Djou: We should be strengthening our ethics commission, not dismantling it
Maui: 60% Bogus Signatures on Ballot Petition to Seize Farms from Owners
Activists: GMOs and Pesticides Cause Homosexuality
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted June 14, 2016
S2943: Hirono, Schatz Vote–Military Draft for All Females 18-26
Al Hee Finally Ordered to Report to Prison
SA: A federal judge denied Hawaii businessman Albert S.N. Hee’s request Monday for more time to turn himself in to begin serving his prison sentence for tax fraud.
That means Hee needs to arrive at the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s Rochester Federal Medical Center in Minnesota on Wednesday morning.
In July a federal jury found Hee, 62, guilty of filing false personal income tax returns for 2007-2012 and for corruptly impeding the IRS from correctly calculating and collecting his taxes.
Between 2002 and 2012, the government maintains, Hee had his company, Waimana Enterprises Inc., pay approximately $2.3 million in personal and family expenses that Waimana deducted as business expenses but which Hee did not claim as income.
U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway in January sentenced Hee to 46 months in prison, fined him $10,000 and ordered him to pay the IRS $431,793 in back taxes. She gave him until April 4 to turn himself in.
Two months later, at Hee’s request and with agreement from the federal prosecutor, Mollway extended Hee’s turn-in date to Wednesday.
Hee’s lawyers filed papers last week asking for another extension, to July 29. They said the reason for the request was to allow Hee to get evaluated for his reaction to new medication for his food allergies.
Hee has said he takes Benadryl…. (Would this excuse be enough to keep YOU out of prison?)
Of the Waimana Enterprises money that went to personal and family expenses, more than $1.6 million in wages and benefits was paid to Hee’s wife and three children, who provided little or no work for the company; more than $736,900 was spent on tuition and housing for Hee’s three children while they were attending college on the mainland; $119,909 went to credit card charges for personal and family travel; and $96,000 paid for twice-weekly massages.
In 1995 the Hawaiian Homes Commission awarded Waimana a nonbid, exclusive license to provide telephone and telecommunications services on state Department of Hawaiian Homelands properties. Hee created separate subsidiary companies to purchase the equipment, install the infrastructure, provide the service and even insure their loans.
One of those subsidiaries, Sandwich Isles Communications, collects subsidies from the Federal Communications Commission that are funded by a fee charged to all telephone users nationwide. In 2005 Sandwich Isles’ subsidy was about $13,700 per customer, or 100 times the average cost for rural phone service on the mainland….
The time has come … to do some time
Nothing can hold you back! Yet allergies keep Hee free
2005: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off
read … Going to Prison
Kenoi trial pushed back to October
HTH: …Kenoi is charged with two counts of second-degree theft, three counts each of third-degree theft and tampering with a government record, and a single count of making a false statement under oath.
The charges follow a yearlong probe by the state attorney general’s office into Kenoi’s use of a county credit card known as a purchasing card, or pCard. The investigation started after Big Island newspapers reported Kenoi used his pCard to pay an $892 tab at a Honolulu hostess bar.
Other personal items charged were a surfboard, bicycle, campaign expenses and bar association fees.
In total, the mayor made almost $130,000 in charges on the card by the time the hostess bar charge came to light.
Kenoi reimbursed the county for $31,112.59, about $9,500 of it after the newspapers published stories examining his pCard use.
The most serious offenses, two counts of second-degree theft, are Class C felonies that each carry a possible five-year prison term and $10,000 fine upon conviction. The other charges are misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors, with penalties of a year or less in jail.
Kenoi will finish his second term of office in early December and is prohibited by law from seeking a third consecutive term….
read … Kenoi Trial
Murder and Meth—Charges For Oahu Jail Guard
KHON: The Hawaii Department of Public Safety confirms Pereira is an adult corrections officer at Oahu Community Correctional Center.
He was hired by the department in August 2002 and served as a corrections officer until 2010, when he was promoted to training sergeant.
But he has not reported to work since April 10, and has been on leave without pay since then, officials said.
We asked for an on-camera interview to find out why, but the department declined, saying it’s conducting an internal investigation….
He was transferred to Halawa Correctional Facility Monday afternoon.
In addition to shooting and killing his mother, court documents accuse Pereira of threatening another woman, and possessing methamphetamine….
(That’s two rapes and a murder by law enforcement last week.)
read … Murder
HPD Officer Charged with Assaulting Girl, 14
HNN: Police said 37-year-old Jessie Laconsay was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault. The 10-year veteran of the force fled last week Tuesday after he was caught sexually assaulting a teen.
He was later caught in Mokuleia and taken to Wahiawa General Hospital for cuts to his wrists. At last check, he was still in the hospital.
His bail has been set at $500,000, police said….
read … HPD Officer
UH Contracts: Lawyers Laugh all the Way to the Bank
SA: …Legislators put a $1.13 million figure on the phantom Stevie Wonder concert during hearings in 2012, much of that for UH’s outsourced legal and public relations work.
Through March 2016, the two-year anniversary of the NCAA’s active involvement in the basketball case, UH says it has already spent or budgeted approximately $1.2 million for the firing of former men’s coach Gib Arnold and the two-year plus NCAA inquiry that has surrounded it.
Arnold, who was fired on Oct. 28, 2014 under a controversial “without cause” provision in his contract, is to be paid $500,000 in direct payments, according to terms of their settlement. The final installment, $200,000, is due in 2017.
Meanwhile, in response to a public records request by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, UH said it has spent $707,222 on the case exclusive of the settlement to Arnold. Most of that, $659,076, is going to five outside attorneys and their firms from Honolulu to Birmingham, Ala., and representing various figures in the case.
Since UH didn’t submit its last major filing to the NCAA, the reply to the response of the Committee on Infractions, until April 8, one of the highest bills, $161,145 paid to the Alabama firm of Lightfoot, Franklin &White, could go higher.
To date, the largest payments have totaled $274,499 to the Honolulu firm of McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon. William McCorriston represented UH in a series of actions and claims involving Arnold.
In addition, UH said it has paid $36,313 in NCAA fines handed down by the Committee on Infractions, and spent $11,833 for airfare, transportation, hotels and per diem for the 10 members of the UH delegation attending the October 2015 hearing before the committee in Dallas.
Most of the bills, a UH spokesman has said, will be paid out of the UH System Risk Management Special Fund. Little is likely to come out of the already-battered athletic department budget….
read … An article titled 'UH learns costly lesson from bad contracts'
The Hawaii GEMS -- Goldman Sachs Fiasco
IM: Hawai`i borrowed $150 million for a green bank to fund rooftop solar for those who could not go through traditional channels.
The program has administrative overhead costs, and interest payments that must be paid on the borrowed funds. Practically no loans have been given out. The program is a fiasco….
The Goldman Sachs 2013 Clean Energy Ecosystem Summit was held in Menlo Park, California on September 17-18, 2013.
“Summit participants also heard about The State of Hawaii’s innovative financing initiative, the Green Energy Market Securitization program (GEMS), which is designed to make solar energy technologies more affordable and accessible to underserved communities.”….
…Goldman Sachs has a web page devoted to their role in the Hawai`i GEMS program…..
UD: Hawaii officials plan changes to struggling renewables program
Related: HECO Customers Keep Paying On Unused $144 Million GEMS Fund
read … The Hawai`i GEMS -- Goldman Sachs Fiasco
Convicted Marijuana Dealer Files Suit -- claims dispensary law violates federal racketeering, drug statutes
HTH: A longtime marijuana activist facing criminal charges of selling marijuana for running a now-defunct medical marijuana collective is suing in an attempt to stop the opening of state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
The suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court by Mike Ruggles of Mountain View, names as defendants Gov. David Ige, state Health Director Virginia Pressler, state Attorney General Douglas Chin, and the four companies awarded state licenses to grow and sell marijuana and those companies’ owners.
The suit alleges the state’s medical marijuana dispensary law is a violation of federal racketeering and drug laws.
“The state cannot license people to break federal law and that’s exactly what they’ve done with these dispensaries. How does California do it? You’ll notice Act 228 (Hawaii’s medical marijuana law passed in 2000) mirrors California’s medical marijuana law word for word. Dispensaries in California are not regulated, and that’s how they get around (federal law). You see, the state cannot give citizens a license to break federal law. What they can do is ignore federal law being broke (sic).”
The California Department of Public Health regulates the medical marijuana identification card program. Its website said the department’s medical marijuana program “does not have jurisdiction over medical marijuana cooperatives, dispensaries, or collectives. For questions related to these areas, please contact your local city or county business licensing office.”
read … Suit claims dispensary law violates federal racketeering, drug statutes
Almost all Shopping carts disappear from Waimalu shopping center
HNN: …In September, when Hanisee took over as manager at the location, the store was supposed to have 50 carts.
"I wanted to make sure we had enough for Black Friday, the holiday season," she said. "But we had 14. Exactly 14."
City Mill wasn't the only business in the shopping center thieves targeted. The Office Depot and Safeway were also hit.
"A few times I've been in there and there are no carts," said shopper Dory Frantz.
A few months ago, the center's Safeway store had 100 wagons. Now they're down to just 40.
And it could take a quite while to replace the carts stolen. The store only buys new ones every six months.
"It's really irritating when you can't just use the basket," said Frantz.
Each cart costs about $250.
To protect the investment, City Mill and Office Depot now lock all carts inside their stores overnight.
Who's responsible for the thefts?
"I don't know if they are being stolen for any profit purposes," Hanisee said. "Customers take it. A lot of homeless obviously take it and put their belongings in it." ….
read … Homelessness
Foster Care Not Available to Save Children from Homeless Parents
SA: …Being homeless “influences every facet of a child’s life — from conception to young adulthood. The experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral development of children,” according to a 2010 briefing paper by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which you can read in full at 808ne.ws/1VW43vu.
But separating children from their parents solely because they are homeless is no solution, policy experts warn. Rather, they urge housing (including through rental subsidies) and intensive educational, therapeutic and other social-service interventions for the children and their guardians.
It’s important to note, too, that the same briefing paper that describes dire outcomes for homeless children also mentions negative consequences for people who grew up in foster care.
An unfounded fear of losing custody of their children might prevent some homeless parents from seeking government help, which is one reason CWS emphasizes that law enforcement intervenes to remove children due to abuse or neglect — and that homelessness alone does not meet that standard. Child Welfare Services is a branch of the state Department of Human Services.
Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 350-1 defines child abuse or neglect as a series of actions or omissions that harm children. Lack of timely, adequate shelter is listed among the harmful circumstances, but the terms are not explicit.
read … About People Who Refuse Shelter
Maui Steal the Farmland Initiative Fails--60% Signatures Bogus
KE: The Maui Community Farmland initiative, which would have used taxpayer money to condemn private ag land for committee-dictated farming, has failed to make the Maui County ballot.
Organizers submitted one petition with 11,339 signatures, and then a supplemental petition with another 6,827 signatures. But 10,861 signatures were deemed invalid, leaving the initiative 1,896 registered voters short of the 9,201 required, according to a press release from the Maui County Clerk.
On June 3, organizers were expressing confidence that their proposal “to convert the former [HC&S] sugarcane lands from private to public to create the world’s largest community-owned organic agricultural park” would go before voters. “We can now say with 90% certainty that we will be on the November ballot.”
It's unclear how much was spent paying people to collect signatures, or where the money came from, because those loudly demanding transparency — these are the same folks that led the SHAKA GMO moratorium initiative on Maui — don't practice it themselves.
read … Musings: Open Season
Paltry Turnout for Anti-GMO Protest Ahead of Court Cases
KE: Sunday's SHAKA shindig snared, as predicted, a meager turnout of aina warriors and wannabees in Honolulu yesterday. Can't imagine they burned through either 500 pounds of cooked kalo or 500 red tee shirts, unless they shared with the homeless….
Whatever it may be two SHAKA founders — now scammin' to give comrade committees control of private ag land through taxpayer-funded condemnation proceedings — hope to have the last laugh….
KGI: Court to hear county GMO bans
read … Much: Shock, Shlock and Outrage
Massive Recall as Listeria Infests Organic Food
SA: People tend to think the terms “natural,” “organic” and “unprocessed” are synonymous with safe and clean food. However, when it comes to microbial contamination of food, these terms are no guarantee that the food is safe. During the past few months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings about two major food recalls because of potential contamination with listeria bacteria. However, the contaminated foods are not the typical foods expected to support this type of bacteria.
Question: What foods were recalled?
Answer: Primarily in May, more than 700 various brand-name frozen vegetable and fruit products were recalled. Following that recall, hundreds of products containing sunflower seeds were recalled, and the list continues to grow….
As Explained: Disgusting: Another Massive Recall of Hawaii Organic Food Infested with Listeria
read … Organic is Disgusting
Hawaiian Tel to Make a Grab for HS Athletics Broadcasting?
ILind: …The newspaper came around to the issue through the back door on Sunday in a column about control of broadcast rights of Hawaii high school athletics (“Hawaiian Telcom hopes to gain access to high school sports programming“).
The article reports on questions raised about Oceanic’s current lock on high school and UH sports.
It references comments Hawaiian Telcom filed with the FCC as part of the Charter-Time Warner docket.
I found two, the first dated August 25, 2014 and the second dated October 13, 2015.
The Star-Advertiser reported:
Oceanic, the dominant provider in the state with a reported 76 percent video market share and 69 percent of consumer broadband sales, has exclusive contracts with the University of Hawaii, the public high school Oahu Interscholastic Association and the Hawaii High School Athletics Association, which represents all schools, public and private, for state championships.
And then this caught my eye:
The OIA reportedly receives approximately $100,000 from their contracts with Oceanic, with additional monies paid to the HHSAA,but parties declined to discuss terms.
Wait. Is it possible that the broadcast contract covering Oahu’s public school teams is exempt from disclosure by routing it through the nonprofit OIA? Does the Department of Education know what the terms of the deal are? Is the contract a public record? ….
read … Say hello to Oceanic-Charter Communications
Hawaii State GOP — The Political Party That Eats Its Young
CB: …The 33-year-old Fukumoto Chang was named by The Fix, a Washington Post blog, as one of “40 under 40 Rising Political Stars.”
In 2013, the national news site The Daily Beast cited Fukumoto Chang as “Nine Women Remaking the Right.” ….
In 2012, Dylan Nonaka was selected by Republicans to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the GOP’s national convention in Tampa, Florida….
Johanson, 36, is a Yale-educated attorney who was considered one of the brightest lights in the local Republican Party. He made an effort to work collaboratively with state Democrats.
At a press conference announcing his departure from the party, Johanson said, “I think many in the local Republican Party are becoming more narrow in their demand for ideological purity as well as in their demand for a combative tone and posture.”
Nonaka said, “Johanson was vilified for not being enough of a bomb thrower, for not being GOP enough, and for his efforts to work with state Democrats to try to get important things done in the Legislature.”
He said by “bomb throwing” he means that some GOP old-timers want to keep the focus on divisive issues like abortion, gay marriage, transgender bathrooms; policy issues that are unlikely to be altered instead of focusing on the real problems facing young people in Hawaii today such as the impossibly high cost of living….
…Nonaka said his latest frustration is state GOP chairman Rohlfing’s embrace of longtime Hawaii scofflaw Rod Tam, who recently switched parties to become a Republican….
“That was so embarrassing to hear the Republican Party chair welcome Rod Tam to the party. What a sad thing to tout. I couldn’t believe it,” said Nonaka….
read … Embarrassing
Civil Beat Editor: Gays Aren’t Safe Around Muslims
CB: A radicalized bigot who swore allegiance to Islamic State group leaders prior to the attack, the U.S.-born Mateen reportedly was incensed at seeing two men kissing in public recently in Miami. Mateen, who had been questioned multiple times by FBI agents over possible connections to terrorists and terror groups, and who previously had been placed on the agency’s watch list,may have first scouted Disney World as a possible target before settling on Pulse….
…the Pulse shootings show just how vulnerable the LGBT community is to violence and “lone wolf” attacks….
Such vulnerability is even more pronounced because of Congress’ continuing resistance to legislation to make it illegal for suspected terrorists on the FBI watch list and individuals on the Federal Transportation Administration’s no-fly list to purchase handguns. Despite Mateen previously having been on the watch list for nearly a year, he had no trouble buying his semi-automatic weapon, getting a concealed weapons permit from Florida authorities or being certified as a security officer.
Many are rushing to use Mateen’s actions to condemn Muslims and Islam. It’s easy to see their point. Some Islamic countries officially punish homosexuality with the death penalty; the internet is awash with gruesome videos of Middle Eastern gay men being stoned to death and plunging to their deaths after being thrown off tall buildings. And Islam’s most sacred text, the Quran, condemns homosexuality in multiple passages, many argue….
(Sound like he gets it…but no. The Politically Correct brainwashing kicks in and he recalls a single incident from 20 years ago which somehow balances all the Muslim violence against gays….)
But fundamentalist Protestants and Catholics in this country often similarly condemn homosexuality, and interpret the Bible as justification for doing so. Nearly 20 years ago, terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph, a Christian Identity adherent, bombed a gay nightclub in Atlanta as part of his religion-inspired fight against the “homosexual agenda.” The bombing — one of four Rudolph committed, including one at Atlanta’s Olympic Park — injured five….
read … But Still Distracted by Liberal Ignorance