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Wednesday, November 16, 2016
November 16, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:48 PM :: 5840 Views
Rep Clift Tsuji Dies

HPD Adds Violent Crime to Crime Mapping Site

Kenoi’s rehabilitation?

ILind: Billy Kenoi gave the opening speech. When he circulated around before the rally, people could not get enough of him. They were lining up to shake hands, with hugs and kisses for the women. Tulsi and a considerable group of supporters were there, as were Mazie and others, but no sign of the governor.

(Translation: I’m coming for you, David.)

read … Kenoi’s rehabilitation?

Pay for Performance Gives HMSA $17.8M Profits

SA: The Hawaii Medical Serv­ice Association, the state’s largest health insurer, and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, the state’s largest health maintenance organization, reported profit gains in the third quarter.

HMSA’s profit rose to $17.8 million, reversing a $5 million year-earlier loss, due in part to a new, controversial payment model that reimburses doctors a fixed monthly rate per patient.

Kaiser earned $7.7 million, six times more than the year-earlier period, after gaining nearly 6,000 members over the previous year.

HMSA, with 733,289 members, collected $801.4 million in premiums and spent $721.7 million on medical benefits in the quarter ended Sept. 30. By comparison, the insurer reported $748.8 million in revenue and $687.7 million in expenses in the year-earlier period.

Administrative expenses totaled $56.4 million, while fees and taxes related to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, amounted to $3.4 million. That’s down from $64.9 million and $5.1 million, respectively….

2011: Pay-for-Performance in Medicare Could Do More Harm Than Good

read … Cash Flow

Regulatory Costs Freeze out Affordable Housing

KHON: …Gladys Quinto Marrone of the Building Industry of Hawaii said “people wait in line for hours until a developer releases new homes, and they’ll only release a few at a time. This is a symptom of the lack of supply that we have.”

“The building industry has shifted to the high end of the market,” said Robert Dietz of the National Association of Home Builders. “That’s due in part to rising regulatory costs, shortages of workers and shortages of lots. So we need to reduce regulatory costs to start building. We need to get more land in the pipeline, and we need to get more young people looking at the construction trade as a way to make a living.”

On the conference’s Facebook page, it stated that the median price of a home on Oahu reached $760,000 in June 2016.

Statistics from the Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism reported that 25,847 new housing units are needed for Honolulu, 19,610 for Hawaii Island, 13,949 for Maui, and 5,287 for Kauai from 2015-2025….

read … Experts address issue of affordable housing on Oahu

State, Solar Scammers Oppose HECO Move to Reduce Electricity Costs

IM: The Hawaiian Electric Companies will be filing their plans for the future on December 23, 2016. The Power Supply Improvement Plans will show where the utility wants to go between now and 2045, what the alternatives and risks are, and what needs to be accomplished in the next five years.

In the meantime, HELCO is proposing to by a large existing generation station in Hamakua and HECO is seeking to expand the amount of coal-based electricity bought from AES in Campbell Industrial Park.

Last week the Consumer Advocate and Blue Planet Foundation filed their Statement of Positions in the HECO-AES expansion proceeding currently being considered for approval by the Public Utilities Commission. Both entities recommended that the proposal be rejected. 

(Translation: Keep electricity expensive so we can keep raking in the bucks.)

AES currently owns and operates a topping-cycle cogeneration facility. The signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with HECO (1992-2022) to provide 180 megawatts of capacity. The proposal before the Commission is to expand the capacity by up to 9 megawatts.…  “Trump Digs Coal” ….

read … State and Blue Planet Oppose Increased Use of Coal

Public still has say on Kahuku’s 9 wind turbines

SA: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it is extending a public comment period for a second proposed wind farm in Kahuku.

The federal agency opened a 30-day comment period in October that has ended. The new comment period, which is open now, will run through Dec. 19….

After receiving approval to lease the land and sell the power, Na Pua Makani’s parent company, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings LLC, needs approval from state and federal agencies for the estimated impact the project will have on the surrounding environment. Once the company has those approvals, it can apply for a building permit.

Na Pua Makani submitted an environmental impact statement and habitat conservation plan in October. In addition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has to give the EIS its stamp of approval before the project moves ahead.

In the EIS, Na Pua Makani Power Partners requested a permit, known as an “incidental take” permit, that would authorize its wind turbines to kill some of the island’s threatened species. The company is requesting to kill four adults and two Newell’s shearwater chicks; four adult Hawaiian stilts; eight Hawaiian coots; eight Hawaiian moorhens; four Hawaiian ducks; six Hawaiian geese, or nene, the state bird; four Hawaiian short-eared owl adults and four chicks; and 51 Hawaiian hoary bats, the state mammal, over the 20-year life of the project….

Related: Hawaii Windfarms killing endangered Birds: After five years Mitigation Lags

read … Kahuku

Victory: $9000 Per Unit Schools fee for housing near transit nixed amid opposition

SA: …The board’s Finance and Infrastructure Committee voted to defer action on creating a so-called school impact fee district along a 4-mile stretch of the city’s rail line, from Kalihi through downtown Honolulu and Kakaako to Ala Moana.

Residential development in the area is expected to bring with it as many as 10,200 students over the next two decades. The 13 existing schools serving the area can handle only about 1,500 more students, according to the Department of Education.

Under the department’s proposal, builders or buyers of new homes and condos within the proposed district would be assessed a $9,374 fee per unit to help offset the cost of building new public schools or expanding current ones. The fee would apply to all new residential developments within the district, including accessory dwellings or ohana units and government housing projects….

read … Victory

‘Exceptional’ DOE Bureaucrats get 4.15% raises

SA: The Board of Education approved merit-based raises averaging 3.5 percent Tuesday for nearly two dozen senior Department of Education executives.

The board previously rejected a proposal from schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi seeking across-the-board 4.5 percent raises for 23 of her top executives including the department’s deputy superintendent, six assistant superintendents and 15 complex-area superintendents.

After some BOE members questioned the approach of across-the-board increases, the department came up with a revised recommendation that ties individual raises to performance:

>> Two executives rated as “fully meets expectations” will receive a 2.4 percent raise based on cost-of-living increases.

>> Sixteen executives rated as “exceeds expectations” will receive a 3.4 percent adjustment.

>> Five executives rated as “exceptional” will receive a 4.15 percent increase….

read … Mo’ Money

HSTA Agenda for Trump Administration

CB: Scenario No. 1: The School Choice and Education Opportunity Act is passed verbatim.

Scenario No. 2: New leadership reverses the course of current US Department of Education leadership.

Scenario No. 3: Leadership gets replaced, but nothing really changes.

Scenario No. 4: The Department of Education is defunded significantly.

EW: See Who's Been Tapped to Lead Trump's Transition Team for Education

read … Hawaii Teacher: Election Shocked Them In The Classroom, Too

Hirono Now Claims to have been the only Muslim in Late 1940s Japan.  Really.

CB: “In addition to saying that immigrants spread disease, [his website Breitbart] has advocated a religious test for immigration (No Muslims.). As an immigrant and a religious minority, this isn’t a test that I would have passed.”  (Is Hirono telling us she was the only Muslim in late 1940s Japan?  Really?  When did she convert to Buddhism?)

read … Hirono: Fire Steve Bannon

Majority of arrested Portland protesters did not vote in election

AP: Out of 108 protesters arrested in Portland following last week's election, only 31 voted, according to voter logs released by the Multnomah County Elections Division.

Among the 72 who did not vote, 36 were not registered to vote.

The arrestees who did not vote ranged in age from 18 to 52 years old, according to county records. The oldest person arrested who was not registered to vote was 41 years old.

The numbers do not include arrested protesters under the age of 18.

(The numbers do not include the protester who was shot but presumably they do include the three protesters who shot him.)

SA: Clearly, the stunned Democrats in particular have lost touch with the Rust Belt….

read … Civic-Minded, LOL!

Trump Won Because Hillary Was More Repulsive

MN: …Trump got fewer votes this year than Mitt Romney did in 2012. What beat Hillary Clinton this year is that a lot of Barack Obama’s supporters simply stayed home.

In 2012, Obama received 65,915,795 votes (Source: Wikipedia). This year, Hillary Clinton received 60,467,245 votes. That means over 5,400,000 people who supported Obama in 2012 simply didn’t show up to vote.

Don’t think they fled to Trump, either. Trump received 60,071,650 votes compared to Romney’s 60,933,504 in 2012. That means some 867,000 fewer votes for the Republican nominee this year, too….

read … Repulsive

E-cigarette regulations defy logic

SA: …new overbearing regulations from Food and Drug Administration could shut us down. Without intervention by Congress, our company, our 13 retail stores, and the 80 jobs we have created across Hawaii will no longer exist in August 2018….

With a recent survey released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention showing that 2.5 million former smokers are using vapor products, it is clear these products represent the No. 1 competitor not only to the global cigarette market, but also to large pharmaceutical companies that sell ineffective smoking cessation products….

There is, however, some hope. In April, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment to an agriculture spending bill that addresses the FDA’s looming prohibition of these products. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), would negate the need for current products on the market as of August 2016 to go through the potentially multimillion-dollar pre-approvals process. The Cole-Bishop Amendment also contains a series of provisions relating to battery standards and youth access that will actually strengthen the FDA’s regulation….

On behalf of the 500 locals employed by this industry and the thousands of citizens who have used vapor products to kick the habit, we implore Hawaii’s congressional delegates to speak to their leaders in the House and Senate about how important it is that the Cole-Bishop Amendment be included in this year’s omnibus funding bill. Without it, we and others simply won’t be able to remain open for business.

LINK: Cole-Bishop Amendment

read … Tobacco Taxes

Most Oahu arrests involve those with drug addictions, mental illness

HNN: Of the 16,000 arrests made on Oahu last year, 61 percent involved people who were severely mentally ill or abusing drugs, according to the Honolulu Police Department….

And another startling statistic: 43 percent of detainees in HPD's central cell block last year were homeless. Of those, 72 percent had a serious mental illness or substance abuse problem….

For nearly a decade, HPD has sought to step up efforts to keep the mentally ill out of the criminal justice system. Last year, more than 3,200 people were diverted to service programs instead of jail….

"People are in our corrections system because they haven't had anywhere else to go," said Trisha Kajimura, executive director Mental Health America of Hawaii. "They haven't had the proper healthcare, including mental healthcare, or treatment for their illnesses or addictions." 

read … Drugs

Wrongful Death? Criminal Defense Bar Continues to Exploit Kealoha Corruption Investigation for its own ends

CB:  Sheldon Haleck died at the hands of officers in March 2015. Now his family’s attorney wants to question the embattled police chief….

SA: City approves $150,000 for Kealoha lawyer fees

read … Wrongful Death Case Highlights Kealoha’s Legal Entanglements

HiTech Tax Credit Schemers Gifted with $25K Each—Could Get Up to $150K

SA: …XLR8UH, developed by the University of Hawaii and investment firm Sultan Ventures, is a program that educates and invests in companies created by UH students, researchers, faculty and alumni.

The companies are Smart Yields, a data analytics platform that provides crop protection alerts; HealthTech Apps, mobile technology to monitor sports concussions; OiOiOT, which offers internet-based solutions for community projects; Herbavore, a horticultural hand tool company; Radial3D, a mobile app to share medical images; iFirst Medical Technologies, a blood analysis app; Natural Resource Data Solutions, a platform for data collection and project management for conservation and agriculture customers; and Azimov Technologies, a guidance and control technology for unmanned aircraft systems.

The teams are eligible to receive $25,000 to $50,000 for completing the program and up to $100,000 in follow-up funding….

SA: Hi Tech Tax Credit Schemer Actually Comes up with a Product—It’s a dietary supplement, natch

read … Schemes and Scams

In Dramatic Move, Anti-GMO Activist Grows One Ear of Corn

KE: …It seems the newest farmer – or, more accurately, fantasy farmer — is the recently defeated Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser….

Yup, he grows an ear and figures that now he can feed the island andmake a political statement. It's not exactly clear why growing organic sweet corn is an act of resistance, though it is interesting that his choice of the term "corn angels" continues to emphasize anti-GMO activism as religion….

AP: Organic Farmer accused of sexually assaulting minors bails out

read … Musings: Dose of Hope



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