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Tuesday, January 24, 2023
January 24, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:06 PM :: 1195 Views

Green's State of the State: What's to like?

Green Signs Homeless Emergency Proclamation

December Unemployment 3.2%

Proposed Hawaii State Privacy Laws

Hawaii ranked as most expensive state to buy eggs

Kouchi: Tax Cuts are Dead on Arrival, but we’ll make it look good

KITV: … Both Senate and House leaders say they generally agree with the governor's proposals in his first state-of-the-state address. But ultimately what can be accomplished comes down to the budget.

(Translation: We’re going to give the money to the unions.  There won’t be anything left for tax cuts.)

"He's kind of generally diagnosed the problem. And now you're looking at the surgeons who are going in and making the fine cuts," said Senate President Ron Kouchi, who represents Kauai and Niihau….

SA: Green — an emergency room doctor — outlined a prognosis to many of Hawaii’s ills as a “general practitioner,” Kouchi said, and it’s now up to the Senate to serve as “the scalpel.”

(Translation: I will put a scalpel in your back.)

read … State leaders to consider tax cuts for struggling families

Attorney General launches cover-up of illegal fireworks delivery to Guards at Oahu jail

HNN: …  The state Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into public corruption at the Oahu Community Correction Center following a fireworks bust.

(Translation: Coverup.  We’re only pretending to do this so the feds don’t get involved.)

As Hawaii News Now first reported earlier this month, a corrections officer is suspected of having nearly 100 pounds of illegal fireworks shipped to the jail under an inmate’s name.

The state Department of Public Safety says it’s also conducting an internal ...uh… ‘review’.

(Translation: Coverup.)

The bust happened Dec. 6 inside the mailroom at OCCC.

Sources say the jail was tipped off by a USPS inspector, who alerted them to three suspicious packages stuffed with 86 pounds of illegal fireworks.

All of the parcels were addressed to the same inmate and appeared to have been shipped from Las Vegas.

Earlier that same day, staff reported a corrections officer had come to the mailroom looking for three boxes, allegedly telling a worker they were Christmas presents he’d sent to the jail under an inmates name.

The officer also said he’d picked up several other boxes the day before.

State Sen. Chris Lee called the apparent abuse of power concerning.

“No one’s been convicted of anything yet, but just even the perception of this kind of activity and this kind of abuse is just unsettling,” Lee said.

It’s also an alarming trend recently displayed in many levels of government.

“We’ve had numerous cases of bigger public corruption. With the Kealohas, DPP, other departments and former legislators,” Lee said.

“In the context of all this ... that people aren’t thinking that they aren’t under the microscope, that people can get away with that kind of stuff. It’s surprising.”

(Translation: These manini cases are keeping the feds around.  We need to get them out of here so us big boys can stop looking over our shoulders while stealing.)

A spokesperson for the Office of the state Attorney General said in a statement:

“The Department of the Attorney General takes allegations of public corruption and abuse of government position with the utmost seriousness.”

(He then began giggling uncontrollably as worried-looking aides ushered him away from the microphone.)

Meanwhile, the Senate Public Safety Committee Chair Glenn Wakai says he hopes the investigation will reveal more on how the explosives made it on board an aircraft undetected….

(Translation: Don’t investigate anything in Hawaii.)

Jan 4, 2023: Feds: Jail Guards Smuggling Illegal Fireworks thru OCCC Mailroom

read … Attorney General launches probe into illegal fireworks delivery at Oahu jail

Decision forthcoming to fill 2 state House vacancies

SA: … Because of Menor’s death, Green is left to choose between Charlotte Nekota and Trish La Chica.

Nekota, a longtime Honolulu Fire Commission member who is executive director of the Hawaii Optometric Association, has served in the Legislature before.

In mid-2000 she was appointed by then-Gov. Ben Cayetano to fill a House seat vacated by Menor, whom Caye­tano had appointed to fill a Senate seat vacated by Randy Iwase after Iwase left his Senate seat to join a state board. At that time Nekota had been Iwase’s office manager and senior aide for 10 years. In the 2000 election, Nekota lost to Republican challenger Guy Ontai.

La Chica previously held public-policy positions at AlohaCare and the Hawaii Public Health Institute, and until July had been executive director of the City Office of Housing and Homelessness. Two years ago she unsuccessfully ran to represent a neighboring House district to the one Yamane represented. In that 2020 race, La Chica lost to Republican Val Okimoto, who left the Legislature in 2022 to compete for a City Council seat that she won in a contest with Menor….

read … Decision forthcoming to fill 2 state House vacancies

Don’t be a Fool: Hydrogen is Just Oil Company Greenwashing

IM: … Hydrogen has several disadvantages. Hydrogen is energy storage rather than a fuel. Significant amounts of energy are needed to create and transport hydrogen. A large amount of water is needed to isolate hydrogen. 

Hydrogen is flammable with a wide explosive range. There is limited infrastructure currently in place for the safe distribution, storage, and transport of hydrogen. We need to decarbonize quickly, while historically, hydrogen has always been just ten years away. Finally, here are better, cheaper alternatives currently available.

“Hydrogen is emerging as a central pillar of the transition to a net-zero emissions energy system to address the climate crisis” according to the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University`s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).  

“To date, however, very little attention has been paid to the potential contribution of hydrogen leakage to climate change, driven by hydrogen’s indirect global warming effect through mechanisms that extend the lifetime of methane and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere.”

Food and Water Watch notes that virtually all hydrogen produced today comes from fracked methane. “It’s hard to see the hydrogen hype as anything other than a greenwashing effort from fossil fuel interests and Big Ag.” 

Hydrogen is being touted as a bridge fuel: make renewable electricity, use it to isolate hydrogen, and then use the hydrogen for power. “But, when you clear away the industry smoke screen, there are many reasons to be skeptical.”

“Carbon capture claims allow dirty energy companies to operate business-as-usual — just with a shiny new toy attached.”

Many believe that hydrogen does not make sense from a scientific or an engineering perspective, rather it is being pushed by commercial and political interests. The fossil fuel industry wants to continue to drill for oil while hyping hydrogen as a necessary component of some hypothetical future clean transition.

Earthjustice is more cautious. “The fossil fuel industry has helped generate enormous interest around hydrogen, making it difficult for policymakers to tell how much they can rely on hydrogen to meet climate goals."

"Too often, companies that profit from our reliance on fossil fuels invoke the vague promise of `clean,` `renewable,` or `green` hydrogen to derail action today."…

read … Hydrogen -- Solution or Greenwashing -- The Devil Is in the Details

Hawaii Lawmakers Seek Shields Against Supreme Court Rulings On Abortion, Guns

CB: … Hawaii lawmakers will consider several bills this session that would limit where people could carry concealed firearms and protect out-of-state residents and doctors who perform abortions from criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits elsewhere….

Former Gov. David Ige issued an executive order last year that protects those women and physicians from extradition and other penalties in their home states.

Sen. Joy San Buenaventura said she plans to introduce a bill this session that would put provisions of Ige’s executive order into law, which would prevent those protections from being overturned by a future governor.

Under the executive order, state departments were told to not provide medical and other information to states going after abortion service providers for practices that would be legal in Hawaii but illegal in other states.

Gov. Josh Green signaled support for those provisions last year. And during a rally at the Capitol on Friday, Deputy Attorney General Kaliko Fernandes said that the AG’s office would continue to “even further strengthen our state’s legal framework so that Dobbs and all the devastating changes occurring at the federal level do not interfere with our ability to obtain safe, timely and lawful health care services within our borders.”

Rep. Della Au Belatti, who chairs the House Health Committee, said reproductive rights, including the right to an abortion, are something the Legislature “will continue to fight for.”

Eva Andrade, president of the Christian group Hawaii Family Forum, which opposes abortion, declined to comment directly on San Buenaventura’s proposal, which wasn’t yet filed as of Friday afternoon. Andrade said that the governor’s executive order wasn’t necessary because of the state’s protections for abortion….

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a New York case seemed to pry open Hawaii’s de facto ban on concealed carry. It’s also spurring new legislative proposals.

The Honolulu Police Department is asking lawmakers to create a new misdemeanor offense for negligent concealment of a firearm.

“Having an improperly concealed firearm can cause alarm to people in the area and will result in 911 calls, burdening first responder resources,” the department wrote in the preamble to House Bill 119.

Hawaii County passed an ordinance limiting where a firearm can be carried. Honolulu is considering a similar measure. But the Legislature could enact a “sensitive places” bill that would cover the whole state….

Senate Bill 121, introduced by Sen. Glenn Wakai, would create statewide limitations on where people can carry concealed weapons….

House Minority Leader Lauren Matsumoto said that if Hawaii is going to create bans on where guns can be carried, those rules should be statewide. But she also questioned how far recent proposals have been going and said more stakeholders need to be brought to the table to determine where, if anyplace, bans make the most sense.

She’s also hoping for a more nuanced dialogue surrounding abortion, which — like guns — has become polarized in recent years.

“I think so often we’re pitted pro-choice, pro-life and there’s so much more too it than that,” Matsumoto said….

HNN:  Concealed carry gun laws in Hawaii spur new pressure for local enforcement

read … Hawaii Lawmakers Seek Shields Against Supreme Court Rulings On Abortion, Guns

HSTA-Owned Legislators Plan to Kill Preschool Plan by Requiring Fully Credentialed Teachers

SA: … As the state embarks on its ambitious plan to offer universal access to preschool by creating 465 new classrooms by 2032, among the questions stakeholders are asking most is, How will so many additional preschool teachers be found in the midst of the state’s chronic teacher shortage?

Complicating the matter are questions about whether 3- and 4-year-olds ought to be taught separately; if so, what credentials, pay levels and union representation would apply for teachers of each age group; and whether historically low-paid preschool workers will see pay rise to levels that attract and keep more in the profession….

(Translation: HSTA will kill the pre-K plan by requiring fully credentialed teachers.)

Luke said that she has been told by Hawaii education officials that the local teacher shortage is “mostly at the high school level and specific subject matters, and it’s not so much at the pre-K elementary (level).”

(CLUE: This is the cover story.  IQ Test: Do you believe it?)

She added that according to her team’s research, there are “potentially about 1,000 available teachers with an early-education degree” enabling them to teach preschool to third grade, “and we’ve identified about 100 teachers who can potentially work right now.”

(CLUE: This is the cover story.  IQ Test: Do you believe it?)

When the state Department of Education was asked to confirm those numbers, DOE Communications Director Nanea Kalani responded by email, “My understanding is that Lt. Gov. and her team have identified potential teachers including current teachers, recent graduates and retired teachers. Strengthening our workforce pipeline is something we will need to collectively work on with all partners.”

(Translation: Luke and HSTA are lying.)

Swelling retirements and resignations during the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t helped the teacher counts. There were 1,230 voluntary resignations by Hawaii public school teachers in the 2021-2022 school year, compared with an average of 1,071 per year in the school years 2017-2018 to 2020-2021, according to state Department of Education data.

(Translation: Luke and HSTA are lying.)

The National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the country, has called the nation’s teacher shortage a “five-alarm crisis,” and estimated at the start of the school year that the U.S. is short about 300,000 teachers and support staff.

(Translation: Luke and HSTA are lying.)

read … Teacher shortage complicates Hawaii’s preschool plan

3 decades after Dana Ireland’s murder, innocence project attorneys ask judge to vacate conviction

HNN: … The only man still in prison for the murder of Dana Ireland could be set free ― 32 years after the Hilo woman was raped and murdered in a case that grabbed national headlines.  The attorneys for Albert Ian Schweitzer filed a motion in court Monday asking a judge to vacate his conviction ….

AP: “Whenever you have a white, female victim … it gets a lot more attention than people of color and Native Hawaiians,” said Convicted felon Kenneth Lawson, co-director of the Hawaii OJ Simpson Innocence Project

read … 3 decades after Dana Ireland’s murder, innocence project attorneys ask judge to vacate conviction

Statewide four year delay to receive birth and death certificates

HNN: … Many island residents are concerned over how long it takes to receive both a birth and death certificate for their loved ones.

A new mom, Jaimie Song said she contacted the Department of Health multiple times for her 13-week-old daughter’s birth certificate and received no response.

“I ordered the birth certificate online twice and still didn’t receive a response. It’s hard for new moms to show up to the DOH in person while we have many other things to do,” said Song.

Song is unable to obtain a passport for her daughter in the meantime.

A nurse from Maui Medical Group told KITV4 she ordered a birth certificate in 2019 and still has not received it.

(And these slow-moving HGEA members just jacked up your property taxes to line their own pockets.)

Michelle Tucker, attorney at Sterling and Tucker LLP, said the creation of death certificates is not being delayed. She said, by law it has to be finalized quickly. Rather, families are not getting copies in a timely manner.

“When clients are at the funeral homes, they ask the families for a copy of the death certificate which is very disheartening for the families that they can’t move on in the burial process more quickly,” said Michelle Tucker.

Sterling and Tucker law firm has at least 100 active cases with clients waiting for their loved one's death certificates and an average of five clients come in weekly with this very issue….

Tucker said the only way for a widow to receive survivor benefits is to have a copy of the form.

She averages a six to eight week wait.

“Probating an estate can take a couple of years which is very frustrating and then now, all of your assets are frozen until the death certificate is available,” said Tucker.

Department of Health officials said this is ultimately because 31% of jobs in the DOH Vital Records Office are vacant which is the major factor contributing to these longer wait times.

(This is a lie.  31% are vacant because vacant positions are funded to create an overtime slush fund so HGEA members can get their top three.)

read … Statewide delay to receive birth and death certificates

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