Shinnyo-en Should not be on Memorial Day
Aloha, Sam Slom, Hawaii will miss you
Owning a firearm in Hawaii is about to get more expensive
CDC: Hawaii drug overdoses doubled over the last decade
Iolani is one team: Football Coach Slices Woman Open, Found Not guilty
EDITOR's NOTE: The outcome in this case is a powerful sign that the 'Old Boy' ways are back after years of federal corruption prosecutions.
SA: … A jury of 10 men and two women found a 34-year-old Honolulu man not guilty Tuesday on all counts in the attempted murder, kidnapping and sexual assault of a bar hostess found naked and bleeding profusely in the lobby of the high-end downtown condominium building where he lived.
(TRANSLATION: No judge was willing to take a fall on this case so defendant was stuck with a jury. Deceiving a jury is a much more complex endeavor than bribing a judge. Iolani is one team.)
…The defense also blamed shoddy police work, failing to take urine or blood samples from Hirokawa, despite concerns of a Honolulu Police Department evidence specialist and others of possible drug involvement, as well as a failure to take samples from the wine glasses.
(TRANSLATION: HPD OK with being the fall guy to help a friend.)
Deputy Attorney General Michelle Puu, who prosecuted the case, said in her closing arguments that the only option Hirokawa had was to use this defense of being drugged, since voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a criminal act in Hawaii….
Hirokawa, a 2006 alumnus of ‘Iolani School where was a standout running back, had been a temporary assistant football coach until 2020 (Clue: COVID) at his alma mater….
(TRANSLATION: He is above the law--but this was harder to clean up than most.)
Friends and family described him as a nice guy who never lost his temper or got violent. He testified he could not remember what happened after he drank a glass of wine at his condo with a woman he met at Club New Business.
(TRANSLATION: His many friends in the legal profession had to put on a really good show for the jury. That’s why the prosecutor’s office was conflicted out.)
Despite Puu’s pointed questions about, among other things, his sexual preferences, Hirokawa maintained a calm, polite demeanor under questioning.
The victim, a Korean national living in Chicago, was visiting Honolulu in late 2020 and worked as a hostess at Club New Business when she met Hirokawa. He said they sat with the club owner and another employee who introduced her to him. She said he bought her $100 worth of drinks the night of Nov. 20, 2020, (Clue: COVID) which he confirmed, and tipped her another $100, which he denied….
(TRANSLATION: She is nobody here.)
Defense attorney Alen Kaneshiro (nephew of former Supreme Court Justice Simeon Acoba) told reporters outside the courtroom, “It’s been our contention that Mr. Hirokawa was involuntarily intoxicated, and the jury agreed.”
As for his client, “it’s been a tough two years, being under house arrest … but he was very resilient,” he said. “I’m sure he’s happy that the jury saw things the way they did. He’s hoping to get back to his regular life.”…
She texted and called him after the bar closed, and they got together at the office of Hirokawa’s friend, architect Shaun Ushijima, (designed UH Warriors rec center) where the two men had been drinking….
(TRANSLATION: Lets drop more football names.)
The woman, testifying at trial, said Hirokawa suddenly became aggressive, repeatedly sexually assaulted her, causing a laceration from vagina to anus, beat and choked her, and stomped on her head and body, despite her screams for help and for him to stop….
Psychologist Tanya D’Avanzo (does lots of $$$ psych evals) testified memory loss doesn’t mean you forget everything, but people who try to fake amnesia often pretend to forget everything.
Defense expert Mark Hagadone, a toxicologist, (does lots of $$$ tox work) collected samples from two wine glasses on the kitchen counter at Hirokawa’s condo and sent them to a California laboratory, which found the contents of one of the glasses contained the unusual combination of Ambien and LSD.
Hagadone testified the combination could have adverse behavioral effects, depending on the dosage.
Puu questioned the validity of the chain of custody since several days passed after the incident when the samples were taken, and suggested someone planted the drugs since a variety of people had gone through the apartment….
(IQ Test: See how this works?)
(IDEA: Feds should arrest everybody for rigging case.)
BACKGROUND: Alleged Rapist-Slasher Had Many Friends in Prosecutor Kaneshiro’s Office
HNN: Experts: Unanswered questions likely at core of acquittal in high-profile attempted murder case
KITV: Legal analysis and reaction to Hirokawa not guilty verdict
KHON: Hirokawa still faces civil lawsuit for his actions
read … Honolulu man found not guilty in 2020 attempted murder, assault case
Civil Beat sues FBI over agency secrecy
CB: … Honolulu Civil Beat, Inc., the parent company of the nonprofit online news organization, filed suit earlier this month challenging the FBI’s refusal to disclose records of the agency’s investigation that led to criminal convictions of two former legislators, Ty Cullen and Kalani English.
In a lawsuit filed in Honolulu’s Federal District Court on May 18, Civil Beat alleges the FBI’s denial of access to any of its investigative files in these two cases is a violation of the federal Freedom of information Act.
Civil Beat filed separate FOIA requests seeking access to “all investigative report and materials maintained by the FBI relating to criminal charges” brought against Cullen and English that were “gathered or produced between September 1, 2014 and February 15, 2022.”…
The Civil Beat Law Center will post additional documents in the legal case as they are filed. The law center’s website includes a summary of the case, and links to court documents as they are filed.
The case has been assigned to Judge Susan Oki Mollway. A scheduling conference via Zoom has been set for July 17 at 9 a.m….
Related: Timeline: When Were Feds Watching Crooked Deals with Choy or Cullen?
Related: Document Confirms Ty Cullen has named other Corrupt Legislators
read … Civil Beat sues FBI over agency secrecy
Hawai’i Green Energy Initiative Dirtier Than Coal -- Tourism Industry Exempted
IM: … Hawaii has adopted two clean energy strategies -- increasing renewable energy and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions….
The two are not different sides of the same coin. Relying on Hu Honua analysis, the proposed tree-burning power plant`s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions less signed contracts for carbon sequestration would make the proposed plant have higher GHG emissions per MWh than any other power plant on the HECO, MECO, and HELCO grids, higher even that the former AES coal plant.
The Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) metric was adopted in 2001. The RPS law, HRS 269-91, requires a gradual increase in renewable energy until Hawaii reaches 100% by 2045. Hawaii has amended the definition of renewable energy numerous times.
“Renewable Energy” does not have to be renewable, energy, clean, sustainable, or anything else. The fastest way to achieve 100% renewable energy is to continue to manipulate the definition….
Presumably, a developer could propose a massive fossil fuel power plan and then withdraw the proposal, counting the non-produced fossil fuel as renewable energy.
Today, chopping down virgin tropical rainforests rich in biodiversity, importing wood pellets, and burning them counts as renewable energy. The 19-year effort to remove this hideous definition from state law has failed….
the largest category of Hawai’i GHG emissions is trans-oceanic travel of people and goods. Some estimates have found that this category accounts for more than half of all emissions caused by Hawaii policies and programs. And yet, it is excluded from the HRS §225P-5….
read … Hawai’i -- 100% Renewable Energy vs Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions
After long wait, feds to once again back loans for homestead land cleared of WWII-era munitions
HNN: … The wait could soon be over for hundreds of homesteaders who want to build or purchase a house on Hawaiian lands in West Hawaii.
It’s been nearly a decade since the federal government stopped backing loans on property within the Waikoloa Maneuver Area, a 100,000-acre plot on land riddled with bombs left behind by the military after World War II.
But now, officials say clean-up efforts at Puukapu in Waimea are nearly complete….
they have the land, they want to build their home,” she said.
“After that I have to tell them financing is not available. Because it’s a bomb zone, a ‘no further action’ letter is needed to provide with your financing to HUD (Housing and Urban Development) so they ensure the loan.”
She said there are 468 lessees in Puukapu.
The 11,000-acre site sits on the eastern edge of the Waikoloa Maneuver Area, a swath of land in West Hawaii extending from the popular Waikoloa resorts to Waimea and beyond….
HNN: On Hawaii Island, WWII-era munitions clean-up work begins with a ‘right of entry’
HTH: Some unhappy with pace of ordnance removal
read … After long wait, feds to once again back loans for homestead land cleared of WWII-era munitions
Red Hill Depositions Reveal More Details About What The Navy Knew About Spill
CB: … It was November 2021, a week after an estimated 20,000 gallons of fuel spewed from a Red Hill facility pipeline, and families had started to report a fuel smell in their drinking water.
Navy officials were putting two and two together, Leonard Joseph Nehl II, a supervisor in the Navy drinking water system, said in a recent deposition.
When officials gathered in Navy Capt. Gordie Meyer’s office on Nov. 28, Nehl said he could smell fuel coming from Meyer’s bathroom sink.
“We need to let the people know,” Nehl recalled Meyer saying.
But they didn’t. Instead, the Navy put out a press release after 9:30 p.m. that night saying there was “no immediate indication that the water is not safe.” The Hawaii Department of Health wouldn’t issue an advisory until the following evening telling residents not to use the water if it has an odor.
It wasn’t until Dec. 2 that the Navy confirmed with test results that the water contained fuel. By then, thousands of Pearl Harbor area residents had already drunk it, bathed their children in it and washed their dishes and laundry with it. Thousands of people have reported health problems, and some are still struggling with those impacts today.
Nehl was among the first Navy officials to be interviewed under oath about Red Hill as part of a mass tort lawsuit against the Navy, blaming it for its negligence in causing and responding to the drinking water debacle. His deposition and other documents, filed as exhibits to a motion in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, underscore the Navy’s failure to warn Pearl Harbor area residents about the threat to their drinking water. …
read … Red Hill Depositions Reveal More Details About What The Navy Knew About Spill
US Sen. Brian Schatz’s Subtle Push For More Psychedelic ‘Research’
CB: … U.S. Sen Brian Schatz has become a vocal advocate for expanding research into therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs such as ketamine, MDMA, LSD and psilocybin to treat depression, anxiety, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“For me, this isn’t about whether psychedelics should be legalized for recreational purposes,” Schatz said….
(IQ Test; Do you believe him?)
Hawaii lawmakers, too, have pursued a series of measures meant to encourage the use of psychedelics for therapy, but none passed during the 2023 legislative session, including a bill that would have created an advisory council to evaluate new treatment options….
read … US Sen. Brian Schatz’s Subtle Push For More Psychedelic Research
14 Years Later DoT Pretends to ‘Revitalize’ Vacant Honolulu Harbor Museum Property Again
SA: … State officials are trying to lure a museum back to Honolulu Harbor where a waterfront attraction once described as world-class closed 14 years ago.
The state Department of Transportation is seeking bids from private developers to lease the former home of the Hawaii Maritime Center, which Bishop Museum closed in 2009 after chronic financial stress.
A 65-year land lease is being offered for the Pier 7 site occupied by the deteriorated former museum building next to a wharf where the decaying iron hull of the 19th-century sailing ship Falls of Clyde remains moored despite years of failed efforts by DOT to remove the historic vessel, which was once part of the Maritime Center museum….
SA Editorial: Pier 7 a challenge for redevelopment
Big Q: What do you think of the state’s hopes to lease/redevelop Honolulu Harbor near Aloha Tower?
read … Public Sector Thinking
Nimitz Experience; Homeless Camps Line Road to Waikiki
SA: … A visitor from the West Coast recently remarked on how “trashy” Hawaii has become.
On the way from the airport, they experienced the graffiti, homeless encampments and general condition of the roads and landscape. The visitors thought this was a Third World country….
read … We must stop trashing our home in ‘paradise’