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Wednesday, March 13, 2024
March 13, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:45 PM :: 1424 Views

Trump Sweeps Hawaii Republican Caucus

Hawaii bill that would increase automobile insurance draws ire

Ala Moana Acid Attack Plotted from within OCCC

KHON: … Reports said Cameron was using Mahkwan’s PIN to make phone calls to bail him out, offering $100 to two people to complete the task.

Cameron asked his mother to help contact a bondsman and used a Triumph Motorcycle as collateral for the bail.

At this point in the investigation, Cameron’s mother has not been charged with anything, per HPD.

After dropping the keys and the title for his motorcycle, an $8,000 bill was posted for Mahkwan on Jan. 22.

Court documents also showed that a corrections officer at OCCC found an envelope with the instructions for the Mililani chemical attack.

Cameron not only provided the instructions for the attack, but he also gave instructions on where to get acid and what to tell police about the Mililani attack that he was accused of….

read … HPD connects Mililani, Ala Moana chemical attacks

More Defendants Could Stay Out Of Prison Through Expanded Electronic Monitoring Program

CB: … The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is in early talks with the Hawaii Judiciary to expand the use of electronic monitoring and keep more defendants out of prison while awaiting trial.

“We have no problem with expanding electronic monitoring and look forward to doing so, to not just reduce our pretrial prison population, but to allow a lot of people to remain productive members in the community,” Tommy Johnson, the department’s director, said.

The department used GPS ankle bracelet technology to monitor 49 defendants on pretrial release in 2022 and 35 in 2023, according to its own reporting. It did not track how long the monitors were in use….

read … More Defendants Could Stay Out Of Prison Through Expanded Electronic Monitoring Program

Attorneys for over 1,000 Maui fire survivors to sue Kamehameha Schools, state, others

HNN: …  They also explained who they think shares the blame.

“On the far side of that field is a gully or creek,” said lawyer and Lahaina native Jan Apo. “And in that creek, it’s not just dry grass, but there’s literally dry trees, there’s brush, trees, all kinds of tinder.”

Apo lost his family home in the Lahaina inferno last August.

He explained how he believes Hawaiian Electric Company re-energized the power lines that fell on the dry brush in hurricane-forced winds that ultimately killed more than 100 people, destroyed thousands of homes, and turned an entire town to ash.

“Within a few minutes, the entire gully was now on fire,” Apo said. “It’s no longer a little grass fire of two, three feet. Now you got a fire that’s 15, 20 feet high.” ….

He said Kamehameha Schools owns the land where the dry trees were.

“If the trees hadn’t been there, it would have been a grass fire. They would have been able to put out a grass fire, and Lahaina would have been saved,” Givens said….

They currently represent more than 1,000 clients and say it is growing daily.

With a new federal ruling stating the cases will stay on Maui, they expect to have even more clients….

read … Attorneys for over 1,000 Maui fire survivors to sue Kamehameha Schools, state, others

Lahaina Wildfire Victims Fund Has 17 Applicants So Far

CB: … Retired Hawaii Island Judge Ron Ibarra, who is administering the fund, said that as of Tuesday, 17 people had submitted registration forms, which is the first step in seeking claims from the Maui Wildfires Compensation Program, also known as the One Ohana Fund.

He didn’t know how many were families of people who died or if the claims were filed by people who had been injured. At least 101 people died in the Lahaina fire but there’s not an official count of the number of injuries…

read … Lahaina Wildfire Victims Fund Has 17 Applicants So Far - Honolulu Civil Beat

Tipping Point? Hawaii Ranked Among Destinations Middle-Class Most Struggle to Afford

BH: … while never cheap, Hawaii has long been moderately priced. However, the state’s popularity, among other things, has driven up prices. Increasing costs, first and foremost being hotel rates, have skyrocketed, with even once-modest accommodations commanding high prices alongside questionable value. Dining out, a favorite pastime of many Hawaiian vacationers, has also grown prohibitively expensive, with meals arguably costing more and delivering less than before. Hawaii activities also now come with surprising price tags that further impact middle-class visitors’ ability to come here….Accommodation rates alone have surged by as much as 300% compared to pre-pandemic, presenting a significant hurdle for visitors….

read … Hawaii Ranked Among Destinations Middle-Class Most Struggle to Afford - Beat of Hawaii

School Superintendent Pay Hike Bill Advances

SA: … A proposal to remove the $250,000 salary cap for the state superintendent of Hawaii’s public schools and allow the amount to be set by the state Board of Education passed out of a divided state House Education Committee on Monday, despite opposition via dozens of pieces of testimony and “no” votes by two former teachers on the committee.

Senate Bill 3207 in its original form had proposed a new $350,000 cap for the position, but Senate committees subsequently cut it down to $300,000 and then shifted to supporting giving responsibility to the state school board to determine the superintendent’s pay, before sending the measure to the House side.

State schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi currently earns $240,000 as lead administrator for the state Department of Education, ranked the 13th-largest school district in the nation by the National Center for Education Statistics. The Hawaii DOE, the nation’s only statewide school district, comprises 295 schools (258 traditional public schools and 37 public charter schools), employs nearly 40,000 full- and part-time workers, and serves 167,649 students this school year....

read … Hawaii schools superintendent salary cap bill advances

Buntenbah to challenge forfeiture of $250,000 mortgage

ILind: … Michigan-based attorney Gary Springstead, who represents Michael Buntenbah, one of the original co-defendants of accused racketeering leader Mike Miske, is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to overturn an order forfeiting a $250,000 mortgage Buntenbah pledged to secure his release from detention.

A formal notice of appeal was filed in federal court this week….

read … Buntenbah to challenge forfeiture of $250,000 mortgage

Hawaii Senate Panel Guts House-Passed Marijuana Expungements Bill, Limiting It To A Single-County Pilot Program

MM: … A Hawaii Senate panel has significantly scaled back a measure that—as passed by the House last week—would have directed the state to automatically expunge tens of thousands of arrest and conviction records for low-level marijuana possession, amending the proposal to instead limit the relief  to a one-county pilot program. The move comes as lawmakers in the state are also advancing separate legislation that would legalize cannabis.

“Instead of the bill’s statewide automatic expungement program for arrests and convictions,” said Sen. Karl Rhodes (D), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at a hearing onTuesday, “I propose that we adopt the attorney general’s pilot program for state-initiated expungement of marijuana possession arrests.”

As for where the pilot program would be located, “I was thinking of Hawaii County,” Rhodes added. ….

read … Hawaii Senate Panel Guts House-Passed Marijuana Expungements Bill, Limiting It To A Single-County Pilot Program

Proposed stevedore bills are unneeded

SA: … It’s deja vu all over again with a pair of companion bills currently before the Hawaii Legislature seeking to impose an unnecessary labor mandate on the barge industry.

The bills would require the use of stevedore companies, which employ union longshoremen, for local maritime line-handling: House Bill 1936/Senate Bill 2746, titled “Relating to Harbor Safety.”

Although superficially different, the current bills have the same intent as the 2023 measures, HB 714/SB 824, “Relating to Mooring Lines.” They were opposed by many of the state’s maritime operators and merchant cargo owners — i.e., shippers — for commercial reasons, criticized by three state government departments for regulatory reasons, and didn’t pass….

The legislation was drafted by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and introduced by friendly legislators. The intent is to foist a stevedore line-handling mandate squarely on the tug-and-barge segment of the maritime industry. The 2024 legislation uses the stealthy approach of “harbor safety” to induce the Legislature into passing the mandate benefiting their members with plum job assignments.

Enactment of the legislation would result in state- imposed featherbedding increasing the cost and reducing the productivity of barge transport by requiring more employees than necessary and time-consuming compliance procedures. The economic impact would be widespread as barges provide virtually all interisland surface cargo transportation.

Furthermore, it’s an intervention into a private-sector labor issue. The longshoremen have not established their jurisdiction for barge line-handling through collective bargaining, and are instead asking government to impose it by law. This is unconstitutional.

As of March 1, the state Senate and House committees of jurisdiction have passed out amended versions of their respective bills, which have crossed over. To enact a law, agreement on a final bill will be required, possibly in a conference committee….

FB: Hawaii Shippers Council | Stevedores seeking unconstitutional mandate from legislators

read  … Column: Proposed stevedore bills are unneeded

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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