Friday, December 11, 2009


CONTROL OF ALT- DO NOT DELETE: Yesterday’s “alternative reality” regarding “lap dancer” Monica Alves’ conviction and incarceration for the murder of Kimberly Washington Cohen elicited a few emails ranging in response from “ah, I knew it all the time” all the way to “you’re nuts- and irresponsible to boot Parx”.

But the one from KPD Blue author Anthony Sommer- who covered the trial from start to finish as the then Honolulu Star Bulletin Kaua`i Bureau Chief- needs to be put on the record.

Tony wrote:

As you know, you passed this information on to me about a month ago and, while I'm very dubious, anything is possible (if not probable) on Kauai and if the claim is true it would make a good article or addition to the book.

I covered the murder trial of Monica Alves and Mitch Peralto from start to finish.

Never once did she claim she was in police custody at the time of the abduction or at the time of Kimberly Washington's subsequent (she was alive when they put her in the car, according to the witnesses) death by suffocation.

That would have been the perfect alibi and easy to prove because the KPD does keep records (getting to see them is another matter).

But it never was raised.

She, of course, had a right to refuse to testify (and she didn't) but her attorney could have called police officers who arrested her and released her and produced records of her arrest and release.

In fact, the prosecutor has a duty to provide the defense attorney that information even if it isn't requested. I've known the prosecutor in that case for about 25 years (he used to practice in Phoenix before he moved to Kauai) and he is a very ethical fellow. He certainly knew he was required to turn over any evidence that would help the defense.

Never happened. The issue of Alves being in custody at the time simply was not raised.

Nor has it been raised on appeal (seems like a good basis for an "ineffective assistance of counsel" argument if it is true).

I gave you permission to pass along my email address to whoever Rob is. Even if he doesn't have it, I live in Phoenix (as is noted in the book) and I have a listed phone number (always have had).

If Rob can come up with some records (booking slips are public record and KPD actually produces them on request) or the statements or even names of KPD officers who arrested her, there may be something worth looking into here.

But, if not, I don't give any credibility to an unsubstantiated claim from an anonymous source.

The normal ebb and flow of the political tides on Kauai are bizarre enough without having to play "What if?"


Honolulu Advertiser government correspondent Derrick DePledge had an interesting take today on the “announcement”- or lack threrof- that OIP Director Paul Tsukiyama has left his post.

But Derrick had more to say about the New World Order and Tsukiyama’s resignation.

He wrote:

Not only do we have local bloggers who hate the Mainstream Media, now national bloggers, who hate the Mainstream Media even more deeply, are branching out into our territory.

The Post & Email, a Connecticut-based Web site which
describes itself as “a new media initiative of American patriots,” was apparently the first to report that Paul Tsukiyama has left as director of the state Office of Information Practices.

Really? We couldn’t help but comment on that saying:

Actually in a roundabout way Mike Levine of The Garden Island first reported it last week by mentioning the "acting director "Kathy Takase" in an article about our infamous ES-177. I've been putting off reporting on it myself being busy with another more local topic this week.

And I'm not anti MSM- just extremely critical of the lazy lack of enterprise journalism and "he said she said" reporting without good followup,,, present company excluded of course Derrick

Tsukiyama’s departure could very well have something to do with the Hawai`i Supreme court decision regarding the case of County of Kaua`i vs. OIP where the county sued the OIP over an order to release minutes of an executive session a few years back.

The OIP claimed that the regulatory scheme set out by the legislature- and stated in the legislative committee report on the UIPA- says that the OIP has final say over release of records specifically to avoid having agencies suing each other all the time.

The 5th circuit found that the releasable parts were "irretrievably intertwined" with the attorney client privileged part and therefore ruled against OIP and the ICA and SC agreed without much comment.

This leaves the OIP even more of a “toothless tiger” than ever- their “opinions” on record requests under the UIPA (HRS 92F) as well as sunshine law (HRS 92 Sect 1) issues are now subject to suits by the involved agencies in circuit court and, according to the Levine article, Takase said the OIP will therefore not issue any more formal opinions and presumably serve only an advisory role in the future.

Tsukiyama fought hard through staff attorney Jennifer Z. Brooks to protect our sunshine and open records laws and would have led what is now a useless entity if he stayed on. I wouldn’t head an agency like that either.

Only the legislature can change this but I don’t see them addressing that what with all those important issues like denying civil rights and slashing social services and education budgets while making sure tax credits and other corporate welfare programs remain in place.


And finally Joan Conrow attended the planning commission meeting Tuesday where they inexplicably refused to enforce the permit condition that requires that the burial council approve a burial plan in able for Joe Brescia’s to build his already built Naue monstrosity and has good write-ups in both her blog and an article in The Hawaii Independent.

Although we’re loathe to enter the fray in the comment column today we just had to say:

I’ve never seem the planning commission revoke a permit because the one of the conditions weren’t met, which is supposed to be what they are there for- to make and enforce conditions. Instead they extend or ignore them. Look at Coco Palms.

Remember the 30 years it took to get the Safeway bridge- and then the county “settled” so they could build their precious “coastal” bike path through the Safeway/Foodland parking lot and back across the busiest intersection on the island.

Where were all you “no bike path on he beach” protesters then? Maybe if you had woken up to what a sham the sleight-of-hand segmented EA process was when these other travesties were in their infancy instead of selfishly supporting and praising your dog path it might not have come to this- but I digress.

Brescia did not meet the condition that he get approval from the burial council, whatever the law is currently. flawed or not. That’s why Watanabe said “proceed at your own risk”. That’s why the petition was even able to be heard by the commission. The matter was entirely discretionary on the part of the commission and if they can’t enforce “reasonable” conditions- especially one as basic as burial council approval- then why have one. Ian and Imai could just rubber stamp them without the commission for all the enforcement they do.

If you wear the kings uniform you carry the king’s sword. Jimmy has discovered that. If they were really upset over the decision they were “forced” into they would fire Ian, which is their kuleana according to the charter. Instead they are King Bernard’s lackeys and do his bidding to keep the prestige of their appointments... truly a disgusting way to “serve”.

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