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Sunday, March 22, 2020
March 22, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:36 PM :: 555 Views

Ige Imposes 14-Day Quarantine

Shutdown? 21% of Hawaii Businesses Would Lose $10,000 per Day

40% of Hawaii Supreme Court up for Grabs

Who’s Watching the Store?

UPDATE: 56 COVID Cases in Hawaii

Ige’s move will shut the flow of visitors to the islands

CB: … As Hawaii’s hotel and restaurant sector reels from Gov. David Ige’s announcement of a 14-day quarantine for tourists visiting the islands, Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s largest and perhaps most important single travel-related company, also faces enormous uncertainty.

Like the rest of the tourism industry, the airlines have been battered. Passenger traffic into Honolulu has already dropped dramatically, according to data from the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

At a news conference with Ige and other officials at the State Capitol on Saturday, Hawaiian Airlines’ chief executive, Peter Ingram, predicted Ige’s move now will all but shut the flow of visitors to the islands.

“I don’t think there’s much appetite for 14 days in a hotel,” Ingram said, adding that people come to Hawaii to spend time outdoors….

Ige’s decision marked the end of a difficult three-week period for Hawaii’s largest private employer. On Thursday, in a move that showed how deeply the virus is affecting Hawaii’s travel and tourism business, Hawaiian Airlines on Thursday announced it was reducing flights system-wide by 40%. This came after the airline in early March said it would cancel service to South Korea and scale back expansion plans in Japan.

Demand for air travel has dropped so much, Ingram said on Saturday, that for some routes the airline has negative bookings. That means it has more flight cancellations than new reservations. Revenue has dwindled to virtually nothing, he said….

labor costs aren’t the only expenses facing Hawaiian. In the short term, the company has some $485 million in contractual obligations, including about $70 million in debt payments and $177 million in aircraft purchase commitments, according to the company’s annual report for 2019.

Hawaiian shares have lost more than 60% of their value as the crisis has unfolded, dropping from more than $30 a share to less than $9….

read … Hawaiian Airlines Faces An Uncertain Future Amid The Coronavirus Crisis

Norwegian Jewel Propeller Failure; Photo posted on Twitter by Jay Martinez, a passenger onboard the ship, on March 20, 2020 

PHOTO: Norwegian Jewel Limps towards Honolulu Harbor on one propeller  (Details)

Surprise: Passengers from cruise ship to disembark in Honolulu and go home (sudden mechanical issue)

HNN: … The Norwegian Jewel cruise ship will end it’s current journey in Honolulu on Sunday afternoon and all 1,700 passengers plus crew members will disembark.

The approval for the passengers to disembark was given because the vessel has a mechanical problem.

But the plan was crafted before the state announced mandatory quarantines for visitors would begin Thursday in a push to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The ship notified state leaders that it has a major malfunction and needs to dock after it had been turned away at other ports.

The plan is to have every person screened. Those displaying any symptoms will be separated. Those with no symptoms will be taken by tour bus to Honolulu’s airport.

Chartered planes from various companies will then fly them to their “home airport,” according to documents obtained by Hawaii News Now….

Passengers from neighbor islands will be flown there, and all Hawaii residents will be told to quarantine at home for 14 days….

However, the first flight of passengers isn’t expected to leave until Monday morning…. 

SA: Cruise ship passengers to go directly to airport

KITV: STRANDED NORWEGIAN JEWEL CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS HOPE TO DISEMBARK IN HONOLULU ON SUNDAY

read … No Corona Here but Plenty of Panic

Maui Medical professionals Predict 1,000 to 3,000 Hawaii COVID Cases in Next 10 Days   

SA: … Predicting as many as 3,000 cases of coronavirus in Hawaii by the end of the month, members of the Maui medical community today urged authorities to issue an immediate shelter-in-place order for the state.

In a letter signed by 42 mostly physicians, the medical professionals said Maui County is already experiencing a shortage of medical supplies and especially patient ventilators as soon as the disease spreads.

The letter predicts between 1,000 and 3,000 COVID-19 cases in Hawaii by March 31.

“We implore you to issue a shelter-in-place order effective immediately,” the statement said….

read … Dozens of Maui medical professionals urge state and county officials to order immediate Hawaii lockdown

More than 400 tested in drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Kakaako

SA: … More than 400 people received a free coronavirus test today at a drive through testing program at Kakaako Waterfront Park.

Dr. Scott Miscovich, who is leading the efforts, said about 20 percent, or 405 people, out of the 2,225 individuals who were screened received a test between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The free testing program was geared toward Oahu residents whose jobs put them at risk of contracting coronavirus and most importantly, who already had symptoms.

Miscovich said about 300 vehicles were in line at one point this morning with cars lining up from Kakaako Makai Gateway Park down Ilalo Street toward Diamond Head, then along Ala Moana Boulevard to South Street.

The wait time to be screened was an estimated 90 minutes….

The workers running the program, including including people covered in white protective gear at the swabbing site, are from Miscovich’s organization, Premier Medical Group Hawaii.

Miscovich said he has donated the program costs, which are running in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, because of his concern for Hawaii….

SA: Miscovich’s organization will be doing another drive-thru clinic Monday on Hawaii island. That clinic will be open to the public at Old Kona Airport Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

read … More than 400 tested in drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Kakaako

Key to Recovery: Approve Campaign Contributors’ Development Projects

SA: … government must take action to stimulate the economy. Now is the time to step up investments in Hawaii’s infrastructure and our people (campaign contributors) ….

Another thing our policymakers should do now is review the actions taken by the federal government that brought an end to the Great Recession. Between 2008 and 2012, Congress authorized nearly $1.5 trillion in spending…. The biggest was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which invested in “shovel-ready” (LOL!) capital projects (you know, like extending rail to Waikiki, renovating Blaisdell and tearing down Aloha Stadium)….

Economists have reviewed these federal investments and determined which had the greatest “bang for the buck.” The ones that encouraged the maximum economic return were…defense spending….infrastructure spending and aid to state governments….

…Put people to work by investing in public infrastructure projects that complete high-priority capital projects. Prepare to expedite contracts and payments….

Shovel-Ready? >>> Owners of abutting Honolulu buildings remain locked in a renovation dispute—police called

read … Contribute and Collect

The reality is that we need tourism here for the long-term

SA Editorial: … yes, a temporary shutdown is warranted. But so is a reality check where tourism is concerned. The reality is that we need tourism here for the long-term, the current restrictions notwithstanding.

Let’s look at the facts, which are pretty scary. For starters, the Hale Koa Hotel — part of the Armed Forces Recreation Centers Resorts, a property with 818 rooms for active and retired military — closed its doors for now, in response to the pandemic. It’s certainly possible that some private resorts will do the same.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association last week issued its latest Oxford Economics study, projecting an estimated 46,778 jobs to be lost over the next six months, with a worst-case scenario of 57,173 jobs. That means the shedding of employees could amount to 1 in 4 hotel workers.

That’s a chilling figure — not only for the hotel workers themselves, but for all who are affected through the economic ripple effects.

And that’s likely to be everyone, in some degree. Individuals may not work in the visitor industry, but some within their extended circle of family and friends surely do. Perhaps these critics work for businesses, and these tourism workers are their former customers, who no longer have money to spend there….

read … Difficulties deepen as tourism-dependent Hawaii forced to tell visitors to stay out

Covid-19 Layoffs at Midweek

ILind: … A Facebook post by veteran journalist Bob Jones reminds us that the news media isn’t immune from the financial fallout.

Oh, you won’t have my pithy MidWeek columns any more to either please you or piss you off. Was laid off today, along with all other paid contributors. I’m wondering when the ax falls at the Star-Advertiser, especially in the sports department with no sports to cover.

There’s going to be some bleeding before this is over and it won’t be staunched by a $1200 per person handout from the government or low-interest loans from the state.

With the shutdown of bars, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, concerts, and travel, and the resulting spike in unemployment, advertisers are going to be dealing with their own economic woes, and our daily newspapers are going to be taking a big hit alongside MidWeek.

And this is a tidal wave of bad news for newspapers.

The remaining alternative weeklies across the country are the first to get hit with what observers are calling “total annihilation.” …

Meanwhile, Jones has set up a blog, The Bob Jones Report….

read … Covid-19 hits newspapers

N Shore Anti-Tourist Hysteria

KHON: … One North Shore Neighborhood Board member on Oahu said the tension is increasing and she’s being asked by residents what can be done to keep tourists out.

“People are frustrated, they don’t want the visitors here, it’s a threat to them,” Raquel Hill said.

“Clearly the visitors are not compliant. Last night on the news everyone saw them going under the caution tape and going to the beach. Social distancing? Okay, they’re in the water together how’s that working?” she said.

“That tension has already started because there’s no real support from our government,” she added.

She said it doesn’t help when tour busses continue to bring in hundreds of tourists daily and the North Shore community continues to try and keep themselves healthy.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has not closed county beaches but he did say on Friday that it would be discussed on Monday.

All state parks remain closed including Diamond Head, Makapuu, Wailuku River, Iao Valley, and Kokee.

All ocean commercial activities such as whale watches, dinner cruises, stand up paddleboard and or surf lessons have also been closed including trail tours…

read … Resident, visitor tensions continue to mount

Anti-Pesticide Hystericals switch -- Protest Tourists Instead

KGI: … Now is not the time, said Kaulana Poe Saturday morning as he helped a young sign-waver with her sign at the Po‘ipu Road roundabout.

Poe was among a group of nearly two dozen people who held a sign-waving campaign, masked against disease and expressing their disdain for visitors who are on the island as well as the government inaction in the face of COVID-19.

“This is about the blatant disregard visitors have for how serious this situation is,” Poe said. “The mayor put in the curfew and that’s OK, but the message with aloha to the visitors is ‘Thank you for coming, but not at this time.’”

“This is not a single person doing his thing,” Poe said. “This is a group effort from residents. My sister Malia Chun (professional anti-agriculture activist) posted it on social media, and this is what happened.”

Chun said the sign-waving campaign was not limited to Po‘ipu, but is spread out islandwide with sign-wavers at the Lihu‘e Airport at the Veterans Memorial Highway and Ahukini Road junction (just three people seen), the Kapa‘a Beach Park (no one was there), and at Hanalei School.

read … One Hysteria is as good as another

MPD preps for COVID-19 impact on staff as one officer quarantined

MN: … As the Maui Police Department prepares for an impact on personnel due to coronavirus exposure, one officer is currently in a 14-day self-quarantine after being exposed on the job to a person under investigation for COVID-19….

Maui County Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu said the officer was responding to a Maui case and came into contact with a person under investigation for COVID-19. The officer was sent to the emergency room and the direction from the ER doctor was to be quarantined for 14 days….

He held the conference to discuss increased visibility of state and federal agencies amid the pandemic’s spread. Faaumu was flanked by Chief Ranger Ari Wong of Haleakala National Park; Howard Rodrigues, state Department of Land & Natural Resources Conservation and Resources Enforcement Maui branch chief; and Sgt. Geoffrey Hicks of the state’s sheriff department.

“These are the law enforcement community for Maui County,” Faaumu said. “We decided to come together because there will be an impact on our personnel.”

Faaumu said he wanted the community to see the uniforms and the vehicles of the various agencies helping patrol the streets….

KHON: Maui Police Department discusses law enforcement response to COVID-19

read … MPD preps for COVID-19 impact on staff as one officer quarantined

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant 2 DoD Employees tests positive for COVID-19

KITV: … Hawaiian Airlines announced that one of their flight attendants tested positive for COVID-19.

The flight attendant originally took the test on March 18….

Hawaiian Airlines said their team is currently in the process of reaching out to each affected crew member. Hawaiian said everyone who is contacted must self-monitor for two weeks….

He said that case was unrelated to any of the previously positive cases from visitors on Hawaiian Airlines flights….

read … Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 and the “right to travel”

ILind: … An Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal this week argues states have considerable powers to protect public health: “While the federal government has limited and enumerated constitutional authority, states possess a plenary “police power” and have primary responsibility for protecting public health.”

States may also take more drastic measures, such as requiring citizens to be tested or vaccinated, even against their will. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), the Supreme Court considered a challenge to a state law requiring everyone to be vaccinated against smallpox. Henning Jacobson refused vaccination and was convicted. The court upheld the law and Jacobson’s conviction.

“The Constitution,” Justice John Marshall Harlanwrote for a 7-2 majority, “does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.” Instead, “a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic.” Its members “may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.”

Remember that the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom passed a law in 1865 exiling all persons with leprosy to Kalaupapa, and that law remained in effect until it was abolished in 1969, more than a century later…. 

PH: Rights, while going down the rabbit hole

read … Covid-19 and the “right to travel”

This has all Happened Before

Borreca: … Coronavirus may be a new virus and new threat; it comes from a long line of killing pandemics. Perhaps the most significant one was the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-1920, killing more than 21 million persons around the world.

In Hawaii, according to research done in 1999 by Robert C. Schmitt And Eleanor C. Nordyke for “The Hawaiian Journal of History,” between 1918 and 1920, 2,300 in Hawaii died from what was called the Spanish Influenza. Records in Hawaii, then a territory, not a state, were incomplete. Schmitt noted that newspaper reports were also lacking.

The Oct. 24, 1918, Honolulu Star-Bulletin printed eight “Simple Precautions Against the Spanish Influenza,” by the U. S. surgeon general. No. 4 was, “Remember the three Cs — a clean mouth, clean skin and clean clothes.”

Still, even in 1918, the list of eight precautions included avoiding crowds, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and the admonition that “your fate is in your hands; wash your hands.” .…

read … Coronavirus impacts on Hawaii being felt today will reverberate through next generation

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