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Friday, September 27, 2019
September 27, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:32 PM :: 756 Views

Tents, Trash, and Toilets: OHA Funds Make Mauna Kea Protests Possible

Mauna Kea Traffic Enforcement: 717 tickets, 4 Arrests

Small Business Regulatory Review Board Launches New Website

Feds: Hawaii Firm Bribed Schofield Employees to get Contracts

Flip-Flop Tulsi Gabbard reverses position, decides to climb on Impeachment bandwagon

Caldwell approval ratings drops to all-time low – 31% to 59%

SA:  … Only 31% of those polled approve of Caldwell’s job performance while 59% disapproved, which means only one-third think he’s doing well as he enters his eighth and final year as mayor. That’s in stark contrast to the 70% approval and 20% disapproval rates he got from Oahu voters in January 2015, two years into his first term.

But while each successive poll has shown his job approval declining, the 2020 poll of 500 Oahu registered voters taken Sept. 12-17 for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser by Washington, D.C.-based Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy marked the first time the mayor’s unfavorable rating topped his favorable percentage. The Oahu numbers have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Cataluna: Mayor begins campaign by arresting protesters

read … Caldwell approval ratings drops to all-time low

Djou draws the most favorable numbers

SA: … Thirty-eight percent of poll respondents said they think favorably of former U.S. Rep. Djou, who in 2016 collected more than 135,000 votes and came within 13,000 votes of derailing current Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s reelection bid. He drew an unfavorable opinion from 21%….

Djou said he hasn’t decided whether he will run and doesn’t expect to make a decision until sometime after the new year. “I’m very flattered and honored that the people of Oahu remember my message in the last election that we really need change from the corruption and waste that has gone on at City Hall for far too long under the Caldwell administration,” Djou said.

Former Mayor Hanne­mann, who held the third-floor corner office at Honolulu Hale from 2005 to 2010, got the second-highest favorable recognition poll rating at 29%.

But Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, also had the highest percentage of poll respondents — 41% — who said their opinion of him was unfavorable.

Hannemann said he was surprised to have been included in the poll “when I have not indicated that I’m officially running.”

Former U.S. Rep. Hana­busa, who defeated Djou for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat in 2010, drew a favorable rating from 23% of respondents. Hanabusa left the House in 2018 to run unsuccessfully for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against incumbent Gov. David Ige. Thirty- five percent said their opinion of Hanabusa was unfavorable….

Favorability is at 20% for Councilwoman Pine, who announced in late 2017 that she intends to run, while only 10% think unfavorably of her….

read … Djou, Hannemann, Hanabusa draw the most favorable numbers

Majority of Oahu voters support new short-term rental laws

SA:  … A majority of registered Hawaii voters on Oahu support the new rental law that bans advertising of unpermitted short-term rentals and gives the city Department of Planning and Permitting the ability to levy fines against violators.

But they think the city’s bulky-item pickup pilot program stinks, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll.

The poll, conducted Sept. 12-17 by Mason-Dixon Polling &Strategy of Washington, D.C., randomly surveyed 800 registered Hawaii voters by telephone. The margin of error is no more than 3.5 percentage points.

Some 54% of the 525 Oahu voters surveyed supported the new vacation rental law, while 37% opposed it and 9% were undecided. According to the poll, Filipino voters were the most likely to support the new measure and higher fines, followed by white and Japanese voters. Hawaiians were the most likely to oppose the new law and higher fines, followed by mixed-race voters and whites. Democrats, followed by independent voters, were most likely to support the measure, while Republicans were most likely to oppose it. Voters’ ages made little difference, with older voters slightly less likely to support the ban….

Some 48% of the 525 Oahu voters surveyed rated the city’s new bulky-item pickup pilot as poor, with only 4% rating it as excellent and the rest skewed toward fair, then good, then undecided….

read … Majority of Oahu voters support new short-term rental laws

Hefty Property Fine? Honolulu Will Happily Settle For 10%

CB: … City officials say they’re less interested in raising money than in getting property owners to comply, so are willing to take much less when the violation is corrected….

read … Hefty Property Fine? Honolulu Will Happily Settle For 10%

Hawaii DOE: Who Earns More Than You?

CB: … Civil Beat’s public employee salary database now includes 22,395 employees of the Hawaii Department of Education…..

read … Some Principals Can Still Earn More Than Top DOE Officials

Young Bros Seeks 34% Rate Hike

KHON: … Interisland cargo carrier Young Brothers says it needs an unprecedented 34 percent rate hike to survive. What could this mean for residents, businesses and the future of the more than century-old shipper? Always Investigating pressed the company and regulators for answers.

Young Brothers has not turned a profit since 2017, with losses mounting. At the same time, they poured $88 million into new tugs and equipment, but cut back on things like service hours, leaving customers and their regulators with concerns.

In a filing thousands of pages long, Young Brothers is making its case for why the Public Utilities Commission should grant the request for the rate increase, expected to bring in $27 million dollars in extra fees from customers.

Young Brothers contends the company needs it to make up for more than $20 million in losses in the past 2 years, projected to worsen with another $12.3 million loss likely in 2020….

Big Q: What do you think of Young Brothers’ proposal to raise shipping rates by an average 34%?

SA:  An attention-getting rate request

read … Young Brothers faces customer, regulatory hurdles with 34% rate hike ask

Former Maui corrections officer accused of violent rampage at Honolulu airport

HNN: … Justin “Alika” Shores lost consciousness while being loaded into an ambulance, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

DPS said it all started when Shores was “acting aggressively” in the Terminal 2 parking structure, yelling and pushing over several cement barriers. He also repeatedly punched a Deputy Sheriff, officials said.

Five deputies were injured trying to subdue him.

Once they got him handcuffed on the ground, he began licking the pavement, authorities said.

Shores was arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on a law enforcement officer.

The 39-year-old was fired from the Maui Community Correctional Center in February….

read … Former Maui corrections officer accused of violent rampage at Honolulu airport

Prosecutor Refuses to File Charges Against Maui Officer Accused of Sex Crimes

HNN: … The Maui Police Department charged Officer Brandon Saffeels with hindering prosecution and tampering with a witness, but the Maui Prosecutor’s Office declined charges.

Saffeels was on audio recordings offering to throw a trial if the woman he arrested went to his home.

At least three other women have come forward saying Saffeels inappropriately contacted them after arrests, traffic stops or 911 calls.

“He’s free to leave the jurisdiction, but he’s been drug the mud so to speak and right now the prosecutors couldn’t even file charges and his bail has been returned," said his defense attorney, Victor Bakke.

Saffeels’ bail was $50,000. He remains on leave without pay from MPD….

read … Bail money returned to Maui officer accused of abuse of power, misconduct

Woman Accused of Embezzling KSBE Says She is Confused with Kealoha, but Can find Alison Wong

HNN: … Leihinahina Sullivan is making bold statements to the court on Kealoha’s behalf.

Sullivan was indicted on more than 50 counts that include fraud, identity theft, obstruction and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors say she stole from Kamehameha students needing financial aid and from Gates Millenium Scholars. The government also accuses her of stealing from a non profit, mobile health unit for Native Hawaiians on Kauai.

Sullivan filed a partially hand-written motion in her case to get federal judge J. Michael Seabright recused.

Sullivan makes bold claims of racial bias by the judge. She also says he is being unfair to Kealoha and her conviction should be overturned.

Sullivan writes, Judge Seabright was “confusing the two cases as it involved two (2) native Hawaiian women accused of white collar crime,” the motion goes on to say that ‘Alison Wong’ is a real person….

read … Another federal inmate steps up to defend Katherine Kealoha, criticize the judge

Waimanalo Suit Filed: Enviros Say DOI, Hawaii Gov't Let Sports Complex Flout Regs

L360: … A group of environmentalists alleges in a Hawaii federal court suit filed Thursday that both federal and local administrators approved a $32 million sports complex that flouts environmental concerns….

read … Enviros Say DOI, Hawaii Gov't Let Sports Complex Flout Regs

After Arrests, Caldwell Tweets: 'We Are Not Building Sports Complex In Waimanalo'

AP:  …Because we have listened, we are NOT building a sports complex in Waimānalo. We are NOT finishing the master plan. We are NOT planting invasive trees. We are building phase 1: a sports field, small playground and 11-stall parking lot. That’s it….

read … Caldwell Tweets: 'We Are Not Building Sports Complex In Waimanalo'

DFS Hawaii laying off 165 workers amid international visitor market declines

SA: … DFS Hawaii, which has operated in Hawaii since 1962 and employs 660 people, began taking steps to reduce a quarter of its workforce today in one of the biggest layoffs of the state’s softer tourism cycle.

About 165 layoffs are expected to be spread across three DFS Hawaii locations – T Galleria by DFS, Hawaii; the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport; and the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. They include employees from management, sales, operations, clerical, and virtually all DFS Hawaii departments.

Eligible workers will receive severance packages based on their years of service to the company, which has strong ties to Hawaii going back decades….

NAR: Hurt by protests, Hong Kong duty-free group slashes Singapore jobs

read … DFS Hawaii laying off 165 workers amid international visitor market declines 

3.4lbs of Meth: Homeless Dude Offers to Accept Shelter if Released from Jail

MN: … Bail was set at $400,000 for a man who was arrested Monday after police recovered 3.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in a drug investigation, a deputy prosecutor said.

Francis Maddela, 31, is charged with first-degree promoting of a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and promoting a controlled substance within 750 feet of a school….

“This was a narcotics investigation into this defendant as a supplier of methamphetamine,” she said.

Jones said the investigation led to the recovery of 3.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine “that he admitted to dealing for money.” She said Maddela reported obtaining the drugs from “Mainland sources that are connected to international cartels.”

Maddela is homeless and unemployed, Jones said.

“He’s a danger to the community,” she said.

She said Maddela was convicted of second-degree assault in 2016 and also has convictions for abuse and disorderly conduct.

Deputy Public Defender William Pannell asked that Maddela be released on supervision. … he can stay at his mother’s house in Wailuku if released ….

read … Homeless Mayhem

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