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Friday, December 11, 2020
December 11, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:40 PM :: 1181 Views

Labor Board: Governor’s Emergency Powers ARE Limited -- Collective Bargaining Agreements Cannot be Touched

COVID Vax Approved: Hawaii gets 81,000 doses for December

Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey named new OHA chair

HR8932: Gabbard Bill Would Protect Female Athletes from Transsexual Competition

UH, HECO Green Tariff Scheme Makes you Pay

Spying on You: Cell Phone Tracking COVID Obedience

Hawaii Supreme Court And Ineffective Assistance Of Appellate Counsel

UHERO: Vaccines promise 2021 growth

Kicking the Can: Mayor Caldwell says he won't furlough workers—Blangiardi will have to do it

KITV: … With the state's economy struggling during the pandemic some people are worried City and County employees could be furloughed next.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says just like the state there's no question the city budget has taken a hit due to COVID-19, but says for now City and County of Honolulu employees jobs are safe.

Mayor Caldwell says right now the current budget gap is around $400 million.

He says he wants the city to balance its budget in time for incoming Mayor Rick Blangiardi to take office and says while it will be tough he believes it can be done without any furloughs of city workers.

"Even though it doesn't need to be balanced 'til the beginning of March, we want to present to the incoming administration and balanced budget and I think we can get there without having to furlough any city employees and that's our goal," Mayor Caldwell said.

Caldwell added having thousands of state workers furloughed would have a trickle down effect on the economy and he didn't want to make things worse by also having city workers furloughed at the same time.

As for the big picture, Mayor Caldwell is hoping the budget situation will improve as the tourism sector recovers from the pandemic.

But he does caution if things don't improve the new mayor could have to consider furloughs as a last resort further down the road….

Big Q: Do you support the governor’s call for furloughs: two unpaid days off monthly or state workers, starting Jan. 1?

HNN: Caldwell (pretending to leave) a clean balance sheet for Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi, who will be inaugurated on January 2, is a priority

read … Mayor Caldwell says City and County of Honolulu won't furlough workers

Furlough fight likely to wind up in court unless lawmakers step in

KHON: …With unions set to challenge the governor’s proposal to furlough state workers, experts say it could ultimately be up to the courts to decide. But the legislature can also step in and provide a solution.

The big question is whether the governor is allowed to impose the furloughs through his emergency powers. Some legal experts say that was not the intention of the state legislature when it changed the law in 2013.

Gov. David Ige wants to furlough state workers two days a month starting January, which he says will save the state $300 million a year. It will help offset a budget shortfall of $1.4 billion a year for the next four years. State law calls for furloughs to be negotiated with the unions by collective bargaining. But the pandemic allows the governor to use his emergency powers….

July, 2020: Labor Board: Governor’s Emergency Powers ARE Limited -- Collective Bargaining Agreements Cannot be Touched

read … Furlough fight likely to wind up in court unless lawmakers step in

December 15th at 11:59 at night, Restaurant Cards will go to zero

HNN: … About 150,000 were issued totaling about $74 million in federal CARES Act funds. As of December 3rd, only $52 million had been spent.

[Note: On Friday morning, the day after this story had been published, a spokesperson restaurant card program said that $60.5 million had been spent through late Thursday.]

“December 15th at 11:59 at night, the cards will go to zero. So, people have to use their cards and today is already the 10th,” said Sheryl Matsuoka Hawaii Restaurant Association Executive Director….

read … Millions left on Hawaii Restaurant Cards need to be spent by Tuesday

Make-work: Grab n Go Program Keeps DoE Food Service Employed preparing 22 lunches per school

CB: … The head of the School Food Services Branch at Hawaii’s Department of Education stepped down from his role last week, a DOE spokesman confirmed Thursday, adding he expects “no impacts“ to schools’ grab-and-go meal distribution from the abrupt exit.

As program administrator of the food service branch, Albert Scales oversaw the division that handles the distribution of school breakfast and lunches across all 257 DOE campuses statewide.

The DOE food services branch has lost some key personnel in the last several months.

Dexter Kishida, the former Farm to School coordinator, left in August to work for the City and County of Honolulu as Food Security and Sustainability Program Manager, though he has since moved to the Office of Economic Revitalization. At the DOE, Kishida had been in charge of expanding initiatives like a DOE mobile food truck that delivers meals to hungry kids over the summer.

A dietician at the school food services branch, Derek Vidinha, also left his role last week and is now working within another DOE division, as a program specialist with Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs.

With many DOE students doing distance learning this year due to the pandemic, most meals this school year have been “grab and go” at 203 DOE sites statewide, available to anyone 18 and under.

“No impacts to Grab-and-Go meal distribution are expected due to Albert’s departure,” Inoshita said Thursday in an email, adding that 440,182 breakfasts and 528,249 lunches have been served since the fall semester started on Aug. 17….

(968,431 meals / 257 schools = 3768 meals per school / 17 weeks = 221 per week / 5 days / 2 meals = 22 meals per service per school each day.)  

DoE: Free Grab-and-Go meals program extended through Jun. 30, 2021 at 203 public schools

read … Hawaii Schools Food Services Administrator Steps Down

Lift The Suspension Of Hawaii's Public Records Law

CB: … Hawaii Gov. David Ige has issued 16 emergency proclamations since March in response to COVID-19.

Another is expected next week, when the governor plans to reduce from 14 days to 10 the time that travelers coming from out-of-state must spend in quarantine.

There is little disagreement over the fact that our islands are suffering from intertwined economic and health crises. Many of the actions taken by the Ige administration have been, while at times very difficult, often understandable and necessary.

But the suspension of Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act, which came in Ige’s supplemental proclamation of March 16, does not meet that standard.

In fact, it is a disservice to the people of Hawaii at a time when many of us are clamoring for more information from our government about the pandemic and the state’s response to it.

Ige needs to end the UIPA suspension, which is currently in force until Dec. 31. It should not be extended again….

read … Lift The Suspension Of Hawaii's Public Records Law

2012 Legislative Agenda: Gender Equity Legislation will create Jobs for Lawyers

CB: … The 2020 legislative session almost built on the law. House Bill 1192 included a number of provisions including updating the term “equal work” to “substantially similar work,” and prohibiting pay discrimination not only by gender but numerous other factors including race, age, marital status and domestic or sexual violence victim status. The bill passed both houses but died very late in a session truncated by COVID-19….

read … An argument for gender equity legislation.

Replacing Kahele: Local Democrats prepare to fill Hilo Senate seat

HTH: … Hawaii County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gerri Kahili, in a Nov. 16 letter to Kahele, congratulated him on his win and asked him to consider formally resigning “as soon as possible.”…

Kahale, reached by phone Thursday, said he and his staff have been cleaning out his Honolulu office and aren’t quite finished yet.

“I’ll be resigning from the Senate probably sometime next week,” he said.

Once he does, a game of musical chairs is likely to ensue, with a state representative in the district almost certain to vie for the Senate seat, which has two years on it before the appointee faces an election. If a sitting House member is selected, the process of filling that seat begins, which could involve County Council members looking to move up in the legislative process. And so on.

Applicants for the Senate seat must live in the district and be an active member of the Democratic Party….

The party has 30 days, upon receiving notice of Kahele’s resignation, to nominate three names from qualified applicants, and then submit those names to Gov. David Ige. Some 45 local officials in nine precincts will vote on the three nominees that will be sent to the governor….

read … Replacing Kahele: Local Democrats prepare to fill Hilo Senate seat

How Hawaii became a playground for Silicon Valley tycoons

SFG: … The recent news that Hawaii is recruiting mainland residents to work remotely came as a surprise to locals expecting further, not fewer, restrictions on travel to the Aloha State. Yet the Movers & Shakas program, which includes free round-trip airfare for 50 qualified applicants who will temporarily live on Oahu and pledge to volunteer with a community nonprofit, is part of a long tradition of luring well-heeled people to make Hawaii their vacation home.

Across the archipelago, it's easy to find Silicon Valley magnates with a large footprint, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on Kauai, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in Honolulu and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison on Lanai.

However, it’s the Kona-Kohala Coast on Hawaii Island in particular that has become a beachfront backyard for Northern California tycoons and tech titans from all over. This geographic affinity began with the heiress of the Oakland-based Matson shipping line, continued with the founders of Apple, Intel, Microsoft and Dell, and certainly shows no sign of stopping during the pandemic. At one of the most exclusive compounds on the island, media rooms are rapidly being renovated into home offices to accommodate sudden residency in what had been a second (or third or fourth) home.

Credit Laurance Rockefeller, the late son of John D. Rockefeller, for creating the idea of resort-style living in Hawaii. To help spur interest among wealthy San Franciscans in his now-iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which opened in 1965 as the first hotel and golf course on the Kohala Coast, he recruited his wealthy friend Lurline Matson Roth — owner of the Filoli estate in Woodside and daughter of the founder of Matson Navigation Co. — to build a mansion overlooking nearby coves. She called the 4,000-square-foot home Waiulaula, after a stream running through her almost 10-acre property….

MG: Tech Investor David Roux Sells Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Estate for $37 Million

NYP: Massive Hawaiian ranch from ‘Lost’ hits the market for $45M

Meanwhile: Court Clamps Down Even Harder on Aquarium Fishing Activities Near Billionaire Vacation Homes

read … How Hawaii became a playground for Silicon Valley tycoons

Despite millions in federal funds, HPD’s tent city at Keehi Lagoon sits mostly underutilized

HNN: … Over the past few months, HPD has spent millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid on things like tents and generators, so homeless people who wanted to get off the streets during the pandemic could quarantine at the facility.

But most nights, a campsite that’s made up of dozens of tents, both large and small, is not even half full.

City officials say HPD’s Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage facility ― or POST ― has space for up to 150 people. But records show that since its launch in April, the facility has averaged just 46 people per night.

Hawaii News Now has spent the past week asking to get a closer look at HPD’s new purchases, but were told more time was needed to accommodate our request….

“It’s frustrating,” said Nani Medeiros. “We could have easily taken that $2 million, turned it into as much as $6 million. And turned around a couple more kauhale.”

Medeiros is currently working with Lt. Governor Josh Green to build the state’s first kauhale, a communal village made up of 36 tiny-homes in Kalaeloa. The cost to taxpayers is just $1.4 million, with the other half of the project being paid for through donations….

KHON: More Homeless Mayhem: Maui man charged with attempted murder, arson after setting woman’s van on fire 

read … Despite millions in federal funds, HPD’s tent city at Keehi Lagoon sits mostly underutilized

Dubin’s second appeal to U.S. Supreme Court denied

ILind: … The Hawaii Supreme Court issued an order of disbarment that became effective on November 9. As of that date, Dubin is no longer licensed to practice law in the state. In addition, most states have agreements requiring them to impose reciprocal discipline consistent with the originating state.

Dubin filed a petition for an emergency stay to block the state disbarment order from going into effect, and to block the federal courts from imposing reciprocal discipline. It was denied by Justice Elena Kagan, who handles such matters arising in the 9th Circuit. Dubin then resubmitted the appeal to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Thomas, rather than rejecting it immediately, Thomas passed it on to the full court to review in its regular consideration of similar petitions.

The rejection led the list of orders issued by the court on December 7….

read … Dubin’s second appeal to U.S. Supreme Court denied

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