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Friday, December 11, 2015
December 11, 2015 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:40 PM :: 4879 Views

Medicare Penalizes Maui Memorial, Pali Momi, Wahiawa General over Safety Incidents

Hawaii: 64% of your income for infant child care

After Recent Failures, Ige Admin Revamps IT Project Approval Process

UHERO Hawaii Forecast: Expansion Will Continue, Despite Global Challenges

Education: U.S. House Passes ObamaCORE!

Hawaii County review of Kenoi’s alleged spending scandal stalls, while state investigation continues

HNN: The state attorney general is looking into accusations Kenoi used his county purchasing card, or p-card, to make nearly $130,000 in personal purchases -- including trips to hostess bars. Kenoi has since paid back $31,000 to taxpayers, and the investigation is on-going.

Meanwhile, critics say the county's own investigation has stalled.

"I think that the longer this goes on, the longer it's sort of hurting the county," said Hawaii County Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who represents the Kohala district.

The county's Board of Ethics has only met twice in the last seven months -- canceling five meetings because there weren't enough members present to conduct official business.

"He is responsible to appoint members of the boards and commissions, and here we have the Board of Ethics -- the key board that should be addressing issues of accountability. He is accountable to no one else. It just leaves it that you're saying, 'This person is above the law', and that's not the way it should be. We are all accountable," said Wille.

According to Wille, the board is supposed to have five members, but there are only three because Kenoi hasn't filled two vacancies….

read … Stalls

HPD Latest: Overtime irregularities, theft and kidnapping

HNN: Three Honolulu police officers have been placed on restricted duty and are under investigation for unrelated charges of misconduct ranging from overtime irregularities to theft and kidnapping.

In all three cases, the officers have had their badges, guns and arresting powers temporarily removed while they are under internal investigation, a Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman said.

In the first case, officer Travis Copeland a solo bike officer assigned to the Traffic division and seven-year police veteran, is being investigated for overtime theft.

The second case involves Marc Brandt, a Waikiki patrol officer with eight years in the department who was arrested late last month for abuse after a fight with his girlfriend….

In a third case, Aaron Roberts, a patrol officer who works out of the Kalihi substation, is being investigated internally for a complaint that he kidnapped and stole from a juvenile male following a confrontation in Kalihi.

Sources said Roberts -- a seven-year HPD veteran -- is accused of putting the boy in his squad car against his will and driving him to the Sand Island area where he dropped the boy off. The boy was never arrested….

read … 3 HPD officers on restricted duty after being accused of wrongdoing

Lawmaker wants police commission to have disciplinary powers

KHON: The Honolulu Police Commission, which investigates claims of police misconduct, has little say in what happens to an officer once it’s done.

Sen. Will Espero, D, Senate vice president, told KHON2 Thursday that needs to change.

Right now, the commission can investigate charges of misconduct brought by the public. A letter is sent to the police chief with its findings….

read … Discipline

Recent IT Failures Cost State $259M

SA: …After a string of failed or canceled computer projects that cost millions of taxpayer dollars, Gov. David Ige’s administration unveiled a new plan Thursday to step up centralized oversight of state computer projects and withhold payment from private contractors that fail to perform.

The state Office of Information Management and Technology is also seeking 43 new full-time positions for workers who would tighten computer security and automate more state business operations. That budget request would also provide additional technical staff that would help implement the new plan, according to state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy….

The state attorney general’s office in September filed a lawsuit alleging the information technology consulting company Ciber Inc. defrauded the Transportation Department in a failed effort to set up a new financial management computer system for the state Highways Division….

Another expensive computer controversy involved the Hawaii Health Connector, which spent $87 million in federal funds on its own computers and related consulting costs to build a system to process health insurance applications under the national Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare….

As part of the continuing fallout from the Health Connector shutdown, the state has agreed to pay up to $26 million more to contractor KPMG LLP to add new functions to the state’s KOLEA system that are needed to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

Yet another well-publicized computer contract controversy involved the state Department of Taxation’s agreement with CGI Group Inc., which was paid $87.5 million to install what state officials now describe as an outdated computerized tax collection system.

In a new effort to modernize and improve tax collections, this year the state signed a second, entirely new $59 million contact with another company to modernize the tax system. Ige said that newest tax modernization contract was used as a pilot project to test out the new system of increased oversight for IT projects….

Related: After Recent Failures, Ige Admin Revamps IT Project Approval Process

read … Cascade Failure

Marumoto vs Trump

Borreca: …Former Hawaii GOP state legislator Barbara Marumoto was 2 years old when she and her family were forced out of their home and placed in a horse stall at a racetrack near San Francisco for six months before being sent to an internment camp.

“I don’t think racism is something you can totally erase, but it is something that you have to keep fighting and stick to the Constitution, which is what should have happened after Pearl Harbor,” Marumoto said in an interview this week.

Regarding Trump, Marumoto, who is supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said: “We have to be careful not to characterize all Muslims as the enemy.”….

Your Choice: Vote Hawaii GOP Caucus March 8

read … vs Trump

Charter school stricken by financial strain

SA: A Hawaii island charter school that was nearly shut down five years ago amid financial troubles is again struggling to cover expenses, and state officials have serious concerns about its ability to finish out the school year.

With approximately 200 students enrolled, Na Wai Ola Public Charter School — in Mountain View, south of Hilo — will receive about $1.4 million this school year in per-pupil funds from the state. Payroll costs have ballooned with the addition of two new grades, and the school purchased a portable classroom building to accommodate the growth….

Daniel Caluya — who was hired as principal in 2009, shortly after state officials threatened to revoke the school’s charter — insists the school will end the year in the black.

“I understand their concerns and we respect that. However, we’re going to be fine financially. And we’re working with the commission to make sure that we stay financially solvent,” Caluya said in an interview. “We’re going to do everything we need to do to make sure we are financially solvent by the end of the year. I’ve been here six years, and I was here when the school closed in 2009. I understand what the stakes are.”

read … Charter school stricken by financial strain

Teachers want action at ‘unsafe’ Pahoa school after spate of violence

KHON: …An eruption of multiple large fights sent Pahoa High and Intermediate School into lockdowns the past couple of days and required police response. Adults trying to intervene are being assaulted….

According to data Always Investigating reported previously, the Pahoa campus is among the top schools for number of violent incidents last school year per capita at nearly 100 out of a student population of about 700. About a quarter of the reports – 22 of them – were Class A, the most serious offenses.

Sources there say those reported are only a fraction of what’s taking place.

Teachers say the school has erupted with incidents over the past couple of days. Always Investigating reviewed video, which we will not air, showing boys and girls throwing vicious punches, and adults struggling to gain control of them.

“Yesterday, one of our security officers got jumped on in the midst of a fight and had several kids pounding and beating on him. He got pummeled in the back of the head,” a teacher told Always Investigating. “We lost one of our security guards from a fight earlier this year and he hasn’t come back. We’ve had teachers get punched in the face. It’s not a safe place to work, and the students overwhelmingly don’t feel safe.” …

Always Investigating learned that area of the Big Island is covered by a multimillion-dollar grant meant to intervene with behavior and drug problems. Three new social work positions were created from that money, but the jobs are still not yet listed for hire….

HTH: 5 Students Arrested

read … News from Drug-Infested Puna

Advocates continue to lobby for CARE Act as caregivers increase in Hawaii

KHON: They say the proposed CARE Act legislation identifies steps hospitals can incorporate into their existing discharge procedures to improve patient transition from hospital to home.

“It simply would allow a person in the hospital to choose a caregiver and then have the hospital staff support that person, train that person and allow that person to be the point of care for the individual that were in the hospital,” Powell said.

Advocates say the proposed legislation doesn’t require money and hospitals would not be liable for instruction given to family caregivers (until the lawyers make them liable).

read … CARE Act

HIRA Summed Up

CB: “This is three guys eating Doritos in a basement sitting behind their computer, and they have to hurry before ‘Star Trek’ reruns begin.” – Rep Bob McDermott

CB’s Other Political ‘Coverage’ Today: 9/11 First Responder Thanks Takai on Rachel Maddow Show

read … Nothingness and Doritos

Homeless Dump Feces in Downtown Mailboxes

HNN: The U.S. Postal Service inspector in Hawaii, Brian Shaughnessy, said via email that he had several complaints earlier this year with homeless people being witnessed putting nonmailable items into those collection boxes, including one that used to be located at 919 Ala Moana Blvd., near the offices of the Department of Public Safety, within close proximity to the former site of the Kakaako homeless encampment.

Among the items: various trash, liquids, even feces. Those items can damage the mail and its contents, Shaughnessy said.

Fortunately, Shaughnessy said carriers were able to successfully deliver the mail from those affected boxes. But due to repeated incidents and concerns over the mail integrity, six collection boxes have been removed from the downtown area from Ala Moana Boulevard as well as Alakea, Keeaumoku, King, Maunakea and South Streets….

HNN: Meth-still-most-abused-drug-on-Oahu-but-cocaine-heroin-making-comeback 

read … Predators not Victims

NextEra Merger News



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