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Friday, July 14, 2023
July 14, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:13 PM :: 3215 Views

Skyline's $54 per passenger operating cost highest in U.S.

Gun Industry Group Sues Over Hawaii 'Nuisance' Law

Hawaii Ranks 44th for Marijuana Consumption

Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Replaces Top Leadership Amid Federal Criminal Probe

CB: … The head of a prominent Native Hawaiian contracting conglomerate is stepping down from his leadership role as federal authorities continue to investigate alleged financial crimes involving the organization that has won more than $1.4 billion in government contracts over the past 15 years.

Christopher Dawson, the founder and chairman of the Hawaiian Native Corp., will take a leave of absence and new leadership has been put in place, the corporation said Thursday.

The Hawaiian Native Corp. is a registered nonprofit with the state of Hawaii that owns 11 for-profit subsidiaries that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts primarily from the Department of Defense.

Many of those contracts are obtained through special contracting provisions designed to benefit Native Hawaiians.

Dawson, who is part Native Hawaiian, will also step down as CEO of his Hawaiian Native Corp. subsidiaries, which are collectively operated under the brand name DAWSON.

Just last week, even as the federal investigation was underway, DAWSON was given a contract to oversee maintenance and repair of firefighting systems at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility….

According to an email statement sent to Civil Beat, Dawson will relinquish all operating, management and decision-making responsibilities of Hawaiian Native Corp. and its DAWSON subsidiaries during the investigation to “avoid being a potential distraction.”

In the meantime, Allen Hoe, a well-known Native Hawaiian attorney and veterans advocate who serves on the Hawaiian Native Corp. board, will take over as chairman of the nonprofit while Dawson is on leave.

David Johnson, who was DAWSON’s president and chief operating officer, was named as CEO of the operating companies….

The Hawaiian Native Corp. also said that it is adding its federal lobbyist, Andy Winer, to its board of directors. Winer is the executive vice president of Strategies 360 and former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a key Democratic appropriator and chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee.

The Hawaiian Native Corp. and DAWSON have been working closely with Winer in recent days to respond to the issues surrounding the federal investigation….

Dawson has hired Michael Purpura, a California-based lawyer who specializes in white-collar criminal defense and other complex civil litigation, to represent him.

Purpura is a former federal prosecutor who has deep ties to Hawaii. He’s a former partner at the Honolulu-based law firm Carlsmith Ball and once served as an adviser to the Hawaii Innocence Project. He also represented former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate….

Dawson comes from a prominent Native Hawaiian family. His mother, Beatrice “Beadie” Dawson, is a respected Native Hawaiian advocate and lawyer while his father, Donald, was a successful businessman from Canada. 

Beadie Dawson graduated from Punahou School and served 15 years as a deputy attorney general. She also represented a group of Kamehameha School alumni during the Bishop Estate scandal involving financial mismanagement and political cronyism within the trust. 

Beadie Dawson is considered an original founder of the Hawaiian Native Corp. and DAWSON conglomerate of companies, and still serves as an emeritus board member on the nonprofit. 

Chris Dawson’s sister, Donne Dawson, also serves on the Hawaiian Native Corp. Donne Dawson currently works as the Hawaii state film commissioner whose responsibility includes administering an incentive program that doles out tens of millions of dollars each year to movies and television shows that film in the islands….

2019: Source: Esther Kia’aina and Andy Winer Warned Jim Lyon About Investigation

2020: Meet The Former Hawaii Lawyer Who's Defending President Donald Trump

read … Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Replaces Top Leadership Amid Federal Criminal Probe

Department of Retaliation: DOE threatened to pull state contracts if companies didn’t remove outspoken critic

HNN: … Amanda Kelly, an award-winning behavioral analyst, has been an outspoken advocate for public school students with autism and other mental disabilities, often criticizing the Department of Education for not using licensed behavioral analysts — as required by law.

She said the DOE has retaliated against her because of her criticisms….

In a defamation lawsuit against the DOE, she said state officials began filing complaints against her with the regulatory bodies.

“They reported me to the (certification) board — like I think like 11 times,” she said.

She said they then went after her employers.

In emails obtained by Hawaii News Now, a former DOE manager threatened to pull tens of millions of dollars in state contracts awarded to her employer Positive Behavioral Supports.

“Until PBS can demonstrate that Amanda will not be involved in any DOE cases, there will be no contract with PBS,” Debra Farmer, the former head of the DOE’s Special Education section, wrote in 2018 email to Kelly’s supervisor.

In another 2018 email, Farmer accused Kelly of “inappropriate behavior” in requesting that the DOE provide services for a disabled student.

“If the DOE and PBS are to move forward with a cooperative partnership to assist schools and students, PBS needs to handle their employee,” Farmer wrote.

Kelly’s suit alleges that PBS demoted her, forcing her to quit. She said she then accepted a job with another firm that also receives tens of millions of dollars in DOE contracts.

Her lawyer said the DOE continued to harass his client.

“We got word that they threatened that company, that if they hired Dr. Kelly that company would not be allowed to bid for DOE contracts,” said attorney Eric Seitz….

read … In emails, DOE threatened to pull state contracts if companies didn’t remove outspoken critic

De Friese-Out: HTA mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse in backroom operations

SA: … HTA Vice President of Finance Isaac Choy proposed a new quality assurance policy and program geared to addressing previous criticisms about HTA from mismanagement to missteps in internal accounting and procurement procedures.

“My job is to make sure HTA’s internal processes are in order, to make sure that HTA’s house is in order and to make sure that we have strong infrastructure here at HTA internally,” Choy said. “It is my job to make sure they do not use words like mismanagement, government waste, fraud or abuse. It is my job to make absolute sure that the policymakers do not criticize our backroom operations.”

(TRANSLATION: Augean Stables.)

Choy said the new policy would affirm HTA’s commitment to maintain a “high standard of quality” in the way that it works, the services it delivers and its relationships with stakeholders. The new policy sets up a quality control system that applies to HTA’s procurement, contracting, monitoring and evaluation, he said….

NR: HTA Welcomes Two New Members to its Board of Directors

read … HTA pursues governance study and quality assurance program

City to Study Sales Pitch for so-called Vacant Homes Tax

SA Editorial: … Going forward, the city must cast a wide net, studying purchase and ownership patterns to best adjust its tax structure, as it will with a study of Honolulu’s vacant homes this summer. On Oahu, 34,253 housing units sat empty in Honolulu County, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. That is almost one-tenth of Oahu’s housing stock — an unacceptable number in one of the most unaffordable and housing-insecure places to live in the U.S.

(CLUE: A market with no vacancies is a market with no supply and therefore very high prices.)

City officials are contracting out a study to determine why so many homes are vacant, and how a specific tax on vacant residential properties could benefit Honolulu’s many residents who lack suitable housing. Benefits to be explored should include contributions to a housing fund, discouraging the “hoarding” of empty properties and encouraging owners to rent these properties to Hawaii households.

The study, projected to go out for bid this month, will be paid for using federal pandemic relief funding, and will include consideration of costs to the city, as well. ….

REALITY:

2021: Honolulu Council Affordable Housing ‘Solution’ -- A Billion Dollar Tax Hike on Houses

2019: Debunked: Caldwell’s ‘Vancouver Tax’ Does Nothing to Ease Rental Crisis

read … Focus tax reform on vacant homes

Mexican Cartel Operates from Hilo, but not for long--Police Swoop in to Protect Local Monopoly

SA: … A man who allegedly told authorities he was recruited by a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization, given fake identification and a trip to Hilo, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday after Hawaii police found him with more than 11 pounds of methamphetamine….

On June 20, Castro- Alavez allegedly took a taxi to the Hilo Post Office, where he mailed the money-stuffed chocolate boxes to an address in Ukiah, Calif., that was “provided to him by members of the organization.”

(CLUE: June 20 is just three weeks ago. See how quickly law enforcement works to protect the local monopoly?)

The organization also allegedly instructed Castro- Alavez to meet another man in the parking lot of his hotel. The man gave Castro- Alavez between $8,000 and $9,000 and “a number of addresses in Mexico.”

Castro-Alavez went to locations that use Western Union and MoneyGram, and sent the money in various increments to the addresses he was given.

Castro-Alavez allegedly told investigators that “based on all that was happening, he knew that the money he was wiring to Mexico was likely related to drug sales.”

On June 22, Castro-Alavez moved to an Airbnb. Members of the organization contacted him, and he gave them the address. He was told to expect a delivery.

On June 28, Castro-Alavez was “contacted by the organization and told to be at the Airbnb as a box would be arriving soon.”

That same day, an HSI special agent was at the Hilo police station when he was told a 911 call came in from an Airbnb owner who “suspected that a recently delivered USPS parcel may contain drugs, and that a male guest of the Airbnb unit was inquiring about the package,” according to police.

The woman put the package in a black trash bag and drove it to the Hilo police station.

Investigators noted “the main contents of the box appeared to be covered by multiple layers of wrapping; specifically layers of plastic saran wrap, carbon paper, and foil.”

“In my training and experience, these layers of wrapping and packaging are commonly used in an attempt to mask or deter law enforcement from detecting the odor of the substance contained within the box,” the HSI agent wrote in an affidavit.

At 11:40 a.m. that day, the woman told police and the HSI special agent the package was delivered to her when she hadn’t been expecting one. At about the same time, Castro-Alavez was pacing by her apartment, asked her if his mail came, looked inside, pointed at the parcel and told her, “That’s mine.”

A Hawaii police narcotics detection dog was deployed and “exhibited a change in behavior indicating the presence of an odor” of illegal drugs.

The next day, a search warrant allowed authorities to open the box. They allegedly found 5,021 grams in two sealed bags....

SA: Man held without bail in Mexico meth case

read … Man allegedly moved meth, money between states

Free Napali Coast boat tours offered to Celebrate Veto

TGI: … Tour operators at Kikialoa Small Boat Harbor are offering free Napali Coast sightseeing tours for Kaua‘i residents on July 26, following the official veto of a bill that aimed to reduce their commercial boating operations.

All 10 sightseeing companies that run out of the harbor have banded together to host the event, which will allow more than 200 Kaua‘i residents to experience Napali Coast through a complimentary boat tour.

Nick Croft, of Explore Kaua‘i Scuba, said the “‘ohana day” is a kind of “thank you” event for community residents who spoke out against House Bill 1090, which could have canceled 15 of the roughly 25 boating permits at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor. Gov. Josh Green issued his intent to veto HB 1090 on June 23, and the bill was officially vetoed on July 7….

TGI: Kouchi speaks out against boating permits veto

read … Free Napali Coast boat tours offered

Bulldozing Borneo: KIUC begins using Hawai‘i-(not)-made biodiesel on Kaua‘i

KGI: … Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative has announced a three-year partnership with Hawai‘i-based biodiesel producer Pacific Biodiesel Technologies in a push to (pretend to) wean itself off a reliance on fossil fuels.

KIUC received its first delivery of locally produced biodiesel late last month, and has stated it will partially (very partial, biofuel is expensive) fuel its 27.5 megawatt Kapaia Power Generation Station in Lihu‘e, the cooperative’s largest generator.

“We are pleased to source this 100 percent renewable (except for the dead orangutans) fuel from Pacific Biodiesel,” said KIUC President and CEO David Bissell. “Supporting local (LOL!) biodiesel production helps ensure greater energy security for our island state.”

Founded on Maui in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel annually produces more than 5.5 million gallons of distilled biodiesel at its Hawai‘i Island refinery. The fuel is primarily made from used cooking oil gathered from restaurants across the state, with additional oil coming from sunflowers (a few gallons at most) and other crops farmed in Hawai‘i.

While some oil is sourced from the mainland (Translation: Borneo), the company’s long-term vision is to increase its portfolio of locally grown crops, avoiding mainland materials altogether ….

(TRANSLATION: Their vision is to ensure that nobody talks about the biofuel palm oil plantations on Borneo.)

DO NOT CLICK HERE >>> NONONONONO <<<

read … KIUC begins using biodiesel on Kaua‘i

In Chicken Sh*t Effort to Shut Down Hawaii Agriculture, Mainland Activists harass Local Egg Producer

CB: … Hawaii’s biggest egg producer says its manure treatment operation is back up and operating after a Department of Health inspection prompted concerns about its management.

The inspection revealed that Waialua Fresh Eggs on Oahu was not converting the thousands of pounds of manure its birds produce each day into biochar, a dry charcoal-like fertilizer.

The facility was instead stockpiling manure in a vacant barn, which food safety and environment groups say poses a serious threat to residents’ safety and water resources. A February DOH Clean Water Branch inspection confirmed the biochar machine was not being used and manure was stacking up.

(IDEA: Bag it up and sell it to farmers.)

The Center for Food Safety said the farm’s manure management has been misrepresented for the past two years after it had previously highlighted biochar in its operating plan.  Stockpiling manure was “not a tenable solution,” according to Center for Food Safety senior attorney Sylvia Wu.

(TRANSLATION: DoH onoy moved because they were being pestered by the anti-GMO fraudsters of CFS.)

But the farm has restarted its biochar operation and it has been back up and running for a couple months, according to Waialua Fresh farm manager Avery Barry. “The challenges related to the biochar have been addressed and will not affect our ability to comply with regulations and safely manage the manure produced at the farm,” he said.

Hawaii’s humidity posed an issue for the biochar machine, which had been resolved by drying the manure before processing it, Barry says. The backlogged waste had also been addressed….  

KITV: One of Hawaii's largest eggs farms, Waialua Fresh, faces controversy

SA: An organization that has fought against concentrated livestock operations is alleging….

SA: Waialua egg farm’s pile of chicken manure prompts complaint

REALITY: The Center for Food Safety, under its façade of nonprofit watchdogging, has all the marks of a black-marketing campaign, run on behalf of organic and “natural” foods.

read … Critics Call For More Oversight Of Hawaii’s Largest Egg Producer

Legislators Outlaw Non-LED Bulbs and ‘Inefficient’ Toilets and Appliances

CB: … Hawaii Energy, Blue Planet Foundation, and many other businesses and community members supported Senate Bill 691 and House Bill 192, which were recently signed into law by Governor Green as Act 224 and Act 225.

Act 224, previously Senate Bill 691, ensures certain household appliances sold in the state, including toilets, urinals, hot tubs, ventilating fans, and water coolers, don’t needlessly waste electricity or water….

The other law enacted, Act 225, will offer even bigger savings. Originally House Bill 192, this is a “clean lighting” policy that phases out the sale of fluorescent light bulbs in favor of more efficient LED light bulbs beginning in 2025….

read … New Hawaii Laws Will Provide Utility Bill Relief

In potential blow to red light camera program, judge tosses citation over identification issue

HNN: … A judge has thrown out a case on a technicality that could apply to all of the photo-enforcement citations.

The vast majority of drivers who get red light camera citations just pay the $97 fine. A few were dismissed when they proved they didn’t own the vehicle.

But in a rare case, a judge now says the photo of a vehicle and license plate is not good enough to prove who owns the car.

To establish the photo enforcement system, the state didn’t want to force prosecutors to prove who was driving so the law makes the registered owner of the vehicle responsible, regardless of the driver. But the judge’s ruling may even put that process in jeopardy.

In March, the camera at Vineyard and Liliha streets caught a white sedan barely missing the red light and a citation was issued to registered owner Phil Reinhardt, who decided to fight it.

Attorney Pat McPherson has been looking for a chance to challenge the system.

Defending Reinhardt In court last week, McPherson questioned every stage of the process, but was helped by the state not calling the officer who reviewed the video to testify and there was also no witness to confirm whether the citation was mailed within the 10-day deadline….

read … In potential blow to red light camera program, judge tosses citation over identification issue

HPD investigating hit-and-run crash that may have involved police SUV

HNN: … The crash happened on July 3 at about 8 pm.

Witnesses reported that a Honolulu police officer was chasing a white car through a Kunia neighborhood when the white car backed into a parked pickup truck.

A Ring doorbell camera captured video of the impact and showed the white car leaving the scene as the pickup truck alarm blared.

Ten seconds after the impact, a blue HPD SUV drove by — then turned away from the damaged truck. The blue HPD vehicles are used by the traffic enforcement unit.

The officer driving is accused of pursuing the white car without notifying dispatch….

read … HPD investigating hit-and-run crash that may have involved police SUV

Homeless Torch Houses on Waianae Coast

KITV: … “The ashes could come this way and several homes could catch fire since they’re all so close together. I can always smell them and see the smoke but I don’t know exactly where the fires are happening,” said Waianae resident Shaila Laronal.

Several viewers wrote to KITV4 and said a Waianae home on Kuwale Road was burnt down along with several tires. A nearby resident said that fire was caused by squatters. He asked to remain anonymous.

"There was at least one squatter in there. That house was my friend’s father’s place and when he died, my friend told the guy to get out and then he lit the house on fire when he left," he said.

He added that trash fires are not only common but easy to set off. There are dozens of trash bags and abandoned tires sitting all over Waianae….

read … Waianae residents voice their concerns over rubbish fires

Hilo man charged with intimidating witness in domestic abuse case

HTH: … Clark remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

According to court documents filed by police, Clark drove to the woman’s Hawaiian Paradise Park home unannounced in a black Ford Ranger pickup truck at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and demanded that she let him inside, despite an order from a judge for Clark to stay away from her.

The woman told police she let Clark inside because she was afraid of what he would do to her if she didn’t, according to the documents.

Once inside, Clark allegedly told the woman “drop the charges” and yelled that if she didn’t comply, “I’m going to strangle you.”

The charge Clark allegedly referred to is a charge of domestic abuse aggravated by strangulation that stems from an April 24 incident, according to court records. The same woman is the victim in that case, and Clark’s terms of release include orders to stay 100 yards away from the woman’s residence and place of employment….

Clark has two felony convictions on his record, according to court records.

One is for first-degree arson for burning a Hawaiian Acres home to the ground on April 26, 2013. He was still on probation in that case, with multiple violations of that probation over the years.

Clark also was on probation for a first-degree negligent homicide conviction. The conviction, in December 2020, stemmed from a Jan. 6, 2017, traffic collision on Highway 130 near Leilani Estates that killed 37-year-old Michael Simmons of O’Brien, Ore….

read … Hilo man charged with intimidating witness in domestic abuse case

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