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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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UH administration pressed to improve responses to student deaths

August 27th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Susan Schultz, a professor of English and editor at Tinfish Press, has created a petition pushing the University of Hawaii at Manoa administration to improve their handling of student deaths.

The petition will be closed on Monday and the signatures forwarded to the Board of Regents, so please review the petition and her background links, and add your signature if you’re so inclined.

This is taken from her email now being circulated.

Friends,

I just created a new petition and I hope you can sign — it’s called: UHM administration: Develop student death protocol, mount suicide prevention activities

This issue is very important to me, and together we can do something about it!

Read more about it and sign it here.

Campaigns like this always start small, but they grow when people like us get involved — please take a second right now to help out by signing and passing it on.

Thanks so much,

Susan

PS For more of the backstory, please check out:

http://hawaiiindependent.net/story/why-uh-manoa-needs-a-student-death-protocol

http://hpr2.org/post/conversation-tuesday-august-25th-2015 (scroll down a bit)

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29855691/uh-death-notification-policy-questioned-by-faculty-member

→ 2 CommentsTags: Education · Health

Throwback Thursday: Paradise Park in Manoa Valley, 1970

August 27th, 2015 · 1 Comment

I remember this day quite well. Meda and I had started graduate school at the University of Hawaii in the fall of 1969, and it was probably early the next year that we visited Paradise Park up in the back of the valley.

My mother was with us, along with her Uncle Mac, James McPherson, who married her mother’s sister. Uncle Mac was then 91 or 92, as I recall. I know there are other pictures of him from that day, but I’ll track those down on another occasion.

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→ 1 CommentTags: History · Photographs

Former PUC chair blasts governor’s “No LNG” stance

August 26th, 2015 · 7 Comments

Former PUC chair Mina Morita took to her “Energy Dynamics” blog yesterday to blast Gov. David Ige’s bombshell announcement that his administration will seek to block attempts to import liquid natural gas as a bridge fuel in the transition to a 100% renewable energy system.

Morita called Ige’s announcement “dictatorial.”

This dictatorial pronouncement, I don’t know of any other way to describe it, defied the painstakingly and analytical efforts by numerous parties seeking solutions to accelerate clean energy transformation affordably by maximizing cost-effective renewable resources with more flexible and efficient fossil generation through this transition. The announcement was certainly contradictory to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission inclinations (see page 6-10) which, ironically, was cited numerous times in the merger docket by State agencies and other parties for its thoroughness and thoughtfulness in laying out a pathway for Hawaii’s energy vision.

Did the Governor and his advisors ever consider what this pronouncement will do to the business climate at a time when the entire energy (including all fuels) infrastructure will require significant investments to upgrade aging facilities and to meet environmental compliance?

Morita had a lot more to say. You can read it here.

→ 7 CommentsTags: General

Kauai rep moves to settle charges of filing inaccurate or incomplete campaign reports

August 26th, 2015 · 3 Comments

It was somewhat surprising to see the reports yesterday that the Attorney General had filed charges against Kauai Rep. James Tokioka for “recklessly” filing campaign spending reports that were not complete or accurate during last year’s primary election. It was reported last night by KHON (“AG files campaign reporting violation charges against Kauai lawmaker“), and this morning by the Star-Advertiser (“Tokioka settles campaign finance charge“).

The surprise came from several things. First, such complaints are very rare. Second, the complaint was filed back on the afternoon of August 11, 2015. That was two weeks ago, and apparently it went unreported until now. And there wasn’t much attention paid to the investigation earlier.

I did a brief look early this morning for the background.

Hawaii News Now’s Rick Daysog reported in April that cases involving unreported contributions to three legislators had been referred to the AG (“EXCLUSIVE: Attorney general’s office asked to investigate lawmakers“). Tokioka was named, along with Angus McKelvey and Richard Fale.

Daysog reported:

Sources said the commission found that all three collected tens of thousands in campaign contributions last year but did not report them until the reporting discrepancies were flagged by investigators.

Daysog also noted: “Usually, allegations like these lead to civil fines. But because they involved incumbents, sources said the commission believed the violations are intentional and warranted a criminal referral.”

In June, The Garden Island newspaper reported that the case involved a contribution from one of the state’s top lobbyists, George “Red” Morris, and that the AG’s office had asked Tokioka to take a lie detector test (“Tokioka takes polygraph test voluntarily“).

Tokioka acknowledges that his campaign made an error by filing late, and said that a campaign volunteer made an additional clerical error when entering information about a $500 donation from G.A. “Red” Morris, of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. Tokioka said the reports have since been amended.

Tokioka said that the contribution was inadvertently entered as a personal donation from Morris, when it should have been recorded as a donation from one of Morris’ clients. According to Tokioka, that sparked concern that they were trying to conceal the source of the money.

“It was clearly a simple error and an honest mistake to put his home address on the campaign spending report,” Tokioka said.
Morris did not respond to multiple attempts over several days to reach him for comment.

A quick check of the Campaign Spending Commission website shows that virtually all of Tokioka’s campaign reports filed during 2013 and 2014 were later amended.

Tokioka is Kauai business manager for Oceanic Time Warner Cable, according to his financial disclosure reports.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Court · Politics

The Star-Advertiser facing continued printing woes

August 25th, 2015 · 26 Comments

The Star-Advertiser’s woes with its expensive, high-tech printing plant just seem to be going on and on.

This must be a huge blow. The computerized printing operation was built by Gannett for more than $75 million, and was a prize part of the buyout and merger with the old Star-Bulletin.

But, it turns out, there “high tech” can be too high.

At first, the problem was treated in low key fashion.

Here’s the first notice: “”Because of production delays, this morning’s Star-Advertiser will be delivered later than normal and will be a partial edition in certain areas.”

A reader emailed to say that his “partial edition” lacked a front page.

Early Monday morning, a follow-up explanation posted by Frank Bridgewater said that the problems were expected to persist on “subsequent days…until the press problems are resolved.”

And much of Monday’s paper, such as it was, came from the company’s press on the Big Island.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was unable to print most complete copies of the Sunday edition because of problems with the computers that operate the printing press.

Monday’s paper is smaller than our usual papers, and subsequent days also will have fewer pages until the press problems are resolved. These papers will not include some features that normally appear. Monday’s paper was printed on the West Hawaii Today press on Hawaii island.

Bridgewater’s note also said the full newspaper would be available online.

But yesterday I received this email from a reader describing his experience.

So like everyone else yesterday (Sunday) I only received 1/2 the paper, but I went on line and had the whole edition.

Today (Monday) I received the abbreviated version along with the rest of Sunday’s paper. So I go online, using the papers app, and all I see is what was delivered. So I call the paper and after a 5 minute wait talk to some guy who’s out at the press. He tell’s me that’s all there is, period. I ask him why not the whole paper on line? And I get the same answer. Nothing more was produced-everyone gets the same thing. I don’t get mad at this guy because obviously he’s not the one calling the shots.

Then this:

Issues with the Kapolei press limited its production capability, so Sunday and Monday Star-Advertisers also were printed on Maui and the Big Island. Newspapers from the neighbor islands did not arrive on Oahu until 8 a.m. after their delivery was interrupted when they were grounded due to the storm. The Maui flight carried 40,000 Sunday papers, which will be delivered to subscribers Tuesday who did not receive complete papers Sunday, and the flight from Hawaii Island had Monday Star-Advertisers.

Then, according to KHON on Monday evening, it’s looking like the problems are far from over.

Here’s part of their story.

Officials at the Star-Advertiser say this problem has cost them half a million dollars.

Kennedy said they spent hours on the phone with the machine’s manufacturer in Germany, but didn’t get the problem fixed, so they’re hoping to fly in an expert from Australia to help.

“We’re going to be okay until we have to print Sunday,” he said. “We’ll have to see how it goes. Hopefully, we can get everything up and running,”

Kennedy couldn’t give any guarantee that the upcoming Sunday edition will come out as usual. There are also issues if this week’s edition of Midweek, another property of Oahu Publications, will be printed this week.

The newspaper also prints Midweek, and I learned officials don’t know how they will handle that this week.

It’s hard to imagine the havoc this is wreaking with their business operations, which will have to account for ads not run, newspapers not delivered, etc., etc. And how about the private jobs the high capacity press was also contracted to churn out?

And if the press guy’s statement above was correct, the staff that would normally be churning out a full newspaper daily are not, well, not doing that.

→ 26 CommentsTags: Business · Computers · Media