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Tuesday, September 7, 2021
September 7, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:23 PM :: 1534 Views

Judge Denies Feds’ motion to dismiss voting rights lawsuit in Hawaii

Ethics Commission to Replace Dan Gluck

2 Defendants In Miske Case Want The Court To Let Them Out On Bail

CB: … Prosecutors, however, argue that the court previously determined Stancil was a danger to the community and a flight risk, and that his situation has only gotten worse since that time.

A second superseding indictment issued by a federal grand jury in July describes two charges of attempted murder and Stancil’s alleged participation in a drug trafficking conspiracy as “Special Sentencing Factors” that would extend the maximum sentence Stancil faces on the racketeering conspiracy charge from 20 years to life in prison if any of the special factors is proven at trial.

Prosecutors argue that Stancil’s exposure to a possible maximum of life in prison clearly makes him a flight risk as well as a danger to the community.

“The evidence against the Defendant in this case is very strong and conviction is likely,” prosecutors say.

A hearing on Rodby’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s prior decision favoring Stancil’s continued detention is scheduled for Wednesday morning before Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield.

Jason Yokoyama has been held in Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center after being named in the second superseding indictment unsealed on July 30. He is charged with a single count of being a participant in Miske’s racketeering conspiracy, a charge which carries a maximum 20-year sentence. Prosecutors allege Miske and his associates were involved in a variety of crimes over a 20-year period, using his companies as cover to conceal the criminal activities, which ranged from kidnapping and murder to drug trafficking, money laundering, armed robbery and tax fraud.

And prosecutors allege that as part of the Miske Enterprise, Yokoyama participated in or facilitated acts of murder, kidnapping, arson, wire fraud, structuring of cash transactions and bank fraud.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors filed prior to Yokoyama’s indictment, Miske’s longtime accountant admitted to conspiring with Miske and two others to file false tax returns over an eight-year period. One co-conspirator was identified only by the initials “J.Y.” and appears to have been a reference to Yokoyama, who is now alleged to have participated in several types of financial fraud admitted to by Miske’s accountant.

Yokoyama was working with Miske for at least a decade prior to his indictment, according to court files and business registration records….

ILind: Putting a criminal defendant in the best possible light isn’t easy

PDF: Stancil memorandum in support of motion for release on bail 

Totally Related: Miske Gang Intel Operation: Lawyers Dig for Names of Informants

read ... 2 Defendants In Miske Case Want The Court To Let Them Out On Bail

FBI: Native Hawaiian perps commit 41% of Hate Crimes

SA: … There have been more than 100 hate crimes in Hawaii over the past five years, and statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week reveal that whites were targeted more than any other group.

The FBI recorded 120 hate crimes during that period, including 39 involving whites as victims; 34 against Blacks; 18 against gay males; 12 against Asians; three against Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; three against the LGBT community as a mixed group; and a smaller number of offenses involving Muslim, Jewish, Hispanic, Arab and other victims.

During that same period, Native Hawaiians were listed as responsible for 49 of those crimes, followed by 26 white offenders, 14 Asian, eight unknown, six multiple race and five Black….

Upon resolution of the case, prosecutors submit an incident report to the state Department of the Attorney General describing what role hate may have played. The AG publishes an annual report, “Hate Crimes in Hawaii.”…

Big Q: How much of a problem is racism in Hawaii?

read … Federal Bureau of Investigation records 120 hate crimes over past 5 years in Hawaii

Unvaccinated resident urges people to trust medical professionals, not social media

KHON: … Feary said by the fourth day he felt exhausted, had a headache, sore throat, and on the fifth day lost his taste and smell.

When the couple’s tests came back positive, they stayed home, drank plenty of fluids and took vitamins.

“I try not to get too involved with things that are going on social media on what to do at home and home remedies because a lot of it to me is just craziness right now,” Feary said.

By the ninth day, he thought he was feeling better but still had a lingering cough and felt slightly winded.

His doctor told him to check is oxygen levels. Someone brought him an oxygen saturation device from the drugstore.

“My doctor said, if your oxygen gets below 90, you should go to the hospital because at around 80 to 85, it starts to affect your brain,” Feary said.

That day his oxygen level was at 77, and by day 10, it dropped to 73%.

His fiancé took him to the hospital.

“Right off the bat, they wanted to know if I was vaccinated and you know, I wasn’t vaccinated,” Feary said.

He said his nurse was from Michigan and was one of the FEMA nurses brought into the state to help with the current surge. 

“They’re doing what they swore an oath, an oath to do as, as a medical professional, and I am forever grateful for the help that they gave me,” he said.

Feary said he’s seen several social media posts about unvaccinated patients not being treated fairly by nurses; Feary said he had to let people know his experience was far from that.

“I genuinely feel that they wanted to make sure that I was okay,” he said of the staff at Pali Momi and Straub Medical Center. “They made me feel comfortable, and that they cared. That’s just huge for me.”

Staff put him on oxygen, a five-day antiviral treatment, Remdesivir, a vitamin drip, and blood thinners.

He said he saw social media comments telling him to ask doctors for controversial treatment instead.

“For me, I didn’t feel that I needed to tell a medical professional, a doctor, that I need you to use this medication that is a hot trending topic on social media to cure me,” he said. “We put our lives in the hands of these medical professionals because that’s what they went to school for, that’s what they’re trained for.”….

read … Unvaccinated resident urges people to trust medical professionals, not social media

Some physicians want to expand antibody treatment to keep mild COVID patients out of the hospital

HNN: … Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group is working to expand ‘Operation Save Hawaii’ which is offering Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-positive patients who are not hospitalized.

“I have been administering it over the last three days and we are doing very close follow ups,” Dr. Miscovich said. “Regeneron is another one of the tools in our tool belt, or arrows in our quiver to reduce the death and reduce the hospitalization.”…

read … Some physicians want to expand antibody treatment to keep mild COVID patients out of the hospital

CDC data: Overall, Hawaii’s COVID cases, fatalities were lowest in nation until recently

HNN: … When it comes to COVID cases, the CDC says Hawaii has had the lowest infection rate in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic.

But the current trajectory Hawaii is on is concerning to health officials.

CDC data shows that last week, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, for every 100,00 people in Hawaii, there were about 408 individuals who got sick with the virus. That brought Hawaii’s infection rate to 15th highest in the country.

As for COVID deaths in the last week, Hawaii was in the middle of the list with about two people out of 100,000 dying from COVID.….

read … CDC data: Overall, Hawaii’s COVID cases, fatalities are lowest in nation

Union says COVID surge, nurse shortage forcing Queen's ICU to compromise safety

KITV: … The president of the Hawaii Nurses Association says with the increased number of COVID-19 patients coming in, staff is stretched so thin at The Queen's Medical Center that hospital management allowed what he calls unsafe practices in the intensive care unit on Friday and Saturday.
Daniel Ross, whose union has more than 4,000 members who work in hospitals across the state, says nurse-to-patient ratios are the biggest problem -- and for ICU nurses, it could be a matter of life or death for their patients.

ICU nurses are specially trained for trauma and emergency situations so they typically take care of one to two patients, but on Friday, Ross and other ICU nurses at Queen's claim some managers told nurses to take on three or even four patients -- some on ventilators.

In some cases, he said nurses who volunteered to work overtime were sent home due to the directive. Some ICU nurses also expressed concern that untrained staff were asked to pitch in -- potentially putting their licenses at risk.

After receiving complaints from members, Ross says he contacted Queen's administrators and the parties resolved the issue in writing on Saturday….

HNN: Local 5 members rally to highlight ongoing challenges of healthcare, hospital workers 

read … Union says COVID surge, nurse shortage forcing Queen's ICU to compromise safety

It was all Hype: Evictions not spiking in Hawaii despite moratorium’s end

SA: … there doesn’t seem to have been a rush of evictions in Hawaii.

“Interestingly, we have not been flooded with cases as we have anticipated,” said Tracey Wiltgen, executive director of the Mediation Center of the Pacific, a nonprofit that provides mediation services for landlord-tenant disputes.

“We expected it last week when they announced the CDC (moratorium) ended. We expected it this week and we haven’t seen it. … Maybe we’re just not going to get a huge number,” she said.

Wiltgen is still trying to find an explanation for why there hasn’t been a surge of evictions but said there could be a variety of reasons. Landlords and tenants could be working things out among themselves, she said, but it could also be that many renters have returned to work, sought out rental assistance or simply moved out on their own volition….

read … Evictions not yet spiking in Hawaii despite moratorium’s end

Nonprofit calls on Governor to reopen unemployment offices to help Hawaii's low wage workers

KITV: … Members of the nonprofit Hawaii Workers Center want the Department of Labor and industrial Relations to resume In-Person Services after the agency cancelled plans to reopen on September 7. They say 17 months of closure is unjustified and unconscionable.

Board member and attorney Sergio Alcubilla says workers who do not have access to technology or have language barriers are unable to collect benefits they are entitled to. That means those who can't afford rent are forced to live in cars or on the streets.…..

KHON: Department of Labor and Industrial Relations urges claimants to file soon

read … Nonprofit calls on Governor to reopen unemployment offices to help Hawaii's low wage workers

Honolulu County Planning Commission hearing on vacation rental rules Wednesday

HNN: … The Honolulu County Planning Commission is weighing whether to limit permits to just a handful of resort areas, and to change the definition of short-term rental from under 30 days to under 180 days….

A hearing was set for last week but was continued to Wednesday, Sept. 8 at noon due to a large number of people signed up to testify.  For information on the draft bill and how to testify, see www.honolulu.gov/dppstr….

CB: Honolulu Should Enforce Existing Law On Vacation Rentals

read … Honolulu County Planning Commission hearing on vacation rental rules Wednesday

Navy fortifies Red Hill fuel safety plan

SA: … The Navy has reinforced a proposal to reduce the risk of its massive World War II-era Red Hill underground fuel storage complex polluting Oahu’s drinking water aquifer after safety regulators rejected the plan almost a year ago.

In a recently published 540-page document, the Navy fortified its original 98-page plan from 2019 in an effort to convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii Department of Health to approve fuel facility upgrades proposed in the original plan as part of a regulatory agreement following a 27,000-­ gallon spill at Red Hill in 2014.

“The U.S. Navy is committed to protecting our environment, national security, and the health of our communities,” the supplemental filing states. “The extensive work we’ve done, including plans to invest (over $470 million through fiscal year 2025), accomplishes all three of these goals.”…

read … Navy fortifies Red Hill fuel safety plan

Makaha’s Keaau Beach Park is serene, but hidden in the brush was an unsanitary problem

HNN: … Illegal dumping has been a problem for years at the Keaau Beach Park. But area resident Kalei Salcedo says the problem recently became unbearable after nearby homeless campers began burying their human waste in city recycling bins.

“I had enough,” said Salcedo, who lives across the street from the park.

She says it took four months of calling the city and other officials before the City Parks Department finally removed the makeshift cesspool last week.

“This park has been neglected for years. And being neglected for years is not acceptable,” said Salcedo….

Two years ago, the city hauled out 40 abandoned vehicles, two boats and dozens of tires from the park but the dumping continued….

The city now plans to plans to repave the dirt parking lots and trim some of the park’s trees. It also will conduct work on the park’s irrigation and plumbing systems.

The construction, which will begin at the end of the month, is expected to shut down the park and campground until December….

read … Makaha’s Keaau Beach Park is serene, but hidden in the brush was an unsanitary problem

Waianae Boat Harbor Homeless Camp Leaders now live on 20 Acre Spread

CB: … In the distance, Borge can see the ocean and the distinct A-frame roof of the canoe hale at the Waianae Boat Harbor, where close to 150 people currently live in tents and structures cobbled together from shipping pallets and tarps. Behind her sits nearly 20 acres of long-fallow agricultural land that she hopes will soon contain dozens of carefully designed tiny houses for all those people, alongside rows of fruit-bearing avocado, papaya and banana trees.

“I cannot wait for everybody to come home,” Borge says with a grin. “I cannot wait to have our kids here.”…

Dynamic Community Solutions — the nonprofit that Borge helped found — purchased the Waianae Valley land in March 2020. The group hopes to start construction on the first tiny homes for the village sometime later this year….

read … How Do You Build A Community From Scratch? This Homeless Advocate Is Trying

Doing the Job  the State Just Won’t Do: Feds Charge Hilo man in drug case

HTH: … Richard Kuali‘i Kamau III, 43, of Hilo, has been charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with offenses related to possession with intent to distribute and felon in possession of ammunition, according to a release from the office of Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen.

Kamau, who has a prior state felony conviction for promoting a dangerous drug in the second degree, has been charged with four offenses including possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine or more, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and felon in possession of ammunition.

He is currently being held without bail pending his initial appearance on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Honolulu.

Review of state court records indicate that at the time of the alleged offenses, Kamau was on bail pending 16 charges in an unrelated felony drug and firearms case alleged to have been committed in March 2021….

read … Hilo man charged in federal drug case

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