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Monday, January 31, 2022
January 31, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:21 PM :: 1911 Views

Unemployment Recovery? Hawaii Dead Last

Hawaii 2nd Worst Racial Wealth Gap

Doubled in One Month: Over 100K COVID infections reported in January in Hawaii

KHON:   … From Jan. 1 through Jan. 30, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has reported 104,843 COVID-19 cases, which is about half of all COVID infections reported in the state since March 2020.

From March 2020 through Dec. 31, 2021, the state reported 112,932 total COVID cases….

The original omicron strain is believed to make up 99% of all COVID infections in the state, according to the DOH’s latest variant report.

But a new, possibly more contagious, sub-lineage variant of omicron has reached Hawaii’s shores. The sub-variant is called BA.2, or ‘stealth omicron,’ and so far, eight cases have been detected in Hawaii….

read … Over 100K COVID infections reported in January as new contagious sub-variant detected in Hawaii

42% of Vacation Rentals Wiped Out

PBN: … According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, occupancy for vacation rentals throughout the state was nearly 67% last month, an 8.4 percentage-point drop from December 2019, when units were 75% occupied.

Last month’s occupancy rate, however, reflects unit supply and demand that are both far below 2019 levels.

Unit supply of vacation rentals statewide was 497,300 unit nights last month, which marked a 42% drop compared to December 2019. Unit demand last month was 332,900 unit nights, a 48% decline from 2019.

Meanwhile, average daily rate, or ADR, saw a notable jump compared to 2019. ADR was $280 last month, up nearly 20% over December 2019 when ADR was $234….

read … Supply, demand for Hawaii vacation rentals were far below 2019 levels in December

Who’s Looking for Hawaii’s Missing Girls?

TNR: … It was a late morning in September when Detective Maile Rego of the County of Honolulu Police Department heard that 6-year-old Ariel Sellers had gone missing from her adoptive parents’ home on the eastern side of Oahu.

Rego has been on the force for 15 years and has been a detective focused on child abuse cases since 2014. She’s trained for years with a network of state and federal agencies across the islands who work on crimes against minors to coordinate cohesive responses in moments like this one. She knew what she would do to help find Ariel (also known as Isabella Kalua, the name given to her by her adoptive parents). But Rego wasn’t on the case. She was at home, where she’s been on leave for months. Like everyone else on the island, she watched the search for Ariel unfold on the local news and was devastated when the girl’s adoptive parents were arrested and charged with her murder two months after she was reported missing.

It’s been a long time since Rego hasn’t been privy to an investigation like this. Following the case as a civilian, she told me in a recent phone call, “I see what the public sees, and I go through the same emotions of it.” Unlike the public, however, she also notes what she doesn’t see—namely, law enforcement agencies working effectively together from day one.

Rego hasn’t set foot inside HPD headquarters since March, after, according to a lawsuit she filed against the department in August, commanders began retaliating against her because she alleged negligence in Hawaii’s other high-profile missing child case last year, that of 18-month-old Kytana Ancog in February. Rego alleges that HPD’s missing persons detail delayed its investigation into the toddler’s disappearance for two days and failed to alert other state and federal partners, including the FBI.

The only case Rego is working on now is her own….

read .. Who’s Looking for Hawaii’s Missing Girls?

Legalized gambling gets renewed push

SA: … House Bill 2040 and Senate Bill 2365 would allow for a state lottery; SB 2310 would designate “excess” lottery proceeds go toward a pest inspection, quarantine and eradication fund aimed at invasive species; and HB 2004 would allow for “Online Fantasy Sports Contests.”…

SB 1321 and HB 359 originally were written to allow DHHL to build a casino resort on Hawaiian home lands west of Ko Olina.….

Keohokalole likes the idea of the intent of SB 2608 — which he also helped introduce — and HB 1962. Both would require DHHL to conduct a study of the ramifications of a casino, including projected revenues and potential negative effects, such as gambling addiction and crime.

DHHL’s report would be due before the start of the 2023 legislative session….

HB 1820 would prohibit the casino from being inside a hotel, but gamblers would be required to stay at least one day and one night in an Oahu hotel for every day of play, which would cost $20….

read … Legalized gambling gets renewed push

Lawmakers push for "Ariel's Bill"

KITV: … The bill would allow staff with child welfare services to continue check ups with families who ARE receiving state payments even after adoption, which is currently not the case….it would also create a 24/7 DOH crisis mobile outreach pilot program that would provide 24/7 crisis mental health services….

read … Lawmakers push for "Ariel's Bill"

Let's Hope For A Respectful Dialogue About Mauna Kea

CB: … Hawaiians are not unanimous in their opposition to the telescope and there is no religious authority to make decisions….public opinion polls dating back to 2018 and 2020 indicated a divided Hawaiian community, with a majority of Hawaiians supporting the TMT….

As HB 2024 begins its journey this legislative session, it is hoped that there will be transparency, patience, tolerance and respectful dialogue. It should be noted that at this early stage, HB 2024 will first be vetted in the House of Representatives with the assumption that after the House makes its amendments it will pass to the Senate for consideration. For sure Mauna Kea will be subject to lively discussion in both houses.

House Vice Speaker John Mizuno weighed in with a comment that there is a sense of urgency this legislative session to prioritize a number of long-standing Hawaiian issues and Mauna Kea ranks near the top. Mizuno’s sense that this may become a Year of the Hawaiian seems borne out by other measures that include House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke’s HB 2511, and Sen. Jarret Keohokalole’s SB 3359, appropriating $600 million to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Special Housing fund. Add also Sen. Kurt Fevella’s SB 2122 appropriating $638 million to settle an OHA claim of back payments for OHA’s 20% share of the State’s ceded lands trust fund. Another $15.7 million in SB 3351 would go to grants to private nonprofit organizations for Native Hawaiian community-based services….

SA Editorial: Keep astronomy on Mauna Kea summit--HB 2024 should be shelved.

read … Let's Hope For A Respectful Dialogue About Mauna Kea

5 Charts Show Hawaii’s Housing Cost Squeeze

CB: … People would need to make between $60 and $70 an hour, working 40-hour weeks, to put only 30% of their earnings towards a monthly mortgage for a single-family home on Oahu. But wages in Hawaii's service, construction, retail and manufacturing sectors all fall well below that….

read … 5 Charts Show Hawaii’s Housing Cost Squeeze

Among The Ideas For Screening Honolulu’s Police Chief Candidates: Sleep Deprivation

CB: … “We told the consulting firm that what we’d recommend, or one thing, would be to have the candidates stay up for like 18 or 20 hours straight, make them mentally drained kind of like police officers working double shifts, and then bring them in at that point and run them through a practical exercise,” Cavaco said. “Whether it’s going in front of people answering questions or whether it’s a media interview about a big incident in the community, and then see how that candidate performs under that level of stress.” ….

read … Among The Ideas For Screening Honolulu’s Police Chief Candidates: Sleep Deprivation

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