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Wednesday, January 17, 2024
January 17, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:15 PM :: 3976 Views

Hawaii 9th Worst State to Start a Business

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Maui Renters Face ‘Increasingly Hostile Housing Market’ Thanks to Government Rent Subsidies

CB: … What was already a tight and expensive market before the August wildfires has contracted further as lucrative rent subsidies, scarce inventory and high demand entice landlords to replace existing tenants with those willing to pay much more, according to interviews with housing advocates, renters and property managers.

“We’re seeing waves of displacement,” said Jordan Hocker, a tenant advocate with Maui Housing Hui, a grassroots organization. “People are getting pushed out into an increasingly hostile housing market.”

Although a moratorium on evictions and rent hikes is in place until March 5, housing advocates say renters are still receiving vacate notices or emails informing them that their leases won’t be renewed, a practice that’s legal provided the lease has come to an end and adequate notice is given.

Alan Lloyd of the Maui Tenants Association said he has received 95 eviction-related calls since the fire….

“This whole FEMA thing is not helping,” said car salesman Justin Schmotter, a Maui Meadows renter who was recently told he had until mid-February to move because his yearly lease would not be renewed. Although the owner has since changed his mind, the experience has left Schmotter unnerved.

The “FEMA thing” he’s referring to is a direct leasing program the Federal Emergency Management Agency has in place that pays above-market rates to Maui landlords who rent to fire survivors….

But FEMA Region 9 Administrator Bob Fenton said recently that his agency pays rates “very comparable” to what short-term rental owners made from their units last year. On average, that’s 366% above the fair-market rents, Fenton said….

read … Maui Renters Face ‘Increasingly Hostile Housing Market’ Despite Eviction Moratorium

Gay Socialist Oahu teacher gets 17-year prison sentence for producing child porn

KITV: … Alden Bunag, 35, was convicted of distributing, from 2019 to 2021, at least two videos of himself having sex with a then-13-year-old former student, according to the US Justice Department.

In addition to the prison sentence, Bunag must also serve 15 years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and must pay $30,000 in restitution and a special assessment of $100.

Bunag was a substitute teacher at Pearl City High School and a part-time temporary teacher at Ilima Intermediate School. Prosecutors say he repeatedly assaulted a child and exchanged sexually explicit images of children….

Bunag is separately facing state charges of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy….


ead … Former Oahu teacher gets 17-year prison sentence for producing child porn

Log of personnel at Maui EOC on day Lahaina burned offers insight — and raises more questions

HNN: … A copy of the Aug. 8 log for Maui’s Emergency Operations Center showed 38 people signed in.

In a bizarre decision, the county redacted 20 names on the list….

HNN asked Maui County officials why the names were redacted. A spokesperson responded “because they were non-county employees.”…

Of the 38 people who signed in, 24 never signed out. Including key leaders like Mayor Richard Bissen as well as representatives from Hawaiian Electric, Maui fire and police departments….

“The decision-maker, or the person running the EOC, is typically the emergency manager for the county.” However, the head of Maui’s Emergency Management Agency had left the island a day prior to the fire — amid a red flag warning and bone dry conditions— to attend a FEMA conference on Oahu.

When asked who would be the person on the log making the decisions in Herman Andaya’s place, Clairmont responded, “It would be whoever is designated as the duty officer that day.”

The sign-in sheet does not show a duty officer listed….

PDF: EOC Sign-in Sheet

read … Log of personnel at Maui EOC on day Lahaina burned offers insight — and raises more questions (

600,000 tons of ash, debris to be hauled from Lahaina

SA: … Each truckload of debris from the burn zone will be sprayed with water and secured with thick industrial plastic, described as “burrito” wrapping, and sealed with adhesive to prevent debris and ash from flying into the air during transport….

Brown said the effort likely will start slowly, with more trucks added to the fleet in the next few weeks as any kinks are worked out of the operation.

(600,000 tons / 20 tons per load = 30,000 loads = 30 trucks x 5 loads per day for 200 days)

Overall, the removal project is expected to last one year, with FEMA covering project costs for the first six months. After six months FEMA will take care of 90% while the state of Hawaii picks up 10%.

Over the next year an estimated 400,000 tons of ash and debris is expected to be hauled to the 20-acre site previously excavated as a quarry next to the former Olowalu Landfill. The debris, officials said, is the equivalent of five football fields five stories high — the same volume as two years of typical disposal at the Central Maui Landfill.

The Olowalu site is owned by the state. The Board of Land and Natural Resources in October granted the county’s request to use the land. Construction followed in anticipation of county approval….

Bissen promised that the Olowalu site would be temporary only…

(TRANSLATION: They’re gonna do this twice.)

The Lahaina operation begins as the Kula debris removal project ends. Brown said the Army Corps and its contractors removed 8,000 tons of debris from 25 Kula properties, hauling the ash and waste to the Central Maui Landfill.

The Kula project ended Monday…

As Explained: Debris Removal: Corps of Engineers Contractors Purposefully Damage 100s of Properties to Make More Money

read … 600,000 tons of ash, debris to be hauled from Lahaina | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

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