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DLNR: Court Ruling Protects Endangered Hawaii Birds from 'Save the Mosquito' Activists

Hawaii Information Practices: Annual Report for 2023

HPD Hits Critic with Bogus Sex Case

CB: …Why is former Honolulu Police Department Deputy Chief John McCarthy, who retired in 2021, listed on this year’s annual legislative disciplinary summary for a case that’s dated 2023?

The Sunshine Blog is having a hard time getting to the bottom of this one because, as usual, HPD won’t release the report or provide any details because the disciplinary action has been appealed to the Honolulu Civil Service Commission….

So The Blog made a few phone calls to people who are in a position to know about such things and learned that back in the day when Susan Ballard was still police chief and McCarthy was still one of her top aides he sent a goofy meme that he thought was funny to an HPD captain who apparently didn’t think it was so funny. But McCarthy was a powerful person in the department and thus the captain just saved the text rather than doing anything with it.

But, as so often happens, fortunes changed and Ballard, on the heels of an unfavorable job review from the Honolulu Police Commission, announced she would retire. Along about this time, the text — which had been stashed away for about eight months — found its way to the internal affairs department in the form of a complaint against McCarthy for sexual harassment.

That all played out in the spring of ’21. Ballard, who virtually disappeared for the last few months of her tenure as chief, officially retired in June 2021. McCarthy officially retired in July 2021.

So when did HPD actually discipline McCarthy? Had the three-day suspension been handed down before he retired? Why is it just now coming to light?

HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu told The Blog in an email earlier this week that she couldn’t release the file because of the pending appeal with the Civil Service Commission. Captains and above are not SHOPO members and have to take their employment grievances to the commission.

“The number listed in the annual report does not reflect when the incident occurred or when it was reported,” Yu says. “It is based on the year that the initial disciplinary decision for the case was made.”

“Generally speaking, a retired employee can be investigated if the complaint is filed within one year of the incident and the accused was an employee at the time of the incident.”

And still, The Blog has to wonder if the late hit on McCarthy might be because he is frequently on the TV news trashing his former employer over whatever the latest police misstep might be….

read … The Sunshine Blog: A Police Mystery, A Trump Conspiracy And A Matter Of Money

Witnesses allege HPD officer tossed what appeared to be beer bottles from SUV after crash

HNN: … HNN Investigates is looking into yet another claim of an HPD officer suspected of driving his department-subsidized vehicle under the influence ….

read…Witnesses allege HPD officer tossed what appeared to be beer bottles from SUV after crash

SB2475: Schools to Stop Recycling Child Molesters?

SA: … A measure to establish a “harm to students registry” of Hawaii school employees and volunteers found to have committed sexual abuse, physical assault or other harassment against children, and to revoke the teaching licenses of educators who resign or retire in lieu of termination, has been advanced by two state Senate committees.

The proposal was supported by several top public school and private school officials who appeared before a joint hearing Monday of the state Senate committees on Education, and Labor and Technology, including state schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi and Philip Bossert of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

“The establishment of a Harm to Students Registry in Hawaii will close a significant loophole in the hiring of school personnel that allows employees who have harmed students — in particular sexually abusing students — and released from one institution to seek employment at a new school and cause harm once again,” Bossert, executive director of the association representing more than 100 private schools across the islands, said in written testimony that echoed his in-person remarks before lawmakers….

Senate Bill 2475, introduced by 10 state senators, including Senate Education Chair Michelle Kidani (D, Mililani Town-Waipio Gentry­-Royal Kunia), says that “Hawaii’s prekindergarten through grade 12 schools have increasingly served as safe havens for individuals who aim to exploit their positions at schools to carry out acts that harm children, violating the inherent trust in those positions.”…

RELATED: Gay Socialist Oahu teacher gets 17-year prison sentence for producing child porn

read … ‘Harm to students registry’ bill is intended to halt predators

Anti-Insurrectionist Ballot Bill  Passes Committee 3-2

CB: … They were irate that Rhoads proposed a bill that would keep candidates off Hawaii ballots if they have been disqualified “by a constitutional or statutory provision.” It would specifically prohibit electors from voting for any presidential or vice presidential nominee who has been disqualified “pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

More than 20 people spoke out in opposition. They said the former president was no insurrectionist and called the measure “tyrannical,” “a huge overreach” and “election interference at the highest level.” They applauded each other and some interrupted Rhoads repeatedly when, after hearing out everyone who wanted to vent, he attempted to move on.

“Whether the Supreme Court decides in the next couple of weeks that Trump can be on the ballot or not, I still think it would be prudent to have a process for adjudicating these claims because the Office of Elections won’t do it themselves,” Rhoads said.

The bill ultimately advanced to the full Senate on a 3-2 vote with support from Rhoads, Brandon Elefante and Joy San Buenaventura (“with reservations”). Mike Gabbard and Brenton Awa voted no. By the way, Awa is the committee’s only Republican, but he didn’t say anything during the hearing until his one-word vote….

BACKGROUND: Sen Karl Rhoads Closing Barn Door after the Trump Escapes?

read … The Sunshine Blog: A Police Mystery, A Trump Conspiracy And A Matter Of Money

DHHL Buying Kauai’s last ‘Affordable’ Apartment Complex--Residents to be Evicted? 

CB: … On Jan. 26, the Hawaiian Home Lands Commission (desperate to burn up $600M before the deadline) voted to approve the request of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Chair Kali Watson to enter into “an option to purchase” the 82 unit Courtyards of Waipouli on Kauai. The chair pushed for the proposal citing the need to spend down federal funds for Native Hawaiians….

Beneficiaries who attended the hearing were also overwhelmingly against the proposal, with 32 in opposition and only two from Oahu in support.

“Our people want land,” cried out Kainoa McDonald while presenting a petition signed by over 130 members of the Association of Hawaiians for Homestead Lands.

For Chase Hasegawa, who is 20% Native Hawaiian and does not meet the 50% threshold to be a Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary, the idea of being evicted from his apartment for other Hawaiians who strongly prefer leasehold land does not make sense….

Isabelle Reed also pleaded with the commission to reconsider. “It is really hard to find places that are affordable, please keep us in mind as residents,” she implored.

She and the other Waipouli residents who petitioned in opposition have reason to be worried. Kauai simply does not have 82 affordable rentals available. As an example, Waipouli has 42 apartments that are 2-bedroom and have rents below $3,000 a month. Currently, there are only eight 2-bedroom apartments across the entire island at that price….

Even with every resident from Kauai testifying in opposition, two commissioners from Big Island and two from Oahu voted with Watson in the 5-to-3 decision to spend $25 million in DHHL funds for the acquisition.

Fortunately, this is not the final funding approval needed. Although the building appraised for $44 million, the DHHL deal requires another $29 million in public funds due to converting Waipouli to a low-income rental. Later this month DHHL plans to submit an application to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation for the remaining funds….

In total, Waipouli will cost taxpayers $54 million for a rental apartment that Hawaiian beneficiaries do not want, while at the same time evicting over 100 local workers and exacerbating the housing and workforce shortage on Kauai. This does not seem like a wise use of public funds.

(CLUE: This project creates ZERO new affordable units.)

There is a better option.

For the past four months Waipouli residents have been organizing to form a “local workforce housing cooperative” with support from national experts in cooperative housing….

BREG: Courtyards at Waipouli, LLC

read …   Kauai May Lose Vital Workforce Due To DHHL Purchase - Honolulu Civil Beat

Families Stopped Paying Rent During The Red Hill Water Crisis. Now Their Landlord Wants To Collect

CB: … Their houses lacked usable water after the Red Hill leaks, but their landlord has referred the debts for rent and utilities to a collection agency….

read … Families Stopped Paying Rent During The Red Hill Water Crisis. Now Their Landlord Wants To Collect

New law to protect renters from background check fees

KHON: … Fees associated with background checks will soon be regulated under a new law taking effect on Wednesday, May 1.

Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director, Mana Moriarty said his office received reports of property owners charging hundreds of dollars for tenant screenings, which “appears to be excessive.” …

read … New law to protect renters from background check fees (khon2.com)

Lahaina Fire News: 

Legislative Agenda:

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