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Sunday, October 11, 2020
October 11, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:34 PM :: 2529 Views

A Critical Time for OHA

OHA Races: Miske’s Lawyer Leads Developers Targeting ‘Watchdog’ in Grab for Kakaako Makai

Mililani Trask, Jackie Burke, Pua Ishibashi Endorse Keli’i Akina for OHA Trustee

Hawaii Family Forum General Election Voter Guide

Academic Leadership

Call for nominations for UH Board of Regents

QAnon Conspiracies, Proud Boys And The Future of Hawaii’s GOP

CB: …The party has struggled for the past decade to gain a meaningful foothold in the islands. The rise of Donald Trump and the radical right has only made the situation more dire….

The fact that Curtis and Ochs are the best the Republican Party has to offer in their respective races could spell trouble for the Hawaii GOP as a whole, according to political experts….

“…this doesn’t show to me an ideological shift within the party. It shows to me a vacuum because the Republican Party has so little clout in this state and so few voters behind it.” …

Some of the GOP’s brightest stars — Duke Aiona, Charles Djou, Beth Fukumoto and Andria Tupola —  have switched parties, run for nonpartisan office or left politics altogether.

With such a thin bench, Colin Moore, director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Hawaii, said that candidates with little name recognition and those who operate on the fringes of the party fill in the spaces left behind….

Andria Tupola knows there’s a struggle ahead for the Hawaii GOP….

“We’re a super minority in Hawaii and we should definitely focus on building up our foundation,” Tupola said. “We need to build our bench, and part of us becoming successful in larger races is understanding that recruiting and identifying credible upstanding candidates is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Tupola didn’t want to comment on Curtis or Ochs because she hasn’t been involved in their races.

Republicans in general have a hard time in Hawaii, Tupola said, and she has been working with a handful of candidates, including Kelly Kitashima, to help them gain a foothold….

Among the lessons she tries to teach are that the constituent’s concerns come first and how you define yourself matters.

For example, Kitashima confronts her conservatism on her campaign flyers. Not only does she define herself as a moderate Republican, she further explains that while she believes in less government regulation and lower taxes she’s also a supporter of LGBTQ+ and women’s rights as well as an advocate for the environment.

“You don’t run for office to go represent the Republican Party,” Tupola said. “You run for office to represent your district.”…

read … QAnon Conspiracies, Proud Boys And The Future of Hawaii’s GOP

Andrew Sullivan: Dreaming Of A Landslide

AS: … a (Biden) landslide is the only thing that can possibly, finally break the far right fever that has destroyed the GOP as a legitimate right-of-center political party, and turned it into a paranoid, media-driven, fact-free festival of fear and animus. It does not and cannot mean a return to the Bush era. The Republican move toward defending the unskilled, protecting working families, guarding entitlements, resisting urban wokeness, checking free trade absolutism, restraining overseas intervention, and curtailing mass immigration is one that need not be abandoned. Its time has come. But what the GOP has to grasp is that although Trump rose to power on these currents, and brilliantly exploited them, he also proved to be far too narcissistic and confrontational to harness them.

In fact, Trump severely hurt the cause for stronger immigration controls, because of his racial crassness, jaw-dropping cruelty, and terrible skills at deal-making. He has given the critical race theorists a living breathing caricature of right-racism, discrediting and demoralizing a liberal defense of color-blindness and equality. He has tainted a sane, necessary entrenchment of America’s global reach with support for dictatorships and contempt for our allies. He has worsened social and economic inequality, when a reformist conservatism would seek to “level up” a society wracked by hyper-global capitalism. A thumping defeat of the president, a serious shellacking, could help remove the tarnished toxicity of Trump from an agenda that, under younger leadership, could spawn a new, multicultural right-of-center majority.

You can see the kindling for it: in the growing success of Latinos in America and their desire to join the mainstream as generations of immigrants have done before them; in the dogged defense of meritocracy and hard work among Asian-Americans, as they fight left-racism in the school and college system; in the concern about crime that separates many sane black voters from white, wealthy liberals; in the staggeringly successful integration of gays and lesbians, a community as diverse as any in America, who are open, if they are not shunned, to a dialogue that focuses on more than the “systemic oppression” of the past. …

read … Dreaming Of A Landslide

Barrett Before Her Again: Can Hirono keep Anti-Catholic Bigotry under wraps (this time)?

TH: … (With an election underway) Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) committed on Sunday to avoid asking “irrelevant” questions about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religion during her confirmation hearing this week (unlike 2017 and 2019).

The Hawaii Democrat told CNN’s “State of the Union” that questions about Barrett’s Catholicism are “immaterial” and “irrelevant” (even though they seemed ‘relevant’ in 2017 and 2019.)

“Her religion is immaterial, irrelevant,” she said. “That is what I said. And so that is my position (this time). I am totally focused on what this nominee sitting there as a justice is gonna do in striking down the Affordable Care Act. That’s what I’m focused on (this time).” 

“I’m not gonna be asking her questions about her religious views,” she added. “They’re irrelevant (this time).”

2017: Hirono Spews Anti-Catholic Bigotry in Barrett's Senate Hearing – “Ms. Barrett, I think your article is very plain in your perspective about the role of religion for judges, and particularly with regard to Catholic judges,” said Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii

2019: Gabbard Rips Religious Bigotry After Hirono Demands Judicial Nominee Quit Knights of Columbus

2019: Unanimous: US Senate Rebukes Anti-Catholic Bigot Mazie Hirono

read … Hirono commits to avoiding 'irrelevant' questions about Barrett's religion during her confirmation hearing

Plans moving forward on new Oahu jail despite economic woes

SA: … A report due out later this month is expected to detail the cost, size, funding options and number of misdemeanor detainees and other inmates who could be appropriately held at the new proposed OCCC.

A 2017 environmental impact statement projected the cost at $65 million. But whatever 2020 cost estimates come out of this month’s “business case analysis” by WT Partnership, Ige said, “clearly it’s a very expensive undertaking.”

At the same time, Ige said record low interest rates and a friendly bond market combine to provide “a clear opportunity to build a replacement facility.”

The Legislature, at this point, isn’t expected to be asked for any money or to approve any OCCC construction-related bills in the 2021 session, among all of the other demands lawmakers will face….

The first Oahu Prison was built in 1857 near the current Salvation Army on Nimitz Highway in Iwilei. In 1916 the prison was replaced by the Oahu Community Correctional Center, built on its current 16-acre site in Kalihi, bordered by Dillingham Boulevard and Puuhale Road. More structures were added in the 1950s and on to address overcrowding….

Since at least 1964, none of the efforts to build a new site for the Oahu Community Correctional Center has gotten this far….

read … Plans moving forward on new Oahu jail despite economic woes

3rd Member of Alleged Miske Gang Released

ILind: … Michael J. Buntenbah was ordered released from federal detention on Friday, October 9, after filing a secured mortgage for $500,000 with the clerk of the Federal District Court in Honolulu. Buntenbah was one of the 11 men named in a June 2020 indictment charging them with taking part in a variety of crimes under the direction of Honolulu businessman Michael Miske….

The court set bail at $500,000 and allowed a secured mortgage to be accepted in lieu of a cash bond. The court imposed a number of additional conditions, including GPS tracking. The mortgage provides that if he fails to comply with the conditions of bail, may foreclose and, in addition, will have an immediate right of receivership pending foreclosure.

He is the third of the defendants to be allowed release on bail pending trial.

The mortgage on Buntenbah’s family home at 45-170 Popoki Street in Kaneohe was filed with the court on Thursday afternoon, October 8, and he was ordered released the following day.

Real property records show the 4,149 home has eight bedrooms and 5-1/2 baths, with an assessed value for tax purposes of $1,358,400. However, it is encumbered by at least two existing mortgages. In June 2014, Buntenbah obtained a $395,000 mortgage loan from Honolulu Homeloans Inc., later assigned to First Hawaiian Bank, records show. He later took out a $225,000 line of credit from the Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union, which was reduced to a $100,000 credit limit in July 2019.

Real estate records show Buntenbah/Malone owns several other properties, including a one-acre agricultural lot in Hawaii’s Eden Roc Estates, and a 70% interest in 12-acres of agricultural land in Pepeekeo that includes a 3-bedroom 3-bath home.

Buntenbah/Malone still faces two felony assault charges stemming from a January 2016 assault in Miske’s M Nightclub. The case had been repeatedly postponed due to the federal investigation, and is now scheduled to go to trial in April 2021.

read … Buntenbah released from detention

State reopening Hawaii tourism on a wish and a prayer

Shapiro: … we can’t forever delay trying to revive our economy.

But hopes must be attached to workable plans, and unfortunately we’ve seen too few of those from the state in the months since the pandemic started. A weary public is understandingly skittish about inviting more coronavirus in along with tourists.

The state’s plan allows visitors who take a COVID test that proves negative within 72 hours of their arrival to skip Ige’s 14-day quarantine.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is in charge of logistics, insists this will weed out the vast majority of positive cases, but there is disagreement among some of his fellow public officials and physicians, who seek a second test after arrival to assure public safety.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell supports the one-test plan, but the Honolulu City Council unanimously asked Ige to delay the reopening until the state can arrange second tests.

Ige rejected Kauai’s proposal to do second tests with kits it obtained on its own, and Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has threatened to opt out of the reopening without two tests.

Not a scenario that inspires public confidence, with daily cases hovering around 100 here and rising on the mainland….

read … State reopening Hawaii tourism on a wish and a prayer

Potential data breach exposed in state’s travel exemption request system

HNN: … The state is investigating a potential breach of data within one of their systems tied to the Attorney General’s office.

Nearly 150 individuals who applied for a travel exemption through the state Attorney General’s website were notified Friday about the potential breach.

It impacts applicants between Sept. 18 and Sept. 21.

In the email notice, officials say during that time, the system could have been exploited to allow users to access the personal information of other applicants. This information is believed to have exposed names, phone numbers, and copies of state IDs.

It’s unclear however if any information was in fact compromised, but the system has reportedly been fixed.

read … Potential data breach exposed in state’s travel exemption request system

Enrollment down at UH-Hilo, HCC

WHT: … Enrollment at the University of Hawaii at Hilo has declined this fall as the school faces impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the UH Institutional Research and Analysis Office, enrollment at UH-Hilo is down 6.1% this fall to 3,165, compared to 3,372 in fall 2019. …

UH: Incoming class of 2021 gets a ‘Fast Pass’ to UH

read … Enrollment down at UH-Hilo, HCC

Hawaii school board chief Catherine Payne urges dropping Acellus online curriculum

SA: … Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne wants Hawaii’s schools to stop using the Acellus distance-learning program by the end of the academic year and allow parents to opt out immediately.

Payne has put the subject on the agenda for action at Thursday’s board meeting, directing the Department of Education to phase out the controversial curriculum. In a memo, she called the department’s selection of Acellus “a mistake made in the midst of chaos brought on by the pandemic.”

Some teachers and parents in Hawaii have decried the content on the video-based instructional platform as racist, sexist, inaccurate, outdated and lacking rigor. The Acellus Learning Accelerator, owned by the unaccredited International Academy of Science in Kansas City, Mo., offers more than 300 courses in kindergarten through 12th grade and is used by home­schooling students and schools across the country. …

read … Hawaii school board chief Catherine Payne urges dropping Acellus online curriculum

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