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Monday, January 22, 2024
January 22, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:20 PM :: 1349 Views

Did you Buy a Gun and a Bible? Feds Sift Thru Bank Transactions Looking for 'Domestic Terrorists'

Hawaii Bill Would Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture Process, Opt State Out of Federal Program

On the eve of trial, Stancil flips, and Miske requests a new jury

ILind: …Sometime shortly after noon yesterday, John Stancil, Michael J. Miske Jr’s younger half-brother and alleged longtime understudy and partner in crime, appeared before Judge Derrick Watson in an unusual Sunday session. Stancil, 36, was charged with a single count of racketeering conspiracy via “information,” a legal process that does not require a grand jury indictment. He agreed to the charge by information, was arraigned on the new charge, and then entered a guilty plea. It was all over by a few minutes after 2 p.m., when minutes of the court session were posted to the case docket.….

By 8:30 p.m., Miske’s attorneys filed a motion in which they claim to have been blindsided by Stancil’s plea, as well as the plea 10 days ago by Delia Fabro-Miske, who was married to Miske’s late son, Caleb.

The attorneys, Reno, Nevada-based Michael Kennedy and Honolulu attorney Lynn Panagakos, say they only learned Stancil had flipped when a notice was filed in their case acknowledging Stancil’s plea and vacating his trial dates and all related motions and deadlines. Clearly, Stancil’s plea was not expected.

In their motion, Kennedy and Panagakos are now requesting that jurors who are scheduled to appear in court this morning be dismissed, and jury selection begin anew….

The government has not yet had an opportunity to reply to Miske’s request to restart jury selection, and it would appear that there’s no way to avoid at least a temporary delay in the start of the trial in order to have a hearing on this late request….

CB: Miske Is Set To Stand Trial Alone When His Brother Takes A Last-Minute Deal - Honolulu Civil Beat

ILind: Lots of confusion this morning

read … On the eve of trial, Stancil flips, and Miske requests a new jury

COVID Funding: HGEA, UPW, HSTA Grab for Millions in ‘Hazard Pay’

CB: … Public worker unions in Hawaii are aggressively pursuing claims for hazard pay that was never paid out to government employees during the pandemic, raising the possibility that the state and counties may soon owe hundreds of millions of dollars in back pay.

Arbitration proceedings on hazard pay have been playing out in Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties as well as with the state Department of Education.

The discussions are complicated by the involvement of different unions, county and state officials as well as different contract specifications, decisions about who should qualify and budget concerns. But there is a precedent.

The template for settlements and awards likely will be the Hawaii Government Employees Association arbitration award on Maui in 2022….

SA: Council mulls use of $39M in COVID federal funds | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (

read … A Big Bill From The Pandemic Is Coming Due: Hazard Pay For State And County Workers - Honolulu Civil Beat

Legislature in Session: Conspiracy Afoot to Gut Sunshine Law

CB: … The Sunshine Blog was most amused to see former Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his archenemy Sen. Donna Kim fawning all over each other at a recent Senate Higher Education Committee (which Kim chairs).

What’s not so funny is that the thing Kim and Abercrombie have found to link arms on is a rollback of Hawaii’s Sunshine Law, a 1998 staple of transparency in the state that has for years forced reluctant public officials to conduct the public’s business openly. Something that those two clearly aren’t so fond of doing.

And, it turns out, they aren’t the only ones. The witness panel at the hearing on Thursday included several members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents — which is about to hire a new president to replace retiring David Lassner — UH attorney Carrie Okinaga and Attorney General Anne Lopez.

The Sunshine Law has been on the books for more than 25 years and many of them, including Kim and Abercrombie, acted like they still just don’t get it. Can we send emails to each other, can we all go on a site visit together, can we even be in this room at the Senate committee meeting together?

“When you were governor did you know (what Sunshine means)?” Kim asked the former governor.

“No, not a clue,” Abercombie replied.

You can and should watch the hearing for yourself on the Senate’s YouTube channel but suffice it to say the most handwringing was about not being able to do the public’s business in secret.

“There are times when we have to have candid conversations with one another,” Lopez told the group. “We want to be able to disagree with each other and we want to speak frankly and you don’t want necessarily that process in the newspaper the next day because it will be construed in some other way.”…

read … The Sunshine Blog: The Honeymoon Is Over When It Comes To Sunshine Reform In Hawaii - Honolulu Civil Beat

School Construction $1M per Classroom--with no land cost--or is it $3.5M?

HTH: … The principal of Ernest Bowen de Silva Elementary School said he’s hoping that planning and design of a new classroom building for the overcrowded Hilo campus can be completed within a year.

“That’s our hope, anyway,” Dennis O’Brien told the Tribune-Herald on Friday. “I’ve been told it’s going to be about a million (dollars) for (construction of) each classroom. I know that sounds like a lot. It sounded like a lot to me.”…

“The money was there for awhile, but the paperwork finally went through,” said state Rep. Mark Nakashima, a Democrat who represents the district where the school is located. “So, what they’re hoping for is that the design will move forward and meanwhile, this session, we’ll be working on the $18 million to construct the building.”…

O’Brien said the project likely will be “one standalone building with six classrooms” plus restrooms for boys, girls and staff….

Gov. Josh Green has released $3 million in capital improvement funding for the planning and design phase….

(DO THE MATH: $21M / 6 classrooms = $3.5M per classroom)

read … Expansion in the works for overcrowded Hilo elementary school - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Hawaii DOE leaders are urged to cut funds on obsolete programs

SA: … Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D, Mililani-Wahiawa- Whitmore Village), chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, urged DOE officials to make it clear to the Legislature which programs have been phased out. “You don’t say, ‘These base programs that were added quite some time ago are no longer relevant or necessary. So let’s get rid of those programs and redirect those funds,’” Dela Cruz said. “Your presentation shows what you’re asking for but doesn’t show that you had any review of previous programs that should be cut.”….

read … Hawaii DOE leaders are urged to cut funds on obsolete programs

Increasing Fossil Fuel Use via Carbon Tax Greenwashing

IM: … big oil loves Carbon Taxes …

read … Increasing Fossil Fuel Use via Carbon Tax Greenwashing | Ililani Media

Celebratory Mass honors Joseph Dutton as he moves onto next phase of canonization

KHON: …“Naming a saint is a multi-year process that involves rigorous research and meticulous attention to detail,” said Dr. Maria Devera, a medical doctor who has been volunteering for this endeavor since 2010 and serves as president of The Joseph Dutton Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the cause for canonization. “The three-member Tribunal of Diocesan Officials, assisted by other officials appointed by Bishop Larry Silva, has done an outstanding job to reach this major milestone.”

Over the past year and a half, the Tribunal of Diocesan Officials gathered all the eyewitness and documentary evidence about Dutton’s life, his heroic exercise of all the Christian virtues, as well as his “reputation of holiness” and of “intercessory power.”

Their search for information started in Honolulu, and this took them to Molokai and eventually to Stowe, Vermont, where Joseph Dutton was born on April 27, 1843.

“Nearly 2,000 pages of evidence will now be sent to the Dicastery for the Causes of the Saints in the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Those at the Dicastery will study all of the evidence. Their responsibility is to certify whether the Servant of God Joseph Dutton Layman lived a life of truly heroic virtues and is worthy of imitation on the part of the faithful,” Dr. Devera said.

The Vatican will then judge the accuracy of the “Position on the Heroic Virtues of the Servant of God,” and after making it’s way up the hierarchical ladder, Joseph Dutton could be granted the title of  “Venerable Servant of God.” ….

read … Celebratory Mass honors Joseph Dutton as he moves onto next phase of canonization | KHON2

What will the numbers show? Oʻahu braces for upcoming homeless count

KHON: …  “The Point in Time Count is a federally mandated census count from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to be completed biennially by each Continuum of Care across the United States,” explained a spokesperson for Partners in Care. “The PIT Count provides a snapshot of all those experiencing homelessness in our shelters, streets, beaches, cars or other places not meant for human habitation.”

The count is taking place on Tuesday, Jan. 23 by providers and volunteers.

In the 2023 count, the PIT Count found that Oʻahu had 4,028 houseless individuals. This was increase from the 2022 count that found Oʻahu to have had 3,951 houseless persons….

read … What will the numbers show? Oʻahu braces for upcoming homeless count

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