Cooling the Schools: The Reality
Legislative Agenda: HPD Wants 5-Round Magazine Limit
Pro-Telescope Rallies Set
We’ve had 30 years of “visionary” city leadership, and where has that gotten us?
Cataluna: …They’re already posturing and promising, all those folks gearing up for the popularity pageant that is the race for Honolulu mayor….
What Oahu needs is a mayor who is going to just be mayor, just one time, and spend no effort dreaming up signature projects or resume-fillers in hope of a second term or ascending to the governorship or Congress. The city needs someone who will make sure the trash gets picked up and the parks are clean and that decent mind-their-own-business citizens don’t fall victim to crime.
We’ve had 30 years of “visionary” city leadership, and where has that gotten us? Roving homeless camps, high-dollar projects that never get finished, an understaffed police force, federal subpoenas … It’s time for the focus to change from photo ops and “first in the nation” speeches to just making sure the city runs right….
Politics has become less about ability and more about ambition, less about actual achievement and more about image. If Honolulu’s next mayor didn’t want the “status” of the job and treated it like any other gritty, unglamorous, unappreciated but honorable civic duty, that person might make this city make sense again….
Shapiro: Words of wisdom to help our leaders navigate new year
read … Single-term mayor could achieve proper focus
Kim to meet with governor, TMT officials this week
HTH: … Kim said he will have discussions with various parties throughout next week about the next step.
“We’re in a holding pattern right now,” Perez said. “We’re waiting for TMT to see what they’re going to do next.”
The protesters’ main tent — called the kupuna tent, because it houses the protest’s elders, or kupuna — remains occupied, Perez said, with people ready to reoccupy the road should there be a sign that TMT will attempt to ascend the mountain.
Perez and the other protest leaders have stated they will not leave their posts until TMT abandons its plans to build on Maunakea, which the protesters consider sacred. However, Kim is likewise adamant that some arrangement can still be made that satisfies all parties.
“We have to take the opportunity of this quiet period to figure something out,” Kim said. “We can’t go back to how it was before.”
As to the form of that arrangement, Kim said discussions are still ongoing. The mayor will meet with Gov. David Ige on Monday and with TMT representatives later this week to discuss their options….
read … Kim to meet with governor, TMT officials this week
Hawaii population decline could have big economic effects
AP: … Nearly 70,000 people moved to the islands between 2013 and 2017, including 54,000 from the U.S. mainland. The figure does not include military personnel and their families.
An additional 15,000 people moved to Hawaii from foreign countries, mainly from Japan and the Philippines, the report said.
But the analysis found that over the same period, nearly 62,000 people moved away from the state.
The population decline could have significant economic effects for the labor force, business development and government services, state officials said.
The migration outflow and a declining birth rate have reduced the state’s population, Hawaii Chief Economist Eugene Tian said….
The largest migrant group was young adults and those of prime working age — people between 18 and 34.
The report also noted a significant number of people moving out of the state — two out of three — were born outside Hawaii.
The likelihood of Hawaii residents leaving increased with education. Residents with a master’s degree or higher education had a greater propensity to move than those with a high school diploma or less, the report said….
Background: DBEDT: Hawaii Losing 13,200 Civilians Per Year
read … Hawaii population decline could have big economic effects
New law on reporting inmate deaths exposes alleged prison homicide
SA: … A new law that requires prison officials to report to the governor each time an inmate dies in custody has already revealed the case of a prisoner who died on Christmas morning after being assaulted at Oahu Community Correctional Center. Prison officials did not publicly announce the death, which was noted in state reports obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The reports also show the state Department of Public Safety, which operates the Hawaii prison system, is withholding key information from the mandated reports on inmates who die in state prisons and jails. Those reports are required under Act 234, which the state Legislature passed and Gov. David Ige signed into law last year.
The first dozen inmate death reports under Act 234 were released to the Star-Advertiser Thursday by House Speaker Scott Saiki’s office, but prison officials redacted almost all details from the documents such as the names, ages and gender of the inmates who died. Some of the reports do not list even a tentative cause of death.
But in one surprising revelation, a report filed with the governor on Dec. 26 describes the death of a prisoner on Christmas day in a case that Honolulu police “initially classified as a homicide resulting from an inmate on inmate assault that occurred at OCCC on November 19, 2019.”
A review of recent news releases issued by the Public Safety department shows the prison system did not publicly announce either the OCCC attack in November or the death more than a week ago of one of the inmates involved.
Nishihara said he believes the attorney general’s office has been “complicit” in the withholding of information by the public safety department. “The way they cover it up, they say, ‘We can’t give you that and we can’t give you this,’ and so you really don’t know anything. They keep you in the dark,” he said.….
The reports deal with nine inmate deaths that occurred from Aug. 1 to Christmas Day. Four reports indicate the inmates died of pre-existing medical conditions, another from cardiac arrest, and one related to the OCCC assault. No cause of death is shown for the other cases….
SA: Strengthen law on inmate deaths
read … New law on reporting inmate deaths exposes alleged prison homicide
Hawaii County Herbicide ban not a sure thing yet
WHT: … While the County Council had voted 6-3 to approve Bill 101 — the same number of affirmative votes needed to override Mayor Harry Kim’s veto — there’s no guarantee all six council members who previously voted yes on the bill will also agree to override the veto….
Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz had voted “kanalua yes,” or yes with reservations on the bill. She spent Friday meeting with, among others, Beyond Pesticides, the nonprofit that brought the bill to the county, and Kim.
Kierkiewicz was playing her cards close to the vest when asked Friday about her vote, saying she looks forward to a “robust discussion.”…
Bill 101, sponsored by Kona Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas, would, over a four-year period, prohibit the use of Roundup and 22 other weedkillers in parks and alongside roads, bike-ways, sidewalks, trails, drainage-ways and waterways owned or maintained by the county….
The administration has brought back former Highway Division Chief Stanley Nakasone on an 89-day contract to help oversee the process of weaning the county off herbicides, whether or not the veto is overridden. Nakasone, who retired in 2013 after 45 years at the Department of Public Works, had a $10,000-per-month contract in 2017 as a Civil Defense emergency response trainer.
The latest contract pays him $60 an hour for a maximum of 19 hours a week, according to the Department of Human Resources….
read … Herbicide ban not a sure thing yet
‘Solution’ to Affordable Housing? Spend lots of Property Tax Dollars
WHT: … Resolution 431, sponsored by Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz, advocates a multi-pronged approach to significantly expand affordable housing opportunities, including the creation of an affordable housing fund, the establishment of a county housing coalition and the development of a comprehensive housing plan….
(Better idea: Do nothing. Please.)
Kierkiewicz is asking the county to put money into its 2020-21 budget for a study into the county’s current programs and recommendations on how to proceed. She noted Maui County hired a consultant to do this, and has also dedicated a certain percentage of property taxes to go into an affordable housing fund.
(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)
“If we’re going to be serious about this, we need to put some money behind it,” she said….
(Translation: Raise property taxes to make housing affordable.)
read … Councilwoman seeks affordable housing fund
Answers sought after state authorities allegedly take a child without a court order
HNN: … A federal judge wants answers from the state after authorities took a child from her mother with no court order.
Hanna David says police removed her 11-year-old daughter from school without her knowledge and delivered her to her father on Kauai.
The girl’s father said it was initiated by Child Protective Services because her mother is unstable.
But the girl’s father gave up custodial rights in 2012 and had a court order to stay away from them.
The issue at hand is that it appears no judge ever approved the child’s removal, the girl’s mother claims….
The girl is now in foster care (ie not with the father), and David says she’s not allowed visitation.
On Friday, a federal judge ordered the state to explain how and why it all happened. They’re due back in court on Tuesday….
HNN: ‘I want her back’: Mother strengthens plea amid custody battle over 11-year-old girl
HNN: Video Shows Mother Attacking Father in front of Child
read … Answers sought after state authorities take a child without a court order