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Tuesday, March 23, 2021
March 23, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:28 PM :: 2113 Views

More SHOPO Chaos vs Ballard? Officers Ordered to Find Excuse to Make Arrests at Anti-Vaxxer Rally

Doctors' Pay? Hawaii Ranks 47th

Hawaii Republican Legislative Update

New UH partnership to aid national security, boost state’s economy

SB56 tax scare could have long-lasting effect

Plea Agreement Details How Miske Allegedly Ordered Chemical Attack On Rival Nightclub

CB … Honolulu businessman Michael J. Miske Jr., in federal custody awaiting trial on charges of controlling a criminal racketeering conspiracy, allegedly directed one of his associates to arrange an attack on a Kakaako nightclub by releasing a toxic chemical on a crowded dance floor, agreed to pay the associate $3,000, then checked in by phone and even appeared at the scene before the attack to be sure the plot was going as planned.

The previously undisclosed details of the 2017 chemical attack on the Ginza Night Club in Kakaako are contained in a 19-page plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu last week.

Akau, 30, was charged under a federal law that provides that a toxic chemical can be considered a “chemical weapon” when it is not used for its intended purpose.

The maximum possible sentence if convicted of using a chemical weapon is life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors agreed not to charge Akau with conspiracy to use the chemical weapon, a separate felony offense. In addition, Akau will not be charged for her participation in robberies of drug dealers by Miske associates, which she also disclosed to investigators.

As part of the plea deal, Akau agreed to cooperate fully with investigators and prosecutors, and to testify if requested in any upcoming proceedings, including appearing before any future grand jury or appearing at trial to testify against others….

read … Plea Agreement Details How Miske Allegedly Ordered A Chemical Attack On Rival Nightclub

HB1286 Deferred: ‘Travel passport not quite ready for prime time’

HTH: … During a February hearing in the House, Roth submitted testimony opposing the bill, writing: “While it appears well intended, the bill will result in sweeping provisions that create a ‘one size fits all’ approach to addressing the health and safety of both our travelers and residents, without regard to the unique conditions faced by our island counties. Further, it usurps the authority of mayors to protect their communities in a manner that best serves them.”

No other mayor submitted testimony about the bill, although the Kauai County Council also opposed it, citing the success of Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami’s own COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“Our residents’ health and safety must be prioritized over the tourism industry and convenience, and each county should continue to be empowered to protect their own interests accordingly,” wrote the Kauai council.

But the bill had widespread support as well, largely from businesses and other commercial interests, on the grounds that a universal travel policy would make it easier for travelers to visit the state and support the local economy….

There was little discussion about the bill during Monday’s hearing.

“(We’ve) conferred, and we can see that there’s the necessity for some level of flexibility,” said Sen. Glenn Wakai, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development and Tourism — one of the three committees, along with those on Health and Public Safety, that discussed the bill. “We did contemplate the idea of a travel passport, but that was seen as sort of not quite ready for prime time … so (we’ve) decided that we will defer any action on HB 1286.”

Because the bill has until the end of the week to be referred to its final committee in the Senate, the measure appears to be dead. However, Honolulu Rep. Linda Ichiyama said during a Monday meeting of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness that the text of HB 1286 still could be transposed into a different Senate bill….

read … Legislators defer measure relating to Safe Travels program

DoH Ignores Vaccine Requests from ‘Some’ Employers

HNN: … There’s a new registration process for many workers who would like to get COVID vaccine.

It’s a change the state Department of Health made quietly earlier this month ― never making an official announcement to broadly inform the public.

(Translation: The whole exercise was a sham.  They were never going to call you.)

If you filled out a DOH survey to get employees vaccinated and haven’t gotten a response, you probably won’t. Officials say you need to connect with a vaccine provider directly….

(Unless you are a State or County Department or you are tourism industry, in which case you will be immediately whisked to the front of the line.)

HNN: Government Leaders Flatter Themselves for doing such a great job.

read … State quietly makes changes to vaccine registration process for most employers

Did Unions’ Lack of Support Spell Trouble for School Superintendent?

CB:  … Some education insiders said while union opposition was damaging, it was not “as simple as unions throwing their weight around.”…

(Translation: “Yes.”)

Kishimoto’s announcement that she would step down came after the union presented a list of concerns to the state education board.

In a March 9 call with reporters, the superintendent said she had worked “hand in hand (glove)” with union leaders for more than four years, and that they were “at the table the entire time.”…

(But then she tried to make them start working again and all that was forgotten.)

She praised their collaboration on pushing for teacher salary differentials, though that issue, ironically, landed her in hot water a month ago when she unilaterally informed principals, without advance notice to the board or union, she was eliminating t(not extending) hose (one-time) bonuses next school year due to the budget shortfall caused by COVID-19.

The board later directed her to rescind the letter and commit to continuing the pay boosts next year through stimulus funds.

(In other words give teachers at $10K raise.)

Big Q: What do you think of the updated federal guidance for reopening schools: 3 feet between masked students in classrooms, instead of 6 feet?

Reality: Blackmail: HSTA Operatives Admit Threat to Fire Kishimoto is Retaliation for Reopening Elementary Schools

read … Did Unions’ Lack of Support Spell Trouble for School Superintendent?

After a ‘lost year’ for many students, educators and advocates scramble to get them help

HNN: … According to state Department of Education’s statistics, 18% of high school students were “off mark” for graduation after the second quarter.

At the same time, 21% of public elementary school students were given a “well below” mark in English Language Arts, and 15% were given the same marks for math.

And not every child has been impacted in the same way.

“The gap has dramatically widened,” said Mitch D’Olier, an ACS (Accrediting Commission for Schools) WASC commissioner. “That’s what the DOE data just showed. These kids are permanently set back.” …

Campbell High has nearly 3,100 students and before the pandemic, classrooms and hallways were crammed.

Not so these days.

When Principal John Henry Lee showed Hawaii News Now around campus in the third quarter, there were maybe 60 students there.

And that’s not all that’s different.

There is also now a huge storage of personal protective gear in what once served as a computer science classroom.

“We’ve got everything from the gowns that are needed, the microfiber cloths,” said Lee, as he pointed to the stockpile across the room. “Everything else you need over here, full body gowns, the KN95 masks, the hand sanitizer. The big drums of cleaners.” …

SA: Students at Aikahi Elementary are returning to campuses under new CDC guidelines

read … After a ‘lost year’ for many students, educators and advocates scramble to get them help

23.4% of State has one Vaccination

WHT: … Hawaii to date has been awarded 751,170 COVID-19 vaccine doses of which 654,090 had been received as of Monday, according to the state.

Of the doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines received, 83% or 541,584 doses have been administered statewide, including 71,744 on the Big Island.

An estimated 23.4% of the state’s population has received at least one dose and 13.6% have received two doses.

On the Big Island, 23.5% of the population has received at least one dose and 13% two doses, according to the Department of Health. An estimated 29% of the population age 60 and older has received at least one dose with 73% of the island’s kupuna 75 and older having received at least one dose and 61% fully inoculated….

read … 13% of Big Islanders fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Hawaii tourism gains momentum

SA: … Jack Richards, Pleasant Holidays president and CEO, said that over the past two weeks, the company has seen Hawaii bookings and travel increase by 30%.

“We haven’t seen travel demand for Hawaii this strong for over a year,” Richards said. “I thought we would have a U-shaped recovery; it’s V-shaped. January and February were terrible, but we’ve gone from zero to 150 mph in two weeks.”…

read … Hawaii tourism gains momentum

12.5% Pay Raises For Lawmakers Raise Eyebrows

CB: … several legislators are pretending to oppose the upcoming 10% pay hike – but they aren’t DOING anything to stop it ….

read … Two Pay Raises For Lawmakers Over The Next Year Are Raising Eyebrows

Cancel culture, woke police, now Kauai’s Chief of Police

TGI: … Chief Raybuck from my observations is good for the island, to cancel him, would be 100 steps backward and only show we are following in the footsteps of the mainland cancel culture that is helping to destroy our great country. Nobody on these islands likes to believe we are following the mainland, we believe we stand alone, let’s take a positive stand for the Chief!

Cancel culture is scary because one day you are the one canceling and the next day you are the cancelee. (sic)

Say the wrong thing to a group of people, on Facebook or any social media platform, not only current or from the past and it can haunt you forever. Even if you said something in jest, as a joke 10 years ago when the times were different, some enemy of yours can bring it up in the present and ruin your life, especially in those interim years if you’ve become successful, famous, or even infamous.

Social media and comment sections of periodicals have become the downfall of society. The commenters are mostly trolls of the likes of chimpanzees throwing feces at one another. The commenters as the chimpanzees are experiencing stresses and agitations, which can cause them to react in fanatical ways with unkind and damaging words.

Chief Raybuck deserves a second chance. Please do not let cancel culture, the ‘woke police’ and stressed-out commenters get the best of our community, we are better than this…. 

SA Editorial: Multiculturalism, not blind racism 

read … Cancel culture, woke police, now Kauai’s Chief of Police

HART Executive Director calls out previous contractor for 'shoddy work'

KITV:  … The Executive Director for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Lori Kahikina called out previous contractor Kiewit over what she calls "shoddy work."

Kahikina made the comments during a construction update with the Honolulu City Council. She says around 70 switch plates on the rail line will need to be repaired. That will cost around $130,000 and take around three months.

Kahikina also addressed recent reports of cracks found on the guideway. She claims they are superficial and can be easily fixed for under $20,000.

With work now halted at Dillingham Blvd., Kahikina admitted additional environmental impact statements may need to be conducted before any decisions are made….

read … HART Executive Director calls out previous contractor for 'shoddy work'

Hopes dwindle for more clarity in HART board votes

SA: … Confusion about voting rules for members of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project remains unresolved after bills that attempted to provide clarity appear to be dead this legislative session.

At the same time, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors has been moving toward hiring three separate outside consultants at a total price tag of $1.05 million, including one to make recommendations to sort out voting issues involving the board.

The total consulting fees, if approved, would cover parts of fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023 and involve advising on board voting policies, helping with a rail recovery plan and serving as a federal liaison, said HART spokesman Joey Manahan.

The nine voting members include three appointed by the City Council; three picked by the Hono­lulu mayor; one selected by the HART board; one representing the state Department of Transportation; and one who represents the city Department of Transportation Services….

The five nonvoting members include two each selected by House speaker and Senate president, and one representing the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

The lack of clarity from the Legislature about rules for HART’s voting and nonvoting board members has profound implications because dissenting members now play outsize roles on the 14-member board. Amid the uncertainty, an informal policy was adopted that allows two dissenting votes to block board actions.

“To me it’s significantly important because right now two members can stop anything from moving,” said board member Joe Uno. “With that math you can’t have proper dissent. … Right now if just two people don’t agree with something, it’s just done. Two people become the majority. I cannot believe that this is happening.”

read …Hopes dwindle for more clarity in HART board votes

Hilo mom gets probation in child starvation case

HTH: …A 37-year-old Hilo woman was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for her role in starving her 9-year-old daughter to death in 2016.

Tiffany Stone faced a possible 20 years in prison when she was sentenced by Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto…..

Stone, who originally was charged with second-degree murder for the June 28, 2016, death of Shaelynn Lehano-Stone, pleaded no contest to manslaughter in December.

Stone will serve no further jail time because she has spent almost 4 1/2 years in pretrial custody — more than twice the maximum two-year jail term in a probation sentence….

read … Hilo mom gets probation in child starvation case

It's Ridiculous To Hide Public Information From The Public

CB: … Gov. David Ige needs to lift his suspension of Hawaii’s public records law….

read … It's Ridiculous To Hide Public Information From The Public

Birth certificates should identify paternity, not ‘parentage’

SA: … The Hawaii Legislature is once again aiming to set up a task force to do the Legislature’s own duty with a very controversial proposal. House Bill 1096, House Draft 2, is the vehicle our elected legislators are proposing to use to change “paternity” to “parentage” on birth records.

The purpose of birth certificates is to identify the biological participants in the creation of the baby. This change will instead identify on the birth certificate the people who plan to raise the child after it is born. Sometimes, those are not the same, as in step-parenting, adoption, guardianship and hanai parenting. It is most logically always the case with same-sex parenting.

This task force ploy not only serves as a political prophylactic for those we elect to serve as lawmakers, but it completely and totally hides that work behind a cloak of secrecy created by an additional layer of opaque cover in the state Department of Health, overseeing the actual work done by private individuals. The Legislature needs to do this work in public….

read … Birth certificates should identify paternity, not ‘parentage’

Some UH students will likely have to wait until 2022 for a return to full in-person learning

HNN: … In a meeting with the board of regents, UH President David Lassner said that the university will slowly transition into on-campus learning by offering some classes in-person for the fall.

“In a sense, fall will be a transition semester from a mostly online spring 2020 to a mostly in-person spring 2022,″ Lassner said.

As of last week, Lassner said all UH employees, including student workers were informed that they are considered essential workers and have begun getting appointments for vaccines.

Although nearly all of the university’s employees are eligible for vaccination….

UH News: UH president provides comprehensive COVID-19 update to Board of Regents

read … Some UH students will likely have to wait until 2022 for a return to full in-person learning

University of Hawaii could lose control over decisions on construction, renovation and backlogged repairs across 10-campus system

SA: … The University of Hawaii could lose control over decisions on construction, renovation and backlogged repairs across the 10-campus system if the Legislature fails to extend authorization for the UH president to continue acting as its chief procurement officer.

A House bill crossed over to the Senate that would allow the UH president to continue overseeing the university’s construction budget — an arrangement endorsed by the acting state comptroller as “efficient” — but faces possible death if it does not move by Friday….

read … University of Hawaii could lose control over decisions on construction, renovation and backlogged repairs across 10-campus system

Haleiwa families: Major flooding could’ve been prevented, if someone had listened to them

HNN: … For years, they say, Paukauwila Stream has getting more clogged with invasive mangrove and debris and residents say it needs to be dredged.

“It’s kind of a scary sign that the river is starting to shrink,” said Kalei Gamiao.

In 1974, a flood in the same area left three dead and two missing. Kalei Gamiao’s father, Derek, was in elementary school and lost one of his classmates….

Residents say they’ve met with government officials after past storms, demanding that the clogged streams need to be dredged and hearing promises of help.

“We’ve been hearing this for 30, 40 years. Everyone gets all excited and then it just falls flat,” said Haleiwa resident Mike Lyons.

On Monday, three teams from FEMA joined the state and county to assess the damage.

“The governor will look at the damages and the data we provided and decide whether he’s going to make a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to the president for a federal disaster declaration,” said Veronica Verde, FEMA spokesperson.

The City says it maintains 10 feet above and 10 feet below the Haleiwa Road Bridge.

“Our inspectors have verified that the City maintained area near Haleiwa Road is clear. Anything Mauka or Makai is not City jurisdiction, however we are reaching out to other agencies to coordinate on the inquiry,” said Tim Sakahara, Mayor Blangiardi’s spokesman ….

read … Haleiwa families: Major flooding could’ve been prevented, if someone had listened to them

Homelessness Worker Teams up with Clean and Sober houses to Steal $100K

HNN: … Federal authorities said Bitte used fake rental agreements on behalf of fictitious IHS clients to get the nonprofit to issue dozens of checks to people pretending to be landlords. They said the phony landlords, who also have been charged, then kicked back some of the proceeds to Bitte.

“In terms of IHS ... it’s huge. That $100,000 that they embezzled, you think of the number of people (it could have helped) who needed that bed space in a clean and sober house,” said defense attorney Myles Breiner, an IHS supporter ….

(Get paid for homeless without the annoying homeless.)

More Homeless Mayhem: California Homeless flies in Begins Squatting at Maui School  (2019: Missouri)  (2020: Sta Clara Co)

read … Racket

Teachers, parents and students call for Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino principal’s ouster

WHT: … “Our school is in danger of shutting down due to the harassment and mistreatment of our teachers by administration. Teachers and school staff have already quit due to harassment and more than half will not return next year if they remain principal, we will not have a school to return to after summer break,” reads a petition calling for the immediate removal or resignation of the school’s administrator.

By early evening Monday, four days after the petition “Remove ‘Ehunui (KKOE) Administration Now!!” was created, more than 1,250 people had signed on in support.

Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino is the only state Department of Education K-12 Hawaiian immersion (kaiapuni) school on the Big Island, and one of only a few offering such education from kindergarten through grade 12 in the state. In academic year 2020-21, the Kealakekua-based school boasted an enrollment of 260 pupils with more than two-thirds of those students in grades K-6….

BIN: Parents Petition for Removal of Principal at Kona’s Hawaiian Immersion School

read … Teachers, parents and students call for Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino principal’s ouster

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