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Monday, August 15, 2016
August 15, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:42 PM :: 4050 Views

Runoff: Keli`i Akina Challenging 20-Year OHA Incumbent Haunani Apoliona

Djou: Caldwell badly damaged and we are just getting started

Judiciary Hosts Hawaii’s First Veterans Treatment Court Conference

Hawaii’s ruling political party revels in its control over state

CB: Kirk Caldwell did not hesitate to chastise his opponent in the Honolulu mayor’s race — Charles Djou — for not speaking for the people. The people, in the mayor’s view, are descendants of the plantation era devoted to equality for all people….

“I still have a race and I want to win really, really badly,” said Caldwell….

Democrats came together as they always do after primaries, to unite as one to keep the forces of evil (that is, Republicans) from winning….

So deep is the bench of past and present politicians that many are recognizable by their first name only: Mazie (Hirono), Colleen (Hanabusa), Tulsi (Gabbard), Brickwood (Gaulteria). Hirono asked every one in the audience who had been active in the party for 20 years or more to stand, and most in the room did.

They included three former governors (George Ariyoshi, John Waihee and Neil Abercromie), the current one (David Ige) and a whole bunch of other Dems, some of them in the Legislature, others on the Honolulu City Council, still others (like Stanley Chang) hoping to return to office…..

Ige said there has always been a myth about a political machine that keeps things going in the islands…..

read … Revels

Rail Scheme Exposed: Extend to UH Manoa in Exchange for Another GE Tax Hike

SA: …In that Aug. 4 letter, Anderson asks whether the FTA would consider shortening rail’s route to Middle Street under its funding deal and then partner on an “extension” that runs as far as the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The line would run to the campus from Ala Moana Center.

It’s similar to an extension strategy that Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he’s discussed with the FTA as a possible way to complete rail to Ala Moana. “The FTA gives money for extensions all the time,” Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s editorial board last month. FTA officials have deflected questions on whether the extension approach has worked elsewhere, saying they don’t want to compare Honolulu to different rail projects.

In his letter, Anderson also asks the federal agency whether it would extend the city’s Dec. 31 “recovery plan” deadline until after next year’s legislative session.

During the upcoming session, state lawmakers might be more inclined to help the island’s beleaguered transit project if they see that the FTA is willing to work with a rail line that runs all the way to UH, Anderson said.

“It is crucial that the Legislature be part of the discussion,” he said last week….  (Because only they can hike GE Taxes.)

PDF: Anderson letter

read … Scheme

Djou Wins in Kalihi, Waianae

SA:  …Caldwell relied on solid support through the midsection of the island — from Salt Lake to Wahiawa — to secure his first-place finish in Saturday’s primary election. Djou, meanwhile, counted on his home base of East Honolulu and Kailua to bolster him but also found somewhat surprising support in areas like Kalihi and the Waianae Coast where Democrats have traditionally done well….

Precinct breakdowns showed Caldwell winning a majority of the votes within the borders of 18 Oahu state House of Representatives districts while Djou carried the day in 17 House districts. Going further into the weeds, Caldwell was first in 78 Oahu precincts while Djou was tops in 74 of them, with one additional precinct — a mail-in-only section of Kunia — a tie since no one voted in it.

That count, however, belies the fact that Caldwell won more of the precincts with the larger turnouts while more of Djou’s support came from smaller precincts.

For instance, Caldwell’s largest margins of victory were in House District 33 (Halawa-Aiea-Newtown), where he won by 783 votes; District 34 (Pearl City- Waimalu-Pacific Palisades), where he was ahead of Djou by 777 votes; and District 37 (Mililani-Waipio-Waikele), which he took by 780 votes.

Djou took some districts decisively as well, however. He won District 17 (Kalama Valley-Queen’s Gate-Hawaii Kai) by 721 votes and District 18 (Hahaione Valley- Aina Haina-Kahala) by 747 votes….

read … Precinct Breakdown

No Telescope Fabrication Until Site is Selected

HTH: …With the telescope once again going through a contested case hearing, which will help determine whether its land use permit for Mauna Kea’s Conservation District is reapproved, there remains a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the project.

The TMT International Observatory board of directors has sought alternate spots in case the permit application is denied, including Mexico, the Canary Islands, Chile, India and China.

“I know for sure it has affected us by about a couple years already,” Kinoshita said.

He said that while the telescope structure, which will be built in Japan, is in the final design phase, the setbacks means that could take a couple more years to finish.

Without a dedicated spot to build, the project’s partner countries — United States, Canada, Japan, China and India — aren’t able to commit as much funds.

“Basically, Japan has said no fabrication for the telescope structure until a site, until certainty is given,” he said.

read … Delays

Surfrider: How Lawyers Aim to Destroy Agriculture in Hawaii

KGI: …Executive committee member Robert Zelkovsky was impressed with how the talks about the legal aspects of water pollution were woven into the talk by Mara Dias, Surfrider water quality manager….

The conference was hosted by the Oahu Chapter and organized by state co-ordinator Stuart Coleman and staff. It was also attended by several national Surfrider leaders, who met with a few government agencies while in Hawaii. The combination provided lots of lively discussions about many ocean topics.

Keynote speaker for the event was Denise Andolini, associate dean at University of Hawaii Law School. Andolini focused on the Environmental Court in Hawaii, which is a year old and the second of its kind in the U.S., after Vermont.

Andolini said there were already several specialty courts in the system such as Teen, Drug and Family courts, so it made sense for there to be an Environmental Court since the Hawaii environment faces many challenges.

Angela Howe, legal director for Surfrider, outlined Surfrider’s role in litigation and environmental campaigns. Surfrider is currently involved in 20 active litigations involving pollution, coastal management and beach access.

According to Zelkovsky, the group was “thrilled” about Hawaii DOH’s recent posting of two chronically polluted areas, Waiopili Stream on Kauai and Keehi Lagoon on Oahu, the site of the recent HCRA championship regatta whose pollution caused several paddling clubs to back out of the competition. But the real takeaway of the conversation was the desire for better communication between Surfrider, the EPA and the DOH, the need for posting of all chronically polluted water areas and the importance of citizen science.

PBN: State seeks company to develop commercial scale feed project

read … Target: Agriculture

Busted on Long Waits, VA now Denies Claims

CB: Vietnam veteran, charges that the old problem of long waits to see doctors has turned into a new problem: denied claims….

read … VA Still Failing Its Mission To Serve Veterans

Neighborhood battles back against crime

SA: Frustrated with a rash of car break-ins, a group of Hawaii Kai residents banded together to battle crime in their neighborhood.

Mariners Ridge resident Brian Kirsch persuaded fellow residents to join, a website that gives neighbors a platform to communicate with one another concerning a multitude of issues. Since the beginning of the year, more than 200 Mariners Ridge residents have joined the website to address crime in response to the spate of break-ins.

Through posts, neighbors shared information about recent car thefts and break-ins that have rattled the tranquil community.

“They hit the whole block,” said Kirsch. “We got more and more frustrated.”

Kirsch said he wanted to share how he and his neighbors have been working together in an attempt to protect their property to encourage other neighborhoods facing the same plight.

Neighbors started documenting theft-related incidents. About a dozen residents attended a Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meeting in July, where they presented information to police on the rash of break-ins and still photos of a culprit allegedly stealing items from a vehicle’s trunk. Their efforts led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man in connection with a theft.

Following the car break-ins in recent months, Kirsch installed motion sensor lights and wireless security cameras fronting his home with some of the equipment pointing toward the roadway. “I didn’t really want to live this way,” he said.

read … Battle Back

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