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Thursday, October 5, 2023
October 5, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:42 PM :: 1350 Views

Hawaii AG Sues pharmacy benefit managers

VIDEO: ‘Innovative solutions’ to address housing

Maui County Council to consider resolution urging Governor to reinstate Kaleo Manuel in Water Resource Management role

KITV: … maybe they should give him a medal for denying water for firefighting …

Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced Wednesday that the Maui County Council will consider a Resolution that urges Governor Green to reinstate Marvin Kaleo Manuel as the first deputy of the Commission on Water Resource Management….

Rawlins-Fernandez, who introduced the resolution, said Marvin Kaleo Manuel served as the first deputy for the commission from Jan. 28, 2019, until Governor Josh Green and Board of DLNR Chair Dawn Chang “redeployed” him on Aug. 16 -- a little over a week after the deadly Maui wildfires.

The Committee will hear comment on the Resolution at a Committee meeting Friday, October 6 at 9 a.m.

Resolution 23-216 can be read in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and English here.

“I would like to recognize the productivity of Deputy Manuel’s time as first deputy, in which he upheld the laws set by the Constitution of Hawaiʻi and the State Water Code and earned the trust and respect of many community members,” said Rawlins-Fernandez, who holds the seat for the Molokai residency area. “The resolution’s purpose is to urge the governor to uphold the law, which requires the state to protect and preserve wai as an essential resource for our people.”

In-person, online and phone testimony is welcome at all meetings. Testimony instructions are on the meeting agenda, available at mauicounty.us/agendas.

For more information, please visit mauicounty.us or call the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-7838…. 

KITV: Maui County Council considers resolution to reinstate Kaleo Manuel as water deputy 

read … Maui County Council to consider resolution urging Governor to reinstate Kaleo Manuel in Water Resource Management role

State mental health experts worry exchanges could trigger altercations when tourism returns

HNN: … IDEA:  Tourists should pretend to be Kaleo Manuel--so they will be welcomed back ….

read … State mental health experts worry exchanges could trigger altercations when tourism returns (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Lahaina: Here’s How We Could Hype up Phony ‘Toxins’ Scare to Make More Homeowners Embrace and Celebrate Eminent Domain

SA: … Despite (fake) concerns about cleanup activities, wind and rain sending toxic ash into the air and ocean following the devastating Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire, Maui County is waiting until owners and residents have been able to visit their homes and properties in burned areas before applying a polymer product to control dust and runoff….

(REALITY: Ash is an irritant, not a toxin.  Here is what fire-prone areas in OR and CA recommend for ash cleanup: Eugene, OR, Tuolumne County, CA, Santa Rosa, CA.)

Maui County Emergency Management Agency interim Administrator Darryl Oli­veira told Maui County Council members Wednesday that Soiltac would not be used for dust control and soil stabilization until the zone-by-zone reentry process is complete and parcels are ready to be cleared of debris and rubble by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

But first, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must finish its task of removing hazardous household materials from nearly 1,600 parcels, including 150 commercial lots. The EPA has cleared 66% of the burned properties and is prioritizing residential parcels scheduled by the county for re­entry, according to Tara Fitzgerald, deputy incident commander for the EPA’s Maui wildfire response….

During a break in the committee meeting, when asked about worries over airborne ash, Oliveira told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that ongoing real-time air quality monitoring in Lahaina and Upcountry Maui by the state Department of Health and EPA so far has shown no evidence of poor air quality or any hazardous levels of contaminants in the air….

(Ignore this. Be very afraid.  You will celebrate when Eminent Domain saves you from your poison house lot.  Las Vegas awaits.)

read … EPA urges use of toxic-dust control agent in Lahaina

Hawaiian Electric’s insurance would cover a fraction of Maui fire claims

WaPo: … Hawaiian Electric is severely underinsured to pay victims of August’s deadly Maui wildfire, as well as repair its own damaged infrastructure, raising questions over how the beleaguered utility could cover billions of dollars in mounting damage claims if it is found liable for starting the blaze.

In a filing to state regulators on Monday, the utility said that it had $165 million in annual general liability insurance, which is what it would potentially use to help repay residents for their losses if it is determined that its equipment started the deadly Lahaina fire. As of now, that would cover a small fraction of the potential $5 billion in damage claims, according to the research firm Capstone, which continue to grow as more residents and even Hawaiian Electric shareholders join the slew of lawsuits against the company….

The 264-page filing provides the latest insights into how Hawaiian Electric approached wildfire risk before wind-fueled fires swept Maui, killing at least 97 people. Hawaiian Electric, which serves nearly all of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents, has looked to be careening toward insolvency. As part of their probe into Hawaiian Electric, regulators had asked for the utility’s insurance information, which was not in past state or Securities and Exchange Commission filings, by Sept. 18. Earlier this month, shareholders also accused the company in a lawsuit of misleading them and failing to disclose that its wildfire prevention protocols were “inadequate.”

Mike Kelly, a California wildfire attorney who leads an oversight committee related to Pacific Gas & Electric’s payouts to that state’s wildfire victims, said that Hawaiian Electric should have better analyzed its risks when obtaining insurance, including the islands’ propensity for high winds and highly flammable grasses.

“I read that $165 million and the only thought I had was how irresponsible this was,” he said. “Someone was not doing their job when thinking, ‘Have we done everything we have done to protect our business, stockholders, and customers’ and what it costs to cover that?’”…

read … Hawaiian Electric’s insurance would cover a fraction of Maui fire claims

Hawaii’s Next Federal Judge is married to Matson Lobbyist

CB: … If confirmed, Park will replace Judge Leslie Kobayashi on the Hawaii bench, someone Park said was her mentor. Park is married to Kuuhaku Park, a lobbyist for Matson, one of the most politically connected businesses in the islands.

State Court Judge Shanlyn Park and Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Smith both fit President Joe Biden's mold for judgeships as he tries to diversify the federal bench….

read … Nominees For Hawaii Federal Judge Positions Face US Senate Hearing

Restricted Parking Zone Bill Passes Honolulu Council, But There Are Catches

CB: … Residents near beaches and legal hiking trails will not be able to restrict parking in their neighborhoods….

RPZ residents who want to park along the street will have to pay for annual permits, with each household being limited to four.

The initial base annual price for one permit is $125 but the second costs $250, the third costs $375 and the fourth costs $600. Single-day visitor permits cost $10 each.

But the program’s administrative costs – signage, printed decals, labor – outweigh its projected revenue, meaning that it will cost the city money to implement.

And while unpermitted parking in an RPZ would result in traffic fines, that money goes to the state of Hawaii rather than to the City and County of Honolulu….

read … Restricted Parking Zone Bill Passes Honolulu Council, But There Are Catches

Kamalani Academy Charter School Still Faces An Uncertain Future

CB: … The governing board members of Kamalani Academy in Wahiawa will consider the school’s potential closure on Thursday evening.

A board agenda item titled “Discussion on School Closure and Possible Resolutions” has raised concern among Kamalani Academy parents and teachers who had fought to keep the school open, and calls for better communication from the public charter school’s leadership.

The school had been set to close in June after the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission voted not to extend the school’s contract because of an unauthorized virtual learning program and other violations.

However, the school successfully appealed to the Board of Education and was granted a two-year extension with a range of stipulations including a requirement that Kamalani Academy dissolve and reform its governing board.

The newly formed board now has a responsibility to assess the school’s educational and fiscal data and consider Kamalani Academy’s future viability, said governing board chair Aumoana Kanakaole.

“It’s part of the natural order of everything,” Kanakaole said about the development.

But parents and teachers said they should have been better informed about the board’s upcoming discussion. Crystal Slusher, a sixth-grade teacher at Kamalani Academy said teachers primarily learned about the board meeting through word-of-mouth and, in turn, began informing their students and parents as well. …

read …  Kamalani Academy Charter School Still Faces An Uncertain Future

Another Day in the DoE: Overwhelmed by Distressed Chronics

SA: …distressed adolescents, chronic absences, school anxiety, oppositional and defiant behaviors, disengagement, alienation and depression….They minimize their water intake — to the point of dehydration — to avoid using the bathrooms they describe as “dangerous,” full of biohazards, vapers and rumors of worse….Of the six teachers they encounter each week, one is a long-term substitute — the second substitute this year for this class — and two are raw beginners (one an uncertified “emergency hire”) who seem overwhelmed by the task of managing rooms full of active adolescents….

read … Can we make our high schools more humane?

BoE Approves the Usual Big Budget Ask for Legislative Session

SA: … The state school board on Wednesday approved requests to the state Legislature for an additional $198.2 million for the Hawaii public schools’ operating budget and an added $273 million for capital improvement projects for next fiscal year.

State Department of Education officials who authored the requests said additional funding for 2024-2025 is necessary to respond to myriad pressing issues — among them: catching up from last legislative session’s severe budget shortfalls (LOL!), covering inflation and collective- bargaining pay raises, (pretending to) preventing and preparing for the possibility of an active shooter, implementing a new statewide strategic plan for the schools, and recovering from pandemic learning loss (Plan: Let them age out of system) and the Maui wildfires (sell Kam III school to create ‘Venice of the Pacific’ water feature) ….

read … Hawaii school board OK’s requests for bigger operating, facilities budgets

Lahaina Catch-22: DOBOR Edition

MN: … Chang said that once work is completed at Lahaina Harbor, those who have vessels will be eligible for a permit “before someone who was not a permittee.”

“If I get a boat tomorrow, will you guarantee me a spot that I can start operating at Maalaea?” Ho asked.

“If you get a permit,” Chang answered.

“Again, I have a permit at Lahaina Harbor,” he said.

But, Chang said, “You don’t have a vessel.”

“If you have a vessel, you have an existing permit with us, you are in good standing, we will give you a new permit for Lahaina,” Chang said. 

KITV: West Maui Boat Owners Frustrated with the DLNR about Renewing Boat Slips and Commercial Permits | Devastation in Lahaina | kitv.com

MN: Removal of sunken boats underway in Lahaina Harbor | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News

read …  Mala Wharf may reopen in the next month or two

Lahaina Fire News:

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