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Thursday, May 19, 2022
May 19, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:44 PM :: 3207 Views

COVID Cut Hawaii Marriage Rate 48%

Honolulu Mayor Says A New Mask Mandate Is A ‘Possibility’

CB:  Honolulu Mayor Rick Blackgirdi said Wednesday that he might consider implementing a mask mandate after the Covid-19 case count rose for the eighth week in a row.

Hawaii recorded a weekly average of 925 cases per day on Wednesday, up from 722 the previous week. The state also reported 12 new deaths in the previous week.

The increase in cases comes weeks after the state and counties lifted mask mandates and other restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, although schools still require masks to be worn.

Blangiardi said a decision to reimpose the mask mandate would depend on hospital capacity and recommendations by the state Department of Health.

“Anything remains a possibility while we’re still in this pandemic,” he said during an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight” program.”A lot of it is going to depend on where these (trending) lines go.”

The number of people hospitalized with Covid rose to 126 on Wednesday, including five in the ICU and three on ventilators, according to the latest figures from the state. That number remains well below the peak of more than 400 per day during previous surges….

SA: Hawaii Health Department reports 12 new coronavirus-related deaths, 7,149 new infections

WATCH LIVE: Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’

read … Honolulu Mayor Says A New Mask Mandate Is A ‘Possibility’

As COVID cases climb, HMC sees increase in keiki infections

HTH: …As COVID-19 cases rise throughout Hawaii for the eighth consecutive week, Hilo Medical Center reported a significant increase in pediatric cases.

In May, more than 20 children between the ages of 0-5 have been admitted to the HMC Emergency Room for COVID-related illnesses, the highest of any age group.

“They don’t have to be hospitalized, but we’re seeing more kids in our ER,” said HMC spokeswoman Elena Cabatu. “That’s usually not the case.”

Symptoms remain minor, consisting of “barky” coughs and shortness of breath….

S: Hawaii is the #6 state with the highest child vaccination rates for COVID-19

read … As COVID cases climb, HMC sees increase in keiki infections

This Honolulu Architect Admitted To Bribery. But He Still Has His License

CB:… Honolulu architect William Wong pleaded guilty last year to paying over $100,000 in bribes to city permitting employees, and he faces prison time at his sentencing in October. 

But for now, he’s still working as an architect and interacting with the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting. 

Wong’s state-issued architect license is in good standing. The state board that oversees his profession just renewed his license for another two years, a government database shows. And he continues to submit permit applications to the city permitting department, according to his attorney, Megan Kau….

The Hawaii Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors and Landscape Architects has the power to suspend or revoke licenses, but it hasn’t taken disciplinary action in Wong’s case even though he pleaded guilty to a job-related felony over a year ago. …

The board’s position is that it needs a conviction in hand before it can discipline Wong, and it doesn’t consider him convicted until he is sentenced. Wong’s sentencing, originally scheduled for August 2021, has been delayed twice, court records show. It is now scheduled for Oct. 5. …

read … This Honolulu Architect Admitted To Bribery. But He Still Has His License

Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death

CB: … The internal affairs report claimed staff had been trained in suicide prevention policies, and a guard made the required cell checks. Neither was true, and an inmate died….

RELATED: Head of training at DPS arrested for allegedly falsifying qualifications to get promoted

read … Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death

Honolulu police chief finalists to present their cases in TV forum

SA: … The public will get a chance to hear from Honolulu police Maj. Mike Lambert, head of the Honolulu Police Department’s Ke Kula Makai Training Division; Maj. Ben Moszkowicz, who runs HPD’s Traffic Division; retired Brig. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, former adjutant general of the Hawaii National Guard, who currently works as a criminal investigator with the state Attorney General’s Office; and retired New Jersey State Police Lt. Col. Scott Ebner, who was recently one of five finalists for the job of chief of the Prescott Valley Police Department in Arizona.

The public will hear from the four finalists during a live, televised forum today on PBS Hawaii’s “Insight” program. Oral and written testimony from the public will be accepted before the 90-minute program, televised at 7:30 p.m. and also live­streamed. The forum will be hosted by Honolulu Star-­Advertiser “Spotlight Hawaii” host Yunji de Nies….

CB: A Look At The 4 Finalists For Honolulu’s Police Chief

read … Honolulu police chief finalists to present their cases in TV forum

Cost of flood insurance increases

SA: … Hawaii’s people who live in a “mandatory” flood zone as defined by FEMA are required by lenders to obtain flood insurance before purchasing their home. Residents in such zones must acquire flood insurance as a condition of the home purchase, and they have historically purchased insurance from the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Pending regulatory changes would allow private insurers to better compete with government insurance, but for the moment the NFIP enjoys an effective monopoly in mandatory zones….

According to analysis by Redfin, 81% of the NFIP flood policyholders are seeing an increase in their premium as of April 1 of this year. In Hawaii, 81% of NFIP policyholders are now paying more for their government insurance….

KHON: How vulnerable is your Hawaii home to floods?

read …  Column: Consider alternatives as cost of flood insurance increases

$200M to build pre-K facilities--Just the beginning

SA Editorial:  … House Bill 2000, now on the governor’s desk, appropriates $200 million to construct or repurpose preschool facilities….

House Bill 2000, now on the governor’s desk, appropriates $200 million to construct or repurpose preschool facilities….

Before the pandemic, fewer than 1 in 4 children in Hawaii attended early learning programs, a 2020 report found.

Luke cites data showing that about 20,000 children need access to pre-K. Building out classrooms to serve this many children by 2032 would cost about $2 billion by 2020 estimates — or $200 million for each of the next 10 years….

read … Editorial: $200M would give pre-K a big boost

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