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Wednesday, July 31, 2019
July 31, 2019 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:06 PM :: 1267 Views

Pro-Telescope Rally Set for Thursday

DLNR Extends Telescope Permit--Ige Cancels 'Emergency'

Lassner: My Biggest Concern--'The Fabric of the University'

Ige Appoints Clayton Hee to Hawaii Paroling Authority

Tourist Arrivals Up--Spending Down

Climate Commission Outlines Plan to Seize Shoreline Real Estate if Hurricane Hits

National Parents Day Honors Bob and Utu McDermott

Big Island District Court: JSC Nominates Six

Scientists Report Missed Opportunities, Equipment Near Failure as a Result of TMT Protest

HPR: … The telescopes on Mauna Kea are billion-dollar instruments that require daily maintenance to stay in good working order. As access restrictions continue for a third week, many are developing serious problems….

Their billion-dollar telescopes normally require daily maintenance, especially the replenishment of liquid nitrogen coolant.

Under normal conditions, maintenance technicians ascend to the summit daily to check on instruments and perform repairs as needed. But for almost two weeks, no crews had access to the summit….

Critical maintenance issues led state officials to work out an ad hoc agreement with protesters to allow limited access for repair teams. John O’Meara, Chief Scientist with the W.M. Keck Observatory, said when his technicians finally arrived on Monday, they were less than two days from a catastrophic failure.

There have also been loses of knowledge. O’Meara said that several complex observations, involving stations around the globe and in space, have had to be called off due to access issues on Mauna Kea.

“There are a number of observations that will not be possible ever again. They were single moments in time that were coordinated between observatories on the ground and in space, and those moments will never happen again. That science will simply never get done.”

He cited transient events like supernovae, exoplanets transiting their star, and even asteroid flybys like the high profile discovery of the first recorded extrasolar visitor to our solar system in 2017….

O’Meara worries that if the situation drags on, a serious equipment failure will be hard to avoid.

“We’re very concerned that we’re one power failure away from something serious.”…

read … Scientists Report Missed Opportunities, Equipment Near Failure as a Result of TMT Protest

Josh Green: Anti-Telescope Protests to be Redirected to FedWreck?

CBL … One essential, cited by all the mediators, is to engage the protesters and other segments of the community directly in negotiations in a way that gives them a real say in crafting potential solutions. Another is a willingness to discuss the broader issues behind the conflict. A third is patience — there are no easy deals to be cut.  …

Intertwined with the TMT fight is the broader push for Hawaiian sovereignty and concerns about the unjust treatment of Hawaii’s native people.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green alluded to that when he visited Mauna Kea during the first days of the protest, citing the need for a “grand reconciliation” with Native Hawaiian culture. Part of that might include the state providing stronger support for federal recognition or providing more housing lots for Native Hawaiians, he suggested.

Leaders of the Mauna Kea protests have also brought up disproportionate incarceration of Native Hawaiians, loss of water rights, the long wait list for homesteads and other issues.  …

Reality: OHA Anti-Telescope Activism Begins With Rejection of Cayetano-Era 'Settlement'

read … Do Negotiations Offer A Way Forward On Mauna Kea?

Rain, Wind Blows Protesters Off Mountain

SA: …With two hurricanes approaching Hawaii, the activists blocking construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope say they are prepared to evacuate their blocking positions on Mauna Kea Access Road if the weather danger becomes too great.

Kaho‘okahi Kanuha, one of the leaders of the Mauna Kea protests, said the protesters are monitoring the storms closely and receiving hourly updates, and “ultimately, we’re not trying to sacrifice the safety of anybody. We’re going to make the decision that’s in the best interest of the safety of our people.” …

With a brisk, cold wind and rain soaking the puuhonua established at Puu Huluhulu, attendance at the protest site dropped significantly Tuesday. The noontime gathering and cere­­mony on Mauna Kea Access Road that has attracted more than 2,000 participants on busy days dropped to only about 350 people.

Kanuha acknowledged that if the protesters vacate the sites they control near the base of the Mauna Kea Access Road because of the weather threat, that could provide an opening for the state to move construction equipment up to the summit.

HTH: Two hurricanes continue approach toward islands

read … Activists on Mauna Kea say they will evacuate if weather turns perilous

Hawaii: A glut of the inept, the venal and the special-interest pleaders

Cataluna: …   Back in 1959, as Hawaii was looking ahead to decades of promise and progress, this newspaper ran a rather dour editorial saying that a healthy future required strong, earnest leadership:

“As a citizen, you are under no obligation to run for public office. But it is an act of good citizenship for a person to do so if he sincerely feels that he is qualified and is able to serve. The quality of government depends entirely upon the quality of the men and women who seek public office. If public service is left to the inept, venal, the special interest pleaders, we may expect government which is inept, venal or dominated by special interests.”

Hawaii is still a beautiful place, home to hardworking, earnest people, but if there’s one thing to point to as the root of current ills, it is a lack of strong leadership or the glut of the inept, the venal and the special-interest pleaders. …

read … Good leadership is an act of citizenship

Lawyer Switch Pays Off--New Trial Dates Set For Kealoha Cases

CB: … It’s official. Katherine Kealoha will not go to trial again until January 2020, as her new court-appointed attorney needs more time to get up to speed.

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for the former deputy city prosecutor and her co-defendants — her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and her younger brother, Rudolph Puana — in the two upcoming federal criminal cases agreed on new dates.

The trial for the bank fraud and identity theft charges that Katherine and Louis Kealoha is now scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020, instead of October this year. That pushes back the subsequent trial involving drug trafficking charges against Katherine Kealoha and Puana to May 5, 2020, instead of March….

read … New Trial Dates Set For Kealoha Cases

Feds: Hawaii Still Coming Up Short In Meeting Special Education Needs

CB: … The Hawaii Department of Education, for the fifth year in a row, has fallen short of meeting requirements of a federal law governing special education services for school-aged children with disabilities.

The DOE needs assistance implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act based on its annual performance report, according to a June 20 letter from the U.S. DOE’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to Hawaii School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

The designation means Hawaii requires technical assistance to improve performance results for children with disabilities. In January, a monitoring and support team from a federal office visited the state to offer support in boosting math and reading outcomes for special ed students and making Hawaii’s state improvement plan more effective….

read … Feds: Hawaii Still Coming Up Short In Meeting Special Education Needs

HMSA pay plan: A single patient with an acute chronic disease could derail a small practice

SA: … Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) — the state’s largest health care insurer, controlling about 70% of the commercial market — conducted a 2016-17 pilot initiative through which it changed how it pays primary care physicians (PCPs).

In place of the conventional fee-for-service model, it offered “payment transformation,” a monthly per-patient flat-rate, along with extra money for the sickest patients and incentives for doctors to meet certain quality standards….

The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this month published a study based on data from the pilot year, in which HMSA partnered with 107 doctors on Oahu and Maui. Led by researchers tied to the University of Pennsylvania, the study noted “small improvements in quality and a reduction in PCP visits.”…

As the insurer is now about midway through a full transition to the flat-fee model, with the move expected to wrap up in 2020-21, it’s clear that more scrutiny is needed. In addressing total cost of care, the study in JAMA found no significant difference in the total cost of care, and noted additional research should size up a larger-scale implementation….

The flat-fee model is touted as an effort that more effectively links health care costs to value rather than volume. However, generally, the more patients a doctor has, the money he or she gets. The average monthly payment is $24 per patient.

For doctors in high-volume offices that employ care teams as well as technology and innovation to coordinate care for patients, the switch can be liberating, HMSA says. No longer looking to fee-for-services billings to make financial ends meet, those physicians can focus on the sicker patients while deferring routine care and paperwork to other qualified team members.

Conversely, the model could bring trouble to practices with lower patient counts that cannot afford to pay for a care team. The Hawaii Medical Association, which opposes the capitation approach, points out that, due to insurer-imposed payment caps, a single patient with an acute chronic disease could derail a small practice….

read … HMSA pay plan needs refining

Hawaii ranks 3rd highest in per-person public health spending

SOR: … Hawaii ranks third in the nation in per-person state spending on public health, according to data compiled by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC). Hawaii spent $112 per-person in public health spending in 2017, trailing only behind Alaska ($114) and Washington D.C. ($139)….

SA:  Native Hawaiians and Filipinos at high risk of preterm births

read … Hawaii ranks 3rd highest in per-person public health spending

US Surgeon General: Hawaii’s homeless crisis won’t be solved with housing alone

HNN: … Dr. Jerome Adams says problems in the islands go much deeper than a lack of housing.

Many times, the root cause of a person’s homelessness has to do with drugs, a mental health issue ― or both. Adams says if the state doesn’t do more to beef up its behavioral health resources, the problem is only going to get worse.

For years, local government has touted “housing first” as the answer to Hawaii’s homeless crisis.

The program’s goal is to move a person off the street and into someplace permanent as quickly as possible then provide support as needed.

But oftentimes that level of help isn’t readily available.

“We aren’t simply going to fix their problem by giving them housing if we aren’t also treating those behavioral health issues,” said Adams.

On Tuesday, Adams met with Hawaii’s top health officials. While he agrees housing is key, he says it’s not enough.

“I think the challenge there comes in that if we give people housing but we don’t address all these other issues we’ll never be able to provide enough housing to meet the need,” said Adams.

State Director of Health Bruce Anderson said the state’s shortage of behavioral health resources only gets worse the farther you are from Oahu.

“If people are in crisis, they have to put them on an airplane and send them to Honolulu for stabilization which costs upwards of $20,000 every time that happens,” Anderson said.

He says the state is in desperate need of about 230 short-term stabilization beds for people with substance abuse and mental health problems.

“Right now everyone’s going to the emergency room," he said.

The Health Department is currently accepting proposals from several agencies in hopes of bringing more beds online sometime next year….

July 23, 2019: Sylvia Luke Blocks Program to Get Mentally Ill Homeless off Street

read … US Surgeon General: Hawaii’s homeless crisis won’t be solved with housing alone

Election Officials Announce Voting by Mail

KHON: … The Office of Elections and the County Clerks of Hawaii have sent out postcards to voters confirming their voter registration and announcing the transition to voting by mail beginning with the 2020 Elections.

The postcard is part of an ongoing effort to maintain the accuracy and integrity of Hawaii’s voter registration rolls. Election officials are asking that the postcard be returned to the Clerk’s Office if a recipient no longer resides or receives mail at that address.

Voter list maintenance is conducted in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Over 760,000 Hawaii residents are registered to vote, however, approximately 10% of these voters are inactive due to outdated addresses.

Check your voter registration status and learn more about voting by mail online at elections.hawaii.gov. …

read … Election Officials Announce Voting by Mail

Suspect in Monday’s shooting on parole for another attempted murder case

KHON: …Records show that the suspect, 47-year-old Tony Souza, was out on parole after getting convicted of attempted murder.

Souza was a teenager when he stabbed another man. Records show he violated his parole a couple of times even before Monday’s shooting.

HPD says six plainclothes officers went to the house on Alta Street acting on a tip that a suspect in a credit card fraud case might have been there. Three officers went inside and when one of them entered a bedroom, a man came out of a closet and fired his gun.

“Before the officer had the chance to react the suspect fired at and struck the officer. The suspect, who was not the male the officers were looking for, then ran out of the room, pointed his gun at a second officer, who fired at and struck the suspect,” said HPD Chief Susan Ballard.

Chief Ballard says the injured officer was hit in his hand and his chest by a single bullet. He’s in critical but stable condition….

Records show that Souza was convicted of attempted murder in April 1990.

Reports from HPD show that when he was 17 years old, Souza stabbed a man in the throat for no reason, then punched him in the face and stabbed him again. He then tried to run the victim over before driving off.

Souza was sentenced to life in prison but was paroled in 1998. Parole was revoked in July 1999 after he was found guilty of abusing a family member. He was paroled again in December 2002, and back in prison in June 2003 for resisting arrest. He was last released in October 2016….

read … Suspect in Monday’s shooting on parole for another attempted murder case

Gabbard’s big night is Aug 28

SA: … a bigger night for the Hawaii congresswoman may be Aug. 28, which is the last day she can accrue the required 2% polling standing and 130,000 unique donors to qualify for Round 3….

SA: Tulsi Gabbard’s debate performance could be crucial for her presidential run

read … Goodnight

Telescope News (cavalcade of celebrutards): 

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