Monday, June 15, 2020

Pompeo to meet Chinese officials in Hawaii, vacation rentals reopening on three islands, state's largest newspaper threatens to lay off half of newsroom, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo official photo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Chinese officials in Hawaii as tensions escalate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning a trip to Hawaii this week to meet with Chinese government officials as tensions continue to mount between China and the United States, according to multiple media reports. Star-Advertiser.

Pompeo Plans To Meet In Hawaii With China Officials. Politico and CNN are reporting that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to meet with China officials at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu early this week. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Bankruptcies decline thanks to federal loan program. Federal aid programs appear to be keeping a lid on statewide bankruptcies despite the pandemic, but one of the state’s top economists says that could change after the end of this month when the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program ends. Star-Advertiser.

Ige named in COVID suit. A civil lawsuit against Gov. David Ige alleges his COVID-19-related orders violate state and federal constitutions, and requests the courts declare those rules unconstitutional and void. Garden Island.

Traveling inter-island after June 16? Mandatory forms available online. Hawaii News Now.

DOH: ‘No increased risk’ for travelers as Oahu cases mount. Oahu tallies nearly 50 cases since beginning of June. Maui News.

Vacation rental owners, managers say they're suffering from COVID-19 changes. State says in April 2020, the total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 319,500 unit nights and monthly demand was just 16,000 unit nights. KITV4.

Hawaii’s long-term care homes have lowest COVID-19 rate in the nation. Even as COVID-19 cases rise again in Hawaii, state officials assured residents Friday that the island’s long-term care facilities remain safe. Tribune-Herald.

Recent spike in COVID-19 cases will test Hawaii’s preparations. There were 15 new cases Friday and 17 cases reported Saturday, which were the biggest single-day increases in the islands in nearly two months. Later Sunday the state Department of Health reported five new cases, raising the statewide total of infections to 728.  Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — JUNE 14: 5 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. With a total of 728 cases of the virus reported in the state, Hawaii has one of the lowest per capita rates of infection in the country. Civil Beat.

5 new cases of COVID-19 reported from Oahu, Big Island, total now 728. KHON2.

Oahu

Honolulu mayoral candidates talk post-coronavirus sustainability. Half a dozen candidates for Honolulu mayor have promised to make a sustainable and livable Hawaii, but Friday at a forum gave only broad, general statements without going too deep into details on key questions. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell disagrees on extent of Police Commission’s authority. The differences in opinion of the commission’s true authority are coming to light as the call for reform of police departments across the U.S. has heightened following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii's largest daily newspaper may lay off half its newsroom staff. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has told about half of its newsroom staff that they will be laid off at the end of the month as Hawaii’s largest newspaper deals with the economic effects of Covid-19, but the newspaper's publisher said he is negotiating with the editorial guild to avoid laying off the 29 editorial workers. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser staffers push back against impending layoffs. Workers, community members and reporters are reacting with shock to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s announcement Thursday it is laying off half of the newsroom. KITV4.

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City Council resolution seeks to condemn derelict Waikiki building for affordable housing. A Honolulu City Council member wants the city to condemn a derelict Waikiki apartment building sandwiched between the Watermark, one of Oahu’s toniest condominiums, and freshly renovated walk-up apartments. Star-Advertiser.

Shuttered Meadow Gold plant in Honolulu goes on sale. The Texas-based owner of the Meadow Gold Hawaii dairy processing plant in Honolulu is seeking to sell the property for $25 million after shutting down the facility in April. Star-Advertiser.

Bill could impact Aloha Stadium demolition, landfill operator says. The company that operates the only public construction and demolition landfill and recycling facility on Oahu said a proposal that would require a buffer zone around the construction or expansion of disposal facilities “would be a disaster for the construction industry” and “drive up costs for construction projects of all sizes, including the new Aloha Stadium development.” Star-Advertiser.

Makiki nursing home employee tests positive for coronavirus. A staff member at a Makiki nursing home has tested positive for the coronavirus, the fourth case of the virus at a long-term care facility in a week on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

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Hundreds rally in Honolulu for Breonna Taylor. From the classic “No Justice, No Peace” to the more contemporary “Wrong Generation to (expletive) With,” the mostly homemade signs and placards borne by nearly 500 people who participated in Sunday’s Justice for Breonna Taylor Women’s March attested both to the diversity of the crowd and the singularity of their purpose. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds participate in Oahu march for Breonna Taylor. Protests nationally and here in Hawaii continued this weekend with more people bringing attention to racial inequality. Hawaii News Now.

First open street event on Kalakaua Ave. draws hundreds. Hundreds, if not thousands, filled Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki Sunday morning. A portion of the road was closed to cars so people could exercise and support businesses in the area that hasn’t seen activity because of COVID-19. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Fire Department and volunteers erect homeless shelters. The access road behind Old Kona Airport Park became the newest homeless shelter as 18 tiny houses were constructed Saturday morning. West Hawaii Today.

Volunteers Construct 19 Emergency Homeless Units in Single Day. Na Lamakū will serve as an emergency shelter living space, complete with wraparound services, for up to 30 adult homeless individuals looking to take the first step toward self-sufficiency. Big Island Now.

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New ‘primary airport’ classification sought for KOA. The state Department of Transportation wants a 150-room hotel and conference center at the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport and is seeking new zoning for that airport as well as Hilo International Airport for a variety of travel-related uses. West Hawaii Today.

Safety improvements eyed for Highway 130. The state Department of Transportation wants to further improve safety and mobility along Highway 130 between Keaau and Pahoa by using capital improvement funding recently allocated by lawmakers. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Fire Department Scrambles To Plug A Budget Hole. The state’s economic crash hit the department hard. But leaders are confident they can find money to keep lifeguards at popular Hapuna Beach on the job. Civil Beat.

New Kona Brewing Co. brewery eyes summer launch. Originally slated for an opening in early 2019, Kona Brewing’s construction — one with a thorough focus on sustainability — has been hit by a handful of delays along the way. Kona’s remote location presented difficulties procuring the right equipment and materials for the brewery’s sustainability projects. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Vacation rentals allowed to reopen. Reservations can be taken now for stays beginning Tuesday for guests who are not under quarantine. Maui News.

Maui TVRs Allowed to Restart on June 16, But Can Only Accommodate Individuals Not Subject to Quarantine. Maui Now.

Hawai‘i Nature Center at ‘Īao Valley Readies for Return of Maui Keiki. A team of volunteers and staff is readying the Hawai‘i Nature Center campus at ʻĪao Valley on Maui for the return of children next week. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Restart: Agriculture. The Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Team dedicated to the agriculture sector will attempt to revitalize agriculture businesses that experienced financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

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