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Friday, October 3, 2014
October 3, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:08 PM :: 3642 Views

Ige's Bungling Leaves Charter School Students Sitting on Buckets

Entrepreneurship? Hawaii has 2nd Worst Congressional Delegation

Rich States, Poor States: Hawaii Ranks 36th

UPW Collects Forced Dues from 1,122 Non-Members

Hawaii will go bust by 2016, Senate minority leader says

Hawaii House leader fined a record $50,000 for ethics violations

Tribe? 50 Years of Mismanagement and Corruption

Hawaii officials on alert after Ebola scare

NRA President to Speak in Hawaii

Another Delay: CNHA to Takeover Hawaiian Roll, Tribe?

AP: "They thought it was too soon and too impractical," said Derek Kauanoe, governance manager at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. "I think they're more interested in the quality of the nation building process" than the speed, he said....

The most recent plan was to hold the elections in January, but that was a delay from the original timeframe between May and September.

Any formal delay would have to be approved by the board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, or OHA.

The consortium is made up of Native Hawaiian community groups that meet weekly. They are drafting a new timeline that they hope to present to the OHA board Oct. 16.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is involved with the consortium but isn't steering the group, said OHA CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe. That's an important distinction to critics who don't want the state government to be involved in the nation building process. 

"OHA is not a decision maker," Crabbe said. "We are purely facilitators."  ('Act 195'?  Hello?)

The consortium also is working out whether it will have the authority to enter into contracts with election vendors or other third parties. Instead of having OHA handle the money, the group is considering fiscal sponsors and may approach the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Hawaii Maoli or the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, according to an OHA memo.

The group also is determining how to handle liability issues that may arise during the constitutional convention they eventually plan to hold.

Background: Tribe? Hawaii’s ‘Other’ State Elections Include Prisoners and Lots of Dead People

PDF: OHA Trustees Agenda Oct 2, 2014

read ... CNHA Illegal Takeover of Illegal Process

Aiona: Kanaiolowalu 'Does not Represent the Majority'

MN: ...When asked whether or not he supports federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, Aiona, the only Native Hawaiian candidate, said the state's Kana'iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll Commission "does not represent . . . the majority of the people in our community."

All three candidates said the state should determine what the Native Hawaiian community wants.

Hannemann and Ige said the process should involve not only Native Hawaiians, but all people of Hawaii.

read ... Nobody Supports the Akaka Tribe

HMSA Medicare Advantage Premiums to Double

$70 to $126: New premium range on Oahu

$152 to $195: New premium range on neighbor Islands

$0 to $91: Current premium range

read ... Thanks, Obama

Criminal Charges for Cachola?

Borreca: Once again the Honolulu City Council is the proving ground for lousy ethics.

Today's culprit is state Rep. Romy Cachola, 76, who had served 16 years in the state House, 10 years on the Honolulu City Council and was re-elected to the House from Kalihi-Kai in 2010.

Cachola just set the city record for Honolulu Ethics Commission fines, getting slapped with a $50,000 fine.

Cachola's negotiated agreement allows him to accept the commission's ruling and pay the fine without having to admit that he committed the violations.

Any criminal charges would have to come from the prosecutor, who usually waits for the commission to finish before investigating.

In agreeing to the censure, Cachola stands on the shoulders of former Council members Rene Mansho, Rod Tam and Nestor Garcia, who all also were caught and fined by the city Ethics Commission.

Ethics must be something of a puzzlement for Cachola because earlier this year the state Campaign Spending Commission fined the long-time Kalihi Democrat $2,496 and ordered him to repay his campaign more than $32,000.

All of this didn't just come out of the blue. Cachola's ethics weren't just having a bad couple of months; he had been warned for years to clean up his act.

read ... Cachola

Reporter snagged in ongoing city ethics probe

ILind: Back in January, I noted Nestor Garcia’s return to news with KHON (“Media tidbits, and the revolving door from news to politics and back“).

At that time, I wondered whether this revolving door between news and politics was a good idea.

This is an move that should be raising eyebrows. In 20 years of elective politics, along with the extended fundraising needed to support that long career, Garcia is sure to have accumulated plenty of friends and foes, and lots of obligations that go deep. While I have no doubt he believes he can get back into a reporter’s mindset, this seems like a bad idea. I would be more comfortable if he appears as a commentator or analyst and not a regular reporter. As a commentator, his specific experience and commitments can be taken into account and his opinions put in context appropriately. As a reporter, not so much.

The issue jumped to the fore this week after State Representative and former Honolulu City Council member, Romy Cachola, agreed to pay a record fine to settle charges he had accepted gifts from lobbyists in violation of the city’s ethics laws, and then failed to disclose the potential convicts as required by the City Charter....

...when KHON reported the story, it presented a plain vanilla version of the story that did not include the former council members named by Cachola, including Garcia....

By not naming names, KHON may have temporarily avoided an obviously awkward moment, but the problem is ongoing for the station. With its own reporter snagged in this ongoing ethics probe, it looks like KHON is going to have a hard time reporting the story.

And other media seem to be avoiding identifying Garcia as a reporter. So I guess it’s awkward all around, not only over at KHON....

read ... Reporter Ethics

Veteran council members Claim They didn't know they couldn't accept lobbyists' meals

HNN: The two longest-serving members of the Honolulu City Council, who are now caught up in an ethics investigation, claim they had no idea they were not allowed to accept free meals from lobbyists and they're asking for clarification of the rules.

The city Ethics Commission is investigating if it was illegal for four former council members as well as current members Ann Kobayashi and Ikaika Anderson to accept pricey meals from lobbyists with business before the council.

"And I didn't know that this was in the Charter since 1980's or whatever," said Kobayashi, who has been a council member for 11 years.

Kobayashi said she didn't know accepting meals from lobbyists was illegal until Hawaii News Now showed her the part of the City Charter that said no city employee shall accept any gift if it can "…be reasonably inferred that the gift is intended to influence the officer or employee in the performance of such person's official duties."

Background: Six Council Members Bought Off by Lobbyists, Key Rail Votes may be Nullified

read ... Veteran council members: We didn't know we couldn't accept lobbyists' meals

Arakawa: GMO initiative would be ‘impractical’

MN: Mayor Alan Arakawa maintained that even if the citizens initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on all genetically modified organisms in Maui County were to pass in the Nov. 4 general election, the measure would be "almost impossible and impractical to be able to administer."

KE: Musings: Farming and Political Will

CB: Morons Hype Turtle Tumor 'Study' now

read ... And Demented

260 Rail Accidents: Kiewit Unsafe

CB: ...These are just a few of some 260 accidents that have occurred during construction of Honolulu’s $5.2 billion rail project since work began in 2007.

...the documents show a growing concern among HART officials about Kiewit Infrastructure West’s excavation procedures. Kiewit won the contracts to build the first two legs of the rail line running from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.

Accidents related to excavation and falls are two of the leading causes of death and injury in the construction industry and Kiewit repeatedly failed to abide by safety procedures, according to HART correspondence sent to the company earlier this year. During the first three and a half months of the year, safety officials observed 109 potentially unsafe practices along Kiewit’s construction area — 22 percent of which were related to excavation activities.

read ... 260 accidents

UH Uses New Computer System to Squeeze Students for Money

KL: Students receiving financial aid up to their cost of attendance now have to pay back their stipends to the campus financial aid office....

In fall 2013, the office began to receive monthly reports through the university’s Kuali Financial System that listed students receiving stipends and began adjusting students’ aid at that time.

Approximately 12,000 students receive financial aid at Mānoa, according to Kuba, and roughly 10 percent of them receive stipends.

According to Jill Shigano, a staff member for Student Life Business Services, approximately 265 students receive over $480,000 in stipends a year from the fiscal office.

read ... About the use of Technology

Abercrombie Lets Homeless Invade Airport

KHON: As the City and County of Honolulu has begun enforcing a new law banning homeless from sitting or lying on sidewalks in Waikiki, more homeless are spending their nights at the Honolulu International Airport. State transportation officials say there's nothing they can do about it because there are no law against sleeping at the airport.

While the interisland terminals close every night, the other terminals remain open. Airport employees tell Hawaii News Now, a wave of homeless people begin arriving by bus around 10 p.m. and anywhere from 20 to 100 people spend the night there regularly.

One airline employee captured video on her cell phone of a recent evening in which you can see several people are asleep on benches -- some even charging their devices at outlets -- and clearly settling in for the night. The flight attendant, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she and others who work late night shifts are growing worried about their safety and are frustrated with the state's inability to take action. In her email to Hawaii News Now, she writes: "I just can't comprehend how security is first to chase people away in the cars when dropping off or picking up passengers when it takes all but a few minutes, yet the homeless is allowed to stay on the premises for 8+ hours?"

SA: City moves to close homeless loophole at DeRussy

KITV: DLNR may forfeit control of Ft. DeRussy Beach to bar overnight sleepers

read ... State DOT cannot ask homeless to leave HNL

State plan addressing Hawaii cesspools receive pushback

KITV: Some think the state should go after the residents that pose the most environmental hazard first, another group doesn't believe the rules go far enough or fast enough and others think the state should prioritize the hazard.

"It may not be fair to put it on all homeowners because some may be able to better afford it, especially in these coastal areas and the DOH should be able to help these homeowners with low interest loans to upgrade their systems," said Lauren Roth Venu of Roth Ecological Design.

"Let's look at those places where we are concerned about the integrity of those cesspools and figure out how we are going to get those people off it and to get on either septic or waste water systems," said Mary Bergier of the Hawaii Association of Realtors.

Residents from Maui and the Big Island complained that public hearings are not being held on their islands.

KGI: Since there are “very few sewers on Kauai,” most people would have to upgrade their cesspools to septic systems. Doing so, however, could take years, since there are thousands of cesspools on Kauai.

read ... Cesspool

Experts say new domestic violence law needs clarification

KHON: Since June 20, anyone arrested for domestic abuse faces a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor if the abuse happened in the presence of a child 14 years old and under.

KHON2 asked prosecutors, a defense attorney, a lawmaker, as well as the Domestic Violence Action Center, and they tell us that the law needs more clarification and more time to work itself out.

Since the new law took effect, the Honolulu Police Department says 91 people have been arrested for domestic abuse in the presence of a child 14 and under. But how many have been charged with a felony is not clear.

read ... Clarification

Ex-Kauai police commission member to be sentenced

HNN: He pleaded guilty in June to participating in an illegal gambling business and filing a false tax return. He says he collected bets and paid winnings out of his Kauai home. He says he received wagers via text message and then placed bets on Internet gambling sites.

He resigned from the Kauai Police Commission in February in the midst of the federal investigation.

Chiba forfeits $29,000 in gambling proceeds.

He faces up to five years in prison for the gambling count and up to three years for the false tax return.

read ... Nothing to see here...

Soft on Crime: 25 Convictions Gets only 5 years for 6 cases

KGI: County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Winn said Rapozo was being sentence for a C felony methamphetamine charge in one case. It was part of a plea agreement that resolves six cases including a B felony that will be dismissed with the plea deal.

Rapozo’s criminal record includes 25 prior convictions that include seven felonies. He has already been sentenced to a five-year term only to lose his parole and serve out the remaining year after an early release...

State Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Sato asked the court to sentence Rapozo to probation with six months in jail. The criminal record cannot be denied, she added, but he is growing tired of criminal activity (Translation: He's 54) that was related to his addiction and is spending more time working and being closer to his family.

“He is a good guy who has made some really bad decisions,” Sato said. LOL!

read ... Back out real soon

Campaign News:

PBN: Social issues must be new governor’s top priority

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