VIDEO: Charles Djou Christmas in Afghanistan
Every Honolulu Emergency Room Closed to Ambulances Thanks to HMC Debacle
KITV: At mid-afternoon, most emergency departments in Honolulu were full and on "divert status" because of the two ERs that closed a week and a half ago at HMC-West and HMC-East. Only Castle Medical Center in Kailua and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center on the Leeward side had room in their emergency departments as of Monday afternoon.
The city is planning to hire more ambulance personnel and perhaps ask for an emergency appropriation from the state to help cover the costs of fallout from the closure of the bankrupt hospitals.
The city has pressed two extra ambulances into service to help pick up the load from the closure of the two emergency rooms….
Those extra ambulances and crews may be needed for six months to a year, until a new owner reopens at least one of the hospitals.
Read: HB 608: Legislators Could Have Saved HMC Organ Transplant Center Last Year—Bill Was Killed at Last Minute
read … The result of Abercrombie and Legislature Inaction
State Releases 128 High Risk Repeat Offenders without Supervision
SA: In fiscal year 2006, only 15 high-risk inmates "maxed out" -- completed their full sentences and left prison without any continuing oversight -- according to data from the Council of State Governments Justice Center.
But by 2011 the number surged to 101, a nearly sevenfold jump, reflecting a dramatic increase in maxed-out cases involving inmates of all risk levels, the center's analysts found. The increases happened even though the overall prison population declined slightly over the five years.
The 2011 figure did not include parole violators, including 27 high-risk ones, who maxed out that year. That means the number of high-risk Hawaii inmates who completed their terms and were released without any transition actually was greater: 128….
Based on recommendations made by the Justice Center, North Carolina recently implemented a new law that, among other things, requires all felons to be monitored at least nine months after release from prison. They are released at least nine months early to allow for the mandated monitoring….
Other states have adjusted their sentencing laws to incorporate post-prison monitoring into sentences….
Related: Judge Steven Alm: Justice Reinvestment and the future of HOPE Probation
read .. Is this a plan to reinvigorate the sovereignty movement?
SA: Why is Abercrombie Rewarding School Bus Contractors with $25M While FBI Investigates Bid Rigging?
SA: more inquiry is needed to clarify the future of student transportation spending, for which the governor proposes a $25 million additional allotment. The cost of providing school bus service has skyrocketed in recent years, from $28 million in 2003 to $74 million this year. Several contractors said they were contacted by the FBI to discuss the bidding process, so it seems bus-service procurement has the attention of federal authorities. Lawmakers need to keep a watchful eye on this issue.
read … good question
HGEA DoTAX Workers Cost HGEA $56.7M
CB: Baldemor said the department is closely working with the state's chief information officer on a plan to modernize its systems, which date back to 1999….
The 7,202 office audits performed last fiscal year resulted in $23.6 million in assessments to those taxpayers. The 229 field audits that year resulted in $95.9 million in assessments. ($119.1M)
The assessed amounts reflect monies due to the state.
The department saw its audit numbers peak in fiscal 2009, when auditors completed 22,521 office audits resulting in $87.9 million in assessments, and 373 field audits resulting in $87.9 million in assessments. ($175.8M)
$175.8M – $119.1M = $56.7M
(Slacking HGEA DoTAX workers are costing $56.7M which could have funded the HGEA contract.)
read … HGEA Loses
Kailua MD: 'Medical industry' ran afoul when it adopted manufacturing ideas
SA: Nocera's views misrepresent a truth that no one in charge of what is now properly referred to as the "medical industry," has addressed: the harm done because of mistakes made by the proponents of the Deming model that can never be totally reversed. Especially after HCFA took over the reins in 1984, the malfeasances which resulted in the chaos in which Medicare finds itself today are due to errors too numerous to review in this response.
Promoters of the Deming model as a means of conducting medical care as a business borrowed or invented buzzwords to give the movement cache and an air of legitimacy with terms like "paradigm shift," "evidence based medicine" and "outcome driven practices." These did not represent new concepts for the every day practice of medicine, just new names. They are still used today.
Building upon the federally supported but erroneous concept that HMO-type conglomerates save both money and lives by disease prevention, industrial-sized medical businesses began to spring up composed of multiple layers of non-medical personnel and dendritic agencies designed for various methods of control. Medicare and non-Medicare funds became devoted to supporting armies of middlemen, managers, medical equipment mongers designed to snare federal funds and financial regulators — all of whom consume vast amounts of dollars that never reach the patient's bedside. Hospitals throughout the country are closed and closing, and office practices as we have known them are dying away because of excessive waste and insufficient reimbursements….
(There is a plan to impose the ‘Deming Model’ on the entire nation. It is called ‘Obamacare’ and here in Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie is leading the charge.)
Related: Health Insurance? No need: Abercrombie promises to dump Prepaid Health Care Act, Modern Medicine Is Undergoing Industrialization
read … Manufacturing
Act 221 Scammers: When Big Wind Dies, all will be lost
Act 221 Crony Mogul Jay Fidell cries a river about the impending death of Big Wind. As part of our commitment to protect free speech against self-censorship, we have done some editing to help him get the real message across.
Lanai (Tax credit scammers) will go from a lost paradise to a ghost town, a monument to those who looked the gift horse in the mouth. Those who have assumed that Murdock would continue to take care of them will learn a harsh lesson. Too late, they will find that Lanai's (Tax credit scammers’) best friend has been Murdock himself.
Worse, the loss of Big Wind will sidetrack hopes for a statewide grid, where our islands can be connected and everyone can pay a level rate. Beyond a tragedy for
Lanai (Tax credit scammers) , this will be further indicia of insular drift where some islands just go south. (For Tax credit scammers,) (t)he sweet life on Lanai will be a memory, and we will all be the loser.
This is a time for
the people of Lanai (Tax credit scammers) to stand up. More than ever, they need to tell Murdock that they've appreciated his benevolence and regret the abuse he has suffered. And they need to show the legislators who care about Lanai (Tax credit scammers) that they, not the so-called Friends, are the true and legitimate constituency.
The people of Lanai (Tax credit scammers) need to make it clear that they want to preserve their special community, that they support Murdock and agree that Lanai (Tax credit scammers) need s to embrace Big Wind to do that. They need to express an urgency and demand for action. At this point they need to do the right thing, and right away.
read … Death Squeal from a Subsidy Pig
UH Scrambles to Block Evaluation of UH Education School
Council President Kate Walsh said UH-Manoa's proposed ($28,000) fee is "ridiculous," calling it a tactic to "prevent us from moving forward." She said she considers a reasonable charge to be about $300 to $500.
Christine Sorensen, dean of UH-Manoa's College of Education, stressed that the high fees for fulfilling the request had nothing to do with the institution's concerns with the new ranking system. (UH Ed School spawns the DoE, ‘nuff said.)
Sorensen said the fee was based on input from departments in the College of Education, which would have to put staff on the project. "They're asking for a huge amount of information."
For example, Sorensen said, the council is asking for course syllabuses from every section offered, not just general syllabuses. It is also asking for graduate student surveys and student teaching manuals.
More than 1,000 teacher preparation programs at public and private universities are to be included in the ranking, which NCTQ says will foster more accountability in teacher preparation.
But many prep programs argue the ranking is biased -- setting up schools for failure -- and that its measurements go against best practices for preparing teachers for modern classrooms.
Walsh said though the nonprofit has supported an overhaul of the nation's teacher preparation system, it has not written off traditional teacher preparation programs.
"They think ... we're all out to get them," Walsh said.
(UH Manoa Education School is the spawning ground for Hawaii DoE bureaucrats.)
Kate Walsh: “If Hawaii Doesn’t Lose its Race to the Top Money, Something is Wrong”
read … That’s OK, the UH Ed School can be evaluated based on the performance of the DoE
Is Athletic Program under UH Control or UH-Manoa Control?
ILind: Now that the University of Hawaii has hired itself a new football coach, it’s time to go back and take another look at the issue of governance of its athletic program.
My initial interest was sparked by a statement by ASUH, the Manoa student government organization, protesting the makeup of the search committee named to pick the new coach. That led me to a letter from the chair of the Manoa Faculty Senate pointing out the Manoa campus had no representation on the committee.
The letter, interestingly enough, was addressed to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, V-P Linda Johnsrud, and athletics director Jim Donovan, rather than to UH Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.
That entry drew some feedback, including a copy of a draft report on athletic governance prepared for a required NCAA self-study completed earlier this year. The internal draft expressed “particular concern” over “the continued and growing involvement of system personnel in what is perceived to be campus level decision-making, management, and administration.”
None of this discussion survived into the final report to the NCAA, which simply stated that Hinshaw ““has clear and direct oversight of the athletics program.”
read … Money losing Money Spinner
Federal agency gives $10.7M to isle homelessness efforts
Thirty-seven programs that help homeless people in Hawaii have received a total of $10.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development….
Most of the money for Oahu will help place homeless people into permanent housing, Alexander said, with the rest continuing to provide services in areas such as mental health and drug treatment….
Providers of homeless services in the next two months hope to hear whether they will receive additional money to expand services and provide even more permanent housing for homeless people, Alexander said.
read … Federal agency gives $10.7M to isle homelessness efforts
28 Families Awarded Homestead Leases on Maui
The turn-key homes will be constructed by Armstrong Builders and will range from $201,560 for a two-bedroom, one-bath home to $377,100 for an eight-bedroom, three-bath home. The lot sizes range from 7,055 square feet to about an acre.
Families will pay $1 a year for a 99-year lease, and they also must qualify for a mortgage as part of the award process. About 50 applicants qualified and were invited to the Dec. 17 lot selection process. Beneficiaries receiving awards have been on the department's waiting list as far back as 1985 and as recent as 1999.
read … DHHL
Energy Efficient Lighting Causes Cancer, Kills Birds, Turtles
CB: Lighting near shorelines can disorient sea turtles who traditionally rely on moonlight to come ashore and lay eggs. And it can confuse birds to the point of exhaustion.
"The birds fly around and around and around the lights until they get too tired and collapse and die,” Wainscoat said. They can also collapse and be eaten by predators or slam into buildings or poles because they are disoriented, he said.
A growing body of scientific evidence has also linked artificial lighting to disruptions in people’s circadian rhythms and even cancer, in the case of blue-rich lighting, according to Wainscoat….
However, the energy-efficient LED lighting that the city is using contributes to the problem. The blue-rich lighting is the most damaging when it comes to light pollution, scientists say.
read … Another Big Eco-Idea Flops
Can Pro-Business Charity Pay For Rail Lawsuit?
CB: The complaint, filed by Hannah Miyamoto two weeks ago, makes a number of allegations against the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation. "SBH" is one of eight named plaintiffs in the environmental lawsuit against rail that had its first in-court hearing last month.
In the 111-page document she posted to her website, Miyamoto made three main allegations: SBH is using its income for personal gain; it's involved in a political campaign; and it's operating contrary to its stated exempt purpose.
"The clearest violation is that the Foundation's funds are helping to pay the legal expenses of ex-Governor Cayetano, local non-tax-deductible groups, and other people," Miyamoto wrote in an email announcing the filing to the media. (This is the kind of moron which UH Richardson graduates. Pathetic.)
Marcus Owens, director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division from 1990 until 2000, said the intermingling of funds is by itself "immaterial" and "insignificant" — as long as the charity's funds are being used to further its stated tax-exempt purpose.
"If the decision is the litigation furthers their charitable goal, then any expenses related to that litigation further the charitable goal," Owens told Civil Beat in a phone interview last week. "Is having additional plaintiffs helpful in the lawsuit? Most times, the answer to that is yes. The more people you have on your side, the more likely the court is going to sit up and take notice, and the more likely you are to prevail."
Link: Poetry by Hannah Miyamoto (Scroll down to July 16, 2010)
read … Of course it can
Hawaii couples planning first civil unions for New Year’s Day 2012
KHON: Civil union supporters plan to celebrate the event.
All participants will gather before midnight on New Year's Eve at a private home in East Oahu. Shortly after midnight, the four couples will enter into their civil unions.
The event will also include acknowledgement of couples who have already entered into civil unions or marriages in other states or countries whose relationships will now be legally recognized in Hawaii.
read … Gay Unions
Hawaii New Year's fireworks ban plays a different tune
Local people don’t think $25 for a permit which only allows you to buy a measly 5,000 tau of firecrackers is cutting it. It is yet another class act rip off that takes revenue away from local businesses and the local people.
read .. Rip-Off
Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs
WP: The administration, which excluded lobbyists from policymaking positions, gave easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration, the records show. Many of those investors had given to Obama’s 2008 campaign. Some took jobs in the administration and helped manage the clean-
Documents show that senior officials pushed career bureaucrats to rush their decision on the loan so Vice President Biden could announce it during a trip to California. The records do not establish that anyone pressured the Energy Department to approve the Solyndra loan to benefit political contributors, but they suggest that there was an unwavering focus on promoting Solyndra and clean energy. Officials with the company and the administration have said that nothing untoward occurred and that the loan was granted on its merits.
Most documents that have been made public in connection with a congressional investigation relate to the period after the loan was granted. The process began in the George W. Bush administration but resulted in the first loan in the program being granted under Obama. As a result, many factors that led to Solyndra winning a half-billion-dollar federal loan remain unknown.
White House officials said that all key records regarding Solyndra’s loan approval have been released.
Officials acknowledged that some of the records provide an unvarnished view that they might have preferred to keep private — such as a senior energy adviser’s reference to a conference call about Solyndra as a “[expletive] show,” or a company investor writing that when Solyndra was mentioned in a meeting, Biden’s office “about had an orgasm.”
read … Just Like Hawaii
Be sure not to read these stories ….