Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Kealoha chapter closes with guilty pleas, City Council says no outside attorneys in rail probe, battles continue across the state over wind, solar and water issues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Katherine and Louis Kealoha admit guilt. Once one of Oahu’s preeminent power couples, Louis and Katherine Kealoha’s stunning fall from grace continued Tuesday with both pleading guilty to additional federal charges. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Honolulu Police Chief, Estranged Wife Plead Guilty. A retired Honolulu police chief and his wife, a former deputy city prosecutor, pleaded guilty Tuesday to bank fraud in order to avoid other trials against them, capping a federal corruption investigation that brought down the once-respected and powerful couple. Associated Press.

Under deal approved by judge, Kealohas plead guilty to remaining charges. After maintaining her innocence for years, Katherine Kealoha pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to bank fraud, identity theft and covering up knowledge of a drug ring involving her brother ― all felonies ― under a plea deal approved by a federal judge. Hawaii News Now.

Judge accepts, finds Kealohas guilty. The Federal Judge J. Michael Seabright accepted the Kealohas’ guilty plea Tuesday. Prosecutors say the plea agreement that Louis and Katherine Kealoha entered into will bring some vindication for additional victims. KHON2.

Federal prosecutors may be interested in what Katherine Kealoha knows about HART, her attorney says. Attorney Earle Partington had planned to appeal the Kealohas' June conspiracy and obstruction conviction, but with the Kealohas cutting plea deals with the federal government, the focus has changed. KITV.

Is the Prosecutor’s Office doomed to repeat the past? That’s what the Council is worried about. In a tense exchange Tuesday, Honolulu Councilman Ron Menor questioned Honolulu’s acting city prosecutor on why his office hasn’t taken steps to independently confirm how deputy Katherine Kealoha abused her office for years for her personal benefit. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council rejects hiring outside lawyers to help city employees. Lawyers for the city expect the federal criminal investigation of the rail authority will likely result in more subpoenas or other requests for information from other city departments, but members of the Honolulu City Council on Tuesday rejected a request to hire a mainland law firm to help cope with those inquiries. Star-Advertiser.

Criminal Probe Into Rail Might Creep Into Honolulu Hale, Attorneys Fear. After the City Council rejected using taxpayer money to pay for legal representation, city employees would have to seek it out on their own. Civil Beat.

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Wind farm battles aren’t new. And our search for green energy means they’re not going away. The opposition might have appeared to come out of nowhere. But in fact, wind farm projects are no stranger to controversy. Hawaii News Now.

Wind farm arrests decline on third night. Three people were arrested Tuesday in Kahuku after refusing to move from the driveway of the wind farm site where trucks were delivering four turbine tower sections. Three protesters were also arrested Monday night in Kalaeloa, bringing the total arrested to 101 since the protest began Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu Council Committee Considering Charging Transportation Companies for Parking Stalls. The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee amended a bill that would allow companies that rent small vehicles, such as electric scooters to pay to reserve parking spaces. Hawaii Public Radio.

Move proposed Ala Moana playground to Kakaako park, City Council member Kobayashi says. Instead of building a proposed 1-acre children’s playground with a zip line and water feature at Ala Moana Regional Park, the city should build it at Kakaako Waterfront Park near the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. Star-Advertiser.

Opponents of a new playground slated for Ala Moana Park are trying to convince the city to switch to a different site. They received a boost from a key council committee on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

How To Remove Homeless People From A Park? Close It, Honolulu Says. Opponents of the city proposal say closing parks is not the answer when better enforcement and maintenance is needed. Civil Beat.

City council exploring options for a tiny, problematic park in Downtown Honolulu. Honolulu city council members passed a resolution Monday that explores alternatives for the Kamalii Mini Park in Downtown Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Large scale enforcement effort underway at Kea‘au Beach Park. Combined efforts from numerous city departments, state coordinators, non-government organizations and volunteer community members are currently underway with the goal of cleaning a stretch shoreline along the Leeward Coast north of Kea‘au Beach Park. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Public hearing slated for petition challenging classification of state land on Maunakea summit. The state Land Use Commission will have a public hearing Thursday about a petition by two Hawaiian cultural practitioners concerning the classification of state land on the Maunakea summit. Tribune-Herald.

Search Begins for New UH Astronomy Director. The University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy is in the market for a new director and as of Tuesday, the search has officially begun. Big Island Now.

Water is the holdup for Laiopua. There are many hurdles to completing the master-planned Villages of Laiopua, but topping that list is water. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Conflicts, Antitrust Questions Raised Regarding Maui Solar Farm. Utilities and others are concerned that the same lawyers are representing multiple parties in a competitive bidding process. Civil Beat.

Farmers, Advocates Rally for Restored Streamflow in Na Wai ʻEha. Community organizers picketed outside of the state building earlier this evening to push for full streamflow in Wailuku, Waiʻehu, Waiheʻe, and Waikapu, also known as Na Wai ʻEha, or the four waters. Maui Now.

UPW contract with hospitals is ratified. Terms not disclosed by either union or Maui Health System. Maui News.

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Brush fire closes Kapalua Airport on Maui, forces evacuations. The fire department is continuing to fight the fire in West Maui, and are working to protect homes in the Kahana Ridge and Ala Hoku subdivisions. Star-Advertiser.

Brush Fire Closes Maui's Kapalua Airport. Kapalua Airport in Maui was closed and evacuated Tuesday because of a brush fire that damaged power supply lines, causing the airport to lose power. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Two pharmacies on Kauai are being investigated by federal authorities for allegedly distributing drugs without a prescription. Drug Enforcement Administration officials seized records and inventory from Westside Pharmacy in Hanapepe and Kalaheo Pharmacy during inspections on Oct. 9 and 10, according to receipts documenting the execution of a federal inspection warrant. Garden Island.

The business of climate change. On Kauai, the first of five conversations on the topic happened Monday at a meeting at Kauai Community College attended by about 40 people that was part lecture, part brainstorming session, focused on Kauai’s business sector. Garden Island.

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