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Monday, September 6, 2021
September 6, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:10 PM :: 2080 Views

​Manoa Rep Dale Kobayashi Speaks at Antivaxxer Rallies

Anti-vaccination protesters assault State Senator at vaccine clinic

HNN: … Vaccination opponents and supporters clashed at a mobile vaccination clinic in Nanakuli on Saturday, in the latest confrontation between the two groups.

Republican state Sen. Kurt Fevella said after he approached several protesters who had walked on the Nanakuli Village Shopping Center property, a female demonstrator made contact with him.

“I got hip blocked, I got elbowed and I got shoved in the chest,” said Fevella.

“I’m kind of a big guy so she kind of bounced off of me.”…

Fevella said many residents who were interested in being vaccinated or tested ended up avoiding the clinic because of the protests….

(Question: Where were the police?)

Green said he worries that an anti-vaccination rally Saturday night in Waikiki could also become a super spreader event.  “There was spread among the protesters. I know because one of the law enforcement individuals ended up catching COVID.”…

Related: Department of Health expands vaccination, testing events in West Oahu

CB: Disruption Culture Is Sabotaging The Safety Of Oahu

read … Anti-vaccination protesters target public authorities, vaccine clinics

Reduced hours, layoffs and furloughs resume in Hawaii tourism as federal safety net disappears

SA: … A drop in visitor arrivals to Hawaii from the spread of the delta variant and COVID-19 containment measures is creating a new round of tourism sector layoffs, furloughs and reduced hours just as federal unemployment aid is ending.

Hawaii got a small spike in travelers for the Labor Day holiday, but not nearly as many as were expected before Gov. David Ige asked visitors not to come to Hawaii through October. Since that announcement, travel here has plummeted.

And it’s only expected to get worse next week when Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s Safe Access O‘ahu kicks in and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino institutes a health pass. Both programs will make it more difficult for unvaccinated visitors who come to Hawaii on a pre-test exemption to patronize certain businesses….

The slowdown is welcome news for residents who are worried that the state’s health care resources aren’t adequate to handle surging COVID-19 cases. However, it couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hawaii’s economy.

Two programs — one that provides jobless aid to self-employed and gig workers, the other to people who’ve been unemployed for more than six months — are expiring today.

An additional 2.1 million people nationwide will lose a $300-a-week federal supplemental unemployment payment, which also expires today. These recipients will, however, continue to receive state unemployment benefits.

Bryant de Venecia, a spokesman for Unite Here Local 5, the union that represents workers at Hilton Hawaiian Village, said the property has laid off 25 maintenance workers and put 150 of its 600 housekeepers back to on-call status.

De Venecia said about 68% of the 9,000 hotel workers statewide whom Local 5 represented before the pandemic had returned to work by last week. But a lot has changed since Ige asked for a tourism slowdown.

De Venecia said at least one other big hotel employer is telling union members that post-Labor Day occupancy is expected to dip below 60%. That’s got the union bracing for the possibility that more of its workforce will experience reduced hours or additional layoffs and furloughs….

read … Reduced hours, layoffs and furloughs resume in Hawaii tourism as federal safety net disappears

Hawaii medical facilities given immunity for rationing care in COVID surge

SA: … The strain of surging COVID-19 cases has reached the point where Gov. David Ige has signed an executive order giving health care institutions immunity from liability if they ration care.

Ige signed Executive Order No.21-06 on Wednesday (LINK). The new order comes after weeks of warnings from Hawaii health care facilities that their resources were dangerously diminished from the constant onslaught of COVID-19 cases.

Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel said the order, which is similar to those used by other states during the pandemic and natural disasters, is a serious first for Hawaii.

Raethel said so far, Hawaii’s health care facilities have not had to use the order, which would mean that Hawaii’s health care providers were too overwhelmed to provide normal care levels. At that point they would have to move to “crisis standards of care,” where some patients get turned away.

“I’m not aware that we have done this before in Hawaii. We are doing everything we can to avoid it. But we do appreciate the governor providing that immunity should that situation arise,” he said…. 

TGI: Health care workers granted immunity from civil liability

read … Hawaii medical facilities given immunity in COVID surge

COVID slows nursing school training

KHON: … Dr. Higgins said internships have all but stopped during COVID as hospitals worry about exposure, but there are few other ways to get them trained.

“I think one of the best solutions is to take these new nurses and, and train them, orient them to these, these critical care sites that, that we, we so desperately need nurses to be in. It may take three to four months to train them. But I think it’s worth it,” Dr. Higgins said….

read … HPU nursing school chair outlines solutions to nursing shortage in Hawaii

Ready to get your sleuth on?

ILind: … I’m looking for a few people who would be interested helping me report on the Mike Miske case by sitting in on virtual court hearings and taking notes on the proceedings. Due to restrictions cause by Covid-19, hearings in federal court are being held via an AT&T telephone conference system. You call in, enter a session code, mute your phone, and listen. You can join in from anywhere, although time differences could pose some scheduling problems.

I’ve been sitting in these virtual hearings for the past year. With 11 defendants, and a variety of issues that come up to be settled by a judge, there can be several hearings each month, sometimes several in the same week. These hearings rarely last more than an hour, and most are wrapped up within 30 minutes….

read … Ready to get your sleuth on?

Hawaii Transportation Department delays start of red-light camera program

SA: … The state Department of Transportation has opted to commence its two-year red-light camera pilot program at the end of the year rather than the end of this summer.

The time frame for the pilot program shifted due to the availability of funds, according to DOT spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige.

“The additional funding authorized by the Legislature in the 2020 session was made available in August, which has driven the decision to start the pilot at the end of the year instead of the end of the summer,” she said in an email.

The later start also gives the DOT time to perform engineering studies and to launch a public education campaign, she said. The campaign must begin 60 days before the system begins working and will include details on the sites, which haven’t been finalized….

read … Hawaii Transportation Department delays start of red-light camera program

Police towing fewer DUI cars under ‘Aliyah’s Law’

WHT: … The author of Aliyah’s Law, a Hawaii County ordinance enacted in 2012 that allows police to order a vehicle towed at the driver’s expense, is questioning the implementation of the law named after Aliyah Braden, a 17-month-old toddler killed in fatal 2009 drunken driving crash.

The ordinance, which went into effect on May 3, 2012, in an effort to reduce the number of drunk drivers and traffic fatalities on the island permits the towing of vehicles of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a valid license or with fraudulent license plates or registration stickers….

It was named after Braden who was killed in 2009 when a drunken driver in a pickup truck ran a red light in Kailua-Kona and plowed into a car driven by the girl’s mother, Mayvelyn Braden, who suffered permanent injuries.

From September 2018 through July 2021, a two-year, 11-month period, there were 2,987 DUI arrests on the Big Island with 697 vehicles (23%) towed under Aliyah’s Law. Police said they were unable to provide data between 2016 and September 2018 due to a change in the department’s record system. During the first four years, 2,168 vehicles were towed under the law, according to newspaper archives.

It seems logical that the numbers of vehicles ordered towed under Aliyah’s Law would at least roughly correspond to numbers of DUI arrests in the different districts around the island. The numbers, however, tell a different story.

Kona had the most DUI arrests between Sept. 18, 2018, and July 28 of this year, with 1,253 arrests and 168 tows (13%). Hilo was second with 794 arrests and 250 tows (31%), followed by Puna with 534 and 225 tows (42%) and South Kohala with 275 arrests and 19 tows (7%).

In that time period, there have been 50 DUI-related traffic fatalities….

read … Police towing fewer cars under ‘Aliyah’s Law’

Arson investigation launched following fire at Salt Lake church

HNN: … The Honolulu Police Department has opened an arson investigation following a fire at a Salt Lake church.

The two-alarm blaze started around 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Philomena Church on Ala Laulani Street.

Honolulu fire officials said flames and heavy smoke were coming from the preschool building on property.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire in about 30 minutes, but two classrooms and a church storage room were damaged….

Authorities are still searching for a suspect…. 

read … Arson investigation launched following fire at Salt Lake church

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