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Thursday, April 7, 2016
April 7, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:32 PM :: 4325 Views

Power Struggle: OHA Chair Robert Lindsey Hospitalized After Stroke

Senator Sam Slom Undergoes Hospital Testing

Full Text: State Supreme Court Decides to allow Koa Ridge to be Built

What Does Evenwel v. Abbott Mean For "One Person, One Vote?"

The Future of Farming on Maui

Guam Can't Duck Suit Over Native Land Grab

Does Legalizing Marijuana Mean You Can Drive Stoned?

Hawaii Tax Freedom Day April 19

GAO: Hawaii’s COFA migrant cost math inaccurate

Honolulu Police Commission Explains How it Pretends to Not Know About FBI Kealoha Investigation

HNN: …Ron Taketa, chair of the Honolulu Police Commission, said the commission has not yet received any type of confirmation about the grand jury proceedings.  (LOLROTF!)

We found out the commission has contacted the FBI numerous times, but has not been able to find out anything (in order to provide themselves with an alibi.)

“What kind of questions have you been asking?” KHON2 asked.  (Watch how this scheme works.)

“We’ve been asking the status of the investigation, what the nature of the investigation is, are there any focused investigations on the chief himself. The federal office has not been able to confirm or deny anything for us,” said Taketa.  (Which is precisely what the Commissioners expect from the FBI.)

FBI special agent Tom Simon says by law, federal officials cannot confirm or deny a grand jury or investigation to anyone, including police commissioners.  (And of course the commissioners know this.)

read … Feigned Ignorance

Blue Flu: Police Sickout Protests Overtime Piggybacking Crackdown

HNN: As many as half the patrol officers on one shift in Honolulu Police Department’s Kalihi district staged a sickout for three days last month in protest of their managers' attempt to crackdown on overtime, sources told Hawaii News Now on Wednesday….

HPD spent overtime holding over officers from previous shifts and calling in others from days off to cover the vacant posts….

Maafala said the police union has filed grievances on behalf of two Kalihi officers who had their shifts changed after their captain accused them of "piggybacking,” calling in extra, unnecessary officers to run up overtime handling routine complaints about public drinking and trespassing in city parks after they're closed….

Sources said Kalihi police managers are also trying to cut down on overtime in DUI arrests, when officers are accused of bringing in extra colleagues so they'll get called to testify in court later and earn overtime.

Victor Bakke, a former deputy prosecutor who’s now a criminal defense attorney who handles drunken driving cases daily in court, said city prosecutors sometimes subpoena seven or more officers for one drunken driving case when just one or two will do.

"If they don't subpoena the officers, then there's no piggybacking, because the officer is gonna know that they're not going to go to court and collect their overtime unless they are essential to prove the prosecutor's case," Bakke said….

read … Piggybacking

No Re-Branding the HPD’s Crazy Criminal Wrongdoing

Cataluna: …Just about everyone can tell a story about the time HPD really came through for them in a personal way to keep them safe or diffuse a problem or help get back stolen stuff. Just about everyone can also tell a story about the time HPD ticked them off because the dispatcher was dismissive on the phone or it took seemingly forever for patrol officers to arrive at the scene or, when they got there, it was clear they weren’t really feeling like breaking a sweat to save the day.

Then there’s the parade of misbehaving officers, beating girlfriends, beating suspects, shooting guns in bars. Most recently we’ve got one charged with selling a stolen SUV. And the tangled family drama with the chief and his wife and her uncle and the mailbox that just doesn’t seem to end. Family squabble gone crazy or criminal wrongdoing? No one’s talking, so we’re left to guess and hope for the best.

There’s no re-branding that kind of action….

read … No Rebranding

Sandwich Isles Can’t Shake Taint of Criminal Al Hee

SA: …Sandwich Isles Communications, which provides phone and Internet service on Hawaiian homelands, is trying desperately to delay the inevitable.

But perhaps it’s nearing the end of its road, unable to shed the taint of corruption after founder Albert Hee was convicted of tax fraud and skimming $4 million from Sandwich Isles’ parent company.

The latest blow came on Wednesday, when the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) once again decided against recertifying Sandwich Isles as an “eligible telecommunications carrier” (ETC), a designation needed so that it can position itself to have federal subsidies flow into its coffers. It was the right decision, given the ongoing investigations by the Federal Communications Commission into the company’s finances.

Even before Wednesday’s denial, Sandwich Isles, in an unusual and dubious move, was asking the Hawaiian Homes Commission to certify it as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Trouble is, the Hawaiian Homes Commission seemingly has no authority to issue that certification.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission instead should begin crafting a sound backup plan to usher in a smooth transition to another telecommunications provider so there are no interruptions in service for its 3,000 customers living on Hawaiian homelands. It is unlikely that Sandwich Isles’ situation will change anytime soon….

read … Criminal Hee goes byebye

Pot of Gold: Caldwell, Council Continue to Grab for Homeless Funding

SA: Plans by Mayor Kirk Caldwell to create a housing development division appear doomed, and the future of the Hale Mauliola homeless center at Sand Island and related programs could be as well, under the latest draft of the $2.3 billion operating budget that moved out of the City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday.

Council members sitting in on the hearing said the administration has done little to tackle the island’s homeless situation and not worked cooperatively with them on possible solutions.

Councilman Joey Manahan said the administration has done a poor job responding to members’ suggestions. He distributed a list with 13 resolutions and bills offering direction for various housing and homeless initiatives, including his resolution asking the administration to look into developing hygiene centers within his Kalihi district.

The administration has done nothing with the ideas, he said.

“There’s no sense in me supporting this new division if it’s actually not going to do anything for me,” Manahan said….

read … Hobo Nickels

A Cool Million Was Spent Lobbying Hawaii Lawmakers In Two Months

CB: Health insurance providers, energy firms, a private prison company and other organizations collectively spent nearly $1 million on lobbyists to influence legislators in January and February, according to filings with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.

That brings the total spent on lobbying connected to the Legislature to nearly $14 million since 2013, the commission’s data shows.

Of the 233 organizations that filed reports by the commission’s deadline last week, 25 account for nearly half of the overall total spent in January and February….

read … Million Dollar Baby

English, Sakai Enjoy Communist-Funded Junket During Session

CB: …English and Rep. Scott Saiki, both Democrats, joined 10 other U.S lawmakers who traveled at the invitation of the Chinese government. The trip was paid for by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Chinese, and English and Saiki said no state funds were involved.

Both lawmakers said they had hoped the trip could coincide with Hawaii legislative recess days from Feb. 25 to March 1. But, as English explained, that time frame coincided with a traditional Chinese travel period.

The March 25-April 1 program, which was held in Beijing and Nanjing and included a travel stay-over in Shanghai, arose out of a memorandum of understanding penned in December between the U.S. foundation and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries….

read … Junket

Zika Coming: What Will Anti-Pesticide Activists Do Then?

KE: …we soon will have Zika virus spreading to Hawaii. Zika very likely causes birth defects and is not some long shot correlation based on sketchy data like much of the JFF report. Are we going to be so overwhelmed with fear of pesticides that people will resist mosquito control efforts? It will be interesting to see if we come full circle and embrace vaccines and pesticides when we see what an actual threat looks like….

S: Watch: A Top Mosquito Control District Shows How it is Done

read … Musings: "Implausible, Irresponsible and Incomplete"

HB2707: Nurses Can Certify Dopers in Hawaii

HTH: …Days before dispensary licensee selections are announced, a proposal that aims to increase patient access to medical cannabis and smooth out bumps in the law is moving through the state Legislature.

The omnibus House Bill 2707, introduced by Oahu Democrat Rep. Della Au Belatti, on Monday cleared two Senate committees. The measure is slated for a third Senate reading.

The bill gives advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, the ability to certify patients for cannabis use (Translation: They can’t find enough MDs willing to sell dope.  But there is ONE nurse who want to.  Her name is Wendy.) and would allow the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to collect data about the program, such as the amount of marijuana grown and dispensed and the number of patients statewide.

It also would clarify that certain state tax provisions do not apply to dispensaries — a form of tax relief to help keep prices low — and it would expand the list of marijuana products patients can legally use.

As amended, the bill no longer creates a medical marijuana advisory commission, which originally was pitched as a way to monitor the program and its overall effectiveness. The measure now calls for a “legislative oversight working group” at the University of Hawaii at Manoa that would develop legislation to improve the dispensary system. The group would include several lawmakers, a physician, patients and various individuals in the industry….

On April 15, the state Department of Health will announce the eight (political insiders) licensee selections to open Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensaries….

Related: HB2707: Last Chance to Testify on Marijuana Omnibus Package

read … Doped Up

Why The Presidential Race Is Not That Relevant To Our Lives

CB: The presidential campaign may seem exciting, but in fact it is lifeless. It has little to do with the important kinds of politics that most affect our everyday lives.

What’s more likely to impact your lives tomorrow: ISIS and Trump, or a decent place to live, a school you can trust, and a vibrant, safe community?

And if national government continues in gridlock, which it is certain to do regardless of who wins the presidency, where do you think the focus of change is going to have to be?

…there is another sort of politics that gets lost in this. It is the everyday, small-scale politics where groups of people plod and struggle under the radar to get the job done in their communities….

TA: How America Is Putting Itself Back Together

read … Not Relevant

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