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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
September 21, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:07 PM :: 3763 Views

46% Rate Hike: Audit Exposes Young Bros Fraudulent Accounting Tricks

Kaniela Ing Front Group Buys Ads to Complain After Ed Case Refuses to Burn Treasury Down

Study: Tourists will Spend More if Experience Seems 'Authentic' and 'Sustainable'

August 2021 vs 2019: Hotel Revenues Up, Occupancy Down

Zombie power plant refuses to die

Hawaii State Auditor Les Kondo challenges ‘Sneaky Underhanded’ investigation of office

SA: … State Auditor Les Kondo challenged members of a special House Investigative Committee on Monday to specify why he and his office are under investigation following two critical audits of land management practices by two state agencies — but received no response.

“The committee needs to be transparent, to be honest about what the committee is doing,” Kondo said. “What are you investigating and why? … The sneaky, underhanded approach is just not appropriate.

“Let’s put our cards on the table,” he said. “Let’s have an honest discussion about whatever you want to discuss, whatever your concerns may be.”…

In response, Committee Chairwoman and House Majority Leader Della Au Bellati (D, Moiliili- Makiki-Tantalus) — a lawyer like Kondo — said “our committee’s purpose is broad and includes … matters related to this series of audits.”…

REALITY: Hanabusa Attack on Auditor is all about hiding corruption in the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

read … Hawaii State Auditor Les Kondo challenges investigation of office

Another CWS Fail? Missing 6-year-old had serious injuries investigated by state in 2019, 2020

HNN: … Exactly one week after Waimanalo 6-year-old Isabella “Ariel” Kalua was reported missing, her adoptive family sat down with HPD for an extensive interview Monday ― the same day that police announced they were suspending the active search for the little girl….

Meanwhile, Hawaii News Now has learned that the girl had two serious injuries investigated by Child Welfare Services in the past two years.

In the first incident, in October 2019, she had a broken finger….

There was a delay in the reporting of the injury and a delay in getting her treatment, sources said. Her family said her hand was slammed in a door.

Just four months later, in January 2020, Kalua suffered a broken leg and was taken to the ER. The family said she was injured on a trampoline.

In both cases, a panel of experts determined there was no maltreatment….

The man police identify as Kalua’s adoptive father, Isaac Kalua III, has a criminal past.

According to court records, he was convicted 20 years ago on three counts of terroristic threatening and assault. He was sentenced to 5 years probation….

Lane said for this reason, the children should never have been placed in the home to begin with.

“It’s a violation of the Department of Human Services’ foster home parent’s guidelines,” he said….

read … Missing 6-year-old had serious injuries investigated by state in 2019, 2020

Four Years After A Toddler Died Of Scalding, Her Mother Still Seeks Answers

CB: … Ocean suffered second-degree burns to her face, arms and legs, according to Ocean’s Hawaii Pacific Health medical records.

The burns covering almost 30% of Ocean’s body were “consistent with pouring hot liquid,” according to a report by a multidisciplinary panel of health care professionals who reviewed her case for the Department of Human Services.

“It is unlikely Ocean burned herself on four separate parts of her body,” the report by the nonprofit Child & Family Service states. “The findings in this case are consistent with child maltreatment.”…

Medical professionals found “significant bruising” on Ocean’s buttocks and noted that Ocean had come to the hospital a few weeks before for unexplained injuries, the Child & Family Service report states.

Less than a month after she was burned, Ocean died with her mother, Sassidy Curry, by her side, surrounded by doctors. The Honolulu Medical Examiner ruled her death a homicide, which means simply that it was caused by another person.

Four years later, the case remains open with the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. No one has been charged with a crime — unusual for a juvenile homicide in Honolulu. …

read … Four Years After A Toddler Died Of Scalding, Her Mother Still Seeks Answers

Many Businesses not using ‘Smart’ App -- Bring Paper Card Instead

SA: … Well over 100,000 people have uploaded vaccine card images to and verified them as part of the state’s new Hawaii SMART Health Card program restricting access at some venues. They then can access a QR code stored under the SMART section of the site. Greeters at venues can scan the code with a special SMART app.

But a lot of places aren’t bothering with the app, so the really smart thing would be to have the card or its image ready to show as well. And don’t forget your photo ID….

Related: Can the Hawaii SMART Health Card record your sexual performances and store them in a database?

read … Bring your vaccine card and ID

COVID-19 vaccine rates up for Hawaii public safety workers and inmates

SA: … There were 296, or 18.7%, of the 1,579 corrections workers in Hawaii who declined the vaccine, according to the state Department of Public Safety, as did 38 of Hawaii’s 332 sheriffs.….

read … COVID-19 vaccine rates up for Hawaii public safety workers and inmates

Antibody treatments lagging in Hawaii amid strong U.S. demand

SA: … The federal government has capped Hawaii’s weekly allocation at 680 treatments, half of what local health care providers had requested, according to Brooks Baehr, a spokesman for the state Department of Health. The state will have to wait and see whether it can get more supply in the coming weeks….

The antibody treatments made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly were given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration in November, and clinical studies have shown they can significantly reduce the chance of becoming severely ill and dying from the virus. Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, which former President Donald Trump took when he was infected with COVID-19 in 2020, has shown to reduce the risk of being hospitalized by 70%. The drugs also have been shown to be highly effective at preventing someone from contracting the virus after a known exposure when taken as a preventive measure.

The treatment, which involves a series of shots or infusions, must be taken early on after the onset of symptoms. Once someone is hospitalized and in need of oxygen, health care officials say it is usually too late….

While the drugs have been widely available for months, there has been limited demand for them nationally as health officials concentrated on the rollout of the vaccines ….

Health care officials say that while the treatment is currently in short supply, the local need for it is hopefully waning as the state appears to be on the back end of the surge….

read … Antibody treatments lagging in Hawaii amid strong U.S. demand

Legal experts say no spike in evictions in Hawaii yet despite end of moratorium

HNN: … "Not as many people are scheduling mediation as we hope, trying to take advantage of that opportunity to work it out between the two parties," O'Meara said.

Community groups also offer assistance such as the Windward Eviction Prevention Program. Since it began in April, organizers report about 550 families between Waimanalo and Kahuku received help….

The City and County of Honolulu reopened its rent relief program for applications last week. A spokesperson reports there's been around 3,000 applications so far. Since the program began in April, more than 8,000 households on the island received federal funds, totaling more than $70 million….

read … Legal experts say no spike in evictions in Hawaii yet despite end of moratorium

Training Records May Be Sticking Point In Fire Chief Deadlock

CB: … Camara’s report shows him tardy on about 150 of the nearly 800 assignments taken between July 2016 to July 14 of this year. Three of those assignments — identified as hotstick, elevated rail awareness and warning strobe alarm device — were completed 74 days after their due date and coincide with when Camara was on medical leave.

By contrast, Hao’s report shows him overdue on most of the 450 assignments listed in his report. Many of them were delayed for over a year and include one assignment — identified as an annual review hurricane SOG — that was finished 769 days after its due date.

That assignment was also among more than three dozen that were completed over a three-day period in mid-July, many of them done late at night or early in the morning, finished one right after the other and submitted to the Honolulu Fire Commission July 19….

read … Training Records May Be Sticking Point In Fire Chief Deadlock

Honolulu’s Search For A New City Auditor May Finally Be Near An End

CB: … The Honolulu City Council will weigh the appointment of a new city auditor this week after a search committee selected a woman with experience on the mainland to fill the role, more than two years after the previous auditor retired.

If approved, Arushi Kumar, who has worked in Washington, D.C., and Seattle, would be the third city auditor to hold the job since it was created in 2010. She would serve a six-year term starting in December. Her appointment is up for a hearing by the council’s Budget Committee on Wednesday. …

read … Honolulu’s Search For A New City Auditor May Finally Be Near An End

COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

AP: … COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did — approximately 675,000.

The U.S. population a century ago was just one-third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the COVID-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given the incredible advances in scientific knowledge since then and the failure to take maximum advantage of the vaccines available this time….

read … COVID has killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu

EPIC: ‘Streamlined’ Computerized Permitting System is … Very Slow

WHT: … Local solar and photovoltaic contractors say there’s a clog in the permit pipeline from the county’s new EPIC online permitting system.

A permit slowdown was expected with the transition to an online permit system in late July. But, while most builders and contractors questioned in an informal survey by West Hawaii Today said permits are starting to trickle through, PV and solar water contractors have yet to see a single permit dribble out.

The situation is so dire solar companies are considering ceasing operations and laying off employees, said Rocky Mould, executive director of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association.

“County permitting needs to start functioning again,” Mould said. “The failure to process applications in a timely fashion impacts residents — looking to adopt clean energy and save money on their electric bill — and slows down economic growth during a time when we need it the most.”

The numbers seem to support contractors’ concerns.

None of the 947 permits logged as issued in the EPIC system between July 1 and Monday were for PV or solar water systems. That compares to 77 PV and 19 solar water systems in June, 56 PV and 33 solar water systems in May and 63 PV and 27 solar water systems in April, according to the newspaper’s analysis.

The DPW Building Division took in 1,500 construction permit applications since the EPIC system went online, she said, and issued 561 permits….

read … Clog in online permitting system slows PV installations

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