Tuesday, September 22, 2020

State employee furloughs part of budget-balancing plan, survey shows half of Hawaii residents wary of COVID-19 vaccine, businesses question readiness for tourists, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 

HGEA workers
Courtesy Hawaii Government Employees Association

Governor proposes public worker union furloughs that would amount to 10% pay cut for 4 years. Gov. David Ige met with union leaders Monday afternoon to discuss the proposal, which is poised to start Dec. 1 and would likely be coupled with deep cuts to contracts and state programs. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Human Services employees told to expect 10% furlough for 4 years. Department of Human Services employees, who continue to assist those in need during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, got the news late this afternoon that their department will likely experience furloughs. Star-Advertiser.

Half of Hawaii residents are wary of taking a vaccine, according to a community survey. Even if a much-awaited vaccine for COVID-19 became available, nearly half of Hawaii residents surveyed last month by the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center said they were not yet committed to getting it. Star-Advertiser.

Survey: Hawaii Residents Give State Low Marks For COVID Response. They are also wary of reopening to tourism even as they struggle to make ends meet and fear the pandemic’s long-term impact. Civil Beat.

When And How Does The Pandemic End? Settle in for another year — at least — of mask wearing and social distancing, the experts say. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige says he’s reluctant to set COVID-19 benchmarks for reopening, closing. Gov. David Ige said the county mayors want to set explicit COVID-19 benchmarks that would trigger economic shutdown and reopening, but he favors continuing a more nuanced approach. Star-Advertiser.

Details remain vague on Hawaii’s October pre-arrival testing program. Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week that Hawaii will launch a pre-arrival testing program Oct. 15 kicked off the start of a fall tourism reopening for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: No testing for keiki. The state plans to allow incoming travelers from out of state who have tested negative for the coronavirus to avoid quarantine as of Oct. 15 — but visitors seeking a family vacation might have to look elsewhere. Tribune-Herald.

Fast, Frequent And Cheap COVID-19 Tests Hold Promise For Hawaii. Some experts agree that rapid tests could be a useful tool to fight the spread of coronavirus but caution they’re not a panacea. Civil Beat.

Lt. Governor says multiple forms of COVID-19 testing will eventually be accepted.
Hawaii's pre-travel testing program begins in less than one month and details of how it'll work are slowly being revealed. KITV4.

As Deadline Approaches, More Than $1 Billion In Federal Aid To Hawaii Remains Unspent. When Congress rushed to pass the $2 trillion emergency assistance package known as the CARES Act in March, the goal was to get the money to individuals and businesses quickly. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Cases of COVID Push Downward, as DOH Identifies 56 Monday. The Hawai‘i Department of Health on Monday reported 56 new cases statewide, bringing the statewide total to 11,459. Big Island Now.

Hawaii COVID-19 Monday Update At Noon: 56 New Cases, 2 Big Island Deaths. There was a lower number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 statewide on Monday, however the death toll on the Big Island continues to rise. Big Island Video News.

Oahu

Internal emails suggest officers are being pressured to write more emergency order citations. Police officers serving in a special COVID-19 enforcement team appear to be facing pressure from within to issue more citations to those violating emergency orders. Hawaii News Now.

Class-action suit filed over COVID-19 outbreak at OCCC . Several inmates and an adult correctional officer at the Oahu Community Correctional Center have filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging state that prison officials failed to protect staffers there and housed sick inmates with healthy ones. Hawaii News Now.

Businesses call on leaders to form clearer plans to revitalize the local economy. With the stay-at-home order set to be lifted in just a few days, the city not releasing official plans to reopening is no surprise to business owners. Hawaii News Now.

Bad time to replace HART leader, critics say. The impending ouster of the head of the troubled Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation — the rail project’s sixth leader in nine years — comes as another critical deadline approaches for the city’s $9.2 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

City lifeguards launch emergency mobile response during Hawaii Beach Safety Week. Drownings can happen with astonishing speed. Star-Advertiser.

“Wi-Fi on Wheels” program aims to help students with internet problems. Kamehameha Schools, Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) and HawaiiKidsCAN launched a “Wi-Fi on Wheels” connectivity program to support families of one West O’ahu school with their distance learning needs. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Kim urges Gov. to remove managing company Avalon from Hilo Veterans Home. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim wants drastic changes at the Veterans Home in Hilo where 24 residents have now died. KHON2.

Report: ‘Culture’ At Hilo Veterans Home Contributed To Deadly Spread Of COVID-19. A state review says lapses in protocols and staff complacency likely led to the surge in infections. Civil Beat.

HI-EMA report says Hilo veterans home staff played role in COVID-19 spread. Coronavirus transmission brought in from Liberty Dialysis and internal spread in the employee break room of a Hilo veterans home appear to be among the origins of the largest COVID-19 nursing facility outbreaks in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Reports find fault with Avalon Health Care Group. Critical reports stemming from recent assessments at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home have identified a number of factors that might have aided in the spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility. Tribune-Herald.

VA, HIEMA Reports Indicate Bad Practices, Procedures at Veterans Home. Big Island Now.

Two Reports Examine Failures In Hilo Veterans Home Outbreak. Separate reports detailing conditions and protocols at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been developed by the State and Federal agencies. Big Island Video News.

Isle businesses guarded about Oct. 15 reopening. While the state has announced that some restrictions on travel to Hawaii will be lifted Oct. 15, many businesses are skeptical whether the plan will actually happen. Tribune-Herald.

DOJ approves beer merger; Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii operations to be sold. Craft Brew Alliance has agreed to sell Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii operations in order to pave the way for the purchase of the alliance by beer giant Anheuser-Busch. West Hawaii Today.

Commission defers decision on wedding business permit. The Leeward Planning Commission on Monday deferred decision on an after-the-fact permit for a wedding venue in the coffee-growing region of Holualoa. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor: Interisland pre-travel test may be coming. A pre-travel COVID-19 testing program for interisland flyers to bypass quarantine “could be the prelude” to the program for trans-Pacific flyers, set to begin Oct. 15, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Monday afternoon. Maui News.

Budget will not be cut for first responders on Maui. On Friday Mayor Michael Victorino said the county is ready to use federal CARES Act money to cover any possible budget cuts. KITV4.

Ige signs bills on Front Street housing lease. Gov. David Ige has signed a bill that would extend the deadline for the state housing agency to work out a lease for the Front Street Apartments, a housing project in Lahaina that lawmakers have fought to keep affordable. Maui News.

Main trails into Haleakala Crater to fully open for day hikes Wednesday. The Keonehe’ehe’e (Sliding Sands) Trail and Halemau’u Trail in Haleakala Crater are open for day hikes starting Wednesday, the national park announced Monday. Maui News.

Haleakalā Increases Access by Opening All Crater Trails for Day Use. Maui Now.

Kauai

Tune in for county council forum Wednesday. Tomorrow, 13 of the 14 candidates running for a seat on the Kaua‘i County Council will take the stage, er, virtual stage, for another round of questions at one of the only forums to this election season. Garden Island.

County auction scheduled to begin Sept. 24. County officials announced Friday that its annual vehicle and equipment auction will begin on Thursday, Sept. 24. Garden Island.

Coffee berry borers’ found on Kaua’i raises for concern for industry. The Kaua‘i Coffee Company experienced a small outbreak of the coffee borer beetle last week. Garden Island.

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