Question: Is it more expensive to have a funeral on a Saturday? Can funerals even be held now? How can I get this information without calling every mortuary?
Answer: Yes, many Hawaii mortuaries do charge several hundred dollars more for funerals held on the weekend, according to a list posted by the nonprofit Kokua Mau, an umbrella organization focused on advance care planning and other end-of-life arrangements.
Kokua Mau says on its website that decisions involving mortuaries are never easy, and “the degree of emotional difficulty is doubled when these decisions are left until the death has already occurred.”
A PDF on its website, at 808ne.ws/funeralcosts, lists mortuaries throughout the state and what they charge for cremation, burial, funeral services, caskets and cremation urns. You can also find the document on its website, kokuamau.org. Look for the link to “Making Decisions Regarding Mortuaries in Hawaii.”
As for your second question, yes, funerals with 10 or fewer attendees are allowed on Oahu, which is under Tier 2 pandemic status. Find more information at oneoahu.org/reopeningstrategy.
Q: I can’t believe people are saying they don’t want any tourists. I guess they aren’t still laid off, or never were. I am! What is the unemployment rate now? It’s not a merry Christmas.
A: Hawaii’s unemployment rate remains the highest in the nation, at 10% in November, compared with the national rate of 6.4% that month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s better than in October, when Hawaii’s unemployment rate was 14% (also the worst in the nation), but dismal compared with a year ago, before the pandemic. By contrast, in November 2019, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was 2.6%.
So far, Hawaii has bounced back the least of any state, according to an analysis by WalletHub, a personal finance website. Nevada, also reliant on tourism, was second worst, it said.
The number of unemployed persons in Hawaii rose by 242% from January to November, compared with the national average increase of 45%, according to the analysis.
Unemployment is disparate in Hawaii, varying heavily by industry and also by island. At 16%, Maui County had the highest unemployment rate in the state last month, a figure that included a 16% jobless rate on Maui, 6.5% on Molokai and just over 33% on Lanai.
Your question refers to a story about a survey (808ne.ws/toursur) that found 43% of the Hawaii residents surveyed agreed that “people from outside the state of Hawaii should not be visiting Hawaii at this time.”
Q: Regarding the COVID- 19 scams (808ne.ws/ 1220sty), do we have to call all those numbers to report? I am already getting texts.
A: No. Sunday’s column provided contact information for multiple federal agencies that investigate scams and fraud related to the pandemic, most recently about purported access to a COVID-19 vaccine. You don’t have to call all the agencies to report the scam; you can call one.
As for the texts you are receiving, they are scam attempts; other readers have reported receiving similar texts promising easy access to the vaccine, even for those not in a priority group. Delete the text. Don’t click on any links within it. Don’t reply.
We Manoa residents listen to the chronic, nightly parties that project loud music and screams, not to mention illegal aerial fireworks over the valley. This goes on into the wee hours of the morning and, despite repeated calls to HPD, has yet to cease. Clearly, posted signs indicating no parking at the vista area after 10 p.m. are obviously unenforced. — T.M.
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.