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Sunday, August 06, 2017
August 6, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:46 PM :: 1902 Views

This Day in History: Truman Announces Hiroshima Bombing

The Grand Skim of Things (Part 1)

Laughed out of Court, Lawsuit Fails to Force US Unilateral Disarmament

To Pay for Rail Curb costly retirement benefits for government workers

Borreca: It was just one sentence in the reams of data coming from the Tax Review Commission’s latest study, but the impact is jolting: The state is not getting enough money to operate…. The big problem, according to PFM Group director Randall Bauer, is paying retirees’ benefits.

There was no pushback from Gov. David Ige’s administration. Budget director Wesley Machida said if nothing is done, “it would be very, very difficult because the tax revenues over the last 10 years have not kept pace with the growing liabilities and other commitments.”

If you thought Honolulu’s rail budget was off the tracks, take a look at what the state is projected to owe retired state workers….

State Rep. Sylvia Luke, House Finance Committee chairwoman, said the state needs to have a chat with the public employee unions about doing something besides funding the unfunded.

What she is talking about would have been Democratic Party heresy just a few years ago, so she is approaching it gently.

“We need to have a conversation about whether the post-benefit package is something we can afford,” Luke said in an interview last week.

One thing that won’t happen, Luke said, is a tax increase to pay for the retirement and health insurance unfunded liabilities.

“The payments are just like debt services, it is something the state owes, but I don’t think we can justify raising taxes for an unfunded liability,” Luke said.

Luke added that changing benefits is not unheard of. When the state was reeling from the 2008 recession, it changed benefits for new hires. Retirement benefits for spouses and dependents were cut for those hired in the future….

Reality: Act 268 Hawaii Unfunded Liabilities Plan: Pot of Gold for Corrupt Union Leaders

read … Curb costly retirement benefits for government workers

Peter Apo: Loss of TMT would do cultural damage

SA: …The claim of cultural injury by opponents who cite any digging into the mountain as a cultural injury flies in the face of the well-documented historical record of land-use traditions.

Through the centuries Hawaiians repeatedly altered the Mauna Kea landscapes to build temple complexes, terrace massive acreages for food production, and dig deep into the mountainside to create quarries to access high-quality stone for tools.

Finally, the somewhat official ticking clock notification of a time-sensitive boundary driven by the consortium presents the highest level of vulnerability. Opponents will no doubt press the opportunity to bleed the time frame by exhausting every avenue of appeal so that the clock will run out and all arguments are rendered moot.

I join Hokule‘a navigator Chad Baybayan in saying that the real cultural injury results from not supporting this global opportunity of the millennium to be a leader in the search for knowledge of the universe that would lead us to the night of Po, the beginning of the universe, from whence came our ancestors….

Related: Peter Apo: ‘People can just make up stuff, and pronounce cultural claims with little or no validation’

read … Loss of TMT would do cultural damage

Not Dead Three Years Later, Corporate Lobbyist Used ‘Terminal’ Cancer in Assisted Suicide Sales Pitch

Cataluna:  …During the legislative session, as he was giving speeches and interviews, Radcliffe continued receiving chemotherapy even on the floor of the Senate (great showmanship). His last day of chemo was on May 24, his 75th birthday…. (And conveniently after the legislative session ends.)

John H. Radcliffe, a retired Hawaii lobbyist who became, as he puts it, the “poster child” for legalizing medical aid in dying in Hawaii, got some astounding news last month.

His inoperable cancer was deemed operable. 

He sent out an email updating his status with the jaunty subject line, “Can’t get death right.”  (But he still wants to help boost insurance company profits by making it legal to kill off expensive oldsters.)

On July 10, surgeons removed part of Radcliffe’s colon. As of now, the cancer in his colon is gone….

In June 2014, Radcliffe was diagnosed with metastasized and inoperable cancer in multiple organs. …. At that initial diagnosis, Radcliffe was given six to 24 months to live….  (Oooops!)

“Will I continue to seek legislation to permit death with dignity? Yes, of course. Nothing has changed,” he said….  (Ca-ching!)

Reality: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii

read … Lobbyist Not Dead

High flying: Councilmembers Party in Japan on pCard

HTH: Some County Council members are flying high on the taxpayers’ dime.

The council spent $58,453 on travel during the first seven months of the two-year term, almost twice the monthly average of prior years, according to a West Hawaii Today analysis of purchasing card and travel records.

From newbies to seasoned travelers, the council’s nine members have all gone off-island at least once since they took or resumed office in December. One council member made three mainland trips; another made two mainland trips and is now in Japan….

read … Flying High

Maui: 13,496 Units Needed to Meet Demand for Affordable Housing

MN: In late June, county and state departments, local nonprofits, developers and many other community stakeholders gathered for the 2017 Maui County Affordable Housing Summit. It was an important meeting of the minds, but it also underscored the importance of moving forward with creating additional housing inventory.

Approximately 13,496 new units are needed throughout Maui County within the next 10 years to keep up with demand. Basic economics dictates that when demand is high and supply is low, prices will continually rise until supply meets demand. The problem is that in Maui County, (ignorant do-gooders in government just can’t restrain themselves from tinkering with the market.  As a result,) housing prices have increased to a point where local families are simply priced out of the market…..

read … No Affordable Housing

Maui Meeting Held to Justify $205M in Rate Hikes to Pay for Solar Schemers Profits

MN: …It is estimated to cost $205 million to improve the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light Cos. over the next six years. The utility said the upgrades would allow for more renewable resources (tax credit scams) to come online ( and provide crony capitalist profits for silicon valley scams), such as solar and wind. They also would increase electric reliability (reduce blackouts caused by erratic electricity supplies) and give customers more options to control their electric use, such as using smart meters to monitor home electricity use….

Ching responded to a comment about how at least one person believed there would be possible adverse health effects from the smart meters. Ching disagreed and added that obtaining a smart meter would be a customer’s choice….  (Yes.  They have to accommodate antismart meter nuts, but they do not need to concern themselves with anti-rate hike activism,.  The public is totally bamboozled.)

The draft plan and related documents are available at mauielectric.com/gridmod. Public comments on the plan can be submitted to gridmod@hawaiianelectric.com until Aug. 9.

read … Rate Hike Coming

Infighting, Retaliation at Hawaii Paroling Admin

SA: The state Department of Public Safety has temporarily reassigned longtime Paroles and Pardons Administrator Tommy Johnson pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda.

Johnson, who formerly served as deputy director of the Department of Public Safety for corrections, was reassigned on March 6, but a spokeswoman for the department declined to provide any additional information about the investigation.  (And nobody said nuttin’ until 5 months later  That’s how scared they are.)

Espinda said earlier this year that Johnson was reassigned temporarily at the request of Hawaii Paroling Authority Chairman Edmund “Fred” Hyun, who became chairman on Aug. 1, 2016….

People familiar with the situation said friction between Johnson and Hyun arose at least partly because of questions about Johnson’s use of overtime.

In response to a request from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Public Safety officials disclosed that Johnson worked more than 1,100 hours of overtime in the five fiscal years from July 2011 to June 2016….

Johnson received no overtime in the fiscal year that ended June 30, which was the year Hyun took over as chairman, according to Public Safety officials….

He was appointed deputy director for corrections by former Gov. Linda Lingle in 2007 and held that job for more than three years. He returned to his previous civil-service position as administrator of the Hawaii Paroling Authority in late 2010 after Gov. Neil Abercrombie was elected….

The spokeswoman said Andrew Morgan is now serving as acting administrator for the Hawaii Paroling Authority….

read … Retaliation

News Flash: Criminals Usually Don’t Get Their Shots

HNN: …As Hawaii deals with a soaring number of mumps cases, the virus is spreading quickly within the walls of Oahu's largest jail.

Of the 209 mumps cases statewide, 20 are of inmates at Oahu Community Correctional Center….

Eurich's 24-year-old son was serving time at OCCC for a violation of probation.

She said he was released on Monday, before his illness was confirmed by state health officials.

"According to what I know from my son, when he took the test a week prior to his release, and they are supposed to, to my knowledge, wait or was supposed to wait until test results returned and they didn't," Eurich said.

Instead, Eurich's son was released from jail and was going begin a drug treatment program.

He never made it, and instead was taken to the hospital when his face started swelling.

On Thursday, the state health department called Eurich and confirmed her son tested positive for the mumps virus.

"I felt sick right there because it was overwhelming," said Eurich. "I don't know if I had the mumps."

Eurich said she immediately got vaccinated and doctors told her she could return to work, but the DOH said her son needed to stay at home.

"He is confined to the apartment, so the only thing he can do is read, play games or watch TV," Eurich said….

SA: Prison questioned about inmate’s suicide

read … Get Your Shots

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