Maui Democrats Nominate Two Protesters and a Farmer for HD13 Vacancy
Hotels as Renters
Invisible Ige Holes up with the Big Cheeses as Cauldron Bubbles
Borreca: ...Ige's shortcoming is that there is more to being governor of Hawaii than being the adult in the room.
Communications is not a bonus skill, it is a necessity.
Last week, he held a 48-minute news conference in his state Capitol office, his first formal news conference since his inauguration in December.
As they say in the movies: "What we've got here is failure to communicate."
Ige sought to explain his leadership style when he was asked what he is doing, because he has been mostly invisible....
Ige also acknowledged that "I know that many would like me to be more vocal and push the envelope; I prefer to get ideas together and engage groups to talk about it and then get things working."
That would be good enough if the state's 1.4 million citizens were all kind of hanging out together and chilling and not expecting too much.
Of course, that is not the case. Hawaii is its own cauldron of mixed interests, all wanting attention and action....
For example, more community interest groups are starting to press for both information and definitive action regarding the pending $4 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Florida-based NextEra Energy....
If the administration was open, Ige would have a public list of his meetings, the public would know what was being done and everyone would know who went to the meetings.
Holing up with the big cheeses that can solve the state's hospital crisis is good, but opening the door to let the public see inside is what transparency is about.
read ... Despite Ige’s low profile, public needs to see process
Partnership: All of Nothing for Maui's Only Hospital
MN: Our hospital is in critical condition.
According to The Maui News (Jan. 10), our only major hospital in Maui County, Maui Memorial Medical Center, reported operating losses in excess of $43 million in fiscal year 2014, anticipates a $46 million operating loss this fiscal year and projects needing between $573 million and $843 million in subsidies over the next 10 years to continue operating at current levels. Simply put, losses of this magnitude are not sustainable.
I am not sure how we arrived at this critical point, but I do know that hospital management and state lawmakers have reached the proverbial crossroads. In one direction, there's remaining "status quo" with continued multimillion-dollar losses, likely cuts in services and staff layoffs. In the other, there is the opportunity for change and a brighter future. Which path the hospital wants to take, versus which path it is forced to take is now being debated at the state Legislature.
Before our state legislators are two enabling pieces of legislation, House Bill 1075 and Senate Bill 795, which would permit MMMC to explore a public-private partnership.
But, unfortunately for Maui: Hospital Reform? Randy Perreira Says "F*** You"
read ... Public-private partnership legislation critical to Maui Memorial’s future
Star-Adv: Give OHA your views on Kakaako
SA: After last year's tumultuous, unsuccessful attempts to upzone some of its Kakaako lands to allow residential condos, the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs has regrouped with a new strategy.
Improved and more inclusive, OHA's approach now includes a series of public sessions, to collect community feedback on how best to use and financially optimize its 30 acres of Kakaako waterfront.
The public must take this prime opportunity to engage in an important community dialogue; it might not come this way again.
Starting this week and into next month, OHA will host open meetings around the state to gather ideas; the first will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (see box).
This process is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when OHA — and key supportive legislators — tried to override a vital state law that restricts use of land makai of Ala Moana Boulevard.
In the public interest, the law requires development there to be low-level and free of private residences. That 2006 law restricting Kakaako Makai use was in response to a previous attempt by Alexander & Baldwin to develop three condo towers there.
In January 2014, state Sen. Brickwood Galuteria introduced Senate Bill 3122, which would have "authorized "residential development by OHA on specified parcels in Kakaako Makai" and exempt "development from public facilities dedication requirement."
Attempts also were made to allow OHA to double the current 200-foot height limit in Kakaako Makai.
But public pushback quickly grew, rightly so, to protect the hard-won public accessibility to the waterfront. It was, fortunately, successful.
Further fueling the alarm over ulterior motives and dubious process was SB 2992 SD1, which would have exempted meetings of OHA's board of trustees from the state Sunshine Law's open meetings rules.
Background: Tribal Agenda: Abercrombie led push to Exempt Akaka Tribe from State, Federal Laws
read ... Give OHA your views on Kakaako
HSTA Operative Demands Legislators back off Instructional Hours Law
SA: ...Five years ago, the Legislature mandated, some would say arbitrarily, a minimum of instructional hours that amounted to well over what had been the case in years past. The 2015-2016 school year was to be when all public schools were to be in compliance.
This was simply a knee-jerk reaction to the public vilifying of schools brought about by NCLB and RTTT. It was not based on credible research that justified a need for the Legislature to step in.
Act 167 and its ancillary bills amounted to a conceit, despite being well intentioned. In one fell swoop, the Legislature would do what the feds could not in proving the worth of their programs.
The deceit? More instructional time means more time worked means more money to pay for the time worked. Yet, no funding was provided for that. Go figure.
read ... A Long-winded Justification for HSTA Position
So-Called 'Consumer Advocate' proposes greater secrecy in NextEra merger
IM: ...On February 4, 2015 HECO, NextEra and the Consumer Advocate proposed many modifications to the standard agreement for the HECO-NextEra Merger docket.
If they had waited until the end of the intervention window and then the decision by the Commission on who is a party, who is a participant and who is neither (and hence not in the proceedings), then the applicants would have had to involve the parties and participants in developing the proposed protective order. They chose not to.
One of the most significant changes proposed is the phrase "information considered to be privileged or confidential" which is proposed to be changed to "information considered to be confidential or proprietary."
The concept of "privileged" is well understood. "Attorney-client privilege" means that neither the attorney nor the client has to testify about what was said in private conversations. There is the privilege against self-incrimination, marital privilege, medical record privilege, clergy-penitent privilege, etc.
Proprietary is a far broader and all-encompassing term. When used as a noun, proprietary means an "owner or proprietor." When used as an adjective, proprietary means "of or relating to an owner or ownership."...
IM: Four solar groups to enter HECO-NextEra Merger proceedings
read ... Consumer Advocate proposes greater secrecy in NextEra merger
Revolving Door: From Star Adv to Billy Kenoi and Back Again as Capitol Bureau Chief
ILind: The Star-Advertiser’s announcement that Kevin Dayton will return tomorrow as its bureau chief at the state capitol ... (“Award-winning journalist returns to Star-Advertiser“).
He’s been on the other side of the news for several years as an aide to Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kanoi...
Dayton was Capitol bureau chief at The Honolulu Advertiser from 1999 to 2002, leading a team of four reporters. He arrived at The Advertiser in 1989 and moved to Capitol bureau reporting in 1990....
And speaking of former and current newsies…Jill Kuramoto, who left KITV at the end of 2013 for a job at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, is on the move again, this time to become communications director for the Hawaii State Senate. Kuramoto’s appointment was announced Friday in an email from Majority Leader Kalani English. She is scheduled to begin work on February 23.
(Subtext: Kenoi is reputedly considering a primary challenge vs Brian Schatz in 2016.)
read ... Revolving Door
If We can't Run a Zoo, How can We Run Rail?
Shapiro: ...it's so painful to see the steady deterioration in recent times as I've taken my grandchildren for several zoo visits a year.
Many exhibits are empty or run down, and the water in some of the animal enclosures looks downright rank. Large areas are usually closed to the public for renovations that never seem to conclude.
The city's zoo management is in chaos, with steep budget cuts and four directors resigning in the last five years; the last two had no zoo experience and both returned to the mainland in less than a year.
The turmoil leaves zoo employees perpetually disgruntled, and zoo management is in constant conflict with the Honolulu Zoo Society, which collects money to support the facility but gives little of it back.
The Honolulu Zoo has flown a banner at the entrance proclaiming its national accreditation, but everybody in the know doubts the zoo would be re-accredited if a team from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums visited today — a reality the zoo will face in January.
The zoo won re-accreditation in 2011 only after being put on "deferral" status for a time for long delays in completing the new elephant enclosure.
Loss of accreditation could mean the zoo would have to return some premier animals that are here on loan from other zoos.
Ahead of the January inspection, the Caldwell administration is rushing to hire a new director....
It's a pattern that's at the root of the zoo's problems: The city pulls out the stops to win accreditation, then badly neglects the zoo until the next inspection draws near.
In the scheme of things, the Honolulu Zoo is one of the city's smallest agencies.
If the city can't run the zoo competently, how can we have confidence in its management of bigger functions that have billions of dollars at stake?
read ... It's a zoo
Matson: Only One Ship Coming This Week
KHON: ...Matson Navigation says that only one of its ships will make it to port next week. The Matson ship Mokihana is scheduled to arrive next Wednesday, but the Maunawili will not make its scheduled stop in Honolulu next Friday.
That ship suffered damage during a storm after it left Honolulu last weekend on its way back to the West Coast, and the company was not able to schedule another ship in time.
Meanwhile, a major freight forwarding company with operations in Honolulu and the West Coast is scrambling to deal with the cargo congestion on the West Coast. Dependable Hawaiian Express has made adjustments to its work schedule both here and at the four major ports on the West Coast–Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Portland and Seattle.
“We’re having to change our operations, change our times, obviously make adjustments to service our customers accordingly to make sure they don’t see any delays on our part,” said Kane McEwen, vice president of operations in Honolulu. “Our West Coast operations, we’re five days a week and right here, we’re seven days a week on Oahu.”
There are delays on the West Coast because management for the shipping carriers claim that the ILWU dock workers are slow to offload cargo from Asia that first makes its way by ship to the mainland. That triggers congestion at West Coast ports.
Another freight forwarding company confirmed that the delays largely centers on goods from Asia, delays that sometimes last for weeks.
“All commodities. This is everything from garments, general department store merchandise, consumer electronics, appliances, finished goods of any sort,” said Todd Hembry, regional manager for Mid-America Overseas, based at the Foreign Trade Zone in Honolulu....
Thanks, Obama: Obamacare Punches $150M Hole in ILWU Contract
read ... Cargo handlers scramble to get goods to Hawaii
Dairy is safe for the environment, and we will prove it
KGI: ...As a first step toward increasing local food production, Hawaii Dairy Farms plans to create the state’s first zero discharge, grass-fed dairy in Mahaulepu. Using best practices gathered from around the world, this single dairy will more than double local milk production and provide a viable opportunity to increase our ability to be more self-sufficient.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of inaccurate information about Hawaii Dairy Farms’ plans. This misinformation has spurred concerns from some in the community about the impact of the dairy.
Hawaii Dairy Farms takes community concerns very seriously. That is why we have volunteered to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement, which is among the most thorough examinations available to ensure the dairy is protective of the environment. We are delaying construction on the dairy facilities until the EIS is complete, despite the fact that we have all of the permits and regulatory approvals required to begin construction.
As part of the EIS process, Hawaii Dairy Farms will be hosting a community briefing and open house at Koloa Elementary School cafeteria on Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide comments on issues they believe should be addressed in the study, resulting in a more comprehensive EIS....
Hawaii will never be self-sufficient if we allow uninformed individuals to dictate our future. Hawaii Dairy Farms will help diversify Kauai’s vibrant local economy by producing fresh, local milk that Hawaii’s families can afford — and we will prove that it is safe for the environment by voluntarily conducting a thorough EIS.
We encourage you to be part of the EIS process so that we can continue to have open conversations based on facts, not fears.
read ... About What it takes to start a farm in Hawaii
Tulsi Gabbard to Marry Another Cult Member
SA: Gabbard said she guessed Abraham Williams, 26, was going to propose at some point, but didn't know when. ...He also asked her parents, educators Mike and Carol Gabbard, for their blessing.... "I think he was more afraid of asking them than me," she said.
This time she is planning a Vedic wedding ceremony in keeping with the couple's Hindu faith. "For us it's about having a shared sense of spiritual values and what we hold important," she said. "We try to live our lives in service to others and God in a way that has a positive impact on others around us. It was something I learned from a young age."
In light of crises at home and around the globe, Gabbard said she cannot devote as much time to her wedding plans as she'd like, with less than two months until the big day.
Reality No Longer Discussed now that Gabbard Joined the Party: To Stop Mufi, Mrs Abercrombie Joins the Chris Butler Cult, Tulsi Gabbard Office Manager tied to Chris Butler Cult
read ... Suddenly Not a Cult Anymore