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Friday, March 29, 2024
March 29, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:53 PM :: 2544 Views

Hawaii's Good Friday Holiday - What's Up With That?

Aloha Stadium Bidding Limited to Two Gangs of Insiders

Senate WAM Approves Budget

Criminal Escapes Kauai Jail, Dead After Run Over by Car 

Applicants Sought to Fill Vacancies on the Disciplinary Board of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court

Recktenwald Appoints Michelle N. Comeau Oahu District Judge

OIP Director Leaving Office

DoD Returns Red Hill Control to US Navy

Maui facing suicides, exodus amidst housing struggle

KHON: … Rep. Cochran said, “they have to get this paper, get it signed, go back, I mean, it’s just been nonstop. We’re almost nine months in and we still haven’t built a home?” ….

“A friend of mine committed suicide, there’s deaths! And it is sad to have people move off, but it’s even sadder when people are killing themselves and no one is saying that!”…

read … Maui facing suicides, exodus amidst housing struggle

Maui's Housing Crisis Only Got Worse After The Fires. Will This New Department Help?  (CLUE: ‘No’)

CB: … The county manager said the "visioning process" for the new department was put on hold when response and recovery efforts for the Aug. 8 fires took priority….

there are many questions about the authority and direction of the new housing department with just three months before the voter-mandated split of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns. Namely, who will lead it and will its focus be to develop affordable housing or to facilitate development?…

“We are still in the process of collecting community and stakeholder feedback and drawing out those plans,” Nishita told the Salary Commission on Friday….

“The problem is people keep on trying to water (the new housing department) down and turn it into a bureaucratic entity rather than a proactive entity that would find ways to develop housing that our people can afford,” he said.

The new Department of Housing has a proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 of $74.4 million and 39 full-time positions, including two added leadership jobs and three new positions….

Lori Tsuhako, the current director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns, wasn’t sure, saying “most of the people in the department are in a wait and see.”…

Mayor Richard Bissen’s communications office said that he hasn’t chosen anyone yet….

(IQ Test: See how this works?)

read … Maui's Housing Crisis Only Got Worse After The Fires. Will This New Department Help?

Rich Landowners Destroy Historic Buildings Because State Historic Preservation Division Too Busy Blocking Affordable Housing

CB: … Over the years, a number of historic sites on Oahu have been bulldozed, mishandled or allowed to fall into ruins. In 2022, despite years of warnings by historic preservationists, a building known as the Queen’s Retreat, a property that had inspired the song Aloha Oe, fell into disrepair and burned down. In 2023, a city contractor negligently destroyed historic paving stones dating from the sandalwood era in Chinatown, a national historic landmark district. The Marconi Telegraph site, also a national historic landmark, was partially demolished by its new owner last year, a situation that is still under investigation by city officials….

(QUESTION: What was SHPDA busy with while all of this happened.)

“Iolani Palace itself was slated to be torn down to make way for a parking lot,” recalled Commissioner Hailama Farden in a recent interview.

(NOTE: That is a lie.  There was never a plan to demolish Iolani Palace.)

But city officials are also signaling they are keeping a close eye on the commission to make sure it doesn’t take steps that could add complications to the development process. City planners are raising concerns in meetings about commission proposals that might be illegal, excessively expensive, duplicative or would require legislation to be enacted….

(ANSWER: Now you have your answer.)

read … The Job Of Preserving Oahu's Historic Sites Is Complicated By The Push For Development - Honolulu Civil Beat

Emails At Bribery Trial Show Alleged 'Courtship' Between Mitsunaga And Kaneshiro Reps

CB: …  After former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and businessman Dennis Mitsunaga met in 2012, they developed a relationship that involved lunch at an upscale Honolulu restaurant, a New Year’s party and numerous chummy emails exchanged between their representatives, according to testimony and evidence presented to a jury on Thursday….

The emails illustrate key moments in what the feds say was a criminal conspiracy that could land the defendants in prison for up to 15 years.

“Once complete strangers, the (Mitsunaga firm) defendants and Kaneshiro were brought together by the former’s single-minded obsession with exacting revenge on (Laurel Mau) and by the latter’s need for campaign money to maintain the power of his office,” prosecutors wrote in court records….

Other emails demonstrate how Tanaka was feeding Nakamura documents, including depositions, that the firm had obtained through ongoing civil litigation with Mau. That lawsuit evidence later formed the basis for Kaneshiro’s prosecution of Mau, according to prosecutors.

A state court judge ultimately found that Mitsunaga’s people “orchestrated the vast majority of the investigation.” That judge, Karen Nakasone, called the case a “threat to the judicial process” and dismissed it….

read … Emails At Bribery Trial Show Alleged 'Courtship' Between Mitsunaga And Kaneshiro Reps - Honolulu Civil Beat

HECO could be fined for power outages in Mililani meant to prevent wildfires

KHON: … “In certain places the system has been set to be more sensitive to any kind of disruption which can create a safety hazard and when that happens the system will automatically trip and there will be a power outage in the area,” HECO spokesperson Darren Pai explained.

Mililani has had a handful of outages impacting over 2000 residents here in the last month alone. Each of those outages lasting around an hour according to HECO and attributed to the new wildfire safety strategy….

“The last time we’re in the middle of cooking dinner and then the power goes off,” she said. “I mean it’s frustrating you know? It’s like all of a sudden and it’s again and again.”

Mililani Neighborhood Board Chair Danielle Bass said the outages are happening on a weekly basis and mostly at night.

“So that’s impacting their dinner times, you know? Some might be in the shower, in the bath and that can be problematic and a safety hazard.”

According to Pai, the outages are happening more in Mililani than any other community.

“There may be trees that fall down, or branches that blow into power lines,” Pai explained. “There can be strong winds that blow debris or furniture from somebody’s yard up into a power line.There are a number of things that can cause a disturbance on these circuits.”

Prior to the Lahaina fire, restoring power quickly was the top priority but now safety comes first. Someone needs to visually inspect the cables before they re-energize the wires to ensure there is no fire risk and Pai said that extra step may prolong the outage….

KHON: State energy chair demands more from HECO, PUC as Big Island electricity flails

read … HECO could be fined for power outages in Mililani meant to prevent wildfires

Lawmakers push for bill that would privatize public boat harbors like the Ala Wai

 

KITV: … State lawmakers are looking at House Bill 1919. If passed, the measure will allow private organizations to manage public boat harbors like the Ala Wai in Waikiki.

Many residents came out to the public hearing to testify against House Bill 1919. They said privatizing public boat harbors, even for a limited amount of time, goes against the Supreme Court's decision to keep public land for the public….

read … Lawmakers push for bill that would privatize public boat harbors like the Ala Wai

Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines create timing agreement regarding merger

SN: … On Wednesday, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and the Department of Justice entered into a timing agreement for their potential merger, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The agreement stipulates Alaska and Hawaiian must first complete a request from the DOJ, providing antitrust-related information and documents, and once the DOJ certifies the response, the airlines must wait 90 days before merging. …

BH: Will Latest Alaska Air Financial Blow Impede Hawaiian Air Merger Plans?

read … Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines create timing agreement regarding merger

Democrats Trying to Keep Kennedy off ballot

CB: … Last month The Blog reported that the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had submitted the requisite number of signatures of Hawaii voters to put the independent candidate on the 2024 ballot.

But the Democratic Party of Hawaii has challenged the bid from We The People, a new party that is trying to get its nominee on other state ballots including at least four swing states. A hearing on the matter is set for next week, says the Hawaii State Elections Office.

“Everyone should play by the rules — especially in an election where so much is on the line, including the perceived integrity of our democratic institutions,” the party said Thursday in a statement. “We are asking that the rules be enforced and the sanctity of Hawaii’s ballot be upheld.”

Whatever that means.

Nationally, the Kennedy campaign is reported more likely to hurt President Joe Biden’s reelection chances than former president Donald Trump’s. The independent campaign received a financial boost this week when Kennedy chose wealthy entrepreneur and lawyer Nicole Shanahan as his running mate.

read … Vaccination Against Kennedy

LOL! Senators Want ‘Media Council’ to Name ‘Approved’ Journalists

CB: … some Hawaii senators want the Hawaii chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists to consider creating some sort of process to help the public figure out which news organizations follow best journalistic practices when it comes to ethics and accuracy.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on Senate Concurrent Resolution 155 for Monday morning.

The Sunshine Blog is a fan of media councils such as this one in Washington state that seek to hold the media accountable for their own foibles.

Once upon a time, Hawaii had its own media council and perhaps the SPJ folks can fire that engine up again. The group started in 1970 and its now seemingly inactive website boasts that it was the oldest of what was then (circa 2015-ish) five such media councils in the country….

FLASHBACK: Raycom Honolulu TV Deal: Honolulu Community Media Council has its own issues with "media control"

read … The Sunshine Blog: Bidding Aloha To Cheryl Park - Honolulu Civil Beat

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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