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Monday, February 19, 2024
February 19, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:13 PM :: 1753 Views

True housing reform seems a strong possibility 

SB3196 Bans Many Types of Guns

Wahiawa Child Abuse Death--Who Should Have Known?

CB: … one of the five children remaining in the house was a 4-year-old boy who had been adopted by Thomas and Brandy Blas. The other four were the Blas’ biological children.

The 4-year-old had been mistreated in almost unimaginable ways.

The criminal complaint and other documents filed in the case note that the boy, referred to as A.B., was found by a physician with expertise in child abuse to have “global developmental delays and an extremely small stature which is very likely due to psychosocial deprivation.”

He had been starved and abused “as indicated by multiple bruises and scars.” Though he was 4, he had not seen a pediatrician since he was 8 months old. Police noted that he appeared “very unsteady on his feet” and walked more like a toddler “in a disjointed fashion, as if he was just learning to walk.”

He had bruising on his lower and upper back, behind his ears and on his arms. He had been scratched. He had what appeared to be a human bite mark on his right thigh.

HPD investigators also retrieved a video of what appeared to be A.B. strapped in a car seat with what looks like vomit on his face….

there were cracks in that prison — and that raises some other baffling questions….

In 2018, Family Court Judge Bode Uale appointed the Blases to be Geanna’s legal guardians. What recommendations did Uale have from Geanna’s court-appointed representative — probably a guardian ad litem — the CWS social worker assigned to the case and others involved in the case?

CWS has disclosed that it received no reports of abuse about Geanna after the Blases became legal guardians. But it seems very probable that both Geanna and A.B. were being fostered by the Blases before they became, respectively, legal guardians and adoptive parents.

If that’s so, then CWS possesses copious records of the screening that was done of the Blas household before the placements, as well as the monitoring CWS was required to do while the kids were in foster care. In the case of A.B., that would have been just a couple of years ago….

…for instance, police discovered Aug. 20, 2020 messages between the Blas couple. Thomas Blas, it appears, was at a doctor’s office with Geanna….

Then there’s the fact that Geanna was having monthly Zoom visits with a psychologist or psychiatrist — the court records use both titles. One of the Blases was with her at all of these 15-minute sessions….

SA: Horrific crimes in Honolulu contradict drop in illegal acts

read … John Hill: Perplexing Questions That Demand Answers In The Wahiawa Child Abuse Death - Honolulu Civil Beat

Bill requires teachers accused of sexual misconduct to surrender licenses

SA: … An amended bill that would require teachers to surrender their licenses during any investigation into student sexual misconduct or abuse before retiring or resigning passed out of the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Friday.

Currently, teachers accused of sexual misconduct could exploit the investigation process by resigning or retiring before any investigations are complete, according to the latest version of House Bill 2400.

According to the bill, teachers accused of sexual assault could resign or retire before investigations are complete, and the Legislature needs “to rectify this dangerous loophole.”

Felicia Villa­lobos, executive director of the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board, told the committee Friday that requiring teachers to surrender their licenses would be more suitable than having their licenses revoked, which would allow their names to be entered into the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification database, alerting school districts nationwide about their allegations in Hawaii.

“Surrendering under this type of circumstance would allow the HTSB to enter their name into the NASDTEC Clearinghouse database,” Villalobos said. “This would then be immediately reported to all 50 states and jurisdictions that participate in the NASDTEC Clearinghouse database.”…

HB2400: Text, Status

read … Bill requires teachers accused of sexual misconduct to surrender licenses

UH Manoa: “So much antisemitism on campus”

SN: … Peter Hoffenberg told Spectrum News that throughout the 30 years that he has been a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, he has never dealt with so much antisemitism on campus. 

“I have never seen this consistent and deep hatred for Jews (and) hatred for Israel,” said Hoffenberg. “It is palpable.”  

He said it is most apparent in social science courses, humanities courses or with student groups. 

“The number of Jewish students or pro-Israeli students who feel uncomfortable has increased,” said Hoffenberg. 

Hoffenberg is the faculty adviser for Hillel Hawaii, a Jewish campus organization with about 50 students. Hillel organizes community events and assists students and faculty when they experience antisemitism. …

Feb 14, 2024: Majority of Jewish Students Dissatisfied with Universities’ Lack of Response Since Oct. 7, New Survey Finds - Hillel International

SA: Complaint alleges antisemitic rhetoric on UH Manoa campus

read … Faculty says Jewish students at UH Manoa feel uncomfortable

WSJ: Hawaii Wants Visitors to Pay a Tourist Tax to … uh … Help Prevent the Next Disaster, yeah that’s it

WSJ: … The proposed $25 flat fee—which would be collected when visitors check into a hotel or short-term rental—is working its way through the statehouse and could be approved this spring. …

Greece and New Zealand are among destinations that now charge tourists a so-called climate tax, which can range from just over $1 to $100. This month, Bali started charging all foreign tourists a $10 fee to promote more sustainable tourism. This spring, Venice will charge a day rate to combat overtourism and cap day-trippers. 

“It’s a very small price to pay to preserve paradise (create positions),” said Hawaii’s Democratic governor, Josh Green, in an interview….

read … Hawaii Wants Visitors to Pay a Tourist Tax to Help Prevent the Next Disaster

Hawaii Legislators Seek To Outlaw AI-Generated Political Misinformation

CB: … Bills banning the use of undisclosed deepfakes used in a political sense are being considered by the Legislature….

Rep. Trisha La Chica introduced House Bill 1766, which would require the disclosure of election materials before the vote that are “deceptive and fraudulent deepfakes of a candidate or party.”…

HB 1766 defines deepfakes as “any form of media that has been altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone, typically in a way that shows the person saying something that was never said.”

The House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee recommended that the measure be passed with amendments on Feb. 7.

Two other bills that have been introduced this legislative session would restrict the distribution of falsified information through deepfakes in a bid to protect the integrity of local elections.

Senate Bill 2687 would ban someone from “distributing, or entering into an agreement with another person to distribute, materially deceptive media unless the media contains a disclaimer.” The bill also would create a petty misdemeanor for those who violate it.

State Sen. Karl Rhoads introduced both SB 2687 and SB 2396, a companion bill to HB 1766, calling the measures “an important first step.” 

The Senate Judiciary Committee deferred SB 2396 on Feb. 9. The same committee advanced SB 2687 with amendments on Feb. 15. …

read … Hawaii Legislators Seek To Crack Down On AI-Generated Political Misinformation

Can crowdsourcing improve reporting of the Miske Trial?

ILind: … If even just 10 people were interested, each one would only have to be in court one day every two weeks. But by combining the group’s daily observations, we could dramatically increase available news coverage. It might even prompt the mainstream media to increase their coverage.

The regular trial schedule is 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday, in the federal court in downtown Honolulu.

Apart from having to go through security to enter the building, it’s prettty simple. To be effective, you have to be able to hear the proceedings, and keep some kind of notes of what’s said by witesses and attorneys.

If you’re potentially interested, or know someone else who might be, please contact me directly and I can provide more detail and answer any questions. You can reach me via email,, or via secure Proton Mail, ….

read … Can crowdsourcing improve reporting of the Miske Trial?

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:




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