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Thursday, November 14, 2019
November 14, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:48 PM :: 1360 Views

Sue Big Oil: UH Law School Hides Conflict of Interest

‘Driving Report' Tax Hike Propaganda from HDoT Coming to Your Mailbox

Senate Special Session Confirms Judicial Nominees

LEAD: Homeless Law Enforcement Program Spreads to Big Island

Mafia News: Hanabusa Announces Mayoral Campaign

After 13 Years of Harassment by OHA, Kauai Water Bottler Back in Business

TGI: … A family-owned water-bottling company in Koloa may have won its 13-year legal battle with the county Planning Commission.

Earlier this month, Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe handed down a ruling that could force the county to issue zoning and land-use permits to Kauai Springs and its owners, Jim and Denise Satterfield, after fining and forcing the business to shut down in April.

Jim Satterfield said he and his family already have Kauai Springs back up and running and have lost very few clients, despite months of down time. Some of his customers, Satterfield said, even cried when he called to tell them he could once again make their water deliveries.

“The response has been overwhelming,” he said. “This is for the good of the people — bottom line.”

The Satterfields were granted zoning and building permits by the county in 2003, allowing them to bottle and distribute water flowing down a long-defunct irrigation pipeline that originates on Kahili Mountain and carries hundreds of thousands of gallons of drinking water a day through a small parcel of land in Koloa where the Satterfields tap into the pipe.

In her nine-page decision, issued Nov. 1, Watanabe said the amount of water Kauai Springs bottles and distributes does not affect the purity of the water, and if anything has a trivial impact on the maintenance of water in its natural state, an opinion that directly contradicts arguments presented by county attorneys and Native Hawaiian practitioners (OHA).

The permits would give Kauai Springs the legal right to bottle about 650 gallons of water a day, a fraction of a percent of the water line’s 270,000-gallon daily output.

But according to Hawaiian rights activists (OHA) who testified against the Satterfields at public hearings in 2006 and submitted a petition with over a hundred signatures urging the Planning Commission to deny the permit requests, the proposed use of the water would be harmful to their traditional and customary water rights.  The commissioners agreed…

read … Kauai Springs back in business

Waimanalo Sports Field Protesters Say They Are In Talks With Mayor

CB: … Two Hawaiian activists who are leading opposition to a controversial city-funded ball field project in a forested park in Waimanalo say they have been meeting privately with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to find a way to resolve the bitter impasse over the park’s future.

After a fierce standoff that has lasted seven months, Caldwell has recently twice traveled to Waimanalo to meet with two of the founders of the park-opposition group, Save Our Sherwoods, according to activists and plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to stop construction at the site….

The meeting with the mayor may signal a possible reconciliation over a dispute that has pitted hundreds of local residents against city officials at stormy public meetings and that led to a mass arrest of 28 protesters who were trying to block passage of construction equipment to the site.

Since then, dozens of protestors have engaged in a peaceful political protest they call “holding space,” where they have occupied land at the entrance to the park, setting up tarps to protect themselves against wind and rain. They are using it as a staging area for lectures about Hawaiian history and as a communal gathering place to share meals of donated food with supporters….

Community residents have been living and sleeping there around the clock since late September to underscore their determination to protect the site. A sign on the wall of the fenced compound bears these words written in Hawaiian: La 52, which translates as Day 52.

Construction on the site has been halted, leaving a large field of dirt and heaps of debris behind in what had once been a natural wooded landscape….

SA: Hawaii is getting to be a scarier place to live because people seem to have no respect for the law.

read … Waimanalo Sports Field Protesters Say They Are In Talks With Mayor

Kahuku Windfarm Developer was Rejected Bidder

IM: … The Na Pua Makani saga is significant because communities are often blamed for fighting projects on the basis of NIMBYism, but in this case, a rejected developer initiated the multi-year fight for a second wind farm in Kahuku.

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) issued a Request for Proposals for O`ahu-based Renewable Energy Projects in June 2008. 

Keith Avery (West Wind Works) submitted a proposal for a Kahuku wind farm. The proposal made the shortlist of selected projects, but not the final list of selected projects.

Instead, HECO chose another company to build a wind farm in Kahuku. The wind farm is known for a three-day battery fire in August 2012 that completely destroyed the battery.

Mediation with HECO failed. West Wind entered into a partnership with Champlin Hawaii, a subsidiary, of a subsidiary, of a subsidiary, of COPRA, a European based family held holding company.

West Wind and Champlin filed two complaints with the Commission.

Long story short, the Commission dismissed the first complaint without prejudice (allowing a revised complaint to be filed) and rejected the second complaint with prejudice.

HECO reached a deal with the developer.

Hawaiian Electric filed a proposed Power Purchase Agreement with the Commission for the Na Pua Makani wind farm in December 2013.

read … PUC Hearing for Proposed Na Pua Makani Wind Farm in Kahuku

Taxpayers Spent Nearly $700,000 on Kealohas’ Legal Fees

CB: … Katherine Kealoha had the largest bill. Cynthia Kagiwada, her former attorney who resigned in July over ethical concerns, was paid more than $400,000 in expenses, including about $206,000 in direct payments to her. The rest of the funds were split among payments to Kagiwada’s associate and paralegal, as well as other expenses….

The U.S. District Court of Hawaii released a new report Thursday afternoon detailing the monies paid to the court-appointed attorneys of Katherine and Louis Kealoha and Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, who were convicted in June of conspiracy and obstruction charges.

The defense fees were paid last week, according to the court…. 

KHON: Kealoha fed cases run up $700,000 in taxpayer-funded attorney fees

read … Taxpayers Spent Nearly $700,000 on Kealohas’ Legal Fees

Felony Charges for Kauai Councilmember

TGI … Kauai County Councilmember Arthur Brun was indicted Wednesday on felony charges for allegedly running from police during a traffic stop two weeks ago and hitting an officer with his car in the process.

Brun, 47, faces two felony counts — assault against a law enforcement officer and resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle. Both charges are punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. He is set to be arraigned in Fifth Circuit Court on Dec. 11.

Police pulled Brun over on Rice Street in front of the post office around 2 p.m. on Oct. 29. A KPD press release said that when police approached the “dark-tinted silver Honda sedan” Brun was driving, he fled the scene, hitting one officer, identified in the indictment as Lt. James Miller.

Brun led police on a car chase that ended about 10 minutes later and several miles north, near the entrance to Kauai Beach Resort, according to the press release….

2002-4: Brun Convicted of meth-related crimes

read … Councilmember charged

Owners of legal vacation rentals say proposed tax hike could put them out of business

HNN: … A council committee has approved increasing property taxes on short-term rentals up to the same rate as hotels, almost three times higher than they currently pay….

read … Owners of legal vacation rentals say proposed tax hike could put them out of business

Dams: 10 Years Later Nothing has Changed

SA Editorial: … despite more than a decade of spotlight on this problem, the status has not changed significantly: The prognosis for the dams is still this poor….

13 years after Kaloko, the state must accelerate its program of safety improvements. Among all the repercussions of climate change, one is that the hazards of substandard dams and reservoirs will only get worse….

read … Editorial: Increase efforts to repair dams

How The Counties Are Preparing For All-Mail Voting

CB: … The state will switch to an all-mail voting system for the 2020 elections….

read … How The Counties Are Preparing For All-Mail Voting

Soft on Crime: 17 Convictions out on Streets Shot Dead by Police

SA: …Kahalehoe had 17 convictions, including six felony convictions for vehicle break ins, vehicle theft, drugs and weapons violations. Spillner has six convictions, including four felony convictions for vehicle break ins and vehicle thefts….

Five Honolulu Police Department plainclothes officers fired about 20 rounds in all, killing a 30-year-old man who was wanted in a rash of armed robberies and possible carjackings, police Chief Susan Ballard said today.

Michael Kahalehoe died at the scene. He had a handgun in his waist band, Ballard said.

His suspected accomplice, Melvin Spillner, 24, tried to run away but was captured and later treated for minor injuries, Ballard said.

Kahalehoe and Spillner are “possible suspects” in a rash of recent carjacking and “they are definitely the suspects in multiple armed robberies that have been occurring on this island since Nov. 3.”

CrimeStoppers earlier Tuesday issued an alert for both men, along with a third suspect, Victor Gascon III, 25, who remains wanted for failing to comply with the terms and conditions of his probation.

Police are also looking for the female driver of a black Honda that was at the gas station….

HNN: HPD officials respond to overnight officer-involved shooting in Kapolei

read … Soft on Crime

Soft on Crime: Long Rap Sheet—now Wanted for Probation Violations

KITV: …Prince Buses -- a criminal with a lengthy rap sheet -- has not been complying with his terms of probation, and a warrant for his capture has subsequently been issued.

He was most notably involved in an armed robbery of a Charlie’s Taxi Cab driver in 2017 -- a crime for which he plead guilty for a lenient sentence.

Court documents show Buses has not been showing up to meetings with his probation officer and the has tested positive multiple times for illicit substances. Buses failed to appear at a court hearing on a motion to revoke his probation and re-sentencing in the taxi cab robbery case….

HNN: 5 convictions surprisingly violates probation

read … Soft on Crime

Soft on Crime: Alleged Arsonist with long rap sheet Walks Free Because of Typo

MN: … Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson argued that evidence hadn’t been presented to prove the fire caused damage greater than $20,000, which is required for the first-degree arson charge.

Stevenson said a fire investigator testified the damage estimate was “124, which would be far less than the necessary amount of $20,000 to sustain this charge.”

Deputy Prosecutor Lewis Littlepage said the estimate was $124,000.

Judge Blaine Kobayashi agreed with Stevenson’s argument and said the fire investigator testified the damage estimate was “1-2-4.”

“I have no idea what that means,” Kobayashi said. “There was no clarification provided. The state has failed to set forth sufficient evidence to support a finding of probable cause.”

Before making the ruling, Kobayashi commented on the filing of two arson charges – one for each rental unit that was damaged by the fire.

“It does give the court pause to consider the number of charges the state has set forth,” Kobayashi said. “We have one structure, one house that the owner has elected to separate into two separate units. Whether the state can charge one count versus two counts is, I think, somewhat questionable.”

During the preliminary hearing, Neula’s sister testified that Neula was home when she left the residence at about 3 p.m. that day. She said she returned home 45 minutes to an hour later to find firefighters in the driveway and her home on fire….

On the day of the fire, Neula said he was under the influence of a narcotic, Katayama testified. He said Neula reported that “he was frustrated with the current situation and certain family issues and he couldn’t handle it anymore, so he set his sister’s unit on fire.”

Neula said he first lit a towel on fire and left it in the kitchen, then lit another towel and put it in a bedroom, Katayama testified.

He said Neula reported leaving and walking to his cousin’s house on Piihana Road in Wailuku.

“He said he was thinking about setting his cousin’s house on fire also, but he decided not to,” Katayama said.

He said there was extensive damage to the rear unit, where Neula’s sister was living, at the Holowai Place residence.

After the hearing, Littlepage said, “The state does plan to proceed with further charges. We feel he’s a danger to the community.”

Neula is on probation for third-degree assault, Littlepage said. He said Neula’s criminal record also includes convictions for two counts of prohibited possession of a firearm or ammunition, third-degree promoting of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia, abuse, reckless endangering, disorderly conduct, failure to appear and third-degree promoting of a detrimental drug.

read … Another second chance to do it again

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