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Thursday, December 6, 2018
December 6, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:51 PM :: 3387 Views

Where Does OHA Hide its Secrets?

U.S. Soldier Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Attempting To Provide Material Support to ISIS

Hawaii 2nd-Worst State for Drivers

Convictions May be Overturned Due to federal criminal probe of Honolulu prosecutors

HNN: …There is growing pressure on the city Prosecutor’s Office after a Hawaii News Now investigation revealed First Deputy Chasid Sapolu was sent a subject letter from the Department of Justice.

Chasid Sapolu is Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro’s second-in-command.

A subject letter means that the U.S. Attorney believes Sapolu engaged in suspicious and unethical conduct…

“Number one, you might want to get him (Sapolu) off the case,” said defense attorney William Harrison, adding that he’ll ask the state Attorney General’s Office to review a criminal case he has in which Sapolu is the prosecutor.

Former Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle agreed that more criminal cases could be in jeopardy if Sapolu is not put on paid administrative leave.

“I’m very concerned about the impact," he said.

Both Harrison and Carlisle also believe Sapolu isn’t the only one who got a letter from federal authorities as part of a massive public corruption investigation….

Harrison is urging the state Attorney General’s office to get involved.

The agency is the only one that can remove Kaneshiro from his position because he is an elected official. “If they haven’t already done so, I think they need to have a chat with Keith to find out how far has this thing has gone and what is his position now, based on letters that he received or information he received from the federal government," he said.

A recall or impeachment by voters are the only other options….

For the second day in a row, the city Prosecutor’s Office has ignored Hawaii News Now’s requests for comment. (And no other news outlet is covering this story.)

Specifically, the office has refused to answer if Sapolu’s status changed as a result of the letter, and if anyone else in the office received a subject or target letter from the Department of Justice….

read … Legal community urges action against Honolulu prosecutors mixed up in federal criminal probe

UH Faculty Circular Logic: Telescope is Unethical because we got ourselves Arrested Protesting Against it

SA: … Political Science Department Chairwoman Noelani Goodyear- Ka‘opua was among a handful of faculty members who drafted a statement that was read aloud Wednesday. It described the university’s quest for the TMT as a breach of ethical research standards that call for respect of place and the community affected by the research.

“The arrests of dozens of people, particularly the native people of this land, for research infrastructure is an unacceptable cost for any kind of research and is a glaring contradiction to what many of us teach our students in a wide variety of disciplines about ethical relationship between research, researchers, place and community,” the statement says….

Flashback: Video: Crying Police Apologize to Telescope Protesters

read … Circular Logic

Hawaii ACLU Outlines Litigation Plan to Keep the Homeless Homeless

CB:  …The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that an anti-camping ordinance in Boise, Idaho, violated the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment.

The appellate panel found that if there is no option of sleeping indoors, governments can’t criminalize homeless people for sleeping on public property “on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.” The ruling affects nine Western states, including Hawaii….

The court opinion found that even if a city has enough shelter beds for its homeless population, some people still might not be able to access a bed. One homeless plaintiff in the case had to leave a shelter because he did not want to follow its religious program required after a 17-day time limit was reached.

“Just because a shelter says we have 10 available beds doesn’t necessarily mean the person who’s being prosecuted for lodging on a public sidewalk can actually use one of these beds,” said Joshua Wisch, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Hawaii, which opposed the measures….

Honolulu Housing Director Marc Alexander said Honolulu has a plethora of shelter options. He also said Honolulu’s new lodging ban is unique because of a provision that police can’t cite someone without first ensuring shelter space is available.

“You’re violating the law when you have (shelter) options,” Alexander said….

A snapshot of vacant shelter beds on Oahu taken on the last day every month shows that through October, 315 beds on average were available on a given night….

Alexander said the new laws don’t mean all homeless people will be cited at once….

“In the urban core I think we have a very hardened element of homeless. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol,” Caldwell said in October when he signed the bills. “We want to get those people off the street and on the shelter and take care of them. That is the more compassionate thing.”…

read … Islandwide Homeless Restrictions Approved — But Are They Legal?

HPD overstating success in rape cases, report claims

SA: … An investigation by national news outlets has raised concerns about whether the Honolulu Police Department is massaging its rape statistics to make it look like it’s solving more crimes than it actually is.

Of 379 rape cases opened in 2016, HPD reported that it had “cleared” 134 cases, or 35 percent — a rate on par with the national average. However, a closer look at the data shows that an arrest was made in only 11 percent of cases.

The remaining 24 percent of cases were cleared by “exceptional means,” a designation that crime experts say is supposed to be used sparingly to refer to cases in which law enforcement is prevented from arresting and charging an offender due to elements beyond their control, such as if the suspect died. ….

PP: When It Comes to Rape, Just Because a Case Is Cleared Doesn’t Mean It’s Solved

read …HPD overstating success in rape cases, report claims

City Ethics Commission Is Investigating Far Fewer Cases Than 2 Years Ago

CB: …The Honolulu Ethics Commission has kept a low profile since the tumultuous departure of its former director, Chuck Totto, more than two years ago.

Totto’s replacement, Jan Yamane, has shifted the commission’s focus from investigating misconduct to training city employees and encouraging good behavior.

“It doesn’t mean enforcement isn’t going to happen, but we would like to be more proactive,” she said. “We think it’ll change culture.” …

The commission launched 86 new investigations in Yamane’s first year and 58 in her second, according to data compiled from annual reports and minutes from the commission’s October meeting. That’s down from an average of about 100 per year in the four years leading up to Totto’s 2016 departure.

The number of investigations into complaints “shows that the public and city workers will report misconduct and believe that the Commission offers a fair and effective forum to examine and resolve their concerns,” the 2011 annual report says….

read … City Ethics Commission Is Investigating Far Fewer Cases Than 2 Years Ago

Public pension reform will benefit government workers

KGI: … we are trying to save their pension program before it goes bankrupt and they end up with nothing. Certainly our public employees deserve to be compensated fairly for their civil service. It’s precisely for that reason that we want to ensure there are benefits for them to receive. Resolving Hawaii’s public pension crisis will help our government employees, not harm them.

Our other goal is to spare Hawaii taxpayers from paying through the nose to rescue the system before it collapses ….

read … Public pension reform will benefit government workers

High rise fire inspections to remain at three years vs. five, post-Marco Polo fire

HNN:  The Honolulu City Council voted five-to-three on Bill 72. This keeps high rise building fire inspections to three years instead of five….

SA: Fire sprinkler extension denied for outdated Oahu high-rises

read … Three Years

Commuting Oahu: ‘It Takes Your Time And It Gives You Back Stress’

CB: … the island’s average commute time is climbing. Workers on Oahu now have an average one-way commute time of more than 29 minutes, according to U.S. Census data.

In turn, extremely long commutes are becoming more common. The number of Hawaii residents commuting 90 minutes or more soared 63 percent from 2010 to 2015, to almost 17,000 people, according to an analysis of Census data by Pew Research Center.

The average commute may be getting shorter in distance, but it’s growing longer in terms of time.

Brookings calculates the typical commute distance in urban Honolulu at 6.6 miles. But this doesn’t account for how long a handful of miles can take to traverse under the crush of traffic.

Commuters on the island’s more affordable west side regularly leave their homes at 3 or 4 a.m., sometimes stealing a nap while parked on the street or in a garage before the work day begins….

read … Commuting Oahu: ‘It Takes Your Time And It Gives You Back Stress’

Court orders Legislature to Release Sex-Harassment Records (in Oregon)

AP: …After losing an appeal, leaders in the Oregon Legislature said today they’ll obey a judge’s order to turn over documents to the state’s labor commissioner, who is investigating sexual harassment at the Capitol.

Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek said they would do so only reluctantly. Their decision came just hours after the Oregon Appeals Court dismissed their appeal of a lower court’s ruling that they comply with Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s bid to get the materials. Courtney and Kotek had said they were worried about protecting the anonymity of those who came forward and didn’t want to be identified (their fellow politicians)….

Meanwhile: Hawaii House Rules Prohibit Staff from Revealing "Illegal or Improper Conduct"

read … Oregon Legislature to release sexual harassment records

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