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Tuesday, September 19, 2017
September 19, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:41 PM :: 1431 Views

Ige Sends out Secret Memo on Information Practices

Caldwell: Now That Legislature Has Done the Hard Work of Raising Taxes, I Urge HART to Not Do Nothing

Data vs Hype: Honolulu NOAA Chart Shows Sea Level Rise is a False Crisis

Residents of U.S. Territories Ask Court to Expand Voting Rights

Survey: Texas More Diverse Than Hawaii

Rail ’Recovery’ Magically Drops Cost by $1B and Plans $429M per Year in New Tax Hikes

KHON: …Right now, the rail is only 38-percent complete. It’s scheduled to open for full passenger service on Dec. 31, 2025 — eight years away.

The total project cost included in the plan remains at $8.165 billion for capital costs exclusive of finance charges, with full revenue service scheduled for December 2025.

Financing charges of $858 million are also projected, bringing the total project amount to $9.023 billion, including contingency….

An FTA spokesperson told KHON2 Monday: “FTA is reviewing the plan and will communicate with HART regarding any questions or requests for additional information, as necessary.”

The state bailout shifted about $20 million a year in HART administration costs over to city taxpayers, but a recovery plan section called “Operations and Maintenance” covers how hundreds of millions more will be needed every year within decades to run the train and buses.

Taxpayers already pay to support TheBus and Handi-Van. It costs $256 million a year to operate those, and fares cover only 27 percent, so city budgets are used to covering the difference — about $186 million.

The recovery plan says that by year 2036, the bus-and-rail will cost as much as $843 million a year with TheBus more expensive than rail in that number. Still just 27 percent is expected to be paid by fares, so taxpayers have to cover $615 million.

That’s a difference of $429 million a year that the city’s operating budget will need to plan for.

So what can the city tap to cover that?

… the majority will come from taxes and fees….

Related:

read … HART submits rail recovery plan to FTA

Rail critic calls HART’s financial recovery plan shallow

KITV: "It's the same people trying to make the soup, and nobody's a chef, " said University of Hawaii Engineering Chairman Panos Prevadouros….

He called the revised plan "shallow," lacking real meaningful data.

"There are not major updates, there is no information about how to make things better. Value engineering, mistakes we made, how we are going to fix those mistakes we made? Everything is dispatched in four pages. This is not really a sincere effort," Prevadouros said.

Prevadouros was also disappointed the report didn't include updated ridership numbers.

He isn't assured the new CEO Andrew Robbins who he called a train sales man is the right choice to complete the most complicated leg of the rail route.

"What does he know about multiple construction projects with big geo-technical problems, real estate problems and all kinds of issues of doing big construction in a very dense urbanized area?  Nothing!” said Prevadouros.

At last week’s HART meeting, Robbins praised the changes made in the last year under interim CEO Krishniah Murthy….

Prevadourus laments the loss of institutional knowledge following the departure of key HART personnel and isn't sure what to make of the defection of construction point man Brennon Morioka to Hawaiian Electric during this critical path of construction and under grounding of utilities.

It remains to be seen if the plan will pass muster with the Federal Transit Authority, but Prevadourus believes we need to do better to explain how we are going to save not millions, but billions.

"If you don't learn from your mistakes, you are bound to repeat them and they will, Prevadouros said

Related:

read … Rail critic calls HART’s financial recovery plan shallow

Telescope: Result of BLNR Hearing will be Appealed to Supreme Court

SA: …With each party allotted 15 minutes to present oral arguments, it’s going to be a long day, and the Land Board is unlikely to make an immediate decision on the issue.

Whatever the board decides, don’t expect it to be the end of things. The losing side is likely to appeal to the state Supreme Court under Act 48, a fast-track provision approved by the 2016 state Legislature with the TMT in mind.

The Supreme Court already ruled against the TMT once when it ordered a replay of the project’s 2011 contested case hearing because the Land Board had approved the permit before holding the hearing.

Many of the anti-TMT forces believe they have another decent shot of stopping the $1.4 billion project if it goes to appeal….

Pisciotta and others said they were unfairly treated by Amano during the hearing.

Pisciotta said, for example, Amano failed to rule on every finding of fact submitted by the parties, as required. Instead, she rejected hundreds of findings in broad, generalized dismissals.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this proceeding will not ultimately result in the TMT receiving a permit,” added Lanny Sinkin, attorney for petitioner Temple of Lono….

read … More Delays

Overflowing With Homeless Drug Addicts, Emergency rooms struggle with long waiting times

SA: …Hawaii’s emergency rooms see more than 500,000 patients annually, and the most common complaint is long wait times, according to Dr. Eileen Hilton, CEO of Crown Care Hawaii, a patients advocacy group.

The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu and West Oahu, which see more than 21 percent of all ER patients in the state, have the longest average time of three hours in the ER, from entering the emergency department until discharge; while Wahiawa General Hospital has the shortest time at one hour and 50 minutes, according to data from the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Serv­ices from October 2015 to September 2016, compiled by the Wall Street Journal. That doesn’t include time spent in the waiting room before entering the emergency department…..

ER waiting times are longer for patients who need to be admitted into hospitals. Patients on average wait six hours and 22 minutes at Queen’s — the busiest emergency department in the state with 70,000 patient visits a year — before being admitted to the hospital. People admitted at Kapiolani wait an average four hours and 24 minutes.

Emergency departments are increasingly full and often have to divert ambulances. That’s largely because there are not enough long-term care and rehab facilities to move patients into once they’re ready for discharge, and more people — primarily the uninsured and homeless — are using the ER for nonemergency services….

Time spent in the ER is also long on the neighbor islands.  Kona Community Hospital logged an average two-hour-49-minute wait time until discharge and five hours and 9 minutes before admission….

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

read … Emergency rooms struggle with long waiting times

Homeless Pour into Waianae Tweeker Camp

HNN: …"I was told not to take in any more people," she said. "The ones that we do help get into the shelters or into homes, do not fill the space. So what do you do?"

Last week, Borge refused entrance to 75 people based on what she says she heard from coordinator Scott Morishige.

But Morishige insists he did not tell her to turn people away but to reduce the number of residents.

"If you have 300 people living there, where you know you have environmental resources right below that can be impacted by the population density, that really is something that we want together to help better manage," he said.

Morishige said there's no immediate plans to remove the camp, but the state's worried the campsite is harming underground ponds where Hawaiian Red Shrimp live.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources controls the property and has for now allowed the village to reside their….

Leeward coast Rep. Andria Tupola said the state should back off until a relocation site for the village can be found. She helped Borge start a non-profit….

read … Tweekers of the World Unite in Waianae

Soft on Crime: Cohort of Alleged Waikiki Shooter Released from Death Row in Delaware Thanks to Liberal Lawyers

HNN: …Law enforcement sources say Smith has a long arrest record in Delaware, and was arrested last Thursday for assault after apparently beating a woman.

(Clue: “P. I. M. P.”)

"I saw a black male approximately 5'7, 5'8 with dreads and a hat, beating on a woman…and eventually I saw her slump…I assumed that that was her losing consciousness and he continued to beat her with ‘haymaker-style punches,’" he said.

"I jumped out of the car. I ran into the situation, yelled at the guy to get off her," he added. "I was hit from both the left and right side from behind and from the side and all the punches and strikes went to my jaw, my temple and behind my ears."

Eventually, Smith, and the two other men he was with, stopped and ran off.

(Clue: “P. I. M. P. S.”)

Sources said police later caught up to the three near Club Alley Cat, and detained them. Smith was the only one arrested for assault in the third degree, but was later allowed to leave on supervised release.

Two days later, the shooting happened.

Smith fled the scene and was arrested a day later at an apartment in McCully. The two men who were with him were also arrested on unrelated charges.

Officers took in Justin Purvis, 29, for driving without a license, and Isaiah McCoy, 28, on an unrelated warrant. McCoy was previously convicted of murder in Delaware, but was cleared after years on death row….

McCoy: I taught Smith everything he knows 

PDF: Indictment

Case: 1DTC-17-067836 (Dismissed Sept 6.  Now ‘Reactivated’)

Soft on Crime:

read … Soft on Crime

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