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Monday, October 21, 2019
October 21, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:13 PM :: 1143 Views

Hawaii Legislature Hiring for 2020 Session

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted October 19, 2019

Unlike Harry Kim, Caldwell isn’t Letting Protesters Stop Projects 

CB: When protesters descended upon Mauna Kea in July, the group succeeded in blocking equipment from being delivered to the planned site of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Police tried to disband the blockade, but the arrests of 38 kiai weren’t enough to stop their effort. Vastly outnumbered, (by design since police did not close Saddle Road), they (Harry Kim) decided against the use of force.

Honolulu has been watching and learning from the events on the Big Island. Leaders on Oahu, faced with their own protests to local projects, have decided to tamp down opposition immediately and arrest protesters before they can get momentum by shutting down development.

“The response has been quicker,” said state House Speaker Scott Saiki. “I’m sure that Oahu law enforcement learned from the Mauna Kea experience that you need to address the situation early on.” …

“One big difference is the crowds are smaller on Oahu,” Saiki said. “Smaller crowds are easier to manage. The other factor is on Oahu, there are more police officers (but this doesn’t apply to Maui).”….

read … The Problem is Harry Kim

Police Arrest Another 27 wind farm protesters at Kalaeloa

SA: … (With Harry Kim nowhere in sight) Honolulu police arrested about 27 anti-wind farm protesters early Monday morning Kalaeloa while demonstrating a greater show of force in response to protests than in the past.

Stetson Morales, 18, was the last to be arrested. He had chained himself by the neck to a gate blocking trucks carrying parts for wind turbines.

Police made the first arrests shortly before 11 p.m Sunday night and finished around 12:30 a.m.

About 100 Honolulu Police officers filled Malakole Street in Kalaeloa around 10 p.m. Sunday and prepared to arrest the protesters who sat in the middle of Hanua Street to block the transportation of the turbine parts to the site of the planned Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku.

Several trucks carrying turbine blades made it through the attempted blockade Monday morning. They proceeded north with a police escort.

The convoy met another protest in Kahuku, where 13 opponents were arrested, according to Hawaii News Now.

The police presence Sunday night was significantly greater than what was seen Thursday.

Police action Sunday mirrored similar incidents on Oahu in which (Caldwell’s) authorities worked to prevent protest groups from gaining a foothold (as Harry Kim allowed)…. 

read … 27 Arrested In Second Kalaeloa Standoff Over Wind Farm

Katherine Kealoha Signs Plea Deal With Prosecutors

CB: … Katherine Kealoha has signed a plea agreement in two pending criminal cases involving bank fraud, identity theft and drug trafficking charges, her attorney said.

Gary Singh, who represents the former city deputy prosecutor in those cases said she signed the deal at the Federal Detention Center, where she has been incarcerated since her conviction in a separate conspiracy case in June, Sunday morning.

As part of the plea agreement, Kealoha will plead guilty to three felonies, including bank fraud, in exchange for reduced prison time, attorneys involved in the case previously said….

Louis Kealoha and (Rudolph) Puana were not part of her agreement, although he is also reported to be in negotiations himself, according to his attorney, Rustam Barbee.

Barbee said Friday that there is a “proposed agreement” but that there is “not a deal until it’s signed.”

Katherine Kealoha will sign her plea agreement again in open court at a hearing at the federal court before U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright on Tuesday, said Singh….

read … Katherine Kealoha Signs Plea Deal With Prosecutors

Honolulu’s Chief Medical Examiner Pushed out by Caldwell

KHON: … Dr. Christopher Happy has been the city’s Chief Medical Examiner since 2013. But according to City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson, the Mayor’s office is moving to terminate him….  said Anderson. “I’m not aware of any complaints against the Medical Examiner, but again, the administration did tell me that the dismissal is for cause.”…

In the past, the Medical examiner has asked for more money to hire another forensic pathologist, which does autopsies citing the number of cases they do exceeds national standards. But Anderson says every city department is challenged with a lack of resources.

“Before we chalk that up to resources or lack of staffing or non-performance, I really need to hear the administration’s reasoning,” he said.

The next step requires officials to hold a hearing before the City Council prior to termination. That’s when Anderson expects more information will be revealed.….

According to Andrew Pereira, the communications director for Honolulu mayor Kirk Caldwell, Dr. Happy submitted a letter of resignation: “Dr. Happy came on board in late 2013 and helped to make improvements to the office, including the recruitment of other certified medical examiners. We want to thank him for his service and wish him well as he pursues future opportunities. Dr. Masahiko Kobayashi, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, will serve as Acting Chief Medical Examiner.”…

It took the city about three years to fill the Chief Medical Examiner position after the doctor who previously held the role retired…. 

HNN: One councilman suspects a possible dispute with the mayor, and says he was already considering firing the ME.

CB: Christopher Happy wrote in a resignation letter that he is leaving to attend to a family member’s illness.

read … Honolulu’s Chief Medical Examiner may be out of job

Fate of Hawaii’s Cheapest Energy Source Hangs on PUC Decision

IM: … Hawaiian Electric Company filed an application for Purchase Agreement Amendment No. 4 with AES Hawaii with the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission in April 2018.

HECO requested that numerous generates pool their greenhouse gas emissions so that AES could comply with greenhouse gas limits that apply after 2020.

If AES could not shift some of their emissions to utility generation plants that were polluting at less than they were allowed to, then AES would have legal problems by 2020.

The HECO application with the PUC noted, On June 30, 2007, Act 234 was enacted into law by the Hawai‘i State Legislature. The purpose of Act 234 is to establish a framework to reduce GHG emissions in the State to levels at or below GHG emissions estimates from 1990, by January 1, 2020.”

“Through the GHG Partnership, the partnering facilities can achieve the intended 16% GHG emissions reduction target by January 1, 2020, by committing to an aggregate reduction while allowing for operational flexibility.”

HECO filed a request with the Department of Health to combine greenhouse gas emissions through a Legislatively approved partnering arrangement. The application was expected to have already been completed, but its complexity and community resistance has delayed the process.

If DOH approves the partnering provisions then the focus shift to the Public Utilities Commission.

As the result of a Life of the Land appeal of the HELCO-Hu Honua forest incineration project, the Hawai`i Supreme Court ruled in May 2019 that the Commission must address greenhouse gas emissions in every application. Hu Honua and HELCO must file a lifecycle GHG report with the PUC today.

If DOH approves the AES-HECO GHG partnering agreement, then the PUC will have to examine the lifecycle impacts of coal burning. Three entities filed motions to intervene: Life of the Land, 350 Hawaii, and the Sierra Club. This proceeding addresses only 2020-22 and must be completed by the end of 2019.

HECO would need to file another application to extend the life of the AES Coal Facility beyond 2022.

read … The Birth and Death of Coal in Hawai`i (1840-2022)

Recycling is Fake: Where Do All Of Hawaii’s Recyclables Go? No One Knows For Sure

CB: …While Honolulu’s Opala website provides an extensive list of where to drop off specific items for disposal, it doesn’t cover is where those items ultimately end up.

“I don’t know if what I recycle … is ending up in Malaysia or something where it’s being burned and making people sick,” said Lois Crozer, who lives in Lanikai. “I just want to make sure what we’re doing is pono.”….

HTH: Hawaii County preps for impact to landfills following changes to recycling program

read … Where Do All Of Hawaii’s Recyclables Go? No One Knows For Sure

Illegal vapes traced to California woman who was CBD pioneer

AP: … Some of the people rushing to emergency rooms thought the CBD vape they inhaled would help like a gentle medicine. Others puffed it for fun.

What the vapors delivered instead was a jolt of synthetic marijuana, and with it an intense high of hallucinations and even seizures.

More than 50 people around Salt Lake City had been poisoned by the time the outbreak ended early last year, most by a vape called Yolo! — the acronym for "you only live once."…

The trail led to a Southern California beach town and an entrepreneur whose vaping habit prompted a career change that took her from Hollywood parties to federal court in Manhattan….

When Janell Thompson moved from Utah to the San Diego area in 2010, the roommate she found online also vaped. Thompson had a background in financial services and the two decided to turn their shared interest into a business, founding an e-cigarette company called Hookahzz.

There were early successes. Thompson and her partner handed out Hookahzz products at an Emmy Awards pre-party, and their CBD vapes were included in Oscar nominee gift bags in 2014. In a video shot at a trade show, an industry insider described the two women as "the divas of CBD."

Indeed, Hookahzz was among the first companies to sell vapes that delivered CBD, as the cannabis extract cannabidiol is known. Now a popular ingredient in products from skin creams to gummy bears, cannabidiol was at that time little known and illegal in some states….

read … Illegal vapes traced to California woman who was CBD pioneer

Hawaii Schools Are Making Progress In Career And Technical Education

CB: … Completion of a vocational education program was the only area where DOE students showed improvement in the 2018-19 school year. …

read … Hawaii Schools Are Making Progress In Career And Technical Education

Another Sovereignty Con Man

ILind: … Eric Aaron Lighter is one of just two world-class con artists I’ve pursued going back even before I became a professional reporter. At this point, I’ve got notes buried in my archived files that include numerous interviews with Lighter’s alleged victims, documents copied from court cases and extensive notes on others going back 30 years.….

Lighter has sued federal and state grand juries, and has attempted citizen arrests on government officials, records show.

Lighter has even claimed to be “Ambassador to the Kingdom of Hawaii for purposes of establishing an Embassy to Washington, D.C.”….

In 2002, he was charged with theft, a class C felony, for allegedly fraudulently transferring title to a car into his own name while the owner was serving a sentence on the mainland for a prior drug offense. After a year of unsuccessful attempts to have the charges thrown out, Lighter withdrew his “not guilty” plea and instead entered a plea of no contest. He was then allowed to defer acceptance of his plea, over the objections of the prosecution. As a result, his record was cleared after an 18-month waiting period.

But in 2011, he was convicted in federal court in California on 17 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, blackmail, and witness tampering. Hawaiian Colony Hotel Company, the same one mentioned in the ODC case, was used as a vehicle for carrying out his fraud in that case. More on that part of the story later….

ILind: Falling victim to fraud while trying to cheat the government

ILind: He was convicted on all 17 counts in federal court, but walked free before sentencing

read … A routine public records check sent me down a rabbit hole

Trump defends Tulsi Gabbard in Hillary Clinton spat, says she’s no Russian agent

AP: … Clinton appeared to call Gabbard “the favorite of the Russians” in a recent interview, saying she believes the Russians have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

Speaking during a Cabinet meeting today, Trump says Clinton and other Democrats claim everyone opposed to them is a Russian agent.

He adds: “These people are sick.”

Trump says he thinks Clinton’s attack boosts Gabbard and his own political chances, claiming it shows concerns about Russian interference are just a “sham.”…

NYT: Why Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Trade in Conspiracy Theories About Tulsi Gabbard

Meanwhile: Residents of northeast Syria city pelt departing U.S. troops

read … Trump defends Tulsi Gabbard in Hillary Clinton spat, says she’s no Russian agent

Death Tax Keeps Billionaires from Dying in Hawaii 

CNBC: … When a billionaire resident dies, states reap an average $165 million windfall from estate taxes…

read … Where not to die

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