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Thursday, December 19, 2019
December 19, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:42 PM :: 2703 Views

Why You Should Mahalo OHA Trustee Keli'i Akina

State Supreme Court to Hear Gut n Replace Appeal

​Impeachment: Gabbard Votes 'Present'

Grassroot: Ige’s fiscal 2021 budget ‘unsustainable’ 

Barbers Point Air Museum Sues Airports Division to Block Eviction, Destruction of US Navy-owned Planes

Alleged Synagogue Vandal Arrested in Kailua-Kona 

Ige plans to pull state law enforcement from Mauna Kea

SA: … Gov. David Ige plans to pull state law enforcement officers back from the scene of the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope, at least temporarily, sources said this morning.

According to a memo distributed by the Ige administration this morning, Ige expressed his “severe disappointment that TMT will not move forward for now, despite months of often intense behind-the-scenes discussions” involving TMT, law enforcement and the protesters….

The memo also said that the TMT is not immediately ready to proceed with the project, prompting Ige to notify the protesters of the temporary stand-down by law enforcement.

However, Ige has said repeatedly he still intends to reassert the “rule of law” and reopen the Mauna Kea Access Road to allow construction to resume on the $1.4 billion telescope.

“It is our understanding that Hawaii County will give the protesters time to remove the unauthorized structures and materials before undertaking its own clearance procedures,” according to the Ige administration memo.

The stand-down is expected to last more than 22 weeks, according to one source, but it is unclear what will happen after that.

It is also unclear if the stand-down will prompt the TMT opponents to vacate the protest site they have occupied on the mountain for more than 22 weeks.

Pua Case, one of the leaders of the protest, said state highways crews are expected to begin removing the barricades along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway today, but said the TMT opponents are not yet certain exactly what that means….

The stand-down did not appear to have taken effect as of 8 a.m. this morning. A half-dozen vehicles belonging to law enforcement officers with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources remained parked above the barricade on the access road as about 30 protesters chanted and danced ….

Related: TMT: Time to Reassess Viability of Hawaii Telescope Project

LINK: Ige News Conference LIVE at 11AM

read … Ige plans to pull state law enforcement from Mauna Kea

Hawaii County Council rejects agreement with state on cost of policing TMT protests

SA: … Frustration with the standoff on Mauna Kea and the high cost of policing the protests boiled over today as the Hawaii County Council voted 9-0 to reject an agreement that would have required the state to pick up the tab for county police overtime and other protest-related costs.

Council members said they want to recover the millions of dollars that county police have already spent coping with the protests and patrolling the Daniel K. Inouye Highway around the protest camp. But the council refused to endorse a deal signed by Mayor Harry Kim that would have required county police to respond to Mauna Kea protests for up to five more years….

read … Hawaii County Council rejects agreement with state on cost of policing TMT protests

Majority of HGEA  Positions Unnecessary—Could be Eliminated Easily

CB: … most of the tasks handed to clerical and support staff from administrative staff have no great impact on the overall services of the department to the general public. They exist because someone back 30 years ago got a position description approved and created a job so that they would not have to deal with so much paperwork. It had nothing to do with policy implementing but because the government of the day needed to generate documents and patronage.

Job creation within civil service and political patronage is long a tradition. The Republicans did it during the Territorial years. The Democrats do it now.

But we need to come to terms with the fact that our bureaucracy (and its managerial feudal culture) is an impediment to moving Hawaii forward….

For example, in one government agency I know of, their G-1s (leave requests) are not online but must be mailed to the director for her signature and must attain a set of stamps that is then scanned. That process comes from another era and it is one of the sh*t work that clerical staff have to do. All government departments should come up with best practices and the role of clerical staff should be to help continually to modernize processes.

To that end, there also needs to be a dramatic shift in the way our bureaucracy operates beginning with the institutional culture, beginning with the backbone of the bureaucracy — the clerical staff which includes office assistants, clerks, and secretaries. Clerical classifications should be streamlined and highly specific positions within the clerical staff should be eliminated. There should also be a uniform set of procedures within each branch of government that would allow a clerical staff member to seamlessly move to any government department.

The Department of Human Resource and Development should train all clerical staff in order to ensure uniformity of processes as well as state-wide policies before say an office assistant be deployed to work in any government department. In this way, this would reduce the way that some administrators bully their subordinates on processes through unnecessary nitpicking and would allow every new office assistant to share the same base knowledge and best practices.

Also, by eliminating highly specialized clerical staff, it would remove the source of patronage through a system of “Approval of Temporary Assignments” and “Requests for Exemptions” whereby some administrators will appoint their friends due to a “lack of qualified candidates.”…

In line with this, the layers of bureaucracy need to be removed…

This is the 21st century. There is no reason why G-1s for example need to be hand stamped when e-Sign and other programs exist.

Administrators should also be streamlined, their position descriptions simplified, and a good lot of them should be retrained. One of the worst trainers I ever had bluntly told me that “Well, bureaucracy is what keeps us employed.” That type of attitude should be driven out of civil service….

In order to help the public and ease the amount of paperwork generated, there should be a general rule that any set of paperwork on the state level that does not require construction or health inspection, should only require a maximum of two signatures and two windows to complete — if it’s not online.

The state and county pay for maintaining “legacy programs” and there are some agencies that run programs from the Windows 95 operating system. While one can argue that upgrading these systems and retraining the bureaucracy will be expensive, but so is maintaining outdated programs and stocking up on paper and stamp ink not to mention the corruption that is able to slide through the hands of some.

The hardworking members of the civil service as well as the general public deserve a transformative and modern bureaucracy to act as a catalyst for changing the reputation of Hawaii as one of the worst places to conduct business to one of the best….

read … How To Reform Our Inefficient Bureaucracies

State Agribusiness Dev Corp land a haven for criminal activity for years—ADC Spokesman: “We don’t want to do a sweep”

KHON: … the area is being used as a massive chop shop.

After recovering his stolen car, the man, who didn’t want to be identified, took pictures of the the farmland area by Kamehameha Highway and Nui Avenue. He said he was astounded by the number of cars there, and the magnitude of what he says is a chop shop.

(Two words ADC doesn’t think about: “Soil remediation.”)

“They have tents, they have work stations, there’s generators, they operate at night. It’s a 24-hour run chop shop,” he said.

(Rent free!)

He says everyone seems to know that this has been going on for years, and he can’t understand why no one has put a stop to it.

“These thieves are not shy, they’re not even hiding it in plain sight, plain sight. So I think something needs to be done to stop this operation,” the man said.

(Maybe they should erect a billboard so they can get more business.)

The land is owned by the state’s Agribusiness Development Corporation. Project Manager Ken Nakamoto says they’ve tried repeatedly to keep the criminal elements out. (Not!)

“Our gates and barriers that were installed have been removed time and time again despite our efforts to try and put them back as soon as possible,” said Nakamoto. (Whatever.)

He says there’s also a lawsuit pending over the property. So the state doesn’t want to put a lot of resources into it until that’s resolved.

(Translation: “We refuse to remove them.”)

He adds that state sheriffs were ready to move in and drive the criminals out (and arrest them?  Nah.) but they’ll likely just come back. 

(If they were in jail they would not be able to come back.  But putting criminals in jail is never part of the plan here.)

“We didn’t want to put in all these resources to do a sweep and a cleanup when we’ve known through experience that when we do this without some kind of long term presence, the problem will return within a day or two,” said Nakamoto.

(Translation: “We refuse to remove them.”)

read … State land a haven for criminal activity for years

2 suspects fatally shot by police were both on probation—Now Dead Because They Weren’t Jailed

SA: … The 34-year-old who was shot and killed by police at the New City Nissan on Monday was wanted on a federal warrant for probation violation, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed.

Federal court records show that Dustin Spencer was on probation for a federal case in which he was convicted of the crime of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

On Jan. 29, 2014, Spencer had been sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release.

Earlier this year on July 24, U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ordered that Spencer be released to the Sand Island Treatment Center.

The underlying case was a June 26, 2007, arrest in which police were called to the area of Round Top Drive and Tantalus Drive due to a report of a gunshot being heard, court records show.

When police found the car on Tantalus Drive, the front seat passenger had a .38-caliber pistol.

The passenger said Spencer, the driver, fired the gun twice and threw it at him, the affidavit said.

Spencer confessed to police he fired one round, and apologized for being high on “ice” and Valium, the affidavit said.

At that point, Spencer had two felony convictions in circuit court for first-degree terroristic threatening.

Dana Brown, the 27-year-old man fatally shot early Tuesday morning by a patrol officer at Campbell Industrial Park, had been put on probation in September for one year after pleading no contest to unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.

Judge Rowena Somerville sentenced him to one year probation.

He also was convicted Feb. 11 of a fourth-degree theft — a petty misdemeanor.

He also was wanted on an $11,000 bench warrant for abuse of a household or family member.

A patrol officer with no backup followed Brown after he was riding a moped on the wrong side of Makaole Street in the Campbell Industrial Park area before 1 a.m. Tuesday….

Big Q: How have Honolulu police handled the recent rash of violent crimes?

read … Two Dead Tweekers

13 Convictions in 7 Years: Out on Street Doing it Again

KITV: … New details have surfaced on a robbery last week that spanned from Mokuleia to Waipahu.

A resident told police he witnessed a man pull up to his home on Au Street and use bolt cutters to cut the key storage lock box on his Toyota Tacoma. When he yelled at him, he said another man he later identified as 25-year-old Victor Gascon III pointed a handgun at him, then both men took off in another vehicle.

The witness called 911, and police tracked the car to Waipahu. Two women who were passengers in the car were arrested on unrelated warrants, and both men were arrested after a brief manhunt.

Gascon has a lengthy criminal history including 13 prior convictions….

(Do the math: 25-18=7 13/7 nearly 2 convictions per year of ‘adult’ life – and yet he is not incarcerated.)

KITV: KCAA Wai-Kahala Preschool cancels field trips amid rise in violent crime

read … Soft on Crime

More Homeless Mayhem: Lifelong Criminal Gets 5 Years after Pleading Down Rape, Kidnapping Charge

MN: … A 59-year-old man with multiple criminal convictions, including a murder 40 years ago, was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for threatening a woman in a Queen Ka’ahumanu Center bathroom in January….

“Sorry all this wen happen judge,” Birano said. “This is all cause we smoke dope in the bathroom.”

Birano told Bissen that he and the woman were smoking crystal methamphetamine. He said he had only met the woman in Sears that day and thought he could trust her.

Apo said Birano and the woman engaged in a consensual sexual act, then the woman “freaks out.”

Apo said that he personally investigated the mall area and talked to witnesses and frequent mallgoers, some of whom questioned the victim’s credibility, saying she uses drugs and hangs out in the mall….

But First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera painted another picture of Birano and the victim, whom he says was “vulnerable” with her chronic homelessness, along with emotional and physical disabilities and lack of family support.

“She is the most vulnerable victim,” Rivera later said.

He said the woman reported that Birano pushed her into the men’s bathroom to have sex with her and threatened her and her family with a knife.

“She was terrified,” Rivera said.

It wasn’t until a male janitor came into the bathroom that the woman was able to escape….

According to an article published in March 1979 in The Maui News, Birano was 18 years old when he was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Clendes Fernandez, who was stabbed to death outside his Kahului home on June 18, 1978. Fernandez had intervened after Birano had threatened to beat Fernandez’s stepsister, who was also Birano’s girlfriend.

Birano’s criminal activity continued over the years on Maui and Oahu for charges that included second-degree escape, second-degree promoting prison contraband, second-degree assault and second-degree theft, among others, records show….

read … Finally Forced to Accept Shelter—in Jail

Big Island paramedicine program targets Frequent 911 Callers

WHT: … Paramedicine programs have proven effective, reducing ER visits by half, according to a 2014 study of programs in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Hawaii Island’s program, which began in late 2017, sends paramedics to the homes of the island’s top 200 callers of 911. They encourage individuals, when uncertain if a 911 call is appropriate, to try non-urgent options, when appropriate….

In 2017, the top caller to 911 dialed dispatchers 82 times in 12 months — summoning emergency personnel an average of once every 4 1/2 days. The estimated cost to respond and transport that single person to the ER was $426,000, including $1,200 per ambulance transport and an average of $4,000 per ER visit….

read … Big boost for West Hawaii paramedicine program

$350M Stadium Designed to Subsidize Development of ‘Entertainment District’

HNN: … The state will soon start seeking proposals and hopes to choose the developer by next August.

The goal is to have a new 35,000 seat stadium built in the next five years.

The total cost for the new stadium is $350 million….

(Translation: 10 years and $700M)

The entire area, called an entertainment district, would be built in phases over 10 to 15 years.

“My concern is that we just have to be on budget and on time. We can’t be rail 2.0 over budget and who knows when the thing is going to be done.”

The state has also launched a new website…

How Worried Should We Be About Sea Level Rise?  (Answer: Not worried enough to stop building a new stadium at sea level.)

read … Options for the future of Aloha Stadium are laid out at a community meeting

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