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Clueless Ige: Questionable Priorities, Incapable Leadership
Shapiro: Gov. David Ige has had his share of deer-in-the-headlights moments during his first year, but none more so than his damage-control news conference after his statement welcoming Syrian refugees to come to Hawaii.
The governor seemed clueless as to what the fuss was about….
The…flood of angry phone calls, emails and social media flames from a broad spectrum of unhappy constituents rattled him enough to call the hasty news conference….
What Ige failed to grasp, however, was that much of the negative local reaction had little to do with Syrians, ideology or presidential politics; it was about the incapacity of state leadership….it evoked a deep gut reaction across the community about questionable priorities….
How could a governor who has barely begun to solve the gnawing problem of thousands of homeless living on our streets so blithely invite in a new problem that Hawaii is uniquely ill-suited to handle?…
this washout was a clear sign that he isn't credited with getting the job done -- and the problem may go far deeper than lame communications….
he has the job only because his predecessor, Neil Abercrombie, ignored similar signs of widespread discontent.
read … Ige Ignore
Souki: Council is Just Pretending to Oppose Rail Tax Hike
Borreca: …even though the Legislature gave the Council permission to raise taxes for another five years to pay for rail costs, the Council, led by the chairman and maybe candidate for mayor, Ernie Martin, wants to limit how much goes for rail.
Not cap how much tax money they collect, just how much of that goes for the train….
Watching the antics from across Punchbowl Street, Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Souki predicted the Council will eventually give the nod to the the tax surcharge, saying all the rest "is politics." …
"That cap is a terrible idea. And the money can only be used for rail, the law is clear, so why are they even talking about it?" Souki said in an interview.
Adding to the "impossible things" being tossed around by the Council, is using money gleaned from capping the tax surcharge for a low-income housing fund. But, as Souki noted, that would mean the Council must ask the Legislature to write a new tax surcharge bill.
"If they return to the Legislature to amend the law, I will do everything I can to see that it is not amended," warned Souki. "I want the rail to be completed." ….
read … It's getting curiouser and curiouser at Honolulu Hale
Control: Caldwell to Appoint New Charter Commission Chair
SA: …The chairman of the Honolulu Charter Commission has resigned from the panel after taking a job with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.
Jesse Souki will be HART's director of planning, permitting and right-of-way beginning Nov. 30….
His HART job will pay between $115,000 and $129,600. Souki was one of three finalists interviewed for the job, said HART spokeswoman Jeanne Mariani-Belding.
Souki's departure requires Mayor Kirk Caldwell to find a replacement commissioner. Commission Vice Chairman David Rae will be acting chairman until the panel selects a new chairman….
Nov 13: HART Puts Jesse Souki on Payroll
read … Caldwell Control
Homeless Become a Vector for Dengue Fever
HTH: As Hawaii County continues its “Fight the Bite” campaign to get a handle on Hawaii Island’s dengue outbreak, reaching out to homeless residents is an especially important step, said county Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira….
“As we are performing our outreach, we are trying to make sure we reach every segment of the population,” he said. “We know there are some segments that may not be aware or be privvy to the information, including the homeless and migrant workers and immigrant populations. They may not have access to the info, and we’re trying to address that.”
In addition to a lack of access to health care services and information services, like television, Internet and radio, the homeless are also at risk to dengue because of the sheer fact they spend almost all their time outdoors, she said.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in more rural areas in Kona, Puna and Ka‘u,” she said. “Many are living in out-of-the-way places. Some are in tents. It’s more cost effective for them. Many may lack the education and the work experience to find a job in town and they’re not getting hired.”…
Nanavarretes said she was glad to have support from the community. After moving to the Big Island from Maui, she said she was homeless before Hope Services staff helped her find a place to live in June….
60% NO -- Do you agree with a judge that more care/steps must be taken with homeless people’s property during street sweeps?
read … County officials provide dengue screenings for homeless
Sand Island homeless facility Mostly Empty Because its only Open to Homeless who are Serious About Getting off the Street
KHON: …Seven people have reportedly moved in so far….
Carvalho said most of the clients lived on the streets in Honolulu’s urban core. “There was a couple living out of their car in the Sand Island recreational area. Both worked full time and they just needed a place to accommodate them.”
With rent around $100 a month, IHS expects the average length of stay to be two months.
“We are vetting everyone carefully. We want to make sure they’re serious about housing as an end goal.”
So far, 38 applications were turned in. Carvalho said it’s a two-month approval process.
Another six clients with pets will move in on Monday.
“One client in particular, she’s been on streets for seven years,” Carvalho said. “Because of the recent rainstorm, her belongings got soaking wet. She was tearing up and was so appreciative.”…
read … People start moving in to Sand Island homeless facility
After 10 years Homeless Meth Addict Decides to Accept Shelter
SA: A former crystal meth addict, Tabilang became homeless and lived off and on at Kapalama Canal in Kalihi, estranged from her family, from 2003 to 2013.
She was about six months pregnant, sleeping on an air mattress in a tent at Kapalama, in 2011 when the Waikiki Care-A-Van, operated by the Waikiki Health Center, came by. Social workers offered to take her for a checkup at the center's PATH clinic for women in Kaimuki. Tabilang went in for an ultrasound that revealed she was pregnant with a baby girl, and then slept in the waiting room the rest of the day. When her daughter, Adrenia Olena Cadiz Robinson, was born Jan. 8, 2012, at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Tabilang was ready for a change.
"It came to a point that I was tired of it," she said. "I had to change my life."
She entered the Salvation Army Women's Way residential and outpatient treatment program, which offers a multidisciplinary approach for women and their children through psychiatric services, a 12-step recovery program and parenting classes.
Tabilang, 39, said her daughter was her motivation and remains so, even though she died on Christmas Day 2013 as the result of a kidney defect. Adrenia was only 23 months old.
read .. 10 Years
Hawaiians Organize Against Nai Aupuni
KGI: Native Hawaiian advocates Walter Ritte, Trish Kehaulani Watson-Sproat and Donovan Preza all had about 15 minutes each to educate their audience about aspects of the process….
said Ritte, a former candidate who withdrew his name from the election last month. “Come hell or high water, they want to push this thing through and we need to do something.”….
Just before the election opened, Ritte said he believes the process is leading toward a native government that is seeking federal recognition rather than independence.
“As long as you participate, you’re stuck in it,” Ritte said.
read … Organize
Hawaii County 41,000 Homeowners Exemptions at Risk
HTH: There are two types of letters. One sent to 37,000 people informs them that their county property tax exemption request will be compared against a state Department of Taxation database to ensure that they are indeed residents.
People receiving this letter who file Hawaii state income tax forms need do nothing. Those who don’t file a Hawaii state income tax form, for example if they are new residents or they are below the income threshold, must submit a waiver to the county explaining why they don’t file state tax forms.
The other letter, sent to 4,100 people, informs them that their Social Security number or date of birth is not in the file. These homeowners must submit a new claim for a homeowner exemption by Dec. 31 or risk losing their homeowner’s exemption next year. The claim form is included with the letter.
Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who chaired the task force of residents, county staff and council members who recommended the bill, said she’s pleased the new policy is finally coming to fruition.
read … 41,000
Hawaii One of Only Two State Legislatures Without ‘Sportsmens Caucus’
DPM: …In late October, state lawmakers announced they were forming the Delaware Legislative Sportsmens’ Caucus. This bipartisan, bicameral committee would be devoted to protecting the rights of hunters while supporting the conservation efforts that are important to other outdoor recreationists….
Delaware is the 48th state to create a group like this--the only state who have not are Rhode Island and Hawaii. Spiegelman and his co-chairs join a network of 2,000 lawmakers nationwide who participate in similar caucuses.
Currently, there are an estimated 177,000 hunters and anglers in Delaware. They contribute $150 million annually to the state’s economy and support nearly 1,900 jobs….
Delaware becomes the 48th state to form such a group, joining an existing national network of more than 2,000 state lawmakers. Acting together, our legislators will gain a better idea of emerging hunting, fishing and wildlife issues and strengthen our voice in Congress regarding federal initiatives that could impact us locally. The Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus will give our sportsmen, sportswomen, and wildlife enthusiasts a group eager to hear their concerns and act in the best interests of all Delawareans….
read … Sportsmens Caucus
Property Scammer, Drug Dealer Score Beach Concession
SA: The city's municipal leasing program is coming under fire with the recent sentencing of a city concessionaire who pleaded guilty to participating in an elaborate real estate scheme involving seven properties on Oahu and the Big Island.
Sakara Blackwell, the 38-year-old president of Optimum Marketing and Management Corp., the company that holds a city contract to run the Barefoot Beach Cafe at Kapiolani Park through 2018, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to a 30-month prison term Sept. 22. The judge also ordered Blackwell, formerly known as Dawn Sakaguchi, to pay up to $881,755 restitution with the full amount to be determined later.
In addition to Blackwell's conviction, the registered agent for Optimum, Kekoa Ornellas, served time in prison in California for drug possession.
read … Criminal records linked to beach concession operator prompt call for closer scrutiny