Gabbard Political Career Begins in Cult School
Maui hospitals point the way
Tahiti Gets Superferry for 1/4 the Price
Hawaii Honolulu Rents Peaked?
Application Period Begins for Preschool Open Doors Program
$82K Per Bum: Hospitals Rake in $1.2B Treating Homeless Shelter-Refusers
SOR: … “In the course of many years of delivering healthcare to people who are homeless as an ER doctor, I saw the same people coming over and over again… We found that the average spent per individual who is homeless in Hawaii and chronically suffering from drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental illness was on average spending $82,000 per homeless individual per year. And they were doing it all at the ER because
they had nowhere else to go (the hospitals make more money this way.) So, a very small percentage of our population on Medicaid, about 3.6 percent, were consuming (transferring) 61 percent of our Medicaid resource (to hospitals via emergency room abuse). So, 13,000 people consume $1.2 billion health care dollars.” (Ca-ching!) – Sen Josh Green …. (edited to induce accuracy)
read … Homeless are Profitable to Everybody Except Taxpayers
Health insurance premiums up 25% due to Obamacare
HTH: …Most health insurance policyholders began paying higher premiums this week.
The increases range from 5.9 percent to nearly 25 percent.
“There are several factors that contribute to premium adjustments each year, including rising prescription drug and health care costs, and fees associated with the Affordable Care Act (thanks, Obama),” said Elisa Yadao, senior vice president for Hawaii Medical Service Association, a nonprofit that is one of Hawaii’s largest insurers.
William Nhieu, spokesman for the Hawaii Insurance Commissioner’s Office, said reasons for premium increases also include “increased utilization of services (homeless merry go round), expensive technologies and procedures, unhealthy behavior and lifestyle choices (homeless merry go round), the aging population and high end-of-life costs (sales pitch for assisted suicide).”
He said the average Kaiser Permanente small-group premium will increase about 5.9 percent on average, the large-group plan will go up 6.4 percent and Affordable Care Act rates for individuals will rise 24.1 percent.
Average HMSA premiums, Nhieu said, will increase by about 11.2 percent, on average, for large-group insurance, 9.3 percent for small group and 19.8 percent for the Affordable Care Act….
read … Premium Hike
Ige Requests $472K Golden Parachutes for Staff in Case He is not Reelected
KHON: The cost of leaving the office can be pricey, and taxpayers are left paying the bill.
The governor’s office is asking the state legislature for $742,285 in case Gov. David Ige is not re-elected later this year.
According to a spokeswoman for the governor, Hawaii Revised Statues Sec. 30-6 requires the administration to request $100,000 to prepare for the possibility of a transfer of executive power. In addition, the administration has requested $642,285, which would cover the cost of paying out vacation time for those currently on staff….
read … Cost of Defeat
After Losing Million Dollar Judge, KSBE Tries to Force Victims into Mediation
HNN: …Mark Davis, an attorney who represents 32 of the victims, said in a statement that the victims "are united in their commitment to achieve justice and accountability for the school's past inaction. The children are the lifeblood of Kamehameha School and we hope the trustee's words translates into action."
"All of these words just seem to be more of the same that we experienced for the last 40, 50 years," said Carrell.
While there is a lawsuit, the email also said the school is focused on resolution for the victims through private mediation. …
SA: Private schools are not exempt from child-abuse reporting law
Background: Kamehameha School Child Molester Case – Hidden Payoff to Judge Exposed
read … Escape Responsibility
A Year in the Life of Alan Arakawa
MW: …No sooner did the huhu about the “sacred rocks” die down that in March, he recommended closing the county’s only public golf course in Waihee….
read … A Year in the Life of Alan Arakawa
Economists: Financial Challenges Are Looming For Hawaii
CB: Economists caution legislators about the housing shortage, the possibility of lower tax revenue and reduced tourist spending….
“There are a lot of short-term ups, but it looks like we should be prepared for some long-term downs,” Dela Cruz said after the briefing. “There’s no doubt that if we don’t take some action the budget will be much, much tighter in future years.”…
industries are not growing evenly, he said, noting that tourism continues to carry the weight by producing more jobs in retail, food services and accommodations while other sectors, like manufacturing and wholesale trade, have been losing jobs.
The state’s economic growth, projected at 1 percent or 2 percent next year, is also slower than the national average and higher inflation is expected. Meanwhile, collections from the state’s primary revenue source, the general excise tax, have been relatively flat.
Economists said Hawaii’s high cost of living, predominantly caused by housing prices that lead the nation, is spurring more people to move to the mainland, which translates into less tax revenue to provide government services.
Hawaii was one of just eight states that saw its population decline last fiscal year, which ended June 30. More people are moving to the islands from the Philippines and other countries than from the mainland, according to the latest U.S. Census…..
He estimated that if Hawaii built 33,000 more homes by 2025, it would increase the gross state product by 0.6 percent, employ 1 percent more people, create 13 percent more construction jobs and cause about 5,000 more people to move to Hawaii.
“We’re not making any dent in the housing backlog and we’re barely keeping up with population needs,” Bonham said….
(Tax Reform) it will increase the incentive for individuals to establish and maintain their tax residences in lower-tax states….
read … Looming
More $1000 Trump Bonuses—American Airlines, First Insurance
A carbon tax would favor LNG over petroleum
IM: a carbon tax will alter winners and losers, based not on climate change impacts, but on political favoritism. Who gets taxed? What is the tax money spent on? Hawai`i passed the barrel tax—the environmental response, energy, and food security tax—to target petroleum use, but not coal.
The 200 MW coal plant in Campbell Industrial Park was exempted. The tax “shall not apply to coal used to fulfill a signed power purchase agreement between an independent power producer and an electric utility that is in effect as of June 30, 2015.”
The phrase “carbon content” is mentioned once in the report, but not defined. “With a state carbon tax, the existing state taxing authorities would calculate the per-unit tax for each fuel based on the carbon content of that fuel.” Methane (CH4) has a lower percent of carbon than carbon dioxide (CO2), but as a greenhouse gas, is over twenty times more potent.
Hawai`i imports coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The 144-page report mentions the word “coal” twice, “natural gas” four times, and never mentions “liquefied natural gas” (LNG).
A carbon tax would distort the fuel market, favoring LNG over petroleum…. (Because Natural Gas has far lower CO2 emissions than any other ‘fossil’ fuel. And in spite of the hype, ‘fugitive’ CH4 emissions amount to nothing because CH4 reacts with O2 to form CO2 and H2O in the atmosphere.)
Reality: Chart Shows Decrease in CO2 output as Natural gas Replaces Coal fired electricity
read … A carbon tax would distort the fuel market, favoring LNG over petroleum
Kupuna Caregivers Funds only Bureaucrats, Will ask for $6M More
CB: …the bill funding was not the amount for which advocates had originally asked. Of the $6.6 million dollars requested, only $600,000 was appropriated, which was originally intended for administrative costs.
Proving that government can in fact run lean and efficiently, the Executive Office on Aging invested all those funds into service delivery rather than administrative costs, releasing the program in what must be the fastest launch of a new program in the state and beginning enrollment before 2018.
In 2018, legislators will have the opportunity to properly fund the rest of the $6 million required to help hundreds of families across the state….
read … $6M More
Later school start times could help students
KITV: …For the past two years, Kaimuki has started school at 9am.
"We notice kids are more settled in the morning, and don't have as many disruptions," added Araki.
"It actually keeps me more alive in class. Because in the morning, when you are so tired, you feel like sleeping all day," said Kaimuki High School student Marisol Ko.
After school meetings at Kaimuki High shifted to before classes begin. The school day now ends at 2:50 pm. Araki said the schedule hasn't had an impact on teachers schedules or athletics, but has had an impact on kids being late to class, "Tardies have gone down. It hasn't made a huge impact on attendance, because to kids that aren't coming it doesn't matter what time you start."
While students should get at least 8 hours of sleep, only 25% of seniors get that much, according to Hawaii health statistics.
"I'm not an early riser, and its not easy to go to school and wake up at 6 every morning. Especially when you have homework that goes until 1 am," said Ko.
Trevorrow's study at Kaimuki High, found twice as many students got 8 hours of sleep. A critical difference not just for learning, but also good health.
Which is why some parents would like to see more schools start later.
"i think it should be statewide. I think you would see grades go up, and more participation in class. I think it is great.," said Kalihi parent Charles Lum.
"It is fairly clear from the science that starting school later will help," added Dr. Trevorrow.
According to the Hawaii Department of Education, there are no plans to have any other school switch to a later schedule….
read … Later school start times could help students
Trump Tricks Hirono into Helping Him
ADN: …The problem with weaponizing umbrage, as so many on the political left do with such relish, is that eventually ordinary people put their fingers in their ears and stop paying attention to all the racket — and legitimate grievances fall by the wayside. Oh, that again? a weary public asks. Who cares?
Take, for instance, the cacophony stirred by President Donald Trump's latest needling, insulting tweet, this time jabbing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after the New York Democrat told CNN he should resign because of "credible … numerous" sexual assault allegations against him.
If Trump is anything, he is a counterpuncher with a mean streak and a genius for diversion. He fired back on Twitter:
"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office "begging" for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!"
You might read part of that as having a sexual connotation; you might not. I did not. Imagine him saying that about a man. Who would care? Certainly, when television correspondents later read the tweet on the air, and when some of them actually lowered and softened their voices when they came to "and would do anything for them," it sounded a lot like sexual innuendo. Reading it? Not so much.
Nonetheless, Gillibrand excoriated Trump before news cameras, saying his tweet was a "sexist smear attempting to silence my voice." Democrats leaped to her defense. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Trump of "trying to bully, intimidate, slut-shame" Gillibrand. Slut-shame? Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, all demanded Trump to resign.
"He's a misogynist and admitted sexual predator and a liar," Hirono fumed...
read … Left squanders outrage on the tweets of Trump
Parks Dep’t Begins Repairs to Mother Waldron Park -- Tweekers Return to Kakako Makai
SA: Mother Waldron’s homeless population spiked to about 50 people and dozens of tents and tarps last month when state officials closed nearby Kakaako Waterfront Park and its sister parks following an estimated $500,000 worth of damage allegedly caused by homeless people, who broke into light poles and water fountains to get water and to power their electronic devices.
Kakaako Gateway Parks and Kakaako Waterfront Park are now scheduled to reopen Monday.
“Obviously, we’re going to enforce the park closure rules once the park reopens,” said Garett Kamemoto, interim executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which oversees the Kakaako parks for the state. “So everybody’s got to be out at 10 at night.”
Block by Block security, which has a $300,000 annual contract with the HCDA, will continue to provide security “every single night,” Kamemoto said.
…Shiraishi trained his 5-month-old puppy, Gypsy Girl, in Mother Waldron Park and said sometimes he “feels unsafe” because of the homeless occupants.
“I’ve seen fistfights, I’ve seen guys defecating behind the bathroom, I’ve seen women peeing,” Shiraishi said. “I feel threatened sometimes.”
While Mother Waldron Park is closed until 5 a.m. Feb. 2, crews are scheduled to make repairs to electrical wiring in the bathrooms that have been broken into, and will work on landscaping and irrigation and test a new product that’s designed to allow for the easy removal of graffiti.
Ishikawa had no immediate estimate for the cost of repairs….
Since Dec. 22, Honolulu police have issued two citations for people having illegal tents in Mother Waldron Park, along with 11 warnings, said Nathan Serota, spokesman for the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
Before Dec. 22, officers issued five citations for tent violations, six for park closure hour violations and two for shopping carts, Serota said.
On Monday, crews installed orange nets designed to keep people out of Mother Waldron Park.
By noon someone had cut two sections of the netting, said Jeanne Ishikawa, deputy director of the Department of Parks and Recreation….
SA: Officials ask that informational cards be given to homeless instead of cash
read … Return to Kakaako
Soft on Crime: Homeless Murderer Will be out on Streets Again Soon
SA: Two-time killer Fred Silva III will not be sent to prison for the rest of his life when he is sentenced next month for murder for stabbing his girlfriend in the back at a homeless camp in Nanakuli in 2015….
Nakasone said she denied Murphy’s request to consider sentencing Silva to life without parole for practical reasons. She pointed to Silva’s age and the likelihood that the state parole board will require him to remain in prison at least until he’s in his 80s before he will even be eligible for parole.
(Translation: He’ll be out soon. Real soon—just like before.)
Silva pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1989 for fatally beating a man three years earlier.
He was sentenced to another 10 years in prison in 1992 after a state jury found him guilty of felony assault for beating a man whose girlfriend had taken him in after finding him living in a shack outside their home.
(Do the Math: 1992-1989 = 3 years. 2018 + 3 = 2021. Now you know when this worthless bum will be back out ready to do it again courtesy of HPA.)
Silva has other felony convictions for auto theft, drug promotion and possession of drug paraphernalia….
read … Soft on Crime