It was somewhat surprising to see the reports yesterday that the Attorney General had filed charges against Kauai Rep. James Tokioka for “recklessly” filing campaign spending reports that were not complete or accurate during last year’s primary election. It was reported last night by KHON (“AG files campaign reporting violation charges against Kauai lawmaker“), and this morning by the Star-Advertiser (“Tokioka settles campaign finance charge“).
The surprise came from several things. First, such complaints are very rare. Second, the complaint was filed back on the afternoon of August 11, 2015. That was two weeks ago, and apparently it went unreported until now. And there wasn’t much attention paid to the investigation earlier.
I did a brief look early this morning for the background.
Hawaii News Now’s Rick Daysog reported in April that cases involving unreported contributions to three legislators had been referred to the AG (“EXCLUSIVE: Attorney general’s office asked to investigate lawmakers“). Tokioka was named, along with Angus McKelvey and Richard Fale.
Sources said the commission found that all three collected tens of thousands in campaign contributions last year but did not report them until the reporting discrepancies were flagged by investigators.
Daysog also noted: “Usually, allegations like these lead to civil fines. But because they involved incumbents, sources said the commission believed the violations are intentional and warranted a criminal referral.”
In June, The Garden Island newspaper reported that the case involved a contribution from one of the state’s top lobbyists, George “Red” Morris, and that the AG’s office had asked Tokioka to take a lie detector test (“Tokioka takes polygraph test voluntarily“).
Tokioka acknowledges that his campaign made an error by filing late, and said that a campaign volunteer made an additional clerical error when entering information about a $500 donation from G.A. “Red” Morris, of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. Tokioka said the reports have since been amended.
Tokioka said that the contribution was inadvertently entered as a personal donation from Morris, when it should have been recorded as a donation from one of Morris’ clients. According to Tokioka, that sparked concern that they were trying to conceal the source of the money.
“It was clearly a simple error and an honest mistake to put his home address on the campaign spending report,” Tokioka said.
Morris did not respond to multiple attempts over several days to reach him for comment.
A quick check of the Campaign Spending Commission website shows that virtually all of Tokioka’s campaign reports filed during 2013 and 2014 were later amended.
Tokioka is Kauai business manager for Oceanic Time Warner Cable, according to his financial disclosure reports.
Tags: Campaigns · Court · Politics
The Star-Advertiser’s woes with its expensive, high-tech printing plant just seem to be going on and on.
This must be a huge blow. The computerized printing operation was built by Gannett for more than $75 million, and was a prize part of the buyout and merger with the old Star-Bulletin.
But, it turns out, there “high tech” can be too high.
At first, the problem was treated in low key fashion.
Here’s the first notice: “”Because of production delays, this morning’s Star-Advertiser will be delivered later than normal and will be a partial edition in certain areas.”
A reader emailed to say that his “partial edition” lacked a front page.
Early Monday morning, a follow-up explanation posted by Frank Bridgewater said that the problems were expected to persist on “subsequent days…until the press problems are resolved.”
And much of Monday’s paper, such as it was, came from the company’s press on the Big Island.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was unable to print most complete copies of the Sunday edition because of problems with the computers that operate the printing press.
Monday’s paper is smaller than our usual papers, and subsequent days also will have fewer pages until the press problems are resolved. These papers will not include some features that normally appear. Monday’s paper was printed on the West Hawaii Today press on Hawaii island.
Bridgewater’s note also said the full newspaper would be available online.
But yesterday I received this email from a reader describing his experience.
So like everyone else yesterday (Sunday) I only received 1/2 the paper, but I went on line and had the whole edition.
Today (Monday) I received the abbreviated version along with the rest of Sunday’s paper. So I go online, using the papers app, and all I see is what was delivered. So I call the paper and after a 5 minute wait talk to some guy who’s out at the press. He tell’s me that’s all there is, period. I ask him why not the whole paper on line? And I get the same answer. Nothing more was produced-everyone gets the same thing. I don’t get mad at this guy because obviously he’s not the one calling the shots.
Issues with the Kapolei press limited its production capability, so Sunday and Monday Star-Advertisers also were printed on Maui and the Big Island. Newspapers from the neighbor islands did not arrive on Oahu until 8 a.m. after their delivery was interrupted when they were grounded due to the storm. The Maui flight carried 40,000 Sunday papers, which will be delivered to subscribers Tuesday who did not receive complete papers Sunday, and the flight from Hawaii Island had Monday Star-Advertisers.
Then, according to KHON on Monday evening, it’s looking like the problems are far from over.
Here’s part of their story.
Officials at the Star-Advertiser say this problem has cost them half a million dollars.
Kennedy said they spent hours on the phone with the machine’s manufacturer in Germany, but didn’t get the problem fixed, so they’re hoping to fly in an expert from Australia to help.
“We’re going to be okay until we have to print Sunday,” he said. “We’ll have to see how it goes. Hopefully, we can get everything up and running,”
Kennedy couldn’t give any guarantee that the upcoming Sunday edition will come out as usual. There are also issues if this week’s edition of Midweek, another property of Oahu Publications, will be printed this week.
The newspaper also prints Midweek, and I learned officials don’t know how they will handle that this week.
It’s hard to imagine the havoc this is wreaking with their business operations, which will have to account for ads not run, newspapers not delivered, etc., etc. And how about the private jobs the high capacity press was also contracted to churn out?
And if the press guy’s statement above was correct, the staff that would normally be churning out a full newspaper daily are not, well, not doing that.
Tags: Business · Computers · Media
“Today’s Google Doodle honoree may be one of the coolest to date,” one online source said earlier today.
The Google Doodle referred to honors the legendary Duke Kahanamoku on what would have been his 125th birthday.
Today, on his 125th birthday, Matt Cruickshank recalls the legend of the “Ambassador of Aloha” with a Doodle of his iconic, 16-foot wooden surfboard and his warm, blithe smile. “Most importantly,” a reverent surfer remarks in a documentary about The Duke, “he was pure Hawaiian”.
Given the occasion, I collected a few of the photos of Duke that can be found strewn across the years of this site. Most of the photos came from my dad’s collection of surfing memorabilia.
The first photos are publicity shots for the Outrigger Canoe Club’s July 4, 1943 “Water Carnival”, an event later renamed the Walter J. MacFarlane Canoe Regatta. The event is still held every July 4 on Waikiki Beach. Standing, left to right, Duke Kahanamoku, beachboy Buddy Young, and Gene “Tarzan” Smith. I haven’t identified the women.
From the same collection:
Click on either photo to see others posted at the same time.
Then a photo from February 1949, in which Duke and other legendary figures honored another fallen beachboy, 54-year old Hiram Anahu. The photo is a gem.
In the lead, a group of legends in surfing, paddling, and ocean sports. Second from the left looks like it could be “Toots” Minville, founder of the Molokai-Oahu canoe race in 1952, or perhaps Hui Nalu’s John D. Kaupiko. I’m just comparing to available old photos and trying to make a “match”.
Joe Akana carries the urn in a folded American flag. In the background, 4th from left, legendary swimming and canoe coach George “Dad” Center. Then, of course, there’s Duke Kahanamoku. All barefooted, bare chested, and ready to go into the water, followed by women in long dresses and several other men, at least on in a suit and tie.
According to an article in Paradise of the Pacific Magazine at the time: “Anahu’s daughter, Mrs. Earl Fernandez, and her husband, were there. Members of the Waikiki Surf Club carried the lead canoe into the water. Music was by Splash Lyons’ group.”
Then a couple from 1959 during a visit to Hawaii by Miss and Mr. Australian Surf 1959, Jan Carmody and Colin McFarlane, who were friends of Duke.
When then-Advertiser sports writer, Red McQueen, heard that Duke had received a letter from the Australian pair about an island visit, accompanied by Australian model June Dally-Watkins, he typed out a newspaper column under the headline, “Paging John Lind.”
Here’s the pitch: Duke’s Aussie friends thought it would be nice if a reception or some kind of exhibition, possibly for some charity, can be arranged during their stay.
Duke and yours truly readily agreed that your live-wire Waikiki Surf Club would be the logical organization to carry the ball.
And my dad, a co-founder and longtime president of the Waikiki Surf Club, was the guy who answered the call.
The next day, another McQueen column announced: “No sooner said than done.”
No sooner had The Advertiser hit the street yesterday with word that Miss and Mr. Australian Surf would pause here for four days on a world tour than the handsome WSC prexy had plans in motion to entertain the visitors and also show them in an exhibition….
Moving with the swiftness of a Makaha wave, Lind had a meeting with Duke Kahanaomku yesterday and if initial plans are carried out, the visitors from Down Under will have something to write home about.
And it seems that they did.
At the top, a photo of Kahanamoku with his Australian guests on the beach at Makapuu. The photo below was taken at a reception honoring the guests. Left to right, John Lind, Duke Kahanamoku, unknown woman, and George “Dad” Center.
Finally, I was there on Waikiki Beach on January 27, 1968, when thousands gathered to say farewell to Duke Kahanamoku in another traditional beachboy funeral.
This last photo shows a canoe of Waikiki Surf Club old timers leaving the beach to join the many other canoes offshore where Duke’s ashes were to be scattered. My dad is on the left, towards the front of the canoe, looking back towards the camera.
Click on the photo for more shots from the day of Duke’s funeral.
Tags: History · John Lind Collection · Photographs
August 23rd, 2015 · 1 Comment
Hawaii doesn’t have a lot of court cases involving issues of ethics, so last week’s decision by the Intermediate Court of Appeals upholding the State Ethics Commission’s ruling and fine against a Charter School employee is worth a closer look.
The case dates back several years. In 2013, the commission ruled that William Eric Boyd, an employee of the Connections New Century Public Charter School on the Big Island, had violated the conflict of interest provisions of the ethics law. The commission found 20 different violations of two provisions prohibiting a state employee from taking official action involving a company or entity in which they have a significant financial interest, or accepting any compensation for taking official action. Boyd was found to have recommended purchases from a company he owned with his wife, and then submitting bills on behalf of the company, while recommending payment by the school. Classic self-dealing. The commission imposed a $10,000 fine, or $500 for each of the 20 violations.
Boyd challenged the decision in court. The original Circuit Court decision threw out half of the charges, but upheld the rest. Both the commission and Boyd then appealed.
Boyd argued that he was not a state employee because he worked for the local charter school board rather than the state’s Board of Education. And, among other things, he argued that he never intended to violate the ethics law, and intent is a necessary part of the charges.
The appeals court blew out Boyd’s arguments. It reviewed several laws and court cases that previously had determined that charter school employees are state employees. The evidence they reviewed included Boyd’s applications for state benefits, including health insurance coverage, where he identified himself as a state employee.
And the court further ruled that it isn’t necessary to have evidence of “intent” in order to find someone in violation of the conflict of interest provisions.
The court, citing the case of Hirono v. Peabody (1996), stated:
In fact, Hawaii courts have held that “a law takes effect upon its passage, and mere ignorance of the law constitutes no defense to its enforcement.”
In any case, it’s a strong decision backing the broad authority of the commission to pursue enforcement of high ethical standards. It’s well worth browsing the court’s decision for future reference.
Tags: Court · Ethics · Politics
This has been our moving week. That’s the brief explanation of why the regular Feline Friday photo gallery won’t make an appearance today.
On Tuesday, we piled two cats in their carriers into our car, and three more into a car rented for the occasion, and made the hour-long commute from Kaaawa to Kahala. This had been preceded by a couple of days of unpacking boxes, trying out different locations for furniture, and generally trying to get to at least a temporary level of livability.
We got the carriers into the new house. Opened the doors. And that was about the last we saw of cats for the next 48 hours. They all immediately went into hiding. Under the futon, which we’ve been sleeping on until a new mattress is delivered. Into a very small space under the dresser that we’ve placed in our small bedroom. In a corner of the bedroom closet, hidden behind some hanging clothes. Under several chairs in the living room. Behind a half-unpacked box in the closet. Other hidey-holes remain undiscovered.
It wasn’t until the dark of night, probably around 2 a.m., that all the cats reappeared. At least we were able to complete the census, determine that all were okay, offer food and water, and then went back to sleep. Come morning, we briefly saw them again in the hour or so before sunrise. After that, they did their vampire imitations and retreated into dark corners once again.
Duke and Toby get the credit for being the first to make daytime appearances, although Toby quickly retreated under a chair, and his place was taken by Ms. Kili, who also proved prone to the hiding instinct. Duke, however, surprised both of us by filling the space vacated by the hiding cats. He soon learned that mealtime meant he could snarf up the food abandoned by the hiders, and Duke loves his tucker. This morning, for example, Duke has been out with us all morning, while other cats made brief appearances before disappearing once again.
The photo below shows the view from our living/dining areas out to the deck and the mango trees in the back yard. Duke and Kili are visible in the middle of it all.
And there’s been zero interest in the outside so far.
We’re closing in on 72 hours since arrival. Hiding is still the order of the day, except for Mr. Duke, who is hanging around as I write. Meanwhile, we’re a long way from unboxed and unpacked. I thought this part of the process would be fun for the cats. Now I know better.
Tags: Cats · Photographs