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Saturday, October 05, 2019
October 5, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:27 PM :: 1760 Views

Several schools see proficiency rates in math fall to single digits

Ed Case: “I don’t accept ‘the price of paradise’”

VIDEO: Imua TMT Panel Discussion at Capitol

Anti-Telescope Rap Video: Swinging Baseball Bat "In the blessed era of Max Holloway"

Responding to Kim: Anti-Telescope Leader Demands 'Lawful Rent'

OHA Trustee on Mauna Kea: "Where's the revenue from these Ceded Lands?"

Mauna Kea: 591 Tickets, Six Arrests

UHERO: Planned Projects Support Healthy Construction Outlook

Attorney General subpoena:  Is OHA Illegally donating State Frequent Flyer Miles to Telescope Protesters?

SA: … State Attorney General Clare Connors issued a subpoena to Hawaiian Airlines last month seeking the names of people who donated their frequent-flyer miles to activists who wanted to travel to the Big Island to join the protests on Mauna Kea, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.

The subpoena was withdrawn after lawyers for the airline resisted the demand for records, but protesters described the effort as an example of bullying by the Attorney General’s Office in an attempt to choke off support for the ongoing demonstrations against construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

Connors also subpoenaed records from the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs last month to obtain information on OHA’s support for the anti-TMT protesters. OHA has committed tens of thousands of dollars to providing dozens of portable toilets, rubbish collection and other amenities at the protest camp at the base of Mauna Kea Access Road.

“A subpoena is used in investigation of a crime. What crime are they alleging or investigating?” asked Edward Halealoha Ayau, one of the anti-TMT activists who describe themselves as “kiai,” or protectors of Mauna Kea.

(Most Intelligent Comment: “Frequent flier miles earned from state travel can legally only be transferred to another state employee for state business.”)

The OHA subpoena indicates that demand was issued in connection with an investigation of OHA, while the heading on the airline subpoena says it was related to “investigation of Pu‘uhonua o Pu‘uhuluhulu.”….

The TMT opponents have now been blocking the access road for nearly 12 weeks….

Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alex Da Silva said in a written statement that the airline allowed donations of miles “to support nonprofits representing different perspectives of the Mauna Kea issue. We decided to leave each online portal open for 30 days. The airline did not contribute or donate miles to either fund.”

As for the subpoena, “the Attorney General issued a single subpoena requesting information about the donations to one of the entities. Hawaiian Airlines objected to the subpoena, which we felt was overly broad.”…

Kamehameha Schools is also providing help to the demonstrators camped at the bottom of the access road, including providing a large tent and support for documentation of the protests through livestreams, photos and videos, but a spokeswoman said Wednesday that KS had not received a subpoena….

read … Attorney general subpoenas Hawaiian Airlines for names of donors to protests

Legislator: Solve Mauna Kea Problem by Giving Mo’ Money to OHA

WHT: … Tarnas said TMT “is a good project for our community, economy and science,” but the government needs to deal with long-term grievances brought forth by Native Hawaiians first.

Tarnas, who pointed out he doesn’t have a vote in the matter, said the issue of a telescope being built is just one piece of a larger picture.

“My view is I want everyone to be treated fairly under the law, including the Native Hawaiians and the Thirty Meter Telescope,” Tarnas said. “Yes, the TMT got all its permits to proceed, but this impasse is no longer just about the telescope.” …

“I think to gain support and to move ahead with the Thirty Meter Telescope, the state really has to earn the trust of those who are opposed to it, by addressing some of these long-standing issues raised by Native Hawaiian advocates — like improving management of Maunakea, funding Department of Hawaiian Homelands to build more homes for Hawaiians and reduce the wait list, and funding OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) with their full, fair share of future land revenues.” 

Tarnas said he wants to continue finding solutions to the problems facing Hawaiians.

“As a legislator, I don’t get to vote on TMT,” Tarnas said last week. “But, I am working to address these other major outstanding issues facing Native Hawaiians here in Hawaii that are underlying much of the opposition.” …

read … All About the Benjamins

Dillingham: Rail Budget Hides Massive Giveaway to HECO, HDoT

SA: … The payoff in the end will be a wider Dillingham Boulevard, (giveaway to HDoT) wider and more uniform sidewalks, a more attractive streetscape after the huge tangle of utility lines is placed underground, (giveaway to HECO) and a rail line with four stations along Dillingham that is expected to carry 60,000 riders daily through the area by 2030….

read … HART pledges that Dillingham Boulevard will be accessible during construction

Not Settled: Lahaina Injection Wells Case Before US Supreme Court Nov 6 

ENR: …Justices will hear arguments on Nov. 6 on whether point sources of pollution that indirectly contaminate navigable waters through groundwater flows need a Clean Water Act permit.

The case involves Maui County, Hawaii’s injection of wastewater into wells that then migrates through the groundwater to the Pacific Ocean, where environmental advocates claim it has harmed coral.

The county voted (council pretended to vote) to settle the case after a San Francisco federal appeals court ruling, but County Mayor Michael Victorino has yet to sign the settlement and it is unclear if he will….

read … Not Settled

Kealohas: No Jury For Bank Fraud Trial

CB: … The former city prosecutor and former police chief, who have already been convicted of conspiracy and obstruction charges in a previous trial, waived their right to a jury trial in a memo filed Tuesday in federal court. On Thursday, federal prosecutors consented to the request.

The Kealohas face a bundle of accusations, including stealing from the trust fund of children that Katherine Kealoha was a guardian for and defrauding banks.

The previous trial was by a 12-member jury that was selected from a pool of more than 400 people….

KHON:  Katherine Kealoha likely to testify in bank fraud case, says alleged victims’ attorney

read … Kealohas: No Jury For Bank Fraud Trial

City and Kokua Coalition reach agreement on vacation rentals

SA: … Operators of so-called “30-day” vacation rentals on Oahu will continue to do business under a settlement agreement approved Friday by a U.S. District Court judge.

The agreement reached between the city and the Kokua Coalition, also known as the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association, makes it clear a rental agreement has to be for no less than 30 days and that a property owner cannot rent to more than one party during a 30-day period.

As a condition of the agreement, the coalition dropped its lawsuit challenging the city’s new but contentious vacation rental law….

A group of owners in the Waikiki Banyan complex have separately filed a lawsuit against the city, challenging the new vacation rental ordinance. A hearing on a preliminary conjunction is scheduled for Nov. 25 before state Circuit Judge James Kawashima….

PDF: Kokua Coalition Stipulation and Order

read … City and Kokua Coalition reach agreement on vacation rentals

OHA Operatives Ask Hawaii Supreme Court To Overturn Ruling on Water Use

HPR: … A group of East Maui taro farmers is urging the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court to overturn a ruling allowing continued use of public water by private users without environmental reviews.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation filed the appeal this week on behalf of the farmers, arguing for greater accountability in the diversion of stream water statewide….

read … Farmers Ask Hawaii Supreme Court To Overturn Ruling on Water Use

Recycling was Always Fake—Now its Dead

HTH: … China, the world’s leading purchaser of recyclable materials, enacted its “Green Fence” and “National Sword” policies in recent years that restrict the level of acceptable contamination in the recycled material that enters the country.

Goodale said much of the material China purchased in the past was cross-contaminated to the point of uselessness.

Furthermore, other items such as No. 1 and No. 2 plastics are so common that they are essentially worthless, and would lose money for any processor.

Roy Kadota, owner of Mr. K’s Recycle and Redemption Center in Hilo, said he is between a rock and a hard place, with his buyers in Los Angeles no longer offering worthwhile pay for many plastics.

“I don’t want to throw anything out,” Kadota said. “But if I bale No. 1 and No. 2 plastic, I’m just going to be losing money.”

Goodale said the county is currently working on finding new uses and ways to dispose of waste rather than seeking new deals with other potential buyers.

He said there is no indication the international recycling markets will improve anytime soon, although he added he does not think the state will scale back its HI-5 redemption program in the foreseeable future….

Two Words: “H-Power”

Clue: Matter-energy conversion IS recycling.

read … Dead

$1000 Electric Bill up from usual $400/mo

SA: … Unfortunately, there’s little happiness now among some tenants, who have seen their electricity costs skyrocket inexplicably, with some bills at $1,000 or more. That’s huge, considering that residents who attended a Monday meeting noted monthly bills typically in the $300 or $400 range; even with recent record temperatures, things had topped out at about $600.

Those monthly bills are high enough for sticker- shock, given what Hawaiian Electric says its average, non-solar residential customer in Ewa Beach paid in August: $279, at a rate of 28.5 cents per kilowatt hour. But Kapilina Beach Homes does not run on the HECO power grid. Instead, residents here occupy about 1,400 former Navy homes at Iroquois Point, so they run under an aging power system, built in the 1960s to serve the area.

The Navy owns that grid, and bills Kapilina’s property manager for the energy used, who in turn bills tenants. On Tuesday, the Navy raised its electricity rate to 32 cents per kilowatt hour, a hefty increase from 19.7 cents….

SA: Ewa renters told math is correct on soaring power bills

read … Billing shock in Kapilina

DHHL RFP for Moiliili Rental Units

SA: … Long vacant and woefully underutilized, the old Stadium Bowl-O-Drome property in Moiliili appears on its way, finally, to a useful future. Thanks to newly adopted rules, landowner Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) can now proceed on a long-discussed multifamily rental apartment complex on the 1.9-acre site.

DHHL has issued a request for proposals for a developer to operate, for up to 65 years, a project envisioned with rental housing to be partly subsidized by revenue from retail or commercial space on the ground floor.

The holdup over the past couple of years has been awaiting approval of amended rules allowing DHHL to provide rental housing to beneficiaries; the traditional model is the awarding of lot leases. The rule-making process involved beneficiary consultations and meetings — culminating with the governor’s signature on Sept. 30….

read … Editorial: New day for DHHL?

100% Increase in slip fees signals privatization ahead, boaters say

SA: …  Mooring fees across the state are increasing, but the Ala Wai’s is going up the most, and the rates are based on catwalk and boat length, both of which can be measured in different ways.

Many cite mismanagement as a major issue. If all 699 berths were rented out, there would be no need to raise the rent, they say. But they estimate about 100 to 150 are unrented every month, with half in good condition and the other half dilapidated and unusable….

The renters at the public boat harbor say the average person — many of whom are retired — may not be able to afford the increase, and it’s being done to make way for private companies to bid on four parcels, including submerged lands, designated for lease by DOBOR.

The group rallied Friday to protest the increases. They say the “public-private partnership” that Underwood says is a model in his “Modernizing and Revitalizing Ocean Recreation Management in Hawaii, Strategic Action Plan 2019” actually means private and that Kewalo Basin is a model for it….

Background: Harbors Division Fee Hike designed to boost $77M OHA Slush Fund?

read … Increase in slip fees signals privatization ahead, boaters say

Game Time! OEDB/ASB Rack up $135M in Federal Tax Credits

PBN: … A Hawaii-based community development entity formed by American Savings Bank and the Oahu Economic Development Board was recently awarded $40 million in new markets tax credits from the U.S. Treasury that will help fund projects in the Islands with gaps in funding to fill.

The award is the third for Punawai O Puuhonua LLC and brings to $135 million the total in new markets tax credits meant to support the creation of jobs, goods and services in low-income communities.

The organization intends to use the tax credits for “high-impact projects greater than $7 million in size with a gap in financing to fund,” it said in a statement.

Punawai O Puuhonua applied for the tax credits last year….

read … $135M

Court: States have right to impose ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules

HPR: … In an opinion delivered on October 1, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2018 net neutrality repeal but struck down the agency’s preemption of state and local net neutrality regulations. The court also directed the agency to consider how the repeal would affect public safety, broadband subsidies, and the regulation of cable pole attachments.

The case arose when attorneys general from 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on August 20, 2018, asking the court to reinstate the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations. In the brief, the attorneys general said the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality would harm consumers, public safety, and existing regulations. They also claimed the FCC was not authorized to preempt state and local laws.

During the 2019 legislative session, 29 states introduced net neutrality legislation, but the measures failed in four states. Despite the FCC’s preemption, six states—California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington—have passed legislation relating to net neutrality. Further, the governors of six states—Montana, New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont—issued executive orders requiring internet service providers that do business with the state to comply with net neutrality rules….

read … D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds net neutrality repeal while striking down preemption of state and local regulations

Soft on Crime: Missing Connecticut man arrested in Hawaii—then Released

CTP: .. bond was initially set by the court at $5,000. On Sept. 26, he pleaded not guilty in court to the burglary charge and was granted supervised release from custody while he awaits trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

Zayas allegedly got inside James and Brittany Campbell’s Honolulu home when they were on vacation for about a week, the Campbells told KHON2 News, a news station in Honolulu.

The Campbells told KHON2 that Zayas made “strange concoctions” in the kitchen, threw items around the home and left bodily fluids all over their furniture. They told the station Zayas left notes on their counters and computer that described turning the family from “omnivores” to “ezequiels” and mentioned some type of surgery.

The Campbells said they found knives around their bed, seeming to be preparations for some kind of surgical procedure. They told the station Zayas left a diary in the home with entries about each of the family members, making them concerned Zayas had been watching the family for an unknown period of time.

“He violated our family, he violated our home,” Brittany Campbell told KHON2

The Campbells said they didn’t feel comfortable with Zayas being out on supervised released.

“It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying that he’s out,” James Campbell told KHON2. “This seems like somebody that needs help. Him being released back into the streets under supervised release seems inappropriate.”…

KHON: ‘He violated our home,’ says family that came home to find stranger living there

read … Missing Bridgeport man arrested in Hawaii

Thank the legislature: Shoplifting Tweekers Shoot at Security Guards

HTH: … The store detective and two fellow security personnel attempted to stop Cook and Hanagami at the entrance of the garden section, police said. Cook then reportedly took a fixed-blade knife out of a belt sheath, brandished it and pointed it at the detective and one of the guards and said to the guard, “Come you (expletive), you think you tough?”

The Walmart employees reportedly saw Cook and Hanagami get into a Nissan pickup truck and noted the license plate number.

While driving out of the parking lot, Cook allegedly fired about four shots from a black handgun — which later was determined to be a BB gun — toward the three Walmart employees, all of whom scurried for cover. One of the store detectives suffered a BB shot to the back, documents state.

Cook then drove off toward Railroad Avenue, the employees told police.

The store detectives reportedly identified Cook and Hanagami from a photo lineup, and a search warrant was served on their Anela Street residence. The search turned up a knife and BB pistol as well as shoplifted items valued at more than $400, the documents state.

Also found were three glass smoking pipes that tested positive for methamphetamine residue, according to the documents….

2016: Hawaii Legislature Raises Felony Theft Threshold from $300 to $750

read … Thank the legislature

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