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Friday, September 25, 2015
September 25, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:48 PM :: 4119 Views

We Hawaiians need to quit feeling sorry for ourselves

Caldwell, Hanabusa: HART Will Need More from Legislature

Al Hee’s Campaign Contributions—Money Stolen from Native Hawaiians

Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders Denounce Obamacare Cadillac Tax

VIDEO: Free Market Solutions to Homelessness and Affordable Housing

Study: Hawaii Hispanics 7th Most Assimilated

Study: Hawaii #1 for Minority-Owned Firms

Smart Growth Policies Worsened Hawaii Housing Crash

Hawaii Apportionment Plaintiffs to Supreme Court: ‘Count Everyone’

Hawaii GOP: Proud to be an American

UHERO: Tourism, Construction Lead Economy

Tropical Storm Niala Forms off Big Island

Carlisle, Louie: Let Lawyers Work for Weed

PBN: A group of 25 lawyers has submitted a letter to the Hawaii Supreme Court to reexamine a recent disciplinary board decision prohibiting lawyers to provide legal services to medical marijuana business hopefuls.

Former Honolulu mayor and long-time city prosecutor Peter Carlisle, who is representing one of the firms hoping to win a local dispensary license, says lawyers are fuming.

“There are tons of groups. I wasn’t aware of how many until this opinion came out. There are going to be many, many applications and very few licenses, just three on Oahu, for instance,” Carlisle said in an interview this week.

A formal opinion released Tuesday by the disciplinary board of the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that lawyers may advise clients on Act 241, which establishes the state’s first retail dispensary system, but may not assist in business set-up, as it would be considered a crime under federal law, "albeit with a low enforcement priority.’”

“It’s important to ensure that qualified patients in Hawaii have safe and legal access to medical marijuana,” Louie told PBN. “We support that and believe that there should obviously be access to this with public safety and health preserved. So we are asking the Hawaii Supreme Court to take a look at the situation caused by the disciplinary board's formal Opinion 49 and we hope they will act soon and act appropriately.”

Lawyers are requesting that the court add a comment to the opinion to clarify their ethical guidelines when assisting such groups.

read ... Will Work for Weed

Marijuana: Many, many applications and very few licenses

Borreca: Former Honolulu mayor and long-time city prosecutor Peter Carlisle, who is representing one of the firms hoping to win a local dispensary license, says lawyers are fuming.

“There are tons of groups. I wasn’t aware of how many until this opinion came out. There are going to be many, many applications and very few licenses, just three on Oahu, for instance,” Carlisle said in an interview this week....

Carlisle reported that he is working with other lawyers to have the state Supreme Court issue a comment saying it was proper behavior, without touching on the entire issue of medical marijuana or the federal government.

Until that happens, Hawaii’s medical marijuana law is a work not in progress.

read ... Its true.  Most of Hawaii's Political Class Would Rather be Selling Dope

6,700 Plants Confiscated: Big Island Police Use Medicated Marijuana Registry to Find Grow-Ops

HTH: The Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division had a mission Sept. 18-19 in East Hawaii, said Toni Schwartz, public information officer for the department. They found 6,000 plants, 90 percent of which were in one open-forest grow situation.

On Monday and Tuesday, the officers performed a similar mission on the west side of the Big Island. There, NED officers confiscated more than 700 plants, she said. Most were growing in residential areas.

No arrests were made in either operation, she reported.

Officers checked areas that had previous grows, Schwartz said, along with checking on people with medical marijuana licenses.

“There were lots of contacts made to remind people of how many plants they are allowed,” she said.

That’s in part because rules changed. Until July, growers were allowed to have three growing plants and four adult plants. Then the rules changed, allowing a flat seven plants and 4 ounces of marijuana.

Multiple people can register one location as their grow site, allowing up to the total of the registered cards in one spot, said Scottina Malia Ruis, the medical marijuana registry coordinator.

However, the marijuana is limited to the patient and caregiver, she said.

The state Department of Health altered other rules at the same time, including two measures to better tie users to their product. One rule requires each plant to be tagged with the identification number of the person growing the plant and the expiration of their permit.

The other rule requires growers and patients to keep an ID and the registration card with them at all times.

(Once the political cronies gain control of all the dispensary licenses, their police will shut down the competition.  Stupid dopers didn't see this coming.)

read ... Easier to Find the Dopers When they Register

Homeless Leave hypodermic needles, possible chemicals, and 'biological things'

SA: ...Our greatest threat to our employees that do all of the enforcements for stored property and sidewalk nuisance is not so much the physical violence, but just the exposure to all different types of hazards, whether they be used hypodermic needles, possible chemicals, cooking fuels, gasoline and things like that or biological things like what you find in a toilet bucket. And then there’s the insects — bed bugs, fleas and lice.

...having done this job 14 years ago and contrasting with today … the issue of homelessness and homeless encampments has not changed in the sense that we’ve had to deal with it back then, too.

Back then, under Mayor Harris’ administration, the issue was one of people occupying bus stops … so the issue is not something new, although I think it’s something that the public is less tolerant of and quicker to report and complain about.

SA: Offer storage space to homeless

read ... Biological Things

Medicare Cuts Punch $838M Hole in Hawaii Hospital Revenue

PBN: ...During the 2015 federal fiscal year, Hawaii saw direct Medicare reimbursements decline by $18 million. Hawaii hospitals are currently reimbursed 86 cents for each dollar they spend on Medicare services, according to the Hawaii Health Information Corp.

Anticipated cuts could translate to $838 million in lost revenue over the next 15 years and an 11.2 percent reduction in total Medicare fee-for-service revenue over the next 10 years. In addition, Hawaii hospitals could be underpaid by $2.5 billion over the next decade if current patient volume and payment reimbursement rates continue....

One of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act is its effort to improve the quality of care through physician incentives. Reimbursement is now tied to patient outcomes through “pay for quality” measures....

While tracking and rewarding high-quality care is likely to benefit patients and the system as a whole,Dr. Anna Loengard, chief medical officer of The Queen’s Health Systems’ Queen’s Clinically Integrated Physician Network, warns that an unintended consequence could be doctors “cherry-picking” their patients.

“If you essentially incentivize physicians to cherry-pick healthier patients … then people who are taking care of more challenging populations are going to earn less just by the nature of not being able to do as well on those quality metrics,” Loengard explained....

read ... Medicare

Hawaii is underserving its 12,000 youths who suffer from mental illness

CB: Police shot Chance Narvaes in the hand at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu on Jan. 28, 2014, after he pulled a knife on them. Officers had wanted to take him into custody for being a runaway. Instead, he ended up facing three counts of attempted murder.

At the time, Narvaes, who was 17, suffered from schizophrenia and other symptoms of severe psychosis, according to his mother, Shereen Narvaes. She said he was a troubled teen, who heard voices and would frequently run away from home....

Like with many Hawaii teenagers, it was a struggle to find a facility that would treat Narvaes. His mother said he escaped from multiple adolescent psychiatric wards – there are no secure residential treatment facilities for teens in the state.

Narvaes was eventually sent to the mainland to get treatment, not an uncommon fate for severally ill teens....

there are only two mental health facilities in the state — Queen’s Medical Center and Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health — specifically designed to treat teens suffering from mental illness. The two facilities, both on Oahu, have a total of fewer than 50 beds for mentally ill teens.

If the adolescent psychiatric units are full, many teens are forced to wait days in hospital emergency rooms until bed space is available.

Justin Oliver, a social worker at Queen’s, says that his hospital has two to six youths waiting for residential treatment on any given day.

Neighbor island youths have it worse....

read ... 12,000

Two more tents are removed from Mauna Kea

HTH: After removing a large tent from Mauna Kea earlier this week, state conservation officers were back on the mountain Thursday taking down canopy-style tents that appeared to have been erected by Thirty Meter Telescope opponents.

Posts on social media showed the officers removing two tents from the protesters’ former campsite on public land near the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. The tents had the words “farmers market Hawaii” and “Aloha Aina is 4-evah” written on them.

A state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman said the “pop-up tents” were considered abandoned property since no one there claimed ownership....

A TMT opponent said on a Facebook post that they were there meeting lomilomi practitioners from Oahu....

KGI: Case: DLNR faces many challenges

read ... Two More

$75,000 tax exemption to rent to Section 8 tenants

MN: A bill that would provide a $75,000 property tax assessment exemption for landowners who rent to lower-income residents in the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development voucher program was introduced Thursday by Maui County Council Member Robert Carroll.

The goal of the bill, formulated in collaboration with the county Department of Housing and Human Concerns, is to generate affordable rentals, put more HUD Section 8 voucher qualifiers into homes and prevent the loss of federal funds, he said.

The council member, whose residency district is East Maui, said that only 47 percent of families and individuals who qualified for Section 8 vouchers were able to secure rentals this year, and that in recent years, not all federal voucher funds have been expended.

The proposed tax exemption is $75,000 per active contract up to 10 Section 8 contracts per parcel for a maximum exemption of $750,000, the council member said.

read ... $75,000

Public Utilities Commission asked to Investigate Different Utility Models

IM: ...The Public Utilities Commission wants to know how the public feels about the proposed buy-out of the Hawaiian Electric companies by Florida-based NextEra.

In the past few months many different business models and utility structures have been proposed in Hawai`i.

Yesterday Life of the Land proposed to the Public Utilities Commission that they open a proactive investigation on alternative business models rather than waiting for a proponent of one model to submit an applicant for approval.

Hawai‘i Island Energy Cooperative (HIEC) is encouraging people to attend the two Big Island Public Listening Sessions being sponsored by the Public Utilities Commission.

Hilo High School on September 29th at 6 p.m.

Kealakehe High School on September 30th at 6:00 p.m.

Richard Ha recently asserted that HIEC is “not against either NextEra or HEI/HECO, but are offering an alternative business model we think is best for our children and their children’s futures.

The Consumer Advocate proposed that if the merger is approved HECO should become a socially responsible, sustainable business corporation (B Corporation, Hawai`i Revised Statutes §420D).

The County of Maui is investigating the possibility of converting Maui Electric into a Municipal Utility which could be controlled by the county legislative or executive branch. The Muni could resemble the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.

Parker Ranch’s Paniolo Power has suggested a private utility.

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative proposed an electric cooperative.

The Public Utilities Commission and the Governor have suggested separating the generation and the transmission functions of the utility and creating two independent companies....

read ... Public Utilities Commission should Investigate Different Utility Models

Soft on Crime: 57 Priors, Out Two Weeks, Allegedly Does it Again

HNN: Police arrested 34-year-old Phillip Osuna around 6:20 a.m. at the Pacific Marina Inn on Waiwai Loop.

Osuna had been on the run since Monday after the victim reported that she had been held at gunpoint at Kapiolani Park at 5:20 p.m.

The victim, a soccer mom, reportedly parked near the tennis courts when the suspect suddenly entered her passenger door, pointed a gun at her and made her drive around the park.   The took her jewelry, phone and purse, reportedly telling her that he needed money for drugs.

Police sources tell me Osuna has 57 prior arrests, for crimes that include robbery, drugs and assault.  He has 14 convictions and has been in and out of jail for much of his adult life.   In fact, he had just gotten out of jail, 12 days before the alleged armed robbery.  (57 priors in the 16 years since he turned 18 = 3.4 arrests per year)

Osuna was recently put on HOPE probation, a program for drug addicts, but even after that, he had been arrested several times.

read ... Kapiolani robbery suspect was released from prison two weeks prior

Roads Full of Potholes-- Even the new ones

HNN: One after another, potholes were patched up on Thursday.  Up to 200 per crew, each day.

"Last week as an example our crews filled 1,411 potholes island wide," said Department of Facilities Maintenance director Ross Sasamura.

Generally potholes form when water gets under the surface of the road.   City officials say the unusually wet summer took a toll on Oahu's ailing infrastructure. 

So far this year crews have made more than 34,000 pothole repairs.  That's up considerably from last year.  In many cases officials say it's only a temporary fix.

KHON: State aware of potholes on ‘new’ lane of H-1 Freeway

read ... Potholes

Kauai Fields Far from Schools

KE: Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser and anti-GMO activists frequently claim the seed companies are “suing for the right to spray poisons next to schools, homes and hospitals.” ...

Yet the closest fields to Kaumakani School are 1,300 feet and 2,500 feet away. Fields are 1,500 to 1,700 feet from West Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital. And Syngenta voluntarily maintains a 1,500-foot buffer between Waimea Canyon Middle School and its nearest field, which hasn't been cultivated in years.

“We're paying [lease rent] for it still and we keep it mowed, but we have no plans to crop,” said Joshua Uyehara, station manager for Syngenta Hawaii LLC in Kekaha.

Syngenta does have one field near Hanapepe Heights, but it's never used it. Instead, the nearest cultivated field is some1,500 feet from the nearest residence. Pioneer and Dow have no fields within 500 feet of homes....

The question now becomes, why do politicians like Gary Hooser and activist groups like Center for Food Safety, Hawaii SEED and HAPA continue to make a claim that is patently untrue?

read ... Touring the Seed Fields: Part IV

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