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Tuesday, June 30, 2020
June 30, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:06 PM :: 2898 Views

Big Brother coming soon to Honolulu Airport

Tax Like an Egyptian: The wholesale rate, the retail rate, and tax “pyramiding”

List of Routes: Bus Driver Worked Sick with COVID for a Week

Clinical healthcare professionals needed to become full-time contact tracers

TVR Control: Kauai County Signs Agreement with AirBnB, Expedia

COVID Count: 2 new cases out of 588 tests

Hawaii Attorney General Sues E-Cigarette Giants JUUL and Altria

Hawaii AG: For The Hearing At Which I Will Argue That Indoor In-Person Gatherings Are Dangerous, Let's Gather Indoors In-Person!

Ige Nominee to re-Shape Hawaii Supreme Court?

CB: … Gov. David Ige is expected to appoint Hawaii’s next Supreme Court justice this year, his first and perhaps only pick for the high court.

The opportunity comes with the retirement Tuesday of Associate Justice Richard Pollack, who turns 70 on Thursday — the mandatory retirement age for Hawaii judges and justices.

Pollack’s retirement could fundamentally change the legal bent of the five-member court. Pollack has often ruled in the majority with justices Sabrina McKenna and Michael Wilson, who are described as being more liberal compared with Paula Nakayama and Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

“I think it can have a profound effect when you see a lot of 3-2 decisions,” said Jeff Portnoy, an attorney with Cades Schutte and a former member of the state’s Judicial Selection Commission. “Whoever that third judge is on the bench — and we don’t know who that could be — it could easily flip the entire Supreme Court.”…

March 22, 2020: 40% of Hawaii Supreme Court up for Grabs

read … A New Direction For The Hawaii Supreme Court?

Aug 1 Reopening Details: “We’re working on that” 

SA: … One question to Ige was what happens to travelers who had a test but didn’t get the results prior to landing.

“We’re trying to keep it simple,” he said. “Yes, we are building the network of partners who will be able to administer and is fully aware that 72 hours prior to departure, so somebody needs to take the test and get the result back before they depart. If they come here and they don’t have a negative COVID test, then they are in quarantine. That’s what will happen to them until we can get that result.”

Another question is whose responsibility it is to monitor and inform the incoming travelers if their tests have been approved or if travelers have to quarantine.

“We’re working through that, and that’s why we’re looking for partners,” he said. “We want someone who can give us a presence here in the islands so we can verify that the individual went to this test pharmacy.”

Ige added that they are working with CVS Pharmacy and have partnerships with the hotels, who have been taking in out-of-state travelers coming from the airport….

read … Gov. David Ige says Hawaii will be ready for tourists on Aug. 1

HSTA-DoE Agree to More Fake ‘Distance Learning’

CB: … The first nine days of instruction will be half days for students, including lunch, whether the instruction is delivered virtually or in-person. That will give teachers the opportunity to use the second half of the day to prepare lesson plans and get training, according to the contract.

That means Aug. 17 will be the first full-day of instruction for all students, according to HSTA….

HNN: Pediatrics group strongly encourages return of in-person school

TGI: ‘Letting the kids be kids’

read … State Teachers Union, DOE Agree To Reopening Terms

HSTA Pres: My Members Will Get Paid for Work from Home Days this Fall—We Will Block Standardized Testing Again Next Year

HB: … Q-Sometimes there are a few silver linings in a crisis? Have you found any?

A-The federal government waived the requirements for standardized testing during the pandemic. When teachers do not have to teach to the test, they are able to look at many creative ways of reaching our students. That is much better than students just having to fill out the correct bubbles on tests. We can find higher-level ways of engaging our students, such as project-based learning, allowing them to develop intellectually and emotionally. By using real-world scenarios, challenges, and problems, students gain useful knowledge and skills that increase during their designated project periods.

In order to maintain social distancing, one suggestion being explored involves alternating school days in which students would learn face-to-face on some days and would work at home on other days. This type of schedule is conducive to project-based learning. HSTA would like the DOE to ask the federal government for a waiver from standardized testing again this year and instead promote higher-level thinking skills using project-based learning….

HNN: HSTA said the DOE did not agree on some proposals, including being able to guarantee telework or provide child care for teachers whose children are impacted by hybrid schedules.

Related: HSTA reaches school reopening agreement with state of Hawaii

read … Interviews with Union Leaders: Corey Rosenlee, President, Hawaii State Teachers Association

Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Lose 12 Journalists

CB: … Twelve journalists at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser will be laid off as the company grapples with advertising losses brought on by the pandemic, the staff announced on the newspaper’s website on Monday.

A compromise between newsroom management and the Pacific Media Workers Guild will spare most of the 31 workers who were on the chopping block earlier this month. Instead of losing half of the newsroom, a dozen of those journalists will leave voluntarily, and the others will take six weeks of unpaid furloughs between now and early next year.

Union members also agreed to put off a planned 1% pay raise and forfeit half of their 2020 vacation days. The agreement guarantees no additional layoffs for the rest of the fiscal year, the announcement said.

Those departing include graphic artists, photographers, online staff and reporters, said Susan Essoyan, a Star-Advertiser reporter who co-chairs the bargaining unit.

“We are pleased that we were able to avoid involuntary layoffs and keep talented staff who will continue to provide the comprehensive coverage our community needs,” Essoyan said in a statement. “Negotiations were difficult but ultimately both sides came together for the good of the newspaper and Hawaii. We are sorry to be losing loyal and valuable colleagues, and we salute them for their sacrifice.”….

SA: Star-Advertiser, union reach agreement on staff cuts

As Explained: Star-Advertiser's plan to cut 30 newsroom staff may turn out to be a negotiating ploy

read … Honolulu Star-Advertiser To Lose 12 Journalists

Racial Disparities Emerge In HPD Enforcement Of Stay-At-Home Violations

HPR: … Honolulu police officers arrested Micronesians, Samoans and Blacks for violating the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in marked disproportion to their representation in the general population, a Hawaii Public Radio investigation found….

“Why is it that it’s Micronesians who made up the majority on that list when we have the smallest percentage of our population?” she asked….

read … Racial Disparities Emerge In HPD Enforcement Of Stay-At-Home Violations

Department of Retaliation: Honolulu Fire Department Infighting Places Rescue Units in Moldy Basement

CB: … An assistant fire chief says the department has no fixed timeline to open the third company, known as Rescue 3, and that the department will make sure new rescue specialists will be adequately trained for the work they’re assigned to do.

But rank and file fire department personnel are voicing strong opposition. Among those speaking out against the chief are all six of Oahu’s rescue captains, who oversee the existing commands.

Meanwhile, Honolulu City Councilman Tommy Waters, who chairs the council’s Public Safety and Welfare Committee, has stepped in with a bill that would limit the fire chief’s ability to set up the unit without first ensuring all rescue specialists are properly trained….

Against this backdrop, in what union leaders call an act of retaliation, the commands opposing Neves have been removed from their former home bases into makeshift stations. One of the commands, formerly housed at a station in Mililani, has been relocated to a fire station basement and a trailer that environmental inspectors recently deemed unfit for human habitation because of mold….

In addition to rotting wood and water damage to walls of the trailer used to house Rescue 2 captains, the report by Environmental Risk Analysis of Honolulu said there was significant mold damage.

“ERA recommends that all occupants vacate the trailer until post-remedial verification indicates that the potential for health effects has been mitigated,” the report said. “Post-remedial verification air sampling should be performed prior to reentry.”

“If there is mold, we have ways to address that,” Bratakos said.

He also acknowledged one command didn’t have hot water for showers initially but said that had been fixed after two days.

Capt. Dean Stowell, who is one of Rescue 2’s captains, said the command had to live without hot showers for a lot more than two days.

“I have it in writing,” he said. “It was a week.”

He also said the space was so dirty that the firefighters had to spend the first day cleaning to try to make it habitable.

“We were out of service to take care of the public so we could clean it,” Stowell said….

(Remember: These people are all getting raises.)

read … Honolulu Fire Chief’s Plan For A New Rescue Unit Ignites Controversy

Funding could save a program helping women transition to post-prison life

HNN: … The House Finance Committee announced Monday it will restore funding to the Oahu YWCA’s Fernhurst program.

It was on the verge of shutting down because of the pandemic’s impact to funding.

About 200 women have graduated from the program which helps rehabilitate them into the community. They learn valuable work skills, basics on how to land a job, and how to continue on a successful path.

Some 84 percent of the women who went through the program haven’t gone back to prison.

House Speaker Scott Saiki says funding the program is a no-brainer….

NR: Speaker Saiki Announces Plan to Restore Funding to YWCA Women's Program

CB: Lawmakers Poised To Save A Successful Program For Women Inmates

read … Funding could save a program helping women transition to post-prison life

SB2206: Gut n Replace Bill would permit festering homeless tent cities on all state land

WHT: … House Finance Committee members on Monday signed off on a gut-and-replace bill that would allow the state to issue temporary revocable leases for emergency homeless camps on state land amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 2206, Senate Draft 2, House Draft 1, would authorize the Board of Land and Natural Resources to issue month-to-month revocable permits to be used for temporary emergency sheltering of and facilities for homeless persons on state lands….

Though neither the bill nor testimony from Morishige or the DLNR identified any particular facility, one such community/private camp on public lands is the Hui Mahiai Aina houseless camp being developed on leased state farm land in Waimanalo, Oahu, by Willie and Blanche McMillan in conjunction with the state, City and County of Honolulu and the DLNR.

“There is a certain shelter that is being cleared, so this is to facilitate that so that they do not end up being homeless,” said Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke.

Housing Committee Chairman Tom Brower indicated during the committee’s June 24 meeting that the bill would help with the “possiblity of more (Ohana) Safe Zones throughout the state.”…

Scott Morshige, Ige’s Coordinator on Homelessness, in offering comment on the measure Monday acknowledged the number of government programs and initiatives established to address homeless and unsheltered individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes the tiny homes recently built at Old Kona Airport Park and NAS Pool in Hilo.

He said there is concern, however, about community and privately supported camps on public lands without authorization that may not have access to basic hygiene facilities or could be located in a recognized flood zone or other hazard.

The bill would provide a mechanism for the state to regulate such unsanctioned encampments for a temporary period due to the emergency nature of the pandemic, he said. He added that the bill should include provisions to require minimal adherence to the CDC guidance to minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19….

(Idea: Prohibit tents.  Shelter in solid-wall structures only.)

WHT: Ka Lamaku’s first residents expected to move in today

SA: Firefighters extinguish blaze near Hilo homeless camp

read … Bill would permit homeless camps on state land

SR159: Make Sovereignty Activists into a Protected Class so they Can’t be Prosecuted for their Criminal Activities

FH: … Hereʻs what SR 159 will do -

Prevent the State of Hawai`i from treating Hawaiian Nationals as criminals or illegal aliens.

Prevent the State of Hawai` from forcing Hawaiians to be US citizens in order to live and function freely in Hawai`i, their(our) own country.

Stop all forms of discrimination against those in Hawai`i who self identify as Hawaiian Nationals.

SR 159 states that Hawaiian Nationals already exist. Thus, they(we) have the right to live freely in their(our) own country.

The Senate Hawaiian Affairs committee in the Hawai`i legislature will be voting on SR 159 this afternoon, June 30, 2020….

Totally Related: Lawyer known for “sovereignty defenses” barred from future foreclosure assistance

SR159: Text, Status

read … Action Alert

HB2035/SB2012: Bills pending at the Hawaii Legislature would aid local ranchers and farmers.

CB: … A law passed 17 years ago (Act 90, 2003) was intended to ensure the long-term production of lands by transferring them from the DLNR to the DOA. This straightforward law advocates for agriculture and gives ranchers the lease terms they need to succeed, to continue to expand production with confidence in their business models and plans for investing in the land. However, ranchers have been denied this relief with the claim that Act 90 does not have a deadline and pasture is not agriculture.

We thank the Legislature for standing up for agriculture by introducing House Bill 2035 and Senate Bill 2812 to give the Department of Land and Natural Resources a deadline to transfer the leases to the Department of Agriculture and clarifying that pasture is indeed agriculture. If you support agriculture, you should support HB 2035, which simply puts a deadline on an existing law so that it is finally fully enforced after 17 years….

read … A bill pending at the Hawaii Legislature would aid local ranchers and farmers.

Honolulu Bill 2 Would Unbundle Parking

IM: … Honolulu City Councilmember Ron Menor introduced Bill 2 on January 29, 2020.

The bill would establish that no off-street parking is required for new developments in the Primary Urban Center Development Plan area and Ewa Development Plan areas, except for those areas located in the residential, agricultural, and preservation zoning districts.

Furthermore, no off-street parking is required in any zoning district within one half-mile of an existing or future Honolulu Rail Transit Station, as identified in the accepted Environmental Impact Statement, or in the Transit-Oriented Development Special District….

Totally Related: Corona Towers: Council Hides Behind Quarantine, Gives Development Deal to Convicted Felon

read … Honolulu Bill 2 Would Unbundle Parking

Felony child pornography charges filed against an Oahu little league coach

HNN: …Rian Harold Ishikawa, 42, of Kailua was charged on Monday. Federal prosecutors say they found more than 800 explicit videos and photos in his email and phone, dating as far back as 2010.

They allege he recorded children in his parents’ bathroom. Court documents say other images were gathered from online sites.

Court documents added that Ishikawa was a coach and president of the Kainalu Little League organization. An information officer with the group said he has not been a part of the Kainalu Little League team for over seven years.

Documents also say that up until his arrest, he was actively involved with coaching a youth softball team, though the name of that team was not disclosed. He began his latest coaching role in March 2017….

read … Felony child pornography charges filed against an Oahu little league coach

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