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Monday, November 21, 2016
November 21, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:04 PM :: 1179 Views

Cabinet Position? Donald Trump meets with Rep Tulsi Gabbard

MADD Rates Hawaii Drunk Driving Laws

New DHS Regs Designed to Put 662 Homeless Back on the Streets

SA: Eight Hawaii homeless shelters estimate they would be forced to collectively eliminate 662 beds under changes proposed by the state Department of Human Services.

The number of available beds is a critical part of ongoing homeless sweeps conducted by county and state officials, who regularly check with homeless shelters to ensure there are enough beds to comply with court rulings that homeless people caught up in sweeps need to have a safe place to go.

DHS’ proposed changes would require shelters to carve out 10 cubic feet for each sleeping area….

For Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter in Kakaako, increasing each clients’ space to 10 cubic feet from 6 would cost the shelter 100 of its 230 beds.

“Where are those 100 people going to go?” asked Jason Espero, director of Waikiki Health’s Next Step Shelter. “Let us figure out the best way to run our shelters. There’s a lot of micromanaging going on.”

The eight shelters, including one on Maui and another on Hawaii island, represent fewer than half of all of the state’s homeless shelters.

The shelters’ directors plan to individually respond to DHS’ deadline, today, to give feedback. They met Thursday to discuss changes to DHS’ contracts for new shelter services that begin Feb. 1. The state’s current shelter contracts expire Jan. 31.

The eight shelter operators, including the state’s largest, the Institute for Human Services, collectively have 1,841 beds. They estimate that DHS’ proposed changes could force them to cut that number to 1,179….

if the proposal goes through as written, Jason Espero said shelters like his could start turning away families and children starting Feb. 1.

“Under these proposals,” he said, “several shelters will no longer be able to serve families and kids.”

read … Space rule would cut bed availability at homeless shelters

Reporters, Voters Duped by Departing Zoo Director

HNN: …his family, we now know, was already on the mainland - some people must have known.

I’m not the only who feels duped: Denby Fawcett, who also interviewed Fleming, uses that very word in Civll Beat. She wonders aloud if someone thought Fleming’s departure would keep people from voting for the zoo funding measure.

The city council’s Ernie Martin told Denby, maybe before seeking a new director we need to learn more about why the Zoo has had five directors in six years. The Honolulu Zoo Society ought to know….

CB: City Officials Didn’t Tell Voters Zoo Director Had Quit

Related: Musical Chairs: Honolulu Zoo Loses Yet Another Director

SA: Time to improve Honolulu Zoo

read … Duped

Anti-Tobacco Activists Need More Smokers

SA: …the adult smoking rate in Hawaii has dropped to the third lowest in the nation, to 14.1 percent, compared with the national average of 15.1 percent….

The initiative’s overall success does come at a price, however. Ironically, funding for the University of Hawaii Cancer Center — much as it cheers the health strides — decreases as more folks quit. That’s because a portion of the cigarette tax makes up a key portion of the center’s budget….

(Yup.  They’re the senior partners in the tobacco industry and they are acting like it.)

read … Cancer Center budget goes up in smoke

Antis Orwellian Response to Court Ruling

KE: It's been fascinating to monitor the antis' reaction to Friday's court decision striking down the three flawed Hawaii laws that tried to regulate GMOs and pesticides at the county level.

In a truly Orwellian response, the Center for Food Safety and Maui's SHAKA actually pronounced the rulings “a groundbreaking win” and “precedent-setting.” Right. Like they spent all that time and money just to confirm what the court had previously decided in other cases…

KGI: Gary Hooser wants to increase involvement on Kauai

read … Musings: It's Time

Usual Suspects Upset Because there aren’t Enough Criminals Loose in Hawaii

CB: …According to the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which provided technical assistance, the JRI was projected to help reduce the state’s inmate population by more than 900 inmates by the end of fiscal year 2016 — and by 1,010 inmates by fiscal year 2018.

But, at the end of October, the state still housed more than 5,800 inmates, including about 1,400 prisoners at a for-profit prison in Arizona (and 4,400 at prisons which are run by the very profitable UPW, Inc. which we don’t consider to be ‘for-profit’ for some reason).

That’s only about 250 fewer inmates than when the JRI was adopted….

KHON: State reveals list of initial sites for OCCC redevelopment

read … Let The Criminals Roam Free

Another Buyer for HECO?

SA: Hawaiian Electric Co. will move forward with its clean-energy goals, despite having a climate change denier somebody who is not a Gore-Cult believer as the nation’s incoming president….

After NextEra’s acquisition was rejected in July, some in Hawaii’s energy community said other suitors were lining up to buy HECO. One of those companies is Twenty First Century Utilities, a Washington, D.C.-based owner of moderate-size utilities.

“We’ve had conversations with them,” Oshima said. “We don’t have an offer from them or anything. Nice people, but frankly a lot of the things that they want to do, we’re doing, and we think we can do it on our own.”

HECO’s path to 100 percent renewables shifted slightly after NextEra’s buyout was rejected. One immediate change was that the electrical utility backed away from its plan to import liquefied natural gas. While the buyout was in the works, HECO said LNG would act as a bridge fuel to ease the state into the use of more renewables. The utility said the fuel would save electrical customers $850 million to $3.7 billion through 2045.

A few days after the PUC’s denial of the sale, HECO withdrew its LNG application. NextEra’s financial backing was necessary to bring in LNG and upgrade the power plants.

“The LNG that NextEra thought would be a benefit was in our plan to stabilize costs,” Oshima said. “We could not duplicate that on our own. Our balance sheet would not support the logistics that is needed to support something like that on that scale.”

HECO is not ruling out its use of LNG, Oshima said.

“It won’t happen in our five-year planning horizon, but we will continue to evaluate it, as well as any other option that gets us to a renewable future.”

read … Still for Sale?

‘Concierge’ medicine cuts doctors’ red tape

SA: For $1,650 a year, Lynn Leong gets to spend two hours detailing her health concerns when she sees her primary care doctor, a stark contrast to the typical 15- to 30-minute office visit.

The 67-year-old part-time teacher is among the roughly 500 members of a concierge medicine practice, comprising a smaller number of patients who pay an annual fee for better access to their physician.

The shift away from traditional volume-based primary care is gaining momentum both locally and nationally as the administrative burdens related to insurance reimbursements and government regulations continue to eat up more of a physician’s time. Since 2012 six concierge doctors have opened on Oahu, and two on Maui; two are now switching to the new model of care….

read … Concierge Care

QUICK HITS:

Community Meetings This Week

Hawaiian Electric Industries Quarterly Report Disclosure on PCBs, Mercury and LNG

FULL VIDEO: Toxicity Concerns In Keaukaha, Panaewa

It’s Time To Get Real About The Honolulu Zoo

This Kalihi Bike Shop Is Helping Kids Learn Life Lessons

Civil Beat: Journalists need to call Steve Bannon a Fascist

ILind: Trump will take our Weed Away

Hawaii Needs To Act Now On New Day Care Rules

Stop whining, give Trump a chance

Security cameras are on in Ala Moana Park

2016 Elections and the Future of Politics

Hawaii Happiest Workers in USA

VIDEO: Kohala Kai Update Given To Council

VIDEO: UXO Concerns Impact DHHL In Waimea

VIDEO: Hilo Councilman Regrets Bond Vote

DCCA DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS (THROUGH OCTOBER 2016)

Hawaiian Electric Companies offer improved online calculator to help customers decide on buying an electric vehicle


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