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Friday, July 30, 2021
July 30, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:20 PM :: 5839 Views

How They Voted: Racially Inferior Nominee Rejected 6-17

Blaisdell Center awarded Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

FSM: Vax Now Mandatory for all Micronesia Citizens

Military Spouse Tax Act Introduced

Louis Kealoha’s $250,000 settlement: Will Amemiya Rat out Caldwell?

SA: … “My client was not involved before, during or in the aftermath of the separation agreement. In fact, my client was not aware that the HPC (Honolulu Police Commission) was working on such an agreement until after it was completed,” said Hosoda….

Amemiya is just one of many former and current government officials and business people who are answering questions from Wheat’s team of prosecutors. They are investigating allegations that law enforcement officers, elected officials and their supporters abused their positions to vanquish opponents.

Amemiya, who served as the city’s managing director under former Mayor Kirk Caldwell, received a federal target letter in June.

(CLUE: In the Federal System the little fish eat the big fish.)

He is the highest official in city government under the Caldwell administration to be named as a target of the federal investigation. City Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, the city’s civilian attorney, was put on paid leave in January 2019 after she got a target letter in connection with Wheat’s investigation….

(Translation: To save himself, Amemiya must give up Caldwell.)

Max Sword, former chairman of the Police Commission that approved the settlement, allegedly told the grand jury that neither Amemiya nor Caldwell participated in the settlement process, according to sources involved with the investigation….

(Translation: He’s trying to blame Leong, but the Feds aren’t that dumb.)

Leong, the city’s former corporation counsel, received a target letter from federal authorities in January 2019.

At the time, Caldwell told the news media that Leong’s target letter involved her role in the agreement between Kealoha and the Honolulu Police Commission that allowed the department’s 10th chief to retire with benefits, including a $250,000 payout….

(Translation: He’s trying to blame Leong, but the Feds aren’t that dumb.)

read … Former Honolulu managing director Roy Amemiya says he had nothing to do with Louis Kealoha’s $250,000 settlement

Department of Retaliation: Spurned Wife Gets Payback After Sex on Campus

CB: … The Hawaii Labor Relations Board this week will consider a case involving a public elementary school principal and vice principal who were fired in 2018 after they were accused of having sexual relations on campus during an extramarital affair.

Erin Kusumoto, the former vice principal of Pearl City Highlands Elementary School, filed a prohibited practice complaint against the Hawaii Government Employees Association last year after the union refused to take her case to arbitration to fight her firing….

Kishimoto wrote in Kusumoto’s termination letter that a 2018 investigation found that “there is sufficient evidence to conclude that VP Kusumoto inappropriately engaged in conduct of a sexual nature and/or sexual relations with Principal Nakasato on the PCHES campus before, during and after work hours.”…

The allegations came to the attention of DOE officials after Nakasato’s wife (a DoE teacher) confronted Kusumoto about it at the school in the fall of 2017, and then widely distributed an email months later on the state system that included “graphic accusations” the couple had sex on campus during school hours, according to the labor board complaint….

The email circulated to at least 1,000 people, and the DOE administration failed to remove it from the system even after Kusumoto complained about it, according to the HLRB filing. The complaint alleges the email was left in the system because the administration “intended to intimidate (Kusumoto) to not challenge the DOE in any way.”…

(Translation: DoE retaliation system successfully used by spurned wife.)

The HLRB hearing on the claim against HGEA is scheduled to begin Friday morning….

PDF: Complaint

read … Vice Principal Fired For Affair On Campus Accuses Her Union Of Failing To Defend Her

Hawaii Tourism Authority approves plan to reduce Oahu tourists

SA: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Thursday approved a tourism management plan for Oahu that says the agency will work to “decrease the total number of visitors on the island.”

The agency intends to meet that goal by “managing the number of visitor accommodations, and exploring changes to land use, zoning and airport policies.” …

Similar plans also have been developed and approved for Maui, Kauai and Hawaii island, although the plan for Oahu is likely to have a greater impact on shaping tourism policy across the state as Oahu gets the lion’s share of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Oahu DMAP also hopes to establish a “regenerative tourism” fee that supports natural resources and addresses unfunded conservation liabilities. The agency wants to increase management and enforcement of sites and trails.

The action plan seeks to manage visitors’ use of cars as transportation on Oahu, among other initiatives.

Through the DMAP, Anderson said, HTA wants to develop and implement marketing programs that attract “positive-impact tourists,” who prioritize environment, culture and investing in the local community.

HTA President and CEO John De Fries said he doesn’t know what the tourism cap should be, but right now the community is saying that there are too many visitors….

Keith Vieira, principal of KV &Associates, Hospitality Consulting, said he believes Hawaii’s domestic tourism market is in a “bubble.”

“There are two main reasons for this surge. One is pent-up demand and euphoria in believing things are getting better with COVID,” he said. “The other is there is really no place else to go. Once the rest of the world opens up, the current gains won’t be sustainable.”

Vieira said he doesn’t support raising airline landing fees or implementing new visitor fees, especially when the counties are likely to increase the transient accommodations taxes that visitors pay by 30%.

However, he approves of efforts to crack down on illegal vacation rentals… 

read … Hawaii Tourism Authority approves plan to reduce Oahu tourists

Honolulu City Council weighs how to waste $386M federal COVID funds

SA: … The Honolulu City Council is deciding how to spend the first $193 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that the city received in June to combat the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Honolulu was awarded $386 million from ARPA. The other half of the funds will be distributed to the city next year….

Blue Planet Foundation, a clean-energy organization, was asked to weigh in with ideas. Some of the more substantial proposals were $10 million to establish a loan fund to support rental energy efficiency upgrades, $850,000 for installing more electric vehicle charging stations and $1 million for clean-energy job training, particularly in the hospitality industry….

The state’s broadband strategy officer, Burt Lum, also gave a presentation on plans for digital equity and how the city could work with the state using ARPA funds to expand broadband connectivity….

read … Honolulu City Council weighs how to spend federal COVID funds

Hawaii to report 622 COVID cases amid continued surge, lab reporting delays

HNN: … The startling count is at least partly blamed on lab reporting delays earlier this week but also represents a continued surge in new coronavirus cases in the islands.

Sources told HNN that the seven-day average for new cases now stands at 230.6, which is among the highest averages in Hawaii for the entire pandemic….

SA: WATCH LIVE: Hawaii health director Libby Char announces more than 600 COVID cases on Spotlight Hawaii

KHON: UH COVID-19 forecast model predicts Delta variant could push Oahu to 600 daily infections

read … Hawaii to report 622 COVID cases amid continued surge, lab reporting delays

Hawaii hits 60% mark for vaccinations

HTH: … Ige has said previously that when the state reaches a fully vaccinated rate of 70%, all of Hawaii’s COVID-related emergency restrictions will be dropped, and the state’s Safe Travels Program will end.

More than 1.75 million doses have been administered statewide. According to the DOH, 66.7% of residents have received at least one dose….

Hawaii County’s 6.9% test positivity rate remains the highest in the state.

The statewide positivity rate is 4.8%….

read … Hawaii hits 60% mark for vaccinations

‘Perfect Storm’ Led To A Spike In COVID Cases On The Westside

CB: … On Thursday, the Hawaii Department of Health reported 365 COVID-19 cases in the three main neighborhoods that comprise the Westside within the past two weeks — nearly a quarter of the 1,532 cases on the island.

Waianae had 132 cases, the most of any other area on Oahu, followed by Ewa with 129 and Kapolei with 104. Those neighborhoods also have among the lowest vaccination rates on the island, between 35% and 45%.

Jacob Schafer, the director of infection control at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, said the numbers are only a fraction of the active cases spreading throughout the community due to asymptomatic carriers and those infected who are not tested.

“Looking at epidemiological models, the true number is usually anywhere from six to 24 times that,” Schafer said. “So, based on the models, there’s probably about 1,000 active cases out there.”…

read … Here’s How A ‘Perfect Storm’ Led To A Spike In COVID Cases On The Westside

Hawaii Education Department Releases Statewide Distance Learning Plan

CB: … The options are limited to 180 elementary schoolers, 90 middle schoolers and 120 high schoolers, for a total 390 seats….

SA: Limited distance-based learning spots available for many Hawaii public students

read … Hawaii Education Department Releases Statewide Distance Learning Plan

DTL Selected for Hawaii State Energy Office Community Outreach Plan

IM: … HSEO submitted a request for proposal through the state`s procurement system. (Solicitation No. RFP-21-030-HSEO-PAO)

HSEO required “the services of a contractor to develop a robust outreach and engagement program including a `playbook` for implementation statewide.”

“The contractor will act as the HSEO’s `structural engineer` and will work collaboratively with the HSEO to plan and implement the program and provide a detailed report of community input and the community engagement process.”

“The HSEO provides the community and energy sector stakeholders with information, analysis, tools, and technical assistance needed to achieve Hawai’i’s ambitious clean energy and climate goals.”…

DTL’s current clients include Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools (lessor of forest land to provide fuel for the proposed Hu Honua Bioenergy facility), Howard Hughes, Young Brothers, and Turtle Bay Resorts.

Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Chair of the all-powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee, has worked with DTL since January 2015.

DTL was paid at least $84,000 to assist in the HECO-NextEra merger….

IM: Hawaii State Energy Office Re-Invents Itself

DTL 2019 Flashback: Ala Wai Development Plan Serves OHA, not Boaters

read … DTL Selected for Hawai`i State Energy Office`s Community Outreach Plan

Half of Homeless Kicked out due to ‘Drug and Anger Issues’ 

TGI: … The families had been evicted from the park and were just outside of the park to avoid being arrested. I personally went down there with bottled water and banana bread. I found a seven-months-pregnant woman with her two young children, another young family with a father who had health problems, and the rest were elderly over 50 years old, all with nowhere to go. These aren’t transients from the mainland. These are ALL Hawaiians who were born and raised here on the Westside of Kaua‘i.

They have fallen through the cracks.

Both my husband and I agreed that at least for the evening they could stay at our home.

The first night we probably had at least 20 people camping. The next morning, we called our landlord and told her what happened. I believe she may have been in shock. She told us to hang on and wait to hear back from her.

The numbers here have dropped significantly, as we had to ask some people to leave because of drugs and anger issues.

At this moment we have seven adults (which includes the pregnant mom). One of these adults is currently at the Waimea hospital because of a blood infection in his legs. Upon release, this Kaua‘i man has nowhere to go. According to his nurse, his blood pressure has stabilized and he’s in much better condition. A large part of his recovery is thinking that he has somewhere to go upon his release.

There are four children under the age of six here on the property as well….

read … Couple facing eviction would help homeless again

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