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Friday, January 15, 2021
January 15, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:02 PM :: 947 Views

1959: Martin Luther King Jr Salutes Hawaii Statehood

Ed Case Reintroduces Jones Act Reform Bills

30 Years Without a Plan -- Auditor Rips Agribusiness Development Corp.

COVID Criminal Releases: 60% Rearrested (but don’t worry, the soft-on-crime crowd will explain this away)

SA: … Nearly 6 out of 10 people released early from Hawaii jails and prisons early last year over COVID-19 concerns have been charged with more offenses, a new study shows.

The local Criminal Justice Research Institute looked at the emergency releases in April of 108 individuals and found that 58%, or 63 people, had been charged with one or more new offenses in the past nine months.

In all, those 63 people were charged with 417 counts of law-breaking….

HPR: Lawmakers to Take a Hard Look at Correctional System After COVID-19 Hits 46 Percent of Inmates

KHON: State officials discuss release of inmates amid coronavirus pandemic

read … Isle inmates freed due to COVID commit crimes

Streets filling up with homeless from Mainland

HNN: … some Hawaii non-profits are already noticing an uptick in the number of people participating in homeless programs.

She said there’s also been an increase of people on the street who are newly-arrived from the mainland.

“In the beginning when we were locked down and the travel ban was in place there was a lot less,” she said. “But recently we’ve seen more people come in who are recent arrivals.”

Last year’s point-in-time count ― conducted on a single night in January ― found some 6,458 people were experiencing homelessness across the state. Nearly 70% of them were on Oahu.

While the federal government has committed to providing the same level of funding as last year, it’s unknown if the state will continue to pay for critical services amid the ongoing budget crisis.

“When CARES money and other sorts of funding goes away, which it will eventually, we need to have a very solid foundation to make sure we can still accommodate those folks who are experiencing homelessness,” Thielen said. …

read … With evictions looming, advocates urge state not to cut funding for homeless programs

With 1000s of Shots in the Fridge, DoH Tries to Blame ‘Supply Uncertainty’ for Hawaii’s Slow Mass Vaccination Effort

SA: … “We do not have any assurance there’s enough vaccines coming into the state to sustain these large pods,” Hilton Raethel, president and CEO of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “We only know literally days in advance what we’re going to get. If we’re only getting 20,000 doses a week and it’s got to go through the whole state — not just Honolulu — then there’s no way that these pods will be able to keep going.”

(Translation: DoH disinformation is confusing the effort.)

Hawaii Pacific Health said it has assembled 20,000 doses to start vaccinating seniors 75 and older, first responders and front-line essential workers by appointment only. On Wednesday about 1,000 people had already been scheduled to be first in line when the large vaccination site opens.

Statewide, more than 40,000 individuals had been inoculated with at least one dose as of Wednesday, and 109,250 doses had been delivered in the islands, according to the Department of Health.

“It is not in our control,” said DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo. “We’re hoping to be able to meet the demand, but we are kind of constrained by what we receive from the federal government and the guidance we receive from the federal government, which does seem to change fairly often. It’s a huge balancing act … because we’re looking at multiple islands, we’re looking at multiple partners and we’re trying to make sure that each of the groups gets covered. The elderly population, it is a challenging population because they have mobility issues … and we want to make sure we cover them because they’re our most vulnerable population.”

(Remember hos the DoH talked down mass testing back in April?  Here we go again.)

Hawaii Pacific Health said it will begin vaccinating more than 1,000 people a day and increase that in the next few weeks to between 3,000 and 4,000. Queen’s plans to start with 2,000 inoculations a day at the Blaisdell and expand to 3,000 to 4,000 per day within a week or two. Both have set goals of eventually being able to vaccinate 5,000 per day.

“We acknowledge the uncertainty of the vaccine supply, which is why we have made the decision to only schedule appointments when we have a confirmed supply. We will open up appointments gradually to deal with this issue,” said Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer at Hawaii Pacific Health….

(Translation: We are working around the DoH.)

>>>Go to hawaii covid19.com/vaccine for links to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment on Oahu, Kauai, Maui or Hawaii island.<<<

MN: The federal government promised a vaccine surge in the third week of this month, Green said. Also, the third vaccine, approved in Europe and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, may accelerate the vaccination program in the U.S.  (Ooops!)

REALITY: Hawaii Ranks 46th In Administering COVID-19 Vaccines, Feds Say we have 118,000 shots sitting in the Fridge

read … Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine supply a concern for health officials

New Excuse for Slow COVID Vaccination Rollout—Blame Seniors

CB: … After nearly a year of dealing with an ever-present threat of COVID-19, state officials and care home administrators are eager to get vaccines out to Hawaii seniors.

(Translation: DoH has another excuse, here it comes…)

But first they must get legal consent. And failing to get it could delay vaccines for thousands of seniors who are unable to make medical decisions on their own.

“It’s going to be the biggest limiting factor, other than supply of vaccine,” said Dr. Albert Yazawa, a geriatrician who serves on one of the vaccination distribution planning teams convened by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. “For the folks who cannot sign their own consent forms, that has to be done ahead of time. What we’re trying to do is give everybody as much time and heads up as possible even before we have clinic dates set.”…

(CLUE: This shoulda been done back in October.)

(ANOTHER CLUE: While sorting out the paperwork, let others get their vax.  Duh!)

read … Getting Consent From Seniors Poses Barrier To COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

50% of Hawaii Small Business Short on Rent

HNN: … The latest Hawaii Commercial Rent Survey, released Thursday, found that half of the businesses didn’t pay their rent in full between April and December.

The outlook is more grim this year if they don’t get some form of commercial rent relief, the study said.

“Looking forward, over half of the business expect to miss at least one full rent payment between January and June 2021,” said business consultant Ryan Tanaka, who helped put the report together.

“We see there is a progression on how bad the situation is and it’s only getting worse.”

For small businesses that depend heavily on tourism ― including restaurants, retailers, the wholesale trade and the arts and entertainment ― the outlook is even more negative, the survey said.

“Sixty-five percent of the business said without government-funded commercial rent relief, they do not expect to survive in 2021,” said Tanaka. 

SA: Survey finds most Hawaii businesses still struggling to make rent 

KITV: Commercial rent survey finds more businesses suffering; organizer pushes for government help

read … After a terrible year, Hawaii’s small business express little optimism about 2021

Tax Hike Sales Pitch: Closure of Hilo Youth Challenge Academy

HTH: … this is called the ‘Washington Monument Gambit’  Look it up.  Learn ….

read … Tax Hike Sales Pitch

No More ‘Gifts Of Aloha’ For State Lawmakers

CB: …Goodies gifted from lobbyists to lawmakers like manapua, bitcoin, PB&J sandwiches, diamonds, musubi and trinkets or Rolexes are no longer allowed because of new state ethics rules that ban “gifts of aloha” for legislators. (ooops--some words may have been inadvertently added to that sentence)

On past opening days of the Legislature, and throughout session, lobbyists and the organizations they represent have showered Hawaii’s lawmakers with those small gifts and food. Giving gifts to lawmakers is generally banned under state law, but the statutes were ambiguous when it came to small items under $25.

The new ban on “gifts of aloha” is just one of dozens of new rules passed by the state Ethics Commission as the Legislature prepares to open the 2021 session next week. . …

(Idea: Bribe senators with tungsten ingots spray-painted to look like gold.)

read … No More ‘Gifts Of Aloha’ For State Lawmakers

Federal judge orders ‘Proud Boys Hawaii’ founder to surrender passport

SA: … A federal magistrate judge ordered the founder of “Proud Boys Hawaii” accused of participating in the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol to surrender his passport.

A remote hearing was held today for Nicholas “Nick” Robert Ochs, 34, at federal court before Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in Washington D.C. on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds.

Under the new conditions of his release, Harvey ruled Ochs must surrender his passport and stay out of Washington D.C. except for court purposes….

His preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 5.

Ochs is currently under COVID-19 quarantine at his apartment since being released from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center Monday on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Under conditions set earlier this week by the federal court in Honolulu, Ochs is not allowed to travel outside Oahu except for court purposes….

CB: Hawaii ‘Proud Boy’ Told To Stay Away From DC Or Face Another Arrest

read … Federal judge orders ‘Proud Boys Hawaii’ founder to surrender passport

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