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Saturday, May 25, 2019
May 25, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:53 PM :: 1384 Views

Senate Confirms Ninth Circuit Judge for Second Time in a Week

Report: Hawaii Gives the Most 'Green' to Elon Musk and Al Gore

When Revival Swept Hawaii

Deputy Chief McCarthy: After Mailbox Theft Kealoha Planned 2nd Frame-up

CB: …  Deputy Police Chief John McCarthy also took the witness stand to describe an incident in which Katherine Kealoha tried to get him to investigate her uncle for financial elder abuse two days after her mailbox was reported stolen.

McCarthy said Kealoha told him she believed Puana was taking advantage of his mother, Florence Puana, who is Katherine’s grandmother.

At the time, McCarthy was the head of the white collar crime division at HPD. He said Kealoha approached him with a box filled with financial documents that she said would prove the case against her uncle.

But when McCarthy started thumbing through the pages he said he noticed Kealoha’s name was on almost all of the bank statements and that she appeared to be spending her grandmother’s money on herself.

“She was very nervous,” McCarthy said. “She was speaking very fast, very choppy.”

After about 15 to 20 minutes, McCarthy said he told Kealoha he would need to get the original versions of financial documents she provided to pursue a legitimate investigation. He also noted that he would need a complainant, such as Florence Puana, to come forward.

“That sort of ended the whole conversation,” McCarthy said….

He said he tried following up with Kealoha several weeks later and she told him that she wanted to drop the case.

By that time, Gerard Puana had been charged with stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox, a fact McCarthy said he was vaguely aware of. He said he also knew that Puana was involved in a lawsuit with Katherine, who told him her husband was upset about the whole situation….

“He said that if he lost the civil suit he would shove any money up Gerard’s ass,” McCarthy said….

read … Officers Testify Against Their Former Chief And His Wife

Fake ‘Evaluation’ for DoE Sup’t

CB: … Hawaii School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto received a favorable year-end evaluation from the state Board of Education, earning an overall rating of “effective,” the state Department of Education said in a news release Thursday.

Kishimoto was scored based on five professional standards and five priorities for the current school year that were agreed upon in advance by her and the board.

She also received an “effective” rating during  her mid-year assessment, when her original three-year contract was extended by one year.

“To achieve an ‘effective’ rating, Superintendent Kishimoto had to demonstrate performance that consistently met expectations and had to maintain effective results, satisfactory program outcomes and good relations with students, staff, and community members,” the seven-page assessment states.

(Translation: She spouts the HSTA line.)

The board also cited Kishimoto’s “willingness to publicly defend the quality of the public school system against long-standing and unfair mischaracterizations.”

(Translation: She is doing everything she can to eliminate testing.)

read …  Dog n Pony Show

Hawaii's Lack of Protection for Journalists Poses Challenges to Covering Wrongdoing  

HPR: … As the first week of deliberation in a high-profile corruption trial concludes, the position of local journalists covering the case has been exposed as precarious.

At one point, in the week leading up to the first of three trials involving former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, it appeared that Hawaii News Now investigative reporter Lynn Kawano would be called as a witness in the trial.

It was a move characterized by Kawano as an effort to keep her from covering the case. In the end, she was crossed off the list, but the incident highlighted the risks that journalists in Hawaii run in covering crimes and misdeeds. …

read … Hawaii's Lack of Protection for Journalists Poses Challenges to Covering Wrongdoing

Council of Revenues predicts increased growth rate in general fund tax revenues

PBN: … The Council of Revenues increased the general fund tax revenues growth rate for FY 2019 to 4.7 percent from 3 percent, which was agreed upon in March's meeting….

Meanwhile: DBEDT Predicts Anemic Economy for Years to Come

read … Council of Revenues predicts increased growth rate in general fund tax revenues

Tax, Fee Waivers Make Housing Affordable?

SA: … In the latest bid to address pent-up demand for affordable rental housing, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law this week a nothing-ventured-nothing-gained type of measure. Bill 7 holds potential for success, although at least one provision could be challenging in car-centric Honolulu.

The new law makes way for recasting of low-rise walk-up apartment buildings — a popular construction project in 1960s and 1970s — as a stable affordable-housing inventory. It allows some buildings to grow vertically — up to six stories high — and allots a tighter floor-area ratio to make room for more apartments.

The five-year pilot program offers property owners a bunch of carrots. In addition to greater density and taller heights: a reduced setback requirement, waivers from building permit application and wastewater facilities charges, no park dedication fees, a 10-year tax waiver on property taxes, and, ahem, no required parking…. 

SA Editorial: Find homes for lowest earners

read … Editorial: Buildings without parking

Tentative deal reached in Maui’s OTHER injection well suit

MN: … A lawsuit over Maui County’s Kihei injection wells — which is a separate and much older case than the current Lahaina injection well suit grabbing headlines — appears to be heading for settlement, both parties acknowledged Friday….

In 2009, the Puko’a o Kama Alliance filed a complaint against the county to stop the harm from underground injection wells used to dispose of treated sewage in South Maui. The group alleges that the use caused harm “to marine and coastal resources as well as negative impacts to traditional and customary practices of Native Hawaiians in South Maui,” according to a news release from the organization.

After 10 years of litigation, the alliance has agreed to settle the matter in exchange for the county’s commitment to continue reducing its reliance on injection wells in South Maui, the release said. The county has three injection wells in Kihei.

“It is our hope and belief that settling our case will show that resolving lawsuits in good faith will not lead to more litigation,” said Lance Collins, attorney for the Puko’a o Kama Alliance….

MNow: Maui Water Quality Group Settles Injection Well Litigation with County

read … Kihei Injection Wells

All eyes on Pohakuloa Training Area

SA Editorial: …The Hawaii Supreme Court is now deliberating whether the state upheld its duty to protect public trust land over a military-leased training site — namely, Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) on Hawaii island. Oral arguments were heard last week.

This case evokes a history of failed stewardship of Hawaii’s aina involving the military. Makua Valley, a training range for nearly a century, has drawn legal fights, including a 2001 court settlement over cultural access and a 2016 lawsuit over unexploded ordnance. Waikane Valley, which underwent munitions remedial investigation and removal after more than 30 years of artillery training. And of course, Kahoolawe

… In ruling against DLNR last year, Oahu Circuit Judge Gary Chang ordered the state to provide a stewardship plan, regular monitoring, inspection reports with procedures for addressing violations and debris removal plans. …the state appealed. It’s now up to the Supreme Court…

read … All eyes on Pohakuloa Training Area

Ferdinand Marcos Security Detail Provided by Larry Mehau

APN: … At the recommendation of Gov. George Ariyoshi, who welcomed the Marcoses upon their February 26, 1986 arrival, the Hawaiian Protective Association (HPA) was hired to secure Makiki and their principals. The HPA was owned by an influential and controversial political power-broker in Hawaii. A certain Mr. Larry Mehau. I remember him to be soft spoken, impressively genial but burly and barrel-chested. I had met him years earlier through my boss in Ayala, Don Enrique Zobel. Larry Mehau was a former Police Officer and a cattle rancher on the Big Island. Larry was a close associate of the Governor and was the kind who had a private number direct line to the Governor. He was known to be able to set up an appointment with the Governor right on the spot….

read … Marcos’ medical brinkmanship that backfired

‘Drug House’ Residents Hire Michael Green to Fight Eviction

KGI: … Kollar issued a press release earlier this month, announcing the filing of a “civil nuisance abatement action” to shut down the alleged drug house via court order. In the statement, Kollar included the address of the home and said its occupants, Rose Dahle, Robyn Dahle and Darrick Banasihan, “have a history of being associated with drug-dealing-type activities.”

When the news release ended up on another newspaper’s website, the Dahles and Banasihan were outraged. They called Michael Green, a prominent Honolulu defense attorney.

“They’ve got the wrong house!” Green said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s no drugs coming out of there.”

Two people were arrested in a raid of the Waha Road home in January. Police say they executed a search warrant of the house and found Nicholas McPeek and Akea Nino with a variety of drugs in their possession. Nino recently pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the arrest, and McPeek has multiple cases pending in Fifth Circuit Court.

But the home’s official residents were not charged with any crime, and so far the prosecuting attorney’s office has not produced any evidence to support its allegations that the Dahles and Banasihan were dealing drugs, an issue Green said could present the county with legal problems.

“If they don’t come up with some drug deals out of this, they’re gonna get sued,” he said.

Robyn Dahle and Banasihan, who were in the house when police conducted the raid on Jan. 10, said Monday they didn’t know McPeek and Nino were wanted by police, had no idea they were carrying drugs, and insisted they are not responsible for searching friends who visit their home.

Dahle and Banasihan were also offended by the manner in which police raided their home to arrest the two fugitives….

According to Kauai Police Department Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce, the Jan. 10 raid was conducted by the KPD’s special response team, which served a “high-risk search warrant to locate a wanted fugitive facing charges of kidnapping and terroristic threatening.”

Dahle said she was taking care of her 2-year-old grandson on a Thursday morning when she heard yelling from outside — “KPD! Get on the ground!”

She looked out and saw the house was surrounded by KPD officers with body shields.

“Meanwhile, they threw a flash bomb, and the whole neighborhood shook,” Dahle said. “They kicked the door in.”

Ponce said the people in the house failed to respond to multiple requests to answer the door after officers identified themselves and provided notice of a search warrant….

read … Prosecutor tries to close ‘drug house’

Foster families needed across Hawaii

KITV: … According to Partners in Development's program, Hui Ho'omalu, there are about 1,000 foster families statewide, but still a growing need for more.  …

"Even if it's a temporary situation, the kind of connection that resource families can provide is invaluable and sometimes it makes the difference in their lives," said Helbush.

If you're interested in fostering a child, click here.

read … Foster families needed across Hawaii

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