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Monday, December 15, 2014
December 15, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:26 PM :: 3940 Views

Hawaii Teens #1 in E-Cigarette Use

Friends of Lanai Takes on NextEra

CB: ...here’s what I learned about your company:

  • You paid a $2.5 million settlement in 2010 for thousands of bird kills by your Altamont wind turbines in California. This was one of the very few penalties imposed on a company like yours, Jim, and you need to know we have lots of endangered flora and fauna here in Hawaii, not to mention protected sea creatures.
  • Last year in Ontario, unhappy with being parodied as “Next Terror” and “Next Error” by a 32-year-old mother of two who was upset over a planned Big Wind project near her home, you slapped Esther Wrightman with a SLAPP suit (“strategic lawsuit against public participation”) claiming that she was a competitor because she sought donations.   I hear she’s moving as a result. You will be happy to learn that Hawaii passed anti-SLAPP provisions in 2001, so you can save a few pennies on legal fees here in the Aloha State.

Meanwhile, you’ve sure been busy back in our islands. Your NextEra Energy Hawaii told the PUC last year that it has already spent a pile of money chasing a cable between Maui and Oahu, and to hurry up and let you build it; for reasons not entirely clear you intervened in the Castle & Cooke Lanai wind docket; Neil let slip in his State of the State address(see video at minute 26:11) that you wanted the state to buy Dole lands on Oahu so you could put in (something) utility-scale, although “NextEra” instantly disappeared from the official text; and you just filed for approval of a PPA for 15 MW of industrial solar in Waianae. Think you would make out better buying and selling power to and from yourself, Jim? Think: Kahe Solar.

I see on Dec. 7, 2014, you told Richard Borreca and Star-Advertiser staff that when it comes to the undersea cable, “We haven’t decided yet.” This is troubling, Jim, as Hawaii’s energy landscape is littered with failed attempts by mega-corporations to decide what’s best for us, without asking us first. We Hawaii residents like to be included in any conversation that impacts us, our islands and our resources. Just ask Robbie Alm and billionaire David Murdock what happens when community is ignored.

So we all clear on that, Jim? Sure hope so, because this is not Florida, and the good people of I Aloha Molokai and Friends of Lanai — just two of Hawaii’s many thriving environmental alliances — can energize in a nano-second.

And unlike Esther Wrightman, we’re not moving. Imagine that.

read ... Not Moving

OHA Sues Office of Information Practices for Daring to Nail Sunshine Law Violation 

SA: Declaring the opinion of the state Office of Information Practices "palpably erroneous," OHA filed an appeal in Circuit Court in the first legal challenge of its kind under a new law that permits such appeals....

In its Dec. 5 filing in Circuit Court, the OHA board asks for the opinion to be reversed in a "special session" as spelled out by a state law that took effect at the beginning of 2013. OHA also asks for its attorney's fees to be paid for.

The specific reasons for why the Office of Information Practices was "palpably erroneous" are not spelled out in the complaint. Instead, it said the reasons are found in responses sent to the OIP.

In those responses prepared by OHA attorney Robert Klein for Machado, the board argued that its actions leading to creating "the Rescission Letter" did not constitute a "meeting" as defined in the Sunshine Law. Under the law, a "meeting" is defined as the convening of a board for which a quorum is required to deliberate on a matter.

As for the May 19 violation, nothing in the Sunshine Law prohibits OHA from holding an executive meeting closed to the public regarding personnel, according to the OHA response.

In a precedent-setting opinion, the OIP ruled that because the law requires boards to "afford all interested persons an opportunity to present oral testimony on any agenda item," and does not make an exception for items to be heard in executive session, the public should be given the right to present oral testimony on items to be heard in executive session.

Jennifer Brooks, OIP staff attorney, said that because this is the first time one of the agency's opinions has been appealed under the new law, the court will have to determine what kind of special session will be held. The law, she said, specifically requires proving an opinion "palpably wrong."

No hearing has yet been scheduled, and the Office of Information Practices has until Jan. 9 to hand over the case's record to the court, she said....

read ... No Sunshine?

Monday is Deadline for Obamacare Sign Up--And Nobody Wants it

KHON: ...if you change your plan after Monday, Dec. 15, your new plan coverage will take effect on the first of the following month.

Since Monday, Dec. 8, the Connector has been holding public outreach efforts where residents can seek personal assistance in enrolling.

The drive finishes Dec. 15, with pop-up shops being held on Oahu at the Hi’i Ola Waianae-Pahoa office from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Kuhio Park Terrace from 2-6 p.m....

read ... Another Expensive Failure

More Delays in Police Chief Civil Case

SA: A trial in that case had been scheduled to start this week.

Instead, on Tuesday the court will consider multiple pretrial motions by both sides and set a new trial date.

Kealoha asked the court to reschedule the trial in part because she is asking another judge to appoint a conservator for her grandmother. A hearing on the petition is scheduled for late January.

In the petition, Kealoha says her grandmother is impaired and unable to manage her property and business affairs effectively. She is asking the state Probate Court to appoint someone other than her uncle as conservator because she claims her uncle has manipulated her grandmother and "has a long and colorful police record."

The petition, filed on Dec. 1, includes a summary of Gerard Puana's arrests.

Among them is a case in which he is accused of stealing the Kealohas' mailbox from their Kahala home.

read ... Just another day in the nei

Anti-GMO Ag Tax on Kauai Council Agenda Again

KE: The Kauai County Council is going to “take a mulligan” on several key issues this Wednesday, including administrative salaries, trash collection fees and a new real property tax classification for seed companies.

First up will be a vote on overriding the mayor's veto of the “agronomics” Bill 2546, which would place seeds and any experimental crops into a separate category so they can be taxed higher than other agriculture. The bill narrowly passed in the last meeting of the old Council, only to be nixed by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. But now that the Council composition has shifted, it appears doubtful the veto can be overturned.

read ... Musings: Mulligan Stew

Sovereignty Activists Complain UH Hilo Not Teaching Sovereignty

RA: ...They met University administrators last week and one of the protestors, La'akea Caravalho, says the talks have been constructive....

read ... Sovereignty Activists

Hawaii Co Council to Vote on E-Cigarette Law

BIVN: December 17, 2014 9:00 am. West Hawaii Civic Center

read ... Final Vote On E-Cigarette Law in Hawaii County

Four Years: Kauai County Fights Release of Toxicology Reports

CB: ...OIP has ruled that the county lacked the legal authority to withhold the toxicology reports of two young adults who died in separate car crashes.

Here’s what happened.

On March 22, 2009, a star high school athlete died in a one-car crash in Kekaha. His name was Max Agor, an 18-year-old from Lawai.

On July 18, 2010, a woman from Kilauea died in a one-car crash in Kapaa. Her name was Jessie Monroe. She was 19.

In both fatalities the drivers were suspected of being impaired, but county officials refused to say what their blood alcohol content levels were or release the toxicology reports, which is standard practice elsewhere in Hawaii and most other states.

LINK: http://oip.hawaii.gov/formal-opinions/f15-01-2/

read ... Four Years

Soft on Islam Policy Leads to Sydney Terror Attack

SA: Local media said the 50-year-old Monis was the gunman, and a police official confirmed his identity. Under department rules, officials do not identify themselves unless speaking at a formal news conference.

Monis has long been on officials' radar. Last year, he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service for using the postal service to send what a judge called "grossly offensive" letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2009.

At the time, Monis said his letters were "flowers of advice," adding: "Always, I stand behind my beliefs."

He was later charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Earlier this year, he was charged with the sexual assault of a woman in 2002. He has been out on bail on the charges....

AP: Can identifying mental illness stop terror attacks?

read ... they let him out so he did it again

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