Lawsuit: Hawaii AG David Louie Conspired with Money-Grubbing Trial Lawyers to Gin up $8B Case
OHA's First Cover-up of 2020
Hawaii Female Salaries 82.6% of Male
Auditor Rips DPP--Permits Delayed due to Poor Management
HART: Rail May be Ready to Run in October—But City May not Have Money to Run It
HNN: … HART’s CEO said Wednesday that trains will be ready for passengers between Kapolei and Aloha Stadium by October 20, and suggested fans of University of Hawaii football games could be among the first enthusiastic customers.
(Mufi's people at HART want to help him by opening rail just as absentee ballots drop in mayoral election.)
“Wouldn’t that be great for people to start to understand how they can leave their car at home and use the rail system to get to and from a UH football game?” Andrew Robbins, head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said at a news conference.
But the city Transportation Services Director Wes Frysztacki quickly threw cold water on Robbin’s suggestion. He explained that while HART’s job is to deliver the project after certified safety approvals to the city for operations, there will still be much to do on the city’s part before it takes paying customers.
(Translation: City admin does not support Mufi.)
“We have to make sure the system is safe, certified, approved and that people can get to those station sites safely,” Frysztacki said, adding, “The more important variable is that we need to make sure we have the budget to operate the system.”
Frysztacki said his department is still working with Hitachi, the operations and maintenance contractor, to determine what it will cost to run the first ten miles of the system and submit those figures to the Mayor and City Council for the next budget year, which starts in June.
“If the system is really ready to be used in October then we can talk about perhaps taking some of that budget and applying it to earlier service but I think we are a few months away from that determination,” Fryzstacki said.
Robbins responded, “Its our intent to have it ready to ride in October 20th that is our intent and the city will take it from there.”….
read … By October, football fans could be riding the rail line to Aloha Stadium
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Meets With TMT Officials About Mauna Kea's Future
HPR: … Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Harry Kim met with Thirty Meter Telescope officials this week to discuss next steps in resolving the Mauna Kea dispute.
TMT board members Henry Yang and Saku Tsuneta flew into Hilo to share their concerns over what might follow a recent deal struck between the Big Island mayor and telescope opponents….
Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for TMT's developers, would not comment on the Hilo meeting, noting it was a private one.
But Mayor Kim said he told the telescope officials he plans to bring both sides together and review all options in resolving the Mauna Kea standoff.
"If I tell them, this is a meeting where there will be no TMT, they’re not going to show up," he said referring to TMT officials. "Or if I tell the kiaʻi there will be a meeting and the agenda is the scope will be on the mountain, I’ll have both sides not come.
"The best way is to get them together first and then give them an opportunity to talk and express positions, and know each other, and see where we can go. And that’s what I’m going to try to do."
Kim's two-month agreement with the protesters expires at the end of February….
HTH: Kim meets with TMT officials, governor; ongoing discussions planned
Jan 8, 2020: Insider Helps Astronomers Learn How to make Payoffs to Hawaiian Community Leaders
IM: Pua Case and Lanakila Mangauil Speak at American Astronomical Society
2015: Telescope: For OHA, it’s all About the Rent Money
read … Hawaiʻi County Mayor Meets With TMT Officials About Mauna Kea's Future
There aren’t enough ankle bracelets to monitor all inmates on work furlough
SA: .. a furlough program operated by the Oahu Community Correctional Center has 216 beds, which are almost always full, but 69 electronic monitoring devices…..
…your question was prompted by a news story about the search for an inmate convicted of kidnapping and robbery who had failed to return as scheduled to OCCC’s Laumaka Work Furlough Center on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Honolulu police announced that a different man, who was fatally shot by police in Kailua on Monday, also was an furloughed inmate missing from Laumaka; he had failed to return as scheduled on Nov. 19….
read … There aren’t enough ankle bracelets to monitor all inmates on work furlough
Homeless Criminal from Mainland Comes to Waipahu, Slashes Woman at Times Market
HNN: … A bloody attack in Waipahu highlights the challenges facing a new city program that provides emergency housing to the homeless.
Sources say the program took in a man with violent past ― and now that man is accused of attempted murder.
Franklin Houser arrived in Hawaii from the mainland just a few weeks ago.
Now the 39-year-old is accused of repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend during an argument Tuesday outside Times Supermarket on Hikimoe Street.
“Someone yelled ‘Stabbing! Stabbing!’” said witness Mercedes Soriano. “She was laying on the walkway.”
Another woman who asked not to be identified says she rushed over to help the 40-year-old victim.
“She was bleeding really bad,” she said. “She was just really scared. She was in pain. One girl was putting pressure on it (her wounds). I told her don’t let go. Just keep pushing.”
Police sources say the couple had been staying at the city’s new mobile homeless shelter called HONU at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park, and that Houser had recently been kicked out for breaking the rules.
Houser is also suspected of slashing the tent he’d been staying in. It’s since been patched.
Before arriving in Hawaii, Houser had been in trouble on the mainland with a long list of prior arrests dating back to 1999 ― starting in North Carolina for drug trafficking, DUI and making threats.
Then over 15 years in Tennessee, court documents show, he was arrested for theft, aggravated burglary, assault, domestic violence, being drunk in public, credit card and identity theft.
Houser currently has a warrant for probation violation.
Witnesses to Tuesday’s attack say they’re fed up with having to deal with drug addicts and others in the neighborhood ― and the drama that comes with them.
“They make trouble. They ask people for money and become angry when you don’t give them money," said the woman who asked to remain anonymous….
Question: Who paid for their tickets to Hawaii?
HNN: Woman stabbed outside Waipahu supermarket says good Samaritans saved her life
read … Sources: Suspect in Waipahu attack had recently arrived in Hawaii, was booted from shelter
Eco-Phonies: Hawaii Co Council fails to override mayor’s herbicide veto
WHT: … The Hawaii County Council voted today not to override Mayor Harry Kim’s veto of Bill 101.
The council had voted previously voted 6-3 to ban the county’s use of herbicides before Kim vetoed the law over a variety of concerns. The council needed the same number of votes to override the mayor’s first veto, but failed to do so by a tally of 5 to 4.
Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz was the lone swing vote. She had voted “kanalua yes,” or yes with reservations on the bill previously, but voted against the override today.
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….
(Translation: Rules are for farmers not for government.)
read … Fake Fake Fake
Legislative Agenda: Suicide Squad Wants to Give out more Death Pills
CB: … “Remember when a physician says to you, ‘You’ve got six months left to live,’ that’s more art than science,” Miller said….
The waiting period is a safeguard intended to ensure that a patient is clear about their decision to die by a means other than natural causes.
But in a new report to the Legislature, the Hawaii Department of Health is asking lawmakers to grant doctors the power to eliminate the mandatory wait if they determine that their patient might not live so long….
state health regulators are asking the Legislature to consider an amendment to the law that would expand the authority to prescribe aid-in-dying medication to advanced practice registered nurses….
Reality: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii
read … Kill Off Expensive Patients Save Insurance Company Profits
Hawaii Lawmakers Pushing For A Tax On Vaping
CB: … Legislators are drafting bills that include a flavor ban on e-cigarette liquids and a tax on vaping products….
Hawaii has the highest vaping rate among middle schoolers and the second highest vaping rate among high schoolers in the country, according to Center For Disease Control and Prevention data.
Maui, Kauai and Hawaii counties reported that 30-35% of teens reported vaping at least once a month, compared to the national average of 13%. Oahu has a lower rate….
(Translation: Those kids are a source of tax revenue)
read … Hawaii Lawmakers Pushing For A Crackdown On Vaping
Investigation reveals violations at Molokai Community Health Center
HNN: … A sense of vindication for Molokai residents who have been complaining about the island’s only Federally Qualified Health Center for months.
Ever since staff shortages shut down Molokai Community Health Center for four days in August, residents have been demanding the resignation of the CEO and board.
The investigation done by the state Health Department shows several critical violations and that the health center had been operating without a physician since August 2017.
"Reading the report, it verifies and validates what the community was concerned about," said Rosie F. Davis, a former board president.
The report stated that leaders were not aware having a physician on staff was a federal requirement….
State investigators said starting last October the health center refused to cooperate, “did not allow entry to the facility, did not allow access to their policies and/or other documents."
“To have our Department of Health step in, then to be refused to even take a look at this facility is alarming,” state Molokai’s State Representative Lynn DeCoite.
DeCoite is among those asking the CEO and board president to step down.
She is also upset that the center denied the state’s request for documents multiple times and some documents sent to the state were either incomplete or redacted.
State investigators were also told the center’s attorney would be calling the Hawaii Director of Health.
“Then also to find out they have a lawyer, who’s paying for this lawyer? It’s a health care facility. Why do we need a lawyer? What are you hiding?” said Rep. DeCoite.
Investigators said they eventually received all the requested documents and are now working with the center on a correction plan.
The state's report also said the health center hired one physician in December….
MN: Report: Health center failed requirements, denied access to DOH
read … Investigation reveals violations at Molokai Community Health Center
Citing State Supreme Court Ruling on ‘Obstruction’, judge dismisses cases for 28 arrested at Waimanalo park protest
HNN: … In September, police arrested 28 protesters for obstructing a highway or public passage as the city brought in an excavator for its Waimanalo Bay Beach Park or Sherwoods redevelopment project that includes a sports field and playground.
Two weeks after the arrests, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in a similar case on Maui that an obstruction case failed to define the charges.
And prosecutors agreed the Sherwoods cases had the same flaw.
“The state would concede that our complaints do not have that definition as that case did come out after the charges were filed in in these cases,” said deputy Prosecutor Dwane Tegman.
"The terms obstruct, highway, passageway, they weren't defined in this particular charging document," said attorney Aaron Wills, who represented 21 arrestees.
"They don't feel that they did anything wrong. That's the reason they pleaded not guilty in first place," he added….
read … Citing flaw in charges, judge dismisses cases for 28 arrested at Waimanalo park protest
Homeless Court Reports Progress in Moving Homeless off Streets
SA: … As of September, 101 court sessions have been held — not only to hold homeless people accountable for their crimes, but to connect them with nonprofit social service agencies that help with a wide range of issues including substance abuse treatment, assistance getting government-issued IDs and housing.
And also as of September, 201 “participants” — as they’re always referred to in Community Outreach Court — enrolled in the program, Recktenwald wrote, and the court was able to clear 2,321 cases.
At the same time, the participants were ordered to perform 3,966 hours of community service….
In his report, Recktenwald told the stories of seven unidentified participants who were on different paths but found success after enrolling in Community Outreach Court. They included:
>> A male participant completed a substance abuse assessment test at Hina Mauka and reunited with his family, including his father who attended every one of his son’s Community Outreach Court appearances. The man is now working in construction doing fencing and drywall work.
>> A husband and wife both graduated from the program and moved into the city’s Hale Mauliola transitional shelter on Sand Island.
>> Another homeless man was working on completing his court requirements and moved back with his family. He was assisted by the Institute for Human Services, which helped him get his state ID.
Overall, Recktenwald wrote, Community Outreach Court participants have had many successes, little and small:
>> 1,527 driver’s license “stoppers” were “lifted.”
>> 422 bench warrants were recalled.
>> 27 participants obtained driver’s licenses and permits.
>> 49 people were housed, including 40 who obtained housing on their own.
>> 22 participants were sheltered, including 11 who got into shelters on their own.
>> 33 moved in with family or friends.
>> 42 people got jobs, including 39 who found employment without help.
>> 17 people received substance abuse treatment.
PDF: Outreach Court Report
read … Progress
Hawaii County Homeless Shelters ‘Always Full’
HTH: … “… our shelters, emergency shelters, as well as our transitional housing units, are always at full capacity,” Hirota said. “Our monthly reports indicate we continue to see an increase in the numbers of singles and families moving to permanent housing. But this positive result documents the work of our public and private collaboration. There continues to be a number of individuals that enter our system for the first time experiencing homelessness, so we need to address that.”
(Obvious conclusion: Build More Shelter Space.)
Hirota told lawmakers the county in June entered into an agreement to allow the 20 tiny housing units erected in Pahoa in 2018, which are no longer occupied by survivors of the Kilauea eruption, to be used “for general homelessness, and so we’ve added a number of shelter beds in the Pahoa area addressing homelessness.”
Hirota noted the Family Assessment Center in Puna, an emergency shelter of tiny homes that serves nine families at any given time, “has since Day One has been 100% occupied.”
“As of Nov. 30, we’ve served 24 families, seven who have exited to permanent housing, four who have moved on to transitional housing,” she said. “… We’ve served a total of 44 adults and 40 children … 24 have been between the ages of zero and five.”
Hirota said the Keolahou Emergency Shelter and Assessment Center on the Rainbow Drive site of the former Hilo Hospital — converted after the county received in $2.5 million Ohana Zone funding from the state for the project — has also been working at capacity since opening in October.
(Obvious Conclusion: Keep building more units until you start having regular vacancies.)
She noted Keolahou also is working to double its capacity of beds for homeless men to 50 and provide permanent housing.
“In addition, there is 20,000 square feet available on the same site that the county is hoping to partner with other partners to bring behavior and mental health services on site,” Hirota said….
read … Hawaii County sees progress on homelessness
Hawaii: Nobody Votes Because there is Nobody to Vote For
CB: … In Hawaii there are at least three manifestations of this stifling political vacuity: the opaqueness of the state’s Legislature, the total lack of an effective political opposition, and the bottom-of-the-barrel voter turnout….
read … Hawaii Needs To Rough Up Its Brain-Dead Politics