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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
October 6, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 3607 Views

Obamacare Rate Hikes Approved: 27% HMSA, 34% Kaiser

DNC Disarray: Gabbard Undercuts Wasserman Schultz Over Debate Schedule (VIDEO)

NBC News Pumps Petition to Strip McKinley HS of Name

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted October 5, 2015

Delegate candidates "Well-Connected to Agencies Spearheading Federal Recognition Process"

CB: There are many reasons to be concerned with this entire aha process, which really is just an outgrowth of failed attempts at federal recognition via the congressional path, also known as the Akaka Bill....

Do (the candidates) represent the average Native Hawaiian? Who should be building the foundations of a Native Hawaiian government? Do they have the same struggles, concerns and values that are prevalent in the various Native Hawaiian communities?

Examining the data provided from the candidates themselves, the answer appears to be a resounding no.

On average, the candidates represent a distinct and relatively small portion of the Native Hawaiian population. There are many attorneys, current and former OHA employees (or trustees themselves), and many graduates of private high schools....

Fifty-five percent of the candidates intend to represent Oahu; however, only 34 percent of the total population of Native Hawaiians (including the continental United States) reside on Oahu....

There are 32 individuals who are currently employed or previously employed by OHA, Kanaiolowalu, the state Legislature, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, or U.S. senators or representatives or non-profits working on behalf of U.S. federal recognition. These individuals comprise 15 percent of the candidate pool....

A large portion of the candidate pool is private-school educated and is well-connected to the existing agencies that are spearheading the federal recognition process....

Large portions of the Native Hawaiian community have decided not to participate....

read ... Elites

Hawaiian constitutional convention election process is flawed

HNN: With the vote to elect delegates for a Hawaiian constitutional convention just weeks away, critics say the way the election is being handled is flawed....

Kelii Akina, whose Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is suing to stop the election, said the process lacks transparency. His group previously sued to get the names of potential voters and when it did get those names, it said it found serious problems.  "Number one, there are names of individuals who did not authorize for their names to be on the list," he said.  "Number two, there are people who are deceased on the list. Number three, there are minors on the list." ...

The constitutional convention will cost about $2.6 million. The election itself will cost about $150,000 and will be conducted by Washington, D.C.-based contractor Elections America....

Akina is challenging the entire process since all of the funding comes from a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Under the landmark 2000 Rice vs. Cayetano U.S. Supreme Court case, Akina said the state cannot conduct race-based elections.  "In essence a tiny group of non representative leaders are going to make decision that affect land, power and financial resources of everyone in the state of Hawaii," he said....

The legal challenge to the election will be heard in Federal Court on Oct. 20 by U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright....

read ... Flawed

Pro-business groups ask Ige to move forward on TMT construction

KITV: On Sunday, fourteen pro-business groups expressed their displeasure over the lack of any headway and demanded Gov. David Ige provide “safe passage” so the $1.4 billion telescope can be built. The groups include various chambers of commerce as well as pro-union trade groups.

The letter addresses the positive impacts of TMT, such as jobs and support of high-tech industry, but also appears to blame Ige for not enforcing the rule of law.

"Business and industry cannot function under uncertainty,” the letter states. "The result of the faulty law enforcement surrounding Mauna Kea is fostering tension, aggression, racism and business uncertainty."

On Monday, the governor issued a response by saying law enforcement officers with the Department of Land and Natural Resources have been arresting violators of emergency rules adopted on July 10, but the current situation requires a unique approach.

"We have been enforcing,” the governor said, “(But), obviously we want to be sensitive to cultural perspectives. The reason for the emergency rules being adopted was to assure that we had the rules in place that would allow us to enforce."

HNN: Full page advertisement appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser over the weekend featuring a letter from a coalition of local businesses

read ... Pro-TMT

Rail transit project would make City and County of Honolulu top energy consumer in Hawaii

PBN: When and if Honolulu’s more than $6 billion rail transit project is fully realized, the county will be the largest consumer of electricity in Hawaii, the chairman of the Honolulu City Council, confirmed to PBN.

Currently, the Department of Defense is the single top consumer of electricity in the state....

That’s why NextEra Energy Inc.’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. is of high interest to the city.

Ernie Martin, chairman of the city council, introduced Resolution 15-214 in July to see whether a municipally-owned electric utility or a public ownership option is something it should move forward on.

read ... Electric Bill

City prepares for last two homeless sweeps in Kakaako

SA: City crews are gearing up for the final two sweeps to remove homeless campers in Kakaako. Outreach workers estimate that there are about 100 people remaining in the encampment. Workers will clear sidewalks on Olomehani Street and parts of Ahui Street and Ilalo Street on Thursday. The following day, they'll tackle Ohe Street and another section of Ilalo Street.

"This is the heart of the encampment and we want to be really, really careful," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "Our community policing group will be there, state sheriffs will be there. We're asking the people who live there to cooperate. There is shelter space. We would not do this enforcement if we didn't know there was sufficient shelter space."

99 people have now been moved into shelters or housing, according to the state's homeless coordinator....

"We've had people who have been accosted on the way to the lab if they take the bus and get off at Ward (Avenue) and come down Ahui Street. We've had several people who have said they don't even want to come down here anymore because of their experiences," said Robert Richmond, director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory.

read ... Sweeps

Shelters Have Plenty of Space but Kakaako Homeless Don't Want to go

SA: About 100 people, including 11 families, are believed to be left in the encampment, said Scott Morishige,the state’s homeless coordinator. The current population is just a third of the 293 people who we recounted in the encampment during a census conducted the week of Aug. 3.

Oahu homeless shelters have enough space to accommodate everyone left in the encampment, Morishige said.

But none of the people interviewed by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday had any intention of moving into a shelter once the sweeps commence at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and again Friday....

read ... Don't Wanna Go

Honolulu is the worst US city for drivers

BI: ...anyone who's ever visited the Hawaiian capital knows that driving there can be downright miserable.

So miserable, in fact, that Honolulu comes in dead last in US metros when it comes to overall driver satisfaction, according to data from the navigation app Waze.

Waze looks at more than just traffic — and yes, traffic is a huge issue in Honolulu — to determine driver satisfaction. It takes into account other factors that may have affect driver happiness like density of accidents, road conditions, density of services like gas stations, and gas prices.

"Out of all US metros examined, Honolulu was found to have the most road hazards (e.g. accidents and roadkill), scored the lowest when it came to road quality and infrastructure, and was one of the worst traffic metros," Julie Mossler, a Waze spokesperson told Tech Insider.

"Given it is surrounded by water and that there are only two major highways that run through the city, Honolulu faces unique challenges that other cities are better positioned to alleviate," Mossler noted....

SA: Bike Lane Slows King Street Commute

read ... We're #1

Anti-GMO Franken-Activists Seek 'Every Email'

CB: The (mis-named) Hawaii Center for Food Safety asked five lawmakers to share all their communications with seed companies such as Monsanto — as well as organizations representing them — regarding genetically engineered crops and bills related to buffer zones and pesticide use....

Reps. Richard Onishi and Clift Tsuji denied the request outright, each explaining in identical language they won’t release the files in part because the “documents are part of legislator’s personal files and/or predecisional in nature.”

Sens. Rosalyn Baker, Clarence Nishihara and Jill Tokuda each replied with their own identical language that they were “unable to respond at this time” because the “language of the request was overly broad, vague, and ambiguous.”

Senate spokeswoman Jill Kuramoto emphasized in an email that the senators sought further clarification of the request and didn’t deny it.

“Depending upon the nature of the information asked for, the Senate intends to comply with the law,” she wrote, noting that the senators haven’t received a revised request....

The center has appealed the responses to the state Office of Information Practices....

Good Question: Where's the Center for Food Safety's filings on their contributors and spending?

read ... Fishing Expedition

Dumping Ground for Anti-GMO Obsessives Goes Unfulfilled under Ige

CB: There are six vacancies on the 15-member Environmental Council. Three more — including the current chair, Joseph Shacat, and vice chair, Scott Glenn — have volunteered to keep serving despite their terms having expired June 30.

And that’s not counting Jessica Wooley, who, as head of the Office of Environmental Quality Control, automatically serves as a board member. Her term, set to end June 30, has been extended through the end of October, according to the governor’s office.

Jodi Leong, Ige’s spokeswoman, said the governor is searching for people to fill the empty seats on the council. Ige hasn’t decided whether to hold Wooley over or appoint a new OEQC director. 

(Abercrombie used this assignment to get rid of Hooser and then Wooley. Who does Ige need to get rid of?)

read ... Worthless Committee for worthless politicians

State regulators ask Hawaiian Telcom about phone outages that lasted weeks

HNN: State regulators are demanding answers from Hawaiian Telcom about why repairs to rain-soaked telephone lines took weeks and even up to one month in some cases.

Phone customers from Nuuanu, Waialae Iki, McCully and Hawaii Kai have reported being out of Hawaiian Telcom landline and internet service for one to two weeks recently.

Hawaiian Telcom said it is still working on fixing 800 trouble calls, down from a high of 1,000 trouble calls on Aug. 24. But as its crews repair some phone lines, other lines started having problems because of all the rain the state has experienced in the last month.

read ... Month

Hawaii Among Top States for Mortgage 'Defects'

MPA: According to a report from First American Financial, those states with the highest month-over-month increase in defect frequency are Oklahoma (up 14%), Hawaii (up 13.1%), Louisiana (up 10%), Texas (up 10%) and Colorado (up 9.3%).

Those with the highest rate of defects are Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Hawaii....

read ... Fraud

School trips can meet ethics rules

SA: ...A BOE committee has developed rules for school trips to avoid the potential conflict-of-interest issues raised by the state Ethics Commission.

The committee addressed other concerns as well, including liability and worker’s compensation for trips that are outside the core educational program — areas where it’s reasonable for the state to limit its exposure.

The school board should approve the basic framework of the plan, which would enable pending trips to take place under certain circumstances and set a clearer directive for future travel. Finding a way to ensure the viability of such valuable student enrichment should be a priority for the board, which is scheduled to act on Oct. 20....

read ... Rules

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