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Tuesday, November 15, 2022
November 15, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:02 PM :: 1832 Views

UHERO: Visitors-only fee may be illegal

Third Senator? Hawaii Republicans Seek 'Cure' for 72 Vote Deficit 

Feds: COVID Fraudster Shipped Fentanyl to Hawaii

Fitch: Public Employee Pay Hikes, Higher Interest Rates Will Push Hawaii Liabilities Higher

Man linked to Miske murder-for-hire charges re-indicted for threats to Ige, Blangiardi

ILind: … Lindsey Kinney was indicted in April for making death threats on social media against three people, including the Waianae harbor master, in which he threatened to behead them. The threats, allegedly made in January via posts on Instagram, followed a confrontation at the Waianae harbor between the leader of Occupied Forces Hawaii Army, a previously little known Hawaiian sovereignty group and DLNR enforcement officers, including the harbor master. Kinney reported was in the process of affiliating with the Occupied Forces group.

Last month, a second charge was added alleging Kinney later made similar statements in which he threatened “to injure Victim 4, Victim 4’s security staff, and Victim 5, namely a post on Instagram threatening to injure and kill the victims by beheading and other means,” according to a superseding indictment filed on October 20.

Hawaii News Now had reported earlier that the targets identified in the superseding indictment as Victim 4 and 5 were Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Kinney is confined at Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center pending trial….

This round of legal problems have likely greatly diminished Kinney’s value as a witness against Mike Miske. However, his revelations have already allowed prosecutors to identify other sources to independently confirm Kinney’s allegations, so his loss as a witness is less important than it might otherwise be….

read … Man linked to Miske murder-for-hire charges re-indicted for threats to Ige, Blangiardi

Disenfranchised by Vote-by-Mail: 5,000 ballots uncounted over missing, mismatched signatures

KHON: … Nearly 5,000 mail and dropbox ballots in the general election have not been counted because they have missing or mismatched signature issues on the return envelope.

That’s according to county clerks, who told KHON2 there are problems with 3,300 votes on Oahu, 900 in Maui County, 578 on the Big Island and 220 on Kauai.

The Garden Isle has tried to inform all affected voters by phone. The other 3 counties have notified people by mail along with options for “curing” or fixing the validation….

Affected voters have until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 to respond. You can track your ballot on the elections website to see whether it was counted and reach your county election clerk’s office if it wasn’t.

Ballot Trax ballot-status tracker: https://hawaii.ballottrax.net/voter/

Hawaii County (808) 961-8277 email: hiloelec@hawaiicounty.gov

Maui County (808) 270-7749 email county.clerk@mauicounty.us

Kauai County (808) 241-4800 elections@kauai.gov

Honolulu County (808) 768-3800: elections@honolulu.gov  

KITV: Curing ballots may end up changes some Hawaii political race outcomes

read … 5,000 ballots uncounted over missing, mismatched signatures

Hilo election machine foils ballot tampering attempt

HTH: … “The vote counting system rejects duplicate ballots to prevent a ballot from mistakenly being scanned more than once by an operator or having multiple copies of the same ballot,” Bueno said. “There was an instance where duplicate ballots were flagged by the vote counting system at the Hilo counting center and the ballots were removed from the batch and secured.”

It’s not yet known how the ballots, which apparently did not have mail-in envelopes, made their way into the counting center. The Hilo center is the sole counting center on the island and handles all the island’s ballots.

“At this time, we understand that the system worked as intended to stop duplicate ballots from being scanned,” Bueno said.….

Tiffany Edwards Hunt, a media observer on behalf of the Big Island Press Club. Edwards Hunt said she was standing near a long table, watching workers remove ballots from envelopes that had been cut open by a machine.

“They take the ballots out of the envelopes and they stack them up and it’s a very, very rigorous process,” she said. “They’re organized by precinct into piles and then they’re put into a box and transported with an escort (across the room) to the computers and then they’re put into the computer.”

Edwards Hunt said one of the representatives from Hart InterCivic, the equipment vendor, rushed over to the table and alerted the county’s acting election administrator there was a problem at one of the machines, detailing for the group what had happened. Not only did the duplicate ballots have the same bar code, they were also on different paper stock than the authentic ballots, Edwards Hunt said.

“It really was concerning to me how the ballots could even get into the room. … I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what they came in and how they got to the machines,” Edwards Hunt said. “But essentially I felt comforted that the machines caught the ballots.”…  

SA: Hilo case of potential voter fraud is sent to attorney general

read … Hilo election machine foils ballot tampering attempt

Tokuda Appoints Key Staff

SA: … Tokuda did appoint three key members of her staff: >> Wendy Clerinx as chief of staff…. >> Kendra Oishi, who will oversee Tokuda’s district office in Hawaii….>> Maui resident Deidre Tegarden will serve as Tokuda’s transition aide, responsible for setting up her offices in Hawaii and Washington….  

CB: Tokuda Says She’s Ready To Take On A Divided Washington

read … Tokuda transitioning to life, work in D.C.

Kaua‘i Pacific Missile Range Facility aims for 2023 defueling

TGI: … As the U.S. Navy moves on its plan to defuel the Red Hill fuel tanks that contaminated the Pearl Harbor drinking water supply last year, the Pacific Missile Range Facility has released more details on plans to decommission its own aging fuel tanks.

The facility is home to nine World War Two-era underground fuel tanks, four of which are currently inactive. Starting next year, they plan to begin the work of de-fueling all five active tanks — which are currently used to dispense fuel for three PMRF turboprop planes and two helicopters, along with any visiting aircraft.

Facility spokesperson Petty Officer 2nd Class Samantha Jetzer said the project is slated to begin in fiscal year 2023, through contractor NAVFAC – Hawai‘i.

”The overall fuel capacity will decrease as each (tank) is de-fueled, taken out of service, and demolished — but will be consistent with expected mission requirements,” Jetzer said….

PMRF tanks are not located near an aquifer, and thus don’t present the same sort of threat to drinking water.

“There’s no aquifer under these tanks, so it’s not as urgent,” said Kip Goodwin, founder of the Kaua’i Alliance for Peace and Social Justice, a frequent critic of military activity on the island.

“They were built back in the 1940s — and it would seem like the prudent thing to do to empty them.”

PMRF tanks also hold far less fuel than Red Hill.

Red Hill’s 18 active tanks can each store 12.5 million gallons of fuel, while PMRF’s tanks max out at 51,000 gallons and are not filled to capacity.

A 2016 report to the legislature showed there had been no fuel releases at PMRF storage facilities.

read … Kaua‘i Pacific Missile Range Facility aims for 2023 defueling

Council to vote on legislative priorities

HTH: … The legislative session doesn’t start until Jan. 18, but the Hawaii County Council is gearing up to approve the counties’ recommendations compiled by the Hawaii State Association of Counties. The council will vote on the HSAC package at its meeting Wednesday….

The counties offered up these five bills:

• Allows police officers to receive retirement benefits after 25 years of service, regardless of whether they have turned 55 or not. (Proposed by Maui County)

• Clarifies that traditional fishpond and agricultural practices are exempt from the requirement for special management area permits, as are public pedestrian and bike paths, installation of fencing for invasive species control or preservation of native habitats on conservation land. Lowers the minimum size of a single-family residence that would trigger a special management area permit from 7,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet. (Proposed by Maui County)

• Requests that the state Department of Health formulate rules relating to discharges of pollutants into navigable waterways that would require a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, taking into account the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund governing functional equivalent sources of discharge. (Proposed by Hawaii County)

• Removes that portion of state law enacted in 2018 that declared the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices a matter of statewide concern and nullified any existing local ordinances or policies that restricted the sale of these products. (Proposed by Hawaii County)

• Adds county highways to the current law governing state highways where stopping, standing or parking of vehicles is restricted or prohibited, such as at scenic overlooks. (Proposed by Hawaii County)

In addition, HSAC is advancing these four general priorities:

• Legislation related to increasing the availability of affordable housing and infrastructure on lands administered by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands

• Legislation related to workforce development for both civil service and green job positions

• Legislation related to wastewater infrastructure funding and programs to assist in the conversion of cesspools

• Legislation that will increase the availability of mental health and substance abuse….

read … Council to vote on legislative priorities

Oahu, Maui higher electric bills starting in January 2023

KHON: … for residents like Yuen it's "absolutely getting harder to live. I mean it's just one more increase on top of all the other increases."

HECO's latest rate proposal would increase the typical residential bill on Oahu by about $1.60 a month. That's on top of a $4 a month hike when the company adjusted rates this year….

If approved, a typical customer on Hawaii island will see their bills decrease by 32 cents a month, but prices will go up by $1.47 on Maui and $1.17 on Lanai and Molokai….

read … Oahu residents could see higher electric bills starting in January 2023

Prison rape victims seek $7.5M in damages, but state argues it’s not liable

KHON: … Former inmates at the Women’s Community Correctional Center are asking that a jury award them $7.5 million for repeated sex assaults by prison guards.

In closing arguments Monday, Terry Revere ― an attorney for the women ― said four adult correctional officers sexually assaulted the women at least 53 times between 2013 and 2016, calling their acts “vile” and “disgusting.”

One of the women killed herself four years ago.

“They used their powers to abuse us and take advantage of our helplessness,” said one of the victims, who represented herself during the two-week trial….

All four prison guards were terminated ― and at least one was convicted of sex assault charges.

The guards were accused of forcing the five inmates to have sex with them, oftentimes giving them contraband such as snacks, access to cell phones and even drugs as rewards.

The state said it’s not liable for the actions of rogue corrections officers and that it investigated the assaults and provided treatment for the victims….

CB: Sexual Assault Victims At Oahu Women’s Prison Seek More Than $8M In Damages

read … Prison rape victims seek $7.5M in damages, but state argues it’s not liable

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