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Thursday, June 23, 2022
June 23, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:14 PM :: 2422 Views

Ige Signs Minimum Wage Hike, makes Earned Income Tax Credit Refundable

2022 Primary Election--Get a Sample Ballot for Your District

Ukraine Needs Robot Dogs to Clear Mines -- Will HPD Donate?

Oahu Schoolteacher Detained on Charge of Sexually Exploiting Minor Student

S. 2907 Federal 'Truth and Healing Commission' will dig for Bodies at Kamehameha School

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen -- Will Affect Hawaii Gun Laws

HDoT: Car-Mounted Probes to Hunt Potholes

Retaliation by Tainted Social Worker Costs Grandmother Custody

CB: …For six years, Deborah Goodwin did everything she could think of to try to foster and then adopt her orphaned grandson. She went before the Family Court on the Big Island, and when that didn’t work, appealed to the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court. In the meantime, she filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services in Circuit Court.

Three years ago, she contacted Civil Beat, which did a story about her case. She told a court-appointed custody evaluator she wanted to write a book about her experience. She said that if she were not able to adopt her grandson, she planned to “go all Erin Brockovich” to expose what she saw as corruption in Hawaii’s foster care and adoption system. Brockovich famously took on a California utility company over groundwater pollution.

Her efforts fell short. On New Year’s Eve in 2019, while she was with her grandson at their favorite surfing spot on the Big Island, her attorney called to say that a Family Court judge had approved the boy’s adoption by a non-relative couple who had fostered him….

The DHS social worker in the middle of these factual disputes was Kerry Perez, who has since left the department. Goodwin alleged that Perez misrepresented both the reasons for asking that J.J. be placed elsewhere when her daughter was threatening her, and the statements supposedly made by her ex-husband. Perez, who now lives in California, did not respond to a message left with a relative.

KERRY PEREZ INFO MISSING FROM THIS STORY: “CWS Sex Assault Suit: Two sisters sent to same Foster Home Molesters

Evidence Of Ill Will?

The judge noted in her decision that Perez said she bore no ill will toward Goodwin, although Perez “found her interactions with Goodwin to be frustrating” and eventually asked a supervisor to take over communicating with her.

But in texts with the guardian ad litem, the person appointed by the court to represent the interests of the child, Perez referred to Goodwin as a “fruitcake,” according to one court filing.

In another exchange in August, 2017 after Goodwin had been approved as a foster parent for J.J. but before DHS’s placement recommendation, the GAL asked, “What do you think about requesting that Deb Goodwin get a psych eval?”

Goodwin says she taught J.J. to boogie board at Pine Trees surf break, where she got the news he’d been adopted by his foster family. Courtesy: Deborah Goodwin

Perez replied, “My worry is if her eval says nothing wrong (She’s rather convincing at first). Then she has ammunition.” Such a move might also give her grounds for becoming a party to the Family Court case. “That’s my thought – keep her distant,” Perez wrote.

Perez texted that if the Texas man did not turn out to be J.J.’s biological father, she wanted to terminate Sarah’s parental rights, which had to be done officially even though she was dead, and get the adoption by the foster family approved in the same day “so Deb can but (sic) out. She has been a nightmare this month.”

The custody evaluator later recommended that J.J. be adopted by the foster couple. But he nonetheless said that DHS had not treated Goodwin fairly.

He testified that he was concerned that “Goodwin has been seen in an unrealistically negative light by DHS,” according to one of Goodwin’s pleadings in the adoption case.

Specifically, he identified “animus” on the part of Perez and said that if he’d been treated as Goodwin had, he’d be “livid” and “loaded for bear,” according to the pleading….

Goodwin raised her daughter, Sarah, as a single mother, mostly in Hawaii. She worked at nonprofit and educational organizations, most recently as executive director of the Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela. In 2013, she was a finalist for Hawaii Business Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in the nonprofit category….

MISSING FROM THIS STORY: CWS Sex Assault Suit: Two sisters sent to same Foster Home Molesters

read … Another CWS Disaster

Retaliation: Kauai deputy prosecutor out of job amid flap over judicial nominee

SA: … (soft-on-crime) Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like sent the committee a letter Friday saying that Christensen’s testimony falsely implied that her office opposed a confirmation of Meyers.

Like also clarified (decided to undermine) Christensen’s claim that the Kauai Police Department was currently investigating the allegations against Meyers. She said (now claims) the matter was referred to KPD, which recommended no charges be filed, and that the case was then referred to the state Office of the Attorney General with Meyers reclassified as a “person of interest.” …

(New judge is ‘person of interest’ in witness tampering case.  No worries.  It is the State AG, not the Feds.)

BACKGROUND: After Thug allegedly intimidates Witness into Retraction, Senate Votes to Make his Lawyer a Judge

BACKGROUND: Judicial Nominee Teamed up with Criminal Defendant to ‘Persuade’ Witness to Recant 

read … Kauai deputy prosecutor out of job amid flap over judicial nominee

Lawmakers call for Hawaii to join others in dropping state gas tax--Ige Makes Excuses

HNN: … “It’s not going to stop at six, or seven or eight, it’s going to go higher,” said Rep. Gene Ward of Hawaii Kai. “We know Biden will not do the drilling or open up the resources locally.”

Ward also said people need as much relief as they can get amid rising cost of living in Hawaii.

Ige said it would be up to the legislature to suspend any taxes….

Currently, the average cost of gas in the United States is $4.96.

In Hawaii it’s $5.55. Suspending the federal tax for three months would reduce that to $5.37.

But there are two other taxes driving up the prices in the islands — Hawaii’s state tax is 16 cents. County taxes vary from 16 cents to 23 cents.

According to officials, if all those taxes were suspended, a gallon of gas could be as low as $4.98…. 

SA: Hawaii gas tax holiday unlikely

read … Lawmakers call for Hawaii to join others in dropping state gas tax

Squatters buy time by bluffing HPD

ILind: … Armed Honolulu police officers arrived on Wednesday to enforce a court order and evict a group of tresspassers who have been illegally occupying 30-acres of land in an agricultural subdivision in Kunia for more than nine months.

They were greeted by several people, including Travis Mokiao.

“This is my private property,” Mokiao announced confidently.

Mokiao claims an undivided interest in the property because he has traced his genealogy back to the original recipient of a land grant covering the area awarded following the Great Mahele of 1848.

Police eventually left without clearing the squatters from the property, although Mokiao’s claims are wrong on many different levels.

First, Mokiao’s claim to an “ownership” interest in the property was dismissed by Circuit Court Judge James McWhinnie after six months of court proceedings, who then issued an order directing police and sheriffs to eject the squatters and return the property to its owner, Guyland LLC.

Mokiao was able to bluff police by presenting documents that had been filed in court tracing his family back to the original landowner, although McWhinnie had already determined that those same papers did not support any claim to the land. Mokiao did not, and could not, present a conflicting court order because there is none.

Second, Mokiao told police they could not take further action because there is a pending case in federal court. However, court records show that federal case was dismissed within one day of its filing.….

HPD’s decision yesterday to withdraw without removing the trespassers appears to be without a valid basis. I’m sure that a lot of other landowners are watching and waiting to see how long it will take for this standoff to be ended….

read … Squatters buy time by bluffing HPD

Guns, Bullets, and Weed: Ezra Miller Housing Three Young Hawaii Children and Their Mother at Vermont Grow-op

RS: … The mother and children, aged one to five, have been living at Miller’s Stamford, Vermont, farm since mid-April. The actor met the woman in Hilo, Hawaii, which Miller had been visiting in March. The embattled actor, who is set to star in Warner Bros.’ anticipated The Flash, racked up a string of arrests while in Hawaii, causing an emergency meeting with studio executives about their future with the franchise. (Miller is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.)

In the midst of that unfolding crisis, the children’s father claims to Rolling Stone that Miller secured a flight out of Hawaii for the woman and her children, allegedly without the father’s knowledge. He claims he has not been able to see or speak with his children since their departure.

“I got a bad feeling in my stomach,” the father says. “I do want to go get my kids, they mean the fucking world to me.” (Representatives for Miller did not reply to a request for comment.)

The mother and father have been at odds for some time, according to Hawaii court records. The mother pursued one domestic abuse case and one paternity case against the father in May 2021. He has denied all abuse allegations, and the domestic case was terminated when neither of the parents appeared in court. Files in the paternity case show the judge put the case on hold last October because the father hadn’t been served. The father filed a domestic case against the mother in April, related to her taking the children out of the state. That case is pending.

The mother says she is still living at Miller’s farm with her children. The two sources who confirmed seeing children there with their mother describe it as a chaotic environment that is unsafe for children. Video footage from April reviewed by Rolling Stone appears to show at least eight assault weapons, rifles, and handguns lying around the living room, with some weapons propped up next to a pile of stuffed animals.

The two sources also alleged that there has been frequent and heavy marijuana use in front of the children, with little concern about proper ventilation. Rolling Stone has also learned that there is a sizable cannabis farm on Miller’s property, with Miller’s close friend and purported “handyman” Whitney Suters claiming on social media that the two were running a cannabis company called Rebel Alliance Cannabis.….

read … Guns, Bullets, and Weed: Ezra Miller Housing Three Young Children and Their Mother at Vermont Farm

Maui Police Still Looking for 50-Time Loser who was allowed back onto the streets

SA: … Three men arrested by federal agents for allegedly running cocaine, methamphetamine and gambling operations on Oahu and Maui will stand trial in November while federal agents and Maui police continue to look for a fourth man who remains at large.

Maliu Tauheluhelu, 37, of Waianae is the alleged leader of the group, coordinating cocaine and methamphetamine distribution, illegal game rooms and online gambling applications on Maui and Oahu. His alleged co-conspirators on Maui are Maafu Pani, 37, Touanga Niu, 21, and Desmond Morris, 38.

Tauheluhelu was arrested June 3 on Oahu. Pani and Niu also were arrested that day on Maui. Morris, a Maui man who has been arrested or cited on more than 50 occasions, continues to evade capture, according to Maui police. ….

read … Soft on Crime

New Honolulu police chief addresses uptick in crime

KHON: … “It’s not really smash-and-grab robberies but it’s burglaries where people throw rocks through windows and go inside and take things,” Logan explained.

He said there have been 24 since early May: 10 in District 7, two in District 3, six in District 4 and six in District 8.

“We’re working on leads towards solving these burglaries and the team continues to do the investigations,” said Logan.

Logan also talked about extending the three-day-12-hour workweek pilot program until the end of the year to gauge its impact on the department.

“So we can we see how this impacts arrests. Is it increasing, staying the same or does it decrease? And if it did decrease, why?” Logan asked. “And if they’re working 12-hour days perhaps there’s fatigue. And then you could see an impact in more vehicle accidents involving officers.”

The program is currently running in two districts. If the data looks positive, he could implement the 3/12 work week, island-wide.

Shannon Alivado, HPD’s commission chair, said the department has waited long enough for their leadership to be put in place and she feels Logan will give them a good sense of direction.

But Alivado said the commission would like to see him focus on a couple more things.

“I think the increased crime that some of us in our communities are feeling is a very important focus area and I think he’s been hearing from the community with respect to those concerns,” Alivado explained. “I really would like to see some focus in that area as well as officer retention and recruitment.”…

read … New Honolulu police chief addresses uptick in crime

DOE, DOH in talks about school masking requirement

HTH: … Indoor masking remains mandatory for public schools during summer programs, but discussions are underway between the Department of Education and the Department of Health regarding the upcoming fall semester….

Any changes to school masking policies for fall would impact the quarantine guidelines for students who are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“If indoor masking is implemented, per the Department of Health, our close contact identification, notification and quarantining of campuses are not required,” Hayashi said. “We anticipate meeting with the Department of Health next month for continued meetings and guidance for the upcoming school year.”

read … DOE, DOH in talks about school masking requirement

Comparing GHG Emissions of Various Hawaii Renewable Energy Projects 

IM: … Hu Honua Bioenergy Biomass (Trees) Life cycle GHG Intensity  (kg CO2e/MWh) -- 2,697 ….

SA: Column: Energy bill would foreclose sustainable economy, future

read … Comparing GHG Emissions of Various Hawaii Renewable Energy Projects 

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