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Sunday, September 25, 2016
September 25, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:45 PM :: 4987 Views

Obamacare Forcing Hawaii Doctors out of Business—Many become Hospital Employees

Maui Hospital Names Interim CEO

Ever Visit Another State For A Day? Congress May Stop That State From Assessing Income Tax On You

Social Workers Descend on Gigantic Waianae Camp—9 Homeless Agree to Accept Housing

Prosecutor Urges “YES” Vote on Charter Amendment 3

Cool Schools: 180 Volunteers at Campbell HS, Ewa Beach ES

Don’t Cry for Me, Cupertino

AG Joins Suboxone Anti-Trust Lawsuit

‘Shut up Jerk’—Maui Hospital leads to Major break between the Senate and Ige

Borreca: …The latest flashpoint is the inability of the Ige administration to explain to lawmakers why the governor can’t reach agreement with Kaiser Permanente’s takeover of Maui Memorial Hospital.

Earlier this month four state senators — Roz Baker, Gil Keith-Agaran and J. Kalani English, all Democrats representing Maui, and Josh Green, a Big Island Democrat — wrote Ige asking for him to call the Legislature back into session to deal with and resolve the issues stopping the transfer.

The four complained in a television news interview last week that Ige has not responded to their concerns and the issue with the Maui hospital is getting more worrisome….

The latest collapse spotlights a major break between the Senate and Ige. The issue is big enough that when Ige vetoed a bill to ease along the hospital transfer with additional hospital worker benefits, the Legislature went into special session to override his veto.

The break comes down to complaints that Ige has frozen all communications….

“Now with Ige, it is silence, nothing. He could at least send a text saying ‘Shut up jerk, we are on it,’ but nothing,” Green said….

One solution, Green said, would be for Ige to call in Kaiser, which has now delayed the transfer until the middle of next year, and tell it to start moving in now and the state will bear the extra costs….

Related: Maui Hospital: Senators ask governor to Reconvene Special Session

read … Ige-Senate rapport takes turn for worse in Maui saga

Rail is headed for the deep after a long, pricey journey

Shapiro: …Contractors who worked on Oahu rail say the project could end up costing more than $10 billion and take 15 more years to complete to Ala Moana. By the time it’s done, the last leg will be an Atlantis Submarine Adventure.

>> The city held a public viewing of the first rail cars this weekend at the Pearl City operations center. It was a perfect opportunity for those who wanted to get a head start on going nowhere.

>> A 36-story, transit-oriented development planned near the Hawai‘i Convention Center has 109 luxury condos, but none of the affordable units TOD is supposed to promote. Our “Housing First” puts billionaires first.

>> Notwithstanding that city elections are nonpartisan, Democrats are waving the party flag for Mayor Kirk Caldwell in his race against Charles Djou, a Republican. Hawaii elections are like a meeting of three wolves and one sheep to vote on what to have for dinner….

read … Rail is headed for the deep after a long, pricey journey

Star-Adv: Caldwell sloppy in handling of federal funds

SA: The federal audit criticizing the city’s use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding sets off multiple alarm bells that signal the crucial need for reforms in the way such funds are spent and overseen.

At issue, according to investigators for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are $15.9 million in expenditures it finds questionable; repayment could be required. The money includes funds used for the acquisition of the Hibiscus Hill apartment complex in Waipahu and the Kaneohe Elderly Apartments, projects intended to boost the city’s inventory of affordable rentals.

What HUD officials raise goes beyond mere technicalities: They raise administrative shortcomings that result in inefficiencies and waste….

in the end, the projects have not yet yielded the apartment units that are sorely needed in an efficient and timely manner….

Among the more serious demerits, HUD noted concerns about procurement procedures. In one case, the city allowed one of its grantees, Hunt Companies Inc., to give a contract to one of its affiliates….

There’s too much work to be done in overcoming Oahu’s affordable housing shortage to allow for this kind of sloppiness….

read … City sloppy in handling of federal funds

Mayor Kenoi’s latest escapades call attention to potential ethics issues

ILind:  …Billy Kenoi, the lame duck Hawaii County Mayor, just can’t catch a break these days. His lawyers’ attempts to get criminal charges thrown out before trial was rejected, and then a video surfaced in which the apparently inebriated mayor liberally tosses out F-bombs in a rambling toast of sorts during an after-hours social event at a conference on Kauai.

The Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials Conference was held this week at the Grand Hyatt at Poipu, Kauai.

Civil Beat posted a video of the scene on Thursday (“Profanity-Laced Video Shows Mayor Partying Hard At Conference Party“). It’s a cringeworthy episode, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy as he steers what’s left of his political train into another very big ditch.

Reporter and blogger Joan Conrow (Kauai Eclectic) identified the source of the video.

Though CB branded the video like it was its own, it was actually lifted from the Facebook page of Jonathan Scheuer, a member of the state Land Use Commission…..

…Scheuer deleted the two videos he’d taken at the event, and issued a FB apology….

…The real issue is ethics. I don’t know about you, but when our public planners are enjoying themselves to the booze and prizes provided by corporate sponsors who they will be called on to regulate when they return to their day jobs, I think that’s a serious concern. And that golf tournament? Did any of the government planners or board and commission members have their entry fees paid by friendly lobbyists? Were development and real estate lobbyists among those registered for the conference? Will all these activities be disclosed?

I hope staff of the State Ethics Commission take a good close look at the various issues raised….

read … Mayor Kenoi’s latest escapades call attention to potential ethics issues

Of Course High Tech Firms Leave Hawaii

DN: …One recent example comes to mind: Hoku Scientific, a darling of the media for far too long, created plenty of jobs. In Pocatello, Idaho. Then, following the path of many others, it’s gone. We didn’t get those jobs yet the newspaper kept hyping Hoku.

I’ve wondered if the best high-tech jobs in the state are the government and private organizations that promote rather than do high-tech….

read … Of Course

‘Grey Area Rules’ have Squelched Hawaii Ocean Aquaculture for Decades

KGI: Right now, anyone can throw a cage into the open ocean within the Economic Enterprise Zone and begin an aquaculture operation, said Joshua DeMello, of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

But with “gray area rules” on things like permits, species and reporting requirements, large-scale companies are hesitant to take advantage of the open ocean just yet.

“No one is doing that,” DeMello said. “We’ve gotten calls in the past about folks that are interested, but a lot of them are waiting to see what type of management plan comes out.”

The beginning of that aquaculture management program for the Pacific Islands Region is in the works, under the eye of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service and in conjunction with Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

The entities are preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing the possible environmental impacts of the proposed management program and alternatives….

“It’s increased a lot in the past, I would say 20 years or so, to the point now where they say aquaculture production is above that of wild capture fisheries,” DeMello said. “That includes all types — land based and open ocean.”

The comment period for the public scoping process to help identify alternatives ends Oct. 31, but DeMello said it won’t be the last time the public has opportunity to comment on the PEIS….

read … Program looks at industrial aquaculture

Getting Out of Gridlock: Should UH start later?

HNN: Traffic planners believe if UH started school at 9 a.m. instead of 7:30, 5,000 cars could be eliminated from the morning rush.  Students don't balk at the idea….

Over the years, various lawmakers have pushed for a later start time for UH to loosen gridlock. Honolulu City Council member Ann Kobayashi pushed for it when she ran for mayor in 2008….

read … Getting Out of Gridlock: Should UH start later?

Homosexual Rape Coverup in Waikiki?

ETN: Man on man rape, this is embarrassing for Hilton Hotels and Resorts. It happened in Hawaii. A Florida man was brutally attacked and permanently injured in a Hilton Hotel Room in Waikiki by a British guest, who happened to be a member of the Royal Military. The attacker was able to leave the country only one day after the alleged rape and attempted murder committed by him without ever being charged….

MN: ‘Superbug’ in Hawaii

read … Homosexual Rape

State’s child abuse letters may violate law

SA: Hawaii island resident Pua Kealoha was puzzled when she received a letter from the state in March suggesting she was abusing a child.

The unsigned, one-page correspondence from the Department of Human Services didn’t specifically identify an alleged perpetrator, but it was addressed to the 64-year-old grandmother, who lives with her 17-year-old grandson in Pahoa.

It noted that the agency received a report alleging child abuse or neglect in Kealoha’s family, had reviewed the report and concluded that the situation in her home “may present a risk of harm” to her child or children.

The letter contained no details — no dates, no names of alleged victims, no specifics on what was alleged.

At the time, DHS officials had not even spoken to Kealoha about the allegations nor had they checked to see if they were credible.

Yet the letter said she had been referred to a nonprofit agency that provides family strengthening services.

The correspondence was sent even though a family guidance center at another state agency, the Department of Health, had been working with Kealoha and concluded she provided excellent care to her grandson.

In the March 22 letter, DHS informed the grandmother of 15 that if she chose not to participate in the voluntary family-strengthening program, the agency could initiate a child abuse investigation — a process with far-reaching implications if wrongdoing is confirmed.

So far this year, DHS has sent more than 1,500 form letters similar to Kealoha’s to parents and others caring for children throughout the state, informing them that a report of suspected abuse or neglect had been received and that the agency had determined the situation in their home may present a risk of harm to a child or children….

read … State’s child abuse letters may violate law



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