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Tuesday, December 25, 2018
December 25, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:49 PM :: 1360 Views

How Christmas Came to Hawaii

Al Hee Sues Water Board Because Rail Project Not Rerouted to Protect His Tax Scam

DoT Lets Highway fall into Sea to Push $15B Sea Level Rise Scheme

KHON: …"Since there's been no repairs, the cement slab underneath the asphalt is now giving way. Now we have stress cracks across the whole structure," he said.

He says it's an accident waiting to happen as the highway is always busy.

"An oil tanker passes here once a week and they pretty much drive on the white line, as well as the fire trucks, and emergency crews," Pressley said.

State representative Sean Quinlan has also reached out to state transportation officials.

"They had an inspector on site in August of this year, they agreed 'yes it is a problem,' we've since reported it twice more and nothing has been done as of now," Rep. Quinlan (D) Haleiwa, Kahuku, Hauula, Kaaawa said.

"It kind of makes me wonder, are they going to wait until one of us is driving over it and falls into the ocean before they fix it?" he said.

One resident said there was a beach at this location back in 2009.

This type of situation not just happening here, but its happening statewide.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says they're waiting on an environmental statement that's expected to be released this spring.

"Right now looking at the projected sea level rise, about 15% of our state highways would be threatened," said Shelly Kunishige, spokeswoman for HDOT.

"We're estimating it would cost about $15 billion to move those highways inland or raise them depending on the area they are in," she said.

She says the study in the spring will prioritize how the DOT will look at short and long-term fixes statewide.….

read … Hauula residents say portion of highway is in need of emergency fix

State Hospital overtime raises safety concerns

KITV: …at the Hawaii State Hospital, many of its workers have been calling in sick.

"Currently the hospital is experiencing very high levels of sick leave utilization," said Mark Fridovich, an administrator with the Hawaii Department of Health.

We talked with a pair of the hospital's psychiatric technicians. They didn't want us to use their names because of fears of retaliation at work. They stated this isn't just a problem around Christmas.

"Holidays, any sports events that happen, etc. A lot of state workers have sick leave to take, and it falls on the staff that is already there to cover those shifts," said one of the techs who had been working at the hospital for the past 3 years….

One of the workers explained there has been so much overtime, he doubled his $45,000 salary, and made $90,000 over the past year….

"That takes tax payer money. Each employee has to be paid time and a half. On my shift sometimes there are 4 people on mandatory overtime," add the other tech.

Which is why the hospital paid out $3.9 million in overtime expenses for the past fiscal year

Adding to the staffing problem, workers say investigations take employees off their shifts.
Those who have been accused of abusing patients or violating policies are put on leave until an investigation is over, sometimes for months at a time. There are a few of the current cases that stretch back to summer.  "There are 6 direct care staff on leave pending an investigation and one non-direct care worker. Yes, that contributes to the staffing burden of the hospital," stated Fridovich.

Adding to the problem of workers calling in sick, the hospital is overfilled. It is licensed to hold 202 patients but currently has 205. Those extra patients require even more employees to work their shifts.

There are also 47 positions that still need to be filled, just under 10% of the 666 positions at the hospital….

(That’s more than 3 staff per lunatic.)

Flashback: Hospital Crisis: How to Use Union Work Rules for Fun and Profit

read … State Hospital overtime raises safety concerns

Soft on Crime: Kahaluu Shooter 54 arrests, 20 convictions in 23 years—But he’s out on the street to do it again

HNN: … Bronson K. Gouveia, 41, is accused of shooting his girlfriend around 1 p.m. Sunday at a Kahaluu home….

Police said Gouveia fled the scene in a 2008 silver BMW sedan with license plates EF134 and a sticker on the rear passenger window that says “Murder 187.”…

Sources say drugs and weapons were found inside the Kahaluu home where he was staying.

Gouveia has 54 prior arrests, about half of those are felonies, and more than 20 convictions….  (41-18=23/54 = more than 2 arrests and nearly one conviction per year as adult.  But somehow this guy is out on the streets driving a beemer.)

read … Convicted felon accused of shooting girlfriend in Kahaluu remains at large

Soft on Crime: Maui Man Shot by Police had Long Criminal Record, Little Jail Time 

MN: … According to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Reinhardt’s criminal history dates to 2012 and includes convictions for violating a temporary restraining order, attempted first-degree criminal property damage, resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, reckless driving, second-degree burglary, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, theft of a credit card, abuse and second-degree terroristic threatening.

Reinhardt was arrested in 2015 after driving a stolen vehicle from Lahaina to Kahului at speeds of 60 to 100 mph while trying to evade police. When the truck got into a minor accident and ran out of gas on Papa Place in Kahului, Reinhardt ran before he was apprehended by police.

In September, he was sentenced to four years’ probation and a one-year jail term for breaking into his girlfriend’s car and violating a court order for protection. He was released early from jail Sept. 17 to enter a long-term residential substance abuse treatment program on Oahu. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued Oct. 2 after he reportedly failed to complete the program and didn’t inform his probation officer of his whereabouts….

Kaulana “Toji” Reinhardt, 26, who had crashed a stolen red Toyota Tacoma truck in the front yard of a house, appeared to be complying with officers’ orders before he reached for the handgun while struggling with an officer, Faaumu said.

“That’s what caused the officers to fire,” Faaumu said Monday after he was briefed on the preliminary investigation into the shooting. “The officers’ actions were justified.”…

read … Soft on Crime

Church domes in Kahaluu provide sanctuary for homeless single mothers

SA: … To Shana Alvarado, 42, and her children, their dome represents their first real home in years and a chance for a fresh start.

A year ago today Alva­rado was addicted to drugs, living in Crane Community Park in Moiliili, and her children were taken away on Christmas Day.

“That was the worst Christmas ever when my kids got taken,” the mother of five said Saturday as Justin, 9, and La‘uanna, 5, opened presents donated to the Institute for Human Serv­ices. Three of her other children are living on the mainland.

Alvarado said she’s been clean and sober for nearly a year after she lost her children….

The Shelter is aimed at a specific homeless demographic: single mothers with up to four children who must be clean and sober and able to pay rent of $200 a month, which in some cases comes from welfare payments or minimum- wage jobs.

No adult males are allowed. The families must adhere to faith-based rules, attend religious services and undergo case management by IHS social workers to address issues from financial literacy to child rearing.

The first family moved into The Shelter on Dec. 8. Two women with babies who spent their first night at The Shelter on Friday had just moved out of a domestic violence shelter in Kailua.

By Saturday seven mothers and their children were still settling into their new domed homes, and two more families were en route.

The plan is to have families stay no longer than nine months to give them a goal to recalibrate and better prepare them for the next stage of their lives.

Two of the 12 domes are divided into bathrooms with showers. Another is used for the on-site resident manager….

Kailani Meheula, 43, and her daughter, Kailee-Love, 4, love their new home at The Shelter.

Meheula bounced around for about a year, had to drop out of nursing school and ended up either living in her Toyota Sienna van or sleeping in a tent at Koolau Regional Park using camping permits….

read … Church domes in Kahaluu provide sanctuary for homeless single mothers

Hawaii officially down to one refinery

PBN: … In line with the findings of the Hawaii Refinery Task Force's interim report from November 2013, one of the state's two refineries has, as predicted, officially ceased its refining operations before the year 2020.

Par Pacific Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PARR), the Houston-based parent of Par Hawaii Inc., said last week that it has successfully closed its acquisition of certain refining assets from an affiliate of Island Energy Services LLC.

IES, which purchased Chevron's Hawaii assets for close to $120 million in 2016, announced in August that it would cease its refining operations and convert to a terminal, focusing on logistics and retail operations….

read … Hawaii officially down to one refinery

Anti-Frackers Fail to Squelch Gas Co Rate Hike

IM: … Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission Decision and Order re Gas Company Rate Case, Docket No. 2017-0105, dated December 21, 2018, posted on Christmas Eve.

"To reiterate, the second sentence of HRS 269-6(b) states that "[i]n making determinations of the reasonableness of the cost of utility system capital improvements and operations, the commission shall explicitly consider, quantitatively or qualitatively, the effect of the State's reliance on fossil fuels on price volatility, export of funds for fuel imports, fuel supply reliability risk, and greenhouse gas emissions."

"Here, upon explicit consideration, weighing, and balancing of the four specified criteria (price volatility, fuel supply reliability risk, export of funds for fuel imports, and greenhouse gas emissions) the commission finds reasonable Hawaii Gas' 2018 Test Year LNG utility system capital improvements and operations costs."

"Accordingly, the commission declines to disallow Hawaii Gas' 2018 Test Year LNG costs." ….

read … Anti-Frackers Fail to Squelch Gas Co Rate Hike

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