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Monday, October 23, 2023
October 23, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:18 PM :: 4999 Views

Right to Rebuild? No Building Permits Issued Since Lahaina Fire 

Hawaii Director of Housing Stands on Street Corner Spreading Lies About Israel 

KITV: … It was a scene of passionate pleas for justice on both sides as dozens of Muslim and Jewish residents took to the streets to protest right across from each other in Ala Moana.

"It's about justice. It's about love. It's about compassion," said (Hawaii Public Housing Director) Hakim Ouansafi of the Muslim Association of Hawaii. "We're here just to say value every life the same."…

(IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

The Muslim Association of Hawaii said Israel is committing genocide, with Palestinian civilians caught in the middle of nonstop bombing and many cut off from water, food and medicine in Gaza. Jewish residents said their people are being targeted with the sole purpose of annihilation….

REALITY: Hamas attack should be recognized as an act of terrorism - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Hawaii “Islam Day” secretly marks September 11

On the trail to Hawaii Islam Day: Saudi money, Libyan assassins, Palestinian Jihad, London bombers, Malaysian sodomy, and laughing Islamists

‘Unindicted Co-conspirator’ Owns Manoa Mosque

Brookings: Muslims expel reformer from Manoa mosque, claim Arabs discovered Hawaii

2011: Hakim “Islam Day” Ouansafi to Direct Hawaii Public Housing Agency

BACKGROUND: A Short History of Islam in Hawaii

read … Israel-Hamas war sparks protests at Ala Moana

CNHA Cash: Plan to Push Lahaina Survivors out of Hotels

HNN: … some fire survivors feel they are being pushed out.

It’s been nearly three months since fires tore through Lahaina and Upcountry Maui, displacing thousands of residents.

Bissen said as of last Tuesday, there are still around 7,000 fire survivors staying in 36 hotels on the Valley Isle, that’s down roughly 20 percent from a month ago.

“We want to encourage people to go out of the hotels and into staying with families,” said Bissen….

The mayor hopes more will take advantage of the Council For Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Host Families program that the county is partnering with.

“It can happen in any of the four counties. So, if you are a family that will take an impacted family, we will pay you $375 per person. Up to four people and up to $1500; we will pay that directly to the host families.”…

(Really Obvious Question: What is CNHA’s cut?)

(Another Really Obvious Question: How can this go wrong?  Let us count the ways.)

read … Maui County encouraging thousands of fire survivors to move out of hotels, live with host families (hawaiinewsnow.com)

“A very different population to move into the Lahaina area”

CB: … Just over half the people living in Lahaina were renters -- a far higher percentage than the state average. Houses in the area also tended to be slightly older than in the rest of the state, which helped create pockets of relatively affordable housing. 

The fact that a majority of people living in the town were renters is important, says Justin Tyndall of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, because they could have few options in a market that is likely to become much more expensive. 

Even if identical houses are rebuilt where an old home burned down, it’s unlikely that a home built today will rent for the same amount as a 40-year-old rental that a family had occupied for decades. 

“I think it's pretty unavoidable, which means there'll be a potentially very different population that's able to move back into the Lahaina area,” he said.

Despite the pockets of affordability in Lahaina, renters were already struggling. In 2000, roughly 1 in 4 of renters were spending more than a third of their income on rent. By 2021, the number of cost-burdened renters had doubled. 

Many of the people who owned homes were also stretched financially. Nearly 12% of people with a mortgage also had a home equity loan or second mortgage. …

read … Lahaina Was ‘Grappling’ With Rising Inequality Before The Fires

CNHA $19M and another $25M for ‘Cultural Monitors’ to oversee CNHA $54.5M Lahaina Cleanup 

CB: … Last week, the corps awarded a $19 million contract to AEPAC, a woman-owned, Honolulu-based firm, for cultural monitoring of the cleanup.

The subcontractors include Na Aikane o Maui, Aina Archeology, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Brandis Sarich Art + Architecture. Their work will focus on wildfire damage evaluation, assessment of historic and cultural properties and carrying out an archeological treatment plan under guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The archeological plan requires having traditional practitioners with specialized knowledge on the ground to monitor debris removal. Their duties include performing cultural protocols and providing oversight to prevent damage to cultural resources, Edward Rivera, a Corps spokesman, said by email….

Kapu is one of more than 20 cultural monitors from Na Aikane o Maui Inc., a cultural nonprofit whose Front Street location was destroyed in the Aug. 8 wildfire, one of over 2,200 structures that succumbed to flames.

Na Aikane o Maui is a subcontractor to Environmental Quality Management, an environmental consulting firm owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corp. an Alaska Native corporation. With annual revenue of nearly $4 billion in 2022, Arctic Slope is considered a disadvantaged business because of its Native ownership, giving it preferential treatment in government contracting.

The EPA has awarded EQM a $25 million contract to handle various aspects of Lahaina’s recovery. The work includes ensuring that the town’s rich cultural history is preserved as much as possible during cleanup….

read … What a Racket

Lahaina: Many Students have not returned to school 

SA: … As expected, enrollments at the four Lahaina schools have dropped, compared to pre-Aug. 8 numbers: Lahainaluna High is at 88%, with 853 now enrolled out of 1,012 prefire; Lahaina Intermediate is at 80%, with 436 currently enrolled.

But it’s the two elementary schools that are particularly concerning. Just 470 students, or 71% of prefire enrollment, are returning to Princess Nahienaena Elementary, which is now sharing its campus with King Kamehameha III Elementary; that school was damaged beyond repair and a temporary facility won’t be ready until mid-January or so. Not surprising, but very worrisome, is that King Kamehameha III enrollment has plunged since Aug. 8: just 55% of students — 380 of 624 — are enrolled in school….

read … Editorial: Help students get back into school | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

HPD Sgt Gives Recidivist Violent Drunk Driver a Free Pass

CB: … A Honolulu police sergeant got a one-day suspension after he let a suspected drunken driver walk away from a traffic stop with only a citation. He was trying to avoid a potentially dangerous confrontation with an offender who’d been violent with police in the past, he told internal affairs investigators. …

Just before 2 a.m. on June 26, 2020, then-Sgt. Sonny Roden responded to the intersection of Hunakai and Keanu streets, where officers in East Honolulu’s District 7 had pulled over someone they suspected of driving drunk. 

The driver, whose name and pronouns are redacted in the report, had been charged with driving under the influence more than a week prior, and officers had to use force during the arrest. 

(CLUE: If you knew who the driver was, it would suddenly all make sense.  Some people are above the law.)

The driver was uncooperative, refused to exit the vehicle and asked to speak to a supervisor. One officer told Roden he could smell alcohol from five feet away. 

The driver refused to answer questions and argued with officers. At one point, the driver took out a cellphone and started recording them. 

Roden asked the other officers to step away from the car so he could speak to the driver alone. There was a dog in the car.

Roden decided the driver, who lived nearby, could take the dog and walk home. No arrest would be made and only a citation would be issued.

The driver then appeared to try to start the vehicle. “Do not start this vehicle,” Roden said. “Please, listen to me … I’m giving you an out right here.”  …

After a few minutes of arguing, the driver got out of the vehicle. Roden told the other officers on scene that he was allowing the driver to walk away with just a citation. 

That didn’t sit well with some of the officers. One asked why the driver wasn’t going to be arrested. 

“Not for this,” Roden responded. “It’s not worth it. We’re going to have to use force for this.” 

As a supervisor, he explained (without snickering), he had to look out for the safety of his officers. …

(REALITY: Somebody is getting special treatment, but we don’t know who.)

read … HPD Sergeant Let A Combative Driver Walk Home

Oahu Gun Buyback event raises concerns in the community

KITV: …“These gun buyback events do not take criminals' guns off the streets, just kupuna turning in their old guns. That might prevent accidents at home but there is no evidence backing that up," said Roberts.

Roberts adds throwing away or turning in your guns does not teach keiki about gun violence. He said gun violence prevention starts in classrooms.

Hawaii Firearm Coalition did attend the gun buy back event. They estimate the value of all the guns turned in at somewhere around $90,000.

“I saw some rifles that were from the World War II era and I know for a fact they would’ve sold for more than $1,000 each. Someone turned in a glock handgun that could be sold for at least $500 used. These people are turning them in because they’re led to believe this somehow helps the community,” said Roberts.

HFC will be requesting information about the origin of these guns as soon as it becomes available ….

read … Oahu Gun Buyback event raises concerns in the community | Local | kitv.com

Cyber Terrorism: Hu Honua goes Nuclear -- is Seeking a Come-Back

IM: … The most likely future scenario is that Hu Honua has submitted a bid in the latest HELCO Request for Proposals, whereby Hu Honua wants to produce electricity for HELCO and would like to generate hydrogen for the County and for Henk Rogers Blue Planet Research….

Earlier this year, Hu Honua Bioenergy convinced the County of Hawaii to approve all the outstanding after-the-fact permits.

The County released its Draft General Plan that included a proposed doubling of the industrially zoned area around Hu Honua. Under community pressure, the deadline to file comments has been extended until March 1, 2024….

Seeking to destabilize its chief opponent, Hu Honua accused Life of the Land as being a "cyber terrorist" and sent legal documents to regulators and threats to Life of the Land. The problem with firing an unfounded, unsubstantiated, and groundless nuclear attack against an opponent, is that the attack creates a powerful backlash. The genesis of this issue will be the subject of intense discovery in subsequent regulatory proceedings….

read … Hu Honua Bioenergy is Seeking a Come-Back

Film studio measure gets city, state support

SA: … Bill 59 garnered support from Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration as well as the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, among others at the Council’s Committee on Budget meeting last week.

Introduced by Council member Augie Tulba, the measure would provide greater real property tax incentives for eligible film studio facilities to move here — for those willing to spend at least $100 million toward local improvements.

It would also expand opportunities for budding filmmakers — particularly for students enrolled in the University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media System — to earn a living wage, and allow local workers to remain in the state. By state estimates, calculated between 2017 and 2022, the local film industry generates about $400 million annually and supports over 4,200 jobs in Hawaii.

But to bolster Bill 59’s intent to draw and keep more film productions on Oahu, the city administration offered its own amendments to the measure.

Those city amendments include seeing film studios established on a minimum 10-acre property for a five-year period or upon issuance of a certification of completion by the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

The city would also establish an exemption of the assessed building value of film studios for a period not to exceed 20 years, provided the owner of a film studio promotes economic expansion of “the motion picture, film and digital media industry in the city throughout the exemption period,” the amendment reads….

Big Q: Should property tax breaks be given to incentivize new film studios on Oahu?

read … Film studio measure gets city, state support

Is The Condominium Model Of Housing Crumbling?

CB: … The state’s condominium statute was written for those who build, sell, buy, and manage condominiums, and focused upon the transactional aspect of condominiums. Prior to its enactment as HRS 514B, an advisory committee of attorneys reviewed the draft of this condominium statute.

Statutes that were added as afterthoughts to protect association members (owners) are mostly unenforceable, possibly written to maximize the use of attorneys to interpret these vague statutes and associations’ governing documents as they please.

The condominium governance model manifests itself as private mini-governments.
Consolidating the three branches of government into a board with no “checks and balances” against its centralized top-down power, these boards’ directors yield considerable power without accountability under the altruistic shield of being “volunteers.”

Under the façade of legality, boards have used their associations’ attorneys’ exorbitant fees to quell inquiry, crush complaint, and vanquish dissidents. These boards have the power to abuse, intimidate, censure, and discredit those members who question or oppose their decisions or actions.

Boards can and have destroyed lives through unregulated fines, liens, and foreclosures without due process for what would be considered petty and vindictive reasons that have little to do with the operation, safety, or health of the association, its members or property.

This unchecked power also allows malfeasance to proliferate. For years, experts from the insurance industry warned that Hawaii had among the most directors and officers liability insurance claims and among the highest insurance settlements nationally, despite our state’s comparatively minute population.

Every week, condo owners throughout the state report allegations of financial misconduct which are difficult to uncover without access to the associations’ financials. As if to corroborate these allegations, many management companies and/or boards decline or refuse to respond to owners’ requests to access and examine those documents or create financial barriers that make examination of those documents difficult.

Most lawmakers have ignored these escalating problems, pacified by the claims of the condominium trade industry that there are only a handful of disgruntled owners and that malfeasant dysfunctional boards are rare. They appear deaf to constituents who have substantive experiences and concerns to address.

Given that condominiums are economically important to Hawaii, strategic to “affordable housing,” and that most new housing are developed as some type of common interest community, the statutes should go beyond protecting the public in their real estate transactions….

read … Is The Condominium Model Of Housing Crumbling? - Honolulu Civil Beat

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