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Tuesday, July 6, 2021
July 6, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:33 PM :: 2423 Views

July 7, 1935: Moscow orders first Communists to Hawaii

Deck Chairs on Titanic: OHA Insiders take over Hawaii Tourism Authority as politicians consider its fate

SA: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority has eliminated two high-profile positions under a reorganization that emphasizes destination management at a time when politics is about to decide the fate of the beleaguered agency.

Kalani Kaanaana was promoted to chief brand officer July 1. Ka­anaana, who joined HTA in 2016, was previously its director of Hawaiian cultural affairs and natural resources, and is a much-respected member of the Hawaiian community.

At the same time, HTA eliminated jobs for veteran hospitality executive Pattie Herman and longtime television anchor Marisa Yamane. Herman had served as HTA vice president of marketing and product development since December 2019. Yamane, who left KHON2 to join HTA in May 2019, was director of communications and public relations. Both women were recruited by former HTA President and CEO Chris Tatum, a 40-year veteran of the hospitality industry who retired at the end of August.

HTA President and CEO John De Fries, who started at HTA in September, is the first Native Hawaiian to assume leadership of the agency.….

De Fries said as of July 1, HTA has 25 authorized staff positions, down from 32 prior to the start of the fiscal year. De Fries said this year’s Legislature moved seven positions from HTA to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Research Division.

De Fries said that at the end of July, HTA expects to have 18 staff positions, assuming that the seven vacancies go unfilled….

BEST COMMENTS:

Kaanaana also served as a legislative aide to State Rep. Ken Ito and State Rep. Pono Chong:  Politics,, politics, politics…..

"Helping to spearhead HTA’s reorganization is Anna Elento-Sneed of the legal firm ES&A Inc., which was awarded an $80,000 sole-source contract by HTA." Cut here, pay out here, what's the difference?

The state auditor should look into HTA for corruption. Lots of under the table kinds of deals happening.

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority reorganizes as politicians consider its fate

In Hawaii, Crime Pays And Cheaters Do Prosper

CB: … Based on recent details emerging in a high-profile embezzlement case, corruption is more common and widespread than one might think in Hawaii….

I find it particularly revealing that when federal prosecutors entered into the public record text messages between Aipoalani and his co-conspirators, the messages contained detailed, boastful discussions of how fraudulent activities might proceed, suggesting a depth of expertise and prior experience in the matter, which means corruption is more common and widespread than one might think in Hawaii….

This is what should worry locals. How many other trusted individuals in positions of government influence or financial power, as we speak, are committing other crimes and defrauding the public, all the while masquerading as helpers of vulnerable populations and defenders of the weak and needy?

The public should begin to wonder how many of their elected leaders are pitching grandiose and pricey plans under the guise of “public service,” “leadership,” and “bold visions for the future” which are really schemes for offshore cartels, powerful corporations, and personal enrichment….

The other standard we have in Hawaii is one where if you are famous, if you are well-connected, if you are rich, or if you are a political instrument, the proverb that “to err is human, to forgive is divine” applies to you. And that’s if you’re even caught in the first place, because more often than not, we look the other way and even reward you with greater prominence to defraud us….

Maybe we should change the state’s official motto if we think righteousness is such a heavy lift….

read … In Hawaii, Crime Pays And Cheaters Do Prosper

Honolulu City Council calls for better data collection--but only for Race

SA: … The resolution urges state and city agencies to instead collect data in 15 racial categories: White, Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Other Asian, Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Micronesian, Tongan, Chamorro and Other Pacific Islander.

Although (OHA operative and Honolulu Councilmember Esther) Kiaaina said data disaggregation would affect all issues, the need became extremely acute during the pandemic when government relief found it difficult to identify outbreaks among the Pacific Islander community, which was lumped with Native Hawaiians. In turn, it was difficult to disperse needed relief and information to those who needed it….

(What’s Missing?  Income, age, educational attainment, gender, previous criminal record, homeless status, drug use, mental diagnosis, etc  Why? Because OHA gets money for race.)

Related: OHA to Take Over Honolulu Council?

read … Honolulu City Council calls for better data collection

More than 138,000 people arrived in Hawaii over holiday weekend

KHON: … According to the state’s Safe Travels data, more than 138,000 people flew into the islands from July 1 to July 4. Of that total, more than 102,000 were here to vacation.  That number is only expected to increase this week when vaccinated mainland travelers will be able to bypass quarantine and a pre-travel COVID-19 test starting July 8 ….

read … More than 138,000 people arrived in Hawaii over holiday weekend

Nobody Wants Bum Processing Centers in their Neighborhood

CB: … The goal was to provide a space where homeless people could shower and rest (before going out to create more mayhem)

Chinatown has seen an increase in the number of homeless people on the streets and seemed the perfect place to open a Homeless Triage and CARES Center, as the planned facility was known.

But the group found itself in the middle of growing anger by local residents and merchants who say they have increasingly had to clean up human feces from the sidewalks and scrape graffiti from the walls, among other problems.

Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, founder and president of the Chinatown Business and Community Association, said the residents are tired of having services “dumped” in their neighborhood.

“If you like them so much, put them in your backyard,” she said. “Not ours. You can call it NIMBY or whatever, but no one has suffered as much as Chinatown.”

“Why don’t they go to Kahala for a change?” she continued. “Why pick Chinatown and Kalihi? Because this is a poor, working class, immigrant neighborhood that they can bully.”…

According to Chinatown Neighborhood Board minutes from last March, residents expressed concerns of a potential COVID-19 outbreak that would “be made worse by the homeless population living on the streets without sanitation.”

Last year, a survey disclosed that about 98 Chinatown business owners said homelessness in the neighborhood impaired their businesses. Out of 132 customers surveyed, 83% said it negatively impacted their decision on the shopping area, and 93% said the homeless situation hasn’t improved.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, who represents the district, also opposed the project.

Fukunaga mentioned issues with homeless congregating outside of businesses when the River of Life Mission began serving free meals outside, leading to large groups on the street.

“So for Chinatown businesses as well as residents, that condition has turned into a major public sanitation problem,” she said….

For Kalihi residents to make their stance clear, at least 20 people picketed outside of the building and signed petitions to get IHS to nix the location. And they did….

Paul Anaral has been homeless for 30 years. His roaming spots are between Chinatown and downtown Honolulu….

“There are drugs around here, and (the dealers) really don’t care,” he said. “They’ll shoot up at any place, and they’ll leave their crap around. I can see why they’re upset.”

Walking through the streets of Chinatown, Anaral points to fresh feces on the sidewalk and spikes on the concrete to keep those experiencing homelessness from sleeping in a specific location….

read … How Local Opposition Is Derailing Efforts To Develop Homeless And Housing Facilities

Hawaii Co Officials confident in July 26 go-live date for paperless permits

HTH: … In less than a month, the county’s building and zoning permitting systems are going paperless, and officials are optimistic they’ll be ready.

The $2.5 million Energov program will integrate data from property records, zoning, critical habitat, infrastructure like sewer, contractor licenses, building and parcel designs and much more into a single cloud-based system that will allow inspectors from multiple departments to work on a permit application simultaneously, rather than shuffling paper from one desk to another.

Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst and Planning Director Zendo Kern say they’re moving forward and not looking back, kicking off the new program July 26. While some bumps are expected along the way, the results will be worth it, officials said….

read … Energov a go: Officials confident in July 26 go-live date for paperless permits

A Hawaii Hospital Told A Veteran The VA Wouldn’t Cover His Surgery. The VA Disagrees

CB: … The VA’s Pacific Island Healthcare System, headquartered on Oahu, oversees health care for all veterans across Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. It has for years struggled to reach veterans across its far-flung territory with its own limited facilities.

As a result, it relies heavily on partnerships and contracts with hospitals and clinics across the region that accept the insurance provided by the VA, allowing veterans to seek care elsewhere. Pali Momi Medical Center, which is part of the Hawaii Pacific Health network, is one of those partners.

Malone said that since leaving the military all his health care has been in community clinics and facilities, and the VA has always paid for the treatments.

So he was stunned when the staff at Pali Momi told him that his June 18 procedure had been canceled because the VA has been delinquent in paying medical bills at other hospitals on the mainland. While that had not happened yet in Hawaii, Malone said the hospital told him there was concern it could, so he could only go forward using alternative insurance….

read … A Hawaii Hospital Told A Veteran The VA Wouldn’t Cover His Surgery. The VA Disagrees

Expensive Bird and Bat-Killing Offshore Windfarms Set for Waikiki, Kaena Point

SA: … Energy generated by ocean-based wind turbines has been touted as a key piece of Hawaii’s green puzzle, while also reducing (sharply increasing) electricity costs for consumers, reported Star-Advertiser writer Andrew Gomes last week. But not much has moved in the past decade since task force meetings began on regulatory work, hearings and proposals.

One developer had proposed a 816-megawatt windfarm (51 turbines 17 miles south of Diamond Head, 51 turbines 12 miles northwest of Kaena Point); another broached a 400-megawatt project off Oahu’s South Shore, recently shifted to windward waters. But assorted scoping meetings and regulatory factors have left experts opining that any consensus is at least a decade away….

IM: 

read … Hard choices ahead for clean energy

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