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Friday, January 12, 2024
January 12, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:02 PM :: 1416 Views

Hawaii Republican Presidential Caucus Sites Published

Company Owned by Civil Beat Publisher Criminally Liable for Terror Campaign Against Media Critics 

Navy still on the hook for negligence claims by military families injured by jet fuel leak

Giant Tesla Battery system comes online, speeding Hawaii's transition to rolling blackouts

Oahu Rolling Blackouts Caused by Coal Plant Closure

House Democrats Outline Priorities for 2024 Session

Honolulu Inflation 3rd Highest in USA

Hawaii: State with the Smallest Credit Score Increase   

Did the alleged “Miske Enterprise” dabble in fireworks?

Ilind: … At one point, probably ten years ago or more, a company he had links to was contracted to put on a new year’s eve fireworks show at a commercial venue. Later, questions emerged, perhaps based on a review of inventory records. My source could not pin down the year.

Basically, the records showed many more fireworks had been reported used that night than was possible for a show of its size. To use as many fireworks as claimed, the show would have had to have been several times larger than the annual Waikiki fireworks New Year’s Eve show, but it wasn’t even close.

There was now suspicion that most of the goods supposedly used had actually been syphoned off for black market sales, and were showing up on the street.

Honolulu Fire Department officials eventually met with Miske to discuss their questions.

Soon afterwards, a (fake) ‘break-in’ was reported at the Waikele Self Storage bunker used by Miske’s company for fireworks storage, and the some or all of the inventory was reported ‘stolen’.

Miske then got out of the business, and the investigation fizzled, but whether that was the intent of the theft wasn’t clear….

the government’s exhibit list filed in court last week includes more than 50 exhibits relating to fireworks, licensing records, and a fireworks theft from the Waikele storage bunkers.

There are numerous photos of the caves at Waikele where the storage bunkers are located, photos of the bunker exterior, photos of many different kinds of fireworks taken in October 2010, HFD records of licenses for import, retail, and storage of fireworks, several itemized inventories regarding fireworks, and about 30 exhibits described as having to do with “fireworks theft.”

A packing list from the Hunan Liuyang Global Fireworks company appears as a separate exhibit.

Among the exhibits is an a Honolulu Fire Department fireworks license file for Richard Macguyer, along with an explosive license to Island Weddings and Special Events dba Grand Finale, as well as the company’s business registration records from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs….

Macguyer is one of Miske’s first cousins, and the two had a long and close relationship. The pair were charged together after being found in possession of burglary tools in August 1993, when they were teenagers. They were charged with minor offenses, including attempted theft and criminal property damage, as well as being in possession of the burglary tools. The charges were dismissed the following year after the state failed meet its deadline for a speedy trial, and did not refile the charges before a 30-day deadline set by the judge.

Later, Macguyer was an employee of Miske’s Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, and held a Pest Control Field Representative license registered with the company.

An unverified report by a confidential informant previously made public identified Macguyer as the “house” through which Miske and other Kamaaina employees took part in sports betting….

read … Did the alleged “Miske Enterprise” dabble in fireworks?

As Usual, COR Suddenly finds $500M for Legislature to Spend

SA: … The potential extra revenue available to spend on state needs is based on a Hawaii Council on Revenues updated forecast that was made Monday and projects state general fund revenue for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and the next fiscal year.

(TRANSLATION: The legislative session is about to begin.  As usual CoR has juiced its projections so as to encourage legislators to waste lots of money.  Towards the end of the session, CoR will suddenly tighten its projections.  They do this every year.) 

At the council’s previous forecast meeting in September, growth was projected to be 1.3% for the current fiscal year and 5.2% for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Now the projection is 4% this fiscal year and 4.75% next fiscal year.

The difference equates to $248 million more this fiscal year and $218 million more next fiscal year, or a combined additional $466 million, compared with the projections made in September.

Total general fund revenue last fiscal year was about $9.2 billion, and is projected to grow to almost $9.6 billion this fiscal year and then to $10 billion next fiscal year.

read … Panel sees jump in Hawaii tax revenue

Lawsuit Aims To Halt Hawaiian Merger

BH: … This comes following Alaska’s plan to buy Hawaiian Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal that would allow them to capture forty percent of the Hawaii airline market. And, should that deal not be consummated, Hawaiian will face huge, and perhaps insurmountable, business headwinds. The company itself stated a need for acquisition due to expansion complexities, required modernization, and back-breaking $900 million in debt.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the $1.9 billion deal. Among the suit’s claims is that the transaction will damage Hawaiian’s shareholders and benefit select company insiders only….

The suit claims further that in an SEC filing, Hawaiian’s board agreed has now agreed to a $2 per share lower offer than the $20 that was previously indicated….

Named in addition to Hawaiian Holdings, parent company of Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram. In addition, other defendants include Hawaiian Chairman of the Board Lawrence Hershfield, Hawaiian board directors Michael McNamara, Crystal Rose, Wendy Beck, Earl Fry, Craig Vosburg, Richard Zwern, and Jayne Hrdlicka, and Hawaiian Special Preferred Stock Designees Daniel Akins, Duane Woerth, and Mark Schneider….

In a related matter, Hawaiian disclosed in an SEC filing earlier this week that a special meeting of stockholders is scheduled for February 16 to vote on the merger/acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines. Shareholders will also consider compensation for named executive officers in connection with the purchase.

Also this week, Hawaiian and Alaska officially filed with the U.S. Justice Department for antitrust clearance to be given them in their proposed $1.9 billion deal. How that plays out may be a first indication of exactly what stance federal regulators may take in this deal….

That is the filing which outlines that shareholders are set to receive a premium of $18.00 cash for each share, which is nonetheless a substantial increase from the stock’s pre-acquisition announcement trading price….

L360: Hawaiian Airlines Investor Challenges $1.9B Alaska Merger - Law360

PDF: Owen v. Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. et al (1:24-cv-00211), New York Southern District Court (pacermonitor.com)

read … Lawsuit Aims To Halt Hawaiian Merger

Lawsuit Alleges Two State Entities Improperly Hired Their Leaders Behind Closed Doors

CB: … A new lawsuit alleges that the Agribusiness Development Corp. hired its executive director in a series of unlawful closed-door meetings, interviews and deliberations.

The Public First Law Center, formerly known as The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, alleges that the ADC’s hiring process violated the Sunshine Law, which requires open meetings allowing public scrutiny and participation.

The Circuit Court suit, filed Wednesday, also argues that the Defender Council, which oversees the Office of the Public Defender, also violated the Sunshine Law in appointing Jon Ikenaga Nov. 2 as state public defender. It seeks to void the appointment because it violated the Sunshine Law….

read … Lawsuit Alleges Two State Entities Improperly Hired Their Leaders Behind Closed Doors

Hawaii hospitals are full ahead of possible nurses' strike

KITV: … Another round of negotiations stalled today between Kapiolani Medical Center and the Hawaii Nurses Association, which is planning to strike starting on Sunday, Jan. 21….

read … Hawaii hospitals are full ahead of possible nurses' strike

EPA probe eyes plumbing concerns after Navy confirms diesel in 4 Pearl Harbor homes

HNN: … In a statement, Navy Region Hawaii said test results inside four homes “ranged from non-detect to 144 parts per billion (ppb) for total petroleum hydrocarbons, which is below the Hawaii Department of Health’s incident specific parameter of 266 parts per billion.”

Dietz’s result from her hot water heater came back for petroleum hydrocarbons (as diesel) at 70.6….

Dietz wants a new water heater, fearing lingering fuel in her pipes….

read … EPA probe eyes plumbing concerns after Navy confirms diesel in 4 Pearl Harbor homes

5 months after Lahaina disaster, state still lacks emergency response plan for wildfires

HNN: … Five months after a wall of flames claimed at least 100 lives and leveled Lahaina, the state still doesn’t have an emergency response plan specific to wildfires.

HNN Investigates confirmed the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is in the process of adding a wildfire component to the state’s all-hazard plan.

But when asked what it would include, the response was vague. HNN also couldn’t get a straight “yes” or “no” answer about whether an interim plan is in place if another wildfire were to spark today.

HNN Investigates has confirmed that when flames swallowed Lahaina on Aug. 8 neither Maui County or the state had a wildfire emergency action plan in place to guide its response….

read … 5 months after Lahaina disaster, state still lacks emergency response plan for wildfires

Blangiardi Admin Pushes Back against Aid for Rail-Impacted Businesses

SA: … “I think the tough part for us is where do you draw the line for a business that says it has been harmed, when you just don’t know if the harm occurred due to the business’s own mismanagement and poor decision­making versus being directly impacted by rail construction,” city Budget and Fiscal Services Director Andy Kawano told the Council’s Committee on Budget on Tuesday.

“I think that’s going to be something that’s challenging for us to determine,” he added, “and it’s probably going to require a lot of work on our part to ensure that we get it down right.”

Co-introduced by Council members Radiant Cordero and Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Bill 40, as drafted, would provide up to $10,000 in city grant assistance to eligible businesses that are majority-owned by city residents; have 15 or fewer employees; generate not more than $750,000 annually; and opened for business prior to commencement of active construction of the rail project, within the same city block as the business location.

The measure is also meant to jump-start the city’s existing yet dormant transit construction mitigation fund.

Established through city legislation in 2018 under then-Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the fund was slated to “receive and expend money to mitigate negative economic impacts from the construction of the Honolulu High Capacity Transit project,” now known as Skyline….

read … Bill to aid small businesses near Honolulu rail disputed | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Homeless Garbage Threatens Makiki With Flooding

CB: … She posted the video on her Instagram story and sent it to the popular account Hawaii News Report, which reposted it soon afterwards for its over 260,000 followers, sparking discussion in the comments about who to blame for the mess.

Commenters tended to converge on the same group of people: the island’s homeless population.

The increasing number of encampments has had an effect on the amount of debris in waterways…

read … Video Of Makiki Ditch Debris Flow Sparks Discussion Of Who's To Blame - Honolulu Civil Beat

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth to run for reelection

HTH: … “We live in a time now where there’s more Hawaiians living out of the state than in the state,” Roth said. “As we lose our Hawaiians, we lose our culture; as we lose our culture, we lose our identity of who we are.

“And as we lose the identity of who we are, we become Honolulu or Los Angeles,” Roth went on, to scattered boos.

Roth, reiterating a frequent slogan during his first term, said he has worked for four years to make Hawaii “an island where our kids can raise their kids for generations to come.”

The mayor listed dozens of the projects he has initiated throughout his first term, particularly highlighting the improvements made to the county’s building permit system, which was previously called the worst in the nation, with permit applications taking more than 200 days to be approved under ideal conditions.

Since taking office, he said, the process has been streamlined so that a permit application can be approved in only 34 days, while the county has accelerated its housing pipeline so that there are nearly 7,000 affordable housing units in some form of development, compared to the 1,200 units in the pipeline when he was elected….

read … Roth to run for reelection: Mayor cites successes, challenges of first term while gearing up to fight for a second

Lahaina Fire News:

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