Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Masks, physical distancing instituted as Legislature goes back into session, Lt. Gov. Green pushes to open restaurants and salons May 25, Gen. Hara warns of possible riots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii House Democrats
Hawaii Legislature opens May 11, 2020 PC:Hawaii House Democrats
Lawmakers return to Capitol to make budget fixes and avoid furloughs. Masked state lawmakers gathered at the Capitol on Monday, returning to work in floor sessions where they sat 6 feet away from one another in a striking display of caution that illustrates how much has changed with the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the state and the country. Star-Advertiser.

Back In Session: Hawaii Lawmakers Grapple With A Billion-Dollar Budget Hole. Gov. David Ige is not on board with much of the Legislature’s fiscal plan including how to spend federal bailout money and public worker pay cuts. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers back to work on budget bills. The state legislative is back in session and lawmakers focus on financial bills during this tough economic time. KITV4.

Lawmakers outline plans to make up state’s budget shortfall. Lawmakers said Monday they plan to plug a projected $1 billion hole in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year by using money from the rainy day fund, reducing vacancies in state bureaucracies and issuing bonds. Associated Press

‘Clerical error’ overstated state’s coronavirus-related budget shortfall — but by how much? During a press conference on Monday, Governor David Ige acknowledged his budget staff made a financial miscalculation before he proposed 20% pay cuts for all state workers several weeks ago. Hawaii News Now.

House Speaker Saiki Remarks At Reconvening Legislature. Over the coming weeks, Speaker Saiki said, lawmakers will work to avoid drastic budget cuts and disruption in basic government services. Big Island Video News.

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Gov. David Ige considers photographing incoming Hawaii visitors to improve quarantine compliance. An effort to improve screening of non-residents arriving at Hawaii airports may include photographing them, under a plan that’s being explored by state officials, Gov. David Ige said. Star-Advertiser.


Green Announces ‘Travel With Aloha’ Program. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green on Monday announced his “Travel With Aloha” initiative, which proposes all those who want to travel to Hawai‘i receive a rapid turnaround test for COVID-19. If they test negative, they could be exempted from the stipulations of the mandatory, 14-day travel quarantine. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Airlines blocks middle seats and requires face coverings amid pandemic. Airlines are starting to change how passengers board and sit inside planes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiian Airlines is flying some of its larger parked jets on neighbor island flights to allow for physical distancing. KHON2.

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Ige says Hawaii ‘flattening curve’ but must remain vigilant. Gov. David Ige on Monday afternoon lauded Hawaii for continuing to “flatten the curve” but warned that social distancing must continue to stay on track so that the state can slowly reopen its economy. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus recovery a ‘marathon,’ not a sprint, Gov. Ige says. For 23 consecutive days, fewer than six new cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported statewide. But in light of the downward trend, as businesses across the state either reopen or prepare to do so, Gov. David Ige is cautioning Hawaii residents to move forward carefully. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. eyes May 25 for ‘medium risk businesses’ to reopen. With new cases of the coronavirus few and far between, leaders are getting more specific about what the next phase of reopening looks like. On Monday the Lt. Governor said he believes it’s safe enough to get the the majority of the kamaaina economy back up and running. Things like restaurants, salons and what he calls other medium risk businesses. Hawaii News Now.

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2 coronavirus clusters in Hawaii involved people who went to parties, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara says. Two clusters of people who became ill with COVID-19 in Hawaii involved parties where people apparently ignored warnings to engage in social distancing and avoid social gatherings, according to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, the incident commander for the state’s coronavirus response. Star-Advertiser.

2 New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed In Hawaii. The state has confirmed 634 COVID-19 cases since the first case of the virus was reported in early March. About 13% of those people have been hospitalized. Civil Beat.

Cases Up 2; Health Dept. Under More Fire; Prosecutor Raises Alarms Over Inmates. Hawaii recorded two new coronavirus cases today. The state health department reported that the count is now at 634 and the deaths stand at 17. Oahu cases are at 410, Maui County at 117, Hawaii Island at 75 and Kauai County at 21. There are 11 cases diagnosed out of state. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Delay in reopening economy could lead to rioting. The head of Hawaii’s coronavirus response team said Monday that further delays in reopening Hawaii’s economy — especially to tourism — could result in rioting. Star-Advertiser.

General Hara Warns Of Civil Unrest. Members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness heard the concerns of the incident commander for the state's coronavirus response. Big Island Video News.

If economic strife continues, Gen. Hara worries of ‘civil unrest’ in Hawaii. Governor Ige's cautious approach to reopening the economy drew harsh warnings Monday from the business and government leaders who are advising him. One of their concerns is the possibility of riots. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige: Civil unrest unlikely. Gov. David Ige said Monday he doesn’t think Hawaii’s current economic crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to civil unrest. Tribune-Herald.

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Gov. Ige on CARES Act Funding: $175 Million to be Split Among Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Counties. Governor David Ige said Maui will split $175 million in federal funds with Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi counties as part of the CARES Act appropriation for the state. Maui Now.

Hawaii’s Struggling Farms Want The State To Become A Bigger Customer. With local farmers reeling from a drop in demand from hotels and restaurants, advocates hope schools, prisons and hospitals will buy more local produce. Civil Beat.

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Hawaiian Homes Launches Rental Relief Program. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Aloha United Way today launched the new program for beneficiaries. Big Island Video News.

New program will provide financial assistance to eligible beneficiaries on DHHL wait list. Financial help is on the way for Hawaiians on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wait list. KITV4.

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The doors of Hawaii’s libraries are still open online. Although the Hawaii State Public Library System’s 51 branches are closed during, people are still flocking to make use of its myriad online resources. Star-Advertiser.

2020 graduates’ job prospects predicted to be grim. As graduation nears, Hawaii college and high school seniors might face a slim chance of landing a job during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser.

16 New Solar Farms For Hawaii But Utility Won’t Say Where Exactly. The public might have to wait 30 days for details of plans for 16 solar-plus-storage or standalone storage projects on three islands. Civil Beat.

USS Nevada located off of Oahu. The wreck of the Nevada was found about 75 miles southwest of Pearl Harbor in more than 15,400 feet of water. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Invited To Testify On Spending Federal Aid. Residents can share their thoughts about how to spend $387 million. Civil Beat.

New legislation asks for $100 million to help Honolulu’s small businesses. Oahu is getting about $380 million dollars, and now a big push is being made to take a $100 million of that and put it toward small businesses. KHON2.

Pearlridge Center, other retailers begin to detail phased reopening plans.  Reduced hours, rearranged food courts and continued respect for social distancing practices are among the guidelines retailers are setting forth ahead of May 15, the date most such stores will be allowed to reopen on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

International Market Place will reopen on Friday. The center court and grassy lawn areas will remain closed along with drinking fountains. KITV4.

Retailers looking to nab cleaning supplies and sanitizer before reopening. Retailers are preparing to reopen this week, but finding the necessary cleaning supplies and protective gear is becoming a challenge for some. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Antibody testing begins on the Big Island. Drive-through testing for COVID-19 antibodies, which started last week on the Big Island, is apparently the first of its kind available in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Ample, Highly Accurate Antibody Tests to go Widescale Inside the Month. Antibody testing arrived on Hawai‘i Island for public use over the weekend, and Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said Monday he thinks widescale surveys will be underway across all islands inside of the month. Big Island Now.

Maui

A Maui company making ventilators is now getting international orders. Maui County spent $100,000 to purchase 64 newly manufactured ventilators – all made by Maui engineers. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Police Conduct Walk Through at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center on Day 1 of Phased Reopening. Many retailers remain closed or are in the process of cleaning for a future reopening. Maui Now.

Hotel developer moving forward despite economic downturn. Draft EA released for six-story Hotel Wailuku. Even with travel down and the economy struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, a Wailuku landowner is moving forward with plans to build a 156-room hotel in Wailuku town. Maui News.

Kauai

Keeping short-term rentals closed. While restrictions and stay-at-home orders are being lifted around the island, short-term vacation rentals and homestays have been shut down through the end of May. Garden Island.

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