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Wednesday, January 19, 2022
January 19, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:01 PM :: 1356 Views

Update: US Aid Following Tonga Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami

Closed to the People: 2022 Legislative Session Begins Today

Minimum Wage: Legislature Finishes what COVID Started?

ARPA: Where did $1.6B Go?

Legislature to Consider Auto-IRA Saving for Private Sector Workers

Before Pandemic, Spending Exceeded Long-Term Revenue in Hawaii

Audit of the City's Information Technology Modernization, Services, and Support

Solar: 1,000 megawatts now online

Day One of Legislature: House Panel Needs More Time to Frame Up State Auditor

CB: … Majority Leader Della Au Belatti on Tuesday said that a final report on two state audits will be delayed until Jan. 27.

At a brief public meeting Tuesday Belatti said the committee had received an additional 600 new documents on Jan. 13 and 14 as part of a subpoena process issued Jan. 10 to the ADC and auditing firm KMH.

Over 200 of the pages of documents, she said, are from the state Department of Accounting and General Services and concern government contracts.

The committee also received about 100 pages of “substantial responses” to the draft report. While Belatti did not provide details, she said the responses include those from witnesses subpoenaed by the committee — the witnesses include State Auditor Les Kondo — over the course of its work that began in early summer.

The committee had been scheduled to finalize its report Tuesday, one day ahead of the opening of the 2022 legislative session.

The committee is now expected to address procedural matters on Friday, something that has also been delayed….

SA: Hawaii House committee’s auditor report late, needs more time

read … House Panel On State Audits Needs More Time

Hold on to Your Wallet--Legislators want ‘Justice’

SA: … House Speaker Scott Saiki on Tuesday was still writing his remarks for today’s Opening Day House floor session, but told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the theme will be “economic justice, cultural justice and environmental justice.”…

The Senate last week announced a long list of priorities for this session, but Kouchi said none are higher than his concern over lost educational opportunities because of COVID-19.

“What worries me the most is the learning loss,” Kouchi said. “How do we regain the learning loss that has occurred and may have a generational effect? … The inability to obtain educational opportunities is a factor that may affect earning potential.”…

Daniel Anthony, a local subsistence farmer, was part of a group that held rallies in and around the Capitol grounds for 12 consecutive years —until today.

In 2019 Anthony lit the Iolani Palace imu and was later arrested while supporting Native Hawaiian rights.

Last year he was part of a group that placed 1,000 Hawaiian flags on the Capitol lawn as a show of support for local food sustainability and farmers.

But Anthony became disillusioned when he felt the message was not properly attributed and by “the fact that they don’t do anything for us.”

“And then when we show up, they take our political messaging and really appropriate it for themselves,” he said. “So the idea of going back to the Capitol this year was actually gut-wrenching to me.”….

read … Hawaii Legislature’s session once again to begin quietly

HSTA: “There’s absolutely no learning going on.”

KHON: … “He’s definitely experience learning loss,” said Foyle. “But because we live in a small community, we ended up doing little pods to try to help them distance learn together. What I noticed in a lot of the kids that I was around was that their reading skills were not just not up to bar, but they were slipping.”
According to Hayashi, since 2019 proficiency in English dropped 4%, math 11% and science 9%.
He said the DOE is planning on utilizing tutoring, summer learning, enrichment programs and after school programs as strategies to re-engage students….

Osa Tui, Jr. the Hawaii State Teacher’s Association president said the continuing staffing issues and absenteeism are making it worse.

Last week, The DOE reported substitute teacher job requests ranged from 1,700 to more than 2,100 every day.

“When you have a class where the students half of them are showing up, half of them are not, you’re missing half the class,” Tsui said. “There  is no instruction that’s really able to go on. If you have to repeat the lessons or if the student is sitting in the cafeteria, the auditorium, the gymnasium, there’s absolutely no learning going on.”…

read … Staffing shortages at schools contributing to loss of learning for students

2 years after the tragedy at Diamond Head: Gun Control but not much Lunatic Control

SA: … Over the years, Hanel’s threatening behavior had given rise to many complaints and restraining orders, and since the tragedy, neighbors, agencies and state legislators have called for changes in Hawaii’s gun and mental illness laws to prevent such violence.

Progress has been made, state Sen. Chris Lee said Tuesday in a phone interview.

The good news, Lee said, was the passage in 2020 of an omnibus bill that established a gun violence and violent crime commission and prohibits homemade “ghost guns” lacking serial numbers. But dangerous loopholes remained, notably the ability of a person in illegal possession of a firearm to buy ammunition, as happened in Hanel’s case.

In February 2020, he added, Hawaii’s “red flag” law took effect, allowing family, household members and law enforcement officers to petition a court for an order temporarily removing guns from a person in crisis.

The commission, by getting law enforcement and mental health agencies at the same table to share information when “someone identified as a risk to the community or themselves has been experiencing extreme mental health issues,” was intended to “connect the dots to better avoid situations like Mr. Hanel’s from slipping through cracks,” Lee said.

Through interagency communication and collaboration, the commission seeks to ensure that “law enforcement when they engage with that person is aware” of all possible risks, he said, noting that officers Enriquez and Kalama walked down the driveway of 3015 Hibiscus Drive, where they had responded to complaints about Hanel many times before, unprepared for his ambush, having not been informed he could be armed.

While a summary report is expected to be completed shortly, according to HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu, a friend and house guest of Cain told the Honolulu Star- Advertiser in 2020 that Hanel had access to guns registered to Cain’s late husband.

In an email Tuesday, state Sen. Joy San Buenaventura said she plans to reintroduce HB 2709, which would require that the police be notified of any and all firearms in an estate and that the Police Department certify that all registered firearms in an estate have been properly transferred or disposed of before the estate may close.

From a mental health perspective, one way to help prevent Hibiscus Drive-type debacles is helping police officers be better prepared through training in crisis intervention teams, or CIT, which debuted in Hawaii in late 2019, bringing officers together with Department of Health staff, mental health providers, military veterans, people with mental illness and their families to learn how to assess and deescalate situations regarding mental health crisis, said Kumi Macdonald, executive director for NAMI Hawaii, the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Hawaii chapter, in a phone interview Tuesday…. 

KITV: Memorial walk held for fallen HPD officers, killed in 2020 shooting near Diamond Head  

SA: ‘Blue Ohana’ commemorates fallen officers

read … Progress has occurred 2 years after the tragedy at Diamond Head, but loopholes remain

The Path to 100% Clean Energy in 2045 Fallacy

IM: … R. Buckminster Fuller coined the concept of the “knowledge doubling curve” in 1982. He estimated that up until 1900, human knowledge doubled every century. However, by 1945 knowledge doubled every 25 years and by 1982 it doubled every year.

For those who understand exponential math, knowledge doubling every year today means that in 20 years the amount of knowledge will grow by 220, that we have access today to just 1/1,000,000 of the knowledge we will have in 2042, assuming the IBM prediction of AI and machine-to-machine learning doesn`t result in the doubling rate occurring every 24 hours….

Just in the past 15 years we have seen the shale gas revolution, the growth and price collapse in solar and wind, and the growth of lithium batteries. If we couldn`t predict that, how can we shape the future….

Some politicians suggest that the path to 100% renewable energy in 2045 needs to be laid out in stone. This is especially true for some new committee chairs who feel the need to distance themselves from established policy and instead to place their mark in the sand….

read … The Path to 100% Clean Energy in 2045 Fallacy

UH Board of Regents nearing vote on latest Maunakea Master Plan

HNN: … The university says so far, it has received more than 1,400 comments on the draft….Public written comments are still being accepted. To provide your input on the plan, click here….

A meeting will be held on Thursday to go over the proposed master plan for their summit, which has a 20-year span and prioritizes the building of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope.

If approved by the board, it would replace the current management plan which was last adopted in 2000.

Click here and scroll to file page 206 to view the draft master plan….

read … UH Board of Regents nearing vote on latest Maunakea Master Plan

Navy Hires Contractor To Assess Integrity Of Red Hill Fuel Facility

CB: … The Navy has hired a mainland engineering firm on a $1.4 million contract to “assess facility operations and system integrity” at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger of Waltham, Massachusetts was awarded the fixed-price contract, according to a military news release. The firm’s work will begin Jan. 18 and conclude on April 30, according to the release….

read  … Navy Hires Contractor To Assess Integrity Of Red Hill Fuel Facility

State Suspends Contract For Security Guards That Watch Over The Hawaii Capitol

CB: … State officials last month hired private security guards to check vaccination cards and Covid-19 test results for visitors to the Hawaii State Capitol, only to later learn the building will remain closed for the time being because of the omicron variant.

In the meantime, the contract with Alii Security Systems Inc. to provide the guards for the Capitol has been temporarily suspended after the U.S. Department of Labor concluded the company illegally denied overtime pay to its employees.

Alii Security has been ordered to pay nearly $1.48 million in back pay and damages to 171 guards in the federal case, and also ordered to pay $60,000 in civil penalties because of the “willful nature” of the violations, according to a written statement from the labor department.

The Department of Accounting and General Services had been poised to issue a notice to proceed for the Capitol contract, but State Comptroller Curt Otaguro said the state will suspend the Capitol contract until the matter is resolved.

“We just need to see them rectify that obligation — they have to pay,” Otaguro said.

This year’s legislative session is set to begin Wednesday at 10 a.m. with opening day floor sessions in the House and Senate. Although the building is closed, live feeds from both chambers will be available through the Legislature’s website.

read … State Suspends Contract For Security Guards That Watch Over The Hawaii Capitol

Illegal Gambling Rooms--Police Have Seized 700 Machines

CB: …Honolulu police conduct dozens of raids every year and have seized more than 700 machines that still sit, unclaimed, in a warehouse on Oahu….

Background: Police Corruption Scandals Revenge for Gambling Prosecutions?

read … Illegal Gambling Rooms Keep Springing Up But Police Have Few Tools To Shut Them Down

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