Watching and reporting about Hawaii politics and government.

3:21 p.m. UPDATED Giesting Named Health-Care ‘Transformation’ Coordinator

The governor named Beth Giesting today to the new position of Healthcare Transformation Coordinator.

(The administration uses “health care” as one word.)

Giesting, CEO of Hawaii Primary Care Association, is tasked with implementing provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act, and to increase quality and reduce costs of Medicaid programs and the state’s employee health-care system.

Read more about the position and Giesting here.

The governor previously created new positions to address information technology, homelessness and early childhood.

12:02 p.m. Oahu Redistricting Meetings Set

The maps haven’t been completed yet, but public meeting dates for Oahu have been set to get input on drafts of the state’s political boundaries.

The deadline for the Reapportionment Commission to complete proposed plans is Aug. 7.

The group needs to publish its drafts by then for state House and Senate and congressional districts based on the latest Census population numbers. The commission previously decided to count non-resident military and their families, college students and felons in the base population.

At an Oahu Advisory Council meeting today, the following public meeting dates for Oahu were announced:

  • Aug. 30 — Kapolei at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 6 — Kailua at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — State Capitol at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 8 — Mililani at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 15 — Waipahu at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 16 — East Oahu at 6 p.m.

Chair Michael Palcic said venues for the meetings haven’t been secured yet. The commission has until Sept. 26 to complete and file its final plans.

Nanea Kalani

11 a.m. Former DBEDT Employee Quits D.C. Post After Ethics Probe

A former DBEDT employee who became a high-ranking Department of Labor official in the Obama administration has resigned after an inspector general’s investigation “found that he had violated federal procurement rules and ethics principles.”

Raymond Jefferson, assistant secretary of the the federal department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, resigned Tuesday.

Jefferson is a West Point graduate and Fulbright fellow with a Harvard MBA. He lost all the fingers on his left hand in a training accident.

9:11 a.m. Hawaii Prepares for National Default

The Abercrombie administration has issued a press release stating that the governor and his cabinet are taking steps to “prepare for various scenarios” should talks in D.C. fail to reach a resolution to the debt crisis.

“We have a sound plan and are prepared to keep our economy stable,” Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “We are carefully managing the state’s finances and our local banks are ready to step forward if the need arises.”

The governor’s objectives are “to avoid interruptions to programs that depend heavily on federal funding.”

Kalbert Young said, “We have a cash conservation strategy with the intent to cover federally-funded state programs for a short period of time. We will have to wait to see which federal programs might see reduced funding, and by how much.”

The state’s top bankers have also “pledged their support” to the governor “if the state finds temporary funding disruptions.”

8:52 a.m. Gov to Announce New Healthcare Position

This afternoon at Kapiolani Medical Center, Neil Abercrombie will annouce a Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, a new position in his office.

“This individual will coordinate all of Hawaii’s healthcare policies including insurance, Medicaid, improving patient outcomes, and integrating federal reforms,” according to a press release.

8:50 a.m. Kenoi vs. Yagong?

Yagong vs. Kenoi for Big Island mayor?

Isenberg site selected for Kauai youth drug treatment center

Maui police, councilor seek to ban passengers in pickup beds

Hawaii County furloughs begin tomorrow

8:42 a.m. UPW Strike During APEC?

KITV reports that the United Public Workers is talking about a potential strike timed for the APEC meetings in November. The blue-collar union has not settled its contract with the state.


UPW State Director Dayton Nakanelua said thousands of people from around the world would land at Honolulu International Airport for APEC. If UPW janitorial workers were on strike, the airport would be a mess with dirty lobbies and restrooms some of the first sights APEC visitors would see, Nakanelua told UPW members Wednesday.

8:10 a.m. Photo Flash from D.C. Past

If you haven’t already checked our DC808 blog today, do take a second to click on this entry.

It includes a priceless photo from 1993 taken in the Oval Office. Neil Abercrombie still had long, dark hair; Dan Inouye looked like Jimmy Borges; Al Gore was thin.

Briefing: APEC and Homelessness

House committees on Human Services and House Housing (led by John Mizuno and Rida Cabanilla) are scheduled to discuss the idea of safe zones for homeless people during the APEC meeting in November.

Those invited to speak include Marc Alexander, HPD, Bishop Larry Silva and the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association.

Speaking of homelessness and Hawaii: the Hawaii Tourism Association has posted an article this week that explains how Germany dealt with unemployment and homelessness. Worth a look.

Town Hall: Kaneohe

Windward Oahu legislators are scheduled to hold a meeting tonight at Windward Community College (Hale Akoakoa 105).

Chris Lee, Ken Ito, Pono Chong and Jill Tokuda will be on hand

Meeting: Stadium Authority

Authority members are scheduled to meet this morning at Aloha Stadium.

The agenda includes discussion of the Great Aloha Run, OIA football and the stadium’s food and beverage contract.

Meeting: Hawaii Tourism Authority

The HTA board is set to meet this morning at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The agenda, as usual, includes discussion of branding and marketing budgets, which will be held — as usual — behind closed doors.

Talk: Hemmings on Energy

Fred Hemmings is Small Business Hawaii’s featured speaker this morning at the Pineapple Room, Macys’ Ala Moana.

The former state senator and surfer turned “environmentally active business leader,” according to a press release, will talk about “True Energy Independence for Hawaii.”

Natural Disasters on PBS ‘Insights’

That’s the topic on Dan Boylan‘s show tonight — specifically, how to respond to natural disasters.

Guests include Richard Berry, Gary Ostrander and Ray Shirkhodai.

Where’s Neil?

Here’s Neil:

• Hawaii Chinese Tourism Association meeting, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, 1 p.m.

Catch up on previous coverage:

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