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Monday, July 01, 2019
July 1, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:14 PM :: 1247 Views

Senator: Did Espejo Cover up Shooting Autopsy During Nomination Hearing?

KHON: … The Public Safety Department says a Deputy Sheriff shot 28-year-old Delmar Espejo in February while being attacked. Immediately after the incident, officials said the victim was shot in the upper body. The autopsy report reveals Espejo was shot in the back. Senator Clarence Nishihara, Public Safety Committee Chair, says that’s concerning.

“Now this calls into question whether there’s a cover-up or not. Why did they state it that way? I think it opens up a can of worms,” said Nishihara.

In a statement from PSD:

PSD reported when asked about the shooting at all post-incident media contacts, that the preliminary reports are that the Deputy fired a single shot striking the subject in the upper torso. The Director was accurate in what was stated during the initial discussion with media after the incident. The medical examiner’s report does not conflict with the initial statement made and, in fact, supports the preliminary reports that the shooting happened in the upper torso. It would be premature to comment further as the internal investigation is ongoing.

The autopsy report was signed and dated on April 18th, just about a week before the director was reconfirmed by the full Senate.

“They never gave us the report, by the way, so we didn’t know that stuff. We kept asking what about the report,” said the Senator, “that’s why I always felt that filing all of these and the director being reappointed, I’m calling to ask that we get an investigative committee to cover all those issues.”

Nishihara says how the Deputy struggled with Espejo prior to the shooting puts into question the Deputy’s training. Lawmakers have asked Director Nolan Espinda about the qualifications of the person running the training program during Espinda’s confirmation hearing and are waiting for more information.

“That person was put in charge of doing the training for all of PSD, the whole department, and the Sheriff was trained under that person as were other Sheriffs,” said Nishihara. “If it seemed the training was lacking, then it does leave the department open for possible legal actions for suits or something.” ….

read … Lawmaker weighs in on State Capitol shooting autopsy report

In California Solar Electricity Wholesales Below 2 Cents per kWh—Hawaii Pays 5-10 Times More

IM: … The City of Los Angeles reached a deal to buy solar electricity at 1.997 cents per kWh.

The deal comes with a 100 MW/200 MWh battery which can provide electricity at 1.3 cents per kWh and an option to add an additional 50 MW/200 MWh of energy storage for 0.665 cents per kWh.

The Eland Solar & Storage Center in the Mojave Desert in Kern County is one of several global solar projects that are priced in the 1.9 – 2.5 cents per kWh range….

Meanwhile: Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission approval of the HELCO-Hu Honua Power Purchase Agreement at 22 cents per kWh in 2017….

read … Los Angeles to buy Solar Electricity at Below 2 Cents per kWh

Assisted Suicide: Two Dead, Six More Prescriptions Filled 

CB: … Steve Johnson was the second person to die under the state’s new assisted suicide law. The state reports eight patients so far have received prescriptions for lethal drugs….

Only three pharmacies — two on Oahu and one on Kauai — are certified and willing to fill prescriptions for the lethal drug, which is a compound medication….

Another issue: stipulations in the law that protect institutions and medical providers who oppose the program from participating in it also seem to prevent some patients from learning about medical aid in dying as an end-of-life option.

For example, medical providers are not required to alert patients about the program nor must they facilitate a patient’s request to participate. This means that the law greatly depends on a motivated patient becoming aware of the program and utilizing their right to request participation in it — and then finding a doctor willing to prescribe the drug….

(Translation: They will push to make this mandatory next session.)

read … Suicide

Hawaii Hospital Dispute Could Prove Costly For Patients

CB: … Some Kaiser Foundation Health Plan patients may find themselves hit by large bills for receiving emergency care from the The Queen’s Health System if the two organizations can’t settle a legal dispute over reimbursement rates.

Negotiations for a new contract began in 2017, but the legal dispute began with a letter penned by Mich Riccioni, Queen’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Three days after the Kaiser-Queen’s hospital services agreement expired on May 31, Riccioni wrote that Queen’s would begin to bill certain Kaiser patients directly for medical care if Kaiser would not pay for it itself.

In response, Kaiser filed a federal lawsuit in mid-June against Queen’s….

PDF: Queens Letter to Kaiser

read … Hawaii Hospital Dispute Could Prove Costly For Patients

Slow Permitting Stalls Self-Help Home Builders

SA: … Three teams of about a dozen families each are working on 35 homes. The first team of 12 is about four weeks away from finishing, and a fourth team of 13 families participated in a ceremony last week to bless their progress.

Through the nonprofit Self-Help Housing Corp. of Hawaii, each family must contribute 32 man-hours of work per weekend. After paying for the lot, materials and professional assistance, they should have a $480,000 ocean-view home with three or four bedrooms that cost them $295,000. By comparison, the median sale price for existing homes on Oahu this year is $775,000.

“I would never be able to afford to buy a house without this program,” Mazie Wan, a state worker and single mother, said two years ago at a blessing for the first dozen homes.

But progress hasn’t been smooth or easy.

Wan’s team was expected to finish its homes in a year, and yet two years have gone by.

Much of the delay was an eight-month wait for building permits, according to Claudia Shay, Self-Help Housing’s executive director.

Self-Help Housing, which helps participants obtain low-interest mortgage loans through a federal program, also reported frustratingly slow processing for home loans through a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development program that provides mortgage interest rates between 1% and 3.25% with no down payment.

Because of the difficulties, the last of the 70 homes are projected to be finished in 2021 instead of this year….

read … Slow Permitting

Missile Alerts to be Federalized?

SA: … U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s attempt to give the federal government responsibility for alerting the public of a missile threat was passed by the U.S. Senate as part of a $750 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 that focuses on evolving threats from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

The Senate passed the measure 86-8 last week. The House plans a vote on its version of the bill in July.

The missile alert language in the Senate version would strengthen the way states and local governments use the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, the Federal Emergency Management Agency platform that emergency management professionals across the country use to issue warnings, according to Schatz’s office. …

read … Federal

Hawaii Governor Wants To Veto Bill That Would Stop “Government-Sponsored Theft”

Forbes:  … Without ever filing criminal charges, law enforcement officers in Hawaii routinely confiscate cash, cars, and other valuable property using the state’s “civil forfeiture” laws. Worse, the state actively encourages aggressive seizures as police, prosecutors, and the attorney general all get a cut of the proceeds from forfeiting property, a system that’s generated over $11.5 million between 2006 and 2015. Tellingly, over 92% of the attorney general’s forfeiture expenditures last year—nearly $314,000—funded payroll for its Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Blasting the state’s civil-forfeiture regime as “government-sponsored theft,”Hawaiian lawmakers backed a bill (HB 748) that would accomplish two major reforms. First, it would bar agencies from keeping forfeiture proceeds for themselves. Instead, after paying administration and storage costs, all forfeiture revenue would be redirected to the state general fund.

“Civil forfeiture is one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in Hawaii today,” Institute for Justice Senior Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath said in a statement. “Enacting HB 748 would eliminate the financial incentives that encourage the pursuit of revenue over the pursuit of justice.”

In addition, HB 748 would outlaw forfeiture based on misdemeanors and would require a felony conviction (or its equivalent) in criminal court before the state could forfeit property in civil court. Similar laws are already on the books in 15 states, including California and Oregon.

But in a surprise move, Gov. David Ige announced last week that he intended to veto the bill. Parroting talking points from law enforcement, the governor claimed that “safeguards presently exist in Hawaii’s asset forfeiture statutes that prevent the abuses cited in the bill.”….

read … Hawaii Governor Wants To Veto Bill That Would Stop “Government-Sponsored Theft”

Sentencing delayed for Associate of Tulsi Gabbard’s Cult

KITV:  … Jaya Titcomb is accused of trying to hit an officer with the car and then leading police on a chase across the island.

Titcomb is charged with ‘Assault Against a Law Enforcement Officer,' ‘Resisting Orders’ and more.

Titcomb pleaded ‘No Contest’ earlier this year, and went into a drug rehabilitation program.

He appeared clean-cut and in good spirits before the judge on Monday and his lawyer hopes that the judge will go easy on Titcomb if he sobers up….

Aug 28, 2018: Manhunt: Gabbard Cult Associate Arrested for Stealing Police Car, Leading Wild Chase Across Island

read … Sentencing delayed for man accused of stealing HPD vehicle

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