Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rat Lungworm Disease

Had a wonderful conversation with a Kaneohe resident tonight - we started talking about the state hospital and afterwards, she gave me some valuable information about a briefing she recently attended regarding Rat Lungworm disease and I thought I'd pass it along.

For those that use their computers to get data, click this link and read up!  Department of Health Fact Sheet 

I'd hate to simply summarize the the things I learned today because it's too important and I don't want to miss something. So here's a start and make sure you protect yourself and your keiki.




1.  Get rid of rats and the problem ceases to exist.  Hmmm. - probably not going to happen.
2.  The picture of the contaminated slug is on Jefferson's head on a nickel - that's small!
3.  So, don't handle slugs without disposable gloves, Don't simply sweep up or vacuum rat feces, I heard the solution is to lightly wet it down and scoop it up with gloves on and dispose of the gloves when pau.  I can't tell you how many slugs I've scooped up and thrown away.
4.  Wash your produce really well.  It's a good idea to do that anyway.
5.  Don't eat raw slugs - ewww - or freshwater prawns or shrimp without properly cooking them.

Best advice: take a peek at the Hawaii Department of Health website.  If you don't have a computer or smartphone, head over to the library and use theirs.

Stay safe and wash your vegetables!
Aloha,
Mo

Hawaii State Hospital Update

Welina me ke aloha,

I attended a meeting this week with HSH Administrator Bill May, Windward Community College Chancellor Doug Dykstra and WCC Vice Chancellor Brian Pactol.

The main reason for the meeting was to start discussions and brainstorm better and more efficient ways to notify the community of an escape.  We spent some time on background data and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) before actually doing any brainstorming.

Data Points

HIPPA prevents the HSH from releasing to the public, patient information except for a very bland physical description.  Law Enforcement is not bound as tightly under the HIPAA law and is able to issue a more extensive physical description and possible threat.

Two concurrent investigations are underway:  A criminal investigation into the escapee's decision to leave the hospital - which is a felony and carries a 5-year prison term - and the administrative investigation considering the reasons why over a 10-hour period, HSH employees did not properly report the whereabouts of the escapee.

The investigations are being conducted by two separate teams of the state Attorney General’s office.  I have no details as to when they might conclude their work and have reports available.

Because the investigations are underway, the HSH is unable to provide any real clarity about the issue.  

Takeaway's
  • HSH did not know the patient was missing for almost 10 hours.  
  • The HSH was not "sitting on the information" and was not waiting 10 hours to make the proper announcements.  
  • After the patient was discovered missing by other HSH employees, the proper notification process started. 
  • It's significant to me that that seven HSH employees were placed on administrative leave without pay.  I don't believe HSH would act like this unless they felt there was an exceptional breach of security protocols.  
  • Because it took almost ten hours to discover the patient was missing, the proper notifications to HPD and then to NIXLE were not made in a timely manner.
  • We discussed what an escapee's threat to the community might be and how it might be announced.  - Going back to HIPAA, and the limited amount of information that might be put out, we discussed that if a patient left the hospital grounds for whatever reason, that person had committed a felony and should therefore be deemed dangerous.  That seems to make good sense not to approach an escaped patient and to notify the proper authority.
  • WCC has special circumstances of care since they are direct neighbors to the HSH.  Possible improvements could be:
    • enhancements to fencing by creating open but contained walkways.
    • increased fencing heights on the perimeters of the HSH with better deterrents to climbing.
    • use of monitoring devices for those permitted to walk the grounds.
    • using an exercise escape scenario that flex's the reporting protocols from within the hospital, outward to HPD and Sheriffs and a "drill" NIXLE alert.

We agreed to meet again soon – hopefully sooner, if the AG's office completes one or both of the investigations.

Aloha pumehana,
Mo Radke

Chair, Kāne‘ohe Neighborhood Board

Friday, November 24, 2017

State Hospital Escape of Mr. Saito

William May, Administrator, Hawaii State Hospital, responding to the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board at the 11/16/17 Neighborhood Board Meeting

Mr. Saito’s escape should never have happened.

An investigation is under way and until that is complete we will not know the details behind how Mr. Saito got to California. We do know that Mr. Saito caught a cab from Kaneohe to a private airstrip where he boarded a charter flight to Maui. He flew from Maui to California. Obviously his trip was well planned and paid for in advance.

There was a delay before the State Hospital recognized that Mr. Saito had not returned to his unit as scheduled. He had on-grounds privileges. He did not check in hourly as required. Seven staff members are under investigation and have been placed on 30 days leave without pay.

Security procedures are under review. Mr. Saito had achieved the privilege of being on the hospital grounds without supervision. He did not check in with staff when he was required to do so. The Board and the public expressed strong concern that the required reporting failures were ignored resulting in an unacceptable delay in notifying the authorities.

The public must understand that the Hawaii State Hospital is not a prison. It is a psychiatric hospital. Their mission is to help their patients become integrated into the community as productive citizens. Patients earn privileges as they show they can be responsible citizens in the hospital. Those privileges include supervised visits to local churches and recreational visits within our community. Patients can earn higher privileges based on their behavior at their current privilege level and on a periodic psychiatric review. Mr. Saito had been at the State Hospital for nearly 40 years and had achieved the second highest level of privilege.

Mr. May asked the Board and the Community to participate in providing ideas for improvement. The community was most concerned about their safety. The press portrayed Mr. Saito as a dangerous person intent on repeating his original horrific crime at the first opportunit. Many people were  frightened.

Mr. May has surveyed his peers at hospitals throughout the western states for information on how they notify both the public and the authorities about patient escapes.

Community suggestions ranged from leg irons and ankle bracelets to a wailing siren or a bullhorn. One citizen complained about the Nextel warning being inadequate because not everyone had a smart phone.

  • -Board member Cypher wants to know if the hospital can be moved to Halawa.
  • May responded that new facility is projected to be completed by 2021 on the site of the former Goddard building.
  • -Accountability, Chair Radke asked how the community can feel safer about the hospital.
    Mr. May respond that there have been fewer escapes in recent years. He added that one escape is one too many. May emphasized that the notification system worked as planned. The breakdown was in not recognizing there was a problem sooner.
  • -Gloria asked about federal mandates to allow patients individualized treatment.
    May responded, only patients who show over time that you are a Good Citizen at the facility can gain privileges. Patients have to show a track record of improvement to get privileges.
  • -John Long asked about patients he sees in the community.
    Mr. May responded, people you see at the bus stop are not hospital patients.
  • -Bob Weback, we need a timely warning when things go wrong.
    Nextel warnings don’t work, I’m not of the generation that sleeps with my phone. Can we get a warning sign that comes on when there is an escape.
  • -Nancy, asked when was Mr Saito last evaluated? Specific patient information is private.
  • -What happens when he comes back here?
    May: he will be extradited to Hawaii; to OCCC, if he is fit to stand trial, he will. If not, he will be returned to the State Hospital. He could serve an additional 5 years if convicted. When he serves his time for escape and if he is deemed unfit to stand trail for his original crime he will return to the state hospital. 
  • -Daniel expressed concern that it took ten hours to get the word out,
    We need more than security fences, at the heart of the situation is a breach of trust. What assurances do we have that this will never happen again.
  • May: It did not take ten hours. The notification went out as soon as we knew Mr. Saito had violated the terms of his on-grounds privileges. Can I give you an assurance it won’t happen again, no I can’t.
  • -Alice Lee: Why don’t the patients have uniforms. Why don’t they use a bull horn.
    May: the goal of a hospital is to normalize the patients. 
  • -Dr Oxford, prof at the college: My concern is safety of students. Girls were crying, their Moms afraid to let them come to school.

The hospital cannot release any information about the patient, not even their name. Only the HPD can do that. Mr. May agrees there must be a better way to get information to the public and is looking for ways to get the word out more quickly.

Chair Radke thanked Mr. May for coming. “We know it pains you to have to deal with this.” Mo thanked the community for being civil.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A message from Save Our Neighborhoods

A message from Save Our Neighborhoods
Dear SONnies and Friends of O'ahu's residential neighborhoods,
Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list
 
PLEASE SEND TESTIMONY, ATTEND AND TESTIFY at this important Council Meeting:
Wednesday, Nov 1  10:00 am  Council Chambers Honolulu Hale (these resolutions are well down the agenda, so you should be safe arriving at 1:30 which is the end of the scheduled lunch recess)
Last week, the Honolulu City Council Committee on Zoning kicked the can down the road to the full council by passing ALL FOUR STR (Short-Term Rental) resolutions to this Wednesday's meeting.
Many of you submitted testimony and testified in-person at the Zoning Committee meeting - thanks very much.  Many of you did not. 
 
The 9,000 + illegal STRs are not only a blight on neighborhood life, STRs are one of the major causes of high rents and homelessness for the working poor.
 
These bills are the showdown for our neighborhoods and housing for everyone living O'ahu.  For a quick estimate of how many short-term rentals (STR) are in your neighborhood, click airdna.com and type in your 5-digit zip code.  Then scout around other O'ahu zip codes and you will see that there are THOUSANDS more.  This site may not be 100% accurate but also does not cover all hosting platforms - many operators are not listed on the major hosting platforms and are not shown.  Remember, most of these are ILLEGAL under Honolulu zoning law and are removing much-needed rental housing from local families.
 
There are two forces at work here; 1) Those trying to turn our residential neighborhoods into mini-hotels.  They will be supporting 163 and 301.  They include current-illegal operators, those providing services to illegal operators or otherwise making $$ from them, and their political backers who have friends/supporters in this industry, and 2) Those of us working to preserve/return residential-zoned housing for O'ahu's families and insisting that the City enforce the existing law forbidding short-term rentals.  We support 052 & 164.
 
 
Resolution 17-052 CD-1 (Menor - our favorite Reso)
  • Changes the basis of the existing law from "provide" (a Short-term rental) to "offer", which will allow advertising to be used as proof.
  • Allows neighbor to go to state court to force the DPP to enforce the law against illegal vacation rentals
  • Fine proceeds to go to the DPP for enforcement
  • Makes DPP’s records on enforcement open to public scrutiny
  • Allow neighbor to directly sue the offending STR operator
  • Requires hosting platforms to report STR property information to the DPP
Resolution 17-163 (Martin - permitting - boo)
  • Adds a permitting process for new TVRs
  • No neighbor community input in permitting process
  • No specified limits on # of permits.
  • Holds owner responsible for advertising content, which cannot be enforced without major investigation effort
  • Adds Enforcement techniques untried and unlikely to work
Resolution 17-164 (Martin - enforcement only)
  • Stricter rules for advertising
  • Makes it easier for City to collect fines and liens against offenders
  • Could be a good starting point for discussion.
  • Some enforcement measures
Resolution 17-301 (Anderson - permitting - boo)
  • No community input. 
  • Would turn R5 neighborhoods into resorts without proper rezoning. Would work against long-term rentals and affordable housing. Also would work against the ADU bills just passed by the city.
  • Who would enforce to ensure that the owner actually lives there and is on site full-time?
  • Forcing people to have to file police complaints means they have to take time off of work to go to court. Puts additional burden on the police and takes them away from investigating serious crime.
This is the last step in the Council.  Resolutions passed will be transmitted to the Honolulu Planning Commission and then back to the Council in bill form for final consideration and then to the mayor for signing into law.
 
!!THE ILLEGAL OPERATORS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS WILL BE THERE IN FORCE!!
 
The main problem with enforcement has been lack of political willpower on the part of administration/corporation counsel/DPP over the past 20 years of the Internet.  For example, in a recent letter from the mayor to a neighborhood board member, Caldwell writes: "As you may know, the public is currently divided on whether short term rentals in stable residential neighborhoods is a good idea."   This is just not true.  Over the past 10 years, public opinion has swayed the Council and the Legislature in numerous showdowns that the residential public is adamantly opposed to this invasion of our residential neighborhoods, loss of housing, disruption, and the constant flow of overnight strangers.
 
MAKE SURE THAT YOU ATTEND AND TESTIFY ON ALL FOUR RESOLUTIONS
 
Even if you do not sign up in advance or at the meeting, you can still testify after all the registered speakers testify.
 
For the past 12 years, SONHawai'i has been pushing the city to enforce the land use laws to shut down these illegal hotel operations in our residential neighborhoods.  SONHawai'i's and the residential public's position is reasonable and clear:
 
TWO YEARS OF PROVEN EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT BEFORE EVEN CONSIDERING PERMITTING
 
That means shutting down the thousands of currently-illegal operations and putting the horse back in front of the cart.  Two of these resolutions (052 & 164) will help make that possible.
 
One minute PER Agenda item - 4 min total. 
 
Please also right now Submit the testimony form and add your own comments. This does not have to be word-for-word the same testimony that you give in person at the meeting. Remember, there are FOUR items to submit testimony, so submit the form FOUR times, once for 17-052 (SUPPORT), once for 17-163 (OPPOSE), once for 17-164 (SUPPORT and add comment to combine with 052) and lastly for 17-301 (OPPOSE).  The link to the testimony form is:  http://www.honolulu.gov/ccl-testimony-form.html which is sometimes slow to load - after you 'submit' for one item, hit the  <  (back button) to return to the previous page, change the reso number, fill the form again then click 'submit' again.
 
Some of last week's testimonies submitted through the above portal did not get posted on the Council website!
 
So, to make sure that all nine councilmembers see your written testimony, send them all an email of your testimony by pasting all the following addresses in the "to" line of your email: emartin@honolulu.gov; kmpine@honolulu.gov; ianderson@honolulu.gov; tozawa@honolulu.gov; akobayashi@honolulu.gov;
cafukunaga@honolulu.gov; jmanahan@honolulu.gov; belefante@honolulu.gov; rmenor@honolulu.gov
Submit right away so that councilmembers will see it in time!
 
Please forward this important call to everyone in your email list. Include associations, housing & homelessness advocates, social organizations and neighborhood groups – this affects us all.
   We have prevailed each time in the past, but it takes some effort - especially YOUR effort
Please, help right now to Save O’ahu’s Neighborhoods
Larry Bartley,
Executive Director

Friday, October 27, 2017

WINDWARD DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MEETING

WINDWARD DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MEETING SCHEDULED FOR NOV. 14

Honolulu – A community meeting on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kailua Intermediate School in the cafeteria. The school is located at 145 S. Kainalu Drive in Kailua.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Executive Officer Toby Clairmont will give a presentation on general disaster preparedness, updates on local shelter locations, information on pet friendly shelters and evacuation plans for the elderly and disabled residents.

In addition, in light of recent concerns reading North Korean nuclear and missile tests, he will discuss what the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is doing to prepare our state for the nuclear threat, what efforts are being conducted between the counties and what steps it is taking to educate the public and our community. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

Senator Laura Thielen, Representative Cynthia Thielen, and Representative Chris Lee, as well as the Kailua Neighborhood Board's Public Safety, Public Health and Civil Defense Committee, are co-sponsoring the meeting.

Friday, October 20, 2017

WCC COMMUNITY FORUM IN CHEMISTRY
Nuclear Threat Preparedness
2:00-4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Hale Kuhina 115, Windward Community College

Speaker is:Vern T. Miyagi,
Administrator,
HI-Emergency Management Agency

Mr. Miyagi will discuss what the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is
doing to prepare our state from nuclear threat and what steps it is taking to
educate the public and our community. This is free and open to the public.

Vern T. Miyagi is the Administrator for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA).
Prior to his appointment, Vern served as the Executive Officer at HI-EMA. Vern
is a retired U. S. Army Major General with over 37 years of service and has experience
in domestic and international humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR)
operations and exercises.

During the 1992 Hurricane Iniki operation, Vern served as the
operations officer for the deployed Hawaii National Guard joint task force on the island
of Kauai. At PACOM, he participated in a variety of disaster relief operations and
exercises, including the 2004 Asian Tsunami, UN Peacekeeping/HADR exercises in
Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Mongolia, and trilateral disaster
exercises involving the U. S., Korea, and Japan. Vern has served as the State
Coordinating Officer (SCO) for three Presidentially Declared disasters (Tropical Storm
Iselle, the Puna Lava Emergency, and the Maui Iao Valley Flood).

Vern has a BA degree
in accounting and an MBA degree from the University of Hawaii.
This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College
and the American Chemical Society-Hawai’i Section