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Monday, May 25, 2020
May 25, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:30 PM :: 809 Views

'Safe Travels System' -- Quarantine App Turns Hawaii Into a Privacy Nightmare

Hawaii Proposes ‘Feminist Economic Recovery Plan’ Filled With Sex Discrimination

COVID Count: Another Day with No New Cases

COVID Cancels Massive Stormwater Fee Hike: Decision will be left to next mayor

SA: … With the unanticipated onset of the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the pocketbooks of Oahu residents, officials with the Caldwell administration this week said they will delay a planned stormwater utility fee and fund until Hawaii’s economy improves.

The city is continuing with a second series of community meetings this week on the latest proposal to improve stormwater management and reduce the flow of stormwater into streams and the ocean…

The Department of Facility Maintenance had originally intended to move out bills establishing the program and the fund this summer with the hope of starting the program in July 2022. But the city’s decision will now delay the bills until at least next year, said Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura. Because Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s second term is up at the end of the year, the delay means it will be up to his successor to figure out when to do it….

Five meetings are being held this week, all of them online, and they will include a slideshow presentation, a question-and-answer period and polling questions: 2 p.m. today, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 8 a.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Four meetings were held last week….

Best Comments: The City contracted a mainland firm to run these “meetings.” They don’t like criticism and cut off questions that they don’t like. Now they are doing it online, which makes it easier to control the parts they don’t like.  The main reason they use to justify this is so they don’t have to present a budget to the Council. Isn’t that a good thing to vet their budget? Although they claim otherwise it creates a new independent agency. It will not be part of the BWS. This fee will increase exponentially just like the sewer fees.  This article makes it sound like it’s a done deal, just a matter of when. WATCH OUT, they are sneaking this though and then will claim that they went through the process of community input.


read … Honolulu delays new stormwater fee program for 1 year

Bar Owner: PPP Loan Money Runs out June 30

SA: … Meanwhile, a couple dozen people gathered at the state Capitol on Sunday to rally for reopening Hawaii businesses and churches.

One person waved an upside-down U.S. flag, while another held a sign that said, “Stop the communist mandated recession now!”

Bill Comerford — owner of O’Toole’s Irish Pub, Anna O’Brien’s, Kelley O’Neil’s and the Irish Rose Saloon — joined the rally with a sign that said in part, “Governor Ige is killing my businesses.”

He said he’s falling $600,000 in debt and needs to know when the government will allow bars like his to reopen before he is willing to obtain another loan.

“The governor hasn’t even said if they will open in July or August or December or Christmas,” he said. “They owe us an answer and they’re not providing it.”

He said he has 80 employees and had zero debt March 1. He received a $580,000 loan from the federal coronavirus relief act that is paying for his rent and utilities and that will run out by June 30.

“July is my limit,” he said. “If I can’t open in July, I’m closing.”…

read … Reopen Hawaii

Church Services Allowed for First Time in Two Months

SA: … Shawna Kim arrived Sunday at Hawaii Central Presbyterian Church in the back of Manoa Valley, a few minutes ahead of her first in-person church service since services were canceled two months ago by the state lockdown to stop the new coronavirus.

“Finally, we made it,” said Kim, who had been watching online services and keeping in touch with fellow members by text message. “I’m kind of excited to see everybody.”

Kim was wearing a mask, as all members were required to do, and brought her two sons, Sean and Robin Ok, for Sunday school….

Masks and hand sanitizer were available for attendees inside the church. In addition, tape on the pews marked off the required physical distance, with two marks every other row and one mark in between those rows.

Kang said it was important for members to have in-person services.

“We can always worship on our own, at home,” he said. “But also there’s another component in our Christian faith that we’re supposed to gather together and share each others’ lives together.”…

“Even in a limited way, if we’re able to gather together, it’s a huge boost to our spirituality,” he said.

Because of the short notice for reopening, Hawaii’s Roman Catholic churches in the state’s 66 parishes didn’t open this past weekend, said Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva.

“We just felt we weren’t quite prepared with all of the social distancing and the sanitizing precaution that we’re going to have to take,” he told the Honolulu Star- Advertiser on Sunday. “We decided next week is when we’ll open.”…

read … Hawaii faithful return to in-church services

MMMC: Another employee tests positive for virus

MN: … Maui Health spokeswoman Tracy Dallarda said Sunday that the employee, who worked in a ward for COVID-19 patients, received an antibody test from a community provider May 18.

“Once we learned the employee’s antibody test detected the virus, we immediately sent the employee for a COVID swab test in our emergency department, and that subsequently came back positive yesterday,” she said. “The employee is asymptomatic and has been sent home to quarantine.”

Dallarda said that Maui Health is working with the state Department of Health to do contact tracing within the community and the hospital. Because the tracing process is ongoing, Dallarda wasn’t sure how many people may be involved.

“Patients and employees who may have had contact with this health care worker are being notified and will be tested, as necessary,” she said.

The latest reported case comes in the wake of the Health Department’s announcement Tuesday that the cluster at Maui Memorial is considered closed. The outbreak had spread to a total of 36 staff and 21 patients, according to department data as of Friday….

read … MMMC: Another employee tests positive for virus

Council Tinkers With Failed Affordable Housing Mandate

SA: Last May, Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law an affordable rental housing bill that launched a five-year pilot program through which aging low-rise apartment buildings could be renovated as taller — up to six stories high — and configured with tighter living spaces to make room for more units…In exchange, the law requires permanently capping rents for 80% of units to align with federal affordable housing guidelines.

… Bill 60, which would amend the law by limiting affordability to just 15 years…. was supported by developers and bank representatives who said the program has been slow to find takers because property owners of these walk-up apartments are wary of in-perpetuity rental caps….

the Council has approved a final draft of controversial Bill 25, which updates the city’s Energy Conservation Code with provisions that include a watering down of initial proposals for renewable hot water heating and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.

The final draft allows a “points system” to determine how many stalls need to be “EV-charger ready” in new multi-unit residential structures, rather than the original call for an across-the-board requirement of 25%. It also exempts structures reserved for affordable housing….

Also dropped was a proposal that would have essentially shut out fossil-fuel powered tankless gas water heaters. The replacement provision allows builders to opt out of installing solar and other clean-energy heaters by obtaining a variance from the state….

read … Council Gives In

University of California system has given $68M to TMT project

SA: … The University of California system, one of the partners seeking to build the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, has invested more than $68 million in the TMT project as of April 30, according to a UC financial report.

Students with the #UCDivestTMT campaign obtained the report showing the UC’s financial contributions to the TMT over the last six years using California public-records law. The report found that the contributions were divided between the university’s private funds and grants received from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“As the nation’s premier research institution, UC feels it is important to support the scientific mission of TMT to peer deep into space for answers to fundamental questions about the universe,” UC Office of the President spokesman Stett Holbrook told the Daily Californian, the student newspaper of UC Berkeley. “It will enable a new frontier of discoveries about the contents, nature and evolution of the universe including the search for life on other planets.” …

read … University of California system has given $68M to TMT project

Another HECO Solar-Battery Schemer Outs Itself

SEI: … French multinational electric utility Engie said that its project has been selected by the US-based Hawaiian Electric as one of the 16 in the final award group for the stage 2 variable renewable dispatchable generation and energy storage projects.

Further, the proposed project, a 60 MWAC solar energy + 240 MWh of the battery storage facility, awarded to the French major is situated in Puakō near Waikoloa Village, South Kohala, on Hawai‘i Island….

this project is expected to be commissioned by 2023, however, depending on the length of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis, the company is expected there may be delays in commissioning the projects.

Meanwhile, this was the final evaluation phase for Engie as well as the other developers. Now, Engie will enter into one on one contract negotiations with Hawaiian Electric to reach 25 years of the power purchase agreement (PPA). Finally, all of the contracts must then be approved by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission…

Related: HECO Selects 16 Solar Battery Projects--Keeps Locations Secret

read … Engie in Final Talks with Hawaiian Electric for Solar plus Storage Project

It Takes a Strong Person to Clean up After the Homeless

KHON: … Following the city’s reopening public park bathrooms, “bathroom brigades” have formed among the houseless living near those parks.

The brigades clean the public bathrooms, in many cases multiple times per day, with a variety of cleaning supplies all provided by nonprofit Hui Aloha.

“You need a strong person to keep the group together to work together as a group, a community,” Lavina Aina told KITV4. Aina is a brigade captain at Waimanalo Beach Park. She lives in Kupuna housing in Waimanalo, but told me she was a lived at the beach park’s homeless encampment for a number of years.

(Translation: The homeless really aren’t cleaning up after themselves, but we got a formerly homeless person to help out.)

Forest Frizzell lives in Waimanalo and helps clean up at the beach park with the bathroom brigade.

“I live almost across the street here I just came down to see how can I help out and be of service,” he explained.

(Translation: The homeless really aren’t cleaning up after themselves, mostly it is politically connected CEOs.)

According to Hui Aloha, bathroom brigades have formed in Waimanalo, Wai’anae, Waialua, Haleiwa, and many closer to town. However, on April 20, the City and County of Honolulu began enforcing the “Stored Property Ordinance and Sidewalk Nuisance Ordinance,” informally known as “sweeps.” They had been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Koshiba, a volunteer with Hui Aloha, said these sweeps pose a challenge to bathroom brigades, and some have even been temporarily disbanded due to captains being displaced.

(Translation: The purpose of this exercise is to stop sweeps so we can keep the homeless homeless.)

read … "Bathroom brigades" mobilize houseless residents across O'ahu

6 cited for coronavirus violations in raid at suspected brothel near Waikiki

SA: … The raid at Integrative Modalities of Honolulu is part of an ongoing campaign by the prosecutor’s office to eliminate massage parlors and relaxation spas operating as a cover for prostitution.

This was the third search warrant executed at Century Center this year, with the first being at Vanilla Spa in January and the second at Healthy Angel earlier this month.

The prosecutor’s office said it has executed 18 search warrants at suspected brothels since Nadamoto became acting prosecuting attorney 14 months ago. More than a dozen of those businesses have since closed….

(Translation: With the feds in town, the dirty cops who take payments in exchange for tips on raids are laying low.  So the raids are working.)

read … 6 cited for coronavirus violations in raid at suspected brothel near Waikiki

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