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Monday, January 09, 2017
January 9, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:51 PM :: 1214 Views
 

Lawyer: OHA Transferred Waimea Valley to Private Company Controlled by CEO Crabbe

Assisted Suicide: 2017 Bill Written to Facilitate Elder Abuse

Problems with the Rail Initiative - Indebted to the HART

Hawaii most racially integrated state (Except Healthcare)

OHA Loan Program for Friends and Family Only

CB: …It must become more relevant to Native Hawaiians rather than a source of shame.  Instead of sponsoring political division within the community, it should sponsor more banking, IT, entrepreneur and vocational programs to help Native Hawaiians become an economic and technological powerhouse. While it is true that OHA already has existing business and housing loan programs, a majority of Native Hawaiians do not know about their existence — unless they have a backer, family member or friend working at OHA….

OHA has focused so much of its resources on promoting their version of sovereignty and being a state agency, OHA Trustees should have refrained from taking any sides.

While I agree with letting go of Crabbe, OHA must now abolish the CEO post as it seems to cause an additional level of mismanagement, ineffectiveness, political intrigue and conflict.

The State Ethics Commission also needs to look at all of the recent transactions of the Trustees and the CEO to ensure that funds had been used appropriately especially given the lawsuits….

read … Friends and Family

After Three Years of Doing Nothing, LUC Tries to Spin Affordable Housing Record

SA: The commission has approved nearly 1,000 homes in the past three (four) years (ago) and has approved over 28,080 in the past decade despite the recession. It has approved every housing and industrial project that has filed a complete petition. The LUC currently has three low-income housing proposals in process….

(Translation: We didn’t do anything for 3 years and we are trying to spin it by acting as if three years is four years.)

read … LUC separates housing facts from myth?

Is HPD Chief’s Departure Just The Beginning Of An ‘Ugly’ Mess?

CB: Silvert says he’s uncovered a lot more evidence of wrongdoing that he has since shared with federal investigators who have been working for nearly two years to piece it all together.

Silvert has continued to cooperate with federal investigators, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat, the special prosecutor from San Diego who is leading the grand jury investigation.

In addition to sharing information about the mailbox case, Silvert has provided the federal government with evidence that indicates Puana was being set up for a second crime he didn’t commit, this time involving allegations that he broke-in to the Kealohas’ garage and smashed a tail light on one of their vehicles.

“Given how detailed the Silva plea agreement was, I expect that when and if indictments come out from the grand jury that, ultimately, those indictments will be very detailed,” Silvert told Civil Beat. “The public will really have an understanding of what they’ve been investigating and the corruption they’ve uncovered.” ….

“One begins to wonder how deep the corruption really runs,” said Aaron Hunger, a former police officer and now a doctoral researcher in the University of Hawaii Manoa political science department. “If the chief gets a target letter they’re asking him to make a deal. Clearly, they’re saying there’s a bigger fish in the pan.”

Hunger has spent past several years studying officer misconduct at HPD as part of his post-graduate work. He testified before the commission last week that his research showed Kealoha’s “weak leadership” has created a culture inside HPD that is tolerant of bad actors.

He told Civil Beat on Saturday that the the public should be concerned about the controversy involving the Kealohas and HPD, not only because allegations of corruption go well beyond mailbox theft. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of taxpayer dollars are also at stake with the various lawsuits and legal actions currently underway.

“This problem is deeply rooted,” Hunger said. “But it’s treated as normal when in fact it’s not normal. The public should understand what is normal and what is abnormal. This is abnormal behavior.” …

Police commissioners will once again be put on the spot if Kealoha accepts their retirement offer because they’ll have to go through the process of finding a new chief of police….

read … Ugly

How Will Ige Justify Picking his Campaign Manager for ICA?

SA: The ever-present need for transparency in the process of judicial selection is underscored with last week’s public release of a finalists list for a seat on the Intermediate Court of Appeals, the second-highest court in the state behind the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Among the six nominee names sent to Gov. David Ige is that of his campaign manager and close friend since Highland Intermediate days — Ige played the tuba and Keith Hiraoka jammed on tenor drum in the Pearl City school’s band.

Hiraoka, a law partner at Honolulu’s Roeca Luria Hiraoka firm, resigned as campaign manager Wednesday after learning of his finalist selection. And Ige, who is prepping for extensive interviews with each of the candidates, is enlisting James Duffy, a retired associate justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, to advise him on the appointment.

Such scrambling to avoid the potential appearance of nepotism and other impropriety serves as strong evidence that judicial selection must be open to public scrutiny….

read … Public needs look at judicial nominees

Budget chairwomen get tough with governor

SA: Luke called Ige’s budget “borderline schizophrenic.” Tokuda was equally dismissive: “Are you providing us with a real budget?”

Luke also chastised Machida for the negative performance of the public employees pension fund. Maybe some people should be fired, she mused.

The Legislature opens on Jan. 18….

read … Tough

Kakaako Shelters Work To Move Homeless Into Housing Faster

CB: With new rules looming, state-run facilities look to expedite the shelter-to-housing process.

The state’s newest homeless shelter opened its doors Sept. 28 with the intent to transition its clients into permanent housing within 90 days.

Three months later, the Kakaako Family Assessment Center has made some headway in meeting that goal.

The center has served 17 families and has placed six into new homes, said Program Director Adrian Contreras.

Two families moved into permanent housing and another four moved into transitional housing, he said, adding another family will move into permanent housing early this week, with three more families to follow after that.

SA: Why are some of the world’s best beaches and beach parks being continually used as handout locations?

read … Faster?

How Accurate is Homeless Count?

SA: …Last year’s Point in Time Count found that Oahu’s homeless population increased by 37 people in one year, representing a gain of less than 1 percent. Oahu’s overall homeless numbers grew from 4,903 in 2015 to 4,940 in 2016.

Last year no one coordinated the census, Stasch said.

“Each region had its own approach,” she said. “There wasn’t a complete, consistent effort across the board.”

On the first night of last year’s Point in Time Count, 50 volunteers were expected at one Honolulu location, but only 17 showed up. The following night, 20 volunteers were expected but only three appeared….

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson criticized last year’s Point in Time Count for its poor communication, outreach and training.

But Anderson, whose Windward district stretches from Waimanalo to Ahuimanu, has been pleased by the changes he’s seen so far from Partners in Care.

“Partners in Care has made a solid effort in improving the accuracy of the Point in Time Count versus last year,” Anderson said. “They’ve been letting people know when training will occur, how to get involved, coming to neighborhood board meetings, communicating with my office.”

read … Money at Stake

Anti-GMO Fruitcakes Whine About Agriculture Conference

SA: …Hawaii House members who attended the summit included Rep. Richard Creagan, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Lynn DeCoite, the committee’s vice chairwoman, Rep. Cedric Gates, a member of the Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Mark Hashem, according to the conference’s website and travel authorization forms filed with the House clerk’s office.

Rep. Ryan Yamane, chairman of the House Water and Land Committee, is also listed on the conference’s website as attending, but there was not a travel authorization form for him on file with the House clerk’s office. Yamane didn’t respond to an email asking whether he attended the conference.

On the Senate side, Sen. Mike Gabbard, chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee; Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee; and Sen. Clarence Nishihara are listed on the conference website as attending the event.

A number of lawmakers contacted by email or phone didn’t respond to questions. Reached by cellphone Friday, Nishihara and Gates both said they would call back but never did.

However, Gabbard provided an update from the conference Saturday noting that he was “freezing my okole off.” It was 28 degrees and rainy in Baton Rouge.

Gabbard said this was the second year in a row that he had attended the conference and that both trips had been approved by the Senate president and state Ethics Commission. He said at last year’s conference there was a lot of discussion about hemp and marijuana, which are big topics in Hawaii, and this year there are sessions on food safety, water quality, energy and agriculture, and invasive and endangered species that he was finding interesting.

“To be honest, I would have liked to see more sponsors from the sustainable/organic ag sector. However, even without that balance, I still feel this conference is worth my attendance,” he said by email.

read … Real Agriculture

Hooser Fluff Piece Blows up in Star-Adv Face

KE: Fake news has been much in the news lately, which is why it's not surprising to see the Honolulu Star-Advertiser publish a piece proclaiming (falsely) that failed politician Gary Hooser is a member of the state Senate and a fashion trend-setter.

Yes, he of the long-sleeved, tucked-in, garish-print aloha shirts, accented by jowls and a pot belly, no less, is a fashionista, according to (who the hell is?) Erin Smith. She also incorrectly identified Hooser, who got his ass kicked despite spending more money than any Kauai County Council candidate in history, as “now in the state Senate.”

Well, that might be accurate if Erin had inserted “persona non grata” between “now” and “in.”

read … Musings: Fake News, False Promises

Tracking The 2017 Hawaii Legislature

CB: The 2017 Legislature is set to begin Jan. 18. So start planning now….

read … Tracking

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