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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
June 23, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 8:00 PM :: 4469 Views

ACLU: Hawaii COVID Facial Recognition Program 'Rife for Abuse'

Hawaii’s Army Of Karens

Survey: Teachers Report Low Participation in Online Learning

DoH Uses COVID as Excuse to Quarantine 51 Homeless Frequent Flyers

Koko Head Shooting Complex resuming regular walk-in operations

Group Admits COVID Testing Plan is Scheme to Shrink Tourism Industry

CB: … An ad hoc committee of prominent doctors and community leaders (who have arrived and want to shut the door behind them) has urged a radical re-conception of visitor quarantine procedures now in use in Hawaii…

…The group’s report includes a section titled “Kauai’s Golden Window of Opportunity.” Kauai had gone two months without recording a new COVID case until last week, when a family cluster near Kaleheo caused the island’s total to rise from 21 to 29.

In a group interview via Zoom on Monday, members of the discussion group emphasized that adopting a different testing philosophy would create an opportunity to alter the nature of tourism on Kauai and in the state generally.

“I see this as kind of an interesting crossroads,” said Dr. Lee Evslin, a pediatrician (and anti-GMO crackpot of course). “We could get another kind of tourist.”

(Translation: Fewer tourists. They will be the same ‘kind’.)

Dr. Michael Schwartz, a University of Washington expert and part-time Kauai resident (he must be the right ‘kind’ of tourist) who has worked with the discussion group, noted that Kauai and Hawaii are in a different place than many tourist destinations.

“Hawaii has the unique ability to prevent the disease by limiting it at the entry point,” he said….

Under some circumstances, people in quarantine could be monitored by wearing tracking bracelets….

(And 10,000s will be offered free 20’ shipping containers to move to Vegas, thus making the islands even less crowded for the enjoyment of the remaining eco-elite.)

CB: COVID is Opportunity to Create Transsexual Eco-Socialist Utopia or Something

read … Could New Kauai Proposal Be A Model For Bringing Back Tourism?

Rep Wildberger, Candidate, Judge Get $5000+Jail Tickets for Violating COVID Emergency Orders—Judge Already Walks Free

MN: … The citations, issued the morning of May 3 at Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, say Wildberger and her husband, Michael, were seen stretching without moving from a spot for more than 10 minutes. The couple both told a police officer they did the same thing the day before without being cited by police, according to the citations.

A July 16 arraignment date is set for the Wildbergers in Wailuku District Court on the misdemeanor charge, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine….

When they appear in court next month, “we intend to present that while officers were put in a very difficult position trying to adjudicate various behaviors, all in an effort to keep residents safe, this case was clearly one of what-aboutism.”….  (uh-huh)

Another citation for violating emergency public health rules was issued at 8:20 p.m. May 23 at Pohaku Park to Lahaina resident Ernest Kanamu Balinbin, who is a Republican candidate for state House District 10, which includes West Maui, Maalaea and North Kihei.

In an amended complaint filed in Lahaina District Court, Balinbin is also charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Balinbin said he had been at the park for a beach day and was retrieving his coolers, grill, fishing poles and surf gear as the park was closing and people were being told to leave. He said he lives nearby and called his wife to bring the keys for his parked truck.

He was trying to tell park rangers that his wife would be there in a few minutes with the keys and a park ranger swore at him while saying he had to get out of the park, Balinbin said.

“He had pushed me. I had pushed him back,” Balinbin said Friday. “We was going to throw down.

“He was little bit on the more aggressive side,” Balinbin continued. “He had actually put his hands on me and pushed me. That’s how it started for me. I was provoked. I nevah feel like he should have pushed me out of the park. There’s a way to say you got to leave the park.

“We got into an altercation. Had two of them and just one of me. It felt like I was defending myself.”….

In another case, Haiku resident Gloria Buckingham, who is a per diem or part-time 2nd Circuit judge, was issued a citation alleging violation of public health emergency rules.

A state Department of Land and Natural Resources officer issued the citation April 15, according to court records.

Because of a conflict, the Maui County prosecutor’s office withdrew from the case, and it was handled by the Kauai County prosecutor’s office. On June 10, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill granted the prosecution’s request to dismiss the case “in the interest of justice,” court records show….

(Summary: $5,000 COVID tickets are only for the little people.)

read … Maui lawmaker, husband face charges of violating virus order

YB COVID Money Grab—Why did Containers Collapse on Barge in Calm Seas and Light Winds?

HTH: …A tug was pulling the barge when the containers fell overboard, the Coast Guard said. At the time of the incident, winds were at about 12 mph and waves were at about 4 feet….

…“They said they were stacked five high at the stern, that there were five layers of containers stacked at the stern, and they’d never seen that before,” Kahele said.

In addition, Kahele said he took photographs of the barge early Monday morning and said the lower containers at the stern of the barge appeared to have been partially crushed, apparently destabilizing the rest of the stack.

Kahele also said he received information from a source whose identity he did not disclose claiming that the barge was ordered to halt outside of Hilo Bay for some time after arriving, which he speculated might have been done to avoid overtime.

Kahele speculated that the incident was caused by overloading the barge, which he suggested might have been the result of Young Brothers’ changing its shipping schedules….

“Bottom line is, we need two sails a week again,” Kahele said. “(The stevedores) said there were at least 30 to 40 containers and about as many vehicles that didn’t make it onto the barge for Saturday’s sail from Honolulu, which I think proves that there’s still a huge demand for that on the Big Island.”….

read … Authorities now say at least 21 shipping containers fell off barge in Big Island waters

SB126 to be CARES Spending Vehicle

SA: … Lawmakers are aiming to be done with the work and adjourn in about three weeks….

Details of the plan are expected to be discussed during a joint House-Senate conference committee meeting at 2 p.m. today. Lawmakers are eyeing Senate Bill 126 as the main vehicle for the program.

Ige, during Monday’s Honolulu Star Advertiser Facebook Live COVID-19 Care Conversation, said that yet to be determined is where the state will find the revenue to implement a screening program that centers around those placed under quarantine after testing positive.

“We’re talking about taking maybe some (hotel room tax) funds to be able to support that,” Ige said. Federal CARES Act money must be spent by the end of the year, “and we need to create a sustainable program, a public health program, focused at the airport but really supporting contact tracing and testing and all of those activities that we now know (are) so important for us to maintain and to expand.”

The governor said he also wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would give the Department of Heath the authority to declare a public health emergency….

reads … Hawaii lawmakers poised to tackle coronavirus

Negotiations Begin On Hawaii Police Misconduct Bill

CB: … State legislators are scheduled on Tuesday to discuss House Bill 285, which would require more detailed information on police misconduct including names of officers who are suspended as well as fired. The bill would also require the disclosure of disciplinary records that are not currently public under state law….

On Monday afternoon, House negotiators proposed a new draft of HB 285.

While that new draft of HB 285 would open misconduct records of officers who are suspended or fired, it would only apply to cases of misconduct that occurred after the bill becomes law, not retroactively.

Simply put: the public wouldn’t be able to get the disciplinary records for someone like Darren Cachola, who the police department tried to fire after video of a 2014 incident surfaced of him punching his girlfriend.

The bill would also require that county police chiefs publish the names of officers who have been suspended or fired in annual reports to the Legislature….

NR: Mayor Caldwell voices strong support for H.B. No. 285, H.D. 1 S.D. 2

Ruderman: We Can Take These Steps To Reform Hawaii Police Now

read … Negotiations Begin On Hawaii Police Misconduct Bill

Mayor: Only 30 to 35% of businesses have reopened

MN: … Some local businesses have opened part time or full time with reduced and modified services, while others struggle to reopen. Some businesses have permanently closed, adding to the ranks of unemployed residents.

“When you really look at the total package where we were pre-COVID-19 to today, we’re still probably about 30 to 35 percent of reopened businesses,” Victorino said during a media update Monday. “Some businesses have opened more than others, but overall, we’re not at a very good state.”…

HB: Hawaii Restaurant Association chairman estimates 40% of local restaurants will close by the end of the year

read … Mayor: Only 30 to 35% of businesses have reopened

Kauai Mayor Having Fun as Dictator

KHON: … “We had to do some pretty unique out of the box creative solutions to address our challenges and problems,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami.

Unique, like a beach park user fee.

“I initially proposed it to be $5,000,” he revealed. “Then our attorneys came back and said: ‘Mayor, you absolutely cannot charge $5,000.’”

Kawakami explained, “We’re really trying to discourage visitors from sight-seeing and being on the beach. Here I am telling all of our people that live here: ‘Hey stay home. If you’re essential, go work and go home, you cannot hang on the beach.’ We’re trying to avoid conflict as well. What would our people feel if they’re seeing visitors on the beach and they’re not allowed to?”

He ended up agreeing to a more reasonable fee: $5 to access the beach, limited to 100 permits.

Kawakami also implemented an island-wide curfew. Residents could not leave their homes from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew was lifted in May.

He says the emergency measures resulted in fewer 911 calls and less visits to the emergency room.  (BTW MDs aren’t too thrilled with the diabetics, stroke patients and heart attack patients who have been putting off necessary care, but I digress….)…

Kawakami says he and his team are constantly making choices to keep Kauai’s 72,000 residents safe.

“A lot of our decision making was based on instinct. There was so much information we didn’t have. We tried to look at other countries where the pandemic hit, we observed what those leaders were saying. We followed that, took that model and put it all together.” …

“We were so protected and had no new cases for 2 months. I am dreading opening the island up to inter island travel,” said resident J Robertson….

CB: Coronavirus Has Offered Kauai’s Mayor A Political Breakout Moment

read … Kauai Mayor on pandemic: “We had to do some unique, out-of-the-box creative solutions to address our challenges”

Some families of around a dozen residents at Hale Nani nursing center have chosen to remove them

KITV: … The families of about a dozen residents at the Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center have opted to remove their loved ones from the facility……The center's parent company Avalon Healthcare says there are currently about 230 residents still at the facility….

read … Some families of around a dozen residents at Hale Nani nursing center have chosen to remove them

Federal census of isle homeless is rescheduled for September

SA: … “Whether they’re homeless or not, each person counts for $2,500 a year, so it’s important,” Alexander said….

read … Federal census of isle homeless is rescheduled for September

Program for women inmates is cancelled

HNN: … The YWCA contracts with the state Department of Public Safety, but the agency is ending the contract at the end of the month.

"They said they just can't afford to have this program anymore," Namiki said.

A new contract would cost the state about $613,000 a year. The department said deep budget cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the economy make it impossible to afford the program.

“PSD cannot absorb this expenditure given the amount of reduction in FY 2021,” said Toni Schwartz, the department’s public information officer….

Fernhurst also operates a transitional housing program called Homebase for women who have completed their prison sentences….

Under the new solicitation, that would have been effective on July 1, 2020, the cost to continue the YWCA Fernhurst furlough contract to provide housing, access to support services in the community, and a meal plan for up to 14 female inmates for one year is $613,200. PSD cannot absorb this expenditure given the amount of reduction we face in FY 2021….

Since June 30, 2016, the female inmate population at the Women’s Community Correctional Center has been steadily decreasing and is below operational capacity with 212 inmates as of today’s count. WCCC can accommodate the remaining 6 women currently placed at YWCA and provide them with similar services in the Project Bridge program, without increasing operational cost or staffing….

SA: Shutdown of female work furlough program could be temporary

SA Column: Save lone halfway house for women inmates

read … Proven program for women inmates is casualty of pandemic’s impact on state coffers

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