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Friday, July 24, 2015
July 24, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:15 PM :: 4698 Views

Thousands of Hawaiians Fraudulently Added to Kanaiolowalu Roll, 23,000 to be Stripped out by Roll Commission

Report: 51% of Honolulu Roads in Poor Condition

Hawaii Gas Taxes 3rd Highest in USA

Honolulu sewer bonds sell at interest rate higher than bankrupt Detroit

Greece, Puerto Rico and the Jones Act

No More Bee-Pocalypse

Hawaii Councilman Proposes Reforms After P-Card Audit

Hundreds of State Employees, Board Members Refuse to Report Finances

CB: The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is working to ensure compliance with financial disclosure laws but many may face fines....

The reports, which were due June 30, contain information about the person’s income, their ownership or beneficial interests in businesses, creditors, real estate holdings, clients they represent before other state agencies, and any outside boards or companies they serve on.

As of Tuesday, there were 67 state employees and 321 members of boards and commissions who have yet to file their disclosure statement for this year. That’s about 21 percent of everyone who’s required to file by law....

read ... Fines Coming?

Opposition to NextEra: "It all comes down to political influence"

PBN: “It all comes down to details and we just have none from NextEra at this time,” Rep Chris Lee said. “I do have serious concerns about NextEra, about the political influence they wield in other states that could potentially be done here.... a publicly owned, locally owned utility, so I’d definitely much rather prefer to go there....

Flashback Jan 30, 2015: Shakedown: Politicians Demand NextEra Contribute to Democrats Only, NextEra Agrees

read ... Political Influence

Borreca: Door Slammed in NextEra's Face

Borreca: ...the state has moved on with a new energy policy that includes rooftop solar energy and reselling excess energy back to the company, and the electric company is expected to incorporate that in its business model.

NextEra is on the outs, according to Ige, because its business model embraces none of that.

“The business model that we believe in is one that encourages distributed energy. It encourages a person’s own ability to generate their own electricity off their rooftop. It requires smart grids. It requires a business model that requires returns on transmissions separate from the utility, and it does require a model for distributed generation as well,” Ige said at his news conference.

All of these provisos were the items that NextEra did not talk about, said Ige, and he wants the deal tossed.

Ige pointedly noted that the state’s stipulations “are all opposite to the business model embraced by Next-Era.” (Note: KIUC does not embrace rooftop solar either.) 

The governor added that Hawaiian Electric was another disapproved business model, noting, however, “But HECO is here.”

So it might be a busted business model, but it is our busted business model.... (Political influence)

Senate President Ron Kouchi was a founding board member of the Kauai Utility Cooperative, which bought the company from another utility company and operates it as a non-profit. 

It also has a business plan sounding like the one Ige wants, including “aggressively pursuing diversification of its energy portfolio to include a growing percentage of hydropower, photovoltaic, biofuel and biomass.” (But KIUC does not embrace rooftop solar.) 

In an interview, Kouchi said he thinks a co-op would be “a tremendous opportunity” for neighbor island power generation. So now, with Ige frowning at the NextEra deal, some co-op might come for the rest of the state....

For NextEra, that means that when one door closes, another one doesn’t open; it just slams in your face....

WaPo: Is it lights out for Puerto Rico?

read ... Slam Door in Face

PBN: Hawaii’s public schools made steady progress

PBN: The system established annual targets for student attendance, graduation rates, college admittance, student academic proficiency and student growth goals for all schools. The bar was set high for our professional staff and our students.

We should be very proud of their remarkable achievements. As a result of their efforts, Hawaii has seen unprecedented growth in national assessment scores, more students are entering college, fewer are in need of college remediation, more are taking and passing Advanced Placement tests, more schools are being accredited, the achievement gap has narrowed, and our school attendance numbers have shown steady improvements.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated: “Hawaii by any objective measure is one of the fastest-improving states in the nation.”

Education Weekly ranked Hawaii 37th in student achievement in 2010. Its most recent 2015 report on the nation’s schools ranked Hawaii an impressive 18th in student achievement and 23rd, overall....

read ... Steady

The new chairman of the state Board of Education is pursuing the goal of giving more authority to principals

SA: Q: The big initiatives, such as Race to the Top, did show effectiveness. How do you view the role of the department?

A: I view the Department of Education as a support function. You’ve got the principals and the teachers playing the role of the (front) line, and they need the support of the Department of Education to carry out the role.

The ultimate people that we need to serve are our customers, who are the children. And so we need to make sure there’s alignment of the roles — what the line needs in order to meet the needs of the children, and make sure the support side is aligned with the teachers and principals.

Q: But you don’t dismiss the accomplishments of the big initiatives?

A: I think the initiatives had very good intent. You have to have standards; have to have a way to measure the performance of the students.

It boils down to execution and communication. We need to make sure that the goals are effectively communicated to the principals and the teachers. And we need to give them enough time to decide how they want to carry out the goals that are set by the Department of Education, and ultimately the Board of Education. …

Q: But still some room for innovation at the school?

A: Absolutely. I think our job is to ensure the principals and teachers have the ability to execute and carry out and achieve the goals, in a way that they see fit. Because the needs of the children at a particular school differ from the children’s needs at another school — based on income, based on the family situation. …

Background: Education Institute of Hawaii: 'Voice of Hawaii School Principals'

read ... Principals

Bleeding Hears Liberals Let Thugs Take Control of Homeless Camp

SA: ...An attack on July 17 serves to remind that homeless people themselves are perhaps most likely to be victimized, unable to secure themselves or their belongings against predators who wield physical might in a street society that leaves the very young, old and infirm especially at risk.

Potential victims can neither avoid the criminals, who live among them, nor mount a proper defense, given that they and their belongings are continually exposed.

Court records document how on that day, in broad daylight, a homeless man who lives at the camp was robbed, beaten and slashed by a group of young men at the intersection of Ohe and Ilalo streets, after he refused their request to “sample” his bicycle. One hit him with a metal pipe while others slashed him with a knife; his bicycle was stolen.

Police have charged another resident of the homeless encampment in the attack, a 22-year-old man with a history of past arrests.

Other recent violent incidents include the choking of a 34-year-old woman, allegedly by her homeless boyfriend; the punching and attempted robbery of a Kakaako Waterfront Park user, allegedly by a 16-year-old homeless girl; and the infamous beating of state Rep. Tom Brower, who is pursuing charges against the two teenage boys accused of assaulting and robbing him.

These incidents and others highlight how misguided it is for some well-meaning people to urge the city and state to leave the encampment alone. All that laissez-faire attitude does is empower the thugs and bullies who flourish among the diverse Kakaako homeless population, and leave the physically weaker and more peaceable homeless residents with little hope that the government will step in to help.

By allowing this camp to harden so, the city and state government are tacitly condoning the continued existence of an environment that is fueling physical and emotional harm against real people.

read ... Condoning Criminal Control

City official claims plan coming for 'safe haven' for Kakaako homeless

SA: The city plans to open a “safe haven” in the next month to accommodate the growing homeless population in Kakaako, Honolulu Managing Director Roy Amemiya said Thursday.

Amemiya divulged the plan, reluctantly, under questioning by members of the City Council Zoning and Planning Committee who voiced frustration at what they view as a lack of progress by the city in dealing with homelessness. They demanded that Amemiya provide a comprehensive picture of what the Caldwell administration is doing to address homelessness.

The project will be on government-owned land, although Amemiya would not say where it is, which government entity has authority over it, or even describe what a “safe haven” would entail. Pressed to give more details, both by committee members at the meeting and by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser afterward, he declined.

Citing the need to finalize details, Amemiya said Council members and the media would be informed “soon,” in the coming weeks.

AP: New urine-resistant walls in San Francisco shoot back

read ... Moving them onto the Grass

Brower: Attack on Me is Beginning of the Solution

SA: Brower (D, Waikiki-Ala Moana-Kaka­ako) made his announcement Thursday afternoon on the same corner of Ohe and Olomehani streets behind the Children's Discovery Center where he was attacked, then chased by a mob to the front of the Children's Discovery Center.

At the end of Brower's news conference, Rose Pu'u, the mother of the 14-year-old boy who allegedly attacked Brower confronted the lawmaker in a dramatic moment after he finished speaking to reporters.

Pu'u, who is also the aunt of the 17-year-old boy accused in the attack, asked Brower whether he refused to stop taking pictures as the boys have alleged. Brower denied the boys' account and repeated that he was attacked without warning by Pu'u's son, who was riding a skateboard and bumped into the lawmaker.

Pu'u was at first confrontational then broke down in tears as she twice apologized to Brower, who accepted her apology.

"I'm sorry my son done do this," Pu'u said.

She claimed the two boys were "covering up" for someone who is older than they are.

After the two talked, Brower said, "I have to press charges ... This is the beginning of the solution for this neighborhood."

read ... Press Charges

Hawaii State Hospital safety in question after two assaults this week

KHON: On Wednesday, police say a state worker at the facility was put in a headlock and punched repeatedly, pushing the number of attacks on employees at the facility to two attacks in the last three days....

Plans to build a new facility are already in the works, but he says it could still be years away before something happens.

“In the conversation they said six years is how long it would take to build,” said Sen. Green, but he say that’s too long and suggested quicker action to prevent more violence.

“I hope they are hearing about every single attack because it underscores the need to build a confident facility,” said Sen. Green.

KHON2 wanted to know if in the past all assaults were being reported?

“I asked that all violent cases be reported to the deputy director,” said Sen. Green. “At the time it was only 25% of the worst violent acts being reported to her and I thought that was inadequate, because if you don’t know in a real time setting how many acts are occuring you don’t know the urgency to the solve the problem.”

read ... Hospital

National Republicans vote to Liberate Hawaii from Anti-GMO Lunatics--Takai, Gabbard vote against

SA: Both of Hawaii's Democratic House members voted against a bill that prevents states from requiring food companies to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.

The bill passed the House Thursday 275 to 150. U.S. Reps. Mark Takai and Tulsi Gabbard both voted against it.

The House bill is backed by the food industry, which has fought mandatory labeling efforts in several states around the country. The legislation would prevent states from requiring package labels to indicate the presence of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

"My state of Hawai‘i is the number one state for experimental genetically engineered plant field trials, according to the USDA.  Many of my (mentally unstable) constituents are very concerned about these GE crop field testings because of the lack of information hype about these trials and the pesticides that are being applied to the fields," Gabbard said, (representing the profit motive of her cult), in a speech on the House floor.

Gabbard said the bill could overturn a ban on the cultivation of genetically-engineered coffee and genetically-engineered taro in Hawaii. (A double win for science over backwardness and ignorance.)

read ... Freedom from Oppression

Cost of Living: Hawaii Minimum Wage 28% Lower than Arkansas

WaPo: “Even in some states that have enacted higher minimum wages most recently, the relative value of those is still quite low when you’ve made this adjustment,” said David Cooper, an analyst with the Economic Policy Institute, which often advocates for pro-labor policies.

Take Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Maryland, all of which recently raised the minimum wage. All but Hawaii rank among the top third of states. But each falls to the bottom 10 when that minimum wage is adjusted for its purchasing power. (To their credit, Hawaii, New York and Maryland have future scheduled increases.)

The comparison is made possible by using each state’s regional price parity, a relatively young government indicator for comparing prices across geographies. At the extremes, the cost of goods and services is about 13 percent below the national average — i.e. a dollar goes further — in Mississippi and Arkansas and 16 percent above the national average in Hawaii....

(Hawaii adjusted minimum wage is $6.67 per hour -- Arkansas is $8.57.  Minimum wage workers would get a 28% raise by moving.)

Related: Hawaii: $100 Worth only $86.06

read ... The Washington Post

Council trashes bag-tag bill

HTH: A pay-as-you-throw bag-tag bill for garbage was trashed by the County Council Environmental Management Committee on Thursday, following public opposition.

Fifteen people testified against Bill 32, sponsored by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille. The bill would have allowed homeowners to throw out one 33-gallon trash bag a week for free. Additional 15-gallon bags would cost 50 cents and 33-gallon bags would cost $1, under the plan.

Wille withdrew the bill without comment.

A second bill, Bill 33, prohibiting the disposal of any compostable or recyclable material at area landfills or transfer stations, allowing some commercial green waste to be dumped at transfer stations and trucking more of East Hawaii trash to the West Hawaii landfill at Puuanahulu, was postponed.

read ... Garbage Tax

Whistleblower says Red Hill leak may be closer to 40,000 gallons

KITV:  A former fuel systems analyst who worked at the Navy's Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility for nearly 40 years has come forward with documentation that shows the release of jet fuel from Tank No. 5 may be closer to 40,000 gallons, not the 27,000 gallons originally reported.

In an exclusive interview with KITV4, Victor Peters talks about a report issued by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, South Carolina, through the Defense Logistics Agency. In the report published on Feb. 6 of last year, SPAWAR concludes that a "worst case theoretical volume loss" at Tank No. 5 would have resulted in the leakage of 39,312 gallons of JP-8 jet fuel.

The SPAWAR report says the Navy failed to account for the loss of fuel as the refilling of the 250-foot-tall tank was underway....

read ... 40,000 gallons

Hawaii Legislature Should Rethink Regulation for Taxis, Uber and Lyft

CB: Rather than putting new innovators under decades-old regulations, lawmakers should loosen restrictions for all to better serve a public eager for transportation solutions....

read ... Rethink

State Sen. Breene Harimoto to be treated for pancreatic cancer

HNN: State Senator Breene Harimoto, 61, (16th Senatorial District - Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, Aiea, Royal Summit, Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa, Pearl Harbor) has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

According to Senate Communications the senator will soon be undergoing treatment....

read ... Treated

Top Secret Air Force Unit Worked out of Hawaii for 28 Years

WATM: These Air Force units existed from 1958 to 1986 and were tasked with catching “falling stars.” They would fly out of Hawaii and catch film canisters falling from America’s first spy satellites. The satellites, part of the Corona program, orbited the Earth and took photos of Soviet Russia. Then, the satellites would drop their film canisters over the Pacific ocean where these Airmen would try to snatch the canisters out of the air.

The recovery process was surprisingly low-tech. A plane with a large hook beneath its tail would try to catch the canister’s parachute as it fell. When the planes failed to make the grab or the weather was too bad to attempt it, Coast Guard rescue swimmers in the unit would fish the film out of the water. The unit boasted a perfect record with more than 40,000 recoveries in 27 years. When its airmen weren’t snatching film from the air, the unit supported rescue missions near Hawaii. It was credited with 60 saves.

Read ... The 6 most-secret units in military history

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