Friday, November 16, 2018

State auditor slams Health Department's oversight of care homes, security guards to patrol Honolulu parks, state tells Hawaiians to take down Mauna Kea access structure, Maui panel recommends $40M bond, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands, seen from GOES-17 at 6:30 a.m. EST, on Nov. 13, 2018. PC:NOAA/CIRA
The GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager has sent its first images from the satellite's new vantage point over the Pacific Ocean. NOAA.

State auditor finds licensing of care homes problematic. An inordinate number of Hawaii’s nearly 500 adult residential care homes were operating in 2017 either with no license or with “hastily issued” permits — and sometimes without even being inspected, according to a scathing audit of the agency charged with ensuring health and safety standards. Star-Advertiser.

Audit: Licensing Process For Adult Care Homes Is Seriously Flawed. The state agency overseeing adult care homes says it is improving its practices and there is no risk to the health or safety of the patients. Civil Beat.

A new audit has found major problems within the agency that licenses Hawaii's care homes. It says the office of health care assurance was renewing licenses for care homes even though there were deficiencies found. KHON2.

The Office of the State Auditor released an audit of the Hawaii Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Assurance today, identifying areas for improvement to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of residents in adult residential care homes. Maui Now.

Scathing audit says office charged with licensing care homes failing to ensure health, safety of patients. The state Office of Health Care Assurance is required by law to oversee the health, safety and welfare of care home residents by licensing and inspecting care homes and holding them to standards. Hawaii News Now.

Read full audit on adult care homes here.

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Harm Reduction Hawaii: Change State Laws for Sex Workers. Community advocates and sex workers in Hawai’i are mobilizing to be heard at the State Legislature next session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Back In Washington Ed Case Gets Ready For ‘A Wild Ride’. The congressman will join one of the most diverse freshman classes in U.S. House history, one that must decide if Nancy Pelosi will still lead them. Civil Beat.

UH Regents Approve New Leadership Organization. The recombining of the University of Hawaii system president with the Manoa chancellor is among other bureaucratic shifts coming to UH. Civil Beat.

A ‘time bomb’ waiting to happen: New figures highlight critical shortage of special ed teachers. Teachers sound alarms over worsening shortage. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s teacher shortage has reached “crisis proportions,” according to Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee, who appeared before the Board of Education Thursday to address the state’s ongoing struggles to retain qualified educators. Garden Island.

Isle jobless rate edges up to 2.3%. Hawaii’s unemployment rate rose in October for the second straight month to a 16-month high of 2.3 percent as the labor force slightly contracted. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

HART to pay $13 million for rail claims. In what is being praised as a significant milestone for the troubled Honolulu rail project, the rail authority has reached an agreement that will finally allow it to close out major contracts with the company that built the first half of the elevated rail guideway. Star-Advertiser.

HART Approves Rail’s Recovery Plan – Again. The move is intended to free up more than $700 million withheld by the project’s federal partners. Civil Beat.

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City hires 24/7 security guards to curtail homeless in 9 Honolulu parks. Pairs of unarmed, private security guards Thursday began rotating among nine city parks around the clock to clamp down on illegal homeless activity. Star-Advertiser.

City to implement new security program to patrol Honolulu parks 24/7. The one-month pilot project will cost the city $44K. Hawaii News Now.

Security guards coming to nine Honolulu parks. KHON2.

Honolulu Rolls Out Ankle Bracelet To Monitor Drunken Drivers. Repeat drunken drivers in Honolulu can soon be made to wear a SCRAM CAM anklet that detects alcohol consumption through a wearer’s sweat and notifies the courts. Civil Beat.

The Prosecutors Office unveiled a new tool aimed at cracking down on habitual drunk drivers. These alcohol monitors can detect alcohol through sweat. KHON2.

Honblue hopes to fill void after Hagadone Hawaii closes. Printing company Honblue hopes to take over as many clients and employees as it can from Hagadone Hawaii, which announced last week it will stop commercial printing operations. KITV.

Exotic bengal cats confiscated in Honolulu. A pair of exotic animals got confiscated at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu in September. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

State tells group to take down structure at Mauna Kea access road. They say they are Native Hawaiian beneficiaries looking after the aina. But the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands says they are trespassing and that their unauthorized structure next to the Maunakea Access Road has to go. Tribune-Herald.

A Hawaii Island peace activist is raising concerns about an apparent U.S. Navy plan to expand non-invasive, or no live fire, training activities into the Mauna Kea Recreation Area along Saddle Road. Big Island Video News.

Ha steps down as cannabis dispensary CEO. The CEO of Lau Ola LLC, one of only two Big Island medical cannabis dispensaries, announced his retirement Wednesday, before the dispensary has brought any product to market. Tribune-Herald.

Former Big Island farmer and medical marijuana advocate Richard Ha, CEO of Lau Ola, is resigning today, two weeks after the state gave the startup the green light to begin growing pakalolo. Star-Advertiser.

Effective Monday, Richard Ha, the head of Big Island medical cannabis company Lau Ola is retiring. KITV.

Little Fire Ants Discovered in Hawaii Volanoes National Park. Park officials announced today they have discovered the presence of the invasive ants in the popular Steam Vents area and Mauna Ulu parking lot. Hawaii Public Radio.

Little fire ants invade Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

Unwanted visitors: Little fire ants discovered at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The invasive species is hazardous to the health of humans, native ecosystems. Hawaii News Now.

The Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee met in Pahoa on Wednesday evening, and eruption recovery was on the agenda. Big Island Video News.

Weather, water hit Cyanotech hard. Limited access to fresh water, inclement weather and a volcanic eruption has resulted in growing pains for Cyanotech Corp., forcing the company to post a loss for a third consecutive quarter. West Hawaii Today.

Estate in Hawaii's Kukio to be auctioned as part of China portfolio by Concierge Auctions. An estate in the Kukio Golf and Beach Club on Hawaii’s Big Island will be sold at auction online and in a live auction in Hong Kong next month as part of a portfolio of 18 luxury homes around the world marketed by Concierge Auctions to buyers in China and across the globe. Pacific Business News.

Maui

Panel recommends approval of $40M bond for project. Some council members say additional funding for Wailuku Civic Center plan is ‘premature’. Maui News.

Seabury Hall trims new headmaster list down to three. Maui News.

Updated Molokai Island plan to get public hearing Friday. Maui News.

Kauai

County officials with the Mayor’s Office, Office of Economic Development, as well as representatives from Kauai Community College and Hawaiian cultural practitioners are visiting Kauai’s sister city in Portugal for the first time. Garden Island.

Nearly 100 people gathered Thursday to learn about the rapid rise in popularity of e-cigarettes among Kauai teenagers, a trend affecting communities nationwide, recently described by the Food and Drug Administration as having reached “epidemic proportions.” Garden Island.