Source: Esther Kia’aina and Andy Winer Warned Jim Lyon About Investigation
Hawaii to Sue over Global Warming? UH Law School Debunked
Hawaii Republican Convention Reelects Ostrov Chair
Grassroot: 2019 Hawaii Legislature Review
"Equality" Act Hits Rewind on the Rights of Women
HSTA Evaluates Legislative Session
HSTA: Stop Ranking our Failing Schools
Hawaii Drivers Have High GPA and Low Test Scores
Petition: Support DOE Budget Transparency to Improve Public Education in Hawaii
Caldwell Lied About Rail-related Tax Hikes
SA Editorial: … Given the fast-approaching start of initial ridership, city leaders owe taxpayers a clear-cut plan that maps out where the operations-related funding will come from. Initially, rider fares will likely cover just a fraction of the annual cost of operations and maintenance (O&M), which HART estimates will be $127 million to $144 million for the full route….
To date, Mayor Kirk Caldwell has outlined only fuzzy — and somewhat confusing — tactics to address long-term O&M demands. His latest pitch to partially pay for steady rail service involves tax hikes for hotels and higher-end residential “investment” properties — the so-called Residential A tax classification. Also, he wants to impose a residential trash pickup fee, an idea previously rejected by the City Council.
Caldwell offered up all three of those revenue-generator ideas earlier this year, when he unveiled his overall $2.8 billion operating budget for the fiscal year starting in July. Back then, though, he said the proposed bump in revenue was largely needed to address an 8 percent bump in the annual budget tied to uncontrollable expenses, primarily employee fringe benefits and collective bargaining costs….
(Translation: Caldwell lied.)
Last week, Council Budget Chairman Joey Manahan said the extra revenue from such tax increases is needed just to balance the budget for next year, before rail operations get underway in December 2020.
HART’s job is only to build the rail line, not to run it. Right now, Caldwell’s administration is tight-lipped on rail O&M specifics as it solicits proposals from companies seeking to help shoulder that responsibility under a public-private partnership. That would be acceptable if rail operations were still several years off….
Big Q: How would you rate the city’s ability to pay for rail, from construction to operations / maintenance?
read … Open books on city’s rail budget
HART Poised To Approve $1.4 Million To Combat Bird Droppings
CB: … Rail officials say so many pigeons and other birds are nesting inside the transit line’s cavernous concrete guideway that it’s become a health hazard to workers ….
read … HART Poised To Approve $1.4 Million To Combat Bird Droppings
Keanu Sai claims “diplomatic immunity” shields him from latest round of fraud allegations
ILind: … The Office of Consumer Protection has a pretty straightforward view of the case against three people it alleges have been ripping off homeowners.
In the agency’s view, the three–David Keanu Sai, Dexter Kaiama, and Rose Dradi–sell homeowners facing foreclosure a package of services which is supposed to rescue the consumers’ homes by relying on Sai’s beliefs about Hawaiian sovereignty (see yesterday’s post, “Two sovereignty advocates hit with allegations of mortgage rescue fraud“).
But OCP says that after more than 100 attempts, no judge has ever blocked a foreclosure action based on the so-called sovereignty defense, a fact the three certainly know. So, according to OCP, they are committing a form of consumer fraud by selling something the three know doesn’t work in state or federal courts ….
“Although Sai would have the world think of him as an expert, in reality Sai is merely using his views on sovereignty to exploit people for his own personal gain,” the agency said.
It gets weirder
and more interesting pretty quickly.
Sai responded to the allegations by triggering the option to move the case out of state court and into federal court.
Sai argued that the federal court should have jurisdiction “because the State of Hawai‘i seeks remedies involving Sai who [is] a foreign diplomat.”
Sai claimed he is a foreign diplomat because he has “served as Minister of the Interior and Agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom.” And, he says, he is therefore protected by diplomatic immunity against charges like those raised by the OCP.
The consumer protection agency, in response, called Sai’s claim to diplomatic immunity “ludicrous” and “without merit.” The agency then addressed the issue point by point….
read … Fraud
Trisha Watson: Everybody Liked the Kealohas when they were ‘at the top of their game’
CB: … Close to a week ago, I got named on the witness list for the upcoming Kealoha trial. As explained in a recent article, the prosecution named me based on my personal relationship with Kat. … At the top of their game, Kat and Louie were one of the most recognized, and I’ll dare say, well-liked couples I knew. … I met Kat around 2007. I don’t exactly remember how. I don’t have a memory for the details of how I come to know people; I just know people. I’m not terribly social, so I’m selective about the people I get to know well. I enjoy smart people and kind people.
Kat Kealoha was both….
I certainly did. Kat was generous. Kind. Smart. Her personality was bubbly. And if there was some dark underbelly to her personality, I never saw it….
Comments: “These statements serve no real journalistic value and are a gross attempt to sway the opinion of its readers. Does CB or the author think we lack the intellect to see through this? Or maybe it wishes to reach out to the hundreds of potential jurors who are currently being interviewed.”
Comments: “Peculiar article. "I consider myself an upright citizen." "I’ve never been arrested. I don’t break the law. I just don’t." "I’ve not done anything wrong." Okay, okay, we get it. Is there a reason for you to repeatedly proclaim that you haven't committed any crimes?”
Comments: “’I should say here that I consider myself a pretty smart cookie.’ Your statement is an excellent example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.”
2014: Brother of OHA Crony Trisha Watson Diverts UH Scholarship to pay debt to Bookie
read … Trisha Kehaulani Watson: How I Became A Witness In The Kealoha Corruption Trial
Kahala businessman stunned to be labelled ‘possible suspect’ in Kealoha mailbox theft
HNN: … A new court filing Monday lists a Kahala businessman as being a “possible suspect” in the 2013 theft of the mailbox outside the Kealoha’s home.
That man tells Hawaii News Now that he is stunned to be added to the case. He recalls Katherine Kealoha showing up at his office, unannounced one day and asking if he had noticed anything suspicious in the area.
The man takes almost daily walks around the neighborhood and he says, Kealoha told him her cameras caught his image during one of those walks. That image is now part of the exhibit list.
Hawaii News Now is not naming the man because he has never been mentioned before in connection with the case and he does not match the description of the person seen on the video surveillance of the mailbox theft.
He says Kealoha left her business card and asking him to call her if he can remember anything that could help with the investigation. The card, which we’ve obtained says “Department of the Prosecuting Attorney” and lists Katherine Kealoha as a supervisor.
The attorneys for the Kealohas would not comment on the man’s sudden insertion and it is unlikely the Kealohas will back down on their constant claim that her uncle, Gerard Puana is the man in the surveillance video. …
read … Stunned
Ford Fuchigami to return to Hawaii transportation department in civil service job
SA: … Ford Fuchigami, who has served as a principal advisor to Gov. David Ige since November 2017, is returning to the state Department of Transportation to take a civil service job.
Fuchigami will serve as the administrative services officer for DOT’s Airports Division beginning June 1 where he will earn a salary of $150,000 a year, according to information from DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara and the governor’s office.
Fuchigami is currently Ige’s administrative director. In recent months, he has essentially served as the governor’s chief of staff. …
Sakahara said that Fuchigami was one of seven qualified applicants for DOT’s administrative services officer position….
read … Ford Fuchigami to return to Hawaii transportation department in civil service job
Plaintiffs revise settlement in injection well case
MN: … Plaintiffs in the long-standing injection well case against Maui County revised their settlement offer last week after meeting with Mayor Michael Victorino and county attorneys on the case that is currently headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
If settled, the case would end a seven-year legal battle over the use of injection wells at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility….
Maui County Council Chairwoman Kelly King has expressed interest in seeing the county withdraw its appeal. A resolution by King to approve the settlement is listed as a county communication item on Friday’s council meeting agenda. Communication items are typically referred to committee.
King is also placing on the council agenda a communication item brought up at the April 24 full council meeting. It is a resolution that calls for all settlement offers in the case to be sent to the council for approval or disapproval.
King had said that she wanted the county to withdraw its appeal and instead focus on solutions and settlement. She feared that the Supreme Court could rule in favor of the county and in doing so demolish the Clean Water Act.
She said the Maui County case has garnered national attention and didn’t want to see the county “lead that charge” to demolish the act….
At the 2019 Maui County Democratic Convention on April 27, there was unanimous approval of a resolution to urge the county to withdraw its appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court and “instead focus on proactive, collaborative, and constructive solutions to reduce and control pollution from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility and promote beneficial and necessary water reuse.”
Earthjustice attorney Isaac Moriwake said on Monday afternoon that plaintiffs wanted to share the latest settlement publicly as it is “of great public interest and importance” and “it is important to shine a public light on it.”…
read … Plaintiffs revise settlement in injection well case
COFA Migrant Numbers Increase In Hawaii, Guam
CB: … Hawaii is home to 16,680 Micronesians that have moved to the state under a treaty allowing for visa-free travel to work and live in the U.S.
It represents an increase of 12% since 2013, the last time a count was done. The figure represents 1 percent of Hawaii’s total population.
The 2018 enumeration puts the number of FAS migrants — it stands for “freely associated states” and refers to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia — on Guam at 18,874, an increase of 9% from 2013. The figure represents 11% of Guam’s population. …
read … COFA Migrant Numbers Increase In Hawaii, Guam
City slow to address fights, filth and lewdness that plague Waikiki pavilions
HNN: … More than a year ago, HNN reported on the fights, filth and lewdness happening beneath the city’s Waikiki pavilions — right next to Hawaii’s most iconic beach.
During that time, there’s been a lot of talk from officials about how the city plans to tackle the issues there. But the lack of action is causing a lot of frustration….
they didn’t seem safe and that’s only part of the problem. “They smell like marijuana and pee,” said Wesley Lezard….
“I didn’t even want to sit there the other night on the beach. It just had a real bad odor. It smelled like feces and body odor.”
What was intended to be a shady place to enjoy the view has become a permanent shelter for a combative group of squatters.
Fights are common. So is drug use and lewd acts. Many take place in broad daylight.
“We’ve had more and more complaints from our residents,” said Waikiki Neighborhood Board Chairman Robert Finley. “As they go by the pavilions they’re harassed, they’re threatened, they’re panhandled.” …
“It’s very frustrating. In other words, we got another 10 years before they decide what to do.”…
KGI: Homeless Heroin Addict gets Jury Trial
read … City slow to address fights, filth and lewdness that plague Waikiki pavilions
Tweeker Stays Homeless for 23 years
SA: … Leman Key said she’s been homeless for 23 years, but could not remember her age.
Key said she’s Hawaiian and either 46 or 47 years old. But, with missing teeth due to smoking crystal methamphetamine, Key could easily pass for 60….
She bumped into Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who bought her new slippers and a pair of shoes costing Green $25.
“She said she turned a trick this morning and she’s regularly raped,” Green said. “She buys a new purse every day for $2 because she’s always getting ripped off. Each night she’s vulnerable to getting raped or robbed.”
As Green spoke, Key dropped her latest $2 purse to the ground and kept digging through it to show off a puppy that did not exist.
“She has delusions consistent with her schizophrenia,” said Green, an emergency room physician.
Nearby, six tourists from Iowa visiting Kekaulike Market said they were not prepared for the number of homeless people they had seen on Oahu.
“We were surprised,” said Jose Molina, who joined his wife and two other couples on their Hawaii vacation. “There’s a lot of homeless people.”…
(Editor’s Note: It is inhumane to not FORCE this person into an insane asylum.)
read … Life on Oahu streets takes heavy toll
A closer look at Hawaii's temporary restraining orders
HNN: … "He started making business cards with my logo and name, he would not just slander me, but post all of these things all around town," Watanabe said.
An injunction was issued against the suspect, but Liz says that didn't stop him.
"He would continuously keep going, while mocking the system saying, 'TROs don't work," Watanabe said.
For the past five months, Liz has reported numerous violations to police, but HPD told KITV4 that officers cannot make an arrest for a TRO violation unless they see the suspect commit the offense….
In last year alone, the state dealt with about 300 non-domestic abuse TRO violation cases, only half of those went to court.
Of those that went to court, only one-third just 56 resulted in convictions or guilty pleas, which leads some victims like Liz to wonder just how effective Hawaii's temporary restraining orders really are.
Liz is now waiting for the violations against her TRO to reach the prosecutor's office.
She says because of this experience, she will be pushing for stronger legislation next session for Hawaii's TRO laws while also pursuing a civil case against the man she claims still continues to harass and threaten her….
read … A closer look at Hawaii's temporary restraining orders
Tulsi Gabbard Joins Sex Strike
TMZ: … Alyssa Milano's protest of Georgia's anti-abortion law is exactly the kinda political pressure that's needed ... according to Presidential candidate and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who's fully in her corner.
Rep. Gabbard was on "TMZ Live" Monday, and rallied behind Alyssa's call for a sex strike in the wake of Georgia's governor signing a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It's now the 6th state to enact such a law.
While Alyssa's sex protest is drawing some backlash, Gabbard told us the actress is shedding light on a critical debate ….
DMR: Tulsi Gabbard campaign puts up 2020 billboard along Interstate 80
read … Sex Strike
Attorney Crystal Rose Selected as KSBE Trustee
PBN: … The Hawaii Probate Court last week selected Crystal Rose to replace Trustee Corbett Kalama, whose term expires June 30, from a short list of three candidates …. Rose, a Honolulu attorney and member of the corporate boards of Central Pacific Financial Corp. and Hawaiian Airlines ….
read … Honolulu attorney to serve as Kamehameha Schools trustee