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Monday, February 03, 2020
February 3, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:29 PM :: 1520 Views

Honolulu Stormwater Costs 400% of US Average

Red Light Cameras: The Risks of Privatizing Law Enforcement

Week 2 at the Legislature

Sen Susan Collins Campaign Is Being Helped by a Mysterious Hawaii Company

Andria Tupola Announces Run for Council District 1

Committee Releases Whistleblower Allegations of Misconduct at FAA Honolulu Office

Telescope Protesters Want to be Tried by Military Tribunal, Guantanamo-style

ILind: … It turns out that Dexter Kaiama and his apparent partner, sovereignty activist and theorist David Keanu Sai, have other items in their bag of tricks.

In one of several cases involving defendants who were arrested last year during the protests on Mauna Kea, Kaiama agues that only a “properly constituted” military tribunal has jurisdiction over his client, apparently based on the premise that Hawaii is occupied by an enemy power (the United States) and therefore governed by the laws of war and those setting rules for the treatment of populations in occupied territories.

The State of Hawai‘i, through the Department of the Attorney General (hereinafter “STATE”), has filed charges of Obstruction in the District Court of the Third Circuit, against Defendant Kaliko Kanaele (hereinafter “KANAELE”).

However, the STATE cannot claim relief from the District Court of the Third Circuit because the appropriate court with subject matter jurisdiction in the Hawaiian Islands is an Article II Court established under and by virtue of Article II of the U.S. Constitution in compliance with Hague Convention IV, art. 43, Oct. 18, 1907, 36 Stat. 2277. Article 43, 1907 Hague Convention IV (36 U.S. Stat. 2277). Article II Courts are Military Courts established by authority of the President, being Federal Courts, which were established as “the product of military occupation.”
See David J. Bederman, Article II Courts, 44 Mercer L. Rev. 825, 826 (1992-1993).

Military Courts are generally based upon the occupant’s customary and conventional duty to govern occupied territory and to maintain law and order.

The fundamental question before this Court is whether or not it has subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), or, in other words, is the District Court of the Third Circuit “regularly constituted” under the Constitution and laws of the United States. Pursuant to the argument presented below and the declaration and exhibits attached hereto, KANAELE submit and provide formal notice that this court is not “regularly constituted” and lacks lawful subject matter jurisdiction over the instant Complaint.

Elsewhere in the legal memo Kaiama relies on the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court back in 2006.

If you don’t recall the case, here’s a summary:

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former chauffeur, was captured by Afghan forces and imprisoned by the U.S. military in Guantanamo Bay. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court to challenge his detention. Before the district court ruled on the petition, he received a hearing from a military tribunal, which designated him an enemy combatant.

A few months later, the district court granted Hamdan’s habeas petition, ruling that he must first be given a hearing to determine whether he was a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention before he could be tried by a military commission. The Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed the decision, however, finding that the Geneva Convention could not be enforced in federal court and that the establishment of military tribunals had been authorized by Congress and was therefore not unconstitutional.

I’ll leave you to ponder just how the case of Osama bin Laden’s driver is supposed to be considered comparable to that of a Hawaii resident and U.S. citizen arrested during a protest on Mauna Kea involving civil disobedience.

I’ll be returning in future posts begin to explain how misdirection, misrepresentation, and clear falsehoods have been used to take such arguments from the realm of the ludicrous to the marginally believable, at least to those who have consumed the current brand of Hawaiian sovereignty Kool Aid.

Be careful, it’s crazy out there!

2019: With Help from Maui Council, Convicted Sovereignty Scammer Keanu Sai Launches ‘Hawaiian Kingdom’ Bond Sales

read … More of the sovereignty movement’s pseudo-legal theories

TMT Hot Potato: Hawaii Leaders Are Ducking Responsibility On Mauna Kea

CB: … no one seems to be making any progress on the $1.4 billion telescope…

Legislative leaders say they’re waiting on Gov. David Ige and Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim to come forward with proposals. Ige says it’s not his responsibility but that he’s willing to help Kim if he asks.

Meanwhile, Kim has been waiting on all of them to act on a plan he’s already put together, which lawmakers have hinted is insufficient….

House Speaker Scott Saiki said shortly after Ige’s State of the State speech on Jan. 21 that he had not received a request from the governor’s administration to look at restructuring management of the mountain. Likewise, Senate President Ron Kouchi was also waiting for direction from either Ige or Kim….

There’s broad support for TMT in both the House and Senate.

In a meeting with Civil Beat’s editorial board last week, Ige said a 2017 lawsuit from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stopped talks of restructuring Mauna Kea’s management, even though Kim’s plan in September includes a pledge from the governor that he would work with the Legislature to do so.

The University of Hawaii is the only stakeholder that seems to be making any progress on restructuring the management.

UH President David Lassner told the Board of Regents at a Jan. 16 meeting that UH lawyers are looking at other complex land regimes like the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, the state park system and even Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as management models.

The regents asked to have a plan ready by April….

“It’s premature for the Legislature to act if the Big Island mayor doesn’t address what the path forward is,” Rep. Sylvia Luke, the House Finance Committee chair, said in January….

Kim was surprised to hear that the legislators are waiting on him for proposals…

Kim said he has not had any communication with legislators regarding Mauna Kea.  “I felt it was not my place to go to communicate with them on what they’re doing,” Kim said….

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics plans to investigate why the county has not taken action to stamp out the protests, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported….

read … TMT Hot Potato: Hawaii Leaders Are Ducking Responsibility On Mauna Kea

Campaign contributions up sharply in 2nd half of 2019

ILind: … Contributions to all candidates during the six month period between July 1 and December 31, 2019 totalled $2,932,347.77, compared to just $1,318,371.45 in the comparable period in 2015. That’s an increase of more than 122 percent.

The totals do not include amounts raised by candidates for federal office, including presidential candidates.

The data reported to the Campaign Spending Commission for the period was due on Friday, and the reports as filed by candidates are already available online.

I just downloaded the available data and did some quick totals to see where all the money went. The list below shows candidates that raised $15,000 or more during the six-month period.

The list is quite top heavy. The four leading candidates for Honolulu mayor combined to take slightly more than the overall total of all candidates in 2015….

read … Campaign contributions up sharply in 2nd half of 2019

Can changing a federal maritime law help lower Hawaii's cost of living? U.S. Rep. Ed Case thinks so

KITV: … Construction companies claim they're vulnerable to shipping prices, and at the mercy of only two shipping operators in the market -- Matson and Pasha.

"If you buy something, construction component or a service, you have multiple entities to buy it from, and if one is too high, you can get another one. But in Hawaii, that's not true. Because everything is imported to us," says Brett Hill, president and CEO of Brett Hill Construction. "So everything from the drywall to the screws to the wiring, even the concrete, even though it's mixed here."

Hill says those costs are absorbed or passed on to clients -- a big reason why construction budgets are about 25% higher than the rest of the country. …

Case calls the justification of homeland security a farce.

"I have no concerns that in times of security, we will be able to access sufficient shipping from around the world to satisfy our security concerns. This is not a major issue for the military," Case said.

Michael Hansen represents small to medium sized cargo shippers in Hawaii -- he says when companies like Matson are required to only buy American-built ships, the price is up to five times higher than it could be. For instance, Matson's newest ship "The Lurline" cost a reported $255 million. 

"That same ship could have been purchased from the company, which designed it in South Korea, for about $50 million. So we're looking at a huge differential between foreign build and U.S. build costs," Hansen said, noting shipping operators have to take out loans or mortgages to buy the expensive vessels.

Supporters of Jones Act reform say Hawaii is subsidizing the cost of keeping alive a dying shipbuilding industry, which employs only about 2,000 people in the continental U.S. They say jobs in Hawaii will not be affected by the changes being proposed.

Shipping costs are a major concern interisland as well. Shipping operator Young Brothers is currently asking state regulators for a 34% rate hike. The state Public Utilities Commission has held public hearings across the islands on the issue. There is one today at 5:30 p.m. at Aupuni Center, 101 Aupuni St., Suite 1 in Hilo. …

read … Can changing a federal maritime law help lower Hawaii's cost of living? U.S. Rep. Ed Case thinks so

Gun rights advocates rally at the state Capitol

SA: … The event was organized by the Hawaii Firearms Coalition and featured displays of American flags and signs on the Beretania Street side of the Capitol. In a green aloha shirt with rifles on it was coalition Director Andrew Namiki Roberts, who spoke at the podium.

“This year we have a lot of legislation coming up that are removing different parts of the rights to bear arms. … People in Hawaii actually care about the Second Amendment,” Roberts said, referring to the U.S. Constitution. “The legislators seem to think that not many people in Hawaii own guns when actually about 40% of homes in Hawaii have firearms in them.” ….

One example of a “pro-gun” bill is Senate Bill 2728, a measure that would require the state to reimburse legal fees and wages for anyone who is involved in a shooting, charged with a crime and later acquitted because the shooting was found to be justified.

That bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Other bills pending before lawmakers include a measure to waive penalties for people who register their firearms late; a measure proposed by the Honolulu Police Department that targets so-called “ghost guns” that can be assembled from components purchased online; another to establish universal training requirements for anyone who seeks to acquire a firearm in Hawaii; and another that would tighten regulations on the sale of ammunition….

Related: Second Amendment Rally Set for Capitol

read … Gun rights advocates rally at the state Capitol

The Plan is to Let lots and Lots of Criminals Back out onto the Streets

SA: … There are many proven ways to reduce the jail population, and they should be our first priority. We should focus on diverting low-level offenders away from the criminal justice system and into community-based care, eliminating cash bail for individuals who can be safely supervised in the community while awaiting trial, issuing citations to low-level offenders instead of putting them in jail, and providing treatment options to probation violators instead of locking them up. If we focused on these few but important policy changes we could build a jail that is half the size and cost of the one the state is planning to build.

The most important decision in planning a jail is deciding its role. Jails have traditionally been a place to hold dangerous criminals who are awaiting trial and misdemeanants who are serving sentences of a year or less. But times have changed and so has our jail population.

Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) is filled with poor, homeless, low-level offenders, many of whom suffer from mental illness and substance abuse disorders These people live on the street and endlessly cycle through our jails and emergency rooms, costing the state millions, without ever getting the help they need….

Related: Honolulu Prosecutor Debate: Only Megan Kau Pledges to Keep Criminal Suspects Locked up

read … Make Honolulu Just Like San Francisco

HTLA Flies 744 Homeless out of Hawaii—16 Fly Back In

SA: … since 2014, private and public Hawaii funds have paid for half of the airfare to send 744 homeless people back to their families on the mainland and to the Federates States of Micronesia — without any obligation from Hawaii of prearranged jobs or housing support. The homeless people’s families paid the other half of the airfare.

A bill before the state Legislature — House Bill 1945 — asks for $1.5 million in transient accommodations tax revenues to provide a dollar-for-dollar match to fundraising efforts led by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association to pay for a wide variety of homeless-related projects, including flying homeless people out of the islands.

The so-called “repatriation program” is run on three islands by the Institute for Human Services on Oahu, Maui Family Life Center and Kauai Economic Opportunity.

The HLTA also wants to partner with a Hawaii island nonprofit organization to fly homeless people from the Big Island, said Mufi Hannemann, the HLTA’s president and CEO….

Hannemann was unapologetic that Hawaii’s repatriation program has sent 744 homeless people — from Kauai, Maui and primarily Oahu — back to their families in Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, the Federated States of Micronesia and, mostly, California.

“A lot of them are coming out of California,” he said.

The bulk of the homeless who were flown out of Hawaii — 646 — were homeless on Oahu, and 16 later returned to Oahu, Hannemann said.

Another 68 were flown out of Maui, and 30 more were from Kauai, he said….

read … Legislation seeks to continue flying isle homeless back home

Red-light-scamera bill advances in Legislature

SA: … Hawaii counties would be authorized to establish three-year programs to test out a new photo enforcement system for ticketing people who run red lights under a bill that won preliminary approval last week from the House Transportation Committee.

House Bill 1676 would require that the money from the fines collected under the photo enforcement program be spent in the county where the tickets were issued.

The measure was opposed by the Hawaii Office of the Public Defender but supported by Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, the Honolulu Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii and the state Department of Transportation….

Related: Red Light Cameras: The Risks of Privatizing Law Enforcement

read … Red-light-camera bill advances in Legislature

Looking for solutions for Honolulu’s aging airport

KHON: … Hawaii’s airport overhaul has gone into overtime, with billions spent, and customer satisfaction rankings are still among the lowest in the nation.

Always Investigating went step by step through Honolulu’s airport, the good and great, and the bad and ugly. We found that a focus on amenities and getting construction done sooner would impress passengers the most. A debate continues, however, over whether a form of privatization is needed.

Leaky ceilings and wet floors, plywood-lined hallways, and those bathrooms — some parts of Honolulu’s airport are still in need of a major makeover.

“We cannot have our first appearance for tourists, and their last going-away thoughts, be a derelict, run-down airport,” said State Senator Glenn Wakai, chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology. “We’re third world.”

That’s despite a massive statewide airport modernization that was supposed to be long done by now.

In 2006, then-Gov. Linda Lingle announced a $2.3 billion, 12-year plan to make Hawaii’s consistently low-ranked airports competitive with the best in the nation.

Fourteen years, two governors and nearly $3 billion later, Always Investigating is told it will be a lot longer still before the constant state of construction gives way to a cohesive finished product….

read … Looking for solutions for Honolulu’s aging airport

New entry restrictions put in place at Honolulu’s airport amid growing coronavirus fears

HNN: …The new restrictions were announced after the Trump Administration declared the deadly virus a public health emergency, and the TSA followed up with additional guidelines over the weekend.

Under the new rules:

Americans returning from the epicenter of the outbreak ― Hubei province, China ― will be quarantined for 14 days. The Pentagon has said it’s prepared to house them on military bases.

Others returning from elsewhere in China within the last 14 days will be told to self-monitor, but will have to enter the United States through one of 11 gateway airports (including Honolulu).

Foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be temporarily barred from entry. This does not apply to immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

In an email to employees Saturday, TSA administrator David Pekoske said airlines will now be required to ask passengers whether they’ve traveled to mainland China within the last 14 days.

“Under these directives, non-US citizens who have been in China within 14 days of their planned travel will not be permitted to fly to the United States,” he wrote….

read … New entry restrictions put in place at Honolulu’s airport amid growing coronavirus fears

Vacation rental denials appealed

WHT: … Appeals are pouring in from vacation rental owners who were denied permits, with the county Board of Appeals agenda including 25 contested cases for its Feb. 14 meeting in Kona.

Of those, 15 are in Waimea, five in Kailua-Kona, three in Captain Cook, one in Pepeekeo and one in Pahala. That’s in addition to a Captain Cook contested hearing held in December and continued to March 13.

“The BOA currently has 43 open cases, three of which pre-date Bill 108, and the vast majority of which concern short term vacation rentals,” Board of Appeals Administrator Ron Whitmore said Wednesday. “Four additional petitions have been received recently but not yet reviewed for completeness.”

The Planning Department typically schedules the appeals in the order they come in. The Board of Appeals must take up an appeal within 90 days after it’s filed, under the rules.

West Hawaii accounts for 82% of the county’s short-term vacation rental applications in permitted areas and just 25% of those in non-permitted areas, according to a Planning Department report.

More appeals are expected, as the Planning Department works its way through more than 4,000 applications for vacation rental permits it’s received since the new law went into effect last year. As of November, the department had denied some 80 or 90 applications after plowing through 900 of the applications.

It’s estimated that about 1,600 of those include applications for nonconforming use certificates that are required in order to grandfather in those preexisting vacation rentals outside approved areas….

read … Vacation rental denials appealed

Window opens for tribes to seek licenses for internet access—Will DHHL be Included?

AP: … The tribal priority window closes Aug. 3.

Some organizations see limits to the licensing rules that they are challenging with the FCC.

Land designated for Native Hawaiians is included in the push to expand internet access to rural, tribal areas. But, Native Hawaiians can’t apply for the licenses because they’re not among the 574 federally recognized tribes.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is asking the FCC to waive the eligibility requirement so it can apply on behalf of Native Hawaiians who live on homesteads across 318 square miles (823 square kilometers) on six islands.

“This trust relationship is uniquely similar to that of federally recognized tribes and, yet, not affording Native Hawaiians a similar opportunity for access to spectrum licenses creates an inequity that is contrary to the public interest,” the department wrote to the FCC last month.

Burt Lum, broadband strategist for the state of Hawaii, said the home lands have varying degrees of connectivity.

“It’s technology enabling a community for self-determination,” he said….

2018: Criminal Al Hee's Scam Company Sandwich Isles Communications Closing--All Workers Laid Off 

read … Window opens for tribes to seek licenses for internet access

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