Maui Mayor-Elect Bissen Names Managing Director
OHA Announces New Board Leadership
Green Names 17 More Appointees
$600M Gift to Carpenters Union--Ikaika Anderson To Direct Hawaiian Home Lands
CB: … Gov. Josh Green has named former Honolulu City Councilman (campaign for LG funded by Carpenters Union) Ikaika Anderson to steer the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, an agency that has struggled for decades to build enough homes for Native Hawaiians to live in under a century-old act of Congress.
(Translation: The Carpenters Union will have until June 30, 2025, to spoon out $600M)
Anderson, if confirmed by the state Senate, replaces outgoing Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman William Aila, who has led the department since 2020 and was previously its deputy director. Anderson ran for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary last August against Sylvia Luke, who won the race and now serves as Green’s LG. Anderson received about $3 million in outside support from a super PAC with ties to the carpenters union during the race.
As commission chairman, he’ll have significant influence in deciding how the state should spend $600 million allocated by the Legislature to help reduce the number of applicants on the DHHL waitlist that numbers around 28,000….
read … Governor Taps Former Honolulu City Councilman To Lead Hawaiian Home Lands
Green’s DLNR Nominee Involved in Kawaiahao Church Graveyard Mess
SA: … Dawn Chang, who runs a consulting company that specializes in building community support for economic development projects and is drawing some early opposition as the appointed new head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources….
… concerns over the appointment of Chang, who is a state Land Use Commission member and has been a deputy state attorney general, had been brewing prior to Monday partly due to her role as a consultant who has done work for developers seeking regulatory approvals.
David Kimo Frankel, a former Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. attorney who has recently represented the Sierra Club of Hawaii, said court filings in a case over burials at Kawaiaha‘o Church being unearthed to make way for a multipurpose building project that was later abandoned show that Chang helped the church avoid a more through archaeological review by DLNR’s State Historic Preservation Division that would add to project costs and time.
“The result of her advice was protracted litigation and the disturbance of hundreds of burials,” Frankel said in an email. “We don’t need a fox guarding the hen house.”…
read … Gov. Green adds to Cabinet appointments
Gov. Green stuffs state workers’ stockings with 2 days off
SA: … Hawaii’s new governor has given out some early holiday gifts — two days of extra paid time off work — to thousands of state employees.
Gov. Josh Green on Friday, four days after taking office, announced in an internal executive memorandum to department heads and in an email to staff that all full-time salaried state employees will receive 16 hours of special administrative leave.
Many workers will have four-day weekends surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day by receiving Friday Dec. 23 and Friday Dec. 30 off if their absence won’t disrupt necessary government functions. Employees who are needed or already have paid time off on those days will be given an alternate two days off up to Feb. 28.
The gift, which appears unusual for a new governor in Hawaii and affects tens of thousands of workers, was given as an expression of thanks to employees for their
dedicated service (votes) and to welcome them to Green’s administration….
Big Q: What do you think of Gov. Josh Green giving state workers two extra holiday days off, Dec. 23 and 30?
read … Gov. Green stuffs state workers’ stockings with 2 days off
Who Needs Collective bargaining? Push is on for Another Big Fat Pay Hike for Teachers
CB: … The School Facilities Authority has millions of dollars at its disposal to build classrooms and legislators are creating incentives for local graduates to teach in preschools, while working to remove barriers for out-of-state teachers. But more funding will be needed to bolster the workforce.
While Luke has long championed universal access to pre-K, she has declined to say whether funding for wage increases will be requested during the coming legislative session.
“We’re still in the planning stages. I think the requests will have many parts, and right now we’re working on the details,” she said, with specifics to be finalized next month….
School and nonprofit leaders say staffing will remain problematic unless money goes toward permanently raising early educator pay.
Director of Early Learning at Hawaii Children’s Action Network, Keopu Reelitz, says the workforce will need to double, possibly triple, by 2032 to make preschool available to all 3- and 4-year-olds in the state. …
Honolulu City Council member Val Okimoto, a DOE special education teacher for seven years, said that while she supported expansion of pre-K, she hoped that it takes into account that the DOE already has 737 positions open for K-12 teachers.
Luke, however, said that the majority of open DOE positions are subject-based teaching jobs in high schools…
read … Ambitious State Plan For Expansion Of Pre-K Hinges On Boosting Workforce
Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact -- allow accredited educators to teach in Hawaii
CB: … Rep. Justin Woodson plans to introduce the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact — a collective agreement that would allow accredited educators to teach across member states — making it easier for out-of-state educators to teach in Hawaii….
read … Ambitious State Plan For Expansion Of Pre-K Hinges On Boosting Workforce
Hawaii Tourism Marketing Chief Asks for Exemption from Procurement Laws
CB: … Facing tough questions from lawmakers about a twice-bungled attempt to award the state’s largest tourism marketing contract, the chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority on Monday offered an elegantly simple solution: to give the authority an exemption so it doesn’t need to follow procurement law when awarding contracts anymore.
The suggestion by John De Fries, the tourism authority’s president and chief executive, went nowhere with members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
“You’re going to have to earn something like that,” a clearly miffed Sen. Donna Mercado Kim told De Fries, during an informational briefing….
read … Hawaii Tourism Marketing Chief Hopes For New Mainland Contract By March
Big Island Police Chief finalists make first public appearance
KHON: … The four finalist for Hawaii Island Police Chief made their first public appearance on Monday, Dec. 11. The Hawaii County Police Commission held a special meeting in Hilo giving the public their first chance to meet the candidates.
Acting Asst. Police Chief for the Kauai Police Department, Paul Applegate, Hawaii Police Department Maj. Sherry Bird, retired FBI Agent Edward Ignacio and Honolulu Police Maj. Benjamin Moszkowicz are the finalists. During the Hawaii Police Commission’s special meeting, the final four candidates were interviewed about their experience and what makes them the best person for the job….
BIN: Public interviews have begun for Hawaii County Police chief
read … Big Island Police Chief finalists make first public appearance
BWS: Navy detected ‘forever chemicals’ at least twice in drinking water at Pearl Harbor base
HNN: … Honolulu Board of Water Supply officials want answers about toxic chemicals detected in groundwater at Red Hill a year before last month’s spill of firefighting foam.
The chemicals were also found in drinking water at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in 2020 and 2021.
As first reported by Hawaii News Now, the EPA and state Health Department said in a letter last month to the Navy that PFAS ― known as forever chemicals ― were detected in groundwater samples on Dec. 20 and 27, 2021.
That was one month after fuel spills tainted the Pearl Harbor drinking water system, sickening thousands of people. And it was a year before 1,300 gallons of firefighting foam containing PFAS was spilled at Red Hill….
SA Editorial: Give public more info on Red Hill
HNN: Trust in short supply following heated Navy town hall over toxic foam spill at Red Hill
SA: Community pushes for more answers on Red Hill spill
CB: Delayed Notification Of Toxic Chemicals In Red Hill Water Draws Criticism
read … BWS: Navy detected ‘forever chemicals’ at least twice in drinking water at Pearl Harbor base
DOE works to place Narcan at all school campuses
HNN: … Right now, only a fraction of Hawaii schools are armed with the antidote. But that’s expected to change.
After months of not knowing exactly where the state Department of Education stands on the issue, school officials now confirm they’re working toward improving access to Narcan at all DOE schools and offices.
It’s expected to happen sometime early next year….
read … DOE works to place Narcan at all school campuses
Mosquito control project could curb population by 90% or more
MN: … Mosquitoes incapable of reproducing would be released by drone and helicopter at nearly 1,400 locations across Maui forests under a widespread effort to curb the insects that are spreading deadly avian malaria amongst native birds.
Officials offered an in-depth glimpse of how they plan to deploy the incompatible mosquitoes across nearly 65,000 acres of state, federal and private lands as part of a project that’s been discussed for years but grown more dire in recent months amid efforts to keep the dwindling bird populations alive. The project, if successful, has the potential to suppress the southern house mosquito population by 90 percent or more, according to a draft environmental assessment for the project published Thursday in “The Environmental Notice.”…
read … Mosquito control project could curb population by 90% or more
Drug Addicted Homeless Criminals Take Over Sugar Beach
MN: … This land, which I assume is part of the property obtained from A&B by Mahi Pono, has become a homeless camp and a dump.
Sugar Beach is one of the gems of Maui island and to see it being abused as it is now, should embarrass the entities responsible for this ‘aina. Bags of trash, various and sundry auto parts, anything which you can find at the dump, is strewn along this stretch and piled in mounds.
The turtle fence, installed several years ago, is broken down in numerous places primarily by the homeless people who camp along this stretch of the beach.
If you walk the beach, depending on the wind and how close you are to the underbrush, the smell of urine and human waste wafts in the air….
CB: How One Man Overcame Addiction And Homelessness
read … Beach dump not going to resolve itself on own