Notice of Anticipated Judicial Vacancy – District Judge, District Court of the First Circuit
Hawaii County could use ‘Konno’ exceptions to address permit backlog
'By-right' approvals could lower cost of housing
Feds: Seven Years of Miske Crimes Committed while while Laughing at State Judiciary
ILind: …in my 16 years as an AUSA here in this district, there is no defendant, in my opinion, that has posed a greater danger to this community than Mr. Miske.
And nor do I believe that there’s ever been a case brought in this district such as the RICO conspiracy that is the subject of this superseding indictment. And what separates it — there have been other RICO cases, I know, in the past, but what separates this case is the scope and breadth of the crimes that were committed in furtherance of the enterprise….
Inciong noted that Miske had been on pretrial release during most of the period from May 2013 until his arrest in July 2020, while he was awaiting trial on a state felony assault charge stemming from a physical attack on a rival promoter outside the M Nightclub in December 2012. Miske had been quickly released after posting a $350,000 bond one day after charges were filed.
The case was dismissed “without prejudice” in May 2016 by then-Circuit Court Judge Rom Trader after prosecutors missed the “speedy trial” deadline, but the charges were refiled within weeks, and Miske was again released pending trial after reposting the $350,000 bond.
This meant that Miske was out on bail pending trial during the period in in which prosecutors allege he directed a murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of Jonathan Fraser, as well as alleged murder conspiracies that targeted a Waimanalo man suspected of providing information to law enforcement, and Lindsey Kinney, who has publicly said had declined an offer to Kill Fraser which he understood had been relayed to him from Miske….
Inciong went on to say prosecutors have identified “over two dozen victims” of assaults by Miske or by others at his direction, or threatened by Miske. These cases are documented in police reports, Inciong said.
“You have to ask, I mean, how many were not reported,” Inciong then said.
And, according to the transcript, Inciong said “there is evidence that he was contacting and making very thinly veiled threats if not outright threats to witnesses as late as the fall of 2018,” although by that time Miske had clear evidence he was the target of a major federal investigation….
read … Transcript of Miske detention hearing is made public
Despite ease of mail-in voting and several hot races, Hawaii sees sluggish turnout for general election
HNN: … Despite a governor’s race and a contentious mayoral contest on Maui, voter turnout in Hawaii’s general election appears to be sluggish ― and could be at or below 2018 levels.
As of Saturday, a little more than 193,000 voters on Oahu had mailed in their ballots and just over 3,000 voted in person. To put that into perspective, in the 2022 primary election, the city saw 228,522 voters cast their ballots.
Moore said he expects to see voter turnout of somewhere around 50% to 53%, which would be more or less the same turnout the state saw in 2018 — the most recent midterm election….
read … Despite ease of mail-in voting and several hot races, Hawaii sees sluggish turnout for general election
Doctor convicted of sexual assault hires Bumpy Kanahele’s Lawyer--Victim Leaves Hawaii (do the math)
MN: …After reporting what happened, the woman has suffered retaliation and ostracization from community members, as well as late-night threatening phone calls, Teshima said. He said she had to leave Maui “out of fear for her safety.”
In a report prepared for the sentencing, Bekkum was “lacking in remorse,” Teshima said.
“Instead of reflecting on his own behavior, we see every attempt to victim bash,” Teshima said. “He hides behind his title as a doctor. This is a guy willing to throw everybody under the bus rather than reflect on himself.”
Defense attorney Hayden Aluli, who was hired by Bekkum after the trial, said the defendant’s lack of prior criminal history “should be weighed heavily” in sentencing.
Aluli asked for Bekkum to be sentenced to hundreds of hours of community service with any jail term suspended….
Google: Hayden Aluli
read … Doctor convicted of sexual assault sentenced to 30 days in jail
Parents Who Face Losing Their Kids Say Court-Appointed Attorneys Don’t Do Enough
CB: … The rate for court-appointed attorneys with contracts is $150 per case per month, with an annual maximum per case of $1,800.
Paying attorneys a flat rate – as opposed to an hourly amount – creates an incentive to do as little as possible, said Janet Sherwood, a California attorney with decades of experience in child welfare as a trial and appellate counsel, an advocate and a judge….
read … ‘Just A Number’: Parents Who Face Losing Their Kids Say Court-Appointed Attorneys Don’t Do Enough
Rate Hikes Coming: Hawaiian Electric ordered to revamp power rate structure
SA: … In a landmark order that could set the tone for electricity rates across the country, the state Public Utilities Commission has ordered Hawaiian Electric to transform its existing power rate structure into one that better acknowledges the growing use of renewable energy.
Specifically, the order that was issued Oct. 31 will lead to a new rate structure designed to encourage customers to reduce electricity (by charging more) during peak times when energy costs are high and shift load to the time of day when cheaper renewable resources are plentiful.
The time-of-use rate scheme — planned to be fully implemented in a couple of years — will give customers the opportunity to explore (lower) rate options (on the Mainland) and save money (by leaving Hawaii), according to the PUC….
Mikulina, the former executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, said the decision empowers consumers to give them more control over their energy bills and their impact to the climate. “It does so by using price signals to better match energy use to times of high renewable energy production — times when nature is providing fuel for free,” he said (without laughing) ….
Big Q: Would you use less energy during weekday peak hours, 5-9 p.m., if it meant cheaper rates at other times?
(TRANSLATION: Green energy doesn’t work. We will charge you more to make you rearrange your life to suit this bogus technology.)
read … Hawaiian Electric ordered to revamp power rate structure
HTA president warns against adding extra fees for tourists
HTH: … Lawmakers should be cautious about imposing additional fees on tourists visiting Hawaii, a state tourism official said Friday.
During a livestreamed interview, John De Fries, president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, discussed the possibility of imposing usage fees upon visitors to offset their environmental impact, a policy proposed by gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who has suggested a $50 fee per person.
De Fries said such fees, while well-intentioned, could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“I want everyone to be sensitive to the fact that right now the visitor has a 10.25% state transient accommodations tax, a 3% county TAT, a 4-plus percent general excise tax,” De Fries said. “So, just under 18% before we go anywhere. And then you’ve got fuel surcharges and so on.”…
the general cost of goods and services also has increased significantly since the pandemic. Food prices in Hawaii increased by 7.4% this year alone .…
read … HTA president warns against adding extra fees for tourists
Enviros Happy Wespac Federal Audit Found Over $1 Million In Questionable Spending
CB: … The 46-page audit report was completed by the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General over an 18-month period, from 2020 to 2021. It stemmed from a request by four congressmen following a Civil Beat investigation in 2019 into the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund.
Overall, the OIG found $1.24 million in questionable expenses by Wespac from 2010 through 2020 via that fund. Wespac had spent $7.4 million total from the fund during that period.
According to the newsletter Environment Hawaii, NOAA’s Grants Management division director, Arlene Porter Simpson, informed Wespac in a February letter that it had endorsed the audit findings “to the last dollar,” and that the council should consider the letter the first official notification of a debt owed to NOAA.
The news outlet also reported that Wespac, which is publicly funded, was seeking legal counsel in June to help the council analyze the OIG report and respond to it….
read … Wespac Is Still Fighting A Federal Audit That Found Over $1 Million In Questionable Spending
DoH Lab and LSD Factory Certified Again, for now
SA: … The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally given the Hawaii state laboratory the OK after downgrading its certification status more than three years ago after an inspection found multiple issues with the condition of the building.
A report said the facility was in such poor shape that its condition was affecting sensitive instruments used for analyzing water samples, putting the health and safety of staff at risk and jeopardizing the preservation of important paper records.
However, the state Department of Health acknowledges that recent fixes to the facility are stop-gap measures and that the building is still in need of extensive repairs, including a new roof….
Williams said that while touring the building, mold and mildew was observed on air vents, ceiling tiles, windows, doors, cabinets, log books and boxes.
“Some tiles showed signs of leaks, were missing (exposing conduits, cables and wiring), and a large number were warped,” she wrote. “One of the chemistry analysts reported that the ceiling tiles would occasionally fall.”…
Footprints could be seen on the floor because of the moisture and the vinyl floor in the microbiology lab was bubbling, she wrote….
whistleblower sent photos to the media showing equipment covered in plastic and brown stains on the drop-down ceiling, which was also missing panels.
“The roof leaks, the roof leaks badly,” the whistleblower told Hawaii News Now in a May 3 story. “On days of really heavy rain, it just pours in through the holes.”…
SA Editorial: State lab needs serious upgrade
Flashback: Feds Bust DoH Lab Tech--Allegedly Making LSD During COVID outbreak
read … Hawaii state laboratory reclaims full certification