Trump Administration Copies Hawaii Pay-for-Outcomes Medical System
America's Senior Health Rankings: Hawaii #1
Oahu Final PIT Homeless Report Released
Big Island: Alleged Crooked Cop was in Running to Become Chief
HTH: … Both former officers will keep their full pensions regardless of the outcomes of their cases, according to police.
Miller retired as a detective Feb. 2, 2018, after 26 years of service, before the department could complete its internal investigation.
Ferreira said once an individual leaves the department, any disciplinary actions that result from an administrative investigation are held in abeyance, or not imposed, as they are no longer under the department’s control.
Ferreira said no administrative investigation was conducted on behalf of Fukui, as his alleged actions happened after he left the department.
Fukui retired as a captain June 30, 2006, after serving 34 years. He applied for police chief in 2008, but Deputy Chief Harry Kubojiri was chosen.
After his time on the force, he worked for the Hawaii County prosecutor’s office as an investigator from 2007 to 2014.
The prosecutor’s office has looked at previous cases where Miller and Fukui were primary investigators. For Miller, prosecutors looked into several old cases during their initial review of the 2018 investigation.
The criminal activity of which Fukui is accused reportedly occurred after his time on both the police force and as an investigator at the prosecutor’s office.
During Fukui’s time at the prosecutor’s office, Roth said Fukui worked in the elder abuse unit but wasn’t a primary investigator.
According to the indictment, Miller is accused of wrongdoings during three separate time frames. Between July 13, 2014, and July 20, 2015, he’s accused of removing FedEx parcels and hindering law enforcement while acting under the color of law enforcement officer’s official authority.
During a time period from May 3-9, 2016, Miller is accused of taking cocaine while it was in police property under deception as well as possessing a compound of drugs….
On Aug. 10, 2017, Miller reportedly conspired to tip off individuals about an imminent search warrant related to gambling operations as well as to remove or destroy gambling devices.
The August incident is allegedly connected to Fukui’s indictment. The former officer and the four civilians are accused of tampering with evidence and intentionally trying to destroy or remove gambling devices.
On Aug. 10, 2017, police conducted a raid on a Hilo arcade establishment, Triple 7, owned by Stacey and Lance Yamada. The Yamada brothers were charged in a separate gambling-related case in March….
read … Chief, mayor react to charges against retired police officers
Report: Oahu’s homeless population falls 1% –not 4%
SA: … Oahu saw only a 1% drop in homelessness in January — not the 4% decline reported in February, according to data released Wednesday.
The updated numbers mean that Oahu’s homeless population dropped from 4,495 people in January 2018 to 4,453 this January during the annual nationwide homeless census called the Point in Time Count, which is conducted for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Combined with a previously reported 2% decline in homelessness across the neighbor islands, the new numbers for Oahu mean that the state had a 1% decline in homelessness in January, according to Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator….
Background: Oahu Final PIT Homeless Report Released
read … Oahu’s homeless population falls 1%
Clear out Bum Feeding Operation to Clean up Chinatown
SA: … River of Life Mission is under pressure to relocate its feeding operation to Iwilei. Chinatown residents and merchants frequently complain about the lines of homeless (drug addicts and criminals)… 15,000 Number of meals served each month at the River of Life Mission…
(Better idea: Just shut it down entirely.)
Josh Green said he believes 40 to 50 homeless people in Chinatown — along with 250 to 300 others around the state — could lead better lives after legislators this session lowered the threshold to give mentally ill people monthly injections that have the potential to help them….
Right now, Green said, some homeless people — often with mental health issues — are costing The Queen’s Medical Center $700,000 to $1 million in annual medical expenses.
One ambulance ride to Queen’s can cost $1,250, along with a physician’s bill of up to $1,700, Green said.
So Green also hopes to expand the operating hours of the year-old Joint Outreach Center, which offers free medical care three days a week in the same building as the Honolulu Police Department’s Chinatown sub-station.
Green said the JOC, as it’s called, saves The Queen’s Medical Center $105,000 a week by diverting patients from Queen’s emergency room….
a dozen or so businesses have extended a 3-month-pilot program to hire private security guards from Bethel to River streets and from North Pauahi to the edge of Beretania streets.
They each pay $70 a week for private security patrols that are authorized to enforce trespassing violations for their privately owned Chinatown doorways. The patrols also report “sit-lie” violations to Honolulu police.
Hiring private security guards “was a suggestion to us from HPD,” said Lee Stack, president of the Chinatown Improvement District….
read … Chinatown homeless: Looking to the future
Will Farmers Have Any Water After Dec 31?
SA: … We know no one wants tourism to be the only economic driver for Hawaii. (and yet …) during recent legislative sessions, our communities were pitted against each other on farming issues, especially water availability. Some characterized this as a fight between taro farmers and corporations, and were gleeful when lawmakers failed to pass legislation allowing hundreds of Kauai, Maui and Hawaii island farmers and ranchers on many thousands of acres continued access to the water that is essential for farming.
To farmers, this isn’t a game. It’s our livelihood. This is about how people treat each other when opinions differ, when resources are limited, when we need to think clearly, make difficult decisions, and share. There is enough water for all.
House Bill 1326 would not have taken away any of the water that has been restored to nearly all of East Maui’s taro streams. But unfortunately, the issue became clouded by confusion.
The bill was necessary because a judge ruled that our permits were not meant to be renewed annually over many years. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is now developing a new system to issue long-term leases. It’s complicated and expensive to address concerns about watershed protection and fair use, but it will provide the stability we need to invest in our farms, confidence that we won’t lose our water on short notice.
The state attorney general has advised farmers and ranchers who rely on water permits that the state cannot legally re-issue them after Dec. 31….
read … Tourism to be the only economic driver for Hawaii.
Wind Farm Pushing Plan to Murder 265 Bats—Uses Sound System as Excuse for Approval
SA: … While installing the new systems, Kawailoa is at also seeking to amend its draft “habitat conservation plan” to include the “incidental take,” or accidental killings, of Hawaiian hoary bats to 265, significantly more than its current allowed take of 60….
The 30 wind turbines at the 69-megawatt farm, which is owned by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC, has caused a higher-than-expected number of bat deaths. The Hawaiian hoary bat, or opeapea, is the only land mammal native to Hawaii and has been listed as an endangered species since 1970, according to guidance documents prepared for the state’s Division of Forestry and Wild Life. It is primarily threatened by collisions with wind turbines, wire fences and communication towers….
Kawailoa Wind, the state’s largest wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore, announced today that it has invested in a system to deter (people from protesting the fact that) Hawaii’s endangered bats
from (are) flying into the turbines….
The (never-before deployed) deterrent system, manufactured by NRG Systems Inc. in Vermont, (allegedly) emits an ultrasonic acoustic field in the same range as the bats’ natural calling frequencies. The system (allegedly) interferes with the bat’s ability to receive and interpret its own echolocation calls, thereby discouraging it from entering the airspace around the wind turbines….
(But mostly it serves as an excuse for the latest plan to kill more bats. If this really works, why are they asking for more bat kills to be approved?)
Kawailoa Wind is the first wind farm to commercially purchase the system from NRG Systems, according to environmental compliance manager Brita Woeck.
(Translation: This is just pie in the sky hype designed to trick you into going along with the increased bat kill.)
read … Wind farm plan aims to reduce Hawaiian bats deaths
Major Maui Water Pollution Case May End Soon
IM: … The Maui County Council is holding a Regular Meeting on May 17, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., in the Council Chamber, 8th Floor, 200 South High Street, Wailuku, Hawaii. …
The agenda lists two related Resolutions, 224 and 225.
Resolution 19-224 -- REQUIRING SETTLEMENT OFFERS IN HAWAII WILDLIFE FUND. ET AL. V. COUNTY OF MAUL RELATING TO THE CLEAN WATER ACT, TO BE TRANSMITTED TO THE COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL…
BB: SCOTUS Docket Foretells Big Environmental Law Impacts
read … Major Maui Water Pollution Case May End Soon
Maui: Bill would restrict use of plastic foodware
MN: … The members heard from a panel including O’Colmain regarding the possible effects of two bills proposed by former Council Member Elle Cochran.
One would restrict the use and sale of single-use plastic disposable foodware, and another would amend the county’s law regarding plastic bags. No action was scheduled for the two bills.
The bill restricting the use and sale of single-use plastic disposable foodware notes that single-use plastic disposable foodware, which continues to exist as microscopic fragments for decades, contributes to the potential death of marine animals and avian populations that may ingest it. It also has been found to be ingested by humans in microplastic through the food chain.
The bill would have food providers “not sell, use, provide, or offer single-use plastic disposable foodware within the county.”
But compostable alternatives can be offered upon request by the customer.
Violations could result in civil penalties up to $1,000….
Panel speaker (and profiteer) Gretchen Losano, co-founder of West Maui Green Cycle (if ban passes, she cashes in), said that the “vast majority” of restaurants that she has sold (sales pitch coming!) compostable products to have shown positive feedback…..
read … Bill would restrict use of plastic foodware
Airbnb claims it could have collected $64M in taxes for Hawaii last year
SA: … If the vacation rental platform Airbnb had been authorized to collect taxes on behalf of the state last year, it would have hauled in $64 million in Hawaii hotel room and excise tax revenues, the company says.
The company made that claim in a letter to Gov. David Ige today urging him to sign Senate Bill 1292, a controversial bill that would make Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms agents of the state for tax collection purposes.
Matt Middlebrook, head of public policy in Hawaii for Airbnb, said the company expects the total tax take would “greatly exceed” $64 million if Ige signs the bill because it would require other vacation rental platforms such as HomeAway, TripAdvisor and VRBO to also collect taxes on behalf of the state….
read … Airbnb claims it could have collected $64M in taxes for Hawaii last year
‘Action plan’ necessary for county to access federal disaster recovery grant
HTH: … “It’s a big opportunity that Congress and the Trump administration have provided for recovery efforts.”
To access the grant, which U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Monday, the county will have to develop an “action plan” that would identify gaps in recovery efforts from last year’s Kilauea eruption. Ley said that should be done about the same time as a long-term recovery plan, expected to be drafted toward the end of the year.
She said the funds could be used for building new homes, replacing infrastructure, assisting businesses and other recovery efforts in lower Puna, where 716 permitted structures were destroyed.
Ley said the county can use these funds as matches for other federal assistance programs….
read … ‘Action plan’ necessary for county to access federal disaster recovery grant
OSHA Fines Big Island Bus System
HTH: … The Federal Transit Administration isn’t the only U.S. agency finding problems at the county’s beleaguered Mass Transit Agency.
The county earlier this year entered into a settlement agreement with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 10 infractions — two of them deemed “serious” — stemming from a September inspection. “Serious,” in OSHA parlance, is used when “there is a high probability death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”
The county rectified the problems and was fined $4,057 under the informal settlement. Two of the violations were dropped. The case, the only OSHA citations the county received last year, was closed Jan. 24, according to reports on the OSHA website.
The surprise Sept. 5 inspection came as former Mass Transit Administrator Maria “Sole” Aranguiz was at the helm. Aranguiz resigned effective Oct. 26. Brenda Carreira, the third administrator in a year, took over Nov. 1….
read … County rectifies Mass Transit OSHA violations
Another DoE SPED Success Story: 8-year-old with autism served with restraining order
KITV: … despite his good grades at Connections Public Charter School in Hilo, being on the autism spectrum, it wasn't always easy for Ezra to come out of his shell.
"When he's having interactions now in the third grade, misinterpreting them is sometimes leading to the conflicts that he has with his peers….
When Kasha first heard about it from another parent, she talked with the school and was told Ezra would be eligible for individualized behavioral help.
Then she said she was blindsided when her 8-year-old was served with a temporary restraining order from another parent.
"You know the school has no choice but to enforce this TRO, it's the law and to do so they have to have somebody basically follow him around and make sure he doesn't have any interactions with the other children," Litecky said.
According to Kasha, the order means Ezra will be singled out, even more isolated from his classmates, something Dr. Matthew Brink from Malama Pono Autism Center says won't help children with autism.
"Ultimately that student is now being further removed from peers and typically developing classrooms where he or she would probably benefit from having that exposure," Dr. Brink said.
Brink says with the right intervention and education, kids with autism can become successful before behavior becomes a problem in school.
"Aggression is a behavior that can be readily minimized if not eliminated with the right support systems in the classroom," Dr. Brink said.
read … 8-year-old with autism served with restraining order
Snorkel Rentals Kill: Searching For Answers To Unexplained Snorkeling Deaths
CB: … Hawaii appears to be the focal point of numerous drownings, most of which are ocean-related and the majority of which involve tourists with predilection for ages over 50.
The Medical Examiner’s office has been assiduous in examining postmortem cases, but the nature of this form of demise makes it difficult to retrospectively reconstruct the reason for drowning in many cases.
A study in progress has resulted in our understanding that the usual proposed explanations for these events are not the cause; they include anxiety, panic, fatigue, inexperience, and for years the role of carbon dioxide rebreathing has been repeatedly eliminated as well. It has been demonstrated that some of these mysterious cases (and possibly the majority) are caused by hypoxia (lack of sufficient oxygen in circulation blood to support life). Lack of sufficient oxygen rapidly leads to functional failure of body systems, including and especially the brain.
Confusion, diminished consciousness, weakness, and loss of normal reflex responses are symptoms commonly experienced in this setting. …
An interesting hypothesis being addressed relates to long-haul air travel which is required to arrive in Hawaii ….
read … Searching For Answers To Unexplained Snorkeling Deaths