Thursday, June 8, 2023
Hawaii Daily News Read

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, October 26, 2020
October 26, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:30 PM :: 2850 Views

Hawaii Tourism Reopening Strategy: Make COVID Positivity Numbers Look Good

Witch? Hirono Duck Test Joke Punished by Facebook

Another Federal Grand Jury In Hawaii? This Time It’s About United Public Workers Union

CB: … A federal grand jury is probing the finances of the troubled United Public Workers union after its Hawaii director, Dayton Nakanelua, was removed from office earlier this year for alleged “abuse and misuse” of funds.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the state Attorney General’s Office are involved in the inquiry, and federal authorities have subpoenaed thousands of pages of records from the union, according to a person familiar with the investigation….

Nakanelua and UPW Administrator of Fiscal and Membership Services Jeanne Endo were removed from their positions last spring after a union trial by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees concluded there was no “meaningful oversight” over the use of UPW funds.

“The opportunity for abuse or misuse of union funds existed as a result, and it has occurred,” according to the ASFCME trial decision issued on April 30. AFSCME President Lee Saunders named Liz Ho administrator of the union local, temporarily giving her control over the operations of the union.

That controversy apparently attracted the attention of federal authorities, who delivered subpoenas to the union during Ho’s first full week on the job as administrator of the union in early May, Ho said….

The union trial decision also cited Nakanelua’s decision to co-sign a $165,605 check to Hawaii Productions Associates, as a “50% first installment” for a documentary film on UPW. UPW President James Wataru had refused to sign that check because he did not believe the payment had been budgeted or properly authorized by the union’s state executive board.

Dean Sensui, who is listed on state records as the agent for Hawaii Productions, declined comment on the matter Sunday.

Ho said Friday she is unaware of anyone with the union who has been subpoenaed for questioning, but confirmed that investigators served union officials with subpoenas for voluminous financial documentation.

Ho said UPW provided the records, which included documentation surrounding the union credit cards, records related to the documentary film, and financial records related to the arrangements between the union and various law firms that represent UPW in grievances, arbitrations and litigation.

The December audit report cited extraordinary legal expenses racked up by the union local, including nearly $4.5 million paid to the law firm Takahashi and Covert over a span of less than three years.

That firm is headed by longtime Hawaii labor lawyer Herbert Takahashi, and who represented the UPW in various matters for decades.

The auditors found there were no retainer agreements or signed contracts on file with the union detailing the rates to be paid for that legal work or exactly what work was to be done, according to the audit report….

Criminal conduct within UPW has thrown the union into turmoil in the past. UPW State Director Gary Rodrigues was convicted of conspiracy, embezzling union money, money laundering and health care fraud in 2002, and served more than four years in federal prison.

Rodrigues, who had extensive political connections in Hawaii, served on the state Judicial Selection Commission. That commission reviews applications for judicial vacancies, and then submits short lists of qualified candidates to the governor and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court for appointment to the bench….


read … Another Federal Grand Jury In Hawaii? This Time It’s About United Public Workers Union

Judge’s order favors disclosure of documents in Miske-related case

CB: … Federal Judge Leslie Kobayashi issued an order on Thursday directing the court clerk to publicly disclose previously confidential documents filed regarding the search warrant and seizure of the boat prosecutors say was used to dump the body of Jonathan Fraser into the ocean after he was kidnapped and murdered. Prosecutors allege the killing was part of a murder-for-hire plot directed by Honolulu businessman Michael J. Miske Jr.

The documents will be made public on November 23, 2020, unless one or more defendants in the Miske case can “demonstrate the disclosure will cause irreparable harm to one or more of the defendants’ fair trial rights or some other compelling interest…” or unless otherwise directed by a future order of the court….

(Editor’s Note: Megan Kau worked for Miske on this case.)

CBLC:  In re Motion to Unseal Court Records

read … Judge’s order favors disclosure of documents in Miske-related case

Deadline looming for HART’s rail plan

SA: … On Tuesday the all-volunteer HART board is set to take a critical vote on whether to fish or cut bait on a two-year effort to secure a partnership with a private group to help finance construction of the project’s last 4-mile leg into urban Honolulu.

The stakes couldn’t be higher.

HART needs to come up with a revised action plan in the coming weeks that will satisfy the brass at the Federal Transit Administration or risk losing $250 million in promised funding that’s due to lapse Dec. 31.

There are strong indications that at least one of the two (and possibly three) P3 proposals is coming in far higher than the $1.6 billion that HART had projected for the work, which includes building the section from Middle Street to Ala Moana coupled with the critical Pearl Highlands garage and transit center and a 30-year operations and maintenance agreement.

Critics argue that if that’s the case, there’s no point in trying to reach a P3 agreement when the primary objectives of the P3 were to provide cost and schedule certainty, shift risks to the contractor and provide a more cost-effective means to build, operate and maintain the project.

But citing laws that preclude wide dissemination of bid details until a procurement process is over, HART board members themselves have been kept in the dark and haven’t even been told whether there are two or three finalists.

Robbins wants to be allowed to continue the P3 process for at least the next few weeks.….

HART’s Government Affairs/Audit/Legal Affairs Committee voted behind closed doors Oct. 15 to recommend that the full board direct Robbins to nix the P3 procurement effort and instead work with the Caldwell administration on coming up with an alternative method to complete the project.

That directive, formally known as Resolution 2020-5, is what’s before the board Tuesday….

Robbins’ future at HART remains unclear. A vote last month by the full board to remove him failed to pass despite a recommendation from the board’s Human Resources Committee. That same committee is slated to meet Tuesday, just before the full board meeting, to continue discussion on “HART Leadership and Transition.”

One of the items on the full board’s Tuesday agenda is to decide on establishment of an ad hoc committee to “investigate HART leadership and transition.”

read … Deadline looming for HART’s rail plan

DoE Remote Learning Scam Wears Thin: Parents Flee to Private Schools

CB:… One Catholic school principal said the calls have been nonstop, mostly from families who are tired of doing remote learning as part of the state public school system….

HAIS typically does its yearly enrollment count in May, but numbers so far this year show private school enrollment is down by 3% from 33,328 last school year to 32,145 so far this year.

The DOE lost just under 3% of students in the 2020-21 school year. The number of home school opt-out requests is also 43% higher in the first three months of this year than all of last school year.

“The numbers keep changing,” Bossert said, of private school enrollees this year. “The longer DOE keeps its students out, the more parents are seeking in-person learning environments for their children, either with private schools that have a ‘rolling admissions’ policy … or with some of the new home-schooling support centers that are popping up.”…

read … Why Some Hawaii Parents Now Want Their Kids In Private School

Vigilante group calls for stricter mask enforcement

KITV: … "The visitors are so pilau, the visitors are so bad," Hawai'i Quarantine Kapu Breakers co-founder Angela Keen said.

"Every person that is reminded about wearing a mask, I've had countless members in my group on all islands that have been met with expletives, and fingers, and screams."…

(Translation: This is the best chance we will ever have to kill off the tourism industry.)

"We do some inspections and one of the workers told us again that guests are not wearing masks. Security is supposed to enforce the masks, but it's not happening. As I'm driving coming to Kalakaua, I saw a lot of people that are not wearing a mask," UNITE HERE Local 5 union president Gemma Weinstein said. …

read … Vigilante group calls for stricter mask enforcement

City agrees to a tentative $320,000 settlement over HPD domestic violence case

KHON: … The city has reached a tentative settlement in a domestic violence lawsuit against a Honolulu Police officer, agreeing to pay his estranged wife $320,000.

The suit alleged that officer Darren Cachola choked his wife in 2017 then pushed her against a wall and terrorized two years later after she filed for divorce.

The city is on the hook because the suit alleges that HPD officers did not investigate her injuries and tried to talk her out of filing charges….

Part of the reason the settlement was so large is that there’s a history of domestic violence complaints against Cachola and there’s a history of allegation that officers covered up for him.

Back in 2014, he was caught on surveillance cameras fighting with his then-girlfriend in an empty Waipahu restaurant.

The responding officers did not arrest Cachola and did not file reports. A grand jury also declined to indict. Cachola was later fired but was reinstated…..

read … City agrees to a tentative $320,000 settlement over HPD domestic violence case

US Says COFA Talks Are On Track To Finish This Year

CB: … Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Doug Domenech said the talks with the Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are all progressing but moving at different paces. Negotiations with Palau have been slightly delayed due to its presidential elections.

At issue are the expiring financial and economic provisions of the treaties: access to U.S. programs like the U.S. Postal Service and Federal Aviation Administration; funding known as sector grants for education and other necessities; and money for each country’s trust funds. Domenech said the goal is to wrap up the negotiations in time for Congress to include any funding in the fiscal year 2023 budget….

read … US Says COFA Talks Are On Track To Finish This Year

State plans $1.8 billion housing and commercial development for East Kapolei

SA: … A thousand affordable rental homes could rise on state land in East Kapolei as part of a new long-range development plan also featuring a hotel, retail, offices and warehouses.

The ambitious $1.8 billion plan, if developed as envisioned over the next few decades, is primarily intended to generate revenue for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources but also would produce affordable housing, jobs and tax revenue on 168 acres of vacant DLNR property next to the rising Ho‘opili community and the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. ….

SA: Haseko plans 1,850 new homes at Royal Kunia in Central Oahu

read … State plans $1.8 billion housing and commercial development for East Kapolei

Kalaeloa Vintage aircraft face chopping block

SA: … A Kalaeloa Airport naval air museum whose vintage aircraft could be auctioned off or chopped up is scrambling to remove some of its collection ahead of the Saturday deadline to vacate the premises.

The departure of Naval Air Museum Barbers Point is the end result of a long-­running dispute with the state Department of Transportation over lease terms at the airport and a failed lawsuit brought by the museum to stay.

The grassroots air museum has been closed since November by a state eviction effort.

read … Vintage aircraft face chopping block

Election News:
Corona Virus News:


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii