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Affordable Housing: Politicians are All Talk
SA: …In an ostensible effort to confront the problem, the Legislature in 2016 passed Act 127, which set a goal of developing at least 22,500 affordable rental units by 2026. The legislation noted: “Without sufficient affordable rental housing, the future social, community and economic consequences for Hawaii may be dire.”
But when some lawmakers rightly tried to follow up that warning this year with ambitious funding — one called for $2 billion for housing development — efforts fizzled. Instead, funding was tagged to support a mere 400 new rental units, according to affordable housing advocates. A drop in the bucket.
Hawaii’s affordable housing problem is a complicated mix of money, politics and regulations….
Here are Today’s Stories About Politicians Attacking Affordable Housing:
read … Housing progress needs to speed up
DoE SPED ‘A Hollow Effort’
CB: …the percentage of Hawaii students with disabilities that are taught in a traditional classroom at least 80 percent or more of the school day is far below the national average. Only about 37 percent of special ed students in Hawaii are in inclusion programs, compared with 62 percent in the rest of the country.
Hawaii school officials want to bump up the state’s inclusion rate to 51 percent by 2020, based on its strategic plan, the long-range education blueprint. Inclusion is among 14 student success indicators in the plan.
But some educators who recently submitted public testimony to the state Board of Education are concerned that without adequate planning time, resources or support from their schools, the state’s goal of raising its inclusion rate is a hollow effort.
“Many special education students are placed in a regular education classroom with little or no support,” wrote Helen Lau, who teaches English and Chinese at Moanalua High School. “A huge gap exists between what these students can do on their own and what their new classrooms demand of them.”….
read … Will Regular Classrooms Better Serve Hawaii’s Special Ed Students?
Doctors At UH Hyperbaric Facility Complained Months Before It Shut Down
CB: …Physicians at the state’s temporarily shuttered Hyperbaric Treatment Center worried about patient safety and “a lack of any coherent strategic planning or direction with the program,” according to a complaint obtained by Civil Beat.
The June 29 complaint was signed by four physicians who worked at the center, which is operated by the University of Hawaii Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine.
The facility at the Kuakini Medical Center in central Honolulu recently closed after all remaining physicians indicated their intent to leave.
It primarily treated patients with illnesses such as diabetes or wounds, but also treated divers with decompression sickness — commonly known as “bends” — about once per week. It’s the only public facility in the state with machines capable of treating sick divers….
Though physicians must supervise treatment, the complaint written to UH officials alleges “intermittent hires” with limited training administered care to patients. Ideally, certified hyperbaric technologists with clinical experience should be working directly with patients, according to the complaint.
The university requires intermittent hires to be high school graduates with basic life support training.
Minimally trained employees often worked night and weekend shifts — when the majority of emergency cases occur, the complaint said. Physicians also allegedly witnessed these employees trying to give advice to patients with questions and “attempt to drive clinical decision-making without consulting the on-call physician or Medical Director first.”
“This hiring process and antiquated staffing has not changed, for over 20 years, despite physician input,” the complaint states.
Physicians were also worried about a lack of resources at the center.
At the state facility, patients breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Using disposable bags, care providers manually pump oxygen into a patient’s mouth. Hyperbaric treatments can sometimes take several hours and many facilities use a device that automatically pumps oxygen.
The Hyperbaric Treatment Center should also have medication pumps, proper ventilators and technician and nursing staff, according to the complaint.
“Far too often, patients may be rejected from treatment due to inability to procure resources that meet the minimum standard of care” for a facility that operates 24 hours and every day of the year, the complaint states.
Physicians also took issue with the fact that the current director, Kurk Jamison, allowed the facility’s Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society accreditation to lapse…..
Link: MDs Complaint Letter
read … Doctors At UH Hyperbaric Facility Complained Months Before It Shut Down
Kauai Doctor Suing for OTC Abortion Pill Doesn’t Provide it Himself
HTH: The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit this month on behalf of Kauai physician Graham Chelius, along with three health care associations. The lawsuit seeks to allow patients to obtain Mifeprex, the brand name for the drug mifepristone, by prescription at retail pharmacies. Mifeprex is one of two medications often referred to as the abortion pill which together end pregnancies up to 10 weeks….
Under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements, Mifeprex only can be distributed to patients at clinics, medical offices and hospitals under supervision of a health care provider who has “registered with the drug manufacturer, attested to their ability to safely prescribe Mifeprex” and has arranged to order and stock the drug at their facility, according to the ACLU complaint.
Chelius told the Tribune-Herald there are no abortion pill providers on Kauai. (Including himself.) As a result, island residents generally must fly to Oahu to get the drug which can sometimes delay the process beyond the 10-week limit factoring in time spent arranging transportation, getting prior authorization and scheduling appointments.
Chelius said he doesn’t stock Mifeprex “out of respect for my staff who have an objection to it” and to avoid “a substantial amount of conflict in the workplace.”
(But he is willing to sue.)
It’s unclear how many — if any — doctors on Hawaii Island provide abortions. Several people in the industry told the Tribune-Herald on condition of anonymity that a handful of private physicians perform abortions for their own patients but general access by referral is only available at registered abortion facilities on Oahu and Maui….
Eva Andrade, director of the Hawaii Family Forum, said the anti-abortion organization thinks abortion has “short-term and long-term risks to women,” including mental health effects, heavy bleeding, nausea and persistent stomach pain.
Hawaii Family Forum opposes expanding access to the abortion pill, Andrade said, and if the lawsuit is successful, it would be concerned as to whether state-based doctors would be forced to write prescriptions….
In 2014, there were 3,760 abortions performed in Hawaii, down 33 percent from 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute…. (Bizness is waaaay down.)
read … Abortion Pill
Eco-Lawyers Use Kauai Whale Stranding to Blame Military Even As They Acknowledge They Have No Evidence
CB:…David Henkin is an attorney at Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. He filed a lawsuit the last time the Navy proposed training in the waters around Hawaii and California, and won.
A federal judge ruled in 2015 that the National Marine Fisheries Service shouldn’t have approved the Navy’s training and testing proposal because it violated federal law protecting marine mammals. The Navy needs to get approval under the Marine Mammal Protection Act every five years if its training will disrupt whales and dolphins….
…The ruling prompted the Navy to reach a settlement with Earthjustice limiting the amount of training in certain areas off Maui, Hawaii Island and Southern California.
Henkin is still reviewing the Navy’s latest analysis. He said that at first glance, he likes how the Navy is willing to limit training in certain areas that are important for marine mammals.
But Henkin said that the plan appears less protective of biologically important areas than the 2015 settlement. He said it falls short of considering more protective training alternatives.
“There’s no good reason why they can’t look at alternatives that would involve protection of marine mammal habitats, let’s say around Kauai, where we just had this recent stranding event,” Henkin said. He noted that the cause of the five pilot whales’ stranding is still unknown but that even if the Navy wasn’t involved, the event illustrates how vulnerable marine mammals are….
Related: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
read … Easy to do with masses of brainwashed co-religionists infesting the demos