ERS Hides $96.75M of So-Called ‘Tech’ Investments--Losses Begin to Mount
Hawaii’s NASED -- Another sports venue that fails to generate promised revenue
While Patients Wait, Hawaii Plays Favorites in Health Care
Cullen Crime Family Nepotism is Legal: Ballot for state House seat includes familiar Cullen name
SA: … The race for state House District 39 — which covers West Loch, some of Waipahu and Royal Kunia where Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen held office for more than a decade until he resigned in February after being charged with bribery — includes five candidates, one of which is Cullen’s sister-in-law Jamaica “Mai” Cullen, who worked for the former lawmaker as a committee clerk during the past four legislative sessions.
Jamaica Cullen, a first-time candidate for political office, is running against two fellow Democrats in the Aug. 13 primary election. Two Republicans also are in the race. All five candidates are vying to succeed Rep. Luella Costales, who was appointed in March by Gov. David Ige to replace Ty Cullen.
Costales, a community and resource strategy manager for the nonprofit Oahu Economic Development Board, sought the House District 39 seat as only a temporary assignment with a commitment not to compete for the position after her current term ends in November.
Because of circumstances with the legislative session starting in January, Costales adopted Ty Cullen’s office staff, which included Jamaica Cullen and another sister-in-law of the former lawmaker, Shanell Cullen, who is office manager.
Employment rules for the state House allow lawmakers to hire family members other than dependent children. Nepotism rules for the state Senate prohibit members from hiring legal dependents and specifically a father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
Costales said she is supporting the candidacy of Jamaica Cullen….“It doesn’t start and stop at Ty,” Costales said….
(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)
The other Democratic candidates are Corey Rosenlee, a James Campbell High School teacher and former president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association union, and Kevin Wilson, who has worked in the state House as an office clerk, researcher and committee clerk during nine legislative sessions.
The two Republican candidates are Austin Maglinti, the director of ministry and homeless shelter outreach at Kupaa Youth Ministry, and Elijah Pierick, an Air Force Reserve officer and a pastor at Encounter Church ….
read … Ballot for state House seat includes familiar Cullen name
Taxpayers funded millions in contracts for troubled engineering firm at center of federal probe
HNN: … Mitsunaga and associates was paid millions in taxpayer dollars for government contracts that were awarded even after the firm was the target of a federal investigation.
Four of the architecture and engineering firm’s executives have been indicted for bribery and civil rights violations in connection with the public corruption scandal.
Hawaii News Now obtained the list of contracts with the state, University of Hawaii and the city since 2019.
The list includes a $5 million award for what’s described as statewide “general civil engineering services” with the state Transportation Department. Other contracts included airport project improvements amounting to $1.5 million and $1.6 million for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
At the University of Hawaii, the firm is working on the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex.
And for the city, the company is providing work at the Pearl City District Park swimming pool, which has been closed for three years for construction improvements.
Manoa Valley District Park and Dole Community Park improvements are also on the list….
the long-term effects if they are convicted could include debarment.
“It could prohibit him from getting contracts with the state or with the city for three years,” Lee said.
A trial for the group is set for mid September….
read … Taxpayers funded millions in contracts for troubled engineering firm at center of federal probe
Hawaii Senators Collected Big Bucks From Energy Interests At June Fundraiser
CB: … The event was hosted by the chief lobbyist for Big Island energy company Hu Honua, Hawaii Gas and other energy clients….
A fundraiser hosted by an energy lobbyist last month netted tens of thousands of dollars for two Hawaii lawmakers — the very same lawmakers who shepherded two controversial bills through the 2022 Legislature that were favorable to the lobbyist’s chief client.
Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz reported receiving $33,900 in donations from nearly 40 contributors on June 8, the day the fundraiser was held at the terrace of Hokua, a luxury high rise in Honolulu.
Sen. Glenn Wakai received $23,600 in donations from 45 contributors that same day, according to new campaign spending reports filed with the state. The donors to both senators include prominent attorneys, lobbyists and executives in the energy business.
Both senators were headliners along with state Sens. Bennette Misalucha and Michelle Kidani at a fundraiser hosted by Joanne Hamm, an energy industry lobbyist who goes by Nonie Toledo and runs the lobbying firm Nonie Toledo & Associates. Hamm lives at Hokua. The fundraiser was promoted via a colorful flier that was widely circulated….
IM: Nonie Toledo - Hawai`i Energy Lobbyist
read … Hawaii Senators Collected Big Bucks From Energy Interests At June Fundraiser
Nine years later, Pimp gets 40 years
SA: … An Oahu Circuit Court judge sentenced today a 39-year-old Makiki man, convicted of sex trafficking two teenage girls in 2013 and sexually assaulting one of them, to 40 years in prison.
Marquis Green was found guilty on April 21 by a jury of one count of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of first-degree promoting prostitution (now called sex trafficking), and one count of third-degree sexual assault.
“Judge Rowena Somerville highlighted the grave nature of Green’s offenses, his lack of remorse and the need to protect the public in sentencing Green to two consecutive 20-year-terms,” Prosecuting Attorney Steven Alm said in a news release this morning….
SA Column: Entire community must focus on stopping domestic violence
MN: Man found guilty of sexually assaulting girl
read … Makiki man, 39, sentenced to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking underage girls
Hawaii's jails to get security upgrades
KITV: … The state Department of Public Safety (PSD) is looking for a company to improve its current surveillance systems as part of a request for proposals the department released this week.
Some of the existing surveillance cameras and its software at jails across the state appear to be inoperable and will need to be repaired or replaced.
Additionally, the jails and prisons may need surveillance cameras installed where there currently aren't any of these cameras installed….
read … Hawaii's jails to get security upgrades
Beyond the glitter, an uneasiness with the direction of Hawaiian music
ILind: … Several hours before the show, noted performer and teacher, Kimo Alama Keaulana, posted on Facebook that he had declined an invitation to take part in the awards show. Keaulana, a former Na Hoku winner, wrote: ” It was an honor to be asked to perform tonight but we won’t. Hawaiian music has changed.”
And, it was clear, his view is that the change has not been for the better.
His post drew more than 60 comments over several hours.
In response to a comment, he explained: “Tastes in music have changed. It’s more like western/haole thoughts, melodies & instrumentation using Hawaiian words. It’s so different now.”
“Music is a commodity now.” ….
read … Beyond the glitter, an uneasiness with the direction of Hawaiian music