That fat moon — full this morning — kept the night ablaze with white light, though it had slipped behind mountains or clouds by the time the dogs and I went walking. But Venus and Jupiter were still gleaming like golden lamps in a pale blue sky brushed with swaths of orange-gold.
The big excitement came right at the end of our walk, when we spotted two wild pigs sidestepping down a steep slope just off the road. That set off the dogs in a whining, lunging frenzy that caused the pigs to break into a run and escape to the safety of dense guinea grass.
A Kauai man has managed to escape serious charges after Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho recused her office from the case. Deputy Attorney General Lynn Costales took over and dismissed three of the four counts against him — resisting arrest, failing to follow an officer's orders and reckless driving — saying they should never have been filed. Yesterday, the case was remanded back to District Court, where Michael Knight still faces one count of having an open can of beer in his car.
More intriguing, however, is the backstory. It seems that Knight, a bartender at Port Allen Sunset Bar & Grill, got a call from the cops, who said they were investigating a report that Shay and her first deputy, Jake Delaplane, had threatened Knight with prosecution while drinking at the bar.
Knight said he hadn't been threatened, but the cops asked him to come in and make a statement, anyway. He was reportedly questioned by an Officer Santella, who asked how much the two had to drink — Shay: nine martinis and one specialty cocktail; Jake: a beer or two — who drove, and whether they were using a county vehicle. Knight wasn't sure about the vehicle and driving part, but he did reiterate to the police that neither Shay nor Jake had bothered anyone in the bar, including him.
In preparing for trial on the four charges, a request was made for the police report, which prompted Shay to conflict out, and the report was not released to the defense attorney. I also requested the police report, and was told: “According to KPD, there was no police report generated for such an incident.”
I then queried: "So KPD can ask someone to come into the station to make a statement in regard to an alleged complaint, and though the person complies, and is questioned, no report need be generated about either that contact, or the complaint that instigated it?
I was told they would “look into it further.” That was Thursday, and no word yet. So if the complaint against Shay wasn't filed by the supposed victim, where did it originate? I'm curious, because as one observer speculated: “There is a certain faction of officers that don't care for Shay. It's common knowledge she goes out and gets shit-faced in bars and they don't think that's something the prosecutor should be doing.”
This incident raises numerous concerns, not the least of which is providing yet another recent example — let's not forget Councilman Tim Bynum — of Shay pursuing charges that are thrown out when an outside prosecutor comes in. From what I hear, this kind of “over-charging” and inappropriate charging happens fairly often, and frankly, that's what disturbs me the most about Shay. It's a very serious thing to drag someone through the judicial system, especially without cause.
Meanwhile, as William Cole, the Star-Advertiser's embedded — as in seriously brown-nosed — reporter gushes over RIMPAC as a “tool for global prosperity,” Hawaii Public Radio reports another story: the toxins we can anticipate when the Navy and our “allies” use bombs and torpedoes to sink three decommissioned ships in Hawaiian waters during the war games now under way.
The exercise, known as SINKEX, is possible only because the Environmental Protection Agency grants the Navy an exemption to the toxic substances control act, which bans the release of PCBs — toxic chemicals linked to cancer, immune system depression, endocrine disruption and learning deficiencies. Studies of the military wrecks have found PCBs leaching, and higher concentrations in fish. Other concerns include lead paints, asbestos, mercury, hydrocarbons, refrigerants and the waste of some $30 million in recyclable metals. Environmental groups are suing the EPA over its decision, though Cole makes no mention of that. Instead he repeats the Navy's claim that the ships have been “'scrubbed clean' of PCBs and petroleum.” Even if you believe that, what about the rest of the crap?
Finally, Andy Parx has a thorough report on a just-released Office of Information Practices ruling about how former County Council Chair Kaipo Asing violated the sunshine law — three years ago. Yup, that's how long it took the OIP to rule on a citizen complaint. And even then, you still would have to go to court to void any action that was taken during an improperly noticed meeting, adding many more months to the process. It seems government transparency, absent expediency, doesn't really count for much.