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Friday, December 7, 2018
December 7, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:40 PM :: 2837 Views

Forgotten Honouliuli: Jack Burns, Police Spy

Title IX Lawsuit: ACLU Sues over Lack of Female Athletic Facilities at DoE Schools

FHA Baseline Limit for Hawaii Homebuyers Increases

Census Releases 5 Year Study of Hawaii Households

Geothermal energy a 'no brainer' for Hawaii

PBN: … Though PGV owner Ormat Technologies Inc. intends to reopen the 38-megawatt facility as soon as possible, others advocate for new geothermal drilling sites that incorporate the use of safe, modern technologies.

“PGV is an old technology that has been around for decades and it’s not as efficient and not as safe as what’s being installed in many other countries around the world today,” state Rep. Chris Lee, chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, told PBN in a recent interview. “We definitely have the resources, not only on the Big Island, but in other places too, to do modern, safe geothermal power production.”

Exploration efforts in the ’70s and ’80s suggest that there may be more than 1,000 MW of geothermal reserves on Maui and the Big Island. The amount would be sufficient to collectively power Maui, Hawaii Island, and about one quarter of Oahu or, alternatively, about 60 percent of Oahu’s energy needs, the Hawaii State Energy Office said in 2016. …

While there are currently no specific plans for new geothermal sites, Hawaiian Electric’s Power Supply Improvement Plan forecasts 40 MW of new geothermal development on Maui by 2040 and an additional 40 MW of geothermal on Hawaii Island by 2030.

“What we need are some private sector partners, who propose projects in those places to go forward to help lower our cost of power and ultimately get us off the more expensive and volatile fossil fuels that we are relying upon,” Lee added….

2013: ICA Hears Case Challenging State Ownership of Mineral, Geothermal Rights 

(Clue: Read the next article to see why there is no Geothermal development in Hawaii.)

read … Geothermal energy a 'no brainer' for Hawaii

Proposed Water Bottling Plant Dares to Challenge OHA Ownership of Subsurface Resources, Gets Protested

HTH: … The Hawaii County Windward Planning Commission delayed the approval of a permit for a water bottling facility near Wailoa River State Recreation Area after a contentious meeting Thursday.

The company behind the proposed bottling facility, Piilani Partners LLC, applied earlier this year for a Special Management Area use permit to allow the company to drill an approximately 1,000-foot well at the intersection of Piilani and Mililani streets….

Two representatives of Piilani Partners — planning consultant Sidney Fuke and attorney Pam Bunn — outlined their intentions for the site and the legality surrounding it. Fuke said the well, which draws from the Maunakea aquifer, located below the Mauna Loa aquifer, will limit its water extraction to 200,000 gallons per day.

Fuke said the maximum daily water extraction the aquifer can sustain is about 390 million gallons, of which the proposed well limit is a very small fraction.

Meanwhile, Bunn argued that because the Maunakea aquifer is not designated a state groundwater management area, the State Commission on Water Resource Management has no authority over it, and thus its use defers to common law, which dictates the property holder has a right to extract groundwater beneath the property, within reasonable bounds.

Bunn said the county charter has a public trust doctrine that has a dual mandate: to preserve its natural resources, but also to develop those resources where possible in accordance with principles of conservation. To reconcile these purposes, Bunn said the county has to examine the value of the proposed use of the resource against potential other uses, but added that much of the aquifer’s water is unused and simply flows into the ocean.

Following up on a recommendation made by commission member John Replogle during a previous meeting, Bunn said she knows of no document that grants the county authority to levy royalties on every gallon extracted, but said she is confident her clients will be amenable to some form of recompense to the county for using the aquifer.

After the initial testimony from Fuke and Bunn, the meeting opened to public testimony, which was critical of the project.

Hilo resident Cory Harden opposed the project on environmental grounds, saying the well would compromise the health of the watershed, while the bottling plant will introduce more than half a million tons of plastic per year into the environment (because OHA is not getting paid.)

Fellow resident Kamaki Rathburn delivered an impassioned statement in opposition of the project, explaining that the bottling process will be unavoidably loud, will produce fumes and will release ozone into the atmosphere (not be paying OHA.) More broadly, he argued, seeking to privatize and commodify water, at a time of global environmental crisis, is morally wrong (unless OHA gets a cut).

“These people are like water vampires,” Rathburn said. “They can only come in if they’re invited (by OHA).”

After public testimony, Replogle filed a motion to deny the application for the permit, arguing that water commodification has proven to be detrimental to the public in cases such as Flint, Mich.…

(IQ Test: Do you find that to be a compelling argument?)

2013: ICA Hears Case Challenging State Ownership of Mineral, Geothermal Rights 

read … Proposed water bottling plant raises concerns

Department of Planning and [Not] Permitting

PBN: … Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting closed its doors to new building permit applications on Monday and will close every Monday for the next couple of months as the staff works through a backlog of permit application reviews….

Those who agreed to talk to Pacific Business News — only a few agreed to speak on the record — worry that the city will use the new provisions to reject permit applications deemed to be poorly drawn or incomplete as a way of blaming customers for the department’s inability to issue permits on a timely basis.

The leadership at the DPP, meanwhile, tells PBN that the department’s issues run deeper than that, with high turnover rates, increasing regulations and a multi-floor office layout that hampers communication among staff members who work on 10,000 to 15,000 permits each year.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out the permitting initiatives last week as he announced he’d allow a bill requiring the issuance of permits for one- and two-family homes within 60 days to become law without his signature. The Honolulu City Council passed the measure last month in response to complaints from builders who said permitting delays of up to a year were costing them jobs and forcing them to lay off staff.

But those in the building industry who advocated for Bill 64 are cautious in their enthusiasm for the changes. And any enthusiasm was especially tempered after Caldwell’s comments during the news conference last week intimating that the city would place responsibility for permitting delays on applicants and third-party reviewers, while saying that the DPP could reject as many as 50 percent of the permit applications submitted going forward….

“When the bill passed, I was very optimistic as to the future for our industry but [that] was tapered when I heard Mayor Caldwell’s comments at his press conference Wednesday,” Bruce Kim, president of Atlas Construction and a backer of Bill 64, told PBN. “It seems as though the mayor’s and DPP’s solution to this permit backlog is to reject plans [whose] applications are incomplete or plans of lower quality.”…

HPR:  Reforming DPP: Planning, Permitting and Delays

read … Department of Planning and [Not] Permitting

Climate-Safe Energy Can Be Dangerous

IM: … Hawai`i State Law also confuses the terms climate change and renewable energy.

Burning a carbon sink (forests) is renewable energy, as in the case of the proposed Hu Honua project on the Big Island.

If Brazil destroys their entire Amazon rainforest, uses the land for cities, mining operations and the growing of genetically engineered bioenergy crops, uses coal to converts the bioenergy crops to biodiesel, and flies the biodiesel to Hawai`i, the biodiesel is considered renewable energy under state law. 

The State of Hawai`i argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court in October that achieving renewable energy targets is the same thing as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

If a developer proposes a project in Hawai`i which will release significant amounts of greenhouse gases, it will not trigger the need for an environmental impact statement if the project is on agriculturally-zoned land and is entirely financed by the private sector.

"Climate-safe energy" does not appear to have a definition in any web-based document.

read … Climate-Safe Energy Can Be Dangerous

Kamehameha Schools negotiating with Hu Honua Associate for eucalyptus harvest

HTH: …Kamehameha Schools will enter negotiations with CN Renewable Resources to potentially harvest 3,000 acres of eucalyptus along the Hamakua Coast.

The Hilo-based business is a sister company to Hu Honua Bioenergy, a biomass power plant being built in Pepeekeo….

(the Broken Trust era) Kamehameha Schools planted 12,700 acres of eucalyptus trees (and never thinned them) after acquiring about 30,000 acres of former sugar lands in the 1990s.  (And gave Larry Mehau a juicy contract to provide ‘security’ for the trees.)

The previous lease expired Dec. 31, 2016, after LHF Lopiwa LLC notified Kamehameha Schools that it would not extend its lease agreement.

In 2017, Paauilo-based Hawaii Forest was selected to move on to final lease negotiations in the previous selection process, but withdrew from those negotiations in June.

Officials at Hu Honua, a biomass power plant being built in Pepeekeo, said in 2016 that they had agreements for harvesting trees on Parker Ranch land and Kamehameha Schools land in Pahala.

read … Kamehameha Schools negotiating with operator for eucalyptus harvest

12 Years Later Honolulu Airport Still Under Construction

CB: …Last year, Hawaiian Airlines’ then-CEO Mark Dunkerley, complained about the slow pace of the airport’s modernization project, which dates to 2006, when Linda Lingle was governor.

“Other communities have found ways to update its infrastructure in a fraction of the time,” he told Pacific Business News. “Hoover Dam took five years to build. The Coliseum in Rome took eight years to build, and The Parthenon took nine years to build.”…

read … Things Are Actually Looking Up At Honolulu Airport

Telescope Protester: We Built an Altar But the Supreme Court did not give us the Land

CB: … The Hawaii Supreme Court accepted the Board of Land and Natural Resources position that there were no traditional Hawaiian spiritual practices related to the land sought for the Thirty Meter Telescope. The evidence for the lack of such practices was the absence of any physical evidence, such as an altar, on that particular piece of land….

There is an altar on that specific piece of land. The court, however, ruled that altar to be a political expression, not a spiritual expression, because the altar was built after the TMT controversy erupted.

The court also found that particular altar to be a contemporary spiritual practice, not a traditional spiritual practice protected by the constitution of Hawaii.

The court’s breath-taking leap into assuming the legal authority to declare which spiritual practices are legitimate and which are not flies in the face of a long judicial history of avoiding just such determinations by the government. Down that slippery slope is establishment of a state religion that suppresses any others….

(Reality: Hawaiian Cultural Practitioners ARE the State Religion.  But they just discovered the limits of their rule.)

Big Q: What do you think about Wednesday’s protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope held at UH Manoa?  (90% = ‘I support TMT’)

read … The Disturbing Nature Of The Court Ruling On Mauna Kea

DLNR to Propose Fishing License Bill?

MN: … “I’m all for a free fishing license,” said longtime diver Darrell Tanaka, who attended the Tuesday meeting. “We should have (free) fishing license. Not everyone knows the rules. Not everyone is compliant. A fishing license can really help with education.”

Tanaka said that with a hunting license, everyone needs to take a class to understand rules and regulations. The fishing license also could have a class and perhaps the fishing license test and education material could be available online.

“Basically it’s an opportunity for the state to give a regulation handbook to every fisherman.”

Tanaka said that with a license the state and lawmakers would have a count of how many fishers there are in the Hawaii and know “how many people they are affecting” when making laws along with rules and regulations.

“It puts fishermen on the map,” Tanaka added.

The study notes various surveys done to identify the number of noncommercial fishers in Hawaii. Numbers vary and may range up to 396,000.

Tanaka isn’t so enthused about having a license fee because fishers believe they already pay taxes and “you never know when a fee could be a little bit too much for somebody.”

But he added that nonresidents who fish on different islands could be charged a fee to fish outside of their hometowns.

Another longtime fisherman, Gary Hashizaki, president of the Maui Casting Club, said that in general “people don’t want” to pay for a license or a permit because they are used to fishing for free.

But if a system needs to be in place and if a fee needs to be charged, Hashizaki said he hopes the state would use that money to help fishers.

“I don’t think it’s going to break your pocket, but if they can use the money for benefit the fishermen, not like use it for rail,” said Hashizaki, who also attended the Maui meeting with about 60 other people.

But Hashizaki said he was concerned about fees hurting younger fishermen, such as his adult son. As a senior citizen, Hashizaki said it is possible that his fees could be waived.

Following the statewide meetings that wrap up on Oahu next week, a community report will be put together reflecting what was said by all at the meetings, said Aarin Gross, senior program manager for policy and operations for Conservation International Hawaii. The report will be shared with people who attended the meetings and provided an email address and those who were interested.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will receive the report to help the department decide what type of proposal to present to the Legislature next year, said David Sakoda, a program specialist with the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources.

Sakoda said the DLNR could, through the governor’s office, introduce a bill to give the department permission to implement a registration, permit or license system….

2016: OHA Fishing for Money from Fishermen?

read … A Tax

77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

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