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Thursday, March 2, 2023
March 2, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:23 PM :: 3711 Views

Hawai‘i Would Not be the Same Without Hawaiians

HB192/SB690: Ban fluorescent bulbs

SB1179 Outlaw Campaign Contributions by Nearly All Publicly Traded Corporations

SEC Charges Hawaii Investment Adviser with Running Ponzi Scheme

Cayetano Dumped Kali Watson After DHHL Secret Land Deals

CB: … The Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing for Watson’s nomination on March 16.

“Kali has already done the job before,” Green said on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” program on Monday “He’s well regarded in the community. He’s a developer in addition to an advocate. He’ll do well.”

Watson faced some controversy during his last tenure as DHHL director. Ranchers sued the department over the management of pastoral lands.

The plight of homesteaders who spent years dealing with shoddy home construction also came to a head in 1996 when Kauai homesteader Hilbert Kahale Smith lit himself on fire in his home during an eviction after spending years fighting DHHL in the courts…

Cayetano, whose wife Vicky Cayetano ran against Green in the gubernatorial election last year, chose not to nominate Watson to a second term. Watson wouldn’t say why.

“You’ll have to talk to him for his reasons,” Watson said. “I’m just glad he gave me a chance.”

Cayetano said he and Watson had “differences of opinion.”

“I think he had a problem dealing with the fact he was not the governor,” Cayetano said.

The former governor pointed to land transfers Watson negotiated without informing Cayetano. “He was doing things on his own without clearing it with me,” Cayetano said. “That is not the way I personally wanted to operate.”…

(TRANSLATION: Watson will buy Molokai Ranch with DHHL funds and nobody will know until it is done.)

Anderson seemed poised to incorporate proposals from the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, an organization that advocates for waitlisters and put out its own spending plan to counter the department’s last year.

The SCHHA plan envisioned purchasing lands and housing units, developing various rental options and leveraging private investment for housing developments (Molokai Ranch for Walter Ritte).

Watson’s plans include some of those ideas, but he said the goal is to develop lots under the commission’s current plan first….

(TRANSLATION: I have experience with secret land deals.)

read … New DHHL Director Aims To Speed Up The Development Of Homestead Lots

Lawsuit: Kali Watson Boat Runs Over Surfer off Waikiki

HNN: … Kai Keuning suffered severe brain injuries when he was hit in the head by a four-man canoe at Tongg’s surf break in Waikiki in July 2021.

His lawyer said the 19-year-old still hasn’t fully recovered from the near-fatal accident.

“He has been in and out of the hospital, multiple rehab. He still has a clot in his brain. It’s one they can’t operate on,” said attorney Jim Bickerton.

The suit said the paddlers include developer Chris Flaherty and DHHL Chair nominee Kali Watson and CNHA loan agent Chris Kuaiwa .…

The suit alleges that the paddlers caused the accident by getting in the middle of the surf break where Keuning and others were surfing.

“They were just being cocky. They thought they were really good, really skilled and could maneuver their way around the crowd,” said Bickerton…. 

read … Surfer struck by canoe off Waikiki files suit, claiming paddlers were out of their depth

Maui: Shovel-Wielding Hate Crime Attackers Protected by Maui PD to be Sentenced by FEDERAL Judge Today

AP: … Local lawyers believe this is the first time the U.S. has prosecuted Native Hawaiians for hate crimes. The unique case highlights the struggles between Native Hawaiians who are adamant about not having their culture erased (have erased their own culture and replaced it with gangsterism) and people who move to Hawaii ….

“It was obviously a hate crime from the very beginning,” she said. “The whole time they’re saying things like, ‘You have the wrong skin color. No ‘haole’ is ever going to live in our neighborhood.’”

“Haole,” a Hawaiian word with meanings that include foreigner and white person, is central to the case. It’s a word often misunderstood by people who don’t comprehend Hawaii’s history of U.S. colonization and the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by a group of American businessmen, said Judy Rohrer, author of a book titled “Haoles in Hawai’i”  (are being beaten over the head by a shovel….)


read … Getting beat over the head with a shovel? --It's 'complicated'

UH Board of Regents to hold special session on president amid leadership criticism

HNN: … The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will convene Thursday on its Manoa campus as they evaluate the university’s leadership.

It’ll be the first since three state senators — Michelle Kidani, Donovan Dela Cruz and Donna Mercado Kim — blasted UH President David Lassner in a joint-statement, suggesting a change in leadership might be necessary….

The UH Board of Regents is in charge of hiring and firing the university’s president.

According to the meeting agenda, members will discuss their role in evaluating the position.

Board officials told Hawaii News Now they plan to evaluate Lassner like they do near the end of each academic year.

It’s set to start at 9 a.m. and is livestreamed on the UH Board of Regents website….

read … UH Board of Regents to hold special session on president amid leadership criticism

Campaign Spending Violations: Kaniela Ing to be Arraigned March 14

MN: … Former Maui state lawmaker Kaniela Ing, who has run into trouble with the state Campaign Spending Commission in the past, is now facing prosecution for having “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly failed” to timely file a supplemental report with the commission last year.

An arraignment and plea on the misdemeanor charge for the former Maui resident is scheduled for March 14 in 1st Circuit Court on Oahu, according to court records. State campaign spending reports note an Ewa Beach, Oahu address for Ing. A misdemeanor in Hawaii is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Ing, who was South Maui’s state House representative from 2012 to 2018, could also face other charges, as the commission at its February meeting decided to forward prosecutors another case involving Ing failing to keep records and failing to make records available for inspection, as well as the filing of 23 false amended reports, according to the commission’s agenda.

Referring cases for prosecution is a rare move for the commission, which typically issues fines for campaign spending or filing violations. According to commission meeting minutes from November, Kam told an attorney who previously represented Ing that based on the number of past violations, commission staff would recommend that the complaint of not filing a supplemental report for the first half of 2022 be referred to prosecutors.

According to his LinkedIn page, Ing is currently the national director of the Green New Deal Network, which is described as a 50-state campaign with a national table of 15 organizations including Greenpeace, US Climate Action Network, Sierra Cub and MoveOn.

He is also owner and principal consultant of Native Strategies, which handles public affairs and communications strategies….

read … Former Maui state lawmaker charged for failing to file spending report

Help Hawaii’s Governor Keep His Promise To Stop Taxing Food

CB: … Getting rid of the GET on groceries would immediately lower costs for Hawaii residents….Hawaii is one of only 13 states that taxes groceries. Hawaii residents already spend a higher percentage of their income on food than families living on the mainland — 16.5% versus 12.5%, respectively….

read … Help Hawaii’s Governor Keep His Promise To Stop Taxing Food

Hawaii’s legislative leaders assess big issues at session midpoint

SA: … As the state legislative session nears its midpoint next week, the two leaders of the Hawaii House and Senate offered some assessments Wednesday that included uncertainty over how to provide residents with tax relief and charge tourists fees that benefit the environment.

House Speaker Scott Saiki and Senate President Ron Kouchi also offered more enthusiastic views to replace Aloha Stadium as quickly as possible and support for Gov. Josh Green’s second nominee to lead the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The two leaders shared their thoughts on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s livestream show “Spotlight Hawaii.”

One major insight offered was about the prospect of lawmakers legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana this year ….

read … Hawaii’s legislative leaders assess big issues at session midpoint

To expedite building permit process on Oahu, Tupola proposes updates to exemption list

KHON: … "Our local residents are waiting in lines that are one year, two years, I've heard people say they've waited over three years (for a permit)," Councilmember Andria Tupola said.

To speed up the permitting process, Tupola introduced Bill 56, which proposes to update the list of exemptions for a building permit.

According to Tupola, about 75% of building permit applications awaiting approval from DPP are for work on homes, which could include basic repairs.

"So you're not doing anything more than maybe swapping out tile, changing a countertop, changing an appliance that you already had in your home," Tupola pointed out.

The Honolulu City Council zoning committee discussed the bill Wednesday, proposing amendments that take inflation into consideration when setting cost thresholds for some renovations. …

Other exemptions under the measure include certain electrical and plumbing work that do not threaten health or safety.

Tupola has been discussing with officials at DPP whether to require a permit for fences 30 inches or higher. Department officials are concerned walls on the corner of roads could obstruct the view of the other side.

"I can see their concern, but again there are people in the permitting line waiting for fences," Tupola said. …

read … To expedite building permit process on Oahu, lawmaker proposes updates to exemption list

Another Step Towards Windfarms Off Waikiki

WM: … The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), operated by the US Department of Energy, and the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have deployed a floating scientific research buoy located about 24km east of Hawaii’s most populous island, Oahu.

The buoy, which was deployed on 1 December, 2022, is stationed in waters 800 metres deep….

The data is publicly available in real time through the PNNL’s wind data hub, and could be used by researchers, public agencies, non-profit organisations and private companies, a PNNL spokesman advised.

More than 1.2GW of floating offshore wind is planned in the deep waters off Hawaii, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly….

read … US scientists deploy offshore wind lidar off Hawaii

Extra pandemic EBT benefits ending this month for 156,000 Hawaii residents

KITV: … money will soon run out for more than 83,000 families ….

The 156,000 people enrolled in the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will continue receiving their regular monthly benefits.

And the Department of Human Services handling the EBT program says $5 million dollars in extra pandemic benefits went out this week to more than 26,000 keiki statewide….

read … Extra pandemic EBT benefits ending this month for 156,000 Hawaii residents

Maui County Sat On $8 Million That Could Have Helped Struggling Homeowners

CB: … The federal government gave Maui County more than $8 million in 2021 to help residents pay off past-due mortgage bills and other housing-related debts, but the pandemic relief money has yet to reach the intended homeowners.

That’s because former Mayor Michael Victorino’s administration never put out the official request needed to find an organization willing to run the grant program for Maui.

Hawaii and Kauai counties had their programs up and running by the end of that year, and Honolulu followed suit in early 2022, disbursing their shares of the $50 million that the federal government gave the state….

read … Maui County Sat On $8 Million That Could Have Helped Struggling Homeowners

Soft on Crime: 2009 Burglary-Rape Whittled Down to ‘Time Served’ because Defendant Felt Anxiety

HLN: … Stanley Canosa was charged with burglary in the first degree, sexual assault in the first degree, unauthorized entry into a dwelling, and two counts of sexual assault in the third degree. A jury found him guilty of every count except for the offenses of sexual assault in the third degree. He was also subject to extended sentencing and sentenced to 20 years for the burglary, 10 for unauthorized entry into a dwelling, and life for sexual assault in the first degree. The ICA vacated the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.

In the second trial, Canosa asked for a new attorney. The third trial resulted in a jury deadlocked on sexual assault in the first degree. That count was dismissed. The jury found him guilty of burglary and unauthorized entry into a dwelling and extended sentencing again. The circuit court sentenced him to 20 years for the burglary and 10 for the unauthorized entry into a dwelling. The circuit court imposed the terms consecutively. Canosa appealed and the ICA vacated judgment after finding a sentencing error. The case was remanded for sentencing.

The judgment on appeal was issued on November 15, 2018. Canosa applied for certiorari to the HSC. The HSC rejected the application on January 18, 2019. Nearly a year and a half later on June 4, 2020, Canosa filed a written objection. He argued that before sentencing could occur, the ordinary terms of imprisonment had run and he was no longer subjected to extended terms of imprisonment. The circuit court—the Honorable Judge Karen Nakasone presided—overruled overruled the objection. The Court imposed the same terms of imprisonment: 20 for the burglary and 10 for the unauthorized entry into a dwelling, but ordered that they be served concurrently. Canosa appealed. The ICA affirmed. He petitioned for certiorari by the HSC….

Prejudice, of course, should be assessed in the light of the interests of defendants which the speedy trial right was designed to protect. This Court has identified three such interests: (i) to prevent oppressive pretrial incarceration; (ii) to minimize anxiety and concern of the accused…

An unusual remedy: immediate release. On balance, the delay in sentencing was a due process violation. The Court has authority to “take such other steps as may be necessary . . . for the promotion of justice in matters pending before it” to fashion a remedy. HRS § 602-5(a)(6). The Court, therefore, ordered Canosa immediately released from custody and vacated his sentence….

HSC: State v Canosa

read … Speedy trial analysis applies to delays in sentencing

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