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Friday, March 08, 2019
March 8, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:02 PM :: 1257 Views

SCR42: After Partying with Mafia Hitman, Sen Stanley Chang Proposes Repeal of 2nd Amendment

Hawaii Infrastructure Receives D+ Grade from Civil Engineers

HB893 Guts DHHL Funding

Earth Just-us: Eco-Lawyer Drives Up Your Cost of Living

SA: … Just last month, Earthjustice won a court ruling to strengthen the state solar water heater mandate for new homes, closing a loophole that “developers had abused for years” to install tankless gas heaters, said Managing Attorney Isaac Moriwake.

“Now, the state energy office can no longer rubberstamp variances and give a free pass for gas at a time when Hawaii needs to get off the dirty stuff,” he said.

(Translation: Cost of housing going up in Hilo and Puna.)

“My very first case for Earthjustice 16 years ago was a loss,” he said. “We sued to stop cruise ship visits to Molokai. The lawsuit landed with a thud, but the cruise ship ended up canceling its visits in the face of community opposition. That’s an example of how you can lose the legal battle, but win the war.”

(Translation: Helping Walter Ritte shake down tour operators and keeping Molokai unemployed.)

in our Na Wai ‘Eha (“The Four Waters”) case on Maui, the former C. Brewer plantation sold off all its agricultural lands, then turned into a “water company” trying to sell diverted stream flows to developers. We’ve spent 15 years battling that company and Alexander & Baldwin’s former HC&S plantation. And while we now have all four streams flowing to the ocean, believe it or not, that case isn’t over yet.

On Kauai, we’re dealing with diversions of two streams flowing from Mount Waialeale…The former plantation there drained the streams dry for sugar, but when it closed down it handed the diversion ditch, along with a couple of small plantation hydro plants, to the local electric utility. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) wants to keep those 19th-century diversions going and calls it “renewable” energy

(Translation: Driving up electric bills on Kauai, ensuring ag can never come back—and making County water systems pay OHA for water.)

We’re engaged in a landmark case before the state Public Utilities Commission to reform the incentives of the Hawaiian Electric utilities to a performance-based system. The traditional utility business is “build more to profit more,” but the wave of the future is to tie utility financial incentives to its performance in serving customers and the public.

(Translation: Your electric bills going up so more money can be sent to Elon Musk.  He really needs money.  That’s why he’s a billionaire.)

Some of our most important victories: … Helped build Hawaii into a world leader in rooftop solar, and defeat the proposed takeover of Hawaiian Electric Co. by NextEra and the plan to switch the utility to imported gas.

(Translation: Gas is cheap and we want to keep your utility bills high so wind and solar scammers can profit.)

The transportation and building sectors are the next frontiers where we need tons of progress ASAP….

(Translation: Fuel tax hikes and/or a carbon tax.)

…prime ag land is still being lost to suburban sprawl on Oahu, and to luxury mansions and fake farms on the neighbor islands. We can do better.

(Translation: We need to cut off the supply of land to drive up prices even higher.  Soon Hawaii will only be affordable to true believers of the eco-religion.  This is just-us.)

read … Name in the News: Isaac Moriwake

Hawaii lawmakers move to decriminalize pot possession

SA: … The Legislature is not ready to legalize recreational pakalolo this year, but is moving forward with decriminalizing adult use of the federally illegal drug.

The state House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would assess a $200 fine for adults without medical cannabis cards who are caught with up to three grams of pot but dismisses any criminal charges. The bill (House Bill 1383) was moved to the state Senate for consideration. …

Video: Rep Cynthia Thielen speaks in favor of decriminalization bill

News Release: HOUSE PASSES BILL TO DECRIMINALIZE LIMITED CANNABIS POSSESSION

(NOTE: By going easy on customers of the illegal business, this helps facilitate illegal business.  It is totally different from legalization which would transfer marijuana sales to a different class of people who are not criminals.  See next story.)

read … Hawaii lawmakers move to decriminalize pot possession

Rape, Kidnapping Plea Bargain:  Gets 5 Years After Marijuana Growers Threaten Rape Victim

KGI: A year ago, Robert Bihm faced up to 70 years in prison if convicted of the rape and kidnapping charges against him. He was sentenced Tuesday to five years in jail for second-degree assault.

Bihm was indicted last January, based on the testimony of his ex-girlfriend, who told a grand jury that he held her hostage in a cabin, brutally beating and raping her over the course of several hours before she escaped….

Less than three weeks after her grand jury testimony, Bihm’s ex-girlfriend recanted….

At a court hearing in March, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly Torigoe told a judge the state did not intend to reduce or dismiss the charges against Bihm, “as there is reasonable information that the complaining witness may have been threatened” by members of Bihm’s family.

In a motion opposing Bihm’s request for a bail reduction, Torigoe wrote that the witness told a member of the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force that Bihm’s family “is threatening her, and she is getting a lot of heat if she testifies.”…

Meet the Family: $5.9M in Hawaii marijuana seized

read … Marijuana Growers

City Poised To Pay $550,000 To Cop Who Claimed Ballard Doctored Female Recruits’ Test Scores

CB: … A lawsuit alleges Police Chief Susan Ballard, while commander of the police academy in 2008, took part in making it easier for recruits to pass….

The lawsuit was publicized around the time Ballard was sworn in as chief in November 2017.  Two police commission members said they were aware of the allegations in the lawsuit, but that didn’t dissuade them from supporting Ballard….

A sergeant at the time, Koanui was responsible for evaluating and testing police recruits on their physical fitness in April 2008, when seven recruits failed a written exam on their knowledge of property crimes, the lawsuit states.

Five of them failed the retest and should have been terminated, according to the suit. Instead, the suit alleges they were given passing scores by Ballard and/or Lt. Steven Gerona.

According to the lawsuit, Ballard, who then held the rank of major, changed the testing protocol to give recruits a better shot at passing. When Koanui alerted Ballard that her changes would invalidate the test results, the lawsuit alleges that Ballard replied, “When we get sued, we’ll deal with it then.”…

When a recruit failed a portion of both the physical fitness test and the retest under the improper protocol implemented by Ballard, the lawsuit claims Ballard ordered Koanui to give the recruit  a passing score. Koanui, who had already told the recruit that she failed the test, had to go back and tell her she had passed, according to the suit.

In another example cited in the suit, a recruit was given a passing grade after she failed the test and four retests in the bench press section of the physical fitness exam….

The lawsuit also claims harsh treatment of female recruits, harassment of women in the dojo by Gerona and health and safety risks posed by an indoor shooting range that was later shut down by OSHA….

SA: City settles suit alleging Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard falsified recruits’ scores

PDF: Lawsuit

read … City Poised To Pay $550,000 To Cop Who Claimed HPD Doctored Test Scores

UH should be wary of Confucius Institute

SA: … Your alarming article on hacking by the Chinese government at the University of Hawaii and other American colleges and universities should have included an important and troubling detail: the subversive role being played here and across the country by so-called Confucius Institutes at institutions of higher learning (“Targeted attack,” Star-Advertiser, March 6).

One such institute is on the UH-Manoa campus. A recent commentary in The Washington Post cited FBI Director Christopher A. Wray’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he declared that the FBI is “watching warily” and even investigating some of these Confucius Institutes. Wray also averred that “naivete” in the academic sector was exacerbating the problem and that the Chinese government has planted spies in American schools.

UH President David Lassner should explain how our university, dedicated as it is to free and open exchange of ideas, entered into a partnership with one of the most oppressive governments in the world, one that routinely executes its citizens for their beliefs.

How much did the Chinese government pay UH for the privilege of indoctrinating our students?

Related:

read … UH should be wary of Confucius Institute

Consumer Advocate Urges Rejection of Solar Project on Kunia Ag Land

IM: … Ho`ohana proposed a larger photovoltaic facility and battery on two adjacent properties.

“The Consumer Advocate notes that, while the application and in Exhibit 8, there is an assertion that the project site consists of land that has been designated as urban and agriculture, it is not clear whether that characterization is correct.”

“It is not clear, based on the information in the record, that the proposed project site actually consists of urban and agricultural land; instead, it appears that the land is AG-1 restricted land that should be reserved for agricultural purposes.”

In response to an Information Request by the Consumer Advocate,  the Seller alleged that it had “discretionary land use permitting clearances for half” of the property but the other half would take 12-18 months to get the permits.

The Consumer Advocate checked. “According to the GIS website, both parcels are “AG-1” zoned lands.”

“The Consumer Advocate also notes that there are ongoing efforts before the 2019Legislative session to modify HRS § 205 to allow solar facilities on land with a productivity rating of class A.”

“Consumer Advocate notes that there are several entities that oppose HB 593, including,but not limited to, the Office of Planning, the Department of Agriculture, and the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center.”

“Based on the appearance that HB 593 may be an effort to streamline the possibility that the proposed project can proceed, if HB 593 does not pass through the legislature and is not signed into law, the viability of the project, as proposed, may be threatened.

read … Consumer Advocate Urges Rejection of Ho`ohana Solar Proposal in Kunia, Supports Five Other Proposals

Identity politics does not fit well in Hawaii

MN: … Within the front-page article of The Maui News on Feb. 23, “County Council votes down three director nominees,” there was a troubling statement that Council Member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez made: “I’m not saying that Mr. (David) Goode himself is racist. It’s the structure and the system that is racist. “

At the end of the day, some members reversed their support and denied Mr. Goode the position of Public Works director with a vote of 6 to 3.

If identity politics is the mindset of the council, how far into our governmental system will their punitive actions extend?

Isolating Mr. Goode from the executive hierarchy and demonizing him for the actions of the system is radical. Targeting a county employee this way should not be the means to justify one’s position.

Those who were swayed by Rawlins-Fernandez’s remarks should reconsider their vote. Identity politics does not fit well in Hawaii. …

read … Identity politics does not fit well in Hawaii

WaPo: Deathwatch for Tulsi Gabbard Campaign

WaPo: …In fact, deathwatches have already begun — and not just for Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Polls in New Hampshire show Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) stuck in single digits, far behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who proved this week how fervently he wants the Democratic nomination by actually joining the party. Only one left-wing New Englander will be viable after the first primary….

read … 2020 hopefuls are hopping off the fence. But one’s already on deathwatch.

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