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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Ms. Kili welcomes you to another Feline Friday!

July 31st, 2015 · No Comments

Ms. KiliMs. Kili welcomes you to the last Feline Friday of the month. Kill is doing okay, considering her age (17+), her diabetes, a touch of arthritis, and the recent loss of her sister, Wally.

Cats are said to be natural heat seekers, but the recent hot temperatures appear to have them “down.” They’ve all been eating less, and finding corners to sleep in away from the sun. I think they’re also shedding, which increases chances of hairballs and all that go with them.

And the rest of the cats? I’m trying to keep tabs on Toby, since he’s been acting a little funny. Duke’s on a shorter leash after failing to come in one day earlier this week, and so spending the day outside. Romeo, though, has been very well behaved.

And Ms. Annie has been staying outside a bit longer than Romeo, but she does show up before we leave for town in the morning.

So for now, all is stable in the world of our cats.

Of course, we haven’t started explaining that they’re short-timers here in Kaaawa. They have a big adventure to look forward to.

–> See all of today’s Friday Felines!

→ No CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs

Bits & pieces: Armed cops on campus, the shroud of police secrecy, and the leadership team already divided on homeless issues

July 31st, 2015 · 2 Comments

The PBS NewsHour last night included a segment on the situation in Cincinnati, where a university police officer shot and killed a driver he had stopped on a minor traffic offense.

Two issues. Should university police be armed? A Washington Post column looked at the question this week (“Should college police officers be armed and challenging people off campus?“).

That’s a relevant question for us here in Honolulu, as there have apparently been ongoing discussions at some level of arming campus police at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa Campus.

Two years ago, then-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple broached the subject publicly.

The chancellor also discussed the possibility of arming the proposed UH police, but stopped short of taking a stance on the issue, saying it would be best to leave the topic for further public discussion.

“If we’re going to have a police force with guns, they have to be every bit as well trained as HPD,” Apple said.

I’m not sure that “every bit as well trained as HPD” is really a going to provide a lot of comfort.

In any case, be aware that those discussions are still happening, and there are proponents of gun-toting campus cops.

Then there’s the sharp contrast between the approach to policing adopted in Cincinnati and that here in Honolulu. The brief NewsHour interview with Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell made that clear.

Chief Blackwell:

Policing in a big city in this nation is far different than policing on a university campus or in a rural community, especially a city like Cincinnati that understands the proper way to police. We place engagement high on our list over enforcement. We are engaged with our community. We believe in transparency and relationship and truth-telling….

“…First and foremost, we hope, in policing, every chief that I know hopes that they’re not sitting here talking to you about a riot in their city based on inappropriate police conduct.

But the other piece that I think the nation is really honed in on is that, if we do have police misconduct, we need to be held accountable for our actions. We have got to stop this shroud of secrecy around policing, and we have got to be truthful in our investigations on police officers.

That’s definitely a different approach to policing than has been practiced here, where protecting the “shroud of secrecy” has been given the highest priority, both in establishing the structure of oversight for HPD, and in operational practice.

On a different note, it looks like the issues raised by homelessness in Honolulu may be providing the first skirmishes in upcoming elections in 2016 and 2018.

Gov. Ige announces his “Leadership Team” to address the issue of the homeless this week (from the political point of view, I think it’s the homeless, rather than the condition of homelessness, that is seen as front and center). And within days, there were immediate public rifts between its members.

The governor said he did not intend to immediately clear the homeless encampment in Kakaako, saying the underlying issues have to be better understood.

According to Hawaii News Now:

According to Ige, there is no firm commitment to a specific deadline for removing the homeless people who are living there. The governor said aggressive enforcement without anywhere for people to go simply displaces them into other communities and doesn’t make sense until officials have a place to move the homeless to — including a temporary “safe zone” site or transitional and permanent housing.

Just one day after the governor’s press conference, the city came up with its own contradictory announcement.

No buildings or land have been found to accommodate people who will be removed from an expanding homeless encampment in Kakaako, but the city still plans to start clearing out occupants sometime next month, Managing Director Roy Amemiya told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

And the same day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that the city had dropped a plan to purchase the Hilo Hattie store in Honolulu for use as a transitional housing center.

As KITV reported:

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration announced Tuesday it’s no longer pursuing the purchase of the Hilo Hattie store on Nimitz Highway as a transitional shelter for the homeless.

And then, a couple of days later, Council Chair Ernie Martin was calling out the mayor for having “thrown in the towel.”

According to Hawaii News Now:

Honolulu city council chairman Ernie Martin is clear he and other members of the council are not happy.

“I think the council’s perspective given the Mayor has thrown in the towel we will be working directly with the Governor to seek his leadership as to whether he’d be willing to get involved,” said Martin.

There have been rumors that Caldwell might use his base as mayor to launch a challenge to Gov. Ige’s reelection in 2018. But could Martin be looking to try to derail Caldwell’s own reelection next year?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Education · Politics

Throwback Thursday #2: Hawaiian Air float on Kapiolani in 1949

July 30th, 2015 · 3 Comments

Two more in this series of photos that I recently found among my dad’s papers.

These feature a Hawaiian Airlines float in a parade along Kapiolani Boulevard in front of the McKinley High School field. In the top photo, notice Punchbowl before there were any high rise buildings, and the dense trees at the Ward Estate’s “Old Plantation,” where the Blaisdell Center now stands.

In the lower photo, you can see the landmark Makiki Christian Church in the background to the right of the photo, as well as the heights overlooking Honolulu.

I’m guessing the “20” on the floats refers to the 20th anniversary of Hawaiian’s first scheduled flights, which began in 1929.

As usual, just click on either photo to see a larger, more detailed version of the image.



→ 3 CommentsTags: History · John Lind Collection · Photographs · Vintage Hawaii

Found Dog: Kahala

July 29th, 2015 · 19 Comments

Lost in Kahala

This little guy found himself in back of our new house in Kahala. Kealaolu Avenue. He’s scared, obviously lost, very shy.

Male, Bichon Frise. Dirty feet, so he didn’t just wander from next door, or at least didn’t run away just this morning.

We’re going to check if he’s chipped.

Don’t know whether to turn him in to the Humane Society or not.

What are the options, dog people??

I did turn in the Humane Society’s “found animal” form, with photo.

Please pass the word, and I would appreciate any suggestions.

→ 19 CommentsTags: General

Kicking the homeless problem down the road

July 29th, 2015 · 22 Comments

It isn’t hard to find the reasons that we’re now facing a human disaster in the lack of affordable housing which has driven more and ore people onto the streets. At least part of it is official dithering and failure to address the admittedly difficult issue.

I’m looking at a Honolulu Advertiser editorial published on June 2, 2004, just over 11 years ago. I’m sure that with a bit of digging, I could turn up the same thing being written in 1994, and earlier.

The 2004 headline: “Homeless crisis requires new solutions.”

At that time, it was abundantly clear that this was problem already at the crisis stage and getting worse.

Homelessness is a problem that’s sure to get a lot worse here before it gets better. According to government figures, it’s worsened by 61 percent in the last three years. No one can take pride in the city’s dismal record of rousting homeless people from beaches, parks and malls without ever suggesting where they might be welcome.

The Honolulu City Council had just rejected funding for “a campus-like comprehensive housing and service center” for the homeless, and spending the money elsewhere.

And now the council is diverting $15.3 million intended to build Harris’ transitional center for the homeless to other concerns, mostly unrelated to homelessness. If Harris’ proposal seems outdated, we’re amazed at the lack of government agencies making homelessness a priority, and we applaud him for taking the issue on.

The editorial makes the point that it’s not homeless shelters, but permanent affordable housing, that’s required.

“The solution to homelessness is housing,” the director of the Institute for Human Services was quoted at the time.

The trend on the Mainland is not toward new homeless shelters, but permanent supportive housing. Homeless clients are assigned to management teams, which provide a cocktail of services from psychology to nutrition, including, for those who need it, management of their welfare or disability income to ensure that their rent is paid on time. The state should join the city in devising these service-delivery teams.

Once people don’t have to move from place to place, they can find stability in treatment for mental illness and drug treatment, and then jobs.

“All they need is a place to live,” Maunakea says.

And here we are, eleven years later, and almost nothing has changed except that the problems have grown, as you could have predicted.

Larry Geller, quoted here yesterday, worries that “Housing First” plans are going to be swept aside by a new enthusiasm for homeless shelters.

The crisis in homelessness isn’t confined to Hawaii. This is a national issue. It’s the kind of issue that should lead to federal funds being made available to meet local needs. And the failure of the federal government to play a constructive role, and provide needed resources to local governments, has certainly exacerbated the problem.

→ 22 CommentsTags: Economics · Politics