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Friday, December 01, 2017
December 1, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:25 PM :: 1596 Views

Gun Surrender: AG report lists cannabis patients under "Mental incompetence/impairment"

Hawaii Child Care Most Expensive in USA

Visitor Spending up Another 4.4% -- $1.3 Billion in October

Energy: Reduced Budget Produces Increased Efficiency

HGEA Sabotage: DoTax Orders Contractor to Lie to Legislators

SA: A consultant hired by the state to oversee the $60 million modernization of the Department of Taxation’s computer systems was instructed by state tax officials on which subjects “should and should not” be addressed in its supposedly independent monitoring reports to lawmakers and the public, according to a new report.

UPDATE: State tax director abruptly resigns

(CLUE: HGEA feels its jobs are threatened by any new technology.  That’s why Hawaii still uses some Wang desktop computers, does manual payroll and uses some old punch-card machines.  This story is about an effort by HGEA to sabotage yet another tech upgrade in order to save their useless ‘positions’.  Keep reading….)

The tax department also requested changes in the reports by consultant Advan­Tech LLC before they were made public, which the consultant said is “not the norm” in its experience.

Known as an “independent verification and validation” consultant, AdvanTech was hired after an embarrassing series of botched information technology projects in state government that date back to previous administrations.

The idea was the consultant would help ensure the multi-year tax department project known as Tax System Modernization progresses as planned and functions as the contractor promised it would. The tax department hired Advan­Tech in 2016 under a $1.431 million contract, and so far has paid the company $291,500, according to state procurement records.

House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke said the latest AdvanTech report is “shocking and it’s sad” because it reveals tax department administrators in charge of the computer project “have manipulated the contents of this report.”

“It completely undermines the credibility of the report and what they have said in the past, and I’m not sure how the consultant can allow this to happen, and I don’t know how the Department of (Taxation) personnel can ethically insert themselves to maneuver and manipulate the information in these reports,” Luke said.

AdvanTech described the tax project as “the largest technology initiative currently underway in the state,” and it already has been a source of controversy.

Hawaii Government Employees Association Executive Director Randy Perreira wrote to Gov. David Ige on Oct. 31 to complain that the administration took control of the project away from Director of Taxation Maria Zielinski and Tax System Modernization Program Manager Robert Su earlier this year.

Ige in July named state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy as “executive sponsor” of the tax project, and placed the project under the control of Nacapuy and tax department Deputy Director Damien Elefante.

Perreira warned that the management change has “severely impacted” state oversight of the project, and said there is a “complete lack of confidence” in the new leadership of Elefante and Nacapuy.

However, AdvanTech wrote in its latest report that the new management team for the tax project asked that AdvanTech “be more direct (and even blunt) in describing our findings.” The new managers assured AdvanTech they would not dictate what goes into the reports, or request changes, the consultant wrote.

AdvanTech had previously produced a series of six reports that offered a generally cheery assessment of the progress of the tax project, but that tone changed markedly in its October report, which was obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser….

In fact, the new computer system has generated so many complaints that the Legislature earlier this year interrupted the flow of new funding to the project. Lawmakers refused a request from the Ige administration for an additional $18 million to continue the computer changeover.

(Translation: HGEA sabotage campaign is working yet again.)

AdvanTech also said in its latest report that the tax modernization project suffers from “a lack of professional, dynamic, and rigorous management of the program plan, issues, and risks.” The consultant also warned that “management and direction for the program is being seriously affected by personality conflicts (hallmark of HGEA sabotage), particularly at the leadership level.”….

House Minority Leader Andria Tupola said it appears to be a conflict of interest for the tax department to weigh in on how the monitoring report is written.

“I thought that it was supposed to be an independent look at what was working and not working, so how could that be an independent look if the tax department is suggesting what they say and what they don’t?” asked Tupola, (R, Kalaeloa-Ko Olina-Maili).

PDF: AdvanTec Report

SA: Stay on track on tax-system upgrade

Background:

read … Abacus in your future 

INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION REPORTS

News Release from Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services December 6, 2017

The following Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) reports have been submitted to the Hawaii State Legislature, pursuant to Act 37, SLH 2017 (effective July 1, 2017) and posted on this site in accordance with section 93-16, HRS.

HGEA: 90% of Our Members are registered to Vote

CB: …Perreira said voter turnout is not a problem for HGEA, a public sector union, where roughly 90 percent of members are registered. What motivates his members to vote in a governor’s race, he said, is whether they like the people the incumbent appointed to be their bosses….

,,,The Hawaii Legislature killed a bill to implement all-mail voting in the final days of conference committee in April, but there is talk that it will be revived in 2018….

read … HGEA Votes

Hawaii US Marshall Fired—Lied About Kaneshiro Escort

HNN: …The Department of Justice says former Hawaii U.S. Marshal Gervin Miyamoto violated multiple federal rules when he escorted Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro and former HPD Deputy Chief Marie McCauley into the federal courthouse in May 2016 to bypass Hawaii News Now cameras.

The two were called to testify before the federal grand jury that has since indicted former HPD chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a deputy prosecutor.

The DOJ's Office of the Inspector General "substantiated the allegations and found that the U.S. Marshal provided preferential treatment to two local officials by circumventing a security checkpoint," the office said.

The investigation also showed that Miyamoto misused his government vehicle and that he was not forthcoming when questioned about the allegations.

"The U.S. Marshal lacked candor in his statements to OIG," a news release said.

Hawaii News Now did get video of Miyamoto driving his SUV into the building with Kaneshiro and McCauley in the backseat.

The two were seen going into the grand jury room less than an hour later.

Miyamoto was forced to retire last month as a result of the escort.

According to his biography, which is still on the U.S. Marshals Service website, Miyamoto was appointed to the position in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama.

Before that, he served for 25 years with the Honolulu Police Department….

read … DOJ: Hawaii's head U.S. Marshal violated policies, lacked candor

Emotions 101: Brainwashing Hawaii School Students

CB: …Seventh-grade teacher Allison Harkey stood at the front of her Wheeler Middle School homeroom class. Kids peered over their notebooks, pencil in hand, at a PowerPoint presentation. Several students raised their hands to volunteer answers as the lesson went on.

But they weren’t learning math, language arts, history or science. Finding the right answer wasn’t as simple as solving an equation or bubbling in a circle.

Instead, students were challenged to think critically about their past behavior, and to better prepare for vexing social situations in the future…

…educators say Social, and Emotional Learning (SEL) simply teaches kids to be better people.

Critics of SEL say those lessons should be taught at home instead, students shouldn’t be measured by their personal growth, and lessons may interfere with a child’s natural self-development.

Despite some skepticism, SEL is becoming more popular, according to a 2015 Education Week survey of more than 700 educators.

It’s part of the “whole child” educational movement, which has also gained traction in the past decade. Schools focused on the whole child try to ensure students are healthy, and feel safe, supported and challenged….

Best Comments on Another Article: This article shows the reason why the "Emotions 101" article has synergy. Indoctrination works. Especially at a young age.

read … Emotions 101: Why Hawaii Schools Are Focusing On Feelings

Monster home foes to like idea in future

SA: Large houses that are built within building codes are helping with the housing shortage. Having multi families in a single-family home is not a new phenome- non. For decades, this has been the theme for most of Kalihi and Waipahu.

If home prices continue to rise, the trend will only continue. There will be more monster houses built and smaller houses will get renovated into larger homes.

Economics are dictating the trends. It will only be a matter of time for those who are against monster homes to eventually have their own monster home when it is time to rebuild or renovate….

read … Monster

Honolulu Rent Unchanged—10th Highest in USA

PBN: Median rent for two-bedroom apartments in Honolulu declined by 11 percent over the past year, but Hawaii’s largest city remains ranked as the 10th-most expensive rental market in the United States, according to the December national rent report by online real estate company Zumper.

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Honolulu is $2,110, which is 11 percent less than the same time last year, when it was $2,370, according to the Zumper report, which analyzed rental data from more than 1 million active listings in the U.S. available in the month prior to publication.

It’s also 51.5 percent higher than the national median rent for a two-bedroom apartment, which is unchanged at $1,392.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Honolulu is $1,700, which is unchanged from a year ago, and 38 percent higher than the national median rent for a one-bedroom unit, which rose 4.9 percent over the past year to $1,233…..

Link: Zumper National Rent Report: December 2017

read … Rent is too high

KIUC Keeps Elon Musk’s Secrets: Grossly Overpriced Battery Storage

IM: …Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is leading the way in Hawai`i in the installation of large solar arrays combined with storage. The Public Utilities Commission approved the SolarCity/Tesla price of less than 14 cents per kWh in docket no. 2015-0331. The AES Lawai Solar is being proposed at 11 cents per kWh in docket 2017-0018.

(Clue: These wholesale prices are higher than retail prices on the mainland.)

With regard to the Tesla proposal, the Consumer Advocate asked KIUC what the price would be for solar only, storage only, and combines solar plus storage, based on current market data. KIUC provided the response under a seal of confidentiality….

(Keeping Elon Musk’s secrets.)

read … Solar Energy plus Storage is Surging

Hawaii 44% Sleepless

KITV: …The 50th state in 50th place in terms of getting our zzzzs.

A recent study reported only 56 percent of adults in Hawaii got seven or more hours of sleep each night. There's a number of reasons Hawaii ranks last, from long commutes to the multiple jobs needed to keep ones head above water in paradise.

Whatever the reason, that lack of shut eye comes at a huge cost.

"Diabetes, chronic obesiety, heart diesease, hyper tension," Dr. Jamil Sulieman, Sleep Lab Kaneohe said. …

"I have never met anyone who works the night shift that got adequate sleep in the daytime...”

read … Sleepless

Honolulu to Install 53,000 LED Streetlights

KHON: On Thursday night, the city announced it’s finally beginning work to install new LED bulbs in all street lights.

The project was first proposed three years ago.

Beginning next February or March, the city will begin installing brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights island-wide.

“We’re going to be dealing with replacing 53,000 streetlights on the island of Oahu with LED lights, and that means less emission,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell says the new LED lights will also save the city approximately $5 million each year.

“The neat thing about this is the city doesn’t have any upfront costs. We’re not paying upfront. It’s going to be financed,” said Robert Kroning, director of the city Department of Design and Construction. “The way we’re going to pay for it is those energy savings over the years, so $5 million a year until it’s paid off, and then we continue to reap those benefits for the long term.” ... 

The project is expected to take between 18 months and two years to complete at a cost of $46 million....

read … City’s bright idea aims to save millions of tax dollars each year

Hawaii Supreme Court: Illegal for Police to Fly Over Your Grop-op

ILind: …A unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court ruled last week that the Honolulu Police Department conducted an illegal search when, acting on an anonymous tip, it made several helicopter flights in October 2012 over a Waipahu home and spotted a number of marijuana plants growing alongside the house….

…Last week’s Supreme Court’s decision upheld a June 2016 ruling by the state’s Intermediate Court of Appeals. That court found the state constitution protects “an individual from targeted aerial surveillance of the individual’s residence and its curtilage,” a legal term referring to the area immediately surrounding a dwelling. The high court agreed, although it relied on slightly different grounds in reaching its conclusion….

read … Hawaii Supreme Court extends right to privacy

MPD captain requests a jury trial

MN: …Maui Police Department Capt. Stephen Orikasa pleaded not guilty Thursday and asked for a jury trial on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge alleging he inappropriately touched a female detective at work.

A Dec. 12 date was set for him to appear in 2nd Circuit Court.

In a complaint filed in Wailuku District Court, Orikasa is charged with fourth-degree sexual assault for allegedly touching the woman’s buttocks between June 16 and 30. At the time, Orikasa was commander of the Criminal Investigation Division, where the detective worked.

After the detective reported the incident in August, the Police Department separated Orikasa and the detective, who voluntarily relocated to the Kihei Police Station….

read … MPD captain requests a jury trial

Police Raid Harry Kim’s Homeless Tent City, Remove Two of the Tweekers

WHT: Among items recovered during a search of a homeless housing unit were a glass pipe and a loaded syringe, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing for defendant Samuel Hernandez.

Hernandez, 58, and Kryst Teinauri-Nakamura, 18, were arrested Tuesday on drug-related charges after Hawaii Police officers served a search warrant at a unit in Hale Kikaha, a homeless housing area (festering homeless tent city) run by Hope Services Hawaii, located at Pawai Place in the Old Kona Industrial Area.

The Kona Special Enforcement Unit searched a micro-unit, which is about 8 feet wide by 20 feet long. Maj. Robert Wagner with Hawaii Police said officers recovered marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine, a small amount of heroin, illegal pills and drug paraphernalia.

Hernandez, resident at Hale Kikaha, was taken into custody on several drug-related charges. Teinauri-Nakamura, who had been staying with Hernandez for the past few days, was also arrested and charged….

BIN: Eight Arrested in Kona Drug Busts

read … Tweeker Gets Housing in Jail

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