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Saturday, January 13, 2018
January 13, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:11 PM :: 4482 Views

False Alarm: Hawaii Missile Alert Retracted by Civil Defense

Why Freddy Rice Went to Court

Permit Purgatory--Cost of Housing on the Rise

Lawmaker pushes pharmacies, insurance carriers for protections against Hawaii's No. 1 killer

Lack of Buyer forces Changes to Recycling Programs on Maui

New Catamaran Delivered for West Oahu dolphin tours

Honolulu Lowest Pay for STEM Professionals in USA

Ceded Lands: TV Stations to Handle OHA Lobbying for Mo’ Money

HNN: …Nearly 40 years have passed since the state formally recognized that “twenty percent of all funds derived from the public land trust” must be set aside to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians. However, after decades of litigation and negotiation over the interpretation of this requirement, in 2006, the Legislature and OHA agreed to $15.1 million as the temporary amount that should be transferred annually to OHA. Act 178 also required state agency reporting to provide data on what revenue was being generated from the use of public land trust (PLT) lands. Based on independent audits, and the state’s own accounting, this “interim” amount falls far short of the 20 percent of PLT revenues that Native Hawaiians and OHA are entitled to….

Through compelling interviews with former Hawaii Gov. John ‘Moneybags’ Waihee III, Office of Hawaiian Affairs officials and Native Hawaiian advocates, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied details the longstanding and complex efforts to ensure that the state fairly pays Native Hawaiians; documents the current shortfall in payments to Native Hawaiians; and shows how Native Hawaiians and their communities would benefit if they received appropriate funding from their ancestral lands….



read … Mo Money

OHA Trustee in Hit and Run?

KHON: …Branden Ibara says he had just gotten out of his parked car on Kawaiahao Street when a car hit his door as he was grabbing change to feed the meter.

Lei Ahu Isa was behind the wheel. He claims she stopped and they spoke, but she didn’t stick around to exchange information.

We had reached out to the trustee who told us she left in fear of Ibara.

“I left because I felt threatened. The attitude was belligerent and I did not want to get into an altercation with him,” Ahu Isa said at the time.

Ahu Isa was initially cited for §291C-13 Accidents involving damage to vehicle or property, which means she left the scene of an accident. It comes with a $100 fine.

We’ve since learned she admitted to §291C-15 Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or other property, which means she did not leave her information. She paid a $50 fine.

She also agreed to cover Ibara’s deductible, which was $500….

read … OHA trustee-assumes-responsibility-will-cover-payment-after-fender-bender

Escape Advice: State Hospital Officials Suggest Mailing Contraband

KHON: On November 12, Randall Saito escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital.

How he did it is still a mystery.  "How did this happen, I think we all want to know how did this happen," Dr. Virginia Pressler , director of the State Department of Health said. 

(Translation: HGEA members did it and they are untouchable.)

The State Department of Health say they're already taking action.

A new interior fence is said to be 30 days away from being completed, implementing GPS trackers on the hospital's radar.

Headcounts and unannounced searches will also happen more frequently….

"The way the mail policy reads is if we have a reason to suspect something may not be appropriate, we will open the mail in front of the patient. In absence of that we do not do it, it's a right as the AG said, that policy is under review and it may be changed," William May, Hawaii State Hospital administrator said. …

read … Mail in Contraband

Energy Costs Drive Isle consumer inflation in 2017

SA:  …Consumer prices in Honolulu rose last year at the fastest pace since 2011, driven by sharp increases in the cost of gasoline and electricity.

The 2.5 percent rise in inflation was only slightly higher, though, than Honolulu’s 20-year historical average of 2.3 percent and was in line with state economists’ forecasts….

Energy itself increased by 7.7 percent, and gasoline increased by double digits. This year we expect a similar inflation rate.”…

Hawaii has long been among the leaders for the highest energy costs in the nation. The state’s average price of electricity of 29.29 cents per kilowatt-hour is the highest in the nation and more than double the U.S. average of 12.84. And the cost for regular gasoline in Hawaii at $3.30 a gallon also ranks first in the nation and is 78 cents higher than the national average of $2.52.

The consumer price index — the most widely used measure of inflation — matched the 2.5 percent projection for 2017 by DBEDT and was less than the 2.7 percent rate forecast by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. For 2018, DBEDT is forecasting an inflation rate of 2.3 percent, and UHERO is predicting 3.1 percent.

read … Isle consumer costs increased in 2017

'Beyond grateful' Shelter-Accepters move in to new housing village for homeless

HNN: Thirty families who were previously homeless were given the keys to their new homes on Friday in what quickly became an emotional day for many of those involved.

"I'm beyond grateful," said Nohealani Ching, a home healthcare aid and mother of three. "My kids, the way my kids reacted... They're exited. They know that this is their house." …

Depending on the size of the unit, tenants pay between $700 and $900 per month. Kurisu says all of the money will go towards maintaining the community.

"About $250 will go towards utilities. So electricity, water, internet and cable," said Kurisu.

He says the rest will pay for expenses, like 24/7 security, repairs and the cost of the on-site childcare and preschool, which is one of the benefits that allow single mothers to work….

"When we're all done, Kahauiki Village will be home to over 620 adults and children, or half of the homeless population on Oahu that are in transitional homes today," said Kurisu.

Work on the final phase of this project is already underway. The final 123 units are expected to be complete some time next year. …

read … 'Beyond grateful' families move in to new housing village for homeless

Shelter-Refusers Trash Palolo Stream, Create Flood Hazard

KHON: …A canal that flows through town and into the ocean is being used as a trash site.

An area of Palolo Stream that flows under S. King Street is inundated with garbage, along the embankment, and in the waters.

The Department of Health says the area appears to be a homeless encampment.

Health officials say water may be compromised where there are significant numbers of homeless individuals.

In these locations, they will alert the owner of the parcel of land, because they’re in charge of cleaning up the property.

In this case, it’s the state Department of Transportation….

The stream flows into the Ala Wai Canal, which then empties into the ocean.

Palolo Neighborhood Board chair Randolph Hack says he plans on organizing a volunteer group to clean up the mess.

“The stream is part of our community. We live in the shadow of the mountains and waters come down the streams. We need to make sure they’re unimpeded. That’s natures way,” Hack said….

read … Residents demand action after stream turns into dump site

Even in Homeless Court, Most Refuse Shelter

SA: …Why won’t the chronically homeless get off the streets?

There are any number of reasons — mental illness, deep poverty, plain stubbornness — but one factor could be legal problems. Being charged with a crime, however minor, makes it more difficult for someone to reintegrate into society.

Still, justice must be served. The courts face the distinct challenge in defining what justice means when applied to the very poor and disadvantaged.

Responding to the challenge, the state’s Community Outreach Court Project, aka the homeless court, completed its first year. The results are encouraging, but also illustrate the intractability of the problem. Some 57 homeless defendants charged with minor, non-violent crimes appeared before the court, and 601 cases were cleared, according to the city Prosecutor’s Office. The defendants were sentenced to serve 676-1/2 hours of community service in lieu of fines or jail. That’s a good start.

However, there’s room for improvement in the court’s broader goal of getting the defendants back on their feet.

Of the 57, only nine found housing. Nine went into homeless shelters, 11 found employment, five began substance abuse treatment and two received driver’s licenses or learner’s permits, said the Prosecutor’s Office. We’d hoped those numbers would be higher.

read … Refusers

Soft on Crime: Puna Police Standoff a Repeat

HTH: An armed man who fatally shot himself to end a 12-hour standoff with police Tuesday in Puna had barricaded himself into the house on the same property and engaged in a brief standoff with officers two years ago.  (And he was already out on the streets for a ‘second chance.’)

Cummings barricaded himself into the same house more than two years ago, according to the Police Department website.

On Oct. 23, 2015, officers went to the Kamanu Street home to serve Cummings with a protective order. Court records indicate the petitioner for the temporary restraining order is a woman listed on the county’s property tax website as the home’s owner. According to a police statement, Cummings refused to leave the premises and instead allegedly poured a flammable liquid in the house and threatened to ignite it.

No one else was in the house at the time. Police evacuated nearby homes and the SRT responded to negotiate with Cummings, who surrendered without incident.

Cummings pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless endangering, a Class C felony. He was sentenced Feb. 4, 2016, to a year in jail and four years probation.

On Dec. 6, 2017, Cummings was sentenced to 15 days in jail for violating his probation and was released Dec. 19, according to records — less than a month before the fatal standoff occurred. He appeared in court Dec. 21 for allegedly failing a drug test, but denied he had used drugs. A hearing was set for Jan. 4.

When Cummings missed his court date, Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto issued a bench warrant for his arrest and set his bail at $20,000. That warrant was pending when Cummings took his own life.

Court records indicate Cummings previously was convicted in Family Court for harassment and contempt of court and a number of TRO petitions were filed against him throughout the years…..

read … Soft on Crime

Abandoned cars litter Kam highway

SA: …I took a drive on Kamehameha Highway from Kaneohe to Haleiwa with some guests of mine from the mainland. Some 21 abandoned vehicles, in various forms of decay, graced both sides of the highway alongside the beautiful natural landscape. That’s about one every four minutes.

The vehicles were not alone. We also saw a rusted-out water heater. I have not seen that kind of ugly rot gathered since before they cleaned up Kapaa Quarry Road in Kailua….

read … Caldwell Junk

Election officials hope same-day registration will lead to bigger voter turnout

KHON: …The change will go into effect during Hawaii’s primary election, which will be held Aug. 11.

For the first time ever, Hawaii voters will be able to go to their polling place, register to vote, and cast a ballot on the same day….

With the new law in place, all you need is a driver’s license or state ID at the polling place and you can register and vote the same day.

But you do have to make sure you’re in the right place….

Link: Click here for more information.

read … Election officials hope same-day registration will lead to bigger voter turnout

Caldwell spokesman quit last week, nobody notices

SA: …Jesse Broder Van Dyke, chief spokesman for Mayor Kirk Caldwell since he took office in January 2013, has voluntarily left his job as communications director.

Public information officer Andrew Pereira took over Caldwell’s communications staff as the administration explores its options, Deputy Managing Director Georgette Deemer said.

Broder Van Dyke’s last day was Jan. 5. (But nobody said anything until now.)

read … Another rat jumps ship



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