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Thursday, January 13, 2022
January 13, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:31 PM :: 2168 Views

Navy to Congress: Future of Hawaii Red Hill Fuel Facility Uncertain

Hawaii Tax Foundation to Host 2022 Legislative Briefing series

Hawaii: Cost Per Tobacco Smoker $2.8M

SHOPO Statement on Federal Indictment of Three Honolulu Officials

State budget windfall should be shared with taxpayers

Feds: Ali'i Security Rips off 171 Guards for $1.54M Overtime

Caldwell Next to be Arrested?

HNN: … The three former top city executives indicted Wednesday were among former Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s closest associates at Honolulu Hale.

The former mayor was not charged.

(Fun Fact: The word ‘mayor’ shows up 10 times in the indictment.)

But political experts say the investigation could torpedo Caldwell’s campaign for governor.

“For most people, they are going to assume that the mayor had some kind of knowledge and that will make a campaign for governor almost impossible,” said HNN political analyst Colin Moore.

Moore also said that potential candidate for lieutenant governor Keith Amemiya may suffer some damage from being related and sharing a name with Roy Amemiya, one of those charged….

read … Caldwell run for governor in jeopardy following close associates’ arrests

New map proposed for Hawaii’s state, congressional lawmaker districts

SA: … Hawaii’s Reapportionment Commission will take up the latest version of its proposed state legislative map today. It addresses some of the outstanding issues pressed by community members — and gives Hawaii island a new House seat, while taking one away from Oahu….

The commission is required to ask the military to provide tallies of personnel living in Hawaii who were counted in the census but are (allegedly) not permanent residents. Also folded into the mapping process is the number of full-time students who are not permanent residents. The commission then extracts, or drops, that number of people from the mapping (thus denying Oahu equal representation).

While previously drafted maps worked with an extraction number of 64,415, the latest number presented to the commission is 99,617. The commission voted unanimously, although some with reservations, last week to accept that number….

(CLUE: These so-called non-permanent residents are continually being replaced by other ‘non-permanent' residents.)

The PIG will present the new map to the full commission at a meeting set to get underway at 1 p.m., and a final vote could be slated for the panel’s next meeting, which could be as soon as early next week. To attend today’s meeting, visit https://elections.hawaii.gov.

SA Off the News: New election maps show improvement

read … New map proposed for Hawaii’s state, congressional lawmaker districts

Hawaii Voter database - 100,000 bogus registrations?

HTH: … Investigating errors and possible fraud in the state’s voter registration database is the responsibility of the county elections clerks and not the state, Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago told the state Elections Commission on Wednesday.

Nago’s description of how county clerks update their registration database came after repeated questioning about how the state’s automatic voter registration law is proceeding, why there could be as many as 100,000 bad voter registrations in the registration database of some 900,000 registrants and why names linger on the voter rolls for many years.

One issue, noted testifier Sandy Ma with Common Cause Hawaii, is that the state’s automatic voter registration process implemented last year ties the registered voter’s address for the all-mail ballot election to that of the address of the application or renewal of the driver’s license. But on Hawaii Island, Kauai and Maui, when drivers change their address with the county DMV, they are not issued a new license, so their ballot will be sent to the old address, Ma said.

“We have not seen that the change of address is an official voter registration update,” Ma said. ”If you moved … you have to do it again because that ballot is not going to follow you.”

It’s worse than that, another testifier alleged.

In Hawaii’s voter registration database, there’s a voter named “United States Hawaii.” There’s a voter who registered to vote in 1917. There’s a voter who died in 2005. Those are among the assertions of Honolulu resident Adriel Lam, who filed a complaint with the Elections Commission detailing five specific issues ….

read … Voter registration database questioned

Hawaii's Capitol Can Be Opened Safely

CB: … During the new staff orientation that I attended as a freshly minted committee clerk back in the day, we were told that the Capitol was open and free of obstructions to the public because of a mindset of aloha and a reverent understanding that at all times, “it is the people’s house.”

So serious were these values that on the last day of my orientation, the speaker of the House at that time dropped in to speak to trainees and sternly reminded us, “I expect all of your representatives to be in their offices during session, and I’m going to be checking to see if they’re there. If the public comes by, I don’t want them saying their representative wasn’t in the office!”…

We have been told that Oahu’s embarrassingly high daily case count doesn’t matter because the real number that matters is hospitalizations so restrictions on restaurants and other commercial facilities aren’t needed.

But at the same time, we’re also being told that we can’t fully open the State Capitol to public interaction because it isn’t safe with Covid still spreading. In other words: It’s safe for the public to keep working, keep spending money, and keep being taxed, but it isn’t safe for the public to visit their state legislators who make all the laws. That’s not a democracy, that’s a plantation….

read … Hawaii's Capitol Can Be Opened Safely

42 Hawaii public schools have not reported their COVID-19 case counts since before winter break

SA: … Forty-two Hawaii public schools as of Tuesday had not posted their COVID-19 case counts to the state Department of Education’s public dashboard since before winter break, even though they are required by state law to do so weekly.

That means many families, educators and community leaders have not had the reliable, publicly accessible case counts for their neighborhood schools that the law was designed to provide.

Some schools had made no reports since as far back as August or September, through the surges of the COVID-19 delta and omicron variants.

Schools with missing case counts included some of Hawaii’s largest schools, such as Mililani High School, and schools in areas with historically high coronavirus case counts, such as Waianae High School.….

HNN: Parents frustrated as COVID forces Sunset Beach Elementary students to move online

read … 42 Hawaii public schools have not reported their COVID-19 case counts since before winter break

Head of nurses union: Severe staffing shortage at hospitals is impacting patient care

HNN: … “It’s just a bad situation. I would tell the public if at all possible stay away from hospitals right now,” said Daniel Ross, who also works in a medical surgical unit at The Queen’s Medical Center-Punchbowl.

“Things will be missed. Things will be late,” he said. “I worked this weekend. Most of my patients got their medications late. Some dressing changes were missed.”

Ross said people in kidney failure are also being affected. He says because so many dialysis nurses are out due to COVID, some patients are having to skip treatments.

“Dialysis patients have been triaged for over a week now where they see who needs it the most and that person gets dialysis,” he said.

Statewide, as many as 1,500 frontline caregivers missed work Wednesday because they were infected with COVID or had been exposed to the virus. That’s 10% of the workforce.

And Ross said the staff members who are there are overwhelmed and are only able to provide a diminishing level of care.

“One of the nurse’s primary jobs is identifying when things change and being able to intervene promptly and appropriately,” he said. “And if you’re so busy you’re not having that eyes on, hands-on with the patient you’re going to miss when things change.” …

read … Head of nurses union: Severe staffing shortage at hospitals is impacting patient care

UH Buyout: $1.2M for a Dr Pepper

HNN: … At least one state senator is now calling for the resignations not only of University of Hawaii head football coach Todd Graham, but of his bosses as well.

But even letting go of just the coach could have pricey consequences, something that’s happened before.

The university can fire Graham without cost, but it would have to pay up.

“Over $400,000 a year, and he has three years left on that contract so you would be looking at a million dollar-plus payout,” said attorney Jim Bickerton….

(CLUE: When you hire a coach at the end of his career, he might choose to force you to buy him out by being purposefully outrageous.)

CB:  College Football Transfers Are A Microcosm Of A Very Familiar Hawaii Dilemma

read … Another UH Buyout

COVID: People Earned Less from Work--But Got Free Money from the Sky

CB: … the most recent available federal income data, which UHERO compiles on its data portal, shows that real personal income in Hawaii rose during the darkest days of the pandemic in 2020, even as real earnings from jobs fell. In other words, people overall had more income in 2020 than 2019 thanks to federal stimulus money – even though they weren’t working as much….

read … It’s Tough To Figure Out Just How Hard The Pandemic Has Hit The Hawaii Economy

Antivax Mayoral recall effort fails Miserably in second attempt to collect signatures

MN: … There will be no recall of Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino as petitioners in a second effort fell about 19,000 signatures short of the threshold to put the recall into motion.

The group, known as RecallVictorino.org, lacked 19,909 signatures in its second and final try to attain the 21,586 signatures needed under the County Charter, according to results issued Friday by the Office of the County Clerk.

In its two attempts to gather signatures, the group came away with a total of 1,677 valid signatures….Of 423 signatures gathered in second round, 310 were invalid…

read … Mayoral recall effort fails in second attempt to collect signatures

Poll - Hawaii Voters Want To Access State Agencies and Services Online

THG: Transform Hawaii Government conducted a poll in Fall 2021 to understand public sentiment on the importance of a responsive, transparent tech-enabled government. We are glad to share the results in the following summary….

CB: Report: Hawaii Voters Support Upgrades to State Online Services, But Not With Tax Hikes

read …  Report

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