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Sunday, January 26, 2020
January 26, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:27 PM :: 1396 Views

Heat Map.JPG

Partners in Care Releases ‘Heat Map’ of Homeless Camps Based on 2020 PIT Survey … LINK

OHA Audit: Don’t Let Them Double Up!

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted January 25, 2020

Full Text: DBEDT Releases Housing Planning Study

Report: HIOSH has the Ethics of a Used Car Salesman

Auditor: CIP Management Gets Even Worse

Where The Homeless Are--Oahu 'Heat Map'

Nearly 7,000 become homeless in 2019 on Oahu

SA: … Oahu was overwhelmed with 6,924 people who became newly homeless in 2019. That number erased the 616 homeless people per month, on average, who were placed into “permanent housing” across all islands….

“You have new people falling into homelessness every day,” said Scott Mori­shige, the state’s homeless coordinator. “As much as we’re concentrating on the chronically homeless, those with the highest level of need, there are also new people coming into the system.”

(Missing word: “Meth.”)

In his State of the State address last week, Gov. David Ige made a remarkable claim about Hawaii’s progress in getting homeless people off the street and into permanent housing.

Not only has Hawaii increased the percentage of people getting into permanent housing by 73% between 2016 and 2019, Ige said, but the average number of people moving into permanent housing each month was “over 600 homeless individuals. … Those are the statistics.”

Morishige said Ige’s statement was not only accurate, but actually underreported Hawaii’s progress.

Permanent housing situations do not include homeless shelters.

But they do include fair market “Housing First” apartments that are subsidized through government vouchers; “rapid re-housing” programs that provide one-time rental or utility assistance for homeless families to get them rehoused before they settle into a life on the street; or by homeless people reuniting with families or moving in with friends.

To put Ige’s numbers in perspective, Hawaii outreach workers and volunteers counted 6,448 homeless people across all islands during the 2019 nationwide Point in Time Count that was conducted at this time last year.

So placing an average of 616 homeless people into permanent housing each month roughly meant that a total of 7,392 people — or 900 more people than were counted in the entire statewide Point in Time Count — got housed last year.

“The reason is because we have that influx of new people falling into homelessness,” Morishige said….

just on Oahu, he said, an estimated 14,870 individuals received homeless services — and 6,924 of them (or 47%) were “new” to the homeless service system in 2019….

SA: Fix mental-health system, for sake of all

read … Nearly 7,000 become homeless in 2019 on Oahu

Leong’s New Job: Box up the Skeletons in Caldwell’s Closet

Shapiro: … Mayor Kirk Caldwell hopes to find a new job for Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, out on paid leave since getting a target letter from federal prosecutors. She can box up the skeletons to hide in the closet before a new mayor is elected in November….

Acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto said law enforcers are pursuing two crime rings that have put Oahu on edge. Besides the one that was operating out of the prosecutor’s office?

Loretta Sheehan, the only police commissioner to call out former Chief Louis Kealoha’s corruption and oppose his $250,000 retirement payoff, was abruptly ousted as commission chairwoman. Our city can handle only so much integrity.

Oahu rail is six years behind schedule and $4 billion over budget, but CEO Andrew Robbins boasted it’s kept on time and on budget “for three years now.” It’s like a football coach giving up 72 points in the first quarter and then saying, “Well, we stopped them on the last three plays.” …

Related: Target Letter?  No Problem!  Caldwell, Amemiya Attempting to Bring Donna Leong Back to Work in Administration

read … Surviving the Legislature means lifeboats and oven mitts

Ige has no Plan to Build TMT

Borreca: … In conclusion, however, Ige touched on the subject that will haunt his own Hawaii stewardship: the failure to see through or even start construction of what is to be the largest telescope in the world on Mauna Kea.

Repeatedly, Native Hawaiian demonstrations with their physical barricades have forced the Ige administration to retreat.

Since 2015, Ige has made both concessions and compromises to the protesters. The scope of the project has been redrafted, pledges to reform the operation of telescopes on Mauna Kea have been given, all court orders have been followed with the project in compliance. But the demonstrators have not agreed to any changes to allow both the Thirty Meter Telescope and a way to honor the mountain in Hawaiian culture.

In last week’s speech Ige could only offer metaphysical musing on aloha spirit….

read … Gov. David Ige’s State of the State address breaks no new ground — just like embattled TMT project

Rate hike blasted: Opposition mounts to Young Brothers’ request for 34% increase

HTH: … Hawaii Island residents have an opportunity to respond to the state’s only regulated interisland ocean cargo shipping company’s request for a 34% rate increase.

The state Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a pair of meetings on Young Brothers LLC’s rate hike application filed Sept. 25. The first meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday at the West Hawaii Civic Center’s County Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ana Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona. The second is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Aupuni Center, 101 Aupuni St., Suite 1 in Hilo….

Included in the proposal is a 25% rate hike for automobiles and shipping containers and 60% for items that take up less than an entire container. For Young Brothers, which makes a dozen port calls a week using tugboats and barges — including stops in Hilo and Kawaihae harbors — that would mean an additional $27 million in revenue….

“Anytime shipping to the neighbor islands goes up, you’re going to see prices go up,” Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, told the Tribune-Herald. “And the consumer is ultimately going to be the one who’s taking the brunt of it, especially because retailers are going to have to raise their prices. … Or you may see some retailers closing because they just can’t afford to do business in Hawaii anymore.”…

Strong opposition to the proposed rate hike was voiced in meetings previously held in Honolulu and on Maui, Molokai and Kauai, and written testimony online also is overwhelmingly in opposition.

Written testimony on the proposal, docket No. 2019-0117, can be submitted online at puc.hawaii.gov or mailed to Public Utilities Commission, 465 S. King St. #103, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Reality: Young Brothers Rate Hike Proposal Based on Fraudulent Numbers

read … Rate hike blasted: Opposition mounts to Young Brothers’ request for 34% increase

Case continues quest to change Jones Act

WHT: … Case, a Democrat who represents urban Honolulu, said he didn’t seek co-sponsors before introducing the measures, which are similar but not identical to three bills he introduced in 2003, when he represented rural Honolulu and the neighbor islands in the U.S. House. The previous bills, which sought to exempt Hawaii and its agriculture — and in particular, livestock — from the Jones Act, died in committee without hearings.

“I thought it was more important to introduce them first and then start talking about it,” Case said. “I put them in there to get the conversation going. I can go out and find my friends after the fact.”

One current measure would exempt all U.S. locations not contiguous to the mainland from the Jones Act. The second would set a “reasonable rate” domestic shippers can charge as no more than 10% above international shipping rates for comparable routes. The third would rescind the Jones Act wherever only one or two ocean shipping companies serve U.S. ports in noncontiguous locations.

Case said he “isn’t sure” if the measures will get committee hearings this year.

“I think we’re just going to have to keep shedding light on what the situation is and why we pay so much in Hawaii,” he said. “I think for generations we have kind of taken it for granted that we have to pay so much for everything in Hawaii. So it’s gotten into our consciousness that there’s nothing we can do about it — and that’s not right.”….

Case’s stand on the Jones Act puts him on opposite sides of the issue from the historical stance taken by his congressional colleagues from Hawaii, Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, sea transportation companies spent more than $20 million on lobbying in 2019, with Matson spending $340,000.

Schatz has received almost $350,000 and Hirono more than $250,000 from shipping industry-related political action committees and individuals. Gabbard, who’s running for president and says she’s no longer accepting corporate contributions or PAC money, reported almost $79,000 in similar donations.

“The Jones Act lobby is very, very powerful in Washington and across the country,” Case said.

Despite an apparent lack of interest in Washington in changing the Jones Act, Case thinks his message is starting to resonate in the community.

“That wasn’t the case 20 years ago when I started asking these questions,” he said. “Matson was busy trying to actually squash any conversation on the Jones Act. They were pretty successful. But it didn’t last, and there’s much more conversation about it. And if there’s any benefit, thus far, to the discussion, it means that more people are looking over the shoulder of folks like Matson.”

A June 28, 2018, essay by the libertarian think tank Cato Institute is titled: “The Jones Act: A Burden America Can No Longer Bear,” while the conservative-leaning Grassroot Institute of Hawaii called the Jones Act “protectionist” and described Matson’s statement about Case’s legislation as “the same old discredited arguments.”

An essay posted this month on the website of the U.S. Naval Institute, a think tank on national defense and security issues, stated the Merchant Marine hit its peak numbers-wise in 1951, with 1,288 ships. As of Sept. 15, 2019, the U.S. commercial fleet had dwindled to 180 ships with “99 in the coastal Jones Act trade and the remainder in international commerce.”…

read … Case continues quest to change Jones Act

Legal battle over e-signatures pursued amid effort to impeach Honolulu prosecutor

HNN: … Those wanting Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro impeached have taken their case to a federal judge.

Friday, attorney Keith Kiuchi filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to weigh in on the city’s rejection of electronic signatures, based on the federal E-sign Act.

It’s the issue holding up the process to oust Kaneshiro, an effort that has been met with obstacles for Tracy Yoshimura.

Yoshimura, a local businessman filed two petitions, both exceeding the required number of signatures for impeachment. But the city’s corporation counsel office told Yoshimura that they ‘elected’ not to accept e-signatures, which Yoshimura says violates the federal law….

His term ends on Dec. 31, but if he’s not impeached earlier, he will continue to collect his $177,000 annual salary….

Kaneshiro isn’t the only one on the FBI’s radar in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. First Deputy Chasid Sapolu also went on leave after receiving a subject letter, which is one step below the target letter.

The man who stepped in for Kaneshiro, Acting Prosecuting Attorney, Dwight Nadamoto, has already testified twice before the federal grand jury that will decide if his boss is indicted for criminal wrongdoing….

read … Legal battle over e-signatures pursued amid effort to impeach Honolulu prosecutor

Kahauiki Village celebrates second anniversary

KITV: … Since it opened two years ago, it's been able to provide housing to more than 70 families, giving them stability, work opportunities, job skills, and family programs. The Institute for Human Services works closely with village residents to keep them off the streets, and thriving.

IHS Executive Director Connie Mitchell said, "If you don't think that our community is making great strides to end homelessness, look no further than right here." In partnership with Hawaii Pacific Health, Saturday's activities included physical exams, biometric screenings, food, and fun for the kids including giveaways and prizes.

In the next few months, the village is scheduled to open its third and final housing phase. It will welcome its 100th family before summer….

read … Kahauiki Village celebrates second anniversary with "Village with Wellness Day"

Soft on Crime: Career violent criminal released after burglary, his second arrest in one week

KHON: … Ulysses Kim, who made national headlines 27 years ago, after taking a news camera-man hostage, has been arrested for the second time in just a week, this time for burglary at a downtown Honolulu business yesterday.

A tenant reported Kim was inside the property when the tenant got to work Friday morning. Kim had damaged property inside and was armed with a metal pipe.

Officers had to search for Kim with guns drawn after Kim hid inside the building following his first encounter with the tenant.

According to police, Kim was no longer in custody as of Friday afternoon but police are continuing to investigate. Prosecutors say that no case was yet referred to them to review for any charges.

Kim was just arrested last week for criminal contempt of court.

Kim’s arrests for violent crimes spans decades. He has 14 prior convictions including robbery, kidnapping and firearms offenses, and multiple parole revocations….

read … Soft on Crime

$24M found in Kauai Water Department pensions

TGI: … The Kauai Department of Water pension fund holds $24.6 million, almost all of which is excess funding. That money comes from water service rates and fees, both of which have risen significantly in recent years.

The DOW increased its rates by around half between 2012 and 2014, which was the year water-main hook-up fees were tripled, and an ongoing study commissioned by the water department recommends another 30% rate hike, according to county Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull.

Hull sits on the Board of Water Supply, and said during a meeting Friday that it is “entirely unacceptable” to raise user rates while “sitting on $24 million.”

According to a 2017 report by the City and County of Honolulu Board of Water Supply, residential monthly water bills on Kauai are dramatically higher than elsewhere in the state. The average homeowner in Kauai County pays $84.55 a month for water. Honolulu residents are second-highest, with an average rate of $66.72, and Hawaii and Maui County averages are both under $60 a month….

read … $24M found in DOW pensions

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