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Friday, December 29, 2023
December 29, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:18 PM :: 1253 Views

HPD: No Gun Permits for Next 40 Days

Minimum wage jumps to $14 January 1st

DBEDT: Tourist Count Up--Spending Down

Task Force makes another large seizure of illegal fireworks

No Water-No Build: Kaleo Manuel finally figures out he is ‘an obstacle’

CB: … Hawaii Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who chairs the Senate Water and Land Committee and was the one to publicly announce news of his resignation in a press release this week, said Manuel had been a good administrator who was well liked by commission staff.

She said Manuel had told her he was resigning, but she said she didn’t ask him why. 

“He did say, ‘I don’t want to be an obstacle,’” to the administration during the legislative session, she said. 

Jonathan Scheuer, a former chairman of the State Land Use Commission and co-author of the book “Water and Power in West Maui,” said, “Kaleo accomplished more than any deputy to the Water Commission since it was created in 1987.”…

And just what did Manuel accomplish? CLUE: Long-Stalled Project in West Maui Could House Thousands of Families -- “Tamara Paltin, the County Council member representing West Maui, said the main problem is water availability.”  Maybe Manuel finally realizes the exodus of local families from Lahaina to the mainland could be blamed on him.

read … Kaleo Manuel Became A Cause Celebre For Maui Water. Now He's Leaving The State Water Commission Without Saying Why

Climate Change not cause of Lahaina Fire

IM: …Mass believes climate change is real, that the Paris Agreement did not go far enough, but linking climate change to extreme weather events is false.

Mass wrote on August 9, “Very strong trade winds developed yesterday, as a large pressure difference (gradient) formed between a strong subtropical high and hurricane Dora to the south.”

Mass updated his position on August 15. “The terrible disaster in Maui has been leading the news cycle for a week now, with media and others proposing many causes:  climate change, drought, dry invasive grasses, and Hurricane Dora to name a few. But none of them have identified the key reason why so many people died.”

“It wasn't Hurricane Dora, a relatively small tropical storm that passed 700 miles to the south of Hawaii. Something else happened in Maui last week. Something capable of creating intense wind damage in one location and light winds a few miles away.”

The Pacific Northwest broke temperature records in the summer of 2021.

Mass wrote, "Many in the media, several local and national politicians, and some activist environmental scientists have claimed that this event was `driven by` or predominantly forced by human-inspired global warming (usually referred to as `climate change`). But such global warming claims are not supported by the facts and our best scientific understanding."…

read … Controversial Meteorologist Creates "New" Theory on Lahaina Fire

Maui Arrival Requirements Revealed for Visitors In 2024

BH: … In endless pronouncements even in the past few days, from the hanging-from-a-thread Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and its marketing partners, the word is out, and the messaging is clear on just how they see Maui visitors in 2024. We’re calling it “arrival requirements,” inasmuch as here’s what HTA requests of Maui-bound travelers. HTA has approved an “immediate six-month action plan for 2024 to help address major challenges” associated with Maui.

Using cloaked and potentially offensive terms, HTA says it only wants to attract “respectful” tourists to Maui. This comes as part of an outreach campaign to both US and Canadian visitors….

Maui is welcoming visitors who are compassionate, who can come respectfully, who can really abide by some of the sensitivities and restrictions in place to protect the community at this time… So long as you do it mindfully. And so, for the time being, tourism’s role in helping Maui’s overall recovery is to ensure that the right kind of respectful visitor returns.”--Ilihia Gionson, Hawaii Tourism Authority public information officer….

Laura, a Beat of Hawaii reader responded, “We’ve been traveling “pono” to Maui for over 25 years. What can I expect when we arrive for our annual 3 week stay on January 12? An interrogation before being allowed to leave the airport?? ….

read … Maui Arrival Requirements Revealed for Visitors In 2024

Attorney Michael Green sued for alleged sexual harassment

SA: … A former client of attorney Michael Jay Green filed a “Jane Doe” lawsuit against him and his law firm alleging he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted her.

The complaint, filed Nov. 13, alleges he attempted to flatter and bribe her, then hugged, groped and tried to kiss her in his office during a Jan. 31 meeting to discuss legal services….

read … Attorney Michael Green sued for alleged sexual harassment

5 years and 13 delays: Mother of infant who died in babysitter’s care desperately awaits trial’s start

HNN: … The manslaughter trial for the babysitter accused of giving a Hawaii infant a fatal dose of diphenhydramine, commonly called Benadryl, has been delayed more than a dozen times. The new date is in April 2024, more than five years after the child was killed.

For 7-month old Abigail Lobisch’s family, the wait has caused additional anguish.

Dixie Villa, a military spouse, was babysitting the child at her Aliamanu Military Reservation home and told police she fell asleep with the child, waking to find her lifeless body.

But prosecutors said the girl was poisoned.

Trial for Villa has been pushed back a total of 13 times, according to court records.

COVID-19 closures, unavailable witnesses, and the defense needing time to review files are the reasons for all the delays.

“It’s been hard,” said the girl’s mother, Anna Lobisch. “We’re still waiting.”

Lobisch said that waiting is the hardest part, especially during the holiday season.

“I just want it to be done,” she said.

Villa is free after posting bail, which was set at $200,000. Since then, Villa has been allowed by the court to travel to various states to visit family and attend functions….

read … 5 years and 13 delays: Mother of infant who died in babysitter’s care desperately awaits trial’s start

4 Oahu Inmates Face Manslaughter Charge In Fellow Prisoner's Death

CB: … The case marked the fourth time an inmate was beaten to death in the Hawaii correctional system since 2020.

OCCC is the state’s largest jail, and Vaefaga’s death was followed by a cell-by-cell shakedown in two modules of the jail that uncovered a variety of contraband including cellphones, drugs and drug paraphernalia.

The Oahu grand jury indictment alleges Vaefaga was beaten by Aaron Tuitelapaga, 29; Bronson Tuitelelepaga, 27; and Manu Sorensen, 33. Also indicted was Josiah Palimoomanu, 33.

The manslaughter charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Oahu Circuit Court Judge Ronald Johnson ordered that Tuitelapaga, Tuitelelepaga, and Sorensen be held without bail, and set Palimoomanu’s bail at $500,000, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office.

At the time of Vaefaga’s death, Tuitelapaga and Tuitelelepaga were both awaiting trial on second-degree murder, robbery and other charges in connection with a fatal shooting of Sausau Josiah Togiai III at an Ala Moana-area game room in 2020.

Sorensen was convicted of manslaughter and firearms charges in the 2018 fatal shooting of Jacob Feliciano at a game room on Kapiolani Boulevard. Palimoomanu is awaiting trial on robbery and assault charges….

Vaefaga was discovered dead in his cell after an unidentified caller (inmate with cell phone?) contacted the facility to request that corrections officers check on a prisoner who had been beaten.  A corrections officer then checked on Vaefaga, who had apparently been dead for hours, according to staff….

NR: GRAND JURY INDICTS FOUR OCCC INMATES FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF CHRISTOPHER VAEFAGA (hawaii.gov)

read … 4 Oahu Inmates Face Manslaughter Charge In Fellow Prisoner's Death

Lahaina Fire News:

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