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Tuesday, February 2, 2016
February 2, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:33 PM :: 4207 Views

Incumbents Challenged on Day One--Candidates Begin Filing on Maui, Big Island

McCain strikes at Jones Act to reform U.S. energy policy

Report: Russian, Iranian Hackers Behind Honolulu School Bomb Threats

HOPE Probation: Confronting America’s Drug-Overdose Epidemic

BBB: Hawaii Ranks #2 for Scams

Caldwell Raises GE Taxes $1.1 Billion

KHON: The latest projected cost for the rail project is now at $6.57 billion….

SA: Caldwell insists he’s not in favor of property tax increase (Translation: He wants the GE Tax hike to be made permanent.)

CB: Already over budget and behind schedule

PBN: Honolulu rail agency to expedite rail construction bid process

Harsh Reality: Hawaii Residents Most Likely to be Living Paycheck to Paycheck

read … Tax Increase

Na'i Aupuni 'aha begins, protestors unite

KITV: "These guys are not representative of Hawaiians. They are not our leaders. They have not been elected or chosen by other Hawaiians to represent us or speak for us," said Healani Sonoda-Pale of group Protest Na'i Aupuni….

Media was not allowed inside the conference….

Protestors were not allowed on the golf club property. They told KITV they want more Hawaiians to understand what comes out of the month long 'aha will not be beneficial to the native people.

"The process is full of bad decisions and it's not a process that all of us understand. They didn't take the time to explain, to educate, to unite in order to get this important thing into the place it should be," said Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte.

Ritte who was once a delegate in the election dropped out of the running in November after claiming the process was being 'forced down Hawaiians throats.'….

read … Na'i Aupuni 'aha begins, protestors unite

Nai Aupuni likely to broaden and deepen the mistrust

Borreca: …in the 21st century, there is Facebook, and tied tongues will be loosened.

By Monday afternoon, the Hawaiian convention might as well just open its doors, because the delegates are putting it all up on the Internet anyway.

One fellow who said he was a delegate posted: “Uncle Bumpy Kanahele stood up and made a motion to rally around our ‘national identity.’ There were many shouts in support. Lilikalā spoke out, asking if that ‘national identity’ includes only Kanaka Maoli because that’s what she wants.

Subsequently thereafter, the room semi-erupted in shouts of conflicting views. The Na‘i Aupuni staff stepped in, took the mic, and quieted things down.”

Molokai activist Walter Ritte, who was a candidate and then withdrew his candidacy, tried to attend Monday’s first meeting as an observer and was escorted out.

The confusion is likely to broaden and deepen the mistrust and misinformation….

read … Mistrust

Galuteria, Akana Double Dipping to Attend Nai Aupuni Oprah Aha – Ing Chickens Out

CB: Of the 150 or so unelected delegates who organizers say are participating in the Nai Aupuni convention on Native Hawaiian self-governance that began Monday, two are lawmakers on the public payroll.

Brickwood Galuteria has served in the Hawaii state Senate since 2008, while Rowena Akana has been a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs since 1990.

They will receive $1,000 in per diem payment to attend the month-long convention, or aha, from a private foundation funded by OHA grant funds to the nonprofit Akamai Foundation.

That comes on top of their state salaries: $59,004 for Galuteria (plus a $10 a day per diem during the legislative session) and $56,280 for Akana.

More significantly, Galuteria and Akana have regular, full-time commitments to the Senate and OHA, respectively.…

Lynne Matusow, a Honolulu resident formerly active in neighborhood boards and in the Democratic Party of Hawaii, is not happy that some elected officials are also part of the aha.

“I think where we have people holding public office who have been elected to do a job, which includes attending meetings and voting — and in Brickwood’s case with his complete conflict and time with the legislative session — that they need to make up their mind which of the two they’re going to do.”….

The commitment was too much for Kaniela Ing, a state representative from Maui.….  “If they had held this downtown, then maybe we could have participated,” he said. “It’s a little upsetting for me.” ….

Ing, who represents the 11th House District (Kihei, Wailea, Makena), is chair of the Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs committee and a member on three others. As a neighbor island lawmaker, he receives $150 a day per diem during session.

Ing said he is still listed as an aha delegate, though he has asked for his name to be removed. A Jan. 6 posting on the Nai Aupuni website, the most recent as of Monday, listed Ing’s name with 153 other delegates.

Asked about Ing’s complaints, Nai Aupuni organizers declined to comment. Instead, they directed inquiries to an email trail (posted below) that includes several Q&As about the aha process, the commitment of delegates and correspondence between Ing, Nai Aupuni attorney Bill Meheula and Akamai Foundation head Louis F. Perez III….

Galuteria said he and other (Ohia Group) delegates gathered informally for dinner Sunday night at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu. He expressed confidence that aha participants would be able to craft a governing document of sorts, but for now they were still figuring out things like whether to use Robert’s Rules of Order (LOL!)….

Walter Ritte: “Brickwood is now the leader of the Ohia Group along with John Waihe'e, which has been the puppeteers of this entire effort of federal recognition including the Akaka Bill. This group included top Hawaiian politicians and many well connected Hawaiians. This is one of the main reasons why Na'i Aupuni is "hard wired" to produce predetermined results. The Ohia Group needs to stop operating in the shadows and Na'i Aupuni needs to open their doors to Hawaiians!” …

read … Double Dipping

After Clearing Kakaako, Caldwell, Martin Conspire to Build Gigantic Homeless Tent City in Wahiawa

SA: In the coming months Oahu will see a new homeless shelter in Kakaako; the first-of-its kind, city-owned apartment building in Makiki for low-income and formerly homeless tenants; and greater efforts to help homeless Micronesians and get churches more involved…. (but) …

“Everything’s on the table,” idiot Caldwell told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week.

Like Seattle, another tourist-friendly city with plenty of homeless people, Caldwell is also willing to embrace tent cities (you know, like the biggest tent city of them all—Kakaako) where the occupants (tweeekers) elect their own leaders and determine their own rules (like free copper on demand?).

“Tent cities work,” the mayor said, (giggling).

Council Chairman Ernie Martin, a frequent critic of Caldwell’s homeless efforts and a potential rival in the mayor’s re-election bid this year, (stupidly) agrees with Caldwell on the tent city concept.

Martin visited tent cities in Seattle (which are an unmitigated disaster) and said the idea would work in rural, agricultural areas such as his Wahiawa district, which is experiencing its own burgeoning homeless population. (Hello Wahiawa?  You have been warned.)

Martin and Caldwell also agree on the idea of mobile showers and mobile toilets like ones in Seattle and San Francisco that give homeless people a chance to get clean while keeping sidewalks clear of human feces and urine. (Clear? SF Lamp post destroyed by urine falls in street, just misses driver)

REALITY for People Who Can Handle it: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

Smart Mayor—no Tents: Maui Homeless Initiative: 'Rapid Deployable Emergency Shelters'

SA: Homeless survey falls woefully short

read … Efforts pave way for wider options

Legislature Mulls Fly-Homeless-Home Program

SA: …A service provider says his organization flew 133 homeless people from Waikiki to other states last year on a budget of about $28,000, which came mostly from private donations. But he says the organization doesn’t have dedicated funding to continue the program on Oahu this year; it only has funds to fly homeless people off Maui. He says there’s demand statewide for the program.

If a bill to fund a state-run program passes, the state Department of Human Services would administer the program.

(Better to obtain continued private funding.  Another $28K is not a big expense for the hotels and hospitals.  Private charity has done this quietly but a legislative act would be another media circus.)

read … Guaranteed Media Circus

19,000 families on waiting list to get public housing

HNN: …19,000 families are now on the waiting list to get into public housing.

"There's a lot of folks that fall into different economic conditions that come onto our waiting list," he said. "It used to be 30,000 plus."

Officials say the average wait to get into public housing is six to eight years.

Domestic abuse victims and the homeless have preference. Their wait: about two years….

600 families were moved into public housing in 2015. Another 199 were placed through a program for veterans.

Meanwhile, about 200 families got Section 8 rental vouchers….

"From the minute we have a project, it will probably take about 12-18 months before we have a shovel in the ground."

In addition to the time it takes for environmental impact assessments, traffic studies and infrastructure reviews -- officials say government red tape has contributed to significant delays in getting new units built.

In some instances, Ouansafi waited up to a year to get permitted -- even as a state agency….

AP: Hawaii officials chip away at 60,000-unit housing shortfall

read … 19,000 Waiting

Paradise?  Real Suffering Ignored While Activists Babble About Imaginary Nonsense

KE: It came as no surprise to learn that contempt of court, domestic violence and substance abuse are the top three crimes on Kauai.

But what do those stats, which speak to anger, depression, alienation, addiction, poverty and a lack of personal responsibility, say about the true state of our island? Especially since they stand in such sharp contrast to the popular image of Kauai as “paradise.”

Most troubling was Prosecutor Justin Kollar's shocking revelation that his office receives more than 500 domestic violence cases a year, with the majority involving alcohol or drug use. Sadly, many of the adults now abusing family members, drugs and alcohol were themselves victim of abuse.

In short, a helluva lot of folks are hurting on this little island, a tragic fact that's forgotten as people and politicians bicker about barking dogs, chimney smoke, traffic, TVRs and pesticides. Activists are totally freaked at the mere prospect of being exposed to ag chemicals, but say nothing about the real and documented harm being inflicted daily on folks by drugs, booze and their most intimate associates….

read … Musings: Educated But Misinformed

HB1778: Kill a Baby, Go to Jail? – Not in Soft on Crime Hawaii

KGI: …House Bill 1778 is controversial because it relates to unlawful killings and provides for prosecution of a person who causes the death of a baby who was born alive, but died when the mother was injured in an attack.

“This was in reaction to that girl that was stabbed in Eleele,” Morikawa said. “Justin Kollar was trying to close a loophole. After I introduced it, I found out it’s a very controversial bill … (I introduced it) just so it can be heard. Just so we can hear the pros and the cons. We’re not sure it will even get scheduled for a hearing. It may not even see the light of day.”

In December, Victoria Kanahele lost her baby after she was allegedly stabbed by the baby’s father, Christopher Cruz, according to police. An emergency cesarean section was performed; the baby was born alive, but did not survive long.

“I think there is a natural impulse at bills like that to see if they are intended to be used against women’s right to choose,” Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said. “I want anyone to think about this bill, and know that I am one thousand percent for a woman’s right to choose.”

It’s a measure that would protect victims of domestic violence and safeguard a woman’s right to choose, he said. Kollar added he’s not sure the bill will make it to a scheduled hearing, but he said he had to try….

OC: Hawaii Convict’s 20-year crime spree detailed

read … Battle building over HB 1778

HPD reports firing of 17 officers, major increase in discipline

Hawaii Ranks 29th for Gun Control Nuts

WH: An analysis of which states are most heavily dependent on the gun industry for jobs and political contributions and influence of gun supporters and gun control advocates ranks Hawaii in the bottom eight…Hawaii ranked 46th or lower nationally on all the metrics except for “gun control contributions to congressional members per capita,” where it popped up in 29th place….

read … Gun Control Nuts

Hilo Hospital Closing Down Long Term Care, Reducing HGEA Positions

HTH: …The hospital began Jan. 1 actively seeking to place extended care patients with alternative private providers. The policy was in response to an anticipated budget shortfall of between $6 million and $7 million. Administrators say high costs associated with providing extended care combine with low reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid to be a major drain on hospital resources.

Lacking additional support in the form of state subsidies, board members of the East Hawaii region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which manages HMC, opted last year to cut staffing in its extended care facilities to maintain a total of 70 beds, down from 90.

Last Monday, the hospital posted a human resources notice advising employees about a number of open nursing and clerk positions within the hospital for which they would be considered first during a period of seven days before outside applications would be accepted. The notice cited the ongoing loss of patients within the Extended Care Department as a reason for employees to “be self-directed in terms of applying for other positions that they may qualify for.”

“Hilo Medical Center’s Extended Care Department census continues to decrease, which in turn reduces demand for staffing,” the notice reads. “ECD is licensed by the Department of Health to operate a 112-bed facility. Our current census in ECD is at 51. This trend should be expected to continue and may accelerate.”….

Reality: Hilo Hospital to Ask Legislature for Partnership Authorization

read … Public Hospital Failing

Can You Afford To Be A Teacher In The Islands?

CB: In raw numbers, accredited teachers salaries here run from $44,538 into the low-$80,000s for highly educated teachers with decades of experience, placing Hawaii in the middle of national rankings for average teacher pay. But when the cost of living is factored in, teachers’ salaries in paradise drop to dead last.

read … Can You Afford To Be A Teacher In The Islands?

NextEra-HEI merger hearing resumes:

Legislative News:

Feds Force Stations to Keep Selling Ethanol Gas, Despite State Law Repeal

KHON: …There are now a few gas stations that sell ethanol-free gas but it costs more. McKelvey says oil companies are still getting tax credits from the federal government for using ethanol, so they could lose a lot of money for not using the additive.

“So what was the point with the legislature taking that action?” KHON2 asked.

“I think it was to provide an option to buy that fuel here. Like I said, there’s gas stations now offering it,” McKelvey said. “It does cost more slightly more, but it’s more efficient and better for your engine.”

State legislators say it’s really up to the consumers now to make it happen. If you really want ethanol-free gas, let the gas stations and the oil refineries know about it and tell our Hawaii representatives in Congress….

read … Stations continue to sell ethanol-blended gas

Fans Miss Pro-Bowl Due to Long Lines at Aloha Stadium 

KHON: …KHON2 spoke with fans who said they waited over an hour to get into the parking lot and stadium, with some missing a big chunk of the game.

“Every entrance to get into the stadium was terrible. I mean cars weren’t even moving,” said Nicky Chapin. “We missed like half of the first half. So we got situated in our seats, it was a done deal already.”

Final attendance numbers haven’t been released, but the game sold out days before kickoff….

some fans still waited hours in traffic, and without any notice that the main parking lot was closed….

“they only had two people scanning people to make sure they didn’t have anything they weren’t supposed to have”

read … Questions surround fan frustration with Pro Bowl traffic, long lines

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