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Sunday, June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:21 PM :: 3999 Views

2014 Hawaii elections: May campaign ads roundup

It's All About Delivering Value

DePledge: Republican Legislative candidates are a bunch of Christians 

PR: Republicans are overdue to correct some of the political imbalance at the Legislature. But many of the GOP’s prospects are religious conservatives who were motivated to run by last year’s special session on gay marriage, a trend that could alienate moderate voters the party needs to compete.

(Depledge then proceeds to describe nearly every Republican legislative candidate solely in terms of their religious affiliations and on that basis, predict their defeat.  The purpose is to help Democrat candidates develop a rationale for reelection.)

read ... The Rundown (primary 2014)

Cayetano vs PRP: You're corrupt so you have no right to say I'm corrupt

Borreca: During Cayetano's uphill campaign for mayor in 2012, PRP may not have lied in the particular, but their commercials absolutely deconstructed the truth.

The irony of the PRP campaign was that it darkly claimed that Cayetano while governor ran a "pay-to-play" scheme to force money from contractors in return for government business.

First, if that were true on its face, it is illegal under state and federal laws. Second, the claim is being made by one of the biggest hidden conglomerations of people who benefit from the construction industry.  (LOL!)

(Translation: You're corrupt so you have no right to say I'm corrupt!)

The hypocrisy of PRP came from its executive director, John White, who assisted in the campaign and defended it and today will not talk about the apology.

Mazie Hirono was Cayetano's lieutenant governor; she also received contributions that were ruled illegal. When she served in Congress Hirono's executive assistant was John White, but there is no discussion about "pay-to-play" involving Hirono from White....

What can be said is that PRP showed the way to a new depth of negative campaigning that will hurt, not help, Hawaii('s political elite to stay in power.  Above all, we must remember to avoid opening Pandora's box as explained >>> here.)

Reality: Pay to Play: Will Cayetano Retaliate Against Hirono?

read ... Cayetano wins vindication for PRP’s smear campaign

Housing First Keeps Promise Broken 50 Years Ago

SA: Honolulu is part of the "25 Cities" initiative, a coalition of U.S. cities with high concentrations of chronically homeless that is working to implement Housing First and leverage federal funding, including grants, Medicaid and Social Security disability payments, to help lower the burden on state taxpayers.

The need is acute on Oahu. The island's homeless population has risen 30 percent since 2009, to a total of 4,712 individuals, according to the city's 2014 census. Of those, 1,633 were "unsheltered," meaning they did not reside in emergency shelters or transitional housing. The increase in the number of severely mentally ill homeless people is especially alarming; 924 such individuals were counted on Oahu this past January, including 521 men and women who were unsheltered.

These are people who, 50 years ago, might have been institutionalized against their will, before U.S. courts, and society overall, recognized that such confinements were unjust and unconstitutional. The promise then was that community-based group homes and other supportive housing would replace inhumane institutions and provide a decent existence for disabled people who cannot fend for themselves. That did not happen.

Today it strains the very notion of aloha to see an old man, slumped in a wheelchair, cowering in a King Street doorway in the middle of the night, or an elderly woman, wearing only a hospital gown, screaming into traffic as she aims her walker toward Ala Moana Boulevard.

Sadly, these are not uncommon scenes in urban Honolulu. With this budget, the city comes closer to fulfilling the promise of Housing First for the mentally ill. It's only a start, and a flawed one at that.

read ... City Council falls short on homeless issue

Honolulu’s failure to assist the homeless is an issue of both public health and social injustice

DN: Evidence-based solutions such as Housing First exist only as plans. That accomplishes… nothing.

If one must resort to economic arguments (what else will move an uncaring City Council?), they should know that they may be paying for their tightfistedness anyway:

In the United States and Canada, about 24 percent of the homeless are hospitalized each year. About 75 percent of hospitalized homeless persons are hospitalized for conditions that are often preventable, such as substance abuse, mental illness, trauma, respiratory disorders, skin disorders, and infectious diseases except AIDS—a rate 15 times that in the general population.  Following hospital discharge, 40 percent of homeless persons are readmitted to the hospital within 14 months, usually with the same diagnosis.

[Social Injustice and Public Health, p. 181] [see original for references]

Add to healthcare costs the high costs of repeated raids and sweeps. Someone on the City Council should dust off their abacus and disclose what continued neglect has cost taxpayers. And it’s reported that the number of homeless people living on the streets increases each year. Hint: do something to keep people in their homes. Face up to your responsibilities....

Homelessness in Honolulu is both a public health issue and a social injustice issue. Newspaper letter writers and many undemocratic Democrats among our lawmakers assert that those living at the edge of the sidewalks are exercising some kind of rational choice. Accordingly, they become undeserving of public assistance.... Poverty, and in the extreme, homelessness, is not a rational choice issue....

Destroying someone’s  property with a sledgehammer ought to be a crime, but seems not to be, and doesn’t help a bit. Pushing our city government to take action will help....

read ... Housing First

Property acquisition for rail falls far behind

SA: Since 2009, delays from awarding contracts too early and court-ordered halts on construction have already cost taxpayers at least $116 million to help build Oahu's rail transit line.

Now, rail officials find themselves in yet another race against time to avoid yet another round of costly delays — this time heading into 2015, when construction on the 20-mile rail line is supposed to ramp up in the heart of Honolulu.

For construction to stay on schedule, project officials say, they must negotiate 146 separate agreements by the end of this year to buy full or partial properties and obtain road easements along the elevated rail line's easternmost stretch into town.

However, a court-ordered injunction in the federal lawsuit to stop rail, enacted at the end of 2012 and lifted in February, has them far behind where they should be in that process....

Grabauskas said it's already unavoidable that HART, a semiautonomous agency overseeing rail's completion, will have to spend at least several million more dollars to hire more staff and increase support from consultants and property acquisition experts to play catch-up before the year ends.

He further criticized the effort to stop the project in federal court, led by retired businessman Cliff Slater, former Gov. Ben Cayetano, and University of Hawaii law professor Randy Roth, as potentially creating a "self-fulfilling prophecy" of more cost overruns due to the delays stemming from the court injunction.

"The negative ramifications of these lawsuits continue," Grabauskas said. "The situation today is property costs more than it did 18 months ago. We're going to have to pay additional money."

Slater adamantly disagreed that rail opponents are to blame.

"He's really got his nerve," Slater said of Grabauskas Thursday. "The delay in the lawsuit was only brought about by the city."

read ... Rail Falls Far Behind

At new luxe Kakaako condo, only the richest need apply

Shapiro: The 171 units at Waiea are priced from $1.5 million for one bedroom to $20 million for garden-variety penthouses.

This is workforce housing if you work as a bank vice president and up — way up.

A "grand penthouse" with its own pool is expected to sell for just under $100 million....

An investor from Malaysia said she likes the building's address, 1118 Ala Moana Blvd., because "1118 is a good number in Cantonese. It means every day, every day, every day you are making money."...

To clear the way for Waiea to be all-luxury, the Hawaii Community Development Authority allowed Hughes to meet a requirement for "moderately priced" housing by cramming 424 units into a 400-foot tower that doesn't meet setback rules on a small lot at 404 Ward.

HCDA uses the old Burger King model for regulating Kakaako developers: "Have it your way."...

After waxing eloquent on Honolulu's special sense of place, Caldwell compared the city's future to Asian capitals such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Any more questions about who these condos are for?

read ... $100M Penthouse?

Skip Common Core scores in evaluations -- Next Step for DoE

SA: Hawaii and the more than three dozen other states that have adopted the Common Core standards are being urged by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — which has pumped millions into the national education benchmarks — to hold off on using test scores based on the standards for high-stakes decisions like teacher evaluations.

While the U.S. Education Department has said the foundation's suggested "blanket moratorium" isn't the best approach, schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said the recommendation "is definitely something that we would look at as we go forward."

The possibility of postponing the use of test scores in Hawaii's teacher evaluations was not one of the 18 changes the department announced last week to simplify its evaluation system, but Matayoshi said the first round of changes are just a start.

"It's a first modification, and we'll continue to look at issues that are still outstanding," she said. "Next year will bring more data, and we will be taking a look at that as well."

read ... Gates Foundation Chokes

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