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Tuesday, January 16, 2018
January 16, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:07 PM :: 4955 Views

FEMA: Ige, Miyagi Wrong About 38 Minute Delay--Rapoza Tries Spin

Ward: Step- by-step walkthrough of the software, hardware, and personnel that led to false alarm

MLK and the Aloha Spirit

MLK Day: Overcome Stereotype of Native Hawaiians as a monolithic group that opposes all that is American

Tupola Tax Cut: Make EITC Refundable

Introducing GOP Hawaii's New Executive Director

hawaii 1

A password for the Hawaii emergency agency was hiding in a public photo, written on a Post-it note

BI:   … a photo taken in Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency for a news article in July includes a sticky note with a password…. 

HNN: Yes, that is a password stuck to a screen at Hawaii's emergency management HQ

read … Security?

Japan False Alarm -- Retracted in 5 Minutes

NYT:  …Japan’s public broadcaster on Tuesday accidentally sent news alerts that North Korea had launched a missile and that citizens should take shelter — just days after the government of Hawaii had sent a similar warning to its citizens.

The broadcaster, NHK, corrected itself five minutes later and apologized for the error on its evening news. The initial texts cited J-Alert, a system used by the government to issue warnings to its citizens about missiles, tsunamis and other natural disasters. But NHK later said that the system was not to blame for the false alarm.

Makoto Sasaki, a spokesman for NHK, apologized, saying that “staff had mistakenly operated the equipment to deliver news alerts over the internet.”

The broadcaster’s swift rectification of its error stands in contrast to the 38-minute delay by officials in Hawaii on Saturday to cancel warnings of an incoming ballistic missile. It took a further five hours for Hawaii’s governor, David Y. Ige, to apologize for the mistake….

read … Days After Hawaii’s False Missile Alarm, a New One in Japan

HIEMA Falsely Claims Four People Responsible for False Alarm All Non-Union

SA: …“Somebody called me on the phone and said, ‘Toby, you’ve got to shoot someone,’” Clairmont said. “This person is distraught that they’ve received death threats.”

The employee has not been disciplined and is cooperating with an ongoing investigation that is scheduled to result in a report to Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature on what happened by Friday morning, Clairmont said.

“If we were to do something arbitrary like terminate him, we would lose his input into the process,” Clairmont. “We want … the truth of what happened.”

But the employee does face possible disciplinary action.

“Anything from a reprimand to termination is on the table,” Clairmont said. “He’s an exempt, nonunion labor employee.”

All 10 warning officers are nonunion employees, Clairmont said. 

(UPDATE: This is a lie.  The button-pusher was an HGEA member.)

On Saturday morning four people were on duty, including a supervisor who also was coming on during a shift change, Clairmont said.

“It’s not as easy saying it was one person doing this,” Clairmont said. “It would be very unjust to put our finger on one person. … There were at least four people in the room at the time, including a supervisor and three warning officers. That’s what leads us to believe it’s not as simple as people think. Maybe something was said in the room that was misinterpreted. Maybe there were too many people in the room.”

A supervisor “has to approve the action,” Clairmont said. “You see? It’s complicated. We need to get into exactly what happened.”

But it was one warning officer, in particular, “who clicked the button,” Clairmont said. “There was one individual, a very well-trained and seasoned employee. He’s not someone we hired off the street. This was someone we could depend on. There had to be more to it.” ….

read … Four People?

Man suffers massive heart attack during false alert

SA: …Sean Shields suffered a massive heart attack minutes after saying his last goodbyes over the phone to his 10-year-old daughter and grown son following the false missile alert.

Shields, 51, started violently throwing up while at Sandy Beach on East Oahu and then drove himself, along with his girlfriend Brenda Reichel, who is disabled, to the Straub Hawaii Kai Family Health Center where she says he collapsed in the waiting room. Emergency medical technicians were able to perform CPR and transport him to Straub Medical Center, where he had emergency surgery and four stents inserted into his heart, she said….

SA: Level of negligence determines lawsuits’ feasibility

read …  Man suffers massive heart attack during false alert

Feds say state didn’t need to wait on them for missile-alert correction

KHON: …Approval was not needed per FEMA, yet that’s where the state told us Saturday they lost a lot of time….

KHON2 asked HI-EMA, why the discrepancy?

“I’m not going to say it was needed,” HI-EMA spokesperson Richard Rapoza said. “At this point that’s part of our investigation to see if it was absolutely required, but the answer wasn’t clear to us at the time.”

KHON2 asked, why cast it as an authorization and approval needed on Saturday?

“I think there was actually some confusion at the time,” Rapoza said. “When Vern and the governor and various people spoke Saturday, we were right on the heels of a big event. And so getting all of our information straight, making sure everybody understood exactly what was going on, was a bit of a challenge. So people might have used words, they may have used nomenclature, that may have characterized things in a way that was fast or convenient as opposed to absolutely carefully worded.”

HI-EMA now tells Always Investigating they called FEMA for guidance on how to distribute the all-clear, asking for help, not permission, on how to send a correction.

“Because it wasn’t built into the system it wasn’t absolutely clear what appropriate channel of IPAWS was to send the message out,” Rapoza said.

KHON2 asked: Why even take the time to even ask what’s “appropriate” again when the most inappropriate thing had just happened?

“At that point there’s an argument made that we didn’t want to add insult to injury and start running around just trying one thing after another,” Rapoza said. “It’s important to do it properly.”

“The state called us that morning to discuss the false alert and to ask for technical guidance, which we provided during that call,” FEMA’s spokesperson told KHON2….

FEMA tries to head these kinds of mistakes off with standard guidance, such as a 2015 field guide for states and agencies to build their front-end interfaces with an “easily accessed ‘Cancel’ function. Yet despite that advice from FEMA in black and white, dating back years, HI-EMA had no cancel button before Saturday….

read …  Feds say state didn’t need to wait on them for missile-alert correction

Abercrombie Ridicules Claim that Ige Needed FEMA Permission to Retract Warning

HNN: …"In this instance, the leader was AWOL. In this instance, the leader completely dropped the ball. In this instance, the leader was apparently frozen in place,” said Abercrombie.

It took the administration 38 minutes to correct the emergency alert, which stated that a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” traumatizing thousands of isle residents and tourists.

State emergency officials said additional time was needed to send the all clear because they needed to coordinate that response with federal officials on the mainland.

"It amazed me when I heard this. Oh well we couldn't do that because we had to check with somebody on the mainland on Saturday afternoon if it was okay to tell them that people that they're probably not going to die,” said Abercrombie….

read … Abercrombie: In wake of missile alert mistake, governor was 'AWOL'

Is David Ige’s Political Nene Cooked?

CB: …many questions are being raised as to whether Ige’s political nene is cooked. A story in Monday’s New York Times said that a “black eye” looms for both Ige and Hawaii, and there were plenty of local critics quoted….

Colin Moore, a University of Hawaii political scientist, said that the false alert and the response to it was “one of the worst things that could happen to an incumbent governor who has already been criticized for his lack of leadership.”

Ige’s challenger in the 2018 Democratic primary, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, suggested the delay may be perceived as a matter of incompetence.

“The governor and his administration did not handle this correctly,” she said.

Glenna Wong, the communications director for the Ige campaign, fired back: “It is unfortunate that she is using (the) event to draw attention to herself while offering no solution.”

But the knives are out, perhaps none sharper than from Abercrombie himself, who described the state’s perceived sluggishness in responding to the incident as “a monumental example of failure of leadership — incredible. It’s beyond incompetent. It is stunning. It should have been rescinded instantly.”…

read … Is David Ige’s Political Nene Cooked?

Star-Adv: Chin Tries for $2.5M ‘Elect Me’ Fund

SA: In the case of Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin asking the Legislature to create a $2.5 million fund that could be tapped to prepare for or respond to mass violence or civil disobedience events — including, possibly, telescope- related demonstrations atop Mauna Kea — the need seems premature….

squirreling away funding tagged for hypothetical or even open-ended purposes recalls other eyebrow-raising allocations.

For example, before the Great Recession, the Hawaii County Council had a $2.7 million contingency fund, with each Council member spending $300,000 as they saw fit, hinging on expenditure approval from the Council and pertinent county departments. The fund, which has since been reduced, gets mixed reviews. Critics have called it a slush fund for pet projects and maintain that it can be used to help Council members win re-election. Supporters say the practice results in county district- focused spending that can help worthy-but-overlooked projects pick up financial support.

In response to Chin’s proposal, Sen. Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua), rightly suggested the department provide more justification for contingency funding. Other than ensuring a rapid flow of communication is at the ready among law enforcement agencies should a large-scale incident emerge, it’s unclear what this upfront money is needed for, exactly….

CB: Doug Chin is especially bothered by the way President Donald Trump mistreats (insert outrage here).

read … Too early for AG’s contingency fund

What We’ll Be Watching At The Hawaii Legislature

CB: …Nearly 3,000 bills from last session are still alive and hundreds of new bills likely will join them before the deadline for new bills passes Jan. 24….

Ige is slated to lay out his agenda Monday when he delivers his annual State of the State address to the Legislature. His administration’s package of bills are due by Jan. 22.

The House minority caucus — down to just five Republicans, led by Rep. Andria Tupola — will be announcing its bill package Friday….

With the full House and half the Senate up for election this year, priorities tend to change. Controversial issues often get shoved aside early in the session. Behind closed doors, the focus becomes what political bacon lawmakers can bring home to voters.

Ige, who’s also facing a tough re-election, has asked the Legislature for a $1.5 billion boost in the capital improvement projects budget for fiscal 2019, which begins July 1. Typically, the vice chairs of the money committees — Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran and Rep. Ty Cullen — handle the bulk of the work in deciding what projects should be funded….

Two major reports, ordered by the Legislature, came out last month and have multi-billion-dollar implications. One examines Hawaii’s vulnerability to sea-level rise and the other focuses on the 88,000 cesspools that threaten the state’s drinking water supply, coral reefs, public health and the overall economy. Yet there has been little talk from lawmakers about what they plan to do, if anything, in response…

Sen. Russell Ruderman has already confirmed to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that he plans to introduce a measure to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

A measure to legalize medical aid in dying, also called death with dignity and physician-assisted suicide, will likely resurface…

Lawmakers also plan to take up mail-only voting again this year

CB: 8 Tips That Will Help You Get Involved In The Legislature

read … What We’ll Be Watching At The Hawaii Legislature

Panos: Hawaii suffers from government unions

Panos: …Hawaii suffers from government unions which are the institutionalized protection (if not cultivation) of incompetence, laziness and un-accountability. These unions have become so big and powerful that most of the time succeed in electing politicians of their choosing, and control them to their liking. All this dysfunction lead to today's international embarrassment of the fake ballistic missile attack.

This must not be another day in paradise. Heads should roll. Preferably 38, one for each minute of absurdly incompetent failure to recall the alarm….

read … Hawaii Wakes Up to Fake Missile Attack

Saito Lawyer Pleads Not guilty, Seeks Deal for Escaped Pseudo-Lunatic

AP: …Green says it's clear Saito escaped and it's now a matter of working something out with prosecutors.

Prosecutors want to make sure Saito stays behind bars instead of going back to the hospital. Green says he and Saito's family don't plan to post bail….


read … Man Who Fled Hawaii Psychiatric Hospital Pleads Not Guilty

After 10 Years of ‘Clean Energy Initiative’:  Hawaii Economy Over 92% Fossil Fuel Based

IM: …Life of the Land asked HECO to explain this during the HECO-NextEra proceeding….

read … Hawaii Economy Over 92% Fossil Fuel Based

Ethics Pretzel: Harry Kim’s Lobbyist Doesn’t Have to Register as Lobbyist

WHT: … A state Ethics Commission attorney has cleared Mayor Harry Kim’s contracted lobbyist to perform his duties without registering as a lobbyist, according to county Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela.

Kamelamela asked for the opinion after County Council members questioned why contracted employee Andy Levin wasn’t registered with the state as is required of lobbyists lobbying on behalf of third parties. Registered lobbyists are required to submit regular reports detailing how much they spend on lobbying activities.

Levin’s $10,000-month, 89-day contract lists among his duties to “directly lobby the lawmakers on all county legislation, with an emphasis on county priority issues.”

Kamelamela said Monday the use of 89-day hires is a good way for the county to tap the expertise of retirees without having to pay for full-time employees. Levin, who served as executive assistant for Kim for his first two terms, is a former county councilman and state legislator.

“They are considered county employees,” Kamelamela said.

Kamelamela told the Ethics Commission in a Jan. 4 letter that Levin doesn’t have to register as a lobbyist because he’s a county employee. Levin’s contract refers to him as an employee, but clarifies he is not be entitled to vacation, sick leave or any other benefit not specifically identified in the contract. He’s excluded from collective bargaining coverage and exempt from civil service, according to his contract.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission’s Lobbying Registration and Reporting Manual exempts “Any federal, state, or county official or employee acting in an official capacity, unless the federal, state, or county official or employee contracts for the services of a lobbyist.” ….

read … Pretzel

Missile Alert False Alarm:

Emergency Systems in Other States Respond:




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