Pearl Harbor, Civil Rights, and Hawaii Statehood
Mitsunaga, Rail Contractors Poured Money into Ige Campaign
PR: The Democrat raised $2.4 million overall, according to his final state campaign-finance report for the November election, and had a $435,029 surplus. Here are the donors who gave the maximum $6,000 to his campaign in the days before the vote....
Mitsunaga, Roberts Hawaii, Towill, Parsons Brinkoff, other developers .... and don't forget internet nudie site entrepreneur Scott Banister....
read ... List of Ige Max Donors
Ige Spent $11.25 per Vote
SA: ...Gov. David Ige spent $2 million on his historic campaign — or roughly $11.25 a vote.
The Democrat raised $2.4 million overall, according to his final state campaign-finance report for the November election, and had a $435,029 surplus.
Ige is the first candidate for governor who voluntarily agreed to stay under the state's spending limit to qualify for public funds to win since Gov. Ben Cayetano in 1994. He agreed to stay under the spending cap, which was $1.5 million in the primary and $1.5 million in the general election. He met the threshold for public funds for the general election, and received $105,000 in public money, which his campaign used toward a television advertising buy in the week before the vote....
Former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican candidate, spent $1.5 million, or about $11.44 a vote. He raised $1.6 million overall and had a $105,199 surplus.
Hannemann spent about $286,275, or roughly $6.66 a vote. He raised more than $383,425 and closed with a $9,647 deficit due to debts owed. The former mayor loaned his campaign $25,000 in late October.
read ... $11.25 a vote
Thousands join Gov. Ige in inauguration celebration dinner
HNN: The governor showed his frugality with the ticket prices, which started at just $75 each for unreserved, open seating. There was also an option of paying $2,500 for a reserved table for ten.
The Governor and First Lady said the ticket price covered the cost of the event.
"We weren't trying to raise money," said Ige. "It was really about pricing at the lowest price point that we could."
The event had a heavy emphasis on Hawaii's public schools, starting with the conch shell blown by Castle High School junior Tevan Tibayan. The Hawaii state song, "Hawai'i Pono'i," was performed by sixth graders Kalama Arquette of Ke Kula Kaiapuni 'o Nanakuli Hawaiian Immersion School and Jordhan Spencer of Makaha Elementary School.
There was also a performance by the Pearl City High School marching band, in full uniform.
Some of Ige's predecessors also attended, including early supporters Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi, as well as John Waihee.
While the night was a celebration for Ige and Tsutsui, even Ige's supporters know there's hard work ahead.
One of those supporters gave Ige a money lei with a note: "Please use in case you need to balance the budget."
Ige laughed, and said, "Yes, you know, we have been working on the budget already."
But for this night, it was a chance for the new governor to take a victory lap.
Ige said he will also visit all the neighbor islands for "mahalo events" in the coming weeks.
KHON: Ige/Tsutsui enjoying inauguration celebration
read ... Thousands join Gov. Ige in inauguration celebration dinner
Soft Cop: Insurance Div Approves 8.4% HMSA Rate Hike
PBN: Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito approved an 8.4 percent increase for Hawaii Medical Service Association individual transitional, or "grandmother," plans on Friday, cutting the original request for a 19 percent increase by 10.6 percentage points.
The state Insurance Division said Friday that the approval will save health plan purchasers $2.3 million in health care premium costs, estimating the decision will affect about 8,250 HMSA members.
Background: HMSA 19% Rate Hike -- Family Plan $2073/month
read ... 'Only' 8.4%
Kauai Council to Vote on GMO Tax Veto Override
KGI: ...The Kauai County Council will decide next week if they want to reconsider a bill that would have established three separate categories for all agricultural properties — pasture, diversified agriculture and biotech research — when real property tax assessments are conducted.
That measure, Bill 2546, was passed by the previous seven-member board about two weeks ago and vetoed by Bernard Carvalho Jr. on Wednesday, marking only the second time that the three-term mayor has used his executive power to veto a bill.
“I don’t think he understands the bill or I don’t understand his message,” said Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who introduced many of the amendments in the vetoed bill. “I would like to have the full council to have a chance to vote on the issue.”
Council Chair Mel Rapozo, who along with Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa, cast the dissenting votes against the bill last month, said he will support the mayor’s veto.
“I think the questionable legality needs to be addressed,” Rapozo said. “I’m not interested in passing legislation that will incur litigation.”
What’s not yet certain is whether recently elected Councilman Arryl Kaneshiro, a project specialist at Grove Farm Company, will need to recuse himself from the matter.
read ... Override
Resolve cases of misconduct at DOE faster
SA: The scope of this problem is small, but the impact is broad. These long unresolved cases exact an economic toll on the DOE, and directly affect the accused employees, any alleged victims and the broader school communities.
There are several reasons cases drag out. One is a lack of investigators within the DOE. Another is a lack of training for supervisors, mainly principals, who initiate investigations. Some reflexively place employees on paid leave, when not every accusation warrants that. A third is that there doesn't seem to be any policy compelling the DOE to hurry up. And, finally, some accused employees refuse to speak to investigators, stalling any resolution.
The DOE should tackle the first problem by redeploying department resources to train more people for this job; currently there are two full-time investigators within the DOE's human resources office.
To address the second and third problems, the Board of Education should follow the lead of school systems such as the Los Angeles Unified School District, which specifies types of misconduct that trigger paid administrative leave and imposes a 120-day time limit to complete investigations.
The DOE's Human Resources office has drafted a manual, which is now being reviewed by the attorney general, that spells out what circumstances warrant an investigation and when it is appropriate to put an employee on leave. This is a crucial step toward a more fair, transparent system.
read ... Resolve cases of misconduct at DOE faster
City Removes 14 Tons of Trash from Homeless Camps
SA: City crews removed items left behind Friday morning by homeless campers at Kaneohe District Park in its continuing effort to enforce the stored property ordinance.
"The city does these types of enforcements four to five days a week at unannounced times and locations," Jesse Broder Van Dyke, city spokesman said.
Last week, these cleanup operations by crews from the city departments of Facility Maintenance and Parks and Recreation occurred in Waikiki and at the Nehoa Street drainage canal. Other locations in November included Kakaako, Kailua and Kohou Street.
In November, city crews removed 14.3 tons of homeless people's items from various locations on Oahu, Broder Van Dyke said....
read ... Tweekers Hoard
Kona residents mull land use process
WHT: ...some West Hawaii residents think there should be more transparency and education, as well as better resources for enforcement and participation.
Twenty-one people attended a state Planning Office meeting Wednesday at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, where officials gathered input about the state’s land use process, specifically district boundary amendment procedures. Such amendments are obtained by petition to the state Land Use Commission and initiated by the state, county or “any person with a direct interest in the property sought to be reclassified.”
The meeting was among five held statewide....
read ... Kona residents mull land use process