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Friday, April 5, 2024
April 5, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:00 PM :: 1528 Views

Studies show Hawaii was correct to pass on dangerous marijuana legalization

Ministry of Truth: Hawaii Lawmakers Call for Set Standards for Ethical News Sources

Lahaina Fire Solution: A Rate Hike, of Course

Rabbi likely to win bias suit against Hawaii County

4,000 Flee Maui--Lahaina emergency proclamation causing more homelessness

HNN: … Cummings, who was born and raised on Maui, has lived at Kahului Harbor since January, and now her daughter is too.

“My daughter was evicted from her house and she was about seven and a half months pregnant. Just March 27 she went into labor at Kahului Harbor and she has a three-year-old also,” Cummings said.

Cummings said her landlord kicked her out to move in family members. But she believes it was to get more money from the government to house fire survivors. So, she is calling on the governor and the mayor to help people like her.

“It’s not fair to us who are not victims of the fire. But because of what happened, we are now becoming the victim, and there’s no protection for us,” she said.

According to the governor, nearly 3,000 fire survivors are still living in hotels.

In addition, the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii forecasts that the population on Maui has declined by 4,000 people since the fires and will fall even more in the years to come.

Plus, rent on the island is outrageous. A studio now costs more than $2,000….

Lloyd and Cummings met with Mayor Bissen on Tuesday and asked him to help with rent control. (Which would make this situation even worse.)….

MEANWHILE: Lahaina: 500 Properties Cleared, Zero Building Permits Issued

read … Maui residents say ‘loopholes’ in emergency proclamation is causing more homelessness

Architect Laurel Mau Testifies In Bribery Trial About Abrupt Firing From Mitsunaga & Associates

CB: … Wheat’s questioning of Mau covered her time at Mitsunaga & Associates, the sexual harassment she said she experienced while employed there, her abrupt firing in 2011, her civil lawsuit against the company and the theft charges leveled against her by Kaneshiro’s office. 

The government is attempting to show that Dennis Mitsunaga, CEO of Mitsunaga & Associates, orchestrated the donation of nearly $50,000 to Kaneshiro’s campaign to persuade him to bring the meritless case against Mau for revenge. 

Kaneshiro and Mitsunaga, as well as former Mitsunaga & Associates attorney Sheri Tanaka, secretary Terri Ann Otani, chief operating officer Aaron Fujii and president Chad Michael McDonald, are all charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and violate a person’s rights. They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges. …

Mau said conditions at work worsened when one of her supervisors, Steven Wong, sent her an email with attachments containing photos of her head photoshopped onto a suggestive image of a model. …

HNN: Architect at center of bribery trial against ex-city prosecutor, co-defendants takes the stand

read … Architect Laurel Mau Testifies In Bribery Trial About Abrupt Firing From Mitsunaga & Associates

Ex-HPD officer pleads guilty to child sex assault, pimping

SA: … A “prolific sexual predator” who allegedly ran a child prostitution ring for five years while working as an officer with the Honolulu Police Department pleaded guilty Thursday as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mason Jordan, 33, was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations special agents in New Mexico on June 3, 2022. Jordan served as a patrol officer from Nov. 4, 2013, until he resigned on March 26, 2021, during an HPD Professional Standards Office investigation into his sexual abuse of children….

He was accused of three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of sex trafficking of a child, two counts of coercion and enticement, and one count of cyberstalking for alleged incidents involving four different victims between July 18, 2016, and April 11, 2020.

The incidents involved three minors and an adult female….

He faces between 10 and 20 years behind bars, a $250,000 fine and three years of federal probation for each coercion and enticement charge. Jordan is also facing five years, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation for cyberstalking….

Jordan sexually assaulted “multiple children” including “those under his care,” according to a 14-page motion to detain him that was filed June 4, 2022, in U.S. District Court….

(CLUE: The State gave him a gun and a badge.  The Feds gave him prison.  See how this works?) 

CB: Former HPD Officer Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Charges - Honolulu Civil Beat

read … Ex-HPD officer pleads guilty to child sex assault

Hawaii's Top Court Says A Fetus Is Not A Person

CB: … In 2001, a woman from Kaneohe had a baby boy. Two days later, he died. Medical examiners determined the boy had been exposed to methamphetamine in utero.

They questioned the mother, who started crying and admitted to smoking crystal meth days before giving birth. She struggled with addiction and had been in and out of treatment and recovery. The boy was her fifth child….

In 2003, Honolulu prosecutors charged her with manslaughter for recklessly killing her baby, a crime that exposed her to 20 years in prison.

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that a fetus is not a person and cannot be a crime victim in 2005, a decision that carries extra weight in a post-Roe world….

read … Ben Lowenthal: Hawaii's Top Court Says A Fetus Is Not A Person. Alabama Could Not Disagree More - Honolulu Civil Beat

Under legislative proposal, thousands of Hawaii drivers would have to buy more insurance

HNN: … House Bill 1539 proposed raising the current $20,000 minimum coverage for injuries to $50,000 and up to $75,000 in three years.

The minimum property damage coverage would rise from $10,000 to $20,000 and then $40,000.

One estimate of the cost was about $175-$200 added to current premiums per year.

Insurance industry representatives said that might drive more owners into going without coverage.

Alison Ueoka spoke for the Hawaii Insurers Council.

“It becomes more expensive, and it puts people in the position where they might not be able to buy it at all,” she said….

read … Under legislative proposal, thousands of Hawaii drivers would have to buy more insurance

DHHL Land Buys: $600M will be encumbered by June 30

SA: … The Legislature has been briefed, with the submission of our updated strategic plan as Act 279 requires, and is supportive. We are in the process of encumbering all Act 279 funds by entering into developer agreements and land purchase agreements, subject to release of funds and approval by the governor, the Department of Accounting and General Services and the Department of Budget and Finance.

The bulk of the $600 million appropriated by Act 279 will be encumbered by June 30, 2024, allowing us to complete or start all projects by 2026. Acquisition of new private lands for future development is also part of the strategic plan….

In urban Honolulu, where DHHL has little land, going up with more density means we can serve more wait list beneficiaries, which is the largest group over all the islands. For example: We used a competitive process to award a developer agreement to Stanford Carr, which is building a $161 million, 277-unit condo and townhouse project next to Stadium Park at no cost to DHHL….

DC369: DHHL Annual Activity Report pursuant to Act 279

read … 5 Questions: Kali Watson, of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Same-sex marriage bill remains alive

SA: … An effort to repeal the Legislature’s authority to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples continues to move forward as House Bill 2802 passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.

The bill would … put the issue to voters on the Nov. 5 ballot .…

LAB: Hawai'i could amend constitution to include same-sex marriage (losangelesblade.com)

read … Same-sex marriage bill remains alive

Drug-use linked to crime, homelessness in the islands

KHON: … “There’s a direct correlation with drugs, in particular methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and cocaine with crime and Hawaii,” Yabuta said.

The most common offenses linked to drug use according to police are auto thefts, break ins and burglaries.

“The purpose of those break-ins or thefts is to gather enough money to get your quick fix,” Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said.

Hawaii Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz said it’s also the bedrock of much more sinister crimes.

 “Almost all of our violent crime on our island, if you dig far enough, has it’s roots in drugs,” Moszkowicz

According to Yabuta, there’s also data showing fentanyl and drug use linked to homelessness and mental illness….

KHON: Honolulu Prosecutor’s take on some of Hawaii’s hot topics: Marijuana, repeat offenders

read … Drug-use linked to crime, homelessness in the islands | KHON2

Column: Change isles’ licensing policy to keep mental health clinicians

SA: … Under the current system, many mental health professionals, including psychologists, marriage and family therapists (MFTs), and mental health counselors, complete their degrees full of ambition to serve. However, they face a critical roadblock: the requirement for at least one year of supervised experience without the possibility of remuneration for their services through insurance reimbursement. This is because these post-grad therapists are working to complete their supervised hours required for licensure — a credential that their counterparts in psychiatry acquire more straightforwardly after completing their medical degrees.

The result? Only the largest and most well-funded agencies can afford to take on and adequately compensate these trainees.

Enter House Bill 1830 — a legislative proposal now in its third year of being considered — which is designed to bridge this gap by granting trainees in these professions a provisional temporary license. These licenses would enable emerging professionals to receive insurance reimburse- ment for their services, thereby opening the door for more agencies to offer training opportunities and for private practice therapists to take on and compensate trainees….

read … Column: Change isles’ licensing policy to keep mental health clinicians

Public Utilities Commission Increases Transparency

IM: … The Commission desired to have one place where the status of all Hawaiian Electric Company dockets would be identified, regardless of whether the docket is open or suspended.  The first quarterly report is due April 15, 2024….

SA: Letter: New electricity rates zap recent solar customers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

read … Public Utilities Commission Increases Transparency

NIMBY News: Opponents Of Kauai Hydro Plan Drop Lawsuit But Project Is Still In Limbo

CB: … The project, first conceived in 2012, looks to give KIUC a significant boost in its goal to achieve 100% renewable-energy production by 2033 and to save the average ratepayer some $20 on their monthly bills, according to the cooperative. Using solar power, it would pump water in a closed-loop system to generate some of the new renewable energy.

The project also separately sought to divert millions of gallons of stream water from the Waimea River each day through the area’s old plantation ditch systems to generate electricity….

read … Opponents Of Kauai Hydro Plan Drop Lawsuit But Project Is Still In Limbo

NIMBY News: A Project Aimed At Helping Upcountry Maui's Water Shortages Is Getting Pushback From Residents

CB: … Buck, who did not return a call seeking comment for this story, said he entered into an agreement on Feb. 21 with property owner Von Tempsky FP to buy a 272-acre parcel known as Kula Ridge Mauka. The purchase will only go through if the county agrees to purchase water from a deep well that Free Market Ventures’ subcontractors would drill. It would be a “take-or-pay” agreement, meaning the county would be obligated to buy all the water the well produces for 30 years ….

Stufflebean said in an interview that he supports the proposal because it would help solve some of Upcountry’s water shortage issues and assist with fire prevention. More than 1,400 households and other entities are currently waiting to be hooked up to county water and the additional water supply could shorten the so-called meter list.

At the March 27 community meeting, Stufflebean noted that Upcountry’s water supply practically ran dry in October and that confirmed for him the urgency of finding new water sources as quickly as possible, especially with increased drought conditions fueled by climate change….

read … A Project Aimed At Helping Upcountry Maui's Water Shortages Is Getting Pushback From Residents

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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