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Sunday, May 22, 2022
May 22, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:32 PM :: 1674 Views

Civic involvement is key to saving Hawaii

New U.S. Census Bureau data erases Hawaii’s 2010-2020 population growth

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Suddenly Rushing, now that the Process is Public: Honolulu Police Commission Will Appoint New Chief Monday

CB: … Now the selection of a new chief is squarely in the hands of the seven-member Honolulu Police Commission which planned to interview the four candidates on Saturday then hold a public meeting on Monday morning. Although the commission has received dozens of written testimonies from the public, it plans to allow more people to speak out at the Monday meeting.

The commission has been widely criticized for the length of time it’s taken to get to this point. Even Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi vowed to take a hand in the process — even though he has no role in it — reflecting the public’s frustration. Now it seems it plans to name the new chief at the end of the meeting on Monday….

(CLUE: The secret process is slow, the public ‘process’ is for show -- and is rushed.)

SA Editorial: HPD chief must be trustworthy

Link: Agenda 

read … The Honolulu Police Commission Is About To Make A Big Decision. Don't Rush It

Crime, COVID Create Waves of Anger to Exploit

Shapiro: … Last week in Hawaii, a 28-year-old man was convicted on charges of beating a 71-year-old security guard who asked him to wear a mask at a COVID-19 testing site — the type of senseless confrontation we’ve seen repeatedly on airplanes, in restaurants and at the supermarket.

Oahu saw another of the brazen robberies in which thieves drove their truck through a storefront and loaded up.

Overall, homicides, robberies, assaults and rape cases on Oahu are at three-year highs, and police report being physically attacked more often by offenders they confront.

State Ombudsperson Robin Matsunaga, who for 24 years has taken complaints from citizens about the government and diligently tried to resolve them, says calls from complainants have become more “inappropriate, hostile and sometimes threatening.”

The Board of Education meeting that resulted in Keith Hayashi’s appointment as permanent superintendent had to be recessed three times as parents angry mostly about mask mandates shouted insults and pounded their fists. Previously, it was angry teachers reluctant to open schools for fear of being exposed to COVID-19….

read … We can’t let frustration keep bringing out the worst in us

Hawaii 6th Most Democrat State

Borreca: … According to the most recent Pew Research Center national survey, only five states and the District of Columbia have a voting age population that considers itself more Democrat or Democrat-leaning than Hawaii.

The five are Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York and Vermont. The poll reports Hawaii as considering itself as 51% Democrat. The most Democratic state is Vermont at 57%….

The main issue for Hawaii Republicans is joining or continuing with a political party with so little clout and ability to change things in Hawaii.

Finnegan’s GOP loyalty still has to answer the question of “Why?” …

read … Republican Party in Hawaii struggles to gain clout and the ability to change things here

Island of Retaliation: Lawsuit targets Chief (yes, it’s Kauai again)

CB: … Raybuck was suspended by the Kauai Police Commission after he was caught on audio mocking people of Asian descent by bowing his head, squinting his eyes and mimicking someone with a Japanese accent as well as other inappropriate remarks about Japanese people. 

A county investigation into the incident was prompted when one officer, Capt. Paul Applegate, filed a discrimination complaint with the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in September 2020. More recently, in August, Applegate filed a lawsuit against the chief and the county that is still in the works.

Now, new details shed light on Applegate’s claim that he was passed over for a promotion to an assistant chief position due to his race. Applegate is part-Japanese and has been with the department more than 20 years….

He says in the lawsuit that he was the most experienced and most senior captain at KPD, and therefore the best suited to fill the vacant assistant chief position. By the time he submitted his application for the job, it had already been announced that the chief had selected Lt. Elliott Ke, who is Hawaiian, for the position without following the formal selection process.

An investigative report completed by the Kauai County Human Resources Department in January 2021 and released to Civil Beat this week under a public records request shows publicly for the first time how that hiring process played out.

According to the investigation, conducted by Annette Anderson who is the director of the county human resources department, Raybuck in fact did offer Ke the assistant chief job even before posting it. A two-person independent panel assigned to retroactively review the job candidates by Anderson ranked Ke as the most qualified job candidate, lending credibility to Raybuck’s hiring decision.

Ultimately, investigators could not substantiate allegations made by Applegate that the chief had passed him over for a promotion based on his race, and found that the hiring process was fair and objective.

Jeff Portnoy, Raybuck’s attorney, characterized Applegate’s suit as “totally without merit,” adding that the chief has already been vindicated by the findings of county investigators.

“There are some elements of the Kauai Police Department, including the union, that are constantly filing complaints against the chief and we are vigorously defending any one of them as they come forward,” said Portnoy. “It’s just a pattern and practice that’s very unfortunate.” ….

read … New Report Reveals How The Kauai Police Chief Found Himself In Trouble For Racist Remarks

Thousands of Hawaii County building permits set to expire next month

HTH: … Nearly 7,000 Hawaii County building permits will expire at the end of the month.

After the rollout last July of the county’s Electronic Processing and Information Center — a long-in-the-works online building permitting software — the county is now capable of enforcing expiration of permits under the county code….

Under the county code, permits expire 180 days after issuance if work does not commence by then, or if work is suspended for 180 consecutive days, or three years after being issued to contractors, or five years after being issued to owner-builders, DPW information and education specialist Sherise Kana‘e-Kane told the Tribune-Herald…..

read … Thousands of building permits set to expire next month

State lawsuit claims 2 brothers improperly profiting from public roads in Kakaako and Waikiki

SA: … The state Department of the Attorney General is suing brothers Calvert and Cedric Chun, who do business as the Kakaako Land Co., seeking reimbursement for alleged fraudulent collecting of money for the private use of public streets in Waikiki and Kakaako.

First Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree last year ruled the state owned certain Kakaako streets that were surrendered or abandoned to the state by either the man who developed the roads more than 100 years ago or the man’s heirs after many decades of no asserted ownership.

“The court concludes the State of Hawaii owns the streets at issue,” Crabtree said in his order. “KLC and the Chuns hold no right, title, or legal interest in the streets, and have never had any legal right to charge parking fees, restrict parking, or tow vehicles for using or parking on the streets.”

Crabtree’s ruling covered whole or partial segments of Kakaako streets that include Ward Avenue and Kawaiahao, Queen, Cooke, Cummins, Ilaniwai and Hustace streets. His decision did not directly address Waikiki, where the brothers are managing members of Henlu Waikiki LLC and Calvert Chun is the managing member of Kalakaua Land Holdings LLC….

read … State lawsuit claims 2 brothers improperly profiting from public roads in Kakaako and Waikiki

Headstones used as flooring in homeless encampment

KHON: .. “Of course, the first priority is to secure the cemetery from the homeless so they don’t continue to desecrate,” Veray said. “As you see in the background, this was a large encampment.”

That encampment, the site of a two large fires in the last year. The most recent blaze on Easter Sunday sent flames stretching as high as a telephone pole.

Clearing the burnt rubble, Veray was disturbed by what they found.

“Seven headstones and there’s two more over there,” he said pointing to the headstones pulled from beneath the rubble.

“I know that where the homeless encampment was, I knew there were graves that were here and of course this is what we see and these were all upside down used as flooring,” he said as tears welled up in his eyes. “It just tears your heart out, it’s really sad. I can’t talk right now.”

More than a dozen headstones were found. Some of them in pieces. Veray said they are going to do everything they can to find out where the headstones came from….

read … Headstones used as flooring in homeless encampment

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