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Saturday, February 09, 2019
February 9, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:12 PM :: 1466 Views

Final Week to Register as Candidate: 2019 Neighborhood Board Elections

Plasma Arc Gasification—Clean Energy for Hawaii

Hawaii Lawmakers Propose Public-funded Anti-gun Firearm Factoid Factory

PRP App Reveals Web of Political Connections

Wiretaps?  HPD Doesn’t Do Them

KHON: …Something big is going down on the Valley Isle. Maui police and the prosecutor will only say that cases currently under investigation are behind a notable 9 trace applications last year. Always Investigating found this on an annual state attorney general report that most often has zero to a couple at most. "Trap and trace" and "pen register" are tools that track what phone numbers are coming in and out from any line.

We asked, what would that tell an investigator?

"Who the person is in contact with, so the investigator has that information,” explained Kevin Takata, state Supervising Deputy Attorney General of the Criminal Justice Division.

Do these usually accompany a parallel application for wiretap?

“They may precede -- or often precede -- a wiretap application," Takata said.

As for wiretaps --- actual listening-in on phone conversations or snagging text messages -- Maui County regularly stays busy. Over the past few years, Maui is the only county level jurisdiction getting wiretap orders, according to annual reports filed with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Maui County authorities have listened in on more than 126 people according to a three-year tally, nearly 800 calls that netted 66 of what they call "incriminating intercepts.”….

On the federal side, tracking right along with the timeline of the Kealoha and police officer corruption scandal, Hawaii cases really ramped up over the past couple of years. The feds listened in on hundreds of people to gather more than 13,500 intercepted communications.

Nearly 1,200 of those intercepts were considered incriminating. The feds' cost per-order was a lot less each than Maui's -- around $40,000 a pop.

All told, only a relative handful of surveillance orders – 30 by the feds in a three-year sample, 13 by Maui County over the same period -- snowballed into intercepts on hundreds of other people who were in touch with the targets, according to our review of Maui and federal records….

One reason Maui wiretaps so much is they had been the only county with its own listening room for decades. Kauai just recently set one up.

As for Honolulu, the police department spokesperson said: "HPD uses wire taps as part of joint federal investigations.  These requests would be included in the federal stats. There are no plans for a listening facility on Oahu."

The Honolulu prosecutor’s spokesperson told us: "Requests for wiretaps come from police and they haven't asked for any. It is our understanding they work with federal law enforcement authorities on these kinds of matters."… 

(Translation: Why would the HPD listen in on itself?) 

read … Hawaii wiretaps and communication surveillance keep Hawaii authorities busy

VOA: Native Hawaiians Divided on Federal Recognition

VOA: …officials at the United States Civil Rights Commission are urging lawmakers to permit Native Hawaiians to establish their own independent government.

But many Native Hawaiians reject the idea….

In 2014, U.S. government officials held a number of hearings across Hawaii to learn what Native Hawaiians thought about forming their own government. A large majority of people who spoke in the hearings said they did not want it….

Yet in 2016, the U.S. government released a final rule to permit Native Hawaiians to form a government – in other words, the nation-within-a-nation solution.

Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua points out that the rule does not permit Native Hawaiians control of any land currently controlled by the U.S. government.

“How is this in any way to our benefit?” she asks. “We wouldn’t even be getting the crappy deal that Native American nations have. And once you accept a lesser deal, a better deal is impossible.”

Another Hawaiian historian does not reject the U.S. government’s offer completely. Bavianna McGregor…

read … Native Hawaiians Divided on Federal Recognition

Dollar Signs Light Up: Red Bull Behind Mauna Kea Skiers

KITV: … A recent video went viral showing three individuals skiing and snowboarding down Mauna Kea's second highest peak (without snow)…

One of the Red Bull sponsored skiers, Marcus Eder, released a statement, saying, "I can now see that (blablabla)….”

"We condemn and denounce the action$ of these individual$," said Hawaii State Senator Jarrett KeohOKalole.  (And we thank them for being sponsored by a megabux corp like Red Bull.)

Members of the Hawaiian Caucu$ at the legislature, trustee$ at the Office of Hawaiian Affair$, and other$ came together at the $tate Capitol Wedne$day to expre$$ their outrage over the clip. They call the act "disrespectful," and "$elfish." (And expect to be compensated.)

"What we don't want is for people all over the world to view video$ like this and to think that this is ok," said State Senator Kai Kahele. (Without paying.)

Red Bull tells KITV4 it was not their project.  (Opening of negotiations.)  They did not provide further details…..

read … Shakedown

PUC Proposes New Scheme to Hike Rates, Send Money to Elon Musk

BIN: …The Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) staff has proposed on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, new performance-based regulations to lower electricity costs and better align the business interests of the state’s largest electric utility with clean energy goals. PUC staff issued a detailed proposal that would encourage the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) to pursue significant cost savings and make smart investments in the state’s electricity grid….

Performance-based regulations will deliver significant “day one” savings on customer bills as soon as the new regulations take effect. …. 

(IQ Test: Do you believe this?) 

read … Some Green Energy Propaganda

Proposed 52-MW Oahu Solar Farm Use of Prime Ag Land is Currently Illegal

IM: … The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed seven solar plus battery applications with the Public Utilities Commission on New Years` Eve.

The requirement that the solar companies have site control is now in question. 

Ho`ohana has control of the land but is forbidden to put solar on it.

The State has 1.4 million acres of agricultural land of which just three (3) percent is prime “A” land zoned under the Agricultural Lands of Importance to the State of Hawaii (ALISH) standard.

Ho`ohana would be located on prime agricultural land in which solar is restricted to rooftops of farm buildings.

The site is just north of Royal Kunia on Kunia Road near Waipahu, located in the heart of the finest agricultural land on O`ahu.

If Hawai`i is to increase agricultural output, then using the best agricultural land for solar makes little sense.

Senate Bill 1008 would change the law protecting prime agricultural land located only on O`ahu….

read … Proposed 52-MW Oahu Solar Farm Use of Prime Ag Land is Currently Illegal

Sales Pitch for New Stadium: Claim ‘There is no Choice’

SA Editorial: The fate of the rusting Aloha Stadium weighed heavily on the minds of policymakers this week, after the Stadium Authority unveiled a new study that said the stadium will require, “at minimum,” $30 million over the next two years to remain safe and operable.  (IQ Test: Do you believe this number?)

The Legislature faces difficult choices: Spend money on an old, outdated stadium. Build a new stadium somewhere. Do nothing.  (It’s only difficult if you reject the correct answer—#3.)

The third option has already been tried, and the results speak for themselves.

(Yes.  The result of the ‘do nothing option’ is we already have a perfectly good stadium.  But they are trying to convince you otherwise.  IQ Test: Are you fooled?)

read … A Sales Pitch

Legalization Will Bring Surge of Mainland Potheads into Hawaii

TP: …“If Hawaii passes legislation to allow marijuana legalization, I believe it will cause a surge in tourism for the islands, similar to what was seen in Colorado a few years back,” said Sarah Nelson, an advisor with Travel Leaders in Gilbert, Arizona….

(Clue: Some of them will stay.)

read … Travel Agents React to Possibility of Legal Marijuana in Hawaii

Homeless Drug Addicts Demand Cops be ‘Swept’ from Oneula

HNN: …Oneula Beach Park, also known as “Hau Bush,” has been overridden with illegal dumping, homeless encampments and crime for years.

'It’s not really safe for keiki to be over here period,” said resident Kanani Poland.

“I wouldn’t personally bring my kids over here to come to the beach. There’s always like needles around, there’s trash, the bathrooms are not sanitized and it’s really disgusting."…

homeless individuals who were also at the meeting pushed back, explained their positions and asked for more respect.

"I’m a resident. I speak on behalf of all of us,” said Terry Kernanghan, who has lived in the park for almost two years and said the homeless are not the problem.

“I try stepping up and say you know what, we don’t need the cops here all the time. They got big stuff to take care of. Why don’t we just police our own," Kernanghan said. "What do you get against us?”…

(Translation: Homeless demand the cops be ‘swept’.)

read … At heated meeting, residents clash over future of popular Ewa Beach park

Soft on Crime: Meth Dealer Gets out after 1 year—goes right back to dealing

MN: … A Kihei man was taken into custody Wednesday to finish serving an 18-month jail term after he was arrested when police seized more than 400 grams of methamphetamine in a search of a Kihei condominium….

Dondon Medina, 43, also was placed on 10 years’ probation (yawn) and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service (uh-huh)….

Police also recovered more than $3,000 in cash. Medina also had drugs in his pocket, according to police.

According to an indictment charging the men, Guevarra transported methamphetamine to Maui in January 2015 and on March 23, 2015. Guevarra paid Medina with methamphetamine in exchange for transportation and for acting as Guevarra’s local connection to Maui, according to the indictment.

“You drove around with them,” Loo said. “You did drugs with them….

After spending more than a year in jail before being released on supervision in November, Medina was working and hoping to enter a drug rehabilitation program, said his attorney, John Parker.

“I want to prove it to you that I can change,” Medina said in court. “I can turn my life around. Finally, I woke up from my wrongdoing.”  (He said, suppressing a smirk.)….

SA: Homeless Crackhead found Guilty of Chinatown Assault

read … Soft on Crime

SB522: Ban All Plastics from Hawaii Food Establishments

HNN: …Hawaii lawmakers want to take things a big step further.

They’re considering an outright ban on all sorts of single-use plastics common in the food and beverage industry, from plastic bottles to plastic utensils to plastic containers.

Senate Bill 522 has already passed through two committees and is on its way to two more.

Supporters say it’s an ambitious and broad measure that would position Hawaii as a leader in the nation ― and ensure that Hawaii’s oceans have a fighting chance as the global plastic pollution problem worsens.

But others worry about the practicality of such a proposal.

How, for example, would you go about distributing water in emergency situations without plastic bottles? Would companies have to produce special packaging for Hawaii? And what would food establishments use instead of plastic?….

opponents include businesses and industry associations, who say alternatives to plastic are hard to find, impractical and expensive.

“Something like this could put us out of business,” wrote Aaron Wolfe, owner of Tsujenko’s, in testimony….

SB522: Text, Status “Prohibits the use of plastic bottles, utensils, stirring sticks, polystyrene foam containers, and straws by state agencies by July 1, 2021, and by businesses selling food and beverages by July 1, 2022. Bans the distribution or sale of plastic bags after July 1, 2023. Bans the sale or distribution of single-use plastic beverage containers after July 1, 2025. Creates the plastic source reduction working group to make recommendations for eliminating single-use plastic packaging. Appropriates funds.”

read … No plastic bottles, utensils or cups? That’s what some lawmakers are proposing

Unshackle Maui taxis to help them compete 

MN:  … The frustration of the taxi drivers is understandable, but the best way to create a level playing field between taxis and ride-sharing companies is for Maui County to deregulate the taxis, not impose heavy regulations on the ride-hailing companies.

One local cab driver astutely told The Maui News that taxis and companies such as Uber and Lyft really are in the same business, along with buses and shuttles.

“A bus is a ride-share; a shuttle is a ride-share; strangers share cabs,” said Nick Crowley of Maui Island Taxi (The Maui News, Jan. 25).

He went on to ask, “Why does Lyft and Uber get to be called ride-sharing companies, and they have different rules from the rest of us?” ….

read … Unshackle Maui taxis to help them compete 

U.S. appeals court to revisit open carrying of guns in Hawaii

R: …In an order on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will revisit whether Hawaii acted lawfully in denying the plaintiff George Young a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public.

Circuit Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for a 2-1 majority last July 24 that “we do not take lightly the problem of gun violence, which the State of Hawaii has understandably sought to fight,” but that the state nevertheless violated Young’s rights.…

Friday’s order means an 11-judge appeals court panel will rehear the case. A hearing has yet to be scheduled….

“The composition of the Supreme Court has changed, and it means the 9th Circuit will have to be very careful in evaluating the merits of Mr. Young’s case,” Alan Beck, a lawyer for Young, said in a phone interview. “My client has made it clear he wants to keep fighting as long as it takes.”…

July 28, 2018: ​Ninth Circuit Stunner: Second Amendment Protects Public Open Carry

read … U.S. appeals court to revisit open carrying of guns

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