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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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My Civil Beat column today describes the ongoing lawsuit to block the TMT

April 22nd, 2015 · 5 Comments

I spent time over the last week locating and trying to read through a number of documents relating to the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea. These included documents from the lawsuit that is challenging the permit that allowed construction of the project, as well as documents incorporated in the record of that lawsuit that originated in the contested case hearing conducted by hearings officer Paul Aoki for the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

My column at Civil Beat today tried to describe what lawyers for opponents of the TMT have been arguing in court (“Ian Lind: The Legal Challenge to the Thirty Meter Telescope“).

I tried not to editorialize, but to describe the arguments, and to note the arguments made in return by the defendants in the case, which include the state, the Department of Land and Natural Resources as well as the land board, and the University of Hawaii.

In this context, I can say that, in my view, none of the arguments against the issuance of the permit for the telescope read like sure winners. It’s going to be a bumpy legal road.

But there’s a parallel legal case still challenging what was known as the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope on Haleakala, already perhaps half built. It’s now known as the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. This case is making another trip to the Hawaii Supreme Court, this time asking the court to stop construction while all legal issues are sorted out. Oral arguments were held in early April, and you can listen to them online.

There are several arguments being made in the Haleakala case which could favorably impact the TMT lawsuit’s chances, if the court agrees with the plaintiffs’ case.

In any case, I intended to share more about these cases this morning, but ran into “issues.” My attempt to convert a digital file failed and cost me a couple of hours. And I ran into the problem of time, which gets worse at this time of year. As the sun rises earlier, there isn’t enough time before our regular walk in the early morning to finish a blog post. And today I didn’t have quite enough time on the back end, after getting back and enjoying a cup of coffee, to finish it up.

So here I am late in the afternoon offering excuses. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get to more of the substance.

But if you have access, you might want to check out that Civil Beat column.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Court · environment · Politics

Impact on shareholders if the Hawaiian Electric merger fails to go through?

April 21st, 2015 · 1 Comment

I flagged this document which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. It is the company’s response to a question asked in the PUC docket reviewing the proposed merger with NextEnergy.

The following question was posed by a party that is an intervenor in the proceeding before the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to review the proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) and NextEra Energy, Inc.  HEI’s response follows the question below.
Applicants’ Response to LOL-IR-49
DOCKET NO. 2015-0022
Respondent: Hawaiian Electric Companies
Ref: According to the HEI 10-K filed on February 26, 2015, ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS. Since stock prices jumped upon the merger announcement and have remained high and stockholders can currently sell at that high price, how can they be negatively impacted if the merger falls through?
As background, Securities and Exchange Commission rules require HEI to provide “risk factor” disclosures in its annual report on Form 10-K.  The purpose of the risk factor disclosures is to provide investors with a warning about the array of possible circumstances or events that could make investing in HEI’s securities risky.  Accordingly, risk factors serve as “cautionary language” disclaimers for HEI in the event that such circumstances or events materialize and HEI’s securities are negatively impacted as a result.  As such, risk factors do not necessarily confirm what events or circumstances HEI believes will likely occur, but rather what conceivably may occur that could present certain risks to the company.  The responses provided herein that address Life of the Land’s questions regarding “risk factors” adopted from HEI’s filings are not intended to modify, and do not modify, such filings.
The referenced 10-K section provides a summary of the kinds of risks that could impact the stock price and the financial results of HEI, and how HEI may be adversely affected if the merger is not completed.  While many factors affect the trading price of HEI common stock, HEI believes it is reasonable to assume that the range in which the stock has traded since the announcement of the merger and spinoff reflects the expected value of the merger consideration, special cash dividend and the ASB Hawaii stock proposed to be distributed in the spinoff, as well as investors’ views as to the likelihood that the merger and spinoff will be completed and the expected timing of such completion.
To the extent that a holder of HEI common stock desires to sell its shares prior to completion of the merger and the spinoff, HEI believes that such a sale can only occur at a price at which there is a buyer willing to purchase such shares.  HEI further believes it is reasonable to assume that, if investors widely believed that the merger will not be completed for any reason, the price at which a seller of HEI common stock could find a willing buyer would in all likelihood be lower than it would be if the merger is expected to be completed.  Holders of HEI common stock at the time such expectation arose could be harmed, depending on the purchase price at which such holders acquired their shares of HEI common stock.
As to the matter of individual shareholders, each shareholder has unique and personal circumstances which the Companies would not be able to comment on.  The price of HEI shares has vacillated with a variety of industry, company and macroeconomic factors since the announcement of the merger and spin-off transactions.  The share price movement has also been (and will continue to be) a function of the value of NextEra Energy shares given the agreed exchange ratio.  Finally, HEI shares are also composed of valuation owing to the ownership of American Savings Bank (“ASB”) — and that component of the valuation will continue to change based on a variety of factors affecting the banking sector and ASB’s results in particular.  The Companies are not able to comment on whether HEI’s share price is now (or was at the time of announcement of the merger/spin-off) “high” or “low,” “fairly valued” or otherwise.

→ 1 CommentTags: Business · Energy · environment · Politics

News aggregator offered a few laughs before disappearing

April 21st, 2015 · 5 Comments

An old friend emailed me late last week and suggested that I take a look at a strange online news aggregator which seemed to be reprinting news stories after multiple translations.

He flagged a Hawaii story about the autistic student at Kailua High School who was forced to run until he dropped. Apparently it was drawn from this story in the Huffington Post.

The funny thing was what apparently happened in translation.

“Huffington Post” became “Huffington Submit”.

“Civil Beat” became “Civil Conquer”.

“Kailua High School” appeared as Kailua Superior Faculty, Kailua Significant, or Kailua Substantial.

The aggregator site, www.bulletinstandard.org, is no longer online. That didn’t take long. I’m kind of sorry, in a way, because its linguistic twists were pretty humorous.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Blogs · Media

Another early morning in Kaaawa (photo)

April 21st, 2015 · 2 Comments

The sun is coming up earlier every day, and we’re still two months from the summer solstice.

We left the house at 6:02 a.m. on our daily walk to the beach at dawn.

There was one short stop, just long enough to break a dog biscuit in half and share with Jack and Mei-mei, who live just around the corner and were the first dogs we met today.

Then it was down behind the Kaaawa Fire Station and across the street to Swanzy Beach Park.

By the time we got there, the sun had already made its appearance.

And although the sun looked huge to the eye, the camera records something very different!


→ 2 CommentsTags: Dogs · Kaaawa · Photographs

Isn’t it time?

April 20th, 2015 · 13 Comments

“Isn’t it time?”

That was the subject of an email from an old friend several days ago, in which he compiled a list of countries which have had women who served as president or prime minister.

This is one area where the U.S. is definitely not a leader.

Starting in 1966 the world began to elect women to leadership posts as
prime ministers and presidents.  

The following nations turned to women leader in the years indicated…some have done it more than once.

UK ______________1979

Sri Lanka__________1960




Poland____________ 1992

Argentina____________ 1974

Turkey____________ 1993




South Korea________2006

Croatia____________ 2009



Latvia_____________  2014
Portugal____________ 1979
Norway___________ 1981
Lithuania____________ 1990
Haiti___________ 1995
Panama___________ 1999
Finland____________ 2000
Germany___________ 2005

AND Trinidad and Tobago, Kosovo, Thailand, Malawi, Namibia, Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica,
 Madagascar, Jamaica, Peru, Sao Tome, Indonesia, Senegal, New Zealand, Bolivia,
Bangladesh, Philippines, Nicaragua and several other nations also have had women as 
PMs or Presidents

A day later, another email arrived.

The following is the list of almost all of the women who during the last 55 years have been in those positions as Presidents and Prime Ministers.  Most were elected and some were appointed and a few were in posts that gave them access when a leader died.  

If you would like to know more about them, here is the list and they are all Google and Wikipedia subjects…  

Isn’t it interesting that all these women have held positions of power throughout the world and most
Americans have never heard of most of them.  I am looking forward to having an American women on the list…

Enjoy.      Norm

Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Indira Gahdhi
Golda Meir
Maria Estela Isabel Martinez de Peron
Margaret Thatcher
Elizabeth Domitien
Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo
Lidia Guelier
Eugenia Charles
Vigdis Finnbogadotgtir
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Agatha Barbara
Corazon Aquino
Benizir Bhutto
Ertha Pascal-Trouillot
Kazimira Prunskiene
Violeta Barrios de Chamarro
Khaleda Zia
Edith Cresson
Hanna Suchocka
Tansu Ciller
Kim Campbell
Sylvie Kinigi
Agathe Uwilinglymana
Reneta Indzhova
Claudette Werleigh
Jenny Shipley
Jenet Jagen
Ruth Dreifuss
Mireye Elisa Moscoso
Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Tarja Halonen
Maria Madior Boye
Megawati Sukarnoputri
Maria das Neves
Natsa Micic
Anneli Jaatleenmaki
Beatriz Merino
Radmila Sekerinska
Yulia Tymkoshenko
Angela Merkel
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Michelle Bachelet
Han Myung-sook
Dalia Itzik
Prabitha Patil
Zinaida Greceanii
Jadranka Kosor
Dalia Grybauskaite
Cecile Manorohanta
Laura Chinchilla
Julia Gillard
Roza Otunbayeva
Iveta Radicova
Dilma Rousseff
Atifete Jahjaga
Yingluck Shinawatra
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Joyce Banda
Park Geun-hye
Alenka Bratusek
Sibel Siber
Catherine Samba-Panza
Lairndota Straujuma
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Saara Kuugongeiwa-Amadhila

→ 13 CommentsTags: History · Politics