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Monday, January 18, 2021
January 18, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:31 PM :: 1033 Views

1959: Martin Luther King Jr Salutes Hawaii Statehood

States With Most Racial Progress -- Hawaii 8th

Hawaii: Lifetime Cost of Smoking $2.9M

Waikīkī Shell Parking Lot to assist in American Samoa repatriation effort

Tax Hikes Could Backfire on Depressed Economy—10.1% Unemployment

HNN: … lawmakers are considering tax increases, possibly on higher-income earners, to help plug the hole.

Sen. Kalani English, the Senate majority leader, said another possibility might be shifting away from a fuel tax that imposes a levy on the amount of gas purchased to one based on the number of miles driven….  (Thus proving it is a tax hike.)

In the House, Majority Leader Rep. Della Au Belatti said in addition to potential tax increases, lawmakers could divert surpluses built up in special funds with money allocated for a particular purpose. In some cases, those funds could be appropriated for other uses.

Despite “everything being on the table,” Belatti also said “we’re not going to tax our way out of this crisis.” She said leaders will have to consider streamlining and consolidating state agencies to save money and improve the way government works. The pandemic provides an opportunity to take a close look at what government does, she said.

“How should we conduct government and how can we provide services smarter and better?” said Belatti, also a Democrat.  (Nice talk.  Not real.)

The president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii warned that raising taxes could backfire, squeezing a private sector already reeling from the pandemic recession.

“We’re very concerned that additional taxes, fees or other kinds of revenue enhancements are really going to kick them when they’re down,” said Tom Yamachika. He warns even more people could leave the state and more companies could go out of business, which would reduce the number of people paying taxes that support government. He said sacrifices should be shared.

The unemployment rate in Hawaii stood at 10.1% in December compared to 2.6% the same month a year earlier. The state tied Nevada for the second worst jobless rate in the nation after New Jersey….

(Representing the interests of public employee unions) Beth Giesting, the director of the Hawaii Budget and Policy Center, said the state should avoid draconian cuts (to precious HGEA positions) because the economy needs government spending to keep going at a time when the private sector is struggling.  (And she said this without laughing or even smirking.)

She argued that cuts to public budgets only deepen and prolong recessions. (And not even a snicker.)

“We want them to understand that any dollars they cut are magnified in terms of the economic impact,” she said of lawmakers. To help pay for spending, she favors tax increases on high income earners and capital gains and possibly temporarily eliminating some (General Excise) tax exemptions and credits….

read … Hawaii lawmakers face tough choices amid pandemic recession

COVID: Kauai Anti-Tourism Measures Working—Only 20 Visitors Thursday

SA: … Before the COVID-19 pandemic the payroll at Kilohana Kauai, a popular Kauai attraction, was 168.  Fred Atkins, Kilohana’s general partner, said Friday that he signed checks for just seven employees….

Travel to Kauai plummeted after Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami opted out of the Safe Travels program, effective Dec. 2, requiring all travelers to Kauai to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine with no option to test out.

Starting Jan. 5, Kauai ended the monthlong tourism shutdown by allowing interisland passengers to participate in Hawaii Safe Travels and introducing its own trans-Pacific entry program.

Trans-Pacific travelers can now avoid quarantine on Kauai if they first go to another Hawaii island using the Hawaii Safe Travels pre-arrival testing program and spend at least 72 hours on that island before traveling to Kauai. But before entering Kauai they would still need to take a test from one of the state’s trusted interisland travel partners.

A second option to avoid the 10-day quarantine on Kauai is for visitors to stay in “resort bubbles.” In this case the visitors must have a negative COVID test before arriving on Kauai. That test doesn’t have to come from the list of trusted testing partners put out by the state. After they arrive, they must go directly to a designated resort bubble for at least three days….

The changes are hard to explain to visitors, and even harder to sell, said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association. If Kauai tourism doesn’t improve soon, Hannemann said, many businesses are expected to fall off a cliff, taking their employees, contractors and vendors with them….

(NOTE:  This is the goal.)

“We were able to bring back a couple hundred of our more than 900 employees,” Britzmann said. “But once the county opted out, we had to immediately close. All of our reservations were canceling.”

Britzmann said the Grand Hyatt researched resort bubbles but found little demand for them among guests.

“About 85% of our potential guests said they weren’t interested in a resort bubble concept, given that they have other options,” she said. “We’re hearing from our partners that it’s just too confusing.”

Britzmann said fewer than 75 workers are now on the payroll at the county’s largest resort, which recently extended its closure through February.

Sheraton Kauai Resort General Manager Chip Bahouth said he’d like to see the state adopt uniform travel requirements across all islands.

While resort bubbles have allowed some Kauai resorts to build their base of business, Bahouth said they haven’t improved Kauai’s tourism-dependent economy much.

HTA reported that only 20 visitors came to Kauai on Thursday for pleasure or vacation. That’s less than 1% of the 5,288 that entered the state Thursday for pleasure or vacation….

TGI: Kauai 2 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

read … Kauai employment suffers under restrictive travel policies

Kupuna turned away at hospital vaccine clinic

MN: … About 20 Maui kupuna showed up Sunday to receive their COVID-19 vaccines only to learn the island’s only open vaccination clinic was forced to close due to lack of supply.

“It was hard to break the news to the older people,” said Loida Villanueva, Maui Health System Gastroenterology-Endoscopy assistant who staffed the clinic entrance Sunday, informing people of the closure. “A lot were elderly.”

Some residents in the 75 and older age group who had appointments at Maui Memorial Medical Center’s vaccination clinic had traveled from Kihei and Lahaina, she added….

The temporary closure comes as some wonder why the state is reported to have a high number of unused vaccination doses.

“Just roll up sleeves and get it done, people want action and results,” House Speaker Scott Saiki said in a KITV report last week.

A state DOH report Friday afternoon said Hawaii received 152,650 Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, with more than 56,000 administered. It did not break down brands of doses received or administered….

Maui Health CEO Mike Rembis wondered Friday why unused vaccinations could not be redistributed to clinics with low supplies….

(Instead of giving shots) Staff has been working around the clock to answer questions from the clinic email and hotline. Employees have also been assisting kupuna so that when they can get their first doses, they will be ready to go, she said.

AP: ‘Little old West Virginia’ sets pace on vaccine rollout

read … Kupuna turned away at hospital vaccine clinic

Coronavirus spread in Hawaii by the Numbers

SA: … State health officials have started posting the number of vaccinations administered statewide. As of Wednesday, the department said, 40,386 individuals have been vaccinated as of Jan. 9 — including 25,613 in Honolulu County, 4,182 in Maui County, 4,251 in Hawaii County and 2,740 in Kauai County. The vaccination numbers are updated weekly. An additional 3,600 shots were administered through the state’s Special Pharmacy Program….

According to the state Department of Health, Hawaii’s COVID-19 investigation team as of Friday had 211 contact tracers working on Oahu and 104 working on the neighbor islands, with the possibility of adding staff….

Health officials also said Sunday that of the state’s total infection count, 2,191 cases were considered active. By island, Oahu has 1,615 active cases, Maui has 398, the Big Island has 151, Kauai has 24 and Molokai has three, according to the state’s latest tally. Lanai has no active COVID cases.

Health officials counted 5,457 new COVID-19 test results in Sunday’s tally, for a 2.3% statewide positivity rate. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate is 2.6%, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Data dashboard….

Hawaii’s virus effective reproduction rate was 1.12, making it the worst state after Washington, which had a rate of 1.15., a data model created by Instagram’s founders, measures the average number of people in each state who become infected by an infectious person. Hawaii’s rate of 1.12 means on average a person with COVID-19 will spread the virus to 1.12 people.

Two weeks ago Hawaii’s score was 1.11. A month ago it was 1.

read … Fast clip of coronavirus spread in Hawaii puts state at risk of another outbreak

Anti-Plastic Maniacs Plan Agenda for 2021

CB: … There is no doubt that single-use plastics pose a serious threat to the well-being of communities and ecosystems around the world. 

(False. I doubt therefore I exist.) 

If the status quo remains, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans 

(False.  Plastic waste is a fish attracting device.),

and 20% of fossil fuel will be used to make plastic, exacerbating (False: Reducing.) global carbon emissions….

What we know now is that (Translation: These are articles of faith.  We are just making this stuff up.)  plastic pollution has worsened during the pandemic, brought on by a boom in the use of disposable plastic items like food takeout containers and PPE. One recent study showed (Oh.  They have a ‘study.’ OK I bow before their authority now.  NOT!) that 129 billion disposable masks and 65 billion gloves are being used each month around the world. A significant portion (actually 47) of these are winding up in the sea (we counted all 47 of them) ….

REALITY: Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

read … Enforcing the Eco-Religion

EPA: Hawaii’s Military Bases Dumped 630,000 Pounds Of Delicious Nitrate Into The Ocean

CB: … While federally permitted, the Environmental Protection Agency hopes the data’s public release spurs facilities to reduce their chemical waste….

read … More Eco-Hype

Hawaii Democrats About to Run out of Excuses

CB: … “The stars are aligned as we have a Democratic-controlled Congress, Senate, with a Democratic president, and we’re a Democratic state.” 

(Last time this happened was 2009-2010.  Result: DoI Hearing: 'A lot of noes' on Akaka Tribe)

read … Hawaii Should Rise Up While 'The Stars Are Aligned'

Civil Beat Foolishly says “All Lives Matter” – Who will Billionaire Omidyar Pay for this Transgression?

CB: … “The movement has never been just about Black lives. It’s about the injustices that can affect anyone.”

(How will they be punished?  Let’s count the ways….)

1 Sacramento Kings broadcaster Grant Napear fired after ‘all lives matter’ tweet

2 School Dean fired after saying 'BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE'S LIFE MATTERS' in email

List of 36 More punishments… which ones will Civil Beat get?

read … ‘Black Lives Matter Means All Lives Matter

Leader of 2007 Anti-Superferry Riots wants ‘Accountability’ from Trumpsters

SA: … President Donald Trump (Anti-Superferry activists) lied, and (told) people (to be ready to) died. This is the unvarnished truth. He and his (Their) enablers and those who participated in acts of violence, must be held accountable.

The unsettling and dangerous situation that occurred inside our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6,(on Kauai and Maui in 2007)  is pressing heavily upon all of us. Urged on by words from the president of the United States, (tax-cheat Hooser and a bunch of celebrutards and trust fund babies) a mix of domestic terrorists, political zealots and narcissistic hooligans stormed the seat of our Republic (harbors).  Death, destruction and fear was their objective, and they were successful in achieving that outcome….

The threat and specter of continued violence hangs like a dark and ominous cloud….

2007: Superferry Update: A rat, a coward, and thin-skinned pseudo intellectuals

read … Hypocrisy on Display

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