June 2, 2014: Office of Elections Releases Updated Candidate List
Star-Advertiser Poll Indicates a Lack of Enthusiasm for a Native Hawaiian 'Nation'
DBEDT: Obama Orders Mainland to Follow Hawaii's Expensive Energy Policies
Council on Revenues: Tax Revenue Will Decline for 2014 as Movie Moguls Grab Tax Credit Millions
Representative seeks access to private medical care for vets
Hawaii public school principals demand leadership change
Hawaii Refinery Converts to Lower Cost Mexican Oil
Pentagon wrestles with false climate predictions as military funds shifted to green agenda
Baron and Budd negotiate $3.7 million settlement for State of Hawaii
Danger: Waihee Launches 'Homeowners' Super-PAC
Honolulu Patients 2nd Happiest in USA
State Hospital Being Used as Dumping Ground for Criminals
SA: Workers are assaulted at a rate of about once every three days, according to state Department of Health statistics. The number has remained relatively steady for several years....
"The hospital's designed physically to have many fewer patients than it's got in it," Fridovich said. Additionally, Fallin said, the hospital, which is made up of several buildings spread out across the Kaneohe campus, wasn't built for a seriously behaviorally challenging population and thus lacks appropriate sight lines and other safety features.
The current facility was built for a patient census of 168 to 178. The number of patients being treated as of Monday was 207 — five patients over licensed capacity. An additional 40 contracted beds at Kahi Mohala for overflow capacity are also full, for a total patient population of 247. In the past couple of years, the number of contracted beds has increased to 40 from 16, according to Fallin....
"It's a hospital, which is meant for hospitalization, but many of the people are there because there's not a better place to manage them."
Virtually all patients are sent to the hospital by way of court order because they were charged with a crime and either deemed not fit to stand trial or found not guilty because of mental illness.
Fridovich said he and State Hospital Medical Director Dr. William Sheehan identified escalating admissions early in 2012, which triggered the creation of a Special Action Team that produced a detailed report for the governor in October 2012 and updated the report in November.
The report says that many patients don't require psychiatric services, don't have a treatable mental illness or remain in the care of the hospital for longer than clinically needed.
"It's 2 1⁄2 years later, and honestly the admissions scene hasn't changed much," Fridovich said.
read ... What is the definition of insanity?
Abercrombie Campaign Touts Poll Showing Him at 42%
CB: In an email issued earlier today titled “We’ve Pulled Ahead,” Kaneko says Abercrombie is ahead of Ige 42 percent to 28 percent....
The poll, conducted by SMS Research, surveyed 1,402 registered voters statewide March 24 to April 25. It used a mix of cell phones and land lines and has a margin of error of 2.6 percent....
A Civil Beat Poll conducted in February showed the race to be close.
Meanwhile, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that same month indicated that Abercrombie’s re-election is far from a sure thing.
(Elections are referenda on the incumbent. If Abercrombie is at 42% that means 58% might vote against him.)
read ... Poll Games with SMS
Hawaii VA -- 10 week wait list
AP: Only 19 of the VA's 140 health care facilities reported average wait times within the administration's target range. Some — in Richmond, Va., Columbia, S.C., and Hampton, Va. — said fewer than 20% of new patients got in to see a doctor within that 14-day time frame.
The VA has confirmed that 42 facilities are under investigation for having falsified their wait records.
Numbers from other hospitals reveal a two-tiered system of care. Hawaii's VA Pacific Islands Health Care System reported that 42% of its patients saw doctors within 14 days. But those who didn't get seen quickly were left to linger: the average wait time for the rest was 2½ months.
Background: Rationing Health Care by Making Patients Waste Time
read ... Two Tier System
As Predicted: Regents Pick Lassner 11-2-2
CB: One of two finalists, he was selected over retired Army general Francis Wiercinski after a tense, two-hour-long discussion during which regents debated the integrity of the selection process and the two candidates’ qualifications. Lassner received 11 votes, Wiercinski two, and there were two abstentions.
SA: Lassner retains the reins at UH
UHM: News Release
read .. Pre-Ordained
Lassner a 'Five Year Deal'
HNN: "Other boards can decide what they want to do in the future, but right now we have a continuous term, that means he continues to serve, and every year there will be an annual evaluation. And if he continues to perform well, there will continue to be annual evaluations," said Holzman.
Officials are wary about referring to Lassner's selection as being on a year-to-year basis.
"The president's agenda is about a five-year deal. There's a lot to do and I don't think anyone doubts that. And we all have confidence and a great expectation that president Lassner will do those things, and it's going to take time," Holzman explained.
read ... Five Year Deal
Decoupling Drives New Electric Rate Hikes
MN: The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on Friday, approving the annual sales decoupling tariff filings for Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, the agency announced today.
The effect of this annual adjustment will be an increase in a typical residential customer’s bill.
The estimated increase on Maui for a customer that uses 600 kWh per month is $4.90; and the estimated increase on Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi for a customer that uses 400 kWh per month will be $3.27, according to the PUC.
The agency says the anticipated increase for Hawaiian Electric Company customers that use 600 kWh per month is $4.89; and $3.92 for a Hawaii Electric Light Company customer that uses 500 kWh per month.
The PUC attributes the increases in large part to an increase in capital expenditures by the utility and declines in sales over the past year.
Flashback: Decoupling: How HECO's "Money Printing Machine" Causes High Electric Rates
read ... Rate Hikes
Star-Adv: Hurricane Would Send Solar Panels Flying
SA: Heightening the concern over the destructive force of hurricanes are the large number of solar panels popping up statewide — there are more than 40,000 solar PV systems hooked up to the electrical grid. More than 17,600 solar units were installed in 2013 alone, according to the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program. Homeowners would be wise to make sure their rooftop systems are built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
The Aina Haina Public Library became the first public library on Oahu to install rooftop photovoltaic panels, a system that was completed in August 2011 at a cost topping $600,000. In mid-March, high winds, well below hurricane force, caused severe damage to the system, which is still undergoing repairs. A cracked framing structure for the panels was one cause that was cited. What was meant as a money-saver became an an added expense.
If a true hurricane were to hit, solar panels would be only the latest source of worry
read ... Doomed Systems
Yang: Homeless Will Accept 'Housing First'
CB: The Housing First plan is costly but it is a way to reach out to some of the most difficult and damaged people in our community.
And the mayor’s office claims that in the end sheltering the chronic homeless will be much less expensive than continually trying to roust them out of parks and off of sidewalks, and imprisoning them or delivering them to hospital emergency rooms.
Still, I remain a bit cynical. I asked the mayor’s housing director, Jun Yang, a question: “What if the homeless refuse to accept the rental apartments the city offers?
“I have yet to find someone to say they are unwilling to move into housing,” he said.
read ... Housing First
801 Construction Continues After Court Orders Halt
CB: Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled HCDA didn’t comply with state historic preservation laws when it approved 801 South St. Tower B and halted construction on the project.
Carl Varady, attorney for the condo association at Royal Capital Plaza which brought the lawsuit, estimated the necessary historic reviews could delay the project up to six months.
“We were shocked by the ruling,” Ryan Harada, spokesman for the building’s developer Downtown Capital, said Monday afternoon. Last week, the company announced the apartments had sold out in just three months.
Harada said the company, which wasn’t a party in the lawsuit, is waiting to hear from HCDA about what to do.
“We’re still moving along with construction until HCDA tells us not to,” he said.
read ... Court Order? What Court Order?
Hawaiian Studies Blast Aimed at OHA Embrace of US Department of Interior
CB: OHA’s controversial and heavily contested strategy to “facilitate [Kānaka Maoli] self-governance” has manifested itself in a number of questionable endeavors; most recently, Kana‘iolowalu (the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission established through Act 195 of the ‘State of Hawai‘i’) and a “re-establishment of a government-to-government relationship” under the Obama administration and without congressional approval.
While OHA’s strategies to subject Kānaka Maoli to the United States government have failed, time and again, there is a powerful narrative that has rarely been told by the news media – that narrative is amplified by ka lehulehu a manomano (the great many and numerous) voices of Hawaiian independence.
OHA, at times, may appear to be lost and even self-contradictory...
OHA recently issued a statement applauding the Obama administration’s consideration of Kānaka Maoli subjugation, claiming its pursuit of “federal recognition” came off “the shoulders of kupuna [ancestors] who sought justice.”
None would disagree more than the kūpuna who signed the Kū‘ē Petition of 1897 and among them, none more than James Kaulia — one of the leaders of Hui Aloha ‘Āina, the organization which coordinated the signing of the Kū‘ē Petition.
read ... UHM Hawaiian Studies vs OHA
Sovereignty Activists: Kulani Should be Health Spa for Criminals
HTH: A hearing on Ohana Ho‘opakele’s motion for summary judgment against the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Accounting and General Services and state Comptroller Dean Seki is set for 9 a.m. June 20 before Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara. The hearing date is 11 days before the state’s scheduled reopening of the minimum-security prison.
The group wants the state to establish a pu‘uhonua, a place of refuge or healing, instead of reopening the prison on the site about 20 miles southeast of Hilo on the northeast slopes of Mauna Loa.
read ... Who could possibly be stupid enough?
Anti-GMO Activists Harass Monk Seals
KE: ...sometimes I get emails that are terribly discouraging, like this photo of “marine biologist” Terry Lilley getting way too close and personal with an endangered Hawaiian monk seal (LINK)
Surely Terry, as self-proclaimed champion of the seas, knows better than to approach a monk seal, and that blocking an animal's route to the water is especially dangerous. The scene occurred at Kee, setting a very bad example for the tourists and keiki.
The occasion was the start of mayoral candidate Dustin Barca's run around the island. This video shows him launching his canoe just feet from the seal, which scurries out of the way.
Speaking of videos, Councilman Gary Hooser is oh-so-enamored of himself in this one that he's circulating the link with the comment:
This is the best 15 minutes I have ever delivered on the chemical companies, their attack on our community and why we are fighting back.
In checking out the link posted on his blog, I noticed he's massaged his bio to remove the dreaded “Realtor” profession, replacing it with "entrepreneur and small business owner." Hmmm.
In the video, Gary admits, “I'm caught in a positive feedback loop.” Though some might call it an echo chamber.
read ... Harass Monk Seals
Malama Solomon: Whales and Honu Have Too Many Protections
CB: Big Island Sen. Malama Solomon says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration needs to back off when it comes to the protection of marine species in Hawaii. And it’s about time, she says, that humpback whales and green sea turtles be taken off the organization’s endangered species list.
Hawaii’s whale population has increased 20-fold since the days of Gov. George Ariyoshi, she said during a public meeting last week at the University of Hawaii at Hilo — and that’s not good for humans.
“You know this poses a problem, poses a threat,” said Solomon, who chairs the Senate Water and Land Committee. “We are an oceangoing state. We enjoy our marine waters. And right now, the way NOAA is set up you hit a whale, you are to blame. The whale is blameless. OK, I have a problem with that.”
She feels the same way about green sea turtles.
“Now, I know it kind of plucks some people’s heart strings, ‘No don’t delist them!’” she said. “Well you know what, it is costing you money, costing the taxpayer money — dollars we could use in other areas.”
read ... Whales and Honu Have Too Many Protections