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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
September 6, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:53 PM :: 1629 Views

Public Hearing: HPD Gun Registration Rules 

Hawaii's Doctor Shortage

Will Hawaii's Minimum Wage Backfire?

Yet another deputy superintendent

SA: … And just like that, Hawaii’s Department of Education has not one, not two, but three deputy superintendents. And concerningly, it all happened without much public advertising or discussion of the positions — but will cost taxpayers $190,000 per deputy, $570,000 total.

Keith Hayashi, schools superintendent since May, wasted little time in hiring two deputies last month, Curt Otaguro and Tammi Oyadomari-Chun; on Thursday, Heidi Armstrong was approved as a third deputy. It’s been noted that there’s already an assistant superintendent for the office of strategy, innovation and performance; and one for the office of facilities and operations….

read … Yet another deputy superintendent

Common ground: Josh Green and Duke Aiona vow to fast track reform at Hilo Medical Center

HNN: … Republican gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona and Democratic candidate Josh Green agree what’s happening at Hawaii Island’s largest hospital can’t continue.

Inside Hilo Medical Center, there are about the same number of beds now as there were when the hospital was built nearly 40 years ago.

“Our population has grown exponentially. Patients are getting sicker,” said progressive care unit nurse Caitee McAllister.

The result:

“We’ve been operating at about 130% capacity throughout the hospital,” said emergency room nurse Tyler Sumner. “In the ER we’re seeing from 140 to 160 patients a day.”

Intensive Care Unit nurse Ashley Mae added, “We don’t have space for these people.”

Aiona told HNN that the situation seems to be at an emergency level.

“One that needs to be addressed immediately,” he said.

Green told HNN, “The medical center will have my support for expansion. We need a 30 percent expansion of beds.”

For the past two years, the hospital’s been pushing a plan to add on a new wing.

The $50 million extension would be built above the parking lot on the mauka side of the facility housing a brand new 18-bed intensive care unit on the second floor….

The third floor would hold an additional 36 permanent medical surgical beds.

It’s a plan hospital leaders hoped would be further along by now. But funding fell through for the project last legislative session.

“This is another longstanding issue that has been kicked down the road by administrations,” said Aiona. “When you’re touting a $2 billion surplus. I can tell you I think they have more than enough money to address this concern right now.”

Aiona added problems go beyond Hilo Medical Center, saying he believes the entire Hawaii Health Systems Corporation needs to be evaluated….

HNN: Hospitals attempt to address worker shortage by ‘growing their own’

read … Common ground: Josh Green and Duke Aiona vow to fast track reform at Hilo Medical Center

Lack Of Working Video Cameras At Hawaii Prisons Complicates Abuse Investigations

CB: …More than 40% of the video cameras at the women’s prison in Kailua apparently aren’t working, a problem that makes it far more difficult to investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual abuse and other misconduct at the facility, according to an official who did a walk-through inspection of the prison last month.

That lack of working cameras at the women’s prison is “a huge, huge red flag,” according to Christin Johnson, oversight coordinator for the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission.

Johnson also noted there are no cameras at all at Waiawa Correctional Facility for men, which Johnson described as “a little shocking” because the lack of video makes it more difficult to investigate drug use, smuggling of contraband or other incidents, including allegations of sexual assault.

“It’s very difficult to do investigations when you don’t have cameras that you can go back and look at, so I was a bit surprised to learn about that,” she told the commission in a briefing last month.

But Johnson’s greatest concern was with the lack of functioning cameras at the women’s facility because “it really, really affects the investigative processes for the facility staff,” particularly when there are allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua has a decades-long history of alleged sexual assaults and sexual misconduct cases involving the inmates there, including some that resulted in firings, arrests, convictions and prison time for some staff. The assaults have also triggered an array of  lawsuits over the years.…

read … Lack Of Working Video Cameras At Hawaii Prisons Complicates Abuse Investigations

Hundreds of Red Hill water samples were never tested for fuel

SA: … The Merancios, who now live in Georgia, were among the first to call, but they would never find out exactly what was in their water. That's because the Navy never tested the Merancios' home for petroleum chemicals, or any of the other 1,000-plus homes it took samples from in the first couple of weeks, following the water contamination.

Instead, the Navy did a rough screening of the samples for total organic carbon, which can indicate that the water is contaminated but not with what. The sample taken from the Merancios' home is simply listed as "non-detect" in the Navy's test data posted online, as are the vast majority of samples collected from homes.

The Navy told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week that other samples it collected from homes — it didn't say exactly how many — weren't tested at all after regulators determined the entire water distribution system would have to be flushed anyway…. 

SA Editorial: Navy adds insult to Red Hill injuries

read … Hundreds of Red Hill water samples were never tested for fuel

Honolulu Bill 41 Would Wipe Out Most Shoreline Lots

SA: …  A proposed measure, Bill 41, would increase the general 40-foot shoreline setback to between 60 and 130 feet, depending on the location and size of the property. It is just one step the Council is examining to move in the direction of “managed retreat” from the coastal shoreline.

Chip Fletcher, director of the University of Hawaii Climate Resilience Collaborative, and his team have been studying annual coastal erosion rates around Oahu for decades. He said the type of setbacks the Council is considering in Bill 41 would be particularly useful because they would be applied on a sliding scale based on local conditions and not a flat rate for all properties….

(Translation: Most shoreline lots would become unbuildable.) 

HNN: Oahu setback bill could make large swaths of shoreline unbuildable

Bill 41: Text, Status

read … Honolulu City Council grapples with strategies for shoreline communities amid climate change

Rash of crimes in Kalihi pushing mom-and-pop shop out of business

KITV: … Just six weeks ago, a thief assaulted and maced a longtime employee of KC Market, leaving the elderly woman's eyes burning and injuring her back.

But the incident was just the beginning of a series of thefts, including a burglary this morning at the 40-year-old neighborhood store.

"They live in trepidation and fear every day now," said Roy Chang of his parents who run the shop, but asked not to be identified. "It's not safe for them. These people prey on the elderly."

Chang's parents have run the mom-and-pop shop peacefully for years. The couple know most of their neighbors and customers by name….

The rash of crimes includes stealing the family car right from their home behind the store and thousands of dollars worth of cash and goods from the business.

"We've talk to the police...many times and the people that were responsible for it still seem to be coming around," Chang said. "We don't seem to be getting any relief."

Today's burglary pushed the family over the edge.

At least two men broke in through a back window and are seen rummaging through the store and breaking in to the cash register.

"My dad wanted to... live his life out here, run the store until you know until his last days," he added. "This was the final straw now. So after 40 years, they've...thrown in the towel."

Because of the crime wave and lack of consequences for criminals, the family says they are now planning to sell the store they worked for years to build.

Chang hopes that by sharing his family's story, there will be changes to the justice system so that other small businesses won't face the same fate.

"If there's no consequences, I mean, people are gonna keep on doing it," he said. "Is it the cops? Is it the judicial system? Is it the prosecutors that aren't putting them away? Is it the jails that are overfull? I mean, I don't know what the solution is, but something needs to be done."…./

read … Rash of crimes in Kalihi pushing mom-and-pop shop out of business

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