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Saturday, May 18, 2019
May 18, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:34 PM :: 1159 Views

Putting a spike into pension spiking

Hawaii: How Safe is Your Hospital?

HGEA: Contract Negotiations go to Arbitration

HGEA / UPW / HSTA: Opt Out Today

How a Robbery suspect was released from custody days before brazen attack

KHON: … "This case, although it seems unusual, is actually the norm. And that's one of the things I think is the problem with our current system is there's this revolving door," said Anticrime Advocate Michael Kitchens, who runs the Stolen Stuff Hawaii social media group.

Kitchens says Cabebe's background is a familiar replay.

Cabebe's theft record starts at age 18 on the Valley Isle. He works his way down to robbery and other felonies in a 2007 case, followed by assault charges while out on probation.

"If they're a repeat offender, they're habitual. There needs to be something that prevents them from going after our community," Kitchens says.

Cabebe did end up spending more than seven years in state custody on felony robbery and car theft and was paroled last Aug. The paroling authority didn't pursue reincarceration on a Jan. violation, because the max-out on his sentence would have been less than a month later, in Feb.

But it's what happened in recent days that ups the ante on the consequences of the habitual crime revolving door.

Cabebe fails to appear for a May 3 hearing for driving without a license. A contempt of court warrant is issued and he's caught May 5. His arrest log lists firearms offenses, too.

The next day he was in court for just the traffic warrant arrest, pled no contest and was released.

The gun part of his arrest isn't a factor at all.

Then just days later on Wednesday, after four victims in the Ala Moana area are robbed violently, police track down a car that matched the suspects' getaway vehicle description. Cabebe tries to run but police catch him -- one of the same officers who had arrested him just 10 days before.

"HPD is extremely frustrated" Kitchens said. "The officers that I talk to they see the same guys over and over again and they feel just as frustrated as the community does."

So how does this happen? A man who has already been through the correctional system for robbery, and caught just recently on a warrant with firearms and ammunition, is out within days and arrested in a violent robbery?

The Judiciary told Always Investigating: "No information regarding unregistered weapons was provided to the court" on that May 6 appearance for the prior day's traffic warrant arrest, even though firearms are cited on the arrest log.

The Honolulu Prosecutor's Office had a traffic-case attorney there but said in a statement, as of yesterday, that: "The Honolulu Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has not received information involving Mr. Cabebe and possible firearms or ammunition offenses."

Always Investigating pressed the Honolulu Police Department several times as to why Cabebe was released-pending-investigation on the gun matter, and why HPD didn't pass anything along about it from the May 5th arrest all the way through yesterday. …

"I really think that our leadership is in disarray in regards to the prosecutor's office," Kitchens said,…

This evening, the prosecutor's office charged Cabebe with four felony counts -- 1st degree robbery, two related to gun possession, and one for use of a firearm in commission of a felony. …

read … Robbery suspect released from custody days before brazen attack

Ala Moana Home Invasion Suspect Once Scored $462K State Settlement

SA: Keoki Cabebe, 32, and Stacey Costales, 34, were arrested Thursday and charged Friday with first-degree robbery, resisting arrest and weapons charges….The trio, brandishing firearms, entered an Ala Moana home when four people were inside. They include two men, ages 73 and 54, and two women, ages 46 and 31. Police said the suspects struck one person and took several belongings from multiple people….Costales was initially arrested for driving without a license, accidents involving serious injury and contempt warrants, but was arrested Friday while incarcerated on the first-degree robbery and weapons offenses…. Costales, also known as Stacey Maae, has felony convictions including first-degree burglary and car theft in 2004, along with misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor convictions.

Background:

read … Crime Pays

What Does it Take to get ONE Homeless Shelter-Refuser to Accept a ‘Free’ Apartment in Kakaako?

SA: … Since the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s five-part series on homelessness in Chinatown began running this week, life already has changed for at least one of the people featured who had been on the streets for 17 years.

Laurice Alapai twice got help to move into homeless shelters, but each time it never worked out.

Alapai, 46, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser one night last month on North Pauahi Street that, “When you’re out here a long time, it’s hard to acclimate to rules.”

But Alapai’s social workers, like so many others working to help Hawaii’s homeless, refused to give up.

So on Monday, Jovie Espinueva — a housing intake specialist for the Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center who also works with Catholic Charities Hawaii; and Nicole Ward — a substance use outreach worker with the Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center — picked up Alapai under a bridge near Chinatown and drove Alapai to her new, temporary home in the Villages of Maili.

The social workers told Alapai, “get in my car,” Alapai remembered.

Alapai loves her new apartment and sounded optimistic about her future on Thursday after four days in her new home.

“Here I’ve got my own little space to myself,” Alapai said. “I have a bathtub with hot water. It’s my very own. It’s beautiful.”

But it’s only temporary because on June 21 Alapai is schedule to move into a new, one-bedroom Housing First apartment that’s still under construction in the Ward area….

Tenants typically pay 30% of the rent, usually from their government benefits.

Because Alapai has no income, Catholic Charities Hawaii will cover Alapai’s share of her $1,400 a month apartment while social workers help her apply for government benefits, Espinueva said….

Alapai said she was initially reluctant to move off of the streets because of her 4-year-old, pit bull-mix dog, Sanka….

In the past two years, Morishige said, HELP has gotten 312 homeless people into shelters or treatment. And LEAD has enrolled 50 homeless people into its program, including 37 who are receiving case management….

One of those helped by both programs was Aurelius T. Warren, 63, who was invited to speak at a news conference Wednesday at the city’s new Punawai Rest Stop in Iwilei.

Warren, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, showed up in a gray, three-piece suit, black dress shirt, colorful tie and lots of bling.

“Angel’s my street name,” Warren told the Star- Advertiser.

He had served 13 years in an Arizona prison for cocaine possession and promotion and was homeless in Aala Park in 2018….

“I had been running in and out of Chinatown since the ’70s,” Warren said…

read … Apply More Force 

Kealoha Grandmother won’t be able to testify in person at Kealoha trial

HNN: … Puana’s statements were recorded on April 29. She testified on video and faced cross examination from the Kealohas’ defense team.

Hawaii Chief U.S. Judge John Michael Seabright will have to rule on any objections, and the recording will have to be edited according to those rulings before the jury can watch the video. …

read … Doctors: Key witness won’t be able to testify in person at Kealoha trial

Maui Council Gives Big Wet Kiss to King Biofuel Biz

MN: … For gasoline and diesel oil, rates will remain the same at 23 cents per gallon, while biodiesel will stay at $0 and ethanol, methanol and liquefied petroleum gas at 11.5 cents per gallon.

The Economic Development and Budget Committee had initially sent a proposal to the full council to keep the rates the same, but later added the biodiesel blends category with a 11.5 cent tax. Biodiesel blends include a mix of biodiesel and petroleum diesel.

On Friday, the council spent about an hour tinkering with the biodisel blends tax rate, after Vice Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez proposed to eliminate the biodiesel blend category and strike its tax.

(Clue: If there is no ‘category’ for blends, B5 will be ‘diesel’ and will be taxed at 23 cents per gallon.  Now B5 will be taxed at 6 cents and still won’t be labelled.)

DoE: Biodiesel concentrations of up to B5 to be called diesel fuel, with no separate labeling required at the pump

read … Council imposes 6-cent tax on biodiesel blends

PUC Approval Being Used to Leverage Lower Geothermal Costs?

HTH: …As Puna Geothermal Venture moves toward restarting following last year’s Kilauea eruption, a new power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Co. might be on the table.

Mike Kaleikini, senior director of Hawaii affairs for Ormat, PGV’s parent company, said talks are ongoing with HELCO, and revolve around delinking the cost of power from the price of oil. During peak hours, the first 25 megawatts PGV sells to HELCO is tied to that cost….

Kaleikini said PGV is interested in delinking the cost of power from oil to provide more certainty about its revenue…. (Uh-huh)

In a May 9 letter, the Public Utilities Commission told HELCO a public hearing will be required for restoration of transmission lines to the plant. The PUC also is encouraging the parties to renegotiate the power purchase agreement to lower costs….

It’s possible PGV will need to construct new wells. However, he stated PGV would not need new permits from DLNR, since it previously received approval to construct as many as 28….

read … PGV talks with HELCO are ongoing

Lalamilo Windfarm Sues—Demands Water Rate Payers buy Useless Electricity

HTH: … The claims stem primarily from LWC’s view that the department has failed to fulfill wind energy purchasing obligations as outlined in a power purchase agreement the entities entered into in 2013….

LWC served DWS with the complaint a little more than seven months after a decision by the Hawaii County Water Board, which ruled the contract language stipulates the department buy only as much wind energy as it can, when it can.

It is LWC’s position that the contract stipulates DWS purchase at least 8,000 megawatt hours (Mwh) annually to keep the energy project financially viable. Such purchasing equates to roughly $180,000 monthly….

LWC won a county bid in 2013 to build wind turbines that would exclusively supply eight deep wells at the DWS Lalamilo-Parker Well Sites in South Kohala — wells that service Hawaii Island’s major resorts on the Kohala Coast and account for 25 percent of DWS energy consumption.

The plans for a wind farm were part of a county push toward renewable energy goals as the department is Hawaii Electric Company’s largest customer. The wells utilize wind power when it’s both available and DWS has occasion to use it, while relying on HELCO-supplied energy at all other times….

Wind energy isn’t always available, though it is frequently, but if water storage tanks are full then much of the energy produced goes unused. Potential solutions include building more water storage capacity for the wells or stockpiling energy by way of battery storage — both of which would require significant DWS investment….

read … Your water bill going up

Energy efficiency bill awaits Gov. David Ige’s signature

SA: … Hawaii legislators have passed a bill establishing energy efficiency standards for state appliances that go beyond federal requirements.

House Bill 556, introduced by state Rep. Nicole Lowen, is expected to save Hawaii residents and business up to $537 million in cumulative utility bill savings over 15 years. If signed into law by Gov. David Ige, Hawaii would join several other states with the standards, including California, Colorado and Washington.

The bill establishes energy and water efficiency standards for five products not currently covered at the federal level, including computers and computer monitors, faucets, showerheads, sprinklers and certain fluorescent lamps….

read … Energy efficiency bill awaits Gov. David Ige’s signature

Maui: Pay raises for council, mayor are put on hold

MN: … Maui County Council members and the mayor won’t see a raise for the time being after the Salary Commission Friday decided to delay action on increasing their salaries.

Instead, the commission plans to further study pay raises for the council and mayor, a process that could take six months to two years. The decision comes just five months after the commission voted to boost pay for county directors and deputy directors by 3 percent.

“I was very supportive of the directors and deputy directors getting a small increase,” commissioner Peter Martin said after the meeting. “But I wanted to study council and the mayor salaries because I knew they were higher than the other counties. The more I looked into it, I think we should rethink how we could get the very best council.”…

read … Pay raises for council, mayor are put on hold

Recycling Public Officials

SA: … It was confirmed Monday that Ford Fuchigami, who was Gov. David Ige’s principal adviser until recently, will rejoin the state Department of Transportation, which he’d previously helmed for about three years starting in 2014. He’s been hired as administrative services officer for DOT’s Airports Division, earning about $150,000 yearly.

That comes on the heels of two other recyclings of Cabinet-level officials. Ige had hoped to re-appoint Jobie Masagatani as director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and install Rod Becker as director of Budget and Finance — but both nominees, who needed Senate confirmation, ran into political headwinds. No worries, apparently: Masagatani has been hired as executive assistant to acting DHHL director William Aila, her former deputy; while Becker is now the Budget Department’s financial administration division chief. …

read … Top Three Years

30 years ago, Maui development set the course for modern protections of iwi kupuna

HNN: … Thirty years ago, roughly 1,200 ancient burials were re-interred in Kapalua on Maui.

The historic discovery at Honokahua sparked protests, altered the course of a luxury hotel and launched Hawaii’s burial protections.

The bones from Honokahua dated from 950 AD to the 1700′s and were considered one of the most historic and important archaeological finds.

When they were disinterred, there were no state rules or regulations over their care.

In 1987, developers started excavating the sand dunes at Honokahua Bay to build the Ritz-Carlton resort.

The developer had agreements with the state, OHA and a Hawaiian cultural group, but the digging desecrated far more than expected….

read … 30 years ago, Maui development set the course for modern protections of iwi kupuna

Boats Sinking All Over Ala Wai

HNN: … The state’s continuing struggles to remove the Navatek II are symptomatic of its challenges at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor.

On Friday, Hawaii News Now found at least half a dozen sinking or impounded boats at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, and users said there are many more.

Two of the boats we found were fully submerged next to a makai pier, which is not being used. The boats have been there for several months, residents said….

read … Derelict boats at Ala Wai Harbor underscore bigger issues at facility

Anti-Military Activists’ Trick to Make Military Look Secretive

WHT: … West Hawaii Today was banned from a meeting Thursday outlining Army plans to manage historic resources at Pohakuloa Training Area and Kawaihae Military Reservation.

A reporter was told, “This is not a media event,” as she stood inside an Aupuni Center meeting room where the general public was freely being allowed in. The reporter questioned the decision, but was told the participating parties might not feel comfortable expressing their opinions in the presence of the media….

Some 75-100 people were in attendance, according to Jim Albertini, an activist who has frequently been at odds with the military. The meeting was originally intended to be limited to consulting parties who are on a list, but it was opened to the public prior to the reporter being told to leave.

“The meeting was a legal requirement of the military,” Albertini said on his Facebook page. “They tried to exclude the public but people would not have it. They demanded entry.”

PTA Public Affairs Officer Michael Donnelly put the audience count at fewer than 50. He acknowledged that not all attendees were consulting parties on the list, saying they were guests of consulting parties.

(Translation: This was originally a ‘consulting parties’ meeting but Albertini violated the rules by inviting random anti-military activists, effectively making it ‘public’) 

read … Reporter told to leave meeting about Army management plans for historic resources at PTA and Kawaihae Military Reservation

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