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Thursday, August 30, 2018
August 30, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:27 PM :: 1797 Views

Muslim Soldier Wanted to go "To Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki strip and start shooting"

“It’s not me, it’s us.” Tupola finds receptive audience on Maui

Monopoly: Par Pacific to Buy Second Hawaii Refinery

Tactical Urbanism: Caldwell Schemes to Eliminate Lanes, Jam Up Traffic Before Public Can Find Out

Hanalei: New Flooding Sets back Kuhio Hwy Repairs 

Maui Event: Build up or build out?

All Four Counties Join Lawsuit to Remove HSTA Rent Tax from November ballot

SA: …The City of Honolulu is seeking to have a question stricken from ballots in the November general election that would give voters the power to amend the Hawaii Constitution to allow the Legislature to tax investment real estate to support public education.

City officials filed a complaint last week objecting to the Office of Election’s title for the ballot measure, which is to read: “CON AMEND: Relating to Public Education and Investment Property.” They filed an amended complaint today expanding on their legal arguments against the ballot measure, which they say is too vague and doesn’t make clear to voters that the Legislature is seeking an additional taxing power on real estate.

“The ballot question itself cannot be changed and the ballot question itself is unclear and ambiguous and vague,” said Honolulu Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, at a press conference today outside of Honolulu Circuit Court. “We were not able to paraphrase it or rephrase the ballot question. So the ballot question itself we think is invalid and should be stricken.”… 

read … Strike Off

Businesses: HSTA Constitutional Amendment will Drive Up Rents

HNN: …Along with the city, businesses are also lining up against the constitutional amendment. They say it's written so vaguely that it would allow the state Legislature to also increase taxes on commercial properties.

The head of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii said that could further increase the cost of living here.

"Commercial leases, those will go up. Small businesses will be impacted by that. Their leases go up, the cost of goods go up," chamber CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara said, during a recent PBS Insights show.

The ballots containing the constitutional amendment proposal will be printed Sept. 7. The city is hoping the courts will step in before then.

read … Unaffordable

HPA: After getting Fake 50 Year sentence--Capobianco Could be out in 6 Years

MN: …The Hawaii Paroling Authority set Capobianco’s minimum terms at 40 years for second-degree murder and 10 years for second-degree arson, in addition to minimum terms set for less serious offenses, said Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, on Wednesday.

Because the court sentenced Capobianco to consecutive prison terms for the murder and arson convictions, his minimum terms total 50 years before he would be eligible for parole, Schwartz said.

Kimberlyn Scott, mother of murder victim Carly “Charly” Scott, said in a phone call Wednesday that she is not confident her daughter’s killer will serve the full sentence, though, and may receive a reduced term after serving 10 years. She said Capobianco has already served four years in prison.

“This is very anticlimactic,” she said. “I don’t feel like it has any real weight or credibility because they can change their minds . . . It’s very frustrating and very confusing. In order to live with what’s going on, I believe we’ve just resigned ourselves to the fact that this is what our lives are going to be like.”….

Schwartz said via email that inmates may apply for a Reduction of Minimum after serving a third of their sentence, and that it is reviewed by the Paroling Authority only if the inmate qualifies for reconsideration. She said it does not involve an in-person hearing.

“The matter will be considered and a decision by the parole board will be made after reviewing all reports: facility, prosecutors, defense, etc.,”Schwartz said. “There is no guarantee of reducing the minimum at that time, or immediately qualifying the inmate for parole consideration.”

In December 2016, after a trial that spanned more than seven months, Capobianco was found guilty as charged of murdering Carly Scott and setting fire to her vehicle….

read … An Article Falsely Titled: 'Capobianco gets 50-year minimum prison term'

Homeless Testify Before Council: ‘Leave us in our Tents--Don’t Force us into Housing’

CB: … Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, who chairs the council’s public works committee, suggested amending Caldwell’s proposals so neither can take effect until the administration comes up with plans to quickly create homeless services and housing in each of Oahu’s nine council districts — plans requiring council approval.

The Caldwell administration also proposed amendments to simplify both measures. The committee recessed until Thursday afternoon so Fukunaga can draft versions of the bills that incorporate all of the changes.  

The first measure, Bill 51, would allow police to cite or arrest people if their possessions block sidewalk access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and they refuse to remove their property after a warning. Conviction could lead to a fine of up to $100 or community service….

“These raids are vicious, they are really hurting people on the street,” said David Muliner, who was homeless for seven years. “We need housing (But we’re against the next bill, LOL!), we need services, we don’t need more laws making it illegal for people to be poor.”…  (He didn’t mention meth.)

(Key Point: Giving the homeless what they want is how we created mass homelessness.  Don’t give them what they want.  FORCE them to accept housing.)

The mayor’s second proposal, Bill 52, would make it illegal for anyone to “lodge” on a sidewalk. “Lodging” is defined as occupying a place temporarily, sleeping or resting, and refusing to leave within an hour of being confronted by police.

Police could only issue a citation or make an arrest under this proposal if they verify there is a nearby shelter with space to take someone in. Law enforcement would also need to offer the person a ride to the shelter.

“I can’t believe (Do we care what this guy ‘believes’?  Why?) that any police officer would have that kind of time on his hands unless the person is a menace to society, in which case they should be arrested on other grounds,” said Steve Richey, another formerly homeless man who testified against the measure….

(Translation: Don’t force us into housing.)

SA:  Agreement near on sidewalk ‘lodging’ ban

read …  Caldwell’s Push To Clear Sidewalks Runs Into Opposition

Hawaii Supreme Court To Fine-Tune Open Meetings Law

CB: A court opinion in the Honolulu Police Commission’s Kealoha case would also affect the way public boards handle other high-profile staff departures….

In January 2017, the police commission met several times behind closed door to discuss a separation agreement for Kealoha, eventually allowing him to retire in good standing with his pension and medical benefits intact. The deal included a $250,000 cash payment that he would be required to repay if he was convicted of a felony within six years.

Even the commission’s 5-1 vote on the package was done in secret.

Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat Law Center, formally objected to the closed door sessions, saying they violated the state’s Sunshine Law. The commission rejected his request for openness and he filed suit.

Black said Tuesday the Supreme Court’s decision to consider the case gives the court the opportunity to clarify a number of things about the Sunshine Law that will have significance beyond just the Kealoha case.

Public agencies often take up employment issues and other matters in executive session, saying they have to do that because they’re dealing with, for instance, personnel matters. That was what the police commission said, too — that it was required by law to discuss Kealoha’s deal privately because it was a personnel issue.

The police commission also said its members could be criminally prosecuted if they agreed to discuss the chief’s severance package in open session.

But Black argued that the Sunshine Law says only that a “board may hold an executive meeting closed to the public,” not that it must. He said state law actually requires a balancing of the public interest and privacy concerns and if a matter is found to be of high public interest the debate over it should be held in public….

read … Hawaii Supreme Court To Fine-Tune Open Meetings Law

Prosecutor Appeals Ruling That Barred A Third Trial For Deedy

AP: …A U.S. judge in Honolulu ruled earlier this month that prosecutors may not proceed with a retrial against U.S. State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy. Within hours, Kaneshiro’s office said it would appeal….

A 2013 murder trial ended in a hung jury. A second jury in 2014 acquitted him of murder but deadlocked on manslaughter.

Deedy’s defense attorneys argued a third trial on manslaughter would violate the double jeopardy clause of the constitution….

PDF: Here’s the appeal document

read … Prosecutor Appeals Ruling That Barred A Third Trial For Deedy

Why are local prosecutors Undermining Federal Case Against Alleged Killer Pimps?

HNN: …Prosecutors in the two cases have very different theories about why the shooting happened.

Federal authorities say Smith was essentially a soldier in McCoy’s gang (thus supporting a conspiracy charge), while state prosecutors are prepared to argue Smith’s motive was personal retaliation (an argument which undermines any claim of conspiracy).

Witnesses and police say Smith pulled a rifle out of his shirt and fired multiple shots into a crowd gathered outside the club. Remlinger died at the hospital.

Friends and family said Remlinger, who was born in Keaau, was a well-liked, hardworking young man.

Smith, who had come from Delaware just a week before the shooting, was charged with both second-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder, which could lead to prison without the possibility of parole.

Jury selection in the trial started Wednesday.

McCoy, who is facing the federal trial, is a friend of Smith's and told Hawaii News Now that Smith is innocent. He alleges police targeted the 30-year-old because they were looking for any black man who fit the description of the shooter and arrested the wrong one.

"The only thing that matters to them is sending another black man up the river, so to speak," McCoy said, just days after the shooting.

McCoy said he brought Smith from Delaware to help him stay out of trouble.

McCoy himself was well-known in legal circles nationwide because he was released from death row in Delaware after a murder case against him was thrown out by the courts for prosecutorial misconduct….

read … Undermine

Lane Flooding Damages 102 Homes and Business on Big Island

WHT: …“The current schedule is to get (monetary assessments) done so we can speak coherently about it by Monday,” Travis said after the briefing.

Kim said that some of the Big Island’s “most devastated areas are in Puna.”

“Orchidland, Fern Acres, Hawaiian Acres, that area,” he said. “… When the water comes raging down, where there are roads, are riverbeds. … That’s where some homes are lost, in Orchidland.”

Kim said growth in substandard subdivisions happened so fast “that we built in harm’s way.”

The official tally of Big Island damage as of Wednesday, which is not complete, was two homes destroyed, which were earlier reported in Hawaiian Acres, 18 suffering major damage and 86 affected. Businesses affected were 16, two suffering major damage and none destroyed.

Those numbers do not include damage to public infrastructure and will almost certainly increase, perhaps dramatically….

read … ‘Built in harm’s way’

Big plans for Keaau

HTH: …Keaau could see its population more than double under a master plan W.H. Shipman released for public comment.

According to the project’s draft environmental assessment, the large landowner is seeking to infill vacant lands in the town with a mix of single-family and multi-family residential units, along with new commercial development….

The EA describes the project as a “walkable, transit-friendly regional town center concept.”

“Nearly all the project area is within a 10-minute walk of existing civic areas and the Keaau Elementary, Middle, and/or High School,” it states. “The accessibility will be enhanced with open spaces, trails and multi-modal greenways designed to enhance the ‘livability’ and ‘walkability’ of the community as it grows.”

The proposal, which requires rezoning and still must go through county review, could add 940 residential units in two phases throughout 10 to 15 years. The Keaau census designated place currently has 797 units with a population of 2,416, according to the planning document.

Commercial development would sit on 15 acres.

The proposal also includes a wastewater treatment plant.

read … Big plans for Keaau

Hawaii County: Will Disabled Vets Get Property Tax Break?

WHT: …A bill zeroing out property taxes for totally disabled veterans appeared to be cruising toward easy passage until it got stopped in its tracks last week, leading to likely changes when it comes back before the County Council on Wednesday.

Bill 165, sponsored by Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha, removes requirements for paying taxes for those designated by the Veterans Benefits Administration as “100 percent disabled or 100 percent unemployable or both.” There are 656 qualifying vets in the county in that category, representing $131,200 in property taxes, according to Finance Department staff….

Currently, totally disabled vets and their widows pay a minimum property tax on their primary homes of $200 annually, if the home is valued at $75,000 or more. Lower than that, tax is based on a sliding scale….

read … Vets tax cut headed to revision

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