Bribery: Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga Arrested by FBI
'Reef Friendly' Sunscreens Caught Lying About SPF Protection
Hawaii Unemployment Rate 4.2% for May
Judicial Nominee Teamed up with Criminal Defendant to ‘Persuade’ Witness to Recant
CB: … Kauai Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Christensen lodged a complaint against Defense attorney Gregory Meyers with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel on Monday. The ODC investigates complaints against lawyers. The Kauai Police Department is also investigating the incident, according to Christensen’s written testimony:
“I am writing this letter to oppose the selection of Attorney Gregory Meyers, Esq. as judge to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit Court, State of Hawaii. The reason for opposing his appointment is that Attorney Meyers is currently under a criminal investigation initiated by our office for Witness Tampering in a criminal case. The Kauai Police Department is currently investigating this as a criminal matter with the investigation ongoing. Furthermore, I have filed a complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel pursuant to Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 8.3(a). “
Meyers told the committee that the complaint stems from an incident in December, which other attorneys present at the hearing said was a misdemeanor assault case. Meyers’ client was arrested but charges weren’t filed.
Shortly after the arrest, the
client (thug) said he had the complaining witness on the phone. Meyers took notes on the phone call but did not recall saying much to the witness. (Uh-huh.) Later, his client (the thug) brought a handwritten statement from the witness, (handwriting shaky?) apparently contradicting an earlier statement that led to the client’s arrest….
(Dude that beat you up shows up at yo crib demanding retraction. This is admissible evidence in Hawaii Judiciary?)
Meyers is the nominee for a judgeship on Kauai to replace retired Judge Edmund Acoba.
(He will be a perfect fit!)
Other defense attorneys in the state came to the aid of Meyers and supported his nomination during an hour-long hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The attorneys
rebutted (desperately attempted to refute) claims that what Meyers did was unethical or illegal.
(Translation: We criminal defense lawyers get our clients to do this all the time. We like judges who go along with this type of ...uh... 'evidence'.)
The committee put off a vote on Meyers’ nomination and two others until Monday. Senate Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads said his fellow lawmakers are in a tough spot….
(How can they reject someone who fits so perfectly into the Hawaii State Judiciary?)
No matter what happens in the committee vote, the full 25-member Senate will have a final say on whether Meyers becomes a judge during a full floor vote expected Tuesday….
UPDATE: After Thug allegedly intimidates Witness into Retraction, Senate to Vote on Making his Lawyer a Judge
UPDATE: Meyers Confirmed 20-0 with 5 excused
read … Judicial Nominee Faces Accusations Of Witness Tampering
Socialist Pearl City HS Teacher Arrested for Multiple Rape of 13 year old boy, kiddie porn
KHON: … A Hawaii teacher (card-carrying HSTA member) has been arrested for sharing child pornography. Federal prosecutors said Alden Bunag sent illicit pictures and video to another teacher on the mainland and admitted to sex with a 13-year-old student.
Bunag made his first court appearance on Thursday at the federal courthouse and remains in custody until his next hearing. Court records said he admitted to investigators that he recorded his sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy who was a former student, and sent the videos to others through a messenger app.
According to federal court documents, Bunag had been sending child pornography to a teacher in Philadelphia. That teacher was arrested in October.
Documents said Bunag and the mainland teacher exchanged over 33 hundred messages, including hundreds of images and video files.
The documents added that “Bunag claimed to have sex with (the boy) at the school during lunch breaks… Described (the boy) as a former student and knew that he was a minor at the time.”….
We reached out to the Department of Education to find out about Bunag’s status as a teacher. We never got a response ….
Twitter @AldenBunag: “Socialist high school teacher fighting for a better society for my students to graduate into. Artist, dancer, singer, photographer, writer, creative educator”
read … Hawaii teacher arrested for sharing child pornography
HPD investigates 2 SHOPO leaders after internal union fight raises extortion allegations
SA: … The top two officials of the police officers union have been placed on restrictive duty after Honolulu police opened a misdemeanor extortion case in connection with allegations outlined in a civil suit filed by an ousted union official who says he was falsely accused of double-dipping travel funds and blackmailed with the threat of a theft complaint.
“In connection with the civil lawsuit filed in May, HPD has initiated a third-degree extortion investigation involving an incident that occurred in January,” Honolulu Police Department spokesperson Sarah Yoro said Thursday in a statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “Two officers are in the process of being placed on restricted duty.”
State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President Robert Cavaco and Vice President Stephen Keogh are the two officers. They released a joint statement Thursday maintaining their innocence and vowing to fight the allegations against them….
read … HPD investigates 2 SHOPO leaders after internal union fight raises extortion allegations
HB2024 would cause demise of astronomy
HTH: … All telescopes are oversubscribed, so proposals have to be well-prepared, often by teams of distinguished astronomers, and are very competitive.
Proposals for large observing programs can take weeks or even months to prepare. The world-class proposed science is tailored to the capabilities of the chosen telescope and the instrument at its focus, an instrument that may have cost more than $100 million to construct. These peer-reviewed procedures have been developed and matured over decades and adopted by prestigious federal and international committees and by the UH.
In stark contrast, the state House of Representatives, responding to TMT protesters and the anti-astronomy movement, introduced a bill last year which would radically change how astronomy gets done on Maunakea, if it continues at all. Management and oversight of all activities related to Maunakea would be done by an eleven-member panel of political appointees, only one of whom may have any scientific background or interest. No one from the UH would be a voting member of this group, and it is not clear what qualifications they would have, but no qualifications as scientists.
On behalf of the worldwide community of astronomers, we have no confidence that this group could possibly act responsibly for the continued preeminence of the science carried out on Maunakea. On the contrary, the management and oversight group could easily be “loaded” with members who are anti-TMT and anti-astronomy on Maunakea, leading to the eventual demise of the $200 million astronomy industry and the loss of scientific research for the whole world.
House Bill 2024 should surely be vetoed….
read … Bill would cause demise of astronomy
Increased homeowner exemption clears committee
HTH: … Bill 182 doesn’t change tax rates but would increase the value of property that would be taxed. The bill also adds two new categories for kupuna exemptions — 65 years and 75 years — while increasing the amounts exempted. The exemptions would be applied beginning July 1, 2023….
The bill totally exempts property under $50,000 in value from property taxes, instead of the current $40,000. That means the property owner would pay only the $200 minimum annual tax. For property over $50,000 in value, the homeowner exemption would be $50,000 rather than the current $40,000.
With the median home value at $517,000 approximately half the homeowners would get a 20% reduction in their taxable value, Kimball said.
Homeowners between 60 and 65 years old would get $85,000 of their property value exempted from property tax instead of $80,000. Those between 65 years old and 70 years old would get a $90,000 exemption, a new category. Those 70 years old to 75 years old would get a $105,000 exemption, compared to the current $100,000. And those 75 years and older would get $110,000 of their property value exempted….
The bill would ‘cost’ just $1.2 million annually in a budget that’s now set at $785.9 million, which is $175.8 million, or 28.8% , higher than the current year….
read … Increased homeowner exemption clears committee
Honolulu's rent relief program ending for 12,000
KITV: … On June 30, many people don't know where they'll turn to for help. That's the deadline the city closes the rental and utility relief program that's kept more than 12,000 local families in their homes. The federal money that paid for the program is quickly running out.
Making matters worse, a state rule requiring landlords to participate in mediation before filing to evict tenants is scheduled to expire on Aug. 7.….
read … The end of Honolulu's rent relief program could put many residents at risk of homelessness
More Tax Credits and Subsidies for ‘Green’ Energy
IM: … The State Legislature passed SB2511 in 2022, a bill that would authorize tax credits for “long-duration renewable energy storage systems.”
The State Legislature passed SB2510 in 2022, a bill that would ban “long-duration renewable energy storage systems,” for several years until significant amounts of firm renewable energy becomes part of the utility mix of resources.
The State Legislature also passed SB2478 in 2022, a bill that would provide a state subsidy of about 1 cent/kWh for grid-connected bioenergy projects ….
read … Hawaii Legislature Supports Joining Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
What happens to Honolulu's recyclables?
PBN: … I poked around online and found a May 2020 report prepared for the City & County of Honolulu by local firm HDR Engineering, Inc, “Sustainable Return on Investment Analysis.”….
It’s a lot of transportation, because 17,500 tons of cardboard, newspaper and office paper and 1,600 tons of plastics per year are shipped to China and Indonesia.
Also, about 3,700 tons of glass is shipped to California each year to be recycled there.
Carbon-emitting steps in the process include “hauling containers to a port; shipping the recyclables via container vessel; hauling containers at the end port to a recyclable processing facility; and energy use of the end recyclable processing facility,” none of which had been taken into account in the past, the report found.
To make our blue bins appear to magically empty, we’re inducing 145,566 miles of truck transportation annually, and 4.2 million miles of container vessel transportation.
The only thing that stays on Oahu is nearly 74,000 tons of green waste, composted by Hawaiian Earth Recycling, or HER, in Wahiawa.
If you’re serious about recycling responsibly, you should read the report. It gets into the nitty gritty, in dollars and tons of carbon dioxide and other emissions.
read … What happens to Honolulu's recyclables?