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Sunday, October 18, 2015
October 18, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:42 PM :: 3346 Views

Am Samoa: Faleomavaega May Try Congress By Proxy

Taxpayers Also on the Hook for VW Diesel Dupe

If Ige wants to stick around, he needs to prepare now

Borreca: Gov. David Ige starts winning or losing his second term now....

(Borreca is doing his part for the HGEA/UPW noise machine.  At stake, Maui hospital privatization.) 

"Look at the timing: You are in the second year of the two-year state budget; the new budget starts next July. By then, you have to start implementing whatever you want to campaign on.

"You don't want to be coming back in 2017 and asking for money for proposals to act upon," Say said in an interview....

Former Gov. George R. Ariyoshi, Ige's early supporter and mentor, faced his first re-election campaign as an elected governor (his first campaign was after succeeding the ailing Gov. John A. Burns) in 1976.

Even though Ariyoshi was running a state with soaring unemployment and a collapsing sugar industry, his 1976 State of the State speech was putting in motion the (disastrous) ideas, promises and concepts that would propel him to victory in 1978.

In that speech, Ariyoshi announced the creation of an Office of Consumer Protection, established the Public Utilities Commission and supported a Constitutional Convention (leading to the creation of OHA, thanks a lot), building state correctional facilities, including Kalihi's OCCC, a sustainable agriculture program and a plan to "make Kakaako beautiful" (or build a bunch of condos) with the establishment of the Hawaii Community Development Authority (oh yeah big success).

That sort of outline is what Say is hoping to hear from Ige.

"He has to prepare it already and show that the departments are moving on it already," advised Say.

Related: Tsutsui: Ige Foolish to Ignore Me--I want to control Collective Bargaining

read ... If Ige wants to stick around, he needs to prepare now

Hawaii Politicians Accept the 'Unacceptable' Until they Want to Pose

Shapiro:’s not that no solutions exist, but that there’s no will among those in charge to make the hard decisions that lead to solutions.

The latter scenario is where public policy in Hawaii often crashes onto the rocks....

The thing is, they’ve all accepted these problems they call unacceptable for years, effectively making them facts of life.

Homelessness has been growing exponentially since the Cayetano administration, but Ige was tight-fisted about getting it solved in his previous role as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The lack of urgency has carried over to his election as governor.

He didn’t bother appointing a homelessness coordinator until eight months into his administration, and his only “action” has been to appoint a committee that after months of work has done little to increase the shelter inventory for Hawaii’s homeless.

Caldwell was the city managing director and self-described point man on rail when many of the gross miscalculations were made on budgets and construction schedules that directly caused today’s cost overruns and missed deadlines.

He played politics when he accepted the bad numbers back then and he’s playing politics now when he calls it unacceptable.

Overheated schools are hardly a new problem; the Honolulu Star-Bulletin sponsored a project to cool Waianae classrooms during a similar outcry about the imulike learning environment nearly 20 years ago.

Tokuda (D, Kailua-Kaneohe) and fellow legislators call the problem unacceptable, but the fact is they’ve accepted it for years by refusing pleas to budget more for air-conditioned classrooms and repairs to aging school electrical infrastructure that can’t handle cooling systems.

There’s one problem-turned-fact that underlies it all: The double-talk won’t change as long as local voters keep accepting political leadership that accepts the unacceptable.

DN: “Deny, deny, deny, emergency”

read ... Unacceptable

Feds may soon Foreclose on Criminal Al Hee's Sandwich Isles Scam Company

SA: The embattled Sandwich Isles Communications Inc.owes $108.6 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for loans it obtained to finance its telecommunications network on Hawaiian homelands, and has been in default on some or all of those loans for the past two years, according to federal records.

Documents provided by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Star-Advertiser show Sandwich Isles was in default on its loan obligations in both 2013 and 2014.

The USDA documents were heavily redacted to conceal most of their contents and did not disclose whether the company made payments toward the loans in either year.

The 2015 report to the USDA on Sandwich Isles’ finances has not yet been filed, but the company faces even greater financial challenges this year than in the previous two years....

read ... Federal records show at least $108.6 million in outstanding debt

One Shelter Houses 104 Homeless Arrivals from mainland Since July 1

SA: ...Since July 1, IHS has housed 104 mainland homeless people.... (109 days 104 people = 1 per day and that only counts one shelter)

The number is on pace to far surpass the 216 newly arrived mainland homeless people IHS took in for all of fiscal 2015, which ended June 30....

Contrary to “urban myth,” Carvalho said, there is no evidence that states or municipalities are clearing their streets by sending their homeless to Hawaii.

“No client has ever stated their home state sent them to Hawaii,” he said.

But the influx of newly arriving homeless people from the mainland is undeniable.

Just before Wade checked into IHS’ men’s shelter, a couple from Canada dipped into their savings to buy one-way tickets to Honolulu and showed up atIHS’ family shelter with their two children.

“They were not homeless in Canada but had the rent on their apartment run out and just hopped on a plane to Hawaii and came straight to our homeless shelter in a cab and said: ‘We need shelter. We have no place to go tonight.’”  (Answer: Deport them.) ....

Right after the Canadians arrived at IHS’ family shelter, another man who had been homeless in Seattle for 30 years appeared at IHS’ men’s shelter.

“He said Hawaii had been on his bucket list, so he said, ‘I’m going to Hawaii,’” Carvalho said. “He had been running around for three days, getting high, and said he’s sober now and wants a free ticket back to Seattle.  (And they refused it!)

To further discourage mainland homeless people, IHS charges them four times the amount that single adults from Hawaii pay to stay at IHS. (Yep.  These bums are paying $400/mo to stay at homeless shelter.)

read ... Arrivals from mainland add to demand for local services

Lassner: Common Core Reduces need for Remedial Work at UH

SA: ...A recent commentary about use of the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) claimed that students perceive the test as "inconsequential" and that they "have little incentive to take them seriously" ("New testing regime at public schools is a recipe for disaster," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Oct. 8).

For Hawaii high schoolers, nothing could be further from the truth.

UH now uses the 11th-grade SBA results to enable direct placement into college-level courses. And 11th-grade students who are not ready for college can prepare during 12th grade. Avoiding remedial course work increases students' likelihood of timely degree completion and reduces the costs of college....

read ... SBA tests very helpful for UH-bound students

Assisted Suicide to be Pushed in Legislature Again--'Several Thousand' Could be Killed off Cheaply Every Year

SA: "Several thousand people die from cancer and other debilitating (expensive) and painful diseases here each year."  (Of course, some are cured, and we really don't know in advance which are which, but hey, you gotta break a few eggs to save HMSA and Kaiser some money....)

Choice and dignity (Cost savings) at the end of life are within our reach in Hawaii, too. Let's work together to make aid in dying (killing off expensive patients) an open, accessible and legitimate medical practice in the Aloha State.

Reality, for those who can handle it: Meet the Insurance Executive Behind Assisted Suicide in Hawaii

read ... Save a Buck, Kill off the unnecessary ones

NEM Gone, Co-op Solar Farms, Time of Use Charges are Next Big Thing

SA:  Time-of-use rates developed over the next month include three time periods: peak, midday and off-peak. The idea is to incentivize customers to use electricity off the peak time with more favorable rates.

However, the reason there is a peak time -- in the evenings, when households are busiest and using electricity most -- is because of convenience. To drive customers to alter their habits and use more energy at other times, the utility will need to offer a real potential cost-savings.

The bottom line is that off-peak rates must be lower than what customers are paying now.

Additionally, policy advances at the Legislature should help to further narrow the gulf between the clean-energy haves and have-nots. Gov. David Ige this year signed a bill that was seen as a way to democratize things: Senate Bill 1050, establishing a community-based renewable energy program.

People previously lacking the capital for PV systems will be able to buy electricity generated at an off-site green-energy facility, such as a solar farm. This will extend the benefits of lower-cost energy to renters, condo owners and others.

read ... PV ready to stand more on its own

Bizarre News: Gabbard Hires a Non-Cult Staffer

ILind: ...Gabbard just got a new legislative director following the departure of Hilo native, Wendy Yasuko Clerinx.

Clerinx, a graduate of Waiakea High School and Santa Clara University, with a law degree from George Washington University, had served as legislative director since January 2013. She previously had served as legislative director for Rep. Neil Abercrombie before following him back to Hawaii, where she served as policy director during the first two years of the governor’s administration.

Christine Wagner, who joined Gabbard’s staff in April 2014 as a legislative assistant, replaced Clerinx as Gabbard’s policy director this month.

Wagner holds a B.A. in political science and peace studies from the University of Hawaii (2010) and earned an M.A. in geography from King’s College London (England) in 2012.

Wagner served on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee in 2010-2011, and was a defense analyst for Science Applications International Corporation before joining Gabbard’s staff last year....

TH: Gabbard said. "I agree with the president's decision to keep some of our troops (in Afghanistan)."

read ... Does not kneel before Chris Butler

Anti--Cane Activists Seek SMA Control over Agriculture

MN: Kahului resident Christopher Profio filed a petition on Sept. 22 that would have the Maui Planning Commission consider sugar cane smoke when evaluating special management area use permits for projects near shorelines.

read ... Pro-Condo Activists


Biden says religious freedom is key to fighting extremism

Amici Brief In SCOTUS Affordable Housing Case: Prohibiting Homebuilders From Selling At Fair Market Value For 55 Years Is A Taking

DC Public Power counter-offer in middle of Exelon-PHI merger proceeding

Pahala gym getting a new floor —again

Court orders man who misled homeowners to pay them back

Feisty Fate Yanagi faced off with 2 governors

Feedback sought on proposal to curb sea cucumber harvest

Men cannot remain silent as women suffer from abuse

Domestic violence survivors need support beyond escape


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