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Saturday, January 12, 2019
January 12, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:04 PM :: 1988 Views

Candidates Already Lining up to Run for Gabbard's Congressional Seat

Who's Running in My District? 2019 Neighborhood Board Elections

‘Singapore model’ doesn’t sing for Hawaii housing

Hawaii Ranks 49th for Federal Aid

Budget: Hawaii Scores 'D-' for Legacy Costs

40-70 planned suicides in 2019?

HPD Officer has info on Fenatyl Bust Allegedly Covered up by Kealoha   

HNN: … In federal court on Friday, Honolulu police officer Danny Sellers pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor crime of providing confidential information to his longtime friend, former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

In exchange, felony charges of lying to a federal agent and to the FBI were dropped.

Sellers has already provided details on a case that links Katherine Kealoha to an alleged drug trafficking ring — the investigation of which represents a new component of an already-massive public corruption scandal.

Sellers' connection to the case dates back to 2015, when he was investigating Tiffany Masunaga for alleged drug dealing and a man who many described as her bodyguard, then-officer Alan Ahn.

Sellers went to Katherine Kealoha, who at the time was head of the career criminal unit at city Prosecutor’s Office, in an effort to help him move the case forward.

Court records show that Kealoha subsequently signed the arrest warrants that led to a SWAT raid of a McCully home, where cocaine, salts, and more than 100 patches of the powerful prescription drug fentanyl were recovered.

Masunaga and Ahn were arrested, and Kealoha later ran the grand jury that got the couple indicted.

But in a surprising turn, Kealoha’s offer to Ahn only required him to plead guilty to the cocaine.

The deal ignored the prescription opioids that had been found.

Why would she do that?

Multiple sources confirm the more than 100 patches of fentanyl came from Dr. Rudy Puana, a pain management doctor from Hilo — and Katherine Kealoha’s younger brother.

It’s suspected that Kealoha covered up the prescription drugs to protect her brother….

In recent months, Hawaii News Now cameras have spotted many of Puana’s former employees and patients going into the federal courthouse to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence on this matter….

read … Scandal that’s ensnarled police, prosecutor’s office takes another turn

Abercrombie Defends Gabbard on Religious Bigotry

TH: … Abercrombie said Gabbard articulated a valid principle, that people should not be held back from government service because of their religious views.

But he said Hirono was also right to make sure that Trump’s nominees aren’t so biased in their political views as to render them incapable of making impartial decisions.

“I wasn’t born when Al Smith was attacked for his Catholic beliefs but I remember John Kennedy going to Houston,” he said, referring to the Democratic presidential nominee who was attacked over his Catholicism in the 1928 presidential race.

Kennedy, a Catholic, spoke about religious tolerance and separation of church and state to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association during the 1960 presidential campaign.

“I understand the principle but it's unfortunate that it’s devolved into personalities in the context of Sen. Hirono,” Abercrombie said. “I’m saddened that it’s being seen as directed at Sen. Hirono.”

But he added, “Tulsi Gabbard would never intend to be unfair.” …

read … Gabbard-Hirono clash shocks Hawaii

Ozawa-Waters Case Could Affect Vote by Mail Statewide

SA: …East Honolulu voters will have to wait until at least the middle of next week to learn the fate of their Honolulu City Council election.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday ordered parties involved in the case challenging Trevor Ozawa’s 22-vote victory over Tommy Waters in the Council District 4 election to appear for oral arguments on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Waters’ challenge has left the nine-member Council with only eight certified members and unable to organize and pick a chairman, finalize a meeting calendar for the year or make committee assignments. The Council is scheduled to meet Monday to pick a temporary leadership structure….

Waters is challenging the results on several grounds.

Earlier this week the justices seemed focused on the procedure for conducting absentee mail-in voting and pressed state and city election officials for more information specifically on the absentee ballots that were collected by the U.S. Postal Service before the 6 p.m. closing of the polls but not picked up by election personnel until afterward.

Waters had 72 more votes than Ozawa at midnight Election Day, but a final tally in the early morning hours the following day swung the result in Ozawa’s favor.

The city clerk’s office, in a filing Thursday, said 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., the same time precincts closed, 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 Oahu polling places through Election Day.

Hawaii Revised Statutes state that mailed absentee ballots “shall be mailed and must be received by the clerk issuing the absentee ballot not later than the closing of the polls on any election day.”

Waters believes those votes should not have been counted if they weren’t in the possession of election staff by 6 p.m. State and city officials said they didn’t do anything different from previous elections in working with local Postal Service officials to ensure they did a 6 p.m. “sweep” of late-arriving ballots, which the Elections Division later retrieved.

Natalie Iwasa, who heads a voters group challenging the results, said she is pleased that the justices want to hear oral arguments. “The city was ordered to respond to very detailed questions, and I don’t think those questions were fully answered,” she said….

Related: On Kauai, walk-in voting will (mostly) be a thing of the past in the 2020 election

read … Hawaii Supreme Court to hear the case challenging Trevor Ozawa’s victory over Tommy Waters

Sex Harassment: Confidentiality Lessens Effectiveness of Proposed House Policy

SA Editorial: … However, the House’s proposed policy does have a potential weakness. It requires confidentiality “to the greatest extent possible” regarding all aspects of a harassment case. Further, “information regarding any report shall be provided on a need-to-know basis only”; unauthorized disclosure could lead to disciplinary action.

Certainly, there might be sensitive aspects of an investigation that require confidentiality to protect victims. But the new policy should explicitly allow the results of an investigation to be public, especially if a legislator is the accused party. After all, lawmakers are hired by and work for Hawaii’s citizens, who also pay them. If anyone has a “need to know,” it’s the public.

The #MeToo movement rose to prominence by shining a public spotlight on sexual harassment, which long thrived in the shadow of shame and abuse of power. An overly broad confidentiality standard could lessen the effectiveness of the new and improved policy….

read … Editorial: #MeToo progress in the House

Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Police Over Beach Park Shooting

CB: … Cameron Johnson, 29, was in what police said was a stolen vehicle at Malaekahana Beach Park in Laie on Jan. 13, 2017, when a police officer approached the truck.

Police later told reporters at a news conference that Johnson drove the vehicle into the officer, who then opened fire. Police said a passenger in the truck ran off.

But the lawsuit says Johnson was alone in the vehicle and that he did not run into the officer. Instead, witnesses said, the officer had a brief conversation with Johnson at the driver’s side window, took a step back and started firing, according to the complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

The vehicle, which was parked on a slight incline, began to roll slowly backward and the officer continued to walk alongside and fire into the truck, the complaint says….

read … Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Police Over Beach Park Shooting

This is not a drill: Lessons from the false Hawaiian missile alert

BTAS:  … A few days after the Hawaiian alert, Japanese citizens received a similar false missile alert. Unlike Hawaii, however, there were no reports of panic or large disruptions as a result of the alert, despite occurring at a similarly tense time in the region.

Yet for citizens in Hawaii, panic and fear spread quickly, because many people were unsure of what to do in the face of an impending missile strike. Hawaiians reported calling 911 or searching the internet for information on how to respond in the event of a nuclear attack. In a real emergency, however, some lines of communication, including the internet and phone lines, may be down.

It may be easy to scoff in hindsight, or wonder what made Hawaii vulnerable to these fears while Japan seemed to handle a similar false alarm so well….

read … This is not a drill: Lessons from the false Hawaiian missile alert

Schatz, Gabbard Take Kauai Anti-Agriculture Hysteria National

KGI: Talk of support of a nationwide ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos can be traced to Kauai County living rooms.

Those who have been working to create pesticide-free buffer zones are welcoming the support from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who both recently introduced bills banning chlorpyrifos on a national level.

Friday, Gabbard’s office announced her support for the legislation, stating the pesticide “has been linked to damaging and often irreversible health outcomes in workers, pregnant women and children.” …

Gary Hooser, with the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, said Gabbard and Schatz’s support of a national level ban is “a testament to work that started here on Kauai.” …

read … Hysteria

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