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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
August 23, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:02 PM :: 3731 Views

End Caldwell Crony Capitalism

Clean Energy: HECO Breaks Ground on New Diesel Plant

ESSA: DoE Sets More Public Meetings

How Politician Profits from BLNR Lease Assignment

PBN: Former Hawaii politician and real estate developer D.G. “Andy” Anderson and his grandsons, Brad and Cord Anderson, plan to assign their state-leased parcel surrounded by the Coconut Grove Marketplace in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island to the owner of the shopping center.

In 1989, the Andersons were issued a 50-year lease for commercial purposes for the 0.3-acre tract known as “Parcel 43.” ….

Through the term of its lease, the Andersons developed and maintained the tract as a landscaped open parcel with a sand volleyball court on it….

…earlier this year, this dispute was settled between the Andersons and the owner of the marketplace, an affiliate of Lone Star Funds, a global private equity firm. Lone Star agreed to pay the Andersons $892,000 as part of the settlement agreement, and the family agreed to assign their state-leased parcel to Lone Star.

The Andersons said the cost to improve the parcel for grading, utility lines, landscaping, pathways, rock walls, a drainage system and the sand volleyball court totaled about $1.1 million.  (IQ Test: Do you believe them?)

On Friday, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources is scheduled to make a decision on the parcel’s lease assignment from the Andersons to Lone Star….

read … Former politician, family seek to transfer lease of state-owned land

State Hides Oahu Zika Cases—Risking Public to Protect Tourism?

HNN: The state Health Department failed to publicly report seven confirmed cases of travel-associated Zika on Oahu this year.

The cases occurred in April, June and August….

From January to March, the Health Department publicly reported three confirmed cases of travel-associated Zika on Oahu.

But nothing has been reported since….

Of the seven unreported Zika cases, three were visitors.

The Health Department says it followed all protocol in responding to each of these cases with vector control surveillance, testing and treatment.

Health officials just didn't inform anyone….

She added she also wants to know how the Health Department is ensuring the people confirmed to have Zika are getting proper care "and that the precautions are being taken that those individuals do not become sources of locally-transmitted (Zika)."

"This issue of public information is critical, clearly, because that will help strengthen the safety net," she said.

Since January, there have been two confirmed travel-related Zika cases on Kauai and another two imported cases on Maui. Those cases were reported to the counties and the public. There have been no confirmed cases on Hawaii Island….

…the number of imported cases has nearly doubled from last year, raising the risk of local transmission….

Travelers headed to destinations with the Zika virus are asked to monitor their health for three weeks after returning because the disease incubation period is roughly three to 12 days.

read … State didn't tell public, city about confirmed cases of Zika

We Don’t Want to Visit Waikiki Because of Caldwell’s Homeless

SA: …I refer to the article about homeless people occupying the triangle at the Ala Moana/ Atkinson intersection for “the better part of a year” and other earlier articles on homelessness (“Homeless blocked from traffic triangle,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 21).

Where is the common sense in officials allowing this to continue that long? We live far from there and never go to Waikiki anymore, but reading the Star-Advertiser about what’s happening throughout the metropolitan area of Waikiki and surrounding areas keeps us from visiting.

As 50-plus-year-old adult working residents of Oahu, we find it disgusting and disappointing to see what has happened to the Hawaii we fell in love with many years ago.

I hope Gov. David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other government officials wake up soon or they may find themselves unemployed after November’s election.

read … Caldwell Unemployed

HPD insists it takes domestic violence seriously, but in some cases its actions say otherwise

SA: Domestic violence victims and their advocates say that what happened in the Bahng case — officers showing favoritism toward a fellow officer — is not uncommon when one of “Honolulu’s finest” is accused of abusing a family or household member….

That wasn’t the message that resonated, however, when HPD Chief Louis Kealoha earlier this year promoted a major with a history of domestic violence to assistant chief, then saw the promotion unravel following a public uproar.

It also wasn’t the message that resonated when a video surfaced in 2014 of an off-duty sergeant fighting with his girlfriend at a Waipahu restaurant. The restaurant manager called 911, but the responding officers didn’t arrest their then-colleague, Darren Cachola, or file a police report….

SA: Complaint process is risky for abuse victims, critics say

read … HPD insists it takes domestic violence seriously, but in some cases its actions say otherwise

Taxpayers forced to Cough up $12M in Green for Waikiki Eco Confab

SA: …The World Conservation Congress (WCC) has yet to begin, but when it concludes Sept. 10, about $12 million in state taxpayer dollars will have been spent on the high-profile international meeting.

Huge investments of public dollars are being made. In fact, the city is expected to foot $3 million to $4 million in security costs for the 10-day event.

While the importance of the premier conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its overall goals are not in question, the public needs assurance that the expense of attracting and hosting world-class events such as the WCC produces a significant return on investment.

The only way to do that is to seriously assess, after all the dust settles, whether the overall costs and labor were worth hosting the WCC — which is being held in the United States for the first time when it comes to Honolulu Sept. 1. A postmortem look into the accounting of the estimated $12 million in taxpayer dollars spent for hosting could help determine whether bringing future international events of this scale to Hawaii is indeed beneficial. Such an assessment should be made available for public discussion….

read … Green

Finger: Hawaii Democrats Move to Expel Leading Sanders Supporters

HTH: …Certain members of Oahu’s Democratic Party committee, and the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the state party, are pushing resolutions asking that Kent, who was stripped of her delegate credentials at the Philadelphia convention, be removed from leadership posts or expelled from the state party….

Kent, who is not a candidate but is Oahu District 7 chairwoman as well as an elected Hawaii delegate to the national convention, said Monday that she didn’t use her party position to endorse Stein, but made a video saying she personally was going to vote for her.

“The other efforts to try to expel Chelsea based on her childish antics at the national convention had no basis in our rules,” said Bart Dame, the national committeeman for the state party. “But once she endorsed Stein, she crossed the line. That’s an unmistakable violation of our rules.”

Kent said the party has a double standard because other Democrats throughout the state have endorsed non-Democrats in local nonpartisan races, and nothing happened to them. In particular, she noted support on Oahu by longtime Democratic notables Ben Cayetano and Walter Heen for former GOP Congressman Charles Djou in his race for Honolulu mayor.

There’s a similar situation on the Big Island, where supporters of Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille lodged a complaint with the Democratic Party about Patti Cook of Waimea, the chairwoman for the party’s District 7, for campaigning for Tim Richards, who is not a party member, instead of Wille, who’s the district vice chairwoman. Wille lost the election to Richards by 77 votes.

“It’s a huge double standard,” Kent said. “If you’re supporting someone in power, they’re kind of like, ‘Oh, it’s OK.’ It makes no sense.”

The recent complaints are coming from an Oahu regional party committee, which is working on a resolution seeking to strip Kent of her committee positions. Another resolution by Region 5 Chairman Gary Saiko seeks to remove Dame as state committeeman because he “failed to manage the behavior and the expression” of Kent.

Earlier, Leimomi Khan, chairwoman of the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus, said in an undated formal letter of complaint that Kent was disrespectful to Native Hawaiians, (Translation: Sanders is against turning Hawaiians into a Fake Indian Tribe.) the state party and the state itself. She made matters worse, Khan said, by being unrepentant about her action.

“This is about the disrespect shown toward our elected officials and the ill chosen expression of ‘No Aloha’ toward a perceived unfair leadership by Ms. Kent,” Khan said in the letter….

read … Political parties deal with rebel members

TRO: Alika Atay Maui Council Candidate Blocking Fire Ant Eradication Due to Anti-Pesticide Fanaticism

MN: One resident's attempts to keep employees from invasive species agencies off his Huelo property have created a clash of rights between communities wanting to eradicate invasive species, and individuals opposed to the methods used to fight them.

Last month, Huelo resident Brian Bardellini filed a temporary restraining order against employees from the Maui Invasive Species Council and the Hawaii Ant Lab, alleging that they had trespassed on his property, threatened him and sprayed chemicals on him while treating little fire ants in the area. The order was dismissed Aug. 1 due to lack of evidence, but the dispute has highlighted a growing discussion between residents, businesses and elected officials on controlling invasive species "in a way that's fair for everyone," former MISC manager Teya Penniman said.

"(When) we have situations where lots of neighbors are working to control coqui frogs or little fire ants, and there's one property that doesn't, we hear residents saying to us, 'What can we do to change this?'" Penniman said. "It's an issue that we've faced for many years, but this year we're seeing a lot of people raise it in different sectors." …

Bardellini and his wife, who has “medical conditions affecting toxin release” (Huh?  What?)  and “gets sick around pesticides”  (Uh-huh.  Sure.) , had recently (typical) started renting in the neighborhood. Before the couple moved there, they were not told that the property had a little fire ant infestation, Bardellini said.

Radford said both Bardellini and the property owner who leases to him initially allowed workers to come on to the property to treat ants. Bardellini, however, said he wanted to use a more natural vendor but was forced to comply with MISC and the ant lab's methods.

In his petition for a restraining order filed July 18, Bardellini said that he and Alika Atay, currently a candidate for the Maui County Council, run a "Hawaiian indigenous natural agriculture kalo and Hawaiian canoe crop farm."

read … Invasive species eradication effort creates clash of rights

Anti-GMO: Do Five Losers Make a Movement?

CB: …at least eight progressive candidates who ran in the Aug. 13 primary after taking part in a boot camp called the Kuleana Academy run by the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action….

While most of the candidates lost — challenger Fern Rosenstiel was drubbed by incumbent Nadine Nakamura by a 26 percent margin in House District 14 on Kauai — the mere fact that they ran helped boost the number of contested legislative races in the Democratic primary from 24 in 2014 to 30 in 2016….

Hooser (who came in 9th) … said Jennifer Ruggles’ upset win for a seat on the Hawaii County Council can also be looked as a positive step for the academy since she participated in some of the workshops and is getting campaign help from one of the graduates. … 

read … About a Bunch of Losers

Buying Organic Shows You Are a Sucker for Marketing

KE: …At the grocery store today, the woman in front of me rejected one of two apples she had selected when she discovered it was not organic.

“It's a gift,” she explained to the cashier. “So I wouldn't want to give them something with pesticides on it.”

“Well, they [the Environmental Working Group] do say apples are one of the fruits that has more pesticide residue,” the clerk chirped. “Organic shows you care.”

I bit my tongue to keep from saying, “No, it shows you're a sucker for marketing.”

The EWG regularly publishes its “dirty dozen” produce list as a fundraising ploy, and the media — and ignorant store clerks — dutifully regurgitate it without question. But in reality:

Some pesticides are drastically more toxic than others, but the EWG's scoring system considers all pesticides to be equal, and they don't relate the pesticide amounts to known safety standards. Two food scientists did a reality check on the EWG's numbers from their 2010 list (which uses the same methodology as this year's). Their analysis was published in the Journal of Toxicology.

It turns out the "Dirty" foods are fairly clean, and organic foods aren't free of pesticides anyway. You'll notice that the EWG only mentions the pesticides found on conventional produce: that's because the USDA doesn't test for organic pesticides.

So why aren't the foodies screaming for pesticide testing and disclosure on organics? Is nothing sacred?

read … Dirty Organics

Swimming with Dolphins--NOAA Takes Aim at Eco Religion—Dive Tour Operators Expected to Freak Out

WHT: Federal regulators are proposing to ban swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, a move that could imperil one of the Aloha State’s most popular tourist delights and the industry that has sprung up around it.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says Hawaii’s spinner dolphins — the nocturnal species that humans usually frolic with — are being deprived of rest during the day and becoming stressed out.

The agency was expected to announce the proposal Tuesday.

Swimming with dolphins is popular with visitors and some locals, with dozens of companies on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island operating dolphin tours daily. 

(These are the same dive tour operators who spent the last few legislative cycles trying to ban aquarium collectors from catching aquarium fish.  Now its their turn to face destruction at the hand of environmental regulators.)

The proposed rule could shut down or greatly disrupt the industry as it now operates. That’s because the ban would cover waters out to 2 nautical miles, which is where 98 percent of Hawaii’s spinner dolphins rest after they’ve spent the night feeding. Tour companies take customers to these nearshore waters to find dolphins.

Ann Garrett, assistant regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s protected resources division for the Pacific Islands, said dolphins have been found to be burning calories at a higher rate because they are forced to be vigilant as people approach their pods.

“All of these things can contribute to a reduction of fitness over time — this kind of chronic level of stress. That’s what we’re concerned about,” Garrett said.

The agency plans to hold public meetings on the proposal next month (these should be hilarious) and expects to make a final decision on the regulations next year….

PDF: Federal Register

Link: Regulations.gov

read … Feds want to ban swimming with Hawaii dolphins

Regents Give Lassner High Marks

SA: …Lassner, who just completed his second year as president of the 10-campus system, previously served as the university’s longtime information technology chief. He was appointed president July 1, 2014, after serving in the post on an interim basis for nearly a year. The board said at the time that his appointment would be “continuous” and subject to annual evaluations.

In its review, Jan Sullivan, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, said the board considered a self-evaluation along with anonymous input from university administrators, faculty and faculty leaders, student organizations and members of the public. The board also conducted an internal survey of its 15 members.

“The board reviewed and acknowledges a variety of opinions and comments that were received,” Sullivan said Thursday after regents emerged from a lengthy executive session during its monthly meeting. “In addition, the board recognizes the substantial challenges that confront the university, in particular the challenges that are presented at the Manoa campus. We commend the president’s dedication to the university to continue to address the pressing issues that we face. The board supports the president and looks forward to making strong progress in the current year.”

Some of the challenges include a growing repair and maintenance backlog that tops a half-billion dollars, flat or declining enrollment at some campuses, turmoil in the athletic department and UH Cancer Center, and the perennial fight for more state funding. Still, the university has been awarding more degrees and improving its on-time graduation rates….

read … High

ADB report: Poverty rate high in Marshall Islands

MV: Thirty percent of residents in the two urban centers in the Marshall Islands live below the “basic-needs income line,” while double that number are below this income poverty line in the outer islands, according to a report prepared by the Asian Development Bank.

The income gap is most severe in Majuro and Ebeye where 75 percent of the 55,000 population lives. The ADB-sponsored assessment of “hardship” confirms reports from other sources about deepening poverty in the country. “There are growing concerns over high unemployment, financial hardship, hunger and poor nutrition,” said last year’s U.S. government-funded annual review of economic progress in the Marshall Islands.

In the urban centers, with an unemployment rate among young adults estimated at 60 percent, “many youth just play ukulele all day, talk story or drink alcohol,” says Alson Kelen, who manages a life and vocational skills training program centered around building and sailing outrigger canoes for out of school youth. “It’s the same every day.”

Increasing poverty, government corruption, family violence, and an epidemic of lifestyle diseases dominate daily life for an increasing number of islanders now living in urban centers, largely divorced from their roots in remote villages….

Related: Why are more Micronesians coming to Hawaii?

read … ADB report: Poverty rate high in Marshall Islands

QUICK HITS:

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