Two Men Charged With 35 Counts of Medical Assistance Fraud

Robert Wolf and Ching-Ying Jao have been charged with 35 counts of medical assistance fraud by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Department of the Attorney General. The charges are based on incidents occurring in 2014 and 2015.

Click to view all charges

According to the allegations in the complaint, at the time of the offenses Wolf and Jao billed patients for psychotherapy services that were not performed.

Both Wolf, 71, and Jao, 37, are residents of Honolulu. Neither have prior convictions. Medical assistance fraud is a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Wolf and Jao are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

A copy of the complaint is attached. The two men were arraigned today.

Maxillarias Orchids for Hawaii Gardens

“Maxillarias for Hawaii Gardens” is the topic of a presentation by Karen Kimmerle at the next meeting of the Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club 7 p.m. October 11. A potluck starts off the meeting and guests are invited to participate at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall.

Random orchid picture.

“Maxillaria orchids are diverse and interesting in both flowers and foliage,” says Kimmerle, co-owner of Sun Orchids in Hilo. Her presentation will look at the many Maxillaria species suitable for growing in Hawaii while sharing tips on their care. Kimmerle will also offer plants for sale.
For info, phone 808-328-8375.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise.

Kama‘aina Special – Kohala Zipline Offers 2-for-1 on its Kohala Canopy Adventure

Isn’t it about that time for kama‘aina to zip and trek on Kohala Zipline’s aerial course? Check out the 2-for-1 Kohala Canopy Adventure now through November 15, 2017.

Kohala Zipline’s Canopy Adventure features 9 zip lines, 5 sky bridges, and a rappel in Hawaii Island’s only tree canopy adventure. Set within a towering forest on a private nature reserve, this aerial adventure is perfectly suited for beginners and experts alike. Certified guides monitor safety and comfort and share their extensive knowledge of the area’s natural and cultural history.

“Fall is one of our most favorite times of the year when our island friends and families get special deals to zip and trek. It’s Kohala Zipline’s special invitation to experience nature and our award-winning adventure,” said Marketing Director Jason Cohn. “It’s not just a zipline, it’s an aerial trekking course.”

With an elevated standard for fun, Kohala Zipline is designed from the ground up, ever mindful of zipline safety measures, complying with the highest level of safety standards set by the industry’s internationally recognized governing body, Association for Challenge Course Technology.)

Located in the former historic yellow Kohala Sugar Company building in North Kohala, Kohala Zipline’s special deal if for Hawaii residents only. Guest must present a valid Hawaii ID, meet weight restrictions between 70 and 270 pounds and be at least 8 years old.

Kohala Zipline was awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence and West Hawaii Today’s 2017 Best of West Hawaii award for Best Zipline.

To book Kohala Zipline 2-for-1 Kama‘aina special, call 808-331-8505. For more zipline information, log onto www.kohalazipline.com

County, State, Faith-Based Groups and Community Join Hands to Help Homeless

The County of Hawai’i is joining hands with the State of Hawai’i, the faith-based community, non-profits, businesses and other concerned citizens to address the island’s homelessness crisis, Mayor Harry Kim said.  The County is working collaboratively on a comprehensive program with the ultimate goal of transitioning homeless people of our island from temporary shelters to affordable housing and jobs.

“These are our people,” Mayor Kim said in a statement. “We cannot in good conscience let homelessness for families and individuals spiral upward; we must do something definitive to address it. I truly feel a growing support from the community.”

His remarks followed the 2nd Annual West Hawai’i Faith-Based Summit to End Family Homelessness in Kona on September 27.  The event was a day-long gathering involving more than 20 West Hawai’i church congregations, numerous social service agencies, healthcare professionals, businesses, as well as State and County officials.

“The faith-based community is really pitching in, offering to adopt homeless families and providing all kinds of material and spiritual support; we cannot thank these good people enough,” he said. “Their spirit is spreading far and wide in the community.”

Mayor Kim expressed deep gratitude for the commitment of assistance from the State of Hawai’i’s Homeless Coordinator, Scott Morishige, who attended the summit and stressed the need to maximize space and accelerate placement into shelters or transitional housing.

Governor David Ige conveyed a special message of support for the event, stressing the need for collaboration to tackle the complicated issue of homelessness.

“We appreciate so much the support that the State is giving us; they know this is crucial and that we need everybody’s help,” Mayor Kim said.

According to Lance Niimi, the County’s Homeless Coordinator there are approximately 913 homeless people islandwide, with about 379 individuals in families living without a home.  Niimi helped spearhead Camp Kikaha, a temporary Safe Zone encampment in Kona which houses about 30 people since its opening in May.

Hawaii Air National Guard Supports Hurricane Maria Relief Mission

A Hawaii Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 204th Airlift Squadron, 154th Wing, left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning, heading to Puerto Rico, as part of the Hurricane Maria relief effort.    The C-17, carrying two flight crews and maintenance personnel (17 Airmen in total) will initially stage at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, from where they will transport relief supplies to Puerto Rico.

A Hawaii Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft from the 204th Airlift Squadron, 154th Wing, left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning, heading to Puerto Rico, as part of the Hurricane Maria relief effort. The C-17, carrying two flight crews and maintenance personnel (18 Airmen in total) will initially stage at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, from where they will transport relief supplies to Puerto Rico.
Gov. David Y. Ige and Hawaii National Guard leadership saw off the flight crews and maintenance personnel at Hickam Field.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Lee Jackson)

Gov. David Y. Ige and Hawaii National Guard leadership saw off the flight crews and maintenance personnel at Hickam Field.   “Puerto Rico is suffering through a disaster of epic proportions.  The people there lack electricity, food, water and fuel. The people of Hawaii will do everything we can to assist our fellow Americans while they work to recover from this horrible devastation”.

The C-17 crew has been tasked with flying first to Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State, where they will pick up relief supplies and additional personnel before heading to Puerto Rico.   They anticipate flying multiple missions, possibly including some to the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was hit by not only by Hurricane Maria but also by Hurricane Irma earlier in September.

The 204th Airlift Squadron is one of three flying units within the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, the largest and most complex wing in the entire Air National Guard.   The Guard is tasked with being ready for war or any other operational contingency overseas and well as disaster response here at home.

Hawaii Department of Health Deputy Director Receives National Award for Excellence in Public Health

Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Deputy Director Keith Y. Yamamoto has been selected by the national Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) as a 2017 recipient of the prestigious Noble J. Swearingen Award. Yamamoto was honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC on Sept. 20.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler and Deputy Director Keith Yamamoto confirmed by Senate on April 9, 2015

Each year, ASTHO recognizes individuals nationwide who demonstrate excellence in public health leadership and work tirelessly to protect and promote the public’s health. Yamamoto was selected for his service as a member of ASTHO’s Senior Deputies Committee in which he provided critical guidance and expertise on multiple state and territorial public health issues.

“Keith brings transformative leadership to the field of public health and embodies a genuine desire to improve the health of Hawaii’s residents,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “His accomplishments have made a difference in the lives of others and we are inspired by his commitment to lead with compassion, integrity and perseverance.”

Yamamoto said, “It was an honor and at the same time very humbling to be recognized, especially knowing that I work alongside colleagues who are equally committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii,” he said.

A resident of Nuuanu, Yamamoto was appointed DOH deputy director in 2011. He oversees the department’s general administration which includes budget, fiscal, facilities management, human resources, information technology and compliance. He also oversees the District Health Offices of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai; the Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development; and the Office of Health Status Monitoring.

Prior to his appointment, Yamamoto served for six years as chief of the department’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, where he was responsible for overseeing and managing a range of adult and adolescent substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment services statewide.

Yamamoto also previously served as program administrator for the Hawaii Department of Human Services’ Office of Youth Services and managed various school-based vocational education and career development programs for at-risk youth for the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Yamamoto earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of

Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s in rehabilitation services from the University of Northern Colorado.

The Noble J. Swearingen Award was first bestowed in 1979 in recognition of public health administrators who have demonstrated excellence. ASTHO is a national nonprofit organization which helps state and U.S. territorial health agencies develop and implement essential programs and policies in public health priority areas.

Flags to be Lowered in Honor of Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting

At the direction of the President of the United States, Gov. David Ige has ordered that the United States flag and the Hawai‘i state flag will be flown at half-staff starting on Monday, October 2, 2017 at the State Capitol and upon all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard in the State of Hawai‘i. The flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset, October 6, 2017.

This action honors the victims of the tragedy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I am shocked and terribly saddened by the news of an unbelievable act of mass murder in Las Vegas. We call it The Ninth Island because we have so many family and friends living there, and most of us have visited the city for entertainment or business purposes. Today, we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and pray for the injured,” said Gov. Ige.

Councilwoman Ruggles to Discuss Activism

Hawaii County Councilor Jen Ruggles, the youngest elected official in Hawai’i County,
will speak this Thursday, October 5th at University of Hawaii Hilo on “How to Grow Your Own Community Activist” in UCB 100 at 7PM.  She wants to inspire citizens who want to develop and hone their advocacy skills.

Ruggles will discuss a few of her own battles in behalf of the public, like working for public access to “Mills” beach at Papaikou and for establishing the “clean elections” program on the Big Island. On
Kaua’i, Ruggles worked for Pesticide Action Network to help a coalition of citizens in an epic struggle against huge and very powerful multinational agribusiness corporations.

Ruggles was elected to the County Council District 5 in Puna in 2016. She will talk about upcoming issues at the Council.

This talk is part of Global HOPE’s “America in Crisis Series.” There will be an open community discussion after Ruggles’ talk.

The presentation is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  For more information contact Noelie Rodriguez at 934-2635.

Hawaii Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald announced today that he is seeking public comment on judicial nominees for a vacancy in the District Family Court of the First Circuit (Island of Oahu) as a result of the appointment of Judge Catherine H. Remigio to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit.

The names submitted for this vacancy by the Judicial Selection Commission, in alphabetical order, are:

Jessi L.K. Hall

Ms. Hall is currently employed with Kleintop & Luria, LLP.  Hall is a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1999.

Timothy E. Ho

Mr. Ho is currently employed as Chief Deputy Public Defender with the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Public Defender. Ho is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1987.

Ronald G. Johnson

Mr. Johnson is currently employed as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1987.

Summer M. M. Kupau-Odo

Ms. Kupau-Odo is currently employed as an Associate Attorney with Earthjustice.  Kupau-Odo is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 2004.

Kevin T. Morikone

Mr. Morikone is currently employed at Hosoda & Morikone, LLC, and serves as Per Diem Judge of the District Family Court of the First Circuit. Morikone is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 2007.

Alvin K. Nishimura

Mr. Nishimura is currently employed at Alvin Nishimura, Attorney at Law, and serves as a Per Diem Judge of the District Court of the First Circuit. Nishimura is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaiʻi State Bar in 1985.

Because the Chief Justice has the discretion to assign judges to the district or district family court calendar, comments about the qualifications and character of any of the nominees with regard to either calendar assignment may be sent, in writing, to:

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, Supreme Court of Hawaiʻi, 417 S. King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, Fax: 808-539-4703 Email: chiefjustice@courts.hawaii.gov

Comments must be post-marked, emailed, faxed, or hand delivered no later than Friday, October 13, 2017. All comments will be kept confidential.

The individual selected by the Chief Justice is subject to Senate confirmation.

Open Access for Broken Trust Book

Thanks to support from University of Hawaii Press and Kamehameha Schools, the public now has free access to the bestselling book Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement & Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust.

Broken Trust chronicles scandal at Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate during the late 1990s, which involved all three branches of Hawaii’s government and attracted front-page coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. CBS’s 60 Minutes called it, “the biggest story in Hawaii since Pearl Harbor.”

Local and national publications praised Broken Trust; Hawaii Book Publishers Association named it Book of the Year; and numerous high schools, colleges, and law schools have used Broken Trust in courses such as Modern Hawaiian History, Participation in Democracy, Trusts & Estates, Nonprofit Organizations, Federal Taxation, Fiduciary Administration, and Professional Responsibility.

The book’s surviving co-author, Randall Roth, explains in the open-access introduction that he and Judge Samuel P. King wrote Broken Trust to help protect the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. They assigned all royalties to local charities and donated thousands of copies to libraries and high schools. Source documents, legal issues, discussion questions, and lesson plans are available at www.BrokenTrustBook.com.

Roth added: “Judge King, would be delighted, as am I, that the current Kamehameha Schools trustees are supporting this open-access edition of Broken Trust.”

In Broken Trust’s open-access introduction, the Kamehameha Schools trustees express a desire to recognize and honor members of the Kamehameha Schools ohana who courageously stood up for the trust during the years of controversy. They also express pleasure that Broken Trust will be “openly available to students, today and in the future, so that the lessons learned might continue to make us healthier as an organization and as a community.”

The open-access introduction also includes this quote from the late Winona Beamer: “In Hawai‘i, we tend not to speak up, even when we know that something is wrong. Especially in the Hawaiian community, the common practice has long been to avoid confrontation at almost any cost. This approach does not serve us well in today’s world. We must learn to be good stewards of all that we have been given, and this sometimes requires that we take a stand. The way the Kamehameha ‘ohana rallied and worked together as a family to defend Princess Pauahi’s legacy says much about how to live effectively and righteously in a fast-changing world. It demonstrates the power of informed people unified by moral conviction, and should always be a source of pride and inspiration.”

Links to Broken Trust on popular platforms, and to download:

Amazon/Kindle: http://a.co/0tFjGaH
GooglePlay and GoogleBooks: https://books.google.com/books?id=z6Y2DwAAQBAJ
ScholarSpace PDF files: https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/48548

“What makes Broken Trust so fascinating is that it works on multiple levels. It’s a well-researched book about Hawaii’s history and culture; a dramatic story of judicial, political, and corporate corruption; and a cautionary tale for acting or future charitable trust board members on everything you shouldn’t do if you want to respect your organization’s mission and ensure the public’s trust. The players in Broken Trust jump off the page.” —Christopher Quay, Exempt Organization Tax Review

“Broken Trust is rich in anthropological detail and spiced with characters and quotations that would comfortably populate a John Grisham novel. The authors are fearless and uncomplimentary when documenting the role and ethical quandaries of lawyers and judges.” —James Daw, Estates, Trusts & Pensions Journal

“Broken Trust reads like a political thriller with a whole assortment of characters straight out of a Tom Clancy novel and plot twists that are always unexpected. It was hard to put down. A great read!” —W. Scott Simon, author of The Prudent Investor

“I loved this book! It was like reading a thriller; I could not wait to find out what would happen next. Who would have thought that a book about a charitable trust could be so exciting? Some of the characters are truly unforgettable. I am still shaking my head at the fiduciary breaches and the conflicts of interest.”
—Professor Mary LaFrance, University of Nevada School of Law

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 43-Year-Old Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 43-year-old missing woman.

Colleen Pabre

Colleen Pabre was last seen in the Keaʻau area in (August 2017).

She is described as Caucasian, 5-feet-9-inches, 150 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.

She has been known to reside in the Puna district.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Sean Phelan at (808) 961-2213 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300.

Community Informational Meetings on the County of Hawaii, Mass Transit Agency Island-Wide Transit Master Plan

The public is invited to Community Informational Meetings on the County of Hawaii, Mass Transit Agency Island-Wide Transit Master Plan that the county has contracted SSFM to conduct these for $500,000.

Kailua-Kona
Monday, October 9, 2017 • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Building A, Council Chambers
74-5044 Ana Keohokalole Highway

Kea‘au
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Kea‘au Community Center, 16-186 Pili Mua Street

Pāhoa
Thursday, October 12, 2017 • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, 15-2910 Kauhale Street

Waimea
Thursday, October 19, 2017 • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Waimea Elementary School, 67-1225 Māmalahoa Highway

Hilo
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale, 799 Pi‘ilani Street

If you require language translation, an auxiliary aid or service (e.g., sign language interpreter, accessible parking or materials in alternative format), please contact
Jo-Anna Herkes, SSFM International at (808) 356-1260 at least five (5) days prior to the meeting date. TTY users may use TRS to contact our office.