Hawaii's Good Friday Holiday - What's Up With That?
COVID: DoH Reports Only 7 New Cases, 138 Released from Isolation
Governor Ige creates new position for old boy – HECO’s Oshima responsible for economic, community recovery or something
Where to Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Army Changes Child Care Enforcement After Infant Death
COVID Crisis: Hawaii #1 Search for Payday Loans
Virus Makes Honolulu Hale Pay Raises Inopportune
Weekend Curfew 'Pilot Program' for Maui, Honolulu -- Caldwell Outlaws Unicycles to Stop Virus
Hawaiian Electric sees drop in demand during pandemic
March Hawaiian Air Passenger Count Down 45%
COVID-19 crisis threatens rail project schedule ... and funding
HNN: … The CEO of the Honolulu rail project says the bid for the last segments of the project has been delayed by the COVID-19 crisis.
The opening of the first half of the system, from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, is also facing delays that ultimately could hold up the completion of the entire project even further. …
Robbins has been promising to have it ready by October, but Thursday he said the he is now projecting the end of November. After that, the city would have to decide when to open to the system to the public.
Robbins said they have been in consultation with the Federal Transit Administration, which he said understands that delays are coronavirus-related….
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation CEO Andrew Robbins told reporters Thursday that the bidders for the so called “P3” contract are having too much difficultly finalizing their bids because of multiple new challenges brought by the pandemic and cannot meet the dates.
“That’s due to their inability to collaborate with their vendors and get pricing,” Robbins said. “It was just impossible for them.”
The financial bids were due April 22; but Robbins said that will be delayed. He said he did not want to estimate the length of the delay until he had a chance to brief the HART board.
But Thursday afternoon Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the delay in bids will be at least three months….
The project will also be impacted financially because its primary financing comes from the state excise tax on business activity and hotel room taxes, which provided about $324 million in the last fiscal year.
HART does not have an estimate yet on the loss of revenue, but Robbins said they are working with the city and also have access to borrowing with city bonds if necessary.
Hotel taxes provide 20% of the revenue, which Robbins admitted is dropping down to zero.
On the brighter side, Robbins said construction on Dillingham Boulevard has been accelerated due to less traffic congestion and that trains are still being shipped….
SA Editorial: City, HART must press forward
read … COVID-19 crisis threatens rail project schedule ... and funding
Officials will decide whether to extend Oahu curfew until end of April
SA: … Honolulu police will enforce a nighttime curfew this weekend in a move intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Police Chief Susan Ballard announced the pilot curfew Thursday, saying people will be prohibited from driving vehicles and other wheeled means of transport from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. tonight through Monday morning.
A decision likely will be made Monday whether to extend the curfew through April 30, Ballard said.
“It is a pilot program,” Caldwell said. “Perhaps it won’t have to happen again, or perhaps it will if we don’t see the results that we’re hoping for.”….
ACLU of Hawaii Legal Director Mateo Caballero expressed concern about the curfew.
“We have not seen or reviewed the curfew order, which the city has not yet published on its website,” Caballero said late Thursday afternoon in a statement. “At this point, we have several questions about the exceptions and the reasoning behind the curfew, which as far as we know no public health official has called for.”….
HPR: 77% of Hawaii's Economy Isn't Tourism; Policymakers Can Take Steps To Reopen It
CNN: Sweden challenges scientific mainstream by refusing to lock down
read … Officials will decide whether to extend Oahu curfew until end of April
Corona Hypocrisy: We’re all Supposed to Hunker Down but Caldwell Sees Opportunity to Stand up and Inflict Himself on Waimanalo
Cataluna: … People are getting sick, some have died, businesses are closed down, kids can’t go to school, families are shut in their houses, afraid and bored and climbing the walls. Everybody is worried about basic survival stuff, and Honolulu’s mayor decided to roll out the bulldozers on his controversial pet project.
That could be the biggest gaffe of Caldwell’s gaffe-filled administration. Can’t say for sure, though. There’s still time for him to top it….
Just about every day since the new coronavirus took over our lives, Caldwell has been hosting his own news briefings, parsing out exactly what you can and can’t do and where you can and can’t go on Oahu beaches, emphasizing that everyone needs to hunker down and focus on what really matters, peppering his scolding with, “We’re all in this together.”
To spew all of that hectoring and then send out a construction crew to dig up land that people have been insisting contains ancient burials is … I don’t even know the word. Some have called it sneaky. UH law school professor Ken Lawson called Caldwell crooked. Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Caldwell’s most feared competitor in his quest to be Hawaii’s next governor, called it “a really bad call.” It’s tone-deaf and irresponsible….
read … Cataluna: Sending bulldozers to burial site is Kirk Caldwell’s biggest gaffe yet
Domestic violence calls up 15% for March
TGI: … Domestic-violence-related calls are up about 15%, according to the Kaua‘i Police Department.
For the month of March, KPD reported 124 domestic-related calls. In March 2019, there were 108 such calls.
Of the calls last month, 36 were physical and 88 were considered verbal altercations. This is also up from numbers in February.
The county’s daily arrest report lists 19 “abuse family or household member” recorded last month….
SA: Man, 22, arrested after he allegedly attacks officer investigating domestic argument in Moiliili
SA: Woman, 37, arrested in Kalihi after husband is attacked with box cutter
read … Domestic violence calls up
Smoking weed and coronavirus: Even occasional use raises risk of Covid-19 complications
CNN: … And yet weed dealerships are listed as an ‘essential business’ under Gov Ige’s Emergency Order….
read … Smoking weed and coronavirus: Even occasional use raises risk of Covid-19 complications
Problems for thousands of newly unemployed shift from filing claims to getting paid
HNN: …. It took about a week for the agency to upgrade the technology in March to take in new claims online and staff increased from seven to 83. The combination helped as the number of filings skyrocketed.
Those who have successfully made claims are now running into another problem ― updating the weekly certification requirements.
Agency Director Scott Murakami said his office is waiving the deadlines right now.
“They’re getting timed out or they can’t log on. what I can tell people is that we will back date the weekly certifications if they’re not able to do it timely so we’re trying to manage that traffic now.”
Murakami said upgrades to the system at the new Kakaako phone bank Wednesday have helped.
The call center was crashing after its launch Monday but Thursday was able to handle the volume.
While the calls were able to go through the hold times were still long because there weren’t enough staff members to answer all of them.
Murakami said they are trying to tackle one problem after another, but he points out that some people have finally started getting paid.
The process that took 14 days before the coronavirus outbreak is now taking about 21 days….
read … Problems for thousands of newly unemployed shift from filing claims to getting paid
Special Master Refuses Mass Release of Criminals After Police Stop Making Bench Warrant Arrests
KHON: … There will be no massive early release of inmates as a way to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 at jails and prisons. instead, a special master appointed by the Hawaii Supreme Court is recommending that each inmate wanting to be released get permission from a judge.
Initially the State Public Defender had submitted a list of 426 inmates considered eligible for early release. But retired judge Dan Foley, who was appointed special master, recommends that the judge who has been handling each inmate’s case make the decision.
“The judge is the gatekeeper, nobody leaves without that judge saying okay and under what conditions. That’s the way it’s always been, that’s the way it should be,” said Foley.
He told the Special Senate Committee on COVID-19 that steps are already being taken to ease the overcrowded population at jails and prisons. He says 100 inmates from OCCC will be transferred to the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu next week. He says fewer people are also being brought in because bench warrant arrests are being suspended….
read … Mass Release
Jail populations decline by 500 statewide, in part due to coronavirus
HNN: … Espinda said the jail population has dropped by more than 500 inmates between March 2 and April 8.
The biggest decrease came at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, where the population declined from 1,201 to 916 during that time. That also brought OCCC 48 inmates below its operational capacity.
The Kauai Community Correctional Center also is under capacity. It’s the only facility that has released certain pre-trial detainees on supervised release.
Espinda also said the federal detention center is also starting to house Hawaii inmates.
“We have 94 inmates at the federal detention center,” he said. "We got good news that effective Monday, they will be accepting up to 100 more.
As for the pandemic, Espinda said inmates are now making face shields for staff and fellow inmates….
read … Jail populations decline statewide, in part due to coronavirus
Hawaii military has just over 30 cases of new coronavirus
SA: … Just over 30 of Hawaii’s 442 coronavirus cases recorded as of Thursday are military members, dependents or military civilians, a U.S. official said….
As of Thursday, Defense Department-wide, the Navy had 597 uniformed members with COVID-19; the Army, 389; National Guard Bureau, 381; Air Force, 367; and Marine Corps, 164.
The defense civilian total stood at 448, dependents at 377 and contractors at 196.
Despite the prohibition on reporting locally, the Marine Corps was able to say Thursday that it had no coronavirus cases at its Kaneohe Bay base.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard referred a request for information about any COVID-19 cases there to the Navy at the Pentagon.
The Air Force recently confirmed an airman at Hickam Field had the virus, and U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii said a child care center employee at Fort Shafter tested positive….
CNN Exclusive: Navy commander says virus-struck aircraft carrier crew 'struggling' after captain's firing
read … Hawaii military has just over 30 cases of new coronavirus
700 More Mauians get COVID-19 testing
MN: … The initial two hours of testing were reserved for first responders and health care workers. Several fire crews were in line along with at least two ambulances at around 9 a.m. About 200 tests were given in the first hour and about 700 tests by the end of Thursday, Mayor Michael Victorino said at a news conference later in the day.
Miscovich, whose practice is partnering with the county to offer the free screening, estimated that by today, they may have more than 2,000 people swabbed and tested in Maui, which is still yet a fraction of the population of approximately 170,000.
But, he added, “by the time we get up to having 2,000 people swabbed, we are going to have a much better idea of the prevalence of the disease as it stands on Maui.”…
read … Mauians show up for food, COVID-19 testing
State says ‘most’ visitors coming to Hawaii likely not following quarantine order
HNN: … “Most of them that are flying in, I’m quite certain they’re not following the quarantine order,” state Adjutant General Kenneth Hara told a special legislative committee Wednesday.
In a news conference later in the day, Gov. David Ige added: “I don’t believe it’s a situation where the majority of those who are ordered to quarantine are not obeying, but we are continuing to look at improving the system as we go."
Local lawmakers on the legislative panel said there should be a way to keep visitors out, period.
(… skip four paragraphs of empty chatter about closing off flights and get to the real idea …)
The governor said the state is considering confining visitors to a single vacant hotel, where they can be adequately monitored during the quarantine period….
“Stay in a hotel room for two weeks? I would have said no. I would have stayed in Seattle," said Khalid Iraqi, a Seattle resident who had been planning a two-week vacation in Hawaii with his family….
CLUE: If the feds close off air travel, the feds will be in control of the reopening of air travel. We don’t want that. Here’s why: Hawaii: The Road to Corona Recovery Leads Through Japan
read … State says ‘most’ visitors coming to Hawaii likely not following quarantine order
Hotels for Heroes program criticized for turning many of those heroes away
HNN: … Just days after the Hotels for Heroes program launched, first responders and medical workers are calling it confusing and too restrictive.
The program, a partnership with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Authority, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Visitors and Convention Bureau, was touted as providing hotel rooms for those on the front lines.
But Hawaii News Now has taken many calls and emails from those workers who say they were denied or just didn’t understand the process of signing up.
A Kaiser Permanente nurse, who didn’t want her name used, said she has been sleeping in a tent in the garage of her home for two weeks to protect loved ones.
“I don’t know if I have it, I could be asymptomatic come home and give it to one of my family members,” she said.
“One of my daughters has seizures, my husband has asthma, and then I have my mother who is 75 years old who also lives with me, so they’re all high risk.”….
read … Hotels for Heroes program criticized for turning many of those heroes away
Honolulu Harbor: Three Cruise Ships on the Move
SA: … The inter-island Pride of America, now has seven crew members who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center said today. Center officials said close contacts of the seven have also been placed in quarantine, and anyone on board with COVID-19-like symptoms will be tested immediately.
Pride of America has a crew of 500 and about 300 of them will be leaving the ship to return directly to their home states, officials said. The crew members must be healthy and wear masks as they are taken directly to Honolulu airport to travel home, where they must self-quarantine for 14 days. The remaining crew of about 200 will remain on board to sail the ship to the mainland where it will enter dry dock, center officials said.
The Pacific Princess, meanwhile, is stopping for one day in Honolulu to refuel and restock before heading to its final destination in California. The remaining 111 passengers and all crew members aboard the Pacific Princess will not be allowed to leave the ship while in Hawaii by order of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency director Major General Kenneth S. Hara, state transportation officials said.
The four Oahu residents — two couples — will be subject to medical and temperature screening by paramedics upon leaving the ship, and will be shuttled directly from the harbor to their homes to begin their mandatory, 14-day quarantine, officials said.
On April 18, another ship — the Seabourn Sojourn — is scheduled to arrive at Honolulu Harbor.
No passengers are on board the ship, and no one will be allowed to leave the ship in Hawaii. The captain must also report any health concerns prior to entering Honolulu Harbor.
The ship was last at port for fuel and provisions in Melbourne, Australia, on March 29. No one left the vessel at that time, and there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 associated with the Seabourn Sojourn, state officials said. The ship is tentatively scheduled to depart Honolulu for California the same day it arrives….
read … 4 Oahu residents to leave Pacific Princess at Honolulu Harbor Monday; 7 Pride of America crew members have COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine Reappearing on Pharmacy Shelves
HNN: … Honolulu anesthesiologist Dr. Brian Diamond provided us with a list of medications he says are either currently in short supply or on back order. They include propofol, midazolam, fentanyl, morphine, benzodiazepine and ketamine.
Pharmacists say they also saw a run hydroxychloroquine. The drug is used to treat conditions like malaria and lupus.
“About three weeks ago all the bottles were out. You couldn’t get it anywhere,” said Patrick Adams, director of Pharmacy at Malama Compounding Pharmacy.
President Trump has repeatedly recommended the medication, despite warnings from his own health officials that there is little data to support its widespread use as a treatment for the coronavirus.
“I think maybe some of the idea that it is a cure may be in question," Adams said. "And we’re seeing that drug come back on the market.”…
read … COVID-19 pandemic causes shortage of common ICU drugs at Hawaii hospitals
Corona Virus News: