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Tuesday, December 14, 2021
December 14, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:21 PM :: 1520 Views

COVID: UH Faculty Win Six More Months of Telework

HSTA: Union Contract Supersedes COVID Emergency Orders

HSTA: Pandemic Relief Money Can Go Into Our Pockets

Blangiardi Says ‘We Don’t Have Enough Money’ To Take Rail To Ala Moana

CB: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi suggested Monday that the hefty budget shortfall for the Honolulu rail line may force the city halt the project short of Ala Moana Center — if the Federal Transit Administration will allow it.

(Rail developers want to start building backward from Ala Moana Mall so that the rail line will have to be fully completed for the last section to be usable.  The purpose is to hold your ‘good money’ hostage to the ‘bad money’ they have already conned you into spending.  Blangiardi is opening the discussion by pretending to represent a less unreasonable decision.  The purpose--already 90% achieved--is to make building backwards a fait accompli.  At some point the discussion will be further manipulated to make the Ala Moana starting point a fait accompli.  Anti-rail forces should resist any plan to build non-contiguously.)

Rail construction will continue past Middle Street, but Blangiardi suggested the entire project with its 20 miles of elevated track and 21 stations may not be built as originally planned.

“My target personally is to get to the civic center, which is … right on the doorstep of Kakaako, which would leave us two stops short,” Blangiardi said during an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight” program. “That’s what we’re trying to determine based on the amount of monies that are available to us, can we do that?”…

“We’re not going to stop at Middle Street. We know we have enough money to get us — we hope — down to downtown. Beyond that is where the problem lies and the deficit, which I think was reported as $1.97 billion, lies.”

Blangiardi said he has had “several conversations” with officials at the FTA…

The Full Funding Grant Agreement with the FTA requires the city to build the rail line all the way to Ala Moana, and the city may be required to forfeit funds if it fails to do so, Blangiardi said.

“We’re trying to argue, you know, with them,” he said. “And we’re going to try to see how far we could possibly build it.”…

(Translation: We are beginning to make the case for even more tax hikes to pay for rail.)

Related? Rail Plan: Start Building from Ala Moana Mall

read … Blangiardi Says ‘We Don’t Have Enough Money’ To Take Rail To Ala Moana

BWS: Latest test results show no sign of contamination in public water system

HNN: … The Board of Water Supply said Monday that test results from its Halawa shaft did not show any signs of any fuel contamination and that the water was clean.

Ernest Lau, BWS manager and chief engineer, said on Hawaii News Now Sunrise the test results came back last week.

“The Red Hill issue is highly technical and very complicated,” Lau said at a news conference Monday.

Erwin Kawata, Program Administrator for the BWS’ Water Quality Division expanded on the details of the report saying, “What we found in Halawa shaft, in that particular report, is consistent with what we’ve been detecting over the last eight years — that there’s no evidence of fuel contamination, nor JP5, JP8 in the water, as well as any of the total petroleum hydrocarbon gasoline, diesel or oil fractions.”

Kawata said additional testing was also conducted, and there were no signs of contaminants from other fuel components, or heavy metals like lead and mercury….

“Once we got word of the high test result taken from a sample in or at the shaft, we took the precaution of shutting down our Halawa well and our Aiea well,” Lau said. “We anxiously await more test results from the Department of Health and the Navy.”…

read … Latest test results show no sign of contamination in public water system, but BWS remains concerned

Former HPD chief admits she had no evidence of overtime abuse against former union leader

HNN: … In a videotaped deposition last month, Ballard said she conducted no investigations into overtime claimed by any of the officers assigned to the HPD’s Peer Support Unit (PSU), which had been headed by Maafala since 2007.

Lyle Hosoda, attorney for Maafala said in the taped deposition: ”Chief, isn’t it true that you had no information at all that Sgt. Maafala abused overtime prior to you taking over as Chief on Nov. 1st, 2017?”

Ballard: ”No, I did not have any evidence.”

In another exchange in her videotaped deposition, Ballard said she had no evidence of mismanagement.

Hosoda: “Isn’t it also true that you did not have any evidence in writing of any type of mismanagement by Sgt. Maafala of the PSU prior to the time that you took over as chief on Nov. 1, 2017?”

Ballard: “Yes.”

The admissions are a big victory for Maafala who sued Ballard and the HPD for defamation after he was transferred from the PSU unit to the midnight patrol watch in Waikiki.

Ballard told Civil Beat in a Dec. 22, 2017 story that she transferred Maafala because there were “overtime issues” with his unit, suggesting that Maafala was ripping off taxpayers. She also said the PSU unit wasn’t being run the way it was supposed to….

read … Former HPD chief admits she had no evidence of overtime abuse against former union leader

Desperate to Save our Precious Incumbents, Protesters Attack Reapportionment Plan

SA: …Of the five citizen- generated alternative House plans and three citizen-generated alternative Senate plans submitted, all eight plans use Makapuu Point as a natural boundary and all eight plans have a lower population deviation than the commission’s plan.

So far 10 neighborhood boards representing about 300,000 Oahu residents have reviewed the commission’s plan and passed resolutions opposed to that plan.

Public testimony presented at commission meetings and public hearings has been about 90% opposed to the commission’s plan.

What will the commission do with this public feedback? No one knows yet. There has been no interaction with neighborhood boards, no questions asked of testifiers at hearings, and no hint of what the commission is thinking.

The public has made it crystal clear to the commission that significant changes can and should be made to its plan. The commission is expected to lay out any revised plan at a meeting on Dec. 22 and give approval to the final plan as early as Jan. 3. A rally will be held at the state Capitol at noon on Thursday, Dec. 23….

read … Revisions needed on reapportionment plan

Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Emergency Medical Services, Queens Hospital report cyberattacks on employee data

SA: … The time-keeping system Honolulu Emergency Medical Services uses for employees was hit by a ransomware attack Sunday night, the third cyber intrusion of county networks since Thursday.

EMS uses the same third-party system from the company Kronos as the Honolulu Board of Water Supply uses.

The EMS’ Kronos payroll system remains inoperable and supervisors are using manual time-keeping forms for employees.

“No employee, customer, or patient information has been compromised at this time,” Tim Sakahara, communications director for Mayor Rick Blangiardi, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

read … Honolulu Board of Water Supply, Emergency Medical Services report cyberattacks on employee data

Tulsi Gabbard Fame Seeker

CB: … “This undermines the ‘woke’ narrative that Americans are stupid and racists,’” she said Nov. 24, referring to both the acquittal of Rittenhouse in Wisconsin and the conviction of three white men in the Ahmaud Arbery killing in Georgia.

Many of these views are widely supported by many in the Republican Party. No wonder that her views continue to bring Gabbard onto primetime Fox News, appearances that Gabbard then posts on her social media accounts….

What Gabbard says very little about these days is anything to do with Hawaii.

She did not tweet about the Red Hill catastrophe until this past Sunday (“the Navy must empty the tanks NOW & be held accountable for the destruction & suffering they have caused”)….

read … Is Tulsi Gabbard Still A Democrat?

More Homeless Mayhem in Chinatown

CB: … business owners on Maunakea Street — in a lively email exchange last week with managing director Mike Formby and other city officials — said if anything the crime and filth in their area is worse, with increasing amounts of excrement and urine on the sidewalks and open drug-dealing and lewdness.

Chinatown business owners Oren Schlieman and Fran Butera started the email exchange Wednesday when they sent the city officials, Honolulu Police Department and the Prosecuting Attorney’s office videos of a half-naked homeless man masturbating in front of Yong’s Kitchen restaurant and a topless woman nearby waving her breasts as she laughed and shouted obscenities at passersby.

Schlieman says that although the city has addressed problems with homelessness on River Street and Aala Park, the homeless people from those areas have all moved over to Smith-Beretania Park and onto the sidewalks of Maunakea Street….

read … Chinatown Needs More Than Government Lip Service To Solve Its Problems

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