Laughed out of Hawaii, Kahele Slinks Back to Washington, DC
$328M: After 23 years of Judicial Stalling, State Settles DHHL Suit
DLNR Launches Environmental Stewardship Dashboard
How the Jones Act transfers critical industry and jobs overseas
Full Text: Conference Committee Issues Proposed Draft to Create Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority
Blangiardi signs Bill 41 outlawing some Short Term Rentals
Six Year Coverup to End? Hawaii Supreme Court: State Must Release ‘Explosive’ 2016 Report On Former State Auditor Jan Yamane
CB: … The Attorney General’s investigative report details wrongdoing by then-State Auditor Jan Yamane and her top assistants….
(NOTE: Yamane is now Exec Director of the so-called Honolulu Ethics Commission.)
The state attorney general can no longer keep its 2016 investigation into allegations of lying, incompetence and workplace bullying by the State Auditor’s office a secret.
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the public had a compelling right to access what the court describes as an “explosive” report detailing accusations of wrongdoing against then acting State Auditor Jan Yamane and her top assistants….
The majority opinion was the view of Eddins, Justice Michael Wilson and Circuit Judge Paul Wong, who sat in for Justice Paula Nakayama who recused herself.
Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Justice Sabrina McKenna issued a separate opinion that concurred in part and dissented in part, basically agreeing that the report should be made public but disagreeing about what items should be redacted….
“And the Report is damning: it provides strong evidence of unethical and unprofessional conduct in the Office of the Auditor. The Report contains information about: (1) the Office of the Auditor’s exaggeration and sensationalizing of its findings; (2) the Office of the Auditor’s fabrication of findings about auditee agencies; (3) the inexperience and incompetence of the Office of the Auditor’s leadership; (4) the Office of the Auditor’s alleged failure to complete an audit it was required, by law, to complete; (5) the Office of the Auditor’s efforts to artificially inflate the number of audit reports it produced; and (6) the toxic workplace at the Office of the Auditor.“ -- Majority Opinion p22-23
read … Hawaii Supreme Court: State Must Release ‘Explosive’ 2016 Report On State Auditor
Tokuda ducks out of lieutenant governor’s race, announces run for Congress instead
HNN: … Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda is taking her name out of the running for lieutenant governor and instead will be putting in a bid for Congress.
Tokuda’s team said in a statement that she filed a “statement of organization” with the Federal Elections Commission.
She’ll challenge Congressman Kai Kahele for his House seat.
Tokuda’s team says she’ll be traveling around the state and to Washington, D.C. for meetings over the next week….
read … Tokuda ducks out of lieutenant governor’s race, announces run for Congress instead
Search for Hawaii public schools superintendent is down to 7 candidates
SA: … Payne said she could not release the seven candidates’ names, only the finalists’ names on Friday. When asked whether the seven are from Hawaii and/or have teaching backgrounds, she said, “It’s a mix. … They didn’t have to have a degree in education, but it would be very hard to meet the criteria if they didn’t have some experience in education leadership.” Deep understanding of Hawaii’s unique culture also was a crucial part of the criteria, she said.
Former Waipahu High School Principal Keith Hayashi, a 32-year veteran of the DOE, has been serving as interim superintendent since Christina Kishimoto stepped down as superintendent in July. While he has publicly indicated interest in the permanent position, and his work as interim head has been seen by some as an unofficial tryout, Payne emphasized that Hayashi is not a shoo-in to land the job. “There’s no guarantee at all for anyone,” she said.
The application period started March 7 and was supposed to end April 1, but after a “lower-than-expected” 27 applications were received, including only about a dozen qualified “tier 1” applicants, the deadline was extended to April 12, Payne said. By the extended deadline, 35 people in all had applied, Payne said….
read … Search for Hawaii public schools superintendent is down to 7 candidates
Pandemic modeling group: Daily COVID case count in Hawaii likely 7 times official figure
HNN: … COVID infections are on the rise in Hawaii, but home testing means it’s hard to get a true picture of the daily case count.
The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group suspects that are about 1,500 new daily infections on Oahu. That’s roughly seven times the official number.
Based on state Department of Health numbers, HiPAM said that could rise to 2,500 in early May.
“It shows that there are a lot of transmissions, but it seems to be in control in terms of severe hospitalization,” said Monique Chyba, a mathematician who does modeling for HiPAM….
According to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, there were 54 people in Hawaii hospitals Tuesday with COVID, including those who came in originally with other ailments. The association said the state is managing only about one to two COVID cases a day in ICUs and the situation is very manageable….
read … Pandemic modeling group: Daily COVID case count in Hawaii likely 7 times official figure
Crime Wave caused by HGEA Probation Officers COVID stand down
KHON: … Experts say drug use is still the main cause for the crime surge we’re seeing. That and the pandemic, which made it nearly impossible to check on those who are on probation. Experts shared their thoughts on possible solutions.
The executive director of Habilitat Jeff Nash said there’s been a significant increase in drug users needing some help in part because probation officers were not able to check on former inmates during the pandemic….
“Basically the whole problem just kind of got left unchecked and now we are seeing the results of that, and yeah, there’s a problem,” said Nash….
Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm is open to new ideas, and keeping data on solutions that work.
“I think we definitely need more drug treatment beds, mental health beds, dual diagnosis beds if people have both issues, and expand the good programs we have, and maybe even come up with some new ones,” said Alm….
A spokesperson for the Hawaii State Judiciary said in-person meetings with probationers resumed in March….
read … Experts say new ideas needed to fight crime
Water bills to increase 19%
HTH: … Water rate increases are on tap for Big Island customers, with consecutive 9.5% increases in standby and usage charges this year and next.
The Water Board on Tuesday set public hearings for May 24 in Kona and May 25 in Hilo before adopting the changes for the new budget years that start July 1. The board had opted for the increase over options of 12% and 8% presented by consultants Harris & Associates….
read … Water bills to increase
Corona Virus News: