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Friday, January 28, 2022
January 28, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:33 PM :: 2542 Views

Ige Lacks Authority on Red Hill

It’s not weird, it’s constitutional

HECO Donates $2M to Deadbeats

Which States are Seeing the Biggest Interest in Homeschooling Amongst Parents?

Calling OHA’s Bluff:  HB2024 Would Strip Mountain of Telescopes, Hand it over to Hawaiian Activists

Aloha Stadium: Sometimes you wonder where political leaders find numbers to fit the narrative

2022 State Business Tax Climate Index--Hawaii Ranks 41st

December, 2021: Tourist Spending Down 5.5% from 2019

Hawaii Most Unionized State in USA

Old mafia trick: Leong Attorney Points Finger at Dying Man

CB: … Former Honolulu budget and fiscal services director Nelson Koyanagi is a “critical witness” who can demonstrate the transaction was proper, attorney Lynn Panagakos wrote in a motion asking the court to depose him.

(Translation: My client is not giving up Caldwell or Hanabusa.)

“If deposed, Mr. Koyanagi is expected to testify that the City Ordinances provide ways to process transactions legally, without going to City Council for approval, and this is not unusual,” she wrote.

Time is of the essence to depose Koyanagi because Koyanagi is experiencing unspecified medical issues, Panagakos said, adding there is “a substantial likelihood that he will not be available to testify at trial.” …

(Summary: Its legal because Nelson Koyanagi says its legal.  But you can‘t prosecute him because he is dying.  This is an old mafia trick--to be a rat but not be a rat.  Meanwhile the feds are looking for somebody to give up Caldwell or Hanabusa.) 

KHON: A judge is expected to rule on the motion on Friday.

ILind: Another small victory for public access to criminal cases/documents

PDF: Motion

read … Leong Attorney Flails Around Looking for a Defense

State Agencies Push Back Against OHA’s $638M Money Grab

CB: … On Thursday, a panel of senators advanced Senate Bill 2122 even as state agencies pushed back against the measure because they feel they already give OHA enough money.

Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said past proposals seeking to raise the $15 million cap have stalled because of opposition from state departments that feel they are already giving OHA enough of their land revenues….

In 1980, the Legislature decided that 20% of revenues generated by those public lands should go to OHA. But how that 20% was calculated has been disputed. Some agencies, like those that manage hospitals on state lands, have argued that payments should not be made to OHA.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled on the public land revenue issue three times, and has said each time that it’s up to the Legislature to resolve.

In 2006, the Legislature decided to set an interim annual payment of $15.1 million disbursed in quarterly payments. That amount has not increased since then.

The state Department of Transportation harbors division contributes the most to the OHA payments at about $10 million each year. DLNR comes next, with annual contributions of about $6 million. The Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Education and Economic Development and Tourism along with the University of Hawaii are all required to contribute land revenues to OHA.

But complicating matters is a federal exemption of revenues generated by food and retail establishments in state run airports. That has other state agencies like DLNR worried it could be left to pick up the tab.

At a hearing on SB 2122 on Thursday, state agencies questioned whether OHA’s accounting of the public land revenues is accurate.

Deputy Attorney General Craig Iha disputed the office’s claims that the state has underpaid OHA. He urged lawmakers to consider other purposes for public land revenues like funding public schools or improvements in public areas when deciding how much money to allocate to OHA.

In written testimony, DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case said making additional payments to OHA would hamper the agency’s ability to fund programs that protect watersheds, fight wildfires and preserve cultural and historic sites.

“These collective efforts have contributed significantly to the betterment of Native Hawaiians as well as the general public,” Case said….

A bigger question is where the $638 million balance OHA says it is owed could come from, and what impact it would have on the state budget.

If the state gives OHA $638 million from the general fund, the American Rescue Plan Act also requires that the state give the DOE an additional $180 million and that UH receive an additional $60 million, Budget Director Craig Hirai told lawmakers.

Hirai also questioned the accuracy of OHA’s calculations and suggested that lawmakers instead form a negotiating committee that would determine OHA’s share of public land revenues….

“If their intent was to build residential high-rises, they shouldn’t have accepted that field. That’s what the hard rub is,” Moriwaki said.

Moriwaki and other lawmakers have considered proposing a land swap with OHA, but she said no measure would be introduced in the Legislature until an agreement is reached between the office and the state….

SB2122: Text, Status

OHA: OHA BILL CALLS OUT STATE'S $63.8 MILLION ANNUAL UNDER PAYMENT IN PUBLIC LAND TRUST REVENUES

read … Should OHA Get A Bigger Share Of Hawaii’s Public Land Revenues?

After a Month of Stalling, DoH finally gives Navy ‘approval’ to filter millions of gallons of water a day from fuel-tainted Red Hill shaft

HNN: … The Navy received state approval Thursday to begin filtering millions of gallons of water from its now closed Red Hill shaft.

The plan includes disposing treated water into Halawa Stream.

The state permit is a key landmark in efforts to clean up the water contamination crisis and prevent more pollution of the key aquifer.

(After a month of artificial delays imposed by the Congressional Delegation insisting that the Navy seek ‘approval from the DOH, the DoH has the nerve to say) … “There is an urgency to remove contamination from the Navy’s Red Hill Shaft,” said Deputy Director of Environmental Health Kathleen Ho,” in a news release.

“DOH is authorizing the Navy to begin pumping and treating water from the Red Hill Shaft to prevent contamination from spreading throughout the aquifer. DOH staff will conduct oversight and ensure that actions are protective of human health and the environment.”…

read … Navy gets state approval to filter millions of gallons of water a day from fuel-tainted Red Hill shaft

Navy says it will release investigation into cause of Red Hill water contamination

SA: … The Navy says it will release its full investigation into what caused the fuel contamination in its drinking water system, clawing back a statement it released earlier this week that said only a summary of the report’s conclusions would be released to the public….

read … Navy says it will release investigation into cause of Red Hill water contamination

As criticism mounts, police commission eyes ways to speed up selection process for Next Kealoha

HNN: … Amid pushback, commissioners met with the consultant this week to see if there are ways to speed things up.

“We’re trying to cut that down,” said Shannon Alivado, Honolulu Police Commission Chair.

“Whether it can be five months, whether it can be four-and-a-half months. We’re trying to see where if any of that time can be shortened,” Alivado added.

She said the body asked if the community survey could be compressed or removed or if the exams could be done virtually.

The consulting company shunned both ideas but agreed to look at other possible shortcuts.

Frustration is setting in as the search drags on.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” said Robert Cavaco, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

The police union said the delays are taking a toll on the officers and they questioned the need for a consultant since the commission duties include hiring a chief.

“They’re there to make the tough decision, if you don’t want to make those tough decisions then you shouldn’t be on the commission,” Cavaco said.

PSI Services did meet with SHOPO to get feedback on exercises or questions that should be included in the process. The consulting company will be used for phase one of the process, to whittle down the number of applicants to a smaller group of finalists for the commission to consider.

Alivado said that helps keep politics or favoritism out of that vetting phase.

“The commission has no idea right now who the 19 applicants are,” she said….

read … As criticism mounts, police commission eyes ways to speed up chief selection process

Hawaii schools chief search -- Job Description Still Not Written, Position Still Not Advertised

SA: … Hiring a state superintendent of Hawaii’s public schools is taking about two months longer than originally planned. Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne says the extra time is necessary to work with a search firm that will advertise nationally for the job and to minimize disruption to the schools….

Instead of having a superintendent hired by March, the deadline set by the board in 2021, the new deadline is May, Payne wrote in an update to the BOE.

Keith Hayashi, former Waipahu High School principal, has been acting as interim superintendent since Aug. 1. The Department of Education has been without a permanent superintendent since the July resignation of Christina Kishimoto, who was hired in August 2017 with an annual salary of $240,000…

The search committee will provide a recommended job description at the BOE’s Feb. 17 meeting. That would put into motion a vote at its March 3 meeting. Once the job description is approved, the position will be advertised….

read … Hawaii schools chief search extended 2 months

Court clears the way for sale of Miske home in Hawaii Kai

ILind: …  According to the order, “the government and counsel for Defendant Miske have coordinated with regard to the preservation of assets alleged in the Indictment to be subject to forfeiture. The government and Defendant Miske agree that a market sale of the Subject Property is in the interests of all parties.”

“The government alleges that probable cause exists that the Subject Property represents property derived from proceeds traceable to an offense constituting specified unlawful activity,” including wire fraud, fraudulent identification documents, and other unlawful activities, according to the agreement.

Miske signed off on the order earlier this month, as did attorney Lynn Panagakos, who is co-counsel on his defense team, along with Thomas Otake. Assistant US Attorney Craig Nolan signed for US Attorney Clare E. Connors. Magistrate Judge Mansfield approved and signed the order on January 27.

Still facing forfeiture if Miske is convicted are a $5.6 million home on Lumahai Street in Portlock, which sits on a lot of more than 38,000 square feet, and another property 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on Paokano Loop in Kailua’s Enchanted Lake neighborhood, currently valued for tax purposes at $962,600.….

Miske and 10 co-defendants, is currently scheduled to begin on September 6….

read … Court clears the way for sale of Miske home in Hawaii Kai

Pelosi, PRP Team up to Train a New Generation of Hawaii Political Cronies

SA: … The first group of 30 emerging leaders who want to play bigger roles in their island communities — including political candidates and the newest member of the state House — began their first day of a 15-week training program Thursday night.

They were welcomed virtually by Christine Pelosi — a San Francisco-based attorney and daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who has conducted similar boot camps in 41 states and four countries involving thousands of new leaders….

The program called “Partners for Democracy” is backed by Pacific Resource Partnership, a nonprofit organization that represents the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters and more than 240 Hawaii contractors.

The first group includes participants from Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Hawaii island and Oahu who work in government service and the private sector, including the U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Detention Center, a chiropractic center, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and Kamehameha Schools.

Five are aides to Honolulu City Council Chairman Tommy Waters, Councilwoman Radiant Cordero, state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, state Rep. Jackson Sayama and U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele.

Eight are self-described candidates, including former Hawaii County Councilman Greggor Ilagan and state Rep. Linda Clark (D, Lanai-Molokai-Paia-Hana), who was sworn into office on the opening day of the 2022 legislative session to fill the term of former Rep. and current state Sen. Lynn DeCoite (D, Molokai-Lanai-East Maui), who replaced Kalani English…. 

MN: Emerging leaders in Maui County join program’s inaugural cohort

read … Training begins for Hawaii’s next community and political leaders

Homeless Drug Addicts Trash Ala Moana Park

SA: … The Ala Moana tennis courts are being abused by homeless people. They live there when the electric light goes out after 10 p.m. Every morning, they leave dirty towels, clothes, underwear, leftover bento, food, bones, shampoo, cans, water bottles, used masks, etc. on the ground everywhere. Also, some urinate and defecate and leave the mess. Mesh drapes/screens that are supposed to hang on the chain-link fence have been cut to be used as a floor mat to sleep on. The courts should be locked up after 10 p.m. every day. Please help….

KHON: More Homeless Mayhem: 78-year-old lady pushed and injured by male on bicycle 

read … Why let homeless camp on tennis courts?

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