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Sunday, June 13, 2021
June 13, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:31 PM :: 2749 Views

Taxing Government Largesse

FBI Raids Lead to Shakeup at Planning Commission?

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted June 12, 2021

After a Year of Being Paid ‘Remotely’, HSTA Members Discuss plans to Hide the Failure

CB: … There Is No Right Way To Grade Students In A Pandemic… Some teachers are wondering if schools should even be giving grades at all this year…..By now, students and their parents should have received their final report cards from last year…..Every teacher I know adjusted their normal grading habits in one way or another. A friend at another school gave slightly increased scores for work turned in on time, instead of reducing grades for late work….Students quickly learned that they could blow off their work until the last week or two….This also meant a lot of students simply didn’t show up to their online classes….many were able to do just enough to pass without having to come to class very often, if at all….If you think that schoolwork exists solely to learn academic skills and concepts, then this is no big deal….some students absolutely abused our leniency….

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say a student skipped all of her classes, online and in-person, for half the quarter, and even when she was in class she wasn’t really present. She would have definitely failed if I wasn’t hounding her and her mom to come to study hall, and in the last two weeks she brought her grade up to a D, which is enough to pass…..

read … Hide the Failure

Reject bills that are out-of-bounds

SA Editorial: … The governor is already sending signals about bills he doesn’t like. So are trade groups, unions and other stakeholders trying to swing Ige’s inclinations their way.

There’s a reason for the messaging: The deadline for Ige to decide which bills he would consider vetoing is June 21, about a week away. Bills that are not on that list will be enacted, one way or another: The governor has until July 6 to veto, sign the measure or allow it to become law without his signature….

Among the proposals he has criticized is House Bill 862, a bill that started out as a means of abolishing the Office of Aerospace Development and its associated advisory boards. Like so many other measures, late in the game it was altered, in this case becoming a vehicle for major Hawaii Tourism Authority changes. It’s an agency that has come under legislative fire before.

Some of the changes to the HTA, under HB 862, are ill-advised — for one, the authority loses its dedicated share of the transient accommodations tax (TAT) and must seek yearly appropriations from the general fund. This could hobble efforts at long-range planning — and it’s upheaval the HTA doesn’t need at this juncture.

Even a greater disruption enabled by HB 862 was the siphoning of the counties’ share of the TAT. The bill does allow counties to add their own tourism tax, but there should have been a broader discussion about it with the mayors. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi upbraided lawmakers in a written statement, criticizing them for “pushing a major TAT initiative in the 11th hour and in this economic climate.”

He has a valid point. That said, Ige would be hard-pressed to veto the measure, because it’s the only legislation that includes funding for the HTA….

There are bills that the governor should seriously consider striking out, however. Here are a few:

>> HB 613 appropriates the federal coronavirus relief funds allotted to public schools. Lawmakers chose to allocate some of that to be disbursed as bonuses and pay differentials for teachers….

>> HB 1348 essentially endows the Stadium Authority with powers to take the helm of developing a replacement for Aloha Stadium and the public lands surrounding it. It closes budgetary holes by having private developers front more of the costs. The entire, confused arrangement does not bode well for the state reaping what it should in affordable housing and other public goods from its own valuable land….

read … Reject bills that are out-of-bounds

Cacophonous chatter on police-fire radio was sound of openness, transparency with public

Borreca: … Reporters and photographers across Honolulu are listening to police radios day and night. It is a tool of the trade — and it appears to be disappearing.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Peter Boylan last week reported that the city is finishing up switching to a digital emergency radio system that will preclude the public listening to police, fire and emergency service transmissions. Part of the scope of the plans was to keep the public — that would include the news media — from listening to the transmissions.

“Honolulu police interim Chief Rade K. Vanic said ‘at some point’ HPD radio communications will not be available, but the department is working on a system, maybe a database, where the public and press will find the information shared between police dispatchers and officers responding to calls for services,” it was reported.

Boylan said “starting around 2011, citing the need to keep criminals from listening in and to adhere to the U.S. Department of Justice mandates to protect witness, victim and suspect information, hundreds of police departments and first responders around the country started encrypting their frequencies.”

Along with losing police radio transmissions, reporters and the public have lost out on another one-time staple of “covering the cops” — that is, going to the police station and reading the actual police log where officers wrote in the circumstances, names and dates of those arrested….

read … Cacophonous chatter on police-fire radio was sound of openness, transparency with public

Honolulu city prosecutor faces mounting pressure to release transcripts from Iremamber Sykap proceedings

KITV: … (A lynch mob of) Elected officials and attorneys are calling for the transcripts from a grand jury proceeding on the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.

(Where are all the activists complaining the cops due process rights are being violated?)

Jurors decided on Wednesday not to indict the three officers involved in the incident.

Honolulu attorney Tae Kim said getting officials to publicize the transcripts is a lofty goal, but it's not impossible.

"The judges have to pretty much weigh in the public interest of having it made public, versus privacy rights and how it may or may not impact the case in general," Kim added. …

(Socialist) Rep. Amy Perruso, who represents Wahiawa and Whitmore Village, argues the evidence, "an unarmed, (replica gun used in robberies) 16-year-old sitting in a car that (momentarily) was not moving (during day-long crime spree), being shot in the back of the head," provided a reasonable basis for an indictment.

IQ Test: Is she right?

SA Column: Secrecy is the enemy of justice in police killing of Sykap

read … Honolulu city prosecutor faces mounting pressure to release transcripts from Iremamber Sykap proceedings

What percentage of state and county workers are vaccinated against COVID-19?

SA: … Q: To what extent, if any, has lack of vaccination among state or county employees impaired the reopening of or full functioning of government offices? (Readers are primarily asking about the state unemployment offices, public schools, public university campuses and county driver’s licensing centers and satellite city halls).

Q: Do public worker union contracts flat-out prevent the state and counties from gathering this information (the COVID-19 vaccination status of employees)?

Cindy McMillan, the governor’s spokeswoman, responded the same day, but only to say she did not have the answers and would “respond as quickly as we can.” We heard nothing further by deadline.

Tim Sakahara, spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, responded Wednesday, saying in an email:

“At least 62% of the city’s workforce has been fully vaccinated at the Leeward Community College Point of Dispensing site. This is an underestimate of the total percentage for the city workforce that is fully vaccinated as we do not have access to data for employees who were vaccinated elsewhere, e.g. pharmacies, other PODs, etc. (therefore, these numbers are not included in the estimated 62%).

read … What percentage of state and county workers are vaccinated against COVID-19?

Lack of workers, influx of tourists to state puts strain on businesses

HTH: … With the return of tourism much stronger than anticipated, Sanders said some destinations in the state may be overwhelmed without sufficient staff to accommodate them.

“We’re not prepared in a lot of ways,” Sanders said. “We don’t have enough rental cars…it’s hard to get some employees to get back to work. A lot of restaurants that would love to be open today have not been able to be able because we don’t have the employees.” ….

“People should look past the fact that Uncle Sam gives them a paycheck until September of this year and even though maybe they make more money staying at home than going to work, we need them to come back,” Hannemann said. “We still have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, still about 50,000 people out of work, so the more that we can get back to a situation where there’s some sort of normalcy, the better off we’re going to be.”….

read … Lack of workers, influx of tourists to state puts strain on businesses

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