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Friday, April 3, 2020
April 3, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:24 PM :: 1694 Views

COVID: 34 More Cases, 3rd Death Recorded

COVID Relief: Chamber of Commerce Petition Calls for GE Tax to be Suspended

Corona Virus: A Time to Return Hawaii to Science-Based Policy

COVID Fearmongering: Waianae Residents Blockade Farrington Hwy After State Rep Cedric Gates Spreads Corona Virus Rumors

COVID Reaches Hana: Tourists Blockaded, but Local Resident is Source

BoE Votes to Waive Graduation Requirements

Supreme Court Orders Plan for Mass Release of Criminals Next Week

No More Extensions for Judicial Nominees

Bridge Aina Lea: What Constitutes Loss?

State Economies Most Exposed to Coronavirus

A Visual Guide to Unemployment Benefit Claims

How Healthy is Your State’s Rainy Day Fund? -- Hawaii Ranks 39th

Enviros Use Sharks as Excuse in Latest Attack on Hawaii Fishing Industry

HGEA Demands 25% Raise -- ‘Hazard Pay’ for its so-called Workers who are being paid to sit at home and do nothing

CB: … That hazard pay might equal about 25% of those workers’ daily rate, according to Kekaualua….

The largest of those unions, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, says it has started filing for temporary hazard pay across all government jurisdictions in Hawaii.

The union has gotten numerous inquiries concerning hazard pay since the crisis started, HGEA President Randy Perreira said in a recent video filmed for its 43,000 members.

Filing for that pay is a “painstaking process” because union officials have to go department by department, Perreira told members.

“We have received some denials and expect that other departments may initially deny the request,” Perreira added in a statement to Civil Beat. “HGEA will file grievances in every instance where there is a denial. We hope to address this issue over time with the employers and reach an agreement.”

Cindy McMillan, Ige’s communications director, said that the state’s Department of Human Resources Development is aware of the unions’ hazard pay requests.

The human resources department, she said, is asking for the unions to go through the processes established in their collective bargaining to seek that pay.

The state’s departments would then examine the actual tasks of those individuals and whether they warrant hazard pay, which is the standard operating procedure, McMillan said.

She added, however, that the collective bargaining procedures in place are fairly rigid and that they may not be conducive to resolving the workers’ concerns in the growing pandemic.

Reality: Hawaii leaders don’t know how many state workers are getting paid to do nothing

SA Editorial: Find new jobs for Hawaii’s idle public workers

read … Hawaii Public Workers Want Hazard Pay During Coronavirus Pandemic

Sporadic Complaints: Hawaii Democratic Presidential Primary ‘Feels Like Voter Suppression’

CB: … Jo-Ann Adams was so concerned that she would not be able to vote in the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s presidential primary this spring that she sent out an email blast to local party officials Wednesday morning.

“As you can tell by the ‘rant,’ I’m getting a little anxious that this is voter suppression!” she wrote, quickly adding a smiley emoji to show that she was joking … sorta.

“Seriously, though, where in the hell is my ballot?!” she added.

Adams said she was contacted later that day by Lorna Strand, the chair of the Oahu County Democrats, who gave Adams a number to call to get a mail-in ballot.

Kate Stanley, interim chair of the state party, said there have been sporadic complaints from party members worried that they won’t be able to vote in the presidential primary, which was supposed to be held this Saturday until COVID-19….

Stanley said the party’s contractor, Merriman River Group of Connecticut, offers a telephone number people can call to request a ballot.

Better yet, Matt Fitch of Merriman, who is in Honolulu for the voting process, recommends visiting alohavote.com to learn all one needs to know including to verify the status of a ballot.

Turns out that Adams’ call was indeed received, and Fitch said she was to be contacted as early as Wednesday evening.

Time is running out for other would-be presidential primary voters, however: Requests for ballots must be made no later than this Saturday before the clock strikes midnight….

Related: Ranked Choice Voting: Who Gets Disenfranchised?

Background: April 4 Deadline to Register for Hawaii Democratic Primary

read … Voter Suppression

Soft-on-Crime Activists Eager for COVID in Jail, Find None so Far

CB: … While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the state’s correctional facilities as of Thursday, the public safety department announced that an inmate at the Oahu Community Correctional Center has been tested and the result is pending.

That person is not showing symptoms, but has been put in medical isolation “out of an abundance of caution,” the department said in an email. The test was administered by a hospital prior to the individual entering the facility on April 1.

Another inmate at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center tested negative for the virus, the department said….

UH Sociology Perfesser: Hawaii Needs To Release Inmates Soon, And On A Large Scale (but they can’t come live with me)

KITV: Dept. of Public Safety confirms no cases of COVID-19 in prisons, jails

read … Trigger Crime Wave Release

Homeless Dude Flies in from Mainland, gets Jail--Will be Deported Today

SA: … Kauai police said 50-year-old Devin Martin of Olympia, Wash. was arrested Thursday.

He arrived on the Garden Isle earlier in the day on an Alaska Airlines flight. Officials say he was contacted by airport security upon his arrival and informed about the quarantine rules.

Police said he did not have reservations for proper accommodations and allegedly refused to find suitable lodging.

Police were notified of the situation and he was subsequently arrested.

Martin did not show symptoms of coronavirus, but he was brought to Wilcox Memorial Hospital for clearance prior to being taken to a jail cell.

Kauai police did not say what his intent was in flying to the island. He remains in a cellblock and is expected to return to the mainland on Friday….

read … Happy News

Excellent News: Homeless Dude Arrested in Kihei after Acting Homeless on Stolen Motorcycle

MN: … A man who was reported to be yelling and swearing at people in Kihei was arrested Wednesday for violating public health emergency rules, as the total number of citations issued for such violations increased to 53….

The rules call for people to stay at home unless they’re doing essential activities….

Charles Powell, 53, who gave no local address, was arrested at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for violating the public health emergency rules after police responded to a report of a man yelling and swearing at people near St. Theresa Church in Kihei, according to an affidavit filed in court to support his arrest.

Officers were directed to nearby Azeka Makai shopping center, where Powell was seen sitting on a stolen red motorcycle, police reported. 

(Is it yours, dear reader?)

Officers had made contact with Powell three times Tuesday and twice Wednesday for being disorderly, and he had been warned and reprimanded to abide by the emergency rules over several days, police said.

He was charged with violating public health emergency rules and disorderly conduct, with his bail set at $300….

(Finally he gets a tiny home and free food!)

read … Man is arrested for rule violation

5 more homeless people come to Oahu during coronavirus pandemic

SA:  … Five homeless people from the mainland — including a couple with family on Oahu — arrived in Honolulu over the last 10 days, perhaps drawn by cheap airfares.

The couple made contact with an Oahu homeless shelter, and are believed to have spent one night in a hotel, then time with their family before flying back to an unidentified city on the mainland, said Marc Alexander, executive director of the city’s Office of Housing.

The other three unrelated homeless people who arrived on separate flights were placed under a 14-day quarantine in a homeless shelter that Alexander declined to identify to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser….

Alexander said there is no evidence to support the oft- repeated belief that a city, county or state government on the mainland paid for the airfares for the five homeless people who recently arrived….

read … 5 homeless people come to Oahu during coronavirus pandemic

DOBOR Reopens Bathrooms, Homeless Destroy them Within Days

SA: … The state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) reopened public restrooms at its small boat harbors and boat ramps on March 27 in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to ensure that toilets and hand washing facilities be available to the homeless during the COVID-19 emergency.

Since then, officials said, there has been vandalism, destruction, and criminal activities that have scared away individuals that were trying to use them.

“Toilet paper has been stolen from all bathrooms and almost all have had their dispensers broken,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator, in a news release. “On Maui, all harbor restrooms have been vandalized with graffiti and worse on the walls.”

At least one restroom facility had to be closed after the toilet was stuffed with materials, officials said.

The exception is in Waianae, where community groups such as Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae and Hui Aloha — which asked DOBOR to open its bathrooms — have offered to help maintain them. The groups have set up bathroom brigades to curb vandalism, and make sure they are stocked with supplies.

Due to vandalism at night, however, the state will be closing the Waianae restrooms at 4 p.m. daily….

Link: DLNR News Release

read … No Surprise Here

Pacific islands, Antarctic bases: coronavirus-free living in some of Earth’s most isolated places

AFP: … The microstate of Palau is among a dwindling number of places that still report zero Covid-19 cases, alongside Samoa and Antarctica ….

read … Pacific islands, Antarctic bases: coronavirus-free living in some of Earth’s most isolated places

HECO Plan: Give Elon Musk $300M so We can buy more overpriced electricity from Wind, Solar Schemers

IM: … The Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC) published a twice-monthly Environmental Notice. The proposed Kahe BESS is described in the current issue.

A Draft Environmental Assessment is being processed to fulfill the requirements of Chapter 25 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH) governing the issuance of a Major Special Management Area Use Permit.

The BESS proposal will need approval from the Public Utilities Commission.

A Tesla Megapack can store and discharge three-megawatt hours of energy.

Each Megapack includes Lithium-ion batteries, a circuit breaker panel, DC-to-DC converter units and thermal management….

The 244 BESS modules will be divided into six distinct banks and will be placed on poured concrete pads. Each pad will have a transformer.

The proposed Kahe project involves the construction, installation, and operation of a BESS, which will occupy roughly 5.9 acres, capable of dispatching up to 810 MWh of energy located on an undeveloped part of Hawaiian Electric’s existing property at the Kahe Generation Station.

“Hawaiian Electric, which is funding the project, anticipates that the total value of the project will be between $200 and $300 million.”

The project will “potentially enable the island to decrease its average annual fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 5 percent or a potential reduction of 220,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.”…

March 30, 2020: With All Eyes on Corona, HECO Plans Elon Musk’s Biggest Cash Giveaway

read … World`s Largest Grid-Connected Battery Heading for O`ahu

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