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Monday, February 21, 2022
February 21, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:13 PM :: 3694 Views

Samuel Wilder King II, Kalanikupua, Enters OHA At-Large-Trustee Race

Hawaii is the #2 state with the most pothole complaints

Hawaii Cost of Living 93% Above US Average  

CD2 Open Seat?  U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele wants to Leave Congress

SA: … Washington, D.C., is not in the future for the family of first-term U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, but he faces an uncertain path if he decides to run for governor in August instead of pursuing reelection to Congress.

Kahele appeared on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program earlier this month and was asked whether he is planning a run for governor.

“Stay tuned and we’ll see,” he said. “I’m giving serious thought to this.”

Kahele and his family were in Washington for his swearing-in ceremony and for the inauguration of President Joe Biden during the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol.

The deadly riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump to disrupt congressional certification of Biden’s election “had a major impact on my wife and my kids,” Kahele told “Spotlight Hawaii” on Feb. 9. “We were blocks from the Capitol on that day. As a family, we’ve decided that that’s not some place right now that we would like to raise our family in and that the best place that my family can be is here in Hawaii, in Hilo.”

(Translation: Kahele does not want to run for reelection.)

His wife, Maria, and their 5- and 7-year-old daughters live in Hilo, and Kahele was back in the 2nd Congres­sional District last week.

He declined to respond to questions from the Star-Advertiser about how he might see a successful gubernatorial campaign playing out.

“Congressman Kahele is not an announced candidate for governor,” Kahele spokesman Michael Ahn said in a statement to the newspaper. “Until he makes a decision to run, he will not be answering any questions related to the 2022 Hawai‘i gubernatorial election.”…

read … U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele would face uncertain path in governor’s race

Djou: Reform Hawaii Elections To Stop Local Corruption

CB: … A rigor mortis has set in in Hawaii politics, causing a depressingly high level of tolerance for corruption in our ruling political class. A lack of competitive elections forms the root cause of the regular corruption scandals at all levels in Hawaii government.

Today, the majority of Hawaii politicians win reelection by just filing their election paperwork. Competitive races are the exception, not the rule, with most Hawaii elections. Hawaii elections are too often just pro-forma ceremonies rather than an actual competition of ideas….

The result? Democracy breaks down and corruption scandal after corruption scandal now engulfs our community.

It does not have to be this way. We can fix this sclerosis in Hawaii politics with a few simple reforms to bring back competitive elections, build a more vibrant democracy, and get rid of the regularity of Hawaii political corruption. Here are several common sense reform ideas:…

  • Establish A “Jungle” Primary
  • Eliminate Corporate And Union Political Contributions
  • Require Monthly Campaign Reporting
  • Allow A “None of the Above” Vote
  • Term Limits

read … Reform Hawaii Elections To Stop Local Corruption

The issue of big money in politics

ILind: … In Hawaii’s relatively small political community, who really believes there is no communication or tacit coordination between, for example, the Carpenter’s various electoral front groups and candidates or their campaign committees? ….

SA: Off the News: Fundraising during the session not good

CB: The bottlenecks for power in Hawaii are obvious and the rewards for kowtowing are consistent.

read … The issue of big money in politics

SB2819: HSTA Grabs for $94M Pay and Benefit Hike

SA: … about 8,700 of Hawaii’s 13,500 public and charter school teachers are underpaid by $7,700 to $26,000 when their years of experience are taken into account, according to a union analysis (sales pitch).

It would cost the state about $94 million to close those salary gaps and provide matching employment benefits, according to a Senate Education Committee estimate…..

(Who needs collective bargaining when you own the politicians?)  

SA Editorial: Stressed teachers need a pay raise

Background:  SB2819: $26K Pay Hike for Teachers Outside Collective Bargaining 

read … Cost of Raises and Benefits $94M per Year

Kamalani Academy parents sue charter school commission

SA: … Four parents with children attending Kamalani Academy have filed a civil suit against the State Public Charter School Commission — the latest chapter in a nearly half-year dispute over a commission decision that cut $1.4 million from the charter school’s budget.

The suit filed Thursday in state Circuit Court alleges that the commission’s November decision to cut Kamalani’s per-student funding for all of its 183 virtual students plus six in-person students was “capricious and arbitrary,” and reduces the funding for all of the school’s 341 students without due process…..

The school itself in December filed an appeal in circuit court of the commission’s action, but the court dismissed it on the grounds that a state agency cannot sue another state agency, Kamalani principal Amanda Fung said in an interview on Friday….

Kamalani last summer opted to contract with Utah-based Harmony Educational Services to provide online instruction in addition to the school’s in-person classes.

During the surge of the delta variant, school enrollment nearly doubled to 350, with 191 students signing up at the time for the virtual learning program.

But in October the commission issued a “notice of concern” regarding “enrollment irregularities” and potential violations to Kamalani’s charter school contract.

In November the commission unanimously decided that Kamalani did not have the authority to open a new virtual, blended or alternate program without changing its charter. The commission voted unanimously to reduce Kamalani’s final enrollment count to 152 from 341 after deeming the school’s online program permanent and in violation of its contract….

read … Kamalani Academy parents sue charter school commission

Choking off Supply to Jack up Prices: 18 Years of Planning and not a Shovel Turned

CB:  It’s been nearly 18 years since the developer began planning Waikapu Country Town….  and pointless delays like this are why housing is so expensive in Hawaii….

read … How Delays Jack Housing Cost up

Media No Longer able to monitor calls for Honolulu police, fire and Emergency Medical Services

SA: … The public’s ability to monitor the radio communications of taxpayer-funded first respon­ders ended Tuesday when the Honolulu Police Department encrypted its channels and replaced them with periodic email updates available only to the news media.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the city has no plans to restore access to the communications that document real-time responses to emergencies and calls for police, fire or Emergency Medical Services.

Jeffrey S. Portnoy, an attorney at Cades Schutte who represents the Star-Advertiser in First Amendment proceedings, said the switch to email alerts is “unsatisfactory” and demonstrates a desire to limit information that “has been and should continue to be” available on a timely basis….  

HNN: Council chair: Media access to emergency scanners a matter of public safety

SA Editorial: Radio system slows timely news alerts

read … Public unable to monitor calls for Honolulu police, fire and Emergency Medical Services

Legislative Agenda:

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