Report: Hawaii Started 95 Transportation Projects in Year-One of Infrastructure Law
How Jones Act Reform can work for everyone
Hawaii Nature Conservancy Buys Reef Insurance Policy
Audit finds OHA Crimes--but only after Statute of Limitations Expires
SA Editorial: …the news looks bad for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA): Yet another audit has reported evidence of potential fraud, waste and abuse….
OHA between 2012 and 2016, a period that has now been combed through by three separate auditors. This most recent report, by nationally known firm Plante Moran, took a forensic approach to look for evidence of criminal acts, but also wasteful and unaccountable management, and found 22 instances of mishandled transactions involving more than $7 million.
That kind of irresponsible, unaccountable and potentially criminal action cannot be tolerated in an agency funded by taxpayer dollars, nor should it be acceptable in an agency charged with benefiting Native Hawaiians….
Wisdom: Why audit 2012-2016? The federal Statute of Limitations is five years.
They missed something: Surprise: OHA secretly borrowed $2M to finance Tribal ‘Aha
read … Finally, OHA gets on path to reform
Navy a no-show at Red Hill remediation roundtable so far
SA: … Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, told the Honolulu Star- Advertiser during the meeting that defense officials in Washington, D.C., are still working out details about what level of participation there will be from the Navy….
read … Navy a no-show at Red Hill remediation roundtable so far
Hawaii Judges Were Trained To Run Better Child Welfare Hearings. Their Performance Plummeted
CB: … Since 2012, the Hawaii Judiciary has been working with a national council to improve the quality of hearings in family court, where proceedings can lead to momentous decisions such as whether parents lose custody of their children forever.
In November 2019, judges from across the state got training on how to conduct better hearings, including how to engage with parents and what topics to discuss to achieve goals such as avoiding or shortening foster placements or speeding up the time it takes for a child to find a permanent home.
To measure the effect, observers sat in on a sampling of court hearings before and after the training.
The most recent draft report showed a surprising result: Across the board, judges are addressing almost all topics in hearings with parents less than they did before the training….
In one example, judges talked about efforts to reunite children with their parents, or how to prevent their removal in the first place, in 67% of cases in the year-and-a-half before the training. While that increased to 88% right after the training — several months into the pandemic — it has since dropped to just 8%.
“What this report tells us is that Hawaii doesn’t really have a court system for ‘child welfare’ cases at all,” Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Virginia, wrote in an email. Wexler reviewed the report at Civil Beat’s request.
“Hawaii has an assembly line of injustice, in which everyone pretends to be holding hearings, but they’re just going through the motions before rubber-stamping whatever” the state’s Child Welfare Services wants, he added.
read … Hawaii Judges Were Trained To Run Better Child Welfare Hearings. Their Performance Plummeted
Land and Power: Maui Trout Farmer Is Closing Up Shop After A Rough Year
CB: … Workers have been harvesting hundreds of fish a week. The demand from restaurants and other consumers is growing faster than ever — far more than the farm can meet. And now, Dobovan said, the farm is turning the highest profit in its nearly seven-year history.
That made it especially ironic, Dobovan said, that as soon as everything started going well again, the farmer is now facing what many others might see as an insurmountable hurdle. His lease is ending after the August power outage threw him behind on rent again ….
read … Maui Trout Farmer Is Closing Up Shop After A Rough Year
ACLU: Homeless Meth Addicts Should be able to stall sweeps with ‘Contested Case Hearings’
HNN: … The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii says the County gave notice for people to vacate but ignored requests from dozens of residents for a hearing to contest the sweep.
In March, a judge dismissed the county’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
More than 60 people lived at Pu’uhonua O Kanaha, Maui’s largest houseless encampment at the time ….
2021: Maui: 80 Homeless Meth Addicts Leave Behind 54 Junk Cars and 58 Tons of Garbage
read … Legality of large Maui homeless sweep to be decided by high state court