January 2017

January 20, 2017

Will GOP Punish Hawaii Because We’re Democrats? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Will GOP Punish Hawaii Because We’re Democrats?

Schatz and Hirono are already making stands on Trump’s environmental nominees. But the state’s GOP chair warns against going too far.

Hawaii Christian Church Says No Gays Allowed At Upcoming Banquet Screen shot

Hawaii Christian Church Says No Gays Allowed At Upcoming Banquet

A church’s Sweethearts Banquet at the Hale Koa Hotel advertises it is open to all married couples comprised of “a man & woman by birth.”

Why One Police Commissioner Wanted To Fire The Chief Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Why One Police Commissioner Wanted To Fire The Chief

Commissioner Loretta Sheehan was outvoted by the other commissioners but presented them with a detailed plan for moving to fire the chief.

Health Beat: Licensing Doctors Nationally Makes A Lot Of Sense Huffington Post

Health Beat: Licensing Doctors Nationally Makes A Lot Of Sense

State-by-state certification thwarts telemedicine and exacerbates physician shortages in Hawaii and other remote areas.

Potholes, Lost Inmate Property, Falling Ceiling Cost Taxpayers PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Potholes, Lost Inmate Property, Falling Ceiling Cost Taxpayers

The state approved nearly $200,000 in small claims to cover a wide range of incidents reported by residents, prisoners and others.

Why We March Women’s March Facebook page

Why We March

We want communities where women can thrive, raise our children without fear, claim our bodies as our own and feel safe in our own skin.

January 19, 2017

Clemency For 3 Hawaii Men Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Clemency For 3 Hawaii Men

With 330 new cases, President Barack Obama has granted more clemencies than any other president in history.

Student-Led Trump Protests Set Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Student-Led Trump Protests Set

After Trump takes the oath, a UH Manoa group is planning campus workshops and protest marches throughout Honolulu.

Matson: $725K Molasses Fine Nick Grube/Honolulu Civil Beat

Matson: $725K Molasses Fine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement relating to an ugly spill in Honolulu. 

Hawaii Residents Journey To DC For Very Different Reasons Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Residents Journey To DC For Very Different Reasons

Some are here to celebrate a new direction for the country. Others will march for the preservation of women’s rights.

Ian Lind: HPD Needs To Stop Shooting At Cars KITV.com

Ian Lind: HPD Needs To Stop Shooting At Cars

What should police officers do when threatened by a moving car? New national policy says: Don’t shoot, move!

 

Neal Milner: Politics Works When We Embrace Right Kind Of Ignorance Gage Skidmore/Flickr.com

Neal Milner: Politics Works When We Embrace Right Kind Of Ignorance

Like cholesterol, there are good and bad forms of ignorance. Know-it-all politicians have the bad kind, but we still vote for them all the time.

January 18, 2017

Honolulu Police Chief Gets $250,000 In Retirement Deal Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Police Chief Gets $250,000 In Retirement Deal

Agreement calls for Louis Kealoha to pay back the money if he is convicted of a felony.

Rail Project’s Huge Shortfall Looms Over Legislature’s Opening Day Eugene Tanner/Civil Beat

Rail Project’s Huge Shortfall Looms Over Legislature’s Opening Day

The Senate president said lawmakers are not united on a plan, even as the House speaker reiterated his ideas to fund the troubled project.

Apo: Don’t Jump To Conclusions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Apo: Don’t Jump To Conclusions

The OHA trustee speaks out after a news report that he settled a sexual harassment claim.

Gabbard In Syria, Hanabusa In Honolulu As DC Fills Up Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard In Syria, Hanabusa In Honolulu As DC Fills Up

Hundreds of Hawaii residents are converging on the nation’s capital for inauguration-related events, but so far their congresswomen aren’t there.

Counselor Involved In School Sex Case Now Works For State John Hill/Civil Beat

Counselor Involved In School Sex Case Now Works For State

Scott O’Neal didn’t admit liability but paid $750,000 to settle. The Department of Health said it could find no reason not to hire him.

Civil Beat: Beefing Up And Drilling Down In 2017 Mantle.com

Civil Beat: Beefing Up And Drilling Down In 2017

We’re grateful for solid support from readers who value the in-depth, independent reporting that really started to pay off in 2016.

Senator: ‘Silent’ Police Commission Should Stay Quiet A Bit Longer Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Senator: ‘Silent’ Police Commission Should Stay Quiet A Bit Longer

Will Espero urges the commission to wait until a federal investigation is finished before making a deal for Chief Louis Kealoha’s departure.

Senator Wants More Transparency For Charter School Funds Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Senator Wants More Transparency For Charter School Funds

Jill Tokuda complains that State Public Charter School Commission is the only state agency to hold its funds in private accounts.

Alternate Realities: The State Of Solar Power In Hawaii Jon Callas/Flickr.com

Alternate Realities: The State Of Solar Power In Hawaii

As our political leaders promise a conversion to renewable energy, the state of solar power is in deep decline.

January 17, 2017

Legislators Question Removal Of School Superintendent Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Legislators Question Removal Of School Superintendent

As they consider the Department of Education’s budget request, some lawmakers say Kathryn Matayoshi should be retained.

Report: Native Hawaiians Face A ‘Public Health Crisis’ Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Report: Native Hawaiians Face A ‘Public Health Crisis’

That’s the conclusion of a task force that wants help from the state. But lawmakers demand to see specific proposals, and quickly.

Counties Again Seek Greater Share Of Hotel Tax, Lifeguard Immunity Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Counties Again Seek Greater Share Of Hotel Tax, Lifeguard Immunity

Protection from civil litigation expires July 1 unless lawmakers act. Counties want lifeguards treated the same as some state workers.

Fiji Is Showing Off Its Sharks — Should Hawaii Do The Same? Courtesy: Alana Hong Eagle

Fiji Is Showing Off Its Sharks — Should Hawaii Do The Same?

The apex predators are more than just a tourist attraction. Their protection in a marine park helps other fish thrive as well.

Denby Fawcett: Waimanalo Seeks Relief From Tour Bus Invasions Courtesy of My Kailua Facebook page

Denby Fawcett: Waimanalo Seeks Relief From Tour Bus Invasions

Police say a technicality prevents them from citing those who use the beaches commercially. The City Council may change that.

HPD Chief’s Secret Payoff: It’s The Principle That Should Count Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

HPD Chief’s Secret Payoff: It’s The Principle That Should Count

Retire, fire or keep Chief Louis Kealoha on leave. But don’t reward him for what could turn out to be very serious criminal wrongdoing.

Do Condo Owners Need Some Help From Hawaii’s Legislature? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Do Condo Owners Need Some Help From Hawaii’s Legislature?

Potential condo-related proposals run the gamut from establishing an ombudsman to merely clarifying existing laws.

Reader Rep: Damage Done By Internet Trolls Can Still Be Repaired Flickr.com

Reader Rep: Damage Done By Internet Trolls Can Still Be Repaired

Eventually, out of the muck will emerge new standards of what is legitimate news and what is mere mean-spirited propaganda.

Pod Squad: Defending Women’s Rights As Trump Takes Over

Pod Squad: Defending Women’s Rights As Trump Takes Over

Hawaii leaders explain why they and others are taking part in post-inauguration marches in Washington and elsewhere.

Inaugurating Resistance: A Call to Action Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Inaugurating Resistance: A Call to Action

Many of us were simply despondent after the election, but we’re mobilizing now.

January 16, 2017

Gun-Death Rates In America Michael E. Cumpston via Wikimedia

Gun-Death Rates In America

Hawaii still rates very low but slips to No. 49 in report analyzing weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership.

Hiraoka On Judge Nominees List Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hiraoka On Judge Nominees List

The governor’s former campaign manager is being considered for three judicial vacancies.

Hawaii Most Integrated State Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Most Integrated State

America, it seems, has come closer to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision, “though segregation and discrimination persist,” says WalletHub.

January 13, 2017

Honolulu Police Commission To City Council: Stay Out Of It Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu Police Commission To City Council: Stay Out Of It

The chairman of the commission says it alone will finalize a secret deal likely to include a buyout for retiring Police Chief Louis Kealoha.

When You Think About Civil Rights, Think About Health Care Cory Lum/Civil Beat

When You Think About Civil Rights, Think About Health Care

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman,” said Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966.

FBI Serves Search Warrant At Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

FBI Serves Search Warrant At Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office

Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro has been combative over allegations that one of his top deputies is involved in corruption and conspiracy.

Petition: Dump Akana, Keep CEO Kaui Pratt-Aquino

Petition: Dump Akana, Keep CEO

An OHA beneficiary wants to remove the embattled agency’s chair and keep the chief executive officer, Kamana’opono Crabbe.

Death And Taxes: Two Certainties For This Year’s Hawaii Legislature Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Death And Taxes: Two Certainties For This Year’s Hawaii Legislature

Lawmakers will consider medical aid in dying legislation while also weighing how to fund transportation projects such as Honolulu rail.

January 12, 2017

No Quick Fixes For Prison Overcrowding In Governor’s Budget Cory Lum/Civil Beat

No Quick Fixes For Prison Overcrowding In Governor’s Budget

The Department of Public Safety has not started on expansion of three jails, a $37.5 million project approved by lawmakers last year.

Is Hawaii Spending Enough To Protect Its Natural Resources? Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Is Hawaii Spending Enough To Protect Its Natural Resources?

The challenge facing the DLNR is called “overwhelming,” but the agency hasn’t hired all the people it’s authorized to.

State Says Number Of Available Shelter Beds Will Go Up In 2017 Anita Hofschneider/Civil Beat

State Says Number Of Available Shelter Beds Will Go Up In 2017

Hawaii nonprofits also promise to double the number of homeless people who enter permanent housing.

Hirono Takes Stand Against Attorney General Nominee Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hirono Takes Stand Against Attorney General Nominee

The Hawaii senator, who moved to the United States as a child, chided Sen. Jeff Sessions for his stances on immigration reform.

Hawaii Sued By Supporters Of Medical Aid In Dying Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Hawaii Sued By Supporters Of Medical Aid In Dying

The plaintiffs, including terminally ill lobbyist John Radcliffe, are also hoping to convince the Legislature to take action this session.

OHA Trustees Walk Out After Chair Squelches Public Testimony Cory Lum/Civil Beat

OHA Trustees Walk Out After Chair Squelches Public Testimony

Rowena Akana unilaterally ruled that oral testimony regarding the embattled CEO would not be permitted at a public meeting.

Schatz Gets Key Role On Military Panel Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Schatz Gets Key Role On Military Panel

Hawaii senator hopeful that new post will bring money to the state.

How Hawaii’s Prisoners Are Ending Up In Facilities All Over The Country Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Hawaii’s Prisoners Are Ending Up In Facilities All Over The Country

But, citing privacy and security reasons, state prison officials won’t say why prisoners are being transferred or where they have gone.

Tad Bartimus: Woman Who Started March On DC Is A Real Trailblazer Courtesy of Teresa Shook

Tad Bartimus: Woman Who Started March On DC Is A Real Trailblazer

The tenacity that pulled her through breast cancer and near-blindness led a Maui woman to issue a call to action heard around the world.

Address Teacher Shortage By Developing Educational Assistants Civil Beat

Address Teacher Shortage By Developing Educational Assistants

Instead of putting so much effort into recruiting more teachers from the mainland, the DOE should look at people it already has on staff.

January 11, 2017

More Money Sought To Fix Hawaii’s Harbors, Airports And Roads Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

More Money Sought To Fix Hawaii’s Harbors, Airports And Roads

The state Department of Transportation has a long list of budget requests from the Legislature and the needs just keep piling up.

Caldwell: There’s Likely No Deal Yet On Police Chief’s Departure Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Caldwell: There’s Likely No Deal Yet On Police Chief’s Departure

The mayor said there’s no big hurry, but he’d still like to see a departure agreement finalized “as expeditiously as possible.”

Sewage Spills Will Likely Continue Near Ko Olina Until Pipes Replaced Natanya Friedheim/Civil Beat

Sewage Spills Will Likely Continue Near Ko Olina Until Pipes Replaced

Prematurely corroding pipes must be replaced at an estimated cost of $34.6 million, a City Council committee is told.

Want To Be On Hawaii’s 2020 Presidential Ballot? Show Us Your Taxes Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Want To Be On Hawaii’s 2020 Presidential Ballot? Show Us Your Taxes

An Oahu lawmaker plans legislation that would require all presidential candidates to release their returns.

STEM Jobs? Not In Honolulu

STEM Jobs? Not In Honolulu

Nationally, we rank close to the bottom when it comes to professions involving science, technology, engineering and math.

Chaos At OHA: A Power Struggle And Employee Accusations Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chaos At OHA: A Power Struggle And Employee Accusations

As she seeks to oust the CEO, new Chair Rowena Akana is the subject of numerous staff complaints.

Tad Bartimus: How A Maui Woman Launched A Global Movement Tad Bartimus/Civil Beat

Tad Bartimus: How A Maui Woman Launched A Global Movement

They call her “The Firestarter.” From a keyboard in Hana, Teresa Shook ignited the upcoming Women’s March On Washington.

Ian Lind: Police May Be Blocked From Aerial Surveillance In Hawaii Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ian Lind: Police May Be Blocked From Aerial Surveillance In Hawaii

The Hawaii Supreme Court is considering whether privacy expectations preclude the police from gathering evidence of a crime by flying over your house.

January 10, 2017

Hawaii Pension Fund Shortfall Hits $12 Billion PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Hawaii Pension Fund Shortfall Hits $12 Billion

People are living longer and investment returns were weaker than expected.

City Council Members ‘Leery’ Of HPD Chief’s Retirement Deal Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

City Council Members ‘Leery’ Of HPD Chief’s Retirement Deal

Police Commission Chairman Max Sword refuses to answer questions from council members who want to know if they get final say on any payout.

ACLU Calls For Federal Probe Of Hawaii Prison Conditions Cory Lum/Civil Beat

ACLU Calls For Federal Probe Of Hawaii Prison Conditions

The complaint alleges overcrowding has led to “systemwide deterioration” at seven prisons and jails.

Can More Be Done To Prevent School Employee Misconduct? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Can More Be Done To Prevent School Employee Misconduct?

There’s been a decline in pending cases of workers placed on paid leave, but a school board committee wants more progress.

A $22 Minimum Wage? Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

A $22 Minimum Wage?

A Hawaii state representative wants to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2019 and $22 by 2022.

Denby Fawcett: What Women Fear Losing In A Trump Presidency Women’s March Facebook page

Denby Fawcett: What Women Fear Losing In A Trump Presidency

As the alarm grows, marches are planned in more than 200 American cities on the day after the inauguration.

48 States Have An Airport Authority — Why Not Hawaii? Caleb Hartsfield/Civil Beat

48 States Have An Airport Authority — Why Not Hawaii?

Everyday operations are hampered by our archaic management of 15 airports that are the lifeblood of the tourism industry.

New Kakaako Park Rules Could Keep Homeless Away Chad Blair/Civil Beat

New Kakaako Park Rules Could Keep Homeless Away

The HCDA says the changes mostly clarify rules that already existed. Recent problems have involved vandalism and homelessness.

Who Is Betsy DeVos? betsydevos.com

Who Is Betsy DeVos?

Trump’s choice for education secretary supports redistributing public school funds to allow parents to choose private or charter schools.

It Actually Happened — Now What? Wikimedia Commons

It Actually Happened — Now What?

This high school student is left to ponder what the Trump presidency will mean and look for signs of a more hopeful future.

January 09, 2017

HPD Chief Could Get A Lucrative Cash Payout Along With Pension Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HPD Chief Could Get A Lucrative Cash Payout Along With Pension

The fact that the Honolulu Police Commission is negotiating a deal in secret is raising concerns.

Schatz Named Chief Deputy Whip Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Schatz Named Chief Deputy Whip

The Hawaii senator and Cory Booker of New Jersey have new roles on the Democratic caucus’s leadership team.