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Tuesday, September 14, 2021
September 14, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:15 PM :: 2635 Views

How COVID Rules Affect Maui Businesses

Comments Sought on Judicial Nominees in Three Counties

What knives can you carry in Hawaii?

Hawaii Has the Cheapest Auto Insurance Premiums

Chinese Navy off Aleutians--Promises Hawaii and Guam Soon

WZ: … The U.S. Coast Guard recently released a set of pictures of the Legend class cutter USCGC Bertholf shadowing a group of four Chinese warships sailing in America's Exclusive Economic Zone near Alaska's Aleutian Islands back in August. The emergence of these pictures follows the editor-in-chief of Global Times, a newspaper under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party, taking to Twitter to criticize U.S. Navy operations in the Pacific that routinely challenge many of Beijing's widely disputed maritime territorial claims, especially in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, and warn of tit-for-tat activities on the part of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

The pictures were shot between Aug. 29 and Aug. 30, 2021, but were only released through the U.S. military's Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website more recently. The captions to the photographs, which have now, curiously, been removed from DVIDS, say they were taken "in international waters inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] off the Aleutian Island [sic] coast." It's not clear if any Chinese vessels are still inside the U.S. EEZ off the coast of Alaska, which stretches well out into the Pacific Ocean, but The War Zone has already reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard for more information….

The appearance of these pictures online does notably follow a Tweet from Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin on Sept. 8. Hu was reacting directly to other posts on that social media site from official U.S. Navy accounts that highlighted the arrival of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea "in order to uphold the free and open use of Indo-Pacific waters." The Chinese government has expansive territorial claims over this body of water, which are widely rejected by other countries in the region and the international community at large….

"Hopefully when Chinese warships pass through the Caribbean Sea or show up near Hawaii and Guam one day, the US will uphold the same standard of freedom of navigation," Hu wrote on Twitter. "That day will come soon."…

read … Chinese Warships Sailing Near Alaska's Aleutian Islands Shadowed By U.S. Coast Guard

Legislators Step up Harassment of State Auditor

SA: … For the first time in his five-year tenure, state Auditor Les Kondo was subpoenaed to appear before a special state House Investigative Committee on Monday and testified under oath about separate audits that found two state entities bungled economic opportunities to better manage state lands….

Committee Chairwoman and House Majority Leader Della Au Bellati (D, Moiliili- Makiki-Tantalus) said the committee is reviewing more than 12,000 documents related to the audits of land management by the Agribusiness Development Corp. this year and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources in 2019.

The committee’s investigation is expected to stretch into October, and everyone who is called will testify under oath, Bellati told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“We’re going to subpoena everybody,” she said. “We are casting our net widely.”…

As then-executive director of the state Ethics Commission, Kondo drew the wrath of then-House Speaker Joe Souki in 2015 for new ethics rules for legislators that included limits on gifts they could accept.

Then on March 31, Kondo received a scathing 79-page audit of his office prompted by House Speaker Scott Saiki that concluded that Kondo created a dysfunctional workplace and is ill-suited to lead an office that missed audit deadlines….

RELATED: Ethics Commission to Replace Dan Gluck

read … State auditor Les Kondo and office are subjects of House investigation

Hawaii’s obsolete triage policy puts older patients at risk

SA: … The policy must be immediately withdrawn and replaced by one that takes into account the changed circumstances since its publication date of August 2020. Existing triage policies that have guided medical practitioners until now are adequate and morally sound enough to replace the defective policy that DOH currently defends….

read … Hawaii’s obsolete triage policy puts older patients at risk

State officials pleased with compliance among contractors on day one of new mandate

HNN: … Under the new rules, private employees working on state property need to be vaccinated or provided weekly negative COVID tests.

It impacts companies like Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, which employs about 900 people statewide and has multiple government projects.

Management says most of their employees are already vaccinated.

“For the ones that weren’t, we were able to find them work elsewhere within other areas to ensure that we are complying with those state specific jobs,” said Manu Bermudes, Director of Human Resources.

Goodfellow Bros. has about 1,200 employees and is also working on several government projects.

The CEO said they too have had to shuffle around workers to make sure they were following the new rules for state property.

“Thankfully not all of our work is state work, so we have been able to move employees around to make sure we’re in compliance with the governor’s mandate,” said Chad Goodfellow….

read … State officials pleased with compliance among contractors on day one of new mandate

Drop in foot traffic on first day of Safe Access Oahu rollout

KITV: … The head manager for UFC locations in Hawaii told KITV4 check ins were "very low compared to normal" today during the early morning workout hours.

He believes it is directly tied to the new vaccine and testing requirements that are now in effect….

read … Honolulu gyms report drop in foot traffic on first day of Safe Access Oahu rollout

Restaurant Defies Oahu’s new COVID rules

HNN: … some are openly defying the rules, which require them to ensure customers are either fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID result taken with the last 48 hours.

Donald Moriarty, owner of the Doner Shack, is a critic of the state and city COVID mandates.

He said he won’t comply with the rules, and expects to be fined or even shut down.

“You follow the mandates and you lose your business eventually based on your less than 50% customer turnout,” he said, referring to ongoing capacity restrictions.

Several of his customers said they support his views.

“I don’t think we should be pushing that on people. I think it’s up to the person,” Monica Lillywhite, of Kahala, said of the vaccine-or-test rules.

But according to the Hawaii Restaurant Association and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, a majority of the restaurants and businesses on Oahu plan to comply with the new requirements….

read … Most businesses comply with Oahu’s new COVID rules, but enforcing them could prove tricky

Ethics board lets Hawaii County council members off hook

HTH: … Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy was found not to be in violation when she didn’t disclose that her adult daughter works for HPM Building Supply when she voted on changes to the county construction code regulating factory built housing.

The complaint was filed by Joe Belisario, owner of Hawaii Design Group, a degreed draftsman and end user of building codes, who also made several allegations about Lee Loy’s personal life (which everybody is trying to avoid talking about because they are cowards)….

In the Lee Loy case, Belisario said Lee Loy was required to disclose her relationships, but did not do so.

Her daughter, Ashley Kapua Aguiar, 32, is senior kitchen and bath designer at HPM, which has an employee stock ownership plan where employees own 100% of the HPM stock.

“Disclosure of interest — Its’ a requirement of law and it did not happen,” Belisario said.

Several board members advised that disclosure is always the best policy, even when it’s not legally required.

“The daughter is independent working as an adult in a job and I just don’t see any connection at all. .. you can’t expect a council member to dictate where their kids can and cannot work,” said board member Amy Self.

Still, Self said, there are provisions in law that require council members to disclose any direct or indirect interest in issues coming before the council.

“To me, I would probably disclose even if it was my fourth cousin,” Self said. “Disclose, disclose, disclose.”…

read … Ethics board clears council members

Lyla Berg Joins Board of Education on Interim Basis

CB: … Lyla Berg, 70, will fill the board seat once occupied by Dwight Takeno, whose term expired in July. Due to a lack of sufficient candidates at the time, Ige did not submit any names to the Senate for confirmation before it adjourned. While Berg’s appointment is just interim for now, she said she would be open to considering a full three-year term….

read … Former Hawaii Legislator Joins Board of Education on Interim Basis

Civil Beat Finds Another Way to Help Criminals Get back out on to the Streets

CB: … For years Hawaii has debated what to do about (been harassed by soft-on-crime ninnies trying to force release of) accused lawbreakers who sit in overcrowded jails — sometimes for many months or even years — because they cannot afford (their families refuse) to post bail. Now an important piece of that messy, expensive (boring) issue has landed on the docket of the state Supreme Court.

In a lengthy filing late last month, state Public Defender James Tabe urged the court to enforce a 2019 law that mandates corrections officials review pretrial detainees every three months to reconsider whether those prisoners should remain in custody, or should be released.

The state Department of Public Safety says it already complies with that law, but a spokeswoman for the department said it does not track how many reviews have been done. The department declined to make any of the pretrial inmate reviews public, saying state law forbids it.

The 2019 law says the reviews must be forwarded to prosecutors, defense lawyers and the courts, but officials with the state Judiciary, the Kauai prosecutor’s office and Tabe all say they haven’t seen any filed with their offices.

Judiciary spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro said that “it appears we are not getting these reports.”…

read … State Appears Lax In Reviewing The Cases Of People Sitting In Jail Awaiting Trial

Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s homelessness strategy for Honolulu falls flat

SA: … The foundation of Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s homelessness strategy was built on two promises: He assured the public that he would end sweeps of encampments and replace police with social workers to address nonviolent 911 calls.

Now nine months into his term, neither promise has been fully realized.

Citations for homelessness-related offenses are higher than before Blangiardi took office

Since Blangiardi took office, data requested by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser from the state Judiciary shows a steep increase in 16 of the most common homeless-related citations, such as violations of sit-lie laws and the sidewalk and stored-property ordinances.

One man (addict) who said his name is Love Burners, has been homeless (refusing shelter) for several years and usually stays around the Kapahulu area. Burners said there has been more enforcement than ever.

“I’ve got more tickets than anything,” he said recently. “We know the drill: When the guys come, we just go.”

Burners said police usually cut him and his friends some slack because they always keep their place clean, but things have been getting worse. While Burners spoke, his friend Jerome, who was living out of his car after (uh…) losing his job during the pandemic, (yeah.  that’s the story) hurriedly asked Burners to assist in moving his vehicle. Jerome was told an enforcement action was going happen in the next 30 minutes.

“They take all the stuff. Everything you can’t take, they just take it,” said Jerome, who did not want to give his last name (clue: open warrants).

“They just got really aggressive with it lately. … What used to be every other week has become every other day.”

Between January and June, 156 citations were issued for HRS 291C-112 Human Habitation in Car, compared with 211 during the same period in 2020.….

(Solution: Build 5000 SROs and enforce a vagrancy law)

MOST RESPECTED COMMENT: “The only thing that has ever worked in large cities, historically, with homeless/street people is non-pc.
Police offer the person "jail" or placement in in a care/support center. At care center, person gets: clean clothes, meals, place to sleep, social support(jobs/job training), medical support and psychiatric support. Here, you could, for just a few million(using FEMA trailers, etc.) and simple constructs, bldg on Sand Island Area such a center, which also includes security. Most of the street people are not just unemployed. They have many problems and need a center. Yes, you need to force them into it to start the process for recovery.”....

SA Editorial: City must sharpen plan for homeless

As Explained: A Model for Hawaii: Federal Judge Orders Los Angeles to Clear Skid Row

read … Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s homelessness strategy for Honolulu falls flat

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