Monday, November 9, 2020

Green calls for mask mandate as COVID-19 cases climb, Maui prosecutor ousted, Kahuku 'Red Raiders' mascot nixed, more new from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: state of Hawaii
Gov. Ige and Lt. Gov. Green welcomes Japan tourists PC:Sate of Hawaii

Law mandating masks needed, Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green insists. Coronavirus cases are rising again, and Lt. Gov. Josh Green is seeking to stop the spread by asking Hawaii’s legislators to pass a statewide mandatory mask-wearing law during a special session this month. Star-Advertiser.

Five days of triple-digit daily case counts have created mounting concerns that the state, particularly Oahu, could be slipping back into another surge in infections that would force a retreat in reopening efforts. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige Planning To Defer $1.85B In Health Fund Payments, Furloughs Still On The Table. Negotiations with unions are already underway as furloughs could begin in December. Gov. David Ige’s financial plan also includes a big loan from the feds. Civil Beat.

Senate Panel To Consider Hawaii Supreme Court Nominee Nov. 16. A second special session for the Senate is scheduled for Nov. 18. Civil Beat.

Japan helps diversify Hawaii’s tourism recovery. Only a few thousand visitors from Japan are expected to come to Hawaii during the remainder of this year. But that trickle is important to supporting Hawaii’s economy, which has a large part of its visitor industry infrastructure built around catering to Japanese tourists. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travel Program is Luring Tourists Back, But Very Slowly. For the first 23 days of the Safe Travel Program, Maui has had a total of 31,715 trans-Pacific travelers; the Big Island has had 15,953; Kauai has had 14,379; and Oahu has had 82,549. Maui Now.

‘How to Gather, For Real’. Large gatherings are the primary cause of COVID-19 clusters, a problem exacerbated by the arrival of this year’s holiday season. To demonstrate how to gather safely with ‘ohana, friends, and co-workers, the Hawai‘i Department of Health has produced a new campaign called “How to Gather. For Real.”  Big Island Now.

Executives Foresee Long-Term Changes To The Workplace After COVID-19. Even after the pandemic passes, some industries may need fewer workers, business executives say. Civil Beat.

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HMSA faces a lawsuit over its status as a ‘non-profit’. An Oahu nutritionist is suing HMSA in a lawsuit designed to weaken the insurer’s power in the health care marketplace. Hawaii News Now.

Some Hawaii public schools shift gears for students foiled by online learning. At Waialua High &Intermediate School, administrators noticed as early as September that the seventh graders were floundering in distance learning — and they took quick action. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Withdraws From Paris Global Climate Deal, But Hawaii Persists.
The role local governments play in fighting climate change “has never been greater,” the state’s top energy official said. Civil Beat.

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Hawaii Trump supporters react to election results. On Saturday, more than 100 Hawaii Trump supporters stood on the street for what organizers called a "Stop The Fraud" event. KITV4.

'We got his back’: Trump supporters in Hawaii rally after president loses election. Several dozen Trump supporters rallied outside the state Capitol building on Saturday, hours after learning the president had lost re-election to Joe Biden. Hawaii News Now.

Trump strongholds in Hawaii
: A map comparison of votes by precinct in 2020 and 2016. All Hawaii News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 8: 128 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases included 20 on the Big Island, 105 on Oahu, two in Maui County and one reported out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Lots Of Finger Pointing As Honolulu Rail Runs Out Of Money. The rail line — one of the nation’s most expensive per capita — may have to end a long way from both downtown and the hotel district in a nondescript light industrial area featuring a bus depot and a highway interchange. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi to eliminate ‘compassionate disruption’ homeless approach. Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi wants to eliminate the city’s current “compassionate disruption” philosophy to address homelessness on Oahu, including the frequent sweeps of homeless camps. Star-Advertiser.

State removes 42 illegal camps, tons of trash from Sand Island. The State of Hawaii cleared out 42 illegal campsites and removed 190.5 tons of trash from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6 at the Sand Island State Recreation Area. KHON2.

Honolulu On Track To Spend All CARES Act Funds, City Says. Households experiencing a pandemic-related hardship can still apply for relief funds up to $2,500 a month. Civil Beat.

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Bar fight: Lawsuit claims bias in regulating Hawaii businesses. But Oahu bar and nightclub owners — whose businesses have been closed for all but six weeks since late March because of COVID-19 emergency orders — are fighting back against what they say is unfair treatment by the government. Star-Advertiser.

Discerning restaurants from bars a matter of interpretation. Laws for selling and serving alcohol on Oahu are enacted by the Legislature, then enforced by the Honolulu Liquor Commission and sometimes the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

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The Fish — And Fishermen — Are Back At Ala Moana Beach. Swimmers Are Not Happy. The pandemic brought more fish to Oahu’s nearshore waters and sparked conflict among ocean users. Now, boundaries are being proposed at Ala Moana. Civil Beat.

An affordable-housing segregation issue is rising in Kakaako. The developer of Ward Village presented a plan last week to dramatically accelerate moderate-price condominium production in the neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

Engineering firm faces a hefty fine for allegedly altering part of Manoa stream.
Last year, the state Health Department fined the owners the home at 3148 East Manoa Rd. $40,000 for allegedly dumping nearly ten dump trucks full of construction material into the Manoa Stream to repair a retaining wall. Hawaii News Now.

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Kahuku 'Red Raiders' mascot nixed, deemed 'disrespectful and potentially discriminatory' toward Native Americans. A complaint called the longstanding logo, mascot, and "tomahawk chop" tradition during athletic events "disrespectful and potentially discriminatory toward Native Americans." KITV4.

Kahuku’s ‘Red Raider’ mascot soon to be a thing of the past.
Changes are coming to the name and look of the Kahuku High and Intermediate “Red Raider” mascot after heated discussions about race and ethnic groups across the nation. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Big Island voters not as quick to embrace Trump. While all islands in Hawaii became a slightly lighter shade of blue this presidential election, the Big Island had the smallest increase in Trump voters in the state, according to a West Hawaii Today comparison of votes between 2016 and 2020. West Hawaii Today.

Kim: ‘I need your help’. Mayor Harry Kim told an online conference of island and state visitor industry leaders Friday that he fears what happens when the federal coronavirus funds expire next month and the potential impact on tourism. Tribune-Herald.

Police to begin wearing body-worn cameras. The Axon Body 2 cameras will be worn first by officers in the South Hilo, Kona and Puna districts, said Hawaii Police Department Chief Paul Ferreira. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi Island Police Body Cameras Go Live Monday, Nov 9. South Hilo, Kona, and Puna district police will start, and the rest of the island is expected to be outfitted with the body cams before the end of 2020. Big Island Video News.

Big Island group aims to curtail feral rabbit population. Rascally rabbits are wreaking havoc on Hawaii Island, and the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is asking those who spot the animals to report them. Tribune-Herald.

Council passes resolution to seize portions of property to provide access to beach. The Hawaii County Council passed on Friday a resolution to seize portions of a Papaikou property through eminent domain in order to provide public access to Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

Rainy season begins with a dry October. Although the long-term forecast is for a wetter-than-average rainy season for most of Hawaii, much of the Big Island, especially East Hawaii, had a drier-than-usual October. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County prosecuting attorney ousted over claims of hostile work environment. Maui’s prosecuting attorney is out of a job tonight as the county council voted unanimously to remove him from office. Hawaii News Now.

Council committee votes to recommend Guzman’s removal. A Maui County Council committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend the removal of Don Guzman as prosecuting attorney, after an independent report and hours of county employee testimony said the leader violated the county’s violence in the workplace policy. Maui News.

Protesters block Maili drainage project. The unhappy neighbors of a housing development under construction in Maili have banded together once again, this time to stop the subdivision’s $300,000 drainage project. Star-Advertiser.

County to resume liquor exams. The Department of Liquor Control will resume certification exams and classes beginning Thursday after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to be suspended in August. Maui News.

Kauai

The Long-Simmering Feud Over This Kauai Rental Property May Finally Be Coming To A Head. The well-known Chandler family’s property is on the agenda for this week’s Kauai planning commission meeting, signaling a possible end to a 20-year permitting dispute. Civil Beat.

Free virus testing starts. The County of Kaua‘i, in partnership with the Department of Health, launched a free COVID-19 surge-testing program that will be available every Sunday through the end of December at various locations on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Ki‘ilani Arruda is Miss Teen USA. Ki‘ilani Arruda of Kapa‘a, Miss Teen Hawai‘i, has done it. She is the first teen from Kaua‘i, and second from the state, to win a Miss Teen USA title. Garden Island.

Kauai woman wins Miss Teen USA crown on national stage. The last time a contestant from Hawaii won the title was actress and model Kelly Hu in 1985. Hawaii News Now.

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