Submerged mosque in Phulwaria Dam resurfaced for a short while due to drought

This is a poignant read of a little peaceful and quiet village of Chiraila, Bihar, India that was displaced to build a dam about 30 years ago. Its mosque Noori Masjid resurfaced this year.

Excerpts from https://www.aljazeera.com

Rifat Fareed wrote this fascinating report on so many levels. But I find these excerpts most poignant:

‘No one would go hungry’

Chiraila was a quiet village where Muslims and Hindus lived side by side. Some villagers owned land while others made a living by farming it, cultivating mostly maize and rice paddy, recalled Hussain. Chiraila was surrounded by low mountains and at the stream nearby, people would fetch water and perform ablution before prayers.

“People were able to earn and eat, as well. That was the speciality of the village. No one would go hungry. People did not care about your religion,” said Hanief, referring to the interfaith tension seen in parts of India in recent years.

Chiraila consisted mostly of mud huts with thatched roofs but the small mosque at the centre of the village stood apart with its plastered surface, which was cool in the summer, cemented courtyard and arched gates.

Former Chiraila residents believed the structure to be more than 100 years old.

“The mosque was there when I was born. It was there even when my father was born,” said Hanief, who has a soft voice and a flowing white beard.

“The masons who designed it knew the work of ‘surkhi chuna’ [made from burned ground bricks mixed with lime mortar to use in construction] to make them [structures] resilient, and last long. It was hard work and required special skill,” said Hussain, who works as a daily wage labourer including on building sites.

Theranos Scammer Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11.25 years

This high profile case represents the best and the worst in corporate America. The integrity and courage of whistle blower heroes Tyler Schultz and Erika Cheung are inspirational and remarkable. These two young whistle-blowers were challenged, intimidated, threatened, and endangered by the powerful villains but they did not cave in.

On the other hand, the start-up Silicon Valley scam of Elizabeth Holmes and her associates are ruthless and unconscionable.

I didn’t follow this case closely but the fact that Holmes was found NOT GUILTY of defrauding patients is despicable. I thought that was her worst crime – her faulty testing could cause havoc in a patient’s life. Instead, Holmes crime was related to defrauding her rich investors.

Excerpt from The Straits Times:

SAN JOSE – A California judge sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood testing startup that was once valued at US$9 billion (S$12.38 billion).

US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif., sentenced Holmes on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

The judge set Holmes’ surrender date for April. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before he handed down the sentence that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means.”

But Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey urged leniency for Holmes at the hearing, saying that unlike someone who committed a “great crime” she was not motivated by greed.

Holmes had asked in court papers for a more lenient sentence of 18 months of home confinement, followed by community service, urging the judge not to make her a “martyr to public passion.”

Elections 2022 November 8, Tuesday

It appears like status quo will continue.

The local TV News Station reported about 33% of ballots collected as of yesterday. This is a bad sign. I don’t think 63% of our registered voters is going to show up today. Do you?

This has been an awful election season.

Candidates with huge campaign chests prefer to bombard the airwaves and social media rather than participate in debates in the town square.

Monster Bill 10: How many tails are waging this Bill?

Bill 10 is attempting to overhaul the Honolulu County Chapter 21 – Land Use Ordinances. This is a big undertaking.

February 3, 2022. Bill 10 was introduced by Chair Tommy Waters (By Request)

March 3, 2022.The Director of Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) asked for 180-days extension at this Zoning and Planning Committee Meeting.

August 25, 2022. Here are the minutes for the Zoning and Planning Commission.

September 9, 2022 A request for a second delay. The Director of DPP asked for 120-day extension.

Who is behind the creation and substantial overhaul of this Bill 10?

Isn’t this a DPP-propelled document?

Why is DPP asking for yet another extension?

On the other hand, why is the Honolulu City Council wanting to fast-track Bill 10?

Who is really behind this omnibus Bill 10?

REFERENCES:

Testimonies supporting or opposing the bills are always interesting to read.

  •  M-0058(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Feb 23, 2022 @ 10:00 AM Council Meeting.
  •  M-0069(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for March 3, 2022 @ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0156(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Apr 21, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0280(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Jul 14, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0286(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Jul 14, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0324(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Aug 25, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0339(22) – HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE – Testimony on BILL010(22) for August 25, 2022@ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0346(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for August 25, 2022@ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0351(22) – Testiimony on Bill 10 (2022) for 08/25/22 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning meeting.
  •  M-0370(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for September 7, 2022 @ 10:00 AM Council Meeting.
  •  M-0373(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for September 7, 2022 @ 10:00 AM COUNCIL Meeting.
  •  M-0387(22) – Testimony on Bill 10 (2022), CD1 for September 26, 2022 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning Special Meeting
  •  M-0411(22) – Testimony on Bill 10 (2022), CD1 for September 26, 2022 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning Special Meeting.
  •  M-0417(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Sep 26, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0450(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Oct 20, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0460(22) – Testimony on BILL010(22) for Oct 20, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.

Bill 10: Council Chair Tommy Waters told public to pay more attention

At the end of the October 20, 2022 Planning and Zoning Committee, Chair Tommy Waters told the public to pay more attention saying that the Bill 10 was introduced on February 3, 2022.

OUCH!

Funny thing I was just thinking that even the single – vacation rental – issue took years to reach a conclusion.

With the vacation rental issue alone, after years of acrimony during the Caldwell Administration, the new Blangiardi overhauled Bill 89 and came up with a new Bill 41 aka Ordinance 22-7. Presently, there is a District Court Preliminary Injunction Order on October 3, 2022.

Why would the public be so alarmed with Bill 10 at this stage?

Could it possibly be that the City Council members did not provide sufficient disclosure, education and outreach on this very sweeping and significant Bill that overhauls Oahu’s land use ordinance?

Seriously, how many city council members have read through the entire 239 pages approved and submitted to them by the Honolulu Planning Commission?

After the Second Reading of Bill 10 on September 26, 2022, two city council members felt the need to host informational town hall meetings for this Bill.

District 1 Andria Tupola hosted an hour Zoom meeting on October 19, 2022. It could have gone on for another two hours to work out amendments in the Ramseyer format.

District 3 Esther Kia’aina said she would host a town hall meeting on November 10. But it would be only on the Agricultural section.

If we watch the Bill 10 proceedings video here, we will note that ONLY amendments that were submitted by ONLY the City Council members were accepted or not accepted by the Council Planning Chair. Other various suggestions and concerns by the public appear to be lost in the pile of oral and written testimonies.

Inevitably, there is a whole lot of reading. Contrary to what the Chair may say, there are a lot of substantial changes to the Land Use Ordinances (LUO). It’s not just an update.

Add to this commotion is the public mistrust that this omnibus Bill is so huge that there may be changes slipped into the documents. The contents are also complicated and technical. This is not a bill to ban fireworks. This is a bill on how the city will control and regulate the lifestyle and communities of Oahu. The public is wary that does not have the time or resources to comb through it line by line.

Here is the reading list.

Approved Versions

Proposed Drafts

Related Communications

  •  CC-230(22) – ELEFANTE – Bill 10 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  CC-237(22) – TUPOLA – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-241(22) – WATERS – Proposed amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-249(22) – ELEFANTE – Proposed additional amendments to Bill 10 (2022).
  •  CC-250(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement for Bill 10 (2022). FILE
  •  CC-268(22) – ELEFANTE – Bill 10 CD1 (2022), Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  CC-273(22) – TUPOLA – Proposed amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-274(22) – KIAʻĀINA – Bill 10 CD2 (2022), Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  CC-275(22) – WATERS – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-276(22) – CORDERO – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-280(22) – TSUNEYOSHI – Proposed amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-281(22) – WATERS – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-286(22) – ELEFANTE – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-295(22) – SAY – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD1.
  •  CC-296(22) – ELEFANTE – Proposed additional amendments to Bill 10, CD1 (2022).
  •  CC-297(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement on Bill 10 (22), CD1. File
  •  CC-298(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement on Bill 10 (22), CD1. File
  •  CC-305(22) – ELEFANTE – Bill 10 CD2 (2022), Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  CC-309(22) – WATERS – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD2.
  •  CC-310(22) – TUPOLA – Proposed amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD2.
  •  CC-311(22) – ELEFANTE – Proposed Additional Amendments to BILL 10, CD1 (2022).
  •  CC-313(22) – WATERS – Proposed Amendments to Bill 10 (2022), CD2
  •  CC-314(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement for Bill 10 (22), CD1. FILE
  •  CC-315(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement for Bill 10 (22), CD1. FILE
  •  CC-316(22) – ELEFANTE – Zoning and Planning Chair’s Recommendations on Proposed Additional Amendments to BILL 10, CD2 (2022).
  •  CC-319(22) – TUPOLA – United States Court of Appeals Opinion 47.
  •  CC-320(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement for Bill 10 (2022). FILE
  •  CC-321(22) – ELEFANTE – Disclosure of Interest Statement for Bill 10 (2022). FILE
  •  D-0074(22) – PLANNING COMMISSION – Draft Bill to Request Amendments to Chapter 21, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH), 1990 Land Use Ordinance (LUO), Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  D-0127(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Request for Extension of Time for Processing Bill 10 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  D-0130(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Testimony in Support of Bill 10 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  D-0269(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Additional summary information for Bill 10 (2022).
  •  D-0273(22) – Presentation on Bill 10 (2022) for 04/21/22 Zoning and Planning meeting.
  •  D-0532(22) – KAILUA NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 31 – Recommendations Pertaining to the Proposed Land Use Ordinance (LUO) Chapter 21 Changes Proposed by Bill 10 (2022) for the July 14, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting..
  •  D-0576(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Departmental Response to Proposed Amendments in Bill 10, CD1 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations Chapter 21, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu Land Use Ordinance (LUO).
  •  D-0583(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Departmental Response to Councilmember Questions Bill 10, CD1 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations In the B-1 and B-2 Business Districts, Chapter 21, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu – Land Use Ordinance (LUO)
  •  D-0622(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Presentation on briefing item #10 for the August 25, 2022 @ 09:00 AM Zoning And Planning meeting.
  •  D-0658(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Request for Second Extension of Time for Processing Bill 10 (2022) Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  D-0699(22) – PLANNING AND PERMITTING – Response to questions from the Committee on Zoning and Planning Special Meeting on September 26, 2022.
  •  MM-162(22) – CLIMATE CHANGE, SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCY – Bill 10 (2022), CD1 Relating to Use Regulations.
  •  M-0058(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Feb 23, 2022 @ 10:00 AM Council Meeting.
  •  M-0069(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for March 3, 2022 @ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0156(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Apr 21, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0280(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Jul 14, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0286(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Jul 14, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0324(22)  Testimony on BILL010(22) for Aug 25, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0339(22) – HAWAII STATE ENERGY OFFICE – Testimony on BILL010(22) for August 25, 2022@ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0346(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for August 25, 2022@ 09:00 AM Zoning and Planning Meeting.
  •  M-0351(22) Testimony on Bill 10 (2022) for 08/25/22 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning meeting.
  •  M-0370(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for September 7, 2022 @ 10:00 AM Council Meeting.
  •  M-0373(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for September 7, 2022 @ 10:00 AM COUNCIL Meeting.
  •  M-0387(22) Testimony on Bill 10 (2022), CD1 for September 26, 2022 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning Special Meeting
  •  M-0411(22) Testimony on Bill 10 (2022), CD1 for September 26, 2022 @ 9:00 AM Zoning and Planning Special Meeting.
  •  M-0417(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Sep 26, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0450(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Oct 20, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.
  •  M-0460(22) Testimony on BILL010(22) for Oct 20, 2022 @ 09:00 AM ZONING AND PLANNING Meeting.

Free Press and Free Speech aren’t so free

Many news media now have paywall to support themselves. But this prevents the public from reading the news. Even then, those with no paywall are imposing their own leanings with censorship in the Public Square.

I’m selecting CIVIL BEAT (CB) because I’m familiar with it. I like Civil Beat focusing on public affairs. CB used to have a reporter stationed at City Council hearings along with Star Advertiser. Today, City Hall has no such coverage. Veteran Star Advertiser reporter Gordon Pang has left too.

Civil Beat has accomplished much to the Public Square dialogue. It has provided the public with much useful governmental information that should have been in the open public domain in the first place. CB has produced many outstanding and in-depth articles and outreach.

Civil Beat has stated that it has liberal progressive leanings. Somehow, CB has particularly also targeted a couple of politicians more than usual – Tulsi Gabbard and recently Kai Kahele. Other politicians appear to have gotten off with much less scrutiny. More on this later.

Another area that I’m becoming very concerned about is the censorship on comments. This contradicts the free speech and open dialogue that Civil Beat is trying to promote.

More and more residents have complained on social media and other circles that their comments were censored. Many do not participate any more.

I myself have countered many posts censorship even when I don’t threaten or bully or use swear words. I even use my real name and not a pseudonym. I feel compelled to participate because I want to support Free Speech.

I also like to question and/or provide different perceptions or analysis to the public dialogue.

Let’s use this CB article as an example:

On October 21, 2022, I submitted my comments and questions hours prior to my write-up here. But so far my comments have not been accepted even though I posted after “Kana_Hawaii“. Other comments AFTER Kana-Hawaii have been posted. not mine. This is not the first time my comments have been censored.

Below are screenshots of newer comments that have been posted to this same article. Doesn’t it look like my comments have been censored again?

Reference:

About Civil Beat ( Excerpts): Honolulu Civil Beat is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt news organization dedicated to cultivating an informed body of citizens, all striving to make Hawaii a better place to live. We achieve this through investigative and watchdog journalism, in-depth enterprise reporting, analysis and commentary that gives readers a broad view on issues of importance to our community.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar launched Civil Beat in 2010 as a local digital platform that looks beyond traditional print and television media approaches. To expand our reach so that more people in Hawaii have access to the information they need, Civil Beat removed its paywall in June 2016 and transitioned to 501(c)3 nonprofit status. We are members of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a coalition of more than 300 nonprofit newsrooms across the U.S.

Our goal is to challenge our leaders to do better. We are the watchdogs of the public’s trust and we take seriously the mission to educate our citizens on important public issues.

Our long-term goal is to produce journalism with a purpose, to stimulate positive change. We do not align with political or special interest groups and adhere to the strictest journalistic standards and ethics. Generally, we follow the guidelines set out by the Society of Professional Journalists in its ethics code as well as more general news practices outlined by the Associated Press. You can find our policy on anonymous sources here and our policy on corrections here.

We believe news is a public asset and that Civil Beat can and should be a good community partner, not just an arms-length observer recounting news of the day. We have a stake in this community as much as it has a stake in us.