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Wednesday, August 4, 2021
August 4, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:36 PM :: 2516 Views

Lucky Dude: Mistaken identity gets homeless man the forcible mental health treatment he needed--Now he lives on 10ac Farm in Vermont

DoE: No Vax No Sports

Preservation Group Submits Bid to Save Falls of Clyde

Parker School Announces Vaccine Requirement

UHPA Political Action Fund Objection

Public comments sought regarding HIDOE's request for additional fiscal flexibility under ESEA

Updated Indictment In Miske Case Includes New Defendants And Details Of Alleged Murder

CB: … The second superseding indictment, which was filed under seal on July 15 and unsealed last Friday, added a pair of defendants, Delia-Anne Fabro-Miske, 27, who was married to Mike Miske’s late son, Caleb, along with Jason Yokoyama, 35, a business partner with Miske in his M Nightclub and other businesses.

Both are charged with racketeering conspiracy as members or associates of Michael Miske’s criminal organization. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Fabro-Miske is also charged with a single count of bank fraud, along with Mike Miske, for allegedly preparing and submitting “materially false documents” when applying for a Bank of Hawaii loan in 2017. She faces a 30-year maximum sentence on the bank fraud charge.

The second superseding indictment also dropped two defendants who have already pleaded guilty, Hunter Wilson and Norman Akau III. Both are cooperating with prosecutors and are currently awaiting sentencing.

Yokoyama was associated with Miske and his businesses for at least a decade, and prosecutors now describe him as one of Michael Miske’s “most trusted confidants.”

In a memorandum filed in federal court Tuesday, prosecutors allege Yokoyama participated in or facilitated acts of murder, kidnapping, arson, wire fraud, structuring of cash transactions and bank fraud.

In the most startling allegation, prosecutors allege two cooperating witnesses are able to testify Yokoyama “participated in the kidnapping and murder” of Jonathan Fraser on July 30, 2016….

The companies transferred to Fabro-Miske during this period included Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, the flagship of the Miske business empire; Kamaaina Plumbing; Hawaii Partners, a licensed used-car dealer which also held title to a $425,000 Boston Whaler Miske had purchased that was allegedly used to dispose of Fraser’s body at sea; and Kamaaina Holdings, which held title to the 90-foot longline fishing vessel “Rachel,” which was sold earlier this year by court order….

Miske’s longtime accountant was charged in June with conspiracy to defraud the government and bank fraud for filing false tax returns for Miske and his companies in order to conceal funds and income from the IRS. She pleaded guilty to the charges two weeks later.

Tricia Castro was accountant and tax preparer for Michael Miske personally, and for various of his companies, beginning in 2009 and ending at the beginning of 2019.

According to Castro’s plea agreement with prosecutors, filed in U.S. District Court on June 18, she also prepared personal tax returns over several years for two co-conspirators identified only by initials DFM and JY.  Those are the initials of Delia Fabro-Miske and Jason Yokoyama.

Castro admitted the tax returns “underreported business income by not reporting all cash sales and failing to include income from larger business projects. In addition, in the corporate returns Miske’s personal living expenses were improperly deducted as business expenses.”

For example, according to Castro’s plea agreement, “portions of an $11.5 million renovation to Miske’s personal residence were expensed as business expenses.”

Castro also admitted that in September 2017, she submitted Miske’s individual tax return “which failed to report business income made from Da Poke Shack,” a food truck. Around the same time, Castro prepared and submitted a tax return for Leverage, Inc., through which Miske operated his M Nightclub, “which failed to report owner distributions.”

Business registration records link both companies to Yokoyama….

read … Updated Indictment In Miske Case Includes New Defendants And Details Of Alleged Murder

Legal Bribery: In First Six Months In Office, Honolulu Mayor’s Campaign Collected Over $600,000--mostly from Construction Industry

CB: … Of the total donations, $450,000 went to repay Blangiardi for money he loaned his campaign.  (Which means this is a legal way to put money directly into the Mayor’s pocket.) ….

The mayor received 170 donations from Jan. 1 through June 30, according to the report.

Many of the donations were from construction and contracting executives including Nan Chul Shin, founder of rail contractor Nan Inc.; Castle and Cooke President Harry Saunders; D.R. Horton President Robert Bruhl; Robert McFarlane, chairman of the board of Dura Constructors, Inc.; Avalon Development President Christine Camp; and Bert Kobayashi, Jr., president and CEO of the Kobayashi Group.

Executives and employees of several companies were especially generous: executives of the MacNaughton development firm gave $24,000, RM Towill Corporation employees gave $24,000, Royal Contracting executives gave $16,000.

Employees of several other companies – Design Partners, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company and H2O Process System – each gave $12,000. 

Other donors include Walter Dods, chairman of Matson, Inc.; JL Capital CEO Timothy Lee; Cameron Nekota, president of the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation; Dennis Enomoto, principal of Palekana Permits; and Chad Iwamoto, president and CEO of Roberts Hawaii.

The vast majority of the donations were $4,000, the maximum allowable contribution from an individual. That amount was also the suggested contribution at two fundraisers hosted by developer Stanford Carr for Blangiardi in March and April at Little Joe’s Steakhouse, dates on which many of the donations were logged, donations data shows. …

read … In First Six Months In Office, Honolulu Mayor’s Campaign Collected Over $600,000

Caldwell Brings in only $9760 --‘Nobody thinks he can win’

SA: … Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s gubernatorial hopes suffered a serious blow when he struggled to raise just $9,760 in campaign contributions over the past six months.

“People don’t think he can win,” said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center. “I think it’s that simple.”…

Meanwhile: Louis Kealoha’s $250,000 settlement: Will Amemiya Rat out Caldwell?

read … Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s gubernatorial campaign faces early fundraising challenge

Fund Race: What’s DelaCruz Doing with $871,348 in the bank?

TGI: … The first big question I have is: What is Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz running for? Will it be Governor (my guess) or Lieutenant Governor? As the current Chair of the Senate Ways and Means (WAM) Committee, Sen. Dela Cruz already holds significant power and influence over the state budget, and thus overall, state government.

Why risk losing the power and influence he already holds by taking a chance on the Governor’s race? Why keep holding fundraiser after fundraiser unless he intends in fact to do so?

With $871,348 in the bank and still counting, I’m thinking the Lieutenant Governor’s race is his for the taking. But why bother? The LG position holds no tangible power whatsoever. Yes, it provides a platform, elevates one’s voice and is a stepping stone to be Governor, but why would someone who is in a position of significant power now, settle for LG and be resigned to wait eight years for a chance to be Governor?

Nope: My guess, and it’s pure speculation, is that Sen. Dela Cruz ($871,348) will be announcing shortly his entry into the race to be Hawai‘i’s next Governor. Move over Lt. Gov. Josh Green ($636,120), former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell ($509,202), and businesswomen Vickie Cayetano ($0).

I’m thinking the price of poker for the gubernatorial race just went up.

Other top fundraisers include House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke who is sitting on a $423,603 balance in her campaign war chest and House Speaker Scott Saiki who has a respectable $227,079, especially when you take into consideration a typical House race should only require $40,000 to $80,000.

What about the LG race? Potential candidates rumored to be considering the LG race include former State Sen. and Honolulu Councilmember Ron Menor ($489,229), former State Rep. and Honolulu Councilmember Joey Manahan ($88,012), and former Honolulu Councilmember Ikaika Anderson ($436,779).

Media reports and the rumor mill have also mentioned Saiki and former State Senator/WAM Chair Jill Tokuda ($0) as likely LG contenders. None of the potential candidates appear to be actively fundraising for the race.

read … HOOSER: From Governor to Council, money by the numbers

House Shakeup?  Speaker Scott Saiki Flees Primary to Run For LG?

CB: … House Speaker Scott Saiki has confirmed he is considering running for lieutenant governor, a move that would propel him out front as the highest-profile candidate in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary.

If Saiki does run for the second-highest elected office in the state it would also rattle the political foundation of the state House of Representatives, which has been controlled for years through a close alliance between Saiki and House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke.

Saiki, 57, acknowledged in an interview Monday that if he runs, he must find a way to boost his name recognition with Democratic voters who likely will determine who is the next lieutenant governor. And that will require money for advertising.

Saiki’s most recent filing with the state Campaign Spending Commission shows his campaign had less than $228,000 on hand at the end of June, which is a fraction of what he will need….

Saiki struggled through a fierce, close reelection primary challenge from progressive Democrat Kim Coco Iwamoto last year, and Moore said Saiki would probably face a similarly bruising primary next year. Iwamoto lost by 167 votes…

read … House Speaker Scott Saiki Mulls A Run For LG

Hawaii families struggle to enroll children in distance learning

SA: … Joni Kamiya, a health care worker, found out at 8:30 p.m. the night before school started that her two young children were able to do distance learning.

“I wasn’t going to send them with the way the numbers are. It’s too problematic,” she said.

“I’m fortunate because my mom is a retired teacher. So she can help me do that, because there’s families that don’t have that.”

However, Kamiya’s high school daughter returned to school in person because she was able to get vaccinated, unlike the younger children. Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Clarice Smart, a COVID-19 contact tracer, also decided to put her children in distance learning.

None of the schools in her complex area were offering a distance-learning option, so she had to apply for a geographic exemption, which she got.

The distance-­learning option doesn’t start for another two weeks, and Smart was informed that distance learning would not be led by a teacher. “For all intents and purposes, it’s home schooling because the parent still has to lead and do everything,” she said.

read … Hawaii families struggle to enroll children in distance learning

Bloat: School has 30 Teachers and 80 Staff

TGI: … Carveiro anticipates smooth sailing when the school’s approximately 430 students return.

“We have 30 teachers and nearly 80 staff,” the ‘Ele‘ele School principal said. “We’re shy two teachers, but we could accommodate the overflow with our current resources.”…

HTH: Waiakea HS -- 1,300 kids and 200 staff

read … Bloat

Back to School Helps Parents go Back to Work

HTH: … “I definitely want her to be back in-person,” Tiera Charles said about her daughter, who is entering second-grade and excited to return to school. “I think at this age, it’s really important for kids to be in class where they can learn hands-on.

“She’s been really looking forward to going back to school and is excited to see some old friends and teachers,” Charles said. “This will also be a lot easier for me to work and will open up time I haven’t had.”…

read … ‘Excited to be back’: Students return to public schools for in-person learning

All 4 Hawaii mayors are considering vaccine mandates for county workers

HNN: … Potential policy changes would apply to nearly 13,000 workers statewide….

“No one is supportive of a lockdown. Shutting down the economy again. Restricting travel,” said Healthcare Association of Hawaii CEO Hilton Raethel. ”So we’ve got very few options left.”…

Raethel says over the past two weeks the state and some of the counties ― he wouldn’t disclose which ones ― have asked the agency for advice on what to do.

He says he encouraged them to make vaccines mandatory. And to do it fast….

Officials from the Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino’s office confirmed they’re “discussing mandatory vaccinations” for their employees. But they had no timeline on when a decision would be made.

A spokesperson at the Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s office said:

“The City is committed to stopping the spread of the virus and variant and are seriously considering requiring City employees be vaccinated, attesting to fully vaccinated status, or be subject to regular testing. Any action the City takes will be in compliance with all relevant laws.”…

Meanwhile, officials with Kauai Derek Kawakami’s office said:

“The county is considering all options to help increase vaccine rates. Gov. Ige has expressed an interest in a adopting a ‘vaccine or regular testing’ policy for all government employees, so that is one specific option under consideration. At this point, there is no timeline.”

In a phone interview Big Island Mayor Mitch Roth said he’s also considering a mandate.

“We’ve talked about it with the governor and all the mayors together,” he said….

“We’re kind of listening to the advice that comes from the Attorney General so right now we’re kind of waiting for them to get back. We’ve asked them to talk to all the unions.”…

Raethel says he’s also aware of several Hawaii businesses looking to institute a vaccine mandate.

“We anticipate there will be announcements made very soon,” he said….

Cataluna: Treating COVID-19 Vaccines As A Group Project Is A Bad Idea

read … All 4 Hawaii mayors are considering vaccine mandates for county workers

Hawaii health officials look to add contact tracers

SA: … Maui District Health Officer Lorrin Pang said the county had brought on two or three more contact tracers, but they quit within a couple of weeks. “They had enough verbal abuse from people who didn’t want to be called,” he said.

Pang said that given the state’s positivity rate, it may be ineffective to focus on contact tracing. “I don’t think we have the luxury of just chasing, chasing, chasing,” Pang said.

The state’s seven-day average positivity rate is currently 6.2%…

Last year the union criticized the state for what it described as inadequate contact tracing in schools. HSTA President Osa Tui Jr. said those concerns remain today.

“It seems that from last year to this year, the Department of Health has basically offloaded their contact tracing at the school level to the school administrators,” he said.

Tui said he worried school administrators would soon be overwhelmed with the rise in COVID-19 cases among children. About one-quarter of recent cases have been in kids….

Kauai District Health Officer Janet Berreman said the Department of Health and Department of Education have had a good working relationship over the past several months as they worked out the school reopening strategy.

“I think we are as confident as we can be, without having tried it yet,” she said of new contact tracing policies. “So we know that there is a risk in returning to school. We also know that there is an enormous risk in children remaining outside of school.”…

read … Hawaii health officials look to add contact tracers

Business, Community Leaders Call On Public To Avoid A Return To COVID Restrictions

CB: … The delta variant has caused a House committee of legislators and business leaders to resume meeting.

Hawaii business, medical and political leaders on Monday urged the public to wear masks, practice social distancing and get vaccinated to avoid reverting to restrictions on businesses that could derail a fragile economic recovery.

The state is facing its most intense wave of COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began more than a year ago. After a lull in cases that led some to think the worst was over, the virus now is spreading rapidly because of a highly transmissible mutation called the delta variant. Members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness met on Monday to discuss the implications.

“Things have changed. We’re not looking in the rearview mirror anymore at this pandemic,” said Carl Bonham. “It’s right in front of us.”….

read … Business, Community Leaders Call On Public To Avoid A Return To COVID Restrictions

State officials unclear on CDC eviction moratorium extension

KITV: … A new order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention temporarily bans residential evictions in counties with high COVID-19 transmission through Oct. 3.

Gov. David Ige and the county mayors say they are still reviewing the CDC order to see if renters behind on payments could get a longer reprieve.

"None of us know at this point what's going to happen or whether Hawaii will be impacted, but certainly if that does happen we know the numbers here in Hawaii are high for the size of our population and certainly in comparison to the high numbers last year when we were in lockdown," said Tracey Wiltgen, executive director of The Mediation Center of the Pacific. So there is a possibility that ... a new moratorium could be put into place that would halt this program moving forward."

The CDC order states counties would qualify for an extension if it had 50 to 100 new cases and at least an 8% positivity rate in the past seven days….

read … State officials unclear on CDC eviction moratorium extension

Heading up Mauna Kea? Officials urge caution as they enforce vehicle access rules

HNN: … “We want to make sure that they are safe to and from the summit,” said Maunakea Ranger DuWayne Waipa. “This is one of the responsibilities that was put upon us to protect and mālama this ʻāina, this mountain.”

There are a minimum of two rangers on patrol during every 14-hour shift. Rangers respond to about four distress calls a month.

New rules have also allowed rangers to enforce vehicle restrictions in the interest of safety. Two-wheeled vehicles are banned above the 9,200-foot elevation.

Officials say in 2018, prior to the pandemic and protests that closed the road, a total of 60,000 vehicles drove up to the summit. With the new rules in place, rangers have turned around more than 5,500 vehicles as of May 2021…..

For more information on the rules for access to Mauna Kea, click here.

read … Heading up Mauna Kea? Officials urge caution as they enforce vehicle access rules

Judiciary News: How can we keep Whitey off the Bench?

CB: … (A bunch of fancy rationalizations for rejecting nominees based on race or gender.) …

read … Rejection Of Ige’s Judicial Nominee Raises Questions Of Diversity In Hawaii Courts

Corona Virus News:  


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