“Deep Moral Crisis” in Hawai‘i Government
Drug Overdoses Are On The Rise as Addicts Get Narcan
CB: … On Kauai, drug overdose deaths have more than quadrupled in 10 years from fewer than five in 2012 to 18 last year, contributing to an alarming rise in fatal drug use statewide.
Drug overdoses were the second-most common cause of fatal injury on the Garden Isle in 2021 — after suicide and surpassing deaths from drowning, car crashes and falls — and the 10th most common cause of death overall, according to Hawaii Department of Health data.
“It’s getting worse fast,” said Dr. Graham Chelius….
(CLUE: ‘Harm Reduction’ increases harm.)
On Oahu, fatal overdoses involving methamphetamine outnumbered those involving opioids from 2017 to 2021 by a ratio of more than 3-to-1. On Kauai that ratio is closer to 2-to-1, with meth-related overdoses increasing from zero in 2012 to 14 in both 2020 and 2021….
In Hawaii, fentanyl is typically sold on the street for $15 to $17 a pill, an indicator that the supply is not as plentiful as it is in places like Los Angeles, where a pill sells for about a dollar, according to DEA Hawaii District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Victor Vazquez….
Since August 2016, HHHRC has distributed 40,000 doses of Narcan statewide as the overseer of the state’s Overdose Prevention and Response Program. Half of those doses were distributed this year to opioid addicts, drug treatment counselors, mental health providers, homeless shelter workers, police officers and other people in the community who’ve undergone training….
(CLUE: When addicts feel they can be saved from OD they are more likely to push the envelope.)
CB: All told, 88% of Hawaii jail and prison inmates show some need for substance abuse treatment
read … Drug Overdoses Are On The Rise On Kauai. Meth Is Still The Main Reason
Hawaii vacation rental demand lower than before pandemic
SA: … The supply was at 639,300 “unit nights,” a 16.7% gain from 2021, but down 30.4% from 2019, the report said.
But not every available rental was wanted — in fact, far from it: Monthly demand was a little more than half of the supply, clocking in at 365,000 unit nights. That was down 42.1% from pre-pandemic 2019, but up 6.1% from 2021.
The result: an “average monthly unit occupancy” of 57.1% for November. That was down 11.5% from 2019, and down 5.7% from 2021. The average daily rate people paid for vacation rentals was $293. That was up 38.7% more than before the pandemic and 18% more than 2021.
Hotels appeared to be a little more in demand, with a 70.5% occupancy rate. Visitors, in turn, paid more on average each day: $345….
read … Hawaii vacation rental demand lower than before pandemic
Big Island Attempts To Curb Short-Term Rentals
CB: … The bill will only allow new transient accommodation rentals outside resort areas if they’re at the owner’s primary residence or if the owner has an onsite manager….
PDF: Draft Bill
read … Big Island Attempts To Curb Short-Term Rentals
Pork: Congress funds military, programs in Pacific
SA: … The bill includes funding for two SSN-774 Virginia class attack submarines that are expected to conduct operations in the Pacific and receive maintenance at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The Navy is in the process of building a new $3.5 billion dry dock at the shipyard to service new submarines, which also received $621 million in funding from the bill. The shipyard, which employs about 6,000 people, is the state’s largest industrial employer….
Projects that will be funded include $87.9 million for a new barracks on Marine Corps Base Hawaii; $103 million for upgrading the missile storage facilities at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; $111 million for a new company operations facility on Schofield Barracks; and $29 million for the planned Army National Guard Readiness Center in Kapolei….
The bill includes $164 million for the continued operation of the X-Band Radar, a sea-based missile defense radar known to some Hawaii residents as the “golf ball” because of its large, white-domed appearance. The radar moves between Alaska and Hawaii.
The Hawaii congressional delegation has pushed for beefed-up missile defense for the islands. For years Hawaii lawmakers pinned their hopes on the $1.9 billion Homeland Defense Radar — Hawaii, a costly and controversial program that the congressional delegation fought to fund despite efforts by the Pentagon under the Trump and Biden administrations to zero out funding….
read … Congress funds military, programs in Pacific