Hawaii Statehood: Tiny 1959 opposition was anti-Japanese, not anti-American
Polls Showed Solid Support in Run-up to Hawaii Statehood
Hawaii Unemployment Drops to 7.3%
List: Did Your School Have COVID this week?
Lawsuit: HPD Slow to Activate Amber Alert to Cover-up Connection to Baby Killer
CB: … Kytana was last seen on Jan 31 when her mother left her with her father, Travis Rodrigues, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. On Feb. 4, Rodrigues allegedly hit her in the face, shook her and squeezed her against his chest before she lost consciousness, the paper reported.
The baby was reported missing at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 10, according to the lawsuit. HPD should have entered her information into Hawaii’s Missing Children Information Clearinghouse within two hours, the suit says. But that didn’t happen.
“The postponed investigative response and the delayed notification to other law enforcement partners severely hindered law enforcement’s effectiveness and efforts,” the lawsuit says.
Former HPD Chief Susan Ballard said earlier this year that Kytana’s case didn’t meet the criteria for a Maile Amber Alert, despite the child being in the care of a convicted felon, Hawaii News Now reported. …
Rodrigues confessed to killing the child and putting her body in a duffel bag, the Star-Advertiser reported. Scott Michael Carter, Rodrigues’ acquaintance, allegedly disposed of the body, which has never been found. …
Faster action by HPD may not have saved the baby, but Rego believes it could have led to the recovery of her remains.
Rego’s lawsuit also alleges that HPD prevented other law enforcement agencies from assisting in the investigation and attempted to cover up that Rodrigues was a ‘confidential informant’ for the department’s narcotics division. …
SA: Honolulu police whistleblower alleges retaliation, discrimination in suit
read … Detective Alleges Retaliation For Criticizing HPD Inaction In Missing Baby Case
HART seeks one more yes-man to Keep Hanabusa in Charge
PBN: … The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is in the process of filling the last vacancy on its board of directors after a spate of turnover.
The board — including new chair Colleen Hanabusa and its newest member, filmmaker Anthony Aalto — will discuss the opening at Thursday's 9 a.m. meeting, HART spokesman Joey Manahan told Pacific Business News.
HART officially announced Aalto as its 13th member on Tuesday after a hard-fought 5-4 selection by the Honolulu City Council over incumbent Joe Uno last week….
SA: HART board still looking for applicants to fill its final vacant seat
read … HART seeks board of directors stability after recent turnover
Rail Canopies: Nan Gets Another $15 Million to Fix its own Defects?
CB: … Honolulu’s rail oversight board voted unanimously Thursday to approve a nearly $15 million change order that it hopes will finally resolve the costly canopy arm snafus that have plagued west side station construction for years.
That $14.7 million will go to the local firm building six of the nine stations, Nan Inc., even though it’s still unclear who’s responsible for the cracks that started forming in the steel canopy arms shortly after they were built and who should ultimately bear the costs to replace them.
Previously, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials have flagged poor design, faulty fabrication or both as the culprit — a position that could point blame at some of Nan’s own subcontractors, among others….
The rail agency did not respond to Civil Beat’s request to discuss the canopy arm costs after Thursday’s board meeting.
What’s known, however, is that the $15 million agreement with Nan comes on top of a $10 million provisional sum approved by HART in 2019 to redesign the canopy arms once the defects appeared. …
On Thursday, HART Project Director Nathaniel “Nate” Meddings did not mention the earlier $10 million for redesign during his board briefing, although he did outline much of the canopy arms’ history of problems going back to 2016….
(Hanabusa’s special political gift: Keeping up production of new excuses to give the same crooks more millions.)
read … Rail Canopy Defects Cost Another $15 Million. Are Taxpayers Liable?
Lawyer: Unions Antivaxxer Lawsuit Easily Dismissible
CB: … Honolulu lawyer Jeffrey Harris, a labor and employment attorney advising businesses on how to implement Covid-19 mandates for employees, has one piece of advice for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi: move immediately to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought by first responders challenging the city and county’s policy of requiring them to be vaccinated.
“It’s directly against U.S. Supreme Court precedent,” Harris told a webinar organized by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, during which member businesses clamored for details on how to implement vaccine mandates….
LINK: ''Vaccination in the Workplace: The Why and How''
read … Can Hawaii Employers Force Workers To Be Vaccinated? It’s A Hot Topic Right Now
Legislators ask why HHSC has delayed mandatory vaccinations
HTH: … The letter from Senate Human Services Committee Chairwoman Joy San Buenaventura, a Democrat who represents Puna and Ka‘u, Senate Health Committee Chairman Jarrett Keohokalole, and House Health, Human Services and Homelessness Chairman Ryan Yamane, both Oahu Democrats, is addressed to Dr. Linda Rosen, HHSC’s president and CEO. It comes at a time when many state medical facilities, including Hilo Medical Center, are struggling to deal with the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“The surge in COVID-19 activity in Hawaii over the last several weeks is deeply troubling,” the letter states. “Considering the sweeping change in policy taking place among so many large organizations — and the disturbing rise in cases locally — the public deserves to know what you see that so many of our public health and medical experts do not.”
The three legislators also express in the letter that safe access to treatment at facilities is of paramount interest to their constituents….
read … Legislators ask why HHSC has delayed mandatory vaccinations
Growing number of COVID cases overwhelms Hawaii’s contact tracing efforts
HNN: … The state’s contact tracing efforts are overwhelmed by the growing number of COVID cases, according to Department of Health data and a DOH insider.
A DOH spokesman said they recently expanded their team from 269 last week to 313, but the team still struggles to keep up with the hundreds of newly infected people every day.
Of the cases contact tracers have successfully reached in July, 67% were contacted in one day, 17% in two days, 11% in three to five days, and 5% in six or more days.
The latest data for August shows only 41% were contacted in one day, with 38% in two days, 18% in three to five days, and 3% in six or more days…
In the middle of July, DOH data showed contact tracers were able to reach about 90% of people who were infected. The latest data for the first week of August showed they were only able to reach 62%….
read … Growing number of COVID cases overwhelms Hawaii’s contact tracing efforts
Nearly 3,000 Students in Distance Learning
KHON: … Department of Education (DOE) officials said that more than 2,300 students are in distance programs at schools, another 660 preferred State programs.
The DOE said the waitlist will shrink as more teachers are hired, but it is not just the voluntary distance programs that are facing challenges; Schools also have to plan for distance learning when kids face quarantine shutdowns.
“There is a constitutional mandate to deliver public education to those who are enrolled in the public school system, said Ray L’Heureux with the Education Institute of Hawaii. “So all the lesson learned that came out of last school year should have been this entire summer. Yes, I know. administrators were tired, but you have to put a plan on the shelf. Okay, if this ever happens again, this is how we’re going to do it and you start having those pieces on the shelf to be able to plug and play. That doesn’t look like that happened at all.”…
SA: Parents and teachers criticize Hawaii’s Department of Education as pandemic grows
CB: Hawaii Turns To Mainland Teachers To End Distance Learning Backlog
read … Hawaii DOE still working out kinks of distance learning
Will Federal Court Order Mass Release of Criminals onto Hawaii Streets?
CB: … An attorney who sued the state to force reforms to stop the rampant spread of Covid-19 inside the Hawaii correctional system said Thursday the two sides in the case may be closing in on a settlement.
Attorney Eric Seitz told members of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission that his office is pressing for appointment of a five-member panel to oversee steps that must be taken to cope with the pandemic, a proposal modeled after a similar settlement in Connecticut.
U.S. District Court Judge Jill Otake last month ruled the state Department of Public Safety has failed to protect Hawaii inmates from coronavirus outbreaks that caused the deaths of at least nine prisoners so far.
She issued a preliminary injunction ordering the correctional system to follow its own written plan for dealing with the pandemic, and declared in her decision that the class-action lawsuit accusing the state of violating the inmates’ constitutional rights during the pandemic will likely succeed at trial.
DPS Director Max Otani told the commission Thursday he cannot publicly discuss the settlement negotiations
The Kauai Community Correctional Center is particularly hard hit at the moment, with 62 of 128 inmates at that jail testing positive. Another 63 inmates at the Maui Community Correctional Center are infected, and 31 prisoners at the Oahu Community Correctional Center have active cases of Covid-19, Otani said.
Halawa Correctional Facility, the state’s largest prison, has another 23 infections among the inmates, and two of the ill Halawa prisoners have been hospitalized.
Another five Hawaii prisoners at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, also have Covid-19, he said.
In all, more than 2,500 Hawaii inmates and nearly 300 correctional workers have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Otani said the department re-established vaccine “pods” in the facilities with support from The Queen’s Medical Center, and he estimated 80% of the Department of Public Safety staff is now vaccinated. That includes the staffs at the jails, the prisons, the Sheriff’s Division, and administration….
read … Problems Persist As Corrections Officials Struggle To Comply With Federal Order
Rental car companies oppose county’s new proposed tax class
TGI: … Major rental-car companies are opposing a bill before the Kaua‘i County Council that seeks to create and define a real-property-tax class for rental-car fleets.
The bill was introduced in July as a means of taxing the tourism industry
for its impacts on county infrastructure (because they can).
“We believe the measure unfairly assumes that the rental-car industry disproportionately impacts county infrastructure and roads,” Mark Cochrane, controller for Enterprise Holdings in Hawai‘i, said on Wednesday at a council public hearing on the bill.
Bill No. 2828, introduced by Councilmember Luke Evslin by request of the administration, would quantify a car-rental fleet as more than 10 cars. Currently, rental-car companies are taxed in the industrial class, which runs $8.10 per $1,000 net assessed valuation. In the current form of the bill, there is no set rate for the proposed tax class.
read … Rental car companies oppose county’s new proposed tax class
Advocates told abandoned residents of Hauula care home could be left at ER
HNN: … In April, Hawaii News Now saw the rush to move out 60 assisted living residents after the state Health Department revoked the license and ordered the shut down of Dignity Senior Living at Oceanside Hawaii.
This came after complaints of caregiver neglect and confirmation of dozens of deficiencies.
The expanded care home side of the facility remained licensed, open and home to 20 residents, but last week, the facility notified the state that the state and families it was voluntarily shutting down due to “economic hardship.”
The residents must scramble to find homes before the Sept. 11 shutdown….
read … Advocates told abandoned residents of Hauula care home could be left at ER
Homeless Oahu man has nowhere to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19
KITV: … Michael Maggiacomo says he loves to play baseball. But the other day, he says when he was short of breath to the point he couldn't throw or run, he knew something was wrong.
He went to Straub's ER for treatment, and was tested for COVID-19. The next day, the results came back positive….
"I have a place to stay but is that quarantine? There are other homeless people out there, am I going to give it to them?," he says….
He still feels weak and has a fever. Anyone, homeless or not, is recommended to quarantine for 10 days after testing positive until symptoms go away. …
The governor's coordinator on homeless says there are resources available, but with case counts going up, those resources are becoming more strained:
"State and City agencies are actively working together to address the multilayered needs of homeless individuals amid this pandemic. Specifically, the Department of Health, in partnership with the counties, offers isolation and quarantine resources in specific situations, including a prioritization for homeless individuals and others in congregate settings, such as an emergency shelter or group home. On Oahu, there are two facilities that currently provide isolation and quarantine services. In addition, homeless service providers have worked in partnership with Project Vision Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Health to provide COVID-19 vaccination and testing information for homeless individuals. "…
(No Space for Homeless? Use the COVID emergency to build 1000s of SROs for the homeless and then enforce a vagrancy law.)
REALITY: A Model for Hawaii: Federal Judge Orders Los Angeles to Clear Skid Row
read … Oahu man has nowhere to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19
New solar telescope in Hawaii aims to open in 3 months
AP: … “November 15 is what we’re shooting for. We just had a big review, the final construction review that was conducted by the National Science Foundation,” Rimmele said. ”(The scientists) are getting really anxious to get their observations and data done.”…
The telescope has received about 100 proposals from researchers for an initial observing window of two-and-a-half months. Picking which scientists get to go first depends heavily on atmospheric conditions and what objects are visible on a given day.
He said one quarter or even a fifth of the proposals may be approved for the first cycle.
“We are highly oversubscribed and people will have to submit proposals again for the next cycle,” he said. “That’s just how it works.”
The telescope is to be the largest and most powerful of its kind in the world. The National Solar Observatory said the Inouye telescope will be able to reveal features three times smaller than anything scientists are able to currently see on the Sun.
The Hawaii Supreme Court in 2016 affirmed a permit for the solar telescope’s construction.
The next year, more than 100 protesters tried to block a construction convoy heading to the telescope site, citing the sacredness of Haleakala’s summit. Maui police arrested six people.
Protests against another telescope planned for a different mountain and island — the Thirty Meter Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island — have (been allowed to) prevent
ed construction crews from working on that project.
read … New solar telescope in Hawaii aims to open in 3 months
Corona Virus News: