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Wednesday, January 24, 2024
January 24, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:28 PM :: 2857 Views

Court: Ethics Rules do Apply to OHA Trustees

Miske News: Ikaika Anderson Walks Free After Witness Fails to Appear

KHON: … The trial was supposed to start this week, but according to the prosecutor’s office the state was not able to secure the attendance of a material witness….

The state requested that the case to be continued, but (of course) got denied by the judge….

(CLUE: Do NOT think that the witness was intimidated just because Anderson is represented by Miske’s lawyer, Thomas Otake.  No no no no no.  And no.)

SA: Judge Shanlyn A.S. Park dismissed with prejudice (Star-Adv 'investigation' targets victim with multiple paragraphs of character assassintion.  Anything to help the politically-connected Anderson.)

FLASHBACK: Kidnapping: Will Political Connections Help Anderson Evade Felony Charge? -- Miske Lawyer Pressures Prosecutor, Victim

2020: Corona Towers: Council Hides Behind Quarantine, Gives Development Deal to Convicted Felon

read … 'I was wrongfully accused,' Anderson abuse case dismissed (khon2.com) 

Duct tape, robbery and kidnapping in 1st day of trial of Hawaii crime boss Miske

KHON: … Testimony centered on a kidnapping and robbery of a certified public accountant in October 2017.

The victim, Mr. Lee, detailed how he was to meet a new client at the old Fishermanʻs Wharf in Kewalo Basin and was told to park between the tour buses.

When Mr. Lee got out to meet his new client, “James” pulled out a gold badge, and along with another man, handcuffed Mr. Lee, put a sack over his head and duct taped it then put him in the backseat and drove around for five hours.

In between punching him, threatening to crack his bones and dump him in the ocean, they stopped the car and showed Mr. Lee to a third person.

Mr. Lee was eventually returned to his car, still duct taped, around 9:30 p.m. and was threatened to not call the police.

The incident, Mr. Lee believes, stemmed from the bankruptcy of his company, after which an investor started demanding monthly payments.

Mr. Lee told prosecutors that he stopped making payments shortly before the incident….

KITV: Witnesses take the stand in Michael Miske trial | Crime & Courts | kitv.com

CB: Miske Trial: Honolulu Accountant Testifies About 2017 Kidnapping - Honolulu Civil Beat

read … Duct tape, robbery and kidnapping in 1st day of trial of Hawaii crime boss Miske | KHON2

Thousands of Hawaii School Employees To Get Up To 25% In ‘Pandemic Hazard Pay’

CB: …HGEA estimated that the arbitration decision could cost the state as much as $150 million….

KITV: Hawaii considers paid family leave for state and county workers | Video | kitv.com

read … Thousands of Hawaii School Employees To Get Up To 25% In Pandemic Hazard Pay

Senators Jet Around Globe on Your Dime

CB: … The Hawaii State Senate finally got around to posting its legislative allowances for 2023, public records that had not been updated since April.

As with the allowances of the House of Representatives, a good many of the billings were for commonplace items: bottled water, printing and postage of newsletters, business cards, lei and so forth.

But the records also show that there are some major frequent flyers in the Senate who are drawing on their $15,952 annual allowance of taxpayer funds to cross the oceans, ostensibly on state business.

The Blog will pass on noting the many routine interisland trips and annual governmental meetings on the mainland (for instance, the National Conference of State Legislatures in Indianapolis) and instead flag the ones that perked our interest:

  • Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz spent $2,544 on a trip to Auckland, New Zealand, in June for a “New Zealand Ag-Tech and Value 5 Added Production” site visit. He also spent $1,444 to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the NCSL Legislative Leaders International Symposium in September. Dela Cruz reported an allowance balance of $14.29.
  • Sen. Joy San Buenaventura spent $4,858 to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong in September for a “Housing Delegation trip.” Current balance: $15.94.
  • Sen. Stanley Chang spent $1,326 to travel to that same Singapore and Hong housing trip that San Buenaventura went on. He also spent $1,231 for another Hawaii housing delegation trip to Taiwan later that same month. Current Balance: $2,157.
  • Sen. Glenn Wakai spent $3,451 to travel to Nova Scotia, Canada, and Chicago in June for, respectively, the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia’s H20: Home to Overseas Conference and the Council of State Governments New Legislative Leaders Academy. Wakai also spent $2,595 to travel to Osaka City, Japan, for the Tourism EXPO Japan 2023. Current Balance: $436.

read … The Sunshine Blog: Hello, Gov, Are You There? It's Me, Brenton - Honolulu Civil Beat

Half-Way to $600M failure, DHHL asks for more money

SA: … A Native Hawaiian homestead development pipeline has swelled to about 6,000 lots costing $1.2 billion midway into a three-year effort to use a historic $600 million appropriation from the state Legislature in 2022.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which initially faced skepticism over whether it could use all the funding by an imposed June 30, 2025, deadline, is now seeking more money from lawmakers for statewide homestead lot development.

“I know that it’s very unlikely that we’ll get $600 million from you folks this year,” DHHL Director Kali Watson told members of two Senate committees during a Jan. 9 briefing. “But I think it’s important that you see that we’re not just talking about use of the (2022 appropriation) and it ends there. It’s really a matter of where do we go in the future.” 

(TRANSLATION: We won’t be using the $600M by 2025, so we want you to give us an extension.)

CB: Hawaiian Homelands Chair Embarks On 'Aggressive' Agenda At Legislature - Honolulu Civil Beat

Big Q: What do you think of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ $1.2B housing plan? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

read …. DHHL ramps up homestead development | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

2016 crash report involving embattled HPD corporal appears to disagree with sworn testimony

HNN: … While the department still refuses to say if it suspects HPD Cpl. Vasai Isala Jr. may have been driving under the influence in that crash, we’ve discovered it wouldn’t be the first time the corporal’s been accused of wrecking a subsided police vehicle while intoxicated.

In August 2016, officers arrested Isala on a drunk driving charge after he allegedly crashed his department subsidized SUV into a utility pole in Kapolei. Despite being found in the driver’s seat of the damaged vehicle, a jury later found him not guilty of the crime.

According to the arrest report, Isala was suspected of fleeing the scene of a single-vehicle crash that happened in the early morning on the H-1 westbound Makakilo off ramp.

The document says officers spotted the corporal about a mile away seated in the driver’s seat of a parked SUV with a partial bumper and no side mirror — both of which were found at the crash site.

After failing a field sobriety test, officers took Isala to the police station for a breathalyzer, where he blew a .154 — nearly twice the legal limit.….

read … 2016 crash report involving embattled HPD corporal appears to disagree with sworn testimony

Habitual crimes could become felonies in Hawaii

KHON: … If a new bill to establish the offense of habitual violent misdemeanor crime becomes a law, offenders will get three strikes before it becomes a felony.

Three convictions of a violent misdemeanor within five years will become a Class C felony if the bill goes into effect.

State Sen. Sharon Moriwaki said Hawaii already has habitual crime laws when it comes to property misdemeanors — three convictions within five years means prosecutors can charge someone with a Class C felony — but the State does not have the same law for personal misdemeanors like third-degree assault….

read … Habitual crimes could become felonies in Hawaii (khon2.com)

Legislators to Stick Ratepayers with Bill for Hawaiian Electric Fire Liability

BB … Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s shares rose on Tuesday after state lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow the company’s electric utility to sell recovery bonds backed by customer rates to cover costs from the deadly Maui wildfire….

The Hawaii measure, if passed by the state legislature, would allow Hawaiian Electric to raise capital through a process called securitization where bonds are sold to cover large expenses that can be paid off over a long period of time. The funds in this case would be used for costs related to fire mitigation plans, contributions to disaster relief funds and payments for litigation and settlements, according to the proposed legislation.

Research firm Capstone LLC estimated Hawaiian Electric could face as much as $4.9 billion in liabilities…

The securitization bill will face an uphill battle given its potential significant ratepayer impacts, tight deadlines for passage and the high level of controversy surrounding a perceived bailout of Hawaiian Electric, Capstone analysts Josh Price and Alyssa Lu said in a research note published Tuesday….

CB: Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Ways To Help HECO Pay Maui Fire Costs

read … Hawaiian Electric Rises on Bill to Securitize Fire Costs

Condo Associations: A little power is a dangerous thing

CB: …Sharman Miller thought she had settled the issue about the interior of her fence through mediation a decade earlier. 

The crux of the dispute: the condo association wants the fence to be painted dark “Turkish Coffee” brown to match the outside of the fence. But Miller says that for 17 years she’s kept the interior of her fence painted a light tan, known as “Universal Khaki” — more the color of a soy latte than the dark coffee color that the board wants.

But instead of following the result of a 2013 arbitration proceeding, Miller says, her condo association this past April sent over a locksmith and a painter, along with a vice president from condo management company Cadmus Properties Corp., to enter Miller’s Hawaii Kai property where they intended to paint the offending fence without her consent.

Miller called the police and the trio left. The fence remained khaki.

(CLUE: A little power is a dangerous thing.)

read … Turkish Coffee Or Universal Khaki? Another Honolulu Condo Dispute Goes To Court

Plan: Create Retirement Centers for Career Homeless

SA: … Shopping carts filled with personal belongings were strewn across several sidewalks that were littered with trash.

Along River Street about 30 people sat along the rock wall or slept on sidewalks, some on cardboard, some in wheelchairs.

Many were seniors who had nothing between them and concrete.

Mizuno particularly wants to help homeless senior citizens and embraces Green’s emphasis on creating more tiny-home kauhale as a way to get different homeless populations into perma­nent housing in communal settings.

“The state of Hawaii hasn’t been doing enough for our kupuna who are homeless,” Mizuno said. “Let me say this with complete conviction: We need to start a kupuna kauhale right away.”

Green pledged Monday to create more kauhale in the next few months.

“I will tell you,” Green said, “kauhale will revolutionize how we deal with homelessness.”

Several people in Chinatown on Tuesday represented many segments of Hawaii’s homeless population: Micronesians, military veterans, the working poor, those sexually abused and those with mental health and substance abuse issues.

David Mueller, 64, has been homeless for 30 years and sat on a wheelchair with an injured foot Tuesday morning near River Street watching outreach workers interview homeless people around him.

Asked by the Star-­Advertiser how he ended up homeless 30 years ago, Mueller was blunt.

“Long story short, the drug trip was bad,” he said.

The lack of privacy and hygiene represent the worst parts of being homeless for Mueller….

The 2022 U.S. Census Bureau data reported by AARP estimated that Hawaii has 5,116 homeless adults — about one-third of whom are 55 years or older….

read … New homeless coordinator helps count Oahu homeless | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Lahaina Fire News: 

Legislative Agenda:

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