More Sovereignty Scammers Busted: Two Individuals Charged in Hawaii Tax Conspiracy
90% of State Employees Vaccinated
Sealing of plea agreement in Miske case challenged
ILind: … U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson heard in-person arguments Thursday morning on a motion to unseal the plea agreement between a defendant in the Mike Miske racketeering case and government prosecutors.
Ron Richards, a veteran defense attorney based in Beverly Hills, California, represents Norman Akau, a co-defendant in the Miske case who pleaded guilty in June. Richards told Judge Watson that making the document public could place Akau in physical danger of retaliation because of disclosures it apparently contains.
Akau had appeared before Watson in a June 9 hearing via video and telephone to plead guilty to a single count of racketeering conspiracy based on a written plea agreement signed by all parties and approved by the judge, but not made public at that time.
During that hearing, Akau admitted he had accepted an offer of $50,000 to murder a union official, a plot which was called off at the very last minute. He also admitted to having a role in drug sales, and in at least one armed robbery of another drug dealer in which five pounds of methamphetamine was taken from the victim’s car at gunpoint, although he is not charged separately with those substantive offenses.
When the June hearing concluded, Richards asked for the plea itself to remain confidential, and when prosecutors were not opposed, his request was granted.
“At the request of Defendant and no objection by the Govt., Memorandum of Plea Agreement is filed UNDER SEAL,” according to the minutes of the hearing contained in the court record.
The Civil Beat Law Center entered the case by filing a motion on July 23 asking the court to reverse its decision and unseal the motion….
read … Sealing of plea agreement in Miske case challenged
‘Sustainable’ Tourism Code Word for More Fee Hikes
SA Editorial: … In another UH study this week, co-authored by the School of Travel Industry Management Professor Jerry Agrusa, a survey of 455 mainland visitors found that a majority expressed willingness to pay more for authentic cultural experiences, learning activities and locally sourced food. For instance, some 76% said “yes” to paying more to experience and support sustainable tourism here.
Now might well be the time to pursue how to enact user fees or reservation systems for nonresidents who impact highly used state trails or other public venues. In addition to countering anti-tourism sentiments, putting more of a premium on use of precious resources will prevent a deteriorated or diminished destination….
read … Preparing for Hawaii’s recovery
Doctors warn they’re seeing more COVID hospitalizations, deaths among unvaccinated younger people
HNN: … At Adventist Health Castle in Kailua, caregivers are seeing COVID patients hospitalized who are younger and generally in good health.
Many have never been admitted to the hospital for anything else.
And they’re showing up at the ER because they can’t breathe.
“If you’ve ever felt air hunger, you’re scared. It usually happens rapidly and takes them by surprise,” said Adventist Health Castle Palliative Care Coordinator Sheri Richards.
On Friday, health officials said nine more lives in Hawaii had been lost to COVID. Two of those people were in their 20s. Another woman was in her 30s.
And since Sept. 1, Hawaii has reported 158 COVID fatalities.
Dr. Robert Smitson, Adventist Health Castle hospitalist and chief medical officer, said he’s seeing very sick COVID patients “who considered themselves healthy.”
“They’re typically all unvaccinated,” he said.
Although COVID hospitalizations statewide are trending down, Castle has yet to experience any relief. Prior to the pandemic, the hospital’s ICU would have no more than eight patients.
“This weekend, I think our ICU had 18 patients,” he said….
“Now we’re seeing people who have mild diabetes or might be mildly overweight,” he said.
And not everyone survives. “I’m seeing a lot more deaths in my patients than I’m used to seeing. And they’re younger,” Smitson said. “A lot of times it’s unexpected. You look at these patients and say without COVID they probably would have lived 25 more years.”
Statewide, up to 15% of hospitalized COVID patients are fully vaccinated but they generally come from much more vulnerable groups. “They are a very different population,” Smitson said.
“They are very elderly, they have cancer, a lot of chronic illnesses.”…
read … Doctors warn they’re seeing more COVID hospitalizations, deaths among unvaccinated younger people
Maui Building Moratorium will Make TVRs Spread
MN: … While the purpose of the ordinance is to decrease the number of visitors to Maui by stopping the development of transient accommodations, there is no data to suggest this would be an effective strategy. Visitors will still come to Maui and seek other accommodations, even if the supply of lodging units is limited.
As we have seen, the volume of visitors will likely permeate into Maui’s residential neighborhoods and apartment unit inventory through an increase in short-term vacation rentals, which are the fastest-growing segment within Maui’s visitor accommodations industry….
read … Maui Building moratorium wrong solution at wrong time
Louisiana man arrested for violating Hawaii travel rules has criminal record
KITV: … Last week, Brandon Boone and Hunter Lowe from Louisiana were arrested after arriving at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport without proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, or anywhere to quarantine.
They were both given a 10 day sentence, which is set to finish on September 28th. From there, they are free to go.
But Lowe is facing a rap sheet back in the Louisiana. Records show the 26-year-old was arrested last year after a shooting in New Iberia, LA on solicitation and battery charges, and allegedly tried to escape during transport.
He is also wanted on a bench warrant in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. In the first case, he is on unsupervised probation and in the second case, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office told us they don't have jurisdiction to serve the bench warrant in Hawaii.
So in a few days, he will be free to go. But what happens after that in anyone's guess….
read … Louisiana man arrested for violating Hawaii travel rules has criminal record
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