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Thursday, January 4, 2024
January 4, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:07 PM :: 2769 Views

Trump to be Removed from Hawaii Republican Ballot--or vice versa

Lahaina: Who they’re Getting Rid Of

CB: … A third of all Lahaina residents were born overseas, almost double the number for Maui County overall, according to the American Community Survey’s five-year estimate for 2018 through 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau’s leading data product on housing and population.

(Let’s see who is being forced off the island.)

Nearly 33% of the population of Lahaina, a census-designated place (which includes Lahaina Town and the resort areas of Kaanapali and Kapalua) were foreign-born compared to 17% for all of Maui County.

The Lahaina CDP has almost twice the number of residents who were originally from Latin America compared to the county, and Lahaina households are more than twice as likely to speak Spanish in the home. 

Also defining, 38% of Lahaina’s population identified as Asian compared to 28% for the county, and despite its importance in Hawaii’s history, the percentage of people in Lahaina who are Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (8.5%) is lower than for Maui County (10.7%)…..

Who is Coming: Hawaii population growth to come from U.S. mainland

Aug 2023: Do Lahaina Property Owners Have the Right to Rebuild?

Oct 2023: Right to Rebuild? No Building Permits Issued Since Lahaina Fire

read … Census Data: Lahaina Was A Very Different Place Than The Rest Of Maui County

Female Strip Search News: Crooked Jail Guards and Airport Employees Team up to Steal State Vehicles

CB: … Seven people have been arrested but none charged in a case that's been active for several years.  …

After Keawe’s arrest, the airports division launched an administrative investigation including possible “illicit procurement matters” involving a local business, Ewa Beach Auto Repair, and allegations regarding the falsification of overtime, according to the disciplinary memo….

Arnold K. Keawe Sr., an automotive mechanic supervisor, was arrested during a raid of the airport baseyard on April 8, 2021 as part of a probe by the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office. 

Within days, the Hawaii Department of Transportation reviewed its CCTV footage and other records and noticed the return of two riding mowers, a mechanic’s toolbox and a state van that had been missing….

The records note that an unnamed “family member” helped Keawe unload some of the returned goods. Arnold’s brother, longtime correctional officer Kenessey Keawe, was arrested in the AG’s probe in May 2021, according to Hawaii News Now.

Kenessey Keawe has not been charged in the case. He did not respond to a request for comment. 

Freddie Carabbacan, a Hawaii deputy sheriff who runs Ewa Beach Auto Repair, was also arrested in July 2021 for suspected second-degree theft. …

Carabbacan’s company was on Arnold Keawe’s short list of those who were compliant with state requirements and willing to do the work, according to Carabbacan. Ewa Beach Auto Repair later submitted the sole bid for a vehicle repair contract but it was canceled after the state raided the baseyard, Carabbacan said.

“Naturally, they think I’m paying them bribes or whatever because the AGs, they’re not the greatest investigators,” Carabbacan said. “They think the reason we’re getting all the work is because I’m giving Arnold or whoever kickbacks.”…

It’s not the first time Carabbacan has been out of work. The Department of Public Safety fired Carabbacan in 2015 over improper strip searches of female inmates, one of which resulted in a $7 million state lawsuit payout. However, Carabbacan was ultimately reinstated…

read … Disciplinary Records Reveal More Details About A State Investigation Into Airport Contracting

Bissen Campaign Worker Awarded $150,000 Contract For Maui County Recruitment

CB: … Earlier this year, Maui County hired a local company with political connections to Mayor Richard Bissen to help it recruit and retain workers. 

The company, Brandcrafters LLC, was awarded a $150,000 marketing contract to help bolster employee appreciation and more than 800 vacancies across county government and in a wide range of departments, from police and fire to agriculture and civil defense.

So far the company has put together a job website and placed ads online and in local newspapers trying to get more people to apply for jobs. 

Brandcrafters LLC is owned by Rachael Lallo, who in 2022 worked on Bissen’s campaign designing logos, lawn signs and digital ads. She also worked on his website. 

Lallo is also the daughter of Cynthia Lallo, a senior executive assistant in Bissen’s office. She too helped out on his campaign, and, according to state records, had loaned thousands of dollars to Bissen in the form of campaign banners and advertising….   

read … Bissen Campaign Worker Awarded $150,000 Contract For Maui County Recruitment

The task force has five containers with illegal fireworks in its possession as evidence, Lowe said no arrests have been made yet.

KHON: … The Department of Law Enforcement Director Jordan Lowe said, “When you look at New Year’s Eve, ok, there were a lot of fireworks out there, ok. But we stopped over 100,000 pounds from hitting the streets.”

(TRANSLATION: We shut down Gang B because we are with Gang A.)

Lowe said the Illegal Fireworks Task Force will likely end up with upwards of 150,000 pounds of illegal fireworks, he said it takes time to safely recover the product and store it as evidence. 

Lowe said the task force was officially formed just about three months ago. He said the seizures have made a dent in the illegal shipments of fireworks, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Lowe said, “Those seizures probably hurt them financially. They might think twice about it next year on whether they want to take that risk to go into an illegal venture like that.”…

The task force has five containers with illegal fireworks in its possession as evidence, Lowe said no arrests have been made yet….

read … Task force seized upwards of 150,000 pounds of illegal fireworks (

Column: To improve schools, expand DOE system that works

SA: … However, there is a more efficient process already working in the DOE and expanding it to include CIP line-items would go a long way toward expediting vital facilities.

Through the Act 40 (2019) and Act 6 (2020) budget bills, the Legislature allocated $140 million for a pilot program to address DOE’s deferred maintenance projects. In 2019, the DOE used these funds to institute a pilot program for roof repair, which used a streamlined appropriation process called Job Order Contracting (JOC). The DOE repaired the first roof under this program at the Castle High School Auditorium in May 2019. What previously took the DOE seven years in the traditional process was completed in three months under the JOC process. In addition, construction efficiency, which measures new construction/appropriation, improved to 71% from 46% under the pilot program.

Fast-forward to December 2023. DOE is now using the Facilities Asset Management (FAM) System for all project allocations under its deferred maintenance lump-sum budget. FAM includes the JOC process along with another procurement method called Prequalified Small Contractors (PSC). FAM projects are managed locally by the affected district, and there is an online project management platform so the public can track specific jobs.

FAM uses prequalified architects, engineers and contractors strategically aligned by districts to get things done in weeks and months, instead of years. All the normal delays in the public sector are removed from the process. According to the FAM Dashboard on the DOE Facilities Portal, of the $506.6 million estimated deferred maintenance projects, the FAM process has appropriated over $283 million in jobs, with $64 million in jobs ready and waiting for legislative funding, and $89 million in jobs still in the evaluation stages.

Therefore, 86% of the FAM appropriations are completed or moving (only 14% pending). Compare this to the $1.2 billion of CIP line-item funds (58%) ready to lapse….

read …Column: To improve schools, expand DOE system that works

Rail construction is slowly killing these businesses. Relief has been slow to come

HNN: … More businesses have shut down in Kalihi because of rail work disruptions on Dillingham Boulevard.

Danielle Posthmus has already taken down the sign to the Subway franchise she ran for 25 years and now a new sign on the door informs customers the sandwich shop is no longer in business.

“We have gotten no relief,” said Posthmus.

“I reached out to corporate they were adamant about ‘hey, you have to remodel your store or sell it.’ I mean, how can I sell a business like this that the sales have decreased more than 65%.”

“I try to ride my bicycle to get lunch because I know that the traffic is so bad.”

Several doors down was Lox of Bagels. Its owners recently relocated to Bishop Street.

The area was also home to shave ice and soft-serve ice cream shop Kawaii Ice Wave.

It opened in 2021 but closed last month and moved to Pearlridge because of slumping sales….

HNN:More businesses close up shop along rail construction zone in Kalihi

read … Rail construction is slowly killing these businesses. Relief has been slow to come

Judge rejects injunction in ACLU case against Oahu homeless sweeps

SA: … The City and County of Honolulu announced Wednesday it has prevailed in its legal fight against a preliminary injunction the American Civil Liberties Union Hawaii brought last year over the city’s use of homeless sweeps.

First Circuit Judge John M. Tonaki denied the ACLU’s motion for the injunction, which allows the city to continue to enforce “essential public safety measures without impediment,” a city statement reads….

read … Judge rejects injunction in ACLU case against Oahu homeless sweeps

In alarming trend, Hawaii saw multiple overdose deaths in 2023 involving horse tranquilizer

HNN: …Hawaii recorded four overdose deaths last year involving xylazine, the horse tranquilizer being added to drugs like fentanyl to lengthen the high.

Four people in Hawaii — three on Oahu, one on Maui — died in 2023 with xylazine in their system, according to Gary Yabuta, executive director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program.

To compare, Hawaii saw no xylazine-related deaths in 2020, 2021, and 2022….

read … In alarming trend, Hawaii saw multiple overdose deaths in 2023 involving horse tranquilizer

Hawaii GOP’s disputes linger into next legislative session

SA: … State Rep. Diamond Garcia, (R, Ewa-Kapolei), has offered to help broker a hooponopono reconciliation effort to resolve the leadership standoff between Sen. Brenton Awa, (R, Kaneohe-Laie-Mokuleia) and Sen. Kurt Fevella, (R, Ewa Beach-Ocean Pointe-Iroquois Point).

Garcia has reached out for help from Tamara McKay, state chair of Hawaii’s Republican Party. McKay took over in September as the ninth Hawaii Republican state chair in two years….

read … Hawaii GOP’s disputes linger into next legislative session

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:





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