We blogged earlier in the day about Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang’s suspended law license.
He has since provided a brief statement about the lapse in membership dues.
Here it is:
“I’ve made public service my life’s work and allowed my membership to lapse as I have no plans to practice law in the future.”
Chang, of course, is running for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s seat in Congressional District 1.
Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang recently had his license suspended by the Hawaii State Bar Association for not paying his membership dues.
According to HSBA’s 2013 fee schedule, Chang would have to pay $504 this year for his bar membership.
He’s now one of 996 attorneys in the state who is not allowed to practice law in Hawaii for non-payment of fees.
Chang is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 1. He is the only candidate to have officially announced a bid for CD1.
That seat is currently being warmed by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who has announced her intentions to run against sitting U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
The State Department of Health said today that the city of Honolulu can remove warning signs it posted at Keehi Lagoon nearly two months ago.
According to the city, the signs were posted on March 25 after a state security guard noticed toilet paper and smelled sewage in the vicinity of the Nimitz Highway viaduct near Kakoi Street.
What’s more concerning is that the city’s Department of Environmental Services can’t seem to find what the sewage source.
Here’s what the agency had to say:
ENV conducted water sampling Feb. 15 through April 9, 2013 but could not verify the source. A bypass was setup around the area in question. The pipe was flushed, cleaned and examined by a closed-circuit TV, but no crack was discovered. As a precaution, ENV ordered materials to line the inside of the pipe.
Those materials are expected to arrive the second week of June. Once on island, it will take up to two weeks to complete the lining project.
ENV and DOH will conduct water sampling on a weekly basis at the canoe launch site beginning May 22, 2013 until the pipe is lined.
Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano and other plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that aims to stop Honolulu’s rail project filed their opening brief in their appeal to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
It’s 3,785 pages with attachments.
The opening brief itself is much shorter. Only 119 pages.
In general, the plaintiffs say the city didn’t do a proper alternatives analysis when studying the rail project. Specifically, they say the city and the Federal Transit Administration ignored managed lanes, street-level light rail and bus rapid transit.
The appeal is to a November 2012 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who essentially said the city can proceed with the rail project once it cleans up issues pertaining to pre-construction studies, such as accounting for cultural and historical resources.
The 9th Circuit granted the plaintiffs an expedited hearing that’s currently scheduled for August.
They wanted the case heard sooner rather than later because construction on the $5.26 billion project is set to start up again in September.
If there was ever any doubt about what city of Honolulu officials truly thought about (de)Occupy Honolulu it’s been erased in a response to a federal lawsuit filed by the protesters.
Here’s what Honolulu Corporation Counsel had to say:
“This case is not about the homeless. This case is about a mixed bag of self-absorbed social protesters — recent Mainland transplants — who have seen fit to pitch their tents, invoke King Kamehameha’s law, and drag bulky item pickup junk furniture and other personal property on the sidewalk fronting one of Honolulu’s most historic and culturally significant public parks, which was established to commemorate the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy in July 1843, 170 years ago.”
Of course, the park the city is referring to is Thomas Square on the corner of Ward Avenue and Beretania Street.
(de)Occupy Honolulu protestors have been camping on the sidewalks along the park since 2011, causing city officials to come up with new laws to chase them off public property.
The current iteration allows the city to seize and destroy the protestors’ property 24 hours after “tagging” it with a notice of violation.
While the protestors came up with a clever system to skirt the city ordinance by putting up blue tents on one day and red tents the next, their lawsuit claims the city has still violated their constitutional rights by taking their stuff and throwing it out.
In additional to illegal seizure practices, the lawsuit claims the city is chilling the (de)Occupy Honolulu protesters’ rights to free speech.
The protestors, who in their lawsuit claim to be homeless, want the city to stop the raids, which Mayor Kirk Caldwell have described as “compassionate displacement.”
U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright will hear arguments from both the protestors and the city Friday on whether to grant a preliminary injunction.
The protestors are represented by Honolulu attorney Richard Holcomb, who specializes in DUI defense.
It doesn’t look like Honolulu City Council members will get raises after all.
The Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee today rejected proposed salary increases for the nine-member council.
Honolulu’s salary commission had recommended the pay increases along with wage hikes for other city officials, including Mayor Kirk Caldwell and many of his cabinet members.
Caldwell has said he will not accept the pay raise.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation announced that it will be giving out $5 million to artists to design pieces for 21 rail stations and the agency’s maintenance storage facility.
HART held a press conference today along with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to release details of the plan, which is seeking artists both in Hawaii and nationally.
Artists will be required to include a narrative statement proving they have an understanding of Hawaii’s history, culture and traditions.
Some examples of artwork the city and HART could be interested in include paving patterns for floors, designs for platform windscreens, wall hangings and sculptures.
“What we really want to do is encourage our artists to apply no matter what medium they’re in,” said Lisa Yoshihara, HART’s transit art administrator.
Artists can apply through CallForEntry.org, which is managed by the Western States Arts Federation. Any questions about the call for artists can be submitted to email@example.com.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell nominated Mark D. Wong to be his information technology director.
Wong is the founder of Commercial Data Systems, which the administration describes as the largest Hawaii-based IT company.
The IT director was one of the last positions Caldwell needed to fill in his cabinet.
The only other position left is medical examiner, which has been held vacant due to recruitment issues.
Wong founded Commercial Data Systems in 1986 and was the company’s CEO until he sold it in 2012.
He’s a graduate of Iolani School and Yale University.
Get involved in your community. Vote for your local Neighborhood Board.
It’s easy. Really. You can do it online or by phone.
Voting ends on May 17, so if you want to get involved you better hurry.
For more information about the 2013 Neighborhood Board elections click here.
You’ll find a candidate list and instruction for how to cast your ballot.
In case you missed it, you can catch Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s town hall meetings on Olelo.
He’s held two so far, the last one on Monday at Kaimuki High School.
Here’s the Olelo schedule:
Mayor’s Town Hall: 5/2 Highlands Intermediate
5/9/2013 — 2:30 p.m. FOCUS 49
5/10/2013 — 2:30 p.m. FOCUS 40
5/13/2013 — 8:30 p.m. VIEWS 54
5/14/2013 — 11:30 a.m. FOCUS 49
Mayor’s Town Hall: 5/6 Kaimuki H.S. Cafeteria
5/13/2013 — 1:30 p.m. FOCUS 49
5/14/2013 — 6 p.m. VIEWS 54
5/16/2013 — 8 a.m. FOCUS 49
5/17/2013 — 11 a.m. FOCUS 49
A helicopter crash has closed the Pali Highway at Kukui St. downtown, according to the Honolulu Police Department.
The crash has been described as non-fatal.Photo courtesy of Vladimir Abadzhiev.—Nick Grube
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Honolulu rail opponents’ arguments sooner than later.
On Friday, the court denied the government’s motion to dismiss the appeal and sided with the plaintiffs — which include former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano — in a ruling that will grant an expedited appeal hearing.
The plaintiffs in the case argued it was important for the court to fast track their appeal because construction on the $5.26 billion rail line is expected to resume in September.
If the court didn’t act soon, they said, “the very integrity of historic Honolulu, its Chinatown, and its waterfront will be forever despoiled.”
The case is scheduled to be heard the week of Aug. 12 in San Francisco.
There’s concern that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is skirting its promise to hire small, disadvantaged businesses to help design and build the city’s $5.26 billion rail project.
Federal law requires that HART implement a “disadvantaged business enterprise” program to help small businesses with large numbers of minority workers compete with large contractors.
This requirement is based on the fact that HART is receiving federal transportation funds to build the 20-mile rail line.
Here’s HART’s policy statement from last year saying it has created such a program.
During today’s joint Finance and Project Oversight Committee meeting, the HART board was informed that it’s lagging behind its goal of hiring DBE’s, and at least one local businessman said contractors haven’t hired a single Hawaii-based DBE.
A joint committee of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation just approved another $10.3 million to pay for delay costs on the $5.26 billion rail project that were caused by a Hawaii Supreme Court decision that halted construction.
This brings the total amount of HART approved change orders related to the Supreme Court decision to $36.2 million, which officials say is less than the $51.9 million they initially estimated.
“The good news is we’re about $15 million less than what we originally projected for these costs,” HART Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas said.
HART still must account for inflation costs as a result of the year-long construction delay. The current cost estimate for that component of the delay is $32 million.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell think they can do what no one before them could.
They think they can fix the crumbling Waikiki Natatorium, a feat that’s been argued about for decades.
Abercrombie and Caldwell unveiled an $18.4 million plan that will tear down much of the structure and move the historic arches that were put in place as World War I tribute.
A new beach will be put in place and the road next to Kaimana will be removed to make way for more trees.
There weren’t many details on who would be paying for the project quite yet — it will likely be a combination of city and state funds — but both Abercrombie and Caldwell said the project is a top priority.