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Wednesday, November 10, 2021
November 10, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:45 PM :: 1923 Views

Full Text: HPD Point-by-Point Debunk of ACLU After Arrest of 10-Year-Old Girl

7,000 Legal Vacation Rentals on Maui in Jeopardy

Judge tosses claims over King’s Hawaiian rolls packaging

VIDEO: Police Deploy Flash-Bangs, Arrest Isabella Kalua’s adoptive parents

SA: … According to family members at the scene, Lehua Kalua was arrested at the home, while Isaac “Sonny” Kalua was arrested at Pearl Harbor this morning.

Family member Alena Kaeo said that there were reports of flash bangs used as authorities entered the home this morning….

The Honolulu Police Department, who remain at the Waimanalo home this morning, have made no statements. But HPD reported on Twitter that that investigators have made two arrests in the case and plan to hold a news conference this afternoon at HPD’s main station….

read … Missing Waimanalo girl Isabella Kalua’s adoptive parents arrested in connection with her disappearance

Kauai Councilmember Helped Recovering Addict Get Started on Meth Again

ILind: …  Several others indicted with (Kauai Councilmember Arthur) Brun have already pleaded guilty as part of agreements with prosecutors.

Kelvin Kauwila Kai, aka Kauwila, pleaded guilty to count 1, drug trafficking conspiracy, and in return prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second count. The drug trafficking conspiracy charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years, with a maximum of life in prison, and a potential fine of up to $10 million.

Kai was a former meth adict, but by 2019 had completed drug treatment and had stopped using illegal drugs.

Sometime in the spring of 2019, Kai met Brun. “On one occasion when both men were hanging out together, Brun provided methamphetamine and a pipe to Kai; thereafter, Kai began to use methamphetaine again,” according to the plea agreement filed in federal court.

Brun then offered to supply Kai with as much meth as he wanted “in exchange for Kai’s assistance with Brun’s drug trafficking activities.” Kai agreed.

Maluelue Umu, a known member of the United Samoan Organization or USO gang, allegedly met Brun around 2016 when he was participating in a prisoner reentry program at Kauai Community Corrections Center.

“During that time period, Brun would periodically up Umu and other inmates in a van and drive them to community service activities in which they were allowed to participate as part of their reentry program,” Umu admitted in a plea agreement filed on June 15, 2021. “Brun also would tell Umu and other inmates that if they needed help, they could ask him.”

Umu was released from KCCC in 2018, and Brun began asking him to meet up for drinks. “When together, Brun would regularly introduce Umu to others and tell them that Umu was his friend,” according to the plea agreement. “Umu understood that Brun was trying to use Umu’s reputation as a known member of…the USO gang…to create the impression that Brun had strong-arm influence.”

Later, beginning in the spring of 2019, Umu began supplying “pound and multi-pound amounts” of meth to Brun, allegedly at the councilmember’s request. Over the court of the year, “Umu met with Brun on at least eight occasions” to deliver methamphetamine, never less than a pound….

AP: Ex-Kauai councilman pleads guilty to leading meth ring

read … Former Kauai County Council member to change his “not guilty” plea

In Hawaii, Punishment For Bad Cops Often Doesn’t Stick. and they get 100K Payouts When Rehired

CB: … Arbitration is built into the SHOPO contract, and is the last step in a lengthy appeals process that plays out behind closed doors and allows officers multiple opportunities to challenge their discipline.

A Civil Beat review of more than 50 arbitration awards covering nearly three decades of misconduct found that arbitrators regularly reverse police chiefs’ disciplinary decisions. Overall, the records show that in 65% of all cases that went before an arbitrator, an officer’s discipline was either reduced or overturned.

Discharged officers who appealed their terminations fared even better. Three out of four officers who were fired were eventually rehired through arbitration, oftentimes with back pay amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.….

The reasons for the reductions in punishment can vary, but the records obtained by Civil Beat make clear that it’s rare that the facts of the alleged misconduct are completely unfounded.

More often, Civil Beat found, arbitrators take issue with how a department conducts its investigations and whether it followed proper protocols as spelled out in the union contract and internal policy memos.

Flawed internal affairs investigations and conflicting witness testimony — particularly in domestic violence and sexual assault cases — also play a role. Arbitrators frequently overturn terminations and reduce punishments due to a lack of “clear and convincing” evidence….

(Flaws purposefully introduced in to the process in order to justify the eventual overturn.)

Aug, 2021: Secret Arbitration Revealed: How DPS Official Kept Crooked Cop On The Job After FBI Raid

read … In Hawaii, Punishment For Bad Cops Often Doesn’t Stick. Here’s Why

‘Gut and replace’ not Fully Gutted by Supreme Court Ruling

SA Editorial: … The League of Women Voters of Honolulu and Common Cause Hawaii called the Legislature out on this practice in a lawsuit that went to the state Supreme Court and — hallelujah — a ruling last week went their way. But because common sense and constitutionality are separate matters, the ruling didn’t outright outlaw gut and replace — it struck down the particular legislation that the plaintiffs used to bring their case to court.

Still, it was a major slap-down, a clear warning against passing future measures this way.

The bill in question — Act 84, passed in 2018 — started out to be about prison recidivism, but became an act requiring hurricane shelters in new state buildings. The connection? Maybe the words “public safety” in the title of the bill? It takes some twisted logic to justify the switcheroo, especially since the bill eventually was amended to simply require that hurricane-resistant criteria be considered in new public schools. Hard to see any urgency in that to justify the shortcut.

Bottom line: The recidivism bill was erased, wasting the time of all those who took the trouble to testify (largely in favor) of the original proposal and wiping out the good it might have done.

Gut and replace was most recently used this year to eclipse a bill on aerospace, adding language that ended up eliminating the counties’ and the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s annual allocations of transient accommodations taxes. What’s the connection there? Tourists come on planes and planes fly? The repercussions of this bombshell are likely to resound within the industry and the counties for a good long time.

In its decision on Act 84, the Supreme Court majority cited language in the state Constitution: “No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each house on separate days.” Because the content of the bill was substantively changed — with the new language no longer “germane” to the original — the process should have started over, requiring three floor votes in each chamber to pass.

In declaring the law unconstitutional, the justices overrode a Circuit Court ruling agreeing with the state and the Legislature — based upon the Legislature’s own rules, those parties argued, a bill need only be voted upon by number and title, not content.

The Supreme Court ruling was close, 3-2, with Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald writing in dissent that the Constitution does not specify what a “reading” must entail, nor does it limit permissible changes to a bill, germane or not, only that legislators must be provided with copies of the bill in its final, amended form 48 hours before a vote….  

HLN: HSC Trashes “Gut and Replace,” Enters Thicket

read … ‘Gut and replace’ should be gutted

Another Solar Project Runs into Supply Chain Problems

HTH: … Supply chain problems and other unfavorable circumstances have led to the cancellation of one Big Island large solar project and the delay of another, according to documents filed with state regulators….

ENGIE EPS Storage Technology, the winner last year of a competitive bid to provide a 60 megawatt solar plus 240 megawatt-hour battery storage facility mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway in the Puako area, announced it’s scrapping the project after it failed to negotiate a favorable 25-year power purchase agreement with HECO.

The solar plus battery project, which was slated to be completed in 2023, would have produced 206 gigawatt/hours annually, enough to power 36,000 average Hawaii Island households…

Another project contractor, AES Waikoloa Solar LLC, has notified the state Public Utilities Commission of a “force majeure,” an unforeseeable circumstances that prevents it from fulfilling a contract, that could lead to a delay in its 30 MW, 120 MWh solar plus battery project that was slated to be completed in November, 2022.

That project, which was approved by regulators, is stalled due to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection issuing a withhold release order for certain silica-based products potentially produced by one of its suppliers, according to documents filed with the PUC. Details of the force majeure are kept confidential under contract agreement….

Meanwhile: Plus Power lines up financing for 565 MWh storage project

Background: Solar Developer Abandons Big Island Project

read … Solar projects ditched, delayed

HART Finds Excuses to Keep Rail Shut Down until Mid-2022

CB: … HART still hasn’t found a contractor who can do the necessary track welding.

That likely means further delay to provide interim rail service, an effort that’s already faced numerous setbacks. Currently, HART hopes to deliver the transit line’s first 10 miles from east of Kapolei to Aloha Stadium by mid-2022, according to agency officials….

Meddings said that the first set of new, wider wheels should be ready in August 2022. It should take about a year to replace all of the existing, narrower wheels, he added.

HART has yet to provide details on how much the fix will cost. During Tuesday’s meeting, board Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa asked Meddings, “Whose fault is it?”

Meddings replied that HART and Hitachi Rail Honolulu, which created the driverless trains and their wheels, are “saving arguments on commercial liability” until after the crisis passes….

SA: Lack of specialized welders delays rail

read … HART Has A Plan To Fix Rail Tracks But Lacks Welders To Do The Work

The latest attempt to rein in unregulated vacation rental units could put Waikiki residential units at risk.

Cataluna: On Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council will have the first reading of a bill aimed at cracking down on vacation rentals…

One part of (Bill 41) is not about controlling the number of vacation rentals, but instead, opening up zones where they would now be allowed. The bill proposes opening resort districts like Waikiki, Ko Olina and the area near Turtle Bay Resort for residential apartments to be converted to vacation rentals.

Christine Otto-Zaa has been working to stem the proliferation of unpermitted “monster houses” in Honolulu for years now. She worries that allowing residential units in Waikiki to become vacation rentals will feed into the same problem of squeezing out local residents.

Otto-Zaa says there are over 19,000 units in Waikiki currently in residential use — from the funky walk-ups near the Ala Wai to the more glamorous buildings near Kapiolani Park — that could become vacation rentals. She worries about where those long-term renters will go.

Bill 41: Text, Status

CB: Rental operators believe the city wants to regulate them out of existence to benefit the hotel industry. 

read … The latest attempt to rein in unregulated vacation rental units could put Waikiki residential units at risk.

Whistleblower Says The Navy Gave False Testimony About Red Hill Fuel Facility

CB: … A whistleblower told the Hawaii Department of Health in September that Navy officials provided false testimony and withheld information about corrosion at its Red Hill fuel facility, according to a memo filed by the DOH Environmental Health Administration on Tuesday.

In light of that information, the division asked Health Director Libby Char to reopen a legal proceeding that will help determine the fate of the beleaguered facility.

A contested case hearing officer already recommended that Char issue an operating permit, under certain conditions, but EHA’s memo raised the possibility that he could change his recommendation.….

SA: Top Navy official raised concerns about multiple leaking valves at Red Hill, according to leaked email

read … Whistleblower Says The Navy Gave False Testimony A bout Red Hill Fuel Facility

Proposed Updates To Federal Fishing Law Target Wespac

CB: … John Gourley is worried.

The vice chair of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council flipped through a printed copy of the 189-page Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act — the first major update to the nation’s primary federal fisheries law in 15 years — at a recent meeting of the council and urged his fellow members to get up to speed on the proposed legislation.

“There is a lot of stuff in this bill that will affect the way that we do business and the way we manage our fisheries,” he said. “And some of it may not be what you want.”

The bill was introduced in August by Democratic Congressmen Ed Case of Hawaii and Jared Huffman of California to reform the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the 1976 landmark legislation that has guided federal fishing policy for nearly half a century….

(The whole point is to force enviro-activists onto the WESPAC board.)

read … Proposed Updates To Federal Fishing Law Target Wespac

Kauai Styrofoam Ban Takes Effect January 1

TGI: … Island eateries will no longer serve food in polystyrene containers beginning Jan. 1, when a county ordinance passed in 2020 finally takes effect.

The restrictions delayed by the coronavirus pandemic are a long time coming, according to Kaua‘i Division of Solid Waste personnel….

read … Kaua‘i ditching foam boxes, prepping for new law

Ed Case pressured to Help Biden Burn US Treasury to Ground (again)
Corona Virus News 
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