Who Wants to Kill OHA's Forensic Audit?
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands: Broken Promises
SCHHA: Danner Confab Set for July 14-15
Former ILWU Stevedores Division Director slapped with federal indictment after alleged theft
HNN: …The grand jury charged the 61-year-old former division director for the ILWU for failing to file five years of federal income tax returns, aggravated identity theft and theft of public funds
In the indictment unsealed last week, the feds said Lum cashed social security checks intended for his father Harris Lum for two and a half years after his father's death in 2013.
The alleged thefts totaled more than $33,000 and occurred at a time when Lum was earning more than $200,000 as the division director for the ILWU, the union that represents about 1,000 dockworkers in Hawaii.
Lum could not be reached but last week he pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Longtime observers said that Lum was a behind-the-scenes power in Hawaii’s business and political communities.
"Basically, he was in charge of the stevedores in the state and they have negotiated labor union contracts that control the flow of virtually all goods in and out of the state. So he's enormously influential,” said longtime investigative reporter and author Jim Dooley.
This is not the first time Lum has been accused of financial impropriety.
In filings with the federal labor department in 2011, the ILWU disclosed that Lum made more than $24,000 in unauthorized purchases with his union credit card. He later repaid the ILWU, the union reports said….
read … Former union leader slapped with federal indictment after alleged theft
To Force Homeless into Shelters--Can ACLU Obstructionism be defeated?
SA: …In a welcome shift, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration now wants to redouble efforts to clear sidewalks of homeless campers across Oahu through two bills. One would make it illegal to “lodge” on any Oahu sidewalk or other public place if shelter facilities are available. The other would make it unlawful to obstruct any city sidewalk with personal property.
…More needs to be done to help the homeless find their way to residential stability off the streets….
Previously, Caldwell’s administration has been leery of proposals to create an islandwide sit-lie ban due to potential legal challenges. Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and others, have maintained that a wide-reaching ban could essentially criminalize people for sitting, sleeping or lying on sidewalks — and that may constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Homelessness could become a crime, it seems, when a camper has nowhere to turn to avoid being in violation of the law. Whether such a problem would surface under the proposed “lodging” bill is debatable. And to Caldwell’s credit, his administration is up for a much-needed debate — with the City Council and in public hearings — that sizes up whether the city’s inventory of shelters and services could now handle the demand….
read … Clear campers from sidewalks
People returned to subdivision buried by lava in 1990 — could it happen again?
SA: An obituary for the Kalapana Gardens community was written nearly 30 years ago after lava buried the Hawaii island subdivision of 738 house lots and more than 100 homes.
“Kalapana Gardens died this year, burned and smothered by creeping lava from Kilauea Volcano,” read the August 1990 story in The Honolulu Advertiser.
That death notice, however, was premature.
Since about 2004, a sprinkling of adventurous folks have built homes on the rugged lava-scape and Kalapana Gardens has grown to more than 75 homes today.
Not many observers expected such rebuilding when Kalapana Gardens was destroyed. Yet now, because of this subdivision’s resurrection, it’s hard not to contemplate whether something similar may be possible for Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens, Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots, where more than 600 homes have been consumed by lava that began pouring out of Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone on May 3.….
Background: HRS 171-93: Law Allows Swap of Lava-Covered Lots for State Property in Zone 3
read … Again and Again
DoE Discourages Teachers Faster than UH Can Graduate New Ones
CB: …(Due to the high cost of housing) Hawaii has “more resignations than we do teachers that are graduating from Hawaii’s colleges.”
(So the HSTA wants rent to be taxed even more than it is now! Did they take a ‘stupid pill’ to come up with that ‘solution’?)
read … DoE Winning Race
Shopping bag fee reduces spending
SA: …A cashier at Whole Food commented that people are buying less or only as much as will fill their own bags…..
read … Shopping bag fee reduces spending
August 11 -- 30% of Voters Will Decide Everything
KGI: …Less than 30 percent of eligible residents will vote on Aug. 11….With such a small number of voters determining the leadership in our County and State, there is a huge opportunity for those who do “do politics” as even a modest increase in the number of people showing up on election day can sway the results….
read … Most important voter on Aug. 11 will be the non-voter
Campagna keeps pushing for debate
KGI: …Campagna was also critical of Hawaii News Now for its debate special that aired July 2, and covered the gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial, and Congressional District 1 races in Hawaii.
“By blatantly excluding Congressional District 2 (CD2), HNN joins several other organizations such as the League of Women Voters, and Democratic Party District Forums across the state that have planned and then cancelled the opportunity for forum or debate between the CD2 Candidates,” the release said. “Their stated reason for this is that the incumbent, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, either declines the invitations or refuses to respond.
“As a result, Hawaii’s voters in Congressional District 2 are restricted by mainstream media and organizations from making a fair comparison between Tulsi Gabbard and her only viable contender.”….
read … Campagna keeps pushing for debate
36% of Hawaii Candidates are Female
CB: … In Hawaii, 125 women are candidates for local, state and federal offices this year, compared to 93 candidates on the 2016 primary ballot, according to the state Office of Elections.
Women make up about 38 percent of the 324 candidates this year, compared to 32 percent of the 283 candidates during the 2016 election cycle….
(Really Obvious Question: Did they count Kim Coco Iwamoto?)
While just over half of the country’s population is female, women make up about a fifth of Congress and 29 percent of the Hawaii Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The state has a slightly higher proportion of female state legislators than the national average of 25 percent.
Hawaii was also recently ranked among the top five states for women running for U.S. Senate with 30 percentage of candidates being female since 1994, according to an analysis from CNN.
California, Washington, Maine and Maryland were the four other states with the highest percentages of female candidates. The bottom five were Mississippi, Tennessee, South Dakota, Vermont and Ohio….
read … Trump Inspires More Women Candidates In Hawaii
Maui policymakers should consider a spending cap
MN: …The county’s budget overall increased by over 16 percent between 2008 and 2016, compared with only a 2.5 percent increase in average Maui wages.
Some county entities, such as the Office of the Mayor and the Personnel Services and Planning departments, experienced decreases in their annual operating and capital improvement budgets, but for the most part county expenditures ballooned.
Most notable among the overall increases were 85 percent for the Management Department, 50 percent for the Public Works Department, 50 percent for the Office of the County Clerk, 32 percent for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, 30 percent for the Department of Transportation and 27 percent for the County Council….
read … Maui policymakers should consider a spending cap
Homeless Drug Addict Attacks Woman at Ala Moana Park
KHON: …On a day like Fourth of July, Ala Moana Beach Park is packed with people having fun. But last Friday afternoon that was not the case for Bartlett.
"I have a displaced fracture on my orbital floor, I believe I have one behind my eye. I have another fracture here on my nose," said Bartlett.
Bartlett tells us she was sitting on the beach while the sun was still out. That's when she heard a man yelling.
"It was evident that he was on drugs because he was talking to himself, his face was sunken in. He was very very dark and unkept. I just wanted to stay away because he looked very troubled," Bartlett said. "Maybe I've been desensitized to it because I see those types of people at different beaches and normally if you leave them alone, they leave you alone."
"I turned back around and I felt someone was coming toward me on my right side so I turned back around again and I just saw the guy's legs and the next thing I remember is blood being everywhere," said Bartlett.
Bartlett blacked out. First responders told her that the suspect punched her in the face and ran away after she screamed….
At last check, police tell us no arrests have been made....
HNN: 'I'm glad I'm alive': Woman recounts unprovoked attack at Ala Moana Beach
read … Woman attacked at popular Ala Moana Beach Park
Drugs Behind Doubling on Foster Care Children on Kona Side of Big Island
HNN: …Cheyenne Brock-Kuanoni, 24, spent most of her childhood in foster care. She was separated from her family in Kona when she was 5 and was placed in 6 different homes before she aged out of the system at 18.
"My mom, she was using drugs, so that's the main reason that I was in care, and possible neglect," said Brock-Kuanoni, who now works for West Hawaii Child Welfare Services.
She is also part of a HI H.O.P.E.S. (Hawaii Helping Our People Envision Success) youth leadership board comprised of current and former foster children.
Members led the effort to create the Bill of Rights, which brings together existing federal, state and department policies. The legislation also spells out rights such as being able to attend court hearings, request an attorney, and access transportation to stay in the same school. "I had some good times and some bad times in care," said Brock-Kuanoni. "I'm really passionate about helping the foster youth now."
From state fiscal year 2004 to state fiscal year 2013, the number of foster youth in Hawaii dropped dramatically, from more than 5,353 to 2,180. Since then, the figure has slowly been rising each year, and the state Department of Human Services is trying to figure out why.
"Some of the early data shows that parents using substances and who have newborns or children before the age of 1, that those children were coming into care in certain neighbor island communities at greater rates," said Rachel Thorburn, CWS assistant program administrator.
During the last five years, the neighbor islands saw significant increases in the number foster care children, with West Hawaii's figure more than doubling from 123 to 254….
read … Governor to sign 'bill of rights' for Hawaii's foster youth
Residents in lava-ravaged lower Puna have a new concern: An uptick in crime
HNN: … It was clear at the community meeting that looting remains a concern.
Just hours earlier, Hawaii County police reported an armed home invasion in the Orchidland subdivision. And multiple reports of thieves and vandals have evacuees worried about their property.
"Police are aware of what's going on, they're taking action," said Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator.
Also at the meeting, county Managing Director Wil Okabe said a county sulfur dioxide monitor was stolen in Leilani Estates.
"That's close to $15,000. That particular monitor is for you, who live in Leilani, to give us the latest updates," Okabe said.
Magno told the group the evacuation is now voluntary and that the residents can return to check on their belongings if they follow the procedures….
read … Residents in lava-ravaged lower Puna have a new concern: An uptick in crime