Hirono: Lets Use COVID Aid to Blackmail United Airlines
Daily Visitor Count Reaches 75% of Peak
HNN: … On Friday, the daily visitor count hit 24,000. That’s about 75 percent of the 2019 peaks and compares with May 7, 2020′s daily count, which was less than 600.
It’s not just economics that is driving the optimism.
Hawaii’s vaccination rates are among the highest in the nation. The state hopes to hit its goal of 1 million residents fully vaccinated by June or July, bringing Hawaii closer the so-called goal of herd immunity.
And with the increased vaccination rates, the community is able to open up more….
read … Signs of economic relief abound as vaccination rates, visitor counts steadily rise
Will Ige Veto HB862? Bill cuts off Hawaii Tourism Authority’s funding source
SA: … Ige met in executive session Wednesday with the HTA board for about four hours. The outcome of that talk has not been made public, though Ige recently pledged support for the agency.
“I am disappointed at what happened with HTA. … Losing dedicated funding is a big issue,” Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser during an interview April 29.
Ige said the legislation leaves HTA with one year’s funding, which makes it challenging to run multiyear efforts, like its Destination Management Action Plan program, which identifies hot spots where there is friction between residents and visitors and develops an action plan to resolve them.
“The visitor industry is the No. 1 industry in this state; it creates 200,000 jobs plus, and we are not going to have economic recovery until the visitor industry recovers,” Ige said.
Ige has until June 21 to release his intent-to-veto list. However, in this case his hands might be tied.
Legislators left HTA funding out of HB 200, the state’s finance bill. If Ige vetoes HB 862, the federal funding that lawmakers allocated to HTA for fiscal year 2022 disappears, without any special funds to replace it.
Lawmakers also used the bill to eliminate the counties’ $103 million share of transient accommodations taxes, while giving each county the right to raise their island’s TAT by 3 percentage points. ….
read … Bill cuts off Hawaii Tourism Authority’s funding source
Hawaii tops nation in worrying about COVID-19
SA: … Roughly 80% of Hawaii residents worry about COVID-19 daily, giving the state the No. 1 worry rank in a new nationwide report from SafeWise….
California, New York, Florida and Georgia rounded out the top-five list of most worried states after Hawaii….
SafeWise said the percentage of the population of each state worrying about the pandemic on a daily basis varied. Only about 44% of residents of Wyoming — the least worried of the 50 states — worried about the pandemic each day.
Alaska, North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma also were among the five least worried states….
LINK: The State of Safety in America 2021
read … Hawaii tops nation in worrying about COVID-19
It's Time To Drop The COVID-19 Tier System
CB: … It would be better to focus on encouraging vaccinations, rather than maintaining a system that was never meant to be permanent ….
read … It's Time To Drop The COVID-19 Tier System
Why Honolulu’s rail system should end at Middle Street
SA: … There are many benefits of ending the rail route at Middle Street, and the reality is that the city has already breached its federal full funding grant agreement — by not completing the entire rail project by the agreed-upon date, and by its inability to identify the source of funds needed to reach Ala Moana Center.
A fraction of the money saved by stopping at Middle Street could be used to enhance other elements of the city’s multimodal transportation system, implement proven methods of reducing traffic congestion, repair roads, build infrastructure needed for affordable housing, effectively address the causes and problems of homelessness, and more….
read … Why Honolulu’s rail system should end at Middle Street
Hoping to Get COVID, many Hawaii inmates not getting vaccine
SA: … Jails and prisons have been among the most dangerous places to be during the coronavirus pandemic, with the virus sweeping through overcrowded and poorly ventilated facilities, and in Hawaii infecting hundreds of prisoners and killing at least nine. Last year, as vaccines began to show promise, Hawaii health officials vowed to make vaccinating inmates a top priority, placing them in line among the state’s other most vulnerable groups.
But more than four months into the vaccine rollout, the number of vaccinations being administered within some facilities housing Hawaii inmates remains troublingly low, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Public Safety.
At Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., which houses about 1,075 Hawaii prisoners, only 236 inmates had received at least one dose of a vaccine as of the end of April, suggesting that the vaccination rate within the facility is likely about 1 in 5….
The number of vaccines being administered at state prisons, including Halawa Correctional Facility and Waiawa Correctional Facility, which have also had major outbreaks, is much higher, suggesting that large numbers of inmates have likely been vaccinated. At Halawa, for example, 682 Halawa inmates have received at least one shot of the vaccine at the facility, which houses about 752 inmates….
(The difference is clear. Arizona inmates have longer sentences therefore more incentive to risk COVID as a means of escape.)
read … Despite dangers of COVID-19 in jails and prisons, many Hawaii inmates not getting vaccine
The Miske Case: Another Co-Defendant Turns Against Alleged Honolulu Crime Boss
ILind: … As trial for Michael Miske Jr. approaches in September, more people involved in myriad crimes he’s alleged to have masterminded are expected to cooperate with federal prosecutors ….
ILind: First of Miske’s co-defendants pleads guilty, agrees to cooperate with prosecutors
read … The Miske Case: Another Co-Defendant Turns Against Alleged Honolulu Crime Boss
Hawaii Police Shootings Review Board Has At Least A Dozen Cases
CB: … But that’s fewer than half the number of police killings or in-custody deaths in the state since the board was created in 2017…..
SA: Open up police review board
read … Hawaii Police Shootings Review Board Has At Least A Dozen Cases
Parents left hanging after City's Summer Fun online registration debacle
KITV: … The Department of Parks and Recreation is offering space for 6,000 kids at more than 60 sites across Oahu. Parents were told to register online at 9 on Saturday morning. But the site crashed.
"It was a big fail," said Kathlyn Mcelyea of Manoa. "I felt like I was getting concert tickets for like, you know, Britney Spears circa 1997 or something." ….
Samantha Ueno of McCully spent two hours trying to log in.
"I was just refreshing, refreshing, and the page wouldn't load. And then when it loaded, I was logged out. And then I would try to log back in it would go it would not log me in it would get a 504 error. Like it was just nuts," Ueno said.
According to the Parks and Recreation website, the Online System had technical difficulties and directed people to register in person. Mcelyea was able to register that way, but Ueno couldn't….
read … Parents left hanging after City's Summer Fun online registration debacle
Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In 2 Years
CB: …Three large solar projects in the works on Hawaii island are bolstering the island’s renewal energy supply, so much so the island should hit 100% of its renewable energy standards by 2023, Hawaiian Electric Co. says. By 2024, that rate could jump to 110%….
(And when this happens, HELCO will still be spewing out emissions from oil-fired plants.)
(IQ Test: Did you already know this?)
(Tougher IQ Test: Can you explain why?)
read … Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In 2 Years
Corona Virus News: