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Saturday, November 11, 2023
November 11, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:52 PM :: 1554 Views

Audio Reveals HECO Informing Maui PD Lahaina Power is Off

Personal Debt Keeps Hawaii up at Night

Adjusting AMI for Kauai’s affordable rental program could backfire

Relax rules on ‘cottage food’ entrepreneurs

Streamline permitting process to reduce wait times, favoritism

‘CON’ laws hindering access to better Hawaii healthcare

MPD Chief not in Emergency Operations Center during Aug. 8 wildfires

KITV: … "The appropriate operational commander for the incident is and was an assistant chief," Pelletier told Island News. "And that is appropriate because if you’re doing that job, you can’t do your other job- and so we had the right people there."

Yet, two former member's of Maui Police Department's high-ranking leadership staff say that move alone bucks years of departmental procedure.

"Up until now, it's always been the Office of the Chief that's manned it," Clyde Holokai, a recently-retired MPD Assistant Chief, said of the Emergency Operations Center.

The two former members of MPD's leadership staff reacted to body worn cam video, released by the Maui Police Department after Island News and other media outlets filed State of Hawaii Public Information requests.

"They're already trying to save lives," William Henkins, a former MPD Traffic Commander, observed.

"They saved lives," Holokai agreed, "Nothing against those officers. But where's their quarterback? Where's the one with the bird's-eye view to look and say, oh, we're directing people in circles- maybe we should send them over here?"

At 4 p.m. on Aug. 8, MPD officers decided to funnel traffic into the Lahaina Gateway Mall to get a backed up line of cars away from the smoke, a high-risk evacuation move as there is no exit on the other side of Lahaina Gateway mall.

There is only the one way in and out of the plaza.

At the same time, a half a block down, Honoapiilani Highway northbound out of Lahaina, remained closed.

Video shows Highway 30 empty as of 2.55 p.m. when the fire starts, for at least two and a half hours.

Several lanes go unutilized.

"Roads inaccessible due to power lines - and that's what we're trained is any down line is considered an energized line," Hankins acknowledged.

"Had the Emergency Operations Center been been there and MECO and all of the powers that be- in the same room, they told those officers that the lines are de-energized and then they can start improvising," Hankins told Island News….

But: Audio Reveals HECO Informing Maui PD Lahaina Power is Off

read … MPD Chief not in Emergency Operations Center during Aug. 8 wildfires

Cash in on Pay for Lahaina Housing; “16 people living in one hosted family”

HNN: … CNHA is working with Maui County, the American Red Cross and the Hawaii Community Foundation on a Host Housing Support Program where host families can get money for (allegedly) housing people who were displaced….

“That program has gotten off to a great start. We have over 600 people that have identified themselves as hosting survivors and sometimes there’s three, four, and in some applications, we saw there were 16 people living in one hosted family,” said Lewis.

(Stack ‘em and pack ‘em.  You can take that to the bank.)

Next week Tuesday through Friday, issues like this will be discussed at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului for CNHA’s first Maui convention, where 1,700 have signed up to attend.

The four mayors, including Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, will talk about housing. Other discussions will be on balancing tourism, water rights and workforce development….

read … Native Hawaiian organization leader warns exodus from Maui happening now in wake of wildfires

Legislature must act to fund Lahaina Fire litigation buy-out fund

Borreca: … Green showed that he fully understands his new charge as he gave a mini State of the State speech to discuss the state’s latest Lahaina fire plans.

Lahaina, the historic center of Maui, was knocked down as the center of Hawaii’s major tourist industry on Maui — a firestorm permanently scarring the spirit of Hawaii.

Calling it the “Maui Recovery Fund,” Green in a state Capitol speech said his administration will “rapidly provide funds to Maui families who have lost loved ones or who have suffered serious injuries in the fires.”

With plans for at least $150 million in the fund, Green said it will be completely voluntary with a goal “to get as much money as possible to affected families as quickly as possible — cutting out delays and eliminating uncertainty.”

The state is not alone in helping Maui victims. Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement last week that Hawaii’s new needs will be included in a $16 billion disaster relief fund that is part of the short-term federal spending bill signed into law in September.

The Maui Recovery Fund money comes with some caution, however. Green’s press release from last week noted that “Partners are providing substantial monetary sums to victims much faster than they could receive through litigation. Those who choose to receive money from the fund will waive their ability to bring legal action related to associated claims.”

In his statement, Green was not specific about programs he can launch by himself. He added that he will have to get legislative approval for any major new state programs.

He said “a comprehensive legislative package will be submitted to protect consumers while allowing for fund generation going forward, to improve and harden the grid and address the impacts of climate change, and to establish a program to provide coverage for future catastrophic events and to help keep homeowners insurance available and affordable.”…

All of this is prelude to the already mentioned 2024 legislative session….

read … Gov, Legislature must act to fund post-fire recovery

Hawaii Seeks Medicaid Waiver to Continue Providing Housing, Utilities and Prizes for Drug Addicts

SOR: … The Hawaii Med-QUEST Advisory Health Committee received positive feedback from the public at their second public forum on its upcoming 1115 demonstration waiver extension request. The current demonstration expires on July 31st, 2024, and the state is seeking a five-year extension, which includes several new initiatives. 

Judy Mohr Peterson, division administrator for Med-QUEST, explained several of the waiver extension initiatives, including community integration service (CIS) benefits. CIS benefits that are currently active include outreach, pre-tenancy support, tenancy sustaining support, traditional case management, and limited rental and utility assistance.

In addition to requesting up to six months of rental assistance for qualifying members, Med-QUEST is seeking approval for help with setting up utilities and up to six months of utility assistance.

The waiver extension request also proposes adding contingency management, which is an evidence-based practice for addressing substance use disorder (SUD)—a priority for Med-QUEST. …

read … Hawaii stakeholders show support for 1115 waiver during public forum

Lahaina Fire News:

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