Grassroot: Bill 89 Unconstitutional
Who will be the Next Hawaiian Homelands Director?
Ethics: No Union Logo on City Uniforms
Feds Forcing UH to Shutter Chinese Communist Spy Center ‘Confucius Institute’?
SA: … UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said the university received $2.1 million in Defense Department funding over the past six fiscal years for its Chinese language “flagship” program. The effort is part of the National Security Education Program.
The university receives millions in additional Pentagon funding that might be in jeopardy if UH kept its Confucius Institute.
“The DOD funding is significant,” he said. “As far as what’s going to happen next and how (regarding the Confucius Institute), we’re just finalizing those details.” …
In 2015, the UH program, at its Center for Chinese Studies, was designated a “model” Confucius Institute by the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Education, and awarded $1 million. The university said it planned to renovate classroom space for Chinese language and culture programs.
According to a February Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, the Chinese government has provided more than $158 million to more than 100 schools since 2006. The institutes are controlled, funded and mostly staffed by the Chinese government….
Kerry K. Gershaneck, a visiting scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and specializing in Chinese political warfare, said Hawaii “is a target-rich environment” for Chinese espionage.
Oahu is home to the most senior U.S. military headquarters in the Indo-Pacific region.
“China spies on its own students and researchers at universities here, as it does worldwide,” Gershaneck said. The primary focus of China’s “pervasive” espionage operations in Hawaii is national security, economic and political influence information.
Universities such as UH can provide access to the research, intellectual property, technology and potential future intelligence assets that China’s spies seek, Gershaneck said….
read … UH expected to shutter Confucius Institute
City Council Defers Measures to Crack Down On Vacation Rentals
CB: … Reaching a stalemate in the charged debate over how to manage the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals on Oahu, the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday deferred voting on two measures to regulate the industry.
The decision to not decide came after a marathon meeting in which more than 100 people testified for and against the proposed amendments to the county’s land-use ordinance.
Amid a flurry of proposed changes and complaints about confusion over the current drafts, Councilwoman Kymberly Pine moved to send the measures back to the council’s zoning and housing committee for further work. …
Among those supporting a crackdown on the illegal rentals were hotel workers and current and former state officials, including former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Sens. Laura Thielen and Kurt Fevella….
read … City Council Defers Measures to Crack Down On Vacation Rentals
Ookala dairy ending operations ahead of schedule
WHT: … Five months after the owners of Big Island Dairy announced they would cease operations at the Ookala facility, by the end of April all cows have been removed from confinement and the dairy has ended all milking operations ahead of schedule, according to the state Department of Health….
The dairy and the DOH entered into an agreement at the end of March that addressed numerous discharges of wastewater containing manure from the dairy into state waters during the past two years.
That agreement required Big Island Dairy owners to terminate their dairy operations, remove all their cows from confinement on the site, clean and remove the existing wastewater system, and pay $79,000 by June of 2019, either as an administrative penalty or to fund an environmentally beneficial project in the area.
“To date, the dairy has reported completion of all closure actions required by the consent agreement,” DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo said. “DOH expects that the dairy will be conducting limited ‘operations’ as part of its closure.”
According to Okubo, those operations include eliminating the wastewater lagoons and ensuring the stability of the fields until June….
Related: Activist Attacks Destroy 15% of Hawaii Agriculture
read … Ookala dairy ending operations ahead of schedule
Attorney linked to Kealoha investigation facing suspension from practice of law
ILind: … The Hawaii Supreme Court has given Honoluu attorney Christopher Woo ten days to notify the court “of any reasons as to why he should not be suspended from the practice of law immediately” for failure to cooperate with an investigation by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel. The ten day period will begin either when Woo is served with the court’s order, or if ODC reports that it has been unable to complete service. There is no indication in the court record as of May 8 that the clock has started.
Woo has had a series of run-ins with authorities after being swept up in the federal corruption investigation of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine Kealoha, formerly the deputy Honolulu prosecutor in charge of that office’s career criminal division.
The court issued its “show cause” order on Monday, May 6, based on an April 23 petition by the Disciplinary Counsel.
In its petition to the court, ODC said Woo had failed to renew his membership in the Hawaii State Bar Association, a requirement for all active attorneys, and failed to respond to repeated communications sent to his registered residential and business addresses, as well as to a business email address….
Woo was arrested in June 2018 after failing to cooperate with the federal grand jury investigating the Kealohas. He had represented Big Island firefighter Jesse Ebersole, who pleaded guilty last year to charges that he conspired with Katherine Kealoha to cover up their personal relationship and lie to the grand jury.
In July, Woo was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury in the Kealoha probe, and to bring his cell phone and laptop computer. Instead of handing them over, Woo reported they had been stolen.
In September 2018, Honolulu police fatally shot a man during a drug raid on an apartment in the Century Center Condominium after he pointed a loaded gun at them. The gun turned out to be registered to Woo, and press reports at the time indicated the gun had not been reported stolen.
And in April 2019, Hawaii News Now reported Woo told police that he had been kidnapped at gunpoint by an ex-girlfriend and two other men….
read … Attorney linked to Kealoha investigation facing suspension from practice of law
Witness: Trisha Watson a ‘Close Friend’ of Katherine Kealoha
CB: … On Monday, attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department submitted a combined witness list that shows all the people who could be called to testify during the trial, which is set to begin next week with jury selection….
While there are some familiar names on the list, there are a few surprises most notably Hawaii News Now reporter Lynn Kawano, who has led the news station’s coverage of the case as it unfolded over the past four years or so.
Another person on that list is Trisha Watson-Sproat, who prosecutors describe as an “Attorney and Civil Beat Reporter.” Watson-Sproat is a columnist for Civil Beat who writes under the name Trisha Kehaulani Watson. She is also a close friend of Katherine Kealoha, and her involvement in the case stems from that relationship…
read … Hawaii Journalists Named As Witnesses In Kealoha Corruption Trial
Mrs Kaniela Ing Writes Report to Create a New Position for Herself
SA: … Once again, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women’s executive director, Khara Jobola-Carolus (aka Mrs Kaniela Ing), has collaborated with the head of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University, Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, to claim that sex trafficking is a major problem in Hawaii….
(This is about ‘getting money out of politics’—keep reading)
… Hawaii has long had a large number of runaway youth, many of them girls. Until recently, there has been little in the way of services for them. Now, a number of promising efforts have been undertaken, notably Girls Court and Project Kealahou. These projects are the results of state agencies’ efforts: the Judiciary in the case of Girls Court, and the Department of Health in the case of Project Kealahou.
The state also has changed the way it treats runaway youth. The Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF) has reduced the number of runaway youth held there by shifting its policies for admission. Finally, a shelter for homeless youth has been opened on the grounds of HYCF, also allowing for these youth to receive services without being detained or incarcerated.
Strangely, these initiatives are not mentioned in this report. Instead, its recommendations are for a “statewide training program,” a “centralized data collection effort,” and the formation of a “legislatively funded position of a statewide coordinator on the trafficking.”… (BINGO!)
Dec 1, 2018: Police Report ‘Threat’ Against State Women’s Commission Director was Fake—Timed to Coincide with Renewal of Employment Contract
read … Report stokes unfounded fear of sex trafficking in Hawaii
Former Head Of Hawaiian Home Lands Is Back At Agency In A New Job
CB: … One of the hotly debated topics of this year’s legislative session was whether the Senate would approve Gov. David Ige’s nomination of Jobie Masagatani for another term leading the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Masagatani frustrated many senators with her agency’s slow progress toward building homes for Native Hawaiians on their ancestral lands.
Ultimately Ige couldn’t drum up enough support within the Senate and the governor pulled her nomination. Instead, the Legislature approved DHHL deputy director William Aila for another term, despite concerns that his re-appointment would perpetuate the status quo.
On Wednesday afternoon, Aila — who is now serving as interim director of the department — emailed DHHL staff to announce that he’s hiring Masagatani as his executive assistant.
The position was previously held by Derek Kimura, who was paid $109,212 in 2018 according to public data. Kimura left the job in January, according to DHHL spokesman Cedric Duarte. ….
read … Former Head Of Hawaiian Home Lands Is Back At Agency In A New Job
HB1453: Steer Patients to Urgent Care not ER
SR: The first one is our community paramedicine bill, HB 1453… The idea is that, right now with emergency services, typically you have to send the person to the emergency room. But then, if they don’t go to the emergency room, then there actually is no payment that is executed. So, it’s a question of: How can we make sure that we can bill for those services that people might receive from our EMT services?
And then, it’s also a question of how to transport them to the most appropriate place. We know that our emergency rooms are being overcrowded, and sometimes we think [patients] don’t necessarily need emergency room treatment. So, community paramedicine will empower the paramedics on the scene to make the call, or consider whether or not that person maybe really should go to urgent care or some other clinic that does not have the high cost of the emergency room ….
read … Q&A: Rep. Della Au Belatti on the 2019 legislative session
Legislators Micro-Manage Your Health
SA: … Under Senate Bill 549, which aims to discourage consumption of soda and other sugary drinks among young people, restaurants that offer kids-meal combos will be required to promote water, unflavored milk or 100% fruit or vegetable juice as the default drink option….
Senate Bill 1405 requires public school educators to confiscate electronic cigarettes from students, and tasks the state Health Department with establishing a “safe harbor program” for youths to dispose of e-cigs and related paraphernalia….
House Bill 468, which appropriates $550,000 to re-establish the Healthy Aging Partnership Program. It offers Better Choices Better Health (Ke Ola Pono) and Enhance Fitness courses. Established in in 2003, the program lost funding last year….
read … Control Freaks
Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It
CB: … In 2012, the state took custody of her two children after child welfare workers concluded she had failed to prevent them from seeing fights she was having with her boyfriend. That’s considered a form of neglect.
Milam, while acknowledging her boyfriend battered her, denies that the children ever saw it — a fact she says is borne out in police reports.
Without notifying her, the state put her name on a list of people confirmed to have neglected or abused their children or put them at risk of that….
read … Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It