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Monday, July 12, 2021
July 12, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:10 PM :: 2521 Views

BYUH to Require COVID Vax for All Students

State Of Hawaii And CLEAR Partner To Expand Safe Travels Program Across The U.S.

Debunking Sen Acasio’s Moratorium

Building Honolulu Rail: It’s Just A Matter Of Time Before You Hit Something Important

CB: … “Underground construction, wherever you do that on this island, can be challenging,” BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau said at the same media briefing as Barnes. “There are a lot of utilities underground and sometimes the plans or designs are not perfect.”

Sometimes the discrepancies are found prior to construction through testing methods such as sonar and “potholing.” Other times the mismatches are discovered the hard way: during construction.

For rail, that’s been happening regularly during the preliminary construction in town, according to Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials. At one point, crews were finding utility lines where they didn’t expect them several times a week, Marc Gravel, a former HART project director, told city leaders last year.

When heavy construction reaches Dillingham, it’s not a matter of if but when crews will encounter the same problems, Gravel and others at HART have said.

Meanwhile, BWS cannot guarantee that its drawings outlining the path of the 42-inch main under Dillingham are 100% accurate, according to Lau. It all depends on how well his predecessors at the water agency recorded the pipe’s precise location when it was built, he said.

Some parts of that giant main at the west end of Dillingham are about 50 years old, Lau told the Honolulu City Council last year.

“It’s a possibility during places of intense construction that things can happen,” Lau added during an interview Thursday, referring to utility line damage. “When they come close to where our pipe is located, then yeah, that does cause us concern.”…

read … Building Honolulu Rail: It’s Just A Matter Of Time Before You Hit Something Important

Bribery News: Maui Film Commissioner Lands Role In Movie He Helped Facilitate

CB: …When Tracy Bennett scored a role in a motion picture starring the country music star Trace Adkins, it was by just about any measure a big break. Bennett had shot still photos on the sets of Hollywood blockbusters, but he had virtually no acting experience.

So it was seemingly out of nowhere that Bennett vaulted into a substantial role opposite a major performing artist.

But when it came to the movie business on Maui, where the film is being shot, Bennett did have at least one leg up over more experienced local actors: Bennett is also the Maui film commissioner, in charge of helping films get county, state and federal permits to shoot on the island.….

read … Maui Film Commissioner Lands Role In Movie He Helped Facilitate

More than 34K travelers expected to arrive in Hawaii on Monday

KITV: … Since Thursday, where fully vaccinated travelers were allowed to bypass testing, nearly 142,000 people have passed through Hawaii airports. 84% of those travelers were visitors….  (142K / 4 days = 35,500 per day)

airports are seeing a major delay because of travelers not following the Safe Travels rules. The state reports 70% of people applying for the vaccine exemption aren't following directions on the Safe Travels website…

(Do the math: 34,000 x 30 = 1.02M x 12 = 12.24M tourists per year)

read … More than 34K travelers expected to arrive in Hawaii on Monday

DOH updates legislature on vaccination efforts, COVID variants

SoR: … As of Friday, DOH reported 64.7 percent of Hawaii residents are partially vaccinated and 58.1 percent are fully vaccinated. These rates are higher than the national average of 55.1 percent and 47.6 percent, respectively. 

DOH estimates the state needs to vaccinate 169,000 more people to reach 70 percent immunity. At that point, the state will most likely reach herd immunity, and Gov. Ige plans on removing all COVID-19 restrictions. Travel restrictions in the state have started to lift, with the most recent update allowing travelers vaccinated outside Hawaii to bypass testing and quarantining protocols upon arrival. 

Vaccination rates have recently slowed, however, with DOH estimating 20,000 vaccinations occurring per week in Hawaii. At that rate, says DOH Director Elizabeth Char, MD, the state will reach 70 percent immunity in 8.5 weeks, or early September….  

VIDEO: HSTA supports continued mask-wearing, distance learning options for 2021–22 school year

SA Editorial: How and when to get COVID vaccine

read … DOH updates legislature on vaccination efforts, COVID variants

More than 1,000 Covid cases affecting Hawaii's DOE since March 2020

KITV: … The DOE says last week, it had three positive cases. One each at ?Kalani High, Mililani High, and Makawao Elementary.

The total number of coronavirus cases affecting the DOE is 1,006….

Hawaii law now requires the state Department of Education (DOE) to reveal which schools reported COVID-19 cases.

However, officials say the DOE's case count should not be used to "determine community spread or sources of an outbreak or cluster."

"It is informal data based on information provided to HIDOE's COVID-19 Core Response Team by individuals, parents, campus visitors and service providers," the department stated. "The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) remains the lead agency on reporting official data and case counts."…

KITV: DOE to identify schools with COVID-19 cases, but lack of testing could skew data

read … More than 1,000 Covid cases affecting Hawaii's DOE

COVID from child-care settings provides hint to HSTA

SA Editorial: …General lapses seen in the recent clusters are highly instructive, and all child-care providers should take note:

>> A 10-case cluster involved a home-based setting of one caregiver and eight children, ranging in age from 8 months to 5 years. Those infected included the caregiver and one secondary case (identified via contact tracing), both of whom were vaccinated — but contrary to health guidelines, there was no policy or protocol for sick children to stay home, and masks were not worn by the caregiver or the children over age 2.

>> A five-case cluster involved a home-based setting of one caregiver and six children, ages 1 to 9. The infected included the caregiver plus two other adults in the household (secondary cases), all not vaccinated.

>> The nine-case cluster involved a child care program within a congregate setting, with four of seven children, four of 12 adult residents and one of 21 staffers testing positive for COVID-19. None of the residents and only half of the staff had been fully vaccinated….

(NOTE: This should help HSTA shut down schools this Fall.)

read … Keep COVID from child-care settings

PGV power purchase agreement still in limbo

HTH: …Hawaii County has responded to a request from the state Public Utilities Commission seeking input regarding an application for an amended power purchase agreement between Puna Geothermal Venture and Hawaiian Electric.

The PUC earlier this year suspended the application pending the completion of a supplemental environmental review it deemed necessary….

(Translation: Artificial delay while waiting for useless report.)

PGV in May, however, requested the suspension be lifted, after which the power plant said it would seek to engage with either Hawaii County or the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to determine whether an environmental review is required, and if so, what level of review would be needed.

But before the PUC can consider PGV’s proposal, it must “determine the DLNR’s and the county’s positions relative to environmental review,” the commission wrote in a June 4 order lifting the suspension of the docket in a limited scope to do just that….

Case said in a June 22 letter to the PUC that the DLNR is not willing to assist PGV and declined to comment on the PUC’s findings regarding an environmental review because the department does not have regulatory jurisdiction over the project.

(Translation: Its up to the County now.)

Under the proposed PPA, the rate paid by the utility to PGV will be fixed and no longer linked to the price of oil.

(Translation PGV is making megabucks off of the extension of the ‘avoided costs’ contract.)

As part of the amended agreement, PGV agreed to modify its current facility to provide an additional 8 megawatts of energy and firm capacity, which will further reduce electric bills and the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

According to the March 31 order suspending the docket, PGV voluntarily prepared an environmental impact statement in 1987, which was approved by Hawaii County….

“We are currently operating at 25 megawatts of power and are targeting to get another generator back online by the end of July, which we estimate will bring us up to 30 MW of generating capacity,” said Mike Kaleikini, PGV’s senior director, Hawaii affairs, in a news release.

read … PGV power purchase agreement still in limbo

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