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Wednesday, December 25, 2019
December 25, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:04 PM :: 1411 Views

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

Feds: State Historic Preservation Division now only Medium Risk

DLNR: Only 3 Bums Ticketed in Latest Napali Coast Sweep

After Helping Destroy Hawaii, Anti-Telescope Councilmember Moving to Virginia

HTH: … At issue was a series of comments under a Hawaii Tribune-Herald link posted to Facebook about a group interested in reopening the Ookala dairy. Poindexter had worked to force the closure of the previous dairy operation after manure-contaminated stormwater was discharged into state waters (coming up with an excuse)….

“Valerie Poindexter is moving to Virginia. She wants to kill any opportunities for Hawaiians to be self-reliant and food secure while she runs to the mainland. Her firm support of herbicide bans, anti TMT and anti Agriculture proves this. She is farmers and ranchers and hunters worst enemy,” Impson-Richards posted Sunday. “They would rather have gated communities up and down the Hamakua coast than small farmers actually making a living.”

Poindexter repeated Impson-Richards’ comment on Poindexter’s own Facebook page.

“She has characterized me as being an enemy to the farmers and ranchers,” she said, (grinning broadly).

Poindexter’s post on her own page resulted in almost 100 comments in support of the councilwoman (and her efforts to kill off all non-tourism activities in Hawaii). Among them were Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder and state Sen. Russell Ruderman, D-Puna. 

(Good. Know thy enemies.)

Poindexter Flashback: Co-sponsors Rally at Larry Mehau homesee article

HNN: The Decade of the Native Hawaiian

read … Poindexter mulls mainland move

City report claims housing shortage will end in 2028, but experts are skeptical

HNN: … The report by the Department of Planning and Permitting said that population growth over the next several years will slow down while the inventory of known housing projects will grow significantly.

But real estate expert Ricky Cassiday said the city’s forecasted inventory includes projects announced in the media and those whose developers have sought zoning or permit requests.

He said many of those projects won’t be built -- especially if population growth slows….

He said many of projects included by the city “are just entitlements on a piece land and some pieces of land will never get developed.”…

read … City report claims housing shortage will end in 2028, but experts are skeptical

Give everyone a raise by lowering the cost of living

TGI: … That means saying no to more government spending. It means lowering lower taxes and fees, opening up more land for housing and changing the state from one that is regulation-heavy and unfriendly to business to one that welcomes entrepreneurs and spurs innovation….

read … Give everyone a raise by lowering the cost of living

Both sides downplay likelihood of confrontation on Maunakea Access Road

HTH: … County officials and protesters alike seem skeptical that a confrontation will occur at Maunakea Access Road on Thursday, but both sides remain cautious….

Mayor Harry Kim told the Tribune-Herald on Tuesday that the Dec. 26 deadline is a meaningless date with no real significance.

“Right now, Dec. 26 is not a relevant date,” Kim said. “But the goal of clearing it out as soon as possible still remains.”

Kim said he is working with the university and the protesters — notably referring to them as protectors, their preferred appellation — to open the road peacefully.

Currently, drivers attempting to reach the summit must circumvent a large conglomeration of tents on the access road, through a makeshift dirt lane on the west side of the road. Although the lane is wide enough to accommodate large vehicles, the high number of pedestrians in the area requires constant vigilance.

However, protest leaders also seem to doubt the possibility of a clash Thursday. Protest leader Andre Perez said Tuesday he is confident that there will be no enforcement action Thursday.

“My understanding is that, when they said ‘leave by Dec. 26 or else,’ that ‘or else’ is not definitive,” Perez said.

Perez said he understands any major enforcement action to clear the road will require significant planning and mobilization, which is unlikely to happen the day the deadline expires. Presumably, he said, any enforcement will occur at a later date.

Perez said the protest’s kupuna, or elders, were in communication with Kim on Tuesday and are deliberating about their options. One of those options might be shifting the tents to the side of the road to open both lanes, while still being able to block the road to interfere with TMT construction if needed, but it is not clear whether the state would accommodate such a compromise.

An update on the protesters’ official social media channels reads, “While the deadline to clear the road is December 26th, we do not believe that law enforcement will attempt to sweep kupuna and kia‘i on this day, but we must remain vigilant and prepared.”….

HPR: The governor’s office would not confirm that such an ultimatum had been issued, saying only that the administration would not disclose operational details.

read … Both sides downplay likelihood of confrontation on Maunakea Access Road

Cost of Not Enforcing Law: Hawaii County PD $3M Over Budget

HTH: … The county is a little less than halfway through fiscal year 2019-2020, but five months of increased police presence on Daniel K. Inouye Highway near Maunakea Access Road has put the Hawaii Police Department over budget, a high-ranking police official told the Hawaii County Police Commission on Friday during the panel’s monthly meeting in Hilo.

“Right now, we’re over budget by $3 million,” Assistant Chief Samuel Thomas told commissioners. “I will attribute a fair amount of that to the amount in manpower overtime. Hopefully, there will be a resolution into the repayment by the state for that money.”…

Since July, the county has racked up more than $5 million in law enforcement expenses related to Maunakea and the increased traffic enforcement on the highway that ended Dec. 19.

“I thought I heard in the last meeting that we’d actually been repaid from the state,” said Vice Chairman John Bertsch, who was elected chairman starting next year.

“We have the check, but we — ,” Thomas replied, hesitating.

“Can’t cash it?” Bertsch asked.

“Correct,” Thomas replied, alluding to concerns the County Council expressed about conditions the state attached to the reimbursement….

Ige said the state would reimburse the county for its expenses related to those demonstrations. In November, state and county officials, including Ige, Mayor Harry Kim and state Attorney General Clare Connors signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to such a deal.

The County Council was not part of that agreement, and on Dec. 18, it unanimously rejected a $10 million reimbursement deal with the state that would cover the costs of police enforcement at Maunakea Access Road. The sticking point was a condition the county enter into a five-year agreement with the state that would determine the use of the money….

read … Increased police presence on Daniel K. Inouye Highway put department $3M over budget

Summit tours to resume? Companies cautiously optimistic; Maunakea VIS to reopen

HTH: … The consequences of failing to leave the access road are unclear, but some protesters — who are opposing the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea — believe the state will use force to remove noncomplying people on Thursday.

“We’re just keeping an eye on whatever happens on the 26th,” said Jason Cohn, vice president of marketing for Hawaii Forest &Trail, a tour company that, before the access road closed, regularly took tour groups to Maunakea’s summit.

Siobhan Stewart, a receptionist for tour company Arnott’s Lodge and Hiking Adventure, said Arnott’s has sent some tour groups to the summit on Sunday and Monday, but will wait to see the results Thursday before committing to regular tours.

If nothing drastically changes on Thursday, Cohn said Hawaii Forest &Trail is tentatively ready to resume summit tours on Friday.

If the road remains open, tour groups can be among the first to experience the fruits of a million-dollar renovation of the University of Hawaii-operated Maunakea Visitor Information Station, which is scheduled to reopen on Saturday.

UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said the VIS will reopen seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., an improvement on its operating hours before the closure, which were 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UH’s Office of Maunakea Management spent $1.53 million to improve the VIS, located more than 9,000 feet above sea level, beginning in January. That project, which added a new parking lot and modified traffic circulation around the station, began in January and was completed in July, but it could not be experienced by any visitors after the access road closed….

read … Summit tours to resume? Companies cautiously optimistic; Maunakea VIS to reopen

Kahuku Wind farm opponents take fight to zoning board

SA: … The nonprofit Keep the North Shore Country is taking its fight against the Kahuku wind project to the Honolulu Zoning Board of Appeals, charging that the city wrongfully permitted the turbines to be located closer to homes and schools than should be allowed under the Land Use Ordinance.

In a petition filed Monday, the group is asking the panel to rescind four approvals Acting Planning Director Kathy Sokugawa granted to AES Corp. for its Na Pua Makani wind farm….

Opponents argue that the turbines are too close to farmworker dwellings, the Kahuku Fire and Police Station, the Kahuku Medical Center and Kahuku Elementary and High School, posing a health threat.

Lance Collins, an attorney for Keep the North Shore Country, said the land use ordinance requires a wind machine to be set back a distance that’s at least equal to its height. The Na Pua Makani turbines range in height from 591 to 656 feet, but the city has granted waivers allowing them as close as 284 feet from the property line, he said.

The land use ordinance prohibits the city from modifying the minimum standards for conditional use, he said.

On a separate point, the city approvals included a condition that a $2 million community benefits package directly assist the Kahuku community, Collins said. Instead, many of those benefits have been going to help neighboring communities, including the Laie Community Association, or the North Shore region as a whole, he said.

The petition seeks to revoke the permits and require AES to move two of the turbines farther away from adjacent properties and/or lower the heights of the two machines….

Keep the North Shore Country is also fighting the project in state court, arguing that the 25-megawatt project is likely to have an adverse impact on the endangered Hawaiian hoary bats that populate the area…

read … Kahuku Wind farm opponents take fight to zoning board

Hawaii Carbon Offset Report is Released

IM: … The whole fields of carbon pricing and carbon credits are extremely complex, confusing, and open to gaming, manipulation, and fraud.

The AECOM report notes the need for a common language.“The language associated with carbon offsets is complex because the definitions are often loose, interchangeable, and are used differently under different programs.”

Free-market economists love offsets and other market-based solutions.

“Offsets were originally intended to bridge the gap between high and low-cost greenhouse gas reductions."

“For example, if a regulated entity (e.g. production facility) is emitting greenhouse gases and needs to lower their volume of emissions, they have two choices: 1) invest in technologies or solutions to produce fewer emissions, or 2) purchase carbon offsets. Purchasing offset credits is a lower cost alternative to changing their manufacturing process, for example, while still lowering their regulated emissions.”

One argument against voluntary offsets is whether they induce greenwashing. 

Not appearing in the report is this description of the potential for manipulation. “Trust us, we are reducing emissions, we are selling you a document that verifies what we are saying, you can continue to pollute, but with this document, you know you are carbon neutral. We could participate in an accredited carbon offset program since we meet all of their specifications, but they require large financial payments and rely excessively needless paperwork.  By the way, if you truly believe us, we have other things we would like to sell you as part of our voluntary program.” ….

read … Hawai`i Carbon Offset Report is Released

More Homeless Mayhem: Suspected arsonist now accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

HNN: … A man accused of setting a Volcano vacation rental home on fire has also been charged with sexual assault and kidnapping

New court documents reveal Justin Bardwell allegedly exposed himself to two women last Friday on the Big Island.

Bardwell is also accused of holding one of the women against her will.

The new allegations come just about a month after the 32-year-old allegedly set fire to a vacation rental in the Volcano Golf & Country Club subdivision….

read … Homeless just arrived from Connecticut

Prosecutors keep up manslaughter quest against U.S. agent Christopher Deedy

AP: … Prosecutors pursuing a third trial against a federal agent for a fatal 2011 shooting in a Waikiki McDonald’s restaurant plan to take their quest to the U.S. Supreme Court.

They want the high court to weigh in on whether they can try U.S. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy again on a manslaughter charge, Brooks Baehr, spokesman for the Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office, said today.

Prosecutors must now turn to the Supreme Court after the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals rejected last week a request for a wider panel of judges to hear the case. A 2013 murder trial for Deedy ended in a hung jury. A second jury in 2014 acquitted him of murder but deadlocked on manslaughter….

Background: Before Waikiki Shooting, Chris Deedy in Benghazi

read … Prosecutors keep up manslaughter quest against U.S. agent Christopher Deedy

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