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Friday, September 10, 2021
September 10, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:09 PM :: 693 Views

VIDEO: Biden Vaccine Mandate for Federal Employees, Contractors and Large Private Sector Employers

Ige Announces 'Vax-or-Test' Requirement to Enter State Facilities

The Vacant Homes Tax: Can this Even be Enforced?

Hawaii businesses brace for unknown as visitor arrivals drop due to surge in COVID cases

HNN: … The state was averaging about 27,000 arrivals over the Labor Day weekend, and arrivals have dropped to about 20,000 daily since then….

Hotel occupancy has dropped, and many visitors have canceled their vacations.

“We’ve seen a significant slowdown in tourism, it’s typically slow this time of the year anyway but it’s a lot slower than usual, I think, because of the governor’s warning about people coming to Hawaii,” explained Jon Jepson, co-owner of Makani Catamaran. “We’ve seen a lot of cancellations from reservations we had booked and not just canceling our tour but they’re canceling their entire trip to Hawaii.”…

Maui saw an economic bump this summer but is now seeing cancellations too.

“I had a meeting with the hoteliers on Maui this morning and, as of date, 51,000 room nights have been canceled, $21.4 million loss in revenue and that’s Maui County only,” explained Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino during a virtual press conference on Thursday, Sept. 9….

read … Hawaii businesses brace for unknown as visitor arrivals drop due to surge in COVID cases

Operation Save Hawaii: Private doctor enlists outpatient health providers to Provide Vaccines and Antibody Therapy

KITV: … A high profile private physician rallies his colleagues to join the fight against the coronavirus. Dr. Scott Miscovich formed group Operation Save Hawaii, headed by former Big Island Mayor and Civil Defense leader Harry Kim.

Operation Save Hawaii expands the battlefront lines against COVID-19 from the hospitals to private doctor's offices. Miscovich says it's "to try to mobilize the untapped sector of healthcare in our state, the outpatient physicians."

Miscovich estimates there are 10,000 outpatient workers, about 60 to 65% of the medical workforce. He's appealing to "nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and nurses."

One task the members of the group will do is contact trace their patients, thus supplementing the state health department's efforts. "They [doctors' patients] know you. They'll return your call more than likely," Miscovich explains as the logic.

They'll offer testing at doctor's visits and set up their own pop up clinics. "Because our testing's so low, we probably have doubled the amount of disease in this state," he says.

And they'll offer vaccines and Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatments to reduce hospitalization or death in high-risk patients. He anticipates one possible challenge: "The concern that leadership of the state will think it's overwhelming to communicate with such a large number of individuals."

The state Department of Health responds says 176,444 eligible people are not yet vaccinated. It welcomes the effort, saying, "The more people involved in the effort, the better."….

KITV: Regeneron has a 70 to 80% reduction for someone at risk to proceed to the ICU, hospital, or severe disease

read … Private doctor enlists outpatient health providers to form Operation Save Hawaii

John Stancil, Miske’s half-brother, again denied release on bond

ILind: …  It took less than 15 minutes on Wednesday morning for Federal Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield to send John Blaine Stancil, Mike Miske’s brother and co-defendant in a major criminal case, back to Honolulu’s Federal Detention Center until trial, ending any slim hopes Stancil might have had about being released pending trial….

(Clue: “Federal”)

read … John Stancil, Miske’s half-brother, again denied release on bond

Redistricting Panel: No Changes In Hawaii Legislative Seats

CB: … There will be no change in how many seats each island will get in the Legislature heading into the 2022 election season based on a plan that the state Reapportionment Commission adopted unanimously Thursday.

The commission has received some public pushback in recent meetings on how it arrived at its population figures for each island. By some estimates, the Big Island should have received a House seat based on population changes over the last decade.

In 2012, when the commission last took up the task of redrawing Hawaii’s political boundaries, Oahu lost a Senate seat while Hawaii island gained one.

As part of the commission’s plan approved Thursday, 71,665 non-resident military and college students will be removed from the total count of Hawaii’s voting population. The state constitution requires non-permanent residents to be removed from reapportionment counts distributed by the U.S. Census.

But the number removed this year is less than the more than 108,000 military and students the commission removed in 2012, after the Hawaii Supreme Court ordered a redo of the plans after finding that the commission didn’t comply with the constitution.

In particular, the number of military removed from the permanent resident count was 32.5% less than what was removed after the 2010 census. David Rosenbrok, the reapportionment project manager, said that the number of military that should be removed this year was determined based on data provided by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command….

At its next meeting, the commission will decide whether parts of Barber’s Point, Koolina and Honokai Hale should be part of the second congressional district, which includes neighbor islands and suburban Oahu, instead of the first which comprises Oahu’s urban core….  

CB: Our Democracy Starts With Redistricting

HTH: Redistricting Commission gets to work: Hawaii County Council districts expected to shrink, grow under new census numbers

WHT: Same as it ever was: Reapportionment Commission holds fast to 2011 allocation of state legislative seats

2012 Reapportionment Lawsuit:

read … Redistricting Panel: No Changes In Hawaii Legislative Seats

HART, HECO At Odds Over Who Caused A $34 Million Change Order To Rail

CB: … Last year, the public first got word to expect a big-ticket change order for the major rail construction that’s taking place near the airport, due to yet another snafu involving utility relocations.

On Thursday, local board members overseeing Honolulu’s elevated transit project gave preliminary approval to that change order, priced at $34 million. The money will go to Shimmick Traylor Granite, the primary contractor handling rail’s airport-area construction.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials say the added costs were largely caused by new, unforeseen safety standards for utility equipment set in 2018 by Hawaiian Electric Co.

HECO roundly disputes this, however. Instead, the local utility company pointed to what it says was poor utility design work by STG and the contractor’s falling behind on its own schedule for that critical design work to get done….

read … HART, HECO At Odds Over Who Caused A $34 Million Change Order To Rail

Massive backlog at DMV: 10,000s of driver’s licenses have expired and await renewal

HTH: … Residents needing to renew their driver’s license face months of waiting due to a backlog of appointments at the county Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division.

There are 14,160 licenses that have expired between 2019 and August 2021. The division, known informally as the DMV, is working to renew them as quickly as possible — although appointments in Hilo are not available until January 2022.

According to Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation issued on Aug. 5, driver’s licenses, non-CDL permits and state identifications, which expired on or after March 16, 2020, will remain valid through Oct. 4.

“Depending on this next month, we’re hoping Gov. Ige extends the extension,” said county Finance Director Deanna Sako. “When he extended it for the last time, the case numbers weren’t that high, so a lot of things have changed.”….

read … Massive backlog at DMV

‘A new beginning’: Project works to house those in need in Waimanalo

HNN: … A blessing was held Thursday morning to commemorate the construction of eight new residences for houseless individuals and families in Waimanalo.

The houses are part of the Hui Mahiai Aina Project, which works to create housing for those in need in the east Oahu community and to improve their quality of life.

The president of the Hui Mahiai Aina, Blanche McMillan, said she hopes this project will encourage residents at the camp to become self-sufficient, employable and independent….

Currently, there at 62 people living at the camp. They all pitch in by cleaning and keeping up the grounds.

McMillan said her goal is to make the camp home to 300 people who are in need of a permanent place to live….

Constructing these homes was also made possible with the support of Hardware Hawaii, which donated the materials for all eight structures, and the Friends Of Waimanalo….

read … ‘A new beginning’: Project works to house those in need in Waimanalo

COVID Keeps Rolling Thru Warehouse-Style Homeless Shelters

CB: … Just over a year ago, the homeless shelter for men on Sumner Street suffered a major Covid-19 outbreak that left over 60 people infected and a staff member dead.

About two weeks ago, the Sumner Men’s Shelter had to close its doors again after more than 70 people tested positive for the coronavirus as the delta variant has sparked a new surge in cases statewide, dashing hopes that the pandemic was nearing an end after months of relatively low numbers….

Those who are turned away are redirected to the state-funded Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons program, which provides temporary housing in tents at two sites, Keehi Lagoon Beach Park and Whitmore Village in Wahiawa. HONU currently has 29 vacant spots, according to Anton Krucky, executive director of the city’s Office of Housing and Homelessness….

This week, Department of Health officials said that isolation and quarantine units increased statewide with priority going to those in congregate living spaces such as shelters and treatment and care facilities.

Oahu, which had 64 units, increased to 199, according to DOH Spokesman Brooks Baehr. And of the 199 units, 103 are vacant….

read … ‘When We’re Full, We’re Full’: Oahu Homeless Shelters Struggle With High Demand

Remnants of Stonebraker Campaign Behind AntiVaxxer Groups

CB: … The Aloha Freedom Coalition was formed in September 2020 by supporters of Bud Stonebraker, a former Republican state legislator who ran unsuccessfully for the nonpartisan office of mayor of Honolulu last year.

Cordery said he and others supported Stonebraker’s platform, which stressed the value of liberty and individual rights and service to the community “with love and spirit of aloha,” as his campaign website states.

“We understood his principles and what his platform represented, and it resonated,” Cordery said. “And when he did not prevail, about 20 to 30 of us got together and said, what now?”

(Stonebraker came in 6th with 17,757 votes--6.4% of total)

The group that would become AFC focuses on the media, government, business and church, and its members are allowed to “gravitate toward that area or pillar,” said Cordery….

The AFC, the KOA and another group called Klean House Hawaii have scheduled a press conference Friday at 11 a.m. next to Honolulu Hale. Topics will include opposition to vaccine mandates and related issues, according to a press release.

(KHH is tied to Karl Dicks a 2020 mayoral candidate and ‘Q’ believer who got 361 votes then sued demanding a judge name him mayor, LOL!)

There is evidence of an evolving dynamic of the anti-mandate groups. KOA, for example, rallied with Native Hawaiian kiai, or protectors of Mauna Kea, on Labor Day. KOA will also hold assemblies in all four counties Sunday in a Last Stand rally “against the health card mandates on the last day before this tyranny is forced upon us.”

Meanwhile: Manoa Rep Dale Kobayashi Speaks at Antivaxxer Rallies

read … Remnants

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