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Tuesday, October 13, 2020
October 13, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:37 PM :: 1033 Views

Lemming News: Maui County Jumps on 'Sue Big Oil' Bandwagon

COVID Count: 42 new cases out of 1,405 tests

Poll: Blangiardi 48% – Amemiya 28%

CB: … Three weeks from Election Day, Rick Blangiardi enjoys a comfortable advantage over Keith Amemiya in the race for Honolulu’s next mayor.

According to a new Civil Beat/HNN poll, the former general manager of Hawaii News Now has 48% of the vote compared to 28% for Keith Amemiya, a former insurance executive. Nearly one-fifth (19%) said they are undecided while just 5% said they did not prefer either candidate ….

PDF: Poll Details

PDF: Poll Demographics

read … Poll: Blangiardi Holds Commanding Lead In Mayor’s Race

Akina Raises More Than $150K for Reelection to OHA Seat

CB: … Akina said he wants to improve the organization by fighting waste, fraud and abuse. He was the first OHA trustee to refrain from spending his annual trustee allowance and successfully pushed for an additional internal audit of the agency….

“Grassroot Institute is fully supportive of Native Hawaiians. The only thing it has opposed is a misuse of government funding,” he said. “We absolutely support the first amendment rights of Hawaiians to organize and seek self-determinism. Hawaiians have a diversity of views on self-determinism and as an OHA trustee it is my responsibility to allow Hawaiians to give voice to their varied views. It is not the place of OHA to mandate one direction or another.”….


read … Akina Spends More Than $150K

11,000 Hawaii tenants delinquent on rent

SA: … More than 11,000 tenants were late paying their August rent, and about 9,000 of them were more than 60 days behind, revealing more economic problems from the ongoing damage to Hawaii’s COVID-19-ravaged economy.

Property owners and managers indicate that over 40% of their tenants have lost jobs, meaning they’re struggling to keep up with housing but “they’re not spending on other things,” Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, told fellow members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 on Monday.

The number of delinquent renters means that only 85% of all island renters caught up with their payments by the middle of August. Normally, 95% to 96% of renters pay on time, Bonham said.

Bonham’s economic update to the House COVID-19 committee had plenty of other bad news.

Hawaii’s economy was the worst in the nation — at least when measured by its astounding 42.2% loss of gross domestic product for the second quarter of the year.

“We now have the distinction of having the weakest economy in the country,” Bonham said.….

red … 11,000 Hawaii tenants delinquent on rent

New Hawaii unemployment call center swamped

SA: … A new call center to field Hawaii unemployment claim questions has gotten off to a turbulent start, with operators overrun by people needing help.

About 150,000 calls a day have flooded the virtual phone bank since it opened Sept. 30, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

That’s roughly 18,000 calls an hour, or 300 a minute….

read … New Hawaii unemployment call center swamped

Governor Ige plans to give each county mayor authority to implement a second test upon arrival (sort of)

KITV: … This Thursday the state is expected allow travelers to come in without having to quarantine.

It's something that hasn't happened in nearly seven months.

Travelers would need to test negative for COVID-19 before arriving.

On Monday Major General Kenneth Hara told lawmakers that Governor David Ige is giving each county mayor the authority to implement a second test upon arrival unassociated with the state's pre-travel testing program.

General Hara says Hawaii County plans to make the test mandatory.

The announcement raised questions from House COVID-19 committee members about the legality of the plan.

According to Hara the County would not be allowed to quarantine travelers who test positive but could enforce a fine or penalty.

"What we're hearing right now is continued confusion. No one seems to know exactly what the rules are and we're three days from when we're supposed to be accepting visitors under a new set of rules that are still being worked out," UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham said…

(NOTE: The confusion is purposeful.  This is the biggest chance Hawaii will ever have to kill off the tourism industry and those who want less tourism are working every angle.)

read … Governor Ige plans to give each county mayor authority to implement a second test upon arrival

Ige gives verbal approval to allow interisland travelers to Maui with negative COVID-19 test result

KITV: … Governor Ige has given verbal approval to allow interisland travelers to Maui to not have to quarantine as long as they receive a negative COVID-19 result within 72 hours of departure….

read … Ige gives verbal approval to allow interisland travelers to Maui with negative COVID-19 test result

Second suit filed in connection with vets home outbreak

HTH: … A Kona attorney has filed a second lawsuit on behalf of the family of a veteran who died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home.

The suit was filed Oct. 6 in Hilo Circuit Court by attorney Jeffrey Foster on behalf of Kaweluokalani Akana and Kawehionalani Akana, son and daughter, respectively, of the late Lawrence Elton Akana, who died Sept. 18….

read … Second suit filed in connection with vets home outbreak

Three more residents test positive for coronavirus at Life Care Center

KHON: … Three additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The Life Care Center of Hilo first reported a coronavirus cluster in its facility toward the end of September. Since then, 51 residents have tested positive as of Oct. 13.

Of those 51 residents, three have died.

In addition, 16 Life Care associates have tested positive for the virus. 12 associates remain in isolation while four have fully recovered.

The facility says it has been testing residents and staff twice a week to better track how fast the virus is spreading.

Life Care shared that when a resident tests positive for COVID-19, they are moved to the red zone of the facility where a controlled number of staff can safely monitor their symptoms and provide around-the-clock care.

For more details, visit their website….

read … Three more residents test positive for coronavirus at Life Care Center

Hawaii superintendent Christina Kishimoto says Acellus online curriculum will be phased out

SA: … An in-depth review of the Acellus Learning Accelerator has concluded the program should be discontinued as an option for full distance learning in Hawaii’s public schools.

Superintendent Christina Kishimoto sent a letter to parents today informing them of the results of her department’s instructional review and saying a transition is in the works.

“This review was prompted by numerous parent, school and community complaints around issues of questionable and inappropriate content, rigor and alignment to standards,” Kishimoto wrote.

“Based on its analysis, the review team recommended the program should be discontinued as a primary curriculum resource due to its inconsistency in quality and rigor,” she wrote. “The department is finalizing a transition plan for Acellus users.”

“It is clear this issue has caused disruption, and for that we apologize,” Kishimoto added.

The Board of Education is also scheduled to take action Thursday on a proposal by its chairwoman, Catherine Payne, to phase out the Acellus Learning Accelerator by the end of the academic year….

read … Hawaii superintendent Christina Kishimoto says Acellus online curriculum will be phased out

Useless: Kauai Tinkers with So-Called “Affordable’ Housing Policy Some More

TGI: … The bill, in its fifth form, that will head to the council establishes a workforce housing range from 80% and below the Kaua‘i median household income to 120%. That’s an income of $54,400 for a single person at 80% and $77,700 for a family of four, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The bill also places a 50-year restriction period that allows the county to buy-back the affordable housing properties from homeowners. This allows the county first-dibs in purchasing these types of homes, which Housing Agency Director Adam Roversi said would be given the ability to be bought by somebody on the county’s homebuyer’s list.

Town core exemptions to homes built in Lihu’e, Kalaheo and Koloa town cores, only if they build at the maximum density allowed, as well as a dedication of land-in lieu or payment of an in-lieu fee may satisfy the workforce housing assessment, are also in this draft of the bill….

Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa introduced a final amendment, supported by the administration, that allows the Housing Agency to approve a development with 50% affordable housing development of more than 10 units by waiving unit count and income limits.

The bill voted out of committee was passed to the council with all in favor except for councilmember Felicia Cowden, who offered her own amendment.

In it, Cowden proposed removing all town core exemptions, reducing the 30% affordability requirement to 15% across the board and a 30-year restriction period, up from 20 years in the original draft but down from 50 years from the fourth draft….

Reality: Do you know how much planning we have had to achieve this lack of housing?

read … Housing policy in final stages

Another sweep of homeless encampment on Nimitz Highway scheduled for Thursday

SA: … Homeless encampments in the middle of Nimitz Highway in Iwilei continue to grow despite repeated sweeps — including one in August — and will represent one of the first images to greet tourists Thursday when Hawaii’s visitor industry tries to regain its footing in the era of COVID-19.

Another sweep of homeless people on the state-owned Nimitz Highway medians — especially a notorious one on private land — is planned for Thursday by a private contractor hired by the state.

Medians in the middle of one of Hawaii’s busiest corridors have been occupied by homeless encampments for years (because keeping them on display there shakes loose money for the homelessness industry.)….

read … Another sweep of homeless encampment on Nimitz Highway scheduled for Thursday

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