Pono Choices not medically accurate, age appropriate, or complete on STD risks
Hawaii Solutions Candidate Recruitment Update
Dramatic footage from inside plane plunging into ocean
Jeff ‘The Solar Guy’ Davis Running for Hawaii Governor-- As Libertarian
Zero-based budgeting could change culture of spending
Borreca: Rep. Sylvia Luke, House Finance Committee chairwoman, and Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, House GOP leader, are teaming up to study how to reform the state budget.
The plan is to take a serious pass at moving the state bureaucracy into a zero-based budget program....
"There is a real desire not to do budgeting on autopilot; we think more and better access to information equals more effective government, and oversight," says Johanson, a former GOP White House appointee and former Treasury Department executive....
Johanson, a Yale grad, peppers his budget briefing with concerns about "the granularity of scale" in the information received, but what he and Luke are looking at could be a big change for the Legislature.
The pair is starting small with the plan to use the somewhat controversial Hawaii Community Development Authority -- HCDA -- as a test bed for preparing a budget in the ZBB format.
Johanson reports no push back from the HCDA, but then the reforms haven't gone so far as to actually threaten the HCDA's budget....
For Hawaii lawmakers, he says, the problem is even simpler: "Nobody ever looks at the base (budget)."
He hopes that if the new system actually takes hold, the Legislature will first ask, "Why do you need $20 million more here, or if this program is not mandated by law, why are we spending $5 million on it?"
It would be, as Johanson says, "a change in culture to make us more nimble."
The first pay-off so far is that Johanson and Luke are working on the project as part of their existing budget duties -- and not asking for a $1 million study.
read ... Zero-based Budgeting
Tranny Asserts Absolute Right to Promote Himself to 6th Graders
HNN: Tito Montes, president of the Hawaii Republican Assembly, is under 'fire' for calling (pointing out that) a respected Hawaiian leader and cultural practitioner (dude in a dress is) a "transvestite" and a "drag queen."
(Mr.) Hina Wong-Kalu -- who considers herself (sic) a transgendered female -- says the name calling borders on hate speech. (Censorship: Unless you accept the lie that gender is changeable, you are a hater.)
"To utilize words transvestite and drag queen in any political debate is taking a cheap shot," Wong-Kalu said. (Translation: I tell you what you may say and you bow before my authority.)
Montes remarks were part of his criticism of the state's Pono Choices sex education program. Montes and other Republicans say the program is too graphic for middle school students and is not medically accurate. (Yes. Among other things, it asserts that gender is a choice and sexual orientation is not.)
Wong-Kalu appeared in Pono Choices skit about HIV risk and here's how Montes described her (sic):
"'Kumu' is the video short story of a transvestite drag queen who wears lipstick, eye liner, a dress, a padded bra and earrings," Montes wrote.
Wong-Kalu, who is the chair of the Oahu Burial Council, shot back:
"A transvestite is someone who puts on clothes, a man who puts on women's clothes in the middle of the night for once in a while but this is not temporary for me. This is an everyday element of my life," she (sic) said.
(And this is what your 6th grader is learning now that gay marriage is the law. Changing the family unit is not enough, they will now attempt to browbeat you into acquiescing to the lie that gender is changeable.)
As Predicted: The transsexual agenda for Hawaii schools
Mr Wong-Kalu's other job: Court: Kawaiahao Church Subject to Burial Council
read ... About a Guy in a Dress who Rules Your Life
703 Gay Marriage Applications Files So Far
HNN: The State's issued licenses to nearly 6-hundred gay couples since December 2nd and planners are preparing for a wave of wedding business this year.
Since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, it's been a race to the altar. On the first legal day to wed, the State processed 179 same sex marriage licenses.
As of January 5th, 703 applications have been filed and that equals big business. According to the Department of Health, since December 2nd, there have been 526 registered same sex marriages in the State. That's out of 2144 total.
What Happens Later: October: 165 Marriages, 2 Civil Unions
read ... Six Hundred
Union Sways State’s Prison Policy
MW: Some say we must not outsource to the private Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) because bad things happened to some of our inmates at a CCA prison in Arizona. As if our record of suicides, guard absenteeism, minimal education facility and marginal psychiatric staffing here were much better.
Most of the bad-mouthing of privatized lockups is because they are non-union. Hawaii has very generous union contracts. When guards call in “sick” regularly on New Year’s and Super Bowl days (which also are family-visitation days), visitations are cut back. Can’t discipline or fire the guards. Hey, they’re sick!
We could, like 19 other states and Washington, D.C., go with CCA. That would likely mean no union. Can’t have that.
CCA certainly would require us to build a new OCCC and/or Halawa Maximum Security prison on lease-back. But we need those new prisons anyway, so that’s not a good excuse.
Contracts with private operators would need to be carefully written for our interests. We cannot have anything less than the humane treatment guaranteed under our current laws and traditions. Gangs or corrupt guards must not be given the run of our prisons.
Unions? If the employees want them and vote them in, sure. If the pay and working conditions are OK, they may not want them.
We’ve never given the private prison idea a fair hearing. The unions beat down our legislators and the prison administrators.
We have about 1,400 inmates incarcerated in a privatized Mainland prison. They only cost us $70 each per day. Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered all brought back here to already overcrowded and outdated facilities.
Housing an inmate here costs us on average $130 a day. And that’s only by not providing the level of mental health treatment our prison administrators will tell you is needed, unless we’re just going to handle every trouble-causing inmate as a Hannibal Lecter in isolated lock-down.
So let’s have serious hearings on privatization and not let that public workers union bugaboo carry the day.
read ... Bob Jones
Pasha says 2011 law made it impossible for Hawaii regulators to allow interisland service
PBN: In August 2011, George Pasha IV, the president of the California shipping company The Pasha Group, said a new law the Hawaii Legislature passed that put limits on who could ship cargo among the Islands would put a local division of the company, Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines, out of business.
Pasha’s prediction came true Jan. 1 when the company halted its interisland shipping service.
Act 213 put stringent new rules in place for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission as it decided whether to distribute licences to shipping companies. Among the requirements, Act 213 forbids the commission from issuing a license to a carrier unless it could prove that other carriers — in this case, Young Brothers Ltd. — weren’t meeting the state’s interisland shipping demands.
On Jan. 2, the Public Utilities Commission issued a 37-page ruling that dismissed Pasha’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
read ... YB Monopoly Restored
Star-Adv Pushes Back Against Abercrombie on Military
SA: As the drumbeat intensifies, it's hard not to rally to the cause and fight for Hawaii's portion of the military-industrial complex, estimated at $8.8 billion yearly in expenditures to the islands. Maintaining that heady economic level, as well as Hawaii's pivotal position as re-strategizing occurs across the Asia-Pacific, remains crucial -- but beware of overeager lures that shortchange other priorities for the permanent local population.
To wit: Renewed plans to resume controversial live-fire training at Makua Valley raise concerns, as does Gov. Neil Abercrombie's magnanimous offer of state land and capital to develop housing initiatives for additional troops to minimize Pentagon investment.
read ... Contain cost of hosting military
HUD Tells Honolulu to Pay $3 Million for ORI Grant Mismanagement
CB: ...problems, including allegations of kickbacks, political favoritism and lax city oversight, have plagued the deal, resulting in the city and ORI falling out of compliance with HUD’s grant rules.
In June, HUD told the city it would have to pay back the nearly $8 million in block grant money it had given to ORI. The city countered with an offer to pay back only $1.88 million along with a commitment to bring ORI back into compliance with federal grant rules.
In a Sept. 27 letter that was released Thursday, HUD offered its response, telling city officials that the federal agency would be willing to accept about $3 million.
HUD also clarified to the city that if Honolulu is unable to bring ORI into compliance then it will be on the hook for the remaining balance, which is about $5 million....
SA: City working to accept federal offer over disputed ORI grants
PDF: 2013.0862a city fy2011_cdbg on-site monitoring closeout ltr_20130927
read ... HUD Tells Honolulu to Pay $3 Million for ORI Grant Mismanagement
What Hawaii's Legislature Has in Store for Education
CB: Legislators on the education committees expect classroom cooling to get some buzz during the upcoming legislative session, which kicks off Jan. 15. Both the governor and the Hawaii Department of Education have requested $25 million for air conditioning in their supplemental budget proposals, a sign that a grassroots Campbell High School-led campaign urging the state to relieve schools of their sizzling temperatures is paying off.
But AC, which ultimately could cost more than $1 billion if it were to be installed and maintained in all classrooms, is just one piece of what’s expected to be a larger conversation about school facilities. And some lawmakers say further research on cooling alternatives and needs for schools is in order before the state hands over the money for AC units.
Sen. Jill Tokuda hopes to scrap a controversial policy that has long barred charter schools from receiving money for their facilities, perhaps resolving a long-standing dilemma that has left some schools with tents for classrooms or plastic buckets for seats.
“While I know there have been some discussions lately about certain charter schools ... there have been very substantive changes to their accountability and governance structures (as a whole),” Tokuda said, referring to a number of charter school scandals, the most recent of which involves an investigation by the Attorney General’s office into nepotism and fraud at Honolulu’s Myron B. Thompson Academy. “I think we’re ready to have some serious discussions about funding now.”
Other education issues are on this year’s legislative agenda, too. Deliberations over public preschool, which was Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s top priority last session, will resume, this time focusing on whether or not to set aside more money for a statewide early education system. That includes a plan to open up 32 pre-kindergarten classrooms on 30 public school campuses across the state. Last year’s Legislature granted just $6 million of the governor’s $31 million two-year request for preschool — money that’s being used this year to expand the Department of Human Services’ Preschool Open Doors program.
That money will only open up seats for 900 or so under-served or at-risk children out of 5,100 kids total who are late-born and can’t enroll in kindergarten next school year because of an upcoming change to the age requirements.
read ... What Hawaii's Legislature Has in Store for Education
Secret Inter-Island Cable Meeting held at the Capitol
IM: The team developed 18 scenarios, 9 focusing on Oahu and Maui meeting RPS goals through on-island renewable resources and 9 involving the O`ahu-Lana`i cable, or the O`ahu-Maui cable or both. (Download the PUC Report)
The team wanted a balance approach so they restricted the options to centralized wind, centralized solar and distributed solar.
Excluded from their balanced approach were biomass, biofuel, wave energy, ocean-based wind energy, geothermal and batteries.
GE presented a list which listed the chronology of renewable energy projects. The list identified the order in which renewable energy projects would be curtailed. Fourth on the ten projects list was Lanai Wind.
The team used prices found in the HECO Companies Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) report. Thus O`ahu renewable resources were priced based on historic higher prices rather than the lower prices found in HECO’s waiver applications currently being considered by the PUC....
the report found the cheapest and most effective solutions occur with inter-island connectivity and the future replacement of diesel with liquefied natural gas (LNG)....
IM: Secret Meetings. Part 2: Excluded Stakeholders
read ... Secret Inter-Island Cable Meeting held at the Capitol
As Polar Vortex Boosts Hawaii Tourism, Legislators Fret over Global Warming
CB: The Hawaii House and Senate majorities are planning to advance legislation this session that would put the state on a timetable to determine the potential impacts of climate change in Hawaii and implement policies to counteract them.
Lawmakers met Thursday during an informational briefing at the state Capitol that was called in response to recent destructive coastal erosion on Oahu’s North Shore.
Rep. Chris Lee, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and the Environment, said the bill, which is still being drafted, would require the state to aggregate the data on the effects of global warming in Hawaii and build a coalition of state and county leaders to address them.
PJ: Time Magazine Swings Both Ways
HNN: 'Experts' urge Hawaii lawmakers to address climate change
read ... Lawmakers Push Climate Change Legislation in Wake of North Shore Erosion Woes
Implementation of Obamacare has been keeping the state insurance commissioner busy
SA: ...in recent months, it's the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act that has absorbed about 90 percent of his attention. The technical problems with the Hawaii Health Connector propelled the ACA into the headlines. More recently, the news dealt with rate increases announced by the state's two principal insurers, the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and Kaiser Permanente....
In the first few years since the state's Prepaid Health Care Act was passed, monthly premiums under $12 were fairly common, he said, compared to the several hundred dollars many people contend with now....
The medical cost continues to go up, between 6 to 8 percent a year or so … just as a matter of course … That’s been one of my major concerns, because it’s not sustainable.
The last few years, actually, the (increase in) medical cost has slowed. I kind of joke, since I became commissioner, from 2010, that the medical costs actually have been brought down to maybe 3 to 4 percent....
Prepaid has really served Hawaii well since 1974, and that’s why our uninsured population is always one of the lowest. We’re somewhere around 8 percent. That 8 percent translates to about 100,000 uninsured. … The focus, at least from our side, is to try to get the uninsured population reduced in half, at least.
read ... Busy
Students paying for nonexistent services
KHON: Imagine being a college student and dealing with a huge, sudden spike in your student fees -- then finding out you're paying for some campus services that don't even exist.
A University of Hawaii West Oahu student called our Action Line for help after noticing a huge jump in fees tacked on above the price of tuition and discovering that there's nothing on campus to justify part of the price.
read ... Nonexistent
Act 176 of 2009 Blocks Sale of Unused State Property
SA: For now the 5,000-square-foot property remains in vacant limbo, although the Department of Transportation says its Highways Division maintains the property "on an as-needed basis" while using an outside contractor to trim bushes that grow through the fence.
We passed by the property recently and saw that the weeds and overgrowth had been cut, although the graffiti-covered building remains.
In 2007, based on similar complaints to Kokua Line, the DOT said it planned to sell the long-vacant property, but that plan got tangled in legal issues and hasn't been pursued because of a law passed by the state Legislature in 2009.
Seven years ago we reported the "run-down property," previously leased to The Tree People, was being put up for a second auction. The property initially had been auctioned off for $1.1 million in 2005, but the bidder was unable to close the purchase.
Legal issues surrounding that bidder prevented the DOT from re-auctioning the property in 2007, said spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter.
Then, in 2009, the Legislature passed Act 176, which became Section 171-64.7 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, setting up a legislative pre-approval process that must be completed before any state-owned land is sold. (See is.gd/8CSRU7.)
Effects of that law on "the sale of all state government-owned land has placed any future auction of this property on hold," Sluyter said.
read ... Limbo