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Thursday, November 07, 2019
November 7, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:29 PM :: 1184 Views

Economic freedom in Hawaii takes a fall

Hot Take On The Maui Clean Water Act Arguments

Maui Sewage Case Makes a Supreme Court Splash

Fewer years of healthy life for Native Hawaiians, UH study finds

OHA premieres new Maui water rights film

‘Pipe Dream’ Harry Kim Admits Mauna Kea Plan Depends on Convincing Protesters to Support Telescope

HTH: … Mayor Harry Kim remains steadfast in his commitment to finding a way forward as the standoff over the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea continues.

“My goal is to get, through your help and everybody’s help, to have the people of this island and state to support what we want to do to make it better,” Kim told Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise members Wednesday morning. “My goal and vision, hope and dream is that … the protectors will understand the sincerity of what we are trying to do and they will also support it.

“Is it a pipe dream? I don’t believe in pipe dreams,” the mayor continued. “I believe if we work on it, we can do it.”….

(Translation: Harry Kim is the reason police have not been allowed to clear out the protests.  And as long as Harry Kim is around, the police will not be used.)

“I’m asking this group to really think about the issue beyond the Thirty Meter Telescope,” Kim told the several dozen Rotarians in attendance for the club’s weekly meeting. “This presentation is beyond a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the TMT project, this is about asking Hawaii’s people to come together to find a path to go forward in a good way — I didn’t put down ‘right’ way, I said a ‘good’ way.”

(Translation: Allow the telescope to be held hostage to OHA’s rent-seeking agenda.)

Opponents have said they cannot agree with the proposal if it continues to allow the construction of TMT, estimated to cost $1.4 billion. Kim acknowledged that public statement.

“I wish it was not as strong as to that,” he said Wednesday, noting he hopes finding balance and understanding will surmount the differences. “I’m going to take a piece of the pie at a time. Hopefully, this will influence other people — including people who are of the Hawaiian group that are on the mountain. It’s going to take time and I’m asking the telescope people and governor’s office for time, and I realize the impatience of people.”

(Translation: I will not use the police.  The protesters will be allowed to block the telescope until it gives up and moves to the Canary islands.)

He also avoided answering directly a question about when protesters will be removed, noting that authority lies with the state. Meanwhile, the protest has entered its 19th week…

Kim stated, however, that he wouldn’t have assumed the role he did when asked by Ige if he didn’t think a resolution could be found.

“I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t think we had a chance to do this,” he said. “But, first we have to show that we understand some of the pain. We have to show that we not only understand, we commit to making it better.”

(Translation: We must pay OHA first before the protesters agree to anything.)

SA: The paramount law enforcement task — clearing the access road of protesters to allow building of the Thirty Meter Telescope — remains undone.

read … Mayor on Maunakea impasse: ‘If we work on it, we can do it’

Observatories: UH Maunakea Rules written without consulting us—would force closure of productive telescopes

HTH: … The resolution makes several commitments regarding UH’s stewardship of Maunakea, including timelines for the decommissioning process of four summit telescopes and a proposed reorganization of the university’s governance operation of the mauna.

Members of the Hawaiian community similarly opposed the resolution, but were joined in their opposition by several members of the astronomy community, including the directors of the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Canada France Hawaii Telescope. The astronomers argued that the resolution was made without consulting the observatories about the decommissioning timeline. 

(That sounds like a cause for litigation.)

Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the East Asian Observatory, said the telescopes scheduled for decommissioning are still “extremely productive,” and that to announce a deadline for when they will be shut down devalues the work of their astronomers and staff….

SA: Controversial rules passed to protect Mauna Kea’s natural resources

read … UH regents amend, approve draft administrative rules for Maunakea

The Dangerous Side Of Honolulu and Maui Lawsuits Against Fossil Fuel Companies

IM: … Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced an intent to sue Big Oil to cover the costs of climate mitigation.

“It is devastating to find out that big oil knew these impacts would occur as far back as the 1960s, and yet they chose to undermine the science and sow confusion instead of becoming responsible corporate citizens. This lawsuit won’t stop climate change from happening, but it will help pay for the protection and preparation of our citizens as climate disasters continue to come our way.”

When did the City know that fossil fuel induced climate change is dangerous?

When did the City realize that fossil fuel is undermining the local quality of life?

And what are they doing about it?

Big Q: Do you agree with city plans to sue fossil-fuel companies over climate-change mitigations?  (71% – ‘NO’)

read … Sue the City

Hawaii May Subpoena Airbnb for Tax Records of Rental Hosts

AP: … A judge ruled Wednesday that Hawaii tax authorities may subpoena Airbnb for records of its hosts as the state investigates whether operators of vacation rentals have been paying their taxes.

First Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe approved the subpoena after a brief hearing. Airbnb and the state Department of Taxation have already agreed which records the company will provide: those of 1,000 Hawaii hosts who received the most revenue from 2016 through 2018.

The company also will provide data for hosts who had more than $2,000 in annual revenue during those years, but their identities will remain anonymous. The state may then request individual records for those hosts, but it will be able to obtain information on only 500 hosts every two weeks….

If a host files a legal challenge, Airbnb won't provide the data until the case is resolved…. 

YF: What Airbnb's recent move in Hawaii means for its issues in other US states

read … Hawaii May Subpoena Airbnb for Tax Records of Rental Hosts

Chang Singapore Plan Requires Massive State Subsidy

HNN: … Units would have a median sales price of $300,000 and come with a 99-year lease.

Kevin Carney, of EAH Housing, has worked for decades managing low-income rentals. He admires Chang’s out-of-the-box thinking but believes his proposal faces an uphill struggle.

"When they say they're going to sell units for $300,000 in a condo project it's going to require a lot of financing subsidy-wise," he said….

“If you can use state land that’s leased for 99 years at basically zero to a dollar a year, you’ve just eliminated the cost of land,” said David Freudenberger, founding partner of Goodwin Consulting Group.

Chang's plan permits owners to sell their units after five years, but they'd kick most of the profits back to the state.

"Seventy-five percent of all profits in all secondary trades would go back to the state, which could be used for maintenance, repairs, operations, landscaping, all of those things that cost big bucks," he said….

(Translation: The State owns 75% of the equity which means the $300K units really cost $1.2M ea.)

read … Subsidy

Can Trees Provide Carbon Sequestration Benefits and Be Burned to Generate Electricity?

IM: … Hu Honua wants to clear cut Big Island forests to generate electricity.

Hu Honua, Life of the Land and HELCO are in a contested case proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission to analyze the life cycle greenhouse gas impacts of the proposal.

Hu Honua asserts that where the Big Island forests will be logged is classified information that neither the public nor Life of the Land is entitled to know.

A lively discussion on the benefits of tree planting occurred at the Hawai`i Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation Commission held a meeting on November 6, 2019. …

read … Can Trees Provide Carbon Sequestration Benefits and Be Burned to Generate Electricity?

Hawaii County Council Takes Another Step Towards Herbicide Ban

HTH: … A ban on the county’s use of weed killers in parks and along its highways advanced Wednesday on an 8-1 vote, although some members of the County Council asked for more clarification before its final vote later this month.

Bill 101, sponsored by Kona Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas, would, throughout a four-year period, ban the use of herbicides in parks and alongside roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainageways and waterways owned or maintained by the county. The bill includes a lengthy list of specific chemicals to be banned….

Kohala Councilman Tim Richards was the sole no vote. He worried about the financial impact of increased manpower and the carbon impact of increased mowing machinery, as well as the precedent set that he feared could lead to a ban that also affects the private sector.

“If we remove all the ability to use any of these things going forward, we’re going to be shortsighted,” Richards said. “I believe that this is a conversation about safety and about responsible use of the products.”

Hilo council members Sue Lee Loy and Aaron Chung, the council chairman, said they’d like to see more tweaks before the final vote. Both were concerned abut how Hilo Municipal Golf Course could be managed without herbicides….

Cost was also a cause for concern, with Parks and Recreation Director Roxcie Waltjen estimating she’d need 400 additional park maintenance workers at about $39,000 salaries to pull weeds and keep the 183 parks at their current condition….

Autumn Ness, program director of the group Beyond Pesticides who helped draft the measure, said the transition can be accomplished at the same budget the departments currently get.  (and she didn’t even crack a grin.)

(Convicted killer) Abel Lui showed photos of birds he said were killed by crews spraying herbicides along Highway 11 in Ka‘u.

“I got pictures of them. Look at them … They all died. … All I ask, stop what you guys doing,” Lui said….

read … Ban on county herbicide use advances, but some say fine-tuning needed prior to final vote

HPD Coverup of Police Chase Before Deadly Kakaako Crash?

KHON: … Witness: “We saw ‘um running from the cop.”
Officer: “Huh?”
Witness: “The cop was chasing ‘um from like Pensacola. He turned right in front of us. And he was like trying to book it from the cop.”

Kawamura says there were at least two witnesses that made statements about a high-speed pursuit.

“And these witness statements were omitted in the police report or at least references to the fact that the officer wasn’t in pursuit, in fact, in the 853-page report there’s no mention of any pursuit,” he said.

This is video from an officers body camera and you can hear an exchange between the officer and a supervisor

Supervisor: “I know you know already. But just be very detailed (unintelligible) we don’t want anything coming back thinking that, at no time was this some kind of pursuit, where you drove the guy into…I mean, granted he’s probably 210 but you know what I mean just to cover yourself very well.”

Officer: “Thank you.”…. 

HNN: Sheehan disagrees. She believes the video footage shows that HPD is being transparent.

KHON: Honolulu Police Commission Chair weighs in on bodycam footage of the aftermath of deadly crash

read … City bus, police bodycam footage reveal moments before, after deadly Kakaako crash that killed three

Hawaii judges map out efforts to steer mentally ill to treatment instead of jail

HNN: … Statistics show people with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be put in jail than get treatment.

Hawaii judges say the reason those people are getting locked up is because resources that can actually help just aren’t there.

“What’s happened over the last decade is our criminal justice system has become the first responders to mental illness,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

"We have to find ways to get people better so they’re not going to keep coming back into the system.

On Wednesday, Recktenwald called on his colleagues to change how the courts handle cases involving non-violent offenders who are mentally ill.

Detainees often end up doing hard time for petty crimes while the court works to get them stabilized. Once they’re released, though, many fall back into their psychosis.

“Sadly, I don’t think there’s a more failed public policy in America than our treatment towards people with mental illness,” said Judge Steven Leifman.

Leifman was the catalyst for change in Miami-Dade County, where its officers are trained to identify people who are mentally ill.

Instead of taking them to lock-up, officers transport them to care. The jails have a similar program.

“The number of arrests in Miami-Dade went from 118,000 a year to 53,000 a year, and enabled us to close one of our three main jails," Leifman said….

Gov. David Ige seemed supportive of the idea.  “Doing it right can save us money in the long run," he said….

SA: Mentally ill need more than jail

Reality:

  • This is useless without a facility to incarcerate lunatics.
  • The existing State Hospital is crammed with criminals whose lawyers got them off easy by pleading insanity.  It is the judges fault for going along with the scam.
  • In theory the need to build more prison/jail space could provide an opportunity to build lunatic asylums instead.  But the soft on crime crowd is also soft on crazy.

Background:

read … Hawaii judges map out efforts to steer mentally ill to treatment instead of jail

Soft on Crime: What happens when a lunatic get probation for Attempted Manslaughter?

MN:  … Colton Roberts, 27, had one handcuff on his left wrist when he delivered the blow, after police had been called to his residence on Luahine Place at about 5 a.m. Friday to investigate the abuse, said officer Steven Landsiedel.

“He punched me one time in the face, hitting me in the nose and my right eye area, causing pain and my nose to bleed,” Landsiedel said….

Landsiedel said he deployed his Taser to try to subdue Roberts at the same time that Roberts punched the officer. While one probe from the Taser may have connected with Roberts, the other ended up in his father’s waistband, Landsiedel said.

Asked by Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger if the Taser affected Roberts, Landsiedel said, “I could not tell you.”

“Both probes have to connect in order for it to affect the nervous system,” Landsiedel said.

Then Roberts broke away and ran, Landsiedel said. He said Roberts was apprehended at about 7 a.m. Friday.

The officer said he had encountered Roberts about a year earlier when “he was not mentally in his right mind” and was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for a psychological evaluation.

In contrast, on Friday, Roberts “was mentally collectively there,” Landsiedel said. “He knew the date, who the president was.” …

Temas asked that bail remain at $46,000 for Roberts, noting he is on 10 years’ probation for attempted manslaughter for stabbing his mother in the back.

“The state is concerned about the safety of the public,” as well as the 19-year-old woman who is the victim in the abuse charge, Temas said….

Judge Sameshima questioned Roberts’ father, who was in the courtroom gallery, before setting bail at $27,000. If Roberts is released on bail, he must be admitted into the Molokini unit at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Sameshima said. (72 hrs observation useless)

“He’s not to be released to the public, to the community,” Sameshima said. “He is to be assessed and treated until clinically discharged.”

Roberts’ father also said he wanted his son to be treated at the Molokini unit before deciding whether Roberts can return home.

In 2012, Roberts was placed on 10 years’ probation after he had pleaded no contest to attempted manslaughter for stabbing his mother in the back with a knife while she was calling 911.

Roberts is scheduled to be arraigned on his latest charges Nov. 13 in 2nd Circuit Court….  

HNN: Lunatic on Loose: In suit, family claims fatal machete attack at Maui mall was preventable (different lunatic)

read … Soft on Crazy

Waianae Residents Petition to Block Tweeker Camp from their Neighborhood

KITV: … Residents of Piliuka Place along Wai'anae Valley Road have filed a petition hoping to stop members of the Pu'uhonua 'o Wai'anae homeless encampment from moving into their neighborhood.

They announced plans to buy a 20-acre lot using the nearly $800,000 received in private donations.

Right now, the deal is in escrow and plans include tiny homes with communal kitchens and bathrooms.

However, a document sent to KITV4 shows the property is zoned for agricultural use…

read … Petition filed hoping to stop members of Pu'uhonua 'o Wai'anae from further progression

Soft on Crime: 29 Priors in 46 Years—Out on Streets Now Arrested for Child Molestation

SA: … On April 10, a girl reported to her mother that a man had sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions.

The girl also told her mother that the man had also shown her pornography videos. Police were notified and through their investigation, the man was identified as John Bogac.

Bogac has 29 prior convictions….

read … Police arrest man wanted for sex assault of minor

51 Years Late: HDoT Finally Tries out ‘Stone Matrix Asphalt’

KHON: … The Department of Transportation has a solution that could double the life of their roads. It’s called stone matrix asphalt (SMA), a stronger and more flexible aggregate that could last up to 25 years.

The Pali repaving project adds a two-inch layer of SMA atop their standard asphalt in hopes of making the road smoother and more durable.

“Overall way better product that we’ve gotten for the public at a cost of about 1.6 to 2 times the cost of materials,” said DOT Deputy Director of Highways Ed Sniffen.

“On placement, 1.2 to 1.5 times so over the life of the project, when you look at a 7-10 year life versus 25 makes total sense.”

The DOT first experimented with the SMA pavement with a five-mile stretch of the Moanalua Freeway back in 2004. It has held up incredibly well through 15 years.  (They stopped for 15 years before trying again.)

The DOT is now planning on expanding the use of SMA on different major arteries.

“We’re already looking toward the next corridors we can do it on. Nimitz is coming up next. We have our Nimitz reconstructioning and resurfacing very soon.”…

SMA: First Used in 1968

read … DOT has a long-term fix for Hawaii’s roads

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