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Monday, April 8, 2024
April 8, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:16 PM :: 1600 Views

Will Hawaii ever have a ‘Taxpayer Bill of Rights’?

‘Grave Threat’: Calls Mount For SCOTUS To Intervene In Hawaii Climate Lawsuit Against Major Energy Companies

Murder for Hire and Witness Intimidation: Read The Latest Bizarre Motion In The Keith Kaneshiro Bribery Case

CB: … But there has been a lot of secret stuff going on in the Kaneshiro case — sealed filings, hearings behind closed doors — much of it apparently related to whether defendant Sheri Tanaka hired a hitman to knock off the previous federal judge in the case, J. Michael Seabright, who mysteriously recused himself, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Tanaka says the money she apparently paid to an alleged bad guy was actually part of an extortion scheme in which she was the victim and had to pay him off to keep him from hurting her family.

FBI agents are apparently still investigating all that and Tanaka remains free on bail.

Meanwhile, last week the feds filed another motion suggesting Tanaka not only lied to a federal judge but also has been intimidating at least one witness. Much of it is, wait for it, blacked out….

“A witness is expected to testify that soon upon learning about her grand jury appearance, Tanaka picked her up, drove her out of the city to an unfamiliar location in the hills, and instructed her to exit the car without her cell phone. There, on the side of the road, Tanaka began speaking to the witness about the grand jury investigation. After the witness objected and told Tanaka she did not wish to continue the conversation, Tanaka’s demeanor changed. Tanaka became very serious and began instructing the witness what to say to the grand jury about political contributions.”…

PDF: Motion to Unseal 

HNN: With alleged victim on stand, prosecution seeks to make case against Kaneshiro ‘bit by bit’

KITV: Key figure in Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga bribery and corruption case testifies - YouTube

read … The Sunshine Blog: Read The Latest Bizarre Motion In The Keith Kaneshiro Bribery Case. Or Some Of It Anyway

Why Does Neil Abercrombie want State to Buy Buildings in Chinatown?

SA: … After Hawaii Pacific University moved out of Fort Street Mall to Aloha Tower Market Place, HB 2328 would allow the state to acquire “Bethel Block” — the Ohia Building, the Blaisdell Building and the Whitlow Building that sit between Bethel Street, Pauahi Street, Fort Street and Chaplain Lane — to “faci­litate the growth of the State’s inventory of affordable housing units,” according to the bill.

The latest version of HB 2328 would allow the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. to convert existing commercial spaces in the buildings to residential use.

The bill originally tasked the Hawaii Public Housing Authority with purchasing and renovating the buildings, but the latest version puts the HHFDC in charge. It passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday….

The bill was introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki by request of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Friday “the idea that small businesses in the various buildings are being replaced is complete nonsense.”

(TRANSLATION: “God’s own truth.”)

Abercrombie previously testified in a February hearing that creating more affordable housing in the area is “much needed.”

“I can’t think of, nor is it possible to find, an opportunity like this,” Abercrombie said….

Dozens of people have testified against the bill, saying that it would destroy historic landmarks, cost hundreds of workers their jobs and infringe on safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ communities.

read … Community worries about state’s possible acquisition of ‘Bethel Block’

Homicide Up Sharply on Oahu

SA: … Eleven lives were lost to homicide this year through March, compared with four homicides during the same period a year ago. Twenty-­two people died in 2023 in cases classified by authorities as murder.

There have been 195 weapons violations so far this year compared with 128 through March 2023….

read … Weapons violations, homicides climb on Oahu in 2024

‘Rest Stop’ to Pass out Free Needles to Help Homeless Drug Addicts Shoot More Drugs

CB: …“I was getting a bunch of complaints from the community, who sent photos in and documented that many times after the people exchanged their needles, they actually sat in the community near the van and injected and then fell asleep or became just sort of incoherent,” Formby said. 

Kids walking to and from Keelikolani Middle School — across the street from a methadone clinic for drug users weaning off of harder opioids — would pass by these people, Formby said. …

“Formby has discussed the possibility of seeing if they could find us a fixed site, where we could operate out of that meets the needs — our needs — but also meets the community’s needs. And obviously that would be a win-win,” Lusk said. 

Starting last fall, the organization reached an agreement with the city and Chinatown community members to operate out of Punawai Rest Stop in Iwilei every Wednesday while remaining near the intersection of Kukui Street and Nuuanu Avenue in Chinatown every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The program operates from both locations on Thursdays.

Even just picking Wednesday as their pilot program day required a lot of thought.

“In case somebody didn’t make it there from Chinatown, they would still get a Tuesday and a Thursday in Chinatown to get their treatment,” Lusk said….

read … Chinatown’s Syringe Exchange Van Faces Hurdles Finding A Permanent Brick-And-Mortar Home - Honolulu Civil Beat

Lahaina Fire News:

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