No Ethics Conclusion: OK to Solicit State Employees to Support Espinda?
‘I Perpetuated a Lie’: Former Officer Details His Role In Mailbox Conspiracy
CB: … Silva was one of the Honolulu police officers who reviewed surveillance video of the alleged June 21, 2013, theft the day after it occurred.
He said he was told the man in the video was Puana, but he never actually saw him until the day he testified at his criminal trial in U.S. District Court more than a year later.
“I was very upset because when I saw Gerard Puana who was the supposed suspect … I was like that is not him,” Silva said. “My heart sank.” …
He admitted Tuesday that he didn’t get involved with the case until 2:30 p.m. on June 22 when he received a phone call from his supervisor, Derek Hahn, telling him to go to HPD headquarters downtown to help process some surveillance video from the chief’s house.
When he arrived he said Hahn was there with Nguyen and they discussed how it would be better for Silva to say he was the one who retrieved the video.
Silva said the three discussed how it wouldn’t “look good” if Nguyen was involved at all with the investigation because he was married to Katherine Kealoha’s niece, and had once lived on the property.
Silva said the first time he heard Gerard Puana’s name was when Nguyen blurted out, “That’s Uncle Gerry!” while he was processing the video.
The three then went out to conduct surveillance of Puana’s home….
read … ‘My Heart Sank’: Former Officer Details His Role In Mailbox Conspiracy
HPD Pedophile ex-Cop Gets Probation
HNN: … former Honolulu Police Department officer charged with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl for several years will not go to jail.
According to an indictment, Teddy Van Lerberghe assaulted the girl from 2004 to 2008.
Van Lerberghe initially pleaded not guilty, but he changed his plea to no contest earlier this month after reaching a deal with prosecutors.
Felony sex assault charges usually carry long prison terms, but the 45-year-old only faces five years probation when he's sentenced in August.
He will also have to register as a sex offender….
Meanwhile: Can HPD’s New Training Program Reduce Domestic Violence Within Its Ranks?
read … Soft on Crime
Retired HPD officer who pleaded guilty to tax evasion will not go to jail
HNN: … A retired Honolulu police officer who investigated financial crimes for decades will not go to prison for tax evasion.
Eric Yiu pleaded guilty to lying on his state income tax returns in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
As part of a plea deal, the state dropped three other charges.
Yiu faced up to 15 years in prison.
Instead, he could have his criminal record wiped clean after four years….
read … Tax Evasion
Soft on Crime: Suspect Arrested for Kaneohe Murder Tried it Before
SA: … The suspect has a felony conviction record, which includes a first-degree assault in 2002. The case was originally classified as an attempted murder, but he pleaded guilty to the lesser assault charge.
He was also convicted of second-degree robbery in 2017.
Awong was acquitted by reason of insanity in 2005 for robbery, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, auto theft and driving without a license committed in 2002 and 2003….
read … Man arrested in connection to an East Oahu murder investigation
First Hawaiian Bank agrees to take control of Kawananakoa trust
SA: First Hawaiian Bank in a court filing has conditionally agreed to take over as trustee of the Kawananakoa Trust, saying it recognizes the importance to the Native Hawaiian community.
But the bank is insisting on the appointment of an independent guardian to attend to Abigail Kawananakoa’s personal needs as well as an independent conservator to oversee her financial affairs outside the trust, including her horse operations, which are losing $4 million a year.
The lawyers representing the 93-year-old Campbell Estate heiress and her wife, Veronica Gail Worth, have opposed these proposals in the past and are expected to object again.
A hearing on the appointment is scheduled for Aug. 15 in the courtroom of 1st Circuit Court Judge R. Mark Browning….
Background: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality
read … First Hawaiian Bank agrees to take control of Kawananakoa trust
Alexander & Baldwin Had A Tough Legislative Session Despite Its Lobbying
CB: … The development company was one of the opponents of a tax on real estate investment trusts, which nevertheless was approved and is now on the governor’s desk….
Organizations have until Friday to file reports with the state Ethics Commission on their expenditures for March and April, but some have already done so. That includes A&B, a REIT itself, which reported its highest lobbying expenses at this point in the year since 2012.
Meanwhile, even though it hasn’t filed its March-April lobbying reports yet, the single largest spender since January remains a trade group representing REITS, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, which reported spending more than $126,000 in January and February to oppose the REITs tax.
A&B has not appeared at the top of the list of lobbying spenders in recent years, and although the company stayed relatively quiet this session, its presence hung over the State Capitol with talk that lawmakers would attempt to revive the water rights bill, which ultimately did not happen….
In another report filed this week, Marriott International reported spending over $49,000 in consultants’ fees last session. Marriott paid out about $9,700 to lobbyists from March to April, according to its new report
So far, Marriott has been the top-spending hotelier at the Capitol this year.
General managers at several hotel properties either licensed or owned by Marriott submitted testimony copied from the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association opposing a proposed tax on resort fees that now awaits Ige’s signature or veto….
read … Alexander & Baldwin Had A Tough Legislative Session Despite Its Lobbying
Hawaii County prepares for 2020 mail-in election
HTH: … Hawaii County, like the rest of the state, is preparing for a totally mail-in election next year, and the first step is to acquire new machinery to handle it.
The county Standardization Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a single-source vendor for a ballot sorting machine that will be consistent with the other counties in the state. The Runbeck machine, estimated at $225,000, may also need a special room and dedicated fiber optic line and power source, Finance Director Deanna Sako said.
The state Legislature passed a bill requiring all-mail elections, beginning with the Aug. 8, 2020, primary, and Gov. David Ige is expected to sign it. The bill, HB 1248, is supported by the state Office of Elections and all four county elections administrators.
The bill appropriates $830,731 to be split among the counties to help pay for equipment and training.
The Runbeck ballot sorting system can process up to 18,000 pieces an hour…
Not only is the machine consistent with those being purchased in the rest of the state, it has the added benefit of having been proven compatible with the statewide elections voter registration system, TotalVote, said Deputy County Clerk Aaron Brown in a memo to the committee. He said the City and County of Honolulu purchased the Runbeck system more than three years ago and found it compatible….
read … County prepares for 2020 mail-in election
Competitors Get DLNR to Act Against Kama‘aina Kids’ commercial use of Kaneohe Bay
SA: … A state agency is trying to stop a local nonprofit focused on child care from selling ocean adventure activities at Kaneohe Bay after years of complaints.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources recently informed Kama‘aina Kids, which serves thousands of Hawaii keiki each year mainly through preschool and after-school programs, that the nonprofit has been violating rules that protect the bay through commercial use limits.
Kama‘aina Kids claims that its activities, which include a $139 guided kayak and snorkeling trip for tourists with lunch and transportation to and from Waikiki, aren’t commercial because the nonprofit runs them and all revenue helps fund Kama‘aina Kids.
But DLNR concluded that the tours advertised under an affiliate of the nonprofit, Holokai Kayak and Snorkel Adventures, are commercial and therefore aren’t allowed under regulations.
The dispute could be decided in a quasi-judicial contested-case hearing, and both sides have a lot riding on an outcome….
Kama‘aina Kids said it serves nearly 9,700 children and families daily. Its biggest program is A+ after-school care provided at public schools statewide. In 2016 the organization reported to the IRS that it had 1,316 employees, 3,000 volunteers and $27 million in revenue….
However, after Kama‘aina Kids established Holokai in 2013 and began advertising in Waikiki, complaints from some permitted commercial operators and community members arose over the operation that Kama‘aina Kids said has served 5,500 to 6,100 customers annually in recent years, or 18 to 20 people a day on average during the six days a week that such activities are allowed on the bay….
read … Dispute cresting over Kama‘aina Kids’ commercial use of Kaneohe Bay
CBD Users Tell the Same Stories as Potheads
HNN: … Sweet Treats Owner Kris Louie says she used to make her own CBD treats, until the state stepped in.
“I made brownies, my s’mores bars, my Rice Krispies Treats, would add it in to there," Louis said….
Former Marine Michael Vernon uses it for pain relief.
“I was in the Marines for five years and I blew out my knees and I had shoulder surgery, so sometimes I get that pain. And I don’t like taking pain meds, because they’re addictive,” Vernon said….
“They said we could sell whatever is already being made from national, bigger companies. Like we have chocolates, gummies, and whatnot. So we can sell things that I don’t personally make. She couldn’t really explain why. She just said that’s just the way it is,” Louie said….
read … Controversy over a cannabis compound remains amid a state ‘crackdown’
New arrivals who end up homeless test aloha, resources on Friendly Isle
HNN: … since late last year, residents say, they’ve noticed a change: They’re finding more and more homeless squatters drifting around the island after getting a one-way ticket there.
“We don’t even know these guys. We haven’t seen them. Period," said Friendly Market Manager PJ Augustiro.
Added community leader Barbara Haliniak, “I even see them sleeping around the store front. We never had that before."
It’s not as if Molokai never had homeless people. But residents say they were all longtime Molokai residents….
Because Molokai isn’t included in the statewide homeless point-in-time count, there’s no official data on how many homeless people are on the island.
But residents put the number at about 40.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green spent a week traveling the state to see firsthand how Hawaii’s homeless crisis is affecting each island. And on Molokai, he found an island struggling to figure out how to handle an influx of new arrivals ― some of whom come with no housing and no intentions of getting it….
“It’s a really bad problem,” Augustiro told Green. “They always come flocking down first thing in the morning. Caught one of them stealing twice in one day alcohol.”
The problems go beyond shoplifting.
Resident Kevin Misaki says he recently had to hire a contractor to haul some old cars off his land after he noticed the property had been trashed….
"A lot of the homeless were using it to sleep at night. Or party," said Misaki
Tezra Wheeler is among the new homeless residents of Molokai.
The 28-year-old is from Denver, and came to Molokai hoping to
do farm work in exchange for a place to live. Right now, she’s in between jobs (mooch).
“I stay everywhere," she said. “I guess people would call it nomadic. After I leave here, I’ll visit Maui for a while.”…
(Translation: Someone will buy me a ticket just to get rid of me.)
“Up until that time, we only thought we had one homeless person here,” said Lindo.
She added the last thing Molokai needs is a homeless shelter. And that seems to be a consensus on Molokai.
“Because it’s an invitation," Haliniak said. “Go to Molokai, they have a shelter they can take care of you.”…
read … New arrivals who end up homeless test aloha, resources on Friendly Isle
Djou: An Open Letter To Democrats About Trump
CB Djou: … the energy and enthusiasm of the Democratic Party today is not one of hope, pragmatism and experience, but an infatuation with decrepit socialism and fantasy policies utterly disconnected with financial reality. Seeking to replace a right-wing, angry, populist, demagogue with a left-wing, angry, populist, demagogue is not a real choice. It is a recipe for re-electing Trump….
KGI: Hooser: Five paths for changemakers
read … An Open Letter To Democrats About Trump