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Friday, April 15, 2022
April 15, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:10 PM :: 2639 Views

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Documents Show US Rep. Kai Kahele Has A Special Deal With Hawaiian Airlines

CB: … U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele is benefiting from a unique arrangement with Hawaiian Airlines that has allowed him to work and earn income as a part-time pilot while also serving in Congress.

Contract documents and other internal records obtained by Civil Beat show Kahele has been on a specialized leave of absence that was designed for Hawaiian Airlines pilots who have been appointed or elected to state or federal office or who hold a position within a government agency that is “directly connected with aviation.”

Kahele, however, seems to be the only person within the company who qualifies for the benefit.

After Kahele was elected to Congress in November 2020, Hawaiian Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association, which is the national labor union that represents the company’s pilots, crafted a new leave policy that would allow the first-term congressman to maintain his flight status, seniority and longevity with the company while he represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in Washington.

The addendum was approved by Hawaiian Airlines and ALPA officials on Jan. 19, 2021 with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2021, which was two days before Kahele was sworn in to office.

For some within the company, several of whom spoke with Civil Beat only if they were not identified because they fear retaliation, the new policy felt like special treatment for someone who could help the company’s bottom line….

Kahele’s office defended his time away from Washington, telling CNN that he lives in a multi-generational family household in Hawaii and is worried about new coronavirus variants.

That same day the congressman posted a video on Facebook in which he was maskless in an airport playing a ukulele as he waited to catch a flight to Kauai where he then met with dozens of community members and posed for photos with his constituents, including groups of high school students….

FOX: Absent Dem lawmaker sits on committee handling bills affecting his employer, Hawaiian Airlines

SA: “If he’s planning to run for governor, this’ll be tough to explain,” Moore said. “Voters will ask, ‘Why aren’t you representing us in Washington?’ 

RS: Proxy Voting in the House in 2021

UKDM: Kahele skipped out on President Biden's State of the Union address and was the only member of Hawaii's delegation to miss a meeting with Honolulu officials in D.C. to talk to the Federal Transit Administration about a $10 billion rail project and missed debate on the 2023 fiscal year Defense budget. 

CB: Questions Raised Over Kai Kahele’s Job With Hawaiian Airlines

HNN: Kahele responds to criticism over part-time job as Hawaiian Air pilot, proxy voting record

NYP: Hawaii Democratic rep avoids DC votes to fly commercial planes: report

read … Documents Show US Rep. Kai Kahele Has A Special Deal With Hawaiian Airlines

Billing Dispute: Prosecutor Looks at Kaneshiro-era Sex Abuse Treatment Center Invoices

SA: … For the past 20 years, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, a program of HPH’s Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, billed the prosecuting attorney’s office for testing rape kits that are collected from sexual assault victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Upon taking office last year, Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm’s office hired an outside certified public accountant to review certain invoices and supporting documentation to perform necessary due diligence on the amounts requested by the treatment center, Alm told the Honolulu Star- Advertiser.

HPH requested payment of about $700,000 for serv­ices rendered….

Alm said. “I am happy to report that we recently made a payment of over $587,000 to SATC, which represents most of the outstanding requests for payment. Our CPA continues to analyze the remaining amounts and we hope to pay those amounts soon. It is our understanding that no programs or services have been or will be impacted by this issue.”…

The center provides comprehensive services for survivors of sexual assault, including medical care, crisis counseling and therapy, and works to prevent sexual violence through public policy, awareness and education, according to its website….

2017: Honolulu Prosecutor faces intense criticism for management of domestic violence safe house

2019: City-funded domestic violence shelter that was barely used is slated to close down

read … Sex Abuse Treatment Center, prosecutor’s office resolve payment issue

Legislative Workgroup to Plan Steps to Legalize Psychotic Mushrooms

MM: … A Hawaii House committee on Thursday approved a Senate-passed resolution to request that the state form of a psilocybin working group that would explore the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

The Senate concurrent resolution from Sen. Chris Lee (D) cleared the House Health, Human Services and Homelessness Committee in a 5-0 vote. It must move through one additional panel before potentially being considered on the floor.

An identical Senate resolution also passed the chamber last month, but it only applied to the single chamber so it wasn’t transmitted to the House….

Meanwhile: A vape flavour ban would do more damage than good, argue tobacco harm reduction experts  (See how this works?)

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Senate-Passed Psilocybin Workgroup Resolution In Committee 

Violent crime is underreported on HPD's crime mapping page

HNN: … HPD's crime mapping page is not accurate or reliable, and in some cases, it's underreporting crimes.

For example, something that's easy to check is the homicides on Oahu. Between January 1, 2022 and April 12, 2022, HPD's crime mapping data shows there have been only these five homicides on Oahu:…

But there have actually been 11 homicides so far this year….

read … Violent crime is underreported on HPD's crime mapping page

How A Killer Walks Free: HPA Shows the Way

TGI: … The Hawai‘i Paroling Authority recently reduced the sentence of Darren Galas, who was convicted of assault in the first degree in 2018 in connection to the 2006 death of his wife Sandra Galas.

HPA granted Galas’s request for a six-month reduction of his sentence on March 31, moving his minimum release date to May 2, 2026. His maximum release date is currently set at May 1, 2028.

Galas was originally charged with murder in the second degree, but in 2018 pleaded no contest for a reduced charge of assault in the first degree, for which he was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.

“They gave him a minimum sentence of eight and a half years, and now they’re cutting that up,” Sandra’s father, Larry Mendonca, said after hearing about the reduction. “I can only take so much.”

“This is the kicker,” he added. “As long as he is in jail, he can apply for a reduction every single year.”…

Sandra Galas was 27 when she was found strangled in her car at her ‘Ele‘ele home on Jan. 25, 2006.

The case went cold for several years until a grand jury returned an indictment against Darren Galas in October 2012.

The couple married in 1999 and separated in 2005. That year, Sandra Galas filed for divorce and wrote several emails to her attorney saying that she was a victim of domestic violence.

After the indictment, Darren Galas was released on bail and spent several years out of custody as a different regime of prosecutors prepared their case.

At the time, former Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, who reached the 2018 plea deal, said the 2012 indictment was rushed, putting the case on bad footing. This forced prosecutors into a position where the deal for the lesser charge was the best option.

Kollar called the eight and a half year assault sentence “an imperfect measure” but “a measure of justice,” according to past The Garden Island reporting….

read … Darren Galas sentence reduced by paroling authority

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