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Monday, August 22, 2016
August 22, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:38 PM :: 3910 Views

Hawaii Foster Grandparent Program Needs Volunteers

Surprise: 20 More Marijuana Dispensary Licenses to be Awarded in October, 2017

HTH: New data from the state Department of Health confirms Hawaii County has nearly twice as many medical marijuana patients as Oahu, with about 11 percent living in Pahoa alone.

On June 30, there were 6,101 patients residing on Hawaii Island, comprising 42 percent of the 14,492 patients statewide. The island has about 13 percent of the state’s total population.

Pahoa, with an estimated 14,565 residents in 2014, had 702 of those patients. Meanwhile, Hilo — with roughly three times the population as Pahoa — had 637 patients. Kona had 705 and Oahu had 3,408 patients.

“The Big Island is a (draw) for open-minded, liberal, more alternative folks,” said Andrea Tischler, local marijuana advocate and chairwoman of the Big Island chapter of Americans for Safe Access.  (Get all the progressives in one place and keep them drugged.  Good plan.) “And in Pahoa, people don’t have that resistance to using cannabis that others in the population might have. They use it not just for medical use, but also for recreational use, so they’re more open-minded because they know it helps them.”

The DOH has posted aggregate statistics about its medical marijuana registry program for about two years. However, the census-designated place data is new.

The DOH has posted aggregate statistics about its medical marijuana registry program for about two years. However, the census-designated place data is new. Spokeswoman Janice Okubo said in an email additional information posted for the first time July 7 is aimed at helping newly licensed dispensary operators determine where to locate retail stores. The department plans to update it yearly, she said, and also will use it when determining where to issue future dispensary licenses.

Current law allows the DOH to issue additional licenses starting Oct. 1, 2017. Only one license can be issued per 500 patients who live in a county….. 

(Translation: Dope doctors are rushing to sign up as many medicated marijuana users as possible to up the number of marijuana licenses available.) 

Tourism: First Kiwi to publicly and legally bring medicinal cannabis into NZ – from Hawaii

read … Marijuana proponents predict big increase in users

Federal Prosecution Only Way to get Rid of Bad HPD Cops

SA: …The issue of light punishment even surfaces when HPD officers are successfully prosecuted in state court.

Of the 21 who were convicted or pleaded guilty or no contest to criminal offenses since 2010, only one was sentenced to time behind bars, according to the newspaper’s analysis.

Eighteen of the 21 were granted so-called deferred acceptances of guilty or no contest pleas, getting the chance to avoid a conviction altogether. If the defendants, usually first-time offenders, are able to stay out of trouble for a specified period, the court typically dismisses the charges, leaving the offender’s record unblemished.

None of the 18 who received deferrals were given sentences that included jail or prison time. They instead got fines, community service or counseling classes, or a combination of these. More than a dozen are still on the force.

Dave Furtado was among the 18, though he no longer is with HPD.

Circuit Judge Rom Trader in 2012 granted the former officer’s request for deferred guilty and no-contest pleas to felony and misdemeanor charges for using the names and Social Security numbers of other officers and forging their signatures to get part-time work.

Furtado told the court he believed what he did was wrong but not criminal.

Furtado was granted a five-year deferral period. If he avoids trouble with the law until 2017, the charges are to be dismissed, sparing him a conviction.

Trader also ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.

In opposing Furtado’s deferred plea, Prosecutor Chris Van Marter told the court it would minimize “the seriousness of the conduct, and it sends the wrong message to others in the Police Department who might contemplate finding ways to get around the rules, to beat the system, for their own financial gain.”

In federal court, deferrals aren’t even allowed. And the sentences handed down there typically are harsher.

Of the eight HPD officers prosecuted in federal court since 2010, all were convicted, and six of the eight ended up getting jail or prison terms ranging from three to 33 months, according to the newspaper’s review. None are still on the force.

Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, whose office handles criminal cases in state court, agreed that punishments in the state system tend to be more lenient….

SA: Names of police officers disciplined for misconduct not released to public

read … HPD soft on discipline

HSTA Calls for Halt as DoE Awards ‘Cool Schools Contracts at Mind-Blowing $78K Per Classroom

SA: …C C Engineering &Construction Inc. emerged as the lowest bidder on cooling projects for four Oahu schools on the Department of Education’s priority list for air conditioning: Aliamanu Elementary, August Ahrens Elementary in Waipahu, Kamaile Academy in Waianae and Nanakuli Elementary.

The general contractor submitted bids totaling just over $1.96 million for the four projects, which involve solar-powered air conditioning for 25 portable classrooms as well as some remediation work for possible roof repairs and painting. That breaks down to an average of about $78,000 per classroom — almost double the per-classroom estimate the Department of Education had been budgeting but far below some of the other bids submitted.

For example, C C Engineering &Construction’s bid on the five-classroom cooling project at Aliamanu Elementary came in roughly $100,000 less per classroom than the highest bid. The company had bid $404,100 for the work, or $80,820 per classroom, compared with a bid from Economy Plumbing &Sheet Metal for $902,700, or $180,540 per classroom.

For Nanakuli Elementary’s six-classroom project, C C Engineering &Construction’s bid came in roughly $41,000 less per classroom than the next-lowest bid. The company bid $528,000 for the work, while Greenpath Technologies submitted a bid for $772,543….

Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association and a longtime advocate for cooling public school classrooms, contends the latest bids are still too high. He pointed to a handful of pilot projects in schools on Oahu and Molokai that have installed energy-efficient cooling systems for closer to $20,000 per classroom, without the need for expensive electrical upgrades.

“I’m completely frustrated,” Rosenlee said in an interview. “These companies are bidding $200,000 per classroom, and the winning bids are $80,000 per classroom. When I see those numbers, what it represents to me is, there are thousands of classrooms and tens of thousands of students that will never see air conditioning in their classrooms.”

He wants to see the project paused until costs can be reined in….

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

read … First state contracts awarded to cool isle classrooms

Grabauskas did not do this on his own

SA: …Grabauskas did not do all of this on his own. Many of the HART managers and pro-rail politicians who contributed to his downfall still will be employed.

It is painfully clear that the only reason for Grabauskas to resign at this particular time is to give politicians someone to shift the blame to, not to make the significant changes necessary to put rail back on track.

For a severance of $282,250, I am sure Grabauskas will keep his mouth shut.

read … Grabauskas did not do this on his own

Council Overrides Caldwell to Give Tax Break to Kakaako Small Businesses

SA: The city is offering a 50 percent discount on property taxes — but only for some landowners and businesses in Kakaako.

The move is intended to help preserve and promote industrial business uses in an area that has become the center of high-rise condominium development on Oahu.

A main premise of the tax break, which was granted by the City Council over opposition from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration, is that high-rise developments and other more valuable property uses in Kakaako, especially around planned rail stations, are driving up property taxes for owners of industrial properties and businesses….

Initially, Fukunaga’s bill gave a tax break to industrial businesses near all 20 of the planned rail stations in the area. That bill drew objections from a city budget executive who estimated that the measure, Bill 61 (2015), would cost $27 million in the first year and clash with a main goal of transit-oriented development: to promote higher and better new property uses, such as residential and retail establishments that increase populations near rail stations and boost the city’s property tax revenue.

After seven public hearings the measure was scaled back to cover only part of Kakaako. Council members voted 8-1 last month to pass the bill, and it became an ordinance without Caldwell’s signature on July 21. Councilman Brandon Elefante was the lone no vote.

Ordinance 16-21 offers a 50 percent property tax break to landowners or lessees within Central Kakaako if inadequate infrastructure serving their property prohibits significantly denser development. The bill is considered a “demonstration,” which could be expanded to other parts of Oahu….

Big Q: What do you think of the 50 percent property tax discount for some industrial businesses in Kakaako?

read … Override Caldwell

10,665 Sign up for Section 8 Housing

SA: …For the thousands of residents who signed up for a prime spot on the waiting list for federally subsidized Section 8 housing vouchers, the wait will likely be excruciatingly long. Only 200 to 300 vouchers will be issued within the first year.

The mere fact that 10,665 voucher applications were filed during a recent three-day window shows just how grim the state’s housing situation has become.

Even more staggering is that it’s the first time in 10 years that the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA) has opened the waiting list — which in 2006 swelled to 15,000 applications.

It’s taken nearly a decade to clear that backlog…

read … Sign up & Wait

Can Pueo be Used to Shut Down Affordable Housing Developments in Ewa?

SA: …Federal and state officials say they are moving forward with plans to survey and study the pueo as residents raise concerns about impacts of development in West Oahu on the bird’s habitat.

The pueo is an endemic subspecies listed by the state as endangered on Oahu, likely due to loss and degradation of habitat and predation.

There are no population estimates or distribution data and little understanding of the owl’s ecology, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pueo mainly eat small mammals such as rodents; live in wet and dry forests, grasslands and shrub lands; and nest on the ground….

read … Greenmail

Civil Beat Tries to Blame Longliners for Scallops from Philippines

CB: Tuna is laid out for fish buyers at the Honolulu fish auction. Ahi is near the top of the list for food-poisoning outbreaks in Hawaii….

read … Propaganda

Anti-Telescope Protest Leader to be Fined $27K for Interfering with Whale Rescue?

SA: Were they interfering with the rescue of a stranded whale or not?

That is the question left to a federal judge following an administrative hearing last week to determine whether two Hilo women who run a small Native Hawaiian group dedicated to the protection of whales and other marine animals will be punished for violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Kealoha Pisciotta (leader of anti-telescope protests) and Roxane Stewart of Hilo-based Kai Palaoa face fines of up to $27,000 in connection with the June 2014 incident at Kawaihae on Hawaii island.

But they contend they were merely following traditional Native Hawaiian cultural practice as they tried to save and comfort a dying melon-headed whale before returning its remains to the ocean….

(Nonsense: The ‘traditional native Hawaiian custom’ was to eat whales.  Ono good!)

Walters, NOAA’s Pacific office Wildlife Management and Conservation Branch chief, said the agency dispatched a team to respond to the stranding, but it was unable to do its job….

NOAA has argued that the women were “confrontational” at the scene, preventing the carcass from being retrieved for a necropsy….

Pisciotta and Stewart have argued that the federal agency has an obligation to protect and uphold the traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians under the state’s Admission Act.

In so doing, NOAA should allow greater latitude for Native Hawaiian cultural practices, much as it does in Alaska, where natives are allowed to hunt and kill whales. (BINGO!)

Related: Telescope-For-OHA-its all-About-the-Rent-Money

read … An article titled ‘2 Hilo whale protectors await ruling’

Kudos to the Ethically Challenged

KE: The Risk-Monger blog has an interesting post about activist strategies employed in Europe. It turns out they're the same tactics used by anti-GMO and “environmental” groups in Hawaii:

NGOs have been successful over the last decade in presenting small groups as parts of big networks, pretending to speak on behalf of the “people” when in reality they are only a couple reactionaries in a room with a laptop and a web-designer, accountable to no one and driven by a self-centred emotional zeal.

Social media allows small organisations to make maximum noise at a low cost by exploiting the viral structure of online networks.

There are many tricks for these minnows to deceive clueless policymakers and the media. This is manufactured perception, what I have called “commonality” — the deceitful manufacturing of reality to create a perception that everyone agrees with your strategic message. Previously it was called brainwashing or propaganda; in the activist Age of Stupid, it is considered as “advocacy”.

[It is] a communications manipulation lacking in truth or integrity … but until now, it has worked. Kudos to the ethically challenged!

KGI: Kauai Council Runoff—Can we finally be rid of Hooser?

read … Musings: Manufactured Perception

Civil Beat: Record Low Voter Turnout Calls for Repetition of Stale Ideas

CB: We should revisit automatic registration and voting by mail and take up the challenge of online voting ….

Big Q: Does voting make a difference?

read … Bla Bla Bla

Will politics get dirty over the issue of a landfill?

SA: …the Honolulu Planning Commission says it will issue a recommendation on whether the city should get an extension of a special permit that has kept Waimanalo Gulch operating.

The decision is scheduled for Oct. 26, during the final stretch before the Nov. 8 general election.

With the mayor’s race and three City Council seats in contention, the commission’s recommendation should make for interesting campaign fodder….

read … Fodder

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