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Wednesday, December 23, 2020
December 23, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:06 PM :: 2391 Views

Hawaii has third-fastest population decline in nation

Divided Hawaiian Homes Commission Forwards Gambling Bill To The Governor

DHHL Receives Approval for Pilot Down Payment Program

Hotel Report: Occupancy 20%

Survey says more than half of Hawaii restaurants will shut down for good by April if tourism doesn’t increase

OHA Chair Names Colin Kippen Board Chief of Staff

Green: Exempt Vaccinated Hawaii Travelers From Quarantine  

CB: … Lt. Gov. Josh Green is proposing a change to the Safe Travels program he oversees to allow Hawaii travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine with proof of a COVID-19 vaccination….

read … Proposal Would Exempt Vaccinated Hawaii Travelers From Quarantine

Do Reformers Change Government Or Vice Versa?

Cataluna: … When you look into the abyss of local government, the abyss looks into you….

HART Executive Director Andrew Robbins said he’d be part of the solution. Now, on his way out, he’s seen by some as part of the problem….

We can all think of longtime local lawmakers who once campaigned as fresh faces with new ideas. They swore they would never be the frustrated and frustrating do-nothings and self-dealers that they eventually became.

What is it in the systems of government that grinds away at all the honorable “I’ll be different” intentions of those brave enough to enter the fray?…

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard rose to the rank with such promise of a fresh start for HPD. Though just about anybody would be a fresh start after the shameful scandals of the Kealoha era, Ballard had a particular set of skills and attributes that set her apart. She had experience in different areas of the police department, she was more communicative with the media and the public and she came in with ideas for reshaping HPD.

But lately, it’s like the new coat of paint that accompanied Ballard is starting to wear, the stains of the past and of the department’s intransigent, insular culture starting to show through. Excessive and probably unearned overtime, a rash of shootings and assaults, data that shows crimes are rarely solved — those are all stubborn stains.

And now comes the revelation that an elite team of police investigators was used to surveil the city medical examiner, who got crosswise with the mayor’s office because he wasn’t processing dead bodies fast enough and was complaining about work conditions. That is too close to the Kealoha mailbox caper for comfort. This hasn’t come off the tracks yet, but, dang it, some of the wheels are looking wobbly.….

(WARNING:  Ballard may not be perfect—BUT if Ballard goes, we all know she will be replaced by a Kealoha clone.  That is the most reasonable explanation for why Caldwell set Ballard up to do drug surveillance on the former Medical Examiner.  Did Caldwell lie about the HE’s alleged drug use to create trouble for Ballard and thereby obstruct the ongoing federal investigation of HPD and City administration?)

read … Do Reformers Change Government Or Vice Versa?

Some Honolulu Police Officers Are Doubling Their Salaries With Overtime

CB: … An anonymous source (uh-huh, sure) sent Civil Beat a document showing overtime pay for HPD in 2017, 2018 and the first nine months of 2019. An HPD source who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation confirmed that the document was authentic. 

(CB must have some new editorial policy forbidding them from mentioning Hawai’i Free Press.  Prolly payback for cross-posting the eBay pig-head story;-))

Separately, Civil Beat obtained a list of the top 30 earners among all city officials for the first nine months of 2020….

As Explained: Honolulu PD ‘Top 10 Earners’ List Revealed–Did Corporal make $341K?

Totally Irrelevant Link: Feds: Civil Beat Publisher's Security Detail Sends Pig's Head to Media Critic

read … Some Honolulu Police Officers Are Doubling Their Salaries With Overtime

Tulsi Gabbard refuses vaccine until all front-line health care workers and seniors get inoculated. 

TH: … some are wary of the optics of representatives getting priority access to a vaccine and would rather wait until it’s widely available to the public.

“I’m not saying that I have any type of aversion to it. It’s just a personal stance that if you’re a leader, you eat last,” Mast told The Hill.

“Symbols matter in life,” Mast said. “The powerful symbol can be, ‘Hey listen, we're going to make sure that we take care of the people first.’ ...‘You first. You first with the legislation, you first with the relief, you first with the vaccination, you first with everything else.’ ” …

read … Tulsi Gabbard refuses vaccine until all front-line health care workers and seniors get inoculated. 

Convicted Felon Complains About Getting Free Stuff too Slowly

KITV: … Earlier this month, the city issued 4,000 debit cards loaded with $500 to residents hard hit by the pandemic. The money was intended to help people buy groceries and essential goods.

But many of those cards were delayed because the city used an East Coast vendor that wasn’t able to ship them out in time due to winter storms and the holiday rush.

People who have since received their cards now say they can’t get through to the vendor, MoCaFi or Mobility Finance Capital Inc., to activate the cards due to high call volume.

“There’s no way for us to activate it. With other cards, you can usually go online and activate it or you activate it by phone,” said Waianae resident (and convicted rapist) DeMont Conner, whose paralegal services company went on hiatus when Hawaii’s courts were closed due to the pandemic….

Since the money is funded by CARES Act money, it is set to lapse on Dec. 27. Caldwell hopes the stimulus deal announced this week will extend the funding for a year…. 

SA: Vendor trying to rectify City Card activation issues

HNN: If you’re still trying to activate your city grocery card, here’s what to do

read … From delays to activation trouble, city grocery card program faces more woes

112 homeless dead because we could not force them to accept shelter

SA: … While the sixth annual service at Central Union Church known as “Blue Christmas,” or, “The Longest Night,” held on the winter solstice, was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns, some 112 homeless individuals who died here this year were remembered with a blue illumination of Honolulu Hale on Monday.

The church service, which has honored people in America who pass away each year without housing, serves as a poignant opportunity for reflection during the holiday season for those who have lost a family member who was homeless. Since the first service, according to city figures, about 475 people considered homeless have died on Oahu….

(Many would be alive today if we had been allowed to FORCE them to accept shelter.  Soft on homelessness is inhumane.)

read … In memory of the homeless

Casino Yes – Telescope No???

SA: … Please tell me the following is a bad dream: The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is proposing a gambling casino in Kapolei, with all the well-known problems, including financial risks, drug use and a social springboard for more of the same development on all the islands.

Compare this idiotic proposal to the Hawaiian community that came together in full encampment on Mauna Kea to protest (with the apparent approval of many of the Hawaiian people) the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which promises to bring billions of dollars, from construction to years of scientific research that will place Hawaii in the forefront of studies of the universe and the future of life for all humanity.

read … DHHL gambling would spread to all islands

Banning pedestrians from the road into the Waipio Valley runs contrary to state and county law.

CB: … The state lands in Waipio and the valleys beyond it are scenic, historic and full of recreational interest, but if this bill succeeds hikers on foot will be banned. And hikers who drive down the road instead of walking will find there is no parking and will thus be forced to turn around.

Our expulsion will be complete.

In the entire Hamakua District (with its 50 miles of coastline), this road provides the only legal, county-designated shoreline access. If the county can impede access here, how secure will other rights-of-way be?

The first version of Bill 217, introduced by former Hawaii County Council member Valerie Poindexter, would have banned all pedestrians on the road. The bill was amended in committee to allow only Waipio landowners, lessees, residents and Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners to walk there.

On November 17, despite overwhelmingly negative public testimony, the Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit advanced the bill to the council.

Opposition testimony from Jackson Bauer of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program noted that “the bill would severely limit the public’s right to access public lands.”….

read … Banning pedestrians from the road into the Waipio Valley runs contrary to state and county law.

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