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Monday, September 21, 2020
September 21, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:28 PM :: 3054 Views

Council Candidate Greg Thielen Cautions Against Awarding P3 Contract Under Robbins' Tenure

COVID Count 56 new cases out of 1,162 tests

Ige’s EUTF Funding Dodge Will Come Back To Haunt Us

CB: … Faced with a $2.3 billion budget shortfall caused by Hawaii’s coronavirus lockdowns, Gov. David Ige on July 17 suspended the state’s required fiscal 2021 payment of $388 million to the government employees’ health benefits fund….

read … Ige’s EUTF Funding Dodge Will Come Back To Haunt Us

Cocaine News: Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi Files for Divorce

CB: … Sniping between Keith Amemiya and a super PAC, Aloha Aina Oiaio,  that attacked him in the primary has led to a series of back and forth allegations of wrongdoing .…

Cuban appears to have limited participation in Hawaii politics until now. A Civil Beat review of state and federal campaign finance records did not turn up any direct contributions from Cuban to political candidates dating back to 2006, although a distribution and wholesale business registered in Cuban’s name did give $250 to Honolulu prosecutor candidate Megan Kau on Sept. 17, 2019.

Records show he gave $9,500 to Aloha Aina Oiaio to fund the negative campaign against Amemiya. He also made four donations of $500 on the same day in 2014 to Hawaii Solutions, a Republican-backed political action committee that spent money on advertising opposing Democratic candidates running for seats in the Hawaii Legislature and Honolulu City Council candidate Tommy Waters.

In addition to working for Aloha Aina Oiaio, records show Cuban was reimbursed $696.78 for providing mailers to Earl Tsuneyoshi’s campaign for Honolulu City Council. Tsuneyoshi, who lost in the primary, is the brother-in-law of Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi.

Cuban proclaimed on Facebook in February that he supported former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s bid for Honolulu mayor “100%.” “If you don’t like it you can unfriend me,” he said. “I could care less.”…

Amemiya acknowledged that it was his campaign that alerted the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission to possible irregularities in some of the donations Aloha Aina Oiaio had received that may have crossed into illegal territory.

He’s also accused others of secretly influencing the super PAC and pumping money into its coffers, namely Chad Tsuneyoshi and Dennis Mitsunaga….

In Tsuneyoshi’s case the evidence cited by the campaign were unnamed witnesses who saw Tsuneyoshi meeting with Blangiardi at the Waialae Country Club and The Pacific Club around the same time Hanabusa endorsed him for mayor….

Blangiardi said that he did meet with Tsuneyoshi at the Waialae Country Club and The Pacific Club…“Chad was involved in Colleen’s campaign and like a lot of other volunteers Chad has chosen to step in and try to help us.”… 

Tsuneyoshi is married to Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi, although she recently filed for divorce, and his company, Pacific Marketing & Consulting, worked on Hanabusa’s campaign. He’s also done work for several other candidates, including his brother, Earl, and former city councilman Trevor Ozawa….

Case: 1DV201007348  

PDF: Tsuneyoshi Divorce Case File, Pt 2 of Tsuneyoshi Case File


read … Honolulu Mayor’s Race: ‘It’s Not Dirty Politics, It’s Just Politics’

After 3 years at the helm, HART CEO likely to be voted out

HNN: … After three years as the head of the embattled Honolulu rail project, CEO Andrew Robbins' tenure is heading to a close.

In a email to staffers Friday, Toby Martyn, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s chairman, said the board’s Human Resources Committee is recommended not renewing Robbins' contract when it expires at the end of the year.

“It is expected that the (full) board will concur with the recommendation, and that a permitted interaction group will be formed to devise a leadership transition plan,” Martyn wrote….

“You know it’s so frustrating, upsetting. Because Andy Robbins -- is he capable? Yes he is. He’s very capable," said City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi….

The recommendation not to renew Robbins contract comes as the rail authority is struggling to attract a private partner to help develop the final leg of the project.

The four-mile downtown leg is expected to be the most expensive segment and the selection of the private developer for this segment has been pushed back several times.

City Councilmember Kym Pine said she’s worried that the bids may come in too high.

“My constituents would prefer a delay than a project that skyrockets out of control where their taxpayer money is mismanaged and misspent the wrong way," she said.

Added Kobayashi: “Now is not the time to bring in somebody new. We’re at a very critical part of this whole project,” she said.

The full board will meet Thursday to vote on whether or not to renew Robbins' contract….

read … After 3 years at the helm, HART CEO likely to be voted out

VA’s assessment of Hilo veterans home says there was little evidence of proactive COVID planning

KHON: … Among many issues, the VA assessment team observed:

Staff not consistently caring for residents only on one hall. Floating among two or more halls.

They saw some residents wandering throughout unit/floor into other hallways.

According to the report, the administrator stated there were no current processes in place to limit housekeeping staff or maintenance personnel from intermixing from the COVID unit to other areas….

read … VA’s assessment of Hilo veterans home says there was little evidence of proactive COVID planning

Details remain vague on Hawaii’s October pre-arrival testing program

SA: … Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week that Hawaii will launch a pre-arrival testing program Oct. 15 kicked off the start of a fall tourism reopening for Hawaii.

There are those Hawaii residents and business leaders who are still questioning the need, workability and usefulness of Ige’s plan, which has been pushed back three times. Given the delays, some critics are wondering why the state didn’t roll out a fully developed playbook for executing the plan in conjunction with Wednesday’s announcement.

The reopening is just 23 days away, and many details of the plan are yet to be worked out….

read … Details remain vague on Hawaii’s October pre-arrival testing program

Homeless Drug Addicts Desecrate Another Cemetery

SA: … When Ruby Quijano went to visit her mother’s grave on her birthday, Sept. 13, she was startled to discover “the headstone was gone.”

The 75-year-old Waianae resident walked around the family crypt and found the headstone bearing the Teramoto family name on the ground. “Who would do things like that? It was devastating. I was shocked.”

She found a few other headstones at the Waianae Japanese Cemetery had also been toppled, but the remains of her parents were left undisturbed, unlike an incident 26 years ago when someone broke into a crypt, removed the urns and emptied the ashes….

Three men from the family had to hoist the Teramoto headstone to its rightful place, Quijano’s niece Myra Fujii said. On Sept. 14, Quijano said, she saw the other toppled headstones were placed upright next to their crypts….

in 2017, homeless individuals began living under the kiawe trees, attached a water hose to the faucet and created a makeshift shower, Fujii said, and have since been using the cemetery water….

On Sept. 13, police officers questioned a few homeless who currently live there. The homeless told police they do not know who was involved, the family said.

A pink lantern, taken from one of the graves, was hanging near a homeless campsite, Fujii said.

Over the years, vases, incense holders and candles have been stolen from the graves, she said.

Fujii, owner of Mary’s Barber Shop in Waianae, said some of her senior customers are afraid of the homeless living at the cemetery, and their presence makes them uneasy, so they cut their visits short, she said….

Fujii turned to state Rep. Cedric Gates (D, Makua-Makaha-Waianae-parts of Maili) for help. His staff discovered the property is owned by the state and that the Department of Accounting and General Services is responsible for maintenance of the Waianae Japanese Cemetery and five others: Puea Cemetery (1440 N. School St.), Makiki Cemetery (1630 Pensacola St.), Puukamalii Cemetery (1821 Kama­lii St.), Aiea Government Cemetery (99-123 Uahu St.) and another Waianae cemetery at 85-759 Farrington Highway….

read … Police investigate desecration at Waianae Japanese Cemetery

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