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Monday, October 10, 2016
October 10, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:07 PM :: 2512 Views

Do Hawaii's special-interest-controlled politicians really want a hospital on Maui?

Does the Electorate Reflect the Population? Hawaii Ranks 43rd

2016’s Fastest Growing Cities—Honolulu Ranks 467th

Dog Parks: Djou on Creating Livable Communities

Clinton: Phony Anti-Fracking Groups are Russian Plot

Maui Hospital to Be ‘Little More than Conduit to Oahu’

MN: If the transition is pushed back to next July — as Kaiser now estimates — Maui Memorial Medical Center will be a shell of the hospital it has been. Services now appear likely to be cut, and our hospital may become little more than a conduit for care on Oahu….

Unions have to understand that private-sector jobs with Kaiser are a lot better deal than no jobs if a significant number of services are cut. Kaiser needs to understand that a delay could be devastating. And Ige needs to understand that a rope-a-dope approach will not work — the problem will get worse with every day of delay….

read … The Plan

Former Drug Dealer Billy Kenoi Trial Begins Today 

SA: The theft trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi will commence today with jury selection.

This marks the first time a sitting mayor in Hawaii has been tried on criminal charges in nearly 40 years. Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi was tried on a bribery charge in 1977.

State Judiciary spokeswoman Tammy Mori said jury selection alone could take up to two weeks.

Some 1,600 potential jurors have been summoned….

In Kenoi’s trial the court will grant immunity to five of a number of county employees who will testify at trial.

(Oddly enough, electing a former drug dealer and Malu Motta associate hasn’t worked out well. Who’d have guessed?)

Meanwhile: As Kenoi Heads for Trial, Mafia Murderer Malu Motta Suddenly Demands Pardon

read … Jury selection starts today in trial of Big Isle mayor

Lies Make Federal Transit Administration Complicit in Rail Disaster

CB: We recently pointed out that local taxes would have to be raised rather dramatically before rail could possibly be completed as planned, and suggested affordable alternatives that would reduce traffic congestion.

Rail supporters responded that the city cannot afford to stop rail now, because doing so would require that it repay the Federal Transit Administration the $600 million already received. The FTA has indeed threatened to take such action, but that is little more than an opening bid in a negotiation.

The FTA demanded that its money be returned if New Jersey canceled the ARC Tunnel Project. Yet when Gov. Chris Christie did exactly that, the FTA settled for only one-third of the $271 million they had demanded, even though the FTA had not been complicit in ARC’s failure.

Our negotiating position is much stronger than New Jersey’s was, because the FTA has been complicit in the Honolulu rail project’s problems. They helped the city mislead Oahu voters about rail’s likely impact on future traffic congestion, thus inflating the 2008 pro-rail vote.

Between the start of the FTA’s involvement in 2005 and the 2008 Hawaii vote on rail, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and other city officials continuously implied, and occasionally specifically stated, that rail would reduce traffic congestion.[i] The FTA knew about this because we told them. FTA officials warned each other in emails about our city officials’ “willingness to deceive the FTA with no remorse.”[ii]

CB: City Plans Bus System To Connect To Rail Stop That May Never Come

read … We Should Not Pay A Penny To The Federal Transit Administration

Who gives Palikapu Dedman the right to speak for me?

SA: …We also believe the broken UH teaching telescope Hoku Kea should not be decommissioned. A replacement, state-of-the-art telescope is here, but talk is of relocating it to UH-Hilo.

Wait — put a telescope in the rainiest city in the U.S., rather than at one of the world’s best astronomy locations? Why?

I want our keiki to become excited and knowledgeable about science, and for us to keep our economy on track.

These goals are so much more positive than Palikapu Dedman digging up our ancestors’ bones and putting them on Mauna Kea to block construction.

I’m Hawaiian and I vigorously protest his doing that. Who gives him the right to speak for me?

Who?  Here’s who: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

read … Richard Ha

Cost of Living: HSTA, DOE Stake out Negotiating Positions 

KGI: …Lindsay Chambers, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education’s Communications and Community Affairs Office, says that while it can’t be argued that Hawaii’s cost of living expenses are a major factor in a teacher’s salary, it’s important to note that Hawaii teachers have higher starting salaries.

“Hawaii teachers have higher starting minimum salaries, not factoring cost of living, than the other states on the Mainland,” Chambers said.

According to the DOE’s gross annual salary schedule, teachers with a bachelor’s degree and a SATEP (State Approved Teacher Education Program) certificate are set to make $46,601 for the 2016-17 school year.

“We have seen a drop in new teacher turnover,” Chambers said. “We try to implement support for new teachers and so far, we’ve seen a 10 percent drop since 2002 in teacher turnover.”

According to the Study of Hawaii’s Compensation System conducted by the DOE in 2014, teachers in Hawaii make an average of 4 percent less than Mainland teachers do.

The 2014 study by the DOE worked with the Hawaii State Teacher’s Association, but HSTA President Corey Rosenlee disputes the study, citing multiple errors associated with the data.

“The study was ridiculous,” Rosenlee said. “The study compared Hawaii school districts to districts with similar size, but didn’t compare the cost of living.”

HSTA did some research of its own, Rosenlee said, and found that starting teacher salaries in Hawaii are about $4,000 less than districts with similar costs of living.

“Average teacher salaries in Hawaii are about $15,000 to $20,000 lower than teaching positions on the Mainland,” Rosenlee said.

read … Negotiating the Next Contract

Hospitals sap private practices

SA: As more internists and family medicine doctors go to work as hospitalists, some fear there will be fewer independent primary care doctors. Thirty percent of Hawaii physicians were employed by hospitals in July 2015, up from 22 percent in July 2012, according to a recent study released by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Physicians Advocacy Institute Inc….

“Hawaii has a shortage of primary care physicians across all islands, and we’re trying to find a way to allow the independent physicians to grow their practices, to bring on partners and to meet this need internally,” said Dr. Scott Miscovich, a Kaneohe primary care doctor and owner of the Windward Primary Care Physicians group practice. “But when there’s competition (from) our health systems who are able to pay that much for the available supply, which is limited, it makes it nearly impossible for the smaller doctors across the state to be able to compete.”

In addition, reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, the government health insurance programs for seniors and low-income residents, do not cover the cost of care for independent physician practices, he said.

“The Medicare reimbursement rates for the state of Hawaii for PCPs (primary care physicians) are some of the lowest in the country,” he said. “We can’t attract doctors at the rates they’re getting reimbursed. An average Medicare visit that we may be reimbursed $65 for in Hawaii would be reimbursed at $130 in the state of Florida. Right now we’re in trouble with a projected 1,200 doctors short over the next five years, and we have competition at all levels. I’ve been recruiting doctors for nearly a year, and basically, the candidates are usually lost to the large health systems.” ….

Related: Obamacare Forcing Hawaii Doctors out of Business—Many become Hospital Employees

read … Employees

Star-Adv: Homeless Chronics Must be Forced to Accept Shelter

SA: The unconscionable vandalizing of light fixtures at Kakaako Waterfront Park, with wires dangerously exposed, once again demonstrates the maddening problem of sharing public spaces with homeless campers.

Vandals cracked open access panels of about a half-dozen light poles, apparently intending to tap into the electrical grid for power — making the park’s homeless population the prime suspects.

Last Monday, workers discovered potentially live wires within reach of a child, and the state responded in the only sensible way it could, by shutting off power and closing the park before dark — at 6 p.m. rather than 10 p.m….

The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA), which operates the park, will need to increase security and take a stronger hand in moving along the “chronic” homeless — about 50 mostly single people who have lived on the streets for years — who have taken up residence there.

A frustrated Steve Scott, HCDA’s vice chairman, noted that homeless campers tapped into electrical outlets and water valves at the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center.

“Now they’re using state HCDA power to run televisions, charge telephones,” he said.

They need to be guided firmly toward the services that can help them.

It’s been done before.

More aggressive enforcement of sidewalk and sit-lie laws, combined with providing essential services and alternative places to stay, brought to an end the once huge and notorious homeless encampment in Kakaako….

“A lot of the people still out there on the streets homeless are not looking for shelters,” Scott said….

staunch efforts to guide the homeless off the street and into safe, healthier shelter must (out-)match the persistence shown by those who would remain outdoors.

read … Apply More Force

Chumming Behind Recent Shark Attack?

GF: …She was swimming at Makaha beach and noticed a tour boat came toward her after swimming for two hours. The tour boats have been known to chum (throw food) to attract sea turtles and dolphins in the area for their tour guests (tour boats are not to anchor out within 200 feet of a swimmer; this is illegal in the state of Hawaii). Lulu had noticed in the past (and complained to Hawaii state agencies and legislators that this is unsafe for swimmers) that tour boats have dropped food for the turtles and Dolphins less than 200 feet from her, despite the state oceanic law. This food has attracted sharks. On that particular day, Lulu felt something large tackled her and noticed her flesh in the reddened waters. She was attacked by a 12-14 foot tiger shark that bit her.  …

KHON: Woman rescued off Makaha after suffering apparent shark bite

read … Chumming?

Pathological, Narcissistic Activism

CB: …The line between self-servers and other-servers is often unclear. This is true in our most intimate personal relations as well as social-political involvements. When the best way to serve oneself may be to serve others, assessments are tricky.

Accompanying narcissism is self-deception. One conceals something about oneself which one successfully hides from oneself. It is developed over time, with practice and with the help of others. Most self-identities are constructed with some elements of self-deception. Once in operation, however, acknowledging the affliction is exceedingly difficult….

What counts as truths (facts, values, principles) will be relative to their political perspectives. They each have an extensive sales narrative, with an endowment of intentionally crafted reasoning, misrepresentations, and fictions. Whether on the offense or defense, they care about winning….

Remedies to pathologies require that we identify them. It can be a mutual educational experience in learning about human vulnerabilities. They are less likely to dupe us if we can learn to attend to how such duping occurs. Mindfulness of our human foibles qualifies as a political virtue to which we all, individually and collectively, should aspire….

read … Profitable Non-Profits

Civil Beat Attacks Fishing Industry -- Again

CB: ‘Critics’ say the fisheries council is ignoring the reality of overfishing if it allows longliners to continue current practices.  (And we all know ‘critics’ are oh so very righteous.)

read … Again and Again and Again

Audit: UH Housing Branch Lets Deadbeats Walk to tune of $1.2M

SA: Lax oversight and outdated procedures are to blame for several financial and operational deficiencies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s student housing branch, an internal audit has found.

The report by the university’s Office of Internal Audit raises concerns about high unpaid rental balances, vendor contracts that have been extended without being rebid, and an inability to monitor utility consumption at individual residence halls and dining facilities, among other issues.

The review of Manoa’s Student Housing Services is the latest in a series of audits called for by the Board of Regents Internal Audit Committee, which has focused attention on the university’s revenue-generating enterprises….

The audit also found unpaid rental balances have increased in recent years. The amount owed to the housing branch had grown to $1.2 million as of June 30, 2015, from $821,000 two years earlier. The amount considered uncollectible also increased to $870,000 from $652,000 over the same period.

The auditor was unable to evaluate collectability “issues,” however, because the department does not prepare reports breaking down total accounts receivable by revenue type, debtor or number of days outstanding.

read … Nobody Paying Attention

QUICK HITS:

West-side rivals differ on priorities

Dependence on wind and solar can leave us in dark

Maui luggage handlers accused of stealing guns from police officers

Watada Lectures on Peace, Justice and the Environment later this week

Maui Energy Conference on Thursday Evening

Nathan Skop represents two people who intervened in FPL Rate Case

Cardboard Furniture used at convention reused by school in Manoa

Big Q: Who won Sunday’s presidential debate?

Civil Beat Cries—Why isn’t Hillary 50 Points Ahead?

Civil Beat Fluff piece on Tammy Duckworth

Muslims and Hawaii Democrats Cheer Clinton 

Rat lungworm study sheds light on disease

Residents oppose plans for hunting, game reserve in Kanaio

Give Hawaii residents credit for surviving myriad change

My version of ‘local’ is not same as yours, and that’s OK

Shep Gordon Started as a Drug Dealer

Ige to make first paperless proclamation

By the year 2050, the feds want to power 23 million homes using offshore wind power


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