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Monday, July 4, 2016
July 4, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:34 PM :: 4455 Views

The 1840 Hawaiian Constitution and the Fourth of July

The Verified Complaint In Equity: The Declaration Of Independence

Mahalo for your service

Caldwell Lets Another wave of homeless hit Waikiki beaches

SA: Recent cutbacks in Institute for Human Services Waikiki outreach efforts have led to complaints that homelessness is growing again in the state’s top tourism district, but Hawaii visitor industry officials vow to shore up the program, which would have closed next month without a cash infusion….

Mitchell said the program cost $1.3 million in its first 19 months, with about $561,000 coming from HLTA and other visitor industry sources and $805,000 coming from IHS’ own budget and fundraising efforts. Mitchell said IHS’ program has served 607 of Waikiki’s homeless residents, helping nearly 200 out-of-towners pay for tickets home and moving hundreds of others into shelters and permanent housing….

homelessness, especially at the district’s beaches, has been resurfacing since IHS cut back.

“We’ve seen a new wave of homeless on the beaches in the last three to four months,” said Barry Wallace, executive vice president of hospitality services for Outrigger Enterprises Group.

Just after dawn on a recent Friday, 25 homeless campers lined Waikiki’s shoreline. Some had empty bottles and bags of recyclables tucked around them. One displayed a sign asking passers-by for money. Most were using hotel towels as blankets. Didi Robello, head of Aloha Beach Services, an ocean-sports hub on the grounds of the Moana Surfrider Hotel, said some have turned the beaches into their own personal outdoor toilets.

“I’m pouring bleach every day,” Robello said.

Lifeguards have had similar concerns for several months, said City Emergency Services Department Director Mark Rigg. “People are sleeping in their towers, and they are pooping and peeing,” he said….

In the past two years, Waikiki officers have issued 390 warnings and 3,641 citations and made 260 arrests for park closure violations.

Police also have enforced Waikiki’s public-nuisance laws. Since September 2014 they have issued five warnings and 91 citations and made 17 arrests for public urination or defecation in Waikiki.

During the same period, there were 2,378 warnings, 458 citations and 12 arrests for violating the sit-lie law. Last week alone, police issued 18 warnings and three sit-lie citations in Waikiki, and two citations for public urination and defecation.

Ralph “Buddy” McCarroll, who has been staying at IHS’ Sumner Shelter for about a week, said police enforcement and penalties never deterred him from breaking rules or made him want to seek shelter. “The rules didn’t work with me. Police try to scare you, but I welcome three hots and a cot,” said McCarroll, who has spent more than a decade of his life incarcerated….

Caldwell wants the visitor industry to continue supporting outreach programs….

“We can’t waste our resources repeatedly doing the same thing and getting the same unacceptable result,” Caldwell said….

Reality: Tourist: Seeing homeless people Take a Dump on the Sidewalk in Hawaii was unexpected

read … Thank Caldwell

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s energy company may be eyeing Hawaiian Electric

PBN: MidAmerican Energy Services LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, was recently registered as a new business in Hawaii, according to public records….

State Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua-Waimanalo, who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Enviornmental Protection, recently told PBN that he has heard that Buffett is being talked about as a possible suitor of Hawaiian Electric’s operation….

Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which owns one of the largest renewable portfolios in the United States, also owns, through its MidAmerican Renewables subsidiary, the 10-megawatt Wailuku hydroelectric project on the eastern coast of the Big Island.

The power produced by the Wailuku project is purchased by Hawaii Electric Light Co., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric, under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has said that other companies have showed interest in buying Hawaiian Electric, although he hasn’t personally heard of any company actually approaching the Honolulu utility regarding a possible acquisition other than NextEra Energy.

NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) is proposing to buy Hawaiian Electric for $4.3 billion in a deal that could be decided upon (ie rejected) by state regulators next week.

read … Buffet Snack

Honolulu rail project's CFO rescinds resignation

PBN: The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's chief financial officer rescinded her resignation, months after the agency charged with overseeing the city's $7.9 billion rail transit project launched a search for her replacement, PBN has learned.

Diane Arakaki had announced her resignation in January, but rescinded her resignation after Don Horner stepped down from his post as HART chairman, several sources close to the situation told PBN….

Now HART is advertising for a financial analyst who will assist Arakaki. The analyst will be responsible for updating and monitoring the HART project financial plan and establishing and monitoring HART’s budgetary plans and policies among other duties….

PBN: HART budget analyst had accepted CFO position for Honolulu rail project

read … rescind

‘Rap Back’ law goes against federal law

SA: …the federal Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986…provides that “no regulation may require: (1) the transfer of records required under this Act to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State; or (2) the establishment of any system of registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions.”

One out of four Americans owns a gun. As the governor pats himself on the back, consequences of his naivete are coming in the form of lawsuits….

read … Illegal

Hawaii Recidivism Rate 48.9%

KGI: …The average national recidivism rate for released prisoners is 43.3 percent, according to a 2011 report by the Pew Center. A recent report found that the Hawaii recidivism rate is at 48.9 percent.

The goal of the study, which was commissioned by a collection of government agencies called the Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions, is to reduce the total recidivism by 30 percent over a 10-year period. The rate started at 63.3 percent in 2002….

Related: Study: Hawaii Ex-Con Recidivism 48.9%

read … Kauai boasts lowest rates of inmates returning, but state is above national average

Cannabis group sees pot of gold ahead

SA:  Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensaries could generate between $12 million and $38 million in revenue in their first year of operations and as much as $80.5 million in 2018.

That’s according to the state’s first industry forecast by the Hawaii Dispensary Alliance, a trade group established in August. The forecast is based upon the current 14,074 registered medical marijuana patients smokers anticipated to grow to between 30,000 and 40,000 in 2018….

LINK: The Alliance Releases First Industry Forecast for Hawai‘i’s Marijuana Industry

read … Gold

HGEA Psych Care $750 a day

SA: A Hawaii man has been in a coma for about three weeks after being attacked by a cellmate at a special facility in South Carolina where the Hawaii State Hospital sent him for treatment.

Curtis Panoke, 52, is one of four State Hospital patients placed at Correct Care Recovery Solutions, Columbia Regional Care Center, a privately run mental health facility that is in a prison setting….

Okubo said the state currently has four State Hospital patients placed at the South Carolina facility.

The State Hospital also continues to struggle with overcrowding, Okubo said, and currently has 209 patients despite being built for 178. Another 46 overflow beds are filled at Kahi Mohala.

Housing patients out of state also saves money, costing $415 a day compared with $750 at the State Hospital, the Department of Health said.

Okubo said the department has plans to begin construction for a $160 million facility for high-risk patients in 2018.

read … Is HGEA worth $750 a Day?

Ing to Be Tossed out of Office?

SA: Two-term state House member Kaniela Ing faces a Democratic primary challenge from an opponent who is a former gubernatorial appointee and has the backing of several construction-related labor unions.

Challenger Deidre Tegarden served as chief of protocol under Gov. Neil Abercrombie and in the same capacity with Gov. David Ige before stepping down to seek the 11th District (South Maui) seat occupied by Ing since 2012.

The winner will run against Republican Daniel A. Pekus in the general election.

Tegarden, 47, who also received the endorsement of the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, once served as director of the Office of Economic Development under Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares….

Tegarden said she received the endorsements of some major unions as well as business groups because of her track record of accomplishments.

“I’m a recognized leader in the community, and I get results,” she said.

She became executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui in 2004, after her predecessor was accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the organization in 2002-2003, and said she steered the organization away from near bankruptcy.

As head of the Office of Economic Development, she oversaw investments in some county-related activities, including Wailuku First Friday and “Got Choice Think Local.”

Flashback: Legislative Candidate Mark Ing: Bin Laden Was “Leading a Movement Against the American Crusade” 

read … Turnaround Specialist?

Ex-special ed students are being sought for a lawsuit

SA: Attorneys representing special-education students in a 2010 class action lawsuit against the state are still trying to track down about 800 former students who “aged out” of Hawaii’s public school system at 20 years old under a state law that was later overturned.

A federal judge in 2014 ruled that the affected students — about 1,200 altogether who will be between 23 and 28 years old this year — are entitled to free educational services to make up for the two years they were denied schooling as allowed under federal law. The additional services would not involve re-enrolling the former students in high school, but could include such services as tutoring, counseling, job training, college courses, occupational or physical therapy, and independent life skills training.

U.S. District Senior Judge Susan Oki Mollway is giving attorneys for the plaintiffs until Sept. 19 to find the roughly 800 missing class members; after that date no one else may be added to the suit to participate in a settlement….

read … Lawsuit

Plastic-bag ban has some ’splainin’ to do

SA: …Isle retailers say shoplifting is up noticeably — something about nefarious customers using their personal shopping bags to slip goods out the door unnoticed — and substitute bags provided by the retailers cost more than the old banned bags, adding to the prices consumers pay….

Big Q: How successful has the plastic-bag ban been?

read … Enviros Plan to Use Plastic Bag Ban Complaints to Make it Even Worse

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