Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hawaii state psychiatric hospital in the cross-hairs, military cuts feared, US-Japan military ties, Honolulu Handi-Vans, EMS under fire, beleaguered super PAC training Big Island candidates, dairy wants lower milk prices, Kauai resort fights dairy farm, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy watchdog.org
Hawaii State Hospital, photo courtesy watchdog.org
The Hawaii Senate's special investigative committee on the Hawaii State Hospital has subpoenaed adult mental health division Administrator Mark Fridovich, acting Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William Elliot, and Linda Rosen, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, to testify at a hearing in Honolulu on Friday. Pacific Business News.

Three state hospital administrators will testify before a state Senate investigative committee Wednesday in connection with allegations of workplace hazards and administrative misconduct. Star-Advertiser.

From charges of overcrowding, assaults by patients on staff, to being an outdated facility, the Hawaii State Hospital has been under the microscope lately. A legislative committee went on a tour of the hospital recently and found it lacking in several areas. KHON2.

Hawaii’s state-run psychiatric hospital has a new chief, whose job is to operate a facility that has come under intense scrutiny for mismanagement and safety concerns. Civil Beat.

Addressing staff shortages and safety are among the top priorities for the new administrator of the Hawaii State Hospital, the state's predominant mental institution. Star-Advertiser.

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, will face off in a live debate on KHON2. The debate will begin at 7 p.m. and live-streamed on KHON2.com.

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, bidding to return to the job he held for seven months in 2010, announced Monday his GOP campaign has raised $435,000 since launching his campaign in early April. Star-Advertiser.

It's a crowded race to fill Hawaii's first congressional district seat. Stanley Chang is trying to reach every voter in the first congressional district with a personal pitch that helped him win his city council seat on back in 2010. KITV4.

U.S.-Japan naval cooperation is deepening, top U.S. and Japanese admirals said Monday as they met on the sidelines of the world’s largest maritime exercises. Associated Press.

Department of Defense spending, the 2nd largest source of revenue for the state behind tourism, is facing potential budgetary cuts which could hurt Hawai’i’s economy. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Rep. Rida Cabanilla wants Gov. Neil Abercrombie to reconsider an idea that his administration has already shot down. In a news release Monday, Cabanilla urged the governor to release $100,000 that the Legislature approved in 2013 for a three-year “Return to Home” pilot program. The initiative provides money for one-way tickets so eligible homeless individuals from the mainland can return to their families. Civil Beat.

Political candidates will be changing the way they report their expenses online to make it easier to track how they’re spending their election dollars. The state Campaign Spending Commission has instituted rules requiring candidates to file each expenditure under one of eight categories. Associated Press.

Oahu

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will lose 238 positions in a move announced Monday by the Air Force to cut costs and eliminate nearly 3,500 positions worldwide over the next five years. Star-Advertiser.

Fires that destroyed two city Handi-Vans used to transport the disabled were caused by the excessive age of the vehicles, according to the city’s top transportation official. Civil Beat.

The accident at Ala Moana Center on Saturday is prompting calls for the city to fix the chronic staffing shortages at the Emergency Medical Services department. Hawaii News Now.

A veteran registered nurse in need of back surgery said Honolulu paramedics did not follow common sense for her injuries when they allegedly sat her upright in her husband's truck and had him drive to the hospital on his own. Star-Advertiser.

The state Health Department has launched the Choose Healthy Now initiative at eight snack shops on Oahu. Food and beverages have been flagged with green, yellow and red stickers to help customers identify healthier items, while printed materials explain the system and benefits of healthful eating. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of concerned Oahu residents filled the seats of Mililani-Mauka Elementary School cafeteria Monday evening to brainstorm a plan of eradicating the little fire ant, a tiny species creating a big problem. Hawaii News Now.

State roundup for July 15. Associated Press.

Hawaii

A Honolulu political action committee under investigation for questionable campaign practices has spent thousands this year training six Hawaii County Council candidates how to campaign. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s largest milk producer is seeking the state’s permission to sell its milk at a price lower than the law currently allows. A public hearing on that request is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the state Department of Agriculture’s Waimea Irrigation System Branch conference room at 66-1220B Lalamilo Farm Lots Road. Tribune-Herald.

Next month, Hawaii Island’s 1,400 restaurants and other establishments serving food will begin being issued new food safety inspection placards, making it easier for customers to decide where they want to eat. Tribune-Herald.

A public hearing to gather input on the planned merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. yielded one comment Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Maui
Kahului state Rep. Justin Woodson is financing his campaign mostly from money donated by political action committees and labor unions while opponent and former Maui County Mayor James "Kimo" Apana and members of his family are paying for most of his campaign expenses, state Campaign Spending Commission reports show. Maui News.

Maui County has agreed to a settlement with the state Health Department totaling $140,000 for violations at the Central Maui and the Molokai landfills in 2011, the Health Department said. Maui News.

Kauai

A neighboring resort filed suit to stop a proposed dairy farm. Garden Island.

Victoria “Vickie” Franks said she has wanted to be involved in government since she was a girl. Garden Island.

Molokai

After years of effort, UH Maui College, Molokai (UHMCM) has completed its Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) 2013, which was approved and received in June 2014.  The purpose of the LRDP is to guide the development of the Molokai Education Center to the year 2027, beginning with the transition from the existing two-acre campus and expanding to a five-acre campus utilizing the land to the west along the main road to Duke Maliu Regional Park. Molokai Dispatch.