Fritz v. Department of Taxation, and Why You Should Care
Crooked Former Sheriff Chairs Hanabusa Campaign
SA: …Hanabusa filed her gubernatorial organizational report on Sept. 11, listing her husband John Souza as campaign chairman….
Read Fireworks, dirt, and stolen trucks: Colleen Hanabusa and the Honolulu Raceway Deal -- “When the Advertiser in 2004 had exposed business dealings between then-State Sheriff John Sousa and two convicted felons, Souza said he was considering resigning and acknowledged "The appearance is bad." Souza had extended $25,000 credit to organized crime figure Jonnaven Monalim as part of a deal to sell seven Makaha acres of former Hanabusa family property. Another convicted felon was managing Souza's Pueo Trucking company while Souza was Sheriff.”
read … Crooked
Star-Adv: Caldwell’s Horrendous Mismanagement of Homeless Crisis
SA: …Officials perpetually describe homelessness as a crisis, which is why the public reaction has got to be one of deep disappointment. One hopes for greater progress toward any goal, but especially toward one identified as a singular priority for city government.
Compounding that dismal news: The city also has received official notice from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that it missed a deadline to spend nearly $2.4 million for which it was eligible, money that could have helped with rental subsidies and other needs.
This is horrendous, given Hawaii’s abysmal gap in housing inventory, especially for lower- income residents. These are people living at the edge of homelessness themselves, and losing housing assistance could push them into the streets.
But the first salvo came last week with release of the report by city Auditor Edwin Young, one that gives the city a black eye for its initiatives countering homelessness.
The Caldwell administration lacks benchmarks for gauging success, and has mismanaged programs aimed at sheltering people, according to the 75-page document.
Young reserved most of his fire for the administration, but also took the Institute for Human Services to task. IHS is one of the city’s principal nonprofit partners, cited in the report for its Hale Mauliola transitional housing and navigation center for the homeless at Sand Island.
His critique of Hale Mauliola centered on that project’s missed first-year target to move 250 homeless individuals into housing. Instead, the Year 1 tally reached only 96, according to the audit.
The audit did acknowledge that two other initiatives, Housing First and the Community Assistance Program, both exceeded their service goals.
But its larger point is that overall management was less than stringent. The Homeless Initiatives Group is the section of the city’s community services office established to manage $14 million in homeless program funds.
It was overseen by contractual staff and “lacks policies and procedures, adequate resources, training or an effective back office” to provide administrative support.
Young also pointed to a disconnect between city and state agencies, a lack of coordination made worse by the failure to develop a comprehensive plan with measurable performance benchmarks.
“Opportunities to leverage or pool resources, or build on others’ efforts, are lost,” the report said….
read … Purposeful
Unfathomable city bungling costs millions for housing, puts services at risk
HHC: …the City and County of Honolulu has managed to lose more than $2 million in federal low-income housing funds and has put another $7.5 million for assistance programs at serious risk.
How do you do that in the midst of the most crushing homelessness crisis Oahu has ever seen?
Apparently, through very poor management and a failure to put the money to good use on a timely basis.
That’s just incredible.
Well, Puerto Rico could certainly use the money now if we can’t get our act together here.
The scant media coverage that has emerged so far seems to have forgotten some very recent history, so here’s a brief recap:
July 27, 2017: An audit finds that the city government is poorly managing its Section 8 rental housing subsidy program for the needy and failing to reach out to landlords to make more affordable rental housing available.
July 31, 2017: An internal memo announces that the director of the department that oversees the housing subsidy program will resign. The mayor never says whether he demanded the resignation because of the audit findings or related problems. Apparently, nobody bothered to ask him.
September 25, 2017: Related problems come to light. The mayor doesn’t talk about them publicly, or say what he knew and when he knew it, but a top lieutenant utters two sentences that allude to problems working with third parties. He neglects to mention how any of that will be addressed so that the city doesn’t keep losing federal money while more and more people are living on the streets. …
read … Unfathomable city bungling costs millions for housing, puts services at risk
Kauai County Council Discusses Creation of Massive Festering Homeless Tent City as Homeless Dude Cracks Whip
KGI: There was a crowd gathered outside the Historic County Building on Wednesday.
(Wanna get a tent city? Move the homeless to City Hall then watch what happens.)
They weren’t there to attend the County Council meeting addressing homelessness.
They are the homeless, and were there to take advantage of shade trees and picnic tables on the building’s lawn.
Councilmembers walked past people lying on the lawn and smoking in the parking lot just outside the front steps of the historic building, where they planned to tackle the challenging issue of homelessness.
“We need to get a handle on this,” said County Council Chair Mel Rapozo. “Long-term solutions are one thing, but there are immediate actions that need to be taken.” ….
County Councilmember Ross Kagawa said he was appalled by the daily mess created in the building’s public restrooms, while other members expressed concerns about safety issues and noise caused by park users. ….
“Some families, they want to sit down and eat, and they are so afraid because they hear that guy cracking the whip. They go back in their car and leave,” said Carvalho…..
A lot of people have problems and want to change the way they feel, so they get high or they get drunk. I understand that. I was a drunk for a lot of years. I had to go to prison to stop smoking and drinking….
According to the 2017 Hawaii Statewide Homeless Point-In-Time count, Kauai had 412 homeless persons compared to 442 last year.
The figure accounts for 297 unsheltered homeless persons and 115 sheltered….
Colehiggs moved here six month ago from California…. (Now he is shaping policy.)
“The guys crack the whips for fun, and to me it’s just annoying….”
“I challenge the mayor and all the committee guys: Take off your clothes, put on rags and sleep with us for one week.”
(Here’s a better idea. I challenge the homeless to take a shower put on some clean donated clothes and accept shelter. And stop tweeking. Gimme a phone call when this happens without force being applied.)
At Wednesday’s meeting, Rapozo proposed a relocation program to deal with the issue by providing a designated encampment (ANOTHER MASSIVE FESTERING HOMELESS TENT CITY) for homeless people. However, he was frustrated that the Kauai Police Department was not ready to collaborate with feedback in the discussion…..
(Better solution: Cut off their welfare and apply more force.)
Related: Senator: Lets Build a Massive Festering Homeless Tent City Downtown Where There’s Lots of Copper
read … Whipped Down by the Homeless
20% of Big Island Sex Offenders ‘Non-Compliant’
WHT: Almost one in five Big Island sex offenders is noncompliant with state sex offender registry requirements.
As of Sept. 11, 73 of 402 “covered offenders” — those required to register — weren’t in compliance with the state’s registry law, according to figures from the Department of the Attorney General’s Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. That’s more than 18 percent.
Those numbers are down from a June 1 report from the HCJDC obtained by the Tribune-Herald. At that time, there were 401 covered offenders in Hawaii County, of which 89 were deemed noncompliant, a rate of more than 20 percent.
“That’s very concerning for me,” Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth said when informed of the figures…..
read … Sex Offenders
Maui County auditor in Hawaii said finance director misused credit card
WS: An audit conducted in Hawaii this year found that Westerly’s new finance director caused a “loss of public trust” and a “loss of respect” among employees when he used a county-issued credit card for personal use at his previous job.
The County of Maui auditor leveled the accusations even though he knew that Danilo “Danny” Agsalog, the new director, had paid the county for the purchase he made before using the card.
Town Manager Derrik M. Kennedy, who announced he had hired Agsalog on Sept. 20, said Agsalog was forthcoming about the incident during interviews for the job. During an interview with The Sun on Wednesday, Kennedy said he remained committed to his decision to hire Agsalog….
Agsalog is set to begin his new job Monday….
UPDATE: Westerly’s new finance director backs out of job at last minute to take position in California
read … County auditor in Hawaii said incoming finance director misused credit card
Telescope: Cultural Nationalism vs Progress
AP: …Kanuha, a protest leader, dismissed the millions that telescope officials have paid toward educating youth on the Big Island in science, technology, engineering and math. So far, $3.5 million has been paid into the educational fund, even while the project’s construction permit was invalid.
That money isn’t the answer to improving the lives of Native Hawaiian youth, Kanuha said. Revitalization of language and culture through Hawaiian-focused education is what’s important, he said.
A group of Native Hawaiian telescope supporters formed a group called Perpetuating Unique Educational Opportunities. Some members had been against the telescope in the past, said the group’s attorney, Lincoln Ashida.
“We believe that with increased opportunities for children, that results in stronger families, which in turn benefits our community,” Ashida told the board….
Big Q: Will the Thirty Meter Telescope be built, now that it has cleared a significant permit hurdle?
read … Telescope
Gabbard Bill Would Ban All Gasoline, Diesel Vehicles in USA
TO: …Tulsi Gabbard, a Congressperson from Hawaii, just announced the “OFF” bill (HR 3671). The bill proposes to move the U.S. electricity, auto, and rail systems to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035….
read … Anything for Elon Musk
GOP Plan: Make it Harder for Democrat States to Raise Taxes
SA: …one piece of the plan that emerged last week would eliminate a deduction worth $2 billion for 200,000 Hawaii taxpayers in 2015.
The “framework” for tax reform unveiled by President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans last week would eliminate the federal income tax deduction for payments of state and local taxes, an idea that was also promoted by previous Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
But it also has some powerful critics, including the National Governors Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which last week labeled elimination of the deduction as “unacceptable.” …
SA: GOP plan reminder of state tax burden
read … GOP plan may sting taxpayers in Hawaii