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Sunday, October 28, 2018
October 28, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:45 PM :: 3060 Views

Full Text: HART RFP for Rail P3 Partners

‘P3′ for rail a budgetary ruse

Civil Beat vs Star-Advertiser on the Con-Con Referendum

Take-Aways from the “Con-Am” Argument

Property Tax Impact on Hawaii Business Environment

Ruggles’ Supposed Sovereignty “Expert” Has A Troubling Past

Honolulu VA Medical Center Among Worst 30% -- again

HSTA Members will be Targeted by New Bullying Policy

IM: …Far from voluntarily correcting its long-standing pattern of neglecting to protect students in its charge, the DOE is responding to a US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights report and also faces a class-action lawsuit filed against it on August 30, 2018. There was no mention of the lawsuit in the newspaper article.

The lawsuit charges, in part (snip):

… the Department failed to adhere to even the basic expectations of parents and students attending public schools by neglecting its responsibility as policymaker, and by the blatant and repeated failure to protect victims of bullying and harassment. …

The continuing practice of the Defendants and their deliberate indifference towards victims of bullying and harassment harms all of Hawai`i’s students by systemically supporting the behavior, and needlessly puts the entire student population at risk of significant and irreparable damage.

A glaring omission in the report is the US Department of Education OCR finding that policies intended to protect students against harassment by third parties or staff are not available to students or their families.

Policy 305.10, Procedures Regarding Employee Harassment of Students, is analyzed in the OCR report and falls short of federal mandates.

… none of the procedures used by HDOE are sufficient to comply with the grievance procedure requirements under Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and Title II.

HDOE submitted to OCR a Standard of Practice Document No. 0211(SP 0211),released March 8. 2008,which is the document implementing Policy 305.10.17 OCR was not able to locate SP 0211 on HDOE's website, and HDOE has provided no information indicating that it has released SP 0211 to students or their parents.

The OCR report explains this policy:

HDOE identified Policy 305.10 (formerly titled Policy 4211) to OCR in November 2011 as the policy used when an employee harasses a student. Policy 305.10 prohibits discrimination, including harassment, by any employee against a student based on various protected classes, including race, sex, or disability. It further states that “a student shall not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of,or otherwise be subjected to harassment, bullying, or discrimination under any program, services, or activity" of HDOE. It lastly states that retaliation against anyone engaging in a protected activity is prohibited. Protected activity is defined under the policy as follows: filing a complaint of harassment, bullying, or discrimination; participating in complaint or investigative proceedings dealing with harassment, bullying, or discrimination under the policy; inquiring about one's rights under the policy; or otherwise opposing acts covered under the policy.

The Star-Advertiser story discusses only the proposed rule changes to Chapter 19 affecting student discipline….

read … Newspaper report of DOE policy change on bullying was woefully inadequate

Caldwell Quietly Gives Ala Moana Mall, Waikiki Hotels Multi-Million Dollar Tax Breaks

SA: …The Honolulu Real Property Assessment office often ignores a property’s most recent sales price when determining its current value. For example, General Growth Properties sold 37.5 percent of Ala Moana Center several years ago for $2 billion, suggesting that the center had a total value at that time greater than $5.3 billion. Yet the current assessed value of the entire center is less than $2 billion. This represents a $40 million per year tax break for the Canadian investment firm that owns Ala Moana Center.

Based on its recent sale, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki is assessed at half of its fee-simple value. Hawaii should follow California’s lead and assess individual properties on their recent sales prices. Is there a better indication of value? Fixing this valuation leak would result in an additional $100 million of revenue annually for the city….

read … Tax system favors big business, investors

Some Candidates ‘Sketchy as Hell’

Cataluna: …As we slouch toward yet another uninspiring election — facing ballots devoid of electable firebrands or practical visionaries, staring down at names of people we suspect just need a steady job and want the status of being in elected office and the perks of always being greeted with a lei and preferential seating at public events — perhaps we can take heart that the wish for shining stars on the ballot isn’t a new one….

there are some good people on the ballot. And there are candidates that are, truth be told, sketchy as hell. But there is no one who is universally beloved. Maybe that doesn’t happen anymore when every fault and foible is amplified on social media….

read … Voters wish for a star on the ballot

Josh Green Already Running for Governor--2022

Shapiro: …Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Josh Green denied he eventually hopes for higher office, saying, “I don’t have any aspirations beyond these four years.” The only thing growing faster than his ambition is his nose….

read … There’s rain on the tracks and varmints in the hale

Green to Exploit Relationship with Ige to gain Control of Homelessness Industry

Borreca: …Now as the November general election approaches, Ige is teamed up with Democratic LG candidate, state Sen. Josh Green, who is all in with BFF status with Ige.

There is absolutely no doubt where Green, a Big Island emergency room physician, stands with Ige: right next to him with a big grin.

“I remain ready, on call to help with whatever the administration needs,” Green said in an interview. “He (Ige) said publicly he wants me to go to all Cabinet meetings. I was excited to hear that.”…

“We have met multiple times — several times, each an extraordinary warm experience. He welcomed me into his family immediately,” said Green, adding, “whenever I get a chance, I bum a ride from him going to events, so I get an extra hour to talk with David.”

Although Green’s plans are still being firmed up, he said that if elected, he and Ige see him working on several high-profile projects.

“The night of the primary, the governor asked me what I would like to do. I said I want to work on the homeless crisis and opioid epidemic because of my experience as a doctor.”

Green said Ige liked that, and added that working on ways to deal with the physician shortage, especially on the neighbor islands, would be good….

“I am going to be very active in the community, including starting free clinics, medical respite facilities. It won’t be uncommon for me to throw my scrubs on and volunteer in clinics after I leave work at the Capitol,” Green said.

He maintains a home in both Kona and Honolulu and plans to move with his children and wife, an attorney, to Honolulu full-time (stop pretending that he lives in Kona.)

If he wins, Ige can’t run again for governor in four years, so there is not a lot of competition in the relationship, and Green sees only smooth sailing….

As Explained: Green Exploits Homeless in Run for Office

And: Ethics Ruling: Sen Josh Green Secretly Living in Honolulu Since 2005

read … Odd couples sit atop governor, lieutenant governor tickets

Kawananakoa’s former attorney testifies at OHA trustee’s ethics hearing

HNN: … Among the charges, the state ethics commission says Akana may have violated gifts and fair treatment law when she got $72,000 in legal help from heiress Abigail Kawananakoa.

Kawananakoa’s former attorney, Jim Wright, says the money never went to Akana herself, but to her legal team. He says the money was to benefit OHA not Akana personally.

"The way it has been presented is if she were engaged in some sort of criminal activity delivering lunch bags of $100 bills," said Wright.

“A lifetime of charity is suddenly characterized as some form of mendacious criminal activity. (It’s) just grossly unfair,” he continued….

read … Kawananakoa’s former attorney testifies at OHA trustee’s ethics hearing

Listen to Hawai`i Supreme Court Oral Arguments re Hu Honua

IM: …Hawai`i Supreme Court Oral Arguments (October 25, 2018) re Life of the Land (LOL) appeal of Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval of the Hawai`i Electric Light Company (HELCO) - Hu Honua Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Renewable Dispatchable Firm Energy and Capacity. (Case No. SCOT-17-0000630)…

Listen or Download

read … Listen to Hawai`i Supreme Court Oral Arguments re Hu Honua

Leilani Estates lawyers up: Association to sue county over access issues

HTH: …An attorney for the Leilani Estates Community Association says the lava-ravaged subdivision will take Hawaii County to federal court over its response to the Kilauea eruption.

Residents and board members have complained that they don’t have a seat at the table with county administrators and are concerned that they may be left to deal with an influx of visitors and law breakers if they lose the security checkpoint at the intersection of Leilani Avenue and Highway 130. The eruption started in the neighborhood May 3 and destroyed more than 700 homes throughout lower Puna over four months.

Attorney Mike Garbarino said the lawsuit, to be filed this week in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, will seek a preliminary injunction requiring the county to maintain the private security guards, whose contract expires Wednesday, until issues affecting the future of the subdivision are worked out.

“We’re associating it with these rights, with these property rights and due process rights of the association of the property owners here,” he told the Tribune-Herald following a meeting of the association’s board of directors on Saturday. “So long as security is needed in order for them to recover from this disaster, our position is that’s their constitutional right. That’s what the (Federal Emergency Management Agency) fund is for. You can’t pull the security away now.”

On top of that, the litigation could also involve whether the association should be granted temporary control of Leilani Avenue, the only public road in the neighborhood that now ends near fissure 8, so that it can manage access.

The pending lawsuit was announced at the meeting, attended by more than 50 people, nearly all of whom supported the action…. 

SA: Access to Kilauea’s fissure 8 dividing Leilani Estates

HTH: Kim’s Emergency proclamation for eruption extended

read … Leilani Estates lawyers up: Association to sue county over access issues

One state senator wants to get rid of vehicle safety checks

KITV:  …Senator Maile Shimabukuro started a petition on with a question: "Eliminate or modify state vehicle inspections?" …

Almost 6,000 people signed the petition and Shimabukuro wants to get rid of safety checks officially. …

LINK: Petition

read … One state senator wants to get rid of vehicle safety checks

Constant human interaction makes dolphins vulnerable to sharks

E:  …tourist activities are making dolphins more vulnerable to sharks and other predators. The experts are also warning that interactions with tourists may be disrupting the social and reproductive behavior of the dolphins.

The investigation, which was focused on spinner dolphins in Hawaii, revealed that these beloved dolphins spend more than 82 percent of the daytime in contact with vacationers. According to the researchers, chronic exposure to swimmers and boats is the depriving the dolphins of rest….

read … Constant human interaction makes dolphins vulnerable to sharks

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