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Wednesday, June 8, 2016
June 8, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:47 PM :: 4645 Views

Full Text: Ben Cayetano Endorses Charles Djou for Mayor

Duke Aiona Endorses Charles Djou for Mayor

Federal Transportation Network to Include Jones Act Reform?

FINAL DEADLINE: Candidates Filing

GOP Chairman Welcomes Party Switch by Rod Tam

Are Jones Act ships really 'made in the USA'? Well, sort of

Djou Could Win Mayoralty on Primary Day August 13

HNN: …Political analyst Dan Boylan says Djou's entrance into the race could set Honolulu up for something of a repeat of the 2012 mayoral race, when anti-rail candidate and former Gov. Ben Cayetano got more votes than Carlisle and Caldwell in the primary….

But since the last mayor's race, rail is much farther along. Costs for the project have also ballooned, $5.3 billion to over $8 billion.

Cayetano believes Djou can capitalize on that the growing dissatisfaction.

"In the mayor's race, over 100,000 people voted for me and a lot of them, I think, have buyer's remorse because I can hardly go anywhere without someone coming up to me saying, 'I'm sorry I didn't vote for you. You were right,'" Cayetano said….

Hannemann said he likes Djou's chances.

"I think Charles Djou has a very good chance of winning this race. He's able to distinguish himself from the two," he said.

Hawaii's primary election is August 13. If none of the candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates face each other in a run-off in the Nov. 8 general election.

SA: Don’t fold HART into city department

read … Honolulu mayoral election could hinge on troubled rail project

Duke Aiona Announces He Will Not Seek Office

808: On his AM940 radio show Tuesday afternoon, former Lt Gov Duke Aiona announced he would not be filing papers to run for Mayor, CD1 nor SD20….

read … 808 State Update

Schatz, Gabbard have no big rivals

SA: …U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will likely be easily re-elected to Congress this year with no major candidates opting to challenge them as the filing deadline for candidates running for election closed Tuesday.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa remains the expected front-runner for the seat of U.S. Rep. Mark Takai….

Nine other candidates have also filed papers to run for Takai’s seat, including Leinaala “Lei” Ahu Isa, 72, a Democrat and former member of the state House of Representatives and current trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The others are Republican Shirlene Ostrov….

Schatz, 43, is being challenged by Republican John Carroll, known for his outspoken opposition to the Jones Act, a post-World War I law that requires all shipping between U.S. ports be conducted with domestic vessels and crews. Carroll argues that the federal law has led to Hawaii’s high shipping costs.

Carroll, 86, is an attorney who served in the Hawaii House of Representatives and Hawaii Senate during the 1970s. He owns a small farm in Hamakua on Hawaii island.

During a sparsely attended news conference Tuesday at the Hawaii Republican Party Campaign Headquarters in Honolulu, Carroll said that the “country is in crisis” following eight years of President Barack Obama.

Carroll denounced Hawaii’s high shipping costs, the soaring price tag of the Honolulu rail project, Hawaii’s high cost of living and the state’s slow pace in moving qualified Native Hawaiians onto homesteads.

“The Democrats’ failures are manifest: rail, high cost of living, too much bureaucratic red tape and unnecessary regulations, and a totally useless Department of Education,” he told reporters….

read … Soviet Style Election

16 Legislators Unopposed

SA: …Republicans have struggled for years to recruit and field enough candidates locally, and Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Fritz Rohlfing said the party this year tried to identify the most promising districts to target.

“It’s just a very challenging task to take on an incumbent who’s well financed, who’s well known in their community, and to spend six months or even more that it takes to go door to door, to raise the money in order to challenge that incumbent,” Rohlfing said.

The Republicans now hold seven seats in the 51-member state House and one in the 25-member state Senate. Rohlfing said the main goal of his party this year is to protect those incumbents. The party will focus on the re-election efforts by the six Republican House members and state Sen. Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Kahala-Hawaii Kai), who face Democratic opponents, he said.

The next priority for the party was to field strong candidates for the three seats without incumbents this year, which Rohlfing said the party was able to do.

One of those positions is the District 13 state Senate seat, which has no incumbent because state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Downtown-Nuuanu-Liliha) announced she will not run for re-election. Former state lawmaker and Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam has filed as a Republican to run for that seat, and Rohlfing said the GOP is “thrilled” to have him.

Tam in 2011 was ordered to serve two days in jail and complete 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to 26 misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor counts — charges related to overcharging the city for meals at Honolulu restaurants from 2007 to 2009.

Rohlfing said Tam’s record was cleared after he entered his pleas and complied with requirements imposed by the courts.

Rohlfing noted that the GOP here has not won a major statewide or congressional general election race since 2006, “so we’ve had a drought, and what we decided was we needed to build from the ground up with our party structure.”

“If we can pick up two or three in the House and hold our Senate seat, and pick up another seat in the Senate, as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to look at that as great progress,” Rohlfing said.

“Let’s face it, there are certain districts and certain incumbents that are much harder than others to defeat, so we’re going to have to leave that for another day,” he said. “I’m really pleased with where we are right now. I’m not satisfied because I think ultimately we need to be able to challenge the bulk of the incumbents. We’re not there yet, but we’re progressing in that direction, so I’m very pleased.”

As if to underscore the challenges facing the Republican Party in Hawaii, Rohlfing and party activist Michael Palcic engaged in a brief, heated exchange Tuesday during a news conference at the GOP headquarters in which each told the other to “shut the (expletive) up.”

The exchange included some shoving, and Rohlfing said the dispute was about whether candidates in contested Republican primaries can use the headquarters to hold news conferences to launch their campaigns.

Rohlfing said party policy is that announcements in contested primaries should take place outside the headquarters, but Palcic said party members should be able to use the headquarters itself….

read … Unopposed

Hawaii County Mayor a Three-Way Race?

HTH: Pete Hoffmann. Harry Kim. Wally Lau.

The three, all former top public officials in Hawaii County, are probably the most recognizable names in the crowded field of 13 seeking the post of mayor.

Hoffmann served eight years representing North Kohala on the County Council, where he also was chairman. Kim was the mayor for eight years, after serving a decade before that as the voice of Hawaii County Civil Defense on the radio. Lau most recently served as the county’s managing director, Mayor Billy Kenoi’s right-hand man.

It gets less familiar after that.

Marlene Hapai, a science educator, former member of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and wife of former GOP state Rep. Archie Hapai, is also near the top in name recognition….

read … Or Four?

Maui Mayor Tries to go into Solar Business

MN: The Maui County Board of Ethics is calling Mayor Alan Arakawa to appear before the panel to answer questions about money he received from a company leasing property rights for a potential photovoltaic farm on Upcountry land owned by Arakawa and his brother.

The board voted 5-0 to request Arakawa's presence, possibly at its next meeting July 13, to address a letter by Kihei resident Mark Hyde. Hyde is asking the Board of Ethics to probe possible lease income from the 47-acre Omaopio Road parcels owned by the mayor and his brother, Wallace….

Arakawa told The Maui News in March that an agreement to connect the future solar farm with MECO was denied by the utility. The company will likely try again, he said.

read … Solar

PUC: NextEra ruling coming soon, draft decision in hand

KHON: …Chairman Randy Iwase told Always Investigating the final order is likely within weeks, and they’ve got a big part of the decision already in their hands.

A key item got turned in to the three deciding commissioners in early May, he revealed.

“There’s a staff report. Attached to that report is a proposed draft decision,” Iwase said….

“Will you share the staff’s recommendation before the order?” Always Investigating asked.

“No,” Iwase replied.

“Why not?” we asked.

“The staff report is internal. It is attorney-client privilege. The attorneys are writing to us, the clients,” Iwase explained.

As for the actual decision, “everything will be in private,” Iwase said. “A commissioner could start off and say ‘I agree with everything,’ and therefore you add nothing, or you could say, ‘I want to make this amendment’ then you put it in red. We’re still looking at the first draft, so we know where each one is.”…

“Any truth to the rumor that they’re waiting out one of the commissioner’s terms on the 30th?” Always Investigating asked.

“No, and that’s one of the rumors flying around,” Iwase replied.  (Translation: Ask me again on July 1.) ….

read … Draft Decision

EIS Debunks Anti-Dairy Farm Protesters

KE: …The draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that Mahaulepu dairy opponents demanded is now complete. But garans, they'll be unhappy with the report, which found that no significant impacts are likely….

Hawaii Dairy Farms — a $17.5 million pilot project financed by billionaire Pierre Omidyar — plans to employ a pasture-based rotational grazing method on former sugar cane land on Kauai's southside. Though an EIS wasn't required, HDF agreed to conduct the assessment to placate foes.

Opponents, which include owners of the Grand Hyatt, have filed suit to stop the project. Meanwhile, Friends of Mahaulepu and Surfrider have used The Garden Island, KKCR and social media to unleash a barrage of accusations about water pollution, noxious odors, fly hell, reduced residential property values and other harms, while deriding the dairy as “industrial ag” and inaccurately likening it to a confined animal feeding operation.

The DEIS, conducted by Group 70, analyzed the impacts from 699 mature milking cows, as well as a contemplated herd size of up to 2,000 cows. Its findings neatly deconstruct the various claims leveled by opponents….

The DEIS identified the following beneficial impacts:

Increased local milk production, farm jobs, support for Kauai agriculture, youth education, “significant opportunities for local ranchers” and “increased soil conservation. Pasture creation and management will stabilize and protect soils across nearly 500 acres, reducing soil erosion and suspended sediment runoff to drainage ways and the nearshore ocean waters.

read … Mahaulepu Dairy EIS: No Impact

State sides with KPD Chief on body cameras

HNN: …SHOPO argued Kauai's chief needed union approval first, but the labor board ruled against the union.

The decision could make it easier for all of the state's police departments to implement body cams.

Every department except Honolulu's is already in the testing phase….

read … Body Cams

Mental health care for youths lacking in isles

SA: …The state Health Department often ends up sending severely mentally ill children and teens to the mainland for treatment, away from the support of friends and family.

Aron, now 18, was in and out of Hawaii psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers for years. Yet he continued to struggle with mental illness, sleeping as little as two hours a night and sometimes still becoming violent.

But once he was sent to Kansas for treatment, things started getting better.

“The great thing is, my son is finally making progress in therapy and school,” Callahan said. “The sad thing is, he has to be on the mainland to do so.”

Hawaii showed improvement after being placed under the so-called Felix consent decree, which followed a 1993 lawsuit filed on behalf of disabled Maui student Jennifer Felix. The lawsuit alleged the state broke federal laws that required it to provide services to mentally ill students.

After that the state Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, which oversees teens and children with severe mental illness, underwent massive changes, said Lynn Fallin, deputy director of behavioral health for the state Health Department. The division built up clinical staff to provide direct services for kids while navigating health care changes in the Affordable Care Act, Fallin said.

But gaps in services remain. The state has no secure residential treatment facilities and has only two psychiatric hospitals for teens, both on Oahu.

Up to 38 kids were sent out of state for treatment following the Felix consent decree, Health Department data show. But as services increased in the state, that number dropped to fewer than 10 per year. Over the past couple of years, however, it increased again to the mid-20s.

Fallin said the department is applying for a grant to help boost services in the islands for severely mentally ill kids.

Outreach workers and mental health providers say the lack of community-based mental health services is becoming as bad as it was before the federal lawsuit. Meanwhile, Hawaii has one of the highest teen suicide attempt rates in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There were a lot of serv-ices with the Felix decree, but they’ve been cut back,” said Robert Collesano, director of the Maui branch of Mental Health America of Hawaii. “They’re slowly inching up, but it’s nowhere where it used to be.”

This leaves suicidal or mentally ill teens waiting for hospital beds and struggling to find care with a shortage of psychiatrists, Collesano said….

read … Mental Health

Condom Ban in Place as Trannies Party with Hawaii DoE Students on Orders from The Obama Himself

HTH: …Less than half of Big Island teens used condoms the last time they had sex, one survey shows, but a policy that bans the distribution of prophylactics in Hawaii’s public schools isn’t going away just yet.

The state Board of Education voted Tuesday to keep the condom prohibition intact, withdrawing a previous motion to overturn it.

Board members did so upon recommendation of the state Department of Education that argued condoms in schools remains “controversial … in the community” and the policy shouldn’t be changed without “sufficient community conversation leading up to the decision.”

Removing the ban would require new guidelines and regulations that could “place an additional workload” on state and school employees, the DOE recommendation said.

Health care providers told board members Tuesday the ban was a bad idea. A Planned Parenthood petition that collected dozens of signatures opposing the ban also was submitted to the board.

Fewer adolescents in Hawaii use condoms than anywhere in the country, physicians argued, quoting results from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey….

Obama will be out of office January 20, 2017.

read … Condom Ban

Slow City Permit Approvals Allow Homeless to Take Over Abandoned Building, Make it into Drug Den

KHON: …After a fire at the abandoned church last month, we followed up and that’s when things started happening.

When we looked into the problem less than two weeks ago, we learned the new owner wanted to tear it down, but the permit to demolish the church was caught up in red tape.

The day after we aired that story, the city granted the permit.

Then on Tuesday, relief came for the neighborhood. An excavator was brought in to tear down what was once St. Patrick Church and Food Outreach.

“It’s been a haven for the homeless kids that want to party, throw rocks, break glass,” said area resident Solomon Espinas.

“My dog starts barking at 7:30 every night until three in the morning because there’s always kids or homeless in the church and they tend to vandalize, no respect to the property,” said Wes Kam, who lives next door.

Kam says he wound up having to call Honolulu police to check on the property at least twice a month….

We learned then that the property owner had filed for a permit two months earlier, but the city sent it to the state to be reviewed because the property is more than 50 years old.

The next day, the city said it was mistaken and it did not have to be reviewed, so the permit was granted.

Area residents have never been so happy to see something destroyed. They say the property has been a magnet for criminal activity for almost 10 years….

AP: Homeless who haven’t made it to Hawaii yet are Killing Lots of People in San Francisco

read … Drug Den

Hawaii Among Very Last States to Ease Access to Anti-Overdose Drug

AP: …Only five states — Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming — have yet to pass a law improving naloxone access, according to The Network for Public Health Law, a nonprofit that helps government agencies.

Legislatures in two of those states, Hawaii and Missouri, have passed bills that await governor signatures, and Montana regulators have worked out an agreement with CVS to allow for wider access at its stores….

read … Slow Hawaii

Fail: After 6 Years, Civil Beat finally Gives up on Trying to Sell Subscriptions

CB: …we’ve taken down our paywall. You no longer need a subscription to read every single story, past and present, on Civil Beat.

Along with that, we have transitioned to a nonprofit organization. Our application is pending with the IRS. And in the meantime, we have joined the Institute for Nonprofit News, a coalition of more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms across the U.S., including the Texas Tribune, Voice of San Diego, the Center for Public Integrity and many, many others.

We’re also switching to a membership model, very similar to that used by other public media outlets. INN is acting as our fiscal sponsor so that, effective immediately, all contributions to Civil Beat are tax deductible (especially those made by Pierre Omidyar)….

ILind: Big changes at Civil Beat

read … Still Struggling to Finding Our Place In Hawaii’s Media Landscape

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