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Friday, August 7, 2020
August 7, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:16 PM :: 2142 Views

Temperature screening equipment now active at Five Airports

Homeschooling? Hawaii State Library offers free 'Scholastic Teachables'

Oahu: List of What's Closed Under New COVID Order

Ige Reinstates Inter-Island Quarantine

$100 Worth Only $84.67 in Hawaii

VIDEO: Mazie Hirono walks out of Senate Portland Antifa Hearing

HSTA: Pay our members for fake 'distance learning' classes

COVID Count 201 new cases out of 3,962 tests

One More Day -- You Can Still Register and Vote in Person

SA: …Saturday represents the last chance to drop off your ballot — and even register and vote on the same day — to make sure your vote is counted in the primary election, which is already breaking records on Oahu.

Potential voters can still register and vote at so-called “voter service centers” on all islands today and Saturday — and deposit their “mail-in” ballots at various sites across the state.

Locations can be found by visiting places-of-deposit/.

Mail-in ballots left at “places of deposit” should be picked up in time for Saturday’s scheduled close of voting at 7 p.m. People waiting in line at a voter service center by the scheduled 7 p.m. close will still be allowed to vote, although the delay will hold up the official closing of polls.

As of Thursday, Honolulu voters had cast more than 225,000 ballots, according to city estimates. If confirmed, that number would break the city’s all-time voter turnout for a primary election, said Rex Quidilla, the city’s elections administrator.

The previous record for a Honolulu primary of 225,406 votes cast was set in 1994. Historians have to go all the way back to 1978 to find what is expected to be the third highest number of Honolulu primary votes cast, or 219,379….

LINK: Map of Voter Service Centers & Places of Deposits

MN: Maui County Ballot Drop-Off Sites and Voter Service Centers

read … Mail-in ballots pushing Honolulu votes to historic high

ReelectMeMoney: Council members each get $100,000 in coronavirus relief money to give to constituents

HTH: … A fast-tracked resolution unanimously approved Wednesday gives each County Council member $100,000 in federal coronavirus relief money to distribute to constituents, without competitive bids or public notice.

Resolution 700, sponsored by Council Chairman Aaron Chung of Hilo, gives council members until Sept. 30 (ie just before general election ballots drop) to spend the money or turn it back over to the administration. The money comes from the $80 million the county is receiving as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act….

“I think this resolution has the potential of being a measure that really enhances the collaboration between the Council and the administration,” Chung said. “This body can really put moneys to good use when it comes to the COVID situation.”

(Translation: Councilmembers buying votes will tell the voters Harry Kim helped get them this money.)

The resolution had its only reading Wednesday after skipping the committee level. Chung said there was a rush because the money needs to be spent quickly.

read … Council members each get $100,000 in coronavirus relief money to give to constituents

160 HPD Officers to Enforce COVID Rules

HNN: … Ballard said a “COVID enforcement team” of 160 officers will be charged every day with ensuring the emergency orders are being followed. And she urged residents to take the rules seriously….

“With all this enforcement going on ... at this point, we’re probably going to do very few warnings,” she said. “It’s probably going to be citations or arrests.”

Additionally, the Honolulu Police Department is setting up an enforcement hotline: 723-3900.

The hotline will be operational starting Sunday at 10 a.m.

People can also send suspected violations to….

HTH: Anderson warns virus cases could top 500 daily

read … Police chief says her officers will cite, arrest those who ignore emergency orders

Lack of Contract Tracers—DoH Blamed

CB: … State and local officials who warned months ago that the state needed more contact tracers are frustrated and angry with the state health department….

UH: UH trains Community Health Workers to help manage COVID-19 community outbreaks

read … COVID-19 Has Overwhelmed One Essential Strategy To Control The Virus

As COVID-19 infections surge, Oahu hospitals race to create more critical care units

HNN: … At some healthcare facilities, entire floors are being converted into new critical care units.

One of the largest projects currently underway is at the Queen’s Medical Center.

That’s where a ninth floor medical ward is being transformed into a brand new infection prevention unit. It will increase the hospital’s ICU capacity by nearly 50%.

Planning for the new unit started two months ago. Hospital President Jason Chang confirms much of the equipment has been purchased and is on a ship bound for Oahu.

“So we’re going in and renovating the whole thing,” he said.

“It’s all negative pressure so that the air can be circulated back out and filtered. And it’s not just for COVID. It could be any infectious disease no matter what it is in the future.”

The goal is to have the 24-bed unit operational by the end of September.…

Over the past three weeks, the number of COVID patients admitted to the Queen’s Medical Center’s Punchbowl facility jumped from approximately 10 to almost 50….

HNN: Dire warnings by hospitals fueled decision to reinstate some COVID-19 orders

HNN: As coronavirus cases surge, a Hawaii hospital is reinstating visitor restrictions

read … As COVID-19 infections surge, Oahu hospitals race to create more critical care units

COVID survivor warns of gaps in exposure, prevention and plasma treatment

KHON: … A COVID-19 survivor hospitalized for nearly two weeks shares his eye-opening saga exclusively with KHON2. He’s revealing just how easy it is to spread COVID asymptomatically, and some gaps in containment and treatment….

“Not knowing that I had it within that one day (between exposure and notification), I infected my friends, so that’s where it can get really dangerous, during that contagious stage and not knowing and still going out,” Ma said. “I spread it within a day to seven people that I love, truly love, and sent two to the hospital, that breaks my heart.”…

a triple-crown combo of antiviral Remdesivir, an anti-inflammatory steroid called Dexamethasone, and the COVID convalescent plasma (CCP) from past survivors brought him back from the brink.

“Those three, I actually believe, it saved my life,” Ma said. “The plasma treatment is a 2-day process, and within the first treatment I felt like 20 percent better.”…

Recovered patients have given more than 200 doses, according to the Blood Bank of Hawaii, and half of those have been transfused to around 50 patients.

“Utilization has risen dramatically during the last few weeks,” Nguyen said….

KITV: Blood Bank of Hawaii struggling to meet hospital demand for COVID-19 plasma drug therapy

read … COVID survivor warns of gaps in exposure, prevention and plasma treatment

KFD pension spiking tops entire County

TGI: … In February, the Mayor’s Office ordered the Kaua‘i Fire Department to (pretend to) suspend most overtime and nonessential expenditures to curb pension spiking, which has penalized the county consistently over the last few years.

Anywhere between six to eight KFD employees are expected to retire at the end of this year, resulting in about $1.1 million to $1.6 million in pension payments, depending on how many actually retire….

In February, the Mayor’s Office ordered the Kaua‘i Fire Department to suspend most overtime and nonessential expenditures to curb pension spiking, which has penalized the county consistently over the last few years.

Anywhere between six to eight KFD employees are expected to retire at the end of this year, resulting in about $1.1 million to $1.6 million in pension payments, depending on how many actually retire.

KFD Assistant Chief Solomon Kanoho explained that this number is in part due to higher-ranking personnel retiring, regular overtime and rank-for-rank collective bargaining with the Hawai‘i Firefighters Association….

Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro noted that when he voted in opposition to the two-year, collective-bargaining agreement with a 2% increase across the board last year, he faced backlash.

“You look at all the spikes, and by far fire is the highest spikers,” Kaneshiro said. “There is not one employee in the whole county that even reaches the lowest fire employee that spiked. I mean, how is that fair?”….

TGI: Solid Waste Division OT over budget again

read … KFD addresses pension spiking

Thousands Languish Without Unemployment Checks Months Into Pandemic

CB: … The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has yet to resolve more than 10,000 regular unemployment insurance claims, including cases dating back to March. It’s also accrued a backlog of more than 22,000 claims in the separate Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, or PUA, according to agency spokesman Bill Kuntsman.

“I understand that they have an ancient mainframe,” said one local claimant, Leilani Lau. “But … it kind of is incredulous to me that there’s not more of a sense of urgency to fix this.”

The Oahu-based film and television worker said last week that she’d only received unemployment insurance payments one week out of the past four months.

“Sixteen weeks is crazy,” Lau said….

TGI: State has paid $2.6B in jobless claims

SA Editorial: Maintain safety net for renters

GPDN: Guam unemployment fraud claims have more than doubled

read … Thousands Languish Without Unemployment Checks Months Into Pandemic

Does Hu Honua Make Financial Sense?

IM:  … The 2017 filing asserted that Hu Honua would supply an average dispatch of 200,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year at an initial levelized cost of 22.1 cents per kilowatt-hour for 30 years with an escalator for the fuel component and the variable Operations & Management Component tied to the Gross Domestic Product Implicit Price Deflator) which "shall not exceed 4% increase in any given term year", and a one-time 15% increase in the fuel component in year 6.

Hu Honua proposes an average yearly dispatch of 200,000 megawatt-hours or 200 million kilowatt-hours. The initial year wholesale cost to the utility is 22.1 cents/kWh. Thus the total wholesale cost to the utility in year one is $44.2 million.

The cost for the same amount of solar is 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour based on the average of the two most recently signed solar plus storage contracts. The total wholesale cost to the utility for 200,000 MWh of solar electricity would be $17 million.

The difference is $27.2 million

Hu Honua attorneys Yamamoto Caliboso filed a letter with the Commission on June 16, 2020, page ES-2.

"Hu Honua operations are projected to generate about 190 jobs on the Big Island, including approximately 30 jobs at the power plant, 70 forest jobs, 20 trucking jobs, and 70 indirect jobs. Total annual payroll for these jobs is projected at $9.3 million. Earnings from these jobs are expected to support 430 residents living in about 190 homes. Corresponding statewide figures include about 230 jobs having a payroll totaling about $11.3 million per year, with the earnings from these jobs supporting about 540 residents living in about 230 homes."

Overlook for the moment that only 30 of these jobs are paid by Hu Honua, that the forestry jobs are paid by an unregulated sister company that has been hidden from regulators, the 20 trucking jobs are contracted out, and the 70 indirect jobs are speculative.

On a purely financial level, should Hawai`i Island ratepayers pay an additional $27.2 million/year to pay Hawaii island workers an addition $9.3 million/year and other statewide workers an additional $2 million/year?

read … Does Hu Honua Make Financial Sense?

Plaintiffs seek judgment in Maunakea Access Road lawsuit

HTH: … The motion also notes that should plaintiffs’ prevail that they “reserve right to seek appropriate remedy, including inductive relief and damages,” but it doesn’t allude to any dollar figure or specific remedies sought.

First Circuit Court Judge Lisa W. Cataldo is set to take up the motion during a hearing via video conference on Tuesday in Honolulu. A partial summary judgment is a request by a litigant for summary judgment on some but not all claims or causes of action. The court previously denied a defense motion to dismiss the complaint on May 8.

The Department of the Attorney General in a motion of opposition filed Monday said the plaintiffs don’t meet their burden to prove summary judgment is entitled.

Deputy Attorney General Ryan K. P. Kanakaole argued the state has not waived its sovereign immunity with respect to the access road because while Act 395 of the 1988 legislative session authorized private suit to force provisions of the Hawaiian Home Commission Act it included an exemption for “any existing projects, programs or any other governmental activities, which are continuing, and which were begun, completed or established prior to July 1, 1988.”

Further, Act 14 in 1995 barred all actions against the state and its officials, including uncompensated use of Hawaiian home lands for state road claims and highways.

In addition, the plaintiffs haven’t exhausted all remedy under Chapter 673 because a contested case hearing before the commission, which is a “threshold prerequisite for bringing suit under that chapter,” was not sought….

Background: DHHL-HDoT: Joint Statement on Mauna Kea Access Road

read … Plaintiffs seek judgment in Maunakea Access Road lawsuit

DoD drops funding for Hawaii-based missile defense radar

DON: … Previous MDA budget requests in FY19 and FY20 asked for funding for the discriminating radar as well as another somewhere else in the Pacific. The plan in FY19 was to field the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii, or HDR-H, by FY23, which meant military construction would have taken place beginning in FY21. Then in FY20, MDA requested $247.7 million for the radar. Lockheed Martin received an award to develop the radar in December 2018.

But in FY21, funding for both the Hawaiian radar and the Pacific radar was missing in the request. MDA Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said in February, when the request was released, that the agency decided to hit the brakes on its plans to set up the radars in the Pacific, instead planning to take a new look at the sensor architecture in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region to figure out what is necessary to handle emerging threats.

Hill noted that the area is covered by a forward-deployed AN/TPY-2 radar in Hawaii as well as the deployable Sea-Based X-Band radar. Additionally, Aegis ships with their radars are mobile and can be repositioned as needed to address threats in the near term, he added….

read … Support to pursue Hawaii-based missile defense radar continues after DoD drops funding

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