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Thursday, January 18, 2024
January 18, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:11 PM :: 1192 Views

Saiki Opening Day Speech: Don’t let Lahaina property owners rebuild

Time to ask ‘tough questions’ about state energy policy

Legislature Considering Constitutional Amendment to Enact a State Property Tax

Settlement Hearing Set for Hawaii DoE Title IX Class Action Suit 

Friends of Criminal Attempted to Intervene in New Years Day Manhunt--now they sue

HNN: … The plaintiffs live close to where the incident happened and one of the plaintiffs knows Tafokitau from …uhhh… ‘Church’….

he claims a large black police van climbed the curb, hit Cadiente, smashed him into a chain link fence, and caused him to slide under the police van.

Documents say multiple officers then pulled Cadiente out from under the police van and continually hit him with their hands and their weapons for several minutes.

Cadiente's father Vaokehekehe Mataele was also at the scene.

Court documents say Mataele tried to tell officers he and his son were not involved in the manhunt.

The lawsuit says Mataele was pinned down by officers down the road from where Tafokitau died….

read … 2 men sue HPD, Honolulu claiming excessive, deadly force in New Year's manhunt

Some Hawaii charter schools tops on tests--others not so much

SA: … Individual charter schools varied widely in their performance, according to data presented in the latest annual report of the state Public Charter School Commission.

For instance, in math, on one end of the spectrum were six charter schools showing single-digit percentages of students demonstrating proficiency. On the other end were schools such as Ka‘ohao Public Charter School, with 73% demonstrating proficiency; and Myron B. Thompson Academy, with 71%….

Commission Chair Cathy Ikeda acknowledged that “there are some schools that are struggling … but they also have their own story about what they’re doing well, for their community, for their families, for the students that choose to go there.”…

PDF: State Public Charter School Commission Annual Report 2023 (hawaii.gov)

read … Hawaii charter schools lagging on tests

Opening Day: Long Lines thru ‘Security’ at Capitol

CB: … Opening day at the Legislature featured tighter security and fewer festivities Wednesday as lawmakers began to roll out plans to cope with the aftermath of the deadly Lahaina wildfire and a broken housing market.

Long lines formed outside the Capitol as visitors passed through recently installed metal detectors and security checks to enter the House and Senate chambers, another sign of changing times in Hawaii that added to the subdued tone of the day.

House Speaker Scott Saiki described the mood as somber, given the scope of the issues lawmakers urgently need to address. “The gravity of the work before us is probably unprecedented in a lot of ways,” he told reporters after the House floor session….

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Face 'Urgent Decisions' As Maui And Housing Woes Loom Over New Session

‘A serious matter’: HPD admits to $575K mistake in e-ticketing program, procurement violation

HNN: … The Honolulu Police Department violated rules by working with a vendor after the contract expired and the services have racked up a bill more than half a million dollars.

It’s part of the department’s electronic ticket pilot program that was launched in August 2018.

The e-citations program was touted as a way to streamline the process because the technology can send information directly to the courts.

HPD contracted with the vendor, Thin Blue Line Reporting out of Arizona, initially for one year but were allowed four one-year extensions.

In May 2022, after the contract expired, HPD “requested additional training and services outside of the city’s procurement guidelines,” a spokesperson for HPD told HNN Investigates.

The mistake was discovered a year later but by then, the total bill from the vendor added up to $573,491….

read … ‘A serious matter’: HPD admits to $575M mistake in e-ticketing program, procurement violation (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Don’t read too much into plea bargains

ILind: … Using an example from the Miske case, prosecutors refer to the plea agreements with two co-defendants, Dae Han Moon an Jarrin K. Young.

As part of these plea agreements, prosecutors agreed to drop the racketeering conspiracy charge that each of them faced. Instead, they entered guilty pleas to other charges. Moon admitted he was guilty of taking part in a murder-for-hire conspiracy and carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. Similarly, Young admitted to taking part in a drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Prosecutors then commented: “There is no basis to suggest that this reflects any belief on the part of the government that those defendants are not guilty of that offense….”

Judge Derrick Watson agreed with prosecutors on this point, and granted the government’s motion “to the extent Defendants may not argue that the government’s ‘charging decisions’, such as who has been charged and the fact that certain charged were “dropped” in plea agreements, have legal or factual significance in this case.” …

read … Don’t read too much into plea bargains

Hawaii continues to have one of the lowest age-adjusted firearm fatality rates in the nation

CB: … By 2022, departments were solving 37% of their violent crimes and 12% of property crimes, the FBI shows, a drop of 11% or more in some categories.

HPD's data dashboard shows clearance rates for property crimes followed this national trend between 2019 and 2022, but the department's clearance rates for homicide and assault offenses ran counter to the mainland and improved from 2021 to 2022.

A six-year overview of HPD homicide clearance rates shows that it has hovered at around 85%, significantly above the national rate, despite falling from 91.2% to 79.2% from 2022 to 2023.

Hawaii continues to have one of the lowest age-adjusted firearm fatality rates in the nation….

read … Gun Violence Remains A Consistent Problem In Hawaii

Lahaina Fire News: 

Legislative Agenda:

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