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Monday, October 02, 2017
October 2, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:29 PM :: 1323 Views

Cultural Nationalism vs Technical Progress: Telescope Protesters Make More Cash Demands

Two HPD Chief Nominees Sued: Cover up Manslaughter, Excessive Force

Accountable, Affordable, Accessible: House Republican Caucus 2018 Bill Package

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted October 2, 2017

UPW to Blame: OCCC Inmates Attack Guards After Dozens Call in ‘Sick’

HNN: …Sources tell Hawaii News Now that the three Adult Corrections Officers (ACO) at Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) were escorting a group of inmates from their housing module to the medical unit around 7 p.m. Saturday to receive their medication.

That's when roughly 18 inmates attacked.

"I've been involved now with the department for a while and I feel like it's really gone down and the safety is being more and more jeopardized," said one veteran OCCC Sergeant who asked to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation.

The three ACOs were taken to the hospital in serious condition and the module was immediately placed on lock down.

Before the attack, the Sergeant says seven modules housing a total of 485 inmates, were already on lock down due to staff shortage.

Only one ACO oversees each module.

The Sergeant say tensions were high when inmates were finally let out of their units Saturday night.

"There were comments made like 'you keep locking us down see what happens, you keep (expletive) doing this to us see what happens'," he said. "There were few that were involved in the ruckus the other few were sort of watching and blocking the view of the camera. They knew what they were doing, it seemed planned."

He says unsafe conditions are routine. 

OCCC is designed to house 629 inmates but the facility holds upwards of 1,100 inmates.

It's a situation so unsafe that guards believe their lives are in jeopardy.

"You feel helpless and all alone, you feel like they don't care," he said….

Officers were only able to identify seven of the inmates involved in the attack. They were sent to the holding unit….

Really Obvious Question: How many guards called in sick Saturday night?

(Partial answer -- This one did: Man arrested after Waipahu standoff was on leave from job as prison guard.)

Feb 2016: A third of prison guards call in sick Super Bowl Sunday

Feb 2017: Hundreds of corrections officers call in sick during NFL championship game

Making Excuses CB: Overcrowding May Have Sparked Attack On Oahu Jail Guards

read … Assault of guards at OCCC highlights unsafe conditions for staff

The Disturbing State Of Mental Health Care In Hawaii’s Prisons

CB: …Among the findings:

• Not all mentally ill inmates are properly assessed and provided with full treatment plans that can help guide them to safe release from custody.

• The mental health branch is so understaffed that it doesn’t have the needed manpower to offer enough rehabilitative services to inmates.

• The department is also so cash-strapped that, to avoid overtime expenses, it has banned mental health employees from making rounds on the weekends and holidays, including for daily clinical monitoring of inmates on suicide watch.

Critics also say Espinda’s decision to part ways with key employees has had the opposite of its intended effect, exacerbating the mental health branch’s woes and causing morale problems for employees.

Russell Van Vleet, who oversaw the settlement agreement as one of the court-appointed monitors, says Civil Beat’s findings demonstrate that the department has abandoned its commitment to abide by the spirit of the settlement agreement.

“You had the best minds in the country come in and spend years providing a blueprint for how to provide the care and, as soon as the settlement agreement expires, you throw it away. That makes no sense at all,” Van Vleet said. “It is truly unconscionable and astonishing that anybody in the position of leadership would allow this to happen…..

read … The Disturbing State Of Mental Health Care In Hawaii’s Prisons

Man arrested after Waipahu standoff was on leave from job as prison guard

SA: A prison guard remained in custody awaiting charges Sunday after he held police teams at bay for more than six hours.

Renie C. Cablay, 54, allegedly threatened a neighbor with a machete on Saturday afternoon, then refused to open his door to police. Hours of negotiations ensued before he surrendered.

Police arrested Cablay just after 8 p.m. Saturday for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening.

Cablay is an adult corrections officer at Oahu Community Correctional Center who is currently on leave, according to Toni Schwartz, Hawaii Department of Public Safety public information officer.

The standoff at the Leolua Regent apartments in Waipahu kept the neighborhood on edge, with police at one point warning residents to stay back to avoid potential exposure to errant bullets. In the end, no shots were fired.

Apartment dwellers gathered outside 94-099 Waipahu St. and watched as more than 15 police officers, including members of the department’s SWAT team and canine units, swarmed the building’s courtyard and positioned themselves on balconies.

Honolulu police Lt. S. Kapeliela said police are investigating claims that the man charged a neighbor with a machete earlier in the afternoon….

read … Man arrested after Waipahu standoff was on leave from job as prison guard

Nursing Home Inspections: DoH Fails 61% of Time—Loses Federal Funds

SA: The state last year failed to meet more than half of the federal performance standards for inspections of nursing homes and other health care facilities, continuing a history of poor marks that patient advocates say could signal worsening care.

Even if care has been unaffected, the state Department of Health’s lackluster performance has cost the agency nearly $350,000 in reduced federal grants over the past three years….

In the most recent evaluation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency found that DOH failed to meet eight of 13 minimum inspection standards linked to frequency, quality and enforcement — or a 61 percent failure rate. That was the same rate as the prior year and only slightly improved from the one before that, when the agency did not meet standards in nine of 13 categories, or 69 percent, for the year that ended Sept. 30, 2014….

“We’re going to continue fighting for resources we need,” said Keith Ridley, who heads the department’s Office of Health Care Assurance, which handles inspections…. 

(Yup.  Same answer to everything.  We’re going to demand more money because we are failures.)

SA: Step up inspections of nursing homes

read … Feds find care-facility inspections below par

Hawaii DOT proposing to hike harbor dockage, cruise passenger fees

PBN: The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division is proposing to increase dockage and port entry fees as well as cruise passenger fees to help fund its Harbors Modernization Plan.

Wharfage fees have already been approved to increase—rising 15 percent next month and July 2018; 3 percent in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Port entry and dockage fees are proposed to increase 20 percent for vessels greater than 900 feet in 2019, followed by a 15 percent increase in 2020 and 2021…..

Reality: Harbors Division Fee Hike designed to boost $77M OHA Slush Fund

read … Hike Fees

With thousands of Hawaiians waiting, Home Lands agency produced no homes—Sits on $30M in Fed Funds

SA: …The state agency charged with providing homesteads for Native Hawaiians produced no new housing units during the year that ended June 30, and closed out the fiscal year with $30 million in unspent federal housing funds.

Meanwhile, the number of eligible beneficiaries awaiting residential leases totals more than 22,000 individuals statewide, with roughly half of the wait-list applicants on Oahu…. 

HHC: Hawaiians stay homeless while authorities sit on millions

read … With thousands of Hawaiians waiting, Home Lands agency produced no homes

Airport corporation plan still supported

HTH: Airline representatives and the state Department of Transportation continue to support legislation that would move the state’s 15 airports out from under the DOT and into their own governing body, the proposed Hawaii airport corporation.

The airport corporation, say its proponents, could be key in picking up the pace for improvements at the state’s airports, namely being able to spend money quickly for needed projects instead of having to go through the lengthy state procurement process.

“This all goes back to projects that have languished at our airports,” said Blaine Miyasoto, state government liaison for Hawaiian Airlines, who sat down with the West Hawaii Today editorial board this week.

As an example, Miyasoto pointed to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport’s Mauka Concourse in Honolulu.

“That’s been the better part of nine years in the making and the ground has not even been broken on it yet,” he said.

And while he said he’s not putting the blame at the feet of any particular group, it’s the result of how the system currently operates in Hawaii.

The most recent version of the bill — considered this year by lawmakers and which ultimately died in conference — would have put the corporation’s power over airports, air navigation facilities, buildings and other facilities in the hands of a nine-member board of directors.

Members would be appointed by the governor….

read … Airport corporation plan still supported

BoE; We’re Making up Kishimoto Evaluations as we go Along

CB: …Hawaii’s new schools superintendent will face an evaluation process that aims to be more fluid and include more input from both education administrators and members of the public.

That’s the idea behind a proposed blueprint of the process recently released by the state Board of Education….

read … Grading Hawaii’s New Schools Chief

Honolulu Zoo: How Long Will New Director Last?

CB: …In the eight years since, cycling through names not even acknowledged on the zoo website, it has had six directors (not counting interims):

He stood out in the areas of knowledge, experience and most of all, the ability to manage.” That’s what journalists swallowed and regurgitated about Stephen Walker, previously the director of the Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma. He started in 2009 and resigned soon after for “personal reasons.”

We are so fortunate in getting this guy.” That’s what journalists swallowed and regurgitated about Manuel Mollinedo, who previously had allowed a tiger to escape under his watch in San Francisco. He started in 2011 and left soon after for “personal reasons.

Even though he had no zoo experience, his “background in developing world-class exhibits and creating new programs that will reach out to a wider audience of residents, students and visitors is very exciting for the future of the zoo.” That’s what journalists swallowed and regurgitated about Jeffrey Mahon. He started in 2013 and soon after resigned for “personal reasons.”

Even though he also had no zoo experience, he “has strong management, marketing, and operations experience, and we are happy to bring him home to Oahu.” That’s what journalists swallowed and regurgitated about Jeffrey Wilkinson. He started in 2014 and resigned soon after for “personal reasons.”

“We need a zoo director who is committed in the long run.” That’s what journalists swallowed and regurgitated about Baird Fleming, who started in 2015; he resignedsoon after but not before voters approved a charter amendment to provide consistent property tax revenues to the zoo, which will equate to roughly $6 million a year. As Civil Beat columnist Denby Fawcett chronicled, citizens didn’t learn of his resignation (maybe by design) until after the vote. When she talked to him, Fleming inexplicably didn’t think his impending departure was worthy of mention.

Therefore, you might be prudent to reserve some of your optimism for the newest director, Linda Santos — despite a letter of endorsement from the zoo’s first director, Breese — until she has proven herself. Remember, included in her more than 30 years of service to the Honolulu Zoo, she was part of the team that lost its accreditation….

read … Reporters Are Ignoring Trouble At The Honolulu Zoo

894 Registered Lobbyists in Hawaii

CB: …There are 894 lobbyist registration statements for 2017-2018, but some of the organizations have multiple lobbyists and some of the lobbyists have multiple clients.

Practically everyone involved in state politics knows that Bruce Coppa, Red Morris and John Radcliffe are lobbyists.

The same goes for heads of major labor unions (like Randy Perreira of the Hawaii Government Employees Association) and heads of top businesses (like Constance Lau of Hawaiian Electric).

But so too are some people you may not think of as lobbyists, such as Kat Brady and Henry Curtis (Life of the Land), Marti Townsend (Sierra Club Hawaii), Walter Yoshimitsu (Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii), Mark Fox (The Nature Conservatory), Stuart Coleman (Surfrider Foundantion), Kelvin Taketa (Hawaii Community Foundation), Steve Tam (AARP Hawaii), Corie Tanida (Common Cause Hawaii), Brian Black (Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest), Isaac Moriwake (Earthjustice), Victor Geminiani (Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Justice) and Vanessa Chong (ACLU of Hawaii).

That’s because state law defines “lobbying” as “communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.”

Going deeper, a lobbyist is defined as any individual who is paid at least $1,000 a year to lobby, or lobbies more than five hours a month or more than 10 hours a year, or who spends more than $1,000 to lobby during any of three lobbying reporting periods each year (January-February, March-April and May-December).

read … Hawaii’s Surprising Number Of Lobbyists

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