Current constitutional issues related to vaccine mandates
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Notice of Anticipated Judicial Vacancy – Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of the First Circuit
Hawaii Auditor Les Kondo and House committee investigating him appear headed to court
SA: … On Tuesday, the committee issued new rounds of subpoenas and ordered Kondo to produce documents by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
(NOTE: These House hearings are an undeclared impeachment proceeding, therefore illegal.)
Kondo did not comply. Instead, Kondo filed a motion in Circuit Court to allow him time to obtain outside counsel or to quash a long list of subpoenas for documents and for current and former Auditor staff to appear before the committee and testify under oath — or to speak to committee members privately.
In his filing, Kondo repeated points he originally made to the House Investigative Committee in response to the committee’s Sept. 29 subpoenas.
Kondo requested “sufficient time to secure counsel,” in his filing. “Furthermore, the disputed Subpoena Duces Tecum seeks to compel production of certain documents which are unrelated to the Committee’s stated — and therefore legal — purpose and include ‘working papers’ of the Office of the Auditor, which are confidential under Section 23-9.5. Hawaii Revised Statutes. As a consequence, the issuing parties are demanding that the Office of the Auditor violate the law of its own creation as well as the State Ethics Code, which prohibits current and former employees from disclosing information that, by law or practice, is not available to the public.”
Kondo formerly was the head of the state Ethics Commission….
Belatti said that Kondo’s motion has not been assigned to a judge and no hearing date has been scheduled.
In the meantime, she said the House Investigative Committee “will continue to do our work.”
Hearings are scheduled to resume on Wednesday with another round of testimony from Suzanne Case, chairwoman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources that oversees DLNR.
Starting Wednesday, Belatti said that all witnesses will be ordered to testify in person at the state Capitol — except for medical reasons — and will continue to be subpoenaed to testify under oath.
The hearings are scheduled to last through Oct. 28 followed by an initial draft of the committee’s findings expected in November, followed by a completed report before the start of the next legislative session….
read … Hawaii Auditor Les Kondo and House committee investigating him appear headed to court
Hawaii finally hits 70% fully vaccinated mark
HTH: … Months after Gov. David Ige set it as a milestone for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, and weeks after he rescinded that decision, 70% of the state’s population has finally been fully vaccinated against the virus.
Ige on June 4 said that he would end all travel restrictions, including the Safe Travels program, when the state’s fully vaccinated rate reached 70%.
Now, more than four months later, the state has finally inched across a finish line that no longer exists. Not only has the vaccination rate slowed precipitously, but because of a spike of cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant in August and September, Ige has said that the 70% threshold no longer triggers the end of travel restrictions….
Hilo Medical Center spokeswoman Elena Cabatu said the rise of the Delta variant has made it clear that meaningful reductions to the spread will only be possible if the state sets and reaches higher benchmarks.
On the other hand, she noted that trying to rush the process accomplishes nothing.
“It’s shown that we cannot be impatient without our progress,” Cabatu said. “It’s not going to do much good if we get impatient or frustrated at our pace.”
The 30% who are unvaccinated amounts to about 428,000 people, Baehr said. Of those people, 207,000 are children who are currently ineligible for the vaccine. Another 117,000 are people who have completed a first dose of the vaccine, but have, for any number of reasons, not yet completed the second.
The remaining 104,000 are people who are eligible for the vaccine and have chosen not to receive any dose, Baehr said….
SoR: Kids “can either get vaccinated or you can get Delta,” says Hawaii state epidemiologist
read … Hawaii finally hits 70% fully vaccinated mark
Exemptions to Hawaii’s COVID mandate end at state facilities
SA: … The state is not granting any more exemptions to Gov. David Ige’s order requiring contractors and visitors at state facilities and properties to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or testing status prior to entry.
Ige signed Executive Order 21-07 on Sept. 8. The order, which was issued to ensure the safety of the government workforce during the escalation in COVID-19 infections, went into effect Sept. 13, the same day Honolulu’s Safe Access O‘ahu vaccination and testing requirements began.
While some entities were able to meet the requirements promptly, others, including airlines and the Transportation Security Administration, requested a grace period.
Adjutant Gen. Kenneth Hara of the state Department of Defense initially approved requests by airlines and TSA to extend the deadline to Friday to comply with the governor’s executive order. He also reviewed and initially gave other exemptions as well.
But on Thursday, Hara said, “I do not plan to extend any of the exceptions granted that have an end date.”…
read … Exemptions to Hawaii’s COVID mandate end at state facilities
For Hawaii visitors; counties looking to implement fees, reservations, beach closures
HNN: … “Places like Diamond Head, as an example — under the old fees, that would generate about $1.1 million per year, and under the new fee structure it’ll come in at up to $4 million,” said Curt Cottrell, DLNR administrator of state parks.
The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is also looking to implement entrance fees and reservations at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, similar to Hanauma Bay. Meanwhile, to control crowds at Diamond Head, a reservation system is in the works….
On the Garden Isle, the county is taking notes from the state’s already successful system at Ke’e Beach.
“The county council passed a bill last year, which authorized our county parks department to start charging tourists for parking in our county beach parks,” said Luke Evslin, Kauai County councilmember. “That system has not been implemented yet. That parks department is working towards implementing it at some specific beach parks.”…
Hawaii County said it will be taking a different approach and is working on closing popular beaches for a month or two at a time.
“We’re looking at other places like Pololu, all the way along the Kona and Hilo coastline, Keaukaha, Richardson, Four Miles and just giving these places a break because they’re heavily trafficked,” said Cyrus Johnasen, Hawaii County spokesperson….
TGI: Ha‘ena State Park plan a model for ‘regenerative tourism’
read … Price of paradise may rise for Hawaii visitors; counties looking to implement fees, reservations, beach closures
Driver, not Honolulu police, is at fault for teen’s injuries, city alleges
SA: … Court documents filed by city attorneys Friday argue that Honolulu police are not responsible for an alleged high-speed pursuit on the Leeward Coast that left a 14-year-old boy paralyzed, countering that the driver of the car that crashed is to blame for the tragedy.
The city’s response to the civil lawsuit filed by the teen’s parents does not contain any details or mention of the incident, nor does it name the Honolulu Police Department or the officers involved.
Dennis and Ualani Gouveia are suing HPD and the city in connection with the Sept. 12 crash that left their son paralyzed from the waist down….
read … Driver, not Honolulu police, is at fault for teen’s injuries, city alleges
City launches new crisis outreach program to provide services to homeless in need
HNN: … The program is called CORE, which stands for Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement.
As part of the program, the city refurbished ambulances that will run up to 12 hours a day. Each vehicle will be staffed with two emergency medical technicians and a community health worker.
The team will respond to non-emergencies and homeless people in need of food or minor medical care.
Furthermore, instead of the hospital, patients will be taken to clinics like the Punawai Rest Stop, which is a hygiene center that provides free restrooms, showers and laundry facilities for the homeless.
It will serve the areas between downtown and Waikiki, and officials said they hope it will ultimately expand throughout the island.
SA: Honolulu’s new homeless Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement program begins
HNN PODCAST: On ‘The Other Side of Paradise,’ an evolving drug crisis and its deadly toll
read … City launches new crisis outreach program to provide services to homeless in need
Maui Sweep Pushed 47 Bums to Accept Shelter
MN: … similar cleanups to the one that happened at Amala, which Tsuhako said was planned months in advance as a way to resolve “serious health and safety hazards for area occupants, residents and businesses,” may continue to occur. The efforts came under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and other advocates who said the homeless residents living on Amala had few safe, lawful places to go.
Although these initiatives are not necessarily long-term solutions, it was “impetus for most to accept shelter services,” Tsuhako added.
As a result, 40 were placed into shelters, one went into permanent housing and six moved in with family and friends.
“This means 47 individuals now have access to clean toilets, hot showers, comfortable beds, nourishing food and case management,” she said. “Most of these individuals had been offered shelter and services for several months but declined until they understood the intervention was going to happen.”
read … County says more cleanups like the one at Amala Place may follow
With HPD main station cell block to close for renovations, detainees will be held elsewhere
HNN: … While the cell block is closed, officers will have to transport detainees to the Kalihi Police Station to be booked first and then drive them to the Kapolei station, where they will be held.
Furthermore, juveniles will be booked at the Pearl City Police Station….
With holding cells at the HPD’s main station shut down, concerns have risen over traffic and space issues.
The closure will last for several months with renovations expected to finish in June….
(Solution? Same as always: Let lots and lots of criminals back out on to the streets.)
read … With HPD main station cell block to close for renovations, detainees will be held elsewhere
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