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Monday, August 26, 2019
August 26, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:21 PM :: 1233 Views

UH System: 1,639 make six-figure salaries

CB: … salary database just added 7,424 statewide employees of the University of Hawaii system. At least 1,639 make six-figure salaries….

read … UH System

DHHL must focus on its obligations

SA: … Oral arguments in Kalima v. State of Hawaii, named for lead plaintiff Leona Kalima, were heard on Wednesday by the state Supreme Court. It’s on appeal from a lower court that ruled DHHL was liable for those damages for failing to provide homesteads to eligible Native Hawaiians in a timely manner….

the justices questioned Hawaii Solicitor General Clyde Wadsworth on why the state would ask plaintiffs to provide evidence of how much they paid for housing on non-homestead properties — going back decades, in many cases. Surely the court master will see to it that the bar is not set quite so high; public records can yield some of the basis for awards.

DHHL is not without its own legitimate complaints about the administrative funding the Legislature has provided so that trust funds need not be tapped. The agency went to court to secure that.

In more recent years DHHL has explored rental projects and other alternative models for providing affordable housing, particularly for those who struggle to qualify for a loan.

But agency officials years ago should have shouldered the responsibility of helping its beneficiaries on the road to financial literacy and readiness for home ownership. Instead, its lawyers are in court arguing that the state is not responsible for delays if they’re caused by a claimant’s failure to qualify and participate in homesteading….

Flashback: Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

read … DHHL must focus on its obligations

More BS: Kai Kahele finds New Angle to Hype Costs on Policing Protest

KHON: … Gov. David Ige confirmed to KHON2 he’ll continue to support county law enforcement costs at the Mauna Kea telescope protest site as long as they’re working to ensure legal access for astronomers and Thirty Meter Telescope construction. But a state senator tells us Hawaii County should reconsider their police force’s involvement. This comes after KHON2 reported Tuesday how a letter from the governor has many fearing new conditions for reimbursement of county costs, which have soared into the millions.

Always Investigating was first to reveal Tuesday a letter the governor sent a county councilmember that many read as making paybacks for their cost outlays conditional on benchmarks, such as opening access for astronomers and TMT construction. It states reimbursements to Hawaii County Police Department will continue “so long as HCPD remains committed to maintaining control of the pertinent roadways,” adding HCPD is critical to getting access to the mountain for current astronomers and to “ensuring TMT may engage in the lawfully permitted construction of its telescope.” (See full letter at the bottom of this story, and this related coverage in our story Tuesday about the governor’s letter and the tally of statewide costs reaching $4.1 million).

Gov. David Ige told Always Investigating on Wednesday, after we requested clarification about the intent of the letter, that: “The state is working with the county to ensure legal, safe, peaceful access for all of those who have the legal right to be on Mauna Kea. That includes all of the astronomers and the people who work on the existing telescopes. That also includes the 30-meter telescope project. As long as we are working to ensure legal access for all those people, we will be supporting the county in enforcement costs.”

“It could be interpreted as Hawaii County won’t get reimbursed unless full access to Mauna Kea can be provided by the County of Hawaii,” said state Sen. Kai Kahele, (D) Hilo, “and ultimately leaving that bill, which is now over $3 million, to be paid for by the taxpayers of the County of Hawaii…. 

BIVN VIDEO: Mauna Kea Costs Concern County Councilman

PDF: Governor’s Letter

read … Gov. Ige ties payback to TMT construction access

Anti-TMT protests affecting Big Island tourism industry

SA: … A convention of bird- watchers has canceled a planned meeting on Hawaii island because of uncertainty surrounding protests over building the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

The bird convention is just the latest tourism casualty since protests over the TMT project started in mid-July when opponents began to gather at the intersection of Daniel K. Inouye Highway and Mauna Kea Access Road. Gov. David Ige closed the only road to the summit July 15, and it’s been blocked by TMT opponents since then….

The festival cancellation piggybacks on earlier reported tourism impacts, mainly from the eight tour companies that have permits to bring visitors to Mauna Kea, especially the three or so whose businesses exclusively rely on Mauna Kea, said Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau.

“An average of $150,000 every month is being lost by each of the operators, ” Birch said. “A couple of operators, where Mauna Kea is their only business, have gone out of business or are very close to closing, and a few others are having great challenges.”

The protests are disrupting Hawaii island tourism at a time when the island was starting to recover from last year’s Kilauea eruption. Just how much of a disruption it is will take time to determine….

read … Anti-TMT protests affecting Big Island tourism industry

KSBE Maui: Boy Switches to Girls Volleyball Lockerroom

KITV: … A dude at Kamehameha Schools Maui (suddenly became born that way and) switched from the boys to the girls volleyball team because he now identifies as a female.

The school acknowledged the change but some parents tell KITV4 they still aren't comfortable.

An anonymous parent says he feels uncomfortable his daughters at Kamehameha Schools Maui have to share a locker room with a biological boy, even if that boy now identifies as a girl.

(This would not be an issue in DoE schools because they have no female locker rooms for the boy to enter.)

The school says the student has permission to be there. Administrators says they'll continue to support transgender students across campuses in hopes for a competitive season for all….

(Really Obvious Question: Will the girls ‘straighten’ him out?)

read … Maui transgender student triggers community discussion on trans rights

47 Years After Title IX, Hawaii DoE Schools Still have no female Locker rooms—Motion to Dismiss Denied

LR: … Denying a high school athletic association’s motion to dismiss a complaint alleging violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal district court has held, “the Plaintiffs have provided sufficient factual matter to plausibly allege that the [Oahu Interscholastic Association] may be subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of Title IX under a ‘controlling authority’ theory.”

In A.B. v. Hawaii State Department of Education, athletes on the female high school water polo and swim team filed a class action lawsuit against Oahu Interscholastic Association (“OIA”) and the Hawaii State Department of Education (“DOE”) alleging violations of Title IX. In their three-count complaint….

read … Title IX Claims May Proceed under ‘Controlling Authority’ Theory

Hawaii hemp growers are having to destroy their plants because of high THC levels

SA: … More than half of the hemp crops cultivated in Hawaii over the past year as part of the state’s industrial hemp pilot program have tested hot, meaning their levels of THC, the chemical that makes people high, were above the federal limit for hemp.

The high rates of unusable plants pose a challenge to the nascent hemp industry in Hawaii where investors locally and from the mainland are hoping to capitalize on the state’s ideal growing conditions and the thriving market for hemp-derived cannabidiol products, known as CBDs.

Nearly all of the hot crops, 18, had to be destroyed, according to the state Department of Agriculture. State officials granted waivers to another four crops that tested just slightly above the limit, allowing the growers to use the hemp on their properties….

So far, the Department of Agriculture has granted 30 licenses to companies interested in growing hemp throughout the state….

Part of the challenge, said Choy, is that most of the interest in hemp is in producing CBD products, which have become popular in the wellness industry. Tests have shown that hemp strains ideal for their high CBD levels tend to also have higher THC levels, increasing the chances of them testing hot….

SA Editorial: Keep going on hemp field

read … Hawaii hemp growers are having to destroy their plants because of high THC levels

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