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Monday, September 4, 2023
September 4, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:56 PM :: 1289 Views

Hawaii's economic future depends on what our children learn today

DLIR Tech Fail (Again) -- Like COVID, Maui unemployment claims mount

SA: … Maui’s initial unemployment and disaster unemployment assistance claims have soared to more than 15,000, and the state’s multimillion-dollar project to strengthen the unemployment insurance safety net and prepare it for the next economic downturn is back at the starting block.

State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations spokesperson Bill Kunstman said as many as 13,179 initial unemployment claims were filed on Maui from Aug. 10 to 30. Kunstman said federal disaster unemployment assistance claims (DUA), which were made available Aug. 24 for certain Maui beneficiaries beginning the week of Aug. 13, already have exceeded 1,237.

He said it’s too soon for DLIR to provide a breakdown of how many of these claims have been approved or denied or are in pending status….

(TRANSLATION: Lahaina Fire unemployed will have to wait a loooong time for approval.)

This level of unemployment on Maui has not been seen since the pandemic plunge, and Kunstman said the state is only at the stage of asking for proposals from vendors to take on the roughly $87 million Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Modernization project.

Kunstman said DLIR canceled the project after Public Consulting Group, a third-party conducting the project’s statutorily required independent verification and validation process, recommended to either pause the project or to terminate the contract and re- procure due to litigation that arose between Solid State Operations and its software vendor Netacent.

“After reviewing the advantages and risks associated with each option, we decided the vendor would not realistically meet their required goals and deadlines and that the best way to move the project forward is to procure another vendor to develop and implement the web-based application to replace the aging, legacy mainframe system,” he said.

Kunstman said DLIR paid SSO about $1 million…

Public Consulting Group estimated in its April 2022 IV&V report that terminating SSO’s contract and re-procuring it would likely increase modernization costs $20 million to $40 million and delay the modernization by at least two to three years.

Kunstman said the HUI MOD project is needed because the “current legacy application on the mainframe needs replacement.”

“The new platform will include benefits, tax and appeals; a robust fraud component, additional capacity to service Limited Eng­lish Proficiency persons, and other information technology improvements to better serve claimants and employers in an up-to-date, user-friendly web interface,” he said….

(TRANSLATION: Like COVID, Lahaina Fires provide good cash flow opportunity for scammers.)

read … State unemployment modernization project lags as Maui claims mount

4 PPB Water Testing: Kula community worries the rebuilding and clean up of Upcountry is taking to long

KHON: … Heavy machinery on Kulalani is a sign of moving ahead – but many Upcountry residents feel like they’re still falling behind, especially the hundreds who have been under a water advisory for three weeks now.

“Water valves and pipes and tanks can be damaged and broken after a wildfire or chemicals, smoke, soot, and plastic pieces can get sucked into them and be dragged around the piping network,” said Andrew Whelton a professor of civil environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University.

Whelton was brought in by the county to help….

The water has directly impacted Kula Lodge, who said they’ve had to lay off staff. They also added the health department won’t allow them to cook hot meals without food-grade safe water.

Some tell me they’ve either been denied unemployment to received the minimum 300 per week.

A hui has formed at Kula Lodge where clean water is available for residents….

With dichloromethane detected ranging from less than one to four parts per billion, the level of dichloromethane in water that would cause you to get sick immediately is about 10,000 parts per billion…

(So the detected level is faaaar below the danger level.)

Link: Kula Cleanup - YouTube

read … Kula community worries the rebuilding and clean up of Upcountry is taking to long

Attorney nominated as federal judge in Hawaii has been on Miske prosecution team

ILind: … Another thing left unsaid is is that Smith has been one of the attorneys handling the prosecution of former Honolulu business owner Michael J. Miske, Jr., and his co-defendants.

Two weeks prior to the public announcement of Smith’s nomination, another attorney filed a notice that they would be appearing in the Miske case.

William Keaupuni Akina filed a “notice of appearance on behalf of the United States” on August 17. Akina has been prosecuting cases in Hawaii since about 2018, according to a quick review of his cases listed on the federal courts’ PACER online system.

The other Assistant U.S. Attorneys who have been involved in the prosecution since the beginning are Michael Nammar and Mark A. Inciong. In addition, AUSA Ken Sorenson, chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division, has appeared in court several times….

RELATED: Biden Nominates Federal Judges for Hawaii, CNMI

read … Attorney nominated as federal judge in Hawaii has been on Miske prosecution team

City, HPD Face Lawsuit Over 2021 Killing Of Kakaako Man

CB: … The father of a Kakaako man killed by police responding to his 911 call is suing the city and the four officers involved more than a year after the prosecutor’s office determined that the shooting had been justified.

Brandon Ventura, 33, was killed on Aug. 27, 2021, after a three-hour standoff that began when police were called to his 15th-floor Kamakee Vista apartment after he told 911 he wanted to shoot himself because his girlfriend had broken up with him.

The lawsuit, brought by lawyers Myles Breiner and Sean Fitzsimmons on behalf of Dean Ventura, says the officers failed to use a crisis negotiator with a mentally ill subject and fired the fatal shot when the younger Ventura was surrendering….

That claim runs counter to findings by the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which concluded after a yearlong investigation that the officer who shot and killed Ventura was justified in his actions and would not be charged.

The police attempted all available de-escalation avenues before resorting to deadly force, Prosecutor Steve Alm said in announcing the investigation results in August 2022.

The officers’ names have yet to be released and were redacted in Alm’s investigation. Fitzsimmons did not know them but said they would emerge in discovery….

read … City, HPD Face Lawsuit Over 2021 Killing Of Kakaako Man

Analysis Shows Hawaii House Spread Project Money To The Neighbor Islands

CB: … Hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvement projects are slated for legislative districts on Kauai, Maui County and the Big Island….All but three of the top 15 districts receiving money, out of the 51 members in House, are located on the neighbor islands….

read … Analysis Shows Hawaii House Spread Project Money To The Neighbor Islands

Lahaina Fire News: 

 

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