Tulsi Gabbard, Bill Maher Agree: 'Liberals Need to go back to School on Issue of Islam'
Charter Amendment: HART to Take Over TheBus, Handi-Van, Milk them to Cover Rail Operating Expenses
DoE: Hawaii is ahead of President’s call to reduce testing in schools
Star Adv: Aha to be controlled by 'Established Power Brokers'
SA: ...It appears not everyone believes Nai Aupuni, and at least one prominent leader has cast a no-confidence vote on the whole process. Opting out is a valid form of registering protest, but in this case, it's not a very effective one.
Longtime Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte, until this week a candidate for one of the delegate spots, has pulled out of the race. Ritte asserted that the process is "rigged to fit very specific agendas" -- specifically he said, those supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which provided Na'i Aupuni with funding for the election.
Additionally, the long-established civic organization, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, has stated its own opposition to the 'aha, for much the same reason.
Alika Desha, who is chancellor for the long-established civic organization, said his group cannot support what some will see as an agenda that will undermine the argument made by his and other Hawaiian organizations: that the kingdom of Hawaii still exists.
This is a deeply held principle for many of the civic organizations, which emerged nearly a century ago to maintain continuity of advocacy for Native Hawaiians in the absence of their own government, overthrown in 1893.
And OHA -- in the past an advocate for the creation of a "nation within a nation" through federal administration -- has distanced itself from the process by financing it through a nonprofit. The fact that this is seen as a fig leaf by Ritte and the Order, as well as by conservative organizations such as the Grassroot Institute....
...the departure of people such as Ritte could sap the credibility from the election in the eyes of some potential voters, discouraging them from engaging in it....
...the only objective served by an 'aha that is less than broad-based will be the preservation of the status quo, with experienced office-holders and established power-brokers firmly steering things....
read ... Opposition Mounts
HART has shown the entire state what a really out of control project looks like
MN: ...after watching the rail-building fiasco on Oahu we have once again come to relish the old adage "Be careful what you wish for."
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit was already $500 million over budget last December when public officials like Mayor Kirk Caldwell sounded the alarm and asked the Legislature to extend the expansion of the general excise tax that is financing the 20-mile project. The Legislature approved the extension.
Now, nine months later, the construction has reached another milestone - over a billion dollars over budget. Officials blame it on the cost of construction in Hawaii. Wait a minute, these guys knew from the start the project was going to be built on Oahu, right? They didn't realize at the beginning it costs more to build in Hawaii?
To top everything off, the opening of the whole line has been pushed back another year to 2021.
Businesses that are going to be displaced during the construction are now only being given vague estimated timelines when construction will reach their areas. It makes planning tough - and it is going to drive up costs for these businesses as they try to make best guesses for when temporary quarters are going to be needed.
In any event, the phrase "Let's not allow Maui to become another Oahu" has taken on an altogether different meaning in our mind. HART has shown the entire state - heck, the nation and the world - what a really out of control project looks like....
read ... HART has shown the entire state
Hawaii Obamacare Exchange: $300M Fiasco
MN: ..."Hawaii should never have had to build its own exchange. It was a costly event, and mistakes were made," Kissel said in the story. "If this had never happened, Medicaid would have saved hundreds of millions and the connector would have saved hundreds of millions, and we still would've been able to bring the tax benefits into the state for our population."
If, indeed, hundreds of millions were thrown away, an investigation by the state attorney general is in order. Kissel said development of the bug-filled website alone cost $142 million.
Certainly, a $300 million blow-off of tax dollars deserves to have at least two questions answered:
1. Who got the money?
2. What services or products did they provide that were worth this much money?
This is simply too big of a case of incompetence for the state to simply shrug their shoulders and walk away....
read ... Investigate this fiasco
HEI Charitable Foundation grantees under pressure to support Merger
IM: Last year HEI Charitable Foundation donated $2.2 million to over 275 organizations.
The typical grantee received $8,000 although there was a great deal of variety.
HECO and NextEra are staging a number of small, private, invitation-only meetings in which they can express varying thoughts on how the merger will impact Hawai`i....
read ... HEI Charitable Foundation grantees under pressure to support Merger
Imagine ... a World Without Anti-GMO Activism
MN: ...As we gear up for the coming county budget, legislative session and elections, people often ask about government and community issues affecting businesses. Here are a few to consider:
* We continue to see division in our community over issues like genetically modified organisms, pesticide use, cane burning, and astronomy. Beyond polarizing our community, it has also led to actions of physical threats and illegal activity. Such efforts take up time and require government intervention that ends up costing us all more, generally in the form of increased taxes and fees.
* Imagine the time and resources that could be saved if we respected each other's differences, embraced the aloha spirit, and found common ground for discussing ideas and working together on winning and sustainable solutions.
* What if this energy and passion was instead channeled around helping those who are most stuck - feeding the needy, sheltering the homeless and creating affordable housing to give people more hope?
read ... Imagine
Witnesses: Lesbians Are Lying
HNN: ...An eyewitness is disputing the accounts of a lesbian couple at the center of a discrimination lawsuit that alleges a Honolulu police officer arrested them because they were kissing.
The woman, who asked not to be identified because she feared retaliation, said she was in the Pupukea Foodland in March when the women were arrested and says the women's actions were inappropriate.
Meanwhile, in court testimony, the officer who arrested them said he tried to get the women out of the store because he believed the women were being "lewd," and that the couple was subsequently hostile....
The eyewitness said she doesn't believe Harrison was discriminating against the couple, but intervening because they were being inappropriate.
"There was French kissing. Their shorts were really short. They were grabbing bottoms and lifting shirts," she said.
She said she was appalled by what she saw in the aisles of the grocery store.
In court testimony, Harrison said he saw the women from 30 feet away. "I noticed the two defendants were in an embrace with one another. Inappropriately all over each other in a long, heated kiss in the back of the store," he said. "After I told them to stop I walked toward them because they wouldn't stop. In my opinion it was lewd conduct in what they were doing. I wouldn't want my children to see that."...
Harrison testified that he approached the couple again at the register, telling them that the store was going to have them warned for trespassing.
The witness backs up those claims: "He was asking them to go. You're drawing to much attention, you're causing a scene just leave the store and they chose not to do that," she said....
"The officer told me to step into another line. I was on the phone with 911 and that's when she told the officer f... you," Wilson said.
Harrison acknowledged the moment: "I said excuse me. She repeated f*** off. I told her you don't talk to a policeman like that."
The witness said she didn't know that a call to 911 had been made, but saw the officer try to take something out of Wilson's hand.
That's when the scuffle broke out, she said.
"I can't remember if it was an open hand or a punch but she got him right in the face," the witness said....
(The lesbians are allegedly lying. If you are surprised by this, please get help. Then go to the nearest NYT and WaPo newsstand and wait for their retraction. Just keep waiting .... )
read ... Different accounts emerge of arrest involving lesbian couple
Police: Homosexual Child Molester Stalks Kahului School
KITV: Maui Police say a bystander reported a man in a white 4-Runner was allegedly following a boy as he walked near Maui High School. The bystander escorted the boy to Kahului School and reported the incident to police. Police later canvassed the area but did not find the vehicle. Kahului School principal Keoni Wilhelm, sent a letter home to parents saying "please have your child walk to and from school with an adult or in a group."
Claim: Homosexual Child Molester Controls Catholic Group
read ... About Yet Another Homosexual Child Molester
It Begins: Marijuana Edibles Already being Sold to Kids in Hawaii
KHON: Hawaii authorities are warning parents about dangerous candy that has sent some children to the hospital.
It’s being sold as an organic fruit roll-up, but it’s ingredients list says the product contains THC.
The marijuana-laced candy has been found on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island....
It looks like a fruit roll-up, but look closely at the ingredients and you will notice something illegal.
“It’s dangerous. This contains 250 milligrams of THC and this will put you in the hospital,” said Kamita. “Throwing up, can’t feel their legs, having palpitations, so it is a serious problem. This could kill somebody if taken wrong or if they start hallucinating, they could run into traffic.”
Kamita says this marijuana fruit roll-up is being sold across the state.
“It is on Kauai, on the Big Island, so it is making its way around and they are using social media to get it around Instagram, Craigslist and other things, not the average drug dealer style,” said Kamita....
read ... It Begins
Homeless Shelter Needed to Focus on Underage
SA: Amid recent homeless sweeps of Kakaako encampments, Houser said, unattached teenagers were overlooked as the city focused on relocating families to shelters. She described September as a difficult month as staff members helped teens pack up their possessions at encampments and haul them to the YO! center for storage.
Recalling the sight of a girl who poured oatmeal on the ground in the shape of a cross after her tent was removed, Houser said, "It really sunk in for us that this was their village, as they called it," and for some homeless individuals the dismantling of the home or community was traumatic.
While teen runaways usually make up most of YO! clientele, the drop-in center is now seeing in increase in elementary school kids attached to older siblings or adults, Houser said. Consequently, YO! is working with more families and schools than it ever has to make sure kids stay in school, she said.
read ... Homeless Children
Maui to Get Homeless Tent Cities
MN: The first is establishing sanctuaries, or "pu'uhonua," which would be temporary areas where structures, including tents, could be put up for the homeless, or existing structures could be used. The sites would need to include restrooms, showers, sleeping accommodations, shelters, 24-hour security, site security, storage and trash bins. Existing service providers would manage the sites. (Translation: Move all the tweekers to one place and let them keep smoking meth.)
Arakawa said that the sites could house 50 to 100 people. The cost could be up to $1 million for the development of each site, along with a $400,000 annual social services operating costs. Another $200,000 may be used for unanticipated costs. (See box for potential sites.)
Reality: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?
read ... Mayor outlines his plan for homeless
Kakaako: 67 tons of trash, more than 106 cubic yards of metals and 41 shopping carts
KHON: ...On Thursday, dozens with the Department of Facility Maintenance Stored Property and Sidewalk Nuisance Enforcement Crew and the Honolulu Police Department District 1 Community Policing Team were presented with a certificate of appreciation.
“(It was) really pilau kind of work. They had to deal with syringes, hundreds of them that were lying around, dangerous health hazards and yet they stepped up,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “They had to grab things where there could be ukus, other things, centipedes, scorpions.”
In that six-week time frame, crews collected 67 tons of trash, more than 106 cubic yards of metals and 41 shopping carts....
read ... Ukus
Violent incidents frequent at Hawaii middle, high schools
KHON: The Department of Education tracks violent incidents, and Always Investigating got the numbers for every middle and high school across Hawaii....
Waianae Intermediate School had 156 Class A offenses last school year, the equivalent of nearly one out of every five students offending....
A principal of one of the campuses with the highest numbers stepped up to explain: “People hear the word violence and automatically jump to the conclusion that we’re talking about these kinds of severe incidences,” said Washington Middle School principal Michael Harano. “Violence includes a lot of different things.”
The principal is referring to classifications of severity within the report numbers. “Class B” is bullying, cyberbullying, disorderly conduct and hazing. “Class A” is terroristic threatening, assault, fighting, even sexual offenses.
PDF: DOE school violence totals for the 2014-15 school year
read ... Violence
Rule would ban outside pay for teachers
SA: Hawaii public school teachers will no longer be able to accept extra pay during the school year directly from private companies or institutions for work related to their jobs if a recommendation by staff of the state Ethics Commission is approved by its five-member board.
The proposed prohibition, which would apply only to the 10-month school year, is inflaming tensions between the Ethics Commission and Hawaii State Teachers Association in an ongoing conflict about the powers of the commission.
Former Hawaii congresswoman and attorney Colleen Hanabusa, who represents the HSTA, says the Ethics Commission's executive director, Les Kondo, is overstepping his authority....
read ... Outside Pay?
Police union in dispute with Kauai over officers' body cameras
HNN: Just a few weeks before the Kauai Police Department plans to be the first in the state to begin widespread use of body cameras on patrol officers, the police union is threatening to file a complaint with the state Labor Board because KPD is not allowing the union to have final approval of the body cam policy.
The face-off is a significant test to see how the politically powerful police union will deal with body cams, which will soon start being used in Maui County and on the Big Island as well. There are no plans in place for the Honolulu Police Department to use body cams.
Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry said his department has consulted with the union for months and made numerous changes to its policy but it's time to start using body cams....
read ... Body Cameras
DWS Ups Ante on Red Hill Aquifer
SA: The Honolulu Board of Water Supply's manager said Friday that water tested in the aquifer below the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Tank Facility is contaminated, pointing out that a monitoring well showed elevated levels of jet fuel components in April — 15 months after a spill of about 27,000 gallons of fuel in January 2014.
But Navy Capt. Dean Tufts, regional engineer for Navy Region Hawaii, said the reading was not proof that jet fuel had leaked into the aquifer and noted that subsequent tests showed no elevated levels....
HNN: Red Hill fuel spill poses threat to water supply, officials conclude
read ... Red Hill aquifer polluted, city says