Friday, May 21, 2021

Job-search requirement reinstated for unemployment recipients, Honolulu to crack down on monster houses, COVID-sniffing dogs begin their work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Governor's Office
Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

Job-search requirement reinstated for unemployment benefits in Hawaii. Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that the change will begin May 30 in a move to help boost employment as the state emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate plunged to 8.5% in April. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate plunged six-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5% in April as the state added 10,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Star-Advertiser.

UH scrambles to replace funding as it faces $80M in budget cuts. Executives at the University of Hawaii said they are scrambling to fill $80 million in budget cuts after the state Legislature reduced funding from their two-year budget. The UH Board of Regents was briefed on the cuts Thursday, which amounts to about 9% of the overall UH budget. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s hotel occupancy at 51% in April. Hotels in Hawaii were only about half full in April even with the spring break rush, but performance is expected to heat up this summer as many U.S. travelers take leisure trips. Star-Advertiser.

The Great Hawaii Rental Car Crisis: Is It Ever Going To End?. Some island leaders say it’s time to implement smarter visitor management strategies that don’t involve large fleets of rental cars. Civil Beat.

New fungicide approved for use in Hawaii’s battle against coffee leaf rust. The Environmental Protection Agency says it’s okay for coffee growers to use a specific fungicide to prevent the growth of the coffee leaf rust pathogen. Hawaii News Now. Big Island Video News. KHON2.

Green hopes study that links COVID to male impotence boosts vaccinations. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is hoping a new study that links COVID-19 to male impotence encourages more men to get vaccinated. In a report in the World Journal of Men’s Health, researchers said coronavirus not only attacks blood vessels in organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys but it also can damage blood vessels in the penis. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 Sniffing Dogs Show Promise With Patients In Hawaii. Together, the four dogs trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii have accurately identified nearly 100% of positive samples. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

May 20, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 80 Cases (59 Confirmed, 21 Probable). The confirmed cases included: 50 on O‘ahu, five on Maui, three on Hawai‘i Island, and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Council chair considers action to force HPD to release bodycam videos in fatal teen shooting. Honolulu Council Chair Tommy Waters said he plans to discuss the possibility of legislation or a resolution aimed at pushing the Honolulu Police Department to release bodycam videos from the fatal April 5 police shooting of a teen. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Planning and Permitting considering new ways to crack down on “monster homes”.
The city Department of Planning and Permitting is looking into different ways to better enforce against “monster homes,” new large structures in older neighborhoods that often illegally rent out rooms for both short- and long-term rentals. Star-Advertiser.

Navy’s responses to leak at Red Hill fuel frustration. The Navy on Thursday assured members of a committee created by the Legislature to monitor underground fuel tanks that a release of approximately 1,000 gallons of jet fuel at its Red Hill fuel farm earlier this month had been “captured and fully contained” and that there was no evidence of environmental harm or risk to an underground aquifer that supplies drinking water. Star-Advertiser.

Marines Scrap Hawaii-Based Attack Helicopters After Just Three Years. But don’t expect empty skies around Kaneohe. The Marines will still be flying their “tilt-rotor” Ospreys and drones. Civil Beat.

Hawaii summer programs having trouble finding applicants. Summer camps and programs across Oahu are having trouble finding applicants. City officials say they want to avoid closing a Summer Fun program site over a worker shortage. KHON2.

Kailua residents demand Wendy’s build a wall as concerns rise over customer disturbances. Oahu’s 11th Wendy’s restaurant is about to open in Kailua in a few weeks, but surrounding residents believe it would be better to build a wall between them and their new neighbor. Hawaii News Now.

‘Beyond Van Gogh’ to open in Honolulu on July 2. A new immersive exhibit is coming to Honolulu. “Beyond Van Gogh” opens on Friday, July 2, at the Hawaii Convention Center. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Court hears oral arguments on attorney general’s subpoena of anti-TMT group. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the purpose and nature of a state subpoena meant to look into the financial records of a nonprofit that has opposed the Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Council advances budget after adding contingency funds. Stark philosophical differences among County Council members, coupled with limited funds and a lot of funding requests, led to some tense moments Thursday that threatened to blow up a special session on the budget but ultimately culminated in compromise. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui mayor seeking to acquire lands in Wailuku for historic cultural preserve. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino announced on Thursday, May 20, that he is seeking to acquire about 545 acres in the Waiale area of Wailuku for a historic cultural preserve. KHON2.

Maui County’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.5% in April 2021. It is drastically lower than the 32.9% rate a year ago when the pandemic shutdown much of the island’s economy, and slightly lower than the 12.3% unemployment rate in March 2021, according to information from the HawaiĘ»i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations. Maui Now.

COVID cancels Maui Fair for second straight year. Worried over the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak even as more people get the vaccine, organizers announced that the 98th Maui Fair will be canceled for a second year in a row and rescheduled for 2022. Maui News. Maui Now.

After canceled plans, Maui mayor OKs a celebration dinner for high school seniors. The school’s Parent Teacher Student Association arranged for a special dinner for the graduates and surprise performances by Ekolu, Maoli and Josh Tatofi. Hawaii News Now.

Surfers Rally for Resumption of Keiki Competitions. The return of youth surfing competitions is being discussed at the county and state level, but for some in the local surfing community, the current restriction has gone on long enough. Maui Now.

Kauai

Council passes cat and dog microchipping bills. A one-time, $20 microchipping cost will replace biennial licensing fees for cats and dogs on Kaua‘i, per two Kaua‘i County Council-approved measures, bills 2820 and 2821, on Wednesday. Garden Island.

County awards $500,000 for rental assistance. The Kaua‘i Police Department, in partnership with the Kaua‘i County Housing Agency, awarded Women In Need a grant of $500,000 to provide housing support to houseless individuals and families. Garden Island.

More services needed for domestic violence victims. There are not enough services on Kaua‘i for victims of domestic violence, according to concerned program leaders. Garden Island.

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