Ige’s Secret Proclamation Used to Promote War on Other Side of the World
HART Board: Colbert Matsumoto Appointed, Hanabusa Reappointed
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The day when America moved toward becoming a global power
HECO Milking Rail Project for Money?
PBN: Councilwoman Kymberly Pine is also concerned about the cost as she thinks HECO may be taking advantage of HART and the city.
“I’ve asked HART to make the conversations they are having with these groups public,” Pine said. “Hawaiian Electric is increasing costs and demands and that is unacceptable. We need to step in and make sure they aren’t taking advantage of the tax payer.”
However, Hawaiian Electric maintains the increase in costs is to “ensure that work on the rail project can continue while we provide safe, reliable service to our customers and safe access for our line crews for repairs and maintenance,” HECO spokesman Darren Pai told PBN….
read … Escalating
Blood Bank Milking Rail Project for Money?
SA: …HART has offered nearly $422,000 for the land in question, but the blood bank said taking that space and running the rail line so close to its building would put its operation in danger of losing its accreditation. Thus, it says, it will have to relocate. It’s seeking $4.8 million for HART to take its full building.
The blood bank began relocating its services back in January, when it moved its permanent donor facility to Young Street in Moiliili.
HART says that even though the blood bank has spent considerable time and expense on studies, it still hasn’t proved its case. The rail agency says it can’t justify spending millions more in added funds that are supposed to be designated for rail based on what it’s seen from the blood bank….
read … Blood Sucking
Council, Mayor Use Homeless as Budget Football
CB: Honolulu City Council members approved a draft of the city budget Wednesday that would deny Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s request to fund eight staff positions in a new housing division and cut $125 million of the $490.7 million that he is seeking for sewer improvements.
The draft would also eliminate the entire budget proposed for Hale Mauliola, the city’s new container housing facility at Sand Island that’s being used to help homeless people get off the streets and transition into permanent housing.
But Councilman Joey Manahan, who was highly critical of the facility during a Budget Committee meeting two weeks ago, said after Wednesday’s hearing he thought money to continue operating the Sand Island facility would be added back into the budget.
read … eye for eye
Kakaako Sweeps Force 230 Homeless to Finally Accept Shelter
SA: …On Monday, following yet another sweep of the persistent Kakaako homeless encampments, a family of six decided to move into a shelter.
They are among 230 people who, since August, have left Kakaako for shelters or permanent housing following the combined efforts of law enforcement and social service outreach workers, the state’s homeless coordinator told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Wednesday.
“We’ve moved a significant number of people off the streets of Kakaako and into homes and that’s indisputable,” Scott Morishige said. “It’s a testament that this approach is working. The majority … were people who were homeless for a long period of time.”….
Big Q: What do you think about a church’s idea to use igloo-shaped domes to create a “shelter village?
read … Officials detail plan to manage homeless
DoE Teacher Turnover 37%
KHON: …Right now the Department of Education has hundreds of positions to fill. It’s looking for special education, math, and science teachers, just to name a few.
Overall, there are 410 open positions, and officials have been on recruiting trips across the country to fill those spots, places like Los Angeles, Dallas and New York.
Ken Capes, a teacher at Kaala Elementary School in Wahiawa, says many teachers recruited from the mainland eventually leave because it’s too expensive to live here.
“Both my wife and I are teachers and we are living paycheck to paycheck, just trying to pay our mortgage, buying groceries for our family and paying our basic bills,” Capes said….
According to the DOE website’s latest statistics, teacher turnover has dropped from a peak of 50 percent in 2004 to 37 percent in 2012.
We checked to see how many students have graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education. The numbers break down as follows: 2015: 561, 2014: 544, 2013: 587, though they’re still down from 715 in 2011….
HSTA: Just Stop Evaluating us and Everything will be Fine
read … State struggles to keep teachers in Hawaii despite recruiting efforts
Judiciary’s Illegal Lobbying Machine Was Hidden in Plain Sight
ILind: … The brief report was the result of an investigation over several months prompted by questions our office had received during the 1985 legislative session. The report described, in broad brush, a routine agency lobbying effort in support of its budget requests that had developed into something completely different and more dangerous.
The externals of the court’s lobbying had been known and praised as modern, efficient and effective. And the courts benefited from the results, which could be seen in expanding budgets, new buildings, additional personnel and the latest equipment statewide. But what perhaps wasn’t so apparent was how the machine was fueled and held together….
The political group — which was only nominally independent of the courts — was initially known as Hui o’Kokua and, later, Employees for Good Government Service, or EGGS.
At its center was the late Tom “Fat Boy” Okuda, who came up through the ranks until he was the judiciary’s deputy administrative director and, at the time, acting director….
Okuda turned this “local style” lobbying into an art and, in the process, established himself as a major lobbyist, and the judiciary as a political force to be reckoned. This was accomplished by turning court clerks, secretaries, probation officers, deputy sheriffs and others into campaign volunteers, and court kitchens into production lines where salad, stew and sushi for many candidate’s campaign fundraisers were prepared.
Okuda eventually oversaw an extensive underground food operation, with plate lunches delivered on a daily basis to members and staff of key legislative committees during the crunch times of the session when work extends late into the evening.
Recruiting the ‘Volunteers’
A former Senate Judiciary staff member told me at the time that while the budget conference committee was meeting, someone would call the committee office every afternoon to get a head count of those working late and, a bit later, the food would appear.
“There was lots of food,” this person said, “and lots of leftovers.” ….
read … Illegal Lobbying Machine Was Hidden in Plain Sight
The Usual Procedural Grounds Underlie Challenge to Telescope Hearing Officer
HTH: …Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman, who represents Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and several others, said he filed an objection with BLNR on Friday to the selection process, and to the appointment by BLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case of Amano, because the process circumvented his clients and the public.
The complaint asks BLNR to restart the hiring process.
The document states that prior to Judge Greg Nakamura’s remand of the TMT case to BLNR on Feb. 22, “and apparently without any authorization by (BLNR),” the state Department of Land and Natural Resources published a legal notice seeking a hearings officer in the upcoming TMT land use permit contested case. The notice was first published Jan. 29 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
“We believe that on remand (of the TMT case to BLNR by the 3rd Circuit Court) the board was required to hold a public hearing to determine, under the rules, whether the board was going to conduct a contested case hearing or if it was going to delegate that function to a hearing officer, at which point, the board would then authorize the chair to begin the selection process. That public hearing was never held,” Wurdeman said late Tuesday.
The next notice the appellants received was notification March 31 that Case appointed Amano to preside over the quasi-judicial hearing, according to the filing.
Wurdeman said after he contacted the board’s legal counsel and objected to the selection process as being in violation of the state’s open meetings, or “sunshine” law, a second document was issued by BLNR, “seemingly in response to my conversation with the board’s counsel,” saying the board met Feb. 26.
The BLNR document, attached to the objection filing, stated, “After full discussion of the issue, the board delegated the conduct of the contested case hearing to a hearing officer … and confirmed that the chairperson was authorized to engage the services of a hearing officer pursuant to law.”
“We weren’t notified of that,” Wurdeman said. He added his clients deserved advance notice of the board’s meeting because they are parties to the hearing….
read … Appointment of hearings officer in TMT case challenged
Public hearing on Maui property tax rates set for Wednesday
MN: The Maui County Council will be holding a public hearing on property tax rates for the upcoming fiscal year at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers in the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku…..
read … Taxes
Krazy Kauai: Ex-Prosecutor Iseri Threatens to ‘Expose’ Councilman
KE: …As has been noted in comments recently, former Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri is threatening to expose the corruption of a Kauai County Councilmember….
read … Musings: Crazy Women