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Friday, June 14, 2024
June 14, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 730 Views

$11.3B Loss: Elimination of TVRs Would Drive Hawaii into Economic Depression

Geanna Bradley Coverup: Witness Handed Over to Alleged Killer's Family

‘If you are paying into the income tax, you are going to feel this cut’

Hawaii Congressional Leaders Deny Supporting Shutdown Of Red Hill Oversight Panel

CB: … Hawaii’s congressional leaders are disputing a statement made yesterday by an Environmental Protection Agency official who claimed the delegation supports eliminating a Red Hill community oversight group.

EPA regional enforcement chief Amy Miller made the comments in a Zoom meeting with the Red Hill Community Representation Initiative. The group, known as the CRI, was formed last year by a federal consent order between the EPA and the military after fuel from the Red Hill storage complex contaminated Pearl Harbor’s drinking water in 2021.

On Wednesday during a recorded virtual meeting, Miller told the group it would be disbanded because the military and CRI members were unable to agree on ground rules for how the meetings should be run. Asked whether Hawaii’s elected leaders in Congress supported the dissolution of the group, Miller said yes.

On Thursday, Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz and Reps. Ed Case and Jill Tokuda released a joint statement saying that is not true….

(CLUE:  It’s hard to get your point across with CRI members constantly interrupting and finishing your sentences for you.  Watch.)

Miller told the group that the military and CRI members appear unable to come to a consensus on meeting logistics, including the location, the facilitator and who should control the agenda….

After Miller shared that news, Army Maj. Mandy Feindt, a CRI member, asked Miller where the congressional delegation stood on the matter.

“I did meet with the congressional leaders, and they actually asked me a lot of questions about the Community Representation Initiative,” Miller said.

“And they seem to be in support?” Feindt asked.

“No,” Miller said.

“Of you disbanding this?” Feindt asked.

“Yes,” Miller said.

“I’m sorry, no they’re not in support, or yes they are in support?” Feindt asked.

“The conversations I had, they were not in support of the Community Representation Initiative,” Miller said….

Later in the meeting, Feindt said she was surprised by Miller’s comments and asked for clarification.

“Can you please share, is it a collective — all four of the congressional delegation — does not support the CRI? I just want to make sure I’m clear with your words, that way when we go back and talk to our congressional delegation — because that’s not the feedback that we’ve gotten, so,” she said.

“Yes,” Miller said.

“All four of them, you’re saying — ” Feindt started.

“Yes,” Miller interjected.

” — are not in support of the CRI?”

“We had a meeting with all four delegations,” Miller said, adding that the meeting occurred in the springtime.

“And their guidance was to disband the CRI?”

“Um, they did not think that, um — they thought it was out of hand,” Miller said. “They thought it needed ground rules. They thought it was disruptive. It was a pretty negative meeting. And it was very, very difficult.” ….

read … Hawaii Congressional Leaders Deny Supporting Shutdown Of Red Hill Oversight Panel

Survey: Maui Fire Survivors Cite Urgent Financial Needs And Housing Instability As Major Concerns

CB: … Some 1,219 adults and 771 children filled out the survey as part of their applications to participate in the Alaska Airlines Maui Care Flights program, according to a CNHA news release Thursday….

Three-quarters of respondents live in temporary housing and lack of stability is a major concern.

More than half of those in temporary housing have only been in their current place for four months or less. Most want to stay in West Maui, some 72%.

Nearly 60% work full-time. The median yearly income has dropped by a quarter since the fire, from $48,000 to $54,000 down to $36,000 to $42,000 currently.

Some 46% of respondents said they need urgent financial assistance. Housing and food were the next two items most desperately needed.

Most people who took the survey have lived on Maui for a decade or more. Less than 57% have a college degree or a technical certification.

Some 18% of survey participants were in households led by single parents with minor children. And 12% either share a car or other type of transportation mode, a statistic that underscores the need to have housing and job sites close….

read … Survey: Maui Fire Survivors Cite Urgent Financial Needs And Housing Instability As Major Concerns

MECO Meetings & Events: Lahaina Fire - Bill Suspensions - Future Plans

IM: … On July 2, the Governor Green`s suspension of service disconnections for all Maui residents ends. Maui customers who are financially challenged by the devastating wildfires will not have to worry about potential disconnection of their electric service until July.

On July 2 at 5 pm the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission is hosting a hybrid informational meeting at the University of Hawai`i Maui College, 310 Kaahumanu Ave, Ike Lea Room 144, so that Hawaiian Electric can provide a presentation to the local community about Hawaiian Electric’s current operations and future plans for Maui’s electric grid. The public is invited to provide public comments at this meeting. Oral and written comments are encouraged. Virtual attendance is available on Webex and YouTube….

On July 3, HECO must answer fire-related questions posed by the PUC in a regulatory proceeding where intervention by stakeholders is forbidden. (Non-Docketed Case No. 2024-01872)….

read … MECO Meetings & Events: Lahaina Fire - Bill Suspensions - Future Plans

‘This is a broken system’: Child Welfare Services

HTH: … the state Legislature passed Senate Bill 295, which established the Malama Ohana Working Group within the Office of Wellness and Resilience to propose changes to the existing child welfare system.

Gov. Josh Green signed the bill into law last year, and the 17 members of the Malama Ohana Working Group began working to create recommendations based on feedback from families that have had experience with CWS.

MOWG members traveled to Hawaii Island on May 31, and at Keaukaha Elementary School they hosted their second public listening session, which was preceded by a sign-waving event by residents already advocating to reform CWS.

“Many of the parents and families in this community have been harmed by the system, and their voices will be heard,” said Shana Kukila with Hawaii Coalition for Child Welfare Reform. “We came out here to show support for this meeting and hopefully get more people to join and give their input.”

In 2021, CWS received 5,280 child abuse and neglect reports, with 759 families accepted for investigation and 1,331 children confirmed as victims of at least one kind of abuse.

In the same year, there were 2,566 children in foster care, with an average of 1,555 in care each month. Of those children in care, 44.6% were Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian.….

May 29, 2024: Governor's Office 'Listening Sessions' on Child Welfare System

read … ‘This is a broken system’: Effort to reform Child Welfare Services gains momentum

500 HSTA Members Set to Get $8,000 each—it won’t work so we need to give them more money

CB: … About 500 educators will be receiving up to $8,000 in bonuses this month, but some school leaders aren’t convinced it will be enough to solve Hawaii’s shortage of career technical education teachers. …

Special education teachers received the largest bonus of $10,000 each year. For the first two years after the bonuses began, the recruitment and retention of special education teachers improved.  

But Andrea Eshelman, deputy executive director and chief negotiator of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, is skeptical of DOE’s strategy to address the CTE teacher shortage. Currently, the bonuses are only one-time payments for individuals who taught CTE classes in the 2023-24 school year. 

In the state supplemental budget, legislators appropriated $2.5 million to continue CTE bonuses in the 2024-25 school year, but Gov. Josh Green has yet to sign the bill.

Most teachers aren’t willing to change their jobs based on the uncertain possibility of receiving a salary boost in the future, Eshelman said. 

“Do we think it’s going to move people? Perhaps,” she said. “But for now, they were told it’s just a one-time thing.”…

Brigham Young University Hawaii is one of three teacher education programs that prepares students for CTE licensing. The school only had one student complete the CTE licensing pathway in the 2022-23 school year….

read … Mo Money, Mo Money

The History And Challenge Of Searching For A UH President

CB: … Dobelle or Greenwood, that is the question ….

read … The History And Challenge Of Searching For A UH President

Billionaire’s Minions Miffed: The Little People Just Won’t Give up Their Cars

CB: … The City Council got rid of minimum parking requirements in certain areas in 2020 to encourage residents to use more sustainable methods of transportation and save developers money.

But four years later, many developers still spend tens of millions of dollars to build hundreds of parking spots, even in transit-rich areas of the urban core.

They are up against a simple truth: Many people have a hard time parting with their cars….

(HEY!  You are blocking The Omidyar with your useless existence!  You get a concrete box to live in, an internet connection to pretend to live in, and hordes of zombies outside just in case you think of straying from the life I have created for you.  Anything more is unaffordable.)

read … The City Stopped Mandating Parking In New Urban Housing. Builders Are Providing It Anyway

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