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Sunday, September 20, 2020
September 20, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 10:26 PM :: 4014 Views

'Hush Money' and Retaliation: FBI Investigates Kauai Charter School tied to OHA Trustee

Hawaii Gun Control Bills Become Law

Abercrombie and Waihee on COVID Leadership

Applicants sought for Maui County Boards and Commissions

COVID Count 77 new cases out of 1,678 tests

Homelessness: The Weather Underground plan to make Hawaii even worse than San Francisco

CB: … In the 1960s the federal government adopted a policy to move mental health patients out of state-run asylums and into federally funded community health centers. It was a well-intentioned policy given the deplorable conditions in most state mental hospitals, but it didn’t work out.

(Good start but don’t be fooled.  This is about to go very, very wrong.) 

There wasn’t enough funding for the community-based centers so they were never built. Mental health professionals also underestimated the difficulty of coordinating care for the mentally ill, and court decisions made it difficult to commit very sick people against their will. As a result, many mentally ill people went untreated and ended up living on the street.

The deinstitutionalization policies of the 1960s were the beginning of a mental health crisis in Hawaii that continues to this day. You can see it firsthand if you walk through Chinatown, Iwilei or even parts of Waikiki, Kaimuki or McCully.

The crisis has been well documented. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 68% of Hawaii adults with mental illness did not receive counseling or treatment, and the nonprofit Mental Health America ranked Hawaii 49th of 50 states in the number of mentally ill adults who did not receive treatment. According to the latest Point in Time Count, 25% of the homeless people on Oahu report that they have a mental illness….

(This is called a “Limited Hangout.”  You are supposed to be so dazzled by the recitation of these previously unacknowledged facts that you don't notice the knife in your back.)

Instead of finding an effective long-term solution to our mental health crisis, we have replaced the inhumane asylums of the last century with the inhumane jails of this century as the default place to “institutionalize” the mentally ill.

(Wow.  Its so refreshing to hear the actual facts.  But … the author is about to show you how to make it worse.  And the author is “Robert Merce, a retired attorney. He served as vice-chair of the House Concurrent Resolution 85 Task Force on Prison Reform and was the principal author of the group's final report to the 2019 Legislature. He is on the Board of Directors of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and served on the Hawaii Reentry Commission.”  That means he is setting policy.  And in this commentary he is manipulating you.)

About 700 individuals diagnosed as severely and persistently mentally ill are admitted to OCCC each year, and 450 to 600 them will, at one time or another, be on suicide watch. At any given time, between 9.5 and 12% of the OCCC population is deemed mentally ill, and on average these people cycle through the jail about once every four months, with some cycling through once every six weeks.

OCCC is a terrible place for the mentally ill. It is noisy, overcrowded, violent and chaotic. Mentally ill prisoners are without their usual medication and support network, and they do not receive adequate care or treatment.

People with mental illness do not belong in jails. They need treatment and permanent supportive housing that leads to stability, inclusion and recovery….

According to a recent survey, 18% of the homeless adults on Oahu have a substance use problem….

San Francisco’s new prosecutor Chesa Boudin said during his election campaign last year that our money bail system “allows the rich to go free even if they’re dangerous while the poor remain behind bars even if they’re innocent.” That stark assessment of the American money bail system is fundamentally correct, and it applies to Hawaii.

(REALITY: Chesa Boudin is the child of Weather Underground murderers Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert.  While they were locked in prison, he was raised by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.  Now he is implementing the Weather Underground program in San Francisco.  The result is homeless poop and needles everywhere.  This is your future, Hawaii.)

(Suddenly the writer gets to the point) 

Rather than arresting and prosecuting people with substance use disorders, we should follow the recommendations of the former surgeon general: expand prevention and treatment services in the community, increase access to treatment, train more physicians to recognize and treat substance use disorders, integrate drug treatment regimens into the traditional medical system and mandate insurance coverage for legitimate treatment modalities….

(REALITY: We need to create homeless shelters and treatment facilities and FORCE drug addicts into those facilities.  Voluntary choices just continue the cycle of homelessness. 1,000 plywood SROs could be built right now and the homeless could be forced in to them under COVID emergency orders but they won’t be because of people like the author who control State policy.)

read … OCCC Is A 21st-Century Poorhouse And Asylum. We Must Do Better

Hilo veterans home COVID-19 death toll now at 22 after 4 more fatalities  

HNN: … Saturday afternoon, the Hilo Medical Center confirmed the four latest deaths at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home. Officials say two of the patients died overnight Friday, and a third on Saturday morning. A fourth death had been confirmed by 3 p.m.

The facility’s death toll is now at 22….

The latest numbers come as members of a large medical disaster response team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was set to start arriving at the veterans home….

read … Hilo veterans home COVID-19 death toll now at 22 after 4 more fatalities

Hawaii businesses claimed by COVID-19 could total 1,000 on way to 25,000

SA: … According to an analysis by online business-rating platform Yelp, Hawaii had the second-­highest rate among states for permanent business closures from March 1 to July 10, at 6.9 permanent closures per 1,000 businesses….

Hawaii’s rate, which trailed only Nevada at 7.3, suggests that more than 1,000 Hawaii businesses may have already folded, based on roughly 150,000 commercial establishments reflected in 2018 state data. About 33,000 of total businesses had employees while 113,000 did not, according to the data.

Yelp also said Honolulu’s permanent business closure rate of 7.9 was third-highest among U.S. cities, behind only Las Vegas and Stockton, Calif., and just ahead of San Francisco….

A broader expectation of permanent Hawaii business closures is suggested in a July survey of 464 business owners across the state produced by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization and several local industry trade associations.

About 17% of survey respondents said they believed their business would not survive the coronavirus crisis even with a return in tourism starting Oct. 1, a date that has since been pushed back to Oct. 15. A similar survey in May found that 6% of businesses had the same doomed view if more tourists started coming Aug. 1.

The 17% figure could equate to around 25,000 businesses.

“Depending on when the pandemic is brought under control and when the tourist economy can safely reopen, our data suggest that between 6% and 15% of businesses may need to close permanently,” UHERO reported….

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has said restrictions on business operations and tourism are pushing more companies to the brink…

read … Hawaii businesses claimed by COVID-19 could total 1,000 on way to 25,000

Lawsuit reveals lead investor now skeptical of Hu Honua

ILind: … Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC’s controversial and trouble-plagued wood-burning power plant in Pepeekeo on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast,“was and is a multi-million dollar financial disaster” that has “wasted millions of dollars” and may never go into service, attorneys representing the company’s controlling investor have argued in documents filed in a California lawsuit.

That gloomy view is in stark contrast to Hu Honua’s claims that the only thing preventing the company from beginning full operations by the end of this year is the recent adverse ruling by the Public Utilities Commission.….

But documents filed in the California case suggest that even an unexpected last-minute reversal by the PUC would not likely be enough to save the project. The Hu Honua financial plan relies in part on tens of millions in investment tax credits which will not be available unless construction is finished, a new power purchase agreement is in place, all environmental permits obtained, and any possible appeals are exhausted, all before the credits expire. With most or all of the tax credits available to Hu Honua scheduled expire by the end of 2020, its financial options appear to be limited, according to documents filed in the case….

“HAROLD H.ROBINSON IV VS. JENNIFER M. JOHNSON ET AL” -- (CGC-18-567324) has been scheduled by the California State, San Francisco County, Superior Court to start on January 11, 2021.


IM: Hu Honua Treasure Trove -- Part 2

VIDEO: Renewable Energy on the Big Island in the Wake of Hu Honua

read … Lawsuit reveals lead investor now skeptical of Hu Honua

Spywear: 2 Kauai Resorts Still Plan A ‘Tiny Bubbles’ Program For Some Visitors

CB: … The mayor says the program is still on track despite the governor’s pre-travel testing policy taking effect next month….

The announcement appeared to undermine a plan by Kawakami to create a series of designated hotels in which newly arrived visitors could quarantine and be required to wear GPS-powered bracelets that could allow police to be called if they left the grounds of their hotels. The concept has quickly been dubbed the “resort bubble” system.

The bubble concept emerged initially on Kauai in August when an ad hoc community group of doctors and community leaders released a plan to reopen tourism by which visitors would be tested before they arrived on Kauai, then five or six days after arrival. In the interim, tourists would be housed in hotels where they could move about the grounds, but could not leave the premises.

Electronic bracelets, hotel security and the Kauai Police Department would be responsible for assuring compliance. The plan was initially panned as impractical, but Kawakami ordered his staff to identify hotels that might participate voluntarily.

In the interview, Kawakami said that Ige’s announcement was not the end of the bubble plan. “Absolutely not. It’s good to have a contingency plan,” he said.

If there is a “huge outbreak somewhere” that would otherwise require the pre-test requirement to be scrapped, the mayor said, it will allow hotels and resorts that have a bubble plan to continue to operate….

TGI: Balancing resort bubble and pre-travel testing

SA: Readers seek clarity about Hawaii’s pre-travel test regimen

read … 2 Kauai Resorts Still Plan A ‘Tiny Bubbles’ Program For Some Visitors

Private and charter schools return to in-person classes amid pandemic with few problems

HTH: … Connections Public Charter School has been operating with a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning since beginning school Aug. 10. The school is normally host to 360 students, but has about 100 students in attendance each day.

After six weeks of classes, the school has not had anyone test positive for COVID-19….

St. Joseph School has been operating using a hybrid model of online and face-to-face learning as well.

Students in grades 9-12 come to school Tuesday, Thursday and every other Friday. Students in seventh and eighth grade are able to come to school every day….

Haili Christian School has had students in class since beginning its summer program June 8.

“We have allowed parents to make the decision between in-person and distanced learning during the first quarter,” said Principal Kim McCarty “They have that option, so they can make the best decision for their individual family.”

Haili Christian is home to 160 students from preschool to eighth grade, which is a significant decrease from last year. Classroom sizes had to decrease to accommodate social distancing, which made it difficult to offer normal enrollment….

Big Q: What do you think of the guidance/ plan for schools to gradually bring back more on-campus learning?

SA Anodyne Editorial: Put students first as schools reopen

read … Private and charter schools return to in-person classes amid pandemic with few problems

Council takes administration to task for slow pace of eruption recovery

HTH: … While the pace of the county’s Kilauea eruption recovery has pushed the patience of residents and County Council members to the breaking point, administration officials insist the process is going as fast as it can.

Last week during a meeting of the council’s Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development, tempers boiled over as council members demanded to know why, two years after the eruption, so few infrastructure recovery projects have been completed in lower Puna….

read … Council takes administration to task for slow pace of eruption recovery

Census: Hawaii now third in response rate after very slow start

HTH: … After a very slow start that saw few people returning their census questionnaires, Hawaii picked up the pace to the point that it now has the third-highest rate in the nation for census forms completed.

As of Thursday, 99% of Hawaii households had returned their forms, behind first-place Idaho with 99.8% and second-place West Virginia with 99.7%. The lowest state, Alabama, had returned 86.3% of its forms.

When it came to the number of households who returned their forms without prompting from census workers, however, the state didn’t do so well. Hawaii came in 36th in the nation, with only 62.4% self-responding, or filling out their forms and returning them by mail or online.

And no major island in the state had a lower self-response rate than the Big Island, according to census records. Fewer than half of Big Island households, 49%, returned their forms without prompting, compared to 68.2% on Oahu, 53.6% on Kauai and 52.6% on Maui.

The lowest response came from Census Tract 217.08 near Waikoloa, which had a 25.4% return rate. Lower Puna had the next two lowest self-response rates of 26.8% and 27.7%. The highest response came from Hilo Census Tract 208.01, with 76.2% of households returning their forms without prompting….

read … Census: Hawaii now third in response rate after very slow start

Leftists Continue to Peck Away at Acellus

SA: … “Our keiki deserve better,” Lovell said, calling the program “antiquated, xenophobic and inaccurate.”

An Acellus video lesson he posted described Hawaii as “a group of islands in the Pacific that was discovered by Europeans in 1778” — omitting the Polynesian voyagers who long preceded them. It also misspelled the name of Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani.

Palolo Elementary is among 185 public schools across the state that bought yearlong licenses, for up to $100 per student, to use the Acellus Learning Accelerator, which was developed in Kansas City, Mo. A handful of Oahu elementary schools abandoned it last month in the face of parent opposition. But roughly 76,000 students at more than 60% of Hawaii’s public schools have access to it for distance classes or as a supplement to their local teachers’ instruction.

A multidisciplinary team of content and equity specialists at the Department of Education is conducting a comprehensive review of the Acellus video-based curriculum in response to complaints. The department also set up an online form on Sept. 8 for users to report and upload controversial content in any distance learning materials assigned in public schools.

So far there have been 40 submissions involving Acellus and other providers. Deputy Schools Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami said Acellus has been responsive in removing problematic content….

Image: Here is what the leftists are teaching.

read … Controversial online curriculum under scrutiny for Hawaii schools

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