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Tuesday, February 13, 2024
February 13, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:57 PM :: 3145 Views

SB3381: HCDA will use Eminent Domain to Take Over Lahaina Make it in to High End Resort Area

SA:  …Two Senate committees are scheduled to hold an initial public hearing on a bill to have rebuilding in Lahaina take place under a new community plan that in part might involve rules pertaining to affordable housing, rent control, wildfire prevention, underground utility placement and shoreline setbacks, among other things.

The envisioned board also would have the power to acquire real estate, to charge landowners fees to help pay for board operations and to use $100 million in state general fund revenue for projects if an equal sum can be raised from the private sector.

Senate Bill 3381 proposes to establish the board under the Hawaii Community Development Authority, a board-led state agency established in 1976 to facilitate redevelopment of what was then a largely near-blighted industrial area of Honolulu with neglected city infrastructure.

The new board envisioned by SB 3381 would have sweeping powers largely similar to what is available for other HCDA development districts, which include Kalaeloa on Oahu and Pulehunui on Maui.

However, all nine board members for what the bill calls the Lele Community District would be West Maui community members, unlike other HCDA district boards, which include multiple state agency leaders and only some members from a district.

State Sen. Angus McKelvey (D, West Maui-Maalaea-South Maui) said the legislation is an effort to fulfill wishes of many Lahaina community members to guide rebuilding instead of leaving it largely to county and state administrators….

Feb 9, 2024: Bill 21:  Emergency building permits for Maui Fire Survivors (SB3381 would supersede Maui County's 'Bill 21' plan to begin issuing building permits to burned-out Lahaina property owners.)

SB3381: Text, Status "206E Board Powers ... Acquire or reacquire by condemnation real, personal, or mixed property, or any interest therein, for purposes of this part."

Feb 11, 2024: SB3381: HCDA to Control Lahaina Redevelopment?

read … The Final Screw for Lahaina Residents

Bribe-Taking Cocaine Dealer J Kalani ‘Powdernose’ English to get Early Release

KHON: … He pleaded guilty to Honest Services Wire Fraud in Feb. 2022, after trading cash and other gifts for a draft on cesspool and wastewater policy with a businessman.

In total, English accepted over $18,000 in bribes.

“It was incredibly easy. He was not reticent about accepting bribes, taking money, never reluctant. Many times it was his idea. This was not an individual that was shy about taking money and performing favors for that money,” said assistant U.S. attorney Kenneth Sorenson.

(What a surprise! A convicted cocaine dealer gets elected to the legislature and turns out to be a crook.)

English’s sentence was supposed to be 40 months from Aug. 2022, but now he will be getting out after 32 months….

The reasons are not made clear in the federal order granting the early release, but a recent change in sentencing guidelines made nearly 20,000 inmates eligible for reductions across the country.

English is serving time at the Sheridan Federal Prison in Sheridan, Ore. where Louis Kealoha is also behind bars….

read … A federal order will release this lawmaker from prison early

Lahaina Fire Charity Scam News: Kaniela Ing Faces More Charges Of Campaign Spending Violations

CB: … Former state lawmaker and congressional candidate Kaniela Ing is facing two dozen violations of campaign finance law, including the failure to keep records and the failure to make records available for inspection.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday will consider the complaint, filed against Mark Ing (his full name is Mark Kaniela Saito Ing) and his fundraising committee, Friends of Kaniela Ing. The commission also is accusing Ing of filing 23 false amended reports.

If approved by the commission, the administrative penalty for Ing could total as much as $18,250, which would be deposited in the state’s general fund….

Commission staff also identified over 150 expenditures in the amended reports that may have been for Ing’s personal use. The “questionable expenditures” include for food and beverages, vehicle fuel, taxi and ride shares, car rentals, cellphones and other electronics, and travel.

Gary Kam, general counsel for the Campaign Spending Commission, said such expenses could well be used for a campaign. But he said Ing did not produce documentation to support the spending.

Kam said it was possible that the commission would render a decision on the complaint on Wednesday….

In 2018 Ing was fined $15,000 for dozens of violations related to his candidate committee, including filing false reports and using funds from his legislative campaign for personal use. He since paid off those fines.

As recently as August, Ing pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of missing a deadline for filing a campaign spending report. He was granted a one-year deferral of his plea during which he must not commit another crime or leave Oahu without court permission. And Ing must make a $100 contribution to the general fund.

But Ing has remained politically active. In September Civil Beat reported that Ing and community organizer Evan Weber had formed Our Hawaii Action, a super political action committee, to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that conceivably could go to support political candidates instead of directly helping Maui wildfire victims….

(Without laughing) Ing said Monday that he is today advocating for clean elections….

CSC: Agenda Feb 14 2024

Don’t forget the little lady: Khara Jabola Carolus LinkedIn

SA: Former Rep. Ing facing another $18K in fines

The Ing in Review:

read … Kaniela Ing Faces More Charges Of Campaign Spending Violations

Torture House Foster parent Requests Release -- Denied

KHON: … On Monday, Brandy Blas’ attorney argued for her release so she could continue to see a doctor during her pregnancy.

“It’s important she’d go and meet with her primary care physician just because they have the ability to treat her at OCCC doesn’t mean they can provide the best care and the best care would be with the doctor she’s currently seeing,” her attorney said to the judge.

“The judge is going to deny the request that bail be set at 500k,” was the judge’s response….

HNN: The request for special medical treatment seems ironic given that among the allegations is that Geanna Bradley died because she wasn’t getting any medical care at all — despite numerous obvious injuries — and was essentially neglected and starved to death.

KITV: All three suspects are scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

KITV: Foster twins in Honolulu take stride against injustice, walking in tribute Geanna Bradley

read … Denied

Miske was Child Abuser, got Probation

ILind: …Miske was upset by the news, took Caleb into his truck, and “struck him several times in the face, head and shoulder area,” Caleb reported after the incident.

“Caleb stated that the assault caused bleeding to his nose, bruising to his face and shoulder area and also pain to these areas,” according to court records.

“Observations to these areas show a 1 inch abrasion and bruising to his left shoulder blade area, swelling to both eye areas, scratches to the sides and rear of his neck and abrasions to both cheek areas,” records show.

“Caleb also stated that this was not the first occurrence of abuse but it was never reported before.”

Child Protective Service was notified and took Caleb into protective custody.

The school’s dean of students filed a police complaint, and Miske was charged with abuse of a family or household member.

Miske pleaded not guilty.

Court minutes show the state complained of difficulty serving Caleb, the complaining witness, who resided with Miske, the defendant.

Miske was then ordered to bring Caleb to court so that service could be made.

In July 2006, Miske agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of 3rd degree assault, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to a year on probation.

read… All in the family

Labor Trafficking: Getting Away With It

SA: … Oahu Circuit Judge Shanlyn Park dismissed labor-trafficking felony charges against a Palolo couple accused of bringing a woman and her then 15-year-old daughter from Guam to Hono­lulu in 2021, beating and forcing them to perform work, locking the girl in their apartment and taking their passports and money.

Pomerrine and Kevin Robert had been scheduled to go on trial Jan. 29 for Class A felony labor-trafficking charges.

The minutes of a Jan. 16 hearing when the charges were dismissed were posted Friday, showing the primary reason for the dismissal was that the state could not locate and had no contact information for the mother or child since they returned to Guam….

read … Labor-trafficking case against Palolo couple is dismissed | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Lahaina Death Trap: The Day Fire Engulfed Kuhua Street

CB: … A map released by the Maui Police Department last week showed that nearly a third of fire victims died on Kuhua, a street the length of roughly three and a half football fields. Most of the people who died on the street had made it only blocks — sometimes even just a few dozen yards — from their homes.

As the Boes drove down Kuhua at 3:55 p.m., the wind was violently whipping electrical lines back and forth. Downed branches from a mango tree were littered across part of the street. Traffic was already backing up to a standstill as people tried to make their way out onto Lahainaluna Drive.

A video shot by a neighbor who left soon after showed a garden hose shooting up in the air by a mango tree on Aki Street, an effort, neighbors said, by the 82-year-old man who lived there to keep the tree from catching fire.

By 4:35 p.m. the street was almost completely impassable. Downed trees and powerlines blocked sections of the road. Cars were surrounded by flames.

“We’re screwed right now, ma’am,” said one 911 caller, who was desperately trying to turn left onto Kuhua from a nearby street. “Our car is heating up, ma’am. Everyone’s car is heating up. We are inches from fire on both sides.”…

read … Lahaina Death Trap: The Day Fire Engulfed Kuhua Street

Secret Hawaii Energy Cabal Fades Away

IM: … HECO created a secret organization beloved by its members. Initial meetings were secret. Meeting notices were not posted anywhere. The meetings were by invitation only. The public was not allowed to attend except with permission. The Forum became a meeting place of regulators, fossil fuel companies, and legislators.

Initially, its membership was public. Now the membership is classified on a need to know basis where the public has no right to know who is shaping energy and climate change policies.

HECO pretended they were playing absolutely no role in organizing or running the meetings, but they were in fact pulling the strings and controlling the process. The organization described itself as making policy through consensus.

At one secret meeting the chair of the Public Utilities Commission strategized with others on how to ram bad legislation through the legislature.

The website still describes this cozy relationship between legislators, regulators, and the regulated. "For 20 years, HEPF has been driving the renewable energy transition in a collaborative triumvirate, involving research, government (State and Federal) and Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission.”

For 20 years the organization lobbied the legislature without registering as a lobbying organization, developed a website with a classified section only available to its members, and hid its finances from its members.

When its leader was elected to the Hawai`i Senate, the organization was relocated within the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa from the  Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) to the Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI).

What remains is the Hawai`i Energy Policy Forum web site describing its past….

read … Secret Hawaii Energy Cabal Fades Away

Why an M&A swoop in Hawaii is a big bet on the yen

FT: … Two charts tell the story of what might, on one reading, be a bold currency bet based on this. The first is the dollar-yen exchange rate — a line that tracks the yen, in early 2022, broke out of the narrow trading range it had occupied since 2016 and fell towards the multi-decade lows of about ¥150/$ where the Japanese currency sits today. The cheap yen has had a positive effect on the profitability of many Japanese companies, it has fuelled food and energy inflation but, crucially for Hawaii, it has made a dollar-denominated holiday feel punishingly expensive.

The second chart shows the share price of Hawaiian Holdings — the parent of Hawaiian Airlines. Its profitability has historically hinged on the once reliable Japanese yearning to visit the Aloha state and is now suffering as cost concerns have tempered that. Between the start of 2023 and the end of November, Hawaiian Holdings shares lost more than 65 per cent of their value. They did not rebound from that 10-year low until, in December, Alaska Air proposed a merger….

read … Why an M&A swoop in Hawaii is a big bet on the yen

Gov. Green calls new Hawaii housing bill ‘unconstitutional’

KHON: … With the legislative session underway, one of the bills that is making headlines proposes to outlaw foreigners from purchasing property in Hawaii under certain circumstances.

Governor Josh Green calls the bill “unconstitutional”.

“Everyone knows it’s unconstitutional from the standpoint of what real legislators do,” Gov. Green told Wake Up 2Day Monday morning.

“Those kinds of bills get floated because they’re very popular to talk about but the federal constitution doesn’t allow us to do that and that makes it difficult,” said Green….

read … Gov. Green calls new Hawaii housing bill ‘unconstitutional’ | KHON2

Hawaiʻi to build out housing services with Medicaid under new federal program

HPR: … A new federal program plans to help Hawaiʻi build out housing services covered by Medicaid.

The Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator supports states that are using Medicaid funds for programs that help people secure and maintain stable housing.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development called for applications to the accelerator in Nov 2023.

The applications were open to states that had already taken steps to create housing programs under Medicaid.

Eight states, including Hawaiʻi, and the District of Columbia were chosen to participate. The federal government will provide those states with technical assistance to expand their housing services….

(CLUE: Retirement homes for aged-out lifestyle homeless.)

read … Hawaiʻi to build out housing services with Medicaid under new federal program

Driver Chose Which Cop would Administer DUI Test

HNN: … According to the crash report and other police records, close to a half dozen bystanders reported seeing Chun toss what appeared to be glass beer bottles over a blacked out construction barrier….

HNN Investigates tracked down three witnesses.

Two of them spoke on camera on the condition of anonymity over concerns of retaliation from the police department.

“When he got out of his car I heard a bottle drop,” said one of the witnesses….

“I saw him throwing bottles over the fence, and it was about five brown bottles. He was just reaching in and throwing it over.”

Another witness told HNN Investigates, “It definitely looked like a beer bottle.”…

One of the first officers to arrive on scene told a lieutenant that “he did not smell any odor of an alcoholic type beverage” and that “Chun did not appear to be impaired”

The document shows that lieutenant also noted that “he did not smell an alcoholic beverage emitting from Chun” saying “he was steady on his feet” and “spoke clearly.”

About 45 minutes after the crash at 6:15 p.m., the report says Chun voluntarily submitted to a field sobriety test — and according to the officer “passed.”…

The lieutenant also stated Chun “passed” from the portions of the test he observed.

But when a “Standardized Field Sobriety Test and Drug Recognition” expert with advanced training, arrived on the scene a to “assist with the investigation,” the report says Chun refused all further testing and had “become visibly upset and defensive,” saying he was “not going (to) cooperate” and that he would “refuse everything” and “not take any test.”

Kau questions that timeline in the police report, “I think that might be incorrect.”

She says she believes her client initially refused to take the test with the drug recognition expert first, then later agreed to take the test from another officer….

read …  Attorney for HPD officer in crash disputes witness claims, says he wasn’t intoxicated

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda: 

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