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Friday, January 27, 2023
January 27, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:07 PM :: 2100 Views

BIA Commission on Native Children to Hold Hawaii Hearing

Maui Sovereignty Squatters Interfere with MEO Affordable Housing Project

To Stop Reformers, Legislators propose Changing OHA Elections

CB: … Currently, OHA’s nine trustees – four who are at-large and five who represent the main islands – run statewide races. One of the trustees represents both Molokai and Lanai. The system has raised concern that voters on Oahu, the most populous island, can overrule voters from other islands.

That’s what happened in the 2020 elections, when former Molokai Trustee Colete Machado won the vote in Maui County but ultimately lost to current Trustee Luana Alapa, who had more votes statewide.

(Translation: The purpose is to block election of OHA reformers and to change electoral districts in a away which pushes out existing reformers.)

Senate Bill 52 would limit OHA elections to each of these new districts proposed in the bill. Senate Bill 32, a constitutional amendment that would enact the voting provisions in SB 52, also cleared the committee….

The Attorney General’s Office had concerns with the bills and asked lawmakers to not advance them. The office is worried that the bills do not comply with a U.S. Supreme Court case that said political districts should have roughly equal populations, according to deputy AG Reece Nakamura.

The AG’s office is concerned that, due to the disparate population sizes on the islands, some trustees would be representing more residents than others, which could possibly expose the state to lawsuits under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, according to the department’s written testimony….

REALITY: Miske Lawyer Behind Campaign to Unseat OHA Trustee Keli’i Akina

read … Does The Office Of Hawaiian Affairs Need To Be More Representative?

Aloha Stadium: Green Plan to Benefit Carpenters Union Delays RFP

SA: … The requests for proposals for construction of the new Aloha Stadium won’t be out by the end of this month as previously expected, but that in itself won’t change the project’s completion date, a key state planner said Thursday.

“We could meet that deadline if we’d sequestered everyone in a room for a week, but that’s not realistic,” said Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator for the state Department of Accounting and General Services.

“We haven’t lost sight of 2027” for the stadium’s completion, she added.

Gov. Josh Green, who was elected in November, has been “very decisive” about getting the stadium’s private- public partnership plan going again, Kinimaka said.

That has meant extensive meetings with several newly appointed department heads, as well as other representatives from five state agencies.

“My understanding is there are a few things on some of the financials that need clarity, but we are moving forward and we are being assured of that,” Stadium Authority board member Michael Yadao said….

HNN: Contract procurement for Aloha Stadium’s redevelopment and how to market and manage tourism are both delayed

read … New Aloha Stadium finish date unchanged, planner says

Lawsuit: Former Kaua‘i prosecutor fired for opposing judicial nominee

TGI: … The former Kaua‘i deputy prosecutor, who was fired after lodging a complaint against a judicial nominee, is suing the County of Kaua‘i for wrongful termination, defamation, and violation of free speech rights.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Robert Christensen, who served as a junior deputy prosecutor from December 2021 to June 2022, requested damages from the county, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, and head Prosecutor Rebecca Like. Christensen and his lawyers could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The suit describes Christensen’s June 21, 2022 termination as “blatant retaliation for (his) choice to express views as a concerned citizen on a matter of supreme public interest in violation of his rights as a whistleblower.”

Days before he was fired, Christensen submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing Kaua‘i attorney Gregory Meyers’s appointment as a state district judge for Family Court using Office of the Prosecuting Attorney letterhead.

The testimony alleged that Meyers was under criminal investigation initiated by the OPA for witness tampering. Christensen also filed a report with the Kaua‘i Police Department and a complaint with the state Judiciary’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the same incident.

The allegation stems from a case filed in January 2022, in which Christensen prosecuted a defendant represented by Meyers for assault in the third degree. Christensen claims that Meyers interfered with the prosecution by ‘interviewing’ the complaining witness in the case….

read … Former Kaua‘i prosecutor sues county for wrongful termination

Hawaii County PD releases annual disciplinary report

HTH: … Two officers Hawaii Police Department officers were discharged and eight received suspensions ranging from one to 21 days in 2022, the department’s annual disciplinary report to the state Legislature revealed….

Of the eight officers suspended, two were for failing to follow the department report writing procedures, one failure to follow evidence procedures, one operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, one failure to follow investigative procedures, two use of force/mistreatment of a prisoner and one conduct while off duty brought the department into disrepute.

The longest suspension was 21 days for use of force.

The two officers discharged, John Chiquita IV and Matthew Bennett, each resigned in 2021 before formally being discharged in 2022.

Chiquita, who was on the force for less than two years, was charged with abuse of family or household member and conduct while off duty brought the department into disrepute. His case was referred to the prosecutor and is currently in Family Court with trial slated in March.

Bennett, who had nine years on the force, was discharged for failing to follow orders. No additional details were released….

read … HPD releases annual disciplinary report

UH graduate assistants’ fight to unionize reaches high court

SA: … A years-long struggle by University of Hawaii graduate assistants for the right to unionize and collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions has progressed further than ever before, with their case now being considered by the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Members of the UH graduate assistant organization Academic Labor United argue that the salaried work performed by UH’s 1,500 graduate assistants is much more advanced than that of entry-level “student help” and critical to the university’s functioning, so “we deserve a seat at the table” as public employees…

read … UH graduate assistants’ fight to unionize reaches high court

Hawaii Ordered An Acupuncturist To Stop Practicing. Three Years Later, He Still Was

CB: … Mike Hashimoto, an architect of the state's regulation of acupuncture, asked the state to intervene in a billing dispute last year despite his agreement to not treat patients….

read … Hawaii Ordered An Acupuncturist To Stop Practicing. Three Years Later, He Still Was

Hawaii tourist or resident misbehavior what's worse?

BH: … Editor Jeff was driving yesterday on a Kauai backroad and saw countless cars dumped off the side of the road, together with construction materials and massive amounts of other dumping. These were at the hands of residents who sought, among other things, to avoid dumping fees, and save time. This shows disregard for the land. So how can we expect visitors to do better?

You’ve written too in comments about residents who drive aggressively around visitors who may be lost or unfamiliar with our roads. Visitor Kim said, ” A local was tailgating us in Kauai. We were not driving slow for the local to pass us but he was going twice the speed he was supposed to go on curves. He finally went around us and we honked. He got out of a car and said to my husband that honking is like saying the f word to people in Hawaii. My husband responded by saying that tailgating says the same thing to us.” And Rich chimed in, “But my biggest beef about HI drivers is the passive aggressive driving practiced by many locals. Since rental cars are easily identified as they are the shiniest and newest cars on the road, many drivers will harass them if they drive too slow. Once I followed from a distance two cars going down H11 from Volcano. The local tailgated the tourist for miles almost rear-ending him.”

We also recently witnessed a degree of disorderliness at a beach park where scores of residents drove recklessly at the beach and on the sand and appeared to be acting drunkenly. They generally lacked disregard for everyone else.

Then too, you’ll recall that Polihale Beach Park was closed for camping two years ago. That camping shutdown lasted until last summer and, as the state said, was the result of “camping without permits, driving on the beach and dunes, and careless behavior in general.”

Also, endangered Hawaiian monk seals have suffered at the hand of residents and have been killed. State DLNR said, “These intentional killings are evil, despicable acts perpetrated against an endangered animal in its own natural habitat. Those responsible must be held accountable….

read … Hawaii tourist or resident misbehavior what's worse?

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