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Friday, March 18, 2022
March 18, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:36 PM :: 3643 Views

House Committees Refuse to Hear SB2422 -- Bill Would Have Ended Foster Care Abuse Coverups

Election 2022: Big Drama in CD2 Dem Primary?

Feds Sentence Ohio Scamsters for Ripping off Hawaii Unemployment

Ten Senators Share in Lava Tube Dishonor

“Defend Hawaii” owner pleads guilty in Miske racketeering case

ILind: … Michael Buntenbah, known to many by his “Defend Hawaii” line of clothing and accessories, appeared in Honolulu’s federal district court on Thursday morning and admitted he had participated in several violent assaults resulting in serious bodily injury while working as a bouncer at the M Nightclub in Honolulu’s Waterfront Plaza between at least December 2012 and January 2016….

Buntenbah was released on $500,000 bond in October 2020 into the custody of his father, and subject to number restrictions. He will remain free on bond pending sentencing, currently scheduled in early August, but subject to further delay “based on the government’s need for the defendant’s continued cooperation….”

Even after his guilty plea in federal court, Buntenbah also faces a pair of (State) felony assault charges stemming from the beating of several young men at the M Nightclub on January 31, 2016. Buntenbah is charged with assaulting Patrick Cullen and his friend, Chase Aki. (As a reminder that the state judiciary is not going to deal with the mafia,) charges were dismissed last year after prosecutors (chose to) missed a legal deadline to assure a speedy trial, but the case was quickly refiled (without even a smirk). Both charges are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

Buntenbah already admitted his guilt in the case, which was part of his federal guilty plea, so a guilty plea in the state case seems likely to follow shortly. (Maybe he will get massage therapy as a sentence).

read … “Defend Hawaii” owner pleads guilty in Miske racketeering case

Zippy’s Again: Windward Oahu legislator Jarrett Keohokalole misused state money

SA: …Keohokalole (D, Kailua-Kaneohe) announced that he submitted a signed settlement agreement to the Hawaii State Ethics Commission today over deposits totaling $1,264 for plane tickets and food that qualified as reimbursable work expenses.

As part of the agreement, Keohokalole will return the reimbursements from the state and pay a $1,500 fine….

…Keohokalole said the commission notified him of an investigation in which he has cooperated over the past few months, and that a review of the reimbursements led to the settlement agreement.

The reimbursements involved Zippy’s food bought for a community town hall meeting in Kaneohe in 2020 and two airline trips to government conference events on the mainland in 2018 and 2019. Keohokalole paid for these things using his campaign funds and later sought reimbursement from his state legislative allowance account.

The reimbursement payments, however, went into Keohokalole’s personal bank account instead of his campaign fund….

PDF: Hawai‘i Senate, Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, Alleged Violations of Fair Treatment Law

CB: The Windward Oahu senator improperly deposited reimbursements for plane tickets and food.

HNN: ‘I am embarrassed’: Hawaii lawmaker discloses misuse of state funds

read … Windward Oahu legislator Jarrett Keohokalole misused state money

Canceling Captain Cook? Resolution seeks to rename South Kona town

HNN: … The town of Captain Cook on Hawaii Island got it’s name when the Captain Cook Sugar Company opened a post office there in the early 1900′s.

But some feel it is an honor for a controversial figure who doesn’t deserve it.

“Captain Cook was a place far before Captain Cook the explorer came and found Hawaii,” said state Rep. Jeanne Kapela (D-Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Captain Cook). “Hawaii was a community, a culture with a rich history. And we’re honoring that by returning it to its place name Ka’awaloa.” ….

(IDEA: Lets erase all our history and just put a smiley face on each page.  It will be easier to pass the tests.)

“I’m not really happy with cancel culture, and this is one example of, ‘Hey, let’s erase it and forget about who Captain Cook was,” said state Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai). “No, we need to remember who he was so we won’t have mistakes like that made again in the future.”

“It’s definitely not cancel culture,” said Kapela, lying. “And there is the Captain Cook monument that will still stand when this name is changed.  (We’ll get that next.)”

Some name changes are easier than others.

A year ago, McKinley High School alumni squashed a name change measure proposed because President William McKinley had a role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

But Central Middle School just switched to Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani Midle School, with no problem.

“I do approve, personally, of haole names being made Hawaiian names again, because everywhere in the Hawaiian Islands there were Hawaiian names,” said Bishop Museum historian DeSoto Brown.

Meanwhile, more people are calling Barbers Point “Kalaeloa.” Diamond Head is becoming Le’ahi again. And Chinaman’s Hat is Mokoli’i….


HTH: Resolution seeks to have Captain Cook renamed as Ka‘awaloa

CB: Vandals Deface Sign At Kauai’s Controversial Russian Fort

read … Canceling Captain Cook? Resolution seeks to rename South Kona town

$25 billion Hawaii state budget passes House, moves to Senate

SoR: … The Hawaii House of Representatives unanimously voted Wednesday to pass House Bill 1600 HD1, the Executive Branch Budget. This supplemental budget includes approximately $8.5 million in General Funds and $16.6 billion in All Means of Financing. …

The budget bill has now been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. A public hearing is scheduled for March 22….

read … $25 billion Hawaii state budget passes House, moves to Senate

HB2278: ‘Carbon Cashback’ Bill Just Another Tax

CB: … House Bill 2278 will do nothing to accelerate Hawaii’s transition from fossil fuels….

The 2035 tax on gasoline of $33.16 per barrel is $.79 per gallon (42 gallons in a petroleum barrel). How do they know that will get your attention, let alone in the earlier years? They don’t.

Hawaii has had many tests of our price sensitivity on gasoline. Each time prices went out of sight, consumption declined briefly, and then came right back to about where it was before. A good example was in July 2008, when Regular gasoline jumped from $3.48 to $4.47 in six months (Source: DBEDT).

During that period, and continuing to this day, the consumption of gasoline has basically remained flat.

Today, the average price of regular in Hawaii is about $5 (Source: AAA), and consumption is fairly close the average for the last 15 years (Source: DBEDT/EIA).

read … ‘Carbon Cashback’ Bill, Or Just Another Tax?

Murder on steps of Kapolei Police Station Because Lunatic was not Put Back Inside Lunatic Asylum

HNN: … the Hawaii Kai Representative authored a three-page resolution, attempting get to the bottom of why Armstrong was free to begin with.

“Why would you let him go,” Ward asked. “That’s a matter of judgment. That’s a matter of leadership.”

Minutes before the murder, the 35-year-old who suffers from mental illness, was released from jail for another violent crime.

Prosecutors and police said they ran out of time to charge Armstrong with a felony.

Ward responded, “What we’re doing is endangering the public. And this woman being bludgeoned to death in Kapolei is proof of that.”

Even the suspect’s father agrees he should have never been allowed back on the street.

“It can’t go on like this. And excuses have to end,” said Tony Armstrong.

He says the appropriate thing to do would have been to admit Armstrong to the State Hospital.

“If we’re going to stay a civil society we have to stay civil,” Tony Armstrong said. “And the way our streets and government is run, it’s anything but civil. It’s so dysfunctional and disorganized. I don’t want to hear this anymore. Oh, the system is broken. No, fix the problems.” …

(Solution: Reopen the lunatic asylums.  Put the lunatics back inside.)

read … Lawmaker pushes for investigation into murder on steps of Kapolei police station

Homicides Put Oahu on Edge

HNN: … These are the four most recent homicides in Honolulu:

This week there was a shootout in a Waianae neighborhood.

Last week, an elderly man was found dead in his bathtub, buried in cement.

Two weeks earlier, a toddler was killed by his father.

And last month, a woman was beaten to death right outside the Kapolei police substation.

So far this year, eight people have been murder victims on Oahu.

HPD has not yet released numbers from last year but in 2020 there were 19 total. That was a COVID year with strict shutdowns.

In both 2019 and 2018, there were 24 homicides….

Meanwhile, traffic fatalities in Honolulu are spiking.

Fourteen people died in the first two months, an increase of 50% from last year.

EMS and HPD leaders called a press conference warning drivers about speed and alcohol.

Lind said the recent rise in fatal crashes could be partially due to relaxing COVID rules, “We’ve been holed up for two years and we deserve to get out and about... but lets do it sensibly and calmly.”…

Honolulu banks saw a series of robberies in January and February.

Two men, not connected to each other, have been arrested and authorities believe the two could be responsible for more than 10 bank robberies in January and February….

SA: Man, 18, fatally shot defending friend from suspected robber at Tantalus

LINK: Hawaii Murder Stats

read … Recent violence on Oahu has community on edge, but the numbers are not alarming

46-Time Loser Got Another Chance, Guess What happened Next

MN: …Sione Finefeuiaki, 36, of Wailuku absconded from the program of intensive treatment and supervision before he was arrested and charged with new crimes last year, said Deputy Prosecutor Kenton Werk.

“The defendant is virtually unmatched in his level of criminality,” Werk said, in arguing for consecutive prison terms for Finefeuiaki when he was sentenced March 4. “This defendant decided to double down, if not triple down, on lawlessness.”

Finefeuiaki’s criminal history includes 28 felony and eight misdemeanor convictions, as well as 10 other convictions, Werk said.

He said Finefeuiaki’s first convictions, at age 20 in 2006, were for two counts of first-degree assault, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, two counts of first-degree criminal property damage, reckless driving, resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle and driving without a license.

“The underlying facts were bad enough to earn him a 10-year prison sentence,” Werk said.

When Finefeuiaki was released, “he went on a crime spree” that included “21 new felony offenses with numerous new victims in our community in a period of less than three months,” Werk said.

In February 2020, Finefeuiaki was sentenced to an 18-month jail term as part of probation, only to face revocation of his probation by November 2020 because he had stopped reporting to his probation officer, was using drugs and didn’t comply with required drug treatment, Werk said.

To avoid prison, Finefeuiaki entered the Drug Court program in July. He was in the program for a month when he was discharged from a drug treatment program “for flagrantly violating their program guidelines,” Werk said.

He said Finefeuiaki was ordered to report back to Drug Court but instead absconded and allegedly committed more felony crimes.

“The citizens of Maui have suffered enough from this defendant’s lawlessness and they deserve longer than 10 years’ protection,” Werk said in seeking a 15-year prison term for Finefeuiaki.

Defense attorney David Wiltsie asked the court to limit a prison term to 10 years.

That would give Finefeuiaki the chance to be paroled and return to the community, Wiltsie said….

(Yup.  He’ll be back out very soon.)

read … Wailuku man sentenced to prison after failing Drug Court

Committee passes bill aimed at letting lots and lots of criminals back out onto the streets--but don’t worry, they’ll be female, sort of

KHON: … A Hawaii Senate committee on Thursday passed a bill that aims to reduce Hawaii's female prison population.

(CLUE: This includes trannies.)

House Bill 2312 proposes to establish the women's corrections implementation commission in the judiciary.

The commission would develop a plan so that women who commit non-violent crimes, especially women (or trannies) with underage children, could participate in a rehab program instead of going to jail….

The Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs passed HB 2312 with amendments.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Corrections, Military, and Veterans passed a separate bill -- Senate Bill 2641 -- which would appropriate money so that minor children can stay with their mothers while the women participate in community-based furlough programs, residential drug treatment programs, and mental health programs.

(Does Sharon Har have a conflict of interest?)

Both bills are now referred to other committees for consideration.

read … Committee passes bill aimed at reducing Hawaii's female prison population

Employees Say Waikiki Health Retaliated Over Transgender Bathroom Access

CB: … In December, Elizer Rios moved from Washington, D.C., to Honolulu for a new job as a sexual orientation and gender identity health navigator at Waikiki Health.

Rios was excited to join a team of three community health workers helping LGBTQ communities obtain health care on Oahu.

But on Tuesday, Rios and her colleagues Cameron Woods and Wendy Wink Taylor were fired, one week after complaining to the nonprofit’s chief executive officer about lack of access to a unisex bathroom and raising concerns about how the situation was handled.

Woods, who identifies as transgender and nonbinary, was first told to stop using the unisex bathroom on Feb. 28. Woods said the bathroom, which was designated for people with disabilities, was the only unisex restroom in the building.

Woods said the supervisor agreed to fix the issue. But when Rios, who is also transgender and nonbinary, sought to use the same bathroom a week later, on March 8, she says she was similarly told that was the last time she would be allowed to use that restroom because the organization was limiting use due to finicky plumbing.

In an email sent to Waikiki Health’s staff and board on Wednesday, CEO Phyllis Dendle said the three were fired not because they complained but because their jobs were redundant.

“No employee, of any gender identity, has been fired for advocating for gender neutral bathrooms at Waikiki Health. The request for a safe space to go to the bathroom was resolved as the employee requested without delay, and the request had no bearing on their employment,” Dendle said. “The positions the employees held were new, and there was not enough work available to continue them.”…

Later that day, Rios, Taylor and Woods were informed by their supervisor via email that the issue had been “solved.” The next day, Taylor and Rios said they were told that their probationary period would be extended because the Waikiki Health wanted to reevaluate the existence of their program.

Less than a week later, they were fired….

read … Employees Say Waikiki Health Retaliated Over Transgender Bathroom Access

Mandatory Sex Change bill Set to be Rewritten in Conference Committee

MW: … Hawaii House of Representatives approving a bill on March 8 that will protect transgender peoples’ rights to gender-affirming care (force your insurance company to pay for sex change operations and hormones) ….

The Gender Affirming Treatment Act (HB 2405) would “prohibit health insurers, mutual benefit societies, and health maintenance organizations” from excluding “gender affirming treatments” such as “cosmetic services when prescribed as medically necessary” in their coverage plans….

But there’s a catch: the legislation won’t take effect until July 1, 2060, more than 38 years in the future….

(Translation; The real bill will be written secretly in Conference Committee.)

read … Bill prohibiting exclusions of gender-affirming care won't be "effective" for 38 years.

Legislative Agenda: 

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