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Saturday, June 26, 2021
June 26, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:49 PM :: 1829 Views

HGEA Protects Sheriff Deputy After He Admitted Doing Favors for Katherine Kealoha

Who Will Run for DeCoite's House Seat? -- Not Ritte

13 Cases--Delta variant detected in all Hawaii counties

No Rail Service Until 2023?  HART Wheel Size Problem Could Keep Rail from Opening

PBN: … The error between the rail car wheels and crossings in the track called "frogs," in which the wheels were diagnosed to be a half-inch off from the necessary size, was announced in March and the price tag and timetable to fix the problem is still being determined for a project already projected to come in at over $12 billion.

No matter what, something must be replaced — either the car wheels or the frogs.

Colorado-based Transportation Technology Center, Inc., is conducting speed tests of the rail cars until August, for an unspecified cost. HART is hoping that the Hitachi Rail-built cars are cleared to travel at an ideal speed of 40 to 50 mph on sections of the West Oahu track, meaning it's the wheels that must be replaced.

A slower speed cap figure from TTCI — like about 20 mph — would mean a setback of roughly double the time and the cost for replacement track parts, with HART's interim opening from Kapolei to Halawa possibly pushed back into 2023, Kahikina said.

"We’re all on pins and needles waiting for that August report," said Kahikina, who did not provide a cost figure for either scenario….

read  … Catching up with Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on delays, decisions and procurements

Not all shot records will be verified under Hawaii’s eased travel rules

SA: … The state is working on verifying vaccination rec­ords of incoming tourists but likely won’t be able to verify all travelers’ records by July 8, when travel and gathering restrictions are scheduled to ease for fully vaccinated travelers, Gov. David Ige said Friday.

Even if the state does not average a 60% full vaccination rate by July 8, as hoped, Ige still wants the plans he announced Thursday to proceed so employers and employees can prepare…

In the meantime, Ige said discussions continue on ways to help stimulate business, including possibly easing social distance requirements in restaurants to increase seating capacity.

Restaurant owners say that it’s difficult to survive with capacity limits, but Ige said COVID-19 continues to spread in restaurants.

The next goal would be to reach a fully vaccinated rate of 70% across the state to see a near-total easing of COVID-19 restrictions. But hurdles remain.

The pace of vaccinations has dropped from an average of 72,000 per week in May to about 35,000 to 36,000 per week in the first weeks of June, he said….

>> Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers flying domestically — including island residents returning home — to bypass Hawaii’s quarantine and pre-travel restrictions, as long as they upload their vaccination records to the state’s Safe Travels website and arrive with a hard copy of their vaccination records….

Asked about plans to continue weekly “plus up” unemployment payments of an additional $300, Ige said many people remain unemployed and rely on the additional benefit….

LAT: States hesitant to adopt digital COVID-19 vaccination verification

read … Not all shot records will be verified under Hawaii’s eased travel rules

Department of Education hosts summer learning hub program for 24,000 students across the state

KITV: … More than 24,000 keiki at around 250 public schools across the state are spending time in what's called a learning hub this summer. It's a range of programs designed at individual campuses, customized for what students need.

One of the hubs is Kaneohe Elementary School on Oahu. The program range from jump start to kindergarten for younger students to credit recovery and enrichment for the older ones….

read … Department of Education hosts summer learning hub program for 24,000 students across the state

$114M: Will Hawaii do enough to limit evictions?

KHON: … Hawaii has its own moratorium imposed by an emergency declaration from Gov. David Ige. It’s due to last through Aug. 6, giving local renters an extra week to get ready.

Ige said he hopes measures to encourage landlord-tenant mediation, efforts to get people back to work and rent-relief programs will help the situation….

Hawaii’s counties are providing federal relief money to those needing help covering their rent and utility bills. On Oahu, Catholic Charities Hawaii and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement are processing $114 million for those behind on rent and utility bills going back to March 13, 2020. It will be in effect through December 2021.

On Monday, Ige signed legislation encouraging landlords and tenants to mediate disputes as a means to prevent evictions. The new law also aims to stop an avalanche of cases overwhelming the courts when the moratorium expires.

It requires landlords to notify a mediation center if they are terminating a rental agreement to prevent landlords from going directly to court. It also delays when a landlord may take possession of a unit if a tenant schedules mediation, potentially giving tenants time to work things out. The measure allocates funds to mediators who may negotiate rent reductions and payment plans and help landlords and tenants obtain rental assistance money.

Aloha United Way has been training staff who answer its 211 helpline on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants….


HNN: $5M in rental, utility assistance available to all Native Hawaiians in need

read … $114M: Will pricey Hawaii do enough to limit evictions?

Revised Final Environmental Impact Statement for W. Hawai‘i Aquarium Permits Reaches Impasse

BIN: … The Board of Land and Natural Resources reached an impasse in a decision to accept or reject the Revised Final Environmental Impact Statement (RFEIS) submitted by seven aquarium fish collectors for the West Hawai‘i Regional Fishery Management Area (WHRFMA).

The vote was a three-to-three tie.

The law provides a 30-day time period in which the board must reach a decision. The clock started on June 8, when the RFEIS was published, and ends on July 8, though the applicants can request a 15-day extension. If no action is taken by the deadline, the RFEIS will be deemed accepted.

In May 2020, the board declined to accept the Final Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. Aquarium fishers revised the FEIS over the past year. The revision, which incorporated many of the findings and reasons for denial by the land board, had been opened to public comment for 45 days.

The board’s decision on Friday, June 25, was limited to the acceptability of the revised final EIS and was not a decision on aquarium fishing permits in Kona. The seven aquarium fishers who undertook the EIS are expected to apply for permits. …

HTH: Accepted by default: BLNR’s tie vote opens the door for aquarium fishing EIS

MN: Land Board at Impasse Over Aquarium Pet Trade in West Hawai‘i

Related: How AG, BLNR Conspired to keep ‘Sustainability’ out of Aquarium Ruling

read … Revised Final Environmental Impact Statement for W. Hawai‘i Aquarium Permits Reaches Impasse

Parole board gives child molester half off sentence

MN: … A Napili man will be eligible for parole after he serves less than half of his 10-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a teenage girl, under a decision by the Hawaii Paroling Authority.

(NOTE: HPA sets the real sentences in Hawaii, not judges.  There will be no hard-time sentences until HPA is removed from the sentence-setting process.)

After a hearing June 8, the parole board set minimum terms for Maynard Charley, 25, of four years for second-degree sexual assault and three years for third-degree sexual assault. He would have to serve those terms before being considered for release on parole.

(Actually he was sentenced to 10 years including time served.  Now he will be released in a couple of years.)

He is serving both prison terms at the same time at Halawa Correctional Center on Oahu.

Charley was sentenced in November after he had pleaded no contest to the charges for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, who was living in the same household as Charley after he had been given a place to stay in the home, in January 2019.

At his sentencing, Deputy Prosecutor Karen Droscoski said the girl relayed that “she wants the defendant to stay in jail until he dies.”

Droscoski said Charley told police “there is no such thing as rape.”…

MN Nov 14, 2020:   Man sentenced to 10 years for assault of teenage girl

read … Parole board sets terms for man convicted of sexual assault

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