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Friday, September 3, 2021
September 3, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:48 PM :: 1036 Views

Akina: OHA is Becoming More Accountable in How It Gives Out Money

Liliʻuokalani Took Decisive Action to Stop the Spread of Smallpox

Bums to be Swept Out After Attack on Water Department Workers

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

DoH Report: Delta Variant now nearly all of Hawaii COVID Cases

Tsuneyoshi Panders to Anti-Vaxxer Mob

HNN: … Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told the City Council on Thursday that government is doing everything possible ― short of a lockdown ― to address an ongoing surge in COVID cases, but warned hospitals and the health care system are nearing a “breaking point.”

He also said that those refusing to get vaccinated are a vocal minority.

“This handful of naysayers ... want to act like they represent the majority when the majority has already spoken. Over a million people being vaccinated is a major statement. And more every day,” he said.

He added that the situation is growing “more dire” daily.

Blangiardi spoke at an informational briefing at the Council on Thursday afternoon that was supposed to be about efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

But it quickly derailed into a debate over vaccines, with more than 250 testifiers taking to the microphone in person or virtually ― mostly against the vaccine or COVID mandates….

The mayor addressed the overwhelming takeaway of the testimony, telling Councilmembers, “The kinds of things you’re hearing today, ‘It’s my right to get sick and when I get sick you have to take care of me’ has a breaking point.” He said that breaking point has “gotten lost in translation.”

City Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi told the mayor she took offense at that statement and accused him of being divisive. She also repeated false claims about the Pfizer vaccine….

(Really Obvious Question: On Oahu has COVID killed more people than cocaine overdoses linked to Chad Tsuneyoshi’s cocaine ring?)

it quickly derailed into a debate over vaccines, with more than 250 testifiers taking to the microphone in person or virtually ― mostly against the vaccine or COVID mandates.

Many of those who spoke repeated misinformation about the shots that is circulating on the internet.

Blangiardi said that 900 city workers have applied for medical or religious exemptions to his vaccine mandate while 49 have simply refused to get the shot.

The employees who refuse to be vaccinated will be put on leave and possibly terminated, he said.

The city has roughly 10,300 employees and about 8,800 are vaccinated, he said. Another 400 employees did not respond to the city’s inquiries, but the mayor said most are already on leave….

2020: Cocaine News: Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi Files for Divorce -- Tries to Keep Case Records Secret

CB: Covid Vaccine Opponents Try To Drown Out The Mayor At A Honolulu City Council Meeting

SA: Hundreds testify on Oahu’s COVID-19 vaccine programs

read … In impassioned address to City Council, Honolulu’s mayor warns hospitals are near ‘breaking point’

Unvaccinated Big Island firefighter now fighting for his life after contracting COVID-19

KITV: … Last Thursday, Lindsey almost didn't make it. The family said he was transferred to the Queen's Medical Center and is now battling COVID-19 on a ventilator and dialysis machine.

The family said Keoki is not vaccinated, and they don't know how he contracted the virus.  But today his eldest sons got the shot.

The family is asking for prayers, saying it's their only hope in bringing the beloved fireman out of the hospital….

read … Big Island firefighter now fighting for his life after contracting COVID-19

97% of COVID Breakthru Cases Don't Require Hospitalization

KHON: … We found out Thursday, Sept. 2, that nearly 1,900 of the 19,000 or so cases in the past month have been fully vaccinated people testing positive….

(Translation: 90% of COVID cases are unvaccinated)

Breakthroughs are 4% of the states’ 60,000 or so positives of all time, as of Aug. 26, and they represent just 0.27% of 886,378 vaccinated people having caught the virus….

(Translation: 99.73% of vaccinated people haven't caught COVID.)

the state said 68 out of the 2,400 breakthroughs have ever been hospitalized, representing just 3% of breakthrough infections….

(Translation: 97% of breakthrough cases don't require hospitalization)

The state said eight of Hawaii’s hundreds of COVID deaths were fully vaccinated – 0.0009% of vaccinated people dying from COVID….

(Translation: 99.9991% of vaccinated people survive this pandemic.)

SA: Jason Chang: The president of Queen’s Medical Center deals with a crisis as COVID-19 patients stretch capacity to a breaking point

read … Unvaccinated Pandemic

Why Are Data Glitches Continually Skewing Hawaii’s Covid-19 Numbers?

CB: … when the health department did report the backlogged cases on Sunday, the numbers appeared to show an alarming spike in cases — some 1,678 total.

Jonathan Johnson, Electronic Laboratory Capacity IT Specialist with the Hawaii Department of Health, said the department is now collecting Covid-19 tests from nearly 100 labs in Hawaii and elsewhere, a development that creates challenges for the department. Hawaii Department of Health

The case count was alarming enough that it prompted Hawaii’s Covid-19 liaison, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, to spring into action to figure out what was going on. He was soon explaining to a concerned public and the media that some 600 to 700 cases were part of the backlog and that the situation was not nearly as bad as it seemed.

Although the biggest data glitch, it wasn’t the first or last: in fact, another just happened on Wednesday and Thursday. The Department of Health reported 455 cases on Wednesday but said that didn’t include everything. And Thursday, the count indeed jumped more than 100% to 1,068….

Jonathan Johnson, Electronic Laboratory Capacity IT Specialist with the Hawaii Department of Health, said the department is now collecting Covid-19 tests from nearly 100 labs in Hawaii and elsewhere, a development that creates challenges for the department. …

read … Why Are Data Glitches Continually Skewing Hawaii’s Covid-19 Numbers?

As pandemic drags on, more Hawaii parents find home schooling more attractive

HNN: … While public schools in Hawaii are reporting another year of declining enrollment, home schooling numbers have gone up.

Around the time schools first shut down in Spring 2020, Hawaii’s home schooling rate was 4.5%, according to the Census Bureau. By October, that figure had nearly doubled.

Hawaii Kids Can, an organization fighting for quality education options for children, said families’ experience with remote learning in the pandemic has inspired some to take over the teaching.

“Nationally, polling has shown that families are much more open to homeschooling than ever before,” said David Miyashiro, the executive director of Hawaii Kids Can….

In social media home schooling groups, she said she sees a wider variety of families.

“Before the pandemic, most people home-schooled because they had personal beliefs about the school system, or because they had a kid that they felt public school couldn’t accommodate them,” Flores said. “It’s definitely different now. There are a lot more people home-schooling, so there is a lot more diversity, people who are full-time parents who never intended to home-school or home-schooling because they want to keep their kids safe.”

Clarice Smart is a parent on Oahu, she currently has her fifth-grader enrolled in a DOE online program, but she supplements her child’s learning with home school curriculum.

“We signed her up for a lot of homeschooling classes because the DOE classes weren’t cutting it,” Smart said. “There is no teacher facilitation, we needed more.”…

read … As pandemic drags on, more Hawaii parents find home schooling more attractive

COVID Justice: Judge throws out hit-and-run case that nearly killed 2, saying prosecutors took too long

HNN: … A young couple from Japan who were nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver outside a Kahala supermarket in 2017 won’t ever see someone held accountable for the crime.

A judge recently ruled the city Prosecutor’s Office took too long to try the case.

The prosecutor blamed the pandemic ― and now the suspect is off the hook….

Tomoko Wilson spent more than two months in the hospital after doctors used screws to piece her pelvis back together. Her husband’s once-shattered leg will likely never be the same….

A judge ruled the Prosecutor’s Office had taken too long to go to trial and permanently dismissed the case. According to court records, the state didn’t explain why it took three years to charge the defendant ― Chiaan Bitar….

The indictment finally happened right before the pandemic, in March last year. By the time a court date was finally set, travel between Japan and the United States was practically impossible….

2017: Driver accused in violent Kahala Mall hit-and-run arrested

read … Judge throws out hit-and-run case that nearly killed 2, saying prosecutors took too long

Honolulu Settles HPD Excessive Force Lawsuit

CB: … Rhys Nakakura was selling light-up helicopters on the beach area near the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotels in June 2017 when he was approached by officers, his federal lawsuit states.

Officer Janghoon Cho allegedly purchased three helicopters and informed his colleagues, Officers Courtney Pahia-Lewis and Tracy Tamondong, about the transaction, according to the lawsuit. Pahia-Lewis then informed Nakakura that he was being arrested for selling the product to the plain-clothes police officer, the lawsuit states.

Tamondong and Pahia-Lewis allegedly grabbed Nakakura by the shoulders and forced him to the ground, pushing his face into the sand, according to the lawsuit.  It says Cho placed Nakakura in a headlock and applied his body weight while keeping his face buried in the sand. Wharton allegedly grabbed the man’s legs.

As a result, Nakakura suffered injuries to his right shoulder and was forced to inhale and swallow sand, causing him to vomit and cough, the lawsuit states. The officers later took him to the hospital.

“At no time did Plaintiff resist the Defendants’ commands,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states that the officers wrote reports that “altered the events as they actually took place” to make it sound like using force was unavoidable…

PDF: Complaint

read … Honolulu Settles HPD Excessive Force Lawsuit

City’s new vacation rental crackdown is also designed to target overtourism

HNN: … The illegal vacation rental industry is now one of the biggest targets of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration.

But his proposed crackdown is also part of a strategy that could help reduce overtourism as well as freeing up housing for residents.

During a Planning Commission meeting Wednesday, city Department of Planning and Permitting Director Dean Uchida said regulating vacation rentals will “provide some kind of management tool to regulate the number of visitors to Hawaii.” …

The measure aims to take short-term rentals out of residential areas and restrict them to the resort areas of Waikiki, Turtle Bay, Ko Olina and Makaha Valley.

The legal vacation rentals will be taxed at a higher rate.

“Basically legal vacation rental units are sitting ducks. You have a list of all of us you know where we are. So basically you are saying ‘hey, let’s go after them’ ― $5,000 registration fee, $2,500-a-year in hotel and resort property tax,” said Mitch Bednarsh, who owns a legal vacation rental….

read … City’s new vacation rental crackdown is also designed to target overtourism

Bums Being Pushed out of Chinatown, Moiliili

HPR: … Tuesday morning in Chinatown, City workers were power washing the sidewalks and a merchant was polishing her windows on River Street.

"Oh it's so much better," Janice "J.J." Owens said. Owens lives in a storefront on Pauahi street just off River Street. The 10 to 15 campers on the stone wall above the river, Nu‘uanu Stream to be exact, have been gone about 3 weeks.

"It is so much better," Owens said. "I'm not walking down that way seeing people smoking ice, laying there, with sores on them, laying there naked. All of that was terrible."

The Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center has been working in Chinatown for years, and is now expanding wound care and other services to the North Shore, Leeward Coast and Central Oahu. Coordinator Mono Ah Nee-Bahn was out with the crew dispensing masks, band aids, sanitizing gel, band aids. tending to wounds, and offering other services this week. He says things have changed on the streets.

Police presence is up in Chinatown and tickets are proliferating among the homeless….

City officials say these "clean ups" are in response to community complaints. They will continue …

"I have noticed an increase in enforcements in general whether it's in Chinatown or Mo‘ili‘ili or Windward side, it's happening," …

read … Oahu's Homeless On the Move

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