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Saturday, November 6, 2021
November 6, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:00 PM :: 1552 Views

DoH Orders Embry Health to Stop COVID Testing

JSC Announces Seven Judicial Vacancies

Hawaii Republican State Committee to Elect New Chair

Federal eyes on Honolulu Police Department?

SA Editorial: … The U.S. Department of Justice, under the policies of the Biden administration, is more inclined to increase federal oversight of local police departments than it did under the former administration.

So a letter to the DOJ from Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz, seeking federal relief from allegedly excessive use of force by the Honolulu Police Department, is sure to get a closer look than it would have in the preceding four years.

The mere request for a federal consent decree or other form of oversight has gained the attention of the public and policymakers, and that’s helpful. HPD officials, knowing that federal intervention may be looming, should advance its recent policy reforms, such as de-escalation of police-public encounters, through better police training.

After all, Hawaii does have history with federal consent decrees being imposed, with significant impact on local government operations.

The Felix Consent Decree of the mid-1990s, named for a special-needs student, revolutionized the delivery of special education services in public schools. The ACLU of Hawaii has advocated for lessening the overcrowding of prisons, securing a consent decree in 1985. Deteriorating prison conditions again led in 2017 to the organization’s renewed call for a study of overcrowding and the appointment of a special master.

Federal authority does carry weight. In the case of HPD, however, the community cannot afford to simply wait to see if the feds will intervene, let alone leave the ball in the DOJ court….

read … Federal eyes on Honolulu Police Department?

Redistricting process upsets Drama Queen LoPresti

SA: … The effort to realign state House and Senate district seats according to Hawaii’s latest census data has to be finished in February and will affect next year’s elections, when every legislative seat will be up to voters across the state to decide…..

One plan to incorporate Portlock into the Kailua- Waimanalo House District 51 seat drew criticism from people like Bill Hicks, who testified before the commission Oct. 14…. (The rest of this editorial is a pitch for the ‘Hicks Plan’) ….

And there has been drama concerning commission member Kevin Rathbun after state Rep. Matt LoPresti (D, Ewa Villages-Ocean Pointe-Ewa Beach) twice called for Rathbun’s removal during the redistricting process.

At its Oct. 28 meeting, LoPresti submitted testimony that the latest plan for LoPresti’s House District 41 had turned “into a gerrymandered mess … for partisan reasons” and “a Frankensteinian monster district.”

LoPresti blamed it on Rathbun, his neighbor. Rathbun’s daughter, Amanda Rathbun, finished a distant third in the 2020 Democratic primary contest won by LoPresti, who went on to beat Republican David Alcos in the general election.

LoPresti told the commission in written testimony that Rathbun “told me he would ‘fix it’ so it wouldn’t happen again.”

“At the time Commissioner Kevin Rathbun swore to me that he would see to this, I had no idea what he was actually talking about and figured he was just upset about losing again,” LoPresti wrote in his testimony. “You see, he has served as the de facto campaign manager for my opponents in the last two elections, and if I understand things correctly, for whatever personal reasons has gone out of his way to work on the campaign of every opponent I have ever had since my first successful campaign to represent the Ewa Beach area in the state legislature in 2014….

A Decade of Lopresti Drama:

read … Redistricting process will affect every 2022 Hawaii state House and Senate race

Fraternity under investigation after claims multiple women were drugged at parties

HNN: … UH also said no victims have come to them officially after reaching out to more than two dozen students.

“If you’re a victim of any type of gender-based violence, sexual harassment or assault, we want our students, we want our employees to seek help,” said Dan Meisenzahl, a UH spokesman….

The University of Hawaii said it has reached out to two dozen individuals since late September after claims that multiple young women were drugged at college fraternity parties.

Supporters of the alleged victims said fraternity members of Tau Kappa Epsilon would slip drugs into their friends’ drinks.

One UH freshman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she witnessed a student come back to the dorms after she was drugged at a party….

Elle Vincioni is a student senator and interviewed victims for UH’s student paper, Ka Leo.  At least one has told her she was sexually assaulted, Vincioni said….

REALITY: Rape is a felony.  If you have been raped, call the police—not a University administrator. 

read … Fraternity under investigation after claims multiple women were drugged at parties

DHHL could be exempted from ‘show me the water’

MN: … Hoping to expedite Hawaiian homestead projects and keep families from being displaced, the Maui County Council is looking to exempt the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands from long-term water requirements.

For years, applicants for housing and other projects in Maui County have had to prove they had a “long-term, reliable supply of water” before building, an ordinance known as the “show me the water” policy….

A new measure before the council would exempt DHHL homestead projects including residential, cultural, agricultural, aquacultural and pastoral developments, as well as portions of multipurpose projects or community facilities, designed and intended for the “disposition of Native Hawaiians” under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, according to Council Vice Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, who proposed the bill.

The council’s Agriculture and Public Trust Committee voted 4-2 on Tuesday to recommend the bill and decided to include commercial development on the list, reasoning that the funding the department generates will go toward helping Native Hawaiians….

Some exemptions outlined in the bill include building permits that don’t require new or additional water services, subdivisions that will not be regulated by a public water system and residential workforce housing units that are within the service area of the department’s Central or West Maui water system.

Other exemptions include residential development projects with 100 percent affordable housing units that are within the service area of DHHL’s Central or West Maui water system, public or quasi-public development projects and related subdivisions that are within the service area and commercial development projects….

MN: Bill passes to create affordable housing waitlists (so they can be exploited politically) -- Council also OKs measure to require large homes of 5,000 square feet or more to be net zero energy (so solar contractors make more on luxe homes)

read … DHHL could be exempted from ‘show me the water’

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