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Saturday, October 19, 2019
October 19, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:59 PM :: 2097 Views

55 Kahuku Arrests: 'We Will Block Future Convoys'

Kia'i Chicken? No Response to Telescope Panel Invite

OHA Board approves $3 million in grant funding for Hawaiian-focused charter schools

What does State Government have to say about what you value most?

Judicial Appointments Announced--One Remains Open

Honolulu GOP: Veto Bill 37 

PLA measure is pilau

Katherine Kealoha agrees to plea deal, will cooperate with federal investigation

SA: … Kealoha will plead guilty on Tuesday to two felony counts in the bank fraud case against her and her husband, retired police Chief Louis Kealoha, and a felony count in a drug-related case involving her and her brother, her attorney Earle Partington said. …

As part of the plea deal, Katherine Kealoha has agreed to cooperate in the on-going federal investigation, her attorney said….

CB: A hearing has been set for Tuesday in federal court to finalize a settlement that would avoid more trials.

Background: Kealohas close to reaching a plea deal in Exchange for Ratting Out Caldwell Admin Officials

Background: Kealoha Retaliation: A List of Caldwell Admin Officials Involved

read … Kealoha Plea Deal In The Works

More Arrested at Kahuku than Mauna Kea

SA: …Some protesters criticized the police action, which resulted in more arrests than have been made in a similar resistance on Mauna Kea, where protesters have blocked a public road since July so that construction equipment can’t be delivered for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project on Hawaii island.

Law enforcement officers arrested 39 people July 17 for obstructing Mauna Kea Access Road….

Wind farm protesters who were arrested — 22 in Kalaeloa late Thursday night and 33 in Kahuku on Friday morning — were booked on petty misdemeanor charges for disobeying police commands related to traffic control after they obstructed movement of the convoy. All those arrested posted $100 bail and had been released by Friday afternoon, Ballard said….

Sena Fonoimoana, 36, of Kahuku said Friday evening that protesters will continue their fight.

“We plan to stay here for every single piece of equipment that’s going to come through,” he said.

It’s expected to take until Nov. 26 to deliver all of the equipment necessary for eight turbines rising 568 feet….

State Sen. Gil Riviere (D, Heeia- Laie-Waialua) said, “I think it’s clear that this community is vehemently opposed to any more wind turbines, especially the size of these turbines and the location so close to the top. I think it’s terrible that our government agencies have failed to listen to this from the community.”…

Big Q: What’s your overall reaction to the 50-plus arrests in the Kahuku wind-farm protest?

SA: (Unsurprisingly) AES disputes claims that wind turbines pose health hazard

read …  Clash intensifies over Kahuku wind farm

Kahuku Windfarm May be the Biggest Bat-Killer of them All

SA: …At Na Pua Makani, they argue, more deaths will be likely due to the unprecedented size of the turbines — at 568 feet, the tallest in Hawaii.

They’re also concerned about the “cut-in” wind speeds at which the blades will start turning again after being paused during the periods of no or very low wind — when the bats are most likely to be present.

“If the winds are ferocious, the bats can’t hunt, but if the wind is light, there’s more humidity and more bugs and there are more bats flying around,” said state Sen. Gil Riviere (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua).

Riviere is also a member of the environmental nonprofit group Keep the North Shore Country, which petitioned the Board of Land and Natural Resources to reject AES’ Habitat Conservation Plan during a contested case hearing on May 18, 2018.

The group maintained that the rotors should not be turned back on until wind speeds reached 6.9 meters per second, rather than 5 meters per second, arguing that studies show a 78% decrease in bat mortality at the higher cutoff speed.

Members further complained that Na Pua Makani significantly changed the project, increasing its turbine heights at a late stage, when the plan was already under review by the state Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Endangered Species Recovery Committee, and that turbine heights were not considered in the decision.

“The best available science is, as turbines get taller and rotor sweep area increases, more bats are killed,” said Maxx Phillips, Hawaii director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Given opeapeas’ low reproductive rate, it’s really worrisome.”

Riviere said AES’ plan based its take estimate solely on data from the smaller Kahuku First Wind, leaving out the Kawailoa Wind Farm above Waimea Valley, which exhausted its 60-bat take in its first seven years and has filed an amended plan seeking permission to kill 220 bats throughout the project’s 20 years.

And, Riviere said, the board didn’t consider that Maui’s Auwahi Wind filed a request to amend its Habitat Conservation Plan to take 140 bats after exhausting the initial approved take of 21 bats. In 2018, Auwahi Wind increased its cut-in speed to 6.9 from 5 meters per second in an effort to reduce bat kills….

Riviere’s group filed a lawsuit against DLNR after BLNR approved Na Pua Makani’s plan; state Circuit Judge Jeffrey Crabtree upheld the hearing results Dec. 5 and the case is on appeal….

KHON: Kahuku wind farm building while legal and regulatory challenges loom

Background: Wind Farms Could Drive Bats to Extinction

read … Wind turbine threats to rare bats are debated

Maui mayor says he won’t drop wastewater case headed to US Supreme Court

HNN: … In a statement Friday, Victorino said that he wants Maui taxpayers to “have their day before the U.S. Supreme Court” and determine if the Clean Water Act applies in the case.

“To allow this to go unanswered leaves us vulnerable to more lawsuits, to uncertain regulatory requirements and staggering costs ― all for what would be a negligible environmental benefit,” Victorino said, in a news release. “The legal exposure is immense.” …. 

read … Maui mayor says he won’t drop wastewater case headed to US Supreme Court

Plea deal is offered to arrested TMT protesters

SA: … The state Attorney General’s Office has offered a plea deal to protesters who were arrested in July for blocking Mauna Kea Access Road that would dispose of their cases if each pays a $100 fine.

It is unclear how many of the activists who were arrested during protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope will accept the deal, which would reduce the petty misdemeanor charges against them to violations….

Most of the protesters appeared Friday in Hilo District Court, and Judge M. Kanani Laubach consolidated the cases into eight groups of defendants. Laubach scheduled trials for each of the groups for Dec. 20, but the trials likely will continue into next year….

Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, one of the protest leaders who was arrested July 17, said she is not inclined to accept the plea agreement, but said she has until Friday to make a final decision.

“If I feel that we can prevail on the merits of the case, and for me personally, I think I would rather do that,” she said.

read … Plea deal is offered to arrested TMT protesters

Altitude Sickness Among Mauna Kea Officers

HNN: … half a dozen to a dozen officers are stationed at Hale Pohaku at 9,000 feet while their bosses stay in hotels. The summit is at nearly 14,000 feet.

The protest camp by Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) is at 6,000 feet.

Sources say state law enforcement officers work on the mountain eight days and then have 14 days off, but are still on call.

Their symptoms of altitude sickness included spiking blood pressure, vision problems and cognitive issues such as slurred speech and inability to complete sentences….

Nishihara added he’ll propose a resolution in January to create a Senate investigative committee on Mauna Kea with subpoena powers because as the stalemate drags on, questions need to be answered….

read … 'Unconscionable’: Altitude sickness in officers assigned to Mauna Kea draws concern

DoE 2030: No Mention of Reading Writing, Arithmetic

PBN: … every employer should be aware of what they can expect in terms of ability from future public school graduates. The state Department of Education last month released its “2030 Promise Plan: Action Opportunities to Realize Five Promises to Students.”

Back in May, I mentioned that the DOE was looking for public input through the summer on its plans for the immediate future of public education in Hawaii. This report is the summary of its findings, “shaped by the ideas, experiences, and expertise of nearly 2,800 Hawaii stakeholders who responded.”

If I had to guess, I’d say that was 2,800 DOE employees because amazingly, there was total agreement that DOE should do what it already wants to do. Read the whole 12-page summary at bizj.us/1pzpm1.

Words you will not find in the report: Reading. Writing. You’ll find math mentioned just twice, once in a complaint about standardized testing. There are just two mentions of science, one noting that school gardens would be great for teaching science and another in a complaint about standardized testing.

What you will find is a whole lot of social justice buzzwords being used to argue that we shouldn’t measure what can be measured — actual skills — while advocating for what can’t be measured — touchy-feely collectivism.

The DOE has lost its way. No matter what you, the taxpayer, the parent, the employer, think it ought to be doing, it has gone rogue. A 21st century education in Hawaii will be anything but an actual education in foundational skills. What will be the result of this?

“Test scores stall for Hawaii students.”

That’s not just my prediction for the future of public education in Hawaii. That’s a Star-Advertiser headline from Oct. 4. Hawaii students were best at “language arts,” with 54% testing as proficient, worst at math, with just 44% testing proficient.

With numbers like these, it’s no surprise the system would prefer that we simply stop testing….

read … Hawaii schools go rogue

House finance chair: New Maui jail a priority

MN: … A new jail in Puunene could be given higher priority for funding over a new Oahu Community Correctional Center, and newly obtained rental car surcharge fees could be put toward road expansion projects this coming legislative session, top leaders of the powerful state House Finance Committee said Wednesday.

“Going forward, one of the major priorities for Maui will be a new jail site. Because right now, as you know the current (jail) is within a community. We are looking at relocating,” said House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke in between her committee’s site visits this week on the Valley Isle.

The chairwoman of the House money committee said that the new Maui jail will help resolve critical bed space and capacity issues. Department of Public Safety officials have cited those issues as key factors in igniting a riot on March 11 that caused millions of dollars in damage.

Maui Community Correctional Center, the island’s only jail, has been overcrowded for years. With an operational capacity of 301 beds, inmate totals have reached nearly 500 in the past, with inmates sleeping on floors next to toilets….

read … House finance chair: New Maui jail a priority

Will Tiny Homes open door to Mobile Home Parks?

MN: … Clare Tiss will finally live out her big dreams in her tiny home after over a month of searching.

Tiss, 61, said it “has been a struggle to find some land to lease” to park her 400-square-foot home on wheels that initially required access to water and power hookups.

But, earlier this week, Tiss found the “most beautiful” property in Haiku for $650 per month, which also is close to her family. She hopes that her search for affordable housing will “spread awareness” over the lack of options on Maui….

After some consideration, Tiss decided to be self-sufficient, utilizing a water catchment system and a rechargeable, battery-powered generator. Like an RV, Tiss currently has an above-ground septic tank attached underneath the home, including a blackwater tank and a greywater system.

Throughout the process, finding access to utility hookups was challenging, she said. Briefly, Tiss had found one willing property owner but ran into an obstacle with electricity.

“The homeowner was on solar power and programmed to only use what he had built for,” she said. “This meant I had no source of power. There are just so many variables that I didn’t realize before.

“If someone was financially able to purchase land specifically for tiny homes, I think that would be a fruitful venture,” she added. “Something along the lines of a trailer home park, but more upscale. I wouldn’t mind living amongst other tiny home dwellers.”

Putting multiple tiny homes on one parcel is typically prohibited under county zoning laws. One solution could be to change the County Code to allow more homes on certain types of properties and under certain conditions.

“It hasn’t been done yet, but it can be,” Maui County Planning Director Michele McLean said last week. “So for now, we regulate them like any other dwelling.”

McLean said that as long as the tiny home meets the County Code definition of a dwelling and all zoning laws for the property, then it is a legal home.

The county Department of Housing and Human Concerns has considered proposals for the tiny homes concept as a way to offer more housing options, Director Lori Tsuhako said last week.

Sometimes, projects happening across the state are referenced to get ideas to implement in Maui County. Tsuhako mentioned Kahauiki Village as an example for a possible tiny homes format.

Kahauiki Village is a proposed community of approximately 144 one- and two-bedroom homes to be built on 11.3 acres of land in Honolulu to provide affordable housing to homeless families with children. The homes are small but meet the basic needs for living comfortably among other dwellers….

read … Oh give me a home, a tiny home

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