Surprise: HART Subpoenaed TWICE by Feds
"Everyone" cannot afford another GET surcharge
Hawaii State Income Tax 9th Highest Collection Per Capita
DOBOR Sets Hearings for Massive Fee Hikes
Anti-Sunscreen Hysteria Designed to Force New Products Past FDA
'Hold on to your pocketbooks!' says city council chair after second subpoena to HART
KHON: … Council member Ann Kobayashi says taxpayers should be worried. She's afraid the federal money slated for rail could get delayed, or might never come this way.
"It's really frightening," said Kobayashi, the interim city council chairwoman.
She says one subpoena was bad enough, but getting the second one makes her feel even more uneasy that the Federal Transit Administration might never come through with the $744 million pledged to finish the project.
And even if it does, it might take longer, which means HART will need to borrow more money to keep construction going.
"Everyone better hang on to their pocketbooks because I just can't see if the federal money doesn't come in and there's more costs. That means more borrowing of money, more interest payments," said Kobayashi….
HART is currently trying to attract private companies as partners to help complete the project.
"What company would now partner with us when we have two federal subpoenas? I mean I don't think any company is gonna want to partner with us. Things look really dismal at this point. The federal government doesn't just issue a subpoena unless there's good cause," said Kobayashi….
Flashback Feb 23, 2018: Criminal Intent: Honolulu rail pays $3.8M penalty for Corrupt Relocation Over Payments to Politically Connected Developers
read … 'Hold on to your pocketbooks!' says city council chair after second subpoena to HART
Katherine Kealoha Lawyer Tried to have her Declared Incompetent
CB: … The newly released documents show that from September to December, Katherine Kealoha and her defense attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, tried in secret to convince the court that Kealoha was suffering from a “mental disease or defect” that made her unable to understand the “nature and consequences” of the criminal proceedings against her.
The records, however, do not reveal what that condition might be that would make her incompetent.
(Question: If Kealoha were incompetent to be a defendant, how would that affect cases in which she was ‘competent’ to be a deputy prosecutor?)
Seabright had originally allowed the arguments over Kealoha’s mental state to play out behind closed doors, but reconsidered the confidentiality of those proceedings after a legal challenge from The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.….
Seabright also pointed out in a footnote to his ruling that if it weren’t for the law center’s intervention the records likely would have remained sealed because “no party advanced, or attempted to advance, the public’s interest in access to these court proceedings.”…
In her September motion, Kagiwada noted that Kealoha was currently receiving treatment for a medical condition, and that it was unknown whether it would affect her mental competency….
on Dec. 14, Puglisi issued a ruling saying Kealoha was competent to stand trial, and in fact seemed to have all of her faculties.
“During the competency hearing, the Court observed that Defendant Kealoha was focused on the proceedings and did not appear distracted or disengaged,” Puglisi said. “Furthermore, Defendant Kealoha interacted with her counsel in a calm, responsive, and appropriate manner during the hearing.”
He also referenced the psychiatrist’s examination, but that portion of his ruling was redacted….
ILind: Katherine Kealoha found mentally competent to stand trial
Related: Katherine Kealoha a Drug Addict?
read … Competent
Kaneshiro denied access to officer-involved shooting scene
HNN: … Kaneshiro usually responds to officer-involved shootings as part of his office’s review process.
But sources say patrol officers turned Kaneshiro, who is the target of a federal investigation, and his team around when they arrived in Mililani. The order came from HPD administration….
HPD did confirm to Hawaii News Now that the agency is now reviewing the policy that determines who has access to crime scenes.
There are multiple layers of review when an officer shoots and kills someone.
It begins with an internal HPD investigation, which is then evaluated by both the city Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Review Board.
That process will remain the same for police shootings. The state Attorney General’s Office waits to evaluate the internal investigation and Kaneshiro’s office will now have to wait, too….
HNN: Some 400 potential jurors will be called for first of 3 trials against the Kealohas
read … Denied
Four Days, Three Shootings
Waikele police shooting started in Kakaako -- "He was ordered to exit the vehicle and he did. When he faced the vehicle he pulled a firearm from his waistband and pointed it at the officer. One of the officers fired several shots at the suspect," stated Ballard.….
HPD chief defends officers in fatal Mililani shooting -- The three stopped him in the pickup truck he was driving, boxing him in with their unmarked vehicles at the intersection of Aniani Drive and Lanikuhana Avenue, but the suspect struck two of the vehicles trying to escape and nearly hit one of the officers, according to police….
Sheriff’s Deputies not Given Tasers—Deputy Fatally shoots man at state Capitol after ‘extreme struggle’ – “…the man had placed the deputy in a headlock before he sustained a single shot in the body….”
Homeless Drunk IDed as Man Shot by Deputy Sheriff at Capitol
SA: …The deputy was making routine checks on the Capitol grounds when he spotted the man later identified as Espejo with an open bottle of alcohol on the Ewa side of the rotunda at about 8:20 p.m., according to Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda….
Espejo has a criminal record of one conviction of liquor in public places and one conviction of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. Both convictions are petty misdemeanors.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said Espejo was homeless.
read … Homeless Drunk
Legislators Answer to Homelessness: ‘Build a Wall’
Cataluna: So a man drinking alcohol at the state Capitol after hours gets into a confrontation with a state law enforcement officer, and that somehow gets tied to a bill already in the Legislature for more security at the Capitol building for the lawmakers and their staff.
Can we marvel just for a moment at how convoluted that is? …
… so much of the Capitol area has the feeling of chaos just about to break loose, from the people on Richards Street screaming at the voices in their heads to smashing windows at Iolani Palace to the lady who had to be talked down from the church roof the other week. State lawmakers are justified if they feel unsafe downtown. Lots of people feel unsafe downtown. This should serve to motivate lawmakers to work toward positive changes for the community, not wall themselves away….
HPR: Checking The State's Progress On The Homeless Crisis
read … Metal detectors aren’t the solution
7 arrested in Year-Long opioid crackdown on Hawaii health care providers
SA: …Federal and local law enforcement officials today announced they executed five search warrants and made seven arrests in Hawaii as part of a three-state crackdown on illicit and illegal drugs distributed by health care professionals.
The drugs involved included oxycodone and hydrocodone.
John Callery, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Honolulu field office, said that more arrests of Hawaii doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants are likely in the weeks ahead as part of the year-old “Operation Hypocritical Oath” that was based out of Los Angeles and spread to Nevada and Hawaii as part of the nation-wide crackdown on the nation’s opioid epidemic….
VIDEO: DEA News Conference
KITV: In the last 12 months, the crackdown included the arrest of Tripler Army Medical Center technician Olivia Ronquillo, who got a year in prison for handing out more than 8,000 narcotics without a prescription; Alika Kaahu, whose trial is set for March for allegedly distributing heroine and oxycodone; and Hilo doctor Ernest Bade and his team.
SA: 5 isle doctors lose licenses in opioid crackdown
read … 7 arrested in opioid crackdown on Hawaii health care providers
Soft on Crime: School Assault Suspects have long rap sheets
KGI: … Travis Shimomura, 34, and Kylie Lanning, 23, led police on a high-speed chase up Kawaihau Road after Shimomura allegedly threatened a man and a woman in front of St. Catherine School Tuesday afternoon, not long before class let out for the school’s kindergarten through eighth-grade students….
A Kauai Police Department press release Wednesday said Shimomura and Lanning both had unrelated warrants out for their arrests — Shimomura was wanted for a parole violation and Lanning for violating conditions of his release on bail.
“It’s frustrating for us that these guys keep bailing out,” said County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar.
Shimomura’s criminal record dates back at least to 2003….
read … Soft on Crime
HB421: Tax Credit for Helicopter Tour Operators
IM: … American Securities LLC has $23 billion under management and is the ultimate parent company of two Hawai`i helicopter tour companies: Hawaii Helicopters and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.
Not claiming poverty or economic hardship, the helicopters testified that HB 421 giving them a tax break "would provide parity" with some other airplane operations.
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters testified they would be able to "promote and encourage the use of quiet technology."
Representative Scot Matayoshi voted no, and Representatives Bertrand Kobayashi and Nadine Nakamura voted yes with reservations.
read … Tax Break for Billionaires
Global Warmers: Hawaii Must Destroy Billions in Shoreline Real Estate
CB: … Even the most conservative scientific models show a half-foot of sea level rise, expected by 2030, would flood miles of highways and potentially cause hundreds of millions of dollars in economic loss.
(This is a lie. The most conservative estimates show Oahu rising out of the sea, not sinking in to it.)
It’s projected to worsen exponentially as sea levels rise by 1 foot by 2050 and 3 feet by the end of this century, causing an estimated $20 billion in economic loss just to physical structures. That doesn’t include compounding effects like the impact on tourism or business.
So what do we do? One option is moving our homes, businesses, hotels, roads, bridges and utilities back from the shoreline. But managed retreat, as it’s called, is no easy task.
A new state report released this week provides the most detailed look yet at the feasibility of pursuing this option in the islands….
Reality for those who can handle it: Sea Level Rise? Nonsense, Oahu is Rising From the Sea for Next 1.5M Years
DBEDT Feb 19, 2019: REPORT ASSESSES THE FEASIBILITY AND IMPLICATIONS OF MANAGED RETREAT FROM COASTAL AREAS IN HAWAII
read … Destroy Billions