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Friday, April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:20 PM :: 3587 Views

Hawaii: More Mentally Ill in Jails than in State Hospital

Caldwell Unveils Scheme to make Traffic Even Worse

Pine Introduces Legislation to Combat Illegally Dumped Sludge

UHERO: The Costs and Benefits of installing PV solar

Sky's the Limit? Honolulu #1 City for Buying into Solar Hype

Private Schools with Public Purpose

OHA 'Nation Building' Meets Resistance on the Ground

BIVN: OHA has already rolled out a media campaign to promote the initiative.

But on the ground, the whole idea is encountering some resistance from a Hawaiian community that has a variety of concerns with OHA’s current direction. The video above – shot by Occupy Hilo – shows the scene in Keaukaha this past week, where the Hawaiian community questioned the process.

OHA’s next meeting on the Big Island is tonight at Kahilu Townhall in Waimea starting at 6 p.m.

read ... Meeting Resistance (video)

Kamuela:  Hawaiians Don't Trust OHA's "Nation Building"

WHT: OHA officials have also heard from Hawaiians expressing their mistrust of the agency and frustration over past nation-building plans that never fully materialized.

OHA representatives began a meeting Friday in Waimea knowing what to expect.

“Tonight is a very touchy subject,” Shane Nelsen, OHA outreach coordinator, acknowledged while addressing the approximately 40 people in attendance.

During the presentation, Mehana Hind emphasized the process requires their participation to succeed.

“The possibilities of what we want, and what we can create is almost endless,” she said.

“It’s not going to work without our people.”

Several attendees questioned why OHA is reaching out to them now and wondered how much influence the agency will have over the process.

“I love my nation. I want to be pono with this,” one woman said. “Right now, I can’t.”

Hind said she understood the concerns.

“As far as not trusting OHA, I know. We know,” she said.

read ... Not Trusted

More Roll Meeting Resistance Videos

Sen. Galuteria 'Incensed' at His Own District Over Kakaako Development Bill

CB: The majority leader of the state Senate is upset with the majority leader of the state House of Representatives over a bill regarding residential development in Kakaako.

Sen. Brickwood Galuteria said on the Senate floor today that he was "incensed" about Rep. Scott Saiki reportedly saying that Senate Bill 3122 was "dead on arrival," even though the House on Tuesday voted 41-10 in favor of the bill's passage.

Because SB 3122 was amended by the House, the Senate must either accept the changes or work them out in conference committee beginning next week. But Galuteria, who introduced SB 3122, interpreted remarks attributed to Saiki as "a foregone conclusion" that the bill will die....

Saiki, the article said, "told them that House leaders have heard their concerns over allowing residential development in the Kaka­ako makai area. 'You shouldn't feel too worried about (the bill),' he told the group before posing for a photo with coalition members."

Asked about what he said to the protesters, Saiki told Civil Beat Thursday, "I told Friends of Kewalo they should not be worried, that we understood the pros and cons of this proposal."

SB 3122 is controversial. If signed into law, it would repeal a 2006 measure that prohibits residential use in Kaka­ako Makai. The bill was passed in large part because Friends of Kewalos, named for a popular surf spot off Kakaako, and Save Our Kakaako pushed for it after Alexander & Baldwin sought to develop the area.

(Meanwhile no Republican is running against Galuteria in one of the most Republican districts in the State.  Who will step up?)

SA: In a rare public outburst, state Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria on Thursday lashed out

read ... Galuteria vs His Own District

Voter Participation: The People Who Show up Will Rule

Borreca: "The state was last in voter turnout in 2008 and 2012, with its rate decreasing 4.6 percentage points over those years.

"It was the only state with turnout below 50 percent in 2008 and the only one with less than 45 percent turnout in 2012."

Elections are in the state Constitution, no matter how much Hawaii's average citizen doesn't vote, we are still going to hold elections.

The people who show up will rule.

In 2010, Brian Schatz, a little known former state representative and Democratic party chairman, was elected lieutenant governor with just 83,476 votes 34.8 percent of the votes cast in the Democratic primary.

Schatz was then paired with Neil Abercrombie and the duo ran as a single ticket and crushed the GOP opponents.

Schatz became lieutenant governor and Abercrombie picked him for the U.S. Senate after the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

Schatz might still have won with a race with a bigger turnout, but to become the senior United States senator in any of the 50 states with 83,500 votes does not represent a groundswell of support, a mandate, or good news about our representative democracy.

read ... Meet Your Rulers

GE Tax Revenues Drop 2.2%

PR: State tax collections are down 0.4 percent through nine months of the fiscal year, the state Department of Taxation reported on Thursday....

The Department of Taxation notes that lower revenue collections this fiscal year are influenced by two uncommon events. The state made a replenishment payment of $55 million into the hurricane relief fund in August. The state also made an unusually large allocation of a Honolulu rail tax surcharge in July.

General fund and use tax revenues -- the largest category of tax collections -- were down 2.2 percent through March compared to last fiscal year. Hotel-room tax collections, however, were up by 8.1 percent over last year.

read ... Economy in Decline

At Behest of Hotels, Leading Enviro-Activists Continue to Protest Against Kauai Dairy Farm

KGI:  “We need to act, before irreparable harm occurs,” states the letter....Among the signatures on the six-page letter are (the following people who should be forever discredited) Dr. Robert Zelkovsky and Dr. Carl Berg of the Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, Mary Hertog of The Sierra Club Kauai Chapter and Malama Mahaulepu, and Don Heacock, a fisheries biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

(Wow.  What a bunch of frauds, eh?)

Reality: Grand Hyatt, Bionic Dread Team up to Protest Dairy Farm

read ... Showing their True Colors

HB849: Governor Emergency Powers to 'Prevent Hoarding'

BIVN: House Bill 849 HD2 SD2 updates Hawaii’s emergency management statutes, clarifies the relationship between the state and county emergency management agencies, and delineates the emergency management functions and powers of the Governor and mayors.

Slom points to the section on “Additional powers in an emergency period” granted to the governor or the mayor:

(7) Exercise additional emergency functions to the extent necessary to prevent hoarding, waste, or destruction of materials, supplies, commodities, accommodations, facilities, and services, to effectuate equitable distribution thereof, or to establish priorities therein as the public welfare may require; to investigate; and notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, to regulate or prohibit, by means of licensing, rationing, or otherwise, the storage, transportation, use, possession, maintenance, furnishing, sale, or distribution thereof, and any business or any transaction related thereto;from House Bill 849 HD2 SD2

The bill passed third reading in the Senate, and on Thursday the House disagreed with the Senate’s amendment. It will now head to conference committee.

read ...  Abercrombie in the House Looking for Stuff

Ethics Complaint: Rep Luke Amends Bill to Help Fellow Ambulance Chasers

KHON: More than 20 outdoor groups and enthusiasts have filed a complaint with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission against Rep. Sylvia Luke after she removed language from a bill that seeks to grant the state and counties immunity from lawsuits on unimproved public lands. In addition to her role as Finance Committee chair, Luke is an attorney with Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina and Fairbanks, which bills itself as Hawaii's largest personal injury law firm.

"If she takes out this verbiage that we're concerned about, then basically she gets to keep all her clientele," said Marcus Griego, of 808 Caveman Hiking. "If she were to leave it in, she loses clientele."

Outdoor groups began mounting a campaign against Luke last week after she removed language from SB 1007 HD1, which states signs warning of "dangerous, non-natural conditions on unimproved public lands" are adequate to protect local government from lawsuits.

Without the language in the bill, hikers, mountain bikers and climbers fear the state and counties will continue to close popular outdoor areas out of fear of being sued. The move to keep such areas open is supported by a petition with more than 2,000 signatures....

The language removed by Luke in SB 1007 HD1 was suggested by DLNR chairman William Aila, who wants a 2003 law regarding signage and liability known as Act 82 made permanent. Aila said the language in the bill would have allowed "warning signs to be effective in specific areas of department land on Oahu where activities such as established, non-commercial recreational rock climbing occurs."

In an interview Thursday with KITV4, Luke (grinning broadly) denied the allegation that she's looking out for her own interests, (saying, "After all, we're personal injury attorneys.  You can trust us.")  

read ... Lawyers

Hawaii Gov Nominates Carpenters Union Rep to Land Use Commission

CB: Gov. Neil Abercrombie has picked Edmund Aczon of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters to join the state Land Use Commission, one of the most influential boards managing land use in Hawaii.

The Senate Committee on Water and Land will take up his nomination on Monday afternoon.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Aczon has worked at the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters for 10 years where he currently serves as community relations director.

He owned Aczon Construction Ltd for 17 years and also spent 10 years as a field representative for the late Sen. Dan Inouye.

read ... Carpenters Union Rep to Land Use Commission 

Parker Ranch Aims to Become HELCO Alternative for 75% of W Hawaii

WHT: If the company is successful in its attempts to raise capital, one day the majority of the electricity on the leeward side of Hawaii Island could be produced by newly founded Parker Ranch subsidiary Paniolo Power Co.

That’s according to a 17-page “integrated resource plan” abstract available for download on its website, paniolopower.com. In the report — researched by a team of consultants from Siemens Industries Inc. and Booz, Allen, Hamilton Inc. — Parker Ranch makes a case for various implementations of renewable energy solutions that could supplement or, in some cases, replace the power provided by Hawaii Electric Light Co.

The research weighed a variety of combinations of power sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and fossil fuels, looking for ways to produce cheaper power than that currently provided by HELCO. The report stated that Parker Ranch’s 130,000 acres are estimated to be capable of generating more than 300 megawatts in wind power alone. HELCO’s current peak demand for the entire island tops out at below 200 megawatts, according to its website.

In each of the scenarios, the resource plan considered an initial phase in 2019, when renewable energy sources on Parker Ranch property might be integrated to provide firm capacity to meet the needs of the ranch and the greater Waimea and North Kohala communities. That total was estimated at about 18 megawatts.

The second phase, set for 2024, looks at generating sufficient excess capacity of about 70 megawatts, which could serve about 75 percent of the load on the west side of the island.

read ... Paniolo presents power plan

PUC at Another Secret Mainland Conference

IM: Last week at a Hawaii State Legislature committee hearing, a Public Utilities Commission staff member stated that the PUC Chair and a key staff member were attending national meetings.

PUC Commissioner Mike Champley and PUC Chief of Research and Policy Jay Griffin were attending a secret meeting sponsored by Rocky Mountain Institute which was held at Devil’s Thumb, Colorado.

But where was PUC Chair Hermina Morita?

Morita was the guest on ThinkTech Hawaii, hosted by Jay Fidell, Ray Starling and Sharon Moriwaki.

Morita said, “Last week I was in San Francisco for a Power Transformation Summit.”

The world wide web has limited information on the gathering especially with regard to the agenda and the attendees.

On April 1-3, 2014 Information Forecast, Inc. (Infocast) held the Power Industry Transformation Summit.

The Summit brought together regulators, utilities, energy consumers and the distributed generation, energy storage, micro grid and smart grid communities.

read ... PUC Right to Know Policies

DoE Cries over Lost Laptop Funding

SA: The department had wanted $29 million for its initial plan. Lawmakers, however, budgeted $8.2 million for a pilot, citing concerns about the department's ability to manage a statewide rollout and the potential for burdening teachers at a time when the state is undergoing multiple educational reforms.

The department spent most of the appropriation $7.9 million to buy the devices along with software, digital curriculum, educational apps, warranties and storage carts. It used its own funds to cover $600,000 for professional development to train teachers and $450,000 for management software, including tracking services.

Heeding a directive to be prudent with budget requests, the department this year did not ask the Legislature for money to buy more devices and expand the pilot.

Instead, the DOE asked for $600,000 to sustain the existing pilot. The funds would be used to cover professional development direct training and support to the schools on integrating technology in the classroom and technical support services.

The request had survived in the House version of the budget but was cut from the Senate's $12.1 billion budget passed last week.

Ignore This: DoE Buys 6,700 Laptops, 75% go Unused

read ... Loss of funding imperils laptop plan

Group pitches tiny homes inside homes

SA: According to the Hawaii Appleseed Center, 25 percent of households in Hawaii are made up of a single person, and 81 percent of homeless people are single individuals -- two populations that could greatly benefit from an increase in availability of smaller, more affordable but still functional units known as accessory dwelling units.

ADUs, as they're called, include a kitchen, bathroom and living space and can be created by partitioning, remodeling or adding to single-family homes to make separate, functional spaces or by building small, free-standing units on the homeowner's land.

To begin promoting ADUs as a viable option for reducing the state's acute shortage of affordable housing, Geminiani said, the counties would have to ease up on building and land use policies. Ohana dwellings, for example, can be occupied only by people who are related to the residents of the main house by blood, marriage or adoption.

Currently, a 7,500-square-foot lot can have up to two attached units, and a 10,000-square-foot lot can have two detached units, Geminiani said. Building requirements that could be relaxed include allowing secondary units to be detached from the main dwelling and removing the two-parking-space requirement for ADUs, according to the Hawaii Appleseed Center's report. And the counties could limit the density of ADUs in a neighborhood to prevent overcrowding.

City Councilman Ron Menor said he's been collaborating with the center to come up with affordable-housing solutions and supports ADUs as an option, as long as the city lays the proper groundwork.

PDF: Micro Units

read ... Group pitches tiny homes inside homes

OCCC: Inmates Getting Bedbugs from Work Furlough Jobs

KHON: “I got bit all over my body, my legs, my chest my back my arms,” he said. “Over a hundred (bites), and I’m constantly scratching because the cream that they gave me is not working.”

Bolosan says he has filed complaints but nothing has been done, so it’s a daily battle keeping the bedbugs out of his belongings.

“We have to cover our clothes with rubbish bags so it doesn’t get into our clothes, our food, our shoes, everything,” he said.

The state says it’s doing everything possible to keep the pests out.

“We have been using pesticides,” said Public Safety Deputy Director Max Otani. “We’ve been using heat. We’ve been using steam. We’ve even disposed of some materials that we felt was not salvageable.”

The infestation is confined to Module 20 which houses 120 work furlough inmates. The state says part of the problem is that the inmates are able to go out to the public and possibly bring the bugs in.

read ... Public is Buggy?

The Path to Sainthood: Brother Joseph Dutton

KHON: Joseph Dutton was a war veteran, writer and volunteer. Born in Vermont, the layman spent close to half a century helping Hansen’s disease patients on Kalaupapa.

“I always knew about him and thought of him as kind of a supporting actor in the drama of Damien, if you will,” said Bishop Larry Silva of the Honolulu Diocese.

Dutton was a veteran of the Civil War. After a failed marriage, depression and alcoholism, at the age of 40, he was inspired to repent and make a pilgrimage. After hearing of Saint Damien in the late 1880s, he made his way to Hawaii to volunteer on Molokai.

“And when Saint Damien passed away, he continued doing his work,” said Dr. Maria Devera, who supports Dutton for sainthood. “He did everything from bandage sores to help construction, and I believe that he wanted it that way. He didn’t want to call attention to himself. It was more of what he could do for others.”

read ... The Path to Sainthood: Brother Joseph Dutton

Complaints against Big Island dentist grows to 12

HNN: The State is now investigating 12 formal complaints against Dr. John Stover. Two of the cases we uncovered involving disabled veteran Curtis Wagasky, 52, who died just days after going in to have one tooth pulled in December 2012 and Kristen Tavares, the 24 year old mother of two remains in the coma she fell into while getting her wisdom teeth pulled last month.

When we started reporting on dentist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. John Stover four weeks ago there were two pending investigations. Now there are a dozen. We've spoken with eight more patients who say they also plan to file a complaint.

"We're in the hospital," says Tanya Hegarty, in a video taken from March 2011.

"Why?" says Shaylene Hegarty, who is sedated and lying in the hospital bed.

"To recover, we just came from Dr. Stover's," responded Tanya Hegarty, Shaylene's mom.

read ... Complaints against Big Island dentist grows to 12

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