Billy Kenoi's friend Malu Motta sentenced to life without parole for Pali Golf Course killings
Ethan "Malu" Motta was sentenced today to life in federal prison without parole, almost six years after he and two others murdered two men and critically injured a third in a violent underworld dispute over control of illegal gambling games in the Islands.....
His lawyer, Richard Pafundi, called the sentencing a "somber occasion" and said he will "vigorously" pursue an appeal of the conviction, centering on why the trial was held in federal rather than state court. (Simple, if this were State Court, Motta would be out on time served.)
Malu Motta: “I need one governor so he can pardon me.”
Billy Kenoi at Shooters—and the Pali shooter—the connections
Billy Kenoi Helped Pali Shooter
And why the Big Island media didn't cover this story? They all wanted jobs in the new administration...
“From Hack to Flack”: the Big Island newspaper-Democrat revolving door
Billy Kenoi associate Malu Motta gets life without parole for Pali shootings
SB: Golf course killer gets life sentence
Education official: Hawaii should not balance budget on 'backs of children' (Obama flunkey's flunkey campaigns for Abercrombie)
"They need to dig deep and tighten their belt in other places," ... he will take that message to the governor and other state officials...U.S. Department of Education Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary for communications and outreach.
(More empty political rhetoric from an Obamabot official stumping for the Abercrombie.)
SB: Furloughs further blasted
He was escorted around Niu Valley Middle School by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Abercrombie, who plans to run for governor next year, said the next governor should be granted the authority to appoint the state superintendent of education. Moreover, he said the usefulness of the state school board has ended.
RELATED: Furlough negotiations: $50M ransom offered, but unions balk at releasing hostages
CBS News Nails Abercrombie for giving multi-million dollar earmarks to campaign donors
For example, Congressman Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii awarded Pacific Biodiesel a $3.5 million earmark to try to grow fuel for the Army in Hawaii. It turns out the founder of Pacific Biodiesel is a co-chair of the Congressman's gubernatorial campaign.
The pattern is repeated over and over.
Abercrombie also gets donations from defense contractor BAE. BAE gets a defense earmark for "mammal awareness."
SB: Don't raise jobless fund tax too fast
The state is examining relief such as adjusting coverage, eligibility, benefit levels, wage base and tax-level triggers, according to Darwin Ching, state director of labor and industrial relations. Even then, he says, the average increase in business taxes would be five times the present level.
Hawaii could join other states in borrowing millions from the federal government to lessen the immediate damage. Loans are interest-free the first year but would be 4.76 percent the second year, at which time the state is likely to be more able to pay the interest....
As the nation recovers from the recession, further action will be required at the federal level, perhaps by legislation, to assist states avoiding prolonged fiscal problems. In particular, moves should be made to lengthen the period before states need to pay interest on what amount to emergency loans.
Waikiki: First half of 2010 lacks big events; corporations may be shying away from Isles (thanks, Obama/Biden)
Waikiki hotels, businesses and restaurants say the upcoming Honolulu Marathon, coupled with two conventions (of the American Dental Association in October and Jehovah's Witnesses in November) have provided a big economic boost during an otherwise gloomy year for Hawai'i's top visitor destination.
Both conventions generated an estimated $100 million in visitor spending.
And the marathon is expected to rake in about the same.
But the good times are expected to be short-lived: The Hawai'i Convention Center is expecting far fewer events in 2010, compared with this year, and many of them are scheduled for the latter half of the year. In all, 17 events are scheduled for the center in 2010, and they're expected to generate 525,000 room nights.
In 2009, about 30 events generated 628,000 room nights.
Media Council is claiming small victory over Raycom
"It is interesting that Raycom has already made some changes in the deal," said Angela Campbell, a faculty professor with the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law School. The institute is representing the media council before the Federal Communications Commission.
Campbell is in town for the media council's public forum, "Save Local Television, Stop Big Media," tomorrow at the Musicians' Association offices at 949 Kapiolani Blvd. (Former site of ACORN Hawaii HQ)
Raycom Honolulu TV Deal: Honolulu Community Media Council has its own issues with "media control"
How HMC helped get Obama elected: The Frank Marshall Davis Network in Hawaii
ADV: Lawyer says TV merger not done deal
State bankruptcies decelerate
Hawaii bankruptcy filings in November slipped 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the first month-over-month decrease in more than three years, according to preliminary figures from U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Despite the drop, Honolulu bankruptcy attorney Michael Glenn doesn't see a downward trend developing.
"I have 15 cases pending, waiting to be filed," he said
Honolulu's city auditor to retire
Tanaka was Honolulu's first independent city auditor for the City and County of Honolulu and was appointed to the position in July 2003. He recently informed the City Council that he will not seek appointment to a second six-year term.
HR: Honolulu’s City Auditor to Retire at the End of 2009
KPD works to recruit officers, bust drug dealers
And in the two years since Darryl Perry became chief of the Kaua‘i Police Department, five known Kaua‘i drug-trafficking organizations have been dismantled or diminished by arrests or other disruptions, according to Perry’s report on accomplishments for 2008-09.
The busts — all of operations dealing crystal methamphetamine, or ice, and cocaine and marijuana — have led to the removal of more than $3 million worth of illegal drugs off the island’s streets, including 2,644 marijuana plants valued at $2.64 million and 16,187 grams (over 36 pounds) of processed marijuana valued at $405,000.
Some 512 grams of ice worth $128,000 has been confiscated, along with 30 grams of cocaine. Related seizures netted seven firearms, $147,235 in cash and 25 vehicles, according to Perry’s report.
(Again, the marijuana dealers are the same people as the ice dealers.)
Kauai: 2 commissioners resign over ethics opinion
One of the two was Lorna Nishimitsu, an attorney with the firm Belles, Graham, Proudfoot, Wilson and Chun. She has been a frequent testifier on behalf of transient vacation rental owners at county Planning Commission and Kaua‘i County Council meetings.
Nishimitsu was the target of one of Board of Ethics member Rolf Bieber’s three complaints against county officials earlier this year alleging violations of 20.02D.
Vog triggers ag loans; Second disaster declaration made
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering more low-interest loans to Hawaii Island farmers whose crops are suffering from the vog, declaring the county as a primary natural disaster for a second time in less than 18 months.
But loans aren't the answer, says one protea grower, who pointed out that last year's elevated volcanic emissions nearly snuffed out South Kona and Ka'u's protea industry....Of the 48 protea growers in operation a year and a half ago, three remain in the region....