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Thursday, June 22, 2017
June 22, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:53 PM :: 1363 Views

Military Industrial Complex Compromising Hawaii Missile Defense for Profit

Honolulu rail project most expensive in the world

NFIB Hawaii Small Business End-of-Session Report

The Greatest Journey Didn’t Start with a Protest

HDOT: 2002 Airport Agreement with Sheriff is Out of Date

OCCC Jail Siting Study Released

Hawaii Homes Lowest Average CO2 Production in USA

How High Are Spirits Taxes in Your State?

Navy’s partnership with Polynesian Voyaging Society

After Getting Rid of Citizen-Advisors  Police Commission finds Way to Dump Consultant Leading Police Chief Search

KHON: …Max Sword, chair of the Honolulu Police Commission, said Wednesday that the consultant chosen to conduct the search dropped out at the last minute.

“From what I understand, they wanted to be just a headhunting organization. In other words, we do it a little different where we hire a consultant, we do the test and so forth. We take all the applicants, and we sort through them,” he said, “whereas they wanted to be just a corporate headhunting organization, where they just go out and find the chief for you, and that’s not what we do.”

(Translation: “I wanted them gone, so I created a ‘situation.’”)

At this point, Sword says the commissioners have not yet reviewed any of the applications, nor do they know who the applicants are.  (IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

Sword says 34 people have applied for the position and “after we let them know that we haven’t forgotten about them, we are moving forward and, due to issues beyond our control, we still like them. We will see what the reply is.”

Sword says the commission is now working with its second consultant choice, as required by procurement law, and “hopefully by next week we will have an agreement and contract.”

(Translation: #2 is a patsy.)

read … Search for Honolulu’s next police chief delayed after consultant backs out

Performance-Based Contracts Drive Housing First Progress in Hawaii

SA:  …Hawaii is considered a leader in changing homeless shelter contracts to make them more focused on getting people into permanent housing, Miller said.

Through the state Department of Human Services, homeless coordinator Scott Morishige “really led the way” in pushing island shelters to change, Miller said.

“All of the cities are needing to do this,” she said. In Seattle the city is embracing “all of the things Scott did” with shelters, Miller said.

Shelter providers in Portland, Ore., like those in Hawaii, did not like the new focus on so-called “performance-based contracts,” Miller said. “It was very scary to people and it didn’t go over very well. But the reality is that it absolutely had to happen.”

West Coast cities with lots of people living on the street “really need to look at their shelter system,” Miller said. The goal is to make shelters “a place where someone wants to go into and lead to something better.” ….

Behind the scenes, Hawaii officials, social service agencies, philanthropic organizations and others are meeting to try to make fundamental changes in the way they operate to better coordinate their efforts, Miller said.

Health care providers are regularly talking to Health Department officials to find ways to adjust Medicaid to help the homeless and simultaneously control health care costs….

Related: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?

read … Hawaii’s work to ease homeless making progress, federal official says

Meth Addicts Like Being Homeless, Don’t Want Shelter

HTH: …In a meeting Tuesday, police and outreach workers agreed that there is a significant segment of homeless people who reside or frequent the park that simply aren’t interested in vacating the area, even with the promise of housing and services elsewhere.

It was a revelation Hawaii County Assistant Housing Administrator Lance Niimi — the man in charge of finding a temporary landing site for the homeless who will ultimately be ushered out of the park — said surprised him as he’s adapted to his new role.

“I was part of a survey with the homeless earlier, and a lot of them said they’re just going to move on and not going to move into any shelter we provide,” Niimi explained. “They like the lifestyle they’re in.”

Steven didn’t exactly echo Niimi’s words Wednesday, saying that from his perspective many homeless would voluntarily vacate the park on a permanent basis if a site with basic water and electrical services was provided somewhere in the vicinity of downtown Kona.

But location and amenities,(LOL!) he said, are hard to come by….

Derek, a homeless man who by his own admission is addicted to methamphetamine, said far more serious crimes occur in the park. He said he stopped residing there after he was robbed several times, adding he’s had three separate phones stolen from him….

During Tuesday’s meeting, police and outreach workers estimated that about 75 percent of homeless people often found frequenting the park suffer from a mental illness of some type.

Derek said he’s saving money for a psychological examination he thinks will render him the medication he needs and allow him to begin straightening out his life (more meth). He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder because of several years he spent in prison.

“There’s a finite number of people causing this issue to explode,” he said. “And it’s all about mental health.”….

read … Homeless speak out about county’s cleanup plans at Old Kona Airport Park

Harry Kim Wants Homeless Tent City, May Lose Federal Funding

WHT: …Niimi added the county is trying to work out a proposal that would allow for rapid relocation of the park’s homeless but that he is unsure of its success. And the problems with a temporary, open-air homeless camp only begin there.

Scott Morishige, Gov. David Ige’s coordinator on homelessness, said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which provide federal funding to help Hawaii combat its homeless epidemic, have assumed positions opposing the formalizing of homeless tent encampments.

Morishige chairs a state committee that will examine so-called “safe zones” and report back to the Legislature before next session. He said Tuesday, however, that he would urge county officials to discuss any financial implications with HUD and the USICH before moving forward.

“There is some concern for possibly putting federal funding for homelessness at risk,” Morishige said.

He also noted an encampment initiative similar to what the county is considering was undertaken at Aala Park on Oahu in the early 1990s.

“That situation became pretty dangerous,” Morishige explained. “It raised numerous health and safety concerns and eventually had to be shut down by law enforcement.”

Niimi said security and other services would be part of the temporary site plan, if it comes to fruition. He added that he’s fully aware of the risks, which are compounded by the primary homeless demographics living in the park, or at least frequenting it often….

Experts agreed Tuesday that roughly 90 percent of homeless in the park suffer from substance abuse problems and around 75 percent deal with some variety of mental illness — making the park Kona’s primary hub for those demographics within the homeless population.

Individuals dealing with such issues are the hardest to control and may render a temporary campsite unsafe. Police at the meeting agreed that where crime within the homeless community is concerned, nearly every homeless individual frequenting the park ends up being a victim, a perpetrator or both.

Sgt. Roylen Valera of Kona’s Community Policing Division likened the task of policing these subgroups of homeless to “spinning wheels.”

“The question about inventory on beds is irrelevant at that point because they don’t even want to be housed,” Valera said of the specific segment of homeless. “A lot of them don’t care. They don’t want the help. They’re going to live there and exist there as long as we permit them to do so.”….

UK Guardian: Waianae Homeless Tweekers Tent City is a Model for us 

read … Idiots Never Learn

UH Prof: Break up the DoE to Solve Teacher Shortages

KHON: …“There was a Spanish teacher that had never taken Spanish. In Honolulu, there was a calculus teacher that had never taken calculus. I see this countless times. It hurts me that we deny these kids an education,” said HSTA president Corey Rosenlee.

Amelia Jenkins, professor and chair of special education at University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education, calls it “heartbreaking.”

“Who do you put in the classroom if there isn’t someone that speaks Spanish?” Jenkins asked.

In the 2016-2017 school year, there were 4,264 registered substitute teachers, though the Department of Education points out not all actually work during the school year. That’s compared to 12,268 licensed teachers and 531 vacancies.

A substitute teacher in Hawaii is paid a daily rate based on the class they belong to. It varies from at $143.99, $156.67, and $169.34.

To qualify, you need a bachelor’s degree, and/or a state-approved teacher education program certification.

“There’s not a large population of people out there clamoring to get into the teaching profession,” said Jenkins. “I would like to see the teaching profession as a whole more valued, that people respect the job teachers are doing. There wouldn’t be doctors or lawyers or anyone else if there weren’t teachers preparing them for their jobs.”

Jenkins was a teacher in North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. She says those states also suffer from teacher shortages.

But Hawaii is unique in that it’s the only state with one school district. Jenkins believes that may be contributing to the local teacher shortage.

Jenkins suggests splitting the DOE into several districts, which she says has been discussed in the past.

“If they’re in the area and they find it very difficult to find teachers, they can pay the teachers higher than the district adjoining,” Jenkins said.

read … Break up DoE

Hawaii businesses struggle to find workers

AP: …Grace's Inn in Honolulu announced last week it would be closing its doors because it can't find enough workers.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Honolulu said it is dealing with its own staffing issues.

"I would say about 30 percent of applicants don't even show up for their first interview," said Bryan Andaya, vice president and chief operating officer for L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. "A lot of them don't even show up for their very first day. I would say 20 percent of those that are hired don't even show up for their shift."

Andaya said people are looking for more than just a paycheck.

"They want to make a difference," he said. "They want a job to have some meaning and significance to them other than just a paycheck. It's very, very difficult for restaurants, especially quick-service restaurants like ours, to offer that." ….

read … Hawaii businesses struggle to find workers

If Hawaii Was Really Serious about Global Warming, We Would Shut Down Tourism Industry

PBN: …Hawaii increased its renewable portfolio standard from 9.5 percent in 2010 to 26.6 percent last year, according to the Hawaii State Energy Office. The island with the highest penetration of renewable energy sources was the Big Island, with an RPS level of 54.2 percent in 2016.

While Ige said the state is ahead of its schedule to hit 30 percent RPS by 2020, electricity generation accounts for only a third of Hawaii's fossil fuel consumption.

"The imported fossil fuels that we bring here - about $5 billion to $6 billion worth a year, a third is for electricity generation and two thirds are for transportation," Ige said. According to the HSE, an estimated 31 percent of petroleum use goes toward ground and marine transportation, while an additional 31 percent goes toward air transportation….

read … 31%

Jones Act Keeps Clean LNG out of Hawaii

WE:  …According to Thomas Grennes, a professor emeritus of economics at North Carolina State University, there are currently no Jones Act tankers capable of carrying liquefied natural gas. This makes it prohibitively expensive to transport LNG to all domestic ports but especially ports in the noncontiguous regions of Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. To transport LNG from a West Coast port to Hawaii would require building a much more expensive ship. The upshot is that Hawaii and Puerto Rico have been unable to benefit from abundant and cheap natural gas from the U.S….

read … Keeping Your Electric Bills High

PUC Orders HECO to Give More Money to Green Energy Scammers

CB: Hawaiian Electric is drafting a new strategy after regulators rejected an earlier $736 million proposal in part because it didn’t serve solar users well….

read … Pay for Play

Soft on Crime: Pimp, Child Rapist to Get Early Parole—Sues Because Prison was Unpleasant

HNN: A man pimp who kidnapped an underage girl and forced her into prostitution will likely be set free next month after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence….

As Gordon awaits parole, he's also suing the state. He claims he was held in solitary confinement for extended periods of time shortly after his arrest and his constitutional rights were violated. The case is being appealed to the state Supreme Court….

(How much cash will the State give this pimp?)

UPDATE: Washington State Doesn't Want Molester-Pimp, Ige's HPA holds door open for Pimp Freedom in WA next year

KHON: Ewa Beach man sentenced to 10 years for child porn charges

read … Advocates appalled after man who forced minor into prostitution is granted parole

Jonesing Dopers Deploy Sob Story

HNN: …Paul Klink is the founder of the Honolulu Wellness Center on Oahu – and a certified medical cannabis consultant. His clinic offers non-synthetic solutions to medical conditions, including the use of medical-grade marijuana.

For one of his patients, Klink said, the wait for the cannabis was too long.

"I don't know why I still get emotional over this, but I can tell you his first name was Peter," Klink said. "He had cancer, very bad. Came in (to the clinic) in a wheelchair. Just sitting down, talking about the medicine, he was smiling."

Even though Peter was terminally ill, Klink said, he refused to take marijuana that wasn't tested for impurities and ended up dying while waiting for the drug to become legally available….

KGI: Green Aloha gets the green light to grow medical marijuana

read … Jonesing

Campaign calls to 'relocate the turtles' as frustration grows over Laniakea gridlock

HNN: …North shore residents are fed up that nothing is being done to fix the heavy traffic near a the famous "Turtle Beach" at Laniakea. Now there's even a campaign that seems to blame the turtles.

T-shirts that say "Relocate the Turtles -- Save the Traffic -- Free Laniakea" were sent anonymously to the Hawaii News Now newsroom. The shirts also list the names and phone numbers of three city and state lawmakers.

The traffic back up in Laniakea is caused by drivers constantly stopping to allow people to cross the street from a dirt lot where cars park to the beach where the turtles are.

The state posted "No Parking" signs in the lot almost two years ago, but they are ineffective because no one is enforcing the rule. Senator Gil Riviere who represents the area says half of the land is owned by the state and the other half is owned by the city, so there is a question of jurisdiction between police and state sheriffs.

Riviere says residents have been waiting for years for the Department of Transportation to study the impact of building a bypass road to help alleviate traffic congestion. He says the money is there, but there has been no action by the department.

"We were able to get $15 million into the state CIP (Capital Improvement Project) budget this year to address and begin working at Laniakea, so there's $15 million. But I bet you the Department of Transportation will not pick that up, and if they don't pick it up, nothing gets done," said Riviere. …

read … Campaign calls to 'relocate the turtles' as frustration grows over Laniakea gridlock

Honolulu Residents Get Raw Deal With Bikeshare

CB: Bikeshare Hawaii has the potential to become a profitable system, but the pricing for residents makes it the most expensive in the world.

…If you want to take Bikeshare on a regular basis as part of your commute or for weekend joyriding, your best value option is a $15 monthly pass.

At first glance this looks like a good deal; however, who is going to shell out $180 a year to borrow a bike when they could own one for half that?

In San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C., the cost of a year’s worth of unlimited bikeshare rides clocks in at less than $90.

So why are Honolulu residents getting a raw deal?

In an interview with Hawaii Business Magazine this past January, the CEO of Bikeshare Hawaii, Lori McCarney, boasted, “unlike other cities, we have all five factors that make for a successful bike share system” — good weather, flat terrain, urban density, government support and lots of tourists.

It could also be profitable.

The Honolulu Bikeshare Organizational Study released by the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting anticipates up to $1.2 million in profit for Bikeshare Hawaii over its first year in operation with that figure rising to $2.6 million in year two….

read … Profitable

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