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Saturday, March 17, 2018
March 17, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:51 PM :: 5827 Views

OHA Trustees to Discuss Firing Crabbe

Senate Passes $72M in Tax Hikes

Bond funding scheme for rail shows need for audit

Hawaii Legislative Session: Victories and Challenges for Small Business

Honolulu Neighborhood Boards--24 Vacant Positions

Ward Calls on Governor to Release all Missile Alert Recordings

Elections: 201 Candidates Pull Papers

Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review 

Coco Palms Occupiers Threaten "Civil War"

KGI: …“So far, we have removed two, 20-yard containers of rubbish with a few more to go,” he said. “A few of the previous occupants showed up to harass the crew that was working today (Friday). Otherwise the cleanup is going well and we should complete it in the next day or two.”….

The confrontation continued into mid-morning until two Kauai Police Department officers and one of the claimants of the land, Noa Mau-Espirito, arrived….

“Right now the people of Hawaii, the native indigenous people and the Hawaiians by heart are very upset, they’re very mad. It’s way too long over 128 years of illegal slavery and discrimination,” Kamu “Charles” Hepa said.

“It’s with the indigenous people the native people and the Hawaiians by heart. We’re all on the same crew and we’re all upset about everything. This is pressure being built up over 130 years and right now the people, like I said have had enough,” he said.

His greatest fear, he said, is a civil war, which is something he said he doesn’t want to happen, but he doesn’t see any other solution.

“Right now it’s to the breaking point of a civil war and Hawaii can see it,” Hepa said. “It’s building. This is building up big time and we’re at the peak, that fine line, that thread line of it,” he said, “and it’s sad, but it’s going to happen.”

read … Civil War

Harry Kim Wants $5M for Failed Plan to Build More Homeless Tent Cities on Big Island – Will Legislators Give it to Him?

HNN: While the rest of the state is debating whether (knows) homeless safe zones (tent cities) are (not) a good idea, the Big Island is moving forward with ambitious plans for several more of them.

County officials are poised to create new temporary encampments in Hilo, Pahoa and Kau (and Kailua-Kona).

Meanwhile, Hawaii County officials hope to transform the state's first homeless safe zone, situated in Kona, into a new project (tent city) aimed at providing everything from a place to pitch a tent to permanent housing.

Camp Kikaha opened in August, and the county is preparing to close it soon (after kicking out 58% of the bums), transitioning the last of its residents into higher level shelters (the new tent city)….

($5M more for Projects Modeled on Kikaha Failure: 21 out of 37 were kicked out of Camp Kikaha.)

Mayor Harry Kim's executive assistant, Roy Takemoto, said the county wants to first begin work on a five-acre plot (tent city) just off the parkway.

"In that five acres it would be kind of like an encampment, whether it be canopy tents or domes depending on funding," Takemoto said. "We want to go in as quickly as possible to re-establish camp Kikaha."  (Idea: Don’t fund this moronic idea. Tent cities are the problem, not the solution.)

Hawaii Island homeless coordinator Lance Niimi said the camp is part of the mayor's commitment not to conduct homeless sweeps without giving people a place to go (uh …other than the homeless shelters which have open beds every night because the tweekers refuse shelter). …

The state's 2017 point-in-time count put the number of homeless on the Big Island at about 953, more than 70 percent of whom were living on the streets.  (953 x .70 = 667 bums who need to be physically forced into housing.)

Camp Kikaha officials note that while the initial costs of the safe zone were high due to security needs, spending leveled off (because they kicked out 58% of the bums).

Since its inception, Hawaii County has spent about $42,000 to keep the camp open. In addition to security, other costs include portable toilet rentals, canopy tents and other supplies. …

There is also a plan to build several on-site pocket neighborhoods.  "There will be 10 to 12 smaller units — igloo size or tiny homes — around a common open space," Takemoto said….  (This is a head fake.  These will never be built.  They are designed to be blocked by NIMBYs.)

As for who's paying for the project, Hawaii County officials say they're hoping to secure $5 million from the state Legislature…. 

(Attention Legislators: Just say no to massive festering homeless tent cities.  Harry Kim simply cannot be trusted to build anything else.  Look at how he is attempting to hide the fact that he wants $5M for tent cities with all this worthless empty talk about igloos that will never be built.)

Record of Failure

37 people left Camp Kikaha since it opened. Here's why:

  • 4 couldn't be stabilized  --  Workers said they left because they suffered from behavioral health or substance abuse issues.
  • 2 were evicted -- Both were evicted for drug use.
  • 7 were asked to leave -- Officials said these tenants left because of serious violations.
  • 3 were arrested  -- One had a prior warrant, while 2 were arrested following criminal activity.
  • 5 left voluntarily -- The reasons for their departures aren't known.

(That’s 21 out of 37 who were kicked out of Harry Kim’s festering tent city.)

  • 12 were placed in emergency housing
    Of these, two are in permanent housing and two others are awaiting placement.
  • 1 went to treatment -- Officials said the camper was able to find a residential treatment program.
  • 3 returned to family  --It's unclear whether these individuals remain housed.

(Maybe 16 were housed.  It cost $2,625 each to keep those 16 in tents until they agreed to accept real housing.) 

VIDEO: Plans For Village 9 Homeless “Assessment Center” In Kona

read … Ambitious new Big Island plan calls for homeless safe zones, affordable housing

Suicide Passes Senate Committee—Baker Points out it is not ..uh… Mandatory

SA: …Hawaii moved another step closer to legalizing medical aid in dying today with a key Senate committee unanimously advancing House Bill 2739, known as the Our Care, Our Choice Act.

The Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee voted 6-0 in favor of the measure after hearing about two hours of public testimony in favor and against the bill.

The committee did not make any amendments to the bill….

“…it doesn’t require anybody to take advantage of it….” – Sen Roz Baker….

“The legislators are trying to reduce suicide … and yet we are considering what I consider suicide for the terminally ill,” he said. “I think it sends the wrong message to the youth of our community that says it’s OK for one set of people in our community but not for us.”….

CB: There was more than 1,300 pages of written testimony.

read …  Bill to legalize medically assisted death moves forward in state Senate

Suicide Lobby, Insurance Company Already Plotting to Kill off Expensive Alzheimer’s Patients

ILind: The post drew a quick question, one which exposes the significant limitations of the bill now being considered in Hawaii. I’m posting here for those who don’t follow the comments.

Jim Wright | March 1, 2018 at 8:49 am
How would the change in the law have changed the care your parents received?

Ian Lind | March 1, 2018 at 9:12 am
It wouldn’t have. Neither of my parents had time to consider this kind of option while they were still all there mentally. So the restrictive nature of the bill limits its application. But once in place, I’m guessing it will be easier to amend as experience is gained. We already virtually require people to have a living will or medical directive in which they can select a “do not revive” option. A medical aid in dying bill should ideally allow someone to look ahead and give directions to others to relieve their suffering at a later time if they were then no longer able to make a clear, conscious decision.

A recent Washington Post article looked at the efforts to expand the scope of Oregon’s law (“In Oregon, pushing to give patients with degenerative diseases the right to die“).

Here’s an excerpt, which notes the unusual political twist to the issue.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D), chair of Oregon’s House Committee on Health Care, began looking into expanding the state’s Death With Dignity Act a few years ago, when a well-known 78-year-old lobbyist in the capital, Salem, fatally shot himself in the head after learning that he had Alzheimer’s.

“That really shook me up,” said Greenlick, a retired director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. “I started thinking, people with Alzheimer’s should be able to have some control over how they die, rather than having to shoot themselves.”

Meanwhile: Alzheimer's Has Been Reversed in Mice With This Single Enzyme Treatment

read … Advance Directive

Statewide Styrofoam ban expected to pass

PBN: …The Hawaii restaurant industry continues to be concerned about a bill that would ban polystyrene containers, which is expected to pass during this year’s legislative session.

Senate Bill 2498 has crossed over to the House and is expected to be passed by the Energy and Environmental Protection committee during a Friday hearing. The bill, which was also proposed last year, claims polystyrene, more commonly known as Styrofoam, represents one of the most common and toxic forms of litter pollution in Hawaii. 

It was passed at the county level in Maui County, where it's set to go into effect at the end of the year, and on the Big Island, where it is expected to take effect in 2019.  …

read … More Hysteria-Driven Nonsense

Kauai Voters to decide on term limits

KGI:  The County Council, by a 5-2 vote, opted to give voters the opportunity to decide whether to do away with term limits for councilmembers.

The charter amendment introduced by Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa in late January needed five votes in order to pass council and go on November’s ballot.

On Wednesday, Councilmembers Mason Chock and JoAnn Yukimura voted against the resolution, while the other councilmembers voted in favor of it….

Reading a written statement, Yukimura said she was voting against the resolution because term limits apply to the president of the United States, the governor of Hawaii, the mayors of all counties in Hawaii and the other county councils in Hawaii.

She pointed out that China recently changed its constitution and removed presidential term limits, thus allowing President Xi Jinping to potentially rule indefinitely.

“I don’t think that’s the right direction,” Yukimura said….

read … Voters to decide on term limits

Hawaii is scrambling to fill teacher vacancies. This analysis on salaries won't help

HNN: …A new analysis for NPR from EdBuild, a nonprofit whose mission is to "bring common sense and fairness to the way states fund public schools," found that Hawaii teachers are paid dead last in the nation, when cost of living is taken into account.

The average salary for Hawaii public school teachers in 2016 was $57,431.

After the state's high of cost of living is factored in, Hawaii teachers are really only earning $40,246 on average, EdBuild concluded…..

NPR: After accounting for the state's high cost of living, Hawaii falls to the very bottom.

read … Hawaii is scrambling to fill teacher vacancies. This analysis on salaries won't help

HSTA Child Molester Gets 20 Years

KHON: The Oahu resident found guilty of raping a child will spend the next 20 years in prison.

Michael Wright was arrested in 2016 while he worked as a teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki.

In January, Wright was found guilty of first and third degree sex assault.

When Michael Wright was on trial for five counts of sex assault, the ourt documents claim they took place over a five-year period from July 2010 to July 2015.

He had been with the Department of Education for nine years when he was arrested.

Court records claim the assaults did not happen on campus, and the child was not a student….

Another Union Story: DLNR Finally Gets Around to Firing Rapist Cop Son of HGEA President

read … HSTA Member

Ballard testifies 'that's my call as the chief' against union labor complaint

KHON: …Maafala was assigned to patrol duty in Waikiki working the overnight shift shortly after Ballard became police chief.

The union says according to the collective bargaining agreement, an employee cannot be reassigned unless he or she asked to be moved.

"Doesn't the seniority apply to both transfers and reassignments?" SHOPO attorney Vladmir Devens asked Ballard.

"For the most part, but if there's an opening and we need to go there for operational need then that's my call as the chief," answered Ballard.  "And the need as based on the to from because the rise in crime in district six and the mayor wanting additional personnel down in Waikiki to address that crime."

The union also says Ballard violated department policy by openly discussing personnel matters during an interview and said Maafala and other officers with the peer support unit abused overtime privileges.

Maafala testified that as commander of the unit he should have received lieutenant wages even though he was a sergeant.

He says he did not claim the extra pay along with overtime hours that he was entitled to get….

read … Ballard testifies 'that's my call as the chief' against union labor complaint

Maui Police Department faces sex discrimination lawsuit

HNN: …A former police captain is suing the Maui Police Department for sex discrimination.

Maui County lawyers aimed to have the lawsuit thrown out in federal court on Friday. However, the judge denied it -- meaning it will head to trial.

Mollie Klingman always had a love for law enforcement. Becoming a police officer was a life-long dream of hers.

"For the entire 28-plus years that I wore the Maui police badge, I was proud because I was serving the community and it was something that I thought my family could look up to and my children would be proud of and I felt like I was making a difference," Klingman said.

Klingman said she was the first female to be named an “outstanding recruit” and the first female on the island of Lanai. Her goal was to become the department's first assistant chief.

Her attorney says she was never given that chance because she is a woman.

“There was never going to be, and never has been a woman above captain. As a chief, as an assistant chief, deputy chief, it just wasn't happening. It's an ‘old boy’ thing there, they protect each other," said Michael Green….

read … Maui Police Department faces sex discrimination lawsuit

HPD officer arrested for alleged assault of pregnant girlfriend

HNN: A Honolulu police officer has had his police powers removed one day after being arrested for allegedly headbutting his pregnant girlfriend.

25-year-old Norbert Jay Escalante was taken into custody after the woman was examined by an emergency room technician at a Honolulu-area hospital and contacted police. 

The 25-year old victim was treated for concussion-like symptoms, sources say…..

read … HPD officer arrested for alleged assault of pregnant girlfriend

Guam: Over 100 boys Victimized by Just one Alleged Homosexual Child Molester

CB: The Vatican has exiled Archibishop Anthony Apuron from Guam after concluding a secret trial involving allegations of financial mismanagement and sexual abuse of multiple boys….

The allegations roiled Guam’s tight-knit, majority-Catholic community and sparked legislation that led to more than 100 sexual abuse lawsuits against the church, as documented in a Civil Beat special report last October, “A Faith Betrayed.”

Apuron is also facing multiple lawsuits in civil court on Guam alleging he sexually molested minors.

Four lawsuits were filed last year against Apuron by Roy Quintanilla, a former altar server who lives in Honolulu; Walter Denton, a former altar server now living in Arizona; Doris Concepcion of Arizona on behalf of her deceased son, who also was an altar boy; and Roland Sondia, a former altar boy who still lives on Guam.

In January, one of Apuron’s nephews filed a lawsuit saying that the archbishop raped him in the bathroom of the chancery when he was a teenager….

read … Exile

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