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April 19, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:49 PM :: 1818 Views

25 House Bills up for Final Reading

Taxpayers Not on the Hook for HECO's $542M 'Special Purpose Revenue Bonds'

‘Wow ... LOL’: Text messages from ex-MEMA head point to lack of urgency during Lahaina firefight

HNN: … The report documents a series of disturbing text messages between Andaya and MEMA administrative assistant Gaye Gabuat, during which they show a lack of concern.

Here are some of those messages:

3:53 p.m. Gaye Gabuat to Herman Andaya: “Lol. Poor chief looks so overwhelm. Chief is wanting help from the military. Not sure of what.”

4:01 p.m.  Andaya to Gabuat: “This is crazy. How is everyone holding up?”

4:03 p.m.  Andaya to Gabuat: “Should I come home?

Gabuat to Andaya: “PIOs are funny. There are 3 of them and they look scared and overwhelmed....I think they need a hug lol to calm down.”

9:37 p.m.  Andaya to Gabuat: “How’s the other fires?”

9:38 p.m.  Gabuat to Andaya: “Still burning”

Andaya to Gabuat: “Wow ... Lol”

Gabuat to Andaya: “Now we have Kihei fire near Pulehu Road.”

Andaya to Gabuat: “You just keep making my day.”

10:58 p.m.  Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator James Barros to Andaya: “LtG just called...Very concerned.”

Andaya to Barros: “Yes....this is really bad. I’m flying back tomorrow.” ….

Related: Full Text: Hawaii Attorney General Maui Wildfire Report

read … ‘Wow ... LOL’: Text messages from ex-MEMA head point to lack of urgency during Lahaina firefight

WaPo: MECO Took Hours to Respond to Lahaina Downed Line at Source of Fire

WaPo: … Hawaii’s electric utility did not respond quickly to the first alerts of its power lines breaking before the deadly Maui fire last August, according to a new timeline report by the Hawaii attorney general’s office, a lapse that experts say may have contributed to the deadliest fire in U.S. history.

The report shows the Maui Fire Department first learned a power pole had snapped, sending “low hanging wires across” the road at 5:16 a.m. on Aug. 8, prompting fire officers to immediately alert Hawaiian Electric, referred to as Maui Electric in the report. But a utility worker did not arrive on scene until hours later that afternoon, the report stated. By that point, numerous power lines had fallen in high winds, multiple fires were burning and, for most of the day, police officers and fire officials had no idea if the lines were de-energized or not, according to the timeline….

Had the utility followed standard practice to dispatch a repair crew and visually inspect that broken pole, “they never should have re-energized that line at 6:07 a.m. thereby causing the fire,” said Robertson, an attorney representing families who lost homes and loved ones in the blaze. “This horrible tragedy was entirely avoidable, in my opinion.”…

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen was also slow to treat the blazes as serious emergencies, according to the probe. Despite schools closing and multiple fires burning at once, Bissen refused to declare an emergency, saying it “was not necessary,” the report stated.

At 3:15 p.m., as the Lahaina fire grew quickly in intensity and size, state officials tried to get ahold of the mayor, asking if he was in the Emergency Operations Center, and were told “no.” Finally, at 8 p.m., Bissen signed an emergency order. By that time, Lahaina had already burned to the ground and scores of people were missing….

For months, at least 90 lawsuits representing hundreds of victims had been stalled due to Hawaiian Electric’s demands to have them tried in federal court. At the same time, Maui County agencies have declined to answer fire investigators’ requests for all records and interviews, forcing investigators to issue 67 subpoenas so far to the Maui Emergency Management Agency and the water, police and fire departments.

“We have limited information from EOC, from MEMA. We have made multiple requests for that information,” said Derek Alkonis, research program manager for the Fire Safety Research Institute, during a news conference Wednesday on the report’s release….

read … New Maui fire report shows utility waited hours to respond to broken power line

CENSORSHIP: Supreme Court Orders AG be Silent on Envios’ Role in Lahaina firefighting water shortage

HNN: … The Hawaii Supreme Court (of the Inquisition) ruled Thursday that the Attorney General and DLNR made baseless (blasphemous) accusations in bad faith (an affront to the Goddess Gaia) in a dispute over water to fight fires.

The case began on the same day as the Lahaina wildfire — Aug. 8 — when the state attorney general claimed (pointed out) that a ruling by the environmental court Judge had made it harder to fight fires on Maui because of water restrictions and asked that the restrictions be suspended.

The Sierra Club (High Priests) challenged the claim (blasphemers) and Maui County said (upheld the Goddess Gaia, by pretending) it had no shortage of water for firefighting. And in unusually strong language, the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed that there was no evidence to support the AG ’s claim, and that it was frivolous and in bad faith (should be burned at the stake, after being forced to pay for carbon credit indulgences to cover the CO2 emissions.)

The Court (of the Inquisition) also criticized the AG for refusing to retract the claim after the hearing…. 

SA Editorial: BLNR water calls cast into doubt

AP: Hawaii Supreme Court chides state's legal moves on water after deadly Maui wildfire

CB: Hawaii Supreme Court Rebukes State Agencies In East Maui Water Case - Honolulu Civil Beat

REALITY: 20230810 Letter describes Manuel's Obstruction as Lahaina Burned

CENSORSHIP: Hawaii Supreme court ruling on BLNR

read … In sharp rebuke, state Supreme Court penalizes AG over baseless Lahaina water shortage claim (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Honolulu City Council considers salary charter amendments

SA: … Those resolutions include:

>> Resolution 82: To place a 5% cap on any Salary Commission- recommended pay boosts. That resolution would also see the Salary Commission convene biennially in every even-numbered year, and establish salaries and salary schedules for the following two fiscal years no later than the first day of May.

>> Resolution 85: To limit the Salary Commission’s ability to increase salaries by more than 10% a year.

>> Resolution 86: To require the Council to hold a public hearing on any resolution issued by the Salary Commission proposing to alter city officials’ salaries.

>> Resolution 87: To allow the Council to reject all or a portion of the salary recommendations of the city’s Salary Commission by a simple majority vote, or 50% plus one. Currently, the nine-­member Council must achieve a three-quarters vote — or seven members of that body — to jettison in whole or in part the city’s next salary schedule.

>> Resolution 91: To remove the Council from having a role in reviewing the salaries set by the Salary Commission, and to provide that the Salary Commission may not increase the salaries that it sets for elected officials by more than 3.5% per year.

>> Resolution 105: To remove Council members’ authority to vote on their own salaries and provide the Salary Commission with a formula for increases in line with the average increase for city employees set by collective bargaining; and change the Salary Commission’s meeting schedule to every two years.

>> Resolution 193: To provide that any salaries altered by a resolution adopted by the Salary Commission will take effect on the first day of the city’s fiscal year subsequent to the resolution’s adoption and cannot be rejected or altered by the Council; and to specify that a member of the Salary Commission can be reappointed only once to a second five-year term.

During the Council’s Wednesday meeting, Oahu resident Natalie Iwasa commented on each of the resolutions.

Among them, she opposed Resolution 193, advanced by Council member Val Okimoto in 2023, because it “would make any recommendations to the Salary Commission go into effect automatically” and not be rejected by the Council….

read … Honolulu City Council considers salary charter amendments

Food prices and rent continue to rise for Honolulu residents

KHON: … Food and housing costs are the top expenses that continue increasing for Honolulu residents, eating at restaurants increased by more than 7% over the last 12 months, while rents have increased by 11%. …

The State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian said there are wider impacts from the rising inflation. He said Hawaii’s economy could be stunted. 

Dr. Tian said,  “Overall the spending in real dollars will decrease and it will also impact the visitor. So if our price is higher, and the visitors may not be willing to come.”

Hawaii’s consumer price index is more than 1% higher than the national average. Dr. Tian said the limited housing inventory adds to the squeeze. He predicts inflation will continue to rise. 

Dr. Tian said, “This inflation may last for another few months before it is leveling.” ….

read … Food prices and rent continue to rise for Honolulu residents

How Miske Set Up Kidnapping: “All of the red flags that anybody could have seen.”

HNN: … On the witness stand, Wong said on July 30, 2016, Miske gifted her and Caleb’s wife, Delia, a spa day at Ko Olina. But she became more worried and frantic when she couldn’t reach Fraser all day.

By evening, when friends couldn’t find him, she concluded they’d been set up for a kidnapping.

“To me, this wasn’t happening. There was no freaking way,” she said. “Why would he give us that car? Why would he put us in the house? Why did I not see all these things? I was pissed off. It came to me instantly — all of the red flags that anybody could have seen.”

During a frantic search that evening, she drove to Miske’s home in Kailua at nearly midnight, hoping Fraser might be there. She found the house was dark and deserted so she called Miske.

“When he answered the phone I asked him if he knew where John was,” she said.

“But before that, I asked him where he was. He told me that he was at home. I didn’t believe that,” she said, adding that the carport was empty and the house was dark.

After she began a social media campaign to find Fraser, Miske sent her an all-caps text that warned her to stop encouraging people to believe Caleb Miske was the driver in the accident.

She said she felt threatened.

She also testified she was told to leave the home Miske paid for shortly after Fraser disappeared.

Wong said after Fraser disappeared she began recording phone calls with Miske. One played in court Thursday included him telling her that he didn’t want police in the condo without him or Delia standing by….

(CLUE: “Luminol”)

ILind: First day of testimony by Johnny Fraser’s girlfriend

read … In tearful testimony, woman describes day she believed alleged crime boss killed her boyfriend

UH: “It would be so difficult to have any required courses”

CB: … I was recently surprised to learn that history and “world civ” are no longer valued at UH Manoa. Oh, if you are interested in history as electives, maybe. But it’s not part of the meaning of a proud graduate of a first-class institution.

And if I should want to transfer to another school, will the UH experience travel well?

Here are the current general education requirements of Manoa. To be fair, they are all worthy categories.

In general, however, they are short on history of the world, the U.S. and Hawaii. They ignore any focus on civics, citizenship education and democracy.

Why is this important?

We have a major political movement that believes a U.S. president “controls” the courts in most states, or controls state or local prosecutors. The a president can “rig” an election or embrace lie after lie about how constitutions, or laws or the three branches of government work.

Regarding required higher education courses: It’s hard to say you were educated on a topic, such as world, American or Hawaiian history, unless you were 1) taught it, 2) understood it, 3) remember it and 4) can apply it.

A senior UH Manoa administrator recently pushed back on the very idea of a required course. It would be so difficult to have any required courses, I heard.

But if you never were taught world geography and how it shaped history, how can you hope to understand climate change? Environmental literacy is apparently not considered important!

What about American democracy? Is a UH grad expected to know about the U.S. Bill of Rights? Expected to understand how it applies to their lives, and can actually remember some of them? What about the Civil War? Slavery? The Great Depression? World War II? The Vietnam War? Nixon? 9/11? Japan, China and Korea? Obama? The Hawaii ’78 ConCon?

Is it OK for a UH grad to be ignorant of all these, especially at a four-year campus such as UH Manoa or West Oahu? Is it OK to have no clue how the Legislature works? Or what a grand jury does? Never required to read a Supreme Court case? Never even read a law?

We seem to often have tepid standards when it comes to boasting “I am a College Graduate!”

read … An Open Letter To Candidates For UH President

State Sued because Schizophrenic Homeless Dude Got Mental Health care by Accident, Lucky ‘victim’ now lives on farm in Vermont!

CB: … Spriestersbach’s lawsuit seeks damages for his “outrageous arrest and forced medical treatment” for 32 months after he was arrested outside of a Chinatown homeless shelter in 2017 on a bench warrant for Thomas Castleberry. The real Castleberry was incarcerated in Alaska at that time.

(CLUE:  Homelessness is caused by the closure of the insane asylums.  If the authorities could commit ‘outrages’ like this another 10,000 times, we could abolish homelessness.)

Spriestersbach, who has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, underwent five separate mental fitness evaluations after his arrest. Each time, the court deemed him “unfit to proceed” and re-committed him to the Hawaii State Hospital…. 

Lawyers for the state and other defendants declined to comment. Spriestersbach’s Ohio-based attorney, Alphonse Gerhardstein, declined an interview, except to say that Spriestersbach, who now lives with his sister in Vermont, is “eager for this litigation to conclude as soon as possible.” ….

(TRANSLATION: A schizophrenic only got the mental health care he needed because of an error.  As a result of this ‘error’ he has moved from sleeping on a sidewalk in Honolulu to living on his sister’s farm in Vermont.   Those involved should be given bonuses for making more errors like this one.  Instead they are being sued.)

A trial is scheduled for Aug. 26.

Last week, Jennifer Brown of the Hawaii (OJ Simpson) Innocence Project filed a separate lawsuit on Spriestersbach’s behalf in Circuit Court. The lawsuit names his former public defenders as defendants and alleges they failed to diligently represent him and allowed him to be misidentified….

read … Officials Mistakenly Locked This Man In A Psych Ward, Then Argued He Was Not Sane Enough To Sue - Honolulu Civil Beat

Dillingham Airfield And Nearby North Shore Residents Brace For Looming Water Shutdown

CB: … The airfield is poised to get the reprieve it needs to stay open, but it still doesn't have a new group ready to step up and manage the water system….

read … Dillingham Airfield And Nearby North Shore Residents Brace For Looming Water Shutdown

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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