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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
October 17, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:25 PM :: 1183 Views

Hawaii Judge Blocks Trump’s New Travel Ban. Again.

Video: Kelii Akina on The State of Racial Harmony in Hawaii

Quality of Life? Honolulu Ranks 18th

Kealohas Named Among Six Co-Conspirators in Indictment

KHON: …Court documents unsealed Monday accused Nguyen of lying to a postal inspector about who took a hard drive containing video surveillance from the Kealoha home.

The documents note officer Nguyen watched surveillance footage of the theft and identified Puana as the thief.

The FBI also says he conspired with detective Niall Silva to come up false testimony in the trial against Puana. That case ended with a mistrial.

In court Monday, the U.S. attorney told the judge “this defendant’s role is a mess” in comparison to defendant Shiraishi.

The U.S. attorney told the judge the retired major “perpetuated a fabricated timeline of events” involving the reported mailbox theft.

Shiraishi was head of HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit when the theft happened. He is accused of lying under oath to a federal grand jury tasked with investigating corruption allegations.

Shiraishi is accused of felony obstruction (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1512(c)) and Nguyen is accused of felony conspiracy. (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371).

In the documents, KHON2 confirmed the following “co-conspirators” have been identified (in the above documents) as:

  • CC1: Katherine Kealoha
  • CC2: Bobby Nguyen
  • CC3: Derek Hahn
  • CC4: Unknown
  • CC5: Daniel Sellers
  • CC6: Louis Kealoha….

read … Attorneys claim arrests made to compel cooperation in alleged corruption investigation

HPD Chief?  U.S. Attorneys had a policy of not using Thomas Aiu as a witness in any criminal cases

CB: A former Hawaii judge and U.S. Attorney is raising concerns about the integrity of one of the top candidates for Honolulu’s next police chief.

In written testimony to the Honolulu Police Commission, Steven Alm said he as well as two other U.S. Attorneys had a policy of not using Thomas Aiu as a witness in any criminal cases. Alm was one of Hawaii’s most high-profile judges before he moved to the Washington, D.C., area last year. He was  U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii from 1994 to 2001….

Alm noted that the policy of not using Aiu as a witness dated back to 1993, when his predecessor, Dan Bent, established it shortly before he left the office. Elliot Enoki, who took over the office in an interim capacity, then continued the policy, Alm said.

Alm, who also served as a 1st Circuit Court judge for 15 years following his tenure as a federal prosecutor, told the commissioners that he decided to keep the policy in place “after carefully consider(ing) the circumstances underlying the previous decisions” by Bent and Enoki….

The meetings between Alm and Hayakawa took place around the time when Aiu brought a lawsuit against Alm in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

The details of that lawsuit are not clear. Documents related to the case are not available on the federal court website, and officials say the original case file is in storage on the U.S. mainland.

But in 1994, about a year after Bent’s policy of not allowing Aiu to be a witness in criminal cases was implemented, the DEA suspended Aiu for 40 days for unauthorized use of a government vehicle, misuse of office and improper association with a confidential informant, according to a summary of an appellate court ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ultimately upheld the 40-day suspension.

PDF: Text of Letter

read … Questions Surface Over Integrity Of HPD Chief Candidate

Maui: Electric Bills Spike $9 as Ratepayers Are Forced to Buy More Overpriced Wind Energy

SA: …Maui Electric Co. customers saw bills spike in October more than $9 after dropping about $7 in September. The average bill for a Maui household using 500 kilowatt-hours was $147.64, or 27.6 cents a kilowatt-­hour, compared with $138.24, or 25.7 cents a kilowatt-­hour, in September. In August the typical bill was $145.30.

“On Maui, at certain times of the year, wind resources can be more expensive than oil,” Tangonan said. “For this period, wind accounted for a larger percentage of generation…..

read … Your Green, Their Energy

Pro-Rail Groups Spent $200K Lobbying Special Session

CB: It only lasted five days, yet Hawaii lobbyists managed to spend about $200,000 during the special session held to fund the Honolulu rail project, according to recent filings with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.

That works out to about $40,000 a day….

The largest chunk of money by far came from the Committee for Balanced Transportation, which does business as Friends of Rail, also known as Finish Rail Now.

It dropped almost $146,000 during the special session, with nearly all of it going to Anthology Marketing Group, the Honolulu company that specializes in advertising, public relations and research.

Friends of Rail also paid $785 for bentos, although it does not indicate who ate them.

Who are Friends of Rail? …

Supporters include the Laborers International Union of North America Local 368, the Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 630, the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, Faith Action for Community Equity, West Oahu Economic Development Association and the Hawaii Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust….

Contributions to Friends of Rail during the special session came from more than a dozen groups.

Those include the Hawaii Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust mentioned above ($20,000), The MacNaughton Group ($12,500), Stanford Carr Development ($10,000), Hawaiian Dredging Construction ($10,000), Hawaii Construction Alliance $10,000), Hunt Development Group ($10,000), Castle and Cooke Hawaii ($5,000), Second City Property Management ($25,000), Royal Contracting ($20,000), Kobayashi Group $12,500) and the General Contractors Association of Hawaii ($25,000)…..

read … Pro-Rail Groups Spent $200K On Special Session Lobbying Blitz

Hawaii must fix Dams

SA: …Hawaii’s aging infrastructure, which tends to fare poorly though short of dead last in national rankings, landed in the bottom spot on a recent report bluntly titled “States That Are Falling Apart,” which was based on four criteria: condition of roadways, how much is spent on highways versus overall public spending, structural fitness of bridges and safety of dams.

The dams did us in.

Hawaii had the highest percentage of dams in the country with a “high-hazard potential” rating, 93 percent. Nationwide, an estimated 17 percent of all dams — 15,500 in total — are categorized as high-hazard, meaning their failure would almost certainly result in loss of life.

The report — released by 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware-based financial news and commentary website — warns: “It is becoming increasingly clear that many older dams in the United States will not be able to withstand heavy sustained rains or earthquakes. And by 2025, 70 percent of all dams will be over 50 years old.”

Hawaii’s lawmakers and other leaders must take note, as slightly more than 100 of our 133 dams are already well over that age. Most were constructed before 1940 to support the sugarcane plantations….

Background: 93% of Hawaii Dams at 'High Hazard Risk'

read … Dams

Nimitz Homeless Drug Addicts Run Illegal Gambling ‘Red Room’, Pile Garbage 10 Feet Deep

HNN: Enforcement is set to begin October 23rd, and it'll be the first large scale clean-up for the area in more than two years….

"What that has led to is somewhat of a safety and public health issue," said Institute for Human Service spokesman Kimo Carvalho. "On the safety side there is just a lot of dogs. And from the public health side there's just a lot of trash. We're talking about eight to 10 feet high in some areas."

There are at least 180 people currently living under the viaduct. Outreach workers say the majority are local and many are dealing with severe addictions to drugs.

The area is also a hot bed for crime. In addition to rampant drug use, outreach workers confirmed many of the make-shift rafts are actually floating gambling dens.

"There is extensive gambling going on along the water as well as underneath the Nimitz Viaduct itself in what they call the Red Room," said Carvalho.

Unlike a lot of encampments there are no families with children here. There aren't many immigrants either….

After the clean-up is complete, rail contractors will install fencing and provide security to keep illegal campers from coming back…..

read … At least 180 squatters living under Nimitz viaduct prepare to move out

Can Oahu’s Kahauiki Plantation Be Replicated on Other Islands?

MW: …there are not actually any explicit legal barriers, according to the Maui Planning Commission’s zoning division.

Chapter 19.12 of the Maui County Code, which covers apartment districts, apparently allows for trailer parks and tiny-home villages. In fact, a developer could legally build a village with more than 30 tiny homes on a 10,000 square-foot, multi-family, apartment-zoned lot. Yet, no development of this kind has happened.

One likely reason is the difficulty of finding and acquiring apartment-zoned land; there isn’t much of it available.

Bureaucratic red tape is also a problem. Trailer parks and tiny-home villages aren’t illegal, but there aren’t any rules for them either. Hawaii’s permitting process is already daunting and sluggish. Being the first to attempt an unprecedented development idea comes with massive financial risk due to community and legislative roadblocks that can stall a project until it goes bankrupt.

There is one entity, however, which was able to cut through the red tape: the government. On Oahu, Kahauiki Plantation — a public/private tiny house village for the homeless — has begun development….

read … Tiny Homes

State: Homeless Tent Cities are not the Solution

WHT: …West Hawaii’s homeless population will soon have another campsite. Known as Village 9, the site near the West Hawaii Civic Center will first be used as a safe zone before being developed into a longterm housing site. It’s expected to house about 100 of the island’s estimated 953 homeless individuals.

The Land Board on Friday approved a right-of-entry and also agreed to transfer ownership of the 35-acre parcel from DLNR to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., for use as homeless housing. The county anticipates using igloo-style domes for housing.

Homeless individuals, meanwhile, have been congregating in Hilo’s county parks, Mooheau bandstand and Hele-On bus terminal.

Facilities for East Hawaii may take a while yet. Lance Niimi, executive assistant to Mayor Harry Kim who’s coordinating homeless issues, said the office is currently working on several grant proposals as part of its islandwide strategic plan. He said the office is also working with state partners and local nonprofit agencies.

He couldn’t provide a time-frame for the plan Friday.

“Our mayor works very closely with Gov. (David) Ige,” Niimi said. “(Homeless projects) wouldn’t be possible without the state’s help.”

Camp Kikaha, a tent city with room for 32 people in Kailua-Kona, cost about $4,000 to set up and has a monthly budget of $21,207, he said.

The state has provided $1.3 million to Hawaii County over the past two years for homeless projects, Morishige said.

Safe zones are not Ige’s first choice for housing homeless people, as he prefers the “Housing First” approach that puts people into permanent housing and then connects them with services such as substance abuse and employment counseling. Safe zones, in contrast, provide services to homeless individuals while they live in government-sanctioned tent cities or other types of homeless housing.

Ige let a bill become law without his signature earlier this year that created a panel to study safe zones.

“The Housing First approach has been the preferred solution to address homelessness in Hawaii,” Ige said in his message accompanying the act.

He cited a 2012 Hawaii lnteragency Council on Homelessness report that said creating “camping areas for homeless individuals in our parks and in our public buildings … is unworkable, is not advisable, and should not be pursued.”

“The better longterm strategy is to link people to housing,” Ige added….

SA: Solar Scammers can make money off Homeless Tent Cities

read … State considers homeless safe zones like Camp Kikaha

Insights on PBS Hawaii--The Jones Act

PBSH: The recent devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria re-ignited discussion about the Jones Act, the federal legislation that aims to protect American maritime workers. The Jones Act was blamed for preventing foreign vessels from assisting in recovery efforts in Puerto Rico; eventually, The Trump Administration temporarily lifted the shipping restriction there. How would the Jones Act affect Hawai‘i in an emergency situation? Is it time to review the legislation for reform, or repeal?

TH: Send the Jones Act down to Davy Jones' Locker

read … PBS Hawaii

Trump to visit Arizona Memorial next month

SA: President Donald Trump’s first official trip to Hawaii and Asia will include a stop at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, the White House said today.

Trump will travel to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from Nov. 3-14….

read … Trump in Hawaii

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