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Thursday, July 1, 2021
July 1, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:08 PM :: 1649 Views

Embezzlement, Bribery: Hawaii Non-Profit Executive Sentenced to 46 Months of Imprisonment

Alm: Myeni Encountered Police at Kewalo Basin 30 Minutes Before Shooting

Hawaii 3rd Highest Beer Tax in USA

City Doubles Hanauma Bay Entrance Fee to $25 per Tourist

How Jones Act complicates life in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam

Japanese official warns US of potential surprise attack on Hawaii — from Russia and China

Who to Blame for Next Year’s Rolling Blackouts? This Secretive Task Force Is Guiding Energy Policy Behind Closed Doors

CB: … When AES Hawaii floated the idea of using wood chips instead of coal to power its Barber’s Point coal plant least month, the company mentioned it was doing so after being approached by Scott Glenn, director of the Hawaii State Energy Office.

But in its letter to regulators, AES cited not only Glenn’s role running the energy office, but also another title Glenn has: chairman of an influential entity called the Powering Past Coal Task Force, a group created by Gov. David Ige to solve one of Oahu’s critical energy issues.

But the task force’s meetings are closed to the media and general public and it is operating outside of open government laws. Yet it includes some of Hawaii’s most powerful elected officials, along with private and nonprofit parties on multiple sides of renewable energy issues.

Ige and Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi are members. Others include the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates energy projects, and the Consumer Advocate, which represents the public’s interest in energy proceedings.

Members from the private sector include Hawaiian Electric and several energy project developers, including AES. Also on board are Henry Curtis, executive director of Life of the Land, and Marti Townsend, director of the Hawaii Sierra Club.

It seems just about everybody has been invited to the task force expect average citizens and news media, which are not allowed….

June 21, 2021: To Prevent Rolling Blackouts Green Dogma Will Have Oahu Burn Wood for Power

read … This Secretive Task Force Is Guiding Energy Policy Behind Closed Doors

HART to resume Dillingham work for Honolulu Rail

KHON: … The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) is set to resume its Dillingham work on Friday, July 2.

Kamehameha Highway between Kalihi Stream and Laumaka Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction for three months…  (Ie the stub track beyond Middle Street)

Crews will be constructing columns for the Honolulu Rail project and installing the overhead guideway….

read … HART to resume Dillingham work for Honolulu Rail

98% of Hawaii COVID Cases Are Among Unvaccinated People

CB: … More than 98% of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii are among people who aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Hawaii Department of Health leaders who spoke on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight” program on Wednesday.

Fewer than 2% of the state’s COVID-19 cases are so-called breakthrough cases among people who have already been vaccinated. Five people who were vaccinated against coronavirus were both infected and hospitalized.

No one who was vaccinated and caught the virus has died of COVID-19 in Hawaii.

“Getting your shot really is the best protection,” said acting state epidemiologist Sarah Kemble…

More than 57% of Hawaii’s population has been vaccinated and more than 62% have initiated vaccinations. The Health Department’s website has information about how the vaccine works and where to get it.

Currently there are striking geographic disparities in vaccinations due to a variety of factors, including limited access to the vaccines that the state is trying to address. Surveys have found there also an estimated 9% to 12% of Hawaii residents who don’t plan to get vaccinated at all….

SA: More than 98% of recent COVID cases are in people who have not been inoculated against the coronavirus

read … Nearly All Hawaii COVID Cases Are Among Unvaccinated People

Prizes boost vaccine rates

MN: … Vaccination rates increased statewide this month after Hawaii adult residents were given a chance to win Hawaiian Airlines miles, hotel stays, discounts to their favorite restaurants and more — just for being vaccinated.

Before the #HIGotVaccinated campaign was launched on June 4, officials “were seeing a steady decline of about 20 percent each week in the number of people getting vaccinated in Hawaii,” said Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

But since the campaign touted the availability of more than 80 prizes, along with discount codes, the numbers have reversed and stabilized — there has been a 30 percent increase in vaccination initiation, more than what was predicted, Raethel said during a news conference Tuesday.

And to further incentivize folks to get vaccinated, the campaign will be extended for another round that begins July 12 and will run through August 20, officials announced. The campaign had been scheduled to end today….

To date, there have been 21,500 vaccinations since the campaign was launched. The HIGotVaccinated.com page has had more than 1.28 million views and more than 240,000 people have registered for the chance to win prizes, according to a news release.

Among the site visitors, 61 percent are in the 18-34 age group, the news release said….

Currently 57.8 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, according to statistics from the state Department of Health….

HTH: Health director confident state will hit 70% vaccination benchmark

read … Prizes boost vaccine rates

A ‘Perfect storm’ of ‘uneducated’ tourists-- 32,000 Arrive Tuesday

HNN: … A “perfect storm.”

That’s how the governor is describing the huge influx of visitors to the islands ― a surge he attributes to pent-up demand and fewer destination options open to domestic travelers.

On Tuesday, roughly 32,000 people arrived in the islands, which is at pre-pandemic tourism levels.

That number will come to no surprise to most on Oahu.

Waikiki is wall-to-wall with vacationing visitors, lounging in paradise and taking up virtually every inch of sand. And restaurants, hotels and popular spots are bursting at the seams.

The situation is prompting some to call for a change.

Bruce Fisher, who runs Hawaii Aloha Travel, said many travelers to Hawaii are coming to the islands on a budget ― looking for a quick getaway ― and may rub residents the wrong way.

“We are attracting visitors that really don’t understand what’s happening here with regard to our destination. They are uneducated,” he said….

“The airport is basically a funnel of our problems,” said Daniel Anthony, of Hui Aloha Aina Momona.  “The 30,000 people a day that are coming here that have no idea what they are coming to and don’t really care to listen.”…

“We are at 120% of pre-pandemic seats coming to Hawaii from North America,” he added….

HNN: You won’t find these Maui businesses complaining about the tourism boom

read … What pandemic? A huge influx in visitors has some considering ways to rein tourism in

Hawaii stands alone as more states reopen

AP: … Oregon and Washington on Wednesday lifted most of their COVID-19 restrictions to become two of the last states to broadly ease virus orders put in place in the very first days of the pandemic.

New Mexico is set to reopen today, marking a return to business throughout the mainland U.S. following 16 months of disruption and more than 600,000 lives lost. The last holdout — Hawaii — has loosened some rules but is slated to maintain others until 70% of its population is fully vaccinated.

The reopenings come as concern grows about a new coronavirus variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead. In California, health officials in Los Angeles County this week strongly recommended that people wear masks indoors in public places — regardless of their vaccination status — to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant….

read … Hawaii stands alone as more states reopen

Another CWS Fail: ‘Time Served’ for Father of 9 year old Starved to Death 

HTH: … Deputy Prosecutor Suzanna Tiapula argued for a 20-year prison sentence for Lehano, telling the judge, “The voice you will not hear in the courtroom today, Your Honor, is the voice of the child who died.”

“She weighed, at nine, what she had weighed when she was four years old,” Tiapula said. “… She died of malnutrition in a house with three refrigerators. Each of those refrigerators contained food. The refrigerators in that home, Your Honor, had alarms on them so she couldn’t access that food.”

Tiapula said Lehano “had been counseled by medical and social-work professionals on many occasions to feed his daughter and not to withhold food.”

(CLUE: If CWS has to ‘counsel’ a parent to not starve their child then CWS has failed to recognize an unfit parent and failed to remove the child.) 

“And yet, he admitted in his statement to law enforcement that he had installed the alarms on each of the refrigerators that kept his child from getting food, and that created a pattern of control and withholding that ultimately led to the death of this 9-year-old,” she said.

Tiapula asked the judge “to imagine a world where this child could walk into the courtroom and speak to the neglect and abuse, to the experience of being starved to death in a house with food where other people ate.” …

“…When he showed up at the home, there were three adults in the house — a house located right across the central fire station. Not one of those individuals called 911. No one walked across the street to get help.”

While passing sentence, Kubota told Lehano the history of the case contained “so many safeguards that were warning signs as with ‘Peter Boy’ Kema … that failed to protect your daughter, and she’s the one that paid the price.”…

read … Another CWS Fail

Miske trial in federal case postponed again

ILind: … Two defendants have already pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Originally scheduled to begin in September 2020, the trial had been postponed for a year, and was set to begin in September 2021.

But an agreement between prosecutors, Miske, and all but two of the remaining co-defendants led to a joint motion for another six month trial delay….

Lynn Panegakos, one of the lawyers representing Miske, told Mansfield she has been informed that prosecutors have released additional evidence for review by the defendants and their attorneys.

“We have not received that yet,” Panagakos said, but has been told it consists of an additional 251 gigabytes of material. “I believe there will be more voluminous discovery coming after that,” Panegakos added.

However, the delay was opposed actively by attorneys representing Michael Buntenbah, and a second defendant, Jarrin Young, joined in that opposition….

Jury selection in the case is now scheduled to begin on March 21, 2022, before Judge Derrick Watson.

Meanwhile, on the same day as the hearing, Miske’s attorneys withdrew his motion seeking to hold the warden of Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center in contempt failing to comply with a January 2021 court order. That order called for Miske’s access to computers and to communication with his legal team be increased significantly. Withdrawal of the motion apparently results from an agreement for access considered sufficient by his defense team….

read … Miske trial in federal case postponed again

Hawaii County to resume animal control responsibilities after Double-Dealing by Animal Liberation Nuts

KHON: … Hawaii County is set to resume animal control responsibilities on Thursday, July 1, after the contract held by the Hawaii Rainbow Rangers expires on Wednesday, June 30….

A temporary moratorium of animal intake is in effect as part of the transition and services are limited to the animals that are currently in the facilities. Officials are not planning for mass euthanasia, according to Hawaii County, and permanent homes are being sought for the animals already being cared for….

WHT: Top cop talks animal control: HPD Chief Ferreira discusses transition with Hawaii County Council 

CB: Hawaii Rainbow Rangers will be replaced by county officials after numerous allegations of mismanagement circulated on the island.

June 20, 2021:  Infighting Amongst Animal Liberation Nuts leads to Chaos for Big Island Animal Control

read … Hawaii County to resume animal control responsibilities

Earthjustice files intent to sue over harbor, airport lights harming imperiled seabirds on Maui, Lanai

SA: … Conservation groups today filed a formal notice of their intent to sue the state if it does not take immediate steps to prevent bright lights at airports and harbors from killing imperiled seabirds on Maui and Lanai….

read … Earthjustice files intent to sue over harbor, airport lights harming imperiled seabirds on Maui, Lanai

Schatz-Connected North Shore development receives two-year permit extension

SA: … The developer of the North Shore Rural Community Commercial Center that is to be built across from Shark’s Cove has received a two-year extension to obtain its development permits by the Honolulu City Council.

Hanapohaku LLC plans to build a complex with 27,500 square feet of retail space, more than the neighboring 23,000-square-foot Foodland.

A sketch of the plan identified possible tenants as a couple of restaurants, a pharmacy, an urgent-care clinic, a copy and delivery shop, a yoga studio, a child care service, a gallery, a surf shop and other retail businesses.

Until the complex is built the property is being used primarily by food trucks….

Related: Schatz-Connected Developer building ‘Shopping Center’ at Pupukea

read … North Shore development receives two-year permit extension

NY Post: Coco Palms to be Demolished

NYP: … One of Hawaii’s most iconic resorts that once welcomed Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, among other stars, is set to be demolished after nearly 30 years of abandonment….

In 2016, Honolulu developers GreeneWaters LLC formed a partnership with Coco Palms Hui LLC to restore the resort, with the intent to reopen Coco Palms as part of the Hyatt franchise. But in 2019 the project collapsed due to financial reasons. The future of the land remains in limbo….

UPDATE TGI: Coco Palms auction July 26

SFG: This report has yet to be confirmed and the office of the Mayor of Kauai was unaware of the demolition.

read … Iconic Hawaii resort where Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra stayed to be demolished

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