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Saturday, June 20, 2020
June 20, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:15 PM :: 1344 Views

How to balance the budget in just a few clicks

COVID Count 27 new cases out of 990 tests

Senator Dela Cruz asks Governor to consider pooled testing for arriving travelers

UHERO forecasts dire scenarios for local government budgets

Mayor Victorino returns budget to Maui Council without signature

86% of Parents want Return to Classroom Teaching—Kishimoto: “We don’t need books”

SA: … The Department of Education will release detailed plans July 2 for how schools will operate in the next academic year, with each school’s leaders able to choose the instructional approach that best suits their community.

Principals are now fleshing out those models for schools to consider. They include distance learning; blended learning that includes some online and some in-person instruction; and the traditional face-to-face approach.

Even the traditional approach will incorporate more technology to prepare students for a possible switch to distance learning if there is a second wave of new coronavirus cases….

I want to ensure the Legislature that while we are planning for the start of school we are also doing contingency planning if there is a situation where the school year is interrupted,” Superintendent Christina Kishimoto told members of the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 on Friday.

Statewide, about 18,000 parents have already filled out a survey, which is still open for another week online at bit.ly/FamilyDistanceLearningSurvey. So far, one out of seven families prefer to keep their children at home to learn online when school starts Aug. 4.

“Fourteen percent of parents would like to have a pure distance-learning approach,” Kishimoto told the senators. “That tends to lean more heavily toward the upper grades where kids are more independent and families have the circumstances to support their child that way.”

Initial results of the survey suggest that more than 40% of families are interested in blended learning, which Kishimoto expects to be a popular choice by schools across the state in a variety of forms. Students doing some classwork at home will also reduce the number needing to be on campus at any given time and help with social distancing….

(‘Blended Learning’ is a HSTA-DoE scam designed to continue paying HSTA members to sit at home.  The plan is to trick the legislature into going along with it and then whittle the classroom portion down to almost nothing.)

This year, rather than the traditional back-do-school donations of backpacks and schools supplies, Kishimoto is hoping for cash donations that would go toward ensuring digital equity.

“We don’t need backpacks, we don’t need books,” Kishimoto said. “What we need is a donation that would allow us to repurpose those dollars.”  (Wow.  Just wow.)

read … Hawaii public school principals examine models of instruction for this fall

Lawmakers: $600 Million In Federal Relief Funds Will Now Go To Hard-Hit Residents, State Agencies

CB: … State lawmakers on Friday unveiled a new plan for spending more than $600 million in federal stimulus money they had tucked away in the state’s rainy day fund.

Much of the the money would go to help out thousands of Hawaii residents who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some would be split among state agencies to bolster programs that face budget cuts as state revenue shrinks.

The plan, unveiled Friday during a noon press conference with legislative leaders, proposes spending millions to extend unemployment benefits, provide rental assistance to residents, expand access to childcare facilities and help out commercial fishers.

The Legislature, which is set to reconvene next week and continue a session that has been disrupted by coronavirus precautionary measures, faced sharp criticism in May for how it handled more than $800 million in federal CARES Act funds. While some of that would be used for state agencies to respond to the coronavirus, about $600 million was set aside in the rainy day fund.

read … Lawmakers: $600 Million In Federal Relief Funds Will Now Go To Hard-Hit Residents, State Agencies

Economic Development Officials Outline Recovery Plan

CB: … The third time was the charm on Friday for state senators trying to gain an understanding of Gov. David Ige’s economic response to the COVID-19 crisis.

After pulling the plug on two previously planned presentations at the last minute, the state’s economic development director on Friday kicked off a series of presentations by top administrators from agencies attached to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Nothing in the two-hour presentation suggested DBEDT has crafted a miracle cure for Hawaii’s collapsing economy. But some officials clearly showed they were pivoting to create jobs and fill community needs.

Among the bright spots were plans to shift creative media workers from fields like filmmaking to creating content for distance learning, an outline of how renewable energy projects underway or proposed could create about 5,700 jobs in the next few years and prospects for jobs in the aerospace industry.

The overall tone belied statements made previously by DBEDT director Mike McCartney, who twice before abruptly told senators he and his staff wouldn’t give presentations because senators had allegedly bullied the DBEDT officials….

read ... Economic Development Officials Outline Recovery Plan

Widow of 28-Year-Old Kaneohe Man tells BLM to Back Off

CB: … The man who died in police custody Wednesday was identified by the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office as Isaiah Pama, a 28-year-old Kaneohe resident who left behind a wife and three children. 

Pama is the second person to die in the process of getting arrested this year, at a time when police-involved deaths are under increasing scrutiny nationally. About 10,000 people marched in Honolulu in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and systemic racism.

But his wife Noelle Pama said she doesn’t want her husband’s death to be used by the movement.

“What happened with my husband is really sad and it had nothing to do with police brutality,” Pama told Civil Beat Friday.

“The police showed my husband nothing but compassion,” she said. “In my heart and in my soul I don’t believe that there was any foul play.” …

Noelle Pama told Civil Beat her husband wasn’t a drug addict or a criminal. She believes he was having a mental breakdown. She said her husband fell asleep in his uncle’s truck and woke up and was confused about where he was….

(FB: They were both telescope protesters.)

read … Man Who Died In Honolulu Police Custody Identified As 28-Year-Old Kaneohe Resident

Telescope Protester Arrested in Kalihi Game Room Shooting

SA: … Prosecutors charged a 24-year-old man with attempted murder in connection with a game room shooting in Kalihi.

Patrick Wang was charged today with second-degree attempted murder and two counts of firearm-related offenses.

A second man, 27-year-old Toealii Maile, also known as Ese Peko, was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening and a firearm-related offense.

(2015: Toealii Maile Peko testimony against telescope on Mauna Kea)

Bail has been set at $200,000 for Wang and $100,000 for Maile.

The game room shooting occurred shortly before 12:50 p.m. Saturday.

Responding officers found spent bullet casings and blood at the scene but no victim or suspects.

Police said the victim, described as a 31-year-old man who sustained three gunshot wounds to his body, was later found at The Queen’s Medical Center. He was listed in critical but stable condition….

read … Man, 24, charged in Kalihi game room shooting

HPA: We’re Working Hard to Get Criminals Back out onto the Street

WHT: … Parole may be granted after a hearing by the board, taking into consideration victim statements, as well as recommendations from attorneys for the defense and prosecution, PSD and HPA staff. If granted parole, actual release may take seven business days to six months depending on acceptance/confirmation of the listed placements; residence, program, acceptance by another state, other state department with shared jurisdiction, immigration or federal sentence. Parole is an earned privilege based on institutional behavior, program completion and accomplishments. Granting parole is not automatic.

Through the course of a calendar year the board conducts 4,000-plus hearings on charges ranging from property crimes to violent offenses against persons as well as 1,500-plus administrative (non-in person) hearings to consider reduction of minimum sentence, early discharge, and pardons to name a few. The decisions of the board impacts prison population, victims, restitution and the community at large.

Currently, there are approximately 1,500 individuals under parole supervision (2,800 confined sentenced felons). Length of supervision depends on each parolee’s remaining time on their sentence. As an example: Sentenced to five years and granted parole after 3.5 years — paroled for the 1.5 years remaining on the sentence.

The profile of the convicted felon population is complex. In general terms, a great majority are long-time drug addicts who may steal to support their habits. Most have prevailing medical and mental health issues.

read … My Turn: Where the Hawaii Paroling Authority’s ‘kuleana’ lies

Cluster of New COVID-19 Cases Found In Waianae Elderly Care Homes

CB: … Five new COVID-19 cases have emerged in Waianae at some small elderly care homes.

Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said Friday there are two buildings on the same property where elderly care was provided.

“We’re investigating the situation,” he said. “There are others who are going to be close contacts in that situation.”…

SA: “Many nursing facilities on Oahu share staff

read … Cluster of New COVID-19 Cases Found In Waianae Elderly Care Homes

Volunteer sleuths track down Hawaii’s quarantine scofflaws

AP: … So far, volunteer sleuths with her group Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers — “kapu” can mean “rules” in Hawaiian — has helped find about 13 people on Oahu and 22 people on the Big Island who were later arrested by police, Keen said. Members on other islands assisted with other cases that led to arrests, she said….

read … Volunteer sleuths track down Hawaii’s quarantine scofflaws

Grove Farm Is ‘Disappointed’ In Planned Changes For Kauai Rehab Facility

CB: … When Grove Farm donated nearly six acres to Kauai County in 2015, the land gift was specifically intended to host the island’s first inpatient drug treatment center since Hurricane Iniki wiped out the last one nearly 30 years ago.

In a community starved for mental health and addiction resources, it been a long time coming: Kauai cycled through three mayors before the public center, first proposed in 2003, came to fruition in 2019….

In a letter sent to Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami on Thursday, Grove Farm President and CEO Warren Haruki said he is disappointed that the original vision for the facility “was not given a chance to succeed.”

Haruki said in the letter that no one at Grove Farm was contacted about the planned changes for the use of the facility.

He noted that Grove Farm and the county years ago entered into a memorandum of agreement, which states that the property “shall be utilized in perpetuity solely for adult and adolescent health care use.”

“It doesn’t appear that the original permitted use will ever be pursued,” Haruki wrote….

TGI: Don’t re-purpose the treatment center

read … Grove Farm Is ‘Disappointed’ In Planned Changes For Kauai Rehab Facility

China Could Be in Reach of Hawaii After Monday’s Election in Kiribati

FP: … A watershed moment in China’s expansion across the Pacific toward the Americas will unfold Monday when Kiribati, a country with only 110,000 inhabitants that controls a vast expanse of ocean, decides whether to reelect a pro-China president or choose a challenger pledged to recognize Taiwan.

At stake for China is the possibility of gaining a foothold in Kiribati’s Christmas Island, the world’s biggest atoll with a land area of 150 square miles. It’s located just 1,300 miles south of Honolulu, home to the U.S. Pacific Command. Building port facilities on Christmas Island, ostensibly for tourism but capable of use by Chinese warships, is a concern for the U.S. military….

For Taiwan, reversing Kiribati’s 2019 defection—which brought the number of countries worldwide that recognize its existence as a sovereign nation down to 15—would be a significant victory for President Tsai Ing-wen. Still, “China has more to win than Taiwan has to lose at this point,” said Natasha Kassam of the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Even if the pro-China candidate wins, “the domestic political cost of switching allegiances in Kiribati has already served its purpose as a cautionary tale to other partners of Taiwan,” Kassam told Foreign Policy.

When Kiribati President Taneti Maamau announced last September his decision to switch his country’s support to Beijing, even members of his own party were surprised. In fact, Kiribati’s ambassador to the United Nations and United States, Teburoro Tito (himself a former Kiribati president), was in the U.N. secretary-general’s office arguing the case for Taiwan to attend meetings organized by the U.N. when he learned of the decision. Maamau was elected in 2016 on a pledge to retain ties with Taiwan, which his predecessor, Anote Tong, had initiated in 2003.

The sudden switch to Beijing did not go down well in Kiribati. Demonstrations were held with protesters waving Taiwanese flags and chanting, “We love Taiwan, we hate China, we want peace.” The leader of the opposition, Titabu Tabane, accused the government of failing to consult the people.

The move also caused enough members of parliament from Maamau’s party, including its chairman, Banuera Berina, to bolt to the opposition and deprive Maamau of his previously comfortable majority when a new parliament was elected in April….

read … China Could Be in Reach of Hawaii After Monday’s Election in Kiribati

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