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Saturday, June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 9:23 PM :: 1748 Views

Caldwell to Legislators: City will not put more ‘Skin in the Game’

SA: “I think about the last legislative session. There’s discussion on rail: ‘The city should have skin in the game,’” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Friday, speaking to reporters inside the giant interior of the unfinished Joint Traffic Management Center. “The city has a lot of skin in the game and has from Day One.”

“We’re sharing this with everyone, including the state, so that we can do a better job as one community. No walls, no division — doing things for the better interest of the entire community,” he added….

“I’m asking … that the Legislature, when they look at the issue of rail, that they consider this not as an us-versus-them,” Caldwell said at the center’s construction site Friday. “This is one community of 1 million people. … We’re all working together.”

read … Ultimatum

With Obama Out of the Way, HMSA Rate Hike Much Smaller

SA: About 49,000 Hawaii Medical Service Association members covered by small-business health insurance plans will see an average 2.1 percent rate hike July 1, the smallest increase since 2012….

The state’s largest health insurer earned $25 million in the first three months of this year — compared with a $30.4 million loss a year earlier — and increased its reserve by more than $100 million to $446.5 million, or $608 per member, largely due to the absence of fees related to the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, according to its filing with the state Insurance Division…..

In January HMSA raised rates 35 percent for about 20,000 individual members covered under Obamacare policies, citing a struggle to balance the pool of newly insured — many of whom haven’t had medical care in years — with the population of healthier members to control premiums. HMSA originally filed for a 43.3 percent rate hike for those individual policies, but the Insurance Division rejected its request….

read … Rates will increase for 49,000 covered by HMSA

Expensive Wind Energy Makes Maui Electric Bills Jump $15 in Month

SA: Hawaiian Electric Co.’s bill for an Oahu household using 500 kilowatt-hours rose $1.47 from May to $141.89, or 26.3 cents a kilowatt-hour….

The higher cost of electricity in Hawaii is widely attributed to the state’s use of fossil fuels. (And we want you suckers to keep on believing this!) In 2015 HECO’s energy mix was roughly 71.1 percent oil on Oahu.  (Translation: Alt energy is a mirage.)….

Neighbor island residents also saw bills jump in June. Wind power costs pushed up bills nearly $15 on Maui (ooops!)….

“Prices paid to independent power producers that sell wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power are also tied to the price of oil,” she said. (See how this scam works?)

strong wind caused Maui Electric Co. customers to see bills increase $14.82. Because of the contract with wind producers on the island, MECO has to buy wind energy that is available. In June the wind power cost about 19 cents a kilowatt-hour, versus 13 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from oil-fired plants….

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s rate fell to 31.42 cents a kilowatt-hour in June. In May the rate was 32.11 cents a kilowatt-hour….  (Gee How’d THAT happen?)

read … Oahu electricity bills a smidge higher in June

What do Illinois and Hawaii have in common that's causing residents to flee?

TH: Both Illinois and Hawaii are among the states experiencing worrying levels of “flight.” In other words, more residents from those states are leaving than from most other states for opportunities elsewhere — and for many of the same reasons….

leaving for greener financial pastures is so much a part of the culture that a recent Grassroot Institute of Hawaii video about the state’s population loss hit a nerve among Hawaii expats. People don’t leave Hawaii because they want to; they leave because they believe they have to. And if that’s true for Hawaii, then it’s probably true for Illinois, West Virginia and the other states experiencing negative population growth.

Nor is it a mystery why people leave. The politicians can talk about changes in migration patterns and the need for more parks (or whatever pet project they favor). But when you ask the people who decided to say goodbye to friends and family, you get a very direct answer: “We couldn’t afford it.”….

IRS data confirms it: The people leaving Hawaii go predominantly to states with lower tax burdens. They go where the opportunity is…..

The fact that a significant number of young people are looking at their situation and saying, “I don’t think I can make it here,” is ominous. It reflects negative economic conditions that can’t be hidden with new tax schemes or spending proposals. …

read … Hawaii – Illinois

Decisive Endorsement? Gay Thief Approves Fukumoto for Democratic Party membership

SA: …On Thursday, Fukumoto spent more than an hour answering questions from members of the party’s (ruling) LGBT caucus. She reiterated that she (knows she needs to say she) supports gay marriage, despite her 2013 vote, which she apologized for, according to a recording of the meeting. She also clarified that she did not support gay “conversion therapy,” which she called (knows she must now say is) unscientific and psychologically damaging, and said she supported issues important to the transgender community (and is saddened every time she uses a restroom and finds no tranny there).

(Hawaii Democratic Party overlord and) LGBT caucus chairman (convicted thief) Michael (‘Bitchbear’) Golojuch said that the caucus was not taking a position on whether Fukumoto should be accepted into the party but suggested that many of his concerns about Fukumoto’s views were appeased….

Party members will discuss Fukumoto’s fitness to join the Democrats during a 10 a.m. meeting at the headquarters of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (of course) before 16 members of the Oahu county executive committee take a vote….

read … Gay Approved

Sovereignty Lawyer Disbarred

HTH: The state Supreme Court suspended Waimea attorney Dean T. Kauka from the practice of law, effective immediately, according to a written statement from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

According to the high court’s order of suspension, Kauka “has failed to meaningfully or substantively respond to lawful requests from ODC regarding its investigations into alleged misconduct committed by him, or to respond by the May 31, 2017 deadline to this court’s May 10, 2017 order to show cause as to why he should not be immediately suspended” for his alleged misconduct.

The order didn’t specify the nature of the alleged misconduct.

Kauka will remain suspended until further order of the Supreme Court, and is cautioned and advised by ODC that he cannot accept new retainers, clients or legal matters.

read … Sovereignty

Its Summer Again so Ige, DoE Pretend to Scramble to Cool Schools While Diverting Money to Line Green Energy Scammers Pockets

CB: With less than two months left until the start of the new school year, the Hawaii Department of Education is racing against the clock to cool off its most sweltering classrooms.

The state didn’t meet its initial deadline for installing air conditioning in 1,000 classrooms by the end of last year.

But the state is making headway. New air conditioning has been installed in 456 classrooms since Gov. David Ige signed a measure appropriating $100 million to cool down classrooms. And the education department says it is aiming to cool down another 500 classrooms before its new self-imposed deadline of July 1.

(in 13 days they will accomplish what they have failed to do in 13 mos?)

The DOE stumbled meeting Ige’s initial pledge to air condition 1,000 classrooms by the end of 2016. Contractor bids were unexpectedly high, delaying projects from moving forward. (Fake excuse, see below)

Back in February, only 209 AC units had been installed among the 1,000 targeted classrooms. Of those 209 rooms, however, only 54 rooms received air conditioning from the $100 million appropriation.

read … Hawaii Scrambles To Cool Down Hot Classrooms

Legislator: Housing Authority Money Demands Lack Specifics

HNN: The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is facing a 10-year, $815 million repair and maintenance backlog.

There are 246 apartments in its inventory that need major construction -- work that requires outside experts…..

(Don’t be fooled there’s more to the backlog than the 246: $815M / 246 = $3.3M per unit)

He said complete remodels and roofing jobs take two years or longer because of the bidding process. That's well beyond the seven-day turnaround for routine repairs. Meantime, the apartments sit empty.

"The units that require extensive amount of repair and hiring a contractor, that is booked based on the appropriations that we get," Hakim  ‘Islam Day’ Ouansafi said.

This year, the Housing Authority asked lawmakers for about $60 million but got only $20 million, forcing the agency to reshuffle projects and hold off on some major repairs.

State Rep. ‘Sledgehammer’ Tom Brower chairs the House Housing committee. He thinks lawmakers might be more generous in the future if the Housing Authority is clearer about its needs.

"I think it would help if they gave more specifics and even some site tours. The more the legislators can see hands on what's happening, I think more likely the funding would come," Brower said….

read … Empty Units

State DOT says deputy sheriffs no longer needed at Honolulu airport

HNN: A letter that DPS got Thursday, and which was obtained by Hawaii News Now, notifies DPS that they are terminating the 2002 agreement between both state agencies in 180 calendar days.

What the letter does not say is which law enforcement agency will take over protecting the millions of passengers and visitors at Hawaii's busiest airport….

Some 59 deputy sheriffs work at the airport.

Many of them will likely be transferred to other locations, a move that will likely take place in December. Some speculate that a few airport deputy sheriffs with little seniority could wind up losing their jobs….

In recent months, there have been growing concerns about Securitas' armed guards. The state pays the firm $35 million a year for airport security….

Recent airport incidents involving Securitas guards include the fatal shooting of a family dog. The guard at the center of that case had been fired from the Army as a law enforcement officer before being employed by Securitas.

Last year, meanwhile, several Securitas employees pleaded guilty to theft for their role in the airport taxi bribery scheme. The state alleged that several security workers solicited thousands of dollars in bribes from cab drivers at the airport.

And a Hawaii News Now investigation showed multiple former Honolulu police officers, fired from that department, were also getting positions as armed security guards at the airport. …

Before 2002, the HPD handled law enforcement duties at the airport but they were replaced after an overtime scandal. Sources tell us that the HPD won't likely return to the airport….

read … No Need

DOCARE Proposes $11,000 Fine for Teaching Kitesurfing at Beach

HNN: State enforcement officers are looking to fine a kitesurfing instructor $11,000 for conducting illegal business at a popular windward Oahu beach.

In a submittal to the Board of Land and Natural Resources, DOCARE officers said they witnessed Samuel "Sammy" Perez Hults, owner of Sammy's Watersports, offloading kitesurfing equipment and giving lessons at Kailua Beach Park in January.

One client told officers he paid about $3,000 for professional lessons dating back to November 2016.

Bill 11, which became law in 2012, bans all commercial activity at Kailua and Kalama Beach Parks after residents argued the beaches don't have the infrastructure to handle the influx of customers from kayak rental companies and tour buses….

The fine will be taken up at the land board meeting on June 23rd.

read … DOCARE officers propose $11,000 fine against Kailua kitesurfing instructor

Kauai Mayor Refuses to Sign Budget After Council Rejects Tax Hike

KGI: …The mayor could not be reached for comment Friday on why he did not sign the budget. Which means it could be going back to council.

Originally, the proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 was $204 million. That initial proposal was brought down to $203.5 million in a supplemental budget that was submitted to the council on May 5.

Salaries made up most of the budget submitted by the mayor. It contained a 19-cent increase in real property taxes for road repair projects. That hike would have generated $3.6 million.

During the council’s budget meetings in May, councilmembers declined to go with the mayor’s proposed tax hike. They voted to take the remaining $1.5 million they couldn’t cut from the reserve fund.

read … Kauai Mayor doesn’t sign off on budget

Maui Hospital: 97% of HHSC Staff Accept Employment

MN: Having adequate doctors, access to services for non-Kaiser Permanente members and the possibility of reopening adolescent mental health services were some of the issues brought up during a public meeting Friday….

Ulin said that Maui Health officials are working on recruiting more physicians for current and future openings. The recruitment includes bringing in orthopedic surgeons and neurologists.

“We are recruiting like crazy,” he said….

Because 97 percent of the current employees have accepted jobs with Maui Health System, Lott said members of the public will see many familiar faces at the hospitals, including trusted physicians and healthcare providers….

(They still got that fat juicy ‘severance’ package.)

read … Officials address concerns about hospitals transfer

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