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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
November 24, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:19 PM :: 3371 Views

VIDEO: DOCARE Raids Nude Beach looking for mask violators

Hawaii Not Very Inventive: 68% of all Patents Filed by one person

October: Tourism Down 90.4%

Hirono Demands More YouTube Censorship

Tracked Down by FBI, Homeless Alaska Drug Addict Decides to Stay on Streets of Honolulu

"This kind of reversal just feeds into the anti traveler sentiment in this state”

KITV: … The changes state that all Hawai'i-bound travelers must present their negative COVID-19 results prior to boarding the last leg of their fight to the Aloha State. If they do not have a negative result, travelers must quarantine for 14-days or for the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.

House Speaker Scott Saiki called it an "abrupt decision" that "doesn't serve the public well."

The CEO's of Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Airlines also scrutinized the change on a Zoom call with lawmakers Monday morning. The president of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA) said they have grave concerns about the impact it will have on the economy and employment….

"We really believe that if we don't tweak in some form or fashion what is now going to be the norm to travel to Hawaii will not result in some reduction, it will result in a great reduction," said HLTA President Mufi Hannemann.

"This kind of reversal just feeds into the anti traveler sentiment in this state, which is not good for anyone," said Speaker of the House Rep. Scott Saiki.

During Monday's call, state economist Carl Bonham said the economy is showing signs of getting better. Nearly 30,000 people who were jobless found employment last month.

Bonham attributed the gain to the launch of the state's pre-travel testing program….

MN: Policy could cut processing time at Kahului Airport

SA: Concerns raised over state’s new quarantine plan

CB: House Speaker: Changing Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program ‘Doesn’t Serve The Public’

read … Ige under fire for recent change to pre-travel testing requirements

Rep Case: Unspent CARES funds won’t need to be returned

SA: … U.S. Rep. Ed Case expressed confidence that unspent federal funds for COVID-19 relief in Hawaii will not have to be returned at the end of the year, and said he remains hopeful that another round of federal support could come from Congress.

“The federal government’s the only place that has the size, the resources and the capability to deliver this level of emergency assistance that is critically needed as we go into kind of the third wave of corona­virus across the country,” Case told the state House Select Committee COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness on Monday….

But there are fundamental disagreements, including that the Senate does not want more money going to states and counties for COVID-19 relief, Case said.

Case characterized the Senate’s position as a “major stumbling block” …

Even if the Senate and House can reach agreement, Case said it’s unclear whether President Donald Trump would sign any funding bills….

read … Unspent funds won’t need to be returned, Case assures

Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021

SA: … More than a year from now, Hawaii’s hotel industry won’t have stopped bleeding.

A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even….

read … Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tou rism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021

Ten thousand passengers flying to Hawai'i daily

KITV: … According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), 10,768 people flew into the islands on Sunday. More than 6,000 are here for vacation.

On Saturday, the number of passenger flying to Hawai'i was almost 13,000….

read … Tens of thousands of passengers flying to Hawai'i daily

More than 58,000 citations issued for violating emergency orders have been thrown out

HNN: … Less than one in 50 citations issued on Oahu since March for violating COVID-19 emergency orders resulted in a conviction, newly-released statistics show.

Of the more than 60,000 criminal charges issued by Honolulu police since March that have already gone through the court system, the city Prosecutor’s Office declined to prosecute more than 43,000.

Another 15,700 charges were dismissed by a judge or prosecutor, leaving just 962 convictions.

The Prosecutor’s Office said it declines or dismisses case when there is insufficient evidence.

Investigative reporter and blogger Ian Lind said the numbers are astounding.

“Prosecutors have shown by their behavior that they know that most of these violations are meaningless and that’s why they’re getting rid of them,” he said.

Lind said a recent HPD audit shows that there’s a financial incentive for some officers to write as many citations as possible.

“The results of their overtime audit really tell you that a small group of officers were being rewarded for passing out as many useless citations as they could,” he said.

One of the officers cited in the report issued criminal citations to US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, his assistant and a tour guide at Kualoa Beach Park in August.

Adams was in town then to help the city and state’s response to the COVID crisis….

SA Editorial: HPD’s OT violations taint COVID actions

HNN: City Council leader calls on police chief to bring back COVID-19 enforcement team

read … More than 58,000 citations issued for violating emergency orders have been thrown out

Blangiardi: Austerity Coming

KHON: … KHON2 asked Bangiardi about the seemingly insurmountable big-ticket problems and the financial austerity he says is in store.

The changes just a few weeks can bring: In the time since Blangiardi won the mayor’s race Nov. 3, rail’s budget gap grew at least $1 billion, and no one yet knew the upcoming city budget has at least $400 million hole.

“Do you still want this job?” KHON2 asked. “And how are you going to get over those huge hurdles?”

“That’s a great question, Gina,” Blangiardi said. “Yes, I very much want the job. That said, the hill keeps getting higher. So the combination of losing not only P3 (the rail public private partnership), but the jeopardy that we’re in with the federal government from the FTA of the $250 million (expiring at year end), the lack of GET (general excise tax collections), all of these things have compound effects, not the least of which is the shortfall in the budget itself.”

Blangiardi met Nov. 23 for the first time with the Caldwell administration’s fiscal department, which will be well into the first draft of next year’s budget when Blangiardi is inaugurated.

“We’ll have about a month to try to see what we can possibly do to adjust to come up with a budget that we feel we can live with for 2022,” Blangiardi said.

KHON2 asked: “Will it be a year or more of austerity of some kind do you think? Because there are a lot of landmines in there, chief among them the steeply escalating debt service cost which is escalating more quickly than just about any other line on a budget, and it gets worse with rail.”

“Gina, you just used the right word. It is about austerity,” Blangiardi said. “I said throughout the campaign, we have to belt tighten. I know that we get our revenue, as we all know, from property taxes. We’ve made a promise we will not raise property taxes. We’re going to have to learn to live within our means. You’ve got your first responders, your police and your fire departments are your biggest payrolls, but they’re really important to our public safety. This is going to be a real, real challenge here given this, given the numbers. We’re not trying to move around thousands, We’re moving around millions, in fact, hundreds of millions.” …

read … Honolulu mayor-elect Blangiardi prepares to take on mounting budget woes

Copy Trump Playbook: Keoni Souza Asks Hawaii Supreme Court For Recount In OHA Race

CB: … Keoni Souza, who lost to incumbent OHA Trustee Kelii Akina by just 1,623 votes ….

That race, one of the tightest during the general election, falls outside the threshold for election officials to conduct an automatic recount of the results.

Souza, who is representing himself in the elections challenge, is also asking the state Supreme Court to toss the original results and order a new special election to take place.

The state Supreme Court has already dismissed at least five other election challenges since the August primary….

PDF: Souza Complaint

PDF: State Motion to Dismiss (Dec 3, 2020)

Related: Hawaii Election Results -- Final Read

Which Lawyer Ghostwrote Souza’s ‘pro-se’ complaint?

read … Keoni Souza Asks Hawaii Supreme Court For Recount In OHA Race

Twisting yourselves into legal pretzels to keep Trump in office

TGI: …(Skip to the first comment) Mr Cavasso conveniently leaves out the part where state legislatures (following the constitution’s Article II directive) have (“in such manner as [they] may direct”) passed laws that their appointed electors MUST vote for the popularly chosen winner in their state. To do otherwise they’d have to change the laws. Not gonna happen. For eg. in Michigan the Dem gov would veto such tomfoolery, ditto Tony Evers (D) in Wisconsin. PA’s a little different, but has indicated they won’t be deviating from the popular vote either.

This business of twisting yourselves into legal pretzels to keep Trump in office is unseemly at best. Where were you all in 2016? Happy to call him “President Elect Trump” …as soon as the networks called it!

The Constitution is tested in the courts, and so far the courts, many with republican judges, aren’t having any of the subversive nonsense you’re peddling. Sure it’s legal, but that doesn’t make it right….

FOX: Rush Limbaugh knocks Trump's legal team: They promised 'bombshells' at press conference and 'nothing happened'

read … The First Comment

"We were having a Gavin Newsom party."

KITV: …more than 30 revelers celebrated a friend's 26th birthday at The Hawaiian Monarch Hotel and Condos -- with no social distancing. The group broke property rules and the City and County of Honolulu's COVID-19 restrictions -- angering other guests and neighbors.

"We had many complaints, we did respond. The people that were on the pool deck not in compliance were agreeing to comply. There was no push back necessarily, but it didn't work out as such," said head of security Lokahi Keama. "We were having a Gavin Newsom party."

A small joke, referring to a party where California's Governor broke his own COVID restrictions. But Keama said it's no laughing matter….

read …"We were having a Gavin Newsom party."

Bot Sites Push Acellus Story

CB: ... the websites — Aloha State News, Big Island Times, Honolulu Reporter, Kauai Sun and Maui Reporter — appear to run near identical content, and to keep the same stories up for days at a time.

On Thursday, for example, all five ran stories extolling the virtues of Acellus Learning Accelerator, a program used by elementary and secondary students in public schools in Hawaii and elsewhere.

“Acellus chairman: Scrapping online learning tool will cost Hawaiian schools $272 million,” one headline announced….

Related: Acellus: Opposition Movement Could Cost Hawaii Schools $272 Million

read …  Pay-To-Play 'Journalism' Is Now In Hawaii

Inspection data sought on state nursing homes

SA: … A senior advocacy group wants more data about inspections of Hawaii nursing homes as long-term care facilities across the nation continue to see record cases of COVID-19.

The Kokua Council is calling on the state to provide more access to timely information on unannounced inspections of nursing homes that have been hard-hit with COVID-19, including the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home on the Big Island, which accounted for more than two dozen coronavirus deaths.

Among its concerns is that inspection reports on the home, for instance, are not posted on the state Department of Health website “to ensure the safety of Hawaii’s most vulnerable kupuna.” Since 2013, state law has required the DOH to post reports on the department’s website within five days of an inspection….

The DOH Office of Health Care Assurance said it has continued nursing-home inspections throughout the pandemic, but in this case, surveys of the Big Island facility are federal and the law requires only the posting of inspection reports at “state-licensed care facilities,” the DOH said. Federal surveys can be found at medicare.gov/nursinghome compare/search.html, though the latest report on the veterans home is from a year ago.

“It is impossible to confirm that necessary inspections are taking place,” said Larry Geller, past president and board member of the Kokua Council….

read … Inspection data sought on state nursing homes

Hawaii Co Water power cost charge decrease proposed

WHT: … Users currently pay $2.01 per 1,000 gallons of water and, if the proposed decrease is approved, would pay $1.71 for the same amount.

With the proposed 30-cent decrease, a family of five, which consumes on average about 12,000 gallons of water per month, will see its bimonthly water bill decrease by $7.20….

A public hearing is set for 9:15 a.m. today, just before the Water Board’s monthly meeting to be held at 10 a.m. The meeting is being held virtually and will be livestreamed on the department’s Facebook page at HawaiiDWS….

The power cost charge change does not impact the department’s revenue as the money collected goes to Hawaii Electric Light Co. to cover the electrical cost of transporting water to county customers. The charge may be adjusted every two months as the price of oil, and therefore the price of moving water to customers, changes….

read … Water power cost charge decrease proposed

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