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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
July 26, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:42 PM :: 4522 Views

Senator Slom Publishes Financial Report on the State General Fund

Honolulu: Property Tax Bills and Absentee Ballots Arrive in Mail

Another Sewage overflow near Ala Moana

Tulsi Gabbard: ‘The Congresswoman Trump Fans Can Love’

DoE Community Meetings--Seeks Input on ESSA

Precisely as Predicted: DoE Now Says $63K per Classroom is a Good Price for AC

SA: …But procurement documents for the initial round of bids for six schools showed proposals ranged from $80,404 per classroom to cool six portable classrooms on Maui to $360,770 to cool one portable classroom in Leeward Oahu.

By comparison, the more recent bids received for Kamaile Academy break down to $49,527 per classroom and $63,422 per classroom. Greenpath Technologies Inc. bid $445,741 for the work — which calls for air conditioning along with electrical and photovoltaic work for nine portable classrooms — while CC Engineering & Construction Inc. bid $570,800.

Ignored: Full Text: Contractor Offered Cool Schools at $5990 per Classroom—Was Ignored by DoE

Precisely as Predicted: Cool Schools: How Government Contracting Makes a $2,500 job cost $138,000  --  “This two-step process is obviously designed to produce the first round of high bids.  What may not be so obvious is that going forward those high bids will be used to make lower—but still exorbitant--second round bids look good by comparison.   Use of the procurement process to manipulate public perception is the special genius of State of Hawaii procurement officials.  Somebody has earned a free round of golf!”

read … We Told You So

Crooked medevac firm files bankruptcy

SA: …Hawaii Air Ambulance Inc., predecessor of Hawaii Life Flight, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday following a lengthy battle with a former whistleblower employee.

The air medical transport company, which flew critically ill and injured patients between the islands until it merged in 2010 with another medevac provider, AirMed Hawaii, listed former employee James P. Stone as one of two creditors.

Stone, a former Hawaii Life Flight pilot, was awarded $760,680 last year by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board for being wrongfully terminated in 2010 after complaining that his employer did not follow state and federal requirements when refueling planes, among other safety issues. The decision was affirmed by the First Circuit Court. An appeal by Hawaii Life Flight was dismissed in May by the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the company has filed a second appeal.

The bankruptcy was filed in the middle of the appeals process, essentially preventing the court from moving ahead with the case, said Honolulu attorney Gregory Kugle, who represents Stone.

“(The bankruptcy filing) is a gimmick to try to delay collection efforts. It’s probably a bad-faith filing intended only to try to avoid (paying) James Stone’s judgment,” he said. “We’re evaluating our options, but we are going to continue to pursue recovery of the money they owe Mr. Stone for violating whistleblower protection laws.”…

Meanwhile, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. is suing Hawaii Life Flight, one of the state’s two air ambulance providers, for secretly funding patient lawsuits against the health plan to pay for what Kaiser calls excessive medevac charges.

The state’s largest health maintenance organization filed the suit in U.S. District Court on Feb. 18, claiming that the air ambulance company is charging exorbitant rates that are significantly higher than those of its competitor, AMR Air Hawaii….

2005: Air Ambulance gives Sen J Kalani Powdernose English free rides 

read … Embattled medevac firm files bankruptcy

Liquefied natural gas bridge to Hawaii collapses

BIV: Even the Environmental Defence Fund agreed: natural gas could be the low-carbon backstop needed to bolster renewable power, which is mostly intermittent and unpredictable.

It was music to the ears of those who want to see a liquefied natural gas industry develop in B.C….

Just last week, an example of what she was talking about crystallized when FortisBC lost a 20-year LNG contract with Hawaii – a deal that would have required a second multimillion-dollar expansion of its Tilbury Island LNG plant, which is already undergoing a $400 million expansion.

But this time it wasn’t low oil and gas prices that caused an LNG developer to hit the pause or delete button – it was competition (political interference) from renewable energy.

Under the 20-year agreement with Hawaii’s power utility, Hawaii Electric, FortisBC would have supplied 800,000 tonnes of LNG per year.

But the contract was dependent on a merger between Hawaii Electric and Florida’s NextEra Energy Inc.

On July 15, Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission rejected the merger, saying it was not only bad for ratepayers, but that the power utility’s plans did not fit within Hawaii’s mandate to achieve a 100% renewable energy objective by 2045.

SC: Hawaii LNG: Canary in coalmine or unrelated blip?

HNN: Groundbreaking held for Kauai solar energy project

read … Liquefied natural gas bridge to Hawaii collapses

Kauai: Anti-Agriculture Lawsuit Filed by Phony Environmentalists

CB: …The nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit Monday against Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation alleging it allows pesticides and chemicals to flow unchecked through Kauai’s Mana Plain and into waterways.

The ADC is a division of the Department of Agriculture. Earthjustice threatened to sue in May, on behalf groups including the Surfrider Foundation and Pesticide Action Network, according to a press release.

The ADC leases thousands of acres of land in the area to seed companies.

The lawsuit claims that a 40-mile-long drainage ditch on Kauai’s west side is in violation of the Clean Water Act, which requires a permit before discharging hazardous chemicals into state waters or wetlands.

The ADC decided not to renew its permit in May and instead pursue an exemption to create a plan to care for the soil and water in the Mana Plain.

A $100,000 government study in response to concerns about pesticide use concern showed four pesticides were found in the area, but the amount was low enough that they wouldn’t have “significant negative” impacts on the environment….

KGI: DOH, ADC face lawsuit from Earthjustice

read … Acting Against Agriculture on Behalf of Tourism Industry

After Tuition Hike, UH to find out if it will get hit with a historic penalty

SA: …After a 29-month process, the University of Hawaii expects to find out shortly, maybe even as soon as this week, if it will become one for the books, the bulging infractions case books, that is.

If the NCAA’s version of the Supreme Court, the Infractions Appeals Committee, does not see fit to vacate the penalty imposed by the Committee on Infractions in December, the men’s basketball team could become the first team banned from postseason play by the NCAA under its new penalty structure as “aggravated” without a finding of lack of institutional control or a Level I penalty and with multiple mitigating factors.

The NCAA instituted the structure Oct. 30, 2012, promising penalties designed to be “demonstrably more severe,” according to Oregon State President Ed Ray of the NCAA Board of Directors at the time….

Six players who had eligibility remaining when the 2015-16 season concluded have already scattered.

The impact of the possibility of the 2016-17 postseason ban that has hung over the program is a large part of why UH said it is prepared to give men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot, who came aboard after sanctions were announced, a multi-year extension.

Meanwhile, UH waits to see if it can elude the ignominy of becoming the “Hawaii precedent.”

read … You Tuition Dollars at Work

Decade After Being Blocked by OHA, Will Kauai Finally Get Drug Treatment Center?

SA: …The concept of an adolescent treatment center was first proposed under the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste in 2003. A site near Hanapepe Salt Ponds was rejected over concerns (from OHA) about safety and potential impacts on the ponds. County officials later proposed a site in the Isenberg subdivision that again met resistance over concern that the facility was too close to homes, according to the draft.

The proposed location off Maalo Road is regarded by county officials as ideal for serving clients from all areas of the island, and is seen as a reasonable distance from residential neighborhoods.

To view the draft environmental assessment, visit www.bit.ly/2a6N4HE.

The public may submit comments on the draft by Aug. 22 to Theresa Koki, coordinator of Life’s Choices Kauai, at tkoki@kauai.gov or by mail to 4444 Rice St. Suite 235, Lihue, HI 96766. Comments also may be sent to John Kirkpatrick of consultant Belt Collins Hawaii LLC at jkirkpatrick@bch design.com or by mail to 2153 N. King St. Suite 200, Honolulu, HI 96819.

2007: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Blocks Kauai Drug Treatment Facility

read … Comments sought on report on youth treatment facility

Advocates For Elderly Sue State Over Inspections Of Care Homes

CB: …The state’s failure to post inspection reports of state-licensed care facilities online has prompted advocates for the elderly to go to court to force the state to comply with the law.

The Hawaii Department of Health has failed to comply with the law for the past 18 months. The Kokua Council for Elderly Citizens has been writing letter to the agency urging officials to post the records.

On Monday, the group filed a lawsuit against Health Director Virginia Pressler to get a judge to order the department to follow the law….

read … Lawsuit

42 Handi-Van Vehicles out of Commission

KHON: …The mud and debris is being cleared. However, the city says 25 vehicles are not in service due to the flooding. This is in addition to 17 vehicles that were previously being repaired.

Transportation officials say to expect delays due to the vehicle storage and current road conditions.

Back in 2014, transportation officials unveiled 99 new vans that replaced their aging fleet. The average lifespan of a van is seven years, and a recent Federal Transit Administration study indicated that similar types of vehicles are typically retired after about six years….

read  … Incompetence

HPD officer arrested for DUI

HNN: …Officer Danny Balico, 26, was taken into custody on Tuesday, July 19 just before 5 a.m. near the 24 Hour Fitness on Kapiolani Boulevard.

Balico has served one year on the force so far….

read … Another One

Makani Christensen has long been an ally of Hawaii’s fishing community

CB: On paper, Makani Christensen, who’s seeking his first term in the U.S. Senate, has all the makings of an up-and-coming Hawaii politician.

He’s a local boy, part-Hawaiian, born on Maui, who graduated from Kamehameha Schools before attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Christensen, 36, served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine. When he came home he launched his own tour guide company in Honolulu….

read … Running Against Schatz

Rod Tam Crosses The Aisle To Try To Come Back

CB: Talking with Rod Tam about his guilty plea, his nights in jail and why he’s running for the state Senate as a Republican….

read … Aisle

You Tube Video Reveals Homosexual Sex Harassment in Hawaii Community Service Program

SA: …A transgendered probationer claiming that a supervisor overseeing her his community service work inappropriately touched her him and propositioned her him for sexual favors posted a live video of the alleged encounter to social media.

Makana Milho, 21, was ordered to complete six days of community service to get a theft charge expunged from her his record. She said her his fifth day was interrupted when the work-site supervisor acted inappropriately.  (Translate: Profitably)

Milho secretly recorded and posted live to Facebook approximately 30 minutes of conversations that she alleges were between her him and the supervisor between 7:34 and 8:36 a.m. Friday.

One of the videos went viral, and by Monday afternoon already had garnered 197,000 Facebook views, 2,042 shares and 1,350 comments. Two others received thousands of views and hundreds of comments.

In the viral video a man can be heard telling Milho that she can go home early if she will perform sexual favors. Milho, who is represented by Honolulu attorney Myles Breiner, also alleges that the man tried to hold her his hand and pinched and slapped her his buttocks while she was cleaning park bathrooms.

It’s clear from the video that the supervisor knew she was transgendered….

LINK: VIDEO  (Be sure to read the comments)

read … Lawsuits Pay More than Johns

Here’s why the Hawaii LGBT Caucus doesn’t support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s reelection campaign

MT:  …the July 18 news release from the Hawaii Democratic Party’s LGBT Caucus was so surprising. The news release listed their Statements of Support for the 2016 state Primary Election. In the 2nd District race, the caucus issued a statement of “Strong Support” for Democrat Shay Chan Hodges, who’s running against Gabbard in the Primary, but listed no statement whatsoever for Gabbard.

“She [Chan Hodges] did a wonderful interview with us,” LGBT Caucus Chairperson convicted thief Michael 'Bitchbear' Golojuch, Jr. told us by phone on July 22. “Her answers were spot-on, in-depth and detailed. She would be a breath of fresh air in Congress.”

Gabbard, according to Golojuch, was more problematic. “Her [questionnaire] responses were short,” he said. And then, he said, there was the 2015 interview she gave for the website Ozy.

That story, first posted on Sept. 27, 2015 and titled “Tulsi Gabbard: A Young Star Headed For The Cabinet?” is a detailed but positive profile of Gabbard. The portion that alarmed Golojuch and the LGBT Caucus appeared halfway through, and deals with Gabbard’s views on same-sex marriage–both before she got elected to Congress, and after.

“About 10 years ago, Gabbard violated some of the tenets that now make her so popular as a Democrat with an EMILY’s List endorsement to boot–she was neither pro-choice nor pro-gay-marriage, and in fact fell in line with her erstwhile Republican father [Hawaii state Senator Mike Gabbard],” states the article. “After repeated follow-ups, the congresswoman replies with a note about her sponsorship of the Equality Act (adding sexual orientation to categories of prohibited discrimination) and of her support for equal treatment of gay service members’ spouses.”

So far, so good, right? Except right after that Ozy drops this bombshell:

“Fittingly for her narrative, though, the explanation for her changed ideology feints us back onto familiar territory–the military,” states the article. “It was, she says, the days in the Middle East that taught her the dangers of a theocratic government ‘imposing its will’ on the people. (She tells me that, no, her personal views haven’t changed, but she doesn’t figure it’s her job to do as the Iraqis did and force her own beliefs on others.)”

So after all this time, Gabbard still personally opposes same-sex marriage, but won’t say or do anything politically about it? This puts her campaign statement on same-sex marriage that we cited above in an entirely different light.

Golojuch said the LGBT Caucus still planned to interview Gabbard in person, but Gabbard’s staff cancelled that on July 17…

read … Crumbling

Corps of Engineers Plan for Waikiki?  ‘Build a Wall’

CB: Feds Finalize $175 Million Plan To Protect Waikiki From Flooding….

…The Honolulu office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is finalizing a plan to set up berms and build 4-foot walls along the canal to mitigate the potential flood damage.

The final report won’t be ready until Aug. 24, but project manager Derek Chow said it will likely include more walls along the Ala Wai Canal despite some public criticism of the aesthetic impact of building them

read … 4 foot wall around Ala Wai

UH astronomers test waters for new telescope atop Haleakala

MN: Project would use existing buildings to house device designed to study the atmospheres of distant planets….

Kaleikoa Kaeo, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii Maui College, who was recently ordered to pay a $200 fine for disorderly conduct during last year's protests. 

"They believe that just by mitigating the desecration, it's somehow better," Kaeo said. "It's still desecration. . . . They don't realize the desecration is their presence on the mountain."

Kaeo said Native Hawaiians have "never given consent to the taking of that mountain," and that the Institute for Astronomy "has always been a bastion for settlerism."  (Translation: Gimme some money to go away.)

"When the decision-making comes about . . . they continue not to recognize, they continue to ignore that Hawaiians are a real people with a real history, with a real religious connection," Kaeo said. "The university has no title to these lands. These are lands that were taken illegally and unlawfully from the Hawaiian Kingdom."

Planning for the solar telescope wasn't done properly and was "a disrespect for our culture," said Puanani Lindsey, vice president of Kilakila O Haleakala, a citizens group that challenged the Inouye telescope in court in 2012…. (Translation: Gimme some money to go away.)

"We're not changing the landscape of the mountain at all for this," Kuhn added. "The telescope is very small, and it's going into a building that's already there. . . . We're trying to be careful and transparent and open in the process."

Kuhn said the project would cost about $4 million, which the participating countries are helping to fund. Construction is estimated to take about four months and Kuhn said the institute hopes to begin using the instrument in 2017.

Project details are available for review at www.oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/2016-07-23.pdf. Under the table of contents, click PLANETS Telescope Facility DEA (AFNSI).

read … Target for Eco-Extortion

Readers Not Fooled by Latest HI-Tech Tax Credit Sales Pitch

SA: Lets just skip to the comments:

“…when the state steps in to pick winners and losers with taxpayer money, the “fools” component is covered….”

“…The State would do well to get out of this startup funding business since it wastes its money to keep unsuccessful zombie companies alive on life support to die a slow, long, extended death. A successful business doesn’t really need startup funding, since success is its own funding source….”

“Waste of money.”

“This is an issue where I come down on the side of conservative economic policy. The State of California does not fund tech start ups. Santa Clara Valley became something of a free-market incubator fed by private venture capital. Companies that were unable to market strong products or to adapt to changing conditions withered. The companies that emerged became strong and vibrant contributors to an information based economy.

“Further, I really don’t think it’s wise to have 21st century winners picked by an entity of a government that operates using a tragically outdated IT infrastructure.”

“Act 221 was … good for big companies who wanted to game the system for tax writeoffs. Very poorly administered by the state with poor oversight by the legislature.”

June 30: Hawaii Hi Tech Darling Mbloom Collapses After Feds Arrest ‘Porn King’ in $60M Indian Tribe Ripoff

read … State must be more willing to back local tech startups

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