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Monday, April 29, 2019
April 29, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:06 PM :: 1741 Views

ERS Invested Millions With Alleged Fraudster

HB1552: Conference Committee Approves New System to Keep Criminals on Streets

Proposed Hawaii Carbon Tax -- $66,000 per Person?

IM: … No state and no federal government may impose a carbon tax on transoceanic planes and boats.

The Paris Climate Accord deals only with domestic greenhouse gas emissions. 

Greenhouse gas emissions by planes and boats are regulated by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), both created in the 1940s. These international bodies are proposing future policies using market-based mechanisms ….

rail proponents only mention GHG savings, they do not mention the amount of cement/concrete used to construct the rail system, cement being responsible for 5-11% of global GHG emissions. Hawai`i imports cement and credits emissions to other places….

“On average a single Hawaii resident is responsible for emitting 12 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. That`s three times more than the global average. In order to really make a difference, experts from the United Nations recommended a tax of $135 to $5500 per ton of carbon by 2030.”-- Civil Beat video “Hawaii 2040 Climate Change. What Is A Carbon Tax?”, April 11, 2019. …

($5,500 per ton x 12 tons = $66,000 per year per person)

read … Political Outlooks Shape Carbon Tax Positions

Ala Wai Canal: Flood Control Project Will Do Little To Clean Up the Polluted Waterway

CB: … Federal engineers could ease the impacts of its plan if it also worked to restore the local ecology, conservationists say. The agency says its hands are tied…..

read … Ala Wai Canal: Flood Control Project Will Do Little To Clean Up the Polluted Waterway

Might Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Disappear?

R: … A major environmental case might settle before the Supreme Court has the chance to review it ….

read … Might Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Disappear?

Star-Adv Claims Jones Act Needed for Reliable Service

SA: … The Jones Act elicits mixed feelings here. On one hand, it drives up consumer costs in U.S. regions that are non-contiguous to the mainland, including Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam. On the other, these places depend on reliable shipping….

But the notion of scrapping the act entirely raises concerning questions about mid-Pacific vulnerability to the whims of market forces. (As if they aren’t now?  El Faro’s poor maintenance record was the result of ‘market forces’ acting on the Jones Act fleet.)

An estimated 15 percent of our food supply grows here; the rest arrives on container ships. An 11-day halt to deliveries could tap out groceries statewide. Also, while Hawaii is making strides in stepping up its renewable energy resources, most of our fuel is imported. Shipping is our lifeline….

In the absence of reliability, some say we could be left at the mercy of the cargo-delivery priorities of foreign-flagged ships. (Dumb argument.  Foreign flag carriers provide reliable service all over the world—including many places with less traffic than Hawaii, Micronesia for instance.)

read … A Pro-Jones Act Editorial

Kealohas Lied About Mailbox Value to Make Theft a Felony

AP: … Puana was arrested, and his federal public defender, Alexander Silvert, was initially skeptical about his client's seemingly outlandish claim that he was being set up. It seemed too bizarre: The idea that Honolulu's power couple would hatch such a scheme to discredit him because he had accused his niece of trying to steal money.

But the couple made a big mistake, Silvert said: They reported that the mailbox was valued at $380, but Silvert and his investigators learned it cost only $180. The difference in value allowed Puana to be charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

"When I realized they were lying about the make and model of the mailbox, then I was 'OK, there's something going on,'" Silvert said.

Puana's mailbox theft case ended in a mistrial in 2014. In 2015, a jury sided with Katherine Kealoha in the civil lawsuit her grandmother and uncle lodged against her.

Federal investigators stepped in, eventually revealing allegations against Katherine Kealoha, including stealing trust funds from children, showering money she bilked on a firefighter lover and the alleged drug-dealing with her brother. They allege she even invented an alias — Alison Lee Wong — "to dodge scrutiny, forge documents, secure state Senate confirmation, and more."

In 2017, she and her husband were indicted on the federal criminal charges…. 

AP: Former HPD Sergeant Gets 1-Year Probation In Mailbox Theft Case

read … Corruption claims, mailbox send Hawaii power couple to trial

Inside Deal: Mel Rapozo to Grab Kauai Auditor Position

KGI: … The County of Kauai and the County Council have begun the hiring process for a county auditor, according to one applicant, Mel Rapozo.

“As far as I know, they are going through the application process right now,” Rapozo said, adding that he has thrown his hat in the race….

(Gee.  How does he know that?)

The job is not listed on the current employment opportunities section of the county website due to a February application deadline (insert excuse here) but Councilmember Felicia Cowden did confirm the council went into executive (closed) session regarding the possibility of the county hiring an auditor at their April 10 meeting.

According to the county’s website, the position of auditor was created to “provide better oversight on county spending and use of scarce county funds, enhance the checks and balances between the legislative and administrative branches of county government, and facilitate the conduct of the annual audit, operational and program audits, which provide cost and process improvements as well as conformity to government grant program reporting.”

The body’s agenda states the council went into executive session to discuss “the hiring of a county auditor, including interviewing any candidates, and terms and conditions of employment.”

Cowden and several other councilmembers said they are unable to discuss the closed session due to legal constraints on any topic discussed during the closed session and whether or not Rapozo faces potential conflicts of interest if he were indeed chosen for the position….

read … Inside Deal

Plea Deal: Another Alleged Child Molester gets Probation

KGI: … A Hanapepe man charged with third-degree felony sex assault for allegedly engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl in his custody will likely not serve any time in jail.

Enden Kaneapua, 49, accepted a plea agreement last week in which he pleaded no contest to two counts of unlawful imprisonment. In exchange, prosecutors dropped all 11 sex-assault charges Kaneapua originally faced and agreed not to request any jail time at his sentencing….

Charges were initially brought against Kaneapua in 2015 based on allegations that in August 2014 he groped and kissed a young girl — court documents state that the girl was between the ages of 14 and 16 — who was then living in his home under his care.

For the next several years, the trial date was pushed back for a variety of reasons. Attorneys on both sides filed motions, requested continuances and regularly attended pretrial conferences, although court records do not indicate what was discussed. Even the court delayed proceedings, in once instance, because a hearing date conflicted with the judge’s vacation schedule.

Nearly four years after Kaneapua was arraigned, the original charges were dropped and a brand new case was brought against him with identical charges, this time based on a grand-jury indictment.

Kaneapua’s attorney, Craig De Costa, filed a motion earlier this month, asking the court to dismiss the charges, accusing prosecutors of violating his client’s right to a speedy trial….

read … Long-delayed case ends in deal

Hawaiian salt could evaporate under federal ban

SA: The FDA has issued a warning that the color additives used to make red and black Hawaiian salt—clay from Kauai and charcoal—are not approved as safe, thereby rendering the popular gourmet items technically illegal for sale. ..

Cameron Hiro, a Molokai resident who was supplying Hawaii Kai Corp., said in written testimony on HB 1229 that his operation producing about 2,500 pounds of salt a month with four workers is shuttered largely due to the FDA regulations…..

Salty Wahine said that prior to 2015 the FDA maintained a list of colorants prohibited for food uses, and that charcoal, alaea clay and pharmaceutical-grade bamboo (used to make green sea salt) were OK because they weren’t on the list.

In 2015, however, the agency published a “guidance” document explaining that color additives in food are deemed unsafe unless they are approved as safe by the FDA. “Neither charcoal nor red clay is listed for safe use by FDA,” the document states.

As such, the agency considers red and black Hawaiian salt to be “adulterated” foods prohibited in interstate commerce. “FDA can take enforcement action against an adulterated food product, consistent with our priorities and resources,” the document said.

Joseph of Hawaii Kai Corp. said the reversal in policy and singling out red and black Hawaiian salts is unfair. “These two ingredients are safe and had been used for human consumption for centuries,” he said in an email.

HB1229: Text, Status

read … Hawaiian salt could evaporate under federal ban

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