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Thursday, November 16, 2023
November 16, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:37 PM :: 895 Views

Hawaii receives ‘F’ in Shared Hope International’s Report Cards on Child and Youth Sex Trafficking

Waianae: Feds Arrest Six for Cockfighting, Gamerooms, Meth

Kula Fire CNHA News: Top Six Inches of Soil Being Ripped Away by Corps of Engineers 8a Contractors (just like California scam)

HNN: … Corps teams and contractors are in phase two of the process, which includes the clearing of structural ash and debris and the continued testing for toxins.

As of Monday, two of 21 properties have been cleared with another crew working on a third.

Organizers maintain the cleanup is thorough as all gathered materials are wrapped and covered before being taken to the Central Maui landfill.

Six inches of soil is also removed and soil left on property is tested to meet Department of Health standards.

(CLUE: There goes your topsoil.  It will be more difficult to replant soil-holding grasses.  And ash is natural.  It is not a toxin.  The rain and/or ground tilling work will mix it into the soil on a large ag lot.)

“That ensures that we’re making sure that there’s nothing left that was impacted by this fire,” said USACE debris subject matter expert Cory Koger.

(CLUE: In California, contractors were paid by the ton so they hauled away excessive amounts of soil to amp up their profits.  LINK.)

“I think it’s also important to note that the entire time we’re doing work Upcountry and/or in Lahaina, we’ll have cultural observers and if required, an archaeological monitor at all times.”

Koger’s goal is to have all properties cleared by the middle of next month, barring any difficulties with a complex terrain….

Nov 16, 2023: Fronting for the Contractors: CNHA Hosting Debris Removal Meeting

Precisely as Predicted: Debris Removal: Corps of Engineers Contractors Purposefully Damage 100s of Properties to Make More Money

BACKGROUND: Ala Wai? Corps of Engineers has Long History of Corruption and Cost Overruns

read … Crews on schedule with complex wildfire debris removal effort in Upcountry Maui

Rebuild? Lahaina Family Must Wait for CNHA’s 8a Corps to Get their Fill at Trough

CB: … The house was uninsured when it went up in flames. Although the sliver of land it occupied had been valued at more than half-a-million dollars, the house itself was worth only $56,000, according to county property records.

It had been Randy’s dream to one day knock it down and build something new as an anchor of permanence and stability for his four kids, ranging from nine to 21 years old, who faced an uncertain future in Maui’s brutal housing market. In his vision, he and his wife Marilou, as well as his parents, would live there, too.

Suddenly, that vision has become urgent.

But reconstruction is now marred by the intricacies of a federally funded disaster cleanup. Local authorities have advised patience, predicting that it could be two years or more before property owners can begin to rebuild their homes in Lahaina….

SA: “Values of nature” should inform the setting of priorities for Lahaina’s restoration, said West Maui community leader Archie Kalepa.

read … The Fire Turned This Lahaina Family's Dream To Ashes - Honolulu Civil Beat

CNHA’s Couch-Surfing Housing Program Promoted By Maui County Faces Hurdles

CB: … A Maui County pilot program aimed at encouraging people to temporarily open their homes to residents displaced by the wildfires has housed 260 people in its first month.

On Oct. 3, Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen said the six-month program would pay up to $1,500 a month to in-state residents and homeowners who shared their homes with survivors.

The Host Housing Support Program, administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, pays $375 per sheltered resident with a $1,500 cap per dwelling.

It is open to homeowners and renters alike and covers single-family dwellings, apartments and condo units.

But potential tax liabilities, processing times and the amount offered could prevent more households from participating.

More than a month after launch, the program has paid out $178,125 to 86 households sheltering the 260 people, according to Kuhio Lewis, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s CEO.

CNHA found between 25% to 30% of Lahaina’s estimated 6,800 displaced residents had opted to stay with friends or family in lieu of hotels, based on exit survey data collected from their Kakoʻo Maui Resource Hub in Kahului.

Lewis said the program was an attempt to offer financial support directly to those hosts with existing housing arrangements “and that allows the benefits that these survivors are entitled to not be impacted,” he said.

As of Nov. 9 CNHA had received 666 applications, although only 309 were deemed eligible. Of the eligible homes, 223 are being processed for approval. Most applicants are housing two displaced survivors….

read … Couch-Surfing Housing Program Promoted By Maui County Faces Hurdles

Miske News: ‘Defend Hawaii’ Gives $12500 to One Lahaina Survivor

HNN: … Former Bellator MMA champ Ilima Lei MacFarlane and her sponsor, Defend Hawaii, are gifting a Lahaina native more than $12,500.

The MMA star, nicknamed “The Ilimanator,” helped raise millions through an online fundraiser to help the Maui families who lost everything.

But this donation is to Kiha Kaina, who lost his father in the August wildfires….

BREG: Defend, Inc

read … Hawaii MMA star donates over $12,000 to Lahaina native impacted by wildfires

Miske News: It could have been a simple traffic ticket

ILind: … In May 2016, some six months after Sergeant Lee arrested Miske in front of his Portlock home, a written complaint against Lee was sent to HPD. It was signed by Wayne Wills, chief investigator for the prosecutor’s office where Katherine Kealoha was a division chief. Wills alleged Sgt. Al Lee had exceeded his authority, acted unethically, violated HPD procedures, and exposed the city to liability by arresting Miske for leaving the scene of a traffic stop near downtown Honolulu.

Wills had joined the prosecutor’s staff in February after 11 years as special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Honolulu office. His letter of complaint to HPD did not indicate why he felt compelled to reach back to an arrest that occurred six months earlier, or what interest of the prosecutor’s office was at that late date.

But Wills’ complaint nonetheless prompted Deputy Chief Cary Okimoto, who worked directly under then Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, Katherine Kealoha’s husband, to convert it into an internal affairs complaint. Lee was subsequently formally reprimanded for failing to collect overtime for the time he spent conducting the Miske arrest….

Unconfirmed street rumors that Katherine Kealoha had some kind of personal relationship with Miske in the past meant federal agents now had to exercise caution when sharing information about their Miske investigation with HPD….

ILind: In an order filed on November 15, Judge Derrick Watson denied the motion to suppress

read … It could have been a simple traffic ticket (Part 2) | i L i n d

Suspect In Hawaii Hospital Stabbing Death Described As ‘Aggressive’

CB: … Brenden Whitt, a former patient who spent time in the Haiku 2 unit of the hospital with Carvalho last summer, described Carvalho as “totally aggressive.” And Whitt said staff at the hospital were aware of Carvalho’s behavior.

Whitt said he was shoved by Carvalho during a scuffle about a week before Carvalho was moved out of the secure hospital and into the cottage in August, and said the confrontation occurred in a hallway that is monitored by cameras.

Whitt said one of the nurses asked Whitt if he wanted to file charges over the incident and said staff placed placed Carvalho on “one-to-one” supervision after that altercation. That meant staff members were assigned to shadow him, a clear signal that they knew he was volatile, Whitt said.

“If you couldn’t even be trusted to interact with staff or other patients and they had to follow him all day, I don’t know how they could discharge him,” Whitt said of the decision to move Carvalho to the unsecured cottage.

Whitt, who has been homeless at times and was sent to the hospital twice for treatment, said he also saw Carvalho in other confrontations, including occasions when he would “flex” on other patients to try to dominate them. Whitt said he also saw Carvalho snap at staff “for following him too close.”

Generally Carvalho would aggressively posture but would back off and comply when staff ordered him to the “quiet room” to calm down….

staff said Carvalho is a “dual-diagnosis patient” with a history of both mental illness and drug abuse, and said he tested positive for cocaine use about a month ago after moving into the cottage….

Big Q: Is the fatal stabbing at the Hawaii State Hospital a public-safety concern?

AP: Suspect in fatal Hawaii nurse stabbing pleaded guilty last year to assaulting mental health worker | AP News

SA: Court records also show that Carvalho was granted conditional release from the hospital, and recommitted on multiple occasions.  He was ordered to the State Hospital four times, and spent a year at the secure facility until August.

read … Suspect In Hawaii Hospital Stabbing Death Described As ‘Aggressive’

Suspect in fatal stabbing of nurse indicted, could he end up back at state hospital?

KHON: … “There’s going to have to be another hearing in the murder second case, in that hearing the court will have to decide, is he fit to proceed,” explained legal expert Megan Kau. “In other words, does he understand his defense attorney’s role? Does he understand the prosecutor’s role? Does he understand the judge’s role?”

Three factors will determine if Carvalho is sent back to the Hawaii State Hospital instead of prison.

Legal experts said it includes involuntary commitment, when the court finds the defendant poses a threat to themselves or the community and has a mental health disorder or substance abuse; If he’s unfit to stand trial or if he’s acquitted of the crime due to insanity.

“If he’s found to have this mental disease, disorder or defect and couldn’t control his behavior or conform his behavior to the requirements of the law, he will be probably acquitted and committed back to the Hawaii State Hospital again,” said Randal Lee, retired judge.

This is not Carvalho’s first time showing violence against hospital staff. According to court documents, in August 2020, the 25-year-old was found fit and sentenced to six months in prison, with credit for time served, for assaulting a state hospital employee.

Carvalho eventually returned to the state hospital for conditions under a 2017 terroristic threatening case and was granted transitional housing privileges in August following a mental exam….

HNN: Grand jury indicts suspect in fatal stabbing at state psychiatric facility 

CB: Former Patient Indicted In Fatal Stabbing Of Nurse - Honolulu Civil Beat

read … Suspect in fatal stabbing of nurse indicted, could he end up back at state hospital?

Despite Obvious Need for Larger Lunatic Asylum, Millions in Opioid Settlement Money Go Unspent

HNN: … Lawmakers and providers say government bureaucracy is standing in the way of saving lives.

The state will eventually collect over $80 million in settlements with opioid distributors and manufacturers. So far, it’s already received $20 million but has spent almost none of it.

That’s even though the need is huge, especially on the Big Island.

Tim Hansen, executive assistant to Hawaii Island Mayor Mitch Roth, said a person dies every 11 days from overdose. Hansen said the prevention and treatment community is ready to respond — as soon as it has the money.

“It makes the slow movement of the bureaucracy even more painful, because I see what’s there, I see what the possibility is, and then you have to wait. And then lives are lost,” Hansen said.

He said one non-profit is moving quickly to provide the island’s first detox facility, but the state has said it doesn’t plan to put out a bid for staff until next October.

He’s also promoting an effort by the University of Hawaii at Hilo to expand the state’s only psychology and counseling master’s degree program by 50%.

Hansen told the House Health Committee on Wednesday that those initiatives just need a small amount of seed money to accelerate development.

House Health Committee Chair Della Belatti said the state should be taking advantage of the advanced funds. “A $17 million chunk of change could be used for maybe more urgent matters,” she said….

(CLUE: No mention of expanding lunatic asylum.)

read … Despite an overdose crisis, millions in opioid settlement funds in Hawaii go unspent

100 Game Rooms Active on Oahu

SA: … “Almost every other week there’s a bust somewhere,” Council member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam said during a Tuesday night town hall meeting in Nuuanu. “But these game rooms seem to be proliferating, and continue to spread.”

Police agree, noting Oahu’s problem with illegal game rooms — lucrative operations using electronic gaming machines that look like video games, garnering hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars in gambling profits daily — is hard to stop.

On any given day, police say at least 100 game rooms are active on the island. Of those, HPD admits only 20 such establishments are shuttered each year….

the main topic of discussion surrounded the Council’s pending legislative package to tackle game rooms: Bill 57, Bill 58 and Resolution 228.

Introduced earlier this year by Council members Dos Santos-Tam and Andria Tupola, all three measures target landlords and property owners where suspected game rooms are sited.

If approved, Bill 57 would allow the city Department of Planning and Permitting to impose significant fines, and see the city Department of Corporation Counsel take legal action against property owners who house game rooms on their premises….

Likewise, Bill 58 seeks greater collaboration between HPD and DPP in terms of building code violations, including exposed electrical wiring or unpermitted construction of game rooms. Similarly, Resolution 228 would encourage better coordination in enforcing current laws for illegal game rooms….

HNN: HPD crackdown on West Oahu crime nets scores of arrests

read … Illegal Oahu game rooms a hot topic at town hall meeting

Former Hawaii County PD Vice Chief Gets Bail

HTH: … Kanehailua initially was placed under arrest Oct. 22 for a violation of an order of protection and harassment stemming from a domestic disturbance call involving his ex-girlfriend, a detective with HPD’s Area II Criminal Investigation Section.

After conferring with the Department of the Attorney General, he was charged with violating a restraining order, first-degree attempted burglary, third-degree assault and third-degree attempted assault. His bail was set at $9,000.

Kanehailua pleaded not guilty and demanded a jury trial, which is set for Feb. 6….

read  … HPD assistant chief beats prosecutor’s request for house arrest, GPS monitor

Hawaii Ethics Panel To Push For More Disclosure Of Lobbyists

CB: … Bills would expand definition of lobbying to include the executive branch and require legislators to reveal more financial relationships….

PDF: 2023-11-15SunshineLawAgenda.pdf (hawaii.gov)

read … Hawaii Ethics Panel To Push For More Disclosure Of Lobbyists

Hu Honua Bioenergy Has Three Irons in the Fire

IM: … Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC are engaged in three distinct actions. In non-regulatory public pronouncements, Hu Honua calls itself Honua Ola.

HECO filed a letter with the Public Utilities Commission on Halloween, October 31, 2023, regarding the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for generation on O`ahu, Maui, and Hawai`i islands. “All three RFPs are still on track to achieve the December 1, 2023 target to announce the Final Award Groups.” It is assumed by many that Hu Honua filed a proposal and may be on HECO`s Final Award Groups.

Hu Honua is also an active intervenor in the open PUC proceeding examining the expansion of the Puna Geothermal Venture facility that would allow HELCO to purchase additional energy. 

In addition, Hu Honua and HECO will hold settlement talks in federal court later this month, regarding HECO`s rejection of a Power Purchase Agreement in 2016….

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Mansfield will hold a Settlement Conference on November 20, 2023, at 1:30 pm….

read … Hu Honua Bioenergy Has Three Irons in the Fire | Ililani Media

Lahaina Fire News:

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