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Hawaii Daily News Read

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Thursday, September 2, 2021
September 2, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:48 PM :: 2444 Views

VIDEO: Blangiardi shows us why it is useless to argue with antivaxxer fools

The Danger of Politics

City Releases Draft Right-of-Way Widths for Planned Streets

Must Upload COVID Database to Enter UH Campus

Two Hawaii Lawyers Appointed to Interior Department

DoE Enrollment Down 1.7% for 2021-22

Hawaii’s COVID surge: Vaccinations are way up

HNN: … In the last week of July, there were less than 15,000 newly administered doses.

This past week, the Health Department reported nearly 28,000.

Health officials from the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center said even though they are kept incredibly busy caring for patients ill with COVID, they welcome the rising demand for vaccines.

“Right now, most of our vaccine clinics are nearly at standing room only,” said Jacob Schafer, the director of infection control at the health center.

“There are that many people that are coming in to get their shots, and that’s a great thing.”

Schafer said that before August, they averaged only about 60 vaccinations a day.

Now they’re almost doubling that….

read … There’s a faint silver lining to Hawaii’s COVID surge: Vaccinations are way up

Miske Gang Intel Operation: Lawyers Dig for Names of Informants

ILind: … Attorney William Harrison, who represents Jason Yokoyama, a former friend, business partner, and close confident of alleged criminal gang leader Michael Miske, will face off on Friday against federal prosecutors over whether or not the government is required by law to disclose prior statements made by unidentified witnesses who prosecutors say have tied Yokoyama to the kidnapping and murder of 21-year old Jonathan Fraser in July 2016.

Yokoyama was indicted last month on one count of racketeering conspiracy for allegedly being part of what prosecutors call the “Miske Enterprise,” an alleged racketeering conspiracy controlled and directed by Miske, former owner of Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, M Nightclub, and other local businesses.

The allegations attributed to two “cooperating witnesses” were key factors relied on by Magistrate Judge Wes Reber Porter, who ordered Yokoyama held without bail during an August 6 hearing, over Harrison’s objections and contrary to the recommendation of a federal pretrial services report.

Harrison has filed a motion seeking reconsideration of Porter’s decision, and a separate motion seeking disclosure of the witness statements described as “material to [Yokoyama’s] bail hearing.”…

(Clue: Miske death list)

PDF: US Response Re Yokoyama Motion for Discovery

read … Disclosure of witness statements in Miske case at issue in hearing this week

Hawaii Paroling Authority to require COVID vaccine before releasing eligible parolees

HNN: … The Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the Hawaii Paroling Authority (HPA) will require eligible inmates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before being released on parole starting Tuesday, Sept. 2.

DPS officials said their Health Care Division staff will administer the vaccines to unvaccinated inmates that choose to get the shot….

“I am confident that this requirement will help reduce the spread of infection within the correctional facilities, and safeguard our businesses, families and the community at large.” ….

read … Good Idea!

Honolulu Prosecutor's office files civil lawsuit to crack down on illegal game room activity on Oahu

KITV: … The Honolulu Prosecutor's Office has filed a first of its kind civil lawsuit in an effort to crack down on illegal game room activity on Oahu.

The civil nuisance abatement complaint alleges McCully property owner KC Management, LLC and its agent Wai Tung Kwok, allowed illegal gambling to operate on its premises.

According to the lawsuit, alleged cashier Tom Tran is accused of multiple gambling offenses in three separate cases on the same property.

It's asking for a court order to shut down the property for a year and permanently bar Tran from entering….

Related: Police Corruption Scandals Revenge for Gambling Prosecutions?

read … Honolulu Prosecutor's office files civil lawsuit to crack down on illegal game room activity on Oahu

Emphasizing how the Victims Felt at Closing is Misconduct

HLN: … The Evidence here was Overwhelming. The HSC nevertheless affirmed the conviction. “When evidence is so overwhelming as to outweigh the inflammatory effect of the improper comments, reviewing courts will regard the impropriety as ultimately harmless.” State v. Williams, ___ Hawai'i ___, 491 P.3d 592, 607 (2021). That’s what we have in this case. According to the HSC, the evidence presented against Riveira was overwhelming. Two eyewitnesses placed him at the scene. The police found the stolen property in the truck with him in it. The evidence was enough to affirm despite the “[s]erious prosecutorial misconduct.” ….

read … Emphasizing how the Victims Felt at Closing is Misconduct

Hawaii Supreme Court has been Helping Criminals Get Away with it Since 1960s

CB: … The court’s direction in these criminal cases toward strong privacy protections even for criminal defendants began in the 1960s in a case called State v. Texeira, according to Honolulu attorney Brook Hart.

In that case, police discovered marijuana on a man in Palolo after arresting him. The defendant unsuccessfully tried to suppress that evidence at trial and appealed to the high court.

While the state Supreme Court sided with police in that case and reasoned that seizing the marijuana was allowable under the U.S. Constitution, the court also ruled that federal decisions should not prevent the Hawaii Supreme Court from extending greater protections to citizens under the state constitution.

Since then, Hawaii’s justices have used that authority to say that police shouldn’t rifle through residents’ trash cans to find evidence or do helicopter flyovers of neighborhoods in the hopes of spotting marijuana plants – as has happened in some instances of unlawful searches….

Many of the cases in which the Hawaii Supreme Court broke new legal ground came from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.

(CLUE: This parallels rise of the Mehau mafia organization.)

The court in the last 10 years has set new legal precedent relating to police less often than in decades past, according Maui Deputy Public Defender Ben Lowenthal.

As Lowenthal sees it, the court in the last 10 years has instead reinvigorated those older cases and applied their standards in a new light….

read … How The Hawaii Supreme Court Has Shaped Policing In The State

State-owned firm delinquent on Kakaako housing fees

SA: … A state agency hasn’t been a good neighbor to condominium owners in a mixed-use building complex it largely owns in Kakaako, racking up a roughly $800,000 maintenance fee debt.

The delinquency stems from financial shortfalls operating 150 state-owned affordable rental apartments in the Honuakaha complex, which also includes 93 condos and the historic Royal Brewery building at 545 and 547 Queen St.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, an agency regulating development in Kakaako, owns and occupies the brewery building. It also owns and operates the adjacent rental apartments through a company where it is the general partner and First Hawaiian Bank is a limited partner.

Technically, the maintenance fee debt is owed by the company, Honuakaha Limited Partnership (cancelled per DCCA BREG due to not filing annual reports), and not directly by HCDA.

The predicament is raising questions about the agency’s oversight of the rental housing, which serves seniors with low incomes.

There are also concerns over how condo owners may be affected given that HCDA representatives make up a majority of Honuakaha’s property ownership board that can make maintenance fee decisions….

Neupane disclosed the trouble at Honuakaha to HCDA’s board Wednesday, and the board spent about an hour in private executive session discussing issues of liability with state attorneys and agency staff.

After the board meeting, Neupane said there probably will have to be a small rent increase for apartment tenants, and that there is no desire to create an unnecessary burden for condo owners. He said a resolution plan is being formulated and likely will be presented to HCDA’s board next month.

read … State-owned firm delinquent on Kakaako housing fees

The Jones Act is Supported by Myths. But Its Negative Impact is Very Real.

RCP: … This relic of a long-gone era is defended by powerful special interests that benefit from its protectionism at the cost of everyone else.

Five of their most common arguments are that the law protects national security, keeps foreign ships out of America’s inland waterways, contributes to economic growth, protects American jobs and helps states and territories that rely primarily on ocean shipping for imports.

However, a new policy report by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, “Five myths about the Jones Act,” pits these claims against actual data and proves that none of them hold up….

read … The Jones Act is Supported by Myths. But Its Negative Impact is Very Real.

Step up support for TMT project

SA Editorial: … When it comes to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the Canary Island’s loss should be Hawaii’s gain. But it will take renewed resolve from Hawaii government leaders to support and help shepherd through the stalled $2.4 billion project for Mauna Kea — one that holds much promise for Hawaii’s economy, as well as for astronomical breakthroughs to benefit mankind….

Background: No Land for TMT on La Palma: Spanish Court Revokes Telescope License (again)

read … Step up support for TMT project

Kaua‘i County Council defers rental car tax class bill

TGI: … After strong opposition from major rental car companies, the county administration has asked for a deferral of a bill that would create a real property tax classification for rental car operations.

The deferral, requested and granted during Wednesday’s Finance and Economic Development Committee of the Kaua‘i County Council, came after questions of the legalities of singling out rental car companies. Bill No. 2828 was introduced in July by Councilmember Luke Evslin at the request of the administration….

Tiffany Yajima representing Enterprise Holdings, which includes Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, voiced concern with the county imposing a tax on personal property.

“We are concerned that this bill exceeds the county’s taxing authority by attempting to tax personal property and motor vehicles under the guise of a tax on real property,” Yajima said in written testimony….

read … Kaua‘i County Council defers rental car tax class bill

TVR bill would ban rentals of less than 6 months

SA: … A measure that would change the restriction of a short-term rental to 180 days, from less than 30 days, attracted over 350 virtual attendees with mixed opinions during a five-hour meeting Wednesday in a public hearing held by the Honolulu Planning Commission….

The only new permits would be given in resort areas such as Kuilima, Ko Olina and Waikiki. The DPP also added resort areas in Makaha to the list. It also would require the properties to display their certification registration number on all of their advertisements for the property.

Cecilia Gomez was one of the many who testified against the measure. She rents her house to people for income, which she needed to do after her husband died.

“I have not been able to find people can stay longer,” she said….

DPP estimated that short-term-rentals occupy about 35% of vacant housing, and 5% of the state’s housing stock. It also estimated that there are currently about 20,000 illegal short-term rental units operating statewide.

At a press conference last week, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced his support for the measure.

“The short-term vacation rentals have really impacted that housing crisis and taken a lot of units off the market that could be available to local people,” he said.

Due to time constraints the Planning Commission will continue the public hearing on the measure Wednesday at noon….

(CLUE: DPP is too busy accepting bribes to enforce the existing rules.  Why make more rules?)

read … Short-term rental bill gets first public hearing

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