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Monday, August 05, 2019
August 5, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:26 PM :: 1376 Views

OHA seeks nonprofit to administer $3 million charter school grant (again)

Hawaii Doctors Least Likely to Accept Medicare

Kealoha Case: Partington is Sumida’s Patsy

CB: … The longtime Honolulu attorney reveals his colorful — some say questionable — legal style and substance in an interview with Civil Beat…

Partington, 77, said he thought the publicity would bring in new clients — it has not. And he knows a thing or two about publicity; he represented a convicted killer in the Palmyra Atoll murders in the 1970s. That was turned into a book, then a made-for-TV movie.

The defense attorney sued the guys who wrote the book, but that’s another story….

Partington said his former officemate — a DUI lawyer — was outraged that Partington would represent Kealoha and kicked him out, forcing him to take refuge in the corner office of Kevin Sumida, Kealoha’s civil lawyer….

Kealoha may not be the only reason deterring Partington, who’s also a retired Judge Advocate General officer and U.S. Army veteran, from having a more robust schedule.

His numerous disciplinary records aside, Partington, at his ripe age, doesn’t do mornings, nor jury trials. He’s got a medical condition that makes it hard for him to work a full day or under duress. He mostly works on appeals now, starting in the afternoon at around 1:30.

“You reach a certain time when you realize that you’re getting old,” he said. “And you start feeling the stress and stress kills people.”

Partington said he had vowed to retire from jury trials ever since he won his last one involving a Makaha woman who bashed a peacock in the head with an aluminum baseball bat….

Partington said he could not recall whether it was Sumida or Kealoha who called him up to enlist him as counsel for the mailbox trial. He’s told other reporters it was Sumida.

The one witness Partington took the podium to question was the man offering up the space he’s now sitting in — Sumida.

Sumida ended up being accused of lying after his time on the witness stand. He had brought his own stack of files to court from his representation of Kealoha in a civil case in which she was being sued by her uncle and grandmother for financial fraud.

He was recorded on tape flipping through the pages during recess, but when federal prosecutors asked if he looked through them, he repeatedly told them no.

“Well, lawyers are terrible witnesses, as Kevin turned out to be in the trial,” Partington said. “He was so nervous he didn’t remember what he was doing, going through his files.”…

Partington said he once refused to make an opening or a closing statement because he wanted the jury to think his client, who was accused of raping and murdering a woman, had an ineffective lawyer and take pity. That client ended up being convicted of lesser charges then two of his co-defendants….

One time, when they co-represented a man named Thomas Lepere against the United Public Workers in 1995, Partington kept objecting left and right, Foley said. The judge was getting increasingly annoyed.

“I told him, ‘I think the judge hates you Earle,’” he said he told Partington. “And he said, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll win it on appeal.’ And we did.’” ….

“For a lawyer to get a call from a prospective client almost at the end of the trial, there’s no way you can be competent. To me, he’s brought in to create a mistrial or to create confusion.”….

HNN: Kealoha corruption case exposes problem with the lack of court appointed attorneys available

Flashback: Prosecutors: Attorney Sumida Stole Evidence from File and Lied On The Witness Stand

read … Who Is Earle Partington And What’s He Doing In The Kealoha Case?

Telescope Applies for Building Permit in Canary Islands

AP: Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo told The Associated Press on Monday that he received a letter from the head of the Thirty Meter Telescope project saying its board recently decided “to proceed with the request to seek a building permit” for the island of La Palma….

… Rebolo said local officials who would have jurisdiction over a La Palma building permit solidly back the project and the observatory site already passed environmental impact evaluations.

“Our mountains are not sacred,” he said.

Last week, Spain’s science minister, Pedro Duque, reiterated the government’s full support for the Canary Islands serving as Plan B for building the telescope.

“We have all the necessary plans at all levels – the people, the speed, the systems, absolutely everything is ready if they want to come,” Duque said.

The Canary Islands archipelago, located west of Morocco in the eastern Atlantic, is already home to several powerful telescopes. The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory hosts more than 20….

read … Giant telescope backers to seek permit for alternative site

Blaisdell P3: $772M is Just the Beginning

SA: … By this time next year, the city hopes to have a private-sector partner in place for its envisioned $772 million redevelopment of Neal S. Blaisdell Center. Last week, Honolulu Hale issued a call for candidates interested in teaming up to shoulder design and construction as well as operation and maintenance responsibilities….

For the public partner, agreed-upon usage fees it pays to the private enterprise for site operation and maintenance may not be supported by community demand for facility use. In Blaisdell’s case, proceeds from ticket sales and vendor fees would be among the obvious funding sources….

So far, the City Council has allocated slightly more than $12 million for Blaisdell demolition work, which will complete about half of the proposed work….

read … Blaisdell P3 plan needs hard look

DHHL Kalaeloa Solar Deal Challenged

SA: … Three times over the past eight years, Edward Maria asked the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands whether it had any land he could lease in Kalaeloa for his trucking business.

His efforts proved fruitless.

So the DHHL beneficiary and Nanakuli resident gave up on getting department property and eventually signed a lease with a private landowner for an acre in Kalaeloa, where he operates EC Trucking.

Several weeks ago Maria was surprised to learn that the commission that oversees DHHL was about to issue a Canadian-owned company a right-of-entry permit and a conditional lease for up to 147 acres of Kalaeloa land for a proposed solar energy project.….

“We are so disgusted with all the shadiness,” said Pua Freitas, who has been waiting for a homestead lot since 2013 and is critical of the Innergex deal.

“DHHL has lost its way. They’ve forgotten the purpose of the land trust,” added Robin Danner, who is chairwoman of the sovereign council group and argues that no trust lands should go to nonbeneficiaries as long as Hawaiians remain on the wait list….

Regarding Maria’s land requests, Duarte said DHHL could not issue him a disposition until the department implements a new policy for revocable permits, which are short-term agreements.

The Innergex right of entry approved last month gives the company access to the Kalaeloa site to conduct technical studies and do other work so it can submit a proposal when Hawaiian Electric, Oahu’s power provider, solicits requests for solar energy projects.

If Innergex eventually gets a deal with Hawaiian Electric, DHHL will issue a long-term lease for the Kalaeloa property…. 

SA Editorial: Hawaiian takes on DHHL

read … Department of Hawaiian Home Lands land deal under fire

Money in politics: Lawmakers fundraise during legislative session

WHT: … Elections are more than a year away — and for some senators three years away — but that hasn’t kept state lawmakers from holding fundraisers during the legislative session and collecting money from the very people who are trying to influence their votes.

The nine Hawaii Island state lawmakers running for state office, all Democrats, collected a total of $91,524 for the first six months of this year, according to reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission by Wednesday’s deadline.

But Big Island lawmakers are by no means the biggest moneymakers. House and Senate leaders brought in much more. For example, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz brought in a whopping $145,721. House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke collected $98,760. Senate President Ron Kouchi collected $81,155. House Speaker Scott Saiki collected $49,850.

State Sen. Kai Kahele, of Hilo, who is running for Congress, reported raising no state money, but collected $398,980 in his federal campaign during the same period. His contributions are reported to the Federal Election Commission.

The legislative session ran from Jan. 16 to May 2.

Tops on the state list locally was Sen. Lorraine Inouye, whose 18 $500-plus contributions accounted for almost half of the $32,584 she collected during the period. Inouye, who comes up for re-election in 2022, held one fundraiser during that period, a minimum $150-a-person affair Feb. 12 at the Mandalay Restaurant, a half a mile from the Capitol.

Inouye chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.….

Sen. Russell Ruderman, of Puna, thinks even the appearance of fundraising during the legislative session should be avoided. But he did hold one himself, an April 18 affair at Cafe Julia, just a third of a mile from the Capitol. Ruderman, chairman of the Human Services Committee, raised just $1,100 during the period, with $1,000 of that coming from United Health Group Inc.

“I have twice proposed a bill for no funding a week before to a week after session,” Ruderman said. “I think it’s a very bad practice. I think it’s distasteful.”

Rep. Richard Onishi of Hilo was the top fundraiser among the island’s House members, collecting $8,300, with $4,500 coming from eight donations of $500 or more. House members run every two years, compared to four years for the Senate.

Onishi, chairman of the House Tourism and International Affairs Committee, held one Honolulu fundraiser the week before the legislative session started. He raised about $2,000 from tourism-related donations.

Among his contributions was a $500 donation from ARDA ROC-PAC, the Resort Owner’s Coalition advocating for timeshares…. 

ILind: A quick look at 2019 campaign contributions (so far)  -- Attorney Robert J. Brown, who has formed a campaign committee to support his run for Honolulu prosecutor, led the newcomers by taking in $26,471.  Two other first-time candidates, both running for seats on the Honolulu City Council, were also among the top fundraisers. Alan Texeira, who is on the staff of current council chairman Ikaika Anderson, took in $20,750 to launch his campaign for the seat currently held by his boss, who will not be eligible to run again due to term limits. And Jacob Aki, a 2013 graduate of Kamehameha, raised $15,216 in a bid to represent the council’s District 7.

read … Money in politics: Lawmakers fundraise during legislative session

How Much do HPD Officers Make?  Complete Database

CB: … A legal challenge by the police union held up release of officers’ names for years but a recent court ruling found disclosure is required under public records law. …

In the coming weeks, the database will expand greatly as we add information about other public workers — including HPD employees who are not sworn officers and therefore weren’t included in the information released as a result of court rulings. The current HPD numbers and everything to come will reflect salaries as of July 1, the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year….

Not surprisingly, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is the highest paid HPD employee at $205,800 annually.

Deputy chiefs Jonathan Grems and John McCarthy are paid $196,296.

Salary ranges instead of specific figures are listed for all the other sworn officers on the 2,006-person roster. State law requires that salaries be publicly released as ranges for most employees, although specific salaries are publicly available for some higher level employees.

For six assistant police chiefs, the range is $108,708-$180,960. For 18 majors, it’s $93,948-$156,288, and for 23 captains, it’s $85,176-$141,780.

The pay range for hundreds of rank-and-file police officers is $66,900-$96,336. For police recruits, it’s $64,368-$85,044.

The department has had a chronic shortage of officers, with about 270 vacancies as of June. Ballard, who took office in late 2017, has promised more aggressive recruiting….

CB:  Honolulu Should Try Harder To Get More Cops On The Job

read … We’re Kicking Off This Year’s Report With HPD

Soft on Crime: Man accused of shooting officer had been on parole 4 times

SA: … The 47-year-old man accused of shooting a Honolulu police officer in Waianae last week had been released on parole four times after he was found guilty and sentenced in 1990 to a life prison term for attempted murder, according to state court records.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Tony D.V. Souza shot an officer who had gone to a home near Pokai Bay on July 29 on a tip in a credit card fraud case. She said the officer, a six-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, survived gunshots wounds to his hand and chest from a single bullet.

Another officer shot Souza in response. Ballard said the other officer hit Souza in the hand and leg with a single gunshot…..

The Hawaii Paroling Authority granted Souza parole in November 1998, December 2002 and September 2013. DPS spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said Souza was taken back into custody each time on parole violation warrants for failing to comply with recommended programming. His latest release on parole was in October 2016.

After his 1998 release Souza pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail for misdemeanor domestic abuse. After his 2002 release he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor resisting arrest and was handed a suspended six-month jail term….

read … Man accused of shooting officer had been on parole 4 times

Hawaii plastics ban legislation 'watered down' to working group

WD: … A bill (SB 522) originally intended to prohibit the purchase, sale, use or distribution of multiple plastic items in Hawaii was signed into law last month by Gov. David Ige — with significant changes.

In lieu of a statewide single-use plastics ban, the legislation establishes a "plastic source reduction working group" — comprised of representatives from Hawaii-based environmental groups, local business associations and the beverage, recycling and plastic manufacturing industries — that will "formulate a plan for reducing and recovering plastic from the Hawaii waste stream."

The working group will also provide strategies for plastic reduction and reuse in the food service industry, consult with counties that have enacted single-use plastics ordinances (with a goal of developing recommendations for a statewide policy), and evaluate the effects of replacing plastic packaging with alternative products….

Related: Bart Dame: Recycling is an Expensive and Ineffective Fraud

read … Hawaii plastics ban legislation 'watered down' to working group

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