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Saturday, October 3, 2020
October 3, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:48 PM :: 3616 Views

2nd Amendment, 9th Circuit: Oral Arguments in Young v. Hawaii

Notice of Anticipated Judicial Vacancies on Oahu and Big Island

COVID Count 87 new cases out of 1,746 tests

COVID Count 133 new cases out of 1,936 tests

It Begins: With no job prospects, some moving to mainland

HNN: … A lack of job opportunities and no communication from the state’s unemployment office is driving some Hawaii residents to pack up their bags and move to the mainland.

Thirty-year-old Daniel Jalomo is preparing to head out to California in just a few weeks as finding work on the island has been a challenge.

“You look at Craigslist every day, there’s no jobs,” said Jalomo.

Oahu’s emergency order has kept him furloughed from his job at a catering company.

While Jalomo was able to get unemployment assistance, he says it wasn’t easy and that he had to reach out to a state senator for help.

However, those funds are now running out….

Carl Bonham, director of the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii, said at a state House hearing that Hawaii is expected to recover from the pandemic slower than other states.

That’s in large part because of Hawaii’s dependence on the tourism industry.

“Many other state economies and county economies will recover much more rapidly and the job opportunities will simply not exist here that will exist in the rest of the economy,” Bonham said.

He predicted that by 2022, Hawaii’s population could drop by 30,000.

Tiana Romkee, 27, is also planning to leave the state. She was laid off from her jobs as an esthetician and server. She’s also in the process of moving to California.

“I have to work. I have to get some sort of assistance. We have to pay bills, you know, I’m missing payments left and right, so at this point it’s a matter of survival,” said Romkee.

Unlike Jalomo, Romkee could not get any benefits.

She speaks on behalf of others who communicate through a large Facebook group that is fed up with dealing with the unemployment office.

“We’re just completely left in the dark,” said Romkee. “We don’t have answers, you know we don’t have any sort of reassurance."

(UNSPOKEN TRUTH: Some people are really happy about this.) 


read … With no job prospects on the horizon, some are moving to the mainland

Obama Says ‘Build a Wall’ but Seawall expansion runs into Greenmail Demands from Surfrider

SA: … Plans to overhaul a seawall to protect a Waimanalo property with ties to former President Barack Obama ran into public opposition on Friday, with the Oahu chapter of the Surfrider Foundation going so far as to advocate for the complete removal of the wall so that the beach could be restored.

Neighbors and community members also have banded together against the project, arguing for the need to protect the state’s disappearing beaches, which have been destroyed over the years by seawalls.

“Build a Wall” – Barack Obama

The property owners are asking the city to grant them an exemption from environmental laws so that they can expand the seawall that runs the length of about one-and-a-half football fields, hugging the property just down from Kaiona Beach Park.

But Doorae Shin, coordinator for the local Surfrider Foundation, told city officials during a public hearing on Friday that they would be violating their fiduciary duty under the Hawaii Constitution to preserve and protect public trust resources if they grant the exemption.….

Shin said that if city officials didn’t require the seawall to be removed, which could result in the ocean swallowing about half the property, they could require the owners to invest in restoring some of the beach that has been lost….

(Translation: This is greenmail.  Pay us or we protest you.  Obama is uniquely susceptible to greenmail because of the risk of reputational damage.  Surfrider knows this. and they will exploit it for $ millions.)

Marty Nesbitt, chair of the Obama Foundation and co-CEO of a Chicago-based private-equity firm, and his wife bought the sprawling estate in 2015. Sources told the Star-Advertiser and ProPublica earlier this year that the property is also being developed for Obama….

read … Seawall expansion along property tied to former President Obama runs into strong opposition

Only the Lies will Set You Free: Navatek CEO Still Gets Bail

SA: … The chief executive of a Hawaii company accused of defrauding banks of money meant to assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic can be released on $2 million cash bond, a U.S. judge ruled today….

Congress authorized the program to provide emergency financial assistance through forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and other expenses.

Kao transferred more than $2 million into his own personal accounts, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators talked to an executive and a former employee who said the company wasn’t affected by the pandemic, the complaint said.

Kao shouldn’t be released from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center because he lied about his assets, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan.

Kao didn’t disclose to court officials all the property he owns, Nolan said.

In a previous line of credit renewal, he told a bank he owns property in Taiwan valued at $16 million, but told court officials the property is worthless, Nolan said.

A home in Tokyo valued at $7 million and a $6 million home in San Francisco were among the properties Kao failed to list for pretrial services, Nolan said.

Kao, a U.S. citizen, also has some type of legal status in Taiwan, where he was born, and has the means to flee there on a private or chartered jet, Nolan said.

“We are extremely concerned that he apparently has been dishonest with pretrial services, and therefore the court,” Nolan said, adding that if Kao lied to a bank, he committed additional bank fraud….

read … Hawaii CEO accused of coronavirus loan fraud to be released on $2M bond

Kealoha’s Malicious Prosecution Will Cost Taxpayers $1.4 Million In Settlement

CB: … The Honolulu City Council is poised to approve $1.4 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit involving a botched gambling case charged by Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro and one of his top former deputies, Katherine Kealoha.

A council committee approved the settlement last month after a closed door meeting with city attorneys ….

read … Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit Will Cost Taxpayers $1.4 Million In Settlement

Hawaii PACs Pump Another $500k Into Local Campaigns

CB: …The United Public Workers union topped the list of donors with $51,000 in contributions made to more than 50 candidates running for county councils and the Legislature. The union had been active in calling for the ouster of former Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda, who retired this week….

Second on the list is the Ward Management and Development Co. LLC, a local arm of the Howard Hughes Corp. The company made donations between $2,000 and $4,000 to 14 candidates including Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki.

The group also made a $6,000 donation to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s 2022 campaign for governor.

Park Hotels & Resorts, a real estate investment trust that owns the Hilton Hawaiian Village, donated a total of $16,000 to legislators including Kouchi, Saiki, Reps. Sylvia Luke and Richard Onishi and Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, who represents Waikiki.

It also donated $2,000 to Councilman Joey Manahan, who has formed a committee to potentially run for lieutenant governor in 2022.

The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by the electrical workers union, the carpenters union, the longshore and warehouse union, the operating engineers union, the plumbers union and the masons union.

Notably at the top of the list are the carpenters and plumbers unions. The Hawaii Carpenters Political Action Fund spent $36,000 on donations to 18 candidates, including a $4,000 donation to Honolulu Mayoral Candidate Rick Blangiardi.

A Super PAC funded by union carpenters and the contractors who hire them, Be Change Now, has also spent over $200,000 on ads supporting Blangiardi.

The plumbers union donated $22,700 to nine candidates running for county offices and the Legislature. HiVISION 2020, the plumbers union Super PAC, spent about $21,000 on radio ads supporting Keith Amemiya, Blangiardi’s opponent in the Honolulu mayor’s race.

Super PACs like Be Change Now and HiVISION 2020 have spent $416,000 on ads supporting various candidates….

Hui O Maui Citizens For Change, a mysterious group spending big to influence the Maui County Council races, reported spending just $29,000 on ads supporting a slate of candidates in the last filing period.

However, previously filed electioneering reports show that the group spent over $110,000 on radio, web and mailed advertisements for a slate of conservative-leaning candidates.

The PAC reported a $100,000 contribution from Hui O Maui, a nonprofit whose members are largely unknown.

The National Association of Realtors Fund is also getting involved in the Maui council races. It spent $60,000 on online ads supporting Stacy Crivello, a Molokai candidate who is running against incumbent council member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez.

Maui’s Green Future Project, backed by groups that supported the 2014 GMO moratorium in Maui County, also spent over $14,000 on Facebook and print ads for Maui council candidates….

HNN: 2 candidates for Honolulu mayor have spent more than $3M on race so far

CB: Amemiya Maintains Fundraising Lead In Final Stretch Of Mayor’s Race

read … Hawaii PACs Pump Another $500k Into Local Campaigns

Okutsu Veterans home has no COVID-positive residents

HTH: … As of Friday afternoon, there were no COVID-positive residents at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, according to an update provided by Hilo Medical Center.

Seventy-one residents and 35 employees at the veterans home have tested positive for COVID-19 since late August, and 27 residents have died….

As of Friday, 42 residents and 33 employees have recovered.

No residents were receiving care at the facility, and one resident was hospitalized at HMC.

One additional employee at Life Care Center of Hilo has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to an update posted Friday morning on the facility’s website, six employees have now tested positive for the virus, three of whom have recovered.

Twelve residents have also tested positive for the virus, but that number was unchanged from reports on Thursday.

One resident has recovered and three are now receiving proactive treatment at Hilo Medical Center.

Meanwhile, at Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center, all residents and staff had tested negative during a round of tests last weekend, according to a Sept. 30 update on the facility’s website.

An employee had tested positive on Aug. 27 and quarantined for two weeks before returning to work, and a contractor tested positive during the first round of facilitywide testing on Sept. 4.

One resident also tested positive in September, but that was determined to be a false positive, the update states….

read … Veterans home has no COVID-positive residents

COVID relief to go to Hawaii’s artists and cultural practitioners

KHON: … E Ho’i Ke Aloha Initiative is meant to help alleviate some of the financial struggles of artisans and cultural practitioners brought up by the pandemic. 

The PA’I Foundation received $750,000 from the Intercultural Leadership Institute to assist a demographic with the least financial assistance.

“Our Hawaiian culture is the number one marketing tool for the state of Hawai’i,” says Vicky Holt Takamine, Executive Director of PA’I Foundation. “And that’s why this is so important for me is because we use their artwork to promote Hawai’i, to promote tourism. Yet, we are the least ones being supported by any of the funders.”

Additional funds were raised by PA’I Foundation, giving them a total of $830,000 to distribute to Hawai’i artisans. …

read … COVID relief to go to Hawaii’s artists and cultural practitioners

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii sees uptick in questions from renters and landlords

KITV: … The state's eviction moratorium has been pushed back until the end of the month,…evicting someone because they're not paying rent is not allowed.

However, people can still be evicted for other reasons such as criminal activity violating building codes or threatening the health and safety of other people….

Aloha United Way also reported its 2-1-1 information help line saw a sharp increase in calls related to landlord tenant issues….

HNN: As pandemic drags on and missed rent payments pile up, landlords scramble for options

HNN: Landlords seek more assistance during eviction moratorium

read … Legal Aid Society of Hawaii sees uptick in questions from renters and landlords

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