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Monday, February 9, 2015
February 9, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:16 PM :: 4120 Views

SEC Filing: Defective Turbines and Batteries, Secret Golden Parachutes at Hawaii Windfarms

Forbes: Five Ways the US Government Keeps Native Americans in Poverty

Documents Show Comcast Ghostwrote Abercrombie's Pro-TWC Merger Letters

Solar Contractor Admits Defrauding Hawaii Consumers

Crime Pays: Legislators Propose $50K per year Cash to ex-Convicts

CB: On the House side, the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Karl Rhoads, passed House Bill 148 on Friday after amending it. The changes bring it more in line with legislation Rhoads introduced, House Bill 1046, which would give people wrongfully convicted at least $50,000 for each year of imprisonment along with other compensation.

(HB148 How They Voted: 11 Ayes: Representative(s) Rhoads, San Buenaventura, Belatti, Brower, Creagan, Hashem, Kawakami, Morikawa, Thielen; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Takayama, McDermott; Noes: none; and 3 Excused: Representative(s) C. Lee, Nakashima, Woodson.)

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 145 is set to be heard Monday morning before the Judiciary and Labor Committee, chaired by Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran.

“Financial compensation, free tuition or job training, and other compensatory benefits can help the wrongfully convicted person make a smoother re-entry into society and increase their future self-sufficiency,” Hench said....  (And provide a basis for the defense bar to sue and sue and sue by transferring the case from criminal to civil....)

The Hawaii Paroling Authority wrote in its testimony against HB 148 that the measure fails to consider the fact that a pardon does not erase the crime, criminal history of the falsely convicted offender or loss suffered by the victims.

“Implementation of this measure as it relates to providing compensation for offenders granted a pardon would be very costly for the state and may have a chilling effect on the pardon process,” HPA Chair Bert Matsuoka wrote in his testimony on the bill....

if the state decides to give an exonerated person free EUTF health care coverage for the rest of their lives it would cost an estimated $487,000 to do so per person if the starting age was 45 and ending age was 75.

("Pardoned" does not equal "wrongfully convicted".  Not even close.  This is just welfare for the defense bar--allowing them to re-try criminal cases in civil courts years later and line their pockets by making criminals rich.)

SA: Heists called prison pleas

read ... Crime Pays!

Section 8: Rhoads Seeks Grounds for More Lawsuits

SA: Rhoads introduced a bill to outlaw discrimination based on lawful income, aiming to stop landlords from turning down tenants who are part of the Section 8 voucher program.

The House Committee on Housing advanced the bill Feb. 2....

The Hawaii Association of Realtors opposed the measure, saying it could interfere with a landlord's ability to find financially qualified tenants. By prohibiting discrimination based on the source of income, landlords could be exposed to potential liability for engaging in normal business practices, the group said in written testimony.

The extra inspections and applications would be hard for smaller "mom-and-pop" landlords to afford, and applications can take two months to approve, said Stathie Prattas, chairman of the government affairs committee for the Realtors.

"That means the landlord is going to be out of income for that rent," Prattas said.

the list for Section 8 vouchers alone is fewer than 1,000 families....Once a family is approved for a Section 8 voucher, it often takes four to five months to find housing, Ouan­­safi said. There are currently about 140 approved people who are searching for housing, he said.

read ... More Lawsuits

HB1501 Blocks HECO from Poaching PUC Staff

IM: House Bill 1501 -- The gut of the bill is to impose, with reasonable conditions, an end to utility theft.

“No former commissioner or employee of the public utilities commission pursuant to sections 269-2 and 269-3, within twenty-four months after termination of the commissioner's or employee's employment shall represent or be employed for a fee or other consideration by a public utility.”

“’Represent’ means to engage in direct communication on behalf of any public utility with a legislator, legislative employee, state agency or subdivision thereof, or their employees, or any other public utility."

HB 1501 was authored by Representative Chris Lee. It is being heard by the Committee on Labor and Public Employment tomorrow, February 10, 2015, at 9 a.m. in the State Capitol, Room 309.

Those wishing to offer comments for or against the bill can click here. Those who have not used this electronic testimony system before will first be required to open an account.

read ... Should HECO be permitted to steal?

ILWU Delays Unloading of Two Matson Ships

HNN: Two Matson ships arrived from the West Coast this weekend - one from Oakland and one from Long Beach - but unloading them was affected by the ILWU decision to exercise its contractual right to treat Sunday as an "optional" day. The gates were open, however, to receive cargo for shipment to neighbor islands or eastbound to the West Coast. As a practical matter the Sunday move by the union means a one-day delay.

Horizon Lines has a ship due from Oakland on Tuesday and one from Los Angeles due on Wednesday.

The management decision not to ask for any crane operators at West Coast terminals did not include Jones Act shippers such as the three shipping lines to Hawaii. Terminals were given the option remain open for other dock work; one did in Oakland and roughly half of the dozen terminals at Los Angeles-Long Beach, according to the Journal of Commerce....

Ige said: "We do intend to seek an exemption to exempt Hawaii so we can continue to get the food and goods that we need."

read ... ILWU Delay

Who Tried to Buy 2014 Ballot Measures?

CB: The Center for Public Integrity has compiled a list of the top donors to the groups “pushing and fighting” statewide ballot measures in 2014, and Hawaii was one of those states.

The National Education Association, a labor union based in Washington, D.C., representing public school employees, spent $510,000 to defeat constitutional ballot question No. 4, which called for allowing public funds to be used for private pre-school.

The NEA was successful, as the measure failed by a large margin....

Hawaii’s teachers union and David Ige, the winner of the gubernatorial election, also opposed question No. 4.

LINK: CPI List

read ... Who Tried to Buy 2014 Ballot Measures?

Inspection Reports for Some Hawaii Care Homes to Be Posted Online

CB:  Starting Monday, inspection reports for developmentally disabled adult foster homes will be made available online for the first time.

The move comes in response to a law passed in 2013 that required the department to post the inspection reports of several types of adult care home facilities on its website starting with inspections completed after Jan. 1, 2015.

The developmentally disabled adult foster homes are one of seven types of state-licensed care facilities that fall under the new requirement, and the only one that’s come close to meeting the mandate....

The department is asking the Legislature to pass HB 945 this session that would push the deadline back six months and change how quickly the reports have to be posted online once completed. The law currently requires posting within five days, but the department wants it to be 30 days to give the care homes a chance to provide plans of corrective action to be included with the reports....

The reports for the developmentally disabled adult foster homes will be posted at http://www.health.hawaii.gov/ddd/ocb

read ... Inspection Reports

School Community Councils Allow a Voice in Hawaii Education

CB: Want to make a difference in school policy? Vote on key initiatives and proposals by the school principal? Divulge into worksheets of data representing student achievement? My recommendation: join the School Community Council (SCC)....

Created by the Hawaii State Legislature in 2004 under Act 51, the SCC serves as a backbone to foster empowerment at the school level, increase involvement among different stakeholders in every school, and ensure accountability of student achievement.

Members of the SCC consist of various stakeholders including principals, teachers, school staff, parents, students, and community members. Everyone has an equally important voice in representing their stakeholder group. This is reflected as every stakeholder group have the same number of members in the SCC....

It is never too late to join the process to make your voices heard. I recommend that anyone interested in becoming members of their School Community Council to sit in their meetings as they are all open to the public....

read ... Join Your SCC

Maintenance Funds for Public Housing Fall Short (again)

CB:  Gov. David Ige cut funding to repair aging public housing to $5 million despite a 10-year backlog exceeding $820 million....

A state Senate committee on housing has already approved a bill that would set aside $20 million to redevelop Mayor Wright and another that would appropriate $6 million to repair Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes.

Another proposal seeks $10 million to redevelop the HPHA office on North School Street and add public housing, affordable rental housing and commercial space....

read ... Public Housing

HB444 Would Fund Waikiki Beach Replenishment

SA: House Bill 444, which got the thumbs up from the House Water and Land Committee on Friday, calls for a host of beach conservation measures, the most significant of which allocates up to $3 million annually from the Transient Accommodations Tax to go directly into the Board of Land and Natural Resources' beach restoration and conservation fund. How the money is to be used would be determined mutually by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which submitted testimony in support of the bill.

The measure would allow the fund to receive $3 million annually, but with a maximum capped fund balance of $5 million....

The Honolulu City Council is weighing legislation that would create an (tax hike) improvement district for Wai­kiki where property owners in the state's most re­nowned and popular visitor destination would have to pay into a fund that would pay for maintaining and restoring iconic Wai­kiki Beach. That plan, which is endorsed by the Wai­kiki Improvement Association, is projected to generate up to $600,000.

read ... HB444

Animal bills proposed

WHT: Senate Bill 590: Makes attending and/or participating in cockfighting a felony.

House Bill 793/Senate Bill 773: Bans the slaughter of dogs for human consumption.

House Bill 702/Senate Bill 1301: Requires dog owners to notify officials upon transfer of ownership of animals and makes dog abandonment a criminal act.

Senate Bill 1339: Protects sharks and manta rays in state waters.

House Bill 873/Senate Bill 1332: Prohibits the commercial collection of aquarium fish in state waters.

House Bill 883/Senate Bill 1340: Provides for the humane treatment of aquarium fish collected for commercial purposes.

House Bill 837/Senate Bill 674: Bans the commercial sale of ivory and rhino horns.

read ... Bills

Kauai: 'Caucasian Cranks' Propose Ban on Imu Smoking

KE: ...how sad it is that Kauai's community radio station, KKCR, has degenerated to the point where I heard a local reference it the other day as "Kauai Caucasian Crank Radio."

And then there was this email from a faithful reader:  "In the past month, I don't think I have ever in my life felt the disgust toward our county officials and what our island has become. Just trying to get to the beach to go fishing nowadays is so hard to do. I can only imagine how my grandfather feels trying to go fishing. Seeing the immense changes and total loss of local culture to the rich and "entitled” disturbs daily. Then to think, I'll never ever be able to afford a mortgage in today's market. In a sick way, I hope for a hurricane every year in the hopes that it'll chase a good lot of these "kama-ee-na" folk back to where they came from. Have you noticed the influx in out of state plates on Kauai recently??"  ...

Yes, friends in the construction industry say business is picking up as the recently arrived wealthy tear down perfectly good houses to replace them with something far more grand and erect brand new places along the coast.

...on Wednesday's Council agenda is a public hearing on Councilman Gary Hooser's anti-fireplace/anti-burning bill, which would allow folks to hassle people when they make imu, smoke meat, hibachi, etc. It's titled “relating to declaring a public nuisance,” which is a pretty accurate description of Gary, too. It's actually kind of good this BS bill has gone to a public hearing. That way, Gary will get an earful from unhappy locals, which hopefully will show him just how out of touch he is with the community he purports to represent.

read ... Musings: Monday's Mullings

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