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Friday, April 22, 2022
April 22, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:22 PM :: 3573 Views

Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

Ira Einhorn, Earth Day's Dirty Secret

Victims' rights events set for Oahu, Maui 

Economic report ranks Hawaii in bottom 10

Alleged Sovereignty Hitman Threatened Josh Green, Mayor Blangiardi

HNN:  … A witness against suspected crime boss Mike Miske was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday for allegedly making social media threats to a DLNR official and his family.

But while investigating that case, sources tell Hawaii News Now, the FBI notified Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Lt. Gov. Josh Green that they were also subjects on online threats by Lindsey Kinney.

the mayor’s office confirmed a meeting with FBI agents and Honolulu police officers on April 1.

Two plainclothes HPD officers were then added to the reception area of the mayor’s office at Honolulu Hale from April 4 through April 11, “out of concern for the safety of staff members and those visiting Mayor Blangiardi’s office,” a spokesman said.

Kinney is charged with interstate transmission of a threat.

The FBI specifically cited Instagram posts in the charging documents in which Kinney allegedly says he would behead them….

A search of the Office of Elections shows Kinney pulled papers to run for governor last month, but he did not file those papers before being arrested…. 

ILind: Introducing Occupied Forces Hawaii

read … FBI warning about threat to Honolulu’s mayor prompted additional officers at city hall

Drunk With Power: Will Your Representative Vote to Let Sharon Har Off Hook?

HNN: … A House Special Committee said it found no evidence that the Makakilo lawmaker misused her office during her arrest, but it cited her for driving the wrong way on Beretania Street after drinking alcohol and taking prescription medication.

“I did see evidence of pretty serious impairment,” said state Rep. Amy Perruso, (D) Wahiawa.

Not all agreed.

“I did not have a sense that she was impaired. She seemed fairly lucid,” said state Rep. Mark Nakashima, (D) Hamakua.

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

The committee didn’t censure Har for her actions or seek a formal apology. Instead, it voted to recommend that the House require Har to provide the terms of her license revocation and inform them of when she plans to reapply for a driver’s license.

Some committee members said that didn’t go far enough.

“We as leaders were asking people to stay home, stay safe to make the right decisions. And Rep. Har did not follow that example,” said state Rep. Scot Z. Matayoshi, (D) Kaneohe.

“It really shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the House.”

The committee’s recommendations next goes to the full house for a vote….

read … Rep. Sharon Har will not face additional punishment following DUI acquittal

Ex-Con, Drug Dealer to be Fined for Saving North Shore beachfront Home?

SA: … State conservation officials are seeking to impose a $92,000 fine against a North Shore property owner for violating state laws by moving large amounts of sand in front of his two beachfront homes to shield them from coastal erosion and refusing to remove broken sandbags, rocks, concrete rubble and other debris that they say he stacked along the public beach.

The proposed fine, which is slated to be heard today by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, is among the more aggressive actions state officials have taken in recent years against property owners who have increasingly littered the coastline with illegal sandbags, heavy tarps, boulders and seawalls….

Todd Dunphy, (drug dealer and ex-con) owner of the two properties at 59-181-E and 59-181-F Ke Nui Road at Rocky Point, has been unapologetic about employing an excavator earlier this month to push the sand in front of his homes and said the debris cited by the Department of Land and Natural Resources is now covered in sand.

He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Wednesday, in a profanity-laced interview in which he threatened state officials, that he plans to use the excavator to push sand in front of homes all along the North Shore.

“I’m keeping (the excavator) because they are going to hire me to do the whole North Shore,” said Dunphy, referencing other beachfront property owners. “I know what I’m doing. I should be the one in charge of the North Shore.”

He said DLNR should pay him for the work he did moving the sand and should greenlight rock walls for him and his neighbors, a proposal state officials have repeatedly said is largely unfeasible due to the coastal geography of the North Shore, and unpalatable because it causes beach loss.

DLNR is tasked with protecting and conserving Hawaii’s natural resources.

Dunphy blasted state Rep. Amy Perruso (D, Wahiawa- Whitmore-Poamoho), who surfs in the area and told Hawaii News Now earlier this year that homeowners should cover the costs of retreating from the shoreline, warning that the homes are going to fail and it’s important to protect the public good.

In between profanities, Dunphy called her “lame” and said, “Hopefully, she will never be surfing out here that much longer.”…

Dunphy also threatened Trevor Fitzpatrick, a staff planner with DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, who approached him earlier this month about the illegal sand pushing.

“I told Trevor Fitzpatrick, ‘You are not welcome down here on the beach,’” said Dunphy. “‘Don’t come down here unless you have a police escort.’”…

read … North Shore Drug Dealer    

BOE OKs requests to reduce class time: More than 200 noninstructional days authorized statewide

HTH: …  The state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to approve more than 200 requests from schools for noninstructional days, decreasing the number of hours students will spend in the classroom for the 2022-2023 school year.

Of the 203 approved requests, 189, or 93%, will result in a loss of student instructional hours.

A majority of the requests will increase the number of professional development days for staff, where students are not present on campus.

(Good: This will allow students another day to spend with tutors.)

For the Big Island, 16 different schools requested a total of 46 noninstructional days for professional development, while 11 schools requested 29 days for parent-teacher conferences.

The statewide requests more than tripled those approved last year by the BOE.

Board of Education members Lyla Berg and Cara Tanimura postulated in their report Thursday that the significant increase could be the result of schools needing additional professional development days to combat COVID-related academic struggles….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

Student Achievement Data disclosed earlier in the Board of Education meeting on Thursday indicated the pandemic has taken a toll on Hawaii public school students academically.

The Student Achievement Committee Report showed during the second quarter between Oct. 18 and Dec. 17 of last year, 52.9% of elementary students statewide tested one or more grade levels below their current level in English, and 60.5% tested one or more below their current grade level in math. For middle school students, 61.3% tested one or more grade levels below their current level in English, and 62.3% tested one or more below their current grade level in math.

Berg and Tanimura’s report acknowledges “schools have also stated that teachers and staff need extended periods of time to analyze student data, create formative assignments, meet with Response to Intervention teams, and develop Tier 1 strategies aligned with the Hawaii Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.”

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

But the report lists a potential concern that “less student instructional days may make it difficult for students, especially vulnerable learners, to make gains in their academic achievement.”…

(IQ Test: Are you laughing harder now?)

read … BOE OKs requests to reduce class time: More than 200 noninstructional days authorized statewide

Spying on You: State to use facial recognition at Honolulu Airport for international visitors

KITV: … The state plans to spend $15 million to install facial recognition cameras on departure gates at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport, a project aimed at speeding up the screening process for international travelers.

The cameras will be similar to the ones Customs and Border Protection uses to scan international travelers arriving at the airport. Travelers pause for a photo at an inspection point, then the system compares that picture to a gallery of images travelers already provided to the government to confirm their identity and information.

"It is about simplifying the process, trying to make it as quickly and painless as you can for folks that are traveling," Dept. of Transportation Public Information Officer Jai Cunningham said, adding the effort comes as international travelers are expected to flock to the islands as COVID restrictions are loosened.

The idea, however, did not sit right with some passengers.

"It's just a bit of an invasion of privacy," said Natalia Woods, who was leaving Honolulu Thursday for Vegas.

Randy Kish, also leaving Honolulu Thursday, agreed and asked "is this going to speed up an extra two minutes or an hour, and what do we lose from a privacy standpoint?"

Customs reported that it has strong measures in place to protect travelers' information, such as deleting the new photos taken with the cameras within 12 hours.

Funding for the project will come from the fees airlines pay to use gates at the airport.

The state also plans to repurpose some of the cameras and other equipment it installed at the airport to help prevent COVID spread.

"The tracking cameras can be used for security purposes. The thermal cameras can really only be used for thermal, as far as figuring out if you have a fever or not, that's really all it can be used for," Cunningham explained.

"But the good news is, the conduit, all of the different fiber cable that was run out there, that gets to be reused and repurposed."

The Dept. of Transportation plans to start installing the cameras in June and complete the project by September 2023. ….

read … State to use facial recognition at Honolulu Airport to speed up travel time for international visitors

Biden Nominates Kahele Staffer To Lead US Marshals Office In Hawaii--Was Banned from Kauai PD Employment

CB: …In 2016, Contrades was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit that accused him and then-KPD Chief Daryl Perry of retaliating against Mark Begley, a fellow high-ranking officer who had documented a complaint of sexual discrimination and sexual harassment made by a female subordinate.

According to the lawsuit, Perry, Contrades and others launched bogus investigations meant to intimidate and harass Begley and even detailed some of their plans in email communications. In one exchange, Contrades even wrote that it would be better for KPD if Begley was “not around.”

The case settled in 2020, with Kauai County agreeing to pay more than $1.8 million in damages. Part of the settlement agreement included a provision that Contrades would be banned from ever working for KPD so long as Begley was still employed there.

Among the lawyers representing Begley was Clare Connors, who currently serves as U.S. attorney for Hawaii, meaning she will be working closely with Contrades should he be confirmed by the Senate.

Loretta Sheehan, a former DOJ prosecutor, who also worked for Begley, said she was surprised to hear of Contrades’ nomination given the allegations that were lodged against him.….

2021: Michael Contrades named Kahele’s Kaua‘i representative

read … Biden Nominates Ex-KPD Officer To Lead US Marshals Office In Hawaii

Isabella Kalua’s Death Has Yet To Trigger A Clear Plan To Bolster Child Protection

CB: … Isabella’s disappearance triggered a community uproar, but the state Department of Human Services did not request a significant budget increase for the Child Welfare Services Division this year, nor did it announce plans to seek changes to state laws, rules or policies to help the agency do its job more effectively.

The department has never explained to the public or the Legislature what went wrong in the Kalua case — DHS says it cannot discuss the matter, citing confidentiality requirements — and that muted response has left Hawaii lawmakers to cobble together their own proposals this year to try to improve the system.

The department’s reticence may turn out to be a strategic mistake. The state this year has an enormous budget surplus of $2 billion or more, making this an ideal time to ask for money to expand social programs, hire staff or fund contracts to beef up the system. If Hawaii’s roller-coaster economy abruptly lands in another recession, that will all change.

Lawmakers are now less than two weeks away from their scheduled adjournment for the year, and House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said Tuesday she still doesn’t have a good fix on where the agency wants to go “or the recognition that there’s a problem and they need to do something about it.”

“You would think this is an opportunity for them to say ‘You know what? Money is not the issue right now, so what do we need to do to help this agency?’ And that’s not happening,” she said….

Nov 2021: Extreme Stinginess? A look at Accused Waimanalo Child Killers’ Bankruptcy Case

read … Isabella Kalua’s Death Has Yet To Trigger A Clear Plan To Bolster Child Protection

Council Budget Committee advances tax cut for hotel-based short-term rentals

SA: … The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee has given initial approval to a measure that would adjust the property tax rate for legal short-term rentals, which in its current form could mean relief for some owners and a hike for others.

Under the current tax structure, there is no enforced classification for legal short-term rentals, which are allowed to rent for less than 30 days at a time. Some pay the resort rate and others pay the residential rate, which is much lower, depending on their zoning.

However, Bill 4 looks to address that issue….

CB: The Big Winner From Honolulu’s Bill 41? The Hotel Industry

read … Council Budget Committee advances new tax classification for short-term rentals

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