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Saturday, February 25, 2017
February 25, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:27 PM :: 1570 Views

It Doesn’t Always Pay to Make More

Legislators Order Pregnancy Centers to Promote Abortion: Assisted Suicide Next

62% Hike in Minimum Wage Hike Will Hit Consumers, Small Business Hard

SB221 Money Spinner: Legislators Vote Red Light Camera Ticket Fiasco (again)

SA: SB 221 would authorize Honolulu and the three neighbor island counties to set up mounted cameras to snap pictures of vehicles as they run red lights get stuck in intersections because somebody stopped short in front of them. The counties would then be responsible for issuing citations by mail to the registered owners of the vehicles, according to the bill.  (Commercial fleets will be soaked.)

Approval of the bill by the Ways and Means Committee Friday is a hint the measure is likely to pass the Senate. House Speaker Joe Souki is a longtime supporter of the use of cameras for traffic enforcement, and other House lawmakers have said they are also ready to consider photo enforcement….

State Sen. Gil Riviere voted against the measure today, saying “I just don’t think we should even go there.”

“You know, the van cam thing was a fiasco a few years ago, and…I’ve seen red-light cameras in other states, and I’m going to have to go against this one,” he said.

State Sens. Brickwood Galuteria, Breene Harimoto, Lorraine Inouye, Kai Kahele, Maile Shimabukuro and Glenn Wakai voted for the measure. Senate Democratic Majority Leader J. Kalani English also voted for the bill despite what he described as “extreme reservations.” Sens. Donovan Dela Cruz and Brian Taniguchi were absent for the vote.

SB221: Text, Status

read … Red Light Cams are Back

After One Year of Daily Outreach, Less Than 1% of Homeless Agree to Accept Shelter

SA: …Bill 13 would establish a new area of enforcement in Kalihi bordered in part by Dillingham Boulevard, Kohou Street and North King Street. It also encompasses parts of Iwilei, including streets a few steps from, ironically, The Institute for Human Services, which provides shelter and services to the homeless.

Opponents complain that sit-lie enforcement is inhumane, ineffective and possibly unconstitutional — all of which is possible if done incorrectly.

Nonetheless, the reality on the streets shows why carefully targeted use of sit-lie enforcement, while unfortunate, remains necessary. The Iwilei expansion is a case in point.

Kimo Carvalho, director of community relations for IHS, supports Bill 13, and focused on three streets near his facility where homeless people have settled: Iwilei Road, Sumner Street and Kuwili Street.

He noted that of the 120 people IHS approached to offer help, only 11 signed up for intake services and only one person is actively working to get off the streets — a meager outcome after more than a year of outreach work.

Why the lack of interest? It’s not for lack of options.

“They’re comfortable,” Carvalho said. “They feel this is a safe place for them to be.”

He noted that the area has a lot of drug activity, including meth sales, and prostitution.

Police officers enforcing sit-lie not only can investigate and disrupt this activity; they can provide the homeless with the incentive to get the help necessary to overcome the trauma that put them on the streets in the first place.

“Sit-lie allows HPD to go up to an encampment and direct them to IHS,” Carvalho said. “That’s actually what happens first. They don’t just go and start citing people.”

True. But eventually, they do.

Police issued nearly 2,800 warnings, about 590 citations and made 12 arrests in Waikiki between September 2014, when sit-lie went into effect, and last week. In Chinatown, where the ordinance went into effect in December 2014, police issued about 19,800 warnings, 300 citations, and made 17 arrests.

Sit-lie enforcement is not an unqualified success, as any observant person can see in many areas of Oahu. But “compassionate disruption” prevents the establishment of large, hardened encampments in areas where they would create a major social and health hazard, as was seen in Kakaako in 2015….

read … Prompt homeless to get needed help

Flaws in protective order system leave abuse victims vulnerable

KHON: We reviewed stacks of documents that showed – despite those restraining orders – continued extensive stalking, spying, hacking, incessant texts and calls from him, vandalizing and break-ins. He’d choked and injured her; she’d fought back and faced trouble for that too.

“Every time he got arrested or got in trouble, it escalated, escalated, escalated,” she said.

Now she’s seen firsthand severe flaws with restraining orders, that key tool meant to put a barrier between a victim and their abuser. We found she’s not alone.

“I stopped calling to report the incident because the response I would get was, ‘Oh, he’s still in love with you,’ or ‘Oh, what did you do to him?’” she said. “They call it ‘drama.’ ‘So you guys broke up. You used to date. Now he’s doing all this to you? You sure you didn’t do anything to him?’”

We listened to recorded interactions with short-tempered officers, something she called to HPD’s attention only to be told: “He’s like that. It’s not just you. He had many complaints and don’t take it personal. He needs to work on his bedside manner.”

Despite a 25-page HPD protective order procedure, she showed us an email from a detective who said he’d finally tracked down an unserved TRO in an HPD fax inbox that wasn’t logged, citing colleagues’ inaction. That’s a problem we’d found years ago when tracking why orders aren’t timely served or even — as often as 1 in 6 — sit dormant entirely.

HPD told us in a statement: “Officers sometimes have difficulty serving an individual if the address on the order is old and the current location of the individual is unknown, if the individual is at a location for a short period of time and an officer and/or the court order is not immediately available, or if the individual’s location is called in outside of the hours listed on the court order.”

That’s among the problem’s she’s having with her latest TRO — close to expiration, languishing unserved.

“If he’s not here, you can’t serve him. The court will dismiss the TRO — you don’t have a TRO — no address, no TRO,” she said. “I can’t get it served and the judged didn’t put a warrant on his revocation of probation. He’s free to roam anywhere. We can’t find him and they’re not looking.”

Another key branch in the protective order equation is the Judiciary. Victims and advocates report problems there too: a lack of information or resources at the starting point, which is the filing of the TROs at District or Family Court.

Dennis Dunn, director of Victim Witness Kokua Services at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, told us: “We’ve had a number report that they were either discouraged or incorrectly informed about whether they were eligible for a TRO. … In some cases, people seem to think they’re being told this isn’t really going to help them, or being left with concerns whether or not this is going to be helpful.”

read … Flaws in protective order system leave abuse victims vulnerable

Judge: Kauai police body cams don't violate union agreement—SHOPO to Appeal

HNN: Kauai police can continue outfitting officers with body cameras, following a Circuit Court judge's ruling Friday.

The judge sided with Kauai County Police Chief Darryl Perry instead of the state's police union, which had argued that the program required police union approval because of their collective bargaining agreement….

The ruling, which the union said it planned on appealing, is expected to make it easier for other departments to adopt the cameras.

read … Body Cam

SB603: DPS Too Tough on the Few Criminals we Actually Send to Prison

CB: Hawaii lawmakers advanced a bill Friday that would significantly dial back the use of prolonged segregated confinement at the state’s eight prisons and jails.

Under Senate Bill 603, the use of segregated confinement would be reserved only for inmates who are found guilty of “an offense involving violence, escapes or attempts to escape” or those who pose “a serious threat to institutional safety.”

The bill would also dramatically reduce the length of “administrative” and “disciplinary” segregation — the two ways in which Hawaii inmates can end up in a cell the size of a parking space for up to 23 hours a day, allowed out only to shower and briefly exercise….

read … Prison

Legislative News:

Hyping the Base: Trump Haters Unleash Waves of Mindless Hysteria Designed to Tide Them Over for Next 8 Years

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