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Friday, October 06, 2017
October 6, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:34 PM :: 1377 Views

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss Travel Ban Cases--Chin Asks Court to Expand Case to Cover Travel Ban 3.0

RU486: ACLU Chooses Hawaii to Launch Abortion Drug Litigation

AG: 1156 Backlogged Rape Kits Tested so Far

Free Rein for Choppers Drives Park Enthusiasts to Court

DoE in Action: Calls Cops on 9-year-old

HNN: Police arrested a 9-year-old boy Wednesday on second-degree assault charges.

Police said the boy allegedly assaulted three school employees, a 43-year-old woman, 38-year-old woman, and 56-year-old man.

The incident happened about 8:15 a.m. in Kalihi, and the boy was arrested about an hour later.

He was released pending an investigation Wednesday afternoon….

read … 9-year-old arrested after assault at school

Conflict may force police panel leader to sit out chief vote

SA: Honolulu Police Commission Chairman Max Sword is asking the city Ethics Commission whether he should recuse himself from at least part of the police chief selection process because one of the finalists is his wife’s relative.

Sword confirmed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Thomas Aiu is a first cousin of Sword’s wife, Mona Wood-Sword. “Tommy’s dad and her mom are brother-sister,” he said….

Whether Sword participates in the vote for chief could affect the final outcome. The Police Commission has seven seats, so four votes are needed for the panel to approve any action. But there are already two vacancies on the commission, so there have been only five commissioners participating in recent meetings. If Sword no longer participates, the commission would be down to four voting members, so it could not even form a quorum to meet if one of the four could not attend a meeting.

Two recently appointed commissioners — Loretta Sheehan and Steven Levinson — have shown a penchant for differing philosophically on key matters from those who have been on the commission for a while. The two others on the commission are Cha Thompson, its vice chairwoman, and Eddie Flores Jr….

read … Conflict may force police panel leader to sit out chief vote

Another “cart before the horse” moment for rail

ILind: …At 9 a.m. today, the full council will have a special meeting to approve HART’s recovery plan. This comes just three days after the plan was approved at a joint meeting of the budget and transportation committees. But guess who hasn’t approved the plan yet . . . the HART board!

Shouldn’t this plan that is related to the multi-billion dollar rail project be approved by the HART board before submission to the council for their approval?

In fact, shouldn’t the HART board have approved the plan prior to submission to the FTA? Isn’t rushing the reason we’re in this mess to begin with?

Shouldn’t errors be corrected before approvals are given?

The answer to all of these questions is of course “yes.”

The agenda for the full council meeting is at – Agenda.pdf

read … Another “cart before the horse” moment for rail

Tuition Hikes: UH Spends $25.7M on Travel

SA: The University of Hawaii’s internal auditor is recommending the university tighten its travel policies after reviewing more than $13 million UH spent on travel last year, covering travel and advances for some 8,500 authorized trips mostly for university employees.

In a report this week to the Board of Regents, the university’s Office of Internal Audit said it found some travelers are slow to reimburse UH for travel advances that exceed actual expenses. In one instance more than seven months lapsed before an employee repaid the university.

The auditor reviewed travel expenses over the last three fiscal years to gauge compliance with policies and guidelines for university- sponsored travel. Over that time period, the amount UH spent on university travel increased by nearly 13 percent from $11.7 million on 7,375 trips in fiscal 2015 to $13.2 million on 8,564 trips in fiscal 2017.

With the exception of athletic travel expenses for UH Manoa and Hilo, which include student athletes, the remaining travel expenses reviewed involved university personnel. The audited expenses do not, however, reflect research-related employee travel processed by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, or RCUH. The research organization last year reported $12.5 million in travel expenses, primarily funded by federal or private grants…. 

ILind: UH travel audit muddies the waters

read … UH must rein in travel practices, auditor says

Mainland Jones Act Industry Stacks PBN Jones Act Survey

PBN: …In light of waivers to the Jones Act being made to get relief to Puerto Rico, we asked our readers recently in a Business Pulse poll, “Is now the time to modernize the Jones Act?” Longtime kamaaina know this has been a thorny issue, with the Jones Act protections for American shipbuilders blamed for increasing our cost of living.

You don’t have to be a PBN subscriber to vote in our online polls, though usually that’s who we get. We’re pleased if a given poll gets a hundred or two hundred votes in the few days it’s active on our website.

This particular poll was proceeding normally, getting the usual amount of traffic and trending toward a consensus of yes, it is time to modernize the Jones Act.

Then we got a call from someone named Molly — didn’t give a last name — with Seacor Holdings Inc., a shipping industry holding company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Molly wanted to know what this poll was all about, and what do we use it for and can anyone vote in it?

Boom. As I write this on Wednesday, the poll is up to 2,624 votes — of which 2,441 say no, it is not time to modernize the Jones Act.

Obviously the shipping biz put out the word. I’m able to see the ISP where each vote originated and, given the obvious ballot stuffing going on, thought I’d look up a few of the biggest clusters coming from the same ISP. For example, there are 31 “no” votes from an ISP of 192.161.38.60.

Who is that? Gbrx.com. The Greenbrier Cos. They make rail cars and marine manufacturing, founded in 1919 as Wire Wheel Sales and Service, a “leading steel fabricator in Portland, Oregon," according to its website.

There are 37 “no” votes from 192.41.62.5. Now, I picked that ISP because it was another obvious cluster coming from the same network. Whose network? The Pasha Group. One of the two shipping companies serving Hawaii.

There are 74 “no” votes from 209.64.159.144, an AT&T network in New Jersey, and 111 “no” votes from 4.28.183.62. That’s Level 3 Communications Inc., an internet service provider in Broomfield, Colorado. A lot of the big clusters are the ISPs of Mainland internet providers, I assume the employees of this or that shipping concern logging in to tell Hawaii what to think about this issue….

NM:  Century-Old Law Is One of Many Dead Weeds Hindering Economic Growth

read … Shippers talk back to Hawaii Jones Act poll

Wespac: Congressman Was Wrong About Lobbying

CB: The Honolulu Civil Beat article “Congressman Blasts Fishery Council for ‘Improper Lobbying’” by Kirstin Downey repeats unsubstantiated and serious allegations of Congressman Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI). These allegations could have been clarified through review of the procedures and regulations of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which are publicly available….

read … WESPAC

Green Energy Scammers Still Hoping to Scoop Megabucks from DoD Budget

CB: The (Obama-era) U.S. Department of Energy has begged for new authority to defend against weaknesses in the grid in a nearly 500-page comprehensive study issued in January warning that it’s only a matter of time before the grid fails, due to disaster or attack. A new study by a team I led reveals the three ways American military bases’ electrical power sources are threatened, and shows how the U.S. military could take advantage of solar power to significantly improve national security….

read … How Solar Power Can Help The US Military

DHHL Star-Adv Pushing Rentals (again)

SA: For the fiscal year that ended June 30, no new housing units were built, and $30 million in federal housing funds went unspent….

For the past 20 years, DHHL has been authorized under an amendment to the federal law to pursue multifamily and rental projects, as well as single-family homes.

Rent-to-own — units whose tenants build equity and have an option to buy — has been tried and could be expanded as an approach, targeting those earning well below the median income and the threshold to qualify for home loans. DHHL earned praise for its pilot rent-to-own project in Kapolei, Hoolimalima.

But really, that kind of innovation should be past the pilot stage by now. Many more of those homes are needed, and soon.

And in an economy offering scant supply of affordable rentals, advocates for beneficiaries underscore the wisdom of providing a straight rental option as well.

Robin Puanani Danner chairs the statewide beneficiaries coalition, the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, and also heads a construction nonprofit specializing in small housing units that could be put on a homestead lot. But rentals make sense as a way to extend service to those on the lowest income rung.

Jobie Masagatani directs DHHL and chairs the Hawaiian Homes Commission. She said the agency is pursuing rentals, especially projects built in high-rise configurations in areas that allow greater density.

In a report by Honolulu Star-Advertiser writer Nanea Kalani, Masagatani rightly observed that the transit-oriented development allowances of the Honolulu rail system would enable DHHL to leverage its resources with those economies of scale. And she cited the application of some federal funds to other programs, including homeowner financing and infrastructure, as well as the issuance of leases on empty lots….

Related: Prince Kuhio’s Fight to Americanize Hawaii

read … Partners can help DHHL with homes

Prescribing Hope: Meds for Mentally Ill Homeless in Hawaii

HNN: Hawaii News Now reporter Allyson Blair followed the state's only (yes there is only one) psychiatric street medicine team for six months as they offered homeless people with mental illness a medication that would give them the chance to change their lives.

During the 30-minute special report, get a first-hand look at the dramatic transformation of those who agree to the treatment and see how the state's largest homeless service provider is using it to help people get off the streets and into housing. …

read … Mental Health

Homeless winning fight for beachfront property

Cataluna: …On the rolling hills, where all those “Hawaii children happily sliding on cardboard” commercials have been shot over the years, the clusters of tents and tarps have popped up like a spreading infection. There’s a rickety portable toilet, the type meant for use during recovery from surgery, right out in the open. The places where someone has broken through to the innards of a light pole to steal electricity for their camp aren’t even hidden. An extension cord snakes from a pole, across the paved walkway, up the grassy hill and into a tent. No shame.

There is a kind of indignation that has grown through the ranks of Honolulu’s homeless. Many are not ashamed of the way they live or the choices they make. They claim space that isn’t theirs to take, then, when they’re told to move along, vow that they will be back.

There is also no shame among political leaders who dare to claim victories in the effort to end homelessness when all around them, plain as the noses on their faces, people live defiantly in filthy encampments in public parks and on sidewalks….

No one gets to pat themselves on the back when hardworking local families no longer can take their kids to a place like Kakaako Waterfront Park without worrying about hep A or mean dogs or all other kinds of preventable human-generated dangers. No politician has yet earned bragging rights for effectively dealing with the homeless crisis when just steps away people are living in squalor.

HTH: Homeless Dude Busted selling drugs in Hilo Park

read … Homeless winning fight for beachfront property

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