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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
November 11, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:59 PM :: 765 Views

Veterans Day: Remember All Who Served

Blaisdell Audit: Only 7% of Ticket Sales Open to General Public

Feds Lock up Hawaii Domestic Violence Repeat offender

Corporate Income Taxes: Hawaii Ranks 18th

COVID Count: 78 new cases out of 4,844 tests

Traditional Veterans Day events canceled, but some virtual stand-ins planned

HNN: … Rather than the normal ceremony, staff at the cemetery will conduct a private wreath laying ceremony that will be posted to the cemetery’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning.

Additionally, the Oahu Veterans Council will air a virtual ceremony to mark Veterans Day that will air at 11 a.m. Wednesday on Olelo and the Hawaii Veterans Day Ceremony 2020 YouTube page.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific notes that they are open for visitors on Wednesday, but asks that attendees "continues to adhere to CDC and local guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19″ by limiting the number of individuals at each grave site to five.

And the Battleship Missouri Memorial will also hold a virtual event featuring keynote speaker Congressman-elect Kai Kahele.

The event will be livestreamed on the Battleship Missouri Memorial’s Facebook page….

read … Traditional Veterans Day events canceled, but some virtual stand-ins planned

Spying on You: Will A New Phone App Help Hawaii Track COVID-19?

CB: … The Hawaii Department of Health is launching a phone app that can notify volunteer users about possible COVID-19 exposures and assist the state’s contact tracing efforts.

The AlohaSafe Alert app will be pilot-tested starting Wednesday on Lanai in partnership with Pulama Lanai, according to Janice Okubo, DOH spokeswoman. Pulama Lanai is the management company that oversees tech billionaire Larry Ellison’s 98% ownership stake in the island.

The app uses new technology jointly developed by Google and Apple….

Coronavirus-tracking apps have been discussed for months and implemented in other countries, but state governments in the U.S. have been slow to pick them up because of privacy concerns….

Hawaii is among about a dozen states where local health authorities are adopting the Google-Apple joint technology, which triggers phone alerts using Bluetooth digital signals to tell phone owners if their paths have crossed with someone who reported a positive COVID-19 test….

Google and Apple developers say their Exposure Notification System was designed specifically for local public health authorities and gives them sole oversight and access to the data. …

Brandon Kurisu, president of aio Digital, led the team that created the forthcoming AlohaSafe Alert app for the Hawaii health department. AlohaSafe Alert automatically sends people a message if they are believed to have been exposed to an infected person. Bluetooth digital information exchange is anonymous and uses distance, signal strength, duration of an interaction to determine the level of an exposure risk, he said….

A national Association of Public Health Laboratories server enables public health authorities to connect with people visiting from out of state, even if they use different exposure notification apps from different states….

DOH has not paid for the app except for staff hours spent working with the developer, according to DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

“At this time, we do not anticipate using funds to launch or market the app, but will invest staff time and effort into these activities,” she said.

For comparison, New York used public and private grant funding to cover about $700,000 in app development costs….

(This allows developers to limit public disclosure.)

There are other COVID-19 tracking app initiatives that have sprouted locally.

Aloha Tone uses text messaging and a QR code system. The University of Hawaii offers a health check-in app for students and teachers….

Oceanit founder and CEO Patrick Sullivan said the company is developing its own app specifically for the ASSURE-19 saliva-based diagnostic test that Oceanit is developing.

Another app called Perseus was developed by local nonprofit Sustain Hawaii and has a test-centric approach….

Guam launched a similar exposure notification app in September but the number of people who downloaded it is still far from the number estimated necessary. A 60% participation rate is needed for the tool to be effective, Pacific Daily News reported.

“People also need to trust the government and the major tech companies that their data will be secure,” Kemble said…. 

(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)

MN: Lanai residents to test COVID-19 app

AP: Lanai first in state to test virus alert app

Brennan Ctr: Rating the Privacy Protections of State Covid-19 Tracking Apps

W: Apps Are Now Putting the Parole Agent in Your Pocket

read … Will A New Phone App Help Hawaii Track COVID-19?

State found just 18 COVID-19 positives so far out of more than 15,000 tests of travelers

SA: … A surveillance testing program meant to be a key safety net in the reopening of tourism has found 18 COVID-19 positives out of 15,158 tests of travelers to Hawaii since Oct. 19.

The voluntary program is meant to accurately assess how much coronavirus may be coming into the state despite pre-travel testing that allows travelers to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 result 72 hours before their departure to Hawaii.

Early results of the post-travel surveillance show a positivity rate of 0.1%…..

read … State found just 18 COVID-19 positives so far out of more than 15,000 tests of travelers

Does Mask Mandate Mean More Vigilantes?

Cataluna: … if a mask mandate just means that more regular people have to go full Angry Aunty on every clueless or defiant person running around the island with a bare face, then that puts the burden right back on the people who are dutifully obeying health and safety regulations. It takes a village, and though, for the most part, people in Hawaii are willing to step up and be that proactive village, average citizens can’t be the front line of monitoring and enforcement for every new rule and law local government dreams up.

I mean, we already are.

Busting quarantine breakers has been mostly the job of regular citizens. Hotel workers have called the police when guests broke quarantine. Neighbors have called police when people in vacation rentals were breaking quarantine or holding big parties. People scroll through Instagram looking for tourists bragging about their disregard for current regulations. Maybe it was fun for a while to be self-righteous agents of social order, but that kind of constant watchfulness wears on a community after time.

There has rarely been an illegal monster house that was investigated without the neighbors first filing a complaint, or more likely, multiple complaints backed up with documents and photo evidence and surveillance videos.

The same goes for illegal vacation rentals. Enforcement starts with a call from a citizen, backed up by a file of documents that a community member has assembled showing online bookings, the tax map key and license plates of rental cars, etc.

But we don’t got no stinking badges.

Ever since 9/11, the community has been encouraged to be the “eyes and ears” of law enforcement. “If you see something, say something” has become more than a slogan to encourage vigilance; it has been a gradual transfer of surveillance duties from trained professionals to regular folks, almost an abdication of responsibility from law enforcement to the public. Blocked beach access, illegal dumping, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, potholes …  on the one hand, it’s great that the community is empowered to report all these problems, but on the other hand, c’mon. We’re busy….

SA Editorial: Clearer mandate for masks needed

Caldwell again voices support for statewide mask mandate, suggests $100 fine for violation

DOE clarifies: Masks are required for students and staff inside classrooms

read …  Who Will Enforce A Statewide Mask Mandate? Us? Again?

Maui County bill would ban Homeless Feeding Operations in County Parks—Enablers Seethe with Self-Righteousness

MN: …Introduced by Council Member Tasha Kama, the proposed bill would ban the giving of goods and money to homeless people in county-owned areas without simultaneously providing “wrap-around services” by recognized providers. 

The goal of the legislation is to address critical levels of chronic homelessness by nudging unsheltered people into social services to receive assessments, compassionate assistance and referral services, a news release from Kama’s office said.

Violations in the draft proposal include fines ranging from $100 to $400 or banning people for a time from distributing food, money or goods….

“The intent and spirit of the bill is to help people move off the streets and toward permanent housing,” Kama said in the news release. “This bill seeks to ensure that unsheltered individuals and families are receiving the social services they need. . . . Frustrated residents and business owners have pleaded with me to address the problems associated with increasing numbers of unsheltered individuals and large encampments of the unsheltered that are intimidating both customers and employees.”

Council members said Tuesday that the proposal sparked an “unexpected firestorm” from community groups and residents (the homelessness industry and other4 enablers) who questioned whether the proposal violates First Amendment rights. 

Nicole Huguenin, a representative for homeless aid groups Chili’s On Wheels on Maui and Maui Rapid Response, testified during the council meeting Tuesday that the proposal is illegal.

(Clue: These so-called humanitarians are being inhumane towards the homeless.  Free food keeps the homeless on the streets and away from services.)

“Based on the review of five national court cases . . . feeding the homeless is a conduct protected by the First Amendment,” she said. “We believe this bill is illegal in nature. We request that it be filed and believe it’s a waste of taxpayer money to proceed further.”

Huguenin said Maui Rescue Mission served 651 unique individuals with showers, laundry and resource support in Lahaina, Kahului and Kihei just this year. Also, Chili’s on Wheels helped 366 people in Kahului just last month. 

(And without all that free food, many of them would have been forced to accept shelter instead of running around Kihei looking for their next rock.)

Due to the high interest in the proposed measure, Kama is planning a public virtual question-and-answer session prior to discussion with the Affordable Housing Committee, according to Kama’s news release. For an invitation, email Kama’s office at invitation-feeding-bill@mauicounty.us.

(Idea: Sign up to support this measure and push back against the organizations that enable homeless in Hawaii.)

read … County homeless bill sparks ‘firestorm’

Report: Honolulu Police Use Of Force Increased Last Year

CB: ….A new report shows racial disparities persisted in 2019 in the Honolulu Police Department’s use of force. ….

PDF: 2019 Use of Force Annual Report HPD

read … Report: Honolulu Police Use Of Force Increased Last Year

Legislative Agenda: Legalize Recreational Marijuana

CB: … Hawaii’s attorney general has assembled a team to advise lawmakers on the issues, and how Hawaii might regulate legal use….

read … 15 States Have Now Legalized Recreational Cannabis. What About Hawaii?

Hooser: 'Liars and Wimps’ Choose Kouchi, Saiki

TGI: … I can only think that a majority are either liars or wimps. Either they do not really believe and support the values or they are too timid to take action. Yes, there are strong and bold legislators who truly believe and support these values but, unfortunately, they are not in the majority.

The term “majority” is used intentionally here because that is who drives all policy-making at all levels. At the state level the majority of legislators have chosen Kaua‘i Sen. Ronald Kouchi as senate president, and Rep. Scott Saiki as speaker of the House….

The big-tent concept is appealing, but at the same time both counterintuitive and self-sabotaging. If the goal is to have a values-driven organization supported by values-driven candidates and officeholders, then it would seem that membership would also be values-driven.

Otherwise, what is the point? Why even have a party when no candidate or officeholder is required to support its core values? The current state Senate president voted “no” on marriage equality. The current state House speaker has consistently failed to support increasing the minimum wage. Both of these issues represent core party values….

Unfortunately, Hawai‘i is a one-party state. While I am a Democrat and believe wholeheartedly in the core values upon which the party is based, I believe the lack of a viable second or third party in Hawai‘i is inherently unhealthy — from a basic civics perspective….

read … Many elected Democrats don’t toe party line

Supreme Court: “…Dubin is now disbarred from the practice of law.”

ILind: … At 9:41 a.m. Tuesday morning, November 10, a unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court issued an order denying last minute appeals from or on behalf of Gary Dubin, now a former foreclosure attorney.

“Insofar as the effective date of Respondent Dubin’s disbarment remains November 9, 2020, Respondent Dubin is now disbarred from the practice of law,” the court concluded in today’s order.

The court’s action, likely its final order in a disciplinary case that has dragged on over several years, came in response to a flurry of last-minute legal motions and accompanying exhibits Dubin filed between November 2 and November 8.

Dubin did win one Pyrrhic victory. The court agree with Dubin’s argument that the Office of Disciplinary Counsel improperly disclosed the number of its cases that are still pending against Dubin. The information had been submitted as part of an October 19, 2020 memo filed by ODC in opposition to Dubin’s request for a delay in the effective date of his disbarment to allow an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“There are 20 pending disciplinary complaints against Respondent, and there are nine pending claims with the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection,” the ODC memo disclosed….

Finally, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel submitted a bill for $16,485.55 in expenses it incurred in Dubin’s case. The Hawaii Supreme Court’s disbarment order requires these costs be paid by Dubin ….

PDF: Read Sealed Memo Here

read … Disbarred

Katherine Kealoha refuses to see her attorney as sentencing date nears

HNN: … Katherine Kealoha is refusing to meet with her attorney as they prepare for her sentencing, the attorney told a federal judge.

Gary Singh told Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright that Kealoha refused to meet with him on Nov. 3 and again on Nov. 6 at the Federal Detention Center, where she is being held.

On both occasions, a guard told him she was not coming down for their legal visit.

When questioned about that, Kealoha said there was a problem in her unit at the jail and that she wrote Singh a letter to explain last week….

AP:  Katherine Kealoha refuses to leave jail cell to talk to lawyer about her upcoming sentencing

(Purpose: Create rationale for appeal of sentence.)

read … More Games

Compromised COVID test ruins woman’s Hawaiian vacation

KTVU: … A Hayward woman, who flew to Hawaii, said her vacation was ruined after she did not receive her Covid-19 test results to avoid quarantine. Walgreens Pharmacy told her that her test sample had been compromised by a homeless man.

Delilah Hamilton is not happy that Walgreens did not notify her that a homeless man had tampered with the sample drop-off box. She found out only after she landed in Hawaii and after she called the pharmacy….

(Solution: Fly the homeless dude to Hawaii so he won’t interfere with tourists until after they arrive.)

read … Compromised COVID test ruins woman’s Hawaiian vacation

19 Years’ Battle Finally Gets One TVR Legalized

TGI: … The six-bedroom property on Kapuna Road in Waipake was initially constructed in 2001, and began being used as a retreat getaway and short-term-rental property in 2003, prior to when the county began prohibiting single-family transient vacation rentals (TVR) outside of Visitor Destination Areas.

According to attorney Joanna Zeigler, the Ferris Trust (now the Chandler-Ferris Trust) submitted all the proper paperwork for permits in 2010. The Planning Department rejected this application, claiming that 75% of the CPR, condominium property regime, owners needed to sign off for it to be processed.

The county and the trust went into years of legal proceedings, and by 2016 the Intermediate Court of Appeals remanded the case with instructions to the Planning Department to process the application. In the four years since then, the county nor the commission had acted on the application, exceeding a 120-day window.

Deputy County Attorney Matt Bracken advised the Planning Commission that the permit must be approved, but it was well within their powers to apply specific conditions.

The commission heard nearly an hour of public testimony from neighbors on Kapuna Road. Neighbors often cited noise, increased traffic and alleged retaliation and intimidation from the owners….

John Friedman, a neighbor of 14 years, submitted a seven-page letter disputing the application, bringing up COVID-19 concerns and the negative impacts of living near a TVR, like “endless, late-night interruptions to sleep, early morning awakenings to speeding cars” and guests stealing fruit off neighborhood trees.

Another Kapuna Road resident, David Carmichael, said that the TVR has “virtually no support from neighbors,” and that the neighborhood would be negatively impacted by tourists.

Prior to the meeting, neighbors came together to petition against the TVR, and presented the commission with about 40 signatures of property owners against the permits.

As late as Tuesday, some signers of the petition wrote to the commission to withdraw their signature, saying they were misled by the petition.

“By the information given on the petition, I was under the impression this was a new TVR going in,” a letter from Nathalie Jimenez, said. “I didn’t realize this was Hilary and Kirk’s TVR they have been operating for 20 years. Had that been on the petition, I would not have signed.”…

read … Long-challenged TVR finally gets permits

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