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Friday, December 2, 2011
December 2, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:29 PM :: 16093 Views

Abercrombie Refusing to Accept Responsibility for his own Wreckage, Fiscal and Otherwise

Ewa Field Event to Mark 70th Anniversary of Attack

Mission Memorial Auditorium Site of Rail Showdown December 6

Sabato: Ed who? Democratic Establishment coalescing around Mazie Hirono

$800M Borrowed to Sit Money in Hurricane, Rainy Day Accounts

Bankers, Wall Street Pleased by Abercrombie's Willingness to Raise Taxes

Full Text: Hawaii Scores 'F' in Sex Trafficking Prevention

Lihue TSA Worker Sues, Claims Sex Assault

Men’s Health Mag ranks Honolulu Happiest Town in USA

Borreca to Media: Lingle will now fade from Our Screens

Borreca: “Given the news media's gnat-like attention span, Lingle will likely fade from our radar screens until next summer.” …

She went on to criticize Hirono for her fund- raising appeal, which only attacked her. "There is not one thing on this page that tells how she would make life better for the people of Hawaii. Her website is equally devoid of positions," Lingle complained….

Left out of the back and forth was Democratic candidate Ed Case, although Lingle did suggest Hirono was taking voters for granted by not first attacking Case in her fundraising letter.

Related: Sabato: Ed who? Democratic Establishment coalescing around Mazie Hirono

read … Doing his Job for Hirono

Inouye: Federal Rail Funding not certain, Honolulu one of nine competing for $510M

CB: Inouye acknowledged to Civil Beat this week that it's not a done deal.

"I'm a realist," Inouye said, recalling the city's 1992 attempt to build rail that failed when the City Council scrapped the project by a one-vote margin. That occurred, the senator said, despite his having secured federal funding.

"Maybe I should be a bit more dramatic and scream and yell," Inouye said. "But that's not me, you know?"

Now that Inouye helped craft a spending bill that makes Honolulu eligible for a portion of $510 million1 in federal funding next year, it's up to local officials to advance the project to the point where they can dip into federal coffers. (Check out that footnote: “Honolulu's rail project is one of nine across the country that are vying for a piece of the $510 million, according to an official with the Federal Transit Administration.”)

"The money is in the bill," Inouye said. "It wasn't easy (to get)."

It won't necessarily be easy for Honolulu officials to take advantage of those funds. The project has until Dec. 31, 2012 to enter into a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. Such an agreement is one of the ultimate milestones for rail planners, and would secure federal funds2 for the project….

"If they don't do their part, I'm just assuming that's their decision," Inouye said. "It's the end unless they revive it. But I'm not going to be around here when I'm 120."

read … Inouye Says He's a 'Realist' About Rail Project

Rail Judge: Feds Must Produce Full Record before Groundbreaking

Courthouse News: …Tashima himself requested the 90-minute hearing, after the defendants sought partial judgment.

Tashima called the motion "possibly premature," said, "It will not make the case go away," and indicated that he would rule on it soon.

Tashima asked both parties to come up with a schedule for hearings, which he said he would prefer in San Francisco or Pasadena. But he said that any motion for preliminary injunction or summary judgment should come in Honolulu.

He said the FTA must produce the administrative record, because the case cannot proceed without it, and it must do so by January, before the February groundbreaking.

He said the plaintiffs must provide evidence of their standing, narrow certain claims and verify their participation in the public discourse process during the time the FTA and city were preparing the EIS and taking public comment.

He urged both parties to be open to mediation, asking: "Do you think you could ever compromise?"

Tashima said he hopes to render a decision no later than the summer or fall of 2012.

"I think it is obviously important that this case be decided on as timely a basis as possible," Tashima said. "I would like to avoid, for instance, having to decide a motion for preliminary injunction."

CB: Toru 'Surprised' By Outdoor Circle

read … Injunction?

Citizens Challenging Rail Project May Have to Wait a Year for Case Resolution Because of City's Delays

HR: …yesterday in U.S. District Court at their first hearing, Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the Ninth Circuit Court, outlined the calendar for the administrative hearing ending in the summer or fall of 2012.

Much of the delay is coming from the city and federal government. Despite being required to do so, the defendants have not turned over some 500,000 pages of record.

Nicolas Yost, the nation’s top environmental lawyer, represents the citizens challenging the project. He said the city has not turned over the documents for 6 months – something he has never seen before in all his years of practicing law. (Will the judge also say that? Sounds like an argument for an injunction.)

Cliff Slater said because the city and FTA have a weak case, they are intentionally “dragging their feet” to defeat the plaintiffs out of court by raising the cost of the lawsuit through delays….

read … Rail Delay?

Maui Now: Loathsome, Dangerous, Abercrombie

MN: An old rule of public relations is to save bad news releases for Fridays, when people are usually thinking more about weekends and less about government affairs. Apparently, Attorney General David Louie's people thought even Friday was too dangerous, so they waited until Saturday, Nov. 26 to comply with Judge Karl Sakamoto's Nov. 14 ruling (in response to a lawsuit filed by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser) that Governor Neil Abercrombie had to make public the names of everyone he's nominated for judgeships since taking office.

To say that Abercrombie finds the ruling loathsome is an understatement. Indeed, the press release attached to the Saturday list of names makes clear that Abercrombie is only doing this because the state Judicial Selection Commission has already released the names.

Had Abercrombie simply handed over the list of candidates when he made his nomination, this column probably wouldn't have given a damn. But because Abercrombie insisted on playing the "special exemption" card (one not used by former Governors Linda Lingle and Ben Cayetano), and waited 12 days to comply with a court ruling, to say nothing of behaving as though openness and public disclosure were mere buzzwords–always to be uttered, never to be enforced–it became mandatory for us to comment upon the whole deal.

read … Abercrombie Finally Names Names

Abercrombie Gloats over “Gift to Business Community”

CB: On Thursday, with his budget director and the chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii's board at his side, the governor stood at the beginning of a press conference to announce a $1.3 billion sale of general obligation bonds.

He stood, he said, because he was so enthusiastic about the news. Later, he punctuated remarks made by Budget Director Kalbert Young with an audible "Yes!" and gave the Chamber's Ginny Pressler a high-five.

Pressler described the bond sale as a "major accomplishment" not only for the state but for the entire economy.

"This is a major gift to the business community," she said.

The bond announcement is a shiny capstone to a rough year, arguably the young administration's greatest accomplishment. While he stopped short of flat-out gloating, the governor made it clear that he and his team deserved credit.

CB: Hawaii's Bond Proceeds to Fund More Capital Projects

read … Abercrombie Gloats?

Abercrombie claims his Charisma Swayed Investors to Buy Hawaii Bonds

CB: Young credited the "very cooperative" market for the state's ability to secure low interest rates — the lowest in recent memory, and possibly in state history, he said. The bonds sold at a combined interest rate of 3.63 percent, and the state achieved 2.95 percent interest on its refinance.

He also credited efforts by the Abercrombie administration and the Legislature to meet face-to-face with investors.

The bond sale drummed up considerable interest from buyers, which helped give the state an upper hand on pricing, Young said. The state received $4.2 billion in orders, but could only fill the $1.3 billion….

CB: Hawaii's Bond Proceeds to Fund More Capital Projects

Reality: Lucky Hawaii: Bond Sale Benefits as Investors Flee Europe

He likes this kind of talk: Abercrombie: My “emanations” will make DoE serve students first

read … Charisma?

Bullying: ‘It’s OK to be different’

Burkman, working with the students in the assembly, said bullying is when a boy, girl or adult does things to make another person feel bad.

“We have this in school,” Burkman said. “If it happens to you, we have to handle it and we have our counselors to help.”

Carvalho re-iterated the respect and working together aspect during his appearance at a first-grade class.

“It’s alright to be different,” Carvalho said. “But we’re all the same, inside. Everyone comes from different backgrounds but we’re all in the same class at the same school. It’s okay to be different. We just need to be respectful of each other.” ….

“We at the county give you safe places where you can go to make new friends to help you do more,” Carvalho said….

Stan Davis, a founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, said there are ways to stop bullying based on decades of research.

Based on a 2008 study of bullying prevention in Colorado schools, “a positive relationship with adults and students at school and a school culture of trust and fairness are key to reducing bullying.”

Different, therefore OK: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools

read … Bullying

Property Tax Recommendations to be Presented to Honolulu Council

CB: The Real Property Tax Advisory Commission is on the verge of finishing its recommendations to the Honolulu City Council, and members are already anticipating that the politicians aren't going to be happy….

Commission Chair Lowell Kalapa said some Council members are "going to run for cover" when the recommendations reach their desks, an appropriate analogy considering the rain squall that forced one reporter to hurriedly bring his lunch inside today…. Lisa Maruyama broached the subject of a "minority report" that would express some members' dissent.

The next meeting was moved back from 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to allow the panel to post an agenda under the Sunshine Law.

read … Kalapa says it won’t be popular

Ritte Demands “Participation and Control” over Cruise Yacht, Molokai Again Compromises With Shake-Down Thugs

CB: Then, on Wednesday night, more than 300 residents attended a community meeting to discuss the boat, which had already docked twice on Molokai. Blanchard said enough residents voiced concerns that the company decided to postpone the scheduled Friday docking until ASC could talk to more community members to reach an understanding.

“We are not against this cruise ship,” said local activist Walter Ritte, who had led protests against the yacht. “[Thirty-six people is] not a big deal. So why are we protesting? Nobody asked us what are our concerns ... We demand participation and control.” (Instead of arresting Ritte for obstruction of public highways and public waterways, they are considering giving him more payoffs. This weakness and appeasement only begets further disruption.)

Ritte offered Blanchard "a truce" on Wednesday: the yacht stops docking on Molokai for several months, and the process will be turned over to the 'Aha Ki'ole, a statewide indigenous resource management group with an active membership on Molokai….

Meanwhile, Socialism Ritte style … With an unemployment rate of 17 percent, some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, and gas prices hovering around $5 per gallon, money is tight for many island residents.

MN: 200-plus people attend Molokai cruise ship meeting

read … Molokai still can’t shake the shake down

State files suit against woman accused of preying upon distressed homeowner

HNN: The state accuses Cablay of engaging in unfair and deceptive trade practices while working as a Hawaii runner for a company operating out of Texas. The state's attorney says Cablay convinced the woman to pay an up-front fee of $3,450 to Caughern & Associates which, in turn, delivered a $600 kick-back for Cablay.

"The ultimate end of that was that there were no mortgage rescue services, so she was out the money that she paid her," Kim said….

The lawsuit seeks restitution for the victim, and a court order to prevent the defendant from offering similar services to others.

The Office of Consumer Protection says this is its first suit filed on Oahu under a state law enacted in 2008 designed to protect distressed property owners.

"I think this is the beginning, as you said, the beginning of a number of complaints to come," Kim said.

read … Great, now go sue some sovereignty activists for doing this

Harimoto: Strip Berg's Voting Rights Until He Calms Down

CB: The Transportation Committee agenda that Thursday afternoon contained three items: a federal grant application for mobility programs; a "complete streets" ordinance that would make Oahu's roads more pedestrian- and bike-friendly; and a Joint Traffic Management Center.

Berg was fired up, and he used those items to pivot to some of his pet issues, namely the Honolulu rail project and the Leeward Bikeway. Some of the segues were tenuous, but Berg rambled, ranted and raved, as he frequently does.

The frustration was painted all over Committee Chair Harimoto's face.

He pleaded with Berg to stay on track, citing the Sunshine Law's requirement that all discussion items be on the agenda. Exasperated, he looked to his colleagues for guidance. He repeatedly threatened, gavel poised, to recess the meeting.

In the weeks since that meeting, the public has learned that Berg's combative day continued that night at the Waipahu Neighborhood Board meeting, where the police were called. On Wednesday, seemingly every media outlet in Hawaii reported that police had been called a few days before the meeting when Berg, reeking of alcohol, was arguing with Secret Service agents at APEC.

Now we've also learned that Harimoto's frustrations with Berg haven't subsided. In a letter sent to Council Chair Ernie Martin, Harimoto described those events and others and requested that Berg be removed as a voting member of all Council committees. (Link: Letter)

Meanwhile, this is OK with Breene? Convicted Cocaine Dealer replaces Advertiser columnist as Ernie Martin’s Campaign Treasurer

read … Strip Anti-Rail Councilmember?




ACLU, NAACP Join Effort to Target TSA Workers Who Catch too Many Illegals, Find too Many Drug Smugglers

AP: The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said Thursday it is investigating allegations that screeners at Honolulu International Airport have targeted Mexican travelers for extra screening. A coalition of civil rights groups responded by demanding an independent probe into possible profiling at other airports.

The TSA statement came in response to a recent letter from U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson, who cited a report by Honolulu television station KITV about allegations lodged by two TSA employees that officers known as "Mexicutioners" targeted Mexican passengers in an attempt to appear productive to supervisors.

Honolulu airport is also where dozens of employees were fired or suspended this year after an investigation found workers did not screen checked bags for explosives. It was the single largest personnel action for misconduct in the TSA's history.

Also Thursday, a group of 38 civil rights organizations called for an independent audit of the TSA to determine whether the agency engages in racial profiling.

Their letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the groups, which include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and American Civil Liberties Union, are concerned that "TSA officers are engaged in a wider pattern or practice of profiling racial and religious minorities instead of focusing on actual criminal behavior."

read … Stop them from Doing their Job

Captain Kirk Ramps Up 2012 Campaign for Mayor

SA: Former state representative and city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell is taking to the streets this weekend, marching in Saturday’s 49th Annual Kaneohe Christmas Parade.

Although an email went out to supporters calling for volunteers to march with “our favorite Mayoral candidate,” Caldwell says he has not formally thrown his hat into the race … yet.

Caldwell today said he won’t make a formal announcement on his political intentions until early 2012. He is expected to run again for mayor against incumbent Peter Carlisle. Caldwell, who last month hosted a $1,000-per-person fundraiser, finished second to Carlisle in the 2010 special election to fill the final two years in the term vacated by Mufi Hannemann, who resigned to run for governor.

read … Beam me up

Hawaii bankruptcies fall in November for eighth straight month

SA: On Oahu, where the bulk of the filings are made, the number of cases fell to 138, a 28.3 percent decline from November 2010. Hawaii island’s 55 filings represented a 31.4 percent drop from a year earlier. There were 55 cases filed on Maui, down 12.7 percent from a year earlier. Filings on Kauai fell by 57.6 percent from 33 cases in November 2010 to 14 cases last month.

(This is probably related to the slowing in the foreclosure process because of the end of non-judicial foreclosures.)

read … Bankruptcies

Hawaii Federal Judge: U.S. Won't Pick Up Tab for Aloun Farms Defense

CB: A Hawaii federal judge has ruled that the federal government will not have to pay for defense costs in the failed Aloun Farms human trafficking case.

Mike and Alec Sou had argued in court last month that the federal government ought to reimburse them for roughly $500,000 in defense costs. The government dismissed human trafficking charges against the Sous in August "in the interest of justice."

The ruling isn't a complete surprise. Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway made clear at last month's hearing that she had reservations about granting the brothers' request, given that they had initially pleaded guilty in the case.

In her order denying the brothers' request, Mollway writes: "Of particular significance to the court are the Sous’ pleas of guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit forced labor in the Original Indictment. A guilty plea requires much more than a mere statement that one is guilty."

Mollway concludes that "the Sous do not establish that either the case as a whole or any particular charge was frivolous."

read … Accused Slavers Pay

SA Spies Way to Increase Power of Burials in Development Disputes

SA: Any project that involves the disinterment of Hawaiian remains is never going to be a simple matter, even if, as in the case of Kawaiaha'o Church, the more straightforward laws governing a Western cemetery would be predominant. Moving the burials of any Hawaiian, regardless of religious tradition, brings additional cultural sensitivities to bear. (That would be a sharp change in burial law and would probably kill a lot of development proposals.) ….

The law, Hawaii Revised Statute 441.15, states that "property dedicated to cemetery purposes shall be held and used exclusively for cemetery purposes unless and until the dedication is removed from all or any part of it." How can the property be seen as being used exclusively for burial purposes if construction already has begun, before all the steps to removal have been taken?

Removal of the dedication, under the law, is to be carried out through a court order and decree to be filed with the state Bureau of Conveyances or Land Court. Subsections 15 and 16 dictate that a hearing must be held, with advance notice, and that the cemetery authority must prove to the court that remains have been disinterred from the site or that it never was used for burials.

Given that reading of the law, it's difficult to see how the Department of Health and the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources could have issued the disinterment permit to Kawaiaha'o Church in October 2010 and included decertification after, rather than before, construction among the permit conditions.

read … Another Late SA Editorial

PHOTOS: Iao Stream Shanty Town Residents Face Eviction

MN: The disputed parcel consists of approximately 34 acres on the banks of the Iao Stream across from the Millyard, with an assessed value of $1.18 million. About a quarter of the property is covered with shacks and junk.

Claiming ownership is Sandra Aki of Wailuku who recorded a deed on Sept. 20th of this year.

However, according to Supervising Real Property Clerk Melvina Kanaha at the county’s Real Property Division, the county does not recognize that claim because Aki has so far not been able to show where her interest originates. Instead the county’s files show Kehalani Holding Company Inc., a subsidiary of Stanford Carr Development, as property owner of record since 2006. The property is home to a flourishing village, complete with ocean and mountain views consisting of many shacks, animal pens and a wide variety of accumulated trash, junk vehicles and other debris.

Whoever owns the property, just across the Iao Stream, is facing millions of dollars in fines for two separate violations. One for building without permits and the other for violation of sanitation codes issued by Maui County’s Development Services Administration on Feb. 12, 2008….

Sandra Aki, contacted this morning at her home in Wailuku asserted her legal ownership of the property, and declined to say anything further, stating “You’ll find out about it when we go to court. I’m not worried.”

A resident of the property who spoke with Maui Now yesterday said that people living on the site were all of native Hawaiian ancestry, and that members of their group had been residing on the property for at least six years.

Interesting: A Sandra Aki is listed as Secretary of FACE on Maui

read … Another Homeless Camp

State Audit: "Atmosphere Of Intimidation and Fear" at Maui Housing Project

HR: An audit of the state-owned Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project on Maui found residents living in “substandard conditions” and “an atmosphere of intimidation and fear," according to state records released today.

The audit was commissioned as a result of a series of Hawaii Reporter news stories about problems at the West Maui project, and verified the contents of those stories, the records show.

Among the findings of the audit:

  • “The overall physical condition of the project is clearly substandard.”
  • “Current Resident Manager has created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear of reprisals, as reported by tenants.”
  • Apparent discrimination against families with children through enforcement of “unwritten rules.”
  • Failure to actively market the availability of 40 vacant units ready for occupancy.
  • Inconsistent enforcement of house rules.
  • Favoritism in “steering” of selected tenants to certain vacant units.

The audit findings (which have been redacted by the state to remove the names of individuals) are here Audit Part One and here Audit Part Two.

read … Intimidation, Fear

MoveOn Drops Use of Occupy, Goes under its own name for latest protest

MN: The rally is part of a national day of action that comes as Congress is gearing up to vote on a payroll tax cut that would extend tax cuts for middle-class families, by imposing taxes on those who earn over $1 million.

The rally starts at 4 p.m. on Ka’ahumanu Avenue across from the UHMC campus fronting the Queen Kaahumanu Center.

The event is organized by the American Dream Movement with support from members of the local chapter of MoveOn.org.

CB: Hawaii Would See $800 Million Tax Break if Payroll Tax Cut Extended

read … MoveOn Already

Alexander & Baldwin to subdivide into two companies

HNN: The company plans by late 2012 to calve off Matson Navigation Co., retaining the Alexander & Baldwin name for its other operations in agriculture and real estate.

Each company will have more than $1 billion in assets, each will have more than 1,000 employees, and each is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, the company said Thursday. Shareholders will get stock in both companies.

"The increased size, capabilities and financial strength of both our land and transportation businesses now enable these operations to independently executive their strategies to maximize shareholder value," A&B Chairman Walter Dods said.

A&B President Stan Kuriyama, who came from the real estate side of the company, will stay with Alexander & Baldwin as CEO, taking the current company comptroller Paul Ito as chief financial officer and handing the presidency to A&B Properties head Chris Benjamin.

Matson will take Dods as chairman, and the current president of the shipping line, Matt Cox, will be CEO. The current company's CFO Joel Wine will also go to the Matson company, and retired Admiral Tom Fargo will join the Matson board. His appointment to the current company board was also announced Thursday.

The biggest operational change announced Thursday was Matson will be headquartered in Honolulu. It is now based in Oakland.

PBN: A&B, Matson to become separate companies

read … Pincer Movement

Company directors fought similar move back in 1988

MN: …a booming construction economy fueled by yen investments, drove Matson's profits, as measured by return on investment, to high levels. But Matson was owned by A&B, which was dealing with a contracting sugar business and had not then built up the big commercial real estate portfolio it has now.

A&B stock was lolling around in the low teens. Weinberg - who did not talk to the press - apparently believed, and he was surely correct, that if he could hive off Matson as an independent company, its stock would soar to several multiples of what A&B as a whole was valued at.

The stock of the sick remnant of A&B would have cratered, but Weinberg could expect a giant windfall.

The weakened A&B probably would not have survived….

Dods said the numbers tell the story. In the four years from 1996 to 2000, real estate and agriculture had aggregate operating profits of $315 million and Matson and its subsidiaries made $406 million.

In the next four years, the profit of what is now to be the new A&B was $367 million, and Matson's profit was $465 million. In the 2006-2010 period, real estate and ag made $510 million, Matson $570 million.

After a 20-year campaign, A&B had built up a business based on its core of nearly 90,000 acres of Hawaii land that could stand on its own bottom, and it seems to make sense to allow Matson to go on its own way….

read … Matson 1988

Retreat will address future, structure of state education

SA: A little more than six months since they were appointed, Board of Education members will hold a retreat Saturday with more than 40 stakeholders to discuss the pace of education reform in Hawaii and next steps for improving school and student performance.

"The goal is really to set the stage for the next six to 12 months," said BOE Chairman Don Horner, adding that the theme for the gathering is "defining success" for schools, students and education leaders. BOARD OF EDUCATION RETREAT What: Daylong retreat for BOE members and invited participants. Members of the public are invited to give testimony. Where: First Hawaiian Center, 999 Bishop St., 30th floor When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. More information: www.hawaiiboe.net

read … retreat, anything except an audit

State Rep. Chris Lee recovers from stroke, warns others of danger

HNN: Lee was answering questions from members of the Kailua Neighborhood Board during its Nov. 3 meeting when his vision began to blur.

"As I looked across to the audience I realized I couldn't see the people who were asking me questions. And there was this real slow loss of vision. So I started seeing spots and blackness, and at that point I thought, man, I stood up too fast or I was feeling light headed and I'll just power through because it was on camera. I didn't want to cause a scene," Lee told Hawaii News Now.

Paramedics stationed at the nearby Kailua fire house rushed Lee to Castle Medical Center where he was given a clot busting drug. That quick treatment was key to his recovery.

read … Stroke

Puna to gain council seat

HTH: Starting with next year's elections, Hilo will have two County Council members rather than the current three, while Puna will gain a second seat.

Also, Keaau will stay in the 3rd District that includes the Keaukaha and Waiakea Uka areas of Hilo, the 6th District of Ka'u will continue to include Volcano, and Pahoa will be split between the 4th and 5th districts.

LINK: www.hawaiicounty.gov/redistricting-commission

read … Punatics Rejoice!

Bigeye tuna fishing ban canceled

The National Marine Fisheries Service has decided against imposing a ban on Hawaii longline fishing for bigeye tuna for this year, after reassessing the catch amounts.

The federal agency no longer expects Hawaii longline fishing vessels to reach the annual quota of 3,753 metric tons for bigeye tuna, said Michael Tosatto, the agency's administrator for the Pacific islands region.

read … Sashimi

Criminal Who Led Police on Cross-Island Chase had been Arrested by SWAT Team Jan 26, then Released

Police said that Lee had been wanted on a $30,000 contempt warrant and for allegedly forging a check last month. Crime Reduction Unit officers spotted him driving a van in Manoa at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Police vehicles and a police helicopter followed the van as it took Makiki back roads before it continued onto Pali Highway in Nuuanu. Officers were unable to stop him, and a chase ensued that took them to Waimanalo and then into Kailua, police said.

The chase ended about a half-hour later on Kamehameha Highway in front of Hawaii Pacific University's Windward campus when the van gave out, police said. Lee attempted to run but was captured by officers, some of whom were taking part in a traffic safety sign-waving event in front of the campus, police said….

On Jan. 26 Lee was arrested at a Kualoa home on armed robbery and burglary charges. A standoff with police SWAT officers shut down Kamehameha Highway for three hours before he surrendered peacefully.

Previously, he had been imprisoned for 10 years after being found guilty on a variety of charges including burglary, auto theft and escape, according to state court records.

read … Soft on Crime

Inouye Votes for Indefinite Detention of US Citizens Captured on US Soil

ILind: Hawaii’s senators split their votes on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill that would have limited the right of the government to indefinitely arrest and detain American citizens in military prisons without trial.

The New York Times called the issue “a momentous question about constitutional rights” in the ongoing “war” on terror.

Akaka voted for the amendment but Inouye voted against it (click here for the roll call votes).

read … Inouye


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