On the evening of Sunday, January 27, 2013, I had dinner with my dad at his house. He cooked pork chops. My mom and sister Lara is with my sister Mia and her family in San Mateo, California.
Monthly Archives: January 2013
On the afternoon of Saturday, January 26, 2013, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I worked on testimonies for bills scheduled for hearings in the Hawaii State Legislature next week.
In the evening, we attended a gathering under a mango tree and “talked story” with friends I am lucky and honored to have made over the years: former House Sergeant of Arms Frank Arakaki, former Senator Joe Tanaka, former Honolulu Councilman Jon Yoshimura, former Senator Whitney Anderson, former Senator Donna Ikeda, Honolulu Councilman Ikaika Anderson, Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Minatoya, Alika Thompson, James Pacopac, Eddie Hayashi, Dr. Jeffrey Akaka, Alec Sou, and others.
On January 25, 2013, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I had a meeting with Senator Will Espero (Chair of Senate Public Safety Committee) at his office at 9:30 A.M., Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say at 10:45 A.M. at his office, and Representative Roy Takumi (Chair of House Education Committee) at his office.
At 2:00 P.M., Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I attended the House Judiciary Committee hearing at the Hawaii State Capitol. I testified in support on our two Honolulu Prosecuting Bills: HB231 RELATING TO USE OF FORCE BY PERSONS WITH SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARE, DISCIPLINE, OR SAFETY OF OTHERS and HB232 RELATING TO SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR UNDER THE AGE OF TWELVE YEARS. I also commented on HB238 RELATING TO PROMOTING INTOXICATING LIQUOR and HB 28 RELATING TO JURY SELECTION. HB231 and HB232 will be voted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 2:00 P.M. HB 238 and HB28 were deferred indefinitely.
After reviewing bills for upcoming hearings, I went to “Art After Dark” at the Honolulu Musuem of Art with Senator Will Espero at 7:30 P.M. My friend Jon Nishihara and his friend Winston joined us as well.
On January 23, 2013, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I had a meeting with Hawaii House Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads at 9:00 A.M. at his office regarding the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Legislative Package.
At 6:00 P.M., I attended the University of Hawaii Businiess Alumni Association and Hawaii State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division’ social at the Vice Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
On Sunday, January 20, 2013 I had dinner with my dad at Ichiriki in Aiea, Hawaii at 5:00 P.M. We ate the Ichiriki nabe and miso chanko nabe. My mom and sister Lara is with my sister Mia and her family in San Mateo, California.
On Saturday, January 19, 2013, I attended the fundraiser for Christopher Otto at the M Nightclub in Restaurant Row from 6:30 P.M. The event raised funds to help Chris with his medical expenses as he fights cancer. I found out about this event through a friend of his. I wish him a successful comeback.
On Friday, January 18, 2013, I ate dinner with my mom, dad, younger sister Lara, and Ross at Au’s Garden Restaurant in Kalihi, Honolulu, Hawaii from 6:45 P.M.
On Friday, January 18, 2013, the Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee voted to confirm nominee Kevin A. Souza for District Family Court Judge of the First Circuit and nominee Dean E. Ochiai for Circuit Court Judge of the First Circuit at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 016.
2013 Hawaii Legislative Opening Day – Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu and Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui
2013 Hawaii Legislative Opening Day – Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say, and Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu
2013 Hawaii Legislative Opening Day – Hawaii Representative Ken Ito and Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu
2013 Hawaii Legislative Opening Day – Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu and Representative Kyle Yamashita
On January 15, 2013, I finished drafting one more bill for the 2013 Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Legislative Package.
On the evening of Sunday, January 13, 2013, I had dinner with my mom, dad, and younger sister Lara at a Japanese restaurant in Pearl Kai Center and spent time with them after.
On Sunday, January 13, 2013, I attended the Honolulu Jodo Shu service at 10 A.M. and chaired its board meeting at 11:45 A.M.
On the evening of Friday, January 11, 2013, I attended a gathering of Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys and private attorneys at Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower in Honolulu to say farewell to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dane Anderson who is leaving the Department of the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney to pursue a legal career in patent law.
On Friday, January 11, 2013, from 4:00 P.M., Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I attended the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law’s Constitutional Convention held at the school. My former Hawaii State House colleague and now Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell spoke on his experiences interpreting the law as a lawyer and making the law as a lawmaker. He talked about how the 1954 Democratic Revolution was a bloodless revolution that changed the direction of Hawaii in reducing discrimination and providing opportunity for all. He mentioned Chief Justice William S. Richardson, Governor John A. Burns, and U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye as among those who brought about this monumental change.
After the formal program, I enjoyed talking with the Mayor Caldwell and the law students at their reception in the law school’s courtyard. Former Attorney General and now attorney for the Ironworkers Union Ron Amemiya was there supporting a law student he is mentoring. His son Keith Amemiya’s wife Bonnie is cousins with my cousin Grant Karamatsu’s wife Christine Ogawa. It was a nice event.
On Friday, January 11, 2013, at 11:30 A.M., Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu, Victim Witness Advocate Director Dennis Dunn, and I attended the Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee hearing on nominee Kevin A. Souza for District Family Court Judge of the First Circuit and nominee Dean E. Ochiai for Circuit Court Judge of the First Circuit.
I worked with Judge Kevin A. Souza in 2009 to 2010 when I was House Judiciary Committee Chair and Judge Souza was an adviser for Lt. Governor Duke Aiona and also in my current position as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the District Courts of the First Circuit while he was a defense attorney in 2011. Although Judge Souza and I were often on opposite sides of an issue in politics or in court, he has always been a pleasure to work with, which speaks volumes of his good character.
From 2011 to 2012, I got to call many calendars of cases and go to trial before Judge Dean E. Ochiai in the District Courts of the First Circuit. After court, Judge Ochiai liked to talk to me and other attorneys about law or life in general. One time, he even helped me pack my boxes of cases in Waianae District Court. I consider Judge Ochiai a role model for attorneys, future judges, and future leaders of Hawaii and our country.
Thank you so much to Governor Neil Abercrombie for releasing over $1.8 million for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The funding will help the department in its key role in state mandated programs such as Career Criminal Prosecution, Drug Court, HOPE Probation (Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement), and Victim Witness Assistance.
Thank you to the following legislators who moved our funding bill through the Hawaii State Legislature: House Speaker Calvin Say, House Finance Committee Chair Marcus Oshiro, House Judiciary Committee Chair Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran, Senate President Shan Tsutsui, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chair David Ige, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Clayton Hee.
Also, mahalo to all the vice chairs and members of the Hawaii State Legislature for their support of our funding bill in the committees and on the floors of the House and Senate.
We will continue to work hard to keep our community safe. Thank you so much!
On the evening of Wednesday, January 9, 2013, I spent time with my friend Tracy Okubo. It was her last night here since she is returning to Washington D.C. where she works for the federal government on health information technology. When Tracy worked for me when I chaired the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee she drafted a number of bills including a health information technology bill to try to get up to 10 to 1 federal matching dollars for Hawaii.
Also in attendance of the gathering for Tracy were many of her friends including, Hawaii State Senator Gil Keith-Agaran, Hawaii State Representative Tom Brower, and Jon Nishihara.
On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu and I finished drafting the 2013 Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Legislative Package and submitted it to Senate President Donna Kim and House Speaker Calvin Say for introduction in the 2013 Hawaii State Legislative Session.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu, Victim Witness Advocate Director Dennis Dunn, and I attended the Human Trafficking meeting hosted by Hawaii State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 from 12:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. at the Hawaii State Capitol.
On the evening of Monday, January 7, 2013, after drafting legislation, I spent some time with Hawaii State Representative Clift Tsuji, Mike Noguchi, and Tracie Okubo.
University of Hawaii Professor George Tanabe presented pictures and the history of Hawaii’s Buddhist temples at Honolulu Jodo Shu after the 10:00 A.M. service on Sunday, January 6, 2013.
On Friday, January 4, 2013, after work, I spent time with a group of my fellow deputy prosecuting attorneys in my department and several of my friends.
On the evening of Saturday, January 5, 2013, I celebrated my friend Mike’s birthday at his home in Pearl City.
HONOLULU PROSECUTING ATTORNEY KEITH M. KANESHIRO
January 2, 2013
Thank you all for attending the inauguration of my new four-term as Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. This is also the swearing in of my First Deputy, Armina Ching, and the attorneys that I appointed as deputy prosecutors.
Family, friends and supporters were very much responsible for making this event happen today. I thank you all very much for the opportunity to continue to work toward making Honolulu a safer place to live in.
During these past two years, this office has embarked on many new initiatives and improved on ways to ensure public safety. We have based our concerns on the impact of crime in our community. The most obvious impact is the victims of crime.
Our elder abuse unit has doubled in size and as a result we are handling more cases that were not handled in the past. We are also working with financial institutions on recognizing financial exploitation of elders.
With regard to sex assault victims, we have re-established a specialized team of prosecutors who will handle cases from the beginning to end so that victims deal with only one prosecutor. In addition, other victims, especially children, will have our courthouse dog, Pono, as their ally when they are interviewed or have to testify in court. Pono has already helped many victims who initially were traumatized and afraid to tell their story.
We continue to add prosecutors in the area of domestic violence and have also increased training to strengthen their expertise. In addition, we are about to open a Family Justice Center that will provide long-term transitional housing so victims can escape their environment of violence and become self-sustaining.
We continue our strong support for Drug Court, which provides treatment for drug offenders instead of incarceration. In addition to being defendants in criminal cases, many of these offenders are also victims of drug abuse. If their drug abuse problem is not addressed with treatment, they will continue to commit crimes and create more victims.
There are other victims that we will speak for. We will continue to fight for animals that are being mistreated and abused. Despite what one court has shown, animals deserve the protection of our justice system and we will continue to fight to assure that there is justice for all of them.
We will also protect our environment with a newly created environmental crimes unit that will vigorously prosecute these crimes with trained prosecutors. Hawaii is a paradise because of its land and people. We will fight to preserve that beauty.
Finally, to the deputy prosecutors who will be asked to take on these responsibilities, remember our mission statement:
“To promote and ensure public safety and order through effective, efficient, and just prosecution.”
These are the words that will guide you through your cases. Remember, every case impacts people’s lives. How we do our jobs impacts how the community views public safety. At times, there may be victims who have no voice or issues that do not address the concern for public safety — we need to be that voice, that advocate, and that fighter.
All of you are part of an admirable profession. All of you have a tremendous duty and obligation to uphold.
Thank you for choosing public service. I am very confident that you will fulfill your oath of office and overcome the many challenges that lie ahead.
Let us proceed with our mission of preserving and expanding public safety.
Thank you for your friendship over the years. We did our best in 2012. Let’s take it to another level in 2013. Together, we can make a positive impact on every part of our society: politics, law, education, health, science, technology, tourism, retail, import/export, entertainment, agriculture, development, public safety, and much more. As my mentor, the late Hawaii State Senator & 442 Regimental Combat Team veteran Nadao “Najo” Yoshinaga used to say, “Make Hawaii the best place in the world!” My friends, let’s continue to work together and make Hawaii and our nation the best place in the world!
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
Attorneys and judges are suppose to be leaders of law and order, not yelling at and personally degrading each other and others in the courtroom. What is acceptable is a heated litigation on the merits of the case.
According to law: Rules of Professional Conduct and Hawaii Revised Code of Judicial Conduct, attorneys and judges are mandated to be professional.
Pursuant to Rule 2.8(b) of the Hawaii Revised Code of Judicial Conduct, “A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s discretion and control.” Under the Judicial Selection Commission’s Judicial Retention Evaluation Form, 1 of the 5 categories judges are evaluated on is “Compassion.”
Pursuant to Rule 3.5(b) of the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct, “A lawyer shall not harass a judge, juror, prospective juror, discharged juror, or other decision maker or embarass such person in such capacity. According to Rule 3.5(c) of the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct, “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct intended or reasonably likely to disrupt a tribunal.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Riki Karamatsu & Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro at the inauguration ceremonies on January 2, 2013 from 12 P.M. at Ali’i Place in Honolulu.
As I reflect on 2012, my thoughts and prayers are on my friends who passed away this past year. I also reflect on all my family and friends who passed away in the years prior. Although time tries to blur my memories, I will hold on to them with all my might.
Thank you Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii State Legislature for your support in the 2011-2012 biennium
I want to thank Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii State Legislature for all the support they have given the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu in the 2011-2012 biennium.
Thank you to the following legislators who oversaw many of our bills and other bills we had an interest in: House Speaker Calvin Say, House Finance Chair Marcus Oshiro, House Judiciary Chair Gilbert Keith-Agaran, House Public Safety Chair Henry Aquino, House Human Services Chair John Mizuno, House Health Chair Ryan Yamane, House Transportation Chair Joe Souki, Senate President Shan Tsutsui, Senate Ways and Means Chair David Ige, Senate Judiciary Chair Clayton Hee, Senate Public Safety Chair Will Espero, Senate Human Services Chair Suzanne Chun Oakland, Senate Health Chair Josh Green, Senate Transportation Chair Kalani English, Senate Economic Development and Technology Chair Carol Fukunaga. I apologize if I missed anyone.
To all the Vice Chairs and the rest of the members of the legislature, thank you for your support in the committees and on the House and Senate Floor votes.
I appreciate the friendship and memories I have made with many of you over the years. I know how challenging it is to campaign, work with various people and organizations, and to make a decision on tough issues, thus, I sincerely thank all of you for your service for the State of Hawaii. I am excited to work with you again in 2013!
Thank you for your support of Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro in 2012. At the inauguration ceremony for Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro and all of his Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys on January 2, 2013, he spoke about some of his goals such as opening the Family Justice Center to help protect our women from their abusers, ensuring drug users get proper treatment, creating a unit of Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys that will focus on protecting the environment, and he emphasized that he will continue to work on protecting people and animals from violence.
As I mentioned in the past, Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro is one of the most honest elected officials I know. Moreover, he is very passionate and concerned for the safety of all people in our State. I am also very impressed with his visionary and proactive approach in creating policy on public safety.
In 2016, Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro intends to run for re-election in order to ensure all laws and programs necessary for public safety are up and running. I will let you know of upcoming Kaneshiro events and fundraisers. Again, mahalo for all your support. I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013!
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro speaking at the inauguration ceremony for him and all deputy prosecuting attorneys at Ali’i Place, Suite 150, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 from 11:45 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Keith spoke about creating an environment protection unit, opening the Family Justice Center, and continuing to protect the people and animals from violence, among other things.
2012: I supported 3 people who were appointed and confirmed judges; and 2 people who were appointed to be judges but subject to Senate confirmation
One of my goals since I became involved in Hawaii politics in 1996 was to support positive people into leadership positions. The Judiciary Branch is an area in government that needs improvement. Talk to any attorney who litigates in the courts, especially prosecuting attorneys, and they will tell you horror stories of judges with anger problems, temperament, and impatience, which is a bad example for everyone in the court: attorneys, clerks, bailiffs, witnesses, and defendants. Ironically, we as prosecuting attorneys are trying to teach people not to threaten people, make tantrums in public, and other types of negative conduct, yet some of our judges reinforce the belief that it is okay to “lose it” if you have a valid reason. A number of Defendants believe they had a valid reason to threaten or assault another and when they see a judge acting disorderly it doesn’t help our goal of trying to teach Defendants that there’s no excuse for abuse. Personally, I believe the terms of judges should be shortened to ensure better accountability because the 6-year terms for district court judges and 10-year terms for higher court judges makes it too easy for judges to vest in their benefits (10 years for a judge to vest in their benefits). Further, attorneys and others who work with judges must be active in the judicial appointment process. A number of positive attorneys don’t participate because they fear that the judges may find out, which would result in repurcussions.
I will do my best to continue working with Governor Neil Abercrombie who I have worked with since he was a Congressman, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald who I worked with since he was Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the Judicial Selection Commission in which I have worked with 5 of the 9 commissioners in my career, as well as attorneys and other citizens to ensure we have knowledgeable and positive judges.
In 2012, I supported 3 people who became judges (2 District Court Judges and 1 Circuit Court Judge) with Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro through testimony in the Hawaii State Senate. On my own, I supported a person who was appointed by the Chief Justice to be a Family Court Judge and a District Court Judge who was appointed by the Governor to be Circuit Court Judge – both are subject to confirmation by the State Senate.
I believe and hope the following judges will be role models for all involved in the courts, as well as future judges and leaders for Hawaii and our nation.
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
On December 30, 2012, I helped pound mochi and make Kadomatsu at the Pearl City Urban Garden from 8:30 A.M. to 2 P.M. That afternoon, I fastened bamboo and pine on both sides of my door for my home in Waikele. I also placed a good look mochi I helped to make at the Pearl City Urban Garden in my living room.
On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2012, I placed another good luck mochi I bought from Don Quijote in my living room. I also cooked Cioppino for my family dinner on my mom’s side that was held at the Matsumoto family home in Pearl City. The Cioppino was my 32nd new recipe I cooked in 2012. From the lanai, we watched fireworks popping high in the sky throughout Pearl City and out to the Ewa plains. It looked beautiful though not as much as before the change in the law. Before, we used to pop all kinds of fireworks. After midnight, my dad cooked everyone ozoni, which is a Japanese mochi soup for good luck that must be the first thing one eats on the 1st day of the year.
On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2013, my mom, dad, younger sister Lara, and I went to Honolulu Jodo Shu Buddhist Temple to get omomori & pray to my grandparents Maurice and Bessie Karamatsu. Then we went to Izuma Taisha Shinto Shrine in Downtown to pray, get blessed, buy omomori, drink good luck sake, and eat good luck candy. After, we ate lunch at Empress Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Center. Next, I showed my family my office where I fastened bamboo and pine on both sides of my office door. Inside of my office I set a omomori on my shelf. Also on my shelf, I had a good luck mochi I got from my friend Tricia Nakamatsu, which I placed there the day after Christmas. When I got back home, I placed the Izuma Taisha omomori by the entrances of my home. I put the Jodo Shu omomori on the wall in the middle of my living room. I fastened two more Izuma Taisha omomori to my briefcase. Izuma Taisha also gave some good luck rice that we need to cook with the rest of the rice. I am doing some stuff for my home and then will head to my parents’ house to eat sashimi for dinner. Maybe we will be able to Skype with my younger sister Mia and baby Elyse. Later in the evening, I plan to work on my 3rd draft of my writing project.
Happy New Year My Dear Friends! I wish you good health, prosperity, and happiness!
I created my 2013 Resolutions that includes 55 goals as of now.
2012 was an exciting and challenging year. The highlight of the year was welcoming my niece Elyse Aiko Lee into the world. Elyse was born on August 11, 2012 to my sister Mia and her husband Mike, in San Francisco, California. I visited them in San Mateo, California for two weeks in August of 2012.
I ended my Intrenet retail business so that I could focus more on my legislative work, trial work, and my writing project.
I achieved 65% of my 40 resolutions I set out to accomplish in 2012. Some of my accomplishments are as follows: visited my sister Mia and her family in San Mateo, CA; helped Keith M. Kaneshiro get re-elected to Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney; finished the 1st and 2nd draft of my writing project (2nd draft has 77,446 words); exercised 100 times; got the Hawaii State Legislature to appropriate $1,811,133 for the Department of Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, which would add to our $17.8 million budget; got 6 Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney bills signed into law; updated my case law library; attended 24 networking events; cooked 32 new recipes; read 7 fiction books and 2 nonfiction books; remained undefeated in trials for violent crimes where the defendant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused injury or threatened injury to the victim; achieved my best time for the Honolulu Marathon with a 4:41:37; and wrote 59 quotes or haiku poems. As a reward for myself, I plan to buy myself a new office chair.
Happy New Year! Have a great 2013!