Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ferry Hawaiian activist harrassed by KPD, tazers and shields sought in budget


SOURCE: JUAN WILSON juanwilson@earthlink.net

POSTED: 6 MAY 2008 - 4:00pm

County Council Budget - On KPD items

image above: Illustration by David Dees with insertion of Hawaiians in foreground by Juan Wilson

by Juan Wilson on 6 May 2008

The Kauai County Council will meet at 5:00pm on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at the Old County Building. On the agenda will be budget items for the Kauai Police Department that will include a line item for twenty-five riot shields for $4,800.

The paramilitary arming, upgrading and equipping our police department continues. It is rumored that Chief Darryl Perry is seeking to obtain a bulletproof SUV for his use.

What kind of police department do we want? Peace keepers or Blackwater USA? Please come out and let our council and police department know.

County Council Budget Meeting

Old County Office Building -  Council Chambers

5:00pm on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Because you care.


SOURCE: JUAN WILSON juanwilson@earthlink.net

POSTED: 5 MAY 2008 - 7:00pm

Don't Busta Move Dayne!

image above: Dayne Aipoalani faces KPD at Superferry gate on 8/18/07. Photo by Juan Wilson

by Juan Wilson on 5 May 2008

On Wednesday, April 30th an anti-GMO meeting was held in Hanapepe at the United Church for Christ. Among the sixty or so people attending were Richard Hoeppner, of People for the Preservation of Kauai, and Dayne Aipoalani, of the Kingdom of Atooi. Dayne was with his wife Toni and twenty month old daughter Alana.

Dayne and Richard have known each other and worked together. Richard is a retired police detective and Dayne wanted to have the Kingdom of Atooi marshals get some formal police training, especially in conflict resolution, and mediation.

The two have also worked against the Superferry coming to Kauai and against Syngenta spraying herbicides next to Waimea Canyon Middle School. Dayne and Toni had become alarmed because neighborhood children had become sick and even one of their own had become ill after Syngenta spraying.

The anti-GMO meeting broke up about nine p.m. The Dayne and the family got in their truck and headed to the parking lot exit to get on the highway going west and home to Kekaha. When he got to the stop sign, at the highway, Dayne noticed a darkened police cruiser parked next to Hanapepe Park. It turned on its lights and pulled up to the stop sign opposite him.

Suspecting something, Dayne did not pull out onto the highway, but waited for the police car to move first. It didn't. Fifteen seconds went by. Suddenly the cop car turned right onto the highway heading west. Dayne followed him.

As Dayne pulled away he noticed two vehicles emerge from the church parking lot and follow behind his truck. A SUV and a sedan. At this time Rich Hoeppner was preparing to leave the church too. Rich drove east towards Kalaheo.

As Dayne continued west there was little traffic as he came to Moi Street. But there another police cruiser was parked. It fell into line behind him and the two unmarked vehicles. In less than a minute Dayne was passing the National Guard facility on the makai side of the highway. Three police cruisers joined the parade.

The police cruisers all at once turned on their flashers and in front of Salt Pond Store pulled Dayne over and boxed him in. Police swarmed Dayne's truck. From the unmarked SUV four SWAT police emerged in camo and vests. They carried gas canisters and other special equipment.

The police team was lead by police officers Steve Sueoka and Detective Hank Barriga. Dayne knew he was in trouble because of Sueoka's role in the August 2007 Superferry demonstrations. In December of last year KPD Chief Darryl Perry recognized Sueoka for his exceptional assistance of the United States Coast Guard during that time.

After Dayne's car was surrounded by the police and SWAT team there was a lot of yelling. Sueoka said; "You are under arrest!"

Dayne said; "What for? What did I do? Wait a minute."

When asked to get out of his truck Dayne did not understand why. He got on his cell phone and called friends for advice and help.

Richard Hoeppner got a call as he was passing Kalaheo. He turned the car around and headed for Salt Pond Store.

Sueoka continued; "We have a warrant."

Dayne answered; I'm not getting out of the car until I know what's going on."

Sueoka showed Dayne the warrant. As it turned out the warrant the police were carrying was for failure to show up at a plea hearing on the charge of impersonating an officer. During the August Superferry demonstrations Dayne carried a badge identifying himself as an officer of the Kingdom of Atooi. He never claimed to be a KPD policeman.

He was surprised by the police action because of a meeting he had to discuss the issue of Kingdom of Atooi marshals and their responsibilities. The meeting was in Lihue with Chief Perry on November 8th 2007, attended by KPD officer Roy Asher and others. It was understood by Dayne that a line of communication was opened with the KPD and that they would contact him if questions regarding the issue of the Atooi marshals needed attention.

Moreover, the warrant regarding the plea hearing was not applicable because Dayne had demonstrated to the court that he was at the hospital emergency room at the time of the hearing. Dayne provided the court with paperwork for a medical excuse concerning his failure to appear. It seems the court had excused him without correcting the warrant paperwork.

This came out in the exchange between Sueoka and Dayne. Sueoka said that if Dayne had paperwork with him to prove his excuse there would be no arrest.
Dayne did not have the documents in the car. Referring to all the men and material used in the arrest proceeding Dayne countered;

"Why didn't you just call me on my phone to come in and take care of this matter?"

As spoke Dayne pointed out that his cellphone number was prominently written on the warrant. "

Sueoka had had enough; "We have a warrant for you! We have to execute our order!"

By this time Rich Hoeppner had made the last leg of his way to Salt Pond Store on foot. The police had closed the main highway near the store. Some of Dayne's people from the Kingdom of Atooi had also arrived to witness the scene. More police arrived. Toni thought there might be as many as thirty policemen by that time.

Police were breaking up any groups of passerby greater than three in number. No public assembly was allowed for local people. Richard, a haole, was able to get to the front of Salt Pond Store when one policeman asked him if he wanted to get a newspaper or something. Richard used that as an invitation.

"Yeah, I need a newspaper".

Richard asked the policeman if that wasn't Dayne's truck in the middle of all the trouble. Then Richard was confronted by another KPD officer, D. Martin, who called out that;

"We know who you are. I saw you at the Superferry!"

Martin told him to get his paper and get out of there.

The police proceeded to yank open the doors on Dayne's truck. Police officers tried, unsuccessfully, to pull Dayne from his truck. SWAT team members pushed cans of tear gas in Dayne's face. They opened up the back to expose Alana. Dayne was concerned his wife and daughter would be caught in the middle of a violent confrontation. He sensed that the actions of the police seemed to be an attempt to provoke him into making a mistake. They had overwhelming force at the scene.

Dayne decided to comply with the order to leave his vehicle. He told Sueoka and Barriga that he would get out of the truck if they did not harass his family, adding;

"I'll go with you guys, but I'm not under your jurisdiction." Dayne was never read his rights when they took him down.

Dayne was brought to the Lihue station, booked and given a copy of the arrest record. The bail is set at $2,175. Immediately friends and family tried to call the 24/7 bail bondsmen on the island to free Dayne. Toni and Richard found that none would respond that night.

While in Lihue an unidentified police officer asked Dayne about the Iolani Palace occupation by sovereignty advocates on Oahu. He was casually asked how many of his people were there. Dayne was not freed that night.

Later the police took the arrest record from him. Dayne was taken to the Kauai Correctional County Center (KCCC) and spent the night in jail without bond. Richard was up all night trying to free Dayne.

Toni drove home quite upset. She was not followed but got a call shortly from a friend who had spotted two police cruisers parked in the dark down her street watching her house.

The next morning a guard at KCCC also asks Dayne about the Iolani palace incident. Apparently sovereignty activists anywhere in the state were being connected to the palace occupation. Later Dayne was transferred to court; not in his own clothes but in an orange jumpsuit in shackles on his hands and feet. Toni and Richard Hoeppner were at the court the next morning and were very upset. Before the the judge, Kathleen Watanabe, Dayne stated;

"There was no notification of a court date after I missed my plea hearing".

The judge said that no notification was necessary. A plea of not guilty was entered and a jury trail on the impersonation of an officer was set for June 30th. Toni had pulled together the bail money. After some more legal hassles Dayne was finally free to go home around three in the afternoon.

Sometime after, early Friday morning, that Richard had a heart attack. He was flown to Oahu and is still in the Staub Hospital. Dayne sister Keikeilani went over to visit him. Richard is scheduled for a triple-bypass operation on Thursday. He is in Room #302. You can call him at 1 (808) 522-4000.

One lesson to be learned from this behavior by the Kauai Police Department is how seriously the connections between the anti-Superferry, anti-GMO and the sovereignty movement are taken by Hawaiian authorities. Dayne is involved with all three and he is Hawaiian. This makes him a danger to the status quo.

In addition, Hawaii State Attorney General Mark Bennett is deeply involved with not only the conspiracy of the State with the Superferry Corporation to avoid the law, he is also facing a disenfranchisement of the State of Hawaii to manage Hawaiian government land. The recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision to deny the State "ownership" of ceded land is a fundamental problem for the whole apparatus of control.

The Kingdom of Atooi has made a direct challenge to title of ceded lands on Kauai that is right under the feet of the westside GMO companies and the PMRF easement agreement that was negotiated with the State. Challenges to the status quo are certainly simmering.

If you carefully follow the events of the night it becomes clear that the KPD was stalking Dayne Aipoalani with a great deal of manpower, equipment and expense.

That kind of police action might be appropriate for arresting an armed murderer or to bust a meth factory, but not to execute a warrant on a failure to make it to court on a charge of carrying a "phony" badge. This huge KPD effort was over a failed court appearance where there was a medical excuse on record.

It is further evident to me that the police were trying to taunt Dayne, to make him angry, to make him make a mistake - the result could have easily provoked a violent response by the police. This kind of baiting is unforgivable behavior for a force of professional "peace keepers".

God forbid you are on their list for your activities and have an open can of beer at the beach or are having a fight with your spouse. Don't tase me bro!


SOURCE: KOOHAN PAIK kosherkimchee@yahoo.com

POSTED: 5 MAY 2008 - 7:00pm

We don't need KPD in riot mode

image above: Is this the future face of the Kauai Police Department? From peacegonewild.blogspot.com

by Koohan Paik on 5 May 20008

Besides being the man who spearheaded the anti-superferry movement with his legendary petition, Rich is the Chief of Police for the pacifist sovereignty group, The Kingdom of Atooi. Sadly, the group's members have lately been a target of intense harrassment by the Kauai Police Department.

Just last Wednesday, Rich was so upset over having witnessed a level of injustice against one of it's leaders, Dayne Aipoalani, that his heart gave out within thitry-six hours.

(He's thankfully in shape, though, currently in a Honolulu hospital awaiting surgery.) Those who don't like to draw a causal connection between the police
harrassment and the heart attack must still acknowledge that this is a textbook case of a stressful situation being followed up by a near-fatal health condition.

It all happened last Wednesday night after the GMO talks by Drs. Pang and Valenzuela, at the Hanapepe United Church of Christ. Dayne, Rich's friend, was
present at the meeting to voice his belief that there is indeed a causal connection linking the west-side pesticide spraying with the sick children and teachers. His daughter goes to one of the schools that was evacuated.

While driving home from the meeting with his wife and daughter, Dayne was stopped by a large number of cops in perhaps a dozen or more cars, who had apparently staked him out. Some were in full-on riot gear. They tried to provoke him into arrestible behavior, but to no avail. They ended up shackling and hauling him off to jail on a contempt warrant for missing a court appearance.

Rich Hoeppner saw Dayne get apprehended and followed him and the KPD guys to the jailhouse, where he advocated for his friend.

Never mind that Dayne had a doctor's excuse for missing his court date, and that the excuse was indeed in the records.

This kind of amped-up take-down shake-down is totally uncalled for.


The event was extremely jarring to Rich, who happens to be an ex-Chief of Police himself and has therefore thought a great deal about right-and-wrong and appropriate police protocol. Given that, you can imagine his pulse quickening as he witnessed an innocent man terrorized by so-called "police enforcement officers."

Later, the next night, Rich was struck by the heart attack and airlifted to Honolulu.
Should we let our community slip mindlessly into a militarized police state? Do we need to give tasers, shields, bullet-proof vests and riot gear to these individuals who are indistinguishable from smarmy thugs?

It'll be Clockwork Orange right here in "paradise." Though we are now faced with so many important struggles on our tiny island, we must stand up and speak out against this. Once it's done, turning back will be near impossible.

see also:
Island Breath: Protect and Serve - Not terrify! 4/5/08

Friday, May 2, 2008

Time to jump ship?

Time to jump ship?
Superferry manufacturer under fire
Thursday, May 1, 2008 9:54 AM HST

Former Austal employees allege the Hawai`i Superferry's Alakai is operating with manufacturing defects. They also warn that her sister ship, currently under construction, will have similar problems.

Austal is a 20-year-old Australian ship building company that is working on private and government marine vessel projects and Wayne Jenkins is a class-A welder who used to work for the company in Mobile, Alabama. He has been fired for being "disloyal to the company" after he voiced his concerns about these defects on Katy Rose's Hawai`i public radio talk show. Jenkins has a wife and young son.

While working on the boat, Jenkins noticed some of the work that was supposed to be done by the specially certified and tested class-A welders was being done by unqualified employees. "There was second class welders welding a butt weld. It's just two pieces of plate being joined together. Fitters that were fitting the stuff weren't certified to fit two pieces of plate together . . . ," said Jenkins.

When he was asked to make a wide half-inch weld to join two plates, Jenkins questioned his supervisor. He was told to keep welding.

"I've seen a lot of stuff that's not been done right," said Jenkins in reference to construction of the latest addition to the Hawai`i Superferry (HSF) interisland fleet. According to Jenkins, a half-inch weld is too wide and can create welds that are structurally compromised.

Conversely, Bill Pfister, vice president of government programs at Austal said, "You can close in a half inch wide gap. That's a pretty wide gap, but you can do it."

On a ship that is completely comprised of aluminum metal plates and pieces, each weld contributes to the overall soundness of the ship.

In February, the Alakai was dry-docked for repairs. "When they (Austal employees) went over there (Hawai`i) to work on it, I was told what happened. I was told the welds broke, and it was running for a week while it was leaking," said Jenkins.

Pfister's, response to Jenkins allegations of unqualified welders working on more complex joints was " . . . No, that's just not so. That's the kind of allegations our competitor would use, or we would use on them. That's just bogus. The welders are all qualified. The ships are built in accordance with design and construction standards . . .," said Pfister.

While Jenkins did not work on the Alakai, he did work on the sister vessel and saw these welds for himself. "My concern is it can hold up to 850 people on there, if it's not structurally qualified . . . People's lives are more important than covering it up," said Jenkins.

"There's a fine line between someone who's got their own agenda and a whistleblower," said Pfister.

Jenkins was one of a small handful of nearly 1,100 employees at Austal that was a union member. The shipyard remains non-unionized. However, the Sheet Metal Union Chapter 441 has been trying hard to gain ground with the workers at the plant in Mobile. Their latest vote to unionize the yard, ended with workers voting 3-1 against the union.

This is not the first time Jenkins had been fired. The first time, he joined the local sheetmetal workers union, Chapter 441. Through their efforts, the National Labor Relations Board got him reinstated. However, this time, Jenkins won't go back to Austal even if the company asks him to return.

Regardless of the union agenda that Pfister alludes to, there are still real concerns about manufacturing errors. When asked about the Alakai's leaking rudder, Pfister replied, "It wasn't a design flaw, it was a manufacturing flaw."

"We sent a guy to take a look . . . maybe two months before they went into drydock. They (HSF) tried temporary repairs. A standard fix is using cement. The leak was near . . . high speed rudders . . . we took out the rudders and filled it with cement. Those kinds of temporary fixes are normal and safe," said Pfister.

Lt. John Titchen, information officer at the U.S. Coast Guard 14th District, related, "We cleared the boat." Inspectors and the Coast Guard believe the ship is safe. Alakai has been awarded their certificate of inspection and passed their annual inspection. He also commented that there was nothing "noteworthy about the temporary repairs."

An inspection can last one to two hours or span eight to 10 hours. Inspectors ripped away insulation in the ship and examined welds. They used various tests such as the dye penetrant test to evaluate the viability of seals. Inspectors examined inserts, rudder, hull, among other things, and deemed the ship and its repairs, "satisfactory." Nine different inspectors, a marine engineer, and a class society director in addition to members of the Coast Guard all walked the ship and found nothing amiss.

However, the rudder repair affected rideability, making the ship's ride rougher than normal. The ship also consumed 5 percent more fuel as a result of not having the rudders to steer the ship at high speeds. It was a costly repair in more ways than one. "Things that they discover within the first year is our nickel. That's the warranty," said Pfister.

The allegations Jenkins made are similar to findings in corrective action reports filed by the Navy from May 2005 to May 2007 on another vessel manufactured by Austal at the same shipyard. In August 2007 an article by Sean Reilly for the Newhouse News Service reported that the Navy had concerns about Austal's work on a Littoral Combat Ship. Some of the concerns the Navy listed were botched welds and employees doing work for which they were not qualified. Reilly obtained these government records under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Austal's own inspector found problems with the vessels during manufacturing. Teresa Hart is a certified level two inspector specializing in ultrasonics, magnetic particle and liquid penetrants. She is qualified to conduct visual inspections and to supervise welding, and was hired by Austal to provide quality assurance even though there was no department handling that facet of the manufacturing process. "Even when they were trying to hire me, they told me they didn't want a quality assurance department or manager," Hart said.

While onsite in Mobile as the Alakai was under construction, Hart noticed problems with some of that ship's welds. They "just weren't right," she said. ". . . there were welds missing, that's a pretty big deal and I thought, well, surely they'll bring somebody in and they'll catch it. It's never normal to miss a weld." Hart told a supervisor about them at the time but was told that her work was restricted to another ship.

While the ships didn't have a lot of quality assurance people eyeing each process and weld, Hart explained that Austal used x-rays to insure the structural integrity of the joinery. Still, Hart was concerned. As her clamors about quality control grew louder, she was terminated in March 2007, five months after she was first brought onboard. Reason? "They told me I wasn't a team player."

Aside from the problems with Austal's shipbuilding, Wayne Jenkins also weighed in on the working conditions. "I've been in some holes (of the ship) that's been pretty filled with smoke and dust and they brought no kind of fan to help assist the process," he said.

Workers are provided with respirators. Still Carolyn Slay, another fired employee, reported, "When I go home and blow my nose, all that comes out is black from the ash." Slay said her skin also breaks out in rashes and complained that the work environment was unfriendly to black employees. She reported that she saw nooses hanging in the workers area, and the "n-word was scribbled on the walls." Slay also claimed that pay scales were unequal for women and men, and black employees versus Caucasian workers.

Slay confirmed that unqualified welders, worked on welds at the Austal shipyard.

While Austal experiences its own employee turnovers, HSF is doing its own shuffling. On Monday HSF appointed Admiral Tom Fargo to take the helm as new President and Chief Executive Officer. John Garibaldi is now Vice Chairman and will continue to serve on the board of directors for the company.

HSF currently makes one voyage daily from O`ahu to Maui and from Maui to O`ahu. Beginning May 9, a second voyage will be added four days a week operating on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Visit http://www.hawaiisuperferry.com for schedules.

Superferry not for cargo

A common rant on this forum is "after a hurricane the Superferry will be needed to move emergency people and cargo."

But the truth is, after a hurricane, Superferry will likely be grounded for several reasons.

First, the ocean will be filled with floating debris from logs and branches to wood building material. This flotsam could easily damage Superferry's relatively thin aluminum hull and also get sucked into its waterjets.

Second, pier facilities for docking and unloading will most certainly be damaged if not washed away completely.

The primary method for moving emergency supplies and personnel after a natural disaster is by air.

It is only necessary to clear the runway of debris and if that cannot be done, the military has perfected methods of pushing cargo on skids out the back of airplanes while flying low. Large cargo helicopters are also plentiful on Hawai'i.

Day-to-day moving of relatively small and lightweight cargo is most efficiently done by air. Large or heavy items are most efficiently moved by slow-moving barge. Superferry is designed for high-speed trafficking of people and vehicles, it is not designed for moving cargo cheaply.

One carrier that moved 85 percent of the cargo is out of business. Aloha's void will soon be filled. Superferry is not a long-term solution.

Homeless, drugs, criminals, frogs, snakes, bugs and weeds aside, Superferry is only running at about 1/4 capacity and this reader does not understand how it can remain a viable business for much longer.

T.L. Cameron
Boulder Creek, Calif.