Monday, September 21, 2020
Hawaii Daily News Read

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Monday, September 7, 2020
September 7, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:56 PM :: 855 Views

Cult Expelled from Kauai--Flees to Colorado after failed attempt to establish base on Maui

Reopen Kauai Schools

COVID Count 105 new cases out of 2,109 tests

Hawaii Launches COVID Dashboard

Schatz: VA Should take control of Hilo Veterans Home COVID outbreak

SA: … Repeat testing is ongoing and a new cluster has been identified in the past 72 hours of three or more residents and/or staff who have new-onset respiratory symptom.

As of Sunday, only five residents of the veterans home had recovered. Some 40 residents who have COVID-19 are isolated at the home. Another three residents are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center.

“We need to contain this outbreak immediately, and we need federal help,” Schatz said in a statement issued Sunday. “I’m calling on the VA to immediately step in and deploy infection control experts and other health care professionals to the Big Island to get this under control. This is a public health emergency, and we need all the help we can get to stop this outbreak and save lives.”

Schatz sent a letter Sunday to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie seeking federal assistance in identifying “where the facility is falling short.” The letter also seeks help improving infection control protocols, use of personal protective equipment, and other measures that will protect veterans home residents and workers.

“It is increasingly clear to me that the state home is understaffed and ill equipped to stop this outbreak on its own. Moreover, I am concerned that the state and county have been too slow to respond to the crisis with the urgency that it demands, including with a request for more federal assistance,” Schatz said….

PDF: Schatz Letter

KITV: Avalon Health Care, the company that manages the care home, believes its staff can get the situation under control.

Avalon News Release: 8 Dead

read … Federal aid sought for Hilo veterans home COVID outbreak

Gov. Ige threatens veto of bill limiting “revolving door” between government and lobbyists

ILind: … Governor Ige has announced his intention to veto a bill that, if it becomes law, would strengthen ethics in government by imposing a new waiting period on the revolving door between public service and special interest lobbying.

The bill “seeks to promote integrity in government by strengthening the wall of separation between lobbyists and high-ranking government officials.”

HB2124 SD2, “Relating to the Code of Ethics,” is strongly supported by the State Ethics Commission.

The commission testified repeatedly in favor of passage…

Related: Governor Releases 'Intent to Veto' List

read … Gov. Ige threatens veto of bill limiting “revolving door” between government and lobbyists

‘It was a big change’: Hawaii County Clerk provides update on first all-mail election

HTH: … More than 91% of the 65,000-plus votes cast in the Aug. 8 Hawaii County primary election were sent via postal mail during the state’s first all-mail election.

Of the remaining votes cast, about 5,000, or 7%, were dropped off at drop boxes, and just over 1%, or about 1,200 votes, were cast in-person on election day at the island’s two voter service centers….

Leading up to the primary, the county saw a surge of 9,000 new voters. Previous primaries saw increases of about 3,000 to 5,000 first-time voters.

“That’s almost a doubling, if you will, of (new) registered voters,” Henricks said.

“It’s hard to say why, but that’s not due to elections by mail. That’s people who were registering to vote either during the course of this process or prior to it and getting their ballots in the mail.”

The thousands of new voters brought the county’s number of registered voters to 120,000, he said.

Roughly 54% of those voters cast ballots in the Aug. 8 election — an increase of about 21,000 from 2018….

Regarding concerns over the U.S. Postal Service, Henricks said “they did their jobs” by getting the 59,000 votes cast by mail to the county to be counted….

Currently, the county is targeting a single-page ballot with candidates on the front and 16 charter amendment questions on the back for the general election….

read … ‘It was a big change’: County Clerk provides update on first all-mail election

OCCC shows signs of improvement in COVID handling

HNN: … The Oahu Community Correctional Center is making a major turnaround in its efforts to contain the coronavirus.

The Department of Public Safety said that of the 300 inmates infected at the facility, 231 have recovered, leaving just 58 active cases.

“I think they’re getting their act together,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

“They’ve now tested everybody ... My understanding is they really had to up their game.”…

KHON: 2 more OCCC staff test COVID-positive on Sept. 6

read … OCCC shows signs of improvement in COVID handling

Hotel quarantine to cost hundreds of thousands per month in CARES Act funds

SA: … The city’s use of Oahu hotels to quarantine those who have COVID-19 will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal CARES Act funds each month and is likely to require millions.

A week ago, the city kicked off its first partnership with the 130-room Pearl Hotel Waikiki and the state Department of Health, which manages the hotel quarantine and isolation program. The nightly room cost at the Highgate property is free to those in quarantine or isolation. DOH also may cover the cost of their food, which is either ordered from the hotel or comes by way of Medical Reserve Corps volunteers who buy groceries from an approved list and deliver them to participants.

City spokesman Alex Zannes said the 30-day contract cost the city $379,375 (worth every penny!—editor) for the exclusive use of the 130-room hotel and included a minimum of four hotel staff to support DOH and to provide towels, linens and toiletries, and cleaning of the rooms at the end of each stay. The city will use some of the nearly $400 million it was allotted as part of the federal CARES Act to pay the hotels….

SA: Hawaii hotel quarantine program comes with lots of rules

read … Hotel quarantine to cost hundreds of thousands per month in CARES Act funds

University of Hawaii athletics $9.3M Budget Hole

SA: … The department is projecting a $9.3 million deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2021, due to the impact of COVID-19, according to a report presented to the UH Board of Regents on Thursday.

Matlin said there have been no discussions about cutting any of the 21 varsity teams UH currently fields.

Along with cuts in travel and other areas, athletics has begun trimming salaries, the department’s largest single expense. Coaching and support staff salaries paid by the department added up to more than $19 million, or approximately 37 % of expenses, in 2019, the most recent year in which an audit has been released.

Several positions under casual hire status have been eliminated and one head coaching position — sand volleyball — was not renewed and consolidated with indoor volleyball as a cost-saving measure, Matlin said.

In addition, full-time replacement or new positions have been frozen and student help hours have been eliminated or reduced….

read … University of Hawaii athletics to trim salaries from the top, AD David Matlin says

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