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Tuesday, September 04, 2018
September 4, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:51 PM :: 1123 Views

Gun Control: What the Dalai Lama Tells American Students

Oxfam: The Best and Worst States to Work in America

All UH campuses make top 10 most diverse lists

Hawaii homeowners caught in limbo when insurers meet Kilauea

526 Frauds Reported to DoE Hotline – Only One Employee Terminated

HNN: Since 2016, the state Education Department's "fraud and ethics hotline" has received more than 500 tips, at least one of which resulted in someone being fired, according to a new report prepared for the Board of Education.

The review found that most of the calls were for minor issues. But 222 cases were assigned for formal review and 59 cases were classified "substantiated."

Of the 59, the vast majority were for human resources issues. Other cases were identified as "theft of time," misuse of department resources, fiscal impropriety and falsification of records.

The state report said one of the substantiated investigations — a case from fiscal year 2018 — resulted in an employee being terminated.

There was also one suspension (in fiscal year 2017), six written warnings and 17 verbal warnings. And in two cases, employees resigned….

PDF: Full Report

read … Over 3-year period, DOE got more than 500 calls to its fraud hotline

State asks for redevelopment pitches for 7 DOE parcels

HNN:  As part of a pilot project aimed at generating new funding sources for education, the state is asking developers to pitch their best ideas for re-imagining seven Education Department properties in the urban core — including one-acre parcels at two schools….

The DOE said potential ideas could include mixed-use projects that might include commercial or businesses uses or housing. …

read … State asks for redevelopment pitches for 7 DOE parcels

Focus of federal corruption probe appears to turn toward city prosecutor

HNN: …A sign that the federal grand jury is once again focusing on Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, multiple current and former employees of his office were called to testify last week.

Kaneshiro wasn't always a target.  It wasn't until 2016 that he was brought into the FBI case, when he refused to turn over information to the agency about one of his top deputies, Katherine Kealoha, wife of then HPD police chief Louis Kealoha.….

Since then Kaneshiro has had his office raided by the FBI. Agents took the office server, And Hawaii News Now cameras have captured many of his top deputies and other workers go in to the grand jury….

Legal expert Victor Bakke says the fact that deputy prosecutors and others in Kaneshiro's office are testifying is not a good sign for the prosecutor's office….

read … Focus of federal corruption probe appears to turn toward city prosecutor

If You Really Believe the Eco Religion, Abandon Waikiki and Gimme $15.3B for Make-Work Projects

HB …Honolulu Board of Water Supply Water Resources Division program administrator Barry Usugawa is especially focused on 76 miles of pipeline in the flood zone and thus vulnerable to seawater corrosion. While he estimates the cost for updating these pipelines at about $300 million, he emphasizes this is just the start.

“We have major pipelines along highways like Kamehameha and Farrington. If these coastal roads are damaged, they’ll damage our pipes too,” says Usugawa.

Edwin Sniffen, the state Department of Transportation’s deputy director for highways, has also come to some sobering conclusions. “When we start looking at the system that we have and the projected sea level rise, we’re looking at about 15 percent of our state’s highway system being impacted in some way, shape or form. That’s a big amount of roadway and bridges and infrastructure we have to either raise up, relocate or address in some way, shape or form.”

His preliminary estimate: $15 billion….

Waikiki is, in many ways, ground zero for the difficult discussions around what we should do. Out of $15.6 billion in visitor spending in 2016, $2 billion was specifically related to the state’s most iconic beach destination, making it an indisputable economic priority.

“What is our coastal strategy? Are we going to retreat from the shoreline? Or are we going to harden our infrastructure on the coast? Or are we going to wait and see what happens? These are all very different responses with different economic impacts,” says Denise Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences at UH Manoa and founding director of the Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism at the UH Sea Grant College Program….

HB: Treating weather like a Climate Change Story is Our Most Important of the Year

read … Do You Really Believe?

Vacation rental bill heads to Hawaii County Planning Commission

HTH: …The bill is an attempt to prohibit unhosted short-term rentals in residential and agricultural zones, while allowing them in hotel and resort zones as well as commercial districts. Existing rentals in disallowed areas would be able to be grandfathered in by applying for a nonconforming use certificate that must be renewed annually.

Bill 108 applies only to unhosted, short-term or vacation rentals where the owner does not live on site. Hosted rentals, such as bed and breakfasts and home-sharing units, are not addressed in the bill….

read … Vacation rental bill: 16 tweaks recommended as bill heads to Planning Commission

To beat Uber and Lyft, some taxi companies are trying to become them

HNN: …Dale Evans, president of Charley's Taxi, says her company recently beefed up it own app, which it developed several years ago.

It also applied with the state for a transportation network company license, which will allow its drivers to pick and drop-off at the same locations at Honolulu's airport that the state set aside for Uber and Lyft.

She says the app will allow Charley's to reduce fares on some of its economy vehicles -- which are set by the city -- and adjust prices according to supply and demand.

"Because I can charge a different fare as a TNC, I'm going to make an economy rate. I'm going to have drivers with a lower meter rate," she said. "All of it is cheaper than whatever Uber and Lyft are doing."

Evans added that her app has this advantage: "I think we might be the only cab in town that has the app in Japanese," she said….

read … To beat Uber and Lyft, some taxi companies are trying to become them

250 Homeless Accept Shelter in Lahaina

HPR: …Monique Yamashita is Executive Director of Ka Hale A Ke Ola, she says they get 4-5 calls for shelter every day.  She says they used to keep out a lot of people with drug or other issues, and those that were in, would stay for two years of programs.  Now there’s an emphasis on getting the clients into shelter in 60-90 days, then connecting them with programs in the community….

read … Homeless, Maybe. Friendless? Not on Maui

Why The Hawaii Elections Office Doesn’t Do More To Encourage Voting

CB: Federal voter-education dollars can’t be used to promote voting, and state elections officials say it’s not their job anyway….

A get-out-the-vote ad campaign woudn’t do much to chip away at the apathy residents have about elections, said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center.

“There’s really no evidence that making a more slick advertising campaign does anything to improve voter turnout,” he said. “The problem doesn’t lie in people’s ignorance of voting. It lies in the fact that they don’t really think their vote matters or think it’s their duty to vote. That’s not a problem the Office of Elections can solve for us.”

read … Why The Hawaii Elections Office Doesn’t Do More To Encourage Voting

Schatz Pumps Money into Democrat Senate Campaigns

CB: In June, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz logged 500 miles crisscrossing Ohio on a fundraising tour for his Democratic colleague Sherrod Brown.

Bouncing from town to town, Schatz helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for Brown, a two-term incumbent, who’s trying to hold on against a Republican challenger in a state President Donald Trump carried by 8 points in the 2016 election.

Several months earlier, in February, Schatz invited U.S. Reps. Jacky Rosen of Nevada and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to Honolulu to bolster their upcoming Senate bids.

Each candidate left the islands with thousands of dollars more in their campaign coffers….

read … Schatz

Why Hawaii Is Burning Its Massive Mangrove Trees

G: All over the world, from Florida to Thailand, efforts are underway to restore mangrove forests. These ecosystems have been in serious decline for the last 10 years, and sea level rise is set to threaten them further. In Hawaii, however, heavy efforts are underway to eradicate the trees.

In fact, the islands might be the only place where ecologists are trying to permanently remove mangroves….

read … Why Hawaii Is Burning Its Massive Mangrove Trees

It Takes Two: Faces of Hawaiʻi Workers With Multiple Jobs

HPR: …“I work at the Zippyʻs as a cashier, graveyard shift. I finish 6ʻoclock in the morning and then after that I come here to Waikiki Beach Marriott to work as a housekeeper for eight hours, from 8am to 4pm. Then I work at the McDonalds Fort Street Mall as a cashier,” says Cainguitan….

read … It Takes Two: Faces of Hawaiʻi Workers With Multiple Jobs

F-22 alternative would save taxpayers money

SA: When Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors fly out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at $62,000 per hour on training missions, that effort is hampered by a multitude of inefficiencies, a recent government report said.

Fighters less sophisticated than the F-22 could be used as the “adversary” aircraft during training at a savings to taxpayers. However, the only fighters stationed in Hawaii are F-22s, so they must be used for all adversary training.

Compared with an F-22’s $62,000 an hour, a less sophisticated F-16 cost per flight hour in 2016 was $19,000, and $9,000 for a T-38, the report said.

To complete the adversary training, Hawaii-based F-22s were dedicated to flying against themselves at a reduced capability level, the U.S. Government Accountability Office report said….

PDF: GAO Report

read … F-22 alternative would save taxpayers money

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