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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
February 7, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:13 PM :: 1018 Views

Maui Council Tries Again: Finally Selects Lutey County Clerk

Taxi Rates: Council should repeal price fixing law

Transsexuals Push Bethany Hamilton out of Surf Contests

Bills Would Establish Process to Incarcerate Mentally Ill in Asylums

SA: … A major problem arises when mental illness (or substance abuse) destroys a person’s decisional capacity, so they can no longer comprehend treatment choices or make decisions for their own self-preservation. We see them living on our streets in very unsafe conditions, because they are not “imminently” dangerous to self or others.

Some argue that homeless persons experiencing mental illness should be allowed to live on our streets without restrictions or treatment, because they “choose” to be homeless and “choose” to refuse treatment and shelter. Yet often their severe mental illness causes lack of decisional capacity, so their “choice” is a direct product of illness rather than an informed decision.

These disabled individuals have a legal right to appropriate medical treatment, to ease their suffering and restore them to higher functioning levels. Sadly, it takes substantial time, money and effort to bring each person’s treatment needs to court, so this rarely occurs. As a result, these persons often deteriorate and die on our streets.

We need to improve our laws so courts can promptly provide guardians or similar protections for persons who no longer have legal capacity for health-care decisions. Then someone can help make decisions that would be in their best interest. Our legal system should provide earlier intervention to authorize appropriate treatment and supportive services as needed, to truly help these incapacitated persons.

Thankfully in Hawaii, our laws are slowly improving. Earlier procedures entailed substantial delays, waiting months for a treatment order, during which patients lost limbs or even their life. More options exist now. But more can still be done with strategic partnership between the judicial and health-care systems.

We seek your support of these bills that can help our legal system work better:

>> House Bill 1155 and Senate Bill 982 — make improvements to further expedite “community assisted treatment” orders.

>> HB 1156 and SB 916 — make improvements to expedite inpatient “orders to treat” over objection.

>> HB 1154 and SB 915 — expedite guardianship orders for persons who lack decision-making ability in psychiatric facilities, hospitals and homeless shelters…

read … Those with mental illness need support, access to treatment

This homeless shelter for families has the money to reopen and the need. So why hasn’t it yet?

HNN: … The Family Assessment Center was one of the only programs on the island that took in entire families.

But today, the center that used to help homeless children and their parents escape the streets sits empty.

The Family Assessment Center used to sit on city property ― housed in a refurbished maintenance shed.

It was never intended to be a permanent solution, but served a critical purpose the five years it was open.

A year ago, the center was forced to move out of the building after Gov. David Ige’s last emergency homeless proclamation expired and it was no loger legal for people to live there.

Despite $750,000 in funding, the state says it still hasn’t found another site to reopen….

DHS said Catholic Charities, the provider for the Family Assessment Center, continues to offer ongoing follow-up and related services for homeless families with minor children….

read … This homeless shelter for families has the money to reopen and the need. So why hasn’t it yet?

Bills Would Force Hawaii To Seek Court Orders In Many Child Welfare Cases

CB: … The Hawaii Legislature is considering several bills to protect the constitutional rights of parents suspected of abuse and neglect in a state that stands out for its failure to do so.

Several of the bills focus on the state’s practice of almost always removing children from their parents without first getting an order from a judge. These warrantless seizures were the subject of a Civil Beat investigation last year.

The most prominent of the measures is Senate Bill 407. It was written by Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, whose role gives her considerable power over which bills make it through the legislative process….

The bill cleared its first hurdle last week when it was approved by the Health and Human Services committee. It was amended to incorporate wording changes suggested by the state Judiciary.

But the committee rejected a suggestion from the Department of Human Services, the parent of Child Welfare Services, and the state Attorney General’s Office to form a working group to consider the proposed changes.

“DHS is concerned that the proposed changes and additional processes may increase the safety risks for children who are subjects of a report of child abuse and neglect,” the department wrote in testimony to the committee. …

Jan 25, 2023: Preventing the Next Foster Care Disaster--Bills Mandate Court-Appointed Attorneys for Biological Parents

read … Bills Would Force Hawaii To Seek Court Orders In Many Child Welfare Cases

For the first time in 19 months, the median price for an Oahu home is under $1M

HNN: … The median price for a single-family home on Oahu is $985,500, which fell by 6% from January 2022.

The median price for condos also fell from last year, but by 4%, to $490,000.

Experts say this is a sign of reduced buyer competition.

“After 12 months of declining sales, we’re seeing more of the effects of the slowing market on median home prices,” said Chief Operating Officer for Locations Chad Takesue.

Single-family home sales were down by 52% from January 2022, while condo sales declined by 50% — although January sales are typically among the lowest of the year.

Single-family homes were on the market for a median of 25 days in January, echoing pre-pandemic market conditions. Condos sold in a median of 23 days—an increase of nine days from a year ago….

read … For the first time in 19 months, the median price for an Oahu home is under $1M

Haleakala Fuel Spill Caused by Lightning Strike

HNN: … “We have a solemn responsibility to protect this sacred ground upon which we have the privilege to operate – and it is a privilege, not a right,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir. “You expect more from us and last week we let you down … and for that, I am truly sorry.”

Mastalir said a lightning storm last week caused a power surge, which damaged a float within a generator’s main fuel tank, which ultimately caused the spill.

“Last weekend, it was pretty inhospitable weather here on the summit, severe rain, high winds, numerous, numerous lightning strikes. So, all of that contributed to, as we go through this analysis, and we look at the evidence, it all contributes to this conclusion that a power surge is likely what caused the damage to this float,” he said.

He said at this time, it is impossible to know exactly how deep the fuel saturated the soil.

“Right now, it’s impossible to know exactly how deep we will have to go,” Mastalir said.

Mastalir said the generator is still being used, but cautiously.

“The generator is still being used. However, we are actuating the transfer pump manually. So, we are not allowing that transfer pump to operate unless somebody is standing right next to it.” …

read … ‘We let you down’: Commander explains cause of fuel spill atop Haleakala

Oahu Women’s Prison May Have To Install Cameras In Control Booths

CB: …Senate Bill 1470 calls for cameras to be installed by July 1, 2024, in all “guard control rooms in the Women’s Community Correctional Center” after the control booths were repeatedly used by prison staff to sexually abuse inmates.

The bill cites two separate lawsuits that documented cases where inmates were abused in the booths at WCCC. One lawsuit was settled when the state and a corrections officer agreed to pay an inmate a total of $100,000 to resolve the lawsuit after the prisoner was assaulted in 2012.

More recently, Honolulu lawyers Terrance Revere and Richard Wilson represented a group of women inmates who alleged that prison staff conducted more than 50 sexual assaults of inmates in 2015 and 2016, including about two dozen that occurred in the prison control stations. ….

read … Oahu Women’s Prison May Have To Install Cameras In Control Booths

Legislative Agenda: 

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