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Wednesday, December 9, 2020
December 9, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:48 PM :: 2570 Views

VIDEO: Chief Ballard Responds to Anonymous Letter

FBI: Suspected Chinese spy targeted Tulsi Gabbard

DoE Distance Learning -- 35% of HS Students Fail or Get no Grades

Only 44% of Hawai‘i residents plan to get COVID-19 vaccine

Med-Quest RFP for Medicaid Plans

CLIMB-HI: DoE Partners with Career Portal

Hawaii COVID-19 Vaccine—Line up for Shots Starting Tuesday

KITV: … Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel tells KITV4 the state is preparing to receive shipments of the Pfizer vaccine next Monday.

The vaccine has not received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, but Raethel tells KITV4 he is expecting that to come soon, possibly this week.

“We are doing a lot of work to get ready for the distribution we anticipate within 24-48 hours of arrival the first people will get the vaccine,” said Raethel, meaning the earliest possible timeline would have Hawaii residents receiving the vaccine Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. …

SA: State expects to receive 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month

read … Hawaii Preparing to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Next Monday

4 Honolulu officers face criminal probe linked to COVID-19 enforcement overtime

HNN: … Four Honolulu Police officers are being investigated for suspected theft and other crimes linked to an overtime probe, Hawaii News Now has learned.

The department alleges that the officers got paid for overtime hours that they did not work.

All are assigned to Pearl City. Two are plainclothes officers so HNN is not using their names. The third is Sgt. Ashley Stibbard while the fourth, and highest-ranking member, is Lt. Lance Yashiro.

All were reportedly caught leaving early while claiming overtime working the COVID-19 Enforcement Team, which was shut down last month after a review by HPD discovered rampant overtime abuse.

So far, the four are the only ones being accused of crimes….

If HPD finds enough evidence to pursue criminal charges investigators will meet with the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office.

In the meantime, the four officers will have to turn in their guns and badges and will be on desk duty while the investigation continues….

SA: HPD commanders ask for investigation into spending of CARES Act money

HNN: HPD spent millions in COVID-19 aid on four-wheelers, trucks and trailers

read … 4 Honolulu officers face criminal probe linked to COVID-19 enforcement overtime

State officials confirm Governor Ige preparing to reduce quarantine restrictions for travelers

HNN: … The Lieutenant Governor says the program is working on citing a drop in cases and hospitalizations.
He's also pushing for an exemption to allow seamless travel for vaccinated passengers.

"By February, March we'll start seeing a lot of vaccinations for people and I also know that as we get vaccinated it won't be necessary for people to go through the interisland quarantine or the pre-testing process, they will be immune otherwise we wouldn't bother with the vaccination programs," Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said.

On Tuesday Major General Kenneth Hara told lawmakers Hawaii could start receiving vaccines as early as next week….

KITV: Hilo Medical Center prepares its healthcare workers to get first COVID-19 vaccines

KHON: Vaccines could come to Hawaii as soon as mid-December, says Lt. Gov. Josh Green

read … State officials confirm Governor Ige preparing to reduce quarantine restrictions for travelers

Hawaii certifies Biden’s win of state’s presidential vote—Electors to Meet at Legislature Monday

AP: … Hawaii on Tuesday certified the results of its presidential vote after the state Supreme Court dismissed an elections complaint challenging the entirety of the Nov. 3 general election in the islands….

The justices, in a unanimous ruling, said the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the results of all federal, state and county races. Further, even if the plaintiffs had standing, they failed to prove any facts in support of their claims, the order said….

The complaint was filed by three unsuccessful candidates for office — one Republican and two non-partisans. It sought to invalidate the 2020 primary and general elections and have the state hold new contests.

The plaintiffs alleged the state’s non-partisan Office of Elections violated state law when they implemented the state’s new vote-by-mail system this year. They argued this created opportunities for fraud to be committed. Karl Dicks, a non-partisan candidate who is the lead author of the complaint, said the plaintiffs believed they would find out what kind of fraud was perpetrated once they were allowed to conduct discovery as part of their court case.

Dicks, who received 361 votes to place 14th out of 15 candidates for Honolulu mayor in the primary election, said he was concerned about reports that mail ballots had been sent to people who had died and others who moved away, among other concerns.

The Republican candidate who joined the complaint was Emil Svrcina, who received 24.2% of the vote while losing a state House race to incumbent Democratic Rep. Ryan Yamane in the general election.

Shirlene Ostrov, the chairperson of the Republican Party of Hawaii, said she supports the right of people to challenge election results but didn’t advise the three plaintiffs.

Ostrov noted Hawaii had been preparing to implement all-mail voting since last year after the state’s new law was enacted in June 2019, a different scenario from states where the Trump campaign was challenging mail-in ballots.

“I was also very involved, along with many other Republicans, in the process from the start. And so I can say with certainty that the system was as transparent as possible. We were able to have access to almost every part of the process. And when we didn’t have access, we asked for access and they gave us access,” Ostrov said….

PDF: Electoral College to Meet Dec 14

PDF: Dismissal

read … Hawaii certifies Biden’s win of state’s presidential vote

Guilty plea ties Miske to Fraser murder plot

ILind: … A longtime friend and associate of  Michael J. Miske Jr. admitted in federal court last week that he assisted Miske in planning and preparing the 2016 kidnapping and murder of Jonathan Fraser.

The startling admission came on Friday, December 4, as Wayne Miller, 37, appeared by telephone before Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu’s U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to a single count of “racketeering conspiracy” as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Miller’s plea agreement is the latest piece of the prosecution’s case against Miske and his co-defendants to be placed on the public record, following plea deals with Jacob “Jake” Smith and Jonah Ortiz.

Although Miller’s guilty plea was expected, the disclosure that he had played a role in Fraser’s murder had not been signaled in earlier documents filed in the case….

In 2016, according to the plea agreement,  “Miske instructed an employee of one of his companies to create fraudulent pay stubs for Miller so that Miller could submit them to his probation officer and pretend to have been legitimately employed.”…

read … Guilty plea ties Miske to Fraser murder plot

Real estate donors injected last-minute cash into Blangiardi's final push for Honolulu mayor

PBN: … Rick Blangiardi outraised opponent Keith Amemiya with three times the amount of contributions in the final two weeks of the Honolulu mayor’s race before winning the office with more than 58% of the vote, with most of the maximum $4,000 donations coming from people in the real estate and development community.

The mayor-elect and former media executive received a total of $139,408 in contributions for the final period from Oct. 20 to Nov. 3, according to the final report filed last week with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. Amemiya received a total of $46,727 in contributions for the final reporting period, but outraised Blangiardi by a total of $42,000 for the Nov. 3 general election.

Blangiardi received a total of 19 contributions of $4,000 each in late October and early November, most from donors with ties to the real estate industry…

read … Real estate donors injected last-minute cash into Blangiardi's final push for Honolulu mayor

Changes To Hawaii’s Sunshine Law Could Improve Access To Public Meetings

CB: … The public may be on the verge of getting better access to the workings of government under a new proposal that’s expected to go before the Legislature in January.

The Office of Information Practices plans to introduce a bill next session that would allow boards and commissions to continue to meet using video conferencing software like Zoom or BlueJeans even after the pandemic has passed….

read … Changes To Hawaii’s Sunshine Law Could Improve Access To Public Meetings

Homeless dude flies in from San Francisco, immediately arrested for emergency rule violation

MN: … A man was arrested Monday night for violating public health emergency rules when he arrived at Kahului Airport from the Mainland without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test or a valid place to self-quarantine, police said.

Dillon Rogers, 36, arrived on a flight from San Francisco at 9:53 p.m., police said. He didn’t have a return flight to the Mainland scheduled, police said.

Bail was set at $2,000 for Rogers, who remained in police custody Tuesday.

Police said Rogers is from Florida.

When he appeared by videoconference Tuesday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Deputy Public Defender William Pannell said Rogers is a Maui resident who lives (a jet-setter lifestyle) at the Salvation Army shelter ….

read … ‘Houseless’ man arrested for emergency rule violation

Soft on Crime: Thugs Get Away with it Again and Again

MN: … Caones-Paahana, 28, of Wailuku was arrested several hours after the assault reported at 12:54 a.m. Nov. 27 at Kihei Kalama Village. Police said the victim was on the ground and being punched by another man when Caones-Paahana punched the victim in the head, then stomped on his head, leaving him unconscious for seven minutes.

Caones-Paahana and Finau also have been charged in connection with another assault at Kihei Kalama Village on Sept. 27.

In that case, Caones-Paahana pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault when he was arraigned Thursday in 2nd Circuit Court.

Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones said Caones-Paahana allegedly stomped on the victim’s face seven times while he was on the ground.

She said Caones-Paahana was also being charged as a persistent offender who could face extended prison terms if convicted based on two or more previous felony convictions.

According to court records, Caones-Paahana has prior convictions for first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of second-degree theft, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, two counts of third-degree theft, two counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and third-degree assault.

Responding to the prosecution’s request that Caones-Paahana stay away from Finau and Kihei Kalama Village, Deputy Public Defender Heather Wolfenbarger said the two men are related. She said Caones-Paahana works as a security guard and his job sometimes requires him to be at the location.

read … Soft on Crime

Court to decide how injection wells decision impacts county

MN: … A federal court in Hawaii will decide in the spring how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a lawsuit over injection wells in West Maui will apply to Maui County, an attorney in the case said Tuesday.

The Supreme Court ruled against Maui County in April, saying that sewage plants and other industries cannot avoid strict environmental requirements under landmark clean water protections when they send polluted water indirectly to rivers, oceans and other navigable waterways….

read … Court to decide how injection wells decision impacts county

As climate change threatens Pacific Islands, some atolls have been growing

CNN: … Low-lying atolls in the Pacific Ocean have long been considered some of the most vulnerable areas to climate change, as rising sea levels threaten to submerge them.

(But it was all a lie.)

But over the past decade, scientists have noted a puzzling phenomenon: some islands are getting bigger.

A new study released last week examined the evolution of Jeh Island, a sparsely populated atoll that's part of the Marshall Islands, a Pacific nation made up of a remote chain of coral atolls and volcanic islands between the Philippines and Hawaii.

Researchers found the island's land area has increased by 13% since 1943 due to a buildup of sediments from the existing coral reef. Healthy coral reefs naturally produce sediment -- in fact, that's what atolls are made of.….

(CLUE: Coral is alive.  If the sea level rises, the coral rises to meet the new sea level.  Duh.)

The new study is significant because it shows islands can continue growing, even when sea levels are rising.

"We have found islands are resilient in the face of rising seas and that sediment supply to some atolls is out-pacing sea level rise," Ford said. "What we don't know is how that will play out in coming decades."

(Translation.  This is the only time you will hear this study reported.  We enviros will continue to spout lies uninterrupted.)

read … As climate change threatens Pacific Islands, some atolls have been growing

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