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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
November 22, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:14 PM :: 1729 Views

Video: Why OHA's Mauna Kea Lawsuit is a Scam

Rep Andria Tupola to Announce Gubernatorial Run

4M lbs of Trash Removed from Nimitz Homeless Camp

HUD Reviews Honolulu Section 8 Program

DoE: 5-Year Teacher Retention 54%

Hawaii Launches Investigation Into EA Over Gambling Concerns

Reason: Why Does Hawaii Hate American Workers?

Shakedown: HGEA Ties Lunatic Escape to OT Protest--‘You’re Lucky Our Members Haven’t Done Anything Worse’

SA: Six investigators from the state Attorney General’s Office are looking into how killer Randall Saito escaped…

Seven hospital employees who belong to the Hawaii Government Employees Association were immediately suspended without pay after Saito’s escape, creating an even heavier workload for employees who already are forced to work mandatory overtime and even double shifts, said Randy Perreira, the HGEA’s executive director.

“They have some severe staffing issues to begin with,” Perreira said. “You have employees that … are being forced to work double shifts. They’re stuck for 16 hours. Morale is certainly bad, I can assure you of that.”

Perreira predicted that conditions are so poor at the Hawaii State Hospital that assaults on hospital staff might increase.

“We have seen over the years a number of assaults of staff by patients,” he said. “We’re going to see more staff assaulted.”

The state Health Department, which runs the Hawaii State Hospital, has said the hospital has 630 employees and 202 patients, the maximum allowed under its license.

The employees who were suspended “worked on the two shifts that straddled this man’s escape,” Perreira said.

The union had filed a complaint about mandatory overtime to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board “even before Saito ran off,” Perreira said.

“It’s been going on for a couple of months,” Perreira said.

Ige acknowledged that the seven suspensions are having an effect.

“Yes, there is an impact on staffing,” he said. “But we are required to provide services 24/7, 365 days, so, yes, we needed to make some adjustments and that may include some overtime.”….

Perreira acknowledged the possibility that some hospital employees might have helped Saito escape. But he said the facility is also dealing with bigger problems.

“It’s really sad to see that this guy had help escaping the facility,” Perreira said. “What shouldn’t be missed here are the systematic problems that have plagued this hospital for decades and will continue to be a community issue. … We’re only lucky something worse hasn’t happened…..

Best Comment: It was the government unions who man handled the clowns at the circus tent on Beretania street to pass a law requiring government to negotiate with the do nothing government unions for any transfer of personnel where they are needed…..

read … HGEA Shakedown

Fire 150 HGEA and UPW Members -- Hawaii State Hospital worker speaks out about killer's escape

HNN: State Hospital employee Rhoda Palenapa said the corruption at the psychiatric facility is so deeply-rooted, a quarter of the staff should be replaced…..

she has seen other times where hospital workers helped patients leave.

"Absolutely, absolutely. It's easy to help them. It is because who's watching," Palenapa said.

Seven Hawaii State Hospital employees were put on leave without pay last week as authorities investigate why it took 10 hours for personnel to alert the public about Saito's escape.

Palenapa said more workers need to go.

"It should be way more. They have to clean house. If there's 600 staff, at least 150 need to go. At least 150. They're dirty. They're dirty and they know it," she said…..  (Firing 150 HGEA and UPW members?  Great idea!)

State Sen. Josh Green said he met with hospital staff on Monday and said it was a personnel failure.  (And his solution?  Add more failing personnel!)

The senator said they need to beef up security on property.

"They have to increase by 50-percent in my opinion, the amount of security on the periphery. That's five full time people in each shift. That would make a big difference, it's extraordinarily unlikely anyone would get out," Green said.  (See More positions!)

He also recommended completing a new forensic facility by 2020 instead of 2024 and to stop accepting any more dangerous patients until that facility is done.  (And that ‘forensic’ facility?  Yes, you guessed it! More positions!)

CB: Send Sheriff Deputies to do Hospital Employees Job

read … Dirty

Knife-Wielding Schizophrenic Escapes Asylum—Nobody Notices for Two Months

SA: Prior to the highly publicized Nov. 12 escape of Hawaii State Hospital patient Randall Saito, acquitted of murder by reason of insanity, another patient under Department of Health custody disappeared, and he remains on the run.

Gregory LaBar, a 30-year-old suspected felon, escaped Sept. 28, nearly two months ago, from Kahi Mohala, a mental health facility with which the Health Department contracts for 40 beds, department spokeswoman Janice Okubo confirmed.

Diana LaBar, who lives in California, contacted the Honolulu Star-Advertiser a day before Saito’s escape, saying she was worried about her son because he was a danger to others and to himself and appeared to be trying to return to the mainland….

LaBar said her son is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and she said he has threatened her and his sister with a knife on separate occasions, hears voices, acts aggressively and has been incarcerated for theft.

LaBar said she hadn’t heard from her son since Oct. 18, which she says is unusual.

“The Police Department told me people were always running away from Kahi Mohala,” she said….

LaBar suspects her son was sleeping on the streets under a gray tarp near the Keeaumoku Street Walmart….

UPDATE: Honolulu police inadvertently free suspect wanted in felony case

read … Another mental patient is on the run from state custody

New Clause in Firefighters Union Contract Boosts Overtime 50%

MN: Murray says premium pay costs would only go down if he is able to fill large vacancies within the department….

He said that the department already is short 22 people, and he anticipates 10 retirements by the end of the year.

“We’ll be up to 32 openings, which is huge for our size of department,” he said, adding that a new class of recruits would not graduate until Jan. 12. “For those 12 days, we’ll be 32 people short.”…

The latest union agreement ended in June 30. Officials are working on a new one, Murray said, but it’s unlikely that the rank-to-rank provision would be removed.

“I don’t see any arbitrator taking it right now,” he said. “Not unless we have statewide drastic issues with pay. It’s super hard to get stuff out of here. I’ve been through like four of these processes and I’ve never seen anything taken out unless the union takes it out.”…

County Auditor Lance Taguchi provided a brief presentation to the committee and answered questions. In his report, Taguchi recommended that the department avoid triggering the recall program by establishing a “relief pool”of workers that could save the county $1.9 million to $3.2 million per year in premium pay and overtime.

Taguchi said every department needs to take better control of overtime costs, noting that countywide premium pay, which includes overtime, increased by $2.86 million from fiscal 2014 to 2015. He said uncontrolled overtime impacts taxpayers twice — now and when employees retire.

Reality: Audit: New Clause in Union Contract Boosts Overtime 50%

read … Fire chief: Staff shortage causing overtime spike

Hawaii Has Fewer Certified Teachers This Year

CB: The latest figures show that while the number of instructors who’ve fulfilled a state-approved teacher education program is slightly up this year, the percentage of certified teachers in relation to total teaching positions statewide fell slightly to 92 percent from 93 percent the year before.

Out of the total 13,320 teaching positions as of October, 12,309 positions by the start of this school year were filled by certified teachers. That means 1,011 positions in Hawaii schools statewide are being filled by emergency hires or long-term substitutes.

Last school year, 12,268 certified teachers filled a total 13,188 positions, meaning there were 920 positions occupied by emergency hires or long-term subs….

Related: DoE: 5-Year Teacher Retention 54%

read … Fewer

Waikiki Pimps Selling Homeless Boys to Child Molesters

HNN: … They say pimps identify and approach them within 48 hours after they hit the street. … Some are as young as 14. Boys are also victimized…. Homeless service providers estimate scores of homeless teens roam Waikiki on any given day.

SA: Former city worker gets jail and probation in gay sex assault

read … Advocates in 'race' to keep pimps from preying on homeless teens

Anti-GMO Hooser Takes Another Step Towards Mandatory EIS for Farmers

RNZ: …Earlier, a judge ruled in favour of the company and State Board of Land and Natural Resources.

But Mr Hooser wanted a comprehensive environmental review enforceable by law.

"The judge said they're not doing anything new, they are only doing what they have been doing and therefore they shouldn't have to do this environmental review.

"We argued that the law says if there are cumulative long term impacts, or if the action is happening in a very sensitive area then that should be the overriding concern, but the judge did not agree with us on that. So we are appealing."

read … Hawaii group battles Swiss company over pesticide use

HART Can’t Pay for Rail Plan but Grabs for More

SA: …the rail project is massively over-budget; its terminus is now slated for Ala Moana Center, 4 miles short of the UH campus; and its latest timeline for operation is December 2025, seven years later than initially envisioned.

Given the seemingly endless setbacks and spending snags, it is premature for rail officials to pursue steps toward preserving the option to someday extend to UH-Manoa, with a separate branch running to the western edge of Waikiki. Although those proposed transit spurs make sense for potential ridership, current sticker shock is draining both public patience and pocketbook….

The city is still waiting for the Federal Transit Administration to approve a staggering $9 billion financial plan to complete the 20-mile, 21-­station full rail line to Ala Moana, which is expected to be paid for with a mix of Oahu general excise tax revenues, state hotel room taxes and federal dollars.

Rail’s costs have soared in the past three years — and it’s unclear whether the most recent funding boost will be enough to finish construction….

In addition to the price tag doubling, it’s unclear how the city will pay for rail operations. What is clear is that Oahu taxpayers will be tapped.  Indefinitely….

read … Focus on present, not future, rail line

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