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Friday, June 16, 2017
June 16, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:23 AM :: 1360 Views

June 14, 1900: The Abolition of Slavery in Hawaii

State Recycling Program: A Decade of Fraud (Part 6)

Auditor: 2017 Legislature Batting .000 -- 65 Bogus Special Funds

Ige: Legislators Aren’t Getting Answers on Rail Costs

CB: ….Ige’s tendency to collaborate rather than direct came into sharp focus in May when negotiations over how to fund Honolulu’s rail project collapsed at the Legislature….

On Thursday, Ige said he’s talked to legislative leaders and the mayor to try to help them reach agreement. The governor said he sees value in raising the hotel room tax slightly to help fund rail, but doesn’t have a preference between using the hotel room tax or a general excise tax surcharge for the project.

He rebutted the suggestion that he should take a more active role.

“It’s not something that I can unilaterally issue an executive order and make happen,” he said, adding that legislators haven’t been able to get answers to their questions about the project’s cost and “that’s a problem.”….

read … Ige Says His Low-Key Approach Is Producing Good Results For Hawaii

Doomed: Affordable Housing Plan Depends on Rail

SA: The state agency that manages public housing for low-income Hawaii residents is hoping to add thousands of housing units along the planned Honolulu rail route, including 2,140 rentals through the redevelopment of Mayor Wright Housing in Palama, as the state struggles with a shortage of affordable housing and high rate of homelessness.

In total, 10 transit-oriented development projects identified by the Hawaii Public Housing Authority could add up to 10,600 new housing units in the coming years, according to authority Director Hakim ‘Islam Day’ Ouansafi, who briefed state lawmakers on plans during a joint hearing before the House and Senate Housing Committees at the state Capitol on Thursday.

The briefing came a year after the Legislature passed Act 127, which set a goal of developing at least 22,500 affordable rental units by 2026 to keep up with demand. Act 127 painted Hawaii’s housing situation in stark terms: “Without sufficient affordable rental housing, the future social, community and economic consequences for Hawaii may be dire.”….

read … Doomed

Obamacare repeal will Barely be Noticed in Hawaii

CB: Even before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, Hawaii had one of the nation’s lowest rates of uninsured thanks to a health-care coverage law passed four decades ago….

In Hawaii, the state exchange, called the Hawaii Connector, proved an embarrassing and costly failure. At the same event where Ige touted the success of Hawaii’s health-care system overall, he called the Health Connector a debacle.

“It was disgusting,” he told the group. “I assure you we are not going back to the Health Connector — ever. It’s been disconnected and dismantled.”….

read … No Need Obamacare

Hawaii workers 2nd in the nation using vacation time

PBN: Hawaii workers know the benefit of a relaxing vacation and don't leave much of their allocated vacation time unused, according to a new report.

Project:Time Off analyzed information from an online survey and created geographic data that represents the 50 U.S. states and the 30 largest metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Only 39 percent of workers in Hawaii leave their vacation time unused, the second lowest figure in the nation, the study shows. In addition, only 6 percent of Aloha State workers said their company culture does not promote time off, compared to 20 percent of workers nationally.

The study puts the untapped economic benefit for the state from the unused vacation days at $2.6 billion.

Hawaii is also among the five lowest ranking states for work stress. Compared to 70 percent nationally, 59 percent of Hawaii’s workers report experiencing work stress.

read … Low Stress, Lots of Vacation

Preschool Pricing Hawaii families out

HNN: …She's shopping for a preschool facility for her daughter, Mehana, and says most places are charging about $1,000 a month.

"I have to pay for preschool. I have to pay for care for my daughter so that I can go to work," said Joseph, who works in marketing at Hawaii News Now.

Jessica Gong pays $12,000 for nine months of preschool for her daughter Anabelle.

"You have to take a lot of sacrifice in order to make things work for schooling," she said.

The high costs of early childhood education in the islands is believed to be a big factor in a disturbing trend: Fewer Hawaii kids are going to preschool. 

The 2017 Kids Count Data Book shows about 19,000 3- and 4-year-olds attended preschool in 2015.

That's down by about 3,000 from 2011, a startling given that during that period Hawaii also did away with junior kindergarten for late-born kids…..

read … Priced out

Bogus Sand Study Claimed Maui would Run out in 2011

MN: On April 27, Arakawa sent a letter to the County Council asking it to examine sand mining, pointing to a 2006 study that said Maui had a five- to seven-year lifespan on inland dune sand. Arakawa’s letter and the county’s examination of the recent grading and sand moving work in Central Maui was triggered by a televised report that showed a Honolulu-based contractor was moving sand from Maui to Oahu….

read … Oooops!

Organic Brainwashing in a Sea of Ignorance

JC: …what is the dominant message that is being conveyed in this new battle for the hearts and minds of a new generation of eaters? In Hawaii, and I daresay elsewhere, it’s that organic is great and anything else isn’t….

KITV: Brown Cows

read … How now brown cow?

Scientists Want Papahanaumokuakea All to Themselves

CB: Responding to an executive order from President Donald Trump, 535 marine scientists, climatologists and others have signed a letter in support of marine reserves, citing the role they play in protecting fish populations and other marine life.  (Translation: They want to get paid to go scuba diving.)

The letter sent Wednesday to U.S. senators highlights the extensive scientific literature that the scientists say has provided compelling evidence that strongly protected reserves conserve biodiversity while boosting the economy.

Mark Hixon, a University of Hawaii biology professor, was among the scientists who signed the letter. He pointed at Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the biggest of all the reserves that Trump has ordered the Department of Interior to review…. (and the one UH faculty are most likely to get paid to go to.)

read … Cruise Ship

NRC Laughs at Big Island Depleted Activists

HTH: …The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board rejected requests for a hearing related to Pohakuloa Training Area’s radiation monitoring plan.

The board, under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said Tuesday the petitioners lacked standing or did not submit an admissible contention.

The petitioners — Jim Albertini, Cory Harden, Ruth Aloua and Hawane Rios (are the usual suspects who cry about DU—but only when a Republican is President)….

Past monitoring efforts, including use of air samples, haven’t found elevated radiation levels around PTA.

The NRC said air sampling wasn’t needed for the license.

“The staff agreed with the Army’s analysis that the air exposure pathway, including from high explosive ordnance aerosolization of DU, was highly unlikely to result in a dose greater than 1 millirem per year outside any radiation control area,” the board said. Natural background levels are about 310 millirem in the United States per year, according to the board.

The board said the petitioners didn’t establish that depleted uranium at PTA “constitutes a significant source of radioactivity” or that there is an “obvious potential for offsite consequences.”

BIVN: Petitioners Denied Hearing On PTA Depleted Uranium Monitoring

read … Depleted

Lawsuit: Staff Covered up Homosexual Rape

HNN: …A former Hawaii man who claims he was beaten and sexually assaulted as a patient at Kahi Mohala years ago is now suing the facility's owners.

The man, who now lives in Oklahoma, claims he was beaten and sexually assaulted by his teenage roommate back in the 1980's. He was 9 years old at the time of the alleged assaults.

On at least five separate incidents, the man says Kahi Mohala staff didn't do enough to protect him.

He also alleges the assaults were covered up, and not reported to his parents or police, which is required by law.

Kahi Mohala is a facility that focuses on emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioral health care treatment….

CB: Hawaii’s Catholic Church Must Confront Its Past

read … Homosexual Rape

Inmate lawsuit claims severe beating by HCCC guards; ‘repeated, systemic use of excessive force’ alleged

HTH: An inmate has filed suit against the state Department of Public Safety, a retired warden of Hawaii Community Correctional Center, an adult corrections officer and four former ACOs, alleging he was unlawfully restrained and severely beaten by guards while incarcerated at HCCC two years ago….

Kaili also alleged that in the months leading up to the alleged assault on him, defendants “engaged in similar unlawful conduct against other inmates, causing approximately 7 such inmates to be emergency medically air-evacuated to Honolulu trauma centers for treatment of serious and/or life-threatening injuries.” According to the suit, prior to the Alpha Dawgs, the Department of Public Safety “allowed the formation of a group of Adult Correctional Officers known as ‘the Predators’ for the same or similar unlawful purposes.”….

Schwartz said MacDonald retired Dec. 31, 2014, Taum, Pinkney, Tagaloa and Demattos “are no longer employed with the Department of Public Safety” and the last day of employment for all four was Dec. 23, 2016. She did not disclose whether they quit or were fired. Schwartz said Waikiki is still employed by DPS and assigned to HCCC….

read … Lawsuit

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