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Saturday, November 14, 2020
November 14, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:04 PM :: 773 Views

OIP: Under Emergency Order, UIPA Still has Some Teeth

Makuu: DHHL Removes 382 Junk Cars -- Retakes Abandoned Leaseholds

COVID Count 110 New Cases out of 4,860 tests

You won’t be riding the rail line to Aloha Stadium anytime soon

HNN: … At the beginning of the year, the project’s CEO said riders could be welcomed on board as early as October. But the city is now saying the earliest that riders would be allowed on is April….

And even that estimate is optimistic.

The city Department of Transportation Services is the entity that will determine when the first segment will open….

read … You won’t be riding the rail line to Aloha Stadium anytime soon

State slowly makes progress on jobless claims, but many still not getting answers

HNN: … Despite a new call center, people with relatively minor problems that are holding up their claims can’t get through. The state’s contracted new call center reports 200 dedicated customer service representatives are handling incoming inquiries and 100 staff are adjudicating claims.

Single mother Amanda Alvarado hasn’t been one of the call center’s success stories.

She claims she had a minor job separation issue that she needed to appeal and resolve.

After countless calls and emails, she was able to get a customer service representative to tell her an examiner would call her back in two weeks.

But that time has passed and she says hasn’t been able to work or receive benefits since March.

“It’s incredibly frustrating because they’re bringing on all these people and it seems like what they’re saying is that the people who are answering the phone calls are (being paid) to tell us to wait and that doesn’t seem like the best allocation of funds," said Alvarado…..

read … State slowly makes progress on jobless claims, but many still not getting answers

Hawaii Having Hard Time Finding Ways to spend CARES Act money—But Local Politicos Want More

SA:  … Hawaii officials are racing to spend millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid with a month and a half left before the funds expire.

The federal government awarded Hawaii $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, though it has spent or encumbered only 22.3% of the funds, according to the Honolulu City Council, which is urging the state’s congressional leaders to push for an extension of the year-end deadline to use the money.

“It’s going to take several years for our devastated economy to fully recover, but the clock is ticking right now for Hawaii because every CARES Act dollar has to be spent by Dec. 30th or we have to give the money back to the federal government,” Council Chairman Emeritus Ron Menor said in a news release about a resolution passed last week also imploring Hawaii’s congressional delegation to secure more money for COVID-19 relief. “That’s why it’s imperative that we get more time and more federal funds so our residents, who are suffering now, can be appropriately helped.”…. 

CB: Time Is Running Out For Hawaii To Spend $877 Million In Coronavirus Relief Funds

read … Hawaii running out of time to spend CARES Act money

Travel advisories in West Coast states could hit Hawaii hard

SA: … Three governors from Hawaii’s top tourist feeder markets issued travel advisories Friday urging against nonessential out-of-state trips and asking people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued the advisories amid another surge in U.S. COVID-19 cases. The U.S. coronavirus death toll was more than 244,000 Friday.

The advisories define essential travel as “travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.”…

The advisories seek voluntary compliance; however, members of Hawaii’s visitor industry, including Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries, say they are likely to dampen travel demand to Hawaii….

HNN: Travel editor cautions his followers against booking a Hawaii trip until 2021

read … Travel advisories in West Coast states could hit Hawaii hard

Kawakami asks state to change Safe Travels

TGI: …Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami is requesting the state modify its Safe Travels program to require travelers have their pre-travel test results prior to travel.

As it currently stands, the Safe Travels program allows incoming travelers to bypass a state-mandated, two-week quarantine by producing a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in Hawai‘i. One of the issues the state has found is travelers receiving positive tests after touchdown.

As of Friday, the county has reported eight cases of travelers receiving positive results after arrival. All of these were trans-Pacific related….

read … Kawakami asks state to change Safe Travels

Maui Police Issue 264 Citations for Mask Violations Over Two Weeks

MN: … Maui Police issued 264 citations for face mask violations over a two week period between Oct. 30 and Nov. 12.  County officials say 209 were issued to residents and 55 were to visitors.

Off duty police officers have been working (getting OT) on a task force specifically aimed at face mask enforcement.

County officials say Governor David Ige will be issuing a statewide proclamation in the next day or two to make things consistent….

read … Maui Police Issue 264 Citations for Mask Violations Over Two Weeks

Businesses look for leeway in city’s tiered reopening system

HNN: … Barbers Point Bowling Center reopened to the public on Sept. 24. It was one of the businesses that was allowed to do so under Tier 1. The Kalaeloa business had closed voluntarily in March, reopened in June, and then closed again in August during the second shutdown.

“Since March, when all of this stuff happened, bowling centers have had zero -- zero cases of COVID,” said Bev Brennan, one of the bowling center’s two proprietors.

Barbers Point joined with other Oahu bowling centers to come up with safety protocols, including having plastic curtains between lanes, completely sanitizing each bowling ball before and after its used, limiting the number of bowlers in an area, and more.

“In between every single customer, if you bowl on lane 11, before we put anybody else out there, we’re going to go down and completely sanitize the entire area,” said the bowling center’s other proprietor, Linda Painter….

Even though the bowling alley is operating, league play isn’t allowed. Organized sports must wait until Tier 4. Supporters rallied outside Honolulu Hale earlier in the week to get the green light to start earlier….

A lawsuit has been filed to reopen bars and nightclubs, who say they’re not responsible for the spread of COVID. But the state Department of Health is currently investigating four clusters in Oahu restaurants, involving 35 cases….

read  … Businesses look for leeway in city’s tiered reopening system

Pre-K School Choice: Federal Reserve Bank Highlights Hawaii Child Care Bill

MN: … The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund recently hosted an online panel conversation to discuss Integrating Child Care into Housing and Community Facilities.

The panel spotlighted passage of HB2543 HD1 SD2 (Act 46) that was described by participants as “the most progressive early childhood bill to be passed during COVID19.” ….

The Oct. 22 discussion included about 189 leaders from across the nation from business, philanthropy, early care and learning, housing and social services sectors.

In this webinar, guest speakers discussed how communities can work with developers and other stakeholders in innovative efforts to co-locate childcare facilities within larger development projects to promote livable neighborhoods….

“Given the focus of the panel, I shared specifically about the use of public or state-owned facilities for child care [including] libraries, the Imiloa astronomy center, the Convention Center, and Aloha Stadium,” she said in her email.

House Bill 2543 (Act 46) was part of the 2020 joint House-Senate legislative package to address the economic challenges facing Hawaiʻi’s working-class families by increasing wages and tax benefits, investing in child care, and accelerating the building of more affordable housing units.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, advancement of these bills were paused. At the adjournment of the unprecedented 2020 session in July 2020, House Bill 2543 was one of only 76 bills to be enacted into law. House Bill 2543 (Act 46) establishes the goal of providing access to early learning by 2032 to all children who are 3 to 4 years old.

The law also expands the Preschool Open Doors Program to provide grants for establishing new private preschools and expanding existing private preschools and authorizes the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System to establish early learning classrooms at libraries….

Click here to view the full webinar….

Feb 10, 2020: Bureaucratic Turf Battle Rages over Pre-K

read … Rep. Woodson’s Child Care Bill Recognized Nationally

Maui: 1,599 Homeless Get Permanent Housing Since Feb—Others Refuse help, Must be Forced

MN: … Maui County and the State of Hawaii have focused on a housing first approach. The idea is to get unsheltered people into housing where they can stabilize their lives. Once housed, odds improve they will be able to overcome other challenges they face.

Since February, Maui County’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns Homeless Division has helped 3,061 individuals access housing services. A total of 1,599 got permanent housing.

But there remain a visible few who either cannot comply with the rules or are not ready for lifestyle change. Mental health and substance abuse issues often cause people to shun services.

Maui County Council Member Tasha Kama introduced a bill this week intended to nudge these folks into housing by temporarily making it a crime to provide them with food or money on county property without also providing access to wraparound services. The bill drew a “firestorm” of negative reaction and was killed by the council in a unanimous, 9-0, vote.

Kama says the bill was perceived as punitive and that turned people off. There were also questions about its legality and domino effects.

“I was after a solution to the homeless issue,” Kama said Thursday. “I never meant to create a firestorm, but at least we’re talking about it. I got a lot of emails and phone calls. They’re mad, but once we start talking we realize we’re all on the same team.

“We want to offer more for people. We want people’s lives to be better, we want them to know what its like to have warm bedding and a nice warm shower.”

Kama said she is inviting stakeholders to share their ideas at a meeting scheduled for Thanksgiving week….

(Solution: Build 1,000 plywood SROs --in excess of need-- and authorize police to arrest bums who refuse to stay in them.)

read … Trying to help the homeless

Farmers Get Water, Enviros Outraged

SA: …The Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday approved the continued diversion of billions of gallons of water from East Maui streams over the objections of environmentalists and Native Hawaiians.

The controversial one-year permits allow Alexander &Baldwin Inc. and subsidiary East Maui Irrigation to take as much as 45 million gallons a day from the northeastern slopes of Haleakala for agricultural and domestic purposes in Central and Upcountry Maui.

“I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised,” said Marti Townsend, executive director of the Sierra Club of Hawaii. “The Board of Land and Natural Resources have been bending over backwards to allow the diverters to do what they want for decades.”…

MN: BLNR OKs E. Maui water for Mahi Pono 

read … Land Board OKs renewal of permits allowing diversion of Maui streams

Manual audit of Hawai'i elections underway statewide

KITV: … A manual audit of the election is underway here in Hawai'i.

The state office of elections says the process is mandated by law.

It includes hand counting voted ballots of at least 10% of precincts to ensure the counting system is accurate. The audit for the City and County of Honolulu was completed Thursday.

The process in the other counties is ongoing. …

read … Manual audit of Hawai'i elections underway statewide

16 years ago Caldwell Posed as an Advocate of Campaign Finance Reform, LOL!

ILind: … Here’s a good one–a long set of notes from an interview I did with Kirk Caldwell in June 2004.

At that time, Caldwell was a freshman state representative and had just wrapped up the second legislative session of his first 2-year term in elected office. I must have recorded the interview and later transcribed it.

We covered a lot of ground, and Caldwell was quite candid. We talked about the negative influence of money and elections, paths to reform, the internal dynamics of the legislature, and a range of related topics. Caldwell was, at that point in his career, a supporter of campaign finance reform. At issue was a bill to expand public financing of state and local elections, and Caldwell talked with me about the bill, the politics, and the need for reform….

read … Kirk Caldwell on campaign finance reform (and other topics) in 2004

1874: Kalakaua Installed by Foreign Troops

KHON: … The top runners in the election were then-Prince David Kalakaua and Queen Emma, the widow of King Kamehameha IV. 

It took only nine days to start the session.

Legislators casted their secret ballots while hundreds of people gathered outside the building.

The queen lost the legislative vote, despite being more popular with the people. Queen Emma ended up receiving only six votes to Prince Kalakaua’s 39, winning him the election. 

“Emma supporters were really upset and they started making trouble for the legislators,” says Zita Cup Choy, Iolani Palace Historian. 

“Now, secret ballot.  They didn’t know who voted for whom.  I guess they could have suspected, but they started beating up on people,” Cup Choy said.  They went into the building, they trashed parts of the building, they broke windows, they threw a legislator out of the window.”

Many people were injured, and a legislator died of his injuries. 

The royal guard had been disbanded and the Honolulu police were of little to no help.

“So what happened was the Minister of Foreign Affairs contacted the British and American ships that were in ports and said ‘please help,’” said Cup Choy.  “So, both captains of ships that were in port came into town to kind of quell the riot.”

After the chaos calmed, King David Kalakaua became the seventh monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom and received congratulatory letters from leaders around the world, including Great Britain, France, Russia, and Japan….

read … Stormiest election in Hawaii history

Money thrown at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor project ‘going nowhere,’ critics say

SA: … The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Department of Boating and Ocean Recreation Division is proposing to pay the University of Hawaii $66,000 to come up with a new framework for redevelopment at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor after previously spending $100,000 to do nearly the same thing….

critics say DOBOR is putting good money after bad, since spending the $100,000 to hire consulting firm DTL Hawaii didn’t lead to a successful request-for-proposals process. Also, they say the timing is off as the state is operating at a deficit and developers aren’t likely to bite in this poor economy. If the state has money to spend, the boating community and some Waikiki stakeholders would rather it go toward security, maintaining the bathrooms or fixing broken boat slips, which, given the wait list, could bring an immediate return.

Waikiki Neighborhood Board Chairman Bob Finley said, “We are so badly underfunded for next year. Now we’re going to throw another $65,000 at that project, which is going nowhere — it’s really stupid.”..

2019: Ala Wai Development Plan Serves OHA, not Boaters

read … Money thrown at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor project ‘going nowhere,’ critics say

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