Will more bureaucracy solve permit delays?
Hawaii BoE Strategic Planning Engagement Survey
Life and business on Kauai, the Island of $11,500 rents
PBN: … When Pacific Business News met virtually with this year's Kauai Means Business panelists, their top concerns were the interrelated problems of crushing housing costs and a labor shortage that is shuttering business.
How crushing? Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, shared that a friend had been paying $2,500 a month to rent a house, but had to move when the owners put it up for sale. The new owners relisted that house as a rental — at $11,500 a month.
“We're losing doctors, nurses, teachers who can't find housing, and that's really what's at the core of all this. I think people are leaving because they can't afford to stay here,” Kanoho said. “It's a crisis.”
Mark Perriello, president and CEO of Kauai Chamber of Commerce, said businesses are so shorthanded, they’re becoming landlords to mitigate both shortages, housing and labor. “You have restaurants and businesses renting houses at $11,000 and putting four or five staffers in there because it’s so impossible to find housing.” ….
read … Life and business on Kauai, the Island of $11,500 rents
Judge orders state DOE to pay $10M to sex abuse survivor after 10-year legal battle
HNN: … A judge has ordered the state to pay $10 million to a former McKinley High School student who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by more than half a dozen male students.
It’s believed to be the largest amount awarded in Hawaii to a single sex assault survivor….
Randy’s daughter — now 28 — is mentally disabled. She went to McKinley High School between 2008 and 2011.
“Over a three-year period, this child, who had the cognitive ability of a five-year old, was repeatedly molested by other students,” said Eric Ferrer, one of the girl’s attorneys.
“And there was substantial knowledge on the part of multiple teachers and administrators who turned the other way and didn’t do the right thing.”
In a 51-page ruling, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Crabtree said McKinley’s staff was negligent for failing to protect the girl, failing to report the sex abuse allegations to Honolulu Police, and failing to report the alleged assaults to the girl’s mother….
According to the ruling, teachers first began hearing that the girl was having sex with other students in the fall of 2008.
That’s when classmates told the girl’s special education math teacher that she had performed oral sex on a boy named “Joey,” the ruling said….
Lawyers for the victim said “Joey” is now a registered sex offender. He was convicted on five counts of sex assault with another victim and served 18 months in prison, state records show….
“Most of the events, except the rape by Felicion, were on campus, either in the bathrooms or behind the English Building,” the judge wrote.
Felicion is Felicion Charles, who allegedly took the girl to Ala Moana Beach Park in 2009 and sexually assaulted her in a park bathroom.
He is now serving 16 years to life in Colorado where he was convicted for breaking into a woman’s apartment and for sexually assaulting her at gunpoint….
SA: The former student, identified in the lawsuit as A.H., became psychotic in her senior year in the fall of 2011 and was hospitalized for three months at The Queen’s Medical Center.
HNN: 2 suspects in McKinley High sex assault case now behind bars for other sex crimes
SA Editorial: Stop harassment of teachers, staff
read … Judge orders state DOE to pay $10M to sex abuse survivor after 10-year legal battle
Judge turns down request by Miske co-defendant for increased computer access
IM: … A federal judge yesterday denied a motion brought on behalf of Dae Han Moon seeking to expand access to computers at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center in order to review evidence in his case and effectively participate in his own defense.
Moon, 26, is the youngest of the twelve co-defendants charged with being a member of a racketeering organization controlled and directed by former Honolulu business owner Michael John Miske, Jr.
But despite his relative youth, Moon is the only Miske defendant to have already been convicted of murder. He was convicted after a jury trial of being the gunman who shot and killed a 20-year old man in a parking lot at Ala Moana Center on Christmas 2016 when a scuffle broke out during what appears to have been a botched attempt to collect a small drug debt. Moon, who was also just 20 at the time, was was convicted of murder and related firearms charges in September 2018, and sentenced to a life term with the possibility of parole.
In the Miske case, Moon is charged with racketeering conspiracy, murder-for-hire conspiracy, and a drug-related conspiracy charge….
Lance Bermudez, who is also charged in the Miske case, was convicted earlier of threatening witnesses to Moon’s role in the Christmas 2016 shooting. Bermudez is scheduled to change his “not guilty” plea at a hearing next week. If his guilty plea is accepted, he will be the sixth of the original ten Miske co-defendants to plead guilty as part of a plea deal with prosecutors….
(CLUE: Hence the need for Moon to start ID-ing witnesses on his own.)
read … Judge turns down request by Miske co-defendant for increased computer access
SHOPO's board holds off on monthly allowance increase following criticism
KITV: … After receiving a lot of criticism for giving themselves significant raises, the state board of directors for the Hawaii police officers union temporarily suspended its monthly allowances pending the outcome of a vote.
In a letter to its members, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) on Friday said it took the following actions:
Revert the monthly allowance rate back to the 2011 levels until the SHOPO membership approves any allowance increase.
Immediately suspend the payment of any monthly allowances until the membership votes on the allowance issue.
Remove the membership voter turnout threshold for qualifying a vote of 50%+1 of the membership.
This move comes a day after the board held a meeting for its members, and the meeting got heated at times with members criticizing the board for its actions….
SA Editorial: Big bucks for SHOPO brass
SA: Hawaii police union suspends stipend increases for leaders; will let members vote
read … SHOPO's board holds off on monthly allowance increase following criticism
Hawaii Oversight Commission Finds ‘Unacceptable’ Conditions At The Crowded Hilo Jail
CB: … Severe overcrowding and other problems at the dilapidated Hilo jail have become so bad the state is launching a stop-gap program to move some inmates to Oahu and to borrow maintenance staff from other facilities to repair broken lights, cracked cell windows and fix other problems at the facility.
That initiative by the Department of Public Safety to try to make the jail safer and improve conditions for inmates was triggered by a damning new report on the facility based on a recent walk-through of the jail by staff and a member of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission.
Several of the problems identified in the report, which was released Friday, are identical to the jail conditions cited by a federal judge last year when she ruled there was a “strong likelihood” that HCCC inmates could prove in court that the conditions they endured at the jail were so poor they violated the prisoners’ constitutional rights.
The Aug. 25 tour of the facility by commission Oversight Coordinator Christin Johnson and Commissioner Ted Sakai found “egregiously overcrowded” conditions at the jail, and inmates who had been housed in cells without toilets or sinks for weeks or longer. Staff have to accompany the prisoners to bathroom facilities to relieve themselves.….
read … Hawaii Oversight Commission Finds ‘Unacceptable’ Conditions At The Crowded Hilo Jail
Oahu businesses gear up for city’s restrictions on plastic food ware to go into effect
HNN: … Restaurant industry experts say one of the issues with biodegradable cups is they don’t hold hot liquid very well. In fact, when you pour hot coffee into it, it melts in seconds.
“It was just a shocking thing to see,” said Orzco….
Some products like lids are hard to find because of supply chain issues.
“Those little covers are really challenging to get. It has to be PLA approved and it has to be that biodegradable material that we just can’t get,” said Matsuoka….
“If prepared food is made to order, I got to a restaurant, I order food, they put it into a container they have to use a compliant product. It doesn’t mean that it’s compostable, it just means that it cannot contain plastic,”…
SA: Disposable food ware ban to take effect on Oahu
read … Oahu businesses gear up for city’s restrictions on plastic food ware to go into effect
Abandoned DHHL Sits for Five Years Awaiting Reassignment to new Beneficiary
KITV: … The lease for a boarded up home in Waiehu Kou was canceled back in 2017, because the previous lessee defaulted on the mortgage.
"From 2017 to 2022, nothing has happened," explains nearby resident Punahele Ho’opi’i.
Ho'opi'i is among the several Department of Hawaiian Homelands beneficiaries wondering why the three-bedroom home on Limu ‘Ele’ele place has not yet been re-assigned to another Native Hawaiian on the waitlist.
The department reports it had to complete a lengthy appeal and eviction process —which stalled during the pandemic.
DHHL also found that the previous lessee built an illegally graded slope in the backyard — that began to affect the stability of a neighboring home….
read … Abandoned Maui home creates problems for local residents
HECO Lifts Voluntary Electricity Conservation as Hamakua Energy Comes Back Online
BIVN: … Hawaiian Electric has lifted its call for Big Island customers to conserve electricity after four days straight of requesting voluntary conservation.
Customers may resume their normal use of electricity tonight.
Nearly every day this week, customers were asked to conserve from 5 to 9 p.m. when electricity use is highest. The request was prompted by the unexpected shutdown of the island’s largest independent power producer, Hamakua Energy, due to the unavailability of ammonia used for pollution control. Hawaiian Electric’s Hill Plant Unit No. 5 and Puna Steam Plant also were unavailable due to planned annual maintenance and repairs….
IM: Avoiding Hawaii Power Outages
read … HECO Lifts Voluntary Electricity Conservation as Hamakua Energy Comes Back Online