Ige Appoints DLIR Director to Head DoTax
Moody's: UH Bonds Stable as Long as Legislature Continues to Pony Up
HUD: Hawaii #1 State for Homelessness
After Losing Judge, KSBE Tries Apologizing for Letting Child Molester Run Rampant
Top Four HS Teams to Face Off in Hawaii LifeSmarts Competition
Rumors Swirl, List of Suspects—When Will #metoo reckonings reach Hawaii?
Cataluna: …there have been water cooler whispers, for sure. Lists of possible suspects. Old stories from back in the day. Rumors about creeps we all know. But so far, no victims coming forward in the media flanked by lawyers presenting new claims and clear evidence that could take down a notable Hawaii leader.
It’s not because it hasn’t happened here, that’s for sure….
There is still a culture of quiet in place here. People deal with things in their own way and want to keep dirty stuff private, even if they’re the innocent victim. It’s not as “no talk stink” as in previous generations, but still, people in Hawaii tend to keep their cards close to the vest. Oh, people whisper and rumors swirl, but folks might not want it all spilled out in public where they can lose control of their own story.
Again, not that it hasn’t happened here. Not that it isn’t about to all come loose in the near future. Just notable that with everything happening across the country, there’s been nothing here yet….
This head-spinning house-cleaning of rapists, molesters and harassers has been referred to as the #metoo movement….
Big Q: Do you know someone who has struggled with sexual harassment in the workplace?
SA: ‘Me Too’ should be revolutionary
read … The wave of #metoo reckonings has not reached Hawaii yet
Ex-vice chairman of Real Estate commission, wife indicted for theft
HTH: The former vice chairman of the state Real Estate Commission and his wife have been indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $200,000 from two East Hawaii clients.
A Hilo grand jury on Wednesday returned separate indictments against 53-year-old Scott Alan Sherley and his 52-year-old wife, Penny T. Sherley, also known as Penny Honda. Both Sherleys, former Big Island residents who now live in Waipahu, Oahu, are charged with two counts of first-degree theft.
First-degree theft is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, upon conviction.
A judge set bail at $20,000 for each, and bench warrants for their arrests are being processed.
The indictments accuse the Sherleys of bilking the revocable living trust of Edward G. Pereira and Frances G. Pereira between Oct. 19, 2011, and Nov. 2, 2015, and of draining funds from the Kawili Regency condominium owners’ association.
According to police, the amount allegedly misappropriated from the Pereira trust, owner of Pereira Apartments, was $135,633, and the amount allegedly taken from the Kawili Regency condo association was $80,000.
“Frances Pereira is 92 years old, and her husband, Edward Pereira, died in 2014 at an advanced age,” Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville said Thursday….
read … Vice
DoTax: Will Yet Another Tech Upgrade Succumb to HGEA Sabotage?
PBN: "Change is hard," said Hawaii Gov. David Ige in response to a third-party report that the Hawaii Department of Taxation’s $59 million tax system modernization project is dealing with “pockets of resistance” in the department’s staff….
Ige told media on Wednesday that Zielinski’s resignation is not related to the tax modernization project (yeah, right) and the director of taxation’s role in the project will not change under the new leadership…..
Amid concerns from lawmakers over the slow progress of the project, Ige appointed state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy as the TSM's executive sponsor in July to oversee the project alongside tax department Deputy Director Damien Elefante….
Hawaii News Now reported HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira wrote to Ige last month about the “lack of confidence in the project leadership of the DoTax deputy director and the state’s chief information officer.”
Ige told media his administration is engaged in discussions with HGEA on the project.
“I think in any kind of organization, change is hard,” Ige said, on the personnel conflicts detailed in the AdvanTech report and raised by HGEA. “I want [the employees] to be assured that every one of them will have a job. We are looking at providing the training that they need and we want them to become experts on the new system because we do believe that it will allow them to be more efficient and effective.
"We are committed to providing all of the training that they need so that on a going forward basis, once the project is completed and successfully implemented we’ll be able to make the changes in the new tax system that we were unable to make previously.”…
Big Q: Do you think the state’s $60 million Tax System Modernization project will succeed?
read … Abacus in your future
Feds: Many Public Housing Units For The Disabled Aren’t Really Accessible
CB: …In his complaint last year, Erteschik alleged that Hawaii Public Housing Authority didn’t have enough public housing units to meet federal requirements.
HUD found the Housing Authority designated the correct number of units to be accessible for disabled people, but that many of those units had “deficiencies and non-compliance features, therefore not fully meeting the definition of ‘accessible,'” the federal agency wrote in a letter to Erteschik and Ouansafi.
“HUD surveys identified and documented 471 non-compliant items in the interiors of designated units as well as in common areas, including ramps, designated accessible routes, accessible parking areas, public restrooms, and community centers,” HUD wrote.
“Similar non-compliance was found in newly renovated projects with alterations amounting to 75 percent or more of the replacement cost.”.
The investigators found that many of these deficiencies weren’t documented or addressed, and were not part of an ongoing self-evaluation process that the Housing Authority started in 2011.
In some cases, people living in the accessible units didn’t have disabilities, the preliminary report found.…
read … Feds: Many Public Housing Units For The Disabled Aren’t Really Accessible
Escaping Lunatics: Maybe Ballard will give us Honest Answers?
SA: …Nearly a full month has passed since Saito, who was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity, slipped away from the psychiatric hospital in Kaneohe, made his way to Maui and then to California — all before the alarm was even sounded. Deputy sheriffs captured him in Stockton, three days after his escape, after receiving a tip from a cab company.
The public is now due for a candid update of what went wrong and a strategy for avoiding future screw-ups….
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, state officials did the right thing by tasking six investigators from the state Attorney General’s Office with piecing together how the escape occurred, and suspending without pay seven hospital employees tied to the incident.
The suspensions touched off workplace concerns about long-standing problems at the hospital that struggles with overcrowded patient conditions; an increasing number of high-risk, potentially violent patients; and ever- present concerns about employee safety. But as plans are rolling for Saito’s extradition hearing on the mainland, the public here must be kept up to speed on concerning matters….
The public deserves a satisfactory accounting. Let’s hope it’s delivered under the fledgling HPD leadership of Chief Susan Ballard, who is already more candid and accessible than some predecessors….
SA:City Council approves expansion of State Hospital
read … Time to explain hospital escapes
Hawaii County: Drunk Firefighter Driving Ambulance
KHON: A Hawaii island firefighter is being disciplined for having alcohol in his system while on duty.
The fire chief for the Hawaii Fire Department says the firefighter’s blood alcohol level did not exceed the legal limit, so no law was broken, but the firefighter still violated department rules.
When Paula Honda called for an ambulance for her grandmother in Waiakea, she noticed that the driver did not seem right. Some firefighters on Hawaii island are also trained as paramedics.
“He was very red. He was reeking of alcohol. He was also chewing gum. He really didn’t ask very many questions himself,” she said.
Honda says she called the fire department right away to report it because she was afraid something terrible might happen….
read … Cover up
Kauai Mayoral Race Candidates Forum
KGI: Mel Rapozo noted that he was the only council member against raising the general excise tax to fund public transportation improvements at Wednesday’s council meeting….
read … Mayoral
Queen Kaahumanu Highway project costs rise again
WHT: It’s going to cost another $16.3 million to widen Queen Kaahumanu Highway from Kealakehe Parkway to Keahole Airport Road, compared to numbers released earlier this year, putting the project more than $30 million over initial estimates from its groundbreaking two years ago.
The project, once complete, will widen a little more than 5 miles of Highway 19 from two to four lanes while also putting in new lights and signals….
The Hawaii Department of Transportation broke ground on phase two of the project in September 2015. At that time, the cost was estimated at $90 million. But even by then, that number was well over the $76 million contract awarded in 2010.
The new cost, now pegged at $121.3 million, reflects the “approximate current contract amount,” according to a Hawaii DOT website that publishes data and status reports for all current state highway projects….
WHT: Stop and go: Timeline lays out highway project’s many detours
read … Queen Kaahumanu Highway project costs rise again
100-year-old veteran inspires bill for Pacific war memorial
SA: …Centenarian Adm. Lloyd “Joe” Vasey survived 21 attacks by the Japanese, one by the French, one by the Germans and three by friendly fire during his World War II years.
But he said that he’s prepared to go to battle again to see his longtime dream of adding a Pacific war memorial to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument….
A bipartisan bill called the “Admiral Lloyd R. ‘Joe’ Vasey Pacific War Commemorative Display Establishment Act” unanimously passed the U.S. House on the 76th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. The bill was introduced around Veterans Day by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who is chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources and an Armed Services Committee member. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the bill’s U.S. Senate companion, which was co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), on Thursday….
SA: Remaining survivors determined that Pearl Harbor not be forgotten
read … 100-year-old veteran inspires bill for Pacific war memorial