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Tuesday, December 1, 2020
December 1, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:26 PM :: 2228 Views

Ballard: 'Multiple Investigations' into HPD COVID OT Abuse

House Leaders: Safe Travels Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Hawaiian Tel Buys Al Hee's Cable Network

Court Clamps Down Even Harder on Aquarium Fishing Activities Near Billionaire Vacation Homes

Hawaii Commercial Rent Survey Goes National

Ige Appoints Max Otani Director of Department of Public Safety

”No one in the Honolulu Police Department questioned the illegal orders to frame Puana”

SA: … “Both you and Katherine took extreme measures to silence Gerard and Florence to minimize them and make sure they could not do harm … to your reputation,” Sea­bright scolded Louis Kea­loha just before sentencing him.

Seabright said it was “almost unbelievable that the chief of police would do it. … I agree that Katherine was the mastermind behind this, but you were right there by her side … and using your position as chief.”

The charges and convictions of the Kealohas and HPD Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn and officer “Bobby” Minh-Hung Nguyen have “shaken the confidence in our government institutions, most notably HPD,” Seabright said.

Seabright said the community has been asking, “How could this happen here? How could it go on for so long undetected?” …

(Reality: “This always happens here: Why did they get busted when so many others never get stopped?”)

For the first time, Kealoha apologized Monday to her uncle, Puana, whom she accused of being a drug addict to disgrace him, framed for the 2013 theft of the Kea­lohas’ mailbox — which he did not commit — and tried to have thrown in prison. At one point Puana said he was humiliated and traumatized when he was arrested and handcuffed in the parking lot of his church while his girlfriend and church members watched….

Just before he imposed Kea­loha’s sentence, Judge Seabright methodically reviewed the evidence that led to the convictions and repeatedly said that Kealoha had accused Puana, an innocent man, and tried to put him in prison to discredit him.

Seabright also said the Kealohas tried to malign Chuck Totto, former Honolulu Ethics Commission executive director, who was retaliated against when he began investigating complaints of the Kea­lohas’ improper use of video surveillance equipment at their home.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Joseph J.M. Orabona told Seabright that other victims included the “honest men and women of the Honolulu Police Department” who have been tarred by the Kealohas’ crimes and betrayal of their duties and public trust….

Seabright told Louis Kea­loha, “You were not the mastermind, but you did master the frame job that followed. It could not have succeeded … without HPD. … That’s what makes it so shocking.”

The Honolulu police chief “worked overtime to frame an innocent man,” Seabright said….

Based on their incomes, Kea­loha should have realized they could not possibly afford a lifestyle that included payments on a Maserati, a Mercedes and a 2009 brunch at the Sheraton Waikiki to celebrate his promotion to police chief that alone cost $23,976, among other extravagances.

The plan to frame Gerard Puana would work only by using HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit officers — including Hahn and Nguyen — who reported directly to then-Chief Kealoha, Seabright said.

It’s disturbing that no one in the Honolulu Police Department questioned the illegal orders to frame Puana, keep him under 24-hour surveillance and eventually arrest him at his church.

What’s worse, Seabright said, Kealoha had the power to stop Katherine Kealoha’s plans — especially to frame her innocent uncle.

Seabright told Louis Kealoha that he could have told his now-estranged wife, “‘You’ve taken this too far. You need to end this, setting up Gerard.’ No. … You didn’t do that.”

Seabright also blasted Kealoha for lying under oath as police chief in a federal trial near Seabright’s courtroom, causing a mistrial in the 2014 trial of Puana for the mailbox theft….

“The mailbox case was unraveling, “and this was a way to pull the plug,” -- Seabright

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louis Kealoha has until 2 p.m. April 12 to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which will determine where he will be imprisoned. Until then he remains free on bail.

ILind: HPD Chief Ballard on the cost of the Kealoha’s actions

SA: 2nd ex-Honolulu police officer, Bobby Nguyen, sentenced to prison for his part in Kealoha conspiracy

SA: Ex-Honolulu police Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for his part in Kealoha conspiracy

PDF: Gerard Puana's statement to Louis and Katherine Kealoha 

read … Honolulu’s former police chief, Louis Kealoha gets seven years in federal prison, and his estranged wife, Katherine Kealoha, receives 13 years

“We’re seeing a lower positivity rate right now than we did before travel started”

KHON: … On Tuesday, the state’s surveillance testing program concluded and found 45 positive COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 24, out of 20,253 tests, or 2.2 per 1,000, conducted since the program’s launch on Oct. 19….

Despite criticism from some county mayors, Lieutenant Governor Dr. Josh Green says the state’s data reflects Hawaii’s overall COVID-19 case numbers are low.

“We’re seeing a lower positivity rate right now than we did before travel started,” Lt. Gov Green said.

“The average (as of Nov. 30) is 75 cases per day. On average it was at 92 before Safe Travels began, so we’re actually seeing a decline in cases now,” he explained….

read … Phase 1 of surveillance testing program completed

Ige says nearly 300 people have entered the state and later been informed of a positive COVID-19 test

SA: … Gov. David Ige said since the Safe Travels program began, nearly 300 people have entered the state and then been informed of a positive COVID-19 test. That figure encompasses a mix of returning residents and visitors, some of whom arrived in the islands without any testing, some who had pending results when they boarded their flights, and others who had with a negative test upon arrival but then later tested positive for the virus in the state’s surveillance testing. A positive result, particularly for a non-resident, creates a myriad of challenges beyond the health risks….

“Once that happens, we’ve had hotels cancel their reservations, you know, they are often times placed on a ‘do not board’ list by the CDC, where they can’t leave the islands then for 14 days. And so even though it may be less than 300 of those cases, it could represent, if they became positive on the airlines and that they had to isolate the close contacts of those individuals, you know, it could be as many as 3,000 people who end up being on this no fly list and cannot leave the islands,” ….

Ige said that number played a large part in his decision to mandate a negative test for everyone entering the state, in order to bypass a mandatory 14-day quarantine….

read … Ige says nearly 300 people have entered the state and later been informed of a positive COVID-19 test

More than Half of Restaurant Card Funds Spent by Recipients

KITV: … more than 132,000 cards have been activated, more than 1.3 million transactions have been made, and more than $45 million of the $74 million allocated to the cards has been spent ….

read … More than Half of Restaurant Card Funds Spent by Recipients

This Hawaii School Is Bringing Kids Back To Classroom

CB: …Princess Victoria Kaiulani Elementary School in Kalihi told parents of kindergartners and first graders it was time to bring their children back to school on Nov. 16 for face-to-face learning….

Yere said the school only gave her two options if she decided not bring her daughter back: transfer the little girl to another school offering distance learning or do home schooling.

“I can’t do homeschooling. I am working in my restaurant. I have two other children, 5-year-old twins I am helping with their own online preschool lessons. My daughter likes Kaiulani and enjoys her friends there. This feels like she is getting kicked out,” Yere said in a recent telephone conversation.

She owns M & N Filipino Restaurant on N. King St., directly across from Kaiulani Elementary….

read … Parents Fear This Hawaii School Is Bringing Kids Back To Classroom Too Soon

Don’t let privileged minority stop rental housing and jobs

SA: … A critical new housing project, the Plaza at Ala Moana, is coming up for approval with the Honolulu City Council and we should all be excited by the potential opportunity it represents.

So what makes this a big deal? Unlike the scores of new condos in Ala Moana and Kakaako, this is one of the very few privately funded, all-rental housing projects in the area. Furthermore, of the 583 units in the proposed tower, 20% of the units will be set at affordable rates meant to serve those earning 80% or less than the area median income…. 

SA Editorial: City should get more from Plaza Ala Moana

read … Don’t let privileged minority stop rental housing and jobs

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