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Monday, March 04, 2019
March 4, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:27 PM :: 1246 Views

HB664 / SB674: Legislators Push Sex Change for Autistic Children

Legislative Preview: This Week's Bills on the Move

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted March 3, 2019

Cancer Gambit Pays Off--Kealoha Trial Delayed Until May

CB: … A federal judge on Monday agreed to postpone the first in a series of criminal trials facing former Honolulu prosecuting attorney Katherine Kealoha and her co-defendants in order to give her time for cancer treatments….

The ruling by federal District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright means the federal government’s case against Katherine Kealoha will go to trial May 15, when jury selection is scheduled to begin. The trial previously was scheduled to begin March 18.

Attorneys for Louis Kealoha and several police officers who are to be tried together with Katherine Kealoha, told Seabright they preferred to stick to the original trial date. But Seabright granted Katherine Kealoha’s request to push the trial date back.

Kealoha’ attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, had asked for the delay, saying it was needed so Kealoha could get cancer treatment that she needed immediately. Kealoha’s request was supported by an exhibit the judge allowed to be sealed to protect Kealoha’s medical privacy.

On Monday, Seabright heard from an oncologist in a session that was closed to the public. Afterward, in an open session, Seabright said he would agree to delay the trial because there was a risk Kealoha wouldn’t be able to “contribute in a meaningful way in part of the trial.”…

SA: Judge delays conspiracy trial to May due to Katherine Kealoha’s cancer treatment

read … Kealohas’ Trial Delayed Until May For Medical Reasons

The Drug-Addicted Lawyer

CB: …An active drug addict lawyer is a master manipulator of people. Seeking drugs and paying for my drugs became a full-time job. In my last two years of using my habit was $1,000 a day and my tolerance for opiates had grown so much over the years, that I needed at least one prescription of Percocet/oxycontin every day.

The lies build up; the schemes become more complex and outrageous.

Frequently I needed to get my cases postponed, and the best scheme I could come up with that would justify a continuance of the trial or hearing was to tell the judge and others I had a deadly illness!

Why a fatal disease? Because it allows most judges and opposing parties to feel sorry for me and grant the continuances out of sympathy.

As documented in several Civil Beat articles, I see similar “addict behavior” in Katherine Kealoha. When Civil Beat combined Kealoha’s sick leave and vacation leave from the prosecuting attorney’s office it “accounted for 374 days out of the office or nearly 75 work weeks.”

I did the same thing. I would tell judges that I had ALS, and sometimes I would nod off while sitting at counsel table and I would tell the judge I was stressed and overworked and did not get much sleep….

read … The Drug-Addicted Lawyer

Lawmaker wants answers on Public Safety Dept.'s polices, procedures

KHON: … Senator Clarence Nishihara, Public Safety Committee Chair, tells us there are a number questions the department needs to answer.

"They have to ask number one, how was that process didn't work as it should because they bring in people all the time," said Senator Nishihara.

The latest fatal shootings, including a sheriff shooting at the state capitol less than two weeks ago, have also put into question the use of non-lethal weapons. 

"They couldn't run up to get a hold of him, so that raises the issue of at what distance was he shot and was it a distance where they could have used maybe used a taser?" said the Senator. "Again, they don't have tasers and the question why don't they? It's not an issue that they should be unaware of what the sheriffs need to have some other systems of handling non-lethally to detain someone."

Senator Nishihara says he's contemplating on possibly holding a hearing.

"To open up these questions and get people to come forward and answer to the best of their ability the questions we have," he said. ….

read … Lawmaker wants answers on Public Safety Dept.'s polices, procedures

State trying to raise boat harbor fees excessively

SA: … It wants to double, and in some cases for small boat owners, triple, the mooring fees. It is setting its new fees on “highest and best use” and “market comparison” using private yacht clubs as their comparables.

The fee hikes are to cover the cost of running all harbor operations. Let me give you just one example of a harbor project: repair to existing fenders along the north loading dock at the Heeia Kea harbor, estimated by DOBOR to cost $1 million.

The loading dock is about 60 feet long and now has old truck tires as fenders. How can you spend $1 million on repairing fenders?…

read … State trying to raise boat harbor fees excessively

Expedia: SB1292 Illegal Spying on Vacation Rentals

SA: … According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in 2016 vacation rental visitors spent nearly $1.2 billion on lodging and over $1.9 billion on food, entertainment and souvenirs. They estimate that in 2019 this spending will rise to $1.6 billion on lodging and nearly $2.6 billion on other local goods and services.

However, this growth is in jeopardy as state lawmakers consider a proposal that would disrupt this vital part of Hawaii’s robust travel and tourism ecosystem.

Expedia Group supports a reasonable regulatory framework for vacation rentals. But Senate Bill 1292 could harm Hawaii’s travel and tourism economy in two key ways. First, it is crafted in a way that has been proven to be unworkable in other jurisdictions.

Second, at a time when the protection of personal information is on the cover of newspapers across the nation, SB 1292 would force travel platforms to hand over the personal data of their vacation rental homeowners.

We believe there is a better path forward for everyone. One that gets communities, government, and industry stakeholders rowing in the same direction. One that addresses communities’ concerns about vacation rentals and protects the rights of local residents who rely on the vacation rental industry.

To demonstrate our commitment to a fair and effective path forward, Expedia Group has adapted some of the best solutions from across the country into a plan that would create a path to legality for vacation rentals….

read … Expedia

Challenge to City Council race about seeking a fair election

SA: …As more information came through the state and county filings, it became clear that the City Clerk did not follow the plainly- worded law when handling mailed absentee ballots, and the Office of Elections had provided no oversight.

HRS Sec. 15-9(a) requires that mailed absentee ballots must “be received by the clerk issuing the absentee ballot not later than the closing of the polls.”

HRS Sec. 11-131 additionally says that the polls close at 6 p.m. The City Clerk is thus not allowed to count ballots received after 6 p.m. on election day. This is also printed on our ballots.

The City Clerk admitted that 350 ballots were collected after 6 p.m. from the U.S. Postal Service, 165 at 6:30 p.m. and 185 at 7:30 p.m. These were all over the facility, even in trucks en route to the airport. Although those late ballots were counted, 734 ballots received later that evening and the days to follow were not.

Since all ballots were mixed together, a recount was impossible. The court relied on its own past precedent in Arakaki v. Hawaii to invalidate the results, and the Office of Elections and City Clerk called for a new election.

This petition was not about the candidates. The complaints filed with the Hawaii Supreme Court were ultimately about errors in the process.

read … Challenge to City Council race about seeking a fair election

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