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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
October 11, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:53 PM :: 1201 Views

SCOTUS Backs Trump, Dismisses Travel Ban Challenge

Chin, Muslims Sue to Block Travel Ban 3.0

Recent Federal Court Ruling Affects Hawaii Tip Credit

How Resignation, Recusal Allow Caldwell to Pick Next HPD Chief

SA: …Because the commission has seven seats, the law says four commissioners must agree for any action to take place. But two commissioners — Marc Tilker and Luella Costales — resigned in recent months and they have yet to be replaced by Mayor Kirk Caldwell….

Steven Levinson, one of the four commissioners still eligible to vote for a chief, is already mulling the ways that he, Commission Vice Chairwoman Cha Thompson, and commissioners Eddie Flores and Loretta Sheehan may be able to select a new chief in the event not all of them agree on the same top candidate.

Levinson said he will ask the other commissioners and city attorneys about the idea of a “tiered” voting system where the remaining commissioners are handed two ballots — one stating only their first choice for chief, the other ranking all seven finalists from one to seven. If all four don’t have the same first choice, they would then tally up the votes for the seven and name the finalist ranking highest as the new chief.

“If it ultimately shook down that all four voting commissioners had the same choice or preference, great!” Levinson said. “If we don’t, casting two ballots simultaneously and holding the ranked ballot in reserve, pending a determination as to whether all four commissioners agreed to a first choice, makes sense to me.”

He added: “I don’t know, ultimately, whether all four remaining commissioners are going to have the same first choice or not. And if that’s the only means of voting, and if (we) don’t, then we’re up a creek.”

If no decision can be made by the four, the commission will need to wait for Caldwell to fill one or two of the vacancies, which would need to go through the City Council approval process and then be caught up with everything else the commission has been doing, Levinson said. “And nobody wants that,” he said.  (Except Caldwell.)

Levinson, who was appointed by the mayor a year ago, criticized Caldwell for not filling the two vacancies, noting that he has implored the mayor to do so and has given up trying.  (Don’t worry.  Caldwell will make his picks just as soon as he sees how the votes are lining up.) 

read … With HPD panel leader out of chief choice, others must be unanimous

Medicaid: Ige Claims Cost not Soaring

SA: …U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, is demanding Medicaid data from Hawaii and seven other states that Johnson says experienced rapid increases in their spending on new Medicaid enrollees from 2014 to 2015.

In a letter to Ige last month, Johnson said federal data show Hawaii spending on new Medicaid enrollees increased by almost 76 percent in one year, while overall spending for Medicaid here is “soaring” under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

In a lengthy state response that the Ige administration publicly released Tuesday, Ige countered that Johnson’s calculations “paint an inaccurate picture of our Medicaid expansion expenditures and growth.” Medicaid is the state- and federally funded health care program for the poor and disabled.

The correct numbers show that the per-person cost of Medicaid in Hawaii actually decreased by 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, while total Medicaid costs in Hawaii grew by about 3 percent to almost $2.06 billion, Ige wrote….. 

read … Gov. Ige defends Medicaid spending

Same Homeless Person Interviewed Again and Again over the Years

--Oct 10, 2017 Star-Adv ‘City sweeps homeless from Kakaako sidewalks’: Amber Coiley, who has been living at Kakaako Waterfront Park for two years, said she is waiting for a call back from a shelter. (IQ Test: Do you believe this?) Meanwhile, she said, “I don’t know where we’re going.”

--Aug 16, 2015 Star-Adv: Amber Coiley, who lives in the homeless encampment in Kakaako, used a wagon to take bags of cans and bottles to a nearby recycling center on Friday. Coiley moved from Hilo to Oahu to get away from domestic abuse. She was living in a rental unit in Kaimuki, but when her new partner was jailed she lost her home and ended up living on the street in Kakaako. …

Amber Coiley’s three children have been offered food and clothes, which she appreciates because she recently had her gas-powered generator, DVR and TV stolen from her tarpaulin-covered structure on the Diamond Head end of Olemehani Street.

Coiley’s family doesn’t need any more clothes. But since money’s tight, the donated food is appreciated.

“Some people bring pizzas, some people bring McDonald’s,” Coiley said as she loaded up a child’s wagon filled with cans that she planned to redeem at a nearby recycling center.

--April 4, 2012 Hilo Tribune Herald:  Citizens sought by the Hawaii Police Department as of Friday for outstanding warrants … Amber M. Coiley, 30, Honolulu.

Exhausted from Hours of Drinking and Eating, Homeless Woman Slashed by Meth Addict

MN: …Through the evening and into the early-morning hours, Nitta, Bolen Nitta and Waikiki were eating pupu and drinking beer, Nitta said. He said Borge and Keohuhu were in the bathroom of the studio apartment for much of the time.

Nitta said he was sitting at a small table with his wife and Waikiki and was finishing his last beer when she was attacked.

“She was getting tired already because we live on the street,” said Nitta, who was living in a vehicle with his wife. “She was getting sleepy already. I told her because it was getting late already and I was down to the last couple sips of my beer, I told her we going after I finish my beer.”

He said Borge, who had been in the bathroom with Keohuhu, walked out just before Nitta finished drinking his beer…..

Testifying Tuesday in Borge’s 2nd Circuit Court trial, Regan Nitta said Borge was behind Deanna Bolen Nitta and put her in a chokehold in the early-morning hours of Feb. 19, 2013.

Nitta said he was trying to stand when Borge’s girlfriend grabbed Nitta.

“By the time I got free, he already sliced her,” Nitta said….

read … Knife Attack: Tweeker Slashes Homeless Woman

BLNR to Impose $10K fine for Swimming without a Permit?

WHT: The state Land Board is scheduled to decide Friday whether Sean Pagett should pay a $10,000 fine for holding two “Peaman” biathlons without marine ocean water event permits.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is requesting the maximum $5,000 fine each for Peaman run/walk swimming events held in and around the Kailua-Kona Pier on Nov. 27 and Dec. 25…. 

UPDATE: BLNR Decides not to Fine Swimmer $10K

read … $10,000

Hawaii Hurricane Preparedness is ‘Mostly a Joke’

SA: …Reading about the recent devastation by hurricanes in the Gulf and Caribbean makes us wonder if anyone in Hawaii is really cognizant of how destructive a hurricane anywhere in this state could be — and especially on Oahu, the most populated island.

We lived on Guam (and the Philippines) for more than 20 years and we got directly hit by typhoons (same as hurricanes) so many times we lost count. That is the only thing we do not miss about Guam: preparing for and then actually getting direct hits by the typhoons, year after year.

One year we got direct hits from three typhoons in two months. The housing throughout Hawaii is mostly a joke for typhoon or hurricane preparedness, since most single-family homes are made of flimsy wooden materials.

On Guam, most people have invested in concrete homes, with concrete roofs, as those are the only ones to withstand hurricane/typhoons winds. They have to. The Micronesians (or anyone else) still living in the boonies or in tin and wood huts have to go to the school shelters.

Most places in Hawaii do not have “typhoon shutters.” Most stores, and residences, do not have generators to run refrigerators or freezers.

On Guam, all the stores, even the little stores, have generators so they don’t lose their costly inventory after a typhoon. Everyone there does water collection before the typhoon for drinking and cooking, and we had a water catchment system for rainwater just to flush the toilets after the storms…..

read … Not Prepared

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