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Thursday, October 11, 2018
October 11, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:58 PM :: 2152 Views

Lawsuit: OHA-Owned Corporations Must Comply With Open Records Laws

Brett Kavanaugh: Hawaiian Kingdom Hero?

Process Begins for Maui County to Acquire a Portion of Wailuku Water Company

Case, Cavasso agree on updating Jones Act

Call for Nominations for UH Board of Regents

New House-Senate Committee Chairs for 2018—Gun Control Nuts to Lead Key Committees

SA: …One issue that may surface at the Legislature next year is “open carry” of firearms in public, which is the subject of a lawsuit working its way through the courts.

A three-member panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 24 struck down a Hawaii law that limited open carry privileges to people “engaged in the protection of life and property,” declaring the law to be unconstitutional. The court also prohibited Hawaii County from enforcing the law.

Rhoads has said that allowing open carry of firearms is a “terrible idea,” and would make Hawaii more dangerous.

Sources familiar with the House and Senate reorganization said current Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi plans to take control of the Senate Labor Committee, a slot that will be vacated by Sen. Jill Tokuda when she leaves office. Tokuda, (D, Kailua-Kaneohe), made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor this year.

The move by Taniguchi, (D, Makiki-Tantalus-Manoa), will clear the way for Rhoads to take charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee handles matters related to criminal and civil law, and also vets the nominations of most judges before the candidates are put to confirmation votes in the full Senate.

In the House, Judiciary Chairman Scott Nishimoto said he fulfilled his commitment to handle that job for two years, and now wants to try another position.

Lee, (D, Kailua-Lanikai- Waimanalo) is expected to replace Nishimoto, and state Rep. Nicole Lowen is expected to take charge of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee that is now headed by Lee….

Hawaii Rifle Association President Harvey Gerwig said lawmakers next year may consider passing new limits on open carry of firearms that would survive a legal challenge….

For instance, Gerwig said the state may impose new training requirements for people who seek an open carry permit, an approach that has been used in other states. “What we don’t want is a bunch of criteria above and beyond the fact that you are a legal gun owner,” he said. “That should be the only criteria.”…

In other changes in the works at the state Capitol, state Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, (D, Pahoa-Kalapana) is to become chairwoman of the House committee on Human Services and Homelessness, while state Sen. Russell Ruderman would be chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee, according to lawmakers who asked that they not be identified.

Rep. John Mizuno will be chairman of the House Health Committee. Mizuno, (D, Kamehameha Heights- Kalihi Valley), is currently chairman of the combined Health and Human Services Committee, which would be split into two committees next year.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, (D, Kalihi Valley- Moanalua-Halawa) is expected to become chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and state Sen. Kai Kahele would become chairman of the Senate Water and Land Committee.

State Sen. Stanley Chang (D, Diamond Head-Kahala- Hawaii Kai), is expected to become chairman of the Senate Housing Committee….

read … Gun control advocates to lead key committees

Ige ‘Emergency’ Blocks Reopening of Geothermal Plant

WHT: … “PGV, Ormat is totally 100 percent committed to returning back to operations,” Kaleikini said. “It’s a different landscape today, but we’re commited to coming back. … It’s been tough.”…

Ormat has been helicoptering staff to the site, he said, as a 50-to-60-foot wall of lava blocks the entrance. Major work has to wait until state officials give the go-ahead; a difficult proposition since Gov. David Ige last week signed a fourth supplemental emergency proclamation, extending the lava emergency until Dec. 1.

The 38 megawatt geothermal plant provided 31 percent of the energy to the grid last year. One megawatt powers between 750 and 1,000 homes.

“We’re waiting for the day the governor says this eruption is over,” Kaleikini said.

That lava wall is also keeping HELCO crews from replacing the connection station and transmission lines to the plant, Ignacio said.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Lane took out one of HELCO’s hydroelectric plants on the Wailuku River. Two other plants remain, one privately owned and another owned by HELCO. The damaged plant accounted for just a fraction of the island energy supply at 1 megawatt, but it will be replaced….

IM: 

read … Energy officials update plans at chamber function

Will Legislators Speak out on Hiraoka Nomination?

CB: House Speaker Scott Saiki and Senate President Ron Kouchi publicly and financially supported Ige’s 2018 Democratic primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Perhaps they’ll want to exact a little revenge come Hiraoka’s confirmation hearing, but if they do it will look as political as — well, as political as appointing your high school buddy and campaign manager to a judgeship..

…Portnoy called allegations of fast-tracking Hiraoka’s judicial career a red herring….

Ige interviewed the nominees and said he sought “input and guidance” from former Supreme Court Justice James Duffy and the legal community before making his selection…..

Once Hiraoka learned that his name was submitted to the governor, he resigned his political position, the administration said in January 2017….

Hiraoka gave money to Ige’s first gubernatorial campaign. He contributed $6,000 (the maximum allowable amount per election) during the first half of 2014.

But campaign finance records do not show Hiraoka giving his old buddy any money after that…

In Wednesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, for example, one letter writer (David Frankel) called the Hiraoka nomination “inappropriate” and “simply wrong.”….

SA: This episode recalls then-Gov. John Waihee’s similarly ill-advised attempt to elevate Sharon Himeno, the wife of his attorney general, to the state Supreme Court.

read … Pal Of Ige Or Not

Abercrombie: Vote YES for ConCon

HNN: …Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa went head-to-head on the issue at Wednesday’s gathering.

Abercrombie said he used to oppose the idea of a con con, but now supports it after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. He believes that Kavanaugh would do nothing for native people.

“Virtually everything with regard to native people is now on the line across the country,” Abercrombie said.

“And that’s part of the reason why I favor the convention now because I believe that those questions and those issues which I believe are before the Native Hawaiian people now will virtually receive no support in the Supreme Court.”

Meanwhile, Hanabusa expressed her concern for the security of the current benefits and rights Native Hawaiians have now, including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Those are going to be consequences which we’re not going to be able to ... basically put into reverse," she said….

Related: Brett Kavanaugh: Hawaiian Kingdom Hero?

read … Abercrombie, Hanabusa disagree on constitutional convention

HART Chair Explains P3

SA: … we are now asking the private sector to provide private finance to cover a significant portion of the costs during the construction period.

Additionally, the winning bidder will take on the long-term operations and maintenance of the system and will have to ensure that the rail system maintains a high level of performance throughout its life….

Increased competition is expected from international and local firms, and there are several who already have expressed strong interest in participating in this partnership. The private financing will not be paid back until the train is in operation and meeting a high bar of performance and quality. This is the type of cost and schedule performance that was missing in the past and is sorely needed to finish this project.

HART’s proposal is for a 10-year private finance component, with all debt under the P3 repaid in the same timeframe as it was prior to consideration of P3. The debt is not for 30 years and not extended out for future generations to handle…

P3, and more specifically, “design- build-finance-operate-maintain” or” DBFOM,” have gained popularity around the world to specifically address the issue of large and complex infrastructure projects managing their costs and schedule better than local governments have….

the only reason for us to even consider P3 would be if it might prove to be better than doing things the same way we’ve always done them….

read … Public-private partnerships will benefit rail transit project

City may have to repay $8M, HUD warns

SA: …A local U.S. housing official warned Mayor Kirk Caldwell Wednesday that the city could be forced to repay nearly $8 million for failing to find commercial tenants for the Chinatown Gateway Plaza building on Nuuanu and Hotel streets.

At issue is the city’s use of $7.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to either purchase or make improvements to the rental tower. Currently, all commercial spaces on the ground floor are unoccupied except for one unit leased by Strode Montessori Infant and Toddler Center, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development official Mark A. Chandler said in his letter.

“The Chinatown Gateway Plaza commercial spaces have been vacant for far too long,” said Chandler, HUD’s Hawaii director of community planning and development. “If the city cannot put the vacant commercial spaces in Chinatown Gateway Plaza in use, satisfying a CDBG eligible use and national objective … the city will have to repay the CDBG program at a minimum $7,940,804.00 and as much as the current fair market value of the property less any non-CDBG funds that were used to acquire and/or improve the property.”

City Land Management Director Sandra Pfund, in a statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser late Wednesday, said the city has been trying to lease the space to suitable tenants but has been unsuccessful because the plaza lacks available parking and the market for office space in the area is soft (insert excuses here) ….

read …  City may have to repay $8M, HUD warns

Committee seeks candidates for Kamehameha Schools trustee position

HNN: …The term for Trustee Corbett A.K. Kalama will expire on June 30, officials said.

To fill the seat, the Probate Court has appointed a seven-member committee. The committee, which is actively looking for candidates, will propose three names to the Probate Court.

The court will then appoint one of the candidates to a five-year term on the board….

Qualified candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and a statement on their vision of their role and objectives for the trust by email to executives@inkinen.com….

read … Committee seeks candidates for Kamehameha Schools trustee position

Honolulu police lieutenant charged with multiple tax violations

SA: …Honolulu Police Department’ Professional Standards detectives arrested an HPD lieutenant today for alleged tax violations.

The state Department of Taxation issued a news release today, saying that Eric Yiu was charged Monday in Circuit Court for six counts of filing false and fraudulent tax returns for tax years 2011 to 2016.

If convicted, Yiu could face up to a maximum of three years’ imprisonment, or probation and a fine of not more than $100,000 for each count….

News Release: HONOLULU POLICE LIEUTENANT CHARGED WITH TAX VIOLATIONS

read … Honolulu police lieutenant charged with multiple tax violations

Guam pushes for native-only vote on U.S. relationship

AP: The question before a panel of U.S. appeals court judges: Should non-native residents of Guam have a say in the territory’s future relationship with the United States?

Three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were at the University of Hawaii’s law school today to listen to arguments in an appeal of a federal judge’s 2017 ruling that says limiting the vote to those who are considered native inhabitants of the island is unconstitutional.

Voters would have three choices: independence, statehood and free association with the United States similar to island states that allow the U.S. exclusive military access to their land and waters while their citizens have the right to live and work in the U.S.

Arnold Davis, a white, non-Chamorro resident of Guam, sued in 2011 after his application to participate in the vote was denied.

Last year’s ruling concluded that even though Guam has a long history of colonization and its people have a right to determine their political status with the United States, it’s unconstitutional to exclude voters simply because they “do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline.”

The ruling cites a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows non-Native Hawaiians to vote in elections for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees.

Guam appealed.…

2017: Race-based voting overturned on Guam — after six years 

read … Guam pushes for native-only vote on U.S. relationship

$200M Flood Control Project for Ala Wai Canal

KITV: …a bill for Hawaii to receive more than $200 million in federal funding to improve the Ala Wai canal.

The legislation would also improve water resources and infrastructure in Hawaii, and across the nation. $212 million would go towards improving the Ala Wai canal and watershed, reduce flood risks in the area, and strengthen flood warning systems.

“This major investment will make sure the Army Corps has the funding it needs to strengthen the canal and protect residents against flooding,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who created the plan, says if there were a major storm, the canal and watershed that flows into it needs major updates in order to prevent catastrophic flooding.

The plan is centered around reducing flood risks, improving the flood warning system, and constructing six in-stream debris and detention basins. Four foot high concrete floodwalls will also be built along one or both sides of approximately 1.9 miles of the Ala Wai canal.

read … Hawaii could receive $200 million to improve Ala Wai Canal

Grading Maui councilmember attendance

MT: …Elle Cochran missed 19 meetings (11 percent) and Alika Atay missed 23 (13 percent).

• The most-ditched committee was the Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture Committee chaired by Yuki Lei Sugimura, which averaged 2.4 absences per meeting, or 74 percent attendance.

• The second most-ditched committee was the IEM committee, chaired by Elle Cochran which averaged 2.3 absences per meeting, or 66 percent attendance (IEM committee has seven voting members; PEA has nine).

• Eight committee meetings were canceled this year due to a lack of quorum. IEM committee was canceled four times, the most of any committee…..

read … Grading councilmember attendance

Harassment: Waters Campaign Gins Up Investigation

SA: …Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin announced this week that an investigative team has been formed to look into an allegation that Councilman Trevor Ozawa verbally harassed another Councilman’s aide for supporting his political rival.

The aide, Paulyne Anakalea, has since filed a complaint with the city’s Ethics Commission.

The finger-pointing at Honolulu Hale over the allegation has political undertones. Anakalea was sign-waving for former state Rep. Tommy Waters, who is seeking to unseat Ozawa in the Nov. 6 general election. She works as an aide for Councilman Ikaika Anderson….

Anderson criticized Martin for taking more than two months to form an investigative team. But Ozawa and Council Vice Chairwoman Kymberly Pine said Anderson — who is supporting Waters to unseat Ozawa — is pressuring his staff to do his political bidding.

Martin will leave the Council in January under term limits, and Anderson and Pine are believed to be jockeying to replace him as Council chairman. Whoever wins the Ozawa-Waters battle could tip the scales toward one or the other….

Ozawa accused Anderson of “using this false complaint as a political tool” to help his opponent, and said Anderson “has a history of bullying people,” pointing to a 2012 Ethics Commission opinion that found Anderson in December 2010 used his city position to obtain favorable treatment for himself … and to threaten retaliation against (city parking) employees” following several parking disputes….

read … Team to look into harassment claims by Council worker

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