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Thursday, March 10, 2016
March 10, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:09 PM :: 3492 Views

Over 15,000 Ballots Cast in Hawaii Republican Presidential Caucus

Beyond Political Sovereignty: Pathways for Native Hawaiian Advancement

Hawaii’s Deficit Disaster: Learning from Illinois

Raising Hawaii Taxes in 2016 - Unconstitutional Economics Exposed

Hawaii Cruz Campaigners Disciplined by National Cruz Campaign

Hawaii GOP caucus -- party hand-counts remaining ballots

KHON: …In 2012, 10,000 Republicans voted in the Hawaii caucus. On Tuesday night, 15,000 cast their ballots, marking a 50-percent increase.

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls from people saying, ‘You know, I usually vote Democrat, but I want to vote Republican, how can I do that?'” said Hawaii Republican Party executive director Marcia Tagavilla….

Out of the 15,000 ballots cast, 2,000 were provisional ballots. The provisional ballot allows voters to vote at a different district, in a location most convenient for them.

Volunteers will now spend the next two days counting those provisional ballots by hand….

read … 15,000

OHA Cronies: Seat a Government Before January 20, 2017, and Obama Will Make us a Tribe

HNN: …"This gathering that they did was not for nothing. I think in enunciating what they would like to see in the society. It's really the opening ground for a really fine debate, but in terms of being a governing document -- there's really some fundamental disconnects between what they have placed in some of these articles and the political reality that we live with," said Dr. Jon Osorio, a professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

After decades of several failed attempts at self-determination, political analysts say timing is key -- and this may be the best shot for Native Hawaiians, while President Obama is still in office. They say the biggest challenge will be trying to create legitimacy for the process within the Native Hawaiian community, while also operating within existing federal guidelines….

In order to avoid litigation, no state or federal funding can be used -- so the plan is to raise money privately to hold a ratification election. If ratified, the constitution will pave the way for negotiations about how a government-to-government relationship would work….

read … January 20, 2017 is Coming Fast

Rep. Choy’s bill would let legislators take jobs at the University of Hawaii

ILind: One of the many bills that was unanimously approved in the House and sent to the Senate this week would allow Legislators to simultaneously hold positions at the University of Hawaii.

If approved, it would apparently make it possible for sitting legislators to apply for positions at UH at the same time voting on the budget and other bills affecting the university.

Of course, we’re wondering who is hoping to push their way into a UH job. But, in general, it’s staring to sound more and more like someone wants UH to be the new Bishop Estate, doesn’t it?

read … Rep. Choy’s bill would let legislators take jobs at the University of Hawaii

HB2408: DoT to Award Secret Land Permits

SA: Legislators are advancing a bill that effectively would shut out the public from the decision-making process in the awarding of temporary land permits by the state Department of Transportation.

Under House Bill 2408, the agency would be given the authority to unilaterally issue month-to-month revocable permits — land disposition agreements that already have come under heavy criticism at two other state agencies because of poor-management problems.

The DOT’s revocable permits currently must be approved by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which places such items on its agenda for regularly scheduled meetings and provides the public an opportunity to weigh in before a vote is taken.

The bill would remove BLNR from the process and authorize the transportation agency to approve the permits for temporary occupation of state land at or near local airports and harbors. The Transportation Department has issued about 200 revocable permits, mostly for uses related to airport or harbor operations.

Unlike at the departments of Land and Natural Resources and Hawaiian Home Lands, which are considering ways to reform their revocable permit systems, the DOT is not overseen by a governing board subject to the state Sunshine Law.

That means the DOT director, under the Ige administration-proposed bill, would be able to award the month-to-month permits without giving the public a say.

Opponents of HB 2408 say the proposed change would undermine transparency and public accountability, further eroding trust in government….

read … Land permits bill bypasses public

Kauai: Report Debunks Every Anti-Pesticide Claim

KE: Here's the gist of the Joint Fact Finding Group's newly released report on pesticide use by Kauai agricultural — though you won't find it until page 52 of a 105-page report:

[T]here is no data from human samples (e.g. concentrations of specific pesticides in blood, urine, or tissue samples) to indicate actual exposure levels to pesticides on Kauaʻi.

Yes, despite all their claims of school children being sickened, and residents being routinely poisoned, the anti-GMO activists could not produce a single medical report or test to show that anyone has even had any actual pesticide exposure, much less been harmed.

Heck, there isn't even “clear causal relationships or strong correlations" to link pesticide use and human/environmental harm, according to the report.

The oft-repeated claim by Councilman Gary Hooser and his followers regarding alarming birth defect rates on the westside is also debunked:

Despite these inconsistencies between individual data sets, none of them indicated significant differences between birth defect rates for the Westside vs. other areas of Kauaʻi.

Similarly, the group did not find any elevated cancer rates on the westside, “nor did the JFF find higher rates for the cancers associated with pesticides in the literature.” ….

read … Musings: No More Nothing

Federal investigation into police chief broadens

HNN: The federal criminal probe of Honolulu's police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife has grown significantly in recent months, so much so that a second federal prosecutor has been brought in from California to assist with the case, multiple law enforcement sources say.

A central development: The police chief's wife, the head of the city prosecutor's Career Criminal Division, is now being characterized as a central focus of the FBI investigation.

Sources also say that a number of Honolulu police officers and other witnesses have testified before a federal grand jury, whose members will decide whether one of Hawaii's power couples should be indicted on charges of public corruption and civil rights violations.

At the center of the FBI investigation into Honolulu Police Department Chief Louis Kealoha and wife Katherine, sources say and court documents show, is a rancorous family dispute over money.

And perhaps most explosively, the FBI is investigating whether the chief, his wife, and the police department violated Puana’s civil rights, deceived investigators and abused taxpayer resources for their personal needs in the course of investigating the theft.

"What's laid on the table against the chief is huge," says University of Hawaii Criminology Instructor, Aaron Hunger, after being briefed on what Hawaii News Now has learned….

read … FBI Coming

Honolulu police chief ‘exceeds expectations’ in annual evaluation  (Wow.  Just wow.)

KHON: …According to the commission, his job performance was evaluated in five key areas of responsibility: financial, leadership, managerial, police commission relations, and community relations.

The commissioners rated his performance as “Exceeds Expectations.”

The commission said in a news release that it believes Kealoha was successful in effectively managing HPD and ensuring that public safety was maintained at all times, “despite concerns to the contrary expressed through the media.”

According to commission chair Ron Taketa, “The commissioners remain confident in Chief Kealoha’s ability to lead the Department as it continues to address the challenges of modern law enforcement as well as the public’s evolving expectations of its police personnel.”….

SA: Police chief gets a good assessment

(Meanwhile the FBI is still investigating….)

read … Expectations of What?

Ex-officer was bookie during HPD tenure, prosecutors say

SA: A former police officer serving a federal prison sentence for extortion says he was also an online sports gambling bookie while working for the Honolulu Police Department, according to federal court records.

Roddy Takao Tsunezumi, 39, was sentenced in U.S. District Court last year to a 33-month prison term for trying to extort $15,000 from the husband and wife owners of a Honolulu hostess bar who had turned to him for help. He pleaded guilty to the charge in July 2014. Federal prosecutors dropped another charge against him involving possession and sale of stolen vehicles.

As part of his cooperation agreement, Tsunezumi is scheduled to testify against Honolulu police officer Landon K. Rudolfo, who Tsunezumi says knowingly purchased a stolen sport utility vehicle from him.

The government says Rudolfo knew Tsunezumi was selling stolen cars on which vehicle identification number plates had been switched with those from other cars. Prosecutors say Rudolfo placed an order for a Toyota 4Runner, then sold it for more than twice what he paid Tsunezumi.

A federal grand jury charged Rudolfo in November with conspiring to and trafficking in stolen vehicles. In addition to buying the stolen 4Runner, Rudolfo is accused of handing over another SUV to Tsunezumi so the owners, who are his friends, could make a fraudulent theft claim with their insurer. Trial for the 11-year HPD veteran is scheduled to begin Monday.

An HPD spokeswoman says Rudolfo is on leave without pay….

read … Another One

Missing OCCC extended furlough inmate captured, arrested for attempted murder

HNN: An Oahu Community Correctional Center extended furlough inmate who had been on the run since January was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder, the Honolulu Police Department said.

Officers recognized the suspect, 36-year-old John Luna, around 5:40 p.m. in the Ala Moana area where he “utilized a vehicle in a manner that placed the lives of two on-duty police officers at risk,” according to a police report. The vehicle then collided with a “fixed object,” and police subsequently arrested Luna near Kapiolani Boulevard and Keeaumoku Street.

While investigating, officers also found illegal narcotics.

read … Missing OCCC extended furlough inmate captured, arrested for attempted murder

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