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Thursday, October 8, 2015
October 8, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:05 PM :: 3014 Views

Full Text: Hawaii Business Groups Slam Police Refusal to Enforce Law on Mauna Kea

OHA Trustee Says Na'i Aupuni is Fake Tribe

Akana: Ultra-Secret OHA Slush Funds, Strange Cartoons, and World Travel

Hulu Lindsey: Nai Aupuni Exclusionary, Anti-Democratic, Violates Kapu Aloha

FULL TEXT: Whistleblower Suit Claims Ansaldo Padding Rail Contract

Activists Claim GMOs Cause Homosexuality

Hawaii Abortion Laws and How They Differ From Other States

Factors that Explain Honolulu's High Pedestrian Accident Rate

Taiwanese Animators' Bermuda Triangle mystery: El Faro missing ship still on the water after 40 years

Martin: "I don't know if Rail Tax can get out of Committee"

SA: Discussion on a bill extending the 0.5 percent excise tax surcharge for rail on Oahu through the end of 2027 will be heard by a Honolulu City Council committee in the coming weeks, Council Chairman Ernie Martin said Wednesday.

“It’s a matter of finding an available date” when Council members can convene, he said. The Legislative Matters Committee is chaired by Martin and consists of all nine Council members. Unlike other committees, which meet on a monthly basis, Legislative Matters meets at the request of Council members.

Martin, who has historically supported the rail project, as have nearly all other current Council members, said that given recent news about the escalating cost of the now $6 billion project, he is not certain that Bill 23 will make it out of the Legislative Matters Committee.

“I don’t know if it can get out of committee, to tell you the truth,” Martin said. “There’s so much adverse publicity about it that, you know, there’s no guarantee.”

Meanwhile: FULL TEXT: Whistleblower Suit Claims Ansaldo Padding Rail Contract

read ... No New Taxes

Hee Crony Booted from KSBE Trusteeship 

HNN: After serving six years alumni and her fellow trustees recommended she not be reappointed because of her role as an executive with companies run by convicted tax evader Albert Hee.

Although Olds was never charged with a crime, critics said she should have been more vigilant over Hee’s activities, which included diverting millions of dollars from his company for personal use.

Olds will leave as a trustee at the expiration of her term.

Olds has served as a board member of the $11 billion organization, which educates nearly 50,000 native Hawaiians. She's also the CEO of Sandwich Isles Communications, whose founder was convicted of looting the company in July.

In a letter to the state Probate Court, a number of influential graduates, including former Kamehameha Schools trustee Douglas Ing and Lunalilo Homes trustee Kamani Kualaau called on the court to reject Olds' reappointment.

It was under Olds' watch that Sandwich Isles' founder Albert Hee skimmed $4 million from the company and its parent Waimana to pay for a home in California, his children's college tuition and phony wages for his wife. The Federal Communications Commission is now investigating the company's finances.

SA: Report rejects trustee’s petition

read ... State judge rejects reappointment of Kamehameha Schools trustee

Ige Admin Against Revised NextEra Proposal

SA: Gov. David Ige’s administration said Wednesday it is not in favor of NextEra Energy Inc.’s purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries even after NextEra revised its proposal in August, adding more than 50 new binding commitments.

The state Office of Planning; the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; and the state Consumer Advocate filed more than 480 pages Wednesday with the Public Utilities Commission, saying that even with Next­Era’s revised commitments, the sale is not in the public interest.

read ... No NextEra

Dr. Akina Discusses the Proposed DOI Rule on Hawaii Public Radio

HPR: When the Department of the Interior explored the possibility of helping establish a Native Hawaiian “tribe” last year, Grassroot Institute submitted comments about the problematic nature of their plan. We were joined in opposition with a substantial number of Native Hawaiians who had grave concerns about the federal government’s involvement in Native Hawaiian affairs.

A year has passed, and the DOI has returned with a proposed rule that would create a path to recognition for a Native Hawaiian government. As Grassroot President Keli’i Akina explains in this interview with Hawaii Public Radio, the concerns over the Department’s proposal remain.

listen ... HERE

Eight Homeless Go To Shelter: City Clears 126 Tons of Trash and 128 Hypodermic Needles

HNN: Jun Yang, executive director for the city Housing Office, said the Kakaako homeless have been told about the ongoing area enforcement for months.  He said while shelter space is available, not all the homeless are moving off the streets.

According to Yang, the enforcement efforts have helped move about 150 people into housing since fall 2014. It aims to provide a homeless individual housing first then assist them with other social service care such as mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Additionally, he said the state has moved about 75 people into housing with its Housing First efforts since August 2014.

Today, the city provided a bus to take homeless people affected by the sweep to a shelter. Eight people took that bus this morning, including some families, Yang said. Another bus will be come tomorrow, before the cleanup along Ohe Street.

City Department of Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura, said since enforcement began in the Kakaako, crews have collected "a little more than 26 tons of trash, 50 cubic yards of metal, 29 shopping carts, 128 hypodermic needles and 7 stored property bins collected."

SA: Several homeless people headed over to the adjacent Next Step shelter in Kakaako. 

read ... Sweeps

Sweeps Force Homeless Person to Move into a House

CB: On Olomehani Street, a woman who only identified herself as Mary Jane said she and her husband had begun packing up their belongings. But they planned to wait until Thursday morning to figure out where to go.

“We’re willing to go to a shelter, but it’s hard to find one that accepts him,” Mary Jane said, pointing to their dog.

Meanwhile, Jeri Lewis was mourning: Within 24 hours, the tight-knit community of people living along Ilalo Street will be gone.

“We’re all friends out here. We’re like a family. We look out for each other,” said Lewis, who has stayed there for three months. “It makes me sad. But what can you do?”

Lewis said she was leaving soon to stay with in-laws. (Imagine that!  A homeless person actually moving into a house!  The ACLU must be very disappointed.)  She was almost done taking down her tent and waiting for her friend with a car to help her move.

“I’m not going to wait until tomorrow and have them take away my stuff,” Lewis said.

read ... Kakaako Encampment Braces for the Final Sweeps

Desperate to get Homeless Back into Waikiki, Civil Beat Lies About Federal Rules

CB: Honolulu received $9.8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to combat homelessness last year, but any future funding could be in jeopardy. (Not really, but maybe this will scare somebody in Honolulu Hale if they don't do their own research.)

That’s because HUD is wielding the power of federal purse-strings to crack down on efforts to criminalize homelessness — something critics say Honolulu is doing with its expanding sit-lie ban. (Suggestion: Let them move into one of Pierre's houses.)

HUD announced last month that it would tie its funding partially (very 'partially'--only 2 points of 200 possible) to whether local communities are steering clear of criminalization measures.

REALITY: Only 2 points of 200 are tied to "criminalization" >>> see page 45 item 'J' of HUD rules 

read ... Desperate to Keep the Homeless on the Streets

Review Hiring Polices for Hawaii’s Special Education Positions

CB: We owe it to our special education students to do a better job of finding qualified teachers — and making the necessary commitments to retain them.

EIH: New testing regime at public schools is a recipe for disaster

read ... Positions

HCDA to request millions of the Legislature for Kalaeloa infrastructure

PBN: The HCDA anticipates finishing the first half of the project by the summer of 2016 and the second half by the end of 2016 or by the first quarter of 2017.

The infrastructure issues at Kalaeloa have kept developers such as Hunt Cos. sitting on the sidelines, keeping its multimillion-dollar development plan for the region on hold. It has now been more than 15 years since the Navy closed the Barbers Point Naval Air Station and turned the land over to the state.

The redevelopment of the former military base in West Oahu — 3,700 acres of arid, mostly undeveloped former Naval Air Station land, dotted with brush, old warehouses and hangars — by most accounts has not moved nearly as fast as it could.

read ... Solar Farms

No food service in Honolulu Community College cafeteria for 13 months

HNN: HCC Chancellor Erika Lacro said she's has not been able to find a new food vendor since the last vendor departed in September 2014 because the school wants to provide food service all day for night time and weekend classes.

"We have required our vendor to provide service for breakfast, lunch, dinner and on Saturdays for our apprenticeship students,” Lacro said. “It is a big commitment and we just had not found anyone interested in taking on that responsibility."

She said HCC also tried to have Kapiolani Community College and its culinary arts program provide food service at the Kalihi campus, but that didn't work out.

Now Lacro said the school has found a new vendor to re-start food service in the HCC cafeteria November 1.

read ... Plenty of UH Money for Golden Parachutes

Ozawa wants bike lanes to receive City Council approval

KITV: Although a public meeting was held at the Neal Blaisdell Center in August and city staffers met with business owners along the nearly 2-mile route, Ozawa believes public input was sorely lacking.

"The King Street cycle track is technically a pilot project,” said Ozawa. “When are we going to have a discussion on whether or not this is going to be a permanent thing?"

While Ozawa is not against bicycle lanes in general, he’s introduced a bill (Bill 68) that would force the administration to get City Council approval before any new bike lanes are built. The measure would place bike lanes within the city's public infrastructure map, which means any new facility would have to be approved through resolution, which requires two separate votes.

read ... Ozawa wants bike lanes to receive City Council approval

Kauai County Charter Changes Coming?

KE: The Kauai County Charter Commission is considering a few measures that could make the 2016 election more interesting.

But will it go gangbusters, and put some really juicy stuff on the ballot? Shoots, why not?

It's looking like voters will asked to decide whether Councilmembers should be elected by district, a concept adopted in other Hawaii counties, but rejected three times previously by Kauai voters. Though the tough part is determining how to create the districts, it seems the easiest and most sensible route would be to elect one member from each existing House District and four at large.

That approach also establish a training ground, if you will, for new legislative candidates in the various House districts.

The commission is also toying with the idea of changing the percentage of registered voters required to get charter amendments and initiatives/referendums on the ballot. It's currently easier to get a charter amendment on the ballot than an initiative/referendum, which is why we've seen groups like Kauai Rising try to pass off an initiative as a charter amendment, only to see their efforts fail to meet the legal sniff test.

One thought is to reduce the percentage of signatures needed for referendums (the process of voting on an ordinance already adopted by the Council) and initiatives (the process of proposing an ordinance), and raise the percentage for charter amendment.

The Charter currently requires initiative/referendum petitions to be “signed by registered voters comprising not less than twenty percent (20%) of the number of voters registered in the last general election." Petitions for a charter amendment, which are actually much more serious, require just 5 percent. Seems an adjustment is in order.

Commission Joel Guy, meanwhile, is planning to put forth a proposal that would change how the Council fills its vacancies. Currently, the Charter states:

In the event a vacancy occurs in the council, the remaining members of the council shall appoint a successor with the required qualifications to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

We've seen how that plays out thrice in the last five years, and each time it's left a bitter taste in people's mouths.

read ... Kauai Eclectic

Try a little introspection, investigate what’s behind opinions that differ with yours

CB: Here is a typical conversation about Republicans and conservatives, versions of which I often have with friends who, like me, are highly educated, politically aware and liberal. (To be clear and fair, studies show that conservatives behave this same way regarding liberals.)

Friend: How can anybody who is smart or rational be a Republican?

Me: Well, I’m not sure if you are asking a rhetorical question or not. If you really want an answer, I can tell you what people who study political behavior say about that. (Then comes my analysis, which seems quick yet really incisive to me but, I can tell from the look, is long, tedious and irrelevant to my friend.)

Friend: (Responding to this attempt at a teaching moment.) What? Are you turning into a conservative or something?

Me: No. I am just trying to answer your question, to get you to understand why conservatives believe what they do.

Friend: So what? Conservatives are wrong.

Me: Don’t you at least want to know your enemy?

Friend: They are wrong. Paul Krugman says so.

These friends have no interest in getting beyond a right versus wrong view that leads to tunnel vision. Their understanding of the opposition is based entirely on the opinions of those they agree with. They don’t reality-test their beliefs. They know they are right.

read ... Neal Milner

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