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Sunday, April 8, 2018
April 8, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:48 PM :: 2832 Views

Can Government Avoid Its Responsibilities with LLCs?

OHA Trustees to Order Shutdown of LLCs?

Next Rail Money Grab: Caldwell Still has no Plan for Operating Costs

Shapiro: The machinations at Honolulu Hale to fund a potential $44 million shortfall for rail administration in 2019 portend an even bigger predicament rumbling down the track.

If the mayor and City Council can’t comfortably cover this relatively small deficit that supposedly exists only on paper, how will they pay three times as much every year for rail operations and maintenance once trains start running?

There’s been intense scrutiny of runaway rail construction costs closing in on $10 billion but little focus on the coming financial wallop from train operating costs. Estimates run as high as $140 million a year depending on ridership, and more than a decade into rail planning, city leaders have little idea of how they’ll pay for it.

Funding sources for operations weren’t part of the original rail plan and city leaders have skirted public discussion of options….

The city has avoided honest discussion of rail operating costs for far too long, and will soon have its back ag­ainst the wall with the first trains between Kapolei and Aloha Stadium set to start running as early as 2020….

Related: Caldwell Invents $214M Rail Deficit by Changing Budget Assumptions

read … Operating costs of rail require stable, long-term funding

Election Gambit: Hanabusa’s Legislators Push to Double Number of Homeless on Streets Just Before Voting Begins

SA: With every House seat and nearly half of the Senate (the Governor’s seat) up for election this year in Hawaii, lawmakers are preparing to throw a political Hail Mary to show some progress on (exploit) the homeless issue (to put Hanabusa over the top August 11th).

The plan is to create government-sanctioned, homeless “ohana zones” that have had little success so far….

(But that won’t happen til after the August 11 Primary election.  First, they want to close all the homeless shelters effective the first day of the Fiscal Year – July 1st.  This just happens to be two weeks before absentee ballots start arriving in mailboxes.)

Legislators in both chambers have not agreed on the details of what Hawaii’s next ohana zone should look like, how big it should be or where it should be located (because none of that is important.  This is all about the election.)

But “there is a sense of urgency,” said state Rep. John Mizuno…  (He’s been pushing tent cities for a decade.  August 11th is ‘urgent’.)

“We understand the gravity of it,” Mizuno said. “Once the state gets involved, we’re (Ige’s) going to be liable for everything that happens. We cannot fail (to get Hanabusa elected).”…

The House gutted Gov. David Ige’s more than $8 million budget request to continue funding programs endorsed by federal housing officials such as Housing First, which places chronically homeless people into market-rate rental units where they get help for their problems, including mental health and substance abuse; and so-called rapid re-housing, which provides one-time financial assistance like first month’s rent or utility deposits to help financially qualified homeless people get into housing.  (Translation: Dump them all back out on the streets July 1.)

Instead, the House wants to pour $30 million in capital improvement money to build infrastructure for ohana zones. House Speaker Scott Saiki said existing homeless programs still could be funded through stand-alone bills (empty talk). The Senate wants to fund $15.9 million to continue existing homeless programs, including Housing First, and has budgeted a modest $650,000 for an ohana zone pilot project for Hawaii County (watch what happens when that hits conference committee)…..

Out of 51 homeless people who went through Camp Kikaha, more than half — 28 people — were kicked out, arrested or left on their own and were presumed to be homeless again. Lance Niimi, Hawaii County’s homeless coordinator who was in charge of creating Camp Kikaha, resigned from the county last week (because homeless tent cities are the problem, not the solution).

“It was basically an asphalt piece of property in an industrial area where people could put up their makeshift tarps and tents,” Espero said. “Visually it didn’t look very nice at all. It just looked like another homeless camp.”….  (Espero has been pushing tent cities for a decade, this is empty talk coming from him.)

Critics of ohana zones such as Marc Alexander, executive director of the city’s Office of Housing, insist that the Camp Kikaha experiment underscored Honolulu’s tent city experience in Aala Park from 1990 to 1993 that abruptly ended following a night of “wilding” that included an attempted murder and a trail of crime scenes.

“We know safe zones are a failure,” Alexander said. “Look at Hawaii island, Kona. They simply don’t work. At the same time the Legislature is trying to de-fund Housing First for something that is a social experiment that has failed at Aala Park and now Kona. This is a travesty.”…

If the Senate and House can reach agreement, Mizuno hopes legislative leaders will then work with Gov. David Ige to find an appropriate site for Hawaii’s next ohana zone and have it up and running by the end of the year.

“It’s not the perfect solution to have ohana zones,” the House member said. (But it is perfect timing for the Aug 11 Primary.) “But if we are to open the first ohana zone by September, October or November (after Hanabusa has been elected in the Primary but before she takes office), we need to make sure they do not fail (to get Hanabusa elected).”

read … State lawmakers push for ohana zones to aid the homeless

Elaborate homeless camps continue to pop up, but homeless numbers are going down

KHON: …Despite what you see, experts say the number of homeless people in Hawaii is decreasing, but the way those on the streets choose to live is getting more elaborate and dangerous, even underground.

A man was recently removed from living in a hole beneath the Makiki Post Office along Lunalilo Street.

A spokesperson for the United States Postal Service confirmed that the man had been living in the underground trench.

No one knows how long he had been living there, but the postal service said homeless camps are constantly popping up around the Makiki Post Office.

Less than two miles away, on the other side of H-1, underneath the McCully Street overpass, there is another camp.

It's much more elaborate.

It looks like a living room. There's a couch, a coffee table, television, a rug and other household items.

Next to that, there is, what looks like a mini kitchen set up with a microwave, blender, small grill, toaster and pots and pans….

"For about the last five years, Hawaii did have the highest homeless per capita than any state in the country," according to Carvalho.

"But for the last year or so we've really been making a lot of progress. We saw a 19 percent decrease in  homeless families and a 12 percent decrease in unsheltered homeless individuals across the state."…

Carvalho encourages people to contact the Institute for Human Services if they see homeless that they think need help….

FO: NC Homeless Dude Tried to Fly to Hawaii With Large Dog

read … Elaborate homeless camps continue to pop up, but homeless numbers are going down

Ige expresses confidence in re-election, despite setbacks

MN: …It’s been a tough several weeks for Ige with the Tsutsui endorsement of Hanabusa and reports of key lawmakers in the Legislature signing on to a fundraising letter for her. A Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll published late last month showed Ige trailing Hanabusa by 20 percentage points as he seeks a second four-year term.

“We certainly believe and I know that we will be able to make up that deficit,” Ige said. “We have a good plan in place and are executing it. I feel good about where our campaign is. We have a very strong grassroots effort all across the state.” ….

At the top of the Maui County list of accomplishments, Ige took credit for getting over the finish line the transfer of operational control of county public hospitals to the private Maui Health System, a Kaiser Permanente subsidiary. Last July 1, Maui Health System took over Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital from the quasi-public Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region.

The move to a private hospital operator to reduce costs and to maintain the level care “is something that has been talked about . . . on Maui for more than a decade,” Ige said. “And they were unable to do it until I became governor. Obviously, that’s working with many in the community that wanted to see it through, but after talking about wanting to do it for many years we actually got it done.

“It is the mostly complex transaction in the history of the state of Hawaii.”

Maui Health System’s operation of the hospitals “over the long haul will certainly improve access to quality health care services on Maui.”….

Ige mentioned that he hoped Maui Health System would negotiate a fair contract with the unions representing former public hospital workers….

MN: Gov. Ige defends state DOT on bypass

read … Ige Plays Defense

Borreca: Hanabusa Said Something About Gun Control Back in 2013

Borreca: …Hanabusa wrote in a 2013 Huffington Post op-ed piece entitled “Hawaii Has Shown That Gun Control Works.”….


read … Hanabusa Commercial

#MeToo: Oahu Homosexual Child Molester Victim Tells Story

SA: …David Marich has lived with shame and anger for years.

The shame, he said, dates to 1984 when he delivered newspapers in Mili­lani. One of his customers — a single man living by himself — befriended Marich, then 14, and paid the youth to do small jobs in his apartment. The man was helping the teenager earn money to attend a Def Leppard concert in Honolulu.

On two occasions, Marich said, the man sexually molested him inside the apartment. For about a decade, Marich added, he told no one what happened.

But over the years, Marich, now 50 and living near Seattle with his wife and son, said he became increasingly angry at the man from his paper route….

“Up to now, I’ve been ashamed,” Marich said in an email to the newspaper. “But now I think that since the women are allowed to have a voice, I feel the men should, too. And I do not care about the consequences.”….

“I was basically lost for years,” Marich, a case manager for mentally ill patients, told the Star-Advertiser. “I had no idea who I was.”….

Marich, the Washington state resident, was motivated to tell his story partly because he wanted to get back at his alleged abuser, who is in his 70s and still runs a business on Oahu.

Marich urged the Star-Advertiser to name the man, whom he described as a scum and monster….

“I’m sure that it must be real to him,” the man said. But “there was nothing that (happened) I would consider inappropriate.” 

(IQ Test: Is that a denial or an admission?)

(In 1993) Marich called his alleged abuser in Hawaii to confront him, and the man sent him $200 to buy his silence, according to Marich. He said he also called the Honolulu police but was told the statute of limitations for sex assault had lapsed.

The alleged abuser acknowledged sending Marich money…

read … #MeToo movement prompts man to share story of alleged abuse as Oahu teen

Complicity via silence is second hidden crime of sex harassment

SA: …Right now, however, there are so many who feel they cannot say anything because of the valid risks of losing their jobs, relationships, reputation and ability to remain where they live. This is the truth in Hawaii, and it’s a hard one to acknowledge…..

read … Complicity via silence is second hidden crime of sex harassment

Longliners codify ethics in push-back against human rights allegations

SA: Stung by lingering allegations of human trafficking and forced labor, the Hawaii fishing industry has developed a formal code of conduct, crew handbook and model employee contract aimed at protecting the workers aboard its fleet of more than 140 vessels.

“It makes the most amount of sense that we give the public a certain degree of confidence that none of this is happening in our industry,” said Khang Dang, owner of 22 fishing boats and a member of the Hawaii Longline Association board of directors.

The documents — available in five languages and distributed to fishermen in the harbor last week — are designed to let the largely foreign ranks of contract fishing crew members clearly understand their rights, benefits and grievance procedures while they are working in Hawaii…..

read … Longliners codify ethics in push-back against human rights allegations



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