Hawaii's Largest Windfarm Developer Investigated for Self-Dealing
DoH Releases Master Plan for Mental Hospital
Was The Hawaiian Kingdom Race-Based?
'Natural' Supplements Sold in Hawaii Recalled -- 'Could be Lethal'
Honolulu Charter Commission Seeks Proposals
Marijuana Dispensary Licenses: An Unregulated Lobbying Cronyfest
ILind: ...Executive branch lobbying is going to become a more visible issue over the next few months as the state sets up the system of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
There will be two stages. Stage one, rule making. Stage two, competition for licenses.
Here’s a basic description from a story in Pacific Business News a couple of months back, based on an interview with one interested contender.
The Hawaii state Department of Health must finalize rules by January, licensees will be announced in April, and they’ll be authorized to open dispensaries just three months later in July. He is gathering a team of experts including a lawyer, potential growers, a doctor consultant, and a lobbyist to prepare as well as he can before the application form is made public in January.
The existing lobbyist law (Chapter 97 HRS) requires paid lobbyists attempting to influence the content of those rules to register with the State Ethics Commission and disclose their activities as long as they meet some minimal thresholds in time or money spent lobbying.
But here’s the thing. Current law does not appear to cover any attempts to influence the granting of licenses, which is likely to involve pretty intense competition. Tracking the insider influences, and deterring unethical or illegal influences, at the licensing stage will be considerably harder as a result.
read ... Questions about medical marijuana, lobbyists, and lawyers
Hee Crony Lining Her Own Pockets at KSBE
SA: ...Virtually all of Kamehameha Schools’ big morality problems would disappear if it just made the charitable institution’s trustees’ compensation pro bono (“Olds’ bid to remain trustee splits Kamehameha Schools,” Star-Advertiser, Lee Cataluna, Sept. 20).
If they did, their gallantry would be very quickly displayed — or not....
Yes, I’ll say it: I believe she is more concerned about lining her pockets with ill-gotten gains than contributing on behalf of Kamehameha Schools’ beneficiaries.
read ... Trustees
Nai Aupuni Violates its own Rules to Get Aha Candidates Registered
CB: ...Nai Aupuni heavily advertised the Sept. 15 deadline to file as a delegate candidate — a deadline that was extended for a few days to accommodate about 50 people who had not yet been certified to run by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission — and the Oct. 15 deadline to be certified to vote in the election period, which runs throughout November....
Meheula acknowledges that OHA’s dissolution may come from the formation of a Native Hawaiian government, but he described it as just one possible outcome.
“That is something for delegates to consider,” he said. “There are a number of possibilities that can come out of this. They are wide-ranging.”
read ... Violates
TMT protest enters new phase
HTH: Lanakila Mangauil, who helped spearhead the first blockade on the mountain nearly a year ago, said ending the 24-hour presence will allow opponents to focus more on legal battles and fine-tune arguments regarding whether the $1.4 billion project meets the criteria for building within a Conservation District.
That will be necessary, he said, if the state Supreme Court voids the project’s land use permit and the TMT International Observatory again seeks approval from the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources.
“We’re refocusing right now on the longevity, prolonged protection and proper stewardship of this mountain,” said Mangauil, a Honokaa resident....
Mangauil said some TMT opponents will continue to use the site to speak with tourists and island residents visiting the mountain and follow religious protocol.
Before the tent was erected, protesters kept a 24-hour vigil by sleeping in their cars. Mangauil said it’s possible some protesters might choose to stay overnight, but no one is being asked to do that.
The 180-foot-tall observatory, one of three large next-generation observatories under development, is expected to be able to see the universe’s first stars and galaxies, provide sharper images of other objects and help answer questions regarding the possibility of life in other solar systems. Partner countries include the United States, Canada, China, India and Japan.
read ... TMT protest enters new phase
Ernie Martin close to missing his chance to run for mayor
Borreca: Last week, Martin had a $50-a-person fundraiser at the Bishop Museum that, according to reports, had a good but not a back-them-out-to-Bernice-Street crowd of about 250.
Making an appearance at the fundraiser, however, was Martin’s campaign banner, reading simply: “Ernie Martin Mayor.”
Martin is in his second and last consecutive term on the Council, which ends in January 2019. That means he can run for mayor next year with a base as a sitting Councilman, or he can run in 2020, with little chance of success because he would have been out of office for two years.
The “Ernie Martin Mayor” banner first popped up last year when Martin posed with it as he was thanking voters in his district for his reelection.
Martin continues to say that some day he would like to be mayor, and reportedly has added that someone would have to give him a compelling reason why not to run against Mayor Kirk Caldwell next year.
A 2016 Martin for Mayor campaign still looks iffy....
Already Caldwell has held 26 fundraisers, including one last week, with ticket prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,000. Martin has had three. Caldwell has $1.5 million in the bank and Martin has $428,000....
...criticism Martin got for spearheading the drive to give former lobbyist and Martin assistant Kimberly Ribellia the $129,000-year deputy city clerk position. Former city clerk Bernice Wong criticized how Ribellia, who was also an assistant to former Council chairman and now state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, was picked.....
read ... Ernie Who?
City was warned in 2010 of rail’s costs
SA: ...The report, done by Infrastructure Management Group Inc. and CB RichardEllis, predicted that rail could cost $1.7 billion more than expected over a20-year period. Rail supporters, including former Mayor Peter Carlisle,criticized the report at the time as little more than an anti-rail analysis with a$350,000 price tag.
The report did, however, predict a rail construction shortfall that could becovered by extending the rail tax for between five and 19 years.
Five years later the state Legislature found itself considering a 20-year railtax extension to deal with a construction shortfall, before deciding toauthorize a five-year extension during its 2015 legislative session.
“All this information was already over to the city, to everybody else, and nobody paid attention,”Cayetano, a Democrat, said of his Republican successor Lingle’s report Monday. “If they don’t takesteps to reduce the costs,” rail could become a “tremendous sinkhole” to the city and taxpayers, hesaid.
When local transit officials signed a deal to build rail with federal officials, it was expected to cost $5.2billion. Now it’s projected to cost more than $6 billion to complete.....
read ... We Told You So
TRO against Honolulu’s homeless sweeps would leave the City without an alternate plan
DN: A hearing on a motion for a temporary restraining order against the City’s sweeps of homeless encampments has been set for today (Tuesday, 9/22/2015) at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Helen Gillmor at the federal courthouse on Ala Moana Boulevard....
read ... TRO against Honolulu’s homeless sweeps would leave the City without an alternate plan
Another $26M to be Wasted on Obamacare Connector
SA: The latest outlay of funds for the accounting and consulting firm KPMG LLP amounts to $26 million — without going through a bidding process. That’s a lot of money for a sole-source contract, but in a world where some $200 million already has been largely wasted on the Connector, it’s all relative.
read ... Thanks, Obama
UH Cancer Center Can't Get its Act Together
SA: ...For the Queen’s Cancer Center to partner with such a highly regarded network makes good sense. The network is part of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, ranked No. 1 in the “Best Hospitals” survey published annually by U.S. News and World Report.
The network also does more than 1,000 clinical trials on its main campus in Houston. And what’s better still is the MD Anderson Cancer Network would select trials that would be appropriate for patients seen in Hawaii and offer that locally rather than have them travel to the mainland.
It’s hard to see any negatives in this three-year partnership, but it raises the question: What about the University of Hawaii Cancer Center?
That Queen’s-UH coupling would seem to have been the perfect match: A well-regarded local hospital partnering with the only designated National Cancer Institute facility within 2,500 miles of Hawaii’s cancer patients, hospitals and practitioners.
But the UH Cancer Center just can’t seem to pull itself together and in August hired a consultant — at a cost of $250,800 — to develop a business plan. A UH task group earlier this year reported that the university’s Cancer Center is running over budget by approximately $9.5 million a year and could run out of reserve funds in a few years....
read ... UH Can't Get its Act Together
Treating homeless patients costs Queen's Medical Center millions
HNN: In fiscal years 2014 and 2015, The Queen's Medical Center's two hospitals treated 3,441 patients who were homeless.
"They're some that come almost daily," emergency room physician Han Park said.
He said many of the homeless he's treated suffer from severe ailments like congestive heart failure, diabetes and high-blood pressure.
"Some of these patients are sick enough that they end up having conditions that end up requiring hospitalization or emergent care," Park said.
Nine out of ten cases were treated in Queen's emergency rooms. And many of them involved patients who made more than one visit. Over the past two fiscal years, Queen's has cared for an unsheltered patient 12,271 times at a price tag of more than $5 million a year.
Queen's Sr. vice president of operations said that's money that will go uncompensated....
Nearly 80 percent of homeless patients Queen's treated the past two years had medical insurance. More than half of them had Medicaid coverage and a smaller percentage were insured through Medicare....
read ... Millions
Private and public sector officials talk solutions to Hawaii homelessness
PBN: Officials from Hawaii’s public and private sector met Monday to discuss homelessness and potential solutions at a panel hosted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
Topics included the potential for the federal housing choice voucher program, Section 8, recent legislation, and collaboration between all sectors to target the growing homeless population in Hawaii and develop more affordable choices in the housing-strapped Islands.
HNN: The government must be able to step in.
read ... Private and public sector officials talk solutions to Hawaii homelessness
Can Churches Help Hawaii’s Homeless?
CB: A group of priests at the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii’s convention next month will be urging delegates to adopt a resolution to encourage each Episcopal parish in the state to house as least one homeless family in its church yard....
Rev. Bob Nakata, FACE housing co-chair, says the goal was to introduce people to the idea that a shipping container can be transformed at minimal cost into comfortable emergency shelters for up to five people. FACE refurbished the shipping container for $11,000.
When the demonstration container had finished its rotation to the churches, Gierlach asked to have it returned to St. Elizabeth’s to house the family of five that was then living in a tent on the church grounds.
Caldwell met with former state Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, a licensed pastor, and other religious leaders July 14 in his office to try to get them interested in having shipping containers moved to their church grounds as emergency housing for homeless families.
read ... Churches Help Hawaii’s Homeless
Does rule protecting Kauai endangered birds jeopardize students’ health?
KHON: ...The Endangered Species Act protects endangered Newell’s shearwater birds.
Because of that, high school football games on Kauai are not allowed at night during the birds’ nesting season, from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15.
This federal restriction forced the state to move the games from Friday nights to Saturday afternoons.
This past Saturday, a high school football player suffered symptoms of heat exhaustion during an afternoon game.
“Now that we’ve had a player sidelined due to the heat, it kind of becomes an issue on forefront of people’s minds again,” said Kapaa High School athletic director Greg Gonsalves....
read ... Birds Before People?
Touring the Kauai Seed Fields
KE: The previous two segments of this series — Touring the Kauai Seed Fields: Part I and Part II — addressed pesticides, spraying activities and general misconceptions about what goes on in the West Kauai seed fields, where genetically engineered and hybrid plants are cultivated.
Today we'll take a look at Pioneer's pesticide storage shed and the computerized process used to authorize spraying operations. Though not every company uses the same software, it became clear upon seeing it in action that it would be nearly impossible to do the sort of “drenching” and experimental combination of products that opponents allege and fear.
SA: Vog hurt crops last year, feds report
read ... Touring the Kauai Seed Fields: Part III
Hanalei, Koloa Schools Top Kauai Assessment Results
KGI: Statewide, 48 percent of students met or exceeded achievement standards in English Language Arts, 41 percent of overall students met or exceeded achievement standard in math.
In Kauai, 41 percent of students met or exceeded achievement standards in English Language Arts. Thirty-seven percent of students met or exceeded those standards in math.
Of the 15 schools on Kauai that administered the test, the highest-ranking school for English Language Arts was Koloa Elementary School, with 62 percent of its students meeting or exceeding the standards.
“(The key) is really for the kids to be able to process their learning and demonstrate it, so the teachers are able to formatively assess if they’ve gotten it or not,” said Koloa Elementary School Principal Linda Uyehara.
Uyehara said one of the strategies that worked for her school is providing resources for kids who need extra support and using learning consultants, especially in math and reading.
The lowest-ranking school on the island in English Language Arts was Kauai High School, with 28 percent of students meeting or exceeding the standards.
When it comes to math, Hanalei Elementary School took the top spot among Kauai schools with 63 percent of students exceeding or meeting standards. Waimea Canyon Middle School came in last with 20 percent of their students meeting or exceeding math standards.
read ... Kauai students in top 5
Hot classrooms prompt DOE to rethink starting school year in July
KHON: This school year, most public school students returned to class on July 29, smack dab in the middle of summer.
In light of recent heat issues, including students and teachers getting sick, the Department of Education is revisiting the school calendar.
In two weeks, department officials will finalize the recommended calendar for consideration for next school year.
An internal survey asks five questions, including “How important is it to have a one-week fall break?” and “How concerned are you about student attendance during a week with three school days?”
Some principals and teachers tell KHON2 they are aware of the latest survey, while some teachers say they learned of it when we told them....
KHON: Local company builds custom part to fix Kaiser band room’s air conditioner
read ... Hot Classrooms
Molokai Speaks up Against NextEra
IM: The Public Utilities Commission held their third Public Listening Session. Between 35 and 50 people showed up on Moloka`i to listen and talk about the merger. Nextera representatives Eric Gleason with Jennifer Sabas attended.
Others who attended included Maui County Councilmember Stacy Crivello, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Colette Machado, Maui County Energy Coordinator Kal Kobayashi, I Aloha Moloka'i (IAM) President Kanohowailuku Helm, Sust’āinable Molokai Executive Director Emillia Noordhoek, Quazifilms Media videographer, producer and director Matt Yamashita, Larry Tool, and Cheryl Corbiell.
About 20 people spoke. The large majority spoke out against the merger, a few spoke in favor, and two people stated that they were neutral. The head of the chamber of commerce wants anything that will help business. One person felt Nextera was telling the truth.
Kanoho Helm spoke about the need for decentralized island-based solutions such as cooperatives. Helm noted that Nextera continues to lack plans.
Z: Zacks Downgrades Hawaiian Electric Industries to Sell
read ... The Trend against the NextEra Merger Continues
Plan looks to turn Lake Wilson into energy producer
KITV: ...Although producing energy from a collection basin with 330-acres of surface water might seem simple enough, the process would involve so-called pumped-storage hydroelectricity. That's when water is pumped to a higher elevation so it can eventually be used to spin turbines farther downhill. James Nakatani, the executive director of the Agribusiness Development Corporation, says pumps would be powered by wind or solar energy during daylight hours.
“During the night, when you don't have sun or you don't have wind, you let water out and you have hydropower,” Nakatani explained. “The beauty of that is that you don't take it out of the streams, so it's like water going in a circle."....
read ... Energy
Pete Hoffman announces Hawaii County mayoral bid
HTH: Former Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann on Monday became the first candidate to formally announce he’s running for Hawaii County mayor.
“I think the county needs strong and effective leadership, and I believe I’m the right guy to do this job at this time,” Hoffmann said.
Hoffmann’s the first, but he’s by no means the only candidate considering a run for mayor. Other names that have surfaced for the open seat include state Sen. Russell Ruderman, former Mayor Harry Kim, Hilo Councilmen Aaron Chung and Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, Marlene Hapai, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for state House, former Hilo Councilman J Yoshimoto and frequent candidates Wendell Kaehuaea and Kawiki Crowley.
If history is any indication, it’s likely a lot more people will jump into what will be a crowded field for the empty seat once candidate qualifying begins in February. Current Mayor Billy Kenoi is term-limited.
Other potential candidates who mentioned the possibility or have been mentioned by others, are Council Chairman Dru Kanuha of Kona, Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira, state Sen. Josh Green and former state Rep. Faye Hanohano, all said Monday they have no plans to run.
Hanohano, who had previously said she was considering a mayoral campaign, said Monday she’s now looking at running for a seat on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees or returning to the state Legislature in either a House or Senate seat. Meanwhile, she’s running as a delegate for the Native Hawaiian constitutional convention planned for February....
Ruderman has said he’s considering three alternatives: running for re-election to his Senate seat, running for mayor or running for County Council. He said Monday he’s still mulling over those options....
read ... Hoffman
Maui cop charged for flashing
HNN: A Maui police officer accused of exposing himself to women and children and masturbating in front of them earlier this year has been charged with nine counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree.
For the first time, John Salomon’s his wife talks to the media about what might have ticked him off. She said her husband had a mental breakdown. Although she can't explain why, she said he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of his job.
read ... Flashing
Economist to speak at Friday event
MN: Economist Ken Schoolland will discuss philosophy and liberty during a Grassroot Institute of Hawaii event Friday night in Olowalu.
The free educational event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The event will be hosted at a site accessible via Honoapiilani Highway across from Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop. For full directions or to register, go to www.grassrootinstitute.org or call 591-9193.
read ... Grassroot