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Thursday, October 27, 2022
October 27, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:06 PM :: 2940 Views

Short-term Rental Ban: City Warned About Enforcement

Defamation trial begins in pregnancy porn promotion case

Star-Adv Endorses Two Drunks for Reelection

SA Editorial: … >> District 41 (Ewa Beach, Barbers Point): Incumbent Democrat Matt LoPresti, a professor, faces a potentially close race against David “Bradda” Alcos, a contractor with deep roots in the district. The GOP’s Alcos positions himself as part of a “conservative wave” rolling through Oahu’s west side, but his lack of a detailed platform and policy know-how leave questions on whether he can deliver results.

LoPresti has the edge with his record of advocacy on education, traffic and infrastructure. However, his candidacy was hurt by his June arrest on suspicion of DUI; the charges were later voided for lack of evidence. (LOL!) Should he be reelected to a fourth term, LoPresti will need to do more to distinguish himself by evincing more leadership in committees and representing his district vigorously, without the negative headlines.  (They are telling him to go to rehab, but they endorse him for House.)

2022: Bodycam Video Rep Matt LoPresti DUI Arrest

>> District 42 (Ewa, Kapolei): Voters who chose between Sharon Har and her two Democratic primary opponents split the tally, so she came out on top. That leaves her as the candidate best positioned to represent her district — despite reservations arising from her arrest, then an acquittal, (LOL!) on drunken driving charges. On balance, Har has proven able to champion legislation — including a law applied to her own case, automatically suspending her driver’s license because she refused a field sobriety test.  (They are endorsing her because she pushed a DUI bill.)

Republican Diamond Garcia, a legislative aide, promises to be tough on crime and “fight the radical left,” but his platform is bare of details on the nuts and bolts of his positions….

2021: Rep Har DUI Arrest: Smelled of Alcohol, Yelled 'Black Lives Matter'

read … Drunk with Power

Sex for Food?  Foster Parent Defends Accused Molester--Perv Got off Easy in Earlier Case

SA: … Peter Mahoe told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an interview that his son, Bryson Joshua “Bula” Mahoe, who was charged by a federal grand jury Oct. 20 with one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, was never alone with the two girls who accused him of abuse.

According to federal court documents, the girls accused their then-foster parents of withholding food from them. Peter Mahoe acknowledged that he and his wife, Dorothy, were the girls’ adoptive foster parents, but said the rules of the Mahoe home ensured the girls always ate first….

According to an affidavit by an FBI agent working the case, Bryson Mahoe would then allegedly give the girls snacks and food if they performed sex acts on him that he would film or photograph.

“No way. He was always working like me. He was never alone with these kids,” Peter Mahoe said. “I am puzzled of what they are accusing him of and us as the foster parents. I can’t believe it. We always ate, we always cooked, we never starved. I’m just puzzled about what’s going on.”

Peter and Dorothy Mahoe were approached by family members in Waimanalo about serving as foster parents for the girls, who were under the age of 10 at the time.

“My cousins came to me and said they need help. We are still Godly people. My cousin needed help. The kids were going to the state system. My wife and me prayed on it and the Lord brought the girls to us. We never laid a hand on them, we never abused them, we never starved them,” Mahoe said….

It is not the first time Bryson Mahoe has been accused of filming a female against her will.

In 2016 he pleaded no contest to violation of privacy in the first degree, a Class C felony. That offense occurs when a person takes sexual photographs or video­tapes of a person without that person’s consent and when the person expects privacy, according to Hawaii Revised Statues.

He was charged May 10, 2016, and his bail was set at $11,000. On Oct. 4, 2016, he received a deferred acceptance of guilty plea, abided by conditions similar to probation, and the charge against him was dismissed Oct. 5, 2020….

(And yet this convicted pervert is allowed to live in a foster home.)

Randall L.K.M. Rosenberg, a Honolulu attorney, told the Star-Advertiser the protocol should, but does not, require the social worker to meet in private with the child, if age appropriate. In the presence of the foster parents the child might be reluctant to be forthcoming about problems or mistreatment, Rosenberg said.

“In my experience, the monthly protocol is never met….

BACKGROUND: Another Foster Care Disaster--Alleged Molester Trades Food for Sex

read … Father defends Wahiawa man accused of trading food for sex acts with 2 minor girls

‘Hazard Pay’ Public Employees Set to Take $100s of Millions from State treasury

KHON: …  Thousands of public workers statewide have not been compensated for hazard pay their unions say they are entitled to, for working during 2 years under COVID emergency orders.

A formal arbitration award is expected soon for Maui County staff, which could set the tone for what’s ahead on other islands and for state workers….

more than two years later, most people have not been paid any extra for working frontline jobs.

“At the start of the pandemic, we had made requests of every jurisdiction where employees were required to continue going into work every day to address the issue of whether or not they were entitled to hazard pay,” Perreira said. “Each employer followed their own process for doing so, and eventually all of the employers denied the requests, which led us to file grievances with each separate jurisdiction.”…

A big arbitration decision in Maui County is expected any day now, which could secure hazard pay for around 1,300 HGEA members for a 15 to 25 percent bump for days worked at-risk….

“Grievances were filed in all nine of the jurisdictions the United Public Workers represents on behalf of approximately 10,000 members,” Werner said. “We welcome those employers to join us at the table and negotiate similar settlements. As with all grievances, we hope to settle these issues informally if possible. However, where we cannot reach a settlement, we, as the exclusive representative for Bargaining Units 01 and 10, are prepared to pursue those grievances through the arbitration process.”

The police union SHOPO has grievances in various stages of the process….

Honolulu County’s corporation counsel said: “The City intends to defend against claims that the City’s workplace was hazardous during the COVID-19 pandemic for entire classes of employees, particularly because there already is an established hazard pay claims process and the City went to great lengths to protect its employees.  The very low number of COVID-19 infections of City employees who contracted the virus while at work is evidence of the effectiveness of the City’s COVID-19 protection practices.”…

“The state is the big elephant in the room,” Perreira said. “But we had no expectation that the current administration would deal with this. They’re undoubtedly going to punt to the next administration to address it.”

One of the biggest state departments is education. HSTA’s spokesperson said the teacher’s union asked for hazard pay, but it’s not outlined in their contracts so the request was denied and they can’t take it to arbitration like other unions.

HGEA, which has non-teaching staff across public schools, has arbitration hearings with the doe next month….

Unions say the feds have already given the state and county money to cover the cost.

“It’s specifically identified in the bill that Congress passed that hazard pay is one of the purposes for them giving such ARPA funds to each jurisdiction,” Perreira said….

read … Cost and scope of COVID hazard pay still in limbo for workers

Annual Hawaii military spending hits $7.9 billion

SA: … Overall, the military spent $7.9 billion in the islands during the 2021 fiscal year, making up 8.3 % of Hawaii's gross domestic product—an increase from 7.7 % in 2019. That makes it No. 2 in terms of how significant military spending is to a state's overall economy. Virginia tops that list with defense spending making up 10.2 % of its GDP. According to the figures released by the Pentagon, the spending in Hawaii accounts for 1.4 % of all defense spending….

Among the top companies cashing in on Pentagon spending in Hawaii, according to the OLDCC report, were Hensel Phelps Construction, at $212.7 million ; Smartronix, $107.8 million ; and Vigor Industrial, $81.1 million….

PDF: REPORT

read … Annual Hawaii military spending hits $7.9 billion

Taxpayers still waiting on refunds-Excuse is Lack of Paper

KITV: … 600,000 Hawaii taxpayers were scheduled to to receive almost 294 million dollars in tax refunds back in September. The refunds due to a large surplus in the state's budget.

Depending on income, people will receive either 100 or 300 dollars. Many of those tax payers have been waiting for over a month to receive the money.

The reason behind the delay is supply chain issues with paper stock.

(REALITY: They have plenty of paper.  They are just toying with you because it amuses them.)

The department of taxation says now that the paper has finally been delivered tax payers should receive refunds no later than November 14th.

As of today, more than 70,000 paper checks have been issued and 20,000 checks will be delivered each business day until all taxpayers are paid….

read … Taxpayers still waiting on refunds- when you can expect to finally receive yours

17 Solar Panels and Still pays $300

SA: … The price per kilowatt-­hour of electricity in October ticked down on Oahu and Hawaii island as a result of lower oil prices and favorable expected renewable energy supply.

On Oahu there was a 1.4% price dip, which for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-­hours of electricity amounts to a savings of $3.27 on a $233.52 bill, compared with $236.79 in September.

The reduction on Hawaii island was 0.9%, or $2.29 less than last month.….

Ewa resident Poncho Maluo hasn’t noticed any price dip.

Maluo has 17 photovoltaic panels on his house and was used to bills around $200 or $225 in recent history until his past one topped $300….

Electricity prices also can rise even with a decline in the cost of oil. That’s what happened this month on Maui, where a typical residential customer’s electricity expense edged up 0.4%, or by 82 cents.

Maui has more wind power capacity than rooftop solar, and October historically has been a hot month with less wind…

A bigger change in the power generation mix took place on Oahu in September when the typical residential bill rose 3.8%, or $8.66, largely because a low-cost coal-fired power plant was retired.

The price rise on Oahu in September contrasted with declines on other islands ranging from 1% to 14%.

read … Oahu electric rates dip in October after a rise in September fueled by a coal plant shutdown

Make Believe: Hawaii Standards Commission Proposes Bills to Tighten Rules For Lawmakers And Lobbyists

CB: … A commission to improve government standards wants the Legislature to post records of legislative allowances online, require lawmakers to disclose any business relationship with lobbyists and other organizations trying to influence government and make it harder for legislators to vote on bills when they may pose a conflict of interest.

The Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct advanced those and several proposals aimed at lobbyists on Wednesday. Those bills would mandate annual ethics training for lobbyists, require them to disclose a list of bill numbers they are trying to influence and prohibit them from giving gifts to legislators and government employees.

But the question remains how far lawmakers will be willing to go in imposing more rules on themselves. 

(CLUE: ‘Zero.’) 

Legislators will (pretend to) take up the proposals beginning in January along with others that the commission has already forwarded, which focused on election and campaign spending laws.

read … Hawaii Standards Commission Moves To Tighten Ethics Rules For Lawmakers And Lobbyists

After dodging questions, city confirms several workers at shooting range have elevated lead levels

HNN: … The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health officials launched an investigation Wednesday after reports workers had been exposed to lead at Koko Head Shooting Complex.

Source confirm more than half of the range’s 12 staff members have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

On Wednesday afternoon, the city acknowledged some of its employees did have lead levels “above the normal range.” It’s unclear when the city first became aware that its employees were possibly being exposed to lead at the shooting range.

However, on Sept. 16 parks officials abruptly closed the complex two weeks ahead of a planned berm renovation project.

A news release issued by the city cited a staffing shortage….

“Prior to the planned closure that is currently in effect, the Department of Parks and Recreation learned of concerns regarding an employee at the Koko Head Shooting Complex with elevated lead levels and subsequently requested that all full-time and part-time employees get tested.

According to OSHA, the acceptable blood level is 40 micrograms/100 grams of whole blood. While the blood tests of some of our employees did show lead levels above what would be considered the normal range, the tests were well below the OSHA-established levels of concern and consequently did not trigger the duty to report exposure under OSHA.

Out of an abundance of caution, we temporarily relocated the employees from the area, and the City’s Department of Emergency Services sent letters to each employee recommending that they seek additional health advice from their individual health care providers. The City also moved up the previously planned closure for renovation work so that the City could contract an environmental consultant to test and analyze the site to ensure the safety of the employees.”…

read … After dodging questions, city confirms several workers at shooting range have elevated lead levels

Soft on Crime Crowd Points to DPS Audit -- Outdated staffing analysis leads to problems at jails and prisons

HPR: … The state is not collecting the data necessary to determine how many Adult Correctional Officers, or ACOs, are needed to safely operate a jail or prison, according to a state audit.

"Now we found the shift relief factor that the department uses is severely out of date and without an up-to-date accurate shift relief factor, our finding is the department does not know its staffing needs," said state auditor Les Kondo.

Kondo released an audit earlier this year on the state Department of Public Safety's shift relief factor — a staffing metric or equation that takes into account absences or holidays. Those factor into how to securely staff a work shift….

(CLUE: This audit will be exploited as an argument against construction of a new jail.  The purpose is to ensure continuing overcrowding creating a crisis which becomes an excuse to release more criminals back onto the street.)

June, 2022: Audit: 50 Years of UPW Overtime Games at DPS

HNN: ‘High tensions’ at Hilo jail because of lack of services, overcrowding

read … Outdated staffing analysis leads to problems at jails and prisons, state audit finds

1,000-Nurse shortage and full hospitals continue to impact state’s healthcare system

KHON: … some hospitals still facing worker shortages. Raethel said the compensation versus Hawaii’s high cost of living makes it difficult to recruit employees.

Raethel said, “There are approximately 1000 RN open positions in the state of Hawaii, that is just RN positions.”

Hundreds of other medical positions also need to be filled. …

read … Nurse shortages and full hospitals continue to impact state’s healthcare system

New law has already turned legal short term rental owners into illegal operators

KITV: … An ordinance which took effect Monday turned some of Oahu's LEGAL short term vacation rental owners, into ILLEGAL operators.

A number of those owners ask for more time to meet new requirements, but the city says all of them should have been prepared.

The clock is ticking for owners of Oahu's legal short term vacation rentals.

"We are expecting it will take a week or two to gather all the information from every unit," said Nicole Gross, a property manager at Novation Realty.

The problem is that information was required by the city on Monday, the same day a new short term rental ordinance went into effect.

"A deadline and a timeline would be wonderful. Not just this starts today, here it is, turn it in. You are going to need all of this or you are going to get fined."

Gross is a property manager for dozens of legal short term rentals, and has been busy fielding calls from owners.

"They are very concerned and there is also confusion."

Confusion because different documents by the city may request different things.

The city even set up a hotline to answer questions about the more than a dozen required items needed to continue to operate,

but every time KITV 4 Island News called, this is what we heard, "Sorry, DPP short term rental hotline is not available, record your message at the tone."

read … New law turns legal short term rental owners into illegal operators

Judge allows family of man shot by police to pursue legal claims that HPD lacked training

HNN: … A federal judge issued a key ruling in a lawsuit against Honolulu Police over the shooting death of a 26-year-old man in Mililani in 2019.

U.S. District Judge Jill Otake ruled that the family of Kyle Thomas can pursue claims against the city and the HPD that plainclothes officers lacked training when they surrounded his car in a residential neighborhood and shot him.

The ruling also allows the family to re-file wrongful death and negligence claims against the HPD and the city….

read … Judge allows family of man shot by police to pursue legal claims that HPD lacked training

Honolulu officers cleared of internal violations in fatal Sykap shooting

HNN: … The three Honolulu police officers who fatally shot teen robbery suspect Iremamber Sykap last year won’t face discipline from the department, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Officers Geoffrey Thom, Christopher Fredeluces and Zackary Ah Nee have not been officially notified about the decision by the administrative review board but that is expected to come in the form of a letter, their attorneys said…. 

SA: 3 officers did not violate policies in Sykap shooting, HPD says

read … Honolulu officers cleared of internal violations in fatal shooting of 16-year-old

Judge: Prison Officials Must Release Names Of Inmates Who Die In Custody

CB: … A Hawaii Circuit Court judge on Tuesday ruled the state Department of Public Safety must release the names of prison and jail inmates who die in state custody, an order that moves the department a step closer to the longstanding policies of other states. Other correctional systems around the nation routinely announce inmate fatalities.

Circuit Court Judge John Tonaki made his ruling orally in a lawsuit filed by Honolulu Civil Beat against the department last year after public safety officials rejected a request for all reports on inmate deaths in 2020 and 2021.

The department argued the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 prohibited it from “disclosing individually identifiable health information” that was contained in the reports, including the names of any inmates who died….

read … Judge: Prison Officials Must Release Names Of Inmates Who Die In Custody

Bum Flux: Drug Addicted Shelter Refusers Moving to old Maui HS Area

HNN: … Tarps, tires, cars, and trash — everything is multiplying on Holomua Road in Paia.

“This is terrible,” said Mike Ade.

Ade is the caretaker of the old Maui High School which is right up the road from the encampment. Ade said the road is getting more congested every week….

“Just within the last, I’m gonna say last six weeks, that’s when it really has made an impact,” he said.

There is even a sign there advertising a “Maui camper van and glamping experiences” available on Airbnb….

The encampment comes about a year after the county cleared out one of the islands largest homeless camps on Amala Place in Kahului.

Smith said many of the homeless came to Holomua Road after being pushed out from other homeless encampments around the island. He said they do not want to go into shelter because there are too many rules.

“It’s a good life out here” he said….

read … Residents worry about safety and hygiene as Maui North Shore homeless encampment grows

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