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Thursday, December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:27 PM :: 3238 Views

Ethics: DLNR Manager Steals Equipment, Funnels Money to Contractor

Auditor: DAGS Funds 'Do not meet Criteria'

What's Not Adding up at OHA?

DLNR, Animal Liberation Nuts Imagine Aquarium Poachers--Post Reward

Trump, Schatz Team up to Release Thousands of Criminals

DoH Fines Hu Honua Biofuel Plant for Water Pollution

Internal audit of UH managed Maunakea lands finds no irregularities

UH Study: Tweekers 15.1% of Emergency Room Traffic at Hawaii Hospital

UH Budget request breakdown for 2019 Legislature

Biofuel: How HECO, Enviros Teamed up to Destroy Rainforest

IM: …PR Watch reported on the NRDC fiascos. In 1989, Ralph Cavanagh, a senior lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), set up the "California Collaborative Process" whereby "environmentalists" could meet with utility executives behind closed doors and hammer out a deal to promote utility-run energy efficiency programs where half the ratepayer money went to shareholders.

NRDC and Cavanagh were responsible for encouraging West Coast regulators to accept Enron as a responsible corporate player. Cavanaugh stated. "On environmental stewardship, our experience is that you can trust Enron." Enron then fleeced the California energy market.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) was founded in 2004. RSB issued incredibly weak voluntary guidelines. Facing mounting global criticism, RSB rebranded itself as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials in the 2011-13 era.

“When HECO first considered the use of biofuel for power generation, the utility approached NRDC to help determine how a transition to biofuel could be accomplished in a sustainable manner. The two parties conducted research, negotiated issues, and developed the original Environmental Policy For the Hawaiian Electric Company’s Procurement of Biodiesel from Palm Oil and Locally-Grown Feedstock, dated August 2007.”

Indonesia and Malaysia accounted for over 95% of global production and trade in palm oil. Tropical rainforests were razed, native people forcibly removed, and orangutan populations were wiped out.

“The original Procurement Policy was reviewed by a panel of academic experts with expertise in biofuels, agriculture, energy policy, and international development.”

The original HECO-NRDC proposal asserted that as long as the plantation owner at the particular plantation where the palm trees were grown was working towards no child labor and working towards free and prior informed consent of native peoples`at that site, regardless of the company`s overall environmental, labor, and native rights record, everything was acceptable….

Related: How Environmentalists Sold Out to Help Enron

read … HECO Companies File Updated Biofuel Policy with the PUC

Police chief expresses concern about embattled prosecutor’s potential impact on cases

HNN:  … Ballard is expressing concern about the city prosecutor’s potential impact on criminal cases and his attendance at public safety meetings while he faces a federal investigation.

Ballard told Hawaii News Now that her concern with embattled Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro’s attendance at those meetings isn’t personal.

“I would have a very difficult time talking about confidential information in front of anybody who is under federal investigation,” she said.

This week, Ballard sent an email to Managing Director Roy Amemiya raising the concern.

The email came after HNN’s reports that Kaneshiro had received a target letter from the U.S. Department of Justice …

The next public safety meeting isn’t until next month…

“How does this affect the cases in the past? How does this affect the cases in the future? How much resources are we going to be putting to reopen the cases?” she said.

She added that the federal investigation’s focus on Kaneshiro is eerily similar to the months before Kealoha’s eventual indictment. She said the probe isn’t good for morale — or for public trust.

“All I can say is where they are today is the exact place the HPD was two to three years ago,” she said. “What I saw with my own eyes was the erosion of public trust and also the negative effect it had on the officers who are out there every day trying to do their job.”….

CB: Kaneshiro Misuses Immense Power Of The Prosecutor

read … Police chief expresses concern about embattled prosecutor’s potential impact on cases

Green: Reclassifying drug treatment as ‘primary care’ could help more addicts into recovery

HNN: … Hawaii has only one youth residential drug treatment center.

There is a major shortage in addiction resources for adults as well.

House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti said the money to address the problem is there, but doesn’t always get where it’s supposed to.

“We have fractured system of payment for substance abuse treatment programs. We need to coordinate that system better,” she said….

Lt. Gov. Josh Green told HNN he is pushing to make addiction treatment a part of a person’s primary care.

“As an ER doc I see tons of addiction. When it becomes a primary care consideration then insurance can cover it better,” said Green.

“More providers can comfortably go and get extra training. Family docs can do it. Internal medicine docs. Nurse practitioners can do it. So if you can find a doctor who has expertise you don’t have to go hunting for a specialized program.”…

Johnson added that most public high schools have some sort of drug treatment program. However, it’s not set up to handle more complex problems.

A second youth treatment center is being built on Kauai, but funding has not been set aside to make it operational once construction is complete….

read … Green: Reclassifying drug treatment as ‘primary care’ could help more addicts into recovery

Hawai'i Interagency Council on Homelessness Legislative Priorities: $218M

HPR: … “We’re asking for $200-million for low income housing making that the new baseline and then, investing $75 million of that 200-million over the course of ten years – 750-million – we can provide housing and wrap-around services for the 17-hundred chronically homeless in Hawai’i.”

Thornton says the 10-year investment could save up to 2 billion dollars in emergency medical costs currently being spent on the homeless….

read … Hawai'i Interagency Council on Homelessness Legislative Priorities: $218M

Star-Adv, Legislators: We Want Massive Festering Homeless Tent Cities

SA: … Reacting to Ige’s details on how he intends to use slightly more than half of the funding, House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti, said: “I think that we would have liked to see a little bit more innovation.” Agreed. The legislation serves up an opportunity to draw from the most promising elements of tested initiatives and programs to create something that’s potentially more effective.

Still, Ige’s sidestepping of the legislation’s intent should not be surprising. Back in July, the governor said his administration would not build ohana zones, which are envisioned by supporters as a well-organized and hospitable Hawaii version of “safe zones” or “tent cities.”

And last year, after the Legislature created a working group to examine the safe zones concept as one possible short-term fix for homeless individuals and families, Ige’s administration dragged its feet on a call to identify state land on which such a zone could take shape.

Ige has maintained that instead, the focus should be on finding permanent housing through programs and subsidies such as “Housing First,” paired with wrap-around social and health care services. That, officials have said, is what works, long-term. And that is a promising national best practices strategy, no doubt.

But due to Hawaii’s long-bemoaned short supply of inventory tagged for any sort of affordable housing, the state needs to also focus intently on short-term housing stopgaps.

WHY NOT tap the ohana zones funding as a chance to further test positive pilot ventures? Multiply the count of tiny houses, for example. Or rehab more shipping containers such as those at the Hale Mauliola project at Sand Island — a small-scale, short-term “housing navigation service center” the city developed on a state-owned parcel.

Or try something untested in the islands. For example, in San Diego, where, similarly, the homeless population is growing as home prices and rents soar, local government operates “safe lots,” overnight parking for people living in their vehicles. That might work well here.

It’s true that some campground-type settings have failed — here and on the mainland. Of course, lawmakers don’t want a repeat of Camp Kikaha, the now-closed safe zone that operated for seven months in Kailua-Kona. But that was a largely makeshift site that took shape without extensive advance planning.

Flashback: Hanabusa: Elect Me and I Will Build Massive Festering Homeless Tent Cities Everywhere

read … Festering Still

Senators Put UH Finances Under A Microscope

CB: … State senators took aim at some of the University of Hawaii’s budget priorities in a three-and-a-half- hour-long meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Their message was clear: UH might not get everything it wants for Christmas.

Among the topics in the senators’ crosshairs were the university’s expansion of the Hawaii Promise Program and its planned capital improvements….

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, chair of the Higher Education Committee, questioned whether UH’s request to expand the scholarship program, which that university leadership said was a top priority, is even feasible…. 

UH has requested over $600 million for capital improvement projects for the next biennium, which covers 2020 and 2021.

On Monday, Ige announced he was putting $300 million for those improvements into his budget request to the Legislature for the next biennium. Ige included funding for some of UH’s larger construction projects such as replacing Snyder Hall at UH Manoa and a new science building at Honolulu Community College.

Absent from the major capital requests was funding for UH West Oahu. That irked Sen. Kurt Fevella, the freshman Republican from Ewa Beach.

“The kids are parking in the dirt,” Fevella said. “Tell me if anyone form Manoa would park in the dirt?”…

read … Senators Put UH Finances Under A Microscope

University of Hawaii athletics considers raising student fees

SA: … During a nearly one hour briefing for a Board of Regents committee Wednesday, athletic director David Matlin said he planned to return in the upcoming semester with a proposal to amend the current $50-a-semester fee currently assessed Manoa students after meeting with student government groups.

UH said it realizes approximately $1.5 million annually from the mandatory fee charged students ….

SA: UH athletics will most likely break even for Hawaii Bowl

read … University of Hawaii athletics considers raising student fees

HPD officer hit with more domestic abuse charges while out on bail

SA:  … The city prosecutor charged Ryan H. Konishi last week with abuse of a family or household member, terroristic threatening and harassment. The abuse and threatening charges are misdemeanors. The harassment is a petty misdemeanor.

He is accused of committing the crimes Nov. 6, while he was free on $28,000 bail for other abuse and threatening charges involving the same person….

read … HPD officer hit with more domestic abuse charges while out on bail

Public Paychecks: America's police and fire chiefs have big jobs, and big salaries to boot. Here's Honolulu's breakdown.

PBN:  … Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard has a salary of $191,184. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves has an annual salary slightly above average at $185,112.

Ballard oversees 2,030 officers and 506 civilian employees, which collectively fielded some 2,440 violent-crime cases in 2017, according to state data.

About 0.25 percent of Honolulu's population serves in law enforcement, slightly below the 0.33 percent average among surveyed cities. The highest was Washington, D.C., at 0.64 percent.

Honolulu consistently had low crime rates out of reporting cities. Per 100,000 people, Honolulu had the lowest violent crime rate at 246 known offenses and the seventh-lowest property crime rate at 2,774 known offenses.

The highest overall crime rate was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 8,734 total known crimes per 100,000 people….

read … Public Paychecks: America's police and fire chiefs have big jobs, and big salaries to boot. Here's Honolulu's breakdown.

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