Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Musings: Battle of the Badge

Dayne (Aleka Aipoalani) Gonsalves is again a free man, but his super scary Kingdom of Atooi badge remains in lockdown.

Yes, even though attorneys negotiated a plea deal for Dayne on charges that began with the Aug. 26, 2007 Superferry protests, Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes insisted on playing hard ball by fighting the return of Dayne's badge. The same badge that Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe had previously ordered cops and prosecutors to return. The same badge that Prosecutor Justin Kollar says his office views as neither contraband, nor "a valid symbol of law enforcement authority."

So why not just give it back? Maybe even with an apology for the way the system has jacked Dayne around so badly for the last six years. Let's not forget that Dayne and Rob Pa were the only people ever prosecuted for the Superferry protests. Or the time when cops did a dramatic armed traffic stop to arrest Dayne, in front of his wife and daughter, for missing a court date — even though he had a doctor's excuse that was indeed in court records.

Melinda claims the badge is still needed as evidence in the case pending against Rob. But that's kind of hard to swallow, since Rob is also planning to plead out. And even if he does go to trial, why would you present evidence that hadn't been used to secure a conviction against another defendant?

Melinda's move smacks of a petty power play. Or maybe she just doesn't like men with tattoos on their faces.

Either way, she does have a boss who has shown his inclination to do the right thing by settling stinky cases that have already wasted tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Perhaps he'll stretch a bit more and kick down the badge. I'm sure it would mean a lot to Dayne and those who support indigenous rights.

And that includes the United Nations, which last week sponsored a press conference on the Kingdom's launch of its kala currency. The currency, not minted since the late 1800s, will come in three denominations: one ounce copper worth 2 kala; one ounce silver worth 50 kala and a tenth-ounce gold coin worth 500 kala. It's currently being sold online.

All this was announced in the press conference, in which Dayne is described as the Alii Nui of Polynesia. In response to questions from reporters, Dayne said the Kingdom has been recognized by the United Nations. When pressed for what kind of recognition, Dayne said the UN gave Hawaii “seat number 25” in 1945, and he is working to reclaim that seat. (I haven't been able to confirm that assignation.)

Dayne also told reporters he has been negotiating with the feds, specifically Homeland Security, and Hawaii police to collaborate with the Kingdom's security force “to focus our efforts on crime.” That's likely to be a hard sell, given the intense resistance to Dayne even possessing a Kingdom badge, much less one that they recognize.


Anonymous said...

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People says...
Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.

Article 5

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.

Article 6

Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.

Article 9

“Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right."

Article 20

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions…."

Article 33
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the currency, badge, separate government are all dead-end pursuits. Agree or disagree, the reality is we all live in the United States of America. Yes, there are Indian reservations with certain rights but the rate of alcoholism, corruption, etc. is certainly not the ideal. Hawaii will always be part of the USA. Learn to integrate or waste your life thinking about what should have been, could have been, etc. Nations have been conquered since the beginning of time. I'm not suggesting that it's right but I am suggesting that it is what it is. Personally, I don't want two sets of law enforcement agencies on Kauai. We already have one that isn't certified and too many times abuses their power and/or contaminates a crime scene. We don't need another that would likely make the rules up as they go. Who would actually oversee them? Dream big but live in reality.

Anonymous said...

"Gonsalves resolved the cases with a no-contest plea and without an admission of guilt."

"Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said he is pleased that the parties reached a resolution in an old case, and that the defendant has accepted a measure of responsibility for his actions."

“Cases tend not to improve with age, and we simply felt it was time to put this 6-year-old case in the rear-view mirror,” Kollar said.

Okay, Kollar said that he is pleased that the defendant has accepted a measure of responsibility for his actions. Defendant entered a no-contest plea without an admission of guilt. Which is it? And Kollar, does this mean that all of the old cases will be handled to the satisfaction of the defendants' lawyers, or is it just that you are Hempey are buddies? Let's hear it Justin.

Joan Conrow said...

Guilt and responsibility are not synonyms. Just like settling a bad case that Shaylene stupidly dragged out for years is not sucking up to a defendant's attorney. It's showing common sense.

Anonymous said...

sucking up to hempey by giving dayne the same plea bargain that iseri's crew offered... uh huh.

Anonymous said...

hi joan, clicked the link to the online kala for sale and am a bit confused. the copper 2 kala roll of 20 is $36, one silver 50 kala is $27.59, one gold 500 kala is $ the value of one kala is ; 1 kala copper=.90....1 kala silver=.55.....1 kala gold=.32 which i guess would be considered the exchange rate for USD... so if i buy one gold 500kala @.32 per kala then trade that for 500 worth of copper kala(250pcs) then exchanged that back to USD @.90 , well i just increased my worth by 200%+/-...then next time i buy 2 gold 500kala and trade that for 1000kala copper and do that over and over again i would be in the million$ plus range before the first coffee break at the currency exchange office. maybe my tinking is off, but if not, i would like to offer my nomination for minister of finance for the atooi movement, and establish the dept. of currency exchange. although i have little formal education beyond grade9, i have all my fingers and toes and able to write my name w/o typing, a formal declaration of my notice of intent will be forthcoming,mahalo Dean

Anonymous said...

Uh, Dane was out there flashing his badge and claiming to be some legit security force. Eg. impersonating a gov official. He broke the law. Joan's assessment is as usual dopey.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, whether one thinks of Dane as a nut or not, other countries once conquered and colonized have regained independence, so it is not out of the realm of possibilities no matter how uncomfortable that makes others. I for one don't appreciate others telling me what I should accept...its my choice to support sovereignty and independence. The USA has given us disenfranchisement from out native lands, marginalized us in their capitalistic system, overdevelopment of our islands, ground zero for GMO corporations and environmental destruction. Choosing independence from the USA is a choice for the 'aina.

Anonymous said...

May 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Excellent deduction. Hysteria. If math is not their strong suit maybe law enforcement is?

I'm sorry I respect but am confused as to what laws would be enforced by yet another enforcement agency. Again, I'm sorry but our County government just FINALLY published its laws now available online. Where can I find the Kingdom's laws so I know when I am and not in violation?

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the UN declaration gives indigenous governments the right to have law enforcement within their governments that applies only to their own citizens and on their lands. See comment #1.

That leaves a lot of room for debate as to how it really gets implemented. Justice is a bumpy road.

But OPA refusing to return this badge seems inflammatory to me.

Anonymous said...

Wow recognized by the un... Wow!

Look how much they've done with Iran, Syria and n. Korea. They should have control by tomorrow. Yea right.

Hawaiians don't stand a chance till they're unified under one body of Kanaka Maoli, no kablooies, nations,or kingdoms. The palapala is basically toilet paper in todays world.

Hawaiians need intelligent, articulate, and straightfoward approach to self determination.

No self appointed crooks need apply.

I could handcraft a beautiful badge, but it would have little signifacance outside my home.

Anonymous said...

I think we have more than one issue here, one of which is gaining Independence from the USA, and the other local politics.

The Soviet Union and Russia had invaded many small Eastern European nations and made them subject to the "laws" of communist Russia, including banning the use of the local language, blocking cultural events, and infusing communist propaganda into the the school system.

Eventually, most "iron curtain" countries got their Independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, but are now riddled with corruption and the people are still suffering.

We have a similar event here in Hawaii.

It will be a cold day in hell if the USA lets go of Hawaii because of the strategic location for military bases. Unless the world becomes a peaceful place....all love and hugs, the Hawaiian Nation will have to struggle to keep their roots in tack: culture, language, medicine, and lifestyle under a USA system.

And of course, people who stand up against "the law" will be persecuted, thrown in jail, and will be labeled "criminals"

Dr Shibai

Justin Kollar said...

Melinda Mendes is a consummate career prosecutor who has done tremendous work in the service of public safety for Hawaii over the past twenty years. If there are questions about the actions of this Office, I respectfully suggest directing them to me, not to my individual employees, as I am ultimately accountable for what they do. Personal attacks and insults are unfounded, demeaning and unnecessary.

Joan Conrow said...

I've removed comments attacking both Melinda and Dayne.

I urge folks to take the high road when leaving comments, or risk deletion.

One Nation One Law 50 said...

No government can be legitimate without the consent of the governed. No way in hell the citizens of Kauai are ever going to accept any governance by the so called 'king of Atooi". Further more the United Nations can say what ever it wants about anything but it has no impact or standing here.

Anonymous said...

"Personal attacks and insults are unfounded, demeaning and unnecessary."

One might consider that putting people in jail and taking away their property is a bigger personal attack.

Its all about perspective.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the Intermediate Court of Appeals' decision from January of this year, explaining why Judge Watanabe incorrectly ordered "the badge" returned to Dayne Gonsalves before his case was done. So, it turns out Deputy Prosecutor Ms. Mendes was right in insisting that the Judge should not return it before the case was done.

Joan Conrow said...

As I read that decision, it vacates the judge's decision to have the badge returned prior to Dayne's trial — not Rob's. There will be no trial for Dayne. He's pled out. Sentencing has been imposed. The case is pau. So it seems to me Melinda was indeed wrong to try and hang on to it all, especially for Rob's trial.

Anonymous said...

If it's needed in Rob's trial, then it is rightfully retained as evidence by the State.

Would we return a car, in which a homicide had occurred, prior to trial? Not if it's needed as evidence.

Anonymous said...

The name is symbolic of colonization. A white man's interpretation of your language? There must be a better one.

Anonymous said...

Should anyone ever flash a fake badge at me I would take it as an assault and a hate crime and respond in kind.

Anonymous said...

Mr Kollar, I was wondering if you and/or the Judicial profession on Kauai would support a liason office that combats corruption on Kauai.

Now you don't have to answer this question but we all know the importance and change this liaison office would do for the greater good of Kauai.

All we would need is 1/3 of the population of Kauai willing to donate a min of 1 dollar a month to build this non profit liaison office that fights against the corruption on Kauai. I believe that 20k to 30k in sufficient to have a three member staff and a office with equipment to support such a dream.

If you or anyone else is interested then let's all work together to establish this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The name is symbolic of colonization. A white man's interpretation of your language? There must be a better one.

May 30, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Good point. And, like the courts or prosecutor's office are so rigorous about procedure, codes of conduct, ethics...hell, so much constant crime committed by public servents in these very departments.

Take a picture of Melinda holding Danyl's badge, film it, capture it on video tape, set it on a ruler to provide an accurate measure, give a narrative discription, and give the badge back to Dayne.

How many worse felons impersonating officers--ones who sell drugs, DV, turn tricks, and stalk and assault innocent people?

Weird Justin Kollar commenting on a soical network board, with his "political message" defending Melinda Mendes. If only he'd act so protective of some victims in cases assigned to his office.

I agree, take the high road. And, leave out the optical blurs and propaganda.

One day Kollar will be sitting on the County Council, right along side Shay and Mel.

May 4, 2008, heavy handed act by KPD.Disturbing, to say the least. Though, Dayne was not shot and killed from a roof top like another victim of KPD. These are Kauai reference points for the police department?

Anonymous said...

So easy to intimidate innocent people by cops dressed in tactical gear, standing over a family of father, mother, and child. Militant.

Is it any wonder there are so many incidents of brutal abuse of women, intimidation, and retaliation on innocent people in efforts to shut-up citizens from exercising their rights.

Wasn't there just a trial where a witness was murdered? This kind of police presence is brutality and sets a tone for the whole community. This is dangerous. Is this why the old man was shot and killed from a roof, only throwing bamboo and being noisy? Wasn't this killing done by the Sgt. over KPD tactical team?

Yeah, I don't know about a prosecutor spending work time on the computer, and on social sites making comments.

Is this what a prosecutor should be doing while at work? I hardly think so. Tax payers pay his, and his staffs' salaries.

Prosecutor Justin Kollar's comment was published at 9:36 AM, May 30, Thursday (work day). The doors of the prosecuting office open at 7:45 am.

Aren't there other more pressing case issues that the prosecutor should be focused on while on duty as a pulic servant?

Gotta wonder what is going on at the prosecutor's office, and how much time is being spent on social sites by all the staff.

Prosecutor Justin Kollar is setting an example for his staff. Do tax paying citizens really want the attorneys spending their time on social sites?

This is just too much to stomach.

Anonymous said...

I tried to told y'all that we need to create a commission against corruption on Kauai. This non profit organization would combat all of the problems that a federal oversight group would do.

Kauai must organize and unite against the powers. The families and their militias must go down.

We must fight against Kauai's Home Grown Terrorists!

Anonymous said...

Joan said: "As I read the decision, it vacates the judge's decision to have the badge returned prior to Dayne's trial — not Rob's."

Dear Joan-
1. The decision was titled State of Hawaii v. Dayne Gonsalves and State of Hawaii v. Robert Pa. The cases were consolidated so the decision applies to both Dayne and Rob. Your assumption is incorrect.

2. I noticed your article mentions Judge Watanabe ordering the badge returned, but it does not go on to say that a higher court overruled Judge Watanabe. Did you want to mislead your readers into thinking the prosecutors and police ignored a court ruling?

Anonymous said...

No, no, no, Prosecutor Justin Kollar, his attorneys, and staff aren't burning work hours surfing social sites, silly. They're playing Candy Crush.

Anonymous said...

I do not have a problem with Kollar commenting on this site during work hours. While I don't agree with Joan on many things I do believe this site is a valuable public news resource. It is appropriate for public officials to respond publicly to things directly affecting their department. I am most pleased he put his name to it unlike the the last prosecutor who I believe continues to post anonymously.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear "Anonymous" 7:47 p.m.:

There are a lot of things I didn't include in my post, such as the plea deal unravelled in 2011 because Melinda insisted on Dayne giving up his badge -- a badge that is rightfully his under the UN Reso on Indigenous Rights, as Judge Watanabe recognized and no doubt will recognize again when she revisits the case per ICA direction.

Since you seem to know so much about the case, why was the OPA so insistent on Dayne relinquishing his badge? Why was the same recalcitrant deputy who threw a monkey wrench into the plea deal kept on the case to again wreak havoc? How are we supposed to believe the OPA is now keeping his badge due to technicalities when for the past six years this case has been all about Dayne giving up his badge?

Did you want to mislead readers into thinking this case is all neat and tidy and proper?

Anonymous said...

Provocateur do you really believe high profile decisions are made by the assistants and not the head of any department?

Anonymous said...

Why all this hoo-hoo? Look at the picture of the badge in TGI. Why does his royal high even want a badge that looks a lot like the county's old police officer badge?

Anonymous said...

The USA was one of the countries that voted against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. It was correct in doing so. Any subset of rights is inferior to my and everyone's superior human rights. When a subset such as indigenous rights conflicts with human rights then human rights must prevail. Giving any group different rights than the rest of us will only lead to conflict and tyranny. It is an abuse of my human rights.