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Saturday, June 6, 2020
June 6, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:57 PM :: 3927 Views

Hawai'i Supreme Court Orders Maui Planning Commission To Answer Petition on Media Access

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Notice of Anticipated Judicial Vacancy – Circuit Judge of the Third Circuit

It Begins: 3 employees at Oahu senior living facilities test positive for COVID-19—One Location Secret

HNN: … In a concerning development Friday, officials said that three employees at two long-term care facilities for seniors on Oahu have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two employees work at Kalakaua Gardens, an assisted living and skilled nursing facility.

Officials did not say where the third employee works.

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii said both of the facilities are cooperating with the state Health Department and the three employees “did not directly care for residents.”

Kalakaua Gardens, at 1723 Kalakaua Ave, said all of its employees and residents would be offered free COVID-19 tests….

“During the pandemic, Hawaii’s long term care facilities have been successful in keeping COVID-19 away from their residents."

He noted that skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in Hawaii care for more than 5,000 residents.

So far, only one Hawaii senior living facility resident has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and that patient was exposed at Maui Memorial Medical Center not the senior living facility….

UPDATE June 10, 2020: 2nd Nursing Facility is Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Meanwhile: Federal Report Of COVID-19 Hale Makua Nursing Home Death Wasn’t Accurate, DOH Says

read … 3 employees at Oahu senior living facilities test positive for COVID-19

The Head Of Hawaii’s Unemployment Office Is On Leave After Getting Death Threats

CB: … It’s not clear whether the leave is voluntary, but agency officials say the labor director had been receiving death threats….

Kunstman did offer that Murakami’s leave started this past Monday. In his place, Deputy Director Anne Eustaquio is overseeing DLIR, according to Kunstman….

The last official count, on May 28, put Hawaii’s total claims at more than 250,000. Since then, however, the agency has said it no longer finds its data reliable and is trying to get a handle on the true count. Based on official estimates, Hawaii now has the third-highest unemployment rate in the country….

During the crisis, Murakami has been the public face of DLIR. The department has sought to avoid putting other employees in the public eye due to ongoing threats that it’s received, Kunstman said….

The agency has kept its seven-room, 270 workstation call center at the Hawaii Convention Center off limits to media and the public since launching it in April.

For about a month, Murakami had a sheriff’s detail escort him due to death threats that he received, Kunstman said Friday….

SA: Hawaii unemployment office director on leave, governor’s office confirms

read … The Head Of Hawaii’s Unemployment Office Is On Leave

New data on race shows that Native Hawaiians aren’t currently experiencing higher rates of COVID-19

CB: … Pacific Islanders in Hawaii, excluding Native Hawaiians, make up just 4% of the state’s population.

But they compose 13% of coronavirus cases in the state.

That’s according to new data from the Hawaii Department of Health released Friday that provides the most detailed breakdown yet about how COVID-19 is affecting diverse communities in Hawaii.

The state’s second-worst COVID-19 disparity is affecting the Filipino community. Filipinos make up 16% percent of Hawaii’s population but make up 21% of the state’s coronavirus cases.

Hawaii’s white community is also experiencing a smaller disparity — they make up 28% of cases but just 25% of the population.

… the newly. disaggregated data (shows) Native Hawaiians aren’t currently experiencing disproportionate rates of COVID-19 — in fact, the opposite is true. Previously, state data combined Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders into a single category which made it appear as though Hawaiians did experience disproportionate rates.

But once people who identify as Native Hawaiian or part-Native Hawaiian are disaggregated, the data shows they make up 21% of the population but just 13% of cases….

Precisely as Explained: OHA to Ige: Bypass Legislature and Give Us $21,287,134

read … Pacific Islanders, Filipinos Have Highest COVID-19 Rates In Hawaii

650 Criminals Released --- Hawaii Supreme Court ends its COVID Excuse inmate-release program

SA: … The Hawaii Supreme Court this afternoon ended its unprecedented action requiring the state, the lower courts and other stakeholders to work expeditiously toward a plan to consider the release of hundreds of inmates from Hawaii-run prisons and jails…

Since the initial order was issued in April, more than 650 inmates have been released….

The order specifically does not bar Tabe’s office or any defense attorneys from filing individual motions seeking the release of any inmates, nor does it stop state attorneys or prosecutors from seeking to modify the release status of any of those released.

It also will not stop proceedings now scheduled to take place before the Hawaii Paroling Authority.

Additionally, the court said, “further issues regarding inmate populations at correctional facilities may be addressed through alternative means, including collaboration with the Hawai‘i Correctional Systems Oversight Commission … to, among other things, establish maximum inmate population limit for each correctional facility and formulate policies and procedures to prevent the inmate population from exceeding the capacity of each correctional facility.”…

read … Hawaii Supreme Court ends its inmate-release program

Employment numbers improve for Hawaii as businesses reopen

SA: … U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that Hawaii’s unemployment rate had improved to 20.6% in the week ended May 16 from 22.3% in April….

read … Employment numbers improve for Hawaii, nation as businesses reopen

Maui: Only 10% of Students Engaged with distance learning

MN: .. TikTok and YouTube videos, prizes and a chance to critique their teachers were not enough to motivate students to continuously engage in distance learning over the nine weeks of instruction at public schools that were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said several Maui County teachers recently.

Robert Fusato, a Maui Waena Intermediate 8th-grade social studies teacher, said that by the end of the school year May 28, participation in his distance learning courses through an online platform fell to less than 50 percent, compared to the 70 percent participation at the beginning of distance learning at the end of March….

At Lahainaluna High School, senior English and Advanced Placement English literature and composition teacher Ryan Granillo also had issues with engagement.

Only about 20 to 25 percent of students regularly were engaging at the end of March. By the end of the year, that percentage had fallen to about 10 percent.

Granillo had approximately 135 students enrolled in the last quarter….

read … Keeping students engaged is a hurdle in distance learning

Kauai School Doing Everything Online—Except Teaching Classes

TGI: … Kekaha School Principal Marilyn Asahi has been going online more often lately to keep morale up and information flowing for her staff, students and teachers during the pandemic.

(Clue: No mention of anyone conducting actual classes anywhere in this article.)

Born on Kaua‘i and raised in Hanapepe, Asahi has been principal of the school for four years, and said these days she’s constantly assessing the emotional well-being of her staff and community. She keeps everyone connected through themed faculty Zoom meetings as well as text messages.

“Many of my staff are also parents, so they are juggling multiple roles. It does help that through our grab-and-go plus additional food distribution, our school community has the social interaction as well as their food needs being met,” said Asahi.

She continued: “We are currently working on summer-school-type options as well as planning for the reopening in fall, while closing out this school year. Right now is an extremely stressful time, but we are adjusting as well as can to this new normal. It has helped me to have a sense of purpose and be able to go to work as an essential worker.”

She’s also working on future projects, like the Kekaha Community Internet Cafe, which would be a physical place to connect to the internet and to study for community members and students attending Kekaha, Waimea Canyon Middle and Waimea High schools. It would also be a place to access project-based learning materials and parent and community activities and resources in the evenings and on weekends.

“It is my vision to design an inspiring space and to continue to assess community resources that will enhance our students’ 21st-century skills,” said Asahi. “Rethinking the design and use of our library into a learning center for our students, staff and community is a step in the direction of what we envision for our school as being the hub of the community.”

She’s also recently started a Twitter account, and has Facebook, Instagram and Class Dojo accounts.

“I believe our commitment to communication through social media, School Messenger, morning announcements is the change that has contributed to the success of the school,” said Asahi….

read … Changing the culture at Kekaha School

Impact of COVID-19 on UH-Hilo applications ‘nominal’

HTH: … While the number of students who so far applied to the University of Hawaii at Hilo has increased compared to last year, university officials say those applications largely came before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact the virus might have on overall enrollment this fall remains to be seen.

According to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Farrah-Marie Gomes, UH-Hilo received 5,742 applications for the fall semester as of June 1, compared to 5,079 by the same time last year….

As of March 31, 2,740 students had been accepted, compared to 2,698 by the same time last year, but acceptance does not necessarily equate to enrollment….

read … Impact of COVID-19 on UH-Hilo applications ‘nominal’

Sacrifice: Maui County Council cuts spending from $824M to $823M

MN: … The Maui County Council on Friday approved on second and final reading an $822.6 million county budget for fiscal 2020-21, which reflects the “new normal” as the county deals with coronavirus impacts.

This means a leaner budget but also $66.6 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act funds.

The budget, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2021, is $47 million less than Mayor Michael Victorino’s proposed budget of $869.8 million released in March, as coronavirus cases were increasing but before the county’s stay-at-home orders went into effect.

The total was less than the record $823.6 million passed by the council last year ….

read … County Council passes austere $823M budget

HECO: COVID Making Electric Clocks Run Fast

MN: … If the time on your electric plug-in clocks seem to be ahead by a few minutes, it could be because of the record low energy demand and generation caused by the shuttering of hotels and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiian Electric said.

The Maui News received several reports of plug-in clocks, such as those on stoves and microwaves, running a few minutes fast. A check with Hawaiian Electric indicated that the problem is likely related to the utility dealing with unprecedented declines in energy use and power generation….

(Translation: MECO is getting too much excess energy from wind and solar so they have to waste it because they are obligated to pay for it whether they use it or not.  They will solve this problem by raising your rates again.)

G: European clocks lose six minutes after dispute saps power from electricity grid

read … Fast times

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