Congressional Delegation Blocks Obamacare Exemption to Avoid “Awkward Political Narrative”
Grassroot Institute Applauds Trustees' Call to Halt Nation-Building
Transparency and Influence: A Report from the Secret Dialogue on Hawaii Lobbying
Democrats Bend Their Own Rules to Get Gays, Enviros on Ballot
SA: Oahu Democrats on Sunday declared a University of Hawaii-West Oahu instructor eligible to challenge state Rep. Sharon Har, whose opposition to marriage equality has upset many of the party's gay-rights and progressive activists.
Nicole Ferguson, who teaches environmental biology, sought the declaration because she would not have been a party member in good standing for six months prior to the June filing deadline for elective office. Potential candidates who do not meet the party's six-month standard can apply for eligibility, a process where Democrats interview the candidates to determine whether they are likely to support the party's platform and goals.
Ferguson moved into Har's Kapolei state House district within the past year and is still registered to vote in a Pauoa area House district.
On Sunday, Oahu Democrats also declared Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, eligible to run as a Democrat for the House seat being vacated by former Rep. Jessica Wooley (D, Kahaluu-Ahuimanu-Kaneohe), the new director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. Harris joined the party in December but did not want any potential confusion about his eligibility.
Oahu Democrats rejected the eligibility of Norman Brown, who said he was a Democrat who wanted to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Clayton Hee (D, Heeia-Laie-Waialua), who is running for lieutenant governor. Former state Rep. Gil Riviere is campaigning as a Democrat for the seat. (Brown is not part of the pseudo-intellectual elite of superior beings. He must make way for his betters.)
(Make way for the gay-atheist eco-elite. They are enlightened, conscious and progressive.)
read ... Rules are for little people
Star-Adv: Cachola a sign of corruption that must be rooted out
SA: Campaign war chests are not intended to personally enrich a candidate, or to finance their everyday expenses. When candidates misuse their supporters' contributions, they confirm voters' worst suspicions about the political process in general and fuel a distrust that serves to undermine participatory democracy.
Campaign-spending violations, therefore, are a big deal, a sign of corruption that must be rooted out. Veteran Democrat Romy Cachola may claim that infractions discovered by the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission were unintentional on his part, but that defense is hard to fathom, given his long experience on the Honolulu City Council and in the state House. Cachola should be well versed in the rules regarding the proper reporting and expenditure of campaign contributions. Friends of Romy Cachola, the campaign fund, is intended to keep the man in office, not pay for his day-to-day life.
Cachola should repay out of his own personal funds all the campaign money he is accused of misusing, an amount that totaled nearly $70,000 when fines were included. Moreover, he should be prepared to answer additional accusations, given that the city Ethics Commission is reported to also be investigating his conduct.
read ... Cachola should have known better
Waikiki Homelessness: Savio, Sofos Demand Caldwell Take Action
SA: ...there is a growing concern among Hawaii's real estate and tourism communities that the problem is gnawing away at the health of the market as the area is inundated with chronically homeless campers, aggressive panhandlers, and people using sidewalks and parks as toilets.
"I'm very concerned about homeless in Waikiki and everywhere else," said local developer Peter Savio, who owns the White Sands Hotel and the Ewa Hotel in Waikiki. "It's like a fast-growing cancer: If you don't treat it immediately, it will kill. The pendulum is ready to fall."
Savio and others in the community — including the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, the Waikiki Improvement Association, the Hawaii Hotel and Lodging Association, the Oahu Visitors Bureau and most recently the Hawaii Hotel & Visitor Industry Security Association — have joined forces with residents to demand that city and state leaders sweep the streets and parks and enforce existing laws while considering the creation of new rules like the one in San Francisco that bans sitting or lying on sidewalks during certain hours. The problem has even inspired the neighborhood board to push for creation of a special law enforcement district to clean up their home.
"We're just fed up with how this homeless issue has degraded our neighborhood. It's causing parts of our economy to fracture," said real estate analyst Stephany Sofos, who last week snapped a picture of a pile of human feces left on a Kalakaua Avenue sidewalk and emailed it to Mayor Kirk Caldwell....
...some Waikiki hotel owners already have made it clear that they won't upgrade their properties or make further investment in the community unless city and state leaders clear the district of homelessness, said Bulla Eastman, corporate director of safety and security for Aqua Hospitality, which together with its affiliate Aston Hotels & Resorts has 50 properties in Hawaii, including 26 in Waikiki....
read ... Human Feces
Herding Cats and Democrats
CB: At its state convention Saturday in Kaneohe, members of the Hawaii Republican Party marveled at what they see as major divisions and disarray in the Democratic Party of Hawaii....
come Aug. 10, the day after the primary election when Democrats gather for their traditional "unity breakfast," the losing candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, the U.S. Senate, the 1st Congressional District and a few state House and Senate races may find it hard to keep a smile on their face.
Some will likely also be saying goodbye to electoral politics.
This is the Democratic Party's first state convention since the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. His passing has left a void that has led to some of the battles going on inside the party now, including the race to fill out the last two years of his term.
read ... Herding Cats and Democrats
Hawaii Legislature Blocks Funding for Family-Interaction Preschools
CB: ...money committee chairs decided last-minute to prohibit the state from using any of the $3 million allocation for that final option, an increasingly popular preschool alternative known in education circles as family-child interaction learning.
The proviso, which didn’t appear until the final version of the supplemental budget bill, is causing consternation among members of the early-education community, who say they’re surprised and disappointed....
Tokuda said she doesn't know why the money committee chairs, Sen. David Ige and Rep. Sylvia Luke, decided to block funding for the interaction preschools and that she had no say in the proviso. In fact, she said she had no idea that the rule had been included in the budget legislation until after it was too late to do any jockeying....
Family-child interaction preschools are unique in that parents or other family members go to class with their children. They tend to thrive in rural, poor communities because they provide early-learning opportunities in areas without preschools and are generally completely free; the only cost to parents is the time commitment. They serve thousands of children statewide, according to advocates.
Programs such as Partners in Development’s Ka Paalana initiative, in fact, cater to homeless families, setting up ad hoc preschool centers in beach parks and near shelters. Ka Paalana is the only homeless-serving preschool in the country that’s accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's premier preschool vetting agency.
Tokuda and the early learning office have long advocated for the programs, pointing to their cost effectiveness and their benefit to both the child and parent, including those who have gone through the justice system or are victims of abuse. Family-child interaction learning programs, Tokuda said, produce a higher return on investment than traditional preschool centers because of how inexpensive they are to run.
read ... Funding for Family-Interaction Preschools
HHSC Kalaheo Clinic closing
KGI: ...Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, will close the Kalaheo Clinic’s doors and consolidate services provided there with another clinic about four miles away in Port Allen.
And that’s troubling to Heathcote, who lives about two miles away from the Kalaheo Clinic.
“It is going to be quite a crunch for people in this vicinity,” Heathcote said. “A lot of their patients are older people and they’ve been going to that clinic for years. I’m really concerned that their quality of life and their health care is going to suffer.”
HHSC officials say the move, which is now underway, is the first step in a difficult process to reassess the struggling health care system’s finances after a shaky legislative session....
read ... Kalaheo Clinic closing
Concierge Medicine Lags in Hawaii
NR: Concierge Medicine Today also reports that the states which appear to be the leanest from a Concierge Physician population perspective are in areas including: Hawaii; Idaho; Iowa; Mississippi; Maine; New Hampshire and South Dakota. Furthermore, Concierge Medicine Today found the number of patients who are seeking concierge medical care in the past 24-months is far greater than the actual number of primary care and family practice Concierge Physicians available to serve them. Concierge medical services in rural areas like Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana and Mississippi are in shortly supply. Oftentimes, there are less than half-a-dozen practitioners to serve an entire state.
read ... Lagging
Honolulu Prosecutor Agrees More Transparency Better In Police Shootings
CB: “Why open fire?”
More than a year later, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro has attempted to answer that question, explaining for the first time last week why he believed the shooting was justified.
But the case still raises questions about the lack of transparency regarding what happens after officer-involved shootings in Hawaii, as well as other police incidents that result in a suspect’s death.
read ... Transparency