Sunday, May 28, 2023
Hawaii Daily News Read

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
August 5, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:07 PM :: 3569 Views

Nai Aupuni 'Notice of Elections' Posted Online

Track Takes Guillermo Northwest of State, Possibility of Heavy Rainfall

Anti-Cane Burning Suit to be First Case Heard by Hawaii Environmental Court

Hawaii Launches On-Line Voter Registration Site

Fitch Affirms 'A' Rating on DHHL Bonds

FACE: Let Homeless Stay on the Street and Give us Millions 

KITV: ...sign waving in front of Honolulu Hale along with the Housing NOW Coalition....

"Some of these things are in slow motion and they have been for many years, and our point is we need to speed things up," said Father David Gierlach of FACE Hawaii....

The coalition is launching a new campaign. The priorities outlined in handouts for state and city lawmakers.

Here's what it says in part:

  • Stopping the sit-Lie enforcement.
  • Better funding for the Rental Housing Trust Fund. A bill this session called for $100 million. It got only $40 million.
  • Money for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority with its $820 million backlog. It wanted $185 million this year. It got $4 million.

Some people here support a temporary "tent city" as long as there's security and sanitary needs, and easing up on shelter rules.

Former State Homeless Coordinator Colin Kippen says, right now, there are nearly 500 beds available on Oahu.

"Those beds could be put to better use. We could adopt some intake and screening practices to make it easy to get in and harder to fall out," said Kippen.

read ... Housing NOW rallies to help solve homeless problem

Telescope protests at astronomy meeting

N: Demonstrators carrying Hawaiian flags — some upside-down, as a sign of distress — held a press conference outside the Honolulu convention centre to make their case against the Thirty Meter Telescope, which is set to be built atop Mauna Kea. TMT: no more desecration” read one sign. “We don't want your big toy telescopes on our sacred mountain” read another....

Astronomy is cool but it's not necessary,” said Lanakila Mangauil, a leader of the demonstrators who grew up near Mauna Kea. “Our planet down here is dying.” ...

Not all Native Hawaiians oppose the TMT, however. “It's important to uphold your cultures and traditions, but I also think it's important to pick your battles,” says Alexis Acohido, who is part Native Hawaiian and recently graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in mathematics. “I really think a lot of the anger is misplaced.”

Astronomy has been a part of Hawaiian heritage since Polynesian sailors reached the islands more than 1,000 years ago, navigating by the stars....

read ... Protests

Hawaii Schools Begin the Year Short on Teachers — Again

CB: ... recruiting — and then keeping — teachers remains a pronounced challenge in many of the state’s most remote and low income schools....

Lanai is currently short three teachers, and is one of dozens of schools across the state trying to recruit staff for a school year that has already started.

As of July 29, the Department of Education had hired about 700 new teachers for the 2015-16 school year, including 231 emergency hires. Many more teachers are needed.

Waianae High School hired 16 teachers this year and is still searching for eight more. Molokai Middle needs two special education teachers. Lahaina Intermediate on Maui is missing a language arts teacher, two social studies teachers, a special education teacher, a math teacher and a health teacher....

Hawaii has been facing a teacher shortage for more than two decades....

read ... Again

Three Charter School Proposals Rejected

SA: ...The applicants have proposed startup charter schools on Oahu and Kauai: Kamalani Academy in East Oahu, IMAG Academy in Waipahu and iLEAD Kauai.

The four-member committee voted 3-1 to accept the evaluators’ recommendation to deny IMAG Academy’s proposal. A similar motion to recommend iLEAD Kauai’s application be denied failed when committee Chairman Mitch D’Olier abstained from voting. The committee then voted 3-1 to defer a decision on Kamalani Academy’s application to the full commission without a recommendation either way....

SA: Evaluators dismiss 3 charter schools’ proposals

read ... Rejected

Initial costs for Hawaii's transition to federal health exchange likely to reach $2.5M

PBN: Gov. David Ige’s Deputy Chief of Staff Laurel Johnston told PBN the transition is an ongoing process and some details have yet to be developed....

Johnston, who recently returned from a meeting in Washington, D.C. with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services — the federal entity charged with health insurance exchange oversight — said the bulk of the cost would go toward integrating the state Medicaid enrollment program to the online federal insurance exchange....

The new system must be able to identify health insurance customers that are not eligible for Medicaid, and send them to purchase individual plans through the federal online marketplace.

The prior system build failed to "seamlessly integrate" the Connector system to the state DHS Medicaid enrollment system, she said....

If the transition is similar to what has happened in Nevada, the costs could far exceed $2.5 million....

read ... Cost in Cost out

Restaurant ratings pass, tech fails

SA: ...the department dealt with a major setback: its inability to roll out an electronic billing, permitting and online database of inspections for the 10,000-plus establishments statewide.

The state paid $170,000 to Paragon Bermuda Canada Ltd. to set up and maintain the system, but terminated the contract earlier this year due to “poor performance.” Inspectors often had difficulty getting into the system. It was slow. It didn’t load properly.

Oshiro said the program didn’t work 10 percent of the time — which was far too often. The system was set up correctly, but was not able to handle the capacity of more than 10,000 businesses. The department later learned the company had done this type of work before, but for jurisdictions that needed much smaller databases.

The department chucked the system. But unfortunately, there is no refund or exchange policy built into state contracts.

Instead, it is spending another $158,000 to redo a website database that was supposed to give the public online access to restaurant health inspections in 2013.

The fiasco is yet another example of a flawed state procurement system, which awards contracts to the lowest bidder — not always the most qualified....

read ... Tech Fails

UHERO Study Bought and Paid for by NextEra

IM: In general a report should be read from the back forwards. The back usually has juicy sections. The front usually has a fluffy summary statement.

The University of Hawai`i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) released a report titled, “Efficient Design of Net Metering Agreements in Hawaii and Beyond” on July 20, 2015, the date that each intervenor in the HECO-NextEra merger proceedings had to file their testimony and exhibits.

The last page of the UHERO report thanked the sponsors that included Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Maui Electric Company (MECO), Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO), and NextEra Energy (NEE).

In response to an Information Request, NextEra asserted that it gave $20,000 to the University but did not specify what the funds were used for.

read ... Corporatizing Universities

Will Former Legislator Turned Ethics Commissioner Toughen Up Enforcement?

CB: ...In comments during his first meeting as a commissioner, Graulty signaled that he’ll use whatever insider knowledge he has to better target ethics enforcement on key transactions between lobbyists and legislators.

His comments came during a discussion Tuesday following a staff review of several hundred annual gift disclosures filed at the end of June by employees, legislators and other public officials. Commissioners were considering whether it would be effective to send out a broad ethics advisory reminding legislators of the gift laws, and noting some questionable gifts that were included in the most recent disclosure reports.

“Warning letters are great,” Graulty said, “but from my experience, you just put them in a file.”

“I don’t think it’s a matter of guidance. I think we all know the law,” he said. “It’s a matter of enforcement. Why did you do this? Why did you not do that?” ....

The former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee advised focusing on the most important relationships.

“What I’m concerned about is the person using their discretionary authority as a result of  being gifted,” Graulty said.

For example, two Department of Transportation employees reported that their entry fees for the Palama Settlement Golf Tournament in April 2015 were paid for by the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state’s largest union.

“Suppose the entry fee went to the chairman of the Labor Committee. That would be something that should be a high priority concern,” Graulty said.

“Lobbyists don’t give gifts to all 76 legislators,” Graulty said. “They focus on certain ones, for certain reasons. And we need to be akamai on why they’re giving gifts, and why they’re getting gifts.”

“If they’re being done to influence a person’s discretionary authority, then we need to enforce it,” he said....

Graulty targeted this common misconception, making clear that, in his view, it’s the relationship between the gift giver and the recipient that’s most important.

“It’s not so much the amount, but who is giving to whom,” he said. “It’s not the amount, it’s what is behind the gift.” ....

Graulty also called attention to gifts given over the years by Street Bikers United, an organization that has lobbied actively against helmet laws or other regulation of motorcycle riders. The group does not currently have a registered lobbyist, but its gift baskets were reported by several legislators.

“They’ve been giving gifts for years to the Transportation Committee, and no other committee,” Graulty said. “That should raise some eyebrows. Why those gifts? How do they affect decision making?” ....

read ... Ethics

Hawaii County Council debates pCard reforms

HTH: County Council members Tuesday sharpened their debate about county purchasing cards, promising to tighten the law after hearing a presentation from the legislative auditor.

Fewer than a dozen members of the public came forward to testify about the topic that has been in the news since March, when Big Island newspapers uncovered misuse of the so-called pCards by Mayor Billy Kenoi and some of his top aides.

The audit found 164 transactions totaling $29,961 that did not follow county policy, had a questionable public purpose and might have violated state law. In the 2014 calendar year, the county used approximately 236 purchasing cards, spending $1.15 million.

“Simply put, public money, public benefit,” Auditor Bonnie Nims told the council about how the program should work.

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who’s been Kenoi’s most vocal critic on the council, questioned why rules need to be clarified just because the mayor broke them. The rules already are pretty clear, she said.

“I just think we need to be candid here. … Certain things are against the rules,” Wille said. “Certain things were done against the rules and now we’re saying, ‘Let’s clarify the rules.’”

Those who addressed the council testified to an erosion of their trust in government and some suggested all pCard transactions be published online to increase transparency....

Related: Hawaii Councilman Proposes Reforms After P-Card Audit

read ... P-Card

Partnering with a private company to replace Hawaii’s oldest prison?

CB: Ige and state Director of Public Safety Nolan Espinda are exploring a potential partnership in which a private prison company would build a new prison next to the Halawa Correctional Facility, shoulder its upfront costs, and then lease it back to the state. Because the proposed facility would be built with ostensibly a more modern design, it would require significantly less staff than the 19 outdated modules that comprise the OCCC, saving money that could help to cover the facility’s lease.

(Less staff = UPW opposed)

read ... Prison

Chevron Hawaii Sale Still Simmering

CSP: Despite interest, company hasn’t made final decision to part with refinery, 60 gas station....

read ... Sale?

Rejection of TPP would hurt U.S., Hawaii

SA: ...Rather than try to prop up the old three-legged stool, we should instead focus on Hawaii’s unique potential as the “gateway to Asia and the Pacific” to benefit from this deal.

With ratification of TPP, international companies that may once have overlooked Hawaii would now want to have a presence here in order to get in on the action. Should that happen, we no longer would be dependent on the old three legs, but emerge as a real economy able to stand on its own....

read ... Entire Delegation Unanimously Wrong



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii