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Tuesday, August 01, 2017
August 1, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:04 PM :: 1958 Views

1853 Hawaiian Mission to Marquesan Cannibals

Secret Rail Meetings at Legislature

Hawaii not College-Ready -- Second lowest median scores on ACT

Crosswalk Cellphone Ban: Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it’s a good law

Ige Seeks Comment on Nominees for 3rd Circuit Court

HART officials to meet with bond rating agencies in San Francisco

E-W Center Features in 2017 Congressional Pig Book

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted August 1, 2017

Peter Apo Reinventing OHA

Akana: OHA Criminal Behavior has been going on for A Very Long Time

HECO Public Meetings to Discuss Plan for Massive Rate Hikes

Improve Hawai’i’s Missile Defenses — Now

US Intel Officials Confirm North Korea Can Strike Most Of The Homeland

E-Cigs Get a Second Chance from FDA

Lawsuit: Donald Trump Personally Edits Malia Zimmerman Articles

HART: New CEO Hired BECAUSE OF his Conflict of Interest

KHON: …Board member John Henry Felix was the one dissenting vote, arguing that this poses a conflict of interest.

“That was an obvious concern and everyone that interviewed him one-on-one had the opportunity to discuss that concern with him,” Lee said. “I personally discussed it with him and was convinced that rather than that being a detraction from his qualifications, it was actually an asset, because he is in intimately familiar with the contract requirements. His background with Bombardier gives him a ‘insider view’ of what this system’s contract is all about and what it involves.” ….

SA: Robbins said he was still a Bombardier employee and that it would be inappropriate to speak about the company’s litigation with the city. “I’ll be happy to talk to you more about that once I’m on board with HART,” he said.

2012: ICA Ruling on Bombardier Suit

read… Conflict

Message to Special Session: Don’t falter on Pension fund payments

SA: This is the second time a consultant was hired by the state and relayed a pointed conclusion no government official wants to hear: There’s not enough revenue coming in and, almost certainly, too much going out.

This go-around, it would be wise for state officials to implement more of what the consultants suggest.

The state Tax Review Commission hired the consultant, The PFM Group, to conduct a tax analysis. The conclusion is largely the same as PFM’s 2012 report, when it forecast “structural budget deficits based on the current revenue structure and levels of service.”

A primary concern then was the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) that supports medical coverage for state workers and retirees. These were costs that had become an enormous unfunded liability for the state.

In 2013, lawmakers enacted Act 268, which enforced a schedule of escalating payments into EUTF. To this point, state officials have carried out the payments, even exceeding them during flush years.

The next payment in 2019 will be $811,313,000, rising to just over $2 billion at its peak, in 2044, when payments will start falling sharply.

Under the law, paying the full “annual required contribution” (ARC) each year becomes mandatory starting a year from now. Regardless of the sticker shock, it is worthwhile to meet or exceed the payment requirements, in order to reduce the state indebtedness and curb financing costs.

Now PFM is still forecasting fiscal troubles ahead, when competing demands will put increasing strain on the public purse…..

Big Q: What should the state do if it lacks the money to maintain current payments to public employees pension and health funds?

read … Don’t falter on fund payments

New schools superintendent to start job with BOE meeting

SA: Christina Kishimoto begins her new job leading Hawaii public schools today, ahead of Monday’s start of the 2017-18 school year.

Her first day coincides with the board’s monthly meeting. Following the general business meeting, which starts at 1:30 p.m., the agenda says there will be “a short meet-and-greet” session with BOE members and Kishimoto. It’ll be held in Room 404 of the Queen Liliuokalani Building at 1390 Miller St….

read … Kishimoto

Protest is on for telescope convoy

MNL A peaceful protest of a slow-moving wide load of telescope parts for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakala is planned at King Kekaulike High School in Pukalani tonight and into Wednesday.

About 70 people attended a meeting organized by Kako’o Haleakala at the University of Hawaii Maui College on Monday to discuss action against the transport headed up the mountain that they consider sacred. In the summer of 2015, more than 25 protesters were arrested in two demonstrations aimed at stopping loads of telescope parts. Protesters joined arms through PVC pipes and laid in front of trucks attempting to leave the Puunene baseyard and littered Crater Road with rocks and other debris.

Trucks eventually were able to get through after protesters were arrested.

DLNR: DLNR land is Closed

read … Protest

Anti-Cane Smoke Activists behind Effort to Shut Down Tuna Fleet

AP: A Native Hawaiian fisherman is asking an environmental court to stop Hawaii officials from issuing commercial fishing licenses to those who aren't legally admitted into the United States.

Malama Chun, a Maui resident who fishes as a cultural practice (who just so happens to be married to anti-Cane Smoke activist Karen Chun) , filed an appeal on July 27 of a state Board of Land and Natural Resources decision denying his petition. Chun filed his petition in April in response to an Associated Press investigation that found hundreds of foreign fishermen confined to boats and some living in subpar conditions. Hawaii grants the foreign fishermen licenses to fish, but they aren't allowed to enter the country.

Chun argues in his appeal that confining fishermen to ships violates the "law of the Splintered Paddle," a state law with origins in the Hawaiian Kingdom which says people in Hawaii must have freedom of movement. "These unfair and illegal labor practices violate this constitutional and Hawaiian Kingdom-era law protecting the rights of the common person, specifically the vulnerable foreign workers that are exploited by the longline fishing industry," the appeal said.

The board in its decision said it doesn't have jurisdiction to consider allegations of unfair labor practices….

read … Same game, Same Players

Kauai Police Chief Settles Claim for Mysterious 2012 ‘Incident’

KGI: …Darryl Perry, chief of the Kauai Police Department, was recently reimbursed over $12,000 for attorney fees after he filed a complaint against the county.

Perry filed a claim on Jan. 23 for an incident that occurred on Feb. 2, 2012. The amount was $12,602.37, but details about why he took the action were not immediately known by press time.

The claim was settled on April 27.

Perry’s claim was one of four against that were settled between April 1 and June 30…..

read … Claim

LED Streetlights Reduce Hawaii Co Electric Bill 50%

WHT:  …A switch to cost-saving LED bulbs in streetlights has saved Hawaii County enough money to pay for upgrades to traffic signals islandwide.

Ronald Thiel, chief of the traffic division at the Hawaii County Department of Public Works, said workers began switching to LED streetlights in 2012, when the first 1,000 were installed.

LEDs produce about as much light as old low-sodium bulbs. But LEDs burn at lower watt levels, thus using less power.

Thiel said Public Works had been spending about $2 million per year for electricity but now spends approximately $1 million, thanks to the lower-cost bulbs.

The money saved, he said, has “allowed me to start upgrading our (traffic) signal system.”

There are about 105 traffic-signal intersections islandwide, Thiel said.

“We’re starting to move toward ITS: intelligent transportation systems,” he said. “Now, we will be able to monitor all of our signals from our management-control center.”

If a malfunction happens at an intersection controlled by traffic signals, the malfunction will show up electronically in the control center….

read … Streetlight savings pay for traffic signal upgrades

Hawaii to Distribute Enough Drug Overdose Kits for 333 1/3 Years

HNN: …In the next few months, The CHOW Project will help the state distribute 20,000 Naloxone kits.

"We can get it into anybody's hands who might be at risk of an overdose," executive director Heather Lusk said. "Our data tells us that our kupuna are more at risk with their prescription medications."

Hawaii averages close to 60 deaths a year from prescription painkiller and drug overdoses. This year on Oahu, Naloxone reversed 45 drug overdoses, including a woman who collapsed in front of CHOW worker Jean Mooney.

(60 x 333 1/3 years = 20,000)

"I actually had my co-worker draw up the Naloxone in the syringe and I injected it in her arm." she said.

The state Department of Health estimates up to 6,000 people a year in Hawaii are treated for substance abuse, but up to 100,000 go untreated….

read … Untreated

State certifies first of labs that will test medical marijuana products

HNN: …Steep Hill Hawaii, a Honolulu-based firm, was granted a provisional certificate on Monday after successfully demonstrating a 'capacity and proficiency to test cannabis' and make sure marketed products are in complicance with state law.

"“We realize that registered patients and caregivers and some of the licensed dispensaries have been waiting for a laboratory to become operational to test medical cannabis prior to consumption and sale," said Keith Ridley, Chief of DOH's Office of Health Care Assurance. "This is a major step forward as it allows the dispensaries to now begin testing their products to sell to qualified patients."….

Additional labs are expected to be certified soon; the Department of Health says it is currently working with two others independent facilities to help them obtain certification.

News Release: Steep Hill Announces Its Cannabis Test Lab Is Now Open in Hawaii

read … Drugs

Hawaii Republican Party Hosts Successful Fundraiser

HPR: The Hawai’i Republican Party conducted its first major fundraiser Saturday, with two dozen luncheon attendees paying $500 per ticket.  GOP State Party Chair, Shirlene Ostrov, described the political landscape.

“For Republicans across the nation it was a great start of the year.  We won the White House, the House, the Senate, the highest rate of GOP governors and the highest state Houses won since 1920s.  Here in Hawai’i, it was a little different.  We have zero Republicans in our State Senate and we have only 5 of the 51 in our House.”

Ostrov won the State Chair seat in May by a two-to-one margin and plans to work with the Republican National Committee to identify Hawai’i districts that lean GOP.

“There’s only 30-thousand-something registered Republicans and there are a 130-plus-thousand who voted for Trump.  So we got a 100-something friends out there we gotta meet.” ….

(Skip 8 paragraphs designed to make Republicans appear marginal and  bolster Hawaii’s one-party state.)

She says she will oppose out of control mega infrastructure projects like Honolulu’s rail transit and reach out to the one-third of voters in Hawai’i who voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

“Put American First, put Hawai’i first, those are the messages we have to come out with.  Very strong and very unapologetic of who we are and be courageous about it and there are people out there who will answer that call.”

read … Internal Strife in Hawaii GOP

Trannies in Military a Really Bad Idea

SA: …The Star-Advertiser’s editorial, “Don’t deny troops a chance to serve” (Our View, July 29), totally lacks the basic point: Our nation’s military serves to act as a deterrent of war, not for social experimentation.

The editorial said that “anyone who wants to serve and meets qualifications should be allowed to do so.” Military service is not a right. It is a privilege obtained by the few who meet rigid mental, physical and moral standards that further the mission.

It is detrimental to any service unit to have an individual undergoing hormonal therapy to change his or her sex. The cost to change someone’s sex is not the point — unit cohesion is.

One day a supervisor is a male, the next day a female, and now service members have to conform or be branded as bigots.

Also, conveniently omitted were the actions of pre-transgender Army Corporal “Chelsea” Manning, who released national secrets to Wikileaks.

President Barack Obama pardoned him/her after Manning served only seven years of a 35-year sentence, in order to pander to LGBT activists.

read …. Military no place for social experiments

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