Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hawaii tourism, jobs in COVID-19 jeopardy, state doubles down on testing, Honolulu ex-police chief Kealoha faces enhanced sentencing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Virus scare could cost Hawaii 6,000 jobs, economists warn. A new report by University of Hawaii economists predicts the coronavirus scare will cause visitor spending in Hawaii to fall by more than 10% and wipe out nearly 6,000 jobs, but acknowledges there are a “wide range of other possible outcomes.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Visitor Spending Will Drop 10% From Coronavirus. The latest report from UH economists says a more prolonged spread of the virus means greater economic tolls. Civil Beat.

UH economists predict ‘significant’ job losses in Hawaii as economic fallout of coronavirus widens. A new University of Hawaii forecast predicts the economic impacts of coronavirus to the islands will be significant and long-lasting, resulting in at least 4,000 job losses before year’s end as visitor arrivals decline sharply. Hawaii News Now.

UH research predicts COVID-19 could cause “nearly 4000” job losses this year. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) released an updated economic forecast based on recent COVID-19 developments, predicting “significant economic impacts” and the loss of thousands of jobs. KHON2.

Tourism industry plagued by COVID-19. Hawaii's top industry is reeling as COVID-19 concerns are impacting travel plans. KITV4.

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Gov. David Ige, Hawaii health officials announce enhanced testing for coronavirus. Hawaii health officials will begin broad community testing this week to find out whether the state has a more severe coronavirus problem than it thinks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Coronavirus Updates: UHERO Updates Economic Forecast, Community Tests To Begin This Week. The news on the Hawaii front of the coronavirus battle is swiftly changing. Hawaii Public Radio.

State unveils ‘proactive’ testing for coronavirus. State health officials on Tuesday announced the launch of a COVID-19 “surveillance testing program” that will help identify cases of community spread of the disease — cases that cannot be traced back to a traveler or contact with an individual with the coronavirus. Tribune-Herald.

Coronavirus Community Testing Program to Begin This Week. Hawai‘i will no longer test only those patients who meet the criteria for COVID-19. Big Island Now.

COVID-19 Surveillance tests initiated. Hawai‘i officials said Tuesday they plan to begin randomly testing negative flu samples taken in the state for the new coronavirus. Garden Island.

COVID-19 Daily Update: State Launches Surveillance Initiative. Maui Now.

State launches program to identify community spread of COVID-19. The State Health Department is stepping up its efforts to test for COVID-19 in our islands in an effort to identify possible cases of community spread of the virus. KHON2.

2 more coronavirus tests come back negative, DOH says. The state Health Department said two more tests for coronavirus came back negative Tuesday night. Hawaii’s confirmed cases remains at two. Hawaii News Now.

Private laboratories begin testing for coronavirus. A private lab began its testing for COVID-19 on Tuesday with more labs to come online soon. KHON2.

Hawaii's two largest private medical labs can now test for COVID-19. In the medical community allowing Diagnostic Laboratory Services and clinical labs to work up doctor-collected samples is seen as a game-changer. KITV4.

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Many Hawaii private schools cancel mainland and international travel due to coronavirus concerns. Several private schools in Hawaii, including Punahou and ‘Iolani, have announced the cancellation of school-­related travel for the rest of the academic year due to the novel coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Elderly Care Facilities Prepare For Coronavirus But It's Not Clear If All Are Ready. Hawaii senior care facilities are preparing for a coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii, spurred on by the nursing home deaths in states like Washington. Hawaii Public Radio.

State’s largest industrial distributor of sanitizers ‘basically wiped out of product’. Fears about the coronavirus significantly increased orders from customers and emptied the warehouse. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 precautions for dining out. COVID-19 is already affecting the restaurant industry. Local restaurants are stepping up disinfecting common areas. KHON2.

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At least 1 dead in Hawaii from multistate listeria outbreak from enoki mushrooms. A company is recalling its enoki mushrooms after they were linked to dozens of cases of listeria infections and four deaths, including at least one from Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

CDC issues recall alert for enoki mushrooms following listeria outbreak. Don’t eat enoki mushrooms. That’s the message the CDC put out Tuesday after the mushrooms were linked to a listeria outbreak that stretches all the way back to November 2016. Hawaii News Now.

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Jobs In Hawaii: The Future Looks A Lot Like The Past. Many of the state’s fastest-growing areas of employment remain in service and tourism jobs that make it tough to get by in Hawaii’s pricey economy. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Concerned Homesteaders Could Bear Brunt of Telecom Fiasco. Sandwich Isles Communications began auctioning off its assets last week to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. The once-exclusive provider of telecom services to Hawaiian home lands also faces legal trouble, and Hawaiʻi lawmakers are worried services to homesteaders could be interrupted. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers May Ban Side Hustles For State and County Executives. Both chambers of the state Legislature have passed some form of a prohibition on the governor and county mayors earning income from employment other than their elected office. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Conservationists urge caution in the water as number of whales injured by boats rise.  Humpback whale season in Hawaii is only at its midpoint, but so far nine collisions between ocean vessels and whales have been reported. Hawaii News Now.

At Least Nine Vessel-Whale Collisions Since December. At least nine instances of vessel/whale collisions have been reported since December in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters, according to new information from the organization. Maui Now.

Sanctuary reports vessel/whale collisions. At least nine instances of vessel/whale collisions have been reported since December in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters. Ocean users are asked to use caution when navigating shared waters. Garden Island.

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Journalism Conference To Focus On Indigenous Issues. Regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists will gather at UH Manoa March 20-21. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Police Chief Susan Ballard supports enhanced sentence for her predecessor. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is calling for a harsher sentence for former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and two other former officers. Hawaii News Now.

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Ewa Makai Middle School teacher Miki Cacace wins $25,000 Milken Educator award. The award for excellence from the Milken Family Foundation is given to 40 teachers each year across the nation, none of whom know they are even being considered. Star-Advertiser.

Ewa Makai Middle School teacher scoops up prestigious Milken Educator Award. An Ewa Makai Middle School teacher just won an award regarded as the Oscar of teaching. Hawaii News Now.

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Kaimuki parking lot repaving work delayed for 2 weeks. Kaimuki business owners and their customers will get at least a two-week reprieve from an initially scheduled Monday start date for an eight-month-long parking lot repaving project they believe will wreak havoc on their businesses. Star-Advertiser.

8 Months To Pave A Parking Lot? Kaimuki Businesses Are Outraged. The city says it will take months to repave the lot at Waialae and 12th Avenue but worried business owners are pushing back. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Yagong seeks his old council seat. Former County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, who held the District 1 Hamakua seat for 12 years, said Tuesday he plans to run for the seat again. West Hawaii Today.

Residents cut off by lava in Puna urge county to work faster to clear roads. Dozens of Puna residents urged faster and more transparent action from the county on clearing lava-inundated roads in Puna after Monday’s announcement that Pohoiki Road will be restored. Tribune-Herald.

ACLU Backs KAHEA, File Amicus Brief. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i is stepping into the conflict between KAHEA, an environmental nonprofit, and the State Department of the Attorney General. Big Island Now.

Outburst Disrupts Council Hearing On Kohala Shoreline. An outburst that resulted in an unplanned recess of the Hawaiʻi County Council on Tuesday was not enough to stop the advance of a bill to change the zoning of 37-acres of shoreline land in North Kohala. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Lt. Governor Green is 'Confident' in Maui Hospital Amid COVID-19 Outbreak. As concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus escalate, state and county officials gathered at the Maui Memorial Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon to discuss preventative measures and potential emergency response. Maui Now.

Hale Makua screening visitors to nursing facilities. Efforts underway to sanitize public buses, other county facilities. Maui News.

Kauai

State of the County Address via video. Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami will deliver his second State of the County Address via video, which will be uploaded to the County of Kaua‘i website and Facebook page by noon on Friday, March 13. Garden Island.

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