Monday, November 30, 2020

Furloughs, layoffs loom for Hawaii government workers, Kauai reinstates 14-day quarantine, Supreme Court blocks police union attempt to keep discipline records secret, Kealohas to be sentenced today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Merrie Monarch event pre-COVID ©2020 All Hawaii News

Next Year's Merrie Monarch Festival Is On But With No Live Audience. Organizers of the Merrie Monarch Festival announced there will be no live audience for the annual hula competition next year. Tickets to the spring event usually go on sale around Dec. 1, but the sales have been canceled. Instead, organizers and sponsors are exploring other options given the ongoing pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Merrie Monarch 2021 Will Have No Live Audience. The organizers of the world-renowned hula festival say they are considering options for holding the event in 2021, but it is clear that there will be no live audience. Big Island Video News.

Merrie Monarch Festival organizers plan for crowd-less 2021 event. The stands of Edith Kanakaole Stadium in Hilo will once again be silent this April, as Merrie Monarch organizers announced Saturday that a 2021 event would need to be held without fans in attendance. Hawaii News Now.

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Saving The State Budget: Furloughs And Layoffs Are Looking More Likely. Even public employee union leaders are warning their workers that the Legislature will have to make the best of a dire budget situation this coming year. Lawmakers and Gov. David Ige are planning initiatives to “restructure” government to cut costs to cope with the state budget crisis. The Ige administration is setting a goal of cutting a whopping $600 million from next year’s operating budget. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Judge Blocks Police Union Attempt To Keep Cop Misconduct Secret. Hawaii’s police union has lost its first legal battle in an ongoing fight to keep officer misconduct records hidden from public view. On Friday, First Circuit Judge Dean Ochiai ruled that when a police officer is suspended or fired for misconduct such information is a matter of public record under state law. Civil Beat.

Hawaii seeks to be seen as a remote workplace with a view. The pandemic is giving many workers the freedom to do their jobs from anywhere. Now that Hawaii’s economy is reeling from dramatically fewer tourists, a group of state officials and community leaders wants more people like Berger to help provide an alternative to relying on short-term visitors. Associated Press.

New rule requiring travelers to present COVID-19 test results prior to flight already causing headaches. Starting Tuesday, travelers flying to the islands must upload their negative COVID-19 test before departure in order to avoid the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Green Suggests Changes To Traveler Testing Program. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green suggested that the way to “perfect" the state's coronavirus testing system for incoming travelers is to extend the mandatory pre-flight testing window from three days prior to arrival to four and requiring a second test when the person touches down. Associated Press.

Billions in private construction projects stall during pandemic. Construction activity has been one of the economic bright spots during the pandemic. But in recent months, a number of high-profile projects have run into delays. Hawaii News Now.

Supreme Court dismisses election challenge suit. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit contesting the state’s presidential election filed by a woman who said she ran for president as an independent yet she wasn’t on the ballot. Two other lawsuits challenging the Nov. 3 general election results are pending before the state Supreme Court, which is where election challenges must be submitted under state law. Associated Press.

Humpback whale season opens early in Hawaii and researchers hope numbers continue to rebound. November is the traditional start of hoi kohola, the return of humpback whales to Hawaii, when an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 of the protected marine mammals migrate from their Alaska summer feeding grounds to the islands, where they sing, mate and birth and nurse calves in warm, shallow waters until April, when they start back north. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 29: 57 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases included 46 on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai and three on Maui. Three Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Kealoha corruption case nears conclusion with Monday’s sentencings. The fate of Honolulu’s once most powerful law enforcement couple — former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kea­loha — is scheduled to be announced in federal court on Monday, writing a final chapter to one of Hawaii’s most stunning public corruption cases that embarrassed island law enforcement and shocked the community for the depths of its betrayal. Star-Advertiser.

After lengthy delay, Kealohas to be sentenced in one of Hawaii’s biggest public corruption cases. One of the biggest public corruption cases in Hawaii history is finally coming to an end. Ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his estranged wife Katherine, a former high-ranking former deputy city prosecutor, will face a federal judge Monday to be sentenced. Hawaii News Now.

After several delays, Kealohas to be sentenced Monday.  Disgraced retired police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, are scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Monday, Nov. 30. KHON2.

Oahu surge testing wraps up on Monday, Nov. 30. The last day to receive a free surge test from the City and County of Honolulu will be Monday, Nov. 30. KHON2.

Ala Moana condo to go before City Council. Expect lively debate Wednesday when the owners of Ala Moana Center present to a Honolulu City Council committee their plan for a 40-story, 583-unit condominium tower on the makai, Diamond Head corner of Piikoi and Kona streets. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council, public speak out on Roth’s Cabinet picks. Mayor-elect Mitch Roth drew from both government and private sectors in his choices for Cabinet officials, but some people think his appointees to head two key departments — Planning and Public Works — sway too far pro-development. West Hawaii Today.

Broken corals found in Makako Bay are reattached. More than 80 living coral fragments that were broken off the reef at Makako Bay have been replanted on the reef by biologists and staff with the Division of Aquatic Resources of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Broken Corals Restored To Coral Reef At Makakō Bay. In November, numerous live coral fragments were found scattered below the base of a popular manta dive site mooring at Makakō Bay, or Garden Eel Cove, in North Kona.  Big Island Video News.

Humane society looks to the future. In June, the humane society ended its contract with Hawaii County to provide animal control services, which were funded by the county. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County could see more restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise. Maui County Mayor Mike Victorio says he plans to decide on Friday if he'll move the county from it's "Act with Care" phase to a "Safer At Home" order which would come with more restrictions. KITV4.

Restaurant closes for cleaning after COVID-19 cases found. The Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea closed temporarily “out of an abundance of caution” after three employees tested positive for COVID-19. Maui News.

Uechi named Maui News managing editor. Longtime editor Lee Imada leaves after nearly 40 years. Assistant City Editor Colleen Uechi has been promoted to managing editor of The Maui News following the departure of longtime editor Lee Imada, the company announced Friday. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauaʻi Halts Participation In Pre-Travel Testing Program. The decision, approved by Goveror David Ige, means that all transpacific and inter-county travelers to Kaua‘i are again subject to a 14-day quarantine. Big Island Video News.

Kauai opts out of pre-travel testing program in bid to stem community spread. Gov. David Ige has approved a request by the mayor of Kauai to temporarily opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, a decision that will force all travelers to the Garden Isle — including those on neighbor island flights — to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai 'resort bubble' prepares for new travel restrictions. On December 2nd, Kauai County is opting out of Hawaii's pre-travel testing program. That means that anyone coming from either the mainland or another island will be required to do the mandatory 14-day quarantine regardless of COVID-19 test result. KITV4.

Virtual inauguration Tuesday. The Kaua‘i County Council and prosecuting attorney will be inaugurated virtually Tuesday, Dec. 1. Garden Island.

Kauai County Council Joins Fight Against Proposed Glamping Resort. The plan to develop luxury camping at a Princeville golf course may eventually run afoul of a newly reenergized county ordinance covering open spaces. Civil Beat.

Ground broken for huge ‘Ele‘ele housing project. The County Housing Agency held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lima Ola affordable housing project in ‘Ele‘ele last week. Garden Island.

Molokai

Moloka’i Forests To Be Protected From Wildfires and Erosion. Forests on the southern slopes of Moloka‘i are about to receive additional protection from threats like wildfires, erosion and flooding thanks to a new award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The foundation has awarded over $1.8 million to the DLNR to address threats using proven tools such as fencing and removing hooved animals, as well as creating firebreaks. Maui Now.



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