Saturday, June 15, 2024
Hawaii Daily News Read

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, June 9, 2024
June 9, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:51 PM :: 1382 Views

Lahaina: Hundreds Remaining in Hotels to be Kicked Out Monday, June 10

Hawaii has a lot of room for new ideas

Some History Behind the Newly Enacted Healthcare GET Exemption

Kaneshiro Says He Needs a Pay Off – do you owe him?

SA: … Kaneshiro, 74, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an interview that he is still deciding whether to practice law again while his license is inactive.

His immediate focus, he said, is reconnecting with family and friends, restoring his reputation and paying off a costly legal defense that helped avert a conviction….

(REALLY OBVIOUS QUESTION:  Who would help him with this pay off?  Answer: Who did he protect throughout the case?)

“It has been an ordeal. I lost … I had to maintain my distance from a lot of friends. I didn’t want to get them involved in what was going through, so, it has been pretty tough, but I always felt that I didn’t do anything wrong so there is nothing to worry about,” said Kaneshiro, reflecting on the eight-year federal investigation and prosecution from the conference room of his attorney Birney B. Bervar’s office. “I kept on asking my attorney, ‘Is there some secret evidence they have?’ because we went through discovery and I said, ‘I can see what they have in their case.’ And he said, ‘Nah, that’s their case.’ I said, ‘Nah, there gotta be some secret witness or somebody going come out and say something’ … all my life I’ve been involved in law enforcement … I would never do anything to jeopardize that career. The last two years of my term (as Honolulu prosecuting attorney) I could not be involved in law enforcement. I still haven’t generally gotten over this whole ordeal yet, there are still some things I need to resolve.”

(CLUE: He just described the insiders he has been protecting.  Now it’s time for them to return the favor.)

read … Keith Kaneshiro describes prosecution as a grudge | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

Kahele Running to Make OHA Corruption Autonomous

Borreca: … “OHA has never fully realized its potential as a Hawaiian institution with the constitutional autonomy to truly serve our people” – Kai Kahele ….

Kahele may not be universally supported among fellow Democrats. There are those who will remember that he did not attend the Hawaii Democratic Party’s unity breakfast after losing in the Democratic primary to then-Lt. Gov. Josh Green….

BIN: Former US congressman makes a run for trustee seat with Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Akina 2024: OHA Above the Law? One Trustee Says 'No'

2020: Kahele on Federal Recognition: “My role is trying to figure out what the future path looks like….”

2022: Attorney: Kahele threatened to kill ex-wife -- In court records obtained by Hawaii News Now, his ex-wife’s attorney alleged that she was in “fear of her safety” due to his “volatile nature and temper.”

LINK: CH-07-1991 - CHRISTIANE JEAN PINDAT V KAIALII KAHELE

read  … Why do Hawaii politicians leave Congress?

Waters seals the getaway in City Council pay heist

Shapiro: … A proposed City Charter amendment to remake the salary process for Council members and city executives is the cherry atop Council Chair Tommy Waters’ scheme to bestow gluttonous 64% pay raises on his members despite public outrage.

The charter change …is… like bolting the bank vault after robbers have fled with the loot.

It locks in 2023’s 64% pay raises to $113,304 from $68,904 as the base for future raises and removes means for the Council to vote down raises.

Most important is what’s missing from the amendment: keeping a promise by Waters and Vice Chair Esther Kia‘aina to make Council work officially full time by barring members from outside employment.

The Salary Commission, to which the Council appoints or confirms four of the seven members, proposed the 64% raises on the false premise — publicly promoted by Waters and Kia‘aina — that Council members are effectively already full-time employees.

It’s simply not so. Members set their own schedules with no requirements on how much time they must give the job. They are free to do lucrative outside work, sometimes for employers with interests before the city….

If Waters and Co. wanted to restructure Council employment status and pay, the proper way would have been to first actually make members full time by barring outside jobs, and then decide the appropriate pay for a full-time Council — with ample public hearings on both.

Instead, they first engineered grossly bloated pay raises with minimal public hearings and then reneged on the promise to end outside jobs….

read … Waters seals the getaway in City Council pay heist

Maui Can't Seem To Keep A County Finance Director On The Job

CB: … Maui Mayor Richard Bissen appointed Marcy Martin this week as acting finance director, making her the fourth person to fill the position in the past four months.

But she’s only planning to fill in for as long as it takes the county to recruit a permanent finance director, county officials said in a statement Wednesday….

Martin took the reins from Maria Zielinski, who was set to be confirmed as finance director by the Maui County Council last month but withdrew her name April 30, the day before its first meeting on the matter. No reason was provided.

Zielinksi, the former state tax director, will now serve as deputy finance director, the release says. 

The game of musical chairs began after Finance Director Scott Teruya, a holdover from former Mayor Michael Victorino’s administration, was put on administrative leave Feb. 2. His deputy director, Steve Tesoro, briefly served as acting director but is now the department’s internal control officer.

Teruya was terminated April 8 without any public explanation from Bissen’s office, which maintained it is a confidential personnel matter.

Zielinski had supervised the department most recently, steering the county through its months-long budget process. The council thanked her for her work Wednesday after approving the $1.7 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2025….

May 20, 2024: COVID Fraud?  Why Was The Maui County Finance Director Fired?

read … Maui Can't Seem To Keep A County Finance Director On The Job - Honolulu Civil Beat

Four Maui County incumbents uncontested for re-election—‘Progressives’ target Cook in push to regain majority, block Lahaina from rebuilding

MN: … By virtue of being uncontested, Maui County Council Members Shane Sinenci of East Maui and Gabe Johnson of Lāna‘i will be re-elected to their respective seats this year.

Central Maui Sen. Troy Hashimoto is also uncontested for his 5th District Senate seat, and District 9 Rep. Justin Woodson has no opponent to stand in the way of his return to the state House of Representatives.…

The standout exception will be the expected, hotly contested race for the Maui County Council’s South Maui residency seat. The contest pits first-term incumbent Council Member Tom Cook against former Council Member Kelly King, who gave up the seat in 2022 to run for mayor. (In the Aug. 13, 2022, primary, she finished in third place with 6,389 votes, or 16.1%.) Also in the South Maui Council race is first-time candidate Johnny Prones, a Kīhei resident. All three responded Thursday to Maui Now’s request for comments via email.

Cook said he has been a father, carpenter, general contractor and business operator. “These life experiences have equipped me with the insights and empathy needed to effectively continue serving our community on the Maui County Council,” he said. “My approach to governance is rooted in common sense and a genuine understanding of the diverse needs of our community. I am committed to fostering inclusivity, transparency and progress for South Maui.”

A former council chair and leader among “progressive” members, King said hundreds of Mauians have urged her to run for her former seat to buck against “a conservative, contractor-funded Council majority.”

She said she and her supporters have seen “a continued attempt by the current council to push for outside interests to take over our resources, especially public water rights.”

(CLUE: Water denial is the method to block any development of affordable housing around the Lahaina burn zone.  The ‘progressives’ want to block water to otherwise-approved developments.  Translation: Move to Vegas.)

read … Four Maui County incumbents uncontested for re-election : Maui Now

Pandering: Maui mayor pushes back against proposed new telescopes atop Haleakala

HNN: … Maui Mayor Richard Bissen is taking a stand against building seven new telescopes on Haleakala.

Sending a letter to the Air Force saying the county does not support the proposed “AMOS-STAR” project due to significant pushback from residents.

Bissen also says the Air Force’s lack of communication with him, county leadership, and constituents gives the impression that it had no intent to consider community feedback.

This comes days after the Maui County Council opposed the project with a unanimous 9-0 vote….

read … Maui mayor pushes back against proposed new telescopes atop Haleakala

Hawaii student FAFSA applications down 20%

SA: … Hawaii faces a sharp decline in its Free Application for Federal Student Aid completion rate — approximately 20% lower than it was at this time in 2023 and one of the largest drops in the country.

According to the National College Attainment Network’s FAFSA tracker, 40.4% of the high school class of 2024 in Hawaii completed a FAFSA as of May 24 — equivalent to 19.6% less than last year.

“It’s a nationwide problem. Just about every state is down a pretty significant amount, and it’s just kind of a perfect storm of things,” Sun-Miyashiro said. “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”

For the University of Hawaii system, the four-year campuses — Manoa, Hilo and West Oahu — have begun to send students their financial aid packages. The community colleges are still working through the application changes — a delay in their normal timeline. Farrah-Marie Gomes, UH associate vice president for student affairs, said that the UH system is processing completed FAFSA applications “as quickly as we are receiving them.”…

The 2024-25 school year FAFSA is due on June 30 and can be completed online.

read … Hawaii student FAFSA applications down 20%

Unaffordable: Low-income rental tower mostly vacant after October

SA: … Hawaii has long been in the throes of an affordable-­housing crisis, yet eight months after the opening of a rental apartment high-rise built at 1192 Alakea St. for people age 55 and older with low incomes, more than half the units are still vacant.

(TRANSLATION: They made ‘affordable’ housing so expensive and unattractive that nobody wants it.)

The developer of the 20-story project called Kokua Hale has reduced rents twice, run advertisements and is offering one month free rent plus no application fee, along with a reduced security deposit of $99 instead of the typical amount equating to twice the monthly rent.

Still, as of Friday, 141 of the tower’s 222 studio units, or 64%, are available for $1,210 a month….

most of the lottery entrants did not meet income qualifications or were seeking one of only 12 apartments reserved for seniors with very low incomes.

These units rent for $687 a month and were available only to households earning no more than 30% of Honolulu’s median income, which equates to $29,250 for a single person and $33,420 for a couple. No vacancies exist for the 12 units.

The other 210 units are reserved for households earning twice as much, $58,500 for a single person or $66,840 for a couple, and were initially priced at $1,375 a month….

Apartment sizes range from 260 square feet to 330 square feet. There are 34 parking stalls in the building for residents and are available on a first-come, first-served basis….

(TRANSLATION: Tiny apartments renting for $5 psf per month with no parking downtown surrounded by criminal vagrants.  No wonder seniors don’t want them.)

read … Low-income rental tower mostly vacant after October opening

Bums Cause Many Fires Above Paia

MN: … The current unsheltered population at Holomua Road is about 25 people, Crozier said. In April, the county tagged 65 cars there and pulled out 60, along with a couple hundred tons of garbage.

Crozier handed out an information sheet that showed 26 reports of fire at Holomua Road from Jan. 1 through May 31. However, that was inconsistent with Paltin’s recollection that there had been 30 or more reports of fire in the area as of late March or early April….

(That’s more than one fire per bum.)

According to nonprofit Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization, more than 98% of wildfires in Hawai‘i are caused by humans. ..

The Council’s 7-1 vote on Bill 95, with Council Member Gabe Johnson dissenting, came in response to post-Lahaina wildfire fears and the fire threat to Pāʻia town. The measure advances to Mayor Richard Bissen for final action.

If signed into law by the mayor, the measure would close the mauka portion of Holomua Road above the entrance to old Maui High School. Parking and vehicle access would be prohibited on the lower portion of the road from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

On Friday, Council members heard more from homeless advocates concerned that the measure would displace people who have nowhere else to live (do meth) ….

read … Council votes to close Holomua Road amid fears of wildfire in Pāʻia : Maui Now

Lawsuit over lack of Mental health care in Jails

CB: …The family of a 21-year-old woman who hanged herself while in prison at the Oahu Community Correctional Center has sued the state corrections department, alleging the agency failed to provide adequate mental health treatment despite two previous suicide attempts.

Joycelyn Simeona, mother of Diamond Simeona-Agoo, filed the wrongful death suit last week against the Hawaii Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Simeona is also seeking damages from the department’s director and the former and current health care administrators. She says the defendants failed to provide Simeona-Agoo with adequate mental health treatment….

2020: Inmates released due to pandemic are back behind bars (hawaiinewsnow.com)

read … Lawsuit Filed Over Oahu Jail Suicide - Honolulu Civil Beat

North Shore Homeowners Face Fines Of Nearly $1 Million For Fighting Erosion

CB: … When a beachfront house collapsed into the ocean just four doors down from Eric Freeman’s property, he remembers having a “total panic attack.” Two years later, the Sunset Beach homeowner faces nearly $1 million in fines for using an unauthorized system of giant sandbags to save his property from erosion.

“There wasn’t time for a two-year permit,” he said at a hearing of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Freeman isn’t the only Sunset Beach homeowner ordered to pay big fines for using illegal erosion control devices. William and Melinda Kernot are on the hook for $948,000, Rodney Youman and Zhungo LLC for $993,000. Freeman’s fines totals $937,000. After hours of hearings and testimony, all have been granted contested cases by the BLNR and are requesting mediation.

The landowners’ lawyer, Bernie Bays, said they were simply trying to protect their properties, a point he and the owners have made repeatedly at BLNR hearings.

“All they’re trying to do is save their homes,” he said. “Actions and motivations are simple.”

(The State’s motivations are simple too: They want to make these houses disappear without compensating the owners.)

read … North Shore Homeowners Face Fines Of Nearly $1 Million For Fighting Erosion Illegally

QUICK HITS:


Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii