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Saturday, July 1, 2023
July 1, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:44 PM :: 1594 Views

Green Releases 'Intent to Veto' List--Legislature Will not Override

Learning for their Future: 127,000 Hawaii Keiki Given EBT Cards

Green Signs $37.2B Budget

Feds move forward on introducing imperiled species outside historic habitat in Hawaii, Guam

Inaugural rail ride unites conspirators in game of ‘blame the dead guys’--How will they sell Rail Extensions to Public?

HNN: … The first train after the opening ceremony was jammed with politicians and employees of the city, state and contractors.

Near the of the first car, Gov. Josh Green embraced Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi as he spoke to a reporter….

City Transportation Services Director Roger Morton worked for Mayor Frank Fasi in the 1970s while Fasi was first championing a raised guideway rail system for Honolulu, with the support of the Congressional Delegation led by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.

“We need to recognize these champions of the system that are unfortunately gone from us right now,” Morton said. “But they are both of them fully responsible for where we are today.”…

(Translation: Blame the dead guys.)

Sitting nearby on a front-row bench was Fasi’s widow, former Honolulu First Lady Joyce Fasi and her son Frank, Junior….

Ed Hirata served as Transportation Director under Fasi, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Gov. John Waihee, all rail supporters. He looked tired but happy after the ride.

“Wonderful, to finally go through with it so I am really happy,” Hirata said. “It’s been that long and it’s taken a long time but I am glad it’s finished. The costs would have been a lot lower if we started sooner.”

After many years of polarizing debate, damaged political careers, cost overruns and delays, there was still caution about the future, which now may depend on the performance of these trains….

Asked about potentially extending the excise tax for rail or other support from the state, Gov. Green said, “We will wait until that comes, of course, because I really want people to be optimistic about the completion of this phase first, then we will see about how the whole state feels about this rail.”

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said‚ ”One of the mistakes we’ve made in the past is to get ahead of ourselves so we’ve got his leg completed and operational, people should start using it and then we got to get the next leg and the next leg and the next leg.”

The current chair of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, Colleen Hanabusa, is also a former member of Congress. She said it’s still not clear the public is ready to invest in extending the system beyond current plans.

“The next big political ask for rail is going to be Ala Moana and beyond — if there is a political appetite for that,” she said. Whether there is that appetite, especially to invest money, will depend on this generation of leaders, and the next….

read … Inaugural rail ride unites longtime supporters with next generation of leaders

Witness Intimidation: Miske investigation continues

ILind: … On May 23, John Stancil was pulled from an art class and immediately moved to the Special Housing Unit in Honolulu’s Federal Detention, after being housed in the general population since his arrest in July 2020. He remained in isolation in the SHU for a month before being moved into the same housing unit that his brother, Mike Miske, is being held in. None of the other co-defendants in the case are housed in this unit, and neither Miske nor Stancil are allowed contact with them.

The government only hinted at the issue that prompted Stancil’s move to SHU, and the order to separate him from other co-defendants.

“In May 2023… concerns were brought to the government’s attention about inmate conduct at the FDC, and in light of those concerns, the government asked the FDC to fully enforce the separations between Stancil and other co-defendants.”

The nature of these “concerns” was not disclosed, but will hopefully emerge later….

(CLUE: ‘Witness Intimidation’)

read … The Miske investigation continues

Gambling remains an issue on Oahu despite now being a felony-level crime

KHON: … In the popular North Shore town of Mokuleia, there is a suspected game room along Farrington Highway. Some residents said the building is hardly noticeable. The dark green exterior is hidden by a wooden fence and California grass around it.

“I thought it was a junkyard, honestly. It looks abandoned, but who knows how crowded it is on the inside,” said a man jogging past the property.

Despite the crackdown on illegal gambling and making the crime a felony, the criminal activity continues in Hawaii.

"People can get really upset when they lose money or in a game and that could lead to violence. If it is in our area, I really hope the cops can break it down," said Samuel Duz.

Duz said the gas station where he works is aware its neighbors may be illegal gamblers. He added his co-workers are always on high alert for counterfeit money.

North Shore neighborhood board members said they want to destroy the notion that gambling is not a violent crime and see more of a push from the community to shut down game rooms.

“People who are involved in unsavory things like illegal gambling will bring crime, whether it’s people robbing those places, or those people will try to feed their gambling’s addictions. It’s not a surprise the two are happening on the same location,” said North Shore board member Mike Biechler.

Biechler believes there are three to five illegal game rooms currently operating on Oahu's North Shore.

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) retrieves around 500 gambling machines annually on the island. Owning a gambling machine is not illegal, but how they are used is. HPD said there are no legal grounds to keep them from being shipped in until they are used illegally….

read … Gambling remains an issue on Oahu despite now being a felony-level crime

Kona psychologist who treats children accused of sexually assaulting minor

HTH: … A Kona grand jury returned a four-count indictment Wednesday, charging Lelah with two counts each of first- and third-degree sexual assault.

Lelah is free on $40,000 bail.

According to the indictment, the alleged offenses occurred between June 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019, in Kona. The victim — who was born in 2005 and identified only by initials — was at least 14 years old but less than 16 years old.

The allegations are that Lelah engaged in both sexual penetration and sexual contact with the minor.

First-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Third-degree sexual assault is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

A civil lawsuit also was filed Wednesday in Kona Circuit Court by Kona attorney Jeffrey Foster on behalf of a John Doe.

The suit names Lelah and the nonprofit Loving Service Foundation — of which Lelah is president, treasurer and a director, according to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs — as defendants…. 

HNN: Hawaii psychologist indicted on sex crimes accused of targeting most vulnerable children

read … Kona psychologist who treats children accused of sexually assaulting minor

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