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Monday, February 8, 2021
February 8, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:51 PM :: 1055 Views

Comparing State Corporate Income Tax Rates

DCCA: Obamacare Enrollment Reopens Feb 15-May 15

Lt. Gov. wants to push up vaccination of 65 and older as COVID-19 variants spread across mainland

KHON: … Green says the state could potentially see a surge in cases among younger people who party or gather and that he worries they could bring the highly transmissible strain into their home and spread it to parents or kupuna.

“I’ve asked the governor and director of health to strongly consider moving to the 65 to 74 categories starting March 1, because of this strain, and because we’re going to be getting Johnson and Johnson in soon,” Green shared.

“Then, if we even do get some spread from these new strains, it’s not as bad, not as dangerous,” he continued….  

SA: Vaccinate 65 and older, Lt. Gov. Josh Green urges

CB: Other States Have Opened Vaccinations To Those As Young As 65. Why Not Hawaii?

read … Lt. Gov. wants to push up vaccination of 65 and older as COVID-19 variants spread across mainland

Hawaii Now 2nd-Fastest Vaccination Program per Capita

MJS: … Wisconsin is now leading the nation in the average number of COVID-19 vaccine shots being administered daily…

…On a seven-day rolling average basis, Wisconsin is now administering roughly 6,170 shots per million residents per day. The next fastest state, Hawaii, is administering roughly 5,830 shots per million residents on average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….

KHON: UHERO: Hawaii ramping rate of vaccinations

read … Hawaii #2

'The kids need to be in school': routine testing proposal for Hawai'i Island students gains support

KITV: … Dr. Scott Miscovich is proposing to test Hawai'i Island high schoolers fort the Coronavirus twice a week….

read … 'The kids need to be in school': routine testing proposal for Hawai'i Island students gains support

It Will Take 18 Months To Overhaul Hawaii’s Outdated Unemployment System

CB: … The state labor department made a deal to replace an antiquated mainframe but it won’t help with the current wave of claims….

read … It Will Take 18 Months To Overhaul Hawaii’s Outdated Unemployment System

Biden administration asking Trump-appointed US attorneys to resign

HNN: … Distrust of Trump-era appointees led the Biden administration to appoint a career Justice Department official as acting attorney general while it waits for the US Senate to confirm Merrick Garland, the President's nominee to lead the department.

But dozens of top Trump-appointed prosecutors remain on the job while the new administration works to nominate its own appointees.

UPDATE: CNN reports DOJ to ask Trump-appointed US attorneys to resign

For now, the department has told the Trump-appointed prosecutors they can stay, and it will be months before some of those jobs are filled with Biden nominees.

This leaves Biden administration officials grappling to determine which of the Trump appointees will remain and for how long, Department of Justice and Biden transition team officials said.

Biden administration officials are mindful of political blowback that could come from appearing to interfere with a politically sensitive investigation by removing a Trump appointee overseeing such probes, which include matters related to the Biden family and former President Donald Trump, Justice Department and Biden transition officials said….

Background: With Trump gone, Federal Prosecutor Kenji Price will be going.  He will be replaced by a Biden-appointed Democrat hand picked by Schatz and Hirono who will not pursue these corruption investigations any further

read … Biden administration in fraught position with some Trump-appointed US attorneys

HB344 would end contested case land use hearings, sending them directly to court

HTH: … In a supposed effort to streamline the state’s contested case hearing process, a controversial new bill in the state Legislature would end those hearings over land use issues entirely.

Under provisions proposed in House Bill 344, proceedings like the contested case hearing over the development of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea that stretched for four months between 2016 and 2017 would no longer happen, and would instead be relegated to Circuit Court….

According to a report by the House Committee on Water and Land — which voted unanimously in support of the bill on Tuesday — the bill’s intention is to reduce “some of the duplication, uncertainty and costs” associated with holding lengthy land use decision hearings. Other departments, the report went on, would be able to continue to use contested case hearings with no changes….

HB344: Text, Status

read … State bill would end contested case land use hearings, sending them directly to court

Let’s not waste this crisis

MN: … With the recent arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, Maui County turns its attention to ushering in a “new normal.” Soon we will push the “reset button” and collaborate to build a new economy with a place of dignity for everyone, including Mother Earth. Let’s use this experience to ensure that Maui County comes back stronger and better than ever. We can’t let this crisis go to waste….

read … Let’s not waste this crisis

322 Homeless Drug Addicts Abuse Queens Emergency Room

CB: … These are patients who show up in the ED frequently, sometimes several times a week. They may have diabetes, heart issues, infections — conditions that don’t require emergency care. The ED doctors and nurses ask these patients to see a primary care provider but that rarely happens.

Sometimes these patients will yell. Sometimes they have been drinking or using drugs. Often they are living on the streets. Often their lives are in crisis. Often they make other patients in the waiting room visibly uncomfortable.

They are a small group for whom the emergency department is a place to talk to a doctor or nurse, have wounds attended to, get medication refills, find safety, a place to rest and a sandwich.

Federal law requires that anyone seeking medical care at a hospital must receive a medical screening exam by a provider. Even if a patient was seen and treated just hours earlier for the same condition, emergency departments may not refuse to see them.

Such a case inverts the mantra of best practice medical care: It’s the wrong care in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In response to such patients —  people frequently using the emergency department for non-emergencies — The Queen’s Medical Center developed the Queen’s Care Coalition program.

Its goal is to connect high-need, high-cost patients with services in the community that will assure patients receive the right care in the right place.

One patient with 16 ED visits in three months that resulted in four hospitalizations was one of the first enrolled in the program. This patient was unsheltered and had been living behind a parking lot for 10 years. He had a mental health diagnosis and a long history of substance use.

He didn’t consistently take medications for any of his physical or behavioral health issues. He was not connected to any resources in the community and refused to go to a shelter or to get any mental health help or substance use treatment.

Through the Queen’s Care Coalition, he was teamed with a community health worker. He was one of just 10 patients the community health worker was caring for. (In many programs, caseloads of 50 or more individuals are the norm. A relatively small caseload allows the frequent, sometimes daily contact needed to get these patients on track.)

Intense navigation services are provided for 30 to 90 days….

All incremental and small positive changes are celebrated. When the patient visited a hygiene center for a shower, the community health worker lavished him with praise….

(This is what has to be done because we do not FORCE the homeless to accept shelter.)

Since its founding at the beginning of 2018, the Queen’s Care Coalition has helped hundreds of individuals. Looking at data for the period from January 2018 to September 2019, Queen’s Care Coalition provided services to 322 individuals.

In the six months prior to intervention, those 322 individuals visited the Queen’s Emergency Department 2,643 times.

In the six months after they graduated from Queen’s Care Coalition, the number of ED visits by these 322 individuals dropped to 1,218 — a decrease of 53%.

The number of ambulance transports to the ER dropped from 1,290 to 587, freeing up ambulances for actual medical emergencies on Oahu….

HNN: New facility provides a place to heal and a pathway to housing for medically frail homeless

read … This Queen's Medical Center Program Is Improving Lives For Those In Need

COVID-19 created a new problem for recently released inmates, prison reform advocates say

HNN: … For the past four years, Bud Bowles helped inmates who have just completed their sentences find temporary housing at local homeless shelters and triage centers.

But due to the COVID pandemic, United Self-Help’s executive director said more and more of these maxed-out prisoners are being turned away from the shelters, forcing them to live on the streets.

“I got a guy and they’ll say we’re full, he hasn’t been tested, or our quarantine place is full,” Bowles said.

Most shelters require people to get a negative test three days before entering.

While prisons and jail are screening for the virus, Bowles said the state is not testing inmates as they leave, giving them nowhere to go when they get out.

He said some of the inmates wind up in places like Chinatown or other crime riddled neighborhoods, where they start committing crimes again.

To keep them off the streets, Bowles has bought plane tickets for ex-inmates so they could stay with a relative. ….

read … COVID-19 created a new problem for recently released inmates, prison reform advocates say

Kauai resort says bookings surged to pre-pandemic levels after it became a 'bubble’

BI: … Bookings at the Lodge at Kukuiula shot up to pre-COVID-19 numbers after it became a "resort bubble."  …

They'll also have to wear a tracking device — the Aqua quarantine bracelet — and have the Aqua app downloaded on their phones.  And don't bother trying to outsmart the tracking device or app.  If a visitor is caught leaving the club's approved EMQ areas during the initial three-day quarantine, they could be arrested by local police….  Unfortunately, this means beaches are off-limits for the quarantine period….

According to Erin Gushman, the director of marketing Kukuiula Development, the 1,010-acre property decided to take the "resort bubble" route because its expansive space allows guests and the club's members to stay safe on the property….

read … A resort in Hawaii says bookings surged to pre-pandemic levels after it became a 'bubble resort'

‘Funky,’ ‘goofy’ and postponed: Waikoloa housing project withdrawn while FBI Investigates Hawaii Co Housing Agency

HTH: … A rezoning and application for a Waikoloa affordable housing project with a past that a planning consultant called “funky” and a councilman called “goofy” were withdrawn Tuesday from the County Council Planning Committee for a redo.

The Pua Melia project, with baggage that includes allegations of the government reneging on its promises, county employee firings, a questionable land transfer and an FBI investigation, returns to the drawing board with commitments from the county to help make it right….

Developer Waikoloa Highlands Inc. transferred the land to a nonprofit, Plumeria at Waikoloa, to satisfy affordable housing requirements. But Plumeria in 2018 sold the land for a profit to Pua Melia developer Danny Julkowski, a Minnesota resident….

The Leeward Planning Commission gave the project a negative recommendation, as did former Planning Director Michael Yee.

“We’ve been actively working with the applicant in this case as well as another applicant, along with Councilman Richards and trying to find a path forward that can … looks like we might be able to resolve a number of issues,” Deputy Planning Director Jeff Darrow told the council Planning Committee.

Julkowski said the project was the county’s idea all along.

“… on January of 2018, a county employee contacted us and asked us if we were interested in purchasing the piece of property that we had purchased,” Julkowski told the Leeward Planning Commission on Aug. 20. “We didn’t come to you guys; the county came to us with this project and then walked away from us and left us high and dry.”

He told the planning commission he was questioned extensively by the FBI, but he’s not allowed to go into detail about it because the investigation was ongoing. Julkowski said employees he was working with at the county Housing Agency were fired without notice and he ended up spending a lot of money on the project based on their promises….

Zendo Kern, who was Julkowski’s planning consultant but is now county planning director and recusing himself from the case, told the Leeward Planning Commission in August the scenario doesn’t make the county look good.

“Something really funky happened between that community component of having 80-something affordable units for Highlands being transferred to that non-profit to being sold for profit to my clients,” Kern said. “But when somebody in this, in this capacity, gets handed a project like this, and they pay 1.5 million dollars for a property that it gets, when it’s green lit to do something that they were told to be done, and the rug gets pulled out from underneath their feet, that’s a pretty sad day.”…

Background: Waikoloa Mauka Project Now Subject of FBI Investigation, Developer Says

read … ‘Funky,’ ‘goofy’ and postponed: Waikoloa housing project withdrawn

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