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Tuesday, February 12, 2019
February 12, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:48 PM :: 3040 Views

FULL TEXT: Connors, Ballard ask Supreme Court to Remove Kaneshiro--Prosecutor Accused of Retaliating Against Witnesses

Lyon Bribery Micronesia: Arrests Start at the Top

Medical Care is a Right—Except When it isn’t

Hearing: Should Auwahi Windfarm Be Allowed to Kill 140 Bats?

Drug Charges Filed Against Katherine Kealoha And Her Brother

CB: … In a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, former deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her brother, Big Island Dr. Rudolph Puana, face new charges of selling powerful opioid painkillers illegally prescribed by Puana, covering it up from police and thwarting the prosecution of the case.

In a 56-count indictment, federal authorities lay out what they say is Kealoha’s leading role in a small, multi-island drug ring nourished with unlawful prescriptions for oxycodone, fentanyl and Xanax authorized by Kealoha’s brother. 

Four other co-conspirators with personal or business ties to Kealoha and Puana are alleged to have sold the drugs on multiple islands, sometimes using the proceeds to line their pockets or to buy cocaine for themselves or Puana.

read … Honolulu Police Corruption: Drug Charges Filed Against Katherine Kealoha And Her Brother

Lawyer Announces Lunatic ‘Confession’: HGEA off Hook and May Help Saito Beat Rap

KHON: … Attorney Michael Green says the patient provided Saito with the fake ID's that allowed him to fly all the way to California.

(Translation: Green has arranged things, as always.)

Saito escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital in November 2017. He walked out of the facility and took a cab to the airport, where he took a charter flight to Maui, and then a commercial flight to California.

He was arrested three days later with a cell phone, cash, and fake ID's. Green says a patient has admitted to giving Saito the fake Id's.

"The name will be presented to me probably in the next 60 days. The prosecutor is very up and up about the whole thing. He says yeah, I mean the person corroborated what your client says," said Green.

He says the patient gave Saito the ID's while they were at the Koolau Clubhouse, a facility near the state hospital where patients can get additional services.

"What reason did this person give for confessing or for actually helping?" KHON2 asked.

"I don't know but we're gonna certainly find out and it's gonna be very public cause it's gonna be part of the trial," said Green.

He says it's still not clear who provided Saito with the cell phone and thousands of dollars in cash.

(Idea: Let’s exploit one case to ‘solve’ another.  Keep watching for more ‘confessions’.)

The AG's administrative investigation concluded that Saito did not get any help from the hospital staff. But the criminal investigation is still ongoing.

(See how these ‘arrangements’ work?)

Green says it's troubling how much Saito and possibly other patients could get away with at the clubhouse.

"What else was brought to different people who are basically in custody at the state hospital that were being visited at the clubhouse? It's pretty scary," he said.

Green adds that the confession could clear Saito from the charge of identity theft, which carries a stiffer penalty than the escape charge which he also faces….

(See how these ‘arrangements’ work?  Lunatic gets benefits for helping ‘solve’ Saito case.  Saito avoids ID theft charge.  HGEA gets off scot-free.  Green gets paid.)

SA: State Hospital escapee had help from inside, attorney says

read … All Arranged

HB1311: The continuing legislative attack on judicial independence

ILind: … Here we go again. Time for another rather distasteful attempt by legislative leaders to undermine the independence of the courts. We’ve been around this block several times in recent years as legislators fume about and attempt to retaliate against court decisions.

One of this year’s bills, HB1311, is up for a hearing Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Chris Lee.

One major provision of HB1311 would scrap Hawaii’s current system for reviewing judges and justices when they seek renewals at the expiration of their current term. The current system puts the power of renewal in the hands of the independent Judicial Selection Commission, which has been nationally praised as a model for keeping politics out of the process of selecting and renewing judges. The bill would make the commission advisory to the Senate, empowering the Senate “to consent to or reject” the decision of the Judicial Selection Commission.

The bill was introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki, who was joined by all the top House leadership team, Vice-Speaker Mark Nakashima, Majority Leader Della Au Belatti, Majority Leader Dee Morikawa, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chris Lee.

Saiki introduced a similar bill during the 2017 session. His HB1 (2017) proposed similar changes to the process for judicial retention….

Related: Former Cocaine Dealer: We Forced Judiciary to Reverse Decisions by Threatening Budget

read … The continuing legislative attack on judicial independence

City Councilwoman Calls For Forensic Audit Of Honolulu Rail Project

CB: … Honolulu City Council newcomer Heidi Tsuneyoshi is calling for a forensic audit of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s procurement processes as well as the city’s management of rail contracts.

In a council resolution filed Tuesday morning, Tsuneyoshi wrote that the audit should be conducted by an entity with no connection to HART or the city to determine if any of the rail agency’s employees, contractors or consultants misappropriated public money or acted illegally. Any evidence gathered during the audit could be used in court proceedings.

“This resolution is to ask for a clear investigation into what has happened and what the lack of internal controls has cost us,” she told the media outside Honolulu Hale on Tuesday morning….

PDF: Reso 19-29

read … City Councilwoman Calls For Forensic Audit Of Honolulu Rail Project

Parking Meter Rates Double as Part of Anti-Car Agenda

SA: . . Motorists in need of street parking in downtown Honolulu on Monday generally aren’t happy about the city’s announcement that on-street parking meter rates will be doubling in the coming weeks.

Rates for meters along the busiest streets in Chinatown, downtown and Waikiki are increasing to $3 an hour from $1.50 an hour. Meters in other neighborhoods such as Kaimuki, Kailua, Kalihi, Kakaako and Ala Moana are jumping to $1.50 an hour from 75 cents an hour.

The new rates were supposed to take effect Monday, but city Transportation Services Director Wes Frysztacki said it likely will take about five weeks to adjust all of Oahu’s roughly 3,150 street parking meters, both the electronic “smart meter” ones that can accept credit cards and coins, as well as the old-school, heavy-duty, coin-only Duncan parking meters….

The rate hikes were approved under Bill 12 (2017) by the City Council and signed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell in June 2017.

Big Q: Will the doubling of metered street parking fees in and around Honolulu affect your driving habits?

read … Double

Makakilo wind farm getting opposition from an unusual source: Environmentalists

HNN: …HECO has signed a power purchase agreement with Eurus Energy America of San Diego, which is partnering with the Gill Family, which owns the hillside.

The Gills, which include former state Health Department official and ex-City Councilmember Gary Gill, hotel union executive Eric Gill and attorney Tony Gill, are well-known environmentalists (insiders).

They want to use money from the wind farm to (insert excuse here) ….

But environmentalists and community leaders say the wind farm’s 13 wind turbines ― each nearly 500 feet tall ― will be an eyesore and will harm local wildlife.

“We get it, no matter what’s bad. We get in West Oahu. We get the dumps, we get the refineries, we get all the ugly things nobody else wants," said Makakilo Neighborhood Board member Kioni Dudley.

“The wind farms also kills birds, the area is an elepaio sanctuary, we have such a loss of pueo out there.”

A previous plan years ago was halted after major community opposition…..

read … A planned wind farm is getting opposition from an unusual source: Environmentalists

SB571: Require PUC to Open Docket on Establishing Renewable Energy Requirements for Gas Company

IM: …Senate Bill 571 authored by Senator Rhoads would require gas utility companies to establish renewable energy portfolio standards for gas. Provides means for gas utility companies to achieve the renewable energy portfolio standards for gas. Requires the Public Utilities Commission to conduct a study of the renewable portfolio standards…. (Deferred Feb 11)

read … Hawaii PUC to Open Docket on Establishing Renewable Energy Requirements for Gas Company

Ruggles: Hawaii County Council Tries for Four-Year Terms

WHT: … Council terms could be extended from two to four years under a ballot measure advanced by the Charter Commission last week, but under another measure council members could be docked a month’s pay if they don’t show up.

The commission, by a 6-3 vote Friday, passed the longer council terms on first reading, sending the measure, Amendment 8, to a public hearing next month before the commission takes it up on a second and final hearing….

Measures that pass will go on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot.

Hawaii County Council members currently are limited to four two-year terms before they have to sit out at least a term. The charter amendment would change that to two four-year terms.

Voters adopted the eight-year limit in 1996. They rejected longer council terms in 1998….

read … Ruggleslandia

Wailuku parents pray, march in order to protest school bullying

MN: … Saffery and the others said on Tuesday that they were unaware that a former Wailuku Elementary family had joined a class-action lawsuit alleging bullying in Hawaii public schools, filed last year by Oahu-based attorney Eric Seitz. The suit alleges that the Department of Education isn’t doing enough to prevent bullying.

“I don’t think schools in Hawaii are safe right now,” Seitz said Wednesday.

Since the lawsuit was filed in August, he said his office has received 30 to 50 other bullying complaints, and they continue to come in weekly.

Seitz is working on adding other cases to the lawsuit, including a recent incident involving the bullying of a disabled student….

read … Wailuku parents pray, march in order to protest school bullying

Storm that walloped state was so powerful it gave the North Shore some beach back

HNN: … residents estimate the storm brought back between one and two feet of sand to the beach….  (Obviously this means that sea levels are declining.  The logic is inescapable and we have consensus.)

read … Storm that walloped state was so powerful it gave the North Shore some beach back

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