Thursday, April 30, 2020

Slow state reopening planned, RIMPAC postponed, downsized, Honolulu administrator on leave after child sexual abuse allegations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lt. Gov. Josh Green at April 29 press conference, Facebook Live screenshot
Governor announces reopening of economy in phases. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state will slowly begin to reopen the economy in phases, starting essentially Friday with a limited number of businesses suggested by the county mayors. Star-Advertiser.

Governor outlines plans to slowly reopen economy as number of new cases decline. The state is taking small steps to reopen more areas of Hawaii’s economy, the governor said Wednesday, stressing that work will be “phased in" and perhaps slower than some would hope. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii moving forward with a cautious, ‘phased’ reopening effort. Gov. David Ige’s announcement Wednesday that he approved requests by the counties to allow some low-contact businesses to reopen means Hawaii is cautiously joining the other states with the lowest COVID-19 infection rates as they begin a step-by-step process to restart their local economies. Star-Advertiser.

State’s success in mitigating the spread of coronavirus could result in easing of restrictions. State officials were optimistic Wednesday because the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hawaii is in decline. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii COVID-19 Update: “The Curve Is Flat”. State officials shared a positive message of hope on Wednesday afternoon, during a news conference held on Oʻahu. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i to Begin Reopening Some Businesses. It’s been 10 days since Hawai‘i reported more than six new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s coronavirus cases rise to 613, up 4. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 613, up four from Tuesday, the state Department of Health said today. Star-Advertiser.

4 New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed In Hawaii. Certain restrictions will be relieved in phases, and laboratories will begin to test some patients for COVID-19 antibodies. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Updates: Cases Up 4; City Moves Ahead With Tests. The Oahu case count is now at 399, Maui County 115, Hawaii Island 70, and Kauai 21. No cases are pending determination of county and eight were diagnosed out of state. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Coronavirus antibody tests are available at clinics across Hawai‘i, meaning the state now has the capability to tell residents whether or not they’ve been exposed to the virus and likely have at least relative immunity to it. Coronavirus antibody tests are available at clinics across Hawai‘i, meaning the state now has the capability to tell residents whether or not they’ve been exposed to the virus and likely have at least relative immunity to it. Big Island Now.

DOH Says Native Hawaiians Have A High COVID-19 Rate. But How High? The state health director said Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders have the highest rate of COVID-19 in the state, but that’s not apparent from data posted on the state’s website. Civil Beat.

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Complaints over Hawaii unemployment claims persist despite progress. Hawaii’s overburdened unemployment system is making headway in processing claims this week as fixes are implemented, including launching the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands still struggling to get unemployment benefits. As of right now the latest numbers show only 40% of unemployment claims have been handled about 180,000 are still being processed. KITV4.

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Hawaii’s business leaders agree: A phased, timely reopening is crucial. Hawaii’s business leaders agreed that the state’s reopening needs to be gradual for the safety of residents and visitors, but they also warned of the financial fallout and continued health impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Dental and eye care offices plan to open-up appointments slowly. Many dentists and optometrists limited their appointments to emergencies under recommendation by the CDC, but as more safety guidelines come-out, some practices will begin to see more patients. KHON2.

Hawaii Restaurant Association drafts guidelines for future reopening of restaurants. With Governor David Ige announcing that some businesses can reopen under certain circumstances Wednesday, other businesses like restaurants are looking to the future to when they may be able to reopen again. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Restaurants Face An Unknown Future Amid The Pandemic. The industry, which employs 85,000 workers, has fallen off the cliff. Will going into a bar and restaurant be the same if the COVID-19 crisis eases. Civil Beat.

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RIMPAC military exercises off Hawaii will be held later in summer and limited to at-sea events. The big biennial maritime exercise Rim of the Pacific will be held later than usual this summer and be an at-sea-only event due to COVID-19 concerns, U.S. Pacific Fleet said today. Star-Advertiser.

Navy says RIMPAC is still on, but large maritime exercise will be ‘at-sea-only’ off Hawaii. RIMPAC, the world’s largest maritime exercises, are still on this year. But they’ll only be held at sea off the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Navy agrees to postpone RIMPAC 2020. The 27th Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise has been postponed to August 17 through August 31, according to military officials. The exercise will instead be at-sea only in light of COVID-19. KHON2.

RIMPAC Postponed, Will Be “At-Sea Only” Exercise. The U.S. Pacific Fleet says the modified RIMPAC plan was crafted to minimize risk to the force, allies and partners, and the people of Hawaiʻi during the pandemic. Big Island Video News.

Navy Agrees to Scale Down Rim of the Pacific 2020 Exercise. Maui Now.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces reopening for several types of businesses on Thursday. The businesses are among the majority of “non-essential” activities that were prohibited following Caldwell’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order that took effect March 23. Star-Advertiser.

Some Oahu Businesses Will Reopen Thursday With Restrictions. Pet grooming services and music lessons can resume at home, with limitations. Civil Beat.

Select Oahu businesses gear up to reopen on Thursday. State leaders say keeping coronavirus cases down is the key to restarting tourism and the rest of Hawaii's economy. Hawaii News Now.

Caldwell eyes May 1 for possible reopening of low-risk businesses. Pet groomers, workers at an automated carwash, and realtors are part of the low-risk category who could resume work if the number of COVID-19 cases continues in a downward path. KHON2.

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Police panel leader says meeting to have video feed. The Honolulu Police Commission’s chairwoman said she and the commission staff have worked out a solution to include the public in the panel’s next regular meeting on May 6, which will allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu city official Guy Kaulukukui on paid leave after being named in child sex-abuse lawsuit. Honolulu Enterprise Services Director Guy Kaulukukui was placed on paid leave effective Monday after city officials learned he was the subject of a lawsuit filed against him and Kamehameha Schools alleging that he sexually abused a student when he was a teacher there in the 1980s. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Official On Leave After Sex Abuse Accusations In Lawsuit. A Kamehameha graduate says Guy Kaulukukui groomed her into having sexual relations while he was her teacher. Civil Beat.

City official on paid leave amidst investigation into inappropriate behavior. The director of the Department of Enterprise Services for the City and County of Honolulu has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior, Honolulu’s mayor said Wednesday.  Hawaii News Now.

City director placed on paid leave. A city director has been placed on paid leave. It stems from a civil lawsuit regarding sexual misconduct allegations that date back to the 80s. KHON2.

City's Director of Enterprise Services placed on administrative leave. The City and County of Honolulu's Director of Enterprise Services, Guy Kaulukukui, was placed on administrative leave with pay on Monday, April 27. KITV4.

Punahou Coach Accused Of Sex Abuse Went On To Other Schools. The women accusing him of sexual assault say Punahou knew about his behavior since 2003. But he’s coached at three other schools and a club team since Punahou. Civil Beat.

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Uprooted trees at park renewal has angered groups. The Outdoor Circle, other community groups and two Honolulu City Council members are voicing displeasure that the city has removed and is replacing 26 canopy trees from the Magic Island parking lot without consulting with them before doing so. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo Medical Center resumes elective surgeries. Hilo Medical Center has resumed performing elective surgeries, but those seeking such care will be required to take extra precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Some opala more essential than others: New transfer station restrictions start Friday. Complaints are piling up as fast as the opala as the county tries to get a grip on rubbish disposal during a statewide stay-at-home order. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island Businesses Brace for Impact of Stay-at-Home Extension. Hawaii Island’s businesses are trying to remain optimistic as they grapple with the challenge of staying afloat for another month after Gov. David Ige extended Hawaii’s stay-at-home order through May 31. West Hawaii Today.

Trail association awarded $3M to acquire land in Ka‘u. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources awarded more than $3 million in conservation funds to the Ala Kahakai Trail Association to acquire more than 1,700 acres of land in Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor: Parks, golf courses among first to reopen. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced Wednesday afternoon that the first round of reopenings will include select county beach and inland parks, along with golf courses, effective at 7 a.m. Friday. Maui News.

Mayor Announces Phased Re-Opening Calling it Maui’s “New Norm”. First phase includes some parks, golf courses, vehicle safety checks and automated car washes. Maui Now.

Maui County to reopen golf courses and several parks and beach parks. Mayor Michael Victorino will ease COVID-19 restrictions in Maui County by reopening golf courses and several county beach parks in May and at the same time announced that masks will be required in public. Star-Advertiser.

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Council committee works to trim mayor’s $869.8 million budget. A Maui County Council committee is on track to trim at least $50 million from the mayor’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget, though the working budget does include raises for the Office of Council Services that council members said would bring parity with other county departments. Maui News.

Kauai

Restructuring the emergency rules. You can fire up your nine iron or your nail gun on Sunday, May 3 due to a recent restructuring of Kauai’s emergency rules which allow, among other activities, construction and golfing to resume starting Sunday. Garden Island.

100,000 masks brought to Kaua‘i. On Tuesday, “Free Masks” signs could be seen from the highway driving up into Tamba Surf Shop. Garden Island.

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