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Sunday, April 16, 2023
April 16, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:26 PM :: 1620 Views

It Isn’t Over Until It’s Over

Latest Mass Shooting at Cockfight Inevitable Outcome of Inattention by Political Leaders and Law Enforcement

Gene Editing: Getting Serious About Hawaii Invasive Species Problem

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted April 14, 2023

DoE Fail: Only 21% of Hawaii high school graduates’ ready for college

SA: … Just 51% of Hawaii’s graduates in the Class of 2022 enrolled in any kind of postsecondary education — including four-year and two-year college programs, and trade and technical training — in the first fall after graduation, according to the report by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education.

“Various studies nationwide that have shown that within this decade, approximately 75% to 80% of jobs are going to require a college degree. … Clearly we’re not there,” said Lauren Moriarty, a member of the BOE’s Student Achievement Committee, which was presented with the report Thursday….

Also among the key findings of the “College and Career Readiness Indicators, Class of 2022” report:

>> Postsecondary enrollment trends: The overall percentage of local graduates who enrolled in the first fall after graduation in any type of postsecondary education had held at 55% for the Classes of 2018 and 2019; dropped to 50% for the Class of 2020, the first graduating class of the pandemic; and inched up to just 51% in 2021 and 2022….

>> ACT results: Scores on American College Testing assessments over the past five years show that Hawaii’s 2022 high school graduates trailed slightly behind pre-pandemic levels in math, recovered from pandemic effects in English and registered a sizeable increase in science (see graphic).

However, the percentages of island grads producing college-ready scores were still small. In math, only 21% of 2022 Hawaii grads who took the ACT scored 22 or higher out of a possible 36 points — the threshold considered “college ready.”

In science, the percentage of grads who reached the college-ready mark of 23 points or more was 22%. In English, the percentage of grads who reached the college-ready mark of 18 points or more was 41%….

Schatz said the test scores should be interpreted with caution because participation fell off dramatically during the height of the pandemic. For the Classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020, more than 80% of students took the test. But for the Class of 2021, it was 78%, and for the Class of 2022, it was a mere 61%.

Still, committee member and BOE Chair Bruce Voss said that with the smaller, more select group of test takers, “you’d expect a bump right for our overall readiness numbers. (BINGO!) But we didn’t get that; we got a little teeny bump in English and really no movement at all, or appreciable movement, in math and science. And I found that very sobering.”

(TRANSLATION: The least motivated students are gone. So these ACT numbers reflect only the top students and their average has fallen sharply.)

P20: Class of 2022 CCRI Report

read … Hawaii high school graduates’ college enrollment, test scores continue to lag

After Recent Arrests, HSTA needs more gay socialists to speak out against ‘aggressive and loud’ parents

CB: … social media has turbo-charged the politicization of education, which has had knock-on effects on the ability to recruit and retain teachers. “Through social media, certain subgroups of toxic parents and community members spread their messages, and feelings toward teachers polarized more easily and more quickly and more widely,” Robbins said. “If you look at surveys, the vast majority of parents are happy with their schools and don’t think culture wars should play out in schools (just giving the gays what they want.) Most of the people who say they aren’t happy with schools aren’t parents of school-aged children. They’re just aggressive and loud.”

March, 2023: VIDEO -- See For Yourself: Rep Pierick at Ewa Int School

Hawaii has thus far dodged most of the “parent rights” lunacy gaining steam on the mainland, though it’s ascendant here, championed by some elected officials like GOP Rep. Diamond Garcia. But the fact that a vocal minority acting in obvious bad faith has a spot on the education committee in state government, despite preaching a message rejected by most people in the islands, is proof that teachers need more supporters to speak up.

(Too bad the gay socialist teacher got arrested for boy sex, eh?)

“We need allies to stand up for educators, show up to meetings, lobby. Districts seem to listen to non-educators more than educators,” said Robbins. But support shouldn’t just come at the policy level. “Parents should be saying in front of their kids that they trust their teachers (especially the transsexual ones). Teachers know when a student in their class has a parent who speaks poorly about teachers. When you hear someone disparage teachers, when you see someone do that on social media, you have to shut it down.” ….

read … Educators need more supporters to speak out against an aggressive and loud minority.

Green’s Big Achievement: A road crossing in Kihei

Shapiro: … A good model for Green as he takes on the longstanding problems is his own handling of the delayed opening of Kulanihakoi High School on Maui.

The failure of expensive public facilities to open promptly after construction is a sore point among voters, with the long bureaucratic delays in opening the new state hospital in Kaneohe and a city homeless center in Iwilei among the examples.

When controversy renewed over Kulanihakoi remaining shut because the Department of Education ignored a 10-year-old Land Use Commission order to install a safe highway crossing, Green jumped in and worked the problem forthrightly with Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, the DOE, the LUC and other parties.

He quickly facilitated a solution to get the school open next semester while the DOE expedites work on a permanent fix.

He’s going to need a lot more of that “just get it done” spirit to solve the bigger and more complex issues on his plate, and our state needs for him to make good….

read … Spotlight will soon shift from Legislature to Green

Conference Committee: Two More Ethics Bills to Kill

CB: … There have been some unfortunate moments, such as when a committee chairman torpedoed a measure to establish term limits for legislators that deserved far more discussion. A bill that is still alive has been amended so heavily that it bears no resemblance to the initial Standards Commission proposal to prohibit candidates from regifting their campaign donations to other candidates and community groups.

Some sunshine bills have already died for this session, although they can be reconsidered next year. Others have already cleared the Legislature, even inspiring an early signing ceremony by the governor. Perhaps the most significant establishes the common-sense requirement that lobbyists reveal what they are lobbying for.

But the already approved sunshine bills are not as substantial as those headed for conference committees. One could lead to a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county office as early as 2026. Another would cap charges for reproducing government records. Others address conflicts of interest and the penalties for forgery and obstruction of justice….

read … Bluer Skies Or Continued Cloudiness? Legislators Are About To Choose

Next Boondoggle: Ala Wai flood control project plan to be unveiled

SA: … A multimillion-dollar plan to protect Waikiki and nearby communities from a flooding disaster appears to be coming into focus as the Army Corps of Engineers announced it will present its “prospective plan” at a virtual meeting April 24.

Officials said the plan is an early version of the “tentatively selected plan” that will be described in a draft Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management General Re- evaluation report scheduled to be unveiled in June, with public meetings to follow.

A final Ala Wai report is expected to be ready by the end of 2023 or early 2024, according to the Army Corps’ timeline.

The 5:30 p.m. virtual meeting, being held in partnership with the city, is expected to feature an overview of the project, a description of government- mandated environmental review requirements and a presentation of the planning process, including development, evaluation and comparison of the final array of alternatives….

read … Ala Wai flood control project plan to be unveiled

To Stop Global Warming, Stop Treating Sewage

SA: … City and County of Honolulu residents: Expect your sewer fee to increase by as much as two- to three-times because in 2010, the city signed a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to construct and operate a multibillion-dollar, secondary treatment facility at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) by 2035.

Hawaii residents: The timetable to pay for mitigating technologies addressing sea level rise will be exacerbated because secondary treatment of sewage at Sand Island WWTP represents a new and significant source of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) that are causes of global warming….

foregoing unnecessary secondary treatment at Sand Island WWTP will eliminate additional global warming risks attributable to this facility.

This statement represents the views and conclusions of seven environmental engineers and scientists with extensive experience in wastewater treatment operations and water quality management. Group members oppose implementation of the consent decree….

read … New wastewater plant is a climate risk

More DOBOR Chaos: Tour Boats Hog Moorings off Lahaina

LN: … Ka Malu o Kahalawai, is one of several involved in recent action to intervene in the renewal of the 16 existing commercial permits at Mala. Those permits have been renewed more or less automatically for decades by the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), a state agency within the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

The intervention challenge to the permits is a quasi judicial procedure and is progressing slowly through the state bureaucracy. Most recently the commercial permit holders and the community representatives participated in court ordered mediation that lasted from the summer of 2022 until March 10, 2023. In the end, there was no meeting of the minds and no resolution of the conflict. Due to the rules of the negotiating process, there is little that either side is allowed to say about those negotiations or why they stalled.

According to Keahi, when jurisdiction of the Mala facility transitioned from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to DOBOR in the early 1990s, assurances were given to the community that since Lahaina Harbor would be exclusively commercial, Mala would become the place where local residents, fishermen, boaters and those exercising their Native Hawaiian gathering rights would be welcome. But in the many years since that change was made, Mala has become more and more crowded, and local users claim they are being systematically squeezed out by commercial operators who are monopolizing the ramp and parking for cars and boat trailers ….

LN: From the commercial side: On the Defense

read … Nothing to Lose

VA Case Workers Pick Up Homeless Vets as they are Released from OCCC and Take them to Drug Rehab

CB: … Scot Kunishige was in the Oahu Community Correctional Center facing charges of second-degree burglary, when he heard about a special program for military veterans that could help with both his legal woes and the substance abuse problems that had trapped him in a cycle of homelessness for nearly two decades. 

Kunishige, who is originally from Waimanalo and served in both the Army and National Guard, had been too embarrassed to seek help in the 18 years that he had been living in trucks and makeshift shelters around Oahu. This time was different. 

Kunishige made a call to Veterans Affairs, and when he was released from OCCC, two workers from the VA were waiting outside to take him to a treatment center and get him on a path to permanent housing. 

“If the VA didn’t rescue me, I don’t know where I would be today,” said Kunishige, who is now a peer support specialist in the same VA program that helped him a decade ago.

In the last two decades, the VA has significantly increased its investment in homeless services. In 2003, the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System had three workers in Hawaii assigned to tackling homelessness. Today, there are close to 100….

Between 2015 and 2022, the number of homeless veterans in Hawaii declined by 51%, according to the state’s annual Point In Time homeless count….

VA currently has 948 HUD-VASH vouchers in use with an additional 127 vouchers available….

read … Hawaii Has Had Amazing Success Reducing The Number Of Homeless Vets

Dana White rules out potential Hawaii event for the UFC in the future: ‘We can’t get it done’

LKMMA: … White claims that Hawaii has been a longtime destination he has attempted to visit, but it is not as easy as fans may assume, while addressing the issue following UFC Kansas City.

“If you think back to the days with me and the Fertitta brothers, we always wanted to do an event in Hawaii… Everybody wants to do the fight in Hawaii,” said White in Kansas City on Saturday. “We could just never get a deal done in Hawaii. I don’t see it happening. And you hear me, man. We’re going to Africa, we’re going to places people would never imagine. But we can’t get Hawaii done.”…

Former lightweight champion BJ Penn went above and beyond, going as far as promising ‘three UFC events a year’ if he was elected as governor of Hawaii.

Former featherweight champion Max Holloway has also passionately campaigned for a homecoming event….

Although a silver lining, in this case, may be how Hawaii introduced Senate Bill 1027, a bill seeking to initiate a new combat sports commission through the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). 

Senator Lorraine Inouye believes the bill could finally persuade the UFC to land in Hawaii.

White has made it clear in the past that he wants to give Hawaii fans the event they’ve been longing for, but he has questioned the state’s motivation and lack of desire to come to an agreement with the UFC….

2019: Anti-Telescope Rap Video: Swinging Baseball Bat "In the blessed era of Max Holloway"

read … Dana White rules out potential Hawaii event for the UFC in the future: ‘We can’t get it done’

Legislative Agenda:

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