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Thursday, November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:58 PM :: 2738 Views

General Election Results--Third Read

Green Administration Hiring Now

How Sandboxes Could Help Hawaii Prosper

Oahu’s short-term rental ban walking on thin ice

Prosecutor: English and Cullen Bribery not Chargeable under State Law

HNN: …  A statewide standards commission recommended new felonies dealing with fraud, false claims and statements that may allow state and county prosecutors to bring charges against public officials similar to those brought by federal prosecutors in a string of public corruption cases this year.

(Yes.  They are asking the criminals to make their own crimes chargeable.)

The U.S. Department of Justice has brought a handful of cases dealing with bribery and other forms of public corruption under the broad federal crime of honest services wire fraud, a felony. Those include cases against two former lawmakers, former county officials and several businessman who bribed them.

“It would have been difficult if not impossible to charge those cases under the existing state laws,” Flo Nakakuni, a deputy Honolulu prosecutor, told the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct on Wednesday.

The commission was formed in February after two former lawmakers, J. Kalani English and Ty Cullen, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes to influence legislation….

read … Hawaii May Soon Have More Tools To Prosecute Public Corruption

Hate Crime: Attackers Ask Court to Ratify Their Excuses for Beating Man With Shovel

AP: … Christopher Kunzelman said the men beat him and told him no white people would ever live in Kahakuloa village — a comment that’s not heard in the footage. Kaulana Alo-Kaonohi and Levi Aki Jr. are on trial for one federal count each of a hate crime. Their defense attorneys don’t deny the assault, but say their actions were motivated by Kunzelman’s entitled and disrespectful attitude — not his race.

(Translation: He deserved it. The Federal Courts should ratify our excuses just as the State Courts always do.)

Alo-Kaonohi and Aki punched, kicked and used a shovel to beat Kunzelman, leaving him with injuries including a concussion, two broken ribs and head and abdominal trauma, U.S. prosecutors said. ….

“You’s a haole, eh,” Aki said in the recording.

The video shows what is happening downstairs, including Aki pacing with a shovel on his shoulder. The video captures the sound coming from upstairs, where Kunzelman said he was beaten, but not any images.

What’s not audible in the video is the men calling him “haole” in a derogatory way and threatening to shoot him with his own gun, even though they were shouting, Kunzelman said.

Kunzelman testified that he and his wife decided to move to Maui from Scottsdale, Arizona, after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He said his wife loved the island.

A Hawaiian woman visited him in his dreams and told him to buy the dilapidated oceanfront house, he said, which he and his wife purchased sight unseen for $175,000 after coming across a listing for it online….

Under questioning by Salina Kanai, a federal defender for Alo-Kaonohi, Kunzelman acknowledged that the men were enraged about Kunzelman earlier cutting locks on village gates but made no mention of his race.

“He’s not talking about your skin color, he’s not talking about your race,” Kanai said of Alo-Kaonohi, who is heard in the video calling him “brah” and “buddy.”…

(Translation: Believe everything the attackers say.  Believe nothing the victim says.  That is the standard of justice we seek.)

AP: Hawaii hate crime trial begins for beating of white man

read … Man testifies about Hawaii beating he says was hate crime

Green:  Aloha Stadium?  The Carpenters Union didn’t put me here for Nothing 

KHON: … New Hawaii Governor-elect Josh Green expressed optimism about the new Aloha Stadium project when asked about the prospects of it on the KHON2 News at 7 on Wednesday.

“Just my personal preference as the Governor-elect is that they pause on any further decisions and let our team decide and I will respect any guidance that they give us, but again, I also respect that there’s one governor at a time. Governor Ige was very generous with me. If they have to make decisions, I will make the best of them,” Green said. “I do intend to build a stadium, though. The question, of course, is what we have around the stadium. We have some financing questions that linger. There’s $350 million or so already appropriated and costs are high and the state of Hawaii has to have a stadium.” …

“We are a modern state. I want our children to be able to aspire to have sports in their lives. I want culture to come to Hawaii, I want to be an attraction for major events, so we have to have a stadium,” Green said. “It will generate good economic growth, but boy, they did debate this thing for several years with the overall kind of finance plan to have the whole entertainment district. That would be the simpler process in my mind because all of those meetings already occurred.

“Again, I will respect whatever the Governor comes up with but I’m going to push pretty fast ahead with the stadium because I don’t want it to wait five or six years.”… 

KHON: Gov-elect Green asks Ige to pause Aloha Stadium redirection

read … Governor-elect Josh Green optimistic about new Aloha Stadium project

Hotels Happy: Bill caps short-term rentals, prohibits camper van vacation rentals on public property

MN: … “Our organization is happy that this bill has passed,” ILWU Business Agent and Political Action Coordinator Stephen West said in the mayor’s news release. “It’s the first of many steps that need to be taken to get vacation rentals out of our neighborhoods and back into resort areas. These transient vacation rentals have been driving up the cost of rentals because of the lack of rental housing for most people.”…

An approved amendment was to cap the increased number of units below the 3.2-foot sea level rise line and add an extra layer of public review for hotel expansion projects proposed in culturally sensitive areas, now requiring Cultural Resources Commission review….

read … Bill caps short-term rentals, prohibits camper van vacation rentals on public property

Gains in Hawaii Legislature small, but encouraging for Republican party

SA: … Five Republican candidates beat Democratic opponents, including four incumbents, after a final tally of Tuesday’s general election results released Wednesday evening by the state Office of Elections.

However, Democratic candidates won in two legislative contests where incumbent Republican lawmakers are departing after running for county or federal office. So, a net gain by Republicans in Hawaii’s Legislature is three seats, or an uptick to eight from five….

The four incumbent Democrats who lost are Sen. Gil Riviere and Reps. Stacelynn Eli, Matt LoPresti and Sharon Har representing parts of Oahu…. 

KITV: Hawai'i Republicans add more seats to Legislature

read … Gains in Hawaii Legislature small, but encouraging for Republican party

Record Low voter turnout on Election Day translates into big turnover at state Legislature

HNN: … The low voter turnout in this year’s general election resulted in high turnover in the state Legislature.

The biggest change is in the state House, which will have 16 new faces out of its 51 seats ― the highest number of newcomers in two decades. The 25-member state Senate could see up to five new faces ….

TG: Hawaii hit record for lowest turnout in a general election since statehood — just 41% of registered voters cast ballots in 2022 even after universal vote by mail was adopted

(QUESTION: Is Scott Nago responsible for Democrat incumbents losing their seats?)

read … Low voter turnout on Election Day translates into big turnover at state Legislature

Kaua‘i Election: 6,800 Ballots Arrive on Election Day--Final results still not out

TGI: … An unexpected level of election day voting led to final results being late on arrival. By press time on Wednesday, which is the day final results were expected to be released, they were still pending.

Election Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka reported his team had been working through Tuesday night handling 6,000 drop box ballots that arrived on Election Day. In addition, Yoshioka said there were 800 in-person voters, as lines stretched to the steps of the historic county building on Tuesday night.

An updated tally released at around 10 p.m. Tuesday did not show significant changes from the first round of results….

(As of 2nd read 17,716 votes cast on Kauai.  6,800 would be 38% more and 28% of total.)

read … Kaua‘i election: Final results still not out

Worker shortage, costs among Nago’s Excuses for Crowded Election Day polling places

HNN: … Hawaii implemented an all mail-in ballot system three years ago, but thousands of people still chose to vote in person on Election Day.

And some voiced frustration with long lines at the few places that were open, especially on Maui, where the last vote was cast an hour after polls closed….

Voter service centers are set up for people with ballot issues and special needs. So when a flood of voters show up at the same time, it costs taxpayer money and delays results.

Voter service centers opened on Oct. 25 but still more than 7,000 people waited until Tuesday to vote ….

“Having another polling place, at least one other polling place, if not multiple. Having just more prepared staff,” said Waihee resident Mikiala Puaa-Freitas.

Each county clerk decides the number of voter service centers with guidance from elected officials (Nago)….

A temporary voter service center was set up in Hana but was not open on Election Day….

read … Worker shortage, costs among barriers to adding more Election Day polling places

Several races too close to call with thousands of ballots still being processed

HNN: … Some 12,000 ballots on Oahu alone are still being processed Wednesday.

Those votes were still being looked at because they didn’t have signatures, state election officials said.

A third printout of election results for Oahu only was released around 10 a.m., but it’s still unclear when the next printout will be released….

As of 5:10 a.m., Hawaii County has finished tabulations but the numbers will not be updated until all counties are complete. According to election officials, statewide numbers will not be updated until all counties are finished processing votes….

the latest figures from the state’s Election Office show that as of Tuesday night only 16,688 — just 1.9% of voters in the state chose to vote in person. That’s almost double the people who opted to vote in person for the primaries in August, in which Hawaii saw a little over 9,000 people….

read … Several races too close to call with thousands of ballots still being processed

Not everyone can use ballot "curing" to solve their election blues

KITV: … clerks’ offices all over Hawaii are also moving on right now, to the curing process. What that means is certain mail-in ballots have excuses that allow voters to cast their vote again.

But those are very specific cases….

There is a process called curing, which allows voters to recast their mail-in vote after election day. But only 2 conditions qualify. “Well, the two instances are, if you didn't sign your ballot envelope or if we have a mismatch between what you provided on the envelope and what we have on the reference signature,“ said Honolulu Elections Administrator Rex Quidilla.

He says submitting your mail-in ballot without an envelope doesn’t qualify. “That's not a condition for curing, The time to ask us about that was before election day,” said Quidilla.

And as for getting the wrong ballot at the voting center? Quidilla says there are procedures in place that put that responsibility on the voter. “We have the voter verify we have the right district. It's really a matter of understanding your ballot and looking at it,“ said Quidilla.

Voters who qualify have until November 15th to cure their vote “They come in and sign something. They could do that. They could mail it in before the 5-day deadline. And there's another way to do it via smartphone,” said Quidilla….

read … Not everyone can use ballot "curing" to solve their election blues

HPD stands by its scanner access ban, but launches new online system with dispatch details

HNN: … Honolulu police have launched an online system for viewing dispatch logs.

It is an alternative to scanners, which were encrypted earlier this year. HPD is denying access to those scanners for the media and the public, so the web-based dispatch system, CADS, is what they’re providing instead….

when the scanners went offline, listeners could no longer learn ― in real time ― as major events were occurring. HPD tried using an email system to notify the media of calls that impact the public, but that failed when the information was either delayed by hours or simply did not go out to the news outlets.

Examples of this include the deadly attack of a woman right outside the police station in Kapolei in February.

Another incident happened in August. The media was not notified of a days-long manhunt for a gunman accused of killing a pregnant woman at a bus stop in Chinatown.

Traffic accidents that blocked major roads during rush hour also happened without any communication….

Logan acknowledged these missteps and said the new CADS online is the alternative. The section is found on the HPD website through the “info and resources” tab.

You can access it quickly by clicking here….

SA: City declines to restore public access to the radio traffic of first responders

read … HPD stands by its scanner access ban, but launches new online system with dispatch details

Alarming new CDC survey shows ‘worse health’ among those impacted by Red Hill fuel spills

HNN: … a follow-up survey of 986 people in September shows the health impacts could be lingering.

The survey said:

41% reported an existing condition that had worsened;

31% reported a new diagnosis;

and 25% reported a new diagnosis with no pre-existing condition.

CB: Hundreds Of Red Hill Families Still Sick A Year Later, Survey Finds

PDF: CDC Survey

read … Alarming new CDC survey shows ‘worse health’ among those impacted by Red Hill fuel spills

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