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Wednesday, July 26, 2017
July 26, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:34 PM :: 2753 Views

Estimating Ride Hailing’s Bite out of Transit

Suspending Hawaii’s Grants in Aid 

Maui Event Features Peggy Grande, confidant to President Ronald Reagan

20 Years After Peter Boy, Child Protective Service Has Learned Nothing

HNN: …It was the story of a little boy neglected to death by his parents who were supposedly under supervision of the state's child protective services.

That was 20 years ago. And the state promised reforms that would prevent another tragedy.

But just as Peter Boy's story comes to a close after two decades, another child has died of deliberate neglect, also while on CPS's radar, and also on the Big Island. 

The nine-year-old girl died of severe malnutrition last year. Her parents and grandmother now charged with murder for allegedly allowing her to starve to death.

Apparently, whatever lesson might have been learned from the Kema case, wasn't enough.

We are told that the girl who died last year was reported to CPS, but despite failing to improve, she was allowed to stay with the family. The family also pulled her out of public school for home-schooling -- isolating her further from those who might see evidence of neglect.

It is so disappointing that we are once again going to be investigating the death of an innocent child. Looking into another dysfunctional, loveless household, and asking whether the agencies we hope will protect Hawaii's keiki, have failed again….

read … Learn Nothing

Prosecutor Kaneshiro Retaliates against Whistleblower

CB:… A Hawaii Circuit Court judge dismissed a felony theft case Monday against a Honolulu architect after voicing grave concerns about the circumstances that led to the charges.

Judge Karen Nakasone described the case as “highly unusual,” “irregular” and a “threat to the judicial process.” ….

The key players in the case are Mitsunaga & Associates, an architectural and engineering firm with a long history in Hawaii politics, and Laurel Mau, a former employee who had filed a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the company in 2012.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro is also a central figure, if only because his top political donors include several members of Mitsunaga & Associates.

Kaneshiro told Civil Beat on Monday that Nakasone’s ruling was “completely wrong” and that he plans to file an appeal.

His office charged Mau with four counts of second-degree felony theft in December 2014 after representatives from Mitsunaga & Associates told city prosecutors she stole money from the firm by performing side jobs on company time.

The charges also included allegations Mau told one of her clients that she was working on behalf of Mitsunaga & Associates when she was not.

If convicted, Mau could have faced up to five years in prison for each of the four counts….

read … Retaliation

Hawaii AG Takes A Break From Trump Suits To Handle Dog Leash Case Against Maui County Deputy Prosecutor

CB: …Chin’s office issued a statement late Monday announcing that 52-year-old Mark Simonds was charged with “multiple violations of the Maui County Code’s leash laws and one count of failing to properly register one of his dogs.”

Here’s the twist: The case was referred to the Department of the Attorney General by the Maui County prosecuting attorney’s office, which employs someone named Mark Simonds as a deputy prosecutor….

Simonds is charged with violating the same leash law ordinance 13 times from August to April. Six of the alleged incidents involved a black dog, while seven involved a white one.

Each of the 13 counts states that Simonds “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” failed “to keep said dog under restraint, thereby violating Section 6.04.040(A) of the Maui County Code.”

The complaint also alleges that one of his dogs — the white one — was not properly licensed.

If Simonds is found guilty of all 14 counts against him, he could be subject to fines totaling $7,000.

(Really Obvious Question: What did Mark Simonds do to piss somebody off?)

read … Retaliation?

Chief Threatens to Prosecute Firefighters Leaking Info on Marco Polo Fire

HNN: …The document, a log of dispatch calls during the fire response, included confidential access codes to the Kapiolani Boulevard building.

It was leaked to a Honolulu media organization. Hawaii News Now did not receive or report on the leaked document.

Sources say Fire Chief Manuel Neves complained that release of the document violated Hawaii’s open records law, which includes criminal penalties for those who intentionally release confidential government documents.

And the chief's criminal complaint thrusts the Honolulu Police Department into an ongoing battle between HFD executives and the firefighters union over the department's response to the Marco Polo fire, which killed three people on July 14 and damaged scores of units.

Firefighters and their union have complained that the administration did not follow established policies as personnel battled the five-alarm fire.

Among the complaints — that the assistant chief of operations did not show up at the scene and that the Mobile Command Center was delayed.  

On Wednesday, union President Bobby Lee called the chief's police complaint “an intimidation tactic” meant to keep firefighters silent. 

Meanwhile, Neves told police that he was willing to prosecute a firefighter who apparently provided that document, according to sources….

read … Coverup

State Shaken to Core as 4 HGEA Positions Eliminated

HNN:  The state is cutting dozens of positions at a program aimed at helping low-income mothers and children as part of a revamp officials say is needed to deal with a federal funding decline and higher payroll cost.

  • The state is also shutting down one of its 10 offices on Oahu for the Women, Infants and Children — or WIC — program.

The program helps pay for key staples for women and children, including milk, bread and formula. It also offers nutritional education, breastfeeding support and access to other resources.

But participation in Hawaii is decreasing, dropping from roughly 30,000 individuals a month last year to 25,000 a month in 2017….

About 40 jobs are being eliminated. Roughly half of them were already vacant. The state ended up finding other positions for all but four of the workers who will be laid off at the end of July. 

(Yup.  All this drama is about 4—count ’em—f-o-u-r HGEA members.)

The state Health Department said it's trying to reduce costs by $2 million based on an anticipated federal funding cut and higher costs for payroll because of collective bargaining raises.

The state will close the program's Pearl City site on July 26 and consolidate services at the Leeward location in Waipahu.

read … State to cut dozens of positions at program aimed at helping low-income women, kids

Hawaii Longline Leader Testifies on Ways to Strengthen the MSA

FN: …A Hawaii fishing industry leader made three suggestions to the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans during a hearing last week on “Exploring the Successes and Challenges of the Magnuson-Stevens Act." The hearing was designed to continue discussions relevant to MSA reform and consider current draft legislation.

Hawaii Longline Association President Sean Martin, one of four invited witnesses, said overall the MSA is working well, but the Hawaii seafood industry is facing problems related to national monuments….

read … Longline

24% of Fatal Auto Accidents Tied to Drugs

ME: …Li and co-author Stanford Chihuri in the Department of Epidemiology examined two decades of data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, focusing on drivers who died within one hour of a motor vehicle crash in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia—states that routinely conduct toxicological testing on injury fatalities. Of the 36,729 drivers in the analysis, 24 percent tested positive for non-alcohol drugs, including 3 percent who tested positive for prescription opioids.

Of drivers testing positive for prescription opioids, 30 percent also had elevated blood alcohol concentrations, and 67 percent tested positive for other drugs.

Prescription opioid prevalence was higher in female than in male drivers, 4.4 percent compared to 3 percent. The prevalence of prescription opioids increased from 0.9 percent during 1995-1999 to 5.2 percent during 2010-2015 in male drivers, and from 1.4 percent to 7.3 percent in female drivers.

read … Drugs

Homeless Dude from Chicago Occupies H-1 Freeway for 4 Years

CB: Off and on for four years, Andrew Hoskins had lived in the kind of urban oasis that proved ideal as a makeshift homeless camp.

The 54-year-old from Chicago had his tents set up at what state officials call the “Magellan outlook area,” a concrete-walled space tucked away a few steps below Magellan Street near Dole Park.

The space, perched about 20 yards above the H-1 freeway, was mostly hidden from public view close to Dole Park’s bathroom….

…Connie Mitchell of the Institute for Human Services, the state’s largest homeless shelter, said sweeps work as a “referral system” in which police refer homeless people to services. She said some people grow tired of being forced to move, and so opt for shelters.

Representatives from Waikiki Health and U.S. VETS in Waianae, agreed that most people who end up in their shelters have experienced multiple sweeps.

(Lesson: Apply more force.)

read … Apply More Force

Incompetent Caldwell Lets Streambeds Fill With Silt, Debris

KITV: …"We still have 5 ft of mud behind Kalakaua Vista," added Fulton.

Fulton keeps a close eye on the waterway because in 2006 the combination of downpours and debris overwhelmed the stream, and the area was flooded.

"I watched a man next door almost drown in 2006, so it is very serious," stated Fulton.

She not only watched the silt increase in the stream, she also repeatedly asked the city to do something about it.

"I started emailing the city in April of 2016, and they still have not dredged the stream," exclaimed Fulton.

"We have a backlog," said Department of Facilities Maintenance Deputy Director Ed Manglallan.

Adding to the backlog are requirements crews must follow before they can dredge certain waterways.

"If it is tidal influenced or a non-concrete lined stream we have to follow Army Corp of Engineering requirements, Dept. Of Health requirements and a check for endangered species," stated Manglallan.

The Makiki Stream isn't the only clogged waterway, according to the city. Streams along the North Shore, Kailua, Kaneohe and the Waianae coast are filling up, especially with sand.

"The sand accretes into the stream mouths. And if it rains heavy in the mountains and upstream there is no way for the water to go back into the ocean without flooding the upstream community," said Manglallan.

The concern is streams won't be dredged before the next deluge or tropical system hits.

"Get a bucket brigade out here. I've said this every year and they do nothing. They are just waiting for another disaster," said Fulton.

read … Caldwell is Incompetent

Real Tech Firms Leave Hawaii—Fake ones Stay, Absorbing Tax Credits

DN: It feels great to be validated from time to time. I’ve been pressing on this issue since 1989 and in this blog for more than a decade. It seems obvious to me: Tech firms almost inevitably find they have to relocate in order to succeed.

As a result, our state government spends a fortune promoting “high tech” only to see successful firms (or firms that want to be successful) pull up stakes and head to the Mainland.

And that’s just what those firms should do…..

read … Flee

Styrofoam ban would Quintuple Restaurant Costs

PBN:…the alternatives to Styrofoam are three to four times more expensive, and are not as durable, according to Fraser. In addition to this, he added that banning plastic bags would also negatively affect the industry, without providing noticeable benefits.

“The problem is not being solved by banning them,” Fraser said. “If you look at what happened with banning plastic bags in grocery stores, it did nothing, and they were using five times more paper.”

Nanthana Jenniges, owner of downtown lunch spot Nana’s Deli, switched to Earth Choice containers from Styrofoam about a month ago. While it was much more expensive….

read … Higher Consumer Prices

Liberals Oppose All Civil Defense, Want Population As Vulnerable as Possible so People Will be More Easily Manipulated

Marco Polo Fire:

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