Ruby said, “and then we have to clean up the glass because it’s dangerous. So, it’s a major, major problem.”

Police opened a theft investigation during the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 14 after someone damaged the grave of Ann Henna-Suganuma’s grandmother by smashing open the crypt door….

read … Family crypt vandalized, ongoing concerns in Moiliili | KHON2

Lahaina Fire News:




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