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Sunday, September 19, 2021
September 19, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:29 PM :: 2216 Views

What we ‘need’ is to fix Hawaii’s healthcare laws

Competition for People

Nobody Supports Antivaxxers: 87% of Public Say ‘Just Stop’

SA: … The turnout was much smaller than expected; a company called the Aloha Freedom Coalition had put out materials promoting the event that predicted 10,000 people would attend. Those who did show up carried signs that read “mandate tyranny” and “freedom.” Many held American flags and several waved “Trump 2020” flags.

A number of passing motorists and a city bus driver honked in support of the marchers, who also got pushback from bystanders who shouted, among other things, “Don’t infect your children” and “Freedom to get sick.”…

Top Comments: 1) “800 dummies” -- 2) “they should sign a waiver declining medical services” -- 3) “As far as prioritizing patients coming to ER, the anti vaxxers should be given a low priority over all others.”

HTH: Hilo Freedom Rally draws hundreds: Protesters object to vaccine, mask mandates

MN: 2,000 Quack Loudly in Duckburg

Big Q: What do you think of the Aloha Freedom Coalition’s protests against vaccination mandates? (87% Oppose--‘Just Stop’)

read … Turnout for anti-mandate march in Waikiki smaller than expected

From exhausted Hawaii hospice nurse: Please get the COVID-19 vaccine

SA: … “I’m afraid” and “I heard this one person had a bad side effect” also are not valid reasons. Whether it’s fear of needles or worry about unknown substances being injected into your body, fear and worry are not valid reasons to avoid the vaccine. If you’re hospitalized with COVID-19, you will get plenty of needles and unknown substances injected into your body, and possibly a ventilator, trach and tube feedings — as well as all the indignities of incontinence, possibly a Foley catheter (urinary drain) and a rectal tube (poop drain).

WE NURSES are burned out on all the deaths. We have gone through crying, begging, pleading that the dying stops. But it continues. Now, recently, deaths are coming two and three at a time. We are frustrated. We are angry. We are exhausted.

These deaths are unnecessary. Our exhaustion and compassion fatigue are unnecessary. Only you can stop yourself from dying, only you can help our jobs be just that much easier….

read … From exhausted Hawaii hospice nurse: Please get the COVID-19 vaccine

Punish Antivaxxers, Reward the vaccinated

Shapiro: …Thoughtful executive emergency orders are the only way to effectively deal with a fluid public health crisis like COVID-19, which changes so fast there’s often little time for debating and legislating.

But while it’s fair to crack down on those who won’t cooperate in protecting themselves or the community, Ige loses credence when he refuses reasonable rewards for those who follow the rules and do their part to curb the virus….

read … Gov. David Ige’s inflexibility dims credibility on the pandemic

Kids and COVID: 147 Hospitalized in Hawaii

SA: … In Hawaii, it’s clear that cases among kids have soared since early July when the delta variant began to spread aggressively. By the last week of August, cases among children ages 17 and younger were 17 times higher than in early July.

During the week ending Aug. 29, more than 800 new cases were reported among children throughout the islands. But when it comes to figuring out how many of those kids are getting so sick they end up in the hospital, the picture is a lot murkier.

Prior to the rapid spread of the delta variant, 47 children with COVID-19 had been hospitalized in Hawaii since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, according to data posted on the Hawaii Department of Health website. In just the last two months, that number has more than tripled to 147….

read … Kids and COVID-19: Data paints skewed picture

Tourists, Hawaii’s visitor industry feel impact of travel cancellations

SA: … Jack Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, said Sept. 8 that booking cancellations were up over 300% compared to 2019, and that cancellations on Sept. 7 alone were up 463% from the same day in 2019.

Richards said some visitors are leery of booking because they don’t know if they will be able to get a refund if they have to cancel. They also are concerned about Safe Access O‘ahu and all the other changing rules, he said.

“They are concerned that they won’t be able to get dinner reservations or go to their favorite activity,” he said. “There’s no question that Safe Access O‘ahu has had a chilling effect. People have been cooped up for 18 months. If they go on vacation, they want experiences.”

Many destinations have seen dampening demand from U.S. travelers as the delta variant has surged across the country, although not nearly to the same degree as Hawaii.

“Hawaii’s demand is negative,” Richards said. “We still have destinations like Mexico that are positive. There are no restrictions there, and there isn’t a testing requirement to get into the country. About 85% of the hotels that we do business with in Mexico are providing the testing to get back into the U.S. onsite and it’s usually free or at a nominal cost.”

He said the worst part about Hawaii’s situation is that it is confusing and leaves visitors inconvenienced and second-guessing themselves about what to do. 

HNN: Hawaii hotels losing millions of dollars as arrivals drop

read … Tourists, Hawaii’s visitor industry feel impact of travel cancellations

More Homeless Mayhem: Name calling, property damage: Public librarians harassed over vaccine mandate enforcement

HNN: … “Unfortunately, one of our managers’ cars was scratched with keys,” said state librarian, Stacey Aldrich. “So our staff, I think are more worried because people are angry, and with that anger sometimes it’s up to other behavior.”…

“Calling us names or throwing their library card at us,” said Aldrich. “Our staff really want to serve the community and they care about the communities, so it’s hard when people are angry and they take it out on our staff.”…

(Clue: Many libraries are daytime homeless hangouts.)

read … Name calling, property damage: Public librarians harassed over vaccine mandate enforcement

Vaccination card checks at businesses run smoothly, but there’s some pushback

HNN: … Showing a vaccine card and ID are now part of the ritual to dine in at places like SkyBox Tap House, a new sports bar at the International Marketplace in Waikiki.

“We already had the contact tracing forms, as well as temperature checks and social distancing and masks required, so it was just one extra safeguard we’re adding now,” said Alan Wiltshire, vice president of operations for SkyBox and sister restaurant Shore Fyre.

Staffers at the restaurants have been trained to handle situations that could arise if someone doesn’t want to follow the mandates.

“We haven’t had any issues,” said Wiltshire.

“It’s been less than three people between all three restaurants that had not wanted to comply, and they were all fine with not entering the restaurant, so I think it’s been going well.”…

read … Vaccination card checks at businesses run smoothly, but there’s some pushback

Blangiardi’s decisive ‘no’ to Haiku Stairs could be template for saying Yes to Rail Tax Hike

Borreca: … The political furor of the stairs is testament to the futile attempts at appeasement rather than firm decision-making of former Honolulu mayors.

Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply, when it owned the property, was spending $250,000 in security annually to deter hikers, who for decades have trespassed on private property and ignored guards and no-trespassing signs to access the stairs, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser report. At the same time, the city spent $875,000 in 2002 to repair the stairs with an eye to reopening the attraction that had been closed because of the danger in 1987. Now the word “no” is a bit higher in the Honolulu Hale vocabulary, and we are spending $1 million to take down the stairs.

Usually the city doesn’t waste money making decisions it is soon to counter; instead, the money is squandered in needless studies for controversial projects. The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium comes to mind as a municipal sinkhole.

The last of the many byzantine studies the city offered up, instead of a firm decision, was a three- volume environmental impact statement issued in 2019 that studied all possible aspects of the almost- completely collapsed Natatorium built as a memorial to the Hawaii soldiers who died in World War I. It is a fine study that caused city leaders to carefully put it on a shelf and then ignore it.

If Blangiardi can repeat his ability to make a decision and act on a longstanding city issue, instead of following his predecessors and ignoring it, perhaps he can take up the Natatorium issue and come to a decision.

Or if he really wants the “Most Decisive Honolulu Leader” award, then Blangiardi should come up with Honolulu’s biggest decision: what to do with the ongoing mess that is the city rail project….

read … Blangiardi’s decisive ‘no’ to Haiku Stairs could be template for other long-stalled decisions

Public meeting on Hoku Kea set for Wednesday

HTH: … The virtual meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and can be found at, where members of the public also can read the environmental assessment and send comments ….

HTH: A new planet? Astronomers believe they’ve found proof

read … Public meeting on Hoku Kea set for Wednesday

Hawaii pension fund rockets to record 26.2% 1-year return

SA: … Hawaii’s largest public pension fund, which has been playing catch-up to dig out of a $14.6 billion shortfall, has achieved what is believed to be the best fiscal- year performance in its 95-year history.

The state Employees’ Retirement System, which provides benefits to more than 148,000 members and beneficiaries, posted a 26.2% investment return for the fiscal year that ended June 30 as its assets climbed to a record $21.4 billion…

Williams said the fiscal 2021 blockbuster return should reduce the number of years it will take for the fund to become 100% funded.

“I expect our funding level to increase from 55.3% to between 57% and 58%,” he said in an email. “More importantly, I anticipate our period to full funding to decline between 2 and 3 years. Our unfunded liability will decline this year, for the first time in decades, years earlier than forecast. Original projections had our unfunded liability forecast to peak in 2026.”…

read … Hawaii pension fund rockets to record 26.2% 1-year return

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