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Saturday, November 19, 2022
November 19, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:32 PM :: 1904 Views

UPW News: HCCC Supervisor gets 12 years for 'multi-year conspiracy to cover up abuse'

Hawaii's public school enrollment decreased during the pandemic

5th Extension: COVID Emergency Lives on in Food Stamps

DLNR Sweeps 'til Na Pali Coast 'devoid of craziness and trash' 

Case for reinstating cockfighting on the Northern Mariana Islands dismissed

Reimagining Tourism: Pay $55 to Dig in Mud near Site of Miske Shootout

HNN: … With gloves ready and sickles in hand, (but no hammer?) this group of visitors are jumping right into the loi and using their vacation to malama aina (experience slavery).

getting their hands dirty and learning about Hawaiian culture…

(Maybe they will dig up a body or find some meth packets or shell casings, just ask Mike Miske where to look …)

“Historically speaking, the tourism model and the tourism industry in Hawaii was that model of extracting (buying) things and giving (selling) people the big shiny items to take home. We are trying to train those travelers to become people who are willing to reinvest their time into the places they’re going to,” Palupe said ….

(Translation: Chain gangs will replace DFS.)

“When they Google Hawaii on what to do or that kind of thing, they’re seeing things that include malama aina, that give back to the land, give back to the people. If that’s the main attraction for Hawaii, the travelers that actually come here are going to be very different — and that’s the end goal.”… visitors are hungry to experience a more raw and less glamourized version of Hawaii

(Translation: Did you like 50 Shades of Grey?)   

“People don’t want to just come and take (buy) anymore, they want to somehow give back (pay us to make them work). So this malama aina tour that Kualoa Ranch has created allows just that. It allows the visitor to come in, get their hands wet, get their hands dirty.” …actively clearing areas of weeds … as well as removing invasive snails (which we will then feed them for dinner) …

The tour costs about $55…To learn more about Kualoa Ranch’s Malama Experience, click here….

Fun Video: Lindsey Kinney talks about the attempted hit on him at Kualoa Ranch

read … PODCAST: In reimagining tourism, these visitors are putting in what they’re taking out

Trial of former union boss Brian Ahakuelo now in jury’s hands

KHON: … The trial of former media union boss Brian Ahakuelo is now in the hands of the jury. This, after closing arguments were held today in federal court.

Ahakuelo faces dozens of charges along with his wife Marilyn Ahakuelo and his sister-in-law Jennifer Estencion, who he hired as union officials. The charges include conspiracy, embezzlement and money laundering.

The prosecutor told jurors that the union IBEW Local 1260 was operating with a net profit of more than $700,000 when Ahakuelo took over as business manager and, within a few years, was hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red.

The prosecutor talked about lavish trips that Ahakuelo took with union officials to New York, Las Vegas, Japan and Macau and said there was very little union business done in those places….

read … Trial of former union boss Brian Ahakuelo now in jury’s hands

After months of debate, Honolulu police close to issuing first concealed carry gun permits

HNN: … The Honolulu Police Department will start processing permits for civilians to carry concealed firearms starting Monday, but applicants facing a daunting list of requirements to get approved.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi approved controversial new permit rules last week based on a Supreme Court ruling that citizens have a right to carry guns to protect themselves.

There are already 600 permit applications pending, according to the department .…

read … After months of debate, Honolulu police close to issuing first concealed carry gun permits

Maui: Random Vigilante Thug Gets 5 Years

MN: … A 28-year-old man who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has a history of assaults was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for assaults at a beach park and a grocery store parking lot….Dylan Aoki Walsh was also given a year in jail for another case involving abuse of a family or household member….

When the female co-worker went back inside the store and the male co-worker turned his head to see where she had gone, the “defendant attacked him, lunged at him, hitting him, knocking him down.” Tobin said.

“Only but for other customers in the parking lot literally tackling (Aoki Wash), NFL-style tackles, was the only reason this attack stopped,” she added. “So to claim he was acting in self defense is ridiculous.”

The incident occurred on Aug. 17, 2019, and also involved shoplifting of chow fun or other food, though a charge of fourth-degree theft was dismissed against Aoki Walsh, according to court records.

In another case, an Australian visitor was trying to go to the beach and there were two cars in the parking lot driveway blocking him from parking.

The victim tooted his horn, wanting to get in. Aoki Walsh punched the car, Tobin said.

The visitor went and had lunch in the area and when he was cleaning up, he was “viciously attacked” by Aoki Walsh, she said.

Tobin said witnesses recalled Aoki Walsh asking the victim if he remembered him, and that if he didn’t, “you will remember me now.”

The incident occurred on June 5, 2021 at Hookipa Beach Park, court records show….

2019: Same Thug Smashes car with Golf Club, Maces 72-year old driver “He’s trying to be a vigilante and take matters into his own hands, bullying people, trying to assert himself.” (Gets probation)

read … Assaults at beach park, grocery store lead to five years in prison

Cockfighting ban challenge in US territories dismissed

AP: … A judge dismissed a lawsuit by a man in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands challenging a ban against cockfighting in U.S. territories.

Saipan resident Andrew Sablan Salas, who served in the House of Representatives in the commonwealth’s Legislature and previously was Secretary of Commerce in the territory, said in a lawsuit that he’s been involved in cockfighting since childhood.

In 2018, former President Donald Trump signed a law banning all animal fighting in the territories. Prior to the law, cockfighting had been illegal in the 50 states but not in territories….

read … Cockfighting ban challenge in US territories dismissed

Hawaii County Police Chief selection has begun

KHON: … The search is underway for the Big Island’s next police chief. The Hawaii County Police Comission heard public testimony Friday. Nov. 18 about the selection process. The Hawaii County Police Commission is deciding who will fill the police department’s top spot.

“When we posted the position, we received 44 applicants both local state and nationwide,” said John Bertsch, Hawaii County Police Commission Chair.

That pool narrowed down to 21 after a questionnaire created by the commission was distributed. However, the police union says, the commission should have gotten input from all stakeholders before accepting applications. Some community members say there should be more transparency.

“I think the community is interested in seeing the criteria that’s being used and watching the process the commission is using to narrow down the candidates for those that become the finalist,” said Brian Black of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest…

HTH: Pool of police chief candidates narrowed down to 21

(Criteria: ‘No outsiders’)

read … Hawaii County Police Chief selection has begun

Reports shed light on SHOPO Strategy to Oust ‘Outsider’ MPD chief

MN: … Pelletier said that after he was selected as chief and before he was sworn in, he “learned that certain captains and assistant chiefs were having meetings to discuss a mutiny or to erode public safety.”…

“I had a group of captains and an assistant chief who would potentially cause people to die if they did not go to 911 calls,” Pelletier told the investigator. “I thought it was appropriate to say that we would not tolerate that.”…

After the business administrator said she didn’t agree with posting for the position of a recruiting sergeant, which had been the subject of a union grievance, Hank called Pelletier to join the meeting.

The business administrator said Hank was angry.

After Pelletier joined the meeting, Hank asked her to repeat what she had said. Following an exchange, Hank said he didn’t care “who the f— is recording, but if you ever have anything you disagree with us about, you better put it in writing and let us know,” she reported.

According to her account, Pelletier “started yelling and swearing” and said “the department hasn’t done f—ing nothing for recruiting in years. There’s no recruitment plan.”…

The investigator found that Pelletier’s conduct constituted “acts of violence” or “violence,” under the Violence in the Workplace Action Plan….

(They will rid themselves of the outsider soon and breathe easier knowing that the next chief is just as compromised as they are.)

Another Part of the Strategy: Calling police only seems to make us less safe in Paia

read … Reports shed light on complaints against MPD chief

Another Tech Fail: Plan to Replace Antique DLIR Software Blows up in State’s Face

SA Editorial: …  there remains a major piece of unfinished business: replacing the DLIR’s infamously outdated claims system, which nearly collapsed under the burden of thousands of suddenly unemployed people, forcing them to wait weeks or months for desperately needed benefits.

In June 2021, the state awarded an amended contract to Solid State Operations Inc. for a state-of-the-art web-based system, to go live by October of this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

“The state cancelled the contract due to an unforeseeable lawsuit between the contractor and the sub-contractor that impacted the project, as both contractors’ work was integral to the overall success of the project,” according to DLIR spokesman William Kunstman.

The state spent about $1 million based on milestones met, and hopes to retain some of the work already done. Meanwhile, Gov. David Ige reallocated $42 million in pandemic funding toward a new effort, and a new request for proposals is expected to be released in January, DLIR said. When the new system will be up and running, however, has not been determined.

We can only hope that DLIR’s creaky old system — which has been shored up with about $5 million in federal funding — will be adequate until the new system is in place….

read … Unemployment news

Plan awaits to fix cracks in rail station supports

SA: … None of the cracks is wider than eight-thousandths of an inch, Lori Kahikina, HART CEO and executive director, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Thursday. Thirteen of the smallest cracks can be repaired by filling in with epoxy to keep out moisture and reduce the possibility of further cracking, she said.

For the other eight hammerheads, discussions are turning to the possibility of a combination of adding rebar, steel plates and tension cables that also “will add strength to the overall structure,” according to Rick Keene, HART deputy executive director.

The plan is to retrofit the eight hammerheads so “that they will have a longer life and will also add additional strength,” Keene said.

One early idea was to encase the most seriously damaged hammerheads in “carbon fiber wrap,” similar to repairing cracks in bridge columns. But the design of the rail columns involves a more complicated process of installing separately constructed T-shaped hammerheads atop the rail columns to support the rail stations.

So the carbon fiber wrap idea has been abandoned.

“We don’t think that will provide enough structural strength,” Keene said.

The columns support the rail tracks and trains. The hammerheads support rail stations and do not affect ongoing testing of the system to work out any problems before turning it over to the city Department of Transportation Services for paid ridership sometime in 2023, Kahikina said.

Testing of the rail system currently underway involving 144 scenarios is two-thirds complete, Kahikina said. For example, one current focus of testing is on a software glitch that allows communication to one train and one station but not to multiple trains and multiple stations simultaneously….

read … Plan awaits to fix cracks in rail station supports

Darwin Prize: Taggers Graffiti Rail Car While Standing on 3rd Rail

HNN: … “As far as I’m concerned, these people are sort of competing for the Darwin prize,” said Anthony Alto, HART board member.

The three recent incidents happened at HART’S maintenance and storage facility at Leeward Community College.

During an Oct. 9 incident at 3 a.m., two men entered entered a restricted area of the rail line.

Kahikina said a Sept. 21 incident had extensive damage from graffiti, including an energize third rail and two rail cars.

“The first incident they actually graffitied that third rail. Those trains are so tall,” Kahikina recalled. “I’m sure, if they hadn’t brought a ladder, they are standing on that third rail to graffiti the tops of the train.”

“The whole side of the train was graffitied,” she added.

The third incident happened on Oct. 29….

Last year, four teens wandered along the tracks at the Halawa Station….

read … Darwin

Homeless Dude Finally Agrees to Accept Shelter after 17 Years of Being Asked

MN: … A 58-year-old Wailuku man who was homeless for 17 years said he now finally has a home thanks to the persistence of Family Life Center workers who constantly asked him if he was ready to get into housing….

since he is no longer on the street, he doesn’t have to hide, run or pretend to be busy when he sees outreach workers coming his way.

Curtis said he gave in to the workers and decided to give housing a try.

At the beginning of the year he moved into the pallet homes in Wailuku along Waiale Road. And, recently, he moved into his own apartment….

Cumming said the center is seeing its annual arrival of unsheltered individuals from the Mainland who typically come during the winter months to escape the cold.

She said during the winter months, there may be three or four more people per month who arrive from the Mainland and think they can immediately get shelter at their center.

Lisa Kahaleauki, who leads the outreach at Family Life Center, said at the fair that those from the Mainland do not realize there may not be as many services available here compared to where they came from.

Through grants, folks may get half their airfare paid for if they want to return home, she said….

Cruising around the fair, Curtis was picking up pamphlets and snacks from the various agencies.

It is a far cry (not that different) from when he had to shoplift….

read … Aid agencies still see effects of ‘pandemic poverty’

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