Monday, November 16, 2020

About 70-80% face mask compliance in Hawaii, Honolulu Fire chief to justify OT, Pearl Harbor ceremony closed to the public, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Masks are worn at Hawaii farmers market ©2020 All Hawaii News

Lt. Governor: Current facemask rules 'too difficult’ to enforce, suggests revisions. With the holidays approaching, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the current mask mandate is not enough to control a potential winter surge. He adds that mask wearing rates have ranged between 70-80%, but if the state can’t get over 90% consistently, he said there will be a spread of COVID. Hawaii News Now.

Health experts warn lawmakers about holiday surge. There are alarming projections from local health experts of a possible surge in COVID cases as we head toward the holidays. They say it emphasizes the need to strictly follow all the necessary precautions. KHON2.

Hawaii’s COVID numbers are climbing more slowly than the rest of the U.S. The 14-day change in Hawaii cases was up 36% through Saturday. For the nation as a whole, that number was up 80%. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii Eases Travel Restrictions, Military Maintains Quarantines.
Military spouses and their children can bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test but are urged not to. Civil Beat.

Time Is Running Out For Hawaii To Spend $877 Million In Coronavirus Relief Funds. Money set aside to help struggling renters and small businesses will be used to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund if the cash isn’t spent by Dec. 31. Civil Beat.

Pension fund climbs 5.3% despite challenges. The state Employees’ Retirement System portfolio — which includes contributions and distributions — rose by more than $900 million to finish the quarter that ended Sept. 30 at $18 billion and mark its second robust quarter in a row after posting a 6.2% return in the quarter that ended June 30. Star-Advertiser.

State Senate mulls Char’s judicial appointment. The state Senate is scheduled to convene a special session Wednesday to review Gov. David Ige’s appointment for a vacancy on the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald’s appointment of Stephanie Char to the District Family Court of the Fifth Circuit. Garden Island.

Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony To Be Closed To Public. The annual Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor will be closed to the public this year and streamed online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony will begin at 7:50 a.m. on Dec. 7 at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial’s Contemplation Circle in Hawaii. Associated Press.

COVID-19 Data: Dashboards Galore, But Key Data Still Sparse. People in Hawaii have plenty of COVID-19 dashboards to choose from, but important information sought by researchers and policymakers is still missing. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 14: 108 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii health officials reported 108 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Saturday, including one on Maui, three on Kauai, 12 on Hawaii Island and 90 on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Council to hear from HFD chief on OT issues. A Honolulu City Council committee on Wednesday will hear from Fire Chief Manuel Neves and other Hono­lulu Fire Department brass on what progress they’ve made to shore up fiscal policies in response to a report on overtime payments issued in June by the city’s Internal Control Division. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed walkway over Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako raises cost concerns. State plans to build a $30 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge across Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako near the site of a horrific crash that killed three pedestrians and seriously injured four other victims is drawing criticism from some community members who say the costly project will largely benefit the upscale Ward Village development and doesn’t address more urgent safety concerns at other busy intersections nearby. Star-Advertiser.

State finalizes sale of affordable-housing tower for $35 million. Local developer Stanford Carr and a California-based partner have completed a delayed purchase of a low-income housing tower in Kakaako from the state. Star-Advertiser.

City of Honolulu honors Ala Moana affordable housing project. The City and County of Honolulu presented an honorary certificate to the developer of an affordable housing project in the Ala Moana area on Nov. 15. KHON2.

New affordable rental units ready for residents in Waikiki. The “Lilia Waikiki” is the first new, for-rent development in the area in decades. Rent ranges from $1,400 to about $2,000 a month. Hawaii News Now.

Waianae farm embarks on ‘a future of plenty’.
MA‘O Organic Farms, a nonprofit organic farm in Waianae that helps young adults, largely from the area, develop skills and go to college has secured $11.5 million to grow operations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council to get update on mayoral transition. Hawaii County’s outgoing and incoming mayors are set to provide Hawaii County Council members with an update on transition plans this week. West Hawaii Today.

Pay to park in downtown Hilo?
Proposed project would help fund area revitalization. Paid parking and other changes could be coming to downtown Hilo under a proposed model for a Business Improvement District. Tribune-Herald.

382 Abandoned Vehicles Removed From Hawaiian Homestead In Puna. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Hawaiʻi County partnered to removes the vehicles - and tires - from Makuʻu. Big Island Video News.

Airport construction continues: Nan Inc. awarded $8.3M USDA inspection building contract. Construction is anticipated to begin next year on a new USDA inspection building at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawai‘i COVID Surge Shows No Signs of Slowing. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense reported nine new cases of coronavirus on the Big Island Sunday. Maui Now.

Maui

Whistleblower details hostile work environment allegations against Maui prosecutor. As a longtime victims rights advocate and deputy prosecutor on Maui, Leslee Matthews has seen hundreds of cases of domestic violence and household abuse. But she never thought she would be a victim of workplace abuse — allegedly at the hands of own her boss, Maui Prosecutor Don Guzman. Hawaii News Now.

BLNR OKs E. Maui water for Mahi Pono. Following staff recommendations, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously approved another round of one-year permits, allowing the diversion of water from East Maui streams on state land in 2021 for Mahi Pono crops. Maui News.

Kahului Power Plant shutdown plan presented. Hawaiian Electric has developed a plan to shut down the power generation capability of the 72-year-old oil-fired Kahului Power Plant in 2024, while maintaining some of its power distribution capabilities, and building a new switchyard off Pulehu Road. Maui News.

Two administrators leaving Maui Health. Two Maui Health administrators will be leaving by the end of this month, the hospital operator announced. Mike Swanson, assistant administrator of hospital operations, is retiring effective Nov. 27. Debbie Walsh, chief operating officer, is also leaving Maui Health to be with her family on the Mainland. Her last day will be Nov. 30. Maui News.

Kauai

Input sought on housing. The County Housing Agency will hold a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 30, on proposed rules and regulations governing the certification of affordable Additional Rental Units. Garden Island.

Kauai counting new group of cases not identified by state. Since travel restrictions eased in mid-October, Kauai has reported 30 new COVID-19 cases. KHON2.

More Travel-Related Kauai Cases Reported, Could Trigger Additional Restrictions. Kauai officials yesterday reported three new cases on the island, two related to travel, including one who tested negative in a pre-flight test and then tested positive. The continuing increase in cases on the island could trigger more restrictions under the county's reopening plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Over 400 tested in Kapa‘a. The free, COVID-19-surge-testing program offers residents, especially those involved with the hospitality industry and the uninsured, an opportunity to get tested for the novel coronavirus. Garden Island.

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