Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Friday, November 01, 2019
November 1, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:37 PM :: 1003 Views

Lawsuit: How HMSA Ran Down Clock on Expensive Cancer Patient

Eco-Lawyers to Sue EPA Over Hawaii Plastic Pollution

Full Text: BoR Releases Proposed Maunakea Admin Rules

NAEP reveals Just How Many DoE Students Can't do 'Basic'

Week 11 on Mauna Kea: 454 Tickets, 7 Arrests

Who’s Running for CD2?

CB: … In the 2006 Democratic primary for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Mazie Hirono won with a mere 20.7% of the vote, surpassing Colleen Hanabusa by less than 1,000 votes. Matt Matsunaga, Clayton Hee, Gary Hooser, Brian Schatz, Ron Menor and Nestor Garcia finished way behind.

In the 2012 contest for the same race, Tulsi Gabbard stomped Mufi Hannemann by 21 percentage points.

And in 2018 Ed Case entered the race for the 1st Congressional District at virtually the last minute yet won a plurality of the vote, crushing the federal aspirations of Doug Chin, Donna Mercado Kim, Kaniela Ing, Beth Fukumoto and Ernie Martin….

Kahele is not a household name, he has turned off some … by taking contrarian views on Mauna Kea … he has been critical of the state’s management of the mountain and he proposed a legislative solution that upset … many legislative colleagues.

His cockiness and sometimes disruptive nature is a turnoff to some ….

Other unlikely candidates at this time: The aforementioned Kim, Ing, Fukumoto, Martin, Menor, Green, Hannemann and Hooser. Same goes for Charles Djou, the former congressman and former Republican….

The only possible GOP candidate for CD2 that I’ve heard about is attorney Samuel Wilder King II, who lost a bid for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 2018 and is currently heading a pro-Thirty Meter Telescope hui….  

(UPDATE: Sam King tells Hawai'i Free Press he is NOT running for CD2.)

read … Handicapping Hawaii’s CD2 Election

Who?  Hawaii communities donate to candidates for 2020 presidential election

PBN: … The Hawaii area with the most recorded democratic campaign contributions from January to June of this year was Honolulu, with residents donating a total of $47,227 to candidates. More than 40 Hawaii cities had residents who donated to democratic campaigns.

Hawaii residents contributed $13,811 to President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign in the same time period, almost $10,000 of which came from the Honolulu area, according to data from the Federal Election Commission….

Slideshow: Who’s getting Hawaii Money? (1- Sanders 2- Buttigieg 3- Warren….)

read … How Hawaii communities have donated

WOTUS: While Politicians Pretend to Pull Case, Maui Lawyers go Further than Trump

B: … the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says environmentalists are trying to stretch the permit requirement so far it could apply to home septic systems. It would be “a massive expansion of the law,”….

A federal-state study using dye showed that much of the water reaches the Pacific through small fissures in the ocean floor. Environmental groups say decades of discharges have devastated a once-pristine coral reef off nearby Kahekili Beach.

The groups say nutrients in the discharges have stimulated the growth of algae that smother the coral by blocking photosynthesis. The county says it sent an expert to the beach in 2014 and found no evidence the reef had suffered any damage.

Environmental groups led by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund sued the county in 2012. Although the Maui County Council has approved a proposed settlement with the groups, the county’s mayor has balked, keeping the Supreme Court showdown on track.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Maui County needs a permit to continue disposing of water through its underground wells. At issue is whether the Clean Water Act governs pollution that travels through groundwater before emerging in an ocean, river or other major body of water.

At the Supreme Court, Maui County says the Clean Water Act requires a permit only when a “point source” -- a specific conveyance such as a pipe, ditch or well -- discharges pollution directly into a body of water. The county says the test is whether the point source is the “means of delivery.”

“The county’s wells are not the means that deliver pollutants to navigable waters,” Maui County argued. “It is the groundwater that conveys to the ocean.”

The Trump administration doesn’t go that far. But the government says that when it comes to discharges into groundwater, polluters don’t need a permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

“Congress confined the federal role in protecting groundwater under the NPDES program to providing the states with informational, organizational and resource-based assistance,” the administration argued.

The administration says groundwater is primarily regulated by state laws and other federal statutes, including the Safe Drinking Water Act….

Streett, the lawyer representing the Chamber of Commerce, said it wasn’t until last year that a federal appeals court had accepted the EPA’s earlier, more sweeping interpretation of the permit requirement. He said the 9th Circuit ruling, if adopted by the Supreme Court, would create uncertainty and increase compliance costs.

“It’s very important to businesses and individuals that the court draw a clear line here,” he said.

The case is County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 18-260.

(NOTE: No mention of alleged attempt to withdraw case from SCOTUS -- BECAUSE THERE REALLY ISN’T ANY EFFORT TO WITHDRAW THE CASE.  ITS JUST A SHOW TO FOOL YOU.)

100% FAKE: MAUI COUNTY COUNCIL VOTES TO SETTLE CLEAN WATER ACT CASE TO AVOID HISTORIC STANDOFF AT SUPREME COURT

100% FAKE: Injection Wells: Crackpot Maui Council Still pretending it has Control of Case, May Hire Eco Shyster

read … Hawaiian Reef Case at Supreme Court Could Limit Clean Water Act

March Sentencing Set For Kealohas And Their Co-Conspirators

CB: … U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright set March 17 as the sentencing date for Katherine Kealoha, a former deputy city prosecutor, and her husband, former Honolulu Police chief Louis Kealoha, who last week signed separate plea agreements with federal prosecutors.

The Kealohas will be sentenced separately….

Louis Kealoha formally pleaded guilty to one felony count of bank fraud and will remain out of custody on bail until his sentencing.

Seabright said there is a disagreement among the defense attorneys as to whether the guidelines for deprivation of civil rights or the guidelines for obstruction of justice should apply to Katherine Kealoha’s sentencing, and he set a series of dates in November and early December to hear arguments on the matter. He scheduled a hearing for Dec. 16 to issue a decision.

Police officers Derek Hahn and Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen will be sentenced separately on March 18. A jury convicted them in June on federal conspiracy charges and for obstruction of justice….

HNN: Attorney: Katherine Kealoha in solitary confinement for her own protection

read … March Sentencing Set For Kealohas And Their Co-Conspirators

Singapore Housing Idea back for 2020 Session?

HB: … Chang’s proposal died in the Legislature during the 2019 session, but Craig Hirai, executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., says his agency, which so far has focused mostly on rental housing, is studying this idea and will provide the Legislature with an interim report prior to the 2020 session and a final report before the 2021 session. As his agency works out details like what the 99-year lease might look like and what the lease rates might be, it’ll also be looking for sites for pilot projects. “We need to see what works. … State has all this land. We need to increase supply of for-sale housing, give people a chance to build up some equity,” he says.

A brief published by UH’s Economic Research Organization in March acknowledges that government-leased land could help Hawai‘i’s housing problem because the state and counties could insist that affordable housing be built on lands located around transit stations. However, the brief also questioned how Chang’s proposed program will produce units priced as low as $300,000 when construction costs would likely be higher and whether homeowners would pay market lease rent on the state land or if the state would help to subsidize the rents. …

read … Some Ideas on How To Create More Homes For Local People

Hawaii Tourism Authority: Hawaii vacation rentals up 22.9 percent in 2019

ETN: … For the month of September 2019, the total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 913,285 unit nights and monthly demand was 622,329 unit nights, resulting in an average monthly unit occupancy of 68.1 percent. In comparison, Hawaii’s hotels were 78.2 percent occupied in September 2019. It is important to note that unlike hotels, condominium hotels, and timeshare resorts, vacation rental units are not necessarily available year-round or even for every day of the month.

The average daily rate (ADR) for vacation rental units statewide in September ($194) was lower than the ADR for hotels ($247). Lodging is one of the costs calculated into visitor spending, which HTA tracks monthly.

Island Highlights

In September, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties at 312,810 unit nights, which is an increase of 24.4 percent compared to a year ago. Unit demand was 226,059, resulting in 72.3 percent occupancy with ADR at $228. Maui County hotels were 72.7 percent occupied with ADR at $319.

Oahu had the second largest vacation rental supply at 241,811 unit nights. This is a decrease of 7.6 percent from a year ago. Unit demand on Oahu was 175,705 unit nights, resulting in 72.7 percent occupancy with ADR at $160. Oahu hotels were 84.1 percent occupied with ADR at $227.

There were 219,294 available unit nights on the island of Hawaii. Unit demand was 127,821, resulting in 58.3 percent occupancy with ADR at $146. Hawaii Island hotels were 67.5 percent occupied with ADR at $222.

Kauai had the fewest number of available unit nights at 139,370. Unit demand was 92,744, resulting in 66.5 percent occupancy with ADR at $241. Kauai hotels were 68.6 percent occupied with the same ADR ($241). 

MN: Maui tops state in vacation rental availability

PBN: Supply of vacation rental units grew 13% to nearly 913,300, while demand grew 18% to more than 622,000      

Link: HTA Report

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority: Hawaii vacation rentals up 22.9 percent in 2019

Hu Honua Scam: Nov 26 Deadline to Submit Comments

IM: … In the case of Hu Honua, the public is requested by DOH to submit comments until November 26 and may ask for a public hearing or a contested case proceeding.

Snail Mail: Department of Health, Clean Air Branch, 2827 Waimano Home Road, #130, Pearl City, HI 96782

Email: cab@doh.hawaii.gov

Hu Honua wants to chop down and burn forests to generate electricity.

Life of the Land has requested a contested case proceeding.

The public is invited to participate in commenting on the proposed Hu Honua "updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction plan dated August 2019."

The Hu Honua Covered Source Permit (air pollution permit) issued "on February 18, 2016, and amended on December 11, 2018, shall not be affected and shall remain valid."

The Hu Honua facility will have a greenhouse gas emission limit. "Hu Honua Bioenergy Facility shall not emit or cause to be emitted carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in excess of 3,979 metric-tons (4,386 short tons) per calendar year."

The cap does not include biogenic emissions -- which is the only type of emissions that Hu Honua will emit.

read … Hawai`i Department of Health -- Permission Granted, Analysis Later

After fraud Revealed, Stunned Eco-Religionists Robotically Go Thru Motions of Sacred ‘Recycling’ Rituals

HTH: … Learning that the county on Oct. 16 stopped collecting recyclable non-HI5 plastics, a bunch of people got together to do it themselves….

Meanwhile: High Priests warn Believers of Threat from ‘Blob’

read … Recycling groups, projects, cropping up as county reduces recycling

Hundreds of Fish Killed by Fish Ladder Project

MN: … The state apologized Thursday for an unintended “substantial fish kill” that resulted in hundreds of dead ‘o‘opu near where Wailuku River empties into the ocean. The fish kill occurred when water was reduced for the construction of a fish ladder intended to help save native fish and shrimp….

LINK: DLNR Statement and Video

read … Hundreds of ‘o‘opu killed in wake of effort to improve habitat

Mizuno calls on AG Barr to Investigate NY Homeless ‘Exports’

AP: … In his letter, Mizuno said, "The SOTA program to my knowledge fails to comply with ensuring the safety, well-being, and continued support which is needed for a homeless individual or family being displaced. The SOTA program is a recipe for disaster and inhumane to the homeless being exported out of New York."

Though Hawaii does have a program called "Return to Home," which sends homeless individuals to the mainland -- but that's only, as Mizuno states, "if we have a confirmed strong support unit, meaning a family agreeing that they are willing to accept their homeless family member from Hawaii."

Mizuno also stated in the letter, "I ask that your agency conduct a legal review and investigation into this matter, as many Hawaii residents have serious concerns that this illegal program could exasperate an already tragic situation here in Hawaii. I believe this issue is compelling enough to warrant an inquiry and full investigation into New York City's SOTA program."…

Related: NYC secretly exports homeless to Hawaii

PDF: Mizuno letter

read … Local rep sends letter to AG asking for investigation of NYC exporting homeless to Hawaii

About Two-Thirds Of Hawaii Middle Schoolers Feel Safe At School

CB: … Hawaii’s school quality survey results for middle schoolers for the 2018-19 school year show that students feel mostly the same about school safety and school bullying, on average, as the year before.

In 2018-19, of the 27,607 middle schoolers who responded to a questionnaire, 64% recorded a positive response to the question of safety, the same percent as last year. A positive response by students means they either agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe at school.

The response of middle school students to the question of whether they felt safe from the bullying behavior of other students was also about the same as the previous year.

In 2018-19, whose survey results came out in the summer, 24% of middle schoolers “strongly agreed” that they felt safe from peer bullying, another 26% “agreed,” while 22% “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed.” ….

PDF: School Quality Survey Statewide Summary Report

read … About Two-Thirds Of Hawaii Middle Schoolers Feel Safe At School

Hawaii Supreme Court Take Up UIPA Case Related to HPD Sgt. Darren Cachola

CB: … A judge found significant public interest in the case of the fired then re-instated cop. But the records still haven’t been released. …. The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to take up an issue that is incredibly important to journalists — the timely release of public information….

read … Why We Asked The Hawaii Supreme Court To Take Up The Case Of HPD Sgt. Darren Cachola

Fake Sentence: Criminal Gets 20 Years—will be out as Soon as HPA Acts

 

HNN: …  Twenty years.

That’s the sentence for a Maui man who admitted to an armed robbery in Wailuku two years ago.

In April 2017, William K. Keliihoomalu IV broke into the Tokyo Lounge with a rifle.

He pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors. In return, the state agreed to recommend a minimum term to the Hawaii Paroling Authority and make the 32-year-old immediately eligible for parole….

Room For More: Halawa Correctional Facility inmate found dead

read … Will be out any day now

Big Island woman indicted for murder in connection with foster child’s death

HNN: … Chasity Alcosiba has been under investigation since Fabian Garcia died more than two years ago.

The toddler was one of several children who the state had placed in her care.

In summer 2017, the boy was rushed to the emergency room after Alcosiba claimed she found him face down in bed in a pool of vomit.

Hospital records revealed the emergency room staff suspected abuse, diagramming the boys injuries. The medical examiner later determined he died of blunt force trauma to the head….

read … Big Island woman indicted for murder in connection with foster child’s death

Suspects Arrested, Named in Murder of American Prosecutor on Yap Island

GP: … Anthony Rutun Teteeth, also known as Tun, is charged in the Yap State Court with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangering and malicious mischief.

Francis Choay Buchun, also known as Frances Choay Buchon, is charged in the Yap State Court with conspiracy to commit murder….

The State accused the pair of planning Bergeron's murder at least one month prior to the deadly shooting.

A criminal complaint states both conspired to kill Bergeron, who died after she was shot outside of her home in Yap on Oct. 14.

Teteeth is accused of intentionally causing her death by using a 12-gauge shotgun, which he shot at Bergeron three times, documents state. The gunshots also passed through the walls of her home. Her husband, Simon Haemmerling, and a 12-year-old girl who the couple is caring for were inside the home at the time.

The pair recently made their initial appearance in Yap State Court, according to The Kaselehlie Press. The court ordered them both to be held without bail pending trial.

The two men are also being charged in the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Court documents allege Teteeth and Buchun unlawfully possessed and acquired a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition to carry out Bergeron's murder.

State officials said guns are illegal in Yap.

According to the Weapons Prohibition Act in Yap, only law enforcement officers engaged in official duty and members of the U.S. armed forces are exempted from the ban on having a serviceable firearm…. 

(Translation: Gun Control Fails.)

LINK: Suspects Appeared on FSM Supreme Court Yap Trial Division Calendar Starting September 5, 2019 (Open ‘agenda’ tab)

Oct 24: Article names two alleged suspects, then taken down (This article got one of the suspects right, the other named person appeared in court Oct 25 and has another court date Dec 18, 2019.)

read … Suspect allegedly shot at Yap acting AG Bergeron 3 times 

Hawaiians Journey to Park Street Church to Celebrate Commissioning of First Missionaries to Their Islands in 1819

NBP: … Last week, over 100 Hawaiians flew to Boston to commemorate the commissioning of missionaries at historic Park Street Church two hundred years ago. Many Hawaiians leaders made the journey. Peter Young, the great-great-grandson of the mission’s leader, Hiram Bingham, played a key role in the celebration at the church last Wednesday. The program also included Hawaiian music and hymns, some performed by Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, New Hampshire.

Contradicting the prevalent myth that dour and bigoted Christian missionaries to the Sandwich Islands destroyed Hawaiian culture, the Hawaiians, who travelled to Boston to take part in the celebrations, went out of their way to emphasize the many beneficial changes that the missionaries introduced to Hawaii. For example, the first missionaries, with help from native Hawaiians and support from the rulers, created the written Hawaiian language and translated the Bible into Hawaiian. The missionaries established the first school during their first year in Hawaii. They eventually helped to found nine hundred schools, which led to an astonishingly high Hawaiian literacy rate of 95% within several decades of the missionaries’ arrival in 1820.

The positive legacy of the missionaries is one of the reasons why Hawaiian Airlines was an official sponsor of events in New England held by the Hawaii Mission Houses Museum and Archives. … 

TGI: Hawaii Mission Bicentennial Kauai events set in May 2020

TGI: ‘It builds our faith’

read … Hawaiians Journey to Park Street Church to Celebrate Commissioning of First Missionaries to Their Islands in 1819 

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