Bill 41 Could Squash Short-term Rentals
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Rep Bob McDermott Announces Campaign for US Senate
How Kealoha settlement was rushed past Honolulu Police Commission
SA: … The private negotiations resulting in the $250,000 retirement settlement for former police Chief Louis Kealoha were handled by the city’s former corporation counsel and Police Commission chairman before the proposal was given to commissioners shortly before they voted on it, according to a former commissioner.
Former commissioner Steven Levinson, a retired associate justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Max Sword, then police commission chairman, asked commissioners for permission to work with Donna Leong, then the city’s corporation counsel, on the structure of an agreement to get Kealoha to resign his position.
“We were briefed on it (the settlement) in executive session by Donna, and there were some questions. We asked about the agreement, and there were some suggestions about certain changes to the agreement and Donna told the commission, ‘I’ve done all the negotiating I am going to do.’ That’s almost a quote,” said Levinson. “It was very clear this was take it or leave it. In the course of Donna briefing us, there was some question about where that money was going to come from. We didn’t get a good answer. The sense of it was, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ The impression I was left with, that the money was coming out of department funds, that seemed understandable and reasonable to me. We weren’t given any particulars as to where the funds were coming from or how that payoff would be structured. None. Nothing.”
Commissioners never saw a copy of the settlement until Leong briefed them on it. Shortly after that briefing, commissioners voted 4-1 to approve it. Levinson has not been questioned by federal investigators….
read … Kealoha settlement was rushed past Honolulu Police Commission
Military-Industrial Complex, Congressional Delegation Pushing Unwanted Missile Radar for Kauai
SA: … While the project’s supporters maintain that it’s critical to Hawaii’s security… the Pentagon has spent years trying to defund it.
In December 2018 the Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to develop, build and deliver the HDR-H after the false alert missile scare had rattled the state in January amid high tensions with North Korea. North Korea announced last week that it had successfully tested a hypersonic missile, and has conducted several missile tests this month.
Military planners have spent years trying to find a home for the HDR-H. After scouting potential sites on Oahu, they are now eyeing the Pacific Missile Range Facility as a favored site for the project. The Missile Defense Agency is in the “scoping phase” of the development process and drafting an environmental impact statement — a document that lays out potential positive and negative impacts on surrounding communities.
Military activities in Hawaii are under heightened scrutiny after fuel from the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility — situated above a critical aquifer — contaminated the service’s drinking water system, which serves 93,000 people on Oahu. During a Tuesday congressional hearing on the crisis, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, D-Hawaii, told commanders, “We are at an inflection point for … the state of Hawaii’s public trust and relationship with the United States military moving forward.”
In its latest defense spending bill, Congress ordered the Navy to propose alternative fuel storage sites for the Pacific Fleet’s war reserve. The bill also authorized $465.5 million for military construction projects in Hawaii, including $75 million in continued funding for the HDR-H. Defense spending plays a critical role in Hawaii’s economy, making up at least 7.7% of the state’s GDP.
Hawaii’s congressional delegation has for years fought for continued funding of the radar despite repeated Pentagon efforts to zero out funding under President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Though the HDR-H has been on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s funding wish list for years, the Pentagon has cited problems finding a viable location and a desire to look at alternative sensor systems in the Pacific as reasons for putting funds elsewhere….
read … Kauai residents raise concerns over planned $1.9 billion missile radar
Hawaii County Councilman criticized for Anti-Vax social media posts
HTH: … A County Council member representing Puna received criticism on social media for a post appearing to downplay the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder on Jan. 11 shared on his official Facebook and Instagram accounts a post making claims about the novel coronavirus, the omicron variant and vaccinations that contradict guidance from state and federal health agencies….
The text of the post itself appears to be a copy-and-pasted message that was spread across social media platforms in the beginning of the year, but Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder said it was shared directly with him from “medical doctors on Hawaii Island,” who he declined to name for fear of exposing them to harassment.
The post makes several erroneous claims about the omicron variant, including that vaccines are not capable of providing immunity against COVID-19.
Instead, the post reads, “an omicron infection however provides very good protection against infection than any vaccines or infection by previous variants.”
According to the post, the record-breaking number of new cases brought by the omicron variant will lead to herd immunity “and possibly bring an end to the pandemic.”
The post ends with a paragraph condemning unnamed people and groups that have profited from the COVID health crisis and who “sow fear” about the omicron variant in order to perpetuate the pandemic. The post urges readers to ignore such people, as well as those “addicted to living in fear.”….
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State Democratic Party Chair Announces Plan to Avert Anti-Vaxxer Takeover of Party
read … Councilman criticized for social media post
50 Years After Title IX, Hawaii DoE Still Doesn’t Have Female Locker Rooms
CB: … In Hawaii, in spite of a successful lawsuit by the ACLU against Maui’s Baldwin High over the use of the school’s softball practice fields, the state Department of Education continues to fail to comply with Title IX for their female athletes.
In 2018 the ACLU again filed suit against the DOE for failing to address the glaring disparity in locker room use at Campbell High School and for the preferential treatment of boys over girls in selection of coaches, travel opportunities, as well as promotion and marketing….
read … How Has Title IX Held Up In Hawaii 50 Years On?
‘Broken Windows’ Enforcement? Only if you smash the windows in Police Station
CB: … “There are too many broken windows,” says Chinatown boutique owner Roberta Oaks.
Oaks lists the shops and service providers in her immediate Nuuanu Street neighborhood where suspected vandals have shattered glass windows in the last two months.
The most surprising example I saw when walking through Chinatown Wednesday was the vandalized window on the front door of the Honolulu Police Department’s Chinatown substation.
HPD’s shattered window — now held together with strips of red tape — is a highly visible symbol of the disorder that continues to distress residents living or working in Chinatown.
Criminologist Janet Davidson — a Chaminade University professor and a Chinatown resident — says the police station’s shattered front window shows how lawless it has become. She says it sends a powerful message to others who might be watching that everything is fair game.
And if you are a Chinatown business owner you have to wonder: when someone is brazen or crazy enough to break the window of the police station, could your storefront be next?
A 40-year-old woman was arrested at the scene at 8:40 p.m. on January 8 and charged with criminal property damage for allegedly shattering the police station’s window, according to acting HPD Maj. Calvin Sung.
In an email, Sung says the woman received medical treatment for cuts to her hand and that no police officers were injured.
According to Sung, the Chinatown police substation has been vandalized before. He says last year culprits spray-painted the outside walls of the station with graffiti….
MN: More Homeless Mayhem: Man placed on probation for damaging car parked at hospital
SA: Oahu’s unsheltered homeless Point-in-Time Count postponed due to rise in COVID-19 cases
read … Chinatown Homeless Mayhem
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