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Thursday, July 23, 2015
July 23, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:28 PM :: 4348 Views

Full Text: Kanaiolowalu Roll Published

Mother of Murdered Baby Challenges Hawaii Child Abuse Registry

Strange News: DoE Builds School on Time, Under Budget

Income qualifications for free/reduced lunch updated for SY 2015-16

UH research funding up after years of decline

Illegal and Dishonest Scheme to Slip Rail Tax Hike Thru Council

SA: Honolulu’s Council chairman on Wednesday proposed the city consider using some of the hundreds of millions of dollars from a five-year rail tax extension to help Oahu businesses hard-hit by rail construction.

However, Chairman Ernie Martin’s suggestion comes as the Council has yet to even approve the controversial extension of the Oahu general excise tax surcharge. Gov. David Ige authorized the extension earlier this month, but it still needs the Council’s nod. Martin has previously said that such approval would not be granted lightly.

His idea of using state rail tax funds to help businesses would have to pass several other hurdles, too: It’s not clear yet whether federal policy allows those dollars to compensate businesses trying to stay afloat amid all the rail construction and traffic....

The issue came up during the Council Budget Committee’s latest discussion of Bill 42, a measure that would make grants and loans available to rail-impacted businesses. City officials have been working on the idea for several months now, and the committee on Wednesday unanimously advanced the bill. It now goes before the full Council Aug. 5, but its members still don’t know where they’ll draw the money or at what amount....

Added Councilman Trevor Ozawa: “What happens if we gain the rail and we lose everything else?” ...

The five-year rail tax extension that state lawmakers approved this year aims to raise some $1.8 billion to help rail climb out of a budget hole as deep as $910 million. It would also give the project plenty of contingency for any other issues that arise. On Wednesday, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Chief Financial Officer Diane Arakaki told Council members that the agency’s preliminary figures show the extension could raise closer to $1.5 billion.

The Council would have to work with the Legislature to tweak the state law allowing the tax extension so that those construction dollars could go toward businesses, too, Martin added. That effort could happen next year at the earliest, even with construction already in full swing.

read ... Illegal and Dishonest

NextEra purchase of HEI not dead, expert says

HNN: The sale of Hawaiian Electric could still happen, in spite of high-level opposition from Gov. David Ige and his administration, according to Ted Peck, the state’s energy administrator under former Gov. Linda Lingle.

"So it's not that this deal is a bad deal, necessarily, it's that that case hasn't been made to people's satisfaction," said Peck, who was part of a business group that unsuccessfully tried to buy Hawaiian Electric four years ago.

He said Florida-based NextEra Energy still has the time to answer critics' concerns and convince state regulators its takeover of electric companies on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island would be good for ratepayers.

But if the sale dies?

"It's not the end of the world if the deal doesn't go through," Peck said.

read ... Know Them by What They Deny

Hawaii Solar Energy Assoc President Resigns in Protest

PBN: ...“I’m getting very clear where the industry needs to go and it’s not in concert with everyone,” DeBone told PBN....

In his resignation letter to Leslie Cole-Brooks, executive director of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and to the members of its board, DeBone said that in his position as HSEA’s president, he felt constricted from publicly stating his personal positions on key issues pertaining to the solar industry.

“In light of new developments for myself personally and professionally, I have decided that now is the best time for me to step into these challenges without accepting just the status quo, which will ultimately entail me to devote an abundance of time, focus and energy,” he said. “There are some in our industry who are more focused on the sustainability of their particular business model, rather than the sustainability goals of our state and the people who live here.”...

read ... Resigns in Protest

Hawaiian Educational Achievement 'Grounded in Faith'

CB: Hawaiian language and culture could also soon become a much bigger part of curriculum for all students in the state.

“One of the reasons for the Office of Hawaiian Education is because I think students who are not in immersion schools, who are not in culture-based or culture-focused schools, they are not gaining the knowledge, the benefit of truly understanding this place and culture and traditions,” DOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “We need to revitalize the classrooms for the other 180,000 students who live here.”

Doing that, Matayoshi said, will involve changing the perception that studying Hawaiian is a “second class” issue and making the wider community understand the importance and value of Hawaiian education.

“We are in the midst of an education revolution,” said Dawn Kaui Sang, the state’s first director for the Office of Hawaiian Education....

“The Unabomber made good grades. So is that success?” asked Nolan Malone, an educational consultant and summit speaker. “Let’s focus on what’s important.”

One of the most important values that the groups identified was for young adults to have a strong sense of identity. Young Hawaiians should be grounded and have a sense of place. Other answers included having a strong sense of responsibility and community.

Many of the values identified by the groups aligned with the BOE policy adopted earlier this year for the state, Kahumoku said. That policy states that the DOE should work as a system with the community to “strengthen a sense of belonging, responsibility, excellence, aloha, total-well-being and Hawaii (BREATH) in ourselves, students and others.” ...

Information from the conference will be posted online in coming weeks....

read ... Grounded in Faith

Star Adv: DoH Shouldn't Make it too easy to get 'medical' weed

SA: ...the Department of Health is moving to a less cumbersome, online registration system, less cumbersome should not mean totally without substance.  With the expansion of medical marijuana access through dispensaries, the state still needs that information about its use....

read ... Weed scripts online

Hawaii’s Student Travel Still Up in the Air as Free Trips Debated

CB: State Ethics Commission director calls free travel for teachers a conflict of interest, but school superintendent says teachers shouldn’t be expected to pay to work.

read ... Travel?

Rail Dream: Cellphones, Internet, and Obamanomics Quash Cars and Nuclear Family

CB: ...As millennials — by our sheer numerical supremacy — continue to co-opt society and shape it to our liking, our distaste for traditional “car culture” will, hopefully, ease some of the burden on the roads.

Millennials, it is often noted, avoid cars when we can. Those of us born between roughly 1981 and 2000 are less likely to get driver’s licenses, less likely to take road trips, and more likely to get around by alternate modes of transportation....

There are multiple economic and demographic reasons why, according to experts, including our strained finances in the sluggish economy, our own sluggish motivation to start families, our preference to live in urban areas where walking or public transit is cheaper and easier, and the convenience and ubiquity of car-sharing and ride-sharing businesses like Zipcar and Uber.

The Washington Post also points to the fact that my generation has never known consistently cheap gas prices and that the “relative cost of driving” has increased. You can now read and respond to email on your phone, allowing non-driving commuters to start their workday earlier.

There is also an important cultural shift at play....

Those changes in attitude and perspective are obvious to any parent who has been lobbied relentlessly for a new laptop or phone, but not the classic 16th-birthday car....

Best Comment: "Just wait until they start having children. That will change."

Formby, Honolulu DoT: "Thanks Chloe for highlighting the shift in demographic travel preferences."

read ... Will Millennials’ Disdain For Driving Help Oahu’s Traffic Woes?

Tent Count up to 236 at Kakaako

KHON: The last count of the tents in Kaka’ako was 183 that was taken on June 29.

On Wednesday KHON2 drove through and counted 236 tents.

That’s not the only number on the rise.

Recent statistics show an increase in aggravated assaults, simple assaults and thefts.

In fact, police were responding to a fight while our crews were filming.

KITV: Plans to fix Pearl Harbor Historic Trail (and homeless camp) up to community

read ... Kakaako

Assaults in Kakaako soaring

SA: In the first six months of this year, Honolulu police responded to 29 “simple assault” reports compared to just 13 in the first half of 2014....

At the same time, the category of “aggravated assault” jumped to seven in the first six months of this year from only one report in the first half of 2014.

State sheriff’s deputies, who have joint jurisdiction for the area, which includes Kakaako Waterfront Park, saw the number of its “assault” responses increase to 11 in June from six in May.

For just the first 11 days of July, there were five assault complaints. If it holds, the pace of the July responses handled by sheriff’s deputies would surpass the May and June numbers.

The actual number of assault reports handled by sheriff’s deputies could even be higher....

SA: Kids in poverty need our help

read ... Predators, not Victims

Libraries Converted to Daytime Flophouses

KITV: ...homeless who have turned it into a personal hangout....

"In the morning when we open there are lines out the door, and then the homeless people come in," said Hawaii State Library Section Head Edna Weeks.

On Wednesday, the majority of patrons were homeless. Library staff said that is typical during the week....

"They have air conditioning and it is one place where they won't kick you out," said Davis.

"It is a cool, dry place with a bathroom," said Weeks.

Visitors and residents may periodically use library resources or check out books, but the homeless often hang out for hours.

Some read, some sleep, and many use the library's computers.

"There is a lot of Internet use. Sometimes they are just circling looking for a place to get onto the Internet," said Weeks.

Computer use is normally limited to one hour, but if no one else wants the terminal then patrons can stay put.

But the high daily demand by homeless users has some regular library users feeling put out.

"I wish they had more computers, they make me wait all the time," said Halawa Heights resident Stephen Nakasone.

Along with computer congestion, library staffers hear complaints from patrons about disruptive smells from homeless people or their overuse of the bathrooms.

Now some people simply stay away.

"We do hear about people who don't come here anymore because of the homeless problem," said Weeks....

The problem may be most noticeable at the State Library, but other libraries have also been affected by the influx of homeless residents. Each branch has been forced to adjust resources to make sure libraries still run smoothly.

read ... Invasion

11,000 Wait for public housing

KHON: Within the state’s inventory of about 6,000: 239 are completely offline for major construction, another 175 are vacant for minor repairs. That’s actually way down from the 875 units empty as of a few years ago when the current housing director took the job.

LINK: View the full breakdown here

Always Investigating asked, “For years vacancy was a chronic issue, broken-down units, what are you doing to change that?”

“I was told it was going to be bad, but I found out it was worse than bad,” Ouansafi said. “There were units that were vacant for 10 to 12 years, so we were able to immediately attack that.”

With more staff, contractors and money, what used to take three and a half years to reconstruct now can take as little as six months, even for major rebuilding like what’s happening in Palolo Valley.

Elsewhere, vacancies between tenants in ready-to-go units can flip in a few as seven days. That used to be 260 days.

The state wait list is 11,000 names long....

A year ago, the city was going to get out of the affordable housing business in terms of the units. That deal (with buyer Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC) didn’t go through, what’s the status of it now? Does the city still intend to sell its collection of affordable units at this point?

“Currently, we are not making that a priority to sell those units at this time,” said Sandy Pfund of the mayor’s Strategic Development Office....

read ... No.  Its not.

City Council to review ohana housing proposal Thursday

HNN: Since March, Honolulu City Council has been considering a plan that would allow property owners to build accessory dwelling units.

"Our island is faced with an affordable housing crisis.  We need thousands of additional rental units to meet the needs of low income

working families," said District 9 councilman Ron Menor.

Bill 20 would make it easier for homeowners to add a small cottage or addition on their land.  Honolulu's Community Building Administrator says it would allow for construction on up to 100,000  lots on Oahu.

read ... Ohana Housing

City council committee approves settlement in police brutality lawsuit

HNN: A Honolulu city council committee has approved a settlement in a lawsuit filed against the city by a Waipahu man who claimed he was beaten by an off-duty police officer.

Justin Kaawa filed the suit shortly after the April 2011 incident. He said that an unmarked car tailgated his vehicle and flashed its lights near the Makakilo on ramp to the H-1 Freeway. He pulled over after a marked police car showed up. That's when the off-duty officer dragged him out of his car and threw him to the ground.

"He continues to punch me on the back of my head, he maces me in the face again, and after that he lets me -- he slams my head onto the asphalt. Grinds my face in the asphalt," said Kaawa in an interview ten days after the encounter.

Kaawa was hospitalized for two days after the incident. At the time, Honolulu police officials said Kaawa was originally arrested on two counts of assault on a police officer, but no charges were ever filed against him....

read ... Settlement

NCAA hearing for UH postponed again as HGEA Pursues $1.4M 'Grievance' for Unionized Coach

SA:  The hearing into NCAA allegations against the University of Hawaii men’s basketball program has been pushed back again, this time to Oct. 15, parties involved said Wednesday.

The rescheduling means the case likely won’t be decided until the 2015-16 regular season is underway....

Meanwhile, no date has been announced for arbitration in Arnold’s pending grievance against UH or the school’s lawsuit against the ex-coach.

Arnold filed a grievance through his union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, in January over a claim of $1.4 million resulting from his Oct. 28 “without cause” dismissal. The next step is arbitration after mediation failed.

In June UH filed suit in Circuit Court alleging it was owed more than $2,000 by Arnold from a travel advance while he was coach. Bickerton said neither Arnold or the HGEA have been served in that action.

read ... Wage Slave Coach

DOE, companies face $1.1 million fine over illegal dumping allegations

HNN: The state Department of Health is issuing a $1.1 million fine against the Department of Education and several companies over the alleged dumping of toxic soil from Radford High School.

The Health Department alleges the DOE, its contractor and six trucking companies transported more than 2,000 tons of contaminated soil next to D.R. Horton's Mehanna project near the Kapolei Courthouse last year.

The soil has been removed and has been placed in a landfill. But at the time the dirt was placed there, the developer and nearby residents were not aware that the soil contained toxic materials,the Health Department said.

"I believe the culprit is the DOE and the responsibility should fall squarely in their lap," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.

"The DOE knew it was contaminated."

The soil is contaminated because the U.S. Navy operated a landfill on the Radford property before the school was built. According to the DOH, the soil contained unsafe levels of lead, mercury and asbestos.

read ... Illegal Dumping

Caldwell Seeks $1.5M Fee Hike on Recyclers

SA: Major metal recyclers on the island would once again enjoy a substantial discount in disposal fees under a plan making its way through the Honolulu City Council despite objections from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration.

Bill 50 got a preliminary nod from the Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he introduced the measure at the request of Oahu’s metal recyclers.

Major recyclers typically dispose of their recycling residue, the nonrecyclable byproduct left after processing, at either Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill or the HPOWER waste-to-energy facility.

Ross Tanimoto, deputy environmental services director, said reinstating a discount at 65 percent, as proposed in the bill, would cost the city about $1.5 million annually in revenues.

The discount would be on the so-called “tipping fee,” the amount the city charges recyclers to accept their waste, currently $81 per ton plus $25.25 per cubic yard.

read ... More Illegal Dumping

Kauai Council close to losing barking law

KGI: It looks like the barking dog ordinance could be repealed.

A 4-3 committee vote Wednesday signaled that Bill 2590 will succeed on final passage if the sides hold when the council meets Aug. 5 to decide its fate.

It scores a victory for Council Vice-Chair Ross Kagawa, who criticized the less than 2-year-old ordinance as ineffective and an unfair burden on dog owners who he says are not given a fair opportunity to defend themselves from accusations.

“We messed up,” Kagawa said, referring to the council’s past effort to deal with the barking dog problem.

He said he is troubled that the ordinance relies on neighbor complaints and does not require third-party verification or video evidence of a barking dog.

“You can’t only have one side of the story and say it is fair,” he said.

Councilmembers Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kuali’i, Mel Rapozo, and Kagawa voted in favor of repeal, while Mason Chock, Gary Hooser and JoAnn Yukimura voted against....

read ... Priorities

Homosexual Child Molester Gets 29 Years in Federal Prison

SA: A former Pearl City man was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to 29 years and two months in prison for producing images of a minor boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct and making the images available on the Internet.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson also ordered that Ray K. Yokoyama, 54, register as a sex offender, and undergo a lifetime of supervised release following his prison term.

Watson said Yokoyama was previously convicted of impersonating a law enforcement officer, and failed to accept responsibility for his conduct.

Yokoyama has been detained at the Federal Detention Center since his arrest on Jan. 18, 2013....

In court proceedings, Yokoyama admitted taking pictures of a minor boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to information provided in court, the boy was approximately 9 years old at the time.

CNN: Homosexuals Try to Trick Thai Woman into Giving them Baby

read ... Homosexual Child Molester

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