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Monday, May 13, 2024
May 13, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:33 PM :: 2558 Views

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted May 11, 2024

Witness in Miske case tells of a search for human remains

ILind: … A Honolulu Police Department’s Special Services cadaver dog detected the scent of possible human remains in five specific spots in an undeveloped field in Waipio during a search requested by the FBI in February 2021, according to testimony this week in the racketeering trial of former Honolulu business owner Michael Miske.

The search area was along Waiawa Prison Road between the Waipio Costco and Mililani Memorial Park, according to several exhibits admitted into evidence. The approximate area is outlined in red in this satellite image from Google Maps.

It was a tantalizing hint, but neither its relevance to the Miske case, nor whether it led the FBI to any evidence, was disclosed….

ILind: Deadly incident in a Kailua tattoo shop: Part 2–The getaway

read more … Witness in Miske case tells of a search for human remains | i L i n d

Conditions ripe in Hawaii for another fire disaster

SA: … Less than a year after a massive wildfire ravaged Lahaina with shocking lethal ferocity, a federal agency is predicting that Hawaii over the next few months will face similar conditions that could lead to more wildfires.

In its latest seasonal outlook, the National Interagency Fire Center says the lee sides of the islands will experience “above average significant potential” for wildfires this month through at least August ….

CB: Hawaii Lawmakers Had Big Ideas For How To Prevent Another Lahaina. Few Became Law

read … Conditions ripe in Hawaii for another fire disaster

“I will not celebrate tiny reforms at the margins when the blatant core of corruption goes unaddressed”

CB: … the Legislature has given a different gesture to the people who expected and deserved some real ethics reform this year. It’s sometimes called the one-finger salute.

This became obvious as we saw pictures and heard speeches about the “historic” legislative session, and watched the Legislature’s leaders congratulate themselves on a job well done. We are thankful that Maui is getting the funding it needs. This was good work, but it is the bare minimum that we expected of the Legislature. And as they crow about their success, let’s remember it’s our money, not theirs. Using it as it should be used is not heroic, it’s just doing their job.

But after the profound corruption for which Hawaii politics has become deservedly famous, and the good work from the “ethics reform committee,” the Legislature again went 0-for-3 on the big three legislative ethics reforms: term limits, citizens initiative and public financing of elections.

Manini reforms have been passed, such as a law against nepotism in which the Legislature in its arrogance exempted itself. But I will not celebrate tiny reforms at the margins when the blatant core of corruption goes unaddressed. …

read … Russell Ruderman: Gestures From The Legislature - Honolulu Civil Beat

With Master Lease Negotiations Underway, Activists Target Haleakala Space Force Telescope Proposal

SFG: … observatories are used for research, education and space surveillance. Nicknamed “Science City,” the area has seven different astronomical facilities, spread over 18 acres, and some of the facilities have multiple telescopes.

At one facility, the U.S. military leases 4.5 acres for its Maui Space Surveillance Complex, operated by the U.S. Space Force, a sister branch to the Air Force. It houses a suite of telescopes, including the Department of Defense’s largest optical telescope, capable of tracking objects in deep space.

Now, the Department of the Air Force wants to add seven more telescopes. It plans to build a new facility nearby and has named it the AMOS STAR (an acronym for the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site Small Telescope Advanced Research). It’s holding informational meetings soon so the public can provide input as it prepares an environmental impact statement….

read … Space Force plan for sacred Hawaii volcano sparks opposition (sfgate.com)

Families suing over 2021 jet fuel leak into Navy drinking water in Hawaii seek $225K to $1.25M

AP: … A lawyer representing U.S. military families suing over a 2021 jet fuel leak into a Navy drinking water system in Hawaii asked a judge Monday to award plaintiffs a range of about $225,000 to about $1.25 million each in damages.

In a closing argument at the end of a two-week trial in federal court in Honolulu, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Kristina Baehr, said she is not asking for millions of dollars per person. She outlined various amounts they’re asking a judge to award each of them, including $400,000 for the past pain and suffering of Nastasia Freeman, wife of a Navy sailor and mother of three who described how the family thought their vomiting and diarrhea was Thanksgiving food poisoning. Baehr said Freeman should get another $400,000 for future pain and suffering and $250,000 for mental anguish.

Freeman is among the 17 “bellwether” plaintiffs: a cross-selection of relatives of military members representing more than 7,500 others, including service members, in three federal lawsuits ….

read … Families suing over 2021 jet fuel leak into Navy drinking water in Hawaii seek $225K to $1.25M

Visitors Seek Alternatives as Hawaii Travel Rebound Wanes Says State

BH: … For 2024, Hawaii visitor spending is expected to decline slightly, with stabilization perhaps coming in 2025.

International travelers may return to Hawaii gradually as “the US mainland market falls back a bit.” That having been said, the UHERO report makes clear that Japan, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand visitor numbers are all struggling.

It is not clear when improvement in those might occur. Part of the issue is their weak currencies compared to the U.S. dollar.

Hawaii visitor arrivals continue to be down 7.5%....

read … Visitors Seek Alternatives as Hawaii Travel Rebound Wanes Says State - Beat of Hawaii

SB3202 Gives Counties Flexibility

SA: … The final bill gives counties two options in incorporating the law, as they adapt ordinances to comply: Counties may adopt the two-ADUs-per-residential lot rule as a countywide ordinance; or they may rework zoning maps to enable the additional ADUs on certain lots to allow far more discretion. For future developments, the bill prohibits private covenants from restricting owners from adding ADUs to their lots, if county and state laws permit it, or from making these ADUs available as long-term rentals….

read … Editorial: Revised land use bill hits the mark

Doubling the Payoff: Red Light Cameras could enforce speed limits on Oahu

SA: … Bad or inattentive drivers on Oahu could soon run the risk of getting two tickets, instead of one, originating from automated cameras at 10 intersections in Honolulu.

It depends on whether a bill passed May 1 by the state Legislature becomes law, and if so, then how quickly the state Department of Transportation can implement the program.

Senate Bill 2443 directs DOT to enforce speed limits using cameras at 10 intersections where the agency already has cameras citing drivers running red lights….

read  … Cameras could enforce speed limits on Oahu

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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