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Sunday, November 6, 2016
November 6, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:04 PM :: 3214 Views

Engineer: Failed Tendons Could Lead to Catastrophic Collapse of Rail Line

Better Ways to Fix Traffic on Oahu

When Pipelines Explode, Jones Act Freight Rates Go Up

DNA Testing and Successorship: DHHL Sets Public Hearings

Honolulu Charter Amendments – Blank vs. “No” Vote

Build up, build out, or accept Hawaii’s high cost of living

EMS Runs out of Ambulances Because of Caldwell’s Worn out Broken Down Fleet

KHON: …This past weekend, a temporary shortage of ambulances caused Emergency Medical Services to use a rapid response unit, or a vehicle not designed to transport patients, for a 12-hour shift….

Ross Sasamura, the City’s director of facility maintenance, oversees the care of a fleet of 47 ambulances. Of those 47, 20 make up the active fleet, and 27 are backups. Of those backups, 17 are out of service and in the shop, mainly because of engine problems….

In 2016 close to $350,000 was spent on repairs alone….  ($350K / 47 = $7446.81 per unit.)

Brandon Elefante, the city council member who chairs the public safety committee, was asked if he thought the number of ambulances in the shop was cause for concern. “Not at all….”

But according to Sasamura, the City is currently looking for a new mechanic to add to their EMS maintenance team….

Generally ambulances are taken out of service when they are 10 years old…..

read … Incompetent Caldwell 

DoE $9000 per Unit Honolulu Housing Tax Much Larger than West Side

SA: Under DOE’s proposal, a school impact fee district would be established along a 4-mile stretch of the rail line, from Kalihi through downtown and Kakaako to Ala Moana. A fee of about $9,000 would be assessed per residential unit built within the zone; the developer or the buyers would be on the hook to pay it….

In Leeward Oahu, for example, the fee amounts are set at $4,334 per unit for multi-family units and $5,504 for single-family units.

Public hearings on this proposal were held last week, and comments can be submitted to the DOE (information on the project is available online at bit.ly/ImpactDistricts, or by calling 784-5080). It will be considered at the Board of Education’s Nov. 15 meeting….

the fee could add to the disincentives for housing construction within the transit-oriented development (TOD) districts the city established along the 20-mile rail route. The TOD ordinances authorize incentives for developers in exchange for providing affordable units along with any market-priced projects they build….

read … Housing Tax

170K Ballots Cast so Far

SA: …early walk-in voting numbers are about flat, compared to the last presidential race. About 32,500 people had cast ballots as of Thursday, Nago said, about 100 more than at this time in 2012.

He said early walk-in voting data is a good indication of what the overall voter turnout will be.

However, it’s possible that an increase in the number of people voting by mail will boost overall turnout rates. For the City and County of Honolulu, the number of residents requesting mail-in ballots between 2008 and 2016 jumped by 77 percent to about 153,000 ballots, said Chad Kadota, the city’s elections administrator.

Statewide, election officials had mailed out 225,116 ballots and received 137,407 back as of Thursday, according to the Office of Elections….

read … Walk in voters pack Honolulu Hale, election officials test network

Kenoi’s Last Days—Retaliation Games in Hawaii Corporation Counsel’s Office

HTH:  Mayor-elect Harry Kim’s administration hasn’t even taken over yet, but the County Council is already trying to stave off a possible purge in the Office of Corporation Counsel.

The legislative body voted 8-1 Wednesday to change the county code so the mayor and council would have to approve the hiring or firing of deputies in that office, the civil attorneys who represent the county in lawsuits. The measure, Bill 254, faces a final reading Nov. 16 before heading to Mayor Billy Kenoi for signature or veto.

Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung, an attorney, fast-tracked the bill because, he said, he’s concerned about the loss of good, capable attorneys representing the county. He questioned why Corporation Counsel appointee Joe Kamelamela has notified deputies of pending job losses even before he himself has been confirmed by the County Council to fill the post….

The bill is a conundrum for Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins, who will be leaving office next month. On the one hand, she said, she has concerns about her deputies’ job security. On the other, she doesn’t think the council should be “micromanaging” county offices.

Stebbins said Kamelamela told almost half the attorneys in her office they won’t be retained.

“When asked, no reason or explanation was provided to them and the opportunity to have any further discussion was refused. These are dedicated, hard-working employees whose experience is a tremendous asset to the county and who will be very difficult to replace,” Stebbins said in a statement Thursday. “While all the attorneys understand that they serve at-will, the lack of respect and professional courtesy being shown to them is incredibly disappointing.”

The 11 deputy positions, which pay $99,240 annually, are overseen by two section chiefs and an assistant corporation counsel, who make slightly more. The corporation counsel — the mayor’s appointee — makes $110,244.

Kamelamela has a history with the office. He retired unexpectedly and two other deputies were fired after Stebbins took over in 2014. West Hawaii Today is not naming the attorneys to preserve their privacy.

The corporation counsel is appointed by the mayor, confirmed by the council and may be removed by the mayor with the approval of the council, under the charter. Unlike other top officials in county government, the corporation counsel represents the council as well as the administration….

read … Department of Retaliation

Big Island Strive HI System scores lower than rest of state

HTH: Hilo-area schools overall averaged 13.8 percent chronic absenteeism — the lowest on the island — followed by West Hawaii schools at 18.9 percent. Puna and Ka‘u schools’ chronic absenteeism rates averaged 31.33 percent….

HTH: Big Island Strive HI Performance System scores

read … Lower

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