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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
August 16, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:42 PM :: 2013 Views

Sunscreen: BASF Chemical is laughing at you from the homepage of the National Academies of Sciences

Foreclosure Rate up 94% in Hawaii

Audit: Maui County Zoning ‘Heavily Politicized’

DBEDT Releases 2021 Hawaii Data Book

Another state worker arrested, probe into theft at Honolulu airport’s baseyard broadens

HNN: … Hawaii’s Attorney General’s Office has arrested a fourth state employee as part of a 16-month investigation into allegations of theft at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport baseyard.

Investigators arrested airport engineer Wesley R. Shiroma in March on suspicion of second-degree theft….

Hawaii News Now reported previously that the AG’s office raided the baseyard last year, leading to the arrest of two baseyard staffers ― David Kaio and Arnold Keawe, Sr. ― on suspicion of second-degree theft.

Another employee ― Randall Johnson ― was also arrested for suspicion of second-degree theft.

None of the four have been charged yet….

According to a DOT spokesman, Shiroma and Johnson are still employed by the department. Kaio and Keawe are no longer work for the DOT….

McCarthy said government baseyards and maintenance facilities are vulnerable to theft, especially from insiders.

“These base yards or corporation yards are perfect targets for criminals. They know that there’s a lack of security there, there’s a lack of inventory controls,” he said….

CB: No one has been charged yet, but the DOT said it has already made changes to prevent future wrongdoing. 

read … After 4th state worker arrested, probe into theft at Honolulu airport’s baseyard broadens

Miske Investigated for 24 Years

CB: …Miske is accused of controlling and directing a long-running and violent racketeering conspiracy that engaged in a wide range of criminal activities, including murder and murder-for-hire, kidnapping, arson, armed robbery, drug trafficking, fraud and money laundering.

The trial of Miske and seven remaining defendants is scheduled to begin in April and last several months.

Miske’s legal team, headed by co-counsel Thomas Otake and Lynn Panagakos, have clearly signaled they intend to come out swinging.

“We’re fighting, because they are trying to put this man away for life,” Panagakos told Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield during a court hearing in May….

Defending Miske, the former owner of Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, M Nightclub, and other businesses, isn’t going  to be easy.

First, prosecutors are sitting on a vast amount of incriminating evidence.

There are investigative reports and witness statements from four federal investigations, the earliest from about 1998 to 2000, and continuing up through Miske’s indictment in 2019, followed by superseding indictments in 2020 and 2021.

There are phone and email records from multiple accounts turned over by the carriers. There are surveillance records, audio and video, gathered over several years, including years of 24/7 surveillance, court records show.

There are business records seized from Miske’s various businesses, and from several of his residences, along with 292,000 pages of accounting records produced by Miske’s accountant, Tricia Castro, who pleaded guilty in June 2021 to conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit bank fraud….

ILind: My latest take on the direction of the Miske murder-racketeering case

read … The Miske Case Has Become One Of The Most Complex Prosecutions In The Country

Mauna authority faces rough road

SA: The hope is that NSF takes in the full range of comments, including those submitted by people unable to attend these meetings. You can submit comments online (see the link at….

read … Mauna authority faces rough road

Slim margins trigger primary election recounts in 6 races

HNN: … The state Office of Elections has been very busy counting last-minute ballots dropped off before the deadline Saturday ― and recounting close votes in six races.

The top two candidates in the six races being recounted are all within 100 votes.

One of those races: Cory Chun is a smidge ahead of his opponent for state House District.

“Less than 10 votes separating us,” said Chun, who is vying to represent the district that covers Waipahu and Waikele….

Recounts are also underway for a Maui state House seat and a spot on the Kauai County Council….

The other new element was the 31,000 ballots put in Oahu drop boxes on Saturday. That’s more than the presidential election two years ago….

SA: Nail-biter races in Hawaii primary election trigger recounts

LINK: Recount Results

read … Slim margins trigger primary election recounts in 6 races

Counties taking steps to cure ballots and finalize voting count

KITV: … Honolulu needs to cure 3700 ballots, and they're not the only ones. Kauai says they've got 81 voters who need cured ballots. The Island of Hawaii has 1041 ballots and in Maui County 849 ballots need the same process.

“We are reaching out to those voters by paper mail. If we do have a phone number or email address for the voter, we will reach out that way as well, “ said Maui County Clerk Kathy Kaohu.

“So what we do is contact the voter by letter that there's an issue with their signature. They can now provide a signature on the form we send them. It comes back to us. We'll match the signatures up. If it matches, then it's eligible for counting,” said Quidilla….

read … Counties taking steps to cure ballots and finalize voting count

Procedures at Maui’s only voter service center cause headaches for last-minute voters

HNN: … Voters said it took about an hour to get to voting booth.

“There’s a lot of senior citizens here, some came with walkers. One of the clerks told me that a couple of them collapsed earlier this morning because of the heat,” Maui County Council Vice Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez said on Saturday.

On top of the heat and long lines, several people wanted to know why they had to fill out a Voter Service Center Registration Affidavit. It asked for the voter’s name, address, driver’s license number, state ID number, or last four digits of their social security number, along with numerous other questions.

Some said the detailed formed caused the long lines and felt like an effort to suppress voting.

Matthew Broderick from Paia left but later came back.

“I came earlier actually. But there was such a big line, I couldn’t wait. So, I had to come back, and I got here at 6:58,” he said Saturday evening.

That’s just two minutes before the polling doors closed.

Elections officials eventually did away with the detailed form to help speed up the process….

KHON: Preparations underway for General Election including some changes

read … Procedures at Maui’s only voter service center cause headaches for last-minute voters

Hawaii is seeing a steady growth in the cost of running for office

KHON: … Candidates for all state and county offices in the 2022 election cycle raised nearly $15 million by the primary, plus took loans of nearly $3.3 million — and spent almost $17 million so far, according to data tracked by the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission.

Compare that to 15 million candidates raised in the entire 2020 election cycle through the general, with much less in loans, and spending just over $15 million all the way through the 2020 election cycle through to the November general.

read … Hawaii is seeing a steady growth in the cost of running for office

In reversal, state says military training at Big Island range not compatible with conservation land

HNN: … HNN obtained documents in which the state Land Department said the training is not compatible with the conservation land. The Army wants to retain up to 23,000 acres of state land at the Pohakuloa Training Area for continued training and asked for comments on a draft environment impact statement.

Options included retaining the land for military use, partial retention or losing its 65-year lease, which expires in 2029. It’s a lease that cost the army just $1.

The state documents said the Army’s draft EIS does not meet requirements and has major gaps.

“Military use that involves maneuvers, ammunition, artillery and mortar systems, depleted uranium, explosives, firing points, hazardous materials and waste, live fire, unexploded ordnance, and weapons systems do not appear to be consistent with the Conservation District,” said the DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Land, in the June 7 document.….

CB: Hawaii Agencies Criticize A Big Island Military Training Site Amid Push for Lease Renewal

read … In reversal, state says military training at Big Island range not compatible with conservation land

Cost of Government Commission finding departmental feedback a challenge

HTH: … With just three months before they’re required by the county charter to present a report to the County Council and mayor, some members of the Cost of Government Commission reported Thursday they’re having a hard time drumming up interest from some county departments and boards and commissions.

Commissioners reported very little feedback from officials and staff in departments to which they’d sent surveys and at least one department director declined to meet with the point person on one of the commission’s committees….

(IDEA: Tell Dept Heads the purpose it to make Government cost MORE.)

read … Cost of Government Commission finding departmental feedback a challenge

7 child sex trafficking victims located in Hawaii, FBI says

SA: … Federal, state and county law enforcement officers in Hawaii located seven child sex trafficking victims Friday as part of a nationwide recovery effort dubbed “Operation Cross Country XII,” according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Honolulu Division….

read … 7 child sex trafficking victims located in Hawaii, FBI says

Spy or Not? Attorneys seek lift of no-bail order in theft case

SA: … In a motion for revocation of detention order and appeal of detention order, deputy federal public defender Maximilian J. Mizono, the attorney for former U.S. defense contractor and Coast Guard veteran Walter Glenn Primrose, aka Bobby Edward Fort, argued that serious national security cases require that defense counsel may obtain clearance necessary to review evidence.

In the motion, submitted Thursday, Mizono said the lack of such notice from the government in this case “likely means that top-secret security clearance is not required for Mr. Primrose’s representation — as of now — and further demonstrates the unlikelihood that this case involves matters involving national security or defendants who are secret KGB agents and/or Russian spies.”….

read … Attorneys seek lift of no-bail order in theft case

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