Hawaii Democrats Dump Chairman: ILWU Takes Over
Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted October 28, 2023
How monster homes came to be: A Halloween Story
Rep Elle Cochran Accused of Stealing Lahaina Fire Donations?
HNN: … A dispute between community volunteers and the area’s state representative has shut down one of the largest community supply hubs in West Maui.
There is one thing that both sides agree on -- that state Rep. Elle Cochran started the hub in the Kelawea Mauka subdivision of Lahaina. But volunteer managers asked her to leave -- and when she didn’t, they decided to dismantle the hub.
(CLUE: Elle Cochran is a convicted armed robber.)
“I’d like to be on record to counter that and say no -- I am Elle Cochran and I am not tearing it down, because it’s dumb and I didn’t have a hand in it,” Cochran said in a FaceTime interview….
“Her refusal to sit down with us has led us to this decision,” said hub leader Kiley Adolpho. She is one of the community members who’ve taken over management of the site.
Adolpho said Cochran was not keeping track of incoming money and failed to produce any records.
“She had received cash donations and gift cards on behalf of Kelawea Mauka hub,” Adolpho said. “But to this day I have no idea what was the total of the donations that she received.”
(CLUE: Elle Cochran is a convicted armed robber.)
“Like pocketing it and spending it on my personal needs? No,” Cochran said. “So there’s gift cards that come in and they’re purchased for goods. Cards, getting things for the hub. And I have receipts. For everything.”…
(CLUE: Elle Cochran is a convicted armed robber.)
“It is similar to what happened with the Milton Choy issue when I was on the council, and that’s going to be an interesting thing to follow,” she said.
But Adolpho said they wanted to cut ties with Cochran. “The community hub was not going to be entangled with her role as a politician.”
For now, most of the donations have been trucked to the Napili hub site while volunteers ponder their next move….
Flashback 2018: Former Armed Robber Elle Cochran Running for Maui Mayor
read … Dispute shuts down a major community hub in West Maui
Punk Rocker Ken Inouye to Challenge La Chica for Mililani HD 37
SA: …The campaign for the August Democratic primary to serve Waipio-Mililani represents an unusual dynamic in island politics: a first-time candidate in Inouye — with a familiar name found on Hawaii’s major airport, a major highway on Hawaii island and other island landmarks with a built-in political apparatus and fundraising opportunities — against a first- time incumbent.
La Chica originally campaigned for the House but lost in 2020, then was appointed to the then-vacant seat by Gov. Josh Green in February, giving her less than a full legislative session of experience….
“You have to meet people and talk to people,” Moore said. “Tricia showed she is a strong candidate (in defeating Marilyn Lee in the 2020 Democratic primary). But she has very few accomplishments you can campaign on, but that’s still more than zero. I think it’ll be very competitive.”
Inouye works at the University of Hawaii West Oahu as administrative assistant to the vice chancellor of administration. His duties include helping to oversee the campus government internship program at the state Capitol.
In an earlier era, while he lived in Washington, D.C., Inouye played guitar in a band called Marginal Man that produced three records and toured much of North America starting at the age of 18.
Asked about the band’s genre, Inouye said, “We sprang from the punk scene. We were going to play what we wanted to play. If everyone liked the song, it made it into the playlist.”
Growing up in Washington, Inouye absorbed strong impressions about life in politics.
“The whole family was living it,” he said. “It’s a demanding job and it is a job that can get pretty crazy sometimes.”…
NE: I was actually born in DC. However, I spent a lot of time in Hawaiʻi when I was growing up
read …Inouye’s son making first run at House seat against La Chica
When The Hawaii Legislature First Decided Public Access Was Important
CB: … Ige, who was appointed to the House by Gov. George Ariyoshi in 1985, had not expected to make government and politics his career. He was working as an engineer for Hawaiian Tel, but he welcomed the part-time public servant role.
What he did not expect was just how antiquated operations at the Capitol were.
“I was just shocked,” he recalled. “We had personal computers at Hawaiian Tel, and everybody had their own work station. We were doing email and that kind of stuff. And when I went to the state there was nothing. There was barely any automation. If you were fortunate you had an IBM typewriter in your office.”
This was pre-internet, of course, but at the Capitol Ige’s colleagues had to stand in line to use word processors. One legislative session was so bad that Ige said the public couldn’t access copies of bills.
“And the Legislature ended that,” Ige said. “Then I guess the powers that be tried to control who had access to copies of the bills, and the general public did not get to see copies of bills until about three weeks after session ended.”…
read … When The Hawaii Legislature First Decided Public Access Was Important
Phonics making a Comeback at DoE Schools
CB: … At Makakilo Elementary, Christine Carder posed a question to her first graders. “What letters make the sound ‘ea’ as in tea?” The class eagerly scrambled to write down the correct letter combination in their notebooks.
This exercise helps to build students’ phonemic awareness, instructional coach Karen Yogi explained to the group of parents invited to observe Makakilo’s reading lessons for the morning. Older students will later advance to activities such as reading in pairs and assessing each other’s fluency and vocabulary skills, Yogi added.
“This is why my son says he’s famished at dinner, instead of hungry,” said parent Donna Sinclair, noting the improvement she’s seen in her fifth grader’s vocabulary this year.
Makakilo Elementary is one of about 80 schools in the state to receive funding from a roughly $50 million federal grant awarded in 2019 to improve literacy among the country’s youngest readers….
PNG: What's Better Phonics or Whole Language?
read … Phonics
Hawaii public school executives’ maximum salaries raised to $192K to $206K
SA: … Seven months after angry public testimony helped to compel the state Department of Education to scale back a proposal to raise salaries of officials at the top levels of Hawaii’s public school system, the state Board of Education has approved salary increases of 4.6% to 6% for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for 21 out of 25 of its “subordinate superintendents.”
The DOE on Thursday declined to confirm the dollar amounts, but calculations using past pay ranges approved by the board indicate maximum salaries for some positions would increase to nearly $206,000….
There are 25 subordinate superintendent positions in the DOE: the three deputy superintendents surrounding Hayashi — Heidi Armstrong, Curt Otaguro and Tammi Chun — plus seven assistant superintendents and 15 complex-area superintendents. They are at-will employees not covered by any collective bargaining agreement, and BOE approval is required to raise their pay.
The BOE on Oct. 19 approved “compensation adjustments” for 21 of them in a unanimous vote, without saying who got what kind of raise….
While Hayashi’s request did not include dollar figures, his memo included an attachment that listed salary ranges that the BOE had approved in May 2022 “to assist the superintendent with leadership recruitment.” Hayashi also mentioned these prior pay ranges in a memo in March.
For deputy superintendents the pay had been $162,750 to $194,250; for assistant superintendents, $157,500 to $189,000; and for complex-area superintendents, $152,250 to $183,750.
Based on those ranges:
>> With basic 4.6% increases calculated, the maximum salary for 2023-2024 would become $203,185 for deputy superintendents, $197,694 for assistant superintendents and $192,202 for complex-area superintendents.
>> With 6% increases calculated, top pay would become $205,905 for deputy superintendents, $200,340 for assistant superintendents and $194,775 for complex-area superintendents….
read … Hawaii public school executives’ maximum salaries raised to $192K to $206K
New concerns rise over unemployment benefits investigation, resident said he owes more than $4,000
KITV: … An Oahu resident is learning he has to pay back the money he got for unemployment even though it was the state that made the error.
Kalino Grace from Ewa Beach said he was injured on the job as a food runner at Foodland back in 2021.
He had to get surgery as a result and received worker’s compensation.
Grace said the unemployment office made a mistake by telling him he can have both worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time.
“I sent them all of the documentations including the checks, compensation claim itself, and a doctor’s note. They cleared it and said I can receive both,” said Grace….
He lives in State Representative Diamond Garcia's district.
Garcia said he is working with the unemployment office on a solution, including paying the money back in monthly payments.
He said many of his constituents have this same problem although the law is pretty clear that you cannot accept both at one time.
“This upcoming session, I plan to introduce a resolution that would urge the unemployment office to have better communication and strong communications with other state agencies to ensure that approving someone when they weren’t supposed doesn’t happen again because in essence they did approve him,” said Representative Garcia, District 42….
The representative said the situation needs to be resolved so that residents of Lahaina who might find themselves in a similar situation in the wake of the deadly wildfires do not have to go through the same ordeal. …
read … New concerns rise over unemployment benefits investigation, resident said he owes more than $4,000
County delays Waikoloa siren installation
HTH: … One of two emergency sirens planned to be installed in Waikoloa Village this fall has been postponed to 2024.
In August, following the devastating Lahaina wildfire, Waikoloa Village residents raised concerns about whether their community — located in an area at high risk for wildfires — has sufficient emergency response measures should disaster strike.
Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said in August that the village could get two emergency sirens, one of which he said could be installed in the fall.
However, Magno said Thursday that both sirens now are not expected to be installed until some time next year.
The siren that was to be installed this fall is part of a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency program, Magno said.
“The way I understand it, it dropped off of their priority list,” Magno said, adding that now he isn’t expecting either siren to be ready until the summer of next year or later.
HI-EMA Communications Director Adam Weintraub said supply chain and procurement issues have delayed plans for the siren.
“We are aware that there is a need for this in the area,” Weintraub said. “But contracting can be hard in the middle of the Pacific.”
While Weintraub acknowledged that Waikoloa Village is a particularly at-risk community — the village only has one way in or out for about 7,000 residents — he added that HI-EMA, responding to personnel shortages, has prioritized installing emergency sirens for coastal communities that currently do not have redundant sirens in case of tsunami….
read … County delays Waikoloa siren installation
Lahaina Fire News: