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Tuesday, October 5, 2021
October 5, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:33 PM :: 1203 Views

Hicks: Chinese Military Expansion Poses Threats to Guam, Hawaii

Judiciary Postpones Jury Trials Until November 16

Taxpayer Debt Burden: Honolulu Grade 'F', Maui Grade 'D'

HART Keeps Rail Shut Down Until Council Approves $48M TAT Hike

SA: … Rail officials continue to search for a solution for too-thin wheels on too-wide track but have yet to receive interest on a contract offer that had a Sept. 24 deadline for bids to fix the problem.

(Of course they could just go 20 mph over frogs and open the system, but they don’t really want to open.)

At the same time, officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation have yet to receive an explanation of why at least one of the doors on its automated train cars was discovered open while moving during a test run in July, a violation of safety rules that forced (became a handy excuse for) daily testing of the entire fleet to shut down.

Months later, the fleet remains idled, and the trains are not undergoing testing….

(CLUE: These are just excuses.  HART doesn’t want to begin operating rail because it would expose the high costs of operation and low ridership figures, thus endangering HART’s push to extend beyond Middle Street..)

Last week the HART board voted to ask the City Council to propose a bill that would implement a city visitor tax and then permanently commit a percentage of the new tax revenue stream to benefit construction of the rail project….

According to the state’s calculations, if Oahu were to levy its own 3% TAT, it would generate about $48 million a year….

(The frog and door 'problems' will magically be 'solved' as soon as the TAT hike is locked in.)

read … HART officials have no answers for Oahu rail’s door, wheel, track problems

Attorney blames polices officer’s grudge for Makaha crash that left 6 injured

HNN: … After they left the beach, the attorney said his clients told him they were followed by a black SUV whose headlights and siren lights were turned off. “So they started to go a little bit faster and the cars behind them started to go a lot faster. The first car hit them in the back,” he said.

Perkins-Sinipati and a 14-year-old Dayten Gouveia were paralyzed in the crash. Three other passengers were seriously injured, Stern said.

“Two of them have broken spines among other breaks. They’re not in good shape. One minor ― his eye was split in half and was sewed back together,” he said.

Stern plans to file a lawsuit over the crash for his four clients. Gouveia’s family has already sued.

Stern claims the chase is part of a pattern of intimidation.

Last week, Perkins-Sinipati’s sister ― who also is the mother of one of the injured passengers ― said she was stopped by five police officers.

The woman posted video of the stop on social media, alleging police were trying to intimidate her.

The HPD said the three officers allegedly involved in the chase remain on restricted duty….

read … Attorney blames polices officer’s grudge for Makaha crash that left 6 injured

Honolulu To Pay $10 Million To Family Of Man Killed By Drunk Driver Fleeing Police

CB: … The City and County of Honolulu is set to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who was killed in Kakaako in 2019 when a driver fleeing police plowed through a group of pedestrians.

The Honolulu City Council already unanimously approved the settlement in committee and will hold a final vote on the matter on Wednesday….

On Jan. 28, 2019, Officer Sheldon Watts was pursuing a Ford F-150 driven by Alins Sumang in the Ala Moana and Victoria Ward areas, the complaint states. The office allegedly chased Sumang down Ala Moana Boulevard at speeds exceeding 60 miles per hour, according to the complaint, filed in state court in December 2020.

At the intersection of Ala Moana Boulevard and Kamakee Street, Sumang drove off the road and into several pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

William Travis Lau, an anesthesiologist, was among the three who died. In March, Sumang pleaded guilty to killing three people, including Lau, and injuring four others. He is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence….

(IDEA: Since Sumang was not locked up for his previous convictions due to a PSD-budget-minded judiciary and/or HPA, the $10M should be taken from the PSD budget.)

2019: Kakaako Drunk Driver Busted for Palau Alcohol Theft

read … Honolulu To Pay $10 Million To Family Of Man Killed By Driver Fleeing Police

Mafia News: Members of TV and film workers union authorize strike

CNN: … Members of the union representing roughly 60,000 film and television workers have voted to authorize a strike that could shutter Hollywood productions indefinitely….

(Good: Mafia unemployed, Hollywood shut.  Where’s the downside?)

read … Members of TV and film workers union authorize strike

Young Brothers audit ignores the elephant in the room

SA: … don’t expect the audit’s recommendations to be of much help. They amount to tinkering at the margins, considering Young Brothers has no competition — nor even the threat of competition. State law virtually guarantees Young Brothers’ monopoly, and the company has long fought to keep that privileged status.

In 2011, for example, in response to the PUC allowing Pasha to operate in the interisland trade, the Legislature amended the law and upped the barriers to entry. Any prospective competitor now has to meet almost impossible requirements under Act 213’s four-pronged test.

In 2018, state Rep. Sylvia Luke proposed a bill to amend the entry requirements, to remove some of the 2011 law’s most restrictive language.

Ironically, ocean carrier Matson, which shares with Pasha a virtual monopoly on all goods shipped between Hawaii and the mainland, supported the bill.

“Having the whole system limited to a single carrier can cause significant delays to essential cargo deliveries to the neighbor islands,” a company representative testified.

Luke’s bill did not pass…

Related: 46% Rate Hike: Audit Exposes Young Bros Fraudulent Accounting Tricks

read … Young Brothers audit ignores the elephant in the room

Big Island allows for larger gatherings at outdoor sporting events

KITV: … Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth's emergency proclamation expanding sports gatherings from 10 to 25….

read … Big Island allows for larger gatherings at outdoor sporting events

Hundreds of Hawaii parents on waitlists for afterschool child care services

KITV: … At least 2,600 children in critical need of afterschool care are currently on A+ Afterschool program waitlists across the state due to severe staffing shortages…..

read … Hundreds of Hawaii parents on waitlists for afterschool child care services

Green--Pandering Relentlessly--Calls For Quicker End To Hawaii Covid-19 Restrictions

CB: … (running for Governor) Green (slyly) called for allowing vaccinated individuals to attend large gatherings like weddings, concerts and University of Hawaii football games as long as they wear masks. He expects changes to rules in the next two weeks that would loosen restrictions on large gatherings, Green said during a segment of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” program on Monday.

“We are rapidly approaching a time where we should return to normal, both socially and economically,” Green said….

read … Green Calls For Quicker End To Hawaii Covid-19 Restrictions

Former MMA star, Hilo native BJ Penn announces run for governor of Hawaii

KITV: … BJ Penn, a native of Hilo, announced his run for Hawaii governor Monday on Instagram. He says he plans to remove all new federal and state COVID-19 mandates that have "been hurting our economy, residents, and ohana."…. 

HTH: BJ Penn says he’s ready to fight for Hawaii as governor

BG: UFC HALL-OF-FAMER AND SURVIVOR OF HORROR NEAR-DEATH EPISODE IN WAVEPOOL, BABY JAY “BJ” PENN, TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR OF HAWAII! “WE WILL GET RID OF ALL VACCINE PASSPORTS. HAWAII WILL BE VACCINATED WITH ALOHA!”

read … Former MMA star, Hilo native BJ Penn announces run for governor of Hawaii

State defends its decision to release fewer details daily on COVID fatalities

HNN: … “There have simply been too many deaths for our team to verify and document as expeditiously as we had earlier in the pandemic when there were fewer deaths. We will continue to provide weekly information including county of death, gender, age range of decedent, hospitalization status, and whether the decedent had underlying conditions.”

Hawaii just wrapped up its deadliest month of the pandemic ― with 193 COVID fatalities in September. And experts warn fatalities could remain high through mid-October.

UH economics professor and independent researcher Sumner La Croix calls the Health Department’s change an unfortunate decision, especially at such a critical time in the pandemic.

He added that it’s symptomatic of a more troubling problem.

“From our perspective, we don’t have enough data to begin with,” La Croix said. “The Department of Health has released relatively little data so far that’s of use to independent researchers.

“When they’ve released their own studies, they’ve been studies of episodes a long time ago in the epidemic. What we need is more data, not less data.”

La Croix previously used the state’s data to analyze trends and see how the pandemic is progressing across the islands.

“One of the advantages of having good data being released by the government is that independent researchers can add a second set of eyes to it beyond just the people inside the agency,” La Croix said. “There’s people outside the agency looking at it. When people outside agencies look at data, they often see different things.”…

“This is one of these instances where if the Department of Health is feeling like there’s a lack of resources to keep its data collection going, it ought to be grabbing those resources from other agencies,” La Croix said….

read … State defends its decision to release fewer details daily on COVID fatalities

Kauai’s First Prosecutor Candidate Files For Special Election

CB: … Rebecca Like, Kauai’s acting prosecutor, filed nomination papers this week to campaign in a special election for county prosecutor, a seat vacated last month by Justin Kollar who had held the job for nearly a decade.

A special primary election to replace Kollar is scheduled for Dec. 18, followed by a special general election on Feb. 26.

The winner will serve the remaining three years of Kollar’s term.

Like, of Anahola, has worked in the county prosecutor’s office since 2010, spending the last nine years as third-in-command of a 45-person staff.

Kollar has endorsed her….

read …  Kauai’s First Prosecutor Candidate Files For Special Election

Public to get first crack at Maunakea Master Plan draft

HTH: … The University of Hawaii is hosting what it calls a “virtual public forum” in which the public can ask questions via email about UH’s draft Maunakea Master Plan.

The event will be livestreamed between 5-7 p.m. Wednesday on UH’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/uhmagazine. The public is asked to email their questions to eforum@hawaii.edu prior to the forum. Questions will be answered during the forum, with those questions submitted earliest being the most likely to be addressed….

read … Public to get first crack at Maunakea Master Plan draft

100% of ‘Recycled’ Plastic Always Goes into the Local Garbage Dump

TGI: … many residents misunderstand recycling guidelines, often engaging in so-called wish-cycling.

“The biggest problem is always with plastic … there’s a very clear explanation on the bin, what you can and what you can’t recycle in it,” Jordans said. “Many people just see the word plastic and throw anything that’s plastic in there.”

Kaua‘i only accepts clean No. 1 and No. 2 bottles and jars with no caps. Other plastics and packaging, including black plastic, contain additives that affect the product’s melting point – a critical factor in the recycling process. Recyclers unable to guarantee their product’s melting point must often dispose of their entire load, according to the county.

The restrictive guidelines stem from China’s 2018 ban on the importation of most plastics, which cut the world off from its primary buyer of residential recyclables. China purchased 70% of Americans’ plastic waste in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data report.

The ban also weakened the Kaua‘i recycling program in a less material way: residents now doubt their plastics are actually being repurposed.

“It seems like lately, the first thing they say is, ‘Is this actually getting recycled?’” Block said. “Everybody’s real skeptical of it in general.”

But the program really is what it claims to be, hence the county’s emphasis on disposal guidelines. (If there was any) Properly-disposed plastic waste is primarily (it would be) sold in Asian markets like Malaysia and Jakarta, and there is “always a buyer” for metal, glass and paper products, according to Jordans….

(Actually, Indonesia and Malaysia banned plastic junk imports in 2018 because they did not want the redirected garbage stream after China’s ban)

read … Recycling rules often go unheeded, surveyors say

Police body cam footage shows power of ‘miracle drug’ for reversing opioid overdoses

HNN: … Body camera videos recently provided to Hawaii News Now by the Maui Police Department show just how effective it can be. The videos were from an actual overdose call in Wailuku.

In a video, a teenager can be seen unconscious on her bedroom floor.

An officer then runs to get a nasal spray pack of Narcan from a patrol car and hands it to another officer, who runs up the driveway and into the back bedroom of the home.

Their sergeant is there with the unconscious teenager.

He gives a dose of Narcan and within seconds, she begins to wake up.

“C’mon, there you go, there you go,” the sergeant can be heard saying. “How you doing?”

The girl starts to cry and asks, “What happened?”

The sergeant asks what she took and she replies, “I don’t remember.”….

read … Police body cam footage shows power of ‘miracle drug’ for reversing opioid overdoses

One Homeless Lunatic Acquires 40-foot Rolloff Full of Garbage in 2 Weeks

WHT: …  Seven Hawaii Police Department Community Policing officers along with six state and county roads division employees spent Friday morning clearing a homeless camp site on Kuakini Highway in Kailua-Kona.

The camp, located across from Coconut Grove Marketplace in Historic Kailua Village, had been occupied for just two weeks by a 55-year-old man who suffers from bipolar disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.

Two small dump trucks and one 40-foot roll-off dumpster were filled to the brim with materials the individual accumulated on the property.

Kona Community Policing Officer Dwayne Sluss said Care Hawaii and 808 Homeless Task Force was working with the man to get him stabilized, and, hopefully, off the streets.

(Problem: We are asking a lunatic for his permission to put him in housing.)

Sluss estimated the cost in manpower and equipment to perform Friday’s clean up to be $10,000….

(We closed the insane asylums 50 yrs ago.. Homelessness is the mental health care system now.)

read … Police, county and state crews clear homeless campsite in Kona

Jeff Bezos reportedly bought a new house on Maui after spending weeks donating to local charities

YN: … Bezos has made several donations to local organizations in the weeks leading up the report of his new home purchase on the island. In August, Bezos donated to the Friends of the Children's Justice Center, a nonprofit that offers support to children who have been abused or neglected. Soon after, Bezos made a donation to the Maui Farm, which offers transitional housing for women and children who have experienced abuse or homelessness.

In September, Bezos donated to the Hawaii Land Trust to help protect four areas on Maui, and he also made a donation to the Mālama Family Recovery Center, a residential treatment program for women who are in recovery from substance abuse….

read … Jeff Bezos reportedly bought a new house on Maui after spending weeks donating to local charities

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