Hirono Fundraising Email Sent During Blasey-Ford Testimony
HSTA Rent Tax: 14 Groups Support Counties Appeal to Supreme Court
Stop Digging Deeper Pension Debt
Years Later KOLEA System Still not 100% Compliant with Obamacare Requirements
Audit of State DoD Accounts
Hawaii Construction Forecast: After Pullback, Construction Prospects Firm
Financial Literacy: Hawaii Ranks 44th
Unconstitutional Law Keeps Dues Money Flowing to Hawaii Public Employee Unions
SA: …The solid membership retention so far also is thanks to a new state law, passed and signed just two months before the Janus decision, that limits a member’s opt-out period each year to the 30-day window prior to his or her first union-deduction anniversary date. The constitutionality of that law, Act 7, is expected to draw legal challenge. But its very passage shows just how powerful public labor remains in union-strong Hawaii….
Related: Janus: Hawaii union law potentially unconstitutional
read … Dues keep flowing to unions
Case, Cavasso Debate Jones Act, Rail, Akaka Tribe
CB: …On issues like the Honolulu rail project, which is a few billion dollars over budget, Cavasso and Case agreed that it’s too late to scrap it. Instead, they said there needs to be increased focus on controlling costs and finishing as fast as possible.
The candidates also both see the federal Jones Act as a contributor to Hawaii’s high cost of living. They want to see it reformed, with possible exemptions carved out for Hawaii….
Case supported letting states continue “to experiment” with legalization. He said the federal government should not continue to list it as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin and cocaine.
The candidates also differed on Native Hawaiian sovereignty.
Case said he supports a direct relationship between Native Hawaiians and the federal government, something akin to what American Indian tribes have on the mainland.
“Native Hawaiians are better off if they exercise autonomy over a limited scope of their own affairs,” he said.
Cavasso opposes a Hawaiian nation and said it’s not in the best interest of Native Hawaiians to be given a similar classification as American Indians….
Asked how they would reform the health insurance marketplace, Case said the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, had made solid accomplishments in ensuring coverage of up to 40 million previously uninsured people while restricting the ability of health insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
He said the program’s rollout was rough but it should not be jettisoned. Instead, he said it needs to be fixed by giving states more flexibility to adapt to their own unique situations.
Cavasso, who supported Trump’s positions on issues throughout the forum, said Obamacare hurt the country. He said he wants to let doctors design their own system….
Former Democratic Congressman Ed Case and former Republican state Rep. Cam Cavasso were also divided over whether U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono should have told men across the country last week to “shut up and step up” in regards to sexual assault….
SA: Ed Case, Cam Cavasso differ on health care, marijuana
read … Ed Case And Cam Cavasso Far Apart On Kavanaugh Nomination
Doped Up Sovereignty Activist Councilmember Calls Queens Hospital War Criminal or Something
HTH: …Puna Councilwoman Jen Ruggles sent a letter to the CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems stating the state’s largest private employer “may have committed the international crime of genocide against aboriginal Hawaiians.”
The reference line of the Sept. 20 letter to Art Ushijima, sent by registered mail on Hawaii County Council letterhead, reads: “War crimes committed against aboriginal Hawaiians by Queen’s Health Systems.” The alleged war crime is not following the original 1859 charter of then-Queen’s Hospital which provided for free medical care for Native Hawaiians….
(Translation: This is a shakedown.)
Ruggles on Thursday described the letter to Ushijima plus additional letters she told an audience she would send to “every agent in the United States in Hawaii concerning the rights of protected persons” during a town hall meeting Monday…
Because she did that, I believe she’s abdicated her position, de facto, and I think it’s now improper for her to use the County Council letterhead, because she’s doing it under color of the authority of the County Council.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. It’s either one or the other. You can’t object to the legitimacy of something and still operate under the color of it, of the same thing you’re actually objecting to. She’s siding against the legitimacy of the County Council….
Kamelamela, who told Ruggles she’s not allowed to assume her position on the dais during council meetings if she doesn’t vote, said, “Just because somebody said something appears to be a war crime doesn’t make it a war crime.”…
Unsurprisingly, Ruggles’ message has resonated among those who favor Hawaiian sovereignty. An estimated 140, including (convicted mortgage scammer David Keanu) Sai, packed Keaau Community Center Monday for Ruggles’ town hall. In addition, at least 20 residents showed solidarity with Ruggles during a Sept. 5 council meeting, uttering the words, “As a Hawaiian subject, I am a protected person … This body illegally enacts United States laws in violation of the Hague and Geneva conventions, and as a victim of war crimes that stem from this unlawful legislation, I demand that this body immediately cease and desist (so I can rip off some more Hawaiians in my next mortgage scam).” …
Cedric Yamanaka, a spokesman for The Queen’s Health Systems, said the company has no comment….
read … Ruggles: Queen’s may have committed war crimes
Brown Water: Windfarm a ‘Total Calamity’ for Reef -- $25K daily fine?
HNN: …The state Department of Health has issued a brown water advisory at Chun’s Reef in Haleiwa after hundreds of thousands of gallons of runoff spilled into the ocean.
Much of that runoff came from Kawailoa Wind LLC’s new solar farm, which is now under construction.
“This activity is causing and triggering a total calamity to the ocean below," said environmental activist Carroll Cox.
“It covers and suffocates the coral reef.”
Cox filed a complaint with the state Health Department, which is now investigating how the brown water got into the ocean.
Kawailoa Wind blamed the runoff on “an extreme rain event … (that) resulted in a discharge of water from the project site.”
The company does have a permit to discharge the water. But according the state, it could exceed allowable levels and that’s why they’re investigating.
If the company did not have adequate safeguards, it could faces fines of up $25,000 a day….
read … $25,000 per day
'Trust is being built’: Special police unit charged with helping homeless to expand islandwide
HNN: … top brass at HPD are pushing to expand a brand new and innovative unit that deals exclusively with the homeless.
Right now, the unit’s focus is urban Honolulu. The short-term plan: Take it islandwide.
To make that happen, the department is looking to hire 10 new officers.
Instead of just telling campers to move along, they’ll be trained to steer people toward the help they need to stabilize their lives.
“We’re not criminalizing homelessness in any way,” said deputy Chief John McCarthy. “What we’re trying to do is get them the help they need but at the same time maintain public safety.”
Over the summer, HPD launched its Community Outreach Unit….
Currently made up of just four officers, the team responds to complaints at encampments, typically in the urban core. They also work alongside homeless outreach.
“We did expect it to be successful. We definitely didn’t understand how quickly successful it would be,” said Kimo Carvalho, spokesman for the state’s largest homeless service provider, the Institute for Human Services.
He said together the agencies have been able to provide hundreds of people with basic medical care, shelter and drug treatment.
“They’re looking at it as a new experience that’s very tailored to their needs and that’s really where the trust is beginning to be built. That’s also why it’s so effective,” said Carvalho.
McCarthy said expanding the unit will also help other sections in the police department work more efficiently.
“It frees up patrol officers to do what they need to do. Crime enforcement, traffic enforcement, public safety. Things a policeman should be doing,” said McCarthy….
SA: Editorial: Homeless get day in court
read … 'Trust is being built’: Special police unit charged with helping homeless to expand islandwide
Cost of long-delayed Iwilei homeless center skyrockets
HHC: More than two years after Honolulu’s mayor loudly proclaimed that the city was launching a new “state of the art” homeless center in bum-swamped Iwilei, the cost of the showcase facility has already doubled but a completion date remains as elusive as ever.
The mayor’s original price tag for buying and furnishing an existing light industrial building to house the center was $6.3 million. Now, it turns out that remodeling costs alone will be at least a whopping $10 million even before the preordained change order game begins, according to a sign posted right on the front of the building.
And a peek inside suggests the project still has a long way to go….
It’s simply astounding that this costly endeavor has received so little public scrutiny since the mayor made his first fishy splash during his re-election campaign.
Given the state of the homelessness crisis and the constant clamor about the painfully obvious need to make appropriate medical and mental health services more widely available, you’d really think people would want to know more and be regularly updated.
Sometimes this town has such a shallow mindset and short memory.
I’ve harped on this stuff again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again….
read … Cost of long-delayed Iwilei homeless center skyrockets
Avoid becoming a 'poverty paradise'
GPDN: …The welfare of the people should be the primary concern of our government, but based on actions to date: it isn’t. When the cost of everything goes up on a daily basis, and the money to pay for things does not; our lives get smaller. If we’re not careful out little paradise will become the poverty trap the “Hawaiian paradise” has become for their people.
In Hawaii, the cost of living is higher than the cost of living on Guam in every category except gas prices. In Hawaii gas is $2.99 a gallon, but all other essentials of life, rent, food, and utilities are higher than Guam. Under new U.S. Housing and Urban Development calculations that take the cost of housing into account, an Oahu family of four earning up to $83,700 this year is considered "low income," and a single person earning $35,200 a year is considered “extremely low income.”
Guam’s situation is not much better….
read … Avoid becoming a 'poverty paradise'