Lots of Hawai‘i news today…& a request for your stories

Lawyer claims Hawaii prisoners are harassed at Arizona prison
By Keoki Kerr, Nov 23, 2012 4:28 PM HSTUpdated: Nov 23, 2012 9:08 PM HST

SUGUARO (sic), Arizona (HawaiiNewsNow) —
A Honolulu lawyer who represents about 70 Hawaii inmates at an Arizona prison said officials there routinely harass and retaliate against some of those inmates for bringing complaints about their treatment behind bars.

Hawaii inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona often use the phone to talk to their Hawaii-based attorneys, such as Myles Breiner.

But he said officials at the prison routinely listen to the prisoners’ side of the conversations and take notes on their contents, a violation of attorney-client privilege.

From Kat:
I don’t have any documented stories, so if you can e-mail me with your stories of harassment after staff listens in on attorney-client phone calls, please e-mail me at kat.caphi@gmail.com. I know of a man who was thrown in admin seg for writing a declaration to his attorney that was read by staff.  Also, I have heard stories from the men telling of the Wardens calling some Jewish attorneys racist names. Please share your stories with us.

Drug Enforcement Administration shuts down Hawaii island office
By Associated Press, POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 24, 2012

HILO » The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last month closed an office and airport hangar it maintained in Hilo to cut costs.

The DEA’s aviation division will continue to provide support from Hono­lulu, special agent Sarah Pullen told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. It will continue to conduct investigations and assist local law enforcement throughout Hawaii, she said.

The “closure of the Hilo office was part of a Department of Justice mandate to reduce DEA’s footprint by closing some offices and saving money. All DOJ components had to identify some offices for closure,” Pullen said. …

‘Desperate’ times
By B.J. Reyes, November 23rd, 2012

Rep. Marcus Oshiro, currently the chairman of the House Finance Committee, issued a statement Friday in response to the announcement this week that a faction of Democrats in the House planned to form a coalition with the chamber’s seven Republicans in a challenge to the leadership of Speaker Calvin Say. The new speaker would be Speaker Emeritus Joe Souki.

In his written statement, Oshiro first shot down rumors that he may leave his House seat to join the Cabinet of Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell at Honolulu Hale.

He then addressed the leadership situation, calling Souki’s coalition a “desperate power grab”:

“It concerns me that Speaker Emeritus Souki has made an agreement with the Minority Leader to offer leadership positions to members of the Minority in exchange for votes to support his quest to be Speaker. As a life-long Democrat, I am troubled that this was not discussed with the members of his own Majority Caucus, nor have the ramifications for this maneuver been fully vetted. If this plan goes through, House Republicans will be able to run in the next election on the accomplishments of the Democrat Majority, and most important, the potential for gridlock at the committee level is heightened. This is not in the spirit of true bi-partisanship; rather, it is a desperate power grab to win the Speakership without consideration for the health and welfare of the body.

“Finally, the public should realize that the House organization is not official until the 51 members vote on an organization resolution at the start of the legislative session. There is still time to consider who is best to lead the House, and I hope Majority and Minority members will think clearly on their options.”

With the seven Republicans, Souki would have 28 votes, two more than the 26 needed to control the 51-member House.

Say says he won’t hand over the gavel until the vote on leadership occurs on Opening Day of the Legislature, Jan. 16, and state Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter says he may make another appeal to members to work out their differences within the caucus and not seek GOP help.*

(*UPDATED at 2:20 p.m. to CORRECT that Carpenter only is asking members to work out leadership within the Democratic caucus, not that he favors one faction over another.)

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over til the fat lady sings!” But we can hope for a change in the Public Safety committee!

Gov. Neil Abercrombie Asks PLDC to Take A Time-Out
by Sophie Cocke on 11/23/2012 at 2:15PM HST

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced at a news conference Friday that he has asked the Public Land Development Corporation to defer action on proposed rules for the agency until public concerns can be more adequately addressed.

William Aila, chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, will be meeting with groups that have critiqued the rules. Aila also sits on the board of the PLDC.

The delay in moving forward on the rule making process is expected to last a month or two, said Aila.

Meeting with  a small group behind closed doors is NOT going to satisfy the public who turned out en force. Why doesn’t the administration understand the meaning of PUBLIC?


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