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Sunday, August 15, 2021
August 15, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:46 PM :: 2407 Views

The Time Tax

Three Years Later: Auditor Reviews OHA Compliance

Taliban enters Kabul to declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as president flees country

AP: … In a stunning (unsurprising) rout, (Afghanis stopped pretending they were interested in being goverened by anyone other than the) Taliban (which) seized (received) nearly all of Afghanistan in over a week, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces’ (salaries) ….

The Taliban has defeated, co-opted or sent Afghan security forces fleeing from wide swaths of the country, even though they had some air support from the U.S. military ….

(Clues: Afghanis are Muslims.  The Taliban is Islam.  Lying to the infidels is a religious obligation and they’ve been doing it for 20 years.) 

(Idea: After defeating USSR and USA, Taliban will next fight China in Xinjiang.)

NYT: U.S. asks Taliban to spare its embassy in coming fight for Kabul  (Clue: We should evacuate it and blow it up.)

read … Taliban enters Kabul, awaits transfer of power

Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano to run for Governor

KITV: … Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano will file her papers to run for governor. Her campaign manager Lynne Waters confirms Cayetano will do it this week.

We first reported last month she was "considering it" out of a desire to serve the community. Cayetano is the wife of former Gov. Ben Cayetano. She is president of the Hawaii region of PureStar, a commercial laundry service….

read … Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano to run for Governor

Illegal vacation rentals thrive as Honolulu permitting department deals with federal investigation, indictments

Borreca: … The rules say Oahu is allowed 1,700 new bed-and-breakfast operations with a permit issued by the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) via a lottery system.

Of course, DPP is just not ready. The last we heard from the city department was in March, when six current and former DPP employees were charged with taking bribes in exchange for performing official acts at DPP, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

(Translation: DPP’s latest excuse for its own failings?  Blame the FBI.)

The city said a special master and an investigator have been appointed to oversee the city department.

“Areas that require changes that are identified by the special master and the independent investigator will be done immediately,” the department said in a statement….

So what about DPP’s former hot button issue: clamping down on illegal vacation rentals?

Well, the formal statement is: “Comments provided by the public at the April 6, 2021, hearing on draft administrative rules revealed potential problems with the registration components of Ordinance 19-18. Therefore, as of April 22, 2021, the adoption of the administrative rules and start of the registration process have been put on hold while DPP reconsiders the registration process.”

A quick check online shows that the Oahu vacation business is operating when and where it wants and is flourishing, with or without city permits.

Nothing like an FBI investigation and a swarm of federal indictments to slow down the city’s scheme to “run the city like a business.”

No wonder there are so many tourists. They can stay anywhere, no questions asked….

read … Illegal vacation rentals thrive as Honolulu permitting department deals with federal investigation, indictments

Want To Be A Judge In Hawaii? Go To Law School At UH

CB: … The Hawaii Senate’s rejection of Dan Gluck to serve on the Intermediate Court of Appeals shined an uncomfortable light on the fact that fewer than half of Hawaii judges are women.

It also raised concerns about lack of ethnic diversity on the bench and in the legal profession in general.

There was little public discussion of another distinction about our judicial nominees and judges: A good many of them are graduates of the University of Hawaii Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

Indeed, of the list of six ICA nominees sent by the Judicial Selection Commission to Gov. David Ige in June, five were Richardson graduates.

Last week, Ige nominated one of those graduates, Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sonja McCullen, to fill the vacant ICA position. If she is confirmed by the Senate, she will be one of three Richardson alumni sitting on the six-member ICA….

The top five law schools in the nation, according the 2022 report from U.S. News and World report, are Yale, Stanford, Harvard and — tied for fourth — Columbia and the University of Chicago.

Hawaii is ranked No. 98, tied with the University of Buffalo SUNY, the University of Louisville (Brandeis) and the University of Mississippi. That’s out of a total of 193 ranked schools.…

read … Want To Be A Judge In Hawaii? Go To Law School At UH

Vaccine Mandate: More Lawsuits Coming

KITV: … The three lawyers representing the plaintiffs filed the complaint on Friday evening. The defendants--the county mayors, the Governor, and others- will be served on Monday. The legal team told KITV4 tonight, since this hit the news, another 800 city workers asked to join the lawsuit.

And they've taken what they say are "thousands" of requests from private sector workers and students to open up other class action lawsuits. Kristin Coccaro and Michael Green - who work at different firms but joined forces for this case -say they are planning to do that….

read … Another 800 join first responders' class action lawsuit against vaccine requirements

End the vaccine fight: Get the shot, get tested or stay home

Shapiro: … People have a right to decide what they put into their bodies, but they don’t have a right to carry a deadly virus into the workplace to expose co-workers, customers, young students and, in health care settings, vulnerable patients.

Ige and other employers provided an out for those who refuse vaccines by allowing them to work if they provide frequent tests proving they are free of COVID-19.

This isn’t too much to ask, and a similar rule at the University of Indiana was upheld last week by a three-judge federal appeals panel made up of two judges appointed by Donald Trump and one by Ronald Reagan.

This and other such rulings are unsurprising given our country’s long legal legacy of allowing mandatory vaccinations to protect against public health threats from polio and smallpox to measles and meningitis.

The latest infections are almost all among the unvaccinated. The states that are most hostile to vaccines are suffering the worst outbreaks.

If the workplace crackdown doesn’t generate cooperation, we might have to go the way of San Francisco and New York and ban the unvaccinated from indoor dining, bars, clubs, gyms, concerts and theaters.

A public health emergency can’t be argued into submission. At some point we must cut the debate and move forward on the course believed correct by leading scientific authorities and a solid majority of the public.

That time is now.

read … End the vaccine fight: Get the shot, get tested or stay home

Why are we giving Anti-Vaxxers make-work city jobs? 

SA: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has taken a harder line on unvaccinated workers, requiring all employees to be vaccinated unless they are granted a medical or religious exemption.

The city’s seven-page guidance explains that employees will need to fill out a form requesting an exemption. If that request is denied, the employee “will be given up to five calendar days to initiate the COVID-19 vaccination process or be placed on leave without pay until their employment status is determined,” according to the policy.

Unvaccinated employees who don’t submit an exemption request by Monday will be placed on leave without pay and possibly fired.

Employees must be tested at city-designated sites, using city-designated tests “to ensure that we have a centralized way to provide the tests and track compliance,” said Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for the mayor.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has taken a softer approach to Ige’s executive order, emphasizing that any county employee can opt to do the weekly testing if they don’t want to get vaccinated.

“We are working to make this easy and convenient for each and every one of you,” said Kawakami in a video message to county employees. “And I will tell you this, I support whatever decision it is that you make. We stand behind you 100%.”

Sarah Blane, the mayor’s chief of staff, said that detailed guidance on the testing program hasn’t been issued yet, but it will likely come out Monday. “Our focus has been disseminating and collecting our attestation forms to help us determine how many associates will require testing, so we know the best way to deploy tests,” she said by email.

Hawaii County’s policy also allows any unvaccinated employee to opt for testing without seeking a medical or religious exemption.

A spokesman for Maui County did not respond to a request for information on its policy….

read … Vaccine deadline looms for Hawaii’s state workers despite lack of guidance

Hypocrisy: Union Bosses Refuse Forced Vax but Demand Forced Dues

SA: … Just Skip to the Comments: “All 3 authors of this essay, and all 3 additional contributors, are heads of GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE labor unions, where anyone who wants a job is forced to join the union or at least pay dues to the union. Same goes for teachers unions. They are arrogant dictators who not only force reluctant members to pay dues and submit to union discipline, but also threaten elected government officials to comply with their wishes for fear that tens of thousands of union members will vote against them if they do not comply. It often happens that most members of these government unions do not agree with the policies their leaders want to force upon the government and thereby to force upon the general public. They also force "union rules" for who can be assigned to do what jobs, resulting in government inefficiency. With money and power comes corruption. It should be illegal for government workers to be forced to abide by dues and contracts negotiated by labor unions. Freedom for government workers!”…

Info: Hawaii: How to Quit Paying Union Dues—Legally

read … Union Bosses Join AntiVaxxers

How is Hawaii doing on adolescent vaccinations?

SA: … Less than half of Hawaii’s children ages 12 to 17 were fully vaccinated as of Friday, according to the state Department of Health. A total of 63% had initiated vaccination, and nearly 49% had completed the full dosage. The Pfizer vaccine available to that age group has a 21-day interval between the first and second shots.

The vaccination rate for the 12-to-17 age group is the lowest of any eligible age group in Hawaii, according to the state’s COVID-19 portal. As of Friday, the “fully vaccinated” percentage was nearly 55% of people 18 to 29; 61% of those 30 to 39; 71% of those 40 to 49; 80% of those 50 to 64; 97% of those 65 to 74; and 92% of those 75 and older, according to the portal.

COVID-19 vaccination has been available to children ages 12 and up since mid-May. For a list of vaccination sites by county, go to For adolescents, choose a site that offers the Pfizer vaccine….

read … How is Hawaii doing on adolescent vaccinations?

HHSAA approves modified schedule starting Sept. 24

TGI: … If conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic do not worsen to where more restrictions are imposed, high-school sports sanctioned by the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association and state Department of Education could return as early as Sept. 24.

On Friday, the HHSAA executive board voted unanimously to approve a modified high-school-sports calendar that would include state tournaments in all of the sporting events the body oversees….

read … HHSAA approves modified schedule starting Sept. 24

Mounting frustration: Pretrial defendants freed on lowered bail later arrested for other offenses

HTH: … The Hawaii County prosecutor said he’s concerned about pretrial felony defendants being freed without cash bail or having their bail reduced because of COVID-19 concerns at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

Kelden Waltjen pointed to several cases of individuals charged with felonies who were released and then were charged with committing other crimes.

Two released who were arrested after allegedly reoffending in separate cases were 52-year-old Robert Domen and 34-year-old Jordan Kaneshiro, both of Pahoa.

Domen, according to Waltjen, was out after posting $75,000 bail in February on a first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug charge.

“That’s over an ounce of meth. That’s a Class A felony, so it’s serious,” Waltjen said.

Domen was again taken into custody after a traffic stop on Aug. 7 for illegally having blue lights, reserved for emergency vehicles only, on his Honda Civic. Domen was arrested for driving without a license, and a pat-down search found a bag containing almost 2 ounces of methamphetamine, according to court documents filed by police.

“And his bail got reduced to $12,000 from $53,000,” Waltjen said about Domen’s initial court appearance before Hilo District Judge Jeffrey Hawk.

Domen remained in custody at HCCC as of Friday.

Kaneshiro’s $120,000 bail for a first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug charge was reduced in May to $10,000 by Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota. Kaneshiro was arrested July 21 on numerous new charges, including first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

His bail was set at $560,000 and he remains in custody at HCCC.

Domestic violence cases also are a concern, Waltjen said. One defendant, 51-year-old Richard Ganigan of Hilo, has several cases of TRO violations still pending going back to Aug. 28, 2020, with the most recent filed on July 27, which also included criminal property damage and resisting arrest.

He has a hearing scheduled for seven separate criminal cases, some with multiple charges, on Sept. 28, and remains in custody at HCCC on $38,000 bail.

Tara Okutsu, supervisor of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Victim-Witness unit, said that for those accused of domestic violence, the criminal justice system is “basically just a revolving door.”…

read … Mounting frustration: Pretrial defendants freed on lowered bail later arrested for other offenses

Blue Planet: Legislators Just gave us Millions of Your Dollars and We Want More

CB: … Although these bills will certainly move Hawaii farther on its road to renewables, the climate “code red” is calling on all of us to reimagine the future in bolder ways. When we developed Waypoints, we posited that the COVID-19 pause offered an unparalleled opportunity to press the reset button on key sectors in Hawaii’s economy. Yet the potential for several of the Waypoints actions remains untapped, such as transforming the tourism industry to be more sustainable, as well as overhauling how large clean energy projects are sited….

(Nasal IQ Test: Can you smell the money?)

read … Green Money

Negotiating Position: The Army And Native Hawaiians Both Want Oahu’s Makua Valley

CB: … the military spent decades using the valley as a live fire range until a 1998 lawsuit on behalf of Malama Makua brought a stop to the practice. No bullet has been fired there since 2004….

The issue is coming to the fore as the Army must soon renew 65-year leases on some 6,300 acres of land on Oahu, including 760 acres in the Makua Valley, that expire in 2029. The Army recently announced it is preparing an environmental impact statement and is seeking public comments for its proposed retention of the training grounds….

Army archaeologists manage and study the sites, but keep them roped off. Many of the practitioners want to see the sites restored and rebuilt.

“There’s a mindset among the military that Makua is a museum essentially, that it’s something to be put in mothballs and just be preserved and it’s not something that is a vibrant living thing” said Malama Makua member Justin Hill. “We were told not too long ago that the military was protecting Makua and the sites from us–from damage from us.”

“(With) historic preservation if it’s something that’s part of its natural decomposed composition — or its death — you leave it, you don’t touch. It becomes a federal offense to fix,” said Rodrigues. “And this is where we take offense and we’ve been asking and working with them.”

Nathan Routt, a former soldier who is now a board member of Malama Makua, said that he ultimately wants to see the valley returned to Hawaiians for agricultural use….

read … The Army And Native Hawaiians Both Want Oahu’s Makua Valley

Isle residents need relief from Jones Act burden

TGI: … Visitors to Hawai‘i probably experience sticker shock when shopping at our local grocery stores. But Hawai‘i residents are shocked by those prices every day, and for that they can partly blame the 101-year-old Jones Act….

read … Isle residents need relief from Jones Act burden

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