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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020 News Release
By Andrew Walden @ 8:23 PM :: 796 Views

‘Ragged clothing and a staged homeless look’–Foreclosure for Fun and Profit with Gary V Dubin

FCC Fines Al Hee $49M for Fraud

Ige Has 30 Days to Name Next Supreme Court Justice

Kauai OHA Candidate Kamealoha Smith Endorses Keli’i Akina for OHA Trustee at-Large

Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard irks left after citing Project Veritas in call to ban ballot harvesting

Pearl City Lowest Percentage of Disabled Living in Poverty

Navy Issues Red Hill Remediation Contracts

COVID Count 121 new cases out of 2,049 tests

Navatek CEO Arrested for CARES Act Fraud--Got Help from 'Senator'

CB: … A politically connected defense contractor in Hawaii was arrested and charged Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly bilking the federal government out of $12.8 million in coronavirus relief aid meant to help small businesses.

Martin Kao is the CEO of Martin Defense Group, formerly known as Navatek LLC, a Honolulu-based company that over the years has received millions of dollars in federal contracts, primarily to design state-of-the-art ship hulls for the U.S. Navy.

He is accused by the DOJ of bank fraud and money laundering for falsifying loan applications so that he could receive more money than he was entitled to under the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created by Congress as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act meant to stave off financial ruin for individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kao is a prolific political donor. He, his family and his employees have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to federal politicians in recent years, including several members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, who is on the committee, has also received significant campaign contributions from Kao and his affiliates.

(“B-b-but I paid in.  This is a protected business.  Whaddauguys doing here?”)

Kao’s company also appears tied to a mysterious $150,000 donation made to a super PAC supporting U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is up for reelection….

HNN:  Fraud, money laundering in PPP loan scheme   …US Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji Price said Kao submitted fraudulent information in his PPP loan documents, including by inflating the number of employees he had and what they earn.  After getting a $10 million loan through the program, Price said, Kao deposited $2 million into his personal bank account. Kao then allegedly applied for a second loan through the program….  Price also said that other businesses are being investigated for potential fraud in connection with funds through the CARES Act.

(Fun game.  Google ‘Navatek’ and try to count the fluff pieces local ‘journalists’ have written about Navatek over the years.  Betcha can’t count that high.)

PBN: Navatek CEO arrested on federal bank fraud and money laundering charges  -- 

Court documents show email exchanges between Kao and executives at CPB, Radius Bank and FHB saying if the loan was not processed quickly, he'd leverage relationships with unnamed U.S. senators and members of Congress to speed up the process.

In one email to CPB, Kao stated that “[The redacted Senate senior staffer] wanted to stress that these are simple checks of information and mathematical accuracy … it is not an audit and the bank is absolutely empowered and relying on the applicants representations and certifications."

Another email to CPB stated: “[The Senator] is suggesting a conference call with his Banking Committee and SBA staff director ... she helped write the PPP rules ... She has confirmed directly that CPB should and is obligated to fund once SBA issues the approval number. Any additional review the bank does should be perfunctory … at best.”....

Kao is scheduled to make his initial appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Mansfield in Honolulu on Thursday at 9:30 a.m....

SA: Honolulu man arrested for alleged fraud in $12.8M federal coronavirus relief funds

PDF: US v Kao Complaint 

read … Yes.  Dan Inouye Really is Dead

HPD Crime-Solving Record Is The Worst Its Been In At Least 40 Years

CB: … If you are the victim of a crime in Honolulu, odds are that charges will never be filed in the case.

FBI data released Monday shows that the Honolulu Police Department is far below the national average when it comes to “clearing” cases –  when officers make an arrest or otherwise close a case.

In fact, data kept by the FBI and Attorney General’s office going back nearly 40 years shows the overall clearance rate was the lowest it had ever been in 2018. And 2019 was only slightly better.

HPD made an arrest or otherwise solved only one violent crime for every four that occurred in 2019, according to the FBI data.

Of the 2,866 cases of homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault reported last year, HPD cleared only 735 cases – a rate of 25.7%. The average percentage for a similarly sized city is 35.6% and is 45.5% across all police departments, according to FBI data.

“More than one third of the time in Honolulu, you’re not solving a homicide,” said David Johnson, a criminologist and professor at the University of Hawaii. “A low clearance rate is not a good thing. It’s a badge of shame.”

The statistics are even worse when it comes to property crime.

There were 29,263 cases of arson, burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft in Honolulu in 2019. HPD closed only 1,582 cases. That’s 5.4%.

The national average for cities with similar populations is double that. The national average for all departments is more than triple Honolulu’s rate. …

read … HPD Crime-Solving Record Is The Worst Its Been In At Least 40 Years

Failure to Incarcerate Lunatics in Lunatic Asylums is cause of HPD Low Crime-Solving record

Cataluna:  … a year ago, I was sitting in a meeting in downtown Honolulu when, all of a sudden, there were strange sounds coming from the ceiling. Something had gotten in through the roof and was crawling around the duct system.

A colleague looked up and saw a face peering down from an air vent. Someone had climbed up a fire ladder outside the building, had found a way inside the narrow ventilation system, and was crawling around inside the building. Eventually, the climber made it out to the steep-pitched roof, wedged herself precariously in a corner, and proceeded to break off roof tiles and throw the pieces to the ground.

Police were called. The fire department showed up with a truck and lift to get the person off the roof. Maybe a dozen or more first responders spent two hours trying to safely get her down.

The saddest part of the story was this: The cops knew this person by name and had pulled her off high places before. She was homeless. She was a climber. She was often in dangerous situations that required the assistance of so many first responders.

Just about everybody on Oahu has a story like this, about seeing teams of police officers, as well as fire fighters and ambulance crews, responding to a single homeless person who is gravely disabled, dangerous or in danger, acting out and refusing help. HPD is very visible in the community. We know they’re busy doing stuff that nobody else wants to do and stuff that is, frankly, a stretch as far as their job description.

Likewise, many Oahu residents have first-person accounts of home break-ins or car break-ins and how they knew, even as they picked up the phone to report the crime, that it was a fruitless endeavor, a formality simply to document the loss for insurance purposes or to add to the neighborhood statistics.

HPD may be very visible in the community, but they are mostly reactive, clearing up whatever mess there is in the moment and then moving on to the next. Oahu residents have tacitly given up on crime-solving, case-breaking, or even investigatory follow-up.

It may not be surprising to those who live here that the Honolulu Police Department has one of the worst crime-clearing rates in the country, but it should be infuriating. It should be untenable. Christina Jedra’s analysis of FBI data describing what we have understood anecdotally for too long should ignite a call for action and a commitment to change….

read … HPD's Shameful Crime-Solving Record Shouldn't Be Tolerated

Another One: Liliha nursing home scrambles to contain COVID-19 outbreak

SA: … A Liliha nursing home is scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has so far sickened 21 residents and six staff members.

The coronavirus quietly infiltrated the Liliha Healthcare Center after an employee tested positive on Sept. 16. The center tested all residents and staff two days later and some of the results were returned positive on Sept. 20. The state Department of Health said it is investigating cases at the Liliha Healthcare Center and wouldn’t comment at this time….

The 92-bed nursing home that opened in June 1991 offers 24-hour intermediate and skilled nursing care for short and long-term patients, behavioral health and rehabilitation services, as well as hospice care at 1814 Liliha St. The facility is locally-owned and operated by The New Family Health Inc., which also runs Nuuanu Hale, a 75-bed long-term care facility established in 1975….

At least 21 nursing homes have reported cases among staff or residents in the past 28 days, the DOH said on its website. They include 15 in Honolulu, two on Maui and four on Hawaii island, including the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, which has seen the state’s largest coronavirus outbreak with 71 residents and 35 employees infected to date and at least 26 fatalities…. 

SA: Trouble in another nursing home

KHON: 15 of those residents, who tested positive but were not showing symptoms, were taken to Wahiawa General Hospital to create more space for isolation at the facility

(NOTE: ALL COVID-POSITIVE PATIENTS SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THIS FACILITY IMMEDIATELY.  IF YOU HAVE COVID-NEGATIVE FAMILY AT LHC, IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.)

read … Liliha Healthcare Center scrambles to contain COVID-19 outbreak

State: More than 40,000 Hawaii residents have lost health insurance amid pandemic

HNN: …More than 40,000 Hawaii residents have lost their private health insurance coverage amid the pandemic and been forced to go on a government plan.

According to the state Department of Human Services, enrollment in the state Med-Quest or Medicaid program has jumped 13% to a record 376,000 residents ― from 333,000 in September 2019.

Nearly all of them come from households that have suffered job losses and have had their employer health insurance coverage cut off.

“The number of people who are going on Quest, that’s a clear indication of those who have fallen into a category of economic challenge or economic despair even," said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

“I believe 3,000 additional children have been added to Medicaid and that’s often because of their entire family has gone on.”

The DHS said enrollment is up in all counties:

Enrollment of Med-Quest recipients on Oahu is up 12.5%;

The Big Island has seen a 10.4% jump;

And Kauai and Maui have seen enrollment increase by more than 16%

read … State: More than 40,000 Hawaii residents have lost health insurance amid pandemic

TheHandi-Van users want 12.5% fare increase delayed

SA: … Testifiers and users of TheHandi-Van voiced support for increasing the fare to ride, but said it should not be implemented now when many people are struggling from the COVID-19 outbreak in Honolulu.

The Honolulu Rate Commission on Tuesday continued to discuss a possible fare increase for TheHandi-Van, the city’s “paratransit” serv­ice that accommodates people with disabilities.

The fare would increase to $2.25 from $2….

read … TheHandi-Van users want fare increase delayed

Miske companies included a motor vehicle dealer

ILind: … There’s little in the public record about Hawaii Partners.

Federal prosecutors included one transaction when arguing that Miske should not be released on bail.

On approximately May 30, 2020, MISKE, through one of his companies, Hawaii Partners, LLC, purchased a 2017 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta for $219,000 with $217,000 cash down that was transferred from his KTPC savings account to his Hawaii Partners LLC bank account.

And Hawaii Partners was front and center in 2017, when the FBI executed a search warrant and seized a $425,000 Boston Whaler purchased by Miske and allegedly used in the 2016 kidnapping and murder of Jonathan Fraser. Lawyers representing Hawaii Partners later went to court claiming ownership of the boat and seeking its release….

read … Miske companies included a motor vehicle dealer

Army: State Needs To Renew Lease For Big Island Training Area

CB:  … The Army has a 65-year lease to train in nearly 23,000 acres of state land that it obtained for $1 in 1964. The lease expires in 2029, so the Army is preparing an environmental impact statement to assess the ecological, cultural and economic impacts of continued training as it seeks a renewal.

Part of that process includes a public comment period, which ends Oct. 14, for citizens, elected officials and organizations to submit concerns….

read … Army: State Needs To Renew Lease For Big Island Training Area

Trans-Pacific travel: Ready for prime time? Kim says no

HTH: … With just two weeks remaining to get it all together, Hawaii’s pretest trans-Pacific travel plan is not ready for prime time, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday, a sentiment echoed by two recent travelers to the Big Island.

Kim said he and the other mayors are meeting with Gov. David Ige today to work out a plan to institute the test-and-trace program, but he’s advising the state not try to put it in place on Oct. 15, as currently planned. There are too many gaps, he said.

“It’s not as easy as just a pretest. … How are you going to distinguish between those who have been tested and who has not. … How do you monitor these people?” Kim asked. “The county of Hawaii is having a very, very difficult time being the agency to ID who these travelers are. We will have a policy that’s impossible to enforce.”

An Ige spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon the plan is still a work in progress. “Things are getting hammered out, so watch for updates and announcements later this week,” said Jodi Leong.

The governor’s office has been deluged with phone calls and emails from travelers anxious to know the status of the plan, forcing the office to put up automated phone messages directing travelers to the https://health.hawaii.gov/travel website.  Travelers may also use the page https://bit.ly/34dODf5 to leave a message.

Michelle Ellis, who flew from the mainland to Kona on Sept. 20, said she encountered a number of problems using the Safe Travels app in conjunction with her 14-day quarantine. The app was unclear about how many QR codes she needed to make the trip, she said. The instructions said one QR code per trip, but she actually needed one for each leg of the trip.

This caused confusion when she reached Kona International Airport, because she didn’t have the required QR code on her phone. The contract workers screening incoming passengers were rude and unhelpful, she said, treating her abruptly and not allowing her to set down her laptop to re-register for a new code, something she said she couldn’t do on her phone.

“We had thought we were good to go,” Ellis said. “People from Roberts threatened us, saying, ‘Get this done or you will be arrested.’  (NOTE: The less power a person has, the more they like to use it.)   And I looked at them and said, ‘Do not threaten me.’ It wasn’t like we trying to cheat the system. …. This isn’t aloha.”….

HNN: Councilman calls on the governor to prove Hawaii is ready to welcome back visitors

read … Trans-Pacific travel: Ready for prime time? Kim says no

Mayor: Kaua’i aims upscale tourist

TGI: … Kawakami focused on Kaua‘i, and promoting the island to a specific market because of the emphasis on safety as Hawai‘i moves closer to re-opening to mainland travelers.

“We can’t compete with islands like Maui or O‘ahu as far as volume,” Kawakami said. “For visitors, they want to come to a place where they are safe and healthy, and these measures of inconvenience (to travelers) are only temporary.”

Kawakami said Kaua‘i aims to market itself towards a demographic of wealthy visitors. “We don’t want to be a budget destination,” Kawakami said. “We want to offer that premium experience to people who can co-exist with our way of life.”

read … Environmentalists are the Wealthy

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