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Wednesday, July 3, 2019
July 3, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:16 PM :: 2165 Views

Hawaii to Erase Prostitution Convictions After Three Years

Ige Signs More Bills into Law

Still at 1% After Debate—No Bounce for Gabbard

CB: … Following the June 26 Democratic National Committee debate in Miami, the presidential campaign of Tulsi Gabbard emailed supporters to state that the Hawaii representative shined in a “breakthrough performance.”

But Gabbard’s polling numbers have not shown any breakthrough in her national status.

Polls over the past few days from Quinnipiac, CNN, The Hill/HarrisX and Politico/Morning Consult show her with just 1% support, which is where she’s been pretty much been since she first entered the race six months ago….

Real Clear Politics says Gabbard’s average of polling numbers works out to 1.4%. That compares with 27% for Biden, 15.2% for Sanders, 13.8% for Warren, 13.4% for Harris and 5.2% for Buttigieg.

Meanwhile, a USA Today/Suffolk poll released Tuesday on the Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus shows similar numbers.

The second DNC debate will be on CNN July 30 and 31 in Detroit. Gabbard has already qualified for these debates, based on polling and fundraising.

Coming next in terms of race metrics: the April-June federal fundraising reports, which must be released no later than July 15….

Also True: Initial Online Polls Say Gabbard Wins The Day

read … No Bounce

Kealoha Lawyer Quits—Setup for Appeal?

CB: … Kagiwada’s motions said there “appears to be an irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, which cannot be reconciled.”

She also cited a number of ethical concerns governed by the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct, which all lawyers must abide by to remain in good standing.

Specifically, she pointed to three rules, including one that said a lawyer can drop a client if that client “insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement.”

Kagiwada also noted provisions related to instances in which a client “fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s services” and “other good cause.”

Kagiwada did not provide any details in her motion about her disagreements with Kealoha, who is a former city prosecutor….

The friction between Kagiwada and Kealoha became evident during last month’s criminal trial.

Kealoha and her family hired an outside lawyer, Earle Partington, to join the case mid-trial, on the same day federal prosecutors finished presenting most of their evidence.

Partington had said his main role in the case was preparing Kealoha’s civil lawyer, Kevin Sumida, for the witness stand. Partington called Sumida to testify about his role in a lawsuit filed against Kealoha by her uncle and grandmother, Florence Puana.

Sumida may have ultimately caused more harm than good. Not only did he struggle when grilled by prosecutors on cross-examination, they say he was also caught lying.

Partington told Civil Beat on Tuesday that he was surprised by Kagiwada’s motion and did not know what her specific concerns were in regards to representing Kealoha.

“I knew nothing about it and I don’t believe Kat knew anything about it either,” Partington said of Kagiwada’s motion. “(Kagiwada) was very unhappy when I came into the case and made her feelings known by refusing to generally cooperate with me.

“It was obvious I was brought in because Kat was unhappy with her representation.”…

Kenneth Lawson, who teaches criminal law and ethics at the University of Hawaii, said Kagiwada’s motion is extraordinary in that she specifically cites sections of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Normally, he said, lawyers will be intentionally vague when they file motions to withdraw so as not to hurt their client’s chances in the courtroom.

“For Cynthia Kagiwada to do this she’s sending a strong message,” Lawson said. “Something’s not right in Denmark.”

Lawson said Kagiwada also needs to be careful that her client isn’t laying a trap so that she can file an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel….


read … Another Kealoha Scam

Time To Force Some Homeless People Into Treatment

CB: … It’s not humane to make the mentally ill and drug addicts suffer on the streets, and it’s not fair to allow their presence to endanger the rest of us…..

time to consider more a more assertive approach for those who suffer from severe mental illness or drug addiction.

There is growing fear of and frustration with the homeless population, particularly those moving into previously quiet and safe residential areas. The incidents of violent attacks by homeless individuals makes these fears reasonable:

  • In July 2016, one homeless man fatally stabbed another in Kapiolani Park;
  • In January 2014, a homeless California man fatally stabbed a homeless Kailua man;
  • This year in March, a homeless man in Waikiki assaulted a woman and tried to stab her with a box-cutter;
  • In July, a young tourist was attacked and knocked unconscious by a homeless man in Waikiki;
  • The previous week, another woman was attacked by a homeless man at Ala Moana Beach Park and rendered unconscious;
  • In May, a couple visiting from Japan were attacked at Mother Walden Park in Kakaako;
  • Also, in late May, a homeless man stabbed a Honolulu police officer.

We must not become desensitized to this sort of violence.

Too many of these incidents involved victims who were strangers to the attackers and were just minding their own business when violently attacked. In a number of the incidents, victims describe erratic behavior from their attackers that indicate a possible nexus with mental health issues or drug use.

Isn’t it time to better address this small, but potentially dangerous, population?

San Francisco recently announced a new conservatorship program that would force some homeless people who suffer from mental illness or drug addiction into treatment programs. Having recently been to San Francisco, where I regularly had to navigate around drug syringes and human feces on the sidewalks, I say “Hallelujah!”

How soon can we start a similar program in Hawaii?

I can already hear the ACLU frantically crafting a response, but don’t residents and visitors also have rights to enjoy our neighborhoods safely and freely? We shouldn’t be afraid to go to the beach. We shouldn’t be afraid to let our children walk to school. We shouldn’t have to exist with a debilitating fear that keeps us indoors at night and has us buying expensive security systems for our homes.

It seems that in advocating for the freedom for some, you are making prisoners of the many.

We are suffering in a political environment plagued with inaction. In advocating for their legislation, the San Francisco elected official spoke of how it is inhumane to allow those who are mentally ill or addicted to drugs to simply deteriorate on their streets.

I completely agree, because the problem they describe is not exclusive to San Francisco. I’ve seen two bodies (covered with sheets) of homeless people in the last month. One was downtown on Alakea Street in the middle of the day….

read … Time To Force Some Homeless People Into Treatment

Prosecutor’s Safe House For Abuse Victims To Close As Questions Swirl

CB: … The embattled Honolulu Prosecutor’s Safe House is closing, but its problems won’t end when the doors shut at the end of August.

The real estate deal to buy the apartment complex run by the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for domestic and sexual violence victims has been enmeshed in a years-long federal corruption probe. The Safe House has also attracted the attention of the ACLU of Hawaii, after some former and current residents raised claims of civil rights violations.

And when the Makiki facility closes, seven victims and their dependents who currently live there, some of whom don’t have anywhere else to go, will be forced out. The staff who work there will also have to find other jobs….

Since its opening, the Safe House has housed more than 40 victims of domestic or sexual abuse over the course of the three years, resulting in 14 convictions thus far with six more cases awaiting trial, according to top officials at the prosecutor’s office, including acting prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto.

The mission of the Safe House was to provide safety to victims so that they would become more effective witnesses against their abusers in court, as witnesses recant a lot in domestic violence or sexual assault cases, in part because of fear of retaliation from their abusers….

Operating expenses in fiscal year 2018 were about $450,000 for 21 units, covering everything from staff salaries to grocery allowances for residents.

The biggest chunk of the budget was security, which accounted for about $174,000, or about 38%, according to expense records shared with Civil Beat.

On June 5, the council voted to reduce the operating budget by about $130,000 and to cap the total expenses it can spend in a year at about $274,000.

Councilman Manahan said the amount of money being spent to keep the Safe House open was not proportionate to a facility with only a handful of residents living there at times.

The Safe House had 10 residents living there in 2019, 14 in the previous year and 13 in 2017, according to Brooks Baehr, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

The reduction in funding for security is what is effectively shutting down the Safe House, Nadamoto said….

read … Prosecutor’s Safe House For Abuse Victims To Close As Questions Swirl

HPD launches murder investigation into a deadly shooting of an OCCC inmate

HNN:  … The Honolulu Police Department is now conducting a murder investigation into the shooting death of an Oahu Community Correctional Center inmate in March.

It’s the second murder investigation involving a shooting by a Department of Public Safety officer.

Maurice Arrisgado Jr. was shot in the back in front of St. Anthony’s Church in Kalihi after he escaped from OCCC. His family’s attorney said the shooting was not justified and that HPD is doing the right thing by conducting a murder investigation.

“It was a preventable death that should not have been allowed to unfold the way it did,” said Seitz.

“The first thing is, he was allowed to escape under circumstances where that just should not have occurred. The second thing is he was shot in the back running away.” …

Prison officials declined comment on the HPD investigation. But in a news conference in March, Department of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said the shooting of an escaping prisoner is allowed under department rules.

“In the course of retaining or catching a fleeing or escaping inmate, the use of deadly force is authorized, yes," Espinda said….

read … HPD launches murder investigation into a deadly shooting of an OCCC inmate

Seizures of illegal firearms soar in Hawaii, feds say

SA: … U.S. law enforcement authorities Tuesday voiced concern about the dramatic increase in illegal firearms seized in Hawaii and the growing use of devices that can convert ordinary handguns into machine gun-like weapons.

With about three months left in the current fiscal year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has seized over 130 illegal firearms in the islands, compared with 38 for all of fiscal year 2018, according to Kenji Price, U.S. attorney in Hawaii.

The statistics do not include weapons seized by local police…

HNN: Turning handguns into machine guns: Hawai'i sees uptick in Glock converters

read … Seizures of illegal firearms soar in Hawaii, feds say

Some California travelers can't buy marijuana in Hawaii

LAT: … Planning to buy medical marijuana in Hawaii? Better have your paperwork in order. That appears to be a stumbling block for many Californians, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

“California seems to be the one state that we are seeing a lot of problems with,” said Tami Whitney, the coordinator of the Medical Cannabis Registry Program for the Hawaii Department of Heatlh.

Hawaii has allowed visitors to buy medical cannabis since March 5 if they comply with state regulations.

But more than three-quarters of California applicants have not received their temporary medical cannabis cards from the Hawaii Department of Health. Of the 252 applications received by July 1, 45 were rejected and 149 others are pending.

The common denominator: Applicants fail to provide their California medical marijuana card, which they must scan and submit, along with their state photo ID.

“A lot of them are only submitting … their physicians’ certifications,” Whitney said. But by law, they must submit their California state medical cannabis card,

California counties set their own fees for medical cards. By state law, that is not to exceed $100. Los Angeles County, for instance, charges the maximum for applicants not receiving government benefits. (LOL! Discount dope card if on welfare.)

On top of the $100 for a California card, travelers will also pay $49.50 to apply for a Hawaii visitor’s card. They can apply as much as 60 days in advance of their trip and designate a start date. The card is then valid for 60 days..….

read … About the Future of Tourism


Murder for Hire: Hawaii Judge Sends Alleged Criminal to Live With Victim


KHON: … A Big Island woman is accused of trying to hire a hitman online, through what’s known as the dark web, to kill her husband.

But during her court hearing Tuesday, the husband asked the judge to release her and send her home.

The judge granted it….

read … Only in Hawaii

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