Section 8: Unfair Market Rent, Lowered Payment Standard for Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Can you find a 1 bedroom apartment for $780 plus electric or $857 with electric OR a 2 bedroom apartment for $950 plus electric or approx $1035 with electric in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii? I’ve checked Craigslist and West Hawaii Today’s real estate ads. Guess what? The average rental is about $1000 for a ONE bedroom without electric- most are much higher. Two bedrooms can run anywhere from $1250-2500. It’s not even a choice of my staying here and paying the higher rent. Yes I could do that, suffer for a while. But what if I have to move. Where will I go? I could end up on the street.

What is HUD thinking? The goal of the Housing Authority is not to just issue Housing Choice Vouchers and Section 8 Certificates, but to ENSURE that people can FIND housing within 60-90 days. Usually when a voucher or certificate is issued, it expires in 60-90 days and it is up to the PHA (Public Housing Authority) who issued it in the area to either extend it or not. In Hawaii, they likely will not because so many people are on the waiting list. These vouchers and certificates are lifelines for people like me, who are disabled, for people who are hard to house, people who are economically disadvantaged, low-income, the working poor, etc. We are at the lowest strata of society. Many people are able to greatly improve their lives as a result, move out of bad neighborhoods, etc. Indeed, that is the goal of the PHA Section 8 program, to increase desegregated populations and help people move out of poor economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Historically, reducing the payment standard has often seen people having no choice but to move back into those neighborhoods and worse, lose their housing. It is not right nor is it fair. In the end, payment standards had to be readjusted anyway. Their formula is based on 5 years of aggregated data compiled since 2009, and also renter move-in data, but for non-metro areas they discount the move-in data and use nationwide data which is not applicable in high rent areas such as Hawaii. This needs to be addressed. I wrote to the Office of Housing’s D.C. office regarding Fair Market Rent’s unfair data collection process and the payment standard’s negative affect on the poor tenants on their programs. Will you? Don’t let the Federal Government balance the budget on the back’s of our poorest citizens! Their address and phone numbers are:

Phone: 1-202-708-1112
TTY: 1-202-708-1455
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street SW
Washington DC 20410

Missing on Maui & the Big Island of Hawaii

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Missing From: Wailuku, Hawaii
Missing Since: 01/12/14
White Female
Age at Disappearance: 46
Date of Birth: 09/08/67
Height: 5’7
Weight: 170
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Clothing: Black cargo capri pants. Cotton Shirt
Nickname: Mo

Details of Disappearance
Monsalve was last seen around 10 p.m. on January 12 at her ex-boyfriend’s home in Wailuku. She was reported missing  on January 14 and the car she had been driving was found later that day. She has never been seen or heard from since. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigative Agency
Maui Police Department ( Hawaii)
808-989-6246

Source: http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/moreira-monsalve/

Mowatch Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mowatchmoreiramonsalve

If you know anything about Mo’s disappearance, please call MPD. Anything at all. Alexis and her family deserve to know, to have closure, to have justice.

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Name: Carly “Charli” Scott

Missing from Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

Age: 27

Height: 5’10

Weight: 160 lbs

Hair: Red

Eyes: Green

NEW: Disappeared Special Aired tonight, May 26, 2014- Missing in Maui : http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/disappeared/videos/four-crime-scenes-one-missing-person.htm?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=DisappearedonID

Carly Scott’s mother reported her missing on Monday, February 10, 2014. She was last seen by a family member on Sunday night, the 9th of February, leaving her sister’s home in her 1997 Toyota 4Runner with her dog Nala. Her dog was found in the Nahiku Marketplace unharmed. Her vehicle was found burned near the Peahi shoreline at the surf spot also known as Jaws. Charli was nearly 6 months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. Her case was reclassified as a homicide on March 7, 2014.

Contact information: Callers can remain anonymous by contacting Maui Crime Stoppers, Inc. at (808) 242-6966 or toll free from outer islands at (888) 242-6966. Maui Crime Stoppers, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that allows members of the public to remain anonymous while providing police with information vital to this case. Or you can call the Maui Police Department Tip Hotline at (808) 244-6400 Ext. 0. Crimestoppers website, click here.

For further information, please visit Charli’s family’s Find Charli Scott Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FindCharliScott

The family is having a memorial on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at 11:00 AM. Baldwin Beach Park, Paia, Hawaii.

Please pray for justice for Charli & Joshua Aiden Scott. You will never be forgotten.

If you know anything, any tiny little thing that could help break this case or Mo’s case, CALL IT IN. You will not only be doing a service to their families but for yourself, the human race. This poor woman and child did not deserve this fate. The perpetrator(s) of this crime(s) must be called to account for what he or they have done in a court of law. Also, if you have any theories with evidence to back it up, please get in touch with police or family. If you see anyone behaving suspiciously either in the area or on the web, call. Or get in touch online.

I was surprised to find out that I had a couple friends over there in Maui who were friends with people who were friends with Charli, her friends and her ex boyfriend. The islands are that small. I am rooting for you, Charli & Joshua! Much Love from a Hawaiian Violet to a beautiful Unicorn. ❤

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Naomi Monica Shalom Sanders

Missing since June 6, 2011

Last Seen at her home in Kealakekua, Hawaii at 8pm

Big Island of Hawaii

County of Hawaii

State of Hawaii

First Name: Naomi

Middle: Monica Shalom

Maiden: Beshore

Age: 42 at disappearance

Height: 5’1-5’3

Weight: 100 -120 lbs

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Hazel

Tattoos: Tribal band tattoo upper right arm

Clothing: A blue t-shirt and black shorts or a dark red long sleeved shirt and dark-colored denim pants.

Medical: Sanders is an alcoholic. She is disabled.

Circumstances: Naomi Sanders (Beshore), female 42 years old, who resides at her mothers Kealakekua coffee-farm property, in a separate dwelling, was last seen at her residence on 06-06-2011 at about 8pm. The following morning she could not be located and mysteriously, her vehicle, purse, cell phone, etc remained. Sanders, an alcoholic, was reportedly extremely intoxicated and was acting unusual the last day she was seen but thorough searches were conducted on / around the property which resulted in no sign of Naomi.

Her bank account has been untouched. An extensive search of the area turned up no clues. She was supposed to fly to Honolulu on June 14, 2011 to have bladder surgery but never showed for her flight. A possible sighting of her on June 15 in the vicinity of the Honolulu Airport but this hasn’t been confirmed and there’s no evidence she flew at all.

Naomi was recently separated from husband, however there is no indication at this point to believe he or anyone else close to her is involved in her disappearance. She used to run a cleaning business with her husband, Professional Cleaning Systems. Little information is available. Her family believes she is deceased.

Sources: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/s/sanders_naomi.html

http://www.missingin.org/reg6373/naomi_monica_shalom_sanders.htm

http://hilo.hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/without-trace.html

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I knew Naomi in High School, she was a friend of mine. I was younger than her and I knew her sister better. I was horrified and appalled to learn of her disappearance, and as the months and then years just went by with nothing new learned, it was just really awful and sad. No one knows what happened to Omi. Her sister still grieves for her. I cannot imagine any sort of real closure happening without knowing WHO, WHAT, WHEN, HOW & WHY.

Before my sister passed away, she was missing for almost two weeks. This wasn’t all that uncommon for her to fall off the radar for a few days, but weeks? Her daughter was pregnant and about to give birth. Then I called my dad and was in the process of leaving a message to say, ‘Hey maybe we ought to call in a missing person’s report,’ when my dad picked up and said my sister was gone. Eventually we got autopsy results and found out what happened. There was no foul play. It is still really sad and awful to lose a loved one the way we did. At least we know, we got answers… I still have a lot of questions, but those will likely never be answered.

The point is, every family needs to know. If you know what happened to Naomi, any clue whatsoever, please, do the right thing. Call Hawaii Police Department. Police Detective Sean Smith at 326-4646, ext. 262, or the police non-emergency line at 935-3311. Anonymous tips may be left at 961-8300.Thank you.

May all of our loved ones and all those who are missing who have passed rest in perfect peace.

 

What is going on in Hawaii?

I was born and raised on the Big Island and it has always been pretty safe to live here, or so I thought. In the late 90’s I left and moved to upstate NY and back then, Kona was still laid-back and pretty quiet. Upstate NY was too. I was gone for 11 years when I came back to Kona in 2010, it had changed.The population had expanded and so had businesses. There were a lot more stores and a lot of other commercial enterprises. That is pretty typical with a population increase. What I hadn’t considered was the crime rate.

Maybe I just never noticed when I was younger, but it seems the crime rate has increased a great deal since then. Another thing that has gone up a lot is the Missing Persons rate. The factor that both of these have in common seem to be the solve ratio: a lot of the missing persons cases aren’t being solved, and the various crimes being committed don’t always seem to be getting taken care of either for whatever reason. At least that has been what I understand from what I’ve read in the newspaper. There’s a shortage of police officers, I hear. There is a need for another station in South Kona. A year ago there was an article in West Hawaii today about how the police officers’ role was no longer proactive but they are there to deal with the after-math only.

It appears sex crimes have gone up as well. I looked up the registered sex offenders within a 3 mile radius of where I live, and 28 (!) men came up, one whom I used to work with back in the 90’s. I had my own personal reasons for doing so, but this did not give me any sort of peace of mind. When you look these men up, you can view what their sentencing was, whether they did jail time, probation, if they pled guilty, no contest, etc. Most of these guys plea-bargained with the DA in order to get a lesser sentence or only probation. Is this the sort of message Hawaii is sending to possible offenders? Commit a sex crime and get off with probation? There was a man on the news just the other day, he was on probation after having been charged with 7 counts as a sex offender! He was allowed to violate his probation multiple times, have contact with a minor and fail to contact his probation officer before they hauled him into court, then they only sentenced him to jail for 10 years.  That is not what I call justice. Someone, or multiple someones, are suffering because of the choices that man made. Please go to our State Legislature’s Website here and ask for tougher sentences for sex offenders. This would mean a lot to me as I am a survivor.

Regarding the many missing persons here. The Big Island is small and rural compared to many places on the mainland. You can drive around it in a day if you’re ambitious. There are many small towns and two larger towns (Hilo and Kona). The bad news is there’s a lot of places where people who don’t want to be found can hide, and there are a lot of places where people can ‘hide’ people. The most rural areas are Kau, North & South Kohala, Pololuu Valley, Waimanu Valley, Waipio Valley, Puna & Volcano. In South Kona there are areas where a person can drop off the map, like below Kealakekua, Hookena, Kealia, Milolii… In the Kau District there’s Ocean View, there are a lot of places in Ocean View that are miles off the road that I would never venture onto.  There’s drugs, violence, you hear of criminals hiding out…  So basically, if someone is missing and they were taken or they were hiding for some reason, those would be the places to look, depending on where they disappeared from. And there have been a lot of people going missing, a lot without a trace or barely a trace, particularly in the last ten years. A friend of mine from High School went missing in 2011. There are some others from Kona, but there are a lot from Hilo side. A lot of those are from Puna. Someone remarked that a lot of the people who are missing are white, and yes for some reason that is true. Most are also women. That factor scares us women in Hawaii and we want answers that haven’t been forthcoming from the police or government. There’s also no ‘official’ missing persons website for our State or our island.  Please click here to write Mayor Billy Kenoi to change that. With regards to our State, well, I’ve written to Gov. Abercrombie, but have received no response and that is typical for him.

Another issue I want to briefly touch upon: human trafficking. It is real and it happens on our islands, particularly on Maui and the Big Island. In 2010, the NY Times wrote an article shaming our State on its poor response to human trafficking; we had received an F on how we dealt with it. Farm owners bring foreign workers into the State with the promise of citizenship and freedom and it is all a lie, instead they endure forced labor and threats, even beatings, and they often can’t get away because the ‘owner’ has their documentation and money. The other kind of human trafficking is sex trafficking. These are young men who are out there targeting young girls, teenagers usually. They target them in places like malls. They act like they are these girls’ boyfriends, get to know everything about them, get the girls to trust them, then they bring the girls in to their boss. Once there, the girls are threatened, told their families will be harmed if they don’t cooperate, their identification held, their training started. When they are deemed “ready,” they are put out into the streets under careful watch and forced to work in the sex trade. Please inform your teenagers and younger relatives of this and to be very wary of this scheme, it is real and out there. Sexual predators aren’t just hiding in the bushes.

NY Times Article

Signs of Human Trafficking in Hawaii

Governor Abercrombie Signs Human Trafficking Laws

Understanding Human Trafficking in the Hawaiian Islands

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

My friend who is missing is Naomi Monica Shalom Sanders, maiden name Naomi Beshore.

You can click here for her vital statistics.

I want to mention that I have been following the missing women in Maui as well.

What’s going on there is very scary. I want to help find Charli & her baby Joshua, if you know anything, please click here to help.

If you can help bring Moreira Monsalve home to her Maui Ohana, click here.

 

 

 

Cover for Tears of Heaven

I think I’ve found the cover for Tears of Heaven. My son’s girlfriend is a brilliantly gifted artist. She drew me a picture with pastels last summer, and I never really gave it a second thought. Tonight while considering what to use for my cover, I happened to glance at it. It is perfect. It is just stunning enough to grab someone’s attention and abstract enough to make someone want to look closer to see what it is. I feel really good about this.

Here’s the cover, like this or comment to let me know if you think I should use it:

 

Tears of Heaven, cover art by Laura Whitney

Blurb for novel:

Lena Ka’awa, a dark-haired Hawaiian beauty, takes on the powers of Pele, which causes catastrophe for Kaitlyn McDowell, and Ikaika Leahi. Tristan, Kaitlyn’s husband dies in a fiery car accident. Ikaika’s wife, Beth, and their child, Aolani, are also killed. The two, Kaitlyn and Ikaika meet up at the graveside and look to each other for friendship and comfort. Aolani is now a ghost with supernatural powers; she ‘pushes’ Kaitlyn to investigate the ‘accident’ further, causing them to suspect that Lena killed them… Tears of Heaven is set on the Big Island of Hawaii. It has a lot of Hawaiian culture and history in it, but it is classified as contemporary fiction.