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Monday, July 10, 2017
July 10, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:25 PM :: 5240 Views

FBI Arrests Kaiser HS Grad at Schofield -- Tied to Islamic State

Hawaii Senators Party with Mafia Hitman, Cocaine Dealer in Property Development Venture

CB: …(Birds of a feather flock together.) State Sens. Will Espero, Stanley Chang and Glenn Wakai sipped on wine and beer from the open bar, serenaded by soothing waves and live Hawaiian music as the sun set over the ocean.

As dusk fell, the lawmakers joined about 100 other people to enjoy a buffet and listen to a presentation about how Hawaii’s Forgotten Families Foundation proposes to house 300 working homeless families, who theoretically would buy the homes with monthly mortgage payments of no more than $450.

But Wakai left feeling uneasy. (Sure. Whatever.) The foundation is trying to get started with an unusual funding mechanism: Blake Tek Yoon, 52, is selling his multimillion-dollar Kahala home and said he plans to donate $200,000 from the sale….

Yoon … spent years working with the mob in California, Florida and Central and South America….. He said he got his first conviction at age 11, and made his first million selling cocaine.

He was 26 years old when a Las Vegas mobster hired him to kill a man for $3,000. He gave $500 each to two accomplices and cornered the victim, Wilbur Constable, in a parking lot in Irvine, according to reports from the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reported that despite getting shot in the head and beaten, Constable survived….

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for Yoon’s testimony against mob bosses, prosecutors dropped other charges against him that included robberies, assault, counterfeiting and murder in a Panama prison cell.

After spending six years behind bars (6 years-soft on crime) Yoon said he became an entrepreneur, running a talent company, restaurants and most recently a furniture company with factories in the Philippines….

But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Yoon ran into financial trouble when his most recent marriage to a Hollywood actress imploded and he fought over custody of his son. He’s been through four bankruptcies. He decided to sell his house in part because he owes more than $1 million on it….

Yoon’s house is in Blackpoint in Kahala, a nearly 10,000-square-foot property just a short walk from the ocean (not even oceanfront) in one of Oahu’s most exclusive neighborhoods. The land alone is worth more than $2.3 million, according to the city’s assessment. The city’s most recent assessment of the actual structure was $254,100. 

But Yoon believes (He ‘believes’ – oh, OK.) the home can fetch far much more than that after its renovations. Yoon is putting it up for auction with an opening price of $5.3 million and hoping for more than $7 million.  (This is all hype for the auction.)

Jim Matichuk, an architect who owns Hawaii Architects, and Denzer, general contractor with Alakea Construction Services, have been working on the renovation with Yoon for years. They’re both listed as board members of the new foundation, along with Francine Beppo, who does marketing for Hawaii News Now….

read … Is This Kahala Man’s Pitch To Help The Homeless For Real?

Why Did so Many Political Insiders Back the Criminal Al Hee?

SA: …Hee’s case is a costly and cautionary tale about government handing out taxpayer money without adequately checking up on who is receiving it and how they are using it.

How did years and years slip by before the FCC, which regulates Sandwich Isles, took a hard look at Hee’s sweet deal with Hawaiian Homes? And why did Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is tasked with scrutinizing the company’s operations and finances, fail to raise red flags — even when the FCC began uncovering appalling abuses? … (Answer: Inouye.)

.Also exasperating is a slice of local response following Hee’s 11-day jury trial. A sizable stack of letters from Hee’s friends and acquaintances — including several politically connected figures — urged a U.S. District Court judge to go easy on sentencing for the man they depicted as helpful and generous. Among Hee’s political generosity: Since 2000, he has donated more than $45,000 to federal candidates and their committees…..

(Fascinating Factoid: Al Hee was indicted on the exact second anniversary of Dan Inouye’s death.)

read … Let others compete with Sandwich Isles

Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Supports Mauna Kea World Park

SA: The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce endorses PUEO’s recent commentary in support of a “world park” upon Mauna Kea that would be a “living museum of the people of the First Nation of Hawaii” (“Mauna Kea’s future,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June 28).

A world park created, established, managed and operated by Native Hawaiians could be a unique enterprise to provide meaningful career opportunities for island-born youth while teaching residents and visitors more about Hawaiian cultural contributions.

The state of Hawaii’s educational goal is to have 55 percent of adults earn a college degree by 2025. But unless Hawaii can offer those graduates attractive careers, we will continue to export our best and brightest to other places. Hawaii becomes less Hawaiian with each native son or daughter who leaves home in search of a better future elsewhere….

read … ‘World Park’ needed for Mauna Kea

Hu Honua = Aina Koa Pono V2

IM: …There have been two recent proposals to turn Big Island biomass into electricity. Both involved independent power producers who would sell product to Hawai`i Electric Light Company (HELC). Both involve ratepayer funds.

The first was Aina Koa Pono, and the second is Hu Honua Bioenergy. Both proposals came before the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission. Both would promote Hawai`i island agriculture.

The Honolulu Star—Advertiser wrote an Editorial in 2014 asserting that the Public Utilities Commission rightfully rejected the Aina Koa Pono proposals.

The Honolulu Star—Advertiser wrote an Editorial yesterday asserting that the Public Utilities Commission should approve the Hu Honua proposal.

Monthly customer bills would be higher in the first 11 years, according to company officials”, stated the Editorial, which noted that, “This remains an incredibly complex business and energy landscape — forecasts about pricing and savings to the ratepayer are certainly not guaranteed.”…

read … Honolulu Star—Advertiser Issues Split Decision

Calvin Say and Gene Ward: Yell Less, Pray More And Come Together As Americans

CB: In this combative atmosphere, it is not surprising that violent imagery is on the rise. For example, a new production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” put on by New York’s Public Theatre, turns Caesar into a Donald Trump look-alike and becomes the vicarious killing of the president. Add to this comedian Kathy Griffin posing for photos with a bloody likeness of the President’s severed head.

But the most egregious was the politicized deranged shooter who attacked a group of lawmakers in the D.C. area as they practiced for their annual charity congressional baseball Game. Five people were injured, with one, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, in critical condition. The shooter was quickly stopped, thanks to the Capitol Police and security detail assigned to Whip Scalise.

There appeared to be little question that the deranged gunman was motivated by political hatred. He previously made violent threats on Facebook and he was found carrying a “hit list” of congressmen’s names in his pocket at the time of his shooting rampage.

This horrible event demonstrates just how overheated our political rhetoric has become, and how little it may take to set off some disturbed individuals to commit violence. In America, no one should have their life threatened because of their political beliefs and their relationship with others shouldn’t be based on whether their political party wins or loses an election. That’s the way they do it in some Third World countries, not here….

read … Calvin Say and Gene Ward

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