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Sunday, June 16, 2019
June 16, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:57 PM :: 1663 Views

Conservative Rankings of Hawaii State Legislators

Conservatives Rank Hawaii CongDel: Schatz Hits 14%

OECD Jones Act Study generates very large impact numbers

HI-5 – Have We Stopped the Leakage Yet?

Caldwell: Rail is the Next Mayor’s Problem

Shapiro: … Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who won office on a woefully unrealized promise to “build rail better,” is going out on another dubious message: It’s the next mayor’s problem.

Rail construction costs nearly doubled on his watch, and he’s begged two state bailouts worth $4 billion, but he’s still whining the Legislature didn’t give enough to cover a federal demand that the city contribute $117 million of its own money for rail construction between now and 2027.

Caldwell and the City Council included $25 million of it in this year’s budget to be funded by a bond sale not yet authorized, but gave no clue where they’ll get the remainder.

Instead, Caldwell put it on a future mayor to squeeze more from the Legislature, claiming lawmakers wouldn’t give it to him because of “politics.”…

read … David Shapiro: Mayor evades reckoning on true cost of Oahu rail

Anderson Not Running for Mayor

SA: … Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, 41, confirmed that he no longer intends to run for the mayor’s seat. Anderson, who has been on the Council since 2009, announced his intentions to form an exploratory committee in late 2017 and subsequently registered with the commission as a mayoral candidate….

June 2, 2020 is the deadline to file nomination papers for the primary election. Interested candidates for the mayoral race must be at least 30 years old and be a registered Oahu voter….

read … Not Running

Another Victim of Child Molester Files Lawsuit Against KSBE

SA: … He grew up on a Molokai pig farm in a house with no toilet or light switches.

Andy Vliet’s rural lifestyle as a small boy was far removed from the traffic, concrete sprawl and modern amenities of urban Honolulu.

When Vliet obtained a scholarship to attend the Kapalama campus of Kamehameha Schools as a seventh grade boarding student in 1976, his transition to Oahu did not go well. He struggled in school, was teased for his light complexion and pig-farm upbringing, and got into fights with his tormentors.

In the fall of 1976, as Kamehameha had done with dozens of other troubled students, it sent the Native Hawaiian youth, then 12, to see Dr. Robert Browne, a psychiatric consultant experienced in treating adolescents. If the students didn’t keep their appointments, they risked being expelled from school.

According to Vliet and his lawyers, over the next nearly five years, until November 1981, Vliet was sexually molested by Browne every other week during the school year and during less frequent sessions in the summer. The sessions were at Browne’s office at what was then called St. Francis Hospital, where Browne worked as chief of psychiatry….

Vliet, now 54, became Kamehameha’s first and only Rhodes scholar in 1985, obtained a doctorate degree from Oxford University in England and was awarded a Bronze star in 2006 for his Army service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired as a lieutenant colonel. He also has held multiple jobs in the private sector and is now a managing consultant for the city….

Vliet said he was angered by the public pronouncements, which created the impression the Browne case was over, the victims were gaining closure and a dark chapter in the school’s history was ending.

“The words ring hollow,” he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, speaking publicly about his case for the first time.

Vliet said he still feels betrayed by his alma mater. “Part of this (going public) is to set the record straight.”

Despite the school’s statements, Vliet added, Kamehameha is aggressively preparing for trial, plans to take his deposition in July and has requested numerous documents, all part of a strategy he believes is intended to wear him down so he will drop the lawsuit.

According to court filings, the school is seeking Vliet’s past job applications, employment assessments, academic evaluations, military records, supervisors’ names, salaries, awards, resumes, writings intended for publication and other records and electronic communications.

Vliet questioned the relevance of such documents if the goal is to settle the case and called Kamehameha’s legal tactics appalling. “This isn’t closure, this is not healing,” he said. “This is a knife fight.”…

read … Rhodes scholar comes forward as a plaintiff in the Kamehameha sex abuse lawsuit

Hawaii Tourism Authority distorts value of vacation rentals

SA: … After months of deliberation, the Honolulu City Council will vote Monday on two bills that would effectively outlaw our community’s longstanding vacation rental ecosystem.

As Council members and Oahu residents discuss what smart regulation of this economic powerhouse should look like, fair and properly-contextualized data should be a welcome addition to this important conversation.

Unfortunately, new data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) spotlighted in a recent Star-Advertiser article, makes no such contribution (“Vacation rental guests contributing less to Hawaii tourism economy,” June 10). In fact, it adds even more misinformation to the discussion….

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority distorts value of vacation rentals

Hearing set for TMT water pollution permit

SA:  … It’s not a high-profile hearing like the contested case that went on for months and months. But it’s a public hearing nevertheless.

The Thirty Meter Telescope developer’s application for a construction storm water renewal permit is scheduled for public hearing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 25 at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kona.

It’s the same permit — lawfully granted without a public hearing — the developer of the TMT obtained five years ago but let expire last week due to legal setbacks and other delays.

This time state Health Director Bruce Anderson scheduled a formal hearing after receiving a significant number of requests claiming the public wasn’t given enough opportunity to voice concerns over the proposed facility, according to the meeting’s notice….

read … Hearing set for TMT water pollution permit

Honolulu Airport: 50 Years of Failure

Borreca: … Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye airport is crowded, dirty, needlessly confusing and remains this way despite decades of promises to do better.

In 1969, one of the creators of Mililani, planner Alfred Boeke, at a Honolulu planning conference called Honolulu’s airport “the lousiest, most inconvenient airport in the United States.”

Fifty years later, the J.D. Power ranking for the 30 worst American airports, puts Honolulu at seventh worse.

This isn’t personal opinion; it comes from a survey of more than 40,000 travelers. “The state really dropped the ball when designing its international airport,” said J.D. Power.

“Although it has excellent scheduling and fewer cancellations, the airport is such a maze that you might not make your flight.

“Any attempts to follow the confusing signage is liable to bring passengers to dead ends and restricted areas.”…

SB666: For the fourth year in a row, a bill that would place authority over the state’s airports in the hands of an independent corporation has failed to pass.

read … Hawaii needs and deserves modern, functioning airport in Honolulu hub

Kailua Kona: Shelter-Refusing Drug Addicts Take Over ‘Bermuda Triangle’

WHT: … “If they can stop those guys from building on Maunakea,” said Nakoa Pabre, owner of Umekes Fish Market Bar and Grill in the Old Kona Industrial Area, to about two dozen people who attended a kickoff meeting held May 22. “We cannot stop these guys in this little town over here?”

Perturbed by the things he witnesses happening in town, including prostitution in the vicinity of his business, public drunkenness and finding drug paraphernalia and feces in the dugouts where his children play baseball at Old Kona Airport Park, Pabre brought people together to see what more can be done — and done now.

“I’ve been helping coaching the last four years and seen it get worse. They’re using the dugouts for their houses, and they’re s———g and p——-g all over the fields so when we have a game, our poor kids got to sit in those dugouts where it’s nasty,” he said. “It’s out of control.”

The effort all started with a simple Facebook post by Pabre asking people about their “experiences” with the homeless in Kona. After a couple hundred comments and harrowing, if not disgusting stories, from the community, he was motivated to call a meeting to bring people together for an informal sit-down on the topic….

Regarding Village 9, Villegas said the project was moving along, but would take time to be built. She suggested an emergency shelter could be online this summer, providing additional space for those without walls and a roof over their head.

In the meantime, a draft environmental assessment is set to be released next month for the project, kicking off a 30-day public comment period, Sharon Hirota, Mayor Harry Kim’s executive assistant assigned to homelessness, told the newspaper on Friday. A public hearing will also be scheduled in West Hawaii.

Village 9 consists of two subprojects, Hirota said. The first being “Kukuiola” homeless emergency shelters followed by (a) permanent supportive housing component and a HHFDC affordable rental-housing component.

The first phase of 20-30 emergency shelter housing units would be constructed with an associated temporary intake facility. Future phases will allow for up to an additional 60-90 emergency housing units that would be grouped in three to four clusters. In addition, the preliminary plans calls for a mini-mart that could be a part of the job and/or financial counseling program, she said….

“The way our county moves, that’s going to be 10 years from now – we’ve got to do something now, if not soon,” Pabre said about Village 9….

About $2,000 is spent for 24-hour private security with limited patrols of the property situated in what she described as the “Bermuda triangle,” which covers from about Atlas Recycling on Alapa Street to HOPE Services on Pawai Place to the Ice House liquor store on Kaiwi Street.

“I am out there pounding the pavement every day trespassing people, calling the police,” Gubser said. “We’re dealing with the people who don’t want the help or the services but want to run amok.”….

read … Community effort seeks to tackle homeless problems before they get worse

DOE: 42% of High School Students Vape

HTH:  … Lola Irvin, administrator of the state Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, said in the 2017 Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 42.3% of high school students in the state said they had tried electronic vapor products like e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, vape pipes and pens, e-hookahs and hookah pens.

More than 16,300 public middle and high school students across the state participated in the survey, a joint project of the DOH, the state Department of Education and the University of Hawaii. On the Big Island, 1,517 surveys were taken at 10 high schools, and there were 1,605 participants at 13 middle schools.

According to information provided by Irvin, 49.6% of Big Island high school students surveyed said they had tried electronic vapor products, compared to 45.3% in Kauai County, 50.7% in Maui County and 39% in Honolulu county.

Additionally, 34.1% of Big Island high school students surveyed in 2017 said they had used these products in the past 30 days, which defines them as a “current user.”

Statewide, 25.5% of students surveyed were current users.

The number of middle school students in the state who have used electronic vapor products is also higher on neighbor islands.

Statewide, 27.3% of middle school students have reported trying such products, while 35.8 % of Big Island students surveyed have reported trying them….

HTH: Vexed by vaping: Schools see increase in use, find it harder to police

read ... Teen vaping alarms health officials

Scots Work to Save Falls of Clyde

HS: … the group battling to save her in Hawaii have now been told to clear personal items off the ship and remove their lock, suggesting authorities are set to begin the task of dismantling her.

That move follows emergency repairs in February after the ship started to take in water. To add to her woes, there are also fears that hurricane season – now in full swing – could leave her fatally wounded in her Honolulu berth….

Yet while her future looks grim, supporters closer to home say there may still be a slight glimmer of hope.

David O’Neill of Glasgow-based Save Falls of Clyde International, believes Hawaiian authorities are in a Catch 22 situation: apart from the costs involved, towing her to sea raises fears she might crumble and block the harbour, and the risk of pollution is too high to dismantle her where she sits.

He hopes frustrated authorities will have little option but to work hand in hand with supporters who want to raise her onto the back of another vessel and sail her to a better future.

“We are relying on the harbour authorities giving us time and to buy into what we are trying to do,” he said. “They have been threatening to dispose of her for 10 years, but it will cost them up to $2 million to take her out of the harbour and sink her.

“They have to make her seaworthy first, or risk blocking the harbour if she sinks. They would face a tremendous cost if that happened, so we have suggested working together to share the cost and save the Hawaiian taxpayers’ money to remove a ship they see as an eyesore.”….

one effort which involved persuading a specialist ship to travel to Honolulu to lift her from her berth, collapsed when it was found to be too large to enter the harbour.

Even if Hawaiian authorities work with campaigners to cover the estimated $1.5 million costs of bringing her back to the UK, an ambitious four years restoration programme would require millions more….

read … Falls of Clyde is languishing in Honolulu harbour

Gabbard Against Identity Politics

WSJ: … Ms. Gabbard, who represents Hawaii’s Second District, also doesn’t belabor her sex, her ethnic background (Samoan) or her religion (Hindu). “I think identity politics, again, is one of those things that is unfortunately being used to divide us. . . . [it’s] a dangerous road to walk down,” Ms. Gabbard told me in a podcast interview, lamenting fellow Democrats and the media for often treating Americans “as though we are the sum of the color of our skin.”…

read … A Hawaii Democrat’s Surprising Views

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