9-11 We Will Never Forget
How to fix health care in Hawaii
Hawaii DoE Sued over Sept 11 "Lockdown Drill"
Travel Ban: Supreme Court Slaps Down 9th Circuit
Retaliation from NextEra Supporters behind Hanabusa Campaign Announcement
SA: Fifteen months ago Colleen Hanabusa stood before a room packed with enthusiastic supporters and TV camera crews to file papers to run for the U.S. House to reclaim the seat she formerly held representing urban Honolulu.
She described the moment as “an amazing opportunity for me to be able to go back to Congress and finish the work that Sen. (Daniel) Akaka had, Sen. (Daniel) Inouye had.”
“I am a legislator at heart, and legislating is something that I understand, something that I feel I can do better than most,” Hanabusa told the gathering. “I hate to be immodest, but that’s one of the things that I can do, and that is why when you look at the skill sets that one has, one has to match those skill sets with how to best serve the people, and it results with one equation.”
She went on to easily win the November election for the seat previously held by the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, but early this month Hanabusa announced she now wants to become Hawaii’s chief executive….
Hanabusa’s critics point out she left that U.S. House seat in 2014 to run for the U.S. Senate in a hard-fought, unsuccessful campaign against Brian Schatz. She then accepted an unpaid position in 2015 overseeing the city’s rail project as a member of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. She became chairwoman of HART last year but left that position later in the year to run for Congress.
“She’s just an opportunist, and when you think about it, what has she accomplished in the … years that she’s been in the House? And we’re going to go to zero seniority when she leaves,” said another Hanabusa critic who supports Ige. “Why did she even run for Takai’s seat if she had thoughts of running for governor one day?” ….
Several longtime political observers say Hanabusa was strongly encouraged to enter the governor’s race by people often described as “old guard” Democrats, including political figures who were close to Inouye. Those factions have reportedly been frustrated with Ige, whom they regard as a plodding and indecisive leader for the state.
Many in the local business community also encouraged Hanabusa to run, and one longtime local executive explained that “the business community is extremely disappointed with Ige on many, many fronts.”
That executive, who spoke on condition that his name not be used, said Ige has made no attempt to reach out to the business community during his first three years in office, and described Ige’s decision to publicly oppose the $4.3 billion NextEra Inc. purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries as a “(expletive) disaster for Hawaii.”…
read … Reversal by Hanabusa prompts criticism
Ige’s Failed Housing Deal
SA: …Emblematic of the problem was the recent unraveling of a $100 million public-private partnership to build affordable housing in Kalihi, a project started under the Abercrombie administration and now collapsing under Ige’s. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority board terminated the master development agreement with The Michaels Organization, which was to build 450 new homes next to the Towers at Kuhio Park. The reasons are unclear, but the failure is disappointing….
PBN: Termination of Hawaii public housing contract undermines public-private partnerships
2011: Hakim “Islam Day” Ouansafi to Direct Hawaii Public Housing Agency
read … Dump Ouansafi
Hawaii Legislature: The Trappings of Respect and Trust Without the Real Thing
CB: … what I saw at the Special Session …
• Attacks on the personal and institutional credibility of public testifiers, a conscious destroy-the-messenger tactic designed to discredit and marginalize any position contrary to the pre-agreed one rather than legitimately consider and debate it.
• Thinly veiled if not overt threats of retaliatory political and legislative action against those inside and outside the Legislature daring to disagree.
• Thoroughly unprepared legislators who had not read testimony and did not know the basic constitutional and statutory foundation.
• A complete lack of respect for other government colleagues up to and including calling county officials liars.
• An unwillingness if not outright fear of openly debating the policy alternatives.
• An inability by legislative leaders to set an example, enforce decorum and curb legislator excesses or worse a conscious disregard.
• A clear motivation to settle various old scores and exploit divisions.
But what I mostly saw overall was arrogance and disrespect. Arrogance as in one classic definition of “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.” Disrespect as in condescension or straight hostility to the public, colleagues, the process, the debate and the institution.
Your closing speeches were full of self-congratulations…..
You get the trappings of respect and trust when you are elected and too many mistake that for the real thing…..
read … Ed Case: Dear Hawaii Lawmakers, You Have To Earn Trust And Respect
Civil Beat Needs to Come Clean on Peter Apo Scandal
CB: …Civil Beat, for its part, gave Apo a megaphone and part of its institutional credibility. Since he betrayed that trust, Civil Beat now needs to look closer at the case and determine just how deep that deception went. Did he use his Civil Beat connections and commentary to benefit his business? When using taxpayer money to “research” his columns, did he also coerce staff members to write for him? Did he trade favors in his column for consulting work? What else should we know about Apo and his time at Civil Beat?
Silence just makes us suspect the worst…..
Civil Beat Editor Patti Epler has told me that the nonprofit organization follows the SPJ Code, as well as other, more detailed company policies, such as those for anonymous sources, reader privacy and corporate donations.
In the Apo case, though, Civil Beat has covered major developments circulating in local news about him, such as the recent Ethics Commission fine of $25,000, “one of the largest in ethics commission history,” and a lawsuit related to the sexual harassment charges. While Civil Beat has noted in stories that Apo was a former columnist, it refrained from additional public comment about his two-year relationship with the media company.
When asked about Apo and his case, Epler declined to comment.
The Civil Beat readership deserves more, though, including a transparent statement about Apo’s break in the relationship with Civil Beat.
Otherwise, if we think something significant is being hidden about him at Civil Beat, how can we assess whether journalists are treating Apo’s case fairly (or not)? Or worse, maybe the situation also affects coverage of some of his unnamed associates….
read … Civil Beat
Two more names emerge as candidates for HPD's next police chief
HNN: …Sources confirmed for Hawaii News Now that Gary Yamashiroya and Paul Putzulu are in the running for the position.
Yamashiroya is a former Chicago Police officer who now lives in Hawaii. He was also a finalist in the run for job against former Chief Louis Kealoha, who ended up securing the position.
Putzulu, also a former finalist who lost to Kealoha, served as Interim HPD chief for a short time. That gig ended when the department hired Kealoha full time.
Both have come out of retirement to apply for the position. …
Related: Names: Five Local Candidates for HPD Chief
read … Two more names emerge as candidates for HPD's next police chief
Another Day in the DPS: Penis Grabber Gets Back Pay
CB: …Among the allegations were that Forbes grabbed a subordinate’s penis, obtained and shared an “up-skirt” photo of a fellow DPS employee, and referred to another co-worker, an African-American male, as “Monkey,” “Planet of the Apes,” and “That black bastard.”
There were also concerns that Forbes had violated state procurement and ethics laws by directing business to a close personal acquaintance who often brought treats, such as food and drinks, to her and her staff and paid for meals and entertainment for them.
The Hawaii State Ethics Commission investigated Forbes, but didn’t issue a fine. It did, however, send her a letter explaining that she likely violated ethics rules related to the acceptance of gifts and fair treatment of vendors and contractors.
According to the records, Forbes had also “conspired to oust” then-DPS director Ted Sakai using her purported personal ties to legislative and executive staffers. She was also accused in her termination letter of mocking Espinda.
While DPS investigators said Forbes denied most of the allegations made against her she “systematically destroyed her credibility” by giving “false, evasive, incomplete, inconsistent, implausible, misleading and irrelevant answers.”
The records say that at least one employee heard Forbes describe herself as the “Teflon Dog” for her knack of avoiding punishment….
In court documents, Forbes said that one of her accusers was involved in a romantic relationship with a prison gang leader at Kulani. She said that employee and another correctional officer conspired with the inmate to try to get her fired.
“That inmate was particularly dangerous because he was known as a gang leader who wanted to take over the leadership of the inmate population,” Forbes said in a written declaration. “The DPS administration was well aware of these allegations involving that inmate because I personally communicated with them and sent them reports about my concerns.”
Hong said the real story is about the Department of Public Safety and its various missteps over the years, including the fact that one of the people involved in reviewing Forbes’s firing, Tommy Johnson, who was the Parole and Pardons Administrator at the the time, was recently reassigned due to an internal investigation involving his use of overtime.
According to news reports, Johnson has worked 1,100 hours of overtime in a five-year period…..
the board recommended that Forbes serve a 60-day suspension and be reinstated as the warden of the Kulani Correctional Facility. She would also be eligible for back pay.
Forbes’s case provides a brief glimpse into the murky world of government appeals, arbitration and mediation, a place where public sector employees and their union-backed attorneys duke it out with their bureaucrat bosses for the right to keep working, often with little public oversight.
While her case shows just how hard it can be to fire a problem employee, it also highlights the many mistakes a government agency might make while trying to get rid of someone….
read … Hawaii Prison Warden’s Case Shows Firing A Public Worker Isn’t Easy