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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
June 15, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:59 PM :: 2590 Views

Former Tsunami Center Site Transferred to DHHL

Wait list opening for Section 8

Make $100K? COVID Money will Pay Your Rent and Utilities

UHPA: Labor Board Rejects Challenge to UH Budget Cuts

DOJ: Chinese Money Laundering Buys Big Island Properties

Bid Rigging: Emails Show HART Leaders Always Wanted To Hire Hanabusa As Consultant

CB: … Months before a lucrative rail consulting gig went out for public bid, top officials at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation were determined to award that contract to the board’s former chairwoman, Colleen Hanabusa, internal records show.

HART Board Chairman Toby Martyn declared as early as Dec. 7 that he wanted to hire Hanabusa as a lobbyist who could help with rail’s growing budget woes and would report directly to the board that she used to lead, according to email exchanges that the rail agency released to Civil Beat on Monday via a public records request.

Martyn also discussed the contract with Hanabusa over lunch Feb. 16 — 10 days before the solicitation was released publicly, according to those exchanges. “Can you please give me a quick update on the status of the consultant contract?” Martyn asked Cindy Matshushita, the board’s longtime executive officer, prior to that lunch appointment.

(Without even cracking a grin,) HART leaders say there were no procurement violations, but they’re still checking whether the process violated city ethics policies …..

Read the full procurement package provided by HART here. The exchanges referenced above appear after the 220-page mark: LINK  (Hanabusa’s signed and notarized ‘non-collusion affidavit’ is on pg 186.  Good for some laughs.)

read … Emails Show HART Leaders Always Wanted To Hire Hanabusa As Consultant

Good behavior behind bars expected to get Kealoha conspirators early release

HNN: … Disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha was sentenced to seven years, but he’s scheduled to be out of the federal facility in Sheridan, Oregon on May 18, 2027 — just over five years from now.

Ex-HPD Lieutenant Derek Hahn was sentenced to three and a half years, but he’s projected to be released from the same prison on May 24, 2024.

Former officer Ming-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen got four-and-a-half years in a South Dakota facility but could be out on March 30, 2025.

Kealoha’s estranged wife, ex-deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, will eventually be sent to Victorville, a California women’s prison until July 24, 2030 despite her 13-year sentence.

All are being credited, in advance, for being model inmates.

“While the federal system doesn’t have parole like the state does, we do have good time credit,” said Alexander Silvert, retired federal deputy public defender, “Roughly you get 54 days off a year for good time behavior while in prison. It’s a small incentive to behave yourself while you’re in custody.”…

All could be sent to halfway houses ahead of their release which would drop the prison time even more….

“In order to lose good time credit you really need to do something serious,” said Silvert.  Silvert said serious offenses include having a weapon or contraband or getting into fights….

The countdown clock has been running for almost two years for Katherine Kealoha, who was locked up the day after the jury found the group guilty of conspiracy and obstruction for framing a man for staged crime.

She is the only one still in Hawaii at the Federal Detention Center possibly for several reasons. She has been cooperating with federal prosecutors on other matters and she is a witness in her brother’s upcoming federal trial for alleged drug crimes….

read … Good behavior behind bars expected to get Kealoha conspirators early release

Witch Hunt: House Panel To Attack Auditor Again

CB: … Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday appointed the members to serve on the House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01.  The audits are, respectively, of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Special Land Development Fund and Agribusiness Development Corporation.….

“The Investigative Committee will advance the House’s (Speaker’s) goal of reforming and improving government (ousting Kondo),” Saiki said in a press release….

The members of the new committee are:
  • Rep. Della Au Belatti, Chair
  • Rep. Linda Ichiyama, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Mark Hashem
  • Rep. Dale Kobayashi
  • Rep. Val Okimoto
  • Rep. Amy Perruso
  • Rep. Kyle Yamashita

State law authorizes the House to create an investigative committee, one that “holds additional authority, including the use of subpoenas to gather documents and testimony,” according to the press release.

A report of findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, will be submitted to the House of Representatives prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022….

News Release: Speaker Scott Saiki Appoints Members of House Investigative Committee

News Release: Rep Val Okimoto Statement 

(NOTE: Before attempting to oust him, Saiki had a pre-existing issue with Kondo over the OHA audit.  These two new audit criticisms are new, therefore just an excuse to push Kondo out to protect OHA corruption.)

read … Panel To Examine Audit Of Agribusiness Development Corp

Federal and state numbers on Hawaii vaccination rates have differed for months

SA: … Significant discrepancies between federal and state data on vaccination rates in Hawaii paint different pictures of how close the state is to achieving the 70% threshold that Gov. David Ige has set for dropping all COVID- 19 restrictions, including constraints on businesses and requirements that people wear masks indoors while in public settings.

Indeed, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts Hawaii on the verge of freedom from the complicated county tier systems that govern activities, with 68.4% of the state population, or 968,008 people, receiving at least one dose of a vaccine. If the CDC data posted Monday is correct, then it could be just a few more weeks until 70% of the population is fully vaccinated and life largely returns to normal.

But state officials say the federal data is wrong, and despite inquires with the CDC over the past two weeks, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser wasn’t able to get much of an explanation for what is driving the differences. State Department of Health data says that just 61% of the population, or 860,369 people, has received at least one shot, suggesting that it could be several more months before the state reaches its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of the population….

read … Federal and state numbers on Hawaii vaccination rates have differed for months

Security camera footage shows exchange before Honolulu police shooting of Lindani Myeni

SA: … Video footage from a surveillance camera at the home where a 29-year-old South African man was shot and killed by police following a fight with officers captures him entering the home and then quickly leaving while apologizing to the couple who called police….

Footage from a Ring Home Security Camera packaged with previously unreleased body worn camera footage from responding Honolulu police officers was sent to media this morning by Bickerton, who is representing the family of Lindani Myeni in a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers, HPD and the city.

Bickerton has said Myeni believed the home he entered was the ISKCON Hawaii temple at nearby 51 Coelho Way.

In the video, Myeni, a husband, father and former professional rugby player is seen jogging to catch up with a couple entering the home at 91 Coelho Way in Nuuanu on the evening of April 14….

Dexter can be heard saying, “we have no temple.”…

Dexter Wang can be heard talking to the home’s owner, James H. Hall, saying he doesn’t know “what is going” on and that “he says his name is Lindon.”

Myeni is then seen walking out of the home. He puts his shoes on and walks toward his car.

He turns one final time toward the doorway and raises his hand while saying, “sorry.”

Dexter Wang, in a calm voice, tells Hall, “he apologized and he just left.”…

Link: VIDEO

read … Security camera footage shows exchange before Honolulu police shooting of Lindani Myeni

Honolulu rail could be up and running this year, HART Shifts Dillingham Sector Mauka

HNN: … Lori Kahikina, interim CEO and executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said Monday timing of when riders can actually use the system depends on how issues to faulty crossover tracks — known as frogs — as well as the wheels — which were too small for the width of the track — are addressed.

“For the most part, when you’re going straight, it works. It’s when you’re coming over those frogs, those crossovers, that’s the issue. And nobody noticed it until our consultant was watching during the study, during the testing, was like, oh it’s a little bit, it’s a half inch thinner than it should be,” Kahikina said.

She added, “If the speed through those tracks is an issue, the tracks will have to be removed and that’s gonna be a one-, two- year delay because you need to manufacture the tracks, bring it here, take out the old ones, put in the new ones and retest everything.”

Kahikina said a third-party consultant has been hired to analyze the speed through the crossovers, and when the analysis comes back by August, the trial run needs to go for 90 days without any glitches, and depending on if that’s successful, it’s up to the Department of Transportation Services and Honolulu mayor to determine when to let the system open and let riders on board.

That would only be for the Kapolei to Aloha Stadium section of the route.

Kahikina also said there are no plans to stop the project at Middle Street — and work is ongoing to relocate the overhead utilities along the narrow Dillingham Boulevard corridor. The rail route has also been shifted mauka through that stretch of Kalihi….

read … Honolulu rail could be u p and running this year, but could still face significant delay

Gov. Ige faces growing calls to veto bill eliminating an anti-tobacco trust fund

HNN: … A group of private and non-profit agencies along with current and former state leaders are asking Governor Ige to veto House Bill 1296.

It repeals the Hawaii tobacco prevention and control trust fund and transfers balances to the general fund in 2025.

Managed by the Hawaii Community Foundation since 2000, Hawaii’s fund has $43 million which goes toward smoking cessation programs and community interventions. It was created after Big Tobacco paid billions in fines in 1998 to multiple states after the largest civil litigation in US history.

“This is a huge threat because they actually want to negate it, just wipe it,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tam, Chair of Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and a pulmonologist….

read … Gov. Ige faces growing calls to veto bill eliminating an anti-tobacco trust fund

Early Release: Five Criminals Rewarded for Spreading COVID in Hilo Jail

HTH: … Nearly a dozen inmates at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center have filed motions for early release amid an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at the Hilo jail.

As of Friday, nearly 200 inmates at HCCC had tested positive for COVID-19 since May 24, and there were seven active cases among staff.

Eleven inmates not currently infected with the coronavirus filed motions in Hilo Circuit Court to be released for public health reasons….

Although Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota did grant five motions for early release, he denied or postponed the rest. Most of the cases he denied were for recalcitrant offenders who had repeatedly violated probation in the past….

(Meanwhile criminals are not being forced to take the J&J vax.)

read … Five HCCC inmates granted early release following outbreak

Three armed F-22 fighters launched Sunday from Honolulu at request of FAA

SA: … Officials today would not disclose why three missile-armed Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 fighters were scrambled Sunday afternoon for an “irregular air patrol” requested by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The 154th Fighter Wing launched two F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at approximately 4 p.m.,” Pacific Air Forces said in an email. “A third was launched at approximately 5 p.m.”

The Hickam-based Air Force command added that the FAA requested that U.S. Indo-Pacific Command “conduct an irregular air patrol and the situation resolved, prompting the fighters and a KC-135 Stratotanker (a refueling plane) to return to base. We cannot discuss further specifics of the situation.”…

In 2017, two armed F-22s were scrambled from Hickam to escort an American Airlines flight bound for Honolulu after a 25-year-old Turkish national opened a restricted door leading to the airfield ramp in Los Angeles and was arrested, but later was allowed to board the flight to Honolulu, officials said at the time.

A few hours into the flight, passengers told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the man was restrained by a flight attendant and passengers as he tried to rush into the first-class section with a blanket over his head.

In Honolulu, the man was handcuffed and escorted off by FBI agents….

TD: Hawaii-Based F-22s Scrambled On FAA's Request But Nobody Will Say Why

read … Three armed F-22 fighters launched Sunday from Honolulu at request of FAA

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