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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
April 16, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:17 PM :: 1966 Views

Victim of bribery scheme testifies in Hawaii prosecutor corruption case

Maui Fire After Action Report

After Eight Months of Lies, State, Corps of Engineers Finally Admit There are no Toxins in Lahaina

CB: … The latest scientific findings mark a big shift from the early days after the fire when many feared  (chemophobia was whipped up as an excuse to keep Lahaina property owners away from their own properties, by hyping fears) that toxins released from burned buildings, cars, boats, gas stations, electrical transformers and fallow agricultural lands may have left behind a dystopian landscape of cancer-causing poisons…  (It worked, causing hundreds to leave Hawaii and making the next stage, eminent domain, possible.  In the end, Lahaina will be converted into Wailea v2 surrounding the ‘Venice of the Pacific’ water feature.)

It’ll be some time before final conclusions are drawn but early results are encouraging and could hasten Lahaina’s (so-called) recovery (without its previous owners). Just last week state health officials said the ocean around Lahaina is safe for recreation….

IQ Test: Did you ever believe them?

Wind-whipped flames that tore through Lahaina on Aug. 8 created an urban fire so hot it not only melted glass, but it appears to have resulted in the complete combustion of many chemicals, rendering them inert.

“The dioxins were not even at levels of concern despite this being a town that burned down,” Takesue said last week.

Molten glass found after the blaze suggests temperatures exceeded 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s higher than waste incinerators, which usually burn at between 1,800 and 2,200 degrees, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“What happens is that the chemicals either totally volatilize and get transported through the atmosphere or they get destroyed because the temperature is so high,” the U.S. Geological Survey scientist said.

(REALITY: Hawai’i Free Press has been telling you this since the very beginning.)

  1. August 19, 2023: Schatz Exploits ‘Toxic’ Hysteria: Lahaina fire debris could be worth $1B to my Campaign Contributors-Homeowners will have to stay out for one year while we …uh…’clean up’
  2. October, 2023: Lahaina: ‘Toxic’ Hysteria will keep some kids out of school
  3. November, 2023: Toxic Hysteria: Chemophobia campaign scaring Lahaina residents Away “Economic pressures will cause ‘toxic’ hysteria to be hyped up until locals sell out.  Then the hysteria will evaporate and be forgotten as Lahaina is rebuilt as Wailea v2 surrounding the ‘Venice of the Pacific’ water feature.”
  4. December, 2023: After Four Months of ‘Toxic’ Hysteria--the Rains come to Lahaina and … nothing happens

read … Lahaina's Wildfire Burned So Hot That Many Dangerous Contaminants Likely Vaporized - Honolulu Civil Beat

Feds In Corruption Case Accuse Mitsunaga Defense Of Document Leaks And Witness Tampering

CB:  … The defense team in a high-profile Honolulu corruption trial is facing allegations of leaking case records to outside parties, including one instance that involved alleged witness tampering….

In an emergency motion filed Sunday evening, San Diego-based federal prosecutors accused unspecified members of the defense team of violating court rules mandating the confidentiality of case evidence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hawaii is now investigating a possible attempt to influence a witness in the case, the feds said….

“These are not mere technical violations,” prosecutors said in a court filing. “They are troubling, significant violations. Indeed, the violation of the Court’s Protective Order was committed in conjunction with a blatant attempt to tamper with upcoming witness testimony.” …

In early March, the government learned the defense had emailed a copy of a witness’s grand jury transcript to that witness, according to the feds’ filing. The filing doesn’t identify the parties by name. 

Prosecutors said they brought the matter to the attention of defense counsel and pointed out that doing so was a violation of the protective order. 

“Defense counsel claimed ignorance of the provision prohibiting the dissemination of Grand Jury transcripts to witnesses and third parties,” the feds wrote….

“The United States directed counsel to the provision of the Protective Order, and defense counsel assured his/her compliance with the terms of the Protective Order and that no such dissemination would occur again.”

Prosecutors wrote they felt the matter was resolved so there was no need to bring the issue to the judge. 

In April, the government learned grand jury material also had been shared with Rudy Alivado, a witness in the case and a longtime friend of defendant Dennis Mitsunaga. 

Alivado is expected to be a “damaging witness to the defense,” according to the feds. In recent days, Alivado admitted that defendant Sheri Tanaka, a former lawyer for Mitsunaga’s firm, “coached him to lie” about Mau during a 2014 civil trial, the feds said. …

Alivado falsely testified that when he paid Mau for work done on his property years ago, he believed he was paying her employer, Mitsunaga’s firm, according to prosecutors.

But Alivado, a former Honolulu police officer, recently told the feds that, in fact, he intended for the money to go to Mau.   

“Alivado was willing to lie at the civil trial to help Dennis Mitsunaga because of their longtime business relationship,” the feds said. “At the time he testified in the civil trial, Alivado did not consider his false testimony to be a big deal because it was a civil case, not a criminal case.”

But that civil case would later form the foundation of a criminal prosecution by Kaneshiro’s office…. 

ILind: More startling allegations in the case of former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro | i L i n d

PDF: Emergency motion for enforcement of protective order | PDF | Discovery (Law) | Restraining Order (

read … Feds In Corruption Case Accuse Mitsunaga Defense Of Document Leaks And Witness Tampering

Exhibits suggest upcoming testimony about circumstances surrounding Johnny Fraser’s disappearance

ILind: … From the outside, the trial of former Honolulu business owner, Michael J. Miske Jr., seems to be moving at a glacial pace, nearing the end of its third full month with months yet to go. But every day is packed full of new witnesses, new incidents being described, new evidence being introduced, and the seeds of new arguments being planted….

Fraser was last seen alive on the morning of July 30, 2016. At the time, Fraser and his girlfriend, Ashley Wong, were sharing an apartment with Delia Miske, who had been married to Miske’s son, Caleb, who died at Queens Hospital on March 12, 2016. The apartment was reportedly paid for by Mike Miske….

HNN: In cross, defense expected to argue alleged Miske enforcer is testifying for lighter sentence

read … Exhibits suggest upcoming testimony about circumstances surrounding Johnny Fraser’s disappearance

$1,200 hotel rooms: FEMA pays luxury prices for Hawaii wildfire survivors

EE: … The Royal Lahaina Resort in Hawaii has been fully booked for months, but the guests aren’t lounging on the beach or enjoying $235 massages.

People who lost their homes in the Lahaina wildfire have filled the 27-acre beachfront complex since August…About 2,650 displaced people continue to occupy hotels and condominium rentals that have cost taxpayers up to $1,175 a night.

More than 400 others who lost homes are in short-term housing that the state is renting for as much as $11,000 a month.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has leased roughly 1,400 vacation rentals on Maui for wildfire survivors at similar rates. But about 600 units are vacant as hotel residents turn them down because they’re too far from Lahaina or don’t allow pets.

“We do have properties that we’re paying good dollars for that are sitting empty,” FEMA spokesperson Todd Hoose said last week at a community meeting in Lahaina.

The number of people in hotels “is unheard of,” said Jennifer Gray Thompson, CEO of California-based nonprofit After the Fire USA, who is helping groups in Maui. “It just doesn’t happen.”….

read … $1,200 hotel rooms: FEMA pays luxury prices for Hawaii wildfire survivors

Jackpot! Hawaii To Pay Government Workers Up To $20K Each For ‘Hazardous’ Work During Pandemic

CB: … Two-tiered settlement with the Green administration awards government employees back pay of either $10,000 or $20,000, depending on how many days they worked….

Members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association wrapped up voting on the proposed settlement on Sunday, with the union reporting 88% of its members who participated backed the new agreement.

The tentative settlement covers about 16,000 state and county workers represented by HGEA….

(CLUE: State had lots of left-over COVID money and had to waste it on something.)

read … Hawaii To Pay Government Workers Up To $20K Each For Hazardous Work During Pandemic

DPP Tech Fix: “We anticipate bumps in the road“

SA: … The city Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) recently announced the kickoff of three technology initiatives as a major step and significant factor in fixing the backlogged building permit process. …

When fully implemented, the new Clariti/Speridian Permitting Software System, Avolve electronic plans upgrade, and CivCheck artificial intelligence in the code review, will empower and equip DPP to more effectively and efficiently perform our services to the public. …

We anticipate bumps in the road and many ups and downs throughout implementation, as these are complex and in some ways uncharted areas in technology and permitting….

read … Column: Support DPP staff amid advancements

BLNR, Army to Negotiate Land Swap?

HTH: … (The usual professional protesters) urged the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to reject a proposed land exchange between the state and the U.S. Army that would allow it to continue to use land in the Pohakuloa Training Area and elsewhere.

About 23,000 acres of the 132,000-acre PTA are leased from the state, with that lease scheduled to expire in 2029. Since 2017, the Army has been following a yearslong process to retain that land, which is considered vital for the training area’s operations, since it cuts through the middle of PTA.

On Oahu, the Army also leases about 50,000 acres across 18 different sites — including the Kahuku Training Area, Schofield Barracks and Dillingham Airfield — and is also engaged in its land retention process for those areas.

At Friday’s meeting of the BLNR, representatives of the Army provided an update about that process and requested that the board consider a potential land exchange between the state and the Army in lieu of new leases….

Roberts and Board Chair Dawn Chang emphasized that no specific sites for a land exchange have been identified, and that any discussions about the possibility have been very preliminary.

However, the agenda for Friday’s meeting included an item that would authorize the board chair to negotiate such an exchange in the future. Chang said such an authorization would not trigger the exchange itself, but would allow the board to develop the potential terms for such an exchange….

“If I came to your home, and I threw a dirty bomb in your house, and you wanted to sell it to … Dawn, what would be the value to Dawn to buy your house with a dirty bomb in your yard?” asked (fantasized) Waianae resident (ex-con and convicted rapist) De Mont Kalai Manaole (Connor) ….

As the meeting reached its 10-hour mark, the board moved to postpone action on the matter until a future meeting to allow for better discussion….

CB: The Days Of The Army Leasing Land In Hawaii For $1 Are Likely Over. But What's Next?

read … Testifiers to board: No PTA land swap - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Attorneys Blocking JetBlue/Spirit Merger Now Targeting Hawaiian/Alaska Airlines Deal

BH: … A new lawsuit has been filed by a well-known San Francisco attorney to attempt to block the acquisition of Hawaii Airlines by Alaska Airlines. This is not the first such suit, and it may also not be the last. But what stands out, in part, is that this law firm also filed a similar suit wherein JetBlue was subsequently blocked in its attempt to acquire Spirit Airlines….

The same San Francisco-based law firm previously filed a lawsuit to stop the successful merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. That 2017 suit was said to have been on behalf of 40+ passengers who had similar claims to those allegedly opposing the Alaska/Hawaiian deal….

That Alioto suit included similar language regarding the “proposed elimination of Virgin America by the Defendant Alaska Airlines constitutes a substantial threat of injury to the Plaintiffs because the acquisition may have the effect substantially to lessen competition and tend to create a monopoly in various markets…” Alioto also said that prior merger would have reduced flights to smaller markets, resulting in higher airfares.

More recently, Alioto filed suit against the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines that subsequently failed. That case document is attached HERE. Alioto is known for these suits attempting to block airline mergers on behalf of passengers and to prevent price-fixing….

HNN: Anti-trust lawsuit filed in push to stop Hawaiian-Alaska Airlines merger

SA: Lawsuit seeks to stop Alaska-Hawaiian merger | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

read … Attorneys Blocking JetBlue/Spirit Merger Now Targeting Hawaiian/Alaska Airlines Deal - Beat of Hawaii

Macy’s Closing Could Create Problem for Prince Kuhio Mall in Hilo

CS: … Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, Hawaii, backs a $35 million loan in special servicing securitized in COMM 2013-CCRE10. Macy’s has a lease there that expires next year.

The loan transferred to special servicing last summer due to maturity default, according to bondholder notes. The lender is reviewing modification terms with the borrower, a Brookfield entity.

The property primarily serves local shoppers , as it is located some distance from the main tourist areas on the island. An updated appraisal has not yet been finalized, according to Morningstar DBRS, though the firm anticipates a significant decline in value from the appraised value of $71 million at the issuance of the loan, “given the property's dated appearance, declining occupancy, and upcoming scheduled lease roll.”…

read … Macy’s Closings Could Raise Risk for Billions in CMBS Mall Debt (

Hawaii Governor: State Biosecurity Chief's Contract Will Not Be Renewed

CB: … Carol Okada, the state’s embattled acting biosecurity administrator, will not have a job with the Department of Agriculture after June 29.

That’s the directive Gov. Josh Green has given state Agriculture Director Sharon Hurd, who hired Okada last year to fill the role of acting Plant Industry Division administrator on rolling 89-day contracts. Okada was a longtime DOA staffer until her retirement in 2019.

The slow implementation of stronger regulations last year, her relationship to the nursery industry and the statewide spread of invasive pests raised alarms about Okada’s return to the department. 

(TRANSLATION: Her replacement will attack and destroy plant nurseries.)

read … Hawaii Governor: State Biosecurity Chief's Contract Will Not Be Renewed

Lahaina Fire News:

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