UHERO: Hawaii economy enters soft patch
Legislative Agenda: CSC Behind Seven Bills for Campaign Finance reform
Busted: Josh Green Hiding Out of State Contributions--Out $13K
Campaign Spending: John Carroll Declines to Seek Criminal Charges Against Eric Ryan
Confused about GMOs and pesticides? Here’s a science-based handbook for combating anti-biotech fallacies
Property Tax Onslaught Looms
Mauna Kea: “While we were waiting for things to happen, inactivity is putting out the message that the police are weak”
HTH: …Hawaii County Police Chief Paul Ferreira said that during the four months of the traffic enforcement operation, Canda’s complaint was the only one brought before the commission or to his office. The chief also disputed the allegation the enforcement effort was aimed at Native Hawaiians or protesters.
“At no time did we ever target the Hawaiian community. In fact, it was specifically stated we do not go after people who are flying Hawaiian flags, we do not go after these type of individuals,” Ferreira said. “We did not criminalize these people.
“… Juergen Canda is a retired law enforcement officer from the Hawaii County Police Department. He knows full well the process by which you can make a complaint against any officer in the department, any member of the department. Yet, to this date, other than a complaint made against me for this, there has been no complaints filed against any of our officers for any of the traffic stops that we conducted.”
Ferreira said the public should be appalled that the enforcement on the highway resulted in 22 drunken driving arrests.
“How did we end up with 22 DUI arrests on the mountain, on Daniel K. Inouye Highway?” Ferreira asked. “We’re not talking about a roadway that goes from Joe’s Bar to 27th or Main Street. We’re talking a roadway that’s a 60 mile-an-hour roadway that traverses the entire island. There’s no bar up there. There’s no bar that’s even in a close proximity. Yet, we arrested 22 individuals for drunk driving. In other words, 22 people were over the limit. We’ve had, I believe, 54 child-restraint citations. Think about it — you’ve got 54 kids who are riding on a 60-mile-an-hour roadway that are illegal.
“That is what the community should be appalled at. That is what Juergen Canda should be here complaining about — why is this happening?”
Maj. Samuel Jelsma, the commander in charge of the Maunakea operation, denied that the enforcement was “a tactical military operation.”
“Ultimately, this is my operation and, unfortunately, the chief is getting a lot of flak from this operation. There’s a lot of misinformation out in the public,” Jelsma said. He added that officers assigned to the protest area needed to do “what they do, and traffic enforcement is something that police do on a daily basis.”
“While we were waiting for things to happen, inactivity is putting out the message that the police are weak,” he said. “… We’re getting all these complaints, we’re just sitting there, officers are getting paid overtime. And the worst thing that could happen, in my mind … while we’re having this pause in operations, is we get a traffic fatality on Saddle Road. If we get a traffic fatality on Saddle Road, the public is going to point the finger at the police and say, ‘What are the police doing up there? You’ve got all these officers up here, and we have a traffic fatality because the police aren’t doing nothing.’
“… Our enhanced enforcement ended (Thursday) and (on Friday), a car flipped over on Saddle Road. … While we were doing this enforcement, there was not one fatality on Saddle Road,” Jelsma said….
Background: Complaint: ‘Enhanced’ Maunakea traffic enforcement is unconstitutional
read … Police commission rejects complaint by retired sergeant
Maui Anti-GMO Circus Ends: Kelly King Ousted —Alice Lee to be new Council Chair
MN: … A change in leadership midway through a council term is unprecedented, according to longtime politicians and members of the media.
“I don’t believe this has ever happened before — not in the middle of a term,” said former Mayor Alan Arakawa, who has served three terms as mayor and three terms as council member….
those with direct knowledge of the situation, who did not want to be identified, said King created a difficult working environment that drove qualified people away and created “strained relationships” with Office of Council Services staff.
The “breaking point” that led council members to seek leadership alternatives were the resignations of County Clerk Josiah Nishita and Deputy County Clerk Maggie Clark.
Nishita was named deputy managing director in Mayor Michael Victorino’s administration in an announcement made Monday. He remains in his clerk position until sometime next year to help with the transition.
With the first ever all-mail election only eight months away, the council will be scrambling to find qualified professionals to fill the Office of the County Clerk positions.
“That was the breaking point that caused council to consider what changes are needed to move forward,” said a person with knowledge of the situation, who declined to be identified. “Had it not been a resignation, it would have been a different outcome.”
King’s first year as chairwoman did have its controversies.
In August, veteran Council Member Riki Hokama took issue with King’s decision to remove a more than 45-year-old tapestry that had hung in the Council Chambers since 1972 and replace it with the county seal.
The tapestry, commissioned by the county and created by world-renowned weaver and Hawaii native, the late Alice Kagawa Parrott, was removed “without a clear cause or reason and without an opportunity for public input,” Hokama said.
King said there were concerns over the cleanliness of the tapestry and mentioned support to remove the tapestry by new council members. She said she was not required to get approval from other members to remove it.
In the same month, Kihei resident Madge Schaefer filed a complaint with the county Board of Ethics about King engaging in council discussions on a proposed biodiesel fuel tax. King is vice president and co-founder of Pacific Biodiesel.
King spoke in detail about her biofuel production business and the impact of a proposed 12 cent a gallon tax on biodiesel during council discussions in April. She abstained from voting on the tax proposal.
The Board of Ethics in August advised King to avoid discussing matters in council from which she has abstained from voting because of potential conflicts of interest and ethics issues.
And the Maui News in November reported that King allowed council members and executive assistants to stay at the Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott Maui for the Hawaii State Association of Counties Conference on the county dime. She apparently also sought a reimbursement for her hotel stay, while later claiming the filing was a staffer’s mistake.
King said during an interview Friday that she “has no regrets.”
(Translation: She’d do it all over again if you let her.)
MN: Kelly King’s resignation as chair came as a shock
Meanwhile: Current council makeup not conducive to county manager type of governance -- Maui County would be well served by a county manager system of governance, but it is unlikely given the current culture of the County Council majority that a well-informed professionally qualified individual would even consider applying.
read … Anti-GMO Freak Show Ends
HPD to propose ban on so-called ‘ghost guns’ amid increase in gun violence
HNN: … Ghost guns have no serial numbers so they’re impossible to track and you don’t need a background check to get one. And right now, they’re completely legal in Hawaii….
Tom Tomimbang, managing partner at 808 Gun Club, said ghost guns ― from pistols to AR15s to AK47s ― can be easily ordered and shipped to just about anyplace.
They’re legal because what you’re getting is not a complete firearm, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Instead, they’re 80% complete….
Sources say 34-year-old Dustin Spencer used a ghost gun on officers in the parking lot of New City Nissan in Kalihi earlier this week.
They also say a ghost gun was used to kill 20-year-old Alan Jennings outside of Lucky Strike at Ala Moana Center in September.
In addition to the creating a task force to tackle the trend, Ballard said her agency will propose legislation in the upcoming session to ban the possession of ghost guns….
Related: Hawaii 'Ghost Guns' Already Illegal
read … HPD to propose ban on so-called ‘ghost guns’ amid increase in gun violence
Homeless Dude from Connecticut Charged in Volcano Golf Club Arson
SA: … Hawaii Island police charged today a 32-year-old man with second-degree arson in connection with a Nov. 17 fire in the Volcano Golf & Country Club subdivision in Volcano.
Justin Michael Bardwell is accused of breaking into and vandalizing a vacation rental before setting a fire that destroyed many of the building’s contents prior to the Hawaii Fire Department extinguishing the blaze.
Bardwell, held in lieu of $10,000 bail, was arrested today at the Old Kona Airport Park (where else?) in Kailua-Kona and is scheduled to appear in Hilo District Court Monday, police said. …
read … More Homeless Mayhem