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January 19, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:21 PM :: 2520 Views

Hawaii offers a case study on the inadequacies of wind and solar

DLNR Transfers 24,200 Acres to Agriculture Department

HR6062: Congress Considers Amendments to American Samoa Constitution

UH Deal will make Aloha Stadium even less profitable

KITV: … The University of Hawaii stands to receive a share of the food and beverage revenue generated at its events at the new Aloha Stadium.

UH President David Lassner revealed the big news at Thursday morning's Board of Regents meeting. He gave an update on the new stadium project, and noted that UH did not get revenue from football games even though the university helped clean up the stadium after games.

Under the new request for proposals for the project, Lassner says UH will also receive revenue from the addition of premium and club seating at the new stadium.

"UH should be a beneficiary of the state's investment of land and dollars and that our 10 or so days of usage a year should not be a primary revenue source for what needs to be a 365-day a year operation," said Lassner.

He also says there will be greater opportunities for the university when it comes to advertising and sponsorships at the new stadium.

Last month, Gov. Josh Green announced the release of an RFP for a private developer to build out the entire 100 acres of the stadium district.

The new Aloha Stadium will include a minimum of 25,000 seats, and is expected to open in time for UH's first football game against Kansas on Aug. 26, 2028….

(IQ Test: How hard are you laughing?)

read … University of Hawaii to get share of food and beverage revenue at new Aloha Stadium | Business | kitv.com

Kauai County Council member receives ‘credible threat’

TGI: … A threat against a sitting member of the Kaua‘i County Council prompted a set of new security measures at the Historic County Building.

The measures were put in place during a special emergency meeting of the group on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the behest of County Council Chair Mel Rapozo.

The threat was made against Councilman Bill DeCosta, who found what was described as a letter, poster or piece of paper left for him on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The context of the threat was not disclosed.

But Rapozo deemed the threat serious, and then took action to protect members of the County Council, as well as staff who work in the building and the general public who frequent the site.

“I consider this a credible threat because of what was on it,” said Rapozo at the meeting held inside the Historic County Building in Council Chambers.

He said the Kaua‘i Police Department (KPD) is investigating the matter. State and federal agencies are also involved in the case. KPD officers were present at the building on Thursday….

UPDATE: Suspect arrested following threats made against county council member - Kauai County, HI

read … Kauai County Council member receives ‘credible threat’ - The Garden Island

Kauai County Councilman Is Put On Leave From State Teaching Job

CB: … The Hawaii Department of Education has placed Kapaa High School teacher Billy DeCosta, a member of the Kauai County Council, on a leave of absence following an undisclosed incident that remains under investigation.

DOE spokesman Derek Inoshita said in an email Thursday that he could not provide details during an active personnel investigation about the cause of DeCosta’s forced leave from the school.

DeCosta declined to comment.

Kauai County Council member Billy DeCosta was put on leave from his day job as a teacher at Kapaa High School. (Courtesy: Billy DeCosta/2022)

The length of the leave will depend on how long it takes to conduct the investigation. Usually, it’s done within 30 working days, Inoshita said. But due to employee privacy concerns, he said he would not be able to reveal the outcome of the investigation.

DeCosta, 58, teaches building and construction as part of the high school’s career and technical education program. The residential and commercial construction curriculum is designed for students with an interest in building trades, such as carpentry, masonry, facilities maintenance and plumbing, with an emphasis on tool use and safety, according to the course description handbook….

A special emergency meeting was held Thursday afternoon by the council to address a threat made against DeCosta, although it’s unclear whether the two incidents are connected.

County Council Chair Mel Rapozo said an unidentified man left a threatening note on DeCosta’s desk in his council office earlier this week. The councilman found the note at 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Rapozo.

DeCosta declined to comment on the threat….

Rapozo said he was not aware of DeCosta’s teaching job leave of absence….

(Kauai Council: Meth dealers. Putin Dupes, anti-GMO whack jobs and now…?)

read … Kauai County Councilman Is Put On Leave From State Teaching Job

Kennedy Rallies to Create new Political Party in Hawaii

SA: … Kennedy announced Tuesday that he has filed paperwork to create his own political party in six states in an effort to get his name on the ballot with fewer voter signatures than would be required for an unaffiliated candidate. He is seeking to form a “We the People” party in Hawaii, California, Delaware, Mississippi and North Carolina as well as a “Texas Independent Party.”…

HNN: RFK Jr. Campaigns in Hawaii (hawaiinewsnow.com)

UKDM: Curb your enthusiasm! RFK. Jr and wife Cheryl Hines smooch on stage as Independent presidential hopeful tells cheering Hawaii crowd he will 'take the country back for you'

read … Hundreds turn out to support RFK Jr.’s bid for presidency

Federal officials are no-shows at Red Hill community meeting

SA: … Federal officials were absent when members of the Red Hill Community Representation Initiative met Thursday at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for an update from the military and the Environmental Protection Agency on ongoing efforts to close the Red Hill fuel storage facility and water testing on the Navy waterline.

The fourth meeting of the group had been scheduled well in advance.

But as the group members sat on one side of the table, the reserved seats for the officials on the other side of the table were empty.

Members of the group had expected that. On Monday they received an email from Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations, Energy and Facilities Robert Thompson informing them they wouldn’t attend.

“As you know, the meeting in December did not go well, and so we will defer the meeting in January on the 18th that you have requested and will look forward to our next CRI meeting in February,” Thompson wrote. “In order to have more effective meetings, we are evaluating the structure of the CRI and will work with you to establish operating procedures and ground rules that will promote civil discussion and the effective exchange of information.” ….

read … Federal officials are no-shows at Red Hill community meeting

CNHA is Doing Something: Surprise! It’s Illegal

CB: … The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement announced Thursday that in partnership with the city it will launch an “Authentic Hawaiian” hula show for free to the public at the Waikiki Shell.

CNHA said it will also sponsor a pop-up marketplace in connection with the free hula show, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday through Thursday beginning Feb. 15.

The head of CNHA told me in the future the nonprofit plans to also stage evening Hawaiian entertainment with food service for paying customers on the same days at the iconic outdoor venue. That raised some questions.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi was at the news conference announcing the daytime hula show. He said I was the first to ask about CNHA plans to also offer evening performances for a charge….

Kuhio Lewis, CEO of CNHA, said the revenue from the evening shows will be necessary to help offset the cost of offering free, daytime hula shows, which he estimated will cost the organization $100,000 a month. He didn’t say how much would be charged or when the evening shows would begin.

Lewis said he has no lease for the shows but rather a day-to-day revokable permit from the city. …

At issue here is the question of whether it is legal to allow one group ongoing, exclusive commercial use in Kapiolani Park since it is protected from ongoing commercial uses by a public charitable trust.

The Kapiolani Park Preservation Society, a nonprofit dedicated to upholding requirements of the Kapiolani Park Charitable Trust, said the plan for the commercial evening entertainment in the Shell and the pop-up marketplace during the daytime hula shows violates the conditions of the trust that was originally created in 1896.

Alethea Rebman, an attorney who is also the society’s president, wrote to state Attorney General Anne Lopez on Jan. 8.

“As you are aware, the Waikiki Shell is located within Kapiʻolani Park and subject to the terms of Trust. Allowing the Proposed Action for exclusive use of the park grounds is not an appropriate or legal use of the Park, as it would restrict the free use of Park recreational resources of the public and dedicate a space for the benefit of one organization,” she said.

Rebman said the group will file a lawsuit if the plan the CNHA has made with the city for continuous use of the public facility is allowed to go forward…. 

read … Denby Fawcett: A Free Hula Show At The Waikiki Shell Is OK But Commercial Plans Raise Questions

Bezos promised $100 million after Maui wildfire but no one knows where it’s going

BB: … Jeff Bezos has a habit of issuing splashy philanthropic promises while offering few details. The latest: a $100 million pledge to help rebuild Maui after August’s devastating wildfires. Bezos and fiancée Lauren Sanchez have given $15.5 million over the past five months through the Bezos Maui Fund, according to a spokesperson for the billionaire. But he declined to name the recipients — and local officials and nonprofits on Hawaii’s second-biggest island are puzzled at where the money might have gone….

The practice offers the Amazon.com Inc. founder “maximum publicity with minimum accountability,” said Benjamin Soskis, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

While donors aren’t legally required to say where the money is going unless gifts have been made from a tax-exempt organization, “Bezos has gained the benefits of public attention and in exchange he needs to provide more information,” Soskis said.

Bezos’ spokesperson said in an email that the remaining $84.5 million pledged to help Maui “will be distributed in the coming years as the continuing needs reveal themselves.”….

Keeping it vague has been a familiar pattern for Bezos in recent years. In 2020, he pledged $10 billion to battle climate change, though he gave almost no information on how he’d dole out that enormous amount of money or over what period of time…..

Bezos’ and Sanchez’s pledge was the splashiest commitment to help Maui after fires broke out across the northwest part of the island, killing roughly 100 people and leaving thousands more homeless. Sanchez said in an Aug. 11 Instagram post that the money will “help Maui get back on its feet now and over the coming years.”

But as months have passed, it’s unclear when and where the promised money has been distributed. “Nobody’s heard anything at all,” said Angus McKelvey, the state senator representing West Maui, adding that he’s disappointed in the lack of information and collaboration. “Had they simply consulted with the community and myself and other representatives, we would’ve told them, ‘Take your money and put it over here.’”

Trisha Kehaulani Watson, vice president of native Hawaiian nonprofit ‘Aina Momona, said they haven’t gotten any of the money and was unaware of anyone in her network of nonprofits who has.

A half-dozen other nonprofits working on the island after the fire, including the Maui United Way and the People’s Fund of Maui, also said they haven’t received funds from Bezos and Sanchez. Some speculated the money went to the Hawaii Community Foundation, which has raised more than $177 million for its Maui Strong Fund. A representative for the group said they “don’t have any information” on the destination of Bezos’s pledge, though they did receive a $2 million donation in September from the foundation started by Bezos’ parents.

Bezos and Sanchez, who own an estate on Maui’s La Perouse Bay, aren’t the only rich residents who’ve promised to chip in. Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started the People’s Fund of Maui in August with initial contributions of $5 million each. The fund has since distributed about $40 million directly to more than 8,100 people….

read … Bezos promised $100 million after Maui wildfire but no one knows where it’s going

Police: Homeless woman gives birth on sidewalk in downtown Hilo--drags baby around

HTH: …Police are investigating an incident involving a 41-year-old homeless Hilo woman who gave birth Tuesday evening on a sidewalk in downtown Hilo.

Shortly after 5:15 p.m., officers and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to the intersection of Mamo Street and Keawe Street after receiving reports that a woman who had given birth was reportedly dragging the newborn.

(CLUE: All homeless are drug addicts.)

Responding medics located the woman, with the baby still attached by the umbilical cord.

Medics cut the cord and immediately began providing medical attention to the infant female, who was breathing but was not moving.

The newborn was then transported via ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room.

After the baby was separated from the mother by medical personnel, the woman began leaving the area, according to police.

(CLUE: All homeless are drug addicts.)

She was taken into custody by police for abandonment of a child also transported to HMC for treatment….

HTH: Bill casts spotlight on short-term rentals

HTH: She has been living in downtown Hilo for years and often can be seen shouting at passing cars and pedestrians.  (IDEA: Forcibly incarcerate the insane in lunatic asylums.)

HTH: Man dead following bum fight in downtown Hilo (Almost at the same time--connected?)

read … Police: Homeless woman gives birth on sidewalk in downtown Hilo

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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