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Sunday, February 11, 2024
February 11, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:42 PM :: 1597 Views

Father:  DHS and Catholic Charities both involved in Geanna Bradley Placement in Torture House

Nearly 5,000 Maui fire victims remain in hotels

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted February 10, 2024

SB3196: More Gun Control on the Agenda

Hawaii energy policy bedeviled by price, reliability tradeoffs

Hoarding School Impact Fees

93 Candidates Pull Papers Statewide

SB3381: HCDA to Control Lahaina Redevelopment?

CB: … Imagine a state corporation with the power to buy property and develop it according to the corporation’s own rules. The entity could acquire land against the will of owners through eminent domain and issue bonds to pay for it. Financing would go through a special fund outside the standard budget process. 

The corporation’s first task would be to redevelop Lahaina. 

Hawaii lawmakers have introduced bills to create this corporation, called the Cultural Corridor Authority, to help rebuild Lahaina. And while the Cultural Corridor Authority, House Bill 2693, appears to have little support — a sign of the challenge legislators face trying to develop policies to address rebuilding Lahaina — lawmakers have introduced several bills this session that envision Lahaina’s redevelopment. They include a Senate bill similar to the cultural corridor measure, which is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday.

Senate Bill 3381 would put Lahaina’s redevelopment into the hands of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which is best known for building Kakaako into a posh seaside community of luxury condos. The bill, which would create a new nine-member Lele Community District, is co-sponsored by Sen. Angus McKelvey, who represents Lahaina, and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz, a long-time supporter of expanding HCDA’s powers.

The bill is slated for a hearing by the Senate Energy, Environment and Tourism Committee and the Water and Land Committee on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

McKelvey has introduced another bill to legalize and tax online fantasy sports contests and allocate the tax revenue to Lahaina’s recovery. The Maui senator is also proposing to establish the Lahaina Bank,…

read … Rebuilding Lahaina: An Oversight Board, A Dedicated Tax Stream, Even A Bank

HB2762: OHA to Build Casino at Kakaako Makai?

CB: …  On Wednesday the House Economic Development Committee passed HB2762 that would allow “limited casino gaming” at a “single integrated resort property” on commercial use lands under the control of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (it excludes lands west of Ko Olina). It would also establish a Hawaii Gaming Commission.

(CLUE: Kakaako Makai)

Also passing was another bill that allows for the regulation of sports wagering by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. That could create licensing requirements for sports wagering operators and sports wagering suppliers….

read … The Sunshine Blog

Mafia News: SHOPO Lawyer Devens Planted on Supreme Court to Block Release of Police Disciplinary Records

CB: … Act 47 not only removed that exemption it also required police departments to include more details on each of the misconduct incidents on the annual summary including the names of officers, even in cases when appeals to the disciplinary action is ongoing.

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers took the City and County of Honolulu to court over that one when the city agreed to release arbitration reports to Civil Beat after the law had been changed. In 2021, Circuit Court Judge Dean Ochai upheld Act 47 and said the names must be released despite SHOPO’s contention that it was unconstitutional and essentially unfair while the union grievance process was still playing out.

“It’s the law,” the judge said.

For the last two years, the county police agencies have been mostly following the Act 47 requirements, in part because the Hawaii Supreme Court in a separate case in 2021 declared that the public has a compelling interest in police misconduct and that officers don’t have a constitutional right to privacy in these situations.

SHOPO had already appealed to the ICA which last week went along with everything the Supreme Court had already said.

Now it looks like the high court will get a chance to say it again, this time with former SHOPO attorney Vladimir Devens on the bench as a new justice.

SHOPO president Bobby Cavaco tells The Sunshine Blog that the union will appeal — again….

read … The Sunshine Blog: The Public Wins Another Round With SHOPO. But Who Will Win The Super Bowl?

LOL: Hawaii Version of ‘Three-Strike’ bill for repeat violent offenders -- Prosecutors will actually be allowed to charge a felony

KHON: … Senate Bill 2347 would allow prosecutors to file felony charges for people with three assault convictions within a five year period….If a person is convicted three times for the following misdemeanor assaults in a five year period, the prosecuting attorney can charge them with a Class C felony….

read … Legislature to pass this bill for repeat violent offenders (khon2.com)

Hawaii teens report persistent mental-health problems

SA: … More than one-third of Hawaii’s public high school students in a survey reported that they had felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row in the prior 12 months, and one-fifth of the high schoolers surveyed said they purposely hurt themselves without wanting to die.

Data like these, Hawaii public school officials told a state Board of Education committee last week, are why they hope the board and state lawmakers will support their requests at the state Legislature for 20 full-time educational psychologists, and funding to extend certain summer programs and other mental-­health programs for students and staff after federal pandemic aid expires Sept. 30….

read … Hawaii teens report persistent mental-health problems

A ‘Shockingly Broken System’: Hawaii Failing To Meet ANY Child Care Safety Regulations

CB: … Doubts swirled from the start. 

After Cynthia King’s baby Wiley Muir died suddenly at a home-based day care in Honolulu, she fixated on the things that seemed off. The medical examiner said he died of pneumonia, but Wiley hadn’t been sick that morning. King wondered how sickness could take him so suddenly — how they could have missed that.

But most of all, there was the notebook, which King began keeping just four days earlier, when Wiley started at the day care. On the morning of Feb. 6, 2014, King had jotted down what time her 4-month-old had woken up and what he’d eaten. That notebook had gone with Wiley to day care that morning and was returned to King at the police department days after his death. 

The page she’d started the day he died was gone, ripped out. Instead, there was a new page rewritten in the day care owner’s handwriting. 

“That freaked me out. Why on Earth, on the day he died, would the day care provider rip out the page and rewrite what I had already started writing?” King said. 

A year and a half later, on what would have been Wiley’s second birthday, King and her husband ran into Therese Manu-Lee, the provider caring for Wiley when he died. She was wearing scrubs and appeared to be working with an elderly person. King wondered what happened to the day care. 

Later, King looked her up online. The day care had been shut down by the state. 

Right away, King called the Department of Human Services, which oversees the state’s child care office. Manu-Lee’s license was suspended while police investigated Wiley’s case but reinstated when the case was closed. It was shut down again a year later in 2015 when a surprise inspection of Manu-Lee’s home found her with 14 children in her care, eight of them infants — four times the legal number of infants for a home-based provider. …

Only one state was out of compliance on all three categories: Hawaii. 

Hawaii hasn’t posted any data at all from the past seven years on serious injuries and abuse at day cares. The last year it reported was 2016, making it the only state with a reporting gap that wide. The online database of violations King advocated for a decade ago — the one she was told was coming soon in 2016 — is still not up. Hawaii is also one of the states not running interstate background checks on child care providers.

The reasons why are various, but underpinning Hawaii and the other states’ compliance issues is a difficult reality. The child care system in the United States has been described by the Treasury Department as a “textbook example of a broken market.” It is losing day cares to financial constraints and a lack of federal investment. To ensure safety, day cares have to stick to strict ratios of children to teachers. That means staffing costs make up a huge portion of the budget, but that also means the staff is paid close to minimum wage, leading to high turnover. Raising wages would mean raising fees for parents, many of whom are paying more than their rent or mortgage on child care. …

read … A ‘Shockingly Broken System’: More Than A Dozen States Are Failing To Meet Child Care Safety Regulations - Honolulu Civil Beat

BJ Penn for … Council?

CB: … BJ Penn, who finished second in the 2022 Republican primary for governor, has pulled papers to run for the Hawaii County Council District 1 seat, which represents parts of South and North Hilo, Hamakua and Waimea. It’s a nonpartisan race, and incumbent Heather Kimball has indicated she will run for reelection.

Meantime, Seaula Tupai Jr., who was Republican Duke Aiona’s running mate in the 2022 gubernatorial election, has pulled papers for Hawaii County mayor. That nonpartisan matchup already features incumbent Mitch Roth and challenger Kimo Alameda….

read … The Sunshine Blog

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