PR Disaster: Stryker Wiener Behind New OHA Policy Gagging Trustees
Hawaii Republican Party Endorses Akina for OHA
Caldwell Hypocritical -- Ducks Another Debate
Pension Reform? Fiscal responsibility is key to improving state's economy
Hawaii Cellphone Tax 14.32%
2016 Hawaii elections: proposed amendments, part 2
How not to turn a ferry system into a rail boondoggle
Why did Governor Ige get an F for fiscal policy?
CNHA to Adopt Nai Aupuni Constitution, Apply for Tribal Recognition?
KITV: …One of the most controversial -- the federal government's decision to recognize the indigenous status of Hawaiians and creating the option of a government to government relationship.
"We feel it's important for Hawaiians to look at that draft constitution and decide -- are you in agreement with that document? Are there things that need to be changed? So, we're going to have a frank discussion about what that document says and actually walk section by section through it," said Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement President Michelle Kauhane.
The Council for Native Hawaiian advancement hosts the annual conference and says it's critical in helping setting agenda and funding at the state and federal level.
read … Constitution
Wurdeman withdraws from TMT case after Failed Effort to Stall until January
HTH: Honolulu attorney Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman formally withdrew as Mauna Kea Hui counsel on Monday, citing scheduling conflicts.
Wurdeman, who could not be reached Tuesday, previously said other legal cases he’s handling, including one on the mainland, were already scheduled for the month of October….
Wurdeman, the head of a one-attorney law firm, previously suggested that the evidentiary hearing be scheduled after the holidays in January….
…Honolulu attorney James Wright said that in nearly 30 years of law practice, he’s never seen a case where a judge or hearings officer refused to adjust for scheduling conflicts. (An absurd statement which other attorneys are laughing at.)
Wright represents TMT opponent and Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa in her June lawsuit against the state alleging that the Department of Land and Natural Resources withheld public information about the hiring of Amano as the hearings officer.
(Translation: He's willing to make absurd statements--just doing his part for his client.)
Wright said Tuesday it appears that rather than accommodating the petitioner’s schedule, Amano is going out of her way to meet TMT’s timeline.
After the project was thwarted by the Supreme Court in December, TMT officials announced that they would need a permit for construction on Mauna Kea by the end of this year or the beginning of next year — or they would take their telescope to another mountain.
TMT officials spent the summer evaluating potential backup sites atop peaks in India, Chile, Mexico and the Canary Islands.
Wright said Amano’s refusal to accommodate Wurdeman’s schedule and the attorney’s withdrawal from the case is going to make some people angry.
“This is rigged. You don’t do this. You simply don’t do this. It took the Supreme Court to force BLNR to have a fair hearing. And now Riki May Amano is making it a farce,” he said.
“Everything starts with the deadline imposed by the TMT,” Wright said, “and she’s serving up a decision in time for the Supreme Court to rubber-stamp it.”
read … Caseload?
Isle charter schools do well but resources still lacking
SA: The good news is Hawaii’s public charter schools, which teach only 6 percent of the number of enrolled students in a public education setting, are showing excellent signs of progress in Strive HI performance assessments beyond their small numbers.
The bad news is that Hawaii’s charter schools trail far behind on public resources to support student success, shortening its trajectory to reach longer-term goals.
Several charters scored high in the top tier of all public schools with achievements in 11th grade American College Testing (ACT) scores, graduation rates and college matriculation.
University Laboratory School scored the highest in all these categories.
Kihei Charter School ranked second in the state in 11th Grade ACT scores.
West Hawaii Explorations Academy also took second place for four-year-graduation rates.
Lanikai Elementary and Malama Honua ranked among the highest-achieving schools in math and English language arts.
Several Hawaiian culture-based and language immersion schools also gained significantly in math and English language arts growth.
Public charter schools are reducing chronic absenteeism among high schoolers. Hawaii charters account for 8 of 19 top-performing schools in this indicator.
Halau Ku Mana, West Hawaii Explorations Academy, University Lab School, Myron B. Thompson Academy and Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences respectively occupy the top five slots….
read … Isle charter schools do well but resources still lacking
Program helps house 860 homeless veterans
HNN: …Veterans Affairs officials to thank 20 landlords for taking part in a successful Heroes Housing Heroes program.
As a result, a total of 860 homeless veterans were able to find housing.
"I didn't know when we got into it. You go step by step by step, and I was lost 'cause I was mentally ill, and by going by step in the program, it got me to where I'm at right now," said James Norman, a former homeless veteran.
… 93 vets who currently have vouchers in place do not have homes and that they are working to get more landlords on board to get those services in place.
read … Housing
Onishi asks Hawaii County’s Joke Ethics Board for Permission to Begin Consulting for county right away
HTH: After almost 30 years of government work, Hilo County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi is ready to start his own business once he leaves the council in December.
The term-limited Onishi, who lost his bid for a state Senate seat, said Tuesday he plans to go into business as a planning consultant.
His role, he said in a request for an advisory opinion from the county’s (laughable, Kenoi-controlled) Board of Ethics, would be as a “specialist who provides guidance at the initial stages of a project, including securing of planning permission, coordinating the input of consultants including architects, structural engineers, environmental consultants and county departments such as Planning, Public Works, Police, Fire, Environmental Management and Parks and Recreation.”
Onishi sought an Ethics Board opinion because the county ethics code forbids former officers or employees from assisting or representing others for a fee “in relation to any specific case, proceeding, contract, application or pending legislation with which the former officer or employee, in the course of the former officer or employee’s official duties with the county … had been directly concerned … had under active consideration or had obtained information which by law is not available to the general public,” for 12 months after leaving office.
The so-called “revolving door” law seeks to level the playing field in government by preventing politically connected individuals from shepherding pet projects through the bureaucracy ahead of others in the queue.
After an extended closed-door hearing with Onishi, the board deferred action until after Onishi leaves office in December
read … They Have Until December to Come up with an Excuse
Defense Bar Very Happy About Storage of Rape Kits
SA: Forensic evidence collected from potentially hundreds of sexual assault victims may have been rendered inadmissible in court because the Sex Abuse Treatment Center in Honolulu has kept evidence kits at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children rather than sending them to a law enforcement lab for storing.
The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, which is Oahu’s major resource for sexual assault victims, operates out of Kapiolani and has been storing rape kits there in cases where a victim is still deciding whether to report their assault to police. A victim can decide days, weeks or years later that they want to report the crime.
But national experts in sexual assault investigations say that this evidence — which often contain swabs of bodily fluids, blood samples, hair and other forensic evidence collected soon after a sexual assault — should be promptly turned over to law enforcement to ensure that it’s stored in a controlled environment and the chain of custody of evidence is maintained. Otherwise, defense attorneys can raise questions about whether the evidence was tampered with or properly stored….
“Even if the results are ultimately not admissible in court due to challenges to the chain of custody and evidence storage, the results might help generate investigative leads,” she said by email….
Between 2001 and 2010, the center saw an average of 508 victims annually, according to a report published by the center. About 71 percent of the victims reported their assaults to police. It’s not clear if all of those treated at the center had forensic evidence collected, but the data suggest that hundreds of sexual assault kits could be affected by the center’s storage policy.
(5080 x 29% = 1473 unreported rapes)
read … Defense Bar Happy
Camera found in staff restroom at Kapolei Middle School
KITV: DOE officials opened an investigation involving a person who worked at the school. The individual is no longer employed with the DOE….
read … Another Day in the DoE
UH Coddles 683 Deadbeats
SA: …This fall, Kaptik said, 683 students living on campus who were not enrolled in a payment plan owed the university $5.3 million, including $2.8 million for student housing.
Those figures alone show a major lapse in collections, and, unfortunately, reveal that the university is unable to strictly enforce its payment policies….
read … $5.3M
How much of your tax dollars keep Hawaii jails, prisons pest-free
KHON: Oahu Community Correctional Center … spent $67,000 for quarterly spraying of roaches and other bugs. In addition to that, nearly $49,000 went to regular house maintenance spraying.
Halawa Correctional Facility has almost as many inmates with just over 10,000, and DPS says it spent $9,600 last fiscal year to spray for ants and roaches….
We found out the women’s prison on Oahu houses about 300 inmates. Last year about $4,200 were spent on pest control.
On the neighbor islands, the state paid $2,400 in fiscal year 2016 to treat Kulani Correctional Facility for rats.
Also on Hawaii Island, Hawaii Community Correctional Center and the Hale Nani Work Furlough Program cost the state $12,000 for the year to keep roaches, fire ants, and other bugs at bay.
Maui Community Correctional Center and Kauai Community Correctional Center both had to deal with the same pests, but getting rid of them only cost $1,200….
There was one prison we didn’t spend a dime on for pest control, and that’s Waiawa Correctional Facility on Oahu.
read … Eliminate Pests
Green Energy Schemers Prepare to Wheedle Legislators for More Tax Credit Giveaways
CB: …This lack of progress in reducing fossil fuel consumption earned Hawaii a grade of D+ for transportation on Blue Planet Foundation’s fourth annual Energy Report Card. The Report Card — to be released this week — tracks the state’s progress toward our fossil-free future.
More than that, it holds all of us — lawmakers, business leaders, residents — accountable for our accomplishments and shortcomings on our pathway to 100 percent renewable energy. But aside from benchmarking progress, Blue Planet’s Report Card explores the outlook and opportunities for each of the five energy components it examines: transportation, energy efficiency, renewables, smart grid and economics.
We are launching the 2016 Report Card by first telling the transportation story. It’s an integral — and too often overlooked — part of our energy ecosystem. Transportation accounts for almost two-thirds of our fossil fuel consumption. Of that, about 60 percent powers our ground transportation, 28 percent goes into planes, and 12 percent to marine transport. In the past year, demand for overall transportation fossil fuels decreased slightly, but fuel used for cars and trucks remains the same. We are not on track to achieve a renewable transportation sector by 2040.
read … Next Session Begins in January