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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
November 20, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:24 PM :: 1127 Views

DoD Annual Financial Report: A lot going on under the Surface

Hawaiian Flight Attendants Vote to Authorize a Strike

Hawaii Windfarms to Kill 706 Bats

CB: … Here is a list of how many are opeapea being killed and how many more current wind projects want to kill: Kawailoa has 60 kills and is asking to kill 205, Kahuku has 40 kills, Pakini Nui has 26 kills, Kaheawa 1 has 20 kills and is asking to kill 30, Kaheawa 2 has 25 kills and is asking to kill 55, Auwahi has 21 kills and is asking to kill 119, Na pua makani is currently approved to kill 85 and Alamilo proposes to kill 80.

In total the state Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved the killing of 706 opeapea with approved and/or proposed take licenses. According to the Maui Invasive Species Committee (2014), “one cause of death is collisions with man-made objects such as communication towers, wind turbines, and barbed wire. This may happen as the bats catch an insect and “turn off” their echolocation for a few seconds to eat.”

Furthermore, Hancock (2019) states, “Bat deaths increasingly occur via wind-turbine strikes and barotrauma — lung explosions caused by sudden changes to proximal air pressure.”

In 2015 they were named the official land mammal for the state of Hawaii (Senate Bill 1183, 2015). The bats are a natural pesticide, consuming moths, beetles, termites, crickets, mosquitoes and others.

Not only do they play an important ecological role in keeping forest ecosystems in balance which maintains our water source, but they also provide our farmers with the help they need to provide us with the food we eat for their role as a natural insecticide. Since its first arrival about 10,000 years ago, humans in Hawaii survived and thrived because of the vital role of the opeapea in the ecosystem.

In addition to killing the opeapea, the Fish and Wildlife Service (2018) states that, “Na Pua Makani Power Partners applied to the Service for an ITP (incidental take permit) under ESA section 10(a)(1)(B).”

The incidental take permit is for a 21-year permit term and authorizes take (killing) of the threatened Newell’s shearwater and the endangered Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian goose, and the Hawaiian hoary bat (collectively these species are hereafter referred to as the “covered species”) that may occur as a result of the construction and operation of the project.”…

Background: Wind Farms Could Drive Bats to Extinction

read … Industrial Wind Project Violates Indigenous Rights

21 additional arrests made as protesters stand their ground against Na Pua Makani wind farm

KITV: … Tuesday night, there were 21 individuals that were arrested in Kalaeloa and Kahuku as demonstrators stood their ground against the controversial Na Pua Makani wind farm project.

Their bail ranged from $100 to $1,000. All of the individuals were released after posting bail….

read … 21 additional arrests made as protesters stand their ground against Na Pua Makani wind farm

Exposed: How DoE Fakes it to Make is Look Good – English Learner Test Scores

CB: … A policy shift several years ago that makes “exiting” out of an English language program more rigorous….

(IQ Test: Are you surprised?)

Last month’s release of Hawaii student performance results on the 2019 “Nation’s Report Card” showed little change from the previous assessment in 2017, except in one area: reading and math scores among Hawaii’s fourth grade English language learners.

English learners at that grade level posted double digit gains in both subjects, a spike that was so dramatic, even Hawaii’s own testing officials took pause.

“The jump increase was so big, I double checked it. I wanted to make sure the data was accurate,” said Dewey Gottlieb, Hawaii state coordinator for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Although the rise covers only a short interval of time, state education officials believe it reflects a recent policy shift in the Hawaii Department of Education that changed the criteria for evaluating English language learners as proficient.

The criteria is more rigorous, meaning English learners are receiving support services for a longer period of time. That could translate into a greater number of English learners attaining higher levels of proficiency before being allowed to join their non-EL peers in the academic environment….

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

(DoE Slogan: Fake it to make it.)

read … What’s Behind Hawaii’s Rising Test Scores For English Learners

Land agreement reached between TMT, Canary Islands

HTH: … A governmental body in the Canary Islands approved a land concession deal with the Thirty Meter Telescope partners, although Maunakea remains the project’s preferred location.

According to a Tuesday report from Spanish news agency Europa Press, the City Council of Puntagorda — a municipality on the north end of the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands — approved a “work permit” that would allow TMT to build on La Palma if the TMT partners so choose. …

TMT Vice President Gordon Squires confirmed to the Tribune-Herald that a land concession deal was reached between TMT and Puntagorda, but added more permits and approvals are required before any construction could begin.

The Europa Press report claimed TMT would make a decision on where to build “in the next few days,” and that Canary Islands construction would begin no later than Jan. 30, 2023.

However, Squires said TMT has no current plans to announce a decision on where to build….

AP: Spain now has needed permits if Thirty Meter Telescope quits Hawaii, official says

EP: El presidente canario se muestra contento tras tener todos los permisos para que el TMT se pueda instalar en La Palma

read … Land agreement reached between TMT, Canary Islands

Maui water rights transfers ag water to OHA’s tourism interests

HNN: … The settlement details were announced at a meeting of the state Commission on Water Resource Management in Wailuku.

Mahi Pono, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a community group of taro farmers and kuleana landowners, Hui o Na Wai Eha, (Translation: Ag tourism interests) agreed on Mahi Pono’s surface water use permit application and presented it to the commission.

“It can only be used for agricultural purposes," Shan Tsutui, senior vice president of operations for Mahi Pono.

“This is a clear affirmation of Mahi Pono’s commitment to agriculture, which hopefully lays to rest the unsubstantiated fear that Mahi Pono was going to use water for future development.” ….

“We truly believe that this stipulation agreement is a win on all fronts. It restores additional stream flow while also facilitating Mahi Pono’s ability to farm fresh, local, and GMO free food for the Maui community,” he added, (pandering to the hysteria caucus)...

As part of the settlement, Mahi Pono says it’s accepting more than 11 million gallons per day, which is significantly less than the 36 million gallons per day requested by HC&S in its permit…. 

(Translation Ag loses control of 69% of its previous water flow which will now be used to make pretty waterfall images for tourists)

The Commission still needs to make a final decision….

MW: Mahi Pono, Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā, and OHA reach agreement regarding SWUPA 2206

Meanwhile on Kauai: Haena State Park taro patch plays host to the Hawaii House of Representatives (This is the plan for Maui tourism and they need water to make it happen)

MN: Mahi Pono, hui reach water pact

read … Maui water rights deal praised as step toward resolving years-long dispute

Tax Hike Coming: Hawaii Co Council panel hears task force recommendations for changes to property tax structure

HTH: … County Council members on Tuesday heard a host of recommendations from a task force charged with making the property tax code more equitable, (higher) but they stressed there’s a long way to go before any recommendation becomes law….

Members of the public testifying about the final report by the Real Property Tax Review Working Group were also concerned about changes to agriculture programs that give substantial tax breaks to active farms, ranches, nurseries and orchards.

One suggested change likely to have a huge impact is the requirement for a minimum size parcel for those taking the non-dedicated agriculture property valuation benefit. The change would add about $6.5 million to county taxes annually by affecting 3,000 of the 8,400 parcels currently in the program. The affected parcels now pay about $580,000 in taxes….

read … Council panel hears task force recommendations for changes to property tax structure

End-Time Prophet Tells Hawaii County Council Doomsday is Coming in 10 Years

HTH: … America and other developed nations have 10 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero to prevent a runaway climate catastrophe (LOLROTF!), a University of Hawaii professor told a Hawaii County Council committee on Tuesday….

AP: Big banks would get climate stress tests under Schatz’ proposed U.S. law

Reality for the few who can handle it: "95% water vapour" Global warming debunked by New Zealand Meteorologist

read … Council members hear bleak presentation about greenhouse gases

Bill 60: Amend City Affordable Rental Rules

SA: … Bill 60 actually seeks several changes to the Affordable Rental Housing Bill, a five-year pilot program meant to stimulate the affordable rental units badly needed primarily in Honolulu’s urban core. The program is aimed at owners of lots of 20,000 square feet or less and provides them with a number of incentives including greater density, taller allowable heights, less setback, no required parking, waivers from building permit application and wastewater facilities charges, no park dedication fees and a 10-year tax waiver on property taxes. The incentives save a developer thousands of dollars per unit.

In exchange, the program requires a minimum of 80% of the units to be rented to those making 100% or less of area median income (AMI), as determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development — and the amount charged must be at or below rental rate limits that are also established by HUD. HUD guidelines for 2019 calculate fair market rent for a one-bedroom unit at $1,563 and a two-bedroom unit at $2,067.

Since the new law went into effect in May, the city has received only two applications. One is for a 25-unit apartment building on Puuhue Place in Liliha, the other for a 20-unit apartment above a first-floor retail space on South King Street next to the McCully Bicycle and Sport Goods store. Both applications were submitted in October and are being processed, said Curtis Lum, city Department of Permitting and Planning spokesman.

Bill 60 was given an initial approval by the Council Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee at a meeting Thursday and now goes to the full Council for the second of three necessary approvals. But the part of the bill proposing to remove the rental caps remains an area of strong contention.

SA Editorial: Don’t lift housing program rent caps

read … City affordable housing rent caps might be lifted

Lawmakers set aside millions for overcrowding at Maui jail to prevent further riots

HNN: … Lawmakers had already set aside $8 million for long-term improvements, plus $7.5 million for 32 new beds, before the riots.

The new units will provide additional beds that should help alleviate cramped conditions to meet state and national standards….

When it was first construction, MCCC was designed to house 209 inmates. Currently, according to state officials, there are 422 inmates being held there, and Gomes says there are often five inmates in one cell….

KITV: Inside look at MCCC after riot causes $5 million repairs

MN: Eighteen inmates penalized in March fire, riot at Maui jail

read … Lawmakers set aside millions for overcrowding at Maui jail to prevent further riots

Maui Jailhouse: How Criminal Escapes Justice

MN: … An attempted murder charge was dismissed for a Napili man who was arrested last month, 17 years after a Maui County grand jury returned an indictment against him….

Vincent Guthery, 41, was released from jail Friday, after 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo dismissed the charge based on the delay in serving the arrest warrant.

“There is no acceptable reason for the lack of service within the 17 years that have passed,” she said.

She granted the dismissal without prejudice, so the state could decide to bring the charge again.

Guthery was indicted on the first-degree attempted murder charge in July 2002, six months after he was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for first-degree robbery, according to a motion seeking dismissal filed by Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears.

The attempted murder charge stemmed from an assault on another inmate on Dec. 26, 2001, while he and Guthery were in custody at the Maui Community Correctional Center…

It says the only attempt to serve the arrest warrant on Guthery was in August 2002 when the Maui Police Department sent a letter to the Honolulu Police Department requesting service of the warrant. A response letter in March 2003 said Guthery was “unserviceable,” and “confined in Arizona facility.”

The motion says there was no record of any other attempt to serve the warrant on Guthery “even though he was a Maui inmate being housed by a correctional facility in Arizona by the Department of Public Safety.”

Guthery was released on parole in April 2016 and was working in Lahaina, according to the motion.

He was arrested Oct. 24 on the bench warrant, with bail set at $100,000….

read … Soft on Crime

Public comments taken at community meeting about Red Hill fuel storage tanks

KHON: … People came to a public meeting Tuesday, Nov. 19 to let the federal Environmental Protection Agency know what they think about military fuel storage at Red Hill, and the risks it poses to Oahu’s water supply….

The meeting was held at Moanalua Middle School at 6 p.m. Nov. 19….

For links and more information on how to submit your comments ahead of the regulators’ decisions, click here….

read … Public comments taken at community meeting about Red Hill fuel storage tanks

Honolulu Lawyer Has Run A Marshallese Baby Business With Impunity

CB: … Laurie Loomis’ operation, including flying women from the Marshall Islands for adoptions, resembles that of a recently indicted Arizona lawyer, but thus far she has faced no consequences….

“They called us late one evening,” Emily Bernard recalls. “Twenty-four hours later, we were on a plane to Hawaii.” …

read …  Honolulu Lawyer Has Run A Marshallese Baby Business With Impunity

Hirono: 'White Nationalism Permeates Trump Administration. He Should Resign'

PJ: … Stephen Miller’s emails reinforce what we’ve known all along: that white nationalism permeates @realDonaldTrump’s administration ….

NR: Attack on Miller is ‘McCarthyism’

NYT: The White Nationalist Websites Cited by Stephen Miller

SPLC: STEPHEN MILLER: THE BREITBART EMAILS

read … Hirono: 'White Nationalism Permeates Trump Administration. He Should Resign'

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