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Friday, February 16, 2024
February 16, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:55 PM :: 1552 Views

Gun bills pass Hawaii Senate committee

Debt: Honolulu 3rd-Worst Sinkhole City

CNHA’s Latest Grift: “Something illegal on the side”

KITV: … there may be legal problems on how it’s going to be paid for…

The free one-hour show is a joint project between the city and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA)….

To pay for the free Hula show, which costs about $100,000 a month, CNHA is planning to hold regular nighttime events at the shell like a marketplace and a luau for paying customers. However, according to the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society, it would be a violation of the parks Charitable Trust.

“The park trust is super specific in that it's all free and open to the public and the city can't lease it. So when somebody comes in and voluntarily takes over a show that was ended 20 years ago, they come in and say, ‘We're going to sponsor this, but now we need to do something illegal on the side to pay for it.’ I do have a problem with us being set up as spoilers. We're just here to help keep Kapiolani Park free and open to the public,” said Alethea Rebman, president of the Kapiolani Park Preservation Society….

Rebman has contacted the state attorney general, who is now looking into the legalities of what the CNHA wants to do with at the shell. She says everything should have been cleared first before going forward….

“The city is supposed to talk to the Attorney General's Office, which oversees public charitable trust. And if there's any questions, they're supposed to certify the question to the court. So they didn't follow any of that process. And in fact, they kept it secret from us as being basically a watchdog of the park until it was two months after the contract was signed,” Rebman said….

Rebman has reached out to Lewis, but believes the CNHA is determined to go forward with this plan. She hopes it doesn't wind up in court.

“It seems that’s where it might be going if there's no concession to the park trust other than a few mentions in the rental agreement, which isn't legal. Where else are they going? They're basically daring us to sue them. And that's a sad situation,” Rebman said….

read … Legal tensions rise as Kilohana Hula Show premieres at Kapiolani Park | Local |

Defendant In Kaneshiro Case May Pose Danger To Others, Probation Officer Says

CB: … Tanaka was arrested in 2022 but has been out on bail. Her trial is scheduled to begin next month.

On Thursday evening, her federal probation officer Erin Patrick filed a petition to the court asking that Tanaka be summoned to court for a bail review hearing. Patrick justified the request by saying “the defendant may pose a danger to any other person or the community.” …

Tanaka and her criminal case have been a topic of legal intrigue in recent weeks.

In late January, Judge Michael Seabright abruptly recused himself from the case without explanation. And apparently no other Hawaii federal judges were willing to take up the matter because it was reassigned to a federal judge out of Alaska and a magistrate judge from California.

Days later, on Feb. 5, Tanaka’s attorney Mark Mermelstein filed sealed motions to delay the trial and to separate his client from the other defendants. In heavily redacted versions of the motions posted to the public docket, he referenced a “very unique fact pattern” and “unforeseeable circumstances outside counsel’s control or foresight.”

Federal prosecutors objected to both motions under seal on Wednesday. A publicly available version of their objection is also heavily redacted.

However, they state that severing Tanaka from her co-defendants would be “a profound miscarriage of justice.” It would mean holding two months-long trials, which would burden jurors and over 80 witnesses who would have to testify twice, they argued….

L360: Atty Must Be Tried Alongside Ex-Hawaii DA, Feds Say - Law360

read … Defendant In Kaneshiro Case May Pose Danger To Others, Probation Officer Says 

Hearing to unseal adoption, foster care documents in Isabella Kalua case set

HNN: … A hearing to unseal court documents in the Isabella Kalua case is scheduled for Wednesday. Isaac and Lehua Kalua, the adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua, remain in custody awaiting trial for the 6 year old’s murder….

Family Court records are protected by privacy laws and often called “ghost cases” by legal experts….

The motion states, the Kalua’s had past felony charges along with financial issues and even filed for bankruptcy while Isabella was their foster child. It adds, the state recommended Isabella be placed with the Kalua’s as foster parents then adoption despite serious signs of abuse and neglect.

Experts and advocates said, getting these documents unsealed in Family Court are crucial to get the public’s questions answered….

“I support this motion wholeheartedly and I suspect one of the things they will discover is who was responsible for placing these children with the Kalua family,” said Steve Lane, special master in the Isabella Kalua case.

Members of the Malama Ohana Working Group, created by the state to recommend change in child welfare, said unsealing the records can provide learning lessons.

“What happens when the child is murdered and the child loses their life,” sasked Joshua Franklin, member of the Malama Ohana Working Group. “At that point and time it’s important for the public to be able to scrutinize Child Welfare Services so that not only can we hold them accountable so that we can come up with solutions.”…

The hearing on the motions is set for Wednesday in Family Court. A community rally is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. that morning….

read … Hearing to unseal adoption, foster care documents in Isabella Kalua case set

Criminal Mother Arrested While Beating Boys in Street

SA: … On Monday, police responded to a welfare check call from a witness who saw a woman strike two young boys, placing one in a headlock near Mill Road in Papaikou.

The witness intervened, putting himself between the woman and the children until police arrived, police said.

White allegedly struck the two boys in the head with open-handed slaps, and also struck their heads with a slipper.

She allegedly put the 11-year-old in a headlock around his face, causing visible injury, police said.

The boys did not require medical attention.

Hawaii County police arrested White Monday for allegedly striking her sons. The boys were placed in protective custody for their safety, police said in a news release.

Child Welfare Services later placed them back with their legal guardian.

White has been convicted of 14 crimes, including two felonies — auto theft in 2022 and second-degree theft in 2012, and otherwise mostly misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor charges that include shoplifting and petty misdemeanor drug promotion in 2014.

read … Another Criminal With Children

WAM Chair Calls Private Meeting To Discuss Maui's Public Disaster

CB: … Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz has called a meeting of his Ways and Means Committee for Friday at 10 a.m. that includes officials from three key state agencies who will discuss what the administration is doing to support Maui and what “the incurred and anticipated costs” for that support will be. Other senators can come and watch if they want….

Dela Cruz wants to hear from the Department of Budget and Finance, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and the state Department of Defense about state spending on the Maui wildfire disaster. Of particular interest is what’s known as the Major Disaster Fund — the MDF.

Readers of The Blog might recall that the Green administration told department heads in late October that he planned to divert $164 million from B&F to Maui wildfire recovery efforts. Add in another $30 million given to Green by the Legislature last year and another $5 million appropriated for the MDF and the total in the fund comes to $199 million.

The meeting is raising eyebrows at the State Capitol where veteran government observers says it’s very unusual. They think Dela Cruz is trying to get a grasp on how much state money will be left for the Legislature to spend on other things, and how much the state may still be on the hook for Maui recovery….

The secret meetup comes in advance of WAM holding a public informational briefing Tuesday on Maui recovery and rebuilding and a public hearing Wednesday on a bill to exceed the state budget’s general fund expenditure ceiling due to the wildfires.

read … The Sunshine Blog: WAM Chair Calls Private Meeting To Discuss Maui's Public Disaster - Honolulu Civil Beat

Queens to Close Wahiawa General Inpatient Facilities

HNN: … Come spring, all inpatient services at Wahiawa General Hospital will be suspended — once Queen’s Health System takes control of the hospital. The reason: Health officials say the aging facility is in such disrepair, it’s not worth investing the money to fix.

But officials warn the looming closure will impact medical care far beyond Central Oahu.

They say the reduction in hospital beds comes at a time when most facilities are already operating over capacity. The change is also expected to mean longer ambulance wait times islandwide….

He told HNN Investigates that last week Monday, the Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu ER was at 268% of capacity, “which means that they have basically two and a half patients for every bed.”

While everyone is receiving care, Raethel explained, “there’s not enough beds so they’d be sitting in chairs or in gurneys as they’re waiting to be processed through the system.”…

Raethel says Queen’s Punchbowl, Pali Momi and Straub medical centers are also dealing with similar situations in their emergency rooms: either operating extremely full or overcapacity…

Raethel says any long-term solutions are still at least two years away.

He says the Queen’s Health System is trying to decide if it wants to build a new inpatient facility in Wahiawa or add an extra floor to a planned expansion at Queen’s-West….

read … Experts: Major changes at Wahiawa General will have health care impacts islandwide

Many Female HS Athletes without lockerrooms 6 Years After lawsuit

CB: … A class-action lawsuit over problems at Campbell High School has been settled, but the state still has a lot of work to do to comply with a federal anti-discrimination law….

Campbell is one of at least three high schools in Hawaii that has yet to offer a stand-alone locker room for female athletes. DOE did not provide the number of high schools that still lack stand-alone girls’ locker rooms….

read .. Gender Inequalities Persist In Hawaii High School Sports 6 Years After Locker Room Scandal

Educational worker safety bill advances but removes increased harassment penalties

KHON: … Lindsay Chambers is a former Department of Education employee, she said the parent of a student harassed DOE staff including herself. She filed a TRO against the person but said that during the process the department did not provide legal counsel and felt no support from them. …

The DOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi submitted testimony in support of the proposed measure. He wrote that the Department of Attorney General should be involved in the TRO process for DOE employees. …

read … Educational worker safety bill advances but removes increased harassment penalties | KHON2

State prevails in ‘reverting’ land under affordable housing project

SN: … More than a dozen years since the state Land Use Commission reverted land intended for affordable housing development to the agricultural district, a U.S. District Court has ruled against developer DW Aina Lea Development, LLC, in its multimillion-dollar suit against the state. …

read … State prevails in affordable housing development suit

State receives green light on redevelopment of Mayor Wright homes (Again)

KHON: … Construction is set to begin in 2025, and will take place in multiple phases over the next 15 years….

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

read … State receives green light on redevelopment of Mayor Wright homes | KHON2

After Four Years on Streets, One Homeless Person Finally Agrees to Accept Shelter

HNN: … Life hasn't been easy for Laura-Mae Duclayan who's lived without a home for the past four years.

"They're just sweeping us and we just keep moving with all our belongings," she said. "Everybody's struggling. But I got tired of that."

Duclayan's the first resident of the newest kauhale on Middle Street in Kalihi -- the third to open within the past year….

The kauhale will have housing for at least 50 people at a time with restrooms, shower trailers, a laundry facility, office space and 24-hour security.

Green said the federal government is now allowing the state to use Medicaid dollars to pay for housing because people who are housed are healthier and struggling less with chronic pain and addiction.

The next kauhale is set for Iwilei.

"This is a new chapter -- a very new chapter. I don't know what's the come, but I'm needed for something," Duclayan said. "By the grace of God I believe I was saved."

The governor has promised to open at least a dozen kauhale in the next year….

read … Third kauhale homeless village opens on Oahu | Local |

Lahaina Fire News:

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