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Saturday, August 17, 2019
August 17, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:40 PM :: 1291 Views

“Absolutely never,” says Maui OHA Trustee Hulu Lindsey on TMT

Big Q: Should Hawaii’s statehood be more publicly observed/ celebrated on Admission Day?  -- 52% ‘YES’

Big Island mayor: Ige made ultimate call to stop arrests at TMT protest

HNN: … At a key moment in the TMT conflict, as protesters were being arrested at Mauna Kea, Mayor Harry Kim says the governor made the call to pull back law enforcement.

Kim made the statements Thursday night on PBS Insights when asked whether police or politicians were in charge July 17, when outnumbered police were faced with using force to clear the road.

On that day, 38 protesters ― all but one of whom were kupuna ― were arrested for blocking the only access road to the summit. And then the arrests abruptly stopped.

What happened?

Kim said Hawaii County Police Chief Paul Ferreira called him with a critical question.

“They said at this rate we can’t control this and do you want us to use any kind of force because everybody agreed nobody wants that in Hawaii,” Kim said.

“They called me in regards if I could pass word to the governor because since this was a state operation with DOCARE people, sheriffs and the police officers," he continued.

"And the governor obviously had a very difficult decision and said no we should not use force, physical force because the question was of tasers and the question was of mustard gas,” Kim added.

(Kim mistakenly referred to the military chemical weapon mustard gas but meant pepper spray.)…

When Insights host and Hawaii News Now Managing Editor Daryl Huff pressed Kim for clarification, the mayor said that Ige ultimately made the decision to call off the operation to clear the road that day.

“I’m asking that the people in command asked me to pass the word in regards to the use of force and I passed the response back, and this time no,” Kim said.

Kim’s response is in contradiction to a statement by the Governor’s Office, which said the “ultimate decision” to call off the arrests “was made by Hawaii County Police Department with the support of unified command.”

VIDEO: PBS Insights Aug 15, 2019

read … Big Island mayor: Ige made ultimate call to stop arrests at TMT protest

Augie T to Run for Council District 1

HNN: … "I'm just so excited of the work we've done so far, there's just so much more that needs to be done and I can only do it from the Mayor's position," said Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine….

Hanabusa refused to do an interview with Hawaii News Now on Thursday, but released a statement criticizing the rail authority over recent federal subpoenas, even though she was once the board chair….

Pine’s decision to run for mayor will leave her District 1 council seat up for grabs.

Local comedian Augie T, whose real name is Augusto Tulba, filed an organizational report to take the first step in setting up a campaign to replace Pine.

A spokesman said he is planning an announcement for Labor Day weekend….

read … With Hawaii’s primary election less than a year away, some big names begin to campaign

Florence Puana speaks out on her struggle to get justice against her granddaughter Katherine Kealoha

KHON: … It’s been nearly two months since a jury found Katherine and her husband, former police chief Louis Kealoha guilty of corruption and obstruction of justice.

The Kealohas framed Florence’s son Gerard Puana for mailbox theft to discredit the Puanas because they had accused Katherine of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from them.

“I trusted her implicitly and what I did I don’t know but I guess I was the only one she could get some money from,” said Puana.

What she did have was the house on Wilhelmina Rise, where most of her nine children grew up. Katherine talked Florence into taking a reverse mortgage on it.

And as the trial revealed, Katherine never paid back the loan, spent the money on lavish items, forcing Florence to sell the house.

“I know you’ve talked about how hard it is to give up that house?” asked KHON2.

“Oh it was. It was because my husband worked very hard, he worked very hard to build the house for us, we had no money,” she said.

Money was the root of the problem in 2011 when the Puanas sued Katherine. But the jury ruled in Katherine’s favor ordering the Puanas to pay her more than $600,000.

That case is now under appeal….

read … Florence Puana speaks out on her struggle to get justice against her granddaughter Katherine Kealoha

Ed Case wants Congress to end legal challenges by online vacation rental platforms

SA: … Case on Thursday solicited his more than 400 colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor a bill he plans to introduce by September aimed at amending a piece of federal law that online vacation rental hosting platform companies have used to file legal challenges against state and local government regulations on short-term rentals….

Case said he expects that his bill will garner support from lawmakers representing districts where illegal vacation rentals are big problems. He also said the hotel industry, labor unions, affordable- housing advocates and social service providers should be in the bill’s corner.

Case, who is a former chief legal officer for Outrigger Hotels Hawaii, also expects fierce lobbying from vacation rental platform companies.

“I think they’re going to come after this with guns blazing,” he said.

The proposed bill would state that Communications Decency Act immunity protecting publishers of submitted content doesn’t apply to real property rentals that violate a law or contract.

Short-term home rental platforms have also cited provisions in the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and federal Stored Communications Act as rendering some illegal vacation rental ordinances unenforceable.

Airbnb told the City Council in a letter from Honolulu law firm Kobayashi Sugita &Goda LLP that its ordinance would be invalid and unenforceable because of these provisions. Case, however, said the Communications Decency Act has been the more plausible and active ground on which illegal vacation rental rules are being challenged….

read … Ed Case wants to end legal challenges by online vacation rental platforms

‘Residential Investor’ Tax Rate Snares Families with Cloudy Title

TGI: … The value of land in Anini and other locations around the island has soared over the years. Family members who have lived on their properties for generations, but whose names are not on titles, could soon qualify for tax relief.

Bill No. 2756 would allow family members the ability to request real property tax exemptions based upon their own eligibility, as long as no living relatives are on title.

A grandparent or other relative, for example, could have died prior to establishing a will or transferring rights. While the bill does not clear title for ownership, which can also be cost-prohibitive, family members residing on the premises may no longer have to face the higher “residential investor” property tax rate.

The amendment also proposes that family members include not only those related by blood but also by marriage, “reciprocal beneficiary relationships,” or step-relatives….

read … ‘The taxes are killing us’

As Recycling Scam Implodes, Local governments scrambling to find solution for household recyclables

KHON: … Cities and counties across America are wondering what to do with the mountains of recycling material we leave at the curbside each week.

Much of the paper and plastic American households recycle used to be sent to China for processing, but at the end of 2017, China stopped accepting nearly all of those materials because they weren’t clean enough.

“We’d been sending shipments that were 30 – 40% contaminated.  (Translation: We were sending them our garbage.) They set a limit of about 0.5%, which is just not possible to meet (because it would involve real separation of products, and this is a scam) ,” Cooper Martin explained.

Martin, the director of Sustainability and Solutions at the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions, says China was the single largest consumer of recyclable materials generated by the United States.

Now, local governments are scrambling to find new ways to dispose of those materials without going broke in the process….

Related:

read … Local governments scrambling to find solution for household recyclables

Soft on Crime: 30 Priors Out on the Street Does it again—And Gets Reduced Bail

HNN: … Aside from the injuries to her face, the suspect broke her wrist as well. She said her 76-year-old boyfriend tried to intervene, but he was shoved to the side.

In connection with the case, 35-year-old Max Kim was charged with burglary, two assaults and other crimes. Tyson Naehu, 30, was charged with a car break-in and using stolen credit cards.

Kristine Kaleohano, 48, was also charged with credit card theft.

Spallina says from 2008 to now, the Elder Abuse Justice Unit has seen a steady increase in cases. He said they are now dealing with triple the number of cases they did 11 years ago….

Kim has 30 prior arrests, 21 for felonies and seven of those are convictions. He has multiple cases already pending before the court, including a robbery of another senior.

“The people who target seniors, they do this for a living. This is their 9-to-5 job," Spallina said….

For robbery, Kim’s bail was set at $250,000. However, a judge lowered it to $100,000 and Kim bailed out in June. At the same time, he posted an additional $75,000 bail in a separate burglary case.

Before the new changes, he was on HOPE probation.

Spallina says the crimes against the elderly bring automatic jail time.

“Instead of just getting probation or HOPE probation, no. If you harm a senior during a crime, you’re gonna get prison, no ifs ands or buts," he said.

"The judge can’t say, I’ll give you probation. No, the judge has to give you prison until the law.”

read … Attack on 73-year-old in Manoa part of alarming rise in crime against the elderly

Medical center for homeless opens in Kaneohe

KHON: … Based on the success of the JOC in Chinatown, the center aims to provide healthcare, as well as link patients to treatment for drug abuse and mental health. Windward Oahu has the second highest number of homeless residents on the island…. An open house of the facilities will take place on Saturday, August 17th, where members of the community can learn about how the JOC will address the needs of their unsheltered neighbors.

(This will reduce the expense of homeless frequent fliers at Oahu emergency rooms.  But it does not force the homeless to accept shelter.)

SA: Homeless dude killed downtown because nobody forced him to accept shelter

read … Medical center for homeless opens in Kaneohe

Telescope News:

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