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Tuesday, October 08, 2019
October 8, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:35 PM :: 1583 Views

DoH public health advisory urging everyone to stop vaping

Housing Cost Puts Hawaii Among States With Worst Pay

Protesters Threaten Sen Lorraine Inouye with Death

SA: … The elders said they “remained firm in their resolve and commitment that they are not supportive of his plan, because his plan is pro-TMT,” said Andre Perez, one of the leaders of the protests on Mauna Kea.

“There cannot be meaningful dialogue if the compromises is expected only on one side,” Perez said. “It appears that the state and the mayor want all the compromise to be for the kiai (‘protectors’ of the mountain), and when it come to the TMT, that’s just not an option for us.” …

(Translation: We want OHA to get $50M annual rent AND no TMT.)

Kate Stanley, interim chairwoman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, said she believes the TMT issue “will affect Hawaii for a long time, and that saddens me.”…

Perez said the message from the Saturday marches on Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Kauai is that “we have huge, broad-based support against the TMT.”…

But House Speaker Scott Saiki said the numbers of people participating in the march “are to be expected, because these issues have been brewing for a while.”…

Saiki said some people who participated Saturday oppose the TMT, but others may be concerned about land management or have concerns about cultural issues.

“I’m sure that people participated for different reasons,” he said. “The message is to government officials as well as leaders within the broader Hawaiian community that there needs to be reforms in land and cultural management practices.”…

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who has publicly called on Ige to clear the access road so that construction can begin, cited her own concerns about the protests.

She compared the tents at the protest camp along Daniel K. Inouye Highway to a Kakaako homeless camp …

Inouye also said she was notified by law enforcement that she was the target of two death threats on social media after she publicly urged Ige to clear the access road, and said she is worried that if TMT is forced to go elsewhere, the state and county might be held legally liable for damages.

“I just pray that we can be reasonable persons in negotiating something, and it has to happen soon,” she said….

Background: Governor Ige, It's Time

HTH: Protesters to Kim: Inclusion of TMT in vision for Maunakea still an obstacle to ‘Way Forward’

read … Kupuna meet with Kim, reject proposal for TMT

TMT backers hope to rally Hawaiian support with Big Island student's 2015 petition

KITV: …Imua TMT organizers say many Hawaiians are reluctant to speak out for fear of backlash, so to give them an outlet, they are bringing back a petition started by a high school student from Kona in 2015.

Back then, Mailani Neal told KITV-4 she wants to be an astronomer and work on the telescope. Now 22, Neal is getting her Ph.D. in New Mexico and says while she empathizes with protesters, she doesn't agree with their unwillingness to compromise.….

"I've felt in my na'au too, that sadness and overwhelming grief when I think about what had been done to our people," Neal said. "I've come to the realization since we can't go back and change what happened, we have to think about what is in our control and that is to better the future for our people."…

Link: >>> Sign Petition Here

read … TMT backers hope to rally Hawaiian support with Big Island student's 2015 petition

Proposed Bill could force non-union workers to pay union dues

KITV: … Bill 37 would require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for any  City & County of Honolulu “Critical” construction project over $1,000,000.

"Critical" projects include road, wastewater, drainage, and park improvement projects.

A current example of a PLA project is the rail. John Romanowski of Jas. W. Glover, Ltd. says that all rail workers are being forced to pay union dues.

However, should Bill 37 pass, he says workers in non-union companies like his would be forced to pay these dues even if they do not want to join that union.

"They’re going to take our pension and put it in their account. We’d have to make changes in our family, family expenses, I guarantee you that," says Lucky Harris of Jas. W. Glover, Ltd….

"Bill 37 makes sure 80% or more of the workforce is comprised of local workers," says Nathaniel Kinney of Hawaii Construction Alliance….

2019: Exclude 2/3 of Contractors from Bidding? Proposal on Council Agenda

2013: Feds Investigate Caldwell Admin Official, Kinney

read … Proposed Bill could force non-union workers to pay union dues

State senator suspects ‘cover-up’ in probe into Public Safety trainer’s credentials

HNN: … The state Labor Board is dropping its request for Marte Martinez’s personnel file after fierce resistance from two other state agencies defending her: Public Safety and the state Attorney General’s Office.

Martinez, who is in charge of training more than 1,000 sheriff’s deputies and adult corrections officers, didn’t show up for a Labor Board hearing on Sept. 25 to answer questions about her credentials.

Martinez has been promoted at least three times within the Public Safety Department. And each promotion application lists different accomplishments from colleges: Degrees, credits and certifications.

But a Hawaii News Now investigation showed some of those colleges didn’t have records of her attendance, throwing her education claims into question.

The Public Safety Department and the Attorney General’s Office have refused to turn Martinez’s personnel file over to the Labor Board, calling the request an abuse of power that violated state personnel confidentiality rules.

Instead, the Labor Board will no longer consider Martinez an expert witness, reducing the credibility of her previous testimony about training for adult corrections officers.

The board is deciding whether a fired corrections officer should get his job back after an alleged jailhouse beating. The ACO claims he wasn’t properly trained.

The pushback in the Martinez case prompted state Sen. Clarence Nishihara to claim a “cover-up."

“It’s against the law to lie on an official document and to repeatedly lie in the document,” Nishihara said, referring to Martinez’ applications.

"PSD doesn’t want to admit that they did not verify Martinez’s education claims on her promotion applications and once they found out, turned the other way. They must not have wanted to dig too much deeper and would implicate themselves.”

Nishihara is considering a Senate investigation, saying without verifying Martinez’s college claims the state could face lawsuits over the actions of those she trained….

read … State senator suspects ‘cover-up’ in probe into Public Safety trainer’s credentials

Lawmakers vaping solution?  A Tax Increase, of Course

KHON:  … In light of the latest vaping-related illnesses, lawmakers are hoping to crack down on underage vaping in the next legislative session by making it harder for them to purchase e-cigarette products.

One of the ways they want to do this is by increasing prices.

“By taxing vaping products like we do tobacco and cigarettes, we’re going to make the price higher and make it much more unaffordable for youth to start vaping,” said Rep. Scot Matayoshi, who represents parts of Kailua and Kaneohe….

(Thus cancer researchers will not be losing funding as consumers switch from tobacco to e-cigs.  That should put an end to the hysteria.)

Big Q: Should the Legislature pass stricter regulations on vaping in the next session?

read … Lawmakers planning to crack down on underage vaping

How to reverse loss of Hawaii’s primary care doctors

SA: … Many of the doctors quitting practice or moving to the mainland blame HMSA’s payment transformation for failing to increase primary care pay enough to cover increased staffing and practice overhead required by the payment model.

HMSA’s payment transformation relies on pay-for-quality incentives and adjustments for severity of illness that depend on detailed documentation and data reporting — and the model attempts to reward doctors who provide this documentation and reduces payment for those who don’t, creating winners and losers.

According to a Hawaii Medical Association survey of primary care doctors, less than a quarter are happy with the model and doing better financially, and around 60% say their practices are doing worse financially, many to the point that they cannot keep their doors open much longer.

Doctors new to practice are faring worse than those with large, established practices. The complexity of the new payment model makes cash flow and practice expenses impossible to predict, so doctors coming out of training are unwilling to go into independent practice, and far more are leaving Hawaii for the mainland than the reverse….

read …  How to reverse loss of Hawaii’s primary care doctors

In 1921, Hawaiian homesteaders leased land on Molokai. Families now nearing lease renewal

HNN: … Current homestead residents in Kalama`ula and Ho`olehua can extend their leases another 100 years. To do so, residents will need to make a request through the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and with approval of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

For more information on that, click here. …

read … In 1921, Hawaiian homesteaders leased land on Molokai. Families now nearing lease renewal

Hawaii Gets $50M to Promote Youth Literacy—Gives it to the DoE Instead!

HNN: … The state’s (useless) Education Department has been awarded a five-year, $50 million federal grant to boost literacy development at Hawaii public schools.

The Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant is designed to expose student to dual language opportunities, advance third grade literacy skills, and improve family education and engagement….

Reality: Several schools see proficiency rates in math fall to single digits

read … DOE awarded $50M federal grant to boost literacy skills in kids

Hawaii Struggling To Find Out If Full-Face Snorkel Masks Are Dangerous

CB: … The counties have been unable to collect enough data on the type of mask worn in drowning incidents to draw any conclusions yet….

“Everyone is really quick to indict these full face masks,” said Ralph Goto, who is on a snorkeling safety steering committee and co-chairs a multi-agency drowning prevention committee.

“Part of me wants to agree with them,” he said. “But the rational part says we don’t have any evidence.”

Of 112 snorkeling-related drownings in Hawaii from 2014 to 2018, there was information on the type of mask worn in just 16% of the incidents. A full-face mask was worn in five drownings and a traditional two-piece mask and snorkel was worn in 11 drownings, according to state health department data….

SA: Diver, 64, dies after apparently being struck by boat off Kauai

read … Snorkel Rentals Kill

Satisfaction study ranks Hawaii airports among the worst

SA: … Daniel K. Inouye International Airport nearly tops a list of this year’s worst airports for customer satisfaction, mainly because of construction, which tends to delay passengers and sour their travel experiences.

Only LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport were rated worse out of the 62 airports measured as part of the annual J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, which is in its 14th year….

Big Q: Do you agree with the new J.D. Power survey that ranks Honolulu’s airport among the worst in North America for customer satisfaction?

read … Satisfaction study ranks Hawaii airports among the worst

Hawaii Groups Returning To Court To Force FAA To Adopt Air Tour Management Plans For Parks

NPT: … Unsatisfied with how the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service have responded to a lawsuit to force them to implement air tour management plans for airspace over national parks, two groups are heading back to court to force the agencies to accomplish that goal.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono argued in the latest lawsuit that the FAA and NPS, facing a potential court order, vowed to take action but are "offering little relief from noisy air tours droning over national parks."

It was 20 years ago that the National Park Air Tour Management Act of 2000 was implemented and required the FAA, in coordination with the NPS, to set limits on overflight numbers, timing, and routes to protect park resources and the visitor experience.  Despite more than 47,000 park overflights annually, FAA and NPS have yet to adopt a single air tour management plan, according to PEER….

read … Groups Returning To Court To Force FAA To Adopt Air Tour Management Plans For Parks

Land Use Commission again will convene to determine landfill’s fate

SA: … The city finally might win its long-running quest to win state approval to extend the life of Oahu’s only municipal landfill, but not if neighbors of the West Oahu facility have anything to do with it.

The state Land Use Commission on Wednesday is again scheduled to take action on a special use permit application that would allow the Department of Environmental Services to continue operating the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill next to the Kahe power plant….

read … Land Use Commission again will convene to determine landfill’s fate

Hawaii GOP Leaders Stand By Their Man Trump

CB: … “Impeachment was mentioned as the solution to the Trump presidency since the 2016 election,” said Rep. Gene Ward, the Hawaii House minority leader. “From what I have seen thus far, I do not believe the president has committed a high crime or misdemeanor.”

Ward said he hoped the Congress would keep the nation’s well-being in mind as it pursues its inquiry, and that he agreed with Pelosi that impeachment would need to be bipartisan in order to have legitimacy.

“However to me, the best impeachment trial will be held on November 3, 2020, and will be determined by the people of the United States,” he said via email….

read … Hawaii GOP Leaders Stand By Their Man Trump

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