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Friday, January 11, 2019
January 11, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:04 PM :: 941 Views

CNN: Tulsi Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020

Gabbard Standing up Against Anti-Catholic Bigotry Within Democratic Party

BoE Will Re-Do Sup’t Vote—May Have Acted Illegally on Other Executive Hires 

Caldwell, Green Bless Iwilei Homeless Magnet

New Hi-Tech Payroll System Reveals 4,589 State Employees Paid for 'Multiple Positions'

Hawaii's coming recession--Are legislators Listening?

Ed Case Appointed to Appropriations Committee

Third Chief in Three Years for DOCARE

Hirono: Gabbard Getting Support from ‘Alt-Right’

HNN: … “Off base.” “All wrong.” And “unfortunate.”

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, didn’t mince words Thursday when speaking for the first time about a public rebuke from another member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard….

In an interview with HNN on Capitol Hill, Hirono said she stands by her questions for Buescher.

She added that Gabbard "has it all wrong and it’s pretty unfortunate. But as I say the alt-right are springing to her defense and if that’s the group that she wants to get the support of, she’s getting it.”

(Flashback: David Duke and Steve Bannon behind Gabbard push to become Trump’s Secretary of State.)

Days before Gabbard wrote the editorial, conservative media outlets were criticizing Hirono for her Buescher questions — and her stance that the Knights of Columbus hold extreme political positions….

For her part, Gabbard isn’t backing down. She tweeted out a link to The Hill op-ed Thursday.

And in statement to HNN, she said that her criticism of Buescher’s treatment is not a “partisan left-right issue.”

“I respect Senators Harris, Feinstein, and Hirono, but we always need to remember that freedom of religion is enshrined in our Constitution and in our Bill of Rights, which so many brave Americans across generations have put their lives on the line to protect," Gabbard said.

“It’s fine to be against judicial nominees because of their position on issues or concerns about their ability to be fair, but it’s not acceptable to be against them because of their religion or religious convictions."…

Meanwhile, when asked whether Gabbard’s criticism could affect their relationship, Hirono said she “works well” with Republicans (Gabbard is a Democrat) and if there are times when she can work with Gabbard “I would certainly do so.”  (LOL!)

“But I wish that before she goes out there and starts lecturing others about how we do our jobs, you know ... she was very off-base with regard to what she said about my line of questioning," Hirono said.

Among the written questions Hirono asked Buescher: …

If confirmed, do you intend to end your membership with this organization (Knights of Columbus) to avoid any appearance of bias?

If confirmed, will you recuse yourself from all cases in which the Knights of Columbus has taken a position?

read … Rift

City stands by election process in Trevor Ozawa-Tommy Waters vote

SA: … The Honolulu Elections Division is standing by its policy of accepting mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service after 6 p.m. on Election Day, despite a challenge by defeated City Council candidate Tommy Waters that argues those votes should not be counted.

In a court filing today, city officials also argue that Waters has not been able to provide any evidence that “provable fraud” occurred.

Waters’ appeal seeks to disenfranchise “the thousands of voters who deposited absentee envelopes with USPS that were not physically and literally taken into custody and possession by the city clerk by 6 p.m. (on Election Day),” the city said. “This is an unjust result.” …

According to the city’s filing today, there were 1,201 absentee mail-in votes from Council District 4 added to the final results, putting Ozawa over the top. Of those, 350 were collected by the USPS at 6 p.m. and subsequently retrieved by the city for counting by the state later that night. The rest were absentee mail-in ballots that voters dropped off at polling places.

State law requires ballots to be accepted through 6 p.m. City and state election officials say ballots accepted by the USPS at 6 p.m. should be counted. Waters contends that election officials, not USPS, should have them in hand by 6 p.m.

Under the arrangement with USPS, the city said, postal workers at 6 p.m. “sweep” their facilities and system for the specially marked mail-in ballot envelopes. As in previous elections, city election officers said, their staff Nov. 6 collected those envelopes from the airport post office at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and delivered them to its city’s nearby Koapaka processing facility where the outer envelopes were removed and signatures on the back of the inner envelope were verified. At that point the unopened inner envelopes were delivered to the state Capitol where they were opened and counted by state election workers…. 

read … City stands by election process in Trevor Ozawa-Tommy Waters vote

Democrats Only: Luke Plan Would Knock Republicans, Greens, Libertarians off the November Ballot

CB: …Luke also is interested in trying to bolster voter turnout by making Hawaii elections more interesting, as she put it.

Most state elections are decided in the primary because Democrats dominate the races and incumbents are nearly always re-elected. Voter turnout is low here and many people say they lose interest before the November general election because there’s no real reason to go to the polls.

Luke wants to spice things up and make the general election the main event by sending the top two vote-getters from the primary on to the general, no matter what party they’re from. In 2018, for instance, in the governor’s race Ige and Hanabusa collected far more votes than Republican Andria Tupola. In the 1st Congressional District race, the top two vote-getters were Ed Case and Doug Chin, both Democrats, not Republican Cam Cavasso, who went on to the general election and was soundly defeated by Case.

Luke told the Civil Cafe audience that minor parties would need to compete on the same level.

“We shouldn’t give a free pass” to the Green Party, or Libertarians or the American Shopping Party, which she noted is also considered a legitimate political party in Hawaii. 

She said she would be proposing a statutory change to allow the two leading candidates to go on to the general….

read … Super PAC Crackdown On The Agenda In 2019 Legislature

Details released in latest plea deal in public corruption case against Kealohas

HNN: … Details of the charge officer Danny Sellers will plead to were posted on the court website Thursday afternoon.

The posted document ― called an “information” — charges Sellers with violating confidential information.

It’s a misdemeanor charge for federal employees or agents, punishable by fines and up to a year in jail, and also requires removal from their office or employment.

Sellers previously pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to a federal grand jury and the FBI.

The information says Sellers was working in the HPD Criminal Intelligence Unit, which is federally-funded, when former deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha fraudulently reported that the family mailbox had been stolen.

The information said while investigating the case Sellers leaked information that came from a secure HPD computer to Kealoha even though he knew she was not entitled to the information.

Sellers and Kealoha are longtime (..uh…) friends, (yeah, that’s the word.  Friends.)….

read … Details released in latest plea deal in public corruption case against Kealohas

State lawmaker to reintroduce bill to ban plastic straws, Styrofoam containers

HNN: … Hawaii tried to ban plastic straws and Styrofoam containers, but failed, last year. Senator Mike Gabbard, who introduced the 2018 bill, plans to reintroduce the idea when the Legislature convenes this session. If it passes, the law could cost you, every day….

Reality: The Misinformed, Ineffective War on Styrofoam

read … State lawmaker to reintroduce bill to ban plastic straws, Styrofoam containers

Trump’s Border Wall Could Save Hawaii from Unnecessary, Expensive $345M Ala Wai Canal Flood Control Project

CB: …The White House has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to comb through its budget, including $13.9 billion in emergency funds that Congress earmarked last year, to see what money could be diverted to the wall as part of a declaration. That’s according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Among the funds at risk are $345 million appropriated last year for a project to help prevent Honolulu’s Ala Wai Canal from flooding in the event of a major storm.

… fewer Democrats coming across the border illegally and fewer make-work jobs for Democrat unions win-win….

read … Trump’s Border Wall Could Imperil $345M Ala Wai Canal Flood Control Project

Homelessness Coordinator Touts Progress As Lawmakers Criticize

CB:…Morishige touted the state’s progress, which he said included a 22 percent reduction in homeless families and a 21 percent reduction in veteran homelessness. Hawaii still has the highest per capita rate of homelessness compared with any state, but the percentage of unsheltered homeless people has fallen by 19 percent and there’s been a 38 percent reduction in unaccompanied homeless youth, he said.

But Reps. Joy San Buenaventura and Della Au Belatti said the state hasn’t moved fast enough to spend $30 million the Legislature allocated last year for ohana zones.

Lawmakers envision ohana zones as secure areas (festering tent cities) where homeless people can live (in tents) for a year or two and receive a plethora of social and medical services (drugs and alcohol) ….. 

MN: Provide help, not a handout

read … Homelessness Coordinator Touts Progress As Lawmakers Criticize Pace Of Work

Homeless Camp to Move to 1100-ac Waianae Valley Ranch?

HNN: …On Thursday afternoon, state lawmakers and supporters of Puuhonua o Waianae toured a 20-acre lot in Kaala Valley.

Leaders of the encampment say they started looking at the property that sits off Waianae Valley Road more than a year ago.

The land is part of a 1,100-acre ranch that’s owned by the state and is currently being leased to Kaala Farms and a drug treatment cultural retreat….

“The land would cost zero. The partnership would be with the leasees already. The resources are already there to some degree,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green….

“You need water. You need sewage. You need access. You need shelter areas. You need fire plans. So there’s a lot of work and a lot of infrastructure that’s got to go in before you can put a village there,” said Kaala Farm director Eric Enos.

Green says he wants to see a deal done in the next couple months….

read … State tours possible relocation site for the encampment at Waianae boat harbor

Star-Adv: Lets Put 1000s of Criminals Back onto the Streets 

SA Editorial: …The consequences of being charged with an offense, whether guilty or not, can be life-changing, especially for the cash-strapped.

In Hawaii and many other states, a “money bail” system unfairly penalizes the low-income defendant who poses no apparent flight risk or danger to the public. A report issued last year by the ACLU of Hawaii found that in cases where bail was set, less than half of criminal defendants were able to pay it, so instead, remained in jail.

Pretrial detainees in jail for days, weeks or even months at a time can lose their employment. Without a steady paycheck, they can lose housing, vehicles and fall behind on other responsibilities. What’s more, the current system costs taxpayers roughly $150 a day per detainee….

(So sad.  We need to let more hatchet-guys out.  See next story.)

read … Reforms can cut jail population

'Unbelievable.' Outrage after HPD releases man accused of striking bus rider in head with hatchet

KHON:  …Multiple viewers expressed disbelief over the Honolulu Police Department's decision to release a suspect accused of striking a man with a hatchet. (But the Star-Adv and ACLU said, “Good work!”, right?  See previous story.)

It happened early Thursday morning on TheBus. The incident was caught on bus surveillance cameras, with multiple witnesses present.

The victim, who police say had a language barrier, declined to press charges. Honolulu police let the suspect go 4 hours after the arrest….

The Honolulu Police Department says the case is still open. Chief Susan Ballard updated the Police Commission during it's bi-weekly meetings.

"We are going to be taking the case over to prosecutors, even though the victim withdrew the complaint. The victim doesn't want to prosecute, but we're still taking the case to prosecutors to hopefully consider taking it. We have witnesses, we have other evidence that clearly shows the attack," Ballard said, when probed by Commissioner Loretta Sheehan….

read … Soft on Crime

Jail blunders in shooting case again: HCCC warden back in court

WHT: … A circuit court judge ordered the county jail’s warden to court for a second time after a pretrial murder detainee who was previously erroneously released from custody wasn’t brought to court for a recent hearing.

Brian Lee Smith was set to appear in 3rd Circuit Court on Dec. 21 for four hours to hear several motions in the case. However, when the Honaunau man’s name was called, he was not present, despite being in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center and unable to post his $2 million bail….

His most recent appearance was Jan. 3, when Cabreros appeared before 3rd Circuit Court Judge Melvin Fujino to explain the blunder. According to court minutes, jail staff had not received or couldn’t find Dec. 21’s court calendar and requested to have another calendar refaxed the day before.

The jail staffer who had made the request didn’t wait to see if another was sent because she had to attend to an air transport. When she returned at 4:30 p.m., the minutes indicate a calendar had not been sent.

The court minutes indicate the court confirmed the fax was received by the jail.

The jail conceded in court that it could have come through and been misfiled by someone else as the jail does not have one staff member assigned to review faxes from the machine.

Smith was scheduled for jury trial on Tuesday. However, Fujino granted Kwiat’s request for a continuance and it has been rescheduled for April.

The first error in the case, Smith’s mistaken release from HCCC in July, sparked community outrage.

HTH: At least two other people have been erroneously released since Smith

read … Jail blunders in shooting case again: HCCC warden back in court

Worst-Ever Cases of Super Gonorrhea Are Here

Vice: …A case of gonorrhea that’s immune to both of the standard antibiotic treatments has been identified in the United Kingdom, according to the government agency Public Health England. You may have heard of similar-sounding cases of “super gonorrhea” infection, but thus far they were highly resistant to one drug, and weaker against the second antibiotic. (Such cases have already been found in Canada, Japan, and Hawaii in recent years.)…

“One problem is that the gonococcal bacteria has been able to develop resistance to each new class of antibiotics we have put in its path,” says Alan Katz, an epidemiologist at the University of Hawaii who reported the antibiotic-resistant cases of gonorrhea found in Hawaii last year….

Gonorrhea rates are higher among the gay community and men who have sex with men, and the CDC recommends that men who have sex with men and have multiple partners increase the frequency of screens to every three to six months….

read … Worst-Ever Cases of Super Gonorrhea Are Here

There Will be no Warning: HI-EMA says 'ballistic missile alarms have been shelved’

HNN: … Sunday marks one year since that unforgettable event, and suffice it to say, many lessons have been learned along the way in hopes that something like this will never happen again.

Tom Travis, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, told Hawaii News Now on Friday that first and foremost, “all of the ballistic missile alarms have been shelved.”

That includes emergency alerts via cell phone and outdoor emergency sirens, he said.

As part of a campaign to prepare residents in the months leading up to the false missile alert, Hawaii had preparing for a possible nuclear attack as tensions escalated between the U.S. and the North Korea. But since then, Travis said “the danger has changed, so there’s no procedures left."…

read … Nearly 1 year after Hawaii’s false missile alert, HI-EMA says 'ballistic missile alarms have been shelved’

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