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Saturday, July 6, 2019
July 6, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:42 PM :: 2618 Views

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 6, 2019

Divided Legislative Leaders: No Override Session

CB: … House Speaker Scott Saiki circulated a memo to his chamber Friday, saying the House would not convene an override session due to a lack of consensus between the Senate and House. Saiki told representatives earlier this week that he had been discussing the possibility of a special session with Kouchi.

Ige has until Tuesday to decide whether or not he wants to sign or veto bills or allow them to become law without his signature. He unveiled a list of 20 bills he was considering vetoing at a news conference June 24. That list includes proposals to establish an industrial hemp licensing program, enforce taxes on short-term vacation rentals and institute a corporate income tax on real estate investment trusts….

May 3, 2019: No Aloha: House Leaders Lock Senators out of Closing Ceremony

read … No Override

OHA: Akina Stands up to Thugs and Thieves

FH: … "Akina has bravely stood up to the thugs and thieves. The Entire community owes him our thanks and appreciation."

"Transparency, transparency, transparency!!! It's about time a trustee stepped forward and took the initiative to let us, the public, know what's happening. OHA has been acting like its conceiver, the state legislature, in the way they do business...BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!!"

"Akina is the most honest trustee of them all. The others have something to hide by not wanting completion of the audit."…

FH: "The imbecilic trustees are using the public money provided by all taxpayers as if it is their own private money. Akina is right to expose the fraud."

"The objective of the majority OHA Trustees is to run out the clock to complete the LLC's Audit. They are attempting to cover up potential criminal actions of a number of OHA employees and the Trustees. We must all support Mr. Akina over the rest of the OHA Board to complete OHA's Audit of the LLC's and other financial issues. The State Attorney General must get involved, if not already." …. 

FH: Still More OHA Beneficiaries & Other Star-Advertiser Readers Praise For Keli`i Akina  

read … Here's What Just A Few OHA Beneficiaries & Other Star-Advertiser Readers Have To Say

Next Big Boondoggle: $679.3M to Renovate Blaisdell Center

HNN: … According to renderings released by Snohetta, an international architectural design company tasked with developing the site’s master plan, the complex could a new performance hall and a sports pavilion.

Besides these new facilities, current buildings will also be getting additional available seats, and about 900 more parking spaces will be added….

The expanded areas will also support a variety of outdoor performance and recreation activities. A series of pools, cascading waterfalls and an interactive fountain will also be added to (insert excuse here) …

The total cost is estimated to be about $679.3 million, according to the project’s website.

(Translation: $1B)

Officials plan to confirm a development partner before the end of the year, with construction beginning in 2020 and lasting two to three years. The Blaisdell Center will be closed for construction during the duration of that time….

(Translation: Six years.)

SA: City unveils what a $722M redevelopment of Blaisdell Center might look like

read … Futuristic-looking Blaisdell Center renderings show glimpse of what’s to come

Why DPS Couldn’t Make Offendertrak Work When Every Other Prison System in USA Could

SA: … We had nearly 90 separate and independent data systems. These stand-alone systems were developed by individual programs over the years because of their frustrations with (UPW members feared that) OffenderTrak, which was purchased off-the-shelf in the late 1990s (would reduce positions by eliminating inefficiencies).

As a result, we were not using evidence-based information to make meaningful decisions, including inmate classification, facility placement and programming decisions. For example, decisions to transfer an inmate from one facility to another were often not coordinated with their participation in substance abuse or educational programs.  (Thanks, UPW.  Keep in mind that every other prison system in USA uses OffenderTrak and they don’t have these problems.)

We needed a comprehensive assessment of the department’s nearly 90 separate and independent data systems to determine how to create a pathway to one unified corrections information management system that could inform the decisions we had to make.

(Clue: Keep OffenderTrak and dump the other 89 systems.)

We needed to map out a process to identify all the key decision points and identify the data needed at those crucial points. This would drive the software, instead of vice versa.

(Wrong: The software must drive the UPW and not the other way around.)

While JRI was the impetus, the antiquated information system impacted all aspects of the corrections operations. For example, OffenderTrak could not communicate with systems operated by the Hawaii Judiciary or PSD’s Sheriff Division, (Of course not.  That’s why those other systems were selected by UPW members.)  which led to serious issues related to court appearances and release of inmates. I recall receiving frequent calls from judges complaining that detained defendants had not been transported to court by OCCC (Oahu Community Correctional Center) for their scheduled court appearances. I learned that mix-ups occurred because OCCC used a completely manual (ie UPW ‘positions’) process to determine which of its more than 1,000 inmates had to appear in which of six Oahu courts at a specified time on a given day.

The primitive systems also impacted the release of inmates. We sometimes released inmates too early or held them too long. One of the reasons for these errors was our information system’s inability to integrate the data when an inmate was held on more than one court order. Instead, everything — from sentencing information to court appearances to release dates — was inputted manually, requiring valuable staff time. The outmoded system was literally an accident waiting to happen, and believe me, we had more than a few “accidents.” …  (Thanks to UPW sabotage of tech.)

2012 RFP: “Hawaii Seeks Offendertrak Database Audit Services”

read … Fixing DPS IT system a big challenge

Caldwell: New Plan to Maintain Biki Monopoly

KHON: … The administration’s draft bill would authorize the city to set aside parking stalls as designated bikeshare or scooter zones, and charge companies a fee to use them for business. It would require insurance coverage as high as $4 million, and companies would have to maintain a 24-hour customer service center. Those trying to operate outside of the framework face stiff penalties.

The administration told the Honolulu City Council in a letter that the city was unequipped to deal with businesses that have tried to enter the market, and that Honolulu needs a way to organize and operators.

Read the proposed draft legislation here.

read … Biki Cronies

Activists Find Another Way to Make Housing More Expensive 

KHON: … more anti-sand protests ….

read … Maui mayor demands halt after mountains of sand stripped, shipped for Oahu development

Witness Saw Grave Vandal Before Kawaiahao Attack 

KHON: … Hitch is the executive director of the Hawaiian Mission Houses, right next door to Kawaiahao Cemetery. Two of their grave markers were vandalized on Tuesday, June 25th, a week before the Kawaiahao incident.

Hitch said they even had a witness because it happened at 4:45 in the afternoon.

“This is not in the middle of the night. There’s people leaving work like you can see during the day. There’s lots of people around, its not hidden.”

Unfortunately, no one has been charged….

SA: The board will examine the log of the security guard on duty the night of the vandalism

read … Witness

Hawaii County Council Hearing on Telescope

HTH: … County involvement is limited to police and possibly some equipment from the county Civil Defense Agency, Mayor Harry Kim said Friday. His administration hadn’t created a written report, he said, but will answer questions asked by council members.

Kanealii-Kleinfelder said he’s been hearing from a lot of constituents questioning the county’s involvement in what is essentially a state project. He said his major concerns (excuses) deal with safety of county personnel and the public, as well as the cost to local taxpayers for county employees policing the mountain or providing other services.

Construction is expected to start sometime this summer and take 10 years….

2015: Video: Crying Police Apologize to Telescope Protesters

read … Council committee to get Maunakea update

Cocaine Use up 25%

PBN: … Instances of Hawaii workers submitting synthetic urine during drug tests were up 7.4% compared to last year, according to second-quarter workplace drug testing results released by Diagnostic Laboratory Services on Wednesday. Cocaine use was up approximately 25% this year and up 5.3% from last year. The lab's quarterly sample size typically includes between 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests….

Marijuana positive rates were down 6.2%. Amphetamine positivity rates were down 11% from the prior quarter and also showed a decrease of 1.3% from last year.

In Hawaii, the percentage of positive results for opiates in workplace testing ranges between 0.15% and 0.25%. So far, both quarters in 2019 have stayed within this range; the rate for this quarter is 0.23%….

read … Cocaine use up in Q2 2019 workforce drug tests

Yakuza Behind Crystal Meth Epidemic?

JT: … Stern has spent decades of his life dealing with organized crime. He was born in Tokyo’s downtown neighborhood of Asakusa and moved to California when he was a child. He signed up for the U.S. Army as a young man and, later, the FBI. It was here where Stern was first introduced to the yakuza.

A crystal meth epidemic had infiltrated Hawaii in the early 1990s. The drug was extremely addictive and expensive to buy. The FBI suspected that Japan was an exporter of the drug. Stern, posing as an undercover Japanese American man named Jimmy Sato, befriended a low-ranking yakuza member called Koisuke Komine and gained his trust.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Stern in his undercover role, though. Komine once got drunk and took off his shirt in the middle of a steak restaurant, proudly showing everyone his tattoos. He pointed a knife at Stern and ordered him to take off his shirt as well. This was a problem, since Stern had a recording device taped to his chest at the time.

After a few dead ends, Stern and his team managed to lure Mitsuo Yoshimura, the boss of a small-time gang, to Hawaii for a large transaction. After one disastrous meeting, the crew had one last chance to collect some hard evidence.

Stern had to be extremely careful to get Yoshimura to admit to a crime on tape — an admission that was impossible to take back once it had been made. The bureau had failed once before. In September 1985, the FBI arrested several members of the Yamaguchi-gumi syndicate who were trying to trade drugs for a rocket launcher.

During the subsequent trial, however, the defense argued that saying “hai” in Japanese could be translated as “I hear what you say,” not always “yes.” The gangsters were found not guilty.

This time around, the results were much better. Stern’s second meeting concluded successfully when Yoshimura made a clear statement of criminal intent.

The FBI team and local law enforcement carried out a raid on the room and arrested him. Yoshimura spent nearly a decade in federal prison after agreeing to a plea bargain. “Those were simpler days,” Stern says….

Link: US v Yoshimura

read … As Japan prepares to open casinos, gangs won't be afraid to test security



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