Justice Department: Steve Wynn Chinese Foreign Agent working with Hawaii's Lum Crime Family
Honolulu 10th Most Expensive City for Home Improvement
Honolulu Parks Promise to Stop Wasting Water
Hilo Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Paycheck Protection and Disaster Loan Programs
Survey: How Should Honolulu Spend COVID Money?
Mental Health Workers Strike Kaiser Hawaii Facilities
Child Welfare: Supreme Court Rules Parents have right to Lawyer-100s could be reunited
CB: … An appeals court found that parents in three cases should have had court-appointed lawyers throughout. How many other parents were denied this right? ….
Instead of losing their two sons forever, Cabinatan and his wife, Mahlonna Mawae-Callison, are on track to get them back after undergoing drug treatment and the other services required by the state. The boys now stay overnight with them two nights a week.
And their case has opened the door for other parents whose rights were terminated, and who didn’t have court-appointed attorneys throughout their cases, to also appeal. In two other instances, the ICA has reversed the Family Court’s decision to terminate parental rights.
The three cases have shaken up the insular world of judges, social workers, court-appointed attorneys and guardians ad litem who oversee these cases, not to mention the parents who face the permanent loss of their children.
Neither the state Judiciary nor CWS would estimate the number of parents whose children have been taken who could make similar arguments on appeal because they lacked access to counsel at some point during their cases. Some insiders said the uncertainty of how to resolve the cases and how many more might pop up has caused confusion. …
The July 27 ICA decision in their case relied heavily on two earlier rulings by the Hawaii Supreme Court. In a 2014 decision, the Supreme Court held that parents have a constitutional right to counsel, and that the court should appoint counsel for indigent parents as soon as CWS files a petition for foster custody.
In 2021, the Supreme Court held that a Family Court judge should appoint counsel for indigent parents even earlier in the process, when CWS files a petition seeking to put a family under state supervision, since that can put them on track to having their children taken away. ….
The court wrote that its decision on parents’ right to counsel was consistent with decisions in several other states, citing cases in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
The ICA cited the two Supreme Court precedents in two more cases this year. …
read … A Judge Took Away These Kids For Good — Until A Higher Court Found A Mistake
Ige weighs in on BJ Penn Candidacy
CB: … “It’ll be interesting to see how well he does in the Republican primary,” Ige said. “Who knows? He might actually win the republican primary.”
Penn is vowing radical change, similar to the disrupter who won a third of Hawaii’s vote in 2016 ― President Donald Trump. “We’re here to dismantle all the departments and rebuild them and restructure them up with the people’s help,” Penn recently told Hawaii News Now…..
At a recent Board of Education meeting, Penn vowed to fire interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi and Board of Education members because of anger over pandemic policies. In Hawaii, the Board of Education selects the superintendent and the governor appoints BOE members.
“Where’s Hayashi? Right behind you,” said Penn, during the confrontation. “You’re gone braddah when I get in. You don’t do nothing for the kids! All you guys, all you guys gone.”….
read … Ige weighs in on the race to replace him and ‘concerning’ frustration with government
Law bans side jobs for next Hawaii governor
SA: … A new law that goes into effect just before the November general election prevents Hawaii’s next governor from holding a second job, forcing future employment decisions for Democratic candidates Lt. Gov. Josh Green, an emergency room physician, and Congressman Kai Kahele, who flies for Hawaiian Airlines and serves in the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Vicky Cayetano, a business entrepreneur and former first lady, already has stepped aside from her previous role as head of Hawaii’s largest commercial laundry service….
read … Law bans side jobs for next Hawaii governor
Hayashi will be a Superintendent for People who think things are just fine at DoE
CB: … Hayashi has a broad range of experience in the DOE and spoke of using data in his work, but couldn’t link how those measurements are connected to policy and made “very minimal mention of innovation or urgency for change and growth,” the report said.
It noted that Galera also has much experience both in the DOE and in the private sector. He spoke of transforming the educational system but didn’t articulate how that would specifically happen.
Young has a strong background in public finance, education and running large bureaucracies in both the public and private sectors. But she faces a steep learning curve if selected since she is not from Hawaii.
“If you’re happy with how things are going, you want (Hayashi). If you want someone who is going to understand how to better spend money in an almost private sector way, maybe you want (Young),” said Jim Shon, a former state lawmaker who is an education policy expert. He added Galera may be seen as a safe middle choice….
read … Who will pick the Hayashi and why
Rents are on the rise in Hawaii, report finds
PBN: … Median rental prices rose $283 between 2019 and 2022, or 12.6%, in Hawaii according to a recent report from Stessa, an online rental-property management software solution for landlords, that used data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 50% Rent Estimates and the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Statewide, the median rent was $2,243 in 2019 and $2,526 in 2022.
In Kahului, Wailuku and Lahaina, Maui, metro area, median rents rose 15.5%, from $1,984 in 2019, to $2,292 – $308 more. Meanwhile in Hilo on Hawaii Island, the median rent price climbed 15.1% during that same time frame, from $1,611 to $1,854, a $243 difference.
The median rent price in urban Honolulu increased 11.1%, rising from $2,429 in 2019 to $2,699, a $270 change….
HPR: Rent prices continue to rise sharply across the state
read … Rents are on the rise in Hawaii, report finds
More Fake Talk of Tax Cuts
HTH: … A bill capping property assessments could lead to an unfair balance between East Hawaii and West Hawaii, administration officials warned the County Council Finance Committee as a measure aiming to put a 15% ceiling on most commercial classes of property was postponed for the second time.
Council members, responding to a flood of constituent complaints in a hot real estate market, in general support the concept of putting a limit on how high property values — and therefore taxes — could increase in a given year….
(Translation: They were just pretending to consider limiting your property tx increases.)
read … Property assessment cap postponed: Administration warns measure could lead to East-West inequities
Former Kauai Police Clerk Indicted On Theft, Fraud Charges
CB: … Mikalynn Hiranaka is accused of using a computer to steal more than $20,000 in fees collected by the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, a project under the state Department of the Attorney General. The alleged crimes took place between 2017 and 2019, while Hiranaka was employed as a clerk in the KPD records division, according to the indictment…..
Link: AG News Release
SA: Former Kauai police clerk charged with computer fraud, theft
read … Former Kauai Police Clerk Indicted On Theft, Fraud Charges
Bail Reform: ”Its going to create more crime”
KITV: … James Lindblad says he's concerned Bill HB 1567 will be signed. "Its going to create more crime, and that impacts public safety. It impacts my family. We've had 3 incidents at my building. My accountant has been beat up with a golf club. Our janitor was beat up with a skateboard. Just random acts of violence right here on my street," said local business owner Lindblad….
KITV: Protesters rally at Hawaii's capitol, urging Gov. Ige to veto controversial 'Bail Reform' bill HB1567
Big Q: How concerned are you about violent crime nowadays?
KITV: “It really doesn't go far enough" said Nikos Leverenz with the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center.
read … Bail bondsman speaks out against bail reform bill
Despite reservations, Hawaii County sunscreen ban advances
HTH: … Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung pointed out that the state already has implemented a similar ban on sunscreens that use what he called “The Two O’s”: oxybenzone and octinoxate. But he added that nobody on the council is actually a chemist and said he wanted more information about why oxybenzone and octinoxateare are considered harmful while the substances excluded by the proposed ban are not.
“What else is there between the Two O’s and titanium dioxide and zinc oxide?” Chung asked. “What are we eliminating in the process?”
Kohala Councilman Tim Richards noted with reservations that the council is “taking on face value that these chemicals (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are effective,” and requested further information about the science involved.
Chung added that he would like to ask the county Corporation Counsel whether state law allows the county to implement such a ban on its own, or whether the proposed ban contradicts the state ban in any way. However, he said he will support the bill provisionally until that discussion is held at a meeting of the full council…..
REALITY: Chemical Company Behind Anti-Sunscreen Campaign
read … Despite reservations, sunscreen ban advances