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Sunday, July 18, 2021
July 18, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:44 PM :: 2152 Views

Coalitions are the key to change

Ethics: COVID Profiteering by DoH Employee

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted July 17, 2021

Shoring Up Water Transportation

Plan to ‘Limit Tourism’ is Really a Plan to Expand Tourism

SA: … The state can’t put a cap on visitor arrivals, but Anderson said HTA is looking at what it and other partners can do to manage visitors, especially in hot spots.

That’s an about-face for HTA, which was created in the late 1990s in part to fill the Hawai‘i Convention Center and put “heads on beds.”…

(WRONG.  This is NOT an ‘about face’.  The plan is to eliminate nuisances by bypassing Turtle Beach, setting up a shuttle bus along the Hana Hwy, and adjusting other crowded spots.  This does nothing to reduce the total number of tourists.  In fact, it will literally make room for more tourists.)

Some residents came to enjoy the pandemic-created renewal so much that DMAP participants even placed Waikiki on a list of Oahu tourism hot spots, which also included North Shore/ Haleiwa, Kailua, Hanauma Bay, Laniakea/Turtle Beach, Diamond Head, Lanikai, Makapuu, Kaena Point, Haiku Stairs, Maelieli Trail, Maunawili Falls and Lulumahu Falls….

(That’s the list.  Crowding nuisances will be controlled by reconfiguring sites or redirecting tourists, not by reducing the number of tourists.  Public discussion is purposefully confused by including non-starters like charging an admission fee to the state or limiting slots for air traffic.  Those are just shiny objects to distract the children while the adults make the real decisions none of which involve reducing tourism.  You have been informed.)

Joe Ibarra, general manager of The Kahala Hotel & Resort, said he joined the Oahu DMAP steering community as an opportunity to help pivot the state’s top industry.

“HTA, under its current leadership, understands we need to shift. The industry impacts our residents’ way of life, wellness and the sustainability of our future,” Ibarra said. “This is the turning point.”…

“I feel that it has negatively impacted local sentiment of our visitor industry as a whole and has contributed to the housing shortage. Established resort destinations are better able to welcome and handle visitor impacts,”

(Translation: Self-contained resorts will benefit from the new plan.)

“In terms of limiting visitor numbers, enforcement of illegal vacation rentals can help to manage visitor numbers, and HTA is working with the counties to support their enforcement efforts in addition to looking at changes to land use and zoning,” she said….

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority considers Oahu plan to address demand to limit tourism

Plans to ‘Limit Tourism’ Designed to Push More Locals Out

SA: … "...Hawaii children forced to leave their beloved home because they can’t survive in an economy that caters to rich outsiders..."

BEST COMMENT: Astute observation, now connect it to the increasing calls to limit tourism to these islands, most of which involve raising costs to visitors. That accomplishes three things; (1) middle class travelers will be displaced by the more affluent, (2) prices will also increase for all residents, and (3) children will be forced to leave their homes in even greater numbers….

read … If we can all agree on endangered monk seals, it’s a start

Vicki Cayetano, Rick Blangiardi: Ex-Republicans in Politics

Borreca: … Essentially, the primary election playground is reserved for dedicated Hawaii Democrats. Vicky Cayetano is a Republican who switched parties with her marriage to Ben Cayetano and has a strong reputation writing a success story in the local commercial laundry business.

In a Democratic primary, it might be better to be leading strikes instead of thriving businesses.

Moore correctly calculates that “Green will have a relatively easy time painting her as a conservative business owner who lacks the public-sector experience to enter the Governor’s Office during a time of crisis.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi had similar problems, but his race was a nonpartisan one with just the two most popular getting to the general election. Hawaii’s Democratic primary makes it almost impossible for anyone but a lifetime party member to win a primary.

Cayetano has to nail down “I’m a Democrat,” before she can answer the question of whether she is the most popular Democrat ….

read … Vicky Cayetano’s trial balloon in governor’s race would face prickly Democratic primary

No More Free Money from the Sky

SA: … Here are some of the most challenging hurdles on the horizon:

>> The federal freeze on evictions, which the Biden administration extended for a month, will expire July 31. In Hawaii, the eviction moratorium was extended through Aug. 6. Gov. David Ige rightly allowed an extra week for tenants and landlords to secure federally funded assistance.

Many are forecasting a huge wave of evictions. (homeless drug addicts using this as their excuse). According to one estimate given during a Thursday news conference, 10,000 tenants in the state are behind on their rent….

>> The final payable week for unemployment benefits that were expanded and supplemented through federal COVID-19 relief funds will be Sept. 4, right around the corner.

This includes the weekly “plus-up” supplement of $300, the assistance for the self-employed financially hurt by the pandemic and the extended payments for those who have exhausted their benefits under the standard state unemployment insurance program….

(Translation: We tried giving the poor free money and in the end they are right back where they started--only poorer. See how that works?)

The state Department of Human Services reported last week that thousands qualified for food-stamp benefits have failed to complete required paperwork and may not receive the aid…. DHS sent out 2,200 six-month review letters in June. Only 700 were returned. Similarly, 15,000 eligibility review letters were sent, and only 7,000 were returned….

(Translation: The ‘need’ for these benefits really isn’t there.)

An estimated 150,000 families in Hawaii were among those nationwide that received the first of monthly Child Tax Credit checks last week. Whether the credit will extend beyond 2022 is an unknown…

The unprecedented level of public assistance has been a true lifeline for many, the means of survival. But to truly thrive? That will take the determination of the job-seekers themselves….

read … Column: Get set for funds, aid to ease away

High vaccination rates at some Hawaii health facilities

WHT: … in a statewide survey of member facilities — the results of which were reported in late May — the Healthcare Association of Hawaii found that 84% of staff in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, up 6% from a survey in February.

Meanwhile, an average of 92% of residents were vaccinated, up 2% over February.

Many of the vaccination rates in long-term care facilities in East Hawaii are in line with the statewide survey.

At Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, 85 of 94 staff members, or 90% have been vaccinated, while 50 out of 56 residents, or 89%, are inoculated.

Meanwhile 37 of 43 employees, or 86%, of employees at Hilo Medical Center’s Extended Care Facility have received vaccines, as have 28 of 33 residents, or 84%.

Some 116 of 133 employees at Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua in Honokaa, or 87%, while 57 of 60 long-term care residents, or 95%, have been inoculated.

In Ka‘u, 49 of 57 staff members at Ka‘u Hospital, which has long-term care beds, have been vaccinated, while 14 of 16 residents, or 87%, have received vaccines.

The four facilities are part of Hawaii Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawaii Region.

“I feel like we’ve done really well,” said Denise Mackey, regional hospital administrator for critical access hospitals and long-term care.

Mackey said administrators continue to push vaccination.

“It’s not like we had this one little surge and just sort of stopped,” she said. “Any staff that were not vaccinated, we’ve continued to provide education. We’ve continued to encourage them and provide alternative options. When the (single-dose) Johnson &Johnson came out, we offered that. That way people had choices. I think that helped.”

According to Mackey, new regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services state that only unvaccinated staff must be tested on a routine monthly basis.

“So every time we do those monthly tests, we once again provide education and offer the vaccine.”

Relaxing travel restrictions also helped sway staff who were still on the fence, said Mackey.

Mackey, however, said there were a lot of female staff members who opted not to get vaccinations on advice from their OB-GYNs.

Initially, there were questions of vaccine safety if someone was pregnant or breastfeeding, although evidence now suggests vaccines are safe for those who are, she explained.

Additionally, Mackey said there may be a “small subset of staff in probably every facility,” as well as some residents, who may not be interested in vaccines for other reasons….

Feb 2021: New Survey Reveals Hawaii Long-Term Care Providers Outpace Mainland Counterparts in COVID Vaccinations

read … High vaccination rates at some Hawaii health facilities

Squatters Invade Kauai Oceanfront Plantation Camp 

CB: …Marcia and David “Buna” Leialoha said they had seen cell phone videos on social media depicting the eviction of dozens of homeless people from Salt Pond, where the county on June 30 began a prolonged effort to evict campers who were refusing to leave the beach park because they said they had nowhere else to go.

Wanting to help, the Leialohas invited about two dozen displaced campers to live with them in Waimea. It was such a big deal that the local newspaper wrote a story about it, catching the attention of the Leialohas’ landlord.

Now the Leialohas, who rent the property that they have opened to so many other people, could face a serious consequence for their generous spirit. Transforming the property into an experiment in communal living is a clear violation of their monthly rental agreement, and the Leialohas said their landlord has told them that they and their guests could all face eviction….

(The word: ‘Methamphetamines’ appears nowhere in this article.)

The Leialohas had gotten to know many of the people at the Salt Pond camp over the 14 months they had been allowed to live there freely, without having to dodge the authorities. Occasionally Marcia Leialoha traveled seven miles from her house to the Salt Pond homeless camp to cook pancakes and eggs for everyone.

One day she brought down posters and markers and helped the keiki at Salt Pond make posters to protest the camp’s looming closure….

When Buna Leialoha moved into the house seven years ago, he said it was falling apart and littered with drug paraphernalia and human feces.

So he cleaned it out and fixed it up as part of a work-trade agreement that allowed him to live there as a caretaker.  (Translation: Not paying rent.)

More recently he has been living at the house with his wife in exchange for month-to-month rent….

Buna Leialoha said most of the homes adjacent to the house he fixed up are also owned by the Kikiaola Land Company. And most of them, he said, are occupied by squatters.  (Translation: Allowed by caretaker)

He said if the neighboring squatters are allowed to stay, so should the displaced campers that he and his wife invited to live on the property that they’ve brought out of disrepair….

read … A Kauai Family Gave Homeless People A Place To Live. Now They All Face Eviction

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