Thursday, October 22, 2020

Surgeon general faces arraignment on charges of Honolulu COVID-19 violation, coronavirus cases surge on Lanai, 5k soldiers face quarantine, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to be arraigned for beach park closure violation. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and an aide are scheduled to be arraigned in an Oahu court next month after police cited the two men in late August for being in a Kaneohe park during a COVID-19 emergency order-­mandated closure of the island’s beach parks. Star-Advertiser.

US Surgeon General To Plead Not Guilty In Hawaii Virus Case. A lawyer for U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday that his client, who is charged with illegally entering a Hawaii public park that was closed because of the coronavirus, will plead not guilty. Associated Press.

Surgeon General to plead not guilty for emergency order violation. Vice Admiral Jerome Adams’ first court appearance was held on Oct. 21 via Zoom. KHON2.

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Lt. Gov. Green: State’s secondary surveillance testing hasn’t yet caught any positives. Ten percent of all travelers who tested negative in their pre-travel test are being asked to take a voluntary second coronavirus test four days after arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s tourism reopening off to choppy start. The daily number of transpacific arrivals jumped when Hawaii started a pre-arrivals testing program to welcome travelers back. Now, one week into the state’s tourism reopening, visitor arrivals already have started leveling off. Star-Advertiser.

HTA releases latest number of passenger arrivals by air. On Tuesday a total of 5,105 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. KITV4.

Hotels seek more communication with counties as they work to increase information flow to visitors. The American Hotel and Lodging Association, which represents about 160 hotels, said they have been working to improve the way visitors get information. KHON2.

New Video Informs Hawaiʻi Visitors Of Kuleana In Time Of Pandemic
. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority says the Kuleana video was launched last week in coordination with Hawaii’s new pre-travel testing program, which started on October 15. Big Island Video News.

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Syphilis Cases in Women, Newborns Increasing Annually, DOH Reports. In Hawai‘i, the number of babies born with syphilis — known as congenital syphilis — ranged from zero to two cases per year from 2000 to 2016, three to four cases per year from 2017 to 2019, and 11 probable cases so far in 2020. Big Island Now.

Hawaii has another subpar response to the census, but officials claim 99.9% counted. The U.S. Census wrapped up its field operations last week with Hawaii coming in 37th when it comes to the percent of people who responded on their own. Star-Advertiser.

Democrats Rally To Defend Leeward House Seat In Eli-Garcia Race. The state House race between Democratic freshman Rep. Stacelynn Keahaulani Eli and Republican Diamond Garcia has become one of the hardest fought legislative contests this election as the GOP tries to gain ground in the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines to resume East Coast service in December. Hawaiian Airlines said today it will reinstate its East Coast routes in December with twice-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport and thrice-weekly service between Honolulu and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 21: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The COVID-19 cases recorded Wednesday included 65 on Oahu, four on Maui and nine on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Governor Approves Next Stage In Oahu Reopening Plan. Gov. David Ige on Wednesday signed the City and County of Honolulu’s new emergency order that will ease some business restrictions starting at midnight. Civil Beat.

Oahu enters Tier 2 of reopening plan, easing more COVID-19 restrictions. Oahu is moving into Tier 2 of its reopening plan Thursday, easing some COVID-19 restrictions but keeping others in place. The governor signed off on the city’s new emergency order Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s Emergency Order implementing Tier 2 approved by Governor Ige. Based on Emergency Order No. 2020-29, starting on Thursday, October 22, the City will operate under Tier 2 of Honolulu’s Reopening Strategy. KITV4.

Mayor Caldwell looks to boost COVID enforcement,
which state auditor finds insufficient. The enforcement of quarantine rules for visitors that don’t have a negative COVID-19 test, or haven’t taken a test, will be difficult. KHON2.

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HART chief says plans to reduce the rail project’s scope are being discussed. Honolulu transit chief Andrew Robbins acknowledged to a City Council committee Wednesday that his staff is now looking seriously at building the financially strapped rail project in phases, a move that may lead to construction halting short of Ala Moana or without 21 stations as has been envisioned for more than a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Councilman calls for release of fire chief’s performance evaluations. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves' annual evaluations have not been submitted to the City Council in five years, according to Councilman Tommy Waters. Hawaii News Now.

Soldiers Will Be Tested Before Returning To Hawaii But Will Still Quarantine. Five thousand soldiers from the Schofield Barracks-based 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade are currently working to renew their certification to deploy at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Civil Beat.

No Rest For The Homeless: Bill Would Ban Sitting Almost Anywhere On Oahu. City and state officials say housing is the answer to homelessness. But criminalization can be more politically expedient. Civil Beat.

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Election, coronavirus pandemic may have led to growing interest in firearms on Oahu. Oahu has experienced a spike in firearm permits issued and firearms registered this year, the Honolulu Police Department has reported. Star-Advertiser.

Federal Bailout Money Is Speeding Up Gun Permits But Help With Rent Still Lags. New data released by Honolulu shows police continue to rack up overtime but a hardship relief fund to help people pay their bills is about to be maxed out. Civil Beat.

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More Oahu motorists can renew licenses via mail. More Oahu motorists will be able to renew their driver licenses by mail under policy changes announced by the city today. Star-Advertiser.

O'ahu residents now have the ability to renew drivers licenses, IDs by mail. Residents on O'ahu can now replace their state identification card and renew certain driver licenses by mail if they meet certain requirements. KITV4.

Mail-in services expanded, reducing need for in-person trips to the DMV. The city is trying to catch up after more than 78,000 DMV appointments were canceled because of the COVID lockdowns. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Closed-door meeting decides development: Council members work with developers to amend controversial bill. Two County Council members are meeting behind closed doors with developers of a controversial Kailua-Kona development, trying to work out a deal after proposed changes to the project received negative recommendations from the county Planning Department and Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Council members support Mill Beach trail resolution. The Hawaii County Council voted Wednesday in support of a resolution to seize through eminent domain portions of a Papaikou property containing a trail to Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

Committee supports plan to reduce fatalities. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are three times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident on the Big Island than white drivers, according to a county task force attempting to reduce traffic fatalities. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

State lacks testing options for Canadians. While Maui tends to see more Canadian visitors than any other island, the state’s pre-travel testing program lacks options for Canadian visitors to be tested in their country before flying to Hawaii. Maui News.

Pūlehu Solar Unveils Updated Project Design. The proposed 40 MW Pūlehu Solar and Energy Storage project to be located near Pūlehu Road on Maui could provide enough clean energy to power approximately 15,000 Maui island homes. Maui Now.

Kauai


Kouchi calls for more visitor info. State Senate President and Lihu‘e resident Ronald D. Kouchi sent a letter Tuesday to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association requesting information about measures and programs to proactively ensure that visitors are informed of state and Kaua‘i County orders and rules. Garden Island.

County has spent 66% of CARES Act funds. As of the end of September, the County of Kaua‘i has spent about 66% of its state-allocated federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council passes housing bill. The Kaua‘i County Council, almost 10 months and five drafts later, passed Bill No. 2774 on Wednesday, amending the county’s housing policy in an attempt to better address a staggering housing crisis faced by the county. Garden Island.

Lanai

Cluster of COVID-19 cases growing on Lanai with at least 20 known infections. Just a day after Lanai reported its first COVID-19 cases, the island’s medical facilities said they have recorded 20 positive cases so far. Hawaii News Now.

State Senator says there are at least 23 COVID-19 cases on Lana'i. There are at least 23 COVID-19 cases on Lana'i, according to State Senator Kalani English. KITV4.

Lāna‘i Shutdown Sought as COVID-19 Count Tops 20, Described as “Tip of the Iceberg”. Medical and government leaders are calling for a shutdown of the island of Lāna‘i and mass testing as COVID-19 positive cases on the island had surged to upwards of 20 by Wednesday night. Maui Now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

More parents opt for home schooling, $25M in 'pivot' grants to spur business innovation, Safe Travels tourist tracking system falters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii classroom PC:Hawaii Department of Education

Just 1 in 10 public school students get daily in-person classes in Hawaii. Only 10% of public school students in Hawaii are receiving in-person instruction daily, with younger students getting the most time on campus, according to data released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

More Hawaii Parents Are Pulling Their Kids From DOE To Home School. There was a 43% rise in requests to home school in the first three months of the 2020-21 school year in Hawaii compared with the entire 2019-20 school year, according to data provided by the DOE. Civil Beat.

Full distance learning unpopular with Oahu voters. Nearly half of Oahu voters believe schools in Hawaii should be giving students a mix of on-campus and online instruction, rather than full distance learning, according to the Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers updated on how schools are spending virus relief funds. Hawaii schools have received millions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, and state lawmakers on Tuesday were briefed about how those funds have so far been used. Tribune-Herald.

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State scrambles to address issues with website travelers use to upload COVID-19 test results. The extent of the problems with the site is unknown, but Lt. Gov. Josh Green acknowledged there are issues with Hawaii’s visitor application process. Hawaii News Now.

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$25 million in grants available to isle businesses, nonprofits. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday unveiled a $25 million program that will offer grants of up to $10,000 to reimburse costs or cover future expenses linked to the changes needed to cope with the new economy. Star-Advertiser.

New State Program Helps Businesses Adapt To A Changing Economy. A $25 million fund can be tapped for a range of business initiatives. Civil Beat.

State launches new $25M grant program to help small businesses. The Hawaii Business Pivot Grant program will fund 2,500 businesses and nonprofits (with fewer than 100 employees) with grants of up to $10,000. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i small businesses to get $25 million in grants to adjust to COVID-19-related marketplace changes. The State of Hawai‘i, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, on Tuesday announced the launch of the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. KITV4.

Hawaii launches $25 million business grant program. Hawaii is launching a $25 million program to help ease the burden on companies that have shifted business models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

New Grant Program to Help Hawai‘i Businesses. Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i is partnering with the state to launch the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant Program later this week. Big Island Now.

Relief for small businesses. The state, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i, Tuesday announced the launch of the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. Garden Island.

Survey: Hawaii businesses expect extreme economic hardship to continue through 2021. In a recent survey of 1,400 Hawaii businesses, about 30% said they won’t be able to pay any commercial rent for the rest of the year. And more than 80% expect their revenues to decline this year and next. Hawaii News Now.

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Hawaii Rent Assistance Program In Gridlock, Few Helped Thus Far. Using $100 million from the federal government, qualified renters are supposed to be eligible for up to $2,000 per month on Oahu and $1,500 on all other islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Questions raised about state’s contractor choice for new unemployment call center. The new call center set up to handle questions about unemployment claims in Hawaii is actually staffed by mainland workers from a private contractor. And that contractor ― Maximus ― has a bad reputation among unions. Hawaii News Now.

HLTA CEO says he expects about 95% of all hotels to reopened in Hawai'i by the end of 2020. By the end of the month Mufi Hannemann, CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, expects about 65% of Hawaii's hotels to be back in business. KITV4.

Hawaii aquaculture reached record sales of $83.2M last year. Farm-raised marine animal sales in Hawaii last year reached $83.2 million, breaking a record, a new federal report said. Hawaii News Now.

Domestic Violence Is On The Rise In Hawaii. Many of the domestic violence survivors reaching out for help have been Native Hawaiian. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 20: 91 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The COVID-19 cases recorded Tuesday included 61 on Oahu, 24 on Hawaii island, two on Maui and four cases among residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sends order for second tier of economic reopening to Gov. David Ige for approval. Oahu gyms, personal care services and other activities will be able to resume on Thursday under Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest emergency order. Star-Advertiser.

Gyms, Arcades, Vacation Rentals Could Reopen Thursday. Those are among the business restrictions that could be lifted with Oahu’s move to Tier 2 of its reopening plan. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor sends order to move into Tier Two. Fitness centers are among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen in Honolulu’s Tier Two of its reopening strategy. KHON2.

Owners file suit over city’s rules that forced long-lasting bar, nightclub closures. The plaintiffs include the owner of Irish Rose and Anna O’Briens, which have already closed permanently. Hawaii News Now.

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Both Honolulu mayoral candidates say they won’t raise property taxes for rail. Whoever wins the race for Honolulu mayor will inherit the beleaguered rail project ― now estimated by HART to cost $10 billion. Hawaii News Now.

Most Oahu voters say Gov. David Ige could have handled COVID-19 outbreak better. The poll found that 30% of Oahu voters approved of Ige’s coronavirus response, while 57% disapproved and 13% were undecided. Star-Advertiser.

Small-business relief gets big chunk of Honolulu’s CARES funds. More than one-third of the city’s $387 million share of CARES Act funding is going to the Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Interisland plan unveiled; Kim: Travelers can be tested before or after arrival and avoid quarantine. Interisland travelers to the Big Island will be able to avoid or cut short a two-week quarantine under a new rule by Mayor Harry Kim that goes into effect today. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Changes Inter-Island Travel Rules, Effective October 21. Mayor Harry Kim has signed an amendment and extension to his COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 12, which provides inter-island travelers to Hawai‘i Island with choices to avoid quarantine. Big Island Video News.

Interisland Travelers Can Now Avoid Quarantine Going To, From Big Island. Interisland travelers flying to and from the Big Island can now dodge two weeks in quarantine by following standard protocol announced by Hawai‘i County Tuesday. Big Island Now.

After false positives, Hawaii County considers nixing post-arrival test for travelers. Nine travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 in post-arrival screening on the Big Island turned out not to be infected with the virus. Hawaii News Now.

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Most CARES money distributed: Island families and businesses take advantage of federal relief funds. More than 1,540 Hawaii Island businesses and nonprofit organizations have received an average $8,961 in government assistance, 812 families have received an average $4,415 to help with their rent and mortgages and 115,581 individuals have received food so far under programs paid by federal coronavirus relief funds. West Hawaii Today.

COVID Cluster Identified in Ocean View. A cluster of COVID-19 cases was identified during a drive-through testing clinic in Ocean View over the weekend. Out of the 74 people tested, 19 were found positive for coronavirus. Big Island Now.

Maui

Fifth Community Budget Meeting for FY 2022 Set for Oct. 21. The fifth of six community budget meetings for fiscal year 2020, hosted by Mayor Michael Victorino and his administration, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 starting at 5:30 p.m. Maui Now.

About 23 percent of ballots already cast. About 21,000 general election ballots, or 23 percent, have already been cast as of Saturday, the Maui County Clerk’s Office said early Monday afternoon. Maui News.

Voters weigh in on more than just candidates. Ballot includes seven charter amendments. Maui News.

Maui County Travel Update: 2,447 Average Daily Arrivals Over First Four Days Since Reopening. Maui County saw average daily arrivals jump to 2,447 in the first four days since the state launched its pre-travel COVID-19 testing program on Oct. 15. Maui Now.

Kauai

The stones are falling. Shoreline erosion is slowly claiming the parking area located at the foot of the Bryan J. Baptiste Bridge along Kuhio Highway at the mouth of the Wailua River. Garden Island.

New skatepark opened. Located in front of the county’s recently-painted Holua mural on the east-facing wall of the Lihu‘e Civic Center’s Pi‘ikoi Building, the skatepark was installed earlier in October through efforts coordinated by the county and community volunteers. Garden Island.

Lanai

4 coronavirus cases reported on Lanai, the first confirmed infections on the island. The state said it was informed of the positive test results Tuesday and is conducting contact tracing. Hawaii News Now.

State confirms four positive COVID-19 cases among Lanai residents. Initial findings have determined that three of the individuals work at the same location and are exhibiting symptoms. The fourth individual is a health care worker who does not provide direct patient care. Star-Advertiser.

4 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed On Lanai. At least one of the people diagnosed is believed to have contracted the virus while traveling. Civil Beat.

Four Confirmed COVID-19 Cases on Lāna‘i.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Maui District Health Office has confirmed four cases of COVID-19 in residents on the island of Lāna‘i. Maui Now.

Lanai records first COVID-19 cases as counties look to improve pre-travel testing program. KHON2.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

More than 26% of Hawaii voters have already voted, Kauai restaurants bar tourists from dining rooms, tsunami advisory lifted, DOE revamps school reopening plans, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved

 In Hawaii, Your Ballot Has To Be In By 7 p.m. On Election Day. Eighteen other states will still accept a ballot if it’s postmarked by Election Day. More than 900 ballots were not counted during the August primary in Hawaii because of a state law that sets a hard deadline of 7 p.m. on Election Day to return ballots. Civil Beat.


Over 221,000 ballots received prior to opening of voter service centers.
As of Monday, elections officials said over 188,000 ballots on Oahu alone have been received. At last check, over 221,000 were received statewide. Officials say that equals a 26.6% turnout so far. Hawaii News Now.

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Tsunami advisory for Hawaii canceled after small waves from large Alaskan quake reach islands. Scientists watching the gauges in Hawaii determined the wave heights, though small, were of advisory level in some north-facing harbors, including Kahului (15 inches) and Hilo (12 inches) harbors, and issued a tsunami advisory after the fact. Star-Advertiser.

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Ige: Interisland travel could open by end of year. Gov. David Ige said during a news conference Monday that he believes the state may be able to resume unrestricted interisland travel by the end of the year if the number of daily COVID-19 cases continues to drop. Tribune-Herald.

30% of those hospitalized in Hawaii for coronavirus have been under 50. Of the nearly 900 people in the islands who have required hospitalization for COVID-19, about 30% were younger than 50 at the time they were admitted. The statistic underscores what health officials have been trying to drive home: While seniors are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, the virus can also land younger people in the hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Travelers with negative COVID results are still forced to quarantine. These travelers said it’s because they’re not able to upload their negative results to the state’s Safe Travels App. KHON2.

Renters In Hawaii Are Struggling. So Are Their Landlords. As tenants fall behind on rent and units sit vacant, some landlords are looking to sell. Civil Beat.

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Hawaii Health Department updates guidance for schools reopening. The Department of Health released updated guidance for public and private schools Monday that aligns better with the new tiered reopening plans at the county level as well as federal guidelines. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Releases New Guidance For Reopening Schools. The updated metrics come a month after initial guidelines were first issued. Those were met by pushback from the teachers union. Civil Beat.

New COVID-19 Guidance For Hawaiʻi Schools Released. The health department released the revamped guidance to schools after its first version was heavily criticized by union officials. Big Island Video News.

In fresh effort to reopen campuses, state again revises COVID-19 guidance for schools. As the state begins to transition its focus from reopening to tourists to reopening public school campuses, the Department of Health on Monday released a new set of metrics designed to guide the Education Department’s decision making about when students can return to campus. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Health updates COVID-19 guidance for schools. In a matter of weeks, many public schools will begin bringing students back to campus. KHON2.

DOH releases new guidance to help schools safely transition between learning models. Monday, the state Department of Health released updated guidance to elementary, middle and high schools in order to help school administrators make decisions to safely transition between different models of learning. KITV4.

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“Talent Roadmap” Declares: Now is the Time to Reinvent Hawaiʻi’s Economy. Enhancing workforce development is the starting point, according to a report from the Hawaiʻi Executive Collaborative, which is based on input from almost 200 people. Hawaii Business magazine.

Building Hawaiʻi’s Technology Sector.
Paul Yonamine, CHANGE Economy Committee co-chair and member of the TRUE Committee, says Hawai‘i’s public and private organizations are late adopters of information technology. Hawaii Business magazine.

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State matches $500,000 donation to SNAP program for purchase of locally grown food. The state will match a $500,000 donation to a program that doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits spent on locally grown food at participating grocery stores, according to Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

DA BUX food program receives $1M in virus aid. A state food stamp program has temporarily expanded its range of available products for participants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

State, Private-Sector Partner to Double Food Bucks to Help Families, Local Agriculture. The State of Hawai‘i will match a donation of half a million dollars from a hui of private-sector organizations toward the DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program. Big Island Now.

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VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 19: 39 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. It’s been nearly two months since Hawaii’s daily COVID-19 case count dropped below 50. Civil Beat.

Oahu

COVID-19 Recovery, Rail, Budget Crisis Face Incoming Honolulu City Council. Voters will fill three of the nine Honolulu City Council seats in the November 3rd general election. Two candidates have already won in the primary. Hawaii Public Radio.

Since tourism relaunch, police have issued 4,500 warnings for violating COVID-19 orders. Thousands of visitors to Oahu have been warned or cited for not wearing masks or failing to social distance. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu: You Need To Wear Masks Outside, Even With Your Own Family. The little-known rule might be changing as soon as this week. But for now, you risk a citation if you’re gathering with household members without a mask. Civil Beat. 

Some visitors still confused about O'ahu's mask mandate. "So it's incumbent on the visitor industry if they want to spread aloha, they have to make sure their guests are following all the required rules," Mayor Caldwell said. KITV4.

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities in Waikiki. The City & County of Honolulu is reserving as many as 221 rooms at the Park Shore Waikiki and is leasing the 46-room Waikiki Beachside Hostel to quarantine and isolate Oahu residents who contract or were exposed to COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Secures Two Waikiki Properties For COVID-19 Isolation.
First responders and homeless people are among those who will benefit from the isolation facilities, city officials said. Civil Beat.

City secures two Waikiki hotels as quarantine locations. Honolulu has secured 221 rooms at the Park Shore Hotel, along with 46 apartment units at the Waikiki Beachside, for a total of 452 quarantine rooms. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu City Council bill mandates hotel employee callback rules. Oahu hotel operators hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are crying foul at a Honolulu City Council bill that would dictate to the managers which employees could be brought back to work as their facilities slowly reopen. Star-Advertiser.

Residents optimistic about state’s economic recovery, Hawaii Poll shows. Many Oahu residents are more optimistic than Hawaii experts about when the state economy will return to normal, a new poll suggests. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll says Oahu voters overwhelmingly prefer Joe Biden over Donald Trump in U.S. presidential race. Vice President Joe Biden received 58% support from Oahu voters in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll, while President Donald Trump received 29%. Star-Advertiser.

Convicted ex-prosecutor wants phone hearings during pandemic. A former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor who is in jail while awaiting sentencing for a conspiracy conviction in Hawaii’s largest corruption case wants to participate in hearings for a lawsuit her uncle filed against her by telephone because of the pandemic. Associated Press.

A church manager for a Filipino televangelist was sentenced Monday for lying about a suitcase that contained hidden cash. Felina Salinas will spend 30 days in prison for the crime, after she attempted to board a private jet with pastor Apollo Quibiloy in 2018. That’s when she told federal agents a suitcase about to be loaded was hers. It turned out that the case hid more than $300,000. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawai'i Island voter receives ballots for dead person, former resident.
With election day right around the corner, some Hawai'i voters are continuing to question the state's vote by mail system. KITV4.

Big Island judge earns 2020 Champion for Social Justice Award. After working nearly seven years as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, it would be understandable if Cynthia Tai wanted to kick back, relax and take it easy for a while. West Hawaii Today.

Week Without Violence underway; selfie lovers have a chance to take part today. Hawaii Island residents today can let victims and survivors of sexual violence know they have the community’s support as well as help to raise awareness to end violence against women and girls globally by taking part in YWCA’s a Week Without Violence selfie campaign. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Travel Update: 2,447 Average Daily Arrivals Over First Four Days Since Reopening. Maui County saw average daily arrivals jump to 2,447 in the first four days since the state launched it’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program on Oct. 15.  That’s up from the average daily 530 travelers logged in the 12 days prior between Oct. 3 and 14, before the reopening program took effect; but less than half of the 5,590 average daily domestic arrivals reported in Maui County over the same four days last year. Maui Now.

State announces testing partners in the islands to handle intercounty travel. Quarantine still in effect for arrivals without a negative test result from approved lab. Maui News.

Avoiding a guilty plea, trial possible for former Maui officer in wire fraud case. A former Maui police officer accused of trying to coerce a woman into having sex may now have a trial after not entering a guilty plea with the court. Brandon Saffeels allegedly sent text messages and made phone calls telling a woman he could make her DUI go away if she spent time with him. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i REALTORS® Donate PPE and Cleaning Supplies to Maui Schools. On Maui, REALTORS® donated 2,500 face masks and 910 face shields to Maui High School, and 35 touchless soap dispensers, 148 AA batteries and 27 soap refill containers to Waihe‘e Elementary School. Maui Now.

Kauai

2 Kauai restaurants ban tourists from dining rooms. Two restaurants on the north shore of Kauai have posted social media notices that they won’t be serving visitors, who arrive through the state’s pre-arrivals testing program, in their dining rooms. Star-Advertiser.

Saenz Ohana Breakfast draws ire trying to be safe. The decision to allow visitors to only order online and pick up while serving residents with a Hawai’i identification in person has created a lightning rod of controversy on social media for one Kaua’i food truck. Garden Island.

Some Kauai eateries are asking recent travelers to not dine-in. Saenz Ohana Breakfast food truck on Kauai made a post that has gotten some mixed reactions. But the business owner said it all comes down to safety and protecting his family, community and others. KHON2.

Post arrival testing program for residents kicks off on Kaua'i. A post arrival testing program for residents kicked-off at the War Memorial Convention Hall on Kaua'i on Monday. KITV4.

County revising $261.1 million operating budget. Because of the combination of withheld state taxes and retroactive salary raises, the county is considering several steps to balance its $261.1 million operating budget. Garden Island.

Lanai


Billionaire’s greenhouse now exporting produce statewide. A pioneering hydroponic greenhouse farm on Lanai established by tech billionaire Larry Ellison has begun to export produce statewide. Star-Advertiser.

Lana'i has its own COVID-19 rapid test machine. An anonymous donor made it possible for Lana'i to have its own COVID-19 rapid test machine that's supposed to deliver results within 15 minutes. KITV4.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Hawaii COVID-19 vaccination plan kept secret, every island's rules different as tourists return, Tulsi Gabbard relocates to California, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii news all rights reserved
Cruise ship along Kona coast ©2020 All Hawaii News

 No cruise bookings in islands for remainder of 2020; cloudy waters ahead for industry. Although the state welcomed back trans-Pacific travelers without quarantines to island airports on Thursday, provided arriving passengers have tested negative for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours, the future of the cruise ship industry remains murky. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Is Ready But The State Is Keeping It Under Wraps. Even in the absence of an approved vaccine, Hawaii officials are drafting plans to distribute the first vaccines when they become available. Civil Beat.

State meets deadline to submit COVID-19 vaccination plan to federal government. Health officials confirmed they submitted Hawaii’s COVID vaccination rollout plan which met the Friday deadline. Details on the plan itself however weren’t immediately made available. Hawaii News Now.

Secrecy Shrouds Ige’s New High-Level Coronavirus Panel. A committee set up to help guide Hawaii’s economic recovery holds private meetings with no public agendas or minutes. Civil Beat.

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Some travelers are allowed to enter without tests from approved labs. Some travelers who arrived in Hawaii during the first four days of the reopening of tourism were allowed to skip the 14-day mandatory quarantine even though they did not have COVID-19 tests from the state’s “trusted testing partners.” Star-Advertiser.

Interisland ‘Trusted Partner’ Traveler Test Program Now In Place For Maui, Kauai.
Gov. David Ige announced the new program on Saturday allowing interisland travelers to bypass the 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Maui, Big Island explain how different rules are shared with travelers. For the past three days, Hawaii has seen thousand of travelers fly in after quarantine restrictions relaxed. KHON2.

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The state set aside $100 million in federal CARES Act funds to help struggling families with rent or mortgage payments. And so far, just 2% has been distributed. That’s even though tens of thousands of Hawaii residents are in desperate need of help. Hawaii News Now.

Rental assistance program temporarily halts applications. A state program providing rental assistance to tenants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily no longer accepting applicants after reaching its processing capacity. Tribune-Herald.

Survey shows over 80% of Hawaii businesses expect lower revenue this and next year due to COVID-19. Organizers hope the stark data will paint a clearer, data-driven picture so government officials will allocate more federal funding to help businesses. KITV4.

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Officials tweak mail-in voting process. Election officials mailed ballots early, added drop boxes on most islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's 2020 Elections: Haven't Gotten Your Ballot? Where To Call. There's a lot about 2020 that makes it a year to leave behind. But at least one important task remains: choosing the next president and filling a host of local offices, all with the power to impact our lives. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Tulsi Gabbard leaves Hawaii Army National Guard after 17 years for California duty. Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has left the Hawaii Army National Guard after 17 years and has a new part-time military assignment: civil affairs officer with a California-based Army Reserve unit. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s approval rating lowest at 44% in Hawaii Poll. Oahu voters give Hawaii’s congressional delegation enviable high approval ratings, with the clear exception of U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — a onetime long-shot candidate to become president who received a dismal 44% approval rating. Star-Advertiser.

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Forecasters predict wetter-than-average rainy season. Most Hawaii locations can expect above average rainfall during the wet season, which officially began Oct. 1 and runs through April. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i’s COVID Total Tops 14,000 Since Pandemic Began. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 83 new cases of coronavirus Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 14,031 since the pandemic began. Two new COVID-related fatalities were also reported. Big Island Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 18: 83 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death In Hawaii. Health officials reported one death on Oahu and 83 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including 68 cases on Oahu, 14 on Hawaii island and one on Kauai. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hawaii Poll shows commanding lead for Rick Blangiardi in mayor’s race. Rick Blangiardi holds a solid double-­digit lead over fellow first-time candidate Keith Amemiya in the race for Honolulu mayor, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll has Steve Alm ahead of Megan Kau in Honolulu prosecutor race. Former Judge, U.S. attorney and Deputy Prosecutor Steve Alm appears to have a solid lead in the race for Honolulu prosecuting attorney two weeks before the general election. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll: Oahu voters disapprove of Kirk Caldwell’s coronavirus response. Hawaii Poll participants were solidly critical of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s overall handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic — although some of the details in the mayor’s COVID-19 plan for controlling the spread of the virus on Oahu earned higher marks. Star-Advertiser.

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Mayor Caldwell calls for special meeting over future of an already costly rail project. The mayor wants to end the so-called P-3 negotiations for a private operator to build the final segment and run the system because the bids came in way over budget. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown senior affordable-housing plan causes dispute between organization, developer.
A local Chinese cultural organization is squaring off against an affordable-housing developer over a long-planned apartment tower for seniors on city land in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa couple fined $40K for allegedly altering stream. The state Health Department said contractors working for John and Linda Hayama filled in parts of the Manoa Stream near the Kahaloa Drive Bridge with nearly 20 dump trucks full of rocks and sand. Hawaii News Now.

Some visitors in Waikiki say they came prepared to follow Hawai'i's COVID-19 restrictions.
Many got to enjoy the islands right away, after following the state's COVID 19 pre-travel testing program. KITV4.

Ewa Beach man recovering from COVID has a warning to others: ‘This thing is for real’. 42-year-old Eddie Bisquera spent 48 days in the hospital. He said he didn’t have any underlying health conditions, but during his battle with COVID, he went through a few complications and almost gave up. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County almost halfway through coronavirus relief money. Hawaii County spent almost half of its $80 million federal coronavirus relief money in the first seven months of the program, and with three months to go before the money has to be spent or returned, Mayor Harry Kim is confident returning it won’t be an option. In fact, Kim said Friday, he told Gov. David Ige he may need more. West Hawaii Today.
 

Hawaii’s first N-95 mask factory opens in Kona. The first automated mask factory in the state is expected to start production this week with a staff of 10. Nicholas Garcia will be manufacturing N95 and flat masks, plus “super” versions of both types of mask. West Hawaii Today.

Expansion at NELHA: Big Island Abalone, Blue Ocean Mariculture announce plans for growth. Two of NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park success stories, Blue Ocean Mariculture and Big Island Abalone are poised for additional growth and expansion that’ll result in the creation of dozens of jobs over the next several years at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s Hawaii Ocean Science Technology Park. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council Race: Strong Political Factions Are Fighting Each Other. The so-called Ohana candidates are in a political battle with the candidates on the Hui O Maui slate, a classic battle of progressives vs. conservatives. Civil Beat.

Different styles, passions for South Maui candidates. Incumbent Kelly Takaya King and political newcomer Tom Cook have the backing of very different groups and are each passionate about their distinct platforms in the race for the South Maui residency seat on the County Council. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai launches post-arrival testing Monday. Under the optional program, Kauai residents who return from out of state travel and receive a negative  pre-travel test through the State's Safe Travels program are eligible for a free COVID-19 test 4-10 days after their return.  KITV4.

Virtual meetings planned to discuss future of island tourism. The Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan Community is hosting a virtual meeting for residents living in the south and west portions of Kaua‘i at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, and residents residing in north and east Kaua‘i at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22. Garden Island.

DOH fines two Kaua‘i companies
. Garden Island Mortuary Ltd., in Lawa‘i, was cited for late submittals of their semiannual reports and annual fee on their crematory units. ShredCo LLC in Lihu‘e was cited for late submittals of their semiannual and annual emission reports on their portable grinding and screening plant. Garden Island.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Smooth opening day for trans-Pacific travel to Hawaii, most Hawaii residents wear masks, Honolulu rail tops $10B, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

fromm KITV4 Facebook

More than 8,000 out-of-state passengers fly into Hawaii on the first day they could test out of a travel quarantine. It was a solid first day for the reopening of Hawaii tourism with 8,000-plus passengers coming through local airports — still only a little more than a third of October 2019’s daily domestic air traffic. Star-Advertiser.

Opening Day For Hawaii Tourism
: It’s Just The Beginning. Lt. Gov. Josh Green laid out several likely next steps as Hawaii reopened to travelers on Thursday with 8,000 arrivals expected. Civil Beat.

Thousands Arrive With Pre-Tests, Bypass Quarantine. Thirty trans-Pacific flights arrived in Hawaii yesterday on the first day of the state’s traveler testing program, carrying an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules. A new pre-travel testing program allowing visitors in Hawaii who test negative for COVID-19 to come to Hawaii and avoid the two weeks of mandatory quarantine — a measure that’s been in place for all arriving passengers for most of the year. Hawaii Island requires a second, on-arrival rapid antigen test to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine. Associated Press.

On first day of traveler testing program, some report issues and confusion over rules. Thousands of visitors and returning residents flew into the state Thursday, on the first day of the much-anticipated traveler testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Visitors face long lines, long wait times at airports on first day of pre-travel testing program. The first day kicked off for Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, and thousands from the mainland took the opportunity to come to Hawaii. KHON2.

Safe Travels Hawai'i Program officially launches.
Day One of state's pre-travel testing program. KITV4.

State to rely on voluntary, post-arrival tests to gauge safety of traveler testing program. Over the next couple days, the state’s first pre-tested travelers will get a notification on their Safe Travels Hawaii app asking if they’d like to volunteer to take a second COVID-19 test. Hawaii News Now.

Are You Wearing A Mask In Public? These Hawaii Researchers Want To Know. Hawaii is one of the first states to conduct a widespread study of how many people are wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The highest rate of mask usage was observed on Oahu at 83%, followed by Hawaii Island at 76%, Maui at 71%, and Kauai at 62%. Civil Beat.

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New record set for Hawaii voter registrations. Following a record-setting primary election turnout, more than 832,000 people across the state already had registered to vote as of Thursday — and many likely already have voted through mail-in ballots for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election, which will decide Honolulu’s next mayor and the next U.S. president. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Hawaii Voters Embrace Biden For US President. They also say they are satisfied with voting by mail, especially in a time of coronavirus. Civil Beat.

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New State Laws Have Significant Effects on Employers. The rules have changed on nondisclosure agreements, criminal background checks and family leave, while financial penalties for violating some labor regulations have increased as much as 1,000%. Hawaii Business magazine.

Former UPW Officials Sue Union Over Ousters. Former Hawaii labor union officials ousted over allegations of financial abuse are suing their old union over claims their terminations were not properly handled. Civil Beat.

Courts And Prosecutors Are Keeping Jail Populations Lower During Pandemic. Efforts to divert arrestees to reduce jail populations and limit the spread of COVID-19 have made some headway. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 15: 91 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The state identified 13 people with COVID-19 on the Big Island and two on Maui. Two Hawaii residents were diagnosed with the virus out of state. The remaining 74 cases were reported on Oahu, according to the Department of Health. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu mayoral candidates agree it’s time to reopen tourism, despite the risks. The next mayor of Honolulu will start the job just a few months after the relaunch of tourism thanks to a new traveler testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor wants to open mobile COVID-19 testing lab at airport. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he believes the city is ready to reopen tourism ― and hopes a new mobile lab at Honolulu’s airport will increase testing capacity. He says the lab could process up to 10,000 tests a day, delivering results in under three hours. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu on track to move to Tier 2 of reopening strategy. Oahu is on track to move into the next level of reopening the economy in one week with restrictions on gyms, personal services and other activities being lifted as long as coronavirus cases remain low. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu Rail Cost Now at $9.9 Billion But That Estimate Will Likely Grow. The contractor overseeing Honolulu rail for the federal government believes the new, local cost projections released this week showing an $832 million price increase are too low and likely to climb, according to project board members. Civil Beat.

Rail project cost estimate now jacked up above $10 billion. The projected cost of the city’s troubled East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail project has now moved above the $10 billion mark. Star-Advertiser.

The latest estimate for Honolulu’s embattled rail project: $10B. The cost for the city’s beleaguered rail project continues to soar ― and now stands at nearly $10 billion. Hawaii News Now.

Ko Olina to open all 4 lagoons to public. The Ko Olina resort, hit by overwhelming opposition to its plan to ban the public from several lagoon beaches, said today it was reversing direction and will open all four of its lagoons to the public with parking beginning Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Trans-Pacific Travelers Arrive at Kona Airport. The first trans-Pacific travelers participating in Hawai‘i’s pre-travel coronavirus testing program arrived at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole Thursday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Visitors To Kona Tested On Arrival As Tourists Return To Hawaiʻi. President and Founder of Premier Medical Group Hawaii, Dr. Scott Miscovich, MD, talks about the busy Thursday of passenger testing at Kona Airport. Big Island Video News.

Few hiccups at Hilo airport as trans-Pacific travelers return. The first day of post-flight testing at Hilo International Airport went by largely without incident as a trickle of trans-Pacific travelers returned to the Big Island on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases. Hawaii Island surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 cases Thursday with the addition of 13 new cases, bringing the island’s tally to 1005 since Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today.

Puakea Ranch expansion approved. A special permit to expand the uses of a historical ranch near Hawi was approved Thursday on a 6-0 vote by the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Victorino Declares ‘Rebirth of Our Visitor Industry’ with Launch of Safe Travels Program. At Kahului Airport, just before the Thursday morning arrival of United Airlines Flight 417 from Los Angeles, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino declared: “This is a new day for Maui County. It is a rebirth of our visitor industry.” Maui Now.

Milestone Reached in Hawai‘i’s Tourism Reboot, Leaders Monitor for Adjustments. The state’s Safe Travels Hawai‘i program officially launched on Thursday marking the start of pre-travel COVID-19 testing for trans-Pacific flights arriving in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Many Maui travelers using state’s new pre-travel testing program. Most of the passengers aboard the first trans-Pacific flight to Kahului Airport since the state’s pre-travel testing program began took advantage of the option to bypass Hawaii’s two-week quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test. Maui News.

Protests Arise Over Burial Protections on West Maui Construction Site. Tensions are rising on Maui’s west end over construction that’s begun on known historic burial grounds in Kauaʻula Valley. Lineal descendants of the area have flocked to the site in recent days to halt the project until archeological work can be done to ensure ancestral remains are protected. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pukalani Skate Park social distancing. Signs requiring face masks and social distancing at the Pukalani Skate Park are not being followed earlier this month as groups of skaters gather closely with only a few in the park wearing masks. The facilities were shut down due to COVID-19 in March but reopened on June 1. Maui News.

Kauai

Meet the Candidates: Arryl Kaneshiro. Growing up on Kaua‘i, incumbent Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said there was always a desire to live up to expectations. Garden Island.

Tracking the spread of ROD on Kaua‘i.
Researchers at the University of Hawai‘i Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit have collaborated with multiple agencies to develop a management tracking system to keep crucial data organized as the Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death fungus continues to spread to parts of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Hawaii opens travel to trans-Pacific flights, Japan flights coming soon; Ige popularity low in poll; $1B hole in Honolulu rail, more state and local news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines plane at airport ©2020 All Hawaii News

Airlines Predict A Long Slow Recovery Even As Tourism Returns. As Hawaii reopens to tourists with a plan that lets travelers sidestep the state’s 14-day quarantine for arrivals, few companies stand to gain more than Hawaiian Airlines. Then again, few have lost more because of the shutdown. Civil Beat.

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Japan may join Hawaii COVID-19 pre-travel testing once ‘trusted partners’ picked. Japanese visitors, the state’s top international market, won’t be among the first out-of-state travelers coming to Hawaii through a pre-arrivals testing program on Thursday. But they’ll likely be coming soon. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Approves COVID Test For Japan Travelers. The Hawaii Department of Health is now working with Japanese medical institutions to find “trusted partners” to administer the tests. Civil Beat.

Visitors from Japan approved for state’s pre-travel testing program, too. Visitors from Japan will soon be able to avoid quarantining upon arrival in Hawaii by participating in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program, state officials said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Green light for travelers from Japan. The executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau said the organization Hawaii Tourism Japan “has already got an initial marketing campaign set” for attracting Japanese visitors back to the islands. Tribune-Herald.

Pre-Travel Testing Approved For Japan. Mainlanders will begin returning to Hawai‘i tomorrow with the possibility of a quarantine exemption, and visitors from Japan won’t be far behind. Big Island Now.

Hawai‘i Approves Japan’s Procedure for Pre-Travel Testing Program. Proof of a negative test result from trusted testing partners in Japan will allow travelers from Japan to bypass the 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Hawai‘i. Maui Now.

Health Department approves Japan’s testing procedure for pre-travel testing program. The Department of Health has approved the COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test authorized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. KITV4.

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State expects 7,000 incoming passengers on first day of traveler testing program. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed the figure Wednesday night and said Hawaii is ready to welcome travelers back. He also asked for patience as the state works some kinks out of the system. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Voters Still Sour On Ige And Caldwell. And yet they also believe those very same leaders made the right call on stay-at-home and quarantine orders. Civil Beat.

Auditors find lack of planning, coordination in traveler quarantine program. As the state prepares to launch a traveler testing program Thursday to reboot tourism, a new audit is raising questions about the state’s oversight of its quarantine mandate and how it will be managed once federal funds run out in December. Hawaii News Now.

Surveillance testing for incoming passengers will start as pre-travel testing program launches. Thousands of passengers are expected to come in on Thursday, which is when the state’s pre-travel testing program launches. KHON2.

Here’s what travelers should know about the state’s pre-testing process. If you have not yet booked your flight to Hawaii and want to avoid quarantine, first step is going to HawaiiCOVID19 and check the trusted testing and travel partners page. Hawaii News Now.

Confused About Hawaii's Travel Tests? Hawaii plans to reopen to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine starting Thursday if the passengers can show a negative COVID-19 test. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Up to 65% of Hawaii restaurants could close for good, industry leader warns. That estimate comes from a recent survey by the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents the roughly 3,600 restaurants across the state. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii prepares to welcome visitors back, 660 airport food service workers laid off. HMSHost, the company that manages the concessions and restaurants at airports, will permanently lay off more than 660 of its employees. That’s more than 80% of concessions staff. The decision impacts airport workers on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

More than 600 HMSHost airport workers to be laid off in Hawaii, union says. More than 660 Hawaii airport workers will be permanently laid off Thursday, the same day that the state is reopening to tourism with the launch of a pre-travel testing program after numerous delays, according to union representative UNITE HERE Local 5. Star-Advertiser.

Restaurant card also accepted at bakeries, catering services. Approximately 116,000 residents in Hawaii who filed for unemployment insurance benefits are expected to receive a $500 prepaid debit card beginning Friday to spend at local restaurants, bakeries and catering services. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige offers clarity to Restaurant Card Program. Gov. David Ige clarified eligibility for a $500 restaurant card and how the state came to that conclusion after the state found out there was much confusion on social media recently. Garden Island.

Qualified residents to begin receiving Hawai‘i restaurant card in the mail beginning October 16. KITV4.

Campaign Spending Commission: Ad Reporting Law Needs Changed. The Campaign Spending Commission levied over $6,900 worth of fines against 20 candidates at a meeting Wednesday. Almost all of the fines came because of a failure to comply with rules over advertising disclosures that many new candidates have found confusing. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 14: 101 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The state said 18 cases were on the Big Island and one case was on Maui. One resident was diagnosed out of state. The remaining 81 cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Caldwell wants post-travel test for those who don’t get one before arrival. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing an entirely different way to test travelers who want to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine. He wants to make tests available to those arriving on Oahu if they couldn’t get one before travel. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell questions state’s surveillance testing program. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is questioning the effectiveness of a surveillance testing program meant to be a key safety net in the safe reopening of Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

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Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi trade barbs in KHON debate. During a direct questioning period between the candidates, Blangiardi raised objections to a series of critical campaign ads Amemiya’s campaign has put out against him. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayoral Debate feat. Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi.
Honolulu’s next mayor will have the monumental task of handling the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of nearly one million residents, all while figuring out how to revive Oahu’s economy. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council: Young Legislative Staffers Run To Represent Kalihi Area. The District 7 candidates’ backgrounds, résumés and values are similar. Civil Beat.

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Honolulu Rail’s New Budget Hole Estimated At More Than $1 Billion. Project leaders will likely struggle to secure more funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

City’s exit from rail phase equated to a ‘divorce’. Honolulu Councilman Brandon Elefante on Wednesday put the city’s withdrawal from participating in building the final 4.16 miles of the troubled rail project in the terms of a divorce. Star-Advertiser.

Pandemic causes shortage of high-end Oahu rentals.
Kailua is just one of the hot rental markets, so are high end neighborhoods like Lanikai and Kahala, according to Duke Kimhan, the owner of Hawaii Pacific Property Management. KITV4.

Waikiki retailers prep for anticipated bump in business. Businesses in the heart of Hawaii’s tourism hot spot are eagerly awaiting the anticipated bump in tourists come Thursday. It’s been seven months since tourism screeched to an abrupt halt in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu to get 5 new playgrounds; work starts next week in Waimanalo. City officials said construction for new playgrounds at five Oahu parks is underway, with work expected to begin next week at Waimanalo Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Mililani Middle to transition onto single-track calendar to address overcrowding. A new three-story building at Mililani Middle School will soon house 15 additional classrooms to help ease overcrowding issues at the nearly 2,000-student campus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ready, set, go: A reluctant Mayor Kim opens the island to trans-Pacific travelers. Mayor Harry Kim prefers not to open up the island at all today to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine, but since he has no choice, he implemented the two-test procedure to reduce the coronavirus infection risk to residents and visitors. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim Questioned On Inter-Island Travel Status. Mayor Harry Kim went before the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday to clear up confusion in regard to Thursday’s start of the pre-travel testing program in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

How post-arrival testing will be conducted at Hilo airport. Trans-Pacific travelers to Hilo should expect a relatively smooth arrival as the county implements post-flight COVID-19 tests at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ready for influx; Improvements to park made during pandemic. With the state loosening travel restrictions for trans-Pacific travelers today, the Big Island’s most popular tourist destination is preparing for an increase of visitors. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Drop your ballot here. There are 12 drop-off boxes countywide, and voters may drop off their ballots through 7 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3. Maui News.

Post-travel testing options are permitted by state. Maui County officials Tuesday afternoon branded their pre- and post-travel testing programs as “Arrive Healthy, Stay Healthy and Return Home Healthy” as the state prepares for an influx of travelers beginning Thursday. Maui News.

 Kauai

Meet the Candidates: Arryl Kaneshiro. Growing up on Kaua‘i, incumbent Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said there was always a desire to live up to expectations. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i starts its reopening on Tier 4. 
Mayor Derek Kawakami is urging residents to wear masks as the state makes its long-awaited reopening to trans-Pacific travelers. Garden Island.

Molokai

Hawaiian Telcom Expands Fiber Broadband Service on Moloka‘i. Hawaiian Telcom has expanded its fiber broadband service to nearly 700 new homesteads in East and North Central Moloka‘i, according to the company’s news release. Maui Now.

Lanai

Lanai Oil Company agrees to $71K EPA fine for Clean Water Act violations.
The Lanai Oil Company Inc. has agreed to pay a penalty of $71,166 as part of a settlement for Clean Water Act violations at its bulk oil storage facility on the island, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

EPA Requires Lanai Oil Co. To Protect Hawaiian Waterways from Oil Spills
in Proposed Settlement. Under the agreement, Lanai Oil is required to pay a penalty of $71,166. EPA believes the penalty will reduce the risk of oil spills from their Lanai Oilʻs terminal to Lanai’s Kaumalapau Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Maui Now.