Monday, October 23, 2017

Honolulu reels from arrests of former police chief and deputy prosecutor wife, police chief candidates' interviews begin today, Tsutsui won't run for Maui mayor, pension plan improves, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Former Honolulu Police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha
How Far Will The Honolulu Police Corruption Investigation Spread? The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue its grand jury investigation into corruption and abuse of power. Civil Beat.

A curious allegation of mailbox theft unraveled into a tale of corruption that reached the highest levels of Honolulu law enforcement, culminating in a U.S. investigation that found the former police chief and his prosecutor wife bilked clients and relatives out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on their lavish lifestyle and then used their power to orchestrate a plot within the police department to target anyone who threatened them. Associated Press.

Honolulu’s former police chief and his city deputy prosecutor wife were arrested Friday in the most significant case of alleged public abuse of power in state history, and prosecutors said the investigation could lead to even further charges. Star-Advertiser.

One day after a federal grand jury completed a two-year investigation into public corruption and abuse of power in Hawaii law enforcement, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a high-ranking city prosecutor, were arrested Friday by the FBI and indicted on 20 counts of criminal conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice. Civil Beat.

A Guide To The Case Against The Kealohas. The former Honolulu police chief and his wife, a city prosecutor, have pleaded not guilty to the charges contained in a federal indictment. Civil Beat.

Read full indictment here.

Frustrated Honolulu residents may feel a greater urgency for members of the Police Commission to pick a successor to Louis Kealoha in the wake of the arrest of the former chief two days ago. Star-Advertiser.

Federal case likely to raise doubts over work as prosecutor. The federal indictment of Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha on charges ranging from bank fraud to obstruction of justice raises enough red flags that prosecutors should review all the cases she’s worked on the past several years to ensure they were handled properly, according to criminal defense attorneys. Star-Advertiser.

The first interviews for finalist up for the job of Honolulu's Police Chief begin on Monday. KITV.

Commentary: Kealoha’s tenure began with such promise. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Kealoha arrests drag down HPD. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: Let’s Scrap The Police Chief Search And Start Over. Civil Beat.

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Lawmakers press home lands agency to create housing. As the state grapples with a severe shortage of affordable housing and the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the country, some lawmakers want the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to pitch in resources to help solve the pressing problems. Star-Advertiser.

Pension fund ends year on a slightly higher note. Hawaii’s largest public pension fund performed slightly better in fiscal year 2017 than it reported two months ago in its preliminary numbers. Star-Advertiser.

Planners release 30-second nuclear preparedness PSAs. State emergency planners have released their first public service announcement related to North Korea preparedness, a nonthreatening 30-second video that doesn’t specifically mention the rogue nation or remote possibility of a nuclear attack on Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

‘Golf ball’ radar’s limitations seen. The Sea-Based X-Band Radar, a key link in the nation’s defense against North Korea, spent eight months at sea before returning to its home in Pearl Harbor last month. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii’s Hyperbaric Treatment Center has closed indefinitely because of staffing problems, a University of Hawaii spokesman said Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Timeshare property sales in Hawaii have exceeded $1 billion annually in recent years, and a new report tries to quantify how much employment and spending is tied to this segment of the tourism industry. Star-Advertiser.

Lessor intends to seize Island Air’s last 3 planes. An attorney for Island Air’s aircraft lessor said he is planning to take legal action to seize the airline’s three remaining aircraft and is demanding the state’s second-largest carrier make payments if it is going to be allowed to use them. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Co. customers have two new ways to add photovoltaic systems to their homes after a decision Friday by the state Public Utilities Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Rail’s ‘Plan B’ not vetted by federal agency. State lawmakers last month approved a $2.4 billion funding package to build the full rail line to Ala Moana Center. Last week the project’s federal partners said they never determined whether a scaled-back, less costly alternative to Aloha Tower would have worked instead. Star-Advertiser.

The state Land Use Commission has approved one of two petitions by corn seed producer Monsanto to restrict portions of farmland the company owns on Oahu and Molokai for agriculture use under a state law aimed at preserving prime farmland. Star-Advertiser.

State Plans To Clear Out Homeless Camp Under Honolulu Freeway. Moanalua Stream will also be blocked, in order to keep those with rafts or boats from returning or setting up camp elsewhere. Civil Beat.

Boat That Ran Aground 0ff Honolulu Sent No Distress Signal. The wreck of the fishing vessel, carrying workers from Southeast Asia, raises concerns about the treatment of foreign crews. Civil Beat.

Grounding raises fresh concerns over foreign fishermen. A boat that ran aground off Waikiki while transporting foreign fishermen to work in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry has raised new questions about the safety and working conditions for foreign laborers in this unique U.S. fleet. Associated Press.

Two recent ground-breakings in Kapolei represent significant additions to their respective markets. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hotel market heating up outside the Waikiki core. Developers and the visitor industry say more hotel construction could be coming outside the usual resort districts, and even in them if the market continues to shine. Star-Advertiser.

Denver-based KSL Capital Partners, which bought Outrigger Hotels and Resorts late last year, is kicking off an aggressive Waikiki reinvestment plan with a $25 million overhaul and re-branding of the Waikiki Beachcomber. Star-Advertiser.

The Howard Hughes Corp. has started demolition work at the shuttered Ward Warehouse shopping complex in Honolulu and plans to tear the buildings down by the end of the year, but has yet to schedule construction of the Gateway Towers project that will replace it. Pacific Business News.

Sales of single-family homes in Kaneohe nearly doubled last month, while the number of condominiums and townhouses sold in the Windward Oahu town rose 24 percent, compared to September 2016, according to the monthly local market report from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Real estate developer Bruce Stark — who left his stamp on Hawaii with the building of residential condominiums, offices and retail space beginning in 1966 — died Thursday at age 82. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County is leading the state in motor vehicle traffic fatalities — trailing only Honolulu when it comes to overall roadway deaths — according to data released last week by the state Department of Transportation. West Hawaii Today.

Three weeks after the Thirty Meter Telescope was granted its construction permit, the developer and eventual operator of the planned $1.4 billion cutting-edge observatory says it is still evaluating its next move. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of acres of Hawaiian home lands have been set aside for subsistence-agriculture plots along the road leading to Akaka Falls and the surrounding region, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has scheduled community meetings to discuss the project. Tribune-Herald.

Reality is setting in that the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill will have to be closed within two years. A draft environmental assessment has been published for the Hilo landfill closure project, a costly (approximately $19 million) and highly regulated undertaking that must confirm to various county, state and federal rules. Big Island Video News.

The state Department of Transportation will extend four lanes on Highway 130 to Shower Drive over the next month as it restripes a 2-mile stretch of pavement. Tribune-Herald.

A Keaukaha fixture for more than 50 years might be gone by this time next year. Members of the Hilo Yacht Club will decide later this year whether the club will remain at its current location or move to a new building. Tribune-Herald.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding nearly $3 million in funding to a community association for a subdivision in Puna to improve its community drinking water system. Star-Advertiser.

Iwo Jima vets meet the new guys. West Hawaii Today.


Maui

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui said Friday that he will not be running for Maui County mayor in 2018 due to family reasons in an announcement that throws open the race to succeed Mayor Alan Arakawa, who is term limited. Maui News.

The Maui News is going back to afternoon home delivery for many newspaper subscribers and will cease producing a Sunday paper in a move to cut costs. Star-Advertiser.

Maui's only big box bookstore, Barnes & Noble is set to close. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists Dana Reed and Cathy Maxwell will be at Kohola Brewery in Lahaina at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to share information and answer questions about the nearshore water quality in West Maui. Maui News.

Maui Disposal reported 6 tons of material was collected at the 13th annual Lahaina Town Clean Up on Sept. 16. More than 300 volunteers spent the day cleaning up Lahaina streets, harbors and beaches from Puamana to the Mala Boat Ramp. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai Community College’s nursing program has been awarded accreditation for eight years, the longest period possible, by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Garden Island.

County celebrates hiring collaboration. Summer Youth Employment Program praised. Garden Island.

Hawaii gun laws hit target. Residents, representatives praise state policies. Garden Island.

Geographic boundary changes in the Kalaheo area will go into effect for school year 2019-20. The change will result in more students enrolling at Waimea Canyon Middle and Waimea High schools. Garden Island.

Power line collisions kill about 1,800 seabirds annually on Kauai, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-commissioned study. Members of the Center for Biological Diversity are on Kauai this week finding ways to help curb the collisions. Garden Island.