Hawaii short-term rental property owners urge judge to stop new ordinance from disrupting business
Judge: Former Residents May not Vote in Hawaii Elections
Hawaii Faces New Gun Rights Lawsuit
Primary Election Challenges Rapidly Rejected by State Supreme Court
State Supreme Court Suddenly Changes Rules for Felony Indictments--Hundreds Will Walk Free
HNN: … The state Supreme Court put a halt to a murder case on Thursday against a Kalihi man who killed a 16-year-old boy in 2019.
The ruling could have broad ramifications on the state’s criminal justice system.
Richard Obrero claimed he shot Starsky Willy in self defense back in November 2019 after Willy and a group of teens broke into his Kalihi home and shot BBs or airsoft guns at his house….
Prosecutors could not get an Oahu grand jury to indict Obrero so they charged him by criminal complaint and got a judge to sustain the murder charge.
In Thursday’s 3-2 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected that process and said all serious felonies must be indicted by a grand jury.
It’s a major shift in the criminal justice system.
With hundreds of defendants charged by complaint, some prosecutors believe many class A and B felony cases will have to taken back to grand juries, causing chaos in the court system.
(Translation: Hundreds of felons will walk free.)
“What about the victims? What about our community, public safety concerns, all of these things need to be taken into consideration,” said Big Island Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen.
Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm said he was “disappointed” by the decision which creates “unwarranted restrictions.”
“(Today’s) ruling poses a threat to public safety by causing delay in the charging of violent and dangerous offenders,” Alm said.
He said Oahu grand juries now meet “only two days a week, instead of the previous three times a week before the pandemic.” Alm said the number of grand jury panels has also been reduced.
“Here in Hawaii Island, we’re limited to grand jury proceedings twice a month in Hilo, and once a month in Kona,” added Waltjen.
Defense attorney Myles Breiner said the ruling will force prosecutors to dismiss many of their cases or offer better plea deals in others.
“This could have a vast impact on our criminal justice system and a number of cases are going to be dismissed in short order,” said Breiner.
Prosecutors said they plan to go to the state Legislature for a new law making it clear they can use complaints to charge serious felonies….
HLN: A preliminary hearing is no substitute for an indictment
HNN: Defense attorneys work to free violent crime defendants after Hawaii Supreme Court ruling
SA: Hawaii high court’s ruling puts prosecutors on notice
LINKS: SCAP-21-0000576 [ADA] State v. Obrero. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Nakayama, J., in Which McKenna, J., Joins as to Sections II and III [ada]. Dissenting Opinion by Recktenwald, C. J., in Which Nakayama, J., Joins [ada].
read … State Supreme Court calls murder case against Kalihi man ‘unlawful’
HART: Difference In Bids To Relocate Utilities On Dillingham Rail Route Was $400 Million
CB: …Local construction firm Nan Inc. was recently given one the Honolulu rail transit project’s largest and most consequential contracts: an award to relocate utilities along the city’s crowded Dillingham Boulevard corridor.
Nan bid $496 million for that utility work through Kalihi. On Thursday, one of the rail project’s top officials said the other firm vying for that contract, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, bid approximately $900 million — nearly twice as much for the same job.
That giant disparity in price concerned Colleen Hanabusa, who chairs the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s volunteer board.
“Do we have to watch out for massive change orders?” Hanabusa asked…
the biggest risk of changes to Nan’s scope of work — “and it absolutely will happen,” he said — is when what crews encounter under the street don’t match what’s in the design drawings….
Both Nan and Hawaiian Dredging have been awarded contracts to build stations along the elevated rail line’s western half. Those contracts have seen numerous change orders, and the costs to build those stations have soared amid “interface” issues, in which the stations and the elevated guideway components didn’t fit well together, among other problems….
read … HART: Difference In Bids To Relocate Utilities On Dillingham Rail Route Was $400 Million
KPD finalizes firearm permitting process following Supreme Court ruling on gun laws
HNN: … KPD said people who want to apply for a license to carry a concealed or unconcealed firearm must do the following:
Complete the Kauai Police Department Application for License to Carry Firearms as well as the authorization for Use or Disclosure of Protected Health Information.
Pass and submit a firearms proficiency test administered by a certified instructor.
Submit two front-facing, passport-sized color photographs of the applicant (taken within 30 days prior to submittal of application).
For applications needed for employment purposes, please complete the notarized Private Security Employer Certification Application.
Provide mental health records.
You must be a resident of the County of Kauai, have a local address, and be 21 years of age or older.
Applicants can obtain the application to carry concealed or open carry firearms in person at the KPD Records Firearms Section service window at the main police station in Lihue or online.
read … KPD finalizes firearm permitting process following Supreme Court ruling on gun laws
DPP Failure Creates Opening for Third Party Reviewers
KHON: … Tupola said those who are waiting for their permits to get approved are now becoming even more frustrated with the changes taking place and wants the city to come up with a more immediate plan to ease the backlog.
“We would love to see better software that interfaces with each other, we would love to see more workers. But what about today? What are we gonna do about today when I’ve been working waiting for my permit for over a year?” she said.
She added that there are third-party reviewers who are volunteering to help expedite the permitting process.
“As a city we really have to say this is above and beyond what we can do with the current workers. How can we work with the industry to get this backlog cleared up?” said Tupola.
The city said the Department of Human Resources has been working to speed up the process for hiring city workers. The mayor found it unacceptable that some positions can take up to six months to fill. So last month he directed department heads to cut that number in half and gave the team 90 days to do it….
read … Director resignation raises more concerns on permit backlog
Shoreline setback bill advances at Honolulu City Council
SA: … Bill 41 would increase the base shoreline setback to 60 feet and establish a formula that takes into account the beach erosion at each specific property. So the new minimum shoreline setback would be calculated by taking the minimum 60 feet and adding 70 times the erosion rate at each property. However, that amount would not be more than 130 feet….
(Translation: It will be calculated according to your bribe.)
Eiserloh also said that some properties that are on high sea cliffs, such as parts of Portlock, should not be subject to the increased setbacks because their homes are already high enough away from the water.
However, University of Hawaii Director of the Climate Resilience Collaborative Chip Fletcher pushed back against that during Wednesday’s Council meeting.
“It was alleged that the (State of Hawaii Sea Level Rise Viewer) in the area of Portlock is an error. It is not an error. It shows wave run-up, wave splash related to a meter of sea level rise,” he said….
Fletcher did point out that when Maui updated its shoreline setbacks to the same standard as Bill 41, the National Flood Insurance Program reduced flood insurance rates for the island, which could save homeowners some money….
HNN: Proposal requiring homes be built further from ocean on Oahu faces growing opposition
read … Shoreline setback bill advances at Honolulu City Council
HPD Chief's son, Zane Logan, released from jail after posting $20k bond
KITV: … Zane Logan, the son of the Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan, has been released after posting his (paltry) $20,000 bond.
Logan has had a handful of run-ins with police, and was most recently arrested for criminal contempt on Aug. 20 for failing to appear for an Aug. 15 court date on a second-degree burglary charge….
read … HPD Chief's son, Zane Logan, released from jail after posting $20k bond
Meth Runner and supplier in former Kaua‘i county council member Arthur Brun case sentenced
KGI: …Two more co-conspirators have been sentenced in the Kaua‘i drug ring centered around former county council member Arthur Brun.
In a O‘ahu courthouse Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Sheena Millare to 20 months imprisonment and two years supervised release.
After she was indicted along with Brun and 11 others in 2020, Millare pled guilty in November 2021 to distributing meth for the former council member.
n terms of the quantity of product moved, Millare was one of the smaller players in the conspiracy, and was given a lighter sentence than many of Brun’s other associates.
Co-conspirator Robby Silva was given a much harsher sentence in late July — 57 months at Sheridan Federal Correctional Institute followed by three years supervised release.
Silva was a supplier — he would coordinate shipments of meth from the Continental United States for distribution on Kaua‘i. Wiretap conversations show him discussing the shipment of several pounds of meth, using the code phrase “rims and tires” to refer to the product….
All the other co-defendants in the case have reached plea deals, and most have been sentenced.
Still awaiting sentencing is Maluelue Umu, a co-defendant referred to in court documents as a “known member of the United Samoan Organization gang” who admitted to being one of Brun’s largest suppliers.
Umu is set to be sentenced Sept. 23 at 10 a.m….
read … Runner and supplier in former Kaua‘i county council member Arthur Brun case sentenced
Hawaiian Airlines Lets Antivaxxers Return to Work
CB: … For Hawaiian, the announcement means that effective Oct. 1, some 7,053 current employees won’t have to be vaccinated to work for the carrier, which is Hawaii’s dominant airline and largest private employer.
It also means some 200 workers who chose to go on unpaid leave rather than be vaccinated will be able to return to the company without getting vaccines or going through the hiring process for new employees, said Alex Da Silva, a Hawaiian spokesman. Workers who resigned or were terminated because they refused to be vaccinated – which numbered fewer than 100 — can apply to return, he said….
read … Hawaiian Airlines’ Vaccine Mandate Rollback Heralds Return To Normality