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Thursday, March 3, 2022
March 3, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:25 PM :: 2851 Views

Hawaii's Only Refiner Suspends Purchases of Russian Oil

Gun Bills Set for House Floor Votes

Revised minimum wage bill takes legislators off the hot seat

CARES Money Housed 787 Homeless on Oahu

DoH Revises Admin Rules for Marijuana and Hemp

DHS Touts Effort to Keep Children With Families  

Hawaiian Electric seeking proposals for firm renewable energy on Oahu

How to Avoid indictment? Kirk Caldwell joins gubernatorial race

SA: … Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced his candidacy for governor this week with a series of ads in daily newspapers across the islands that included the headline, “Even if some don’t think I can win.”

“I wanted people to know that I am realistic about where things stand in the Governor’s race. I made some hard and sometimes unpopular decisions as Mayor, especially during that first horrific year of Covid. But it’s always more important to do what’s needed for health and safety and not for political reasons,” Caldwell said in a statement Wednesday to the Honolulu Star- Advertiser….

(Translation: If the boys think I may become Governor, they won’t rat me out.)

read … Kirk Caldwell joins gubernatorial race

Judge In Conspiracy Case OKs Deposition Of Terminally Ill Ex-Budget Director

CB: … Three former Honolulu officials facing federal indictment believe Nelson Koyanagi can provide information that helps their defense….

(Clue: If this doesn’t work, just rat Caldwell out.)

SA: Ailing witness in city corruption case can be questioned, Hawaii federal judge rules

Background: Old mafia trick: Leong Attorney Points Finger at Dying Man

read … Judge In Conspiracy Case OKs Deposition Of Terminally Ill Ex-Budget Director

Old Boys: ‘Government Corruption is Just a Conspiracy Theory’

CB:  …Two misguided reforms are floating around during this legislative session. One is term limits. The other is the crusade to stop corruption.

Term limits don’t solve problems that people want them to solve, and in many ways make things worse….

the crusade we see taking place is wrong because it is more like a moral panic than a rational response….

(Influence peddling is ‘rational’.  Stopping it is ‘panic’.)

If an elected official faces term limits, after a certain number of terms she goes bye-bye. Period. Out comes the bad air, in comes the good.

Competence, though, is good air, which is a key part of reasons why term limits don’t work.

(Yes.  He just said Hawaii Legislators are ‘competent.’  IQ Test: Did you laugh?)

The fight against corruption has become a crusade based on moral panic.

“Evil,” “crusade” — that sounds like, well, The Crusades, which is not a model I would choose for bringing about social change.

(IQ Test: Can a Knight in Shining Armor be a Straw Man?)

The response to our two legislators recently getting caught with their hands in the till, or in one case, in the seat cushion, has been just crazy and over the top.

(Translation: Corruption? Don’t worry be happy.)

there is no evidence that bribery is common among legislators. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You believe that this lack of evidence shows just how good the legislators are at getting away with it.

Insert snide, knowing skepticism here.

The fewer the cases, the worse the problem — that’s your belief?  (Not really but it is the author’s straw-man.) It sounds a little too much like a conspiracy theory to me….

(The purpose of this commentary is to wind down corruption investigations before more criminals are caught.)

HTH: Connors: COVID fraud crackdown a priority  (Connors was made federal prosecutor for the purpose of winding down corruption investigations before more criminals are caught.)

read … Resist Simplistic Solutions To Government Corruption

Will Mauna Kea Bill Die in Senate?

CB: … If the bill clears the House, it will move on to the Senate where it faces probable opposition, including from the chair of a key Senate committee.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who chairs the Senate Water and Land Committee, said she will refuse to hear the bill if it’s sent to her committee.  Inouye said she supports the university’s governance of the mountain and astronomy activities.

“I’m not pleased with what’s transpiring in the House in regards to that measure,” Inouye said. “I’m not sure if the Senate would want to have this controversial issue.”…

BIVN: Bill Amended to Not Automatically Abolish Astronomy

WHT: Maunakea bill unlikely to pass: Inouye says the measure will die in her committee

SA: Bill to replace University of Hawaii stewardship of Mauna Kea advances

read … A Bill To Take Away UH’s Management Of Mauna Kea Clears House Committees

SHOPO Explains how Staffing Hype will Help Officers Rack up More Overtime

KHON: … Changes are coming to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), aimed at addressing its staffing shortage. The police union, SHOPO, said officers will start working three 12-hour shifts next month to increase patrol coverage.

According to the president of SHOPO, HPD plans to start a pilot program to have officers in two districts — Kalihi and Windward Oahu — to work three 12-hour shifts a week. SHOPO said that can actually increase patrol coverage by 10%.

“So the staffing right now is holding at 75%. That would increase the staffing around 85%, just by changing the work schedule,” said Robert Cavaco, SHOPO president.

The new schedule will be done for three months. Cavaco said if it works out, then it will be done island-wide. HPD was on the 3-12 schedule before but dropped it in 2006. Cavaco said it was because of overtime and sick leave abuse.

“Officers would call in sick three days in a row to take a week off, and in our contract, you don’t need a doctor’s note until you reach five consecutive days of sick leave, and then you bring in a doctor’s note,” said Cavaco.

That led to the department paying more overtime to cover those shifts. Cavaco said this time, officers would need a doctor’s note after two sick days.

Cavaco added that the new schedule should also help with recruiting and morale. Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic shared his optimism on the proposal with the Honolulu Police Commission….

Vanic also met with a City Council committee and said he’s told commanders that if any shift falls below 75% staffing, call in more officers to work overtime of up to nine hours….

HNN: Amid staffing shortages, HPD eyes 12-hour shifts for patrol officers

read … HPD officers to work longer hours to help shortage

Hawaii Lawmakers Advance Measures To Fund The Police Standards Board

CB: … But the bills also require new standards to apply only to officers hired after 2024…..

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Advance Measures To Fund The Police Standards Board

Mayor Rick Blangiardi considering contract allowing media access to first-responder radio

SA: … City attorneys are reviewing the legality of restoring public access to first ­responder radio traffic after Mayor Rick Blangiardi expressed interest in a contractual agreement with Honolulu media outlets permitting them to listen in.

The public’s ability to monitor the radio communications of taxpayer-funded departments ended Feb. 15 when the final phase of a $15 million conversion from the city’s analog system to a P25 Motorola digital system was completed. The decision to upgrade the radios and encrypt real-time first respon­der radio traffic was made during former Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser shared a copy of a 2018 agreement between the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Las Vegas media outlets with Blangiardi, the Honolulu City Council, the Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department and city Emergency Services Department.

The agreement allowed news agencies to pay for their own Motorola P25 radios, which cost as much as $10,000 each. Media organizations agreed not to alter the equipment or use them in any way other than to monitor the channels approved and programmed by LVMPD.  ….

read … Mayor Rick Blangiardi considering contract allowing media access to first-responder radio

Mokapu Elem Parents Petition Against Outdoor Mask Rule

SA: … the group of parents and community members at Mokapu Elementary in Kailua point out that the state health department’s latest guidance says that “students and staff do not need to wear masks in most outdoor settings.” Their petition on had drawn more than 400 signatures as of Thursday morning.

The petition’s originator, Maureen Lenzi, who lives at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and has two children attending Mokapu, said in an email that she believes the health department’s guidance ought to take precedence. “The HIDOE has inserted itself into a health-related policy that they have no authority to regulate or modify,” she said. …. 

read … Outdoor masking rule for Hawaii public schools divides Kailua community

HSTA Member could get 20 years for child molestation

HTH: … John Lee Franks, 43, of Ocean View, was indicted Feb. 23 on two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a minor and one count of continuous sexual assault of a minor stemming from alleged incidents committed against a girl between November 2021 and mid-February. Court records indicate Franks also goes by the name John Pryor….

According to a charging complaint filed Feb. 17, Franks knowingly engaged in “sexual penetration” with a minor female born in 2009, who was less than 14 years old, on Nov. 9, 2021, and Feb. 10 and 14 of this year.

A $150,000 bench warrant issued following the Feb. 23 indictment has yet to be served. Franks had posted on Feb. 18 $50,000 bail set by District Court after the complaint was filed Feb. 17….

Cara Phillips, a communications specialist, with the state Department of Education, said Wednesday that Franks had been placed on leave without pay pending an ongoing investigation by the department.

Franks most recently worked as a student services coordinator at Konawaena Middle School. He was first employed with the department in 2008 as a special education teacher….

All three offenses are Class A felonies, each of which can result in 20 years behind bars if Franks is convicted.

read … Teacher accused of sexual assault of minor on leave

Dirtier than Coal: HECO Mandates Conversion to Wood Pellets

IM: …Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) released its “Oahu Renewable Dispatchable Firm Generation RFP.”

HECO seeks 300-500 MW by December 1, 2029, and other 200 MW by December 1, 2031. The projects must be synchronous machine-based generation technology and must not be based on solar or wind or any other inverter-based generation resources….

The AES Coal plant and Kalaeloa Partners together have a capacity of 300 MW of fossil fuel power. These two facilities could convert to “green” fuels and account for most or all of the approved projects for the 2029 deadline.

(Translation: AES must stop burning coal and begin burning wood pellets which are dirtier.)

HECO will also accept proposals for its own facilities “if modifications to repower or re-use such existing facilities using renewable fuels are completed.” The cost of these systems would probably be much lower since these systems are already built and regulated….

Reality: Wood Pellets? Hawaii 'Green' Energy Scam is Dirtier Than Coal

read … HECO Targets New Firm "Green" Energy

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