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Thursday, February 1, 2024
February 1, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:45 PM :: 1284 Views

18 Years Later State Wins Dannenberg EUTF Suit

Reduce Minimum Lot Size to Lower Housing Costs

Three Ways to Lower Hawaii's Cost of Living

COVID Money: HGEA Awarded $150M--and it is just the beginning

SA: … Gov. Josh Green and the state Legislature will have to figure out how to pay for an estimated $120 million to $150 million in retroactive hazard pay due to 7,800 unionized public workers who faced health risks at Hawaii public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An arbitrator’s ruling on behalf of members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) — the state’s largest union — followed a previous arbitration against Maui County in 2022 that has been settled.

Now the state also faces similar arbitration on behalf of blue- and white-collar supervisors and non-supervisors who worked on Kauai and Hawaii island during the pandemic, said Malulani Moreno, HGEA’s communications manager…. 

Big Q: Do you agree with retroactive COVID-19 hazard pay for public school workers?

HTH: Cheats and scammers still raking in pandemic funds

read … Who needs Collective Bargaining?

Ken Lawson’s Favorite Pimp Busted for Pimping Again

HNN: … Former death row inmate Isaiah McCoy has been indicted again on federal trafficking charges The 20-count indictment accuses the 37-year old of five counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count of sex trafficking a minor.

There are also multiple counts of obstructing and interfering with the investigation — led by Homeland Security Investigations.

The victims are four adult women and one minor who prosecutors say were forced to engage in commercial sex acts in Hawaii from 2019 to 2023.

In November 2018, Hawaii News Now cameras captured the moment when McCoy walked out the Honolulu federal courthouse with his arms raised. A judge dismissed his sex trafficking case with prejudice because evidence that may have been illegally obtained was withheld….

McCoy has been in jail or under investigation by law enforcement since he moved to Hawaii in 2017, after leaving death row in Delaware….  (Thanks, Ken Lawson.)

In 2019, he was arrested and later convicted of a state robbery crime.

He has been serving his time at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona and was flown back to Hawaii last week to face the new federal charges.

The government said he continued to run his suspected trafficking operation from behind bars after the robbery conviction. His half brother, 60-year old Anwar Al-Rasul, (CLUE:  Allah is not akbar.) is also charged in the case for allegedly using the internet to carry out the trafficking crimes.

Background:

read … Ex-death row inmate now facing life in prison in new federal trafficking case

Federal investigation and indictment of three city officials started with complaint from HPD

ILind: … On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Honolulu’s recently-appointed Acting Chief of Police made a telephone call to the Honolulu office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Cary Okimoto had been named acting chief less than a month earlier when the former chief, Louis Kealoha, went on leave after receiving formal notice he was the target of a federal grand jury investigation and was likely to soon face criminal charges.

This wasn’t a routine call. Okimoto told the feds that the city’s top attorney, Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, and other city officials, were attempting to illegally tap Honolulu Police Department funds to pay for a confidential settlement in exchange for Kealoha’s agreement to retire and to give up any legal claims against the city.

(CLUE: Okimoto knew feds were watching everything so he had to be careful.  On the other hand, police commissioners and Caldwell insiders were being fools to do this with so much heat around.)

Leong and Honolulu Police Commission chair Max Sword had apparently taken the lead for the city in confidential settlement talks with the outgoing chief, and the resulting tentative deal, which included a substantial cash payment, had already been agreed to “in principal” by the Honolulu Police Commission.

Sword, who had been nominated to the commission by then-Mayor Mufi Hannemann in 2009, was a longtime Outrigger Hotels executive and influential lobbyist whose advice had been sought out by political insiders for years.

read …  Federal investigation and indictment of three city officials started with complaint from HPD

After Fraser’s murder, Miske felt emboldened.

KHON: … Miller said Miske told him, “I like that dusty boy has a boat. No body, no case. You know how hard it is to convict someone if there’s no body. If they can’t find the body, he could be in Mexico somewhere.”

According to Miller, Miske eventually bought Fraser a car and let him move into his Hawaii Kai apartment. Miske held multiple meetings with associates to finalize murder for hire plans and requested wires, guns and weights.

“I know what the thing was for. When the kid was going to die, wrap him up in weights and sink him in the ocean, send him to the bottom,” Miller said.

Miller said he didn’t participate in the killing of Fraser. He added he didn’t know Fraser was killed until the next day when Miske came to his girlfriend’s house to notify him.

“He said, ‘Done deal. We got him. I did it my way, I did it without you. You’d be proud of me. Everything all the stars lined up. Left my house, switched multiple cars, down to the tee — how we planned,'” said Miller.

Miller said after Fraser’s murder, Miske felt emboldened.

“He got where he always wanted to be. Now he was feared. Everyone that looked down on him in his life couldn’t do that,” said Miller.

Miller said Miske never told him where exactly Fraser’s body ended up. Miske would just tell Miller, he’s out there….

ILind: Miller’s reference to “Dusty boy” appears to refer to Victor “Dusky” Toledo, who had pleaded guilty to multiple drug, assault, and firearms charges in 2002, and served an 8 year prison sentence.

HNN: Miller even testified that Miske once approached him to have a longtime girlfriend killed after she left town for an extended period of time.

read … ‘No body, no case,’ Miske’s associate testifies about alleged murder for hire

The Illusion of Carbon Taxes

IM: … Greenpeace Hawaii noted that “Carbon Cashback is very controversial and that the major Climate, Environment and Justice Organizations like 350.org, Earth Day Network, Greenpeace USA, and the NAACP do not support Carbon Tax proposals like Carbon Cashback.”….

read … The Illusion of Carbon Taxes | Ililani Media

Hawaii Ranks #10 for Congenital Syphilis

KHON: … Syphilis, a bacterial infection, often first shows up as sores. If left untreated, it can progress to cause rashes, fever, weight loss, fatigue and other symptoms. In some cases, it can cause severe neurological issues. Syphilis can be latent in your system for years, but once identified it is curable by antibiotics.

Even more alarming than the spread of syphilis are the recent rates of congenital syphilis, which occurs when an infected mother passes it to her baby during pregnancy. That rate skyrocketed 30.6% from 2021 to 2022. Some babies with early congenital syphilis are born without obvious symptoms, while others who have later stages of syphilis can have severe birth defects….

read … CDC report shows top states for STIs (khon2.com)

Will More Hotel Railings Fall?

KHON: … National building expert Lance Luke was at the scene Tuesday afternoon and said it’s unsettling because it’s likely a much bigger problem.

“I think water is getting through on the top tile and penetrating to the concrete because that leaning edge which is ahead of the  balcony, I could see horizontal rebar that was pretty corroded,” Luke explained. “I’m pretty sure that this is not the only unit like that. I think it’s a global thing. I’m looking the whole building.”

“Knowing that it fell without even any pressure being applied to it. What does that mean really?” KHON asked.

“That’s even scarier,” Lance replied. “Because no human forces are pushing the railing and it just collapses on its own. That means that the anchor points of that wall connected to the lanai slab is very weak. All those hotel units that have similar walls– and I’m like all those–could come down too.”…

read … Waikiki hotel incident raises railing safety concerns

Green has Appointed Six Legislators, and Counting

CB: … Josh Green has been governor for just over a year now, but he’s already appointed a half-dozen or so Democrats to vacancies in the Legislature. Three candidates are selected by party officials in the counties where the departing incumbent resides, and the governor makes the final selection.

The Blog has heard grumbling about that process, the main concern being that it seems to almost always be a done deal. Remember how Green picked May Mizuno to replace John Mizuno, his old buddy that now works for him? ….

read … The Sunshine Blog: Here Comes The Sun, And I Say, It's Alright - Honolulu Civil Beat

Election Dis-Integrity?

CB: … bills that would create a printed and mailed version of the state’s planned digital voter guide, prevent deceptive and fraudulent “deepfake” electioneering by candidates and parties, and provide protection for election workers.

But those bills and others passed over the many objections of Jamie Detwiler, president of the Hawaii Federation of Republican Women (it values limited government, fiscal responsibility and “America’s sovereignty”).

Detwiler, for instance, does not like two companion bills that would allow Hawaii to join the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, as it is called. The nonprofit, nonpartisan group would help state and county election officials find out whether a Hawaii voter is also registered in another state, according to Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago.

Detwiler, however, argued that the bill would allow the sharing of a voter’s private information, burden taxpayers and not actually prevent illegal voting. And Mary Healy, testifying as an individual, opposed pretty much every bill Detwiler did and used almost identical talking points.

Rhoads didn’t buy those arguments and passed Senate Bill 2240 out of his committee with a couple of tweaks. Same goes for Tarnas, who said that he had recently visited the very red state of Texas where local officials had nothing but positive things to say about ERIC. House Bill 1609 lives on.

What’s up with all this opposition to improving our elections? Here’s a clue: The Texas Tribune wrote just last year that a “band of right-wing voting fraud activists, joined by state GOP officials,” want to abandon ERIC and updated voter rolls….

Related: Lawsuit: Hawaii Breaks Law on Voter Rolls

read … The Sunshine Blog: Here Comes The Sun, And I Say, It's Alright

Another Schizophrenic killed on street because doo-gooders shut lunatic asylums down

CB: … She said her son went through cycles of deep depression and mania. He also had auditory hallucinations….

(If he had been forcibly incarcerated in a lunatic asylum, he would be alive today.)

Maroney moved to Hawaii with his family in 2004 and stayed after they returned to Texas.

He had been living in homeless encampments for a little more than three years since the house he had been staying in burned down, according to Wonser.

He was known to police because he hung out around people involved with crime, Wonser said. But he described Maroney as a “peacemaker” who tried to have a positive influence on those around him.

Maroney would often spend his days fishing only to turn around and share his catch with others, even if he was hungry himself, Wonser said. 

His criminal record over the last 11 years included five drug counts to which he pleaded no contest in 2013 as well as minor traffic infractions, a speeding charge that was later dismissed and three citations for being in a park after it was closed.

Wonser had tried to help Maroney by recommending counselors, bringing him food and taking him to the hospital when he was sick or injured. But, he said, Maroney didn’t like to go to hospitals and was afraid of law enforcement….

read … Family, Friends Of Homeless Man Killed By Police In Makaha Want Answers

Honolulu Police Fired For Buying Gun Parts, Domestic Violence And Not Activating Bodycam

CB: …Twelve criminal cases involving 10 Honolulu police officers were sent to prosecutors last year, according to a disciplinary report submitted to the Legislature by the Honolulu Police Department on Wednesday. 

Seven officers also were fired or resigned or retired prior to their discharge, the report says. 

One of those, Carl Hood, was accused of obtaining parts to manufacture a firearm with no serial number and possessing a firearm despite stipulations in a temporary restraining order that prevented him from having one. The case was referred to prosecutors, but he has not yet been charged, according to court records….

Hood was also accused of striking a family member and repeatedly calling them derogatory names. He was discharged in connection with the gun manufacturing accusation, according to the report. 

Hood ran as a Republican for the state House in 2020 but was defeated by the Democratic incumbent, Roy Takumi…. 

SA: 29 Honolulu police officers disciplined in 2023

read … Honolulu Police Fired For Buying Gun Parts, Domestic Violence And Not Activating Bodycam

Dumb and Expensive Plan for Lahaina Debris: Move it Twice

SA: …The two West Maui sites are north of Lahaina town: the Wahikuli area and Crater Village. Both sites are undeveloped, but the Wahikuli area is near residential areas and the coastline, and the Crater Village site could interfere with drinking water sources.

The Central Maui Landfill in Puunene has county-owned lands where the ash and debris can be buried, but it is located 26 miles from Lahaina and promises to dramatically affect traffic with all the trucks needed to haul the debris….

(TRANSLATION: The real plan is to move it to Puunene.)

read … Permanent Lahaina debris site narrowed to three locations | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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