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Sunday, August 16, 2015
August 16, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:38 PM :: 5147 Views

Misrepresentation: Keanu Sai Again Ordered to Cease and Desist

Survey Finds 38% of Hawaii Union Households Unaware of Right to Opt-Out of Union Membership

Penny for Your Thoughts? No? How About 50 Million Then?

PBS: Jones Act suffocating Puerto Rico

Biotech supporters learn from campaign that turned tide on anti-vaxxers

Feds Cut off $1.36M/month Subsidy to Criminal Al Hee--Will DHHL End Monopoly?

SA: The Federal Communications Commission has interrupted the monthly subsidy payments it has provided to Hawaii telecommunications company Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. for more than a decade in the wake of federal criminal convictions of company founder Albert Hee, according to federal records....

Federal records show Sandwich Isles received more than $242 million in “High Cost Support” subsidies from the Universal Service Fund since 2003....

Federal records show the subsidy payments of more than $1.36 million per month continued to flow to Sandwich Isles through May. However, Universal Service Administrative Co. records indicate Sandwich Isles was not issued a High Cost Support subsidy payment from the fund in June, marking the first time in more than 12 years the company was not provided with such a monthly payment....

Hee’s conviction has prompted a “review and assessment” by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to determine whether legal problems linked to Hee could affect services for homesteaders....

The Hawaiian Homes Commission is scheduled to hear an update on Monday on Maui on the status of the DHHL license to Sandwich Isles and Waimana Enterprises to provide telecommunications services on homelands....

read ... FCC halts subsidy to telecom services provider

Bumpy Kanahele seeks Takeover of Aha

Shapiro: ...Kanahele is urging nationalists to focus on “taking over” the upcoming constitutional convention sponsored by the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which they’ve shunned until now.

Nationalists have seen the convention as an attempt to impose OHA’s vision of state-within-a-state sovereignty, giving President Barack Obama a pretext to recognize Hawaiians as the equivalent of an Indian tribe, which Hawaiians overwhelmingly opposed during hearings.

Kanahele believes nationalists can use the constitutional convention to create a provisional Hawaiian government, complete with a military, to negotiate Hawaii’s independence from the United States.

The Hawaiians-only election and convention face a legal challenge in federal court, and it remains very much to be seen if a majority of Native Hawaiians support independence in which they give up their U.S. citizenship.

Kanahele has the logistical challenge of getting enough nationalists registered for the Hawaiian Roll and accredited as convention candidates before the filing deadline, Sept. 15....

The Hawaiian Roll, called Kanaiolowalu, has been considered a farce after signing up only 40,000 of more than 500,000 Native Hawaiians worldwide despite years of soliciting and millions spent.

The majority of the 95,000 Hawaiians now on the roll didn’t voluntarily register, but were filched from other lists.

Nevertheless, if the ConCon survives in court, it could be lively if Kanahele and others with hard nationalist views are elected as delegates....

Bumpy: $4M Lawsuit Claims Bumpy Kanahele Defrauds Am. Samoa of Tsunami Recovery Funds

read ... Take Over

NextEra: "We were criticized for participating in the political process"

MN: ...We also were criticized for participating in the political process. We believe that good government policy benefits our employees, shareholders, other stakeholders and, most importantly, our customers. We are one of the nation's largest capital investors, as well as the largest taxpayer, largest investor and one of the largest employers in Florida. Since every aspect of our business is impacted by policy decisions at every level of government, it's particularly important for us to be active in our democratic process....

read ... Republican Contributors

Emails Show HART, PRP, Caldwell Coordinating Pro-Rail Message

SA: Those overseeing Honolulu’s rail project worked on multiple occasions — and with various advocates — to sharpen their message for an eventual rail-tax extension well before it was publicly announced that the transit project faced a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall, documents show.

One of those advocates was Pacific Resource Partnership, the local trade group that several years ago played an integral role to ensure that the island’s elevated rail project would survive.

In emails sent Oct. 15 and 16, one of HART’s top government liaisons responded to a PRP request seeking information on the rail agency’s tax-related talking points. She also suggested that PRP send its own talking points on a potential rail-tax extension to HART for review.

“I can then walk in to discuss those points for fine tuning by our folks,” HART Government Relations Director Joyce Oliveira wrote to PRP’s then-director for advocacy and communications, Cindy McMillan. “It’s worth a try to get some focus on this issue.”

In January, McMillan left PRP to become Gov. David Ige’s communications director.

...White in December 2013 asked HART officials to help answer questions for a PRP board member whose company lay along the future rail line....

White’s emails further showed that in April 2014 rail support and opposition on Oahu remained virtually deadlocked, with 47 percent supporting and 46 against the 20-mile elevated rail project.

“I’m concerned about leeward and central Oahu,” White wrote in an April 23, 2014, email to HART Executive Director Dan Grabauskas. Those areas had seen a dip in support, which White attributed to mostly state road repair work there and the subsequent traffic disruptions.

“I do however think … it’s a harbinger of things to come (potential big, short-term drops in support for rail) as construction impacts traffic in an area,” White further wrote to Grabauskas.

On Thursday, White said that PRP’s latest rail poll, taken in February, put support at 46 percent and opposition to the project at 50 percent....

read ... Tax Hike Agit-Prop

Push is on to Eliminate Polling Places, go to 100% Mail-in

HTH: ...But getting people to register doesn’t necessarily translate into more people at the polls. During the 2014 midterm election, just 36.5 percent of registered voters in the state turned out to vote.

”Registering voters is just one step in the whole process,” Nakamoto said. “Voters actually need to go out and vote on Election Day.”

In spite of the low turnout numbers, Hawaii already has several measures in place that in theory should make it easier to cast a ballot. The state allows early voting and no-excuse absentee balloting. People can opt to be a permanent absentee voter and always have a ballot mailed to them. By 2018, an Election Day registration program is set to be put in place.

Over the past 10 years, absentee voting has become more common. Belt estimated that between one-third and one-half of voters now vote by mail....

Flashback: Vote by Mail Fraud: Romy Cachola Barged In, Wanted Ballots

read ... One step closer to all-mail voting?

Housing First Delayed Until January For No Particular Reason

SA: Plans for Mental Health Kokua to relocate its Safe Haven operations to the city-owned Pauahi Hale have been delayed by at least six months due to a leaky roof and a call for additional improvements by federal officials.

Original plans called for Safe Haven’s 25 beds now at the Edwin Thomas Building, near Fort Street Mall, to be relocated by this June to Pauahi Hale at 126 Pauahi St.

Mental Health Kokua programs help those recovering from serious mental illnesses, and its Safe Haven program, specifically, has provided shelter and services for single, homeless adults with mental illnesses.

But the move to Pauahi Hale has been delayed until January, said Greg Payton, Mental Health Kokua chief executive. The time will allow for expansion of Pauahi Hale’s ground floor community kitchen and dining room, roof repairs, and other, “cosmetic” improvements — such as giving the tenant rooms fresh coats of paint, he said....

The agreement reached between the city and Mental Health Kokua last September also called for the nonprofit to set up a community shower and restroom facility that would be open to the public on the ground floor of the four-story Pauahi Hale from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

That facility (which makes the homeless more comfortable staying out of shelters) opened in February....

About 70 people from outside Hale Pauahi use the facility daily, Payton said. Among them, he said, are about 20 homeless people who live nearby and shower early each morning before going to work (as copper thieves).

read ... Keep the Homeless on the Streets

Do-Gooders Working Overtime to Keep the Homeless on the Streets

SA: The hundreds of homeless people crammed together in makeshift structures in Kakaako are hardly left to fend for themselves.

Outreach workers from a dozen or so social service agencies — along with state public health nurses — regularly fan out across the homeless encampment around the University of Hawaii’s medical school and Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center to check on the mentally ill and those with substance abuse problems, and help connect families to medical and dental services.

There are church groups such as Third Day Sanctuary, which brought in clothes and food on Saturday. And individuals such as Carissa Onuma, 25, and Brianna Lovett, 23, who show up every Friday morning with donated clothes and toiletries.

Last Friday Onuma and Lovett handed out stuffed animals, shampoo and baby powder for some of the toddlers living among the tents and tarps....

read ... Keeping the Homeless Homeless

More Homeless Means More COFA Funds?  Federal Money Starts to Flow In, Enriching Nonprofits

SA: The bulk of the money so far was announced Friday by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which awarded $250,000 toward the establishment of such a center in Hawaii.

The official recipient of the funds is an existing nonprofit, Partners in Development Foundation, a group with a Native Hawaiian support mission but which has been tapped to mentor a new Micronesian advocacy group: We Are Oceania. That group, say its founders, will work collectively with myriad other grassroots organizations that have coalesced around migrant concerns....

Micronesian communities themselves are culturally diverse: The FSM alone comprises four separate states and even more languages, and all are factors that have kept them fragmented.

But recently they have come together under various organizations, such as COFA-CAN, Micronesians United and others, especially around issues of health care and housing. The hope is that the new organization will have more support to assist Micronesians in thriving here, Howard said, and without sacrificing their own cultural touchstones.

After her own arrival more than two decades ago, Howard started out at University of Hawaii-Hilo with a goal of medical school. Later, she said, she realized there was work to do in the social-service and cultural realm....

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the latest award of federal impact aid to Hawaii, about $12.7 million for the current fiscal year. This is Hawaii’s share of the roughly $30 million authorized for impact aid nationally, according to an Aug. 7 letter from Esther Kia‘aina, assistant secretary for insular affairs.

In addition, Kia‘aina wrote, Hawaii is eligible for a supplemental grant of $1.2 million for educational services. And she signaled that the door is open for more assistance....

SA: Charter school could soften COFA culture shock

read ... PHOCUSED on Federal Funds

Ige's 'Plodding' Approach to Homelessness, Come up with Money by End of Year

Borreca: ...The new Hawaii Poll results on homelessness show that Ige is expected to be leading the charge. The poll also shows that Ige’s efforts so far have failed to impress the voters.

A full 23 percent of those surveyed gave Ige the worst possible score for his handling of the homelessness issue.

“I am leading the effort to better coordinate and expect that we will make progress,” Ige said in reaction to the poll.

So far Ige has named a task force but no one has offered ready solutions for the increasing number of men, women and children without housing in Hawaii. The blue tarp ghettos may be a symbol of Hawaii’s failed housing plans, but they are also quickly becoming a human crisis.

Ige has taken a somewhat plodding approach, announcing a “one small step at a time” tactic to securing help.

“We are working with the (service) providers trying to understand exactly where and when those spaces are available and then look at when we can begin the phased enforcement,” he said during a recent news conference.

Sometime before the end of the year, the Ige task force will have to come up with both a place for the homeless and the money needed for a major relocation. And that just postpones the inevitable decision of building or buying real housing for the poor and not a tent in Aala Park....

read ... Money

Waipahu Intermediate Overrun by Homeless Camp

SA: ...Every morning, Vice Principal Howard Chi makes his rounds on campus. Often, he finds water taps running and dirty bars of soap left behind. People come to bathe and sleep at the school at night. There have been break-ins and broken pipes. Sometimes, there’s human feces on the sidewalks fronting classrooms.

Waipahu Intermediate, the little school being dwarfed by rail construction, is also fending off Oahu’s out-of-control homeless problem.

The back side of the campus abuts an overgrown marsh that the students call “The Jungle.” There are homeless camps hidden there.

“During the day they do not enter campus, however, on a nightly basis there are up to seven individuals who take shelter on campus,” Chi said in an email. “Broken water spigots and broken-into bathrooms are common as the homeless (who refuse to go to a shelter) try to access water.” 

In March, Waipahu Intermediate English teacher MaryAnn Johnson put her frustrations into a letter. She had, on several occasions, come to school extra early to prepare for her classes and was startled by homeless people (who refuse to go to a shelter) sleeping outside her classroom. Johnson wrote about being afraid for herself and her students....

read ... Stop Studying and Pitch a Tent

While State Dithers, City's Sand Island Center to House 83 in Containers

The city expects to complete the first phase of its first-of-its-kind transitional housing project built with modified shipping containers on Sand Island by Oct. 30 — moving in 27 to 36 residents in early November, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Friday.

“We’ve not done this before,” Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an exclusive interview. “If it works we’ll modify it, we’ll tweak it.”

Container Storage of Hawaii Ltd. won a $523,517 contract to erect 25 containers, each measuring 20 by 8 feet, for what will be the Hale Mauliola transitional housing project on 5 acres of land the state is providing rent-free for three years.

The first nine containers are scheduled to be ready by Oct. 30. By the end of the year, the city plans to have all 25 containers up and ready for a total of 83 people....

Unlike some homeless shelters, Caldwell said, “You can bring a pet if the pet is not dangerous. The rules will be a little bit more relaxed, but there will still be rules.”

Not all of the rules have been worked out, said Connie Mitchell, executive director of the Institute for Human Services, which won an $850,000 contract to operate Hale Mauliola as a one-year pilot project.

But in general, Mitchell said, the rules will be designed “to respect other people’s property and respect the whole site, and respect each other and invest in that community.”

Perhaps just as important, residents will be able to lock their units and keep their property secure. They’ll also have access to showers and bathrooms and communal dining areas.

Security will be provided around the clock, along with social services that residents can access to help find permanent housing....

“There is a point of entry,” Caldwell said. “You just can’t wander in. You know who’s there, you know who’s coming in. It’ll be much more secure than what you’ll find on your streets.” ...

“We’re not going to keep the pressure off,” Caldwell said. “We will continue to make it less convenient to remain on sidewalks. We’re not going to slow down at all with our compassionate disruption.”

read ... City not State

Home Construction falls far Short of Population Growth

MN: The Maui Island Plan says the Valley Isle needs 30,000 more homes by 2030, yet only around 350 new residential building permits were issued last year. This is well short of the 2,000 homes needed per year to keep pace with the estimated growth....

read ... Driving up Prices

Rate Hike Coming: Big Island FEMA Flood Maps to be Released

HTH: Representatives from FEMA, along with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hawaii County, have scheduled public hearings to answer questions, concerns, and provide information on the mapping timeline and appeals process.

A meeting will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Aupuni Center in Hilo and from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Building G at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona.

Maps will be available for viewing, and presentations will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. each evening. The public can also search the maps at

Officials expect a flood of questions about the maps.

read ... Insurance Going Up

Author spins colorful yarns but fails to tie up loose ends of Hawaii corruption

Shapiro: News reporting has often been described as the first rough draft of history — fast-breaking, episodic accounts of unfolding events whose long-term significance can’t be known.

I was hoping investigative reporter James Dooley would go for a second draft of history, adding big-picture perspective to his 40 years of covering Hawaii’s underbelly, in his new book, “Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State” (University of Hawai‘i Press, $18.99), soon to be available in local stores and from

There’s little new evaluation, however, as Dooley mostly recounts the best of his many scoops on organized crime, government corruption and the troubling ties among criminals, law enforcers, public officials, the Judiciary and business and labor leaders.

Nevertheless, his greatest hits were darned impressive, and it’ll likely be enough for “Sunny Skies, Shady Characters” to join the short list of books considered must-reads for those seeking to understand Hawaii....

If crime was organized, how was it organized, and what was the magnitude of the take? Where is the organizational chart showing how all the crime “figures” Dooley writes about fit into the overall scheme? He refers to an organization chart circulated by authorities but doesn’t lay it out.

A central character is Larry Mehau, an ex-cop, Big Island rancher, businessman and friend to senators and governors who was depicted for 30 years as the “godfather” of organized crime in Hawaii by federal and local authorities but never charged with a crime....

read ... Second Draft



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