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Tuesday, January 4, 2022
January 4, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:02 PM :: 1088 Views

New Ethics Comm Exec Director a Pro-Rail Corporate Lawyer and Lobbyist

Senate Budget Briefings Begin

Let's Play Make Believe: Hawaii DoH 'Orders' US Navy to Stop Fueling Ships, Planes

Sounds of war we wish to forget 

Removing Hawaii’s Barriers to Bitcoin

7-Eleven Hawaii to Accept SNAP for Online Orders With Vroom Delivery

Hawaii Top Choice for Taiwan-National Guard Partnership: Report

Investigation underway: State probing vandalism of Captain Cook Monument

HTH: … An investigation is underway to determine the culprit behind an act of vandalism over the holiday weekend at the Captain Cook Monument on the shoreline of Kealakekua Bay.

The white obelisk at Kaawaloa, which commemorates Capt. James Cook, the British explorer and navigator who was killed at the site on Feb. 14, 1779, was defaced with red paint along with the words “you are on native land.” The vandalism to the 27-foot monument erected in 1874 by Cook’s “fellow countrymen” showed up Saturday morning….

The land on which the monument stands is a portion of a parcel awarded in 1869 to Princess Miriam Likelike and her husband, Archibald Cleghorn. In 1874, the land was deeded British Consul James Wodehouse for the construction of the monument.

“Wodehouse sold the property to Great Britain for $1, despite American ideas of sovereignty which forbid the sale of American property to a foreign government. A vote was taken at the Territorial Legislature in 1928 to confirm British ownership of the land,” an EIS released in 2021 for the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park Master Plan Improvements reads.

The site is just 0.1304 acres and is owned by the Captain Cook Monument Trust, according to Hawaii County tax records. No record or agent could be located for the Captain Cook Monument Trust as of press-time.

To reach the monument, one must hike 2 miles down to the shoreline, or travel by water….

… As news of the vandalism spread on social media, some people expressed discontent with the defacement, while others (eager to aggrandize themselves) said the monument should be removed because it represents colonialism.

Efforts to remove monuments commemorating Cook have picked up steam as of late in the U.S. and around the world. In June 2021, protesters in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, pulled down and dumped a statue of the explorer into a bay. That came a year after New Zealand removed a similar statue. A petition seeking the removal of a statue at a university in Australia is currently circulating and talk continues of removing a monument to the British man in Alaska.

In Hawaii, several older Change.org petitions continue to garner signatures asking the state to remove not only the monument at Kaawaloa but also one on Kauai.

Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth said Monday his administration understands “that there is a significant portion of our population that is disheartened, angered, and left uneasy by the sorely felt wrongdoings of the past — and they have every right to be….

read … Investigation underway: State probing vandalism of Captain Cook Monument

COVID Count Drops Sharply: Hawaii sees 1,592 new coronavirus cases

SA: … Hawaii Department of Health officials reported 1,592 new confirmed and probable coronavirus infections today…

No new virus-related fatalities were reported today….

Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,231 new cases on Oahu, 120 on Hawaii island, 87 on Maui, 42 on Kauai, nine on Molokai, 11 on Lanai and 92 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state….

Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 28,147 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The state’s total number of active cases increased today by 833….

four new hospitalizations reported today….  In a tweet this morning, Lt. Gov. Josh Green put the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide at 176, with 72 of them having been vaccinated.

(CLUE: One day does not make a trend. We will see….)

Background: Can We Beat COVID Without Lockdowns?

read … Hawaii sees 1,592 new coronavirus cases

100,000 Oahuans to be Excluded from Count so Big Island can get Another House Seat

CB: … Last year, the commission removed 65,000 non-resident military from its population count. Data received New Year’s Eve suggests that number should be closer to 100,000.

“From their understanding of what we want, this is the most accurate way to provide the data to us,” Royce Jones, a reapportionment consultant, told the commissioners at a meeting Monday. Jones explained that the discrepancy could be the result of a programming error on the part of the military.

If the new data sets are accurate, the commission may need to redo its reapportionment process. The commission has drawn public scrutiny in the last several months for appearing to draw maps that would favor certain political incumbents, holding most discussions on redistricting behind closed doors and undercounting the number of non-resident military in the islands.

The commission met for more than an hour in a session closed to the public after receiving Jones’ report on the new population estimates. Mark Mugiishi, the commission chairman and CEO of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, said there’s still more issues to work through before Thursday’s meeting.

The commission wants to determine if it should move forward with the 65,000 figure, or with the 99,967 number that the military provided on Friday. The commission may also debate the best method for extracting those individuals from census blocks on military bases and in the surrounding area.

Mugiishi asked Jones and the staff to research those two issues before the next meeting.

The state Supreme Court gave the commission until Feb. 27 to file its final redistricting plans with the state Office of Elections.

Chief Elections Office Scott Nago urged the commissioners on Monday to act before then.

He said that candidates for the 2022 elections can begin filing candidate paperwork March 1. But before filing begins, the office must have updated voter registries with new district numbers and boundaries….

read … New Data From U.S. Military Could Restart Reapportionment Process

Board of Water Supply says 3 Oahu wells may never reopen after latest Navy contamination

SA: … The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says isn’t sure if it will ever be able to reopen three of its drinking water wells that it shut down last month to avoid the chance that jet fuel spilled by the Navy might contaminate its drinking water system.

As a result, areas of southern Oahu, stretching from Halawa to Hawaii Kai, could face water shortages, requiring local officials to ask customers to conserve water, particularly in the summer months, Ernie Lau, manager and chief engineer of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, told the Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii today.

The situation at Red Hill has put us in a very dire situation right now,” said Lau. “There may be times when you may have problems with low pressure or not have water for a period of time.”…

read … Board of Water Supply says 3 Oahu wells may never reopen after latest Navy contamination

Clare Connors sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Hawaii

SA: … Connors left her position as state Attorney General after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 7. Biden nominated Connors on Sept. 28…

Background: Big Win for Mafia: Biden Appoints AG Connors US Attorney

read … Clare Connors sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Hawaii

Students return to Hawaii public school classrooms amid omicron surge

SA: … Dr. Scott Miscovich says he thinks students and teachers who are fully vaccinated generally can return to school feeling relatively safe, especially if they have received a booster shot and are properly masked.

But if a student is unvaccinated or has medical conditions, including obesity, that put them at risk for complications and hospitalization from COVID, he said, “I would not be sending my child back right now.” He voiced the same caution for teachers and staff.

In addition, cloth masks and gaiters are inadequate….

The state Department of Education has maintained that resuming in-person learning on schedule is crucial for students’ social development and academic achievement….

“We anticipate a rise in case counts because schools are a reflection of their communities; however, data shows the safety measures practiced in schools are effective,” Hayashi said. “We are also fortunate to now have additional resources, including vaccinations for students 5 years and older — meaning nearly everyone on our campuses is eligible to be vaccinated. Booster shots and opportunities for testing within the community or at school are also available.”

Hayashi has said the DOE’s emphasis on getting vaccinated, masking, social distancing and hand-washing “have helped keep our positivity rates lower than the broader community, as well as our counterparts on the mainland.”…

When asked whether the state will implement a “test to stay” policy to allow students who test negative to remain in the classroom, a DOE spokesperson said the department is expanding school-based testing efforts in partnership with DOH via the federally funded programs Operation Expanded Testing, and Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity. The latter will expand to Oahu this week with CVS, she said, and about 20 schools have signed up to begin offering testing this week….

read … Students return to Hawaii public school classrooms amid omicron surge

Hawaii eliminates Safe Travels health questionnaire, reduces COVID quarantine for visitors to align with CDC guidelines

SA: … Hawaii’s Safe Travels quarantine guidelines for visitors change today to align with the state Department of Health’s new requirements.

The mandatory quarantine period has been reduced from 10 to five days for domestic U.S. travelers, according to a notice from John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

For travelers currently on 10-day quarantine, this means those who have hit their 5-day mark today or later will be released from quarantine. If today is the traveler’s fifth day of quarantine, for example, they will be released from quarantine on Tuesday….

Also, effective Tuesday, HVCB said the completion of a health questionnaire prior to departure will no longer be required….

read … Hawaii eliminates Safe Travels health questionnaire, reduces COVID quarantine for visitors to align with CDC guidelines

Hawaii County flooded with outreach requests from COVID-patients who have no place to quarantine

HNN: … Effective New Year’s Day, the state no longer manages quarantine facilities for those who test positive for COVID-19.

Instead, that responsibility now falls to the individual counties.

And the Big Island health community is already seeing a need for assistance.

Dr. Kaohimanu Dang Akiona, the Hawaii County director of Premier Medical Group, says she’s been flooded with outreach requests from COVID patients who have no place to quarantine.

Those in need include the homeless, former inmates recently released from prison, and people who aren’t able to isolate at home….

read … Hawaii County flooded with outreach requests from COVID-patients who have no place to quarantine

Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s role in TV commercial raises ethics questions

SA: … Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s starring role in a commercial for a rental car company is raising questions about the rules for elected officials in advertisements.

According to the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu, no elected officer or employee can engage in a business transaction or have a financial interest that would conflict with their duty as an elected official or impair their judgement….

In Tulba’s most recent commercial for Lucky Owl Rental Car published online on Oct. 20, he drives over potholes and says, “Maybe somebody’s elected officials can fix some of these problems,” and looks at the camera….

read … Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s role in TV commercial raises ethics questions

Report: DOE Food Sustainability Goal Not Real

CB: … A new legislative report offers sparse detail on the planned overhaul of student meals served in Hawaii’s public schools…..

read … Report: Limited Funding, Staff Could Delay DOE Effort To Meet Food Sustainability Goal

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