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Sunday, August 28, 2011
August 28, 2011 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:01 PM :: 7599 Views :: Kauai County News, DHHL, Honolulu County News, Democratic Party, Hawaii State Government, Republican Party

DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students

Video: Abercrombie Faces off with Teachers on Kauai

Kalapa: Reason Seems Absent in Call for Continued Employment Tax Holiday

Star Advertiser, Newspaper Guild Reach Tentative Agreement

Waihee Elem Passes by kicking students off Testing Roster

Hayashida said staff had reviewed the school's 2010-11 test results and found that two children who had transferred out of Waihee had been counted as current students. Removing their names from the testing roster was enough to boost the school's overall reading proficiency scores to meet federal benchmarks.

"It was a great thing that our staff went through that list with a fine-tooth comb," Hayashida said.

And then there’s this: DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students

read … Waihee

‘High stakes’: Failing to meet federal benchmarks could result in sanctions or outside intervention

Many will use that data to change the way children are taught in the current school year. With schools facing sanctions or even the possibility of outside intervention if they fail to meet federal benchmarks - which get tougher over time - many public school principals are focusing on how they can boost student test scores in areas where they have been lagging.

And then there’s this: DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students

read … Principals reviewing results, focusing on areas where they can boost test scores

Giving tests over and over again until Students Test Right

AT KALIHI-UKA Elementary, teachers give children formative assessments throughout the school year (they can take the HSA three times) to determine what kind of progress they're making. Students who need extra help (ie those who test poorly) get tutoring during recess, and teachers pore over the data to see what specific concepts particular students aren't getting. (in other words they give them the answers)

Teachers also collaborate regularly, said Principal Laura Ahn, to make sure students are on target. And there is more emphasis than ever to ensure students get the instruction they need to be ready for reading in third grade.

All that work has paid off.

Third-graders at Kalihi-uka, where about 60 percent of students come from disadvantaged homes, saw big improvements in reading in the school year that ended in May (as did their peers in other grades). Some 74 percent of Kalihi-uka third-graders tested proficient in reading in 2011, up from 53 percent in 2010.

A staggering 36 percent "exceeded" standards, from just 3 percent. And the percentage of students "well below" proficiency greatly declined, from 22 percent to just 4 percent this year. Twenty-two percent of students were near proficiency.

Reality: DoE Boosts Test Scores by Giving Answers to Students

read … Schools rev up focus on reading goals

Hawaii GE Tax take up 17%, TAT jumps 79%

One of the biggest reasons for the increase is that the state reported more than $114 million in the income tax revenue in July.

This account was more than $80 million in the red in July 2010 because the state belatedly paid income tax returns from the previous year in the first months of the new fiscal year to balance the budget.

The state Department of Taxation said Friday general excise tax revenue climbed 17 percent during the month to $229 million.

The transit accommodation tax jumped 79 percent from the same month last year to $27 million.

read … $400 M

Drama Queen Clayton Hee may run as Anti-Rail Candidate for Mayor

After years of being both the squeaky wheel and the drama queen in both the state Legislature and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hee is becoming something of the adult in the room. (Which is everything you need to know about the Legislature.)

"A reason people have suggested I run for mayor is that I have not been shy about making public my concerns regarding the land use policies … It is my own personal view that heavy rail between two suburbs on one island is overkill," Hee says.

If Carlisle is the major pro-rail candidate in next year's race, it stands to reason that voters looking for an alternative would have to find a coherent opponent to rail who can also handle the day-to-day workings of City Hall.

Former acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell and University of Hawaii engineering professor Panos Prevedouros have both been in the hunt to replace Carlisle, but Caldwell is as staunchly pro-rail as Carlisle and Prevedouros has not been a major factor in past elections.

So far Hee just says people have asked him to run and "we have discussed some issues with some researchers, but we wouldn't make a decision until we had some research done."

read … Hee might be saddling up for mayoral challenge

Carlisle, Dods, etc: Rail Opponents Spin Conspiracy Theories

(Modeled on the Broken Trust essay-- Cayetano, Heen, Slater and Roth vs Carlisle, Dods., Rev. Bob Nakata, Ron Taketa, Maeda Timson and John White. Suddenly political debate emerges into the pages of the SA because the operators of the Corporatist State have a difference of opinion.)

rail opponents last week spun various conspiracy theories on why rail transit is wrong for Oahu ("How the city misled the public," Star-Advertiser, Insight, Aug. 21)…

…the opponents' recent lawsuit that could potentially cause lengthy and unnecessary project delays that would lead to cost increases…. Unfortunately, Hawaii has a history of allowing lawsuits to delay important projects due to the special interests of a few creating needless delays and rising costs. Most of us recall what happened with H3 freeway and the Superferry. And it is taxpayers who are often left with the increased price tag. We don't need that with this project, especially in this economy.

That's why the project should keep moving as quickly and prudently as possible and remain on time and on budget…

(In other words, if we put our head in the sand the opponents will just go away. This is the core of the faulty thinking by old boys who have not come to terms with the reality of their defeat at the hands of the eco-shake down crew)

Totally Related: Good News: A small elite no longer runs Hawaii -- Bad News: Mufi thinks he can change that

Totally Related: Resignation call after Audit reveals “ward heeler’s slush fund” overseen by Honolulu Councilman

read … Rail is Oahu's future

Profitable Non-Profit Clinics may see Cash Flowing from Abercrombie’s Medical Homes

The health centers formed AlohaCare as a response to the QUEST program, which was one of the first efforts in the nation to establish managed health care for Medicaid recipients….

It would be difficult to detail the savings to taxpayers, but over our 17-year history, AlohaCare has saved taxpayers tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars. (Or not…)

AlohaCare has also maintained a level of financial strength to serve even more members in the future, as well as returning money back to the community (buying political support) through financial support to other nonprofits promoting care management, disease prevention and healthy lifestyles.

Our financial stability also enabled us to absorb most of the state's recent 3 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursements without reducing reimbursements to our physicians, specialists and most other providers….

the concept of a "Health Care Home," in which a provider is financially rewarded for offering a broad range of health and support services to patients, is being tested by AlohaCare.

We are also testing a "pay-for-performance" model of quality improvement, where participants must reach pre-determined markers of performance to receive full funding.

Source of “Financial Stability”: DHS: Thousands of ghost names on Hawaii Medicare, Medicaid Rolls

Medical Homes: Abercrombie’s Medical Homes scheme rejected by Mayo Clinic, other top clinics

read … Signs of hope in Hawaii's Medicaid experience

Timeshare Lockoff: Turtle Bay, Aulani, KoOlina Falsified EIS unit counts

If you are building a time-share hotel and the suites have an interior door that allows them to be divided and rented to separate guests, do you count each suite as one hotel room or two?

For a handful of time-share developers in Hawaii, the answer has been one.

The result, according to critics, is that some developers are understating the number of time-share units they are adding to communities and the corresponding impact on traffic and stress on resources.

"It makes a big difference," said Dee Dee Letts, a Kaaawa resident and member of several community groups opposing an expansion of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu's North Shore….

Property owner Turtle Bay Resort LLC filed a supplemental environmental impact statement preparation notice recently with city and state regulatory agencies proposing to add 625 hotel units and 750 residential units to the 880-acre property.

But the number of new hotel units could actually be as high as 1,000, or 375 more than generally presented, according to details in the SEIS preparation notice….

at Disney's Aulani resort at Ko Olina Resort & Marina, rooms have been built with lock-outs, though Disney did not respond to requests for a count last week. Disney has previously said Aulani has 481 "two-bedroom equivalent" units.

Lock-outs also have boosted the number of units available for use at Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club time share, which has long been promoted as a 750-unit project.

Marriott opened an initial phase of the complex in 2003. Today construction is close to 60 percent complete and there are about 750 units already available for use, including 336 that can be divided in two….

Other properties with boosted inventories include Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on Kauai and Hilton Kings' Land on Hawaii island.

Out of 91 time-share properties in Hawaii, only seven have such enhanced inventories, according to the HTA report.

In most cases, with the exception of Hilton Kings' Land, Hawaii timeshare project developers often publicly state unit counts excluding lock-outs.

SA: New Turtle Bay plan still unacceptable

read … Counting on Controversy

Broadband Task Force Chair contradicts Abercrombie

In a Wednesday telephone interview, the chairman of the state's Hawaii Broadband Task Force, David Lassner, who also serves as the University of Hawaii's vice president for information technology, characterized Abercrombie's initiative as "bold." He also said that in the case of sparsely populated rural communities -- such as those found on the Big Island -- Abercrombie may have overreached in his use of the word "ubiquitous."

"In my opinion, it would be very difficult to achieve 100 percent everywhere," Lassner said of providing 1 Gbps speeds to every household in the state….

read … Ubiquitous Rhetoric

ACLU Pushes to Release Hawaii Illegal Aliens

Hawaii residents with no criminal records but relatively minor immigration infractions have been pulled from their homes and public places without warning, handcuffed and placed in federal prison cells despite a policy shift nationally focusing on prosecutions of felons and other serious offenders, immigration attorneys say.

Even after the Obama administration reaffirmed a policy shift nearly two weeks ago, local attorneys say they are aware of multiple instances in which immigrants with no criminal records have been arrested and incarcerated because of administrative infractions years ago, such as overstaying a visa or entering the country as a child without the required paperwork.

Related: Illegal aliens get past TSA, jet off to Hawaii with forged ID

read … Illegal immigrants held on minor infractions

SA: Tuition hike at UH risks deterring enrollment

Students throughout the system will not necessarily get a bigger bang for their buck. While overall inflation in the country has risen by 107 percent since 1986, college tuition nationally rose by 467 percent, according to InflationData.com….

Greenwood said in a statement on Thursday that the university suffered more than $86 million in cuts to its "core operating budget" over the last two years, an indication that UH conforms with the national expense trend….

every effort must be made to optimize the operating budget via creative methods like hybrid class facilities and strategic faculty retirements. (For instance the entire Ethnic Studies, Wymyn’s Studies, and American Studies faculties)

Otherwise, students who are ideal for the rigors of the flagship Manoa college, or even the other campuses, might well be priced out of higher learning.

A typical candidate for retirement: The Segregated Sisterhood of Neil Abercrombie and Nancie Caraway

read … Tuition

Kawaihae: 200 sq ft of Coral holds up $4.7M project for three years

moving smaller boats moored in the deep draft harbor into the division's south small boat harbor depends on completion of an expansion project to the south harbor that has been stymied by difficulty in obtaining a federal Army Corps of Engineers permit and the completing of a coral mitigation plan, he said.

DLNR awarded Hawaiian Dredging Construction a contract for the $4.7 million project's first phase in July 2008, however, approximately 200-square-feet of coral has held up the project as the division works on a coral mitigation plan, which Underwood said is "getting close to completion."

All bow down and worship the Coral: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read … Mooring permits

UH Maui offers Degree in Environmental Priest-craft

When the University of Hawaii Maui College announced that it would be offering a new Bachelor of Applied Science in sustainable science management a few months ago, the phone of faculty coordinator Joie Taylor began to ring. And ring. And even as the fall semester gets under way, it is still ringing.

"The calls are coming from Maui, of course, but also the other islands and the Mainland," Taylor notes….

Taylor adds: "This degree doesn't create technicians. It prepares a diverse group of managers, entrepreneurs and social leaders to bring an understanding of the triple-bottom line to every decision. We are especially focusing on how decisions impact island-based communities, where the scale of everything causes an interplay of effects."

Double Bottom Line: Furloughs: Advertiser sides with “sustainability” billionaires against “Save our Sports”

Reality: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read … “Sustainability”

Alleged Criminal Politician from Buffalo arrested in Hawaii, Extradition Hearing Set

A former Depew village justice is under arrest in Hawaii in connection with an FBI probe into the illegal disposal of some private medical records.

John E. Cipolla, who resigned from his job as a village justice after he was censured by state officials in 2002, was arrested about three weeks ago in Hawaii, authorities Friday told The Buffalo News.

Cipolla, 41, of Depew, is in police custody in Hawaii and is scheduled to make his first Buffalo appearance in the case on Sept. 6 before U. S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, court officials said….

Authorities charged Cipolla with making false statements to federal agents who were investigating an unusual incident involving some medical records that were dumped in the garbage behind an Erie County Auto Bureau office in June 2010.

read … Shuffle off to Buffalo


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