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Monday, October 08, 2018
October 8, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:54 PM :: 1572 Views

Hawaii’s Largest Carbon Credit Scheme to be Evicted from its own HQ?

Green Energy: Hawaii Gives Lots of Money to Silicon Valley Billionaires, Lags in Help to Low Income Residents

SA: … Spending on energy efficiency was led by Vermont at $102 per capita. Hawaii’s per capita spending was $14.55, which ranked 31st. Alaska, Kansas and North Dakota spent nothing, the report said.

There were a few areas in ACEEE’s criteria where Hawaii scored no points. This included energy efficiency programs for low-income residents, requiring minimum energy efficiency levels for new appliances and rating new homes for energy efficiency.

The report said only 11 percent of new homes in Hawaii were rated, which was below the minimum 14 percent needed to earn a score. In Arizona, 54 percent of new homes were rated, the report said.

Kealoha said the reason Hawaii missed out on points for low-income resident energy efficiency programs is because programs that do serve low-income populations do not verify incomes….

ACEEE: Hawaii Ranking Details

read … Hawaii ranked 16th in energy policy

Weather = Climate is Now Policy in Hawaii

SA: …Here’s what climate-change researchers proffer as a certainty: sea level is rising and the rate of change is accelerating. What’s uncertain is the final rate. That depends on the handling of emission scenarios and other environmental matters here and around the planet.

If emerging projections hold, for starters, Hawaii can expect to see a lot more high-tide nuisance flooding — the sort that already sometimes soaks Mapunapuna streets — within the next two or three decades.

That alone should prod county and state leaders to quickly push forward efforts to fend off climate change woes while also contemplating response to potential hard hits — such as how to pay for infrastructure that could be rendered insufficient or, at worst, dangerous, such as sewers and coastal roads.

read … Weather = Climate

Tupola: Only Reporters Ask About Trump

IS: …Despite the incessant headlines about Trump, Tupola stresses that the race has remained focused on local issues.

“When you say people [asking about Trump], if you mean reporters, yes,” Tupola said, “if you mean people throughout the state, no. If I see people throughout the state, they are very much concerned that their issues have gone unheard.”

One ongoing issue is homelessness, an extreme problem in Hawaii, where a lack of housing means that some people live on the streets for years.  Despite a “state of emergency” declaration from the governor, and even money from the tourism industry to pay travel expenses of homeless Hawaiians who want to return to the mainland, most residents believe that the problem is getting worse, not better.

An obvious solution is to create more housing. However, developers have found it difficult to actually start construction,  often due to government delays.  Tupola is unhappy with what she calls the the “aw, shucks” approach to building houses, pushing the government to take efforts to reduce the overall cost of living for Hawaiian residents.

“Anyone you talk to about getting things done, their biggest problem is the government,” Tupola said, stressing the need to lower the burden of government costs.  “If you can get the government out of the way, that would be amazing.”

“A huge part of my speeches and my message is taking ownership. The government can do this much for us and we can do this much for ourselves and, in the event that there is gaps, we need to learn how to still get to our outcome,” she explains….

read … In Deep-Blue Politics of Hawaii, Andria Tupola Hopes to Spark a Red Wave

Local 5 hotel workers strike in Waikiki and Maui

SA: …Today is the first day of the strike for union workers at hotels operated by Marriott: Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Westin Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Maui….

MN: Sheraton Maui workers strike 

SA: Hawaii’s largest hotel walkout lasted for 22 days in 1990

read … Local 5 hotel workers strike in Waikiki and Maui

Task force calls for jail oversight committee

SA: …Hawaii’s inmate suicide rate is the seventh highest in the country, according to Bureau of Justice statistics.

The lack of public information about inmate suicides is just one reason a 13-member task force chaired by Hawaii Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Wilson is recommending the state create an independent oversight commission to inspect and monitor correctional facilities, investigate complaints, report findings to the public and shepherd in broad reforms to Hawaii’s prison system.

“The public never finds out anything,” said Robert Merce, an attorney and member of the task force. “All the public knows is that people are killing themselves in this prison system at an alarming rate. That is why you need an independent, outside agency to go in immediately and investigate all those kinds of things and find out what are the policies, are people following the policies or are the policies themselves the problem.

“Obviously there are a lot of things going on that need to come to light and you need to expose them, you need to disinfect them with sunshine and let the people know that these problems, we are going to take care of them.”

The task force report, which is expected to be finalized and submitted to the Legislature by the end of the year, cites other recent incidents in support of its recommendation for an independent oversight commission.

Several months before Fortson’s death at WCCC, 10 women at the prison filed a federal lawsuit alleging they were sexually coerced, assaulted or raped by guards. According to the lawsuit, which is pending, some women were given crystal methamphetamine, food, makeup and special privileges in exchange for sexual favors.

The lawsuit alleges an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse at the women’s prison dating back at least 25 years.

There continue to be dozens of reports of sexual assaults at Hawaii correctional facilities. In 2015, there were 31 reports of corrections officers sexually abusing inmates, eight of which were substantiated. That same year, there were 33 reports of sexual assaults of inmates by other inmates, four of which were substantiated.

In September 2017, three guards at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state’s largest jail, were attacked by 18 inmates upset about long periods of lockdown because of staff shortages.

In January 2017, following years of severe overcrowding at correctional facilities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging conditions in Hawaii’s jails and prisons violate constitutional protections against “cruel and unusual punishment.” The report detailed severe understaffing of medical and mental health services, unsafe food practices, unsanitary conditions and aging infrastructure…. 

SA Editorial: Prisons require outside oversight

read … Task force calls for jail oversight committee

State task force’s recommendations to the Legislature on pretrial procedures won’t contain any “big surprises,”

CB:   …Trader said the task force wants a more efficient, cost-effective pretrial process that keeps the public safe when criminal defendants are released.

Jim Lindblad, owner of A-1 Bail Bonds, said his industry is opposed to sweeping reforms that leave judges with two choices: detain without bail or release. Lindblad, who began his career in Oregon in pretrial detention, said he is not against reforming the bail system.

“Judges need a smorgasbord of release choices,” he said.

And those choices, Lindblad said, should include bail….

Since 2011, Hawaii has worked to reduce the amount of time pretrial inmates are kept in the state’s jails, enlisting the help of the Council Of State Governments Justice Center, which reviewed inmate populations.

Seven years later, the results have been mixed. While Hawaii lawmakers approved measures to consider sentencing alternatives for convicted criminals, they also approved a change in the penal code that called for mandatory minimum sentences for  habitual theft offenders.

Today, the state’s deteriorating facilities hold more inmates than they were originally designed to house. At least 1,400 Hawaii inmates continue to be housed at a private prison in Arizona. And now, after years of debate, Gov. David Ige recently announced the selection of the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa as the site of a new, larger jail to replace the 1980s-era Oahu Community Correctional Center.

But inmate rights advocates argue that if the state offered better alternatives to incarceration, including more options for the treatment of drug abuse and mental health services, as well as tighter limits on the use of bail, a larger jail would not be needed.

“This is a short-sighted strategy that goes against best practices in criminal justice reform happening across the United States,” said Carrie Ann Shirota of the Hawaii Justice Coalition, which advocates for inmates’ rights….

read … Hawaii’s Bail System Keeps Poor People In Jail Longer — So Where’s The Fix?

Lunatic Shoots Up Neighbors House Because he was not Locked in Lunatic Asylum

SA: … A Kunia man who shot up to 27 rounds from a military-style AR-15 carbine into a neighbor’s front door is not guilty of attempting to murder the family of four he knew was inside….

A state judge found Scott Vidinha not guilty of attempted first-degree murder Wednesday after listening to evidence in Vidinha’s non-jury trial.

Vidinha, 54, also had been charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder for each of the four family members. Circuit Judge Glenn Kim found him guilty instead of four counts of attempted assault, using a firearm to commit the attempted assaults, reckless endangering and carrying an unconcealed firearm without a license….

Vidinha lived on the second- floor of a townhouse apartment in Kunia’s Village Park, two doors away from the one he shot up. He suffers from a long-standing mental illness for which he had been taking medication. A few months before the shooting Vidinha stopped taking his medication because he lost his job and his medical insurance (is a lunatic) and started drinking heavily.

Kim said the state failed to present any evidence of Vidinha’s motive or that there was an intent to kill any of the family hiding in a bathtub during the shooting…. 

KHON: Dawn Aglipay says it started when Vidinha made sexual comments to Pookela Aglipay and his twin brother, both 17 at the time.

read … Shooter found not guilty of attempted murder

DLNR Wants Higher Boat Fees

WHT: …The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is seeking approval from the state Land Board this Friday in Honolulu to initiate the rule-making process and hold public hearings on its proposal. A staff submittal says notices were sent to affected parties starting a year ago, and that fee increases are “long overdue.”  (Aren’t they always ‘overdue’?)

Increasing fee for use of state boat launching ramps for recreational or fishing purposes from $40 a year to $75 a year.

— Increasing monthly dry storage rates to $3 per foot of vessel or trailer length, whichever is greater. Fee is currently $1.15 per foot for paved areas, and $1 for unpaved areas. Vessels stored for less than 16 calendar days would be charged a reduced rate of 50 percent, with a minimum charge of $50. No charge for stays less than 7 days. A monthly fee of $1.50 per square foot would be charged for other equipment, with a reduced rate for shorter stays.

— Requiring a person seeking approval for dry storage to have, in addition to a valid use permit to moor in a state small boat harbor, a vessel registered with the department, have a properly registered and inspected trailer if the vessel is trailered, and have a properly insured vessel.

— Increasing empty boat trailer fee to $100 from the current rates of $15 and $20.

— Replaces Schedule A and B mooring rates with new categories: “Catwalk” and “Tahiti Moor.” At Wailoa small boat harbor, the rates would be a minimum $9 per foot for “Catwalk” and $5 per foot for Tahiti Moor categories.

— Offshore mooring and anchoring rates would be $5 per foot on a state buoy, anchor or cable, and $3 per foot on permittee’s own buoy or anchor.

The proposal can be viewed at: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/J-3.pdf

read … Small boats, bigger fees

If You Don’t Vote On Constitutional Questions, You’ve Just Voted ‘No’

CB: Thanks to a 1997 Supreme Court ruling, the deck is stacked against the ConCon and the constitutional amendment for school funding….

read … If You Don’t Vote On Constitutional Questions, You’ve Just Voted ‘No’

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