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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
April 17, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:25 PM :: 1211 Views

Naming Names: Airports Division Ran Late-Night Parties Where Hawaii Politicians Raked In Money

10 'Good Government' Bills up for Final House Vote

Rolling Blackouts: Senators Demand PUC Investigation

Attorneys Blocking JetBlue/Spirit Merger Now Targeting Hawaiian/Alaska Airlines Deal 

No Surprise: Waipiʻo Peninsula eliminated from consideration as potential future landfill site

Hawaii Allows Six New Hotels While Killing TVRs

BH: … “How are there 5 new boutique hotels in downtown Honolulu, and one new hotel in Kapolei, while the government threatens STR (short term rental) owners?” ….

The intricate web connecting Hawaii’s hotel industry and state government causes many to question whether these relationships serve the public interest or may warrant closer scrutiny. And when looking at Hawaii’s physical landscape alone, it appears that, as Pat said, state policies have long favored the hotel industry. Those may relate to zoning laws, environmental regulations, taxes, and other things. And it remains unclear whether oversight is adequate….

Mufi Hannemann serves as the president/CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, representing Hawaii hotels, and most recently, the chairperson for the Hawaii Tourism Authority board. He has long lobbied on behalf of Hawaii hotel interests. …

Mufi served as Honolulu mayor from 2005-2010 and pushed for, among other things, the Honolulu Rail, a project which has met with very mixed reactions due to, among other things, extraordinary cost overruns, low ridership and being incomplete….

WHT: Leeward Planning panel to consider three STVR bills

read … Does Hawaii Tourism Award Expose Cozy Government and Hotel Ties? - Beat of Hawaii

Will ratepayers will be on the hook for HECO's wildfire costs?

HPR: …  Hawaiian Electric, have eyed ratepayer-backed bonds as a possible avenue to recoup some of those costs….

 state lawmakers debate whether or not HECO can use securitization to finance some of its costs related to the Lahaina wildfire….

The Utility Reform Network has been involved in one of the largest securitization cases in the country with Northern California electric utility PG&E, which took out $7.5 billion in ratepayer bonds to pay costs related to the 2017 California wildfires.

However, he said, California law does not allow a utility to make ratepayers pay for wildfires started due to the company's negligence.

"If you look on a PG&E bill and you open it up when it comes in the mail, you will see a line item that talks about repaying the bond as a bill, but there will be a bill credit for the exact same amount, which represents the shareholders reimbursing the ratepayers in real time."…

(TRANSLATION: To save Hawaiian Electric from bankruptcy, it must be found to not be negligent.)

read … Will ratepayers will be on the hook for HECO's wildfire costs?

Proposals For Reforming Honolulu’s Pay Raise Process Split On The Question Of Who Should Decide

CB: … Seven charter amendments are currently being considered by council members, and the big question is who should get the final say on salary proposals….

read … Proposals For Reforming Honolulu’s Pay Raise Process Split On The Question Of Who Should Decide

Another Miske Associate Turned Government Witness Takes The Stand

CB: … Appearing in a white prison jumpsuit, Jacob Smith, a trained martial artist and former associate of Michael Miske, told jurors over days of testimony in Miske’s federal trial that he committed various crimes at the direction of the alleged racketeering boss.

During his examination by prosecutors, Smith, who has said he was involved in the Miske enterprise between 2015 and 2018, identified Miske as the leader of a vast criminal network and said Miske ordered him and others to commit assaults, robberies and murder.

But during cross-examination, defense attorneys attempted to separate Smith from Miske by showing that Smith had his own motivations for committing crimes and was affiliated with other criminal organizations, such as the La Familia prison gang….

 Smith also detailed a night in May 2017 when he, Miske and two other associates drove to Kualoa Ranch to ambush a man Miske had previously said he wanted dead. The man, Lindsey Kinney, had been publishing posts on social media that Miske took as an affront to his reputation, Smith said.

When they arrived at Kualoa Ranch, where Kinney was working as a rigging grip on a movie set, they confronted him and Smith fired a shot into the air, intentionally missing Kinney.

After the incident, Kinney continued posting on social media, which infuriated Miske, Smith said. 

“He said I would’ve been better off hitting him,” Smith said. …

read … Another Miske Associate Turned Government Witness Takes The Stand. Will Jurors Trust Him?

Latest UH Board Of Regents Nominee Approved By Mercado Kim

CB: …The vacancy was created last month when Kim’s committee rejected Alapaki Nahale-a for another term on the board because he was not, in Kim’s view, sufficiently critical of the administration.

Kim, who declined to be interviewed for the earlier story, did most of the talking during Tuesday’s hearing and seemed happy that Miyahira agreed with her intense oversight of the board and the UH administration….

Her questions essentially followed — point by point — concerns raised in the Civil Beat story, “Emails Reveal A State Senator’s Unrelenting Demands On The University Of Hawaii.”

Kim asked if Miyahira would speak up if it seemed the administration was dictating the regents’ meeting agendas…

SA: Column: Abercrombie says UH not unduly swayed by Legislature (LOL!)

read … Latest UH Board Of Regents Nominee Approved By Senate Committee - And Its Influential Chair

Officer who ignored deadly beating trying to get job back

HNN: … Unanswered questions are lingering in the case of a woman brutally beaten to death on the steps of the Kapolei Police Station two years ago.

HNN has confirmed an officer at the center of the incident is trying to get her job back — as the suspect’s family presses for change to prevent another senseless death.

After being fired in February, HPD confirms Officer Sandy Cesar is appealing her termination.

She’s accused of ignoring a request to help the victim minutes before she was killed….

REALITY: Secret Arbitration Revealed: How DPS Official Kept Crooked Cop On The Job After FBI Raid

read … 2 years later, family of suspect in brutal beating death is still pleading for answers

As Planned, Navy rules out new landfill on Waipi'o Peninsula, Mayor unsurprisingly faces setback in fake search for Waimanalo Gulch replacement site

KITV: … The Navy ruled out the possibility of the City and County of Honolulu building a new landfill on the Waipi'o peninsula.

Right now, the area is home to a popular soccer complex. The decision was made after the Navy conducted a nine-month feasibility study. One concern was the site's proximity to critical Navy operations and training activities…

(CLUE: The plan has always been to continue at Waimanalo Gulch.)

read … Navy rules out new landfill on Waipi'o Peninsula, Mayor faces setback in search for replacement site

Not Just Red Hill: Hundreds Of Military Fuel Depots Threaten Environment And Public Health

CB: … After thousands of gallons of fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill storage complex contaminated Oahu’s drinking water, the Department of Defense decided to investigate other military gas stations around the world. 

In an audit of nearly 600 petroleum storage sites, released last week, the Department of Defense Inspector General found that the mismanagement and poor oversight that caused the crisis at Red Hill was not limited to Hawaii. Between fiscal years 2020 and 2022, there were 172 fuel spills at these sites, including one that totaled 136,000 gallons. …

SA: Report finds U.S. military facilities at ‘increased risk’ of fuel spills

SA: Navy removes toxic firefighting foam from Red Hill facility

read … Not Just Red Hill: Hundreds Of Military Fuel Depots Threaten Environment And Public Health

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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