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Monday, April 27, 2009
April 27, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:36 AM :: 6557 Views

Legislators struggle to deal with failing state hospitals

"In defense of the House," said Baker, one of the authors of the original Senate bill, "I think they're frustrated, as we all are. We're hoping we can come together at least to begin to chart the path. We have to provide ways for the acute-care hospitals to partner with other entities to try to pull down additional funds."

(NOTE: This is the same Roz Baker who blocked Malulani.  Could it be that she represents the interests of HHSC bondholders who stand to gain equity--or at least get repaid--if someone finds a way to resuscitate these government hospitals as quasi-private entities?)

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Advertiser: Audit of DBEDT demands serious response

No malfeasance was found.  (But we want to keep using this to hammer the Governor ant Lt Governor leading up to 2010 in the hopes that voters will be fooled into thinking they are just as bad as the Democrats.)

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Sword-slashing lunatic escaped before

The brief escape last week of Hawai'i State Hospital patient Casey Nies generated a police CrimeStoppers alert and alarmed Windward O'ahu residents, but there was no similar warning or public outcry when Nies absconded in November and was at large in the community for four months.

Nies, who was deemed "actively psychotic" after his arrest in 2003 for allegedly trying to murder a Maui police officer, was on a court-approved "conditional release" from the hospital last year to attend a drug treatment program elsewhere on O'ahu, but walked away from that program in late November, court records show.

Maui Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto issued a bench warrant Nov. 28 for the arrest of Nies, but he wasn't recaptured until late last month after he had made his way to Kaua'i. Nies was living in a vacant building there when law enforcement finally caught up with him, according to court files.

"He was lucid or smart enough to travel to another island," Maui Deputy Prosecutor John Kim said.

(And yet Hawaii's soft-on-crime judiciary can't lock him up.)

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Recession drives rise in crowded homes

In the wake of a Makiki Heights house fire that left two people dead and four homeless, advocates are raising concerns about the number of people crowding into homes — in what they say is a trend that appears to be worsening because of the recession....

Since 2005, the number of violations issued annually for overcrowding at O'ahu single-family homes has nearly tripled. Last year, city investigators issued 29 violations to homeowners for overcrowding — defined as having more than five unrelated people living in a home. That compares with just 10 violations issued in 2005, and 19 in 2006.

So far this year, seven violations have been issued....

(Last stop before Las Vegas...thanks to anti-development activists.)

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Police chief considers the future

RELATED: Correa Appointment , Caught Red Handed , Boisse Correa reading list 

Boisse Correa's decision on whether he wants to remain Honolulu's police chief will come after his annual evaluation, scheduled for the next Police Commission meeting on May 6.

The evaluation, released under a public-records request by the Star-Bulletin, covered the 2007 calendar year when Correa took a four-month medical leave of absence for back surgery without informing the commission.

The commission praised Correa for his leadership and managerial skills but said the chief needs to improve his communication with the commission and the public.

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Duke Bainum:  Street-level rail worth a look

Say you needed a new car and you're eyeing a beauty on the showroom floor, but your brother calls and says he can get you a car for half the price, that is more energy efficient, has the latest technology, can be delivered sooner and have significant lower operating and maintenance costs. Wouldn't you at least return his call?

(Sure, but what if he said it was even cheaper to go with more busses and more lanes.)

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ACLU: Uphold students' pushers' right to privacy sell drugs to your kids (And make sure those sniffer dogs don't find the teacher's roach clip)

The board's plan to deploy drug-sniffing dogs throughout Hawaii's schools and to subject student lockers and personal effects "to opening and inspection any time with or without reason or cause" would have little bearing on student safety.  (In other words, we'll tie this up in court for years....)

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