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Wednesday, September 26, 2018
September 26, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:46 PM :: 2268 Views

Former UH Manoa Anti-Trump Protester-- "Why I Left the Left"

Trump official accused of violating Hatch Act for speech at Hawaii GOP fundraiser

Hirono Rhetoric Backfires--"Republican Party Favorability Highest in Seven Years"

DoH Receives $8M Federal Grant to Fight Opioid Abuse

DoH Report on Underage Transsexuals Makes no Mention of the Child Molesters who Victimize Them

Engineers: Sea Life Park Falling Apart- A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Rail: As Federal Clock Ticks, Caldwell, Martin, Robbins Form Circular Firing Squad 

CB: …The federal agency’s letter further demanded that HART update its recovery plan in the next 60 days so that it reflects the FTA’s estimated total cost for the project, which is $134 million higher than HART’s. It also gave the city 60 days to commit its first $44 million in city dollars to the project.

“It’s not simple,” Caldwell said Tuesday.

For the city to even release those dollars it must first pass Bill 42 to lift the ban on using city funds for rail construction. That would require special, expedited hearings if the City Council is to pass it by the FTA’s Nov. 21 deadline.

Bill 42 is also politically volatile. Neither Caldwell nor the council actually want to pass it, but they’re facing FTA pressure and the requirements of the state’s bailout package for rail last year.

Tensions have resurfaced between Caldwell and Council Chairman Ernie Martin. During his Tuesday press conference, Caldwell, flanked by council allies Ron Menor and Joey Manahan, accused Martin and other council members of delaying for months the appropriate legislation to keep rail moving.

In an unusual move, Caldwell then sat at his desk and signed his most recent letter to Martin, which urged him to act on Bill 42, in front of reporters and cameras.

“Trust is evaporated,” Caldwell said moments before. The mayor added that he’s writing more letters to keep a record on rail….

It remains to be seen, however, whether Martin will be able to corral the council votes to pass Bill 42. Two council members, Ikaika Anderson and Kymberly Pine, have expressed interest in running for mayor in 2020.

Notably, Caldwell refused to commit to the additional $134 million for the rail project that the FTA is also demanding.

Instead, “HART needs to find where they’re going to find that money,” he said. “The taxpayer’s on the hook enough.” Since HART assured the Legislature that it wouldn’t need any more cash, the responsibility should fall to them, he said. “I say, you come up with the solution.”….

read … Honolulu Rail Project Faces Critical Decisions In Next 60 Days

Hawaii Republican Infighting is not ‘fighting the good fight’

Cataluna: …Hawaii Republicans obviously have an uphill battle in the state. On top of that hill are the smug Democrats, really not paying the Republicans much attention.

What’s not clear is whether the Republicans even know that there is a hill. Consumed by petty, kooky infighting, even when they can field a credible candidate they can’t hold it together long enough to mount a real campaign. The firepower they could use to wound the listless local Democrats is instead turned inward. These guys never settle grudges, they expand them.

And so we have scenes like their finance committee chairman resigning abruptly with a shot at the party’s leadership. At the big general election fundraising dinner last week, part of the “entertainment” was watching the nominee for lieutenant governor fume and grumble about her running mate’s speech.

Hawaii Republicans have an opportunity to define their own identity far away from the toxic rhetoric of Washington. The party is fielding two women of color for the state’s top elected offices, one of whom is an immigrant. That makes Hawaii Republicans unique —maybe even progressive — among the 50 states. Yet they squander this convergence in typical fashion, sucking up to D-list right-wing political celebrities, lapping at the trough of Trumpism and engaging in public displays of dysfunction.

It would have been interesting to hear what LG candidate Marissa Kerns, who was born in the Philippines, had to say about immigration. But she was too busy making a scene at the dinner saying that no one gave her a nametag and complaining about Andria Tupola, her running mate….

Instead of wasting time explaining away their president’s disruptive behavior as strong leadership, Hawaii Republicans could offer their own prescriptions for what ails Hawaii. There’s so much work to do right here at home. Let’s hear how they’d fix schools. Let’s hear how they’d soothe the tensions between vacation rentals and neighborhoods, and how they’d get tourists who sleep on pullout couches instead of hotel beds to pay their share of taxes. How would they smooth out the roads, harden the bridges and renovate the airport? Let’s hear their plan for helping local businesses.

If Republicans talked about real solutions to real Hawaii problems, they might be taken seriously. They might even win. Hawaii Democrats are not the same well-run political machine of the Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka era. Their organization is a weak and wobbly thing with vicious infighting of its own. Hawaii voters have gone from apathy to resignation. If a strong vision of leadership were to arise from the Republican Party, that could draw local voters like a beacon in the fog.

But not this year. Not when there are nametags to find and presidents to flatter….

CB: Can Anything Help The GOP In Hawaii?

read … Infighting is not ‘fighting the good fight’

UH Survey: President Donald J Trump is More Popular than Ige, Caldwell, Legislature

CB: …In deep blue Hawaii, Republican President Donald Trump has a higher approval rating than the state’s almost entirely Democratic Legislature, according to a new survey by the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center.

Only 21 percent of 400 respondents statewide thought the Legislature was doing a good job. The margin of error was 4.9 percent for the survey, conducted this summer by Market Trends Pacific.

Trump had a 28 percent approval rating, which was also higher than Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who were each at 26 percent.

Colin Moore, who heads the UH Public Policy Center, said the Legislature’s low approval rating was “pretty shocking” for a state with so few competitive elections where incumbents almost never lose their seats.….

read … In Hawaii, People Like Trump Better Than They Like The Legislature

Muslim Assaults Hotel Worker, Claims to be Above the Law

SA: … Bautista, 46, who immigrated from the Philippines in 2011, said the man asked her to open the door to an adjoining room, but the door was locked on the other side and she told the guest she would call security to open it.

But the man grabbed her hand and said no, she said. As the housekeeper moved to leave the room, he grabbed her hand again, trying to pull her back into the room. The woman ducked into the maid’s closet in the hallway.

“I was crying and shaking inside the (closet),” she recalled.

Bautista said she called security and asked if she could go home, but no help came.

Later, after she warily returned to her duties, the belligerent guest spotted her and demanded that she clean his room. He was holding an untwisted wire hanger and was stroking it as he repeated his demand, she said.

“I’m scared and I’m alone,” she remembered, pausing to wipe away tears.

Threatened, she hid in the closet again. “Still, nobody came,” she said.

The next day, Bautista went to the hotel’s security office, where she described being treated gruffly. She also reported the incident to a police officer, who told her the man was part of a royal entourage from Saudi Arabia that claimed diplomatic immunity….

Jackelyn Bautista of Waipahu said she was left scared and shaken following the Saturday incident, which she tearfully recounted to the media at a news conference at the Honolulu headquarters of her union, Local 5….

read … About Islam

Issues at MCCC lead to $37,490 in fines

MN: …Inoperable doors, dormitory stairways in disrepair and a fire alarm system that has not been operational for years at Maui Community Correctional Center have led to $37,490 in fines — the second time this summer that the Maui jail has been cited.

The state labor department’s Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division cited Maui’s only jail on Aug. 29 with five “serious” violations and ordered the state Public Safety Department to pay the fines by Oct. 4, according to division documents.

Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said Tuesday the two departments settled on a payment of $22,820 on Sept. 18 for three of the five citations with the other two waived. She said all citations were fire-safety related….

read … Issues at MCCC lead to $37,490 in fines

Big Island: More Anti-Dairy Activism

CB: …Big Island Dairy’s website claims that its milk comes from “the happiest cows on earth.”

But the people (and TVR owners) of Ookala, the former sugarcane town downhill from the dairy on the Big Island’s rainy Hamakua coast, are very unhappy. They’ve formed a nonprofit organization called Kupale Ookala, which has partnered with the Center for Food Safety to take legal action over repeated spills and runoff of cattle manure, cattle urine and other waste.

Their lawsuit was filed in June 2017. Documents filed since then by the plaintiffs say that Big Island Dairy had violated the federal Clean Water act on dozens of occasions by discharging “liquid manure,” cattle urine and other noxious substances into three gulches that run through the town and into the ocean. According to residents, the incidents reached a crisis point two years ago when a storm breached lagoons where manure and urine were being stored….

(Tourism is taking over everything.)

Beef: Drought in paradise? Ranching in Hawaii has its challenges

read … Big Island: Residents Say Dairy Is Still Polluting Their Small Town

Red Hill fuel tank corrosion worse than expected

SA: …Testing by the Navy on one of its massive underground fuel tanks at Red Hill suggests that tank corrosion at the facility is more extensive than it predicted, elevating concerns among Honolulu Board of Water Supply officials and environmentalists about the aging facility’s potential for leaks and the risk that poses to Oahu’s drinking water.

As part of an agreement with federal and state regulators, the Navy sampled 10 steel plates from one of its 20 tanks at the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility near Pearl Harbor. At least five of the plates, which measured 1-foot by 1-foot in size, showed considerable corrosion, according to the Board of Water Supply, which was briefed by the Navy on the findings. More troubling, parts of the tank’s original, quarter-inch-thick steel liner have become extremely thin and it appears the Navy overestimated the remaining thickness of some of the plates.

For instance, the Navy had anticipated the thickness of one steel plate to be between 0.135 to 0.187 inches. However, testing in June indicated that the remaining thickness was about half of that. The steel liner is the only thing separating the fuel from a release into the environment….

SA Editorial: Navy fuel tank fixes can’t wait

read … Red Hill fuel tank corrosion worse than expected

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