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Tuesday, November 23, 2021
November 23, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:27 PM :: 1318 Views

Hawaii Top Ten Hospitals Ranked for Outcomes, Efficiency

Ethics: UH Administrator Finds $9,592.53 in a Forgotten Bank Account

Report: Hawaii third-worst millennial homeownership rate in USA

HSTA encourages teachers to apply for sabbatical leave

Is This the End for Gut and Replace?

Abuse reported years before Isabella Kalua’s death

SA: … Honolulu police documented allegations of abuse of Isabella “Ariel” Kalua but took no action when Child Welfare Serv­ices received a report in 2019 that the girl was being beaten and starved by her foster parents — more than two years before she is believed to have died.

On July 3, 2019, a witness reported seeing Lehua Kalua punching, slapping and pulling then 5-year-old Ariel Sellers, the Kalua’s foster child, at various times over a four- to six-week period, according to a July 3, 2019, CWS intake report referred to the Honolulu Police Department at 2:39 p.m. July 22, 2019.

HPD’s response to the referral was detailed to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser by law enforcement sources. The witness told CWS that Lehua and her husband, Isaac “Sonny” Kalua, were starving Ariel Sellers, as she was referred to at the time. A Family Court judge approved the Kaluas’ application to adopt the girl in January, when her named was changed to Isabella….

“After a thorough review of the circumstances it was determined that there will be no action taken by HPD in this case. The welfare of the child would best be met by the actions of CWS instead of the HPD,” concluded an HPD detective at the time he administratively closed the matter as a “miscellaneous public,” or noncriminal, incident that acknowledged receipt of the CWS report but did not involve a formal investigation or forensic interview.

After consulting with CWS staff, the detective closed the case at 1:57 p.m. July 23, 2019, less than 24 hours after receiving the referral. His supervisor approved the closure. Neither officer responded to a Star-Advertiser request for comment….

Betts and Hartsfield also did not respond to a request for the number of abuse allegations documented by CWS involving Isabella and her siblings after Isaac and Lehua Kalua became their resource caregivers.

The Kaluas treated “Ariel” differently because she and her siblings had the same mother but different fathers, according to the witness.

(Translation: Ariel was 100% haole.  The others weren’t.)

Lehua Kalua allegedly told CWS that the child had an allergic reaction leading to the redness and bruising on her face. The CWS caseworker conveyed to HPD that the redness looked like the child was hit and not suffering from an allergic reaction, because she had bruising to her eye and chin….

SA Editorial: State system fails foster children

read … Abuse reported years before Isabella Kalua’s death

Blangiardi announces lifting capacity requirements for all large events

SA: … Among the changes he announced:

>> Lifting capacity requirements for all large events;

>> Expanding the attendance to large events to include vaccine and testing;

>> Dropping requirements for contract tracing;

>> Keeping Safe Access for indoor gyms operating at full capacity but require mask wearing….   

read … VIDEO: Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announces lifting capacity requirements for all large events

The Prosecution Of Police Misconduct Cases Essentially Stopped During The Pandemic

CB: … More than 500 complaints were made against HPD employees last year, leading to recommendations for dozens of firings and suspensions….

The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has decided to prosecute just one complaint against a Honolulu police officer throughout the entirety of the pandemic. That’s a sharp drop in the acceptance rate of police misconduct cases compared to previous years.

Since the start of 2020, the Honolulu Police Department has referred 43 criminal cases that involved a complaint against an employee to the prosecuting attorney’s office. Of those, one was accepted and four are still pending a decision, according to data from the prosecutor’s office and a year-end HPD report detailing trends in complaints.

In comparison, a total of 232 complaints against HPD employees were referred to the prosecuting attorney’s office between 2016 and 2019. More than 53% of those cases were accepted for prosecution….

read … The Prosecution Of Police Misconduct Cases Essentially Stopped During The Pandemic

Kaua‘i special election ballots Arriving in Mailboxes Now

TGI: … Ballots for the county prosecuting attorney special primary election have begun arriving in households and will continue to be delivered over the coming days.

Ballot drop boxes will be deployed today at various locations, including neighborhood centers, Waipouli Town Center and the Office of the County Clerk Elections Division office in the Historic County Building Annex in Lihu‘e, starting today.

For a list of drop boxes, visit the Office of the County Clerk Elections Division webpage, www.kauai.gov/Elections or call 808-241-4800….

TGI: Acting Prosecuting Attorney Like goes after permanent position

TGI: Iseri aims to reclaim prosecutor seat

Iseri Flashbacks:

read … How to drop off Kaua‘i special election ballots

Maui residents getting a say in how the county reforms its police department

HNN: … Community members have submitted revisions to the Maui Charter Commission that could end up on next year’s ballot ….

read … Maui residents getting a say in how the county reforms its police department

‘Certificate of Need’ Blocks Cancer Center from Lahaina (Again)

MN: … Questioning the need for additional services, costs and staff availability, a proposal for a cancer center in West Maui was denied by a Hawaii State Health Planning and Development Agency advisory committee last week.

The agency’s Certificate of Need Review Panel recommended that the administration not approve Maui Medical Building LLC’s certificate of need application to establish radiation therapy services at 214 Kupuohi St. in Lahaina because the proposal was “not concrete enough.”…

Certificate-of-need laws, which are oftentimes challenging to navigate, require health care investors to prove to the state that their proposed new medical facilities or services are needed before the state will let them be built or offered….

The Tri-Isle (Maui, Lanai and Molokai) Subarea Health Planning Council heard the certificate-of-need proposal Nov. 12.

During Wednesday’s hearing with the Certificate of Need Review Panel, Horace and project manager Alan Megahy explained how West Maui has a growing population and anticipates a higher need for cancer services.

Joe Pluta, president of the West Maui Taxpayers Association, said that the west side communities are “underserved” when it comes to access to essential services and facilities because they are located far away from Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku.

The Pacific Cancer Institute, located next to the hospital, is the only cancer treatment center on island. Patients sometimes have to fly to Oahu to receive care.

Honoapiilani Highway, which is sometimes “impassable” on the pali due to fires, weather and traffic, is the only route to get to the radiation therapy facility, Horace said.

A facility in West Maui would offer residents and patients in Kihei, Lahaina and Molokai regions better access to services, he said.

In addition to a linear accelerator, the center would also be capable of performing stereotactic radiosurgery, which is a nonsurgical radiation treatment….

read … Proposed cancer center raises questions over staffing, need

Maui dermatologist pushes back against new proposed sunscreen ban

KHON: … Maui Dermatologist Dr. George Martin says that the study finding marine harm used too much of the compounds in sunscreen.

“It was based on creating an artificial reef situation fish tank, where they put in 1,000 times the measurable amounts that have been detected in the reefs in Hawaii,” Dr. Martin said….

“What we really wanted Maui Council to do was take a pause and wait for the FDA guidance and the National Academy of Science ad hoc committee on sunscreen safety for humans. As well as for our oceans and reefs,” Dr. Martin said….

A recent International Journal of Cancer study found that Hawaii has the highest rates of UV-caused melanoma in the United States.

Dr. Martin is concerned the new law will stop some from using sunscreen to protect themselves.

“It turns out that chemical sunscreens are far more effective blockers of Ultraviolet A which causes skin cancers,” Dr. Martin said….

Mayor Victorino’s office says the bill was sent to him on Monday, Nov. 22, and it is under review. If he signs it, the ban will go into effect on October 1st, 2022….

read … Maui dermatologist pushes back against new proposed sunscreen ban

Key areas of Hawaii Kai would be drawn out of district under new election maps plan

HNN: … “This is a disaster,” said Roberta Mayor, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board chair.

The commission plan mixes East and Windward Oahu while spitting up Hawaii Kai so residents are proposing an alternative map called the Hicks plan which keeps Hawaii Kai all in one district. ….

read … Key areas of Hawaii Kai would be drawn out of district under new election maps plan

Odor from Red Hill fuel release sparks 911 calls

SA: … The smell of fuel around the neighborhoods of Foster Village and Aliamanu on Saturday night, near the site of a fuel spill from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility, was strong enough that several residents called 911 and multiple units from the Honolulu Fire Department and Federal Fire Department responded.

At the time, the Honolulu Fire Department believed that the smell was due to the refueling of storage tanks in the vicinity, and the department closed out the incident at 8:23 p.m. Saturday, according to Louise Kim McCoy, a spokeswoman for HFD.

But on Monday the Navy told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the odor was likely the result of the leak from a fire suppression drain line that was detected Saturday evening and not contained until Monday at 2 a.m. The Navy said approximately 14,000 gallons of fuel and water was released and that all of the mixture was contained and placed in an above-ground storage tank as of midday Monday…. 

SA:  Groups press for shutdown of Red Hill fuel storage tanks

read … Odor from Red Hill fuel release sparks 911 calls

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