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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
August 25, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:39 PM :: 10657 Views

Smoke-Belching 'Biomass' Project Tops Hawaii 'Clean' Energy Leaderboard

Affordable Retirement? Honolulu Ranks 145th

Mainland Homosexual Pleads No Contest to Murdering Boyfriend in Waikiki, Chopping up Body

Increased Incarceration Reduces Hawaii Crime Rate Sharply

CB: Behind his desk, Keith Kaneshiro keeps a binder full of faded newspaper clippings — a compendium of Honolulu’s true crime stories going back for decades.

As he thumbs through the binder, the city’s top prosecutor says it presents one meta-narrative: that the precipitous drop in Honolulu’s crime rate during the late 1990s and early 2000s was a result of mass incarceration, made possible by his successful lobbying effort to secure more out-of-state prison beds.

“Because so many guys are in prison, the crime rate has gone down,” Kaneshiro said. “Prison works. Incarceration works.”

This is why Kaneshiro finds it baffling that, in recent years, the notion of prison reform has become the cause du jour — both in Hawaii and across the country — and worries that programs like work furlough, the state’s flagship re-entry initiative, are putting the public at risk.

Kaneshiro points to his binder, which contains a number of articles about furlough “walkaways” who go on to commit a new crime.

According to the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, 20 furlough participants on Oahu have failed to return to custody so far this year, though "only" three (15%) are accused of committing new crimes in the few days they had on the lam before being re-captured....

CB: We need More Inmate Furloughs

read ... Lock em up

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific Health vie for Maui hospital merger

PBN: Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific Health are expected to submit proposals to the state on Monday, the deadline, to become a manager of the Maui state hospitals.

HHSC Maui Region CEO Wesley Lo told PBN that both potential partners “have proven they have the business formulas necessary” to preserve and expand health care services on the Valley Isle.

read ... Merger

HHSC Privatization: Maui, Hawaii Co, Kauai Next?

SA: ...Adventist Health’s talks on Hawaii island follow the enabling of a similar privatization effort for Maui’s public hospitals — although that transition is now the subject of litigation by the unionized employees on Maui.

Assuming that legal challenge resolves in favor of privatization, this trend looks like a hopeful solution to the fiscal woes the operations heap on the state’s taxpayers.

Kauai: Will we be hearing from you next?....

read ... Don't forget Oahu

Chun Oakland's Reelect Me Event in danger of falling over ethics cliff

Borreca: ...The kids are lured with promises of free “goodie bags,” dozens of healthy activities and the chance to blow off some pent-up energy in a safe atmosphere.

It appears to be a free, state-run program connecting both keiki and government and the family.

What’s not to like about that?

According to the state Ethics Commission, plenty. Mostly because Hawaii Children and Youth Day is not a state-sponsored event.

For half a decade, according to last week’s television news reports, the state Ethics Commission has been telling state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, the organizer of the event, that much of her event doesn’t square with the state laws....

State laws forbids legislators from using their office, the state seal and their legislative authority to give private activities “unwarranted advantage” or to support or coordinate private activities.

For years, legislative leaders have been privately uncomfortable with Chun Oakland’s operation because it is not an officially sanctioned state event, but it consumes state resources and staff time.

Chun Oakland even puts her state office telephone on the Children and Youth Day webpage, meaning her staff is answering questions about the event....

lawmakers have found it politically impossible to take the event off the calendar or to steer Chun Oakland away from gathering legislative support for it. In fact, even the National Conference of State Legislatures noted that Chun Oakland’s support of a special caucus to lobby for kids is part of the event.

“The Keiki Caucus uses monthly meetings to shape a legislative agenda and focus on events like Children and Youth Day in the Capitol,” NCSL noted.

But, there is no establishing legislation except for a concurrent resolution passed back in 1997 that notes the date for the event, and even that adds that the day is not to be considered a state holiday....

read ... Chun Oakland in danger of falling over ethics cliff

Star-Adv, HNN Agree Homeless Do Not Need Permanent Housing (!)

DN: I was so surprised that two captains of Hawaii media would declare that homeless people do not need to have permanent housing that I wrote about it and tweeted a link to my article. Star-Advertiser publisher Dennis Francis and KGMB General Manager Rick Blangiardi (Hawaii News Now) wrote a joint op-ed in the Sunday paper reflecting either bias, ignorance or ideology, I can’t tell which.

Three Civil Beat reporters were on it also, and expressed themselves compactly in their tweets (see at left).

read ... Profitable Nonprofits need Permanent Homelessness to Capitalize Upon

Ige Comes out Against LNG for Hawaii

PBN: Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Monday that the state does not need liquefied natural gas as part of its energy future and says Hawaii should focus on developing renewable energy rather than importing LNG.

“I have reached the conclusion that Hawaii does not need LNG in our future,” said Ige, one of the keynote speakers at the Asia-Pacific Resilience Innovation Summits & Expo in Honolulu. “It’s time to focus all of our efforts on renewables. We will oppose the building of LNG facilities.” ...

“LNG will no longer save us considerable money,” Ige said. “Capital plans are anything but small. It is a fossil fuel and it is imported.”

Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawaii Gas have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding, documenting the two companies’ desire to work together to develop and/or secure infrastructure for bulk shipments and to establish a consortium to competitively procure the LNG and provide storage and regasification of it at an LNG terminal site.

At the same time, the two companies are locked in a dispute over the release of information related to NextEra Energy Inc.’s $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric.

Ige said he does recognize that Hawaii Gas will need a supply of gas, and pointed out that the gas utility already has one today....

read ... Keep Electricity Expensive

Customers would save $400 over five years under NextEra plan, exec says

PBN:  Do the math: $400/60 mos = $6.67 per month savings

...Gleason did not give a clear glimpse into what either NextEra Energy or Hawaiian Electric will be saying in their statements in response to the 28 intervenors in the case and the Hawaii Consumer Advocate next week.

Instead, he put up a slide noting what Hawaiian Electric would look like in 2045, especially with NextEra Energy at the helm.

In addition to 100 percent renewable energy, the company would offer affordable bills, higher reliability and resiliency, more options for customers, higher customer satisfaction, be active member of the community, have a uniquely skilled clean energy workforce and be a global model for clean innovation....  (And there will be pie in the sky....)

PBN: Hawaii energy grade improves to B-minus on Blue Planet Foundation report card

read ... Save $400?

Lanai Windfarms--31 Months of Secrecy

CB: Friends of Lanai decided to ask the Office of Information Practices for help in prying loose some information on the status of the Big Wind industrial power plant targeted for Lanai, and here’s what happened.

First we tried to find out what was going on through the Public Utilities Commission, but the PUC told FOL they wouldn’t let us access information on the status of Big Wind because billionaire David Murdock (Castle & Cooke) could be “competitively harmed” if the terms and conditions of his holding back the rights to Big Wind were publicly disclosed, and that disclosure would “frustrate a legitimate governmental function.” ... December 2012, FOL turned to OIP and filed an “information request” asking them to review the PUC’s decision and produce the requested information.

On July 24 — 31 months later — we finally got our answer from OIP: the PUC made the right decision, but OIP wasn’t about to tell us why. Here’s what OIP said:

“OIP finds that, because the redacted Wind Farm Terms concern Murdock’s retained rights to potentially construct a wind farm, it can be readily presumed that there is ‘competition’ with regard to all other possibilities where such a right is tentative and conceptual, and disclosure of the negotiated terms and conditions will likely cause substantial competitive harm.”

read ... Secrecy

The Players: Meet Linda Lingle, Superstar Illinois COO

WUIS: ...Gov. Bruce Rauner talks a lot about the "superstars" he's hired to help him run the state, and she's considered one of them. She's come to Illinois from Hawaii, where she was governor for eight years.

Amanda Vinicky and a couple other reporters happened to run into Lingle for the first time, on the opening night of the Illinois State Fair and walked alongside her as she marched in the parade. Here's a portion of the on-the-move interview....

read ... Lingle

Kauai: Guardian's Anti-GMO Piece Debunked

KE: Though much is said about the “blue code of silence” that prevents police officers from speaking out against the misdeeds of their colleagues, virtually nothing is said about a similar code among journalists.

Which is why Christopher Pala, whose inaccurate and biased anti-GMO article in The Guardian was thoroughly excoriated on this blog Sunday night, began whining and sniveling about the criticism his piece received from journalists Jan TenBruggencate, Allan Parachini and me:

Note that I have never met or communicated with any of the three. Nor have I ever had colleagues, known to me or not, complain to my editors or to me about my stories. It’s simply not something real journalists do.

In Chris' world, “real journalists” keep their mouths shut when they see their fellow reporters completely misrepresent an issue, stack sources to unfairly weight a story, disregard information that contradicts the position they've taken and regurgitate the propaganda that is spoon-fed to them by activists and other partisans.

read ... Musings: Desperate Situation

Guam: Jones Act Reform an Alternative to Federal Handouts

GPDN: There are other issues we’ve brought up to the federal government, things we feel hinder our ability to “grow our economy” as Walker states. For example, we’ve been working to get a visa waiver for Chinese visitors. We also have asked that the Jones Act be lifted for Guam. The visa waiver is a tool for us to grow our tourism economy. The Jones Act limits our ability to keep the cost of living on Guam down by restricting the goods we can import to the most expensive option of shipping.

As I stated earlier, we have worked hard to grow our economy. We did this outside of the military buildup. And we’re going to keep doing it. We want the federal government to realize its responsibility, and to recognize that we don’t want handouts; we want the federal government to be hands off. We want to be allowed to build our community based on our needs and not federal mandates.

read ... Feds need to be hands off

Bill 20 Would Chip Away at Housing Shortage

SA: ...Creation of ADUs is one of three major components of a housing crisis action plan pitched by Mayor Kirk Caldwell last year. And given the current homeless crisis, particularly visible in Honolulu’s urban core, it’s imperative that more affordable rental units are built on Oahu.

Government leaders need to think beyond homeless shelters, and this is a positive step in this direction.

One major supporter of Bill 20 is the Sovereign Councils of Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, which believes the bill will ultimately help Native Hawaiians. A significant number of Native Hawaiians make up the homeless population in Kakaako and ADUs could be established in nearby neighborhoods like Papakolea, Kalawahine and Kewalo; the goal would be to build 500 ADUs throughout the homesteading community, a representative said. If such progress can indeed be made, it would be significant headway in getting local families off the streets and stabilized into rental units.

The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice also testified in support of the bill. In urging the City Council’s approval, Jenny Lee, Hawaii Appleseed public policy director, said, “ … this is a chance for the Council to do something right away to increase our inventory of rental housing.”

She’s right. There is a real sense of urgency in getting Bill 20 passed and it is evident along the streets in Kakaako where families find shelter in reinforced tents that line the sidewalks. We are in the midst of a housing and homeless crisis, and this is one way to chip away at the encampment edges....

DN: “Accessory Dwelling Unit” bill contains no funds for enforcement—so won’t be enforced

read ... Chip Away

Star-Adv Printing Press Still Fried

KHON: A printing problem is plaguing the state’s largest daily newspaper and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser doesn’t know when it will be fixed.

The problem started late Saturday night with the press machines located in Kapolei and the computers that operate the printing press.

When asked what caused the problem, chief revenue officer Dave Kennedy said  “we still don’t even know. The computer completely shut down on the press and this is the first time anything like this has ever happened.

Part of the problem was fixed so some papers were delivered on Sunday. The Maui News also pitched in and printed a bulk of yesterday’s edition.

“The unfortunate part is that because of the storm, the planes were not able to take off to deliver the newspapers to us (here on Oahu), so 40,000 of our customers still haven’t received the Sunday paper,” Kennedy said.

Those customers will receive the Sunday paper tomorrow, along with the regular Tuesday edition. Oahu Publications also owns both daily papers on Hawaii island, one of which, West Hawaii Today, printed Monday’s Star-Advertiser.

Officials at the Star-Advertiser say this problem has cost them half a million dollars.

Kennedy said they spent hours on the phone with the machine’s manufacturer in Germany, but didn’t get the problem fixed, so they’re hoping to fly in an expert from Australia to help.

ILind: The Star-Advertiser facing continued printing woes

read ... Expert

Flooding, Sewage Spills Across Oahu



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