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Tuesday, August 10, 2021
August 10, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:11 PM :: 2474 Views

Honolulu City Lights application deadline is August 31

Lawsuit Challenges Gun Confiscation After Disorderly Conduct Conviction

The Breath of Life

Ige looking at new COVID-19 restrictions for Hawaii

SA: … Gov. David Ige is looking at re-imposing restrictions, including limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, to try to dampen the surge in COVID-19 cases that’s threatening to overwhelm the state’s health care system. He’s expected to make an announcement by the end of the week.

“We are having to look at restrictions again,” Ige told Spotlight Hawaii on Monday. “We were hoping that the case counts would level off and begin to normalize, but we are seeing exponential growth.”

Ige said that any new restrictions would try to limit impacts on businesses. But if case numbers continue to climb, more aggressive measures may be needed, including changes to the state’s Safe Travels program….

There are 225 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, compared with about 50 people a month ago. Among those currently hospitalized, 43 patients are in the intensive-care unit, whereas on July 8 there were just 10 people, according to state data. The number of patients on ventilators has climbed to 30, the highest it’s been since 2020 before the rollout of the vaccines. The great majority of patients in the hospital are unvaccinated….

Ige announced last week that all state and county employees must be vaccinated by Monday or undergo regular testing. The policy affects tens of thousands of residents throughout the state, including many unvaccinated front-line workers. The Honolulu Police Department has a 75% vaccination rate, and the Honolulu Fire Department has a 78% vaccination rate, according to figures announced on Spotlight Hawaii. The vaccination rate among the city’s emergency medical workers is 78% and falls below 70% for the city’s ocean safety workers….

read … Gov. David Ige looking at new COVID-19 restrictions for Hawaii

Staffing shortages leave critical posts unmanned at Hawaii’s largest prison--UPW Announces Open Pathway for Contraband

HNN: … COVID-19 outbreaks are a contributing factor to staffing issues in Hawaii’s biggest and most secure prison.

Adult Corrections Officers at Halawa Correctional Facility are being forced to work 24, even 36 hour shifts to cover….

The guard tower along Moanalua Road and the one in Halawa Valley have been mostly empty the past couple of days because the officers are instead being moved to work in other units inside the facility….

The towers are there to prevent escapes allowing guards to watch the surrounding fence area from above said Shawn Colotario, the Union Corrections Advocate, for United Public Workers.

“Or prevent contraband from being passed over the fence it’s a direct threat to the staff safety as well as the public safety,” Colotario said….

HCF is allocated 332 corrections officers for the approximately 837 inmates. Of those, 64 positions are vacant.

Some 60 more corrections officers are out for various reasons, including workers’ compensation, military leave or sick leave. Some have COVID-19….

The statement from public safety said the agency is working to fill the vacancies and that a new recruit class will soon provide relief.

The department is also contacting retirees to see if they would be willing to work part-time shifts….

read … Staffing shortages leave critical posts unmanned at Hawaii’s largest prison

Mafia Bigshots Have Been Evading Justice for a Long Time--Believe they are entitled to continue doing so

ILind: … In a July 26th motion seeking release on bail for John Stancil, Miske’s half-brother and co-defendant, attorney Walter J. Rodby took aim at what he called “false statements” made by Jacob “Jake” Smith, who pleaded guilty in October 2020 and is now cooperating with prosecutors.

Rodby, in his motion, referred to Smith as the prosecution’s “star witness,” and dismissed him as “a career criminal with multiple narcotics trafficking and violent firearm convictions.”

Stancil, in Rodby’s telling, is on “the other end of the spectrum.”

“[F]or all of Mr. Stancil’s 33 years on earth, other than a traffic ticket, the only thing he has ever gotten in trouble for was the misdemeanor assault conviction, a dispute in a nightclub, which did not lead to any type of serious or substantial bodily injury,” the motion argues. “He has never been charged and convicted for any type of narcotics offense. He has never been charged and convicted for any type of firearms offense. He has never been charged and convicted for any type of felonious assault. “…

read … Defense lawyers attack credibility of defendants who have “flipped”

COVID Eviction Ban--Lahaina Deadbeat Abandons Condo But Can’t be Evicted

WaPo: … Jennifer Collins of Lahaina, Hawaii, lost her job as a restaurant server during the pandemic but hoped to stay afloat on rent she collects from three small condos she owns.

Things didn’t go as planned. Collins, 61, said one of her tenants has largely abandoned Collins’s condo for another home and purchased a new automobile but refuses to either pay rent or leave Collins’s property, even changing the locks so Collins could not access it.

(Really Obvious Question: What does any of this have to do with stopping COVID?)

Collins has attempted to evict the tenant but said she has so far been unsuccessful. She is back waiting tables now (exposing herself to COVID) but said she is trying to sell two of the condos.

“My stomach just starts just churning talking about it. I’m nervous, I’m like a deer in the headlights,” she said. “I am in over my head and I just want to be done with it.”

Advocates for renters celebrated last week when the Biden administration effectively extended a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ban on most evictions. But for some small landlords — struggling to pay mortgages and taxes — it was the last straw….

as with many of the emergency policies passed in response to the pandemic, the evictions ban has had disparate effects on large and small companies. Many corporate apartment chains catering to white-collar workers are raising rents and booking enormous profits; an index of publicly traded apartment chain stocks is up 43 percent through Friday. Meanwhile, some mom-and-pop landlords are giving up and deciding to sell, though at what scale is difficult to determine….

read … With tenants who won’t pay or leave, small landlords face struggles of their own

Chamber of Commerce survey: 80% of Hawaii businesses have job openings

PBN: … Hawaii businesses are still struggling to fill open positions, but the situation has improved slightly since May, according to a recent workforce survey by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

The chamber surveyed its members throughout the state in July, as an update to an earlier survey conducted in May.

According to the results, which were released Monday, 80% of businesses have job openings. While that’s still a high figure, it marks a small improvement from the May survey, when 85% of Hawaii businesses reported openings.

Eighty-five percent of respondents, however, reported that they have not laid off or furloughed employees since May 2021.  …

read … Chamber of Commerce survey: 80% of Hawaii businesses have job openings

Pentagon to require COVID vaccine for all troops by Sept. 15

AP: …Members of the U.S. military will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning next month under a plan laid out by the Pentagon today and endorsed by President Joe Biden. In memos distributed to all troops, top Pentagon leaders said the vaccine is a necessary step to maintain military readiness.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the mid-September deadline could be accelerated if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise….

read … Pentagon to require COVID vaccine for all troops by Sept. 15

Hawaiian Airlines to require all US-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID

HNN: … Hawaiian Airlines will soon require its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, joining a growing number of large companies to mandate the shots as the highly contagious delta variant continues to circulate.

Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, made the announcement in a memo to all employees on Monday, saying that employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.

“There is no greater demonstration of our values than ensuring the safety of others,” Ingram said. “Safety is the foundation of air travel, and it is ingrained throughout our operation and service.”

Ingram said the airline would be working on a program for international employees that aligns with vaccine access in their countries….

KHON: HMSA joins health systems across US in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees

HNN: LIST: Here’s a look at some of the employers in Hawaii now requiring vaccines

read … Hawaiian Airlines to require all US-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID

DOE: Shots avoid virtual, canceled athletics season

MN: … In the wake of Maui and Oahu rallies against state and county vaccination mandates, state Department of Education officials on Monday afternoon said that requiring vaccinations for student athletes is the best way to avoid a virtual or canceled season.

DOE last week said that all high school sports will be pushed back and now begin on Sept. 24 to allow for mandatory vaccinations….

HTH: Ige stands behind decision to begin in-person learning

read … DOE: Shots avoid virtual, canceled athletics season

With beds at homeless shelters in high demand, IHS uses testing, vaccines in attempt to manage COVID

HNN: … Next week marks one year since a COVID outbreak temporarily shuttered the Institute for Human Services men’s shelter. With beds in high demand, the state’s largest homeless service provider says it’s now using a combination of testing and vaccines to keep its clients safe.

“What we’re really trying to do is reduce the threat of bringing COVID into the shelters,” said IHS executive director Connie Mitchell.

In addition to sanitizing and social distancing, all guests must test negative for COVID within 48 hours of entering the shelter. Testing is a continued requirement — twice a week if you’re not vaccinated.

Nurses from Project Vision are also regularly on site offering up the shot….

Mitchell described the shelters as being “quite full,” adding that regular mass testing has helped them keep COVID from getting out of control…

Over the weekend, she says they identified seven positive cases spread out at three different facilities.

“One family here at Kaaahi. One individual at the men’s shelter. And a couple at Hale Mauliola. (They lived in) one unit,” she said.

Mitchell says those clients were immediately placed in isolation at local hotels and that staff moved quickly to track down their close contacts and get them into quarantine….

read … With beds at homeless shelters in high demand, IHS uses testing, vaccines in attempt to manage COVID

Hawaii’s COVID surge puts a strain on medical clinics as demand for testing grows

HNN: … Clinicians say they’re seeing frantic residents coming in. Many have symptoms, but most are worried about possible exposure.

Last week, the state reported more than 8,000 tests in one day — the most since last September.

During certain periods of the day at Urgent Care Hawaii in Pearl City, people hoping for tests are getting sent elsewhere….

“They are coming in because their employer says you need a negative test before you can come back to work,” Schmidt said.

A widespread shortage of rapid tests also means patients may need to wait 48 hours for results from the PCR test and those that do get in must wait for hours to get tested….

read … Hawaii’s COVID surge puts a strain on medical clinics as demand for testing grows

Demand for quarantine facilities are high amid COVID surge in Hawaii

KHON: … “It’s almost inevitable to transmit the delta variant to people living in a household,” said Dr. Thomas Lee, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Hawaii. “So it’s very important to get those positive cases away, make sure they have wraparound services to protect themselves and then be able to integrate back into their family once they’ve recovered.”

The Department of Health provides isolation rooms for people living in shelters, treatment facilities and care homes. As of Thursday, 57 of Oahu’s 64 quarantine rooms were being used. There are 30 people on a waiting list. Dr. Lee says more options should be available.

“The reason why we were so successful is because we had a lot of empty hotels, and they offered their spaces for isolation facilities when tourism was down,” said Dr. Lee.

With tourism booming, there are no plans to bring that back right now.

On Kauai and Oahu, there are isolation services at county-owned facilities. For now, the health department is advising most people to quarantine in their own households.

“Isolate yourself at home, and let those who you’ve been in close contact with know that they may have been exposed,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kauai District Health Officer. “Your close contacts should quarantine and be tested. Let them know right away. It makes a difference.”…

CB: Hawaii Doesn’t Have Enough Quarantine Rooms For COVID Patients

read … Demand for quarantine facilities are high amid COVID surge in Hawaii

Mafia Smile News: The Statewide Effort to Turn Filmmaking into Hawai‘i’s Next $1 Billion Industry

HB: … Talent, training and financial incentives are driving a new era of filmmaking, TV and digital media production in the Islands….

July, 2020: Miske Mob Were All Union Drivers on Set of Hawaii 5-0

July, 2021: Miske News: Union Boss Gets Greedy -- Almost Pays Price in Blood

read … The Statewide Effort to Turn Filmmaking into Hawai‘i’s Next $1 Billion Industry

Sequential Conflict of Interest: New Sunrun CEO Mary Powell resigns from HEI board position

PBN:  … Mary Powell, the new CEO of residential rooftop solar installer Sunrun Inc., has resigned from her position on Hawaiian Electric Industries' board of directors, HEI confirmed Friday.

Powell, who formerly ran Vermont-based utility Green Mountain Power, was announced as Sunrun's top executive on Thursday. Her resignations from the HEI board and that of subsidiary American Savings Bank were effective the same day.

Powell was nominated to the HEI board in 2019. She served as an independent director and compensation committee member for the nine-person group chaired by retired Adm. Thomas Fargo….

read … New Sunrun CEO Mary Powell resigns from HEI board position

Corona Virus News:



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