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Wednesday, July 28, 2021
July 28, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:29 PM :: 1290 Views

Vacation Rental Use up 910% from 2020

Locals to be Allowed Back in to Hanauma Bay

DoH Releases COVID Guidance for School Reopening      

Hawaii Concert Promoter Got More COVID Aid Than Carnegie Hall

CB: … When it comes to securing federal coronavirus relief aid, Hawaii-based concert promoter Jonny Mack is in good company.

Congress allocated more than $16 billion to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators grant program, which stems from the Save Our Stages Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that sought to target federal dollars to arts and culture. 

After the coronavirus decimated the industry, Mack joined a national movement that lobbied for the legislation….

Mack is a principal behind Dream Weekend, a large music festival that in 2019 brought big-name artists, such as Usher, Ice Cube and Marshmello, to the islands to play at Aloha Stadium.

He’s also one of the top beneficiaries of a federal grant program for the nation’s music halls, museums and theater companies that were forced to cancel shows and still the turnstiles during the pandemic.

Newly released data shows Mack and his companies, Dream Weekend LLP, Angel Magik Group LLC and Culture Guru Inc. (not in good standing per BREG), received more than $11.3 million through the program, as much or more than Carnegie Hall, the Broadway megahit “Hamilton” and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago….

Mack deflected most questions about how exactly he secured his grants funding through the SBA….

Sixty-eight Hawaii entities have received nearly $102 million through the program, ranking the state first in the U.S. on dollars per capita received. The SBA data shows the average grant award in the islands is about $1.4 million, which is twice the national average…

Mark Tarone, who is the producer of the Hallowbaloo Halloween street festival in Chinatown…was recently awarded a grant worth nearly $500,000 through Hawaii Halloween, a company in which Mack is a partner….

Dream Weekend appears to have benefitted from a quirk in the system.

Under the SBA rules, any eligible entity, whether a museum, concert hall or aquarium, that was in operation on Jan. 1, 2019 could receive a grant worth up to 45% of its total earned revenue for the year, with the maximum grant amount capped at $10 million.

That would mean that in order to hit the $10 million ceiling, an organization would have to report more than $22 million in revenue in a single year….

The formula changes for organizations formed after Jan. 1, 2019. In those cases, a grant award would be equal to six times the average monthly income for the months an outfit was in business. To reach the $10 million maximum, a company would need to report average monthly revenues of almost $1.7 million.

The Dream Weekend concert started in 2018, but records show Mack didn’t register the official Dream Weekend LLP with the state until the following year. Among Mack’s partners in the venture is Michael Galmiche, a local promoter who once made headlines after he allegedly was assaulted outside of a Honolulu nightclub by accused organized crime boss Michael Miske.

Mack declined to share his grant application or talk specifically about his earnings, but he acknowledged that he used the six-times multiplier that the SBA said was for businesses that began operations after Jan. 1, 2019 and that he based his revenues on his final show at Aloha Stadium in December of that year.

Had he used the 45% formula — which he said he did for his two other companies — it’s unclear whether he would have come anywhere near the more than $22 million in gross revenues needed to receive the maximum grant award….

Dream Weekend does not have full-time employees….

SA: $101 million in grants go to Hawaii arts, entertainment

read … Here’s How A Hawaii Concert Promoter Got More COVID Aid Than Carnegie Hall

Train door malfunction idles Honolulu rail fleet  

SA: … Daily testing of the city’s rail trains has been suspended for over a week after a passenger door was discovered open while one of the automated trains was moving.

Officials with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation hope to receive a report on the door from rail operator Hitachi Rail this week or next, when daily testing could resume, said Lori Kahikina, HART’s interim CEO and executive director.

HART’s fleet of automated trains — each comprising four cars and 24 double sets of doors — are not supposed to be able to run while a door is open, for safety reasons.

HART has 17 trains on-island, which are expected to represent the bulk of 20 eventual trains. Seven were being tested daily when Kahikina was informed of the malfunctioning door July 17….

Once HART officials believe the system is ready, it will then undergo an additional 90 days of testing with “no issues” before HART hands over the project to the city, Kahikina said….

The project is currently budgeted at $12.499 billion and is not scheduled for completion until March 2031.

The door malfunction follows revelations earlier this year that HART’s trains each were running on 32 wheels that were too narrow for track “frogs” that are half an inch too wide at 12 junctions where the tracks cross one another.

HART and Hitachi continue to figure out whether it’s better to swap out the wheels or replace the “frogs” where the tracks cross.

The trains can navigate the gap by slowing to 15 to 20 mph, Kahikina previously told the Star-Advertiser….

(Or they could continue to use these frogs as an excuse to keep rail from launching service  thus saving the City millions in operating costs and exposing just how few people will be riding.)

read … Train door malfunction idles Honolulu rail fleet

Ige’s Appeals Court Nominee Faces Questions

CB: … Public testimony on Tuesday was split evenly between those supporters and opponents. Written testimony to lawmakers leaned on the side of the opposition.

Kapua Sproat, a University of Hawaii law professor, said (blablabla) ….

Crystal Glendon, a Honolulu defense attorney who is Hawaiian, also opposed Gluck’s nomination.

Glendon, who is representing a Honolulu police officer accused of murdering a teenager in a police shooting, said many women go into criminal law to gain experience, and to overlook their trial experience is a disservice….

KITV: Critics have questioned Governor Ige’s choice of Gluck, a white man, for the job

read … Ige’s Appeals Court Nominee Faces Questions Over Experience, Diversity

Preliminary hearing for HPD officers charged in fatal shooting of teen reveals gun replicas, live ammunition found at scene

KHON: … The preliminary hearing for three Honolulu police officers charged in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap resumed on Tuesday. The second day of testimony revealed that there were two gun replicas at the scene.

Prosecutors called several Honolulu Police Department (HPD) evidence specialists and determined that the bullet casings found at the scene were from the firearms assigned to the three officers charged in the case. They also determined the trajectories of the bullets fired.

During cross examination, defense attorneys revealed that two gun replicas were found at the scene, as well as two magazines — one of them had six bullets.

“Yes, the first photo is of a backpack,” Michael Lynch, HPD evidence specialist, said in court on Tuesday. “You can partially see a magazine with cartridges in it.”…

Defense attorneys also pointed out that by the time the officers responded to the scene, they were aware that Sykap and the other suspects were involved in an armed robbery.

According to police, Sykap was driving a stolen car that was linked to a crime spree before he drove it into the Kalakaua Stream on April 5. The others in the car ranged in age from 14 to 22…. 

read … Preliminary hearing for HPD officers charged in fatal shooting of teen reveals gun replicas, live ammunition found at scene

This Hawaii Island hospital is seeing entire households coming in sick with COVID

HNN: … Hawaii Island health officials are raising the alarms about an ongoing surge in new COVID infections ― on the island and statewide.

The delta variant now accounts for more than three-fourths of all cases on Hawaii Island. And the island’s positivity rate has soared to 7%.

There were 27 new cases on the island Tuesday.

Hilo Medical Center currently has six patients hospitalized with COVID. All are unvaccinated.,…

“A number of families who are unvaccinated are coming in to get examined, to get tested,” said Elena Cabatu, of the Hilo Medical Center.

“In some cases we’re having the same family members hospitalized together and that’s truly unfortunate.”…

KITV: Spread among unvaccinated families blamed for high case counts on Hawai'i Island

read … This Hawaii Island hospital is seeing entire households coming in sick with COVID

‘We’re exhausted’: Leeward healthcare workers plead with community to get vaccinated

HNN: … Amid a surge in new COVID cases, officials from the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center said they have never seen so many sick patients before.

According to Jacob Schafer, the center’s director of infection control, the facility is seeing twice the number of people coming in for testing rather than coming in for a vaccine.

Currently, the area has about a 35% vaccination rate.

“We’re exhausted,” he said. “I mean, we’re pleading with the public to get vaccinated. Not only to protect yourself and protect our community, but also to give us a break. I mean, we’ve been going at this for a year and a half, and we are working harder now than we ever have before.”…

Schafer also said that the number of breakthrough cases ― or positive patients who were vaccinated at the time of infection ― rose 12% in the past week.

“Of the people that tested positive that were fully vaccinated, none of them have been hospitalized and all of the illnesses were fairly minor.”…

She said many folks in the community are on the fence about the vaccine.

“Even if you were one of the most vocal ones against the vaccine, this is the time to put all of that away,” she said. “And don’t worry about what people are going to say about you, because you were anti-vaccine, and now you are for vaccine. It’s the right thing to do.”…

HNN: As cases rise, new tensions surface between vaccinated and those who won’t get shot

KHON: CDC team coming to Oahu to investigate coronavirus surge in Leeward Oahu

read … ‘We’re exhausted’: Leeward healthcare workers plead with community to get vaccinated

Demand for vaccinations are up as COVID-19 cases surge in Hawaii County

KHON: … Fourteen-year-old Samuel Mwarui, who will start his freshman year at Hilo High School next week, got his shot Tuesday.

“With the cases that been really going up. It’s pretty scary,” said Samuel’s mother, Achunsion Mwarui. “Especially with him because he’s playing sports, and he goes out there and he meets other kids. So now that he’s been vaccinated, we feel safe now.”

DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr said the demand for the vaccine is slightly up statewide.

“We have, in each of the past three weeks, administered more than 16,000 shots in each of those weeks, and last week was almost 17,000 shots,” Brooks said….

According to the DOH, there were 300 more vaccinations administered in Hawaii County in the last week….

HTH: Vaccine demand rises: Providers see uptick amid Delta variant, approach of school year

read … Demand for vaccinations are up as COVID-19 cases surge in Hawaii County

California is moving towards vaccine passports. In Hawaii, it was a mess.

SFG: … The one state where a version of "vaccine passports" has been implemented on a relatively wide scale is Hawaii, a major tourism hub that sees millions of visitors per year from the mainland. It did not go well.

In early July, Hawaii launched its "Safe Travels Program," which allows incoming travelers to skip a quarantine period or get a negative test in favor of showing proof of vaccination. According to local TV reports, the program's first day at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport was a mess.

Under the program, travelers were required to submit images of their vaccination cards to the Safe Travels website ahead of time. Once travelers arrived at the airport, the wait time for screening lines was reported to last more than an hour, and finger-pointing ensued.

"They said about 90% of the cards that were submitted through Safe Travels had not been reviewed by Hawaii yet,” a traveler told KHON2.

Meanwhile, the state said that 70% of travelers did not follow instructions properly when uploading their cards. Originally, Hawaii only allowed images of the official CDC cards to be uploaded but later allowed vaccination records from any health care provider or hospital.

"Uploading the vaccine card is not easy. And unless you're tech savvy, regardless, seniors are having a hard time uploading the carry card, or the phone features don't have that feature to upload the card or vaccine card," Bob Burr, the operations manager for the agency behind the Safe Travels, told KITV4. …

Oahu bars and restaurants operating at full capacity were ordered to ask customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within the prior 48 hours for entry, and Hawaii News Now reported that establishments were subsequently "eaten alive" by customers unhappy with the policy.

Reports of unruly restaurant patrons are on the rise in California, and the Hawaii Restaurant Association said it cannot name a single eatery still abiding by the order after widespread backlash….

TPG: 4 things to know about the CommonPass digital health app

read … California is moving towards vaccine passports. In Hawaii, it was a mess.

COVID-19 threat, inmate overcrowding force transfer of 40 Hawaii island felons to Oahu

SA: … The Department of Public Safety, with help from the Hawaii Army National Guard, transferred 40 sentenced felons today to an Oahu prison from the Hawaii island jail and prison to alleviate overcrowding and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Twenty Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmates and 20 Kulani Correctional Facility inmates were transported using two CH-47F helicopters this morning to Honolulu without incident.

Several adult corrections officers and deputy sheriffs provided in-flight and ground transport security support, PSD said in a release….

Once on Oahu, the inmates were taken to the Halawa Correctional Center, where they were placed in an intake quarantine.

Only vaccinated inmates, and/or those who tested negative and were cleared to travel were considered for the transfer, the state said…..

read … COVID-19 threat, inmate overcrowding force transfer of 40 Hawaii island felons to Oahu

Hawaiian Air loses $6M in 2nd quarter, $100M less than same period in 2020

SA: … The airline, which operates under the publicly traded holding company Hawaiian Holdings Inc., reported a second-quarter loss of $6.2 million, or twelve cents a share. At this time last year, Hawaiian had a wider loss of $106.9 million, or $2.33 a share….

The company reported second-quarter revenue of $410.8 million. Hawaiian said its revenue during the second quarter was down 42% compared to the second quarter of 2019, on 30% lower capacity. The results are a marked improvement over this time last year when second-quarter revenue fell to just over $60 million, a nearly 92% drop from the $712 million plus that it realized in the second quarter of 2019….

read … Hawaiian Air loses $6M in 2nd quarter, $100M less than same period in 2020

State's plan to enforce evictions unclear

KITV: … There's an estimated 10,000 people who may be significantly behind in rent when the moratorium ends on Aug. 6….

BIN: Hawai´i County Still Has Millions to Help Renters Avoid Eviction Come August

read … State's plan to enforce evictions unclear

359 Year Old Company Destroyed After Relocating to Hawaii

SA: … Shirokiya, a venerable retailer in Hawaii and conduit of Japanese culture for over 60 years, appears on the brink of permanent closure.

The longtime anchor tenant at Ala Moana Center is battling its landlord in a legal dispute over unpaid rent and has been barred from accessing its shuttered Japan Village Walk complex and two Vintage Cave restaurants at the state’s largest shopping center after closing last year due to COVID-19 restrictions….

The ongoing struggle for Shirokiya represents the second time in a little over two decades that the retailer, which has been described as the oldest company doing business in Hawaii when considering its roots in Japan dating to 1662, has faced dire uncertainty over its continued existence….

read … Shirokiya facing demise after centuries-long existence

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