Feds Force UH to Shutter Chinese Communist Spy Center ‘Confucius Institute’
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 28, 2019
Bart Dame: Recycling is an Expensive and Ineffective Fraud
BD: I have gently raised questions about Honolulu’s recycling programs for years and found it to be a taboo subject. I have concluded it is mostly an expensive and ineffective fraud. But nobody is willing to talk about it.
The exception appears to be aluminum, which gets done because it is cost effective.but paper, plastics and glass? It ain’t happening. For Oahu households, I recommend against sorting out paper and plastics. It is better to burn them in H-Power than to stockpile them or ship them to someplace over the horizon where THEY will burn them….
read … Bart Dame
Maunakea Observatories: Protesters are still Blocking Access
HNN: … TMT protesters say they’ve given workers at existing observatories atop Mauna Kea the green light to return to the summit, but the observatories say they haven’t hammered out any deal with the activists for access to facilities.
The situation adds another element of confusion in the ongoing conflict, which is now entering its third week. Shortly after the protest started at the base of Mauna Kea, all telescope employees were brought down from the summit for safety reasons. Since then, there have only been a few people who have been allowed to return to the summit to perform maintenance at existing telescopes.
And on Monday, the observatories said they still don’t have access to the summit.
“For regular operations, our observatories need safe, consistent access to our facilities for not only technicians, but all of our staff ― and our local contractors and vendors ― in order to keep our facilities functional,” said Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the East Asian Observatory.
“The Maunakea Observatories continue to support the efforts of state and county law enforcement to restore safe and reliable conditions on the Maunakea Access Road.”
The statement conflicts with what protesters said Sunday….
Researchers say they’ve lost a year’s worth of discovery, collectively, from the summit shutdown ….
read … Still Locked Out
University of Hawaii President David Lassner visits Mauna Kea
SA: … Lassner was led up the blocked Mauna Kea Access Road to where the kupuna were waiting, and approached the Hawaiian elders with a broad smile.
He greeted each of the kupuna in the tent that has served as the headquarters for the protests, and explained that he would not be making remarks to the squad of reporters and camera crews that followed him.
“I came here because I wanted to see you, I wanted to feel your spirit, I wanted to witness for myself first hand what is happening here,” he told the kupuna and the crowd. “I’m committed to try to find a peaceful way forward for all of the people of Hawaii, and that requires that I understand better than I did before I came here,” Lassner said.
He thanked the Hawaiian leaders within the UH system who invited him to the protest, and thanked them for the warm welcome he received.“I’m glad to get this chance to talk to you,” he said. Lassner departed from the protest site slightly more than an hour after he arrived. …
KITV: Kanuha estimates 3,000 to 5,000 people stood in opposition to the construction on Sunday, the biggest display so far.
read … University of Hawaii President David Lassner visits Mauna Kea
Personal Opinions Crystallize as Hawaiʻi Enters Week Three of TMT Standoff
HPR: … Compromise may seem like a long-shot for those on all sides of the debate on the Thirty-Meter Telescope. Media reports, polling data, and statewide demonstrations can simplify a complex topic that continues to divide island communities. But there are folks who have changed their minds over time. Here’s their story….
According to a 2018 poll by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, nearly 77 percent of Hawaiʻi voters support TMT. A majority of the 800 respondents identifying as native Hawaiian also approved the project. (EDITORʻS NOTE: According to Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, the firm that conducted the phone survey, 78 native Hawaiians respondents were polled with 72 percent in support of TMT.)
There’s no telling whether the past two weeks of protests have had any impact on public opinion. Governor David Ige is soliciting feedback in an effort to find out….
read … Personal Opinions Crystallize as Hawaiʻi Enters Week Three of TMT Standoff
New Trial? Feds Push Back Against Latest Kealoha Gambit
SA: … Citing the “mountain of evidence” proving Katherine Kealoha’s guilt, federal prosecutors have asked the U.S. Circuit Court to defer considering her motion for a new trial until after she is sentenced in October….
Kealoha has since asked the court for a new trial, claiming her court-appointed attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, was ineffective. Her motion was filed by attorney Earle Partington, who was hired by Kealoha’s family as co-counsel toward the end of the trial.
But Colin McDonald, an assistant U.S. attorney, said in a court filing Thursday that the verdicts were not the doing of Kealoha’s “hand-holders,” a reference to her defense counsel, but “the result of her own criminal actions and the mountain of evidence proving them.”
Kealoha’s defense team faced a “hopeless task,” McDonald added.
In asking the court to defer consideration of Kealoha’s motion, McDonald noted the motion is so broad-based and supported by a “bare evidentiary record” that the process to resolve it could take months. That delay, he added, is not in the best interests of justice.
“In essence, Kealoha attacks her counsel’s representation from start to finish, including a running disagreement with counsel’s trial strategy,” McDonald wrote….
read … Kealoha’s defense team faced ‘hopeless task,’ court filing says
Remember Jonathan Fraser
ILind: … His mother, along with other friends and family members, will hold a roadside vigil this afternoon, Monday, July 29, on the eve of the anniversary of Jonathan’s disappearance. They still hope that information will eventually surface leading to the person(s) responsible.
Last year, the FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for his disappearance.
Jonathan Fraser was 21 years old when he disappeared.
Fraser disappeared just a few months after his best friend, Caleb-Jordan Miske-Lee, died as a result of injuries received when their car crashed into another vehicle in Kaneohe in November 2015. Miske-Lee was hospitalized, but eventually succumbed to his injuries.
Although records of first responders show Miske-Lee was the driver and Fraser the front-seat passenger, Miske-Lee’s father, Honolulu businessman and former nightclub owner Michael Miske, filed suit alleging Fraser had been the driver. That lawsuit is pending….
ILind: Mother pleads for info on fate of missing son
read … Remember Jonathan Fraser
Keeping Poor People Out Of Jail On Kauai
CB: … Kauai’s county prosecutor is hoping to break the cycle for low-income people trapped in the criminal justice system with an innovative new policy.
Justin Kollar is changing the way his office charges certain traffic violations — driving without a license and driving without insurance — because he believes the current penalty guidelines unfairly punish low-income people.
The move aligns with growing efforts nationwide to reassess fines and fees that create additional burdens on low-income offenders.
State law for those violations call for harsher fines and jail time for repeat offenses. In memos he sent out to other prosecutors this month, Kollar said his office would be charging all of those violations as first-time offenses regardless of prior history.
The enhanced penalties have done nothing to make the roads safer, Kollar said in an interview. They have only added more people to the already crowded jail and traps the working poor in a “cycle they can’t get out of.”
Low-income people who get picked up on those charges can’t afford the fines, which further hinders their ability to get their license or insurance….
read … Keeping Poor People Out Of Jail On Kauai
The Grim State Of Military Housing In Hawaii
CB: … Dead rats. Bathrooms spewing sewage. Cockroaches. Toxic mold. Broken appliances.
Military families in Hawaii are increasingly upset about what they describe as filthy, contaminated and unsanitary living conditions in on-base housing, and they are starting to raise a stink about it.
Federal officials, meanwhile, are beginning to take note of the seriousness of the problems.
About 650 military families in Hawaii responded this year to the first independent, national survey of on-base living conditions, with the majority ranking their experiences negative or very negative. Some said they got sick or developed long-term illnesses while residing on base, or lived in fear of becoming ill, as the private landlords who control the properties dragged their feet on necessary repairs….
CB: Federal Leaders Look To Improve Military Housing Conditions
CB: Atrocious Housing Conditions At Military Bases Must Be Fixed
read … The Grim State Of Military Housing In Hawaii
Kill rate too high? Ballot Initiative seeks changes to animal shelter standards
HTH: … A committee of five community members has submitted to the County Clerk a ballot initiative proposal seeking to establish an animal shelter standards law.
The proposal, sent by Deputy County Clerk Aaron Brown to County Council Chairman Aaron Chung on June 7, seeks to amend Chapter 4 of the Hawaii County Code by adding a new article regarding animal shelter standards to ensure impounded animals are protected from neglect and abuse, receive appropriate care and are given ample and reasonable opportunity for placement. …
CB: Critics Say County Ignores Animal Shelters’ High Kill Rates
read … Ballot initiative to set standards for critter care
Profitable Nonprofits Grab for Open Space Fund
HTH: … Officers and board members of nonprofit organizations receiving stewardship grants from the county’s public land fund could be paid for their work with taxpayer money, under a change to a proposed charter amendment unanimously approved by the County Council.
Currently, officers and board members of a nonprofit grant recipient are prohibited from receiving pay from the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (commonly called “PONC”) maintenance fund….
read … Ballot proposal would pay nonprofit boards with PONC money