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Thursday, November 23, 2023
November 23, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:35 PM :: 2574 Views

The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom

Laughed out of Court: Libertarians Asked Federal Judge to ‘Disband Hawaii Republican Party’

Suuurrrprise! New Supreme Court Justice Devens Concealed his role as Carpenters Union Operative

CB: … One of Hawaii’s new Supreme Court justices until earlier this year served as a director for a powerful political action committee that helped elect Josh Green governor.

Vladimir Devens, who on Tuesday was unanimously confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate to fill one of two vacancies on the Hawaii Supreme Court, was a director of Be Change Now from April 2019 until April 2023, according to business registration filings with the state.

Devens is listed along with another director, Kyle Chock, and Joshua Magno, the chair, secretary, treasurer and a director of Be Change Now.

The public information does not appear to have been shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which on Monday unanimously voted to send Devens’ nomination to the full Senate for consideration….

Lee Tokuhara, communications director for Be Change Now, said via email late Wednesday, “Mr. Devens served on the Be Change Now board from May 2018 and resigned in 2022, and his role was legal in nature.”

However, paperwork filed with the state in April still lists Devens as a director.

Be Change Now grew out of a pro-rail super PAC created by the Pacific Resource Partnership in 2012. It is run by the Hawaii Carpenters Market Recovery Program Fund, which is funded mainly by contractors who do business with the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters….

Reflecting its strong political connections, Andy Winer, a political adviser on Green’s gubernatorial campaign, previously had PRP as a political client. Brooke Wilson, who was a registered lobbyist for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, has been Green’s chief of staff since he was elected lieutenant governor.

Be Change Now has spent generously in local elections, including $578,300 on Green’s successful bid for governor last year and more than $1 million for the lieutenant governor primary in 2018. Green nominated Devens to the high court late last month….

Devens does not list his time with Be Change Now on the resume that the Green administration submitted to the Senate, although he includes mention of dozens of other organizations with which he has been involved.

They include the SHOPO Contract Negotiation Workshop, the Hawaii Hotel Association of Security Directors, and the United Public Workers Business Agents Training Workshop-Grievances, Worker’s Compensation. The list is so comprehensive that it mentions Devens’ work in boxing and coaching with at-risk youth from 1995 to the present, and when he served as a police officer with the Honolulu Police Department from 1989-1995.

Devens also does not list his Be Change Now directorship in his Judicial Selection Commission application, though he did disclose that he is with the Hawaii State Bar Association’s board of directors, CrimeStoppers Honolulu board of directors and the board of his own law office. The application specifically asks, “Do you serve as an officer, director, manager, advisor, or employer of any business?”

Devens’ application is dated Nov. 23, 2022, just weeks after Green’s landslide win and about a month after the JSC said it was accepting applications to fill the soon-to-be-vacated seats of Associate Justices Paula Nakayama and Mike Wilson…..

FLASHBACKS: 

read … New Hawaii Justice Recently Held A Top Position In The Super PAC That Helped Put Gov. Green In Office

Hawaii Will Be Stuck With Its Outdated Unemployment System At Least 3 More Years

CB: … The antiquated computer mainframe that caused so many problems with unemployment insurance claims during the Covid-19 pandemic will need to stay in use several more years, even though the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations hoped to be finally rid of it last year.

Hawaii’s ongoing mainframe frustrations came up this week during the state House of Representative’s special hearings on how to best respond to the Lahaina wildfire. Lawmakers found that DLIR’s continued use of that fragile, Reagan-era technology hampered its response to the surge in UI claims that stemmed from the Aug. 8 catastrophe ….

the Idaho-based company hired for that work, Solid State Operations, struggled to manage that work and the project faced lengthy delays, according to a report from a third-party consultant hired by DLIR to monitor the contract.

Solid State Operations also became embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with its own subcontractor on the project, Netacent Inc., in which both parties wound up suing each other, online court records show. 

DLIR’s consultant recommended in May 2022 that the agency either pause the contract or cancel it entirely. The agency opted to cancel and start over, according to DLIR spokesman Bill Kunstman.

The agency then awarded a new contract for the work earlier this month – which went to Netacent. DLIR estimates it will take an additional three years to complete the modernization project….

(CLUE: HGEA is demanding that the interface for the new system look and function exactly like the 40 year old DOS-based interface they currently use.  The contractors see this as insane and therefore get sabotaged from within DLIR, thus destroying the contract.)

read … Hawaii Will Be Stuck With Its Outdated Unemployment System At Least 3 More Years

Small chance Hawaii residents move home after fires: Gov. Green

NN: … It’s been more than three months since the deadly Hawaii wildfires swept through Lahaina, and there’s “almost no chance” of impacted residents being able to move back into their homes, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green told “The Hill on NewsNation.”

Green said 3,700 homes were destroyed, and only a few houses survived the fires that rapidly spread Aug. 8. In the aftermath, Hawaii faces a unique issue in its response. The governor explained there were 561 impacted families that both owned and lived on their properties — everyone else was renting.

“We’re in discussions to get a large number of the short-term rentals converted to long-term rentals. And my hope is that we will also construct over 1,000 small units like alternative dwelling units to help house people long-term,” Green said….

“What we hope is that once we remove the debris, as long as the toxins are minimal, that we begin to give people permits to put temporary structures back on some of their land until they can build their homes completely,” Green said….

read … Small chance Hawaii residents move home after fires: Gov. Green

Data: Thousands of Hawaii residents continue to migrate to other states

PBN: … Find out where Hawaii residents are moving to, according the latest U.S. Census data.Find out where Hawaii residents are moving to, according the latest U.S. Census data….

read … Data: Thousands of Hawaii residents continue to migrate to other states

West Maui vacation rentals plunged in October

SA: … The availability of short-term vacation rentals in West Maui was 49.1% lower in October compared with the year before, with Maui struggling to find long-term housing for survivors of the Aug. 8 wildfires.

The lack of supply in Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili and Kapalua dragged down Maui’s overall availability of short-term rentals 8.5% compared with October 2022 — meaning a drop in overall supply from 211,890 units in 2022 to 193,861 on the Valley Isle last month.

But the biggest decline was seen in West Maui, which went from 91,759 units in 2022 to 46,743 last month….

read … West Maui vacation rentals plunged in October

Hawaii’s law enforcement community opposes attorney general’s plan to legalize use of marijuana

HNN: … Although leading lawmakers gave the proposal a warm welcome, Alm says opponents now have ammunition from the experience of other states….

Related: Hawaii Attorney General backs Bill to legalize recreational marijuana

read … Hawaii’s law enforcement community opposes attorney general’s plan to legalize use of marijuana

"We Want to Get To The Root of It" | HPD shifts strategy to address sex trade in Honolulu

KITV: … SGT. Johnny Taflinger, HPD Human Trafficking says, "They [the victims] have been coerced. They are threatened, psychologically intimidated, by their pimps, or some say, their bosses, into this profession. So we want to get to the root of it. In the past, we have been arresting a lot of sex workers. But recently, it's declined because we're going to this new approach, so that we can actually help them get their life straightened out and find the root of the problem."…

read … "We Want to Get To The Root of It" | HPD shifts strategy to address sex trade in Honolulu

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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