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Friday, October 25, 2019
October 25, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:34 PM :: 1176 Views

Kahuku and Waimanalo Protests show why Hawaii Needs Municipal Government

Audio: High Cost of Living in a One-Party State

VIDEO: Tulsi Gabbard Will Not Run for Congress Again

Lawsuit: HPD Gun Registration and Licensing Procedures Unconstitutional

RFP: Ala Wai Boat Harbor Development Scheme Comes Back with Big Fat Zero

Lights Out In The Land Of No: The Practical Effects Of California's Wildfire Inverse Condemnation Doctrine

Petranik, Napier tackle tough issues facing isle businesses

Laughing at You:  Kealoha $150K Pension ‘Untouchable’

HNN: … Kealoha publicly apologized for the first time Tuesday after admitting to his crimes.

“All I know is, I’m going to do my best to redeem myself and I’m sorry.”

Sheehan referred to that statement, wondering aloud whether redemption would begin by honoring the deal he made.

“If he refuses to live up to his word, the city and county can look at his assets," she said.

Legal expert Victor Bakke agrees that a lawsuit will have to follow if Kealoha doesn’t comply.

“The city will get a judgement for it and it’ll be a default breach of contract," he said. But Bakke added it’s still unlikely any of the money will be repaid.

Louis and Katherine Kealoha have since declared they’re broke. They owe restitution to the people they ripped off, a total of more than $460,000 to multiple victims.

“The city and county would have to stand in line with its hand out,” Sheehan said, adding that state law also prohibits garnishing his pension, estimated to be more than $150,000 a year.

“We can’t touch that."

Sheehan said she tried to convince the city’s top civil attorney, Donna Leong, to have a backup plan in 2017. But the head of corporation counsel refused to listen.

“I remember talking to Donna Leong and saying, ‘Look, I don’t like this deal but if you’re going to do it why don’t you buy an annuity for a quarter of a million dollars and you make it payable to Chief Kealoha in monthly installments?’" Sheehan said.

“But upon conviction, the beneficiary reverts back to the city and county. So that way, we wouldn’t have to go through all of this."

Sheehan said Leong’s response to her suggestion wasL "I’m not here to negotiate, it’s a take it or leave it deal.”

Cataluna: In the end, Police Commission got what it paid for

read … Untouchable, LOL

The Fix is In? Former OHA Operative Chairs LUC as Anti-Telescope Appeal Heard

WHT: …The most extensive and aggressive questioning was reserved for UH Associate General Counsel Jesse Souki. Souki stated that the legal argument against the petition is simple: although the Commission has the authority to reclassify land, the DLNR has sole jurisdiction over land in the conservation district, rendering the Commission powerless to grant the petition.

(Former OHA operative) Jonathan Scheuer, chairman of the commission, pushed against Souki’s argument, asking if the University could dodge any accountability in the management of the land.

“I’m asking if UH could fail to follow any of the conditions of the [conservation district use permit] and still keep that permit?” Scheuer said.

Souki only replied with an enigmatic “Anything’s possible.”

Scheuer also criticized a statement made by UH-Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin, who had previously said that UH currently has no intention to seek a boundary classification amendment for the summit land, regardless of the outcome of the petition. This, Scheuer said, seemed to contradict the University’s stated intention to engage in conversation with members of the community to better manage Maunakea lands.

“It’s not a conversation if you order us to do it,” Souki said.

Greg Chun, UH-Hilo’s executive director of Maunakea stewardship, said the petition runs counter to the University’s goal of responsible stewardship, as granting the petition would lead to the summit being classified as “urban.” Furthermore, Chun said, the regulatory processes of the Commission are necessarily adversarial, reducing any issue to a binary “yes” or “no” answer, and are not suited to handle broader policy changes.

TMT attorney Ross Shinyama spoke briefly, arguing that the petition runs afoul of res judicata, a legal concept meaning that, once a matter has been decided by a court, it cannot be raised again by the same parties. Ku‘ulei Kanahele testified as a witness during the 2017 contested case hearing, which Shinyama said definitively resolved the matter of TMT’s conservation district use permit.

The last major testifier on Friday was Deputy Attorney General Bryan Yee, speaking on behalf of the Hawaii County Planning Department. Among Yee’s lengthy testimony, he stated that it is inaccurate to look at land boundary classifications as prescriptive determinants of what can be built.

“Some urban use is permitted in non-urban districts,” Yee said. “The [district boundary amendment] just determines the standards of building on that land.”…. 

UPDATE: Land commission votes 5-2 to deny request (Scheuer, Giovanni vote No) “Isaki said she will pursue an appeal, potentially taking the case to the Hawaii Supreme Court.” 

SA: Land Use Commission rejects Mauna Kea petition

read … The fix is in?

Can we empower real community-based planning?

ILind: … After living in Kaaawa for most of three decades, we watched the whole process of pseudo community consultation carried out by government planners and decision-makers time and again. Even when strong community sentiment was clearly expressed, it was more often than not ignored or minimized….

I recall a story told by friends a number of years ago. They were very proud of their son, who had a brand new law degree and was on the job market. During an interview for a local government position, the interviewer posed a hypothetical question. Something like this—“So there’s a controversial development project that has generated community protests, and you’re assigned to check out the legal issues. What would you do?”

So their son thought about it, and explained that he would interview key community members to understand what was behind their complaints, and then look at how the project could be changed to reasonably accommodate the community concerns.

Before he could elaborate, the interviewer cut him off. ”No,” he explained. “You would make it come out right.” Meaning, of course, that he would find reasons that the development as proposed was the best course of action and the community complaints unfounded….

Related: Kahuku and Waimanalo Protests show why Hawaii Needs Municipal Government

read … Can we empower real community-based planning?

Judge orders conservator hearing and mental evaluation for Kawananakoa

SA: … A hearing will be scheduled to determine whether a conservator will be appointed to oversee the financial affairs of Abigail Kawananakoa outside of her $215 million trust, a judge ruled today.

First Circuit Court Judge R. Mark Browning also ordered an updated medical evaluation of the Campbell Estate heiress.

At the same time, the judge denied petitions for an independent guardian to attend to the 93-year-old’s personal needs, saying the woman appears to be in good health and there is no evidence that she can’t take care of herself with her ‘spouse’s’ help….

Background: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality

read … Judge orders conservator hearing and mental evaluation for Kawananakoa

Police deny teen’s claim of officer mistreatment at wind farm protest

HNN: … Acting Police Chief John McCarthy also said at a news conference Thursday that tasers capture data every time they’re used, and no data was captured during Morales’ arrest.

At the news conference, police released video of Morales’ arrest Sunday….

The video showed officers talking to Morales as he was chained to the cattle guard, and then covering his head with a blanket while they worked to free him.

“You can see from the video he clearly was not injured,” McCarthy said. “The taser would leave video evidence. There was no taser used at any time.”

He added that Morales was taken to the hospital after the Sunday arrest, but for a pre-existing condition.

“If he got punched like he says he did, if he got tased like he says he did, he would have some kind of injury,” McCarthy said….

Morales also said the taser left a mark and bruises on his skin, but he refused to show them to a reporter. “I’m sorry, I don’t feel comfortable,” he said.

Morales has been arrested in the wind farm protests twice ― on Sunday and again on Monday.

During both of those arrests, he was 18 but has since celebrated a birthday.

Bizarrely, when HNN interviewed Morales earlier this week, he didn’t mention the alleged mistreatment and said he had “so much respect” for the police officers.

“I understand a lot of them don’t like to arrest their own people,” he said….

read … Police deny teen’s claim of officer mistreatment at wind farm protest

Red Hill Tanks an Engineering Marvel—Cannot be Retrofitted

SAS: … The 20 massive tanks that make up the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility on the outskirts of Honolulu are an engineering marvel.

Embedded deep in a volcanic mountain in the early years of World War II, the tanks can hold a quarter-billion gallons of fuel to feed the ships, submarines and aircraft at nearby Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The future of the facility, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark since 1995, is at a crossroads. The Navy proposes a multimillion-dollar improvement plan to extend its life for at least another 25 years, but the tanks, entombed in volcanic rock, defy any feasible method of retrofitting. Conservationists and some civic leaders say the massive amount of fuel it stores poses a threat to Honolulu’s water supply and that the facility must be made failsafe or be entirely abandoned.

“The Red Hill fuel facility is a critical national security asset,” Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said during a public hearing earlier this month….

Russia: “US Navy Must Fix or Abandon Leaky Fuel Tanks Above Honolulu’s Drinking Water”

read … Stars and Stripes

Bill 40 Will Ban All Plastic—Even Bread Wrappers and Potato Chip bags

HNN: … Gary Yoshioka, president of Diamond Bakery said "It is very unclear, right now it's defined so broadly that it would effect all plastic to our understanding."

Yoshioka is referring to the bill's language, which aims to ban all "single-use" plastics, with exceptions.

Jimmy Chan, owner of Hawaiian Chip Company says plastic is the only thing that preserves the crunch of his chips.

"It's a combination of a couple different films designed specially as a moisture barrier. we've looked at other alternatives but even metalized bags still need a plastic film to keep the chips crunchy," said Chan.

He fears major setbacks if he can no longer sell chips in plastic bags.

"It would wipe out 90 percent of our entire business," Chan said.

Other exemptions would be for imported products that are not packaged on Oahu.

Bill 40 is currently in second committee hearing in City Council. If signed into law, this Bill would take effect January 1, 2021 ….

Bill 40: Text, Status 

Reality: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read ... More plastic, more problems?

Got Cancer, Birth Defects? Anti-GMO Lawyers Can Help You Make Money

HNN:  … A lawsuit filed on Maui blames birth defects on chemicals from Monsanto corn fields.

The families who filed suit all lived in the same Kihei subdivision ― downwind from seed corn fields where their attorneys say pesticides and herbicides were heavily used….

MN: Two Maui families are suing Monsanto over birth defects

KHON: Maui mother who’s filed lawsuit against Monsanto: ‘It’s just not right’

read … Suit blames birth defects in Maui community on Monsanto chemicals

Supper Too: School Meals can replace nuclear family

HNN: Tens of thousands of low-income kids in Hawaii are eligible for free after-school suppers under a federally-funded program.

But a new report from the Food Research and Action Center shows that only 259 students in the islands are signed up to get the meals, which in many locales are served during after-school activities.

That’s the lowest enrollment rate in the nation.

The state Education Department acknowledged it doesn’t have a statewide after school supper program. Suppers are only served at boarding programs at Lahainaluna High School on Maui and the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind….

In response to the report, a DOE spokeswoman released this statement:

“The Department is currently focused on increasing student breakfast and lunch participation; increasing the use of locally grown produce and meats in school meals; and increasing summer feeding through the Seamless Summer Option program, which expanded service this year with a delivery truck.”….

Flashback: No Gag Order in Hawaii Blind-Deaf School Homosexual Rape Gang Case

To read the full FRAC report, click here.

read … Report questions Hawaii’s low enrollment rate in after school supper program

Elementary school principal accused of lying

SA: … The state Attorney General filed three counts of perjury today against Keone‘ula Elementary School Principal Paul S. Taga. Perjury is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine. The charges accuse Taga of lying three times between Oct. 18 and Nov. 21, 2016….

The school employee is also accused of lying under oath during an official proceeding on Sept. 1, 2016. The Attorney General filed four counts of perjury in August against Joanne Ramos.

Ramos pleaded not guilty to the charges in state Circuit Court and is scheduled to stand trial next month.

Taga and Ramos are accused of lying about not being in a relationship, not having hugged or kissed and not giving or receiving massages from each other. Ramos is also accused of lying about Taga not placing his hand on her rear end….

read … Another Day in the DoE

Kauai Case Opens Door to Unregulated Cable TV Rates

TV: … Charter’s case centered on a small group of territories in Massachusetts and Hawaii, but Charter’s new competition wasn’t coming from a competing cable TV service. Instead, Charter argued that AT&T’s streaming service, combined with the company’s existing broadband offering, made up a close enough substitute for cable TV that Charter no longer counted as a local monopoly. Despite opposition from both Massachusetts and Hawaii state governments, the FCC ultimately agreed, leaving Charter free to raise its cable rates….

L360: FCC Releases Parts Of Mass., Hawaii From Cable Price Rules

RBR: A Big Regulatory Win In D.C. For Charter Spectrum

read … The FCC is using streaming services as an excuse to raise cable rates

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