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Monday, October 24, 2016
October 24, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:24 PM :: 3246 Views

“Your Voice!” – Discover the Public's Power in the Legislative Process!

Meet Hawaii’s OTHER Self-Dealing Bank Director/Politician

Survey: 47% of Oahu MDs Refusing New Medicare Patients

Guide to 20 Honolulu Charter Amendment questions

Rail Tax Hike: Will Council Take a Position?

SA: Last week, City Council members considered four resolutions in support of building the full 20-mile rail transit line to Ala Moana Center — a move that could touch off more support at the state Capitol for another rail tax extension request.

“We have to take a position,” Councilwoman Kymberly Pine said, recounting how the Council’s silence on the matter in 2015 riled some legislators. Last year, city and rail leaders assured the Legislature that a five-year general excise tax surcharge extension likely would be enough to finish the line…. (They lied. Who will believe them this time?)

read … Grab Your Wallet

Next Session: Push is on for LTC Insurance (Again)

CB: …Clearly, not having policies to take care of our aging parents in a state where people over 60 will make up about 27 percent of the population by 2030 is potentially disastrous. The escalation of this challenge through successive generations has a real impact on the wellbeing of Hawaii’s people and the state.

Earlier this year, I participated in a town hall with legislators and other members of the community to offer my perspective on the need to enact legislation that will allow for public long-term care insurance for all.

The proposed legislation would have given families a modest stipend to help pay for the cost of hiring a caregiver in the home. This would allow the working family members to continue in their jobs and build up savings for their own retirement. Such a policy benefits employers, as they do not lose experienced employees prematurely. This is a win for the employer, the employee and for working families.

My hope, as we look to the next legislative session, is that taking care of our families will rank as a number one priority.

read … Expensive

DoE Pares Down Rubber Room

SA: …Twenty-seven employees — mostly teachers — were on paid leave while under investigation for alleged wrongdoing as of Oct. 1, personnel officials told the Board of Education’s Human Resources Committee last week.

That’s down from 63 pending cases at the end of 2014, when the BOE, citing concerns over the cost of paid leave, began probing the department’s handling of so-called department-directed leave and leave pending investigation cases. Department officials have since provided the board with quarterly updates.

Twenty of the current cases involve allegations against teachers, according to a list provided to the BOE. The teacher investigations include allegations of inappropriate conduct toward students (12 cases), inappropriate sexual relations with a student (three cases) and one allegation each of creating a hostile work environment and inappropriate use of DOE internet and/or technology. Three teachers also are under “suitability analysis” investigations to determine whether they are still fit for public employment and to work in close proximity with children.

read … DOE pares backlog of misconduct inquiries

Discipline the Homeless

SA: …We seem to care more about people breaking the law than families who are paying the taxes for the beautiful parks and museums. Let us follow the command in Leviticus 19: “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.”

It is correct to judge and discipline folks who litter and vandalize. They must be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise the Children’s Discovery Center will be another homeless encampment….

read … Discipline

DLNR ‘Management’—35 Years of Habitat Loss

SA: The Pahole Natural Area Reserve, which sits on the northeastern face of the Waianae Mountains, has been a remote sanctuary for rare and endangered plants and animals since 1981.

Despite (Due to) being an actively managed preserve for 35 years, however, its species have declined and their habitat has been lost due to invasive species and other threats.

Now the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing a plan to better manage and protect the 658-acre natural area reserve.

A draft management plan, prepared by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is available for public review and comment through Nov. 18…

read … Habitat Loss

Poll: 69 Percent Of Voters Want Feral Cats Removed From Hawaii

CB: There are hundreds of thousands in the islands and they pose a threat to native species, especially monk seals….Just 13 percent want to leave the cats alone, 9 percent had no opinion either way and 9 percent were unsure.

read …. Working the Biiiig Issues

Criminal gets 20 years after fleeing Maui Drug Court

MN: A man who fled from the Maui Drug Court program of treatment and supervision was sentenced Thursday to consecutive prison terms totaling 20 years for burglary, theft and drug offenses in 12 criminal cases.

Shane Kirby, 43, also was ordered to pay restitution totaling nearly $194,000….

read … Justice

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