Hawaii Teachers Union Backs Campagna Over Gabbard for Congress
United Way Report: 49% of Hawaii Households Can't Afford Basics
Childcare: Mapping the Gap in Hawaii
Government Relies on Flawed Data to Determine Endangered Species
Poll: Ige 31 – Hanabusa 37 – Hee 11
CB: …Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa held a 6-point lead over Gov. David Ige in the poll, conducted May 3-5 — 37 percent to Ige’s 31 percent. Former state Sen. Clayton Hee trailed with just 11 percent support.
The sample size was 707 likely Democratic primary voters statewide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent….
Hanabusa had a 20-point lead over Ige in the only other major public poll of the candidates, conducted in mid-March by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. She had 47 percent support from likely voters, followed by Ige at 27 percent and Hee at 11 percent. There were 15 percent undecided.
Hanabusa led Ige in likely white voters with 34 percent to his 30 percent, with Hee trailing at 8 percent. But 24 percent of white voters surveyed said they were unsure who they wanted to win.
The same percentage of likely voters identifying themselves as liberal/progressive were unsure, and 22 percent of those surveyed under 50 years old knew who they were going to vote for at this point….
Hanabusa had a 20-point lead over Ige in the only other major public poll of the candidates, conducted in mid-March by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. She had 47 percent support from likely voters, followed by Ige at 27 percent and Hee at 11 percent. There were 15 percent undecided….
But Peebles said Hanabusa has baggage from past land deals that concern him. The congresswoman and her then-fiancé, John Souza, who’s now her husband and campaign chair, were involved in favorable land deals with developer Jeff Stone while she was state Senate president. Hanabusa helped push a $75 million tax credit to benefit Stone’s Ko Olina development and Stone sold Souza a townhouse in the new development, which he flipped a year later for a $400,000 profit….
Kwan said she is concerned about Hanabusa being in the pocket of labor unions….
Earl Kawewehi said Monday that he felt Hanabusa abandoned him and others in Waianae. “She’s trying to advance herself at the expense of the people,” he said….
read … Poll
Poll: LG Field Scattershot
CB: …Carvalho rose to the top with 19 percent of likely voters saying they would cast their ballot for him. State Sen. Josh Green was second at 16 percent, followed by former Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto at 14 percent, Sen. Jill Tokuda at 11 percent and Sen. Will Espero at 8 percent.
(Translation: Waiting for instructions from the unions.)
The poll was conducted May 3-5 among 707 likely primary voters statewide. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percent….
PDF: Poll Results
read … Scattershot
Lava could be used as latest excuse for property tax hikes
HTH: …Property tax hikes could be back on the table as county expenses increase even as property values erode thanks to lava inundation in Puna.
The decrease in taxes because of depressed property values was estimated Friday at $1.2 million, but intense volcanic activity during the weekend means the number could be closer to $6 million, county officials said Monday.
And that’s just the property tax loss from affected properties.
Agricultural losses over a broader geography could contribute even more to the negative revenue balance, they said. At the same time, county overtime, road construction and other costs are piling up.
Finance Director Deanna Sako told the County Council on Monday that she would be bringing a full report today as the council takes up the budget on first reading. She said it’s not too late for the council to schedule a public hearing on a range of property tax rates….
Meanwhile: Yet Another HSTA Operative Flacks for Massive Property Tax Hike
read … Lava could force property tax hikes
Domestic Violence: Cop Could Get 4 years Back Pay
CB: … In September 2014, Honolulu residents were confronted with grainy surveillance video of Honolulu police Sgt. Darren Cachola pummeling his girlfriend inside a Waipahu restaurant.
The video sparked widespread outrage, particularly among women legislators, and called into question how the nation’s 20th largest police department confronts domestic violence. Cachola was eventually fired.
Now, nearly four years later, the police department is set to make public an arbitration decision that could give Cachola his job back along with years of back pay….
Kaneshiro decided not to pursue charges after presenting evidence before a grand jury….
read … Arbitration
All Wind Power Exceeds $0.15 per kwh in Hawaii
SA: …Champlin’s affiliate, Na Pua Makani Power Partners, expects it can start construction later this year and produce what would be the cheapest electricity from a Hawaii wind farm late next year….
Under a contract with Hawaiian Electric Co. approved in 2015 by the state Public Utilities Commission, Champlin will sell power to the utility at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour over 20 years…
(Avg RETAIL on mainland = $0.126 kwh.)
read … Wholesale Above Mainland Retail
Permitting Delays Homeless Domes by Three Years
KITV: …The First Assembly of God Windward in Kahaluu has completed the first five of its 12 "homeless domes."
The church refers to the area as a "faith zone" where select homeless families of women and children will be able to live after being selected by the church through an application process and agreeing to accept faith based housing.
Nine of the 12 domes will be used as temporary housing, two others will offer six separate bathrooms, and the final dome will be used by an on site residential manager.
Each dome takes an estimated three hours to construct with a crew of three.
The church expects to have families in the domes by this summer.
The church says the project started in 2015 and could have been completed much sooner had it not been for permitting delays.
We're told several other churches and non-profits pitched in to help purchase the materials to build the domes.
The church says each dome cost an estimated $11,000 before factoring in the cost of building a foundation.
read … Local church builds 'faith zone' for select homeless families
Tourist from … uh … Detroit … Shocked by Waikiki Homelessness
DN: …Having just returned from my fifth visit to Hawaii in three years I can attest that the situation is a disgrace….
A walk down Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki’s main strip, is a surreal experience despite efforts by political, business and tourism leaders to mask the problem in the areas frequented by tourists.
Vagrants can be found in-between oceanfront hotels with rooms selling for hundreds of dollars per night and the seemingly endless number of ABC stores, the offspring of party stores and grocery stores. Many occupy the same spot day in and day out.
Some are passed out on a park bench surrounded by alcohol-infused vomit or urine. Others panhandle as the steady flow of tourists walk past. Then there are the mentally ill, who can be heard getting in arguments with imaginary people. The smell of booze and marijuana permeates. Much of this is within a block or two of the Honolulu Police Department’s Waikiki precinct….
At the unique, late 1960s open-air state capitol, men were camped out only yards from the legislative chambers. At the nearby Iolani Palace, the seat of the former Hawaiian monarchy, I saw another vagrant shooting himself up with what appeared to be drugs….
read … The Detroit News
Dopers Line up to buy Weed on Kauai
KGI: …The licensed dispensary had 55 scheduled appointments on their first day and nearly as many walk-in customers waiting with their medical marijuana cards in hand. By early afternoon, the store had already sold all of their sativa-dominant hybrid harvest but still had plenty of their indica strain and more of the award-winning “Purple Punch” hybrid on the way.
“We’ll be adding more strains and products over the next few months,” Rothstein said. “It was a slow difficult process getting through the county permitting, but we’re here and working hard to provide clean safe medicine.”
The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a notice to proceed after the Kauai dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed the final on-site inspection of its retail facility.
“Unfortunately we only have a few of our products available right now,” Rothstein said. “It’s going through the state track-ability system, and it takes a lot of time to get stuff approved.”
The state has strict tracking and testing, so each product has to go through its own approval process.
“We have to grow 100 percent of our products,” Rothstein said. “We have CBD and THC kief coming in the next few days. We going to be adding lozenges and tinctures in the next couple of weeks.”…
MN: Kihei Candidates not as Dopey as Ing
read … Keep the people Doped up so they won’t notice
DEA Targets Oxycontin Pharmacies, Dope Docs in Hawaii
HTH: …Called the Diversion Division, the agency has agents who specialize just in investigations and audits, and the six-person crew in Hawaii (triple what it was a year ago) is looking into pharmacies, doctors, couriers and anyone else who plays a part in getting the highly addictive pain pills out into the public.
“There are some long-in-the tooth pharmacies that are going to get a wake-up call,” he said.
In fact, the DEA has closed down a few over-prescribing pharmacies in the state already, including the Open Door Pharmacy in Honolulu, and more will come. In the next six months, news clips will show more arrests….
HTH: Hawaii County prosecutor talks challenges, trends
read … Frontline of the opioid fight
Without Forcible Incarceration in Lunatic Asylums, Psychiatrist can only Treat 20 Homeless Schizos in a Year
CB: Dr. Chad Koyanagi is the only street psychiatrist in Hawaii today who goes out day after day, sometimes into the night, to bus stops and the sidewalk hangouts of Hawaii’s most vulnerable homeless — the severely mentally ill.
Koyanagi has been reaching out for decades to tattered, often foul-smelling vagrants many of us cross the street to avoid….
Last year, working with a street team of outreach workers from the Institute for Human Services, Koyanagi succeeded in treating 20 homeless people who agreed to accept his care on an outpatient basis with monthly injections of Invega Sustenna. It is a drug that has been used to successfully stabilize people suffering from schizophrenia.
The street team’s goal is to get those with mental illness collected enough to agree to go into housing. But once they receive housing, there is often not enough funding for needed service providers to make sure they continue to take their medication and handle the many different responsibilities of renting an apartment.
“If they are not getting enough wrap-around services, many of them go back out on the streets. It happens a lot,” he says.
(Translation: Housing First isn’t as good as a lunatic asylum.)
When I walked with Koyanagi in Waikiki with an outreach team from IHS, we stopped to talk to a homeless Vietnam veteran named Scott C. Fox. Fox told us he has been kicked out of three different “Housing First” subsidized apartments because he was drinking and inviting other homeless to stay with him in the apartments, which he says increased his drinking and partying….
(In a lunatic asylum, this wouldn’t be happening.)
In 2011, Queens Medical Center treated nearly 7,000 homeless with mental illness; by 2016, the number had soared to 16,000. Queens spokesman Cedric Yamanaka says the hospital has had to shoulder nearly $10 million in unreimbursed funds annually for their inpatient and outpatient treatment. (But they made a $ billion plus on the rest.)
The state corrections department says on any day 12 to 15 percent of the inmate population statewide includes people diagnosed with serious and persistent mental Illness….
Hawaii is one of 46 states with an assisted treatment law to allow courts to mandate mental health treatment for people too ill to care for themselves. But the law has rarely been used since it was enacted in 2014.
Diane Haar is the first attorney in Hawaii to use the new law to petition the court to order treatment for a severely ill homeless woman. Haar lost the case. She believes that the courts then and now continue to be uncomfortable with the notion of medicating a person against their will even when person is too mentally ill to take care of themselves.
She says another reason that the assisted treatment law is rarely used is because it is expensive for homeless care agencies such as IHS to hire the lawyers and psychiatrists needed to petition a family court judge to invoke orders for involuntary care.
Deputy Public Defender Phyllis Hironaka is currently defending a schizophrenic homeless woman against a petition brought to the court by ISH to allow Koyanagi to treat the woman’s illness. Hironaka say her client doesn’t want treatment and that as the woman’s public defender, it is her job to protect her client’s civil liberties and personal desires even when the client is suffering from schizophrenia.
Koyanagi says there needs to be a better understanding among defense attorneys that the needs of the homeless and the community are not served when people who can’t take care of themselves are allowed to remain untreated living on the streets….
Reality: Mental Health: Can Reform Solve Hawaii’s Homeless, Prison and Unfunded Liability Problems?
read … Handcuffed by ACLU
Hawaii Use Tax Unconstitutional?
SA: CompUSA had challenged the state’s use tax as unconstitutional since it applies only to out-of-state sellers.
In an opinion handed down Friday, the Hawaii Supreme Court’s five justices unanimously rejected CompUSA’s appeal and found that the use tax serves a legitimate state interest in leveling the economic playing field for local businesses subject to the state’s general excise tax.
The state imposes a half-percent use tax on the purchase of goods imported from businesses outside Hawaii so (they can pay more HGEA members to play solitaire on the computer.)
Up until 2008, CompUSA operated two retail stores in Hawaii. The company paid the use tax on all of the goods it imported into Hawaii and paid the GET on those goods it resold to local consumers.
In 2010 CompUSA asked the state Department of Taxation to refund the $751,529 in use taxes it paid for 2006, 2007 and 2008. The company claimed that when state lawmakers changed the use tax law in 2004, they made it unconstitutional. The state rejected CompUSA’s refund request. Friday’s opinion upholds the rejection….
SA: General excise tax applies to charitable fundraising
read … Next Stop Federal Court?