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Tuesday, July 21, 2020
July 21, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:41 PM :: 1515 Views

A Jones Act Debate: Admiral vs Attorney

Hawaii Family Advocates Honolulu Election Endorsements

COVID Count: 12 new cases out of 827 tests

Video: Hawaii's Generation Z

Hotels Sue to Block San Francisco’s Daily Cleaning Mandate

Kaneohe Pastor Pushes Back Against Q Anon Conspiracy Theory

Sen. Brian Schatz Says 'Libertarians Should Be Freaking Out About Portland.' Where Has He Been?

HART Now Makes Video Games

HSTA Threatening COVID Sickout August 4    

HNN: … The governor on Monday sought to reassure parents and teachers about the state’s plan to reopen public schools Aug. 4, saying health and safety are the top priority for the Education Department and that protective measures are in place to keep people safe….

…Corey Rosenlee, the head of the teachers union, said there are still so many unanswered questions and he added the reality teachers will be facing in the classroom is not the reality the state is painting.

“Our teachers are scared. They’re afraid right now going back in the classroom," he said.

“And one of the things not being dealt with is this: If our teachers do not believe returning to the classroom will be safe for them, they’re not going to return.”…

read … Governor: Reopening Hawaii’s public schools is safe and necessary

Reopening schools on Aug. 4 is a misguided rush to failure

SA … Hawaii being the first in the nation to reopen schools shouldn’t be the priority. This won’t be a badge of honor; it’ll be a disaster….

As a community, we would benefit from a broader conversation that brings in more stakeholders to help solve this statewide problem. Can other agencies — such as government agencies, businesses or nonprofits — help provide a safe place with internet access for our students? Can companies fill in the gaps for personal protective equipment (PPE), internet access, laptops, etc.?

We need a state-level policy conversation that puts the safety of our community first.

The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) had the summer to plan prudently for reopening in a way that directly supports schools, but many critical questions around equity and access still remain unanswered. Recently, the top-down leadership gave principals a list of only three options for reopening, not including a 100% virtual option, with just two weeks to plan and no extra money to make it happen, despite the cost of additional infrastructure, cleaning supplies and PPE….

KITV: HIDOE implements symptom screening checklist for staff and students (Designed to fail)

SA Editorial: Improve plans for reopening Hawaii’s schools

TGI: Schools reopening face opposition

HTH: Ige: State not at point to require roll back of recovery plans

read … Reopening schools on Aug. 4 is a misguided rush to failure

Parents consider homeschooling as option to part-time virtual learning

HNN: … The Department of Education is offering families a choice to do distance learning full time if they are worried about going back to school….

Mom Danielle said it would have been stressful juggling multiple schedules and protocols with one in elementary and the other in middle school, in addition to worrying about COVID-19 and their safety.

“The schools that my children would be attending are doing like alternating schedules and so it's going to be part online learning, part face to face learning. And that sounded kind of complicated to me," she said.

The part-time art and music teacher says she wasn’t getting much work due to the pandemic, so it made sense to use her skills at home.

“To just know that that we can control our family unit and our environment and what we're doing. It makes me feel more comfortable," she said….

DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said the DOE stands to lose anywhere from $7,000 to up to $13,000 per child per year if they’re homeschooled. To ease concerns and keep students in the system, schools are giving families the option for full-time distance learning….

read … Parents consider homeschooling as option to part-time virtual learning

The mayoral candidates on rail: 4 of 5 top contenders say pausing project is an option

HNN: … Councilwoman Kym Pine, meanwhile, alleges the project was victimized by corruption, greed and outright theft. Although there is a federal investigation, no one has been charged with a crime.

“Oh I’m just saying with the federal government ... they believe that crimes have taken place and that’s why they’re investigating around,” she said….

“I’ve talked to many former staffers who have been fired because they raised concerns that cost overruns were taking place that did not need to happen, that people are getting contracts that should not have gotten contracts, that there’s change orders that could have been prevented.

Pine says she has heard some allegations directly from anonymous whistleblowers working the project and goes so far as to say it needs direct law enforcement oversight.

“I believe the system is too big for a small town like us to do,” she said. “The temptation to make money on the side. The temptation just to look the other way for a change or a change order is too great, that we should have the federal government in partnership with us and the FBI, having people on the ground until we finish the project.”…

Like everything else, the COVID-19 crisis has altered the outlook for rail in several ways. The most immediate: The collapse of the project’s two main sources of money ― excise tax and hotel room taxes.

That’s left revenue shortfall so severe that four of the five candidates, including rail supporter Rick Blangiardi, say they would be willing to halt construction temporarily until the money comes back.

Only Keith Amemiya opposed the idea….

CB: Honolulu’s Next Mayor Will Face Major Obstacles On Rail

read … The mayoral candidates on rail: 4 top contenders say pausing project is an option

Pinata: $28.7M Kauai County CARES Money

TGI: … The county received $28,715,551 as part of the as a sub-recipient of the over $862 million received by the state. A portion of these funds, $9.25 million, was split up into direct support, economic and supply-chain resiliency, and response and preparedness. As of Monday, $8,163,108 has been allocated, with more to come as contracts finalize.

Projects range in purpose from micro-business recovery projects with Homestead Community Development and reinventing Hanapepe’s Friday Art Night from the Hanapepe Economic Alliance to emergency hires at Lydgate Park for the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau and a skate park resurfacing project from Na Lei Weli.

Per federal guidelines, all projects must be completed by the end of the year and directly correspond with pandemic response. The county sent out a request for proposals call in June, and notices of award and non-sections were sent out beginning on July 9.

Grants for food support services were delayed, and will likely be sent out this week, according to a county spokesperson.

The county choose proposals that support meal-delivery for high-risk groups, nonprofit economic-loss support for increased services like childcare and other community services, mental health and domestic violence prevention, agriculture assistance, transforming tourism and economic diversification, and support for new temporary hires in the way of agriculture, information technology and conservation….

One of the projects selected for an Agricultural Assistance Grant is the Safe and Stable Kaua‘i Farms Initiative, a partnership among North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership, Malama Kaua‘i and the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’s Cooperative Extension Service.

The project received $280,246…After receiving the funding, the initiative opened enrollment to farmers in the county. The group received 58 applicants and intends to fund up to 40…

read … Local projects receive CARES Act green-light

Vacation rental owners urge Honolulu mayor to allow reopening

PBN: … An attorney representing some 60 property management companies and 1,500 legal vacation rentals in Hawaii is asking Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to allow legal vacation rentals on Oahu to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic, just as they are allowed to operate in Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties.

Gregory Kugle of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert asked Caldwell in a letter to allow legal vacation rentals to “immediately be declared a permissible lodging of choice for residents of Oahu and interisland travelers who wish to ‘staycation’ with their families on Oahu and who are not subject to the mandatory 14-day transpacific quarantine.”

Vacation rentals have been closed since the first shutdown orders were issued in late March.

Kugle last month sent similar letters to the mayors on Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai before they allowed legal vacation rentals to resume operations when the state lifted the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel. At that time he represented Elite Pacific Properties, which has a vacation rental subsidiary called Elite Pacific Vacations.

Kugle now represents the Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance, which represents 60 property management companies and more than 1,500 owners of legal vacation rentals.

“While a lawsuit is not HILSTRA’s preferred course of action, the city may leave no other choice,” Kugle said in the letter. “Therefore, HILSTRA urges the city to treat legal vacation rental units on parity with other lodging options on Oahu.” …

July 14, 2020: Federal Lawsuit Challenges Revocation of Molokai TVR Permits

read … Vacation rental owners urge Honolulu mayor to allow reopening

Vacation rental permits could be delayed

SA: …The city’s plan to issue roughly 1,700 short-term vacation rental permits will be postponed under a bill moving through the City Council.

The bill also appears to have the consent of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration.

The city last year adopted a new law that cracks down on vacation rentals but also calls for the Department of Planning and Permitting to begin issuing permits for bed-and-breakfast establishments starting Oct. 1. Those permits would be the first issued for vacation rentals on Oahu since 1989.

But Bill 50, introduced earlier this month by Council Zoning Chairman Ron Menor, pushes back the start date for permits by four months until Jan. 31. The bill was given preliminary approval by the Zoning and Planning Committee last week and will likely be taken up next by the full Council on Aug. 12…. 

Big Q: Should Oahu delay issuing 1,700 new short-term vacation rental permits, from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31?

read … Vacation rental permits could be delayed

Tourists are gone but problems remain

MN: … Tourists are gone but some problems remain as follows: Lots of trash left along beaches and highways; abandoned vehicles on the side of roads including beachside; dumping of appliances, mattresses, etc.; disappearance of beautiful parrot fish for a long time on the west side; very crowded beaches on the west side Lahaina to the pali.

I suppose tourists cannot be blamed for what is listed above. It is us.

I also wish to state that Hana is a special place, but to forbid the other people of Maui to go there is legally questionable and hardly fair. The rest of us welcome Hana people here!

Lastly, I hope the “Kama’aina First” promotion does not continue for too long as the Aloha Spirit we embrace should not be replaced by the likes of “America First” attitude that is divisive and devoid of aloha….

read … Tourists are gone but problems remain

Three COVID-19 deaths linked to six Hawaii care homes

KITV: … The Department of Health says three COVID-19 related deaths have been linked to six community care homes in Hawaii.

At least 20 positive cases are linked to small care facilities as well….

read … Three COVID-19 deaths linked to six Hawaii care homes

Kai Kahele Says He Wants Police Reform, But His Vote Says Otherwise

CB: … Kai Kahele, the Democratic candidate for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, says he wants to see sweeping police reform.

Kai Kahele, the state senator, when he had the chance, voted against it.

Kahele is one of only four senators to oppose House Bill 285, a bill passed by the Hawaii State Legislature this month that, if it becomes law, would make public the disciplinary files of police officers found guilty of misconduct and create a certification program that would allow officials to strip bad cops of their badges….

Kahele, in an interview with Civil Beat, acknowledged that his calls for police reform nationally do not square with his vote on HB 285 at the Legislature.

He said while he supported the intent of the bill — which was first introduced last year by state Rep. Scott Nishimoto — he worried that it did not go far enough ….

(IQ Test: Do you believe him?)

read … Kai Kahele Says He Wants Police Reform, But His Vote Says Otherwise

69 Arizona Inmates have COVID—Soft on Crime Crowd Still Hoping for a Hawaii Inmate to Get it

CB: … Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona, houses 1,125 Hawaii prisoners as well as 99 inmates from Nevada, and last week the Hawaii Department of Public Safety disclosed that 69 of the Nevada inmates — or more than two-thirds of the Nevada population at Saguaro — have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Hawaii prison officials say no Hawaii inmates have tested positive as yet, but 80 prisoners from Hawaii have been placed in quarantine as a precaution. Another 120 inmates at Saguaro are from Kansas….

Hawaii prison officials announced Friday that of the 80 Hawaii prisoners who may be at risk for infection, contact tracing suggested that 28 may have had contact with Nevada prisoners, according to information released by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.

The 28 Hawaii inmates have been relocated to vacant housing, where they will be monitored for symptoms for 14 days, according to Hawaii prison officials. Another 47 Hawaii inmates who are being housed in a restrictive housing unit with prisoners from other jurisdictions are also being monitored for symptoms for 14 days….

(ACLU crosses fingers on both hands for good luck.)

SA: Coronavirus outbreak at Saguaro

read … More Details Surface About Hawaii Inmates COVID Exposure In AZ Prison

Former HECO executive to serve as so-called princess’ conservator

AP: … The wife of a 94-year-old Native Hawaiian heiress won’t be appointed as her conservator, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Instead, Judge R. Mark Browning appointed retired Hawaiian Electric executive Robbie Alm to serve as conservator for Abigail Kawananakoa, considered a princess by some because she’s related to the family that ruled the islands before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893….

Related: Kawananakoa Estate: Sex, Drugs, and Inequality

read … Former executive to serve as so-called princess’ conservator

“This Was Abuse”: The Fall of CBS Cocaine Powered Hawaii 5-0 Showrunner

VF: … before long, Lenkov—who would ultimately run the CBS reboots of Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., and MacGyver—was screaming at her regularly on the phone during her 50-minute commute home. According to Goldfinger, when she arrived at her house, she’d sit in her driveway as he continued his tirade, at least until she could find a way to get him off the phone ….

Meanwhile: Miske Mob Were All Union Drivers on Set of Hawaii 5-0 

ILind: “Racketeering Conspiracy” charge makes legal defense more difficult for defendants in Miske Enterprise case

read … “This Was Abuse”: The Fall of a CBS Showrunner

Sen Wakai Goes to Bat for Overpriced Hu Honua Scheme

IM: … Hu Honua is mounting a letter-writing campaign to justify clearcutting forests to generate expensive electricity.

Hawaii State Senator Glenn Wakai sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission on July 20, 2020, rehashing Hu Honua allegations and misunderstanding the Hawai`i Supreme Court decision.

"I was stunned by your decision to close the Hu Honua PPA application on July 9. On numerous occasions in the past two years, the developers updated me on the status of the project. I was always impressed with their desire to create energy out of an old sugar mill and provide quality jobs for residents of Hawaii Island."

"The investors moved forward in good faith and the PUC’s decision reneged on that deal."

Wakai noted that biomass at 22 cents/kWh is less than solar and storage at 9 cents/kWh. The plant will deliver green energy baseload power at a lower rate than costlier intermittent solar."

"Your decision creates significant liability and exposure for the state. No investor can rely on the permanence of regulatory decisions and orders. This pulls back the red carpet Hawaii rolled out to lure offshore investments. State gaffes have already killed the Superferry and the TMT. Let’s not add Hu Honua to that list of failures."

read … Senator Wakai Addresses Hu Honua

Hawaii’s Invasive Predator Catastrophe

SCIAM: …  Feral cats and pigs and black rats are putting many species on the fast track toward extinction….

read … Hawaii’s Invasive Predator Catastrophe

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