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Wednesday, September 27, 2017
September 27, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:24 PM :: 941 Views

Hanabusa Blocks Missile Defense for Hawaii

DoE Touts AP Test Results

TOTE to Challenge Pasha for Hawaii trade?

Trump says NO to Puerto Rico Jones Act waiver

Hawaii schools not prepared to shelter children in event of nuclear strike

HNN: …As tensions continue to rise between the United States and North Korea, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency has instructed residents to prepare for a nuclear strike by stockpiling 14 days worth of food, water and supplies – a standard the Department of Education says Hawaii's public schools cannot fulfill.

"I would say about 50 percent have something. From there, is anyone fully prepared for what the new expectation is? I would say no, not at this time," said Dann Carlson, the Department of Education's Assistant Superintendent for School Facilities and Support Services.

Right now, Carlson says it's up to each campus to figure out what kind of emergency provisions it needs, as well as how to store them. But without help from the state legislature, he says, there's no way to stock every classroom with the recommended amount of supplies.

"This would come out of general funds. There are a lot of competing interests for general funds," said Carlson.….

read … Hawaii schools not prepared to shelter children in event of nuclear strike

Keep HPD Corruption Alive: Secret ‘local’ panel being used to narrow down list for Honolulu's next police chief

HNN: …The secrecy and confusion continue over how Honolulu is choosing its next police chief.

Tuesday, a group of local residents -- whose names are being kept confidential -- began the process of ranking the top nine candidates at a Waikiki hotel.

The issues regarding the selection process have already forced one commissioner out.  Luella Costales resigned Monday citing a lack of diversity with the mainland consultant group, EB Jacobs, which helped narrow down the candidate list from 24 to 9. 

At the Honolulu Police Commission meeting on September 7, Costales and several other commissioners expressed concern that the consultants doing the ranking were made up of four, white males, most worked in police departments smaller than Honolulu.

EB Jacobs also picked a secret, citizens panel for the second phase of the process, ranking the 9 semi-finalists so the commission can cut the list even further.

Commission Chair Max Sword says the people on the assessment panel are local residents, "What we've instructed the consultant is to have a diverse group in other words have some females in there."  Sword says all have some kind of law enforcement experience, "It maybe a judge, prosecutor, FBI, or former chiefs."….

(Of course ‘Former Chief’ couldn’t possibly be Louis Kealoha and ‘Prosecutor’ couldn’t possibly be Katherine Kealoha.  Hmmmmm.)

Thursday morning the commission will get the assessment panel's list. The commission will narrow it down from there and then release those names to the public. A chief is expected be named by the end of October.

read … Corruption

Civil Beat: Doing Away With The Jones Act May Help Puerto Rico — And Hawaii

CB:Sometimes it takes a hurricane to understand that the outdated maritime shipping law deserves serious reconsideration in the 21st century….

TW: Suspending this 1920 law might help Puerto Rico recover faster. So far, Trump says no.

read … Do Away with Jones Act

Homeless Program Focuses on Families with Children

SA: In 2014, long before the state mandated similar changes, the Hawaii Community Foundation got Hawaii’s biggest homeless shelters to overhaul their approach and share information with competing agencies to get families out of shelters faster and into permanent housing.

Now, 2-1/2 years and hundreds of successes later, the Hawaii Community Foundation wants the eight nonprofit groups that made up its inaugural HousingASAP program to continue on their own following a “graduation” Thursday at the foundation’s headquarters in downtown Honolulu….

In the January Point in Time Count homeless census, the biggest reductions in the number of homeless families were seen on Maui (46 percent) and Hawaii island (45 percent) compared with the year before. Oahu had an 11 percent decrease and Kauai saw a 3 percent drop in the same period…..

KITV: Homeless person found sleeping in Kailua school custodial office

read … Groups hope to grow success of joint effort to aid homeless

Busted: Kenoi Operative Resigns as Hawaii County HR Director--Slips out Side Door

HTH: County Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano resigned Wednesday following a critical audit that showed “questionable hiring practices” and a Monday newspaper article indicating preferential treatment of job applicants through her use of sticky notes on official hiring documents.

Toriano will be on paid sick leave in her $99,000 annual position until her resignation becomes effective Dec. 31.

Toriano slipped out a side door during an executive session of the Merit Appeals Board and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Chairwoman Julie Tulang announced Toriano’s resignation when the public session resumed…..

HTH: A special meeting is planned for Oct. 18 to consider how to best recruit a replacement.

Related:

read … County HR director Toriano resigns in wake of critical audit

Urine and Marijuana Smoke: City Planning Commissioner Hosts Rave Party in Kakaako

HNN: …The self-described “Party in the Parking Lot” at 975 Kapiolani  Blvd. attracted nearly 500 people on a lot with less than 20 parking stalls. Residents in the neighboring Pacifica condo says the noise kept them up all night.

"It was louder than any of the fireworks that goes on around here during the holidays. It woke us all up. The music was just booming,” said Kakaako resident Eileen Kato.

Added Krystal Soares, a security employee at the Pacifica condo, heard many complaints from residents.

"They were saying that it was vibrating the walls in their units. It was vibrating the windows. That's how loud it was,” she said.

City Planning Commissioner member Gifford Chang, whose family owns the parcel, said the property's business zoning allows concerts to be held there.

(Handy tip: Get a political insider to host if you want your rave to be left alone by police.)

He said he was told by the promoters that they had contacted the state Health Department and that the state told them that the noise levels would not be excessive.

But the loud noises were just some of the complaints by neighbors.

"Basically, all night we were kicking people off our property for smoking marijuana, smoking cigarettes,” said Soares.

"There were people trying to urinate in our doorways … It looked like a zombie apocalypse, a continuous stream of people.”

Residents said police sent about a dozen officers to the scene but largely ignored their noise complaints….

April, 2016:  SB2301: Legislators Vote $10M for Drunk Driver to Promote Rave Parties

read … Your City Officials at Work

Caldwell Tickets Makakilo Residents for Planting Flowers in Yard

HNN: …Richard Griggs has lived on Hunekai Street since 1993 and says his strip has been neatly landscaped for the last 24 years. 

But on Thursday, he says a city inspector came by.

"She said the only thing you can have in a median strip is grass. No gravel, no plants," Griggs said.

Like Griggs, hundreds of people in Makakilo have plants, bricks, bushes, even trees in their planting strips because they believe the homeowners association requires them to…..

read … Caldwell Tickets Makakilo Residents for Planting Flowers in Yard

Top 5 in USA: Hawaii Taxes Suck up More GDP than Most

BFP: …Vermont’s state and local governments collected 12.29 percent of all the income earned in the state.  That compares to 10.59 percent for all states combined.  By that measure, Vermont is the fifth highest taxed state in the nation.  The only states that are higher are North Dakota (due to its oil and gas revenues), New York, Hawaii, and Maine…. 

read … Top Five

Tobacco: 2017 State Legislative Summary

CSP: Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Taxation: This year, 28 states considered bills to raise cigarette and/or tobacco-product tax rates in some form. These states are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Utah….

E-Cigarettes and Vapor Products Taxation: This year also produced an increasing number of states introducing legislation to assess a new tax on e-cigarettes and vapor products. Fifteen states considered bills to enact a new tax: Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia.  Of the bills introduced in these states, only two were enacted into law….

Age 21 to Buy: In 2017, 27 state legislatures had bills introduced to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to either age 19 or 21. So far, the states of Oregon, New Jersey and Maine have enacted a statewide law to increase the legal minimum age to purchase to 21 years old. These states join California and Hawaii, increasing the total to five states with a minimum legal age to purchase at 21….

read … 2017 State Legislative Summary

Beer Tax is Regressive

HNN: …The measure looks to reduce the beer tax from 93 cents per gallon of beer to 42 cents per gallon.

Why?

It's a matter of fairness between social classes and alcohol consumers, Ing says.

"Working people tend to drink beer more often than other types of alcoholic beverages. But today they are taxed more per ounce of alcohol than someone drinking wine. When you look at it that way, the current system is incredibly unjust," he said in a press release…..

read …  One lawmaker wants to make beer cheaper in Hawaii

HGEA Against HDOT Police for Airport

HNN: …The Department of Transportation's attempt to create its own police force is facing resistance. 

"We need the top notch professional law enforcement officers and I don't believe at this time that the DOT plan is in our best interest," says State Senator Will Espero, the Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee. 

The agency's plan requires legislative approval.

DOT wants to start a law enforcement division to be called the State Transportation Police Force starting with the 59 deputy sheriffs at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The Department of Public Safety notified the deputies months ago that they were giving up command and control of them to the DOT. 

The union representing the deputy sheriffs, HGEA, is also hesitating, "The biggest concerns, simply put, is who is going to be ultimately responsible for the law enforcement function at Honolulu international airport and that's the big public policy we hope legislators will seriously scrutinize." says Randy Perreira, HGEA's Executive Director…..

read … HDOT COPS

Some Honolulu High Rises Don’t Need Sprinklers, Fire Safety Panel Says

CB:Residential buildings could each be evaluated to determine if a sprinkler retrofitting is necessary, a City Council committee is told….

…Council Chair Ron Menor, who also chairs the committee, asked the advisory panel to submit a final report by the end of October. It will then be used to amend Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposed Bill 69, which would require sprinklers to be installed in all older residential high rises in Honolulu. 

KITV: Could some high-rise building be exempt from sprinklers?

read … Sprinklers

Big Island Rep has Cancer

HTH: Chris Todd, a 29-year-old freshman legislator who is also offensive coordinator for the Hilo High School varsity football team, said he “found a bump” on his left testicle in late August….

…an ultrasound test Sept. 11 and follow-up visit with urologist Dr. Gregory Thibault contradicted the early assessment.

“He felt something that wasn’t right,” Todd said. “Based on the ultrasound results, which he was able to show me, he said, ‘You have testicular cancer.’ It turns out, when I went in to get it looked at, it was nothing. And that’s something, I guess, that’s really common. I just happened to catch it at the right time, hopefully.”

Todd said he’ll have surgery Wednesday to remove the testicle at Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center on Oahu. His wife, Britney Carey, will travel to Honolulu with him.

“It’s a pretty quick procedure. The surgery’s an hour and a half or two hours. They wake you up from the anesthesia and you can go home,” Todd said, adding he would have to “take it easy” for about two weeks.

“But after that, I should be up and running,” he said.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for localized testicular cancer is 99 percent.

“I’m hoping we caught this early. The initial blood work is good. It doesn’t show signs that this has progressed. That’s not an end all, be all, but it’s a good sign,” he said. “I’ll have a follow up scan on Friday. Then, based on the results of that, hopefully, the surgery takes care of everything. If not, then I’ll have follow-up treatment, whether it’s additional surgery or radiation, or chemotherapy.”….

The Legislature is not currently in session, and Todd said the surgery “shouldn’t impact my ability to do my job.”

“I’m going to miss a couple of events. I was looking forward to a couple of things, like the (Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce) Founders Ball. My wife is Portuguese, and we were looking forward to it. But we’ll be OK,” he said….

HTH: Prognosis good for Todd

read … Cancer

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