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Friday, December 17, 2021
December 17, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:29 PM :: 1257 Views

COVID is back: 797 New Cases Today--None backlogged

VIDEO: SHOPO Elects new Leaders after Alm Endorsement Backfires

Hawaii Unemployment Drops to 6% for November

COVID: Hawaii 3rd Safest State

Kauai Judicial Applicants Sought

Honolulu most expensive car rental destination for Christmas

UHERO: Renewed international travel restrictions reduce near-term visitor outlook

Water system testing since Nov. 29 shows no contamination above acceptable standards: Navy & DoH agree  

KITV Dec 16, 2021: … Test results taken throughout the Navy water system since Nov. 29 show no detectable contamination above the Hawaii Department of Health’s Environmental Action Level, Navy officials said Thursday.

The Navy posted those test results publicly “to ensure service members and their families, residents, elected officials, and government agencies have full access to data related to Navy water services on Oahu,” officials said.

The Department of Health also released test results it collected from 27 areas on the Navy's water system. According to those results, 22 locations did not detect the presence of petroleum products. The remaining five came back positive for petroleum product, however, those levels were well below the state’s safe drinking water threshold….

The DOH testing took place from Dec. 7 – 9….

read … Water system testing since Nov. 29 shows no contamination above acceptable standards, Navy says

DoE FAIL: Nearly 20% of Hawaii high school students not on track to graduate

KHON: …  Almost 20% of Hawaii’s high school students are not on track to graduate after being sent home to learn during the COVID pandemic. Educators said these students are disengaged and chronically absent.

The latest academic status report painted a grim picture with 10% of all public school students failing core math and reading classes. A sobering reality as several officials said it is directly linked to the year spent distance learning due to the pandemic.

Something even more unnerving is that only 81% of public school students are currently on track to graduate….

read … Nearly 20% of Hawaii high school students not on track to graduate

Rats Jump Sinking Railroad: Two More Stepping Down From HART Board

CB: … The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board will lose its longest-tenured member at the end of the month.

Retired Hawaiian Airlines executive Hoyt Zia delivered his resignation letter last week, HART board Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa announced at the group’s virtual meeting Thursday.

Further, the board is poised to lose an additional member soon, Hanabusa said, although she didn’t specify who.

Zia joined the board in May 2017 and had just been re-appointed last year by then-mayor Kirk Caldwell to a term that expires in 2025. Now, Mayor Rick Blangiardi will have to appoint a replacement. …

In the past year or so, Zia sometimes clashed at board meetings with two of the group’s newer members: Joe Uno and Kika Bukoski. Uno was replaced earlier this year when his term expired.

Zia’s departure is the latest in a pattern of turnover at HART, which was created just over a decade ago. None of the agency’s original board members remain….

Zia served as the board’s interim chairman for one meeting this past summer, during which he issued a surprise unilateral decision to change the group’s voting and quorum rules, making them less restrictive. …

read … Hoyt Zia Stepping Down From The HART Board   

SHOPO Elections End In Shake-up For Union Leadership

CB: … Robert Cavaco, a lieutenant who has spent 21 years in the Honolulu Police Department’s Traffic Division and 19 years as a SHOPO official, ran on a platform of lowering union dues, taking a more cautious approach to political endorsements and increasing pay for officers across the state through contract negotiations.

The union’s president-elect referred all question’s to current-President Lutu until he is sworn into office on Jan. 1, 2022, but outlined what he planned to do if elected during an interview on the Hawaii Real Podcast last month….

Cavaco was joined on the podcast by a host of SHOPO board candidates who were also running for office, including his brother Shawn Cavaco, John Asing, Stephen Keogh and Derek Pa, all of whom ended up being elected to SHOPO’s state board….

Cavaco went on to say that the union should be more cautious about contributing to political candidates. He pointed to SHOPO’s endorsement of Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steven Alm, who made headlines in June after he charged three HPD officers in connection with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap despite a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officers.

The union, which has just under 2,700 members, donated $4,000 to Alm’s campaign in December 2019….

Also: ILWU Union Elections

read … SHOPO Elections End In Shake-up For Union Leadership

Soft on Crime Crowd Invents New Jail Price Tag in Effort to Keep Criminals on Street

CB: … The commission heard a presentation Thursday from longtime Honolulu lawyer Robert Merce, who has been an outspoken critic of the project. He said planning for the jail has been flawed, and warned that costs for similar projects on the mainland have been climbing….

(He then invents a bunch of numbers and uses the word ‘billion.’)

(Broken Trust figure), Commissioner Michael Town, who is a retired Circuit Court judge, bluntly disagreed with Otani, replying that “I think the sense of this group and the sense of the community is, moratorium.”

He added: “I don’t want to put my friend Max here in a tough position, but it’s ‘Katy bar the door’ at this point.”…

read … Corrections Commission Again Urges A Pause In Planning For A New Jail

Island of Retaliation: Former litigant responds to Iseri’s claims that lawsuits were planned to derail 2012 election

TGI: … Iseri, who is now seeking to regain the Office of Prosecuting Attorney in Saturday’s special election against Acting Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like, made her claims in a profile published by The Garden Island on Nov. 26.

“All of this was planned, the lawsuits that were there,” Iseri said at the time. “I’m almost certain that that’s the reason because they could not attack me on any of the services I had done as a prosecutor because my conviction rates were 97%.”

But OPA Victim/Witness Program Director Diana Gausepohl-White has pointed out her complaint against Iseri was made in December 2013 — one year after Iseri lost the election to then-Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar.

“My complaint was filed after she was out of office,” Gausepohl-White said this week.

Gausepohl-White said the 2013 complaint filed in Fifth Circuit Court was preceded by three internal complaints, seven grievances and two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints….

According to Gausepohl-White, two of the five OPA personnel who filed complaints against Iseri’s office had been hired before Iseri became prosecutor in 2008.

“I think it’s worth mentioning if nothing has been learned since 2012,” she said. “Nine years, and it doesn’t appear as if there were any personal responsibility accepted in all of that.”…

read … Former litigant responds to Iseri’s claims that lawsuits were planned to derail 2012 election

AntiVax Activism Consumes AntiGMO Movement

CB: … The pushback against the seed industry seems to have weakened globally over recent years, in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and some believe the efficacy of Covid vaccines will put a strain on anti-GMO sentiments. And some factions have been fracturing as anti-GMO and anti-vaccination sentiments no longer fully align….

"Personally, it's not a major concern to me if the seed industry dries up and goes away." -- Committee on Agriculture and Environment Chair Sen. Mike Gabbard….

State Rep. Amy Perruso, vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee, says culpability for longstanding and systematic issues emanating from seed companies comes back to the Legislature, since it's an issue of use of public lands….

Anti-GMO sentiments have been institutionalized through non-mandatory labeling included in packaging, Manshardt said. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which makes such disclosures compulsory, is expected to start being enforced next year.

"I think there have been lots of commercial manipulation of the fear of GMOs to create a market that's anti-GMO," Manshardt said. "The organic industry has been the basic beneficiary of that."…

read … GMO Company’s Recent Guilty Plea May Reignite Opposition Groups 

Impeachment Charges Filed Against CNMI Governor

CB: … Gov. Ralph Torres has been under investigation for misuse of public funds since 2019, relating to first-class travel and frivolous spending….

read … Impeachment Charges Filed Against CNMI Governor

Hawaii Planned Parenthood affiliate ousts CEO for use of N-word

AP: … Chris Charbonneau was ousted last week as head of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, the Seattle Times reported. The organization said a donor used a racist term to refer to Black people this fall and Charbonneau repeated the word while discussing the meeting with another staffer.

Charbonneau and the board have differing accounts of how she reacted to the donor’s use of the word, which the former CEO said was in the context of comparing the treatment of women impacted by abortion restrictions to the mistreatment of Black people.

Board members Jeff Sprung and Colleen Foster said in an email to the newspaper an investigation found Charbonneau did not admonish the donor….

The reproductive rights affiliate operates in six states and employs 700 people.

Charbonneau said she was upset at being painted as racist for, as she described it, quoting what someone else had said, including using the words “quote unquote.”…

Background:

The Negro Project; Margaret Sanger’s eugenic plan for Black Americans 

Margaret Sanger's Account Of Her Lecture To The Ku Klux Klan / Educational Video Film

read … Seattle-based Planned Parenthood affiliate ousts CEO

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