I was talking to a friend the other day about the Public Land Development Corp. — the state agency created to jump-start development on public lands by allowing projects to bypass various environmental reviews and county zoning.
And he made the most penetrating, astute comment I've yet heard on the much-debated subject:
The thing that's so disturbing about the PLDC is it's such a cynical statement from our government, that the economy is in such bad shape we can't follow our own rules. We're admitting our system is dysfunctional, so we're giving up. It means the rules don't work, and whoever has clout can trump them.
Yes, and now people are rebelling against the PLDC, because intuitively, they've felt this is how things have been done in Hawaii all along. Only now, the government is being totally blatant about it.
Interesting, though, how the courts keep calling bullshit on the state. First, the Hawaii Supreme Court stopped the Honolulu rail project because a complete archaeological inventory assessment (AIS) wasn't done to determine the presence of burials first. And last Friday, the Intermediate Court of Appeals stopped all construction at Kawaiahao Church, saying it was likely to be determined that the state should have required an AIS there, too.
Unfortunately, some 700 burials were disturbed at the Church in the three years it took for this case to work its way through the judicial system. To put that figure in perspective, at least 1,029 individuals were disinterred at Honokahua on Maui, prompting the adoption of the state burial laws.
So ironic, how the state passes laws, and then quickly sets about, with the assistance of developers, figuring out how to bypass them.
Speaking of calling bullshit, both the head of the Office of Youth Services and the Director of Hale Opio, which operates Teen Court, have submitted letters to the County Council that catch Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho (and Councilman Mel Rapozo) in yet another lie. This time, it's Shay's claim that OYS told her to stop all referrals to Teen Court.
I marvel at times that Shay continues to have her ardent supporters — I mean, aside from the spinmeisters paid big bucks to try try and whitewash the grime — who completely refuse to see the reality of Shay and the mess at OPA. But then I remind myself we also have Holocaust deniers and climate change deniers....
Just as we have those who deny that pesticides cause harm. Which is why I found myself in the unpleasant situation yesterday morning of being behind a state truck spraying Roundup along Kuhio Highway near the jail. There was no warning sign on the truck, and it wasn't until I was right behind it that I realized it was spraying. Since I don't have AC and I like the fresh air, all my windows and vents were open. I immediately felt a tingling in my nose and throat, and got a headache that lasted for the rest of the day.
If the state DOT insists on dosing the roadsides with poison, can't it at least post a sign warning motorists and bicyclists that we're about to encounter a toxic cloud so we can take some kind of precaution?
Fortunately, the day ended on a pleasant note, talking to a friend on the phone while sitting in my screen porch with the candles lit on a balmy night as crickets chirped. We discussed politics, Shay, the collective unconscious, realms beyond this one.
And as I watched the moon rise, golden through a porthole in the camphor tree branches, I thought, yes, politics can be an entertaining, infuriating distraction, sort of like a tawdry reality show, but that's not where the real power lies.
You only have to read the Garden Island story to see that what you are saying is not true.
The OPA sent OYS Program Specialist Christopher Lum Lee an email asking if the sole source of contract could be violating the procurement code, since he had indicated that there was a problem.
Lee responded with an email to OPA saying:
“You’ll have to ask (the State Procurement Office) for an absolute answer but I can tell you with the HRS, the HAR and what I know for SPO so far … there is a violation.”
You conveniently skipped this part:
Office of Youth Services Executive Director David Hipp, on a letter dated Friday to the Kaua‘i County Council, denies he had advised the county Office of Prosecuting Attorney to stop referring youth to Hale ‘Opio’s Kaua‘i Teen Court program.
“At no time did I either advise or direct the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to cease referrals to Teen Court,” Hipp states in the letter.
Imagine what Joanne, Tim, and Joan would be saying if the OPA had continued to refer to Teen Court after getting an email from the state saying the program violates the procurement code. It's a catch 22. Damned if they do. Damned if they don't.
Office of Youth Services Executive Director David Hipp's employee, OYS Program Specialist Christopher Lum Lee, told OPA the program had a procurement violation.
I suppose you think if the OYS says there is a violation the OPA should continue on as if nothing is wrong. Of course, if the OPA did that, then you would be condemning them for not listening to the OYS.
No-brainer solution: quit violating procurement law.
teen court is not OPA's program. If there's procurement violation, has nothing to do with OPA
Then why stop referrals?
The epitome of the human realm
is to be stuck in a huge
traffic jam of discursive thought.
What you all aren't paying attention to is that there are programs already in place that supersedes the PA's created programs. What she is doing is taking jobs already in place and giving it to people who support and is loyal to her and her insanity. The OPA has investigators and yet she hires Mel and pays him. The OPA had a crime victim witness program but then dismantles it to create jobs for her supporter Kipu and friends at the Ywca. The judicial system has a deffered acceptance plea for first time offenders but then the PA creates Pohaku which is similar and has jake as a rep for the real mainland comany that we think is receiving the money. All of this is easy to understand once you find out who and what they are all connected to.
How could SHPD condone this travesty? They all should be fired. How could an agency under probation to fail to protect a National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmark and ancient Hawaiian archaeological site?
The thatch church that predates the coral church held 4,000 people.
How dare the church say the burials are christian and hence church property? Socially unconsionable.
12:29 - I think you've hit on it. Dumping Teen Court gives more possible clients for POHAKU or similar in-house activities.
The real tragedy is that for the last 4-5 months there has been NO program for teens. Shaylene may believe that the POHAKU program is better than Teen Court, but I think we can all agree that some program is better than none. Where's the concern for the kids?
"I think you've hit on it. Dumping Teen Court gives more possible clients for POHAKU or similar in-house activities."
Keiki POHAKU is contractually allowed to take only kids that do not qualify for teen court. There is no intention whatsoever to dump teen court. OPA wants both teen court and Keiki POHAKU to operate concurrently.
"The real tragedy is that for the last 4-5 months there has been NO program for teens."
Today Al Castillo admitted on TV that in his opinion OPA does not have express authority under the county charter to administer any diversion programs. That is what the first county attorney decision to the OPA that started all this ridiculousness said. After questioning from Nadine he is finally going to "find out" if he thinks the OPA has implied authority.That is why there has been no program for teens.
Our County Government is a Circus....and the animals and clowns are running wild.
Who is selling the hot dogs?
Who is collecting the money?
Will the BS ever end?
Does the Church have "religion"?
"That is why there has been no program for teens.
October 3, 2012 3:33 PM"
But according to the Garden Island:
"County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, however, said OYS Program Specialist Christopher Lum Lee did inform her of a potential procurement problem regarding Teen Court, which led OPA to cease referrals."
So who made Shaylene stop referring cases to Teen Court? Al or Christopher? OPA spinners, get your spin straight.
I would trust Shaylene to run a clean, effective diversionary program. She's proven responsible with the County vehicles, travel, Pohaku trinket purchases ($9000 taxpayer money), giving generous (again with taxpayer $) raises to bloggers, jobs to friends and family, management (4??? EEOC settlements). Why not give her more money to spend?
Referrals were stopped twice. Once after the CA's opinion that OPA did not have authority, (they were started up again after Slovin said there is authority), and again after Lee of OYS said there was a procurement problem with teen court. It's all in the Garden Island story:
on April 10, OPA received an unsolicited legal opinion from the County Attorney’s Office questioning the legality of the OPA utilizing diversion programs. OPA then discontinued all referrals to diversion programs, including Drug Court, Teen Court POHAKU, and Mental Health Diversion,
On July 30, special counsel Gary Slovin issued an opinion that OPA has legal authority to make diversion program referrals.
“As of that date, the OPA restarted referrals to Drug Court, Teen Court and Mental Health Diversion,”
In August, two more referrals were made to Teen Court, until Iseri-Carvalho spoke with Lee, who informed her of the potential procurement problem.
On Sept. 11, Lee sent OPA an email asking if any referrals had been made to Teen Court, according to Iseri-Carvalho
she asked Lee if the sole source of contract could be violating the procurement code, since he had indicated that there was a problem.
Lee’s answer was, “You’ll have to ask (the State Procurement Office) for an absolute answer but I can tell you with the HRS, the HAR and what I know for SPO so far … there is a violation.”
For that reason, the OPA stopped for a second time referrals to teen court.
So, does this comment (6:42 AM) indicate that the county attorneyʻs office was behind the hold-ups in referrals all this time?
No, the county attorney never told her not to refer candidates to teen court.
From the August 03 TGI story by Tom Laventure, emphasis added:
"Castillo said the legal analysis is an assessment of special counsel appointed to defend the OPA, and not a decision. He disagreed with the assessment that procurement laws were not violated as alleged by an internal procurement investigation conducted by the Department of Finance.
The Office of the County Attorney had issued its own legal opinion in April, which questioned OPA’s authority to run programs, refer participants or charge fees. This effectively halted diversion programs including Drug Court, Teen Court and POHAKU, according to OPA.
The OPA was informed by county administration that only POHAKU was in question, Castillo said. The other diversionary programs could and should continue to follow proper procurement procedures."
The county attorney was talking out of both sides of its mouth. It told the OPA that it arguably lacked authority under the charter to administer diversion programs, period. But then when the OPA stopped referring to all programs the county attorney said it only meant only POHAKU.
But those two positions are irreconcilable. And in fact, yesterday Al said again that the OPA lacks express authority under the charter and that he would have to check to see if there was maybe implied authority. When Mel asked if that meant teen court as well Al had to admit it does. Nadine sited that as a reason for postponing the issue pending the
CA's getting back to the council with answers.
So the CA has been contradicting himself. And if the OPA had not stopped all referrals then the CA would have found fault with that.
Well then this fact/event DID hold up keiki POHAKU:
The Office of the County Attorney had issued its own legal opinion in April, which questioned OPA’s authority to run programs, refer participants or charge fees. This effectively halted diversion programs including Drug Court, Teen Court and POHAKU, according to OPA."
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