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Friday, November 4, 2016
November 4, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:23 PM :: 3053 Views

Hawaii has the longest permit approval process in the country

Hawaii Pensions 70.8% Unfunded

Political Engagement -- Hawaii Ranks 47th

Federal Grants for Container on Barge Services—But not for Hawaii

OHA Incumbents Run Away from Their Records—And Every Community Forum

Jaci Agustin Recognized Again Nationally

Winston Hale: City-Owned Building Sat Vacant for Decade

Star-Adv: DoE Transitioning Away from Academic Rigor—Back to the Bad Old Days

SA: Matayoshi took over at a time when there was a need for someone unafraid of administering the DOE with a firm hand. She was not an educator but came to the job from the business world, heading the Hawaii Business Roundtable….  (Now they are kicking her out.)

Clearly it falls to the BOE to help the department through a tough transition and find leadership capable of accommodating more educational creativity and control at the school level without entirely losing the increase in academic rigor. A lot of that is still worth keeping….  (Empty rhetoric.)

Ige said forcefully through his campaign and into his administration that he wanted more control shifted from the central DOE bureaucracy to the school level, empowering principals and teachers the HSTA….

For example, school performance will be evaluated at least partly on the basis of how much academic “growth” it achieves, rather than simply comparing test scores to a rigid yardstick. Schools also can be judged by improvement in its graduation rates or various other measures of school success….  (Translation: It’ll be a lot easier to fake the results.)

A thousand flowers should be allowed to bloom, with creativity encouraged at the classroom level.  (Translation: Back to the bad old days.)

DN: Would we want Ivanka Trump as our next School Superintendent in Hawaii?

Big Q: Should housing developers along the rail line pay a school impact fee to help fund future area schools?

read … Guard academic rigor in schools

Leadership Decisions Leave Shafter Students ‘Toughing It Out’

CB: At a recent meeting with the parents of Shafter Elementary School, the principal said that when the Moanalua Complex approached her recently about changing the school boundary lines to address overcrowding. She told them no thanks, she would “tough it out.” I wish she had asked the parents for their thoughts before turning down the offer.

Shafter Elementary was on the verge of being closed down a few years ago due to a low number of students. Then, in 2011, the complex redistricted and brought about 260 Navy children living in Radford Terrace over from Aliamanu Elementary to Shafter Elementary. Now, with approximately 500 students attending Shafter Elementary, we’re bursting at the seams.

The fall of 2016 saw the students lose their library. The books had to move out to facilitate a third grade class moving in. On Oct. 31, the students lost their cafeteria: a first grade class is moving in (the school notified us of this change Oct. 28)….

read … Leadership Decisions Leave Shafter Students ‘Toughing It Out’

HNN Gives Rep Tom Brower Free Airtime to Campaign with Fluff Interview

HNN: State Representative Tom Brower is up for re-election and on Thursday, he visited the Sunrise studios to speak with Grace Lee.

Brower is seeking to remain on the seat for District 22, which includes Ala Moana, Kakaako and Waikiki.

The first issue Brower discussed was the state Department of Education's proposal to collect nearly $9,400 from every unit built in the "School Impact District" in order to build new schools or expand existing ones.

One district would run along the rail route from Middle street to Waikiki, up mauka to H1 Freeway and down to the water's edge.

Click here for a more detailed look into DOE's proposal….

(No mention of sledgehammer attacks on the homeless.)

Remember This? Rep Brower Billed State for Sledgehammer Used to Attack Homeless

And This? Sledgehammer Tom Brower Taxpayer-Funded Survey: Should Homeless Shopping Carts be ‘Disposed’?

read … Free Advertising Fluff Interview

Military Families Sue Developer over Soil Contamination

CB: It’s been more than a year since the Hawaii Department of Health urged developer Forest City Residential Management to test the soil near homes on Marine Corps Base Hawaii on windward Oahu for possible pesticide contamination.

The soil sampling still hasn’t happened.

But 44 military families have filed five separate lawsuits against Forest City and its former subsidiary Ohana Military Communities, now owned by developer Hunt Companies, contending that the firms failed to disclose pesticide contamination near their homes.

Residents have raised concerns about health problems that they fear are linked to possible pesticide contamination of the surface soil surrounding their homes.

Forest City and Hunt Companies are pursuing their own case against Cara Barber, the wife of a Marine Corps veteran who lived on the Kaneohe base for several years and was the lead plaintiff in the initial lawsuit against Forest City in 2014.

After a magistrate judge recommended against certifying her case as a class action, Barber settled the case in February for undisclosed terms. In May, Forest City and Hunt filed a motion for preliminary injunction against her for allegedly violating the confidentiality provision of her settlement agreement and defaming the companies on Facebook and her blog.

read … Dozens Of Military Families Are Suing Over Pesticide Concerns

UH to Hit up Legislature for $29 million

SA: The University of Hawaii plans to ask the Legislature for an extra $29 million for operations next academic year, including additional funds for the UH Cancer Center, initiatives around boosting graduation rates and research activities, and salary increases for graduate assistants.

The funds would add to the university’s base budget, which this fiscal year is roughly $432 million in state general funds. (With tuition and other revenue sources included, UH is a $1.3 billion operation.)

read … Golden Parachutes Are Expensive

UH Scheming to Sock Community College Students with Athletic Fees

SA: As part of its attempt to close chronic deficits and achieve a balanced budget by 2020, the University of Hawaii athletic department is struggling to balance fees paid by its students. UH-Manoa students now pay a $50 student-athletic fee each semester, which gives them admission to athletic events. Plans to increase that are now on hold, pending further discussion with student groups.

One interesting tidbit that came out of a Wednesday Board of Regents meeting was that some Kapiolani Community College students (obviously planted) were open to paying an athletic fee to get game admittance.

Surely, a way can be figured out to give any community college kid who wants to support and attend games an opt-in on the semester athletic fee, perhaps at a reduced cost.

read … Fee Hike

Suicide Squad to Target Hawaii Again in 2017

CNS: …If the bill eventually becomes law, the district would be the nation's seventh jurisdiction to allow doctors to assist the terminally ill to kill themselves. Six states –- Vermont, Oregon, Washington state, Montana, New Mexico and California -– allow assisted suicide. California just issued a regulation allowing people who have been hospitalised for mental illness to request physician-assisted suicide.

A ballot measure to legalise assisted suicide is on the ballot for November in Colorado. In Michigan, legislation has been proposed for the 2017 session. Compassion & Choices, an organisation that advocates for assisted suicide, is targeting several states for initiatives in 2017: Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Utah, New York, Delaware, Iowa and Hawaii.

Similar physician-assisted suicide laws have been introduced and have failed in 22 states.

read … Suicide Bombers

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