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‘Sharing’ the American Dream
We are Voyagers
Coop In Discussions to Buy HELCO?
HTH: A Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative representative said Thursday he is under a “cone of silence” regarding efforts to acquire Hawaii Electric Light Co.
While speaking during an energy forum hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce &Industry of Hawaii, Marco Mangelsdorf said that means he can’t comment about whether or not his group has made an offer to purchase the electric utility.
“It’s our policy not to discuss any offer if there were to be an offer,” he said, in response to a question from moderator Sherry Bracken.
The group hopes to turn HELCO, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric, into a cooperative owned by ratepayers.
But a deal would require a willing seller, and Mangelsdorf said the utility’s “party line” is that it is not seeking any other offers following termination of a proposed sale to NextEra Energy.
Jay Ignacio, HELCO president, was also at the forum and said he also couldn’t comment about any discussions that it might or might not of had with co-op supporters.
He also noted that Hawaiian Electric was not seeking buyers when Florida-based NextEra made an offer, which was ultimately rejected by the state Public Utilities Commission.
Asked where he would get financing for a purchase, Mangelsdorf said the group could get assistance from the rural utility service ran by the U.S. Department of Agriculture….
read … Discussions
Ige nearly incoherent in defense of meddling in Schools
Cataluna: So much for transparency. The windows are shut, the blinds are drawn and there are only fumbled denials when anyone knocks and ask questions….
Having the governor take control does not make the BOE less politicized. In fact, if the governor and his wife don’t like the superintendent, they get to dump her regardless of excellent performance reviews.
Clearly, something is going down at the BOE, and David and Dawn Ige are in the thick of it, though all we get is ham-handed obfuscation and frustrating denials….
Ige’s on-camera answer, transcribed here word for word, was stunningly awkward as he desperately tried to assemble a stream of words that would not qualify as a fib.
“You know, I, um, I basically, uh, the the the question was about um whether I thought that, um, that the board should, uh, seek, uh, open process and seek a new superintendent and I, I, I said that I would, uh, support the board’s decision.”
Why is it so hard for the governor to be straight up and admit he’s taking charge of the schools? Hold a press conference and explain why he thinks Matayoshi has to go and why he told the board they had to act. Did she do something wrong, or is there something personal the Iges have against Matayoshi? Dawn Ige is a former vice principal and clearly has ideas about how schools should be run. Maybe it’s simply the fact Matayoshi isn’t part of the governor’s Pearl City High School clique. When Ige called an educational summit earlier this year and didn’t invite Matayoshi, that was beyond an oversight. That was an overt — albeit passive-aggressive — insult, the kind of exclusionary tactic you employ when you’re 16….
And speaking of the governor’s Pearl City High School buddies — all of a sudden, BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto, who was recruited by Dawn Ige for the school board, leaves his high-paying job at Central Pacific Bank and nobody says why? That leads to rampant speculation and the potential for more awkward denials down the road….
read … Ige nearly incoherent in defense of meddling
Showdown: DoE Strategic Plan vs Ige’s ‘Blueprint’
SA: …Oyadomari-Chun is turning her attention to the plan for federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, due in April.
Meanwhile, a task force under Gov. David Ige has developed a separate “blueprint” laying out his long-term educational vision. The DOE did work to make its plan responsive to some of the critique from Ige and others, she said, with lots of meetings to create “connectivity” between the documents.
“We already planned a pretty extensive process of outreach and collaboration to develop the plan,” she said. “And we did it because of all the feedback we had received previously about the department not listening enough.
“What was important was making sure that things would be clear to the community and not confused about the direction that we were headed.” …
Related: BoE Approves Amended Strategic Plan
read … Showdown?
Ige ‘Will Not Intervene’ in Rigged Hawaii County Democratic Selection Process
HTH: …The candidates list is sent to Gov. David Ige to pick a nominee to fill Tsuji’s two-year term. Tsuji, of Hilo, died of a heart attack Nov. 15, after his re-election to the seat he had since 2004.
Ige said Tuesday evening he won’t intervene in the local selection of the three candidates to fill the seat.
“It’s purely an internal process to the Democratic Party,” Ige, a Democrat, said during a telephone interview. “They can establish any procedure they want.”
Three rules are being proposed: forbidding candidates from voting for themselves, barring discussions by selectors about favored candidates prior to the public interviews and votes and making the district chairman a nonvoting member….
read … County Dems seek to tighten vacancy election rules
Kenoi Last Act: Vetoes Anti-Retaliation Bill
HTH: One of former Mayor Billy Kenoi’s last actions Monday was to veto a bill that would have given the County Council more say over the hiring and firing of the county’s civil attorneys….
The council had approved Bill 254 on a 6-2 vote last month, despite concerns from local attorneys and a former councilwoman that it might violate the county charter. (Yes. This is Hawaii County.) Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff voted no.
Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung had introduced the bill after learning Kamelamela had notified deputies of pending job losses even before he himself had been confirmed by the County Council to fill the post. (Yes. This is Hawaii County.) Chung publicly took Kamelamela to task and Kamelamela apologized during the meeting.
Stebbins had said Kamelamela told almost half the attorneys in her office they wouldn’t be retained. (Yes. This is Hawaii County.) Kamelamela, a former longtime deputy in the office, retired unexpectedly and two other deputies were fired after Stebbins took over in 2014. (Yes. And now I get my revenge. Buahahhahahah!)
He told the council he has since backed off his plan to terminate so many attorneys….
read … Kenoi vetoes corporation counsel protection bill
Brian Schatz “Lilly-White Staff”
P: …activists are shaming Senate Democrats, noting that the chamber’s only African-American chief of staff works for Republican Sen. Tim Scott. And civil rights groups are holding a public conference call on Thursday to escalate their campaign for more diverse hiring by newly elected senators.
It’s not just the chief of staff disparity — minorities are under-represented throughout the ranks of Senate staffers. African-Americans and Latinos represent more than a third of self-identified Democrats nationwide but hold less than 3 percent of senior staff positions for Senate Democrats, according to a report last year by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) acknowledged that changing the lily-white complexion of the chamber's staff sparks “an uncomfortable conversation.” But Schatz, who has led long-running efforts to diversify the Senate’s workforce alongside his friend Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), said lawmakers and aides should keep grappling with “frankly, an ugly history in the Capitol” — the storied dome partly built by slaves. (Yep, just forget what we’re doing. Look away about 200 years to a distraction.)
“I don’t think anybody is nefarious” in terms of denying minority candidates a chance at jobs, Schatz told POLITICO. “But we’re just not getting it done, and we need to hold ourselves accountable as an institution.” ….
2014: WaPo: Schatz Represents Hawaii's new White Ruling Class
read … All White
Brainwashed UH Students Petition to Airbrush Dole Street from History
CB: The students worked with board members Bronson Kekupa‘a Silva and Dylan Armstrong to draft a resolution in support of the name change. Some of the neighborhood board members had not reviewed the resolution Wednesday’s meeting, and the panel plans to vote on it at a meeting in February.
To change a street name, notices detailing the proposal must be distributed to affected property owners, the fire department, the police department and the post office, according to Honolulu law. If all state agencies and a majority of property owners approve, the change would be approved by the county’s director of land utilization.
As the petitioners, members of the student group are responsible for surveying property owners.
Benton Rodden, the group’s advocacy chairman, told the board that the resolution was the students’ first step in attempting to build community support and that they will soon walk door-to-door to tell Dole Street residents….
Noel Kent, a UH Manoa Ethnic Studies professor, testified in favor of the resolution. He said the name of a campus building, Saunders Hall, had been changed from Porteus Hall when it was discovered that Stanley Porteus, a former psychology professor, wrote demeaning things about the character of Filipinos and Japanese in the 1920s….
The Dole name is more often associated with the pineapple empire founded by Sanford’s cousin, James Dole, Keli’ipaakaua said. Changing a street’s name may seem to be of little consequence, but it can impact the way history is remembered, he said…..
2015: NBC News Pumps Petition to Strip McKinley HS of Name
read … Kapaakea
Bike lanes don’t belong on McCully
SA: …Improving the already existing bike lanes along wider and less-congested University Avenue would be a better option. University has fewer intersections and with a short extension can link to the vehicle-free Ala Wai bike path. People using University are already aware of the bike lane. The Ala Wai bike path is safer.
It seems like planners have a death wish for bikers, who will have to encounter passenger coaches, emergency vehicles, shuttle buses, limos and cars all trying to access the H-1….
Star Adv: Share road with more bike lanes
read … Unsafe
18 Priors: Out on the Street Does it Again and Again
KHON: …“I got out of the car and the neighbor told me that the suspect ran into the house,” he said.
The suspect then came out of a second home with a bicycle to to get away.
“I remember taking off my slippers, running over here, tackling him off the bike, fighting on the ground,” Ben said.
Ben says the suspect was still able to run off and stopped a car that was driving by. He jumped into the driver’s seat with the driver still in it.
Ben kept after him.
“He tries to get into the driver’s side of the car, I keep pounding him on the face, and the driver was unable to get out of the car, because the suspect was sitting on top of him,” he said.
Luckily the driver’s wife pulled on the emergency brake so the car couldn’t go anywhere, then jumped out and grabbed their two little girls from the back seat.
Ben says he just kept punching the suspect until police officers arrived. The suspect had to be taken away by an ambulance.
HPD identified the man as Ivan Kong, 37. He was arrested for three counts of first-degree burglary, one count of second-degree robbery, car theft, resisting arrest, and contempt.
We checked his criminal record and he has 18 convictions going back to 2001, which also includes burglary and car theft.
The crime spree actually started on Kahala Avenue, about a mile away. Witnesses tell us that the suspect broke into a house, but the resident came home and confronted him. Witnesses say he then attacked her….
read … 18 Priors
WOTUS: Feds Behind Closure of Ala Wai Driving Range
KHON: The range had been closed for a year during an extensive water quality improvement project.
The $1.3 million project was initiated in December 2015 to improve storm water drainage at the site as required under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) to help protect the water quality of nearby Ala Wai Canal….
read … WOTUS Abuse
UPW Wins Right to Smoke On The Job in Hospitals
CB: After winning a judgment from the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, a public employees union says its members shouldn’t have to follow a recently enacted state law that prohibits smoking at 12 medical facilities in the islands.
In a complaint filed with the board, the United Public Workers defended the necessity of smoking breaks and noted the long history of state employees being allowed to smoke in the workplace.
It accused the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation of violating collective bargaining agreements because it failed to consult with the union before posting signs informing people of the smoking ban, part of implementing the law known as Act 25.
The Labor Relations Board ruled in the union’s favor and moved to award the union $40,000 in attorneys’ fees and other costs. (The motion for the fees is pending.) The HHSC filed an appeal of that ruling in 1st Circuit Court last week….
read … Second Hand Unionism