The Cost of Public Employment
HPD Toddler Abuse Cover-up Unraveling
SA: Two years after toddler Peyton Valiente sustained a life-threatening blow to his head and other severe injuries while in the care of his Ewa Beach baby sitter, no one has been charged in the incident.
But Chelsea and Rey Valiente, the boy’s parents, are hoping that recent developments in the case will finally lead to some measure of justice for their only child, who is now 3.
“There’s no doubt that my son was severely abused at the baby sitter’s house,” Chelsea Valiente said Friday.
Valiente said she and her husband believe the case was hindered, in large part, because baby sitter Manuela Ramos is the wife of a Honolulu Police Department officer, Cpl. Mark Ramos.
HPD Acting Chief Cary Okimoto told the Honolulu Police Commission last week that he asked the Criminal Investigations Division to take another look at the case. Separately, he requested that HPD’s Professional Standards Office review the handling of the case, he said.
An HPD official told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Friday that the case has been on “pending further disposition” status and technically has never been closed.
The incident occurred Jan. 9, 2015. An HPD report filed by Acting Detective Carl Grantham of the HPD Criminal Investigation Division’s Child and Family Violence Detail said the case was turned over to prosecutors Sept. 10. A deputy prosecutor phoned Grantham on May 9, 2016, to say that the case was being declined.
Chuck Parker, a spokesman for city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, told the Star-Advertiser that no charges were brought because the evidence presented did not point to an individual suspect.
There is a three-year statute of limitations on assault cases. Parker said that as is the norm with any case, further evidence in the Valiente investigation could lead to charges before the limit runs out in January.
Valiente said she was furious when she finally was able to see police reports on the case last month that suggested that HPD had been slow to interview the Ramos’ two children, now both adults, and took seven months for the case to be turned over to prosecutors.
Theresa Ramos, 19, and Marcus Ramos, 16, were home at the time of the incident, but detectives did not interview either until months later. Valiente said she was also troubled by indications that no one interviewed other young children under Manuela Ramos’ care that day. Nor was there anything in the HPD reports indicating police had searched the Ramos home as part of its investigation, she said.
Valiente also said that about 12 hours after the incident, the initial detective on the case spoke to Manuela Ramos and her husband, the HPD officer, from a cellphone and gave them assurances that they would be OK.
Valiente said that at no point has anyone from either HPD or the Prosecutor’s Office initiated any contact with her or her husband about the status of the case, and that she was stunned to learn from Civil Beat last month that prosecutors had formally declined to accept the case.…
read … Police take fresh look at the case of tot’s injury
Still no A/C for schools
KGI: …Kekaha School Principal Marilyn Asahi told The Garden Island in November that she was “cautiously optimistic” that air conditioning units would be installed in her school’s classrooms by the end of January.
As of Feb. 15, no units have been installed.
Asahi said she could not comment for this story, but state Department of Education Kauai Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki said the bid for the project went out and the “award and partial notice to proceed is being processed.”
Kekaha Elementary is the only Kauai school on the Department of Education’s priority list in the state’s Heat Abatement project to cool down Hawaii classrooms, ranking 31 out of 33 in the state.
Other schools on the Garden Isle, such as Waimea Canyon Middle, Waimea High and Intermediate, Kekaha Intermediate, and Kapaa Elementary, High and Intermediate are nearing the award stage, but that doesn’t mean installation is coming anytime soon.
As for other schools on the island looking for A/C units, their bids have not been approved yet.
“No new A/C projects have opened for bids for Kauai schools recently,” said Derek Inoshita, HIDOE spokesperson.
Gov. David Ige said during his 2016 State of the State Address that the state would provide 1,000 classrooms with A/C units.
In an Oct. 18 Heat Abatement Status update, only 26 classrooms across the state had installed A/C units from this project while another 432 units were under construction or still in the bidding process, according to the HIDOE.
In the latest update on Feb. 14, 926 classrooms are in the bidding or construction process and 209 classrooms have air-conditioning units installed….
Out of 650 classrooms on the Garden Isle in the Waimea, Kauai and Kapaa districts, just 105 — or 16 percent — of classrooms have A/C….
read … Still no A/C for schools
Caldwell Imposes 100% Fare Hike on Bus Transfer Riders
SA: Question: My granddaughter catches the bus one-way home from Pearl City High School to Waianae and transfers two times. Will she have to pay $2.50 instead of the $1.25 she now pays? I don’t think that’s fair.
Answer: Yes. TheBus system will introduce a daily all-you-can-ride fare in October, and in doing so will eliminate the paper transfers that currently allow single-fare passengers such as your granddaughter to extend their ride for free.
The all-day pass will cost $5 for adults and $2.50 for youths, the rate your granddaughter would pay as a high-school student. The single-ride fare remains $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for youths, but no transfers will be granted….
SA: Diabolical Caldwell Doubles Bus Fare for Some Seniors
read … If its Caldwell, Its a Fare Hike
Incompetent DoTax a Month Late with Tax Forms
SA: …The state advised Hawaii businesses seeking to fill out their general excise tax returns to head online or to district offices before Monday’s deadline.
The businesses that are enrolled to receive booklets in the mail that include the forms — the G45 for periodic filers and the G49 annual filers — will not be receiving them on time.
Businesses need to file by Tuesday.
Mallory Fujitani, public information officer for the state Department of Taxation, said the mail-out that contains the two forms for some businesses has been hung up because of a delay in the printing.
“I think it is going to take another month before we can get those booklets in the hands of taxpayers,” Fujitani said….
read … State department delays mail-out of tax booklets
Soft on Crime Policy Kills Another Criminal: On the outside after 35 Raps in 14 Years—Bashes Through Airport Security and Dies
KHON: …Tuzon says his brother has been in and out of prison and had a drug problem.
We looked at Kosi’s criminal record which showed he had 35 charges between 1989 to 2003, including some felonies on assault and escape.
Before Saturday’s incident at the airport, Tuzon says his brother was supposed to be at a drug rehabilitation facility on Oahu. “He left,” he said….
(If Kosi had been in prison, he would be alive today. Soft on crime policies kill criminals. Do soft on crime advocates really care for criminals?)
KHON: Man behind airport security breach was court-ordered to rehabilitation center
read … Family of man involved in airport security breach wants answers surrounding his death
Maui Program Puts Homeless to Work Sweeping Streets
MN: In September 2015, “homeless and vagrancy issues in Wailuku had reached a breaking point,” said Erin Wade, a Maui County small-town planner.
“Merchants were afraid to walk to their cars after hours, business was down throughout town and residents were calling their council member to complain about safety concerns,” Wade said. “The police couldn’t keep up with the situation.”
So Wade called retired police officer Lawrence Kauha’aha’a. She wanted his help in starting a Clean & Safe program for Wailuku, a system used around the country to improve neighborhoods and cities. He suggested what he hoped would be a “win-win” for the town: giving homeless and mental health clients jobs cleaning the streets.
People blamed the mental health and church outreach programs in the area. The services, they said, were attracting more homeless. But Kauha’aha’a saw the local mental health office as the solution.
Less than a year after Wailuku’s Clean & Safe program was born, business owners say the town’s atmosphere has improved, and the people who were given jobs say they’ve gotten their dignity back….
read … Mental Health Kokua
Who Will be Fooled? Anti-GMO Activists Blame Trump for Pesticide Bill
SA: Environmental activists are urging Hawaii lawmakers to implement a statewide ban on a widely used insecticide that’s been linked to disruptions in the brain development of babies and young children — a cause they say is all the more urgent now that President Donald Trump has assumed office and signaled his intent to curtail environmental regulations.
Chlorpyrifos is widely used on fruits and vegetables and has been for decades. But a growing scientific body of evidence has led officials within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conclude that it can no longer be determined safe (and we all know they are completely trustworthy…or at least they can be trusted to prepare themselves for a soft landing at a national eco-lobby group….).
The agency has proposed banning its use on all food products and is expected to make a final decision by March 31.
(But they don’t want Hawaii to wait to follow federal rules … because … The Trumpmonster will gobble them up!)
For national environmental hysteria groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and (lying anti-GMO scum of the) Pesticide Action Network, which have spent years fighting for greater restrictions on the chemical, (a return to Godhead) including petitioning the EPA a decade ago to ban its use on food crops, the pending action by federal regulators was expected to mark a great triumph.
But since taking office, Trump has issued a nationwide freeze on any new environmental regulations. He also vowed during his presidential campaign to dismantle the EPA….
(SO they are preparing to lose on a Federal level and using their impending defeat as an excuse to score an unwarranted victory in Hawaii. The argument is that anything other than victory is a sign of scientific fraud ordered by Trump and Hawaii should take a preemptive strike against the Trumpmonster by attacking one of its few remaining productive agricutltual sectors thus opening more land for development so more hippies can move in and stage more anti-GMO protests.)
read … Its All Trump’s Fault
HCDA Changing Affordable Housing Rules
SA: …The recommendations were recently published by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which regulates development in Kakaako, following more than two years of work that included suggestions from two different board committees along with input from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, local developers and other stakeholders.
HCDA’s board of directors will consider adopting the changes after holding two public hearings, the first of which could be in late March….
One proposed change would reduce allowable (Yep. Allowable.) prices for condos and rental apartments that developers have to build and offer at below-market rates….
This calculation allowed below-market units with one to three bedrooms to be priced from $360,000 to about $690,000 about two years ago, based on income of $84,574 for a single person, $120,820 for a family of four or $140,151 for a family of six.
Today 140 percent of the median income equates to $98,560 for a single person or $140,700 for a family of four, which would permit a maximum condo price around $500,000 for a single person or $710,000 for a family of four.
Moriwaki calls the 140 percent threshold “insane” as a measure for creating housing for most working residents.
Under the proposed amendment, a buyer could still earn up to 140 percent of the median income, but prices on average would have to be affordable to someone earning 120 percent of the median income. This would make the average condo price around $430,000 for a single person or $610,000 for a family of four….
Currently, reserved housing buyers must give HCDA the first option to buy the unit if they sell within two to five years, depending on the project. No such requirement exists for workforce housing. Under the recommended changes, HCDA would have the first option to buy a reserved or workforce unit regardless of when an owner decides to sell….
On top of the price cap, HCDA would take a cut of appreciation, which it can use to help produce more affordable housing. Currently, HCDA uses a formula to calculate its share of appreciation. For instance, a condo worth $500,000 that was sold as reserved housing for $400,000 and then resold later by its owner for $700,000 would produce $40,000 for HCDA and $260,000 for the seller under existing rules. The same cut to HCDA would increase to $140,000 under the proposed change….
some real estate industry operators warn that imposing more restrictions on developers and homebuyers could work to reduce supply and demand.
“It’s ridiculous,” Dale Nishikawa, CEO of brokerage firm Marcus & Associates Inc., said in reference to provisions proposed for workforce housing. “HCDA is trying to make it harder for workforce housing developers.”
Flashback: Ethics complaint: HCDA Falsifies Kakaako Workforce Housing Affordability Formulas
read … Supply and Demand
KSBE Trustee Search Begins Again
SA: Candidates are again being sought to fill a vacancy on the five-member Kamehameha Schools board of trustees after one of three finalists withdrew from the search.
A court-appointed screening committee last summer had submitted to a probate court judge the names of three finalists for consideration to replace Janeen-Ann Olds, whose reappointment as a trustee was rejected by the court in late 2015. Olds, the CEO of Sandwich Isles Communications, lost the support of her fellow trustees and a number of prominent Kamehameha Schools alumni over the controversy surrounding the telecommunications company, whose founder was sent to prison after he was convicted of federal tax evasion.
The trustee finalists, who were selected from among 70 applications, were Maenette Ah Nee-Benham, inaugural dean of the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and newly appointed chancellor of UH West Oahu; Kamanamaikalani Beamer, a UH-Manoa associate professor with a joint appointment in the William S. Richardson School of Law and the School of Hawaiian Knowledge; and C. Kanoelani Naone, CEO of the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture, or INPEACE.
While the judge did not identify the candidate who withdrew, Benham confirmed that she backed out of the trustee search.
“I did withdraw due to my appointment as chancellor of UH West Oahu, which provided me an opportunity to affect educational transformation for both Native Hawaiians and all people of Hawaii,” Benham said in an emailed statement….
read … Plum