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April 24, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:38 PM :: 1982 Views

Are Euphemisms missing the meaning?

Notice of Anticipated Judicial Vacancy – Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of the First Circuit (island of Oʻahu)

DOBOR to Clear Bums and Junk Cars from Kahului Harbor

Psychologist who will plead guilty to sexually assaulting terminally-ill boy still has license to practice – How many dying children did he rape?

HNN: …  The Hawaii Island clinical psychologist who agreed to a plea deal for sex crimes against a 14-year-old patient still has his license to practice, HNN Investigates has confirmed.

The state agency with the power to revoke Reuben Lelah’s certification has not — despite first being tipped off to the therapist’s crimes last summer.

In June, Lelah was indicted for sexually assaulting a teenaged boy in his care.

Lelah has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault, but has yet to be stripped of his license. According to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Lelah’s license to practice psychology in Hawaii remains current, valid and in good standing…

According to the non-profit’s website, which has since been taken down, the facility specialized in treating children and teens who were dying or suffering from chronic illness.

Hurt said, “To prey on vulnerable sick youth, some of whom are terminally ill, that is a level of evil I don’t think the regular person can just comprehend.”

The document — dated July 13, 2023 — requests a “full and complete file regarding any complaints” made against Lelah going back to when his license was issued in 1995.

DCCA said it made the Regulated Industries Complaints Office aware of the case and added that, “RICO has a pending matter involving Lelah.” ….

“How many children did this man see? And God forbid I even have to say this, how many kids have passed away potentially who have been harmed by this man?” he said….

“These are all serious questions that are valid questions that the state has the obligation and the duty to explore and answer.”…

RELATED: ‘There might be some type of corruption’ -- Homosexual Child Molester gets Sweet Plea Bargain

read … Psychologist who will plead guilty to sexually assaulting young patient still has license to practice

Retired HPD officer deals big blow to defense in Kaneshiro bribery trial

HNN: … Retired HPD Rudy Alivado told a federal jury Tuesday that he lied in court proceedings — and was coached to do so by defendant and attorney Sheri Tanaka.

Alivado took the stand in the bribery trial Tuesday afternoon.

Tanaka and other employees at engineering firm Mitsunaga and Associates are accused of bribing ex-city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro to prosecute a fired firm employee who sued for discrimination.

Alivado said he agreed to lie on the stand during that civil discrimination trial in 2014, to benefit the firm and the firm’s owner, Dennis Mitsunaga….

The 79-year old Alivado said the fired employee, architect and designer Laurel Mau, did great work for him on his property.

Mitsunaga told her to work on the property during the build.

Mau took him to get countertops, flooring and other furniture.

Alivado said he gave her $2,800 in cash plus several trees from his Waimanalo farm. Alivado admitted that he did not expect that money to go to the firm but rather it was for her efforts.

Alivado said he was later named as a victim when Mau was prosecuted for felony theft by Kaneshiro’s office.

A criminal case that was thrown out for a lack of probable cause….

CB: Dennis Mitsunaga's 'Ninja' Testifies That 'It Felt A Little Wrong' To Contact Witness In Corruption Case

KITV: Defendant in Honolulu corruption case faces witness tampering allegations as employee testifies

read … Retired HPD officer deals big blow to defense in Kaneshiro bribery trial

Attorney Alleges Hilo Rape Frameup

HTH: … Then a 31-year-old deputy public defender, McGuire was charged by complaint on Jan. 22, 2020, and indicted by a Hilo grand jury on Jan. 29, 2020, with first-, third- and fourth-degree sexual assault for what prosecutors alleged was an acquaintance rape of a then-27-year-old woman on Jan. 19, 2020, at McGuire’s Hilo home.

The charges were dismissed with prejudice — which means they can’t legally be refiled — on July 16, 2021, by Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert Kim. The dismissal was in response to a motion filed by Perazich on July 13, 2021. According to the motion, the request that the charges be dismissed was made “in the interests of justice.”

Among the allegations in the suit are that the complainant — the daughter of a police sergeant/detective — had consensual sex with McGuire, but lied to police and the grand jury both about the nature of the sex and about having had sex with McGuire the previous night, as well.

The complaint alleges a police detective interviewed the alleged victim three times and didn’t find her claims credible, but Wan advised the detective to press the sexual assault charges….

read … Federal lawsuit against Roth, others on hold pending legal question

House and Senate negotiators agree on $19.21 billion state budget—Maui Money Not Included

CB: … The budget document does not include the bulk of the state funding to help finance the recovery from the Aug. 8 Maui wildfire disaster. That money will certainly total hundreds of millions of dollars, and is being packaged in separate bills.

The proposed new funding for public education includes $18.9 million for increases in the weighted student formula, including $6 million that Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said would be earmarked for “small and remote schools.”

It also features $14.9 million for pay raises for public school educational assistants and vice principals, according to a draft budget summary provided by Saiki.

The new spending plan also directs extra funding to the Hawaii State Hospital, a state-run facility that has been the subject of increased scrutiny this year after 29-year-old nurse Justin Bautista was fatally stabbed by a recently released patient on the hospital grounds….

SA: Maui mayor seeks more funding to cover Lahaina disaster costs

read … Proposed State Budget Includes Money For Public School Raises, Geothermal Exploration

Green pledges to sign short-term rentals bill

SA: … Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday pledged to sign a bill into law that would give each county clear authority over vacation rentals — including the possibility of banning them — if it arrives on his desk, as expected.

Senate Bill 2919 remained in a House-Senate conference committee where it’s scheduled to be voted on today.

Green told a cheering crowd of Lahaina Strong members at the state Capitol Monday that, “When this bill passes, I will sign it.” ….

read … Gov. Green pledges to sign short-term rentals bill

Nearly 3.6% pay hike adopted for mayor, Council

SA: … The Honolulu Salary Commission Tuesday adopted a nearly 3.6% pay boost for the mayor, managing director, the nine-member City Council and other appointed, high-level city officials for the city’s fiscal year 2025 salary schedule, which begins July 1.

However, the panel’s vote follows declarations by the full Council and Mayor Rick Blangiardi to formally reject any proposed pay hike — including a lower 3% pay bump first announced by the Salary Commission March 9.

This year’s proposed pay increase for Honolulu’s elected officials comes less than a year after the Council received a controversial 64% salary increase and the Hono­lulu mayor’s pay jumped nearly 12.6%....

SA: Editorial: Adjust City Council salary standards

read … Nearly 3.6% pay hike adopted for mayor, Council

Solar Schemers Can’t get Funding with HECO Bankruptcy Looming

CB: … Typically, developers like Longroad enter contracts to sell energy to HECO at a wholesale rate for the life of the renewable project. Once approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, these power purchase agreements are used to secure loans to build the projects, with the lender being assured there will be dedicated cash flow to pay back the loan.

The problem now, Wescoatt said, is that Hawaiian Electric’s credit rating has been cut to below investment grade, so lenders are reluctant to issue loans secured by contracts with the utility. Projects that were being planned are now on hold, he said.

“The banks require that we have a credit-worthy counter-party on the other end of that contract,” he said….

… Longroad Energy… has developed about half of Hawaii’s utility-scale wind and solar projects over the past 15 years. “This is exactly why we have a 100% renewable goal.”…

read … Hawaii's Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan Is Threatened By HECO's Uncertain Future - Honolulu Civil Beat

‘Securitization’ Legislators Plan to Soak HECO Ratepayers

IM: …Following the fire, HECO drew down $200 million on its senior syndicated credit facility to ensure adequate liquidity to pay for current and future capital expenditures, including capital expenditures related to the Event and to reimburse the corporation for capital expenditures previously made.

 The Companies top near-term legislative priority is securitization, a fancy word for issuing bonds backed by assets, in this case, by a portion of future electric bills paid by ratepayers. There is intense debate at the Legislature over whether the bill makes sense, and if so, what the funds could be used for. The maximum that the Companies want to raise over the next few years using this financial mechanism is $2.5 billion.

 The Companies top near-term regulatory priority is selling their accounts receivables (A/R) to secure short- and long-term financing to handle day-to-day operations. The maximum that could be raised using this financial mechanism is $250 million.

 The Companies filed an application, Docket No. 2024-0040, with Public Utilities Commission on Feb 16, 2024. The Public Utilities Commission granted Life of the Land participant status on April 23, 2024….

RELATED: Taxpayers Not on the Hook for HECO's $542M 'Special Purpose Revenue Bonds'

read … HECO Seeks New Financial Mechanisms in Legislative and Regulatory Realms

Lahaina Next: Larry Ellison added two Nobu restaurants to his Hawaiian island but nixed affordable housing, leaving locals priced out

YN: … After Oracle founder Larry Ellison bought almost all the land on the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million a decade ago, his first major project was opening a branch of the high-end Japanese restaurant Nobu, according to a Bloomberg report.

In the years since, a second Nobu has opened on the island, but many local residents whose families have lived on Lanai for generations have left, according to the report.

A 150-unit affordable housing complex promised to residents for years was also canned by Ellison's holding company, Pulama.

About 3,200 people live on Lanai, the smallest inhabited Hawaiian island, where tourism is the main industry….

He also spent $75 million upgrading the Four Seasons resort on the island, where rooms can cost thousands of dollars a night, Bloomberg reported.

All properties available to buy in Lanai City are billed as vacation homes with seven-figure price tags….

(CLUE: This is the model for Lahaina.)

One local who cannot afford to buy a property on the island told Bloomberg: "My biggest worry, worst-case scenario, is that the island becomes this playground for only the rich."

A news clip of Ellison promised to help the local economy on Lanai is now a running joke among its residents, according to the report.

He said in an interview with The New York Times that he saw Lanai becoming "the first economically viable, 100% green community."

(CLUE: The color of money.)

BB: Billionaire Larry Ellison Bought a Hawaiian Island and Is Pushing Residents Out

read … Larry Ellison added two Nobu restaurants to his Hawaiian island but nixed affordable housing, leaving locals priced out

Affordable Housing -- $3,132 for a two-bedroom unit

KHON: … In one example, the DPP explained that under the 2024 income limits, the maximum monthly rent for a family of four who brings in the median level income of $139,200 would be $3,132 for a two-bedroom unit.

For more information on the new 2024 affordable housing income limits, visit the DPP’s website.

HNN: Business Report: Expensive states for renters (youtube.com)

read … Does your income make the cut for affordable housing?

Red Hill Lawsuit: Trial Begins Monday

CB: … In the trial starting Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice will question whether they were exposed to jet fuel and, if so, whether it was enough to account for their illnesses….

CBS: The Justice Department admitted a Navy jet fuel leak in Hawaii caused thousands to suffer injuries. Now, victims are suing the government

read … Red Hill Families Describe Litany Of Harms From Tainted Water In Lead-Up To Federal Trial - Honolulu Civil Beat

DPP Bribery News: Marconi Point Scheme to be hit with $3M fine?

CB: … The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider whether to approve the fines Friday. DLNR spokesperson Dan Denison could not confirm Tuesday whether the total fine amount, recommended by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, was unprecedented.

The bulk of the recommended fines applies to the bee habitat destruction, including the loss of more than 100 heliotrope trees and the loss of 300 endangered Hawaiian yellow-faced bees there. 

Kan faces some $45,000 in fines for the iron boundary fence that ensnared Ho‘okipa late last year. State officials said they couldn’t find records of any city or state permits authorizing it. …

Garg, meanwhile, faces a separate DLNR investigation into potentially unauthorized demolition work on the historic Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Station.

The 1910s-era telegraph building was supposed to be preserved under the terms of a 2021 federal loan guarantee for construction at that site….

Related: Marconi Point Project Connected to DPP Bribery Scandal

read … Bee Habitat Destruction, Albatross Death Could Lead To $3 Million In Fines - Honolulu Civil Beat

Stairway to Heaven – Cops Watch as Residents Sic Dogs on hikers

KITV: … once the group of about 25 hikers reached the bottom, some were yelling that they were spotting cops. And that's the moment when he started running ahead when he spotted some aggressive residents.

"There was a guy that came out with his dog and he was kind a literally trying to get his dog into the woods and find people and he was trying to get his friends to do the same thing,” Reyes explained. “So, felt a little weird, felt like I was in a video game for a second."…

SA: Honolulu police arrest 5 attempting to hike up Haiku Stairs | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

read … Stairway to Heaven hiker shares story of how an angry resident reacted to trespassers

Body cams to be implemented for sheriffs post barricade

KHON: … It was a close call for deputy sheriffs during Thursday’s Waianae barricade situation. Now, the Department of Law Enforcement is looking at ways to improve by looking at new training and implementing new equipment. That includes the addition of body-worn cameras for sheriffs….

“We will be implementing a body-worn camera program probably within the next six months,” Lowe said.

The department already has the cameras and said the devices aren’t just for sheriffs. DLE said, its criminal investigation division, narcotics enforcement, and Office of Homeland Security will also receive the cameras. DLE added that the policy will be similar to other law enforcement agencies.

“It’s just a matter of when we can deploy it and how we’re going to implement it with our new report management system and our computer-assisted dispatch system,” said Lowe….

read … Body cams to be implemented for sheriffs post barricade

Meth: Oahu’s homeless mostly chronics

KHON: … 59% of Oʻahu’s homeless are completely unsheltered.

41% of Oʻahu’s homeless are utilizing emergency shelters, transitional housing or vet safe havens.

54% of surveyed adults and UMs were chronically homeless individuals.

52 was the average age of surveyed adults.

7% of the individuals counted were of unknown gender due to a high number of observations.

There are 559 keiki under the age of 17 who are homeless or experiencing unstable housing situations…

“When you’re out on the streets, you’re losing sleep; no matter what you think it’s not restful sleep,” explained Thielen. “You’re sleeping in survival mode, and you’re making sure that your family is safe. So, people’s ability to work really decreases as their homelessness increases.”….

You can click here to access to the 2023 Point in Time Count data.

read … Oʻahu’s pipeline to homelessness: Roots of the crisis, what’s driving it | KHON2

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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