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Monday, November 16, 2020
November 16, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:05 PM :: 2814 Views

Hawaii Hi-Tech Scamster Bribed to Rat out Hunter Biden?

State unemployment tax slated to automatically triple in 2021

Hawai‘i Department of Health a founding member of the Cannabis Regulators Association

COVID Aviation: Long Flight Back to DC for American Samoa Rep Aumua Amata

32,000 New Restaurant Cards go to PUA

COVID Count 95 new cases out of 4,879 tests

Duke Kahanamoku’s nephew among 8 more suing Kamehameha over alleged sex abuse

SA: … Eight adults filed suit against Kamehameha Schools today alleging its psychiatric consultant had repeatedly sexually abused them as students but their pleas for help were ignored by school authorities.

The plaintiffs in the Circuit Court case include Duke Kahanamoku Paoa, a nephew of Olympian swimmer and surfer Duke Kahanamoku.

The lawsuit comes two years after Kamehameha Schools agreed to pay $80 million to settle another sex abuse case brought by 32 male plaintiffs who were former students.

The suit filed today describes extensive, systematic and repeated sexual abuse by the late Dr. Malcolm Browne of the plaintiffs when they were boys, starting as young as age 13, from 1974 through 1981.

In addition to sessions in his office, Browne was a “dorm sponsor” which allowed him to take boarding students off campus for sleepovers, where he sexually assaulted them, the complaint said.

It alleges that despite having explicit knowledge of his criminal activity, Kamehameha allowed the abuse, which included rape and sodomy, to continue for years.

“What is new about this lawsuit is that many of the eight people that came forward actually reported this to teachers, to administrators, such that the depth of the information that Kamehameha had during the period in which the abuse was happening was much broader than we had ever recognized during the first lawsuit,” Mark Davis, a lead attorney in the case, said today….

Along with Paoa, the plaintiffs in the current suit are Christian K.L. Ching, Jr., Bryan Jeremiah, Mark K. Kahapea, Robert E. Luecke, Michael Ah Wuen Low, and two other men who filed anonymously as John Doe 1 and 2…..

read … Duke Kahanamoku’s nephew among 8 suing Kamehameha over alleged sex abuse, negligence

Kauai Officials Expose System Rigged to make COVID Numbers Look Good

KHON: … Since travel restrictions eased in mid-October, Kauai has reported 30 new COVID-19 cases. The county also noticed that some people travel with pending results and later learn they have tested positive after arrival.

Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman tells us out of the 30 cases, eight of them are people whose pre-travel test was positive but they did not get their results until they arrived in Kauai.

“That’s a significant contribution to what’s going on on our island. So we wanted to report them,” said Dr. Berreman.

You can see on the county website, there is now a separate category for cases diagnosed out-of-state or off-island. While the state does count residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii, non-residents diagnosed elsewhere — but arrive in our islands — are not counted as of Nov. 15.
The Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement:

“At this time, DOH is reporting aggregate data on lab results for travelers who are residents, and reporting data on non-residents who are tested in Hawaii. Those individuals are included in the daily count of positive cases. DOH is working on providing data on non-residents who are tested out of state and arrive in Hawaii, and plans to report on this once we have a workable and sustainable system in place. Because the laboratory information on visitors who are tested out-of-state and receive a positive result after arriving in Hawaii is not consistently reported to the DOH, we have been unable to compile this data and it is not currently reflected in our daily statewide positive case counts. This is an issue we are aware of and we are working on a way to accurately capture this data.”  -- HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

“Because if you’re tested in California, and the health department there learns the positive results but you are just going on vacation to Hawaii, the health department in California can’t know that. So they wouldn’t know to tell us,” Dr. Berreman said.

Dr. Berreman says it is a challenging category to measure consistently, but thinks it is important to count the ones they know about. These cases will also impact Kauai’s Tier system….  

KHON: COVID-positive pre-arrival results are a blind spot for Hawaii travel program

As Explained: Hawai'i Tourism Reopening Strategy: Make COVID Positivity Numbers Look Good

read … Kauai counting new group of cases not identified by state

Report: HFD System Designed to Hide Overtime Fraud

SA: … A Honolulu City Council committee on Wednesday will hear from Fire Chief Manuel Neves and other Hono­lulu Fire Department brass on what progress they’ve made to shore up fiscal policies in response to a report on overtime payments issued in June by the city’s Internal Control Division.

Internal Control, a division of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, conducted its review in response to allegations of improperly filed overtime requests and other misuse of city funds tied to HFD’s Charles H. Thurston Training Center.

The report concluded that HFD lacks:

>> Sufficient controls over the administration and use of training-­related overtime.

>> A separation of duties, increasing the potential for error and fraud.

>> Proper oversight of department-­issued pCards, or credit cards used for official purchases.

The investigation included a look into HFD’s overtime policies and procedures, a review of approximately 3,300 time sheets and supporting documents from July 1, 2014 to March 31, 2020, a site visit to the training center and an interview of key personnel.

“The lack of documentation to support overtime entries made it difficult to identify instances of fraud or abuse,” the report said.

In a sample of 45 employees and 390 overtime/compensatory transactions, 128 of the transactions, or about 32.8%, were found to have discrepancies, or missing proper documentation, the report said….

“We note a lack of accountability with several employees being able to submit their own overtime hours to the HFD Timekeeper without supervisory approval and just prior to the information being uploaded to the Payroll Time and Attendance System,” the review said. Some fire operation employees were able to enter their own OT hours into the system, the report said.

The same sampling of 390 transactions found that 503 OT hours did not have approved time and attendance forms, the report said….

read … Honolulu City Council to hear from HFD chief on overtime issues

Raiding EUTF is deja vu all over again

GRIH: … Gov. David Ige in his 2018 State of the State address said, “One value that has guided this administration is to not simply pass our debts to our kids and grandkids.”

But that value seems to have flown out the window as Ige, faced with the biggest budget shortfall in the state’s history, has by emergency edict allowed the state and counties to skip their required annual payment to the state health benefits fund for fiscal 2021. Worse, he now is proposing to stop the payments for four more years….

read … Raiding EUTF is deja vu all over again

Only about 30% of Hawaii’s $1.2B in coronavirus relief aid has been spent so far

HNN: … A group monitoring the spending of federal CARES Act money says the state and counties have spent only 30% of $1.2 billion in the COVID-19 relief aid.

According to the Hawaii Data Collaborative, $876 million in federal funds still needs to be spent as of last week. The Ige administration said leftover funds will be placed in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund to help repay a $1 billion loan taken out to pay unemployed workers.

Jill Tokuda, adviser to the Hawaii Data Collaboration, said that there is a greater sense of urgency to push out funds but there are hold-ups.

“We’re asking to spend over a billion dollars into a community, you’re always going to have a supply-chain issue and other kinds of capacity issues,” Tokuda said. “So I think that has really slowed down the effort. But the bottom line is, this money needs to be expended.”

Linda Chu Takayama, chief of staff with the Ige Administration, said that the process is slow-moving because work on the front-end requires the money to end up in the right hands. If it turns out that individuals are not qualified to receive federal aid after the fact, money will have to be paid back….

read … Only about 30% of Hawaii’s $1.2B in coronavirus relief aid has been spent so far

Hawaii’s COVID numbers are climbing more slowly than the rest of the U.S.

SA: …The 14-day change in Hawaii cases was up 36% through Saturday. For the nation as a whole, that number was up 80%.

Hawaii went from a seven-day average of 66 new cases on Nov. 1 to a seven-day average of 99 new cases Saturday. Nationwide, the seven-day average on Saturday was 159,121, according to The New York Times….

read … Hawaii’s COVID numbers are climbing more slowly than the rest of the U.S.

Contact tracing robust says DoH

HTH: … Dr. Emily Roberson, the state Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch chief who is leading contact tracing efforts, said Wednesday during a livestream conversation with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that there are 311 people directly working on case investigations and contact tracing on Oahu, and 417 working statewide….

The state has 20 teams with different special duties they are tasked with doing.

When asked if the team was big enough to handle the number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii or a future spike, Roberson said the state has the capacity to handle “a whole lot more cases than we actually have.”

In terms of planning the staffing structure, she wanted to have enough staff to be able to comfortably handle 1,200 new cases a day….

“In reality, if we have 1,200 new cases of COVID every single day, contact tracing is the least of our concerns, and we’ve got bigger issues that are not necessarily going to be addressed by contact tracing.”

However, Roberson said the state is trying to recruit people for more specialized roles to fill in certain gaps.

Hawaii National Guard is still assisting in contact tracing efforts, but Roberson said decisions about what happens after federal coronavirus relief money expires at the end of the year are “above my pay grade.”….

read … Contact tracing robust

COVID-19 Data: Dashboards Galore, But Key Data Still Sparse

CB: … There’s also more to choose from in terms of where you can view the data. The health department now has two different data dashboards – one on the Hawaii COVID-19 website and another on the Disease Outbreak Control Division website.

Why two versions? Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble says the former is supposed to give more of a daily snapshot, while the latter provides more in-depth analysis.

Numerous other organizations, including nonprofit groups and research teams based at the University of Hawaii, have their own COVID-19 data dashboards. Some were created to fill the data void before the state stepped up its game….

New data exists about testing volume, mobility, mask usage and hospitalization. But the state is still missing some key data vital to fighting the virus, Fan said.

“Back in March, we had little understanding of contact tracing,” she said. “If we look at the situation today, we still have very little understanding of contact tracing.”

Data points, such as how many positive cases and contacts have been reached by contact tracers and how long it took to reach them, help measure the success of contact tracing, Fan said.

The health department now releases weekly cluster reports that provide some details about where the virus is spreading. Those reports include some information about contact tracing, but the data is not regularly published as part of the dashboard….

SA: Health Department adjusts timing of daily coronavirus data; no report issued Sunday

read … COVID-19 Data: Dashboards Galore, But Key Data Still Sparse

More than 500 Hawai'i inmates test positive for COVID-19 in Arizona prison

KHON: … The Hawai'i Department of Public Safety reported as of Friday, 519 inmates from Hawai'i tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility.  Of those inmates, 393 have recovered and 121 are active cases in isolation at the facility, while 5 are hospitalized .…

read … But 399 Recover

Because You Closed the Insane Asylums, a Mentally Ill Woman Lives Decades on Streets before Dying

SA: …  It took two years, but closure has finally come for the family of the homeless woman known as “Bus Stop Mary.”

The 67-year-old had for decades become widely recognizable to passersby as she walked along Nimitz Highway near Pearl Harbor. After she died on July 4, 2018, medical investigators couldn’t locate any family members.

Natalie Thiel was her name, although the military service members, who since the ’90s had driven and walked past her, never knew.

In February four New Jersey siblings, concerned they hadn’t heard for a long while from their half sister, Googled her and found a story with her name in it that appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in July 2018: “Life and death of ‘Bus Stop Mary’ shrouded in mystery.”

They were shocked that the woman, who had also come to be known as “Crazy Mary,” could be their older half sister — a once aspiring actress living in Manhattan who married an airline pilot, moved to Australia, then somehow ended up in Hawaii….

Thiel’s sister Diane Vallandingham received the ashes in September, more than two years after Thiel’s death.

Now after 26 or so years, Thiel is home again….

read … About the Mental Health System Which Replaced the Insane Asylums

Endless Subscribers: Pro Surfers Follow a New Path to Stardom

NYT: … In the digital era, a carefully crafted persona has become more valuable than contest results…..

read … Endless Subscribers: Pro Surfers Follow a New Path to Stardom

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