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Saturday, October 21, 2023
October 21, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:31 PM :: 1731 Views

Hawaii Health Department 'Commitment to Transgender Rights'

Mayor Bissen hosting Maui community budget meetings for Fiscal Year 2025

Defend Hawaii: Mainland Drug Dealer Starts Selling in Hilo, gets Busted Within Two Weeks

‘Huge Red Flag’ Debris cleanup phase begins in Kula, Olinda after company raided by FBI lands $52.5M contract

MN: … Christopher Dawson, the founder and chairman of the Hawaiian Native Corp. and CEO of Dawson, stepped down shortly after, and Johnson was named CEO, Civil Beat reported in July.

“It is unfortunate that the visit by federal investigators was characterized as a ‘raid,’ “ Johnson said Thursday. “They came to request information from our Honolulu offices, and we gladly cooperated. It is important to note the ongoing investigation was not directed at DAWSON or any of our operating companies. Although we have not been informed about what they may be specifically seeking, we have been told there may have been financial or tax irregularities, so we have fully cooperated and provided all of the information they have requested.”…

The FBI Honolulu office said by phone Wednesday that it is “neither able to confirm nor deny such an investigation exists.”

Edward Rivera, regional public affairs specialist for the Army Corps of Engineers, said via email on Wednesday that the agency “does not know the details of the investigation” and that it chose Dawson because, after the vetting process, the company “was eligible for contract award and award was made.” Several Native Hawaiian Organization 8(a) contractors were considered for the sole-source contract, and each were vetted for their technical capability, available capacity and past performance, among other requirements, Rivera said.

When asked if the investigation would interfere with Dawson’s work on Maui, Rivera responded, “The Government determined that DAWSON Services LLC (DAWSON) is a responsible contractor eligible for a contract award. DAWSON must perform the required services per the contract. If they cannot perform the services, the Government has an appropriate mechanism with the contract terms to hold DAWSON accountable.”

But state Sen. Angus McKelvey, whose district covers West Maui and whose condo was damaged but survived the fire, said that he has “concerns across the board” with the selection of Dawson.

“I have huge concerns because of the fact that they got raided,” he said Wednesday. “What’s going to happen in the future if they’re in the middle of an awarded contract job and all of a sudden they’re shut down by the feds and that’s that?”

McKelvey acknowledged that “they have the right to due process,” but that “my concern is that’s a huge red flag.”

He said he’s also worried that choosing a company that’s not based on Maui will drive up costs, pointing out that off-island businesses have to ship in equipment and personnel, pay for flights and find lodging. Many of them end up hiring Maui companies anyway to help with the work, turning contractors who get the original project award into “the middleman.”…

read … Debris cleanup phase begins in Kula, Olinda after company lands $52.5M contract | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News

Again With This? HART Claims Feds to Resume Rail Funding Soon

CB: … Lori Kahikina, executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said (claimed) Friday the FTA wants to sign a new Full Funding Grant Agreement with the city in late December. That would immediately clear the way for $125 million in federal funding.

(CLUE: HART bosses have lied about this FTA agreement being around the corner for 9 years now.)

That would be a major milestone for the Honolulu project because the FTA has withheld $744 million in federal funds since 2014 as the city struggled to resolve cost overruns and a long series of construction delays.….

(REALITY: Most likely it just ain’t gonna happen.)

read … Feds Want To Sign A New Deal By Dec. 31 To Resume Rail Funding

Maui Fire Chief Details Lahaina Fire Timeline

KITV: … Chief Brad Ventura presented a timeline of the August 8th Lahaina on half of the Maui Fire Department. KITV4 was given a unique inside look at the latest Maui Fire and Public Safety Commission Meeting.

The report showed that, after an initial half hour, it took one hour for the fire to jump the Lahaina Bypass and then make its way down into town and cross Honoapiilani highway.

Maui Fire Chief Brad Ventura's presentation to the commission gives a complete picture of how the fire moved on August 8th. 

"1500 hours, our units were on scene this area," Ventura said, pointing to the 1,000 acre plus land mass owned by Bishop Estate.

"By 1522, it had gone from the initial starting area to, it jumped the highway and it was headed down south," Ventura told commissioners, showing on a map where the fire continued below the bypass near Kelawea Mauka Makai park.

"By 1538, in this area here, we had multiple structures on fire already," Ventura said of the Kelawea Mauka neighborhood.

"1627 it had already gotten below Honoapiilani Highway," Ventura said of the fire arriving in the vicinity of Highway 30 and then crossing.

"Now remember just like many of these large disaster fires and wildfires that are wind-driven it doesn't mean that everything in between those last two points was completely consumed yet," Ventura said, "Fire was traveling and it was the growth of the fire was caused by embers."

"So by 1627 we had fire below the highway area here," Ventura indicated the area of Highway 30 and Lahainaluna.

"By 1727 over towards the cannery down below Kahoma we had roofs of buildings on fire that was reported to us," Ventura indicated the area on the north section of the Front Street burn zone.

"And then later by 1900 Puamana area Shaw Street and Front Street near Shaw was fully engulfed," Ventura indicated the southern end of the burn zone.

"And then later in the evening about 2133, that's when the homes were impacted on the north end of Wahikuli, at the very top," Ventura said of the neighborhood north of Lahaina Gateway.…

read … Maui Fire Chief Details Lahaina Fire Timeline

Empty Talk: Many housing options being ‘considered’ for Maui evacuees

SA: …Maui already needed an estimated 5,000 new homes even before the Aug. 8 wildfires damaged or destroyed 3,526 structures, most of them residences, according to Gov. Josh Green….

Until Lahaina can be rebuilt one day, Green, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others are pushing to find longer-term housing for 6,879 fire evacuees who were still staying in Maui hotels this week, most of them in Kaanapali.

Or as Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Friday, “essentially 3,000 locations for 3,000 families that were displaced.” The 3,526 structures include those that were destroyed or so heavily damaged that they cannot be occupied, including those without water and electricity…

(CLUE: Restore water and electricity to the otherwise livable homes to get them housed right away.  This is the quickest way to add livable units right now.) 

read … Many housing options being considered for Maui evacuees

Maui service providers sound the alarm as calls to domestic violence hotline spike

HNN: … In the two months since the Maui wildfires devastated Lahaina, Kaaihue says calls to their hotline have shot up. Typically around this time of year, the hotline gets 150 to 250 calls per month.

Since the devastating wildfires, it’s been getting 300 additional calls per month.

Kaaihue says Maui County sees nearly 800 temporary restraining orders each year and because of the wildfires, they are bracing for more domestic violence.

That’s what has happened during other disasters, including during the COVID lockdowns.….

read … Maui service providers sound the alarm as calls to domestic violence hotline spike

Hawai‘i Has the Longest Life Expectancy in the Nation, But Not for Everyone

HB: …By 2030, 22.6% of Hawai‘i’s population will be 65 and older, straining a health care system that’s already short of geriatricians, the doctors who specialize in older patient care….

read … Hawai‘i Has the Longest Life Expectancy in the Nation, But Not for Everyone

What happens when a Game Room is Evicted?

SA: … The 25-year-old Maili woman accused of trying to kill a 23-year-old woman with a car and a handgun the night of Oct. 5 had allegedly threatened Sept. 13 to burn down a Maili rental home she was evicted from for alleged nonpayment of rent, illegal drug and gaming activities that prompted a raid, and more.

Lenee Ongaro, arraigned Thursday in Circuit Court, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree attempted murder of Jonah Merlene Hoopili on Oct. 5 in the driveway of a Waianae home by allegedly shooting at and striking her with a vehicle owned by a car dealership. She also pleaded not guilty to place to keep pistol or revolver and possession or use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.

Ongaro is due in Honolulu District Court on Oct. 31 regarding an extension of a temporary restraining order sought by Lee Nakadomari, the landlord’s wife, who alleges neighbors heard Ongaro say Sept. 13 that she would burn down the house, and that she left lighter fluid in the garage of the Maili house she had been evicted from for negligence of rental payment, having illegal drug and gaming activities on the premises, severe property damage, creating a disturbance and nuisance and an uptick in foot traffic. Despite having been served two eviction letters in May, she continued to remain at the property….

read ... Evicted

Hawaii Developers Settle Lawsuit Over Lack Of Accessibility Features

CB: … Fifteen Hawaii developers have agreed to settle a lawsuit for $120,000 after the Justice Department accused them of failing to build multiple housing complexes with required accessibility features for people with disabilities.

The developers will also be required to make “extensive retrofits” at the developments, which include four properties on Maui and one on Oahu.

The Justice Department sued the developers in 2019 claiming that they violated the Fair Housing Act and announced the settlement agreement on Friday. The agreement must still be approved by the U.S. District Court in Hawaii.

The defendant developers are Albert C. Kobayashi Inc., Martin V. Cooper, Design Partners Inc., Michael N. Goshi, Fritz Johnson Inc., Frederick M. Johnson, Stanford Carr Development LLC, SCD Wailea Fairways LLC, Sato & Associates Inc., Fukumoto Engineering Inc., Rojac Construction Inc., Delta Construction Corp., Warren S. Unemori Engineering Inc., GYA Architects Inc. and Goodfellow Bros. LLC….

read … Hawaii Developers Settle Lawsuit Over Lack Of Accessibility Features

Lahaina Fire News: 

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