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Wednesday, July 3, 2024
July 3, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:28 PM :: 1248 Views

Hotel Housing for Lahaina Survivors Ends

Second observatory removed from Maunakea summit

UHERO: Where can Hawaiʻi diversify its economy?

Blangiardi: Be Prepared for Blackouts

Mayor signs bill limiting gifts to City employees

Rail: Bids for Civic Center will Come in Over $1.5B

HNN: … The last estimate for the final three miles and six stations was between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. But that was before the Maui fires created new construction demand and the industry was already heating up with plans for government construction, such as Honolulu stadium.

Kahikina said her strategy is to build flexibility into the contracts to avoid delays that have inflated costs before. “It ... allows ingenuity for the contractor because they’re the ones physically constructing whatever we’re asking them to do,” she said.

“They have maybe better ideas on how to implement.”

The good news — at least for now — is that the two contractors moving utilities have kept up with the schedule without serious cost overruns. They are reducing the risk of costly surprises for the contractor that wins the guideline bid….

HNN: Want a say in the construction of Skyline? HART Board of Directors seeks 9th member

read … Rail CEO: Flexibility, creativity required to reach key Skyline milestones in years ahead

Miske will not testify

KHON: … Michael J. Miske, Jr., voluntarily waived his right to testify at trial on Tuesday before both sides rested their case.

The government will deliver its closing argument on Thursday, July 11 at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by the defendant’s closing statement the next day.

The court scheduled deliberations for the following Monday, July 15….

ILind: All that remain are closing arguments and the jury’s deliberations | i L i n d

CB: Miske Defense Rests After Casting Doubt On Alleged Crime Boss's Involvement In Conspiracy

read … Miske waived his right to testify. What's next?

Defend Hawaii: Mexican Mafia Still Obligated to Deal Thru Local Gangsters

KHON: … “We are finding that there are members of the Sinaloa or the Jalisco New Generation cartel who are residing in Hawaii, so we have seen that,” Connors said. “Largely, however, it is cartel interaction with local drug trafficking organizations.”

Those pushers get it into the hands of a growing number of victims — thousands sent to the emergency room with overdoses, and more than 100 a year losing their lives to fentanyl….

FLASHBACK: Mehau in Majuro – How the US Meth Epidemic Began

read … Drug fight toughens as Mexican cartels ramp up in Hawaii (khon2.com)

Honolulu Council proposes city-led gambling task force

SA: … The Honolulu Police Department says there are 100 gaming rooms operating somewhere on Oahu each day.

HPD also says when local gambling parlors — which draw illegal drugs, weapons, prostitution and gun-related violence — are shut down by law enforcement, the lucrative operations tend to quickly reopen, sometimes in the same spot and often under new operators.

In a year’s time on average, only about 20 such illegal operations are shuttered here, police say….

But now the formation of a task force on gambling rooms — to include members of HPD and the city departments of the Prosecuting Attorney, Planning and Permitting, Corporation Counsel as well as the Honolulu City Council — is being proposed to further quash game rooms on the island.

Introduced in May by Council Chair Tommy Waters and Council member Tyler Dos-Santos Tam, Resolution 143 seeks to establish “a gambling room task force to advise and assist the Council on identifying and developing solutions to combat the ongoing proliferation of illegal game room operations in the city.” … 

SA: Editorial: Create multi-agency gaming task force | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

read … Honolulu Council proposes city-led gambling task force

Lawsuit: DoE Suspends 9 Students For Bringing Nerf Gun To School  

CB: … Heather McVay says her son and his eight classmates were suspended from Stevenson Middle School in early January for having gel guns on campus the day before winter break. Her son had received the “Nerf gun” as a Christmas present from a friend, McVay said, but he didn’t open the gift until he was leaving campus.  

AMAZON: Amazon.com : nerf gel fire

“There was no threat of any kind,” McVay said in an interview.

Under state law, students may be expelled from school for at least a year for possessing firearms, including BB or paintball guns, on DOE campuses. Stevenson Middle School considered the gel guns firearms and initially suspended McVay’s son and his classmates for a year. 

“Gel guns typically fire 7-8mm hydrated gel polymer ball projectiles at a high rate, velocity and range,” Stevenson Principal Laurie Luczak said in a letter to families in January. “Although they are marketed as toys, the delivery of the projectiles is similar to paintball guns and can cause serious eye injuries.”

In the letter, Luczak added that one of the students who received the toy gun in December had struck another student with the gel pod after school.

In the 2022-23 school year, 26 DOE students were dismissed for bringing a ‘firearm’ onto campus. …

In 2020, Hawaii legislators introduced a resolution that would have asked the DOE to eliminate suspensions in elementary schools and set a maximum of 10 suspension days for middle and high schoolers. The resolution failed, but DOE Deputy Superintendent Heidi Armstrong said last summer that Hawaii schools were continuing to search for alternatives to suspension.

The number of suspensions in the department dropped by nearly 1,000 from 2013 to 2023. 

HNN: Lawsuit claims DOE wrongfully suspended student over toy gel gun incident at Stevenson Middle School (hawaiinewsnow.com)

read … Lawsuit Against DOE Questions Suspension Of Student For Bringing A Nerf Gun To School

Hawaiian Electric drops amid news that ATF report on wildfires has been completed

SA: … Hawaiian Electric (NYSE:HE) fell 9.3% at least partly amid a report that the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has completed its report on the cause of the Maui wildfires.

The public won't be able to see the report until the Maui Fire Department releases it, Honolulu Civil Beat reported on Friday. ..

A spokesman for the fire department told the publication that he didn't have an estimate date for releasing the ATF report.

The Hawaiian Electric (HE) drop also comes ahead of a Hawaii Public Utilities Commission meeting on Tuesday, where the utility is expected to give a presentation to the local community about HE's current operations and future plans for Maui’s electric grid….

N: There’s An Argument to Be Made Why Hawaiian Electric Industries Is a Bottom 100 Stock to Buy | Nasdaq

read … Hawaiian Electric drops amid news that ATF report on wildfires has been completed

Seabright Mocks Hee’s Lawyers: Confirms Sandwich Isles Assets To Be Sold To Hawaiian Telcom

CB: … A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Hawaiian Telcom will acquire some of the last remaining assets of Sandwich Isles Communications, which terminated services to its customers living on Hawaiian homelands last month.

Confirmation of the sale is the beginning of the end for this yearslong case, resolving the final parts of a judgment levied against Sandwich Isles after it defaulted on more than $100 million in federal loans.

Kevin Herring, an attorney representing the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, told the court that confirming Hawaiian Telcom’s bid is “the only credible option to restore services.”

Homesteads in Puukapu on the Big Island as well as Keokea and Kahikinui on Maui were particularly affected by Sandwich Isles’ service outages this year….

U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright said that wasn’t a bid requirement and chided the attorneys numerous times during the hearing.

“None of them can say that the last mile will be provided with services,” said Bill Meheula, who represents Waimana Enterprises.

“Neither can you,” Seabright shot back.

At a separate point in the hearing, Lex Smith, the lawyer for Sandwich Isles, also argued that any successful bidder needed to continue providing services to Sandwich Isles’ customers.

Seabright said Smith took parts of the court documents out of context, called him disingenuous, and cut Smith off after he kept trying to press his case.

“I don’t know if you think I’m stupid. I don’t know if you think I can’t read. But at this point in the litigation, I’m just not buying it,” Seabright said.

read … Sandwich Isles Assets To Be Sold To Hawaiian Telcom

DoD: Act of Congress Required to Expose Military Medical Malpractice

HNN: … When military doctors are disciplined or lose a malpractice case, the agency that oversees healthcare for service members and their families is required by federal law to keep their names confidential, a top official said….

read … Military leader speaks about malpractice investigations after months of requests

Red light cameras to enforce speed limit starting January

KHON: … Starting January 2025, drivers should check their speeds around red-light cameras. They will receive a warning if those cameras catch them going over the speed limit. In February, speeding violations will get you a citation in the mail….

The speed cameras will be active in the same locations as the following ten red light cameras:

  • Vineyard Boulevard and Palama Street
  • Vineyard Boulevard and Liliha Street
  • Vineyard Boulevard and Nuuanu Avenu
  • Pali Highway and Vineyard Boulevard
  • Likelike Highway and School Street
  • King Street and Ward Avenue
  • Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street
  • Berentania Street and Piikoi Street
  • McCully Street and Algaroba Street

According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), the red light cameras can already track speeds, but the lack of legislation prevented the department from issuing citations ….

read … Red light cameras to enforce speed limit starting January | KHON2

Money News: OHA Wants To Take Over Hawaiian Royals' Burial Site

CB: … The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is quietly trying to take over stewardship of Mauna Ala, the burial place of Hawaiian Royalty, after the state agency currently managing the area made a controversial appointment of a new curator in May that upset many in the Native Hawaiian community.

(TRANSLATION: OHA senses an opportunity.)

OHA held a confidential meeting Friday afternoon with representatives of the four Native Hawaiian trusts, commonly referred to as the alii trusts, that today wield tremendous wealth and power in the islands.

The meeting raised the question of whether the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is the right agency to manage one of Hawaii’s most sacred places, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting….

DLNR Director Dawn Chang said in an interview that she is proud of the work the state parks division and the alii trusts have accomplished in managing Mauna Ala. Chang said she met with OHA officials about two weeks ago to talk about the possible transfer.

Chang said Mauna Ala was removed from the public land trust before statehood, making the transfer of its lands much more complicated than other properties the state owns.

She said DLNR has not yet committed to supporting a transfer, and told OHA that there needs to be a broader discussion in the community before any transfer moves forward.

“No decision has been made or can be made in the absence of much greater conversations with both the governor as well as the alii trusts, Hawaiian community and public at large,” Chang said.

OHA needs the support of the alii trusts to move forward. The trusts, which hold billions of dollars in assets intended to benefit Native Hawaiians, have paid for the upkeep of the Royal Mausoleum since at least 2014, when DLNR entered a formal agreement with those trusts to help finance renovation projects.

(KEY WORD: ‘paid’)

The trusts include Kamehameha Schools, which focuses on education, the Queen Liliuokalani Trust for children, the Lunalilo Trust for the elderly and the Queen Emma Trust for medical care. The Abigail K.K. Kawananakoa Foundation has also paid for Mauna Ala improvements. Representatives from each of the trusts as well as OHA trustees Carmen Hulu Lindsey and Kalei Akaka were invited to attend the meeting Friday.

The office is seeking a collaboration with the trusts and has proposed co-stewarding Mauna Ala with those entities, according to an email that OHA CEO Stacy Ferreira sent to representatives of the trusts last week….

HNN: Morning Beat: OHA seeks to take over Hawaiian Royals' burial site from DLNR (hawaiinewsnow.com) 

HNN: OHA Is Quietly Trying To Take Over Royal Burial Site: Hawaii News Now Sunrise - YouTube

read ... OHA Wants To Take Over Hawaiian Royals' Burial Site

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