Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Saiki seeks to remove university from Mauna Kea management, new coronavirus variants found in islands, CVS to being vaccinations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Snow-capped Mauna Kea ©2021 All Hawaii News

House Speaker Scott Saiki calls for new Mauna Kea management by replacing UH with a “new governance structure” for the site. In a speech calling for islandwide unity, House Speaker Scott Saiki on Tuesday said the University of Hawaii needs to stop pursuing a new management lease for Mauna Kea, the site of mass protests and arrests over the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Saiki Wants To Take Mauna Kea Management Away From UH. Details on a new governance committee proposed by the Hawaii House speaker that would investigate a new management structure have yet to be seen. Civil Beat.

Saiki: UH not fit to manage mountain. The University of Hawaii’s director of Maunakea stewardship said the university will continue its process to renew the master lease for the mountain, which hosts several of the world’s premier astronomical observatories. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Seek Change in Maunakea Management. Lawmakers announced plans Tuesday to introduce legislation that would reassess a new governance structure for Maunakea. Big Island Now.

Speaker Saiki called on UH to stop managing Mauna Kea. UH has been under fire for its role in the controversial Thirty-Meter Telescope project at the summit of the mountain. KITV4.

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House Leader Lays Out Proposals For Accountability, Land And Tourism. In a major policy speech on Tuesday, Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki called for several changes to state government, including an effort to consolidate watchdog agencies. Civil Beat.

Committee Scraps Proposal For Rent Control Law. But a measure to end the income tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes advances. Civil Beat.

Bill would mandate disclosure of COVID-19 cases at Hawaii public schools. A bill that would require the Department of Education to publish a weekly report on schools that have COVID-19 cases among students and staff will get its first hearing today in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Feeding Feral Chickens Could Result In $500 Penalty. A bill before the Hawaii Legislature also calls for Health Department and county police enforcement. Civil Beat.

Child Advocacy Groups Hope to Fill Gaps in Services Amid Steep Budget Cuts. A top concern for advocates is how COVID-19 has highlighted inequalities for Hawaii’s children. Hawaii Public Radio.

Survey finds Hawaii businesses reeling from lost revenue, cutting jobs, and expecting a long road to recovery. A new survey by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Foundation found businesses are not only continuing to suffer from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but do not expect to recover for at least another year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines warns more layoffs to come. Hawaiian Airlines may have to lay off hundreds of workers once again despite hopes of making a comeback. KHON2.

State workers in limbo, unsure of when they’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine. Confusion and frustration lingers over Hawaii’s vaccine roll out as union leaders say state workers are upset with the lack of planning from the Ige administration. Hawaii News Now.

State Lab Detects More COVID-19 Variants in Hawai‘i. More variants of the coronavirus have been detected in Hawai‘i, according to a report from the state Department of Health on Tuesday. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

CVS to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines at 7 Longs Drugs in Hawaii starting Feb. 11. The participating Longs Drugs are in Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului, Kaneohe and Kapaa. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 2: 64 New COVID-19 Infections.
Hawaii health officials reported 64 new cases including 41 on Oahu, 17 on Maui, four on the Big Island, and two Hawaii residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Governor pushes back against efforts to ease COVID restrictions on Oahu. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he is unlikely to support any efforts to loosen Oahu’s tiered reopening system anytime soon. Hawaii News Now.

Years-long Kealoha mailbox case to come to an end as last 2 defendants are sentenced. Jesse Ebersole, a former Big Island firefighter, and retired Honolulu police officer Niall Silva are expected to get anywhere from probation to months of confinement. Hawaii News Now.

State Seeks Someone To Build And Finance New Oahu Jail. It appears lawmakers won’t fund a new jail to replace OCCC, so the state is looking to the private sector. Civil Beat.

Landowner donates 300 acres of Oahu forestland for state natural area reserve. A 300-acre parcel of rainforest visible from near the summit of the popular Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail on Oahu will now become protected public land due to generous donations, state officials announced today. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Downtown restaurant passes inspection after mask violation citation. Doner Shack, recently issued a red “Closed” placard from the state Department of Health for a face mask violation has been reissued a green “Pass” placard, department officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii drafts plan to host football games in Manoa. The University of Hawaii is looking to add about 6,000 seats to its Manoa practice football field to play games over the next three years if Aloha Stadium remains closed. Star-Advertiser.

Judge removes private ruler of several Kakaako roads. A winding case of litigation over private use of several Kakaako roads took a hard turn Tuesday, with a judge ruling that the state owns the disputed streets. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Lawyer sues county over Sunshine Law, seeks to stop Zendo Kern confirmation vote. A Hilo lawyer filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to stop the confirmation vote of Planning Director Zendo Kern, saying council members violated the state Sunshine Law during last month’s preliminary confirmation before the council Planning Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Charity tax write-off measure held for more work. A bill that would allow taxpayers who were socked with an extra luxury home tax last year donate that tier 2 tax to charity instead was postponed for tweaks Tuesday, after drawing mixed reviews from the County Council Finance Committee. West Hawaii Today.

COVID-19 Cluster Identified at Coffee Farm in Kona.
The Department of Health has identified a COVID-19 cluster at a coffee farm in Kona. Out of about 100 employees, 18 workers were diagnosed with the coronavirus, Steve Bader, executive assistant from the Mayor’s Office, told Hawai‘i County Council’s Governmental Operations, Relations and Economic Development Committee this morning. Big Island Now.

Additional Big Isle sites to get vaccinated. Big Island pharmacies are beginning to offer in-store COVID-19 vaccinations. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Sears closing after 36 years in Hilo mall. Prince Kuhio Plaza might seek a new tenant after Sears, one of the mall’s oldest stores, closes later this year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Panel: Fast-track projects should be 75% affordable. The Maui County Council’s Affordable Housing Committee on Monday voted to recommend approval of a bill that would tighten affordable housing requirements for projects seeking fast-track approval under a state law. Maui News.

Maui County to receive $40 million for rent and utility assistance. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced that the County will receive $40 million in federal funds to assist local households, earning 80 percent or below area median income, for relief from delinquent rent and utility bills. KITV4.

Kauai

Virus variant found on Kaua‘i. The state Department of Health and private laboratories have detected a COVID-9 variant on three islands, including Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Coastal path nominated as one of country’s best. During the last Lihu‘e Business Association virtual meeting, LBA President Pat Griffin announced that Kaua‘i Path Executive Director Tommy Noyes got a call from USA Today informing him Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the Eastside multi-use coastal route, has been nominated by USA Today as one of the nation’s 10 best recreational trails. Garden Island.

Ka Lae Kiki estate in Poipu closes at $10.5 million. Kaua‘i Realtor Hannah Sirois recently closed on the Ka Lae Kiki estate on the Poipu oceanfront for $10.5 million. Garden Island.

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