Rich States, Poor States -- Hawaii ranks 45th
"Transparency" or unwarranted government meddling?
HB300: Senate Sends Draft of State Budget Back to House
HB426: Hawaii State Senate Passes Bill to Bankrupt Firearm Industry
Koko Head Shooting Complex reopening April 29 with lots of new rules
Senate Confirms Green's First Judicial Appointment
Applicants Sought to Fill Vacancies on the Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
HPD Warned Drunken Legislators about DUI Calls
CB: … Many people at the Hawaii State Capitol are still talking about reports of alcohol consumption among members of the House of Representatives at what has been described as a raucous after-hours party last month.
But the leader of that chamber is not one of them, at least publicly.
Cornered by reporters after a brief floor session Friday, Speaker Scott Saiki was asked whether it was appropriate for drinking to take place on the Capitol grounds.
“I don’t want to answer that,” he said. “I’m just answering questions about discipline.”
Reporters pressed Saiki to say more about what happened at the March 3 incident, but Cathy Lee, the House director of communications, ended the interview.
The drinking took place among numerous House members in Saiki’s fourth floor office, according to multiple sources. At some point Rep. Natalia Hussey-Burdick, who was part of the party along with other House members, attempted to alert the Honolulu Police Department….
“I texted a friend about my concerns that some people at the party seemed likely to drive drunk, and my friend in turn alerted members of the HPD,” she said in a statement released Thursday. “The police never arrived, and instead, word of this tip to the police somehow made its way to the people attending the party.”
(Translation: HPD will get a sweet budget-topper from the Legislature.)
It is unclear whether that actually happened. An inquiry into HPD was not answered Friday afternoon….
RELATED: Har DUI gave the Judiciary an opportunity to get the legislature off its back, budget-wise.
read … House Speaker Has Little To Say About Party Incident At His Capitol Office
Legislators: Rat Got us Very Drunk at Party in Saiki’s Office Before Calling in DUI Reports
HNN: … Multiple sources say Hussey-Burdick tried to use drinking at an after-hours party at the state Capitol to try to retaliate against her colleagues for killing a bill she sponsored….
At a drinking party that night in a House conference room, fellow lawmakers said Hussey-Burdick brought shot glasses and encouraged the drinking then alerted the midwives to call police.
(Word of the Day: ‘Absinthe’)
When Hawaii News Now first asked Hussey-Burdick about the story two weeks ago, she said, “I don’t know anything about it.” Other lawmakers declined to speak on the record.
But after Civil Beat published a story Wednesday, Hussey-Burdick issued a statement Thursday afternoon that seemed to confirm some of the basics. She wrote:
“I texted a friend about my concerns that some people at the party seemed likely to drive drunk, and my friend in turn alerted members of the HPD. The police never arrived, and instead, word of this tip to the police somehow made its way to the people attending the party.
“After much introspection I see now that the kind thing to do in this situation would have been to check in with my colleagues and try to arrange a safe way for them to get home. I have apologized to my colleagues for choosing an unkind course of action.”
The statement did not please colleagues who privately said they felt she had tried to damage their political careers while understating her role in encouraging excessive drinking at the party….
Outraged colleagues at first demanded Hussey-Burdick be kicked out of the Democratic caucus or even expelled, but then apparently agreed it was better to keep the episode quiet.
House Speaker Scott Saiki said there would be no ‘official’ discipline.
“She has all of her assignments in place. There is no discipline being taken,” Saiki said…
read … Freshman lawmaker accused of trying to get fellow legislators arrested for drunk driving
Castle High students protest after teacher arrested for sexual assault leaves on small bail
KITV: … Castle High School students said they are frustrated and disappointed that a special education teacher who was arrested for sexual assault is free after posting a $100 bail….
Now that Sanoe Kalahiki has been arrested for sexual misconduct, some students are opening up about their experience with the teacher.
"I know the victim and she texted me and said thank you everyone for supporting her and doing this for her because she doesn’t feel safe coming back yet," said a protest organizer and student.
This anonymous student added she has known the teacher, Sanoe Kalahiki, for years and that he was a loved member in the community. She and other students said faculty members are spreading misinformation - that the allegations against the teacher are not true.
Some of their parents believe Castle High School administrators have not been supporting the students strongly enough….
A representative for the area is planning to meet with the administrators at Castle High School this week.
“Unfortunately, this year’s Women’s Legislative Caucus bill to extend the statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse has stalled in the senate and I hope this incident will cause the legislature to prioritize this bill next year," said Representative Natalia Hussey-Burdick, House District 50….
read … Castle High students protest after teacher arrested for sexual assault leaves on small bail
Trial for accused Hawaii crime boss Michael Miske Jr. pushed to 2024
SA: … The trial for the alleged leader of a Hawaii organized crime outfit and six of his co-conspirators will be continued until January 2024 to allow the defense more time to prepare, a judge ruled this morning.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson granted a request to move the start date of Michael J. Miske Jr.’s trial from Sept. 11 to sometime in January 2024.
In a March 31 filing by Miske’s attorneys, Michael J. Kennedy and Lynn E. Panagakos argue that losing Miske’s lead counsel of two and a half years, Thomas Otake, forces the defense to take do more work with a lot less help….
CB: Miske Organized Crime Trial Pushed To 2024
ILind: The “Miske Enterprise” racketeering trial is delayed, again.
read … Trial for accused Hawaii crime boss Michael Miske Jr. pushed to 2024
Following judge’s ruling, female inmates suing prison staffers for rape could have their day in court
HNN: … A federal judge will hold evidentiary hearings on a lawsuit by nearly a dozen women who were raped by staffers at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua, breathing new life to a suit that was rejected by a jury in November….
The state admitted that the rapes occurred and at least five ACOs were investigated and terminated.
But the jury found that the state and the warden Eric Tanaka were not responsible for their crimes….
read … Following judge’s ruling, female inmates suing prison staffers for rape could have their day in court
Rolling Blackouts Coming: MECO says ‘algae, hemp, and hydrogen’ are solutions, LOL!
HNN: … Hawaiian Electric plans to retire its Kahului Power Plant by 2027. On top of that, the manufacturer for the Maalaea Generating Station is no longer making parts….
Wakai says HECO needs to come up with solutions fast.
“Are you going to buy more generators? Are you going to get more renewables online? More firm renewable. You have a lot of wind, and you have a lot of solar, which is intermittent at the whim of Mother Nature. You really need to make an investment in firm renewable power,” Wakai said….
Other ideas were creating renewable energy from algae, hemp, and hydrogen.
Hawaiian Electric is seeking feedback for all renewable energy options to sustain Maui. For more details, click here….
MN: More energy projects needed to replace retiring power sources
FLASHBACK: Nominee for State Planning Director responsible for Oahu’s High Electricity Costs
read … Senator urges HECO to solve potential power generating problems on Maui
Vaccine mandate lawsuit against Hawaiian Air still moving forward
KHON: … Flight attendant Shanah Brody worked for Hawaiian Airlines for almost 22 years.
Brody said she was one of hundreds of employees who asked for a religious or medical exemption from the COVID vaccine and they were all denied.
Instead, she said they were told to fill out a form saying they agree to be put on unpaid leave for up to a year, or they would be fired.
She said even if they agree to go on unpaid leave, when they come back to work they would lose their seniority. So she declined to fill out the form….
read … Vaccine mandate lawsuit against Hawaiian Air still moving forward
East Maui ‘Locals-only days’ What could possibly go wrong?
MN: …local tourism agencies are considering a pilot program that would put
stewards (thugs) at hot spots to monitor the area, educate visitors and collect data (crack heads) ….
As drivers and passengers entered the parking lot of Twin Falls from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 8, they were asked to show proof of Hawaii identification….
Stewards would be supervised by site coordinators, which could be either an individual, business or nonprofit. Site coordinators must be based somewhat close to the hot spot being served, and they can oversee more than one hot spot.
There would be about 20 stewards needed in order to cover each of the shifts, which span seven days a week.
The visitors bureau is soliciting proposals from East Maui-based nonprofits to execute the pilot program….
The deadline for applicants to submit proposals to the bureau is 4:30 p.m. May 5. Applicants may review and download the request for proposals at hvcb.org/east-maui-tourism-management-rfp….
2019: Maui Police, Prosecutor Conspire to Cover Up Hate Crime: Attack with Shovel Recorded with Audio, Video
2019: Another Hate Crime: Hana men indicted in assault on campers
read … Locals-only days, hot spot stewards aim to manage East Maui tourism
Star-Adv: Native Hawaiian Cultural Practices are a Sham Excuse
SA Editorial: … The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac), a federally sanctioned advisory body, has miscalculated its responsibilities and misserved its constituency by stubbornly persisting in a quest to allow sales derived from “culturally based subsistence fishing” within the proposed Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Sanctuary.
Wespac advises the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on fishing regulation. And in December 2022, Wespac recommended creation of a permit system to allow culturally based fishing within the sanctuary, which would overlay Papahanaumokuakea Monument Expansion Area, encompassing 582,578 square miles of Pacific Ocean and 3.5 million acres of coral reef — about 70% of the coral reef area under U.S. control.
To do this, Wespac made a finding that Native Hawaiian tradition included fishing trips to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It also proposed that selling up to $15,000 of a catch be allowed, to recoup costs of this “cultural” venture….
read … Fishing in the monument