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Thursday, December 7, 2023
December 7, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 11:21 AM :: 1019 Views

Forgotten Honouliuli: Jack Burns, Police Spy

Bribe-Payers OK to keep Working: DPP building permits bill advances without criminal punishment parts

SA: … The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Wednesday on the second of three readings for a measure that initially sought to end years of corruption within the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

But the original purpose of Bill 36, to disallow building permit applicants who’ve been convicted of a criminal offense involving the acceptance of a bribe or who caused a DPP official to be convicted of the same, has changed.

Although it still retains its stated purpose to deny access to city-approved building permits to those with criminal histories, the content of Bill 36 now appears quite different.

Notably, the criminal punishment portions of the measure, including bribery, have been removed.

“The original draft, which DPP put forth to Council, disqualified persons from submitting or working on applications to DPP who pled guilty to or were convicted of a criminal offense involving the payment of a bribe to a government official within the previous 10 years, among other offenders,” DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna previously told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “The current draft removes those provisions.”

Previously, Council member Calvin Say, who chairs the Committee on Zoning which is reviewing Bill 36, did not immediately respond to questions as to why criminal provisions in Bill 36 were jettisoned….

CB: Honolulu’s Building Permit Delays: A ‘Nightmare’ Decades In The Making

read … DPP building permits bill advances without criminal punishment parts

DHHL in no Hurry to Build Lahaina Burn Zone Project

MN: … The timing of construction for the next phase of the Villages of Leiali’i subdivision mauka of the Lahaina Civic Center “will follow recovery of the project’s surrounding area” impacted by the fires, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands said in a report last month.

Recovery work in the surrounding area may involve hazardous debris and material removal and environmental testing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the DHHL said in its final environmental assessment for the $75 million project that received a finding of no significant impact.

The Villages of Leali’i, Villages 1-B, will consist of 86 single-family units and 95 single-family lots on 51 acres of DHHL land north of Lealii Parkway and the existing Village 1-A subdivision.

DHHL said an alternative to the plan involving a single-family and multifamily mixed development of up to 250 units has been considered but the current plan was selected based on beneficiary preferences and the ability to provide larger individual lot sizes.

The Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfires did burn vegetation on the project’s vacant land….

read … Housing project’s timing depends on Lahaina recovery | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News

Possible Scenarios For Hawaii's Republican Presidential Caucus

CB: …, In switching from a convention selection process, we hoped the caucus would help the party register and identify local Republicans, generate momentum for the general election and boost the party bank accounts with a $10,000 filing fee charged to presidential candidates who wanted their names on the ballot.

It worked better than expected. The caucus attracted over 10,000 people, many of whom were previously unregistered with the party. In 2016, 15,672 voters participated in the caucuses….

For those interested in participating in the 2024 Hawaii Republican presidential caucus, visit the Hawaii GOP’s website for details….

read … Possible Scenarios For Hawaii's Republican Presidential Caucus 

Pay raise, expanded evaluation proposed for state schools chief

SA: … Proposals to raise state schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi’s annual salary by $10,000 to $250,000, and to expand his annual evaluation criteria to include performance in high-priority areas such as school facilities and Maui emergency response, are scheduled to be considered today by a state Board of Education committee.

The proposals are on the agenda of the meeting of the board’s Human Resource Committee, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Queen Liliuokalani Building, 1390 Miller St., Room 404….

Committee Chair Shanty Asher said in a memo dated today to the other seven committee members that the state school superintendent oversees a statewide educational system that includes “excluded managerial” employees and managerial employees covered under union bargaining unit 6 of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and those employees received a 4.6% pay adjustment effective July 1.

“A similar adjustment to Superintendent Hayashi’s current annual salary would yield a salary of $251,040, in excess of the statutory cap of $250,000,” Asher said. So Asher said that she recommends raising Hayashi’s salary to the maximum $250,000 set for the superintendent’s position by Hawaii Revised Statutes. The increase would be retroactive to July 1 this year.

The original contract also stipulated among its benefits an automobile allowance of $325 per month. The proposed amendment to the contract says the superintendent would receive “an automobile allowance” without designating a dollar amount.

Dec 5, 2023: Hawaii BoE to Evaluate Hayashi Secretly?

read …  Pay raise, expanded evaluation proposed for state schools chief

Hawaiian Electric seeks federal trial amid dozens of Maui wildfire lawsuits

HNN: … Attorneys for Hawaiian Electric Company, who face dozens of lawsuits blaming the utility for the Maui fires, are trying to get the cases tried in federal court and not on Maui.

Most of the lawsuits say MECO either caused the fires when high winds sparked downed power lines or didn’t do enough to prevent the risk or the damage once the fires began.

Now, HECO is asking the federal courts to try the case in Honolulu with a federal judge.

They argue that federal jurisdiction is possible because one of the many companies and agencies being sued is out of state….

CB: Maui Fire Victims Fight To Keep Lawsuits On Maui - Honolulu Civil Beat

read … Hawaiian Electric seeks federal trial amid dozens of Maui wildfire lawsuits

Hawaiian Electric RFP Winners Are Currently Secret

IM: … HECO, MECO, and HELCO are seeking 605 to 805 MW of new capacity through the RFP-3 process.

What is confusing about each is that public notification of who won what is not a component of the RFP process.

Sometime between when developers are notified about being a winner in HECO`s RFP-3 process (December 1, 2023), and the filing of the Power Purchase Agreements with the Public Utilities Commission (late 2024), the developer is expected to begin interacting with the community.

It is the role of the media to ferret out the various winners.

So far, Ililani Media is aware that two developers were awarded a total of five solar plus storage projects were selected.

Adding to the confusion is that the creation of the RFP document is conducted in a docket where intervention is forbidden.

The formula by which the utility determines winners is a confidential black box. The selection process remains secret even after the process has been completed and the winners are selected.

Non-price issues supposedly account for 40% of the bid evaluation, but the description is 2,000 words long and paints an image where community concerns can represent up to 5% of the total point count that a developer can achieve or less than 1% of the total points. It all depends on the secret formula and HECO`s secret black box.

(TRANSLATION: Favors political insiders.)

Life of the Land asked HECO if the community component of the formula ever affected who won. No answer was provided….

The PUC will host another meeting in the Energy Equity proceeding on December 12, 2023 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The meeting objectives are:

Learn about alternative solutions to improve equity in the RFP process: RFP co-creation and community energy advisory boards.

RELATED: ‘Community Based Energy’: $27.5M in GEMS for Hawaii Democratic Party Officials, Maui Councilmember

RELATED: Dead Bodies, Convicted Felons and Kakaako Makai: Meet the new Gang at OHA

read … Hawaiian Electric`s RFP Winners Are Currently Secret

Despite previous settlement, city tries to deny liability in near-fatal crash involving 4 officers

HNN: … Four Honolulu police officers charged criminally for a crash that critically or seriously injured six people were acting outside the scope of their duties. That’s according to the city, which does not want to be held liable for the alleged actions.

In several civil court filings this week, city attorneys argued the reported chase in September 2021 was not part of a police response but rather, the result of a long-standing feud with someone in the white sedan that later crashed in Makaha. All six people hurt have filed civil lawsuits.

One claim has already been settled for $4.5 million but two other claims are pending, including one filed by attorney Eric Seitz, who represents a teen who was initially paralyzed in the crash….

Seitz said the denial of responsibility by the city after so much time has passed is outrageous.

“For them to have paid $4.5 million to people who are in the absolutely same position as my client, and now come out and say, your client is entitled to nothing is unethical, unprofessional,” he said.

In a statement, a city spokesperson said after that initial settlement “further investigation has been conducted” by both HPD and the city prosecutor. “As a result of those investigations, both the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney have taken steps to hold the officers accountable, which is the basis for the City’s Motion to Dismiss.”…

CB: Honolulu Rejects Responsibility For 'Outrageous' Police Actions In Makaha Crash - Honolulu Civil Beat

read … Despite previous settlement, city tries to deny liability in near-fatal crash involving 4 officers

Hawaii Co PD detective pleads not guilty

HTH: … A Hawaii Police Department detective accused of lying to a Hilo grand jury in March pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of perjury and tampering with a government record.

Kona-based defense attorney Michael Schlueter entered the plea via courtroom video for his client, 54-year-old William Brown of Hilo, who was a detective in East Hawaii Vice Section when the alleged offenses occurred….

A Hawaii Police Department detective accused of lying to a Hilo grand jury in March pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of perjury and tampering with a government record.

Kona-based defense attorney Michael Schlueter entered the plea via courtroom video for his client, 54-year-old William Brown of Hilo, who was a detective in East Hawaii Vice Section when the alleged offenses occurred….

Reed Mahuna, HPD’s acting deputy chief, told the Tribune-Herald on Wednesday he’s not aware of Brown being investigated by authorities for any cases other than the one involving Herrera.

“What I can tell you is that we are concerned,” Mahuna said, noting the possibility that other cases Brown investigated could legally be called into question.

“The administrative investigation is not complete. There may be other things that come of it I’m not aware of,” he added….

read …  HPD detective pleads not guilty - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

HPD: West Side down to only 14 Illegal Game Rooms--but they’ll be back

HNN: … The town hall was held at the Ark of Safety Christian Fellowship Church.

At the town hall for crime, HPD tried to calm fears about continued violence in West Oahu. One big problem is that they’re still short-staffed, but they are making progress in cracking down on illegal gambling.

“Right now, we have 14 active game rooms; when I came in June, we had 22,” said Maj. Mike Lambert of HPD’s Narcotics Division. “Now I hesitate to celebrate too much because it’s gonna be ebb and flow, guys.”

“But again, I gotta be honest with you guys, it’s lucrative, and people are not gonna get the point, and they’re gonna reopen back up.”

SA: Waianae town hall provides updates on game rooms, crimes

read … From illegal game rooms to staffing concerns, HPD tries to calm fears over continued violence in West Oahu

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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