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Sunday, August 4, 2019
August 4, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:12 PM :: 2832 Views

Withholding, the Root of All Evil?

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted August 4, 2019

Trustee: OHA Should be a Center of Influence Peddling

Star-Adv: Use Federal Money to Buy off Telescope Protesters

SA: … The opponents to the project like to point to the Navy’s use of Kahoolawe as a bombing target until 1990, and the protracted battle to stop it, as an example of how resolute opposition can win out.

The issues are completely different. TMT would be conducting research, not dropping bombs. And while construction brings environmental risk, it is certainly manageable, whereas the ordnance cleanup and replanting efforts on Kahoolawe have been a decades-long enterprise, still ongoing.

That said, Kahoolawe does offer a template for a kind of partnership, with the restoration of the mountain environment to be the long-term goal. In the earlier case, the federal funds financed the work of the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, an agency formed by the Legislature as caretakers of the island until it can be transferred to a Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. In other words, an agreement reached in good faith by all the parties involved.

Could something akin to the commission be set up to oversee summit restoration? Perhaps. There is already an agency, the Office of Maunakea Management, chartered to oversee day-to-day management of the Maunakea Science Reserve. Its guidance includes a plan dealing specifically with decommissioning retired telescopes among the 13 located on the summit campus….


read … Simoleans

HART board says Council Reso 19-170 Could Stop Rail Construction at Middle Street

SA:  …If HART is dissolved, the rail project might be forced to stop at Middle Street.  A HART resolution argues this is a …uh… bad …uh… thing…. 

CB: Rail Faces More Uncertainty As Council Leader Tries To Abolish HART

read …  HART board says ‘no’ to dissolution, warns it would imperil rail project

Telescope Protesters Exploit Hawaiian Infighting for Greenmail Profits

Borreca: … In fairness, Ige has been shadow-boxing for years with various groups claiming to represent the Hawaiian community. No single entity can claim to unanimously represent Hawaii’s first citizens, so everyone can claim they should be at the table….

Precisely as Explained: OHA Anti-Telescope Activism Begins With Rejection of Cayetano-Era 'Settlement'

read … Ige does the Mauna Kea hokey pokey, and leaves with little to show for it

Telescope Protesters Created by Taxpayer-Funded ‘Immersion Schools’

SA: … Some establishment politicians including Democratic House Speaker Scott Saiki describe the TMT controversy as a pivotal shift for Hawaii as an educated new generation of activists rallies at the base of Mauna Kea, finds its voice, and demands to be recognized.

“It’s a defining moment for our state,” said Saiki, a top political leader in the Hawaii and a longtime supporter of the TMT project. “I really believe that the way we deal with this will set the character and soul of Hawaii.”

There have been very large Hawaiian demonstrations in the past, such as the gathering for the Onipa‘a event at Iolani Palace in 1993 to mark the centennial of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. But this protest is different, Saiki said.

“I think it’s different because it’s now a generational movement. You have protectors on the mountain now whose parents and grandparents may have been at Iolani Palace years ago, but the younger generation has come forward now, basically to vindicate the mistreatment of their parents, grandparents and great- grandparents,” he said.

One experienced Democratic political operative declared, “What they have going is stronger than any current political party in this state.” Several politically connected people agreed to discuss the situation on Mauna Kea only on condition they are not identified because the standoff on Mauna Kea remains divisive, tense and fluid.

Another political veteran who asked not to be identified said the Mauna Kea movement has tapped into Hawaiians’ spiritual values in ways that no protest has since the demonstrations in the mid-1970s against the military’s target-practice bombing of Kahoolawe.

Those Kahoolawe protests eventually led to an end to the bombing, and were a harbinger of what is often called the “Hawaiian Renaissance,” the grassroots rebirth of Hawaiian language and culture fostered by Hawaiian-language immersion schools, charter schools grounded in Hawaiian culture, and expansion of college-level Hawaiian studies programs.

Today, the students and graduates of those programs are very well represented in the protests on the mountain, along with many of their instructors and professors….

John De Fries, a Hawaiian and former CEO of the controversial Hokulia luxury housing development in Kona, calls this a “huliau” or turning point, a moment of transformation. He even compares this to pivotal historic moments such as Kamehameha’s drive to unify the islands, or the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom.

“What’s going on there is a demonstration of what Native Hawaiian potential is all about as a leader in a kamaaina society,” he said of the protests….

What isn’t happening: Native Claims: How Alaska Found a Settlement

read … Mauna Kea protests seen as generational shift, pivot point

Claims about TMT’s impact on watershed are just plain false, according to expert, EIS

HTH: … However, the project also has been criticized for fear that development on the site will contaminate or otherwise impact groundwater throughout the island. Some criticism — largely promulgated on social media — went so far as to speculate that the TMT project will seek to drill into groundwater at Maunakea’s summit.

Those fears are not credible, said geochemist Don Thomas, director for the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaii Manoa Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

“In this case, I can’t conceive of any way the project could impact the groundwater,” Thomas said….

The 2010 environmental impact statement that was prepared for the TMT project states that all wastewater from the telescope will be transported from the site, not discharged at the summit, which is another falsehood spread on social media. Potable water will similarly be transported to the site…..

Thomas also said that he “hopes nobody takes too seriously” social media claims that TMT needs a groundwater source to cool a hidden nuclear reactor within the facility.

TMT will draw its power from the same source as every other telescope on the mountain: HELCO’s energy grid….

read … Just Plain False

Stonewalling TMT would undermine the rule of law

SA: … From a legal and regulatory process standpoint, the rule of law must stand. Undermining the integrity of our judicial system undermines our democracy. TMT followed a lengthy seven-year public and agency review. This regulatory process included many community outreach efforts that have recognized the cultural significance of Mauna Kea. TMT is committed and understands the need to be a good citizen of Hawaii and will certainly be held accountable if it does otherwise.

From a business and economic standpoint, certainty and fairness are key to doing business in Hawaii. Approved projects such as TMT that have gone through the proper process should not be stopped after the fact. Doing so compromises the integrity of the process and any efforts to improve the business climate for our communities….

SA: Losing the TMT would seriously damage Hawaii’s image and reputation and our ability to foster and develop scientific leadership.

read … Stonewalling TMT would undermine the rule of law

$350M Aloha Stadium plan has flies on it already

Shapiro: … Common Cause and the League of Women Voters last week awarded the 2019 Legislature its “Rusty Scalpel” award for using the deceitful gut-and-replace tactic to provide $350 million for a new stadium in a deal that could result in massive private development of hotels, condos, shops and restaurants on the Halawa site….

Under the bill ultimately signed by Gov. David Ige, control of the stadium rebuild went to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which was responsible for the Kakaako redevelopment that’s resulted in mostly luxury condos sold mostly to outside speculators on one side of Ala Moana Boulevard and homeless encampments on the other side.

After failing to pass a stadium bill through the regular order of public hearings and three votes in each house, legislators late in the session gutted an unrelated bill on the environment and inserted language authorizing and funding the stadium redevelopment.

The bill then passed the two houses with restricted public hearings and readings….

Legislators say the public will have opportunity to comment as the process moves along, but the bill pretty much closes the door on a site other than Halawa, a lead agency other than HCDA or a funding mechanism other than a public-private partnership.

Sounds a lot like rail: You can comment as much as you like as long as it’s steel wheels on elevated steel tracks going from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center with ample giveaways to private developers along the way….

Background: $350M Stadium Bill: "Abusive Gut and Replace" Scheme being Challenged in Court

read … $350M Aloha Stadium plan has flies on it already

In wake of pedestrian crash, state to look at building parking for Laniakea Beach Park

HNN: … Under pressure from the North Shore community, the state Department of Transportation said it will now look at moving parts of Kamehameha Highway near Laniakea Beach inland to provide limited parking on the makai side of the highway.

The plan is expected to cost between $6 million and $8 million and will take two years to obtain environmental clearance, the DOT said.

State Sen. Gil Riviere, whose district covers Waialua, said it’s about time but added that he’s not impressed by the state’s efforts so far.

“This is the number one issue that they have denied from day one. They have never, never, never entertained this thing ... Now magically because the pressures is on, maybe we’ll do the wiggle road,” said Riviere.

The move comes after a 10-year-old California boy was seriously injured Thursday after he was struck by a car while trying to cross the highway. The boy has improved and has since left the hospital….

read … In wake of pedestrian crash, state to look at building parking for Laniakea Beach Park

Criminals Walk Free Because Police Have no System to Track Service of Warrants

TGI: … At least five separate criminal cases n Kauai have been dismissed in the last month because police and prosecutors failed to pursue charges in a timely manner.

Since July 1, Fifth Circuit Court judges have thrown out a dozen charges — half of them felonies — due to delays caused by police failing to serve warrants for months on end or by county prosecutors neglecting to bring cases to trial within the legally allotted amount of time.

Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal Valenciano felt compelled to address the matter during a recent court session:

“The problem here is what has been, and continues to be, an issue with the police department — they don’t track their efforts to serve warrants,” Valenciano said before granting a motion to dismiss charges against an Anahola woman accused of injuring an 8-year-old child in a car accident while driving under the influence of drugs.

“Part of the failure is a lack of records,” Valenciano said a half-hour later, when he was forced to toss out yet another case — this one involved a Kilauea man facing multiple felony charges related to identity theft and heroin and methamphetamine possession — for essentially the same reason.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ramsey Ross admitted that his office failed to bring the case to trial within the six-month period required by law. But in a motion addressing the unnecessary delay caused by police, Ross said that the 190 days it took for Kauai Police Department officers to execute the warrant was not long enough to infringe upon the man’s right to a fair trial….

read … Long-delayed cases dismissed

Federal grant helps house dozens of Oahu’s homeless

SA: The nonprofit Steadfast Housing Development Corp. and ‘Ohana Health Plan have teamed up for the first time on a $554,000 federal grant to fund Housing First, market-rate rental units for at least 32 of Oahu’s most chronically homeless.

The first 10 people — including 60-year-old Navy veteran Keith Mitchell — moved into their new homes starting July 1, according to Linda Ahue, executive director for Steadfast Housing Development Corp., which does business as Steadfast Pacific Corp.

Depending on the cost of each unit and when they’re rented, “We can potentially serve more clients,”Ahue said. “We could go up to as many as the funding would allow. It could be 41. It could be 34.”…

The money is aimed at housing some of Oahu’s homeless who have been on the streets the longest, such as Mitchell, who said he’s been homeless “off and on” since 1994.

Mitchell, a former Navy petty officer third class who served aboard the aircraft carrier USS America, moved into his one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in the back of Palolo Valley on July 24 and loves it.

On the first night, “I got a lot of sleep,” Mitchell said, as a cool breeze blew in through his new apartment. “It’s nice and quiet. I’m more relaxed than being on the street, less agitated.”

Part of his homelessness was due to alcohol and drugs, and Mitchell insisted he’s not going to blow his chance on a place of his own. He said he’s been clean and sober since moving in and plans to join a treatment program this week to keep it that way….

The concept relies on landlords who are guaranteed monthly rent, along with social workers who provide so-called “wrap-around services” to deal with any tenant problems.

In Mitchell’s case, the HUD money managed by Steadfast Pacific Corp. and ‘Ohana Health Plan pays the bulk of his $1,200 monthly rent in his seven-unit apartment complex. Mitchell’s Social Security benefits pay $113 toward his rent and he’s responsible for the utility bills….

read … Federal grant helps dozens of Oahu’s homeless

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