The County Strikes Back (part 4)
Judicial Vacancy – District Judge, District Court of the Third Circuit
1988: Kaneshiro Brought in to Save Mafia Godfather Larry Mehau
Borreca: …Going from being the darling of the old Hawaii Democratic machine to now someone under federal investigation, Keith Kaneshiro’s career as the Honolulu prosecutor appears ready to flame out.
Back in 1988, then-city Prosecutor Charles Marsland was a political nightmare for the Hawaii political establishment. He was a brash, opinionated Republican who had clicked with the voters. While his whole message was anticrime, Democrats could see support for Marsland growing into a GOP movement, since much of the lanky crimefighter’s appeal was his willingness to attack Democratic majordomo Larry Mehau as a key figure in organized crime. Marsland’s claims were unproven, but it didn’t stop him from raising alarms.
Up stepped Kaneshiro, a former deputy attorney general and director of the now-defunct Hawaii Crime Commission, to run against Marsland. The Democratic Party apparatus swung into action as then-Gov. John Waihee appeared at a Kaneshiro rally at the Waikiki Shell, hugging the candidate and heaping praise on his campaign….
The next blow was delivered by an ad-hoc labor group called the Committee on Labor Education running full-page newspaper ads attacking Marsland. Kaneshiro won and the victory essentially collapsed Marsland’s platform….
Now the veteran of almost two decades as city prosecutor is a target of a federal probe.
As of press time, Kaneshiro has refused to talk about the case, while his political opponents and defense attorneys are ripping him apart….
2018: Waihee, Media Agree: Mehau was the ‘Good-father’
CB: Drive to Impeach Honolulu Prosecutor Will Test City’s Vague Law
read … Troubling questions surround Kaneshiro, once Dems’ law-and-order man
Hawaii Minimum Wage Workers Make $50K/year
SA: … Hawaii has a disproportionate amount of service industry jobs, with a large number of them being tipped positions. It is a fact that our minimum-wage- earning staff is the highest paid among our employee groups because of the tips it earns. In fact, our highest-paid server made $70,000 in income in 2016, of which around $17,000 was the minimum wage. Our non-tipped employees earn around $30,000-$40,000 — already above or around the “living wage.”
Our full-time servers average almost $50,000 a year. Thus, raising the minimum wage in Hawaii would reward a disproportionate number of workers who are already well compensated by virtue of tip income….
In the restaurant business, it is now illegal to “tip-pool” (sharing of tips among all workers), and Hawaii has the lowest “tip credit” of non-zero credits in the nation…
We calculate that if the minimum wage was forced to $15, a menu item that we currently retail for $7.95, will be marked up to $12.95….
People born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory, are known as U.S. nationals. They pay U.S. taxes and have American passports but can’t vote or run for elected office outside of American Samoa unless they apply for and are granted U.S. citizenship.
The issue arose in Hawaii this year when a Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives, American Samoa-born Sailau Timoteo of Waianae, was disqualified from the race when the state Attorney General’s office realized she wasn’t a U.S. citizen.
Gabbard has never had that problem because she was a U.S. citizen from birth by virtue of her parents. Her mother, Carol Gabbard, was born in Indiana and grew up in Michigan. Her father, state Sen. Mike Gabbard, was born in American Samoa but because his father, a member of the U.S. military, was born in Kentucky, he was a U.S. citizen from birth as well, according to a spokeswoman for Tulsi Gabbard….
read … Why minimum wage shouldn’t be increased, from restaurateur’s perspective
Proposed Hawaii Carbon Tax Would Add $0.88 per gallon of gasoline
SA: ….Starting at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide and increasing $10 per ton each year, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would push the price of carbon to $100 per ton within a decade….
(According to the Global Warmers, $100 per metric ton carbon tax = $0.88 more tax per gallon of gasoline.)
the French government announced it would increase fuel taxes to discourage driving and encourage low-carbon transportation. It went poorly.
Violent demonstrations erupted in the streets of Paris and other French cities, forcing the government to delay for at least six months the tax hike. The protests raise concerns about public backlash against fuel taxes specifically and carbon pricing in general, and that’s a huge concern….
Late last month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation to place a fee on carbon and allocate all revenue to households in the form of a monthly dividend. Under the policy outlined in their bill, known as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 7173), a majority of families, particularly low- and middle-income, will receive more money from the “carbon dividend” than they would pay in increased costs associated with the fee.
(IQ Test: Do you believe this?)
read … Stick carbon-tax hikes to the people
Title IX 46 Years of DoE Hypocrisy
SA: …On what would have been the late congresswoman’s 91st birthday, the state dedicated a bronze statue in Mink’s memory while her living legacy flickers and remains relegated to the back of the line. The fundamental cry for fairness and dignity of life suffers in silence in the deafened halls of Hawaii’s public school system. The lawsuit is a resounding reminder that notwithstanding the hash-tag movements, social media frenzy and educational efforts, nothing has really shifted the peoples’ or political will to effectuate real and sustainable changes to ensure compliance with the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in public schools….
The DOE and Board of Education are complacent and condoning the devaluation of girls in schools across our state. How is this outrage possible? Hawaii was the first state to pass its own Equal Rights Amendment when President Reagan refused to ratify one on the federal level. So what is it that persists and pervades within our communities that prevents compliance? Why do we as individuals witness the ongoing and blatant violations of federal law that was passed 46 years ago and do nothing? Say nothing?…
in Hawaii, we allow school administrators to deny the girls their inherent rights of worth and worthiness. Worst yet, we afford the violators of Title IX ongoing rights to intimidate and retaliate against the most vulnerable in our society. The blog postings and coconut wireless speak of the “common” knowledge of decades of abuse and disgust….
The hypocrisy is staggering. Do as you’re told and not as you’re shown in the DOE. Tell the school kids to respect others and themselves while the leaders and administrators disregard laws, policies and humanity. Teach the kids to report civil rights violations and not to be bystanders when witnessing bullying, while the adults watch the devaluing process of girls every day and do nothing….
read … Column: Title IX is a promise of life with dignity
Assisted Suicide ‘Uncharted Territory’
MN: …Lorrin Kim, head of the state Department of Health’s Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development, said that staff members have been working to educate the community ahead of Jan. 1, but there are still “concerns about provider access, since this is such uncharted territory for Hawaii’s physicians, pharmacists and insurers.”
“I already know of a couple of ‘hard no’s’ from providers who will not participate, or allow MAID (medical aid in dying) activities to take place on their premises,” Kim said. “On the other hand, there are several strong ‘yes’s,’ and we think most large systems will leave it up to their panel of doctors to participate or not on an individual basis. Most, I think, will take a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude until names around town start to circulate and expertise grows.”…
In his 29 years as chief executive officer of Hospice Maui, LaGoy said he has often heard incoming patients talk about wanting to end their lives early because they imagine all the suffering that lies ahead. But he said that two big things usually happen in hospice care — first, hospice addresses most of the symptoms, “and the fears of the suffering simply don’t materialize,” LaGoy said. Second, when a patient and family learn to face death head-on in a supportive environment, they experience immense personal growth.
“The time that the person was afraid would be an awful time . . . turns out to be one of the most rich and powerful times of their whole life, and they wouldn’t want it to end,” LaGoy said. “Because there is deepened intimacy of connection with family members, a deepened appreciation for the overall trajectory of their life that they get to reflect upon.”…
“We’re not allowing people to exercise their right in our facility or on our property, because that could have a dramatic effect on people’s perceptions of what we do,” LaGoy said. “So what we would do if someone wanted that is we would try to find a setting where they could exercise their legal right. So, for instance, their own home or a home of a family member.”…
There are some Maui physicians who have no mixed feelings about the law. Dr. Andrew Kayes said he is “adamantly against it.”
“If you think suicide is wrong, you should think physician-assisted suicide is wrong,” said Kayes, the medical director of Maui Diagnostic Imaging….
“We don’t think it’ll be hundreds of people at our doorstep,” said Kim, adding that he was aware of three or four people who planned to show up the first week of January to request prescriptions….
CB: The state estimates around 40 people will use the new law to seek medical assistance to end their lives next year.
read … Health care industry prepares for ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act’
A Tale of Two Mauis: Newly released census data reveals growing inequality
MT: …Median household income in Hawai‘i is rising along with income inequality between areas, newly released census data shows. The data, compiled by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism using information from the US Census American Community Survey, reveals that the median household income for the highest earning census tract on Maui has increased by $5,195 while the median household income in Maui’s lowest earning census tract has decreased by $4,038….
In 2008-2012, the difference between the census tract with the highest median household income and the tract with the lowest was $54,297. During 2013-2017, that number grew to $63,530….
read … A Tale of Two Mauis: Newly released census data reveals growing inequality
Kona Homeless Tent City Site Still a Swirling Vortex of Shelter-Refusers
HTH: … HOPE leadership came to the county Department of Housing and Community Development in August to place the request after staff struggled to manage the behavior of an overflow of homeless loitering and lingering there.
“The campus was never intended to serve additional ‘campers’ on site,” HOPE CEO Brandee Menino wrote in an email to West Hawaii Today. “When the current administration closed ‘Camp Kikaha,’ the previous campers remained on site and we were left to manage the chaos that ensued with the additional campers congregating outside the micro-unit permanent supportive housing units and night time shelter.”
Camp Kikaha was born in the summer of 2017 when Mayor Harry Kim ordered police to clear Old Airport Park of the homeless…
despite several of the homeless being placed in transitional housing elsewhere, many also stuck around….
Reports of vandalism, like cutting of the Kona Brewery’s fencing by individuals to gain access to the camp after they’d been banned and destruction inflicted on laundry room facilities at Hale Kikaha, began to rise.
Issues like trespassing, littering and indecent exposure also became greater concerns, said Mattson Davis, president of Ulu Development and former CEO of Kona Brewery….
According to numbers provided by Davis, Kona Metro documented 265 incidents between September-November, which included a handful of actual arrests. But roughly 35 percent of those incidents occurred in the first two weeks of the data sample. Since then, Davis said, there’s been a steady weekly decline….
The governor on Friday issued a second emergency proclamation on homelessness to get various Ohana Zone projects off the ground. The new initiative, which came out of the Legislative session last year, put $30 million in 2019 funding behind the battle against homelessness.
Hawaii County is likely to get a piece of that money for Village 9, a widespread homeless housing project including supportive services like mental health and drug treatment to be located off Kealakehe Parkway. Master planning for that site and its Hilo counterpart will begin in January.
Once equipped, Village 9 may alleviate some of the issues around the HOPE campus simply by dwindling down the homeless population swirling in and around there….
He cited a period of heavy rains, during which HOPE opened its shelter doors to anyone in need of cover. At that time, the transitional shelter had vacancies. They were offered to those who sought shelter from the storm, but some simply declined….
read … Shelter Refusers
Caring efforts are energizing the fight against homelessness
Shapiro: …The Kahaluu igloos, one of several homeless initiatives originating from outside of government, were built with contributions from churches around the state, and similar projects on Oahu are planned.
An even bigger community-based effort is Kahauiki Village, a homeless project near the airport conceived by socially conscious businessman Duane Kurisu, who had a vision of providing modestly priced housing in a setting designed to replicate the sugar plantation community in which he was raised.
Some 30 families have moved into prefabricated units previously used for emergency shelter after Japan’s 2011 earthquake. Kurisu plans to expand to 150 families, about 600 people….
read … Caring efforts are energizing the fight against homelessness
‘Modern Hawaii was built on human trafficking’
HTH: …More than two dozen community members attended the forum, which featured five panelists fighting against human trafficking in Hawaii.
In discussing the issue broadly, panelist Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of the state Commission on the Status of Women, told the crowd that “human trafficking is the foundation of Hawaii as we know it. Modern Hawaii was built on human trafficking — both labor and sex trafficking — and so it’s really baked into our economy. I think that the narrative of choice has often obscured the fact that a lot of the migration and a lot of the work that’s being done was done under less-than-free choice.
“For example, I’m Filipina, and the first 12 years of Filipino migration to Hawaii was what would legally be considered labor trafficking under today’s federal and state definitions,” she continued. “So it’s something that’s been so normalized and so painful to discuss, and I think many of us have a direct connection in terms of either our families right now or our heritage to this issue.”…
read … ‘Modern Hawaii was built on human trafficking’
Can Tulsi Gabbard Revitalize Birtherism?
SA: …being born in American Samoa, where Gabbard lived until the age of 2, elicits unsettled constitutional questions about what it means to be a “natural-born citizen,” a requirement for the presidency, according to legal scholars.
And while a broad consensus holds that Gabbard is indeed eligible to run, that gray area within constitutional law could become a political issue for the Hawaii representative if she does seek the national political spotlight….
The issue surfaced for former Michigan Gov. George Romney, who was born in Mexico, when he ran for president in 1968. It became an issue for late Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone where his father was stationed as a Navy officer.
Most recently, it was a point of contention for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada and engaged in a bitter fight with President Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Trump repeatedly threatened to sue Cruz over the question of his eligibility…
Trump took the issue further than most, by fanning the baseless conspiracy theory about Hawaii-born President Barack Obama being born in Kenya, helping coin the term “birther” in reference to those who question candidates’ eligibility based on their birthplace….
(Key Point: Birtherism was good for Obama because it made his opponents look like morons.)
Related: American Samoa Citizenship Question Not So Simple
read … Tulsi Gabbard’s birthplace could create political fodder in national campaign