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Tuesday, January 23, 2018
January 23, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:03 PM :: 3967 Views

Republicans: 5 Issues Ige Left out of State of the State

School Choice Week in Hawaii: 80 Events and Activities Planned 

Hanabusa Response to State of the State address—Ige has no specifics and neither do I Denounces Schatz

‘Let’s not be greedy’

Hanabusa Helps Trump End Government Shut Down -- Liberals Livid

AP: Two members of Hawaii's congressional delegation voted against the deal to end the government shutdown Monday.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, took to Twitter to explain her reasons for not supporting the agreement.

"There are battles worth fighting. Protecting DREAMers, reauthorizing CHIP, funding Community Health Centers, and providing parity between funding for defense and domestic priorities – without pitting one against the other – were battles worth fighting," she wrote.

"My consistent position has been to oppose any continuing resolution that did not include these priorities. I voted against this CR for this reason."

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also voted against the short-term spending bill…

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, supported the bipartisan deal to temporarily fund the government, which passed the Senate and House on Monday and was headed to the president's desk….

by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation….

read … Sacrifice Your Job to Get More Muslims into Country

Missile Alert probe: Ige OK With Conflict of Interest

SA: Gov. David Ige on Monday defended his selection of the state’s deputy adjutant general to lead a probe of last week’s false missile alert and make recommendations for improvements, despite criticism from some lawmakers who contend the official is too close to the situation….

State Rep. Gene Ward said he believes Hara has a conflict of interest.

“I raise the issue of conflict of interest if you expect the people of Hawaii to believe your final report when it is being written by General Hara, who is too close to the situation at HIEMA, a close personal friend of (HI-EMA Administrator) General (Vern) Miyagi and under the command of General Logan,” Ward wrote in a letter dated Monday to Ige.

Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Queen’s Gate-Hawaii Kai) said that while Hara is “an honorable man,” he doubts his ability to objectively investigate the agency and his superiors.

Ward suggested Ige work with the Legislature to form an investigative panel “to ensure the objectivity of this report and that it is received with the highest credibility.”

“The way it is currently structured,” he added, “looks too incestuous and unobjective.”

Ward said he had wanted to raise the concern about Hara and other unanswered questions during a legislative briefing on the false missile alert held Friday. But lawmakers’ questions were limited during the two-hour hearing, and the governor left early for prior commitments.

Other lawmakers Friday did ask Logan whether Hara was the appropriate choice for the review. Logan said Hara is under the state Department of Defense and not part of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

“But he reports to you. So if he finds some kind of oversight, would it be difficult for him to come to that conclusion, because you’re his boss?” asked Sen. Breene Harimoto (D, Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea)….

Ward: Missile Alert Investigator has Conflict of Interest

read … An Article Titled: “False-missile probe to get ‘fresh pair of eyes,’ Ige says”

Deal Ending Shutdown Saves Hawaii From Running out of CHIP Money

G: Three days into a shutdown of the federal government, Congress appears to have reached a deal to reopen it and fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.

The Senate agreed 81-18 on Monday afternoon to pass the short-term spending bill, which would fund the government through Feb. 8 and give Congress more time to work out a deal on immigration. The House and President Trump are expected to sign off on it later today….

CHIP, which expired more than 100 days ago, insures 9 million low-income children and pregnant women who don’t have employer-based insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. It's jointly funded by the federal government and states, but the feds foot almost 80 percent of the bill.

Congress has continually released unspent funds in the last few months to help states keep CHIP running, but this is the first time there has been a significant funding lapse in what has historically been a bipartisan program.

If the deal isn't finalized, 10 states -- Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio and Washington -- plus Washington, D.C., are expected to run out of CHIP money by the end of the month, according to the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families….

Part of the savings are a result of the new tax law, which eliminated the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate that required everyone to have health insurance. Without it, the CBO predicts that less people will now enroll in CHIP.

“Now CHIP is far and away less expensive than lawmakers originally thought,” says Kelly Whitener, associate professor at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

Under the ACA, the federal match that funds CHIP is scheduled to wind down to 93 percent in 2019 and to 70 percent in 2021….

read … After More Than 100 Days, Children's Health Insurance Saga Nears End

Hu Honua Faces Legal Setback with ICA Ruling

IM: …yesterday Hu Honua lost before the Hawai`i Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA). The court issued a ruling that the Hawai`i County Planning Commission must deal with shoreline-related public trust issues in the Hu Honua contested case proceeding.

Hu Honua obtained a Shoreline Management Area (SMA) permit for a coal storage and coal burning facility in 1985. The facility subsequently shut down….

The ICA ruled, “Because it is not clear what repairs or replacements will take place with regard to Outfall 001, Hu Honua did not make an affirmative showing that any work done will not conflict with the principles and purposes of the public trust doctrine. Therefore, under HRS §91-14(g), the Planning Commission granted the amended SMA permit in violation of constitutional provisions.”

The ICA upheld the circuit court ruling “except with respect to application of the public trust doctrine to the shoreline. Specifically, the case is remanded to the Planning Commission to address the impacts of the public shoreline with regard to repairing or replacing Outfall 001.”

Hu Honua faces another legal action. Life of the Land lodged an appeal to the Hawai`i Supreme Court to reverse the Public Utilities Commission ruling in favor of the HELCO-Hu Honua biomass power purchase agreement. This is the first challenge by a PUC docket participant regarding climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in Hawai`i. Life of the Land is represented by Maui attorney Lance D. Collins…. 

HTH: Appellate court sends Hu Honua back to planning commission

read … Hu Honua Faces Legal Setback with ICA Ruling

School choice means the best school for your child

SA: …Hawaii has a thriving school choice movement, which better enables parents to find learning environments that best suit their children’s unique needs. Statistics from the federal Department of Education indicate that Hawaii has strong enrollment in independent education, with nearly 1 in 6 children attending a private school — a higher percentage than the nation as a whole. The islands also have a valuable homeschooling movement, which allows parents to imbue their culture and values to their keiki.

In addition, Hawaii has built a robust movement of charter schools, which allow parents and community members to take a greater role in the development and management of the school. As a part of that involvement, teachers can customize the school’s curriculum to pass along important cultural lessons to the next generation….

Related: School Choice Week in Hawaii: 80 Events and Activities Planned

read … School choice means the best school for your child

Annual Point-in-Time survey of isle homeless begins

SA: Social service workers, government workers and community volunteers fanned out across the islands Monday night for the first night of a census that will measure whether Hawaii is making progress in its efforts to reduce the country’s highest per capita rate of homelessness….

While several mainland communities only report the number of homeless people encountered on a single night, Oahu’s Point in Time Count will be conducted every night through Friday. Different parts of the neighbor islands will run their counts on different days this week.

Honolulu organizers originally hoped to attract 500 people to conduct the Oahu survey and had 410 volunteers by Monday night….

CB:Awkward And Rewarding Task Of Surveying Homeless Begins

read … Count

Former FBI Special Agent in Charge nominated to be Hawaii's U.S. Marshal

HNN: Charles Goodwin, retired FBI Special Agent in Charge in Hawaii, has been nominated to run the local U.S. Marshals Service….

Goodwin's nomination still requires U.S. Senate confirmation.

The position was vacated last year when Gervin Miyamoto was forced to retire amid an investigation by the Department of Justice for special treatment allegations.

That investigation was launched in 2016 after Miyamoto was shown on Hawaii News Now video, driving the Honolulu city prosecutor and a deputy police chief into the secure parking garage of the federal building to avoid the media….

read … Marshall

HI-EMA executive officer Clairmont retiring this year

PBN: Toby Clairmont, the executive officer for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, is retiring by year’s end.

The announcement comes amid investigations into the Jan. 13 bogus missile alert that caused widespread panic throughout the state.

Clairmont, 63, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today that he made the decision to retire awhile ago but never told anybody about his plans to leave his job with the federal and state government….

“The end of the year is my hard deadline but we’ll see what happens after all this drama’s over. It’s just time,” he said. “When things like this happen you realize, ‘Why am I still doing this?’”…

Clairmont thanked friends on Facebook for their kindness and support since the mishap and for helping him cope with the situation. He said retiring by the end of 2018 has been “loosely discussed within my family for a couple years now.”

“Although I do not appear to be the target of this nastiness, I am heavily involved in the ballistic missile preparedness program. My fingerprints are appropriately everywhere,” he wrote, adding that it would not be appropriate to share how the doomsday alarm occurred. State and federal officials are investigating the reasons behind the blunder….

SA: After false missile alarm, Ige couldn’t log on to Twitter

read … HI-EMA executive officer Clairmont retiring this year

‘Peter Boy Act’ passes first reading

WHT: SB2322: A bill introduced by two Hawaii Island state senators that would repeal the 10-year statute of limitations on all manslaughter cases except for vehicular manslaughter passed its first reading by the full senate Monday….

According to Kahele, the bill came about as a result of conversations with county Prosecutor Mitch Roth.

“His office identified this potential loophole in our existing criminal justice system in regards to the statute of limitations on manslaughter,” he explained….

read … ‘Peter Boy Act’ passes first reading

Hawaii lawmakers introduce bill to keep Maui apartment complex affordable

PBN: …House Bill 2006 would allocate $250,000 would direct HHFDC to negotiate with 3900 Corp. and Front Street Affordable Housing Partners to keep the rents affordable by making public funds available to extend the affordable rents through at least 2027 or to outright acquire the property or partner with a private non-profit to acquire the property and make improvements.

HHFDC would have until 20 days before the 2019 legislative session to submit a report to lawmakers….

read … Hawaii lawmakers introduce bill to keep Maui apartment complex affordable

Lawmaker says there's a rise in unlicensed care homes and calls it a "major health concern"

KITV: …Some caregivers claim facilities that once had licenses turned them in to avoid paying fees or insurance, and say some people look for  unlicensed care because it's cheaper.

The Department of Health says while they do investigate, some homes refuse to allow entry.

"We feel that we need to have some additional statutory authority to conduct the investigations into these homes because certainly we want to prevent unlicensed homes from opening or remaining open," Keith Ridley, state Dept. of Health said.

"This is a rogue industry. There is no consumer protection. We need to stop it now," Rep. John Mizuno, chair of health and human services committee said.

Rep. Mizuno says he has drafted a bill that would help mandate investigations into care facilities without a license or certificate…. 

SA: State fines former elder care provider $325,000

CB: Why Hawaii’s Unlicensed Elder Care Industry Is Out Of Control

read … Lawmaker says there's a rise in unlicensed care homes and calls it a "major health concern"

Thanks to Republicans, Walmart is handing out bonuses of up to $1,000 to Hawaii associates, Maternity Leave

HNN:  …Big-box retailer Walmart announced Monday that more than 3,900 associates in Hawaii will soon be receiving one-time bonuses of up to $1,000.

The amount of each bonus depends on the associate’s length of service; those with at least 20 years of service qualify for the $1,000 bonus.

The bonuses come in the wake of a federal tax overhaul, which significantly cut the corporate tax rate.

Walmart is among a number of local and national companies that have announced employee bonuses. Other Hawaii companies that have given back to their employees: Bank of Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank.

Some Hawaii companies have also increased their minimum wage to $15 in response to the tax overhaul….

Along with cash bonuses, the company has announced an expansion to its maternity and parental leave policies.

The new policies provide full-time hourly employees with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

Salaried workers will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.

The retailer also announced it would offer financial help to those looking to adopt a child.

The $5,000 adoption benefit, which will be available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, can be used for adoption agency fees, translation fees, legal or court costs or other expenses.

read … Trump Money

Activist calls for end to homeless sweeps in effort to make Homeless Stable on Streets

HNN: "What I'm concerned about personally is people being moved from place to place to place over and over again, with no stable place to stay," said Gavin Thornton of Hawaii Appleseed. (except a shelter)

…the anti-sweep stance is not supported by all the coalitions' members. That includes the state's largest homeless service provider, the Institute for Human Services, which says the sweeps are working.

"What we've seen is a significant effort in homeless people choosing to get off the street," said Kimo Carvalho."It's a waste of money if you allow them to stay on the streets. It adds up to a lot more money when they're utilizing our jails, our court system, our health and human services system. Our hospitals are overrun already."

Carvalho says many of the people who are constantly moving are the same people who repeatedly turn down shelter….

Thornton believes giving those folks stability could be a turning point in their lives.  "That stability is the most likely way they're going to get out of a bad situation," says Thornton (wrongly). …

(Most likely explanation: Thornton is flacking for Hanabusa.)

read … Advocacy group calls for end to homeless sweeps – but not everyone is on board

Trial for protester attempting to block telescope convoy set

MN: …Samuel Kaleikoa Kaeo, 51, of Kula has pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway and refusing to comply with any police officer’s order.

He was arrested in the early-morning hours of Aug. 2 as dozens of protesters gathered at Kula Highway and Old Haleakala Highway to confront the convoy carrying equipment for construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope at the summit.

Officials said some protesters connected themselves with PVC pipes to block the road. A couple of protesters climbed under a semi-truck to keep it from moving.

During a hearing last month, Wailuku District Judge Blaine Kobayashi granted the prosecution’s request to have trial proceedings for Kaeo conducted in English.

Kaeo, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii Maui College, had asserted his right to speak the Hawaiian language in court and to have court proceedings translated back to him in Hawaiian. He waived his right to have an attorney represent him.

Four others arrested that night have been sentenced, court records show.

Joseph Henderson, 28, of Pukalani and Shalia Henderson, 18, of Pukalani were each ordered to perform 25 hours of community service after pleading guilty to refusing to comply with any police officer’s order.

David Prais, 39, of Kahului was given credit for one day of jail after pleading no contest Jan. 5 to refusing to comply with any police officer’s order.

Monika Kerr, 26, of Kahului pleaded no contest last week to refusing to comply with any police officer’s order. She was sentenced to a $500 fine, with $250 of that suspended on condition that she have no similar violations for one year.

Charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway were dismissed for the sentenced defendants in exchange for their pleas.

Jonathan Kaeo, 43, of Pukalani is awaiting trial on charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway and refusing to comply with any police officer’s order.

read … Telescope

Isle soldier planned to join ISIS and bomb Schofield, feds say

SA: Wheeler Army Airfield soldier and accused Islamic State group sympathizer Ikaika Erik Kang told a confidential source that he was going to leave the military after getting promoted, join IS and attack Schofield Barracks as a suicide bomber, according to documents unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court.

Kang, 35, is charged with four counts of attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Trial is scheduled for next month. Kang remains in custody at the Federal Detention Center with no opportunity for release on bail or bond.

The charges accuse Kang of trying to provide IS with a training video of fighting techniques, classified U.S. military documents and military gear, including tactical equipment and ammunition. Kang is also accused of trying to provide IS a GoPro Karma, a consumer camera-equipped drone….

SA: Soldier accused of aiding enemy had blemished past, FBI says

AP: Unsealed Documents: Soldier Obsessed With Terrorism Videos

read … Join ISIS



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