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Tuesday, February 6, 2024
February 6, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:48 PM :: 1804 Views

Family Court Secrets: Two Years After Ariel Sellers Murder, Kaluas Still Retain Parental Rights

Court: HMSA Physician Contracts “oppressive, unconscionable, and unenforceable”

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review

Lahaina Fire: Maui PD After Action Report Full Text

Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga want key evidence excluded from corruption trial

HNN: … The trial is set to begin February 27.

Among the topics the defense does not want brought up before the jury: Details about tax returns, campaign contributions and disgraced ex-deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Kaneshiro, Honolulu’s longest serving prosecuting attorney, is accused in a bribery case with five people who worked for the politically connected engineering firm Mitsunaga and Associates.

“It’s just a question of whether the information is relevant or prejudicial to the trial and whether it should come in or not,” said retired federal public defender Alexander Silvert.

The government wants to use financial and campaign donation records and wrote in a court filings one of the defendants, Terri Otani, received “large unexplained amounts of cash” and that “strongly points to evidence of bundling” in an effort “to steer significant money to Kaneshiro’s campaign.”…

Kaneshiro is accused of then prosecuting a former employee of Mitsunaga and Associates who sued the firm for discrimination. The defendants allegedly set her up for a felony theft crime….

The deputy prosecutor who took that case worked for Kaneshiro’s Career Criminal Unit.

The head of that unit: Kealoha.

“The evidence that the government allegedly has is that Kaneshiro went to a number of different prosecutors in his office in order to get an indictment and several of them refused so it looked like he was shopping around to find the one that would indict,” said Silvert….

CB: Kaneshiro Bribery Trial Delayed By New Judge

read … Ex-city prosecutor, co-defendants want key evidence excluded from corruption trial

Witness Intimidation: Defend Hawaii owner back in federal custody after instigating a Waikiki brawl

ILind: … No information about the violation leading to Buntenbah’s return to federal custody has been officially disclosed.

However, a video appearing to show Buntenbah and two of his sons attacking several people in a Waikiki bar last month has been circulating on social media.

The incident took place in the Moani Waikiki Island Bistro and Bar in the International Marketplace on Saturday, January 20.

The video shows several men, including Buntenbah and his sons, Thomas and Michael Jr., known as “Bubu,” approaching a table where three people were seated drinking beer, their backs to the camera.

A man wearing a white cap, identified by sources as Buntenbah, confronts one of the men, who was sitting to the right of the table from the camera’s perspective, and was the focus of the violence to come.

Buntenbah pointed back across the table warning one of the others not to stand up or try to enter the fray. Then he slammed a chair out of the way to clear a path to man he had confronted.

The man being confronted was identified on social media as Daniel Miller, a local businessman who has been involved with several restaurants and bars over recent years.

Within seconds, one of Buntenbah’s sons can be seen in the video moving forward swiftly and slapping one of the seated men, who had been reaching out to shake hands. At this point, several men leapt forward to attack Miller.

For the next 25 seconds, Miller was mobbed by the Buntenbahs and at least two others, punched repeatedly until he fell to the floor, then punched, kicked, and stomped by the group while on the ground. The video shows Buntenbah joined his sons in kicking Miller after he fell to the ground. Another man came from the background, threw a few punches, then snatched a gold chain from Miller’s neck before retreating….

Miller acknowledged the hostility toward him could possibly be traced back to a December 15, 2012 incident outside Miske’s M Nightclub in which Miller’s cousin, local promoter Michael Galmiche, was viciously assaulted by Miske and a group of bouncers from the nightclub….

Miller points out that he did not call the police to report the incident at Moani’s, and declined to cooperate when contacted by HPD and federal investigators after the assault….

ILind: Prosecutors will seek forfeiture of Buntenbah’s bond

ILind: Juror out sick, Miske trial on hold

HNN: Trial of alleged crime boss Mike Miske put on hold for one week (

read … Defend Hawaii owner back in federal custody after instigating a Waikiki brawl

Finger-Pointing On State's latest Botched IT Job

SA: … State officials who were attached to the program now disavow responsibility. The state’s chief information officer, Douglas Murdock, who served as project manager for the aborted work, told members of a state Senate committee that he was not at fault, and that some of the prior work could be useful for planning a new project.

But when Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz questioned whether the state would need to start over, or would build on previous work, current DAGS director Keith Regan responded that the state expected to launch a new project.

Getting DAGS’ financial management system into working order is now estimated to cost more than $60 million. This is on top of $1 million-plus to hire consultants….

read … Editorial: Culpability needed on botched $8M state IT job

State psychiatric hospital overcrowded with patients who don’t have medical needs

HNN: … Much of the issue is within the criminal justice system. State Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Tommy Johnson said he has nearly 700 inmates with severe mental illness jammed into overcrowded jails and prisons — and it’s getting worse.

“We have more and more people coming into our jail system who have serious mental health issues,” Johnson said.

The prison system transferred a record number to the State Hospital, which recently opened a new facility — and its already not enough, according to Hospital Administrator Dr. Kenneth Luke.

“We could build three more and three more will be filled up,” Luke said.

“So that’s not the solution — building more hospital beds.”

(CLUE: Wrong.  We need more lunatic asylums to hold all the lunatics.)

Luke told the Senate Health Committee and the House Health and Homelessness Committee that the state-of-the art hospital has far too many people in it that don’t need a hospital level of care.

The vast majority of the roughly 400 patients — about 77% — were sent by the courts for evaluation, declared unfit for trial or are awaiting transition to community services. Only about 23% actually medically need to be in the hospital, Luke said….

SA: Lawmakers frustrated by deficiency in handling mentally ill defendants

read … State psychiatric hospital overcrowded with patients who don’t have medical needs (

Wahiawa General Hospital forced to transfer patients after air condition breakdown

KITV: … A broken air conditioning system shut down inpatient services for several days here at Wahiawa General Hospital, forcing patients to be transferred to other hospitals….

The almost 80-year-old hospital soon to be acquired by the Queen's Health System "had a failure with our air handler unit. And in our attempts to come up with the parts and the fix and to do all that assessment, it became clear to us it would maybe be a few more weeks at that point. So we made the decision out of an abundance of care for our patients and our staff that we needed to call an internal disaster."…

The hospital licensed for almost 70 beds, but usually has around 20 patients because it doesn't have the staff to manage more than that.

Queen's is expected to acquire the hospital on April 2 and make significant investments in the facility….

read … Wahiawa General Hospital forced to transfer patients after air condition breakdown | Business |

DoE Lunchroom Food Goes to Feed Pigs

KHON: … “It’s like, usually cold and wet sometimes,” said one.

“The quality is not good,” said another. “Like the meat….it’s gray.”

“I guess just gross. It’s there is no other way to really describe it,” said another. “You know, I’ve tried some of the lunches just to see it. Even if it looks unappetizing. I at least tried it to see what it tasted like and it tasted just as bad as it looks.”

She told me so much food goes in the trash. The mom asked the schools where that goes.

“They said, waste, we’re trying to cut down on waste. So they feed the waste to piggeries,” said Olayan. “Some schools have done compost programs, which is beautiful. But I feel like if I pay the school to feed my kids, and they don’t eat it, I’m technically paying to feed the pigs.”

It’s not just parents paying. State taxpayers fund tens of millions for public school food service, and the feds pay tens of millions above that, too….

read … Hawaii school lunches deemed 'unhealthy and unappetizing' (

The Game Management Advisory Commission Was Created To Be The Voice Of Hawaii's Hunters. Is Anyone Listening?

CB: … The nine-member Game Management Advisory Commission failed to meet at all last year due to lack of quorum. It has two new interim members now so should be able to get together soon for the first time since June 2022, but even the lawmaker who sparked its creation has doubts about its ability to serve as the voice of Hawaii’s hunting community.

Virtually any hunter who’s ever been involved with the commission would agree it “hasn’t had any traction” in its eight years of existence, Rep. Richard Onishi said.

The commission has failed to fulfill its original purpose, he said, which was for hunters to have a say in state eradication programs and game management plans….

read … The Game Management Advisory Commission Was Created To Be The Voice Of Hawaii's Hunters. Is Anyone Listening?

University of Hawaii selects film studio developer for West Oahu

SA: … The University of Hawaii is expected to announce today that it has selected a private developer to design, build, finance and operate a more than $100 million film and television production studio planned next door to UH West Oahu’s campus in Kapolei.

Following an October deadline for submissions, Island Film Group — touted as a diverse partnership with local, national and international experience in film studio commercial development and operations — was chosen in January as the project’s developer, UH says.

The future private film studio — to be built and operated without taxpayer dollars — will be constructed on an undeveloped, 34-acre site adjacent to the Skyline rail station. The parcel is bordered by Farrington Highway, Kualakai Parkway, the UH West Oahu campus and the Hawaii Tokai International College campus…. 

PSB: The group comprising Island Film Group, SHM Partners, Hawaii Media Inc and CR50 Production Ventures has been chosen to deliver a private, secured film studio, alongside a public-serving town square with live-work, retail, dining, lodging and office space.

SN: Project developer selected for UH West Oahu film studio

read … University of Hawaii selects film studio developer for West Oahu

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