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Monday, November 9, 2015
November 9, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:50 PM :: 3259 Views

Hawaii Receives D+ Grade on Corruption

Two Down, Six to Go: Candidates Still Refuse to Donate Hee's Stolen Contributions to Charity

Residency: Senator Galuteria Tangled in Lies?

Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted November 9, 2015

Hawaii Ends Expensive Net Metering Scheme

New Data Shows Veterans Treatment Court Surge

Best Cities for Veterans—Honolulu Ranks 44th

Housing First Gets 173 Homeless into Apartments--Only One Returns to Street

SA: By the end of the first year, 173 people — including 20 families —were housed in 115 homes. The majority were single men with an average age of 47.

Of the 173, only one was evicted and was replaced by another homeless person. The evicted client later was successfully placed in a second Housing First unit, said IHS spokesman Kimo Carvalho.

One ended up in jail. One died. One went into public housing to live with family. One also reunited with family back home on Hawaii island.

One went back to the street....

SA: Reach out to help homeless youth

read ... Housing First

So You Say You Want To End The Housing Crisis?

CB: Real estate analysts and experts contend we could make great strides toward producing the housing we need by losing some of our regulations....

read ... Affordability

Self-Dealing: HART Board Selects Law Firm Directed by HART Board Member

SA: A Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board member serves as a director at the law firm that will be paid to defend the city in a challenge to the validity of key votes on the rail project.

The City Council voted last week to approve a resolution authorizing Starn, O’Toole, Marcus & Fisher to be paid up to $100,000 to represent the city in a lawsuit brought by Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa.

The case challenges the validity of key votes made by the Council, arguing that up to five of its members illegally accepted, or failed to report, gifts or meals they received from lobbyists whose interests would benefit from their votes.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board member Ivan Lui-Kwan serves as a director at the law firm....

Kawananakoa attorney Bridget Morgan suggested that the use of the Starn law firm, given Lui-Kwan’s dual interests, is dubious.

“The Starn firm and Mr. Bennett are certainly qualified to handle this type of work,” Morgan said. “But we’d be interested to know what other firms that have no ties to HART were also in the running.”

Morgan added, “You would expect Ivan Lui-Kwan to be screened from the case because as a HART director, he has a personal interest in the survival of HART and rail.”

Lui-Kwan “may not be in a position to give objective advice on the validity of some of the laws that are the subject of this suit,” she said....

read ... City transit official is director of firm receiving rail case

LNG is Hawaii's best bet to hedge rising fuel costs, former regulator says

PBN: Utilizing liquefied natural gas as an alternative to oil for the state's fuel supply, coupled with cost-effective renewable energy sources, offers Hawaii the best hedge against rising costs and volatility, the former head of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission said.

“We really need to take a closer look at our fuel infrastructure and work off the findings of the refinery task force,” said Hermina Morita, who was the featured speaker at last week’s Hawaii Economic Association luncheon held at the Plaza Club in Downtown Honolulu. “We don’t have the opportunity to be price competitive with fuels. We are burning fuel through Chevron’s and [Hawaii Independent Energy’s] pipelines. They have us over a barrel because that’s the only point of access we have so far.”

“Everything I see, LNG, coupled with cost-effective renewables, offer our best hedge against rising cost and volatility. That’s from careful analysis from a variety of parties, so it’s not something we can just put on the wayside.”

SA: Aiea Library solar panels still dormant

read ... LNG is Hawaii's best bet

OHA a 'Sad Soap Opera'

CB: Oh, OHA. The sad soap opera that is the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees has an ever-evolving story line that incorporates the best plot points of the old daytime melodramas. Money! Backstabbing! Egos, accusations and angry public arguments!

But this isn’t a soap opera, so when OHA trustees break out the legal arguments and take each other to court, there are actual attorneys’ fees and related costs to be paid by taxpayers. And the billable hours are stacking up.

The initial dispute at the heart of this three-year-old battle was between Trustee Rowena Akana and the majority of the board, which had voted to purchase the $21 million Gentry Pacific Design Center in 2012 to use as its new headquarters. Akana opposed the purchase — she considered the building overpriced and aging, and alleged a fellow board member had a conflict of interest in the deal....

read ... Internal?

Fake Indian Tribe Can Take Over DHHL

CB: The Kana‘iolowalu Roll and Na‘i Aupuni process to elect delegates to a governance convention can re-establish a government of, by and for Lāhui ‘Ōiwi. This government has the potential to manage and control lands that are now managed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and the state of Hawaii and receive decommissioned military bases.

read ... Target DHHL

Oxycontin: How Pill-Pushing Doctor Thrived in Hawaii

SA: He told regulators he first met the patient on a Hawaii golf course.

Before long, Dr. Mark Fortune, who had offices in California and Hawaii, was issuing prescriptions to his new patient for powerful painkiller and anti-anxiety pills without examining him, according to California medical board records.

Over the next several years, Fortune approved prescriptions for nearly 4,000 of the controlled-substance tablets for the San Diego County resident, who had back problems.

Yet Fortune failed to record a treatment plan for the patient, fabricated his medical chart and prescribed high-dose opiates as a first treatment without establishing a justification, according to a 2011 document charging the physician with multiple counts of gross negligence. Fortune told investigators he examined the man only once, according to the records.

Regulators cited that case and five others, along with Fortune's month-old conviction for being under the influence of a controlled substance, to justify immediately suspending his California license in May 2011.

Hawaii consumers were not afforded the same timely protections.

State regulators did not take action against Fortune's Hawaii license until May 2014 — three years after he was forced to stop practicing in California. The Hawaii Medical Board revoked his license, citing his failure to disclose his California troubles.

Fortune, who agreed to surrender his California license in March 2012, did not respond to requests for comment. Authorities started investigating him after several California pharmacies complained that Fortune was issuing narcotic prescriptions for patients while living in Hawaii.

More Coverage:


read ... Fortune

Police Sex Misconduct, Minus Hawaii

CB: A recent national investigation by the Associated Press exposed hundreds of officers who were fired for sexual misconduct, including raping women while on the job.

The news organization pulled files from dozens of states, but there was no information about Hawaii.

“Hawaii does not certify officers at the state level and did not provide any information to the AP,” the AP explained.

But that doesn’t mean sexual misconduct by police officers doesn’t happen in the Aloha State.

It’s just difficult to uncover because of the lack of a statewide police standards board and a state law that blocks most police misconduct from the public’s view.

In 2011, Honolulu police officer James Easley was fired after a woman accused him of raping her on the hood of his patrol car.

read ... Minus

New H-1 roadwork already falling apart

SA: Regarding highway projects in Hawaii, the following rules seem to apply: Use five times the number of people necessary; build it slow; build it wrong and, finally, build it over. To those rules, I could add: Build it with problems built in, thus prolonging any job, the commensurate traffic frustrations and of course, creating job security.

On the newly opened far right exit lane on H-1 westbound from the Pearl City on-ramp to the Waipahu exit, one notices that on this brand-new stretch of highway, there are defects in the cement, already causing holes in which one can see the rebar reinforcement. This lane was created with a lot of traffic disruption and it was opened for traffic less than six months ago. It seems to have been built with problems built in. So it is already in need of serious repair.

read ... Shoddy

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