Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Popular former Big Island Mayor Kenoi succumbs to cancer, Legislature seeks to tighten reins of auditor, gambling bills introduced, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Billy Kenoi on Dec. 6, 2016, at his last ribbon-cutting

 Former Mayor Billy Kenoi succumbs to cancer: Kenoi leaves a long legacy of a bodacious life. Hawaii lost a rising political star and ambassador of aloha Tuesday with the death of former Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi. West Hawaii Today.

Praise pours in for former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, once a rising star in the Hawaii Democratic Party, died Tuesday at his home in Volcano after a bout with a rare form of cancer. He was 52. Star-Advertiser.

Former Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi Dead At 52. The folksy and sometimes controversial Hawaii leader had fought a lengthy battle with cancer. Civil Beat.

Billy Kenoi, former Hawaii County mayor, dies after lengthy battle with cancer. William “Billy” Punapaiaala Kenoi, the former mayor of Hawaii County who gained followers around the state for his tell-it-like-it-is style, an endless love for the place he called home and as an inspiring orator, died Tuesday at home after a lengthy battle with cancer. Hawaii News Now.

Friends say Kenoi was sharp, witty, funny in final days. Full of aloha, a master communicator and a force of personality. That is how friends describe former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, who succumbed to a battle with cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the age of 52. KHON2.

Friends, Colleagues Remember Billy Kenoi.
The Governor will order flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Mayor Kenoi on the day of his memorial service, arrangements are pending. KITV4.

Hawaii Officials Reflect On Passing Of Billy Kenoi. Top Hawaiʻi officials offered words of remembrance on the news of the death of former Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Big Island Video News.

Former Hawaiʻi County Mayor Billy Kenoi Dies After Long Battle With Cancer. Big Island Now.

Former Hawai‘i Island Mayor “Billy” Kenoi Dies,
Dignitaries Extend Condolences. Maui Now.

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Bill Would Give Lawmakers Control Over Auditor’s Paycheck. A bill that would empower the Legislature to set the salary of the State Auditor has been co-introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki and Democratic Majority Leader Della Au Belatti in what may be another sign that State Auditor Les Kondo has fallen from favor. Civil Beat.

Hawaii gambling bills under serious review. State lawmakers are prepared to have perhaps their most serious discussions about whether to allow some form of legalized gambling in Hawaii in the face of monumental budget shortfalls, a struggling tourism-based economy and the overwhelming challenge of trying to get Native Hawaiians onto state Hawaiian home lands. Star-Advertiser.

Broadband expansion plans find support. Several broadband-related bills were introduced or passed first reading in the state Legislature on Monday, the same day Gov. David Ige delivered his State of the State address, during which he committed to expanding connectivity coverage throughout Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

CDC Supports Reopening Schools.
Hawaii Officials Say Not Yet. Federal health officials found “little evidence” that schools are meaningful contributors to the spread of COVID-19, based on available data. Civil Beat.

Education officials prepare for budget cuts. Education officials let local lawmakers know why funding for their programs should not be cut, even during this difficult economic time. KITV4.

Work from Hawaii program gets tens of thousands applications. A program that pays for the flights of people who want to work remotely in Hawaii has already received around 50,000 applications. KITV4.

State jobless rate declines to 9.3%. A Hawaii labor market plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of job losses in 2020 showed some signs of recovery at year-end as the unemployment rate fell for the third straight month and finished December at 9.3%. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines reports $162M loss amid 79% drop in revenue. Hawaii’s largest airline finished what it called the most challenging year for the air travel industry with a $162.6 million loss during the last three months of 2020. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn to take command of U.S. Army Pacific. The brother of disgraced former national security adviser retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — who suggested that President Donald Trump could declare martial law and “rerun” elections in certain states — has been tapped to be the next commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Green: Herd immunity in Hawaii could be achieved by summer. The state believes President Joe Biden’s plans to ramp up the distribution of vaccinations could help Hawaii achieve herd immunity by the summer. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution uneven because of limited supplies. The state Department of Health is well into its COVID-19 vaccination rollout across the islands, but there still appears to be confusion and frustration about apparent inconsistencies in the pecking order within designated priority groups. Star-Advertiser.

The State Vaccine Communication Strategy Works To Include Community Partners. Only 44% of Hawaii residents would be willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine according to a report from the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center. Hawaii Public Radio.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 26: 71 New Infections. Hawaii health officials reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 61 on Oahu, one on the Big Island, eight on Maui, and one Hawaii resident diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Former no. 2 under Caldwell is working at Council to get taxpayer-funded benefits. Roy Amemiya, who served as managing director in the Caldwell administration, is back at Honolulu Hale as a staffer for new Councilman Calvin Say. Hawaii News Now. 

Honolulu man arraigned after being caught with 24 pounds of cocaine, prosecutors say. Ping Hong Lee was arrested on Jan. 13 after law enforcement officers observed an alleged trade off at a Waikiki hotel. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Foundation exploring TMT ahead of funding decision. The National Science Foundation is continuing its informal outreach efforts in Hawaii as part of a campaign that could help to determine whether it will award hundreds of thousands of dollars to the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project. Star-Advertiser.

Post-arrival testing to continue through February.
Hawaii County will continue testing trans-Pacific arrivals for COVID-19 through at least February thanks to continued partnerships with private philanthropists. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Vacation Rentals at 41.8 Percent Occupancy for December. Maui County had a 41.8 percent occupancy rate for vacation rentals during December 2020 with an average daily rate of $277, according to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Vacation Rental Performance Report. Maui Now.

COVID-19 at grocer, MPD and humane society. Ten employees at Foodland in Pukalani have tested positive for COVID-19, though store officials say the employees had “very limited contact” or no contact at all with customers. Maui News.

Erosion Prompts Puamana Beach Park Closure Through Feb. 28. Puamana Beach Park in West Maui is closed today, Jan. 26, through Feb. 28, 2021, due to safety concerns caused by coastal erosion, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kupuna can join vaccine waitlist. Kupuna over 75 who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine have an opportunity Friday at Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation’s Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a. Garden Island.

Barnes, 50, alleged quarantine-breaker, held at OCCC now. Barnes was charged with three separate violations of quarantine and a trespassing charge, which he documented with 83 TikTok videos. Garden Island.


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