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Friday, August 14, 2020
August 14, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:56 PM :: 2508 Views

Kishimoto Pushes Back Against HSTA 'Scare Tactics'

HGEA: Pay us to 'work' at home again

Underage Maui Girl Gets Sex Change Hormones--ACLU Celebrates Court Victory

ACLU Plan for Hawaii: Massive COVID-Infested Homeless Tent Cities Everywhere -- with no sweeps

N Shore Kauai: DLNR Contractor Chased off Worksite by Saboteurs

No Tourism Reopening Until 2021?

HNN: … “I don’t think our industry will be open until the end of this year,” said Keith Vieira, a longtime tourism industry executive who now heads KV & Associates.

A number of hotels have re-hired workers and taken other steps in preparation for the Sept. 1 date, which was essentially seen as a reopening of the tourism industry in the islands.

Economists said a further delay is going to further hit Hawaii’s ailing economy.

“Continued job losses, continued shutdown of business, some permanent business shutdowns — it just drives home the point that you can’t separate the virus from the economy,” said Carl Bonham, executive director and economics professor at the University of Hawaii Economics Research Organization.

Even after the state reopens for trans-Pacific tourism, it’s going to be a while before the visitor industry recovers — and a while more before tourism workers are called back in significant numbers.

“Even if the governor does reopen, we’re talking about 20% occupancy. That’s what everybody is saying, 20% occupancy,” said Rod Antone, executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.

“Is that enough to bring back enough to bring back all your workers? Probably not.” … 

PBN: Demand, revenue for U.S. hotels not likely to recover years, according to industry forecast

read … Governor: Surge in COVID-19 cases on Oahu could delay state’s tourism reopening plan

“Linkage” between the illegitimate world of street crime and the power centers of legitimate society.

ILind: … Here’s a little tidbit from the 1978 annual report of the Hawaii Crime Commission concerning organized crime in the state.

“…the greatest potential ‘for harm exists when organized crime can form a “linkage” between the illegitimate world of street crime and the power centers of legitimate society.

“Such a linkage has been shown to exist in every locality where organized crime has grown significantly. What occurs is the duping, timidity, or corruption of officials who by active or passive-involvement strengthen organized crime activities. Breaking this linkage is an important aim of the Commission’s investigations and recommendations….”

read .. On organized crime in Hawaii

DoH Refuses to Hire Micronesian-Language Contact Tracers

CB: … The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resiliency Team met with Sarah Park, the state epidemiologist, on Wednesday. But its four co-chairs told reporters Thursday that they came away discouraged.

“There was no movement or willingness to do anything different,” said Sheri Daniels, one of the co-chairs and executive director of Papa Ola Lokahi, a nonprofit dedicated to Native Hawaiian health.

Their recommendations include hiring Pacific Islanders to conduct education and outreach, and changing the education requirements for contact tracers to allow people who have worked in community health but perhaps don’t have college degrees to apply….

(NOTE: Because they wasted so much time in college, many graduates have been made congenitally un-qualified to lead where immediate action is needed.  DoH needs a telemarketing manager, not a PhD.)

read … Community Leaders: State Is Failing Pacific Islanders In The Pandemic

With major ICUs nearing capacity, patients are being moved and reinforcements sought to prepare for wave of homeless, criminals

HNN:  … As Hawaii continues to see daily increases in new COVID-19 cases in the triple digits, four of Oahu’s major intensive care units are now nearing capacity.

Queen’s Medical Center and Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center are experiencing the largest surge.

Late Wednesday, every hospital on the island began working together to redistribute patients, particularly those battling COVID-19, in an effort to alleviate some of the stress on the larger hospitals.

But healthcare experts say moving patients around is likely just a temporary fix.

With the number of active cases at more than 2,550, plans are in the works to call in reinforcements from the mainland. Facilities are hoping to get doctors and nurses who can staff new beds that are being brought online at hospitals across Oahu.

Outbreaks of the coronavirus at the Oahu Community Correctional Center and an Iwilei homeless shelter sent Hawaii’s daily case count soaring Thursday, accounting for nearly a quarter of Thursday’s 355 new infections.

On Thursday morning, dozens of people lined up outside the Institute for Human Services men’s shelter for testing….

read … With major ICUs nearing capacity, patients are being moved and reinforcements sought

Over 900 Late Ballots Won’t Be Counted In Hawaii Primary

CB: … More than 900 ballots won’t be counted this election because they were received after the deadline for ballots to be in the hands of officials on Election Day.

Ballots had to be returned to the county clerks by 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Hawaii’s voting law. That means ballots put in the mail last-minute or those postmarked but not received by 7 p.m. will not be counted toward the final primary results expected early next week….

Clerks in Kauai County and the City and County of Honolulu reported 962 of those late ballots as of Thursday. There were no late ballots received in Hawaii County, according to elections division chief Pat Nakamoto.

The Maui County Clerk’s office did not respond to several inquiries requesting those numbers.

There were 24 late ballots received on Kauai and 958 on Oahu, including 38 ballots that people deposited at drop boxes after the deadline.

Those numbers could still grow as more late ballots arrive.

All late ballots are stored for about 22 months to comply with federal rules, according to Honolulu elections administrator Rex Quidilla….

read … Over 900 Late Ballots Won’t Be Counted In Hawaii Primary

Honolulu Rail Costs To Climb With Dispute Over Airport Section

CB: … The major work to build Honolulu’s rail line in and around the airport is now about five months behind schedule, and the issues slowing that progress are now listed as perhaps the biggest risks facing the project.

On Thursday, officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation took steps that they hope will eventually trim the delays on the “Airport Guideway and Stations” contract work.

The AGS contract, awarded to the joint venture Shimmick/Traylor/Granite in 2016 for $875 million, already faced unexpected hurdles in 2018 when crews encountered a contaminated water site while drilling column shafts near the airport.

Now, HART reports STG is locked in a dispute with Hitachi Rail, the company building the rail line’s trains and controls, over which party is responsible for a four- to six-month delay completing the four stations along that five-mile stretch of the route….

Whoever’s to blame, HART expects a claim for added costs to hit over the dispute — although officials didn’t say how much at Thursday’s meeting of the HART board’s Project Oversight Committee.

Construction there has also faced what could amount to a $40 million delay relocating utility lines along Ualena Street. Glenn Nohara, who chairs the Project Oversight Committee, disclosed that figure during the group’s April meeting….

read … Honolulu Rail Costs To Climb With Dispute Over Airport Section

64% of Jailed Criminals Have COVID—Lets Release into Streets so they can spread it to everybody else

CB: … OCCC staffers say that mass testing began this week at Annex 1, and the department acknowledged Thursday that of the 110 inmate test results it received Wednesday night, 70 prisoners tested positive.  (That’s 64%.)  Public Safety officials now say they plan to test all 19 living units in the jail, which as of Thursday held 968 men and women.  (That should mean 616 cases.)

Hours later on Thursday, the state health department released conflicting data that suggests the OCCC cluster may be even larger than corrections officials have reported. Health officials announced that “at least 116 cases are attributable to OCCC, with 24 staff and 92 inmates having tested positive for COVID-19,” according to a written statement from the department.  (Translation: Nobody can count this high.)

The Hawaii Office of the Public Defender on Wednesday filed a request with the state Supreme Court asking that the state once again establish an expedited process for releasing lower-risk inmates (maybe Miske) to reduce (increase) the spread of infection (amongst the general public now that 64% of the criminals have infected each other), and asking that the corrections system be required to test all inmates and staff for COVID-19.

Staff said the known “hot spots” at OCCC include Module 19 — which is the overcrowded unit where incoming inmates were supposed to quarantine for 14 days — as well as nearby Module 18 and Annex 1….

MN: Child Molester Given Second Chance

WHT: The Supreme Court is holding a hearing on the petition today at 11 a.m.

read … Corrections Staff Describe Jail Conditions That Make Social Distancing Impossible

COVID Spreads Because Soft on Crime Crowd Blocked Construction of New Jails

SA: … Bertozzi, who is associated with Amend, a group that works to improve inmate health, said he didn’t have information on Hawaii’s situation, but that “it’s really important to look at the different levels of risk depending on the facility.” Speaking via a Zoom video call from California, he said prisons at far higher risk for the rapid spread of COVID-19 feature collective housing in dorms or cellblocks with bars where inmates spend hours together breathing the same air — “a perfect setup for one of these super spreading events” — versus facilities where the population is spread out in cells with doors, walls and proper ventilation….

read … California prisons provide Hawaii with lessons in dealing with outbreaks

Hana: Truck Caravans of Locals Bring COVID into Town

KHON: … “Once the road opened people are like oh it’s Saturday we’re not going anywhere because everyone is coming into Hana. There’s multiple trucks they come in caravans and great, we want to enjoy Hana before the tourists come back, but I don’t see them social distancing.”

Council member Shane Sinenci feels with evidence of community spread, cases surging on O’ahu, and just one health center servicing the area, East Maui residents are on edge.

“I believe if one family gets it, it could ignite and spread fairly quickly”, he said.

Kauka’ohulani echoes the concern, “We don’t have an ICU, we don’t have a place for kupuna and ohana to effectively quarantine, a lot of our families here in Hana live in multigenerational households.”

Senator J. Kalani English feels it was a healthy thing for East Maui to get a respite when the road was closed. He was instrumental in reopening the road, but also feels the communities along East Maui are at risk. “We do not have the ability to deal with this. We have an airport that cannot take planes because it’s not certified, we have a harbor that’s condemned and we have a road that’s ready to fall into the ocean,we are extremely vulnerable.”

To protect their small rural communities, though the road is open, East Maui residents ask that others consider only coming to Hana for essential reasons.

“Be respectful of the area and realize that we’re sacrificing businesses to protect our community from sickness.”

Many of the Hana residents I spoke with would prefer if the road remained closed. In fact, a petition is circulating at the moment.

read … 'We're sacrificing our businesses': A message from Hana

LUC: Counties can deny vacation rentals on ag land

HTH: … Short-term vacation rentals do not belong on agricultural land, the state Land Use Commission ruled Thursday in upholding Hawaii County’s authority to deny that use.

The unanimous vote came after commissioners heard hours of testimony throughout three meetings from attorneys for the county, the state Office of Planning and a group of 20 Kailua-Kona, Waimea and Captain Cook landowners.

read … Commission rules county can deny vacation rentals on ag land

Hawaiian Electric finances – fewer tourists and less revenue challenges regulatory model

PV: … Over the course of the quarter, HECO experienced a reduction of 9.2% in kWh sales, HELCO 11.7% and MECO 24.5%, demonstrating the precariousness of Maui being so dependent on the constant influx of electricity-consuming visitors…..

IM: Hawaii Utilities Face Pandemic Economics

read … Hawaiian Electric finances – fewer tourists and less revenue challenges regulatory model

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