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Saturday, July 27, 2019
July 27, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:30 PM :: 1172 Views

Maunakea Rules: UH Regents Move Meeting to Aug 30

GAO Looks at Honolulu Rail Project

Honolulu CWAs a recipe for disaster

GAO: Micronesia Trust Funds Unlikely to Replace US Aid

Hawaii: Geothermal potential could offer reliability on clean energy

Political Cartoons That Make You Think

Hawaii Consumers Deepest in Debt--Not Counting Mortgages

Pacific Islands Caucus Formed to Counter Chinese Influence

OHA Goes to Mountain Bearing Cash -- Advances Process of Co-opting Telescope Protesters

SA: … “Our community is asking for OHA’s help,” Kauai trustee Dan Ahuna said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to our beneficiaries peacefully demanding the protection of Maunakea.”

The mostly Native Hawaiian protesters have been blocking Mauna Kea Access Road since July 15, preventing construction of a $1.4 billion project planned as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world.

Friday’s meeting at Kim’s Hilo office included leaders from OHA, Kamehameha Schools, the Royal Order of Kamehameha and other Native Hawaiian community leaders.

Afterward, OHA Chairwoman Colette Machado, trustee Dan Ahuna and CEO Sylvia Hussey visited Puu Huluhulu. Machado addressed the kiai, or “protectors,” during a gathering in the middle of the blocked Mauna Kea Access Road.

“You have continued to be an inspiration,” she said in a speech filled with emotion. “Without some of the work you have done to bring unification to our people, nobody would have listened. But you have done that in less than 12 days.”

A veteran of Native Hawaiian battles herself, Machado said the TMT opponents are making history.

“I cannot say enough. This will last for generations to come,” she said.

In an earlier statement the OHA leaders said they were hoping to better understand the needs of the protest encampment and how OHA and the kiai can work together “to address the many management failures of the state and (University of Hawaii) that have led to the current situation on Maunakea.”

OHA is embroiled in a lawsuit charging the state and university with mismanaging the mountain. The suit seeks to wrest control of the summit from the university. 

(And that the the purpose of the protests.)

The statement, issued after the meeting with Kim, urged the mayor to continue his dialogue with the Native Hawaiian community, including the activists.

As for Thursday’s resolution, it’s unclear for now how much monetary support will end up going to the protest, according to OHA spokesman Sterling Wong….

Trustee Keli‘i Akina introduced an amendment to have OHA acknowledge a duty to represent beneficiaries who support the TMT, but it captured only one vote, his own….

“One person could completely mess everything up,” said Malia Hulleman, a veteran of the protests over an oil pipeline at Standing Rock in North Dakota. “One person raises their fist with a pohaku (rock) in their fist, that’s it. That is it.”…

read … Co-optation

Court: Telescope Must Inform Activist Before Construction Equipment is Moved to Mountain

KHON: … today, a federal judge remanded to state court a lawsuit filed challenging interisland county police authority, after Maui and Honolulu officers were deployed to Mauna Kea and have since returned.

In a separate lawsuit aiming to strike the governor’s emergency proclamation, a hearing will be held Tuesday on whether Gov. David Ige has to testify in person at preliminary injunction hearings later in the week.

Paul Neves, a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner, meanwhile has a court-ordered TRO allowing him solo access. The 3-judge panel today filed a clarification of the order, which requires the state to give Neves ample advance notice if a construction convoy is coming….

read … Gov. Ige opposes having to testify at injunction hearing

Trask: ‘You Must Acknowledge Our Religion’

HNN: … “I really feel that with Mauna Kea, we have come to the crescendo of our own political strategy," said Hawaiian activist and attorney Mililani Trask….

“When you’re working with underlying issues like militarism or toxicity of the water or even traffic congestion, you have leeway to work out some solutions," she said.

“But when it comes to an absolute refusal to acknowledge people’s religion and their right to worship God, then lines are drawn.”…

Kumu Hula Mapuana De Silva said the struggle over Mauna Kea is one that Hawaiians cannot afford to lose. She said she visited Mauna Kea’s summit and Lake Waiau for the first time in June.…

read … TMT protest called a pivotal moment in modern Hawaiian history

Telescope Protester: I am an Empty Vessel, I don’t Know Much

TGI: …But the truth is, I barely know about everything that has happened.  About our cultural practices, all the songs and stories of our ancestors. I don’t know how to ole’lo Hawaii. And what’s more upsetting, is for the amount of knowledge I have, that is still considered more than most.  However, growing up without the full knowledge of my history, what little I have learned has always been tied to the aina…..

(Why do they tell her to think of the aina?  Because that’s where OHA can score Greenmail Megabux.  Duh.)

With this TMT project, sure. You’ll be one step closer to finding out if there’s life out there in space. But by doing so, take thousands of steps backwards from preserving what we have right here in front of us?…

Our culture is under attack all throughout Hawaii. Here on Kauai we too face battles, from Mark Zuckerberg and kuleana lands, to the disruption of the salt beds in Hanapepe due to the development of Maverick Helicopter and about hundreds of other issues that continue to push our culture further and further into devastation….

(She ‘forgot’ to mention this: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Blocks Kauai Drug Treatment Facility.)

if knowledge is power and the ‘aina is knowledge for us as Hawaiians. Why take that away from us?

We protect Mauna Kea to learn, to teach and to take care of the mauna that is here right now. Not to use it as a beacon to discover what else is out there in space.

Please tell me, what is the priority here?…

(Define: ‘Passive Aggressive’.)

read … Fill me up with whatever you want me to believe

Tensions grow as TMT protesters continue to block access for telescope workers

HNN: … Doug Simons, director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, said observatories have to ask law enforcement to negotiate with the protesters.

“That’s a really difficult situation to put us in,” he said.

Simons praised law enforcement for their efforts, but says he’s frustrated that millions of dollars worth of equipment is at risk because regular and emergency maintenance can’t be performed.

“It’s just unacceptable that we’re not able to get up there when we need to, to address these things,” Simons said.

Meanwhile, a group of law enforcement leaders met in the mayor’s office Friday.

tension is building for the telescope workers, who are being forced to play by the rules the protesters are both creating and enforcing.

Kanuha says they’re simply asking for communication with the telescopes and they’ll let tech crews up.

But Simons said the observatories will not negotiate separately because they could inadvertently pit themselves against one another. The observatories ordered their crews down from the summit last week over the security and access concerns….

read … Tensions grow as TMT protesters continue to block access for telescope workers

HPD: We Will go to Mauna Kea Again if Called

KHON: … Honolulu City Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi filed a resolution earlier this week demanding HPD answer to cost, authority and public safety questions about the deployment. Councilmember Ron Menor asked similar questions in a letter to the chief. Today, HPD Chief Susan Ballard answered some of their questions face to face.

“You’re saying that all the officers that went to the Big Island did not affect all of the coverage in all of our areas?” Tsuneyoshi asked Ballard at the hearing.

“Correct,” Ballard replied, “because the officers who went up were from different specialized units within the department as well as our special events division. patrol was not touched.”…

Always Investigating has tracked a legal ping-pong going on between state and federal court involving a lawsuit that alleges Maui and Honolulu county police had no authority to go to Mauna Kea in the first place. While natural disaster shared resources are more common, state law dictates interisland policing is only valid on cases that originate in an officer’s original jurisdiction. Plaintiff Kalani Flores told us his challenge still stands, even though the officers were recalled.

“How can we be sure they won’t just come back the following week?” Flores said.

Ballard told the council that HPD officers could be needed again off-island.

“I’m not going to rule out that we will not go up again,” Ballard said. “If Hawaii County or any other police department — whether it’s Kauai or Maui are in need of our assistance… we will do that because we are a very small island and we have to help each other out.”

A state judge had set aside time Friday for a TRO hearing in the police-powers lawsuit, but Honolulu’s corporation counsel filed a notice of removal to federal court — effectively mooting any TRO hearing and making the plaintiff re-file federally.

Peter Olson, Kalani Flores’ attorney, told the federal court: it was a “bad faith” move that deprived the plaintiff “of his imminent hearing date to address imminent harm.”

Olson filed an amended complaint and asked that the case be remanded — sent back — to state court, something Maui and Big Island’s police chiefs did not oppose. After the amended complaint and the other chiefs’ motions were filed, a Honolulu corporation counsel’s subsequent filing on behalf of Ballard said state court would be fine again, but the TRO calendar had already been waylaid.

A federal judge is holding a hearing tomorrow afternoon on remanding the police-authority lawsuit back to state court….

SA: Pandering to Protesters: Honolulu Councilmembers Harass HPD Over Mauna Kea Support

read … HPD chief faces council over Mauna Kea deployment; police-powers suit in legal ping-pong

Lawsuit Exposes State’s Failed Mental Health System

SA: …much empathy goes to Soleil “Kela” Feinberg, now 21, and her parents, who have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state for failing to provide necessary mental health services for their daughter. They claim the state cut off prescribed services after Feinberg turned 18 even though federal law requires continued services until age 21.

When diagnosed with mental illness at 14, Feinberg started getting treatment via the state Department of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD). A few years later, upon returning from a mainland facility where she had been treated, Feinberg needed prescribed intensive mental health services — but instead, the lawsuit alleges, the family was told she was no longer eligible for treatment from CAMHD because she had aged out. And, the suit claims, promised mental health services via another program never materialized.

Feinberg has deteriorated: she is now in Kaneohe’s Hawaii State Hospital indefinitely, unfit to stand trial for allegedly assaulting workers at Maui Memorial Hospital’s mental-health unit in 2018.

Still, Feinberg’s lawsuit is important, since it should shed needed light on the state’s handling of kids at risk of mental or behavorial downward spiral. Serious issues of access to, and availability of, vital treatment are raised in the new report, “Young Minds at Risk,” by the nonprofit Lawyers for Equal Justice, who also represents the Feinbergs….

read … A child’s mental illness

Vacation Rental ‘Shakedown’ Nets Hundreds of Innocent Owners

CB: … The city received 390 calls from property owners who said they got warning letters but don’t operate an illegal rental….

read … Vacation Rental ‘Shakedown’ Nets Hundreds of Innocent Owners

Skydive Hawaii: State management, lack of facilities undercut Dillingham Airfield safety

KHON: … The owner of one of Hawaii’s largest skydiving companies says the state is putting the industry and its passengers at risk with a lack of safety and maintenance facilities at Dillingham Airfield, the site of a deadly skydiving plane crash in June.

Frank Hinshaw, founder of Skydive Hawaii, has gone so far as to call for resignations at the state Department of Transportation Airports Division, and for the U.S. Army to crack down on how its tenant — the state D.O.T. — manages the airfield perimeter. The state says it is taking action on inspections and safety improvements….

“Skydiving, in order to be safe, needs partners in safety,” Hinshaw said. “We need the state government to cooperate with our request to do aircraft maintenance if they want safe airplanes.”

Dillingham has no maintenance or hangar facilities. Operators here say they’ve asked to build some on their own dime for decades. Hinshaw says the D.O.T. won’t approve.

“I’m willing to put my money,” Hinshaw said. “I’m not asking the state for money.”…

We asked how does Skydive Hawaii do its maintenance?

“We moved our airplanes to Honolulu International,” Hinshaw said. “We fly over every day. It’s about $600 a day additional cost, plus the $5,000 a month to rent a hangar in Honolulu. But that’s safety.”

Hinshaw says a lack of facilities is just the start of the problems.

“When the state responded to the (June plane crash) accident, they didn’t have any fire equipment,” Hinshaw said. “It was a burning crash. There’s no fire truck here. There’s nobody trained in fire safety here to respond to an accident. we don’t get water everyday here. There are just basic necessities.”

There are no fueling facilities. A fuel trucks is called in instead.

“There’s no permanent facility,” Hinshaw said. “That’s what we’ve been asking for. The state says this is the wild west but that’s because they make it that way.”

The state has made changes at the airfield since the crash. The Department of Transportation tells Always Investigating:

“HDOT conducted a routine pre-inspection at Dillingham Airfield in mid-July to verify that aircraft stored onsite have parking permits and registered tail numbers.”

The state also said: “HDOT is taking action to protect the perimeter of the airfield through the installation of barriers on airport property”

Hinshaw says the orange and white plastic dividers – in a gravel parking lot far from the crash site — cut off his customers’ parking.

“Why a manager would come out here and tell people that this water barrier is the state’s response is just insulting to the people who lost their lives,” Hinshaw said, adding he believes the barriers are a response “to me complaining about the way the state manages this airport.”…

HNN: State says new barrier at Dillingham Airfield is for safety; but skydive company calls it payback

read … Skydive Hawaii: State management, lack of facilities undercut Dillingham Airfield safety

Thank an Anti-Agriculture Activist: Hawai‘i Sees 400% Increase in Acres Burned

HPR:  … Trauernicht points to O‘ahu, which he calls off the charts with wildfire occurrences, and to a 400% increase in acres burned across the state since the 1960’s. In this segment, he discusses the cause, which comes down to changes in land use, and often now, disuse….

read … Hawai‘i Sees 400% Increase in Acres Burned

Kauai Cleaning up Voter List--Transitioning to voting by mail in 2020

KHON: … Starting with the 2020 Primary Election, all properly registered voters will be mailed a ballot approximately 3 weeks before the election.  Voters will have the option of either voting the ballot that they received in the mail or voting in-person at a Voter Service Center that will be established at Historic County Annex Building in Lihue.

In preparation for the transition to voting by mail, the Elections Division will be mailing a notification postcard to all properly registered voters on July 26, 2019.  Voters should begin receiving postcards in late-July or early-August 2019.

The purpose of the postcard is to officially notify voters of the transition to voting by mail and to validate voter addresses in preparation for ballot mailing.  The validation of voter addresses is a part of the Elections Division’s on-going efforts to clean-up the voter registration rolls.

Anyone receiving a postcard for an unknown individual is asked to please write, “NOT AT THIS ADDRESS” on the postcard and place it in the mail.  The postcard will be returned to the Elections Division and trigger a follow-up process with the individual named on the postcard ….

read … Kauai transitioning to voting by mail in 2020

Mindless Ignorance keeps Hawaii Co Council revved up to implement zero-emission buses that don’t work

HTH: … An electric bus loaned to the county as a demonstration project has been parked unused at the Mass Transit baseyard since early 2018, despite council members’ enthusiasm for zero-emission buses.

Transit Administrator Brenda Carreira, who took charge of the agency Nov. 1, said the bus, complete with a portable charger, was received in February 2018. The administration hesitated to use it because of liability questions since the county, which is self-insured, didn’t own it. The insurance problem has since been resolved, but now the county has to get license plates, she told a council committee Tuesday.

The council created an ad hoc committee to investigate the implementation of the zero-emission buses, known as “ZEBs,” and report back to the full council in six months. The ad hoc committee will be chaired by Kohala Councilman Tim Richards, with Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy and Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder as members.

The council also approved the nonbinding Resolution 205, urging the administration to acquire hydrogen-powered buses. And a council committee gave preliminary approval for the acceptance from the state Surplus Property Office a 2015 F550 Aero Elite hydrogen bus with an original cost value of $105,424.

Cheryl Soon, a consultant with Honolulu-based consulting firm SSFM International, cautioned council members to temper their enthusiasm.

“Just go a little bit slow. Please make sure they work here,” Soon told the council. “I’m familiar with their use in Honolulu and there have been issues.”

“Lets make sure we can achieve our energy goal, but it doesn’t come at the cost of our transportation,” Soon added….

Meanwhile, the county is still so short of working diesel buses it’s renting 18-20 per day at expensive daily rates from Polynesian Adventure Tours.

Of the county fleet, 14 are operational and 16 are being repaired, Carreira said, and the county disposed of nine or 10 buses.

The county is on a buying spree. This year, the agency plans to buy five 40-foot buses and three 25-foot buses in addition to the four 30-foot buses already ordered. Also, a federal grant application is being completed for 10 more 40-foot buses….

read … Enthusiasm keeps Council responsibly revved up to implement zero-emission buses

Kauai: Real Scientists Still Trying to Deprogram Island After Brainwashing by Surfrider and Anti-Dairy Cult

TGI: … Some on Kauai are worried that swimmers could still get sick from the water in the Mahaulepu watershed, even though the state said in June the area does “not pose an imminent health threat to swimmers.’  (Still brainwashed.)

They also allege the new testing technology used to reach that conclusion was rigged to protect those involved with a now discontinued biosolids dump site in the watershed.  (Yep.  Its all a conspiracy.)

DOH said Thursday the allegations aren’t true.

“No area was avoided,” said DOH environmental health specialist Myron Honda. “Samples were collected using best professional judgment at the time to identify potential pollution sources.”

About 30 people gathered at the Wednesday meeting at the Kauai District Health Office to hear researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) talk about the microbial tracking tool they developed and its recent results, released in June after a three-year project to complete the study.

In addition to explanations from one of the study’s principal researchers, Eric Dubinsky, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manger of the water quality assessment section Janet Hashimoto was present to explain next steps in the project….

As Explained: Feds Debunk Surfrider's Fake Bacteria Counts

read … DOH explains water study, citizens concerned

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