Friday, June 5, 2020

Bickering shuts down meeting on reopening Hawaii economy, Caldwell signs new Honolulu energy code revision, Big Island raises taxes for luxury homes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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DBEDT and Senate committee communication shuts down amid allegations of bullying, harassment. A briefing on how to reopen Hawaii’s economy was canceled today due to an evolving spat between some members of the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 and the head of the state Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Bullying Feud Again Thwarts Senate Hearing On Hawaii Economy. Mike McCartney says senators have intimidated his staff. Civil Beat.

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Budget Chief: Deep Cuts Loom For The University of Hawaii. The extent of financial woes won’t be clear for another eight weeks when fall classes start and enrollment numbers are in. Civil Beat.

Parents, teachers weigh in on reopening Hawaii’s public schools. School officials are seeking input from parents, teachers and staff as they make plans to reopen schools for the fall semester, but it’s clear that whatever path they choose will face resistance. Star-Advertiser.

Environmental groups say personal protective equipment winding up in ocean. When PPE is discarded in public, it ends up clogging drains and washing into the ocean, which can affect marine wildlife. KHON2.

Disinfecting Dry Fog Used At Hawaii Correctional Facilities. The Department of Public Safety is sharing video that shows how a "revolutionary dry fog sanitation" is being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii reports 2 new COVID-19 cases, bringing statewide total to 655. One of the cases is an Oahu resident while the other is a resident diagnosed out of state. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs watered-down Energy Code revision, changes to affordable rental law. Builders will need to set aside a certain number of parking stalls to accommodate the charging of electrical vehicles under a bill signed into law Thursday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell that revamps the city Energy Code. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor signs bills aimed at bolstering access to solar, EV charging stations. Bill 25 requires every new home that’s built from now on to be photovoltaic-ready so the homeowner can easily install panels if and when they decide to. Hawaii News Now.

HART Has Spent Millions On Rail Design Work That May Not Be Used. The issue arose at Thursday’s board meeting as members grappled with the latest round of cost increases. Civil Beat.

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Gyms, theaters and bars among many businesses on Oahu allowed to reopen. Gyms, movie theaters and bars are among the businesses on Oahu that will be allowed to reopen this month per a city order representing a major leap to reopening the city’s economy. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. approves Honolulu Mayor’s request to open almost everything in June, bars included. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he’s sent a request to the Governor seeking to reopen just about everything else that remains shut down. KHON2.

Oahu restaurants today open tables while following social distancing rules. As Honolulu restaurants reopen today for dining in, those that can may use creative outdoor seating to allow for more customers, and hence more revenue. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu driver licensing centers are open, but by appointment only. Honolulu licensing centers are reopened and welcoming customers back, but one thing that’s not returning: Walking in and waiting. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s film, television industry given green light to resume on June 5. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that Oahu’s film and television industry will be able reopen for production and for on-location filming on June 5. KHON2.

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Honolulu Zoo opening its doors to the public with limited hours. The Honolulu Zoo reopens today on a smaller scale and with limited hours in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Zoo is reopening with safety measures for the visitors (and the animals). The Honolulu Zoo is set to reopen Friday with new safety measures in place to protect more than just the visitors. Hawaii News Now.

Adjusted visitor experience to be expected as Honolulu Zoo reopens Friday. For parents who are wanting to get their kids out of the house, the Honolulu Zoo reopens Friday, June 5. KHON2.

Honolulu Zoo re-opens Friday after 11-week closure because of COVID-19. The experience will be different though, with new social distancing guidelines. KITV4.

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Mufi Hannemann wins mayoral endorsement of Teamsters 996, 3 other labor unions. Mufi Hannemann today won mayoral endorsements from four unions, including that of the labor organization that represents operators of city-sponsored TheBus and HandiVan operations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Taxes raised for luxury real estate. Taxes will increase for luxury real estate under a budget passed Thursday evening by the Hawaii County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Kim ‘not surprised’ by unemployment numbers. A total of 31,712 new jobless claims were filed in Hawaii County between March 15 and May 30, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Tribune-Herald.

Planning commission approves permit for contentious cell tower. One of two contentious cell towers in Puna is back on the table after a meeting of the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

County Council Approves Additional Funding for Food Distribution Efforts. Hawai‘i County Council approved funding to support the continued food distribution efforts to keiki islandwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

High enterococci levels prompt advisory for waters near Niumalu Beach. The advisory was issued due to high levels of enterococci found in a sampling of ocean water from the Niumalu Beach area, the Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch reported. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Commercial watersports can resume only at state facilities. DLNR gives green light with restrictions. Maui News.

War Memorial parking lot work shows progress. It is scheduled to be completed Aug. 1 and to have 807 stalls, 40 more than it formerly had. Maui News.

Kauai

County hoping for $28 million in CARES Act funds. The county is poised to receive $28,715,551 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds as a sub-recipient of the $862,823,979 received by the state. Garden Island.

Patroling public restrooms. Kaua’i County modified its sanitation standards for its public restrooms, hoping to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Wallace G. Rezentes Jr. said. Garden Island.

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