Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hawaiian commission approves Kapolei casino plan, Kilauea volcano creates economic boost with COVID-19 concerns, utility disconnection moratorium extended, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Kvnga on Unsplash
Casino gambling in Las Vegas Photo by Kvnga on Unsplash

Proposed Kapolei casino survives narrow vote to move forward. A controversial proposal to develop a casino resort on lands set aside for Native Hawaiians in Kapolei survived a narrow vote Tuesday at the Hawaiian Homes Commission and now heads to Gov. David Ige for his consideration. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Forwards Gambling Bill To The Governor.
The proposal must still win approval from Gov. David Ige and the Legislature before becoming law. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Approves Casino Gaming Legislative Proposal. The commission was divided on the matter, but DHHL says the initiative could be used to address the department's dire financial state. Big Island Video News.

In 5-4 vote, Hawaiian Homes Commission supports moving forward with casino proposal.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission voted 5-to-4 Tuesday to move forward with a plan to build a casino resort that would generate revenue for Native Hawaiians programs. Hawaii News Now.

Full text of the proposed Kapolei casino legislation is here.

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Proposal Would Exempt Vaccinated Hawaii Travelers From Quarantine. The proposed policy change would not immediately be useful to most travelers while the COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited. Civil Beat.

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Public Utilities Commission extends suspension of utility disconnections due to nonpayments through March 31. The Public Utilities Commission has extended the suspension of service disconnections due to nonpayments for Hawaiian Electric customers another three months to March 31, 2021. Star-Advertiser.

Moratorium for electric service disconnections extended through March 2021. The Public Utilities Commission ordered on Tuesday, Dec. 22, that the moratorium on disconnections of electric service for nonpayment be extended through March 31, 2021. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric extends moratorium on disconnections. Hawaiian Electric announced Tuesday it will extend the moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment through March 31, 2021.  West Hawaii Today.

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Gov. Ige reflects on 2020, tough decisions he made for Hawaii amid the pandemic. Like many others, Gov. David Ige was feeling positive at the start of 2020. Then, COVID-19 happened. KHON2.

How Decades Of Advocacy Helped Restore Medicaid Access To Micronesian Migrants. The change could help an estimated 25,000 people in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Matson takes delivery of Matsonia. Matson Inc., the state’s largest ocean shipping company, took delivery Friday of the Matsonia, the second of two new Kanaloa-class combination container/roll-on, roll-off ships built for the company by General Dynamics NASSCO. Star-Advertiser.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 22: 66 New COVID-19 Cases. Health officials reported 66 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday including 51 on Oahu, six on Hawaii island, seven on Maui, and two residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Deadline extended to keep $250M Honolulu rail project grant. Language put into one of the bills that make up the gargantuan congressional pandemic relief package approved late Monday would keep alive the city’s hopes of receiving $250 million in federal grant money for its financially strapped rail project, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

From delays to activation trouble, city grocery card program faces more woes. The city’s grocery card program is facing a new round of criticism from recipients who say that can’t activate their cards. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell Provides Update on City Cards. The $500 grocery gift cards were supposed to be in the mailboxes of 4,000 unemployed O'ahu residents by December 7th. Some report not receiving theirs until this week. KITV4.

2 more drivers from TheBus and TheHandi-Van test positive for COVID-19. City officials confirmed that two more drivers — one of TheBus and one of TheHandi-Van — have tested positive for COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Some Honolulu Police Officers Are Doubling Their Salaries With Overtime. Records show police officers’ overtime has increased while the crime-solving rate has declined. Civil Beat.

‘Phase 1B’ of Hawaii’s vaccination plan begins. The city is partnering with the State Department of Health (DOH) to administer nearly 3,700 COVID vaccines to first responders over the next six days. KHON2.

Honolulu first responders receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Honolulu’s first responders began getting vaccinated for COVID-19 today, after months of treating infectious coronavirus patients. Star-Advertiser.

Chiefs of Honolulu police, fire and emergency medical services among first responders to get COVID-19 vaccine. Leeward Community College is serving as a vaccination site for the next couple weeks for Oahu police officers, firefighters, lifeguards and emergency medical services staff. KITV4.

Kapiolani Medical Center puts up final contract offer in ongoing negotiations. A new offer from Kapiolani Medical Center is the latest development in negotiations between nurses and the hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Crowds at Kilauea are a welcome nudge for the economy and a test of public health. Approximately 48 hours after the eruption began, nearby lodgings are also filling up fast. Hawaii News Now.

Kilauea eruption shows no signs of stopping. The eruption at Kilauea Volcano’s summit appears stable, and there’s no sign it will end anytime soon, although previous eruptions have lasted less than a day to more than 10 years. Star-Advertiser.

Latest Kilauea eruption confined to Halema‘uma‘u crater. Kilauea’s latest eruption might stoke fears of a repeat of 2018’s devastating lava flows, but for now, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the lava is isolated at the summit. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Volcano Eruption Update. Now in its second day, Kīlauea's newest volcanic eruption continues, with no significant change. Big Island Video News.

Vog returns to West Hawaii: Officials warn of potential air quality hazards. West Hawaii residents awoke Tuesday to a blanket of vog for the first time in more than two years. West Hawaii Today.

Kīlauea Eruption May Cause Decline in Air Quality. Sunday’s eruption at Kīlauea Volcano has caused potential concern about air quality across the Big Island. Big Island Now.

Kīlauea Eruption Poses Air Quality Hazard With Increased Vog and SO2 Levels. The state Department of Health is advising the public of potential hazardous, poor air quality, due to the ongoing volcanic eruption at Kīlauea that began on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. Maui Now.

Local Dems pick Kahele replacement candidates. Three familiar names and four not quite as familiar will vie for an open state Senate seat this evening in virtual interviews with precinct officials who will select three Democrats to send to Gov. David Ige as candidates to fill the District 1 seat vacated by Kai Kahele, who was elected to Congress. West Hawaii Today.

Maui


Scaled-back state budget includes funds for hospital, jail. Funding for hospital and harbor improvements and medium-security housing at Maui’s only jail made the cut in the governor’s latest budget proposal, which calls for sharp reductions amid a struggling state economy. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric Opens Three electric vehicle fast chargers on Maui. Three new electric vehicle fast-charging stations are now open to the public at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center in Central Maui, Piʻilani Village Shopping Center in South Maui and Lahaina Aquatic Center in West Maui, Hawaiian Electric announced today. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai mayor extends emergency measures. Currently, Kauai is in Tier 4, the least restrictive of the county's four-tiered system of guidelines for businesses and recreation limits. KITV4.

Council mulls visitors beach-park parking fee. To address overcrowding at beach parks, the County Council has offered a bill authorizing the county Department of Parks and Recreation to initiate a study to potentially institute a county-beach-park parking-fee structure. Garden Island.

County announces two new cases of COVID-19. The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Surfrider asks for help collecting derelict fishing gear. The Kaua‘i chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, in collaboration with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, has placed ocean-debris recycling bins at the Nawiliwili and Port Allen small boat harbors. Garden Island.


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