How Much Does Over-Regulation Increase Hawaii Housing Costs?
Laughed out of Court: Criminal Al Hee's Scam Company Loses Again
Iowa: Gabbard Spending Campaign Cash on 2020 Presidential Run
CB: … You might think U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard had a stiff Republican challenge in the upcoming general election given the way she’s spending her campaign money.
But the Hawaii congresswoman doesn’t seem to be focusing much on her actual re-election campaign. Instead, she seems intent on increasing her national profile. Politico, a national news website, has reported she is considering running for president.
So far this election cycle the Hawaii congresswoman reported spending nearly $1.3 million despite the fact she’s all but assured a victory in the general election….
Gabbard’s latest quarterly filing to the Federal Election Commission shows she spent more than $255,000 from July 23 to Sept. 30, more than any previous quarter in the current election cycle….
According to her FEC filings, she spent money traveling to Iowa, where any politician serious about a presidential campaign has to establish a presence because of the state’s early caucuses. Gabbard has been to Iowa at least twice this year, in September and in October….
read … Gabbard Spending A Lot Of Campaign Cash, But Not All Of It In Hawaii
Ige, Tupola disagree on how to bolster funding for education
HNN: …Rep. Andria Tupola, says she voted to put the amendment on the ballot so voters could weigh in but she had concerns.
“I voted for with reservations. I stood up against the fact that taxation without the definition of investment was problematic. I also spoke out that I would not support any more money going toward the department,” she said.
If elected governor, she thinks the DOE’s $2 billion budget might need to be cut from the top to provide more at the school level….
“We have ineffective and inefficient departments. We need to get to the root of the problem before we dump more money into a department that is historically producing at a very low rate,” Tupola said.
Ige countered, “I think she (Tupola) doesn’t have full understanding of of the DOE’s budget. It is predominantly personnel costs….”
Tupola opposes simply giving more money to the DOE. She favors more equity for charter schools and wants to better utilize existing facilities….
read … Ige, Tupola disagree on how to bolster funding for education
First day at the new Kihei Charter School campus-- While Kihei HS remains a vacant lot
MN: Kihei Charter School students and staff could hardly contain their excitement as classes began Tuesday for the first time at their long-awaited new campus at the top of the Maui Research & Technology Park….
The school held an orientation day Monday afternoon for hundreds of parents and students so they could find their new classrooms and explore the nearly 3-acre property. On Tuesday, about 400 kindergarden, elementary and high school students attended their first classes, while another 250 middle schoolers will join in today….
Zarro, who has worked for years on the new campus, said Tuesday’s opening went “surprisingly smooth” as students navigated the 68,000-square-feet of space in their new building that includes another 9,000-square-feet of commercial space. The property is more than double the school’s previous classroom space across various locations….
The $18.6 million campus was made possible by a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program….
She said “atmosphere is everything with kids” and that the bright, cool and clean classrooms have kept the students feeling good.
“Just to have a clean slate and air conditioning and windows,” she said…..
MN: While Kihei HS remains a vacant lot
read … First day at the new Kihei Charter School campus
ACLU: DoE Bullying Policy Doesn’t Do Enough for Gay Recruitment
SA: …the approach recently proposed by the state Board of Education (BOE) — and supported by the Star-Advertiser editorial board — is not the right one.
The BOE’s proposal would designate bullying — both physical and verbal — as a “Class A violation,” which is the worst category for school infractions and includes things like homicide. This proposal to put bullying in the same category goes way too far. As a former high school math teacher, I wish it were that easy to change students’ behavior. The reality is that heavily punitive policies fail both the bullied and the bullies….
If this proposal passes, and bullying becomes a Class A violation without schools addressing its causes, then we are sending a message to students and teachers alike that we choose punishment over learning opportunities. The concern is that schools will substitute suspensions for in-school interventions that are more difficult to implement and measure, but have better long-term outcomes….
heavy-handed suspension policies do not account for factors that give rise to bullying behavior, such as school climate, poverty and trauma. Worse, they actively marginalize students, resulting in negative outcomes including poor grades, increased dropout rates and more interaction with the criminal justice system.
In Hawaii, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and students with disabilities are punished more often and more harshly than other groups…
IM: Newspaper report of DOE policy change on bullying was woefully inadequate
Related: Gay Bullying Policy: DoE Sets Public Hearings
read … DOE’s bullying policy won’t work
Kamehameha pays $65 million as part of settlement for One Homosexual Child Molester
SA: …Kamehameha Schools has taken a major step to close one of the most tumultuous chapters in its long and storied history, paying $65 million to 32 plaintiffs who sued the institution for the sexual abuse they suffered decades ago at the hands of a psychiatric consultant.
The payment was made Monday as part of an $80 million settlement of a 2016 lawsuit the men filed against Kamehameha, St. Francis Medical Center and the estate of Dr. Robert Browne, whom the plaintiffs accused of sexually abusing them from the late 1950s to the early 1980s when they were boys. Most were students at Kamehameha at the time and typically were 12 or 13 when the abuse started.
Browne, (a well known liberal activist and board member of Hawaii ACLU), killed himself behind his Manoa home in 1991 shortly after one of the former students confronted him about the past abuse….
read … One Homosexual Child Molester--32 victims
The Strange Legislative Path Of The ConAm Bill
CB: Only two public hearings were held during the entire process, one in the Senate with three days’ notice and another in the House with two days’ notice.…Nowhere in the public record of testimony does there seem to be any input from the Attorney General’s office….
The House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Scott Nishimoto did not review or vote on this measure….
Neither the Senate Ways and Means Committee nor the House Finance Committee reviewed or voted on the measure….
all Republicans in the House while acknowledging “reservations,” ultimately were counted as “yes” votes….
Except for Sen. Gil Riviere, no other member of the House or Senate voted in opposition to the proposal….
KITV: The state's first igloo dome shelters open to help Hawaii's homeless
read … The Strange Legislative Path Of The ConAm Bill
‘Showboat Politicking’ Keeps Homeless on the Streets
SA: …Guided by an action plan for tackling homelessness, drafted in 2013, the city has launched several initiatives aimed at increasing the inventory of affordable housing and — for the past three years — established Housing First programs, which don’t require hard-core homeless individuals to demonstrate they’re “house ready” before placement….
As the effort continues, with hefty funding and city resources allocated, progress hinges on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration working effectively in tandem with the City Council. It’s worrisome, then, that the recent handling of two bills that make it illegal to obstruct city sidewalks and to “lodge” on public property serve as an example of working at unintended cross-purposes, at best, or showboat politicking, at worst….
Earlier this month, before passing Bills 51 and 52 on Oct. 3, the Council’s Public Works Committee Chairwoman Carol Fukunaga inserted language that states the city cannot begin enforcement of the new laws until the Council first approves, via resolution, an updated homeless action plan.
Pointing to park sweeps in recent years that often appear to result in encampments simply moving to another park, some Council members have argued that not enough is being done to combat homelessness. Such frustration is understandable, but the move to delay enforcement of the new laws is misguided.
Some Council members apparently first want the Caldwell administration to provide a comprehensive long-term vision for each district. What’s readily available is an evolving vision that started taking shape last five years ago, when the city targeted drastically reducing homelessness as a top priority. The action plan is serviceable, not perfect.
While contending with the thorny issue of homelessness, city leaders cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
It’s also worth noting that with regards to short-term vision, Council members, too, could provide better clarity.
In 2016 the Council approved a capital improvements budget through which $2 million apiece was tagged for the nine Council districts under the heading “community revitalization initiative.” The funds were to be used for community- and homeless-focused projects ranging from land acquisition to renovation of facilities for urban rest stops. How was that money spent? There has yet to be a comprehensive update.….
read … City must act on homeless plans
Diminished Hawaii Republicans aim to incrementally rebuild—May Win One Seat
AP: …Val Okimoto, a mother of two, may be the Republican Party’s best hope in Democrat-dominant Hawaii.
The former special education teacher is spending long days knocking on doors in the suburban Honolulu town of Mililani, listening to voters fret about the high cost of living and their rising expenses. She believes they’re ready to elect someone like her to the state House. “There’s been a disconnect between the people who represent us and what I call ‘us normal people’ that live in the community,” Okimoto said in a recent interview….
Bob McDermott, a Republican state representative from suburban Ewa Beach, says the future of the party lies in socially conservative voters in suburbs and rural areas west of Honolulu. But, he said, the party has to find candidates that match the demographics of their district.
Ostrov said the party has pulled in a broad cross-section of Hawaii’s people.
“This is not your Hawaii Republican Party of yesterday. It’s a very diverse party. It represents all demographics of our islands,” said Ostrov, who is Filipino. She notes its 17-member executive committee includes a Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, African-American and Caucasian.
Okimoto, who is seeking a vacant state House seat, is part Filipino, Japanese and Caucasian. She grew up on the island of Kauai and believes her background as a teacher resonates with voters.
Okimoto is opposed to “excessive taxation” and is pro-life. She supports the rights of gay people, but opposes redefining marriage….
Ostrov said the party’s strategy toward winning is simply logical and pragmatic.
“What the Republican Party is focused on is making incremental changes in order to provide the state of Hawaii a choice, in that we would provide a viable two-party system,” Ostrov said….
read … Diminished Hawaii Republicans aim to incrementally rebuild
Crabbe Operatives Point Finger at Akana
SA: …Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Rowena Akana intimidated, harassed and threatened OHA staff members while pushing the envelope in the use of her trustee allowance, according to current and former OHA employees.
The employees testified Monday during the first day of a state Ethics Commission contested case hearing accusing Akana of abusing her allowance, among other things.
“There was a pattern of trying to get away with questionable spending when a prudent person wouldn’t,” former OHA Chief Financial Officer Hawley Iona told the five-member commission in Honolulu….
Akana faces a fine of at least $50,000 after being named in a 50-count violation of the Hawaii State Ethics Code, including infractions of the state’s Gifts Law, Gifts Reporting Law and Fair Treatment Law.
The charges accuse Akana of accepting a $72,000 cash gift to help pay for legal fees and for using her trustee allowance to buy home cable television services, an Apple iTunes gift card and dozens of other disallowed expenditures.
“Akana would harass, threaten and retaliate against OHA staff who questioned her spending,” Daniel Gluck, Ethics Commission executive director, said in his opening argument.
“The evidence will show dozens of instances in which respondent Akana used her position to buy unwarranted benefits to her and others,” he said.
OHA Controller Gloria Li spent much of the morning verifying the details of disallowed expenditures by Akana.
Li also testified that communication with Akana was “pretty difficult” when discussing her spending limits, and there were instances when staff members felt intimidated.
Iona, the former CFO, said most of her interactions with Akana were “very accusatory.”
“It was not uncommon for trustee Akana to question my skills and abilities in an open board meeting,” she said.
At one point Akana sent a memo to Iona, CEO Kamana‘opono Crabbe and two other OHA leaders, threatening to file a lawsuit for not providing information she was asking for. The memo said they would be named as individuals in the suit.
Iona resigned after the 2016 election when it appeared Akana would ascend to the OHA chairmanship. That’s what happened, but her tenure lasted only a few months until her support among board members vanished.
During his opening statement, Akana’s attorney, Stephen Tannenbaum, conceded that his client can be aggressive.
“Trustee Akana, as you heard, can be somewhat of a bulldog. She can be very, very strongly spoken and outspoken. And that is why she has been re-elected, because her constituents believe she stands up for their rights in a manner that maybe other people don’t,” he said….
read … Rowena Akana bullied her way to violating law, OHA employees say
Kealoha ‘Sickness’ Used as Excuse to Delay Trial
CB: … A federal magistrate on Tuesday granted Katherine Kealoha’s request to delay her Nov. 14 bank fraud trial because she is suffering from a medical condition that would prevent her from fully participating in her defense (but not from fully participating in sex romps with a big island firefighter.).
U.S. Magistrate Richard Puglisi granted the request to delay the start of the first of two trials involving the former assistant prosecutor and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, until at least February.
He said he did so after reviewing 43 pages of Katherine Kealoha’s medical records and determining there was evidence to justify delaying the trial for now. Puglisi sealed reports on her medical condition….
SA: Kealoha trial delayed after review of Katherine’s medical records
read … Kealohas’ Bank Fraud Trial Delayed Until 2019
Should Unlicensed Airbnbs On Maui Face A $20,000 Fine?
CB: …A measure on Maui ballots in November would increase from the current $1,000 to up to $20,000 the amount a person could be fined for operating a short-term rental without a permit.
And that’s just for starters. The measure would also impose a $10,000 fine for each day the illegal rental persists. The measure also would apply to Lanai and Molokai….
Airbnb has stayed out of the fray on the proposed charter amendment….
Tom Croly, a board member of the Maui Vacation Rental Association, said the organization doesn’t oppose the measure, but he questions whether it will do much to prevent vacation rentals without permits.
“This is a measure that it destined to be ineffective,” he said. The issue is that Maui can already fine people $1,000 a day, Croly said, but doesn’t enforce the ordinance.
“They can make the fine a million dollars, and it won’t matter,” he said….\
(Wrong. The higher the risk, the fewer will take it.)
read … Should Unlicensed Airbnbs On Maui Face A $20,000 Fine?
Eco Religion: Pilgrims are ruining dolphins' sex lives
FOX: …A study by Murdoch University found that dolphins that spend too much time around
tourists (worshippers) have trouble mating and resting, which could expose them to serious harm….
The research examined the impact of human interaction with Hawaiian spinner dolphins, which are sought out on a daily basis by tourists looking for close-up encounters.
“Throughout the day, spinner dolphins are repeatedly approached by
kayakers, swimmers and vessels (supplicants seeking their blessing) inside and outside their preferred resting habitats,” the study observed.
Being a hugely popular tourist attraction, the researchers found that dolphins spend around 82 percent of their time around
The problem is, popular times to visit are when the animals would normally be enjoying downtime — and it’s causing their behaviors to change.
“Spinner dolphins in Hawaii exist in small, genetically isolated populations with restricted ranges and have evolved a constrained behavioral pattern,” study lead Julian Tyne explained.
“They cooperatively forage offshore at night and return to sheltered bays to socialize and rest during the day.”
These behaviors allow the animals to maximize their foraging efficiency while avoiding predators during times when they rest and recover.
But high levels of human activity impact these habits, as well as mating opportunities, which could lead to catastrophic consequences for dolphin pods….
Reality: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion
read … Humans are ruining dolphins' sex lives