7-2 Supreme Court Allows Latest Travel Ban To Take Full And Immediate Effect
Trump: Major Changes in Management of Federal Monuments
Ethics Fine: Guard Must Return Cash after $10K Inmate Payoff
Kauai: PCBs Found in Westside Kauai Water Tank
Nominees Sought for Two Judicial Vacancies on Oahu
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted December 5, 2017
After Death of 9 year old Girl, Lawyers give Psychologists Opportunity to Cover up for CPS
HNN: The trial for a Big Island man accused of starving his daughter to death was delayed Monday, after his attorneys requested a mental health evaluation. (This is all fake.)
The evaluation will determine if Kevin Lehano, who is charged with murder in the death of Shaelynn Lehano Stone, understood the consequences of his actions.
The girl's mother and grandmother are also charged in the case.
The 9-year-old girl was found unconscious inside the family's Hilo apartment in June of 2016, according to authorities. She later died.
Sources told Hawaii News Now the girl was confined to the unit, was not allowed to leave nor was provided with any food.
(And somehow the HGEA members at CPS missed this after being on the case since this girl was a toddler.)
As part of mental health evaluation, a team of experts (ie psychologists who sometimes work for CPS) will give the court their opinions on whether he should be acquitted (thus avoiding trial) because he didn't have the ability to tell right from wrong.
(Then the psychologists will get lots and lots of CPS contracts as a reward.)
read … Conflict of Interest
Honolulu Airport is Named for a Rapist
CB: …When hairdresser Lenore Kwock reluctantly came forward in 1992 to allege that Sen. Dan Inouye had sexually assaulted her and then repeatedly sexually harassed her, then-state Rep. Annelle Amaral and some others believed Kwock. Afterwards, Amaral said nine other women called her to allege that Inouye had also sexually harassed them. Reporters at the time (and I was one of them) made very little effort to find the nine other women to urge them to talk….
Best Comment: “Rename the airport Annelle Amaral International Airport.”
read … What Caused The Wave Of Sexual Harassment Accusations?
Commitments to Mental Hospital Triple as Insane Homeless Victimize Citizens
CB: …According to the Hawaii Department of Health, the courts committed 331 defendants to the State Hospital in 2016, accounting for every admission to Hawaii’s only state-run psychiatric facility.
That’s more than a threefold increase from 1997, when 100 patients were committed under court order. The hospital has a capacity of 202 patients….
“the biggest driver of the increase in forensic patients is likely homelessness among the mentally ill”….
only a handful of defendants end up at the State Hospital each year in the same way as Saito — automatically committed there after being acquitted of their charges “on the grounds of physical or mental disease, disorder or defect.”
In fiscal year 2016, 16 patients were committed that way.
Meanwhile, a vast majority of forensic patients end up at the State Hospital for reasons relating to their mental fitness to stand trial: Nearly 70 percent of all patients were committed either for being “unfit to proceed” in their cases or to be evaluated for their fitness.
Those who were recommitted after violating the terms of their conditional release made up an additional 26 percent of the admissions at the State Hospital….
Such scenarios have played out in some of Hawaii’s biggest murder cases, including one in which Adam Mau-Goffredo was accused of fatally shooting three people at Tantalus Lookout in 2006. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Mau-Goffredo was eventually found unfit to stand trial and has since been committed to the State Hospital.
But most forensic patients at the State Hospital are involved in less severe crimes. Nearly 80 percent of forensic patients committed in fiscal year 2016 were charged with the lowest-level felonies or misdemeanors — about 45 percent of which involved “offense against another.”…
read … Why The Number of Criminal Defendants Sent To The State Hospital Is Soaring
Lunatic from Texas Ends up Homeless in Waikiki—Commits Numerous Crimes
SA: When Honolulu police arrested a 36-year-old suspected felon on Nov. 1, he had been on the run for more than a month after escaping from court-ordered custody at Kahi Mohala.
But police released Gregory LaBar a day later without charges and without knowledge of his escape the night of Sept. 28 from the Ewa Beach mental health facility….
“Gregory LaBar’s escape status should have shown up when he was arrested,” HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Monday. “It is unclear why it did not, and the department is currently reviewing the notification and reporting procedures for escapes.”…
The Star-Advertiser reported exclusively on Nov. 22 that LaBar was the sole patient under Department of Health custody still at large after the highly publicized Nov. 12 escape of Hawaii State Hospital patient Randall Saito, 59….
LaBar, suspected of terroristic threatening while shoplifting on Kauai, was committed by a Kauai circuit judge to the custody of the Department of Health and placed in Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health after being found unfit to stand trial.
After his escape, he was arrested for being in a Waikiki park after hours. That’s when police discovered he was wanted for a robbery in Texas and there was an extradition hold on him, Yu said.
An HPD detective contacted authorities in Webb County, Texas, but they declined to extradite him, a costly proposition….
(We should pay to fly him back to TX.)
Meanwhile: California moving forward with extradition proceedings for Saito
read … Lunatic on the Loose
10 Homeless Accept Shelter
SA: The state’s last large homeless sweep of 2017 saw 70 people, 20 dogs and 22 guinea pigs cleared from a public bike path near the H-1 freeway airport viaduct on Monday.
The encampments around the bike path — on the mauka side of the viaduct in Mapunapuna — had swelled since sheriff’s deputies cleaned out 120 people and removed persistent structures from underneath the viaduct on Oct. 23.
A family of seven swept from the bike path Monday was placed into permanent housing through the Housing First program operated by U.S. Vets and Kalihi-Palama Health Center, said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator. One female went into a residential treatment program and a family of two entered the Waianae Civic Center homeless shelter, Morishige said….
Skip Wheeler, who turns 71 on Dec. 18, said he was an Air Force sergeant who served in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968 and has been living “off and on” around the viaduct for eight years.
Wheeler said there is plenty of assistance available to homeless veterans such as himself, but “basically I’m a lazy bum,” adding: “I need adult supervision. I can say that truthfully. I’m not motivated.” ….
read … Adult Supervision
It’s Not Too Late To Build Rail Better
CB: Let’s consider stopping at Middle Street and connecting the train to better transportation modes….
read … It’s Not Too Late To Build Rail Better
Kauai: GE Tax Hike and Salary Hikes on Council Agenda
KGI: Two items on Wednesday’s Kauai County Council meeting deserve the public’s attention.
One will raise your taxes.
One will raise county salaries for several posts.
Tax-paying citizens may want to attend the meeting, 8 a.m. Wednesday, Historic County Building, to share their input, since this is, after all, your money. If you believe your government leaders deserve more money, wonderful. If not, it may happen anyway.
Now, government officials generally hate it when newspapers point out they are proposing to raise taxes and give raises. They will argue it’s not fair and these are separate issues that should be approached on their own.
But here we go, anyway….
read … Proposed increases in salaries, taxes a quandary
Hawaii County Council panel advances 36.4% tipping fee hike
HTH: The county is raising tipping fees at its landfills even more than previously considered.
The County Council Finance Committee on Monday advanced Bill 82, increasing the price haulers pay at the county’s Hilo and West Hawaii landfills by 36.4 percent throughout the next five years….
The fee hike — 27 percent the first year — would most affect commercial customers, such as those with dumpsters including condominium dwellers, retail shops, grocery stores and other businesses. Small haulers who pick up curbside for residential customers will see a residential credit increase that should wipe out the tipping fee hike, officials said.
The committee voted 6-2 to send the bill to the council with a positive recommendation. It faces two more hearings by the council.
Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung and Kohala Councilman Tim Richards voted no. Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles was absent.
Chung said he’d rather hold off on increasing fees until after contract renegotiations with Waste Management Inc. planned for April. In addition, Chung and Richards said the county hasn’t proven the need for the increase.
read … Garbage Tax
Maui: Tax rate for short-term rentals created
MN: The Maui County Council on Monday passed a bill that will establish a new property tax category for short-term rentals. Currently, short-term rental permit holders fall in the commercial classification.
In a meeting that picked up where the council left off Friday, members voted on a pair of tax bills, deferred a decision on a sand-mining moratorium bill and set a Friday deadline for landowners seeking an exemption to the moratorium.
The bill that will create a new tax category for short-term rentals passed on second and final reading by a 5-4 vote, with Council Members Bob Carroll, Elle Cochran, Stacy Crivello, Riki Hokama and Yuki Lei Sugimura in favor and Council Members Alika Atay, Don Guzman, Kelly King and Mike White opposed….
But those who run short-term permitted rentals have said that they do not want to be lumped into the same category with condominium units allowed to do short-term rentals by zoning that do not need to obtain special permits, which are costly and impose stringent requirements.
If the new tax category translates into higher rates, permitted short-term rental owners have said it would penalize those who have followed the law while illegal short-term rental owners continue to get away with lower tax rates.
The measure now heads to Mayor Alan Arakawa’s desk.
The full council also voted down on second and final reading a measure that would have assessed condominium units at their “highest and best use,” which is the typical method used to assess property. Condo units are currently assessed on actual use.
The bill was defeated by a 5-4 vote, with Atay, Cochran, Guzman, King and White opposing it and Carroll, Crivello, Hokama and Sugimura in favor….
In addition to the tax bills, the council also deferred a decision again on a bill that would establish a six-month moratorium on mining of Central Maui inland sand….
and … Filed a bill that would allow the council to vote to remove an individual member’s staffer, but decided to have further discussion on the issue in the Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee….
read … Tax Rate
Victory: Maui Sunscreen Ban Crashes and Burns
MN: Council wants attorneys to sign off on measure first….
…said Council Member Don Guzman, who is also an attorney. “I would feel more comfortable if we take the time to really present the evidence, build the right foundation and move forward with it just like we did with the styrene bill.”…
In his five years in office, Guzman said he’s never voted for a bill that didn’t have the approval of Corporation Counsel, the attorneys that advise the county. Council members can pass a bill without Corporation Counsel’s signature. But if they do so and someone sues the county, the county might have to pay outside attorneys using money from the general fund instead of its self insurance, Guzman explained.
The legal issues start with the fact that the state is in charge of nearshore waters, which means the county may not have the authority to regulate ocean-related activities, Deputy Corporation Counsel Richelle Thompson has explained. She’s also pointed out the federal commerce clause, which prevents states from interfering with interstate commerce. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved both oxybenzone and octinoxate for use in sunscreens….
(Do you recognize the strategy? Just like anti-GMO pesticide bills. The eco-trash push thru an ordinance which they know will lead to litigation. Then the taxpayer is saddled with the cost of defending a law that Counties cannot pass. They lost but the anti-GMO circus gained lots of media spin.)
Council members asked Thompson what they would have to do to get Corporation Counsel’s signature. She said there are alternatives, such as funding education for residents and visitors, or requiring companies that sell sunscreen on Maui to register with the county. However, council members liked the original bill, which has drawn widespread community support (ie the usual quacks and phonies).
MN: Council is considering banning certain sunscreens
MW: Unpacking yesterday’s marathon County Council meeting
read … Council wants attorneys to sign off on measure first
Should Honolulu Council Pick Police Commissioners?
CB: When Honolulu Police Commission Chairman Max Sword met several times behind closed doors with a city attorney to craft a $250,000 payout for then-Police Chief Louis Kealoha, City Council members wanted to know what was going on.
Sword declined to answer most of their inquiries at a Jan. 10 meeting, then rejectedCouncil Chair Ron Menor’s request for a follow-up meeting regarding the evolving retirement deal for Kealoha, who was under federal investigation.
“We were in the dark the entire time,” said Councilman Ikaika Anderson. “If my constituents ask me questions, I want to at least get those questions answered.”
Now Anderson has introduced a measure that would give the City Council the power to select three of the seven police commissioners, who are all currently appointed by the mayor and then approved by the council….
read … Councilman Wants A Piece Of The Action In Picking Police Commissioners
Mauna Kea: Perfectly Good Telescope to be Removed to Placate Protesters
HTH: The California Institute of Technology is preparing to take removal of its submillimeter telescope atop Maunakea through the regulatory process.
The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, which closed in 2015, will be the first to be dismantled under the Office of Maunakea Management’s decommissioning subplan. No new telescopes will be built on the site.
The institute announced Monday it is starting a “public scoping period” to receive feedback on removal of the 10.4-meter telescope and site restoration. An environmental assessment and a conservation district use permit will be drafted….
Opened in 1987, CSO observed light emitted between the infrared and radio wavelengths. That is suited for observing molecular gases and small solid dust particles that fill dense regions where stars form, according to Caltech.
Caltech first announced its intent to remove the telescope in 2009. At the time, it said the observatory was a cutting-edge facility for astronomical research and instrument development.
Contributions to science included detection of “heavy water” on comets and observation of “dusty planets,” which optical telescopes are unable to see, Caltech said during the 2009 announcement….
Initially, Caltech anticipated the site would be returned to its natural state by 2018.
Planning, permitting and design is anticipated to take about two years, according to Ashley Kierkiewicz, senior account executive with Hastings & Pleadwell, which is handling communications for Caltech.
That includes about one year to complete the environmental process and six months to one year to complete the conservation district use application. Decommissioning can begin once a CDUP is issued, she said….
read … Sacrificed on the Altar of Political Correctness
OHA Settles Akana Suit over Gentry Purchase
CB: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees has decided to settle a long-running legal challenge from a fellow trustee.
Rowena Akana, a former board chair, sued her eight colleagues in September 2013regarding closed-door minutes of board meetings related to a real estate purchase.
The civil lawsuit, Akana vs. Machado, et al., named then-board Chair Colette Machado, the seven other trustees and 10 unnamed persons. The trustees later countersued, accusing Akana of breach of fiduciary responsibilities….
As part of the settlement reached last month, Akana was required to write an apology to her colleagues.
“I have great respect for the attorney-client privilege and understand its importance,” she wrote in a letter dated Nov. 14. “My release of two letters from our attorneys, should never have occurred. As a Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, I accept full responsibility for their release and do apologize to the Board of Trustees for the release of these letters. Since that time and in the future, I will continue to be mindful of maintaining the confidentiality of such privileged materials.”
The parties in Akana vs. Machado released the following media statement:
The Trustees and Trustee Akana have attempted to resolve their respective disputes in this matter for many months now. As important as the issues are to the parties, the respect and well-being of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is of significantly greater importance. Therefore, all parties are of the view that the forthcoming trial would not have advanced the interests of OHA and its beneficiaries and thus the parties have agreed to resolve this case and focus on the future of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and its beneficiaries….
read … OHA Settles Lawsuit That Pitted Trustee Against Her Colleagues
State clears homeless encampments along Nimitz bike path
SA: …State sheriff’s deputies this morning swept 70 homeless people and their
dogs (excuses) who had set up camp along a Nimitz Highway bike path in Mapunapuna after they were forced out of homeless encampments underneath the adjacent H-1 freeway airport viaduct on Oct. 23….
None of the nearly two dozen people interviewed by the Star-Advertiser today along the bike path said they planned to move into a shelter (and the ACLU prevents us from using force).
Meheula and her brother, David Roque, 52, said they had been living under the viaduct for 15 years and had been swept eight or nine times. They had six
dogs (excuses) with them today and said they would not give them up in order to move into a shelter….
Sweeps conducted along the H-1 and Nimitz Highway corridors this year, including persistent efforts to keep tents from reappearing along Nimitz Highway medians, have seen 80 people move into shelters since July, Morishige said….
Friday’s sweep follows bigger ones that cleared 180 people out of Kakaako Waterfront Park and its sister parks on Oct. 3, followed by the Oct. 23 sweep of 120 people from underneath the H-1 freeway viaduct.
On Friday, deputies cleared 55 to 65 homeless people who had set up camp outside Kakaako’s Next Step homeless shelter after they were swept out of the Kakaako parks….
read … State clears homeless encampments along Nimitz bike path
Tech Schemers package for 2018 Legislature
PBN: …“When you look back at this past legislative session, I looked at it as many lost opportunities,” said Wakai during a Hawaii Venture Capital Association panel on the 2018 legislative agenda for the innovation economy. “A short list of some of the achievements that we made was extending the film tax credit, we helped the University of Hawaii with technology transfer, and we funded [Small Business Innovation Research] grants and manufacturing grants. But the big dogs got away from us.”
Several of the “big dogs,” according to Wakai, were the Airbnb bill, which would have allowed the vacation rental platform to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its hosts in Hawaii, and House Bill 627, which would have created the Office of Public-Private Partnerships within the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism….
Wakai said the state’s failure to pass a 5G (broadband) bill was also a setback for Hawaii’s innovation sector. …
Senate Bill 760, which would have codified exemptions to permitting requirements to include broadband over wire line and wireless or mobile platforms, including wire line facilities and small wireless facilities, was carried over to the 2018 legislative session…..
read … Hawaii lawmaker counting on collaboration to push business package through Legislature
Red Hill 4 years later: Drinking water safe
SA: …The Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is an amazing engineering wonder built during World War II. It is truly rock-solid and modernized and absolutely essential to our national defense strategy. While the fuel at Red Hill is key to protecting our state and nation, protecting our precious water supply — the water we all share — is equally key.
Nearly four years ago, poorly performed work by a contractor and insufficient oversight by the Navy resulted in the release of 27,000 gallons of fuel at Red Hill.
Since then, we accelerated upgrades to the facility and updated operator procedures. Since 2006 we invested more than $200 million to continue modernizing Red Hill. We are committed to using the latest science and technology in our approach as we move forward….
Sierra Club: Navy should start relocating Red Hill tanks
read … Red Hill 4 years later: Drinking water safe