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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
August 18, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:12 PM :: 3382 Views

Profiting from Homelessness: Publicist, Lobbyist Take Control

Survey: 78% of Homeless Willing to go to Shelter--Yet Don't

Video: Tulsi Gabbard praises her Guru Chris Butler on 50th Anniversary of Hare Krishna in USA

Most Educated Cities? Honolulu Ranks 24th

Legislative Agenda: Sex, Drugs, and Suicide

Travel Technology Industry Applauds Maui's Proactive Approach to Short-term Rentals

Campaign Spending: A-1 A-Lectrician Appeals to US Supreme Court

Star-Adv: Nai Aupuni 'Not giving equal access to voting to all Native Hawaiians'

SA: ...the stronger critique of the election is that its organizers are not giving equal access to voting to all Native Hawaiians.

Whether or not that prevails as the winning legal argument in court, that’s a bad precedent, one that should be corrected.

The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs provided funds for the election to one nonprofit, Akamai Foundation, which in turn issued grants to another nonprofit, Na‘i Aupuni, which will oversee the election....

the political qualification, is more troubling. Electors who were enrolled by the commission had to sign a statement to “affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people and my intent to participate in the process of self-governance.”

The voter list is a composite, however, of that roll and three previous voter drives, which did not include the same pledge: Kau Inoa, Project Ohana and the Hawaiian Registry.

Proponents say the pledge is there to make the purpose of the convention clear. However, in its meeting with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board, Na‘i Aupuni leaders asserted that there was no preordained agenda for the convention.

There are Native Hawaiians who argue against self-governance — who defend the status quo, and maintain that Hawaiians are U.S. citizens, period. The pledge certainly makes it sound as if their point of view won’t be represented in the convention....

CB: US Recognition of Native Hawaiians: Don’t Waste the Opportunity

read ... The Star-Advertiser

Borreca: OHA Set up a Tortured Process

Borreca: OHA has come up with a tortured process for conducting the election. It gave $2.5 million to a separate organization, the Akamai Foundation, which in turn gave it to another group, Na‘i Aupuni, which then hired Elections-America to hold the election....

Popper and Lilly, in their lawsuit, pointed out that the Supreme Court previously ruled that even though OHA is unique, “it is apparent that it remains an arm of the state.”

Quoting from the minutes of a February OHA meeting, the suit noted that during a discussion of how the election process can maneuver around the Rice v. Cayetano decision, Peter Apo, an OHA trustee says “this is very tricky navigation required.”

All that movement distracts from the central issue of whether or not a state-sponsored entity can dictate who is allowed to vote....

read ... Richard Borreca

Document: Kenoi Flunkies Lied to Ethics Committee--Mayor signed off on hiring campaign manager

HTH: ...The Board of Ethics on July 8 dismissed a complaint against Kenoi and then campaign manager Kimo Alameda, after receiving assurances from the county Human Resources Department that Kenoi wasn’t involved in Alameda’s appointment as executive of the Office of Aging, and that Alameda had the requisite two years supervisory experience.

Kenoi closed his campaign account June 23, after the complaint was filed, according to state records.

After some back-and-forth with HR officials, the board dismissed the complaint. A more formal dismissal letter is customarily voted on at the board’s next meeting, in this case, Sept. 9.

“So, it’s your testimony that the mayor had nothing to do with this at all?” board member Ken Goodenow asked HR Director Sharon Toriano, according to an audio recording of the meeting provided by Ethics staff.

“Up until just telling me please handle this,” Toriano replied.

But the “Request to Fill Form” obtained by the newspaper through the state’s Uniform Information Practices Act shows Kenoi’s distinctive signature, dated March 11, recommending Alameda be hired.

Kenoi’s recommendation of Alameda as the applicant with the highest interview score was sent to the Staffing Review Committee, an entity selected by Human Resources to interview and rank the candidates who were screened by the HR Department. A Staffing Review Committee representative whose signature is indecipherable signed off after Kenoi the same day....

read ... Corrupt

Can We Un-corner Markets in Our Over-Priced State?

CB: Companies with out-sized market share in the islands have long made themselves at home. More competition might lower our cost of living....

from many vantage points in this state, you can stand next to an electric company utility pole and look above a Matson vessel loaded with cargo containers at a Hawaiian Airlines plane rising into the sky.

At such moments, it is easy to feel like our lives have been, well, sort of monopolized.

Since the plantation era, Hawaii has been an almost perfect place for the cornering of consumer markets by dominant companies. And it has remained so in modern times.

This is something that Joseph Stieglitz, the Nobel Laureate for Economics, quickly gleaned when he came to speak at the University of Hawaii in 2012. He noted the ways that the state’s cornered markets weigh on Hawaii’s finances, drive up consumer prices and aggravate economic injustices....

2012: Clinton’s chief economist supports Jones Act reform for Hawaii

read ... Monopoly

North Shore to hear about ocean-based wind farm scheme

IM: An ocean-based floating wind-generation facility has been proposed to be located between Ka`ena Point on O`ahu and Kauai. The developer has proposed an alternative site off Waikiki.

The North Shore Neighborhood Board No. 27 will hold a Special Meeting on August 25 to hear about the proposal. Board Chair Kathleen M. Pahinui has arranged for the developer, Jens Borsten Petersen, to make a presentation.

The talk by Petersen will be followed by "Comments on Renewable Energy and Related Issues Regarding this Project" by myself and "Comments on Cultural Concerns Related to the Project Area" by Thomas Shirai, the North Shore Neighborhood Board Mokuleia Subdistrict Representative.

The audience will be able to ask questions following the presentations. 

The meeting will be held at the Waialua Elementary School Cafeteria at 67-020 Waialua Beach Road from 6:30 to 6:00 p.m.

The facility would consist of 51 floating eight megawatt (MW) turbines secured in place by anchors.

The Oahu Northwest Project would be located 12 miles northwest of Ka`ena Point in water depths of approximately 2,300 ‐3,300 feet above an ocean floor plateau.

Background:

read ...  North Shore to hear about ocean-based wind turbines

Kauai: Tourism Operators Attack Agriculture Again

KE: The latest bit of fear-mongering to hit Kauai involves water theft.

I'm talking about unfounded claims that the seed companies and other farmers and ranchers are "stealing" water from the streams, causing the waterfalls to run dry.

The so-called “public affairs” programmers at KKCR have been promulgating this agitprop for a while, because of course they're all hydrology experts now, and it feeds their anti-GMO agenda.

Then today, The Garden Island weighed in with an article about how Secret (Uluwehi) Falls has dried to a trickle. And — gasp — that does not please the tourists.

Though the article includes a quote from the state correctly attributing the situation to drought, it gives more weight to the vague conspiracy theories spouted by Wailua River kayaking proprietor Will Leonard ....

KE: Musings: Follow Ups

read ... Musings: Cry Me a River

Big Island: 30% of Babies Born to Drug Addicts

HNN: ...Nitta is called Hilo's welfare doctor because more than 90 percent of his patients are on Medicaid, Medicare or Medquest. By his own estimation, Nitta said he's helped deliver more than 5,000 newborns since he opened his business more than two decades ago.

But it's his practice of drug testing moms that got him in trouble last year. Insurers say he used a special drug kit to test mothers for 14 different types of drugs, billing them for each of the 14 tests. They said he's only allowed to bill for one test.

About 30 percent of new mothers in some parts of the Big Island test positive for drugs....

read ... 30%

In the shadow of hazy marijuana laws, Hawaiian 'patients' rely on a network of hush-hush growers

WaPo:  Twenty minutes from the turquoise waves of White Plains Beach, (Democratic State Committeewoman) Teri Heede’s garden stretches out from her Kapolei home where three marijuana plants are firmly potted in the backyard (in the Democratic House District which she chairs) and a steep drop gives way to a view of deep blue water and mountains touching clouds. One of Hawaii’s many medical marijuana 'patients', Heede’s plants didn’t always produce enough for her medicinal needs, so she bought pot illegally from a dealer behind the local McDonald’s.....Teri Heede...began using marijuana while she was still a federal employee under the Department of Defense during the Vietnam War.....

read ... Dopers

Homelessness team begins Pretending Homeless are on Street due to Lack of Shelter Space

KHON: Jason Espero of Waikiki Health, which manages the Next Step shelter in Kakaako, said that there are currently not enough bedspace to accommodate all the homeless families in the area. He said the average shelter stay by a family is five-and-a-half months, but some stay as long as a year and up to 14 months.

The team is also looking at three to five other state facilities and lands — including the previously discussed Liliha Civic Center — as other possible sites.

Gov. Ige said an agreement is being worked out with the United Public Workers to staff up work crews to improve 175 units in public housing currently uninhabitable, like the maintenance shed, and be able to do renovation work without having to go through the bid process.

He also said he’s hoping other communities like Salt Lake, Aiea and Pearl City will be willing to have temporary transitional facilities....

read ... Oceanfront

Homeless Criminals Stealing Lots of Bicycles

HNN: Honolulu Police statistics show last year 615 bicycles were reported stolen on Oahu, with 173 of them from HPD's District 1 that encompasses downtown and Kakaako. Through July of this year the total of bikes reported stolen is already 491.  And 158 of them were taken from District 1.

In Kakaako a stack of discarded bike parts is spilling onto Coral Street.  The suspicion is that stolen bikes are chopped up, reassembled with different parts, and sold....

read ... Predators, not Victims

Homeless Break in to Olelo Offices at Waipahu School

HNN: ..."The homeless used to stay and they used to just leave. Now, there's a lot of criminal activity. They stole the fence, they had break-ins at Olelo, the vandalism," said principal Randell Dunn.

Dunn is worried about the safety of students and staff. There are 1,335 7th and 8th graders at the school who are sharing their campus with the homeless who usually come out at night.

"Sometimes they sleep. Sometimes they bathe. Sometimes they come up from the brush back there and they steal things," Dunn said.

Some also relieve themselves on campus, leaving behind human waste.

"In front of classroom doors we've found, on the sidewalks, so our custodians come in and they clean the area as soon as they find it," said Dunn.

Department of Education officials are aware of similar problems at other schools located near homeless encampments.

"Some schools are confirming that individuals are using campus sprinklers and breaking into the bathrooms to use the sinks. Police are called out to assist in those situations," said DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz....

read ... Predators not Victims

Air Conditioning: DOE didn't ask for much and Lawmakers funded just one third of requests

HNN: The Department of Education said Monday state lawmakers funded only about one third of its requests for air conditioning installations over the last four years, figures that the chairs of the Legislature’s money committees dispute.

"Walk into the classrooms first thing in the morning and you're already dripping in sweat," said Kalaheo High School science teacher Micah Pregitzer, who measured his classroom temperature at 108 degrees a week ago at mid afternoon.

He blamed DOE officials and lawmakers, who, he notes, work in air conditioned offices, unlike most teachers in the state, where about 90 percent of the classrooms have no AC....

The Department of Education said in the last four years, it asked lawmakers for $22 million in air conditioning projects, but the Legislature approved just $7 million worth....

read ... Air Conditioned

UH raises for Admin would cost $1M

SA: Salary boosts for 200 top executives are “an attempt to match” those given to faculty ....

UH: UH West Oahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas announces retirement

read ... Your Tuition Dollars at Work

Castle Resorts, Oahu Publications form partnership

HTH: Castle Resorts & Hotels has contracted Oahu Publications Inc. to produce its new in-room publication, Ho‘onanea....

OPI also will develop and print separate guest compendiums for each of Castle’s 22 properties in Hawaii and New Zealand....

In addition to publishing the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, OPI owns a variety of Hawaii publications, including the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, MidWeek, HILuxury and three military papers, among others.

“By partnering with Castle Resorts &Hotels, Oahu Publications maintains its goal of serving as Hawaii’s primary media source,” said group publisher Linda Woo.

“We are proud of our array of specialty hotel magazines, and with Castle’s prominent reputation throughout the Hawaiian Islands, we’re confident that this partnership will be mutually beneficial.”

read ... Partnership

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