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Monday, August 28, 2023
August 28, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:02 PM :: 1202 Views

Blame Game: HECO Pushes Back Against Maui County Lawsuit

FEMA Holds Employee Trainings on ‘White Supremacy’ As More Than 1,000 in Hawaii Remain Missing

Fact Check: Joe Biden Embellishes Fire Story in Recent Remarks in Hawaii

Star-Adv: DPP Fines Should Equal Bribes

SA: … The latest proposal would simply super-size the fines for violating city ordinances. Penalties would rise from $250 a day (up to a total of $2,000) to an initial fine of $25,000 plus $10,000 a day per violation.

It’s a good idea. The current fine “may be a negligible cost of doing business for monster home developers,” said Dawn Takeuchi Apuna, director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), who brought the proposed bill before the city Planning Commission.

Apuna is right. The fines certainly haven’t scared off scofflaws. And $2,000 is chicken feed compared to, say, the amount of bribes given to five former DPP employees, since convicted and sentenced — from $28,000 to $100,000 in some cases. This suggests that perhaps the city undervalues the “cost of doing business.”…

read … Editorial: Increase fines for monster houses

California’s catastrophic Camp Fire could suggest what’s ahead for Lahaina

SA: … Like Hawaii, Paradise officials initially faced “really some frightening times when we thought we had thousands of dead.”

But once they reported the names of the unaccounted for in the local newspaper, people came forward to say that they were OK, along with friends and family, reducing the updated number of missing to a dozen….

Pacific Resource Partnership, the political arm of the Hawaii Carpenters’ Union, helped connect Hawaii and Maui County officials to officials in Paradise.

In a statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, PRP wrote, “Pacific Resource Partnership is focused on providing good information to Gov. Green and Mayor Bissen as the rebuilding of Lahaina moves forward. There is an urgent need to prevent displaced Lahaina residents from moving to the mainland, so it’s critical for the West Maui community to know what’s possible when it comes to building new homes in the area. PRP and the carpenters union are ready to meet this need once West Maui residents, in consultation with the governor and the mayor, decide on a path forward.”

Green, U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono all told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser separately last week that they appreciate any input from the experience that the town of Paradise can share. Tokuda and Hirono also said they have been contacted by their California congressional counterparts about what to expect, based on the Camp Fire — “especially listening to the community,” Hirono said. “Consultation with the community, that’s really important.”…

Like Lahaina, there were initial concerns that so-called predatory buyers would take advantage of economically distressed survivors by buying up their land for pennies on the dollar and “turning the community into something the community doesn’t want,” Curtis said. “Instead, 90% of building involves returning residents.”…

read … California’s catastrophic Camp Fire could suggest what’s ahead for Lahaina

Lawyers Descend On Maui In Race For Clients Harmed By Wildfires

CB: … On Aug. 8, Kevin Williams ran from his Lahaina home barefoot with his wife, two kids and their dog, barely escaping the fast-moving flames.

Now three weeks later, he’s searching for a lawyer who might help make him whole again after losing two houses to the fire.

Williams was one of about 50 people — many of them survivors of the deadly Lahaina blaze — who attended a question and answer session in Kahului on Sunday that was put on by a group of law firms, including Takatani Agaran Jorgensen and Wildman and Morgan & Morgan, which bills itself as one of the country’s largest injury law practices.

The purpose of the event was to provide information about a recent lawsuit the firms had filed against Hawaiian Electric Co. and its Maui subsidiary, which are blamed for starting the fire that destroyed Lahaina and claimed at least 115 lives.

But lawyers also sought to sign up prospective clients, such as Williams, to help bolster their case and increase their share of what could eventually be a multibillion-dollar legal settlement.

For Williams, the whole process has been surreal, he said, especially given how recent the disaster is.

“It just feels very uncomfortable,” he said.

Dozens of lawyers have descended on the island, and already more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against HECO, including one by Maui County….

(CLUE: Homeowners need to negotiate with their insurance companies for a payout more than they need any log-term class action suit.  These are two completely separate things.)

read … Lawyers Descend On Maui In Race For Clients Harmed By Wildfires

Plans for displaced Lahaina students spur frustration

MN: …  The state Department of Education says 3,001 students were enrolled in the four Lahaina public schools on the day of the fire. Since then, 538 have re-enrolled in other public schools and 438 have enrolled in the State Distance Learning Program. That leaves 2,025 students who haven’t opted for another school or virtual learning, though some may have moved out of state or enrolled in private schools.

The fire destroyed King Kamehameha III Elementary, and the other three schools — Princess Nahi’ena’ena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High — remain closed for air, water and soil testing.

The DOE announced Wednesday that four Central and South Maui schools would serve as temporary sites for displaced Lahaina students. Many told the board that this caught them off guard….

read … Plans for displaced Lahaina students spur frustration

Maui Fires: Upcoming Bankruptcy Spikes Visitor Costs To All Islands Except Kauai

BH: … “Energy typically accounts for about 8% of total costs, but that could rise as high as 25% in a worst-case scenario.” ….

read … Maui Fires: Upcoming Bankruptcy Spikes Visitor Costs To All Islands Except Kauai - Beat of Hawaii

Civil Beat Retraction Needed

IM: … Life of the Land informed Civil Beat at the time that the nine Electric Dream articles written in 2016 were the most inaccurate series of articles on HECO that has even been published. The articles contained nearly 100 errors, omissions, and mistakes. 

Civil Beat said to take it up with Eric Pape who wrote the articles and was leaving Hawaii. Pape bragged to Life of the Land about his and his wife`s advocacy for sensational journalism that focused more on controversy than being factually based. ..

IM: Correcting Falsified Histories

read … Civil Beat Retraction Needed

Lahaina Fire News:




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