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Saturday, August 20, 2016
August 20, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:21 PM :: 3413 Views

Maili Most Stressed Place in Hawaii, Mountain View Least

Honolulu adds hurdles for military families driving for Uber, Lyft

Ninth Circuit Shields Hawaii Open Primaries

HART: Two Down, Caldwell to Go

HNN: …In a statement, Grabauskas said, "By stepping aside today I hope to allow HART to move forward to ultimate success with fresh leadership."

Grabauskas' resignation comes four months after City Council Chairman Ernie Martin called on the CEO to step down in response to a scathing report by the city auditor.

Honolulu auditor Edwin Young said that HART's financial plans were not reliable, that cost projections lacked supporting documentation, and that it had no plans for operating and maintenance costs.

In the wake of the audit, HART Board Chairman Don Horner stepped down, though he defended HART's work. In contrast, Grabauskas sought to shoot down the audit's findings, calling the report a "joke" and its conclusions flawed.

Since then, however, cost projections have soared to the point that the rail project only has enough money to build to Middle Street and not all the way to Ala Moana Center.

But in the past several months, Grabauskas also frustrated his own board members by not providing them with enough information about the project.
That frustration was evident during HART's Aug. 8 board meeting, when Formby asked a staffer for a list of change orders from contractor Kiewit. Formby earlier expressed concern that he was hearing rumors in the business community and not from staff about a new batch of change orders from Kiewit.

"We have no concept of what's out there," Formby said….

"Dan Grabauskas is a leading actor in the rail disaster," Djou said, adding that the CEO's resignation "is only a step in the right direction."

"It's not going to get the job done. That's only going to happen in November when we replace the mayor," Djou said.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, meanwhile, sought to distance himself from Grabauskas…

read … Next Stop Caldwell

Maui Hospital: Privatization injunction dissolved

SA: A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for the privatization of three Maui hospitals to finally proceed by dissolving an injunction that had blocked the transaction between the state and Kaiser Permanente.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 17 had issued the injunction, effectively halting the largest privatization effort in state history.

On Friday the court issued a new order that dissolved that injunction, allowing Kaiser to finally assume control of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital & Clinic and Lanai Community Hospital later this year….

In a statement issued Friday, state Attorney General Douglas Chin said the court made it clear during oral arguments “that it preferred seeing the parties settle instead of the court making an all-or-nothing decision,” adding, “Reaching compromise is not always easy. I thank Gov. Ige and the union leadership for finding a forward path.”

The order means that all transition activities between the state and a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health System, may resume at the three Maui region facilities, according to Chin.

Ige has said he expects additional state hospitals will be privatized, including Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital on Hawaii island….

SR: Judge issues order ending Hawaii hospital worker lawsuit

read … Privatization

Suspended UPW Prison Guards Sue for Promotions, Lose

SA: The Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in cases from 2009 and 2010.

One guard caught sleeping on the job and not wearing proper footwear was suspended for 10 days. An adult corrections officer who exchanged heated words with another guard got a five-day suspension.

A guard who failed to turn in an incident report netted a two-day suspension, and another adult corrections officer received a one-day suspension for claiming overtime for work he performed on a day he was supposed to be serving a suspension for prior misconduct. And a prison guard who improperly released an inmate also got a one-day suspension.

None of them challenged their suspensions. They did, however, challenge the Department of Public Safety’s refusal to consider them for promotion to supervisory positions because they applied for the jobs within two years of getting their suspensions….

The court ruled that state collective-bargaining law gives employers and unions the option to negotiate promotion procedures and criteria but does not require the employer to disclose to the union what qualifications it will consider when promoting employees….

read … Aren’t UPW-Controlled Prisons Great?

Federal ban on Private Prisons Means Illegal Aliens Will be in Federal Penitentiary

AB: …There are only about 20,000 federal prison inmates currently held in private facilities (a little over 1 percent of inmates in the country), so the overall impact on the prison population may not be huge, but for immigrants, Raphael says, this will have an effect.

“Someone who has been deported in the past and who is caught attempting to reenter the United States without inspection is subject to federal prosecution and prison time within the federal system,” Raphael says. “Phasing out the use of the private facilities in the federal system will have the greatest impact on undocumented immigrants who are prosecuted in federal courts.”

Issa Arnita, a spokesman for Management and Training Corporation (a contractor that manages private prisons), criticized the department’s plan in a statement, saying, “If the DOJ’s decision to end the use of contract prisons were based solely on declining inmate populations, there may be some justification, but to base this decision on cost, safety and security, and programming is wrong.” ….

Private Prison Cancelled: The $50 Million Luxury Resort for Illegal Aliens You Just Paid for Has Saunas, a Swimming Pool & Gym

News Home for Illegals, Thanks to Ban on Private Prisons: Leavenworth

read … Federal Penitentiary

Cost of Living: Hawaii Teacher Salaries Lowest in USA

MC: When salaries are adjusted to reflect the difference between prices here and the national average, Michigan teachers on average earned the equivalent of $69,888 in the 2015-16 school year.

The study was authored by Byron Schlomach of the Oklahoma-based1889 Institute, a free-market think tank. Schlomach said in an email he used salary data from a National Education Association survey.

Hawaii scored dead last with a cost-of-living-adjusted teacher salary of $29,788….

read … Dead Last

‘Green’ Energy Initiative to Justify $30B in Rate Hikes

IM: The Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) Power Supply Improvement Plans (PSIPs) were filed with the Public Utilities Commission last spring.
What would it cost to transform Hawai`i to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045?

Two large, but wildly different cost estimates, were thrown out into the public arena. NextEra asserted it would cost $30 billion. A former PUC Commission said $8 billion.

($30B/1.4M = $21,428.57 per person, $85,714.28 for a family of four.)

read … $30B out of your pocket

Biofooled: New Diesel Plant Will Provide Excuse for More Rate Hikes 

PBN: The state’s largest utility and the U.S. Army are scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the 50-megawatt ‘biofuel-capable’ (Translation: Diesel) generation plant on Monday….

Last fall, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved the project and placed a cap of $167 million for the utility to spend on the power plant. Hawaiian Electric originally proposed that it would cost $170 million to build.

The utility estimates a monthly increase in a typical customer bill ranging from $1.95 to $2.44 in the initial years of the project and a decrease over time….

read … Rate Hikes

Maui to Clear out Homeless Tent City at Kanaha Beach Park

MN: The parks department said that the camping permit suspension will allow for cleanup of the park and is part of the department's master planning process to address "numerous complaints from park users," according to a news release Thursday. The issues cited include large items, such as appliances and vehicles, being dumped in the area; weekly police reports of drunken and disorderly conduct, drug offenses, assaults and other incidents; and the campground area being unsafe and unsanitary for overnight use….

Campers estimated that more than a hundred people - not all of them with permits - live throughout the park, with the vast majority of them being families with young children. School buses pick up children from the park….

The unidentified mother, who wondered where she would go when the park was shutdown to campers (anywhere except a shelter), said she has been living at the park for two years and buys a four-day overnight permit for $30 a week. She drops off her 11-year-old son at school and then drives to work at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali….

Her niece also may be living with them after exhausting her two-year limit at the shelter. She has four young children and is having a hard time finding a home even with federal assistance….

A couple days ago, her friends were solicited to buy drugs and on Thursday a large fight broke out in front of a group of French tourists….

SA: Beachboy finds shelter through Honolulu transitional housing center

read … Tent City

Anti-GMO Activist Blames ‘Brainwashed Filipinos, Puerto Ricans and Portuguese’

MC: M: That’s what I wanted to touch on; it seems like it’s people from the island who are facilitating these companies.

Dustin Barca: Yeah, unfortunately, we have a “plantation mentality.” The plantations from the 1800s brought in a lot of Filipinos, Portuguese, and Puerto Ricans to work here. It was colonial-style farming with sugarcane and pineapple, so all these people have done is switch from those crops to GMO corn and soy and experimental crops. All these people have been brainwashed to think this is their way of life, that plantation life. When it comes down to passing bills, these companies have really divided the island. They divide and conquer by making it a race thing, making it a cultural thing, really trying to pit people against each other….

…The people of Hawaii are just stuck in a 200-year mental slavery, thinking this is the only way to farm….

read … Marijuana.com

Kathryn Xian Busted by Undercover Sheriffs in Lyft Sting

KHON: …Two Lyft drivers have been arrested for operating at Honolulu International Airport without proper permits.

The offense is considered a misdemeanor under Hawaii law.

Antonino Quito and Kathryn Xian, an activist who ran for U.S. Congress two years ago, were arrested by investigators with the Department of the Attorney General in what sources describe as a sting operation.

Sources tell us that their passengers were actually undercover officers for the state. Once they were picked up, the drivers were then handcuffed, their cell phones confiscated, and they were booked at the state Sheriff’s office….

read … Lyft

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