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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
November 19, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:18 PM :: 1647 Views

US Supreme Court Decision Takes 90% of Mauna Kea from DLNR

DBEDT: Hawaii's Worst-in-Nation Economy to Continue 'For Years'

VIDEO: Hawaii-Israel Alignment Forum

Hawaii On-line Sting Nets 25 Alleged Child Molesters

Hawaii Political Insiders Panic over Suggestion that Hawaiian Electric Hire Outside CEO

PBN: … The former chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission told the CEO of activist investor ValueAct Capital she was “dismayed” by his “simplistic assessment of Hawaii’s electricity sector” in a letter urging Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (NYSE: HE) to look outside the company when planning for the succession of President and CEO Constance Lau.

In a letter to ValuAct Capital CEO Jeffrey Ubben obtained by Pacific Business News, Mina Morita defended Hawaiian Electric Industries, noting that Ubben’s firm “is not paying attention to the reality of what it will take to attain a 100% renewable future when it falls back on mantras like ‘100% renewables’ or ‘no fossil fuels.’” …

read … Freak Out

Hawaii Supreme Court: To Stop NextEra Gov Can Appoint Whoever He Wants to PUC During Interim

CB: … Monday’s 4-1 opinion resolves a dispute that arose in the wake of the failed NextEra-Hawaiian Electric Industries merger….

read … Hawaii Supreme Court: Gov Can Appoint Whoever He Wants During Interim

Caldwell Forced Shutdown of Hawaii’s Only Federal Halfway House in Deal to Benefit Corrupt Drug Treatment ‘Nonprofit’

CB:  … The re-entry facility shuttered its doors after 29 years when the city of Honolulu purchased the building for a separate nonprofit drug rehab facility (the one where the boss makes $500K and gets to keep Miss Hawaii)….

“Clearly once a facility like this closes it is not easy to get another one up and running,” Hirono said while she questioned Hawk Sawyer during the hearing. “Obviously these are really important to people in every state. So will you commit to reopening a residential treatment center in Hawaii?”

Hawk Sawyer responded that opening a new facility is a top priority for her agency, but that it was difficult to find a new provider once the city of Honolulu bought the building and “pulled away.”

“We advertised three times for a new halfway house in Honolulu and got no takers,” she said.

The bureau floated a new proposal that should result in an acceptable bidder that will take over where Mahoney Hale left off, Hawk Sawyer said. Part of the strategy, she said, expand the services to cater to more inmates, which should make running the facility more cost effective.

“We’re very optimistic,” Hawk Sawyer said, “because we want that halfway house in Hawaii too.”…

Flashback: Profitable Non Profit: Absentee Boss Salary Cut to Measly $253K, but keeps Miss Hawaii

read … Prisons Chief: A New Halfway House On The Way For Hawaii

Another Top Honolulu Rail Official Leaves HART As P-3 Deal Looms

CB: … Honolulu’s rail agency has lost yet another top procurement officer as it seeks to award the multibillion-dollar transit project’s last major contract.

Paula Youngling resigned from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Oct. 14. She had logged about five years at the agency over two separate stints. Recently, Youngling took on duties as HART’S director of procurement after its former deputy executive director, Nicole Chapman, resigned in June.

Chapman — and now Youngling — left as HART pursues what officials say is an unprecedented change in procurement strategy among U.S. transit projects in order to award one of the state’s largest-ever public contracts….

HART hopes that by switching from a standard design-build strategy to a so-called public-private partnership, or “P3,” the firm that’s eventually hired will absorb most of the financial risk and help taxpayers avoid more painful cost overruns.

read … Top Honolulu Rail Official Leaves HART As Project Reaching Critical Stage

Harry Kim’s #2 Man Resigns

HTH: … Wil Okabe, Mayor Harry Kim’s managing director and right-hand man, is resigning effective Nov. 30.

Okabe’s resignation brings the executive turnover to half of the dozen top department chiefs that started Kim’s mayoral term with him in 2016.

“It’s not easy working for Harry Kim — I know that,” Kim said …

Kim said he asked Executive Assistant Roy Takemoto to take on some of Okabe’s responsibilities while Kim looks for a replacement.

“I’m looking at names right now,” he said….

According to the county charter, the managing director acts as mayor during the mayor’s absence and completes the term of the office if it becomes vacant after the filing deadline for the next primary election….

A replacement, once selected, will face a confirmation vote by the County Council….

UPDATE: Roy Takemoto appointed county managing director

read … Managing director Wil Okabe resigns

Cost of Not Enforcing the Law: Hawaii County Getting $10 Million From State For Mauna Kea Costs

BIVN: … The Hawaiʻi County Council Committee on Finance meets at 3 p.m. in the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, and will consider a bill and a resolution to accept $10 million from the state “for overtime costs, supplies, equipment and other expenses incurred by the Hawaii County Police Department.”

The $10 million is double the most recent reported County costs, which were calculated to be nearly $4.9 million as of November 4. …

(Prediction: Councilmembers will that this opportunity to pander to anti-telescope protesters.)

read … Hawaii County Getting $10 Million From State For Mauna Kea Costs

Bill 40 Banning Plastics Has Too Many Problems To Fix

CB: … This amended version excludes prepackaged goods, but it presents many other issues. If you read the bill, it piles exemption upon exemption on top of each other and even contradicts itself. For example, it bans plastic service ware but says businesses may offer it in a self-service area, which is a baffling exemption because it potentially encourages more waste.

With so many exemptions and vague definitions, enforcement becomes a nightmare. Whatever agency is in charge of enforcing this ban and approving exemptions will have too much leverage over our local businesses.

Since the definitions allow room for interpretation, a business’s entire livelihood could depend on how a government employee chooses to define “significant hardship” or “reasonable alternative” on any given day. And, how long will the government employee take to render this decision?….

read … Bill Banning Plastics Has Too Many Problems To Fix

Kahuku: Energy Giant AES Has A Big — And Growing — Footprint In Hawaii

CB: … The Kahuku wind farm developer opposed a proposed ban on coal in Hawaii…..

CD: Liebherr's LR 11000 crawler crane deployed to Hawaii

read … Energy Giant AES Has A Big — And Growing — Footprint In Hawaii

Opponents of Na Pua Makani wind farm project appear at court arraignments

SA: … More than 30 people who oppose the Na Pua Makani wind farm project in Kahuku appeared at their arraignments in court today after all were arrested for disobeying a police officer when they tried to prevent large trucks carrying turbine parts to depart a baseyard in Kalaeloa in mid-October.

Many who appeared before Judge Sherri Iha at Waianae District Court, Kapolei Court Complex were represented by attorney Aaron Wills.

Disobeying a police officer is considered a petty misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to 30 days in jail, $1,000 fine and up to a year of probation.

Deputy prosecutor Pearl Tamayo offered a deal to protesters to amend the offense to an obstruction violation.

A majority of the 21 protesters Wills represented accepted the state’s deal, and pleaded no contest to an obstruction violation. The judge ordered many of the protesters to pay a $100 fine. Higher fines were imposed to a few who were arrested more than once.

The two or three remaining people Wills represented pleaded not guilty to disobeying a police officer. Their trial date has been set for January….

read … Opponents of Na Pua Makani wind farm project appear at court arraignments

Public input sought on fix for Red Hill fuel tanks above aquifer

KHON: … A letter mailed recently with every water bill was the Board of Water Supply’s way of drawing attention islandwide before a public meeting Tuesday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Health are taking public feedback before issuing a decision on how the Navy will be allowed to fix, replace or relocate the fuel tanks. The public meeting starts at 6 p.m. and runs through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Moanalua Middle School….

read … Public input sought on fix for Red Hill fuel tanks above aquifer

Officer to Plead Guilty in Urinal Licking Case

AP: … A Honolulu police officer is expected to plead guilty to depriving a homeless man of his civil rights by forcing him to lick a public urinal.

John Rabago’s attorney Megan Kau said Tuesday he plans to plead guilty to an indictment because he wants to accept responsibility.

Court records show a change of plea hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16….

read … Officer to Plead Guilty in Urinal Licking Case

Soft on Crime: 10 Priors out on Streets Does it Again

HNN: … Sources say her boyfriend has 10 prior arrests and served 10 years behind bars for robbery.

“He choked her neck. She has scratch marks on her neck. He's an animal," Pascubillo said.

“Her eyes were swollen, couldn’t even open. She has bruises on her back, all over her legs. She has three broken ribs, her nose. He kept punching her and back-handing her in the nose and when she would fall on the ground, he would pick her up by the hair, slammed her on the ground."

Berdon filed a temporary restraining order against him on Monday, but fears if he is not put behind bars it could turn deadly….

read … Soft on Crime

Kauai’s jail is getting upgrades, but it won’t solve the overcrowding

HNN: … The jail was designed to house 110 people, but was converted to allow 128. On Monday, the head count was 172, or 134 percent of capacity….

The Kauai Community Correctional Center (KCCC) is different from the other Hawaii jails: It doesn’t have a guard tower, and it sits alongside a busy road, Kuhio Highway, with no fence separating it from the Highway, just a ditch.

Old FEMA trailers from Hurricane Iniki are the first housing units from the road. The trailers have been converted into cabins for work furlough inmates.

While we were there during a Department of Public Safety sanctioned tour, some of the inmates mingled through an open area, walking past us, and waiving.

Others were in the rec area, walking around a small court. Some did handstands, others were singing out loud as music played.

And a few more of the men were seen working on the farm, digging the ground surrounding the okra and mountain apple trees that have never fruited.

The women have their own farm on a different side of the facility with cabbage, lettuce and tomatoes….

KITV: "In 2009, I was arrested and convicted of 140 charges," said Susan Shaw.  She spent 8 years in prison

read … Kauai’s jail is getting upgrades, but it won’t solve the overcrowding

Stings net more than 2 dozen suspected child sex predators in Hawaii

HNN: … The sting was part of a larger push ― called Operation Keiki Shield ― that’s netted more than two dozen suspects over the past eight months.

Of the 25 arrests so far, only one of those suspected child sex predators had a criminal record.

Through investigations, officials discovered many of those suspects had targeted kids before ― and gone undetected….

Law enforcement officers pose as children online, using chat rooms and common social media apps.

“The fastest arrest time from the time the solicitation was made online until the individual showed up at the pre-arranged site was 25 minutes,” said Connors….

Meanwhile: Chick-fil-a cuts off Salvation Army to satisfy gays

read … Stings net more than 2 dozen suspected child sex predators in Hawaii

Voter will be alerted if ballot envelope raises red flag

SA: … Question: With the all-mail ballot, will a voter know if their ballot is rejected because the signature doesn’t seem to match? In other words, if the envelope comes back and the signature is questioned, will the ballot be rejected outright? Or will the voter get to verify the signature?

Answer: The voter will be contacted and will have up to five business days after the election to correct any problem with their ballot’s return identification envelope. This is spelled out in Act 136, which establishes voting by mail for all Hawaii elections starting with the 2020 primary….

read …    Voter will be alerted if ballot envelope raises red flag

Defense Department Fails Its Second Audit, Yet Is Making Progress

GE: … This was only the second audit completed for the Pentagon since a 1990 law required them….

FNN: DoD’s second financial audit uncovers 1,300 new deficiencies

read … Defense Department Fails Its Second Audit, Yet Is Making Progress

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