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Wednesday, May 19, 2021
May 19, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:55 PM :: 2502 Views

FBI Investigating Navatek Insiders for Illegal Campaign contributions

HDOT Wins $31.7M by Suing Software Contractor

Why we need to press ‘pause’ on the Honolulu rail project

EEOC Collects Over $4.8 Million on Judgment in Labor Trafficking Case Against Maui Pineapple

Honolulu Councilwoman Wants More Racial Data Collected

CB: … The Legislature passed a resolution last month that specifically called for detailed race data from county police departments and certain state agencies.

The Honolulu City Council is considering a resolution to urge state and city agencies to collect detailed race data beyond the minimum federal standards.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Esther Kia’aina introduced the measure, which was discussed at a committee meeting Tuesday.

“Racial data is the heart of this resolution,” Kia’aina said at the hearing. “It’s simply encouraging the state of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu to further disaggregate Asian and Pacific Islander data.”…

(AGENDA: EVERYTHING MUST BE ABOUT RACE ... BECAUSE ... OHA GETS MONEY BASED ON RACE.)

(What's not being collected: Educational attainment, economic status, citizenship status, gender identity, homeless status, number of previous convictions, etc....)

Related: OHA to Take Over Honolulu Council?

read … Honolulu Councilwoman Wants More Racial Data Collected

Questions raised on how much longer Hawaii Gov. Ige can invoke emergency powers

KHON: … State lawmakers tried to limit the governor’s powers during the session but could not agree. They could also do it with a special session, but they say coming to an agreement is just too difficult.

“A pandemic is a very different type of emergency animal than we’ve ever seen before. And so really, the changing conditions make it difficult to have consensus,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti, the majority leader.

Another way to challenge the restrictions is by filing a lawsuit, and some have tried. Most of the challenges have been unsuccessful around the country, however.

“I don’t know exactly what the scorecard is, but I’d say more than 90 percent of the challenges have failed with some prominent exceptions,” said attorney Jeff Portnoy.

As more residents get vaccinated and closer to herd immunity, many say Ige will have fewer reasons to keep his emergency powers….

read … Questions raised on how much longer Hawaii Gov. Ige can invoke emergency powers

No Vax Required for UH Staff, Faculty

HNN: … The University of Hawaii’s newly announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students took months of planning and discussion.

Getting a rule on the books for employees is poised to be much more difficult.

UH students are already required to get a slew of vaccinations from measles to hepatitis in order to attend class on campus. UH announced Monday a COVID vaccination will just be added to the list.

UH President David Lassner says the university’s history of requiring medical clearances for students sets clear precedent to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students this fall.

“We also think having the vaccines at least one of them fully approved by the FDA strengthens our defense should someone choose to sue us,” Lassner told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday.

But any potential requirement for employees is completely different and would be a major challenge. Currently, no vaccines are required for university employees but some do need to get a TB test.

While UH hopes to mandate the COVID vaccine for employees, unions for professors, staff members and others would have to agree to it….

read … In considering a vaccine mandate for employees, UH enters uncharted territory

Probable cases will raise Hawaii’s COVID case count by 1,600

SA: … Hawaii will see a one-time jump in its total count of coronavirus cases today after the state Department of Health adds in about 1,600 probable cases that it’s kept track of since the start of the pandemic.

State health officials also will record probable cases in their future daily case counts, which in the near term could add an extra 10 to 20 cases a week.

The probable cases include people who never received a confirmatory test but are believed to have had the virus because of their known exposure and symptoms….

read … Probable cases will raise Hawaii’s COVID case count by 1,600

20 of Hawaii’s 40 jail and prison guard recruits test positive for COVID

SA: … The recruits were close to finishing a 10-week training program in Honolulu that includes 360 hours of classroom time and physical training exercises when the outbreak occurred. A graduation planned for last week was postponed.

Twenty out of the 40 recruits — one of whom was hospitalized — have tested positive for the virus, according to Toni Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety….

Thirty-six of the 40 recruits opted not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The four trainees who received the vaccine tested negative for the coronavirus, as did the staff conducting the training, who were also vaccinated, according to the Public Safety Department.

(CLUE: Get COVID on the job and get lifetime disability payments.)

Schwartz said the department is looking into the legality of mandating that recruits be vaccinated and that the department has made sure vaccines are readily available to all employees through community clinics and mobile sites….

The four vaccinated recruits have been cleared by the Health Department to resume training, while the other 36 recruits remain in quarantine. Upon being cleared, they will be able to finish up the last four days of training, said Schwartz….

Throughout the country, high rates of correctional officers have refused to get the coronavirus vaccination. Guards, whose jobs put them at elevated risk for the virus, have declined it out of fear of side effects, because they’ve embraced conspiracy theories about the vaccine or are distrustful of prison administrators and their handling of the pandemic, The Marshall Project reported in March.

It’s not clear how many of the current correctional officers in Hawaii have been vaccinated. Employees aren’t required to report their vaccination status, and neither the Department of Public Safety nor Department of Health has been tracking it.

There have been 217 reported cases of correctional officers contracting the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to Public Safety Department figures. Close to 2,000 Hawaii inmates, including 656 who are housed at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona, have tested positive for the virus. At least nine Hawaii inmates have died….

CB: If You Want To Work In A Prison, Get Vaccinated 

read … 20 of Hawaii’s 40 jail and prison guard recruits test positive for COVID

Local Businesses Optimistic About Next 12 Months

HB: … The result: 52% said the economy will improve, the highest response for that answer from local business leaders in similar surveys stretching back to 1998. When asked the same question 12 months ago, 66% of local business leaders said the economy would worsen….  

HB: Construction Industry: Stronger than the Rest

HB: Local Companies Remain Weak on Revenue, Profit and Employment

read … Local Businesses Optimistic About Next 12 Months

Jobs Go Begging but Council Wants to Create Make-Work program

SA: … A measure to create a Job Corps program between the city and the University of Hawaii to address unemployment created through the COVID-19 pandemic advanced today through a City Council committee.

The Job Corps program would be focused on training people for jobs to diversify Oahu’s economy, particularly green sectors such as local agriculture, conservation and forestry, renewable energy and climate adaptation.

The measure would urge the city to re-create opportunities such as Oahu’s Back to Work program, which ran between October and December 2020, to offer job training for residents whose employment was disrupted due to the pandemic. The measure will need to be heard by the full City Council to pass. The next full Council meeting is June 2.

Office of Economic Revitalization Director Amy Asselbaye said last year’s program was oversubscribed, especially by residents in the hospitality industry who were transferring over to (fake) ‘work’ in areas such as sustainable farming, invasive species removal, trail upkeep and restoration of cultural, historic and recreational sites (ie paid to go hiking) .….

read … Honolulu City Council looking to support COVID-impacted workers in effort to diversify economy

Prosecutor: Body cam footage in fatal police shootings to be withheld for at least 30 days

HNN: … After taxpayers spent millions to provide the Honolulu Police Department with body cameras, city Prosecutor Steven Alm now says video in two fatal police shootings will be withheld from the public for 30 to 60 days….

In a news release, Alm said his office will not publicly release body camera video, 911 recordings and other evidence in the recent fatal shootings of Lindani Myeni, an unarmed black man in Nuuanu, and 16-year-old robbery suspect Iramember Sykap unless his office determines that the shootings are justified.

He said such a review will take 30 to 60 days…. 

KITV: Honolulu Police commission provides update on recent shootings 

read … Prosecutor: Body cam footage in fatal police shootings to be withheld for at least 30 days

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