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Friday, November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:35 PM :: 1658 Views

OHA 'Requiring Criminal Prosecution' 22 Cases of Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Respiratory Syncytial Virus and influenza are increasing in Hawaii

Why is there a doctor shortage in Hawaii?

General Election Results--Fourth Read and Recount Results

Green: “I don’t plan to play small ball at all”

SA: … Gov.-elect Josh Green won office on Tuesday by the largest vote percentage in state history and with the greatest margin of victory, according to his office, and plans to translate that momentum and support into an early and big vision for the state and its residents even before he’s inaugurated Dec. 5.

“I don’t plan to play small ball at all,” Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Wednesday in his crowded lieutenant governor workspace on the fifth floor of the state Capitol. “We need a few game changers, so I ought to go for big solutions. I want to take on the largest challenges. … Issues that demand a lot of moral clarity….

(Translation: Failed Progressive Ideas from California) 

Even before his inauguration, Green is planning to take a fresh look at difficult issues, including the future of Aloha Stadium (Carpenters Union jobs),  Mauna Kea and the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, Red Hill, Oahu Community Correctional Center — along with neighbor island jails and overall “justice reform” (let lots and lots of criminals out onto the streets)— stimulating clean energy (rate hikes) and agriculture (LOL!) to help diversify Hawaii’s tourism-reliant economy, and overhauling state departments to make common sense and maximize existing resources and programs, among several other issues….

Green sees solutions to many problems as interconnected, such as the need to build a new OCCC linked to judicial reform (let lots and lots of criminals out onto the streets), Hawaiian Native incarceration and programs aimed at reconnecting Hawaiian inmates to their culture (let lots and lots of criminals out onto the streets); or stimulating agricultural, in some cases, based on taro farms, fish ponds and other traditional cultural practices, which also could be connected to tourism impact fees that could teach visitors respect for Hawaiian culture (make tourists pay $50 to work in taro patch)….

read … Gov.-elect Josh Green considering new ways to address old problems in Hawaii

Green: $50 visitor fee to fund ‘Captive Insurance Company’

HNN: … “If we have that impact fee, which would bring in $350 plus million per year, we could then put that into what’s called a captive insurance model and we could deal with climate change, we could deal with our parks and erosion. And it would make a big difference,” he said..

(CLUE: ‘Unconstitutional’ See: Crandall v Nevada 1868)

BH: Hawaii Advises Against “Visitor-Only” Fees + May Be Illegal

BH: Aloha On The Endangered List: Hawaii Gone Wrong

CI: Hawaii Governor-elect mulls funding captive via green fee

read … Green’s proposed visitor fee might be popular with residents, but lawmakers appear cool on the idea

Voter Turnout For Hawaii General Election Plateaus At 48%

CB: … After voter turnout reached 41% based on ballots processed election night Tuesday, additional ballots brought Hawaii’s voter turnout up to 48%. That still represents the lowest general election turnout in state history.

Prior to the 2022 election, Hawaii’s lowest general election turnout came in 2014, when 52% of registered voters participated….

Hawaii releases its election results in rounds of printouts, and each round includes ballots processed up to that point. The fourth statewide round — released around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday — is the last, according to Nedielyn Bueno, who coordinates voter services for the Office of Elections….

The state’s elections office then conducts post-election counts, adding these cured ballots into the results. In 2020, the City and County of Honolulu reported that 537 ballots were cured after Election Day, accounting for 0.01% of all ballots received and accepted in that jurisdiction.

A final report is scheduled to be issued on Nov. 22.

Of note: One race’s results were close enough to mandate a recount: Sen. Maile Shimabukuro of West Oahu’s Senate District 22 was only 71 votes ahead of her Republican challenger Samantha DeCorte after the fourth report, and a recount — triggered by races that are less than 100 votes apart — is required to be complete by Friday morning….

SA Editorial: For lawmakers, public over party

read … Voter Turnout For Hawaii General Election Plateaus At 48%

Hawaii PUC Adopts Time of Use Rates for the HECO Companies

IM: … The Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted a Smart Meter Roadmap and Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates for the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO, MECO, and HELCO) on October 31, 2022, the final day for PUC Commissioner Jennifer “Jennie” Potter….

The Commission established three weekday rate periods: the overnight period (9 p.m. to 9 a.m.), daytime period (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and evening peak period (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.). This reduces the current peak period of 5-10 pm by one hour….

IM: Transformational Hawai`i Utility Regulation

read … Hawaii PUC Adopts Time of Use Rates for the HECO Companies

County Ethics Watchdogs Need More Money To Do The Job Right, State Panel Says

CB: … A statewide commission wants Hawaii’s county ethics watchdogs to have more funding to monitor, and if need be, investigate public officials after a string of public corruption cases put a spotlight on government ethics and transparency.

Unlike the Honolulu Ethics Commission, with 11 full-time staff and a total budget over $650,000, the ethics boards for Kauai, Maui and Hawaii island operate with either no funds or very little to cover travel or food expenses. Their staffs are usually limited to a secretary and attorney in the county’s corporation counsel office, both of whom may have other responsibilities outside of helping the all-volunteer ethics board.

A recent proposal from the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct asks the Legislature to appropriate one-time grants for the county ethics commissions. The amounts have not been determined yet….

BACKGROUND: Hawaii Ethics and Audit Function at Lowest Level in Years

CB: Why Isn’t Hawaii Talking About Principles And Values?

read … County Ethics Watchdogs Need More Money To Do The Job Right, State Panel Says

Adult Learners Thought This Hawaii DoE Program Was A Path To College. They Were Wrong

CB: … Aaliyah Mays was partway through her first semester at Portland Community College this fall when school officials told her she was not eligible for federal aid because she didn’t have a valid high school diploma.

The 45-year-old says she was shocked to learn that the Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma she’d earned five years earlier on Oahu was not a high school diploma equivalent and did not meet federal standards.

“It completely derailed all of my plans,” she said.

Mays is part of a large cohort of students, possibly thousands, who earned Hawaii Adult Community School Diplomas through a competency-based diploma program known as C-Base between 2014 and 2019 — a period when the diplomas no longer met federal standards but state-run schools were still issuing them. …

2019: The”C-Base program” is being replaced

read … Adult Learners Thought This Program Was A Path To College. They Were Wrong

Allison Wong, head of state arts agency, put on administrative leave after Three Months on Job

KHON: … The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Board of Commissioners have placed Allison Wong, the head of the state arts agency, on administrative leave, KITV4 has confirmed Thursday.

The state Foundation on Culture and the Arts appointed Wong as its executive director in August 2022.

At that time, the board’s outgoing executive director – Jonathan Johnson – said that they are fortunate to have a capable individual in Wong, and that passing the torch to her was exciting for himself, the agency and the community.

However, on Sept. 28, the board made the move to put Wong on administrative leave and appointed Karen Ewald as its acting executive director. She also is the director of the Hawaii State Art Museum and Art in Public Places Program.

“The board is going through an internal process and cannot comment on personnel matters, the board said in a statement to KITV4 News. “Minutes of board meetings are made available and posted on the SFCA site when finalized. The Foundation asks that the community continue to support a unified culture in arts sector across all organizations and communities during this time.” …

Wong, who has more than a decade of experience in Hawaii’s arts community, was the executive director of The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu and deputy director of administration and operations at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Wong took over for Johnson, who retired this past summer after eight years as executive director and 34 years at the state Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

read … Allison Wong, head of state arts agency, put on administrative leave

Over 100 people join suit against US government over Red Hill crisis

HNN: … A day after the CDC and state Health Department reported lingering health problems since the Red Hill drinking water crisis, over 100 more people have taken legal action.

A lawsuit against the U.S. government over the fuel-tainted water has been amended.

In the initial filing this past summer, there were about a dozen plaintiffs. But now, this new complaint adds more than 100 new plaintiffs who say they were affected by the contaminated water.

The lawsuit says on top of physical pain and suffering, these plaintiffs are also dealing with mental anguish, emotional distress and lost income.

A survey in September showed 9,700 households were potentially exposed to jet fuel in their their tap water after last-November’s tainted water crisis. … 

J: Hundreds join contaminated drinking water lawsuit against US government

read … Over 100 people join suit against US government over Red Hill crisis

Hawaii agency picks 4 planned mid-income affordable-housing projects to subsidize

SA: … A board overseeing the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. unanimously approved $142 million in low-interest state loans to subsidize financing costs for 759 apartments.  ($187K per unit)

More than half the units will be in two neighboring towers in Kakaako. The other two projects are in Waipio on Oahu and in Hilo….

read … Hawaii agency picks 4 planned mid-income affordable-housing projects to subsidize

Geolocation data offers new insight on popular areas visited by locals, tourists

HNN: … Kalakaua Avenue is the most visited place in the state, followed by Kailua Town, Upcountry Maui, Chinatown, Ala Moana Shopping Center and finally Ko Olina Resort.  All of those top six places are being mostly visited by residents….

where in the state are we seeing more visitors then residents?

On Maui, Front Street in Lahaina, Whalers Village Shopping Center, Kaanapali Kai Golf Course as well as Lahaina Market Place Shopping Center were visited more by visitors. 

On Oahu, residents are outnumbered by visitors at Dole Plantation, Kuhio Beach park, Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Fort DeRussy Beach Park….

KITV: Hundreds of visitors to help clean up Honolulu's Ala Wai canal

read … Geolocation data offers new insight on popular areas visited by locals, tourists

Five years reporting on the Miske saga

ILind: …When I first heard rumblings from a community activist in East Honolulu about a controversy over lights on a tree in a public park along the ocean in Hawaii Kai, I thought it was worth making a few calls to see if there was a story there. I think it was early November in 2017. I got an earful in my first few phone calls, and heard the name “Mike Miske” for the first time. At least a couple of those mentions included a warning that he was considered violent and considered dangerous.

That tip, and my initial research, led to the first story that appeared at Civil Beat just after Thanksgiving (“Ian Lind: Why A Tree In Hawaii Kai Is Raising Questions Of Favoritism“). I never expected that I would still be pursuing the Miske story five years later.

Right now, two more stories worth writing have crept up to the top of my priory list. I’ll have to choose between them in the next couple of days, and then next week I’ll retreat and start writing. Hopefully by the end of next week, I’ll be close to finishing another piece of the saga….

read … Five years reporting on the Miske saga

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