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Saturday, July 9, 2016
July 9, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:21 PM :: 3278 Views

Cool Schools: How Government Contracting Makes a $2,500 job cost $138,000

Hawaii Rap Back Law Coordinated with Obama Administration?

Rifle Association: Six Lawyers Working on Hawaii ‘Rap Back’ Lawsuit

Register to Vote Online Here -- Before July 14 Deadline

UH study finds Housing First program improves quality of life for homeless

Pro-NextEra PUC majority reached last month, but Iwase, Gorak stalled its release Just Long Enough to get rid of Champley

KHON: An internal Public Utilities Commission document obtained by Always Investigating indicates a majority opinion had been reached in the HECO-NextEra merger case last month, but infighting delayed its issuance.

A couple days later, that majority was thrown into limbo when Gov. David Ige replaced one of the commissioners.

A complaint given to Always Investigating alleges the PUC chairman and his then-staff counsel teamed up to marginalize the other two commissioners, but our further digging reveals discord at the commission that has the biggest business deal in Hawaii history in its hands.

The complaint takes issue with Tom Goraks’ conduct as staff attorney, and Randy Iwase’s as chair. It alleges they’ve been working together to override the other commissioners even though the chair “does not have a super vote.”

Here’s where it gets interesting. We’ve verified a majority opinion was reached in the HECO-NextEra merger case as recently as June 27, but internal squabbling over the language and access to staff attorney resources appears to have been a factor in delaying its release just long enough….

read … NextEra

Lawmakers May Call Special Session To Override Ige Veto of $40M HGEA/UPW Payoff

CB: The Hawaii Legislature may convene a special session next week. The goal: Save a bill intended to help public employees at three Maui hospitals. Those employees risk losing their jobs in the privatization of those hospitals.

Gov. David Ige identified Senate Bill 2077 as one of nine measures he may veto by the Tuesday deadline.

That bill calls for providing $40 million to hospital employees, with the option of receiving either severance benefits or a special retirement benefit in lieu of exercising any reduction-in-force rights.

It also would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s unfunded liability for pensions and benefits….

Civil Beat spoke to several members of the state House and Senate who were granted anonymity so they could speak of the possible special session. (Civil Beat’s anonymous source policy calls for granting anonymity when we need to while relentlessly criticizing other journalists who do the same.)

While details are still being worked out, the idea is to amend SB 2077 in a way that might help resolve a lawsuit between the United Public Workers and the state. The UPW, which represents some of the hospital workers, wants to stop the privatization….

MN: Union members show support for legislation

read … $40M

HCDA: We Were Supposed to Call Insane Asylum to Report Sewage Spill

KHON: …We’ve been asking HCDA for the past three days why the spill was not reported until Tuesday. A spokeswoman told us Friday: “The harbormaster called 9-1-1 upon discovering the spill…”

That spokeswoman says HCDA mistakenly thought that the message would be relayed to the health department, and realize now that they were supposed to call another number.

“After talking with DOH, we were directed to call the State Hospital operator to report any spills that occur during non-business hours,” she said. The health department is in charge of the State Hospital, so the message would have gotten to them….

read … Crazy

‘Untrustworthy’ People Attend Caldwell Fundraisers: City Council Shakeup

CB: Anderson said in an email and telephone interview that he believes he’s being punished for attending a fundraiser for Mayor Kirk Caldwell, a rival of Martin’s who is seeking re-election….

Anderson said Martin told him it was disrespectful for him to attend a fundraiser for Caldwell in May. At the time, Martin had pulled papers to run for mayor, but the councilman from the North Shore decided not to run.

Martin said that Ozawa was similarly unhappy that Anderson went to the fundraiser, Anderson said….

PDF: Click here to read Martin’s memo describing the changes.

read … No Kidding?

Kauai Hearings for Floating Windfarm Boondoggle?

KGI: Floating wind turbines have been proposed for the 72-mile wide Ka’ie’iewaho Channel, which separates Kauai and Oahu and the environmental conservation group Life of the Land is calling for meetings on both islands to bring the public up to speed.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has received unsolicited bids from two companies to build off-shore floating turbines off of Oahu’s Ka’ena Point as well.

A.W. Hawaii Wind, a Texas company that’s a subsidiary of Alpha Wind Energy-based in Denmark, is proposing two wind farms off the coast of Oahu. One aimed at an area 12 miles off the northeast coast of Oahu’s Ka’ena Point and the other wind farm in the waters 17 miles south of Diamond Head. Each wind farm would generate about 400 megawatts of energy with 50 turbines.

The second company, Progression Hawaii Offshore Wind, has written up a proposal for the waters off of Oahu’s South Shore. It’s a $1.8 billion project that would end in between 40 or 50 floating turbines….

Background: Rusting Windfarm Junk off Waikiki: Europe's Disaster Coming to Hawaiian Waters

read … Kauai

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