New Yorker Expose -- Tulsi Gabbard Krishna Cult
WaPo Runs Bizarre Article on Robin Danner’s Search for $2.5M to Fund Fake Indian Tribe
WaPo: …Leaders are working to raise $2.5 million and have joined with a consortium of advocacy groups to spur the nation-building effort. …Native Hawaiians have come together to study what could become the touchstone of their self-determination: an eight-chapter (Nai Aupuni) constitution….
…Hawaiians get together to talk about sovereignty, it usually involves a lot of fighting and yelling, and nothing gets done,” says Brendon Kalei‘aina Lee, 47, who served as chairman at last year’s constitutional convention….
In an overly warm conference room at a Hilton hotel on Kauai earlier this year, Robin Danner, an advocate for Native Hawaiian sovereignty, plunged down a list of perks indigenous Hawaiians could get by standing up their own government.
Free health care. Reacquisition of stolen lands. Greater influence in Hawaii state politics. New programming designed to tackle the socioeconomic ills disproportionately faced by Hawaii’s indigenous people — homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, obesity and low high school graduation rates….
“It’s not just a sexy slogan,” explained Danner…”
Native Hawaiian families in 2013 had a median income of $72,762….
Bumpy Kanahele was one of 152 participants in last year’s constitutional convention. He decamped before the vote that adopted the document.
“That was like a 20-day cleanse,” said Kanahele, who is in the process of launching Aloha Coin, a virtual currency for the Nation of Hawaii….
This is not the first time a group of Native Hawaiians has sought support for a governing document to improve their circumstances. Mahealani Wendt, 70, the former executive director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, participated in three earlier efforts to compose a constitution. All were doomed by a lack of funding and support among Native Hawaiian voters, she said.
“There is fatigue,” Wendt said. “I was hoping my mother would still be alive when we finally got a government, but my mom has passed away, and now I’m thinking I’m going to be dead and it’s still not going to happen. I see opposition from within our community, and I see opposition from outside of it — these are strange bedfellows. But ultimately I think there comes a time when you just have to fish or cut bait. Take the vote. If the vote is not successful, you start again.”….
But adding to the momentum now is a new opportunity for Hawaiians to grow their political independence by seeking an official nation-to-nation relationship with the United States. The rulemaking that allows it, announced last year by the U.S. Interior Department, does not attempt to reorganize a native government or dictate its structure. It allows Hawaiians to create a government of their choosing, with an option to vet it against the newly established eligibility requirements for federal recognition.
The Interior Department started accepting requests for federal recognition from Native American groups in 1978, but that pathway to self-determination was previously off limits to Native Hawaiians….
All three of the groups hosting workshops across the islands are pro-federal recognition, which has made many in the total independence camp wary of participating in the nation-building process.
Yet until Hawaiians erect their own government, how it would interact with the United States and others is all fantasy, said Michelle Kauhane, a writer of the constitution who has been traveling to present it to Native Hawaiian communities….
Best Comments: Is this supposed to be a news story? I mean, this is WaPo, not the Anahola community bulletin board……If only native Hawaiians could enjoy the same benefits that other native Americans enjoy on Standing Rock, Wind River and other such delightful reservations. Madness….
This has all happened before:
read … Native Hawaiians again seek political sovereignty with a new constitution
Companies could be civilly liable in ARC non-profit embezzlement case
KHON: It’s described as the “largest white collar crime case” ever handled by the Honolulu Prosecutor’s office.
Lola Jean Amorin is charged with stealing nearly seven-million dollars from the Arc in Hawaii where she worked as an accountant for almost 30 years.
KHON2 wanted to know if the agencies or companies that had a fiduciary responsibility to the Arc in Hawaii could be held accountable for their inability to spot discrepancies in the Arc’s finances.
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Chris Van Marter said, “unfortunately a lot of different entities let down the Arc and the people that they serve.”
Former circuit court judge Randal Lee elaborated.
“They may not be criminally liable [because] they may not have partaken in the criminal activity,” Lee explained. “However, they may be civilly liable if they were negligent in doing their job.”
“They can be sued for the amount of money that was lost as a result of their negligence for failing to detect or failing to report discrepancies that should have been detected or known… the standard is not whether or not they knew, also whether or not they should have known,” Lee added.
Whether or not the Arc in Hawaii decides to pursue legal action against any companies or firms that failed to detect the alleged theft remains to be seen.
(Clue: They won’t. Its all politics.)
read … Companies could be civilly liable in non-profit embezzlement case
Study links treated sewage to reef degradation
SA: …A new study by federal scientists has found that discharge from a sewage treatment facility in West Maui for years has been drastically undermining the coral reefs off Kahekili Beach Park.
The pollution is not only eroding the reef, but inhibiting new coral growth, according to the U.S. Geological Survey study accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans….
The question of whether coral reefs are being damaged by sewage from Maui County’s injection wells has been the subject of litigation and out-of-court negotiations for nearly a decade. Even before that, conservationists suspected the wells were linked to algae blooms plaguing the area.
Then, in 2013, a scientific study found that sewage from the Lahaina wastewater treatment plant is indeed finding its way into the nearshore waters, prompting U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway to rule on two occasions that the use of the wells violates the federal Clean Water Act.
The county appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and attorneys on both sides argued their case before the court last month.
In an earlier settlement the county agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and spend $2.5 million for infrastructure designed to reuse the wastewater if the courts uphold the District Court ruling…..
Related: Fake Data Behind Coral Bleaching Report
read …Study links treated sewage to reef degradation
Mr Kim Coco Iwamoto announces bid for Lieutenant Governor—Campaign to Focus on Muslims
KITV: Former Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto announced on Sunday that she (sic) is running for Lieutenant Governor. Iwamoto pledged to fight for causes that impact Hawaii’s citizens.
“And today we protest in solidarity against the same racist xenophobia directed at our Muslim neighbors,” Iwamoto says.
She (sic) also became a foster parent. In 2006, Iwamoto successfully won a seat on the State of Hawai‘i Board of Education and (when it was subsequently dissolved) later became a member of the State Civil Rights Commission….
read … Kim Coco Iwamoto announces bid for Lieutenant Governor
Protecting Defense Lawyers? Kealoha Story Censored at Star-Adv
ILind: …I started with the Star-Advertiser’s story by Gordon Pang (“Dismissal of 2 attorneys for Kealohas sought“). Unfortunately, it didn’t include a link to the government’s motion or related documents.
So I turned to Civil Beat’s story by Nick Grube (“Explosive Motion Calls For Ouster Of Kealoha Attorneys“). Grube’s story includes a link not only to the motion to disqualify, but to all of the other documents attached to it in court. And it’s these exhibits that provide a new level of detail to allegations made so far.
That’s when it hit me. Clearly, the Star-Advertiser is no longer a leader in local news.
It has nothing to do with the quality of their reporters. Gordon Pang is one of the best, so it must have to do with the constraints their reporters operate under.
This particular story makes that clear.
Grube’s Civil Beat account is rich with details drawn not only from the government’s motion, but from supporting documents where the really good stuff is buried.
While the government’s motion aims to disqualify the two defense attorneys, it also provided a stage for introducing a series of startling new allegations against Katherine Kealoha.
In these documents, she is accused of leaking confidential information about grand jury proceedings, including in at least one instance the name of a confidential informant, to defense attorneys and, by extension, to their clients. She was, according to this account, a key leak within the prosecutor’s office. The government alleges she attempted to influence the testimony of a likely grand jury witness, a beneficiary of a trust that Kealoha allegedly looted when it was under her control. And there are more hints of manufactured documents and fraudulent signatures…..
Background: Feds Move to Disqualify Kealoha attorneys – Say Defense Lawyers in on Schemes
read … New allegations against Katherine Kealoha
HPD officers’ wide support for new chief signals hope
Shapiro: ..Dozens of officers of all ranks showed up to cheer Ballard’s ascent, have pictures taken with her and express the first genuine hope heard at the Honolulu Police Department in a long time.
Lt. David Ardren said, “She’s going to really turn the dark cloud over HPD and bring us back to good standing.”
It’s been noted that Kealoha enjoyed a similar show of support from the ranks when he assumed the job in 2010, but there’s a difference.
Kealoha’s candidacy was favored by SHOPO, the police union; Ballard wasn’t the preferred choice of SHOPO, and the burst of goodwill from fellow officers came more from the gut….
Fellow officers say they respect Ballard as fair, ethical and a straight shooter who doesn’t play the political games of the Kealoha years….
The Police Commission’s challenge is to provide the oversight it disgracefully neglected as the Kealoha scandals unfolded, without crossing the line of micromanagement.
For the rank and file, the challenge will be hanging in with Ballard as she makes the tough decisions that will be needed to turn HPD’s complete focus back to its main business of public safety….
read … HPD officers’ wide support for new chief signals hope
Hospitals ‘Make a little money’ on Unnecessary ER Visits
HTH: Nearly one of every three Hilo emergency room patients isn’t actually experiencing a medical emergency.
In the past five years, 29 percent of patients treated at Hilo Medical Center’s emergency department were “nonemergency,” according to data obtained by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
That worries health administrators because they want to focus on those in greatest need. But they also don’t want to discourage people in true need who already are reticent to call 911. They’re already taking action to address the situation.
Stacy Wong, spokeswoman for the Hawaii Hospital Association, said the national average is 27 percent of patients going to the ER for “potentially preventable” visits.
A hospital doesn’t necessarily lose money when it treats patients at the ER instead of at a clinic, said Dan Brinkman, regional chief executive officer of the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
A health system gets reimbursed about $35 by insurance for treating an urgent care clinic patient and about $100 for treating an ER patient in Hilo, he said.
“In a lot of cases, we make a little money,” Brinkman said….
read … Make a Little Money
Racketeering: Obamacare Scheme Transfers $20M Costs to Hawaii Ratepayers
SA: …The state’s largest health insurer says it has an estimated $20 million a year in “excessive and unnecessary” costs due to nonprofits paying health insurance premiums for patients, some of whom are on dialysis and could be covered by government health plans.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association is changing its policy as of Feb. 1 to ban certain third parties from paying medical premiums.
HMSA said there are about 120 members primarily in individual Affordable Care Act plans whose policies are being paid for by nonprofits such as the American Kidney Fund, which helps dialysis patients in financial need.
“In some instances these folks qualify for government-sponsored health plans — Medicare and Medicaid — but instead are buying through these nonprofits commercial insurance,” which reimburse providers at higher rates than government health plans, said HMSA spokeswoman Elisa Yadao.
HMSA says the $20 million cost is passed on to roughly 18,000 members with Obamacare policies who are facing a 19.8 percent rate hike in 2018. About half of that hike is due to costs associated with patients whose premiums are paid by nonprofits, HMSA said.
“That’s where these excess costs are being generated,” Yadao said.
The American Kidney Fund was the focus of a New York Times investigation in December. The paper reported that the Kidney Fund pushed dialysis centers to donate to the fund.
The Kidney Fund has a deal with the dialysis industry that “allows dialysis clinics to donate to the Kidney Fund, treat patients whose insurance premiums are paid by the charity and then collect money from the insurers for those patients’ treatments — essentially guaranteeing a steady stream of paying customers for the companies,” the newspaper said. “The charity has resisted giving aid to patients at clinics that do not donate money to the fund.”
SA: Ensure access to kidney dialysis
CB: How to Sign up for Obamacare
read … Ratepayers
State Hires Contractors Because HGEA Just Can’t Get the Job Done
SA: …The state has more than 30 dialysis clinics, with four still awaiting certification — needed for reimbursement of Medicare and Medicaid patient treatment, which covers as much as 85 percent of the dialysis population. Without certification, a clinic is typically limited to treating patients with private-pay insurance.
In the short term, to keep pace with the demand to open more dialysis facilities, the state must accelerate its certification process, which is now taking up to three years. The state Department of Health, which has blamed delays on too-tight staffing and resources, must work with state lawmakers to loosen up purse strings and establish a more efficient and timely process as a top DOH priority.
Last year, the DOH resorted to spending $140,000 to contract a half-dozen Arizona inspectors to complete delayed certifications for 11 dialysis centers. It’s a sure bet that more of that sort of stopgap funding will be needed until the state puts in place a viable certification process. Without one, it’s also a certainty that more low-income residents having difficulty booking regular clinic appointments due to short supply of certified clinics will turn up at at emergency rooms, where treatment is three to four times more expensive….
read … Certification
Hana Drivers Ed Closed for 9 Months While DoE Buys a Car Battery
MN: …I am compelled to share my story in regard to my grandson. I am baffled by a system that is both corrupted and broken.
As a grandmother, it saddens me that he, along with several other students who have worked so hard to accomplish their driver’s education program with the DOE, have failed due to a battery problem with the driver’s education vehicle. I have contacted proper authorities in finding a solution to a simple problem that could have easily been corrected.
It is now nine months later, the car is finally fixed, a new instructor hired, and my grandson graduated from Hana High School in May of 2017. Leaving him with only five hours more behind the wheel to obtain his driver’s license has led to many challenges…..
SA: New advocacy group hosts educational equity symposium
read … Car battery
DOE: 1,000 students live on streets or in homeless shelters
KGI: …Over 3,000 students in Hawaii were estimated as homeless at the beginning of the 2017 school year, down by about 500 since last counted in May, according to data from the Department of Education.
The amount of homeless students on Kauai is estimated at 180 kids. Six percent of the state’s homeless students attend Kapaa, Kauai and Waimea schools, according to the recent analysis….
About 2,000 of the students statewide were living with extended family without a permanent place to stay, while the remaining 1,000 were living on the street or in shelters, according to the data. However numbers may be slightly higher, since preschoolers were not accounted for in the data.
read … Schools support homeless students
Missing School Has Become A Huge Problem in Hawaii
CB:A Waianae school, where 40 percent of students are chronically absent, is trying home visits and a partnership with family court to keep kids in class….
Ignore This: Hawaii is #1 in Teacher Absenteeism at 79%
read … Missing School Has Become A Huge Problem in Hawaii
Waianae: Construction Cuts off Water Supply Used by 200 Tweekers
CB: State officials have closed certain water spigots at the Waianae Boat Harbor, cutting off water for nearly 200 families at The Harbor homeless camp.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources shut off the water last month for what officials say is a routine road repaving project. The water is expected to be off for about two months….
Like many people at the camp, Aio doesn’t have a car so she uses a shopping cart to carry water jugs from her tent to nearby public parks…..
HHC: Civil Beat pushes fake news on Waianae squatter camp
Idea: Trade water for meth
read … Thirsty Tweekers
Eco-Meeting Provides New Opportunity to Shut Down US Navy
SA: The Navy is holding a public meeting today as it re-evaluates the environmental impacts of training, research and testing — particularly from sonar and explosive sound effects on marine animals — over a wide swath of ocean between Southern California and the Hawaiian Islands.
The last such study provided the framework for Navy activities from 2013 to 2018. The next will support training beginning in 2018….
David Henkin, an attorney for Earthjustice in Honolulu, which brought one of the court cases against the Navy training, said Friday one positive development in the new study is that the “Navy has recognized that they need to be looking at time and area limitations on their activities in order to protect biologically important areas.” (Or help China catch up.)
Henkin said that under the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and National Environmental Policy Act, “the Navy needs to figure out the maximum amount of protection that it can provide to marine mammals and endangered species — and at the same time protect the nation. It’s not an either/or.” (So sad.)
The more than 3,000-page draft environmental impact statement/overseas environmental impact statement is available at hstteis.com. Public comments can be sent by email.
The meeting will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Oahu Veterans Center, Fred Ballard Hall, 1298 Kukila St.
read … Navy to hold meeting on effects of at-sea training