Tuesday, January 19, 2021

ASL interpreter succumbs to COVID-19, Hawaii legislative leaders to forego pomp and speeches, nurses in Hawaii paid the most, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from  Aug. 13, 2020, Hawaii state video
Patty Sakal interprets Gov. David Ige's speech for the hearing impaired on Aug. 13, 2020

Beloved ASL interpreter for state dies from COVID-19 complications. Patty Sakal, 62, died from COVID-19 during a trip to California. KHON2.

ASL interpreter whose services amid pandemic helped keep community safe dies of COVID. A woman who helped the deaf community follow what was happening with the coronavirus crisis has been taken by the disease. Patty Sakal, 62, a veteran sign language interpreter and inspiring leader for the hearing-impaired community, died last week after contracting COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

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Vaccinated travelers could be exempt from quarantine, testing by spring. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said travelers who get vaccinated for COVID-19 will likely be exempted from quarantine and testing requirements as early as this spring. Hawaii News Now.

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Opening day of Hawaii legislative session to be void of typical festivities. The typical pomp and circumstance will not be seen Wednesday, such as attendance by friends and family, entertainment, food and even speeches by key majority and minority leaders.  Star-Advertiser.

The Battered State Budget Will Dominate The Next Hawaii Legislature. With money tight, lawmakers are looking to the Biden administration and Congress to help shore up a huge deficit as the 2021 session opens this week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Owes The Feds $700 Million. Businesses May Have To Pay The Tab. The state borrowed $700 million to pay unemployment benefits, but businesses may have to repay it. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii and Department of Education brace for budget cuts. Millions of dollars in budget cuts to the state Department of Education and University of Hawaii system are expected to be finalized Thursday during separate board meetings for both departments. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Still Hope To Pass Climate Legislation in 2021. Big ticket items like targets for cutting national carbon emissions or raising infrastructure ahead of sea level rise are often the focus in discussions of climate change. Hawaii Public Radio.

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What New Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill Means for Hawaiʻi Employers. The $900 billion pandemic aid bill passed by Congress at the end of 2020 aims to drive more money to small and minority-owned businesses, which makes it particularly relevant for Hawai‘i. Hawaii Business magazine.

Study shows nurses in Hawaii get paid the most in the country compared to other nurses. Nurses in Hawaii are paid the most in the country according to Business.org. KHON2.

Community Health Centers in Hawaiʻi Awarded $1.3 Million Grant for Telehealth Services. The Freeman Foundation and Hawaiʻi Community Foundation awarded $1.3 million in grants to 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers across the state, according to a news release. Maui Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 18: 129 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii has seen a triple-digit increase in cases for 14 straight days. Hawaii health officials reported 129 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Monday, including 83 on Oahu, 21 on Maui, nine on the Big Island, two on Kauai and 14 residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Hundreds get immunized at Oahu’s first mass vaccination site. The soggy weather didn’t deter kupuna eager to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from filing into the cruise ship terminal at Pier 2 Monday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Kupuna get inoculated at Pier 2 as Hawaii mass vaccinations begin. But health officials are worried that there isn’t enough vaccine to sustain the huge demand. Nearly all of the 12,800 appointments for the large vaccination clinic are full through Jan 27, said Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer at Hawaii Pacific Health. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of appointments booked at mass vaccination sites on Oahu. Oahu’s senior citizens are starting to get their first COVID-19 shot as a mass vaccination site at Pier 2 kicked off on Monday with about 600 appointments booked. KHON2.

Hawaii bar owners John Harrison and Bill Comerford appeal to leaders to lift coronavirus restrictions. Bill Comerford and John Harrison have each owned and operated bars in Honolulu for decades, but both say that if COVID-19 restrictions are not lifted soon, they will lose their businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Why more kids aren’t back at school; Despite low COVID case counts, administrators say numerous hurdles remain. Despite relatively low COVID-19 infection rates on the Big Island, some schools have opted to continue with distance learning this quarter, while others are working to bring students back to campus. Tribune-Herald.

Big Isle pediatricians to DOE: ‘Open our schools’. In a letter sent to Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and local complex area superintendents, six East Hawaii pediatricians — Lauren Stuart, Miki Cain, Darrett Choi, Joseph D’Angelo, Ty DeSilva and Diana Lindreoth — have recommended keiki return to full-time, in-person learning without delay. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

New rules requested by Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino take effect Tuesday. Travelers headed to Maui must download the “Aloha Safe Alert” app and stores must limit the amount of customers they let inside. KHON2.

Public Virtual Presentation: 7 Environmental Projects Funded Through Maui CARES. With unemployment at record levels due to COVID-19, Maui County followed the Great Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps’ model that put 3 million people to work. The County used federal CARES Act funding to put more than 70 Maui and Molokai residents to work in November for seven local conservation nonprofits. Maui Now.

Maui home prices reached new peaks last year. The Realtors Association of Maui recently published data showing that median sale prices rose to $795,575 for single-family homes and $570,000 for condos last year. Star-Advertiser.

Entrance, parking fees coming soon for Wai‘anapanapa State Park. In an effort to manage high traffic flow to Maui’s remote East Maui, a reservation system for commercial vehicles and individual tourists seeking to visit Wai’anapanapa State Park is anticipated to launch next month. Maui News.

Entry and Parking Fees at Waiʻānapanapa State Park Expected to Begin in February. A reservation system is expected to begin at East Maui’s Waiʻānapanapa State Park in the second or third week of February according to state leaders who provided an update during a weekend Zoom meeting. Maui Now.

Kauai

DPW briefs council on road resurfacing projects. The county is estimating about $10.625 million in General Excise Tax revenue this fiscal year, down about $7.46 million from the year before. Garden Island.

Hearing on home exemptions is Feb. 8. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Finance will hold a public hearing on Monday, Feb. 8, on the proposed amendments to the rules and regulations relating to home and related exemptions. Garden Island.



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