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Thursday, August 18, 2016
August 18, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:07 PM :: 5412 Views

Djou: Dismiss the HART CEO Tomorrow; Mayor in November

OHA Funds Voter Sentiment Survey to Help Incumbents

OHA Incumbents: Is 20 Years too Long?

CD1: National Defense PAC endorses Ostrov for Congress

Full Text: 9th Circuit Court Tells DOJ to Back Off in Medical Pot States

Construction 5.9% of Hawaii GDP—#2 in USA

Desperate Defenestration -- to Save Caldwell, Hanabusa Sacrifices Grabauskas

SA: Honolulu rail’s embattled CEO and executive director Dan Grabauskas resigned today, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board chairwoman announced this morning.

Colleen Hanabusa announced the resignation after the board emerged from a private executive session at its regularly scheduled meeting downtown. Before today, the board had already spent more than 16 hours discussing the matter in private as part of Grabauskas’ annual review and given itself two 60-day extensions since April to keep those talks going.

Hanabusa said Grabauskas will get severance of $282,250 and that the board has executed a “separation agreement.” She said his last day on job is today but that the official separation date is in October.

Grabauskas, who had attended the meeting before the executive session, was not present when the resignation was announced.

Hanabusa also said that she will talk with Mayor Kirk Caldwell today about appointing (her loyal minion) Michael Formby, the director of the city’s Department of Transportation Services and a board member, as acting rail director while the board seeks a permanent replacement. Formby would step down from the HART board to take the interim appointment.

Hanabusa appointed board member (and rail-line property owner) Colbert Matsumoto as chairman of the search committee…..

Former congressman and City Councilman Charles Djou, who looks to unseat Caldwell in this fall’s mayoral race, held a press conference Wednesday ahead of the HART meeting to call for Grabauskas’ dismissal. “The leadership of rail has been a complete disaster … and I think the dismissal … will be an important initial step to rebuilding trust in City Hall with this disastrous rail project,” Djou said.

PDF: Dan Gabauskas employment contract

August 9, 2016: Grabauskas Sacrificial Lamb—Baffled Hanabusa Rants and Raves as Secret 14 Hour Debate Spills out into Public

read … Sacrifice

Hawaii State Senate News: Former Drug Dealer’s House Torched--Twice

HNN: … A propane torch was used to ignite the fire at Sen J Kalani English's house on Haneoo Road on Wednesday, August 10.

The fire did about $2,500 in damage to the front of his home before being put out by neighbors. (Because English doesn’t reeeeaaaally live there.)

English, (a former cocaine dealer who recently failed in an effort to become a medicated marijuana dealer,) was off-island at the time.  (He almost always is.)

Arson is also suspected in another fire at his home back in May ….

SA: “This is clearly an act of domestic terrorism,” English (D, Hana-Kahoolawe) said by phone Wednesday

read … Gangland retaliation against rival?

Energy ‘Green’ -- $8B in Rate Hikes Needed to Help Solar, Wind Schemers

PBN: It will take an estimated $8 billion in infrastructure upgrades alone to get Oahu to 100 percent renewable energy, a former Hawaii regulator told attendees at an energy event in Honolulu.

This cost would be spread between Hawaiian Electric Co., the state’s largest utility, and other stakeholders, including ratepayers and developers.  (Translation: More Rate Hikes)

(Quick Math Problem:  $8B /1.4M = $5714.29 per person = $22,857.14 for a family of four.)

Totally Related Factoid: Audit: State Gave Away $1B Act 221 Tax Credits Without Verification of Eligibility

read … More Rate Hikes

Ethics: Enviros Allowed to Bribe Legislators, Staffers with $900

CB: …Tim Johns and Randall Tanaka of the World Conservation Congress National Host Committee asked Ethics Commission Executive Director Dan Gluck last week if it would be OK ethically to offer complimentary passes to certain state employees and legislators.

The passes range from $75 for a one-day pass to $900 to attend all 10 days.

Nancy Neuffer, staff attorney for the Ethics Commission, responded Monday in a letter saying the commission does not believe the acceptance of such passes would violate the state Ethics Code….

ILind: Ethics Commission looks as free passes to World Conservation Congress

KE: Does anyone else see the irony of having hundreds of people fly to Oahu to ponder such topics as climate change and sustainable development?

read … $900 Bribe.

Papahanaumokuakea: Hawaii Punished for doing the Right Thing

CB: …Our Hawaii fishing vessels are all longliners, meaning every fish is caught off an individual hook and line. Every boat only catches a small percentage of the school and doesn’t affect corals or seamounts. We have little by-catch (turtles, sea mammals), and by fishing by way of longlining instead of nets, we allow tuna and other fish species to have a better chance of reproducing.

If the monument expands and our Hawaii fleet isn’t allowed to fish there, it will force fishers to go elsewhere, further away, to replace 8 percent of our annual catch. That will have a domino effect on wholesale and retail business alike, as well as Hawaii’s economy.

What many people for the expansion don’t know is even if this area is protected, foreign fishing vessels likely will continue to fish there as they please. There is insufficient enforcement on the waters to control them, and if our industry is short on supply, foreign countries will be selling it back to us. This is fish and money that should have stayed here in Hawaii all along.

People want to stop overfishing. People want to be more sustainable, and people want to protect the oceans and its creatures. Hawaii is doing all of this but if this expansion goes through, Hawaii will be punished for doing the right thing….

SA: Hepatitis Comes from Foreign Fish

SA: No surprise—Failed Anti-GMO Wooley wants Papahanaumokuakea

read … Punished

Telescope: What is the Cost of OHA Rent-Seeking?

CB: …Supporters of TMT highlight the jobs that the telescope will bring. “It is not about the jobs!” opponents reply.

Of course it is. You cannot maintain a culture in poverty. You cannot maintain a culture when your keiki leave to seek opportunity elsewhere. Leave the island behind, leave the culture behind. Economic struggle is the greatest single threat to a local culture, a threat that cannot be overstated.

The lack of economic opportunity has an enormous impact on a local community. The stress of struggling for a living, of getting by on a low-paying service industry job can be destructive to families and individuals. Drug use, family abuse, all of the social ills so often identified in low income areas are as destructive to the culture as they are to the person. The statistics tell the story: Hawaii Island routinely tops the rest of the state in numbers that are not good — lowest per capita income, highest number of children living in poverty, highest unemployment and more.

Astronomy is not the entire answer. It is, however, a major pillar supporting the island community. In 2012 alone, $58 million was brought into the Hawaii Island community by observatories. This money was used to buy goods and services and cover payroll.

Money brought from the outside has a much larger impact, as it is spent and re-spent through the community. Payroll gets spent on groceries, meals and vegetables at the local farmers market, rent and more. This spending cycle magnifies the effect so that the economic impact of that $58 million was estimated to be $91 million for Hawaii Island alone. The important part to remember is that this money comes from elsewhere; the observatories bring it here, funds that would not otherwise be available….

HTH: Department chairman looks to future of UH-Hilo astronomy program

Reality: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money

read … Jobs

Hawaii Bureaucrats And The Can’t-Do Spirit

CB: Some pretty creative excuse-making can’t hide the fact that when the basics don’t get taken care of, people suffer….

read … creative excuse-making

DoBOR made a fool of themselves – Years of Income Lost

SA: The state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation temporarily will issue revocable permits for two sites in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, which were intended to be developed by Honey Bee USA as part of a public-private partnership.

“DOBOR plans on doing a new request for proposals (RFP), but that is going to take some time,” said Deborah Ward, state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman. “In the meantime, the plan is to issue revocable permits for both sites so there is a presence while the RFP is being prepared.”

It could take up to five years to find a suitable partner to develop the site where Honey Bee demolished a fuel dock, as well as another site where the company demolished an old boat repair yard fronting Ala Moana Boulevard, said Harbor Master Kenneth Chee on Wednesday evening during a meeting with members of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor community at the Hawaii Yacht Club.

“We want to draw (income) temporarily,” Chee said. “In the meantime, we will fence the entire site where the Hawaiian Dredging barricades are coming down.”  (Translation: The homeless are moving in any day now.)

“They have demonstrated their failure to write a decent contract,” Lenkeit said. “DLNR and DOBOR pissed away years of income on the fuel dock property and the old boatyard property, which are very valuable sites. They made a fool of themselves with that attorney Keith Kiuchi, who was running Honey Bee. As much as I dislike privatization, DLNR and DOBOR have a track record of failure.”

read … Privatize

Thanks to ACLU, Homeless Pay Cat n Mouse Game instead of Being Forced to Accept Shelter

SA: Once city and state officials signed a right-of-entry agreement early Friday, it wasn’t long before Honolulu police and state Department of Transportation workers descended on a busy traffic triangle on Atkinson Drive near Ala Moana Center to evict the homeless couple who had occupied the state-owned property for the better part of a year.

And it didn’t take long for Leilani Espiritu, 50, and Keoki Nakanelua, 53, to return. Later that night, the couple was camped out with their shopping carts, tarps and other belongings on the small concrete patch that city crews had cleared and cleaned earlier in the day.

The couple has been occupying the site, off and on, since then. For example, they left Tuesday afternoon, but were spotted hours later on a nearby sidewalk with their belongings, poised to return to their makeshift home.

This highly visible pingpong match between government officials and homeless campers is leaving frustrated residents and businesspeople scratching their heads as to why leaders cannot find a way to stop such abuse of public lands and facilities.  (Why?  ACLU.  That’s why.)

The Atkinson triangle is not the only spot where this scenario is playing out. Similar problems are festering in Honolulu’s downtown area. Homeless campers are occupying the area around the Ala Moana Wastewater Pump Station. Encampments are common where Piikoi Street passes under the H-1; at Kilauea and Waialae avenues near the Aloha Gas station; and the H-1 onramp near the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In Kakaako, homeless individuals are intermittently living in the traffic triangle at Forrest Avenue and Ala Moana Boulevard….

SA: Bus stop bench replacement made to discourage sleeping

read … Thank a Lawyer for Keeping the Homeless, Homeless

ESSA: “Administrative Empowerment” 

WHT:  More than 40 teachers, administrators and others came out Wednesday evening for a town hall meeting about the Every Student Succeeds Act and the future of public education in Hawaii.

The meeting was the first of two scheduled on the Big Island that give the public an opportunity to weigh in on a “blueprint” as the state works to implement a new federal schooling law. The next one is scheduled for Aug. 24 at Waiakea High School at 4:30 p.m.

The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law in December 2015, replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. The new law is intended to give states more flexibility in developing standards for their schools….

West Hawaii Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza said that effort to seek feedback at a grassroots level makes a difference.

“They’re legitimately seeking authentic community voices,” he said.

That, he said, is “the only way you’re really gonna get innovation and change.”

Souza said he also appreciates the focus on empowerment, saying administrative empowerment doesn’t just mean the authority to make decisions, but also the flexibility to “go out and have others make decisions with me.”

“That kind of synchronistic thinking can lead to some good things,” he said.

Barrow Hutchison, a special education teacher at Kona Pacific Public Charter School, said the blueprint plan doesn’t relate to him as a charter school teacher.

Hutchison said he attended the presentation out of “pure curiosity to learn more” but that he was skeptical of its ultimate impact….

On the issue of Hawaiian content in schools, an area where the ESSA team asked for feedback, Hutchison said students can be encouraged to find a “sense of freedom” through a “sovereign point of view.”

“What is all this if it doesn’t build toward sovereignty?” he asked.

Hutchison said sovereign thinking involves students being able to think independently for themselves….

SA: Proposed DOE raises need detailed review

read … School feedback needed

Civil Beat reporters are too lazy to dig up news

KE: …When Civil Beat reporters are too lazy to dig up news, they fawn over one another, which is how they came to produce the podcast “Hawaii’s News Business Takes It’s [sic] Licks From The Reader Rep.”

In it, CB “reader rep” and UH communications professor Brett Oppegaard revealed his biggest story ever was handed to him, and resulted in someone threatening to punch him in the face. I can see that. Especially after his hit piece on me.

Oppegaard then gushed:

I think Civil Beat is really a beacon of great journalism in this community and I am continually impressed with what is produced here and also the mission seems to be untainted by, obviously, advertising concerns or corporate special interests or any of the other things that tend to plague for-profit publications and journalism organizations.

Uh, except for the social-engineering, philanthropic elephant in the newsroom, as identified by my former editor at the Honolulu Weekly, Ragnar Carlson:

Everyone knows where Joan Conrow is coming from. It's right there in her work. Yet you are willing to denounce her as untrustworthy while the billionaire technocrat who signs your paycheck HAS A DESK IN YOUR NEWSROOM. Dude. What do the kids say?

Which is why the podcast would have been more aptly titled “Civil Beat shill too busy lapping at the Omidyar trough to give his own pub any licks.”

read … Lazy

Former member of alleged Hawaii cult threatened as film featuring group debuts

HNN: …The movie is about a filmmaker who spent decades in the group, which started in Los Angeles. Filmmaker Will Allen says he fell under the spell the group's (homosexual) leader, Michel Rostand. He's says the man who identifies himself as a spiritual guru brainwashed followers (so the male ones would have sex with him). 

Several former members are interviewed in the movie, including Kailua yoga teacher Murti Hower.

Hower said he was with the group for 25 years and followed them to Hawaii.

He said the alleged cult is now on the windward side, and is recruiting.

And since leaving the group, Hower said, he's been threatened. Those threats have gotten worse as the debut of the film gets closer.

One incident in March launched a police investigation. Hower says a man went to his yoga studio and terrorized him, telling him, "I will hunt you down and I will kill you."

Honolulu Police investigated the case and it has been forwarded to the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office for review. 

"Holy Hell" will be shown at the Doris Duke Theater for the film festival. Friday's show is sold out….

read … Homosexual Cult

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