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Wednesday, July 10, 2019
July 10, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:32 PM :: 1556 Views

Company was told to stop skydiving before fatal crash; now ordered to vacate

Kapiolani CC apprenticeship program showcased at mayors conference

Ige Vetoes 18 Bills, Allows Two to Become Law

Ige Signs Anti-Gun Legislation

Protesters Threats Silence Hawaiian Support for Telescope

CB: … TMT protesters also misuse words in highly charged and offensive ways. Take for instance the mention of “genocide” in many protesters’ statements, a word that literally means the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

My family is Hawaiian and I am speaking for my family when I say I see no “genocide” here. Instead, with TMT I see a project that has helped my community already, even before construction has started. Appropriating this term for TMT is incorrect and insulting, belittling cases of actual genocide throughout the world.

Just because you don’t agree with someone on TMT, it does not mean that person is beneath you. Many TMT opponents do not seem to understand this, especially when they are talking with Hawaiian TMT supporters.

Protesters attempt to delegitimize people like my family as “fake Hawaiians,” “paid shills,” “brainwashed” or “colonized” just because we disagree.

Is it a sin to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions? Why aren’t these phrases used to describe Hawaiians that, like the queen over a century ago, go to Christian churches and do not accept the religious beliefs of many TMT opponents? …

Go ahead. Deny it. But if you’re truly honest with yourself, can you honestly say that there are no threats of violence due from TMT opponents?

The protesters’ have issued physical threats against a high school TMT supporter, rammed vehicles into observatories, and put rocks in the road to block traffic. They also put two unpermitted ahus — which were not even constructed properly according to tradition — in the middle of the road in an obvious attempt to block the project….

I’d like to end by saying this: There are many Hawaiians that support TMT — more than people think (the polls say up to 70%). We stay quiet due to the hostile reactions that we get when we voice our opinions….

NYT: Hawaii Telescope Project, Long Disputed, Approaches Construction

read … Protesters Cloud TMT Discussion With False Claims, Threats

OHA is declared a nest of vipers and dismantled

MW:  … Moloka‘i activist Walter Ritte pledges fealty to the United States. Bumpy Kanahele admits there’s no Nation of Hawai‘i. Kealoha Pisciot- ta confesses Mauna Kea is no more sacred than Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a. OHA is declared a nest of vipers and dismantled.

Some Hawaiians will continue to claim they are not subject to U.S. or state laws. The telescope will go up because there’s no viable dissent in the general community. OHA won’t be retired by skittish state lawmakers and will stutter along as the most inept of state agencies. …

read … Bob Jones: Waking Up To Hawai‘i’s Political Realities

It’s getting hard to take Kirk Caldwell seriously 

Cataluna: … They see homeless encampments all along the sidewalk perimeter of city parks and are told that the city is doing a great job keeping the grass clear for park use.

They see urgent problems in their community like drug dens and “monster” houses and illegal rentals and are told to file a complaint, to file another complaint, file another complaint after that.

The City of Honolulu doesn’t work. It doesn’t function with reliability, efficiency or accountability. When it does, it’s surprising.

That lack of accountability starts at the top with Mayor Kirk “Move On” Caldwell.

In his 2019 State of the City speech, Caldwell said the No. 1 problem facing Oahu was climate change, not the legions of homeless living in squalor on city streets and beaches, not the fact that no one can figure out how to pay for the rail project, not the shameful goings on of the Kealohas and what their crimes say about how two of the most important departments in the city were run under Caldwell’s watch. None of that. It’s all about climate change and scary maps that depict Waikiki completely underwater, Kakaako and Ala Moana Beach Park all but sunk.

But then, from the other side of his mouth, Caldwell is pushing a fancy playground structure at Ala Moana Beach Park right where the scary maps say the ocean is going to be. He’s unveiling plans to tear down the Blaisdell and build a new Blaisdell, perhaps so that all the wealthy Kakaako residents have an emergency shelter when the tide is high and they have to evacuate.

Now that he’s done the dog-and-sustainable-pony show for the Mayors Conference, Caldwell is following up that act in the Netherlands this week where he’s attending a Climate Change Summit, talking big about what a great job Honolulu is doing.

Now why does that sound familiar?

Oh yeah, that’s a page from the Jeremy Harris playbook. Remember Jeremy? There’s a name you never hear anymore. Honolulu Mayor Harris started setting up his Sustainable City tour as he wound up his time in office, spending city money on a poorly written, vanity-driven book about how sustainable he made Honolulu, hosting international environmental summits and traveling to far-flung places to talk big about what he did.

Harris’ Honolulu was in a lot better shape than Caldwell’s city, though ….

read … It’s getting hard to take Kirk Caldwell seriously.  

Former city Prosecutor Carlisle wants to run for his old job

SA: … One day after a state judge dismissed a petition to impeach Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, his predecessor Peter Carlisle wants the court to declare him eligible to run for Kaneshiro’s office in the 2020 election.

Candidates need to certify on their nomination papers that they are qualified under law for the offices they are seeking. Carlisle on Tuesday filed in state Circuit Court for certification that he is eligible, saying that he intends to be a candidate for his old office in the next statewide elections.

The candidate filing period is Feb. 3 to June 2, 2020….

The Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu says that the prosecuting attorney shall be licensed to practice law in the state, have five years of experience as a lawyer and “have been actively involved in criminal cases for at least three” of the 10 years preceding the election.

Carlisle was Honolulu prosecuting attorney from 1996 to 2010….

Yoshimura is expected to file a new petition that contains traditional, hand-written signatures….

HNN:  Impeach Kaneshiro Petition to be Filed Again

read … Former city Prosecutor Carlisle wants to run for his old job

How Kaneshiro Protected Kealohas

HNN: … Kaneshiro was one of very few people – and the only elected official – who could have prevented the worst of the corruption.

That’s because the financial dispute at the root of this case, the theft from Florence Puana, became public in March of 2013 when the Puana family sued Katherine.

That lawsuit contained serious criminal allegations that were later found credible by federal prosecutors, but went completely ignored by prosecutor Kaneshiro.

Instead of putting Kealoha on leave and investigating, he allowed her to repeatedly abuse the power of her position for retaliation and intimidation of her critics.

Because he was identified as a target of the investigation, Kaneshiro is on paid leave, and his loyal deputy is in charge….

read … Racket

Council resolution demands agencies say how they’ll prevent more Kealoha-esque incidents

HNN: … Councilman Ron Menor, who chairs the Executive Matters Committee, has proposed that the Honolulu Police Department, the Honolulu Police Commission and the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office review their management and ethical oversight procedures, and report to the council about what they have done to improve.

The resolution points out that, with regard to the Kealoha case, there were clear signs of misuse of police and city resources and questionable use powers well before the federal investigation….

“The Council believes that such patterns of corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, retaliation, favoritism, and abuses of power should have been evident to management and personnel within the HPD and Prosecutor’s Officer long before they were brought to light through the mailbox case and other pending indictments against the Kealohas,” the resolution, 190-156, read.

The resolution was introduced Friday and has not been officially scheduled. There is a full meeting of the council scheduled for Wednesday.

The resolution demands the internal reviews and reports be submitted to the council within 180 days….

PDF: Text of Resolution

read … Council resolution demands agencies say how they’ll prevent more Kealoha-esque incidents

Thirty Meter Telescope foes file lawsuit challenging developer for failing to meet bond requirement

SA: … Foes of the Thirty Meter Telescope filed a lawsuit Monday saying the state failed to make the developer of the $1.4 billion project post a security bond as required by the state’s 1977 plan for Mauna Kea.

Mauna Kea Hui leader Kealoha Pisciotta said the suit filed in Third Circuit Court on Hawaii island is the first of at least three planned legal challenges aimed at stopping the TMT from being built on Hawaii’s tallest mountain.

Filed by Big Island attorney Gary Zamber, the suit claims that the Mauna Kea Plan of 1977 requires that every project have a posted security bond in the amount of the full cost of the project…. 

read … Thirty Meter Telescope foes file lawsuit challenging developer for failing to meet bond requirement

A proposal to Build Solar Farm on Hawaiian Home Lands turns ugly in Kapolei

HNN: … A company spokesperson tried to detail the project in Kapolei Monday night, but his presentation was overshadowed by upset beneficiaries.

"There’s a lot of things that can be more beneficial for all of our beneficiaries before we die on that wait list,” Garcia Phillips said….

some Native Hawaiians say the land should be designated for them, not a private company.

"There's no discussion. The lands were given to us. The lands were put through a public process, with beneficiaries, they were designated as commercial, industrial," said Aila.

The project still needs to be approved by Hawaiian Electric Company and the Public Utilities Commission….

KITV: Canadian solar company wants to lease native Hawaiian lands 

read … No Solar

Revamped Blaisdell center too costly for now

SA Editorial: … given the city’s fuzzy financial outlook and redevelopment plans in the works for other venues, the city should rethink the plan, or at least hit the pause button on this big-ticket item — now priced at a whopping $772 million….

given issues such as uncertainty tied to rail operation costs and public-private redevelopment plans for Aloha Stadium, Blaisdell’s slated makeover is uniquely ill-timed.

Under the latest timeline, Blaisdell would close in November 2020 for about three years….

this master plan would cost roughly one-quarter of today’s city budget….

The city has yet to determine how it will pay for rail operations and maintenance — estimated at between $127 million and $144 million….

read … Revamped center too costly for now

China’s largesse in Tonga threatens future of Pacific nation

AP: … In the capital, Nuku’alofa, government officials work in a shiny new office block — an $11 million gift from China that is rivaled in grandeur only by China’s imposing new embassy complex.

Dozens of Tongan bureaucrats take all-expenses-paid training trips to Beijing each year, and China has laid out millions of dollars to bring 107 Tongan athletes and coaches to a training camp in China’s Sichuan province ahead of this month’s Pacific Games in Samoa.

“The best facilities. The gym, the track, and a lot of equipment we don’t have here in Tonga,” said Tevita Fauonuku, the country’s head athletic coach. “The accommodation: lovely, beautiful. And the meals. Not only that, but China gave each and everyone some money. A per diem.”

China also offered low-interest loans after pro-democracy rioters destroyed much of downtown Nuku’alofa in 2006, and analysts say those loans could prove Tonga’s undoing. The country of 106,000 people owes some $108 million to China’s Export-Import bank, equivalent to about 25% of GDP.

The U.S. ambassador to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse Jr., calls China’s lending in the Pacific “payday loan diplomacy.”

“The money looks attractive and easy upfront, but you better read the fine print,” he said….

For decades, the South Pacific was considered the somewhat sleepy backyard of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Now, as China exerts increasing influence, Western allies are responding.

Experts say there hasn’t been this level of geopolitical competition in the region since the U.S. and Japan were bombing each other’s occupied atolls.

“We haven’t seen anything like this since World War II,” said Smith, a research fellow at Australian National University.

After Cyclone Gita destroyed Tonga’s historic Parliament House last year, the government first suggested China might like to pay to rebuild it. Then Australia and New Zealand stepped in and are now considering jointly funding the project.

Elsewhere in the region, Australia is redeveloping a Papua New Guinea naval base while New Zealand has announced it will spend an extra $500 million on overseas aid over four years, with most of it directed at South Pacific nations….

read … China’s largesse in Tonga threatens future of Pacific nation

Malia Zimmermann Conspiracy Theory Traced back to Russia

YN: … In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside President Trump’s White House, a Yahoo News investigation has found.

Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, first circulated a phony “bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case. That was just three days after Rich, 27, was killed in what police believed was a botched robbery while walking home to his group house in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., about 30 blocks north of the Capitol.

The purported details in the SVR account seemed improbable on their face: that Rich, a data director in the DNC’s voter protection division, was on his way to alert the FBI to corrupt dealings by Clinton when he was slain in the early hours of a Sunday morning by the former secretary of state’s hit squad.

Yet in a graphic example of how fake news infects the internet, those precise details popped up the same day on an obscure website, whatdoesitmean.com, that is a frequent vehicle for Russian propaganda. The website’s article, which attributed its claims to “Russian intelligence,” was the first known instance of Rich’s murder being publicly linked to a political conspiracy.…

The conspiracy claims reached their zenith in May 2017 — the same week as Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the Russia probe — when Fox News’ website posted a sensational story claiming that an FBI forensic report had discovered evidence on Rich’s laptop that he had been in communication with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Sean Hannity, the network’s primetime star, treated the account as major news on his nightly broadcast, calling it “explosive” and proclaiming it “might expose the single biggest fraud, lies, perpetrated on the American people by the media and the Democrats in our history.”…

In fact, the Fox story was a “complete fabrication,” said Sines, who consulted with the FBI about the Fox News claims. There was “no connection between Seth and WikiLeaks. And there was no evidence on his work computer of him downloading and disseminating things from the DNC.” (A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington field office said the office had never opened an investigation into Rich’s murder, considering it a local crime for which the Washington Metropolitan Police Department had jurisdiction. Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s acting director at the time, said in an interview that he reached out to his agents after he heard about the conspiracy stories about Rich and was told, “There’s no there there.”)

After eight days of controversy, Fox News was forced to retract the story after one of its two key sources, former Washington, D.C., homicide detective Rod Wheeler, backed away from comments he had given the Fox News website reporter Malia Zimmerman and a local Fox affiliate reporter confirming the account. The article, the network said in a statement at the time, “was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.” Fox News later announced it was conducting an internal investigation into how the story came to be posted on its website. The results have never been disclosed, and a spokeswoman for Fox News declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation against the news network brought by the Rich family….

Flashback: Malia Zimmerman Beats Rap After Pushing Conspiracy Theory

read … Russia

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