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Tuesday, September 5, 2023
September 5, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:24 PM :: 1474 Views

Economic growth is our only way out

DBEDT: Visitor Recovery continues Thru July

CNHA Buys Another Apartment Building--No New Affordable Units Created

State’s independent investigators haven’t ruled out criminal wrongdoing in Lahaina wildfire disaster

HNN: … Interviews are being conducted as part of an independent investigation into the Lahaina wildfire that will look at possible causes, government missteps and even whether there is any criminal wrongdoing that the state should pursue.

The state Attorney General’s Office has hired the nationally-recognized Fire Safety Research Institute to look into the cause, response, and aftermath of the disaster. The Institute’s executive director says a team has been on the ground for the last two weeks to survey the damage and interview survivors, first responders and officials in charge of overseeing the response.

“The attorney general made it very clear that if anything gets uncovered that happens to be criminal or could be, our responsibility is to pass that information on,” said Steve Kerber, of the institute….

(CLUE: Pass it on for the AG to cover up.)

read … State’s independent investigators haven’t ruled out criminal wrongdoing in Lahaina wildfire disaster 

OCCC Murder Cover-up: Killer Inmate Being protected by DPS 

HNN: … Authorities are investigating another murder at OCCC, but have refused to reveal details into the brutal killing — which left a mentally ill man awaiting trial dead.

Documents reveal Ryden Riveira was beaten so badly the 23-year-old went into coma and never woke up. Sources tipped off HNN Investigates about the killing nearly a year ago, but state jail officials wouldn’t answer any of our questions until we obtained the victim’s autopsy report.

Guards discovered Riveira severely beaten in his cell a year and a half ago.

Authorities say the pre-trial detainee was locked up with just one other inmate. But who that man is and if he — or anyone — ever been charged are questions that officials are still refusing to answer….

As for Riveira, we’ve confirmed the 23-year-old had a well-documented history of mental illness. Doctors said he suffered from schizophrenia, ADHD and drug-induced psychosis.

Officials say Riveira was locked up after his probation was revoked.

He was killed while awaiting trail, accused of trying to break into a home back in 2018.... 

HNN: State declines to release details on brutal beating in OCCC cell that left man dead

read …  Authorities confirm another brutal murder at OCCC, but won’t say if anyone was charged

Still Blaming COVID: ‘Supply chain issues’ delay multiple state projects

HNN: … he ongoing supply chain issues are pushing back multiple state projects. Lawmakers are trying to find solutions as delays are piling up for key improvements.

In July, the state announced plans to install metal detectors at the State Capitol. Nearly a month after the enhanced screening was supposed to begin, the project is still in the works due to supply chain issues. KHON2 learned, the parts have arrived, but now there’s delays due to electrical requirements.

(YEAH.  Blame COVID for poor planning.)

It isn’t the only state project pushed back. The state said, a project to replace warning sirens throughout Maui County has been delayed. It’s due to the composite poles taking a long time to manufacture and ship to Maui. The delivery was delayed 195 days and arrival of other federal signal equipment was delayed by 180 days. The completion date is now slated for Nov. 16.

(CLUE: Composite = Fiberglass…which is very flammable.)

On Kauai, parts for an air conditioning replacement project at Kapaa High School are expected to arrive 300 days after approval which is now pushing the project back to winter break instead of summer….

read … Supply chain issues delay multiple state projects | KHON2

Former Maui Mayor Asked For West Maui Wildfire Money 2 Years Ago But Dropped The Request

CB: … FEMA and former employees with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the county qualified for a federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Post-Fire grant following the Kahana Ridge Fire on Oct. 22, 2019. That fire threatened 500 homes in the Napili-Honokowai areas, and eventually burned 600 acres.

FEMA authorized a $422,000 post-fire fire hazard mitigation project by virtue of that Kahana Ridge fire, and set a deadline of March 31, 2021 for the county to apply to FEMA for the money, said Theresa Woznick, who was State Hazard Mitigation Officer for the HIEMA at the time.

“We had asked the administration that time, ‘Hey, this is money for you guys to do whatever you want in terms of wildfire mitigation,'” Kanda said.

Staff in the Maui Emergency Management Agency had little or no experience in the complex area of hazard mitigation grant applications, so the mayor’s office during the administration of Maui Mayor Michael Victorino took control of the effort, Woznick said.

The county decided to focus on wildfire mitigation for West Maui, developing a proposal focused in large part on removing trash, abandoned vehicles and clearing homeless camps along the Honoapiilani Highway, which the county determined was a high fire risk, she said.

But FEMA objected to the county’s proposal, Woznick and Kanda said, and the grant initiative fell apart….

read … Former Maui Mayor Asked For West Maui Wildfire Money 2 Years Ago But Dropped The Request

Honolulu Mayor Orders Review Of Wildfire Risk On Oahu

CB: … Blangiardi has directed managing director Mike Formby to research wildfire risk on Oahu, according to an Aug. 22 memo addressed to the Department of Emergency Management, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu Emergency Services Department, Board of Water Supply and Department of Facility Maintenance.

The idea is that compiling this information will help the city assess its own readiness to respond to current and changing risks “in light of increasing heat and drought predictions and trends,” according to the memo. …

SA: Deficiencies abound with Hawaii’s disaster warning sirens

read … Honolulu Mayor Orders Review Of Wildfire Risk On Oahu

An Instagram Fundraiser Brought In $2.6 Million For Maui Fire Victims. Now It’s In This anti-GMO activist’s Hands--she will use it to buy up land

CB:  … Tiare Lawrence, an anti-GMO activist from Maui, will help dole out the money, some of which she says will be used to purchase land and build a memorial park ….

(CLUE: The County should do that.)

read … An Instagram Fundraiser Brought In $2.6 Million For Maui Fire Victims. Now It’s In This Woman’s Hands

West Maui students not enrolled or contacted reduced to 1,208

SA: … The number of displaced West Maui public school students who still have not enrolled in new schools or been contacted by state officials is 1,208, down from the 2,025 first reported late last month.

But officials say there is still no easy way to know conclusively how many of that remainder are pausing schooling, have left for private schools or the mainland, or are among the dead or missing in the aftermath of the wildfires.

Of the 3,001 students who had been enrolled in the Lahainaluna complex of four public schools before the Aug. 8 inferno, the latest tally as of Thursday shows 778 have reenrolled in other Hawaii public schools and 874 have applied for or enrolled in the State Distance Learning Program, says a new state Department of Education report. About 29 students have moved to public charter schools, approximately 100 have enrolled in Hawaii independent schools, and about a dozen have withdrawn, says the report, which is expected to be presented Thursday by state Schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi to the Student Achievement Committee of the state Board of Education….

read … West Maui students not enrolled or contacted reduced to 1,208

Hawaii Replaces Maui And Kauai Ambulance Company With One That Has A Questionable Record

CB: … According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Falck was fined $1.9 million by the city for failing to meet response times for three months in 2022. In April, the newspaper reported that the city has taken over staffing, ambulance dispatching and patient billing from Falck. The Times of San Diego called Falck’s performance “an utter disaster.”

In 2022, the Bay Area’s ABC 7 News reported, “The response times for hundreds of critical 911 calls failed to meet compliance standards in Alameda County this past December — And it’s been that way for months.”…

read … Hawaii Replaces Maui And Kauai Ambulance Company With One That Has A Questionable Record

Phoney Baloney: Proposal would prohibit disposal of certain recyclables into landfill

HTH: … The county’s Environmental Management Commission has been developing over its last several monthly meetings an ordinance aimed at gradually reducing the materials entering the WHSL — the only landfill still operating on the island — by diverting waste toward other processes….

EMC chair Georjean Adams, who is drafting the ordinance, said that the Department of Environmental Management estimates the WHSL has about 20 to 25 years left of usable life at the county’s current rate of waste production. Certain practices, such as changing how thick the landfill liners are, could squeeze a few more years out of the facility, but with the Hilo landfill closed since 2020, a solution must be found sooner rather than later.

The latest draft of the ordinance — which Adams said is still in very early development — would prohibit certain people from intentionally disposing of “designated recyclable wastes” into county landfills. Those people would include “large businesses, multifamily subdivisions, county facilities, schools, nonprofits, small businesses, and residents who have access to transfer stations and/or curbside collection of designated recyclable wastes.”…

CLUE: Recycled plastics are dumped in the jungle on Borneo.

BIN: A county commission drafts ordinance aiming to ban recyclables at West Hawai‘i landfill

read … Proposal would prohibit disposal of certain recyclables into landfill - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

State-backed hackers and cybercriminals focusing on Hawaiʻi

TR: … State-backed hackers and cybercriminals have focused their attention on Hawaiʻi in recent months. Recorded Future — the parent company of The Record — published a report highlighting prolific Russian and Chinese disinformation groups using the devastating wildfires in Maui as a way to spread misinformation.

Ransomware gangs and other criminal groups have attacked the state’s community college — prompting it to pay a ransom this summer — as well as a U.S. national center for astronomy in Maunakea.

In March, the State Department of Health began sending out breach notification letters after a cyberattack in January gave hackers limited access to the state’s death registry….

read … Hawai’i State Department of Health resolves website defacement (therecord.media)

Lahaina Fire News:

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