Ethics: Lawyer Pays Off State Employees to Testify Against Their Own Investigation
Profitable Non-Profit: For Years, State Employee Paid Twice to Supervise Himself
State tax first of many?
Vote-by-Mail Fraud—Supreme Court Lets Romy Cachola Get Away
CB: “An election contest cannot be based upon mere belief or indefinite information,” stated the opinion signed by all five justices.
“Plaintiffs accuse Cachola of criminal actions and request that the matter be referred to various law enforcement agencies. These allegations are serious and may warrant further investigation,” the ruling stated.….
The two declarations that alleged actual witnessing of election fraud were also sealed from review by the defendants and could only be viewed confidentially by the justices….
CB: Voter Intimidation Claims Against Romy Cachola Must Be Investigated
PDF: Court Ruling
read … Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge To Romy Cachola’s Primary Win
In Governor’s Race, Ige Has Huge Cash Advantage Over Tupola
CB: The incumbent emerged from a bruising primary battle with more than $206,000 on hand. The Republican challenger has $11,700….That’s a remarkably small amount of cash compared to the state’s last Republican nominee for governor, James “Duke” Aiona, who reported having $198,000 heading into the 2014 general election….
Ige raised nearly $2.7 million through the state’s primary season….
Hanabusa held an Aug. 9 fundraiser — a sign that her campaign needed more cash in the primary’s final days. Campaign spending receipts show that several state lawmakers — including top legislative leaders who vociferously supported Hanabusa’s bid — heeded that call for help.
Rep. Sylvia Luke, the House Finance Committee chairwoman, donated $6,000 the day before the fundraiser, records show. Luke’s counterpart in the state Senate, Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz, gave Hanabusa $6,000 the day after the fundraiser.
In March, Dela Cruz and Luke, along with Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki, signed a joint fundraiser letter supporting Hanabusa and criticizing Ige for “inattention, indecision and inaction.” Luke subsequently called Ige a “crybaby” when he criticized the legislators’ move. She later apologized.
Kouchi did not donate to Hanabusa’s campaign in the primary’s final period. However, his wife, Joy, and their two sons, Egan and Dan, gave a combined $4,000 on Aug. 7.
Reps. Henry Aquino and Ryan Yamane also gave Hanabusa a combined $3,000, recorded the day after her fundraiser….
(Note to Legislators: When you aim for the King, you better not miss.)
In other races, Sen. Josh Green raised more than $1.1 million in his successful bid to win the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination — more money than any other candidate for that office in at least the last 10 years, records show.
Sen. Jill Tokuda, Green’s colleague in the Legislature and his closest competitor in the race, reported spending $856,000 in the primary.
Green bested Tokuda by less than 3 percentage points….
read … In Governor’s Race, Ige Has Huge Cash Advantage Over Tupola
Judge denies separate trials for Kealohas in case involving bank fraud, identity theft, obstruction
KHON: …A federal judge denied Friday a request by former chief of police Louis Kealoha to have a separate trial from his deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine.
Both face eight counts of bank fraud, while Katherine Kealoha was also indicted for identity theft and obstruction of justice.
Louis Kealoha's attorney filed a motion last month, arguing that those other charges will taint the jury if they are tried together.
"What I was concerned about is the danger of having a spillover effect of having evidence against one defendant spill over to another defendant unfairly," said Rustam Barbee, Louis Kealoha's attorney.
Judge J. Michael Seabright disagreed….
read … Judge denies separate trials for Kealohas in case involving bank fraud, identity theft, obstruction
BWS Approves $60M Water Rate Hike
SA: …the Board of Water Supply, which gave final approval to raising water rates each year between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2022….
BWS estimates it must spend $5.3 billion over the next 30 years to finance more than 300 projects. The rate increases should add about $60 million over five years toward that goal…. (In other words, nothing.)
Previously, BWS got into some hot water, so to speak, when it launched a new customer care and billing system that caught customers off-guard with big spikes in their water bills that were poorly explained. This time, customers need to see that the billing system is accurate and fair.
They also need to see tangible progress: BWS must demonstrate it can maintain its ambitious goal of replacing 21 miles of pipe annually, rather than just the current six.
read … Keep an eye on your water bill
Star-Adv Flacks for ‘Cultural Property’
SA: …the producers of this epic should keep in mind that with money and power comes responsibility, especially to the Native Hawaiian people, whose cultural and political heritage have been reduced to coconut bras, mai tais and Aloha Poke Co.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Native Hawaiians — whether activists, historians or the quiet majority — will take a keen, proprietary interest in what millions of moviegoers are told about Hawaiians….
read … Editorial: Hawaiians have say in ‘The King’
After 84 Criminals Arrested at one Homeless Camp, Moiliili parks to close for repairs
HNN: City officials in Honolulu on Friday announced the temporary closures of three parks in urban Honolulu that have been plagued by homeless-related issues in recent months.
The Old Stadium Park, Moiliili Community Park and Crane Community Park will shut down for two months beginning on September 5 for what the city is calling a 'variety' of maintenance projects. The repairs will include tree trimming, fixes to irrigation systems, and makeovers to restrooms and comfort stations. …
Earlier this month, Hawaii News Now reported that residents who lived near the Old Stadium Park said it had turned into a haven for ilegal drug use….
At least 84 people have been arrested in the park since the start of 2018, and more than 300 citations had been issued to park users during that stretch — the majority of them for being in the park after hours.
read … After complaints about homeless issues, 3 Moiliili parks to close for repairs
Hanalei: Homeowners to Score Megabux from Upcoming Lawsuit Against County
KGI: It remained unclear why the repair consisted of filling in the stream dug out by the April storm that connected the Hanalei River and Hanalei Bay by a straighter route than the existing natural meander of the river. In the wake of the April disaster, however, hydrology experts familiar with Hanalei noted that, historically, the river may have followed what appeared to be a newly carved course hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago….
…County officials said they had no explanation yet for why the flooded area was simply backfilled, with no provision for drainage. The situation apparently caused the reconstructed temporary roadway to act as a dam, which allowed the torrent last week to wash around it and eat away the structural underpinnings of both previously damaged homes and the newly collapsed structure.
An inspector assigned to the project shook his head as he looked at the work in progress. “Obviously, there is going to be at least one really big lawsuit out of this,” he said….
read … Lawsuit
Hilo: Elementary School Floods Because DoE Doesn’t Clean Drainage Culverts
HTH: …Waiakea High School had six classrooms that took “quite a bit of water,” but school administrators worked throughout the weekend and were there on (Friday, Aug. 24) to get sandbags in place “so when additional rain come on Saturday, they were pretty much prepared,” Farias said.
“We continue to learn,” he said. “We’ve learned from every storm we’ve encountered, learned from volcanic activity and how to try to respond to these natural disasters.”
In this case, Farias said the biggest lesson school leaders learned is the need to establish a “cycle of maintenance” for culverts and drains.
“If we had one, Waiakea Elementary would not have had water come through their classrooms.”…
read … Lane doesn’t spare schools