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Monday, August 30, 2021
August 30, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:46 PM :: 2386 Views

Hotel Occupancy Hits 82.4%

Federal Court Decision: Parts of Hawaii Gun Registration Law are Unconstitutional

Unvaxxed COVID Hospital patients maybe surprised by $300K Co-pay

HNN: … "Up until now, most insurers in the country, and certainly in Hawaii, have been covering the entire cost - so there's no out of pocket cost for someone who gets sick from COVID. The change that has occurred recently, and is occurring in Hawaii, is that some insurers now are saying, 'If you are not vaccinated and you get sick, we will still pay the insurance side, but the member now, or their family, is responsible for the patient copay. So there is an obligation the patient now has if they're not vaccinated," says Hilton Raethel, CEO and President of Healthcare Association of Hawaii, a trade group. HAH is not an insurance company, but as an industry group, it sees trends and changes in the healthcare community.

The copay is often 10 to 20% of the total medical bill, depending on what your insurance plan is. How high could that copay go? "It would depend on your insurance, but for a hospitalization, the member cost could be thousands of dollars," says Raethel.

Thousands of dollars is just a fraction of what the total cost could be for COVID-19 treatment. "It could literally be $200,000 to 300,000…..

(Solution: Get the vax.)

read … No COVID vaccination but need COVID healthcare? You may start paying for some of your coronavirus care.

Hawaii officials consider stay-at-home order over Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases soar

SA: … Hawaii had its highest COVID- 19 count ever reported in one day on Sunday, and if the trajectory continues, officials warn that it could lead to a 72-hour stay-at-home order over the Labor Day holiday.

“This tidal wave of cases is straining our ability to respond at all levels — our hospitals, our labs and even our morgues are nearing or at capacity,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a release. “We have not yet reached the peak of this surge, and we will not until Hawaii residents take further steps to protect themselves and their families.”

Green said 414 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday. Although Sunday’s COVID-19 hospitalizations showed some plateauing, Green said a Labor Day holiday spike in cases could quickly overwhelm the state, which at 500 hospitalizations would have difficulty maintaining services….

read … Hawaii officials consider stay-at-home order over Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases soar

Wai'anae reports more than 800 COVID cases in the past two weeks, residents urged to get vaccinated

KHON: … Over the past two weeks, O'ahu's leeward side has reported more than 800 new COVID-19 infections, and a Department of Health spokesperson cited the low vaccination rate as the main reason case counts are so high there.

So far, 35 percent of (the 50,000) residents in the 96792 zip code have been fully vaccinated. …

Darius Kila of the Ma'ili-Nanakuli neighborhood board said 35 people got vaccinated at Wai'anae Mall on Saturday. …

S&G Labs announced it is offering tests and vaccinations at the former KMART parking lot in Kapolei every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. throughout September.

The Nanakuli Village Center is set to host a vaccination clinic on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. …

HNN: COVID testing sites, vaccine clinics expand in west Oahu

read … Wai'anae reports more than 800 COVID cases in the past two weeks, residents urged to get vaccinated

“I felt like I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was going to die."

KITV: … Lexy Matautia, 14, decided to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today, after getting sick from the virus two weeks ago.

Her 10-year-old brother and their mother living in Waianae also contracted the disease. She said another family member is currently fighting for her life in the ICU.

"I've never felt like that. I felt like I couldn't breathe," Matautia said. "I felt like I was going to die."…

read … COVID-19 surge worsening in Waianae

Big changes likely for council districts: Population growth not equal for West, East Hawaii

WHT: … The latest data shows the two CCDs shared by Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder and Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz have both the highest growth and lowest growth on the island. The census splits the area along an east to west line, with the southern Pahoa-Kalapana CCD losing 566 people for a 5.1 % population decrease, while the northern Keaau-Mountain View CCD gained 6,944 people, a 20.3% increase. The two council members split the districts more along a north-south line.

On the west side of the island, North Kona and North and South Kohala were the next largest gainers, at 14.4%, 10.4% and 9.5% increases respectively. The three districts combined added 7,778 people, half the 15,550 added to the entire island.

The population loss in Pahoa-Kalapana CCD dramatically illustrates the effect of the 2018 volcanic eruption that covered 6,000 acres and destroyed 700 structures, including 200 homes, displacing about 3,000 people….

read … Big changes likely for council districts: Population growth not equal for West, East Hawaii

More Money Is Not The Only Way We Can Help Teachers

CB: …It was an unpleasant surprise to discover — on payday, no less — that my salary had slightly decreased from last year. Amid the back-to-school whirlwind and the return of full in-person learning, my paychecks arrived at about $16 under what I had been making on the other side of summer. Admittedly, it’s an amount more annoying than devastating, but no one feels good about making less money, no matter how much….

… Then I found out why my pay went down: we dropped a bunch of after-school meetings for the year. That’s an exchange I can get behind, and I’m willing to bet a lot of teachers would be willing to take similarly sized pay cuts to eliminate excess meetings and otherwise trim the fat off their schedules….

That’s why I was relieved to find out we would have fewer meetings this school year. I found them to be at best three times longer than they needed to be, and at worst total wastes of time. Even if good discussions were had and good ideas were generated, very little about our teaching practices changed. We’d all have to return to the same endlessly unfurling to-do list of the regular school year after the meeting ended….

read … More Money Is Not The Only Way We Can Help Teachers

Hawaii distance-learning students might get their instruction from teachers out of state

SA: … With the highly contagious delta variant surging across Hawaii, the state Department of Education is looking to the mainland for teachers to help satisfy increasing demand for online instruction.

The problem is that DOE guidelines call for any teacher engaging in telework to reside within the state, which means many of the people being interviewed for the distance- learning jobs would have to relocate to the islands.

But the department may be moving to loosen the requirement after members of the state Board of Education last week urged administrators to look at changing the residence qualification to help meet the growing demand for remote learning.

Sean Bacon, interim assistant superintendent, said an internal committee is being formed to reexamine the hiring guidelines.

“There are things we have to look at and possibly get some legal advice (before) we can consider whether our teachers can work out of state,” he said….

read … Hawaii distance-learning students might get their instruction from teachers out of state

Two Honolulu Police Officers Are Under Investigation For Assault Of Prisoner

CB: … A criminal case was sent to prosecutors in February, Yu said, and an administrative investigation into the incident is ongoing.   

The officers under investigation are Thomas-John Kaanana and Judah Kekua, according to a department source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. As of 2020, both were HPD recruits, according to Civil Beat’s government employee database.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm’s office hasn’t filed charges against them, court records show.  

“The case has not been declined by our office,” Alm spokesman Matt Dvonch said. “It is still open and being reviewed.” …

read … Two Honolulu Police Officers Are Under Investigation For Assault Of Prisoner

50% of Homeless are Anti-Vaxxers

HTH: … Hope Services manages 150 shelter beds across six Big Island sites. On Aug. 13, there were 92 individuals in the shelters, of which only 47% were vaccinated, she said at that time, according to Menino.

“I think in the beginning, there was reluctance in trusting the vaccinations for most,” she said. “… With the heightened anxiety of what’s happening in our community, there’s definitely renewed interest to get vaccinated. Those who refused before are asking and willing to get it now.”

And the easiest way to get homeless individuals vaccinated is to bring the shots to them.

“I’d say 50% are OK getting vaccinated, and 25% are skeptical, not sure,” Alameda said. The remaining 25% of individuals they meet hold “a different type of skepticism, mixed in with mental illness and substance abuse issues.”….

read … Stop asking the insane for permission

Sykap brother arrested again after allegedly robbing 75-year-old woman (Why was he out of jail?)

HNN: … According to Honolulu police, 18-year-old Mark Sykap was arrested Saturday for allegedly robbing a 75-year-old woman in Chinatown.

Police said it happened around 11:50 a.m. Sykap was also booked for a drug offense.

Officers picked him up shortly after the alleged crime along River Street near Nimitz Highway….

read … Sykap brother arrested again after allegedly robbing 75-year-old woman

Homeless Activists Outraged that Huge Piles of Garbage are Removed

CB: … Blangiardi is now eight months in office, and advocates and homeless people say that sweeps are still occurring.

“Calling something by a different name doesn’t change what they’re doing, and that’s what’s problematic here,” said Wookie Kim, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii….

Every day, the city’s Department of Facility Maintenance website posts its enforcement schedule despite guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that discourage the practice of clearing encampments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On a recent Tuesday morning, teams arriving in three police cars, a garbage truck and a pickup truck cleared a homeless camp under a Kapiolani Boulevard bridge in the Palolo Stream area. They hauled tables, chairs and other materials into the trucks.

The city crews returned to the same spot two days later to finish the job.

Homeless people and advocates say one of the biggest problems with (best things about) the sweeps is that they often (can blame the sweeps when they) lose personal items and documents including birth certificates, social security cards or IDs (while high on meth)….

Jessie Jo, who said she has been living on and off the streets since 2009 (and hasn’t been offered to stay at Wookie Kim’s place) , doesn’t bother keeping much anymore because she has lost so many items, including her wallet.. “They’re just going to make you as miserable as they possibly can and force you into a shelter situation….”

Many homeless people refuse to go to a shelter due to (uh …) crowded conditions and fears of contracting Covid-19 (yep those are the excuses this week).

read … Homeless Sweeps Or Sanitation Activities? Advocates Say There’s No Difference

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