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Monday, July 19, 2021
July 19, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:56 PM :: 955 Views

Miske News: Union Boss Gets Greedy -- Almost Pays Price in Blood

Aalto’s Conflicts of Interest Disqualify Him for HART Board

All public school students to receive free meals throughout school year 2021-22

Harvard Educator Debunks DoE ‘Remote Learning’ Scam: ‘Seven Hours Per Week’

CB: … At its core, Hawaii’s education system suffers from a lack of accountability. From the highest levels of management to daily classroom life, our education system rejects responsibility at all levels….

When it comes to school management, Hawaii is the only state with fully unionized school leadership, giving supervisors near-absolute job security. School administrators, the very individuals who are supposed to oversee and ultimately bear responsibility for the success of a school, are untied to outcomes….

During the pandemic, principals had broad autonomy to determine school re-openings, often with disastrous consequences. At my high school, when unilaterally designing a virtual learning schedule, our principal inexplicably slashed instructional hours in order to “socially distance” students who were learning from their own homes.

For almost the entire academic year, my students were often scheduled to attend school for no more than seven hours a week. Of course, as our school’s failure rate skyrocketed, we could only shrug when it came to assigning culpability….

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has been ranked as the strongest teachers’ union in the country, and while it often fights for meaningful change, it too shields teachers from accountability….

Teachers in Hawaii can achieve tenure after just three years of teaching, rendering them virtually immune to regulation. In one year, the union upgraded the performance ratings of 10 out of 13 “unsatisfactory” tenured teachers to “effective,” just because of procedural errors in their cases. As a result, Hawaii falls in the bottom quarter of states for dismissing teachers because of poor performance, at a rate of 1.1%….

This year I was disturbed to see counselors labeling students “very lazy” and telling teachers to “forget about” struggling students….

Unsurprisingly, in a state survey, only 41% of students felt they were valued members of their school communities….

Unaccountability is a cruel double-edged sword. On one hand, when a system is devoid of accountability, it fails to correct undesirable behavior. But on the other hand, without accountability, we also cannot reward or protect positive behavior.

We tell our children to submit assignments on time and be responsible for their actions. Yet students can pass while barely turning in work or even showing up. When a local highschooler reads at a 4th grade level, can we fairly blame them? Or ought we to examine the system that never once taught them or anyone else to be answerable?…

I strongly believe that decentralizing the BOE into smaller elected regional school boards will better utilize specialized community expertise, combat the incontestable status of union groups by requiring multiple localized bargaining contracts and ultimately increase accountability for all….

Big Q: Do you agree that Hawaii public schools should be required to provide distance-learning options?

read … Reflections From A First-Year Teacher In Hawaii’s Public School System

Solar Scammers Salivate over Possible Return to Net Metering in Hawaii

EE: … Renewable energy groups, Hawaii’s largest utility and the state’s consumer advocacy office each submitted plans to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in May outlining how customers with rooftop solar arrays should be compensated for the power they produce. Solar boosters say the energy regulator’s decision could determine whether the island state hits its target of 100% renewable power by 2045.

Although Hawaii has an isolated grid, the debate in the state highlights challenges nationwide in integrating renewable energy resources into electric grids that were mostly built around large, centralized fossil fuel plants. It also showcases emerging equity concerns over clean energy policies once considered gold standards, such as net metering, in which utilities pay solar customers retail rates for power they send back to the grid….

Hawaii’s only coal plant is closing next year, and HECO and the PUC have warned that the shutdown could lead to a shortfall in power supply, said Isaac Moriwake, an attorney with Earthjustice.

To avoid replacing the lost power from the coal plant with more expensive fuel oil and perpetuating the state’s high electricity prices, Hawaii must rapidly scale up clean energy resources, Moriwake said.

“We’ve been undercompensating rooftop solar and demand-side solutions since the end of net metering, [and] it’s put us in a deeper hole now that we’re facing the closure of the coal plant,” he said (grinning broadly)….

KHON: HECO accepting applications for new cash incentive program

Flashback: Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

read … ‘Postcard from the future’: Hawaii solar fight could echo nationally

Soft on Crime: Study a Trick to Ensure New OCCC is Built too Small

SA: … The average daily inmate population at Oahu Community Correctional Center is forecast to fall from 1,316 in 2019 to 788 in 2032, (numbers designed to support preconceived outcome) which will have profound implications for the planning of a future OCCC, including its size and long-term operational costs.

(IQ Test: Do you believe these ‘projections’?)

“It’s a very significant matter,” said former prisons director Ted Sakai, who (is fooled and) serves on the Hawai‘i Correctional System Oversight Commission. “Everybody knows how expensive this facility could be, and cost is something that just scares everybody, including the Legislature. … The impact (of OCCC’s prison population) will be not only on the cost of constructing the facility, but the long-term cost of operating the facility.”

(Translation: We are using this bogus ‘projection’ to shrink the future jail so there will always be overcrowding to use as an excuse to let lots and lots of criminals out onto the streets.)

Related: Miske News: Union Boss Gets Greedy -- Almost Pays Price in Blood

read … Low inmate forecasts at OCCC could affect costs of future jail

COVID Kills Six Criminals

CB: … Hawaii prison and jail inmates are dying at a higher rate thus far this year than at any time in the past decade, a pattern being fueled in part by six deaths related to COVID-19 at the state’s largest prison….

Statistics provided by the state Department of Public Safety show 16 prisoners died in all of 2020, while 14 have already died so far this year. That includes a 38-year-old prisoner who died Thursday after he was found unconscious at Halawa Correctional Facility, the state’s largest prison.

Those numbers compare with 20 inmate deaths each in 2012 and 2013, which was the peak number of deaths for the past decade. The fewest prison and jail deaths in the last 10 years was in 2018, when six inmates died….

read … Inmate Deaths In Hawaii Prisons And Jails Are On The Upswing This Year

Chinatown foot patrols hard to find

SA: … Twenty-four hour police foot patrols of Chinatown — funded by $2 million in overtime — began slowly last week, as law enforcement and city officials revive a program to reduce crime, then rebuild a beleaguered community in the midst of a pandemic.

The late night and early morning shift has been slow, with two to three officers walking patrol. The late afternoon and early evening shifts are more popular, according to the Honolulu Police Department.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced July 6 that six officers and one supervisor would work four six-hour shifts and provide around-the-clock coverage from River to Bishop streets between North Beretania and North King streets beginning July 12, with statistics reported every day.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser tried on five straight days, for about an hour each time, to find uniformed officers on foot patrol and encountered one….

read … Chinatown hopes Weed & Seed and foot patrols will clean up neighborhood

Honolulu ‘Climate Change’ Office Calls for Social Justice and Equity Commission with ‘Real Power’

CB: … Honolulu should establish a commission dedicated to social justice and equity, according to a new report by the city’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience.

The office’s director, Matthew Gonser, wrote the report in response to an August 2020 City Council resolution by Chairman Tommy Waters.

“The Council believes that there is a critical need for response, recovery, repair, and revitalization to create a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable post-COVID-19 economy for the City,” the council pledged at the time.

It committed to “equity and social justice and to the realization of equitable outcomes for frontline communities through the City’s operations and COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery programs.”

The new report by Gonser outlines a pathway to help address those goals: establishing a nine-member commission attached to the managing director’s office that’s charged with identifying, addressing and eliminating inequities within the city….

Tom Yamachika from the Tax Foundation of Hawaii said the idea of having more inclusive decision-making and better outreach to disadvantaged communities makes sense. He’s not concerned about the financial costs given that it would be a volunteer group. But he hopes the new commission would also include ideological diversity.

“If they can find a good number of ideologically diverse people who are willing to participate in this, this might be a very good thing,” he said….

IM: Public Utilities Commissions Seek to Address Equity

read … Honolulu Would Join A National Trend With A Commission On Social Justice And Equity

Maui County: Cutback for water not tied to hotels

MN: … Maui County’s top water official on Thursday clarified muddled claims that the recent Upcountry water shortage with mandatory cutbacks were related to water use from overtourism and thirsty hotels.

“This isn’t my words but I love what was spoken: If there were zero tourists on the island, we’d still have a Stage 1 water shortage Upcountry,” Water Director Jeff Pearson said during the county’s Board of Water Supply regular meeting. “Tourism is tourism — and you’re going to have your emotional feelings whatever way you want — but that has no issue with what we’re dealing with Upcountry.”

Pearson explained that systems supplying hotels with county water are not physically connected to the one that gets water to Upcountry residents.

Central Maui’s water system, which supplies water to South Maui hotels, relies mostly on groundwater, which fluctuates less with rainfall than surface water. West Maui’s system gets water to area users. And although it has some wells, the Upcountry system relies mostly on surface water. When it stops raining, streamflow stops too.

“The systems are physically separated,” Pearson said. “They are definitely different systems.”

read … County: Cutback for water not tied to hotels

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