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Thursday, November 30, 2017
November 30, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:58 PM :: 3465 Views

ConCon: OHA Admin Pushing to Abolish OHA Board of Trustees?

Hawaii Dusts Off Cold War-Era Sirens As North Korean Nuclear Shadow Looms

Hawaii County Seeking Applicants for Boards and Commissions

Executive Order 17-07: Autonomous Vehicle Testing in Hawaii

Mauna Kea: OHA Still Hasn’t Served UH With Lawsuit

BIVN: …Nagata began with an update on the Thirty Meter Telescope conservation district use permit, which was recently granted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. The land board decision is being appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Nagata said they are now waiting for the process to move forward. All the materials have to be transferred from the BLNR to the supreme court.

Nagata talked about the Kalani Flores vs. BLNR lawsuit, regarding his request for a contested case concerning the TMT sublease. The matter is also before the Hawaii Supreme Court, she said, which is expected to set a date for oral arguments.

Nagata mentioned the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ complaint over the management of Mauna Kea. To date, OHA has not yet served the University, Nagata said….

“The last we have heard is the Governor (David Ige) requested that the Board of Regents not submit the draft rules to him for his consideration and his approval to allow UH to hold public hearings on the draft rules,” Nagata reported….

Nov 8, 2017: Lawsuit: OHA Grabs for Control of Mauna Kea

read … VIDEO: Mauna Kea Report Entails Litany Of Legal Conflicts

Sexual harassment in Hawaii

HNN: …"It has gone from the largest # of sex discrimination complaints, to last year we only had 9 sex harassment complaints filed, said William Hoshijo, the Executive Director of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.

Nine years ago, there were over 50 complaints.

The number may have come down because of better workplace training, although sexual harassment is one type of discrimination that is believed to be largely under reported.

"There is fear of retaliation and it keeps people from coming forward and asserting their rights, but retaliation is prohibited under state and federal law," said Honshijo.

But all the national accusations against actors and high profile people could have an impact in reporting here, already there has been an increase in calls coming into the Civil Rights Commission.

"I think it is a good thing that so many people are coming forward. It is the only way for us to affect any change," stated Honshijo.

The commission will investigate complaints to see if there were violations. Which can include working in an offensive environment with unwanted sexual conduct, or being fired or promoted because of denying or giving sexual favors.

"If at the end of the investigation we find reasonable cause, we would seek remedies for the complainants. That includes damages, pain and suffering and punitive damages," said Honshijo.

There have been some cases that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims. Others involved city or state agencies, universities along with regular island businesses. But most are settled out of court, usually with confidentially agreements, so people don't even know they took place.

While some of the recent national accusations date back years or even decades ago, for victims in Hawaii they have to file with the Civil Rights Commission within 180 days. Although someone who has been sexually harassed has two years to take their case to court…..


read … Sex Harassment

Hawaii lawmaker aims to quash ‘hush fund’ that settles sexual allegations in Congress

KHON: On Capitol Hill, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a measure that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to settle sexual misconduct claims against members of Congress.

Since 1990, the government says its paid out more than $17 million to settle claims against Congress members, though it’s unclear how much of that money was related to sexual assault or sexual harassment allegations.

What’s also unclear is who is accused of misconduct, since those names are kept confidential.

Gabbard’s bill seeks to make them public…..

read … Public

Hawaii Windfarms Admit Killing 146 Endangered Bats and Dozens of Nene

MN: …But statewide, the number of fatalities is already approaching those set limits. In total, Hawaii’s five major wind farms have reached 146 out of 180 permitted bat fatalities, and most are barely five years into their 20-year permits, according to an October 2016 report by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Auwahi, operated by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power on the southern slopes of Haleakala, has recorded an estimated 23 bat fatalities since 2012, according to the report. Its permit allows 27 incidental bat fatalities by 2037.

For Kaheawa Wind Power I, an estimated 34 bats and 41 nene have been killed since 2006. Its permitted take is 50 bats and 60 nene by 2026.

Kaheawa Wind Power II is permitted 30 incidental nene deaths and 11 incidental bat deaths between 2012 and 2032. As of Oct. 1, an estimated 13 bats and 11 nene have been killed at the site, department officials said Monday….

read … Wind farm seeks to increase allowed number of bat deaths

Doctors Leaving Hawaii Because of HMSA Plan

SA: …Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) has promoted its new payment transformation model as a way of supporting primary care. But it failed to actually calculate a fair and reasonable wage for such services.

The Big Island is in the midst of a population expansion, in addition to a staggering physician shortage of 39 percent and primary care shortage of 49 percent. In the last 12 months alone, Hilo has lost seven PCPs, only two of which were not related to income….

Via the payment transformation model from HMSA, which offers an average reimbursement of $24 per patient a month, working 200 hours per month, we need to manage over 1,500 patients to pay a fair and reasonable salary to a single physician, and over 2,100 patients to support team-based care. And that does not include calculations for any overhead or supplies; just salaries.

This means that your PCP, the person hopefully you are trusting with your well-being, receives $24 per month to safeguard your health and treat you during illness — $288 a year, to pay staff, rent, electricity and federally mandated electronic medical records.

There is no change in the HMSA reimbursement, no matter what services the patient requires — whether it be acute illness or injury, nebulizer for asthma flare-up, routine follow-up, skin biopsy to check for cancer. PCPs get the same $24 a month.

With this reimbursement model, PCPs actually lose money by offering more to their patients. Patients lose their opportunity to receive the best medical management…

read …. Reimbursement squeezes primary-care docs — and patients

Kakaako New Tweeker Camp Found

HNN:  Another homeless sweep is set for Friday in Kakaako. This time, it's targeting people displaced by a prior sweep — and they're camping just outside the Next Step shelter.  It's estimated there are between 50 and 60 people illegally camping in the area….

the area once thought of as a driveway is now overrun with tents and other makeshift shelters.

"It got worse when the park trespassers were cleared out and the city did some of their enforcement," said Hawaii Community Development Authority Executive Director Jesse Souki. "The people flooded into areas they deem to be lawless,"

Souki said the area is government property and was never supposed to be used as a road.

Now, the agency is working with the Department of Transportation to secure that strip of land….

Despite being outside one of the island's largest homeless shelters, many of the illegal campers have repeatedly turned down offers of a place to stay.

"It's primarily single adults and couples in the area and many of the people who have been in Kakaako area for a very long time. Some of the people we've seen for the past several years," said Scott Morishige, the governor's homeless coordinator.

Over the past week, Morishige has been assisting with outreach. He says although most of people there aren't interested in shelter, they do want housing…..

(Really Obvious Question: Who is telling these tweekers about which ‘strips of land’ to go to?)

read … State to sweep encampment that's cropped up just outside a homeless shelter

Medicated: Dispensaries Sell $1.3M of Weed

PBN: …While the state’s operating dispensaries each declined to provide individual revenue numbers to Pacific Business News, the Hawaii Department of Health, which oversees the program, was able to provide cumulative gross revenue for the state’s operational dispensaries.

Only four of the state’s eight licensees have started selling cannabis products….

Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences on Maui, as well as Aloha Green Apothecary and Noa Botanicals on Oahu have each opened up one retail location and one production center.

The state’s dispensary program allows for each licensee to operate two production centers and two retail locations….

read … Hawaii's medical marijuana dispensaries total $1.3M in cumulative revenue

Woman’s suit alleges deputy assaulted her at courthouse

SA: …Lawyers for Elizabeth A. Mueller filed a lawsuit against the department, its top administrators and the now-former sheriff’s deputy, Freddie Carabbacan, in state court last month. The state attorney general moved the case last week to U.S. District Court.

Mueller said in her lawsuit that Carabbacan molested her in the state Circuit Court cellblock on July 3, 2014, and that another woman being detained in the cellblock witnessed the sexual assault. Mueller said she reported the incident to DPS officials a few weeks later….

Mueller said that on July 3, when she was in custody on another probation violation, DPS handed her a report that said the department investigated and substantiated her sexual assault claim and that corrective action had been taken against the employee….

The day Mueller said she received DPS’s report of its investigation of her claim is exactly three years after she said she was sexually assaulted — the day the statute of limitations expired for third-degree sexual assault….

read … Woman’s suit alleges deputy assaulted her at courthouse

Public sounds off on new site for OCCC

HNN: The state's preferred plan to build a replacement for Oahu Community Correctional Center is facing opposition from the public -- or at least those who showed up at a town hall meeting to discuss the draft environmental impact statement for the project.

Close to a hundred people attended the meeting at the hospitality room at Aloha Stadium. About 20 people signed up to speak, and most of them were against building the new facility.

The state's preferred site for a new prison is the current Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa. Officials said it will have the lowest cost at about $525 million, and also because it would face minimal public opposition….

Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda says a new facility is critically needed.

"It's critical in that the institution is grossly overcrowded. The institution is very old. It's outdated. It's expensive to operate," he said.

The public still has a chance to comment on the draft EIS through January 8.

read … Public sounds off on new site for OCCC

Arakawa Scores $5000 Taxpayer-Funded European Vacation

MN: Mayor Alan Arakawa took a taxpayer-paid trip to Europe in October that included stops in the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands and cost nearly $5,000.

The aim of the travel was to establish a “Friendship City” relationship between Maui County and a municipal district of the Czech capital of Prague, meet university officials and tour renewable energy sites in Europe, county and University of Hawaii Maui College officials said.

The county paid for the mayor’s trip, which left Managing Director Keith Regan and then-acting Department of Finance Director Mark Walker as acting mayor for eight and seven days, respectively, from Oct. 15 to 30, county spokesman Rod Antone said…..

read … Arakawa

Naalehu: Miniscule Errors to be used to Revoke School Charter

HTH:The state Public Charter School Commission on Tuesday voted to issue to Ka’u Learning Academy a “notice of prospect of revocation” — the first step in the process of revoking its charter — alleging issues found in the school’s fiscal year 2017 audit potentially violate provisions of its charter contract.

Those issues were failing to follow standard accounting practices, a lack of separation of duties in school financial procedures and noncompliance with Department of Labor laws and regulations, according to the commission.

The commission also voted Tuesday to withhold Ka‘u Learning Academy’s second allocation of per-pupil state funding, excluding funds necessary to pay essential operational expenses.

The school has 30 days to reply to the notice. It can request a public hearing, and the commission must make a final decision within 30 days of the hearing or within 30 days of the school’s response, if no hearing is held. The commission has an additional 15 days to notify the school of its final decision.

If the commission decides to revoke the school’s charter, a “sequence and timeline will be determined by the commission at the hearing or at a meeting following the hearing,” commission chairwoman Catherine Payne said in an email.

Ka‘u Learning Academy also can appeal a final decision of revocation, which school leaders told the Tribune-Herald they “absolutely” would do.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Ka‘u Learning Academy Managing Director Joe Iacuzzo disputed the severity of the audit deficiencies, referring to them as “basic minor clerical errors,” and said the school’s academic performance remains strong.

“What’s important is it’s a clean audit,” Iacuzzo told commissioners. “There isn’t any fraud … there’s nothing off by tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe one of the reasons we don’t have as much time to focus on these issues is because of what we’re accomplishing with our children and families down there in Ka‘u.”

Sandra Silva, a certified public accountant who said she’s now working with the school to resolve its issues, told the Tribune-Herald she also thinks the errors are “clerical” and “fairly minor.”

The independent audit found the school failed to document charges made on the school debit account, failed to run employee compensation — specifically bonuses — through payroll, and paid educational assistants as independent contractors, the latter two the commission said are possibly violations of state collective bargaining requirements.

Steve Hirakami, director of Pahoa-based Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, also testified in support of the school, telling commissioners an early independent audit of HAAS revealed even more problems which make Ka‘u Learning Academy’s appear “minuscule.” ….

read … Naalehu school faces possibility of charter revocation

Lucky Poor Get to avoid snobbish rich people at new Kakaako Condo

CB: ‘Poor Door’: Separate Tower Entrance Planned For Lower-Income Residents….

Ilind: Segregation in transit oriented development

read … Nobody wants snobs

Could Self-Driving Cars And Buses Replace The Last Leg Of Rail?

CB:Longtime critics want to stop the elevated train at Middle Street, then embrace new transportation technologies for the rest of the route….

ILind: Civil Beat scoops up Star-Advertiser reporter

read … Could Self-Driving Cars And Buses Replace The Last Leg Of Rail?



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