Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Honolulu city hall shuts down amid COVID-19 outbreak, Caldwell tests negative, HGEA files grievance against Health Department over contact tracers, labor director resigns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu Hale city hall ©2020 All Hawaii News
Honolulu Hale Shuts Down Amid COVID-19 Outbreak. Mayor Kirk Caldwell is among more than 1,000 city employees being tested for the disease after a cluster surfaced. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Hale closed, satellite city halls on limited service. Honolulu Hale is shutting down to the public due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases there, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell tests negative for COVID-19 after cases spread at Honolulu Hale. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell was tested for COVID-19 on Monday after a positive case in his office, and many more at Honolulu Hale. By Monday night, his result came back negative. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s COVID-19 test result is negative. There was mass testing at Honolulu Hale after 10 employees had positive COVID-19 test results. KHON2.

Mayor Caldwell tests negative for COVID-19. Mayor Kirk Caldwell received a negative test result for COVID-19 on Monday night. KITV4.


Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation. Hawaii is regularly seeing triple-digit increases in COVID-19 infections, a situation that underscores just how fast the virus is spreading in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s coronavirus crisis worsens with 140 cases, 3 deaths and more closures. Hawaii’s coronavirus crisis continued to mount Monday as Honolulu’s City Hall was shut down, the University of Hawaii football season was postponed at least for the fall and three more people died from COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

The Latest: 140 Cases; Mayor Isolates, Honolulu Hale To Close; 6 OCCC Inmates, 3 ACOs Positive. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 10: 3 Deaths And 140 Cases; Clusters At Honolulu Hale And Oahu Jail. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is being tested for the coronavirus after a staffer in his office tested positive. Civil Beat.

DOH Reports 140 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Health on Monday reported 140 news cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 3,638 cases since testing began in late February. Big Island Now.

Military and their family account for 7% of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases. In the first acknowledgement of its kind, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said military members and their families in Hawaii represent approximately 7% of the total COVID-19 cases for the state — meaning about 204 as of Thursday’s statewide count of 2,914 since the start of the outbreak. Star-Advertiser.


‘Out of control': Union grievance filed against DOH as criticism of pandemic response builds. The union that represents state contact tracers has filed an official grievance against Health Department management, saying top government health officials have lied to the public how many tracers are actually on the job. Hawaii News Now.

HGEA grievance cites just 15 contact tracers on Oahu, where COVID-19 cases are surging. The Hawaii Government Employees Association has filed a grievance against the state Department of Health alleging that there are only 15 epidemiological specialists on Oahu and three on the neighbor islands to perform contact tracing for thousands of potential COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii governor appoints new directors as labor head resigns. Democratic Gov. David Ige said Monday he appointed a new interim director of the state Department of Taxation and an acting director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Associated Press.

Labor Director Resigns, Former Lawmaker To Head Tax Department. Gov. David Ige announced new cabinet members Monday. Civil Beat.

Head of State Labor Department Resigns After Two Months on Leave. The state director charged with overseeing jobless benefits for Hawai‘i residents has resigned after months of being on leave amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Scott Murakami resigns as head of Hawaii Labor Department after 2 months on leave. Scott Murakami, the director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, resigned his post on Wednesday, Gov. David Ige said today. Star-Advertiser.


University of Hawaii community asked to shift coursework online as much as possible. The University of Hawaii, which already planned for mostly online instruction this fall, asked faculty and students today to reduce in-person coursework as much as possible given the rise in COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Corrections Workers Fear Infection As COVID-19 Outbreak Grows. With six inmates and three staff already testing positive, OCCC staff worry the prison system is unprepared to control the virus. Civil Beat.


Hawaii’s inter-island travel quarantine will be reinstated on Tuesday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. But the rules are a little different this time. For one, travel to Oahu is not restricted. But if you’re flying to any other island, you’ll need to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Reminder: partial interisland travel quarantine goes into effect Aug 11. Due to rising COVID-19 cases in the state, Governor David Ige has instituted a partial interisland quarantine which goes into effect Tuesday, Aug 11. KHON2.


State launches Buy Hawaii website to promote local products. The state has launched Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha. KHON2.


Record primary election sees 99% of votes cast by mail-in ballots. In Hawaii’s largest effort at mail-in ballots, island voters overwhelmingly made their preference known last week, while potentially delivering a death sentence for the time-honored tradition of in-person voting. Star-Advertiser.

Outsider Candidates Win Big In Mayoral Primaries In Two Counties. On both Oahu and Hawaii Island, voters opted for outsiders of experience in contests to narrow down the field of candidates for county mayor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Post Primary Election Talk With Kai Kahele. Kahele made his remarks following the Hawaiʻi County Democratic Party Unity Breakfast, held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Video News.


Honolulu police issue about 1,350 citations for COVID-19 violations on Oahu. Honolulu police issued about 1,350 citations over the weekend to alleged violators of the newly instituted COVID-19 emergency orders. Star-Advertiser.

A Heart Of Gold’: The Other Side Of Accused Crime Boss Michael Miske. The Hawaii businessman charged with racketeering and murder convinced several people to write letters on his behalf so that he can get out on bail while awaiting trial. Star-Advertiser.


2 Princeton graduates are trying to turn a Waikiki hotel into a college dorm. It's called "The U Experience," and according to the program's website, it's supposed to help the mental health of students by getting them out of their homes and house them in resorts as they complete their coursework online. KITV4.

Study in paradise? Mainland students are being recruited for a ‘college bubble’ in Waikiki. Community concern is quickly spreading over proposed plans for a so-called “college bubble” at a Waikiki hotel. Hawaii News Now.


State sweeps Iwilei homeless encampment near Nimitz Highway. A private contractor for the state removed on Monday appliances and other items from the sidewalk along North Nimitz Highway where a homeless encampment has grown to about a dozen tents. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR closes Oahu state hiking trails due to COVID surge. All trails in state forest lands on Oahu are now closed, effective immediately, in response to “12 straight days of triple-digit new positive COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, most of them on Oahu,” the state DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) announced today in a press release. Star-Advertiser.

The city advances an $80 million plan to turn Kapalama Canal into a recreation area. The city is advancing plans to turn an old utilitarian flood-control canal in Kapalama into an inviting mile-long public recreation destination. Star-Advertiser.

HTA funding will help restore a palace feature tied to Kalakaua’s 1883 coronation. Some overdue maintenance at Iolani Palace is finally underway thanks to a grant from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Among the projects at the palace: A restoration of the landmark pavilion on the palace grounds. Hawaii News Now.

How Is Oahu’s Trash Impacting the Waianae Coast? Debates within the Nanukuli and Maili community about a possible landfill expansion are heating up. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roth sweeps most Big Island precincts: Kim doesn’t win a single precinct, analysis shows. Mayor Harry Kim didn’t prevail in a single one of the Big Island’s 43 voting precincts while coming in third behind two of the 14 challengers for the county’s top elected post. West Hawaii Today.

Interactive precinct web map can be found here.

Kim reflects on his time in office, offers advice to next mayor. When the clock strikes noon on Dec. 7, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim will leave the job he’s done for a dozen years in two stretches. Tribune-Herald.

Partial Inter-island Quarantine Begins Today On Hawaiʻi Island. As of Tuesday, all travelers arriving in the County of Hawai‘i must follow a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine, as the State of Hawaiʻi tries to limit the spread of COVID-19. Big Island Video News.

Miloliʻi Beach Park Improvements Planned, Draft EA Posted. The County wants to bring the South Kona shoreline park into compliance with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Big Island Video News.


Lynn DeCoite and Walter Ritte wait out recount in state House race. The state Office of Elections was holding a mandatory vote recount Monday in a too-close-to-call Democratic primary race between incumbent Rep. Lynn De­Coite and challenger Walter Ritte for the state House District 13 representing Lanai, Molokai, and Paia and Hana, Maui. Star-Advertiser.

DeCoite leads Ritte by 91 votes as recount is planned. Incumbent winning on Molokai and Lanai, Ritte takes East Maui. Maui News.


West Kaua‘i Community Plan comes with code amendments. Last week, Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull introduced six bills to complement the newly proposed West Kaua‘i Community Plan by amending the Kaua‘i County Code’s comprehensive zoning ordinances. Garden Island.

Public input sought for Kapa‘a skate park.  A new design for the Kapa‘a skate park is on the horizon, and public input is being collected to figure out what exactly the community would like to shred their wheels on next. Garden Island.

Kapa‘a food pantry reopens. The Kaua‘i Community Pantry is now open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. for customers who must register and then get help with the no-touch shopping that includes pointing out desired items for the pantry volunteer to package. Garden Island.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Hawaii shows that mail-in voting can work. Record turnout, smooth election. Plus latest COVID-19 counts and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

More than 406,000 ballots were cast. That’s a record number for a Hawaii primary. More than half of Hawaii’s registered voters, about 51 percent, cast their ballots in the state’s first mail-in primary. According to Political Analyst, Colin Moore, the last time we saw a turnout like this was in 1996. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees more than 40 percent increase in voter turnout with all mail-in primary. This year's primary saw a record turn out in voters for the state. Over 400,000 ballots were cast in this election compared to 286,000 in the 2018 primary, a 42 percent increase in voters. KITV4.

The Primary That Upset Hawaii’s Mango Cart. A desire for new blood felled or threatened political veterans and fueled the campaigns of hungry newcomers, all under a new system of voting. Civil Beat.

2020 Primary Election Results. KITV4.

Primary Election: Official state and county votes can be found here.


How Bad Is Hawaii At Social Distancing? Here’s What The Data Shows. Mobility data gives us a clearer picture of just how much people have been moving around during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s weak contact tracing effort is hindering the control of coronavirus’ spread. Jendrick Paul, president of the Marshallese Community Organization of Hawaii, said Sunday that he’s worried state Department of Health contact tracers can’t keep up with the surge of coronavirus cases in Hawaii’s tightknit Pacific Islander community. Star-Advertiser.

The State Has A Plan For When To Reopen Or Reclose. Why Aren’t We Following It? Available data suggests Oahu should impose stricter measures, according to the state’s plan. Civil Beat.

‘We are super spreaders,’ says Dr. Scott Miscovich. Hawaii is veering into “super spreader” territory with the rise in COVID-19 cases. Hawaii health officials reported 152 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 3,498. Star-Advertiser.

152 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i (O‘ahu 147, Big Island 3, Maui 1, Kaua‘i 1). Hawai‘i has recorded another triple-digit day for new COVID-19 cases in the state.  Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 9: 152 New Cases. Nearly all the cases were on Oahu, where hospitals are preparing for a surge in patients. Civil Beat.

The Latest: 152 New Cases; Health Director: Expect More Deaths As Surge Continues; 3 Inmates Positive. Hawaii Public Radio.


Updated results confirm November runoffs for Blangiardi and Amemiya, and Alm and Kau. Honolulu mayoral candidates Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya are headed to a Nov. 3 runoff with 25.6% and 20.2% of the vote respectively. Colleen Hanabusa remained in third place with 18.4% of the vote. Star-Advertiser.

Voters set up runoff for mayor between political newcomers: Blangiardi and Amemiya. Oahu voters, apparently fed up with the status quo and facing an uncertain economic outlook, threw their support in Saturday’s primary election behind two first-time political candidates who have promised change and a fresh perspective to old problems. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi and Amemiya discuss plans heading into Hawaii’s general election. Two mayoral candidates will be moving on to Hawaii’s general elections in November.  KHON2.

Tupola, Say win City Council seat outright; Espero and Augie T. advance to general. Former state representative and one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Andria Tupola shot out to an insurmountable lead in her race for the Honolulu City Council’s District I seat early on Saturday night, handily winning the seat. Hawaii News Now.

Alm, Kau proceed to general election runoff in race for city prosecutor. Retired Judge Steve Alm and defense attorney Megan Kau will proceed to a general election runoff in the race for city prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.


Total of 6 inmates, 3 adult corrections officers at OCCC test positive for COVID-19. The Department of Public Safety confirms the number of COVID-19 cases at OCCC continues to grow. Hawaii News Now.

Liquor Commission shuts down 10 establishments for violating Mayor’s rules. The Honolulu Liquor Commission is strictly enforcing the mayor’s latest orders for bars to close down for three weeks. Hawaii News Now.

Several Hawaii breweries disagree with liquor commission shutting them down. Under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s order issued at the end of July, he ordered the shut down of all bars for at least three weeks. KHON2.

Walmart Keeaumoku closes for cleaning; will reopen on Tuesday. The company confirmed the closure began at 2 p.m. on Sunday and will remain in place through Monday. It will reopen at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Walmart would not confirm if this was in response to a positive case in an employee or not. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth, Marzo face runoff after defeating Kim for mayor. A countywide elected official with experience running a large government agency, or a fresh face with no government experience at all? That’s the choice facing Hawaii County voters in the Nov. 3 general election when they decide who will be the county mayor. West Hawaii Today.

Waltjen wins prosecutor’s race, narrowly avoids November runoff. Deputy Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen narrowly averted a runoff in the race for Hawaii County prosecutor after the second printout of primary election results was released Saturday night. Tribune-Herald.

County mulls suing companies for damage caused by climate change. While the Hawaii County Council passed a resolution last Wednesday to join a lawsuit by the City and County of Honolulu against a collective of fossil fuel companies, Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela said last week that the county will likely not join the Honolulu lawsuit but instead consider pursuing its own lawsuit. Tribune-Herald.


Incumbents easily take top spots in council races. Maui County Council incumbents easily captured the most votes in three separate three-way races Saturday night. Maui News.

DeCoite leads Ritte by 91 votes in latest tally, though recount pending. Rep. Lynn DeCoite staved off a strong challenge from activist Walter Ritte in a Democratic race for House District 13 in a contest, though both candidates were awaiting the results of a mandatory recount Monday before calling the race. Maui News.

Hawaii 2020 Primary Election Results: Fourth Printout (11:44 a.m. Update). Maui Now.

Medical, work exemptions for quarantine order can be requested for trips to Maui County. Starting August 11, the partial quarantine order will take place. KHON2.


On to the general election. Kaua‘i voter turnout was slightly less than the statewide turnout for the primary election, but 49% of registered voters had their ballots counted on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

County directors weigh in on housing resources. On Kaua‘i, there are 716 individuals receiving direct rental assistance through the county. Garden Island.

Solid Waste Division OT over budget again. The county Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division had a total overtime budget of $227,000 in fiscal year 2020. Garden Island.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Interisland travel quarantine returns, Honolulu closes parks and beaches, hospitals near capacity as COVID-19 climbs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook livestream
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, Facebook live
14-day interisland quarantine returns. COVID-19 cases rising rapidly — including 152 cases and two deaths announced Thursday — Gov. David Ige imposed a partial 14-day quarantine on interisland travel effective Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Interisland Travel Quarantine Is Coming Back, Oahu Beaches And Parks To Close Again. Oahu crackdown begins Saturday, with partial interisland travel quarantine to follow on Tuesday. Gov. David Ige says an announcement on schools and colleges is coming soon. Civil Beat.

Inter-island quarantine reinstated for neighbor island travel after Oahu cases spike. On Thursday, Gov. David Ige said the 14-day interisland quarantine will be reinstated for all inter-island travelers. KHON2.

Ige reinstates quarantine; Anderson warns virus cases could top 500 daily. State officials are clamping down on interisland travel in an effort to steer Hawaii away from the precipice of a medical crisis. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Inter-Island Travel Quarantine To Go Back In Effect. As COVID-19 cases surge on Oʻahu, the governor announced the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling interisland will be reinstituted effective next Tuesday, August 11. Big Island Video News.

Interisland Travel Quarantine Reinstated, as Restrictions Return in Force to O‘ahu. Big Island Now.

Interisland quarantine coming back. Governor David Ige on Thursday announced the reinstatement of a partial interisland travel quarantine effective Tuesday, Aug. 11, prompted by a statewide surge of COVID-19 cases and discussions with county mayors. Garden Island.

Interisland travel quarantine to restart Tuesday, Ige says. Gov. David Ige announced today that the mandatory 14-day interisland travel quarantine will be reinstated beginning Tuesday. Maui News.

Governor Reinstates Interisland Quarantine for Arrivals on Neighbor Islands, Starting Aug. 11. Governor David Ige this afternoon announced he is reinstating the mandatory 14-day interisland travel quarantine for anyone traveling interisland. Maui Now.


Governor Ige and officials take action, implement restrictions to combat spread of COVID-19. Governor David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, and Honolulu's Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto held a press conference on Thursday to discuss the actions the state plans to take to combat the spread of COVID-19. KITV4.

The Latest: 2 More Deaths, 152 Cases; Governor OKs Rollback On Interisland Travel, Oahu Reopening. Starting Tuesday, the 14-day mandatory quarantine for interisland travel will be reinstated, Gov. David Ige announced today. Restrictions on Oahu also will return, including closure of city and state parks and beaches starting tomorrow at midnight and extending to Sept. 4. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor noncommittal on next steps for schools, trans-Pacific travel plans. During a news conference Thursday, as coronavirus cases across the state continue to soar, Gov. David Ige declined to address how the latest set of measures designed to prevent large gatherings would apply to Hawaii’s public schools, or to his plans to re-open trans-Pacific travel, with new testing protocols in place, on Sept. 1. Hawaii News Now.


Oahu doctor says hospitals are near capacity. The impact of coronavirus on Hawaii hospitals was gradual compared to other states, but the latest spike in cases is now being felt among doctors and nurses. KHON2.

The decision to close parks and beaches on Oahu and reinstate an inter-island traveler quarantine was fueled by alarms set off by Hawaii’s hospitals. Hilton Raethel, CEO and president of Healthcare Association of Hawaii, said Kaiser Moanalua was at maximum capacity two days with both COVID-19 and regular patients in every ICU bed. Hawaii News Now.


COVID-19 Has Overwhelmed One Essential Strategy To Control The Virus. State and local officials who warned months ago that the state needed more contact tracers are frustrated and angry with the state health department. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials update COVID-19 figures to 152 new coronavirus cases following deaths of 2 Oahu residents. The Hawaii Department of Health reported late this afternoon that today’s statewide new coronavirus case tally is 152, with 148 of those on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 6: 2 Deaths And 152 Cases. UPDATED: The state initially reported 53 cases because it was missing test results from a private laboratory. Civil Beat.


State has paid $2.6B in jobless claims. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Thursday announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $2,620,848,963 for 2,464,674 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 1. Garden Island.

Thousands Languish Without Unemployment Checks Months Into Pandemic. The state labor department says it can’t just ramp up staffing overnight, but applicants are growing more desperate. Civil Beat.

Do you have the right to know if a coworker tests positive for COVID-19? With the recent spike in coronavirus cases, legal experts say more and more employees want to know what their rights are if a co-worker tests positive. Hawaii News Now.

Mail Voter Turnout Already Exceeds 2016 Primary, Edging Pass 2018. Voter turnout for the 2020 primary is on its way to surpassing participation in both the 2016 and 2018 elections across the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

HEI posts profit as customers struggle to make payments. Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s net income rose 15% in the second quarter as it postponed utility maintenance work and made accounting adjustments to make up for customers behind on their electricity bills and homeowners in arrears on their mortgages. Star-Advertiser.

Major Hawaii retail landlord A&B takes hit on unpaid rent. Honolulu-based A&B on Thursday reported a $4.7 million net loss for the three months ended June 30, up from a $1.2 million loss in the same period last year. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu beaches, parks and team sports will be halted once more. Oahu parks and beaches, which reopened in May, will be closed again, starting 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Parks and beaches to close, partial inter-island quarantine reinstated amid COVID-19 surge. An inter-island traveler quarantine will be reinstated, Oahu beaches and parks will be closed, and Honolulu police will dramatically dial up enforcement of emergency orders as part of a broad new push to rein in the island’s surge of COVID-19 cases. Hawaii News Now.

New restrictions with more enforcement on Oahu as COVID cases surge. On Oahu, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that all parks, beaches, and other places where large gatherings take place will be closed starting Saturday until September 4. KHON2.


Honolulu Police Department to crack down on rule breakers. Honolulu police will ramp up enforcement starting this weekend for quarantine breakers and violators of newly instituted emergency proclamation orders as Oahu sees a surge in COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Police chief says her officers will cite, arrest those who ignore emergency orders. Police Chief Susan Ballard is pledging strong, islandwide enforcement of planned park and beach closures on Oahu that begin at midnight Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Police union president "relieved" by new COVID-19 response unit. Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard said Thursday the department is bolstering strategic enforcement of COVID-19-related restrictions with a team of 160 officers. KITV4.

LIST: Here’s what the city and state are closing on Oahu to rein in the spread of COVID-19. City and state parks and beaches on Oahu will be closed at midnight Friday as government officials try to prevent people from gathering and spreading COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Member of Honolulu City Council support staff tests positive for COVID-19. City Clerk Glen Takahashi said the person, whom he declined to identify due to medical privacy issues, works in the Office of City Clerk’s Council Support Services Division on the second floor of Honolulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

3 more coronavirus cases brings HFD total to 11. The Honolulu Fire Department has confirmed another firefighter from the Moanalua Fire Station and two more firefighters from the Kalihi Kai Fire Station have tested positive for COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Navy confirms positive coronavirus cases. The United States Navy confirmed on Thursday that crew members at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility tested positive for coronavirus. KITV4.

COVID-19 present in wastewater treatment plants on Oahu. Once a week, the city takes samples from its nine waste water facilities, then it's sent to a lab for COVID-19 testing. KITV4.

Mail-in ballots pushing Honolulu votes to historic high. Saturday represents the last chance to drop off your ballot — and even register and vote on the same day — to make sure your vote is counted in the primary election, which is already breaking records on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales still light but showed improvement in July. Oahu’s housing market remained depressed in July, though new sales data shows the severity of the decline is easing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council members get $100,000 CARES money each to give to constituents. A fast-tracked resolution unanimously approved Wednesday gives each County Council member $100,000 in federal coronavirus relief money to distribute to constituents, without competitive bids or public notice. West Hawaii Today.

Judge takes motion for partial summary judgment in Maunakea Access Road lawsuit ‘under advisement’. A motion seeking partial summary judgment against the state over its management of land around the Maunakea Access Road was heard Tuesday in Honolulu. West Hawaii Today.

South Kohala District Court to Reopen Aug. 18. The South Kohala District Court, which has been closed since Aug. 4 due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, will reopen on Aug. 18. Big Island Now.

Amazon Air expands operations to Kona International Airport. Hawaii Island residents ordering products via Amazon can expect faster shipping following the start of Amazon Air operations Thursday at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. West Hawaii Today.


Front Street Apartments case could be decided soon. Decision focuses on whether rents stay affordable or go market rates. Maui News.

Amazon Air Announces New Regional Gateways at Kahului and Kona Airports. Amazon Air begins operations today at Kahului Airport on Maui and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole on Hawaiʻi Island. Maui Now.


KFD addresses pension spiking. In February, the Mayor’s Office ordered the Kaua‘i Fire Department to suspend most overtime and nonessential expenditures to curb pension spiking, which has penalized the county consistently over the last few years. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

County mayors seek return of inter-island quarantine as Oahu COVID-19 cases spike, Green warns ICU could be overrun, airports install thermal screening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Thermal screening at Honolulu airport PC:Screen grab from HDOT video
New thermal cameras now helping scan passengers in Hawaii’s airports. New thermal screening cameras have been installed at Hawaii airports that welcome trans-Pacific travelers to detect anyone who may have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Hawaii News Now.

Thermal Screening Now In Use At Hawaii Airports. The Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division announced on Wednesday that thermal temperature screening equipment is now in use to help detect passengers with a temperature of 100.4 degrees and above. Big Island Video News.


Pressure builds to impose COVID-19 restrictions. The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to another triple-digit record on Oahu Wednesday, placing further pressure on Gov. David Ige and other top officials to impose tighter restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease. Star-Advertiser.


Neighbor Island Mayors Want Ige To Reinstate Interisland Quarantine. The mayors also asked the governor to keep schools closed until September. Civil Beat.

Mayors call for further restrictions on neighbor island travel. County mayors in Hawaii are taking action to slow down the spread of the virus within their communities, at least two mayors have requested for the governor to reimpose the two-week quarantine for all arrivals. KHON2.

Inter-island quarantine requested. Mayor Derek Kawakami, along with Mayors Harry Kim and Mike Victorino, are requesting Governor David Ige reinstate the 14-day quarantine for inter-island travel after the state reported 900 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week. Garden Island.

Neighbor Island mayors to governor: Reinstate inter-island quarantine, keep schools closed. Hawaii’s three Neighbor Island mayors are urging the governor to reinstate a mandatory quarantine for inter-island travel and keep public schools closed. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Renews Push for Interisland Quarantine. Citing concern over ongoing triple digit daily COVID-19 counts on the island of Oʻahu, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is renewing his request to reinstate the interisland travel quarantine. This comes after an initial request made nearly two weeks ago on Friday July 24, amid record increases in cases statewide. Maui Now.


In ‘sobering’ warning, Lt. Gov. Green says Hawaii ICUs could be full by the end of the month. Hospitals in the islands could soon be on the verge of running out of intensive care space as COVID-19 infections surge on Oahu, public health officials warn. Hawaii News Now.

Green warns of COVID-19 hospital surge. An additional 173 new cases of COVID-19 were announced Wednesday, pushing the state’s total case count to 2,389 as Lt. Gov. Josh Green warned of an impending hospital surge. West Hawaii Today.

Expect COVID-19 hospitalization spike in 1-2 weeks, says health experts. Officials say they are concerned that the consistently high COVID-19 numbers on Oahu may lead to more hospitalizations, and that this could overburden the hospital system. KHON2.


Hawaii leaders are pleading with residents to help prevent COVID-19 spread. With yet another triple-digit increase in COVID-19 cases, calls to bring back the stay-at-home order are growing. KHON2.

Health expert says a potential second lockdown is not Hawaii's only option to turning things around. Hawaii is again bracing for a possible shutdown. KITV4.

Crucial Public Information Missing To Create A Local COVID-19 Model. As Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases surge, there is still no direction from Gov. David Ige on what should trigger the restrictions to help stop the virus, and when things can ease again. Hawaii Public Radio.

State To Publish New COVID-19 Prevention And Testing Data. New metrics will include face mask compliance and turnaround times for lab tests. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmaker, union looking into California law regarding COVID-19 reporting. Hawaii House of Representatives Labor Chair Aaron Johanson thinks that Hawaii’s ability to contact trace could be dwindling, prompting him to consider legislation like California. KHON2.

Widespread, Frequent COVID-19 Testing ‘Can Wipe This Off The Planet’. Amid surging cases and widespread dissatisfaction with Gov. David Ige’s plans for schools and tourism, doctors and economists want ramped-up testing. Civil Beat.

Thousands of emergency order citations, many given to homeless, are being dismissed. Prosecutors in Honolulu and Maui county have begun dismissing thousands of citations issued by police for violations of emergency stay-at-home orders. Hawaii News Now.

Petition urging Governor Ige to demand RIMPAC cancellation receives more than 12,000 signatures. Though it will be scaled-back, the world's largest maritime warfare exercise is scheduled to take place in Hawaii's waters this month. KITV4.

Economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics joined Spotlight Hawaii today to talk about the state’s economic outlook in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Brewbaker argued that containing the virus and bringing the case count back down is the only way to ultimately revive the economy, even if that means a temporary shutdown of activity and more economic pain in the short run. Star-Advertiser.

Surge in virus cases highlights disparities for Pacific Islanders. Pacific Islanders make up just 4% of Hawaii’s population but represent 27% of the islands’ latest COVID-19 cases, far more than any ethnic group. Star-Advertiser.

Jury trials postponed to Oct. 2 after ‘concerning spike’ in Hawaii COVID-19 cases. All jury trials have been postponed until after Oct. 2 after a “concerning spike” in COVID-19 cases, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald ordered today. Star-Advertiser.


Supreme Court Hears Challenge To Lawmakers’ Gut-And-Replace Tactics. Advocates for greater transparency say the process leaves the public in the dark. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Supreme Court hears arguments about lawmakers’ use of controversial gut-and-replace tactic. The state Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about the Legislature’s practice of stripping a bill of its original content and substituting entirely different content, a process known as gut-and-replace. Tribune-Herald.

Court eyes ‘gut-and-replace’ gambit. The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case involving what is known as a “gut-and-replace bill” that passed the state Legislature in 2018 and was enacted as Act 84. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii top court hears arguments over ‘gut and replace’ laws. Attorneys argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday over how much lawmakers should allow the public to weigh in on legislation as laws are being drafted and voted on. Associated Press.


Case, Kahele Raised $1.4 Million Despite A Lack Of Competition. They received hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interest groups and those with strong ties to the business community. Civil Beat.

Iwamoto Challenges Speaker Saiki For Hawaii House Seat. It’s the first time in eight years that the race has been contested in the Democratic primary. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Democrats Select Lobbyist as New Party Chair. Tyler Dos Santos-Tam succeeds Kate Stanley for a new two-year term. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Homeless Voters Face Hurdles With All-Mail System. In Hawaii and other states, homeless people and the service providers who help them face hurdles when it comes to voting. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Community Foundation disburses $721K to local nonprofits. Hawaii Community Foundation is distributing $721,000 in aid to 39 nonprofits across the Islands, using funds from the the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, that will support food security efforts in Native Hawaiian communities statewide. Pacific Business News.

Matson finds profit in China amid Hawaii’s economic downturn. The Honolulu-based company said it earned $32.8 million in the period, up from $18.4 million in the same three months last year, while revenue slipped to $524 million from $558 million. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii counts 173 new coronavirus cases, all on Oahu. The state Department of Health reported 173 new coronavirus cases today, all on Oahu, bringing the statewide total since the outbreak began to 2,763. Star-Advertiser.

The Latest: 173 New Cases. The state Department of Health reported 173 new COVID-19 cases today. All are on Oahu and reflects another triple-digit day of new infections. Hawaii Public Radio.


Majority of Honolulu Council Seats Open, Election Could Set City's Future Direction. Five of the nine Honolulu City Council seats are up for grabs and the city’s next four years hinges on this election. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘A few’ employees at Manoa McDonalds have COVID-19, company confirms. Multiple employees at the Manoa McDonalds have tested positive for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii sheriff tests positive for COVID-19. A deputy sheriff for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety has tested positive for COVID-19, representing the first department employee confirmed to have the virus. Star-Advertiser.

Deputy Sheriff Tests Positive for COVID-19 on O‘ahu. A deputy sheriff with Hawai‘i Department of Safety has tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced Wednesday. Big Island Now.


52 WWII vets expected for end-of-war commemoration on Oahu as virus worries mount. With a Japanese helicopter destroyer, the battleship Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial behind them, officials announced Wednesday that 52 World War II veterans plan to attend events on Oahu marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the deadliest conflict in human history. Star-Advertiser.


Ship returns from Great Pacific Garbage Patch with 67 tons of plastic trash. In the fierce midday sun at Kewalo Basin Harbor Wednesday, elephantine mounds of algae-wrapped, tar-stained, red and yellow cordage, poison-green fishing nets and bleached consumer plastics in various stages of decay were being unloaded from the weatherbeaten hull of the tall-masted cargo ship KWAI, which had returned to Honolulu that morning with its hold bearing 67 tons of marine trash collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during 35 days at sea. Star-Advertiser.

67 more tons of marine debris has been removed from the Pacific. Environmentalists chipping away at the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” returned to land Wednesday after 35 days at sea. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council passes construction code: New framework makes one permit for building, electric, plumbing and energy codes. Factory-built housing will continue to be allowed in Hawaii County’s new construction code, but with extra restrictions following a unanimous vote Wednesday by the County Council after a protracted discussion. West Hawaii Today.

Council approves conservation tax incentive measure. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill to provide tax incentives for property owners to set aside land for conservation purposes. Tribune-Herald.


Five Hawaii Fire Department personnel sidelined after battalion chief tests positive for COVID-19. The battalion chief was headquartered at the Waikoloa Fire Station and asymptomatic at the time of testing. West Hawaii Today.

HFD Battalion Chief Tests Positive for COVID-19. A Hawai‘i Fire Department Battalion Chief assigned to the 2nd Battalion headquartered at the Waikoloa Fire Station has tested positive for COVID-19. Big Island Now.

Traveling Physician, Nurse Meant For KCH Test Positive For Coronavirus. Two traveling healthcare professionals meant for employment at Kona Community Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus. Big Island Now.


South Maui affordable housing project heading to full council. Kilohana Makai plans 28 single-family homes near Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. Maui News.

Maui Police Officer Death Investigation Underway. An investigation is underway into the death of a 44-year-old male officer with the Maui Police Department. Maui Now.

Maui-built bio lab prepares for second launch in 2021. Mobile SpaceLab was launched in February and returned in April. A mobile space lab designed and largely fabricated in Central Maui successfully returned from orbit in April, and now the team of engineers and biologists are preparing for its second mission to continue conducting experiments on the International Space Station. Maui News.


COVID quarantine violation in Wainiha. Kaua‘i police arrested 64-year-old Michael Rowan of Wainiha on Tuesday for violating Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine emergency rules pertaining to COVID-19. Garden Island.

Finding solutions for eroded path. The county is considering four possible courses of action to address erosion on the multi-use Ke Ala Hele Makalae path for a section at Lydgate Park. Garden Island.


Oahu workers who went to Lanai positive for virus. Pulama Lana‘i employees who may have been exposed now in quarantine Maui News.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hawaii hospitals near capacity as coronavirus rages, voters get ballots in early, renters fear evictions, counties pursue resort bubbles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Javier Matheu on Unsplash
Hospital scene PC:Javier Matheu on Unsplash
Hawaii’s hospitals could hit capacity in a week, health care leader warns. If the three-digit surge in novel coronavirus cases over the past week continues for the next seven to 10 days, Hawaii’s existing hospital capacity will be at risk of being overwhelmed, as happened in New York, Ray Vara, CEO and president of Hawaii Pacific Health, said Tuesday, when 144 new cases were announced by the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Hospital CEO Warns Hawaii On Track To Exceed Health System Capacity. After a record-breaking 207 new cases of coronavirus logged by the Department of Health on Monday, the head of a local hospital group warns that Hawaii is on track to outstrip its hospital capacity. Hawaii Public Radio.

The number of COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized in Hawaii jumped significantly Tuesday to 138. That’s up from 75 over the last week. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said a surge in new COVID-19 cases are starting to fill up hospitals. Hawaii News Now.


Lt. Governor Josh Green says another lockdown is imminent. “We’re within ten days of having to have a shutdown,” the Lieutenant Governor said. KITV4.

Officials warn of dire consequences if state cannot get outbreak under control. Lt. Gov. Josh Green suggested Tuesday that Gov. David Ige is likely to push back the loosening of out-of-state travel restrictions as the state buckles under an ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases. Tribune-Herald.


Illegal eviction threats on rise in Hawaii, groups say. Legal advocates are stepping up efforts against landlords who violate Hawaii’s moratorium on residential renter evictions over unpaid bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Renters being told to pay up or move out during pandemic could get legal aid. Advocacy groups say more landlords are violating the emergency eviction ban that's meant to keep people housed and safe during this public health crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Eviction Moratorium Isn’t Saving These Tenants. Nonprofits say they are being overwhelmed with calls from desperate renters and worry about a public housing rule that mandates social distancing, with the threat of eviction. Civil Beat.

Landlords, tenants clash despite eviction moratorium. A group of tenants’ rights organizations is warning Hawaii landlords they might face legal consequences for attempting to evict tenants during the state of emergency. Tribune-Herald.

Tenant Advocates Raise Concerns Over Violation of Eviction Moratorium. Families statewide continue to be under threat of losing their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite the governor’s moratorium on evictions. Big Island Now.


Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Hawaii Voters Don’t Like School, Tourism Reopen Plans. Most think travel and other restrictions have worked. Meanwhile, Biden is far more popular than Trump, in part because of their very different views on COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Fundraising On Hold During Pandemic For Gubernatorial Contenders. The leading candidates took in a lot of money last year, but have essentially paused fundraising for the governor’s race, records show. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Human Services Director Stepping Down. The governor announced that Cathy Betts will lead the Department of Human Services. Civil Beat.

Director delayed exit to help with pandemic, in latest state helm change. The head of one of the state’s largest departments — Human Services — is stepping down, this after both the labor and tax departments recently had turnover at the top. KHON2.


Hawaiian Electric sets goal to expedite fleet vehicle electrification. Hawaiian Electric set an ambitious goal to electrify its fleet of more than 400 passenger vehicles across five islands by 2035. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s military COVID-19 case count still a mystery. Amid worsening COVID-19 and ongoing concerns about social distancing, the state Health Department continues to follow the lead of the Pentagon in not releasing statewide coronavirus statistics for the military. Star-Advertiser.

Stricter rules implemented for Hawaii public housing to prevent spread of COVID-19. It's a response to 20 people at ten of its sites on O'ahu receiving positive test results and a cluster at Kuhio Park Terrace Towers. KITV4.


VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 4: 144 New Cases And 1 Death Reported. The death of a Honolulu man brought the state’s coronavirus-related death toll to 27. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 27th coronavirus fatality, another triple-digit jump in COVID-19 infections. Hawaii reported its 27th coronavirus-related fatality on Tuesday as it also grappled with a worsening surge of new COVID-19 cases. Hawaii News Now.

The Latest: 1 Death, 144 Cases; State's Shift On Contact Tracing; City Cracks Down On Big Gatherings. The state Department of Health reported Hawaii's 27th death and 144 new COVID-19 cases today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates For August 4th: 144 New Cases, 1 New Death. The State of Hawaiʻi announced another triple digit day of newly reported COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, as well as the 27th death in Hawaiʻi associated with the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii records 27th coronavirus-related death and another triple-digit increase in cases. The state Department of Health today announced Hawaii’s 27th coronavirus-related death, a Honolulu man between 40 and 59-years-old who had underlying medical conditions. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell warns of more coronavirus restrictions. With the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations climbing dramatically, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday warned that he might have to take further action to close down certain activities and businesses to keep the situation from getting worse. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor pleads with Honolulu residents to lower community spread. An eighth Honolulu firefighter tested positive for COVID-19, while Mayor Kirk Caldwell pleaded with Oahu residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines as the number of cases keeps jumping. KHON2.

Honolulu first responders stretched thin due to COVID-19. With questions arising recently about enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions across the City and County of Honolulu, SHOPO and Mayor Kirk Caldwell say that HPD is going to enforce as many of the mandates as possible. KHON2.


Caldwell: Top City Official Who’s Subject Of An FBI Investigation Will Remain On The Job. The mayor said Managing Director Roy Amemiya is needed now more than ever. Civil Beat.

Oahu Voters Have Already Cast More Ballots Than In 2016 Primary. Statewide turnout is ahead of early voting in past years as Hawaii conducts its first all-mail election. Civil Beat.

Oahu voter turnout surpasses 2016 total with 4 days to spare. The number of Oahu voters who have turned in their primary election ballots has exceeded the total number of votes cast in the 2016 primary, according to numbers released by the city Elections Division late Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

What To Do If You Haven’t Received Your Mail-In Ballot Yet. Civil Beat.


Construction Helps Drive the Local Economy in Tourism’s Absence. Projects big and small, public and private, keep construction as the major economic sector with the fewest layoffs. Hawaii Business magazine

Processing of residential building permits on Oahu is expected to be easier under changes that have been put into place by the city Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.


Vlogger arrested for violating Hawaii's quarantine rule ordered to make social media PSA. As part of Mika Salamanca's deferred guilty plea, the court ordered her to do a public service announcement on her social media accounts that Hawaii officials must approve. KITV4.

Kapi'olani Community College reports a student tested positive for COVID-19. The student was last on campus on July 30th. KITV4.

With teachers back on campus, staff member at Iliahi Elementary tests positive for covid. A confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported in a staff member at Iliahi Elementary School in Wahiawa. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ballots pouring in: Elections Division machines sort, count ballots. Deep in the basement of the county building in Hilo, a mammoth machine whizzes through up to 18,000 ballot envelopes an hour, slices them open, time- and date-stamps them, checks the thickness to ensure they contain ballots, verifies signatures and sorts them by precinct. West Hawaii Today.

Conversations on Geofence, Resort Bubbles Move Forward. Conversations between Hawai‘i County and Big Island resort concerns are moving forward on the concept of a resort bubble that could allow tourists to return safely to the island, but questions around the proposal continue to outnumber answers. Big Island Now.

Honua Ola and Life of the Land square off again. Motions are filed with the Public Utilities Commission on both sides in Honua Ola Bioenergy’s continued legal battle to get the almost-completed 21.5-megawatt biomass power plant in Pepeekeo online. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 case tied to Hilo dialysis center confirmed; Waimea courthouse employee also tests positive. A case of COVID-19 associated with Liberty Dialysis in Hilo was confirmed, although officials on Tuesday would not say whether the case was in a patient or staff member. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 Hits Kaʻu Coffee Farmers With No Federal Aid In Sight. Harvest season is just around the corner for Hawaiʻi’s coffee farmers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out much of the market to sell what local coffee growers are producing. Hawaii Public Radio.


Visitor officials looking at ‘resort bubbles’. Industry official says it’s the ‘best Plan B’. The visitor industry on Maui is looking at creating “resort bubbles” or “geo-fencing” with visitor arrivals down 99 percent in June and the Sept. 1 lifting of the quarantine requirement for trans-Pacific travelers looking dimmer as new COVID-19 cases statewide hit triple digits daily. Maui News.

Ten of the 23 shelters at Waiale park are occupied. 64-square-foot units holds 2 beds, power and air conditioning. The units, built in May in the park between Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center and Hale Makana O Waiale apartments, are meant to house individuals, couples or families who were displaced as a result of COVID-19. Maui News.

Federal Agent Honored During Final Sendoff at Kahului Airport. A final sendoff was held at Kahului Airport today for Special Agent John Bost III, who died a week ago today in what officials have deemed an accidental death in the line of duty, while serving at the Kihei Police Station in South Maui. Maui Now.

ATF agent killed in accidental shooting honored with final salute on Maui. Members of Maui’s law enforcement community paused Tuesday to remember Special Agent John Bost III. Hawaii News Now.

Public Invited to Review Maui Hazard Mitigation Plan Update. The public is invited to review and comment on the Maui Emergency Management Agency’s update to the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan to address threats such as wildfires, beach erosion and highway rockslides. Maui Now.


Kaua'i County creates Mahalo Green Card Placard program to differentiate between travelers and those subject to quarantine. Mayor Derek Kawakami told KITV4 that it is very difficult to differentiate between interisland travelers and those subject to quarantine. So Kaua'i County created the Mahalo Green Card Placard Program. KITV.

Potential resort bubble idea has governor support. The county is currently forging away on a “Plan B” resort bubble that would confine visitors to a property to quarantine. Garden Island.

How are mail-in ballots counted? Eight volunteers sit about six feet apart at desks with stacks of envelopes in front of them on Tuesday morning. Garden Island.

Hawai‘i National Guard troops head home. The evidence of going home was electric in the gathering of Hawai‘i National Guard troops at a nondescript gate at the Lihu‘e Airport, Tuesday morning. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Bad behavior, spiraling COVID-19 cases, has Hawaii officials clamping down, rethinking lifting quarantine, may close parks and beaches again, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Kai on Sunday. PC:JW Facebook post
Large weekend gatherings cause concern over enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions. Several large gatherings across the state are drawing criticism. KITV4.

A surge in COVID-19 cases causes state officials to consider tighter restrictions. Ige also said he might delay the state’s plan to waive on Sept. 1 the 14-day quarantine for transpacific visitors who test negative for the coronavirus. State officials said Monday they’re aiming to step up enforcement of COVID-19 rules against social gathering — especially at the beaches — following what Gov. David Ige called a tough week of more than 500 cases, including a single-day record of 207 announced on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Health Dept.: Hawaii residents acting ‘like there isn’t a pandemic we are dealing with’. With another record-setting number of new cases reported in Hawaii this week, coronavirus is now ‘entrenched in our community,’ state officials said Monday ― and Hawaii residents, they claim, are letting down their guard at the worst possible time. Hawaii News Now.

As state plans reopening, Health Director says COVID-19 ‘endemic’. Gov. David Ige indicated Monday the Sept. 1 date to allow trans-Pacific air travel without a 14-day quarantine for visitors who get a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding a Hawaii-bound plane isn’t written in stone. Tribune-Herald.

State Health Director Warns Coronavirus Is Widespread On Oahu. The governor says more needs to be done to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Hawaii, but did not announce any new actions on Monday. Civil Beat.

Quarantine loopholes continue as more visitors, residents enter the state. Despite the state’s ongoing mandatory quarantine, there was a big jump in visitor numbers over the weekend. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, 1,701 visitors arrived in the state between Aug. 1-2, 2020. KHON2.

Hawai‘i Health Director on COVID-19: “Weak Link is Prevention”. The governor pointed out it is a result of community spread and that people have been relaxing and letting their guard down. Maui Now.

Gatherings On Oahu Limited To 10 Or Fewer. People who gather in groups larger than 10 risk a $5,000 fine or up to a year in jail. Civil Beat.

DOH director meets with Honolulu officials, beach closures could be next. As tens of thousands of tourists would be doing in any other given year, Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson set his sights on beaches Monday. KHON2.

COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing across Oahu. After multiple days of COVID-19 numbers in the hundreds, major hospitals in Oahu like Queen’s Health Systems, Hawaii Pacific Health and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii all say they have seen a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past few weeks. KHON2.

Officials threaten to close more state parks if people continue large gatherings. State officials are threatening more enforcement on Hawaii’s beaches and at state parks after seeing large gatherings on shorelines over the weekend.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i counted 207 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, shattering the statewide record for daily coronavirus figures, but it won’t change day-to-day life on the Big Island. Big Island Now.


Members of State House of Representatives and state economist say public should know 'where' and 'how' people are contracting COVID-19. On Monday members of the State House of Representatives COVID-19 team stated publicly that they want the Department of Health to release more information about where and how people are getting sick with the coronavirus in Hawai'i. KITV4.

House COVID-19 Committee: We Need More Info From Health Department. House Speaker Scott Saiki says he is concerned that the state Department of Health is refusing to release the kind of information people need to make good decisions. Civil Beat.


Governor Ige Questioned On Pandemic Restrictions. Representatives of various Hawaiʻi business associations on Monday had the chance to directly question Governor David Ige on some of the State's COVID-19 policies. Big Island Video News.

State needs additional contact tracers, critics say. As Hawaii’s COVID-19 counts surge — there were more than 500 new cases over the past week, including 207 on Monday alone — frustrations are mounting that the state doesn’t have enough contact tracers to prevent officials from reverting to lockdowns to contain the spread. Star-Advertiser.


State has another record reporting day. The highest, single-day record of new positive COVID-19 cases is being reported by the Dept. of Health today, at 207. Garden Island.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 3: 207 New Cases, More Than Half From Delayed Results. Nearly all the cases are on Oahu, where there have now been 2,083 cases identified since March. Civil Beat.

The Latest: 207 Cases; 9 First-Responders COVID-19 Positive; Lag In Tests Impacting Contact Tracing. Hawaii Public Radio.


30,000 isle workers may have opted out of job market in July. With COVID-19 cases surging and Hawaii’s economy struggling, as many as 30,000 workers could have taken themselves out of the state’s labor market last month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines possible layoffs revealed. Employees could be laid off as early as October. Employees from Daniel k. Inouye, Hilo, Kahului, Kailua-Kona and Lihu'e airport are expected to be affected along with employees from the corporate headquarters in Honolulu. KITV4.

Hawaii students create a youth-oriented voter guide. A hui of college and secondary school students known as Ho‘ohuli have created an online voter guide geared toward their generation and the mission embodied in their name, which means to turn, to change or to reform. Star-Advertiser.

Vintage warbirds populate Navy flattop for 75th anniversary end-of-WWII events in Hawaii. Fourteen vintage warbirds, including a polished aluminum 1944 B-25 bomber, are headed to Hawaii courtesy of U.S. Navy lift on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex for aerial flyovers commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Star-Advertiser.


Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Blangiardi Holds Double-Digit Lead In Honolulu Mayor’s Race. But Hanabusa and Amemiya are tied for second and will likely force a runoff in November. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Steve Alm Still Ahead In Race For Honolulu Prosecutor. Building on a lead that was clear in May, former judge, prosecutor and U.S. attorney Steve Alm is well ahead of his five main competitors for Honolulu prosecutor. Civil Beat.

Andria Tupola, Calvin Say lead Council candidates in campaign spending. Two candidates for Honolulu City Council who have extensive political track records are the ones collecting and spending the most, according to financial reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission last week. Star-Advertiser.


Sacred Hearts Academy confirms student tested positive for COVID-19. Sacred Hearts Academy revealed a student tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 2. KHON2.

Some worry ‘there’s no contingency plan’ for COVID at Hawaii’s public housing. An employee at Mayor Wright Public Housing has tested positive for COVID-19 and some are concerned about how the Hawaii Public Housing Authority is handling the situation. Hawaii News Now.

Ward Village condo sales still rising despite COVID-19. Honolulu’s biggest condominium tower producer is selling more new homes despite the coronavirus pandemic that has sapped much of Hawaii’s economy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

South Kohala Court Closes After Employee Tests COVID-19 Positive. The courthouse, located in the Waimea Civic Center complex, will be closed on Tuesday, after the first confirmed case of a Judiciary employee statewide. Big Island Video News.

South Kohala District Court Closed After Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19. A South Kohala District Court employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the Hawaii State Judiciary announced today. This is the only confirmed case of any Judiciary employee statewide. Big Island Now.

Responsible tourism: County lays out five-year plan for visitors, residents. Hawaii County last week released its five-year strategic tourism plan, a guiding document to help ensure responsible tourism that respects the Big Island’s communities and natural and cultural resources. Tribune-Herald.

Site of former homeless camp draws just one bid at auction. A lot in downtown Hilo that was the site of a troublesome homeless camp received only one extremely low bid at auction last month, but that sale will likely be blocked, a county official said. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor Interview: “We Need a Few Good Weeks to Get Us Back On Track”. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino continued to express frustrations over large gatherings and drum circle activity as the state continues to record new COVID-19 activity.  His comments come on the heels of new rules that went into effect in Maui County on Friday that limit indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people, and prohibit the use of large structures that may attract gatherings, such as tents and pavilions at parks and beaches. Maui Now.

Lanai sees boost in census response. Greater participation is needed in East Maui, on Molokai. Maui News.


Sustainability search. The agriculture and tourism industries were two of the hardest hit and are prominent local industries that have a significant economic impact on Kaua‘i’s economy. Garden Island.

Superintendent Paul Zina gets busy with official duties. It’s been a month since Paul Zina started his official duties as the new Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent, and he has already given back to the community through various events and faced COVID-19 issues head-on when it came to reopening public schools on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

KHS, COK still negotiating details for FY2021. Kaua‘i Humane Society is currently operating on a short-term contract with the County of Kaua‘i that is extending the Fiscal Year 2020 services through August, and is providing more time for the two entities to negotiate their contract for the FY 2021. Garden Island.