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Monday, April 20, 2020
April 20, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:08 PM :: 2762 Views

COVID Count: Only 4 New Cases

Antibody Tests Reveal 4.1% of Los Angeles Adults have had Corona Virus

Hawaii 2nd-Worst State for Work at Home

Hawaiian Electric Releases 2019-2020 Sustainability Report

Budgets Can Be Cut 20% Without Salary Reductions—If Decisions are not made by Empire Building Department Heads

CB: … During this time of crisis, Gov. David Ige is proposing a 20% reduction in public school teacher pay, a move that will surely exacerbate Hawaii’s other crisis — filling classrooms with qualified teachers….

Where in the $14.5 billion state budget are cuts possible? One of the difficulties is the lack of fiscal transparency in the state budget and the DOE budget. Analysis of budget worksheets would reveal where the money is, what has been spent, what can be carried over, and what the surplus is anticipated to be.

For this reason, EIH recommends immediately forming a task force comprised of budget experts — not department heads — to go through these worksheets line by line and determine where the cuts can be made. A hard-nosed review of the state budget will reveal that judicious cuts will be enough to avoid cutting teacher and other state employee salaries….

read … Cutting Teacher Pay Is An Easy But Unacceptable Solution

Anderson: COVID Will be Around for Years, We Can Live With it if we Keep Tourists Out

SA: … “Some think (the virus) will burn itself out,” Anderson said. “I don’t see that happening. It’s something we’ll need to live with for many years.”…

Anderson said that even when we can go out again, we’ll need to to keep some of our physical distancing habits, whether in a restaurant or social gathering. The virus will still be lurking out there.

“But if our health care system is sound,” he said, “we can certainly live with it.”…

certified antibody tests can be used expansively, with rapid results, to identify people already exposed to the virus so may have immunity….

it can take a week or more to get tests results from the mainland, and rapid response is critical. Hawaii needs to cut the lag time by increasing its ability to test samples locally….

Anderson said that in the early days of the outbreak, most of the cases were related to travel, and that Gov. David Ige’s 14-day quarantine on incoming travelers “has been huge for us” in flattening the curve. The number of cases is manageable, fortunately, and hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients….

read … Editorial: Increase efforts to track virus

‘Open Hawaii’: A small group of protesters feel its time to ease up restrictions

HNN: … Nearly two dozen people rallied in a rolling caravan Sunday, saying their rights are being violated by government mandates.

Protesters drove from the Kapolei Costco to the State Capitol waving American flags.

A similar protest was reported in Kauai Saturday. Around two dozen people also participated in that gathering….

those who turned out Sunday said the mandates are doing more harm than good.

“Open Hawaii for everybody because you know, we are hurting more than we are hurting from the virus.," said protest organizer Emil Svrcina….

Protesters are asking lawmakers to take action to save Hawaii’s economy and allow people back out into the community….

read … ‘Open Hawaii’: A small group of protesters feel its time to ease up restrictions

Stay-home order likely to be extended past April 30, Gov. Ige says

SA: … Ige said this morning that Hawaii’s stay-at-home order will probably be extended past April 30, but said the state is looking at loosening some local restrictions on specific activities such as delays in elective surgeries….

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Hawaii is currently tied with Montana for the lowest per capita infection rate in the nation for the new coronavirus, and has been suggested as one location that might soon be able to lift some restrictions on normal activities….

Ige also in the interview today that additional federal support for the states and local governments offers the most promising way for Hawaii to avoid pay cuts or furloughs for the state’s public workers….

read … Stay-home order likely to be extended past April 30, Gov. Ige says

Unions Finally Agree to Help Process Unemployment Claims

HNN: … Union leaders and state Legislators put out a call for hundreds of state worker volunteers to help tackle the massive backlog of unemployment claims.

“The plan is have over a thousand people man that center over the next week-and-a-half," said House Speaker Scott Saiki. “We learned that there are approximately 200,000 pending claims at the unemployment office and we will be tasking these 1,000 workers to process the 200,000 claims.”

The volunteers all have to be state workers based on Oahu. They will work out of an unemployment intake center that’s been set up at the Hawaii Convention Center….

The workers are being recruited from a website set up by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and the Hawaii Government Employees Association….

Meanwhile: UPW: We Like Sitting at Home Getting Paid--Do Not Reassign Us

read … About Time

"We went off a cliff together" - Economist tells Hawaii Realtors to brace for COVID-19 impact

KITV: … Brewbaker gave a wide-ranging hour-long live presentation to over 500 members of the Kauai Board of Realtors®, the Hawaii Island REALTORS and the West Hawaii Association of Realtors® on April 13. All three are customer boards of Hawaii Information Service, their Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and a statewide real estate tech and data firm.

“As you know everything was fine until four weeks ago, and then we went off a cliff together,” Brewbaker said. “But for the contagion, really nothing was fundamentally wrong with the economy.” ….

April 14, 2020: Economist unpacks disruptions to Kauai, Hawaii Island real estate

read … "We went off a cliff together" - Economist tells Hawaii Realtors to brace for COVID-19 impact

Hawaii County Mayor Job Attracts More Than A Dozen

CB: … Incumbent Harry Kim has not yet decided whether he will run again….

read … Hawaii County Mayor Job Attracts More Than A Dozen

Soft-on-Crime Activists Dream About COVID Infecting Hawaii’s Arizona Prisoners

CB: … As efforts continue to reduce the inmate population in Hawaii’s correctional facilities to mitigate COVID-19 risks, one facility has been largely absent from the conversation — the off-islands prison, Saguaro Correctional Center.

More than 1,200 Hawaii inmates are housed at the Eloy, Arizona, facility under a contract with Tennessee-based private prison operator CoreCivic, and the latest count shows that it’s maxed out. Attempts to reduce populations have focused on facilities in the islands, which have reduced population counts by more than 600 people since March 2….

(Skip several paragraphs of stories told by the ‘fiancé’ of a criminal.)

Toni Schwartz, a public safety spokeswoman, said releasing Saguaro inmates is up to the courts and the paroling authority.

“PSD has no plans to return inmates from Saguaro solely due to the COVID crisis,” she said. But the department will continue to follow release orders, she added.

read … Hawaii Prisoners Still Packed Into Arizona Prison Despite Virus Concerns

COVID Becomes Excuse to Build Massive Festering Homeless Tent Cities on Kauai—Newly Arrived Mainland Homeless is Media Contact

KGI: … Five county parks have been established as permitted sheltering zones for the Kaua‘i houseless community by Mayor Derek Kawakami as part of the effort to contain the novel coronavirus — Lucy Wright, Salt Pond, Lydgate, Anahola and Anini — and many of them are already established campsites with varying levels of community organization….

At Lydgate Park, a self-designated houseless community called Lydgate Lahui has been growing since 2006 near Kamalani Kai (the Bynum Bridge), ….

(Skip sweet story about the organizer of the festering homeless tent city)

The early April mayoral mandate outlined Lydgate and the other four county parks as permitted places for Kaua‘i’s current houseless population, not for incoming people without a place to stay. Permits are mandatory if people choose to stay in those five places, and are issued free of charge…

Among a core group of longtime habitants at Lydgate Lahui are many newcomers — Kaninau says there are 70 individuals living in their campsites, ages ranging from 10 months old to 74 years…..

Patrick Garcia, 44, is Kaninau’s second in command and the community’s counselor, and has been in and out of the self-designated community for six years. He’s done time in jail for drugs, and says that experience helps him with his Lydgate Lahui responsibilities…

To ensure people don’t fly to Kaua‘i and then stay in one of these communities, officials warn incoming passengers of the new rules.  (Translation: They give the arriving homeless a map with directions to these camps.)

Torrie Parli, 33, is a newcomer to the Lydgate campsite and to the island. (Previous San Diego area resident) She arrived a day before the 14-day traveler quarantine was mandated. She had a place to stay lined up before landing on the island, and was coming to Kauai to “make a difference.” Her hopes for lodging were dashed when she turned on her cell phone after landing on Kaua‘i, though. The room she booked was no longer available — for anyone.

“I flew on a $197 one-way ticket to live here,” Parli said. “I got off the plane with three bags and I turned on my phone. Text messages and voice mail saying: ‘Sorry we’ve been alerted that we can’t let anyone in.’” 

(IQ Test: Do you believe her?)

Now another appointed research and media person in Lydgate Lahui, Parli said she doesn’t see her situation as being “off track” with her plans when she sold all her possessions and moved to Kaua‘i.

“Even though it might not have been the plan I originally had, here’s the thing, I am living here. I am doing what I came here to do,” she said.  (That’s the truth.)

Meanwhile in Hilo, The Right Solution >>> Dozens of emergency homeless shelters built in Hilo parking lot

read … Tent Cities are the Problem, not the Solution

Arrests Cut down 33% to Keep COVID out of Jails

HTH: … Comparisons of daily arrest numbers by the Tribune-Herald prior to and since Gov. David Ige’s emergency stay-at-home order was put in place March 25 indicate there are about 33% fewer arrests daily.

“Arrest numbers have gone down,” Police Chief Ferreira confirmed. “And there’s a lot of explanations as to why the numbers would go down.”

He said that “for certain crimes that do not pose a threat to the community, they’re getting away with a citation.”

“We’re not actively going out there and pursuing (suspects on) bench warrants,” Ferreira said. “In other words, if you got a traffic ticket in February, and you got a bench warrant for not appearing in court, we’re not even looking at those warrants, because even if we arrest them, we’re putting them back out in the community and giving them a court date in June.

“The other thing that drops the numbers, as well, are the DUI arrests. Because the bars are closed, and because of the stay-at-home order, you have less people on the roadway.” …

SA: 2 Oahu men arrested in separate domestic violence incidents

read … Bright side to outbreak: Arrests are down 33%

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