How George H W Bush Stopped the Bombing of Kahoolawe
Smug Hirono: Dems Struggle Appealing to Voters Because ‘We Have to Tell Everyone How Smart We Are’
House Announces Committee and Leadership Roster
Candidate registration period opens for 2019 Neighborhood Board Elections
Lt. Gov. Green Hires Carpenters Union Lobbyist As His Chief Of Staff
SA: … Lt. Gov. Josh Green has hired Brooke Wilson, who served as political and education director for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, as his chief of staff, as well as experts from the health care industry to staff his office on the fifth floor of the state Capitol.
Green, who was sworn into office Monday, received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the super political action committee financed by the pro-rail carpenters union, called Be Change Now, during his campaign for lieutenant governor — a staggering amount for such a race which surprised political observers and elicited criticism from his Democratic primary rivals.
Green said it made sense to hire Wilson, 39, given her (ownership of him and) knowledge of the Honolulu rail project, the largest public works project in state history ….
As deputy chief of staff, Green has hired Jeremy Lakin. Lakin worked for the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (co-owners of Green), a trade association for hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and other businesses operating in the health care sector….
J.P. Schmidt, who served as the state’s insurance commissioner under former Gov. Linda Lingle and has worked in the insurance sector since leaving office, has joined Green’s office as a senior policy adviser….
read … Lieutenant governor’s office staff shaping up
Gabbard: If You Ask About Chris Butler, You Are Just Like Pittsburgh Shooter
CB: … If she runs, Gabbard will face a level of scrutiny she’s never known.
Every move, every public statement, every slip-up will be dissected and discussed, from her sponsorship of legislation that set the foundation for the criminalization of homelessness in Honolulu and her past socially conservative beliefs on abortion and same-sex marriage to her upbringing in a family closely associated with a religious sect.
While this might seem like old news to those in Hawaii who have followed her evolution as a politician, it will be fair game on the national campaign trail, where she must introduce herself to a new constituency.
In fact, it’s already starting.
In Exeter, New Hampshire, during the Rockingham County “meet and greet,” one man wanted to know about her record and her history.
Tom St. Martin told her that when he posted about the event on Facebook, he was bombarded with messages about Gabbard’s past religious affiliations and how that affected her views on LGBT rights.
Some, he said, were particularly interested in her relationship with Chris Butler, who is the leader of a fringe sect of Hare Krishna, called the Science of Identity Foundation, that held conservative views on gays.
Gabbard’s parents were devout followers of Butler, and her father, Hawaii state Sen. Mike Gabbard, was a leading opponent of same-sex marriage for many years before switching to the Democratic Party to advance his political agenda.
A profile of Tulsi Gabbard in the New Yorker in 2017 also focused heavily on her connections to Butler, and his position in her life as the equivalent of her “spiritual master.”….
Gabbard then pivoted to the topic of religion and how it is being used to “foment bigotry and illicit fears and suspicions” among the populace to place a wedge between them….
Such conversations live on a dangerous precipice, she said, and can lead to violence if injected into the political process, which is what occurred at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh where a gunman, who had spewed anti-Semitism online, killed 11 people.
“This is what happens when this is allowed to continue without being condemned and stopped,” Gabbard said….
(IQ Test: This is just censorship? T/F.)
In Burlington, Vermont, where Gabbard participated in a three-day Sanders Institute gathering, talk of the Hawaii congresswoman’s possible run for president was met with raised eyebrows and apprehension.
There were many who said they liked Gabbard, but wanted to avoid discussing her presidential prospects until they know what Bernie Sanders decides. Their loyalties, they said, are with him.
Gabbard was a curiosity to many of the attendees….
And while some were more well-versed in her background than others, a frequent talking point was her 2017 visit to Syria, where she met with President Bashar al-Assad. While there were those who had misgivings about the Assad meeting….
It’s also possible for lightning to strike, although he admits he doesn’t see that spark with Gabbard….
read … Tulsi Gabbard’s Race To The Top
As part of widening corruption probe, DOJ sends subject letter to second-in-command at prosecutor’s office
HNN: … The city prosecutor’s first deputy has received a subject letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, in a sign that a federal investigation into Honolulu’s ex-police chief is now zeroing in on players at the city Prosecutor’s Office.
A subject letter means that the U.S. Attorney believes first deputy Prosecutor Chasid Sapolu engaged in suspicious and unethical conduct, but wants to do more investigating….
a subject letter is one level below a target letter…
The development is significant as it represents the first official notification that an ongoing public corruption scandal — with ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha at its center — has extended beyond the Honolulu Police Department.
Two years ago, Kealoha and four current and former Honolulu police officers — Gordon Shiraishi, Derek Hahn, Danny Sellars, and Bobby Nguyen — all got target letters from the DOJ….
Kealoha’s wife, Katherine, was also indicted and has upcoming trials for more than a dozen criminal charges. She was a deputy city prosecutor before resigning in September.
Now, it’s clear the scandal involves her former office and colleagues.
San Diego U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat began to widen the scope of the investigation to include Honolulu city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro in 2016, when he refused to cooperate with the federal case involving the Kealohas….
Kaneshiro was reportedly forced to turn over information involving Katherine Kealoha’s fixing of a speeding ticket for her electrician and various other requests.
After that, more of Kaneshiro’s employees were brought in for questioning. The fixed speeding ticket eventually led to a questionable grand jury in state Circuit Court.
The FBI has interviewed witnesses connected to the proceedings to see if it was a ploy to get Katherine Kealoha out of trouble for fixing traffic violations for friends.
Sapolu’s subject letter could be the result of this series of events.
Sapolu was also involved in a controversial safe house for domestic violence victims that the prosecutor’s office obtained through a questionable land deal….
read … As part of widening corruption probe, DOJ sends subject letter to second-in-command at prosecutor’s office
Anti-Telescope Fight Now Shifts to OHA Grab for Cash and Land
Cataluna: … The state Supreme Court’s decision has the potential to affect all manner of development in Hawaii with the idea that, well, it’s already not pristine, it can’t get any worse than it already is — a frightening idea that could lead to the future paving-over of some of Hawaii’s most special natural and cultural resources.
Another looming issue is that the University of Hawaii’s master lease for the land TMT would occupy expires in 14 years. It doesn’t seem prudent for construction of a 180-foot-high telescope and observation facility to begin when the last years on the 1968 lease are running out. TMT currently forecasts completion of the telescope in July 2027. The lease expires in 2033. Maybe the assumption by the major players is that the state will gladly slide UH another long lease to keep everything going, but that is not a guarantee in a place known for government fumbling and citizen activism. Remember the moral of Superferry?
Today at noon, faculty and students from Oahu-based UH campuses will gather in front of Hawaii Hall at UH Manoa to call on UH President David Lassner, the Board of Regents and the TMT corporation to terminate all agreements for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and for UH to reject proposed Mauna Kea Administrative Rules, which they say would restrict Native Hawaiian spiritual and cultural practices on the land. The organizer of the event is UH-Manoa Political Science Department Chairwoman Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻopua. Of the 57 people arrested during protests of TMT on Mauna Kea, many were UH faculty, staff and students.
All of these unresolved, un-ignorable issues and this continued dissent, even within UH, lead straight to the 2019 legislative session, now just weeks away, and Sen. Kaiali‘i Kahele, who has doggedly continued community meetings and outreach to build support for changing the way Mauna Kea has been managed and mismanaged. Kahele is again putting forward legislation to restructure the management of Mauna Kea, taking responsibility away from UH and putting it in the hands of a governing board made up of Native Hawaiians, cultural practitioners, environmental experts and business leaders. There is also growing support for a comprehensive audit of the way the master lease has been handled, which makes a easy re-up for the current lease seem less likely.
There are still so many looming questions, and many reminders that there are more than two sides to this issue. It’s not just “Build TMT” or “A‘ole TMT.” Even if the massive project never gets built, questions about the current management of the land remain….
Best Comment: “Take responsibility away from UH & give it to the disorganized, bullying, clowns representing Native Hawaiian causes??? Seriously?? The alani’i black crabs against TMT have NO respect for law - US or Hawaiian!!”
read … TMT debate not over with recent ruling
Six-Figure Deal To Cover UH Rail Costs ‘Slipped Through The Cracks’
CB: … The agency overseeing Honolulu rail construction lost track of an agreement to reimburse the University of Hawaii for its rail-related costs, prompting the project’s board of directors to take steps Tuesday to budget for those expenses.
Under the deal, signed in 2014, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation agreed to cover as much as $600,000 for UH to “review, evaluate” and investigate plans to use university-owned property for rail.
The 20-mile, 21-station project is slated to run along the campuses of UH West Oahu, Leeward Community College, UH Manoa’s Urban Gardens in Pearl City and Honolulu Community College.
But the memorandum of understanding later “slipped through the cracks” at HART, as board member Terrence Lee described it during Tuesday’s Project Oversight Committee meeting. It had been signed under HART’s former executive director, Dan Grabauskas, who left the project in 2016….
UH reminded the agency of the agreement about six months ago when it reported about $250,000 in rail-related expenses so far, according to Nicole Chapman, HART’s director of procurement and contracts.
“This is an unusual situation,” Chapman told the oversight committee Tuesday as it weighed approval of the costs. “This came as a surprise.”….
read … Six-Figure Deal To Cover UH Rail Costs ‘Slipped Through The Cracks’
Council Still Playing Games with Homeless
SA: …A key Honolulu City Council committee Tuesday gave Mayor Kirk Caldwell a preliminary green light to enforce the Sidewalk Obstruction and No Lodging ordinances that were signed into law nearly two months ago.
The bad news for Caldwell is that the Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee also wants to insert language into Resolution 18-280 instructing his administration to not transport homeless individuals in need of services or shelter outside of the districts, or some other geographical area, where they are picked up.
Caldwell, in response, said such a stipulation could render the no-lodging law, or possibly both laws, unworkable and possibly unconstitutional….
Clarity on the issue is expected today when the full Council meets to consider approval of the resolution, which accepts the latest update of the city’s homeless action plan.
The no-lodging bill requires city officers to ensure there is available shelter space and then provide a ride to an individual before issuing a citation to a violator….
Councilwoman Kymberly Pine has said repeatedly that city workers are driving homeless individuals to shelters along the Waianae coast…
“Sometimes you gotta move those who are addicted as far away as possible from where they’re getting the source of their addiction — their drugs or alcohol,” Caldwell said…..
Honolulu Police Department Capt. Mike Lambert told committee members that the department is rolling out a pilot project to establish “lift zones,” mobile navigation centers set aside in certain city parks that would provide to families and individuals in need of services and, if necessary, a safe and sanitary place to reside temporarily.
The lift zones are to be in place at a park for no more than about 90 days, and would help fill a gap in services when shelters aren’t available, he said. The initiative would employ inflatable shelters of 414 square feet that would take seven minutes to put in place….
read … Committee OKs plan for homeless, with conditions
Caldwell Claims Sidewalk Nuisance Bill Undermines Efforts to Force Homeless to Accept Shelter
NR: … Bill 6 (2018) - Regulating nuisances on public sidewalks. Mayor Caldwell is returning this bill with his veto (message attached). Mayor Caldwell thanks Councilmember Trevor Ozawa for introducing Bill 6 (2018) and continuing to work to make Waikīkī sidewalks a safer place for our pedestrians, both residents and visitors alike. Councilmember Ozawa has said that Bill 6 (2018) seeks to amend the city’s existing Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance (SNO) to address the prevalence of mobile kiosks in the Waikīkī Special District. While the administration appreciates the intent of the bill and wants to work with Councilman Ozawa on this important issue to the Waikīkī community, the goals of Bill 6 can already be achieved by enforcing the Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance.
“We’re concerned about the unintended consequences of Bill 6,” said Mayor Caldwell. Instead, Mayor Caldwell requests City Council leadership to allow the sidewalk obstruction (Bill 51) and public lodging (Bill 52) ordinances, enacted as ordinances 18-34 and 18-35, to be enforced immediately as it’s been 54 days since he signed both measures into law. “It’s encouraging that City Council member Carol Fukunaga has called a special meeting Tuesday of the Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee and has placed Resolution 18-280 on that agenda, which would allow more focused enforcement of sidewalk obstructions. “I look forward to the resolution being approved by the committee so it can be passed by the full City Council on Wednesday, December 5 and we can begin to eliminate mobile kiosks, along with other obstructions, from our Waikīkī sidewalks and those throughout O‘ahu.”
read … Mayor Caldwell takes action on bills
Puuhonua? 10% of Criminals Back in Prison After Just One Year
SA: The Waikiki Health Center’s successful Pu‘uhonua Program had planned to help 480 formerly incarcerated persons between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018. Instead, 970 went through the program and out of those 970, 94 formerly incarcerated persons — or fewer than 10 percent — have gone back to jail or prison…. (Give them time. Some of these criminals haven’t been caught yet. Others have had only two months and 5 days to formulate new criminal enterprises. Have patience.)
read … State fails at inmate rehabilitation
Soft on Crime: Repeat Rapist on Trial for Child Molestation
SA: … Orlando was indicted in 1983 with two counts of second-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of second-degree sodomy involving two girls younger than 14.
He was sentenced in 1984 to three 10-year prison terms after being convicted of two counts of rape and one count of sodomy. The terms ran concurrently.
Orlando was released on parole in 1988, according to Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman of the state Department of Public Safety.
Four years later a grand jury returned an indictment against Orlando again charging him with 17 counts of first-degree sex assault and four counts of third-degree sex assault involving two women.
Judge Michael Town sentenced him in 1993 to two consecutive 10-year terms under a plea agreement after he was convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual assault.
He was paroled in March 2011 and remained on parole until he was discharged in March 2013.
read … Why ’geriatric’ criminals should die in prison
No more Styrofoam: Maui County’s ban leaves restaurants searching for alternatives
HNN: …The sale and use of polystyrene foam food containers will be banned on Maui, Molokai and Lanai….
… The county estimates that about 2,000 food providers and product distributors will be affected….
the transition is costly. The new plate lunch container that the company chose costs about 4 times as much as a Styrofoam one.
“Some of that (cost), of course, had to be passed back to the customers,” said Andaya. “It’s not easy to implement….”
officials said some customer favorites, such as beef stew, become too hot to handle.
“We haven’t found a product that’s as good as Styrofoam in terms of keeping the heat in and not having it burn your hands,” said Bryan Andaya, president of L&L Franchise, Inc.
read … No more Styrofoam: Maui County’s ban leaves restaurants searching for alternatives
Ige Orders DoTax to Confiscate Tax Refunds from People Who Owe Money to Government
L360: Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige has issued an executive order to increase interdepartmental cooperation and streamline the process for the retention of state income tax refunds from taxpayers who owe…
read … Hawaii Gov. Orders Streamline Of Blocking Income Tax Refunds
Filmmaker Likes to Sue People
CB: …lawyer and producer Tim Chey has filed a lawsuit against the film office, alleging an anti-Christian bias that prevented him from getting tax credits for his production of “The Islands.” In his complaint for damages, he’s asking “for an Injunction requiring the Hawaii Film Office to cease any and all operations until the FBI, Hawaii Attorney General, (the) Honorable U.S. District Court, and State Legislature clear the Defendants and the Hawaii Film Office of any wrongdoing.”
Tim Chey isn’t someone shy about using the legal system. He’s sued Netflix, claiming they owed him “an absolute minimum of $10,000,000” because they declined to carry his film “Suing the Devil.” He lost.
He sued Orbitz and Air China, claiming they didn’t properly inform him that he needed a visa to travel to Brazil. He lost.
He sued Pure Flix Entertainment, a Christian faith-based media streaming company, claiming they stole his idea for “God’s Not Dead.” He lost.
Currently, he’s engaged in a lawsuit against Facebook in a dispute over ads he purchased. Lawyers for Facebook filed for a motion for summary judgment April 13. His lawyers objected. On June 21, his lawyers filed for a dismissal of the lawsuit (that he started). The case is still active….
Nov 5, 2018: Filmmaker Sues Hawaii: My Film Is ‘Not The History They Want Told’
read … Suesalot
Good Thing We Don’t Have Smaller Stadium: Expected to fill Aloha Stadium this weekend: The Eagles, Jack Johnson and Guns N Roses
SA: … Aloha Stadium on Friday will feature a concert by The Eagles, with special guest Jack Johnson, followed by Guns N Roses, first-timers to the islands, on Saturday.
With more than 39,000 fans expected to attend the concerts over the weekend, however, the Aloha Stadium advises concertgoers to arrive early and prepare for traffic, limited parking and long lines, and to know in advance what items are restricted from the venue….
read … About Something That Cannot Happen With A Smaller Stadium