The hidden story of the third Thanksgiving: 1623--giving thanks for freedom
President-Elect Donald Trump's Thanksgiving Message to America
Fake Indian Tribe: Robin Danner’s Desperate Million Dollar Gamble
Steady decline in Jones Act ships
DLNR Seeks Volunteers for Water Security Advisory Group
Micronesian Homelessness in Hawaii
Hawaii's Aquarium Fishery: Regulated, Valuable, Sustainable
Dragon Lady: Dawn Amano-Ige Behind Matayoshi Firing?
HNN: Nearly a month after the Board of Education announced plans to replace the head of Hawaii's public schools, questions remain about what -- and who -- is behind the sudden decision.
Among those seeking answers is longtime state House Education Chairman Roy Takumi.
"When I first heard that the board decided not to renew her contract, I was obviously surprised," Takumi told Hawaii News Now.
Takumi credits Matayoshi with improving graduation and college attendance rates and bolstering student achievement.
He says she deserves a raise, not to be replaced. And he wants an explanation, especially given that in her most recent annual evaluation Matayoshi earned top marks.
"Graduation rates are up over the past five years. More students are taking advance placement and dual credit courses. Students needing remedial classes after they finish high school is down. So I was puzzled by it," Takumi said….
There is also broad speculation that Hawaii's first lady, who has been in the public schools as a teacher and administrator for nearly 20 years, pushed for the change of leadership.
Gov. David Ige has said he believes seeking new leadership for Hawaii's public schools was the right move, but denies any role in the decision to replace her. Meanwhile on Wednesday, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige declined to comment on whether she played a role in the decision.
“I don't think I'd like to comment on that. That's usually on the policy side and I just would prefer to leave it at that," she said.
The Board of Education could not be reached for comment….
Matayoshi's supporters worry that replacing her will backfire -- and ultimately hurt students and schools….
Totally Related: HSTA Indoctrinates Members to Hate Matayoshi
read … Questions
Caldwell Hid News of Zoo Director's Departure
CB: Honolulu Zoo director Baird Fleming informed Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the city’s managing director Oct. 31 that he had accepted a position at a zoo on the mainland.
This was eight days before voters approved a controversial charter amendment to give half a percent of the property tax revenues annually to the zoo as a steady source of income to help it regain the national accreditation it lost in March….
According to an article on the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s website, Fleming was a finalist for the zoo director’s job at the Little Rock Zoo but he removed his name from the list of five finalists when he discovered his job hunt would be made public. He eventually landed a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he will be going to work at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo as the deputy CEO.
Hawaii Kai resident and community activist Natalie Iwasa says, “It’s like so many other things. The public was short of information that had it known prior might have changed the vote.”
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums had yanked the Honolulu Zoo’s accreditation for its lack of steady taxpayer funding because also because of its many recent changes in leadership.
Fleming’s resignation is effective Dec. 15. His family is already on the mainland.
read … City Officials Didn’t Tell Voters Zoo Director Had Quit
Business License Fees Go Up 30% to Create More HGEA Positions
KITV: …Each year, RICO investigators take hundreds of actions against unlicensed workers and those in violation of their license, but recently they've noted a disturbing trend.
"In the past decade, the office has seen an increase in more serious kinds of conduct: theft, diversion of drugs, and improper touching in the healthcare industry," said Loy-Goto.
While the number of cases has been steadily increasing, licensing fees had stayed at the same level for decades. This year, an increase, which raised costs by about 30%, a difference many will notice when it is time to renew.
"it was more than I expected, I have a personal budget. I had $120 set aside for it, but it was more like $146," said Anderson….
The additional money will go toward upgrading the state's on-line computer system and fill 8 positions, including more investigators.
read … HGEA Tax Hike
Kalihi Mini Park—No Maintenance for 20 Years
KHON: Domingo said in the 20 years she’s lived across from the park, she’s never seen any improvements or maintenance. In fact, she says she only recently learned what the two small parcels of land were.
“We never knew it was a park,” she said. “This past year, they put that Auld Lane park sign so now we know it’s a park.”
Nekota says staff from each district are normally assigned to maintain several parks with priority given to the most heavily used parks.
We asked when was the last time the Auld Lane Mini Park was maintained. The city tells us it has no record.
The day after we notified Nekota, city crews appeared, and have since returned two more times to clean up the overgrown vegetation on one side of the street, removing everything from car parts to bicycles, and the old shed from the other side.
In all, they hauled away more than 10 truck loads of junk….
read … 20 Years
Star-Adv: Trump Voters are like the Homeless
SA: …here in Hawaii, even where our own communities seem divided.
Perhaps the most visible signs of this division is reflected in the tents lining our sidewalks and parks. Unlike some places on the mainland, we have a growing number of poor, homeless neighbors living on the streets. Much of that can be attributed to our mild climate, high land costs and critical shortage of affordable housing….
We face cultural divides as well, dramatically illustrated by the unfortunate efforts of protesters, or protectors, to block construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea in the name of Native Hawaiian culture and religion. However, the gulf is not insurmountable. Prominent Hawaiians have expressed support for TMT….
Perhaps the most difficult test — at least in the short term — has been put to us by Donald Trump, now president-elect, and Hillary Clinton. The outpouring of emotion over Trump’s surprising victory — anger, glee, horror, contempt — often has been stunningly vicious on both sides of the political aisle. Hawaii was not spared. The ugliness of the campaign should shock us out of our complacency and out of our false cocoons of targeted social media and echo chambers. It’s time to start listening to one another, to find shared goals and a common purpose….
read … Divided
New Oceanfront Homeless Shelter Takes in 56 People
SA: …The 5,000-square-foot former maintenance shed sits between the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and a dozen or so tents that continue to define the homeless encampment that runs throughout Kakaako Waterfront Park and along the Kakaako shoreline.
Inside, families live in chest-high cubicles that are designed to accommodate a total of 12 families with up to 50 people at a time.
By today, a 15th family was expected to check into the Family Assessment Center.
So far, 56 people have entered the facility. One family has since moved into an apartment in Makiki and another left for a transitional shelter en route to permanent housing, said Adrian Contreras, the Family Assessment Center’s program director.
Four families came from the nearby Kakaako encampment and one family had to leave after the adults were kicked out for fighting outside the fence that encircles the center, Contreras said….
Lewis also knows she needs help dealing with severe anxiety and depression that she calls “a mental illness.”
“In Hawaii,” Lewis said, “there’s a lot of help for homeless families.”
read … Oceanfront
KPD receives national accreditation
KGI: …In a letter announcing KPD’s award, CALEA Chairman Richard Meyers and Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr. stated, “We commend you and your agency for demonstrating a commitment to professional excellence in policy and practice. It is a privilege to award your agency CALEA Accreditation, which is accomplished through a highly regarded and broadly recognized body of professional standards.”
CALEA is considered the industry standard for professional excellence and is the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate their commitment to excellence in law enforcement.
In order to maintain the accreditation, all CALEA accredited agencies are reassessed every four years.
KPD’s accreditation is the result of a lengthy and rigorous process, which included a comprehensive audit of the department’s policies and operations, an on-site audit by CALEA representatives, and a thorough review of comments and feedback from the department’s employees and the general public.
“Only 5 percent of all law enforcement agencies across the United States are accredited,” stated Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry. “This recognition is the culmination of nearly nine years of commitment and dedication to this process.” ….
read …. Accreditation
HCDA ‘Mostly Closed Door Process’ Selects Souki
SA: The state agency regulating development in Kakaako will have a new leader Dec. 1 after a roughly yearlong search that weeded out nearly 200 other applicants.
Board members of the Hawaii Community Development Authority unanimously voted Wednesday to appoint Jesse Souki, a local attorney and veteran government executive, to head the agency.
The state announced Souki as the board’s preferred selection last week, and on Wednesday the agency’s board chairman shed light on what previously had been a mostly closed-door effort to pick a new HCDA leader.
Souki, who is the director of planning, permitting and right-of-way for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, will replace Aedward Los Banos, who served as interim executive director since last December. Los Banos previously was the agency’s administrative services officer and will return to that role.
HCDA retained executive search firm Bishop & Co. in April and attracted 192 applicants, Whalen said. Most weren’t qualified, but the search was narrowed to six good applicants who received hourlong interviews before the board.
Souki won out over one other finalist. None of the other contenders was named because they were promised confidentiality so as not to jeopardize existing employment, Whalen said.
Souki will earn $130,000 a year. Ching’s salary was $125,484.
Prior to serving on the city’s rail authority, Souki was first deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. He also has led the state Office of Planning and been deputy corporation counsel for Maui and Honolulu counties as well as a private attorney.
read … Mostly Closed Door
Could Trump's plan to bolster military affect Hawaii?
HNN: Trump plans to boost the military rolls by about 60,000 soldiers and 12,000 Marines.
It's not yet clear where those additional personnel might be stationed, but onlookers say Hawaii could very well see an increase in members of the military….
Trump has said defense spending has dropped to dangerously low levels. His military expansion could cost an additional $55 billion a year.
Hawaii's Congressional delegation promises to (pretend to) work for the state's share of those funds (and the local media promises to make it look like they are accomplishing something)….
read … Trump