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Friday, August 19, 2016
August 19, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:41 PM :: 3315 Views

Djou: Formby Will Further Politicize HART

Regents approve Lassner as UH Manoa interim chancellor

Ige Extends Homeless Emergency Proclamation (again)

Homelessness Decrees: Short-Term or Shortsighted?

Statehood Backed by Silent Majority of Hawaiians

1959: Martin Luther King Jr Salutes Hawaii Statehood

Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American

Caldwell, Formby will Beg Feds to Approve Middle Street Scheme—‘Tough Sell’

KHON: One of the first orders of business is an all-hands-on-deck meeting just 11 days away with the Federal Transit Administration.

Interim HART boss Mike Formby will be in San Francisco for a landmark meeting with the feds at month’s end, Aug. 29 and 30, and we’re told others are also heading there: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu City Council chairman Ernie Martin, FTA’s top brass from D.C. and the western region, even HART senior staff and board representatives….

We asked if ideas others have floated will be talked about in San Francisco, such as redefining the project’s minimum operating segment to Middle Street, then applying right away for more federal money for an extension to Ala Moana or beyond.

Hanabusa says they are likely to be discussed, but she thinks will be a tough sell to the feds….

read … How a leadership shakeup affects key rail projects, recovery plan

Morishige: Emergency Proclamations Allow Government to Act Quickly on Homelessness 

SA: …Morishige ran through the list of 13 homeless-related projects that have benefited from the proclamations, and hinted that more could come online soon, including a possible expansion of the city’s nascent Hale Mauliola community on Sand Island, which has taken in 214 homeless people since it opened in November.

Since Ige signed his original homeless proclamation in October, Morishige said, they have helped more than 4,800 people — including 1,353 island families — either find homes or prevent them from becoming homeless.

Specifically, Morishige said, Ige’s proclamations have helped dramatically reduce the size of the Kakaako homeless encampment from more than 300 people last summer to somewhere between 30 and 50 homeless people per night.

Seven of the nine homeless projects that require construction are on Oahu, and six are being built through the City and County of Honolulu. They’ll begin housing homeless people four to five years ahead of the time it takes to build or renovate a normal government project, Morishige said.

Collectively they expect to directly house 500 homeless people and a still-to-be-determined number of low-income residents, Morishige said.

But the proclamations have helped homeless-related efforts far beyond building or renovating housing, Morishige said.

When the federal department of Housing and Urban Development this year cut funding for seven local nonprofit organizations that provide transitional housing, the proclamations helped provide emergency funding to keep about 300 clients from becoming homeless again, Ige’s office said.

The proclamations also enabled the state Department of Human Services to sign a contract with Aloha United Way to quickly disperse $4.7 million of state money to homeless families — and those at risk of becoming homeless — instead of putting the contract out to bid.

At the same time, Morishige said, the state Department of Human Services helped develop “a new model of contracting” that allows the AUW to serve as the master contractor in charge of social service programs on all islands to get the money out to families in need….

SA: Homeless Dude grabs steering wheel of Downtown Bus

read … Act Quickly

Caldwell to be Saddled with Waimanalo Ditch Just Before Election Day

SA: The Honolulu Planning Commission decided this week to make a recommendation in October on the future of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in West Oahu.

Meanwhile, the attorney representing former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (ie representing Jeff Stone) continues to oppose the use of the West Oahu landfill and argue that the city should be fined daily by the state for operating it illegally.

Dean Hazama, Planning Commission chairman, said Thursday that the commission voted Wednesday to deny a request by the city, the Ko Olina Community Association and state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Kalaeloa-Waianae-Makaha), and Schnitzer Steel to extend proceedings through April while they continue to hash out a long-delayed settlement to resolve the matter of whether the landfill should be allowed to continue operations.

The commission is now slated on Oct. 26 to issue a recommendation — to be forwarded to the state Land Use Commission — on whether the city should get an extension of a special permit that allows the landfill to continue, Hazama said.

read … Jeff Stone

1,678 Votes Will Not be Counted: Absentee Ballots Arriving Late at Election Office

HTH: …The Hawaii County Elections Office found a staggering 771 completed absentee ballots in its mailbox Monday, prompting County Clerk Stewart Maeda to issue a reminder for people to mail their ballots earlier next time.

“We want people to use absentee ballots, but we really encourage people to get it in sooner,” Maeda said.

In comparison, there were 500 late ballots in Honolulu, 347 on Maui and 60 on Kauai, state Elections Office spokeswoman Nedielyn Bueno said.

“It varies each election year, but typically is around these numbers,” Bueno said in an emailed response to a telephone call Thursday.

Under state law, absentee ballots must be received by the Clerks Office by 6 p.m. Election Day.

Those ballots can be mailed, turned in to any polling place or dropped off at the county building in Hilo.

Ballots coming in later are not opened, but are sent with the voted ballots to Honolulu for storage, said Hawaii County Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto.

“We were very concerned,” said Nakamoto. “We usually get a few here and there, but never that high.”

Nakamoto said the late ballots came from all over the island, and weren’t limited to a certain area. She said she doesn’t recall seeing any overseas ballots, which are returned in a different colored envelope.

Although several races were district rather than countywide, some of them were decided by far less than 771 votes.

Tim Richards beat County Councilwoman Margaret Wille by around 100 votes and House 7 incumbent Cindy Evans held on to her seat by less than 200 votes….

MN: Ballots for primary were never received

read … Late Ballots

Hospital: Time for HGEA to settle with Ige

SA: A major step forward was taken a week ago today, when the state and the United Public Workers struck a deal for the union’s 530 hospital employees that basically settles a delaying lawsuit — and now, the Hawaii Government Employees Association must similarly do right by the communities the hospitals serve….

obstacles remain over HGEA’s insistence of added benefits for its 900 members at the three hospitals, a dubious position since Kaiser was set to retain virtually all employees.

A figurative step back must be taken at this point, to recall why privatization was necessary to begin with. The publicly run Hawaii Health Systems Corp. (HHSC) is financially unsustainable, and private-public partnership looks to be the best way for these community hospitals to survive and modernize in a fast-changing health care industry. Maui’s system is the first attempting this path — estimated to save the state $260 million in hospital subsidies over the next decade — but it has been stymied by UPW’s lawsuit and by HGEA’s legislative maneuvers….

How much the UPW settlement will cost the state is still unknown, and that bears watching. The Legislature had appropriated $33.4 million for HHSC employees in 2016-2017, as a contingency. Kaiser and the state now will be negotiating a lump sum to pay to HHSC under an employment lease agreement regarding the UPW employees, starting from when the Kaiser transfer occurs until June 30.

Like the UPW, HGEA’s Maui hospital contract with the state expires June 30, 2017….

Discussions between HGEA and the governor are ongoing, so there’s cause for some optimism. The Maui communities and ERS members should be pressing HGEA to negotiate a pact with the state that allows the Maui hospitals’ transition to occur in November….

Flashback: Hospital Reform? Randy Perreira Says "F*** You"

read … Time for HGEA to settle with Ige

School Reform: HSTA wants you to believe it’ll be Different This Time

SA: Alarm, overhaul, stagnation, denial, recognition. Repeat ad infinitum.

Students of educational history will recognize in these five words the cycle that has defined American school culture for decades….

We are fortunate to be living in a state led by a governor who (having been put there by HSTA) recognizes what (that his reelection) is at stake and who has created a robust task force that is working to establish grassroots consensus as to what is best for Hawaii schools and the students they serve.

We are also fortunate to have an increasingly dynamic teachers union (Wow.  Just wow.) that has sponsored a teacher- written report, “Schools Our Keiki Deserve,” which echoes the advice of our top educational researchers as well as the urgent tone of “No Time to Lose.”

Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) officials have shown signs recently that they are beginning to veer away from the pattern of denial that for years has characterized state and district education departments across the country. They have, for instance, conceded the unhealthy aspects of standardized testing, and they have also begun to embrace the idea of whole-child education as practiced in the world’s top-performing school systems….  (Translation: HSTA thinks it can get everything.)

read … You Believe Me Don’t You?

A Decade Later--Kauai Adolescent Drug Treatment Center Groundbreaking

KGI: Calah Nakasone of the Judiciary Department, Community Service division said the work being done Thursday morning was where everything starts as she hefted her hoe to break apart a clump of guinea grass in an empty lot adjoining Ma‘ala Road.

“This is good,” Nakasone said. “Our clients are sourced throughout the island, but for the Drug Court, this is one of their service projects. It’s giving back. This is where it starts. This is progress. It’s awesome.”

Nakasone was one of nearly 50 volunteers who wielded hoes, picks, machetes, and other utensils to do work on the 5-acre site which will eventually house the drug treatment center for adolescents in Kapaia.

“I just want to make sure that we really want to thank the residents of Hanamaulu for making this happen,” said Theresa Koki of Life’s Choices program, coordinator of the clean up effort. “This is the Field of Dreams.” ….

2007: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Blocks Kauai Drug Treatment Facility

read … Overdue, thanks to OHA obstructionism

Harry Kim Job Killer?

WHT: …During Harry Kim’s terms in office, I was the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Director. We had numerous companies wanting to establish operations providing non-agricultural and/or technical jobs. One was a waste-to-energy facility that would have processed, using modern technology, all the trash from west Hawaii and produce electricity, jet fuel, and reduce Hawaii’s consumption of diesel fuel as well as environmental cleanup.

The most memorable instance was in 2007, a company that wanted to construct a server farm at the lab, employing 3,000 people and paying an average annual salary of $60,000. The board of directors gave this plan initial approval. An environmental activist stepped in and started a mud-slinging campaign against the project, making many unsubstantiated claims.

The company, some board members, and I met with then-Mayor Kim to discuss planning approval of the project. After carefully listening to everyone, Mayor Kim proclaimed he was against the project and would not approve it. Sitting next to Mayor Kim, I turned and asked him why. Mayor Kim turned to me, patted me on my knee and said, “Ron, you just do not understand.” I asked him what didn’t I understand. He said such a project would only serve to increase traffic on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway, raise housing prices, and create more income disparity between those those who have and those who have not.

“Besides, we have all the jobs we need in hotels and the construction industry.” ….

read … Kim not the economic answer

Felony? ‘Cancer free’ Kaaihue Offers to Drop out of CD2 Race in Exchange for Inducement

SA: In one of the more peculiar outbursts of the Hawaii political season, Republican congressional candidate Angela Aulani Kaaihue has issued a news release rejecting “this local dumb mentality” and offering to withdraw from her race if Gov. David Ige and “his Japanese constituents” will settle a lawsuit over land her family owns in Waimalu….

Federal Felony Up to One Year in Federal Prison --

Title 18 §600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity

Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Class C State Felony, Up to Two Years at Hard Labor, loss of office -- HRS 19-3:

(7) Every person who induces or procures any person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election in consideration of any payment or gift or valuable consideration; or of any threat; and every candidate who withdraws from being a candidate in pursuance of such inducement or procurement;

2008: State vs Stenger (Angela Kaaihue welfare fraud: 90 days jail, 5 years probation)

read … Induce me



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