UHERO: Research Driven Energy Policy
What Does "Waikiki" Mean? - Variances, Safety Valves, And A "Hawaiian Sense Of Place"
WaPo: How transportation became the latest victim of America’s culture wars
Asia, Europe look at Jones Act
The Shaky Future of Bonus Depreciation
Hawaii Welcomes Doctors Who Lost their Medical Licenses Elsewhere
SA: A physician whose medical license was suspended or surrendered for misconduct in five mainland states still practices in Hawaii.
A doctor who lost his California license in 2013 for gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct and dishonesty still has his Hawaii license.
A psychiatrist convicted years ago of falsifying records in a scheme to overcharge Medicaid in Colorado was denied a license in two states. He got one in Hawaii -- and subsequently was indicted for similar charges here.
A six-month investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser found dozens of examples of doctors who were disciplined in other states and either received new licenses in Hawaii or kept their existing medical licenses for long periods without sanctions here. One kept his Hawaii license for nearly five years after his New York license was revoked for having a sexual relationship with a patient, fathering her child and then lying about it to an investigator....
read ... State keeps patients in the dark on doctors disciplined elsewhere
State's Unspent federal grants Exceed $700M
SA: Be wary of what you ask for. Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Jill Tokuda is asking the Ige administration for the grand total of unspent federal grant monies from all state agencies after hearing from three departments that have collectively amassed a backlog of at least $700 million in federal funds....
The money committee received status reports from three state agencies on Thursday:
>> The Transportation Department has a backlog of $656.5 million in federal funding for highway projects, which is down from a high of $940 million in 2010. The department's Airports Division is holding onto millions more.
>> The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is having trouble expending $55 million in federal housing funds for Native Hawaiians. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has suspended funding for DHHL's Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program.
>> The Health Department must commit $28 million in new loans and disburse $7.6 million by Jan. 29 or lose $8 million that was earmarked for repairing Hawaii's drinking water infrastructure. The department has said it expects to meet that deadline.
"What's our total unexpended federal dollars that we have out there?" Tokuda said in an interview with the Star-Advertiser, a day after hearing from the three departments....
read ... State must get control of federal grants
Nago: With Vote by Mail Counting Can be Done Ahead of Time
Borreca: If voting was completely by mail, Nago reasoned, the counting could be done ahead of time so that after the polls close, the results could quickly be announced. (Quick IQ Test: Can you trust Scott Nago not to pass that info on to his favored candidates?)
MN: Mail-in ballot’s time has come
Reality: Vote by Mail Fraud: Romy Cachola Barged In, Wanted Ballots
read ... Fraud
Video Exposes Caldwell Hypocrisy on Homeless Emergency
Shapiro: A political flash from the past circulating online among local Republicans offers a telling glimpse of how Hawaii’s homelessness crisis exploded out of control.
The video shows a bizarre 2008 debate in the state House of Representatives on the seemingly obvious question of whether homelessness is an emergency.
Republican Gov. Linda Lingle had declared an emergency after the city abruptly evicted homeless from Ala Moana Beach Park in the middle of torrential rains, using her emergency powers to open the NextStep shelter in Kakaako and a West Oahu project.
This got Democratic lawmakers’ undies in a bunch from what GOP Rep. Gene Ward described at the time as “irrational fear of Lingle.”
Then-House Speaker Calvin Say introduced HB 2664 to curb the governor’s power to declare emergencies, and floor debate was led by then-House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell, who demanded to know, “What made homelessness become an emergency?” ...
Then-Democratic Floor Leader Blake Oshiro ... “I will be the one to say that homelessness is not an emergency.”
...the debate exposed a mindset among Democrats that explains why so little has been done to address the alarming increase in homelessness in the seven years since.
Kirk Caldwell, of course, is now the mayor of Honolulu who has relentlessly evicted homeless from city parks and sidewalks; despite euphemisms about “compassionate disruption” and “Housing First,” no new shelter space has been opened for those displaced.
Blake Oshiro has resumed his legal career with the firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, which joined the ACLU in a lawsuit that accuses Caldwell of unconstitutional cruelty in his homeless sweeps.
Democratic Gov. David Ige finally followed Lingle recently in declaring homelessness an emergency and is considering expanding her NextStep shelter — without a peep of dissent from Caldwell, Oshiro or their former Democratic colleagues in the Legislature....
read ... Past politics provide insight into today’s homeless crisis
Kakaako Sweep Forces Homeless Family to Accept Shelter
AP: Two days before the city planned to dismantle her sidewalk home, Kionina Kaneso had no idea where she and her daughter and grandchildren would sleep.
A full-time fast-food worker, Kaneso had bad experiences at shelters before and was hesitant to live in another, ending up instead in one of the nation's largest homeless encampments. Desperate, she decided to try one again....
On the morning of the sweep, after hours of uncertainty, Kaneso and her family got into a shelter....
BH: A mash-up idea about homelessness
read ... Apply More Force
$422 to Hilo: Inter Island Rates Soar under Monopoly
HTH: ...Interisland airfare might be too high for many residents but there probably is little the state can do to encourage more competition, said the Hawaii Senate’s Transportation Committee chairwoman.
The Kauai County Council last month passed a resolution asking the state to tackle the airfare issue by offering incentives for other major companies to compete with Hawaiian Airlines.
Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who heads the committee, said she sympathizes with the measure but noted that increasing competition largely is in the hands of the carriers.
“It’s up to the airlines to see if they would want to travel and take part in interisland service,” said Inouye, D-Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala. “Granted, we should all be concerned about the high fares.”
Hawaiian Airlines has been the only major interisland carrier in the state since 2008, when (Hawaiian directed its legislature to allow Go! to drive) Aloha Airlines went out of business. (And then Go! conveniently departed.)
With taxes and fees, a weekend round-trip ticket from Hilo to Honolulu can range from $184 to $422, according to a recent online search. Prices vary depending on availability.
In its written response to the Kauai County Council, Hawaiian Airlines said the average Neighbor Island base rates have increased 30 percent from 2004 to 2014.
The company, citing U.S. Department of Transportation data, said its average Hilo to Honolulu rate for 2014 was $81....
read ... $422 to Hilo
In spite of Hype, UH Unable to Find More Rapes
SA: In the university’s annual report required under the federal Clery Act, which governs crime and safety disclosures on college campuses, there were eight reports last year of forcible sex offenses, including rape and attempted rape, three of which occurred in campus residence halls. The same number of complaints was reported in 2013; 11 incidents were reported in 2012.
Meanwhile, reports of domestic violence edged up to four cases from two the year prior, reported stalking incidents dropped to eight from 10 and complaints of dating violence — defined as controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship — increased to six from four in 2013.
The numbers likely represent a fraction of actual crimes since data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics suggest that some 80 percent of alleged sexual assaults against female (and male) college students go unreported to law enforcement officials....
Meanwhile: APA: Homosexual Rape of Military Personnel 15 Times Higher Than Reported
read ... Still Looking
Stock Market Doubts NextEra Merger Will Go Thru
SA: "I think the market is telling you there is about a 50 percent chance the deal is going to happen," added Charles Fishman, equity analyst at Morningstar Inc. "Most mergers you would have a higher confidence level."
NextEra announced its intent to purchase HEI for $4.3 billion, or roughly $34 a share, on Dec. 3. The next day HEI's share price -- which had been trading around $28 a share -- jumped 14 percent to close at $32.22. That's typical when a purchase is announced as investors anticipate the shares will rise to match the sale price.
HEI shares continued rising until reaching a closing high of $34.83 on Jan. 29. In February the price started what became a long, slow decline back to the $28 level. It closed at $28.24 on Friday.
The biggest two-day drop in HEI's share price this year came after Gov. David Ige said he is opposed to the sale in its current form. On July 21, when Ige held a news conference to announce his opposition, the share price fell 3.3 percent, and it fell another 3.8 percent the following day....
read ... 50-50
Bill to restrict commercial activities now a flash point for wedding photographers
HNN: ...Anderson has introduced Bill 8, which would restrict commercial activities in an area from Lanikai to Makapuu. The proposal mainly targets tour buses and limousines, which residents complain are clogging their neighborhoods and parking lots. But an amendment also would completely ban professional wedding photographers from Waimanalo Beach and Waimanalo Bay parks.
"If we're not allowed to photograph professionally here, then we're not going to be ale to have weddings at all on Waimanalo Beach," said Jeanne Viggiano, a professional photographer who has snapped thousands of wedding photos in the area in the past eight years.
Viggiano has to get permits from the city and the state to do that.
"Wedding officiants and coordinators and those types of people aren't required to obtain a permit for county parks," said Viggiano. "So we believe that's probably the reason why we're being targeted."
"The State Department of Land and Natural Resources awards the permit for weddings on the beach, but folks at the city could regulate wedding photography," said Anderson. "So we threw that out there as a possible amendment for discussion." ....
read ... Restrict Commercial Activities
Veterans Day Parades