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Thursday, March 7, 2024
March 7, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:21 PM :: 1357 Views

Kouchi in Danger After Nahale-a Debacle?

Anti-Israel 'Uncommitteds' Take 29% in Hawaii Democratic Primary

Hawaii Anti-Gun Bills Pass Senate

DBEDT Forecast: 1.5% Economic Growth for 2024

Ways to Maximize Hawaii's Current Zoning Laws

HB1675: No GE Tax on Medical Services

Budget Breakthrough: New COFA Agreement will Cover Micronesians in Lahaina

HNN: … Pacific migrants in Hawaii are not covered by federal supplemental nutritional benefits or even FEMA housing benefits after the Maui wildfires. Case believes those benefits will be covered The Compact Impact Fairness Act once signed by President Biden.

“The state of Hawaii will not be asked to step up to pay for benefits that anybody else legally in this country is entitled to from the federal government,” said Case.

“If it’s signed, as we expect in the next couple of days, then FEMA would be feel fully authorized to extend that assistance to COFA migrants as well as everybody else that it’s extending assistance to,” he added.

The legislation is expected to pass the U.S. Senate Thursday….

read … Pacific nation agreements called ‘great gesture’ for thousands of legal migrants

Green finally quantifies emergency funding request related to Maui fire disaster

SA: … Green proposes to have his requested $362 million appropriation adopted via Senate Bill 582, which the governor recommends for “immediate” passage.

The bill, however, is still a blank appropriation measure despite much discussion in recent weeks between a key Senate committee and top officials in Green’s administration dealing with the budget and wildfire recovery spending.

Prior hazy estimates over what might be needed to cover state expenses for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 have led lawmakers in both the Senate and House to propose clawing back prior large appropriations, including $400 million to redevelop Aloha Stadium, raiding money in special funds and restricting the spending of every state department by 10% or 15%…,.

The state last month began having to pay $1,000 a day for hotel lodging, food and services per FEMA-­ineligible household, which initially was for about 1,000 households and has since dropped to under 700, reducing a total daily expense from about $1 million to under $700,000.

Some ineligible households are undocumented immigrants and migrants under the Compacts of Free Association with three Pacific Island nations….

(CLUE: Now that Congress has settled COFA issue, Green can come up with $382M request.)

read … Green quantifies emergency funding request related to Maui fire disaster

Two Temporary Group Housing Sites To Be Built In Lahaina For Maui Fire Survivors

CB: … The FEMA project led by the Corps will take 120 to 150 days to complete, although there may be the possibility of doing it in phases to allow some people to move in quicker, Swenson said….

A parcel of undeveloped state land in Lahaina will temporarily be used for a 450-unit state group housing site and a 169-unit federal group housing site for Aug. 8 fire survivors not eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mayor Richard Bissen announced FEMA’s decision on the location Wednesday evening at the weekly Lahaina Fire Recovery Update meeting.

For decades, the 1,128-acre property near the Lahaina Civic Center that contains both temporary housing sites has been slated as a residential development called Villages of Lealii. The master plan had called for up to 4,000 homes, including Department of Hawaiian Home Land homesteads, but it has stalled for various reasons…. 

CBS: 87% of those who lost their homes were renters, and the rest were homeowners

SA: Maui County seeks to expedite permits for private developers

FLASHBACK: Supreme Court 9-0: "The Apology Resolution did not strip (the State of) Hawaii of its sovereign authority"

read … Two Temporary Group Housing Sites To Be Built In Lahaina For Maui Fire Survivors - Honolulu Civil Beat

Decision expected next week on where Maui wildfire case will be heard

KITV: … Dozens of attorneys were in the courtroom Wednesday at U.S. District Court as Judge Otake heard from both sides regarding numerous death, property damage, injury related and other lawsuits filed by roughly a few thousand people impacted by the wildfires.

The decision that's handed down by the judge on Monday will ultimately come down to one of three possibilities.

Cases will either be held in Honolulu in the federal court, sent back to state court on Maui, or a combination of the two….

CB: Federal Judge Hears Arguments Over Whether Lahaina Fire Cases Should Stay With Maui Courts - Honolulu Civil Beat

HNN: Wildfire lawsuit attorneys argue over where case should be heard (

read … Decision expected next week on where Maui wildfire case will be heard

Head of training at Public Safety Department avoids jail time for lying about credentials

HNN: … J. Marte Martinez, the former head of training for the state Department of Public Safety, will not serve jail time for tampering with government records and lying to authorities.

Martinez was sentenced to one year probation with a concurrent, suspended 30-day term of imprisonment.

Martinez headed up training at the Public Safety Department, but lied about her credentials to be elevated to that position. Because of her significant role, the state Attorney General’s Office was asking for the maximum sentence — four months in jail for four misdemeanors she pleaded guilty to in October….

Martinez was promoted four times during her nearly decade-long career at the state office and she was in charge of the training for nearly 1,000 deputy sheriffs and corrections officers statewide….

Martinez was on taxpayer-funded administrative leave for more than a year, but it was revealed in court Wednesday that she was recently fired from the department….

Under her training leadership, multiple corrections officers were indicted for violating the civil rights on an inmate after a brutal beating that was caught on video in 2017.

Ted Hong, the attorney for one of the guards said they were not properly trained to deal with non-compliant inmates. “(They) maybe received one training and one follow up about how to respond and deal with prisoners who act violently,” Hong said, referring to his client, now behind bars for the beating….

(CLUE: Her bogus credentials help guards beat the rap on jailhouse beatings.)

read … Head of training at Public Safety Department avoids jail time for lying about credentials

Pandemic Learning Loss Could Cost Hawaii Students Billions In Future Earnings

CB: … Hawaii students who attended school during the Covid-19 pandemic could see an almost 4% reduction in lifetime earnings unless schools are able to help them catch up academically, according to a Stanford University study.

Researchers estimate that Hawaii could face approximately $31 billion in economic losses during the 21st century because because of classroom setbacks over the last four years. The drops in academic achievement could add up to $31 trillion in lost earnings for the United States as a whole.  

David Sun-Miyashiro, founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN, said students attending remote classes during the pandemic may have failed to develop fundamental skills in subjects like reading and math. In turn, he said, workers may struggle with obtaining college degrees or getting higher paying jobs.

“It’s extremely tragic,” he said.

The study’s author, Eric Hanushek, will present his findings to the Board of Education on Thursday

read … Pandemic Learning Loss Could Cost Hawaii Students Billions In Future

Workers criticize Hawaii State Hospital safety plan

KITV: … longtime clinicians who spoke anonymously with Island News said a plan to tighten security and increase staff-to-patient ratios is smoke-n-mirrors.

"It's not making it safer," said a licensed clinician, who asked not to be identified in fear of retaliation.

They said it doesn't address the root of the hospital's longstanding problems, stemming from poor clinical judgement in releasing dangerous patients into the community.

Patients like Tommy Kekoa Carvalho, the man accused of the brutal killing of nurse Justin Bautista four months ago, after being discharged into transitional housing.

And 2017 escapee Randall Saito who spent decades at the hospital for the random -- brutal -- killing of a woman at Ala Moana Center….

"It's a lot of fluff," he said. "The fact of the matter is that both Randy Saito and Tommy Carvalho were let out. We opened the door for them to leave."…

read … Workers criticize Hawaii State Hospital safety plan

HB2089: Stop Building Code Churn

CB: … The state Senate will soon take up House Bill 2089, which cleared the House on Tuesday. The measure would extend the deadline for the State Building Code Council to update and adopt building and residential codes every six years instead of every three years….

Members of the construction industry support the change because they say the overly burdensome code adoption process slows building and increases costs, feeding Hawaii’s housing supply issues. 

Hawaii is trying to resolve a housing shortage so dire that Gov. Josh Green declared the housing situation an emergency in July. Last renewed on Feb. 23, his proclamation stalls any updates to the state building codes “to allow for consistency and stability in the construction of housing.”

Hawaii uses the International Code Council’s codes — which are updated every three years — as its blueprint for building, residential and energy codes. The state’s code, created by the State Building Code Council, is the foundation for the county codes, which are then updated within two years after the state codes are put in place.

The counties have long said they are unable to keep up with a process they say is too fast and onerous, delaying the permitting process….

read … Building Code Groups Caution Hawaii Lawmakers Against 'Deeply Abnormal Response To A Disaster' - Honolulu Civil Beat

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda: 




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