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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Why did UH pitch the “chancellor didn’t receive a contract” line?

July 29th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Did you notice this sentence in a Star-Advertiser story on Sunday concerning the potential ouster of UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple?

Apple, like other university administrators, did not receive a contract upon hire, meaning there is no need to buy him out of a contract.

A follow-up story today clarifies this statement somewhat:

UH spokeswoman Lynne Waters said Apple, like other administrators, did not receive a formal contract when he was hired in May 2012 at a $439,008 annual salary to replace former Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.

So the “no contract” line came from Waters, the university’s highly-paid associate vice-president for external affairs.

The implication of the “no contract” statement implies Apple is an “at will” employee without substantive rights.

But at least today’s S-A story gets the other side of the story from Apple’s attorney.

“If it’s in writing, it’s a contract,” Apple’s attorney, Hawaii island lawyer Jerry Hiatt, said Monday, adding that no decision has been made to remove Apple as chancellor. “He has an offer and acceptance letter signed by the president. The regents approved his appointment, which is for a five-year term and specific rights to return as a tenured professor.”

A May 9, 2012, memo from former UH President M.R.C. Greenwood to the Board of Regents recommended Apple be appointed to a five-year term through June 30, 2017, “subject each year to successful annual performance evaluations at the level of satisfactory or above.” (The recommendation was unanimously approved by the board.)

The memo includes a provision that “subject to the successful completion of a review and board approval, Dr. Apple shall be appointed as a full professor in an appropriate department.”

Perhaps a letter containing offered terms and conditions isn’t the same as a document with written up as a formal “contract,” but it would certainly seem to confer employment rights nonetheless, especially when it has been reviewed and approved by the Board of Regents.

So what was the purpose of Waters’ “no contract” spin? Was it designed to mislead the media, and encourage the public to view Apple as an “at will” employee?

Or was Waters simply conveying talking points suggested by the university’s team of in-house lawyers?

I’m not sure which would be worse, to tell the truth.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Education · Politics

Kitten update: Success!

July 28th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Sometimes a picture is worth, well, an awful lot.

A beautiful letter And I think that was the case with the pictures featured here a few days ago. These seem to have made a difference.

As of Sunday night, it appears that all seven of the wonderful kittens in this litter may have found forever families.

One Kailua family is adopting three of them–perhaps the three that were featured in the photos.

Two other females when to a couple of UH professors.

One calico is, at last count, staying in Kaaawa. And another kitten is waiting a couple of weeks to join another Kailua household.

All in all, this rescue was a success.

Now I have to find out about the young mother that gave birth to these kittens. She’s now been “fixed,” and is a beautiful calico. If we find her a good home, it will be a clean sweep!

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word!

→ 1 CommentTags: Cats · Photographs

Graduation party in Kaaawa creates another visual, as well as culinary, feast

July 27th, 2014 · No Comments

[text]Crystal Heig celebrated her graduation from Kahuku High School with a big bash hosted by her family and held at the Kaaawa home of her grandfather, Ward Lemn.

Once again, I volunteered to bring a camera to the party and do my best to record the event.

And, as usual, what a treat! A real cross-section of Hawaii, crossing so many of the boundaries between communities. A visual feast to accompany the culinary feast.

Congratulations to Crystal!

–> See more of this family-produced luau in Kaaawa!

→ No CommentsTags: Kaaawa · Photographs

Ballot boo-boo?

July 27th, 2014 · 13 Comments

An old friend pointed out a potential problem with the primary election ballot.

I haven’t seen the ballot, but thought I would pass his concerns along.

Absentee mail-in ballots have gone out, at least to Oahu voters, and voters are receiving them. Some folks on the sending-out end reportedly found the ballot confusing, and so will some voters. I do my voting in person, but my wife kindly showed me her unvoted mail-in ballot so I could see what the fuss was about.

The ballot has Independents, Libertarians, Republicans, and Greens (if any) on the front page, while Nonpartisans, Democrats, OHA, and I think county contests are on the back. Hey, somebody has to be on the back. But the instructions and the sequence of instructions make it likely that some voters will finish voting the front page before they see the back page with the Democrats. The instructions first say to “Start voting here” and only later say to review both sides before voting.

Someone needs to clarify the matter for the public. Voters should review both sides of the ballot BEFORE STARTING to vote. That’s because some parties are on the front, some on the back, and you have to choose which party or the nonpartisan section of the ballot to vote. Vote for candidates of only one party or the nonpartisans, blah, blah, blah. And all can vote for OHA and county offices.

→ 13 CommentsTags: Campaigns · Elections · Politics

Perfect kittens, ready for adoption!

July 26th, 2014 · 3 Comments

We had a visit last night with three absolutely perfect 8-week old kittens! These kittens are now ready for adoption.

These are primo kittens. I was sorely tempted, but we’re overwhelmed already dealing with seven geriatric cats, two of them diabetic, all unhappy about being converted to mostly indoor status.

A word about this litter. A friend of ours rescued the mother cat and seven kittens during a heavy rainstorm in Kaaawa, when the kittens were just a few days old. They’ve been raised with lots of love and lots of human handling, and have turned out just perfect. They are totally comfortable with people, not at all scared, are healthy and curious.

They’ve been treated for any parasites and declared super healthy. Our friend will arrange to have them fixed when it’s time.

The three that visited with us included one female (mostly white, with the markings on her head and face), and two little boys. The gray and white male is stunning, and the black & white male is sweet.

One of the others has been “reserved” and will move soon to Kailua. Another is going to a family in Kaaawa. If you want my advice, grab two of these kittens to keep each other company. They are sure to be great fun!

If you are at all interested, potentially interested, or know someone who is, email me and I’ll put you in direct touch with our friend, who is trying to arrange the adoptions.

Looking for their home

Looking for their home

Looking for their home

Looking for their home

Looking for their home

→ 3 CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs