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Tuesday, July 5, 2016
July 5, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:19 PM :: 4006 Views

SWAT Raids Honolulu Homeless Tent City after Night of ‘Wilding’

SA: Honolulu’s last attempt at a city-sanctioned tent city — between 1990 and 1993 — ended in failure after a night of “wilding” that included an attempted murder and a trail of crime scenes.

In 1993 DeCaires was a detective in charge of the HPD investigation of the crime spree that began with a group of homeless people drinking in Aala Park.

The idea of another city-sanctioned tent city somewhere on Oahu is gaining traction among some City Council members who, since last year, have visited Seattle, which embraces tent cities.

In January two people were shot to death in one of Seattle’s notorious, unsanctioned tent cities called “The Jungle,” not far from one of the city-backed tent cities on private land.

Federal officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness discourage tent cities. They say no community that relies on them has been successful in reducing homelessness — and they often become a community distraction, getting in the way of real solutions.

In Seattle…the homeless population jumped 19 percent in the latest national Point in Time Count….

Over the next two years, Au estimated, about 60 people — including children — were living in sometimes unsanitary conditions.

“We had reports of physical altercations and gangs in the camp,” Au said. “We were told there was drug paraphernalia and also weapons. After the first year we called in the SWAT team and had everyone walk out one by one to ensure they didn’t have any weapons. We found knives but we didn’t find any guns. We cleaned up the place and everybody came back in. Parks and Recreation was managing this tent city with no background in social welfare.”

Then came February 1993 — and the night of “wilding.”

“There were multiple crimes, multiple crime scenes,” DeCaires said.

It began with a group of drunken tent city occupants who ran out of liquor, she said.

They also had no money, DeCaires said, so they stole alcohol from a Hotel Street liquor store, which set off a wave of assaults that included an attack on an Advertiser editor on her way home.

“There was a theft at a liquor store and a robbery that included over a dozen stab wounds at the bus stop at Hotel and Alakea streets of a medical student, an armed robbery of the Honolulu Advertiser editor for her briefcase,” DeCaires said. “Then, an attorney tried to stop the robbery, and they turned on him and threatened him with a knife. Then a waiter riding a bike home from his shift tried to intervene and gave chase. They attacked him, causing a broken bone in his hand.”

She added, “They were flying gang colors. It was gang-related.”

After executing “search warrant after search warrant,” DeCaires found the knife involved in the attacks inside the Aala Park tent city.

She estimated there were as many as 75 people living in the encampment at the time. “There were problems the whole time,” she said….

Asked how many of the occupants found permanent housing after the experiment, Au said frankly, “We failed.”  “They just went back to being homeless on the streets again.”…

Last month City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga toured some of Seattle’s tent cities — and other homeless projects — with Council members Ann Kobayashi and Ron Menor. Fukunaga called Seattle’s tent cities “fascinating and quite interesting.”  “They have a communal cooking area, restrooms and showers, plumbing and electrical,” she said. “For some groups of homeless communities, that might be a workable, temporary solution. It was very inspiring.” (Why is this idiot in office?)

Menor said Seattle’s tent cities “instill a sense of ownership on the part of the residents who are charged with these responsibilities to make sure these projects are running well.” (Own your own meth lab?)

Council Chairman Ernie Martin, who toured Seattle last year, has vowed to have the first (sic!) modern-era (1990s was not ‘modern’?), government-backed tent city go up somewhere in his district, which covers 40 percent of Oahu and ranges from Central Oahu to the North Shore…. (where there is lots of copper)…

Related: Homeless tent cities: Seattle’s decade-long nightmare coming to Honolulu?

SA: Homeless crisis ‘takes a constant effort’

read … About Something your idiot councilmembers want to resurrect

Maui County Homeless Numbers Drop

MN: …Since 2007, those who have experienced homelessness here in Maui County has grown from 2,136 to 2,206 or 3.2 percent. This number is the smallest compared to Kauai County's 27.5 percent, City and County of Honolulu's 40.6 percent and Hawaii County's 63.3 percent in growth.

Between fiscal year 2014 and 2015, all counties except Maui County saw increases in the number of homeless individuals served. Maui County actually saw a decrease in its number from 2,332 to 2,206, a 5.4 percent decrease in one year's time….

read … Drop

$40M Payoff? Maui Hospital negotiations May Extend into Special Session

Borreca: …Of more concern to Souki is the threatened Maui hospital veto. Knitting together the agreement to take the state hospital private has been a sustained effort by the long-serving Maui Democrat.

Souki said he and other legislative leaders had a meeting with Ige last week because of his objections to the bill.

Ige is concerned because critics of SB 2077 say the bill would provide severance payments or extra pension bonuses that add more than $40 million to the cost of transferring the hospitals to Kaiser.

Legislators also appreciate that the extra money is a big deal to the politically powerful public worker unions, which adds extra urgency to lawmakers hauling themselves into special session on July 12 to override Ige’s possible veto.

But, the plot insists on thickening. Besides just overriding a veto, the state Constitution says lawmakers can amend the bill “to meet the governor’s objections” and shoot it back to the governor.

This becomes one of those “bills of many moving parts,” Souki said, because the bill would have to be a compromise between Ige, Democrats in the Legislature and one way or another, the public worker unions.

Such a deal on a vetoed bill has never been accomplished, according to Souki: “In my time I don’t believe we have done that, but there is always a first time.” ….

read … Negotiations

Rubber-stamping revocable permits must come to end

SA: In Hawaii, land is power — and unless gatekeepers remain vigilant to ensure equity in the public interest, Hawaii’s precious land and natural resources are fated to fall into the hands of the well connected.

It’s happened at the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

At both of these acreage-rich agencies, the “temporary” revocable permit has been chronically misused. These are, ostensibly, short-term permits to use public lands or resources. Instead, some of these leases have stretched into years — even decades — with little question, oversight or bidding competition and with stagnant low rents. This all has shortchanged the taxpayer.

That’s why the Board of Land and Natural Resources’ recent, unanimous approval of sweeping changes to its revocable permit (RP) process is welcome, and bodes well for a more orderly, open process with oversight to reduce favoritism.

“There’s a lot of irregular things going on with revocable permits, and I think this would straighten a lot of them out,” said board member Thomas Oi, a former state land agent on Kauai. He’s spot on.

DLNR has more than 300 revocable permits out, generating roughly $2 million in yearly rent….

In Hawaii, where land is so valuable, state agencies have been derelict in not optimizing holdings. Identifying weaknesses in the system is just the start; enacting the improvements must follow.

read … Rubber-stamping revocable permits must come to end

Hawaii Extends Negotiation On New Private-Prison Contract

CB: The Hawaii Department of Public Safety has signed a short-term deal with Corrections Corporation of America, the largest for-profit prison company in the country, to extend an existing contract letting the state house up to 1,926 Hawaii prisoners in Arizona.

The move buys the department more time to reach agreement with CCA on the terms of a new contract to maintain the state’s mainland prison operation.

Under the department’s request for proposals, released March 2, a new contract was supposed to be executed by the end of last week — before the existing contract, signed in 2011, was set to expire June 30. But Toni Schwartz, public safety spokeswoman, said the negotiation is still ongoing….

Until last week, the state was paying CCA a per-diem rate of $70.49 per prisoner — an arrangement that amounted to just under $31 million in fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30, 2015. The total for fiscal year 2016 isn’t yet available.

Under the extension signed last week, the per diem rate was set to $72.25 per prisoner, as required by an automatic escalator clause that guarantees an annual increase of between 2.5 percent and 3 percent. (Meanwhile back in Hawaii at the prisons controlled by UPW, Inc, costs are $140 per day and space rented from the feds at HNL is $101 a day….)

read … Contract

Hawaii And Honolulu Agencies Really Try To Hide Public Records

CB: On paper, Hawaii acknowledges that open government is necessary to maintain the informed citizenry that is the foundation of a democracy. In practice, the state often struggles to live up to those ideals—and we all suffer as a result….

read … Result

Hawaii: The Lowest-Paying State

DN: Air traffic controllers are paid the highest in Georgia of all states with an average salary of $147,797. However, in Hawaii they are paid about $64,176. Pay Scale noted permanently living in Hawaii is 65 percent more expensive than the national average with more expensive housing, utilities, health care and transportation and is continually on the rise. Although Hawaii has a lower population and is less-urban than most major U.S. cities, the main issue is the isolation of the state, making it more expensive to import goods, according to Rainy….

Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Washington and New Mexico appeared the most as the highest-paying states among the data analyzed while Hawaii appeared 33 times as the lowest-paying state….

read … Lowest Paying

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