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Monday, September 12, 2016
September 12, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:20 PM :: 3922 Views

What To Do When Your State Is Blue

Ethics? UH Dean Endorses American Samoa Congressional Candidate on UH Letterhead

Trial of former HART Auditor scheduled to start Monday

PBN: The criminal trial for the former PKF Pacific Hawaii managing partner, who was charged last year with 13 counts of theft, forgery and money laundering for allegedly stealing $500,000 from the firm, is scheduled to start on Monday.

Patrick Oki was arrested in April 2015 at Honolulu International Airport after returning from South Korea and released after posting $250,000 bail….

The indictment said Oki, a certified fraud examiner, was responsible for four fraudulent reimbursement schemes from January 2011 to 2014 against PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP, creating losses of more than $500,000 for the firm. The 13 counts include first-degree theft, money laundering, use of a computer in commission of a separate crime and second-degree forgery.

The indictment also alleges that Oki deceptively claimed he had personally incurred expenses in connection with services provided to clients. He also allegedly fabricated people, companies, contracts, IRS forms, invoices, financial documents, websites and e-mail addresses, according to the indictment….

Ignore This: Prosecutor: HART & OHA Auditing Firm Victim of 3-year, $500K Embezzlement Scheme

read … Trial

HUD Investigating Hawaii Public Housing Authority

CB: … the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is investigating a complaint that Hawaii’s public housing authority doesn’t provide enough units that are accessible to disabled people….

Federal law requires that the state public housing authority set aside at least 5 percent of units that were built or substantially renovated after 1988 for people who have mobility impairments. In newly built federally assisted housing, another 2 percent of units must be accessible to people who are deaf or blind.

Most of the state’s public housing units were built prior to 1988 and it’s unclear what percentage of them would fall under this requirement.

Erteschik based his complaint on a February letter from the Hawaii Public Housing Authority that indicated fewer than 2 percent of Hawaii’s total public housing stock is currently accessible to disabled people….

Ouansafi said as of Sept. 9, the agency had 251 accessible units out of 5,926, or 4.2 percent of all units, and is working on developing or modifying over 100 additional units.

Just five years ago, the agency had only 93 accessible units, Ouansafi said….

PDF: HUD Complaint Disability Accommodations

read … Complaint

Kauai: No Rules Homeless ‘Cage’ Shut Down After Only Six Months

KGI: A homeless encampment that at one point housed about 20 people was shut down by the county early this month.

The encampment, dubbed “The Cage” by its residents, was situated at the Lihue Civic Center and was part of Kauai County’s shelter initiative under the authority of Gov. David Ige’s emergency homeless proclamation, according to county officials.

…“I don’t think (the area) was adequate because they opene

d up the door and said ‘Come one, come all,’” McKeague said. “There were no guidelines from the beginning.”

Some guidelines Voices of Kauai recommended to the county were limiting the number of individuals residing at the area, monitoring what items were allowed in, and allocating a set area size for each person, McKeague said.

“I was very disappointed with this whole cage issue,” McKeague said, as there were problems that could have been avoided.

County officials said they did hire private security guards after receiving complaints of violence, drug use, and urinating and defecating on property and cars of employees.

The county acknowledged a lack of guidelines and rules at the encampment. Officials, however, did expect encampment residents to adhere to the laws, Morikami said….

“The Cage” was initially open to homeless individuals around mid-February this year after seven individuals were squatting by the entrance of the old Lihue Big Save.

read … Cage Closed

Waikiki Homeless Die After Racking up $1,000s in Medical Bills and Jail Costs

SA: A makeshift memorial made of silk flowers and empty liquor bottles sat in the middle of a picnic table Friday at a Waikiki pavilion.

It was put there by a gathering of homeless men in honor of their friend, Martin Shinew, who died last week while being held in a cell at the main Honolulu Police Department. Though Shinew was only in his early 30s, like many of the men seated at his usual picnic table, he had spent years on the streets of Waikiki and cycling in and out of Honolulu hospitals and jails.

“I was in jail for park closure with him. We were in the same cell,” said Stanley Stonemetz, who became homeless about 10 years ago after his wife’s death. “That makes two of our friends that have died in the last six months.”

Stonemetz said his other friend who died was Jamie McClurken, also in his early 30s, who moved from Alaska to Hawaii and wound up on the tourist district’s beaches and sidewalks. The last time the Star-Advertiser encountered McClurken, he was sleeping on a plastic raft and wouldn’t wake up even when another homeless man started kicking him.

Harsh realities like these are why the visitor industry is teaming up with the Institute for Human Services to hold a second Hawaii for Hawaii concert on Oct. 22, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The televised event aims to raise $1 million to bolster the Waikiki outreach program, which began November 2014 with seed money from the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association….

read … Concert to benefit homeless in Waikiki

Affordable Housing: 10 Years Later only a Driveway is Built

HTH: …A nonprofit hoping to build senior housing and a veterans service center say plans are underway with early phases of construction set to finish this month.

Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc., a 19-year-old veterans development group, wants to build a 75-unit senior-housing facility, along with a combined veterans service center and medical clinic, on a 7.5-acre parcel of land on Kawili Street.

The group signed a lease with the county more than a decade ago. But plans stalled in 2008, when federal, state and county funding commitments fell through due to the recession, said Bob Williams, project manager and Hawaii Island Veterans chairman.

Williams told the Tribune-Herald this week things are once again moving forward. Earlier this year, the group received its first increment of a $425,000 state Department of Defense grant which it’s using to fund a $300,000 common-use driveway entrance and sewer connection on the property, projects which are underway. Driveway construction is estimated to cost at least $300,000.

“We’re just pressing on with what we can do right now,” Williams said….

read … Government at Work

Molokai Ferry: Anti-GMO Protests Already Destroying Molokai Economy

IM: … “Due to a number of recent factors, including, but not limited to, substantially decreased passenger counts, …the recent expansion of airline services to the Island of Molokai at rates lower than the ferry's charges, and the questionable future of Genetically Modified Organisms ("GMO") farm practices on the Island of Molokai and resulting resident concern about present and future job opportunities, Sea Link must suspend one (1) of its two (2) daily round trips between the Islands of Maui and Molokai, make its Sunday voyage optional, and berth its vessel overnight at the Lahaina harbor rather than the Kaunakakai harbor.” ….

Sea Link had a net operating loss of $108,235 in 2013 and $288,068 in 2014.

Sea Link current price for a one-way ticket price between Maui and Molokai is $62.04.

“The Federal Department of Transportation awarded two local commuter airlines, Makani Kai Airlines and Mokulele Airlines, an annual subsidy for four (4) years totaling approximately $4.5 million. This has led to extremely low air fares in 2016, as low as $36 (including applicable taxes) from Kapalua, Maui to Ho’olehua, Molokai on Mokulele Airlines, for example. rom Kapalua, Maui to Ho’olehua, Molokai on Mokulele Airlines, for example." ….

read … Molokai Ferry

Turtles: Enviros Try ‘Disappearing Island’ Trick (again)

SA: With the newly expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument taking center stage at the World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, a conservation group is warning of a “dangerous drop” in the number of nesting Hawaiian green sea turtles in the Northwest Hawaiian islands.

The Turtle Island Restoration Network on Tuesday pointed to new research from NOAA’s Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program that shows an 84 percent reduction of nests compared to last year and calling for action to reduce green sea turtle deaths.

“An 84 percent decline should trigger emergency actions to protect green sea turtles,” Turtle Island’s Peter Fugazzotto said in a news release. “No. 1 on that list should be reducing adult mortality from industrial fishing. With this recent information, we cannot afford the death of even one more green sea turtle.”

But National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists said they don’t believe the turtle species is in trouble. They said the sharp decline likely is a natural variation precipitated by El Nino.

“Of course, we’ll pay attention to what we see next year,” said Frank Parrish, director of the Protective Species Division of NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. “Being (an El Nino) year, we fully expected to have lower numbers.” …

Turtle Island last month released a report describing the impacts of sea-level rise on major sea turtle nesting beaches around the world, including French Frigate Shoals, where more than 90 percent of all Hawaiian green sea turtles nest.

The low-elevation atoll is extremely vulnerable due to sea-level rise. Already, one island, Whaleskate, a popular nesting site in the 1960s, is now submerged, according to the report….

(IQ Test: Whaleskate disappeared because of sea-level rise T/F)

read … They are Laughing at you because you believe them

New Report Used to Promote Pre-K Agenda

HTH: Rep. Roy Takumi, chair of the House Education Committee, was among lawmakers from around the country who spent 18 months studying education systems in Estonia, Finland, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Alberta, Ontario, Taiwan, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The group compiled its findings into a 27-page report last month called “No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State.”

The report says quality preschool, robust technical-education programs and teacher preparation programs — among other things, are common themes in top-performing school systems.

“Even if we don’t expand early education or high quality teacher ed programs, at least we can be aware that other countries have done it and it worked,” Takumi told the Tribune-Herald. “So we ought to take notice.”

Takumi said Hawaii’s early ed programs could serve more students. He said he’d push for the state’s education system — currently K-12 — to begin instead at the preschool level….

read … Agenda

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